Injured - The FindLaw Accident, Injury and Tort Law Blog

July 2012 Archives

A $75 million casino drinking lawsuit blames employees for causing a gambler's death by serving him too much alcohol despite pleas by the man's relatives.

Bryan Lee Glenn, 30, originally of Long Beach, Miss., was found dead in the bathroom of his hotel room at the IP Casino Resort and Spa in Biloxi, Miss., in 2009, the Associated Press reports. Glenn's death occurred after a night of gambling and heavy drinking.

While that may be common casino behavior, casino workers crossed a line by encouraging Glenn to get wasted, and even interfering with family members who tried to stop employees from serving him drinks, the lawsuit by Glenn's relatives asserts.

Did 'Serial Infector' Spread Hep. C to Thousands?

Last week it was believed David Kwiatkowski, the alleged serial infector of hepatitis C, may have infected 30 people with the potentially life threatening disease.

Now, that number has been estimated up - way up. It's now believed that Kwiatkowski may have infected "tens of thousands" of patients in at least 13 hospitals, reports ABC.

Kwiatkowski is alleged to have been a drug addict who was stealing the high power painkiller Fentanyl from the hospitals he worked at. Kwiatkowski had hepatitis C and authorities believe that he injected himself with the painkiller and then replaced the needles with another liquid-like substance.

A severed hand lawsuit blames a 5-year-old boy's grandmother for negligence that allegedly resulted in the boy's injury.

The boy's father filed suit against Sharon Setz, 52, of Thomaston, Maine, who was driving a vehicle with her twin 5-year-old grandsons in June, the Bangor Daily News reports.

One of the twins, Noah Keene, tied a jump rope around his wrist. The other end of the rope, which was dangling out the window, got caught on one of the vehicle's wheels and severed Noah's left hand.

State Farm Sues Not to Pay Sandusky's Legal Fees

State Farm insurance company has brought a federal lawsuit to get out of paying Jerry Sandusky's considerable legal bills.

Sandusky bought a fairly typical home insurance policy from State Farm in 1985. When the sexual abuse scandal broke, Sandusky sought to utilize his insurance to pay his legal bills from both his criminal and civil cases.

State Farm initially declined to cover the criminal matter, but did pay for Sandusky's civil bills. The insurance company is now seeking a declaratory judgment from a court stating that it doesn't have to pay for any of Sandusky's bills -- civil or criminal -- reports Fox Business.

Man Falls Off Bridge While Urinating, Family Sues

The family of a man who fell to his death while repairing a bridge in Maryland have sued his employer for wrongful death.

Bernard Burrows, a 58-year-old bridge mechanic at CSX Transportation, fell to his death when he tried to urinate off a bridge that he was working on. In their lawsuit, the family claims that CSX failed to provide portable toilets for the workers, forcing them to urinate and defecate off the bridge, reports the Philadelphia Daily News.

As Burrows went to relieve himself, he allegedly fell through a large hole on the bridge that was covered by an unsecured platform. He fell 90 feet to his death.

Hepatitis C 'Serial Infector' Worked in 6 States

A travelling medical technician that worked across six states is believed to be a serial infector of hepatitis C.

David Kwiatkowski infected about 30 people with the blood-borne liver-damaging disease over the past several years, authorities say. Kwiatkowski, 33, was allegedly addicted to anesthetic drugs and would inject himself with the needles at the lab. The technician then left the needles in place, where those same needles were used to inject other patients -- infecting them with hepatitis C.

One of the 30 people infected by the disease has now sued the health staffing agency and hospital that hired Kwiatkowski, reports CBS.

NY Boy, 15, Dies at HS Football Practice

Nick Dellaventura was finishing a voluntary preseason football practice when he suddenly started having trouble breathing. The 15-year-old collapsed and was rushed to the hospital.

He was pronounced dead hours later.

During the practice the players wore no equipment and there was no contact. But it was a warm day with relative humidity for the Staten Island-based team.

Dellaventura seemed fine until everything suddenly went wrong.

Colorado Shootings: 1st Dark Knight Lawsuit Filed

The first lawsuit from the Colorado shooting has been filed by an uninjured man.

Torrance Brown says he was at the "Dark Knight Rises" premiere when suspect James Holmes went on his shooting spree. Brown avoided injuries, but says that his best friend, A.J. Boik, was shot in the chest and was one of the 12 victims who died.

Brown is suing the movie theater, the doctors of James Holmes, and the film studio that produced the movie, reports The Christian Post.

Who's Responsible for Summer Camp Injuries?

Summer camp is a great way for your children to socialize with others when school is out. Plus, camp gives your kids something productive to do with their time instead of causing trouble.

