Recently in Personal Injury Category

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.
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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 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.
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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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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.
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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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March 15, 2015

Brown v. Jacobs - Duty to Warn in Third Person Assault Case


While our laws generally seek to avoid punishment of one person for the actions of another, there are some exceptions, particularly as it relates to a failure to protect or warn someone from a known or foreseeable danger.
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As injury lawyers, we see this a lot in premises liability law, where, say management at an apartment complex failed to install working locks, which in turn allowed dangerous intruders to gain access. There have been other cases of negligent security against bars or nightclubs that failed to hire adequate crowd control to keep everyone safe, and someone was injured in a fight.

More rarely, there are cases against individuals for failure to warn of a danger posed by another individual, but usually, those cases only succeed when knowledge is clearly established and the danger was clear and specific.

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March 4, 2015

Grebing v. 24 Hour Fitness - Waivers of Liability as Defense


Waivers aren't just for parasailing and white water rafting. A growing number of gyms, spas and other facilities that might otherwise be deemed "low risk" are requiring patrons to sign a waiver agreeing to forfeit their right to legal action in the event of injury - even when the facility is unsafe or the staff negligent.
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There are numerous misconceptions when it comes to liability waivers and releases. For a long time, there was the notion that waivers were not worth the paper upon which they were written. This is not true, as liability waivers can indeed limit the degree to which a plaintiff can collect damages for negligence, if not totally eliminate it in some cases.

However, neither is it true that liability waivers offer total protection to all service providers and facilities under every circumstance. Some of the limitations of waivers that can adversely affect their effectiveness include failure to adhere to certain language requirements, the existence of gross negligence, injury to a non-signing spouse and injuries involving children.

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February 8, 2015

Key v. Diamond International Trucks - $3.5 Million Injury Verdict Upheld


When serious injury occurs at work, employees are typically entitled to workers' compensation benefits. These funds are covered by the company's insurer and it is not required for worker to prove negligence or fault.
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If an employee collects workers' compensation, further legal action against an employer or co-worker is usually barred under the exclusive remedy provision of state law. Although these benefits do cover medical expenses and a portion of lost wages, they will not compensate a worker for pain and suffering. Often, these benefits do not cover all the worker's damages. Depending on the circumstances, there may be an opportunity to pursue third-person litigation. This assumes another party - not the employer - was responsible or played some role in the incident that resulted in injury.

This was the case in Key v. Diamond International Trucks, where a truck driver in Missouri secured a $10 million judgment (later reduced to $3.5 million based on a finding of comparative fault/his own negligence). Although the judgment was appealed by defendant, it was recently affirmed by the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Western District.

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January 5, 2015

Fall Prevention Efforts Can Save Both Money and Lives


Falls remain a top cause of unintentional injuries throughout the United States. In fact, in 2011 alone, almost nine million people sought treatment at the emergency room as a result of injuries sustained in falls. An experienced Spartanburg fall injury lawyer knows that many of these ER visits could be prevented if some basic efforts were made to try to reduce the risk of slips, trips and falls. slippery floor.jpg

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January 5, 2015

North Carolina Skiers Face Risk of Injury This Winter


It is ski season in North Carolina. Numerous resorts throughout the state including Wolf Ridge Ski Resort, Appalachian Ski Mountain, the Cataloochee Ski area, Sugar Mountain and Beech Mountain have open trails and open lifts and skiers are taking advantage of the opportunity to hit the hills. skiing-in-the-trees-1425767-m.jpg

As people enjoy this winter outdoor activity, however, a Greensboro injury lawyer knows that there are some serious dangers associated with skiing. In addition to the chances of falling on the slopes, ski lift injuries are a major safety issue. Ski resorts need to be responsible for maintaining lifts in a safe way, as well as for ensuring that skiers do not encounter unexpected dangers due to problems on open ski trails.

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January 1, 2015

Scooters Raise Safety Concerns For North Carolina Residents


Scooters have become increasingly popular in North Carolina. From electronic scooters used by kids as a means of recreation to scooters as a means of transportation on the roads, scooters are everywhere. Unfortunately, a Greensboro injury lawyer knows that all types of scooters can be very dangerous. scooter-1058830-m.jpg

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December 27, 2014

Cope v. Utah Valley State College - Liability for Student Athlete Injuries


Intercollegiate sports generate many millions of dollars annually for universities and colleges nationwide. Just as one example, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has a seven-year, $1 billion contract with CBS.
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Colleges benefit a great deal financially from their student athletes, and this has generated a debate regarding the duty of care owed by these institutions to student athletes. Generally, colleges may be bound by general theories of negligence with regard to most students, but many student athletes have asserted - successfully - that a "special relationship" exists between them and the school, which increases the duty of care owed by the school to the student athletes.

