Dartmouth College recently settled a lawsuit with regarding a student who was injured in a skiing accident that occurred while she was taking a skiing class. Apparently, the student skied into a tree during class. She was not wearing a helmet and was just a beginner. The student remained in a coma for 6 months before dying. This was a confidential settlement. Although there was probably an element of assumption of the risk in this case, the fact that the instructor did not have a beginning student wearing a helmet probably is what caused the defendant to agree to a settlement.
06/14/2010 04:15:11 PM
In one of the largest verdicts in Arizona legal history, a family was awarded $ 40 million against a drunk driver. The defendant was a woman who had been drinking heavily at a local restuarant before getting behind the wheel of the car. The jury not only found the driver responsible, but it also found the restaurant liable for continuing to serve the driver alcohol as well as the City responsible for not making repairs to the roadway in a timely manner.This result would be unlikely in Maryland because of the statutory cap on damages. Moreover, Maryland does not recognize a claim against a bar for serving alcohol to someone subsequently involved in an accident except in very unusual circumstances. Maryland does not even allow punitive damages against a drink driver unless the plaintiff can prove almost an intentional act or malice towards the injured party. Because of the cap on pain and suffering damages in Maryland, it becomes important for the plaintiff to prove economic damages as well such as future medical care and future lost wages.
Tractor trailer accident
06/11/2010 08:16:45 AM
A jury in California recently awarded a girl damages in the amount of $24.3 million. She was struck by an 18-wheeler six. Her father was the driver of the vehicle. He had been hired by a company to drive the vehicle. The girl was caught between the rear wheels of the vehicle and had multiple serious crush type injuries requiring many surgeries in the past as well as many projected surgeries. Under Maryland law there is a cap on what is called non economic damages-what most people think as pain and suffering. However, in a case like this in Maryland, the significant amount of damages would be what is called economic damages. These would include, but not be limited to, the cost of future surgeries, rehabilitation, lost income reduced to present value, modifications to home, wheel chairs, handicap vehicles and such other items the injured party would need for the rest of his or her life.
$15 million awarded in vehicle accident
06/10/2010 04:17:21 PM
A Georgia jury has awarded $15 million to a family who was hit by a drunken driver and whose daughter suffered severe brain damage from the accident Allegedly, a drunken driver ran a red light and crashed into the plaintiff’s vehicle. One of the passengers was thrown into the back seat causing severe head injury and dislocating it from the spine. Under Maryland law there would be a limit on what is known as non economic loss such as pain and suffering. This is a good example why the law in Maryland can be so unfair to seriously injured plaintiffs.
Slip and Fall
03/05/2010 09:00:46 AM
If a person has no reasonable alternative, he is not expected to not use his own property just because he knows of a dangerous condition. Look at Roundtree v. Lerner Development Co., 52 Md. App. 281 (1982). Assumption of the risk will not apply if there is no reasonable alternative. Prosser on Torts suggests that if there is really only one effective choice it is not a choice at all so there is no voluntary assumption of the risk. Another example is where a tenant is injured because of a defective toilet seat, there is no reasonable alternative. See Sacks v. Pleasant, 253 Md. 40, 251 A.2d 858 (1969). Often the defense will try to say that the Plaintiff created the dangerous situation by doing something he should not have done.
02/08/2010 10:52:07 AM
Swimming pool accident
11/23/2011 10:58:19 AM
A jury in Texas awarded $6.2 million in a case involving a person who dove into a partially filled swimming pool and became paralyzed as a result. The accident happened in an apartment complex. The case involved the issue of notice. The jury indicated that the apartment development should have affirmatively notified and warned swimmers of the danger of the low water level. Swimming pool accidents often involved catastrophic injuries. Although contributory negligence and assumption of the risk are available defenses in Maryland swimming pool accident cases, juries will look closely at the notice provided to the public regarding dangerous situations.
TMJ Issues in Accident Cases
12/02/2011 08:45:53 AM
TMJ problems can often occur as a result of a traumatic injury. One of the primary symptoms is a headache. Headaches often come from the muscles of the head, face and neck. CAT scans and neurological testing sometimes does not locate the reason for the headaches because these tests frequently look for blood vessel disruption or neurological symptoms in the skull rather than problems with the muscles. Generally, if the headache is in the back of the head it is not related to TMJ issues. This is because the TMJ muscles are in the jaw area. Similarly, if the headache appears to be in the forehead, this is likely referred pain from the back of the head and not likely a TMJ problem. On the other hand if the client has a headaches that seems to be dominant in the area of the temples or seems to be all around the face, it is likely that there could be TMJ involvement. Symptoms to be concerned about regarding a TMJ problem diagnosis are: dizziness, light headedness, ringing in ears, ear pain, pain in facial muscles, pain in eyes, sore throat, opening or closing mouth pain, pain in jaw, clicking sounds in joints. TMJ symptoms can also be delayed for a period of time. Some studies have suggested that one in three accident victims often suffer from delayed TMJ symptoms.
12/08/2011 09:35:27 AM
A jury in New York recently awarded 7.5 million dollars to two women who were involved in a bus accident. Apparently, the bus ran a red light and struck an automobile, thereby causing significant injuries to the two women. The bus company was offered a settlement of $ 3 million but declined. Now they are exposed to the 7.5 million verdict. Bus accident can be particularly catastrophic because of the size of the bus and the inability to stop a bus as quickly as an automobile. If you or a loved one is involved in a bus accident, call the Law Firm of foran & Foran, P.A.
Wrongful death caused by intoxicated driver
12/23/2011 12:47:01 PM
In a recent wrongful death claim a Missouri police officer allegedly caused an accident that resulted in four deaths. A settlement was reached for $ 2.25 million to the surviving family members of the deceased parties. The driver, a police officer, was apparently intoxicated at the time of the collision and had significant blood alcohol levels in her blood even three hours after the accident. Read more about wrongful death cases here.