March 2011 News: Injured
Injured - The FindLaw Accident, Injury and Tort Law Blog

March 2011 Archives

Yamaha Not Liable in Ohio Girl's ATV Death

Ellie Sand died in October 2007 as a result of an accident that threw her from a Yamaha Rhino ATV.

The Sands filed a wrongful death suit against the company, alleging that the Rhino ATV is defective and has caused 94 deaths in addition to their daughter's.

After 12 hours of deliberation last week, the jury found that Yamaha is not responsible for the death of Ellie Sand even though the Rhino ATV is defective.

Woman Sues Adidas: Shoes Got Stuck, Tripped Her

Normally, when you trip and fall, it’s because you’re unsteady on your feet or stepped onto or into something you shouldn’t have.

When your shoes are implicated in that fall, it’s usually a matter of untied laces or worn out soles.

Sound about right? Well, here’s a new one:

According to a Chicago suburbanite, her new Adidas Midiru shoes stuck together and tripped her. She’s suing.

FBI Agent Wrecks $750K Ferrari, Gets FBI Sued

The FBI has destroyed a $750,000 Ferrari and they don't want to pay for it.

You're probably picturing a heated chase, gunfire and a crash that ends with the Ferrari thief caught and cuffed in the back of an unmarked vehicle.

Eh, no. It's more like an agent and an Assistant U.S. Attorney went for a joyride claiming it was "official business."

Official business or not, the insurance company that owns the totaled vehicle has decided to sue the FBI, and they want all their money back.

Declan Sullivan: Notre Dame Fined by Indiana OSHA

Notre Dame's Declan Sullivan story is a sad one, and it may well end up getting the University sued.

Now, Indiana's Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OHSA) has concluded its investigation into the death of Declan Sullivan, a Notre Dame student videographer who was filming a football practice when the hydraulic lift he was standing on collapsed.

Man Bites Dog, Sues Police for Excessive Force

Man Bites Dog is kind of like a disturbing version of the television show Man v. Food.

You know, man sets his sights on a big food offering that no one should ever eat, and then proceeds to try his hand at consuming it all.

Man Bites Dog clearly isn't a TV show--PETA would never stand for it--but it is a true story.

Indeed, would-be burglar Erin Sullivan bit a police dog on the nose earlier this week after it bit him.

'Family Car' Doctrine: Liability for a Kid's Wreck

Kids are all kinds of trouble. Especially when they're in trouble.

Unfortunately for all you parents out there, you might just be liable for whatever damage Junior has caused.

So if you're letting your kid--even over the age of 18--borrow the family car this year (for spring break or even just prom), think again. It may not be worth it.

Spring Pedicure: Doctor Warns of Foot Risks

A new craze has hit the nation!

Or at least the nation's nail salons.

Lacquer nail polish, also known as shellac nail treatments, has women flocking to salons for pedicures designed to last two to three weeks.

Though a lacquer pedicure only promises busy women pretty feet, it may just come with an unsolicited gift:

Skin cancer.

Exxon Asbestos Verdict: $25M to Virginia Man

A Virginia jury awarded a man $25 million last week in a suit he brought against Exxon alleging that the company's practices had caused him unnecessary exposure to asbestos.

The Exxon asbestos suit is just one in a line of thousands of lawsuits brought against employers every year. However, the case is particularly notable for two reasons.

Not only was is it one of the largest verdicts in state history, but evidence presented at trial demonstrated just how much Exxon, and probably other employers, knew about asbestos in the 1930s.

Texas to Make Losers Pay Opponents' Legal Fees?

It's standard that everyone pays for their own attorney when suing or being sued. This may soon change in the Lone Star State.

Rumor has it that a new Texas tort reform law is in the works. The bill would require a lawsuit's loser to pay the winner's legal fees and costs.

This may not be such a good idea.

'Crash Tax' on 911 Calls Isn't Working Out

What would make a car accident even worse? How about receiving a bill from the fire department, known as a "crash tax?" 

A number of cities have begun instituting such policies for responding to traffic accidents. The taxes are only instituted on out-of-town drivers and only if they are at fault.

Woman Infected with Herpes Gets $6.7M, BMW

Patricia Behr was awarded $6.75 million by a California jury last month in a lawsuit against her ex-lover. Her claim? He gave her herpes and knew about it.

As the instance of sexually transmitted diseases rises, sex torts have become a more focused point of legal inquiry and litigation. Some states have even codified the cause of action, named Wrongful Infection of a Sexually Transmitted Disease.

Though the lawsuit by Patrica Behr is not unique, it provides a good explanation of sex torts and just what makes an infected person liable.

Starbucks Tip Jars 'Invite Criminal Behavior?'

Could a Starbucks tip jar have been the catalyst for a patron's death? On March 3, 2008, Roger Kreutz, 54, of Missouri was ordering up some caffeine when Aaron Poisson, 19, grabbed the barista tip jar and tried to escape the store, the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports.

Kreutz caught up with Poisson and a fight occurred near Poisson's car. In the altercation, Kreutz was thrown to the ground when Poisson hit him with his car. Kreutz would later die from the injuries he suffered in the incident.

Tainted Triad Alcohol Pads' Production Shut Down

Over on FindLaw's Common Law, we reported on the Triad recall when the medical supply company voluntarily recalled alcohol pads, wipes, and petroleum jelly that was shown to be contaminated with dangerous bacteria known as Bacillus cereus.

The company has now voluntarily shut down production of its Triad alcohol pads and other contaminated lines.

Mohegan Sun Casino Bus Crash Kills 15 in NYC

Fifteen people were killed this weekend when a bus, shuttling passengers between New York City and Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut, slammed into a guardrail and flipped onto its side before skidding 480 feet. 

