May 2011

Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Board and High School Band Director Sued by Ex-High School Student For North Carolina Personal Injury

May 23, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

An ex-South Mecklenburg High School student is suing the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board and school band director Richard Priode for infliction of emotional distress, negligence, and North Carolina personal injury. The plaintiff, referred to in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg injury complaint as “Jane Doe,” says she had a 13-month sexual relationship with Priode when she was a student and a band member there. The 46-year-old pleaded guilty to felony indecent liberties with a student almost two years ago.

In her Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury lawsuit, Jane Doe contends that the school board should have known about Priode’s history of “inappropriate behavior” involving students at schools where he had previously taught. The plaintiff says that Priode started directing sexual innuendoes at her in 2007 and that she was 16 when he convinced her to participate in a sex act. She says their sexual relationship took place at the school, as well as on a school band excursion in 2008. Jane Doe also says that when an instructor for the color guards did report Priode’s sexual remarks and innuendoes to the principal, that teacher was later fired.

Jane Doe got in touch with police in 2009 and Priode was arrested following an investigation. The plaintiff is accusing the board of negligence for not detecting her relationship with the band teacher and for not looking into the color guard teacher’s allegations. She says that because of the North Carolina sexual abuse, she has suffered mental suffering and emotional distress and has had to undergo psychiatric and psychological are.

North Carolina Child Sexual Abuse
Schools can be held liable for Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury if a teacher, another staff member, or someone else sexually abuses a student while on the premise or during school activity. Sex abuse can cause serious mental and emotional injuries for victims. Like other personal injuries, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be entitled to damages from all liable parties.

Teen sexual assault victim files suit against band teacher and CMS, WBTV, May 17, 2011

Woman’s lawsuit faults CMS’ background check, Charlotte Observer, May 18, 2011

Read the Complaint

Related Web Resource:

Board of Education, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

More Blog Posts:
North Carolina Sex Abuse Lawsuit Filed Against Bishop Eddie Long, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, September 27, 2010

Charlotte Catholic Diocese Settles North Carolina Clergy Sex Abuse Lawsuit for $1 Million, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, May 7, 2010

North Carolina Child Sex Abuse Lawsuit Names Two Priests as the Perpetrators, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, June 3, 2009


Yaz Lawsuit Seeks Damages for Wrongful Death Teen Who Went into Cardiac Arrest While Attending Elon University in North Carolina

May 16, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

The family of Michelle Pfleger has filed a products liability lawsuit against Bayer over her wrongful death. The 18-year-old was attending Elon University in North Carolina when she a blood clot went into her lungs, causing her to go into cardiac arrest and die. The plaintiffs contend that the incident was triggered by Plfeger’s use of the Yaz birth control pills for her acne.

In their Yaz lawsuit, Plfeger’s family claims that the pill doesn’t come with adequate warnings about the risks involved with taking it. It was just recently that two studies in the British Medical Journal reported a link between oral contraceptives that contain the hormone drospirenone and a higher risk of blood clots in women compared to those taking birth control pills with the hormone levonorgestrel. Yaz contains drospirenone, as does the Yasmin birth control bill. Both drugs are from Bayer. The drug manufacturer has dismissed these findings.

Some 7,000 products liability lawsuits have been filed by women accusing Bayer of failing to properly warn about the risks of certain serious side effects. Over 50 deaths linked to Yaz and Yasmin were reported to the Food and Drug Administration between 2004 and the third quarter of 2008.

Other side effects linked to Yaz and Yasmin:
• Stroke
• Pulmonary embolism
• Heart attack
• Gallbladder disease
• Liver damage
• Deep vein thrombosis
• Anaphylactic shock
• Migraines
• Weight gain
• Higher level of potassium in the blood
• Hair loss

A North Carolina dangerous drug lawsuit can allow you to hold a drug manufacturer liable for personal injury or wrongful death.

