June 2008

Truck Safety Coalition Says Allowing 53-Foot Long Tractor-Trailers Onto North Carolina Highways Will Endanger Lives

June 25, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

The Truck Safety Coalition says that a legislative proposal that would let 53-foot tractor-trailers onto main highway routes in North Carolina is dangerous and could cause serious truck injuries. The proposal just passed in the state Senate and will now be considered by House lawmakers.

Opponents of the new legislation have voiced concerns that the longer trucks are hard to control on narrow, winding, and two-lane roads even for experienced truckers. In some North Carolina areas, other motorists have been run off the roads because the drivers of 48-foot trucks haven’t been able to stay in their lanes.

The House of Transportation Committee will look at the bill this week, which the North Carolina Senate approved by a 47-0 vote last week. If approved, the measure would also loosen weight restrictions on trucks and allow for the transportation of recreational boats 10 feet wide or smaller without a permit. The current regulation allows only boats 8 ½ feet wide or smaller to be transported on North Carolina’s roads without a permit.

Supporters of the bill claim that 53-foot trailers is the new industry standard and that passing the proposal will help boost the state’s economy. However, while it allows for the barring of certain vehicles on specific routes if engineering studies show that their presence on these roads is a hazard, the new legislation does not mandate the studies.

Trucking accidents can cause serious injuries to passengers. Truck accidents have been known to occur when the truck driver:

1) Steps on the brakes. Bigger trucks can’t stop as quickly as smaller trucks, cars, and motorcycles. Many large trucks need almost 800 feet to brake to a stop—compared to the approximately 400 feet that many motorists need.

2) Makes a turn. Larger trucks need more space to turn left or right.

3) Fails to notice a vehicle or pedestrian in the truck’s blind spot. Truck drivers have major blind spots and they do not always check these areas to make sure that there is nothing there.

4) Large trucks are not as easy to control or maneuver as regular automobiles, which can create a problem on narrower roads or roads with just two lanes.

If you or someone you love was seriously injured in a truck accident because of another party’s negligence, contact our North Carolina truck accident lawyers today.

Safety group opposes lifting truck restrictions, WCNC.com, June 24, 2008

State Senate votes to allow bigger trucks, Newsobserver.com, June 18, 2008

Related Web Resources

Truck Safety Coalition

North Carolina Personal Injury Lawsuit Sues Suppliers Involved in Tainted-Surgical Instrument Incident At Duke University Health System Hospitals

June 20, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

This week in North Carolina, 67 patients filed a personal injury lawsuit against Cardinal Health and Steris Corp., the companies that supply Duke University Health System hospitals with sterilization equipment. Also named in the lawsuit are a number of Cardinal workers. The lawsuit alleges deceptive trading practices, negligence, conspiracy, and obstruction of justice, and it comes right after Duke Healthy University Health System reached a settlement with patients that claim they were injured because of exposure to the fluid.

The current lawsuit accuses the defendants of trying to cover up their mistakes after some 3,800 surgical patients at Duke Health Raleigh Hospital and Durham Regional Hospital in 2004 were exposed to instruments washed with used hydraulic fluid.

Duke Health officials have said that the instruments had been sterilized after being washed in the fluid and that their findings showed that patients were unlikely to be harmed. A number of patients, however, said they suffered immune system reactions and infections as a result of the exposure.

Although Duke Health isn’t a defendant in this new lawsuit, the plaintiffs are accusing the hospital system of working with the defendants to minimize liability in the case. Duke Health allegedly shared costs with the companies for testing the instruments, conducting the test in a lab connected to Duke, preventing patients from getting more information, and destroying key evidence.

The lawsuit accuses Cardinal workers of failing to check the detergent drums before sending them to the hospital. The hydraulic fluid came from an elevator and was transported to the hospital to be used as detergent. The Steris workers are accused of disregarding complaints of greasy surgical tools and neglecting to check the sterilization equipment at the hospitals.

Hydraulic fluid is often used in equipment, machines, and motor vehicles and has been known to cause health issues in people that have been exposed to it.

