Posts tagged with "countersuit"

$65,000 Settlement from Trampoline Injury

The family of a seven year old boy from Naugatuck secured a $65,000 settlement after their son was injured using a neighbors Hedstrom trampoline.

The seven year child fractured his arm requiring it to be set, but fortunately he recovered without any permanent injuries from the accident.  Trampoline injuries are extremely common and some injuries can be very serious, sometimes fatal.

Donald McPherson of Glen Ellyn, Illinois an outstanding gymnastics/trampoline national expert who has testified in over 400 trampoline/gymnastics cases was hired by the family of the injured boy to offer testimony on the standard of care place on trampoline owners.

He opined that in that case the homeowner violated the “one jumper at a time” rule, allowing four jumpers.  There were too many jumpers causing trampoline reverberation, there was no supervised trained gymnastics expert monitoring the child and multiple jumpers caused convergence in the center of the trampoline. Trampoline manufacturers place use warnings on the trampolines which provide notice to the homeowners of safety use standards.

In Connecticut a land possessor has a duty to safeguard children from danger from a structure or artificial condition on the premises. If a child can’t comprehend the risk of harm and the condition poses an unreasonable risk of harm to a child, the land possessor must protect the child using reasonable care to eliminate the danger.

It is important to recognize many homeowner liability policies exclude coverage for trampoline use.

At Maya Murphy, P.C., our experienced team of personal injury attorneys is dedicated to achieving the best results for individuals and their families and loved ones whose daily lives have been disrupted by injury.  Our personal injury attorneys assist clients in New York, Bridgeport, Darien, Fairfield, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford, Westport, and throughout Fairfield County. If you have any questions relating to a personal injury claim or would like to schedule a free consultation, please contact our Westport office by phone at (203) 221-3100 or via e-mail at JMaya@Mayalaw.com

Car Accident Victim Wins $8.5 Million Despite Facebook Posts

A driver who was hit by a truck and whose wife died in the accident had his multi-million dollar award upheld even though new evidence showed that before the trial he erased incriminating evidence on his Facebook page.

Isaiah Lester and his wife Jessica were riding in a car in 2007 when a cement truck driven by William Donald Sprouse crossed the center line. The truck tipped over and crushed the Lesters’ vehicle. Jessica was killed in the accident. Sprouse pled guilty to manslaughter based on investigators’ evidence that he was speeding.

In Lester’s civil suit against the owner of the cement truck, Allied Concrete, a jury ruled in his favor and awarded him a total of $8.5 million, plus $2 million to Jessica’s parents.

The concrete company asked for a new trial after it was discovered that before trial Lester’s attorney, Matthew B. Murray, had asked him to “clean up” his Facebook profile. Lester deleted 16 photos that were later recovered, including one in which Lester was holding a beer can and wearing a garter belt on his head and wearing a t-shirt that said “I [heart] hot moms.”

After the trial, the judge refused to allow a new trial just because of the Facebook profile, but cut $4 million off the verdict for other reasons, finding that Lester played on the jury’s sympathies by crying during opening and closing statements.

But in the final say on the matter, the Virginia Supreme Court did not find those factors should reduce the verdict or warrant a new trial. The court reinstated Lester’s entire $8.5 million verdict.

By: Sylvia Hsieh, Lawyers.com

At Maya Murphy, P.C., our experienced team of personal injury attorneys is dedicated to achieving the best results for individuals and their families and loved ones whose daily lives have been disrupted by injury.  Our personal injury attorneys assist clients in New York, Bridgeport, Darien, Fairfield, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford, Westport, and throughout Fairfield County. If you have any questions relating to a motor vehicle accident, driving laws, or a personal injury claim or would like to schedule a free consultation, please contact our Westport office by phone at (203) 221-3100 or via e-mail at JMaya@Mayalaw.com

After-School Program Liable for Child’s Death

Case Background

Five-year-old Anyah Raven Glossinger was legally blind and had low-functioning autism. On January 23, 2008, she was found underwater in a mineral pool where she was taking therapy. She died the next day and investigators ruled her death accidental. A jury, however, just ruled that the children’s center was responsible and awarded her father $400,000 in damages.