While summer camp can get your kids out of your hair, you should also be aware that there are some injury risks with these camps. The range of potential injuries your child could encounter while at camp varies wildly. For example, your child could suffer sprains and broken bones or your child could fall victim to a child sex predator.

If your child has been injured at camp, you'll want to know who's responsible for the injuries.

A Cabela's lawsuit over a crossbow user's severed thumb blames the outdoor retailer and the bow's manufacturer for causing the man's injury.

Cyril B. Korte of Madison County, Wis., seeks at least $75,000 to cover medical costs, his physical impairment, and pain and suffering, Madison's legal newspaper The Record reports.

Korte bought a crossbow from a Cabela's store in Missouri in 2009, after employees told him it was "the best and safest crossbow," his lawsuit alleges. But he claims a hunting accident proved otherwise.

Tony Robbins 'Firewalk' Burns 21 People's Feet

Almost two dozen people were burned doing a firewalk at a Tony Robbins seminar in San Jose, but so far it looks like the motivational speaker won't be held liable for the burns.

During Robbins "Unleash the Power Within" seminar he invited participants to walk on hot coals as a metaphor for overcoming difficulties. This practice has gone on for three decades according to Robbins' representatives.

But at this seminar, at least 21 people suffered burns on their feet. Some of the injuries were minor but several attendees had second- or third-degree burns on their feet.

Top 5 Summer Camp Safety Tips

Kids see summer camp as fun but for parents safety is a key concern. If you're going to send your kids away for a whole month or even if it's just during the day, you don't want to spend it worrying.

It doesn't have to be stressful finding a camp that takes your child's safety as seriously as you do.

Most camps combine fun and safety to make sure your kid has a great summer experience. Just check in before you say goodbye to make sure yours if one of them. Here are some summer camp tips for parents:

Police Liable for Shooting, Killing Wrong Man?

Florida police recently shot an innocent victim as they knocked on the wrong door looking for an attempted murder suspect.

Andrew Lee Scott was minding his own business when there was a banging on his door. Not expecting any visitors, the 26-year-old pizza deliveryman got his gun and opened up the door.

As the door opened, the police saw someone they believed to be the murder suspect with a gun trained on them. So they opened fire and killed Scott. Only later did police realize that they knocked on the wrong door and had killed the innocent man. The police later arrested the real suspect at a different apartment building, reports the Huffington Post.

Colorado Shooting: Civil Lawsuits Likely

Police have identified 24-year-old James Holmes as the suspect in the Colorado shooting at the "The Dark Knight" premiere.

At least 12 people have been killed and 59 people wounded in the Aurora shooting. There is still no word on a motive, though the shooter's mother reportedly said she was not surprised that her son committed the crime.

Details about the shooting and James Holmes continue to trickle out from around the country. "He had his hair painted red," said NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly (a friend of Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates), New York Daily News reports. "He said he was the Joker, enemy of Batman." ABC News reports that Holmes made the Joker remark to police, not during the shooting.

In the next few weeks, as investigators piece together exactly what happened, the victims of the attack will likely also think about potential lawsuits.

Blind Man Sues Hospital for 'KKK' Surgery Scar

A blind Native American man says that doctors at a South Dakota hospital discriminated against him by intentionally carving a KKK surgery scar into his abdomen.

But hospital staff and police have no idea what the Lakota man is talking about. To be fair, 69-year-old Vern Traversie has obvious scars on his stomach, but it takes some effort to make out the letters "KKK."

Traversie is suing the hospital for unspecified damages and claims that he was mistreated at the hospital on account of his race even before the surgical scar, reports The Associated Press.

Regardless of what you see in Traversie's abdomen, the incident has sparked an outcry for the racial animosity that Native Americans in the area say they face from whites.

Wife Killer Hans Reiser Must Pay Kids $60M

In 2008, Hans Reiser was convicted of killing his wife in a criminal court. As a result, he is now in prison and serving 15 years to life.

After the criminal conviction, a wrongful death lawsuit was brought against Hans Reiser on behalf of his two children. This week, a jury ruled in favor of the children and ordered Reiser to pay $60 million.

Not only has Reiser lost his freedom, he will likely lose all his money too, reports NBC.

Two suburban Chicago trampoline centers are being sued for injuries to children after employees allegedly failed to follow safety rules.

In both cases, the children ended up with broken legs, Chicago's WLS-TV reports. Separate lawsuits by the injured kids' parents blame workers at the indoor trampoline centers for causing the injuries.

The suing parents likely signed liability waivers before their children took to the trampolines. But do those waivers cover the types of injuries the lawsuits are alleging?

Needles Found in Sandwiches on 4 Delta Flights

A man who bit into a sandwich with a needle inside of it has been put on anti-HIV medication.

