January 2010

Boy Requires Over 100 Stitches Following South Carolina Dog Attack by Neighbor’s Pit Bull

January 27, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

A 7-year-old boy required over 100 stitches after he mauled by a neighbor’s pit bull. Ravion “Ray Ray” Cunningham was riding his bike last week when the 1-year-old pit bull mix attacked him.

One neighbor who witnessed the South Carolina dog attack and ran to Cunningham’s rescue says she thinks the dog was trying to play with the boy and got excited when the 7-year-old ran away. Cunningham sustained buttock and facial injuries and part of his right ear was severed during the South Carolina dog bite incident.

While hospital staffers were able to reattach the boy’s ear and stitch up his wounds, doctors have said that the boy likely will have permanent scars. Ravion’s mother, LaQuantra Cunningham, says her son had nightmares after the dog attack.

Police have cited Luis Muniz, dog owner for allegedly violating the city of Rock Hill’s ordinance that dangerous dogs must be muzzled or contained. Muniz told journalists that his family has given the pet to animal control and told police to euthanize the dog.

North Carolina Dog Bite Injuries
Dog bite injuries can be very painful and, depending on the severity of the injuries, can result in extensive scarring and permanent disfigurement. Kids are especially prone to serious, disfiguring injuries. Dogs can more easily reach their faces during an attack and a child who sustains dog mauling injuries may have to wait until he or she is fully grown before undergoing plastic or reconstructive surgery. In the meantime, the child must grow up with scars and other disfiguring injuries, which can negatively impact the self-esteem and affect one’s social development.

You may be able to hold the dog owner liable for your dog bite injuries, which can be extremely costly to treat and recover from.

7-year-old attacked by neighbor’s dog, Charlotte Observer, January 19, 2010

Boy, 7, requires more than 100 stitches after pit bull attack in Rock, Herald Online, January 17, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Dog Bite Prevention, CDC

Dog Bite Treatment, MedicineNet

Couple Suing City of Charlotte Claims Officer Marcus Jackson Sexually Violated Them During Traffic Stop

January 23, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

A couple who says that Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer Marcus Jackson sexually violated them have filed North Carolina police brutality lawsuits against the city of Charlotte. Jackson, who was arrested on December 30, has been accused of committing sexual acts against several people that he apprehended during traffic stops.

The couple filed their Charlotte police brutality lawsuits in Mecklenburg Superior Court. They say that the city of Charlotte and Jackson violated their constitutional rights.

According to their North Carolina injury complaints, the 26-year-old police officer pulled them over after midnight on December 28 (Radio transmission from that night document Jackson telling dispatchers that he didn’t need police backup). He made them drive to a church parking lot, where he allegedly fondled the woman while pretending to search her. When the couple protested, Jackson threatened to arrest the boyfriend. He then ordered the man to pull down the woman’s bra and fondle her.

The woman says that after what Jackson did she can’t live by herself anymore and she has moved out of Charlotte. She started seeing a therapist and continues to have nightmares. She is scared of getting into a car again for fear that another cop will sexually assault her. She says she is scared of what might happen when Jackson gets out of jail.

These are the first Charlotte police brutality complaints against the city over Jackson’s alleged actions. They likely won’t be the last. One alleged victim, a teenager, says that after pulling her over, Jackson made her get into his car and took her to a location where he sexually violated her. Other victims have made similar allegations.

Cops who sexually violate or physically assault someone under the guise of doing their job are committing a crime and abusing their power as police officers. Do NOT be afraid to report the incident and contact a Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury lawyer to explore your legal options.

