Injured - The FindLaw Accident, Injury and Tort Law Blog

September 2017 Archives

Amari Broughton-Fleming had a difficult entry into the world. Doctors induced his delivery, then found his shoulder was trapped behind his mother's pelvis. A doctor was able to dislodge the arm, tugging on Amari's head in a swift downward motion, and he was born healthy at 8 pounds, 13 ounces.

Except for his right arm. It was paralyzed at birth and a pediatric neurologist diagnosed permanent nerve damage in Amari's shoulder, nerve damage his mother's lawsuit claimed was due to the doctor's negligence. And a jury in New Castle County, Delaware agreed, awarding her $3 million in damages.

The plan seemed so simple: refer patients to friendly pharmacies to fill prescriptions they don't need, then get a nice little kickback from pharmacy owners. Maybe throw some extra pain pill prescriptions to patients without ever seeing them, and bill Medicare for some never-performed medical services. Easy money, right?

Well easy come, easy go, as they say, and now Dr. Roberto A. Fernandez will be paying $4.8 million in restitution and serving 97 months in prison after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud.

By now we were pretty aware of the effect Flint, Michigan's lead-tainted water had on the city's living residents. But what about those yet to be born?

Just last month, researchers found that, following Flint's switch to the Flint River as its water source and altered its water treatment program, fertility rates in the city decreased by 12 percent, fetal death rates increased by 58 percent, and overall health at birth decreased. The question now becomes whether this "horrifyingly large" increase in fetal deaths will lead to more legal liability on the part of the city.

This summer was the third-hottest on record, and while cooler temperatures may be in the forecast, not all have escaped the heat unscathed. From simple sunburns to more serious and possibly fatal heatstroke injuries, the scorching temperatures left their mark this summer. But if you were injured in the summer heat, do you have a legal case?

Here are a few recent heat-related lawsuits, and who can be liable for heat-related injuries and illnesses.

It's not too surprising when Victoria's Secret racy lingerie sparks some romantic flames. A little more surprising is when a less revealing hoodie from the company's PINK apparel line literally catches fire.

Samantha Burke claims that a hoodie, t-shirt, and bra she purchased from Victoria's Secret "burst into flame while she cooked, resulting in sever and irreparable injury to her body." She is now suing the company, alleging that she "will bear the scars on her body, and in her memory, forever."

Hurricane Harvey caused catastrophic flooding in Houston last month. This month, it was Hurricane Irma inundating Florida. With two more storms, Jose and Maria, setting their sights on the northeast coast and Caribbean, respectively, the physical and financial injuries from flooding and flood damage will only intensify, leaving many to wonder what kind of recourse they have.

Here are some of the biggest legal questions and issues concerning flood injuries, and where to find the answers, from our archives:

They may seem silly on the surface, but many hot coffee and tea lawsuits are no laughing matter. While it may be tempting to rhetorically wonder what temperature these customers were expecting from their drinks, they certainly weren't expecting the serious burns the boiling beverages can cause.

And most of those previous hot tea injuries didn't result in a loss of life. Sadly, that was the case for Deanna Salas-Solano, whose dog Alexander succumbed to burn injuries from a hot tea she purchased from Starbucks. And now she's suing the coffee company for burns she suffered and the loss of Alexander.

Peter Godefroy was riding his bicycle on Valley Vista Boulevard in Sherman Oaks, California two years ago when struck a pothole, crashed his bike, and suffered "severe traumatic brain injury and numerous broken or fractured bones throughout his body." Godefroy sued the City of Los Angeles, claiming poor lighting and even worse maintenance led to a simple pothole becoming a "concealed trap for bicyclists."

The L.A. City Council settled that lawsuit last week, voting 11-0 to approve granting Godefroy $6.5 million in damages. It's the second such settlement this year, after the council also awarded $4.5 million to the family of a man killed after he was thrown from his bike when he hit uneven pavement in the city.

Jahi McMath was thirteen years old when a routine tonsillectomy went wrong and left the teen brain dead. After the surgery in 2013, she was pronounced dead, and the county coroner even signed a death certificate a month later. However, Jahi was never taken off life support. Her parents insist that she is still alive, based upon their Christian faith, regardless of the fact that she has been declared brain dead.

While Jahi has been kept on life support, her parents have pursued a medical malpractice claim against the hospital as a result of the surgery. But, unlike typical medical malpractice claims where the plaintiff is either alive and injured, or dead, the court is sending that issue to the jury to decide.

Heatstroke is one of the more common causes for injuries over the summer. It occurs when a person's body temperature rises above 104 degrees due to sun/heat exposure. A person suffering from heatstroke requires immediate medical care. If left untreated, it can damage a person's brain, heart, kidneys, and muscles.

Fortunately, individuals can usually prevent heatstroke by finding ways to cool down before it's too late, such as finding some shade, hydrating, even jumping in a pool, or just taking a shower. However, it is not always possible to prevent heatstroke, and sometimes, another person, or business entity, could even be liable for it.

Below, you'll find three examples of when a person might be able to sue due to a heatstroke injury.

The solar eclipse that crossed the U.S. on August 21, 2017 was more than just a rare event, it was an economic boon for the makers of solar eclipse viewing glasses. But Amazon, which sold millions of pairs of these glasses, is now facing a class action lawsuit as a result of at least two pairs not working.

The injured couple claims that they purchased the glasses off Amazon's marketplace in order to view the eclipse and that they used the glasses as instructed to view the eclipse. After viewing the eclipse using the glasses, they started seeing spots and experiencing pain in their eyes, headaches, blind spots, sensitivity and distortion. Sadly, the warnings about not having the proper eye-protection were not just a ploy to sell the eclipse glasses at incredible mark-ups.

Five-year-old Charles Miller was sitting in his father's lap on the Timber Mountain Log Ride at Knott's Berry Farm in California when the ride came to a screeching halt after the last drop. According to a lawsuit filed against the theme park by his father, Miller flew forward, forcing his head to be "sandwiched between his father and the back of the seat causing an orbital blowout." Miller suffered a fractured eye socket, and the lawsuit claims Knott's Farm negligently maintained the ride.

It turns out this is not the first problem with the log ride or the first lawsuit filed against the park: the family of a 6-year-old girl settled with Knott's Berry after she broke a bone above her right eye hitting her head on the ride, and the Miller suit cites ten other examples where guests were injured in similar incidents.