March 2008

Charlotte, North Carolina Teenager Dies After Police Apprehend Him with Taser

March 23, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

Darryl Wayne Turner, a 17-year-old Charlotte, North Carolina teenager, died on Friday after police shocked him with a Taser. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police had been called to a local Food Lion store where the teenager worked as a bagger and a cashier.

The police say that Turner appeared agitated and threw something at a manager. Police Officer Jerry Dawson Jr. reportedly used a Taser gun to apprehend Turner.

He became unresponsive after being shocked by the gun. Turner was later pronounced dead at Carolinas Medical Center-University. According to the Medical Examiner’s office, preliminary autopsy results found no obvious cause of death.

No details about how many times Turner was shocked or whether he was armed at the time of the confrontation were available on Friday because many administrators were off for the Easter weekend.

Turner’s death is the first Taser-related fatality involving the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. The teenager had no previous criminal record.

The use of Tasers by law enforcement officers throughout the US has become an issue—as more and more cops use the electrical current-shocking device to temporarily stun people. Although Tasers are popular because many people believe that the device can cause less harm to a suspect than a gun or baton, there have been reports of injuries or death resulting from Taser use. There also have been reported incidents of police allegedly using the stun guns without proper provocation.

Over 7,000 US police officers are armed with Tasers. Even though a recent Forest University School of Medicine study found that these stun guns are generally safe for use, Amnesty International is still asking for more investigations into Taser safety. A 2007 report by the group counted 245 Taser-related deaths in the US—many because of cardiac arrest.

If you or someone you love was seriously injured because of what you believe was excessive or unnecessary force on the part of a law enforcement officer, you may be able to file a police brutality claim or lawsuit. Our North Carolina personal injury law firm would like to offer you a free consultation to discuss your legal options.

Teen dies after Taser strike,, March 22, 2008

Charlotte Detectives Continue Investigation Into Teen’s Death Being Hit With A Taser,, March 21, 2008

Are Tasers safe?,, October 8, 2007

Related Web Resource:


North Carolina Highway Patrol Goes Into Auto Accident-Prevention Mode for Easter Weekend

March 21, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

The North Carolina Highway Patrol says it will be on the lookout over the Easter weekend for drunk drivers, speeding drivers, aggressive drivers, erratic drivers, and drivers without seatbelts. The crackdown is intended to keep auto accident injuries and wrongful death incidents low.

The Easter weekend in North Carolina is a busy time on the roads, with motorists visiting relatives, going to church, heading to the beach, and spending time with friends. Over the 2007 Easter weekend, there were 1,153 auto accidents that left 8 people dead over the 3 ½ day period. This Easter weekend began yesterday at 6pm and ends on Sunday at midnight.

The NC Highway Patrol will also be taking part in the national CARE program—the Combined Accident Reduction Effort—that has State police officers and highway patrol officers making themselves more visible during busy holiday seasons in an effort to save lives and keep the motor vehicle accident toll low.

Unfortunately, holiday weekends can turn tragic when auto accidents occur. There may be serious injuries (and even death) for the driver, his or her passengers, and other people on the roads.

Our North Carolina and South Carolina auto accident law firm have helped many victims of car accidents, motorcycle accident, bus accidents, truck accidents, and pedestrian accidents recover compensation for their injuries or the deaths of loved ones.

Although you cannot control the behavior of other drivers on the road, you are in control of your own actions.

GMAC Insurance says the leading driving mistakes include:

• Multi-tasking while operating a vehicle.
• Following the vehicle in front of you too closely.
• Not yielding when making a left turn.
• Improper merging.
• Not looking to see what or who is in behind you.

State Highway Patrol Urges Motorists to Drive Safely Over the Easter Holiday Weekend,, March 20, 2008

Top Driving Mistakes that Cause Crashes, GMAC Insurance

Related Web Resources:


Car Accident Injuries – Causes and Preventive Measures, Ezinearticles

North Carolina State Highway Patrol

Deadly New York Crane Accident Highlights Safety Issues As Multiple Cranes Operate in Charlotte, North Carolina

March 19, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

The deadly New York crane collapse that left seven people dead and 10 others injured has brought the issue of crane safety to attention—especially in Charlotte, North Carolina where a number of cranes are in operation.

