November 2011

Tragic North Carolina Car Accident Claims Life of a Child on Go-Kart

November 30, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Last Tuesday, 6-year-old boy from Duplin County was killed in a horrific North Carolina car accident on NC-111 in Chinquapin. The AP reports that the fatal North Carolina car accident occurred around 4 PM. According to the news report: “authorities’ said the boy was riding beside his older brother, who was driving a four-wheeler…the boy apparently didn’t see the oncoming vehicle and pulled out into the road.”

According to a local station, WITN, the 6-year-old, who attended Chinquapin Elementary School, was hit by the secretary of his school.

This horrendous tragedy strikes an emotional chord in anyone who has cared for young children. In many ways, this is every parent’s worst fear come true, and we can only hope that the family of the boy receives compassion, empathetic attention, and good healing.

Can the North Carolina car accident prevention community draw any lessons from this sad case?

Without probing into the details of what happened, it’s difficult to extrapolate. However, the report does highlight, once again, how tragedies can happen even under close adult scrutiny. Young children are constantly testing the limits of their physical environment, and they may not be fully aware of the risks inherent in their activities until too late.

While caretakers can (and probably should) do more to monitor children’s behavior and erect safe, protective areas for kids to play (without serious consequences), there are only so many strategies and tactics you can deploy to protect yourself against the chaos of life.

All that said, if you or someone your care about has been hurt in a North Carolina car accident, you may be able to avail yourself of powerful resources to get compensation for injuries, medical care, and more. A respectable and experienced North Carolina car crash law firm can help you understand your rights and what to do next.

More Web Resources:

6-year-old boy dies in a go-kart crash

Go-kart tragedy in Chinquapin

Former Penn State University Assistant Coach Jerry Sandusky Hit with First Child Sex Abuse Lawsuit

November 30, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Periodically, our North Carolina personal injury blog covers cases that that have made national headlines. This sex abuse lawsuit is the first one in filed in the wake of allegations contending that Jerry Sandusky, an ex-Penn State University football coach, molested and sexually assaulted a number of boys over the years. The university and The Second Mile camp, which is the charity that Sandusky founded, are also named as defendants.

The plaintiff, now a 29-year-old man, claims that Sandusky sexually abused him more than 100 times during the 90’s. John Doe A is not one of the eight boys cited in a grand jury report involving Sandusky. The alleged victim says he was 10 when he met the former assistant coach and that Sandusky threatened to hurt him and his family if he told anyone about the molestation. In his child sex abuse complaint, John Doe A contends that “institutional failure” and “institutional concealment” let Sandusky continue to “thrive and prosper.”

Meantime, Sandusky, who is charged with 40 criminal counts related to the alleged sex abuse of young boys, continues to claim that he is innocent. Although he admitted to NBC reporter Bob Costas that he “horsed around” in showers with some of the kids, he maintains that he did not molest or sexually assault any of them.

Meantime, Penn State has taken a beating because of the accusations against Sandusky, who continued to use the University’s facilities even after he was no longer assistant football coach. Tim Curley, who is Penn State Athletic Director, and Gary Schultz, who is VP of finance and business, are each charged with one count of failure to report the abuse and one count of felony perjury.

Also unscathed in the sandal are famous Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno and Penn State President Graham Spanier, who have both lost their jobs. The University and its football program are blamed for failing to appropriately deal with the sex abuse allegations against Sandusky when they first came up years ago.

In what could lead to more civil lawsuits—and unrelated to the ones against Sandusky—Bernie Fine, the associate head coach at Syracuse University, is also accused of sexual abuse. The US Secret Service has been brought into the probe against him.

Three men are claiming that Fine molested them when they were youths. Two of those that came forward used to be Syracuse ball boys. Fine says he is innocent. The US Attorney in the Northern District of New York is heading the investigation.

North Carolina Child Sex Abuse
Our Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury lawyers represent children and adults that were the victims of sexual abuse. You may be able to recover compensation from your abuser and anyone that allowed that could/should have stopped the abuse from happening.