She lived in Cathedral City, California with her mother, Emily Wereschagin. After her lessons in a special education kindergarten class at a local school, Anyah participated in the “Little Bridges” after-school program. As part of the program, Anyah took part in hydrotherapy, a common activity and exercise for people with autism.

Wrongful Death Suit

In July of that year, Anyah’s father, Michael Glossinger, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against practically everyone connected to Anyah’s death, including the local school district, three workers at the Little Bridges program and the foundation that operated the program. According to his suit, everyone involved knew Anyah was blind and autistic, yet failed to give her a life vest and the proper supervision, and so she drowned. Recently, a jury agreed and awarded Glossinger $400K to compensate for his past and future loss of Anyah’s companionship.

As California attorney Jon Mitchell Jackson explains, “Anyah’s father was likely able to introduce evidence at trial showing the loss he experienced up to the trial date without having Anyah in his life. The missed meals, playtimes and birthdays. Everyday experiences that would put a smile on any parent’s face and a song in their hearts. He also likely introduced evidence of reasonably anticipated future harm (loss of future companionship) by sharing with the jury the time he would have spent with Anyah had it not been for her untimely and tragic death. His future Thanksgivings will not include her presence and the beautiful smile of his little girl.”

Absence Doesn’t Matter

According to Glossinger’s own testimony, he lived in Mill Valley, California, about 500 miles from Anyah and her mother. He didn’t visit her very often, either. He testified, however, that shortly before Anyah’s death, he and Wereschagin agreed on and made arrangements for him to come and visit Anyah.

During the trial, defense attorneys questioned both parents about their parenting and custody arrangements, perhaps in an effort to make the jury believe that Glossinger’s suit was a more about a “money grab” than vindicating the death of his child. If indeed that was a defense strategy, it didn’t work – the jury saw a father who lost a daughter. Estranged as he may have been, Anyah was still Glossinger’s child, and he had every right to sue for her wrongful death.

Lessons Learned

Glossinger’s motive aside, the jury’s verdict should put childcare workers on notice, or at least remind them of, their duties to protect and safeguard those who are left in their care. Whether they’re special needs children or not, facilities and programs for after-school activities have the legal responsibility to provide safe physical surroundings, as well as adequate adult supervision. Programs such as Little Bridges that cater to special needs individuals and likely receive state and/or federal funding usually have stricter rules to follow, such as licensing and training for workers and facilities.

Parents Take Heed, Too

“While filing suit for monetary damages will never make the grieving family whole again,” explains Simon Johnson of the Ohio-based Simon W. Johnson Law Office, “it is the only remedy available at law that can create some closure and finality to their tragedy.” And, while it may sound naive to some, a goal of any wrongful death suit is to make sure the same tragic mistakes don’t happen again – either by the same person or company or others who perform the same services.

In Anyah’s case, California’s Department of Social Services stepped in a few months after Anyah’s death and shut down Little Bridges. There’ll be no more victims of neglect there. Glossinger’s suit takes things a step farther and, hopefully, childcare programs in California and elsewhere are taking steps to make sure a similar tragedy doesn’t happen with them.

Parents need to take steps, too, to prevent the unthinkable from happening to their children. “To be safe, parents should always assume the worst when entrusting their child’s safety to others,” advises Mr. Jackson. In pools and other swimming situations, make sure the facility has the proper number of trained lifeguards and safety devices (locked fences) available and in place. In other activities, make sure people are correctly trained and equipment is properly maintained. How do you do this? You ask questions and even more important, you make sure you get answers.”

Is your child’s after-school activity safe?

