Injured - The FindLaw Accident, Injury and Tort Law Blog

June 2012 Archives

An 11-year-old girl was electrocuted at a putt-putt golf course in Florida, an accident that's likely to result in a wrongful death lawsuit.

Ashton Jojo of Latham, N.Y., had just celebrated a birthday days earlier and was on vacation with her family at a time-share resort near Orlando, Miami's WFOR-TV reports.

Jojo was playing putt-putt golf at the resort about 2 p.m. Wednesday. She was trying to retrieve a golf ball from a pond when witnesses heard her scream, sheriff's deputies said.

PA Child Awarded $1.1M After Sleep Apnea Surgery

Sleep apnea can be dangerous, especially in small children, and surgery is sometimes an effective way to fix the problem. But for Pennsylvania's 6-year-old Keonte Graham the surgery didn't really fix his problems.

Graham was just 11 months old when he was diagnosed with sleep apnea. Dr. Andrew Shapiro recommended surgery to correct the problem and Graham's parents agreed.

The road to recovery was a parent's worst nightmare.

Woman Sues 'Large and Dangerous' Rocket Festival

The "Large and Dangerous Rocket Ships" festival in California's Mojave Desert sounds like a fun time. It sounds exciting. But if you're looking to avoid injury, it doesn't really sound safe.

There's the 'dangerous' right there in the title. There's the fact that it's dedicated to "high-powered amateur rockets." Both of these might be a tip-off that it's probably not an injury-free event.

Kairee Goodin got burned by the amateur rockets and now she's suing the festival for the lack of safety.

An indoor fun center where kids can bounce around in a padded environment is being sued over a child's trampoline injury that triggered amnesia, Seattle Weekly reports.

The child, identified by the initials D.D.B., jumped off the padded side wall of a giant trampoline at Sky High Sports in Bellevue, Wash., and landed in a pit area filled with cushy foam blocks, according to a federal lawsuit.

But instead of a soft landing, D.D.B. "hit his head on an unpadded pole sticking out from the foam pit," the suit seeking money for medical bills and other damages states. Winning the suit may not be easy, however, as Sky High's written waiver may pose too high of a hurdle.

A golf cart injury lawsuit that sought $5 million in damages from a raceway has been settled, as the brain-injured victim prepares for trial against the cart's manufacturer.

Roderick Jenks, 53, of Wilder, Vt., was doing volunteer work for charity at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in 2006, when he was thrown from a golf cart driven by a speedway employee, the Concord Monitor reports.

Jenks' head slammed into the pavement. The impact was so severe, he underwent brain surgery and spent months in a hospital. He now struggles with basic activities, his attorneys said.

School's Sunscreen Ban Leaves Students Burned

Young sisters Violet and Zoe Michener returned from a class field trip so sun-burned, their mother rushed them to the hospital.

The girls are fair skinned and one even suffers from a form of albinism, reports ABC.

But that didn't matter. Under the school's sunscreen ban, without a doctor's note, the girls could not carry their own sunscreen nor apply it to themselves. Could the school be held liable for the sunburn?

A New Jersey woman hit in the face by a baseball wants $500,000 from the then-11-year-old kid who threw the ball, according to the victim's little league lawsuit.

Elizabeth Lloyd, now 45, of Manchester Twp., N.J., was sitting at a picnic table five feet from a fenced-in bullpen when a baseball hit her in the face, the local Asbury Park Press reports. Lloyd suffered multiple fractures, underwent reconstructive surgery, and still suffers headaches two years later.

Little leaguer Matthew Migliaccio, now 13, threw the ball -- a pitch that was intentional and caused serious permanent injuries, the woman's lawyer asserts.

A New Jersey dating service's allegedly botched background checks led to a woman's date with a man who had multiple drunken-driving convictions and a warrant out for his arrest, a lawsuit claims.

