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Archive for the ‘ Court Radio ’ Category

$5.5M Settlement to Child Severely Injured in Fall from Window

Image credit: © iStockphoto.com/courtneyk

The family of a 7-year-old child who suffered brain damage after falling from a third-story window in an apartment in a subsidized housing development in North Philadelphia has reached a $5.5 million settlement with the developers, contractors and architects of the development.

The settlement will be received by the family of Rahniya Neal, who was three-years-old in January 2012, when she was playing on the top bunk of a bed with a cousin and fell through a nearby window, according to an April 8 story in The Legal Intelligencer. The child fell about 30 feet to the ground.

Her mother, Rahnisha, filed a premises liability lawsuit in connection with the incident, alleging that the contractor, architect and developer were negligent in designing the renovation project in their home by not installing a guard on the window, even though it was three feet above the floor, the story reported.

The plaintiffs argued the defendants “should have either protected the window, or redesigned the room to allow the bed to be placed more safely against the wall,” especially since they “knew small children lived in the apartment building, and noted that studies have shown that children living in subsidized housing are more likely to fall from windows,” the story reported.

Window guards were installed on other windows elsewhere in the apartment, and leaving the upper window unguarded “breached their duty of care,” according to the plaintiff’s attorneys.

The building was owned by Arch VI Temple N. Gratz Street, LP and was renovated by 1260 Housing Development Corp. Columbus Property Management & Development was the project’s general contractor, Complete Carpentry General Construction was the superintendent, McDonald Building Co. was a subcontractor, and Kramer Marks was the architect, according to the story.

The child suffered severe traumatic brain injury, multiple skull and forearm fractures and had to undergo an emergency decompressive craniectomy to relieve pressure on her brain after her fall, the story reported. She has since had to “undergo speech, physical and occupational therapies, and was also hospitalized again to have prosthesis implanted to account for missing portions of her skull.”

These kinds of tragic legal cases occur every day when innocent victims are severely hurt or killed in a myriad of 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, structure, workplace or other location 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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$14.9M Verdict to Woman Severely Injured by Driver’s Seat in Crash

Image credit: © iStockphoto.com/alexskopie

A 43-year-old California woman has been awarded a $14.9 million jury verdict after she was severely hurt by the driver’s seat back in her car when she was rear-ended by a pickup truck in a 2012 crash.

Marcia Gray was driving her 1995 Mazda Protégé automobile on westbound Interstate 580 near the Interstate 980 interchange on April 30, 2012, when she stopped suddenly to avoid a crash ahead of her and was hit from behind by a Chevrolet pickup truck, according to an April 7 story in The San Jose Mercury News. The impact caused her seat to fly backward and her body was folded over “like a clamshell” by the pickup’s impact, the story reported.

Gray was severely hurt in the crash, suffering “13 crushed ribs, a fractured vertebra that left her partially paraplegic and a brain injury,” according to the story. Gray now walks with a cane and is capable only of limited movement since the crash.

The car has a “gear mechanism on the left of the driver’s side [that] was designed to collapse the seat backward in a wreck in order to absorb the energy from a crash,” but instead of protecting her, the feature contributed to her serious injuries, the story reported. “Her attorneys said Mazda knew about seat problems through crash testing in 1995. Mazda allegedly continued with the same design through 1998, and there were never any recalls of the design.”

The Alameda County jury found Mazda 55 percent responsible for Gray’s injuries and the driver who rear-ended her car 45 percent responsible. Mazda is apparently considering an appeal of the verdict, the story reported.

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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$8.5M Settlement in 2010 U.S. Army Helicopter Training Crash

The family of a 38-year-old U.S. Army civilian flight instructor who died in a 2010 helicopter crash during a training flight in Alabama will receive $8.5 million in compensation following the settlement of a wrongful death lawsuit that was filed by his wife.

The instructor, Jeremy Clark of Enterprise, Ala., was killed on Dec. 14, 2010 when the OH-58 Kiowa helicopter he was operating with a student pilot crashed at Fort Rucker during an Army training session, according to a March 29 story in the Dothan (Alabama) Eagle newspaper.

Clark’s wife, Jennifer, filed a lawsuit against the company that was responsible for inspecting the training helicopters at the base after an investigation found that at least two related incidents occurred with the helicopter just days before the fatal crash without measures being taken to fix the problem, the story reported. The helicopter on Dec. 9, 2010 experienced a failure of its “Fully Automatic Digital Engine Control (FADEC) unit, which “caused the helicopter’s engine to revert to a ‘fixed fuel state,’ which means the engine reverted and froze at its last power setting prior to the failure.”

