Injured - The FindLaw Accident, Injury and Tort Law Blog

July 2011 Archives

Miami Beach Cop's Drunken ATV Crash Injures 2

A Miami Beach cop's crash - while on duty - injured two innocent tourists at the popular Florida tourist attraction. The ATV crash was the result of drunk driving.

The police officer involved in the crash had earlier gone to a South Beach nightclub, even though he was on duty. Derick Kuilan is a five-year veteran of the force. He and another officer, Rolando Gutierrez, apparently drank and acted so unprofessionally that members of a bachelorette party at the club thought they were not real police officers, though they were in uniform.

Kuilan left the bachelorette party, with a woman from the party in tow - and went on a drunken ATV joyride on the beach. That's when he struck the two tourists. One was critically injured, reports The Daily Mail. Is there civil liability?

Can 5th Eddie Long Accuser, Centino Kemp, Sue?

Mysterious 5th Eddie Long accuser Centino Kemp has recently made the news. That's right, yet another person claims Eddie Long coerced him into having sex with him.

While Bishop Eddie Long's sexual misconduct allegations have resulted in a secret settlement with four other accusers, Kemp's name was never made public during the settlement process, reports WAGA-TV.

Bishop Long is the head of the New Birth Missionary Church in Lithonia, Georgia. The church has a congregation and following of over 25,000 members. The four accusers, all young men, claimed that Long used his position to coerce them into having sexual relations with him.

California OKs Digital Bus Ads in Santa Monica

California state legislators have approved a pilot program allowing Santa Monica's Big Blue Buses to be adorned with digital bus ads, complete with scrolling text and images.

The plan is intended to help the bus system raise about $8 million--a sum that would allow it to keep transportation fees static.

Despite the potential promise of cheaper rides, some community members are less than amused, arguing that the ads are simply another traffic hazard.

Yosemite Deaths: How Safe Are National Parks?

The recent Yosemite deaths of three young visitors has launched a debate about safety issues within our National Park system. If there is a death or an injury in the park, does the national park have liability?

While tragic, the deaths in Yosemite occurred at a part of the park where it is apparent that the park had wanted to warn visitors about the dangerous condition. There were even guardrails along the side of the waterfall.

Last week, the three hikers were swept away by the strong currents of Vernal Falls, one of Yosemite National Park's most popular attractions.

Beach Injuries: Who is Responsible?

A fun day in the sun may not always be that fun, especially if you sustain a beach injury, or if there is a tragic drowning. Who is legally liable for accidents that happen on the beach? What if there are lifeguards on the beach that could have helped with the accident, or who were reckless in their rescue?

It depends.

Laws generally vary from state to state, so some states have more restrictive laws on who is liable for beach-related injuries.

Gun Death Lawsuit: MA Gun Maker to Pay $600K

In what the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence is calling the largest settlement in a gun death lawsuit filed against a gun manufacturer, Kahr Arms has agreed to pay nearly $600,000 to the family of a man who was shot with a gun stolen from the company's manufacturing plant.

That gun was taken by Mark Cronin, an employee with a violent criminal background and a long history with drugs.

He sold it for a gram of cocaine.

Black Valedictorian Not Allowed at Ark. HS?

Kymberly Wimberly graduated from McGehee Secondary School, a school within the McGehee School District in McGehee, Arkansas. She graduated with one of the highest honors a high school student can have: valedictorian.

But, Wimberly ended up sharing the honor of being valedictorian with another student, and is now filing suit in federal court, reports CNN.

The reason behind her suit? She's claiming discrimination. Wimberly is African American, and the co-valedictorian that she shared the honors with is Caucasian. Not only that, but the co-valedictorian actually had a lower GPA than Wimberly, CNN reports.

FL Police Released Drunk Man Killed by Train

A drunk man who was killed by a train was released from police custody hours before his death. Christopher Milanese, 24, was killed on impact by the train after he laid down on the tracks.

