CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 20, 2002 |
A 50-year-old man was hospitalized with second-degree burns, and nearly two dozen people were displaced when fire destroyed a six-unit condominium complex in Santa Paula on Tuesday afternoon, fire officials said. The fire started about noon at the two-story Monterey condominiums in the 200 block of West Santa Barbara Street, said Capt. John Harber of the Santa Paula Fire Department. The four upper units were gutted, and two lower units were damaged by water, Harber said.
December 6, 1999 |
Every year, millions of cars, vans and pickups are recalled for safety-related repairs under a federal law designed to cut the toll of injuries and deaths on the nation's highways. But 30% of these vehicles never get fixed, staying on the road, safety defects and all. Such defects are not always life-threatening, and often do not lead to failures, but not correcting them can and does lead to serious injuries, as James Jerra can attest.
October 31, 1999 |
The lack of a $1 part cost Maria Taylor $2,000. Taylor, a San Francisco resident, knew her car had a leaky oil gasket that needed to be replaced. But she figured taking the car to a mechanic would be costly and time-consuming. Besides, she always left repair shops with the vague feeling that she'd been ripped off. So she procrastinated. Eventually, she got to a mechanic--but only after her car's engine seized up on the freeway, having run out of oil.
October 8, 1999 |
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. said it will temporarily stop requiring the use of generic parts after a jury deciding an Illinois class action ordered it to pay customers $456 million, saying State Farm broke a pledge to pay for replacement parts of "like kind and quality." State Farm has defended the less-costly replacements as a way to cut insurance premiums. But it said Thursday that it wants to avoid "customer confusion" that could result from "misinformation" linked to the suit.
October 5, 1999 |
In a major setback for the auto insurance industry, a jury in Illinois on Monday ordered the nation's largest car insurer to pay $456 million for cheating millions of customers by ordering body shops to fix their cars with low-cost generic replacement parts. The award against State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance could grow much larger if the judge in the case grants lawyers' requests for an additional $4 billion to satisfy fraud claims. The judge is expected to rule later this week.
May 14, 1999 |
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. must pay $8 million to a Texas couple injured in a car accident caused by a Wal-Mart mechanic's failure to properly tighten a car wheel's lug nuts, lawyers for the couple said. Jurors in federal court in Lufkin, Texas, deliberated about four hours before handing up the award to Paul and Julie Neill on their claims that Wal-Mart mechanics routinely falsified records showing they double-checked the tightness of wheel lug nuts on cars being repaired. Bentonville, Ark.