Injured - The FindLaw Accident, Injury and Tort Law Blog

January 2011 Archives

Seattle Man Handicapped After Police Takedown

What price should the police have to pay when unnecessary force causes a man to lapse into a coma? The family of a Seattle man who had his head slammed into a wall wants $25 million.

Testimony began last week in the Seattle police takedown trial brought by the family of Christopher Harris. Harris, 31, was running from a King County sheriff's deputy when an officer cracked his head against a wall. "It sounded like when somebody takes a baseball bat and hits a ball real hard and you hear that crack," said witness Ron Cody. Two years later, Harris is still in a coma.

Rep. Kucinich Sues over Olive Pit in Sandwich

Dennis Kucinich's website touts him as "America's Most Courageous Congressman."

Kucinich demonstrated that courage this week, after he demonstrated that he isn't even afraid to go after a restaurant in his own congress after biting into an olive pit during lunch.

Family Sues Atlanta Transit in Teen's Killing

A New Year's Eve slaying in downtown Atlanta continues to develop with shocking details. Tommy Christopher Collins, 36, confessed to the stabbing death of 14-year old Rueben Hand, police said.

The stabbing happened at an Atlanta train station at Atlanta's New Year's Peach Drop celebration. Hand was found with his throat slashed, the Associated Press reports.

Texting Fountain Lady Sues, Has Criminal Record

The texting fountain lady has filed suit in court, but this isn't the first time she's been in a court of law, CBS reports. Cathy Cruz Marrero, now known throughout the internet at the "fountain lady," was texting and walking during her break at a Pennsylvania mall when she walked right into a fountain.

Video of the incident has been seen by nearly 2 million people online and now Marrero has sued. Now reports that just hours after appearing on "Good Morning America," Marrero appeared in court to face charges of five felony counts, including theft by deception and receiving stolen property.

TSA Exposes Woman's Breasts, Settles Suit

Lesson learned: If the TSA exposes a woman's breasts, then it may have to face legal consequences. Lynsie Murley, a 24-year old from Amarillo, Texas, filed a lawsuit against the TSA for negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress because of a patdown that caused her breasts to be exposed, reports. Lynsie Murley claims that she was "singled out for extended search procedures," according to the Daily Mail.

She claims that a TSA agent patted her down and "pulled Plaintiff's blouse completely down, exposing Plaintiff's breasts to everyone in the area." If that wasn't horrifying enough, Lynsie Murley alleges that the TSA agents present "joked and laughed about the incident for an extended period of time."

Motrin Recall: Oregon Sues over Secret Recall

Johnson & Johnson is facing a lawsuit for secretly conducting a "phantom recall."

The Oregon Attorney General claims Johnson & Johnson conducted a "phantom recall" or Motrin, without properly informing consumers after the company discovered defective supplies of the painkiller. The Motrin recall action has been the subject of a congressional investigation, the Associated Press reports.

Prisoner Sues Over Rodent Bite to Penis

U.S. prisons are not known for their cleanliness. However, incarcerated people are entitled to certain reasonable minimum requirements. For example, there shouldn't be rats running around biting peoples genitalia. But according to Peter Soloman, that's just what happened while he was incarcerated in a Long Island jail, the BBC reports.

U.S. District Judge Arthur Spatt is allowing his federal civil rights lawsuit to go forward. Solomon filed the civil suit arguing "deliberate indifference to his health and safety in failing to adequately protect him from rodents." Solomon's attorney claims that the jail had a known, recurring rodent problem.

Jimmy John's Salmonella Lawsuit Filed

A salmonella outbreak from alfalfa sprouts eaten at Illinois Jimmy John's restaurants is being investigated by local and federal health agencies, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. After receiving 46 reports of Illinois residents falling ill from Jimmy John's salmonella related illnesses since Nov. 1, the Illinois Department of Public Health is now investigating alfalfa sprout producers and suppliers.

The FDA has also launched an investigation after a total of 89 people became ill from salmonella nationwide, according to WHAS 11.

Toddler's Hand, Feet Amputated After ER Wait

A 2-year-old California girl was forced to wait five hours in the emergency room to receive treatment. The delay may have cost her both of her feet and one of her hands, which she had to have amputated

Malyia Jeffers, 2, was waiting in the ER at Methodist Hospital in Sacramento while fighting a serious Strep A infection. She is now at Stanford University's Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. Malyia Jeffers is still on a ventilator and kidney dialysis following the December amputations.

"This is the hardest thing I was dreading the most... was having to make a decision ... They said 'your daughter's dying and the only thing we can do to save her is to amputate.'" Malyia's dad, Ryan Jeffers told Fox40.

Autism Study: Will Parents Sue Over Measles?

