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$27.5M Verdict to Ex-College Football Player Hurt in Vehicle Crash

A former UCLA college football player who lost part of his left leg when he was struck by a taxi van while riding his motorcycle in July 2012 in Los Angeles will receive a $27.5 million damage award to compensate him for his severe injuries.

The victim, Amir “Nick” Ekbatani, who is now 29, was hurt on July 14, 2012, when he was riding his motorcycle on Pacific Coast Highway at Diamond Street when a taxi van being driven by Mesfin Kinfu allegedly failed to yield the right-of-way and struck Ekbatani’s motorcycle in the intersection, according to a Jan. 9 report by The (Torrance, Calif.) Daily Breeze.

The plaintiff sued the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the taxi van driver in connection with the crash, alleging that Caltrans knew of the inherent design flaws and traffic dangers in the angular intersection but did nothing to improve safety in the intersection, the story reported.

The case was heard by a Los Angeles Superior Court jury, which also found negligence by the taxi van driver, the story reported. The victim had settled a separate damage case with the taxi van driver before the trial, according to the story.

The plaintiff’s attorneys argued that Caltrans should have made safety changes to the intersection because Diamond Street crosses Pacific Coast Highway at a severe 60 degree angle, drops off  and is dangerous, the story reported. The crash could have been avoided had a left-turn signal been in place, because a red light would have stopped Kinfu from making his turn while Ekbatani was proceeding on a green light, the story states. Other safety improvements could have included the two double-yellow lines to create a simulated median on the pavement that would have forced Kinfu and other motorists to drive further toward the center of the intersection before turning left, which would protect adjacent traffic, the report states.

Image credit © iStockphoto.com/alexskopje

Ekbatani lost part of his left leg below his knee due to the crash, the story reported. The plaintiff played football at South High School in Torrance and at UCLA, where he played from 2006-09, the story reported. He has undergone 13 surgeries on his leg since the crash.

These kinds of tragic legal cases occur every day when innocent victims are severely hurt or killed in vehicle crashes through no fault of their own due to the actions, inattentiveness or indifference of others. That’s why it is critical to have a legal team on your side that uncovers every fact to bolster your case and maximize your damage award.

We here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured in a vehicle incident or accident anywhere in the United States.

We represent the families of victims who die in such tragedies as well, to ensure that their families receive every penny of damages that they are eligible to receive.

Call MyPhillyLawyer at 215-227-2727 or toll-free at 1-866-920-0352 anytime and our experienced, compassionate, aggressive team of attorneys and support staff will be there for you and your family every step of the way as we manage your case through the legal system.

When Winning Matters Most, Call MyPhillyLawyer.

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$19.3M Settlement Awarded in Pa. Birth Malpractice Case

A Pennsylvania woman and her family will receive a $19.3 million settlement after her newborn daughter suffered brain damage and other injuries after her caesarean section procedure was allegedly delayed in December 2012 after the patient arrived at a hospital.

The plaintiff, Marissa Vaccaro, arrived at Moses Taylor Hospital in December 2012 and was showing “signs of a potentially life-threatening placental abruption,” according to a Jan. 5 story by The Legal Intelligencer.  She was seen by a doctor, Raymond C. DeCesare, who diagnosed that she had to undergo an immediate C-section, but the procedure was delayed for 84 minutes so she could get an ultrasound the doctor had also ordered, the story reported.

The C-section was needed quickly to “prevent a hypoxic brain injury to the fetus,” the story reported, and the plaintiffs argued that the doctor “should have simply diagnosed the placental abruption clinically,” rather than waited for the ultrasound.

mage credit © iStockphoto.com/stuartbur

Vaccaro’s daughter, Emma Vaccaro, was then born in a “profoundly hypoxic” state and did not have a detectable heart rate for 12 minutes, “leaving her with brain injury, visual impairment, seizure disorder and renal failure,” the story reported, based on court records. In addition, Marissa Vaccaro alleged in her lawsuit that she “sustained injuries from excessive blood loss and internal bleeding, and suffers from depression” due to her daughter’s birth experience. In her lawsuit, Vaccaro claimed negligence by the doctor, vicarious liability claims against the hospital, a corporate negligence claim against the hospital and a claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress, the story reported.

