March, 2015

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Family of Deceased Clemson Frat Member Files Wrongful Death Suit

arbitrationFollowing the death of a Clemson University freshman Tucker Hipps in September 2014, his family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the victim’s fraternity, three fraternity brothers and the University.

According to the lawsuit, Tucker had a confrontation with one of his fraternity brothers just before he “went over the railing of the bridge into the shallow waters of Lake Hartwell head first.” The suit also alleges that his fraternity brothers attempted to cover up his disappearance until his body was found later that afternoon.

The victim’s family has claimed $25 million in damages in the lawsuit filed in the Pickens County on March 30.

Idaho Supreme Court Upholds Lower Court’s Wrongful Death Verdict

autoThe Idaho Supreme Court has rejected the appeal of Blaine County School District against a lower court’s wrongful death case ruling.

In May 2013, the jury concluded that Carey School driver’s education instructor Jeffrey Mecham was negligent in the death of 15-year-old Austin Hennefer.

Hennefer was killed on October 26, 2010, after the driver’s education car was hit by an oncoming vehicle while taking a 180-degree turn on a narrow road. In its verdict, the jury awarded a compensation of $3.5 million to the victim’s family.

Recently, the Idaho Supreme Court has upheld the lower court’s verdict, thus rejecting the appeal filed by Blaine County School District.

Germanwings Compensation Up In The Air

aviation

Andreas Lubitz, the pilot of Germanwings Flight 9525 was hiding an illness. What kind of illness it was has not been made public. Company policy requires they be notified of medical conditions such as mental illness that could affect flying or a pilot’s license.

As the co-pilot deliberately locked out the pilot, and crashed the plane after diverting autopilot’s path to crash into the French Alps, France is considering charging Lufthansa with manslaughter of the 150 aboard. If found guilty, that would mean compensation additional to what Allianz and other co-insurers are estimating the cost of Germanwings Flight 9525 could be. It could top a billion even without criminal charges..

(In the U.S., it would have amounted to as much as three times that.)

It will take over a year to settle, and the amount of payment to each family will be contingent on each country’s laws, as well as the Montreal Treaty. James Healy-Pratt (London’s Stewarts Law LLP) said between Germany, the US and France, German law has the lowest compensation rate.

Compensation amounts are figured by a specific formula and contingent on age and employment as well as country. An unemployed victim’s family could receive less than $100,000 as opposed to that of a high-income provider who could get over a million.

Watch this great explanation below of implementation of aviation compensation law based on what is known as the Montreal Treaty. The airline has to prove it did nothing wrong.

Jury Awards $18 Million to the Family of Bus Crash Victim

autoFollowing the death of 58-year-old Doval Emmanuel Watson, of Chapel Hill, in a bus crash, a jury has awarded $18 million as wrongful death compensation to his estate.

Watson was killed on April 5, 2013 when the charter bus he was travelling in overturned on its way to Hampton University, Virginia,

The wrongful death lawsuit alleged that bus driver, Larry Brocks, was trying to reach for water when he lost control of the wheel. Watson was seriously injured in the accident and later succumbed to his injuries.

Daughters File Wrongful Death Suit after Casey County Woman’s Alleged Suicide

arbitrationFamily of a Casey County woman Leah Skipper, who died on March 24, 2014, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against her longtime boyfriend Michael Johnson.

Leah Skipper’s death was caused by a single gunshot to the right of her head and was ruled a suicide.

The lawsuit filed by her daughters Sierra Skipper and Savannah Skipper, in the Casey Circuit Court, claims that Johnson has a history of domestic violence against their mother and he intentionally and/or negligently caused her death.

The lawsuit seeks $3 million in punitive damages and an unspecified amount for Skipper’s lost wages.

Costa Mesa Detox Center to Pay $10.25 Million in Wrongful Death Suit

Justice scale on blue backgroundA Missouri couple has been awarded more than $10 million in a wrongful death lawsuit filed against a detox center, First House LLC.

On March 14, 2011, Ted and Kim Jacques admitted their 20-year-old son Brandon Jacques in Morningside Recovery facility, Newport, for treatment of bulimia and alcoholism. However, on March 31, the management transferred Brandon to another facility, First House detox center, without informing his parents. On April 2, Brandon suffered cardiac arrest and died at Hoag Hospital.

