Injured - The FindLaw Accident, Injury and Tort Law Blog

November 2012 Archives

How to File a Police Taser Lawsuit

Tasers are meant to be a less violent alternative for law enforcement, but the number of police Taser lawsuits indicates there's something else going on.

When compared to a gun, a Taser or stun gun is less dangerous since fewer people die from them. But that doesn't mean the weapons are harmless. They pack a powerful punch, and the barbs Tasers shoot out implant into your skin.

So what do you do if police have unfairly used a Taser on you? A lawsuit may be warranted, but there are a few things to consider first.

Teen Drowns in Swim Class, Unnoticed for 17 Mins

A 14-year-old boy drowned during his high-school swim class in Connecticut. Malvrick Donkor was reportedly underwater for 17 minutes before anyone noticed him, the website Gothamist reports.

Surveillance tapes show Donkor climbing down a ladder into the deep end of the pool. You can reportedly see him sinking into the water before other students swim around and even above him, seemingly unaware that Donkor was in trouble below.

Infant Travel Beds Recalled After Baby's Death

About 220,000 infant travel beds have been recalled following a child's death and reports of others getting trapped.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced the recall in cooperation with the travel beds' manufacturer KidCo Inc.

Along with the infant's death, there were reports of nine other children being entrapped or distressed inside KidCo's Pea Pod Travel Crib portable sleep tents, reports the Associated Press.

Bounce House Injuries Jump to 11K Per Year

Bounce house injuries send 30 children to hospital emergency rooms every day, a new study finds. That's nearly 11,000 per year, the Associated Press reports.

If you've been to a child's birthday party recently, you may have seen the ubiquitous inflatable bounce house in the front lawn. Kids can't seem to get enough of them, and parents can't seem to resist renting, or even buying, these dressed-up trampolines.

So to no surprise, researchers found that an increasing number of children are getting hurt by hopping around in bounce houses of all shapes and sizes.

Can Retweeting Get You Sued for Libel?

Can retweeting a false news story get you sued for libel? The question comes on the heels of the British Broadcasting Corporation's legal settlement with a UK politician who is now going after individuals for allegedly libelous retweets, The New York Times reports.

A few weeks ago, a BBC report falsely linked Alastair McAlpine to a child sex-abuse case. It quickly came to light that the report was incorrect, and that McAlpine wasn't involved.

The BBC quickly settled a libel suit that McAlpine brought and paid the politician about $300,000, the Associated Press reports. But people who retweeted the BBC's erroneous story may be in trouble too.

Alleged Walmart Shoplifter Dies in Scuffle

A Georgia man is dead after he was suspected of shoplifting at a local Walmart, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

The man allegedly tried to steal two DVDs from the Walmart in Lithonia, east of Atlanta, during the wee hours of Sunday morning. Store employees spotted the man and two of them, along with a security guard, chased the man down in the parking lot.

When police arrived, the employees were on top of the man. They went to arrest him and then noticed that he was unconscious and bleeding.

100-Car Crash Kills 2 in Texas on Thanksgiving

On Thanksgiving morning, fog is believed to have played a key role in a massive Texas car crash that involved an estimated 100 cars. Two people were killed in the crash and about 120 people were injured.

The pileup happened on both the eastbound and westbound lanes on Interstate 10 about 8:30 in the morning. Investigators believe that dense fog in the Beaumont area caused a chain reaction of crashes, the Houston Chronicle reports.

There were at least four separate accidents, and many of the vehicles involved were tractor trailers and other large vehicles, according to the Chronicle.

Cyber Monday: 3 Tips to Prevent Identity Theft

Shopping online on Cyber Monday avoids many of the problems with Black Friday crowds, but it has its own downside: identity theft.

Sure you don't have to jostle with the hordes of sale-crazed shoppers or look sadly at picked-over merchandise, but buying things online comes with a few risks. You'll be sending financial information over the Internet, which means you need to be careful that it isn't compromised.

It's good to have anti-virus protection and keep an eye out for fraudulent charges on your bank accounts, but there are some other specific steps you can take while shopping this holiday season. Here are three suggestions for staying safe:

Top 5 Black Friday Shopping Injuries

As Black Friday and the holiday shopping season get underway, you'll soon be reading about shopping-related injuries.

While most of you may think about getting hurt or even killed in a stampede of shoppers, these types of injuries are relatively rare.

Instead, you are far more likely to get hurt or injured in more conventional (and less newsworthy) ways. Here are the Top 5 ways that holiday shoppers get hurt in the battle for bargains:

The 3 Best Turkey Fryer Fire Videos

Last year you may have been introduced to William Shatner's turkey fryer fire video about how to deep-fry a turkey without getting burned.

The video goes through some basic safety precautions and a few "don'ts" to make sure frying enthusiasts stay safe on Thanksgiving. But it's not the only video out there for people looking to enjoy some deep-fried Thanksgiving fare and still avoid a visit from the fire department.

