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A Maine ski resort responsible for two chairlift mechanical failures that led to injuries in the past five years is working to prevent any further accidents, reports the Claim Journal. Sugarloaf is spending $1.5 million to make improvements after a malfunctioning chairlift moved in reverse last March, injuring seven skiers.

Workers are replacing the drivetrain on the King Pine chairlift and have replaced the gearbox on the nearby Timberline lift. They also upgraded the brakes on seven other lifts to prevent rollbacks. Another aging lift was removed altogether.

“We’re making these lifts as safe as possible with the most modern standards and components,” said Rich “Crusher” Wilkinson, vice president of mountain operations. “We don’t want to have any more lift incidents here.”

Nationwide, such incidents are rare. Skiers are far more likely to be hurt driving to the resort or skiing than riding on lifts, according to the National Ski Areas Association.

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As reported in the Insurance Journal, a judge in Atlanta has thrown out a lawsuit accusing a sperm bank and sperm donor of misrepresenting the medical and educational history of the donor.

Angela Collins and Margaret Elizabeth Hanson, who live in Canada, filed the lawsuit in March against Xytex Corp., its parent company, sperm bank employees and the donor.

Collins and Hanson alleged that sperm bank employees recommended the donor, saying he was smart, healthy and mature. They later found out the donor is schizophrenic, dropped out of college and had been arrested for burglary.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney wrote in an order filed Tuesday that while the lawsuit makes allegations including fraud, negligence and product liability, each claim is “rooted in the concept of wrongful birth,” which is not recognized under Georgia law.

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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 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 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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Traffic deaths are 14 percent higher in 2015 than they were during the same period in 2014, and serious injuries are 30 percent higher, according to the National Safety Council.

From January to June, almost 19,000 people died in traffic crashes in the U.S., and more than 2.2 million were seriously injured, putting the U.S. on pace for its deadliest driving year since 2007, the safety group’s latest report says.

Accident-related costs are also up. The six-month estimated bill for traffic deaths, injuries and property damage is $152 billion – 24 percent higher than 2014.

“Follow the numbers: the trend we are seeing on our roadways is like a flashing red light – danger lies ahead,” said Deborah Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “Be a defensive driver and make safe decisions behind the wheel. Your life really depends on it.”

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An Arizona court ruled that an employee injured in a car accident is not entitled to workers’ compensation even though she was doing a business-related errand to finish her work day.

The employee, while driving home, deviated from her normal commute by stopping at another location of her employer to drop off a manual. She then got into an accident a few minutes later.

She applied for workers’ compensation coverage for her injuries, which she claimed were incurred on the job.

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.

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