Earlier this year, a school bus driver in Belmont, N.C. was charged with reckless driving by the North Carolina Highway Patrol after the driver allegedly overturned the bus with four students on board. The bus was approaching a sharp curve on a wet road and the driver ran off the muddy shoulder, covered with wet leaves, losing control of the bus. Thankfully, according to WCNC.com, no serious injuries were reported. school bus

Unfortunately, not all students in school bus accidents are so fortunate. One such case in California involved a driver who passed out behind the wheel, causing the school bus to smash into a tree while 11 children were on board. That was in 2014. The driver is charged with numerous felonies, including child abuse and endangerment and inflicting great bodily injury. Now, the OCRegister reports the school district has agreed to pay $10 million to the families of five of those children who were seriously injured. Their parents had filed lawsuits alleging the district was negligent in failing to heed warnings signs that the driver suffered from a serious medical condition and was not fit to be driving, let alone be responsible for safety and well-being of children.

There are a few different complicating legal factors in that case, underscoring the need for an experienced injury attorney.  Continue reading

A judge in Georgia has dismissed a personal injury lawsuit filed by a driver who was critically injured in a car accident against social media company Snapchat. Plaintiff had accused the company of responsibility for the crash, arguing the firm incentivized users to speed in motor vehicles while using its app, which awards points to people who use the app to record their speed. iphone

The company, however, insists that it does not encourage users to utilize its smartphone application while driving, and further actively discourages people from using the speed filter while driving.

Ultimately, in what is potentially a precedent-setting ruling, the judge decided that Snapchat as a social media platform is afforded a broad degree of immunity per the Communications Decency Act of 1996 (also sometimes referred to as Title V of the Telecommunications Act of 1996). That statute primarily was in response to concerns about the ability of minors to access pornography on the internet, but it also afforded certain protections to companies that allow their platforms to be used for public communication. Section 230 of that law extended federal immunity to any internet service provider defendants for information that originated with a third-party user of that service.  Continue reading

In any personal injury lawsuit, it’s important to have a skilled lawyer for several reasons. The first is that while the truth most assuredly matters, what also matters is what is provable. Ensuring that important evidence is timely admitted or that harmful evidence is suppressed if possible is imperative. Understanding and adhering to the procedural guidelines is critical. doctor

In medical malpractice lawsuits in particular, there is often so much at stake. These cases are complex and time-consuming and require detailed testimony from numerous expert witnesses. You don’t want to invest that kind of time, only to have efforts fail based on a procedural technicality. You need a lawyer and a law firm committed to being detail-oriented.

medical malpractice lawsuit out of California shows what can happen when attorneys on both sides fail to mind important procedural details. This was a case in which plaintiff was rendered quadriplegic after being admitted as a patient at the defendant hospital. The hospital argued that while it was negligent in plaintiff’s treatment, this was not the cause of his quadriplegia. Plaintiff later died. The matter before the California Supreme Court was whether a motion for a new trial was timely filed and also whether the objection to that motion was timely filed. The answer to both questions was no, but the defendant’s failure to timely object to plaintiff’s late motion for a new trial meant that the case would be scheduled for a re-trial.  Continue reading

When a guest in a hotel is injured on site, hotels can be liable for the negligent acts of hotel employees. In order for a hotel to be legally responsible for injuries incurred by a patron, plaintiffs need to establish that the hotel was somehow negligent. In other words, the hotel owed the visitor a duty of care, and breached that duty and the end result was that the person was injured.hotel

Generally speaking, hotels have a duty to exercise reasonable care in operating the business and protecting guests. Under premises liability law, a hotel visitor would be considered an “invitee,” which means he or she would be entitled to a high level of protection (as compared to, say, a trespasser or someone who is on site strictly for their own benefit). Invitees can generally expect that a hotel would conduct background checks on its employees, make the parking lots secure and have locks on the doors, maintain stairs and elevators and train pool staff on prevention of guest injuries. It also means that hotels would take care to reduce the chances of a slip-and-fall accident on site.

In the recent case, weighed by the Idaho Supreme Court, plaintiff suffered personal injury in a fall at a hotel. The issue the state high court had to consider was whether the statute of limitations (the time limit she had in which to file his claim) should be tolled (extended) because of confusion in identifying the actual owner of the hotel at the time of the incident. This case underscores why it is so imperative to have an experienced hotel injury attorney handling your case. Continue reading

A bicyclist is suing the local city government where she was injured in a bicycle accident while on a bicycle trail last summer. The woman suffered a punctured lung and five broken ribs, according to the complaint.bicycle

According to the News and Sentinel, at the time of the incident, city workers from the small metro area in Ohio were reportedly washing the embankment and, to do so, pulled a fire hose across a bike path. However, they failed to issue any notification to users of the bike path that the path might be obstructed or to use caution. Plaintiff was riding her bike downhill when she suddenly struck the inflated hose filled with water. The hose, she would later say, wasn’t obvious to riders from a distance and she didn’t notice it until it was too late to stop. It was later noted by a member of council at a public meeting that this was the third such injury in three years that had been reported to the city involving these hoses, and, in the councilman’s own words, the hose should have been marked with the use of traffic cones, which he called, “just a basic standard rule of work.”

