Home > Video Gallery
Now, the Ayala case was a cave-in case. It occurred during the construction of a major hotel in Glendale, the Red Lion Hotel. Our client worked for a contractor on the job site and he fell down a 60-foot hole to his death. It was very important not to sue the contractor because the suit against the contractor would have been an exclusive remedy situation under the labor code. In the labor code, Worker's Compensation is the sole and exclusive remedy for any injury that occurs at a work siteâ€”â€”you cannot sue the employer. It's a terribly unfair law, but there is a policy behind it, and that is to protect employers from a judgment that would be more than medical bills. The only thing that one can sue for under Workerâ€™s Compensation law is medical bills. That's why we often search for third party liability beyond the employer.
The previous lawyer, before I got involved in the case, had already sued the prior employer, and that was a big mistake. Not only did it "piss them off" and cause them not to cooperate with us, but it made no sense under the law. We focused our case against the general contractor, the hotel, and others, for failure to properly supervise, failure to properly manage, failure to properly provide security, and failure to properly shore up the site. The family was represented, because they were at odds with each other, by myself and another attorney. The other attorney would not listen to my advice and they settled their case for about $100,000. Had they stayed in the case, we would have not only gotten $5 million for ourselves, but we would have gotten more for them. I say this because I have, in my experience, encountered greed, animosity, and decisions made by people that are against their own financial interests. Sadly the other relatives did not listen to the advice that I offered. In the end we received $2 million and broke a record in that case.