City Attorney Dennis Herrera has sued a local construction contractor for an array of unlawful business practices that includes obtaining permits for work illegally performed by unlicensed contractors, and for exposing residents and workers to asbestos and lead. The 66-page pleading filed in San Francisco Superior Court details a years-long pattern in which Henry Karnilowicz defied multiple cleanup and abatement orders from San Francisco's Department of Public Health, and routinely flouted state and local laws by holding himself out to be a "permit expediter" who is blameless for the illegal work performed under his permits that endangered public health and safety.
Said Herrera: "The permits at issue in this case involve work to fix violations of housing, health and safety codes. Yet despite being the permit-holder and contractor of record for these projects, Mr. Karnilowicz flouted the law by allowing his unlicensed agents to perform the work without supervision in a way that actually exacerbated -- rather than solved -- serious health and safety issues. Beyond the housing violations, of course, are the grave occupational dangers to which these workers were subjected, possibly without even being aware of them. The law is clear that Mr. Karnilowicz's business practices were illegal, and there is no exception in the law for 'permit expediters.' I hope today's action puts an end to these egregious practices, and that it also sends a strong message to those who would consider similar wrongdoing that San Francisco takes housing, health and safety codes seriously, and that we'll enforce the law aggressively."
City Attorney Herrera won a key legal victory in January when a San Francisco Superior Court granted his motion for preliminary injunction against the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, or ACCJC. Under terms of the ruling, the ACCJC is barred from finalizing its planned termination of City College of San Francisco's accreditation as it had planned to do on July 31. Still, Herrera's litigation -- which alleges that the private accrediting body has allowed political bias, improper procedures, and conflicts of interest to unlawfully influence its evaluation of the state's largest community college -- continues.
After a thirteen year battle that broke new legal ground and consumed years of work by public and private attorneys, the City and County of San Francisco along with Santa Clara County, Los Angeles County and seven other California cities and counties won a $1.1 billion judgment from the Honorable Judge James P. Kleinberg of Santa Clara Superior Court, who ruled that three manufacturers of lead-based paints are jointly liable for the cost of removing their products from homes around the state.
City Attorney Herrera has filed a class action against the State of Nevada for its controversial "patient dumping" practices -- busing hundreds of indigent people who suffer from mental health afflictions to out-of-state locations, including San Francisco, "with inadequate provisions of food and medication, and without prior arrangements for their care, housing or medical treatment upon arrival." The lawsuit is on behalf of all California localities affected by the practice.
San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera is engaged in litigation against Monster Beverage Corporation for violating California law with its marketing of highly-caffeinated energy drinks to children as young as six-years-old, despite scientific findings that such products may cause "significant morbidity in adolescents" from elevated blood pressure, brain seizures, and severe cardiac events.
City Attorney Dennis Herrera has filed suit against three gun accessories companies and a gun show promoter for selling disassembled high-capacity magazines in California in violation of a state law that prohibits the sale, manufacture, or import of gun ammunition feeding devices that accept more than 10 rounds. The equipment is marketed as gun magazine "repair kits" in a barely-disguised attempt to skirt a 14-year-old California gun safety law, according to Herrera's complaint.