The issue was previously raised by the council member to trail committees, but there was no adequate response on the issue prior to this bicycle accident. In one of the memos he issued to the committee responsible for maintaining the path, he noted that the city is responsible for ensuring visitors and residents alike are safe, and there is “no excuse for people to get unnecessarily hurt.” Continue reading

A bicyclist suffered a traumatic brain injury when a parking valet took an illegal shortcut across two lanes. Now, a jury in Washington State has awarded him $38 million. bicycle

Plaintiff alleged the valet’s employer failed to give him the proper training to ensure he could do his job safely. The illegal shortcut used in the October 2012 incident was caused in large part because the company kept vehicles off-site and pressured drivers to return the vehicles as quickly as possible.

According to the complaint, the company knew its workers were taking cars between the garages downtown using the shortcut to the off-site lot. Others had complained about this practice, pointing out it was dangerous, but the company “turned a blind eye” to the practice.  Continue reading

A $12.7 million verdict in an injury lawsuit has been voided and a new trial ordered, unless the executor of the plaintiff’s estate agrees to a reduction to $1.45 million.knees

Bigler-Engler v. Berg, Inc. involves a cold-therapy device that was prescribed to and used by a 15-year-old female student athlete after she suffered a sports-related injury and had to undergo knee surgery. The cold therapy device was supposed to help speed her recovery. The device, “Polar Care 500,” is intended to deliver cold therapy to the site of the surgery, similar to what might be accomplished with an ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables. It operates continuously for 11 hours, until the ice has to be refilled. The girl’s parents were told it would decrease her risk of infection. But the plaintiffs alleged the doctor, his employer, and the manufacturer failed to disclose the risks of using this device, even though they were aware of those risks. The medical group and the doctor both benefited from the sales and rentals of these devices, but they did not disclose that fact to the plaintiff or her parents. (It was also later revealed the doctor was a shareholder in his employer’s medical group, and he was friendly with the cold-therapy device manufacturer executives, who took him on golf outings, dinners, and other events.)

Although the surgery was initially successful, her use of the cold-therapy device reportedly resulted in severe pain and ultimately resulted in dead tissue around her knee that required immediate and specialized surgery. After that, she needed nine additional surgeries to clean and close the wounds. These procedures were extremely painful and left her with permanent, extensive scarring. Scar reduction surgeries followed, for which the plaintiff paid out-of-pocket. She also continued to suffer from weakness, pain, and other functional limitations.

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Asheville leads the state for the amount of tourism dollars it rakes in each year – more than $900 million just in Buncombe County in 2013. In 2015, Asheville recorded a 15 percent increase in lodging tax revenue, which was a record. BizJournals.com reports that as of last year, there were 17 new hotel projects or expansions currently in the works in Asheville. shower head

Tourism has become a vital industry in North Carolina, from its coastline to its high country. But along with that money comes the responsibility of hotel and other property owners to ensure that guests are reasonably safe from foreseeable hazards. That means walkways are cleared of ice, snow, and other slippery substances, parking lots are well-lit, and security is reasonable in a way that doesn’t invite crime. It also means that guests can expect that they’ll be warned of any hazards about which the owner knows but hasn’t yet addressed.

This was the claim made in the recent case of Parker v. Four Seasons Hotels, Ltd., recently before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. According to court records, the hotel admitted negligence in a case in which a hotel guest was injured by a defective shower door that resulted in the glass shattering and causing cuts all over the plaintiff’s body. However, the question became a matter of damages. The plaintiff sought both compensatory and punitive damages, but the trial court refused to allow her to proceed with her punitive damages claim. The appeals court later ruled that was a mistake.

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Ladders are a major cause of occupational deaths, and they are also a significant problem for those doing work around the home. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention report that falls are the No. 1 cause of unintentional injury deaths nationally, and nearly 45 percent of all deadly falls over the last 10 years have involved a ladder.ladder

When an injury occurs at work as a result of a ladder fall, the person hurt will likely want to explore a workers’ compensation claim. If the injury did not happen at work, the injured person will want to look into a claim against the manufacturer or distributor of the ladder, or perhaps the owner of the property.

In the recent case of Baugh v. Cuprum S.A., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld an $11 million verdict against the manufacturer of a ladder involved in a ladder fall. The plaintiff was a 224-pound man who fell off a five-foot, A-frame aluminum ladder while he was replacing several rusty screws in a gutter on his garage. He suffered serious bruising and bleeding in the frontal area of his brain, which in turn resulted in chronic seizures, dementia, and quadriplegia. His cognitive ability is severely impaired, and he will no longer live a normal life.

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A federal court has upheld a $25 million settlement reached in a personal injury lawsuit as jurors were deliberating. The plaintiff was rendered quadriplegic as a result of a fall he suffered in a boat injury on the coastal waters of Lake Michigan, where he fell from the yacht’s stern top deck to its stern wall deck. boat

The accident happened back in 2009 while the vessel was anchored. The plaintiff and his wife filed for damages against the manufacturer of the boat and its parent company, as well as the yacht company. The plaintiffs sought damages for the injuries sustained. The plaintiffs asserted negligence and strict liability against the boat company and its manufacturer. Against the yacht company, they alleged an additional negligence claim and also loss of consortium.

Although the manufacturer and its subsidiary reached an eleventh-hour deal to settle its portion of the claim, the defendant filed a lawsuit against the plaintiff’s attorney and the court’s clerk, challenging the validity of the settlement agreement and claiming it was not made aware of a jury note that was passed to the judge just one hour before that settlement deal was reached. Specifically, jurors submitted a handwritten question to the court at 3:50 p.m., asking if they could find fault with the yacht company without finding the boat manufacturer liable for damages. That was back in June 2015. But, the manufacturer now argues, the court did not disclose this information to its attorneys before the deal was finalized, just a few minutes later.

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