If you're in that group, or if you just like to see turkeys go up in flames, here are a few turkey fryer fire videos -- with some safety tips on the side:

10 Things You Should Keep in Your Car

The number of holiday travelers is up again this year, The Wall Street Journal reports. If you're one of the millions of Americans hitting the road, there are some important things you should keep in your car.

Most cars are full of stuff like discarded takeout containers, old receipts, and discarded sweaters, but relatively few are equipped with emergency provisions. There are many reasons you might find yourself stuck in your car, so it's important to make sure you have the necessary items on hand.

Most of these are small enough to fit in the glove compartment or tuck under the seats. Keep them all on hand and you'll be ready for anything:

A Thanksgiving Cook's Food Safety Prep List

If you've taken on the task of preparing Thanksgiving dinner, or even if you're just bringing a homemade pie to a party, food safety is a serious concern. Inattention could lead to legal consequences and more importantly, some family strife.

Your goal is to create something delicious to share with family and friends over the holiday. But you also want to make sure the only medical issues are due to overeating.

Take care when preparing food this holiday to make sure you don't hurt yourself or anyone else. Not sure what to be careful about? Let us dish out some suggestions to prevent injury:

4 Veterans Killed by Train in Parade Accident

It was meant to be a parade honoring veterans in Midland, Texas. But the celebration was cut short after four veterans were killed and many others were injured when a train crashed into the procession.

The parade was supposed to take veterans through city streets to a banquet. Service members traveled from all over to take part in the celebration, which included a weekend of deer hunting for the veterans. But as a flatbed truck carrying vets crossed a set of railroad tracks, a train barrelled right through the parade route.

It's not yet clear what caused the deadly crash. But there may have been some confusion over signals at the railroad crossing gate, according to witnesses.

How Not to Get Hurt in a Black Friday Stampede

Black Friday sales are a bargain shopper's dream, but every year there are reports of people injured or even killed in Black Friday stampedes, the website Ranker reports.

Shopping after Thanksgiving is as much a tradition for some families as turkey and stuffing. But to make sure everyone comes back home with smiles and bags full of holiday bargains, it's important to take some safety precautions.

Before you head out to hunt for deals, think about how you'll get in and out of the stores without getting caught in a Black Friday stampede. Here are a few tips to avoid injury:

5-Hour Energy Cited in 13 Deaths: FDA

Those tiny 5-Hour Energy drinks may pack a bigger punch than you think: They've been cited in 13 death reports over the past four years, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

In addition, 5-Hour Energy has also been mentioned in 90 filings with the FDA that involved serious injuries such as heart attacks, convulsions, and even an abortion, reports The New York Times.

This is the second time in recent weeks that the FDA has cited a caffeinated energy drink as possibly linked to deaths. Last month, the federal agency said it had received fatality filings that cited Monster Energy drinks.

Brain Injury Suit Settles for $5.1M; NFL Studies Cited

An Illinois man has won a $5.1 million settlement in a brain injury suit that cited NFL studies about the effects of concussions.

In 2005, 56-year-old Willie Wakefield worked as a heating, ventilation and air-conditioning worker at a construction site in Chicago. As he worked, a pile of lumber fell three stories from a forklift and struck him on the head, reports the Daily Herald.

Following the accident, Wakefield claimed that he'd suffered a concussion that diminished his capacity for memory and learning. To help prove his claim, Wakefield's lawyer turned to the NFL.

Slip-Fall Injuries Can Ruin Your Holiday Party

It's the holiday season, and you've invited friends over for a party -- but on the way into your house, someone slips and falls on your driveway.

In most cases the person will pick himself up and be fine, but there's a chance the slip-fall injury could result in some serious pain. Not only will it put a damper on your party, but you could also be held liable for your guest's injuries.

To avoid this scenario during the holidays (or at any time, really), here are some simple safety precautions you can take to ensure that everyone gets to and from your party in one piece:

Did Faulty Furnace Spark Ind. Explosion?

A faulty furnace may be to blame for an Indiana explosion that killed two people, leveled two homes, and damaged 80 others in the neighborhood.

The co-owner of the home that's believed to have caused the explosion said that a furnace problem in the home likely caused the blast Saturday. Investigators are still looking into the case and have not yet pinpointed an official cause, reports USA Today.

The explosion occurred in an Indianapolis subdivision, and a neighboring young couple is presumed to have died as a result.

Cops Kill Dog, Family Sues

Cops killed a couple's dog at their Des Moines, Washington home. Now the couple has filed a $600,000 lawsuit against the Des Moines police department.

Two years ago, Charles and Deirdre Wright left their two dogs, Rosie a Newfoundland, and Bentley, a Saint Bernard, alone in their home while they were away overnight, reports the Examiner.

During their absence, a woman called the police to report that a "big black dog" was running in the streets and expressed fear that the dog may get killed. The caller never stated that the dog showed any aggression. This put in motion a series of events that led to the police allegedly shooting and killing a seemingly well-behaved dog without cause.