Bayer faces US lawsuit over contraceptive, AFP, May 11, 2011

Mother of Elon student sues Bayer over daughter’s death, The Business Journal, May 11, 2011

Related Web Resources:



Warning: Letter, FDA

British Medical Journal

More Blog Posts:

Another Dangerous Drug?: Woman Claims Humira Caused Permanent Nerve Damage, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, April 30, 2011

Topamax as a Dangerous Drug?: FDA Warns of Possible Birth Defect Risk, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, March 26, 2011

GlaxoSmithKline Settles Dangerous Drug Lawsuit Over North Carolina Wrongful Death of Man from Taking Avandia, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, January 31, 2011

Over 18,000 Reports of North Carolina Elder Abuse and Neglect Made in 2010

May 9, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

According to the North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services, the state’s 100 county departments of social services received over 18,000 reports of elderly neglect, abuse, or exploitation last year. Family members, doctors, and community members are among those who submitted their concerns. Elder abuse and neglect are clearly issues that are not going away anytime soon. To raise awareness of North Carolina elder abuse and neglect, the Governor Bev Perdue has declared May 6, 2011 through June 20, 2011 Vulnerable and Elder Abuse Awareness Month.

Research shows that victims of elderly abuse, exploitation, and neglect are three times more likely to die in 10 years than if they weren’t abused. Seeing as over 2 million elderly and vulnerable adults are harmed in these ways each year, these findings are truly disturbing. It doesn’t help that the number of elder abuse incidents are severely underreported.

Throughout the state, our Charlotte, North Carolina nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers have seen the devastating effect abuse, exploitation, and neglect can have on victims and the toll this type of violence can take. The Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo LLP represents victims who have been injured, neglected, assaulted, or abused at assisted living facilities and in private homes.

What to do if you suspect elder abuse/neglect:
If you are able to, it is important that you remove your loved one from an abusive situation and keep him/her from any alleged perpetrators. You may need to get your loved one medical help for injuries. You should also speak with a Charlotte, North Carolina elder abuse law firm to explore your legal options.

Because North Carolina is a mandatory reporting state, if you suspect any type of abuse or neglect or exploitation, you must notify your county’s social services department about your suspicions right away. Your name will be kept confidential unless a court order mandates otherwise. You could be saving someone’s life.

North Carolina Observes Vulnerable Adult and Elder Abuse Awareness Month, North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services

Related Web Resources:
National Center on Elder Abuse

Inside Elder Care

Elder Abuse, Medline Plus

More Blog Posts:
Forsyth County-Owned Assisted Living Facility Accused of North Carolina Nursing Home Abuse, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, March 31, 2011

Two People Sustain Burn Injuries in Fire at Charlotte, North Carolina Nursing Home, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, February 12, 2011

North Carolina Nursing Home Negligence: Britthaven of Chapel Hill Sued for Inadequate Care, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, July 10, 2010


Veteran Settles North Carolina Personal Injury Lawsuit with Cab Driver Over Stabbing

May 4, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

A North Carolina personal injury settlement has been reached between a US army veteran and the taxicab driver who stabbed him. The incident between James Gregory Swafford and cab driver Gaston Leigh Watlington occurred on September 6, 2009.

According to Swafford’s Winston-Salem, North Carolina injury lawsuit, the cab driver, whose drunk and disruptive girlfriend was seated in the front passenger seat, drove him around for over an hour. When Swafford realized that the taxi driver wasn’t taking him home, he got into an argument with Watlington and that was when the latter stabbed him several times. During the altercation, Swafford sustained injuries to his neck, shoulders, back, hands, face, nose, and ribs. He also suffered internal injuries, two collapsed lungs, aand experienced severe bleeding.

The plaintiff says that the two companies that employed Watlington,
Wilco Transportation Co. and Willard’s Cab Co. Inc.—they are also defendants named in this case—did not do a proper check of Watlington’s driving and criminal records, which include drug charges and convictions.

Swafford would go on to plead guilty to assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury. He was given a suspended sentence of up to three years and one month, supervised probation of 30 months, and 90 days in the Forsyth County jail.

North Carolina Personal Injury
If you got hurt because someone else purposely hurt you, you could hold her/him liable in civil court by filing a North Carolina personal injury lawsuit. The proceedings and outcome of your case would be separate from any criminal case against your assailant.