If you have suffered health issues because of your exposure to a toxic or hazardous substance, contact our North Carolina personal injury law firm today.

Suit alleges cover-up in tainted surgical instrument case, WRAL.com, June 19, 2008

Duke, patients settle hydraulic fluid claims, The News and Observer, January 19, 2008

Read the Lawsuit

Related Web Resources:

Hydraulic Fluid Facts, Dukehealth.org

A compilation of correspondence related to hydraulic fluid issues at Duke University Health System, Dukehealth.org

18-Wheeler Tractor-Trailer Crash Claims the Lives of a Firefighter and a Sheriff’s Deputy in North Carolina

June 18, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

A North Carolina sheriff’s deputy Steven Boehm and firefighter Gene Thomas died on Saturday after being struck by an 18-wheeler truck. The fatal accident took place on a coastal highway near a burn site at Marine Corps Base Camp in Oslow County. Bill Hall, a second deputy, sustained minor injuries from the crash.

Reduced visibility, caused by fog and smoke from the burn, may have played a role.
The truck driver, Fayetteville resident Robert Kornegay, was charged with exceeding a safe speed and two counts of misdemeanor death by vehicle.

18-wheeler Tractor-Trailer Accidents
Traffic accidents involving 18-wheeler trucks can lead to serious injuries for those involved. If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries in a collision with an 18-wheeler tractor-trailer in North Carolina or South Carolina, it is important that you hire an experienced truck crash lawyer.

Trucking companies are prepared when it comes to dealing with injury cases, and many of them will aggressively fight to minimize liability. You need a truck collision law firm that is familiar with the state trucking regulations, as well as the regulations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Our North Carolina truck crash attorneys have successfully represented clients with trucking accident claims and lawsuits. You are entitled to financial recovery for your injuries and losses.

Causes of Tractor-Trailer Accidents include:

• Failure to monitor blind spots
• Driver fatigue
• Break or tire failure
• Unsecured cargo
• Speeding
• Driver inattention
• Reckless or careless driving

Do NOT speak to a truck company representative without your lawyer present. Tractor-trailer accidents are usually catastrophic injury accidents.

Potential defendants in a truck accident case may include the truck driver, the trucking company, the owner of the tractor-trailer, the truck leasing company, the truck manufacturer, and other liable parties.

NC Deputy and Firefighter Killed in Tractor-trailer Crash, Efluxmedia.com, June 15, 2008

Officer Down: Deputy Sheriff Steve Boehm, PoliceOne.com, June 14, 2008

Related Web Resources:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Truck Safety Coalition

6-Year-Old North Carolina Girl Paralyzed in Car Crash Is Center of Local Fundraising Efforts

June 12, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

In Hillsborough, North Carolina, town members are trying to raise funds for Khari Clark-Hester, a 6-year-old girl who is paralyzed from the waist down after she suffered spinal cord and brain injuries during an auto crash on April 10.

Khari sustained these catastrophic injuries when the passenger side of the car she was riding in was hit by a pickup truck. Khari spent several weeks in intensive care at NC Children’s Hospital and was later moved to a rehabilitation center. Her mother and 2-year-old sister were also involved in the crash but are now both fine. Khari needs money to pay for a medical car seat, a wheelchair ramp outside their house, and other medical costs.

In North Carolina and South Carolina, our catastrophic injury lawyers can help you or your injured family member recover personal injury compensation from the negligent party to cover your losses and damages. Catastrophic injuries are often life changing accidents, and living with a TBI or an SCI can be very expensive.

Traumatic Brain Injury
A sudden trauma to the brain can cause a traumatic brain injury. While a mild TBI can result in temporary unconsciousness, headaches, dizziness, or blurred vision, a more person with a serious TBI may experience convulsions, seizures, permanent brain damage, or fall into a coma or brain death.

Spinal Cord Injuries
A severe blow that dislocates or fractures the spine can lead to a spinal cord injury. An SCI patient may experience loss of sensation, sexual dysfunction, respiratory problems, loss of movement, including paralysis, and other serious health problems.