Jeanne McCarthy, 64, is suing the Lawrenceville, N.J., branch of a dating service called Two of Us, The Trentonian reports. McCarthy says she paid $7,000 to be matched with a man aged 58 to 67 with an active lifestyle.

But the date McCarthy ended up with didn't meet her criteria -- just one of several examples of deceit that she's alleging in her lawsuit.

Exploding toilets have injured more than a dozen people, leading to the recall of a product found in more than 2.3 million toilet tanks nationwide.

The Sloan Flushmate III Pressure-Assist Flushing System, which uses air and water pressure to ensure a powerful flush, can burst inside toilet tanks, "releasing stored pressure," according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

"This pressure can lift the tank lid and shatter the tank, posing impact or laceration hazards to consumers and property damage," the CPSC announced in its recall alert, issued Thursday.

Pool Chemical Accident Sends 71 to Hospital

A swimming pool chemical accident in Indianapolis sent many pool-goers to the hospital on Thursday.

The accident was allegedly caused by a combination of ACID Magic pool cleaner and chlorine which produced a noxious chlorine gas. The pool was evacuated shortly after the spill occurred and buses were used to transport less severely affected swimmers to local hospitals.

The chlorine gas didn't cause burns, but it some of the patients suffered from fairly severe symptoms.

Owners of a Connecticut ski slope cannot be held liable in a ski injury lawsuit that sought damages for a teenager's paralysis, a state appellate court has ruled.

James Malaguit of Brewster, N.Y., was hurt in a ski jump accident at New Hartford, Conn.'s Ski Sundown in 2006, when he was 15. Malaguit suffered spinal cord injuries and is now a quadriplegic, the local Republican American reports.

Malaguit sued Ski Sundown Inc., but lost his lawsuit in 2010. The paralyzed man appealed the jury's verdict, but a court let it stand, agreeing that Malaguit was at least partly to blame.

The parents of a Brooklyn eighth grader left blind in one eye after a beating by bullies are pursuing a $16 million school bullying lawsuit, the New York Daily News reports.

A lawyer for Kardin Ulysse's parents planned to file a notice about the threatened lawsuit Tuesday, the first step in suing New York City and its Department of Education for allegedly failing to supervise the students who beat up their son.

Ulysse, 14, has undergone two surgeries on his eye and may require a transplant after a June 5 attack at his junior high school.

Swimming pool chemicals cause thousands of injuries and illnesses each year, but such accidents can largely be prevented, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Pool chemicals are estimated to have caused more than 28,000 cases of injury and illness between 2002 and 2008, according to a CDC report. Those estimates are based on data from nationally representative samples.

Most pool chemical accidents occurred at private homes, according to U.S. News and World Report. The CDC study also revealed the most common types of pool chemical injuries, and suggested ways to prevent them.

3 Key Factors in a Swimming Pool Injury Suit

Most swimming pools have been open since Memorial Day but the rising temperatures mean pools are getting more use - and that means lawsuits from pool related injuries are also on the rise.

With temperatures rising, swimming pools seems like a summer oasis. But slick surfaces, deep water, and pool chemicals can turn a favorite summer pastime into a dangerous situation.

Be safe near the pool this summer but protect yourself and your loved ones. Know the key factors in a lawsuit based on a swimming pool related injury.

Is Your Swimming Pool an Attractive Nuisance?

Don't look now, but summer is upon us.

With the temperature heating up in most parts of the country, those fortunate to have a pool may be enjoying some cool time lounging in the water.

But while a swimming pool in the backyard may be a great escape, homeowners should be aware that pools can also be an attractive nuisance that can create serious swimming pool liability too. 

You may be asking yourself: "What is an attractive nuisance?"

Wrongful Death in New York Skydiving Accident?

Manhattan real estate mogul David Winoker died in a skydiving accident along with his instructor.

Winoker was a 49-year-old father of three. His instructor was 25-year-old Alexander Chulsky of Brooklyn, reports Fox News.

