May 12, 2015

Mother Blames Daycare for Child's Injuries

In recent months, we have been hearing more and more about daycare injuries. While some daycare operators and insurance companies like to believe this is just the latest fad in personal injury litigation, this is far from truth. The reason for an increase in personal injury lawsuits involving daycare accidents is not because there are more cases, but because the media is finally starting to give this serious and often preventable issue the attention it deserves.

childgroup.jpgOne of these tragic injury accounts can be seen in a recent article for the WV Record. Here, a mother is alleging her child's serious injuries were a direct result of her daughter's daycare center's negligent conduct. According to reports, plaintiff alleged in July of 2013, daycare employees did not supervise plaintiff's 13-month-old daughter when she tried to crawl out of her bed and, in the process, fell to the floor, sustaining an injury. Plaintiff further alleged daycare operator called her and told her that her child had fallen. Mother decided to leave work early and was on her way to the daycare center to pick up her daughter when daycare center allegedly called her back and told her not to worry, as her child was fine and child did not need any medical attention.

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May 9, 2015

IKEA Recalls More Potentially Dangerous Mattresses

Every parent knows there is nothing more worrisome than the first few nights you leave your newborn in his or her crib alone during the night while you sleep. With all the warnings about sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), or crib death, as it is sometimes called, and the news about defective cribs and baby products in general, the fear is understandable and precautions are warranted.

empty-crib-824136-m.jpgAccording to a recent article from WRAL, IKEA has recently expanded a recall of crib mattresses sold in its stores and online to parents across the county.

The first recall was made after two reports that babies became trapped between the mattresses and the ends of the cribs. It should be noted, there were no injuries in connection with these two reports. However, since there is an obvious danger to an infant being trapped by his or her mattress, the Consumer Products Safety Commission coordinated the recall with Ikea, and this involved recalling around 169,000 units from stores and homes around the nation.

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May 7, 2015

Boating Safety and Personal Injury

With summer approaching and the days getting longer, many throughout the Carolinas will be hitting the water as soon as the weekend arrives. Depending on where you live, this may mean taking a johnboat out on a local lake to fish for bass, using a Jet Ski or Wave Runner, or even heading far out into the ocean in a 40-foot cabin cruiser for some deep-sea fishing.

1343298_boat_water_trail.jpgWhile boating can be a lot of fun, it can also be dangerous, especially when proper safety precautions are not observed. According to a recent article for The Seattle Times, May is the most dangerous month for boaters. Part of the increase is due to the high numbers of boaters on the water. With that excitement to hit the water, there are often shortcuts taken with safety measures, which can result in serious personal injury or death.

This increase includes recreational boaters, as well as those using human-powered watercraft such as kayaks, as well as commercial fisherman, such as the shrimpers who take to the waters off the Carolinas when the weather gets warm, and crab boat fisherman who work to provide residents and others around the country with native blue claw crabs. While many do not know this fact, with the problems in the Chesapeake Bay, many of the crabs devoured in Maryland's famous crab houses were shipped up from North Carolina and South Carolina.

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May 3, 2015

Man Killed in North Carolina Boating Accident

According to a recent report from WNCN, a man was killed in a boating accident in Lake Norman, North Carolina. Officials investigating the accident say victim was on his own boat, along with two passengers, during the fatal boating accident.

boating.jpgThe accident occurred around two in the morning, when the man was navigating the boat through a cove and accidentally crashed into a dock. Wildlife officers believe he was operating the boat at high speed, despite his close proximity to the dock. After hitting the dock, officers believe he was thrown from the boat into the water. It appears he was not aware of the dock, because it was dark, and he believed he was in a different position than his actual location at the time of the accident.

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May 1, 2015

Two Injured When Amtrak Train Hits Car in North Carolina

In recent months, we have seen several incidents of passenger trains hitting cars and trucks, resulting in serious personal injury and death to people in the cars and people on the trains in the case of a derailment. Although, it should be noted, in one of these recent train accidents, authorities alleged people in the car intentionally parked it on the tracks in attempt to cause an accident for which they later planned on filing an insurance claim.

railway-crossing-1444336-m.jpgAccording to a recent news article from The Washington Times, two people were taken to the hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries after an Amtrak train collided into the car in which they were riding.

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April 28, 2015

Cumberland County Dog Bite Law Gets Approval

In North Carolina, dog bite injuries occur much more frequently than one might expect. One of the main reasons for dog or other animal bite cases is due to owners' negligence in keeping others safe from dangerous animals.

dog-eat-dog-22-1271302-m.jpgAccording to a recent news article from the Fayetteville Observer, Cumberland County commissioners gave preliminary approval to a new civil ordinance, which will require owners of a dog that bites someone severe enough to require medical attention to pay a fine of $500. This law passed six to one.

The sole county commissioner who voted in opposition to the new dog bite ordinance said he was concerned with one provision of the new law, which gives the director of Cumberland County Animal Control authority to revoke a dog owner's permit to own a dog immediately, as opposed to suspending the permit pending a hearing to be held within 30 days of an alleged violation. While dog owners accused of a violation will still be given an opportunity to appeal the revocation, he fears this still constitutes a due process violation.

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April 26, 2015

Man Drowns in Lake Marion

Despite snowfall at a Detroit Tigers game this week, we are entering a time of year when the weather gets warmer and days get longer, especially in South Carolina. As the weather turns hot, more and more people will be hitting the beach and swimming in local lakes and neighborhood swimming pools. While this can be a lot of fun for the whole family, swimming can result in tragic drowning, and it is important to familiarize yourself with drowning risks and what to do in case of an emergency.

1285110_fishing_boat.jpgAccording to a recent article from The Island Packet, a man drowned in Lake Marion. South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (DNR) authorities are investigating the recent fatal drowning accident, which occurred in Santee State Park.

Authorities say the 62-year-old victim was in the process of launching his boat when he tried to jump from the dock to his boat, and he fell into the lake. His wife was already in the boat and tried to throw out some tie down lines, but her husband could not manage to grab them in time and drowned.

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April 25, 2015

Blue Bell Creamery Recalls All Products After Listeria Outbreak

Blue Bell Creamery, maker of novelty ice cream products and traditional ice cream products, recently learned one of their scooping machines was contaminated with listeria after three people got sick. When Centers for Disease Control (CDC) determined the source of the contamination, Blue Bell Creamery agreed to voluntarily recall all of their novelty ice cream products, which consisted of pre-scooped ice cream produced using the contaminated machine.

ice-cream-dipper-584463-m.jpgThis amounted to a small percentage of Blue Bell Creamery's total sales, and the company said the recall was only out of extreme caution. Ice cream packaged in a container, which accounts for most of its products, was not at risk for contamination. Now, the company has expanded its voluntary recall to include all products.

According to a recent news article from the Wall Street Journal, this Blue Bell recall constitutes one of the broadest recalls of a product line in U.S. history, and highlights just how difficult it is to find the source of a potentially deadly strain of bacteria.

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April 23, 2015

Two-Year-Old Boy Seriously Injured in North Carolina Lawn Mower Accident

Every day, we are around equipment and machinery that could inflict serious bodily injury. Whether we are riding in car, an elevator, an escalator, or using any number tools, we are at some level of risk of suffering a serious personal injury.

Most of them time, that risk is extremely small. We trust the companies that have manufactured this equipment to take all feasible precautions to make their respective products safe. However, sometimes accidents still happen, and those accidents can have serious consequences.

mower-spindle-minus-blade-1379695-m.jpgAccording to a recent report from Time Warner Cable News Charlotte, a two-year-old boy was riding on a lawn mower operated by a family member. At some point during the ride, the boy was let down from the riding mower and got his foot caught in the blade mechanism. The lawn mower blade caused severe personal injury to the young victim's foot. Family members called 911, and EMTs arrived to provide immediate medical attention. Due to the severity of the boy's injuries, EMTs called for a medevac helicopter. After a helicopter arrived on scene, paramedics transported him to a pediatric level-one trauma center in North Carolina. The extent of his injuries is not yet known, though it is believed they were extremely severe.

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April 20, 2015

Olier v. Bailey: Animal Injuries

Olier v. Bailey, an appeal from the Supreme Court of Mississippi, involved plaintiff who was injured when she was chased and attacked by defendant's domestic goose.

Court records indicate plaintiff and defendant met though a gardener's forum on the Internet. On the day of the incident, plaintiff went to defendant's home to see some of her plants. Plaintiff had a sign warning people to beware of "attack geese" displayed in her yard. In addition to this warning sign, defendant allegedly told plaintiff she kept geese on her property. Defendant also had placed a row of five-gallon plastic buckets of water along the edge of her porch. These buckets served two purposes. They provided drinking water for the geese, and kept them from walking on the porch.

geese.jpgPlaintiff was trying to see a banana plant, which was in bloom, and walked past the water buckets. When she stepped over one of the buckets, a goose squawked at plaintiff. Plaintiff testified the large goose reached its neck forward in an apparent attempt to bite her. At this point, plaintiff got back on the porch. Defendant allegedly told plaintiff geese would not attack if she was present, and handed plaintiff a bamboo pole to keep the birds away from her.

When the two women were in the yard, defendant tried to lead the geese away from plaintiff, but they still approached her. She decided the bamboo pole was not going to help keep the goose away and dropped it on the ground. One of the geese bit plaintiff in the crotch and plaintiff turned to run away from the geese. When she turned to run, she tripped over a water bucket, which caused her to fall and break her arm.

