The Philadelphia Personal Injury Law Blog

September 2010 Archives

Savage Family Sues Trade School for Wrongful Death

Freshman student Michael Savage Jr. was fatally shocked last year at the power plant of a Delaware County trade school. According to the Philadelphia Daily News, his parents Laurie and Michael Savage Sr. have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Williamson Free School of Mechanical Trades last week over their 18-year-old son's death.

Savage's parents argued that their son did not have the right equipment and was not properly trained when he was sent to work on an energized commercial light fixture. Savage and a fellow student had removed the old wiring from the fixture and put a type of metal cable in its place. Savage wound up shocked when he tried to plug the light fixture into a portable cord reel.

Toddler Derrick Martinez Killed in a Hit-and-Run

A hit-and-run driver ran into a Philadelphia mother and her two-year-old son while the two were their way home in South Philly. The Philadelphia Daily News reported toddler Derrick Martinez was killed while his mother, 20-year-old Dionisa Leone, was in critical condition with leg and internal injuries. The driver was in a late-model, four-door Mercedes Benz with tinted windows and chrome wheels. Police said the driver quickly fled the scene and is yet to be found.

Derrick Martinez and his mother were crossing Washington Avenue near 6th Street when the unidentified driver hit them. CPR was administered shortly after the accident. A half an hour after the collision, the youngster was announced dead at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Russell Garrett's Death Calls for Cars to Share the Road

This past July, Haverford College Professor Russell Garrett died in a car accident while cycling to work along West Chester Pike in Marple Township, Delaware County. This cyclist's vehicle-related death recently stirred bicycle riders to demonstrate and urge cars to share the road, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Justice Department attorney Anne Spiegelman was one out of many bike riders who held up signs reading "Bicyclists May Use Full Lane" near the site of Russell Garrett's accident.

Garrett rode uphill on the westbound lane when a 51-year-old driver from Broomall hit him from behind. The bicyclist suffered severe head injuries and died the same day, even though he had worn a helmet. The driver told police she did not see Garrett until he landed on her car, and no citations were issued.

Two Pitbulls Attack PA Mother and Baby Girl

The Delaware County Daily Times reported two aggressive pit bulls were sent to the Delaware County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) after mauling a mother, 18, and her 11-month-old baby girl. The dogs bit the mother numerous times, and her baby girl also suffered twenty puncture marks on her body as a result of the attack.

Local law enforcement responded to the report of the child bitten by a pit bull, and police Superintendent Michael Chitwood said the baby was lucky to be alive. "The dogs just snapped out," said Chitwood.

Lawmakers Investigate Johnson & Johnson's Phantom Motrin Recall

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In May, authorities investigating Johnson & Johnson uncovered documents that revealed the company hired contractors to perform a secret Motrin recall of more than 88,000 tablets. Lawmakers announced a second hearing to question Johnson & Johnson executives and ask for further explanation on their inconsistent testimonies. According to CNN Money, officials seek clarification on problems with drugs such as Tylenol and Benadryl and why they were pulled off store shelves.

Duck Boat Crash Leads To Wrongful Death Suit

A collision occurred on the Delaware River as a tugboat, unresponsive to the repeated calls made by a Duck Boat and nearby ships, crashed right into the stalled tour boat. According to Philadelphia Fox News, a report was made by National Transportation Safety Board, revealing the death of two Hungarian students in the accident.

The Duck Boat shut down its engine and called for assistance from the Ride the Ducks Company when it noticed smoke coming from another engine. The Duck Boat started sending multiple radio calls to the approaching tugboat as it guided a massive barge across the river. The NTSB found the tour boat's radio calls unanswered leading up to the moment when the barge slammed into the Duck Boat.

Four Killed In Double-Decker Bus Crash

Two students, along with 26 other passengers, boarded a double-decker bus headed for Toronto in Philadelphia on September 10. Taking the bus can be an exciting first-time experience for some people, like Temple University sophomore Kevin Coffey, or just be part of a routine family visit for those like University of Pennsylvania sophomore Lee Veeraraghavan.

