A college student in Wyoming nearly died after a malfunctioning furnace in her rental apartment seeped carbon monoxide (CO) into her unit. Rushed to the hospital after a maintenance worker discovered the problem by chance, she now suffers lifelong neurological damage. freeimages.co.uk medical images

In Lompe v. Sunridge Partners, the woman sued the owner of the apartment as well as the property manager, alleging these entities had been negligent in their duty to ensure the rental unit was in reasonably safe condition for residents.

At trial, she was awarded a total of $28.5 million – which included $25.5 million in punitive damages. The majority of that was apportioned to the property manager, though the out-of-state property owner was still liable for $3 million in total worth of compensatory and punitive damages. On appeal, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit drastically lowered that amount. First, it determined there wasn’t enough evidence to show property owner should be liable for punitive damages. Second, it reduced the amount of punitive damages against the property management company from $22.5 million down to $1.95 million.  Continue reading

A woman and her husband are seeking $300 million in damages in a product liability lawsuit against the maker of a robotic surgical system that she says nearly killed her and caused her excruciating pain and suffering, as well as lifelong medical ailments.doctor

In Zarick v. Intuitive Surgical Inc., plaintiff alleges the surgical system caused her severe internal injuries when doctors relied on it to perform a hysterectomy.

This case is one of the first to go trial against this defendant, which characterizes itself as the worldwide leader in minimally-invasive, robot-assisted surgery. These procedures are conducted with a surgeon sitting at a console near the patient, looking through a viewfinder and moving a joystick-like controller to move the robotic arms of the device. This particular device alone is used in some 200,000 surgeries a year.

Plaintiff reports that the system botched her 2009 surgery, causing her intestines to protrude through her vagina. She was rushed to a nearby emergency room and was forced to undergo a high-risk surgery that required a hip-to-hip incision. Plaintiff, 44, and her husband are asking for $50 million in economic damages and another $250 million for emotional distress, pain and suffering, loss of consortium and loss of life enjoyment.  Continue reading

There are millions of personal care and beauty products on the market – everything from shampoos to soaps to creams to lotion to makeup to deodorant and toothpaste. Most of these promise to make you clean, smell fresher, have fuller hair or look younger. Unfortunately, not only do many of these products fail on these promises, some are not safe for public use.hair1

Some potential effects caused by dangerous beauty products include:

  • Infections
  • Allergic Reactions
  • Burns
  • Irreversible Skin Damage
  • Vision loss

If you have been injured by a dangerous or defective beauty product, you may have grounds for a personal injury claim. More specifically, your claim would be for product liability. Manufacturers and distributors of products owe a duty to make sure the product is reasonably safe when used as directed. That includes not just the manufacturer, but the retail store or website that sold the product or the beauty salon that applied it.  Continue reading

Child care can be a harrowing profession, not the least of which because children – especially those very young – frequently imperil themselves. Proper care requires constant vigilance and caution.toys1

However, as the case of Nielsen v. Bell reveals, it may not be just the child who is at-risk.

In this case, the Utah Supreme Court was asked to consider whether a 4-year-old boy and his parents could be held liable for injuries suffered by his teen babysitter when he threw a toy at her eye. Continue reading

So many South Carolina summer afternoons are spent on decks – either at private residences, hotels, restaurants or other venues. deck1

Unfortunately, these features are far less safe than you might think. Based on statistics from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), some 224,000 people were injured nationally from 2003 to 2007 due to a deck or porch, and about 15 percent of these incidents were caused by structural failure or collapse.

In particular, outdoor wood decks and porches have been associated with the most injuries and fatalities. In that time frame, structural failure or collapse of decks have resulted in between 3,650 to 4,600 injuries. Other injuries have resulted from problems with railings or stairways attached to the decks. Continue reading

A $12.6 million personal injury verdict was recently reversed by the Alabama Supreme Court after a finding that the property owner on a construction site did not owe the injured sub-contractor worker a duty to warn of dangerous condition on the roof.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

These were special circumstances specifically related to this case, South Alabama Brick Co., Inc. v. Carwie, which involved a pre-existing condition on the roof about which the contractor and plaintiff’s employer were aware or should have been aware

According to court records, defendant is a large supplier of building materials, including bricks and roofing materials, with a warehouse located in Mobile, AL. The roof of the warehouse includes a large flat area that contained 12 skylights and a large pitched area that contained 27 skylights.  Continue reading

The family of a woman who died just hours after being admitted to a nursing home prevailed in a recent wrongful death lawsuit appeal to the South Carolina Court of Appeals. The court ruled the nursing home could the arbitration agreement signed by the decedent’s son upon her admission was not binding. hospitalbed

Therefore, plaintiffs in Thompson v. Pruitt Corp. will be allowed to proceed with their claim through the courts.

It’s become common knowledge that nursing home arbitration agreements strip away the basic rights of those who have suffered as a result of nursing home neglect and nursing home abuse. They force plaintiffs to resolve disputes in front of an arbitrator, as opposed to a judge or jury. The proceedings and the outcome are confidential. The awards are often much less favorable to the victims. In general, defendants have the upper hand in such matters.  Continue reading

Defective and dangerous products cause thousands of injuries in the U.S. annually. Product liability laws define the parameters concerning who may be held responsible when a dangerous or defective product causes injury to a person. ammo

Parties that may be held potentially liable include product designers, manufacturers and distributors – anyone in the chain of distribution.

But what if one of these responsible entities is based outside the U.S.? After all, a great many of the products we use are produced outside our borders.  Continue reading

Medical malpractice lawsuits in North Carolina are among the most demanding, complex and difficult cases to pursue. There are numerous requirements that general personal injury claimants don’t have to meet. If your attorney isn’t meticulous in every phase of the process, you may run afoul of the procedural mandates and lose your case.gavel21

That said, a court cannot require a plaintiff to adhere to specified standards that the court itself hasn’t explicitly stipulated. That was the ruling handed down by the Idaho Supreme Court in the medical malpractice lawsuit of Lepper v. Eastern Idaho.

According to court records, the lower court granted a summary judgment to the defense after finding that the plaintiffs failed to disclose, along with its expert witness opinions, certain foundational facts as required by statute. Continue reading

Exclusive remedy provisions of North Carolina’s workers’ compensation law prevent injured workers or their families from pursuing litigation against employers for almost all work site accidents. However, third-party liability litigation may be appropriate if another person or entity was at least partially responsible for what happened. sad

This was the allegation in the case of Fleming v. Sanders Lead Co., an appeal before the Alabama Supreme Court.

Tragically, one worker was killed and another severely and permanently brain-damaged when a tanker trailer on the back of a semi-truck backed over them while they were at work. The families of the workers filed lawsuits – one for wrongful death and another for personal injury – on their behalf, alleging that a lead company across the street undertook safety inspections at the work site, and failed in this duty to adequately carry them out.  Continue reading

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