January 2011

GlaxoSmithKline Settles Dangerous Drug Lawsuit Over North Carolina Wrongful Death of Man from Taking Avandia

January 31, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

GlaxoSmithKline and the family of James Burford have reached an out of court settlement over his wrongful death. The North Carolina man died in 2006. The dangerous drug agreement was reached right before the jury trial, which was set to open today. By settling, GSK avoided what could have been a large verdict amount that may have included punitive damages.

Burford, 49, took Avandia for about 15 months for his diabetes before he died from a heart attack. While the drug maker argued that Burford’s diabetes increased his risk of heart attack regardless of what drug he was taking, the family’s dangerous drug lawyers claimed that Glaxo officials kept studies showing the increased health risks linked to Avandia from regulators.

GSK is facing some 2,000 lawsuits over Avandia and has put aside about $3.4 billion to settle the cases. Bloomberg reports that thousands of lawsuits accusing Glaxo of concealing Avandia’s heart at attack risks were settled last summer for about $460 million.

In September, the Food and Drug Administration decided it was limiting use of Avandia to patients suffering from Type 2 diabetes that cannot manage this condition with other drugs. Users have to be notified of the risks Avandia poses to the heart.

Unfortunately, many people have suffered injuries or had heart attacks from using Avandia and sister drugs Avandaryl and Avandamet, which both contain Avandia. It is unfortunate when a drug that is supposed to help people causes fatal injury instead.

Dangerous Drug Lawsuits
It is negligence on the part of a drug manufacturer that fails to notify regulators and users of possible risks involved with taking a particular medication. As the plaintiff of a North Carolina dangerous drug lawsuit, you may be entitled to financial compensation for mental anguish, pain and suffering, permanent disability, medical costs, future medical bills, present and future lost wages, physical therapy expenses, and prescription costs. If your loved one has died, you may have grounds for North Carolina wrongful death recovery.

Glaxo Suit on Avandia Heart Attack Death Settled on Trial’s Eve, Bloomberg, January 31, 2011

GSK settles Avandia suit involving death of NC man before trial, WRALTechwire, January 31, 2011

Related Web Resources:


Dangerous Drug Lawsuit: Man Claims Diabetes Drug Avandia Caused Heart Attack, North Carolina Injury Lawyer, November 19, 2009


Caretaker Accused of North Carolina Elder Abuse in Beating of 91-Year-Old Woman

January 27, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Police in Kings Mountain have charged Lisa Parson Jones with assault on a handicapped person. Jones is the live-in caretaker of a 91-year-old woman. She is accused of beating the elderly senior and throwing her across a room.

Unfortunately, North Carolina elder abuse is not uncommon. While nursing home abuse is what usually makes headlines, in private homes in the US there are also sick and elderly persons that are the victims of elder abuse, neglect, and financial abuse. Sometimes, the caretaker is a family member. In other instances, the caretaker is a professional who was hired from an agency, or independently, to provide private nursing care to a sick, frail, or mentally ill person.

Elder abuse is a crime and can cause serious injury or illness to the victim. Unfortunately, because elder abuse in the home occurs in a private setting, it often goes undetected—especially when a relative is the perpetrator.

In the event that you discover that your loved one is the victim of elder abuse or neglect by a caretaker, you should contact a Gaston County nursing home abuse law firm right away. Among those most susceptible to caretaker abuse are patients who have trouble speaking or communicating, cannot physically defend themselves, or who are suffering from Alzheimer’s. Physical abuse, sexual assault, verbal abuse, medical neglect, “forgetting” to feed a patient or administer medications as scheduled, stealing money from a patient, or getting/him or her to add the caretaker’s name to a will are just a few examples of caretaker abuse.

Police: Caretaker beat 91-year-old woman, Charlotte Observer, January 27, 2011

Related Web Resources:
National Center on Elder Abuse

What is Elder Abuse?, Administration on Aging

Kannapolis Man’s Lawsuit Accuses Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office of North Carolina Personal Injury

January 19, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Dale Cook is suing the Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office for the North Carolina personal injuries he claims that he sustained after he was Tasered. Cook, who fell from a tree while officers apprehended him, says he fractured his spine during the incident and he now cannot walk. Also named as defendants in the complaint are Cabarrus County Sheriff Brad Riley, deputy Jason Thomas, and unnamed deputies.

On April 19, 2010, the Kannapolis man and his wife Tammy got into a domestic dispute at their residence. Tammy then went to the sheriff’s office and gave a statement claiming that Dale had bumped her during the altercation.

Meantime, Dale climbed into a tree stand, which was about 15 to 20 feet off the ground, in their backyard. When deputies arrived to follow-up on Tammy’s statement, they went to the tree stand and asked Dale to come down. When he refused—he claims that he told them he was unarmed and that he did not act threateningly toward anyone—Deputy Thomas Tasered him without warning. Dale fell from the tree. He says that he is now confined to a wheelchair for life.