The $19.3 million settlement in the case was approved by Judge Terrence R. Nealon of the Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas, the story reported. Moses Taylor Hospital is owned by Scranton Quincy Hospital Co.

These kinds of cases are a somber reminder that patients and their families must be vigilant about the medical care they receive so they know what is being done for a patient’s care every step of the way. But at the same time, patients and families aren’t doctors and they can’t know every question to ask.

That’s where skilled, expert, compassionate and thorough legal representation is needed by patients and their families who have been harmed by medical malpractice and errors or omissions during their treatment. These kinds of cases happen on a regular basis, but they can be fought by legal teams that are prepared to battle for their clients’ rights all along the way to a fair settlement or to a just verdict.

We here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured in a similar medical malpractice, birth injury or related case anywhere in the United States. We represent the families of victims who die in such tragedies as well, to ensure that their families receive every penny of damages that they are eligible to receive.

Call MyPhillyLawyer at 215-227-2727 or toll-free at 1-866-920-0352 anytime and our experienced, compassionate, aggressive team of attorneys and support staff will be there for you and your family every step of the way as we manage your case through the legal system.

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$534K Award to Woman Injured in Slip and Fall at an Autozone Store

A Philadelphia woman who was seriously injured when she slipped and fell on ice outside an Autozone parts store in North Philadelphia in February 2014 has been awarded a $534,000 damage award in the case.

The victim, Bernadette Tanner, who works as a home health-care administrator, slipped and fell on snow and ice at the Autozone store at 3900 N. Broad St. on Feb. 17, 2014, which left her with a dislocated and fractured left ankle, according to a Dec. 15 story in The Legal Intelligencer.

After the incident, Tanner sued Autozone, which leases the store, as well as the owners of the building, but the case against the building owners was later dismissed by the court after it was determined that the tenant was responsible for clearing snow and ice from the property, the story reported.

Attorneys for the plaintiff alleged that Autozone failed to clear and treat the snow and ice, which led to dangerous conditions outside the property, the story reported. “Despite Autozone witnesses testifying that the business had administered snow-removal services, there was no proof that it did so, and photos of the sidewalk showed ice,” the story reported.

Image credit © iStockphoto.com/alexskopje

After her fall, Tanner was transported to a hospital in an ambulance and was treated for a dislocation and trimalleolar fracture of the left ankle that required surgery a week later, according to the report. She was fitted with casts, and later a walking boot, crutches and then a cane to return to being able to walk by herself, the story reported. She also underwent physical therapy for several months before she was discharged from treatment in January 2015.

An expert who testified on behalf of the plaintiff said she had “suffered a permanent injury, including a reduction of range of motion and permanent scarring,” the report states.

Her lawsuit sought damages for past and future pain and suffering, as well as $33,977.30 in past medical costs, the story reported. A Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas jury in November found Autozone to be 100 percent liable for the plaintiff’s injuries and awarded her a $534,000 verdict.

These kinds of legal cases occur every day when innocent victims slip and fall or are severely hurt or killed in vehicle crashes or other incidents through no fault of their own due to the actions, inattentiveness or indifference of others. That’s why it is critical to have a legal team on your side that uncovers every fact to bolster your case and maximize your damage award.

We here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured in a slip and fall incident or other accident anywhere in the United States. We represent the families of victims who die in such tragedies as well, to ensure that their families receive every penny of damages that they are eligible to receive.

Call MyPhillyLawyer at 215-227-2727 or toll-free at 1-866-920-0352 anytime and our experienced, compassionate, aggressive team of attorneys and support staff will be there for you and your family every step of the way as we manage your case through the legal system.

When Winning Matters Most, Call MyPhillyLawyer.

 

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$200K Settlement in Crash Involving Texas Mayor’s City-Owned Vehicle

The City of San Antonio, Texas, will pay a $200,000 settlement to an 18-year-old woman who was injured in April 2015 when the car she was riding in was struck by a city-owned SUV that was carrying the city’s mayor.

Tomekia Baldwin, 18, was seriously injured in the crash when the Chrysler Sebring she was riding in collided with the mayor’s Lincoln Navigator SUV, which was being driven by a city police officer, Mark Knutson, according to a Dec. 15 story by the San Antonio Express-News.