Image credit: © iStockphoto.com/alexskopie

In that situation the “failure occurred with the engine in a high power setting and the pilot was able to safely land the helicopter at Hunt Stage Field,” the story reported.

The Rolls-Royce Corp., the makers of the chopper’s engine, later “traced the failure to a piece of equipment known as the Compressor Inlet Temperature (CIT) probe,” the story reported. “The complaint states Rolls-Royce failed to determine what caused the CIT probe to fail and made no changes to the helicopter.”

A routine maintenance check of the helicopter was then performed by Army Fleet Support, and the craft was then again cleared for flight on Dec. 13, 2010, the story reported.

The next day, Dec. 14, 2010, Clark was in the helicopter with a student pilot when it “experienced another FADEC unit failure” while the engine was in a law speed setting, the story reported. The helicopter “could not be recovered” and crashed, killing Clark, the story continued. “The complaint states Rolls-Royce should have determined the cause of the CIT probe failure before clearing the helicopter for flight.”

Clark worked as a Department of Army civilian instructor with Charlie Troop, 1st Battalion, 14th Aviation Regiment at the base since June 2009, according to the story.

The settlement includes $8 million from the company responsible for inspecting the aircraft and $500,000 from maintenance company responsible for the helicopter, the story reported. The settlement was reached in 2015 but was not approved until last week, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Alabama.

Clark and his wife have two children.

These kinds of tragic legal cases occur every day when innocent victims are severely hurt or killed in a wide variety of vehicle crashes and 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 an aircraft or motor vehicle crash 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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$5.55M Verdict to Pa. Man in U.S. Steel Discrimination Case

Image credit: © iStockphoto.com/courtneyk

A 61-year-old Pennsylvania man who was forced to leave his job after working 30 years at U.S. Steel Corp. in Pittsburgh as a mechanic has won a $5.55 million discrimination award from a U.S. District Court jury.

Albert Gucker, 61, won the award when the jury determined that the company unfairly acted on Dec. 28, 2011 to stop accommodating his existing physical disabilities, which included restrictions on lifting and climbing, according to a March 11 story in The Legal Intelligencer.

Gucker was constructively discharged after returning from treatment for gallbladder surgery, the story reported. He had undergone a return-to-work examination by a company doctor on Dec. 28, 2011, and was cleared to go back to work with the same conditions he had experienced for eight years, including a 30-pound lifting limit, according to the story.

“Five hours later, a new ­supervisor allegedly told Gucker that his limitations would not be tolerated and that he was to have them removed,” the story stated. “The next day, Gucker applied for Social Security disability insurance, and he was determined to be disabled as of Dec. 28.”

The plaintiff then sued U.S. Steel, alleging violations of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA), according to the story. His ADEA claim was dismissed at trial.

“Gucker’s counsel asserted that, despite his work restrictions and ongoing evaluations by company physicians, who regularly released him to work, he had received no complaints or negative reports about his job performance, and there were never any safety issues raised regarding his restrictions,” the story continued.

Gucker was later given a functional-capacity evaluation by U.S. Steel, “which deemed him unable to work,” the story reported. But his attorneys “argued that the evaluation was inaccurate and was performed with the sole intent to eliminate his ability to work at U.S. Steel.” In addition, the company’s evaluation was unfairly done while the plaintiff was off his heart medication, which had negative effects on the test, the story reported.

“Gucker claimed that he associated his life with his career at U.S. Steel, and his inability to work there was devastating,” the story continued. “Despite his work restrictions, he never fell short of a project or refused a job, Gucker claimed.”

After hearing the testimony in the case, the jury “found that Gucker was a qualified individual with a disability and that U.S. Steel should have accommodated him,” according to the story. “Jurors determined that U.S. Steel terminated him because of his disability or that he suffered an adverse employment action because of his disability.”

In addition, the jury dismissed claims by U.S. Steel that “accommodating Gucker’s disability would not be possible because it would threaten his safety or the safety of others.”

After a two-week trial, the jury ruled in Gucker’s favor and awarded him $5.55 million, including $5 million in punitive damages and $550,000 in compensatory damages.

