Articles Posted in Personal Injury

Victims of violent crimes must often deal with great trauma that reverberates long after the immediate danger is over. The criminal justice system seeks accountability from the perpetrators of those crimes, who are seen to have not just violated the victim’s rights but also the rules and laws of society. Meanwhile, the civil justice system is a forum where victims can seek compensation to help them in their journey to become whole again. Of course, our Spartanburg injury attorneys understand no amount of money takes away the pain and suffering. But it can help with the healing. It is also another means by which to hold a defendant accountable for his or her crimes.sad face

This is the approach being taken by a Spartanburg woman who was recently discovered by authorities after having been held captive in a storage container on a 100-acre plot owned by her former boss for nearly three months. She and her boyfriend were allegedly kidnapped at gunpoint by her former boss, who then is accused of fatally shooting her boyfriend and then physically attacking her throughout the course of her captivity. The 30-year-old victim was reportedly kept in chains in the container. After she was discovered, her boyfriend’s body was found. The former boss is now accused of killing six others, including four in a previously unsolved 2003 killing at a motor sports shop and a husband and wife who went missing in 2015. He is in jail awaiting trial on numerous felony charges.

Meanwhile, the plaintiff has filed a civil lawsuit to recover damages from her former boss, who owns a business and several properties.

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The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, backed by the 2008 U.S. Supreme Court decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, guarantees the right of private citizens to possess firearms. It’s a hotly debated issue but one that legally is seen as largely settled.gun

One issue that is somewhat less certain is the liability of those who manufacture and deal arms. In 2005, Congress passed a law known as the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, a federal statute that extends broad immunity to gun manufacturers and dealers in both state and federal courts. Generally speaking, the statute forbids qualified civil liability actions against gun manufacturers or dealers stemming from the criminal use or lawful misuse of a firearm. However, there are six exceptions to this blanket civil immunity, which involves things like transferring a gun while knowing it will be used for a violent crime, engaging in negligent entrustment, knowingly violating the law, or making or selling a gun that is defective.

A number of cases have cropped up recently that seek to push the boundaries of the PLCAA. One of those cases was decided late last year by a jury in Wisconsin, which ordered a gun store to pay $5 million in damages to police officers injured when they were shot by a suspect wielding a firearm purchased at the store. The officers had been trying to stop a bicycling 18-year-old, who opened fire on the cops, causing them serious injuries. It was later revealed the gun dealer had violated federal laws in selling the gun to the teen.

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A diner in Texas is suing a restaurant in Galveston for personal injuries after he allegedly suffered a terrible allergic reaction during a meal in which he was served shrimp. food

According to the SE Texas Record, the plaintiff alleges he informed the waiter at the seafood restaurant of his allergy to shrimp. He ordered the crawfish etoufee and fried oysters, and he specifically informed the server that there could be no shrimp or shrimp residue on the plate. The water insisted the dishes the man ordered did not contain shrimp. The plaintiff’s food arrived, and almost immediately after he began eating, the plaintiff began to suffer an allergic reaction. He couldn’t breathe. An ambulance was called, and emergency responders took him to a local hospital, where he received a shot that saved his life.

His wife later learned that the waiter allegedly forgot to convey the message about the shrimp allergy to the kitchen staff. It is this breakdown of communication that will likely be the strongest piece of evidence in the plaintiff’s favor. The fact is that restaurants, grocery stores, and other companies don’t necessarily have to make sure they have food that will fit your dietary needs, even if the potential for a serious allergic reaction exists. However, if a patron discloses an allergy to the restaurant, the restaurant then has a duty to either comply with the request or warn that they are unable to comply.

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There are many hazards on a construction site. Financial recovery options for resulting injuries may not be nearly so numerous. It’s important to have an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help you identify your legal options and determine a good course of action. electric wires

In the recent case of Khosh v. Staples Construction Co., weighed by the California Court of Appeals, Second Appellate District, Division Six, the question was whether a trial court correctly granted summary judgment against an injured employee who reportedly failed to present evidence that the defendant affirmatively contributed to his injuries. The court noted that generally speaking, independent contractors can’t recover tort damages for work-related injuries from the contractor’s hirer. There are some exceptions to this rule, but the court determined those don’t apply here.

According to court records, California State University hired a construction company to install a backup electrical system at the university. The construction company hired a subcontractor called DK Electrical Systems for the high-voltage work. In turn, DK hired a company called Myers Power Products to work as its subcontractor for the construction and installation of electrical switchgear for the system. The plaintiff was employed by Myers’ subcontractor.

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Tours of haunted houses are supposed to be thrilling. Being shocked by gory scenes or spooky apparitions is all part of the experience. But these experiences aren’t supposed to cause real danger. When they do, and someone is injured, the operators and promoters of the haunted house may face legal liability in real life.spooky

That’s what happened to a Michigan woman who suffered serious injuries in 2014. According to The Oakland Press, the plaintiff was knocked to the ground when a moving wall suddenly knocked her down in a poorly lit aisle. As a result of her fall, the plaintiff suffered severe fractures to her leg, as well as a soft tissue injury to her back and spine, lacerations, and bruising.

A personal injury lawsuit she filed against the company was recently settled for $125,000. The owner of the operation declined to comment, except to release a brief statement insisting the operation is safe and has been in business for many years.

