Legal News

Ferris Wheel Accident Leads to Lawsuits

FindLaw Injury News - Fri, 07/21/2017 - 12:32

"We treat it like a crime scene until we determine there's no foul play," Greeneville Police Detective Captain Tim Davis told the Times Free Press in August 2016. "We don't know at this time what caused the accident." There were no criminal charges filed after three people fell 30 to 45 feet from a Ferris wheel at the Greene County Fair in Tennessee last summer.

But two federal lawsuits have been filed against the ride's operators, Family Attractions Amusement Company, as well as the manufacturer, High-Lite Rides Inc.

Reynolds vs. the Ride

According to one lawsuit, filed by the family of 10-year-old Kayla Reynolds and her 6-year-old sister, Briley, claims the girls' gondola became stuck at around the one o'clock position and began to tilt. Ride operator Jesus Herrera-Cabanas failed to stop the Ferris wheel and the ride continued to move, the Greenville Sun reports:

As onlookers described hearing a "thump" or "click" and metal "scraping," "breaking" and "screeching," Kimberly fell from the gondola, hitting the roof of the gondola below before hitting the railing platform and falling onto the ground. Briley followed, hitting the gondola roof below and then falling straight to the ground.

The suit claims Briley remained unconscious for about 10 minutes after the accident, suffering seizure activity, and was put into an induced coma at Niswonger Children's Hospital due to swelling on the brain and ventilation for respiratory failure. Briley received extended treatments for traumatic brain injury, including physical, neurological, and speech therapy, and continues to suffer neurophysiological injuries, including frequent nightmares and short-term memory loss. Kayla's injures were less severe, but she did break her arm.

Beware Falling Passengers

The other lawsuit was filed by Lorena Cowhy, who was injured when the falling girls struck her gondola, causing her to fall onto the floor where her left shoulder and bicep hit the gondola's center pole as the ride continued to tip and sway. Her lawsuit claims her injuries required "extensive physical therapy, steroid injections and possible surgeries."

Both suits are seeking unspecified damages from the Ferris wheel manufacturer, operators, and anyone who may have performed any maintenance on the ride.

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Russian Malware Developer Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison

FindLaw Headlines - Thu, 07/20/2017 - 18:48
The Department of Justice called it "one of the most advanced crimeware tools available in the underground market," malware that infected almost 11 million computers worldwide and caused over $500 million in losses. And its creator was just sentenced to five years in prison. The "banking trojan" software, dubbed Citadel,......

Does Your Teenager's Makeup Have Asbestos in It?

FindLaw Headlines - Thu, 07/20/2017 - 16:44
According to investigative journalists at ABC 11 in Durham, North Carolina, a popular powder makeup marketed to teens may contain asbestos and other harmful ingredients. The team sent "Just Shine Shimmer Powder," sold at Justice Stores, to the Scientific Analytical Institute in Greensboro, where samples of the makeup tested positive......

O.J. Simpson Granted Parole; When Will He Be Released?

FindLaw Headlines - Thu, 07/20/2017 - 16:33
After serving nine years in prison for robbery and kidnapping, O.J. Simpson was granted parole today. "I've done my time," Simpson told the Nevada Board of Parole. "I've done it as well and as respectfully as I think anyone can." The parole board was unanimous in its decision, and is......

What's Fair Market Value?

FindLaw Headlines - Thu, 07/20/2017 - 12:56
While the phrase "fair market value" might seem simple enough to understand, legally, the phrase is rather significant. Fair market value generally refers to what services, or a piece of property, are actually worth, rather than what they cost. Fair market value matters quite a bit when it comes......

DOJ Reinstates Civil Asset Seizure Policy: What You Need to Know

FindLaw Headlines - Thu, 07/20/2017 - 12:32
The Department of Justice just reinstated their policy to assist local law enforcement in civil asset seizures. What does this mean? Well, it means that law enforcement will now have more incentive to just take your stuff, even your home and cold hard cash, if they suspect any of it......

Wrongly Diagnosed With Hypothyroidism: When to Sue

FindLaw Headlines - Wed, 07/19/2017 - 18:49
Any misdiagnosis, whether falsely identifying an issue that doesn't exist or failing to discover one that does, can be harmful. This can be especially true for hyperthyroidism, which affects millions of people per year. If not accurately diagnosed, those people may go untreated, or undergo potentially harmful treatments based on......

