Accident News

Liability Determined in Injury Claim against Target for a Parking Lot Accident

December 17th, 2016 | By accidentnews

A jury has found in favour of a shopper´s injury claim against Target for a parking lot accident, but the compensation awarded is being contested.  

Thirty-four year old Carla Garrison sustained a needle stick injury in the parking lot of her local Target store while she was out shopping with her eight-year-old child. Carla´s daughter had picked up a hypodermic needle from rubbish in the parking lot and, as Carla attempted to take the needle from her daughter, it caught the skin on the palm of her right hand.

Carla – from Anderson County in South Carolina – reported the event to a Target employee, before attending the AnMed Health Medical Center. At the Center, Carla was tested for HIV and hepatitis; and, although the results were negative, she was sick throughout the following week due to the antiretroviral medication she had been administered.

After seeking legal advice, Carla made an injury claim against Target for a Parking Lot Accident. She alleged in her claim that Target Corp had failed to maintain the parking lot in a safe condition and that, by failing in its duty of care, the store had exposed customers to the risk of injury. A companion claim was also made by Carla´s husband for the loss of income he had experienced while caring for her and the temporary loss of consortium.

Target Corp denied liability for Carla´s injury – contesting the claim on the grounds that the cleaning of the parking lot was contracted out to a third party. The injury claim against Target for a parking lot accident subsequently went to the Anderson Court of Common Pleas, where it was heard by a jury before Judge Richard Shirley.

At the hearing, the jury was told that Target failed to maintain cleaning logs and was shown evidence to indicate that debris had remained in certain areas of the parking lot for more than four months. The jury found in Carla´s favor and awarded her $100,000 compensation in settlement of her injury claim against Target for a parking lot accident.

The jury also awarded Carla and her husband $4.51 million in punitive damages – a figure that is above South Carolina´s limit for punitive damages, and one that is being contested by the company. It is expected that the figure will be reduced to beneath the cap of $500,000 when the appeal hearing takes place.

Woman´s Compensation Claim for an Accident in a Pharmacy Settled for Nearly $1.2 Million

November 8th, 2016 | By accidentnews

A woman´s compensation claim for an accident in a pharmacy has been settled for nearly $1.2 million in a hearing at the Superior Court of Ventura County.

On 1st February 2013, Wanda Katz (54) – a retired hairdresser from Port Hueneme in California – was shopping at her local CVS Pharmacy. As she crouched down to examine some goods on the bottom shelf of a display, she was knocked over by an employee of the pharmacy who was pushing a four-wheeled cart loaded up with merchandize.

As she fell, Wanda hit her head on the bottom shelf of the display. However, as she did not think she had suffered any serious injury, she neglected to seek medical attention and only spoke to her neighbor – an orthopedist – when she started to experience neck pain. Her neighbor advised Wanda to see a doctor, which she did six weeks after the accident.

Wanda´s doctor referred her for an MRI, which showed a lesion in the cerebellum. This was mistakenly interpreted that Wanda had suffered a stroke, and it was not until late in 2014 that the correct diagnosis was made – that Wanda´s traumatic brain injury was the result of her hitting her head on the shelf at the pharmacy.

Wanda made a compensation claim for an accident in a pharmacy – alleging that the employee who had knocked her over had been negligent by not looking where she was going, and that CVS Pharmacy was vicariously liable for its employee´s actions. She alleged in her claim that her injury had prevented her from pursuing a career in real estate cosmetology, and that she had a loss of income as a result.

Because of the long period of time between the accident and the diagnosis of persistent postural-perceptual dizziness (PPPD), CVS Pharmacy contested the compensation claim for an accident in a pharmacy and how much compensation Wanda was claiming. The company also argued that Wanda had contributed to the cause of her accident by crouching down immediately by the side of the merchandize cart while it was stationary.

The compensation claim for an accident in a pharmacy went to the Superior Court of Venture County, where it was heard by a jury before Rocky J. Baio. At the hearing, the jury were shown CCTV footage of how the accident occurred and heard from fourteen different medical experts about the injury that Wanda had sustained and the consequences to her quality of life.