Meantime, the sheriff’s office is disputing Dale’s account. An official report says that he had a knife and was trying to hurt himself. The report also claims that although Thomas did activate his Taser, the device did not hit Dale and that the latter got hurt because he chose to jump from the tree stand.

Excessive Use of Police Force
Anytime authorities must apprehend someone, it is important that they do not use excessive force or act in a manner that could cause North Carolina personal injury or wrongful death. When negligence, North Carolina police brutality, carelessness, recklessness, or inexperience contributes to causing injury to a suspect, a defendant, or an innocent bystander, the victim may have grounds for an injury lawsuit. Unfortunately, not everyone knows this. Often, the injured person doesn’t even realize that his/her rights have been violated.

Man sues sheriff over Taser use, Charlotte Observer, January 18, 2011

Sheriff: Deputy Did Not Stun Man With Taser, WSOCTV, May 5, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office

After the Zap: Taser Injuries and How to Treat Them, National Commission on Correctional Healthcare

Woman Suing Omni Hotel for Charlotte, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawsuit Claims Bartender Raped Her

January 15, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

A woman who claims that a bartender at Charlotte’s Omni Hotel gave her a drink that made her dizzy and then raped her is suing the hotel chain and several other defendants for North Carolina personal injury. She claims she was sexually assaulted in September 2007 when she was the guest of someone staying at the hotel.

According to her Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury complaint, she became sick and helpless after a bartender, referred to in the lawsuit as “Santiago,” offered to buy her a drink. He then allegedly forced his way into her hotel room and raped her.

The plaintiff claims that the hotel knew or should have known that Santiago had committed similar acts in the past. She says the Omni should have done more to protect guests from him. She also is accusing the hotel of providing inadequate security, including a lack of surveillance cameras in hotel hallways. Meantime, Omni Hotel’s general manager is saying that the woman’s claims are false and that the police have not filed any charges over the alleged incident.

Hotel Lawsuits
Hotels are responsible for making sure that patrons, guests, and visitors do not become the victim of any type of crime on the property—especially on a premise that virtually anyone can enter. Unfortunately, robberies, sexual assault crimes, and murders have occurred in hotels before and victims and their families may very well have reason to sue for Charlotte, North Carolina premises liability.

Safety measures hotels can take to prevent crimes:
• Video surveillance
• Security guards
• Working locks on emergency exits, windows, and balconies.
• Safes in rooms
• Careful screening of hotel personnel
• Better security measures for ensuring that not just anyone can enter a hotel room floors
• Adequate lighting
• Stepping up security when crimes have been committed in the hotel or the surrounding area

Lawsuit: Uptown hotel barman raped female patron, Charlotte Observer, March 9, 2011

Hotel crime rises in recession, but hotels say they’re still safe, USA Today, March 19, 2011

Related Web Resources:
Omni Hotels and Resorts

Inadequate Security, Justia

More Blog Posts:
North Carolina Personal Injury Filed Over 2008 Assault at Convenience Store Alleges Inadequate Security, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, February 28, 2011

North Carolina Injury Lawsuit Seeks Damages from Pittsboro Retirement Center for Assault that Left Elderly Resident with Brain Injuries, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, January 5, 2011

North Carolina Injuries and Deaths on the Job May Be Grounds for Both Third Party Lawsuits and Workers’ Compensation Claims

January 14, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

WRAL is reporting that according to the state Department of Labor, 48 people were killed in North Carolina work accidents in 2009. Most common causes of worker fatalities that year included an object or vehicle crushing or striking a worker, fall accidents, and electrocution accidents.

15 of the workers who died were in construction. The manufacturing and service industries saw six worker deaths each. Mecklenburg County had the most worker fatalities at seven deaths. Eight other counties, including Pitt and Nash counties, each experienced two worker deaths.

While even one worker fatality is one death too many, officials are reporting that North Carolina worker illness and injury rate is at an all-time low. They also are wondering whether concerns about the economy and job security may have distracted some workers and played a factor in some of the work-related deaths.

Our Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury law firm want to remind you that if you were injured or your loved one was killed on the job, not only is it important that you file your North Carolina workers’ compensation case, but also, you should explore whether you have grounds for a third party North Carolina wrongful death case or personal injury lawsuit with individuals or entities that aren’t your employer but whose negligence contributed to causing your work accident or illness. Unfortunately, many workers and their families don’t realize that they also may have grounds for a civil case. Possible third party lawsuits may involve products liability, motor vehicle crashes, truck accidents, slip and fall, premises liability, violent crimes, inadequate security, premises liability, or other grounds for a case.

Our Charlotte, North Carolina wrongful death law firm handles both North Carolina workers’ compensation and related third party cases.