The crash, which occurred April 18, 2015, happened at the intersection of East Houston Street and North Hackberry in San Antonio, the story reported. Knutson was driving Mayor Ivy Taylor when the crash occurred.

A police report showed that Knutson was driving 6 mph over the 30-mph speed limit at the time of the crash, but that the driver of the Sebring, Jahson Arneaud, allegedly ran a red light, the story reported. Baldwin was a passenger in Arneaud’s car.

The lawsuit was filed in May 2015 by Baldwin’s mother, Sharlene Lewis, after her daughter suffered what the plaintiffs said is permanent brain damage and life-threatening injuries in the crash, the story reported.

The $200,000 settlement was approved by San Antonio City Council. The defendant’s attorney argued that the mayor’s vehicle had run a red light, but the city used video from an approaching VIA Metropolitan Transit bus to show that the mayor’s driver had a green light as he proceeded into the intersection, according to the story.

Image credit © iStockphoto.com/tillsonburg

These kinds of tragic legal cases occur every day when innocent victims are severely hurt or killed in vehicle crashes through no fault of their own due to the actions, inattentiveness or indifference of others. That’s why it is critical to have a legal team on your side that uncovers every fact to bolster your case and maximize your damage award.

We here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured in a vehicle incident or accident anywhere in the United States.

We represent the families of victims who die in such tragedies as well, to ensure that their families receive every penny of damages that they are eligible to receive.

Call MyPhillyLawyer at 215-227-2727 or toll-free at 1-866-920-0352 anytime and our experienced, compassionate, aggressive team of attorneys and support staff will be there for you and your family every step of the way as we manage your case through the legal system.

When Winning Matters Most, Call MyPhillyLawyer.

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$50M Settlement to 3 Families in Ikea Dresser Tip-Over Cases

Swedish furniture retailer Ikea will pay $50 million to the families of three small children who were killed since 2014 when their Ikea-designed dressers shifted and fell on the toddlers and crushed them in their family homes.

The $50 million settlement, which will be equally split between the families, was revealed in a Dec. 21 story in The Philadelphia Inquirer.  The three families had filed wrongful death lawsuits against Ikea and led to the recall of 29 million Ikea dressers, the story reported. “At the time, the company acknowledged the dressers were at serious risk of tipping onto and killing children,” according to The Inquirer.

The plaintiffs included the parents of a 22-month-old Apple Valley, MN, boy, Theodore McGee, who was killed in February when an Ikea Malm model dresser fell on him; the parents of a 2-year-old West Chester, PA, boy, Curren Collas, who died in 2014; and the parents of 2-year-old Camden Ellis, of Snohomish, Wash., who also was killed in 2014, the story reported. The lawsuits were filed in Philadelphia.

The plaintiffs alleged the Ikea dressers were “defective and dangerous” and that the company “continued to sell them despite the risk, while not properly warning consumers,” the story continued. Since 1989, seven deaths were publicly linked to unstable Ikea dressers, according to the report.

Image credit: © iStockphoto.com/philpell

Ikea had in the past made similar payments to the families of two other children who were killed by an Ikea dresser in the past, the story reported. Court records showed that in 2008 Ikea paid $2.3 million to the parents of Katie Elise Lambert, a 3-year-old Huntingdon Valley girl who had been crushed by an Ikea wardrobe while playing in her bedroom, while in 2009 the company settled another case for an undisclosed amount with the parents of a 3-year old girl from Chula Vista, Calif. who died when a 3-drawer Ikea dresser in her bedroom tipped onto her, the story reported.

These kinds of tragic legal cases occur every day when innocent victims are severely hurt or killed in product liability cases or in vehicle crashes and other incidents through no fault of their own due to the actions, inattentiveness or indifference of others. That’s why it is critical to have a legal team on your side that uncovers every fact to bolster your case and maximize your damage award.

We here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured in a vehicle incident or accident anywhere in the United States.

We represent the families of victims who die in such tragedies as well, to ensure that their families receive every penny of damages that they are eligible to receive.