As a parent whose child participates in any sort of after-school activity, when was the last time you asked yourself, “Is my child safe?” Take it upon yourself to:

  • Talk to other parents, friends, neighbors and staff at your child’s school about the program, especially anything good or bad they may know about it
  • Visit the program or facility in person and speak with the people running it. Ask about their backgrounds, experience and training
  • Ask if program employees have undergone background checks
  • Check with your state and local social services agencies and local school boards to make sure programs, facilities and workers are properly licensed and if any complaints have been filed against them
  • Drop in unexpectedly from time to time to see how your child is being treated and supervised during the program. Better yet, volunteer some of your time and see how day-to-day operations really work

There’s no information about whether or not Anyah’s parents did any of these things, and of course, there’s no guarantee the tragedy could have been avoided even if they had. We owe it to our children, though, to do what we can to avoid tragedies like Anyah’s and to hold people accountable when the unimaginable happens.

By: Dave Baarlaer, Lawyers.com

At Maya Murphy, P.C., our experienced team of personal injury attorneys is dedicated to achieving the best results for individuals and their families and loved ones whose daily lives have been disrupted by injury.  Our personal injury attorneys assist clients in New York, Bridgeport, Darien, Fairfield, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford, Westport, and throughout Fairfield County. If you have any questions relating to a childcare negligence or injury, a wrongful death claim or a personal injury claim or would like to schedule a free consultation, please contact our Westport office by phone at (203) 221-3100 or via e-mail at JMaya@Mayalaw.com

Consumer Product Safety Commission, FDA Warn Against Infant Sleep Positioners

The nation’s top consumer watchdogs are jointly urging parents to stop using infant sleep positioners immediately. The sleep positioners can suffocate an infant who rolls out of position while lying on one. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) say the positioners have caused at least 12 deaths in the past 13 years.

Sleep Positioners Don’t Prevent SIDS

The terrible irony of this is that parents thought sleep positioners were protecting their children from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Although what causes SIDS remains unknown, sleep position is thought to play a factor. Pediatricians and experts who’ve studied SIDS agree that babies who sleep on their backs are less likely to die of SIDS than those who do not.

So sleep positioners were supposed to keep infants in the correct sleeping position. Apparently they fail to do so, and in fact pose a separate suffocation risk if the infant rolls face down in the positioner, or becomes trapped between the positioner and the side of the crib or bassinet. Beyond the risk, the FDA points out that the claim that sleep positioners reduce the risk of SIDS is totally unsubstantiated.

Evaluating the safety of consumer products is a massive challenge borne by the CPSC. Sizing up the efficacy and safety of products claiming health benefits falls to the FDA. You can add to the mix the Federal Trade Commission, which is responsible for policing false or misleading advertising. The fact that these three agencies are on the job and working hard does not, unfortunately, guarantee us a safe, rip-off free world to live in.

As with any advisory or recall, you should stop using the product immediately. Discard the product or return it to place of purchase for a refund. Do not attempt to resell the product. That’s illegal. If you’ve been injured by any product, recalled or not, contact the CPSC or FDA as appropriate, and contact a good personal injury attorney.

By: Arthur Buono

At Maya Murphy, P.C., our experienced team of personal injury attorneys is dedicated to achieving the best results for individuals and their families and loved ones whose daily lives have been disrupted by injury. Our personal injury attorneys assist clients in New York, Bridgeport, Darien, Fairfield, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford, Westport, and throughout Fairfield County. If you have any questions relating to a personal injury claim relating to a defective or dangerous product or would like to schedule a free consultation, please contact our Westport office by phone at (203) 221-3100 or via e-mail at JMaya@Mayalaw.com

State Lawmaker Involved in Car Accident Lawsuit Accused of Drunk Driving

A personal injury lawsuit filed this week accuses Connecticut State Rep. Christina Ayala of fleeing the scene of an accident caused by her own drunk driving, according to a report from the Norwich Bulletin.

Sources say the lawsuit, filed by 26-year-old Krystal Valez, claims that Ayala was under the influence of alcohol when she ran her car into a vehicle driven by Valez. The lawsuit also alleges that Ayala fled the scene of the accident.

The accident in question occurred last August, when Ayala’s 2007 Nissan Sentra allegedly struck a 2002 Honda Accord being driven by Valez.

Ayala allegedly fled the scene of the accident, but a person who witnessed the crash followed her car and eventually forced her to pull over about six blocks from the location of the collision, according to sources.

