April 15, 2014

Baby Carriers Must Meet Tougher CPSC Standards


In an effort to prevent injurious and fatal falls involving babies, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has made mandatory a previously voluntary set of standards for soft infant safety carriers. mommaandbaby.jpg

These soft carriers typically have waist and shoulder straps, and are worn as a type of sling in which the caregiver carries the child in an upright position in the front.

Between 2007 and mid-2013, the CPSC reported a total of 43 deaths and 66,000 hospital emergency room treated injuries related to these handheld carriers. Just from Sept. 2012 through July 2013, the CPSC received 31 incident reports related to soft baby carriers, with two of those resulting in fatalities and 24 injuries - including three head injuries that occurred when the baby fell from the carrier.

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April 9, 2014

Hoover v. New Holland N. Am., Inc. - Post-Sale Modification Defense Not Absolute


Anytime a product causes harm to someone through its use, questions arise as to whether there was an inherent flaw or manufacturing defect in the design that is to blame.
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OurCharlotte product liability lawyers know a common defense in these cases is that of post-sale modification. That is, the defendants allege product was somehow altered in a way that was not intended by the manufacturer. Therefore, the product may have been unsafe, but the maker is absolved of liability.

But as the New York Court of Appeals ruled recently in Hoover v. New Holland N. Am., Inc., this defense is not absolute. Manufacturers do have a responsibility to anticipate potential modifications and misuse, and guard against those when they may pose a danger.

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April 7, 2014

Bioderm Skin Care, LLC v. Sok - Beauty Industry Negligence


Taking care of one's appearance is important, and patrons of beauty salons have every right to expect that licensed businesses and employees will be professional and competent.
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When they're not, hopefully the worst that happens is you suffer a bad hair cut for a few weeks and find yourself another stylist. Unfortunately, our beauty salon injury lawyers know that sometimes, patrons can be seriously hurt. It's easy to overlook the fact that these workers are handling potentially dangerous chemicals, sharp objects and heat. Severe burns, lacerations and other injuries have been reported in some cases where workers were careless or not properly trained.

Further complicating these cases is that a growing number of "salons" are either headed or overseen by doctors (or should be). Examples would obviously include any procedure that involves cosmetic surgery, but it could also encompass "medi-spa" offerings such as laser hair removal, Botox procedures, tattoo removal, skin resurfacing and certain weight loss programs. This raises legitimate questions about whether these matters of personal injury or medical malpractice. The answer is important in terms of statutory time limitations, as well as the requirements necessary to file the case.

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April 7, 2014

Colleges Can be Liable for Student Assault, Harassment


When a college student is victimized by a fellow student, our Asheville personal injury lawyers believe it's important to analyze whether the school's response was appropriate, and whether the institution failed in its duty to take preventative measures.
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Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal civil rights law that bars discrimination on the basis of sex in any education program or activity in schools that receive money from the federal government. Statutorily, sex discrimination can include sexual harassment, rape and sexual assault. When a school knows about and ignores sexual harassment or assault in its programs, it can be held responsible and compelled to pay damages to the victim.

The legal standard used to prove this is called "deliberate indifference." However, this can be a high standard of proof, as the language is broad in a way that can shield schools from culpability. This was illustrated recently in the case of Roe v. St. Louis University, et al., reviewed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. We share this not to discourage victims, but to stress the importance of seeking counsel from a firm with a high degree of experience.

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April 4, 2014

Third Party Liability Stemming From Criminal Attack


In the criminal courts, prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty. barstool.jpg

In civil court, plaintiff attorneys need not show the defendant meted out even a single blow. In third-party liability cases, a defendant could be held liable for the criminal actions of another person if the plaintiff can show that he or she was made vulnerable to the crime by the defendant's breach of duty.

Our Spartanburg personal injury lawyers know this comes up a lot in cases of negligent security, where a landlord or some establishment fails to ensure the property is appropriately secured from intruders or aggressive individuals.

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April 2, 2014

Rock Hill Nursing Home Abuse Allegations Investigated


Authorities are investigating a claim of nursing home abuse in Rock Hill after a 91-year-old resident alleged her caregiver grabbed her so hard that it caused a wound requiring stitches.
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The alleged victim revealed to her son that she was frightened of the caretaker, and had for months been subjected to both verbal and physical abuse. The son responded by placing an audio recorder in the room over the weekend. One night, the caretaker in question entered her room and yelled at the frail woman to get up. When she was responded too slowly, the caretaker reportedly yanked her arm so hard to pull her up that she tore the skin.

While officials at the facility in question wouldn't respond to media inquiries, citing the ongoing criminal investigation, they did report that the staffer at the center of the investigation is no longer working there. Officials with the State Department of Health and Environmental Control have also launched an investigation.

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March 31, 2014

Buechel v. United States - Prison Negligence Results in Lawsuit


Plaintiffs who have served time in prison aren't always the most sympathetic in a personal injury lawsuit. prison.jpg

However, prison administrators have a responsibility to ensure that those in their care are afforded basic protections with regard to their health and safety. Just because a person was sentenced to serve time does not mean they deserve to suffer ill treatment or conditions leading to illness.

This is what was alleged in the recent injury case of Buechel v. United States, which was reviewed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

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March 28, 2014

Tougher DUI Laws in South Carolina Closer to Passage


South Carolina has one of the highest rates of DUI deaths in the nation. In 2012, the last year for which figures are available, nearly 360 people were killed in South Carolina by drunk drivers. carcrash.jpg

To put that into perspective, there were 239 people aboard the missing Malaysian jet flight that has received so much attention of late. Meanwhile, a single alcohol-related fatality in South Carolina can cost upwards of $4.9 million.

