Topic: Uncategorized

Your Dog Bit…When I tried to Rob You!

December 4, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Some things really are just too good to make up.  This guy gets an A in my book for creativity and a D for character.  The D could possibly move to a C if the beard in his mug shot is for No Shave November in an effort to spread awareness for prostate cancer. 

Earlier this week, The Gaston Gazette covered a story about a man who broke into a home and blamed the dog for doing it.  Hahahahhahahah! You cannot make this up.  Jacob Gladden, a 38 year old from Denver, North Carolina was charged with attempted first degree burglary. 

Well, that’s right, first degree—attempted. The large dog barked and frightened the burglar—or we can call him the “defendant.”  This lady was in her house when she says, according to the news story, she heard glass breaking and subsequent barking. The paper did an incredible job covering the story and has provided us all with happy hour small talk.  Hopefully, the 50k bond won’t hinder a quick release.  After all it’s a dog eat dog world in jail.  Haha—sorry.  Hopefully his wife will believe his story that he was cutting across the lady’s yard or he’ll end up in the doghou…I’m sorry…I just can’t.  Hahahahahahahahaha.

Oh last thing—his possible defense to officers “Just passin’ through officer—just a trivial trespass” had a better shot of working until he “spilled the beans to the officer” who wrote the report.  I can vision it now.  As he stands in the lady’s backyard and his shoeprints in the garage, he raises his hands in the air in a Beauty and the Beast way and says, “Be my guest!” when the officers request information and an opportunity to collect evidence. That is dog gone good detective work.  That’s all folks.

Malpractice…More like Foul—practice.

August 30, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

North Carolina can be particularly unwelcoming to claims of medical malpractice. Why? As with most cases that involve negligence, North Carolina requires the plaintiff to show that he in no way contributed to the accident. While this is always challenging, it becomes particularly challenging in the medical malpractice setting for a number of reasons.

In a negligence claim, it is much easier for a group of peers in the community to determine if your conduct was reasonable during and before the incident. In a medical malpractice claim against a general practice physician determining the reasonableness of the doctor’s conduct requires a court to question what other doctors (peers) in the community would have done in the situation given the same circumstances. If a doctor would have done the same, then the doctor’s conduct will most likely be considered reasonable—thus excluding a malpractice claim. Same goes for a specialist. Asking a general practitioner what he would have done in the same situation when the circumstances at issue involve a cardiovascular surgeon you will not likely get the same response.

This sheds light on another problem with a medical malpractice claim. The medical community is a small one. They attend the same conferences, play in the same golf tournaments and answer one another’s questions on the same listserves. Asking one to serve as an expert against a colleague may be especially challenging. Don’t put yourself through the exhaustive and drawn out process of pursuing a medical malpractice claim in North Carolina without talking to us first.

We have helped people across the state fight and win medical malpractice claims. We’re experienced at it. We know what it takes and we’re a phone call away. Call the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo at 877-333-1000. If you uncomfortable about calling an attorney just ask around the community at first. People know us and are familiar with the results we achieve.

Surprise Surprise—A Two Liter of Soda per Day is Dangerous?!

August 21, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Well—hold the phones. A European Health watch group recently spent thousands if not more on a study that produced some shocking conclusions. As it turns out, drinking a two liter of soda per day can cause irregular heartbeats and fainting. I know! I know! Do try to remain calm. It happens all the time that we learn the things we enjoy can be dangerous for us.

Of course, my biggest confusion with all of this is the money and time spent on this study. Wouldn’t a simple Internet search produce the same scientific research with astonishingly similar results? As it turns out, the study came in response to a woman who drank a two liter every day for sixteen years. Who has that kind of dedication these days?

Well, the love affair with soda came to a close after the woman was hospitalized for the heart problems. The fact that it’s soda makes it very difficult for me to empathize with her; however, it is too often a reality that people become ill as a result of ingesting something dangerous for them—but didn’t have knowledge of those dangers. This is often the case with new medicines that hit the market. The Food and Drug Administration pushes it through and approves it, then pharmaceutical sales reps incentivize doctors to prescribe it to you—the consumer. This otherwise functioning capitalist market approach fails and you the consumer are the most injured.

If you have taken a dangerous drug and believe the drug manufacturer is to blame, call the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo today. It won’t cost you anything to see if we can help. Fill out a free case evaluation on our website, www.demayolaw.com. Or give us a call any time at 877-333-1000.

Lovable Dangers Can Be So Cute and Cuddly!

August 18, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

If you’re living and breathing as a part of any community you can’t but interact with others in the area. Whether it be in the form of running into the nearest gas station, filling your meds at a local pharmacy or just giving up the congenial nod at the person you cross on the local sidewalk.

Interacting with others in the community is what makes us who we are. It feeds our most sacred and most internal component of what makes us human. The problem, however, often arises when those who we interact with create or cause a dangerous situation during which we are injured. It leaves us asking questions about what we could have done differently or how we could have acted differently to avoid a dangerous situation.

After the incident, possibly emergency room visit and the works to get back to normal we are left to ask the questions that naturally follow. Who’s responsible for this? Should I have to pay for this? Is it my fault? Well, ask any lawyer and most likely you’ll get the response—it depends. The reason for this is because it honestly does depend on the circumstances all around.

Let’s take a dog bite in Charlotte for example. You see someone new to the neighborhood who is walking with a pit bull without a leash or otherwise any device to control the animal. In most areas, a person is ordered by ordinance to walk a dog on a leash. By not following the ordinance that person is considered to be acting unreasonable. Why? Because, the ordinance sets the standard of care and duty owed. That person is strictly likely strictly liable for any injuries that are the result of violating the ordinance.

Now, similar facts but a different outcome. The same pit bull is walking on a leash and intersects with you as you take your three year old down to the park for an afternoon in the sun. The large—aggressive pit bull is a lover—and jumps on your child as it gives the child a hug. The dog licks the child until it can lick no more and in doing so, crushes the child’s clavicle. Well, it’s a very different situation. Why? The same ordinance says pit bull on a leash. The dog owner followed the ordinance and satisfied the duty owed. Also, something that comes up a lot in dog bite cases is dangerous propensity. The injury—licking the child over and over—is not in the dangerous propensity of the pit bull.

This is often the back and forth that injured plaintiffs deal with over and over with an adjuster who represents an insurance company who may be liable. There are so many different opportunities for an injured party to get denied in North Carolina and each of them seems more heartless than the prior.

If you’ve been injured and it wasn’t your fault—regardless of what the insurance company tells you—call the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo today. Don’t fight it alone! Get the help you deserve. Our number is 877-333-1000.

Spared by grace…and good execution of an emergency procedure.

August 14, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

If you were one of the eleven thousand people who had a ticket to the outdoor Christian rock concert in Shelby Saturday evening, you arrived to a canceled show.  Apparently the larger than life winds tore apart a concert stage.  Officials say just before the winds came through the band, Mercy Me, left the stage.  The event crew members began deconstructing the stage when the wind tore through and finished the job for them.

This is the type of thing that could be devastating had the decision makers elected to forego the hinting winds for fear of lost profits.  Fortunately, the people responsible for deciding to cancel the show, made a good decision which resulted in no injuries. 

Again and again we see things like this that plague the headlines reminding us that we just never know.  Either by natural circumstances, poor judgment or just circumstances beyond our control, people may sustain an injury at no fault of their own. 

If you have been hurt like and wonder how you will pay your medical bills or cover your time out of work give us a call at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo today.  Call 877-333-1000 or check out our website to request a free case evaluation at www.demayolaw.com.

Good Samaritan Not Always Good

August 11, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

At the end of July a young girl was electrocuted in Lexington while practicing for swim club. The power line that fell near the pool shocked the girl and unfortunately, the girl passed away as a result.

The heroic efforts of lifeguards were noted by witnesses who say the lifeguards continued to get shocked as they try to pull the girl from the water. The efforts, although incredible and selfless, may have created a worse situation than the one before them.
These efforts could have made the problem worse by having additional people for emergency responders to treat rather than just one. While it may be challenging to stand idly by doing nothing, if getting involved in a dangerous situation would likely aggravate the situation standing by may be the only thing to do.

This can be difficult sometimes because inherent in our nature as humans is a desire to help others out. While you want to help others, you also have a duty to protect yourself from dangerous situations that should not be ignored. These situations are so tragic and often occur without any justification. This and similar situations often create personal injury in North Carolina and as always the less the better.

If you believe something like this has happened to you as a result of your inherent desire to help others give us a call or check out our website at www.demayolaw.com for a free case evaluation today.

Heavy Rain Has Investigators Worried About Transportation Safety

August 4, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Last week a train derailed in Newton, NC. The Newton police believe that the Norfolk Southern train derailed after rain caused the track to sink deeper into the moist soil below. Fortunately, the cars were not transporting people, but this may not be the case in the future. It is important to remember that roadways like railroads are built with certain data that rely on historical measures of soil moisture.

With the record amount of rainfall these historic predictors may not be accurate with regards to railroads and other transportation systems like highways and interstates.

If you notice something different about the roads while you’re driving, you should report any emergency concerns immediately to the proper authorities. You may be the first person to notice the change, or maybe just the first person to consider calling. The importance of notifying the proper authorities is evident. You could save someone’s life by preventing an accident like this one.

If you have been hurt in an auto accident in North Carolina which may be caused by faulty roads or transportation ways, please call the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo to see if there is something you can do. Our office number is 877-333-1000 or you can research the topic more at www.demayolaw.com.

Don’t Fall Victim to Carelessness

July 13, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Things to remember if you ever fall on someone’s property…

If you were injured while on another person’s premises there are a few things that an attorney will want to know about how the accident happened. After a fall or other incident, you may be severely injured and need medical treatment, but there are several factors that will be important to a case if you don’t want to be left on the hook for your medical bills. In the Carolinas like many other states, a person who owns the premises has a responsibility to warn you of dangers that the owner knows about on the property. This includes any dangers that the property owner may not know about but still should have known about that a person visiting the property may not have discovered on his own without such a warning. The date, time and location of the accident are the most obvious things to remember and could likely be discovered later if you forget those.

The less obvious things to remember are how the accident happened. This may include your movement. Were you walking, running, skipping or hopping? Were you texting, talking to a friend, or reading a billboard while you were walking? Is this a place you visit often? These factors may be crucial because it helps determine, if you in any way were partly responsible for the accident that caused your injuries. Also, it is important to remember with particularity, the reason for the accident. Did you slip on a water puddle? Did your leg get caught in the elevator door? Did you slip on a banana peel?

Additionally, take a mental note of how that dangerous condition got there and if possible, how long had that dangerous condition been there? For example, a banana peel that is brown and spotty may indicate that the banana peel has been there a while, and a property owner knew or should have known it was there. On the other hand, if there is a brown spotty banana peel, on the ground, it should be obvious to someone on another person’s property. Instead of old fruit, maybe you slipped on a water puddle. Was it raining outside? Was water being tracked into the area where you fell, similar to how it would any other day it rained?

Finally, were there signs up in the area to indicate to you there was a dangerous area? Pooling liquid under the drink machine at a fast food joint? Was the sign big enough? Instead of putting the sign out, was it a slow time of day for the restaurant, and someone could have just as easily wiped up the dangerous condition?

These are all important things to remember about an accident in your hurt. When you speak with an attorney after the accident, these will be factors that may be important in holding the property owner responsible for your injuries.

If something like this has happened to you, please call the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo at 877-333-1000.

More Training for More Truckers

July 3, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

I heard something on the news the other day that got me thinking. There is a training program in North Carolina that works with CDL hopefuls to ensure that they have been trained as much as reasonably possible prior to letting ‘em loose on the roads.

An additional piece of good news that came with this is that there will be several new jobs in North Carolina.  The working conditions for truckers have been regulated somewhat such as a maximum amount of mileage or hours per week. Regulations like this one are most likely to protect the truckers and other drivers on the road.  Of course, things can always happen. 

If you have been injured by an auto accident in North Carolina that involved a tractor trailer you need to find out what your rights are.  The additional training and regulation are likely justified for the benefit of the public’s safety and when accidents occur that involve tractor trailers you can bet there are going to be more parties involved than if the accident just involved standard vehicles.

If this has happened to you, contact our office today to see what your options may be.  We can give you a free case evaluation and likely open your eyes to some concerns you haven’t even considered.  Our number is 877-333-1000 and our website demayolaw.com has a place for you to get Charlotte legal resources.

How Come No One Is Taking My North Carolina Concussion Seriously?

June 27, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

If you suffered a concussion in Charlotte or elsewhere in North Carolina, most people will be sensitive to your situation will provide support, good wishes, and care. But not everyone will understand your dilemma or be sensitive to your medical needs. Many people just don’t understand — or at least don’t fully understand — what it means to suffer a concussion.

As a result, they may encourage victims to return to vigorous activity before such activity is safe. For instance, a high school football coach may “shrug off” a young linebacker’s complaints of headache and dizziness and encourage him to go return to a big game.

As a result of that careless decision, the poor young kid can suffer a second impact injury, which can lead to edema, permanent neurological dysfunction, stroke, and even death. On a less dramatic note, subtle actions that demonstrate a lack of compassion or understanding can also cause harm. For instance, let’s say that your young son fell off a wall and conked his head. For the past several days, he has been resting in bed for 15 hours a day. You understand that “he is not feeling good,” but you also want him to go back to school and “shake it off.” So you might gently encourage him to stop resting so much and “rejoin the world.”

Even though you may not intend to do any harm, if you rush him through the healing process, you can make rehabilitation longer, more painful, and more fraught.

Conversely, careless/uncaring people can make errors of neglect or omission that can redound to horrible effect. For instance, in the situation described above, maybe the child really needs to see a doctor immediately because he’s suffering bleeding in the brain or some other horrible symptom. If a caregiver fails to take action to get proper medical help within the proper timeframe, irreversible damage can occur.

These points may seem obvious. But many people who suffer brain injuries accidentally feed into this behavior by “striving to please” or forcing themselves too hard. Now is not the time to worry about your boss, your coach, your teacher, or your friends. Now is the time to worry about brain injury — healing from the trauma and getting the rest and astute medical care you need.

To remove at least one worry from your plate, consider getting in touch with the Charlotte traumatic brain injury law firm of DeMayo Law today. We can begin to investigate your case and make sure that you are situated for a powerful legal response, so that you can rest a little easier. Call us now at (877) 529-1222 for thorough help.

53 Members of Congress Want to Investigate Whether IED Blast Induced Traumatic Brain Injuries May Be Sparking Suicide Epidemic in the Armed Forces

June 24, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Improvised explosive devices, also known as IEDs, were used against American service personnel in Afghanistan and Iraq in the wars over the past decade. New evidence suggests that these hidden bombs not only caused traumatic brain injury but also increased the likelihood of suicidal behavior.

Recently, 53 members of the US Congress sent a letter to Defense Secretary, Chuck Hagel, and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, asking Congress to figure out what to do about the rash of suicides, possibly induced by IED traumatic brain injuries. Per the letter: “Evidence suggests that blast injuries, including but not limited to those causing damage to vision or hearing, can have a severe psychological impact…that can play a major contributing role in suicides.”

The prevailing theory is that the psychological trauma of combat causes mental distress that can lead to suicide. The alternative view that the bipartisan members of Congress want to investigate is that the IED explosions, in and of themselves, change the structure of the brain and make people more prone to suicide.

In other words, it’s not psychological stress. It’s a neurological problem–a physical, biochemical problem. According to the spokesman for the Blinded Veterans Association, Thomas Zampieri, “I’ve talked to a lot of neurologists, military neurosurgeons and trauma surgeons who have all started to ponder if the IEDs that have caused the TBIs are the real
cause of the suicides, versus the traditional approach that suicides are all caused by the psychological stresses of combat.”

According to the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center, more than 266,000 troops suffered brain injuries in combat between 2000 and 2012–coincidental with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as special military operations around the world and training exercises.

If you or someone you love was hurt in combat or in training, and you want answers about what legal actions you can take regarding your traumatic brain injury case, please get in touch with the DeMayo Law team today for thorough, strategic assistance.

Putting the Pieces of Your Traumatic Brain Injury Together: When You Can’t Remember What Happened

June 17, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Here’s a very common problem with North Carolina traumatic brain injury cases.

A person gets hurt in a car accident, slip and fall, workplace disaster, or a fight. But because of the brain injury, the person can’t recall the events that led to the injury in an accurate, linear, and coherent way.

So what you do?

The solution must be concocted on a case-by-case basis. Certain strategies might be useful in some cases but not others. For instance, let’s say that you got hurt at a Charlotte construction site, when a coworker switched off a piece of machinery while you were riveting. The jolt from that action set you tumbling off your platform to the ground. In that case, perhaps video footage recorded the fall, or other tracking devices might have gleaned evidence that can be used forensically to piece together the situation. Or maybe a coworker or other witness saw you fall.

What about situations in which the injured person gets hurt, and no one sees what happened?

This happens a lot with car accident cases. For instance, a person might drive solo on a wind-y Raleigh street during the middle of the winter, slip on a patch of black ice, and hit a tree. The driver might get a serious brain injury and be unable to remember why he slipped. In this kind of case, indirect forensic techniques could help to discern the cause of the accident.

For instance, maybe the tire patterns on the road could offer clues about why the car slipped on ice. Or maybe a detailed examination can reveal that the braking system failed.

The point is that, as a victim or friend/family member of a TBI victim, you don’t really need to worry about the details of the forensics as much as you do need to worry about obtaining effective legal counsel as early as you can in the process, so that that counsel can begin an immediate investigation and assemble the proper forensics.

To that end, get in touch with the DeMayo Law team today, so we can help you get a handle on your situation and build an effective case going forward.

Choosing the Right Language–Should You Call It a “Traumatic Brain Injury” or “Bump to the Head” or What?

June 13, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

What exactly should you call your traumatic brain injury, and why should the language matter?

Whether you got hit in the head at football practice, jarred by an automobile accident or injured in a slip and fall outside a Charlotte boutique, you have some sort of head injury accompanied by nausea, vomiting, fatigue, disorientation, memory loss, and other troubling signs.

But does it really matter what you call it? Is semantics a waste of time here?

Not necessarily.

The language that we use to talk about our problems can powerfully influence the steps that we take (or do not take) to manage our situations. The use of strong language like “traumatic brain injury” may lead you (and your caregivers) to take the situation seriously, act aggressively, and be extra resourceful.

On the other hand, if you use more vanilla language like “I got hit in the head” or “I fell down and bonked my head”–then you and other people might not take the situation as seriously.

When we use different words–“laceration” as opposed to “cut,” for instance–we seek out different kinds of help, and we get different kinds of service.

Obviously, you don’t want to overinflate your injury. Perhaps you only suffered a mild concussion (or “TBI”). But when it comes to head injuries, it’s far better to be overly cautious than overly casual. The consequences of erring in the direction of “being too cavalier” could be horrific. If you talk in overly gentle terms about your head injury, you might be tempted to go back to work early and put yourself at risk for a second concussion.

Conversely, if you err on side of being too cautious, you might be more neurotic and stressed in the short term, but that neuroticism will pass eventually without any long-term consequences.

Whether you suffered a substantial TBI or an “on the bubble” concussion case, get in touch with the team at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo for a free consultation today.

 

How Much Will You Need to Be Involved with Your North Carolina Mass Tort Lawsuit?

June 9, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

You are on offense. As someone who was injured (or whose loved one was injured), you are seriously considering filing a North Carolina class action or mass tort lawsuit — or an independent personal injury action.
On the other hand, you’re dubious. The thought of getting wrapped up in some complex legal action fills you with dread, because you don’t want to get roped into being a “lead plaintiff.” You want to forget about the traumatic experience — not have to relive it for months or years.

So how much, exactly, will you have to be involved in your legal fight?
The answer depends.

