February 2012

Preventing North Carolina Injuries to Kids: NHTSA Introduces ’10-Year-Old Child’ Crash Test Dummy

February 29, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

In an effort to increase child safety for kids weighing over 65 pounds, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is introducing a new crash test dummy for booster and child safety seats for bigger kids. The “10-Year-old Child” dummy will help provide information related to injury risk involving chest acceleration, knee excursion, and head excursion.

Also, the NHTSA has issued a final rule that now officially revises current federal child safety seat standard to include boosters and car seats for kids weighing 66-80 pounds.  This standard will assess whether higher-weight restraint systems are able to manage crash energy, as well determine if a seat’s structure will stay intact when the dummy is used during testing. Car seat and booster seat makers will have two years to certify that their child car safety devices for higher-weight kids fulfill the latest requirements.

The final rule and new testing requirements are the latest in the government’s efforts to promote car safety for children. Last year, NHTSA urged caregivers and parents to keep kids in harnessed car seats for as long as they can and ensure that weight and height requirements were met and maxed out before deciding that a child no longer needed a booster or car seat. The federal safety agency’s child seat guidance also urged that kids be made to use booster seats until they grew to a size large enough that a seat belt was sufficient to keep them properly secured—especially during a car crash.

Our Charlotte, North Carolina car accident lawyers represent families whose kids were injured in catastrophic car crashes. Although in many cases the negligent driver or the maker of a defective vehicle will likely be the negligent party, sometimes, a child involved in an auto collision does sustain serious injuries because a car seat was defective or failed. In these instances, the victim’s family may have grounds for a North Carolina products liability case against the child safety seat manufacturer.

Just this January, Britax Child Safety, Inc. recalled about 14,220 Chaperone Infant Car Seats because the chair’s harness adjuster had a defective. If the adjuster were to come off the seat, it could render the safety harness straps that secure a baby useless.  At the time that the recall was announced, NHTSA said it didn’t know of any injuries or deaths related to the car seat defect.

It is important that you buy a child safety seat that is the right size for your child (according to age, height, or weight). The car seat must also be a good fit with the vehicle it will be used in, and it must be properly installed.

Our Lumberton, North Carolina child injury attorneys know how devastating it can be to realize that your child was hurt because of someone else’s negligence or due to a situation that was out of your control but could have been prevented.

To schedule your free case evaluation with our Monroe, North Carolina products liability law firm, contact the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, LLP today.

NHTSA Unveils New ’10-Year-Old Child’ Crash Test Dummy, NHTSA, February 21, 2012

Read NHTSA’s Final Rule

Recall: Britax child safety seat—Harness straps will not properly restrain a child, Consumer Reports, January 27, 2012


More Blog Posts:

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

Keeping Your Child Safe During North Carolina Car Crashes, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, September 16, 2009

Motor Vehicle Accidents Continue to Be the #1 Killer of Children, Says World Health Organization, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, December 29, 2008













Anticholinergic Meds May Impair the Brain

February 27, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Are some popular drugs, in fact, dangerous drugs? According to The New York Times, many people don’t realize that there are dozens of antihistamines, painkillers, and psychiatric medications that can negatively impact the brain—especially if the person is elderly. The Times reports that taking more than one of the medications that can have this effect may lead to memory loss and cognitive impairment.

These drugs, known as anticholinergics, block the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is usually tasked with a number of bodily functions (including cognitive function and memory production.) The drugs’ effects are cumulative.

The reason that older patients are at higher risk of brain impairment is that they are more likely than younger persons to be taking multiple medications on a regular basis. Unfortunately, doctors don’t always know about every medication a patient is taking and they don’t always assess the anticholinergic properties of the medications they prescribe.

According to new findings, reported last year in The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, researcher of a study that followed over 13,000 British senior citizens, age 65 and above, found over a two year-period that not only did the patients taking two or more anticholinergic meds earn lower scores on cognitive function tests than elderly persons that weren’t taking this type of medication, but also, heavy med users had a 68% percent higher death rate.

In America, at least 20% of the 36 million people belonging to the age 65 and above age group take one or more anticholinergic drugs. Also, in a study of over 4,000 older people, researchers concluded that people who were taking at three or more anticholinergic drugs on a regular basis for at least 90 days were close to three times as likely as seniors that hadn’t taken this type of medication to be diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment.


Examples of popular anticholinergics: prednisone, codeine, warfarin, digoxin, Benadryl, Paxil, clozapine, and oxybutynin.  Also, there are a lot of over-the-counter medications, including Tylenol PM, antihistamines, and allergy medications, that if someone were to take them could lead to anticholinergic-related effects.