After ten days of testimony, the jury took two days in their deliberations. Eventually they found CVS Pharmacy 100% liable for Wanda´s injury and awarded her $1,190,105 in settlement of her compensation claim for an accident in a pharmacy. Due to agreement before the jury gave its verdict, CVS Pharmacy will not be appealing the compensation award.

Claims for Injuries in a Powerboat Accident Resolved at Hearing

October 11th, 2016 | By accidentnews

Two sisters´ claims for injuries in a powerboat accident have been resolved the Bergen County Superior Court in New Jersey with a jury award of $9.5 million.

On May 22, 2009, sisters Jamie (19) and Gina (23) Franzino were guests aboard a 15-foot powerboat cruising in the Manasquan Inlet, when the boat on which they were passengers was struck by a 31-boat steered by marine sales business owner Edward McCarthy.

Due to the force of the impact, the two sisters were crushed between the console and hull of the powerboat. They had to be cut free from the wreckage and were airlifted to Jersey Shore Medical Center, where both were put into an induced coma.

As a result of the accident Jamie suffered a collapsed right lung, three fractures of her pelvis, nerve damage to her left foot and an injury to her right shoulder. She also lost two teeth in the accident and developed anosmia – the loss of her sense of smell.

Gina was also treated for a shattered pelvis, and suffered a broken hip, broken ribs, multiple spleen lacerations and concussion. The two women remained in hospital for ten days and fourteen days respectively, and received treatment as outpatients for a further year.

Along with the other guests that had been injured, Jamie and Gina made claims for injuries in a powerboat accident against McCarthy and his business. The claims were consolidated for the assessment of liability and, in January 2016, McCarthy was found negligent in the operation of a vessel.

The claims for injuries in a powerboat accident were then separated for the assessment of damages – except for Jamie and Gina´s claims which were heard recently by a jury at the Bergen County Superior Court before Judge Charles Powers Jr.

At the hearing, the jury was told of the injuries the sisters suffered and the consequences for their long-term health. An expert witness testified to Jamie´s anosmia and Gina´s weakened immune system, and that both women had been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Counsel for the defense argued that the extent of the two sisters´ injuries were exaggerated but, after five hours of deliberations, the jury awarded Jamie $3.9 million for her pain and suffering, and Gina $5.1 million for her pain and suffering, with a further award of $500,000 for Gina´s future medical costs.

Jury Awards $5 Million Compensation for Injuries in a U-Turn Accident

October 5th, 2016 | By accidentnews

A jury in Los Angeles has awarded a plaintiff $5 million compensation for injuries in a U-turn accident after attributing him with 50% comparative negligence.

In February 2014, thirty-eight year old Antonio Pureco was approaching his home in the La Puente district of Los Angeles, when he pulled over to the right of the narrow road in order to perform a U-turn and park his car immediately outside his apartment.

However, as Antonio started to execute the maneuver, he was hit by teenager David De La Torre Carrillo, who was driving his father´s car down the narrow road at almost twice the permitted speed limit. The impact of the collision was so severe that Antonio had to cut from his car.

Due to sustaining significant head injuries in the accident, Antonio was put into a coma and taken to Los Angeles County + USC Medical Center. He remained at the Medical Center in an unconscious state for two weeks before being transferred to Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center to start therapy.

Although Antonio made a better-than-expected recovery, he has never been able to return to his job as a gardener. The brain injury he sustained is expected to reduce his life expectancy by seven years, and he will likely suffer dementia and required assisted living by the time he is sixty years of age.

Antonio sought legal advice and claimed compensation for injuries in a U-turn accident against De La Torre Carrillo and his father – who was the owner of the negligent driver´s vehicle. Full liability for Antonio´s injuries was contested for, although De La Torre Carrillo had been cited for driving at excessive speed at the time of the accident, Antonio had also been cited for performing an unsafe U-turn.