The man was on a Delta flight from Amsterdam to Minneapolis-St. Paul when he took a couple bites from his sandwich. On his second bite, the needle punctured the top of the man's mouth.

Investigators are looking into the incident and it's unclear if the needles were tainted with anything. The man was put on the anti-HIV medication as a precautionary measure.

California's new hands-free texting law will soon let drivers send text messages from behind the wheel. But some are calling the bill's restrictions a bit confusing.

Under the new law, signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday, drivers will be allowed to dictate text messages to a cell phone, but only via a voice-activated device like a headset or a car's built-in Bluetooth connection, the Associated Press reports. The law takes effect Jan. 1, 2013.

However, drivers who try to dictate texts directly into their cell phones (like via the Apple iPhone's Siri voice-recognition software, which requires a button to be pressed) may still face fines.

Fuel Gel Class Action Filed Over Firepot Injuries

An entire family was injured last year when a ceramic firepot exploded sending incendiary fuel gel onto their bodies. One family member was left with third degree burns over much of his face and body.

The Huntsville, Alabama family has now brought a class action lawsuit against the manufacturers of the firepots and fuel gels. Several other victims have also joined the class action, reports WAAY TV.

Given that there have been 86 reported injuries and two deaths since these products were introduced in 2008, this class action could be the first of many.

Surgeon Must Pay Ex-Wife $2M for Spying on Her

Legal tip for the day: It's always an invasion of privacy to videotape someone without their consent, even if you're a high powered surgeon.

Dr. William Martinez was dating D'Anna Welsh when he started putting surveillance equipment in her home. When they broke up in 2007, he didn't mention it to her and left the devices transmitting live video. She discovered some devices in her home a few months after their relationship ended and asked him about them.

Martinez admitted to putting surveillance equipment in Welsh's bedroom and living room. In exchange for his admission, Martinez did not get a criminal record although he did pay a fine and finance a year of therapy sessions for Welsh.

That didn't help enough, especially when Welsh discovered that Martinez had lied and hadn't actually removed all the equipment. So she tried a different legal strategy.

'Twilight' Fan Killed by Car at Comic-Con

It was a sad end to a Twilight fan's fantasy vacation.

Gisela Gagliardi, a 53-year-old woman from New York, traveled across country to attend Comic-Con in San Diego. On her Twitter account, Gagliardi had been sharing her excitement for over a week, reports the Los Angeles Times. In fact, the woman had been camping out since Sunday to ensure that she could attend a Twilight panel discussion about the upcoming movie.

In her eagerness to preserve her place in line, Gagliardi fell into incoming traffic and was killed. Comic-Con staffers could be held responsible.

Robert Champion's parents are suing Florida A&M University for their son's wrongful death after a brutal hazing ritual last fall, the Associated Press reports.

Fellow band members from FAMU's famous "Marching 100" pummeled Champion, 26, a drum major from Decatur, Ga., aboard a charter bus at an away game in November. Champion's death was ruled a homicide, and 13 people face criminal charges.

Champion's parents have already filed lawsuits against the charter bus company and the bus driver. So why did they have to wait until now to sue FAMU?

'Stress Ball' Injury Victim Sues for $500K

The next time you have the urge to playfully toss a stress ball at a friend, think twice about it. You may find yourself on the wrong end of the lawsuit.

That's what happened when Mayor Ron Onslow of Ridgefield, Washington tossed a foam ball towards a Ridgefield Councilman and accidentally hit Jeanne Harris of Vancouver, Washington in the temple. He apologized and thought the incident was over. That was in June 2011.

Then in June 2012 Harris brought suit not against Onslow, but against the city of Ridgefield claiming $500,000 in damages.

That's right; she's not trying to collect from the person who threw the ball but rather from the city that he works for.

Camping Injuries: Who to Sue if a Tree Falls on You

You probably can't sue if you're struck by lightning, but you may be able to sue if a tree falls on you while camping.

At first blush, both may seem like random acts of God. However, while lightning strikes are probably completely unpredictable and happen in an instance, the fact is that trees usually take some time to fall and there are steps that a park can take to prevent injury.

As the summer camping season kicks up, you are sure to read about camping injuries and tragedies. If you have been hurt, you'll want to know whether you can bring a lawsuit for your camping injuries. In many cases, you may be surprised that someone could be held liable for acts of nature.

Hawaii Tour Company Eyed After Teen Swept Away to Sea

Missing teen Tyler Madoff was hiking in Hawaii as part of a summer program when he was swept into the ocean by an enormous wave. The 15-year-old from New York and 5 other teens were part of an excursion that took a turn for the worst.

The teens were resting at a tide pool 15 feet above sea level and far inland during a hike Wednesday according to CNN. Rogue waves swept in and took two of the teens out to sea and left the others clinging to the cliffs.

