Friday, August 25, 2017

Punitive Damages

Punitive Damages: Monetary compensation awarded to an injured party that goes beyond that which is necessary to compensate the individual for losses and that is intended to punish the wrongdoer.

Here's an article describing what "Punitive Damages" means.

From the article:

California Civil Code § 3294. Exemplary damages; when allowable, definitions

(a) In an action for the breach of an obligation not arising from contract, where it is proven by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant has been guilty of oppression, fraud, or malice, the plaintiff, in addition to the actual damages, may recover damages for the sake of example and by way of punishing the defendant.
OK, this sounds good.  I'm a big believer in the laws of karma...
(b) An employer shall not be liable for damages pursuant to subdivision (a), based upon acts of an employee of the employer, unless the employer had advance knowledge of the unfitness of the employee and employed him or her with a conscious disregard of the rights or safety of others or authorized or ratified the wrongful conduct for which the damages are awarded or was personally guilty of oppression, fraud, or malice. With respect to a corporate employer, the advance knowledge and conscious disregard, authorization, ratification or act of oppression, fraud, or malice must be on the part of an officer, director, or managing agent of the corporation.  
OK, this part describes why a CEO might claim they had no knowledge of what his employees were doing when they broke the law.

So, what are these terms that qualify a CEO for punitive damages:
(1) “Malice” means conduct which is intended by the defendant to cause injury to the plaintiff or despicable conduct which is carried on by the defendant with a willful and conscious disregard of the rights or safety of others.(2) “Oppression” means despicable conduct that subjects a person to cruel and unjust hardship in conscious disregard of that person’s rights.(3) “Fraud” means an intentional misrepresentation, deceit, or concealment of a material fact known to the defendant with the intention on the part of the defendant of thereby depriving a person of property or legal rights or otherwise causing injury.
Oh dear... this appears to be exactly what happened to me.  The CEO of The Sliding Door Company, Doron Polus, intentionally and with malice placed me in a hazardous environment without regard to my safety.  Neither he nor his managers informed me of any additional safety precautions I was required to take in my new office - including ear protection, fork-lift paths, safety barriers, eye wash station and other safety hazardous areas and equipment that employees must be informed about when working in an warehouse environment.  Despite knowing of these issues, he showed complete disregard for my safety.  He concealed evidence in my case and that is fraud, not to mention obstruction of justice.

But wait... there's more...

Where the punitive damages will truly come into play is the relationship between Mr. Polus and product safety.  I was punished because I was reporting fraud and safety concerns about his products.  THAT is where the punitive damages will really come in.  
Remember this case?

A 12-person jury awarded Boly $916,000 in lost wages up until a retirement age of 67, $625,000 for emotional distress and $1.5 million in punitive damages. Under Oregon law, 70 percent of the $1.5 million in punitive damages will go to the state.
On top of that, Legacy will be ordered to pay Boly's attorney's fees, which Seidl estimates at about $500,000. 

 Here's another more recent one from just last month:
(CNN)On Monday, a jury awarded a California woman $417 million because she developed ovarian cancer and had used Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder for decades. The award includes $70 million in compensatory damages and $347 million in punitive damages.
There is no question the CEO of The Sliding Door Company has put profit over safety and seems to have little regard for the safety of his employees and customers.  There certainly will be a good reason for a judge to consider punitive damages for what Mr. Polus has done not just to me, but to other employees and the safety of the general public.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Fall Guy

There always has to be a fall guy... and now we know who it will be.  Bend over Eyal, it looks like Doron sold you out.

What an amazing man Doron Polus, CEO of The Sliding Door Company is.  

What an fascinating background.  It's hard to tell, by looking at him, that he's a military-trained martial arts expert.  His employees should feel safe around him... what with all that Military Kung-fu background and all... 

OK, so he loses his temper and blows up at people once in a while... but employees should know that just in case somebody like me every drops by, Doron made it clear he would be using his Kung-fu if necessary.  
Employees and Customers can feel SAFE when
Doronatello is near. 

I must have really dodged a bullet when this Kung-fu master was yelling at me at the top of his lungs.  I realize now, it could have gotten much worse.  

