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USA Accidents Claims News

Shopper Awarded Compensation for a Needle Stick Injury in a Parking Lot

Posted on: December 16th, 2016 by Accident News.

The jury award of compensation for a needle stick injury in a parking lot will be contested by the defendant because of the amount of punitive damages.

On 21st May 2014, Carla Garrison (34) from Anderson in South Carolina had just parked her car at the Target store on Clemson Boulevard, when she noticed her eight-year-old daughter holding a hypodermic needle the girl had found among debris in the parking lot.

As Carla attempted to remove the needle from her daughter´s grasp, it caught her on the palm of her right hand. Carla reported the accident to a store employee, before attending the AnMed Health Medical Center – where she was tested for HIV and hepatitis.

Fortunately the test results were negative but, due to the side effects antiretroviral medication she was administered, she was sick for a week and confined to her bed. When she had recovered, Carla sought legal advice and claimed compensation for a needle stick injury in a parking lot against Target Corp.

In her claim, it was alleged that Target had failed to maintain the parking lot in a reasonably safe manner – exposing customers to the risk of injury. Target contested the claim on the grounds that it was a third party´s responsibility to clean the parking lot and that Carla had contributed to the needle stick injury by her own lack of care.

A hearing to determine liability was scheduled at the Anderson County Court of Common Pleas before Judge Richard Shirley. At the hearing, the jury was told that although the job of cleaning the parking lot had been outsource to a contractor, Target did not maintain logs or ensure the cleaning truck came at its appointed time.

Following evidence that showed debris had remained in the parking lot for a period of four months, the jury found in Carla´s favor – awarding her $100,000 compensation for a needle stick injury in a parking lot plus $4.51 million in punitive damages. As the limit for punitive damages in South Carolina is $500,000, Target has said it will contest the jury award.

Woman Awarded Compensation for a Brain Injury in a Pharmacy Accident

Posted on: November 9th, 2016 by Accident News.

A woman has been awarded nearly $1.2 million compensation for a brain injury in a pharmacy accident by a jury at the Superior Court of Ventura County.

In February 2013, Wanda Katz (54) from Port Hueneme in California was visiting her local pharmacy and inspecting goods on the lower shelf of a display stand when she was knocked over by an employee pushing a cart full of merchandize. Wanda – a former hairdresser who now holds a license in real estate cosmetology – subsequently claimed that, as she fell, she hit her head on the display stand and sustained a traumatic brain injury.

However, not believing she had sustained a serious injury at the time, Wanda failed to seek professional medical advice for six weeks. When she did consult her doctor complaining of neck pain and dizziness, Wanda was referred for an MRI. The MRI revealed a cerebellar lesion that was incorrectly diagnosed at the time as the result of a stroke. It was not until eighteen months after her accident that the correct cause of her injury was identified.

Wanda sought legal advice and claimed compensation for a brain injury in a pharmacy accident against CVS Pharmacy Inc. In her legal action, Wanda alleged the employee had been negligent by not looking where they were going when starting to push the cart full of merchandize, and that CVS Pharmacy was vicariously liable for its employee´s actions. Wanda also alleged that the dizziness caused by her traumatic brain injury prevented her from pursuing her career as a real estate cosmetologist.

CVS Pharmacy Inc. contested the claim for a brain injury in a pharmacy accident. The company claimed that there was no proof of a link between Wanda´s accident and her injury, that she was exaggerating the extent of her injuries. The company also alleged that Wanda had contributed to the cause of the accident by crouching down adjacent to the cart full of merchandize while it was stationary. An offer of settlement was rejected and the case went to the Superior Court of Ventura County.

At the hearing before Judge Rocky J. Baio, the jury was shown an inconclusive CCTV video and heard evidence from several medical experts. After ten days of testimony, and two days of deliberations, the jury in Wanda´s favor, dismissed the allegations that she had contributed to the cause of the accident and awarded her $1,190,105 compensation for a brain injury in a pharmacy accident.

Jury Awards $9.5 Million Compensation for Serious Injuries in a Boat Accident

Posted on: October 12th, 2016 by Accident News.

A jury has awarded two sisters a total of $9.5 million compensation for serious injuries in a boat accident following a hearing at Bergen County Superior Court.

In May 2009, Gina and Jamie Franzino were passengers on a powerboat cruising along the inlet between the Atlantic Ocean and the Manasquan River in Monmouth County, New Jersey, when the boat they were travelling was hit by a much larger boat under the command of marine sales business owner Edward McCarthy.

Several of the powerboat passengers managed to escape the collision by jumping from the vessel into the inlet, but Gina and Jamie were crushed between the console and the hull, and had to be cut free from the wreckage of the powerboat. The two sisters were taken by helicopter to Jersey Shore Medical Center, where both were put into a coma.

As a result of the accident, Gina (23) suffered a shattered pelvis, a broken hip and broken ribs. She had to undergo open surgery for multiple spleen lacerations and high dose radiation treatment after the surgery on her hip. Due to the treatment on her spleen and hip, Gina has a compromised immune system and fears that she will never be able to have children.

Jamie (19) suffered a collapsed right lung as a result of the collision between the two boats, three fractures of her pelvis, nerve damage to her left foot and an injury to her right shoulder. She also developed anosmia – the loss of her sense of smell – and, after her discharge from hospital, continued to receive outpatient treatment and therapy for more than a year.

Along with other passengers that had been injured in the collision, Gina and Jamie claimed compensation for serious injuries in a boat accident against McCarthy and his marine sales business. For the purpose of determining liability, the claims were consolidated and, in January 2016, McCarthy was found negligent in the operation of a vessel and responsible for causing the accident.

With liability resolved, the claims were then separated for the assessment of compensation for serious injuries in a boat accident – Gina and Jamie electing to have their claims heard together. The assessment hearing was held recently at the Bergen County Superior Court in New Jersey before a jury and Judge Charles Powers Jr.

At the hearing, the injuries that both women had suffered were explained to the jury. The also heard an expert witness testify as to Gina´s weakened immune system and Jamie´s ongoing anosmia. The expert witness also testified that both sisters had been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Lawyers for McCarthy argued that the extent of the two sisters´ injuries were being exaggerated and that both had made full recoveries from their injuries. However, after five hours of deliberations, the jury awarded Gina $5.1 million compensation for serious injuries in a boat accident and Jamie $3.9 million. The jury also awarded Gina $500,000 towards her future medical costs.

Injury Claim for a U-Turn Accident Settles for $5 Million

Posted on: October 4th, 2016 by Accident News.

An injury claim for a U-turn accident has been settled for $5 million after a jury at the Los Angeles County Court found the plaintiff 50% liable.

On February 25, 2014, Antonio Pureco (38) was driving along the road leading to his apartment in La Puente, Los Angeles. As he intended performing a U-turn to park his car outside the apartment – and because the road was narrow – Antonio indicated and pulled over to the right hand side of the road to allow enough room to execute the maneuver.

However, as Antonio started to turn, he was struck on the driver´s side of his car by a vehicle driven by David De La Torre Carrillo (18). The impact of the collision was so severe that Antonio had to cut from his car. He was taken to the Los Angeles County + USC Medical Center, where he remained in an unconscious state for two weeks.

After being diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury, Antonio was transferred to Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center to undergo therapy. Although making a remarkable recovery, Antonio has never been able to return to work as a gardener, and will likely suffer dementia by the time he is sixty years old and require assisted living.

Antonio sought legal advice and made an injury claim for a U-turn accident against De La Torre Carrillo and his father, who was the owner of the vehicle that caused the collision. Although De La Torre Carrillo had been cited for speeding at the time of the accident, Antonio had also been cited for performing an unsafe U-turn and full liability for Antonio´s injuries was contested.

The injury claim for a U-turn accident proceeded to the Los Angeles County Court, where it was heard by a jury before Judge David S. Cunningham III. After nine days of evidence, during which accident reconstruction experts explained to the jury how the accident happened, the jury unanimously found the plaintiff and the defendant each 50% liable.

After a further day of deliberations, the jury set the value of the injury claim for a U-turn accident at $10 million based on Antonio´s reduced life expectancy, future pain and suffering and future medical costs. As he had been found 50% comparatively negligent, the settlement of the claim was reduced to $5 million.

Claim for a Departure from the Expected Standard of Dental Care Settled Out of Court

Posted on: September 6th, 2016 by Accident News.

A claim for a departure from the expected standard of dental care made by a man who swallowed a medical instrument has been settled out of court for $675,000.

Sixty-four year old Janusz Pawlowicz from Des Plains in Cook County, Illinois, made his claim for a departure from the expected standard of dental care after visiting his dentist – Beata Kozar-Warchalowska – at Gentle Dental Services Ltd on October 1, 2014.

Janusz had attended his dentist to undergo the first part of a two-stage root canal treatment. His treatment on the first appointment required the use of local anesthesia and multiple medical instruments, including a barbed broach

During the procedure, Kozar-Warchalowska dropped the barbed broach and, believing it had fallen onto the floor, continued with the treatment. However, when Janusz returned for his second appointment on October 10, he complained to Kozar-Warchalowska that he had been suffering nausea and abdominal pain.

Janusz subsequently attended the Resurrection Medical Center, where a stomach x-ray revealed the presence of the missing broach. Janusz had to undergo an endoscopy and a laparoscopy before the medical instrument was eventually removed, and then had to undergo a resection of his small bowel – following which he was on a liquid diet for two months.

