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GavelIn Phase 3 of our case Andrews v. Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC (LLNS), 10 new plaintiffs, of the 130 plaintiffs, will seek justice for their wrongful termination, breach of contract, age discrimination, and other individual claims. The third trial in the case will take place in Alameda County Superior Court, Department 20, before the Honorable Robert B. Freedman on January 26, 2015.

10 New Plaintiffs Sue Lawrence Livermore Lab

As integral assets to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), the 10 plaintiffs, all scientists or engineers, brought a wealth of knowledge, experience, and achievements to the lab during their careers. Abruptly and without cause in May of 2008, shortly after the lab’s privatization by LLNS, the 10 plaintiffs were laid-off. The layoff action at LLNS was led by the partnership of San Francisco based construction and engineering firm Bechtel and University of California.

2008 Lawrence Livermore Lab Layoffs

In May 2009, 130 employees, represented by the law firm of Gwilliam, Ivary, Chiosso, Cavalli & Brewer, filed suit against LLNS for the following:

  • Wrongful termination
  • Breach of contract
  • Age discrimination
  • Numerous individual claims

Lawrence Livermore Lab Layoff Phase 1 and Phase 2 of Trial

In early 2013 Phase 1 of the trial, the first five Plaintiffs Elaine Andrews, Marian Barraza, Mario Jimenez, Greg Olsen, and James Torrice, were selected by Judge Robert Freedman to be test cases in a lawsuit involving 130 Plaintiffs with similar claims. In that case, a jury found in favor of the plaintiffs awarding $2.7 million in damages for their economic loss.

In late 2013 the Phase 2 trial concluded when a new jury found that the 2008 layoff did not have a disproportionate impact on employees age 40 and over.

Gwilliam, Ivary, Chiosso, Cavalli & Brewer

If you are interested in information regarding this case or if you have questions about legal issues with your employment, please contact attorney J. Gary Gwilliam or attorney Randall E. Strauss of the law firm of Gwilliam, Ivary, Chiosso, Cavalli & Brewer  510-832-5411.

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Court GLF Dec '12“The damage caps were initially pushed by former Gov. Jeb Bush, with the support of doctors, hospitals and insurance companies who viewed trial lawyers as their political nemesis. They argued the reforms were needed to curb the explosion of medical malpractice costs.” –Mary Ellen Klas Tampa Bay Times-Herald reporter

In a historic landmark ruling by the Florida Supreme Court, medical malpractice “caps” placed on how much financial compensation citizens can receive in cases where a doctor’s negligent mistake(s) caused a patient’s death, were ruled unconstitutional. Written by Justice R. Fred Lewis, the 5-2 ruling removes the caps for cases moving forward.

Conversely, Californians are fighting to reform the state’s archaic medical malpractice caps, also known as Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA), of $250,000 through the campaign: “38 is Too Late.”

The Truth About Medical Malpractice in California

California is in the midst of a legislative fight to update the 1975 law called the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act or MICRA. Insurance companies, doctors, and other medical providers oppose raising the incredibly outdated $250,000 cap. They argue the cap reins in medical malpractice premiums, and changing the limits may hurt availability of care.

The MICRA law remains unadjusted for inflation in 38 years since being instituted in California in 1975. Victims of medical malpractice and California consumer groups have come together in the 38 Is Too Late campaign to fight for change. The cost of everything has risen dramatically in the last 38 years – except the value of a human life. Patients and victims’ families are demanding that the state Legislature and the governor bring this outdated law into the 21st century.

Today is the time for change. Now is the time to hold medical professionals accountable by eliminating or updating the cap to fairly compensate victims and their families. Only then would health care negligence be held to account, and only then would its victims begin to approach fair compensation for malpractice that changes lives forever.

Florida’s Medical Malpractice Caps

Although Florida’s medical malpractice caps were significantly higher than in California, Florida’s law still left families and victims of medical malpractice greatly under compensated for their pain, suffering, and or loss of life. 

In the past in Florida, payments to claimants for pain and suffering due to a doctor’s negligence were limited to $500,000 or $1,000,000. The size of the award was dependent upon the number of people involved and the circumstances of the case. The results of the court’s decision will remove the cap limit on non-economic damages when a patient dies due to medical malpractice, negligence by a doctor.

