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We focus on the following cases:

Defective Medical Products

Defective Medical Products

Personal Injuries

Dangerous Prescription Drugs

Class Actions

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Safety Tips for Summer Road Trips

Summer is fast approaching and many are planning road trips with family and friends.  In order to ensure a good time for all, keep the following safety tips in mind: Prepare:  Be sure to inspect your vehicle to ensure it

Stay Safe on Memorial Day Weekend

Photo: Atlanta Magazine

During Memorial Day, please take some time to celebrate and honor our nation’s fallen heroes with family and friends.  While enjoying the weekend’s festivities keep the following safety tips in mind to ensure the holiday stays fun:


Make sure meat is sufficiently cooked in order to prevent food poisoning – up to 48 million Americans each year suffer from food poisoning according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.  Using a meat thermometer can ensure that your meat is not dangerously undercooked, as color is not always a good indicator of doneness.

Moreover, grills can be dangerous objects for young children to be around.  The extreme temperatures and often sharp edges pose a risk of harm to our little ones.  Make sure you maintain a three-foot radius around the grill that is a kid-free zone.  Additionally, keeping the grill clean of grease and cobwebs (which can ignite) can also reduce the risk of grilling incidents.


Memorial Day brings with it an increase in vehicles on the road and, therefore, a higher likelihood of traffic collisions.  About 400 fatalities occurred during the Memorial Day weekends of both 2015 and 2016, so driving safely is imperative on Memorial Day weekend in order to minimize the chances of those numbers repeating again in 2017.


Lounging by the pool and swimming is one of the most popular activities among families during Memorial Day weekend.  Let’s keep this a safe and pleasurable event.  Know the depth of the water before diving in as spinal injuries can result in paralysis or even death.  A designated “pool-watcher” can help ensure that kids stay safe when swimming and that Memorial Day stays fun for all.

Kershaw, Cook & Talley wishes everyone a fun and safe Memorial Day weekend.  If, in the unfortunate event that you or a loved one suffer harm or injury resulting from the fault of another that didn’t abide by our community safety rules, please contact our office.

Immigration Status is Inadmissible and Undiscoverable in Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Suits


Governor Brown signed AB 2159 into law today, adding section 351.2 to the California Evidence Code. Under the bill, evidence of immigration status is inadmissible and undiscoverable in personal injury and wrongful death suits.

Up until today, the governing law in personal injury and wrongful death suits was Rodriguez v. Kline. In that case, the California Second District Court of Appeal held as follows: if a plaintiff whose citizenship is in dispute seeks compensation for lost wages in court, the court holds a preliminary hearing to determine whether or not the plaintiff is “subject to deportation” and whether or not they are taking steps to correct their deportable condition.  If the plaintiff is found to be “subject to deportation”, the jury may find that the plaintiff will recover only those lost wages that he or she could have earned in his or her country of origin.

This bill ends 30 years of disparate treatment toward non-citizens in California, allowing non-citizens to recover lost wages in personal injury and wrongful death claims to the same degree as citizens. It also frees up judicial resources, allowing the court’s time to be spent answering more pressing legal questions than the immigration status of the parties in personal injury and wrongful death matters. Hundreds and hundreds of published cases cite to Rodriguez v. Kline on the question of a plaintiff’s immigration status, illustrating the magnitude of courthouse time that will be freed by ridding the judicial process of Rodriguez’s preliminary hearing requirement. Governor Brown’s bill is a welcome boon to both plaintiff’s rights and courtroom efficiency in an endeavor where both are invaluable.

If you or a loved one, citizen or otherwise, is seeking legal help for an injury or wrongful death, please contact our office so that we may assist in your recovery.

Negligent Firearm Storage and Handling


According to an article in the Sacramento Bee, a 3-year-old girl found a loaded gun in an apartment bedroom in Lemoore, CA and shot herself in the head. Detective Matthew Smith of Lemoore police reported to the Fresno Bee that the family of the girl had been visiting from Southern California. The residents of the apartment did not own the gun and were not present when the girl found it – the weapon was registered to one of their friends. No one has been arrested, but the resident and gun owner may face civil and criminal penalties for reckless endangerment of a child and negligent storage of a firearm.