Milanese had been drinking the night before he was arrested in Boca Raton, Florida, in 2007. He was arrested for driving intoxicated by Boca Raton police, Courthouse News Service reports.

He was given traffic citations at the police station and was released from custody. Officers called for a cab to take him home, but the cab driver never picked him up. Instead, Milanese drove himself, the Courthouse News Service reports.

First 3 Steps to Take in a Personal Injury Case

When you or a loved one has been hurt, the last thing on your mind may be starting a personal injury case. But, when you've been injured, a personal injury lawsuit may be down the line.

Knowing what initial steps to take can help maintain the integrity of the case if you do decide to pursue legal action.

What are some of the initial steps you should take in a personal injury case?

Lorenzen Wright's Ex Sues Police Over 911 Call

Ex-NBA player Lorenzen Wright's murder remains unsolved a year after his shocking death. But now, his ex-wife and his mother are suing the police department that handled Lorenzen Wright's 911 call. The lawsuits are separate, and in part allege that the police departments of the Germantown and Collierville, Tennessee, were negligent in handling the phone call.

According to Wright's ex, Sherra Robinson Wright, the NBA star was supposed to visit her house on July 18, 2010, to visit his six children, but never showed.

Early in the morning on July 19, the 911 dispatcher for the City of Germantown received a 911 call from Wright. The 911 dispatcher heard a garbled expletive and the sound of up to 10 gunshots, reports Courthouse News Service.

Botched Circumcision: Family to Get $4.6M Award

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rex Heeseman has agreed to approve a $4.6 million settlement reached between former Los Angeleno Melanie Hall and Miltex Inc., the medical device company she feels is responsible for her son's botched circumcision.

The lawsuit alleged that a defective circumcision clamp led her son's doctor to remove 85% of the tip of his penis as opposed to just the foreskin.

He requires surgical and psychiatric care perhaps for the rest of his life.

Utah Sinkhole Death: Girl, 15, Dies in Crash

Justine Barneck, 15, was killed when her father's SUV hit the edge of a sunken road. The Utah sinkhole also caused another car to crash inside the huge depression.

The accident occurred after a storm had swept out a culvert underneath Route 35. The damage took out a length of road that was 40 feet across and 30 feet deep, the Deseret News reports.

Justine Barneck, of Tabiona, Utah, died on the scene after her father's car careened and crashed. Her father, Michael Barneck, was injured. The other woman who crashed into the sinkhole itself was also injured, reports the Deseret News.

Chilean Miners Sue Govt. for $541K Each

Nearly every one of the formerly-trapped Chilean miners are suing the government, each asking for more than $500,000 in damages. The Chilean miners' lawsuit was filed in order to prevent similar accidents from occurring in the future, according to the miners.

The miners made headlines last year when an accident trapped them inside the mine located in San Jose, Chile, for 69 days, reports CNN.

The lawsuit targets the agency in charge of mining safety, according to CNN. And, the miners say that the lawsuit isn't about the money - it's about setting a safety precedent.

'Cash Cab' Crash Kills Vancouver Pedestrian

There's been a Cash Cab crash.

One of the replica cabs used in the Discovery Channel's oddball game show struck and killed a 61-year-old pedestrian in downtown Vancouver late Friday night.

And while this may not be so surprising to those who have seen the show, the truth is that Friday night's accident in Canada occurred after filming, while a producer was taking the cab back to a storage unit for safe keeping.

Skateboarder Kills CA Woman, 83, Crossing Street

California woman Maryann Slettehaugh, 83, was killed on Tuesday after she was struck by an errant skateboarder in Capitola. The unusual skateboard death occurred when Slettehaugh was in the midst of her daily walk.

The skateboarder, a 17-year-old, was going at around 15-20 miles per hour when he struck Slettehaugh. According to reports, the teenager saw Slettehaugh in the crosswalk and tried to avoid her by jumping off his skateboard. Slettehaugh was one step away from the sidewalk when she was struck.

Casey Anthony Sued for Caylee Search: $112,000

The first Caylee search lawsuit is here, and Texas' Equusearch wants its money back.