Obviously, if you choose to be a lead plaintiff — and if you’re pursuing a massive case against a huge company that could settle for tens of millions of dollars — then you obviously need to be pretty involved. However, the process is less involved and less confusing than you believe.
Assuming you pick a North Carolina class action law firm that’s a good fit for your needs — that shares your values and vision, and that has the experience and resources to argue effectively on your behalf — you won’t have to do much at all. That’s one of the beautiful things about finding good legal representation: When you’re well represented, you won’t have nagging questions distracting you from your day-to-day business and from the important work of recovery. You can focus all your attention on getting better, on fixing your financial problems, and on healing yourself psychologically.
While you ultimately need to “do more work” as a plaintiff in a class action or personal injury lawsuit than would if you “did nothing” about your case, the peace of mind that you’ll get will undoubtedly cancel out the extra work that you need to do.
For instance, if you don’t do anything, you might waste hours or even days’ worth of your time ruminating about aspects of your case or aspects of how to handle an insurance company.
That’s time you will never get back — time that you could spend relaxing or being productive.
Also — it should go without saying — but if you WIN your case, you should get well compensated for your injuries and damages. You will receive nothing, if you do nothing.
In summary: If you’ve been hesitant about connecting with an attorney, that hesitancy makes all the sense in the world. However, you might find it worthy to examine what’s at to the root of that hesitancy. Are you just scared about the time commitment? Because if so, that fear really doesn’t make objective sense. If not, probe deeper to understand what’s really going on — why, fundamentally, are you resistant to getting the help that you really need?

A Longer-Term View of Traumatic Brain Injury Recovery

June 4, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Recovering from a traumatic brain injury in Charlotte or anywhere can be a grueling ordeal, and you may find yourself beset by medical setbacks, emotional problems, and financial peril.

In the hours and days following a concussion or other event, everything is very “touch and go.” Hopefully, you have already been to a physician or emergency medical technician to talk about your needs and get a good plan of care. If not, stop reading this article and go do that at once!

If so, you will want to monitor your mental state, physical state, and behavior and be in close contact with friends and relatives who can take care of you and help you fulfill your duties, while you rest.

Of course, when you and your support team get mired in the details of this care, you may get overly short-term focused. You need to concentrate on healing and preventing further damage.

But you also want to keep at least some attention on the long-term horizon.
Why? Because right now–some of you are in the very early stages after TBI–the legal processes that you do or do not put in place can have ramifications that can affect you for years or decades.

For instance, if a doctor sees you right away and treats you with an effective TBI drug that normalizes glucose absorption in the brain or reduces edema or swelling, you can potentially ward off long-term brain damage. The difference between getting this treatment and not getting it is profound, especially when you extrapolate over the long term.

Likewise, the efforts that you make (or your friends and family make) right now regarding your legal case can also have epic ramifications.

If you’re able to collect evidence right now (before such evidence gets lost or destroyed), you may be able to build a more compelling case to get compensated, and that could mean the difference between no settlement and a six-figure settlement that pays you in perpetuity for the rest of your life.

Connect with the DeMayo Law team now, so that we can help you focus on the long-term legal “stuff” and allow you to rest and recover with full peace of mind.

Really Sad North Carolina Mass Tort News

June 2, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Documenting North Carolina class action and mass tort lawsuits can be a sad and dispiriting exercise.

The lengths to which some companies will go to obfuscate the truth and to strive for profits at the expense of the wellbeing of human beings can shake one’s faith in humanity.

Consider, for instance, the recent resolution of a seriously twisted case out of New Jersey. A generic drug manufacturer, Par Pharmaceutical, pled guilty to charges to end civil and criminal investigations into its behavior. The drug maker will pay $45 million as punishment for marketing an AIDS drug, Megace ES, illegally for “off label uses.”

The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) had allowed the drug maker to sell Megace ES to treat anorexia and unexplained weight loss in AIDS patients. But the company tried to expand its consumer base by selling the drug to elderly people who didn’t have AIDS.

According to a U.S. attorney who worked on the case, Paul Fishman, “Par admitted to choose to ignore [the FDA approval process for new uses of medications] in pursuit of more sales and greater profits … the conduct was wrong and went on for a long period of time.”

The company sent sales forces to call on nursing homes and hospice facilities to sell the drug. They also sought out confidential patient data to find people who could be switched to the expensive drug. According to plaintiff’s lawyers, Par refused to acknowledge the potential safety effects on patients because “there is little profit to be made by marketing the drug lawfully, due to advancements in HIV and AIDS treatments which drastically reduced the on label patient population.

It’s really a shame that we need lawyers and whistleblowers to watchdog large pharmaceutical companies and medical equipment manufacturers.

In an ideal world, these companies would do due diligence and take it upon themselves to vet their products and ensure patient health and wellbeing over their own profitability. After all, if you’re going in business to help people manage their medical conditions, your fundamental obligation is to your customers.

Unfortunately, the real world is full of disappointing situations.

If you or someone you love was harmed as a result of some company’s negligence, carelessness, omission, or other malfeasance, the law offices of Michael A. DeMayo would be happy to advise you. Please call us at (877) 529-1222 to get a confidential, free evaluation of your case. Let us help you ensure justice and gain some peace of mind.

Your North Carolina Injury is Not the End of the World (Probably)–or At Least You Won’t Feel This Unhappy Forever

May 26, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

You’re deeply depressed by your recent North Carolina injury. Whether some idiot in a truck bashed your car by blowing through a stop sign, or a doctor misread your chart and gave you a medication that made you literally sick to your stomach, you are in pain. You are angry; you are confused; and you are deeply dismayed by your situation and the prospects for your future.

Obviously, what’s done is done. You can’t go back in time and undo the North Carolina truck accident or reverse the doctor’s negligent decisions. And you may indeed have a long road to hoe. You might never regain function of your leg. You might need to be in a wheelchair for the rest of your life. You might never be able to work as you once did. The brain damage caused by the accident may permanently limit your ability to be productive to two to three hours a day.

When you sit there and contemplate these scenarios–particularly the worst case scenarios–you can easily spiral into depression and apathy. This is really unfortunate. When you are depressed and/or apathetic, you may fail to take important kinds of action–such as contacting a reputable North Carolina mass tort law firm ASAP–because you feel too hopeless to persevere.

This is a shame, because science shows that our emotional immune systems are remarkably resilient.

Even IF a worst case scenarios plays out for you–e.g. you’re permanently hobbled by the accident or no longer able to work in a career that you love–these setbacks will not doom you to a lifetime of depression and unhappiness. Or at least they don’t necessarily mark you with that destiny.

That may sound very counterintuitive. But if you look at the research, those statements bare out.

Lottery winners notoriously experience euphoria for the first weeks or months after they win. But they ultimately wind up just as happy–and just as sad!–as they were before the pay day.

Likewise, people injured so severely that they are left as quadriplegics suffer extreme depression in the first few weeks and months. But they ultimately rebound to feel just as happy as they did before the devastating event.

This isn’t to say that you don’t have problems — that you shouldn’t feel depressed or anything. Rather, you should appreciate that your current emotional state is probably temporary.

Even more importantly, you need to avoid getting trapped by your emotions into “doing nothing” and/or into making impulsive and not-strategic actions that can have negative long-term implications for your finances and healthcare options.

To that end, consider connecting with the DeMayo Law team now at (877) 529-1222 for a free consultation, so that we can put you on a more strategic path with respect to your case.

North Carolina Class Action News: Legal Fight Over High Sugar, High Caffeine Energy Drinks — A Portent of A Larger Battle To Come?

May 23, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Are we witnessing the beginnings of a major mass tort battle in North Carolina (and well beyond?)

Perhaps so. And big beverage companies may be on the receiving end.

Last year, for instance, a woman in Australia allegedly died from over consuming Coca-Cola. According to the Chicago Sun Times, a Maryland teenager died after drinking two large Monster Energy drinks in a single 24-hour period. These drinks contain a lot of caffeine and also a lot of sugar. While testifying before Chicago City Council, Edward Burke discussed a federal report “that showed the number of annual hospital visits tied to highly caffeinated energy drinks doubled between 2007 and 2011 — to 21,000.”

According to the President of Chicago Medical Society, Dr. Howard Axe, “super caffeinated energy drinks,” such as Red Bull, Monster Energy, and Rockstar, pose serious health risks, “including possible fatalities to adults and children, particularly those with preexisting conditions.”

The legal brouhaha in Chicago is focused on the adverse health effects of over consuming caffeine. Another, potentially more fraught and momentous debate has to do with the adverse effects of the overconsumption of liquid sucrose. As most famously articulated by pediatric obesity specialist, Dr. Robert Lustig, calories from liquid sucrose may have especially adverse effect on the liver because of the way the fructose component of sucrose gets metabolized by that organ. Lustig builds the case — at least in the doses that modern North Carolinians consume sugar — that “calorie is not a calorie.” The consumption of sugary liquid beverages, like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and even many fruit juices, may be doing tremendous harm to our population and precipitating problems like metabolic disease, obesity, diabetes, and even heart disease.

So far, obviously, we have yet to see a major class action or mass tort lawsuit against beverage companies. But some health advocates are suggesting that we may be witnessing at least the beginnings of such machinations — they compare our current era to the era a few years before Big Tobacco was held to legal account for advertising and selling dangerous products.

If you have recently been harmed by a product or service, you are probably far less interested in the legal battle over energy drinks than you are with your own wellbeing, financially, medically, and otherwise.

 The team here at the law offices of Michael A. DeMayo proudly represents victims and their families in serious North Carolina personal injury matters. Please get in touch with us today by calling (877) 529-1222, so we can provide you a free consultation and help you get educated and informed about your options.

Our Illogical Reactions to Superstitions: Really Important to Understand, If You Want to Fight Your North Carolina Class Action Optimally…

May 19, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Whether your son broke his ribs in an SUV rollover, your husband tore his ACL on an amusement park ride, or you suffered a devastating home fire when your space heater malfunctioned, you understand you have the potential to take some kind of legal action and perhaps to participate in a North Carolina class action or mass tort lawsuit.

But you are confused about what to do next. Should you connect with a legal team like DeMayo Law or “deal with the situation yourself” — i.e. work directly with an insurance company?

Everyone has different needs and sensitivities and comforts. But it’s important to be rational rather than impulsive when you make a big decision like this.

We often play to our superstitions rather than to logical common sense.

Consider the diverse nature of our strange beliefs. Whether you are afraid of the number 13; you bet your wedding date when you play the lottery; or you worry about a black cat crossing your path or something along those lines, part of you recognizes that you’re being ridiculous with the superstitions.

You understand that that you are using “magical thinking” and not logic. But even when you “call out” your superstitions — call your own bluff — you may not be able to overpower your subconscious resistance. You may not, for instance, ever feel comfortable sleeping on the 13th floor of a hotel. If you’re Russian, you may refuse to shake someone’s hand when they reach through a doorway to you.

Depending on how deeply you hold strange beliefs, they can really hamper your life.

The point is that wrestling with such strange beliefs–even when you make those beliefs conscious and you appreciate that they’re clearly irrational–is more challenging than meets the eye.

As much as we should “trust our guts” in certain situations, we also need to learn how and when to challenge our intuitions in order to achieve best results.

To that end, if you have reservations about connecting with an attorney–or if you have some strange belief about why you are not someone who “does” lawsuits, reflect on that received wisdom. Are those concepts actually serving you right now?

Consider, for instance, the worst thing that could happen, if you got a consultation with attorney, versus the best thing that could happen if you did. That the more that you can shine rational light on your fears, the more you can move beyond them and make more compelling and useful decisions.

Imagine: A World without North Carolina Class Action Lawsuits

May 17, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

If the extreme faction of the tort reform movement had its way, perhaps North Carolina mass torts and class actions wouldn’t exist at all.

If you got hurt–or someone in your family got seriously injured or sickened–by a bad product, broken medical device, or improperly measured pharmaceutical, you still likely have reservations about class actions and other types of legal actions.

Most people have been trained to be wary of lawyers and litigators–to see injury firms as a kind of “necessary evil.” Arguments and statistics that so called tort reformists use to impugn the personal injury law industry generally don’t hold up to close scrutiny. In fact, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and other journals of record have documented at great length the many false beliefs that the vast majority of the population has about personal injury litigation.

In summary: concerns that injury lawsuits are bankrupting the healthcare system or driving insurance companies to increase their rates are just not founded in fact.

Of course, given that this is a blog run by a North Carolina class action law firm–our reportage is obviously not without its biases. If you are concerned about the ethicality of filing a personal injury lawsuit, take some time and read articulate, well-sourced arguments by both sides.

Let the facts speak for themselves.

Meanwhile, getting back to our thought experiment–imagine if the tort reformers succeeded, and class actions in North Carolina and beyond no longer existed. How, then, would consumers redress serious wrong doings? How would hurt people pay their medical bills and other costs if they couldn’t effectively recoup those costs from a drug company or insurer or other liable party? If they got no money, they would need to fall back on the public safety net–ultimately, the taxpayers would need to foot the bill.

Taking a broader perspective, what would happen if drug companies and other businesses discovered that they could “get away with” providing poor quality products or failing to warn consumers and caregivers about dangerous aspects of their products/services?

The general point is that, as an injury victim, you really need to educate yourself and leverage the full panoply of resources available to you. Call the DeMayo Law team today for insight and help into your case.

Class Action Lawsuits “Brewing” For Budweiser

May 13, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Anheuser-Busch, the maker of Budweiser Beer, is facing a pretty serious class action lawsuit that alleges that the brewer watered down its products prior to bottling.

Thus far, plaintiffs in Texas, Pennsylvania, Missouri, New Jersey, Colorado, Ohio, and California have all filed suit against the beer manufacturer based on whistleblowing testimony from former high placed employees in the business–at 13 separate breweries.

Will a North Carolina class action against Budweiser be next?

Anheuser-Busch has fought back vigorously against the bad press–the company recently took out full page ads in The New York Times, The L.A. Times, and eight other major newspapers touting the fact that the company provided 71 million cans of drinking water to the American Red Cross and other disaster organizations. The cheeky headline read “they must have tested one of these.”

But a lead attorney in the case, Josh Boxer, shrugged off the newspaper ad blitz as a “classic non-denial…(the) alcohol readings, taken six times a second as the finished product is bottled, will confirm the allegations made by the growing number of former employees who keep coming forward to tell us the truth.”

In court, Anheuser-Busch will need to produce data on its internal and alcohol testing procedures. Ten different products are tangled up in the legal matter, including well-known brands like Budweiser, Michelob, and Bud Ice as well as more “exotic” brands, like Hurricane High Gravity Lager and Bud Light Lime.

Do you have a potential Charlotte class action lawsuit?

The team here at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo can help you understand and defend your rights to get compensation. Depending on your circumstances, you may want to file a personal injury suit or a mass tort action. Our team can help you strategize and determine the most effective, accurate course forward. Call us now for a free consultation, and get clarity on what you need to do.

The End of the Beginning of Your Quest for Justice After a North Carolina Injury

May 10, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

In the hours and days since your North Carolina injury–or your family member’s injury- you have been in a mad scramble to get medical care and make sense of your options.

What steps should you be taking (or not taking) to manage the medical crisis, collect evidence, and deal with the urgent logistics in your life? Who is going to take care of the kids while you’re hurt? Who’s going to handle the big work project that you had to drop to deal with the catastrophe? How will you pay the mortgage now that you’ve spent thousands of dollars out of pocket on ambulance and hospital services?

After you wrangle these urgent details, you then need to scramble to recalibrate everything in your life. You will also need to find a way to deal with the tremendous challenges of finding appropriate representation:

  • Do you have a case or not?
  • If so, what should you do first?
  • Whom can you trust?
  • How can you evaluate different law firms against one another?
  • How can you work effectively with a law firm to make sure that you get clear answers and good communication throughout the process?

All of these urgent questions might be on your mind. And they all need to be addressed.

The several lining–if there is one–is that, once you do get all of these things taken care of, assuming you have done everything effectively, you should enjoy renewed peace of mind.

The great gift that a solid North Carolina mass tort law firm can provide is the gift of clarity.

Even though your life may feel like it’s in a million pieces right now–if you know exactly what’s going to happen next and what to expect; and if you have trusted people working on your behalf–much of the stress and agitation will lift.

Obviously, even a superb law firm is not going to magically make your injury go away or eliminate the anger and frustration you feel about what happened. But you should feel a sense of relief and security that you are moving in the right direction.

And when people feel like their lives are moving in a positive direction, they often see passed their immediate limitations and handle the process with more grace and patience.

Connect with the DeMayo Law team right now for strategic, insightful assistance with your Charlotte personal injury matter.

Letting Go of Timidity and Launching that North Carolina Class Action Lawsuit

April 26, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Why have you yet to file a North Carolina class action lawsuit? Why haven’t you take action to protect your rights and to hold a dubious insurance company or narcissistic boss or negligent product maker to any kind of account?

After all, you have plenty of reason to want to take action. Exhibit A: your serious injury or your loved one’s serious injury. Exhibit B: your strong belief (perhaps supported by evidence) that someone or some institution has not played fair with you–either failed to warn you about some danger or put you in harm’s way due to negligence, misanthropy, carelessness, fatigue, or some combination of bad factors.

Yet you are restrained. You are not taking action.

Rather than beat yourself up over this, recognize this “timidity problem” is incredibly common among accident victims. The tort reform lobby likes to paint North Carolina personal injury plaintiffs as somehow overly entitled or venal. This stereotype is totally incorrect–and almost the reverse of what’s true.

Most people who get injured are extremely reluctant to take their fight to the court system, even when they have extremely good reason to do so.

The reason they’re so reluctant is that most people don’t like to make waves. They don’t like the idea of “suing” someone or some company. It sounds really aggressive. Plus, when you “sue” someone or put up any kind of legal fight, you need to jump through all sorts of hoops and possibly retain a North Carolina personal injury class action lawyer (which can be an intimidating proposition). Then you may need to get embroiled in a battle that puts your reputation on the line (or at least so you fear). Ultimately, you may not even get results.

Thus, you could fight very hard, get your hopes up and then see those hopes dashed.

No, the problem is not that too many people pursue legal action–it’s that timid people who should at least consider their options are intimidated from exploring their options.

Understand that it’s an act of tremendous bravery and courage just to pick the phone and connect with a mass tort law firm, like DeMayo, at (877) 529-1222. Calling our firm or any reputable firm may force you to abandon your comfort zone, temporarily. And when you are sick and injured or financially struggling, the last thing you want to do is “go out of your comfort zone” even more.

But recognize that you owe to yourself and your family to understand your rights and options, even if you never decide to act on them through the court system. First, seek help, and then make a more informed decision once you know your options better.

Is it Worth it to File a Hip Replacement Lawsuit?

July 23, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

If you have had issues with a metal-on-metal replacement hip such as the DePuy ASR or any other recalled hip implant, you’re probably aware of the many lawsuits that have been filed. You may be wondering if it is worth your time and effort to contact a DePuy hip replacement lawyer as well. Many of our clients have similar questions. They wonder:

  • How much of my time will it take?
  • How many years will it drag on?
  • Will I have to lose even more work time to testify in court?
  • I’ve never dealt with a lawyer before. Will I have to pay any money up front?
  • Is this just being greedy? After all, DePuy is reimbursing my medical costs and lost wages.
  • What kind of a settlement am I entitled to?

First off, we want to explain about the type of lawsuit you would be involved in, which is known as a “mass tort”. Most people have heard of a “class action lawsuit” wherein a group of people get together to sue one large corporation. One judgment is handed out and each plaintiff receives the same amount from it. An example of this was the class action lawsuit that was filed against corporate giant Walmart last year, on behalf of all their female employees who were claiming discrimination. (This lawsuit did was not found to have enough merit to proceed, by the way.)

But when consumer products such as medical devices are defective, people can have widely different injuries or complications as a result stemming from the same cause. To avoid clogging up the court system, these cases are combined in a suit known as a mass tort, where evidence is shared among all the different cases. In this way, it is similar to the class action suit.

However, in a mass tort, each verdict is still handed down individually. Therefore, if your faulty hip replacement required revision surgery and there were further complications, you can receive a different settlement from another plaintiff who received the defective hip but has not needed surgery.

Only you can decide if the pain and suffering resulting from a recalled, defective hip implant makes it worthwhile for you to file a lawsuit. The law does provide legal remedies for those who have been victims or poorly designed, defective devices that were supposed to alleviate medical problems – but did the exact opposite. However, if you do decide to exercise your legal right to seek damages, it is particularly important to deal with a law firm that is highly experienced in these kinds of class action or mass tort cases.

The best way to find out the information you need is to schedule a consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer such as the Charlotte, NC based DeMayo Law. We handle each client and each claim individually, with personal attention to your needs and specific circumstances, even if that claim is part of a larger mass tort action.

At DeMayo law, the initial consultation is always free, with no pressure to continue. We’ll answer your questions as honestly as we can, allowing you the opportunity to make an informed decision as to whether you wish to file suit or not. We work on a contingency basis, meaning that you pay no money up front. Our fee is a percentage of the award when and if you win the suit.

Contact our hip replacement lawyers today and have all your questions answered.