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April 16, 2015

Tori Spelling Suffers Burn Injury at Japanese Restaurant

According to a recent news report from the Daily Mail, actress Tori Spelling, best known for her role as Donna Martin on Beverly Hills 90210, was at a Japanese restaurant in California when she suffered a serious burn injury.

chopsticks-4-999335-m.jpgAccording to witnesses, Spelling along with her husband, four children, and other guests were at a Japanese hibachi restaurant to celebrate Easter. Spelling was laughing and speaking with their brunch party when she tripped and fell onto a hot hibachi grill. This is a type of restaurant where they cook food at guest's tables for entertainment.

Witnesses say Spelling fell backwards onto the grill and her right arm hit the grill. She screamed in pain and had what is described as a large burn on the back of her right arm. She apparently remained in the restaurant to finish brunch with her family and friends, and was able to get a better look at the burn when they stepped outside.

One witnesses to the burn injury said you could see Spelling was hurt, but she was trying to be brave for the sake of her children. She first tried to care for the burn at home, but her pain was so intense she opted to go to her doctor.

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April 12, 2015

Crider v. Cattie - North Carolina Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Stems From Fragmentation of Care

The fragmentation of medical services was at the core of a North Carolina medical malpractice lawsuit filed by a husband and his wife against the doctor overseeing husband's care.IV1.jpg

Plaintiff's horrific medical ordeal began with what was supposed to be a simple surgery to repair a hernia. Of course, there is the potential for complication with any medical procedure, but those experienced by plaintiff here were especially extensive.

First, he developed a serious infection that required additional treatment. Ultimately, he was forced to undergo at least 15 more surgeries. After all this, defendant doctor placed the patient on a type of total nutrition supplement, which is to be introduced intravenously.

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April 10, 2015

Limones v. Lee County School District - Automatic Defibrillator Responsibility in Schools

The Occupational Health & Safety Administration reports an estimated 460,000 people in the U.S. die of sudden cardiac arrest every year. Of those, nearly 10,000 are children and many have no prior sign of heart disease.
That is more than the number of people who die from guns, breast cancer, cervical cancer, motor vehicle accidents, Alzheimer's disease, suicide, prostate cancer, house fires and HIV - combined. However, having an Automated External Defibrillator nearby when someone suffers from sudden cardiac arrest can increase the survival rate by almost 70 percent. It's required equipment for firefighters and paramedics.

Nineteen states - including South Carolina - require it in schools. (North Carolina is not among those.) Some even require them in all government buildings, health clubs and other facilities, and "Good Samaritan" laws have been passed in order to protect people who try to use them on someone who may be dying in order to encourage swift action.The chance of survival declines 10 percent for every minutes defibrillation is delayed. Meanwhile, the average response times for first-responders is 8 to 12 minutes nationally.

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April 8, 2015

Johnson v. American Towers - Cell Companies Not Liable for Third-Party Attack in South Carolina

In general, courts do not hold one person or entity responsible for the negligent or criminal actions of another. iphone1.jpg

But of course, there are always exceptions. In civil cases, sometimes the courts will allow an entity or person who owes a special duty of care to a victim and who failed in that duty, thereby allowing a third party to take advantage, to be held responsible. These cases require very specific criteria to be met. Usually, we see it in premises liability cases where a landlord or nightclub owner or school owed a duty to tenants/patrons/students to protect them and failed to secure adequate security, resulting in third-party violence (rape, assault, etc.).

In the South Carolina case of Johnson v. American Towers, LLC., reviewed recently by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, plaintiff made a novel assertion regarding a third-party attack. Injured plaintiff accused a cell phone company of negligence after a prison inmate, using a contraband cell phone, ordered an attack on victim, a prison guard, at the guard's home. The guard was shot multiple times at the behest of this prisoner.

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April 8, 2015

Golnick v. Callender - Proof of Injury Cause as Important as Crash Cause

In any injury case, establishing the negligence of the other party is often a key issue in obtaining compensation. But one cannot overlook the requirement to prove the injuries alleged were proximately caused by the defendant, or at least substantially worsened as a result of defendant's negligent actions.
This is especially important for plaintiff's who have pre-existing health problems or who have endured a subsequent injurious accident, as defendant will almost certainly argue against proximate cause.

That was the case in Golnick v. Callender, an injury lawsuit before the Nebraska Supreme Court. Here, defendant actually admitted negligence in causing a head-on collision with plaintiff's vehicle, though he denied the assertion that he had been texting when he crossed the center line to avoid stopped traffic ahead. However, defendant still prevailed in this case because plaintiff was unsuccessful in proving his injuries were proximately caused or substantially worsened as a result of this particular crash.

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