NC workplace fatalities spike in 2010, WRAL, January 14, 2010

Related Web Resources:
North Carolina Industrial Commission

North Carolina Department of Labor

Workers’ Compensation, Nolo

Big Rig Trucker Involved in North Carolina Truck Accident that Killed Three on Interstate 40 Was Drunk, Say Investigators

January 10, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

A deadly North Carolina tractor-trailer crash on I-40 on June 30 that claimed the lives of three people has landed the trucker in a lot of trouble. Police have charged Ronald Eugene Graybeal with two counts of felony death by vehicle, one count misdemeanor death by vehicle, DWI, and drug possession.

The Durham, North Carolina big rig crash happened at around 4pm just west of the US 15-501 exit when Graybeal crashed into three autos that were in slow traffic. All three drivers—Burlington resident Gary Dwayne Smith, Mebane resident Barbara Boda Caldwell, and Kannapolis local John Paul Llanio died from their injuries. A box truck driver, Greensboro native Reginald Keith Thompson, was also hurt when Graybeal’s vehicle struck him, but fortunately his injuries are non-life-threatening.

The charges against Graybeal are very serious and could land him in jail for a very long time if he is convicted. He and the trucking company he works for could also find themselves the defendant of North Carolina wrongful death cases if the family members of the three people that died decide to sue them. Any civil charges would be separate from the criminal ones and it will be up to the plaintiffs and their North Carolina semi-truck crash lawyers to prove liability.

The North Carolina truck crash is also raising questions from drivers who worry that this section of I-40, which is near the Durham-Orange County, is currently a higher risk crash zone. One of the lanes has been closed, causing the highway to go from three lanes to two close to the US Highway 15/501 (where the accident happened). Because of this, some motorists say that when traffic slows suddenly there isn’t enough of a warning to ensure that everyone has time to react safely to the sudden traffic jams that can arise.

The DOT is looking into whether better warning signs should be added or a revised speed limit put into effect. If there is evidence that the stretch of road where the Durham tractor-trailer collision happened could have and should have been made safer, the victims’ families also may have a case against the entities responsible for the road.

Scene of I-40 triple fatal wreck worries drivers, WRAL, July 7, 2011

Charge upgraded in triple fatal I-40 crash, WRAL, July 5, 2011

Trucker in I-40 triple fatal jailed on DWI charge, ABC Local, July 2, 2011

Related Web Resources:
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

North Carolina Department of Transportation

More Blog Posts:

North Carolina Truck Accident Claims: Is True Total Compensation Possible?, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Blog, June 21, 2011

North Carolina Truck Accidents: Getting Past the Anger, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Blog, June 8, 2011

Goldsboro Driver Sustains Burn Injuries in Fayetteville, North Carolina Truck Crash, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Blog, October 23, 2009

North Carolina Injury Lawsuit Seeks Damages from Pittsboro Retirement Center for Assault that Left Elderly Resident with Brain Injuries

January 5, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Becky Fisher, 80, is suing the Galloway Ridge retirement community for North Carolina personal injury. Fisher sustained a brain injury in 2007 when housekeeper Barbara Clark assaulted her.

Clark is serving a two life prison terms for the first-degree murders of Margaret Murta, 92, and Mary Corcoran, 82, who were fatally injured during the assault, which involved pepper spray and a walking stick. The 42-year-old housekeeper reportedly became angry over a monetary dispute that she was having with Murta and Corcoran.

Now, she is accusing Gallow Ridge of negligence because the owners let Clark work at the retirement community even though there was a court order barring her from working with elderly persons. Murta and Corcoran, who were roommates, had hired Fisher to help them with housekeeping duties at their apartment. Now, Fisher is wondering why no background check was conducted on Clark even though she had regular access to the building. The Charlotte lawyer for the Pittsboro retirement home has said that Corcoran and Murta failed to notify staff members that they had hired Fisher.

If you or someone you love sustained serious injuries because of a violent crime committed on someone else’s property, you may have grounds for a North Carolina premises liability lawsuit against the premise owner if negligence contributed to allowing the incident to happen. Inadequate security, poor lighting, failure to install locks or an alarm system or surveillance camera, and failure to conduct background checks on employees or contractors are some reasons why property owners can become defendants of injury lawsuits.

Lawsuit blames NC home in deadly 2007 assault, CTPost.com, January 5, 2011

Survivor of 2007 beating sues retirement home, The Herald-Sun, January 4, 2011

Survivor’s lawsuit blames NC retirement center for housekeeper who also killed elderly women, MyFOX8, January 5, 2011

Investigators: Financial Problems Spurred Maid to Attack Elderly Women, WRAL, December 6, 2007

Related Web Resources:

Galloway Ridge retirement community

Premises Liability, Justia


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