Wrongly Diagnosed With Hypothyroidism: When to Sue

FindLaw Injury News - Wed, 07/19/2017 - 18:49

Any misdiagnosis, whether falsely identifying an issue that doesn't exist or failing to discover one that does, can be harmful. This can be especially true for hyperthyroidism, which affects millions of people per year. If not accurately diagnosed, those people may go untreated, or undergo potentially harmful treatments based on a doctor's misreading of their symptoms.

Misdiagnosis is a form of medical malpractice, and doctors that fail to properly diagnose and treat hyperthyroidism can be held liable. Here's what you need to know.

Malpractice, Misdiagnosis, and Negligence

If you think a doctor failed to diagnose your hyperthyroidism or gave you an erroneous diagnosis, you may have a valid medical malpractice claim. In essence, most medical malpractice claims are alleging a form of negligence by a doctor or other medical professional. Medical malpractice claims based on a theory of negligence require four essential elements:

  1. Duty: A doctor owed you a duty of care, generally the basis of any doctor-patient relationship;
  2. Breach: A doctor breached his or her duty by misdiagnosing or failing to diagnose your hyperthyroidism when a reasonably competent doctor in his her same position would not have;
  3. Causation: The doctor's misdiagnosis -- and not some other factor -- caused you harm, a likely event if hyperthyroidism goes untreated or mistreated;
  4. Damages: That harm you suffered is quantifiable and compensable, to some degree.

Doctors, Diagnosis, and Complications

Courts will judge doctors and their decisions based on what a reasonably prudent doctor would have done under similar circumstances. So it may be difficult to prove malpractice if your doctor did exactly what any other competent doctor would've done in treating your hyperthyroidism (or lack thereof).

In addition, medical malpractice claims can be especially complicated, often requiring the disclosure of detailed medical records and patient information, along with experts to testify regarding your injuries and your doctor's alleged misdiagnosis. Talk to an experienced injury attorney if you're considering a medical malpractice claim based on a hyperthyroidism misdiagnosis.

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5 Common Camping Crimes

FindLaw Headlines - Wed, 07/19/2017 - 14:12
Summer often means a return to nature. Leaving our 9-to-5 routine behind, even for a few days, can be healthy and invigorating, but it's worth remembering that an escape from the city doesn't necessarily mean escaping criminal laws and the consequences for breaking them. So as you're packing up your......

Can You Sell a Home If You Still Owe on Your Mortgage?

FindLaw Headlines - Wed, 07/19/2017 - 13:31
The repayment time of a home mortgage loan can run anywhere from 10 to 50 years, and a lot can happen in that amount of time. You may need to relocate for work, or want to relocate for retirement. You may add children to your nest or become empty nesters,......

Arkansas Battling Medical Supply Company to Use Covertly Obtained Execution Drug

FindLaw Headlines - Wed, 07/19/2017 - 12:34
In a hearing last April, Arkansas Department of Correction Deputy Director Rory Griffin admitted he deliberately avoided a paper trail when he ordered vecuronium bromide -- one of three drugs in the state's lethal injection cocktail -- from McKesson Medical-Surgical Inc. That could be because he knew McKesson didn't want......

Ohio State Legend Chris Spielman Sues School Over Use of Likeness

FindLaw Headlines - Tue, 07/18/2017 - 17:20
The debate over compensating college athletes has raged for decades. And while the idea of paying student athletes a wage for playing a sport (or even allowing them to receive anything of value beyond a scholarship) remains dead on arrival, the notion that players should be compensated for their likeness......

Can Religious Communities Limit Who Lives in a Neighborhood?

FindLaw Headlines - Tue, 07/18/2017 - 17:01
We've all heard horror stories about homeowners' associations, imposing fines or even eviction notices on residents for grass that's too brown, playhouses that are too pink, families that are too big, and yard decorations that are too time-travely. And while all those stories seem ridiculous, the standard legal response is......

Water Slide Injuries: Legal Liability Facts You Should Know

FindLaw Headlines - Tue, 07/18/2017 - 16:45
Nothing says summer like a water slide. Whether you're rocketing down a chute at a water park or zipping into a backyard swimming pool, there's just something about the sun and spray that spells freedom and fun. Unfortunately, water slides can also spell danger, and water slide injuries are far......

Water Slide Injuries: Legal Liability Facts You Should Know

FindLaw Injury News - Tue, 07/18/2017 - 16:45

Nothing says summer like a water slide. Whether you're rocketing down a chute at a water park or zipping into a backyard swimming pool, there's just something about the sun and spray that spells freedom and fun.

Unfortunately, water slides can also spell danger, and water slide injuries are far too common to ignore. So what happens if you or a loved one is injured on a water slide? That could depend on where that slide is. Here's what you need to know.