These kinds of legal cases occur every day when innocent victims are harmed by and discriminated against by their employers 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 hurt or discriminated against in the workplace or seriously injured in a vehicle crash 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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$6M Settlement for 5 People Injured in Ohio Greyhound Bus Rollover

Five people who suffered serious neck and back injuries when the Greyhound bus they were riding in veered off an Ohio Interstate highway in 2013 have received a $6 million settlement in the case.

The driver of the bus had slumped over the steering wheel of the bus as it traveled down Interstate 75 in Liberty Township near Cincinnati on Sept. 14, 2013, causing the bus to careen out of control off the road before overturning several times, according to a March 8 story by WCPO TV Channel 9.

Thirty-seven of the 51 passengers on the Detroit-bound bus were injured in the crash and 15 were taken to area hospitals following the crash, the story reported. Passengers told police that the driver, Dwayne Garrett, 64, of Cincinnati, was “slumped over at the wheel just before the wreck and didn’t respond to their shouts of  ’Wake up! Wake up!’” according to the story.

Image credit: © iStockphoto.com/tillsonburg

An accident report from the Ohio State Highway Patrol said that the driver had “told investigators he was drinking coffee, began coughing violently and passed out,” the story said. Garrett was ticketed for a misdemeanor charge of operating a vehicle without reasonable control.

“The driver stated he doesn’t remember anything for approximately one mile before the bus ran off the road, ” the police report stated, according to the story. “When he regained consciousness, the bus was on its side.”

Garrett was ordered by an Ohio court in 2015 to participate in an overnight sleep study which later “confirmed that the driver had moderate to severe sleep apnea,” according to the plaintiff’s lawsuit.

The five passengers who were injured and who filed the lawsuit received neck and back injuries as well as compound bone fractures in the crash, the story reported. The victims were from Florida, Michigan and Tennessee.

When the crash occurred, the bus driver had not yet undergone sleep apnea testing that was recommended to Greyhound a month before the crash by a U.S. Department of Transportation medical examiner based on his large physical size and medical history, according to a March 9 story by Law360. “Despite these warnings, Greyhound never had the driver tested for sleep apnea and claimed, instead, that the driver lost consciousness after choking on a sip of coffee while driving the bus,” the plaintiff’s attorneys told Law360.

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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$1.08M Jury Verdict in Man’s Asbestos-Related Death

The estate of a western Pennsylvania man who died in 2012 from workplace exposure to asbestos products has been awarded a $1.085 million verdict by an eastern district U.S. District Court jury.

The man, Valent Rabovsky, who was 86 when he was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2009, had worked from 1951 to 1986 as a millwright at various sites in western part of the Commonwealth, where he used industrial equipment including valves and turbines that contained gaskets and other parts made from chrysotile asbestos, according to a Feb. 26 story in The Legal Intelligencer. The valves were made by Crane Co., the story reported.

“Rabovsky’s estate claimed that gaskets and packing associated with Crane valves contained chrysotile asbestos and that his exposure to the Crane products was a factual cause of his disease and death, which occurred in June 2012,” the story continued.

Image credit: © iStockphoto.com/courtneyk

Rabovsky’s widow and his estate sued Crane, alleging negligence and failure to warn of hazards with the materials, the story reported. The plaintiffs specifically argued that “the gaskets and packing in Crane valves emitted dust that contained respirable fibers of asbestos that Rabovsky was exposed to throughout three or four decades.”

Experts for the plaintiffs “testified that as early as the 1930s, the harmful effects of asbestos were publicized in medical, scientific and industrial literature, but it was not until the 1980s when Crane placed a notification on its products; however, the notification was insufficient, since it simply stated, ‘Caution: Asbestos,’ and failed to cite the known dangers of asbestos exposure,” the story reported.

The plaintiffs “asserted that it was virtually impossible for Crane not to have known about asbestos’ harmful effects, given the literature published in the 30s and Crane’s membership and involvement in trade associations,” the story continued.

The jury found Crane to be 30 percent liable in Rabovsky’s death, while finding other defendants also liable but awarding no damages against them, the story said.

After an eight-day trial, the jury awarded Rabovsky’s estate and his wife $1.085 million in damages.

These kinds of tragic legal cases occur every day when innocent victims are severely hurt or die due to the 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 due to a workplace incident, medical malpractice, a vehicle crash, a construction accident or any other incident 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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