January 2008

Tractor-Trailer Accident on North Carolina Highway Kills One Man and Injures Another

January 28, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

One man is dead and another person was injured in North Carolina last week in a three-vehicle collision that occurred when a tractor-trailer’s brakes failed while headed south on NC 89. The tractor-trailer then crossed the center line, striking a Nissan pickup truck and then a Chevrolet van before slamming into a mountain and catching fire. North Carolina Highway Police say that the tractor-trailer was moving at 65 mph when the collision occurred.

Pickup truck driver Glenn Roy Shumate, 68, died upon impact. Marvin Patton, the tractor-trailer driver, sustained minor injuries. He was released from the hospital after treatment and charged with death by motor vehicle, driving left of center, and speeding.

Speeding is one of the number one causes of truck accidents caused by a truck driver. Speeding can cause accidents because a truck driver may not have enough time to stop crashing into another motor vehicle or pedestrian. It can also prevent another car driver, motorcyclist, or pedestrian from getting out of the way of a truck before being struck.

Tractor-trailer accidents can be very tragic events, especially for pedestrians or the passengers of any other vehicles that are involved in a collision with a tractor-trailer.
A tractor-trailer that is fully loaded can weigh tens of thousands of pounds—compare that to the 3,000 or so pounds that regular motor vehicles weigh.

If you are injured in a truck collision, you should contact a North Carolina or South Carolina truck accident lawyer right away. Tractor-trailer collision claims and lawsuits are more complex to deal with than regular car accident cases, and it is important that the personal injury lawyer that you hire knows how to properly deal with truck companies and their insurance companies.

It is not uncommon for there to be more than one liable party that can be held responsible for a truck accident. For example, the truck company may have failed to service the truck so that a brake or engine malfunction ended up causing a fatal accident, or the maintenance company may have neglected to properly service the truck.

Even if the truck driver caused the accident by speeding or engaging some other negligent behavior behind the wheel—the truck company might still be partially responsible for the collision if it allowed the driver to operate the tractor-trailer for longer than the legally allowed number of hours.

Your tractor-trailer collision lawyer will know what evidence to gather in order to properly investigate your case and prove that you deserve personal injury compensation for your injuries from the truck accident.

One dead in three-vehicle accident, The Mount Airy News, January 23, 2008

Related Web Resources:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Speeding, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety/SafeRoads.org

Davidson County Settles North Carolina Wrongful Death Lawsuit by Family of Inmate Beaten in Jail

January 22, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

The family of Carlos Claros Castro will receive a settlement payment in the wrongful death of Castro, who died in Davidson County, North Carolina after being beaten by two county jailers.

The family of the Honduran immigrant had filed a wrongful death lawsuit seeking $100 million–$50 million in compensatory damages and $50 million in punitive damages. The lawsuit claims that County Manager Robert Hyatt, Sheriff David Grice, and others failed to properly train or hire enough officers at the jail. The family also accuses Sheriff Grice of not properly investigating complaints and allowing excessive force to be used at the Davidson County jail.

Castro worked at Elizabeth’s Pizza in Thomasville, where he also had a home. He was brought to the Davidson County jail after his arrest for DWI, driving without a driver’s license, and leaving the scene of a one-car accident on January 6.

Castro reportedly took off his clothes when he couldn’t use the phone right away. He was restrained in a chair for over four hours. He was deprived of food, water, and not allowed to move.

Castro was later transferred to a second-floor isolation cell. Castro became involved in a struggle with detention officer Ronald Parker and Brandon Huie because Castro refused to return a mop.

The wrongful death lawsuit claims that the officers reportedly Tasered, pepper-sprayed, and beat Castro with a baton and their fists a number of times. He was transported to Lexington Memorial Hospital where he died.

An autopsy declared the death a homicide caused by multiple traumatic injuries. Claros had bleeding in the neck and brain, bruises on his head and body, stun gun wounds, and signs of asphyxiation.

