July 28, 2015

Jamison v. Hilton - Medical Malpractice Verdict in Baby Death Affirmed

The South Carolina Supreme Court recently affirmed a trial court jury verdict favoring a mother whose son died prior to birth at 32 weeks gestation. She alleged medical malpractice by her gynecologist, whom she said failed to take action in the weeks prior to that, when the child's growth, fetal heartbeat and movements were abnormal and slow for a fetus of his size and age.
In the case of Jamison v. Hilton, the state supreme court refused a request by defendants to reverse a trial court order denying summary judgment and denying a request to issue a judgment notwithstanding verdict.

According to court records, plaintiff was already considered to have a high-risk pregnancy at the outset, as she suffered from chronic hypertension.

Defendant practice assumed prenatal care of plaintiff about halfway through her pregnancy, sometime in July 2008.

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July 26, 2015

Eshelman v. Key - Dog Bite Injury Against Child by Police Dog

It's rare in many states that a severe dog bite injury on a child - especially if the attack was unprovoked - would not be compensable.
North Carolina's dog bite laws are spread out over several different statutes.This state does recognize strict liability if:

  • The bite occurred while the dog's owner intentionally allowed it to violate the state prohibition against running at-large (assuming dog is at least 6-months-old);

  • Dog was kept for purposes of dog fighting;

  • Dog was previously declared a "potentially dangerous dog" due to previous conduct

  • Dog without provocation killed or inflicted serious injury on a human

But even under these circumstances, there may be complexities in the case that are not immediately apparent.

That's why it's imperative to consult with an experienced Asheville injury lawyer who can review the circumstances, explain your rights and formulate an effective strategy for pursuing compensation.

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July 23, 2015

Child Deaths Prompt Recall of 27 Million Chests and Dressers

A furniture company is recalling 27 million dressers and chests because they have the potential to tip over and crush children if they are not anchored to the wall, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has just announced.
Last year, two children were killed after chests made by Ikea fell onto and crushed them, the furniture maker said. Additionally, there are at least three other child deaths dating back to 1989 that involve other models of furniture. The particular model involved in the two most recent incidents were Ikea's Malm chests. These models were also involved in tip-over accidents that led to four child injuries. There were a total of 14 tipping incidents reported to the company by consumers using this product.

The recall notice indicates that rather than returning the furniture to stores, customers can either pick up or order a free wall anchor kit that can be affixed to the affected items. In the meantime, the unanchored furniture items should be removed out of areas where children may encounter them.

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July 20, 2015

Navarrette v. Meyer - Interfering With Driver May Be Liability Grounds

In many personal injury cases, there is the potential for action against numerous defendants. speedometer1.jpg

Car accident cases are no different, and it's important for an experienced injury lawyer to carefully examine the facts and evidence in your case to identify all potential defendants.

In the case of Navarrette v. Meyer, plaintiffs sued not only the driver of the vehicle, but also the passenger of the vehicle, who had encouraged the driver to speed down a dark, hilly road with the intention of "getting air."

Instead, what happened was the driver lost control of the vehicle at 70 miles-per-hour and slammed into a father loading his young child into a car seat. The father was killed instantly.

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July 17, 2015

Suarez v. City of Texas City - Liability for Drowning Deaths at Public Beach

All land owners - whether public or private - owe some duty of care to those who enter. The degree of that duty depends not only on the type of establishment, but also the nature of the visit.beach1.jpg

For example, business owners owe the highest duty of care to members of the public who enter to patronize that establishment. However, if a trespasser enters a private property unlawfully, private property owners owe a minimal duty of care not to intentionally inflict harm or avoid gross negligence where they know those trespassers may be on site. (The rules are slightly different when there is an attractive nuisance - such as swimming pool or abandoned appliances - and the trespassers are children.)

Owners of public property also owe a duty of care to those who enter. However, most states - including South Carolina - have a "recreational use statute." These measures are intended to encourage land owners to make property available for public recreational use by limiting liability should something happen on that property.