 

 

Fosamax: FDA Wants Doctors to Periodically Reevaluate Patients’ Continued Use of Bisphosphonates

May 31, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Once again, the US Food and Drug Administration is expressing concerns about the possible serious side effects caused by women taking bisphosphonates—especially after more than three to five years. Charlotte, North Carolina Fosamax lawyer Michael A. DeMayo is familiar with the risks involved with these bone building drugs and he understands the need to hold Merck and Co. and other bisphosphonate makers liable.

In a recent FDA report, which can be found in the New England Journal of Medicine, the federal agency talked about its review of data involving women who had using taking Fosamax, Reclast, Actonel, Boniva, Skelid, Didronel, and other bisphosphonates for six to ten years. In the wake of its examination, the agency reached the same finding as the one it arrived at last year, which is that many women don’t seem to get that many (if any) benefits from taking bone strengthening drugs after five years. The study’s authors are even saying that some patients, including those that are at low risk of fractures and generally younger, should stop taking these meds beyond this period of time. Rather, it is the women with very low bone density that would likely benefit from extended bisphosphonate use.

In the Carolinas, Charlotte dangerous drug lawyer DeMayo and his law firm can work with you to find out whether the serious side effects that you are experiencing are because you took Fosamax or another bisphosphonate. Fosamax, in particular, has been named in numerous products liability lawsuits by women plaintiffs. The drug has been linked to osteonecrosis of the jaw, atrial fibrillation, thighbone fractures, severe musculoskeletal pain, and esophageal cancer.

Bisphosphonates are generally used by women who are in post-menopause to treat osteoporosis. Granted, while many drugs out there have been known to cause serious risks, for any bone strengthening medication to do just the opposite and perhaps increase the risk of cancer and other potentially life-threatening illnesses is unacceptable. North Carolina personal injury attorney DeMayo is here to help his clients explore their legal options regarding filing a Fosamax lawsuit.

As the victim of a dangerous drug, you may be entitled to compensation from the negligent party or parties. The phrase “dangerous drug” can be used to describe any medication that causes serious side effects—especially ones that you weren’t warned about or appear to be causing too many people to develop similar health complications. However, even if you haven’t heard of anyone having your severe symptoms, and you think it might be related to taking a medication, you should not hesitate to contact The Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo today. NC products liability lawyer DeMayo and his legal team have spent two decades helping victims and their families.

Filing a North Carolina Fosamax lawsuit may be able to help you recover compensation for your medical costs, mental pain, physical pain and suffering, permanent disability, future medical expenses, lost wages, medication expenses, and rehabilitation. If a loved one passes away as a result of a dangerous drug, you may be entitled to NC wrongful death benefits.

Charlotte, NC Fosamax lawyer DeMayo is experienced in going after large pharmaceutical companies and other manufacturers on his clients’ behalf. Mr. DeMayo knows that they and their loved ones are likely going through a difficult time right now, and he and his team are known for their compassion, experience, and ability to recover against negligent parties.

North Carolina products liability lawyer DeMayo and his law firm would like to offer you a free case evaluation.

New cautions about long-term use of bone drugs, New York Times, May 9, 2012

The New England Journal of Medicine

FDA Still Cautions About Bone Drugs, ABC, May 10, 2012


 

Another DePuy Hip Lawsuit Filed by Patient Who Says He Needs Second Surgery

May 25, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

In the last couple of years, DePuy Orthopedics has been in the headlines over its hip implant devices. It was during the latter half of 2010 that the Johnson & Johnson company announced that it was recalling its ASR Al Acetabular Hip Replacement and its ASR Hip Resurfacing Systems, which were implanted in about 93,000 patients, because the devices appeared to be at risk of failing. Since then, Charlotte, North Carolina DePuy ASR lawyer Michael A. DeMayo has been providing free case evaluations to individuals seeking to explore their legal options over complications that may have been caused by their DePuy device.

Hip replacement surgery can take a toll on a person’s health and well-being even when it goes well. For a patient to fare even worse because a hip implant failed or was defective to begin with is unacceptable. For example, in one recent case that was filed just this month, the plaintiff, Larry Vanyi, is seeking damages for alleged complications that have resulted in him having to undergo a revision procedure. Vanyi, who was implanted with DePuy’s Pinnacle hip replacement product, is suing not just DePuy Orthopedics, but also, he is pursuing damages from the implant device’s designer, Dr. Thomas Schmalzreid. (Although this Pinnacle implant hasn’t been recalled, it is similar to the DePuy hip implants that were recalled and there have been calls from some medical experts to also take it off the market).

Vanyi is not the only hip implant patient to go after DePuy.  Thousands of plaintiffs have been making their claims to seek recovery for injuries and complications from their metal-on-metal hip replacement device. In North Carolina, please contact the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo LLP and find out if Charlotte injury lawyer DeMayo can help you.

Aside from a patient having to undergo replacement/revision surgery (within five years) again so soon after the initial implant procedure, there also have been reports of the device’s metal particles scattering in the body, potentially upping the risk of soft tissue damage or necrosis. Elevated chromium and cobalt levels may even result, as was allegedly experienced by another plaintiff, who has said that she has needed revision surgery because of her Bi-Lateral DePuy ASR hip implant.

In the Carolinas, getting financial recovery from a negligent manufacturer is part of North Carolina products liability attorney DeMayo’s job and one that he takes very seriously. Mr. DeMayo is not afraid to go after big corporations and litigate against them in court if necessary.

Signs you may be potentially suffering from hip implant failure or related complications:

  • Extreme pain when walking or having to bear weight
  • Swelling
  • Loss of mobility or flexibility
  • Severe pain in the implant area, potentially even extending to the back or groin

Charlotte, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Michael A. DeMayo is rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell and in the last two years, the American Association of Trial Lawyers has chosen him as one of the 100 leading trial lawyers.  Mr. DeMayo and his law firm have either tried or settled more than 35,000 cases in the past two decades.

Contact our Charlotte, NC hip implant law firm today.

More Blog Posts:

Approximately 1,000 DePuy Lawsuits Already Filed Against Johnson & Johnson, North Carolina Injury Lawyers Blog, July 7, 2011

FDA Study Finds that Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants Don’t Offer More Advantages than More Traditional Devices, North Carolina Injury Lawyers Blog, December 29, 2011

10th Annual “Arrive Alive: Don’t Drink and Drive” Program a Success with High School Students, Parents, and Teachers, North Carolina Injury Lawyers Blog, May 8, 2012

North Carolina Car Accident Attorney DeMayo is also known for his community service activities and commitment to preventing underage drinking and driving.

 

North Carolina Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Continue to Cause Serious Injuries to Patients

May 19, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Over the last two decades, Charlotte, North Carolina nursing home abuse lawyer Michael A. DeMayo has seen the devastation that abuse and neglect can cause on a patient’s emotional well-being and physical health. He and his legal team represent victims and their families in obtaining compensation from negligent assisted living facilities and other professional care providers.

Signs that your loved one may be receiving negligent care and/or is victim of abuse or neglect: 

  • Bedsores
  • Poor hygiene
  • Unnecessary restraints (both physical and chemical ones)
  • Malnutrition
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Unexplained injuries
  • Sudden depression or changes in personality or mood
  • Unexplained bruises or broken bones
  • Frequent fall accidents and injuries
  • Staff seems inattentive or distracted
  • Unsanitary facility
You may want to consider transferring your loved one out of the facility where the alleged abuse or neglect is taking place.

North Carolina injury attorney Michael A. DeMayo is here to help his clients pursue their best legal course of action. North Carolina nursing home neglect and abuse are serious problems that violate a resident’s rights. Many assisted living facility patients are too sick or frail or disabled or scared to report incidents of abuse or neglect. Some may not even know what is happening to them. Sometimes, the perpetrator is a malicious nursing home staff member or one who lacks the training to do a good job. Unfortunately, many patients must also contend with the threat of patient violence, especially from younger, mentally ill patients that are housed with older residents.

Physical assault, verbal abuse, sexual assault, emotional abuse, taunting, and bullying are just some of the forms that abuse can take. If you suspect North Carolina nursing home abuse or neglect, please do not hesitate to contact The Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo and ask for your free case evaluation.

With offices in Monroe, Hickory, Lumberton, and Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury attorney DeMayo and his team of lawyers and staff have helped over 35,000 clients in both Carolinas. Not only is Attorney DeMayo rated AV Preeminent from Martindale Hubbell, which is the highest professional rating that the national organization bestows, but also he is known for his compassion and dedication to his clients.  Michael DeMayo began his law firm with the basic mission statement to ”Put your client’s interests first and everything else will follow.” Attorney DeMayo stands by that commitment to this day, and as a result, he and his legal team have achieved excellent legal outcomes for his clients.

Nursing negligence happens not just at assisted living facilities, but they can also occur in private homes at the hands of a caregiver.  You may be able to file a North Carolina nursing home neglect or abuse claim against that caregiver or his/her nursing company. With Charlotte, NC nursing negligence lawyer Michael A. DeMayo, you have a legal representative who is also an excellent advocate.

Nursing Homes, NC Division of Aging and Adult Services

How to advocate for parents in nursing homes, AARP

Nursing Home Checklist, Medicare.gov

 

More Blog Posts:

Charlotte, North Carolina Nursing Homes: Bringing Good Cheer to Your Loved Ones During the Holidays, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, November 20, 2011

North Carolina Nursing Home Shooting Rampage: Man Found Guilty of Second-Degree Murder, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, September 20, 2011

119 North Carolina Nursing Homes Receive 1-Star, Says Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, December 22, 2008

 

10th Annual “Arrive Alive: Don’t Drink and Drive” Program A Success with High School Students, Parents, and Teachers

May 8, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Teens, teachers, and parents are raving about the “Arrive: Alive Don’t Drink and Drive” program that took place at a number of area high schools last week. Led by Charlotte, North Carolina Personal Injury Attorney Michael A. DeMayo, students received an education on the dangers of underage drinking and driving.

During the free, hour-long presentation, Mr. DeMayo showed students and faculty photographs from actual drunk driving crash scenes and told them about the catastrophic injuries and deaths that can happen when someone who is intoxicated decides to get in the driver’s seat. Accompanying him to the different schools was Karl Kakadelis, who was just 19 when he caused a drunk driving collision that claimed the life of his best friend. Students were moved as Kakadelis, now 27, talked about how that tragic night irrevocably changed more than one life.

There are no “do-overs” when a drunk driving accident happens and the consequences for everyone involved, including loved ones and friends, are very real. “Our goal is to prevent even one tragic accident from occurring,” said Charlotte, North Carolina Car Crash Lawyer DeMayo.

Our Charlotte, North Carolina Injury law firm is pleased to report that the message we set out to convey, that drunk driving is dangerous and can cause real life, tragic consequences, was acknowledged and received by program attendees and their parents:

“I want to thank (Mr. DeMayo) for trying to change people and turn their hearts before they break them. Like I said, I cannot thank you all enough for coming to my school and talking about this, because it moved me, and that is a life saved. God Bless.” — Jackie Davis

“Your presentation was very powerful. I feel like it really made our students think about making good decisions.  Thank you for what you do for our youth and keep up the good work.” — Dallas Hicks, School Resource Officer, West Iredell High School

“I wanted to tell Mr. DeMayo how much I appreciate his time in coming to North Iredell High School in Olin, NC to speak to the Junior and Seniors about the consequences of drinking on Prom Night. His speech had a huge impact on the students. My daughter is still talking about it. I just wanted to say Thank You!” –Kelly Parks

 

Schools that the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo’s “Arrive Alive” program visited this year included West Iredell High School, North Iredell High School, Porter Ridge High School, Forest Hills High School, Independence High School, Butler High School, Lake Norman High School, and East Gaston High School.

In addition to the “Arrive Alive” program, our Charlotte, NC injury law firm has been active in other ways to make sure that teens know about the perils of underage drinking and driving. For the 9th straight year, The Michael A. DeMayo Scholarship Program awarded $2,500 college scholarships to high school students. The winners were chosen based on their winning presentations warning their peers against drunk driving, as well as their grades and community service. To find out who the 2012 15 scholarship winners are, go to this blog post for details.

Teens, parents, and guardians can take the “Arrive Alive” pledge by downloading an App, now available via iTunes and Android.  Please visit us on Facebook to LIKE our page and download the App.

Watch this PSA from our Charlotte, North Carolina Personal Injury Law Firm: “There are No Extra Lives when You Drink & Drive.”

Learn More About Charlotte, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer Michael A. DeMayo

 

North Carolina High School Students Take the “Arrive Alive” Pledge to Join the Fight Against Underage Drinking and Drunk Driving

May 1, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

The Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, LLP kicked off the first day of its 10th annual “Arrive Alive! Don’t Drink and Drive” program with two presentations at local high schools. At West Iredell High School and North Iredell High School students made the commitment to not drink and drive.

During the presentations, Charlotte, North Carolina Personal Injury Attorney DeMayo spoke to the teenagers about the dangers of drunk driving. He talked about real incidents involving teenagers that died, sustained serious injuries, or hurt someone else because either they or someone else had been driving under the influence. “If we can just save one of you sitting here today from making the wrong decision, then our efforts will be worth it,” said Mr. DeMayo.

Joining him was Karl Kakadelis, who as a teenager was involved in the drunken driving crash that claimed the life of his best friend. Kakadelis has since become an advocate in the fight against underage drinking and driving. Yesterday, he spoke about that night and how it has impacted his life.

Following the presentation, a faculty member at West Iredell High School called the event “very powerful” and said “I feel like it really made our students think about making good decisions.  Thank you for what you do for our youth.”

Our Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury law firm is very pleased that our message was heard loud and clear by both teenagers and adults. We are inviting the students to take the “Arrive Alive” pledge, which is a promise to never drive under the influence of alcohol and, when necessary, ride with a designated driver or find other means of transportation. We also invited their parents and guardians to take the pledge to talk to them about the dangers of drunk driving and how to make safe decisions.

All of the students who take the pledge will have their names entered in a drawing. A girl and a boy from each participating school will be eligible to win a $100 Visa gift card.

Students can take the “Arrive Alive” pledge by visiting the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo online or going to our Facebook page where you can LIKE us and download our free “Arrive Alive” mobile app.

Our “Arrive Alive” program continues on Wednesday, May 2 at Independence High School at 9am in Charlotte and Butler High School at 1pm in Matthews.

“Arrive Alive” is one of our signature community service programs. Along with the annual Michael A. DeMayo Scholarship Program, which awards college scholarships to 15 high school seniors in North Carolina and South Carolina, our Charlotte, personal injury law firm is dedicated to educating teens about the dangers of drunk driving.

 

Related Resources:

Mothers Against Drunk Driving

Teen Drivers Fact Sheet, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Impaired Driving, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

 

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

North Carolina Car Accident Disaster: Teens Texting Leads to High School Tragedy, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Blog, April 6, 2011

North Carolina DUI Nets Man 15 Years in Jail, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Blog, February 17, 2012

Charlotte, North Carolina Personal Injury Law Firm Fights Underage Drinking and Driving with 10th Annual “Arrive Alive! Don’t Drink and Drive” Community Outreach Program at Area High Schools

April 27, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

For the 10th year in a row, the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, LLP is proud to bring its “Arrive Alive! Don’t Drink and Drive” program to local high schools as part of its ongoing efforts to educate minors about the dangers of teen drinking and driving. Charlotte, North Carolina Personal Injury Attorney Michael A. DeMayo will be kicking off this year’s community outreach at West Iredell High School in Statesville at 9 a.m. on Monday, April 30. Later that day, he will speak at 2 p.m. at North Iredell High School in Olin. Other presentations will take place throughout the week. Please visit our web site to view our full schedule and a list of the schools where we will be presenting.

During the free, hour-long presentation, Mr. DeMayo will show photos of drunk driving crash scenes and share stories about teenagers that died or sustained catastrophic injuries because someone was driving drunk. Joining him this year as a guest speaker will be Karl Kakadelis, a 27-year-old who knows first hand about the devastating consequences that can happen from driving while under the influence.

Kakadelis was 19 when, after drinking a number of beers at his graduation party, he and his best friend got into his jeep to pick up another friend who was about a mile away. Kakadelis, who drove his vehicle off the road, overcorrected it, causing the jeep to flip. His best friend, who was ejected from the vehicle, died from his catastrophic injuries. Kakadelis will talk about what happened that night and how his life changed forever.

Our Charlotte, North Carolina car accident law firm is committed to helping teenagers become fully aware of the devastating consequences that can happen from driving drunk. We want them to realize that one bad decision can destroy lives.

Auto accidents continue to be the leading cause of teen deaths and drunk driving is one of the main reasons for these fatalities. Getting more teenagers to stop driving while under the influence inevitably saves lives.

In addition to our “Arrive Alive” program, every year we award 15 high school seniors scholarships of $2,500 each as part of our annual Michael A. DeMayo Scholarship Program. Recipients are selected from North Carolina and South Carolina applicants on the basis of their involvement with the community, SAT scores, grades, and original presentations created using their medium of choice  (essay, web site, PowerPoint, video, or brochure). The presentations are created to educate their fellow teens about why drinking and driving make a dangerous combination.

The Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo represents North Carolina personal injury clients in the areas of injury, nursing home abuse and neglect, workers’ compensation, wrongful death, and social security disability. We have law offices located in Charlotte, Monroe, Lumberton, and Hickory.

You can find out more about our “Arrive Alive” program by visiting the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo on the Internet or watch our TV commercial on YouTube.

Please  LIKE us on Facebook. Also, coming soon:  the “Arrive Alive” app that you will be able to download onto your iPhone or iPad.

DeMayo Law Offices to Present Tenth Annual “Arrive Alive” Program to Local High Schools, PRWeb, April 26. 2012

Teen Drivers, NHTSA

 

 

North Carolina Dangerous Drug?: Acne Prescription Meds Linked to Eye Problems, Birth Defects, Bone Growth Delays, and Miscarriages

April 18, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Isotretinoin, a drug sold under the brand names of Claravis, Roaccutaine (formerly called Accutane), and Amnesteem, is a popular prescription medication that is used to treat severe cases of acne. For example, since 1982, some 16 million people have taken Roaccutaine, which is made by Roche.

Unfortunately, this medication has also been linked to serious side effects. In a new study that was conducted in Israel, 14% of participants that took isotretinoin experienced eye conditions within a year of getting on the drug. Comparatively, only 7% of those belonging to the acne-free comparison group and 9.5% of participants with acne but who had never taken the medication experienced eye problems. The most common eye condition reported was pink eye (also called conjunctivitis),  which can be contagious.  Other potential eye-related side effects include visual disturbances and decreased vision at night.

The Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, LLP represents children and adults injured because of prescription and over-the-counter drugs. If you believe that an injury or health issue was caused by a particular medication, contact our Charlotte, North Carolina dangerous drug law firm today.

Reuters quotes eye problem specialist and Oregon Health and Science University professor Dr. Rick Fraunfelder, who advises parents to take their kids to an ophthalmologist prior to allowing them to take Isotretinoin. He also recommends bringing them back to the eye doctor every 90 days during the first year of taking the medication.  Diagnosing any potential eye problems early can help prevent permanent side effects.

Tel Aviv University researcher Gabriel Chodick, who is one of the study’s authors, says that the likely reason for the increased risk of eye injury is that this acne medication can upset the eyelids’ meibomian glands function. These are the glands that generate oily substance that stop the eye from drying up. The drug itself may irritate the surface of the eye.

When questioned about the eye injury risk, Roche refused to comment on the study. However, a company spokesperson noted that these potential side effects are already listed on packaging labels as possible side effects.

Now just because a side effect is included on a drug label does this exempt a drug maker of liability? What if the risk is proving to be an actual risk than a possible one in that more, rather than less people seem to be developing the complication?  What about medical costs or permanent damage or other health issues that result, including complications and infection? What about the other losses and costs that may then arise? Did the drug manufacturer do enough to make sure that a drug was as safe as possible?

To schedule your free case evaluation, contact our Charlotte, North Carolina injury law firm today.

Acne drug tied to a doubled risk of eye problems, Reuters, April 18, 2012

Isotretinoin, Drugs.com

 

More Blog Posts:

Anticholinergic Meds May Impair the Brain, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, February 27, 2012

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


Fatal Union County, North Carolina Car Crash Involving Hit-and-Run Motorist Leaves Unanswered Questions

April 10, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

NC Highway Patrol Troopers have found the silver Lexus SUV that they believe was involved in Saturday’s deadly Union County pedestrian accident that claimed the life of 22-year-old Joshua Mitchell Crowley. They say that a relative of the alleged driver provided them with the tip that led to the vehicle, which is damaged on its right-front side.