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Animal owners owe a responsibility, not just to the animal but to society in general, to keep the animal safely secured so they are not a hazard to themselves or others. The degree to which this is necessary will depend on the specific breed, size, and temperament of the animal.Horse in road

In many cases, North Carolina law does not always require those injured by improperly secured animals to prove the owner had any knowledge of the creature’s previous viciousness or propensity to cause harm. In some instances, a strict liability standard may be applied. That means owners are strictly liable for the damage or injuries their pets or livestock cause. In other cases (such as dog bites or dog-related injuries, per N.C.G.S. Chapter 67), actual negligence may need to be shown by proving the owner had knowledge their dog was a “dangerous dog.”

Recently, the North Carolina Court of Appeals weighed whether the owner of a horse should have to face a trial in a civil lawsuit filed by a woman who was seriously injured when the defendant’s horse wandered into the road in front of the car in which the plaintiff was a front-seat passenger. The impact killed the horse and caused serious injuries to the plaintiff. The issue in Peoples v. Tuck was whether the defendant could be liable for a failure to exercise reasonable care in hitching his horse in front of his sister’s home and leaving the horse unattended in a non-fenced area.

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Manufacturing giant Johnson & Johnson is facing allegations of product liability for its alleged concealment of the risk of developing ovarian cancer by using products containing toxic talcum powder. The case, Hogans, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, is one of thousands of such claims pending against the company and the third in this multi-district litigation action to go to trial. powder

The two previous talc injury cases that went to trial resulted in verdicts of $72 million and $55 million, respectively. It’s estimated there are 1,200 lawsuits pending in Missouri and New Jersey, and the outcome of this third case could dictate whether the company moves to settle those pending cases (and for how much) or whether it continues to fight them.

The plaintiff in this action has been diagnosed with Stage Four ovarian cancer. She has reportedly used Johnson & Johnson’s talc powder products on her genitals for most of her adult life. She alleges the company was aware that talc applied in this region could travel to the ovaries and pose a risk of deadly cancer, and yet it chose to conceal this information from the public.

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Juror misconduct is getting tougher to police in this age of advanced technology. Sequestration of jurors is not a logistical possibility in the vast majority of cases. That means our system relies on trust that jurors will only consider the facts presented to them in the case – facts that have been carefully vetted by a court of law in order to ensure fairness to both sides. But some jurors find it just too tempting when there may be unanswered questions and they have instant access to almost any bit of information that was ever publicly available about the case. soap

Experienced injury attorneys know that while not every instance of juror misconduct warrants a mistrial, we must be vigilant in identifying it and calling it out and, when necessary, asking for remedy to unfairness. In some cases, that does mean a new trial.

However, as the Missouri Supreme Court recently ruled in Smotherman v. Cass Regional Medical Center, every party is entitled to a trial that is fair, but not necessarily one that is perfect. This was a slip-and-fall lawsuit that was decided in favor of the defendant property owner. Plaintiff sought a new trial after it came to light that a juror was looking up weather report information on the day of the accident. Her case, the court conceded, was not perfect and the juror did commit misconduct. However, the supreme court sided with the trial court in determining a new trial wasn’t warranted because plaintiff did not suffer prejudice as a result of the juror’s misconduct.  Continue reading

It’s been nearly three years since the death of 14-month-old Jaylen Halley. He was killed in Lee County in December 2013 in a common – and preventable – mishap when a car driven by a relative backed up in a driveway and ran over him. South Carolina Highway Patrol troopers wanted to make sure everyone who heard about the incident knew it takes only a second, and that drivers should never back up unless they are sure there is no one and nothing behind.driveway

But these types of incidents – as well as other so-called “non-traffic crashes” – were not studied intensively by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The organization Kids and Cars (KidsandCars.org) has studied the issue of child vehicle backovers, but it isn’t a government agency.

Now, almost 10 years after Congress began requiring the agency to start collecting and maintaining information pertinent to these type of events (referred to as “non-traffic accidents”), the agency has released its first report. It defined non-traffic crashes as those that occur off public traffic ways. These are mostly single-vehicle crashes that happen on private roads or two-vehicle crashes that happen in parking facilities or pedestrian accidents that occur in driveways. (The agency also has been investigation “non-traffic incidents,” which might involve situations like a vehicle falling on top of a person or unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning or a child getting trapped or left in a vehicle.) Continue reading

Suing the government for premises liability requires overcoming a number of legal hurdles. It is true that government entities do owe the public a reasonable duty of care on public property, and the government can be successfully sued when they fail in this duty and someone gets hurt.grassypark

However, claims against the government are often up against tighter timelines. In some states, claims have to be filed within just 30 days of the incident. You also generally have to provide proper notice to the government agency so that they can launch their own investigation. It’s only once the statutory timeline has passed for that investigation that you can actually file your lawsuit. And then from there, you may have to deal with the headache of sovereign immunity. The government does waive its sovereign immunity rights for a wide range of personal injury claims. However, if the injury stemmed from negligence related to a function of government that involved planning decisions and discretionary choices, the discretionary function exception may apply and the government could be immune from litigation.

Typically, if your claim is based on an act or omission of a government worker who exercised due care in executing a regulation of statute, the government won’t be liable. Further, the government generally isn’t liable if that government worker used discretion in his or job – regardless of whether that discretion was abused. Continue reading

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