Injured - The FindLaw Accident, Injury and Tort Law Blog

January 2014 Archives

Gordon Ramsay Restaurant Sued Over Burger Injury

A chef is suing a Gordon Ramsay-owned restaurant in New York City after a bite into a burger allegedly claimed his sense of taste.

Markus Barthel, a German chef who visited Ramsay's restaurant -- called Gordon Ramsay at The London -- in March 2013, filed suit in Manhattan Supreme Court on Tuesday claiming that something sharp concealed between the buns sliced up his tongue, the New York Daily News reports.

A good palate is key to a good chef, but is Ramsay's restaurant responsible for putting Barthel off his taste game?

Does Your Homeowner's Insurance Cover Injuries?

A homeowner's insurance policy can cover more than you might expect, including some personal injury claims.

While some people might assume that homeowner's insurance only covers property loss due to things like fire or theft, it can often be extended to cover injuries that occur on your property. In some cases, it can also cover injuries that take place away from your property.

Here's a quick overview of what you need to know:

What Happens at a Case Management Conference?

After a personal injury lawsuit is filed, what happens at a case management conference?

Case management, which refers to the schedule of a case’s proceedings, is a large part of the litigation process. Whether it’s the filing of a complaint, the discovery process, or pre-trial motions, each stage comes with a scheduled timeframe in which it must be completed.

A case management conference is a critical component of court procedure that occurs before a trial even begins. Here’s a general overview of how they work:

Ride Service Uber Sued Over Girl's Death

Taxi-alternative Uber is being sued by a young girl's family after she was struck and killed by a driver on New Year's Eve.

Sofia Liu, 6, died after being hit by driver Syed Muzzafar, 57, in a San Francisco crosswalk. According to the family's suit, Muzzafar was allegedly logged in to Uber's smartphone app when he collided with Lu and her family.

Could Uber be held liable for the girl's death?

Alleged Jaywalker, 84, Sues NYPD Over Beating

An 84-year-old Manhattan man is suing the NYPD for $5 million over an alleged jaywalking incident gone terribly awry.

Kang Chun Wong, who was suspected of jaywalking, was allegedly ambushed by a swarm of NYPD officers, knocked unconscious on the street, and handcuffed in a hospital emergency room, New York's WCBS-TV reports.

Wong is now suing the police department for $5 million over the gruesome arrest.

Cruise Ship Sickness: Can Passengers Sue?

More than 300 people aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship have fallen sick. Although the outbreak of gastrointestinal illness is not life threatening, passengers and crew members have experienced vomiting and diarrhea, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Currently, the cause of the sickness aboard the Explorer of the Seas is unknown, but the cruise line believes the illnesses are consistent with the highly contagious norovirus, Reuters reports.

With so many passengers sickened by the Royal Caribbean outbreak, could a wave of lawsuits soon follow?

Brain-Dead Pregnant Woman Taken Off Life Support

A brain-dead pregnant woman was finally disconnected from her ventilator Sunday after a judge ruled Friday that Texas law did not require her to be kept on life support.

Texas law requires "pregnant patients" to be kept on life support, but State District Judge R.H. Wallace ruled that Marlise Munoz, 33, was legally "deceased" and the law did not apply to her, The Associated Press reported.

The Munoz family will now get to bury Marlise and her unborn child, but this case serves as a vital lesson for future litigants.

Farm Worker Gets $4M for Genital Mutilation Injury

A cringe-inducing genital injury to a former Alabama farm worker has resulted in a jury award for $4 million in damages.

Gerald Lymon was working with a post hole driller more than five years ago when the drill became entangled in his clothing, eventually stripping the skin from his genitals, AL.com reports.

Why did Lymon's jury feel a multimillion-dollar award was necessary?

Shopping Carts Injure 24K Kids Per Year: Study

Shopping cart injuries are on the rise, despite the implementation of safety standards.

A new study in the journal Clinical Pediatrics reveals that shopping cart injuries send about 24,000 children under the age of 15 to hospital emergency rooms every year. Particularly worrisome: the number of shopping cart-related head injuries has continued to increase, The Huffington Post reports.

So in light of the report, what should you do if your child gets injured by a shopping cart?

How Do Survival Statutes Affect Injury Lawsuits?

When it comes to personal injury lawsuits, what is a "survival statute" and how could it affect your case?

In the vast majority of states, many types of personal injury lawsuits can proceed even after the victim/plaintiff dies. These are called survival actions. Without such a provision, a personal injury case can potentially be dismissed if the victim dies of unrelated causes before the case is resolved.

So what are survival actions and how are they different from wrongful death lawsuits?

Brain-Dead Pregnant Woman's Husband Sues Hospital

The husband of a brain-dead pregnant woman is suing a Texas hospital for refusing to take his wife off of life support.

Erick Munoz argues in his lawsuit that his wife Marlise is brain-dead and that keeping her on life support is denying her family the right to "take her body and give her a proper burial," reports CNN.

Does Munoz have a good case against the hospital?

Traffic Stop Anal Probe Settlement: $1.6M

The city and county at the center of New Mexico's traffic stop "anal probe" scandal have reached a settlement with the victim. But this isn't the end of the road for the victim's lawsuit.

David Eckert, who was 63 at the time of his arrest in 2013, was subjected to multiple anal cavity searches for concealed drugs following a routine traffic stop. No contraband was found. Eckert is now set to receive $1.6 million from Hidalgo County and the city of Deming to settle their portion of the lawsuit, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Considering how outrageous this case was, why would Eckert and his attorney opt to settle with the city and county, rather than pursue a full-blown trial?