Crowley had been walking home from a party when he was fatally hit by a silver motor vehicle. The driver did not stay at the Union County traffic accident site. As of now, people cannot tell whether this was a case of homicide or hit-and-run.

There had been a fight at the party that Crowley attended and troopers have not confirmed whether Crowley or the alleged driver was involved in that dispute.  Crowley may have been drinking at the party. He had walked 1.8 miles when the deadly Union County, North Carolina pedestrian accident happened. According to witnesses, after the collision, the driver of the Lexus briefly stopped to check the front of the vehicle before leaving the scene.

Hit-And-Run Accidents

For a driver to leave an injured pedestrian or motorist at a crash site after being involved in a deadly collision is a crime. It can also lead to more serious injuries or a fatality that could have been prevented if only the authorities and emergency workers had been notified right away that someone was hurt.

Providing someone who is hurt in a North Carolina car crash can be critical to saving his/her life. Unfortunately, there are drivers who choose not to stay at a collision site or get help because they are scared of getting in trouble.  Among the more common reasons that drivers hit and run:

  • Drunk driving
  • He/she is at fault
  • Driving without a license
  • Driving a stolen vehicle
  • Wanted for other crimes
  • Driving without insurance
  • Denial
  • Panic
  • Intentional infliction of physical harm

Our Union County, North Carolina personal injury law firm want you to know that even if you or your loved one was involved in a hit-and-run crash this doesn’t mean the driver won’t be found or that you can’t obtain coverage or compensation for the harm you or your relative suffered. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that there are legal remedies available to them. Also, lot of car accident victims worry that working with a North Carolina car accident lawyers will be too expensive. What they don’t realize is that their initial consultation is free, and legal fees are only paid if there is financial recovery with payment coming from the compensation.

Patrol: SUV found that hit, killed Union County man, Charlotte Observer, April 9, 2012

Why drivers hit and run, Deadly Roads

 

More Blog Posts:

North Carolina Motorcycle Accident on Charlotte Motor Speedway Kills 2, Injures 1, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, April 4, 2012

Should we wear helmets while we drive? And other intriguing North Carolina car accident prevention questions, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Blog, March 30, 2012

North Carolina Drowning Accident Claims the Life of 12-Year-Old Boy at Wastewater Treatment Plant,  North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Blog, March 17, 2012

North Carolina Products Liability: Is Your Medical Implant Safe?

March 31, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

According to Consumer Reports, most medical implant devices are not tested for effectiveness and safety before being allowed into the marketplace. In many cases,  manufacturers pay just a $4,000 user fee and submit the required paperwork to the US Food and Drug Administration. Often, it isn’t until patients actually use them that these  devices are “tested.” Even the advance safety studies for many high-risk products are a lot less stringent than the ones conducted on prescription medications.

Our Charlotte, North Carolina  personal injury law firm represents patients that have suffered serious complications because of dangerous drugs and defective medical devices. Manufacturers should be held liable and we are committed to making sure that this happens.

While the FDA believes that its current device regulatory system works in terms of ensuring patient safety, the Consumer Reports, which conducted an investigation into this matter is not so sure. Following an analysis of medical research and the FDA’s device-safety database, as well as interviews with patients and doctors, a number of findings were reached, including the discovery that the government and researchers don’t have a systematic way at their disposal to identify medical device problems. If you think about how many consumer products have unique serial numbers that allow manufactures to notify owners when there is a problem, but not a medical device such as an artificial heart valve does not, this is obviously a serious disparity and a problem for patients.

Among the different medical devices that have recently been in the media spotlight following reports of related injuries and health complications:

Metal Hip Implants: Our Charlotte, North Carolina defective medial device law firm has been fielding calls from people that suffered complications because their metal hip implant devices failed (requiring them to undergo revision surgery sooner than should have been necessary) or metal bits of the device broke off in their bodies. Already there have been over 5,000 hip implant lawsuits filed in the US.

Lap-Bands: These implanted bands are popular among people needing them for health reasons and those that want to lose weight and keep it off. Lap-Bands make the stomach smaller so it is harder to eat large amounts of food. Over 650,000 have been sold around the world. While Lap-Bands have had to undergo advance testing before being allowed into the marketplace, testing for prescription drugs is still tougher. Also, there have been a number of reports of health complications and deaths related to Lap-Band implants.

Transvaginal Mesh: More than 650 vaginal mesh lawsuits have been filed against device manufacturers. Bleeding, pain during intercourse, pelvic perforation, perineal cellulitis, urinary tract erosion, and organ perforation are just some of the complications linked to this medical device implant.

Contact our Charlotte, North Carolina products liability lawyers to request your free case evaluation.

CR Investigates: Dangerous Medical Devices, Consumer Reports, May 2012

Investigation: Most Medical Devices Implanted in Patients without Testing, CBS News, March 28, 2012

Plaintiffs Allege ‘Gruesome Conditions’ at Lap-Band Clinics, Los Angeles Times, January 17, 2012

 

More Blog Posts:

North Carolina Defective Medical Device?: FDA Warns of Serious Complications from Using Transvaginal Mesh to Repair Pelvic Problems, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, July 27, 2011

Approximately 1,000 DePuy Hip Lawsuits Already Filed Against Johnson & Johnson, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, July 7, 2011

Protecting Americans from Defective Medical Devices: Is the FDA Doing Enough?, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, February 18, 2011

 

 

 

NTSB Distracted Driving Forum Highlights the Dangers of all Hands-Free Distractions

March 29, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Our Charlotte, North Carolina car accident lawyers are very aware of the dangers that distracted driving can pose on the road. This insidious behavior that seems so harmless to many has been causing thousands of deaths and many more injuries each year since the use of cell phone devices became a constant in people’s lives.

That said, using a cell phone while driving isn’t the only distracting device for motorists. At the National Transportation Safety Board forum on Tuesday, one major theme discussed was that of pernicious technology in motor vehicles. While the US Department of Transportation has called on all US states to ban text messaging devices and handheld cell phones, the NTSB wants all hands-free devices, except for the ones that provide assistance in driving, banned.

NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman spoke about the need for standards and requirements that examine all distractions, including the cognitive ones. These devices not only take a driver’s hands off the wheel and his/her eyes off the road, but also they distract the mind and require some of the motorist’s attention. For instance, scrolling through an iPod or another MP3 player while driving a vehicle requires use of the hands, eyes, mind, and attention.

A panel of experts at the NTSB forum said that a distraction that lasts just two seconds could up the chance of a car crash happening. Also, beginner drivers are 16 times more likely than experience motorists to take their eyes off the road. The panelists noted that the collision risk goes up “four-fold” if a driver is using a cell phone—regardless of whether not it is a hands-free device or a hand-held one.

Last month, the US Transportation Department put out voluntary guidelines that automakers should consider for built-in systems that provide navigation and infotainment. Per the guidelines, any task shouldn’t require more than two seconds to complete. Autos also would have to be stopped and in park mode before a driver could enter navigation commands or use Twitter, Facebook, or other social networking devices.

That said, it isn’t just drivers that are becoming distracted with new technology. Pedestrians and bicyclists have also been known to text or talk on a cell phone while on the road or sidewalk. This increases the chances of a North Carolina pedestrian accident or bicycle crash, potentially causing injury to everyone that ends up involved.

Distracted driving can be grounds for filing a Monroe, North Carolina personal injury lawsuit if serious injuries or death results. At the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, LTD, LLP, we represent victims and their families in obtaining their financial recovery from all liable parties. Contact our Lumberton, North Carolina law firm today.

Distracted Driving Kills; Teenage Girls are Especially at Risk, AA Says, Forbes, March 28, 2012

Gadgets share blame for distracted driving, NTSB chief says, The Washington Post, March 27, 2012

At distracted driving forum, a focus of danger beyond two seconds, CNN, March 28, 2012

 

More Blog Posts:

NTSB Calls for Nationwide Ban on Cell Phone Use while Driving, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, January 4, 2012

North Carolina Wrongful Death Lawsuit Seeks Damages from Four Asheville Bars Over Fatal Car Crash, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, October 16, 2011

Road Where North Carolina Truck Crash that Claimed the Lives of Two Young Brothers Happened Has No Sidewalk, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, February 23, 2012

Charlotte, North Carolina Car Accident Claims the Life of Man Who Was Pushed Into the Street During Bar Brawl

March 5, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

A 26-year-old man was killed on Saturday after he was injured in a Charlotte, North Carolina car accident that police believe occurred after he was pushed onto the street during a bar fight. The victim’s name is Robert Edward Kingston III.

23-year-old Kenan Wells Gay has been charged with murder in connection with Kingston’s death. According to witnesses, Kingston sustained fatal injuries after a disagreement he was involved in at Ed’s Tavern spilled outside and he was pushed in front of an oncoming BMW. The driver of the vehicle will not face criminal charges over Kingston’s death.

Depending on the specifics of what happened, Kingston’s family could have grounds for a Charlotte, North Carolina wrongful death case against any persons that may have played a role in causing the deadly accident. If inadequate security or negligence on the bar’s part allowed for the brawl to happen, the establishment could also find itself the target of a civil claim. Property owners can be held liable if there was an unsafe or dangerous condition or situation on their grounds that could/should have been avoided or remedied yet wasn’t.  Even if no one intended for Kingston to die, any reckless or careless acts on anyone’s part that contributed to his passing may be reason enough to pursue Charlotte, North Carolina wrongful death damages.

In North Carolina, family members of someone that died due to another’s negligence may be eligible to compensation if, had the victim lived, he/she would have been entitled an action for personal injury damages. Damages for the wrongful death may include medical expenses, pain and suffering, funeral costs, lost wages, loss of protection, assistance, services, care, companionship, society, guidance, or comfort, and possibly even punitive damages if willful/wanton behavior or malice was involved. Loved ones have two years from the date of death to file their claim.

Figuring out the value of one’s North Carolina wrongful death claim can be challenging. By working with a Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury law firm, you increase your chances of getting the maximum recovery possible.  Your legal team can also protect your rights and advocate for your best interests. You definitely do not want to settle with the other parties involvunless you’ve first explored your legal options.

Unfortunately, many insurers will try to get you to settle for the lowest amount possible, which is why it is better that you have a Charlotte, North Carolina wrongful death lawyer dealing with them for you. While a statute of limitations of two years may seem like a long time, there is a lot that your legal representation will have to do to prepare your case to increase your chances of a successful outcome.

Contact the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, LLP and ask for your free case evaluation. The sooner you get started, the better.

Police: Man pushed in front of car outside Dilworth bar, Charlotte Observer, March 5, 2012

Former UNC football player accused of murder after bar fight, WCNC, March 4, 2012

More Blog Posts: 

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

Tragic North Carolina Car Accident Claims Life of a Child on Go-Kart, North Carolina  Accident Lawyer Blog, November 6, 2012

Drunk driving a factor in North Carolina Car Accident that Killed 17-year-old Raleigh Student, North Carolina  Accident Lawyer Blog, January 31, 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

DogsBite.org

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

Drunk Driving a Factor in North Carolina Car Accident that Killed 17-Year-old Raleigh Student

January 31, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

According to toxicology results, alcohol was involved in the deadly North Carolina motor vehicle crash that claimed the life of 17-year-old Elizabeth Molloy on January 7. The Medical Examiner’s Office says that she died from blunt-force trauma to the head, which she sustained when the Jeep she was riding drove off the road and into a tree. The vehicle was reportedly moving at 75 mph in a 30 mph zone when the deadly collision happened.

Per the report, Molloy’s boyfriend Garrett Prince who was driving the Jeep, had a BAC of .29%. Molloy’s BAC was .12%. In North Carolina, the legal driving limit is .08% before someone is considered impaired.

Prince, 16, has been charged with DWI, felony death by motor vehicle, having an open container of liquor, provisional DWI, speeding and possession of marijuana, and careless and reckless driving. Also facing criminal charges 18-year-old Hannah R. Smith, who hosted the underage drinking party, 21-year-old Anthony Du Juan Geter, who bought the alcohol for the teenagers, 17-year-old Samantha M. McKinney, and a 15-year-old.

Drunk Driving

Drunk driving is hazardous regardless of your age. At the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, LLP, we are especially passionate about impressing upon teenagers the dangers of driving while intoxicated.

Even though it’s illegal for them, alcohol use continues to be popular among minors. According to Students Against Destructive Decisions, by high school graduation, 72% of kids will have consumed alcohol. 37% will have done so by the eighth grade.

With motor vehicle crashes continuing to be the number one case of deaths for 15 to 20-year-olds, it is important that teenagers take drunk driving seriously and not get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. Alcohol by itself can slow reflexes, blur vision, impair judgment, and handicap a person’s abilities to make wise decisions. Couple that with a teenager who may be going through a rebellious phase, has an inflated sense of invincibility (that can come with being young,) or needs to look cool in front of his/her peers and the combination can prove deadly.

This is one of the reasons why our Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury law firm offers the Michael A. DeMayo Scholarship Program. Not only do we want to help 15 high school seniors make their dream of a college education come true, but also we want to help spread the word among teens about why they shouldn’t drink and drive. The deadline to be considered for one of the $2,500 scholarship awards is February 27, 2012. Click on the link below to find out more.

Our Charlotte, North Carolina car accident lawyers represent victims and families that have lost loved ones in traffic crashes because of drunk drivers or other negligent motorists. Contact The Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo LLP today.

Millbrook students legally drunk at time of fatal crash, Charlotte Observer, January 31, 2012

Teen driver charged with DWI in fatal Raleigh wreck, WRAL, January 7, 2012

Michael A. DeMayo Scholarship Program 

More Blog Posts:

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

North Carolina Wrongful Death Lawsuit Seeks Damages from Four Asheville Bars Over Fatal Car Crash, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, October 16, 2011

Pregnant Victim’s Body Found Six hours After Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer is Dispatched by 911 to the Wrong Address

January 29, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Danielle Watson was murdered on January 13 after a co-worker, who was robbing the Flying Biscuit Cafe in Charlotte, North Carolina where they both worked, stabbed her. The man charged with her murder is 22-year-old Mark Anthony Cox. Prosecutors may also charge him for murdering her unborn baby.

Watson, the 25-year-old manager of the restaurant, was pregnant at the time.  She was supposed to marry her boyfriend Keith Smith later in the month, but instead, her funeral had to be scheduled for that day.

Could Watson have survived her stabbing if police had arrived at the Ballantyne restaurant sooner? If so, depending on the specifics of what happened, her family might have grounds for a North Carolina wrongful death case.

Apparently, Smith called 911 to tell them he thought the restaurant where Watson worked was being robbed and he asked them to check on her. Unfortunately, the call-taker had typed in the wrong address and the responding police officer ended up going to the wrong place. It wasn’t until the following morning—six hours later—when police were asked to go to the restaurant to check on a possible larceny crime that Watson’s body was found behind a dumpster.

During the 911 call, the call-taker failed to confirm the address or the name of the business that Smith provided. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Captain Mike Campagna has said that per the training of call-takers and dispatchers, they are always encouraged to confirm the addresses that are given to them. Now, however, following Watson’s death, they must now confirm this information.

Also, Smith’s call was categorized as a Priority 3, which gives officers 15 minutes to respond. The cop that was dispatched arrived at the wrong address in 12 minutes. If the call had been categorized as a Priority 1, usually given to those involving the threat of immediate death or injury, a police officers would have had to arrive at the scene within three minutes.

Smith says that the 911 call-taker told him that someone would call back after checking on Watson. No call ever came. The responding police officer’s notes indicate that she tried to call Smith “but was unsuccessful.”

North Carolina Wrongful Death

If you believe that your loved one died and that someone else’s negligence or carelessness contributed to his/her passing, you may be have grounds for filing a Charlotte, North Carolina wrongful death case. If someone you love was fatally injured or died while doing his/her job, the victim’s family likely cannot sue the employer, but should be entitled to North Carolina workers’ compensation death benefits. That said, there might be third parties that can and should be held liable.

The entity in charge of overseeing 911 in your area could be held liable if negligence on the service’s part allowed you or your loved one to sustain serious injuries or contributed to such injuries happening.  Contact our Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury law firm and ask for your free case evaluation with the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, LLP.

Flying Biscuit case prompts change in 911 policy at CMPD, Charlotte Observer, January 30, 2012

Following deadly stabbing, restaurant could face penalty for hiring a felon, WBTV, January 25, 2012

More Blog Posts:

North Carolina Workplace Shooting at Lumber Company Results in Three Deaths and One Injury, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, January 16, 2012

North Carolina Wrongful Death Lawsuit Seeks Damages from Four Asheville Bars Over Fatal Crash, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, October 16, 2011

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

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

January 4, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

High school seniors in South Carolina and North Carolina that want to be considered for a $2,500 college scholarship have until February 27 to submit their application to The Michael A. DeMayo Scholarship Program.

Our North Carolina personal injury law firm has been proud to help students make their dream of higher education a reality since 2003.

Last year, a record number of creative and intelligent young applicants sent their impressive presentations and applications to us. It is clear that there are many young people out there that are just as passionate as we are about the need to stop teens from driving drunk.

Participants must fill out an application form, as well as turn in a presentation that encourages other teenagers to refrain from drinking while driving. Letters of recommendation, your high school transcript, a list of your volunteer activities, and details of any school and community involvement are also required. 15 scholarship recipients will receive $2,500 from our Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury law firm.

The Michael A. DeMayo Scholarship Program is open to seniors studying in the North Carolina counties of Gaston, Mecklenburg, Union, Catawba, Cleveland, Cabarrus, Rowan, Lincoln, Stanly, Caldwell, Alexander, Iredell, Robeson, Burke, Richmond, Scotland, Cumberland, and Anson, as well as the South Carolina counties of Chesterfield, Lancaster, York, Dillon, and Marlboro.

Visit The Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo online for more information and/or download an application.  You can also “Like” us on Facebook. For more information, contact Kristine Woolley at kwoolley@demayolaw.com or you can call her at (704) 343-4644.

Teenagers and Drunk Driving

With traffic crashes continuing to be the leading cause of deaths among young drivers in the 15-20 age group, it is imperative that teenagers continue be made aware of how dangerous it is to drive while intoxicated. Not only is it illegal for anyone under 21 to consume alcohol, but also drinking dramatically increases the chances of a South Carolina/North Carolina car crash. Combine inebriation with driver inexperience, youth, speeding, failure to wear seat belts, loud music, other teens in the car, drug use, and cell phone use or text messaging while driving, and you have a deadly combination.

Our North Carolina personal injury law firm supports young people in empowering themselves and their fellow teens to drive sober. Our hope is that together, we can educate teens while saving lives.

The Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo represents victims of South Carolina/North Carolina truck accident, car crashes, bus collisions, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, and pedestrian accidents. We help our clients and their families recover personal injury and wrongful death compensation from all liable parties.

To schedule your free case evaluation, contact our North Carolina injury law firm today.

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

Download a Scholarship Application

 

More Blog Posts: 

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 Car Accident Law Firm Awards 10 College Scholarships to Students for Essays on Underage Drinking and Driving, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, June 9, 2011

North Carolina Truck Accidents are 23 Times More Likely to Happen When a Trucker is Texting, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, August 11, 2009

 

Obtaining North Carolina Dog Bite Compensation is More Challenging Without Legal Help

December 31, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Our Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury law firm represents victims who were injured in dog attacks. Because the state has a one-bite rule, it can be tough to get compensation if you were the first person that the dog attacked. This doesn’t, however, mean that your claim is not valid or that you can’t obtain recovery. Working with a North Carolina dog bite lawyer will increase your chances for recovery. Also, there are exceptions to the one-bite rule if:

  • The dog is over six months old
  • The owner purposely allowed the dog to run “at large”
  • The attack occurred at night

The state has a strict liability clause that says a dog owner of a dangerous (or potentially dangerous) canine is liable for civil damages when severe personal injury or property damage results. A dangerous dog is one that has caused serious injury or killed a person without provocation. A potentially dangerous dog is one that has inflicted a bite injury on a human that resulted in disfiguring lacerations or broken bones, caused severe injury or killed a domestic animal, or gone after someone in a vicious way when not on the owner’s property.

At the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, LLP, we know how traumatic a dog bite can be. We are also familiar with the serious injuries that can result. Our Charlotte, North Carolina dog attack lawyers are committed to helping our clients recoup the compensation they are owed.