Accidental Firearm Death Statistics

According to articles written about the subject, the number of child deaths resulting from gun use each year is unknown. The data exists, but it has not been compiled or put together by anyone. The National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS), launched by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2002, combines death certificate data, but only operates in 18 states. The figures it reports are therefore not national and should not be interpreted as such. However, across the 17 states for which it has data from 2011, 11 firearm deaths resulted from a person younger than 14 years old pulling the trigger in that year alone. The true number of deaths is likely to be significantly higher across all 50 states.

Victim’s Legal Rights

In California, a court may find that a reasonably careful person would have taken greater care than the apartment lessee or firearm registrant did in order to ensure that the 3-year-old didn’t find and discharge the firearm. In that case, both the apartment lessee and firearm registrant may be liable for harm caused to the child and her family. The family would be able to collect damages for both economic and non-economic harm, including but not limited to funeral and burial expenses as well as damages for the family’s grief and mental anguish. If you or someone you know has suffered a wrongful death in the family due to negligent storage or handling of firearms, call an experienced California personal injury or wrongful death attorney in your area to help you through your tragic and difficult situation.

David Crosby Settles California Car Crash Jogger Lawsuit


David Crosby of the former folk-rock super group Crosby, Stills and Nash agreed to a $3 million dollar settlement yesterday, for his crash into a jogger on Baseline Avenue in Santa Ynez, California. Crosby claims that he had not been drinking and was “blinded by the sun” when he crashed his 2015 Tesla vehicle into Jose Luquin, who was on an evening run with his 14-year-old son. However, according to the plaintiff’s suit, Luquin was “informed and believed” that Crosby had been drinking prior to the accident. Crosby is known for his lively history of abusing alcohol and other drugs.

The officer present “determined alcohol was not a factor” and also noted that Luquin contributed to the accident by jogging with traffic on the side of the road.

Those at the scene took Luquin to a hospital in the area to attend to his broken leg, broken shoulder, broken ribs, and damaged kidney.  The settlement allots $2,950,000 to Luquin and $50,000 to his son.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 9,967 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in 2014 alone. This accounts for 31% of all traffic-related deaths in the US. Drugs other than alcohol were involved in about 16% of motor crashes.

Legal Rights of those Injured

In situations like these in California, those injured by a driver can recover damages for negligence if the driver breaches his or her duty to act with ordinary care, resulting in harm. Drinking and driving can certainly serve as such a breach of duty. However, if the injured party somehow contributed to the damages by acting negligently, recovery will be diminished in proportion to the percentage of fault attributable to the plaintiff. If Luquin took his case to court, a jury would likely determine what percentage of the accident was his fault for jogging on an less-than-strategic part of the road.

If a negligent driver has caused you or a loved one harm, contact a California personal injury attorney in your area to assist in remedying the situation.

Texting While Driving & Employer Liability


Texting While Driving Statistics

As technology advances and the popularity of mobile devices increases, so do the number of fatalities and injuries associated with texting while driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 18% of all fatal crashes in 2012 were caused by driver distraction. In one year alone, 3,328 people died and 421,000 people were wounded.[1] In 2010, one of every eleven traffic fatalities was caused by driver cell phone use.[2] Overall, studies have estimated that twenty-eight percent of traffic accidents occur when people talk on cellphones or text while driving.[3]


Congress has not enacted legislation implementing a national ban on texting or using a wireless phone while driving, but a number of states have passed laws banning texting or phones usage or requiring hands-free use of wireless phones while driving.[4] In June 2012, the National Safety Transportation Board (NSTB) issued a recommendation to ban the use of all cell phones while driving, including hands-free devices. California has legislation addressing each. Subject to a few exceptions, California Vehicle Code § 23123 forbids driving while using a wireless phone unless the phone is specifically designed to allow hands-free operation and is used in that way. And California Vehicle Code § 23123.5 outlaws texting while driving unless the device is designed to allow voice-operated, hands-free operation to dictate, send, or listen to a text and is used in that way.