The only person in this case who has lost his temper and displayed violent behavior, after all, is Doron!

During his deposition, Doronatello made it a point to glare at me when he talked about hurting people who might visit his showrooms.  I think I was supposed to be terrified by him.  
Who wouldn't be?  I mean - Just LOOK at him!

He also mentioned he might sue me in the future. I guess he realizes I'm going to win my case against him - otherwise why would he bother? 

So, you would think this obviously brave man and courageous Kung-fu warrior would follow through and protect his employees when the chips are down.  You might think that, but then you might be wrong.  Cowards look out for themselves.

Readers of this blog know I was spied on during the time I worked at The Sliding Door Company.  Special spyware was installed on my computer in order to record conversations I was having - even from HOME!  

Who installed the spyware?  That is clear - it was Eyal Salpeter, Doron's son-in-law and their IT manager.  I even warned Eyal not to do this a second time because I felt he would be committing a crime!  Spying/wiretapping on someone engaged in a protected activity is a crime.  Whistle-blowing is a protected activity.  Whoever authorized the spying committed a crime.

Did Doron ask Eyal to spy on me?  He testified under oath that he didn't. So, apparently, Eyal, someone I personally went to extra effort to protect from joining Doron in criminal activity, acted alone - according to Doron.  Is Eyal going to be hung out to dry while the Kung-fu fighter disavows any knowledge or responsibility that spyware was installed on my computer?

I don't want to keep going into the criminal penalties for spying on people and wire-tapping (spying in real time - something I know happened as someone at one point took over my computer screen at work)... but they are serious.  Apparently, they are serious enough that Doron would rather have Eyal face the charges, if they come about than face them himself.

That takes courage... Kung-fu courage.
Naturally, Doron expects his employees to be good soldiers... and take one for the team when necessary.  
I suspect Eyal was following orders but will do whatever he has to in order to keep Doron out of trouble.

Kung-fu cowards make horrible leaders, in my opinion.

But let's not let my incident, or Eyal's throw people off about Doron.  People should absolutely feel safe around him.  Wouldn't you?

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Breaking News

Breaking News? Wait, isn't this entire blog about stuff that is "breaking"?  

Well, yes, now that you mention it...

So, what's breaking now?

Well, I heard some great news just yesterday, directly from Doron Polus, CEO of The Sliding Door Company.

  Remember this part?

The issue with this part is that it is an exact knock-off of a Simpson Strong-tie part.  Well, not exact but close enough to fool inspectors who are expecting to see the Simpson part.  

According to Doron Polus, CEO of The Sliding Door Company, the company went to the expense of having this product ACTUALLY tested (finally).  So, now they have engineering data on this part.  And it is as strong or stronger than the original Simpson part.  That's GREAT news, right?  

Well, no.  When you build a house of cards, every card has integrity, but the overall design is what matters.  So what is the overall design?

Engineering, Shmengineering...

TSDC went to the effort of having an engineer review their products.  We've already discussed how the engineer was misled about the materials used with regard to the aluminum.  But Let's look at the design now too.

The picture above is from the engineering calculations document - approved by an engineer.  We're going to have a look at the components that were replaced by the little bracket pictured above.  Below is the email describing which components will be replaced by the little bracket.


OK, so the "Outlet" connectors were replaced as of 2015.  That's the very strong piece that holds the entire system (house of cards) together.  It's Item 3 in the picture above.  Let's have a look at this.

Wow, it's hard to imagine that all this material can be adequately replaced by this.  Well, to be fair, two of these tiny brackets are required to replace the large, sturdy Outlet connector.  

The engineer even called out "stainless steel" for the part.  So the stuff that was supposed to connect to steel, now connects to aluminum.  And not just any aluminum?  "Proprietary Aluminum".  Instead of the screws going into the very strong steel connector piece, they now thread into the thin side wall of the proprietary formula aluminum post.  

Yet, without ANY engineering experience or background, Doron Polus decided that the tiny bracket can adequately replace the large "Outlet" connector... to save money.  Profit first - Engineers be damned...

