Forbes Report: Facebook’s Meta Failed to Protect Instagram Child Models From Pedophiles

Forbes Report: Facebook's Meta Failed to Protect Instagram Child Models From Pedophiles

An exclusive investigative report published by Forbes details systemic failures on the part of Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, to protect child models on Instagram from pedophiles.

Meta failed to protect Instagram’s child models from pedophiles

The Forbes report notes:

  • A photographer accused of selling photos to pedophiles was allowed to use Instagram for several months despite being arrested.
  • Forbes alerted Meta to “more than a dozen” accounts with over half a million followers that were “sexualizing child and teenage models,” but little action was taken on the part of the social media giant.

The report from Forbes includes accounts of multiple minors seeking to pursue modeling ambitions who were contacted by a man named Grant Durtschi. Durtschi, a 48-year-old who had made a “career out of photographing kids,” according to Forbes, would often pay the parent or even the child a substantial sum of money – up to $1,000 per shoot – before selling those photos to “unknown buyers.”

Said anonymous buyers were often known pedophiles, the Forbes’ report claims.

The father of a 13-year-old girl featured in the report told the FBI that Durtschi had “openly admitted to selling his photos to pedophiles” in chats with his teenage daughter via the messaging app Telegram.

After the teenager’s father contacted federal investigators, Forbes confirmed:

“The Louisiana Bureau of Investigation received a batch of Durtschi’s photos of Jane [identify changed by Forbes] in various poses wearing a G-string bikini on a bed, according to a search warrant application for Google Drive accounts linked to the investigation. Some images were of Jane in sexually suggestive positions and some photos were intimate, the warrant read. After interviewing Sarah, federal agents said that during Jane’s final shoot in October 2020 in Texas that Jane complained she was uncomfortable with how Durtschi was getting ‘handsy.’ Jane would later tell police the photographer touched her backside and undid her swimsuit.”

Child Photographer Grant Durtschi Reportedly Used Instagram to Sell Photos of Minors to Pedophiles

Forbes reported that Durtschi would typically utilize two separate Instagram accounts. Police analysis of financial records indicate that “customers” would contact Durtschi via Instagram and pay for photos of teenagers and children through PayPal. The analysis of Durtschi’s PayPal account revealed:

  • Over 70 male clients had paid between $100 and $1,100 for sexually suggestive images of children.
  • The FBI confirmed that several of those men were either convicted sex offenders or had other related convictions in their criminal history.
  • One of the men, according to the FBI, had previously been arrested for kidnapping.

Although both of Durtschi’s primary accounts have been confirmed as removed from Meta’s popular social media platform, his arrest as well as alerts issued directly to the company failed to impact his Instagram presence, according to Forbes.

Durtschi was arrested in March on charges of sexual exploitation of children. He pleaded not guilty in April. However, after being arrested and charged, Durtschi was able to continue to use Instagram to share images of minors “for months,” according to Forbes. Furthermore, in conducting a simple search for Durtschi’s two deleted Instagram accounts, Forbes found:

  • One account referencing his business name had nearly 90,000 followers and was regularly posting images of teenagers and possibly younger children wearing swimming attire.
  • Comments under the photos “were sexual in nature,” whether explicitly or with sexualized emojis.
  • Earlier in 2022, another Instagram user reported the account as belonging to Durthschi and claimed the photographer was selling images of children to pedophiles.

Forbes reportedly alerted Meta to the account that same week, and it was removed.

However, despite Forbes alerting Meta to Durtschi’s troubling account, another profile referencing his photography company remained online. Furthermore, Forbes reported that the FBI confirmed the Instagram account in question “had previously been shut down,” indicating that Meta had actually allowed the accused sex offender to reinstate his profile. Said profile continued to post photos and videos of minors, Forbes confirmed.

The account linked to Durtschi, which was publicly available, reportedly indicated it was “rebuilding for the third time” a month after the photographer was arrested. That account contained a reel of a “child model being photographed by a gray-haired male,” according to Forbes.

The same model’s Instagram image had been shared on Durtschi’s page with an estimated 90,000 followers before it was officially closed, according to Forbes. The last account linked to Durtschi was finally removed after Forbes notified Meta of its existence.

As Forbes notes in the report:

“The case not only highlights a troubling corner of Instagram that acts as a marketplace for sexualized images of children, it also shows how easily those who exploit young people can elude banishment and return again and again, even after they’re arrested and charged. Despite years of criticism for how it fails to protect children, most recently via the leaks of former employee Frances Haugen, Meta, with $118 billion in 2021 revenue, relies a great deal on unpaid Instagram users and journalists to identify wrongdoers, and has a tough time keeping them off the platform or disposing of what they might leave behind.”

Meta Claims Zero Tolerance for Child Exploitation

According to a Meta spokesperson who communicated with Forbes for the report, the social media giant has no tolerance for child exploitation and will remove accounts that “share such content.”

“We’ve always removed content that explicitly sexualizes children, and last year we updated our policies to help us remove more subtle types of sexualization, including where accounts share images of children alongside inappropriate commentary about their appearance,” a Meta spokesperson told Forbes. “We know there may be those who try and get around our systems, which is why we’re always working to make sure we stay one step ahead.”

The spokesperson reportedly referenced Meta’s policy outlawing any content sexualizing children. The company doesn’t allow children in “sexualized costume” or in a “staged environment (for example, on a bed) or professionally shot (quality/focus/angles),” Forbes reported.

Forbes Report Identifies Over a Dozen Instagram Accounts Sexualizing Children

Through a basic search conducted during its investigation, Forbes discovered over a dozen Instagram accounts posting content similar to that which was found on Durtschi’s various accounts. Those sexualized accounts featuring children were reportedly visited by Instagram users who “let it be known that they found the minors to be sexually attractive,” according to Forbes.

The Forbes’ investigation also found:

  • One Instagram profile with photos and videos of minors in swimwear consistently posted.
  • That specific account, with 2,167 followers, included a request for “no creeps please.”
  • Another Instagram account with similar child swimwear-based content had 43,000 followers.

But those “were just the public groups,” as Forbes noted. The magazine discovered problematic private accounts, one of which had nearly 400,000 followers promising “photos of teenagers in swimwear.”

Combined with Durtschi’s pages, the Instagram accounts identified by Forbes containing sexualized images of children and teenagers had a total of more than 500,000 followers.

Forbes alerted Meta to 15 potentially exploitative accounts, and Instagram closed 11 at the time of the report’s publication on June 25. Later, Forbes confirmed Instagram had announced new safety features through a partnership with a company called Yoti that attempts to:

  • Verify users’ ages
  • Scan faces to estimate the approximate age of a subject

Canadian Charitable Organization Calls for Meta to Improve Safety for Children

Forbes reported that the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, a registered charitable organization dedicated to the personal safety of all children, was “incensed” by the magazine’s findings.

Lianna McDonald, executive director for the Canadian charity, called for Meta to increase its content moderation while also appealing to governments to introduce new legislation that would force such social media giants to take more action on “not just criminal content, but also content that is harmful and abusive to children,” Forbes reported.

“In our experience, the publication of sexualized child modeling imagery – often images that don’t rise to the level of being unambiguously illegal – are frequently used as promotional conduits to signal the availability of child sexual abuse imagery on other channels,” McDonald told Forbes.

McDonald referred to the specific tactic as “breadcrumbing.”

She also noted to Forbes that images of one of the victims referenced in a search warrant provided by the magazine was promoted on dark web child sexual abuse forums. On such platforms, the images “are being used in more sexually abusive and explicit ways,” McDonald said.

According to Forbes, the Canadian Centre for Child Protection continues to find Instagram accounts that either promote child sexual abuse or sexualize children. In a single month, the charity reported nearly 150 such troubling accounts to Instagram. Of those reported, 40 accounts currently remain online, according to McDonald.

California Assembly Bill 2408 May Allow Parents to Sue Social Media Companies

In May, the California State Assembly passed a bill which could allow parents to sue social media companies for “making their platforms addictive to children.”

Assembly Bill 2408 (AB 2408) defines “addiction” as when a child under 18 is emotionally, mentally, physically, developmentally, or materially harmed by their social media use and are unable to stop using it despite wanting to.

The bill must go to the California State Senate to be heard and negotiated by lawmakers. If it passes, it will allow parents of children under the age of 18 to file claims for up to $25,000 per violation against social media companies such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok.

While the bill does not directly address how social media companies like Instagram may be held liable for claims related to child sexual exploitation, it could open avenues for such civil lawsuits to be successfully brought in the future.

Contact a Child Sexual Abuse Lawyer for a Free Consultation

If you have a sexual abuse claim, the team of experienced attorneys at Dordulian Law Group (DLG) is here to pursue justice on your behalf via a civil lawsuit seeking maximum financial compensation. DLG’s sexual abuse lawyers are here to fight aggressively on your behalf to ensure justice is served.

We’re available 24/7 to answer any questions you may have regarding filing a childhood sexual abuse claim, including whether you may be able to remain anonymous throughout the litigation process, how long it may take for your case to reach a successful resolution, how much your case could potentially be worth, and more.

Child sexual abuse claims are currently not subject to the standard statute of limitations under California AB 218, meaning that any survivor may file a lawsuit seeking financial compensation, regardless of how long ago the crime occurred. However, AB 218’s three-year lookback window expires on January 1, 2023. Accordingly, survivors must file claims before the deadline to ensure their opportunity at justice is not hindered.

DLG’s sexual abuse lawyers are always available for free, confidential, and no obligation consultations via 818-322-4056. Contact us today to learn about how a childhood sexual abuse lawsuit under AB 218 can help you get the justice you deserve – even decades after the crime was committed.

3 Dead, 2 Injured After Amtrak Train Collides at Brentwood Intersection

2 Amtrak Passenger Train Crashes Occur in as Many Days; Multiple Injuries/Fatalities Reported

Two separate Amtrak passenger train crashes occurred in recent days, causing multiple deaths and injuries. Both Amtrak train accidents had a California connection, with the crash occurring on Sunday taking place in the East Bay community of Brentwood, and Monday’s derailment in Missouri originating from Los Angeles.

2 Amtrak Passenger Train Crashes Occur in as Many Days; Multiple Injuries/Fatalities Reported

Amtrak Train Derails in Missouri Monday Injuring Over 150 and Killing at Least 4

An Amtrak passenger train crash occurred Monday at approximately 2 p.m. near Mendon, Missouri, multiple media outlets reported. The train, reportedly including eight cars and two locomotives, was traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago when it struck a dump truck that was “obstructing a public crossing.”

Some of the most up-to-date facts related to the Missouri Amtrak derailment include:

  • The Missouri State Highway Patrol indicated that three train passengers and the driver of the truck that struck the train are confirmed dead.
  • Law enforcement and Amtrak officials estimate at least 150 people were taken from the scene to 10 area hospitals.
  • The Amtrak train crash victims reportedly sustained injuries ranging from minor to serious.

Close to 20 local and state law enforcement agencies, ambulance services, fire departments, and medical helicopter services responded, according to Missouri State Highway Patrol spokesman Corporal Justin Dunn. The first emergency responders arrived within 20 minutes of receiving a 911 call, Dunn confirmed to local WLKY.

Passengers from Multiple States On Board When Missouri Amtrak Derailment Occurred

WLKY confirmed that some of the passengers on the Amtrak train from Los Angeles to Chicago included:

  • High school students from Pleasant Ridge High School in Easton, Kansas, who were headed to a Future Business Leaders of America conference in Chicago.
  • Two Boy Scout troops from Appleton, Wisconsin, who were returning from the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico (16 Boy Scouts from Troops 73 and eight adult leaders were reportedly on board when the train derailed).
  • Members of a Greater Cincinnati church group, Our Lady of The Valley, who were returning from a mission in new Mexico.

