Injured - The FindLaw Accident, Injury and Tort Law Blog

June 2017 Archives

One New York City woman has filed a lawsuit against the Midtown Manhattan restaurant Johnny Utah's after being injured by the establishment's biggest feature: a mechanical bull.

The lawsuit alleges that Jocelyn Burmeister was visibly intoxicated when restaurant employees allowed her to ride the bull. In attempting to do so, Ms. Burmeister fell and tore her ACL. Her lawsuit seeks damages related to the medical care incurred and other damages she suffered.

Medical negligence, commonly referred to as medical malpractice, can take many different forms. Depending on who caused the injury, medical negligence claims can be brought against hospitals, hospital staff, or directly against a doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional.

However, sometimes, after a person suffers an injury in a hospital, or after a medical procedure, they may not know what kind of claim to bring. Generally, if the injury does not involve the medical care, such as a slip and fall on a wet floor in a hospital waiting room, then there will not be a medical negligence case.

To help you determine whether you have suffered an injury as a result of medical negligence, below you will find some common examples.

The mother of Philando Castile has settled the wrongful death case stemming from the tragic slaying of her son. The $2.995 million settlement will allow the case to get out of the media spotlight and avoid the deeper probing of a civil murder trial, assuming it gains approval of the court. It will also allow the family to move on more quickly and begin making an impact through the Philando Castile Foundation. The foundation was set up in his honor to aid victims of gun violence and police violence.

Despite the fact that the criminal justice system failed to convict the officer that fired seven rounds into Mr. Castile, quick settlements such as these tend to be viewed as a victory for victims. This is particularly true when the amounts are this large and announced publicly.

Frequently, when individuals ask what their injury cases are worth, they are surprised to learn that there is no way for an attorney to answer that question without having access to accurate fortune tellers. Since fortune telling is all a hoax (if it weren't, there'd be a lot more lottery winners), this means that really knowing what a case is worth is impossible until it's over.

Simply put, there are too many variables that go into a case's value. However, one rule of thumb that seems to hold true is that the larger the injury, the larger the award. In the context of defamation, this means that to get a big verdict, the victim must have suffered a major reputational harm, or lost significant income or revenues, as a result of the defamatory statement.

Individuals that are thinking about filing a lawsuit are often confused by the various parts of a lawsuit. One of the more confusing parts of any lawsuit is discovery, or the exchange of facts and evidence between the parties.

Discovery is the legal term used to describe the different processes that require parties in a lawsuit to exchange information that each side possesses. For example, in an employment law case, a fired employee will want to see their personnel file, and through discovery, an employer would likely be required to provide those documents.

Below, you can read about the discovery process, the various tools, and how disputes get resolved.

Fireworks are really dangerous. Not only can the explosions and fire destroy property, but people can be severely injured. In some states, and localities, certain fireworks require permits, and oftentimes those permits require insurance. Regardless, there really is nothing quite like safely firing off some giant fireworks into the night sky. Heck, even medium sized ones are fun. But, with great firepower comes potentially even greater legal liability.

If your property is damaged when a neighbor sets off fireworks, even if illuminating the night sky is legal in your state, you can still sue. If there are laws against using fireworks in residential areas, or your city or state, and a neighbor causes your property damages, they could potentially face criminal penalties as well.

Almost one in every eight American women will develop invasive breast cancer at some point in their lives. And sadly, many of those women won't find out they have breast cancer until long after they should. According to one medical website, a whopping 61 percent of all medical malpractice claims involving breast cancer patients are related to alleged delays in diagnosis.

Misdiagnosis -- whether diagnosing an issue that doesn't exist or failing to diagnose one that does -- is a form of medical malpractice, and doctors that fail to diagnose breast cancer can be liable.

In April of 2010, then 17-year-old Sarah Adams was prescribed a NuvaRing contraceptive device by a nurse practitioner at Montefiore Medical Center in New York. Less than three months later, Adams suffered a total cardiac arrest that left her with "significant and permanent brain damage with marked cognitive and fine motor skills deficits," according to a lawsuit she filed against Montefiore.

And last week, a state appeals court in New York allowed that lawsuit to continue, denying Montefiore's motion to dismiss the claims. Here's what happened, factually and legally.

Most people have a healthy fear of the airline beverage cart for a good reason. Those things always seem to be just barely small enough to fit down the aisle, but not usually without knocking some knees, toes and elbows hanging out into the aisle.

Unfortunately for one American Airlines passenger, Charles Johnson, a runaway beverage cart caused much more than just a bumped elbow. Johnson was on a flight from Hartford, Connecticut to Charlotte, North Carolina, with his wife, when a fully stocked, 300 lbs, beverage cart broke loose. In the recently filed lawsuit against American Airlines, Johnson alleges that the runaway cart struck him in the head, causing a serious traumatic brain injury.

Summer is the perfect time to get back to nature. And while nature can contain beauty, quiet solitude, and a break from the hustle of a job and city life, it can present its own set of dangers. From insects and animals to rocky trails, and, yes, falling trees, Mother Nature can be an unwelcoming host.

Perhaps that's part of the allure of camping, but what happens when something goes bad in the great outdoors? Here's a look:

Shopping carts may seem innocuous enough, even cute if they're designed like race cars and carrying toddlers around the store. But they become a bit more sinister after an accident, especially one causing injuries. Shopping carts injure 24,000 kids every year, according to one study, and can become especially dangerous during peak shopping hours -- like after work -- or peak shopping days -- like Black Friday.