The cause of the accident may lead to a wrongful death lawsuit against Skydive the Ranch in Ulster County, though there may be a bar to recovery,

Do You Know How Slander, Libel and Defamation are Different?

If you've ever heard about someone making false accusations, chances are you've also heard about the resulting lawsuits. Some of them claim slander, others libel, and a few just say defamation. And then there are the ones that use all three terms.

It may seem like these lawsuits are all alleging the same exact thing, and to some extent, they are. But there is a difference between slander, libel and defamation, and it's a good difference to know.

Drowning deaths are declining nationwide, but summer weekends remain the most dangerous time for drowning accidents, a new study finds.

More than 46% of fatal drownings, and 57% of nonfatal drownings, took place over weekends in June, July, and August, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analysis of drownings from 2005-09.

Death and nonfatal injury rates for drowning were highest among children under 4, whose injuries occurred mostly in swimming pools. But the study also found disparities among the sexes and among racial groups.

Bullet Somehow Explodes in Woman's Purse

Everyone knows that guns are dangerous. But a bullet without a gun? Apparently that's dangerous too.

An unidentified woman shopping at Lowe's was injured when a bullet in her purse exploded unexpectedly. The bullet casing made a hole in her purse and caused minor injuries to her leg. She was later checked out at the hospital.

Generally with bullet wounds there's some idea of where blame lies. But in this case the real culprit wasn't even present when this woman was injured.

Philly Phanatic Sued Over Pool-Toss Prank

It's all fun and games until a strange green mascot injures someone.

Suzanne Peirce was relaxing on a lounge chair poolside at a Jersey Shore hotel. The Phillie Phanatic was nearby doing Phanatic antics, when it suddenly grabbed the woman and her chair, and tossed both into the pool, says Peirce in her Phillie Phanatic lawsuit.

Is the Phanatic on steroids?

A lawsuit over a JetBlue pilot's midair mental breakdown has landed in court. Ten passengers are suing JetBlue for allowing the pilot to fly in the first place, the Associated Press reports.

The plaintiffs were among 131 passengers and six crew members aboard JetBlue Flight 191 on March 27 when pilot Clayton Osbon allegedly ran screaming through the plane's cabin making incoherent statements. Passengers restrained Osbon, and the plane made an emergency landing in Amarillo, Texas.

Many passengers said they were terrified as the in-flight incident went down. But that's not the main cause of action in their lawsuit.

Dog Bites: What to Do Before You Sue

Dogs can be man's best friends -- that is until they bite another man. Being attacked by an animal can lead to serious injuries. And knowing what to do after a dog bites you can sometimes be unclear, particularly in terms of your rights.

Who's responsible for your medical expenses? Can you sue? What will happen to the dog? These are all common questions that people have after an animal attack.

So if you (or a loved one) is bitten by a dog, here are three simple steps you should follow to ensure your health and rights are protected.

Baseball Player Loses Batting Cage Injury Suit

If a baseball player is hit in the face while playing the game, what are the legal implications? Does the injured baseball player have a cause of action?

An appeals court in New York ruled on this exact issue last week in a batting cage lawsuit involving Clarkson University. The court held that participants in sporting and amusement activities assume the foreseeable risks when engaging in the activity.

A woman who fought off an attempted rape in Manhattan is suing a scaffolding company for creating conditions that allegedly allowed her attacker to hide in the shadows.

The 21-year-old woman, from Great Neck, N.Y., claims she was attacked on West 75th Street, where Eagle Scaffolding Services had erected blue walls outside a construction site, the New York Post reports.

The walls blocked the light from a street lamp, which made the area "a danger and a hazard and a trap," the woman's lawsuit claims.

Should You Mediate Your Lawsuit?

So, you've filed a lawsuit, or perhaps you're thinking about filing one. But you've heard of this thing called alternative dispute resolution, or mediation. It's growing in popularity and offers an alternative way to work out your differences.