Employer Liability

Evolving legislation may create questions for employers who require employees to communicate via telephone while operating a vehicle. Generally, the doctrine of respondeat superior (vicarious liability) allows employers to be held liable for their employee’s negligence in the operation of an automobile if the employee’s conduct was within the scope of his or her employment. The often critical question is determining, in an accident caused by texting or phone use, whether the cellular communication was within the scope of the employees employment. Employers who encourage their employees to use hands-free devices as a safe alternative while driving may reduce their liability in an accident. However, determining the full scope of liability is dependent on multiple factors, and parties with questions should consult a California personal injury attorney.


[2] Isaac A. Hof, Wake-Up Call: Eliminating the Major Roadblock That Cell Phone Driving Creates for Employer Liability, 84 Temp. L. Rev. 701 (2012).

[3] Danielle Lenth, Chapter 570: Paving the Way for Autonomous Vehicles, 44 McGeorge L. Rev. 787, 795 (2013)


65-year old woman found dead after hit-and-run in Gibson Ranch

On the morning of Saturday, June 18, the body of a 65- year old woman was found in a ditch in the Elverta area near Gibson Ranch, California. Police later identified the body as that of Donna Zurfluh, who was walking on the south side of Elverta Road between 2am and 6am when she suffered a hit-and-run collision. The stretch of road she was walking did not have a pedestrian path, and was dark when she was killed. The speed of the vehicle and cause of the collision have not yet been determined. Ms. Zurfluh served her community by teaching adults with special needs and running a recovery program for people struggling with substance abuse – we extend our sincere condolences to Ms. Zurfluh’s family and community who are undoubtedly feeling the pain of loss in her absence.

Pedestrian Injury Statistics

According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), most pedestrian deaths occur between 4pm and midnight during weekdays, while most weekend fatalities occur between 8pm and 4am. Males seem more likely to suffer fatalities as pedestrians, with 70% of pedestrian fatalities in 2011 being male. Roughly one-fifth of children 10 to 15 years old killed in traffic accidents were pedestrians, with roughly the same figure holding true for those 65 and older. 62% of those involved in pedestrian fatalities were adults ranging from the ages of 21 and 64. Alcohol seems to be a significant factor in these pedestrian fatalities, with 37% of pedestrians killed in 2011 having BACs of .08 g/dL or higher at the time of the accident.

Victim’s Legal Rights

In addition to criminal sanctions for fleeing the scene of accident, drivers can be subject to civil penalties for causing harm by breaching their ordinary duty of care. In situations involving automobiles, drivers owe a heightened duty of care due to the dangerous nature of high-speed automobiles. If you, or a loved one, suffered injuries in an automobile accident, and you believe the driver failed to act with ordinary care, call a California personal injury attorney to receive the help you need and deserve.

Tragic Alligator Attack Kills Toddler at Disney World


Amid a week of tragedies, a 2-year-old boy, Lane Graves, has been found dead after being pulled into a lagoon by an alligator near Walt Disney World hotel. The accident happened around 9:15 PM ET on Tuesday as his family relaxed on the shore of the lagoon nearby. The boy had waded into about a foot of water at the lagoon’s edge when the alligator snagged him; despite the boy’s father trying to pry the alligator’s mouth open, the child was dragged underwater. By about 1:45 PM Wednesday, the body had been found intact by an Orange County dive team 10 to 15 yards from where he had been grabbed the night before.

Despite this incident, alligator attacks are relatively rare. The likelihood of a resident being seriously injured during an unprovoked alligator attack in Florida is roughly only one in 2.4 million. And nationwide, there were only 5 fatal alligator attacks in 2015. Over the last 60+ years, only 23 people have died as a result of unprovoked alligator attacks, 8 of which were children 16 and under.

