Injured - The FindLaw Accident, Injury and Tort Law Blog

October 2011 Archives

Girl Accidentally Hangs Herself at Haunted House

In a haunted house hanging like no other, a 17-year-old employee at Creepyworld was found hanging by a noose Thursday evening.

The teen was a hired actor at the Fenton, Mo. Halloween attraction, and had been using the noose as a prop. Police are unsure of how she hung herself, but believe that she stood on top of a nearby bathtub and placed it around her neck. She may have slipped and the investigation is ongoing

She is now in critical condition at a nearby hospital.

Can Occupy Oakland Vet Sue Police for Injuries?

Can the Occupy Oakland veteran-turned-protestor Scott Olsen sue the police? The 24-year-old veteran suffered serious injuries after getting hit in the head by a projectile during a protest last Tuesday night.

His skull was fractured and doctors are optimistic that he will recover. But he has been experiencing increased brain pressure on the lobe that controls a person's ability to speak. Last Friday, he wasn't able to speak, but he could understand words said to him and could write.

Olsen's injuries reinvigorated the protesters in the California city. They also sparked questions about whether or not police used the proper amount of force when dispersing the crowd. 

Olsen could sue the police for causing his injuries. How would he go about it?

Amplify Spinal Implants Can Cause Cancer

A new report suggests that medical device company Medtronic hid its spinal implant's cancer risk from the medical community.

Amplify, Medtronic's newest spinal implant, contains a genetically engineered protein that promotes bone growth. A 2009 report detailing the results of a large clinical study makes no mention of the product's significant cancer risk.

Medtronic paid the paper's authors $10 million in 2010 alone.

Women More Likely to be Injured in Car Crashes

For some women, seatbelts are simply uncomfortable. This isn't necessarily news. But what is surprising is that female drivers and passengers are at a higher risk of injury compared to their male counterparts.

A recent study slated to be published in the December issue of the American Journal of Public Health found that female drivers wearing seatbelts are more likely to sustain chest and spine injuries in car crashes than males.

It seems that the higher injury risk is something to do with a woman's shorter stature and their preferred seating posture, reports USA Today.

Great White Shark Kills US Diver in Australia

U.S. diver George Wainwright, 32, fell victim to a Great White shark attack on Saturday just off the coast of Perth, Australia.

The area has seen three such attacks in recent weeks, with the latest occurring on October 10. Wainwright was diving near Rottnest Island, which is located just 11 miles from that site.

Local officials have since closed the beach and issued a kill order for the shark. But some are wondering whether they should have acted sooner.

Holiday Decorations: Can I Be Liable for Injuries?

It's that time of the year again: holiday decorations are likely appearing on your front yard (from about now, through Christmas). But if you're channeling your inner Martha Stewart and are currently decking out your property, be careful. If your decorations cause injury, you can be held liable under a theory of premises liability.

This doesn't mean you can't put out any decorations.

It just means that as a homeowner, you need to be careful. Assess what items will be safe to put out and don't put out items that may cause unnecessary harm. Here are two things to keep in mind:

Falling Tree Killed Kids, Family Settles for $1.25M

A falling tree killed two young children in Illinois when it fell onto their family's tent. The family filed suit, alleging the campground deaths were the result of a failure to act on the part of the property owners. They recently settled for $1.25 million.

The victims, 4-year-old Dustin Stuebs and his sister, 9-month-old Savannah Stuebs, were on an outing with their family in 2008 when tragedy struck at the Indian Trails Resort.

The Stuebs were camping in a designated area. They were warned by fellow campers that a storm was coming, so they requested to be moved to a log cabin on the campground property.

Woodlawn Cemetery Lost Woman's Ashes, Son Claims

Woodlawn Cemetery in New York might be facing a lawsuit soon. The cemetery allegedly lost the ashes of Elisabeth Delfini, and her son, Ferdinando Delfini, is considering his legal options.

Ferdinando, 60, says that his mother was supposed to be interred next to his father. He says the cemetery told him it would take 6-8 weeks for everything to be completed.

But when he visited he didn't find a tablet marking his mother's final resting place. All he found was a piece of plywood. When he pulled the plywood back, he discovered there was nothing inside.

Oval Track Contribute to Dan Wheldon's Death?

Should the IndyCar oval be a thing of the past? And do promoters have a legal obligation to stop using such tracks?