Now you just need to make a decision. Should you mediate or sue? Or if you've sued, should you put litigation on hold and mediate your lawsuit?

When you're injured, whether by accident or intentionally, you may also want to sue for "pain and suffering." But what exactly is "pain and suffering," and how do you get a court to award damages for it?

Not all injuries will lead to damages for pain and suffering. Simply being annoyed or inconvenienced by a minor injury, for example, usually won't cut it. (As TV's Judge Judy often says when dealing with litigants' unfounded pain-and-suffering claims, "The only one suffering here is me!")

In general, damages for pain and suffering can be awarded for past, present, and future physical distress in a personal injury case. A jury typically considers several factors in its deliberations and calculations, such as:

A woman looking for a husband on eHarmony instead got genital herpes from her date, who must now pay $900,000 for the woman's pain and suffering.

It's the first case of herpes transmission to go to trial in Oregon, the woman's attorneys told The Oregonian. The woman's identity was not disclosed.

While some states have laws against intentionally spreading HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases, Oregon does not. But that didn't stop the woman from winning her case.

A suspected Walmart shoplifter died during a struggle with store security officers in an incident that could lead to a lawsuit.

Security officers at a Walmart in Covina, Calif., caught the man allegedly trying to steal clothes and body wash — a haul totaling less than $950, the Associated Press reports.

Walmart security staffers chased the man, who has not yet been identified, into the store’s parking lot where a fight broke out.

Disneyland's theme parks in Anaheim, Calif., have been hit with nearly 140 lawsuits alleging personal injuries over the past five years, a newspaper's review has found.

Meantime, Knott's Berry Farm in nearby Buena Park has been named in 50 personal injury suits since 2007, The Orange County Register reports.

The paper's analysis of lawsuits reveals some of the major causes of visitor injuries at Disneyland, Disney's California Adventure, and Knott's Berry Farm, and shows that most cases reached out-of-court settlements or were dismissed.

BofA Whistleblower Receives $14.5M Payout

Bank of America whistleblower Kyle Lagow will be receiving $14.5 million as part of a 2009 suit he brought against Countrywide Financial on behalf of the U.S. government. He accused Countrywide, which was bought by BofA in 2008, of inflating appraisals on government-insured loans.

Overall, Lagow's BofA whistleblower suit led to a $1 billion settlement between the bank and the Department of Justice. It also contributed to the $25 billion settlement reached between the major banks, federal and state governments earlier this year.

Calling Someone Gay Not Slander: NY Court

Some defamation cases just got more difficult for plaintiffs in New York. A state appeals court has overturned decades of precedent and ruled that calling someone gay is not slander per se.

Prior rulings, the court wrote, were all "based on a false premise that it is shameful and disgraceful to be described as lesbian, gay or bisexual." Such a conclusion is "inconsistent with current public policy," particularly in light of New York's anti-discrimination and marriage equality laws.

It's often said that guns don't kill people, people kill people. But a new analysis finds people with guns cause more deaths per capita than people with cars in 10 U.S. states.

In those states, you are more likely to be killed by a person wielding a gun than in a car accident, according to the Washington, D.C.-based Violence Policy Center. The analysis compared gun-related and motor-vehicle death rates in 2009, the most recent year with state-level data in both categories.

On average, the United States saw 10.19 gun-related deaths and 11.87 car-accident deaths per 100,000 people in 2009. Compare that to the Top 10 states with the highest gun-related death rates:

Your Orange Juice Isn't Very Natural, Lawsuits Claim

Tropicana orange juice isn't natural. Or so say plaintiffs in 20 different lawsuits filed across the country.

The company markets its product as "100 percent orange juice" straight from the fields of Florida. But according to the orange juice lawsuits, Tropicana adds chemical "flavor packs" to the juice so that it tastes the same year-round.

Does this make Tropicana orange juice unnatural?