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Latest Legal News & Hot Issues
Takata Airbag Recall Heating Up
The chances of a defective Takata airbag exploding and firing metal shards at you, even in a minor fender bender, increase with rising temperatures. But the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says many people driving unsafe cars, including Honda, Ford and Mazda, haven’t grasped the recall’s urgency.
California State Labor Commissioner Slams Restaurants with Wage Theft Violations
Despite California restaurants in the past few years receiving huge fines for California labor law violations, some employers seem to have missed the memo, or perhaps they think employees on salary aren’t entitled to overtime compensation. Or perhaps they think restaurant workers, from dishwashers to cooks to General Managers, are afraid of losing their jobs if they file a complaint. Workers at six Rangoon Ruby Burmese Cuisine chains and Kome Japanese Seafood & Buffet, however, did complain, and their complaints resulted in fines totaling more than $10 million.
Ninth Circuit Champions Wrongly Denied Disability Claimant
In Bowlin v. The Prudential Life Insurance Company of America
, the United States District Court for the Central District of California overruled Prudential’s decision to deny long term disability benefits to a worker who gave evidence of many physical and psychological ailments. Bowlin
is something of a rarity in long term denied disability lawsuits because the plaintiff won. Maybe it’s a trend in California, though.
After $7.9 Million Jury Verdict, Chipotle Settles California Labor Lawsuit To Avoid Punitive Damages
Long-time valued Chipotle General Manager Jeanette Ortiz was accused of stealing $626 dollars from her employer, but when she asked to see the surveillance footage of the alleged incident, her supervisors refused and destroyed the footage. Subsequently, she went out on medical leave for a work-related injury, and was terminated while out on leave. The pretext for her firing was the alleged theft. After a jury found Ortiz’s account of retaliatory termination persuasive, awarding her $7.9 million in damages, Chipotle Mexican Grill quickly settled the California labor lawsuit for an undisclosed amount to avoid what likely would have been a punitive damages award up to nine times as much as the $7.9 million compensatory damages award.
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