Huie and Parker were initially charged with second-degree murder. The two men were eventually convicted of involuntary manslaughter.

Police Brutality
Injuries or deaths caused by the unnecessarily violent actions of a police officer or another law enforcement officer is considered police brutality and can be grounds for a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.

Police brutality is an abuse of power. Just because you have been arrested for a crime does not entitle police to treat you with violence, abuse, or disrespect.

In North Carolina or South Carolina, our personal injury law firm can help you deal with your police brutality injury case. If your loved one has died at the hands of law enforcement officers, you can also speak to one of our wrongful death lawyers.

County settles wrongful-death suit, The Dispatch Online, January 11, 2008

Claros Family Settles Lawsuit, Journal Now, January 10, 2008

Related Web Resources:

Read the Medical Examiner’s Report (PDF)

Event Report, January 7, 2006, (PDF)

Medtronic Injury Case Before the Supreme Court Will Impact Fate of Defective Medical Device Lawsuits

January 17, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

Medical device manufacturer Medtronic wants the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that medical device makers are exempt from products liability lawsuits, if a device that caused the injury is FDA approved.

The specific case, Riegel v. Medtronic, stems from a personal injury lawsuit filed by the family of Charles Riegel, a man whose Medtronic-manufactured balloon catheter burst while he was undergoing a medical procedure to clear his arteries.

In the lawsuit against Medtronics, Riegel cited negligent design and labeling and manufacturing issues. The catheter was FDA approved. The lawsuit was thrown out at both the U.S. District Court level and the US Court of Appeals level before arriving at the Supreme Court.

Medtronics claims that amendments to the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act say that FDA-approved medical devices are preempted from product liability lawsuits in state civil courts. The amendments, however, do not say that federal standards are preempted by state common law claims. This, however, is what Medtronics is claiming and the Bush Administration supports with the device maker’s assertion.

If the Supreme Court decides that Medtronics is right, anyone injured by a defective medical device won’t be able to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit.

Last December, Medtronics agreed to pay $114 million to settle 2,682 products liability lawsuits by people who had used the company’s Marquis implanted cardiac defibrillators. A battery problem had caused some of the defibrillators, implanted in patients at risk of heart attacks, to fail. ICD’s had to be surgically replaced in 11,000 patients.

Last year, Medtronic announced an international recall of heart-defibrillator wires, which were fracturing at a rapid rate. Some 235,000 people have these wires implanted in their chests.

If you have been injured or suffered health problems or have had to undergo a medical procedure because of a defective medical device, you should contact our North Carolina or South Carolina products liability law firm immediately.

Medtronic Supreme Court Case Could Have Dire Consequences for Consumers Injured by Defective Medical Devices, NewsInferno, January 3, 2008

Medtronic to Pay $114 Million In Settling Heart-Device Suits, The Wall Street Journal, December 21, 2007

Related Web Resources:

Riegel v. Medtronic, Supreme Court Docket


Parents of North Carolina Man Sue Franklin County Medical Officers for Son’s Wrongly Declared Death

January 15, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

In North Carolina, the parents of Larry D. Green, the man who Franklin County medical officers wrongly declared dead in January 2005, have filed a personal injury lawsuit against Franklin County’s medical examiner, Franklin County Emergency Medical Services, the emergency responders who were at Green’s pedestrian accident scene, Louisburg Rescue, and EMS.

Green, now 31, was critically injured in Louisburg in January 2005 when he was hit by a motor vehicle while walking across U.S. 401 north. He was declared dead, placed in a body bag, and sent to a morgue. It wasn’t until after his body had been at the morgue for over two hours that the coroner realized that Green was alive.

The lawsuit, filed by Green’s parents, Larry Alston and Ruby Kelly, alleges that medical officials did not properly check Green’s vital signs and that he would not have sustained permanent injuries if they had done their job correctly. Green’s mother, Ruby Kelly, says that she sustained emotional trauma after seeing the crash scene and believing that her son was dead.

Green was in the hospital for two months. Injuries included a serious head injury and leg injuries. It wasn’t until five months after the accident that he started to talk again. Green now resides in a Wilson nursing home, and he may never fully recover from his injuries.

Last month, J.B. Perdue, the Franklin County medical examiner named in the lawsuit, stated that pronouncing a person dead is not part of his job. He said his responsibilities are to investigate the cause of death.

The lawsuit says that Perdue saw Green’s eye twitching and chest moving at the morgue but did not make sure Green was dead before starting his forensic evaluation.

Green’s family is accusing emergency medical technicians and paramedics of not following policy in their handling of Green. Medics admit that they did not use a stethoscope or electrocardiogram monitor to make sure that Green was dead after failing to detect a pulse or breath.

If you or someone you love was injured because of medical malpractice or negligence, you must contact a personal injury lawyer immediately.

Death blunder draws lawsuit, The News & Observer.com, December 28, 2007

Family Of North Carolina Man Mistakenly Declared Dead Files Suit, All Headlines, December 28, 2007

After body bag, life goes on, The News & Observer.com, January 24, 2007

Related Web Resource:

No further state action warranted against Franklin County EMS personnel, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, February 9, 2005

Four People Injured On North Carolina Highway When Driver Going the Wrong Way Causes Multi-Car Collision Near New Bern

January 10, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

North Carolina’s State Highway Patrol is reporting four injuries from a multi-car collision that occurred on Monday on N.C. 55. The multi-car crash occurred because New Bern resident Richard Kenneth Walter Jr was headed east in the westbound lane. The accident occurred eight miles east of New Bern.

Walter first struck the back of a Honda, driven by Aurora resident Frederic Cutler, before going on to hit a Hyundai SUV, driven by Pamlico County resident Crystal Baker. Walter’s car then crashed into a 2004 Buick, driven by Greensboro resident., Caroleen Cuthrell.

Caroleen and her husband Ervin, Crystal Baker, and Walter all sustained injuries in the car accident. Three of the cars were totally wrecked in the collision.

Personal Injury and Property Damage
If you or someone you love was injured in a motor vehicle accident in North Carolina or South Carolina, you should contact a car accident law firm immediately. While the liable party may be insured, this does not mean that you are guaranteed to receive the compensation that you are entitled to for your injuries and related expenses.

An experienced North Carolina and South Carolina personal injury lawyer will know how to deal with the liable party and their insurer to maximize your chances for financial recovery.

Not only will you need help covering your medical costs, pain and suffering, and related damages, but you may also need help recovering compensation for the property damage that your car sustained. A good car crash lawyer can make sure that the insurance company gives you the right amount of recovery.

Causes of Car Accidents
Although sometimes motor vehicle collisions cannot be avoided, there are precautions that all drivers can take to be safe on the roads. Careless or negligence can lead to car accidents that can injure not only the driver but innocent bystanders whose lives can be altered forever—possibly even cut short—because of a moment’s recklessness.

In addition to driving the wrong way up a road, here is a list of other negligent behavior that can lead to catastrophic collisions, personal injuries, and wrongful death.

• Speeding
• Not paying proper attention
• Talking on the cell phone or text messaging while driving
• Not paying attention to the traffic lights and street signs
• Not driving defensively
• Drunk driving
• Driving while under heavy medication
• Tailgating
• Driving while exhausted or emotionally upset
• Not checking mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes

Driver going wrong way triggers N.C. 55 crash, Newbernsj.com, January 9, 2008

10 Common Driving Mistakes, AAA Public Affairs

Related Web Resources:

2006 Crash Data Files, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

What to Do After an Auto Accident, State Farm Insurance

2005 Graniteville, South Carolina Train Accident and Chemical Spill Left Hundreds Injured, Says Latest Official Report

January 7, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

Three years after the deadly train collision and toxic chlorine gas spill in Graniteville, South Carolina that killed nine people and forced thousands of people to evacuate their homes, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control is saying that over 1300 people can be considered victims of the train crash that involved a Norfolk Southern freight train striking a parked train located close to an Avondale Mills plant. The freight train was carrying poisonous chlorine gas, which spilled into the area following the crash.

