Workplace injuries can happen anywhere, but construction sites are often full of numerous hazards. If a worker suffers a catastrophic personal injury on a construction site, the worker or the worker’s family may have grounds for a third-party liability claim against the property owner or other subcontractors on site.staircase

We mention this because usually when an injury is work-related, the injured worker is limited by the exclusive remedy provision of workers’ compensation law to only get workers’ compensation from an employer – even if that employer was negligent. However, there are cases in which non-employers are liable too for work injuries, and this is where a third-party liability claim may arise. We see this a lot in construction accident cases because there are often so many different parties – owners, general contractors, subcontractors, and employees of all those. Whether a third-party claim for a construction site injury is viable is going to depend on the contracts among those various entities and which company was paying for workers’ compensation insurance.

Similar provisions pertaining to workers’ compensation exist in states across the country. In a recent case before the Rhode Island Supreme Court, two companies – neither a direct employer of the injured worker – were battling over which may be liable for the incident.

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A woman carrying large paintings down the steps from an art gallery tripped and fell on an eroded concrete staircase. The building was owned by the local city government, which had leased the property to the art gallery, which sublet to numerous tenants – the plaintiff among them. stairs

The defendant North Carolina city in this premises liability lawsuit sought summary judgment – which was granted – on an assertion of sovereign immunity. Attorneys for the city argued the claim did not fall under circumstances for which the city had granted a waiver of governmental immunity.

The plaintiff appealed, and the North Carolina Court of Appeals reversed. Basically, the fact that the city was making a profit off these tenants meant that it was serving a proprietary function, the plaintiff argued, which meant the city couldn’t assert governmental immunity.

Continue reading driver who allegedly struck and critically injured a pedestrian in Charlotte was arrested by police after surrendering himself to authorities the morning after the hit-and-run crash.

The 25-year-old motorist is charged with felony hit-and-run, while the victim, a 31-year-old woman, is still fighting for her life. She was found unresponsive in the roadway, suffering from life-threatening injuries. Police report she’s being treated at the Carolinas Medical Center-Maine. She was reportedly struck while crossing the street in the crosswalk. Several witnesses to the pedestrian accident, which happened shortly after 9 p.m. on a Saturday, say the driver’s traffic signal at the time of the crash was red.

The crash remains under investigation, and authorities are working to determine whether drugs, alcohol and/or excessive speed played some role in the crash. North Carolina’s pedestrian laws stipulate that individuals in a crosswalk have the right-of-way in traffic.  Continue reading care centers have become a reality for most families, as the majority of households have two working parents or caregivers. According to Child Care Aware of America, there are approximately 4,100 center-based child care programs in North Carolina, employing some 25,000 workers. The average salary for those workers is about $21,000 annually.

These facilities are entrusted to care for vulnerable infants and young children, who often cannot yet fully communicate and are unable to defend themselves. These centers have a significant responsibility in ensuring the children in their care receive the appropriate supervision and that staffers are fully vetted. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen.

Take the following case recently reported by, wherein two day care workers are accused of initiating a “fight club” of toddlers, who were encouraged to fight one another so that the day care workers could record the incidents on their cell phones.  Continue reading

When it comes to dog bites and other animal attacks, North Carolina follows a theory of strict liability. What this means is that it does not matter whether the dog owner or controller used reasonable care to prevent the dog from injuring someone else. It also does not matter whether the dog had shown any prior evidence of violent

However, claims for negligence require plaintiff to prove the dog owner failed to act with reasonable care.

