Briefs – Santa Monica Daily Press


Train operator shot in East Los Angeles; suspect at large

A Metro train operator was shot twice early Friday morning aboard a train pulling into an East Los Angeles station and the shooter remained at large, authorities said.

The operator was rushed to the hospital with injuries believed to be non-life-threatening, according to Ramon Montenegro, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Transit Services Bureau.

Detectives were working to determine if the shooter was targeting the operator or if there is any connection between the two, Montenegro said.

It wasn’t clear if the shooter fired from inside or outside the Gold Line train — or both — at the Indiana Station around 4:10 a.m., he said. Investigators were looking at video footage from the train and the platform.

It appeared that more than two rounds were fired, Montenegro said.

The Metro system is policed by multiple law enforcement agencies, depending on stations’ municipalities. Montenegro said shootings aboard trains are rare.

Associated Press


California governor signs law extending eviction protections

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law on Friday that extends eviction protections through the end of June.

Last year, Newsom signed a law that banned evictions for unpaid rent for tenants who paid at least 25% of their rent owed after Sept. 1. That law was set to expire on Monday. But the law Newsom signed on Thursday extends those protections through June 30.

Tenants who qualify for the protections will still owe their rent, they just can’t be evicted for not paying all of it.

The law would use federal stimulus dollars to pay off 80% of some tenants’ unpaid rent, but only if landlords agree to forgive the remaining 20%. If landlords refuse the deal, the law would pay off 25% of tenants’ unpaid rent to make sure they qualify for eviction protections.

People who earn more than 80% of the area median income are not eligible for the money.

Some housing advocacy groups worry the law gives too much power to landlords. During a virtual bill signing ceremony on Friday, Newsom, Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon all pledged to pass a law offering more assistance later this year.

“We’re not done,” Newsom said. “None of us are naive that we have a lot more work to do.”

Associated Press


Hall of Fame exhibit features Dodgers’ World Series win

The Baseball Hall of Fame has opened an exhibit honoring the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 2020 World Series championship, including game-used items from several players.

The Dodgers defeated the Tampa Bay Rays in six games to win the franchise’s first Series title in 32 years.

Among the items donated by the team are: the ball used by Clayton Kershaw for the opening pitch of Game 1 in the first neutral-site World Series in history; a bat used by World Series MVP Corey Seager in Game 6; and a road jersey worn by Mookie Betts in Games 3, 4 and 5. Other items are Max Muncy’s batting helmet and manager Dave Roberts’ jacket and face mask worn throughout the Series played during the coronavirus pandemic.

Items from Rays players Randy Arozarena, Ji-Man Choi and Brett Phillips also are included.

The “Autumn Glory” exhibit will be on display at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, through the 2021 postseason.

Associated Press


Beverly Hills doctor sentenced in massive medical scam

A Beverly Hills doctor who authorities say performed unnecessary surgeries on patients in one of the nation’s largest medical insurance fraud schemes was sentenced Friday.

Dr. Mario Rosenberg pleaded no contest in 2014 to felony insurance fraud and was given three years of probation and ordered to perform 1,000 hours of community service and pay $2.9 million in restitution, the Orange County Register reported.

Rosenberg and others recruited healthy people to undergo surgeries in exchange for money or low-cost cosmetic procedures such as “tummy tucks,” prosecutors said.

Health insurers were then billed for unnecessary and dangerous procedures, which included hysterectomies and colonoscopies, prosecutors alleged.

They said more than 2,800 people were recruited and Rosenberg and two other doctors performed more than 1,000 surgeries. The scam was centered at a now-closed surgical outpatient clinic in Buena Park.

The $154 million scheme ended in 2008 with 19 people being indicted. At the time, authorities called it the largest medical fraud scheme in the country.

Rosenberg was one of the last defendants to plead or be convicted

Associated Press


2 customers sue Subway, claiming tuna is ‘anything but tuna’

Two San Francisco Bay Area residents have sued the fast-food chain Subway alleging that its tuna is “anything but tuna” and calling it “tuna salad” constitutes fraud and false advertising.

Plaintiffs Karen Dhanowa and Nilima Amin, two Alameda County residents, claim in their lawsuit filed last week in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California that Subway has been trying to “capitalize on the premium price consumers are willing to pay for tuna,” the East Bay Times reported Thursday.

Dhanowa and Amin had samples from several California restaurants analyzed and the filling was determined to be “a mixture of various concoctions that do not constitute tuna, yet have been blended together by defendants to imitate the appearance of tuna,” according to the complaint. However, the complaint doesn’t say precisely what the lab tests discovered in lieu of tuna.

In a statement, Subway said the accusations are “reckless and improper” and that the company intended to “vigorously defend itself.”

“The taste and quality of our tuna make it one of Subway’s most popular products and these baseless accusations threaten to damage our franchisees, small business owners who work tirelessly to uphold the high standards that Subway sets for all of its products, including its tuna,” the company said.

The plaintiffs are represented by Lanier Law Firm of Houston and Shalini Dogra of the Dogra Law Group of Santa Monica. The attorneys did not make their clients available for comment.

According to the suit, the attorneys for Dhanowa and Amin are hoping to get the claim certified as a class action, which would allow other customers who purchased Subway’s tuna sandwiches and wraps after Jan. 21, 2017, in California to join the case.

The company said the lawsuit seems to be “part of a trend in which the named plaintiffs’ attorneys have been targeting the food industry in an effort to make a name for themselves.”

“Subway will vigorously defend itself against these and any other baseless efforts to mischaracterize and tarnish the high-quality products that Subway and its franchisees provide to their customers, in California and around the world, and intends to fight these claims through all available avenues if they are not immediately dismissed,” it said.

Associated Press

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