86 Yale Frat Members Sued Over Tailgating Death

Dozens of former Yale frat members -- 86, to be exact -- are being sued over a 2011 incident with a U-Haul truck which killed one tailgater and injured two others.

The ex-members of Sigma Phi Epsilon are being sued by the family of 30-year-old Nancy Barry, who was killed after being struck by the U-Haul truck, reports Connecticut's WVIT-TV. The national chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon has disavowed any connection to the incident.

Will these 86 former frat members also be able to avoid liability for Barry's death?

Injured Coach Sues Little Leaguer, 14, for $600K

A California Little Leaguer is being sued by his coach for allegedly striking and tearing the coach's Achilles tendon as the teen ran toward home plate.

Coach Alan Beck claims the 14-year-old player "carelessly" threw off his helmet, hitting the coach's leg and injuring him. He's suing the boy for $500,000 for pain and suffering, along with another $100,000 for lost wages and medical bills, according to UPI.

In a lawsuit against a child, can the Little Leaguer be held liable for his coach's injuries?

3 Reasons Your Injury Settlement May Be Rejected

Settlements are the most common way for injury lawsuits to be resolved, yet sometimes a well-planned settlement is rejected by the court.

Take for example the NFL's proposed concussion settlement to compensate some 4,500 former players. A federal judge ruled Tuesday that the $760 million proposal may not be enough to pay all of the injured ex-players who were part of the class action.

The judge in the NFL case is now asking for more financial details, so the settlement may still be salvaged. Generally speaking, however, here are three typical reasons why injury settlements fall apart:

In W. Va., 1st Chemical Spill Lawsuits Filed

The first lawsuits have already been filed after a West Virginia chemical spill contaminated the water supply for more than 300,000 people in nine counties.

At least five people were admitted to area hospitals "for symptoms that could have been caused by Thursday's chemical leak into the Elk River," according to The Register-Herald of Beckley, West Virginia. Affected residents are under orders not to use the water from their own taps.

If the proposed class-action lawsuits move forward, the chemical distributor could face a staggering damages award for the incident.

Another McDonald's Hot Coffee Lawsuit Filed in L.A.

A new McDonald's hot coffee lawsuit has been filed in Los Angeles, two decades after the infamous "McDonald's coffee" case that received worldwide attention.

In the latest case, a woman named Paulette Carr claims she was injured by hot McDonald's coffee in January 2012 at a Southern California drive-thru, reports the Los Angeles Times.

How does Carr's case against McDonald's coffee compare to its infamous predecessor?

Wis. Gov. Dismissed From Jury in Injury Case

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker showed up for jury duty this week and was selected to hear a personal injury case. But he was dismissed from the jury before deliberations began.

Gov. Walker, otherwise known as Juror 20, listened to two days of testimony in a case involving a car crash. But he didn't get to participate in deliberations after it came to light that he had a financial tie to one of the parties.

Walker's situation highlights one of the ways in which courts resolve jury selection issues.

Online Mugshot Lawsuit: Settlement Reached

A federal lawsuit over three Ohio mugshots has resulted in a settlement with the owner of two major mugshot websites.

The settlement between the parties was signed by a federal judge in late December. It calls for Citizens Information Associates LLC (the corporate owner of BustedMugshots.com and MugshotsOnline.com) to pay $7,500 and remove the offending mugshots for free, a lawyer for the company told The Plain Dealer.

This lawsuit is one of many against mugshot sites around the country, so how is this one different?

Buckyballs Founder Sued by CPSC Over Recall

The man behind the popular Buckyballs desk toy is being sued by the Consumer Product Safety Commission over a costly recall.

In a rare twist, the toy company's founder, Craig Zucker, is being sued personally by the CPSC over a recall of Buckyballs and similar products which could cost up to $57 million, reports The Washington Post. The CPSC estimates more than 1,000 children have been hospitalized after ingesting magnetic balls sold by various companies.

Why are Buckyballs such a problem?

Toyota Lawsuits: Settlement Talks Set to Begin

Settlement conferences for scores of Toyota lawsuits alleging sudden acceleration defects are set to begin in February.

Hundreds of plaintiffs have filed lawsuits against Toyota over alleged mechanical defects in their vehicles that caused them to accelerate suddenly and crash, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Toyota's settlement talks are advantageous for both the company and the plaintiffs.

Can the 'Yellow Dog Project' Prevent Dog Bites?

Have you heard of the "Yellow Dog Project"? It's an effort to raise awareness about anxious dogs and could help to prevent injuries.

If you see a dog with a yellow ribbon tied to its collar or leash, that's a sign the owner is taking part in the Yellow Dog Project. Canine afficionados are advised to proceed with caution around so-called "Yellow Dogs."

Although wearing a yellow ribbon is a useful tool to help avoid any accidents or attacks, simply participating in the Yellow Dog Project doesn't relieve owners from legal liability.

Newer, Younger Drivers Easily Distracted: Study

A new study finds that teen drivers are far more likely to be distracted than older, more experienced motorists.

Researchers at Virginia Tech's Transportation Institute found that "novice drivers are more likely to engage in high-risk secondary tasks" such as dialing cell phones, eating, and even chatting with passengers. These distractions "greatly raise their risk of crashes," researchers found.

How can drivers protect themselves in light of this study?

Ski Injuries: 3 Factors Affecting Lawsuits

Ski injuries are more prevalent during the winter, but there are a few factors that can affect the outcome of a potential lawsuit.

Case in point: world champion Formula One driver Michael Schumacher, who suffered a brain injury last weekend while skiing in France, according to Reuters. Authorities say Schumacher was skiing off-piste -- in an ungroomed area of a ski resort -- which could potentially affect any injury-related legal claims against the resort's owner.

Here are three factors to consider when initiating a ski injury lawsuit: