The Philadelphia Personal Injury Law Blog

December 2009 Archives

Officer And Friend Shot In Robbery

One of Philadelphia's finest was shot, as was his friend, during what is believed to be a robbery attempt. The Inquirer reported that Officer Martin P. Campbell and Rasheen Allen were in the Hunting Park area when they were both shot

While Campbell was most recently in stable condition, Allen unfortunately died from his injuries.

This senseless shooting has sparked outrage in the city, and police are urging anyone with more information to come forward.   

PA Dog Shot By Officer: Just Cause?

Could an officer be charged in a personal injury case for shooting a family's dog?

In Philadelphia, police were called to a home for a domestic disturbance. CBS 3 reports that once they entered the home, a dog "rushed an officer, who then opened fire on the animal."

While the dog's condition is unknown, it is believed that the officer was unharmed.

The specifics of this case, once they are known, will determine if charges or a personal injury case will be filed.

Fatal Car Accident: How To Prove Fault

In a recent car crash, a woman was killed after her car was sideswiped. ABC 6 News reports that the accident occurred in West Brandywine Township early in the morning. While not much else is known about the fatal crash, some of the comments on the story indicate that the women was waiting to turn when her car was bumped from behind. Since her wheels were already turned, the bump pushed her car into oncoming traffic.

If this is true, would the person who bumped her car need a PA personal injury attorney?

Freeholders The Targets Of Vandalism?

In Camden County, NJ, the county administrator, Angilello along with others may need a personal injury lawyer after several acts of vandalism. It is believed that the Freeholders are being targeted because, by privatizing the county's jail, "nearly 400 jobs could be in jeopardy" (CBS 3 News).

The victims believe that the slashed tires, broken into cars, and small instances of arson were caused by the Police Benevolent Association (PBA). This group represents the officers that could lose their jobs.

If this turns out to be true, the Freeholders could have several personal injury cases to file against the PBA.

If Both Are Criminals, Is Personal Injury Case Possible?

Michael D. Marko was having a bad day. When he paid a woman $50 for sex, not only did she change her mind and keep the money, but when he attacked her to get it back, he was arrested. 

Where is the justice? Can't a man engage in the illegal act of soliciting prostitution and assault a woman anymore?

Would Trespasser Win In A Negligence Lawsuit?

Could the person who vandalized a radio tower have a personal injury case on his hands? The mystery person who tied a bed sheet to the antenna on top of a radio tower in York, PA, is being told to go see a doctor. By climbing up the tower, the AP reports that the person was exposed to "radiofrequency, which is a heavy dose of a type of radiation." There could be some serious side-effects to the stunt, so the person is being urged to see a doctor immediately.

The company that owns the radio tower, Citadel Broadcasting, might be seen as negligent if there were no signs up that warned people of the danger of getting too close to the tower. It has not been reported whether or not the signs were posted.

Personal Injury Out Of Car Chase?

The Philadelphia Daily News reports that a 16-year-old boy was shot after a highway chase. The teen was "committing several driving violations" which brought him to the attention of the state troopers. He exited I-95 and pulled over, but it was apparently to attempt another crime. Once the state troopers approached the vehicle, the boy tried to run them over. One of the troopers shot at the driver; he was transported to a nearby hospital in stable conduction. The two other passengers were unharmed and they were brought into custody. 

In a case like this where there will obviously be criminal charges, is there any way that a personal injury case could develop for assault?

Fatal Train Accident: Personal Injury Scenarios

CBS 3 reports that a man was struck and killed by an Amtrak train in Chester County. As of yet, there does not seem to be any specifics on how the accident occurred or if it was in fact an accident.

There are many different scenarios that could have triggered a tragic incident just like this.   

Train and Bus Accident: Who's At Fault?

Another train accident occurred this time with a bus in Camden County, NJ. CBS 3 reports that the accident happened when, "a bus carrying 26 passengers became stuck on the rail crossing." It was several minutes before the train arrived, so passengers were able to evacuate before the train collided.

Out of the 38 train passengers, only four people were injured, including the train engineer. They were taken to a hospital with minor injuries of neck and back pain.


Personal Injury Law Covers Dead Deers?

If you think your neighbor's yard is a mess, don't go to Kittanning, Pennsylvania where one man has hundreds of "rotting deer carcasses" in his yard  (as reported by the AP). The man is willing to move the carcasses as soon as possible, but if he were not prepared to do that, could a step in for the neighbors?

NJ Youth Dies: Cause Undetermined

In South Brunswick, NJ, a seventeen-year-old boy died at a basketball game. The AP reports that he was on the sidelines of a Crossroads Middle School game when he collapsed. Even though CPR was performed on him and then a defibrillator was used, he was pronounced dead at the hospital.

As much as we would like things to make sense, to have someone to blame, as of now, it does not appear that anyone is at fault or that a PA personal injury attorney is needed.

Teen Sentenced In SEPTA Assault

One of the teenagers who attacked Sean Patrick Conroy on a Philadelphia SEPTA platform was sentenced to 10-20 years in prison for the fatal crime. Arthur Alston, 18, claimed that he and his four friends beat the man because of a dare. He also said that he didn't mean for Conroy to die, which occurred because the blows gave him an asthma attack.

The AP reports that this "ringleader" pleaded guilty to third-degree murder, as did another teen." Two others were convicted of third-degree murder and a third was convicted of involuntary manslaughter.

CBS 3 states that many are waiting for charges to be brought against "Tim" the man who dared the teens to hit the next person they saw.


PA Lawyer: World Series Client Is Defamed

 Susan Finkelstein has had her reputation ruined by the recent case against her for promoting prostitution and general prostitution. The Philadelphia Daily News reports that she will go to trial for offering sex in exchange for World Series tickets. Her criminal defense lawyer is making a point of the fact that the only evidence the prosecution has are photos of Finkelstein topless, which is not illegal, and one officer's testimony.

Because there has been such a media frenzy over this case, it would be easy to say that Finkelstein will never be able to make this go away. Even if she was cleared of all charges, some of the things that the officer said will follow her for the rest of her life. 

One of the less graphic statements that the officer gave was what he claims Finkelstein said at their first meeting: "I admit it. I'm a prostitute. I love sex. I'm a whore."


If this is all fabricated, would Finkelstein be able to sue the officer for defamation?

Multiple Attacks Not Always By Multiple Criminals

In one week, Philadelphia has been bombarded with stabbings and gunshot wounds that have sent six men to the hospital (Philadelphia Daily News). While there does not seem to be an immediate connection between all of the crimes, that does not rule out the possibility. 


If there was a connection between some if not all of the attacks, then the victims would be able to hire a PA personal injury attorney and file the suit together. Having the same criminal in a string of similar robberies means that he could be charged for all of them at once. This would make the process a lot faster and save on court costs for the plaintiffs.


Bar Room Push Leads To Accidental Death

Southeast of Philadelphia, in Camden County, a man died of his injuries after being pushed in a Westmont pub. Ceasar Bonifacio, 65, was pushed by Joseph Nicosia, 27, and died three days later. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the fall resulted in a fatal head injury.

Criminally, Nicosia is being charged with aggravated assault.

Could a personal injury case develop if an incident was truly an accident?

Personal Injury: Traffic Laws For Ambulance Drivers

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West of Philadelphia, in South Londonderry Township, seven people were injured after an ambulance was involved in an accident with two other cars. While the reason or cause was not reported by the Patriot-News, all that is certain is that the ambulance, driven by Raymond Miller, 31, "crossed into the opposing lane" and struck the two cars.

After it hit the first car, the ambulance kept going until it hit the second car.

The people involved in the accident were all treated at the medical center, and some of them have been released. The driver of the first car hit is in the intensive care unit. 

This brought up a couple of interesting questions: What rules do ambulance drivers have to follow? Can the driver be sued if he is thought to be at fault?

A Car The Weapon In Assault And Battery

Northwest of Philadelphia, in Lower Paxton Township, a woman in a Nissan has a stack of charges against her from criminal to civil. Blinded by road-rage, the woman in the Nissan bumped another car on 83 until they both pulled over. When the Nissan driver was leaving, she "backed into the woman's legs and drove off" (as reported by the Patriot-News).


PA Personal Injury Victim Assaulted And Abducted

A Pennsylvania man was carjacked, robbed, and abducted. The 34-year-old victim was forced at gun point to drive the suspect to Philadelphia and New Jersey, all the while, withdrawing money from ATMs. reports that the victim was released unharmed, but the suspect kept the car. The suspect is still at large.

When a person is abducted, he could have a compelling personal injury claim that could involve assault, theft, and emotional distress.

Victims of Domestic Violence: Rights

NBC Philadelphia reports that Aaron Marcel Davis, 39, was having an argument with his girlfriend, who did not agree with him, so he beat her in his car then threw her out, while he was still driving.

The woman was hospitalized with minor injuries, but the amount of damage that he could have done will cost him heavy charges especially since he threatened to kill her and her family. Some believe that he may have made good on his promise in the past. Over ten years ago, Davis was charged but not convicted of two counts of murder. According to the police report, Davis threatened his girlfriend by saying that he would kill her like he killed the other women.

Besides the charges of assault, terroristic threats and harassment, in the future he could have to face the current girlfriend along with the families of the murdered women in civil court.

Nurse Needs Meds More Than Patients

West of Philadelphia in Johnstown, residents of a personal care home were robbed of their painkillers and other drugs by a nurse. Ryan Majeskie, 22, is already facing criminal charges of theft and reckless endangerment reports the AP.

So how did Majeskie get away with it?

Stabbing Victim's PA Lawyer Can Fight Back

In a recent attack reported by the Patriot-News, Dillon Mitchell was being stabbed when a good samaritan saved him by scaring off the criminal. Michael Minto, came across the beating, pulled out his concealed gun, and "ordered the assailant to drop his knife."

When the man, Kevin Forde, ran off, police were able to find him the next day and charge him with attempted homicide and aggravated assault.


If Pothole Causes Accident, Is City To Blame?

An off-duty Philadelphia officer was involved in a car accident. ABC 6 reports that officers believe a pothole was to blame for making her lose control and hit a tree.

Now, depending on what actually happened on MLK Drive, there could either be a personal injury case or a criminal case.

If the off-duty officer got in the accident because a pothole made her lose control of her vehicle, then she can attempt to sue the city. To have a pothole cause such immense damage means that it is a hazard. The city is responsible for the road and the safety of Philadelphians that drive on them.

Are Slashed Tires Assault In A Personal Injury?

Northwest of Philadelphia, in Jonestown, a woman was was attacked when a man grabbed her from behind, held her by the throat, punched her, and slashed her tires.

In a personal injury trial, would a similar case be seen as assault and battery?

If an attack is unprovoked, it would just be battery. Battery is a physical contact that is made whereas assault is the threat of the physical action. Since he practically snuck up on her and attacked, it would be difficult to assign assault to his charges, unless the man had threatened her previously and was just then making good on his promise of assault.

N.J. Police New To Tazering

Citizens of Philadelphia, know your rights: police officers of New Jersey are now allowed to use Tasers. The Inquirer reports that this is the first time that New Jersey officers will be allowed to use the Taser. Since everyone starts out on a bike with training wheels, it can be safe to say that the police force may take a few spills before they get their balance.

They are doing great things to protect the people and themselves. A part of the new policy states that the officers can only use the Taser once they have gone through a training course. This will pave the way for the safest use of Tasers.

Son Tries To Steal Mom's Money In Her Clothes

In New Jersey, Tita Nyambi, 25, dressed in his mother's clothing and attempted to withdraw money from her account by using her driver's license. The AP reports that because of this strange case of identity theft, he will face criminal charges of "forgery and attempted theft by deception."

He attempted to withdraw nearly $700 from his mother's account by means of his disguise, a forged bank form, and a high-pitched voice. The bank teller alerted the police when it was obvious that a man was posing as the woman who owned the account.

Alleged Rape At PA Hospital

In Johnstown, PA, a homeless man is being charged with the rape of a mentally disabled woman  at Conemaugh Health System's Good Samaritan. The AP reports that while he was there for "substance abuse and depression" Andrew Darryl Hill, 48, raped the woman and said in his defense that she had consented to it. Police says that in her state, that would not be possible.


Who Speaks For Infant If Parents Are To Blame?

Could anyone hire a Philadelphia personal injury attorney to speak on behalf of a deceased child if the people in question are the parents?

A Pennsylvania couple, already the parents of three, were arrested after their newborn baby was found is a dumpster. NBC Philadelphia reports that Dereke, 27, and Jeanna Moore, 28, claimed that the baby was still born, so they wrapped it is a trash bag and threw it out.


Sexual Diviant Put Away: Toe Sucker

Richard Casey, 50, also known as "the foot fetish bandit" will be serving a minimum of 57 years reports NBC Philadelphia. In total, he has six female victims who were subjected to horrible sexual assaults that included "fondling," "digital penetration," "deviant oral sex" and toe sucking.

As if the sexual crimes weren't heinous enough, the bizarre addition of toe sucking may have added to his sentence.

PA: Another ER Blunder

Directly west of Philadelphia in Uniontown, a woman is suing Uniontown Hospital along with an emergency room physician for not diagnosing her condition or working to repair it. Not all of the details are available as of yet, but it has been reported by the AP that Shanna Hiles, 20, "drank herself unconscious" and passed out on the floor of the emergency room. For over 12 hours, she was sitting in a position that cut off the circulation to her legs. She is blaming the hospital for having both of her legs amputated below the knees instead of working to restore her circulation.

Her PA personal injury attorney has to prove several things: an existence owed duty, deviation from standard care, and the connection between the "care" and the injury (FindLaw).

PA Students Stand Up To Hate

I'd like to share a story with you that I feel is completely appropriate for the holiday season.

On Monday, the Westboro Baptist Church stood across the street from Cherry Hill East High School with hateful signs: "Fags Are Beasts," "God Hates Jews," "You're Going To Hell" and "You Will Eat Your Babies" to name a few. NBC Philadelphia reported that the leader of the extremist group, Jael Phelps said that "We took the opportunity to show some love to these kids."

I ask her to look up "love" in the dictionary.

Are people allowed to preach hate in public?

Philadelphia Woman Raped In Her Sleep

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After a long day of caring for her young son and working two jobs, a 21-year-old woman went to sleep. In the morning, she woke up to discover that she had, unbeknownst to her, had intercourse. reports that she was in such a deep sleep, that she did not know that Daniel Torres, the 30-year-old perpetrator, was there let alone assaulting and raping her.

Hospital Workers Lose Jobs: Refuse Flu Vaccine

Recently, five employees of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia were fired for not receiving their mandatory flu shots. Some of the people claimed that they did not get the shot because it was against their religious beliefs.

NBC Philadelphia reports that the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia "offered opportunities to apply for medical and religious exemptions but not exemptions based on 'personally held beliefs.'"

The Health Care Union is defending the workers by asking, "How does an institution make a determination of somebody's spiritual and religious beliefs," and why were some excused but not all?

Is Restitution Only Found In Personal Injury Cases?

In Philadelphia, if you are the victim of a money scheme, you may not have to file a personal injury claim to receive some of your money back. In criminal cases, if the defendant is found guilty, he may be sentenced to paying restitution to the people that have been hurt.

In a recent case, Joseph Forte was sentenced to 15 years in prison  and the Philadelphia Daily News reports, that he will have to pay "more than $34.8 million to 76 victims." His victims testified against him and assisted with his being convicted.

Unnusual Death Leaves Questions

Just south of Philadelphia, in Camden County, the mysterious death of Lucie Marie Hamilton, 20, has been closed. She died in the home of Hector, Salva, during a voodoo ritual that was being performed to cleans her spirit. The Philadelphia Daily News reports that "Hamilton's death had been accidental, resulting from the combined effects of 'physical exhaustion, ambient room temperature and an oxygen-depleted atmosphere." Salva was never named as a suspect and no criminal charges were brought against him.

