Articles Posted in Negligence

As reported by the Associated Press, a 56-year-old cruise ship passenger from New Mexico has died after plunging from a zip line in Puerto Rico, police said Tuesday.

Police said Marsha Boekeloo fell 20 feet from the line at the Hacienda Campo Rico, just east of San Juan. Police said Boekeloo could not move her legs and complained of chest pain after falling. She died at a hospital hours later.

The tour was organized by Ecoquest Adventures & Tours, a San Juan-based tour company specializing in zip lining, rappelling and hiking. Owner Ivan Purcell told The AP that the park will remain closed until an independent investigation into the accident is completed.

“We are in communication with the woman’s family,” he said, and denied police reports that the company delaying reporting the death.

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A physician’s assistant who was not licensed or trained to perform surgery operated on hundreds of patients while the orthopedic surgeon who billed for the procedures schemed with colleagues to hide a massive insurance fraud conspiracy, Los Angeles prosecutors said.

Prosecutors opposed reducing bail Friday for 13 people who pleaded not guilty in the $150 million fraud scheme and outlined a complex operation that spanned a decade and led to unnecessary and detrimental surgeries for unwitting patients.

The indictments “paint a clear picture of a sophisticated and savvy group of criminal conspirators who placed profits above the health and welfare of the thousands of patients they purported to treat,” Deputy District Attorney Catherine Chon said in court papers filed Thursday. “The callous disregard and extreme indifference that was shown to unsuspecting victims is reflected in the overt acts alleged.”

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A gym teacher whose student “dry drowned” more than an hour after inhaling water is not responsible for his death, the Third Circuit ruled Tuesday.

Juanya Spady died on Jan. 2, 2010, after a group of students at Liberty High School in Bethlehem, PA dunked the 10th grader in the pool during physical-education class.

Gym teacher Carlton Rodgers allowed Spady to rest on the bleachers after the incident, but then ordered him back in the pool for the rest of the class, despite Spady complaining of chest pain.
Spady went to English class without complaint. About an hour into class, though, he had a seizure – the teacher observed “labored breath, general unresponsiveness, and a pink, frothy fluid escaping from Juanya’s nose and mouth.” The teen was taken to a nearby hospital
and died later that day.

Spady’s mother, Mica, later sued the school district and Rodgers, submitting a medical report that attributes Spady’s death to a rare condition called “dry drowning” or “secondary drowning,” which occurs when water is inhaled and only later causes the vocal chords to spasm and block airways, or leaks into the lungs.

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In June 2009, Kent and Jennifer Higgins and family visited Santa Claus, an Indiana amusement park owned and operated by the Koch Development Corp. The filter pump connected to the park’s lazy river malfunctioned. As staff worked to fix the problem, pool chemicals–bleach and hydrochloric acid–accumulated in the pump. When the pump restarted, the chemicals discharged into the water and a cloud of chlorine gas was released into the air. The Higginses were not nearby, but their niece was, and they received a cell phone call, prompting them to head in that direction.

When they arrived, Kent Higgins inhaled an unspecified amount of lingering chemical fumes. Complaining of chest tightness, burning eyes, shortness of breath, and nausea, Higgins visited the emergency room, where he was diagnosed with “mild chemical exposure” and discharged with instructions to follow up with his primary care physician.

Higgins saw a pulmonologist later that summer, but waited more than a year before consulting his primary physician. He was diagnosed with reactive airways dysfunction syndrome and chronic asthma more than 14 months after the incident. In his negligence suit, the court disqualified Higgins’s expert concerning causation.

Walmart is being sued by a woman who claims she was injured when a chair collapsed underneath her when she visited a local store seeking a job.

As reported in the Louisiana Record, Venice Mallet, and husband Dwayne, filed suit against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Walmart Louisiana LLC in the 24th Judicial District Court on May 7, 2015.

Mallet alleges that on May 28, 2014 she visited the Wal-Mart locate in Harvey, LA to apply for a job. The plaintiff met with a human resources representative to discuss the possibility of employment. Mallet asserts that when she went to meet with the store manager he invited her to sit in a chair in his office and it collapsed beneath her. The plaintiff claims she suffered injuries to her head, neck, right arm and right ankle in the incident.

Trinity Industries Inc., manufacturers of a highway guardrail safety system tied to at least nine deaths, was ordered by a judge to pay $663 million for defrauding the U.S. government.

As reported in The Insurance Journal, the decision on June 8 by U.S. District Judge Rodney Gilstrap in Marshall, Texas, caps a three-year legal battle between Trinity and a small competitor in a case that raised doubts about highway safety across the country. The penalty is $138 million more than that imposed last year in a federal trial in which jurors found that Trinity cheated the government by selling its ET-Plus guardrail system without disclosing changes made in 2005. The company plans to appeal.

“We believe the evidence clearly shows that no fraud was committed,” Jeff Eller, a Trinity spokesman, said in an e-mail after the ruling. “The trial court made significant errors in applying the federal law to the plaintiff’s allegations and, therefore, the judgment is erroneous and should be reversed.”

Home Depot is being sued by a customer alleging she was injured when loading bags of mulch into her car.

As reported by The Louisiana Record Maria Tregle filed suit against Home edit USA Inc. and an unknown employee in the 24th Judicial District Court on April 17, 2014.

Tregle claims that on that date she was a customer at the Home Depot located at 2625 Veterans Blvd. in Metairie, LA when she purchased several bags of mulch. The plaintiff alleges that she requested help from an employee loading the mulch into her car, but when assistance never arrived she decided to move the bags of mulch on her own. Tregle claims that when she attempted to move the bags of mulch she injured herself.

An Allentown, PA man recently sued a Michigan foreclosure firm alleging negligence in 2014, according to The Pennsylvania Record.

Rene Rodriguez filed a lawsuit on April 24, 2015 against Five Brothers Inc. of Warren, Mich., in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, claiming personal injury.

The defendant provides hands-on foreclosure services, entering foreclosed properties to remove personal belongings on behalf of mortgage holders and/or financial institutions.

Investigators of the private-jet crash that killed Lewis Katz discovered that the billionaire’s personal pilots rarely performed the required pre-flight safety checks when flying their boss around the country.

As reported in the Insurance Journal, only on two out of the last 176 trips of Katz’s Gulfstream IV did the pilots bother to fully test the flight controls before takeoff, according to preliminary reports released by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board.

While the NTSB has not yet assigned definitive blame for the cause of the crash, the hundreds of pages of documents it released indicate a scenario where two pilots repeatedly failed to follow basic safety procedures. That includes on their final voyage May 31, which ended with the plane skidding off a Boston-area runway and bursting into flames, killing the pilots, a flight attendant, Katz and three other passengers.

McDonald’s french fries are cooked in vegetable oil heated to more than 335 degrees F. The hamburger grill is coated with hot grease.

Not surprisingly, burns are the most common injury in fast food restaurants.

Seventy-nine percent of workers were burned in the past year, most more than once, according to a Fast Food Workplace Safety survey by Hart Research Associates, released on March 16.