Brandon’s parents claim that First House LLC did not have the license or facilities to treat eating disorders.

Recently, an orange county jury concluded that First House LLC was 80 percent responsible for Brandon’s death and ordered it to pay $10.25 million as compensation to the victim’s family.

Compensation: Jensen Farms Cantaloupe Farm tied to 2011 listeria outbreak that killed 33

guerney
Victims relatives sued companies (Kroger Co.’s King Soopers brand, Frontera Produce Ltd. Bio Food Safety Inc, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Freshpack Produce Inc., and grocery stores and outlets) that handled or sold cantaloupes from Jenson Farms for medical expenses from cases totaling over $12 million.

The cases involved 20 courts in a dozen states. Listeria killed more than 30 people and sickened more than 140. According to the investigation, the cantaloupes became contaminated by dirty water and old, hard-to-clean equipment in Jenson farm’s packing house. Eric and Ryan Jensen pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges and were sentenced to pay $150,000 each in restitution, perform 100 hours of community service, five years probation and six months of home detention.

MH370 Expired beacon battery could be compensation key

aviation
The interim report into the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER said the beacon battery for the flight data recorder expired in December 2012 and was not replaced. The expired battery could be crucial in legal action against Malaysia Airlines especially if the absence of a working battery adversely affected the search for the missing plane. Malaysia Airlines engineering department failed to properly update a computer system.

If crucial Malaysian Air Traffic Control personnel had been awake and alert, and MH370’s diversion from its correct route had been detected in a timely fashion, a dead battery in the plane’s beacon would certainly be a factor dooming the search for the missing plane.

Discussions have been ongoing between Australia, China and Malaysia on whether to call off the search.

* The beacon sends a signal if a crash occurs in water. The signal is only sent over a small area, and only lasts for a short period of time.

Family Files Wrongful Death Suit against Doctor Who Allegedly Failed Subspecialty Exams

courtroomThe family of Patricia Espinal, who died while seeking medical treatment at Slidell Medical Rehab in Louisiana, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit in the 24th Judicial District Court.

Patricia was seeking treatment by Peter A. Zimmerman, M.D., Slidell Medical Rehab LLC, after she sustained a work related injury on April 24, 2010. Her treatment included periodic spinal injections. According to the plaintiffs, Zimmerman had failed his subspecialty tests and was not certified by board while he gave her several spinal injections from November 2011 to February 2012. Furthermore, he gave Patricia her pre-operative instructions in English language, even though, she only spoke Spanish.

On February 17, 2012, Patricia experienced severe side effects after Zimmerman gave her an injection. She was then put on life support and was removed on March 7, 2012, after being declared brain dead.

In the lawsuit, the victim’s children Carlos Espinal, Lester Espinal and Allison Espinal are seeking an unspecified amount in damages, including physical pain, discomfort, disability, survival damages and wrongful death.

Parents Sue Manufacturer and Amazon After Teenager Dies of Caffeine Powder Overdose

arbitrationFollowing the death of 18-year-old Logan Stiner of LaGrange, Ohio, due to caffeine powder overdose, his parents have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the powder manufacturer and Amazon.

According to Dennis and Katie Stiner, one of their son’s classmates bought the Hard Rhino caffeine powder from Amazon. Their son consumed the powder and was later found dead in the family home. The doctors concluded that his death was caused due to “cardiac arrhythmia and seizure caused by acute caffeine toxicity.”

As per the consumer advocacy site CaffeineInformer, there are more than 4700 milligrams of caffeine in a teaspoon of the Hard Rhino powder while a standard 16-oz coffee cup contains only around 320 milligrams.

Logan’s parents alleged that even though the Hard Rhino label says the powder “can be dangerous if abused” and “failure to follow safety guidelines can result in serious injury or death”, the product label does not provide any specific instructions on how to use it properly.

The lawsuit does not only name Logan’s classmate who bought the powder from Amazon and the company that packages the Hard Rhino powder, but also seeks compensation from the online retailer Amazon.