Couple sues city, former officer, Charlotte Observer.com, January 23, 2010

North Carolina Police Brutality?: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Cop Accused of Multiple Sexual Assaults, NorthCarolinaInjuryLawyerBlog, January 9, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Communities United Against Police Brutality

Top 5 Police Brutality Videos, Huffington Post, July 30, 2008

Products Liability: 635,000 Cribs by Dorel Asia SLR are Recalled after 1 Infant Death and 10 Injuries to Children

January 19, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

Dorel Asia SLR and the US Consumer Product Safety Commission are recalling about 635,000 cribs, following 10 injuries to infants and one child death. The crib manufacturer and the CPSC are concerned that if the hardware that holds up the crib’s side fails, the drop side might detach, which could lead to suffocation or entrapment.

So far, there has been one related death involving a 6-month-old Iowa baby who was fatally injured as a result of strangulation and entrapment. The CPSC and Dorel Asia have received 31 reports of drop side accidents. Six of them involved kids who became entrapped between the mattress and the crib’s drop side. Three babies sustained bruises. There have also been 36 reports of cribs’ slats breaking. Two children became entrapped because of this. Fortunately they were not injured. Seven babies sustained scratches and bruises.

Consumers are urged to stop using the recalled cribs and contact the manufacturer for a free replacement kit.

This latest crib recall comes just one day after the CPSC and Carmia Furniture recalled 1,000 Diana cribs due to worry that the slats on the drop-sides might detach, potentially causing the child to become entrapped in the crib or fall to the ground. There have been 18 reports of the slats detaching from the cribs rails.

Over the last few years, the entrapment, suffocation, and fall hazards posed by drop-side cribs have become issues of great concern to parents, guardians, and child safety advocates. Since December 2005 more than 2 million drop-side cribs have been recalled. At least 11 infant deaths have occurred because of drop-side crib defects. And there are those, including manufacturers, who are calling for a ban on the manufacture of drop-sides cribs.

Drop-Side Crib Defects
While drop-side cribs offer the convenience of allowing a parent easy access to their child because one side of the crib can be lowered, these cribs have proven prone to hardware warping, slat breakage, and drop-side detachments. These product defects can create an opening between the drop side and the crib mattress that a child can easily become entrapped in, which may lead to suffocation if the infant or toddler stays trapped for too long. A drop-side that detaches or drops suddenly can also cause fall accidents, which can lead to head injuries and other child injuries.

It is inexcusable for your child to get have gotten hurt because a product manufacturer was negligent. You may have grounds for filing a North Carolina products liability lawsuit involving injuries to a child.

Dorel Asia Recalls To Replace Cribs; Pose Strangulation and Suffocation Hazards, CPSC, January 19, 2010

Major manufacturers propose ban on drop-side cribs, Chicago Tribune, March 18, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Report: Drop side cribs can be dangerous, ABC, June 24, 2009

Dorel Industries

North Carolina Traumatic Brain Injury Survivors at Greater Risk of Suffering from Depression

January 12, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, nearly 50% of traumatic brain injury survivors will likely experience depression. This rate is nearly eight times higher than that of the general population. TBI survivors who went into depression following their head trauma reportedly experienced greater pain, mobility problems, and challenges executing their usual responsibilities.

Researchers from the University of Washington studied 559 participants. Each TBI patient was interviewed over the next six months and then again at 8, 10, and 12 months. The study’s findings confirmed that a TBI can cause major depressive disorder.

Our Charlotte, North Carolina traumatic brain injury law firm represents clients who sustained their TBIs that were caused by other parties negligence. Some 1.5 million Americans will sustain a TBI this year.

Some TBI symptoms appear immediately, and others can take days or weeks to develop. While most head trauma side effects will clear up within a year, some 80,000 people a year will be left with permanent, devastating effects. Depending on the kind of TBI and its severity, unconsciousness, dizziness, headaches, lightheadness, confusion, vision problems, fatigue, bad taste in the mouth, sleep pattern changes, ringing in the ears, mood changes, behavioral changes, memory problems, attention problems, vomiting, convulsions, nausea, seizures, slurred speech, extremity-related problems, agitation, confusion, coma, infections, cranial nerve injuries, organ system failure, vascular injuries, damage to cognition, sensory processing, communication, personality changes, and brain death may result from a traumatic brain injury.