When Ayala was questioned by officers after the accident, she claimed that she tried to check on Valez following the collision, but that she decided to leave the scene because she felt “scared” due to the presence of a man who was screaming at her.

Interestingly, when police took Ayala into custody, they did not test her for alcohol, because they claimed she did not appear to be intoxicated. Nevertheless, the lawsuit filed by Valez alleges that Ayala was drunk at the time of the crash.

The plaintiff claims that she suffered back injuries and a concussion as a result of the accident, and that her medical costs amount to roughly $11,000.

Valez, however, will have to refute the testimony of Ayala’s father, Alberto Ayala, who claims that his daughter had not been drinking before the accident, according a statement given to the Connecticut Post.

Of course, Alberto Ayala has every incentive to make this claim, because not only is he the driver’s father, he is also named as a defendant in the car accident lawsuit.

Unfortunately for Christina Ayala, a native of Bridgeport, Connecticut, the pending personal injury lawsuit is the least of her legal concerns.

Sources say Ayala, who is serving her first term in the state legislature, was officially charged with failing to renew her driver’s registration, failing to obey a traffic signal, and evading responsibility.

During her latest court hearing, Ayala was told by her judge that she could accept a plea bargain offered by prosecutors or stand trial for her criminal counts.

Under the plea deal, Ayala would receive a suspended sentence and have an extended period of probation. Sources say Ayala has three weeks to make her choice.

By JClark, totalinjury.com

At Maya Murphy, P.C., our experienced team of personal injury attorneys is dedicated to achieving the best results for individuals and their families and loved ones whose daily lives have been disrupted by injury.  Our personal injury attorneys assist clients in New York, Bridgeport, Darien, Fairfield, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford, Westport, and throughout Fairfield County. If you have any questions relating to a personal injury claim or would like to schedule a free consultation, please contact our Westport office by phone at (203) 221-3100 or via e-mail at JMaya@Mayalaw.com 

Woman Injured in Rail Crash Files Train Accident Lawsuit

A 65-year-old woman who was injured in a dramatic train crash last month in Connecticut has filed a negligence lawsuit against Metro-North Railroad, according to a report from ABC News.

Sources say the woman, Elizabeth Sorenson, a resident of Bridgeport, Connecticut, suffered multiple bone fractures and remains in critical condition as doctors tend to a severe brain injury.

The lawsuit was the first claim filed by a victim of the crash that occurred on May 17. According to sources, the crash injured more than 70 people.

Sorenson’s personal injury attorney told sources that he filed the lawsuit in federal court in order to gain access to witnesses that observed the accident and to allow families of the victims to become involved in the investigation.

Sources expect more lawsuits to eventually be filed in the wake of the massive train accident, which happened at 6:10 p.m. on a weekday as the train carried 300 passengers from New York’s Grand Central Station to New Haven, Connecticut.

The train reportedly derailed near a highway overpass in the town of Bridgeport, and was then struck by a train holding 400 passengers that was headed the opposite direction.

The damage caused by the accident was “absolutely staggering,” according to Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal, as he observed the scene. Sources say parts of the roof of some of the train cars had been torn off, and that some of the tracks were noticeably twisted.

Three people remain in critical condition after the accident, and the National Transportation Safety Board has launched a full investigation into the wreck.

Thus far, investigators have yet to isolate the cause of the accident, but the impact was so severe, some passengers initially thought it may have been caused by a bomb.

“We came to a sudden halt. We were jerked. There was smoke. People were screaming; people were really nervous. We were pretty shaken up. They had to smash a window to get us out,” said one passenger traveling from New York.

Another passenger told local sources that they “went flying” and reported that “one entire compartment was completely ripped open.”

Most of the 70 passengers who were injured received prompt treatment at the site of the accident, but three victims are still in critical condition, according to reports.

According to report from train officials, the tracks involved in the collision suffered “extensive infrastructure damage,” and the train involved in the accident will “need to be removed by crane” following a thorough investigation.