The claim for compensation for injuries in a U-turn accident was decided at Los Angeles County Court, where it was heard by a jury before Judge David S. Cunningham III. During nine days of testimony, the jury heard the defense argue that an accident would still have occurred – although with not such serious consequences – had De La Torre Carrillo not been speeding because of Antonio´s dangerous maneuver.

After deliberately for a day, the jury decided that both the plaintiff and the defendant should be attributed 50% liability for causing the accident and awarded Antonio $10 million compensation for injuries in a U-turn accident – reduced to $5 million compensation because of Antonio´s comparative negligence.

Plaintiff Settles Claim for Swallowing a Medical Instrument during Dental Treatment

September 7th, 2016 | By accidentnews

A plaintiff has settled his claim for swallowing a medical instrument during dental treatment after an agreement was reached on the value of his claim.

Janusz Pawlowicz (64) from Cook County in Illinois made his claim for swallowing a medical instrument during dental treatment after visiting his dentist – Beata Kozar-Warchalowska – for root canal treatment at the beginning of October 2014.

Prior to the procedure at Gentle Dental Services Ltd, Janusz had undergone a local anesthetic to numb his mouth. Consequently, when Kozar-Warchalowska dropped a barbed broach down his throat, Janusz did not realize he had swallowed it.

The dentist, believing that the medical instrument had fallen onto the floor, continued with the treatment, but ten days later Janusz returned to the medical center complaining of abdominal pain and nausea.

Janusz was referred to the Resurrection Medical Center, where an x-ray revealed the presence of the missing broach in his stomach. Janusz underwent an endoscopy and a laparoscopy before the medical instrument was removed, and then had to have his small bowel resectioned because of the internal damage the medical instrument had caused.

After recovering from the trauma of the surgery, Janusz sought legal advice and made a claim for swallowing a medical instrument during dental treatment – alleging that Kozar-Warchalowska had departed from the expected standard of care and that Gentle Dental Services, Ltd. was vicariously liable for the dentist´s negligence.

The claim for swallowing a medical instrument during dental treatment was contested by both defendants. Eventually an offer of $250,000 was forthcoming to settle the case, but Janusz´s lawyers valued the claim at $1 million. A hearing was scheduled for the Cook County District Court before Judge John P. Callahan Jr. to determine how much compensation Janusz was entitled to.

However, shortly before the hearing was due to get underway, an agreement was reached on a settlement of the claim for swallowing a medical instrument during medical treatment. Under the terms of the settlement, Janusz will receive $650,000 compensation to account for his pain and suffering, his medical expenses, and the permanent surgical scar left by the bowel resectioning.

Claim for Injuries due to the Negligence of a Utility Company Resolved in Court

August 1st, 2016 | By accidentnews

A claim for injuries due to the negligence of a utility company has been resolved in court after an arbitrated settlement was appealed by the defendant.

On 18th June 2012, Nancy Jacobs was leaving her Barnegat Township home in New Jersey, when her foot got stuck in a six-inch by four-inch hole on the edge of her property left by the removal of a broken utility pole. Nancy fell awkwardly and aggravated an existing back injury as well as tearing the meniscus cartilage in her knee.

The pole had been removed two months earlier by the Jersey Central Power & Light Company (JCP&L). At the time, the utility company had painted the area around the hole with iridescent paint and placed a warning cone over it. However, in the intervening period, grass had grown over the painted area and the cone had been removed.

The presence of the hole as a hazard had previously been identified by Nancy´s partner. He had written to JCP&L complaining that the hole remained unfilled, but never heard back until after Nancy´s accident – and then only in response to her claim for injuries due to the negligence of a utility company.

JCP&L denied it had been negligent in creating the hazard or failing to fill in the hole. The utility company argued that, within the industry´s maintenance standards, two months was not an unreasonable amount of time for a hole to remain unfilled after a utility pole had been removed. The claim for injuries due to the negligence of a utility company went to mandatory arbitration, and Nancy was awarded $400,000 compensation.