Top 3 Space Heater Injury Risks

It's getting chilly outside, and for many that means it's time to break out the space heater to keep you and your family warm. But be careful, as space heaters can potentially cause injuries.

Space heaters, including wood stoves, contributed to 32 percent of home heating fires and 79 percent of home heating fire deaths between 2005 and 2009, the Cumberland Times-News reports. But you can minimize the risk of damage to your home and yourself by being aware of the most common kinds of space heater-related injuries.

Here are a few examples of what could go wrong:

Nurses Caught Abusing Stroke Victim, 98

Home health-care nurses abused an elderly stroke victim in an incident caught on tape, and the suspects may face criminal and civil charges.

The family of the unidentified 98-year-old patient hired private nurses to care for the elderly woman at her home, at a pay rate of $1,300 a day, reports the New York Daily News.

But when the family hired the nurses, they also installed a security camera so that they could monitor her care. What they found on the tape shocked them: Two male nurses were allegedly caught performing sex acts on each other -- and also molesting the bedridden patient.

What Movies Don't Know About Injury Lawsuits

It's no surprise that Hollywood loves legal stories -- after all, criminal cases and injury lawsuits make for good drama. What they don't seem to love, however, is realism.

There are some great movies based on important personal injury suits, including "Erin Brockovich," "Philadelphia," "A Civil Action," and "Class Action." But they don't necessarily give a practical picture of what a personal injury suit actually entails.

That's unfortunate, because a personal injury lawsuit is often the best way to get compensation when others violate your legal rights. So here, we attempt to dispel five movie myths and set the record straight.

Baby Burned by Hospital; Parents File Suit

When you take your infant to the hospital, the goal is to make her healthy, not to walk out with a new injury.

Lylah Rose got the flu when she was 2 months old, so her parents took her to the local hospital in Merced, Calif., to check it out. As part of her treatment, a nurse tried to give the baby an IV so she could start getting more fluids. But the nurse had trouble finding a vein.

The nurse picked up a light to help her find a place to start an IV, but after putting it in Lylah's hand for a few minutes, the baby started screaming.

Man Sues Church After 600-lb. Cross Crushes Leg

David Jimenez wanted to show his gratitude after his wife's ovarian cancer was cured, so he offered to clean the cross in front of which he had prayed for her recovery.

But while he was scrubbing the 600-pound crucifix, it fell on him and crushed his leg.

The damage was too much, and Jimenez's leg was amputated following the incident. Now the father of three is unable to work.

Fellow church-members collected food and money for Jimenez and his family after the accident. But he also wants the church's administration to admit fault for what happened.

Hospital Power Outages May Lead to Lawsuits

The doctors and nurses who worked through Hurricane Sandy after the power went out in several New Jersey and New York City hospitals are an inspiration. But the hospital administrators who failed to keep emergency systems functioning are certainly not.

Most hospitals have a backup generator to keep the power going when something goes wrong. It's not just about keeping the lights on: That power also keeps heart monitors beeping and oxygen pumping.

But as Hurricane Sandy showed, those systems aren't always ready to go during an emergency. This isn't even the first time emergency systems have failed in a disaster.

Boy, 2, Mauled by Wild Dogs at Pittsburgh Zoo

A 2-year-old boy was mauled by a pack of wild dogs at the Pittsburgh Zoo on Sunday.

The boy's mother reportedly wanted to give her child a better view of the zoo's wild African dogs enclosure, and placed her toddler atop a 4-foot railing that overlooked the enclosure.

Almost as soon as the boy was placed on the railing, he lost his balance and fell about 14 feet into the enclosure. A pack of 11 dogs then jumped on the toddler and mauled him, reports The Associated Press.

Boy's Injury Not Helmet Manufacturer's Fault: Jury

A jury determined that football helmet manufacturer Riddell was not responsible for a stroke suffered by a Mississippi high school football player.

In 2006, a ninth grade student suffered the stroke at a school-sponsored ninth-grade football practice. In the lawsuit, it was claimed that the helmet pushed on the student's neck, causing damage to an artery, which led to the stroke, reports The Associated Press.

After a five-day trial, the Mississippi jury unanimously held that Riddell was not liable for the student's injuries.

NBA Star Francisco Garcia Settles Exercise Ball Lawsuit

The Sacramento Kings and NBA player Francisco Garcia have settled their product liability lawsuit against exercise ball manufacturer Ledraplastic.

Three years ago, Garcia was balancing on an exercise ball and lifting weights at the same time. Garcia claims he had 90-pound weights in each hand when the ball suddenly burst. As a result, Garcia says that he fell forcibly to the ground and suffered serious injuries including a fractured forearm, reports The Sacramento Bee.

At the time, Garcia had just signed a five-year contract extension with the Kings worth almost $30 million. He had to miss a good portion of the initial season of the contract and suffered lingering injuries throughout.