The reasoning behind the institution of the 2003 medical malpractice overhaul law, that capped claimant awards due to medical malpractice were as follows:

  • Purported inability to attract new doctors to Florida due to increased malpractice insurance premiums
  • State interest in decreasing medical malpractice insurance rates
  • Purported increase in the affordability and availability of health care in Florida

In retort to these purported reasons for the 2003 caps, the Florida Supreme Court cited statistics, illustrating that during the purported medical malpractice crisis:

  • “The numbers of physicians in Florida were actually increasing, not decreasing”
  • “Even the Task Force whose report was relied upon by the Florida Legislature employed extremely equivocal language and speculation when describing the existence of a crisis.”

Gwilliam, Ivary, Chiosso, Cavalli, & Brewer

If you have questions about medical malpractice and California’s medical malpractice caps that could affect your families ability to seek fair compensation, please contact attorney J. Gary Gwilliam of the law firm of Gwilliam, Ivary, Chiosso, Cavalli & Brewer (510) 832-5411 ext. 233 or GGwilliam@giccb.com .

 

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Government Report of Skilled Nursing Facilities Shows One-Third of Patients Harmed in Treatment

March 11, 2014

“22,000 patients were injured and more than 1,500 died in a single month — a higher rate of medical errors than hospitals.” –ProPublica According to a just released report, “Adverse Events in Skilled Nursing Facilities: National Incidence Among Medicare Beneficiaries”, conducted by the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services one of […]

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Consumer Watchdog Exposes AAA’s Age Discrimination Practice as Harm to Consumers

February 18, 2014

    “The ‘why’ of these dismissals is not complicated.  .  . Insurance agents get bonuses when they sell new policies and smaller yearly payments from the insurance company as policies are renewed.”– Consumer Watchdog writer Judy Dugan I am delighted to tell you that Gwilliam, Ivary, Chiosso, Cavalli & Brewer’s age discrimination lawsuit against […]

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A Pattern of Illegal Age Discrimination by the California State Auto Association

February 5, 2014

We are preparing to go to trial in an age discrimination case against the California State Automobile Association (CSAA–aka AAA) on February 18th, 2014—over three years since the nine former longtime sales representatives for CSAA involved filed suit on November 1, 2010. The fact that the Court has said that these ten claims should be […]

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Judge Denies California State Automobile Association’s Request to Hold Separate Age Discrimination Trials

February 4, 2014

On January 28, 2014, Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Judith S. Craddick issued a ruling denying California State Automobile Association‘s (CSAA) motion to hold nine separate age discrimination trials against the Walnut Creek, California headquartered company. Nine former insurance sales agents allege in this lawsuit that they were either forced to resign or fired […]

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Statistical Impact of Disproportionate Age Discrimination at Lawrence Livermore Lab

December 17, 2013

The plaintiffs in Phase II of our trial Andrews v. Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC (LLNS) have suffered emotional distress, humiliation, and feelings of inadequacy as a result of their illegal layoffs from Lawrence Livermore Lab (LLNL) in 2008. The disproportionate layoff of workers age 40+, leading to disparate age discrimination at LLNL, can be […]

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Facts Surrounding Lawrence Livermore Lab Layoff

December 6, 2013

“The odds of this many older employees, over 40, being laid off were 1 in 1,091,000.” – Randall Strauss attorney Gwilliam, Ivary, Chiosso, Cavalli, & Brewer In order to understand the injustice of the Lawrence Livermore National Security (LLNS) layoffs of 430 employees in 2008, it is essential to weigh some of the initial facts […]

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Lawrence Livermore Lab Layoff Disproportionately Impacted Workers 40+

November 25, 2013

“The layoff affected those over 40 as a group more than would be expected if this process (layoffs) were fair and mutual.” – Randall Strauss attorney Gwilliam, Ivary, Chiosso, Cavalli, & Brewer Phase II of our trial Andrews v. Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC (LLNS) and Lawrence Livermore Lab focuses on disproportionate age discrimination claims. […]

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Age Discrimination Trial Against Lawrence Livermore Lab Begins

November 11, 2013

On November 5, 2013, after more than four years of intense, sometimes contentious litigation, the age discrimination claims of 5 of the 130 plaintiffs in Andrews, et. al. vs. Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC (LLNS) will be tried to a jury before the Honorable Robert B. Freedman in Alameda County Superior Court. Case No. RG09453596 […]

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