At the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, LLP, our Charlotte, North Carolina dangerous drug lawyers represent clients that became sick or impaired because they took a medication that caused them to suffer a severe side effect. It is important that a drug manufacturer warn of any serious side effects that may result from taking a medication. Over-the-counter drugs, which anyone can pick up without a prescription, are not exempt from this requirement.

Unfortunately, it is the patient that suffers. Examples of other medications that have been linked to serious side effects Celebrex, Fen Phen, Bextra, Fosamax, Ortho Evra, Reglan, PPA, Rezulin, Hydroxycut, HRT, Darvocet, and Darvon.

Our Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury law firm know how intimidating it can be to go after a drug company to pursue damages. There is no reason for you to do this without legal help.

Cocktail of Popular Drugs May Cloud the Brain, The New York Times, February 27, 2012

Study looks at medication risk for elderly, NHS, June 24, 2011

The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 

More Blog Posts:

Prescription Drug-Related Injuries and Deaths Have More than Doubled, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, November 1, 2011

FDA Advisory Panel Meets to Discuss Fosamax and Other Bisphosphonates But Offers No Specific Recommendations on Duration of Long-Term Use, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, September 16, 2011

North Carolina Dangerous Drug: Wrongful Death Lawsuit Blames Yasmin and Ocella Contraceptives for Daughter’s Fatal Pulmonary Embolism, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, June 21, 2011


Road Where Charlotte, North Carolina Truck Crash that Claimed the Lives of Two Young Brothers Happened Has No Sidewalk

February 23, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Brothers Kadrien Brewton, 5, and Jeremy Brewton, 1, died yesterday when a Sears delivery truck struck them. The Charlotte, North Carolina truck accident happened in the morning as they were walking with their dad, Jeremy Brewton, to day care. Jeremy and their baby sister, who was in a stroller, did not sustain injuries.

Police have charged truck driver Jerome Brewton with two counts of misdemeanor death by motor vehicle. Neighbors have said that the area of West Tyvola Road where the deadly collision happened is in desperate need of speed bumps or a sidewalk, which doesn’t exist for about a tenth of a mile stretch despite the fact that pedestrians often walk there and two school bus stops are located nearby.

According to the CharlotteObserver.com, a city transportation department spokesperson has confirmed that West Tyvola from West Boulevard to Old Steele Creek Road needs a sidewalk. Previous to yesterday’s crash, two North Carolina pedestrian accidents have taken place on that area of road in the last 15 years.

Depending on who caused the deadly Charlotte, NC truck collision, the children’s families may have grounds for a North Carolina wrongful death case against the truck driver, Sears, and/or the city. The employer of a truck driver that accidentally kills someone in a crash while on the job can be held liable, as can other related parties, such as the contractor that rented the truck or the manufacturer of a truck that was defective. A government entity also can be held responsible for failing to make a road safe enough by not putting into place an appropriate speed limit, speed bumps, sidewalks, a traffic sign, traffic lights, a pedestrian lane, or other necessary elements.

The siblings are not the only ones to lose their lives in a North Carolina traffic crash this week.  Last night, two people died when a sport utility vehicle that was involved in a police chase struck the vehicle that they were riding. The victims are former Belmont Mayor Kevin Loftin, 56, and his friend Donna Jean Deitz, 60. They were pronounced dead at the crash site. Two other people who were riding a PT Cruiser that was also hit sustained minor injuries.

The Gaston car accident occurred at around 10:15pm. The SUV’s driver, Lester Saunders Norman, Jr., was charged with two counts of second-degree murder.  Police say that they started chasing Norman when he failed to stop at a DWI checkpoint. He was reportedly driving at a speed of around 75 mph when the North Carolina auto collision happened. Norman was operating without a license.

Following the crash, police say that Norman attempted to flee the accident site but was soon apprehended. He is charged with reckless driving while intoxicated, felony death by vehicle, failure to stop at a red light, speeding, assault with a deadly weapon on government officials, driving with a revoked license, and resisting a public officer.

In this type of situation, the victims’ families may be able to pursue a claim not just against a negligent driver but also against police if they could/should have been able to prevent the pursuit from turning deadly.

Every Charlotte, North Carolina car accident is different. The only way to find out if you have a case is to speak with an experienced motor vehicle crash law firm right away. At the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, LLP, we represent clients in Gaston, Mecklenburg, Union, Catawba, Cabarrus, Lincoln, Cleveland, Caldwell, Rowan, Iredell, Stanley, Burke, Alexander, Robeson, Richmond, Scotland, Cumberland, and Anson, North Carolina. We also represent clients in Lancaster, Marlboro, Chesterfield, York, and Dillon, South Carolina.

