Injured - The FindLaw Accident, Injury and Tort Law Blog

January 2013 Archives

1st J&J DePuy Hip Replacement Lawsuit Goes to Trial

Johnson & Johnson faces claims it developed a metal hip replacement that had several design defects. In a major hip replacement lawsuit, a plaintiff (one of 10,000) accuses top-level officials in J&J's DePuy Orthopaedics unit of hiding the defects from doctors and patients.

The gist of this product liability lawsuit is that DePuy created a hip replacement with stability issues and that also leaked toxic debris into patients' bloodstreams. But instead of notifying doctors and patients, the company allegedly kept silent.

The lead/liaison counsel for the California cases, the first to go to trial, alleges that DePuy knew about the risks of its product, but deliberately hid them. The company could potentially face billions of dollars in damages if found liable.

NYPD Interrogated Boy, 7, for 10 Hours: $250M Claim

Anyone would crack under pressure after a 10-hour police interrogation. So imagine how much worse it would be if you were only a 7-year-old boy.

Wilson Reyes doesn't have to imagine; the New York City boy experienced it first-hand. He allegedly spent four hours handcuffed at P.S. X114 in the Bronx, and was then moved to a local police precinct where he was held for another six hours.

The cause for the prolonged interrogation wasn't that Wilson caused serious injury or threatened anyone. He was only accused of petty theft.

7 Tips to Help Prepare for Your Deposition

What is a deposition, and what should you expect if you're going to be deposed?

There are many reasons to take a deposition. Perhaps you were a witness to a car accident or a personal injury case, or you have some other pertinent information that can be used in a lawsuit. Or, you might be one of the parties in a case.

In any event, here are seven tips and pointers to help you prepare for your deposition:

Top Food Poisoning Sources Revealed: CDC

You know the top sources of food poisoning, right? Don't be so confident because you might be surprised by what a new CDC study shows.

Food poisoning happens all the time. It sickens 48 million Americans each year, according to the CDC, but for most of us it's not too serious. Still, about 3,000 people die every year from illnesses related to food poisoning.

The biggest culprit: Salmonella bacteria, which shouldn't be a shock to anyone. But what is interesting is where most Salmonella and other infections come from.

Top 7 Tips for Settlement Talks

If you're involved in a lawsuit, you should know that most cases settle out of court. In fact, it's estimated that as many as 92% of cases are resolved through settlement, as The New York Times reported.

In settlement talks you, as a party, are an active decider. You need to know how to make good choices, and also have some idea of what strategies you're going to use.

A settlement is similar to a negotiation in terms of the process. But if you're not familiar with either, here are seven ways to make you feel more like a pro:

Aurora Shooting Lawsuits: Claims May Be Tossed

In the wake of the Aurora movie theater shooting, there were many lawsuits filed. Several survivors and relatives of those killed sued the theater, owned by Cinemark USA.

But it looks like certain claims in those lawsuits may not go forward. A federal judge recommended Thursday that some of the most serious claims be thrown out.

The recommendations aren't binding; the final decision rests with the judge overseeing the cases. But it raises questions about what suits the victims will be able to pursue.

Hunter Shot, Mistaken for Turkey, Wins $4M

A Pennsylvania hunter who was mistaken for a turkey in a shooting has been awarded $4 million by a judge.

Michael Hobbins was blinded and suffered aneurysms after the hunting accident in 2010. Hobbins was hunting turkey in Union County, Pennsylvania. So was Leroy Miller.

Miller was reportedly stalking a turkey from behind a tree when he heard a noise and took a shot. Unfortunately, the source of the noise was Hobbins and not a turkey, reports Harrisburg's WHP-TV.

What Are Hedonic Damages?

In personal injury lawsuits, lawyers talk about compensatory and punitive damages while economists may talk about hedonic damages. So what are hedonic damages?

"Compensatory" and "punitive" are legal terms about what money a victim an be awarded. Compensatory damages pay for the harm, both physical and emotional, done to the victim or victims. Punitive damages are additional amounts meant to further deter the defendants from repeating their actions.