After recovering from the effects of his surgery, Janusz sought legal advice and made a claim for a departure from the expected standard of dental care against Kozar-Warchalowska and included Gentle Dental Services, Ltd. in the legal action – considering that the medical center was vicariously liable for the dentist´s actions.

The claim was contested by the defendants, although an offer of settlement amounting to $250,000 was made. However, Janusz´s lawyers valued the claim at $1 million and a hearing to determine how much compensation Janusz should receive was scheduled for the Cook County District Court before Judge John P. Callahan Jr.

However, shortly before the hearing was due to commence, it was announced that a settlement of the claim for a departure from the expected standard of dental care had been agreed. Under the terms of the settlement, Janusz will receive $650,000 to account for his past and future pain and suffering, his medical expenses, and the permanent scar left by his abdominal surgery.

Appeal against Compensation for a Fall due to Utility Company Negligence Rejected

Posted on: August 2nd, 2016 by Accident News.

An appeal against a settlement of compensation for a fall due to utility company negligence has been rejected at a hearing of the Ocean County Superior Court.

Nancy Jacobs (58) was leaving her Barnegat Township home in New Jersey on 18 June 2012, when she stumbled and fell due her foot getting caught in a hole in the ground that had been created by the removal of a utility pole two months earlier.

Due to the awkward manner in which she fell, Nancy tore the meniscus cartilage in her knee and aggravated an existing back condition. She subsequently needed a total knee replacement and lumbar fusion surgery.

The hole had previously been identified as a hazard by Nancy´s partner, who had written to the Jersey Central Power & Light Company (JCP&L) complaining that the hole had been left since the removal of the utility pole.

JCP&L had failed to respond to the letter and, after seeking legal advice, Nancy claimed compensation for a fall due to utility company negligence – alleging that JCP&L were aware of the hazard but had failed to address the risk of injury.

The utility company denied negligence. It stated that, when the pole was removed, the grassed area around the hole had been painted with iridescent paint and the hole itself had been covered by a warning cone.

Nancy and her partner produced photographs to show that grass had grown over the painted area before her accident and, following mandatory arbitration, Nancy was awarded $400,000 compensation for utility company negligence.

JCP&L appealed the decision, and the case was heard by a jury before Judge James Den Uyl at the Ocean County Superior Court in New Jersey. The jury upheld the arbitrated decision – increasing the award of compensation to $650,000.

However, the jury also assigned Nancy 20% comparative negligence on the grounds that she was aware of the hole for two months prior to her accident. The 20% reduction of the award reduced the final settlement of compensation for a fall due to utility company negligence to $520,000.

Woman Settles Injury Claim for a Poolside Accident at Marriott Hotel

Posted on: July 8th, 2016 by Accident News.

A woman has settled her injury claim for a poolside accident for $120,000 after agreeing that the hotel might not be found liable at a full court hearing.

While sixty-two year old Michelle Hairston was staying as a guest at the Marriott Fairfield Inn on Oleander Drive in Myrtle Beach in June 2013, she slipped and fractured her ankle when walking along the deck by the swimming pool.

Michelle´s injury prevented her from working as a sales assistant in her local department store and, after undergoing surgery, she experienced a deterioration in her quality of life – being unable to drive, walk or stand for any length of time.

Michelle made an injury claim for a poolside accident against Beach Hotel LLC – the company responsible for managing the Marriott Fairfield Inn. In her injury claim for a poolside accident, Michelle alleged that Beach Hotel LLC had not installed a slip-proof surface on the poolside deck as was required by the building code.

Beach Hotel LLC contested the allegations – arguing that that deck by the swimming pool had an adequate slip-proof surface. The company also denied claims that the poolside deck represented a hazard and that the hotel had failed to warn guests about the risk of slipping.

A hearing of Michelle´s injury claim for a poolside accident was scheduled for the Court of Common Pleas in Horry County. However, shortly before the scheduled hearing was due to commence, lawyers representing Michelle and Beach Hotel LLC attempted resolve the claim through negotiation.

Michelle had claimed compensation for her pain and suffering, compensation for her medical expenses ($80,000) and compensation for her loss of income. However a settlement of $120,000 without an admission of liability was reached, after it was agreed that the hotel might not be found liable for Michelle´s injury at a full court hearing.

Record Settlement of Compensation for a Serious Injury in a Rollover Accident

Posted on: June 6th, 2016 by Accident News.

A man paralyzed when his pick-up truck came off the road has settled his claim for compensation for a serious injury in a rollover accident for $26.55 million.

In November 2011, David Williams (then 28 years of age) – a landscape service worker from Philadelphia – was driving his employer´s Ford F350 pickup truck along State Road 220 in Clinton County, when the truck went off the road and rolled over.