Yesterday, January 6, 2008, marked the 3rd anniversary of the deadly crash. The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit ends today at 5pm EST. Personal injury lawsuits must be filed at the Aiken County Clerk’s Office.

The Charlotte Observer says that the recent data released by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control last week included the following findings:

• More than half of the Graniteville residents screened in fall 2005 had decreased lung function, a general category for a range of breathing ailments.
• More than a quarter had some inflammation of their airways.
• Three people who didn’t smoke showed signs of emphysema, a disease often associated with smoking.
• More than a quarter of those screened had lung disorders and did not realize it.
• Nearly a third of the residents screened showed signs of asthma-like disease.

Although 851 people sought medical attention soon after the accident, many others have experienced ongoing breathing problems, mental problems, emotional trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, or lung disease (such as asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema). Many people continue to remain unemployed in the wake of the crash.

Norfolk Southern has settled the wrongful death cases filed by the family members of all nine victims and has reportedly paid millions related to the deadly crash. Personal injury claims and lawsuits have been filed by many of the victims.

If you have been injured or suffered damages in a train accident anywhere in North Carolina or South Carolina, you should contact an experienced train accident lawyer immediately.

You may be entitled to personal injury compensation for your injuries. A train collision attorney will know how to properly pursue your claim so that you can receive compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering, any trauma, lost wages, and other related damages and losses.

2005 Graniteville train spill linked to breathing problems, Charlotte Observer, January 7, 2008

Graniteville: 3 Years Later, WRDW.com, January 4, 2008

SC study finds hundreds harmed after 2005 train wreck, spill, Telegram.com, January 3, 2008

Related Web Resources:

Graniteville Train Accident

Norfolk Southern

At Least 50 People Sent Hospitals After Greyhound Bus-Tractor-Trailer Accident Near Henderson, North Carolina

January 2, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

Two people were taken to a hospital in Chapel Hill, North Carolina in critical condition and at least 48 others were transported to a Henderson hospital after a Greyhound Bus and a tractor-trailer collided near Henderson.

The bus was headed toward Raleigh on U.S. Route 1, when, according to a NC Highway Patrol Officer, it failed to slow down while the tractor-trailer attempted to turn. The bus rear-ended the truck. The bus then drove off the shoulder and down an embankment where it landed on its side.

If you are ever injured in an accident involving a bus or truck anywhere in North Carolina or South Carolina, you should speak to a personal injury lawyer right away.

Truckers and bus drivers are upheld to higher standards of motor vehicle safety than regular motorists. Injury accident cases involving buses or trucks are usually more complicated to prove than car accident or motorcycle crash cases.

An experienced truck accident attorney will be familiar with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations that truck drivers and bus drivers are required to follow. A truck crash attorney knows what to look for to determine whether the truck driver was working beyond his or her legally allowed number of hours or whether a truck malfunction was the cause of a deadly crash.

Your bus accident lawyer can also determine whether other parties, ncluding the bus company, the government, a school district, or anyone else aside from the bus driver, can be held liable for your injury accident.

The size and weight of a large motor vehicle striking a victim who has little in the way of physical protection can lead to catastrophic—even deadly—injuries. Children, especially those riding school buses, are especially prone to serious injuries if they are involved in a school bus accident.

There are specific steps that you must take to maximize your chances for recovery in North Carolina or South Carolina if you are involved in any kind of motor vehicle crash.

50 Hurt in NC Bus, Tractor-Trailer Wreck, FoxNews, January 2, 2007

Greyhound Bus, Tractor-Trailer Collide On U.S. 1 Near Henderson, WXII12, January 2, 2007

Related Web Resources:


Greyhound Bus Line


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