According to the Philadelphia Daily News, the 13-foot-high bus crashed into a railroad bridge just short of 11 feet at 2:30am in Salina, N.Y., located outside of Syracuse. The top deck ripped apart during impact, bringing the bus to collapse on its side. Four were killed in the accident, including Kansas local Kevin Coffey, 19, while five other passengers were gravely injured and sent to the hospital. Bus driver John Tomaszewski, 59, was included among those hospitalized. Toronto native Lee Veeraraghavan, 27, suffered a cut on her eyelid and was treated and released from the hospital.

Philly Police Under Investigation for Assault Of Suspect

Ordering food to-go ordinarily entails a test on your patience as you wait for your order. But for one West Philadelphia man, it resulted in an alleged police beating and violent arrest at around 8:30pm on Friday, September 3. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports 29-year-old Askia Sabur, along with his cousin and three other men, stood outside the Lucky Garden Chinese restaurant when two police officers asked them to clear the corner. Still waiting for his food, Sabur refused to move.

Now Askia Sabur, police, and several witnesses agree to what occurred up until this moment, yet what happened after that still remains in dispute.

NH Woman Awarded $21M for Severe Injuries from Sulidac

After three days of deliberation, a New Hampshire federal jury awarded $21 million to a woman and found Mutual Pharmaceutical Co., a Philadelphia-based company, liable for her injuries. Karen Bartlett, 51, used prescription drug to relieve her shoulder pain, expecting the drug to do just that. Instead, the Associated Press reports she suffered severe burns to her skin, eyes, and mucus membranes after taking the anti-flammatory medicine Sulidac, leaving Karen Bartlett legally blind.  

The jury's decision brought Karen Bartlett, a Plaistow native, an incredible amount of relief after a "very emotional, and very long" journey through this event. Within two weeks of taking Sulindac, she noticed irritation around her eyes and red spots developing on her face. She was admitted to the hospital on February 2, 2005.

Defamation Lawsuits: Be Careful of What You Post Online

Even when it comes to posting informal comments on social networking websites or online message boards, it's important not to post false information -- especially information that can be considered defamatory. The country has seen an increase in internet defamation lawsuits, filed by those who claim that they were hurt, defamed, or threatened by what was written online.

The Los Angeles Times reports that a western Pennsylvania judge recently ruled that a community website must identify the Internet address of individuals who posted comments calling a particular township official a "jerk" who pocketed money from taxpayers. The official filed a defamation lawsuit against the people that posted the comments; once he learned of their identities, saying that the comments were false and damaged his reputation.

Teen Dies After Football Injury

A 15-year-old boy from Upper Darby High School died last week during a football practice session with the Greater 69th Street Wildcats, surprising many people in the Upper Darby community. CBS News reports that Quadaar White suffered from a neck injury when playing football with the team and later died after being transported to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

The Upper Darby Police Superintendent told CBS News that the injury was a "freak accident" and that the whole situation was a tragedy. However, a Philadelphia personal injury attorney might argue that there was negligence involved in the incident, which can be grounds for a personal injury lawsuit.

PA Woman Sues Disney

Not all people see Disney World as the happiest place on earth. April Magolon of Upper Darby claims that the Donald Duck character at Walt Disney World grabbed her breast, molested her and made joking gestures about his actions when she visited the Orlando theme park in May 2008. In a lawsuit, the woman alleged that the attack occurred when she asked Donald Duck for his autograph while holding one of her children.

According to the Toronto Star, April Magolon has a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer representing her in a lawsuit against Walt Disney Parks & Resorts. She is reportedly seeking $50,000 in damages, claiming that she has suffered from permanent mental and physical injury. The suit was filed in Pennsylvania's Court of Common Pleas, but lawyers are petitioning to have the suit transferred to a federal court in Philadelphia.

Woman Sues McDonald's Over Hot Chocoate That was Too Hot

People can file personal injury claims for even the simplest accidents. The Chicago Sun-Times reported last week that a woman from Cook County, Illinois filed a lawsuit against the fast-food giant McDonald's, claiming that her daughter was injured after hot chocolate spilled on the child at a McDonald's drive-through. The mother, Vicki LaRocco, now has a personal injury lawyer and is apparently seeking compensation in excess of $50,000 over the incident.