Heade Southeast, Inc. operates 20 cranes in Center City Charlotte alone, not to mention another 20 cranes in the rest of the region. Some cranes can carry weight as heavy as 40,000 pounds.

The North Carolina Department of Labor says that there have been four deaths involving cranes in North Carolina since 2004. Dennis Kenna, Heade Southeast President, cites human error or disregard of the manufacturer’s safety recommendations as causes for crane accidents.

Recent North Carolina construction-related crane accidents:

November 2006: No one was injured when a crane collapsed at a construction site at Caldwell and Third Streets.

May 2006: A construction worker suffered a broken arm, neck, and legs when he was struck by a big concrete bucket that fell from a crane.

August 2004: A construction worker died at ‘Steel Fab’ in West Charlotte when a large steel beam crushed him.

May 2004: A construction worker died in Statesville after a crane hit him.

In New York on Monday, rescue workers pulled three more bodies from the rubble of Saturday’s catastrophic crane collapse–bringing the death toll to seven. The three victims are construction workers Clifford Canzona and Santino Gallino and Florida resident Odin Torres.

Torres is the only fatality that was not a construction workers. She was visiting her friend John Gallego in a nearby town home at the time of the collapse. The town home was destroyed by the crane. As of Tuesday, Gallego was in critical condition after being pulled from below 30 feet of rubble.

The crane had fallen when a 5 ½-ton steel collar, which workers had been installing around the crane, brook loose. The falling collar hit another collar, which destabilized the crane. The crane then smashed into the building on East 51st street and then the townhouse.

If you have been injured in a North Carolina or South Carolina construction accident, you should contact our personal injury law firm for your free consultation.

Death toll in New York crane collapse rises to 7, Los Angeles Times, March 18, 2008

Crane safety questioned after incident,, March 17, 2008

Related Web Resource:

Crane Accidents

Teenage Son Files Lawsuit Against North Carolina Domestic Violence Shelter For Mother’s Murder

March 12, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

In North Carolina, Jeffrey Mertz is suing the REACH Shelter of Jackson County, a Sylvia domestic violence shelter for women, for the murder of his mother, Bonnie Woodring.

Mertz is accusing the shelter of not providing adequate security in September 2006 to prevent his stepfather, John “Woody” Woodring, from locating and entering the shelter.

Mertz was 13 at the time of the murder. He says that the REACH shelter did not take the necessary steps that could have prevented his stepfather from finding the shelter’s address.

In his lawsuit, Mertz says that one of the shelter’s employees had purposely left a side door unlocked so another employee could enter the premise. The unlocked door allowed Woodring to enter the shelter without permission. He was carrying a sawed off shotgun.

Woodring had threatened to kill Bonnie just three days earlier.

Mertz is suing REACH for $75,000 for failing to provide his mother with shelter. He says that suffered serious anguish from having to witness his mother’s dead body.

Premises Liability Cases
Property and premise owners are legally obligated to ensure that they maintain and provide a safe environment for patrons, visitors, residents, and/or workers where conditions are safe and there is adequate security. Each state has its own laws about how to determine liability on the part of the premise owner or manager.

Common kinds of premises liability cases include inadequate security cases, slip and fall cases, falling merchandise cases, and a defective product on a premise.

If you or someone you love was seriously injured on another party’s premise in North Carolina or South Carolina, contact our premises liability law firm today to discuss your personal injury case.

Son Of Victim Files Lawsuit Against Women’s Shelter, News Channel 7, March 11, 2008

Family sues shelter where woman was slain, Citizen-Times, March 11, 2008

Related Web Resources:

Sylva woman shot to death at shelter for women,, December 20, 2006

REACH of Jackson County

Does Raleigh, North Carolina’s Dog Bite Rules “Go Easy on the Dogs?”

March 10, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

In Raleigh, North Carolina last year, police responded to 367 reports of animal attacks—a 56% increase since 2000. According to the News &, someone is bitten by a dog every day in Raleigh.

The newspaper goes on to report that many dog bite victims in the city are not happy with the way dog bite cases are handled, saying that the burden of proof and the costs of the injuries frequently lie with the dog bite victims.

State law requires that all dogs must undergo a 10-day quarantine and rabies check.