Call MyPhillyLawyer at 215-227-2727 or toll-free at 1-866-920-0352 anytime and our experienced, compassionate, aggressive team of attorneys and support staff will be there for you and your family every step of the way as we manage your case through the legal system.

When Winning Matters Most, Call MyPhillyLawyer.

 

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$500K Settlement to Man Injured as He Watched Tree Being Cut Down

A 69-year-old St. Paul, Minn., man has reached a $500,000 settlement with the city after he was severely hurt by a flying 800-pound tree as it was being cut down by city forestry department employees in January 2013.

The tree was diagnosed as having Dutch elm disease, which required its removal, according to an Oct. 19 story by The (St. Paul) Pioneer Press.

As the forestry crew was preparing to remove the tree on West Seventh Street, across from the Spot Bar, several people gathered to watch the operations, including Delmer Fladwood, an independent computer consultant who had finished his work for the day and stopped in at the bar for 10 minutes before planning to head home, the story reported.

The forestry workers had removed the tree’s upper limbs and placed them into the middle of the street to use them as a “crash pad” for the tree’s main trunk to fall on as they cut the trunk down, the story stated. The crash pad was designed to take the impact of the trunk and help cushion it’s fall.

Instead, however, when the tree trunk fell onto the pre-cut branches that made up the crash pad at least two of them flew across the street and struck Fladwood in the legs, the story reported. He filed a lawsuit against St. Paul in connection with the incident, which occurred when he was 65. Fladwood suffered broken bones in both legs and a severed artery, leading to five surgeries and three months in the hospital, the story reported.

Image credit © iStockphoto.com/alexskopje

The city argued that the incident was an accident and that a city employee who was standing near Fladwood was not injured by the flying debris, the story reported.

The plaintiff’s attorney, however, argued that by using a crash pad to try to drop the tree that the forestry workers put spectators at risk, the story reported.

The city has since ended its previous practice of creating a crash pad when taking down large trees, the story added. Instead, city workers are now using large steel plates to cushion the fall of large trees as they are taken down. The St. Paul City Council approved the $500,000 settlement with Fladwood.

Also implemented since the incident are procedures and a written plan for traffic and pedestrian safety around work zones where tree work is being conducted, the story states. At least one worker is now assigned in high-traffic zones to ensure that pedestrians and traffic don’t get too close to the work as it is being done, the story reported. The city also now provides two-way radios and headphones for crews to improve communications in the work zones.

The tree that was being taken down was about 60 feet tall, four feet in diameter and estimated to be 120 to 160 years old, the story reported.

“Fladwood’s lawsuit said city workers did not rope off the sidewalk near the bar or tell pedestrians not to stand there,” according to the story. The city estimated the log that struck Fladwood was 7 feet long, about 18 inches wide and weighed some 826 pounds.

The city initially responded to Fladwood’s lawsuit by claiming official immunity because he “assumed the risk of being near the tree felling operation,” the story reported. The city originally argued that though the accident was awful, it was not the city’s fault.

The Minnesota Court of Appeals, however, “ruled earlier this year that the facts of the case did not allow the city to claim official immunity,” the story continued. St. Paul then filed an appeal with the Minnesota Supreme Court, which declined to take the case, and the city and Fladwood agreed to settle.

The $500,000 settlement is the maximum amount a municipality may pay in the state in any tort lawsuit, the story reported. Fladwood’s attorney said that the money would not fully compensate his client for the permanent injuries, pain and suffering, lost wages and medical expenses he experienced in the incident, according to the report.

These kinds of tragic legal cases occur every day when innocent victims are severely hurt or killed in vehicle crashes through no fault of their own due to the actions, inattentiveness or indifference of others. That’s why it is critical to have a legal team on your side that uncovers every fact to bolster your case and maximize your damage award.

We here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured in a vehicle incident or accident anywhere in the United States.

We represent the families of victims who die in such tragedies as well, to ensure that their families receive every penny of damages that they are eligible to receive.

Call MyPhillyLawyer at 215-227-2727 or toll-free at 1-866-920-0352 anytime and our experienced, compassionate, aggressive team of attorneys and support staff will be there for you and your family every step of the way as we manage your case through the legal system.

When Winning Matters Most, Call MyPhillyLawyer.

 

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