Park Liability

Theme parks, amusement parks, and water parks are responsible for operating safe rides and amusements and maintaining safe areas around them. A park could be held liable for injuries on a water slide if the slide is defective or a park's negligence caused a ride to be improperly operated or maintained, or the slide's manufacturer could also be liable if the slide has a defect in design, manufacturing, or warnings.

The park could also be held liable for the actions its employees -- including lifeguards, slide operators, and even maintenance personnel -- if they fail to operate the slide safely, monitor guests' use of the slide, or repair the slide when needed. Accidents and injuries caused by a water park employee will be the liability of the park if the employee's actions fell within his or her scope of employment.

Home Liability

Not all water slides are at public parks. If you or a neighbor has a slide attached to a pool, or if you've got a nifty slip 'n slide setup in the backyard, the homeowner could be liable for any injuries sustained from the slide. Even if a pool or backyard isn't open to the public, homeowners are still responsible for maintaining a hazard-free environment for guests. And pool owners especially must take care that friends and strangers alike are not injured in what the law considers an "attractive nuisance."

Whether you've been injured on a water slide, or someone else has been injured on your water slide, you should contact an experienced injury attorney today.

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U.S. Provides 15K Temporary Visas for Seasonal Workers

FindLaw Headlines - Tue, 07/18/2017 - 16:37
President Donald Trump has been adamant in his "America First" rhetoric, saying recently, "Clearly it's time for a new policy, one defined by two simple rules: We will buy American. And we will hire American." But sometimes the interests of American companies and American workers aren't so closely aligned. "As......

U.S. Customs Can't Search Your Cloud Data on Border

FindLaw Headlines - Tue, 07/18/2017 - 15:32
In these modern times of planes, trains, and automobiles, crossing the border has never been easier. The U.S. border is crossed millions of times per year. However, the alarming new trend of customs and border agents demanding to search the contents of travelers' smartphones, has left many concerned about......

When to Sue for Theme Park Injuries

FindLaw Headlines - Tue, 07/18/2017 - 13:31
Going to a theme park can be the highlight of any person's summer. For the most part, rides and attractions are safe, but things can go wrong. When a guest is injured at a theme park, that guest might be left wondering what rights they have to recover for their......

When to Sue for Theme Park Injuries

FindLaw Injury News - Tue, 07/18/2017 - 13:31

Going to a theme park can be the highlight of any person's summer. For the most part, rides and attractions are safe, but things can go wrong. When a guest is injured at a theme park, that guest might be left wondering what rights they have to recover for their injuries.

Although theme parks frequently try to limit their liability by requiring guests to agree to liability waivers as a condition of entry, these will not always protect the parks. Surprisingly, theme park injuries tend to have a high settlement rate.

Can Theme Parks Require Liability Waivers

Technically, yes, a theme park can require all attendees sign liability waivers. Yes, a theme park can deny entry to someone that refuses to sign a waiver. However, how enforceable any liability waiver will be depends on the circumstances, and the extent of the liability disclaimed. Generally, waivers that go too far can often be entirely, or partially, voided. Often times, waivers will only be valid as to general negligence, and not gross negligence.

Even smaller theme parks, such as water parks, laser tag arenas, trampoline parks, and even mini golf, can require liability waivers be signed. Additionally, parks can disclaim liability for injuries caused due to a person's own negligence, as well as the assumption of risk.

Making a Claim Against a Theme Park

For most large theme parks, a person may be able to file a claim directly with the park to resolve their injury claim without ever filing a lawsuit. However, if an individual opts to go this route, they need to be cautious not to let their statute of limitations expire. Basically, if you do not settle your case or file a lawsuit within the state's statute of limitations, a theme park will not be willing to negotiate with you any more because you won't be able to file a lawsuit.

Often, even if you do not want to file a lawsuit, contacting an experienced personal injury attorney to handle your informal claim is a good idea. Even if you are partly to blame for the injury, a good attorney might be able to help you recover. Injury attorneys generally do not charge upfront costs and are experienced in negotiating claims. Most importantly, an injury attorney will know what is an appropriate settlement amount, and can ensure that your share of the settlement isn't eaten up paying back medical bills or insurance providers.

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Venus Williams Fatal Crash Case Continues

FindLaw Headlines - Tue, 07/18/2017 - 13:15
While Venus Williams was competing for a Wimbledon title, her lawyers were competing behind the scenes on a wrongful death lawsuit filed against the tennis star. Although police cleared Williams of responsibility in a car accident in Florida that ultimately claimed the life of Jerome Barson, Barson's widow and family......

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