If you're injured by a shopping cart in or outside of a store, do you have a legal claim? And whom can you sue?

Most people are well aware of the fact that if a hospital or doctor makes a mistake, or is negligent, a medical malpractice claim can be made. However, when hospice services fail to provide care, or provide substandard care, individuals, family members, and loved ones, are often confused about possible legal remedies. Shockingly, this occurs more often than the hospice industry would like to admit.

People in hospice care generally must be terminally ill and seeking palliative care, meaning medical treatment that is not intended to cure the problem, but rather just reduce or relieve associated pains. Hospices contract with these individuals to provide palliative care, such as the administration of strong pain medications, physical therapy, and even helping with hygiene and other matters.

When a hospice fails to provide care, or is negligent in the care provided, there may be legal claims depending on the resulting injury.

On June 15, organizations across the world will be participating in World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. The participating organizations will not only be teaching people what constitutes elder abuse, but will also be teaching the public on how to identify and stop it.

If you can't make it to one of these events, you can still participate in Elder Abuse Awareness Day on your own. Just take some time to educate yourself on the different types of elder abuse, as well as how to stop it, and maybe chat with a few colleagues or peers about the issue, or post on social media, to help raise awareness.

Whomever said that 'there's no such thing as bad publicity' probably never had naked photographs of themselves posted on the internet. Sure, some celebrities built careers off purportedly leaked sex tapes, but the same cannot be said about the vast majority of women who have their before and after breast augmentation photos posted online by their plastic surgeon.

Breast augmentation can often be controversial. Some people have no problem sharing their experience with the procedure (though might prefer faceless and nameless photos), while others want their cosmetic surgery to remain private. In a recently filed Chicago lawsuit, a woman is suing her plastic surgeon for posting her before and after photos, despite her not providing the legally required consent.

The Florida Supreme Court reached a decision this week that is sure to please medical malpractice lawyers and victims currently pursuing their cases in the state. The state law limiting pain and suffering, and other non-economic, monetary awards in medical malpractice cases has been ruled unconstitutional, rendering the cap null and void.

Under the old law, a person that suffered an injury due to medical malpractice could only be awarded $500,000 for pain and suffering by the court regardless of what a jury decided. If a person was catastrophically injured, the limit jumped up to an even million. However, these limits do not include monetary damages for lost wages, medical care, or other directly attributable losses, only the esoteric pain and suffering, and other categories of non-economic damages, like loss of enjoyment of life, loss of companionship, and emotional distress. Caps, or limits, on damages vary from state to state, but usually only apply to medical malpractice matters.

As the old saying goes, "It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt." And with more fun and games over the summer months comes more opportunity for injury. While we hope everyone stays safe this summer, some injuries are inevitable.

So here is some of our best advice for avoiding and dealing with summertime injuries, from our archives:

Just about every single type of legal matter can be resolved without getting the courts involved. This means that a medical malpractice claim can be settled without filing a lawsuit.

However, before attempting to negotiate a settlement on a medical malpractice claim, seeking the advice of an experienced attorney in your area is a good idea. Below, you'll find the top three reasons why you should talk to a medical malpractice lawyer before taking any actions on your claim.

The Sigma Nu fraternity on University of Nevada Reno's campus has been sued due to an alleged hazing death that occurred last year. Along with the fraternity organization itself, the housing organizer and several fraternity members have been named in the lawsuit filed by the deceased's parents.

The parents of Ryan Abele filed the wrongful death suit alleging their son was forced to drink excessively, then suffered a life-ending fall down a flight of stairs at the fraternity house the following morning. His death allegedly occurred as a result of hazing incidents that required him to drink excessively and clean the fraternity house after a party.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, opioid overdoses claim 91 lives per day in America, and the number of overdose deaths associated with opioids has quadrupled since 1999. Ohio has been hit especially hard. According to a new lawsuit filed by the state's attorney general against five drug manufacturers, opioid-related drug overdoses in Ohio have skyrocketed 642 percent in the last 15 years.

Ohio's is the latest in a long line of local litigation seeking to hold opioid manufacturers responsible for a nationwide crisis.

American Airlines is facing a lawsuit over its allegedly deplorable treatment of a man with no feet. Michael Mennella, who lost both feet due to an auto accident over five years ago, was removed from an American Airlines flight, for allegedly being intoxicated. Mennella alleges he was removed as a result of discrimination and negligence.

The flight was diverted, and made an emergency landing in Texas, where Mennella was removed from the plane by officers. Although American Airlines claimed Mennella was intoxicated, law enforcement found no evidence of intoxication whatsoever. He was told that he would be arrested on felony charges, but was released once officers starting talking with him. He was not booked, nor charged. Fortunately, Mennella was able to catch a flight to his final destination on another airline. However, being removed from the flight was the final straw to an already aggravating experience.

Asthma is a rather common form of lung disease that results in difficulty breathing, pain, and other symptoms. Left untreated, it can result in death. Asthma attacks kill thousands every year. Fortunately, asthma sufferers are often able to alleviate symptoms by using inhalers and other medications.

In limited circumstances, an asthma misdiagnosis, or failing to provide asthma medication, can lead to legal liability. Some examples of when a person may be able to sue for an asthma-related injury are listed here: