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$900,000 Settlement to Luzerne County Man in 2009 Truck Crash

A Luzerne County man who suffered serious neck and back injuries when his pickup was hit by a commercial truck in November 2009 will receive a $900,000 settlement from the company that owned the truck.

Michael Spadine was driving on Cherry Street in Montrose, Luzerne County, on Nov. 3, 2009 when his pickup truck was struck by a Linde Enterprises Inc. commercial truck being driven by employee Richard Kemmerer, according to a March 28 story in The (Scranton) Times Tribune newspaper. Kemmerer was driving under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash and had a blood alcohol level of 0.225, which is more than three times the legal limit, according to the story. Kemmerer left the scene after the crash but was apprehended later by Montrose police, the report continued. Linde Enterprises is a contracting company based in Pittson, Pa.

Image credit: © iStockphoto.com/Svenler

Spadine was seriously injured in the crash, suffering disc protrusions to his neck and back. The case was heard in the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas.

In 2011, Spadine and his wife, Jennifer, sued Linde and Kemmerer for damages related to the crash, alleging that Kemmerer was driving a company-owned vehicle within the scope of his employment while he was drunk, causing the collision, the paper reported.

Kemmerer, of Sweet Valley, had pleaded guilty to driving under the influence in Susquehanna County Court in December 2009, the story reported, and was sentenced to six months of probation and fined $350.

Spadine’s injuries included cervical and lumbar radiculopathies, mainly to the left side of his body, according to an April 14 story in The Legal Intelligencer. An MRI revealed disc bulging and protrusions of the lumbar spine and disc protrusions of the cervical spine, leaving him disabled and unable to return to work as a tree surgeon, the story reported.

A jury deliberated for five hours after hearing the case and returned a verdict for the plaintiffs but a settlement was reached while the jury was deliberating, according to reports.

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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$6.3M Medical Malpractice Verdict for Elderly Woman in Stroke Case

A 76-year-old Montgomery County woman whose doctor allegedly failed to react quickly enough to discover an apparent stroke suffered by the patient in 2004 has been awarded a $6.3 million verdict by a jury in the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas.

Myrna Rawdin had gone to see her physician, Dr. Mark B. Real and PMA Medical Specialists, on Nov. 1, 2004, complaining of lightheadedness, dizziness, garbled speech and headaches, according to an April 7 report by The Legal Intelligencer.  Her doctor diagnosed Rawdin with impacted earwax and rinsed out her ears, according to the plaintiffs. She had been diagnosed with high cholesterol back in 2003, but was not treated for the symptom, the story continued.

But on Nov. 29, 2004, Rawdin was diagnosed with a stroke at Pottstown Memorial Medical Center, and was then transferred to the University of Pennsylvania Hospital, the story reported.

A photo of the legal definition of medical malpractice in a dictionary. Image credit © iStockphoto.com by stuartbur

She had earlier had an MRI on July 2, 2003, which “revealed that Rawdin had small vessel ischemic disease, or restricted blood flow in the arteries of the brain,” after experiencing symptoms of vertigo, but her doctor ” ignored the findings and told his staff to inform Rawdin that her MRI reading was within the normal limits, the story reported. The doctor allegedly also did not initially treat her high cholesterol readers to “prevent the further buildup of plaque and resulting carotid stenosis,” the story continued. A year later, the doctor prescribed Lipitor, which did lower her cholesterol.

Rawdin and her husband, Martin Rawdin, filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against Real and his medical practice following her stroke, arguing that he had failed to recognize and treat her symptoms back in 2003 and on Nov. 2, 2004 so that he could have worked to prevent her stroke in late November of 2004, the report stated.

Myrna Rawdin has since suffered due to that missed diagnosis and will continue to suffer residual limitations, the plaintiffs argued.

The Rawdins won their case after a 12-member jury heard three days of testimony and deliberated for two-and-a-half hours, the story reported. She was awarded $1.3 million in past and future medical expenses, $2 million for past noneconomic loss, $2 million for future noneconomic loss, and $1 million for loss of consortium to her husband, the story reported.

The plaintiffs will also seek to recover $2.2 million in delay damages from the defendants in the case, the story reported.

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 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.

When Winning Matters Most, Call MyPhillyLawyer.

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$150M Jury Verdict Awarded to Family in Jeep Fire Death of Child

The family of a 4-year-old boy who was killed when their Jeep Grand Cherokee sport utility vehicle burst into flames after being rear-ended in a March 2012 crash has been awarded $150 million in damages by a Georgia jury.

The boy, Remington “Remi” Walden, of Bainbridge, Georgia, was a passenger in the 1999 Jeep that was being driven at the time by his aunt, according to an April 6 story by the Associated Press. The Jeep was struck from behind, causing the fuel tank to leak and sparking a fire that engulfed the vehicle in flames, killing the child, the story reported.

“The verdict comes nearly two years after Chrysler compromised with a federal safety agency and agreed to a scaled-down recall of some older-model Jeeps with the rear-mounted tanks,” the story reported. “The tanks have little structure to protect them if struck from behind, making them susceptible to punctures and fires.”

Image credit © iStockphoto.com by creatingmore

At least 75 people have died in fires following crashes due to the leaks caused in impacts involving the rear-mounted fuel tanks, reported the AP.

The jury ruled after a nine-day trial that Chrysler “acted with reckless disregard for human life” when it sold the Jeep with its gas tank mounted behind the rear axle, according to the story. Chrysler was found to be 99 percent at fault for the crash by the jury, while the pickup truck driver was found to be 1 percent at fault. The jury “also determined that Chrysler failed to warn the family of the hazards of driving the Jeep.”

The boy was being driven to a tennis lesson when the crash occurred, according to the story. “Numerous witnesses saw Remi struggling to escape and heard him screaming for help,” the family’s lawsuit alleged, wrote the AP. “The lawsuit alleged that Chrysler placed the gas tank in a ‘crush zone’ behind the rear axle and knew the location was dangerous, and that the company failed to protect the gas tank against rupturing.”

The child’s family was awarded $30 million for the boy’s pain and suffering and $120 million for the full value of his life, the story reported.

“Chrysler has long contended that the Jeeps were no more dangerous than comparable SUVs built at the time,” the story reported. “It used that argument to convince the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2013 to allow it to recall 1.56 million Jeeps after the government agency initially recommended that 2.7 million be repaired. Under the recall, Chrysler agreed to install trailer hitches in the rear as an extra layer of protection.”

That previous recall has been called inadequate by some safety advocates in the past, the story reported. “Clarence Ditlow, the head of the Center for Auto Safety, called on the government to reopen its investigation against Chrysler,” the report continued.

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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Former Worker Awarded $850,000 Settlement for 2008 Forklift Injury

A former construction worker has been awarded an $850,000 settlement after he was allegedly struck and severely injured by a forklift that was being operated by another worker at a job site at the Plymouth Meeting Mall back in 2008.

Karl Lange, who was 56 years old when the incident occurred on Dec. 23, 2008, was pinned against a wall by the forklift, which was allegedly being operated by a sheet metal worker from Nasco Heating & Air Conditioning of Roselle, N.J., according to a March 31 story in The Legal Intelligencer.

Following the incident, Lange filed a personal injury lawsuit against Nasco in the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas, citing abdominal and other lower body injuries which left him unable to work, according to the story.

An injured construction worker is assisted by medical personnel at a work site in this stock photo. Image credit: © iStockphoto.com/sturti

Lange was working on the site that day when he heard a forklift start nearby and approached its operator to ask if he wanted Lange to run the machine, the story reported. The forklift driver declined the offer and Lange returned to his work. Soon, however, Lange heard the forklift approaching and turned to see it backing into him and pinning him against a wall, the report continued.

The forklift operator “indicated that he had accidentally put the lift in reverse,” based on a legal memo in the case, the story reported. During testimony, Lange said that he never heard any audible reverse warnings from the forklift as it was being operated. The forklift driver apparently denied striking Lange with the machine.

The incident also caused Lange to suffer spinal injuries, impaired his gait and caused bowel and bladder dysfunction and incontinence, according to legal memos filed in the case. “According to the plaintiffs, a doctor assessing Lange said he still has trouble walking, even with a cane. The doctor said the bowel incontinence could require surgery, and the bladder incontinence could require catheter placement or self-catheterization, the memo said.”

The incident left Lange permanently disabled due to the injuries he sustained that day, the story reported. Prior to the settlement, the plaintiffs’ demand was $4 million, and the defense offer was $285,000, according to the story.

Under the settlement, Nasco agreed on March 2, a week before the case was to go to trial, to pay $850,000 to Lange and his wife, Kathy, to end the legal proceedings.

Injury cases, vehicle crashes and property losses of all kinds occur every day when innocent victims are hurt or killed through no fault of their own due to the actions 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 construction accident, vehicle crash or other kind of 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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How Having a Will Protects You and Your Family

If something should happen to you, is your family protected? Do you have adequate life insurance coverage? And perhaps most importantly, do you have a will that states how your assets should be distributed and a living will that provides information about the kinds of medical treatment you wish to receive if the need arises?

For every family, these decisions and the planning they require are critical and immensely helpful if something should happen to you or your spouse. That’s why every family should take some time to talk about these issues ahead of time, before any kinds of serious health crises or accidents might occur.

So how does a will differ from a living will?

This photo shows an example of a Last Will and Testament which has been prepared for a client. Image credit: © iStockphoto.com/eric1513.

A will provides detailed, written instructions about who will receive your assets in the event of your death.  If you don’t leave your own instructions but you die owning assets, a legal framework exists in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that distributes your assets without regard to your personal wishes essentially through a “pecking order” for everyone from spouses to children to other relatives who might make a claim.  Many times if someone doesn’t leave a will and dies, then their assets can be awarded by the court to relatives who they might not have included in a will. If you don’t want to leave your assets to be distributed by default, having a will should be something that is on your immediate “to do” list.

A will names an executor who will ensure that your assets are distributed as you see fit. A named executor should be a friend, a relative or somebody who you have confidence in who will follow the instructions in the will document.

Your will safeguards the assets you’ve accumulated over your lifetime and declares who your beneficiaries are, while controlling the distribution of the money to your children who might be under 18 years of age. You can indicate at what age intervals a portion of the trust principal should be distributed to them and you can describe under what circumstances the accumulated interest of the estate should be distributed.

A living will is different, but just as important. In Pennsylvania, the living will, which is also called a Health Directive, sets out your detailed health care wishes that would be followed in the event that you become incapacitated and can’t verbalize your wishes for medical treatment. It details your specific wishes about resuscitation, feeding tubes and other medical procedures that might be required to continue your life if you should become severely injured, removing your family from having to make these kinds of painful and difficult decisions.

With the help of a lawyer, any individual can create a will and a living will relatively easily. A simple will can be prepared by an attorney starting at $250 and go up depending on how complicated it is and whether there are trust provisions, marital trusts and other factors.  Once created, it should then be amended as needed from time to time as your life situation changes through marriage, the birth of children and other factors. By having a will in the first place, it is much easier to change it as situations change over the years.

People can even prepare a will using a kit they can buy in a store or online using standardized forms from a number of websites which can then be printed, witnessed and put away for safekeeping. The benefit of going to an attorney, however, is that you then have a professional to help you and answer your questions and concerns in detail while providing personalized service with some of the most important legal documents in the lives of you and your family.

The completed wills can be kept by your attorney or kept in a safe place such as a home safe or a safe deposit box. If a death occurs, your attorney can then assist you and lead your family through the probate process, which distributes the assets that are set forth in the documents.

Having these documents can help a family avoid contentious and bitter legal fights involving the death of a loved one when no will exists. A will document is essentially part of one’s own housekeeping and is a critical part of organizing your estate for when you are gone. By creating a will, you have reduced your wishes to writing and spelled out how your assets are to be distributed and to whom.

Certainly, death and wills are not pleasant subjects to talk about, but if you don’t deal with these issues, you end up leaving these important decisions up to the courts and the laws of your state.  It’s certainly better to have a will that will properly fulfill your wishes and directions in the event of your loss, rather than leaving it up to the courts.

When you are ready to protect yourself and your family, go to a qualified and compassionate attorney who can draft the legal documents that will make these situations less stressful for everyone.

We here at MyPhillyLawyer would be honored to assist you with the creation and maintenance of these crucial documents, as well as with trusts, estates and other family related legal filings. We are also here to assist our clients 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. It is critical to have a legal team on your side that uncovers every fact to bolster your case and maximize your damage award to ensure that you and your family receives every penny in damages that you 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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$155K Settlement in Death of Car Passenger Killed in Crash with Train

The estate of an 81-year-old grandmother who died when the car she was riding in was struck by a train almost four years ago in Orangeburg, S.C., will receive a $155,000 combined settlement from the Norfolk Southern railroad and the state Department of Transportation.

The settlement was reached in the May 13, 2011, crash that killed Susan Weatherford while she was being driven in a car by her grandson, Jeremy Weatherford, not far from his home, according to a March 16 report by WIS-TV Channel 10 of Columbia, S.C.

Image credit: © iStockphoto.com/creatingmore

As Jeremy Weatherford drove the car toward his house, he turned a corner and then swerved to avoid a car that was stopped at a railroad crossing at Sellers Avenue, according to the report. “The near-miss sent Weatherford’s car onto the tracks,” where it’s wheels became stuck just before the vehicle was struck on the driver’s side by an approaching train, the story stated. The car was pushed some 80 yards down the train tracks before it came to a stop.

Susan Weatherford was ejected from the car during the collision, while her grandson was able to get out of the vehicle. Driver error was cited by police as the main cause of the crash, but no criminal charges were filed, the story reported.

“The lawsuit contended that both the railroad and the state knew the grade crossing was dangerous but took no action to correct the problem,” the story concluded.

Norfolk Southern is paying $95,000 under the terms of the settlement, while the South Carolina Department of Transportation is paying $60,000, 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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