Hedonic damages are technically an economic term, but they still have a place in the law.

What to Do After a Chain-Reaction Crash

Winter weather can lead to some treacherous driving conditions. Just ask the drivers involved in two chain-reaction crashes -- a 52-car pileup and a 100-car pileup, both of which occurred Monday near Cincinnati.

One person was killed and at least 20 others were hurt in the crashes, reports Dayton, Ohio's WDTN-TV. You can bet investigators, insurance adjusters, and even some lawyers are now trying to sort out what happened.

As wintry conditions settle over much of the nation, weather-related car crashes are inevitable. This winter season, what do you do if you're involved in a chain-reaction crash? Here are some sensible suggestions:

Hogtied Pregnant Woman Gets $250K From CHP

A pregnant woman who was hogtied by California Highway Patrol officers after a traffic stop will receive a $250,000 settlement from the state.

Tamara Gaglione was reportedly weaving between lanes while talking on her cell phone when she was stopped by the CHP, reports the ABA Journal.

After the stop, officers claim that Gaglione behaved menacingly, and so they took "appropriate" action by kneeing and hog-tying her. Gaglione claimed that she had simply exited her vehicle without any threatening gestures, and that the CHP response was inappropriate.

Video evidence apparently supported Gaglione.

James Holmes' Psychiatrist May Face 14 Lawsuits

Accused Colorado movie theater gunman James Holmes' psychiatrist, Dr. Lynne Fenton, could soon be subject to more than a dozen lawsuits.

Fenton is facing criticism and possibly as many as 14 negligence lawsuits for allegedly not properly treating Holmes and not alerting authorities to the possible threat that he posed. The University of Colorado is also likely to be named in these lawsuits, reports CNN.

Holmes had been a doctoral student at the university, and Fenton had treated him. But Holmes left the school more than a month before the shootings, and Fenton has said that her contact with him ended. Holmes would later open fire in a movie theater, killing 12 people and wounding 58 others.

Can 'Sandy Hook Hero' Sue for Harassment?

Gene Rosen became known as the "Sandy Hook Hero" after he opened his home to six first-graders who survived the shooting. Unfortunately, the Good Samaritan is now a victim too, of harassment.

Shortly after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, a "truther" movement sprang up. Conspiracy theorists posit that the massacre was just an elaborate government hoax. They especially targeted Rosen, whose anguished face appeared on TV -- anguish that "truthers" claim was just acting.

Those same people are calling and emailing Rosen to "tell the truth." But if they don't stop what they're doing, they might just end up as defendants in a lawsuit.

Energy Drink ER Visits Double in 4 Years: Study

Emergency room visits associated with energy drinks have doubled in the past four years, suggests a study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

From 2007 to 2011, the government found that the number of ER visits by energy drink users went from 10,000 visits to more than 20,000, reports the Associated Press. And in most of these cases, the individuals hospitalized were teens and young adults.

The study concludes that energy drink consumption is a "rising public health problem" that can cause insomnia, nervousness, headache, fast heartbeat, and seizures. However, the survey did not specify which side effects led to the ER visits.

How Much Is Your Personal Injury Case Worth?

If you are ever injured due to the fault of someone else, one of the first steps you will need to take after seeking medical care is to determine how much your personal injury is worth if you plan to sue.

In other words, you will have to determine how much money you can win if you sue the person responsible for your injuries.

If the amount is too little, you may spend more in pursuing the lawsuit than you could possibly recover. Even if you stand to win a little bit, the stress and hassle of going through a lawsuit may not be worth it. So it's critical that you have a good understanding of much you can recover before commencing a lawsuit.

However, valuing a lawsuit is not always easy. Here are some ways to determine how much your injury lawsuit is worth.

Fraud vs. Lying: What's the Legal Difference?

"Fraud" and "liar" are both ugly names, but only one will land you on the defense side of a civil lawsuit.

At some point, telling lies goes from being a poor decision to a violation of the law. But there are lots of circumstances in which it's not a legal problem, just a personal one. Knowing when lying becomes fraud is important, if only so you can avoid crossing the line.

