October 2011

Worker Killed in Charlotte, North Carolina Construction Fall Accident

October 31, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

A worker who plunged three stories off a roof has died from his Charlotte, North Carolina construction accident injuries. The Mecklenburg County fall accident occurred at the Pike Energy Solutions building on October 26.

At around 8am, the worker and a garbage shoot that was located on the roof both fell off the top of the building. The worker, who ended up in an industrial sized dumpster, was pronounced dead at the Charlotte, North Carolina fall accident site. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is investigating the deadly incident.

Unfortunately, falls are one of the more common causes of construction accident fatalities. Statistics show that 30% of construction deaths a year are a result of falls from roofs, scaffolds, cranes, through elevator shafts, holes in the floor, and because of falling objects.

Construction crews and their companies should make sure that safe working conditions are implemented at all times—especially when the work is being done off the ground and at elevated heights. Are harnesses required? Should there be barricades put up? Is the area safe enough to have people working there? Are safety equipment and tools free from any defects that could cause them to fail?

Fall accidents can lead to serious injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, internal injuries, blunt trauma injuries, and even death. While you cannot sue your employer for your Charlotte, North Carolina construction accident injury, many construction jobs usually have other parties involved in the project. Negligence on the part of these third parties could allow you to seek North Carolina personal injury or wrongful death damages, as well as obtain North Carolina workers’ compensation benefits from your employer.

At the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, we represent clients injured in all kinds of North Carolina construction accidents, including trench collapses, electrical accidents, welding accidents, construction blasts, machinery accidents, scaffolding accidents, motor vehicle crashes, accidents involving falling objects, crush injury accidents, fires, gas explosions, construction equipment accidents, ladder falls, conveyor accidents, forklift accidents, bulldozer accidents, boiler room accidents, elevator accidents, building collapses, and other types of construction accidents.

2010 Workplace Fall Accident Facts (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
• 635 worker fall accidents
• Since 2007, deadly falls in the private construction industry have gone down by 42%

Unfortunately, for many construction workers involved in serious accidents, their careers are over and their source of livelihood gone.

You want to work with a North Carolina construction accident company that understands the nature of these types of injuries and how they can happen. There are usually numerous parties involved in working a construction job, and determining who is liable can be a daunting job unless you know what to do.

Man dies after 3-story fall into construction bin in north Charlotte, WSOCTV, October 26, 2011

Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries Summary, 2010, Bureau of Labor Statistics, August 25, 2010

Worker Killed in 3-Story Fall at Charlotte Construction Site, Justice News Flash, October 26, 2011

More Blog Posts:
Charlotte Construction Worker’s Death is Third Work Accident Involving Wachovia Project in a Month, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, December 15, 2008

North Carolina Worker Sustains Life-Threatening Injuries After Fall At Charlotte Construction Site, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, December 15, 2008

Deadly New York Crane Accident Highlights Safety Issues As Multiple Cranes Operate in Charlotte, North Carolina, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, March 19, 2008

High School Seniors Start Sending Applications to Qualify for the Michael A. DeMayo Scholarship Program

October 26, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Our Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury law firm plays an active role in helping decrease the number of drunk driving accidents that happen every year. Part of our efforts comes to fruition with the Michael A. DeMayo Scholarship Program. Every year, we award $2,500 college scholarships to a number of high school seniors.

Recipients are selected from a pool of participants from the North Carolina counties of Mecklenburg, Cumberland, Gaston, Anson, Catawba, Richmond, Union, Scotland, Cabarrus, Robeson, Cleveland, Burke, Lincoln, Alexander, Rowan, Iredell, Stanly, and Caldwell and the South Carolina Counties of Lancaster, York, Marlboro, Chesterfield, and Dillon. In addition to a scholarship application, candidates must submit a presentation encouraging fellow teens to not drink and drive. Sat or ACT scores, high school transcript, letters of recommendation, community/school involvement, and volunteer activities will also be considered. Please click here for more information about the program and how to apply. The contact person for the 2012 Michael A. DeMayo Scholarship Program is Kristine Woolley. Communications Director. You can reach her at kwoolley@demayolaw.com. Or (704) 343-4644.

Teens and Drunk Driving
Our Charlotte, North Carolina car crash lawyers believe that it is important to keep reminding teenagers that not only is underage drinking a bad idea, but also so is drunk driving.