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July 15, 2015

Williams v. City of Omaha - Police Liability for Crash After Chase

Police chases may be exciting to watch on reality television, but for the innocent motorists and bystanders caught in the midst of one, the reality can turn tragic.
In these cases, where innocent people are injured as a result, those injured or survivors of those killed may be able to recover damages from the city/police agency involved - but it's not easy. In North Carolina, it's necessary to prove police officer(s) acted with gross negligence in their pursuit of a criminal. N.C. Gen. Stat. 20-145 states regular speed limits don't apply to police in pursuit of suspected criminals, and authorities are often given great latitude of discretion in determining what is reasonable.

However, an officer who acts with "reckless disregard for the safety others" may be found to have committed gross negligence, and thus may be liable.

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July 12, 2015

Theme Park Fights $35M Premises Liability Verdict on Criminal Attack

A Georgia theme park is asking for an appellate court to toss a $35 million premises liability verdict won by a man who was savagely beaten by gang members at a bus stop outside the entrance of the park. themepark.jpg

Lawyers for the park say the verdict is in contrast with basic principles of premises liability law because it stemmed from a crime that occurred off park property and was not foreseeable.

Plaintiff attorneys, meanwhile, argued the area was high-crime, similar incidents previously happened in and around the park and park officials failed to appropriately address that danger. They assert - and trial jury had agreed - the park was responsible to keep its property and the roadway leading up to it safe.

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July 10, 2015

Chavez v. 24 Hour Fitness USA - Gross Negligence Standard

A woman who suffered a traumatic brain injury when she was hit by a piece of work-out equipment at her local gym has been granted the go-ahead to proceed to trial with her case.gym1.jpg

An appellate court in California ruled in Chavez v. 24 Hour Fitness USA that plaintiff had the met the minimum standard of proof for gross negligence necessary to overcome summary judgment favoring the defense in a case where plaintiff had previously signed a waiver of liability.

That waiver of liability indicated plaintiff agreed to hold the gym harmless for any injury she may suffer as a result of gym employees' negligence. Gym argued this was an absolute defense. However, if plaintiff could show gym acted with gross negligence (as opposed to ordinary negligence), she could overcome this assertion and proceed to trial.

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July 6, 2015

Sanon v. City of Pella - Pool Drowning Lawsuit Weighed

Summer draws many families poolside for a chance to cool off. But without proper supervision or adequate protections, these visits may turn tragic.
The South Carolina Department of Health reports between 2006 and 2010, accidental drowning was the No. 3 cause of death to children between the ages of 1 and 14, behind motor vehicle accidents and suffocation. It was the No. 1 cause of injury-related death among 1-to-4-year-olds. Nearly 80 percent of these child deaths occurred a private residence.

Between 2000 and 2010, a total of 223 children died of drowning in South Carolina. This is why it's recommended pool owners have fences, gates, covers and other safety devices around the pools, and also that a caregivers closely supervise children around the water.

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July 4, 2015

Sarkisian v. Concept Restaurants, Inc. - Slip-and-Fall at Nightclub

Asheville's nightlife is vibrant and thriving, with a range of wine bars to brewpubs to sidewalk cafes and coffee shops.There are also numerous live music venues, jazz bars and even a few nightclubs.
It's expected at these events that drinks - alcoholic or otherwise - will be served, creating the potential for spills. Business and property owners owe their guests a duty of care to make sure the premises is reasonably safe. That means spills - which could result in injurious falls - need to be monitored and promptly cleaned. If for some reason that isn't possible, workers should post a "Wet Floor" sign, warning patrons of the danger.

When this does not happen, the property owner may be held responsible to cover all related medical bills, lost wages and damages for pain and suffering in what's called a premises liability lawsuit.

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July 2, 2015

George v. Cooper - Liability Admission Only Partial Victory

If a defendant in a personal injury case admits liability, one might think that would be the end of the case, with victory handed to plaintiff.
But that's only really part of the story. In fact, a defendant may admit liability and the case could still very well go to trial. The reason is because proving fault is only half of what must be proven in an ordinary negligence case. By no means is it an indication that you will receive any compensation.

That's because there are four elements in most injury cases that must proven. Those elements are:

  • Duty

  • Breach

  • Causation

  • Damages

A defendant who concedes liability is admitting he owed plaintiff a duty of care and breached that duty. But he is not conceding that his actions caused plaintiff's asserted injuries or that those injuries resulted in damages.