In a lawsuit filed on Wednesday, the volunteer search company claims that it expended $112,000 when searching for Caylee, turning down at least 15 other families that asked for its help.

How might Casey Anthony's lying convictions factor into this lawsuit?

The legal doctrine of collateral estoppel and a particularly on point Florida statute could come into play.

Minn. Grandma Shot at Wild West Re-Enactment

Minnesota grandmother Carrol Knutson, 65, was shot in the leg during a Wild West re-enactment shooting that used real bullets instead of blanks in South Dakota. The re-enactment was put on by Wild Bunch Reinactors, reports the Rapid City Journal.

Paul Doering, 49, was the man who fired the loaded gun during the re-enactment, reports the Rapid City Journal.

And, there is no reason he should have even held a gun. Doering has a criminal history, having spent more than 50 months in prison. He also has six felonies on his record.

NY Women Sue Cemetery: Mom Buried in Wrong Grave

Though they've been visiting New Jersey's Rosehill Cemetery for over 20 years, sisters Evelyn and Hortense Edwards have only recently learned that their mother is not buried in her supposed resting place.

The two Queens women have now filed a federal suit against the Cemetery, claiming breach of contract and asking for $25 million.

They also want Rosehill to determine the exact location of their mother.

Murdered Border Patrol Agent's Family to Sue Feds?

"Operation Fast and Furious" has led to a potential "Fast and Furious" lawsuit over the death of a border patrol agent. Agent Brian Terry was murdered in Arizona by weapons involved with the "Fast and Furious program."

"Fast and Furious" is a weapons trafficking program run by the Department of Justice and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), reports Fox News.

The operation let guns be sold and transported to Mexico. Two of the assault rifles involved in Terry's murder were tracked back to "Fast and Furious."

Amtrak Downeaster Train Hits Dump Truck in Maine

Similar in circumstance to last month's Amtrak crash in Nevada, just after 11 this morning, an Amtrak Downeaster traveling north from Boston collided with a dump truck in North Berwick , Maine.

Few of the 112 passengers were injured, but the crash left the trash truck in pieces and the driver dead.

This may pose a problem for investigators, who are unsure what caused the crash given that warning lights and bells appeared to be working.

GM Class Action Suit: GM Only Fixed Police Cars

A new potential GM class action lawsuit alleges that to GM, police cars were more important than civilian cars.

Two model years of Chevrolet Impalas have defective spindle rods, according to the new lawsuit filed by Donna Trusky of Pennsylvania, reports the AP.

About 423,000 of the cars were sold from those years. Approximately 12,500 of those cars eventually became police models, the AP reports.

Pa. Girl Sues Dad for Causing Road-Rage Shooting

Two years ago, Kaitlyn Timko, the 10-year-old behind the "Pa. Girl Sues Dad" headlines, was in the back of her father's car when he swerved into another lane, setting off a chain of events that would leave him with four bullets in the head and a very traumatized daughter.

Brought by the girl through her mother, the lawsuit contends that her father's negligent behavior is the legal cause of her emotional distress, making him responsible for the costs of therapy.

Casey Anthony Faces 'Nanny' Defamation Lawsuit

It's more legal trouble for Casey Anthony as a nanny lawsuit for defamation, filed by Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez, is back underway.

Anthony had told investigators and family members that a woman with the same name, Zenaida Gonzalez, had kidnapped her daughter.

Police officers had questioned Fernandez-Gonzalez about the incident, but later it was revealed that the babysitter that Anthony had referred to as "Zanny" did not really exist, reports the Orlando Sentinel.

4th of July Firework Beheads Fargo Man

Jesse William Burley was decapitated by fireworks in a freak Fourth of July accident over the holiday weekend.

Burley, 41, of Fargo, North Dakota, was lighting large fireworks in his neighborhood, reports MSNBC.

One of his neighbors, Chris Hanson, had spoken to Burley minutes before the accident. He had already set off one large firework that caused a large bang and set off visible shockwaves from the area, reports MSNBC. It was the second set of fireworks that turned out to be fatal.