Could a negligence case develop for providing a dangerous environment that resulted in a wrongful death?

Several At Fault In ER Death And Theft

The family of Joaquin Rivera is facing many unnecessary tragedies. Not only did the father die while seated in the waiting room of the Aria Health Frankford Hospital, but that was also where he was robbed. After complaining of a symptom of a heart attack, Rivera waited for eleven minutes before he died reports ABC 6 News. Then the robbers stole his watch.

The family is heart broken that such negligence and cruelty would happen to their loved one at a place that promises care and attention.

Victims Are Billed For Stolen Car

Philadelphia NBC News has been tracking the most recent developments in the law involving your stolen car. If your stolen vehicle is found, as of right now, you will be required to pay to have it returned. The total will come to $168 if you pick it up that day: $25 for the Philadelphia police, $125 for the towing company, and a storage fee of $18 per day.

The people whose car has been stolen are being victimized by both the carjacker and the city. Currently, Councilman Darrell Clarke is attempting to change the law; hopefully, in time we will be able to report that the fee has diminished or gone away entirely. Until then, can victims hire a personal injury lawyer and have the thief foot the bill?

Do Not Injur Your Family, Or Run, With Scissors

A Pennsylvania man allegedly attacked his uncle and his father with scissors. As the Philadelphia Daily News reported, the police were alerted to a possible suicidal person. When they arrived, they found the two older men with "bad, bad cuts" and the 29-year-old suspect injured as well. It appears that his wounds were self inflicted.

The two victims as well as the alleged attacker are expected to survive. The investigators believe that all of the men at the residence were under the influence of alcohol. It is unclear if that triggered the violent attack.

Are Dogs Covered In Personal Injury Cases?

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In Delaware, a man is facing a slew of charges including a felony count for animal cruelty, reports the CBS 3 News. Cecil Wright, came into Angela Price's apartment with a pocket knife. He was drunk and believed that she took his car keys. When Chopper, the family dog started barking, Wright allegedly stabbed the dog repeatedly in the neck, face, and the leg.

If the crime occurred in Pennsylvania, he could be sentenced to up to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine for the animal cruelty charge alone. The law will apply as long as it can be proven that it wasn't an accident. Wright will face criminal charges, but would a personal injury case be possible?

Can Bear Cause Personal Injury Cases?

In Hummelstown, northwest of Philadelphia, a man has been fined for, among other things, baiting a bear. The real concern by most neighbors was that he was creating a dangerous environment around their homes. The black bear was seen on back porches and in driveways. While Daniel Connors didn't place the treats of bacon, apples and peanut butter on their stoops, they argue that he did draw the bear closer, and that if it wasn't for him, they would not have felt threatened or in danger.

Could the neighbors file a personal injury claim against the hunter for endangerment or emotional injuries?

Alleged Philadelphia Racism Leads To Bankruptcy

You all remember the media frenzy that took place this summer when Creative Steps Day Camp, along with two other camps, was asked to leave the Valley Swim Club. The most famous quotation from this story was that the president of the club said, "There was concern that a lot of kids would change the complexion ... and atmosphere of the club" (quoted by NBC Philadelphia).

Well now, after the racist allegations and the federal law suit, the club is filing for bankruptcy.

How Do Children File A Personal Injury Against Parent?

In a recent case in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, west of Philadelphia, a mother has been charged with the identity theft of her family. Tina Price has been accused of using her father's identity along with her two children, ages 7 and 2, to "apply for 25 credit cards"  (as reported by ABC 6 Action News).

She will face criminal charges for identity theft. Could a personal injury case work in this scenario?

PA Personal Injury: Battery Vs. Assault in Pizza Hold Ups

West of Philadelphia, in Upper Darby, the couple that has allegedly been mugging pizza delivery men has been captured.

In just the Verona Pizza in Upper Darby alone, at least three drivers have been held up in the past few weeks reports CBS 3. It is believed that while one of the suspects, 22-year-old Paul Anderson, would confront the victim, 20-year-old Emily Vagnoni would wait in the getaway car. The third accomplice is still at large, but police are confident about bringing him in soon.