Insight

Southern California in the Law

Courts in Southern California have continued to hear cases, many of them years-long battles that are still ongoing. Here is a look at some recent court cases in Southern California.

Southern California in the Law
GS

Gregory Sirico

November 19, 2021 07:05 AM

Gonzalez v. Mathis

In the mid-1990s, Luiz Gonzalez began working as a professional window cleaner for the Beverly Hills Washing Company. After gaining years of valuable experience on the job, Gonzalez started his own company. During his time at the Beverly Hills Washing Company, Gonzalez began working regularly for John Mathis, a resident and customer in the area. Mathis would continue to employ Gonzalez when he started his own company, hiring him consistently from 2007 to 2012. Over the years, Mathis, who owns a one story house with a flat gravel based roof and a skylight window, continually notified both Gonzalez and his employees of the risk involved due to the limited space available on the roof. The landing in question is 20 inches wide and sits about 20 feet off the ground, requiring Gonzalez to use to ladder in order to access the skylight. On August 1, 2012, Gonzalez was instructed by Mathis’s housekeeper to use less water while working on the skylight window but failed to do so resulting in substantial water damage to the roof. In the process, Gonzalez slipped off the ladder and fell off the landing, sustaining serious injuries. At the time of the accident, Gonzalez did not have workers’ compensation insurance and instantly filed a lawsuit against Mathis, claiming the accident was his fault for having a slippery gravel roof. Gonzalez’s claims were denied in 2013 due to both lack of evidence and protective measures on his end. Currently, Gonzalez is seeking both an appeal and compensation for any injuries sustained.

Brown v. USA Taekwondo

USA Taekwondo athletes Yasmin Brown, Kendra Gatt and Brianna Bordon started training for the Olympics in May of 2009 when they were just teenagers. Around that time, their coach Marc Gitelman, who travelled around the country with them 10 months out of the year, began making sexual advances towards the young athletes. From 2009 to 2015, Gitelman continued to sexually abuse his athletes until they decided to come forward to the authorities. Immediately following this news, USAT and the US Olympic Committee banned Gitelman from coaching and filed a civil lawsuit against him for sexual abuse of a minor. In January of 2015, Gitelman was arrested by authorities and stood trial in Los Angeles Superior Court where he was sentenced to four years in prison. Brown, Gatt and Bordon were all awarded $60 million and the USOC was not held liable for Gitelman’s actions. Currently, the victims are appealing that decision with the hopes that future safeguards can prevent cases of abuse like this from happening again.

Shalabi v. City of Fontana

In December of 2013, Luis Shalabi filed a civil lawsuit against the City of Fontana, California as well as several of its police officers, citing instances of civil right deprivation in the wrongful death of his father in 2011. During the time of his father’s death, Shalabi was a minor, requiring him to wait to file suit until he was at least 18 years old. Despite these time limitations, Shalabi filed suit just one day shy of clearing his two year time bar, pushing the possibility of a trial back even farther. After numerous appeals, the courts denied Shalabi’s claims, but failed to site an 1884 decision in the Ganahl v. Soher case. This case sites California Code Section 12 which states “the time in which any act provided by law is to be done is computed by excluding the first day, and including the last, unless the last day is a holiday, and then it is also excluded.” Simply put, Shalabi did not extend beyond the statute of limitations in the state of California by filing suit. Currently, Shalabi is still seeking justice for his father’s death against the City of Fontana.

Related Articles

ESG Changing Texas’ Legal Landscape


by Gregory Sirico

Best Lawyers breaks down the growing industry trend of ESG standards and how its altering the field of law in the state of Texas.

Texas’ Ever Changing Legal Landscape

New York In the Law


by Gregory Sirico

Courts in the New York area have continued to hear cases, many of them years-long battles that are still ongoing. Here is a look at some recent court cases.

New York In the Law

Southern California “Lawyer of the Year”


by Best Lawyers

Thomas A. Mesereau, Jr. is honored as 2022 "Lawyer of the Year" in Criminal Defense: General Practice in Los Angeles.

 “Lawyer of the Year” Thomas Mesereau

Southern California “Lawyer of the Year”


by Best Lawyers

John E. Wehrli is honored as 2022 "Lawyer of the Year" in Biotechnology and Life Science Practice in San Diego.

 “Lawyer of the Year” John Wehrli

Southern California's Best Lawyers 2022


by Best Lawyers

Our 2022 Southern California's Best Lawyers publication features top-ranked legal talent and legal editorial from the state's southern metro area lawyers.

Southern California's Best Lawyers 2022

Enhancing Consumer Safety through Winning Jury Trials and Substantial Settlements


by Justin Smulison

Frantz Law Group’s clients are as diverse as its practice areas. Firm founder James P. Frantz discusses how landmark victories in litigation and trial protect consumers from dangerous products, help keep roadways safer, promote safe public utility practices, and secure justice for military personnel.

Substantial Settlements for Consumers

High-Profile Litigation in 2021


by Justin Smulison

Easton & Easton accepted a catastrophic brain injury case in 2017 that other firms rejected. Their perseverance will likely lead to a substantial multimillion-dollar resolution.

Substantial Settlement in 2020 Litigation

The Attorney You Choose Makes All the Difference


by A. Ilyas Akbari and Bobby Saadian

Choosing the right attorney for your lawsuit can make the difference for a successful outcome.