In some cases, it’s not even necessary to prove the dog bit the other person. For example, if the dog lunges at someone and the person falls and is injured, that person may seek to hold the dog owner liable for damages, even if the dog never actually bit the person or otherwise came in contact with them. Continue reading

The U.S. Supreme Court recently weighed whether arbitration agreements for nursing homes should be valid, seemingly taking a critical stance on the practice, despite ruling in favor of arbitration agreements in several recent cases. supreme court

The matter before the court involves three consolidated cases of alleged nursing home abuse, naming as defendant Kindred Healthcare, a corporation which operates nursing homes and assisted living facilities throughout the country, including three in North Carolina. In each case, plaintiffs filed claims in the state court of Kentucky alleging violations of patients’ civil rights, and in each case, an attorney-in-fact for the resident signed an arbitration agreement. The Kentucky Supreme Court ruled those arbitration agreements aren’t valid. The question for the U.S. Supreme Court is whether a person with power of attorney can legally enter into a nursing home arbitration agreement on behalf of the resident.

Justice Samuel Alito noted that, “the context here seems different from arbitration cases we’ve had in recent years.” Specifically, these disputes are not about a discrepancy of something like a phone bill. Rather, these involve elderly persons who need care.  Continue reading

As the opioid epidemic has swept the country, some doctors and pharmaceutical companies are finding themselves on the defendant’s side of the table in personal injury and wrongful death suits related to abuse of these drugs. pills

Historically, there is some precedent to hold physicians liable for causing addiction by negligently prescribing certain controlled substances. In some cases, doctors have even been found criminally responsible for overdose deaths.

Now, the latest physicians to find themselves accused of wrongdoing are those associated with the National Football League. According to court records contained in a federal lawsuit filed by former players, NFL teams allegedly violated federal statutes regarding prescription drugs, disregarded guidance from the Drug Enforcement Administration on how to store, track and transport these drugs and plied players with highly addictive painkillers during the season. These records are under seal, but were reviewed by The Washington PostContinue reading

A slip-and-fall lawsuit has been revived after review by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth District, which held there were genuine issues of material fact as to whether defendant store created the hazardous condition in question. water

According to federal court records, plaintiff slipped and fell in a big-box store in September 2012. She filed a personal injury lawsuit alleging she had slipped on a pool of water that had collected on the ground due to a roof that was negligently-maintained. District court entered summary judgment in favor of the store. However, finding there were numerous issues of genuine material fact that still had yet to be decided, the Fifth Circuit reversed.

Plaintiff suffered the injury while shopping with her sister, who witnessed the incident. An employee of the store was present shortly thereafter and retrieved a wheelchair for plaintiff and helped her leave the store. Plaintiff’s sister then drove her to the emergency room. The manager at the time filed an incident report and noted the floor in the area where plaintiff had slipped was clean except for small droplets of water on the floor. Manager noted the weather that day was rainy, but listed the source of the water on the floor as “unknown.”  Continue reading

In product liability litigation, one common assertion is the product in question was defectively designed. This means there is an inherent flaw or error in the design of the product that renders it unreasonably dangerous. When it comes to medical devices – hip and knee replacement joints, surgical mesh, or other implants – questions are often raised regarding how much study or research went into vetting the product in question and making sure it was as safe as possible. woman

A number of recent lawsuits against Mentor Worldwide, a subsidiary of manufacturing behemoth Johnson & Johnson, allege the company failed in its duty to conduct proper studies of the silicone-based breast implants it sold to women across the country. Such studies are required by regulators to ensure products are safe, but the plaintiffs allege the defendant manufacturers failed to abide by basic industry standards.

You may recall there was a great deal of litigation back in the 1980s and 1990s over defective breast implants, particularly those made of silicone. These newer lawsuits could be the next wave.

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A spokesperson for a Georgia diner is denying allegations that so-called “exploding plates” caused injuries to a customer when he patronized the establishment in 2015. bowls

The customer is suing the national restaurant chain and its franchise after he alleges what began as a casual lunch with a co-worker ended with his suffering significant hearing loss and damage to his ear. He asserts a shard of glass became lodged in his ear after there was reportedly an “explosion” of dishes in the kitchen that sent glass fragments flying into the dining room – and right to where he was seated.

It’s been reported that the “explosion” was caused when steaming hot plates, fresh out of the sanitizing dishwasher, were sprayed by an employee with cold water. The reaction of heat and cold caused the plates to shatter, the plaintiff says, with pieces of glass spewing in all directions.

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