Factors contributing to whether a dog may bite someone:

  • The breed of the dog
  • The characteristics of the dog’s parents
  • How poorly/well the dog has been socialized
  • The quality of dog training received
  • The dog’s health (a sick or injured dog may be more likely to bite)
  • The behavior of the victim

Examples of dog bite injuries:

  • Punctures
  • Crush injuries
  • Abrasions
  • Tissue damage
  • Bone fractures
  • Scars
  • Rabies
  • Capnocytophaga canimorsus infection
  • Cellulitis
  • Scarring
  • Facial disfigurement
  • Sprains

You may be entitled to compensation for lost wages, pain and suffering, medical costs, permanent disability, permanent scarring, loss of enjoyment of life, wrongful death, and other damages. Our Charlotte, North Carolina injury law firm is also familiar with the emotional and psychological trauma that can result from being attacked by an animal.

The sooner you explore the legal options the better for you. There is no reason why you should have to shoulder the costs of someone else’s negligent actions.

To request your free case evaluation, contact us via our Web site or call 1-877-529-1222. The Law Offices of Michael A. Demayo, LLP has recovered over $275M for our clients and their families. We are here to protect accident victims and get them the compensation they need so that they can rebuild their lives.

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

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

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

Two Newton, North Carolina High School Students Suspended Following Alleged Hazing Assault

December 22, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Two Newton-Conover High School students were arrested last week after they were accused of assaulting a freshman while allegedly hazing him. All of the students involved belonged to the school’s wrestling team. Depending on what happened and the extent of the freshman’s injuries, he and his family could have grounds for a Catawba County, North Carolina personal injury case.

According to school superintended Barry Redmonds, the incident occurred last week. Team members were gathered in the practice room when someone turned out the lights while another team member put the freshman in a wrestling hold. That was when a third person allegedly assaulted him.

The student who held the freshman down claims and didn’t know that the assault was going to happen was suspended for three days. The other student who allegedly committed the assault was suspended for the rest of the semester and kicked off the wrestling team.

Hazing

If your son or daughter was involved in a hazing incident at school, you may want to speak with an experienced Newton personal injury law firm to find out about your legal options.

Hazing is sometimes used as an initiation practice for new members joining a group. It is most often associated with joining a college fraternity or sorority. However, other groups have been known engage in hazing.

Although considered by many to be in good fun, hazing can take a dangerous turn if the person that is the target gets hurt. Alcohol poisoning, sexual assault, and physical assault are just some of the more dangerous consequences of hazing gone awry. Death may even result.

The practice of hazing has been widely written about in the media lately in the wake of the death of a Florida A & M University student. Robert Champion Jr., who belonged to the marching band, died last month after he was allegedly hazed. According to one expert who looked at Champion’s final autopsy report, which was released this week, the 26-year-old student had sustained the type of muscle damage that is commonly associated with child abuse, extensive seizures, car accidents, and torture.

It was just last week that the medical examiner’s office called Champion’s death a homicide. His family will likely file a wrongful death lawsuit against the school.

Following Champion’s death, Bria Hunter, another Florida A&M University student, is suing the school for personal injury because says she too was brutally hazed by members of the marching band. Hunter claims that she sustained a cracked femur from the beating.

North Carolina Personal Injury

Schools can be held liable if students are injured while under their supervision. It is the responsibility of school officials to make sure that activities that take place do not place anyone at risk of serious injury or death. To determine whether you have grounds for a Newton, North Carolina personal injury case, you should contact the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, LLP today.

Expert: Autopsy of Florida A & M drum major shows badly beaten muscles, CNN, December 22, 2011

2 NC High school wrestlers face hazing suspension, WRAL, December 20, 2011

 

More Blog Posts:

Former Penn State University Assistant Coach Jerry Sandusky Hit with First Child Sex Abuse Lawsuit, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, November 30, 2011

Charlotte, North Carolina Nursing Homes: Bringing Good Cheer to Your Loved Ones During The Holidays, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, November 20, 2011

North Carolina-Based Private Security Company Blackwater is Sued For Wrongful Death, Personal Injury, and War Crimes, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, December 10, 2007

 

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

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

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

Charlotte, North Carolina Car Accidents: What You Should Know About Working with a Claims Adjuster

September 29, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

If you were involved in a Charlotte, North Carolina car accident, you may be entitled to personal injury compensation from any liable parties. You should speak with a North Carolina injury lawyer right away to find out whether you have grounds for a case.

What you shouldn’t do is talk to the other party’s claims adjuster about the accident or your injuries. The job of a claims adjuster is to investigate claims, negotiate settlements, and decide how much a claimant should get. They are tasked with resolving cases as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.

While they do perform a necessary function in the North Carolina car accident claim process, giving them too much information could hurt your case more than help it. For example, a recent MSN.com article cautions that some claims adjusters will:

• Try to get you to agree to a settlement right away.
• Get you to a compromise that might not be in your best interests.
Convince you to go to a repair shop that is “preferred.”
• Try to get you to accept less than fair placement value for a totaled car.

The MSN.com article goes on to talk about what you should to prevent these outcomes from happening:

• Make sure that all written statements go through your Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury lawyer.
• Be careful about what you say to a claims adjuster—less is more.
• Try not to apologize for what happened—even if it is the polite thing to do—because you’re “sorry” may be construed as an admission of guilt.
• Don’t joke about the situation.
• Don’t say anything that might later damage your credibility.
• Be wary of questions trying to get you to admit that you were at fault.
• Even if the North Carolina motor vehicle crash may have been your fault, don’t say anything to incriminate yourself. Remember, you have the right to remain silent.
• Make sure to report any injuries, aches or pains.

Remember, the Charlotte, North Carolina car accident law firm that you hire is there to make sure you receive the maximum recovery possible for your injuries and the damage to your property. Your legal team is also here to protect your rights. If you settle right away, your North Carolina personal injury lawyer won’t be able to get you a bigger sum that might actually be owed to you.

Investigating the extent of property damage and the severity of a victim’s injuries can take time. While it may initially seem like a relief to have a settlement in your hands, this could prove problematic. Your best bet is to let your lawyer handle all interactions with the other party and the people they’ve brought on to counter/minimize your claim.

Secrets of car insurance adjusters, MSN, September 27, 2011

Car accidents and Negligence, Nolo


More Blog Posts:

HB 542 Could Cost North Carolina Motor Vehicle Crash Victims Who Have Medical Insurance, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, September 24, 2011

Visualizing Auto Safety: A Powerful Way to Avoid North Carolina Car Accidents, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Blog, September 28, 2011

What Really Caused Your North Carolina Car Accident?, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Blog, September 2, 2011

 

Join the Fight Against Texting While Driving: Enter Our Charlotte, North Carolina Personal Injury Law Firm’s Sweepstakes on Facebook to Win a Flip Camera and Watch Our Distracted Driving Video

September 19, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

According to some studies, texting while operating a motor vehicle is eight times more dangerous than driving while drunk. Yet, for many people, knowing this information isn’t enough to stop them from reading, composing, or sending a text while driving. Our Charlotte, North Carolina car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo would like to invite you and your friends to join us in the fight against distracted driving. Please watch our Distracted Driving is Like Driving Blind video on YouTube and enter our Distracted Driving Awareness Sweepstakes on Facebook. The deadline to participate is October 10, 2011.

Texting While Driving
In North Carolina, it is actually illegal for all motorists to text while driving. Unfortunately, this texting ban isn’t enough to ensure that people won’t engage in this type of distracted driving behavior. Here are a couple of reasons why:

• Not everyone understands that texting, which poses no physical danger when done while not operating a vehicle, is dangerous when driving. It takes just a few seconds for a catastrophic North Carolina car crash to happen. Usually, to text the driver has to have his/her eyes off the road for at least that long and one, even both of his/her driver’s hands will be off the steering wheel to hold and work the phone/PDA device. This can make it hard for a motorist to stay in control of a vehicle to avoid an accident.

• In this multitasking society, it can be hard to stop what has now become a bad, even compulsive habit of constantly checking and responding to text messages and emails.

According to Internet & American Life Project from the Pew Research Center, adults are just as likely as teens to text when driving. In the report, issued last year, 47% of adults reported sending or receiving a text from a mobile phone while behind the steering wheel of a motor vehicle. If adult drivers can’t restrain themselves from texting, how can we expect our teen drivers to stop? Please stop distracted driving by pledging to limit your texting when operating a motor vehicle.

We are familiar with the devastating consequences that can result because someone was texting or talking on the phone while driving. Please do not hesitate to contact our Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury law firm to ask for your free case evaluation.

The Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, LLP
Over the years, the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo has fought hard for our clients to make sure they received the damages they were owed by all liable parties. We also have been fierce advocates of combating drunk driving with our Arrive Alive: Don’t Drink and Drive community service program and the Michael A. DeMayo Scholarship Program for college kids. Our Charlotte, North Carolina injury law firm is committed to helping stop the growing epidemic known as distracted driving. Won’t you join us in saving more lives?

Adults as likely to text while driving as teens, study says, CNN, June 18, 2010

Cell Phone and Texting Laws, Governors Highway Safety Association, September 2011


More Blog Posts:

Turn Down the Music! (and Avoid North Carolina Car Accidents), North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Blog, August 4, 2011

16-Year-Old Driver Involved in Fatal North Carolina Car Accident is Charged with Texting While Driving, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Blog, March 30, 2011

Lawmakers Deliberate Whether to Step Up the Fight Against North Carolina Distracted Driving Crashes with a Ban on Handheld Cell Devices, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Blog, March 26, 2011

North Carolina Nursing Home Shooting Rampage: Man Found Guilty of Second-Degree Murder

September 12, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Robert Stewart, the man convicted of eight counts of second-degree murder in the 2009 mass shooting at a North Carolina nursing home, has been spared the death penalty. Instead, he will spend life in prison without parole.

Stewart admitted to shooting 11 people at the Pinelake Health and Rehabilitation Center. Eight of the people he shot at the Carthage nursing home died:

• Tessie Garner, 75
• Jesse Musser, 88
• Lillian Dunn, 89
• Bessie Hedrick, 78
• Margaret Johnson, 89
• John Goldston, 78
• Nurse Jerry Avant, 39
• Louise DeKler, 98

Already, the estates of DeKler, Goldston, Johnson, and Dunn have filed a North Carolina wrongful death claim alleging nursing home negligence and premises liability. Stewart’s wife Wanda is believed to have warned administrators that her husband was going to come after her.

On the day of the shooting, March 29, 2009, Wanda was working in a locked area of the facility. The rest of the nursing home, however, remained easily accessible to anyone. The victims’ loved ones say that the facility never warned them that Stewart might go to the Carthage nursing home and cause anyone harm. (Wanda has also been named a defendant for allegedly failing to warn the residents that her husband posed a danger.)

While prosecutors tried to get Robert convicted of first-degree murder—contending that he was aware of his actions and motives when he went looking for his wife, his defense lawyers claimed that at the time of the shooting he had been under the influence of a combination of prescription drugs that put him in a zombie-like state. They also contended that he was depressed because his wife had left him and he believed he was dying from cancer.

Following the jury’s conviction of second-degree murder, the judge sentenced Robert to 189-236 months behind bars for each murder count (that is 126 to 157 years in prison) sans parole. He also was sentenced to 16-22 years for other assault convictions. The defense plans to appeal.

North Carolina Nursing Home Negligence
In addition to protecting residents from North Carolina nursing home abuse and neglect, it is up to staff to make sure that patients and their guests are kept physically safe. This means ensuring that there is adequate supervision, security, and safeguards to prevent sexual assault, physical assault, and other violent crimes.

Nursing homes should be properly secured to prevent unwanted persons from entering or leaving the premise without notice. Security guards, locks on doors and windows, surveillance cameras, and controlled entry and access are just some of the safety measures that can be implemented. If there is an imminent danger that suddenly arises, then adequate warnings, heightened security, and closer supervision can be implemented to provide adequate protections.

Robert Stewart guilty of 2nd-degree murder, sentenced to life in prison, FayObserver.com, September 4, 2011

NC man gets life in prison for Carthage nursing home killings, NBC17, September 3, 2011

Related Web Resources:
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services

Nursing Home Compare, Medicare.gov

More Blog Posts:
Alleged Shooter That Caused Eight Carthage, North Carolina Nursing Home Deaths to Go on Trial, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, July 11, 2011

Over 18,000 Reports of North Carolina Elder Abuse and Neglect Made in 2010, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, May 9, 2011

Caretaker Accused of North Carolina Elder Abuse in Beating of 91-Year-Old Woman, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, January 27, 2011

Charlotte, North Carolina Personal Injury Law Firm to Provide Free Speakers Bureau Service to Talk about the Legal Issues Affecting You

September 1, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

For nearly two decades the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo has been an active member of the community and every year, our Charlotte, North Carolina injury lawyers give back by participating in and offering a number of public service programs. This year we are unveiling our Speakers Bureau, a public service program that allows us to meet with you and answer your questions about specific legal issues that may be impacting you. This service is free.

At the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, we know that the legal process can sometimes seem overwhelming and confusing. This is why we want to answer your questions and explain your legal rights. Our North Carolina injury lawyers are available to speak to your group or organization in Charlotte, Hickory, or Monroe about a number of topics, including (but not limited to):

General Interest:
• What to do if you get hurt in a car crash
• Pursing law as a career
• Choosing the best auto insurance for you

Motor Vehicle/Motorcycle Crashes:
• What to do if you’ve been in a traffic crash
• Drinking and driving
• How to deal with insurance companies
• Understanding your auto/motorcycle insurance policy
• Traumatic brain injury and whiplash
• Dangerous roads

Caregiver and Family Support:
• How to handle insurers
• When you should speak with a lawyer
• Lost wages and medical bills

Social Security Disability and Workers’ Compensation:
• Who is eligible to receive benefits
• What you should do if you get hurt on the job
• What to do if your request for Social Security Disability is denied

How to Request Our Speaker’s Bureau:
To request a speaker from our law firm, fill out our Speakers Bureau Form. We will send you an e-mail notification confirming the receipt of your request. Please give us at least four weeks notice from when you would like us to speak. Speakers are available on a first come, first serve basis. Our North Carolina personal injury lawyers will make every effort to ensure that our presentation for you is informative and interesting. Professional groups, service organizations, volunteer groups, church groups, injury and illness support groups, educational groups, caregiver support groups, schools and educational groups, social clubs, and community associations are just some of the groups that could benefit from our Speakers Bureau program.

The Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo is located in Charlotte, Hickory, Monroe, and Lumberton, North Carolina, and we represent clients in North Carolina and South Carolina. Other community services we offer include the Arrive Alive; Don’t Drink and Drive program and the Michael A. DeMayo Scholarship Program. We also remain actively involved in raising money and awareness for the Mothers Against Drunk Driving program and services, the Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina Thanksgiving food drive, and the Angel Tree Toy Drive.

For more information, visit our Web site or contact our Community Relations Director Kristine Woolley at kwoolley@demayolaw.com or call (704) 343-4644.

Read More About:
Arrive Alive: Don’t Drink and Drive

Michael A. DeMayo Scholarship Program

Union County, North Carolina Dog Bite Lawsuit Blames School Staff for Incident on Playground

August 31, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

The father of a former Western Union Elementary School student is suing the Union County Board of Education for North Carolina injuries to a minor because a pit bull terrier bit his son on the school playground in 2010. According to the North Carolina dog bite lawsuit, the stray animal entered the school premises. Meantime, while the board acknowledges that the dog got onto the grounds and bit Jordan, it denies responsibility.

If you or someone you love was injured in a dog attack that occurred on another person’s property, you may have reason for filing a North Carolina personal injury lawsuit against the premise owner and/or the dog owner. Property owners can be held liable for North Carolina premises liability if there is a danger or unsafe condition on the property that causes injury that would/could/should have been prevented if it weren’t for the owner’s negligence.

Dog owners can also be held liable for the victim’s injuries. However, because of the state’s laws regarding contributory negligence, which stops victims that played any role in causing their injury from obtaining damages, receiving the compensation you are owed can be tough. Also, it doesn’t help that the state’s laws regarding dog bites appear to be more to the dog owner’s advantage.

For example, a North Carolina dog owner can be held strictly liable for the animal’s injuries if he/she purposely and willfully violated the state’s prohibition against letting dogs run at large. However, this is only applicable if the dog is more than six months old and was running at large on its own during night hours. Strict liability may also apply if severe injury or death resulted and the animal had been used in dog fighting or was previously declared “potentially dangerous” for either having terrorized or caused injury to another human being or animal while off the owner’s property. These are just some of the reasons why you should work with an experienced Monroe, North Carolina dog bite law firm that knows how to prove negligence and obtain the maximum recovery possible.

You should know that a dog doesn’t need to have broken skin during the bite for you to have grounds for a Charlotte, North Carolina dog attack claim. Dog bites can cause serious emotional injury and mental trauma that can impede the victim’s life. Also, as we mentioned earlier in the blog post, there may be more than one party who should be held liable for your North Carolina dog bite injuries.

Also, if a dog bit you, you should seek medical attention right away. Even if the actual physical injury doesn’t appear severe you may be at risk of infection or rabies, which can exacerbate your condition. Some dog bite injuries can be so serious that they can lead to permanent disfigurement, scarring, organ damage, and even death.

Father Sues Union School Board Over Dog Bite Incident, WSOCTV, August 31, 2011


Related Web Resources:

Dog Bites, American Humane Society

Dog Bites, Nolo


More Blog Posts:

Waxhaw Pit Bull Attack Leaves 5-Year-Old Dead and Her Grandmother with Serious Injuries, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, January 12, 2011

Mint Hill Dog Attack Injures Grandmother and Six-Year-Old Boy, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, December 24, 2010

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

Charlotte, North Carolina Slip and Fall Accidents Can Result in Painful, Debilitating Personal Injuries

August 30, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Every year, thousands of people are injured in slip and fall, step and fall, and trip and fall accidents. While these accidents sound harmless enough (after all, as young children didn’t all of us fall to the ground on more than one occasion and live to tell the tale with our bodies physically intact?), the injuries sustained during a fall accident, especially for older adults, can be very serious and can even lead to traumatic brain injuries and death.

Other common slip and fall injuries include broken hips, back injuries, neck injuries, fractures, head injuries, and injuries to the arms, pelvis, legs, and hands. Bruises are also not uncommon during trip and fall accidents. Depending on the type of injury and the age and physical health of the injured party, premises liability-related injuries are very painful and can lead to permanent disabilities, lengthy confinements at nursing homes or rehabilitation facilities, loss of independence, lack of mobility, the inability to go to work or tend to daily tasks, and health complications.

Our Charlotte, North Carolina slip and fall attorneys represent premises liability victims and their families throughout the state. Property owners owe patrons, guests, and residents a duty of care to make sure there are no slip and fall hazards on a premise that can cause serious injuries. Most North Carolina slip and fall accident victims don’t realize that they may be entitled to personal injury compensation.

Common causes of slip and fall, trip and fall, and step and fall injuries:

• Wet liquids on the ground
• Uneven flooring
• Ice and snow on a driveway
• Lack of stair railings
• Inadequately lit stairwells, hallways, and parking lots
• Torn carpeting
• Objects or debris on the ground
• Cracks on the sidewalk
• Broken floorboards
• Pavement holes

Related Web Resource:
Slip and Fall, Nolo

Premises Liability, Justia

Adoptive Dad of Murdered 4-Year-Old is Not Allowed to Receive North Carolina Wrongful Death Damages, Says Jury

August 16, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Although Johnny Paddock was never charged in the death of his 4-year-old adoptive son Sean Paddock, he will not be allowed to benefit from a North Carolina wrongful death lawsuit filed by the boy’s biological grandfather. Paddock’s wife, Lynn Paddock, was convicted of felony child abuse and first-degree murder. She is serving a life sentence.

Police say that Sean suffocated after being bound too tightly in blankets on February 26, 2006. Although Johnny claims he knew nothing of the abuse, the civil court says that Johnny “aided and abetted” Lynn.

Sean’s five adopted siblings have also filed a North Carolina wrongful death lawsuit against Johnny. In addition, they are suing Children’s Home Society of North Carolina Inc. for North Carolina personal injury because the group placed them with the Paddocks. Sean’s grandfather, Ron Ford, is also suing the group.

During Lynn’s 2008 criminal trial, the Paddock kids testified that she beat them on a nearly daily basis with wooden spoons, plastic rods, and other devices. They also say that she controlled when they could go to the bathroom and what they ate, made them exercise, and forced them to sit in front of a wall for hours. They claim she kept them away from other adults and kids.