However, JCP&L appealed the decision on the basis that the award of compensation was excessive. The claim for injuries due to the negligence of a utility company subsequently went to the Ocean County Superior Court, where it was heard by a jury before Judge James Den Uyl.

After hearing the circumstances of Nancy´s injury, and seeing photographs of the hole at the time it was removed and prior to Nancy´s accident, the jury awarded Nancy $650,000. However, it also considered that Nancy had known about the hole for two months prior to the accident and reduced the settlement of her claim for injuries due to the negligence of a utility company by 20% to account for her own comparative negligence.

Agreement Reached in Claim for an Injury at a Marriott Hotel

July 7th, 2016 | By accidentnews

The settlement of a woman´s claim for an injury at a Marriott Hotel has been agreed by negotiation without the need to take the claim to a court hearing.

Michelle Hairston (62) was a guest at the Marriott Fairfield Inn in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, when – in June 2013 – she slipped while walking on the poolside deck of the swimming pool and fell – sustaining a compound fracture of her ankle that required open reduction and internal fixation surgery.

Michelle´s injury prevented her from driving to her job as a sales assistant for a major department store and – even after a period of recovery – affected her ability to stand or walk for long periods or conduct her normal day-to-day activities without pain.

After seeking legal advice from a personal injury lawyer, Michelle made a claim for an injury at a Marriott Hotel; alleging that Beach Hotel LLC – the company responsible for managing the hotel – had not installed a slip-resistant surface on the deck of the pool contrary to the building code.

Beach Hotel LLC contested the claim for an injury at a Marriott Hotel – arguing that that the poolside deck had an adequate slip-resistant surface, and denying that a hazardous condition existed or that it had failed in its duty of care to warn guests staying at the hotel of the risk of slipping.

A hearing of the claim for an injury at a Marriott Hotel was scheduled for the Horry County Court of Common Pleas. However, prior to the hearing, lawyers representing the two parties attempted to resolve the claim without a court hearing and discussed a settlement.

Beach Hotel LLC felt that Michelle´s demand of $80,000 for medical expenses plus compensation for her pain and suffering and loss of income was too high. Eventually the two sides agreed on a settlement of $120,000 without an admission of liability on the grounds it was not guaranteed that a jury would find the hotel negligent and responsible for Michelle´s slip and fall injury.

Plaintiff Settles Claim for a Cervical Spine Injury in a Work-Related Accident for $26.55 Million

June 7th, 2016 | By accidentnews

A plaintiff has settled his claim for a cervical spine injury in a work-related accident for $26.55 million, one day before a hearing of his case was due.

David Williams (32) was driving his employer´s Ford F350 pickup truck in Clinton County, Pennsylvania, in November 2011, when the vehicle slid of the road in the wet weather conditions and rolled over. David – a landscape service worker from Philadelphia – was thrown from the pickup and suffered a cervical spine injury that has left him permanently paralyzed from the waist down.

An investigation into David´s accident found that the rear tires of the F350 pickup truck were badly worn and should have been replaced in services that had been carried out on the vehicle in May and October. David subsequently made a claim for a cervical spine injury in a work-related accident against his employer, the employer´s parent company and the two companies that had serviced the Ford F350 earlier in the year.

An attempt to settle the claim for a cervical spine injury in a work-related accident by mediation failed due to the defendants failing to agree on the proportion of liability each should accept. It was also argued that David had contributed to the cause of the accident by driving too fast for the road conditions at the time of the accident.

The case was scheduled to be heard before Judge M. Teresa Sarmina at the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia. However, the day before the hearing was due to start, it was announced that an agreement had been reached in the settlement of David´s claim for a cervical spine injury in a work-related accident amounting to a little over $26.5 million.

Following the announcement of the settlement, David´s attorney told the press: “The defendants were alleged to have knowingly and recklessly permitted a dangerous and potentially lethal bald tire on Mr. Williams’ 2005 Ford-350 TruGreen truck to continue in service after it failed their own inspection. We would have demonstrated at trial how easy it would have been for the defendants to just do the right thing [and] remove the truck from service until the hazardous tires were replaced.”