One Raleigh dog bite victim, Malinda Delbridge, was bitten by a pit bull late last year trying to pull its jaws off her poodle. The pit bull’s owner paid a $50 fine for not having proof of a rabies vaccine and $150 to release the dog from quarantine. Delbridge was billed $300 for medical expenses.

In North Carolina, a dog is considered dangerous if it has terrorized someone, broken a victim’s bones, or caused a disfiguring injury. This means that most of the time, a dog has to bite someone first before it can be considered “dangerous.” According to one animal control supervisor, a dog in Raleigh gets classified as “dangerous” no more than three times annually because the bite wounds are not considered serious enough.

A Raleigh appeals board meeting last September to hear dangerous dog cases was the first time the group had met in five years.

Other North Carolina cities and counties are reportedly tougher when it comes to classifying dogs as dangerous. In Cumberland County last year, animal control declared 29 dogs dangerous after they bit humans and 15 dogs that exhibited violence against other dogs were classified as aggressive. The city of Charlotte classified 10 dogs as dangerous.

In North Carolina, if a doctor does not call an injury a dog bite, it cannot be reported as one—which may lead to many dog bite injuries going unreported.

To prove owner negligence in a North Carolina injury dog bite case, the victim must prove that the dog was unattended, not on its owner’s property at night, or had already been classified as “dangerous.”

If you or someone you love has sustained a serious dog bite injury in North Carolina or South Carolina, one of our dog bite lawyers would be happy to discuss your legal options with you.

A Few Dog Bite Facts:

• Nationally, 334,000 victims a year are treated in emergency rooms for dog bites.
• Dog bites are among the leading injuries that require medical attention.
• More than half of dog bite victims are children.

Dog-bite law tough on victims,, January 20, 2008

Dog Bite Statistics, The Pet Friendly House

Related Web Resources:

North Carolina Dog Bite Law

South Carolina Dog Bite Law

John Ritter’s Wife Actress Amy Yasbeck Testifies During Wrongful Death Trial

March 3, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

Amy Yasbeck, the wife of late actor John Ritter, resumed her testimony today in the wrongful death trial against the two doctors who treated her husband before his death. Yasbeck and Ritter’s children are suing radiologist Matthew Lotysch and cardiologist Joseph Lee for $67 million. Ritter died in 2003 from a torn aorta.

The Ritter family is accusing both doctors of failing to diagnose and provide the proper medical care for Ritter that could have saved his life. They say that Lotysch failed to detect an enlarged aorta during a 2001 scan and that Lee made a fatal error when he treated the actor for a heart attack instead of an aortic dissection on the day that he arrived at the emergency room in 2003.

Lotysch disputes their claim. During his testimony last week, he said that he told Ritter that the actor should see a specialist because he had triple vessel coronary disease. He also says that Ritter’s aorta looked normal at the time of the scan. Yasbeck claims that Ritter believed the scan results showed that he was in good health.

On Friday, jury members heard a voice message that Ritter left for his wife telling her that he was going to seek medical attention for what he believed was food poisoning. He died in the emergency room later that day.

Henry Winkler, Ritter’s friend, and Katey Segal, his co-star on the show “8 Simple Rules … for Dating My Teenage Daughter,” also submitted their testimonies on behalf of the plaintiffs. The show was considered a hit and Ritter’s family believes he would have made over $67 million if he had continued to appear on the show had he lived.

Ritter was a beloved film and television actor who also starred in the hit TV show “Three’s Company.” He died on September 11, 2003 at age 54.

Failure to diagnose, wrongful diagnosis, delayed diagnosis, providing a patient with the wrong medical treatment, surgical errors, and prescription errors are all too common forms of medical malpractice.

If you believe that you have been the victim of a medical error by a doctor, a nurse, or another medical provider In North Carolina or South Carolina, one of our medical malpractice attorneys can meet with you to discuss your case.

John Ritter’s widow, ex-wife testify in wrongful-death lawsuit, USA Today, March 3, 2008

Ritter Speaks at Wrongful-Death Trial, EOnline, February 29, 2008

Winkler testifies at Ritter trial, Los Angeles Times, February 14, 2008

Related Web Resources:

Actor John Ritter dead at 54,, September 12, 2003

John Ritter,


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