Articles Posted in Personal Injury

How hard is it to win a slip and fall case in Tennessee? Very hard! People often think that if they are injured at a business the store will automatically pay for any medical bills or damages. Well that is not the case. Just like if someone fell at your house just because they were clumsy you will not have to pay for their damages. To win a fall case you have to show the business created the danger or knew (should have know) about the danger and did nothing to fix it or worn people about it. Not easy. I was recently interviewed about these cases and how to increase your chances of winning them at trial. You can watch the interview below:

 
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Last week, a Nashville resident filed a lawsuit against Montgomery Bell Academy (MBA) after claiming that she was knocked unconscious by an errant soccer ball from atop an elevated soccer field. According to the suit, she had been out walking near the prestigious all-boys prep school last year when she was hit in the side of the head with a soccer ball that came from an open air soccer field sitting atop a 3-story parking garage. She claims that the ball knocked her unconscious and threw her into the street.

Before being struck by the soccer ball, the plaintiff states that she had been a “vigorous and active person” who often exercised and socialized. However, the suit claims that she now suffers from lingering physical and mental injuries. In addition, the suit claims that the victim’s husband who has cancer also suffered because of his wife’s physical and mental injuries.

In the suit, the injured woman claims that MBA “knew of the unsafe condition caused by its use of the rooftop soccer field and the way in which it was designed and used.” The suit claims that the school failed to provide ample netting or other safety measures to prevent passers from coming into contact with the soccer balls. In addition, the plaintiff contends that the risk caused by a kicked soccer ball off of a roof is indeed foreseeable.

Depending on the outcome, this lawsuit could provide a new threshold of culpability for schools’ sporting facilities throughout the state. If the court determines that MBA is indeed accountable, other individuals struck by errant balls outside the field of play would be able to file suit for sizable damages. It would establish a duty that schools owe to those individuals within the vicinity of sporting facilities. It would also likely force schools to be much more careful about providing safety measures to protect those nearby. Although this lawsuit is still in the early stages, it will certainly be an interesting case to track.
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Our Supreme Court is about to take up an interesting Tennessee premises liability injury case. The law is already fairly clear that a business owner has a duty to provide a safe environment to its customers. Specifically, a busniess has a duty to warn the patron of any known dangers, fix any known dangerous conditions and don’t create any dangerous conditions. I think we can all agree that those are reasonable legal duties but like any law it can sometimes be difficult to know where to draw the line.

In this case, it is alleged that a patron was drunk and causing a seen at a local Wal-mart. A Wal- Mart employee kicked the drunk patron out of the store. Unfortunately, the patron then got in his car and hurt someone while leaving the parking lot. HMMMM. So here is the dilemma. Wal-Mart says we didn’t serve this guy drinks we just wanted him to leave. We didn’t ask him to come and we don’t have a duty to hold someone until police can arrive. On the other hand we have the poor victim in the parking lot who believes that Wal-Mart did what was easiest and most convenient for them and not what was safest for the patrons. If the guy was drunk enough that they didn’t want him in the store then they should have known he was too drunk to drive. However, despite knowing this they sent him to his car and in the middle of their shoppers.

So what will the supreme court do with this case? Who knows but my bet is that they will say when Wal-Mart took the affirmative action to deal with this guy they had a duty to keep their shoppers safe. If he would have come on their property and hurt someone without them having knowledge of the danger that would clearly not be their fault. However, in this case they knew the guy was too drunk to shop so why wasn’t he too drunk to drive in their parking lot? I guarantee if the guy was shoplifting they would have called the police so why didn’t they call the police if it would have made their shoppers safer. We are all aware of people having their life’s destroyed by drunk drivers and it appears that this store may have ignored that basic knowledge and directed the guy towards his car. We all have responsibility and I think this store should help this victim instead of dragging her to the supreme court.
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Tennessee teenagers and teenagers all across the United States are involved in sports such as football each day. According to the Center for Disease Control, there are 300,000 sports-related concussions in the United States each year; most occur in contact sports, such as football, soccer, baseball, boxing and hockey. Also, in football, brain injuries account for sixty-five to eighty-five percent of fatalities. Football related concussions can lead to serious and even life-altering brain injuries or even death for teenagers all across the country. If you or someone you love has suffered a brain injury after playing a contact sport such as football, it is highly recommended that you speak with a Tennessee products liability lawyer as soon as possible. They will work with you and make sure you get the compensation you may be entitled to for the injuries you or your family members have suffered.

