Posts tagged with "DWI"

$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

Drunk Golfer Must Pay $1.5M for Killing Couple

A drunk driver who slammed his pick up truck into a couple’s motorcycle in Easton, Penn., must pay the families of the victims $1.5 million.

The Incident

Patrick Petti and Barbara A. Warren were engaged when they were struck and killed by James M. Black. Before the crash, Black had been drinking at the Riverview Country Club in Forks Township, Penn., and tested with a blood alcohol level twice the legal limit after the 2008 accident.

The families of the couple sued both Black and the country club.

Their attorney, Kevin Marciano, said that Black drank alcohol before, during and after playing golf and the country club continued to serve him even after he was drunk.

The Jury’s Decision

But the jury found only Black responsible for the accident.

The jury believed the country club’s argument that they did not over-serve Black because it did not sell alcohol directly to Black. The club’s lawyers argued that Black poured his own drinks from pitchers of beer that others purchased at the bar and brought back to their table.

It is unclear if the $1.5 million is collectible against Black, 40, who pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and is serving a five to 10-year prison sentence. He will be eligible for parole in February 2015 but could be in prison until 2020.

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 an automobile accident claim, DUI, 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

Jury Awards $2 Million for Botched Back Surgery

A man whose doctor accidentally cut into an artery during surgery to repair a herniated disk and didn’t notice his mistake more than a day later, won a $2 million jury award.

Case Details

Matt McCann went into a New Mexico hospital in 2008 to remove a herniated disk and for spinal decompression on both sides. After surgery, his doctor closed him up and sent him into recovery without noticing anything wrong.

Thirty-six hours later, he suffered cardiac arrest.

According to his lawsuit for medical malpractice, it wasn’t until doctors opened him up again that they realized his surgeon, Dr. Hal Hankinson, had accidentally cut into his iliac artery and a large vein that carries blood to the heart. As a result, he needed three more surgeries but still has permanent damage to nerves controlling his bladder and bowels and brain damage.

The Jury’s Decision

McCann sued Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center for medical malpractice and asked for damages, or compensation, both for his injury-related expenses as well as punitive damages to punish the hospital for its wrongdoing. McCann, who used to work at art galleries and represented artists, is no longer is able to work.

McCann’s attorney also asked the jury to punish the hospital for not noticing the doctor’s mistake — behavior the lawyers argued was a corporate disregard for patient safety.

The jury awarded McCann $2 million to compensate for his damages, but did not agree the hospital should be punished.

Even though they are no longer married, the jury also gave McCann’s ex-wife Stephanie $50,000 based on her claim that the trauma destroyed the couple’s marriage.

His lawyer called the verdict “significant” and said it would help “try to get Matt put back together again”.

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 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

Failure to Warn Case Against Generic Ibuprofen

A federal appeals court has reinstated a lawsuit against the maker of a generic brand of ibuprofen. The lawsuit is on behalf of a child who suffered liver damage after taking the drug as prescribed after surgery. The case holds generic drug makers to the same labeling standard as makers of patented drugs. The case alleges failure to warn of ibuprofen risks by the drug maker. The court says the duty to warn applies to generic drug makers.

Drug Label Failed to Warn of Known Risk

Ibuprofen is a popular over-the-counter painkiller. The lawsuit says the drug is known to cause liver failure under some circumstances. The label contained no warnings about this potential side effect.

In 2009 the Supreme Court ruled drug makers can be sued for failing to warn of the risks of a medication even though the FDA has approved package or label warnings. This ruling makes clear the same standard applies to makers of the generic forms of the drug. Failure to warn is one of the main theories of product liability law.

By now everyone should be clear on the risks of liver damage associated with the two common aspirin alternatives. The FDA instructed drug makers to limit the amount of acetaminophen in prescription painkillers like oxycodone and hydrocodone. As this case shows, what you don’t know can hurt you.

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 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

‘Distracted Doctoring’ a Danger to Patients

Distractions From Patient Care

A survey found that 55 percent of technicians monitoring bypass machines admitted to talking on cell phones during surgery. Half admitted to texting while in surgery. A widely read editorial in Anesthesiology News by Peter J. Papadakos, MD, says health care workers today are “fixated on computer screens” and rarely receive information directly from their patients. Papadakos referred to a study presented to the American Society of Anesthesiologists this year that said nurse anesthetists and residents were distracted by something other than patient care in 54 percent of cases. The study further cited surfing the Internet as the primary distraction. All of these distractions serve as a potential danger to patients.

Additionally, a report in The New York Times cited polls of medical professionals in which a majority of respondents admitted using cellphones during critical procedures. The Times cited a survey of medical technicians published in Perfusion, a journal about cardio-pulmonary bypass surgery, which found that 55 percent of technicians who monitor bypass machines acknowledged talking on cell phones during heart surgery and half said they had texted while in surgery.

“Why does anyone carry a cell phone into an operating room?” Patrick A. Salvi, managing equity partner of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. in Chicago, asked. “The patient on the table deserves the undivided attention of everyone in that room.”

Malpractice of Healthcare Workers

Salvi, a medical malpractice attorney, expressed concern that healthcare workers’ increased reliance on electronic devices has become a distraction that has led to medical errors and injuries.

“We’re dismayed by reports that say doctors, nurses, technicians and others providing medical care are spending too much time focused on smartphones, computer screens and other devices when they should be paying attention to their patients.” “We’re not against the use of electronic devices for delivery of medical records or even personal communication, but it is absolutely crucial that a focus on the patient is not dropped from the accepted standards of medical care,” said Salvi.

Anyone believing their injuries or the injury or death of a loved one in a hospital or another medical setting may have been caused by medical errors resulting from distraction should contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney immediately.

By: Larry Bodine

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 medical malpractice claims, medical negligence or injury, 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.

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