Injured - FindLaw Accident, Personal Injury and Tort Law Blog

Injured - The FindLaw Accident, Injury and Tort Law Blog


New York City has agreed to pay $2.75 million to settle a lawsuit alleging that guards at Rikers Island jail beat a man to death.

The civil suit, brought by the family of 52-year-old Ronald Spear, follows a city medical examiner's ruling that Spear's death was a homicide. The district attorney's office declined to press criminal charges against the guards alleged to have administered the fatal beating, reports the New York Daily News.

Why did the city settle, and how do you sue for prison abuses?

Cigarette manufacturer RJ Reynolds has been slapped with a $23.6 billion jury verdict, with more than 99 percent of the vast sum made up by punitive damages.

Putting it mildly, juries' love affair with tobacco companies has cooled in the last few decades, but it's still surprising to see a jury want to punish RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company this much. Plaintiff's attorney Willie Gary told the Pensacola News Journal that jurors "wanted to make a difference" after hearing how RJ Reynolds and others "lied and failed to disclose information that could have saved lives."

We certainly aren't blowing smoke; here are five things to know about this huge verdict against RJ Reynolds:

When can you sue for "pain and suffering" damages?

Damages are an important part of a personal injury case; after all, if there's no "injury," then there's no certainly no personal injury case.

But along with damages for economic losses such as medical bills, damages to property, or lost wages, personal injury suits can also sometimes include damages for "pain and suffering," which place a monetary value on both past and future physical and mental pain suffered by a plaintiff. Here's a general overview as to how this works:

Today marks 59 years of operation for Disneyland, which opened its doors July 17, 1955. But over the ensuing six decades, the "Happiest Place on Earth" has been the setting for many personal injury lawsuits.

In fact, over a five-year period from 2007 to 2012, Disneyland was sued for personal injuries nearly 140 times, according to a review of court records.

Still, not all of those lawsuits were successful. Here are five lessons that can be learned from Disney's long list of personal injury lawsuits:

The parents of a boy who committed suicide after an embarrassing video was posted online are seeking $1 million from his school district, alleging the school was culpable for their bullied son's treatment.

Matthew Burdette, 14, of San Diego, killed himself in November after an online video of the teen in a school bathroom stall went viral; the classmate who posted the video claimed Matthew was masturbating. San Diego's KGTV reports that Burdette's school knew about the incident, but the boy's parents didn't learn about it until well after their son had passed.

Is the school potentially liable for Burdette's death?

In many injury cases, the losing party is often saddled with paying the winning party's attorney's fees. But this isn't always the case.

In fact, it's often up to the court's discretion as to whether to award the prevailing party attorney's fees as part of his or her damages.

Let's look at some notable cases in which the losing party does -- and does not -- have to pay attorney's fees:

Comedian Tracy Morgan has filed a lawsuit against Walmart, claiming the retailer should be held responsible for last month's accident in which a Walmart truck rammed into Morgan's bus, injuring three and killing one.

As Morgan pursues his negligence lawsuit against the company, what will likely be the key aspects of his case, and what lessons can be learned about truck accidents in general?

Here are three legal tips for plaintiffs in truck accident lawsuits:

Can you back out of a settlement agreement? After agreeing to a settlement in your injury case, you may have a change of heart. Perhaps your medical bills have increased unexpectedly or the insurance policies involved are not enough to cover your treatment or recovery.

Courts may strike down settlement agreements that were reached through fraud or misrepresentation, or even when they feel the terms are unfair. But by and large, courts are likely to enforce these agreements.

So can you change your mind after settlement is reached?

A tourist's fingertips were severed after an accident on Walt Disney World's Pirates of the Caribbean ride Thursday, with many legal questions yet to be answered.

The injured man, a UK resident whose name has not been released, lost the tips of his ring and pinky fingers on his right hand. According to the Orlando Sentinel, the injury occurred after the victim was holding on to the outside of the boat during the ride.

Was the man properly warned, and should Disney cover the damage?

A mom who was kicked out of a New York Barnes & Noble bookstore for refusing to cover herself while breastfeeding has settled her complaint with the Attorney General against the company.

A press release issued by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office announced the terms of the deal, which include improved employee training at Barnes & Noble stores, a $10,000 donation to a local breastfeeding support group, and the posting of the international symbol for breastfeeding at the entrances of all New York Barnes & Noble locations.

What led to the settlement and what does New York law say about breastfeeding in public?