David was thrown from the vehicle and suffered a serious injury to his cervical spine. Despite multiple surgeries and rehabilitation, David is permanently paralyzed from the waist down. He will never be able to walk again and has limited use of his hands.

An investigation into the accident revealed that the rear tires of the F350 pickup truck were almost completely bald and should have been replaced in two services that had been carried out on the vehicle earlier in the year.

David subsequently sought legal advice and claimed compensation for a serious injury in a rollover accident against his employer, his employer´s parent company, and the two vehicle maintenance companies that had serviced the vehicle in May and October.

With four defendants in the case, it was impossible to attribute negligence via mediation and the claim for compensation for a serious injury in a rollover accident was scheduled to be heard at the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia.

However, one day prior to the start of the hearing, it was announced that an agreement had been reached on a settlement. Under the agreement, David´s employer and the parent company will pay $16.75 million compensation for a serious injury in a rollover accident, one of the vehicle maintenance companies will pay $9.5 million, and the other $300,000.

The record settlement for an individual personal injury claim in Pennsylvania was approved by Judge M. Teresa Sarmina – who was due to oversee the hearing and had been instrumental in facilitating the settlement. After the agreement had been announced, David´s lawyer 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.”

Homebuilder Found Liable in Construction Defect Compensation Claim

Posted on: May 26th, 2016 by Accident News.

D.R. Horton – the country´s largest homebuilder – has been found liable in a construction defect compensation claim and ordered to pay $9.6 million damages.

The construction defect compensation claim was brought by the residents of the 240-unit Heron´s Landing condominium in Jacksonville, Florida, after they experienced water intrusion problems due to faulty stucco installation, poorly installed windows and ill-fitting doors.

The residents complained that the water intrusion had negatively affected the quality of their lives and the value of their homes, and that the problems were attributable to poor workmanship. D.R. Horton denied the allegations, arguing that the problems experienced by the residents were due to a failure to properly maintain the buildings.

Usually, a construction defect compensation claim in Florida would be resolved by arbitration, but the Heron´s Landing residents filed their legal action through the condominium association – rather than as individual property owners – allowing them to take their claim to the Duval County Court in Jacksonville, where it was heard by a jury before Circuit Judge James Daniel.

During the hearing, the jury were shown how the construction of the Heron´s Landing condominium had been in violation of Florida building code. The residents supported their construction defect compensation claim with testimony from a structural engineer, who had inspected the buildings and found the stucco had been incorrectly mixed and improperly applied – in some cases applied directly on top of Styrofoam.

After thirty-eight days of arguments, the jury retired to consider their verdict. They returned with a verdict in favor of the residents, and ordered D.R. Horton to pay $9.6 million damages to cover the cost of removing and replacing the stucco on all the properties, and replacing any doors, windows or roof units that were faulty.

Following the jury verdict, Paul Vetter – one of the Heron´s Landing residents that brought the legal action – told First Coast News he hoped the verdict would encourage other property owners to pursue construction defect claims when they had issues with an unresponsive developer. He said that the jury had sent the message that it can be done.

Travelers Report Reveals Most Common Workplace Accident Compensation Claims

Posted on: May 17th, 2016 by Accident News.

The Travelers “Injury Impact Report” has revealed that the most common workplace accident compensation claims relate to manual handling injuries.

Travelers Companies Inc. is the largest workers compensation carrier in the country. In the compilation of its “Injury Impact Report”, the company analyzed more than 1.5 million workplace accident compensation claims made by employees between 2010 and 2014 and found that manual handling injuries accounted for 32 percent of the total claims it had received during the period.

Other major causes of workplace accident compensation claims included slips, trips and falls (16 percent), being struck by or colliding with an object (10 percent), accidents involving tools at work (7 percent) and repetitive strain injuries (4 percent) – although there were significant differences in the frequency of certain types of accident dependency on the industry. For example:

  • The frequency of workplace accident compensation claims for manual handling injuries increased to nearly 40 percent in the manufacturing and retail industries.
  • Falling from height registered a much higher percentage of workplace accident compensation claims in the construction and retail industries than they did in other industries.
  • Workplace accident compensation claims for eye injuries were among the most frequent made in the manufacturing and construction industries.

The Injury Impact Report also revealed the typical length of absence following a workplace accident. Inflammations and fractures were the injuries responsible for employees spending the most time away from work at 91 days and 78 days respectively. On average strains and sprains were attributable for 57 days away from work, while cuts and punctures typically resulted in 24 lost days of work.

Commenting on the findings of the report, Woody Dwyer – the Second Vice President of Workers Compensation Risk Control – said: “Even seemingly minor injuries, such as strains or sprains, can substantially impact an employee and slow a business’s operations and productivity. The most common injuries we see can often be prevented if the proper safety measures are in place, if safety issues are promptly addressed and if leaders continuously emphasize a culture of safety with employees.”