A local school was reportedly turned into a triage center for victims with minor injuries, officials said.

Passengers Describe Monday’s Amtrak Derailment Scene

Robert Nightingale, a passenger in a sleeper car, said he was taking a nap when he the crash occurred.

“It all happened like slow motion. It started to rock and, and rock, and then flicker, and then it just all of a sudden – all this dust was through my window,” Nightingale, who is from Taos, New Mexico, told CNN.

Nightingale, who was not injured, also told CNN that he couldn’t make his way through the window, “which was blocked by dirt, so he grabbed his backpack and climbed into the hallway.” Then, according to CNN, he moved into a neighboring room where he found a way to climb out and onto the side of the train.

He said some people helped others reach the ground where he and others walked to the front of the train. He said the truck looked like it had big boulders in it, according to CNN.

“It hit something major to cause … every car to go off,” he said.

Sunday Amtrak Passenger Train Collides With Vehicle at Brentwood, California, Intersection

Monday’s Amtrak crash which occurred in rural Missouri was the second in as many days.

On Sunday, an Amtrak train was passing through an intersection without crossing gates in rural Brentwood, California, when it reportedly collided with a passenger vehicle, killing three people and causing major injuries to two others, officials confirmed.

The deadly train collision took place at the 3000 block of Orwood Road in Contra Costa County.

Amtrak said the crash on train 713 occurred at about 1 p.m. Pacific Time and that none of the 89 passengers or crew on board were injured.

All five of the victims were reportedly in the vehicle which was struck by the Amtrak passenger train. The two people who were seriously injured, an adult and a child, were airlifted to local hospitals, according to East Contra Costa County Fire Protection District Marshal Steve Aubert.

Aubert confirmed to CNN that Sunday’s crash wasn’t the first to have occurred at that same crossing.

“It’s in the rural part of our district, so it’s a lot more farmland out there,” he said.

“There are no crossing arms, there are no signals at that crossover, and it’s not the first accident that we’ve been to at that same spot. Trains are allowed to go up to 80 miles-per-hour along that stretch so it doesn’t take long for a train to catch up right at that crossing there.”

Following the two deadly train crashes, Amtrak released a statement noting that trespassing on railroad rights-of-way is the leading cause of rail-related deaths.

“These incidents can affect everyone involved – those who are injured or die and their families, our train crews, and our passengers,” the company said. “They also serve as critical reminders about the importance of obeying the law and of exercising extreme caution around railroad tracks and crossings.”

A Los Angeles Times report identified the three victims who died in Sunday’s crash through confirmation with the Contra Costa County coroner’s division:

  • 51-year-old Mercedes Regalado of Antioch
  • 41-year-old Julia Mondragon
  • 72-year-old Maria Nieves of Dixon

Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Lawsuits Expected After 2 Amtrak Train Crashes

Passengers from Multiple States On Board When Missouri Amtrak Derailment Occurred
The tragic Amtrak train crashes are expected to lead to multiple civil lawsuits from victims as well as surviving family members. Personal injury lawsuits may be brought in cases of negligence in an effort to help the victims recover financial compensation for damages such as:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Hospital or medical bills
  • Physical therapy or rehabilitation
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Emotional or psychological trauma
  • Loss of consortium

Similarly, wrongful death lawsuits are efforts to secure various types of damages that fall under three categories:

  • Economic
  • Non-economic
  • Punitive

Examples of economic damages that may be recoverable in wrongful death lawsuits include:

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Medical bills related to the accident that killed your loved one
  • The loss of benefits family members could have received from the decedent
  • The value of the decedent’s health insurance or pension
  • The loss of financial support the decedent would have provided during their lifetime
  • A reasonable value for the household services the decedent would have been able to provide

Examples of common non-economic damages that may be recoverable in wrongful death lawsuits include:

  • Loss of affection
  • Loss of protection
  • Loss of guidance and training
  • The loss of support and companionship
  • Loss of sexual relations
  • Loss of moral support

Punitive damages may be awarded under extreme circumstances of violence, oppression, malice, fraud, or wanton and wicked conduct on the part of a defendant.

Although these types of damages are rare, Dordulian Law Group’s experienced team of wrongful death lawyers pursues punitive damages in all eligible cases.

In California, wrongful death punitive damages are not capped, meaning the surviving family members may be eligible to recover substantial compensation in instances where wanton disregard for human life caused their loved one’s death.

Contact a Personal Injury or Wrongful Death Lawyer Today for a Free Consultation

Dordulian Law Group (DLG) has over 25 years of experience successfully representing personal injury victims and wrongful death beneficiaries and helping them recover the maximum financial compensation available.

We understand how traumatizing and overwhelming this type of accident can be, and handle each client’s case with empathy and compassion. We’re here to support you through the entire legal process while aggressively fighting to obtain justice for the harm you’ve endured.

Schedule an appointment online for a free consultation today, or call us directly to speak to our top-rated, expert car accident attorneys.

DLG believes all Californians should have access to the very best legal representation available, regardless of financial circumstances. That’s why we offer a No Win/No Fee Guarantee, ensuring clients pay nothing unless we win.

We’ve recovered over $100 million for injured victims, and will not settle for anything but the maximum damages award for your personal injury or wrongful death claim.

Contact us today at 818-322-4056 for a free and no obligation consultation regarding your Amtrak passenger train lawsuit. We’re here to answer any questions you have and help ensure you and your family are protected under the law.

California Catholic Bishops’ Attempt to Challenge Child Victims Act Declined by Supreme Court

Supreme Court Declines to Review California's Child Victims Act in Victory for Sexual Abuse Survivors

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a petition which the Press Democrat referred to as an “11th-hour plea by nine Catholic bishops and archbishops” seeking to overturn California’s Child Victims Act, also known as Assembly Bill 218 (AB 218). AB 218 is legislation passed in 2019 which took effect in 2020 and allows all survivors of childhood sexual abuse the option to sue for financial damages, regardless of how long ago the crimes occurred. Santa Rosa Bishop Robert Vasa was reportedly one of the high-ranking Catholic officials spearheading the effort to overturn AB 218 by petitioning the Supreme Court.

Supreme Court Declines to Review California’s Child Victims Act in Victory for Sexual Abuse Survivors

The high court declining to hear the petition comes after California’s Supreme Court refused to consider the case last fall. The Supreme Court denied the review of the appeal without comment, according to the National Catholic Reporter (NCR).

Untold numbers of child sexual abuse civil claims have been filed throughout California in the more than two years since AB 218 took effect, with estimates varying from tens of thousands to even more than 100,000. Many of those claims have been filed against institutions with notorious histories of sexual abuse at a systemic level as well as potential cover-ups throughout the organizations’ ranks.

I feel more confident we will have our day in court,” Aimee Torres, a survivor of childhood abuse by a Los Angeles archdiocesan priest, told NCR. “The church will have to deal with this.

The Catholic Church and Boy Scouts of America are two organizations that have been hit with countless sexual abuse civil claims under AB 218.

In their argument to the Supreme Court against the Child Victims Act, Catholic church officials cited the “ruinously expensive” cost of defending even illegitimate claims. They also argued that reopening the three-year “lookback period” available through AB 218 – a revival window which expands the statute of limitations on all childhood sexual abuse cases – unconstitutionally exposes them to liability in violation of due process protections. In their argument, the Church emphasized that the current “three-year lookback window” was an egregious violation of due process protections “since an earlier, one-year window in 2003 prompted massive settlements the church assumed would be the last word on the sex abuse scandal,” according to the Press Democrat report.

Since the State’s previous revival statute induced the Dioceses to take dramatic steps to pay for the last round of revived claims, the Dioceses now stand largely defenseless against this second wave,” the Church’s petition states. “The potential financial implications for the Church are thus nothing short of ruinous.”

But the high court refused to even hear the case, allowing the current legislation afforded under AB 218 to stand. AB 218’s three-year revival window – which temporarily pauses the statute of limitations on all civil lawsuits – will end as of December 31, 2022. Survivors who wish to file claims in an effort to recover financial compensation should do so immediately in order to ensure the deadline is not missed.

Attempting to file a child sexual abuse claim after the three-year lookback window closes at the end of this year will likely bar survivors from having any legal recourse in terms of ever bringing a future claim or recover damages.

Civil sexual abuse lawsuits involving the Catholic Church are being coordinated throughout California at three specific courthouses, with the Northern California cases, including those involving the Santa Rosa Diocese, running through the Oakland courtroom of Alameda County Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo, according to the Press Democrat.

The Santa Rosa Diocese, in particular, has a troubled history relative to claims of systemic sexual abuse. As of 2019, the diocese has paid out at least $30 million to survivors, according to the Press Democrat, with many cases involving a group of four priests who allegedly had several victims among them.

According to the Press Democrat, the aforementioned four Santa Rosa, California, Catholic Diocese priests were responsible for abusing 63 victims. Those priests include:

  • Gary Timmons
  • Don Kimball
  • Austin Peter Keegan
  • Francisco Xavier Ochoa

All but Timmons have reportedly died.

Others who signed the petition calling to overturn the Child Victims Act included:

  • Archbishops of Los Angeles and San Francisco
  • Bishops of Orange, Fresno, Monterey, Oakland, Sacramento, and San Jose

The U.S. Conference on Catholic Bishops reportedly also intervened in the case, according to The Press Democrat.

What is California AB 218 or the Child Victims Act?

In addition to pausing the statute of limitations on all California childhood sex crimes and allowing any survivor an opportunity to pursue justice through a civil claim seeking financial compensation, AB 218 includes some additional aspects that are important for both victims and their families.

  • AB 218’s treble damages clause permits triple damages awards in cases where abuse resulted from a “cover-up” of previous assaults. Theoretically, a $10 million sexual abuse damages award could be increased to $30 million by the courts in a case where a cover-up is proved.
  • AB 218 extends the age that childhood sex crime survivors may sue after the three-year lookback window closes on January 1, 2023. Under AB 218, survivors will still have until age 40, or five years from the discovery of an injury which was due to abuse (such as post-traumatic stress disorder or emotional trauma), to file civil lawsuits. The age limit for California childhood sexual abuse claims was previously 26 (or within three years from discovery of an injury due to abuse), prior to the passage of AB 218.

For additional information on California AB 218 and the opportunity at justice it affords to countless survivors, please visit Dordulian Law Group’s recent blog.

My Abuse Occurred Decades Ago. Can I Still Get Help Under California AB 218?

Dordulian Law Group’s founder and former sex crimes prosecutor, Sam Dordulian, has described California’s AB 218 legislation as like “a time machine” for justice which allows his team of sexual abuse lawyers to go “back in time, as far back as we need to, and prosecute childhood sexual assault crimes … even if the statute of limitations already expired.”

Dordulian is specifically referring to the “lookback window” or “revival window” aspect of AB 218, which temporarily pauses the statute of limitations on childhood sexual assault crimes for three years. Under the new law, all survivors of childhood sexual abuse have until the end of 2022 to file civil lawsuits seeking justice via financial damages, regardless of when the crimes occurred.

Even if your abuse occurred several decades ago, you have the opportunity to file a claim and obtain justice under AB 218.

Why is California AB 218 So Important for Childhood Survivors?

