As far as roadway transportation goes, school buses are among the safest vehicles out there.
Still, there continues to be concern regarding school bus crashes and related injuries and fatalities, and federal officials are arguing more could be done to prevent harm to students. It’s an important, ongoing discussion that comes just ahead of the 2015-2016 school year.

On the heels of a comprehensive report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration detailing school transportation crashes, injuries and deaths, the agency recently hosted a School Bus Occupant Protection conference that debated the merits of installing seat belts in school buses.

Central to this discussion was a 2014 report released by the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services, which opined that passenger lap and shoulder belts improve safety on school buses and the costs to equip school buses with them are not unreasonable.
Continue reading

The purpose of the Federal Tort Claims Act is to waive the sovereign immunity that would normally bar a lawsuit by private citizens against the federal government for wrongdoing committed by its employees in the scope of their employment.
However, there are 13 specific exemptions to the waiver, with the most commonly used being the discretionary function exception. It provides in part that the government can’t be liable for claims based on the exercise or performance of a discretionary function or duty of the government worker – regardless of whether that discretion was abused.

This is in contrast to ministerial functions, which are specific duties made mandatory by the government employer. The exception is broad, and it isn’t always applied with any real precision by the courts. This can make it difficult to predict a precise outcome.
Continue reading

The case of Purscell v. Tico Ins. Co. is at once sad and strange.
The legal questions it asks are intriguing.

It involves the excess liability incurred by a driver who was apparently trying to be a friend to a co-worker, a young woman who was impaired and clearly troubled. The problem is that their actions collectively resulted in the death of that young woman, as well as serious and permanent injuries to another man and other injuries to that man’s wife.

Sorting through the question of who should pay became complicated.
Continue reading

The South Carolina Supreme Court recently affirmed a trial court jury verdict favoring a mother whose son died prior to birth at 32 weeks gestation. She alleged medical malpractice by her gynecologist, whom she said failed to take action in the weeks prior to that, when the child’s growth, fetal heartbeat and movements were abnormal and slow for a fetus of his size and age.
In the case of Jamison v. Hilton, the state supreme court refused a request by defendants to reverse a trial court order denying summary judgment and denying a request to issue a judgment notwithstanding verdict.

According to court records, plaintiff was already considered to have a high-risk pregnancy at the outset, as she suffered from chronic hypertension.

Defendant practice assumed prenatal care of plaintiff about halfway through her pregnancy, sometime in July 2008.
Continue reading

It’s rare in many states that a severe dog bite injury on a child – especially if the attack was unprovoked – would not be compensable.
North Carolina’s dog bite laws are spread out over several different statutes.This state does recognize strict liability if:

  • The bite occurred while the dog’s owner intentionally allowed it to violate the state prohibition against running at-large (assuming dog is at least 6-months-old);
  • Dog was kept for purposes of dog fighting;
  • Dog was previously declared a “potentially dangerous dog” due to previous conduct
  • Dog without provocation killed or inflicted serious injury on a human

But even under these circumstances, there may be complexities in the case that are not immediately apparent.

That’s why it’s imperative to consult with an experienced Asheville injury lawyer who can review the circumstances, explain your rights and formulate an effective strategy for pursuing compensation.
Continue reading

A furniture company is recalling 27 million dressers and chests because they have the potential to tip over and crush children if they are not anchored to the wall, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has just announced.
Last year, two children were killed after chests made by Ikea fell onto and crushed them, the furniture maker said. Additionally, there are at least three other child deaths dating back to 1989 that involve other models of furniture. The particular model involved in the two most recent incidents were Ikea’s Malm chests. These models were also involved in tip-over accidents that led to four child injuries. There were a total of 14 tipping incidents reported to the company by consumers using this product.

The recall notice indicates that rather than returning the furniture to stores, customers can either pick up or order a free wall anchor kit that can be affixed to the affected items. In the meantime, the unanchored furniture items should be removed out of areas where children may encounter them.
Continue reading

In many personal injury cases, there is the potential for action against numerous defendants. speedometer1.jpg

Car accident cases are no different, and it’s important for an experienced injury lawyer to carefully examine the facts and evidence in your case to identify all potential defendants.

In the case of Navarrette v. Meyer, plaintiffs sued not only the driver of the vehicle, but also the passenger of the vehicle, who had encouraged the driver to speed down a dark, hilly road with the intention of “getting air.”

Instead, what happened was the driver lost control of the vehicle at 70 miles-per-hour and slammed into a father loading his young child into a car seat. The father was killed instantly.
Continue reading

All land owners – whether public or private – owe some duty of care to those who enter. The degree of that duty depends not only on the type of establishment, but also the nature of the visit.beach1.jpg

For example, business owners owe the highest duty of care to members of the public who enter to patronize that establishment. However, if a trespasser enters a private property unlawfully, private property owners owe a minimal duty of care not to intentionally inflict harm or avoid gross negligence where they know those trespassers may be on site. (The rules are slightly different when there is an attractive nuisance – such as swimming pool or abandoned appliances – and the trespassers are children.)

Owners of public property also owe a duty of care to those who enter. However, most states – including South Carolina – have a “recreational use statute.” These measures are intended to encourage land owners to make property available for public recreational use by limiting liability should something happen on that property.
Continue reading

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.
Continue reading

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.
Continue reading

Contact Information