Belmont Mourns friends struck by fleeing driver, Charlotte Observer, February 23, 2012

Father talks about wreck that killed sons, Gaston Gazette, February 23, 2012

More Blog Posts:

Fatal North Carolina Truck Accident Brings Traffic to a Standstill, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Blog, February 13, 2012

Tragic North Carolina Car Accident Claims Life of a Child on Go-Kart, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Blog, November 6, 2011

Drunk driving a Factor in North Carolina Car Accident that Killed 17-Year-Old Raleigh Student, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Blog, January 31, 2012

USDOT Announces Distracted Driving Guidelines for Car Manufacturers

February 19, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

To further combat the epidemic known as distracted driving, the US Department of Transportation has unveiled a number of proposed guidelines for automakers to limit the distraction that in-vehicle electronic devices can provide. These are voluntary guidelines for entertainment, communications, navigation, and information gathering devices, which aren’t necessary in order to drive a vehicle safely.

Our Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury lawyers are familiar with the risks involved with distracted driving and the catastrophic consequences that can result. Unfortunately, the world has become a place where more and more people can’t help but multi-task with the help of their electronic devices. One of the places where this is happening is in motor vehicles.

Thankfully, lawmakers and safety advocates have become more proactive at taking steps to prevent distracted driving.  North Carolina has a statewide ban on texting while driving. However, it is only drivers under 18 and school bus drivers who aren’t allowed to use a cell phone, and unlike many US states, NC doesn’t ban adults from using handheld phones while driving. This, however, doesn’t mean that using a handheld phone while operating a motor vehicle isn’t dangerous.

Per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s guidelines, specific recommended criteria for electronic devices that are installed in motor vehicles when they are being manufactured would be established. Ideally, these devices could be operated in a manner that limits how distracting they are for the motorist to use in regards to how much a driver’s hands or eyes have to be engaged that it takes some of the focus away from driving. Phase I of these proposed guidelines also suggest that the device:

  • Be designed in a manner that reduces the complexity and length of the task at hand.
  • Requires that the driver just use one hand so the other hand can stay on the steering wheel
  • Necessitates no more than two seconds of off-road glances.
  • Limits any visual information that is unnecessary to complete the task.
  • Limits how much manual input the driver has to provide to operate the device.
  • Disables visual-manual texting, social media browsing, Internet browsing, and phone dialing while the driver is operating the vehicle—unless it is the passenger who is handling the in-vehicle device.

Distracted driving is a very real danger and it can lead to catastrophic North Carolina car accidents. Unfortunately, many people still don’t think that distracted driving is dangerous as long as they are the ones doing it. Yet one cannot ignore the hundreds of thousands of injuries and thousands of deaths that happen every year because a driver was distracted.

The Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo would be happy to offer you a free case evaluation. Our North Carolina distracted driving lawyers have offices in Charlotte, Monroe, Hickory, and Lumberton.

US Department of Transportation Proposes ‘Distraction’ Guidelines for Automakers, NHTSA, February 16, 2012

Cell phone and texting laws, Governors Highway Safety Association, February 2012


More Blog Posts:

Drunk driving a factor in North Carolina car accident that killed 17-year-old Raleigh student?, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, January 31, 2012

Deadline for North Carolina and South Carolina High School Students to Enter the Michael A. DeMayo Scholarship Program is February 27, 2012 , North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, January 4, 2012

NTSB Calls for Nationwide Ban on Cell Phone Use while Driving,  North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, December 16, 2011


$20,000 Union County, North Carolina Dog Bite Settlement is Reached in 5-Year-Old’s Waxhaw Wrongful Death

February 15, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

The family of 5-year-old Makayla Woodard has reached a $20,000 North Carolina wrongful death settlement with the owner of the two pit bulls that attacked her and her grandmother.  The incident happened on January 12, 2011. Woodard’s 67-year-old grandmother, Nancy Presson, survived the Waxhaw dog attack with serious injuries.

Meantime, the  dogs’ owner, Michael Gordon, is charged with involuntary manslaughter over the tragic North Carolina dog mauling. His homeowner’s insurance will be providing the money to pay the settlement.

The Charlotte Observer reports that prior to the Union County, North Carolina dog attack, neighbors had complained that the pit bulls were allowed to roam free. Although Gordon’s property has a fence, he has acknowledged that the animals were known to jump over it.

According to DogsBite.org, pit bulls are one of the most deadly dog breeds. The Web site reports that its research indicates that between 2005 and 2011, 73% of dog attacks resulting in fatalities involved both pit bull terriers and rottweilers. However, the Web site is quick to point out that pit bulls and their mixes are responsible for over twice as many dog attack incidents as those involving rottweilers.