An autism study that claimed that there was a link between autism and the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) childhood vaccine has not only been discredited, but it has been declared fraudulent. The British Medical Journal (BMJ) has declared that Andrew Wakefield, the doctor behind the autism study, has committed an "elaborate fraud" by using faked data, Reuters reports.

The BMJ's editor Dr. Fiona Godlee said that the work of Andrew Wakefield "was based not on bad science but on a deliberate fraud." This stance by the BMJ was based on a series of journalistic articles it commissioned to writer Brian Deer which delved into the specifics of the autism study by looking into the health records of the patients studied as well as interviews with the patients' families.

$152M Verdict in Tobacco Giveaways to Kids

The "Cigarette Man," who reportedly gave away cigarettes to black children decades ago, has spoken from beyond the grave and helped lead to a landmark tobacco verdict.

It seems that a jury sought to send a message to cigarette maker Lorillard Inc. The Suffolk Superior Court tobacco verdict included the jury awarding $81 million in punitive damages and $71 million in compensatory damages to the son and estate of a woman who died after smoking Newport cigarettes for decades, Reuters reports. It was informally known as the "Cigarette Man" case.

The lawsuit alleged that Marie Evans and other black children began to smoke after they received free samples as children from the "Cigarette Man," who came to her neighborhood. Evans was apparently only nine years old when she received her first free cigarettes in the Boston housing project she grew up in when the "Cigarette Man," gave free cigarettes to kids. At first Evans traded them instead of smoking them, but by the time she turned 13, she was a regular smoker.

New Balance Suit: Buyers Remain Fat, Not Tone

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Why just use a regular shoe to exercise when you can use a shoe designed to burn extra calories and tone your muscles? According to a recent New Balance lawsuit, because the shoes don't have any extra fitness benefits, and may even cause injury.

According to a New Balance class action lawsuit against New Balance filed Monday in Boston, New Balance used deceptive marketing tactics to promote its True Balance and Rock & Tone toning shoes. New Balance has claimed that the shoes increase "muscle activation" by at least 27 percent and the number of calories burned by 10 percent. However, those claims may not be true or verifiable, according to the class action lawsuit.

Treadmill Injuries Can Lead to Lawsuits

With the New Year upon us, one of the top New Year's resolutions every year involves getting in shape. Whether training for a marathon or wanting to fit into a pair of dusty skinny jeans, people are hitting the trails and the treadmills in hope of getting in shape. Even talk show queen Oprah Winfrey hits the treadmill twice a day.

Still, you should be weary of the potential dangers inherent to treadmills. A slew of lawsuits have arisen from treadmill injuries.

Elevator Mechanic Awarded $11.7M for Injury

An elevator mechanic who was injured during the construction of a San Rafael, California hotel was awarded $11.7 million by a Marin County jury after three days of deliberation. The injuries happened three years ago. David Travis sued Bison Builders for failing to maintain a safe work environment.

According to Travis, the Extended Stay hotel construction site was in violation of California clearance laws. Travis was required to carry heavy tools and parts under the scaffolding, which caused him to hit his head a number of times and suffer herniated discs, which compressed his spinal cord. According to testimony in the trial, Travis was nearly paralyzed, the Marin Independent Journal reports.

Toyota Pays $10M in Sudden Acceleration Case

A judge decided that the recent Toyota Motor Corp. confidential settlement should not be confidential. The settlement was for $10 million, without an admission of liability on behalf of Toyota. Could this figure be the bar for future sudden acceleration cases?

The automaker thought that the Toyota sudden acceleration settlement was going to remain confidential. The presiding judge thought differently.

Golf Injury Suits Here to Stay Despite Rulings

"Golf and law seem to have been made for each other." -Law Professor Craig Brown

The gentleman's sport has been a rich source of legal issues: a transgender golfer entering the LPGA, tort issues involving a failure to warn and anything and everything Tiger Woods. The recent ruling by New York court clarified one questionable aspect of the sport -- golfers do not have a legal obligation to yell "Fore!" to warn other golfers of an incoming golf ball.

The recent decision was between two friends after an errant ball shot by one left the other blind in one eye. Although the opinion is clear, the case begs the question: Will golf injuries go on despite rulings.

Florida Woman Strangled by Neck Massager

Who knew a neck massager could be so dangerous? Most people assume that they are simply a nice way to relax and loosen muscles. Sadly Dr. Michelle Ferrari-Gegerson was apparently strangled to death by an undisclosed neck massager while wrapping Christmas gifts on Christmas Eve.

Her necklace became tangled with the massager and tightened it around her neck until she lost consciousness and stopped breathing, the Broward County Sheriff's office told the Sun-Sentinel. The 37-year-old physician lived in suburban Fort Lauderdale.