One of the main considerations for the passage of the AB 218 legislation included the different ways survivors of childhood sexual abuse process their trauma. While some child survivors may report crimes immediately, others can take decades until they eventually feel able to come forward. Moreover, some survivors never feel ready to disclose their abuse.

Studies indicate that only one-third of childhood sexual abuse survivors disclose as children, while one-third never disclose. The average age to disclose childhood sexual abuse is reportedly 52.

Accordingly, when a survivor does come forward, he or she is often unable to obtain justice against an abuser due any claim being barred under the statute of limitations. But AB 218 was enacted as an opportunity to change those tragic statistics.

When AB 218 was passed, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) issued a statement declaring:

“For the next three years that is no longer the case for victims in California,” referring to the average age that survivors come forward often barring their opportunity to seek justice.

“By opening a window to justice and allowing survivors whose cases were previously barred by statute of limitation to be heard in court, important information can be exposed that can help create safer, more informed communities,” SNAP said.

By removing the statute of limitations, all survivors now have an opportunity to come forward and pursue justice. The scope of the law’s potential effect on survivors of abuse at the hands of the Catholic Church is difficult to quantify, as tens of thousands of individuals could now be eligible to seek financial damages.

Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Statistics

Childhood sexual abuse in the Catholic Church has been widespread for decades.

In 2004, a report by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice determined that from 1950 to 2002 a total of 10,667 individuals made allegations of childhood sexual abuse against the Catholic Church. Of those allegations, the dioceses identified 6,700 unique accusations against 4,392 clergy over that time period in the U.S. That represents approximately 4% of all 109,694 ordained clergy (whether priests, deacons, or members of religious orders) active in the U.S. during the time covered by the study (which, it’s important to note, does not include the last 18 years).

Those staggering statistics are even more troubling considering the report found that of the 4,392 accused, only 252 (5.7%) were ever convicted. Given the statistics concerning the average age of disclosure for childhood sexual abuse victims, as well as the number of survivors who never come forward, there are without question countless individuals who now have an opportunity to seek justice against the Catholic Church through AB 218. The question remains, however, whether or not survivors will choose to come forward before the lookback window closes (taking the time machine with it).

Contact a Los Angeles, California, Childhood Sexual Abuse Lawyer Today

Regardless of how long ago your abuse occurred, if you’re ready to pursue justice against a perpetrator or institution such as the Catholic Church, the experienced team of sexual abuse lawyers at Dordulian Law Group (DLG) is here to fight aggressively on your behalf to ensure justice is served. We will tirelessly pursue a maximum financial damages award that delivers justice to you for past abuse crimes.

Contact our top-rated team of expert sexual abuse attorneys online or by phone today to pursue justice and secure a financial award for damages.

We’re here to answer any questions you may have regarding filing a claim, including whether you may be able to remain anonymous throughout the litigation process, how long it may take for your case to reach a successful resolution, how much your case could potentially be worth, and more. We’re available 24/7 for free, confidential, and no obligation consultations via 818-322-4056. Contact us today to learn about how an AB 218 lawsuit can help you get the justice you deserve – even decades after the incident occurred.

Tips for Spotting Hidden Surveillance Video Cameras in Your Airbnb/Vrbo Vacation Rental

Tips for Spotting Hidden Surveillance Video Cameras in Your Airbnb/Vrbo Vacation Rental

It’s officially summer, which means traveling and enjoying leisure time on vacation for many. When traveling, how we choose accommodations has shifted considerably in recent years with the advent of options like Airbnb and Vrbo. In fact, the popularity of such platforms has skyrocketed.

Can You Sue Airbnb/Vrbo if You’re Filmed/Photographed Without Permission?

According to data provided by The Zebra website, statistics confirmed for 2022 indicate that Airbnb has approximately 5.6 million active listings in 220 countries, and 60% of its users are millennials.

Some additional statistics on Airbnb usage include:

  • Airbnb has over 150 million users and hosts more than half a billion guests per year.
  • There are at least 100,000 cities with active Airbnb listings.
  • 150 million people use Airbnb to book vacation stays or experiences.
  • Over 1 billion guests have stayed at Airbnbs
  • Airbnb has listings in over 220 countries and regions.

With more and more travelers using Airbnb and Vrbo for their vacation rental accommodations, while convenience and variety are certainly positive aspects, potential safety concerns have made headlines recently.

In the sections below, we will look at some recent Airbnb and Vrbo vacation rental cases involving guests being subjected to various types of danger as well as having their rights violated. We’ll also look at whether or not it is legal for an Airbnb or Vrbo property owner/manager to secretly capture video or photographic images of you and/or your guests while vacationing. Furthermore, we’ll review how to file a civil claim for damages if your legal rights have been violated by an Airbnb or Vrbo property manager or owner.

Is it Illegal for Airbnb/Vrbo Hosts to Film/Photograph You Without Permission?

Firstly, Airbnb’s community policy states the following:

  • Use of cameras and recording devices:

To help provide Hosts and guests with peace of mind, security measures like security cameras and noise monitoring devices are allowed, as long as they are clearly disclosed in the listing description and don’t infringe on another person’s privacy. Rules about devices apply to all cameras, recording devices, smart devices, and monitoring devices.

Furthermore, Airbnb confirms the following information.

What the company does allow (re: recording devices/surveillance of guests):

Disclosed devices monitoring only public spaces and common spaces: Devices that allow for viewing or monitoring of only a public space (ex: a front door or a driveway) or a common space that are clearly identified and disclosed ahead of a reservation are permitted. Common spaces do not include sleeping areas or bathrooms.

What the company does not allow (re: recording devices/surveillance of guests):

Concealed and undisclosed devices monitoring common spaces: Any device monitoring a common space should be installed in a visible manner and disclosed in the listing description.
Devices located in or monitoring private spaces: Devices should never monitor private spaces (ex: bedrooms, bathrooms, or common areas that are being used as sleeping areas, like a living room with a sofa bed). Disconnected devices are allowed as long as they are turned off and proactively disclosed to guests.

Recording devices in an entire home or apartment (Mainland China only): Cameras and recording devices are not allowed in entire homes or apartments unless they are clearly identified and disclosed in the common spaces of a stay identified as a “resort,” “castle,” or, “villa.” Learn more about these rules in Mainland China.

In other words, Airbnb hosts have the right to install monitoring devices in “common spaces,” such as a front door or driveway. However, that equipment must be visible to guests and be clearly disclosed in the listing description.

What are the Laws on Secretly Recording Airbnb or Vrbo Guests?

The laws on secretly recording Airbnb and Vrbo guests vary from state-to-state.

A USA TODAY report provided details related to the legality of capturing video or photographic images of Airbnb/Vrbo guests during their visits. According to The Federal Video Voyeurism Act, an Airbnb or Vrbo host can’t:

“capture an image of a private area of an individual without their consent, and knowingly does so under circumstances in which the individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy.”

However, as the USA TODAY report notes, “private area” refers to nudity or lesser states of dress. Local and state laws usually allow property owners to install cameras in “public spaces,” but there is an important distinction:

  • Private areas, like bedrooms and bathrooms, or anywhere anyone would reasonably expect privacy, are off-limits.

Additionally, there are other rules Airbnb and Vrbo guests should know before renting a property:

  • It is illegal to record someone for blackmail or other malicious intent.
  • Audio recording also has much stricter rules than video.
  • In many states, both parties must be aware that the recording is taking place.
  • If you’re renting, check the listing carefully for any mention of cameras.
  • Whether or not you see a disclosure, it’s your responsibility upon arrival to check every single room.

How Can You Spot Surveillance Cameras in Airbnb and Vrbo Property Rentals?

USA TODAY offers the following tips for spotting surveillance cameras when renting Airbnb or Vrbo properties.

While large cameras can be easily identified, most surveillance cameras are difficult to detect with the naked eye. Here are the top tips for spotting small and secretly placed surveillance cameras within rental properties:

  • Look for the lens reflection by turning off the unit’s lights and slowly scanning the room with a flashlight or laser pointer, searching for bright reflections.
  • Scan the room from multiple spots so you don’t miss a camera pointed only at certain places.
  • Inspect the vents and any holes or gaps in the walls or ceilings.
  • Purchase and use an RF detector (a device that can pick up wireless cameras you might not see).

Additionally, if you are able to connect to the rental’s wireless network, USA TODAY recommends utilizing a free program like Wireless Network Watcher. The program can scan and highlight what gadgets are connected to the network, potentially allowing you to spot connected cameras that way.

Moreover, USA TODAY notes that, “If a home automation system controls the rental property, it’s relatively easy to find cameras. Open the system controller’s menu and look for anything mentioning cameras. Accordingly, you can scan the TV channels for anything suspicious.” The USA TODAY reporter confirmed finding “a lot of cameras” in a particular vacation rental utilizing this method.

What Should You Do if You Find a Hidden Surveillance Camera in Your Airbnb/Vrbo Property?

Here are the most important steps to take if you discover your host has been recording you illegally:

  • Call the police/local law enforcement.
  • Inform officials that you have direct evidence that your landlord is spying on you inside your rental home without your knowledge or permission.
  • Document the situation with video and photos on your smartphone.
  • If you’re traveling with others, ask them to serve as witnesses once the police arrive.
  • Once you have filed an official police report, contact the rental site company.

Recent Texas Airbnb Host Arrested, Alleged to Have Taken Over 2,000 Images of Guests Naked or Having Sex

In March, Dordulian Law Group (DLG) posted a blog detailing a story involving a Texas Airbnb host, A Jay Allee, 54, who was initially arrested on November 20, 2021, and charged with four counts of invasive visual recording – a felony in the state of Texas. The suspect was then arrested a second time in December 2021 on additional charges of the same offense. Officials alleged Allee took over 2,000 images of Airbnb guests nude and having sex.

Can I File a Lawsuit for an Airbnb Injury?

Airbnb Guest Raped in New York City Rental Sues for $7 Million

In June 2021, DLG reported on a sexual assault survivor who received a $7 million payout after being raped inside her Airbnb rental in 2015. The rape, which occurred on New Year’s Eve that year, happened after the alleged suspect made a copy of the key to the apartment and accessed the unit where he waited until the victim returned shortly after midnight. The survivor was an Australian traveler who had been out with friends but returned to the Airbnb rental alone where she was attacked by a man hiding in the bathroom.

Also in June 2021, Business Insider reported that Airbnb spends about $50 million a year trying to “make things right” for guests and hosts who’ve had bad experiences.

Furthermore, Airbnb told Business Insider that:

  • Fewer than 0.1% of stays involve safety issues
  • Most payouts deal with claims of property damage
  • Six-figure payouts are “exceptionally rare”

However, as Business Insider notes, with 193 million nights booked through Airbnb in 2020, that could mean that some 193,000 guests have endured stays which involved safety incidents.

In 2015, a woman sued Airbnb after finding a hidden camera in California rental where she slept naked.

Notably, while staying as a guest in the property, at night Mrs. Schumacher would sleep without any clothing, believing that with the front door closed and the window blinds drawn throughout the property, she was protected and free from prying eyes,” the complaint stated. “This natural presumption proved to be incorrect.

In another well-known voyeurism hospitality case, a Marriott hotel was found liable (to the tune of almost $55 million) in the 2015 Erin Andrews peephole video case. The jury in the civil trial found Marriott liable for not preventing a stalker to surreptitiously record her in her hotel room.

Can I Sue an Airbnb or Vrbo Host for Secretly Recording or Injuring Me?

Civil lawsuits for damages may be filed against Airbnb/Vrbo hosts and/or the respective company directly depending on the circumstances of your incident.

Some of the civil claims that are commonly filed in Airbnb or Vrbo cases include:

General Injuries: An Airbnb/Vrbo injury can involve suffering a slip and fall due to a leaking refrigerator/appliance, a piece of furniture breaking, or even a structural collapse of the property. If you’ve been injured due to negligence on the part of an Airbnb or Vrbo host, you may be able to recover financial compensation for various losses through a civil claim.

Sexual Assaults: Airbnb and Vrbo have been in the news recently following high-profile sexual assaults which occurred at their properties. In June, DLG posted a blog after an Australian tourist received a $7 million settlement following a New York City Airbnb rape incident.

Stolen Property or Property Damage: Airbnb and Vrbo hosts have a duty of care under the law to ensure all rental properties are safe and secure (and both you as the guest and your personal property/belongings are out of harm’s way).

Scams/Fraud: Airbnb and Vrbo rentals continue to increase in popularity. A recent Guardian report confirmed that an average of 2 million users occupy Airbnb property rentals on any given night. As more and more people are turning to Airbnb and Vrbo for vacation accommodations, scams of every variety are being reported. If you’ve been victimized by an Airbnb or Vrbo scam, you may be entitled to a cash settlement.

Swimming Pool Accidents: Swimming pool injuries commonly occur at Airbnb and Vrbo property rental locations. When such an injury occurs due to negligence or carelessness, filing a civil claim can be a means of recovering much-needed financial compensation.

Dog Bites or Animal Attacks: Animal attacks including dog bites commonly occur at Airbnb/Vrbo properties. If you’ve been injured by a dog bite or animal attack, contact DLG’s Airbnb/Vrbo injury lawyers today for a free consultation.

Electrocutions/Fires: Unsafe electrical equipment at Airbnb and Vrbo properties can lead to electrocutions, shocks, and even burns from fires. If you’ve suffered this type of injury at your Airbnb or Vrbo rental property, you may be eligible to recover financial compensation.

Bedbug Bites: While Airbnb and Vrbo properties may look pristine and even glamorous in pictures, the actual property may be filthy upon arrival. In such cases, bedbug bites are commonly reported by guests. If you’ve suffered bedbug bites/injuries at an Airbnb/Vrbo property, you may be able to recover financial compensation for various damages.

Airbnb offers $1 million in insurance for personal injury claims from travelers.

Los Angeles Airbnb/Vrbo Rape and Sexual Assault Attorneys

Contact a Los Angeles, California, Airbnb/Vrbo Lawyer Today

Contact the experienced DLG team of personal injury attorneys led by Sam Dordulian today for a free consultation. We’re available 24/7 online or by phone at 818-322-4056.

Proving liability and ensuring you recover the maximum damages award you deserve for your Airbnb/Vrbo claim requires a skilled, trusted, and proven attorney. Accordingly, when it comes to choosing the best lawyer to handle your Airbnb/Vrbo injury claim, don’t settle for anything less than the DLG Advantage.

Contact our top-rated team of expert sexual abuse attorneys online or by phone today to pursue justice and secure a financial award for damages.

We’re ready to fight aggressively to recover the maximum financial compensation you deserve for your Airbnb/Vrbo claim – whether the case involves your host illegally recording you or another guest, suffering an injury, a sexual assault, or another type of harm endured through negligence. Contact us today to learn more about why DLG’s team is comprised of California’s leading and most-trusted Airbnb/Vrbo lawyers.

How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit in California After Being Injured in an Accident?

How Long Do I Have to Sue in a California Personal Injury Case?

Accidents happen every day. Whether it’s a car crash, a dog bite, a slip/trip and fall, or another type of personal injury incident, the victim often faces a number of obstacles during his or her road to recovery.

How Long Do I Have to Sue in a California Personal Injury Case?

Personal injury law can encompass a number of different subcategories, such as:

In fact, even defamation cases like the one everyone seems to be unable to stop talking about – e.g. the recent Amber Heard and Johnny Depp trial – fall under the umbrella of personal injury law.

When you’re injured by someone’s negligence or carelessness – whether that entails an individual, a private company, or a public or government entity – you may wish to file a civil lawsuit to recover financial damages for things like hospital and medical bills, pain and suffering, emotional trauma, lost wages, and more.

However, it’s important for injured victims to note that in California, you have a limited window of time to file a legal claim for financial compensation.

In the sections below, we will look at how long you have to sue an individual or entity after being injured as a result of negligence. We’ll also discuss what types of damages may be recovered in your personal injury lawsuit, and provide information on how to arrange for a free and no obligation consultation with one of Dordulian Law Group’s experienced lawyers.

What is a Statute of Limitations?

A statute of limitations represents a deadline by which a lawsuit must be officially filed. After a statute of limitations has lapsed, the plaintiff typically is no longer able to file a lawsuit seeking financial compensation – whether compensatory damages, punitive damages, or another form of relief for an incident.

How Long do I Have to Sue/Bring a Personal Injury Claim in California?

In the vast majority of personal injury cases, the victim (plaintiff) has two years to file a claim seeking financial compensation. California applies what’s known as a two-year statute of limitations for most personal injury claims, meaning that you have two years from the date on which the incident occurred to officially file a claim.

However, it’s important to realize that filing your claim as soon as possible is strongly recommended. In fact, although you technically have two years to file a personal injury civil lawsuit in most cases, waiting rather than doing so immediately can significantly hinder your case.

Under California law, at-fault parties and their attorneys (in applicable cases) must be given sufficient time to respond to and investigate a complaint. In other words, although you technically have two years from the date of a car accident to file a claim against the driver who injured you, if you do so 23 months (or even 18 months) after the incident, it’s possible (even likely) that your complaint would be thrown out by the courts because the defendant had insufficient time to respond.

However, it’s also important to consider that the “statutory window” for injured victims can vary on a case-by-case basis. The proverbial clock determining the claim filing deadline actually begins ticking when the plaintiff either knows or should have known through personal diligence of the injury.

So, if you were involved in a car accident and your injuries didn’t manifest until several weeks later, the statute of limitations might technically begin on the date that you discovered those injuries.

In other words, if you’ve been injured in any type of incident – whether a car, truck, motorcycle, slip and fall, or dog bite – it’s in your best interest to file your claim immediately. Doing so not only increases the chance of your case reaching a successful conclusion, but it may also lead to a significantly higher cash settlement or verdict.

Failing to bring a claim within the two-year statute of limitations can bar you as the injured victim from pursuing any future legal recourse or recovering due financial compensation.

Exceptions to California’s Two-Year Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury Claims

If you’re injured in a car accident by a private driver, you most likely have a two-year window to file a claim. However, if you’re injured in a car accident by a driver who is working for a government or public entity, the statute of limitations for filing a claim is typically much shorter, sometimes only six months.

Accordingly, Dordulian Law Group’s (DLG) experienced, proven, and trusted car accident and personal injury lawyers strongly encourage all injured victims to reach out for a free consultation with one of our team members. We’re available 24-hours a day, seven days a week via 818-322-4056 or online.

Typical California Statutes of Limitations for Various Types of Injuries

The below timelines are general, and can vary on a case-by-case basis and depending on the circumstances of a specific incident.

  • Wrongful death: Two years
  • Child sex abuse/assault: Currently the statute of limitations is paused through December 31, 2022, meaning any survivor may file a claim under the AB 218 three-year lookback window. However, when that lookback window closes, as of January 1, 2023, the survivor has until his or her 40th birthday to file a claim (or five years after discovering an emotional injury resulting from the childhood abuse – whichever is later).
  • Adult sex abuse/assault: 10 years from the date of the crime or three years from discovering a psychological injury due to the abuse
  • Wrongful birth: Six years
  • Defamation: One year
  • False imprisonment: two years
  • Medical malpractice: one year (from discovery)
  • Legal malpractice: one year (from discovery)
  • Veterinary malpractice: one year
  • Asbestos exposure, prescription drug injuries, or other product liability claims: one year (from discovery)
  • Breach of oral contract: two years
  • Breach of written contract: four years
  • Victim of serious felony: 10 years (from the date of conviction)

Is the California Personal Injury Statute of Limitations Extended for Minors?

In California, if you are a minor (i.e. someone under the age of 18), the law stipulates that you do not have the capacity to make legal decisions for yourself. Accordingly, if an individual under the age of 18 is injured in California, the two-year statute of limitations is typically paused (what’s known as tolled in legalese) until that victim becomes an adult.

There are some exceptions to this rule pertaining to the statute of limitations in cases where minors are injured. Some of those include:

For medical malpractice, claims on behalf of minors must be filed within the following applicable time periods (whichever is later):

  • Three years from the date of the alleged wrongful act
  • If the minor is under six years old at the time of the injury, before his or her eighth birthday

For injuries sustained either before or during birth, legal action on that individual’s behalf must be brought within six years after the date of birth.

Statute of Limitations for Small Claims in California Courts

According to a 2017 California Court Statistics Report, an estimated 163,575 small claims were filed. Here are some facts related to small claims court:

  • Attorneys may not represent plaintiffs in small claims matters.
  • $10,000 is the maximum amount that can be pursued in California small claims court.
  • Sole-proprietorships are considered individuals, but other types of corporations are limited to a maximum claim of $5,000.
  • You may only file up to two small claims in excess of $2,500 per year (however, there is no limit on the number of small claims totaling less than $2,500 which you may file annually).

Most car, truck, motorcycle, Uber/Lyft, dog bite, premises liability, and product liability claims are not taken to small claims court due to the severity of the injuries suffered by the plaintiffs.

When you’re injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, you deserve access to the very best legal representation available. With DLG’s personal injury and car accident lawyers, you can have peace of mind knowing that we will fight tirelessly to secure the maximum financial compensation you deserve for your claim.

Interested in recovering financial compensation for your personal injury claim? Contact a member of DLG’s Personal Injury Division today at 818-322-4056 for a free, confidential, and no obligation consultation.

With DLG, there’s never any out-of-pocket expenses or upfront costs. If we don’t successfully recover a maximum damages award for your car accident or other type of Los Angeles personal injury claim, you don’t pay a penny. Either we win or you don’t pay – it’s just that simple.

What Damages May be Recovered in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

What Damages May be Recovered in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

When you file a personal injury claim with the help of an experienced DLG lawyer, you’re pursuing financial compensation for various types of damages, such as:

Ready to file a claim and pursue justice through a financial damages award? Our expert attorneys are available online or by phone now.

  • Hospital expenses
  • Medical bills
  • Emotional trauma
  • Physical therapy or rehabilitation costs
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Loss of consortium
  • Punitive damages

How much your personal injury claim may be worth typically depends on the extent of your injuries and the level of negligence or carelessness involved. But rest assured, DLG’s Los Angeles personal injury lawyers will fight to recover every penny you deserve and secure a maximum financial damages award on your behalf.

Contact the Best Los Angeles, California, Personal Injury Lawyers Today

Contact DLG today at 818-322-4056 for a free consultation. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by ensuring that the insurance company or at-fault party does not take advantage of your rights after being injured in an accident.

Contact us today and take the first step towards ensuring you avoid financial hardship after an unfortunate accident injury that occurred through no fault of your own.

Reach out to DLG’s experienced team today. With more than $100,000,000 in settlements and verdicts recovered for our clients while maintaining a 98% success record, you can be confident that your accident injury lawsuit is in the best possible hands.

Does California Law Follow the “One-Bite” Rule for Dog Bite Civil Claims?

What is the "One-Bite" Rule for Dog Bite Cases (and Does it Apply in California)?

When you suffer a dog bite injury, the animal owner may be liable for damages. Recovering such damages for things like hospital or medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and emotional trauma is typically achieved through a civil lawsuit with a dog bite personal injury lawyer.

What is the “One-Bite” Rule for Dog Bite Cases (and Does it Apply in California)?

But depending on the state in which the dog bite attack occurred, different laws apply which can ultimately determine liability. In order for a dog bite civil lawsuit to be successful – i.e. for the injured party to recover financial compensation for his or her injuries – negligence or carelessness must be proven.

One of the common misconceptions about California dog bite law is that animal owners are bound to what’s known as the “one-bite” rule. Let’s review what the one-bite rule entails, discuss whether or not it applies in California, and look at how to file a civil claim for financial compensation with the experienced and dedicated dog bite lawyers at Dordulian Law Group.

What is the “One-Bite” Rule for Dog Attack or Injury Cases?

The one-bite rule is a law applied in certain states which can, depending on the circumstances of the incident, either shield or impose liability on dog owners whose pets injure or attack another human.

The one-bite rule states:

The dog owner (and anyone associated with the dog – such as a walker or trainer) is protected from liability pertaining to a “first injury” caused by the animal. However, this one-bite rule can be open to interpretation and impose liability on an animal owner if the incident in question meets certain criteria (i.e. the dog has a history of aggression that may have previously not caused a direct injury via a bite).

Under the one-bite rule, if a dog previously bit a human and the animal owner knew about it, he or she would essentially be held liable for any additional bites or attacks. In one-bite rule states, liability is imposed on animal owners who do not protect other humans from dogs that have previously bitten or attacked.

Is California a One-Bite Rule State?

California law does not apply the one-bite rule for the vast majority of dog bite cases. Rather, the Golden State applies what’s known as strict liability on dog owners. This means that if a dog bites another human – regardless of whether or not that animal had a history of aggression – the owner may be held liable for damages.

California Civil Code 3342, the state’s dog bite statute, reads as follows:

(a) The owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness. A person is lawfully upon the private property of such owner within the meaning of this section when he is on such property in the performance of any duty imposed upon him by the laws of this state or by the laws or postal regulations of the United States, or when he is on such property upon the invitation, express or implied, of the owner.

(b) Nothing in this section shall authorize the bringing of an action pursuant to subdivision (a) against any governmental agency using a dog in military or police work if the bite or bites occurred while the dog was defending itself from an annoying, harassing, or provoking act, or assisting an employee of the agency in any of the following:

  1. In the apprehension or holding of a suspect where the employee has a reasonable suspicion of the suspect’s involvement in criminal activity.
  2. In the investigation of a crime or possible crime.
  3. In the execution of a warrant.
  4. In the defense of a peace officer or another person.

(c) Subdivision (b) shall not apply in any case where the victim of the bite or bites was not a party to, nor a participant in, nor suspected to be a party to or a participant in, the act or acts that prompted the use of the dog in the military or police work.

(d) Subdivision (b) shall apply only where a governmental agency using a dog in military or police work has adopted a written policy on the necessary and appropriate use of a dog for the police or military work enumerated in subdivision (b).

In summation, the above language means that although there are some exceptions to the strict liability dog bite law in California, most animal owners are held to such a standard. In cases where the strict liability standard may not apply, the one-bite rule will more than likely be imposed in order to prove that the defendant (animal owner) was negligent.

What are Some Exceptions to the California Strict Liability Law for Dog Bites?

California Civil Code 3342 places strict liability on dog owners when bites occur:

  • In a public place
  • In a location where the victim was lawfully present

Accordingly, some exceptions to the strict liability law apply in California, such as:

  • The victim was trespassing on the animal owner’s property at the time of the bite/attack
  • The owner of the dog is not the individual being sued or named in the complaint
  • The dog was a law enforcement animal in the line of duty
  • The victim was at least partially responsible for his or her injuries
  • The victim assumed the risk of being bitten by the dog

If you were bitten by a dog under one of the above exempted scenarios, you most likely do not have a valid claim for damages via a complaint that specifically seeks to hold the animal owner “strictly liable.” However, you may still be able to file a claim for financial compensation in relation to any injuries sustained as a result of the dog bite by arguing that the owner was in fact negligent.

What States Follow the One-Bite Rule?

What States Follow the One-Bite Rule?
The one-bite rule is actually considered archaic among most personal injury lawyers who handle dog bite claims. In fact, only 16 states continue to adhere to the one-bite rule.

Those states include:

  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • Idaho
  • Kansas
  • Maryland
  • Mississippi
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Oregon
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Wyoming

The majority of the other states either apply strict liability for dog bites or what’s known as “mixed dog bite laws.”

A “mixed dog bite statute state” is one which typically applies the one-bite rule in the majority instances. However, such mixed dog bite law states may also apply some degree of strict liability on animal owners whose pets attack other humans.

Mixed dog bite statute states:

  • Impose statutory liability upon dog owners under limited circumstances
  • Tend to blur the line between strict liability states and one-bite rule states

What Should I Know if I Live in a One-Bite or Strict Liability State?

If you’ve suffered a dog bite injury, below is some important information to consider, regardless of whether your state adheres to the one-bite of strict liability statute.

Dog owners and others associated with the animal (walkers, trainers, etc.) can potentially be held liable for:

  • Negligence
  • Premises liability
  • Emotional distress
  • Violation of a leash law or other municipal law that leads to injury
  • Intentional conduct involving the use of a dog
  • Reckless, careless, or negligent behavior involving the use of a dog

If you’ve suffered a dog bite injury, an experienced Dordulian Law Group (DLG) attorney is available 24/7 for a free and no obligation consultation. We’ll be able to answer any questions you may have regarding your case, your legal rights, how much your claim may be worth, and what the litigation process may entail.

Does a Dog Have to be Euthanized in California After Biting a Human?

In order for a dog to be either euthanized or removed from its owner after a bite or attack, a formal hearing must be conducted. Such hearings are typically initiated by government officials (e.g. Animal Control officers) or a member of the public who was involved in or witnessed the incident (e.g. a friend, relative, neighbor, etc.).

In order for a hearing to proceed, the following criteria must be met:

  • The dog must have bitten a person/people on at least two separate occasions
  • The dog must have been raised specifically to fight or attack humans and must have bitten at least one person in the past

If the dog is deemed to be a danger to public safety, it may have to be euthanized. However, this is actually something that only occurs in rare cases where an animal demonstrates a sustained history of aggression and injuring humans.

How Much is My Dog Bite Injury Case Worth?

At DLG, we’ve handled countless dog bite cases of varying severity for decades – and we always pursue the maximum financial compensation available for our clients. Whether you’re seriously injured or only suffered a minor dog bite, you may be entitled to financial compensation for various economic and non-economic damages.

What kinds of damages can be recovered in a California dog bite injury claim?

  • Medical expenses
  • Rehabilitation or therapy
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Scarring or disfigurement
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional trauma
  • Reduced quality of life

By contacting the experienced and dedicated dog bite attorneys at DLG, we can help you file a claim and recover the maximum financial compensation you deserve for all applicable damages.

Contact the Best Los Angeles, California, Dog Bite Lawyers Today

DLG was founded by former Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County, Sam Dordulian, an experienced litigator who has amassed over 100 jury trial victories throughout his esteemed career. Dordulian and his team of dog bite lawyers are dedicated to helping injured victims secure justice via maximum damages awards.

With DLG, clients can be confident that we will use our experience and proven success to help you obtain the financial compensation you deserve. We never settle for less than a maximum financial damages award, and if an at-fault party attempts a lowball settlement offer, we reject it immediately and take your case to trial.

With Dordulian’s years of courtroom experience, DLG’s dog bite clients never have to worry about being forced to accept unfair settlement offers from insurance companies or defendants looking to save money and evade justice. We’ll fight for your right to maximum financial compensation so you can make a complete recovery that takes into account your physical, emotional, and financial well-being.

Why choose DLG’s California dog bite lawyers? Our results speak for themselves:

  • A 98% success rate
  • A history of recovering over $100,000,000 in settlements and verdicts for injured clients like you
  • More than 25 years of personal injury experience
  • Ready to take any case to trial if a maximum settlement can’t be reached

DLG is the absolute best choice you can make when searching for a Los Angeles, California, dog bite attorney. And our No Win/No Fee Guarantee means you never have to worry about upfront costs or out-of-pocket expenses.

Ready to file a claim and pursue justice through a financial damages award? Our expert attorneys are available online or by phone now.

At DLG, we believe everyone deserves access to the very best legal representation available, regardless of financial means. When you bring your dog bite case to one of our dedicated attorneys, you’ll never have to worry about paying a penny until we recover maximum financial compensation for your injuries. If we don’t win, you won’t pay a dime – that’s the DLG Advantage.

Contact us today online or by phone at 818-322-4056 to learn more about why DLG is the best dog bite law firm in California. We’ll fight aggressively as your dedicated legal advocate to secure justice and recover the maximum compensation you deserve.

For a California dog bite injury, the best call you can make is to the experienced and dedicated team of lawyers at Dordulian Law Group.

What Type of Car Insurance is Required in California?

Types of Car/Auto Insurance Available in California

California can be a dangerous place for drivers of all ages and abilities. In fact, a recent Policygenius.com report confirmed that in 2019, California had the highest number of fatal car crashes, with 3,316. Those car accidents led to a tragic 3,606 deaths on California’s roads and highways.

Types of Car/Auto Insurance Available in California

As a driver in California, the law mandates that you carry a minimum amount of auto insurance coverage. But while it’s widely known that car insurance is mandatory for all drivers in California, the different types of coverage available to residents are not always well understood.

Let’s take a look some of the most important types of car insurance coverage options to consider when insuring your vehicle.

What Types of Car/Auto Insurance Coverage Policies are Available in California?

1. Personal Liability Coverage:

Personal Liability Coverage
Personal liability coverage is typically thought of as the minimum requirement for drivers to obtain without having to worry about incurring fines and/or a driver’s license suspension (sometimes up to four years for an infraction).

Under California law, the minimum car insurance policy requirements are as follows (i.e. you, as a driver, must have at least this amount of coverage):

Minimum Bodily Injury Liability Limits:

  • $15,000 for the death or injury of any one person. If one person is injured in the accident, your coverage pays up to $15,000.
  • A total of $30,000 for the death or injury of more than one person in any one accident. If two or more people are injured, the coverage pays up to $30,000. The coverage will not pay more. The injured people share the money.
  • This coverage applies to injuries that you cause to someone else.

Minimum Property Damage Liability Limits:

  • $5,000 for damage to the property of other people.
  • This pays for any damage that you may cause to someone else’s car, or to objects and structures that your car hits.

However, in addition to the minimum requirements outlined above, auto insurance companies are required to offer you what’s known as uninsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI) coverage and uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD) coverage. While both of those types of coverage are optional, there are a number of reasons why you might want to consider including them on your auto insurance policy.

For example, while your minimum personal liability auto insurance coverage will pay for losses incurred by other people in a car or motor vehicle accident that is your fault, that minimum coverage will not pay for any damages that you incur as a result of the collision. In other words, if you’re injured in an accident that you cause (are liable for), that minimum policy will more than likely not cover any ensuing medical bills, pain and suffering, rehabilitation, vehicle repairs, or lost wages/earning capacity – all of which can accumulate to hundreds of thousands and sometimes millions of dollars.

Although it’s widely accepted that purchasing the minimum required auto insurance coverage can be incredibly risky, many California drivers choose to do so in an effort to save money (particularly today, given the economic uncertainty with inflation and rising gas prices).

However, it’s important to note that extended coverage may be much more affordable than you realize. And if you happen to cause an accident that seriously injures another driver or pedestrian, a minimum coverage policy will more than likely not pay for 100% of that individual’s resulting damages. Accordingly, you would be liable out-of-pocket for any excess damages. Sadly, as we’ve seen on many occasions here at Dordulian Law Group, having minimum auto insurance coverage and causing a serious accident can lead to substantial financial hardship and even bankruptcy.

Wondering how much it would cost to increase your minimum liability coverage? Take a look at our recent blog on the varying factors that can affect your auto insurance rates.

2. Collision Coverage:

Collision Coverage
Collision auto insurance coverage helps pay for damage to your personal vehicle that may have been caused by another car, a pedestrian, a scooter, a bicyclist, or another physical piece of property, such as a road defect, tree, fence/gate, etc.

There are two types of collision coverage:

  • Basic collision coverage
  • Comprehensive collision coverage

Both types of collision coverage will pay the lesser of:

  • The expense to repair your damaged vehicle
  • The expense to replace the damaged vehicle if it is deemed by an adjuster to be a “total loss”

However, it’s important to note that the insurance company will not cover anything in excess of your maximum policy limits. That’s why it’s commonly recommended that California drivers purchase collision and comprehensive coverage with high enough limits so that, in the event that your vehicle needs to be replaced or is a total loss, said limits would be sufficient.

3. Comprehensive Coverage:

Comprehensive Coverage

What is comprehensive auto insurance coverage? It offers a number of benefits depending on specific circumstances, such as:

Payment for vehicles damaged by causes including:
  • Natural disasters/inclement weather
  • Theft
  • Riots
  • Fires
  • Vandalism
  • Falling objects
  • Other miscellaneous incidents that were not directly caused by the policyholder/driver/vehicle owner (e.g. a child home from college, a relative or friend borrowing your car, etc.)

Comprehensive coverage is often required for individuals who choose to lease or finance their vehicles.

4. Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage:

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage is available to pay out benefits if you happen to be injured in a car accident that is the fault of an uninsured or underinsured driver. In California, the Insurance Information Institute (III) estimates that 16.6% of drivers are uninsured. This is one of many reasons why obtaining uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is so essential in the event of a car accident.

Moreover, while it’s often believed that one’s health insurance will serve as a substitute for UM/UIM coverage, that’s not always the case (and it your health insurance does not extend to cover major injuries, you could experience substantial financial hardship as a result).

Regardless, you will more than likely incur fees for things like copays and deductibles out-of-pocket after a car accident with an uninsured/underinsured motorist. Moreover, health insurance absolutely will not cover the costs of any physical damage to your vehicle.

Here are some additional important facts on UM/UIM coverage:

  • Auto insurance carriers are required to offer uninsured motorist bodily injury and uninsured motorist physical damage coverage to customers when they purchase a liability insurance policy (although you do have the option to waive that UM/UIM coverage).
  • Drivers are strongly encouraged to purchase UM/UIM coverage with the same limits as their liability insurance policy.
  • Drivers are strongly encouraged to always purchase as much uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage as they can reasonably afford (keeping in mind that the cost of increasing such coverage is often very minimal).

5. Med Pay (or Medical Payments) Coverage:

Med Pay falls under the category of what’s known as “no-fault insurance” in California. In other words, if you have “no-fault insurance,” your Med Pay claim will not be denied simply because you were liable for a car accident.

What does Med Pay cover?

  • Healthcare costs (including hospital stays)
  • Funeral expenses (if applicable)

Furthermore, as a no-fault insurance policyholder, you and eligible family members may be able to bring a Med Pay claim under certain circumstances, such as:

  • If you were hit by a vehicle as a pedestrian
  • If you were injured while riding in another person’s car
  • If you were injured while using public transportation

6. Gap Coverage:

Perhaps the most misunderstood type of auto insurance coverage available, gap coverage can be essential if you’re leasing or financing your vehicle. For example, if you’re driving a new leased or financed vehicle and get into a serious accident that renders the car a “total loss,” gap coverage can help you avoid financial hardship.

Let’s take a look at gap coverage using an everyday example:

If you purchase a new Tesla Model X for around $110,000 and, after putting down a $10,000 deposit, you total that vehicle in a crash a few months later, who is going to cover the remaining $100,000 you owe? If you have a $2,000 deductible, that’s a start, but it’s hardly enough to cover the staggering bill you’re still facing.

This is where gap insurance can help.

With standard policies, the insurance company typically agrees to pay the “actual cash value” of a vehicle, but that doesn’t necessarily equal the remaining amount on your loan statement for the recent Tesla you purchased.
Thankfully, gap insurance will cover the remaining amount you owe in such a scenario. With gap insurance, your policy will pay the difference between the value of your car at the time of the accident and what you still owe via your loan on the vehicle (or through your lease).

Tips on Shopping for Affordable Auto Insurance Policies in California

The California Department of Insurance offers the following tips for savvy consumers looking to save on car insurance:

  • Remember that auto insurance costs and coverage vary.
  • Always shop around and get several quotes from different companies.
  • Remember that a quote is merely an estimate of your premium amount.
  • An agent or broker can help you figure out your insurance needs, get quotes, compare policies, and get the best discounts.
  • Keep notes of your conversations with insurance agents, and consider having a trusted family member or friend with you.
When comparing auto insurance policies, remember to:
  1. Use the above information in the Dordulian Law Group blog to determine what types of coverage are best for you.
  2. Ask for each insurance company’s quote in writing.
  3. Compare quotes thoroughly.
  4. Ask for the complete name of the insurance company that will issue each policy.
  5. Make sure the company is licensed to do business in California by visiting www.insurance.ca.gov.
  6. Check the insurance company’s history of paying claims and look at their customer service reviews to gauge client satisfaction.

If you believe you’ve been treated unfairly by an insurance company or representative, go to www.insurance.ca.gov and search for “consumer complaint study.”

You may also call the California Department of Insurance at 1-800-927-4357 to file an official complaint.

How to Save Money on Your California Car Insurance Policy

The California Department of Insurance also offers the following tips for saving money on your auto insurance policy:

  • Ask about multi-car discounts for insuring several cars.
  • Ask about mature driver and good driver discounts.
  • Ask about discounts for airbags, anti-theft devices, or other safety features.
  • Ask about payment installment plans and if there are service fees.
  • Ask about higher deductibles for comprehensive and collision coverage (this will often lower your monthly premium).
  • Think about dropping comprehensive and/or collision coverage on an older car.
  • If you do not have collision coverage, ask about uninsured motorist property damage coverage.

Injured in a Car Accident? Contact a Los Angeles, California, Personal Injury Lawyer

Contact us today at 818-322-4056 for a free consultation. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by ensuring that the insurance company or at-fault party does not take advantage of your rights after a car, truck, or motorcycle accident injury due to another driver’s negligence.

Ready to file a claim and pursue justice through a financial damages award? Our expert attorneys are available online or by phone now.

You owe it to yourself to take every step towards avoiding financial loss after an unfortunate car accident that occurred through no fault of your own. With Dordulian Law Group’s (DLG) experienced Los Angeles car accident lawyers, there is never any obligation or upfront fee, and we are here to answer any questions you have 24/7.

We’ve helped injured victims like you recover more than $100,000,000 in settlements and verdicts while maintaining a near-perfect 98% success record. We’re here to fight for your right to maximum financial compensation after a car accident injury.

‘I Was Raped for Days,’ Woman Tells Police After Alleged Paul Haggis Sexual Assault

Paul Haggis Arrested in Italy on Sexual Assault Charges

Oscar-winning filmmaker Paul Haggis has been arrested and detained in Italy on counts of sexual assault and aggravated personal injury allegedly inflicted upon a still unidentified woman who has pressed charges, according to a report from Variety.

Director, Screenwriter Paul Haggis Arrested in Italy on Sexual Assault Charges

The 69-year-old Canadian-born director and screenwriter, who won two Oscars for the 2004 crime drama “Crash” and one for the 2005 film “Million Dollar Baby,” was in Italy to host multiple master classes at a film festival scheduled to begin this week in Ostuni, a tourist town in the southern Italian region of Puglia.

Public prosecutors in the nearby town of Brindisi released a statement Sunday declaring that they had issued a warrant for the detention of a “70-year-old” Canadian man identified only as “P.H.,” who was staying in Ostuni, according to a CNN report.

“The man is seriously suspected of the crimes of aggravated sexual violence and aggravated personal injury, crimes committed to the detriment of a young foreign woman,” prosecutors said.

Priya Chaudhry, a US-based attorney representing Haggis, told CNN via email that she was “confident that all allegations will be dismissed against Mr. Haggis.” Chaudhry further indicated to CNN that Italian law prevents her from discussing the evidence.

“He is totally innocent, and willing to fully cooperate with the authorities so the truth comes out quickly,” she added.

In a press statement issued Monday, Haggis’ lawyer in Italy, Michele Laforgia, said:

Paul Haggis is currently in Ostuni, at his home, under ‘detention’ by order of the Public Prosecutor of Brindisi. We are waiting to be summoned by the Judge for Preliminary Investigations for the custody interrogation and to render our version of the facts.

“Haggis immediately declared that he was completely innocent and that he hopes for the maximum speed of all the necessary investigations to clarify the matter. Obviously we cannot declare anything further nor give details of the accusations until we learn fully the acts of the legal case behind the cautionary measure and we have been heard by the judicial authorities,” Laforgia added.

Woman Alleges She was ‘Was Raped for Days’ by Paul Haggis

According to the report from The Daily Beast, Italian police in Brindisi confirmed that the woman accusing Haggis of sexual assault has injuriesconsistent with her allegations.

“I was raped for days,” the woman told investigating prosecutor Antonio Negro, according to a summary of the arrest document obtained by The Daily Beast. “We were supposed to work together, but instead he raped me from Sunday evening to Wednesday.”

According to the Daily Beast, the prosecutor’s office confirmed the following:

  • The alleged survivor holds a British passport.
  • She was left last Wednesday before dawn by the director outside the Brindisi airport in the province of Puglia.
  • She says she did not have an airline ticket, but that Haggis gave her money to buy one when the airport opened.
  • The woman was discovered cowering in a corner of the small airport by a flight attendant who immediately alerted authorities.

She was destroyed,” the attendant told police, according to the initial investigative document. “She spoke with difficulty.

The woman reportedly underwent an initial medical examination at the airport’s health clinic. She was subsequently taken to a local hospital for treatment per Italy’s “pink protocol” for rape victims.

According to The Daily Beast, Italy’s pink protocol includes psychological counseling. After receiving medical treatment and psychological counseling, the woman proceeded to file sexual assault charges against Haggis.

According to the prosecutor’s office, the woman “suffered repeated non-consenting sexual assaults” including one so violent she was “forced to seek medical attention.

The medical examiner’s report indicates that the victim was left incapable of having sex from the violence endured, according to the Daily Beast report.

Timeline of Paul Haggis Sexual Assault Investigation and Arrest

The investigation into Haggis by police reportedly included surveying camera footage outside the director’s hotel room and the airport. The footage obtained reportedly proves that the woman was with Haggis.

The Daily Beast reported that Italian police waited until the woman had left Italy before arresting Haggis in Ostuni. He was held in custody in the provincial capital city of Brindisi overnight, but has since been released and is currently under house arrest at a hotel in Ostuni awaiting the equivalent of an arraignment this week, according to The Daily Beast.