Some reasons why teenagers drink and drive:
• Risk-taking
• The desire to experience the effects of alcohol
• Peer pressure
• The need to fit in
• False sense of immortality

Not only is drunk driving potentially fatal, but also alcohol consumption at a young age can impact memory, long-term thinking, and cause liver problems, and hormonal issues. Also, alcohol may impair judgment, the ability to gauge distances, slows reaction time, blurs vision, and can cause a person to engage in high-risk activities.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every day, eight teens are killed in motor crashes daily. Drunk driving is one of the behaviors that cause serious injuries and death to teens and others. Also, a drunken driver is subject to criminal charges especially if serious injury or death resulted. Help us make a difference in spreading the word about the dangers of drunk driving.

Find out about the Michael A. DeMayo Scholarship Program.

Fill out an application

Related Web Resources:

Teen Drivers, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

“Like” The Law Offices of Michael A DeMayo on Facebook

Underage Drinking, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

More Blog Posts:

North Carolina Personal Injury Law Firm Announces the 2011 Michael A. DeMayo Scholarship Program Winners, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, June 25, 2011

North Carolina Car Accident Law Firm and Former Winston-Salem TV Anchor Join Forces to Combat Drunk Driving Among Teen Drivers, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, April 22, 2010

NHTSA Ranks North Carolina and South Carolina as Two US States With Greatest Increase In DUI Deaths, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, September 2, 2008

For Many North Carolina Car Accident Victims, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Can Create Havoc

October 21, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Of the more than 2 million people injured in US auto crashes each year that are lucky enough to survive, a number of them may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder—up to 40% even, estimates the US Department of Transportation. This is no surprise, consider that traffic collisions are among the leading causes of PTST. You may be able to obtain North Carolina car accident compensation for this and any other debilitating injuries that were caused by another party’s negligence.

Remember, physical injuries are not the only type of injuries that can occur during a motor vehicle crash. There is also pain and suffering, mental anguish, and emotional trauma. While invisible, psychological and emotional injuries can also take a toll, severely impairing a victim while negatively impacting his/her life.

Post-traumatic stress disorder can arise after someone has suffered a life-threatening or frightening experience. This may cause severe anxiety and emotional/mental paralysis in the person. Signs of possible PTSD:

• Flashbacks of the incident
• Reliving the accident as if it were happening again now
• An irrational fear that the same accident will happen to the victim again
• Physical symptoms arising when the person is reminded what happened. Symptoms may include rapid breathing, nausea, elevated heart rate, and sweating
• Anger issues
• Sleep difficulties
• Nightmares
• Disinterest in former passions, hobbies, and activities
• The need to be constantly vigilant
• Depression
• Alcohol or drug abuse
• Emotional numbness
• Problems concentrating
• Suicidal thoughts
• Eating disorders
• A higher risk of developing physical health issues, such as diabetes, heart problems, and sexual dysfunction

PTSD can happen not just to the person that actually experienced the catastrophic incident but also to those that witnessed it or were there afterwards to help out, such as police and rescue workers. Family and close of those that were in the accident can also develop PTSD.

This condition can affect not just the victim’s personal well-being, but also his/her career and relationships. People suffering from PTSD are more likely to miss work and not do as good of a job as those without PTSD. Problems concentrating and sleep difficulties can also make it hard for the person to be productive or meet goals. The impact of all the symptoms listed above can also affect how the person relates to people and deals with life. This can place at toll on marriages, family life, and relationships.

You want to work with a Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury law firm that understands the nature of PTSD and how to prove that you developed your condition because you were involved in an accident that occurred as a result of someone else’ negligence. Remember, PTSD can occur following any type of traumatic incident. This means that if you were sexually assaulted, abused at a nursing home, the victim of a violent crime, or survived a fall at a construction site, you may have developed PTSD as a response to what happened.

The Effect of PTSD on a Person’s Life, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, September 6, 2011

Talking to Your Friends and Colleagues about a Traumatic North Carolina Car Accident, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Blog, October 19, 2011

Are Gruesome Reports About North Carolina Car Accidents Rendering Us Insensitive to Dangers of the Road?, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Blog, October 3, 2011


North Carolina Wrongful Death Lawsuit Seeks Damages from Four Asheville Bars Over Fatal Car Crash

October 16, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

A year after a drunk driver killed Mandie Kirkconnell in an Asheville car crash, her estate is suing four bars for her North Carolina wrongful death. Kirkconnell suffered fatal injuries on October 2, 2010 when her vehicle was hit by a car driven by Jennifer Kessler, whose BAC at the time was .262%. That’s more than three times above the .08% legal limit. The 26-year-old later pleaded guilty to driving while impaired, felony death by vehicle, and reckless driving to endanger.