Choosing the Right Attorney For Your Needs

South Florida In the Law


by Gregory Sirico

Courts in South Florida have continued to hear cases, many of them years-long battles that are still ongoing. Here is a look at some recent court cases in South Florida.

South Florida In the Law

Northern California In the Law


by Gregory Sirico

We explore three legal cases in Northern California.

Northern California In the Law

Tampa In the Law


by Gregory Sirico

We explore three legal cases in Tampa.

Tampa In the Law

Midwest In the Law


by Gregory Sirico

We examine five court cases that are ongoing in Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota and Indiana.

A Look at Court Cases in the Midwest

Washington, D.C. In the Law


by Gregory Sirico

We explore three legal cases in Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. In the Law

Elections Dustup


by Rachel Shrewsbury

Two election security bills working their way through the Texas House and Senate are creating divisions within the Texas GOP and meeting stiff opposition from many who view them as voter suppression.

Elections Dustup

Dress Codes


by Janice Zhou

A controversial bill banning religious symbols leaves Québec divided.

Religious Symbols

Legislation Under Fire


by Janice Zhou

The legal battle for gun regulation in Florida moves forward.

Gun shots on target practice

Trending Articles

Presenting The Best Lawyers in Australia™ 2025


by Best Lawyers

Best Lawyers is proud to present The Best Lawyers in Australia for 2025, marking the 17th consecutive year of Best Lawyers awards in Australia.

Australia flag over outline of country

How To Find A Pro Bono Lawyer


by Best Lawyers

Best Lawyers dives into the vital role pro bono lawyers play in ensuring access to justice for all and the transformative impact they have on communities.

Hands joined around a table with phone, paper, pen and glasses

How Palworld Is Testing the Limits of Nintendo’s Legal Power


by Gregory Sirico

Many are calling the new game Palworld “Pokémon GO with guns,” noting the games striking similarities. Experts speculate how Nintendo could take legal action.

Animated figures with guns stand on top of creatures

Announcing The Best Lawyers in New Zealand™ 2025 Awards


by Best Lawyers

Best Lawyers is announcing the 16th edition of The Best Lawyers in New Zealand for 2025, including individual Best Lawyers and "Lawyer of the Year" awards.

New Zealand flag over image of country outline

Announcing The Best Lawyers in Japan™ 2025


by Best Lawyers

For a milestone 15th edition, Best Lawyers is proud to announce The Best Lawyers in Japan.

Japan flag over outline of country

The Best Lawyers in Singapore™ 2025 Edition


by Best Lawyers

For 2025, Best Lawyers presents the most esteemed awards for lawyers and law firms in Singapore.

Singapore flag over outline of country

Announcing the 16th Edition of the Best Lawyers in Germany Rankings


by Best Lawyers

Best Lawyers announces the 16th edition of The Best Lawyers in Germany™, featuring a unique set of rankings that highlights Germany's top legal talent.

German flag in front of country's outline

How Much Is a Lawyer Consultation Fee?


by Best Lawyers

Best Lawyers breaks down the key differences between consultation and retainer fees when hiring an attorney, a crucial first step in the legal process.

Client consulting with lawyer wearing a suit

Presenting the 2024 Best Lawyers Employment and Workers’ Compensation Legal Guide


by Best Lawyers

The 2024 Best Lawyers Employment and Workers' Compensation Legal Guide provides exclusive access to all Best Lawyers awards in related practice areas. Read below and explore the legal guide.

Illustration of several men and women in shades of orange and teal

Things to Do Before a Car Accident Happens to You


by Ellie Shaffer

In a car accident, certain things are beyond the point of no return, while some are well within an individual's control. Here's how to stay legally prepared.

Car dashcam recording street ahead

Combating Nuclear Verdicts: Empirically Supported Strategies to Deflate the Effects of Anchoring Bias


by Sloan L. Abernathy

Sometimes a verdict can be the difference between amicability and nuclear level developments. But what is anchoring bias and how can strategy combat this?

Lawyer speaking in courtroom with crowd and judge in the foreground

The Push and Pitfalls of New York’s Attempt to Expand Wrongful Death Recovery


by Elizabeth M. Midgley and V. Christopher Potenza

The New York State Legislature recently went about updating certain wrongful death provisions and how they can be carried out in the future. Here's the latest.

Red tape blocking off a section of street

Attacked From All Sides: What Is Happening in the World of Restrictive Covenants?


by Christine Bestor Townsend

One employment lawyer explains how companies can navigate challenges of federal and state governmental scrutiny on restrictive covenant agreements.

Illustration of two men pulling on string with blue door between them

6 Ways a Lawyer Can Help You With Your Medical Malpractice Claim


by Adam Malone

If you believe you have a medical malpractice claim, contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer. Read on to learn how they can help with your claim.

Doctor in white lab coat showing x-ray to patient in blue scrubs

Georgia Proposes Law Requiring Parental Consent for Minors on Social Media


by Gregory Sirico

With data collection on the rise, Georgia lawmakers are currently petitioning for Senate Bill 351, which would require a user's age before social media use.

Teenager with hood on using phone as notifications pop up

Colorado Attorney General Calls For Cannabis Reclassification


by Gregory Sirico

In this article, Best Lawyers highlights a recent call to action by the Colorado state attorney general, requesting a full drug reclassification of cannabis.

Cannabis buds sitting on a checkerboard tabletop