The family of a woman who died just hours after being admitted to a nursing home prevailed in a recent wrongful death lawsuit appeal to the South Carolina Court of Appeals. The court ruled the nursing home could the arbitration agreement signed by the decedent’s son upon her admission was not binding. hospitalbed

Therefore, plaintiffs in Thompson v. Pruitt Corp. will be allowed to proceed with their claim through the courts.

It’s become common knowledge that nursing home arbitration agreements strip away the basic rights of those who have suffered as a result of nursing home neglect and nursing home abuse. They force plaintiffs to resolve disputes in front of an arbitrator, as opposed to a judge or jury. The proceedings and the outcome are confidential. The awards are often much less favorable to the victims. In general, defendants have the upper hand in such matters.  Continue reading

Defective and dangerous products cause thousands of injuries in the U.S. annually. Product liability laws define the parameters concerning who may be held responsible when a dangerous or defective product causes injury to a person. ammo

Parties that may be held potentially liable include product designers, manufacturers and distributors – anyone in the chain of distribution.

But what if one of these responsible entities is based outside the U.S.? After all, a great many of the products we use are produced outside our borders.  Continue reading

Medical malpractice lawsuits in North Carolina are among the most demanding, complex and difficult cases to pursue. There are numerous requirements that general personal injury claimants don’t have to meet. If your attorney isn’t meticulous in every phase of the process, you may run afoul of the procedural mandates and lose your case.gavel21

That said, a court cannot require a plaintiff to adhere to specified standards that the court itself hasn’t explicitly stipulated. That was the ruling handed down by the Idaho Supreme Court in the medical malpractice lawsuit of Lepper v. Eastern Idaho.

According to court records, the lower court granted a summary judgment to the defense after finding that the plaintiffs failed to disclose, along with its expert witness opinions, certain foundational facts as required by statute. Continue reading

Exclusive remedy provisions of North Carolina’s workers’ compensation law prevent injured workers or their families from pursuing litigation against employers for almost all work site accidents. However, third-party liability litigation may be appropriate if another person or entity was at least partially responsible for what happened. sad

This was the allegation in the case of Fleming v. Sanders Lead Co., an appeal before the Alabama Supreme Court.

Tragically, one worker was killed and another severely and permanently brain-damaged when a tanker trailer on the back of a semi-truck backed over them while they were at work. The families of the workers filed lawsuits – one for wrongful death and another for personal injury – on their behalf, alleging that a lead company across the street undertook safety inspections at the work site, and failed in this duty to adequately carry them out.  Continue reading

An Asheville-area man who alleges his leukemia was the result of consumption of toxic solvents dumped into a local stream by a manufacturing plant will have another chance to litigate his claim.sadness2

In Stahl v. CTS Corp., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reversed an earlier grant of summary judgment in favor of defense after concluding precedent set by the North Carolina Supreme Court would allow a claim for latent disease to proceed.

Central to the case is the so-called “discovery rule,” which under  North Carolina General Statutes Section 1-52(16) holds that personal injury actions – for which there is a three-year statute of limitation – do not accrue until bodily harm to plaintiff becomes apparent or reasonably ought to have become apparent to the affected person. Statute further states no cause of action shall accrue more than 10 years after the last negligent act or omission alleged.  Continue reading

Long-term nursing facilities, assisted living facilities and nursing homes are entrusted to provide care for the basic needs of their wards. When they fail, they can be held accountable. nursinghome

It is important in these situations to choose an experienced law firm. One of the key reasons for this has to do with the fact that very early on, your legal team will need to correctly ascertain whether this is a claim of ordinary negligence or medical malpractice.

If it is a case of medical malpractice – one in which health care providers are alleged to have deviated from the accepted standard of care – the proof burden will be higher. You will need to present expert witness testimony just to get your foot in the door at trial – something that isn’t needed in an ordinary negligence lawsuit.  Continue reading

When a 100-year-old woman was murdered by her 97-year-old roommate in a Massachusetts nursing home seven years ago, some might have thought it simply an unforeseeable tragedy. After all the perpetrator was suffering from dementia, and aside from a few minor spates, the women appeared to get along fairly well. oldwomanwheelchair

However, the victim’s son, who is seeking accountability from the nursing home, alleges the incident was foreseeable and the center had a duty to protect his mother from her attacker, someone who was identified as a known threat to herself and others.

But legally, plaintiff has been caught up in a legal snag in trying to obtain recompense from the facility.  Continue reading

Parking lot accidents are unfortunately quite common, including those that involve pedestrians. An estimated 1 in 5 motor vehicle accidents take place in a parking lot, according to AAA research.parkinglot

Much of this has to do with a false sense of security. Both pedestrians and drivers anticipate that traffic is going to move more slowly in a parking lot, and therefore, they don’t take as many safety precautions. They don’t pay careful attention.

The AAA study pointed to poor lighting and blind spots as two main contributing factors to parking lot crashes. Some southern cities have reported a rise in parking lot accidents in recent years. Officials have cited cars moving too fast and people walking alongside moving cars. Plus, because law enforcement officers don’t routinely patrol parking lots, drivers take advantage of that freedom to take shortcuts or speed.  Continue reading

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit recently affirmed a $3.3 million wrongful death verdict against trucking company giant J.B. Hunt Transport. forklift1

Plaintiffs alleged the firm was liable after a worker helping to unload a truck load of baby chicks died from complications of an injury he suffered when a trucker operating a forklift ran over the worker’s ankle.

The trucking company argued it was prevented from making its entire case because the driver refused to testify in court, despite being issued a subpoena. However, the 10th Circuit panel ruled that trial judges have much discernment in how they run their trials, and that extended in this case to the judge’s decision not to send a U.S. marshal to force the trucker to testify.  Continue reading

When we think of potentially injurious products, chairs aren’t often first on the list. rockingchair

But in the last three months, there have been a series of chair recalls of various types of seats with the potential to put users at risk of a fall.

Although one might think a fall from a chair isn’t a serious matter, it’s important to note the way a person falls can be as important as how far they are falling.

So for example, someone falling 12 feet off a ladder may break an arm, if they extend the arm to cushion the fall. However, a person falling backward on a chair and smacking their head on concrete may suffer a skull fracture or traumatic brain injury – even if the fall height was only a few feet.  Continue reading

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