It's not a complicated rule to figure out, but that doesn't make it easy to apply. Let's start by breaking down the definition of "fraud."

What Is Traffic School? How Does It Help?

If you've ever gotten a traffic ticket, you've probably been offered an option between having it go on your record or going to traffic school. But what is traffic school?

The most common route for dealing with a ticket is paying the fine. If you have a good attorney you may be able to fight the ticket, but traffic school may be a better option. Unfortunately many people don't take advantage of it.

Sure traffic school is often boring, and it takes up a fair amount of time. But there are some flexible options out there so if you're offered the chance, you should seriously consider the benefits.

NYC Ferry Crashes Into Pier, 57 Hurt

More than 50 people were hurt in a New York City ferry crash that happened during Wednesday morning's rush-hour commute.

The Seastreak Wall Street ferry, which brings workers from New Jersey to Lower Manhattan every day, didn't make a smooth mooring. Instead, it slammed into the dock, hurling passengers onto the deck.

Coast Guard members immediately began investigating potential causes of the crash. But hours after the accident, they were no closer to finding an answer.

How to Get an Accident Report Revised

If you've been involved in a car accident, one of the first documents you'll want to look at is the police accident report. You'll especially want to look for any errors in the accident report so that you can revise them.

An accident report is sometimes not admissible in civil court cases. However, the document is important as insurance companies may look to it to determine accident liability and how much money you'll have to pay.

Here are a few steps you can take to get an accident report revised:

Dog Bites, Pet Attacks Can Be Costly

A dog is a man's best friend, and cats will keep you company. But that doesn't mean they don't misbehave sometimes. If your pet gets out of control and bites or attacks someone, there might be a lawsuit in your future.

But how can you tell if the incident is your fault or if it's something you couldn't control?

Lawmakers have mostly figured out the answer to that question. While it might be better for everyone if dogs didn't bite and cats didn't scratch, animal-related injuries do happen, so it pays to know how to deal with it.

Tweets Decrease Damages in Car Accident Suit

The things you say right after a car accident can come back to bite you, and that doesn't just mean the words that come out of your mouth. It also means your tweets and other social media posts.

This isn't just a hypothetical issue. Omiesha Daniels found out the hard way that what you tweet can hurt your court case, even if you're the plaintiff.

Daniels was injured in a car accident that happened in Georgia, and sued for $1.1 million in damages. But the defense used her tweets to decrease that award significantly.

1 in 24 Admit to Drowsy Driving: Study

Don't think drowsy driving is a problem? Here's a scary statistic: 1 in 24 adults admit they've recently nodded off while driving, a new CDC study finds.

Just think about the number of cars you pass by every day. How many of these drivers were actually alert at the time you pulled up next to them?

What's worse, health officials say that the study probably underestimates the number of drowsy drivers out there. That's because people often fall asleep for only a second or two, and never realize they dozed off while driving, reports the Associated Press.

Teen Locked in Police Cage Sues Cops

A New Jersey teen allegedly forgotten inside a police cage has filed a lawsuit against the Fort Lee Police Department and 19 officers.

Adam Kim, who was 17 at the time of the incident, says that he was locked inside a police van cage for 15 hours without access to food, water, or a bathroom, reports The Record of Bergen County.

Kim claims to have been locked inside the cage with four other men. The lawsuit says that the men had to relieve themselves in front of each other, and then had to huddle together for warmth as temperatures dipped below freezing.

Lawyer's $100M Newtown Shooting Claim Dropped

A controversial Newtown shooting claim, a precursor to a proposed lawsuit, has been withdrawn amid widespread criticism.

Last week, Connecticut lawyer Irving Pinsky requested permission to sue the state for $100 million. Pinsky represented a 6-year-old survivor of the shootings who allegedly suffered a variety of injuries, mostly psychological, after hearing the shootings over the school's intercom system.

While Pinsky said the lawsuit was more about increasing school safety than collecting monetary damages, he got plenty of criticism, reports CNN.