Injured - The FindLaw Accident, Injury and Tort Law Blog

August 2017 Archives

"As parents, we trust that our children are safe while they are under the supervision of organizations like Community Nursery & Preschool, and that those individuals taking care of our children are responsible, qualified, and professional care providers. When organizations and individuals betray that trust, the consequences can be tragic and heart-breaking."

That sounds like some of the openings we've had to write in response to children being injured or killed while at daycare. In fact they're the words of David S. Cain Jr., an attorney representing the family of 5-year-old Kamden Johnson, whose body discovered in the driveway in Mobile, Alabama last week.

As more and more people fall victim to opioid addiction, more and more lawsuits are being filed. States are suing drug companies, addicts are suing doctors, and the federal government is starting its own investigation into the crisis.

But who's liable for opioid addiction? The addict? Doctors? Drug manufacturers? All three? Here's what you need to know about opioid lawsuits and addiction liability.

'When a child is in the school district, from the time they get there, the school is responsible for their safety.' So said attorney Jay Dorsey, who is representing the family of a 14-year-old girl who collapsed and died after a gym teacher refused repeated requests to retrieve her inhaler from her locker.

The family has filed a federal lawsuit against the county board of education, the high school where it happened, and the unnamed gym teacher, charging them with civil rights violations, wrongful death, gross negligence, and negligence in hiring and supervising employees.

At this point, there have been so many lawsuits filed against Johnson & Johnson over its talc and baby powder products, and judgments against the company based on cancer caused by those products, it's becoming hard to keep track of them all. Luckily, Bloomberg did the work for us: J&J is facing "5,500 claims in U.S. courts, [and] has lost four previous jury verdicts in St. Louis for a total of $300 million."

And you can add another verdict to that list, this one coming in California. A Los Angeles jury awarded Eva Echeverria $417 million after finding J&J liable for not warning about the cancer risk in its baby powder products.

Much was made of the 'enhanced interrogation techniques' employed by the U.S. military and contractors in terrorism investigations. Often considered torture, the interrogation program was at the center of an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit filed against the alleged architects of that program, on behalf two men subjected to those techniques and the family of one man who froze to death in a CIA prison.

In what the ACLU says is a first for lawsuits involving CIA torture, the two defendants in the case, psychologists James Mitchell and John "Bruce" Jessen, have agreed to settle the lawsuit, for an undisclosed amount.

As the opioid crisis spins out of control, people are looking for ways to rein in the epidemic and for ways to hold accountable those responsible. Individuals are suing their doctors for contributing to an opiate addiction, and cities, counties, and states are suing drug manufacturers for creating a flood of opiates.

But can a single person or class of individuals hold a drug company legally responsible for an opioid addiction?

According to the most recent data from Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are around 70 electrocution fatalities every year from consumer products. And while you might think children are the most vulnerable to electrocution, there were twice as many victims who were 40 to 59 years old, compared to the number of victims who were 19 years old and younger.

Electrocutions are also one of the most common workplace injuries, accounting for around 9 percent of all fatal workplace accidents. Electric shock injuries can be scary, and whether you can sue for those injuries may depend on who injured you and where.

Whether it's an increase in dangerous equipment or tactics, a rise in citizen-police interactions and altercations, or just the ubiquity of cell phone and body cameras, the number of civil lawsuits filed against police officers, their departments, and cities has been skyrocketing. (This could also be due to the dearth of criminal charges filed against officers for misconduct.) At the same time, cities have been paying millions to settle police lawsuits.

While suing the police for injuries is possible, the process is different and can be somewhat more complicated than your average injury lawsuit. Here's what you need to know:

Suicide among youths is extraordinarily disturbing to read about. When a child who is even younger than a teenager commits suicide, the tragedy is all the more confounding.

Sadly, child suicide is often the result of external factors, such as embarrassment, bullying, or school pressures. Although people often know that schools can be held liable for the injuries students sustain on school grounds, many wonder whether a school can be held liable for self-harm that occurs after school and not on school grounds.

The residents of a condominium community in Columbus, Ohio have been warned not to use their balconies due to the fear of collapses. The condo owners at The Falls at Hayden Run were told in June 2017 that their decks could no longer be used after a father and daughter were injured in a collapse the previous month. Apparently, the decks were only secured by 26 nails and lacked several safety requirements.

While the community association is working to fix the problem, many owners and residents may be wondering what legal action they may be able to take. The father and daughter that were injured have filed a lawsuit due to their severe injuries, however, condo owners may also be able to pursue legal actions on their own behalf.

Generally speaking, if you're injured by someone else's negligence you can sue for compensation. The exceptions to that rule may be statutory (some laws prohibit injury lawsuits in certain circumstances), procedural (you may need to file a notice with a government entity before suing), or legal (you may be partially at fault yourself).

One of those legal exceptions is if you've waived liability for a person or parties if you get injured. Waivers normally pop up at schools or day care, gyms or fitness facilities, and risky recreational activities like skiing, skydiving, or river rafting. Often, people think signing a liability waiver means you can never sue if you're injured, but there are exceptions to that rule as well. Here are five of the biggest questions regarding waivers in injury cases:

A woman who says her Airbnb host made sexually suggestive comments, used drugs in front of her, and ultimately sexually assaulted her is suing the company, claiming it failed to do a background check on the man and failed to disclose that it did not do background checks to users. According to her lawsuit, the man faced domestic violence charges and was enrolled in a pre-trail diversion program to avoid prosecution on those charges.

Airbnb, for its part, banned the man from the site following the woman's allegations. "The abhorrent behavior described has no place in our community and we will not tolerate it," said the company's global head of trust and risk management, Nick Shapiro. "We have been trying to support [the accuser] in any way we can."