Injured - The FindLaw Accident, Injury and Tort Law Blog

November 2013 Archives

Who's Liable for Your Holiday Party Injury?

With the holidays upon us, party planning is in full swing. Like any other holiday season, a fair number of party hosts and partygoers will have to deal with holiday party injuries, throwing a wrench (hopefully not literally) into their night of merriment.

During this holiday season, social hosts and homeowners should be extra careful about liability for holiday party injuries.

Bullied Girl's Mom Files Wrongful Death Suits

The mother of Rebecca Sedwick, the 12-year-old Florida girl who killed herself after jumping from the top of a cement plant tower, is filing a wrongful death claim against her late daughter's two alleged cyberbullies.

Though the two girls were just cleared of their aggravated stalking charges because of a lack of evidence, Tricia Norman's wrongful death lawsuit was expected to follow.

Norman hopes the lawsuit, as well as new cyberbullying legislation, will spark a change in how our nation -- and our schools -- handle online bullying.

Weather a T'giving Storm With 5 Winter Driving Tips

With a Thanksgiving storm set to affect large parts of the country, it's a good time to remind yourself about some safe winter driving tips.

A wintry storm that hit parts of the southwest and southern plains over the weekend is being blamed for at least 10 traffic fatalities so far, CNN reports. Snow and freezing rain are in the holiday forecast for many states.

Because many drivers may be unprepared for this early blast of winter, here are five winter driving tips to help keep you and your family safe:

2 OxyElite Pro Lawsuits Filed After Recall

Two OxyElite Pro lawsuits have been filed after a nationwide recall.

Hawaii residents Everine Van Houten, 33, and Kenneth Waikiki, 22, allege OxyElite Pro caused severe health problems, Honolulu's KGMB-TV reports. Van Houten had to visit the emergency room every week for two months before it was confirmed that she had liver damage. Waikiki, on the other hand, fell into a coma and then required a liver transplant.

What will these alleged victims need to prove in order to win their lawsuits?

4 Potential Ways to Prove Employer Negligence

Employer negligence is often alleged in injury cases, typically when an employee is hurt or causes harm to someone else. But how can you prove employer negligence in court?

To prove a “basic” negligence case, you must identify a duty, a breach of that duty, and a cognizable injury that was caused by that breach. But how does a negligence case work in the employment context?

Here are four potential ways to prove employer negligence:

'Duck Dynasty' Warns About Turkey Fryer Fires

What does "Duck Dynasty" have to do with turkey fryer fires on Thanksgiving? As a new online video shows, it has everything to do with safety.

Two stars of A&E's "Duck Dynasty" crew -- namely, Jase Robertson and his uncle Si -- have teamed up with State Farm to create a quick public service announcement about the dangers of deep-frying turkeys.

What bearded wisdom should you remember if you want to fry your bird?

Will Princeton's Meningitis Plan Prevent Lawsuits?

Princeton University plans to make a non-FDA-approved meningitis vaccine available to its students in December, prompting some to worry about the risks.

According to The Associated Press, Princeton is set to make the vaccine for Type B meningococcal bacteria available to undergraduates, some grad students, and employees with compromised immune systems in an attempt to curb a disease that is "sometimes deadly" on campus.

Although the vaccine is not mandatory, what legal trouble could Princeton potentially face from making this vaccine available?

Teacher Gets $363K for Students' Lies, Defamation

Two California students and their parents are being held financially liable for the defamation of a teacher.

Former Catholic school physical education teacher John Fischler, 49, filed the defamation lawsuit after two schoolgirls branded him a "perv" and "creeper," and spread false rumors that he'd inappropriately touched kids and peeked into a girls' restroom at Holy Spirit School in San Jose.

After being cleared of the allegations, Fischler was awarded $362,653 in compensatory damages. Punitive damages are soon to follow.

Student Paralyzed in Apt. Fall to Get $11.6M

A former college student who was paralyzed after falling 20 feet at an off-campus residence has reached an $11.6 million settlement for her injuries.

Former University of Pennsylvania student Lorna Bernhoft was a junior at the time of her injury in 2010, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Bernhoft fell through a raised skylight opening on the fourth floor of a building; the opening was covered only by flex board and carpet.

Bernhoft's lawsuit named as defendants the building's owner and student tenants who were aware of the opening. As her lawyer told the Inquirer, this case shows "there are dangerous defects in rental housing, especially in off-campus housing, and every parent and student should be aware."

7 Tips When Suing a Retail Store for Injuries

Shopping-related injuries prompt thousands of personal injury claims in the U.S. every year. But when you sue a retail store for a shopping-related injury -- like one man did for his toe fracture at Lowe's -- what steps should you take?