Common causes of North Carolina traumatic brain injuries include fall accidents, car crashes, assaults, and getting hit by or striking a hard object.

Traumatic brain injuries linked to depression, Los Angeles Times, May 19, 2010

Traumatic Brain Injury, CDC

Traumatic Brain Injury: Hope Through Research, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Journal of the American Medical Association

North Carolina Police Brutality Lawsuit Filed Against Alamance County Sheriff and Two Deputies

January 9, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

A Burlington man claims that he was the victim of North Carolina police brutality in Alamance County. Bobby J. Stanley is suing Sheriff Terry Johnson and two deputies for personal injury. Stanley contends that he is a victim of assault and battery, false arrest, and illegal search and seizure.

According to his North Carolina personal injury complaint, the plaintiff claims that while two cops apprehended him on DWI charges last year, they broke his arm. He is seeking at least $10,000 in damages for permanent partial disability, partial loss of the use of his arm, medical bills, depression, and anxiety. Stanley says that he wasn’t drunk and he was swerving to avoid driving into potholes.

He gave Lt. D. L. Crowder permission to search him but he says he never gave the deputy permission to search the van. Crowder and Cpl. Jackie Fortner then allegedly grabbed him with “such force and violence” that his arm broke.

Stanley says that the officers disregarded his need for medical attention and continued searching the car. They charged Stanley with failing to stop at a stop sign and gave him an unsafe movement violation. The stop sign-related charge was later dismissed. Stanley filed his Alamance County police brutality complaint in February.

Meantime, the Sheriff’s Department is denying the accusations. A police document claims that Stanley refused to be treated by an EMS who examined him at the scene. The police officers that arrested him contend that Stanley told them he taking a lot of drugs because he has cancer. They claim that they grabbed Stanley because he became agitated. They acknowledge that he did not consent to the vehicle search.

North Carolina Police Brutality Lawsuit
Police officers are not use excessive force against suspects, prisoners, defendants, or anyone else when doing their jobs. Even if no criminal charges are filed against the cops, you may still be able to hold them liable in civil court for North Carolina injury caused by physical assault, sexual assault, verbal battery, emotional abuse, and other acts of violence.

Documents show different side in sheriff’s department lawsuit, TheTImesNews.com, March 2, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Alamance County Sheriff’s Department

Testimony of Police Violence Across the Nation

State Combats North Carolina Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect with Tougher Ratings Standards

January 5, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

Beginning this week, the state of North Carolina is imposing tougher standards on assisted living facilities. Nursing homes can now receive a four star rating, but it will be harder to earn this highest rating and a facility will have to earn high ratings for over two years. Nursing home violations, such as medication mistakes, nursing home neglect, poor nursing care, hazardous conditions, inadequate worker training, and poor sanitation, will now count against a nursing home when its rating is determined. North Carolina investigators visit assisted living facilities throughout the year. A facility’s rating is posted within 45 days of the visit.

North Carolina’s new rating system went into effect in 2007. The Division of Adult Care Licensure began issuing star ratings last year but previous penalties for inadequate care weren’t factored into the assessments.

While the rating system provides a guide for family members seeking to find the proper assisted living facility for their loved one, it is still important for relatives to visit prospective nursing homes, talk to workers, and observe the facilities and the residents. North Carolina nursing home negligence continues to be a problem at a number of facilities and it is the sick and elderly patients that suffer.

Bedsores, sudden weight loss, unexplained weight gain, poor hygiene, unexplained bruises, bedsores, fall injuries, change in the patient’s behavior, mood swings, and depression are some signs that a nursing home patient may be the victim of abuse or neglect. A sick or elderly person can die because of nursing home negligence.

Elder-care ratings get tougher, Charlotte Observer, January 5, 2010

NC adds 4-star rating for adult-care homes, Daily Comet, January 4, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Star Rating Program, NC Division of Adult Care Licensure

Nursing Homes, North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services


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