Now it appears the tour company didn't have a permit to be in the tide pool area where the incident happened, Hawaii officials said Monday.

Hawaii Pack and Paddle has a permit from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources to take kayaks to a specific spot in the bay and hike along a designated trail. But department spokeswoman Deborah Ward told the AP the tide pool area falls outside the area covered by the permit.

Fireworks Accident Claims Man's Testicle

Every year around July 4th, there are gruesome fireworks injuries. Last year, a man blew off his head. This year, a man blew off a part of his genitals.

A northern Michigan man thought he set off a firework last week, but the firework did not explode as expected.

As the man went to check on the suspected dud, the firework went off just as the man stood over it, reports MLive. The mortar shell exploded between the unidentified man's leg and took off one of his testicles.

Don't Sue People for Just Being Annoying: Judge

A lawsuit is a powerful tool for curbing annoying behavior by neighbors or acquaintances. But a recent case decision questions the legitimacy of using the courts to resolve petty differences.

In the latest technical spat, Apple sued Motorola with each party trying to prevent the other from selling a smartphone. Both claimed patent infringement but Judge Richard Posner called them out for suing each other over something else - annoyance.

If the issue is misuse of the law, the ruling may also apply to personal lawsuits.

Can You Sue if You're Hurt at a Sporting Event?

It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt at the stadium.

There may be nothing more fun than taking your family out to a ball game. But if you watch Sportscenter, you're probably well aware that balls, bats, pucks, and even seven-foot men can hurl into the stands, causing serious injury or even death.

But can you bring a lawsuit if you're injured at a sporting event? The answer is: it depends.

4 Children in 2 States Electrocuted in Lakes

While you may have thought that swimming electrocutions are rare, there were several tragic reminders this week.

In two separate incidents, three children were killed as they swam in lakes that became electrified.

Yacht Capsizes After Fireworks, 3 Kids Drown

A yacht capsized off Long Island, N.Y., leading to the drowning deaths of three children who'd been watching Fourth of July fireworks.

A group of 27 relatives and friends had gathered on the 34-foot yacht to celebrate Independence Day and to enjoy a fireworks show.

Tragically, shortly after the fireworks ended about 10 p.m., the yacht capsized as it returned to shore and three children drowned, Reuters reports.

Can You Win a Child Sports Injury Lawsuit?

Sports injuries in children aren't uncommon and can lead to steep medical bills. But unlike most injuries, courts aren't as likely to award damages in a suit against the player that caused the injury or the coach or teacher supervising the behavior.

Take the example of Shawn Bukowski, a college student who sued his university after he was injured by a line drive that hit him in the face during an indoor practice. He argued that the coach was negligent in setting up safety protocols for indoor batting, but the court disagreed.

The reason: Bukowski assumed the risk of injury when he consented to participate in the game.

Iowa to Pay $3.75M for Baby's Brain Injuries

The State of Iowa will pay $3.75 million to settle a baby's brain injury case.

Five years ago, Martha Fountain went to the University of Iowa near the end of a normal full-term pregnancy. She was given the drug Pitocin to help speed up her delivery, the Associated Press reports. Instead, the drug allegedly had the opposite effect, prolonging her labor to 28 hours.

Fountain eventually gave birth to a baby boy, but the boy suffered brain injuries. Fountain blamed the hospital, and sued.

Avoid Fireworks Injuries With These Safety Tips

It's all fun and games until someone blows his head off in a ghastly Fourth of July accident.

You may not think about fireworks as weapons, but that's essentially what they are -- gunpowder in canisters lit with fuses that blow up.

It's this lax attitude about fireworks and fireworks safety that lead to horrible fireworks injuries. Here we'll discuss fireworks laws in your state (they're not legal in every state) as well as fireworks safety tips.

Bar Sued for $3.5M Over Fight, Brain Injury

Two Oregonian's injured in a bar fight are now seeking damages in a lawsuit against the bar.

Michael Ray Gaston and Timothy G. Reed were attacked by Shaun Edward Hartley in February. He was a patron at the Wichita Pub where the injuries occurred. He wasn't an employee but the fact that he drank at the bar that night gives the men the opportunity to bring suit against the pub.

The law recognizes a unique responsibility between those who serve alcohol and those who injure people after drinking.

Man Sues RI Police After Scuffle Ends in Coma

The cause of the injury may not matter so much as the police's reaction to the injury in this Rhode Island police coma lawsuit.

A 42-year-old man, Daniel Finn, said he suffered permanent brain damage as the result of excessive force by police outside of a casino. The police say that Finn caused his own injuries by repeatedly banging his head on window bars while being taken to the station.

In either case, Finn says that the police's failure to notify hospital staff about his head injuries directly led to him falling into a coma and becoming brain damaged, reports The Valley Breeze.