In this case, Rhett Ridolfi’s family filed a lawsuit against helmet maker Riddell and several high school administrators and football coaches after Ridolfi suffered a concussion in a Trinidad High School football practice. He wasn’t immediately taken to the hospital and now has severe brain damage, as well as paralysis on his left side. The jury found that Riddell was negligent in failing to warn people wearing its helmets about concussion dangers. The jury assessed twenty-seven percent of the fault for Rhett Ridolfi’s injuries, making the company responsible for paying $3.1 million of the damages.

The jury awarded $11.5 million total in the lawsuit to Ridolfi’s family. The ruling comes as the company faces a similar lawsuit in Los Angeles, plus a complaint by thousands of former NFL players against the league and Riddell. Riddell said it planned to appeal the verdict but was pleased that jurors rejected allegations regarding helmet design defects.”While disappointed in the jury’s decision not to fully exonerate Riddell, we are pleased the jury determined that Riddell’s helmet was not defective in any way,” the company said in a statement. It said it believes it designs and manufactures the most protective football headgear for athletes.

Three people reached confidential settlements before Saturday’s verdict, but two coaches were still defendants at the trial. In October, another jury found Riddell wasn’t responsible for an injury to a high school football player who had suffered a stroke after a practice.
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In Tennessee and all across the United States, people put their loved ones in nursing homes every day, expecting that they will be well cared for. However, many patients suffer from abuse, negligent, and in some cases patients even die as a result of medical malpractice and negligence. Tennessee Wrongful Death lawsuits can be filed for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to: motorcycle or car accidents, defective products, an occupational hazard or medical malpractice or negligence. Medical malpractice is one of the most common causes for wrongful death in the United States. About 98, 000 Americans have died a wrongful death due to medical malpractice and 90, 000 of these cases filed for wrongful death claims.

According to this Nursing Home Neglect lawsuit, on December 13, 2011, a woman died after suffering a subdural and subarachnoid hematoma. Although devastated at her loss, it was a situation the family could understand. Sadly, this family was lied to, although the real facts were not revealed until they were watching the evening news. The newscaster announced that the coroner’s office ruled the cause of death a homicide because she was assaulted by an Alzheimer’s patient.
The family went to the nursing home seeking answers following the news report. They were avoided by staff members. The victim’s son doesn’t blame the other resident, but he was shocked by the lies and could not believe the lack of supervision provided by the nursing home staff. The altercation happened in the dining room, where no supervision was present.

According to the case, the family originally sought an apology and $30,000 to cover the woman’s hospital bills; however the nursing home refused to accept accountability. Now the facility is facing a wrongful death lawsuit. An inspection in January 2011 cited the nursing home for failure to provide adequate supervision to prevent a fall in the Alzheimer’s unit. In response the nursing home submitted a plan of correction and promised not to leave Alzheimer’s residents unsupervised in the dining room. The plan was never effectively implemented.
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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average rate that a pedestrian is killed in an accident is one pedestrian related death every two hours. The rate a pedestrian is injured is every eight minutes. Also, pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to be killed in a car crash on each trip. If you or someone you know has been involved in a pedestrian related car accident and been injured or died, then you should speak to a Tennessee pedestrian car accident and personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. They will hear your case and see to it that you receive the compensation you need for what you have suffered.

In this case, comedian Russell Brand is being sued for running over a pedestrian with his car in an accident that took place in January 2012. The victim Victor Sneed is asking for $185,000 in damages in a new lawsuit filed against the actor, citing bodily injuries to his hand, arm and hip after a run-in with Brand. Snide previously sued Russell in October 2012 for $25,000 in the same accident, but appears to have upped his claim since then. In January, Brand shot back at Sneed, stating that injuries incurred from the accident were the “direct, proximate and sole result” of his own “physical bodily condition and constitutional composition,” according to court documents.