By JClark, totalinjury.com

At Maya Murphy, P.C., our experienced team of personal injury attorneys is dedicated to achieving the best results for individuals and their families and loved ones whose daily lives have been disrupted by injury.  Our personal injury attorneys assist clients in New York, Bridgeport, Darien, Fairfield, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford, Westport, and throughout Fairfield County. If you have any questions relating to a personal injury claim or would like to schedule a free consultation, please contact our Westport office by phone at (203) 221-3100 or via e-mail at JMaya@Mayalaw.com 

$825,000 Verdict for Injuries from Truck Accident

In a recent personal injury trial in the Stamford Superior Court a woman received $825,000 for injuries to her head and neck suffered in a collision with a large truck.

The case involved a motor vehicle accident whereby, the plaintiff, Mrs. Hutter, was hit from behind by a large beer truck owned by DiChello Distributors. As a result of the collision, Mrs. Hutter sustained a number of serious injuries including injuries to her head and neck. She also sustained a mild traumatic brain injury.

During the course of a three week trial, the plaintiff presented a substantial number of witnesses to establish the significance of the impact and the extent of the injuries. The experts included an accident reconstruction expert from Maryland, a bio-mechanical expert from Virginia, a neurologist, a psychiatrist and a neuro-psychologist.

In addition to the various expert witness, Mrs. Hutter also presented testimony from her friends who knew her before the time of the accident and were able to explain to the jury the significant change in Mrs. Hutter that occurred as a result of the incident.

After three weeks of evidence, the jury deliberated for two and one-half days and then rendered a verdict in favor of Mrs. Hutter in the amount of $825,000 including over $500,000 for compensation for her pain and suffering.

At Maya Murphy, P.C., our experienced team of personal injury attorneys is dedicated to achieving the best results for individuals and their families and loved ones whose daily lives have been disrupted by injury.  Our personal injury attorneys assist clients in New York, Bridgeport, Darien, Fairfield, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford, Westport, and throughout Fairfield County. If you have any questions relating to a personal injury claim or would like to schedule a free consultation, please contact our Westport office by phone at (203) 221-3100 or via e-mail at JMaya@Mayalaw.com 

$98,000 Settlement for Neck and Back Injuries after Broad-sided by Drunk Driver

A Southbury resident received a $98,000 settlement of his lawsuit stemming from an accident where his vehicle was hit by an intoxicated motorist in a “hit and run” accident.     

The automobile collision happened on a local road in Southbury, Connecticut. The drunk driver defendant was operating a Ford F350 pickup truck which belong to the owner of an excavation company.

The intoxicated motorist crossed over the center of the road into the plaintiff’s travel lane causing the motor vehicle crash.  The plaintiff was forced off the road after being broadsided by the drunk driver.

While the defendant motorist fled the scene, he was later arrested by the Connecticut State Police and charge with DUI.

As a result of the accident the plaintiff suffered neck strain, headaches, lower back strain and tinnitus.  He was treated by a chiropractic physician for her neck and lower back strain and a neurologist for his headaches and tinnitus.  The lawsuit against the intoxicated excavator was settled for $98,000 to cover medical cost and property damage.

At Maya Murphy, P.C., our experienced team of personal injury attorneys is dedicated to achieving the best results for individuals and their families and loved ones whose daily lives have been disrupted by injury.  Our personal injury attorneys assist clients in New York, Bridgeport, Darien, Fairfield, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford, Westport, and throughout Fairfield County. If you have any questions relating to a personal injury claim or would like to schedule a free consultation, please contact our Westport office by phone at (203) 221-3100 or via e-mail at JMaya@Mayalaw.com 

 

Jury Orders Strip Club to Pay $10M for DUI Fatality

Eric Brent Crutchfield was over-served at the club and ran over the victim in the parking lot.

A Dallas strip club has been blamed for a fatal drunk driving accident that killed a young woman in March 2011. A jury awarded the woman’s family $10 million.

After a night at the Spearmint Rhino Gentlemen’s Club, Eric Brent Crutchfield left the club around 2 a.m. heavily intoxicated, jumped into his illegally souped-up Ford truck and ran over 23-year-old Kasey McKenzie, who was walking through the parking lot.