Workers Compensation Claims for Manual Handling Injuries Head Travelers Report

May 16th, 2016 | By accidentnews

Workers compensation claims for manual handling injuries account for 32 percent of workplace injury claims according to the Travelers Injury Impact Report.

Travelers handles more workers compensation claims than any other carrier in the country, and the company has used data from more than 1.5 million claims made over the past five years to compile its “Injury Impact Report”.

The Report contains plenty of information about the types of claims the company receives, the general length of time an employee is away from work, and how certain categories of injury are more prevalent in specific industries.

The highlight of the Report is a list of the most commonplace claims. Workers compensation claims for manual handling injuries top the list at 32 percent of the total claims received by the company between 2010 and 2014, with workers compensation claims for slips, trips and falls (16 percent) a distant second.

Further down the list, workers compensation claims for being struck by an object or colliding with an object account for 10 percent of claims, with accidents involving tools at work (7 percent) and repetitive strain injuries (4 percent) filling fourth and fifth places respectively.

Inflammations (91 days on average) and fractures (78 days on average) were the two injuries attributed with the longest absences from work, while strains and sprains were responsible for an average of 57 days away from work, and injuries resulting in cuts and bruises were blamed for 24 days of lost productivity.

Commenting on the high proportion of workers compensation claims for material handling injuries, Woody Dwyer – the Second Vice President of Workers Compensation Risk Control – called for a better culture of safety for employees. He said the most common injury compensation claims received by Travelers could often be prevented if the proper safety measures were in place.

Senate Committee Rejects Proposals for Organic Labeling of Cannabis Products

May 10th, 2016 | By accidentnews

Last week, Colorado´s Senate Committee on Business, Labor, and Technology narrowly rejected proposals for the organic labeling of cannabis products.

Earlier this year, proposals were introduced into Colorado´s Assembly that would amend the state´s existing “Organic Certification Act” to include the organic labeling of cannabis products. The proposals were supported by the state´s organic growers, as no regulations currently exist to prevent commercial growers from marketing their cannabis products as organic, even when pesticides had been used on them.

The “Pesticide-Free Cannabis Certification Program” (HB16 – 1079) called on Colorado´s agriculture department to devise a system of quality control and certification to enable the organic labeling of cannabis products. The proposals were approved by the Assembly in April and introduced into the Senate in May by Senator Pat Steadman, when they were passed to the Senate Committee on Business, Labor, and Technology.

However, when the Senate version of the bill was considered by the Senate Committee, members rejected the proposals 4-3 amid concerns that the organic labeling of cannabis products would imply that the product was harmless. Senator Rollie heath later told the press: “[The organic labeling of cannabis products] will mislead people to thinking marijuana doesn’t have any health effects, that it’s OK. It kind of puts a stamp of approval on it.”

Senator Steadman was incensed by the outcome of the vote. “Does that label mean there are no health effects? That it’s healthy, it’s wholesome?” he questioned. “I don’t think anyone is going to be under any false illusions.” His opinion was supported by Ben Gelt of the Denver-based Organic Cannabis Association, who said: “Cannabis consumers, or tomato consumers, or any product consumer wants to know what goes into what they’re using.”

Gelt noted that chocolate and wine are eligible for organic certification in Colorado despite not being considered as health foods. However, the Senate Committee on Business, Labor, and Technology also had to consider the problems that might arise with the organic labeling of cannabis products if the U.S. Department of Agriculture – the department responsible for regulating organic standards nationally – had taken objection to a state introducing its own organic standards.

As cannabis remains an illegal substance at federal level, cannabis products are not eligible for organic certification in the eyes of the federal law. The illegality of cannabis also creates issues for individuals and organizations looking to enter the regulated cannabis industry. How to comply with cannabis regulations is an issue that is complex to resolve without specialist legal help.