First lawsuit filed against Sandusky in Penn State child sex scandal, CNN, November 30, 2011

Agents search Fine’s former office, Fox Sports, November 30, 2011

Paterno fired over Penn St. child abuse scandal, CBS News, November 9, 2011

More Blog Posts:
Cabarrus County Sex Abuse Allegations Leads to Former Teacher’s Arrest, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, November 15, 2011

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

 

Prevent North Carolina Motor Vehicle Crashes This Holiday Season by Practicing Safe Driving

November 25, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Once more, millions of Americans are hitting the road this holiday season to celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends. According to AAA, about 42.5 million people are expected to travel at least 50 miles over this four-day weekend alone.

With more vehicles comes the likelihood of traffic, congestion, and short tempers, as motorists that are in a hurry attempt to get to their destinations as quickly and safely as possible. Unfortunately, these conditions can also increase the likelihood of a North Carolina car accident happening. At the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, LLP, we wish you all a safe Thanksgiving.

You may not be able to control the behavior of others on the road, but you can take deliberate preventive action, including:

• Check your car before you go. Are tires properly inflated? Are auto fluids at the proper level? Are your brakes in proper working condition?
• Bring emergency supplies, including a first-aid kit and basic auto repair tools.
• Try not to overload your vehicle with too many people or too much cargo.
• Make sure you never run out of gas.
• Make sure that kids are properly restrained, whether with a seat belt, child safety seat, or booster chair.
• Don’t have more people in the vehicle than there are seat belts. Make sure everyone is buckled up.
• If you are traveling with pets, make sure that they are properly secured so that they don’t pose a distraction
• Obey all traffic rules
• Don’t speed
• Have patience with road conditions, traffic, and with other drivers
• Avoid talking on a cell phone or texting
• If you can, travel before or after the hours when traffic is heaviest
• Don’t drink too much alcohol before getting behind the steering wheel
• Remember that eating a lot can put one in a food coma. If you feel too drowsy to drive after eating, then wait until you are feeling more awake, let someone else drive, or spend the night where you are and wait until the next day.

Dealing with the aftermath of a Lumberton, North Carolina car crash is the last task you likely want to attend to on Thanksgiving Day. That said, the sooner you start exploring your legal options, the better. Should you decide to hire a Monroe, North Carolina personal injury law firm, your lawyer can start preparing your case while the evidence and witness accounts are still fresh. Depending on the seriousness of your injuries, there may be a lot to consider in terms of hospital bills, lost wages, property damage, and other costs. Retaining a Hickory, North Carolina traffic collision law firm allows you to let them worry about these details while you and your family get on with the recovery process.

North Carolina Bicycle Accident Prevention 101: Why Are You REALLY Not Wearing Your Bike Helmet?, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Blog, November 18, 2011

How Much Does Chronic Stress Contribute to North Carolina Car Accidents?, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Blog, November 11, 2011

High School Seniors Start Sending Applications to Qualify for the Michael A. DeMayo Scholarship Program, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, October 26, 2011

Charlotte, North Carolina Nursing Homes: Bringing Good Cheer to Your Loved Ones During The Holidays

November 20, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

With the holiday season just getting started, now is a good time to plan a visit to see your loved one at nursing home. This time of year can be rough for nursing home patients, who may miss their friends and family more than usual. A visit to bring them holiday cheer can lift their spirits. spirits. It can also be good time to make sure that your relative or friend is not suffering from Charlotte, North Carolina nursing home abuse or neglect.

A few steps you can take to make sure your visit will benefit your loved one:
• Find out when is the best time to visit. You don’t want to show up in the middle of a physical therapy session or when your loved one is not available for some other reason.
• Make sure that you customize your visit according to the resident’s needs. For example, should you take the patient out of the assisted living facility for lunch or will it be better if you stay on the premises?
• Think of activities you can do together that the nursing home resident will enjoy.

Spending quality time with your loved one is what matters. However, while you are visiting—especially if you don’t go there on a frequent basis—it is also a good idea to check out the facility and observe staff to make sure that he/she is getting the proper nursing care and living in a safe environment.

• Does your loved one seem relaxed and content?
Do you notice any awkward interactions between the patient and nursing home workers or patients?
• Does he/she seem depressed or fearful?
• Does he/she have unexplained bruises or other injuries?
• Observe nursing home staff. How do they interact with the residents and each other?
• Is the assisted living facility clean?
When you ask staff members about your loved one’s care plan do they seem involved and informed?