This bracket also replaced the floor connector on 2x4 posts as well as the connection at the walls.  The bracket it replaced at the walls was twice as thick.  
The structural integrity of the entire system (if it had any to begin with) has been further compromised.  And for what?  To save maybe $5.00 per installation?  Profit first - Customers be damned...

Who's the Boss NOW?

That Doron is reading this blog and reacting to it is AWESOME!  I get to blog about his product failures and he gets to go to the expense of having his products tested for safety, FINALLY.  It's the "win-win" situation I described here.  He should be thanking me for forcing him to improve his products.  I'm sure he will, very soon - I could see it in his eyes.

Fixing the House of Cards

So what's next for The Sliding Door Company?  Well, now that they have been exposed, they're going to need to have the tiny bracket tested IN THE SYSTEM before they can claim an engineer has examined their products.  That means they're going to need to go back to the engineer and ask him to re-engineer their products to take into consideration the far weaker brackets.  I hope they remember to tell him that the aluminum grade they use in their products is unknown.  Good luck with that!

What is really required is that Doron stop playing God.  He's not an engineer by any stretch of the imagination.  Yet he makes engineering and safety decisions willy-nilly without regard to who might be impacted by them.  He seems more intent on reacting to this blog than making actual improvements to his products. 

Why on earth would Doron have testing done on a bracket he can already buy from Home Depot?  A bracket he can't use in his systems without having another set of engineering documents produced?  Did he go to that effort just to prove me wrong about the Simpson bracket?  He has installed this bracket in many installations.  Maybe he's protecting himself from future liability.  I guess we will see when it becomes more Breaking News.


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Bigger They Are...

Here is a breaking legal story about a prominent California attorney who is apparently under investigation by the California State Bar and the Washington DC Bar.  From August 7th, 2017:

Prominent Feminist Lawyer Gloria Allred Under Two Investigations for Alleged Malpractice

Prominent women's rights and sex discrimination lawyer Gloria Allred is under two bar investigations for legal malpractice connected to her representation of a male weatherman.
Local Washington, D.C. weatherman Kyle Hunter sued CBS in 2010, alleging that he was passed over for promotions in favor of young, attractive women. Hunter hired Allred to represent him in his suit charging discrimination against the network.
But unbeknownst to Hunter, Allred was also in talks with CBS about producing a legal drama based on her life. Hunter claims this was a major conflict of interest and that Allred intentionally botched his case to prevent the deal from falling through.
Now LawNewz reports that the D.C. Bar has also opened an investigation into Allred's conduct during Hunter's case. 

Gloria Allred Under Investigation by California, D.C. Bars

Civil rights attorney Gloria Allred is under investigation by two attorney licensing agencies, Allred said on Monday.

Allred confirmed in a statement that she is being investigated by both the District of Columbia Bar and the California State Bar based on the same complaint by her former client, Los Angeles weather reporter Kyle Hunter.

Celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred is under TWO bar investigations in DC and California for misconduct involving her handling of TV weatherman's discrimination case
  • Gloria Allred is being investigated in DC for misconduct, it was revealed Monday
  • The celebrity lawyer, 76, is accused of mishandling Kyle Hunter's case in 2012
  • The weatherman sued CBS for being passed up for young, pretty women
  • Hunter filed suit against Allred in June, claiming she had a conflict of interest 
  • Allred is also being investigated for misconduct in California over the same case 
The State Bar of California started an investigation of the high profile attorney for the handling of Hunter's case in March.
Now the 76-year-old is facing her second investigation in Washington DC, for the alleged misconduct of the same case, it was revealed on Monday.
In rebuttal, Allred responded: 'Anyone may file a complaint against any lawyer in any state or jurisdiction in which a lawyer is licensed. 'This complaint which Mr. Hunter filed with the Washington, D.C. bar some time ago is the same complaint that he filed with the California Bar.'
As well as mishandling the case, the lawsuit says, Allred also breached ethical obligations by negotiating a deal with CBS for a TV show based on her life.
'Allred has spent her career more focused on winning press conferences than winning cases,' the suit says.
'In this case, Allred sandbagged her client to serve her personal pecuniary interests, her penchant for public fame, and to protect the malfeasance of her media allies.