Still, the question of liability remains. Resorts are often located in exotic locations where wild animals are close by — it is often part of the vacation experience. But when a fatal attack occurs at one of these resorts, who is liable? Florida property law imposes a duty onto landowners who welcome the injured patron onto their property, known as invitees. Here, Disney World had a duty to maintain its property in a reasonably safe condition and warn patrons of latent or concealed dangers that should have been known to them, were unknown to patrons and would not have been discovered through exercise of the patrons’ due care. Although ‘No Swimming’ signs were posted around the lagoon, there did not appear to be any indication of the possibility of alligators in the water. On the other hand, Florida law does not require landowners to guard patrons against harm from wild animals. Despite legal concerns, a recent statement by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department indicated that the ongoing investigation was not currently criminal in nature.

States differ in their laws concerning premises liability, animal attacks, and personal injury. If you have questions about an animal attack that occurred in California, be sure to contact an experienced California personal injury attorney.

Tragic Orland Car Accident Kills 15 Year Old


On Tuesday, June 7,  a California Highway Patrol (CHP) officer crashed into stopped traffic in a construction zone on the I-5 in Orland, CA . The officer, distracted by his computer, failed to see the traffic slowing down ahead of him and rear-ended a Hyundai Elantra. The resulting crash tragically killed 15-year old Willows resident Weston Sites and injured two other teenagers, who were taken to Enloe Medical Center in Chico. CHP officers on the scene stated that a separate investigation team would be handling the investigation.

Distracted Driving Statistics

Distracted driving poses a significant risk to drivers everywhere. Using devices such as computers or handheld electronic requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention, thus increasing the likelihood of accident while driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) , in the US in 2014 alone, 3,179 deaths and 431,000 injuries resulted from motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. The National Occupant Protection Use Survey reports that approximately 660,000 drivers are using electronic devices at any given moment across America, and that this number has been consistent since 2010.

Legal Rights of Those Injured

Legally, drivers owe a heightened duty of care when compared to pedestrians due to the potential significant damage a vehicle can cause if misused. A driver’s breach of this duty of care subjects the driver to civil penalties such that the harm done to others may be mitigated. Those in Northern California suffering injury resulting from a distracted driving incident, or those whose loved ones have suffered such harm, would do well to seek the services of a Northern California personal injury attorney.

We extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Weston Sites. We wish the injured teenagers the best in their efforts toward recovery.

Orangevale Boater Found After Boating Accident


Almost two weeks after a boat in Camp Far West Lake crashed into a wake and split in half, the body of 38-year-old Dustin Connor of Orangevale has been found. Around 5:30 P.M. on May 29, witnesses reported the boat carrying Connor and five friends overturned on a wake near the south side of the lake. One person was flown to a nearby hospital, two were taken to the hospital by ambulance and two people were uninjured. Connor’s body, however, was unable to be found.

Search and rescue crews were joined by friends and family members as they took to the water to search for Connor’s body. Placer County and Yuba County sheriff’s dive teams used sonar scanning, a method of grid searching, to meticulously search the bottom of the lake for the boater’s body. It was found by the dive teams more than 115 feet below the lake’s surface.

In 2014, the Coast Guard counted 4,064 boating accidents, 610 of which involved deaths. Where the cause of death was known, 78% of victims drowned. Of drowning victims who reported life jacket usage, 84% were not wearing a life jacket. Additionally, operator inattention, improper lookout, operator inexperience, excessive speed, and alcohol use rank as the top five primary contributing factors in accidents. Specifically, alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents; where the primary cause was known, it was the leading factor in 21% of deaths.

Although there were life jackets on board, deputies are still looking into whether the boaters were wearing life jackets at the time of the accident.

The investigation in this case is still ongoing and surely, the authorities will determine whether this tragedy was preventable.  As a general rule, boaters should ensure they obey the speed limits on the water, always have life jackets on board, and refrain from operating a boat if you have been drinking alcohol. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a boating accident please contact an experienced California personal injury/wrongful death lawyer to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.

Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family members and friends of Dustin Connor for their tragic loss.