The defendants in this North Carolina wrongful death complaint are The Orange Peel, Highland Brewing Co., Temptations Red Room, and Sazerac. Per the civil lawsuit, employees at Highland Brewing, where Kessler first stopped, either should have known or already knew that she was drunk when they served her drinks. She drank more alcohol at the other three bars.

There is a North Carolina statute that bars establishments with Alcoholic Beverage Control permits from knowingly giving or selling alcohol to anyone who is ‘intoxicated.” Also, when third party ended up getting hurt or dying in a drunk driving accident because an establishments sold alcohol to minors or an already intoxicated persons, the state allows for the latter to be held liable through North Carolina personal injury and wrongful death complaints. Recovery is limited to $500,000.

Drunk Driving
According to a paper recently published by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers, even though drunk driving appears to have gone down 30% in the last five years, about 4 million Americans still acknowledge to having at least once driven while under the influence of alcohol. This has led to 112 million alcohol impaired driving-related incidents and thousands of deaths. That’s still 1/3rd of all driving deaths.

Telephone survey data was used by the CDC used telephone survey data to put together its drunk driving figures for 2010. Among its latest statistics:

• 81% of drunk driving incidents involved men.
• 85% of those involved in impaired driving incidents have engaged in binge drinking.
• People who didn’t consistently use seat belts were four times more likely to drive drunk.

The CDC researchers’ report can be found in the agency’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Drunk driving can cause devastating injuries for those involved. It makes no sense for lives to be lost and families destroyed because someone decided to get into a car and drive. You may have a Charlotte, North Carolina car accident case against a drunk driver or the party/parties that served the motorist alcohol or allowed him/her to drive while intoxicated.

Medical expenses, lost wages, lost benefits, rehabilitation costs, pain and suffering, and funeral and cremation expenses can take a financial toll on the lives of victims and loved ones. There is no reason why you have to foot these burdens alone. Making the responsible parties pay is also a way to hold them accountable for their actions.

Lawsuit seeks damages in fatal drunk driving crash in Asheville, Citizen Times, October 13, 2011

Drunk driving down, still a factor in a third of crash deaths, Los Angeles Times, October 4, 2011

Related Web Resources:

Social Host Liability, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, CDC

More Blog Posts:
Horrific DUI North Carolina School Bus Accident Raises Troubling Questions, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Blog, May 27, 2011

DWI Driver Seriously Hurts Eight People in North Carolina Auto Accident, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Blog, May 12, 2011

Former News Anchor Tolly Carr Settles North Carolina Wrongful Death Lawsuit with Family of Man Killed in Drunk Driving Accident, North Carolina Injury Lawyers Blog, November 24, 2008

North Carolina Nursing Home Negligence: Proper Feeding of Residents Can Prevent Choking Accidents and Other Food-Related Injuries and Illnesses

October 11, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Assisted living facility staff must make sure that each resident is properly fed. This includes making sure their diet meets their nutritional needs and restrictions and keeping each patient properly hydrated. While feeding someone may sound like an easy, obvious task, depending on the resident, there may be numerous steps involved. Should failure fulfill this responsibility result in injury or illness, the patient and his/her family may have grounds for a Charlotte, North Carolina nursing home negligence lawsuit.

For example, some patients may not be able to chew their food unless meats are cut into small bites, liquefied, handfed by someone else, or inserted through a feeding tube. Failure to make sure a resident’s food is in a form that the patient can easily swallow or digest can result in choking accidents, malnutrition, and even death. If a feeding tube is involved, then nursing staff must make sure that it is properly inserted in the patient’s body so that the food is delivered to the stsomach and not to the lungs or some other body part. Such a mistake can prove fatal and lead to a Charlotte, North Carolina wrongful death case.

Doctors, nutritionists, and nurses need to make sure that any food allergies are noted on a patient’s food chart. If sugar is a no-no, then this too must be made clear. For some patients, too much cholesterol can stress out the heart. In the last few years, gluten sensitivity and lactose intolerance have become more common. Exposing a patient to foods that are bad for his/her health can lead to serious health complications that could/should have been prevented.

It is also the responsibility of nursing home workers to make sure that the kitchen is clean and free from any dangerous bacteria and that food items are properly cleaned, stored, preserved, prepared, and served. Sick and elderly residents tend to have weaker immune systems than healthy persons and food poisoning, E.coli, and other food illnesses can take a toll on their health.

It also goes without saying that even if a nursing home resident can eat on their own and without requiring close supervision that staff make sure that patients are in fact getting the nutrition and liquids that they need. Living at a nursing home can sometimes lead to depression and loneliness for patients, who may miss family and friends, as well as their old way of life. Loss of appetite can cause a patient to neglect his/her well-being, and it is the responsibility of the assisted living facility to make sure that this doesn’t happen.

Related Web Resources:
Nursing Homes, North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services

FDA Food Code

More Blog Posts:
North Carolina Nursing Home Shooting Rampage: Man Found Guilty of Second-Degree Murder, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, September 12, 2011

Forsythe County, North Carolina Nursing Home Negligence?: Resident Who Drowned in Puddle in 2009 is Identified by Police, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, June 16, 2011

Over 18,000 Reports of North Carolina Elder Abuse and Neglect Made in 2011, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, May 9, 2011

Family of College Football Player Files North Carolina Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against WCU Coaching Staff

October 4, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Two years after Western Carolina University football player Ja’Quayvin Smalls passed away following his first college football practice, his family is seeking North Carolina wrongful death damages against the WCU coaching staff.

The junior defensive back, who was from Mount Pleasant, collapsed during a voluntary workout session for new players. Autopsy results reported that he died from an enlarged heart. Exertion and Smalls’ sickle cell trait were listed as factors in his death.

Defendants in this North Carolina wrongful death case include football coach Dennis Wagner, athletic director Chip Smith, head athletic trainer Steven Honbarger, defensive coordinator Matt Pawlowski, former strength coach Brad Ohrt, and assistant athletic trainer Brandon King.

Smalls family says that the coaching staff knew about his condition and they contend that they should have taken precautions to prevent his death. Smalls’s dad, Henry Malcolm Smalls, is claiming gross, negligent, wanton, and willful breach of duty to his son in the defendants’ alleged failure to establish procedures and policies for safely training and conditioning athletes suffering from sickle cell.

Athletic departments and supervisors are responsible for making sure that training and practices are run in a manner that doesn’t jeopardize the health and well-being of athletes. Unfortunately, there have been incidents involving athletes getting sick or dying because the proper safety precautions were not in place or procedures weren’t followed.

For example, insisting that athletes keep practicing in extremely hot temperatures without proper hydration can lead to serious injuries. Per the CDC, heat illness is the leading cause of disability and deaths for young athletes. Permanent organ damage can occur should the body temperature hit 105 degrees. Per the University of North Carolina’s National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research, there have been 30 football player deaths because of illnesses relate to hot weather.

Another cause of athlete injuries involving inadequate supervision or coaching is when a player is pressured to keep playing despite being sick or having suffered an injury. This can exacerbate his/her condition and result in permanent injury or a more serious health issue.

Athletic supervisors and coaches are also supposed to be mindful of any preexisting conditions (Sickle cell trait, a heart condition), an athlete might have and take the necessary precautions to make sure that no resulting complications arise. For example, when someone has sickle cell trait his/her red blood cells can change from road to sickle-shaped. This can prove fatal. According to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, between 2000 and 2007 sickle cell trait was a factor in nine athlete deaths. NATA noted that letting athletes with this trait not part in “day one” football conditioning tests appears to help save lives. Altitude, dehydration, asthma, and heat can increase the risk of sickling.

Recently, a jury awarded the family of Ereck Plancher $10 million in his wrongful death. Plancher, who played football for UCF, died in March 2008 after an off-season workout. Plancher also carried the sickle cell trait.

Wrongful death suit seeks more than $10,000 from Western Carolina University, Citizen-Times, September 24, 2011

Smalls Family Files Wrongful Death Suit, Mt. Pleasant Patch, September 27, 2011

Athletic trainers discuss sickle cell trait, USA Today, June 27, 2011

10-years later, Devaughn Darling’s family still fighting, Orlando Sentinel, October 1, 2011

Western Carolina University

More Blog Posts:
Deceased Chapel Hill High School Football Player’s Family Claims Paramedic Malpractice in Their North Carolina Wrongful Death Lawsuit, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, February 9, 2010

Parents File North Carolina Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Lenoir-Rhyne University and Theta Chi Fraternity, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, August 4, 2009

Family of 18-Year-Old Shot by Police During 2006 Home Raid Sues University of North Carolina Wilmington for Wrongful Death, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, November 2, 2008


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