Lawsuit filed by man stabbed by cab driver settled, Winston-Salem Journal, April 29, 2011

Types of Personal Injury Damages, Justia

More Blog Posts:
North Carolina Personal Injury Lawsuit: Parents of Child Sex Abuse Victim Sue the Diocese of Charlotte, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, April 27, 2011

Woman Suing Omni Hotel for Charlotte, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawsuit Claims Bartender Raped Her, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, March 21, 2011

More Charlotte, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawsuits Filed in Alleged Sex Assaults Involving Police Officer Marcus Jackson, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, March 6, 2011

The Number of North Carolina Elder Abuse and Neglect Complaints is Rising, Say State Officials

May 1, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

North Carolina officials are reporting an increase in complaints of possible elder abuse and neglect incidents, with an approximately 20% increase in the the number of requests made between ’06 –’07 and ’07-’08 to state adult-protection officers asking that they further investigate the allegations. One reason for this, according to state ombudsmen for long-term care Sharon Wilder, is that the number of people older than 60 living in North Carolina is on the rise.

By 2030, there are expected to be almost 2.9 million seniors over age 60 living in the state. Wilder also says the number of North Carolina elder abuse complaints are increasing because the children of elderly people living in North Carolina nursing homes are less likely to put up with allowing their loved ones to become the victims of caregiver abuse or nursing home neglect. State officials say that 15% of elder abuse incidents happen in long-term care facilities, with the other incidents taking place in private residences.

One challenge to investigating elder abuse and neglect allegations is that in certain cases, the victim may be too sick or frail to report what is happening to him or her. The News & Observer recently published an article about one case involving Della Jarrett, an 88-year-old woman staying at a Raleigh nursing home. She had unexplained bruises on her face, and no one from Sunnybrook Healthcare and Rehabilitation could explain to Jarrett’s daughter, Doris Weaver, why her mother’s eye and face were bruised and swollen. Jarrett has advanced dementia and cannot walk or roll over.

Weaver reported the incident to Raleigh police. Meantime, Sunnybrook officials suspended an employee but deny that Jarrett was the victim of nursing home abuse. North Carolina law defines caretaker abuse to include the intentional act of inflicting physical injury or pain and purposely depriving someone of services.

Yet even when a nursing home worker isn’t intentionally trying to hurt a resident or withhold the proper care, injuries and accidents can happen. Nursing inexperience can lead to fall accidents, failure to properly clean a resident’s wounds, failure to follow specific feeding procedures, and poor resident supervision.

Abuse hard to verify if injured can’t speak, The News & Observer, June 3, 2009

National Center on Elder Abuse

Related Web Resources:
Nursing Homes,

North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services

Woman Injured In Raleigh, North Carolina Bicycle Accident Dies

May 1, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Nancy Leady, 60, died last week after her bicycle was struck by a 21-year-old North Carolina State student. Brian Reid had been celebrating his 21st birthday when the tragic accident happened. He has been charged with driving while intoxicated, failure to control speed, and misdemeanor death by motor vehicle.

Because a bicyclist does not have any protection, except for a helmet, from the impact of colliding with a car, truck, motorcycle, or bus, many bicyclists are prone to serious injuries when they are involved in a traffic accident. Serious bicycle injuries can include broken bones, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, severed limbs, and death.

In Raleigh, Monroe, Hickory, Charlotte, or anywhere else in North Carolina or South Carolina, one of our bicycle accident lawyers can explore your legal options with you.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

• 622 bicyclists died in traffic accidents in 2003.
• 46,000 others were injured that same year.
• The average age of bicyclists killed in 2003 was 35.
• Over 30% of bicyclist deaths involved alcohol (whether the pedalcyclist or motorist).

In preparation for National Bicycle Safety Month in May, the N.C. Department of Transportation offers the following reminders to motorists about keeping bicyclists safe:

• Keep a lookout for oncoming bicyclists when turning left and wait for them to clear the intersection before completing your turn.
• After passing a bicyclist on your right, take care not to cut them off by immediately turning right in front of them.
• Slow down when passing a bicyclist to make sure the rider is aware of your presence and leave plenty of room between your vehicle and the bicyclist.
• Stay alert for bicyclists who suddenly swerve or turn in front of you.
• Yield to bicyclists, when appropriate, as you would for other motor vehicles.

The N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles says that 114 bicyclists died and almost 2400 others were injured in traffic accidents in North Carolina from 2001 to 2005.

Bicyclist dies after struck by vehicle,, April 24, 2008

May is National Bicycle Safety Month,

Related Web Resource:

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration


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