Articles Posted in Wrongful death

The upper-deck railing at Turner Field should have been higher than 33 inches, the family of a man who fell to his death at an Atlanta Braves game last year claimed in court. In a wrongful-death suit filed in Fulton County, Georgia against the Braves and Major League Baseball,  the family of Greg Murrey says his death could easily have been prevented if Turner Field had guardrails at least 42 inches high.

As reported by The Courthouse News, Murrey, 60, was sitting in section 401 of the stadium on Aug. 29, 2015, when he stood up to boo New York Yankees hitter Alex Rodriguez as he was walked to the plate. The season-ticket holder then fell over the railing and plummeted 50 feet, landing on concrete. He was later pronounced dead at Grady Memorial Hospital.

“The Braves and MLB knew that spectators at baseball games get up during the course of a game — both spontaneously to react to events at the stadium and in response to prompting by an announcer,” the complaint states.

A former peanut company executive serving a 28-year prison sentence will not have to pay money to victims of a deadly salmonella outbreak linked to his Georgia facility, a federal judge ruled.

As reported in the Claims Journal, former Peanut Corporation of America owner Stewart Parnell and three co-defendants were spared by the judge on Wednesday from paying restitution to the families of hundreds who got sick after eating tainted peanut butter in 2008 and 2009. The outbreak was blamed for nine deaths and 714 illnesses.

Convicted of knowingly shipping tainted peanut butter and faking results of lab tests for salmonella, Parnell received the harshest criminal penalty ever for a U.S. producer in a food-borne illness case when he was sentenced to prison in September. His brother, food broker Michael Parnell, got 20 years in prison.

Valentina Azzia vividly remembers the moment her son nearly drowned in a pool while on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas.

Now, as reported by Florida’s WPLG Local 10 News, she has filed a lawsuit demanding that cruise lines provide lifeguards at children’s pools.

“Really in a matter of seconds we realized that our son wasn’t there anymore and we started looking for him,”  Azzia said. “He was at the bottom of the pool.”

A wrongful death lawsuit filed by the parents of a 16-year-old German exchange student who fell head first into a pocket of loose snow while skiing at Whitefish Mountain Resort will go to trial, ruled a federal judge.

According to the Claims Journal lawsuit, filed in 2013, also names the exchange agency and host family, contending gross negligence. The plaintiffs are his mother, Patricia Birkhold-Waschle, his father, Raimund Waschle, and his brother, Philip Waschle.

The lawsuit said Niclas Waschle was skiing alone on the edge of a groomed trail on Dec. 29, 2010, when he fell headfirst into a tree well and suffocated. The family is seeking damages and compensation, plus medical expenses.

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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 New York federal judge refused to dismiss a wrongful death lawsuit filed on behalf of Irene Bamenga, a French national who was trying to return to France before she was detained for 12 days on immigration violations, held in New York county jails, and deprived of critical heart medications.

As reported in the Boston Globe, Bamenga, 29, who was living with her husband in Lynn, Massachusetts, died in custody despite numerous pleas for her medication. She was the subject of a 2012 Boston Globe series, “Justice in the Shadows,” which highlighted the secrecy of the U.S’s immigration system.

The decision by U.S. Senior Judge Thomas McAvoy allows the wrongful death and civil rights claims of Bamenga’s husband, Yodi Zikianda, to be brought before a jury. It also validates Zikianda’s years-long effort to have the case proceed, according to his lawyers.

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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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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.”

A man whose daughter was injured at the South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival when a man fleeing police drove his car into a crowd claims the incident was preventable.

As reported in Courthouse News Service, the lawsuit filed in Travis County, TX Court comes after five previous lawsuits and one federal lawsuit stemming from the incident. It alleges gross negligence and premises liability.

Arthur Zamarripa sued SXSW Holdings and SXSW LLC, which operate the South by Southwest festival. Also sued were Transportation Design Consultants LLC and Rashad Owens, the alleged driver SXSW is a music and film and festival held in Austin every March. According to its statistics for 2014, SXSW had a total attendance of 376,600 people and generated $315.3 million for the Austin economy.

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.

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