Some of the kids still live with Johnny, who they say never beat them and was either asleep or away when they were abused by their mom. Still, Ford’s lawyers contend that Paddock knew about the abuse and didn’t do anything to stop it.

Because of this jury’s finding, Johnny will not be able to obtain any recovery from the wrongful death lawsuits filed over Sean’s murder. The verdict removes him as Sean’s legal dad and now paves the way for Sean’s siblings to win damages.

Ford, who lost his standing as Sean’s relative when the Paddocks adopted the boy, also won’t be collecting any damages from Sean’s estate. Following the jury’s verdict, Ford says that the fact that Johnny was being held accountable for what happened to Sean makes him “very very happy with this.”

North Carolina Wrongful Death
As you can see with this case, North Carolina wrongful death actions can be complicated, which is why you want an experienced Charlotte, NC wrongful death law firm handling your case. There may be complex issues involved, such as trying to prevent a family member who may played a factor in causing the victim’s passing from recovering compensation.

Losing someone you love is never easy under any circumstances and obtaining damages won’t make up for your loss. It can, however, allow you to hold the responsible parties accountable and serve as acknowledgement of what happened. In can also provide some financial relief.

Father faulted in death, The Herald, July 24, 2011

Verdict means adoptive father can’t benefit from boy’s death, WRAL, July 20, 2011

Paddock will pay for son’s murder, News Observer, September 22, 2009


Related Web Resource:

Children’s Home Society of North Carolina Inc.

More Blog Posts:
North Carolina Convicted Murderer Mike Peterson Now Owes $35 Million for Wrongful Death of His Wife, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, February 11, 2011

North Carolina Parents File Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Stokes County Department of Social Services For Son’s Drowning Deaths, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, April 2, 2008

North Carolina Wrongful Death Results in $10M Award Against Taser, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, July 20, 2011

Alleged Shooter That Caused Eight Carthage, North Carolina Nursing Home Deaths to Go on Trial, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, July 11, 2011

Sustaining a Traumatic Brain Injury May Up the Risk of Stroke

August 2, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

According to researchers, patients suffering from traumatic brain injuries may have increase their risk of stroke by 10-fold. Our Charlotte, North Carolina TBI law firm finds these latest findings incredibly disturbing. This is just one more incredibly challenging complication that some of our brain injury clients may have to contend with, along with the other repercussions from having been in a serious accident.

The results from this latest study, which was conducted by Professor Herng-Ching Lin at Taipei Medical University, were published in the July 28 web edition of Stroke. Data was gathered on 23,199 traumatic brain injury patients who got hurt between 2001 and 2003. Their information was compared with data from 69,597 patients who did not have TBIs.

Among the findings:
• 2.91% of brain injury patients suffered a stroke within three months of sustaining their injury.
• Just .3% of non-TBI patients had a stroke during the same time frame.
• The risk of stroke among TBI patients did go down with each passing year.
• Patients with a fractured skull can up the risk of stroke had a 20-fold greater risk of developing a stroke during the first thee months than for TBI patients without a skull fracture.
• Traumatic brain injury patients are at greater risk of having a brain bleed than other patients.

One possible reason for the increased stroke is that certain TBI health complications—cardiac injuries, blood clotting, and torn arteries can result in a stroke.

Stroke:
A stroke can occur when there is a disruption in the flow of blood to the brain. A stroke is considered a medical emergency. Getting immediate care can save the patient’s live and decrease the chances of permanent disability. A stroke can lead to numerous complications, which can prove even more challenging for someone suffering from a Hickory, North Carolina TBI: Aspiration, factures, permanent brain function loss, mobility problems, loss of the ability to move parts of the body, factures, lower life span, and problems communicating.

Unfortunately, North Carolina traumatic brain injuries can occur as a result of car accidents, motorcycle crashes, truck collisions, pedestrian accidents, an assault crime, boating accidents, work injuries, slip and fall accidents, construction accidents, falling debris, or other incidents.

Living with a Lumberton, North Carolina traumatic brain injury can be challenging and expensive. Depending on the severity of the brain injury, the victim may not be able to work or survive without round-the-clock nursing care. In addition to basic living expenses, there also may be bills to contend with for rehabilitation and physical therapy. A TBI can also take an emotional toll on the victim and loved ones, whose lives will never be the same.

Our Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury lawyers are committed to helping traumatic brain injury patients and their families recover damages for medical costs, pain and suffering, emotional trauma, lost wages, and other compensation from all liable parties.

Brain injury may boost stroke risk, USA Today, August 1, 2011

National Stroke Association

Traumatic Brain Injury, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

More Blog Posts:
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 Traumatic Brain Injury Survivors at Greater Risk of Suffering from Depression, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, May 20, 2010

Over 37,000 North Carolina Brain Injury Patients a Year Require Emergency Room Care, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, March 24, 2010

 

Alleged Shooter That Caused Eight Carthage, North Carolina Nursing Home Deaths to Go on Trial

July 11, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Jury selection is scheduled to begin today in the criminal trial of Robert Kenneth Stewart, the man accused of entering a Carthage, North Carolina nursing home and fatally shooting eight people (seven residents and a male nurse) and injuring three others on March 29, 2009. Stewart is charged with eight counts of criminal murder, two counts of attempted murder, and other criminal counts. His estranged wife, Wanda Stewart, says she believes he had gone to Pinelake Health and Rehab to look for her.

Because of the publicity surrounding the shooting, Stewart’s lawyer sought to have the criminal case moved out of Moore County. A judge has since ruled that jurors would come from Stanley County but that the trial would be held in Carthage. Some 750 people have been placed on notice for possible jury duty. Also expected to be at the proceedings are the families whose loved ones Stewart fatally shot (a number of these loved ones have already filed a Carthage wrongful death lawsuit accusing the nursing home of North Carolina nursing home negligence and providing inadequate security).

A complaint filed by the estates of John Goldston, Louise DeKler, Lillian Dunn, and Margaret Johnson claims that Wanda Stewart warned administrators that an attack by Stewart on her was “imminent.” They also believe she told them her husband was in an “unstable mentally state” and possessed firearms.

The day the shooting happened, Stewart was at the Alzheimer’s special care unit, which is locked 24 hours/day and can only be accessed by entering a passcode on a key panel. Meantime, the rest of the facility allegedly remained “readily accessible by anyone” while patients and their families were never warned about the possible threat that Stewart posed. The families have also named Wanda as a defendant in their case. They are accusing her of negligence, including the failure to warn the victims about her husband.

Families claim Carthage nursing home knew of potential attack, WRAL, July 11, 2011

Stewart Trial Set to Start, ThePilot, July 11, 2011

Related Web Resources:
NC Department of Health and Human Services

Licensed Facilities: NC Division of Health Service Regulation


More Blog Posts:

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 2010, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, May 9, 2011

North Carolina Nursing Home Negligence Alleged in Wrongful Death Lawsuits of Shooting Victims’ Families, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, December 21, 2010

 

HBO’s “Hot Coffee” Documentary Examines America’s Legal System and the $2.9M Personal Injury Verdict Against McDonald’s

June 30, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

A new documentary on HBO is asking viewers to take a closer look at America’s legal system and think about whether or not it restricts the legal rights of those seeking civil damages for personal injuries. Former public interest attorney and first-time filmmaker Susan Saladoff made the documentary film.

The documentary focuses on four “exhibits.” There is the infamous “hot coffee” lawsuit, involving senior Stella Liebeck, who a jury awarded $2.9 million for injuries she sustained when she spilled a cup of scalding coffee in her lap while in a parked car at McDonald’s. Liebeck, who sustained 3rd degree burns and had to receive skin grafts and undergo years of costly medical care, soon became the butt of jokes for such a big reward. Meantime, corporate America used her case as an example for why states should set caps on injury damages.

Also under close scrutiny is the case of 15-year-old Colin Gourley, a victim of medical malpractice who sustained a traumatic brain injury during birth. Although a jury awarded his family $5.6 million to provide for him for life, the caps on non-economic and economic damages in Nebraska reduced the award to $1.25 million.

You can check your local cable listing to see when “Hot Coffee” is airing on HBO.

Our Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury law firm represent clients injured in accidents that were caused by other people’s negligence. It is so important that our legal system allows victims to be able to receive compensation for the harm that they suffered. Sometimes, injuries can be so severe that the victim may become disabled for life or no longer able to work. Medical and recovery expenses can be astronomical.

Hot Coffee, HBO

The McDonald’s Coffee Case, Lectlaw

Faces of Medical Malpractice, Center for Justice and Democracy (PDF)

More Blog Posts:
New North Carolina Medical Malpractice Bill Capping “Noneconomic Damages” at $500,000 Passes the State Senate, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, June 13, 2011

American Academy of Pediatrics Want Warning Labels on Food that Pose a Child Choking Hazard, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, February 24, 2010

Chapel Hill Daycare Operator Sued for Infant’s Traumatic Brain Injury, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, July 22 2009

Forsythe County, North Carolina Nursing Home Negligence?: Resident Who Drowned in Puddle in 2009 is Identified by Police

June 16, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Mamie Louise Holder Shelton, a 92-year-old North Carolina nursing home resident, is the name of the woman who drowned in a puddle after wandering 200 feet from Bradford Village of Kernersville – East LLC 413 on November 12, 2009. She was discovered lying face down in water about 2 inches deep. Police say that abrasions on Shelton’s knees and hands are consistent with a North Carolina fall accident and they do not suspect foul play.

Shelton, who was legally blind, suffered from coronary artery disease and dementia. She needed a wheelchair and a walker to properly get around. The nursing home patient appears to have walked out of a facility door between 2 and 4am. No one noticed because the door’s alarm had been turned off. According to nursing home staff, alarms at Bradford Village often were deactivated so that workers could go on smoking breaks.

Following the North Carolina nursing home death, the assisted living facility fired five workers. The N.C. Division of Health Service Regulation imposed a $20,000 fine over the incident. Meantime, state regulators found that the Forsythe County assisted living facility had violated codes related to personal care, supervision, physical environment, and resident rights. They also said that the nursing home did not make sure that proper measures were executed to stop patients at risk of wandering from leaving the facility without supervision.

Our North Carolina nursing home negligence lawyers know how to prove that an assisted living facility’s negligence resulted in abuse or neglect. Many patients who suffer from dementia are a wandering/elopement risk. It is important to gather evidence showing that a patient could/should have been prevented from walking out of the nursing home without supervision.

Wandering accident can lead to fatal falls, motor vehicle accident injuries, hypothermia, and other life-threatening conditions or incidents. It doesn’t help that it may be awhile before facility workers notice and/or find a missing assisted living facility patient.

Nursing home patient who drowned in puddle identified, 2journalnow, June 2, 2011

N.C. Division of Health Service Regulation

More Blog Posts:
Over 18,000 Reports of North Carolina Elder Abuse and Neglect Made in 2010, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, May 9, 2011

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

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

 

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

Medicare.gov

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, Medicare.gov

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, News14.com, April 24, 2008

May is National Bicycle Safety Month, NCDOT.org

Related Web Resource:

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Davidson County, North Carolina Wrongful Death: Mom of Teenager Struck by Paving Stone Files Lawsuit

April 23, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Lisa Hill Chisom, the mom of a high school student who died from injuries she sustained when someone threw a paving stone through the windshield of the car she was in is suing a number people for North Carolina wrongful death. Shelby Chisom died last August. The 17-year-old was returning from a party when the incident happened. The stone lacerated her liver and Shelby died from her injuries.

Michael John Craver, who threw the stone, recently pleaded guilty second-degree murder. According to Chisom’s Davidson County, North Carolina wrongful death lawsuit, Michael threw the 25-pound paving stone after his cousin Ethan Craver told him to “take care of” that car.

Ethan Craver, Tyler Lawrence Price, Alyssa Christine Everhart, Krista Leigh Cummings, and a woman named Jordan Pierce allegedly had gotten into an altercation with Shelby, whom Price accused of stealing her boyfriend. All of them were attending the same party.

Tensions then carried over onto the road when someone in the car Everhart was driving threw a bottle of beer at the vehicle Hince was driving and that Shelby was riding. Hince then began following the other car at a fast speed. Ethan Craver, who was in the other car, then directed Michael to take action.

Chisom contends that Ethan knew of Michael’s history of violence and bullying and should have realized that when drunk, the latter would act with “reckless disregard.” She is seeking compensatory damages from Michael Craver, Ethan Craver, Price, Hince, Cummings, Everhart, Katherine C. Pritchard, and her son John Tyler Pritchard. She also wants punitive damages from Katherine Pritchard, both Cravers, and Hince. The Pritchards’ residence is where the party took place.

Chisom contends that Katherine Pritchard and her older son John Pritchard knew there would be minors drinking at the party that was held at their home and even bought alcohol. About 30-50 people attended the event where they were allegedly allowed to burn lawn furniture and use drugs.

North Carolina Wrongful Death
Losing someone you love is very difficult. It can be just as devastating to know that your loved one died because of other people’s reckless actions. You may be able to obtain Charlotte, North Carolina wrongful death damages from the responsible parties.

Mother of teen killed by paving stone files wrongful death lawsuit, Winston-Salem Journal, April 18, 2011

Mother of Teen Killed by Paving Stone Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit, MyFox8, April 20, 2011

Related Web Resource:
Wrongful Death Claims, Nolo

More Blog Posts:
$14.9M North Carolina Wrongful Death Judgment Awarded to Jimmy Blevins’ Family, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, March 14, 2011

North Carolina Nursing Home Negligence Alleged in Wrongful Death Lawsuits of Shooting Victims’ Families, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, December 21, 2010

Deceased Man’s Estate Files Fayetteville, North Carolina Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Shopping Mall and Nightclub, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, December 30, 2009

Inadequate Security Allowed Delvonte Tisdale to Enter Charlotte-Douglas International Airport Grounds and Stow Away on US Airways Plane, Says TSA Report

April 20, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

According to a Transportation Security Administration report, 16-year-old Delvonte Tisdale was able to stow away on a US Airways plane last November because of inadequate security staffing at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport. Tisdale died after falling out of the plane while it was in the air. His body was found in a Boston suburb. In our North Carolina injury lawyer blog last December, we reported that Tisdales parents were considering suing US Airways, the airport, TSA, and/or other parties who might have contributed to allowing him to stow aboard the plane for his wrongful death.

Following the tragic accident, TSA and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department conducted a joint probe into how the teenager managed to sneak onto airport property and hide in the plane without being detected. CMPD also asked TSA to conduct an additional review of the security breach.

TSA sent a redacted version of the report to the CMPD last week. Compiled in February, the report is called “Delvonte Tisdale Investigation: Security Breach and Plane Boarding.”

According to the report, between when the plane left the gate and when it took off, Tisdale had a little over an hour to stow onto the plane. The report says evidence indicates that the teenager did not access the plane while it was at the gate or that he entered the airport through the terminal.

Many of the comments in the report were blocked out. However, it did express concerns that current security levels were not adequate for a major metropolitan airport and greater law enforcement allocations is recommended. Also, the report noted that all officers are also EMT certified and handle medical calls that occur on the property, and that perhaps contract security officers (rather than police officers, who are supposed to concentrate on security issues) should be retained to handle such matters.

Security staffing cited in security breach involving teen at airport, WISTV, April 19, 2011

Read the TSA Report

Family of dead wheel-well stow-away to sue TSA, HSNW, January 20, 2011

Family of Charlotte, North Carolina Teen Who Fell From US Airways Plane Want to Know How He Was Able to Stow Away, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, December 17, 2011

Related Web Resources:
Transportation Security Administration

Charlotte-Douglas International Airport

Forsyth County-Owned Assisted Living Facility Accused of North Carolina Nursing Home Abuse

March 31, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

According to government inspectors, workers at Springwood Care Center of Forsyth struck a resident in the eye last October. The state says that the patient reported the North Carolina nursing home abuse incident to a relative of hers who noticed that the resident had a bruise on her face. The incident allegedly occurred last October.

Nursing home staff are supposed to report any abuse allegations as soon as possible. They are also supposed to not allow accused workers from working with the alleged victim while an investigation takes place. However, the Forsyth County-owned nursing home, which is run by Novant Health Care, reportedly waited several days before following this protocol. Since then the two nursing home assistants have been given written warnings and they must undergo more training on a regular basis. A Novant official has denied the North Carolina nursing home abuse allegations.

North Carolina Nursing Home Abuse
Assault by an assisted living facility worker is North Carolina nursing home abuse. Signs of possible nursing home abuse, include:

• Unexplained bruises
• Burn marks
• Open sores
• Torn clothing
• Sudden weight loss or gain
• Fractures or broken bones
• Sudden depression
• Emotional withdrawal
• Fear of a certain nursing home worker
• Sexual assault injuries

You should speak with a Hickory, North Carolina nursing home abuse law firm to determine whether you have grounds for a lawsuit.

Although Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare site gave Springwood Care Center of Forsyth a four out of five star rating for “quality measures,” the North Carolina assisted living facility received a one star rating for staffing and an overall one star rating. Five stars is the highest rating possible and one star is the lowest rating.

In addition to physical injury and emotional trauma, nursing home abuse violates the patient’s civil rights. It can also cause a resident’s health to deteriorate.

County-owned nursing home has lowest rating, allegation that patient hit in eye, Winston-Salem Journal, March 30, 2011

Nursing Home Compare, Medicare.gov

Related Web Resources:
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services

Elder Abuse in Nursing Homes, Nolo

More Blog Posts:
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 Nursing Home Negligence Alleged in Wrongful Death Lawsuits of Shooting Victims’ Families, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, December 21, 2011

North Carolina Nursing Home Negligence?: Facility Investigated Following Five Patient Deaths from Hepatitis B, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, November 16, 2010

$14.9M North Carolina Wrongful Death Judgment Awarded to Jimmy Blevins’ Family

March 14, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Four years after Jimmy Blevins was murdered by his uncle Fred Hammer, a judge has awarded his family a $14.9 million North Carolina wrongful death judgment–$3.74 million is compensatory damages; $11.2 million is punitive damages.

Blevins, 41, went missing on February 24, 2007. His grandmother said that he went for a ride with Hammer on the night of his disappearance. Blevins’ body was dug up more than two years later on August 4, 2009 after Hammer, who was offered $15,000 in reward money, admitted to shooting his nephew in the head.

Blevins’ family filed their North Carolina wrongful death complaint soon after his body was discovered. They sought compensatory damages of over $10,000 for his death and for the mental, physical, and emotional suffering he went through prior to his passing.

Hammer is serving several life sentences without parole for the 2008 shooting deaths of three men in Virginia and for Blevins’ murder.

North Carolina Wrongful Death
Obtaining Charlotte, North Carolina wrongful death recovery won’t bring your loved one back but it can allow you to hold the responsible party liable. Under the state’s wrongful death statute, family members may be able to recover compensation for the victim’s medical bills, pain and suffering, funeral costs, lost income, loss of services, care, protection, assistance, companionship, society, guidance, comfort, or advice, nominal damages, or punitive damages.

Slain man’s family awarded $14.9 million, NewsObserver, March 13, 2011

North Carolina Wrongful Death Filed in Murder of Ashe County Man, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, August 20, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Wrongful Death, Nolo

Wrongful Death, Justia

More Blog Posts:
Chatham Retirement Home Sued in North Carolina Wrongful Death Lawsuits Filed Over Fatal Elder Abuse Beatings, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, February 17, 2011

Deceased Man’s Estate Files Fayetteville, North Carolina Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Shopping Mall and Nightclub, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, December 30, 2009

More Charlotte, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawsuits Filed in Alleged Sex Assaults Involving Police Officer Marcus Jackson

March 6, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Another two woman are suing Charlotte-Mecklenburg police Officer Marcus Jackson for North Carolina personal injury. Jackson, now an ex-cop, is already sentenced to two years in prison for sexually assaulting six women while on the job.

In these latest Charlotte-Mecklenburg personal injury complaints, the plaintiffs contend that Jackson stopped their car on the evening of December 28, 2009. They say that he made them get out of the vehicle and proceeded to sexually assaulted them away from the police camera’s view.

One of the women says Jackson told her that he needed to search her because he smelled “weed. ” However, she says that instead of patting down her pockets, Jackson grabbed her breasts. The other woman claims that when it was her turn, Jackson placed his hands on breasts and down her pants. Both plaintiffs say they experienced emotional distress.

