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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June 20, 2015

CPSC: "Anchor It!" to Prevent Child Injuries Due to Furniture Tip-Over

Almost every American household has a television. Many have more than one. While parents are often concerned about their young children watching too much of it, these sets cause a greater hazard: Tip-Overs. television.jpg

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that just between 2011 and 2013, there were 11,000 children under the age of 18 treated in hospitals for injuries involving televisions or televisions and furniture. In fact, between 2000 and 2013, 430 people - mostly children under 10 - were killed as a result of a falling television and furniture.

When all types of furniture are factored in, there are 38,000 people treated annually in tip-over accidents. Again, most of these are children. To them, the home is a playground. They explore. They climb. But the result can be a serious injury or even fatality.

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June 17, 2015

Rickerson v. Karl - South Carolina Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Technicalities

Before a doctor can prescribe medication, he or she must understand well the patient's condition, as well as know any other medicine the patient may be taking in order to avoid potentially perilous complications or drug interactions. A doctor must also ensure patient is advised of possible risks so he or she is able to make an informed decision.
When a doctor does not abide by this duty to inform the patient of a possible risk, side effect or dangerous drug interaction, it is the doctor who is liable for any injuries or illnesses that result. A doctor may also be liable for prescribing the wrong medication, the wrong dosage or medications that should not be mixed with the patient's existing prescriptions.

In the recent South Carolina Court of Appeals case of Rickerson v.Karl, patient alleged he was severely sickened after a doctor prescribed medication to him that negatively interacted with medication he was already taking and which had been prescribed to him by other physicians.

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June 15, 2015

Ten Injured When AC Unit Falls From Crane in NYC

According to a recent news article from WTSP, an air conditioning unit was being lifted on a crane in New York City when it fell to the ground and injured 10 people. Witnesses say the air conditioning unit was an extremely large commercial size unit that was being lifted by crane to the top of a skyscraper on Madison Avenue.

harbour-crane-1428745-m.jpgThe air conditioning unit was 28 stories above street level when it fell and landed in the middle of crowded Madison Avenue just before 11 a.m. The falling air conditioning unit injured 10 people. Authorities say eight of the ten victims were passengers of passing cars and pedestrians walking on the street below, and the remaining two victims were construction workers involved in the installation of the air conditioner. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio issued a statement following the incident and said nobody was directly struck by the air conditioner itself, as all of the injuries were caused by debris from the unit after it crashed onto the street. He said all injuries were minor, and all victims were taken to local hospitals, where they received treatment.

Police and building inspectors are conducting an investigation into how the air conditioner managed to fall 28 stories to the street below. They believe the crane itself was and still is in good working order and said that is all they could say at this time. From those comments, people are obviously assuming operator error in securing the payload or moving the crane boom may have played a role in this rather unusual accident, but, it should be noted, there has been no finding of liability on anyone's part as of the time this article was released.

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June 12, 2015

Dre Beats Speaker Recalled Due to Burn Hazard

In recent years, wearing large studio style headphones has become extremely popular. One of the main brands people associate with the popular trend is Dre Beats, which were first marketed by hip-hop recording artist and music producer Dr. Dre. Various recording artists, athletes, and Hollywood celebrities are using these headphones, and, as a result, these fairly expensive (around $200 to $400 a pair) headphones have been flying off the shelves of electronic stores, and Apple recently acquired the brand.

stereovision-491558-m.jpgAccording to a recent article from Sound Guys, Apple has announced it will be voluntarily recalling its Dre Beats Pill XL due to problems with "overheating." Overheating is a relative term, since there have been allegations that the units heated up to the point where people were burned, and the products actually caught on fire.

First, it should be noted, the Beats Pill XL is a pill-shaped speaker, and not a pair of headphones like the other Dre Beats products, which people actually wear on their person. While the reports have ranged from minor overheating to physical burns, Apple has stated it does not want to take any chance with regard to customer safety and has voluntarily recalled the entire run of production for this item.

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June 10, 2015

Woman Suffers Life-Threatening Injury at Baseball Game

Going to a baseball game can be a lot of fun for the whole family, especially at one of America's great old ballparks like Fenway Park in Boston, which is home of the Red Sox. However, if you sit close to the field, there is always some risk of being injured. As the warning before every major league game states, you should be careful to look out for objects flying into the stands, which can result in serious injury.

fenway-242077-m.jpgAccording to recent article in USA Today, a woman was sitting behind home plate at Fenway Park with her 8-year-old son watching the Oakland As play the Boston Red Sox, when she was seriously injured by part of a broken bat, which came flying into the crowd.

Victim was seated watching the game while Oakland's third baseman, Brett Lawrie, was up to bat. He swung at the pitch, his bat shattered upon making contact with the ball, and part of the bat flew into the stands. The blunt end of the broken bat barrel hit victim on her forehead. She suffered what first responders, who were already on hand at the park, stated was life-threatening blunt force injury. She was bleeding profusely from her head, while EMT's worked to control the bleeding. Once she was stable enough for transport, she was taken by ambulance to nearby Beth Israel Deaconess hospital to undergo emergency surgery.

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