This Week In The News (01/27-01/31)

Lakers Issue First Statement Since Kobeโ€™s Death: โ€˜We Are Devastatedโ€™

Thursday, January 30 (CBS Los Angeles) โ€“ On Wednesday night, the Los Angeles Lakers issued their first statement following the death of Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and sever others in a helicopter crash in Calabasas on Sunday. The Lakers expressed love to the Bryant family and families of the other victims; they also mentioned Kobeโ€™s Mamba Sports Foundation has established a fund to support them. The team held its first practice since the tragedy in El Segundo on Wednesday morning.

West LA Apartment Fire: High-Rise Building Lacked Sprinkler System. Why Is It Exempt?

Thursday, January 30 (ABC 7) โ€“ A fire at the Barrington Plaza high-rise apartments injured 10 people on Wednesday. The same building had a fire in October 2013 and does not have a sprinkler system. According to fire department officials, it is exempt from requirements to have one because it was built in 1961 (buildings in Los Angeles built between 1943 and 1974 arenโ€™t required to have sprinklers). Following the 2013 fire, nine victims filed lawsuits for negligence against the buildingโ€™s management company.

Johnson & Johnson Ordered to Pay Nearly $344 Million Judgement for Surgical Mesh Product

Friday, January 31 (NBC San Diego) โ€“ On Thursday, state court Judge Eddie Sturgeon ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $343.99 million for not disclosing the risks of a surgical mesh product. The suit alleged the company knew the mesh, used to treat incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse in women, could have severe side effects. In a statement, a company spokesperson said it plans to appeal the decision. It has settled similar civil complaints over mesh products in recent years.

American Under Coronavirus Quarantine After Trying to Leave California Base

Thursday, January 30 (Los Angeles Times) โ€“ The Riverside County Public Health Department issued a quarantine to a passenger who fled the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China. The passenger had been evacuated to March Air Reserve Base, where he tried to leave. According to authorities, the passenger is now required to remain in quarantine for the 14-day incubation period or theyโ€™re otherwise cleared. On Wednesday, 201 Americans fleeing the outbreak arrived in California.

Extrinsic Evidence Leads to Summary Judgment on Aggregate Corridor Deductible

Friday, January 31 (The National Law Review) โ€“ In Lexington Insurance Co. v. RLI Insurance Co., a trucking company had a series of large personal injury settlements, which were paid. However, a dispute arose about how much each of the policyholderโ€™s insurers were required to contribute. The dispute required the court to interpret how an Aggregate Corridor Deductible (ACD) in one policy worked and whether it eroded the first excess limits on any claim. Ultimately, the court concluded that the ACD was ambiguous and judged in favor of the first excess insurer, which it assumed was acting in good faith.

Lakers to Face Portland Trail Blazers in First Home Game Since Kobe Bryantโ€™s Tragic Death

Friday, January 31 (Fox 11 Los Angeles) โ€“ The Los Angeles Lakers are scheduled to play against the Portland Trailblazers on Friday night, following the death of Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven other victims in a helicopter crash on Sunday. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN. Bryantโ€™s longtime friend, Carmelo Anthony, will not play with the Trailblazers in the game. Shaquille Oโ€™Neal will host a Super Bowl event in Miami this weekend; according to his son, Shareef, the proceeds will go to the victimโ€™s families and the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Foundation.

Fuming Apartment Building Tenant Files Lawsuit Over Most Recent Fire

Thursday, January 30 (NBC Los Angeles) โ€“ On Friday, a tenant sued the owner and operator of Barrington Plaza Apartments in West Los Angeles following a fire the day before, which injured 14 people. Santa Monica-based Douglas Emmet Inc. and two subsidiaries were named in the Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit. The resident is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages. Class-action status was declared as well. The suit states complaints that the building has not had fire sprinklers, usable fire exits, or serviceable fire alarms for years. Built in 1961, it is not required to under current local building codes.

Congressman Introduces Helicopter Safety Bill in Response to Bryant Crash

Friday, January 31 (NBC Los Angeles) โ€“ Representative Brad Sherman, D-Sherman Oaks, introduced a bill (The Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant Helicopter Safety Act) that would require the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to strengthen safety standards for helicopters. It would direct the FAA to adopt new helicopter safety standards with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), including a requirement to equip aircraft with a Terrain Awareness and Warning System. The same system was recommended by the NTSB in 2004. The bill would also establish a commission on helicopter safety and call for a Congressional report on best practices for operating helicopters in low visibility.

Garden Grove Collision Kills 77-Year-Old Woman, Injures Man

Thursday, January 30 (NBC Los Angeles) โ€“ On Thursday, police said a 77-year-old woman and 79-year-old man were struck by a van that veered onto a sidewalk in Garden Grove. Both were taken to UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange, where the woman was pronounced dead; the man was being treated for multiple fractures. The incident occurred just after 5:00 p.m. at Westminster Avenue and Brookhurst Street. According to the police report, the 45-year-old driver of the van did not appear to be impaired. A 3-year-old boy in the vehicle was not injured.