Past Sexual Assault Allegations Involving Director Paul Haggis

In 2017, a civil lawsuit was filed against Haggis by a woman, identified as Haleigh Breest by the Hollywood Reporter, who accused the director of rape. Haggis denied the rape allegation and filed an extortion lawsuit against Breest, alleging that she and her lawyer had demanded a $9 million payment to avoid legal action.

Following the 2017 civil lawsuit by Breest, three additional women came forward with sexual misconduct allegations against Haggis. One, a former publicist for the writer/director, said he forced her to perform oral sex and then raped her.

The three additional accusers provided details of the alleged sexual assaults through interviews with the Associated Press. Between 1996 and 2015, when the women were beginning their careers in the entertainment industry, they alleged the director “… lured them to private or semi-private places under the guise of discussing productions or a subject of a professional nature,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.

All of the women said Haggis first tried to kiss them. In two of the cases, women said that when they fought back, Haggis escalated his aggression.

“I just pulled away. He was just glaring at me and came at me again. I was really resisting. He said to me, ‘Do you really want to continue working?'” one woman said, according to the Hollywood Reporter. “And then he really forced himself on me. I was just numb. I didn’t know what to do.”

Next Steps in Paul Haggis Sexual Assault Case

Next Steps in Paul Haggis Sexual Assault Case
A Variety report notes that under Italian law, after hearing arguments from both prosecutors and defense lawyers during the first preliminary hearing, the judge can either:

  • Set Haggis free pending further investigation
  • Confine Haggis to jail or declare that he continue to be held under house arrest at the hotel

“The next step is a special evidence pre-trial hearing, likely next week, that is expected to involve a cross examination between Haggis and the alleged victim, who is believed to still be in Italy, and their respective lawyers. The judge will then decide whether the case will go to trial,” Variety reported.

How Long Do I Have to File a Sexual Assault Civil Lawsuit?

In California, the statute of limitations on sex crimes allows adult sexual assault survivors to file civil claims up to 10 years after an incident occurs. Moreover, the California statute of limitations for adult sex crimes allows for a separate three-year window in civil claims where sexual assaults lead to the discovery of a psychological injury, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The sex crime statute of limitations for childhood claims is currently tolled (paused) under California AB 218, allowing any survivor of child sexual abuse the opportunity to file a civil lawsuit through December 31, 2022.

Many states are enacting similar revival windows in an effort to allow sexual assault survivors an opportunity at justice. While most, such as California AB 218, extend the filing deadline on childhood sex crimes, states such as New York recently passed legislation allowing a limited window of time for adult survivors of sexual assault to file civil claims.

What Damages or Financial Compensation Can be Recovered in a Sexual Assault Lawsuit?

Survivors of sexual assault may wish to bring civil claims against perpetrators in an effort to recover financial compensation (known as damages in legalese). What types of damages may be recovered in a sexual assault civil claim?

Common Sexual Assault Economic Damages:

  • Medical expenses (past and future)
  • Emergency department treatment
  • Counseling or therapy costs
  • Lost Wages
  • Lost Earning Capacity

Common Sexual Assault Non-Economic Damages:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional trauma
  • Psychological distress
  • Reduced quality of life

Our Sexual Assault Justice Experts are here to help survivors secure justice. Contact our top-rated attorneys online or by phone for a free consultation today.

Contact a Los Angeles, California, Sexual Assault Lawyer

At Dordulian Law Group (DLG), we are dedicated to fighting for justice on behalf of sexual assault survivors. Our consultations are always free, confidential, and without any obligation. We are here to answer any questions you may have regarding your legal options, and we’re available 24/7 to review the facts of your case and ensure your rights are protected and the maximum financial damages award you deserve is pursued.

Contact a DLG sexual assault lawyer today at 818-322-4056 to arrange for a free consultation.

Riverside Youth Basketball Coach Arrested, Accused of Sexually Abusing Minor

Riverside Youth Basketball Coach Accused of Sexually Assaulting Female Player

A local Riverside, California, man who reportedly worked for years as a youth basketball coach has been arrested and accused of sexually abusing one of his underage female players.

Important 2022 DoorDash Delivery Driver Questions and Answers:

Jamien Nicholas Lovell Jackson, 41, was arrested Thursday by officers from the Riverside Police Department’s Sexual Assault – Child Abuse Unit, a local KTLA report confirmed. He was booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center and charged with multiple counts:

  • Lewd and lascivious acts on a minor
  • Child annoyance
  • Sending harmful matter to a minor

Court records indicate that Jackson was released from custody Friday on $55,000 bail.

Jackson is accused of style=”color:#0e4170; font-weight: 600; font-family: cursive;”sexually abusing a female minor player in 2021 while he was coach of the girl’s traveling basketball team.

According to a local FOX 11 report, Riverside Police confirmed that Jackson had been associated with girls’ youth basketball and sports photography in the Inland Empire area for several years. Law enforcement officials believe there may be additional sexual abuse victims who have yet to be identified.

Multiple media outlets were unable to determine whether or not Jackson had retained an attorney. The alleged sex offender’s next court appearance is scheduled for August 19 at the Riverside Hall of Justice.

Riverside Police officials are strongly encouraging any member of the public with information related to a possible sexual assault of a minor involving Jackson to come forward immediately.

Anyone with information that could help in the ongoing police investigation is asked to contact Detective Edward Vazquez of the Riverside Police Department at 951-353-7136.

Individuals wishing to remain anonymous may email tips to the Riverside Police Department via RPDTips@RiversideCA.gov.

Other Riverside, California, Coach Child Sexual Abuse Cases

Basketball coach Jamien Nicholas Lovell Jackson is unfortunately one of multiple Riverside sexual abuse cases involving minors to have been investigated by law enforcement officials in recent months.

In April, Riverside baseball coach Kenneth Donald Callahan, 67, was arrested on numerous counts of lewd and lascivious acts against a child under the age of 14. Callahan was also charged with several additional sexual abuse-related counts.

Two victims came forward alleging that the sexual abuse occurred in the mid-2000s while they were both minors. The individuals also allege that the abuse by Callahan lasted for several years.

Callahan was reportedly affiliated with little league baseball in Riverside for many years and also worked as a coach and website designer, according to police.

Riverside, California, Teacher Sexual Abuse Cases

Also in April, a Riverside County teacher was arrested for an inappropriate sexual relationship with an underage student.

Amanda Quinonez, a teacher and water polo/swim coach, was identified after an investigation by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department found evidence that she:

  • Committed lewd acts with one male student
  • Distributed harmful matter to that student (which included explicit photos of a sexual nature)

Other Los Angeles-Area Coach Sexual Abuse Cases

In March, a Redlands, California, youth soccer coach was arrested after police witnessed him having sex with a 14-year-old girl in the backseat of his car.

According to various media reports, Redlands police officers approached Jonathan Jeremy Ledesma, 40, during a vehicle check near Fairway Drive and Country Club Drive. The youth soccer coach claimed the victim was his girlfriend.

Additionally, in April of this year, a Costa Mesa soccer coach was arrested on charges of child molestation and child pornography.

Reports of Coach and Teacher Sexual Abuse Increasing

Sexual abuse against minors by both coaches and teachers is a national problem. A recent study issued by the U.S. Education Department confirmed that reports of sexual violence in schools rose more than 50% between the 2015 and 2016 school year.

Additionally, The Office of Justice Programs (OJP) estimates that 10% of K-12 students will experience sexual misconduct from a school employee by the time they graduate high school. A literature review of educator sexual misconduct published by the U.S. Department of Education indicated that the majority of sex offenders were primarily teachers or coaches, obtaining positions which allowed them to spend extended amounts of time with individual students.

But coach and teacher sexual abuse is not only a national problem, it’s an issue that has impacted countless innocent survivors here in Southern California.

Cases of coach and teacher sexual abuse and misconduct have been rampant throughout Los Angeles County and the surrounding areas in recent years. Dordulian Law Group’s (DLG) blog has featured numerous stories of area teachers and coaches who were either arrested or convicted on charges of sex crimes against children.

Some recent Los Angeles County-area sexual abuse cases involving coaches and teachers that have made headlines include:

Efforts to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse: the Child Athlete Bill of Rights

In July 2021, Child USA and The Army of Survivors – two non-profit organizations working to end child sexual abuse and support survivors – officially announced the launch of the Child Athlete Bill of Rights advocacy campaign. The Child Athlete Bill of Rights constitutes an official appeal to all those involved in youth athletics to commit to preventing future abuse by adopting four guiding principles.

The four main principles of the Child Athlete Bill of Rights include (under the acronym SAFE):

  • S is for SAY: Children have the right to say no at any time
  • A is for ACT: Children have the right to disclose to an adult when they feel uncomfortable
  • F is for FEEL: Children need to have the space and support to express their feelings
  • E is for EDUCATION: Children and their caregivers need to be educated about what abuse is and how they can report it

To read more about the Child Athlete Bill of Rights, please visit our recent blog.

What is the California Child Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Deadline?

The California statute of limitations on childhood sexual abuse crimes is temporarily paused under Assembly Bill 218 (AB 218). AB 218, which took effect on January 1, 2020, tolls (pauses) the statute of limitations on all childhood sexual abuse through the end of 2022 under the bill’s three-year lookback window.

While AB 218 is in effect, any survivor of childhood sexual abuse or assault may file a civil claim seeking financial compensation. However, as of January 1, 2023, the standard statute of limitations will resume, and survivors who did not file claims will likely be left without any future legal recourse or ability to pursue financial compensation for various damages.

California AB 218 Treble Damages Clause for Cover-Ups

Additionally, California AB 218 features a treble damages clause which allows the courts latitude to triple financial settlements or verdicts in civil cases where cover-ups are proven.

For example, if you are a sexual abuse survivor who was victimized through a systemic cover-up (at either an individual or institutional level), and that wrongdoing was proved in court, a $10 million damages award could theoretically be increased to $30 million under the AB 218 treble damages clause.

AB 218’s treble damages clause was included as part of the legislation in an effort to severely punish bad actors who participated in systemic cover-ups (e.g. notorious incidents occurring over the course of several decades in organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America and Catholic Church). Despite the rampant abuse often occurring at a systemic level in various major organizations, AB 218 offers all survivors an opportunity at justice.

For additional information on California AB 218 and the deadline for filing a civil lawsuit for financial compensation, please visit our recent blog post.

What Damages Can be Recovered in a Child Sexual Abuse Lawsuit?

A childhood sexual abuse civil lawsuit may be filed in an effort to recover financial compensation for various types of losses. Depending on the circumstances of your unique case, various compensatory damages may be pursued and recovered through a civil claim.

What damages may be secured through a California childhood sexual assault or abuse civil claim?

Some examples include:

  • Counseling or therapy expenses
  • Emotional trauma
  • Psychological distress
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Pain and suffering
  • Hospital or medical expenses

Although children impacted by sexual abuse are currently eligible to file civil claims regardless of when a crime occurred under California AB 218, the statute of limitations is different for adult survivors of sexual violence.

For adult sexual assault survivors, the California statute of limitations on sex crimes allows you to file a civil claim up to 10 years after an incident. In addition, the statute of limitations for adult sex crimes allows for a three-year window in civil claims where sexual assaults lead to the discovery of a psychological injury, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Contact a Los Angeles, California, Child Sexual Abuse Lawyer for a Free Consultation

Dordulian Law Group (DLG) is a proven California-based sex crime firm with decades of experience successfully handling childhood sexual abuse claims. We represent survivors throughout California and all of the United States, offering clients a unique type of legal representation which includes a four-tiered team of professionals known as the SAJE Team.