Her parents, Gary and Karen, brought a wrongful death civil suit against Crutchfield and the strip club for over-serving its customer.

According to a toxicology report, Crutchfield’s blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit.

The couple’s attorney, Michael Schmidt, argued that employees at the strip club continued to serve Crutchfield even after he was “obviously intoxicated” and “presented a clear danger to himself and others.”

In addition, Crutchfield was driving with a suspended license and his Ford F-250 had illegal customized changes, including oversized wheels, a lift kit, illegal headlights and tinted windows. Police said that as a result, the vehicle was too high off the ground and obstructed his view.

After he struck McKenzie, he drove off without knowing he hit anyone. Several witnesses had to run after him to stop him.

The jury pinned 70 percent of the blame on the strip club for over-serving Crutchfield and 30 percent on Crutchfield himself.

Crutchfield is behind bars after a criminal trial in which he pleaded guilty to manslaughter in McKenzie’s death. He had already been on probation for possession of steroids. After the manslaughter conviction, a judge revoked his probation and sentenced him to 10 years.

By: Sylvia Hsieh

At Maya Murphy, P.C., our experienced team of personal injury attorneys is dedicated to achieving the best results for individuals and their families and loved ones whose daily lives have been disrupted by injury.  Our personal injury attorneys assist clients in New York, Bridgeport, Darien, Fairfield, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford, Westport, and throughout Fairfield County. If you have any questions relating to a motor vehicle accident, wrongful death claim, or personal injury claim or would like to schedule a free consultation, please contact our Westport office by phone at (203) 221-3100 or via e-mail at JMaya@Mayalaw.com 

 

Personal Injury Claim: Mother to Receive $7M for Child’s Injury

Mother to Receive $7 Million for Daughter’s Catastrophic Injuries

The parties in a personal injury case involving an unfortunate accident that caused traumatic brain injuries to an infant girl in New York have entered a settlement agreement just days before returning to the courtroom. Kenietra Grant is the plaintiff on behalf of her daughter, who was only two years old when her cranium was fractured in a 2008 motor vehicle accident. Ms. Grant will receive a settlement award in the amount of $7 million.

The Accident

The accident occurred on May 11, 2008. Ms. Grant and her daughter were traveling in a car driven by Sharnique Reynolds, who stopped the vehicle on the side of the road near the town of Tuxedo in Orange County, NY. According to counrt records from the Third Judicial Appellate Division, Ms. Reynolds decided to pull over after feeling overcome with drowsiness. Ms. Grants’ daughter was in the rear passenger seat when a car traveling at 65 mph struck Ms. Reynolds’ vehicle.

The driver of the striking vehicle, Estevan Nembhard, is a labor activist and organizer for Service Employees International Union. Mr. Nembhard was reportedly on his way back home from a meeting in Connecticut, where he met with future members of the labor union. The accident took place around 4:00 a.m. EST, and Ms. Grants’ daughter suffered traumatic brain injuries.

The Case

As the plaintiff on behalf of her daughter, Ms. Grant faced several challenges during her quest for relief. The case turned intricate with multiple defendants, various insurance companies, numerous motions and several cross claims. These are typical factors faced by catastrophic injury lawyers who represent the best interest of their clients in ruinous accidents such as the one suffered by Ms. Grants’ daughter.

Counsel for Mr. Nembhard’s employer has stated that the organizer was not performing the union’s work at the time of the accident. The union, however, has agreed to settle the case along with the insurers of the two vehicles involved in the collision.

By LaurenL, settlementboard.com

At Maya Murphy, P.C., our experienced team of personal injury attorneys is dedicated to achieving the best results for individuals and their families and loved ones whose daily lives have been disrupted by injury.  Our personal injury attorneys assist clients in New York, Bridgeport, Darien, Fairfield, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford, Westport, and throughout Fairfield County. If you have any questions relating to a personal injury claim or an automobile accident claim or would like to schedule a free consultation, please contact our Westport office by phone at (203) 221-3100 or via e-mail at JMaya@Mayalaw.com to get in touch with our Managing Partner, Joseph Maya.