Also defendants of this North Carolina sex assault case are the city of Charlotte and Police Chief Rodney Monroe. Already, the city has spent over $617,000 to settle four Charlotte, North Carolina injury claims over Jackson’s actions.

The two plaintiffs are accusing Monroe of negligently retaining and supervising Jackson. Prior to his hiring by police, one of Jackson’s ex-girlfriends had taken out domestic violence protective order against him. Monroe has since admitted that the police missed certain information that would have prevented them from hiring Jackson.

North Carolina Police Brutality
A cop who sexually assaults someone while on the job is committing North Carolina police brutality. Police officers are not immune from the law and sexual assault committed by anyone is a crime. When a cop assaults someone under the guise of doing the job, he/she is abusing the authority given to a law enforcement officer and violating the victim’s civil rights.

2 women sue former officer, city in alleged sexual assaults, Charlotte Observer, March 7, 2011

Lawsuits say CMPD chief intervened twice to help Marcus Jackson, WBTV, February 23, 2011

Related Web Resources:
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department

More Blog Posts:
Charlotte, North Carolina Personal Injury Case Over Sex Assault by CMPD Cop is settled for $350,000, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, February 7, 2011

City of Charlotte Settles North Carolina Personal Injury Lawsuits Alleging Police Sexual Harassment by former CMPD Cop, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, October 9, 2011

Couple Suing City of Charlotte Claims Officer Marcus Jackson Sexually Violated Them During Traffic Stop, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, January 23, 2010

 

North Carolina Personal Injury Filed Over 2008 Assault at Convenience Store Alleges Inadequate Security

February 28, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

A woman who was assaulted at a convenience story in 2008 is suing Great Stops LLC, its parent owner Premier Stores, and three individual owners for North Carolina personal injury. She is seeking compensation for the physical and emotional injuries that she suffered. She also wants financial recovery for her medical bills, loss of income, and psychological injuries related to the assault.

The attack occurred on January 16, 2008 when Kathleen Fisher-Graham stopped to get gas at the North Street Great Stops in Burlington. As she walked inside the store, a man carrying a metal object assaulted her.

The force of the assault fractured Fisher-Graham’s eye socket, shattered her teeth, and broke her nose. In addition to undergoing surgeries, she also spent more than a year eating liquefied food while all of her teeth were eventually removed.

In her North Carolina premises liability complaint, Fisher-Graham contends that Great Stops knew that the property where the assault happened was located in a high-crime area but failed to properly protect customers. She claims that although cameras had been installed, the safety devices were there to protect the owners’ money and not the customers.

Fisher-Graham’s spouse is also a plaintiff. He is seeking damages for the loss of her companionship and affection, as well as for the loss of their physically intimate and loving relationship.

Inadequate Security
Poor security on a premise can make it easier for criminals to do their job. If a crime occurred because the property owner did not do enough to make sure the premise was secure and someone was injured or killed as a result, the victim may have grounds for a North Carolina premises liability case.

For example, if there is a history of crimes in or around the area, property owners must be mindful of this and step up security efforts and/or warn about this possible danger. Fisher-Graham says that her attack was not the first of its kind—in 2007, another person, Christopher Wilson was assaulted by a man with a metal pipe. She is arguing that following that incident, the defendants should have taken steps to prevent her attack from happening.

Woman injured in unsolved assault sues convenience store, The TimesNews, February 4, 2011


Related Web Resources:

Great Stops LLC

Inadequate Security, Justia, Small Business Administration

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

Deceased Man’s Estate Files Fayetteville, North Carolina Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Shopping Mall and Nightclub, North Carolina Injury Lawyer, December 30, 2009

Husband of Murdered North Carolina Worker Who Was Kidnapped From Parking Garage Sues City of Raleigh for Wrongful Death, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, September 8, 2008

Charlotte, North Carolina Slip and Fall Accidents Can Cause Painful, Debilitating, and Costly Personal Injuries

February 13, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

If you were hurt in a North Carolina fall accident on someone else’s property you may have grounds for a personal injury case. Today, our Charlotte, North Carolina injury lawyers would like to discuss slip and fall injuries in greater depth.

Slip and fall accidents cause injury to thousands of people each years. While what sounds like a minor accident of someone slipping on a slippery, slick, or wet surface and landing on the ground can seem harmless enough, this type of accident actually lead to serious and painful, debilitating injuries, and, in some cases, death.

For example, a North Carolina slip and fall accident on frozen ice can cause the victim to strike his/her head and sustain a traumatic brain injury, or a slip accident on a banana peel left on a flight of stairs can lead to back injuries and broken bones. For elderly persons, hip dislocation and fractures have been known to occur because of slip and fall accidents. Infection, health complications, and challenges with recovery can also occur.

North Carolina Premises Liability
To prove that the owner of the property where the North Carolina slip and fall accident is liable for your injuries, you will have to show that he/she was negligent and that this was the proximate cause of your personal injury. This means that you need to demonstrate that the premise owner either knew or should have been aware that there was a dangerous condition on the property, there was sufficient time to warn about or fix the condition after finding out about it, and North Carolina personal injury occurred as a result of these failures.

Other types of fall accidents that can be grounds for a premises liability case include trip and fall accidents, which involves the victim tripping on an object on the floor or an uneven part of the ground, step and fall accidents, which can be caused by the victim stepping into a gap or opening on the ground, and stump and fall accidents, which can occur because of an impediment on the floor. Examples of possible slip/trip/step/stump and fall accidents:

• Slipping on the wet floor of a hotel lobby
• Slipping on spilt milk left on a grocery store floor
• Tripping on toys left on the staircase
• Stepping into a pothole and falling forward
• Stumbling on an overgrown tree root in someone’s front yard
• Stumbling and falling backward off a stairwell because inadequate lighting made it hard to see

In North Carolina, you have three years from the date of the accident to file your Charlotte, North Carolina slip and fall lawsuit.

Slip and Fall, Nolo

Premises Liability, Justia


More Blog Posts:

More Reason to Prevent North Carolina Nursing Home Fall Accidents: Men More at Risk of Dying from Hip Fractures While Women Are More Likely to Sustain The Injury, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, March 16, 2010

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

Mother Dies in North Carolina Fall Accident From Dorm Bunk Bed While Visiting Daughter at UNC-Chapel Hill, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, September 13, 2010

Charlotte, North Carolina Personal Injury Case Over Sex Assault by CMPD Cop is settled for $350,000

February 7, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

The city of Charlotte has settled the North Carolina personal injury case file by a 17-year-old woman who was sexually assaulted by former CMPD police officer Marcus Jackson. The ex-cop pleaded guilty last month to assaulting six women and he is now behind bars.

To date, Charlotte has spent over $617,000 to settle fur claims involving Jackson. $587,000 has gone to the victims.

In this latest Charlotte, North Carolina injury case, the teenager accused Jackson of pulling her over during a traffic stop and threatening her with a ticket unless she performed a sex act on him. She was brave enough to report what happened.

To date, the city has paid $151,550 to the victim and her Charlotte, North Carolina injury lawyers. Over the next 20 years, they will pay her the remaining $198,450 in installments.

Charlotte, North Carolina settled the first case over Jackson in October. The victims were a woman and her boyfriend. They claimed that their constitutional rights were violated when, on December 28, 2009, he molested the woman while pretending to search her and then made the man fondle her while observing them. The city consented to pay $12,000 to Abel Moreno. Jackson arrested him after he tried stopping the then-cop from assaulting his girlfriend.

Police Brutality
Sexual abuse by a cop is police brutality. It is an abuse of power and a crime. Unfortunately, many victims are scared to report what happened because it was a cop who assaulted them and they may fear repercussions.

City settles in CMPD sex case involving former officer Marcus Jackson, Charlotte Observer, January 28, 2011

City settles in CMPD sex case involving former officer Marcus Jackson, WCNC, January 27, 2011

Related Web Resource:
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department

Related Web Resources:
City of Charlotte Settles North Carolina Personal Injury Lawsuits Alleging Police Sexual Harassment by former CMPD Cop, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, October 9, 2010

Kannapolis Man’s Lawsuit Accuses Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office of North Carolina Personal Injury, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, January 19, 2011

$200,000 North Carolina Injury Settlement Reached with Roommate of Teen Who Was Fatally Shot by Sheriff’s Corporal, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, November 5, 2010

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

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

North Carolina Nursing Home Negligence Alleged in Wrongful Death Lawsuits of Shooting Victims’ Families

December 21, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

The families of two of the eight people who were shot and killed during a shooting at Pinelake Health and Rehabilitation Center on March 20009 are suing the assisted living facility for North Carolina nursing home negligence. In their North Carolina wrongful death complaints, the relatives of 78-year-old John Goldston and 98-year-old Louise DeKler claim that the Carthage assisted living facility and its owner Peak Resources did not do enough to protect residents despite the fact that the alleged shooter Robert Stewart’s estranged wife had warned the facility’s supervisors that he might come for her that day.

Killed in the North Carolina nursing home shooting were Goldston, De Kler, five other nursing home patients and a nurse. Two other people sustained injuries.

Stewart is accused of storming the assisted living facility and firing at people while searching for his wife, who was hiding in a closet. A police officer entered the nursing home and shot him. Stewart now faces eight counts of first-degree murder. If he is convicted, prosecutors would like to see him get the death penalty.

The families of DeKler and Goldston are contending that the defendants could have set up even the most basic protections, such as a surveillance system and someone to work the front desk and lock the front doors after Stewart’s wife warned that he might go to the facility. The plaintiffs say that Stewart was able to walk fully armed through the Carthage nursing home.

Nursing Home Negligence
Assisted living facilities are supposed to protect their patients from becoming the victims of North Carolina nursing home abuse, neglect, sexual assault, and other violent acts. When failure to act or implement the necessary safety measures allows such crimes to happen, the residents and their families may have grounds for a civil suit seeking damages for North Carolina personal injury or wrongful death.

Families of Victims Sue in North Carolina Nursing Home Shootings, Insurance Journal, December 17, 2010

Families of victims in Carthage nursing home shootings file suit, FayObserver, December 16, 2010

Related Web Resources:
North Carolina Nursing Home Rampage Leaves Seven Patients and One Nurse Dead and A Visitor and Police Officer with Injuries, North Carolina Injury Lawyer BLog, March 31, 2009

NC Division of Aging and Adult Services

Family of Charlotte, North Carolina Teen Who Fell From US Airways Plane Want to Know How He Was Able to Stow Away

December 17, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

The family of teenager Delvonte Tisdale want to know how the 16-year-old was able to sneak onto a US Airways plane last month. Now, Charlotte airport authorities are asking police to investigate how the boy was able to get past security. One theory under exploration is that the teen jumped the 6-foot chain link fence that has barbed wire on top of it. According to the Transportation Security Administration, the Charlotte Douglas International Airport is responsible for the security on its grounds.

The Charlotte, North Caroline teenager died after falling several thousand feet from the air. Investigators say that Tisdale fell out as the plane was lowering its landing gear. However, experts are saying that he was likely dead before then.

Tisdale stowed onto the plane early on November 15, 2010. Officials say the teen appears to have hidden in the commercial plane’s left wheel well.

Tisdale’s body, which was severely damaged from the fall, was found in Massachusetts. However, seeing that at 20,000 feet the air inside a wheel well can go down to more than 20 below zero, there is a good chance that Tisdale lost consciousness because of the severe cold and lack of oxygen. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, out of 86 known stowaway attempts only 18 people have survived.

North Carolina Wrongful Death
If hazards, inadequate security, insufficient safety measures, and other circumstances on a premise contributed to your loved one’s death, you may have grounds for a Charlotte, North Carolina wrongful death case.

Family wants to know how teen snuck onto plane, Associated Press/Boston.com, December 14, 2010

Authorities Work to Determine Whether N.C. Teen Delvonte Tisdale Fell From a Plane, ABC News, November 23, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Federal Aviation Administration

Charlotte Douglas International Airport

North Carolina Medical Malpractice?: Study of 10 Local Hospitals Reveal Failure to Decrease Hospital Mistakes

December 6, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

According to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, efforts to lower the number of medical errors made in US hospitals have generally failed. The Brigham and Women’s Hospital researchers examined the practices conducted at 10 North Carolina hospitals between 2002 and 2007. They chose the hospitals for their aggressive and progressive handling of medical mistakes.

Out of 2,341 medical records that were evaluated, there were 588 incidents reported involving harms caused by hospitals to patients, including:

• Prescription errors
• Infections
• Wrong diagnosis
• Procedure mistakes
• Hospital falls

63% of the medical mistakes were considered preventable. 2.4% played a factor in causing a resident’s death. 8.5% of medical mistakes caused injuries that were life-threatening.

During the time period examined, the rate of medical errors went down at the hospitals by about 1%. Researchers say that the lack of improvement in these hospitals is an indicator that nationally more should be done to prevent medical mistakes. Currently, many US hospitals have reportedly been slow to implement certain lifesaving measures, including:

• A comprehensive electronic medical record system
• Enforcement of hand washing and other simple procedures
• Ensuring that nurses and doctors-in-training are not overworked

Charlotte, North Carolina Medical Malpractice
Medical mistakes can cause serious injuries and health issues for patients. If a hospital error was preventable or caused by the negligence of a doctor, nurse, surgeon, or another medical professional, you may have grounds for a North Carolina medical malpractice case.

Other common medical mistakes:
• Surgical errors
• Failure to check patient’s vitals
• Failure to obtain informed consent
• Anesthesia mistakes
• Nursing negligence
• Delayed diagnosis
• Wrong site surgery
• Birthing errors
• Failure to provide proper postoperative care

Despite Efforts, Study Finds No Decline in Medical Errors, Business Week, November 24, 2010

Medical Injuries Harm 18% of Hospital Patients in N.C., Researchers Find, Bloomberg, November 24, 2010


Related Web Resources:

The New England Journal of Medicine

Medical Malpractice, Nolo

North Carolina Hospitals

Hospital Malpractice?: Medicare Analysis Reports that Too Many People Die Unnecessarily at US Hospitals

December 1, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

According to a U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services analysis, too many people die unnecessarily at US hospitals. Researchers also say that many hospitals seem to serve as revolving doors for patients, with a number of patients ending up back in the hospital within 30 days. The American College of Cardiology’s National Data Registry’s chief science officer calls this situation a “double failure in the health system.”

For example, one out of every four patients suffering from heart failure ends up returning to the hospital within one month. The same goes for slightly under one out of every five pneumonia patients. Also, in 5.9% of US hospitals patients with pneumonia died at rates that were higher than the national average. 3.4% of hospitals reported heart failure-related death rates that were above the national average.

There were, however, over 200 US hospitals with death rates that were better than the average. Hundreds of hospitals garnered better results when it came to readmission rates.

Analysis findings come from the over 1 million readmissions and deaths involving Medicare patients between 2005 and 2008. Solutions under consideration include offering hospitals and doctors rewards not just for the number of procedures they perform but also for good patient outcomes. Creating a more competitive atmosphere between hospitals so that they have to give prospective patients a reason for admission might also lead to better quality care.

North Carolina Hospital Malpractice
In addition to providing better hospital care, it is also important that US hospitals prevent incidents of hospital malpractice from happening. Hospital malpractice can involve any kind of North Carolina medical malpractice committed by a hospital staff member, including a doctor, a hospital lab technician, a nurse, a hospital pharmacist, or another hospital staff member.

Examples of possible grounds for North Carolina hospital malpractice:

• Surgical errors
• Not ordering the correct medical tests
• Improper monitoring of a patient
• Nursing negligence
• Infections
• Wrong diagnosis
• Failure to provide the proper medical care or treatment
• Medication mistakes

Double Failure at US Hospitals, USA Today, July 9, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Medical Malpractice Overview, Justia

North Carolina Hospitals, USA Hospitals

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

December 1, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

5-year-old girl McKayla Woodard has died from injuries she sustained this morning during a Waxhaw, North Carolina dog attack involving two pit bulls. Her grandmother, who tried to rescue her from the dogs, is alive but with serious injuries.

A family member of McKayla’s says that the Union, North Carolina dog mauling happened as the young girl tried to get into the fenced yard next to her home. The two pit bulls belonged to neighbor Michael Gordon. Police have since shot them dead. It is not known at this time why they were running loose in the area.

Media outlets have said that McKayla sustained multiple dog bite wounds around her neck—an area of the body where young children are especially vulnerable to serious dog attack injuries. One reason for this is that the neck is an area on kids that is not difficult for a dog to reach. Children are also vulnerable to dog bite injuries on their lips, cheeks, head, ears, and nose. According to research published in 2009 in the Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, pit bulls were the most likely culprits when it came to inflicting these types of dog bite injuries to kids. Injuries to the head and face can result in permanent disfigurement, severe pain, scarring, and, in some cases, death.

North Carolina’s contributory negligence law can make it challenging for victims and their families to obtain damages from liable parties, which is just one reason why you should consult with an experienced Union County, North Carolina dog bite law firm.

Pit bulls kill 5-year-old girl, attack grandmother in Waxha, Charlotte Observer, January 12, 2011

Pit bulls kill 5-year-old, maul her grandmother, WCNC, January 12, 2011

Analysis of Dog Bites in Children Who Are Younger Than 17 Years, Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics

Dog Bites A Particular Threat To Young Children, Especially As Temperatures Rise, Science Daily, March 2, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Dog Bites, Nolo

DogsBite.org

C-Sections Have Their Medical Risks, Too

December 1, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for every three babies born nearly one will be delivered by cesarean section. Even though C-sections have lower birth injury rates, the procedure still come with certain risks, such as a higher infection risk, a longer hospital stay, and potential respiratory problems for the newborn.

Yet now more than ever women are having cesarean deliveries. In some cases, this choice is elective rather than necessary. Scheduling the birth date to fit into the busy schedules of the doctor and/or patient, economic incentives, and the fear of medical malpractice lawsuits are non-medical reasons why a baby might be delivered via C-section instead of naturally. For example, Northwestern Memorial Hospital obstetrician gynecologist Dr. Lauren Streicher notes that obstetricians are not financially compensated for the hours they must be available during a woman’s labor. They also usually have to cancel other appointments during this time.

Some medical professionals feel that cesarean delivery disrupts the natural process that helps newborns move into a world where they have to breath air. According to Dr. Lucky Jain, C-section babies are more likely than infants that are born naturally to develop respiratory distress after they are born. They also risk developing asthma.

Jain also notes that C-sections—especially if a woman has multiple cesareans—can lead to medical complications for the mom.

North Carolina Birthing Malpractice
If you believe that your child’s birthing injuries are a result of a medical mistake by your obstetrician or gynecologist, you should contact an experienced birthing malpractice lawyer to discuss your case.

A C-section is a major surgery and should be performed only after determining that this is a good medical option for the mother and baby. In certain cases, failure to perform a cesarean delivery can be grounds for a North Carolina birthing malpractice lawsuit if the baby sustains injuries, such as cerebral palsy or brain damage, as a result.

Are C-Sections Too Common?, ABC News, March 10, 2010

Cesarean Section – Risks and Complications, Web MD

Related Web Resources:
Recent Trends in Cesarean Delivery in the United States, CDC (PDF)

Medical Malpractice Basics, Nolo

Goldsboro Driver Sustains Burn Injuries in Fayetteville, North Carolina Truck Crash

December 1, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

As of yesterday, a Goldsboro tanker-truck driver who sustained burn injuries from a Fayetteville, North Carolina truck accident on Interstate 95 on Monday night remains in critical condition.

Frankie Graves is in Chapel Hill at the N.C. Jaycee Burn Center. The 54-year-old trucker sustained burn injuries on 40% of his body. According to North Carolina state troopers, the fuel tank of Graves’s tanker truck was punctured when the the vehicle struck the guardrail after crashing into a semi-truck that had stopped abruptly to avoid hitting the driver of a pickup truck that had run out of gas.

Graves reportedly jumped out of his cab with his clothes burning. Another man rolled him in the median to put out the fire.

Burn Injuries
Burn injuries can be very painful and they can take a long time to treat and recover from. This can require costly surgeries, skin grafts, physical therapy, and psychological counseling. There may even be internal damage and permanent physical disfigurement. The burn injury victim may no longer be able to work, which makes the need for financial recovery if someone was liable for the injuries even more of a priority.

There is the misconception that passenger vehicle occupants are the only ones that get hurt in North Carolina truck crashes. Truck drivers do get hurt and sometimes it is because of the negligence of another trucker, the driver of a passenger vehicle, a trucking company, a truck manufacturer, or another liable party.