Here are seven tips to keep in mind when suing a retail store:

J&J to Pay $4B to Settle Hip Implant Lawsuits

Johnson & Johnson is set to pay more than $4 billion to settle thousands of lawsuits over its recalled hip implants.

According to Reuters, the proposed settlement will "resolve more than 7,500 lawsuits brought against J&J's DePuy orthopedics unit" by patients who had to get their defective hip implant removed.

The metal implants caused many patients pain and discomfort as well as "increas[ing] levels of metal ions in [a patient's] bloodstream."

How Can You Sue the Military?

Suing the military is no easy feat. Alas, under the doctrine of sovereign immunity, you typically can’t sue the federal government without its permission.

However, the passage of certain laws has reduced this broad governmental immunity.

Here’s an introduction to three notable laws — the Federal Tort Claims Act, Military Claims Act, and Military Personnel and Civilian Employees’ Claims Act — that may allow you to sue the military:

For Navy Yard Shooting Victim, $37.5M Claim Filed

Relatives of a Navy Yard shooting victim have filed a $37.5 million claim against the government, alleging their loved one's death was partly due to ignorance of the gunman's mental state.

CNN reports that Mary DeLorenzo Knight, 51, was one of 12 people killed in September's Navy Yard shooting in Washington, D.C. Knight's family, along with lawyers for her estate, filed their claim against the Department of the Navy and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for missing "red flags" presented by shooting suspect Aaron Alexis.

Can the VA and the Navy's alleged failure to recognize Alexis' warning signs lead to a multimillion-dollar payout for Knight's family?

Man Sues Over High School Shop Class Injury

A former high school student injured by a band saw in shop class has filed a lawsuit -- five years after the injury. Ryan Hughes claims that in 2008, the saw snagged his clothes and then pulled him into the blade, the South Jersey Times reports.

Hughes claims that there was neither a guard on the blade nor floor markings to indicate a safety zone. He now is left with limited elbow movement, nerve damage, and permanent scarring.

New Jersey's statute of limitations for filing injury lawsuits, however, is two years. How does this affect Hughes' five-year-old injury claim?

N.M. Man Sues Over Multiple Anal Cavity Searches

A New Mexico man is suing over multiple anal cavity searches after officers incorrectly suspected he was concealing narcotics in his rectum.

David Eckert was leaving a Walmart in Deming, New Mexico, in January, when police stopped him after failing to make a complete stop. When he stepped out of the vehicle, police say Eckert appeared to be "clenching his buttocks," which led them to obtain a search warrant for an anal cavity search.

What followed was a dizzying chain of anal exams and procedures that turned up nothing -- and led Eckert to file his suit.

Can a Video Help Win Your Injury Lawsuit?

A number of video production companies create personal injury videos for use in legal proceedings, including litigation, mediation, and arbitration. But is it appropriate to turn to celluloid in a case?

Videos that show how an injury affects a plaintiff, or how an accident occurred, can be helpful to a decision-maker like a juror, judge, or arbitrator. However, such videos can also be challenged on a variety of grounds.

Here are some common types of videos used in personal injury cases, along with their pros and cons:

Andy Lopez's Parents File Civil Rights Lawsuit

The parents of Andy Lopez, the 13-year-old boy shot and killed by a sheriff's deputy while carrying a toy rifle, have filed a civil rights lawsuit against the deputy and a California sheriff's department.

Rodrigo Lopez and Sujey Lopez Cruz filed suit in federal court Monday, claiming their son was killed "in violation of constitutional limits on police authority," The Press Democrat reports.

Civil rights suits over law-enforcement violence can be legally complicated, so what will the Lopez family need to prove?

'Red Rover' Injury Lawsuit Settles for $15K

A "Red Rover" injury lawsuit -- yes, involving that playground game in which you run through locked arms -- has settled for $15,000.

A California couple sued a school district after their child broke his leg playing the game "Red Rover" during an unsupervised gym class.

This past summer, the district paid the settlement to cover medical and attorney costs in the case, raising the question: What ever happened to breaking a bone at school and happily collecting classmates' signatures on a neon-colored cast?

'Punkin Chunkin' Volunteer Sues Over Injuries

A Punkin Chunkin injury lawsuit is "chunking" a wrench into the annual World Champion Punkin Chunkin contest in Delaware. That's the event in which competitors use massive machines -- including air cannons, centrifuges and colossal catapults -- to toss pumpkins.

Daniel Fair, who volunteered as a spotter at the 2011 festival, allegedly suffered spinal fractures after he was thrown from an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) that hit a depression in the ground and landed on top of him.

Fair is suing the Punkin Chunkin Association, asserting negligence and premises liability for conditions at the Punkin Chunkin field in Bridgeville. But event organizers may be able to fire back with a few potential defenses.