  • Tier I: former sex crimes prosecutor as lead litigator
  • Tier II: licensed in-house clinical therapist
  • Tier III: licensed and nationally accredited in-house victim advocates
  • Tier IV: retired LAPD sex crimes detective as lead investigator

Led by Sam Dordulian, a former Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County, DLG’s experienced childhood sexual abuse lawyers have helped countless survivors secure maximum financial damages awards.

DLG: An Experienced Sexual Abuse Law Firm With Proven Results

Some of Dordulian Law Group’s recent sex crime civil lawsuit victories include:

If you experienced a sexual assault incident, don’t wait to file a claim. Contact our expert attorneys online or by phone for a free consultation today.

For a free and confidential consultation regarding your coach or teacher child sex abuse civil claim, contact a member of DLG’s SAJE Team today at 818-322-4056.

DLG’s childhood sex crime attorneys have helped survivors recover more than $100,000,000 in settlements and verdicts while maintaining a 98% success record. If you’ve been victimized by a sexual predator, we’re here to fight tirelessly until justice is served.

Can I Write My Own Personal Injury Demand Letter After a Car Accident?

What is a Personal Injury Demand Letter (and How Do I Write One)?

Personal injury law can encompass a variety of subsets, such as car, truck, and motorcycle accidents, slip or trip and falls, dog bites, wrongful deaths, product liability claims, and more. When you suffer an injury as a result of another’s negligence – whether an individual or entity/institution – you may be entitled to financial compensation for certain damages.

What is a Personal Injury Demand Letter (and How Do I Write One)?

But how do you go about securing those damages and ensuring that the financial compensation you receive is fair?

Let’s look at how demand letters are used in the personal injury law process. We’ll also review whether or not you need to hire a lawyer after a car accident or other type of personal injury incident, provide information on the types of damages that may be recovered through a civil claim, and include details on how to schedule a free and confidential consultation with a dedicated member of the Dordulian Law Group team.

What is a Personal Injury Demand Letter?

In personal injury law cases, a demand letter constitutes a request to the insurance company or at-fault party on behalf a victim seeking financial compensation for injuries sustained in an incident (like a car accident, dog bite, slip and fall, etc.).

Demand letters may be written and submitted by either the injured victim directly or by the injured victim’s attorney. The quality of a demand letter can not only be the difference between settling a car accident or other type of personal injury claim quickly, but it can also have a significant impact on the ultimate value of your final damages award. A strong demand letter must be well-written and include an informative, persuasive, and clear argument. The letter must be professional in both appearance and content.

Why are Demand Letters Important in Personal Injury Cases?

Perhaps the best way to think of a personal injury demand letter is by equating it to an opening argument by a lawyer in a jury trial. The lawyer needs to present his or her case in a clear and persuasive manner, and the success of said argument can determine the final outcome of the trial.

But in a demand letter, the injured victim or his or her attorney is making an argument for financial compensation to the insurance company or at-fault party. Accordingly, the demand letter needs to effectively communicate the following points:

  • When, where, and how the accident/incident occurred
  • Why the at-fault party is liable/responsible
  • The nature – in terms of severity and extent – of the victim’s injuries
  • The specific damages the victim has incurred and will likely continue to incur as a result of those injuries

The purpose of a personal injury demand letter, much like the purpose of an attorney’s opening argument in a jury trial, is to present the facts of the case while conveying why the victim deserves to be financially compensated (or made whole, in legalese) for his or her injuries.

How Important is the Written Quality of a Demand Letter?

In a word: very. A well-written demand letter can be one of the most effective tools for alerting the at-fault party or insurance company of the incident, but also of the serious nature of the injuries. An effective and professionally-written demand letter can establish a groundwork for settlement negotiations. Moreover, a demand letter can convey whether the injured victim is requesting a lump sum payment for injury damages or if a payment plan will be an option.

A demand letter is the first step in the personal injury recovery process, and if it is written well and in a way that presents an effective argument, your case may be able to be settled without ever having to formally file a legal action against the insurance provider or at-fault party. However, it’s important to consider that a demand letter should only include enough information to present an effective argument for why you deserve financial compensation. You never want to include information that could jeopardize your claim in the event that you have to formally file a legal action or even go to trial.

In other words, it’s important to be concise when writing a demand letter. Only the pertinent facts related to the case and injuries need be included.

If a demand letter is ineffective (or if the insurance company or at-fault party refutes any of the information provided within), your next step in the personal injury claims process will likely be to file a civil lawsuit in either small claims or superior court.

What Information Should a Personal Injury Demand Letter Include?

As stated earlier, a personal injury demand letter should be concise, well-written, and professional in every way. You want to give the recipient (insurance company or defendant) enough information to provide an overall picture of what transpired when you were injured. If you were injured in a car accident by another driver’s negligence, you will need to effectively communicate why the defendant is liable for your injuries (and how you were injured).

In most personal injury demand letters, the following information is included:

  • The date, time, and location of the accident/incident
  • The name, contact information, and basic details of all involved parties (plaintiff(s) and defendant(s))
  • A clear recounting of the version of events (what transpired)
  • Details pertaining to the injuries sustained by the victim
  • Documents supporting all of the above information

What Supporting Documents Should be Included in a Personal Injury Demand Letter?

After your car accident or other personal injury incident, you will likely have a number of documents related to your claim. Some of the most important documents that you may want to consider including with your demand letter to support your argument/version of events include:

  • Hospital or medical records (including X-rays, MRI or CT scans, test results, etc.)
  • Photos and videos of the accident scene
  • Photos and videos of your injuries
  • Photos and videos of the property damage (if applicable)
  • A detailed summary of the damages/expenses you as the injured victim have incurred and expect to continue incurring in the future as a result of the accident/incident

Said detailed summary may include documentation such as medical bills, hospital bills, physical therapy or rehabilitation bills, car repair bills, lost wages verification, and future earning capacity information (often in the form of an expert letter).

Additionally, your detailed summary should include information related to any non-economic damages you sustained as a result of the accident. Non-economic damages may include things like pain and suffering, scarring or disfigurement, loss of limb, loss of physical functioning, etc.

Such documentation often includes photos and/or videos as well as medical records, doctor’s reports, etc.

How Much Money Should I Ask for in a Personal Injury Demand Letter?

Although it may seem like asking for a specific dollar amount in a demand letter may be a good idea, it’s actually recommended that injured victims do not include such a figure. As a general rule, it’s advisable to not ask for a specific dollar amount in your demand letter because you don’t necessarily know the full extent of your injuries at the time of drafting the document.

Furthermore, if your claim includes attorney’s fees, court costs, filing charges, and other miscellaneous expenses, those line items can add up quickly and leave you “holding the bag” if you fail to include them accurately when determining a specific dollar amount.

But perhaps more importantly, asking for a specific dollar amount can make the process of negotiating a fair and maximized settlement much more difficult for the injured victim. For example, if you request $100,000 for your hospital and medical bills as well as any pain and suffering, it can be problematic to change that figure in the event of incurring additional damages for things like lost wages, diminished quality of life, emotional trauma, and more.

In other words, it’s always in the injured victim’s (plaintiff) best interest to issue the demand letter and then wait to see what sort of financial compensation offer the insurance claims adjuster or at-fault party provides in response.

The only time a specific dollar amount may warrant inclusion in a personal injury demand letter is when the victim is seeking the maximum allowable payout under a specific insurance policy. However, it’s important to note that such a dollar amount needs to be known without any doubt by the injured party, and the evidence you provide must support said figure.

Can I Write/Submit My Own Demand Letter or Do I Need an Attorney?

Can I Write/Submit My Own Demand Letter or Do I Need an Attorney?
The importance of a demand letter after car, truck, motorcycle, Uber/Lyft, slip and fall, dog bite, or other type of personal injury case simply cannot be overstated. The demand letter together with the supporting documentation that is issued to the insurance claims adjuster or at-fault party therefore must be as well-written, effectively communicated, persuasive, and professional as possible.

While you have the right to write and submit your own demand letter after a car accident injury, it is typically recommended that you do so with the aid of a licensed, experienced, and proven personal injury lawyer. Personal injury attorneys and car accident lawyers in particular have significant experience dealing with insurance companies, and that can equate to a much more effective demand letter that ultimately results in a substantially higher settlement award.

But it’s also important to remember that most personal injury lawyers, including the dedicated team at Dordulian Law Group (DLG), typically offer free, confidential, and no obligation consultations. Hence, it’s absolutely in your best interest to at least review your case with a personal injury or car accident lawyer before determining whether to write your own demand letter.

DLG’s personal injury and car accident lawyers handle demand letters on behalf of injured victims like you each and every day. As a result, we know what information to include (and, perhaps more importantly, what not to include). In addition, we know how to present an effective and compelling argument, and how to do so in the most professional yet succinct manner.

Moreover, when an insurance adjuster or at-fault party receives a demand letter from a licensed California lawyer, it’s (unfortunately) often taken more seriously by the recipient – regardless of whether that entails an insurance company or at-fault party. Insurance adjusters know how to spot a demand letter that has been written with the aid of an online template using boilerplate language. And in many cases, while not necessarily fair, they do not take them as seriously or respond as quickly when compared to demand letters sent by licensed and experienced personal injury lawyers.

A demand letter from a DLG personal injury lawyer shows the insurance company or at-fault party:

  • You, as the injured victim, are serious about recovering maximum financial compensation
  • You are acting in good faith by attempting to resolve the issue fairly and in a timely manner

What Types of Damages May be Recovered After Issuing an Effective Demand Letter?

If you’ve been injured in a Los Angeles-area car, truck, motorcycle, bicycle, or Uber/Lyft accident, you may be entitled to a maximum cash settlement through a civil lawsuit with Dordulian Law Group (DLG). Our experienced team of personal injury lawyers are standing by and ready to fight aggressively on your behalf to secure all applicable damages for your claim.

California car accident or personal injury lawsuit damages often include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium
  • Hospital or medical expenses
  • Emotional trauma
  • Psychological distress
  • Scarring or disfigurement
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Diminished quality of life

Having an experienced personal injury lawyer fighting in your corner can make all the difference in the world in terms of ensuring that you recover the maximum financial compensation you deserve for all damages and are able to make a complete recovery which includes your physical, emotional, and financial well-being.

Our experienced attorneys can help you pursue a financial award for your personal injury case. Contact us online or by phone for a free consultation today.

If you’ve been injured in an accident and are thinking of drafting and issuing your own demand letter to the insurance company or at-fault party, consider contacting DLG for a free and no obligation consultation. Our No Win/No Fee Guarantee means you’ll never be charged a penny until we successfully recover maximum financial compensation for your claim. With DLG’s car accident and personal injury attorneys, you never pay anything upfront or out-of-pocket. If we don’t we win, you don’t pay – it’s that simple.

Reach out to a member of our team today to discuss your case at 818-322-4056.

DLG was founded by Sam Dordulian, a former Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County with more than 25 years of experience helping personal injury victims recover maximum financial damages awards. Dordulian has accumulated over 100 jury trial victories, and together with his team of experienced attorneys, he’s helped clients secure more than $100 million in settlements and verdicts. With our 98% success record, you can rest easy knowing that your Los Angeles personal injury claim is in the best possible hands.

When you’re injured in an accident and in need of financial compensation, DLG is here to help you obtain the justice you deserve.