The CDC also reports that, pedestrians can help prevent injuries and even death from car accidents if they are especially careful at intersections, where drivers may fail to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians while turning onto another street, if they crease their visibility at night by carrying a flashlight when walking and by wearing retro-reflective clothing, and finally if whenever it is possible, pedestrians should cross the street at a designated crosswalk. It is much safer to walk on a sidewalk, but if pedestrians must walk in the street, they should walk facing traffic.
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In Tennessee and all across the country and even the world, we have all heard reports about the Depuy hip implant recall and metal on metal hip recalls. The original Depuy hip recall occured in August of 2010. Since then, many people have experienced pain and problems and even needed additional surgery to fix or replace their implants. If you or someone you love have had pain or hip problems since your implant and think you may have a Depuy hip implant, you should talk to a Tennessee hip implant recall lawyer right away. They will hear your case and work with you to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.

In the first hip recall case to go to trial, a jury on Friday, March 8th, 2013, found that the hip implants were defective, but that DePuy did not act with fraud or malice. DePuy was ordered to pay more than $338,000 in medical costs and $8 million for pain and suffering to plaintiff Loren Kransky. No punitive damages were awarded. Another case involving a lawsuit filed by a retired prison guard suffering from kidney cancer and other ailments, states that this verdict bodes well for this case as well as other cases, while DePuy said it would appeal.

Jeff Jonas, an analyst for Gabelli & Co, stated that Johnson & Johnson unit will eventually offer a national settlement, under which thousands of hip plaintiffs would likely take what is offered rather than face years of litigation and appeals. The recall of the Depuy hip implants began in 2010, prompted by recognition that the devices were failing at higher-than-expected rates. Some 93,000 ASR hips were sold prior to the recall.

Loire Gawreluk, a spokeswoman for DePuy stated that, “We believe ASR XL was properly designed, and that Deputy’s actions concerning the product were appropriate and responsible.” She also stated that, the planned appeal will be based on grounds including the fact that the court did not allow the company to tell the jury that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had reviewed the device and cleared it for sale.

In Loren Kransky case, it has been stated that, “the jury’s decision is the first day of reckoning for DePuy and Johnson & Johnson … We expect to get punitive damages in the next trial.” The case claimed that the ASR hip resulted in elevated levels of cobalt and chromium in Kransky, causing him pain that required the hip to be replaced. The J&J lawyers that there is no medical consensus on what levels of the metals may cause harm to patients and said Kransky’s other medical problems, including diabetes, heart disease, and kidney cancer, were the source of his pain and suffering.

Another hip implant trial in Illinois state court starts on Monday March 11, 2013. Two cases in federal multi district litigation are set for trial in May and July in Ohio.
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By now you have probably heard about the employee’s failure to perform CPR on a resident because it was against the company’s policy. Shocking to say the least. We know that families place their elderly loved ones in nursing homes each year. When doing so, they expect that their loved ones will be properly taken care of and looked after. Unfortunately, many nursing homes are understaffed, overworked, and improperly trained. This can and unfortunately often leads to nursing home abuse and neglect for many patients. If you feel that someone you love has been injured or died as a result of nursing home abuse or neglect, then you should talk to a Tennessee nursing home neglect lawyer as soon as possible.

According to this case, a nurse at Glenwood Gardens which is operated by Brentwood-based Brookdale Senior Living Inc, refused to give CPR to Lorraine Bayless following her collapse last Tuesday in the dining room. She was barely breathing. The woman called 911, stating that it was against the facility’s policy for the staff to perform CPR.

Tracey Halvorson, the dispatcher who received the call, stated that, “I understand if your boss is telling you, you can’t do it,” but … as a human being … you know, is there anybody that’s willing to help this lady and not let her die?” The woman replied “Not at this time.” Bayless was declared dead at Mercy Southwest Hospital later Tuesday.

State officials said they did not know whether the woman who talked to the 911 dispatcher was actually a nurse, or if she just identified herself as one during the call. Russ Heimerich, spokesman for the Board of Registered Nursing, the agency that licenses health care providers, stated that, the consensus is if they are a nurse and if they are at work as a nurse, then they should be offering the appropriate medical care.”