Our North Carolina auto accident lawyers know how to prove that a negligent motorist or another liable party caused your catastrophic injuries. We will zealously pursue your recovery. Our personal injury lawyers have successfully obtained compensation for the families of minors seriously injured in auto crashes.

Community unites to help accident victim, The Daily Tar Heel, June 12, 2008

Town rallies for injured girl, The Chapel Hill News

Related Web Resources:

Spinal cord injury, MayoClinic

Traumatic Brain Injury

North Carolina Family Settles Wrongful Death Lawsuit with Harley-Davidson Motor Co.

June 6, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

In North Carolina, the family of Charles Radford Paul III, a 30-year-old Raleigh cop who died in a 2002 motorcycle crash, has settled its wrongful death lawsuit with Harley-Davidson Motor Co. and Raleigh store Ray Price Harley Davidson.

Paul died while chasing a speeding car. A draft from a tractor-trailer he was trying to overtake appeared to have made the motorcycle wobble, causing Radford to drive onto the freeway shoulder where he was thrown from his 2002 Electra Glide motorcycle.

The wrongful death lawsuit, however, says that he lost control of his motorcycle because of a high-speed wobble—a problem that has been encountered by other Harley-Davidson riders and mechanics. While some people believe the wobble is caused by a design defect in certain Harley motorcycles, others cite improper maintenance.

The confidential products liability settlement was made in December, but the lawsuit was not dismissed until last month. Paul’s family also received a workers’ compensation settlement from the city of Raleigh.

Defective motorcycles and motorcycle parts are a frequent cause of motorcycle-related injuries or deaths. Products liability lawsuits involving motorcycle accidents may cite a number of defect issues, such as:

• Defective tires
• Helmet defects
• Brake problems
• Defective pedals
• Stuck throttles
• Problems with the shock absorber
• Chain defect

Compared to other motorists, motorcycle riders are already at higher risk of injury or death when involved in traffic accidents. There is no reason that riders should be placed in greater jeopardy because a motorcycle or one of its parts was defective.

In North Carolina and South Carolina, our products liability law firm can help you pursue your personal injury or wrongful death claim against the negligent party.

Officer’s family settles motorcycle suit, News and Observer, June 3, 2008

Related Web Resource:

North Carolina State Motorcycle Laws


Son of North Carolina Woman Killed in Apartment Fire Files Premises Liability-Related Wrongful Death Lawsuit

June 4, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

In North Carolina, Juan Arango, the son of Gloria Inez Suarez, a woman who died in a fire in her apartment that destroyed her building in the Colonial Village complex at Highland Hills in Carrboro last September is suing Colonial Properties Trust and property manager Renee Schumacher for improper maintenance and poor construction.

The Carrboro Fire Department has not determined the cause of the fire, but Arango says that it was the faulty construction and negligent maintenance that caused the flames to spread so fast. Firefighters were only able to look in 4 of the 14 units before the building started to fall down. Two women that jumped from their second-story balconies suffered injuries.

The fire reportedly burned for nearly 30 minutes before anyone reported it.
Arango says that none of the smoke detectors in the building were in operation. According to a fire department report, the fire detectors did not alert the victims that there was a fire.

Arango’s North Carolina wrongful death lawsuit accuses Colonial Properties and Schumacher of not creating proper fire barriers and failing to keep the common areas and crawl space free of combustible items.

In North Carolina, apartment landlords and managers are supposed to take the proper safety and maintenance precautions to ensure that there are no unsafe conditions on the premise or in a building or residential unit that can cause injury or death.

Failure to put in place and maintain the proper safety measures can be grounds for a North Carolina premises liability lawsuit if the injured person can prove that the manager or owner knew of the potentially unsafe condition but failed to eliminate this hazard.

Our North Carolina premises liability attorneys know how to properly investigate and pursue your case so that you can receive recovery for your injuries or the death of your loved one.

Woman’s death in fire leads to lawsuit, NewsObserver.com, June 4, 2008

Related Web Resources:

Colonial Properties Trust

Premises Liability, Justia


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