California Injury Attorney Changes Child Emergency Response Law

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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Barry J. Simon, a California personal injury attorney who has been a tort litigator representing victims against insurance and other large companies for nearly 30 years, is not your ordinary personal injury attorney. Far from it. He takes the profession of law seriously, gets personal satisfaction when he helps clients and leads by example. In fact, his efforts helped to change California’s child emergency response law.

Changing the law to protect children

We asked Simon which one of his cases stood out most in his mind since he began practicing law 30 years ago. Here’s what he told us:

I took on a significant case in Los Angeles about 20 years ago involving the death of a baby. In that case, the mother called 911 because her infant was choking to death. Her baby had epiglottis, which caused his trachea to close up. However, emergency services did not respond appropriately and the baby died.

In that case, the mother had retained a different lawyer initially. Unfortunately, he didn’t do anything on the case and she called me in desperation because the statute of limitations had run on filing a claim against the government. I was fortunate to get a Petition for Late Claim granted because of the serious nature of the claim and because it involved a baby.

I spent day and night researching that case for two years. I took it all the way to the California Supreme Court because the judge threw the case out on the eve of the trial. I actually got the media involved because I just thought the judge’s decision was wrong. We all rely on 911, we’re told to rely on them and the judge ruled that the law says that they don’t have to respond.

We eventually resolved the case and it resulted in a modification to the law and changed the Los Angeles Medical Emergency System protocol. Now, an ambulance is sent on all calls where a baby is involved. That change may have resulted in saving thousands of lives over the last 20 years. It is the kind of case that every honest, principled lawyer wants to handle as it helps your client and benefits the public as well.

Taking the profession seriously

Simon, a California auto accident lawyer who has helped so many victims over the years, says that he takes the practice of law seriously – and gets great satisfaction in the process. “That’s what it’s all about for me – helping the public. It bugs me when I hear bad things about lawyers because there are good, honest lawyers out there like me who try to do the right thing and aren’t concerned with money or status as a priority.”

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