According to the case, Bayless did not have a “do not resuscitate” order on file. Jeffrey Toomer, the executive director of Glenwood Gardens, stated that, the woman did indeed follow policy. He also stated that, “In the event of a health emergency at this independent living community our practice is to immediately call emergency medical personnel for assistance and to wait with the individual needing attention until such personnel arrives. That is the protocol we followed.” Toomer stated that a “thorough internal review” of the incident would be conducted. Police are also conducting an investigation. Toomer also stated that, “residents of the home’s independent living community are informed of the “no-CPR” policy and agree to it when they move in.”
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Having a Tennessee Injury Law practice we have seen all types of cases. Of course, the most common injuries involve car accidents but that is not the only type of collision that can occur. According to this case, in August of 2006, Ella Cousins, then sixty-four, was pushing her shopping cart down a main aisle of the Food Lion when her empty car was hit head on by a two hundred pound stocking cart. The collision resulted in Cousins being knocked backwards which caused her to hit her head on the ceramic floor causing a traumatic brain injury as a result. Prior to the personal injury accident, Cousins had normal intelligence and was employed as an attendant for people who couldn’t care for themselves. Now, she is severely mentally impaired and requires around-the-clock care and supervision.

On the day of the accident, female grocery employee, Barbara Hopper, had packed the wheeled stocking cart too high with beauty care items. The totes on the cart were stacked so high that the 5-foot-1 employee couldn’t see over the top of them. Hopper also was pushing the cart rather than pulling it, which was in violation of a store policy to pull the cart to prevent such accidents. Hopper no longer works for Food Lion and stated that she never saw Cousins until she was on the floor.

For approximately seven years, Cousins’ daughter and granddaughter provided her care, which would have cost an estimated $200,000 a year if it was paid for. Also, Cousins’ granddaughter is in her twenties and has put off going to college to care for her grandmother.
The verdict against the grocery store company, reached Thursday following a three-day trial, ties the largest verdict ever recorded in the area. The jury determined that the grocery store company was responsible for the accident.
Food Lion appealed the first verdict and the case was initially tried in January 2010, with an entirely different outcome. According to that trial, Food Lion admitted Hopper was negligent, however the company asserted and the jury agreed that Cousins had “contributory negligence” and should have gotten out of the way of the cart. According to the law in that state, people that contributed to negligence cannot receive damages. This decision was also appealed stating that Food Lion had not properly vouched for the accuracy of a surveillance system that was running the day of the accident.
In January 2012, the state Supreme Court agreed with this statement, reversing the jury’s finding and remanding it for a new trial.
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Do you have a serious medical condition and need some time off from work, but you have been told that your employer does not have to comply with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)? Don’t despair, because there may be other types of job-protected leave that your employer must grant you to give you time off to heal, recuperate or otherwise attend to your personal medical condition. We begin by asking what type of employer you work for and what kind of medical condition you suffer from.

The FMLA is a federal law that requires certain employers to let an employee take a maximum of twelve weeks of leave from their job for a serious medical condition, and must keep their job open for them upon their return. However, the FMLA has conditions. First, the employer must have at least 50 employees with a 75 mile radius, and you must have worked at least 1,250 hours in the previous twelve month period. Second, your medical ailment must be certified by a medical professional to be a serious health condition, which generally rules out things like viruses that just keep you out of work for a few days.

So perhaps your employer doesn’t have enough employees or you haven’t worked enough hours to qualify for FMLA. Or, perhaps you did qualify for FMLA-protected leave, but your twelve weeks have run out. What then? There might be other ways to get job-protected leave.
Check your employer’s policies. Your employer may offer unpaid medical leave that is available even if the employer is not required to comply with the FMLA or if your FMLA leave has run out. Read your employer’s policies and speak to a human resources representative to find out if your employer offers medical leave. You may also want to find out if other employees were allowed to take medical leave and find out in what circumstances that occurred.
The Americans With Disabilities Act. If your employer has at least 15 employees, it must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Under that act, if you are a qualified person with a disability, the employer, in most circumstances, must provide you with a reasonable accommodation in order for you to perform the essential functions of your job. Generally what we think of is a special chair for a person with a back injury or perhaps enhanced computer devices for a person who is blind. But a reasonable accommodation may take the form of a leave of absence from a job. Think of a person who has a disease and has been hospitalized and will be released back to work in three weeks, but their FMLA leave will be exhausted in one week. The employer may have to give them an additional two weeks in order to comply with the ADA.
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