Ridesharing and Responsibility

uber and lift

Ridesharing services such as Uber, Lyft and Sidecar offer on-demand shared rides. Passengers needing a ride to and from a location can summon a car and pay using a smartphone app. A driver picks you up from your current location and transports you to your desired destination. Rideshare is usually cheaper than hailing a cab or renting a limousine service, and easier and more flexible.

These services are changing the way we get around: You receive a text when your ride has arrived- convenient during inclement weather. You can grab a drink with coworkers and have someone else behind the wheel. You can work on your tablet or use the phone during your commute.

Ridesharing offers plenty in the way of convenience but is not without its controversy. What happens when an Uber or Lyft driver is in a car accident? Drivers and vehicles of traditional taxi companies are licensed and regulated by the state. Public hire insurance is for cab drivers- use a signal for availability and pickup riders. The taxi company is generally responsible for insurance on the vehicle. Uber has insurance policies in place to cover a ridesharing passenger. According to the Uber website,

“This policy provides up to $1 million in coverage for each and every incident that occurs from the time a driver has accepted a trip and is en route to pick up passengers or is transporting passengers to their destination…Uber Technologies, Inc. Liability coverage is up to $1 million per incident for bodily injury or property damage to passengers or any other third parties, such as pedestrians, other vehicles, buildings, etc. The policy also covers bodily injury caused by uninsured and underinsured motorists up to $1 million/incident, so that no matter who is at fault, coverage is in place.”

On July 1, 2015, California passed a law requiring that ridesharing companies provide liability insurance coverage for their drivers during all three periods the Transportation Network Company (TNC)-Uber, Lyft, etc.,- application is on. The California Department of Insurance states the TNC services generally fall into three periods:

The ridesharing company is required to maintain $1 million in liability during periods two and three. However, during period one, liability coverage decreases.

If you are an injured passenger or pedestrian of a rideshare driver, contact Kershaw, Cook & Talley to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney.

Defective & Dangerous Products

Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawyers

The attorneys at Kershaw, Cook & Talley successfully represent consumers in lawsuits against manufacturers and companies involving defective products and product recalls. Our experienced trial attorneys recover thousands of dollars on behalf of injured individuals in cases involving defective medical devices, dangerous drugs, car defects and more.

Referring Attorneys

Best Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawyers

At times, attorneys require further expertise and resources, legally and financially, to resolve a legal matter. We have the team, capability and dedication to handle challenging cases. If you have a case exceeding your resources with respect to workforce or experience, consider contacting our firm. We welcome referrals from firms in Sacramento and throughout the United States.

Our Services

Medical Malpractice Lawyers, Kershaw, Cook & Talley

We provide free case consultations. If you, or a loved one, suffered an injury due to another’s negligence or wrongful conduct, call our firm. We will examine your individual situation and explain your legal rights. Our attorneys have extensive experience representing injured individuals, in both jury trials and settlement negotiations.

Personal Injury Attorneys, Personal Legal Service.

Kershaw, Cook & Talley is a Sacramento law firm founded on the principle of helping our clients through personalized legal services. With this philosophy, Kershaw, Cook & Talley has garnered a statewide and national reputation for providing outstanding legal representation and obtaining significant compensation for our clients.

Nationally Recognized Personal Injury Law Firm.

We understand personal injury cases are often emotionally and financially straining. Our team of top personal injury attorneys in Sacramento is committed to seeking justice for individuals injured as a result of another's negligence or intentional misconduct. At Kershaw, Cook & Talley, our experienced personal injury attorneys will hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions.


“Bill and Stu worked expeditiously to get my hip claim resolved.
I couldn’t believe how personable they were and easy to contact.”

-S. Thomas

“Stuart helped me with a case involving a defective hip replacement. He was incredibly responsive to my calls and concerns and really kept me updated on what was going on in the litigation. Even though his office was not in my hometown, he actually flew out to meet with me. He was incredibly knowledgeable about the case and really helped me through a very difficult time.”

-Personal Injury Client, as seen on AVVO

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