Establishment of this "special relationship" can be critical in negligence litigation, where otherwise a school might argue it had no duty of care to someone injured. Courts have generally not been inclined to find colleges liable for injuries to students while they are attending classes. Basically, it's been assumed college students are mature adults, capable of independently looking out for their own safety. General negligence laws may apply in injuries, but it holds colleges to a lower standard with regard to protection of students. A primary exception, however, is when a special relationship exists. Essentially, this heightens the duty of care standard regarding foreseeable injuries involving student athletes.

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December 21, 2014

Izell v. Union Carbide - Appellate Court Upholds $24M Mesothelioma Award


Asbestos is a fibrous material that for decades was used in everything from flooring material to vehicle brakes. It also happens to be deadly when those fibers are inhaled, causing chronic and terminal illnesses such as lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma, which often don't manifest until decades post-exposure.
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Many companies that manufactured and sold asbestos-laden products have been the subject of thousands of lawsuits, mostly because there is ample evidence these companies knew of the dangers this material caused and failed to warn users and workers. In some cases, it's been found the companies actively concealed this information.

Some firms have established asbestos trusts to pay out proven asbestos injury and wrongful death claims. Others continue to fight the claims in court.

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December 19, 2014

Wells v. Smith - Demolition Site Injury Claims Can Be Complex


Construction workers have some of the most dangerous jobs in the country. One of the most dangerous sub-categories of construction work is demolition.
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Earlier this year, after a series of demolition-related injuries and fatalities, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety & Health Administration noted far too many workers' lives were risked or sacrificed because employers and/or property owners neglected demolition safety fundamentals. The official went on to say all employers of workers involved in demolition projects have to be aware of the hazards and necessary safety measures before such work begins.

The agency recently updated its standards and page on demolition dangers, entitled, "Demolition: Construction in Reverse, with Additional Hazards."

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December 11, 2014

Laser Hair Removal Causes Disfigurement and Burns


For many women, undergoing painful procedures in the sake of beauty is not unheard of. However, going through painful procedure with resulting disfigurement and burns is never expected. According to New York Magazine, many women have suffered from serious burns and scarring after getting laser hair removal. Many of the victims have been young teens, and now the practice is being scrutinized. While women may take certain risks to meet beauty standards, parents, physicians, and other advocates should be concerned about the potential danger of laser hair removal.

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Laser hair removal is a procedure that obliterates hair follicles to prevent future hair growth. Teenagers have been known to seek out the procedure for legs, underarms, or even unsightly facial hair that has led to bullying. Though the practice has been noted among many teenagers, and even 11 or 12 year-olds, there have been significant reports about the potential dangers of laser hair removal. According to reports, patients have suffered burns that turned to discoloration. According to the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, nearly half a million laser treatments were performed in the U.S. in 2011 by trained doctors. Treatments are also performed by non-doctors, which can increase the potential for risk and injury.

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December 2, 2014

Black Friday Injuries and Retailer Liability


In the weeks leading up to the notorious "Black Friday" for bargain-seeking shoppers, media sources reflected on past incidences of injury, even death related to stampedes, fighting, and brawls between customers and employees. In the event that a shopper is injured onsite, who is at fault? Can a consumer take action against a shop owner or corporation if they have suffered an injury? Black Friday attracts shoppers from all over the nation and has even spread to the UK. It is the busiest and most publicized commercial day of the year, but has also resulted in serious injuries and poses risk to consumers as well as retail employees.

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The National Retail Federation reports that there were over 90 million consumers participating in online and in-store Black Friday events. Those who decide to brave it in the masses could face potentially dangerous conditions. While many retailers will invest in a few extra security guards--they are not always sufficient or able to properly manage large crowds. A website found at www.blackfridaydeathcount.com tracks the number of injuries and deaths that have occurred as a result of Black Friday mobs. Individuals who have suffered a Black Friday injury do have the right to take action to collect compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and additional personal losses that may have been incurred.

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