While directly asking your relative/friend about his/her experience is helpful, not every patient can speak out because of dementia or other health issues or out of fear. Our Hickory, North Carolina nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers want you to know that if you suspect that your loved one is being mistreated or not getting the proper care you may have grounds for a lawsuit against the assisted living facility.

You should also remove your him/her from any suspected abusive or dangerous situation and notify the authorities about your concerns. The sooner you speak with a Lumberton, North Carolina personal injury lawyer about your suspicions, the better.

Licensed Facilities, NC Division of Health Service Regulation

Nursing Homes, North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services

More Blog Posts:
North Carolina Nursing Home Negligence: Proper Feeding of Residents Can Prevent Choking Accidents and Other Food-Related Injuries and Illnesses, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, October 11, 2011

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

Cabarrus County Sex Abuse Allegations Leads to Former Teacher’s Arrest

November 15, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Christopher Nathan White has been charged with one count of statutory sex offense and two counts of unlawful sexual activity. White, 36, used to teach at Concord High School in Cabarrus County.

The alleged Cabarrus County, North Carolina sex abuse is said to have occurred six years ago and involved two students, then 15 and 17. While White was teaching at the high school when these incidents would have occurred, police are not saying whether they occurred on school grounds.

Sexual Abuse Allegations
Depending on the specifics of the case, the students and their families may have grounds for filing a North Carolina sexual abuse lawsuit against not just White but also the school over the assault crimes. Schools are responsible for making sure that the people that they hire will not hurt their students or take advantage of their authority in any other way. They also can be held liable for North Carolina personal injury for any injuries that happen to students while under their watch—especially if the injuries could/should have been prevented.

Unfortunately, child sex abuse by teachers on students is not as rare as we’d like to think and they can happen to kids of all ages.

According to USAToday.com:

• Before age 18, one out of six boys and one out of for girls will be the victim of sex abuse
• Sex abuse affects occurs in all socioeconomic groups
• 90% of the time assailants are someone trusted by the family

Kids are easy targets for adults that have authority over them, whether in a supervisory or a guardian position. Meantime, adults in such roles are able to gain easy access to their targets, who may not understand what is happening to them or are scared to protest or report that they’ve been victimized.

Penn State Sex Abuse Scandal
Recently making national headlines are the sex abuse allegations surrounding ex-Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky who has been charged with sexually assaulting several boys. Although he retired in 1999, Sandusky continued to use the university’s facilities to work with The Second Mile, an organization that helps at-risk kids. A number of the boys that belonged to this group became his alleged victims. Sandusky, who was arraigned on 40 criminal counts, claims he is innocent.

Meantime, legendary Penn State football coach Joe Paterno has been fired. People want to know why he did not act to stop or prevent the abuses. Perjury charges have also been filed against Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and finance and business vice president Gary Schultz. The two men allegedly neglected to tell police about the abuse allegations. It wouldn’t be a surprise if the victims and their families decided to sue Penn State, Sandusky, and those that either allowed the abuse to happen, failed to report the allegations, or covered up the incidents.

To find out if you have grounds for a Charlotte, North Carolina sex abuse case, you should speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer right away. Even if the abuse happened years ago, you still may be able to pursue damages.

Ex-Penn St. coach Sandusky arrested, Fox Sports, November 7, 2011

Paterno fired over Penn St. child abuse scandal, CBS News, November 9, 2011

Ex-Concord High teacher charged with sexual offenses, Charlotte Observer, November 15, 2011

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

Charlotte, North Carolina Products Liability: Lawsuit Blames HALO SleepSack For Baby’s Tooth Injury

November 9, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

A 2-year-old must now wear a fake tooth after her real one got yanked out by the zipper tab of the HALO SleepSack that she was wearing. At the time, the title girl was just 14-months-old. Now, her family has filed a North Carolina products liability lawsuit against th wearable sleep blanket’s manufacturer.

The infant sleeper can be bought in stores, on the Internet, and at baby consignment sales. The HALO SleepSack is marketed as a blanket alternative. The company HALO told local channel WBTV that it has decided to redesign the zipper. However, it claimed that the risk of the type of accident that Taylor was involved in is under one in a million.