Our personal injury attorneys in Anderson recognize it is in the spirit of reversing this trend that South Carolina lawmakers are pressing a measure called "Emma's Law," (S. 137) named after 6-year-old from Lexington County who was killed by a repeat OUI offender in January 2012. The intoxicated driver is now serving a nine-year prison sentence.

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March 26, 2014

Non-Economic Damage Cap Deemed Unconstitutional by Another State Supreme Court


Florida has recently joined seven other states in finding that non-economic damage caps in medical malpractice cases are unconstitutional. The case, Estate of McCall v. United States,, stemmed from the death of a young woman who died shortly after childbirth.
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The finding is important because, while North Carolina has had non-economic damage caps in place since 2001, there has yet to be a constitutional challenge on the issue here. The more states follow this precedent, the more likely we are to see a similar outcome.

Charlotte personal injury lawyers know that part of the reason we have non-economic damage caps stems from a major push by health care lobbyists in the late 1990s and early 2000s for tort reform. Doctors would be driven from states in droves, they said, unless legislators could enact reforms to bring the cost of medical malpractice insurance down. One of the best ways to do this, they asserted, was to cap the amount of damages plaintiffs could collect for serious injuries or wrongful death.

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March 24, 2014

Traumatic Brain Injury Lawsuit Moves Forward


An emergency room doctor whose allegedly negligent care resulted in a patient sustaining a traumatic brain injury will not be allowed to claim immunity under his state's Good Samaritan Act, as he had tried to do when first confronted with the lawsuit.
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Spartanburg injury lawyers know that medical malpractice defendants tend to have more resources than most to fight claims, and will mount a vigorous defense whenever possible. This doctor had attempted to assert that he was acting as a "volunteer" when responding to a Code Blue in an emergency room - despite the fact that he worked at the hospital, was compensated for his time there and was required by way of his contract to respond to Code Blue emergencies.

The trial court had initially granted the doctor summary judgment, but that was later reversed upon appeal and the Illinois Supreme Court upheld the second decision.

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March 22, 2014

Timely Filing of Carolina Wrongful Death Lawsuits


Generally in North Carolina, filing an Asheville wrongful death lawsuit must occur within two years of the date of death. This is called the statute of limitations, and the courts require strict adherence to time limits. A case could be tossed for filing even one day too late.
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There are, however, exceptions. There are a few instances under which the length of time could be tolled (paused and thus lengthened). Then there are some circumstances wherein the date of injury occurs much earlier than the date of death, and here, the clock on that statute of limitations may start ticking at the time of injury.

This is why it's so imperative to meet as soon as possible with an attorney if you are contemplating filing a case. Wrongful death lawsuits are complex, and even before your attorney can file, he or she will likely want to:


  • Research the case;

  • Gather all necessary documents and records;

  • Evaluate the potential strengths and weaknesses of the case;

  • Determine specifically what legal claims of negligence can and should be made;

  • Identify all parties to be sued;

  • Select the proper court in which to file.

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March 17, 2014

Amputation Work Injury Highlights Risk of Ignoring "Minor" Incidents


A PBS science correspondent recently recounted a medical emergency which led to the amputation of his arm

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Our Greenville personal injury attorneys know that even a seemingly small injury can have severe medical implications.

While the PBS correspondent was on an assignment in Asia he suffered an injury to his arm.

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March 12, 2014

Reducing Medication Errors in Nursing Homes


There are many situations, which lead tomedication errors in nursing homes. If for example, a newly admitted resident arrives at a nursing home from a hospital, it is possible that the doctor who released the patient is not familiar with all the medications the patient has been prescribed.

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According to the American Medical Directors' Association, the "vast majority" of medication errors at nursing homes involve one of the following:

--Lack of assessment;
--Lack of monitoring for efficacy;
--Lack of reassessment for continuous need;
--Lack of monitoring for adverse drug reactions;
--Lack of recognition of adverse drug reactions;
--Attribution of adverse drug reactions to other causes.

OurSpartanburg personal injury attorneys are fully aware that the more medications a patient is taking the great the chance that a mistake will be made. Often individuals in the care of nursing homes are taking a great deal of medication the risk for caregiver missteps is great.


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March 11, 2014

Prescription Drugs: Overdose and Malpractice Risks on the Rise


If proscribed and used responsibly, prescription medication is a way to assist patients in living healthier lives but when prescription drugs are abused the consequences can be very serious, leading to overdoses and major accidents that can cause death, including car accidents.

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Our Spartanburg personal injury attorneys caution patients to monitor the medicines they prescribe themselves. As well as those prescribed by a health care provider. Unfortunately, doctors and hospitals cannot always be relied on to manage multiple medicines a patient may be ingesting, even if this is their job.

Studies show that since 1999 the number of deaths attributed to prescription painkillers has increased by over 300%. It is estimated that 45 U.S. residents perish every day due to unintentional overdoses on pain relieves acquired through a prescription. In addition to the problems with patients taking pills as they are intended, nearly 1 in 20 United States citizens over the age of 12 admits to ingesting prescription painkillers for recreational purposes.

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March 9, 2014

Carolina Medical Malpractice Cases Must be Properly Filed


No matter how strong your medical malpractice lawsuit is, it won't get very far if you don't file it properly. gavel51.jpg

This means not only filing it within the statute of limitations, but providing timely and proper notice to any and all defendants and providing proper statements of sustained injuries and monetary damages.Failure to do this could result in a lawsuit dismissal, which means you will either have to start all over again, or worse, you could lose your chance to obtain compensation altogether.

This became obvious in Sleeth v. Sedan City Hosp., reviewed recently by the Kansas Supreme Court. At issue here was whether one or more letters to hospital administrators and an insurance carrier representative amounted to substantial compliance with state statutes that require certain forms of notice prior to filing a civil lawsuit for medical malpractice.

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