While injured truck drivers are likely entitled to North Carolina workers’ compensation recovery, there also may be third parties that can be held liable.

Burned tanker truck driver still in critical condition, FayObserver, Oct 22, 2009

I-95 tanker accident still causing issues hours later, News 14, October 20, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Traumatic Brain Injury, Medline Plus

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

North Carolina Nursing Home Negligence?: Facility Investigated Following Five Patient Deaths from Hepatitis B

November 16, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

Public health investigators have been looking into whether the use of unclean or shared diabetes testing equipment caused at least eight patients to contract hepatitis B GlenCare Mount Olive center the GlenCare of Mount Olive. Five of the patients passed away last week. The average age of those who developed the virus is 70. This week, the state released its findings.

According to the NC Division of Public Health, certain staff members did not receive proper training on how to take care of diabetic patients and the assisted living facility violated resident rights. The virus was spread because blood monitor meters used for diabetes testing that had come into contact with tainted blood.

During the probe, a medication tech had indicated that adjustable lancing devices had been used on more than one patient and that the devices, as well as glucometers, were not routinely disinfected or cleaned in between uses. Also, nursing home employees reported that they were only allowed to use one box of gloves a shift, which forced them to have to buy their own additional gloves.

Hepatitis B
The Centers for Disease Control says that hepatitis B serious disease can impact the liver, resulting in diarrhea, appetite lose, jaundice, tiredness, vomiting, stomach pain, and joint and muscle aches. People with diabetes have a 15 times greater chance of developing acute hepatitis B.

It is the responsibility of nursing homes to make sure that they provide residents with the proper medical, nursing, and daily care, while protecting them from North Carolina nursing home abuse, neglect, and negligence. This includes making sure that the patients are not exposed to any unsafe or unsanitary conditions that could cause them to become even more ill or die.

Officials Release Findings In GlenCare Investigation, NBC17.com, November 16, 2010

Unclean procedures likely caused 5 hepatitis B deaths at nursing home, NewsObserver, November 12, 2010

Report: Unsafe practices led to fatal NC outbreak, NECN, November 12, 2010

Related Web Resources:
NC Divison of Public Health

Hepatitis B, eMedicineHealth

North Carolina Personal Injury: A Free Step-by-Step Guide for Victims and Their Families

November 11, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

Our Charlotte, North Carolina injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, L.L.P. know how confusing and scared you must feel now that you or a loved one has been involved in an accident. To help you get through this stressful and challenging time, we have written a book called “Carolina Injury Law: A Reference Guide for Accident Victims” that is available for free to all South Carolina and North Carolina residents. This step-by-step guide was created to answer many of your questions about the claims process and provide you with information on how to best pursue your financial recovery from a responsible party.

In the book, Our Monroe, North Carolina personal injury attorneys will walk you through the process, provide you with concise and clear information about your legal rights, and offer valuable insights about a number of topics, including:

• Basic insurance concepts
• Dealing with underinsured and uninsured motorists
• Workers’ compensation
• Understanding your injuries
• Understanding damages
• Choosing a lawyer
• What to expect as a plaintiff
• When to file a lawsuit
• The litigation process
• Settling your case
• Your personal injury trial

The Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, LLP has locations in the North Carolina cities of Charlotte, Monroe, Hickory, and Lumberton. We represent clients and their families in North Carolina and South Carolina whose cases involve personal injury, wrongful death, workers’ compensation, nursing home abuse and neglect, and social security disability.

Our Lumberton, North Carolina injury lawyers have worked with 10 other US law firms to provide you with this invaluable public service resource. To receive your free copy, send an e-mail request that includes your name and address to Kristine Woolley at kwoolley@demayolaw.com or download a free copy at www.DeMayoLaw.com.

$200,000 North Carolina Injury Settlement Reached with Roommate of Teen Who Was Fatally Shot by Sheriff’s Corporal

November 5, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

A North Carolina personal injury settlement has been reached between Michael Rhoton and New Hanover County. Rhoton is accusing Sheriff Ed McMahon, ex-Sheriff Sid Causey, other office members, and the county’s insurer of failing to follow proper procedures when a warrant was served to his roommate Peyton Strickland on December 1, 2006. Strickland, a suspect in the robbery of a University of North Carolina Wilmington student’s Sony PlayStation 3 game consoles, was accidentally shot in the head by Cpl. Christopher Long, who didn’t realize that what sounded like gunshots was in fact a battering ram.

Rhoton saw his roommate get shot multiple times. The heavily armed law enforcement team then allegedly held a gun to Rhoton’s head while forcing him to stay on the ground next to Strickland, who was dying. The officers also shot and killed Strickland’s dog.

Rhoton, who was never a suspect in the robbery, was held in custody overnight. His North Carolina injury attorney says that Rhoton has been dealing with trauma, survivor’s guilty, and post-traumatic stress issues. Rhoton’s North Carolina excessive use of force lawsuit against the UNCW’s police department is still pending.

In 2008, Strickland’s family settled their wrongful death case over the deadly shooting with the county for $2.45 million.

North Carolina Excessive Use of Force
It is not acceptable for someone to get hurt or die because a law enforcement official used excessive force when dealing with him/her. There are less violent ways to apprehend or question or hold a suspect. Unfortunately, North Carolina police brutality and excessive use of force do happen.

New Hanover County pays roommate of fatal shooting victim Strickland, StarNewsOnline, November 2, 2010

Sheriff’s department settles with Strickland family, WWAY, February 27, 2008

Related Web Resources:
New Hanover County

University of North Carolina Wilmington Police Department

Eye Complications Can Develop in Children Suffering from North Carolina Dog Bite Injuries to the Face

October 29, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

According to a recent study, approximately one in seven children who are treated for facial dog bite injuries end up with ophthalmic injuries. These injuries can lead to health complications and the need for revision surgery.

The retrospective review examined 537 kids who were treated at a hospital for their facial dog bite injuries between 2003 and 2008. 77 of the kids suffered from ophthalmic injuries. All of the injuries involved the eyelids. The authors of the study say that ophthalmic injuries, more than nonophthalmic injuries, can lead to complications, such as:

• Epiphora
• Upper eyelid ptosis
• Nasolacrimal duct obstruction
• Eyelid notching

Surgical repair was more likely required with ophthalmic injuries.

Charlotte North Carolina Dog Bite Injuries
Regardless of whether the victim of a North Carolina dog attack is a child or an adult, dog bite injuries can be extremely painful, traumatic, and disfiguring. Facial injuries can be especially difficult to heal and repair—especially for young children, who are still growing and changing at a rapid rate. A child who has serious facial injuries after being mauled by a dog or another animal may have to wait years before undergoing reconstructive surgery. Facial injuries can lead to all sorts of emotional and psychological traumas.

Facial Dog Bite Injuries in Children Affect the Eyes More Often Than Previously Reported, Medscape, October 29, 2010

Cat and Dog Bites, Family Doctor

Related Web Resources:
Prevention and Treatment of Dog Bites, American Family Physician

Dog Bite Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

City of Charlotte, North Carolina Sued for Wrongful Death From Falling Tree Accident

October 9, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

The family of Kay Plyler, the 53-year-old woman who died last year after a tree fell on her car, is suing the city of Charlotte for wrongful death. The civil lawsuit contends that the tree was a public hazard that should have been removed.

The North Carolina premises liability accident happened on March 8, 2008, when a tree, located close to the corner of East and Asheville Place, fell on Plyler’s black SUV. Plyler’s 14-year-old daughter was in the motor vehicle with her. While the teenager did not sustain physical injuries, the complaint says that she suffered emotional trauma from the deadly accident.

Also according to the wrongful death lawsuit, the tree, which was suffering from 90% root decay, should have been removed. Other trees in the area that were suffering from similar health issues were taken away.

This is not the first time Charlotte has been sued over a tree. In 2003, the city was sued for personal injury because of a tree. Another lawsuit for property damage involving a tree was filed in 2005.

Just last week, a 35-year-old woman was in Charlotte driving her two young children in her car when she was almost struck by a giant oak tree that fell. Fortunately, no one was injured.

Over 400 people died because of falling trees or limbs between 1995 and 2007. In Charlotte, high winds and soggy soil are just some of the conditions that can cause the city’s older trees to fall, potentially causing injury to motorists, pedestrians, and residents, as well as damage to power lines. There are steps that city officials and property owners can take to make sure that such accidents do not happen.

Some 160,000 trees are planted in Charlotte’s public areas. Each year, workers cut down some 300 to 400 trees that are in poor health.

Family suing city over tree that killed woman, Charlotte Observer, January 11, 2009

Our cherished trees can be a danger, Charlotte.com, January 11, 2009

Related Web Resources:

Who Is Responsible When Your Tree Falls?, Realty Times, January 12, 2009

8 Signs of a Sick Tree, Treejob.com

North Carolina Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed in Carbon Monoxide Fatality

October 5, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

The family of Monique L. Carpenter is suing Old Republic Home Protection, homeowner Willie McKinney, Windham Heating and Air Conditioning, and its owner Paul “Eddie” Windham for her North Carolina wrongful death. Carpenter and her friend Darryl Gregory died on November 14, 2008 from carbon monoxide poisoning.

According to the North Carolina wrongful death complaint, Carpenter had gone to visit Gregory at the home that he was renting in Greensboro. McKinney is the owner of the home.

Gregory had reportedly told McKinney on several occasions that the furnace needed to be fixed. Old Republic, a home-warranty company, hired Windham to fix the furnace. On November 12, 2008, Windham went to the rental and discovered that the access doors and flue pipe connection to the furnace weren’t in place. Despite a recommendation by a technician that a new furnace be brought in, Windham did not install a new one. The family’s North Carolina wrongful death complaint is accusing Windham and his company of “willful and wanton conduct” that reflect an “intentional disregard of and indifference” to others’ safety. They also claim that Windham did not check the ventilation system to ensure that the carbon monoxide gas couldn’t enter the house.

On November 14, Gregory, who was told that the furnace had been fixed, used it for the first time. He and Carpenter died of carbon monoxide poisoning that day.

Carpenter’s family is accusing Old Republic of failing to investigate Windham, who had been disciplined twice by the by the N.C. State Board of Examiners of Plumbing, Heating and Fire Sprinkler Contractors. He has been placed on probation twice.

Carbon Monoxide
Nearly 500 people are killed in the US each year because of carbon monoxide poisoning from fuel-burning appliances, charcoal burned inside a garage, car, home, or tent, or cars that were left running in garages attached to residences. The Centers for Disease Control says that more than 15,000 hospital visits a year are a result of CO poisoning. CO is a tasteless, odorless, colorless gas. Signs of CO poisoning include fatigue, nausea, and headaches. Co poisoning can cause brain injury and death.

Family sues over death, Winston-Salem Journal, October 2, 2010

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, eMedicineHealth

Family Files North Carolina Wrongful Death Lawsuit Over Inmate Who Was Tasered While in Jail

September 30, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

The family of Ronald Eugene Cobbs is suing the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office and Prison Health Services for his North Carolina wrongful death. Cobbs, 38, died on August 19, 2009 after he was shocked with a Taser while in the Guilford County Jail. Cobb’s wife, Tricolia Cobbs, is accusing the defendants of using excessive force. She is seeking triple damages under North Carolina’s Wrongful Death Act.

Cobbs was behind bars waiting for his criminal trial on robbery with a dangerous weapon, kidnapping, and a probation violation when he got into a dispute with a guard. MyFox8 reported that the altercation happened when a detention officer tried to recover alleged contraband from Cobbs’s cell. The sheriff’s office claimed that Cobbs assaulted the officer and resisted arrest, which was why he was restrained with a Taser and physical force. Soon after Cobbs was handcuffed and shackled and taken to the nurse, he fell unconscious. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Cobbs family claims that not only were their insufficient medical tools available to treat someone who had been shocked with a 50,000-volt Taser at the jail, but also, staff members there were inadequately trained to provide Cobbs with the necessary medical care.

Autopsy results could not confirm Cobbs’ cause of death. The report says that he may have died from respiratory arrest or cardiac arrhythmia and he may have been suffering from an underlying cardiac disease. The struggle with a deputy could have been a triggering factor for either condition.

Excessive Use of Police Force
Police and other law enforcement officers must never use more force than necessary to apprehend, arrest, restrain, or guard someone. North Carolina excessive use of force or police brutality is a violation of the victim’s civil rights and can cause Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury or wrongful death. Do not be afraid to report any incidents of North Carolina police brutality to the authorities or to a Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury law firm.

N.C. family files lawsuit over jailhouse Taser death, CorrectionsOne.com/News and Record, September 30, 2010

Guilford Inmate Dies After Being Tasered, MyFox, August 19, 2009

Related Web Resources:

Are Tasers Overused?, CBS News, September 23, 2010

Taser International

Guilford County Sheriff’s Office

North Carolina Sex Abuse Lawsuit Filed Against Bishop Eddie Long

September 27, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

A North Carolina sexual abuse lawsuit has been filed against Bishop Eddie Long, the senior pastor of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Georgia. The complaint was filed in Huntsville where the Long runs New Birth Charlotte, a satellite church. He is an outspoken critic of gay marriages. The plaintiff, 22-year-old Spencer LeGrande, is the fourth person to sue Long.

According to LeGrande (a New Birth Charlotte church member), Long gave him a sleeping aid, fondled him, and coerced him into having sex during a trip to Africa in 2005 when he was 17. LeGrande also claims that Long persuaded him that having a sexual relationship was part of having a healthy spiritual life.

Three other males are also suing Long. Two of the men, now 21 and 20, say that Long seduced them with money, cars, clothes, jewelry, international travel, and access to celebrities when they were 18- and 17- year old members of the Baptist church.

Long has denied all allegations.

Child Sex Abuse by Religious Leaders
The sexual abuse of young people by priests, pastors, and other religious leaders has caused injuries and trauma to its victims. Sexual abuse of any kind committed by anyone is a crime. The victim may be entitled to North Carolina personal injury compensation from the assailant and/or from those that helped cover up the abuse.

While the topic of sexual abuse by religious leaders was a taboo that was concealed by church officials for years, in the last decade, hundreds of victims have begun stepping forward to accuse their assailants and seek damages.

In a clergy sex abuse complaint that has made national headlines, a deaf man is suing Pope Benedict, who used to be called Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, for failing to take action against Father Lawrence C. Murphy, the former headmaster of St. John’s School for the Deaf. Murphy allegedly molested 200 boys, including the victim. Many of the alleged sex abuse incidents with Murphy reportedly took place in the victims’ beds in the school dormitories.

North Carolina Man Suing Bishop Eddie Long, Digtriad, September 25, 2010

Questions Have Long Surrounded Accused Minister, NPR, September 27, 2010

Bishop Eddie Long Hit With Lawsuit, Two Men Claim He Coerced Them Into Sex, September 22, 2010

Pope Named in Lawsuit by Clergy Sex Abuse Victim, Politics Daily, September 23, 2010

Related Web Resources:
New Birth Charlotte

New Birth Missionary Baptist Church

North Carolina Police Brutality: Inmate Wins $10,000 Personal Injury Settlement Over Alleged Pepper Spray Abuse

September 8, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

Prison inmate Bill Rayburn will receive a $10,000 North Carolina personal injury settlement from the state over alleged incidents of pepper spray abuse. State officials say that they are not admitting liability by settling. Rather, they are reaching a compromise over the dispute. However, earlier, the North Carolina Department of Correction had determined that employees involved in the alleged incidents were in violation of the use-of-force policy. As a result, several employees were disciplined and a top administrator was replaced.

Per the use-of-force policy, guards can use pepper spray for self-defense or to hinder inmates that are behaving in a threatening, violent, or aggressive manner. Inmates should then immediately be allowed to wash off the chemicals from the spray.

Rayburn claims that he was sprayed on four occasions last year at Lanesboro Correctional Institution and that the policy was not followed. For example on January 13, 2009, correction officers allegedly doused him and his bed with the spray, which contains hot peppers and can be extremely painful, after he called for help following a panic attack.

In Rayburn’s North Carolina excessive use of force complaint, he says that a female guard sprayed his genitals and that more than one can of pepper spray was used on him. The guards then allegedly left him on the shower floor and he was unable to wash the painful chemicals off until the next shift of prison guards arrived.

Rayburn is now at a new prison.

North Carolina Police Brutality
Excessive use of force by law enforcement officers is never warranted—even if you have been convicted for a crime. Unfortunately, many people don’t report incidents of Charlotte, North Carolina police brutality because they are too scared and don’t realize that their civil rights have been violated. Verbal abuse, sexual assaults, threats, emotional blackmail, and physical violence are just a few examples of the different types of police violence that can occur.

State settles with inmate over claim of pepper spray abuse, Charlotte Observer, September 8, 2010

NC prisoner who sued over pepper spray gets $10K, WCNC/AP, September 8, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Lanesboro Correctional Institution

North Carolina Department of Correction

North Carolina Dog Attack Injures Jogger

August 30, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

A Mocksville men was injured on Sunday evening in a North Carolina dog attack when he was bitten three boxers. David Potts was jogging when the animals surrounded him. They didn’t stop biting him until their owner, Ralph Kinary, called them off.

Potts had to undergo surgery to repair his arm tendon. He also needed 30 stitches for his arms and legs.

The dogs were in the owner’s backyard and weren’t leashed because the owner’s wife was outside at the time. Kinary told WXII that the dogs had never been vicious until now and he doesn’t know why they chose to attack Potts.

North Carolina Dog Bites
Under state law, dog owners are not allowed to let dogs older than six months run at large at night unless they are accompanied by the owner, the owner’s relative, or someone else in charge of supervising the animals. Our Charlotte, North Carolina dog bite lawyers want to remind you of the importance of exploring your legal options soon after the incident.

Because the state has laws regarding contributory negligence, you will need experienced North Carolina injury representation to prove that you didn’t contribute to causing your dog bite injuries. This is not the kind of North Carolina personal injury case that you want to handle on your own.

Recent Dog Bite Facts from the Insurance Information Institute:
• $412 million was spent on dog-bite insurance claims in 2009—up from the $387.2 million in homeowners’ insurance liability that was paid the year before.
• On average, a dog bite claim costs $24,840.
• The increase in dog-bite related costs can be credited to to dog bite injury verdicts and judgment and injury-related medical costs that have gone above the inflation rate.

Jogger Encircled, Attacked By Dogs, WXII12, August 30, 2010

Dog-Bite Claims Exceeded $400 Million in 2009 on Higher Medical Costs, InsuranceNewsNet, August 23, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Dog Bite Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Dog Bites: When Is an Owner Liable?, Nolo

Charlotte, North Carolina Medical Malpractice: AMA Says 95 Liability Claims Filed for Every 100 US Physicians

August 25, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

The American Medical Association says that an average of 95 medical malpractice claims are filed for every 100 doctors. The AMA reveals this and other key findings in its report, which includes data based on a 2008 survey of 5,825 doctors from 42 specialties.

Other findings from the study:
• Almost 61% of doctors in the 55 and older age group have been sued.
• 90% of general surgeons in this age group will have been sued.
• The number of claims for every 100 doctors was over 5 times more for obstetricians-gynecologists and general surgeons than for psychiatrists and pediatricians.
• Over 50% of OB/GYNs will have been sued before they turn 40.

Our Charlotte, North Carolina medical malpractice lawyers are dedicated to helping our clients and their families recover injury compensation from negligent hospitals, surgeons, OB/GYNs, nurses, pediatricians, dentists, oncologists, radiologists, ophthalmologists, and other medical professionals. Contact us to request your free case evaluation if you believe that you or your loved one was the victim of medical malpractice in this state.

Interestingly enough, according to a study on the University of Michigan Health System’s disclosure-with-offer program, telling patients and their families about medical mistakes and offering them compensation in a timely manner—this is exactly what the program does—does not increase the likelihood of a medical liability lawsuit. Instead, the results include less medical malpractice complaints, faster resolution of cases, and lower liability expenses.

Regardless of whether or not a medical provider is willing to offer you compensation for the medical-related injuries that you have suffered, it is still important that you explore your legal options with an experienced North Carolina medical malpractice law firm.

Medical error disclosure not linked to more lawsuits, American Medical News, August 23, 2010

New AMA Report Finds 95 Medical Liability Claims Filed for Every 100 Physicians, American Medical Association, August 3, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Medical Liability Claim Frequency: A 2007-2008 Snapshot of Physicians (PDF)

Medical Malpractice, Insurance Information Institute

 
 

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