The element of causation can refer to either the cause of the accident or the cause of the injury. if a defendant admits liability for the accident, he is only admitting he caused the accident. He is not, however, admitting the accident caused your injuries.

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June 30, 2015

Eight Cases of E. Coli at South Carolina Daycare Center Confirmed

There is no question that when we drop our children off at daycare each morning, we are putting a lot of trust in the daycare operator to do everything possible to prevent any injuries. Injuries at daycare facilities can happen in a variety of ways. Some cases involve a child not being properly supervised while eating or drinking, and the child chokes on the food. Other cases involving inattentive daycare staff allowing children to bite or otherwise assault each other. There are also many cases involving foodborne illness.

escherichia-coli-1018465-m.jpgAccording to a recent report from WBTW News 13, officials with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Controls (DHEC) has just confirmed an eighth case of E. coli, which has been traced to a now-closed daycare in Greenwood. While there are more cases possible, there has been one confirmed death of a child as result of an E. coli infection from the suspect daycare facility.

One of the owners of the daycare facility made a public statement, saying they volunteered to close the business as soon as the source of the outbreak was confirmed, and they have been working hard to clean and sterilize the building. DHEC officials say they have not identified how the E. coli strain became introduced to this particular daycare, but they are aware that four of the eight cases involved the same exact strain of E. coli bacteria. Some of the E. coli victims worked at the daycare facility, and the remaining victims were children enrolled at the center.

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June 27, 2015

Amusement Park Safety in the Carolinas

This summer, families across the country will look forward to spending their days at local amusement parks. These places can be a lot of fun and there is often a lot more to do that just go on thrill rides. There are variety of family-friendly shows, water attractions and even nightclubs for the parents.

jubilee-coaster-764424-m.jpgMany will travel to big amusement parks outside of North and South Carolina, like Disney and Busch Gardens, but many will go to large parks in the Carolinas, like Carowinds in the Charlotte area.

While roller coasters aren't the only source of entertainment, they are still a reason many people come to these theme parks each year. Amusement park operators are aware of this and are constantly competing with each other to attract more tourists by boasting the newest, biggest, and scariest roller coasters. However, according to a recent news article from Market Watch, some of these news rides can pose a serious safety risk to riders.

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June 25, 2015

Tainted Ice Cream Isn't the Only Source of Listeria

Over the past two months, the news media has focused quite a bit on food safety and food product recalls in relation to the recent problems Blue Bell Creamery faced when most of their ice cream product line contained a significant risk of listeria contamination. In that case, it was originally believed to be a single ice cream scooping machine used only for novelty products that was responsible for the contamination. However, later safety testing revealed widespread listeria contamination in multiple production centers, and the recall was expanded from only novelty products to virtually all ice cream.

ice-cream-dipper-584463-m.jpgBut ice cream is not the only product that can pose a serious risk for listeria, and, according to a recent news feature from Consumer Reports, there are steps many in the foodservice industry can do to prevent food poisoning. It should be noted, ice cream products pose an added safety risk because of the longer periods of times a container of ice cream can sit in a consumer's freezer. This makes recalls much more difficult to organize.

Listeria monocytogenes (listeria) is a strain of bacteria naturally found in water, soil and decaying vegetation. It is found in many animals, and these animals essentially serve as carriers for the bacteria and often have no symptoms of any listeria-related illness. When those animals are killed for their meat or processed for the production of dairy products, anyone eating the meat or dairy can become infected with the disease.

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June 23, 2015

Xarelto Lawsuit Alleges Failure to Disclose Bleeding Risks

Lawsuits against a blood-thinning drug manufacturer are piling up fast. One of the latest to join a multi-district litigation in the Eastern District of Louisiana involving so far 250 complaints pertaining to the drug Xarelto is one that alleges a host of negligence claims in her 90-count complaint. stethascope3.jpg

Among the defendants are Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research, Janssen Ortho LLC, Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals and others.

The complaint alleges defendants manufactured Xarelto and marketed it as a safe and effective treatment in diminishing the risk of stroke and systemic embolism. However, plaintiff asserts the manufacturers became aware during drug trials that the drug increased the risk of dangerous internal bleeding. Defendants touted the benefits of the drug as outlined in a series of other studies, while failing to similarly highlight the dangers discovered in other studies - specifically the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and and bleeding so severe it required blood transfusions.

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