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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April 4, 2015

Hodson v. Taylor - Paralyzed Swimmer Can Sue Owners of Boat and Lake

Boating accidents in North Carolina inevitably rise as the weather warms and more people take to the water. The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission reports the number of boating accidents has hovered around 155 the last several years, while fatalities have ranged from 21 to 25 between 2009 and 2012. Additionally, another 100 or so were injured and required medical attention.
July is the peak month in which accidents occur, with most fatalities and serious injuries attributed to a fall or jump overboard.

That's exactly what happened to plaintiff in Hodson v. Taylor, a teen who was on a private lake in a boat owned by a friend's parents. The teens were unsupervised and consuming alcohol, according to court records, when he jumped into the murky lake and struck the shallow bottom, rendering him paralyzed. He hadn't realized that part of the lake would be so shallow. There were no warnings, and they had stopped several times earlier at different locations to swim with no issues.

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April 2, 2015

Child's Brain Injury Prompts Recall of South Carolina Elevators

The catastrophic brain injury suffered by a 10-year-old boy who was crushed in an elevator has prompted the South Carolina-based elevator distributor to recall about 240 of the machines. elevator.jpg

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Elmira Hydraulic elevators, installed mostly in homes, have been cited in three reports of elevator injuries - including this one, sustained by a child visiting the state from Maryland. The recall of Coastal Caroline Elevators (formerly Seaside Elevator) encompasses all models distributed through residential home builders (including DRHorton) in South Carolina from January 2006 through December 2009. The reportedly defective elevators were in the price range of $16,000 to $25,000.

According to the recall notice, the elevator can operate while the gate is open, which puts riders at crushing hazard. The residential hydraulic elevators were installed in homes with numerous floors, and they have a manual, accordion-style gate door. The label "Cambridge Elevating" is on the button panel. Consumers are instructed to immediately stop using the machines and contact the distributor for a free repair.

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March 31, 2015

Asheville Birth Injury Lawsuit Against Doctor With History

The North Carolina Medical Board has launched an investigation of an obstetrician in Asheville who oversaw three home-birth deliveries in which all three babies died.
As it turns out, the Asheville Citizen-Times reports, that same physician was the subject of a 2007 medical malpractice lawsuit stemming from an earlier serious birth injury.

The older civil lawsuit stems from a birth in which the child allegedly suffered permanent disability in one of her arms due to decisions made during her birth at a local hospital. The original complaint indicates the girl was born in October 2005, and that her mother was in labor for far too long. The doctor should have initiated a Cesarean section, the lawsuit alleged, but he failed to do so.

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March 30, 2015

Anderson DUI Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed Against Driver, Bars

A civil lawsuit filed by the family of one of three youths killed in a deadly DUI accident in Anderson late last year names not only the alleged drunk driver, but also the establishment that reportedly served him alcohol.
The 17-year-old crash victim was killed in the November 2014 wreck, along with a 22-year-old man from Greenville and a 20-year-old woman from Iva. Additionally, the 12-year-old sister of the 17-year-old decedent was critically injured.

The families of the other victims have also joined the lawsuit, which alleges at least two bars served alcohol to the suspect driver in the hours before the fatal crash. Relying on the Dram Shop law, plaintiffs alleged the bars violated state law when they served alcohol to a person who was clearly intoxicated.

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March 26, 2015

Book v. Voma Tire Corp. - Faulty Tire Lawsuit to Proceed

A state supreme court has granted approval for a defective tire lawsuit to proceed in state court against one of China's largest auto parts manufacturers.
The case stems from severe injury suffered by a teen worker when a reportedly defective tire exploded at his father's auto repair shop.

In Book v. Voma Tire Corp., the Iowa Supreme Court flatly rejected the claim by Doublestar Dongent Tyre Company that it could not be sued in state court because the company didn't operate in that state -- its tires were shipped through a distributor in Tennessee.

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