The driver claims the crash was initiated when a tractor-trailer clipped the bus. The police think otherwise.

KC Royals Not Liable for Hot Dog Toss Injury

Imagine sitting in the stands of a baseball game--just behind the third base dugout--when a strange creature appears in your line of sight. You're not particularly sure if it's a lion or a dog with a permanently attached crown. All you know is that it's big, fuzzy, and tossing hot dogs your way. Oh, and it's using an air gun.

Now, what do you if you're John Coomer and confronted with this situation? Well, you certainly don't keep your eyes off of what you know to be Sluggerrr, the Kansas City Royals mascot. Because if you do, you may receive a hot dog to the eye, causing your retina to detach, leaving you with a case of cataracts.

Groupon Sued Again Over Expiration Dates

You can't run a company worth billions without facing some major lawsuits. It's inevitable. Most consumers have heard of Groupon, which is website that offers deals to local businesses.

So another Groupon expiration date lawsuit has been filed, this time in federal court in Washington, D.C. This class action was filed on behalf of a man who bought a one-month gym membership on Groupon that allegedly expired within two months, before he was able to redeem it. The lawsuit contends that a Groupon coupon cannot expire for at least five years under federal law, The Blog of Legal Times reports.

Montana Mesothelioma Case to Settle for $43M?

The massive Montana mesothelioma case may be finally coming to a resolution. The state is in the "final stages" of negotiating a $43 million settlement with the 1,100 Libby asbestos victims, the Daily Inter Lake reports

The cases involved a mine operated by W.R. Grace & Co., which extracted and processed vermiculite. Individual claimants would receive $21,500 to $60,700, depending on the severity of their case, the Associated Press reports. Attorneys will take one-third of the settlement.

Icy Roads: At Fault Even When Driving Speed Limit?

Could you be found liable for a winter car accident even while driving the speed limit? To quote our Midwestern neighbors who know something about driving in snow: "You betcha."

This winter has seen huge amounts of snow and icy road conditions. And wherever there are slippery roads, accidents lurk around the corner. So even if you are driving at or below the speed limit, you can still be on the hook for a car accident.

$10 Billion Ill. Tobacco Class Action Back On

Those good old tobacco cases just never quite go away.

Take the $10-billion verdict against Altria Group in the Price v. Philip Morris. The Fifth District Appellate Court of Illinois has just reinstated the verdict.

Ski Lift Accident: When is Ski Resort to Blame?

It has been a banner ski season thus far in 2011, with trails and slopes packed with snow. With all those skiers and snowboarders riding the ski lifts, accident are sure to happen.

Ski lift accidents are one of the most popular ways people get injured. With that in mind, here are a few things you should know about ski lift accidents and whether you can recover for such injuries.

Conn. Smoker Gets $15.7M More From RJ Reynolds

R.J. Reynolds was ordered to pay an additional $15.7 million in interest to Barbara Izzarelli, a Norwich resident who developed larynx cancer. She was previously awarded $13.9 million by a jury, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

Barbara Izzarelli first filed suit in 1999 and offered to settle for $400,000. R.J. Reynolds declined the offer. Now they have to foot the bill for the misstep.

Levi's Sandblasting Process Linked to 40 Deaths

Those sandblasted jeans you like are causing the people who make them some serious suffering. The process of sandblasting the jeans, which gives them a beaten and worn look, uses a product called crystalline silica, can cause silicosis, a fatal lung disease, the International Textile Garment & Leather Worker's Federation reports.

In response, Levi's and H&M have said they will stop sandblasting jeans out of concern for their workers. About 40 jean makers who worked on sandblasted clothing have died in Turkey between 2005 and 2009, the NY Daily News reports. Turkey banned sandblasting in 2009.

Ski Accidents: When to Sue, When Not to Sue

Ski season is in full swing, which means ski accidents are also happening left and right.

The wonder of sports like skiing and snowboarding also includes the risk of injuring yourself. Many people mistakenly believe that you cannot recover for snowboarding or ski accident; after all, they make you sign one of those waivers, right?

However, the truth is that the waivers do not protect all injuries, and in some circumstances, they are not valid at all.

Bike Accidents on the Rise in SF: Your City Next?

Riding your bike in San Francisco can be dangerous. It can be dangerous in your city as well. Forgive the fear-mongering, but The New York Times did a piece on cyclist accidents in San Francisco, and found that 101 cyclists were "doored" in the last two years alone. (Dooring is what happens when a door is opened by a car in the path of a bicyclist, causing often serious accidents.)

According to a study by The Bay Citizen, 1,147 bike accidents were recorded in the past two years by the San Francisco Police Department.

Reglan Side Effects Lead to Lawsuits

Metoclopramide, commonly known as Reglan, has been used for decades to treat a host of digestive ailments, such as GERD, acid reflux and heartburn. As early as 2004, studies linked Reglan to the debilitating muscular disorder tardive dyskinesia.

In response to severe Reglan side effects, the FDA issued a black box warning, which, according to Hartley Hampton, is the most serious warning the agency can require of a drug manufacturer.

Will Seat Belt Death Lawsuits Flood the Courts?

Until 2007, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 208 gave auto manufacturers a choice between lap belts and lap/shoulder belts when outfitting seats that are not placed against a car door. A handful of courts had ruled that the choice given by FMVSS 208 preempted state court product liability and injury suits, basically giving consumers no recourse for resultant seat belt deaths.

Last week, the Supreme Court changed this. It ruled that plaintiffs can now sue auto manufacturers for their failure to outfit rear middle seats with shoulder seat belts.

Middle seats equipped only with lap belts have likely been responsible for a number of crash-related injuries and seat belt deaths. Will state courts now see an influx of seat belt death lawsuits related to rear middle seats?