These are the questions being raised just a day after IndyCar racer Dan Wheldon was killed at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. A 15-car pile-up on the 1.5-mile oval caused his car to go flying into the air and crash.

The day before, a number of drivers, including Wheldon, had expressed their concerns over such a possibility. With 34 cars going 225 mph, the situation didn't seem safe.

What is Defamation and Do Tweets Count?

Facebook, Twitter, online message boards. Increased technology and the existence of social networks make it all-too-easy for someone to insult you online. But when does an "insult" turn into a cause of action under defamation law? What is defamation exactly?

For starters, "defamation" encompasses two types of civil wrongs. The first one is libel, which normally must be in writing. The second one is slander, which usually consists of oral communications.

Defamation typically requires the following several elements:

16 Zombie Actors Injured on 'Resident Evil' Set

About 16 zombie actors were injured on set after a "Resident Evil" accident this week in Toronto.

The accident occurred when a 4-foot high platform separated from the rest of the movie set, causing a gap. As a result, some of the actors who were performing on the platform fell.

The injured individuals were all decked out in zombie costume and makeup at the time of the accident. In fact, the gory special effects initially made it difficult to sort out the real victims.

Twelve actors were taken to the hospital.

What Is Invasion of Privacy?

Legally speaking, what is invasion of privacy? And what are your options if your privacy has been invaded?

Privacy is a hot topic these days, but how do things play out in the legal arena? Your computer may have been hacked and your personal information sold. But what can you do about it?

Whether or not criminal statutes cover the act, you may be entitled to file a suit alleging one of the following privacy torts. 

Run With the Bulls in AZ? Sign Huge Waiver First

The Arizona bull run is back after a 10 year hiatus, and it comes with a 7-page waiver. This isn't Pamplona, after all. 

Hundreds of runners are expected to descend on Cave Creek next weekend, where they will be chased by 1,500-pound bulls. Despite no reported injuries at his three previous runs, event operator Phil Immordino isn't taking any chances.

He has $2 million in insurance coverage, and participants must sign and initial each part of the waiver.

Nebraska Bus Crash Injures 40 En Route to Denver

Approximately 40 people were injured in a Nebraska bus crash early Thursday morning. The accident occurred around 2 a.m. just outside of Gibbon and involved two semi-trailer trucks.

Before the bus crash, a semi overturned, blocking both westbound lanes of the I-80. A second truck clipped the vehicle, causing it to fall into a ditch. The Denver-bound bus then came upon the scene, swerved and crashed into the median.

Most injuries were minor, and passengers were able to board a second Burlington Trailways bus soon after.

Ford F-150 Sparked Chicago Fire: Lawsuit Says

Illinois resident Guadalupe Mendez says that a Ford's cruise control started the fire that burned her house down in 2006. Mendez's neighbor's truck, a Ford-F-150 pickup, is alleged to have sparked the blaze. Mendez has now filed a lawsuit against Ford.

Surprisingly, this lawsuit won't be the first legal action against Ford for its cruise control. Several other suits have been filed against the automaker.

Ford's cruise control is designed such that there is an electrical current running through it at all times - even when the car is turned off. The lawsuit alleges that the cruise control switch only needs 1/2 an amp of power. It continually gets 15 amps, which can cause it to overheat and start fires.

Four Loko's Alcohol Content Will be on Can Label

Four Loko's alcohol content will now be disclosed on its label as part of its deceptive advertising settlement with the Federal Trade Commission.

Currently, the sweet drink claims that it contains as much alcohol as one or two cans of beer.

The alcoholic drink will now be relabeled to indicate that one can contains as much alcohol as four to five cans of beer.

The relabeling effort comes on the heels of lawsuits filed against Phusion Projects, the maker of Four Loko. One lawsuit alleged that a Virginia teenager, named Johnny "Bo" Rupp, died after consuming the drink and wandering into oncoming traffic.

Escalator Injuries: Who is Liable?

It's easy to name businesses that have escalators. Malls, airports, and hotels all have these fixtures installed for the convenience of their customers. But who's liable for escalator accidents? Should mall owners liable for escalator injuries?

Escalator accidents can occur either because of the passenger or because of a mechanical failure.

Sudden or unexpected "jerky" movements can send passengers flying down the escalator. A passenger's clothes or jewelry can sometimes get caught in an escalator's moving parts.