Pa. Boy Dies in Amusement Park Pool

Six-year-old George Roberts died at Knoebels Amusement Park in Pennsylvania.

He was found in the Crystal Pool swimming pool at Knoebels, reports The Times-Leader. The Crystal Pool is a concrete pool with a deep end and diving boards, as well as a shallower end that has two slides. There is also a play area for children.

Roberts' parents, Anne Marie Howey and Daniel Howey, took to Facebook to express their grief and thanks to the Knoebels staff, reports The Times-Leader.

Mass. Parade Cannon Misfires, Injures Actor

Burns and car crashes are expected over Fourth of July weekend, but the town of Norwood, Massachusetts was treated to a different kind of accident this year when a parade cannon misfired, injuring Kevin Roche.

Lest you think that the town's residents are running around shooting cannonballs, this was no ordinary parade. It was Norwood's annual Fourth of July World War II Reenactment Parade, and the cannon in question is technically a prop.

DSK's Alleged Victim Sues New York Post

What's the latest twist surrounding the Dominique Strauss-Kahn sexual assault case? The alleged DSK victim's lawsuit, filed against the New York Post for libel.

The Post had published some stories that the hotel maid is none too happy about.

On July 2, the Post published a story with the headline "Maid cleaning up as 'hooker'," reports CNN. The story goes on to cite anonymous sources that say that the maid was doubling as a prostitute and getting money from male guests.

Marriott Evergreen Resort Death: Liability?

Bride-to-be Elizabeth Ludwig plummeted 5 stories to her death at Georgia's Marriott Evergreen Resort. The death took place only a few weeks before she was to be wed.

Ludwig, 33, was staying at the hotel with her fiancé.

She fell to her death early Sunday morning, reports the New York Daily News.

Ludwig and her fiancé were at the resort and were attending the wedding of a friend. She somehow fell off of the balcony of their room, located 5 stories high. Her fiancé called 911 at around 2:45 a.m., reports the New York Daily News.

Massey Energy Faked Safety Records

According to federal investigators, Massey Energy's safety records were purposefully doctored. In fact, Massey Energy had fake records - two sets of records, to be exact, an internal set of books and an external that was given to officials.

This dual accounting system meant that safety problems were only jotted down in one set of records. Keeping two sets of records is fine, but keeping hazardous conditions out of the official set of records is not, reports The New York Times.

In 2010, Massey's West Virginia mine exploded, killing 29 people. It has been under investigation since that event.

States to Ban Teens from Tanning Salons?

State lawmakers across the United States are thinking about implementing a new teen tanning ban.

California in particular is contemplating a new ban that would ban teens under the age of 18 from tanning beds, reports the AP. A ban for teens under the age of 14 is already in place, but teens between the ages of 14 and 18 can still go under the lights if they get parental approval.

State Senator Ted Lieu is pushing for the legislation. He claims that many parental permission forms furnished by teens to tanning salon staff are actually forged, according to the AP.

4th of July Fireworks Laws and Safety Tips

Celebrate 4th of July with fireworks safety tips and a rundown on some common fireworks laws!

While July 4th typically invokes images of choreographed fireworks celebrations, cookouts, barbeques, and the like, those who want to have a little extra explosive fun on their own should take extra precautions.

States vary as to what fireworks are allowed in the state and what fireworks can legally be purchased. Do you know what laws apply to your state?

Ill. Hotel Sues Couple Over TripAdvisor Review

Write one errant TripAdvisor review, and a lawsuit will come your way.

Carleton Hotel, located in Oak Park, Illinois, is suing ex-patrons Michael Gladstone and Liora Braun. Gladstone and Braun wrote a TripAdvisor review slamming the hotel for having bedbugs - and ignoring their complaints, according to the lawsuit.

The TripAdvisor review in question describes Gladstone and Braun's version of the events. They claim that they found a bedbug in their room. They promptly notified the manager about the situation, according to the complaint.