Because North Carolina has a dog bite statue that protects owners from liability to a certain degree, it is important that you or your loved one is represented by an experienced Union County, NC personal injury law firm that understands the nature of dog attacks and despite the existing dog bite law knows how to successfully work with the legal system to help you or your injured family member recover all of the compensation that you are owed.

Per the statute, a dog owner can be held strictly liable for dog injuries to a person if he/she purposely allowed a canine over 6-months of age to run at large at night. If the owner’s dog did not violate the running at large prohibition, strict liability can exist but the animal needs to have seriously injured or killed a person, been declared “potentially dangerous” in the past due to previous behavior, or was used for dog fighting. A dog can be deemed “potentially dangerous” if it has caused terror to a human being when not on the owner’s property, seriously injured or killed another animal, or bitten a person and caused disfiguring lacerations or broken bones that warranted hospitalization and/or surgery.

As you can see, these stipulations can be tough to get around. Yet they cannot negate the seriousness of injuries, pain, suffering, disfigurement, and loss that can result when a dog attacks a human being. The sooner you start exploring your legal options, the better for you and your family.

Family of 5-year-old killed by pit bulls get $20,000 settlement, Charlotte Observer, February 8, 2012

Michael Gordon indictment, WBTV


NC girl dies after pit bull attack, grandmother severely injured, WISTV, January 13, 2011
More Blog Posts:

Waxhaw Pit Bull Attack Leaves 5-Year-Old Dead and Her Grandmother with Serious Injuries, December 1, 2010

Union County, North Carolina Dog Bite Lawsuit Blames School Staff for Incident on the Playground, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, August 31, 2011

Eye Complications Can Develop in Children Suffering from North Carolina Dog Bite Injuries to the Face, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, October 29, 2010

Listeria Contamination Prompts North Carolina Company to Recall Chicken Salad Products

February 7, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

A Bear Creek, North Carolina company is recalling approximately 1,200 lbs of a chicken salad item over concerns that the food items may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. The company is Bost Distributing Company under the business name of Harold Food Company and the

The recalled product is called “Harold Food Co. Grand Strand Deluxe Chicken Salad” (30 pounds). It contain eggs that the US Food and Drug Administration has recalled over concerns that they are contaminated with the Listeria bacteria. Each box’s “Sell By” date is February 15, 2012. Its establishment # is “P-20479.”  The food item was distributed in South Carolina and North Carolina. However, thia identifying information may no longer come with the food item if it was sold as repackaged sandwiches.

Listeria monocytogene

Consuming this bacteria can be potentially fatal. While healthy people hardly ever contract the deadly disease known as listeriosis, getting it can lead to severe headaches, high fever, nausea, and neck stiffness. It can also cause stillbirths, miscarriages, and deadly infections in babies, people with weakened immune systems, elderly persons, people suffering from HIV, and those receiving chemotherapy treatment.

North Carolina Products Liability

Food is a product that if it isn’t properly prepared, stored, or preserved, can cause illness, infection, and even death. If you believe that food that you bought or were served caused your sickness or the death of a loved one, you may have grounds for a Charlotte, North Carolina products liability lawsuit.

Food poisoning can be very painful and uncomfortable for the victim and may result in health complications. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are about 76 million food poisoning cases in this country alone. Some 300,000 people afflicted by food poisoning will have to go to the hospital. About 5,000 will end up dying.

You may have grounds for a North Carolina products liability case against a food manufacturer, food service provider, or restaurant. In addition to food poisoning, there may be other reasons why you would have grounds for filing a North Carolina food injury lawsuit. For instance, there may have been a foreign object in your food that caused you to break a tooth or injure your jaw. A liquid or prepared food item might have been too hot that you ended up suffering a burn injury as a result. Other illnesses that can result from contaminated food can include:

  • Salmonella
  • Botulism
  • E. coli
  • Shigella
  • Norovirus
  • Hepatitis A.

Illness and even death can also occur if a food item fails to warn that it includes a particular ingredient and because of this someone ends up getting an allergic reaction.

Do not hesitate to contact our Charlotte, North Carolina products liability law firm. The Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo LLP would like to offer you a free case evaluation.

North Carolina Firm Recalls Chicken Salad Products Due To Possible Listeria Contamination, USDA, February 7, 2012

Listeria monocytogenes, FDA

More Blog Posts: 

North Carolina Personal Injury Lawsuit: Charlotte Woman Who Lost Her Breasts and an Arm in Propeller Accident Sues For Damages, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, January 25, 2012

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

North Carolina Dangerous Drug: Wrongful Death Lawsuit Blames Yasmin and Ocella Contraceptives for Daughter’s Fatal Pulmonary Embolism, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, June 21, 2011


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