According to Taylor’s mom Lora Stern, the little girl’s tooth was pulled out of her gums that the blanket’s zipper tab got stuck on after the little girl kicked her feet, which, at the time, were close to her mouth. Taylor is not the only child to sustain an infant injury from the HALO SleepSack. One 9-month-old boy also sustained dental damage in a similar accident.

HALO SleepSack has also been linked to SIDS and child suffocation injuries.

Unfortunately, there are infant products out there that pose a threat of serious injury or death to babies. It is the responsibility of product manufacturers to make sure their consumer goods are free from any defects or flaws that could cause anyone to get hurt.

One of the few times that a parent or guardian can leave a baby alone without supervision is while they are sleep. This is one more reason why it is important that infant products be free from defects or dangers because there may not be an adult present protecting them from such hazards.

Even though the Consumer Product Safety Commission is responsible for recalling products that have since their release proved dangerous or unsafe, sometimes, recalls are not issued at all or they aren’t announced until after there have already been serious injuries or deaths. You may be able to file a North Carolina child injury lawsuit against a manufacturer to recover damages.

Some examples of accidents and injuries that have occurred because of unsafe or defective products:

• Suffocation
• Strangulation
• Choking
• Fall accidents
• Fingertip amputations
• Stomach problems from swallowing magnets and other small objects
• Traumatic brain injuries
• Fractures
• Eye injuries
• Burn injuries
• Lead poisoning
• Entrapment accidents

It is important that a manufacturer warn of any risks involved in using any type of consumer good and offer instructions on how to avoid them. Failure to warn of dangers or provide proper directions can be grounds for a products liability case.

There also may be other parties that can be held liable, such as the product’s distributor or seller.

Family says zipper yanked out baby’s tooth, WBTV, October 23, 2011

CPSC

SafeKids USA

More Blog Posts:
North Carolina Products Liability?: Toning Shoes May Cause Injury, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, August 10, 2011

Will New Car Seat Guidelines Decrease the Number of North Carolina Child Injuries that Occur During Traffic Crashes?, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, April 6, 2011

Drop-Side Crib Ban and Tougher Crib Safety Rules Will Hopefully Prevent Some North Carolina Child Injuries and Deaths, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, December 29, 2010

Prescription Drug-Related Injuries and Deaths Have More Than Doubled

November 1, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

A study released on Tuesday shows that the number of cases where serious health issues (including personal injury and wrongful death) were caused by prescription medication has increased dramatically between 1998 and 2007.

In 1998, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported 34,966 incidents where someone experienced adverse reactions to drugs. This year, the figure was 89,842. The study can be found in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

The FDA defines serious side effects to drugs as including resulting birth defect, wrongful death, hospitalization, or disability. The study results come from reports made by drug makers to the FDA.

Close to 1500 drugs were named for causing serious health injuries to users. Painkillers was responsible for a large number of health problems. The drug ranked number one as a cause of death over the eight-year time frame was Oxycodone, which was held responsible for 5,548 fatalities. The study can be found in the latest issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Every year, millions of people in the U.S. take prescription drugs and over the counter medicines to treat different health problems and medical conditions or to stay healthy. It is unfortunate that the use of certain medications have lead to serious injuries, health problems, and the death of many users.

Here is a list of some of the potentially serious and deadly side effects that can occur from a “dangerous” drug:

• Vomiting
• Stroke
• Heart attack
• Insomnia
• Kidney failure
• Birth defect
• Memory loss
• Hypertension
• Stomach aches
• Death

It is frequently not until after many victims are injured or killed because of a particular pharmaceutical drug that a drug recall is issued.

Over the years, victims of the following defective drugs have filed dangerous drug claims and lawsuits against manufacturers or other liable parties:

• Celebrex
• ReNu
• Trileptal
• Ortho Evra
• Fosamax
• Vioxx
• Bextra
• Fen Phen
• HRT
• PPA

Bad reactions to prescription drugs soar, The Washington Times, September 11, 2007

Related Web Resources:

Archives of Internal Medicine

Dangerous Prescription, PBS.org

 
 

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