The Philadelphia Personal Injury Law Blog

October 2010 Archives

Veronica Santiago Killed In Hit and Run

Veronica Santiago was killed by a hit-and-run driver after buying Chinese takeout in North Philadelphia. According to the Philadelphia Daily News, the driver ran a red light, struck the 26-year-old, and left Santiago bleeding to death on the street. She was announced dead at Temple University Hospital four hours after the accident.

Santiago left to buy food at the nearby Chinese store when her cousin, Vanessa Velasquez, "heard a loud boom."  The hit-and-run driver slammed into Veronica Santiago, a mother of two, as she was crossing the intersection. Velasquez heard screaming and immediately rushed outside. She said the impact of the hit threw Santiago under another vehicle.

Denise King Files Injury Lawsuit Against PA Hospital

West Philadelphia jazz singer S. Denise King has filed an injury lawsuit in Common Pleas Court, claiming a jolt during an MRI exam prevents her from learning any new songs. According to the Philadelphia Daily News, the suit seeks in excess of $50,000 and says King's "ability to perform new music has been impaired to her professional detriment, embarrassment, and financial loss."

Denise King said she experienced "shocking sensations" while going through a magnetic resonance imaging procedure at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in November 2008.  The procedure was stopped around the beginning of the MRI when King felt "the sensation of strong electric shocks." She claims the experience left her with an inability to learn new music.

Jury Rules Marvin Burton Must Pay for Victim's Death

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported a federal jury ruled Marvin Burton, a former Philly cop, must pay $138,000 to the family of an unarmed 25-year-old man he killed in a pursuit in 2006. However, the jury did not find the city liable for Raymond Pelzer's death. Instead, they found the police department should have provided more training and created written rules for police when it comes to foot chases.

Two officers had approached Raymond Pelzer and asked for identification while he was playing dice at a well-known West Philadelphia drug corner. Before they would've realized Pelzer was wanted for a probation violation, the 25-year-old immediately fled from the police. When they cornered Pelzer, he was holding on to his waistband and refused to show his hands. Marvin Burton fired one shot at Pelzer by the time the runaway's hand revealed a cell phone.

Colonial Marble & Granite Files Defamation Lawsuit

According to The Reporter, Colonial Marble & Granite in Upper Merion filed a defamation and false advertising lawsuit in the U.S. District Court against AAA Hellenic Marble Inc. from West Chester. The Upper Merion store claims AAA Hellenic posted fake customer reviews about Colonial Marble on consumer websites.

The lawsuit targets the West Chester company, AAA Hellenic employee Nicholas Alexiadas, and Nicholas' wife Jessica Alexiadas. The suit alleges the defendants engaged in a "fraudulent advertisement campaign" to damage Colonial, since both companies are business rivals in the stone fabrication and installation industry.

PA Rated As Most Dangerous State For Drivers

In lieu of Teen Driver Safety Week, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that The Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety rated Pennsylvania as the state with the lowest grade for protecting individuals on the roads. They rated PA with a Red Light and referred to the state as dangerous, while Delaware got yellow and New Jersey received a green light.

The Advocates evaluated whether or not states had 15 types of laws set in place, which includes constraints on cell phone usage while driving and requirements for seat belts and motorcycle helmets. Many Philadelphia personal injury attorneys and locals might disagree with the safety group's ranking of the state. The PA House and Senate have been fighting over a bill focused on restricting cell phone use and texting while driving among other driving regulations. A compromise was reached, and the bill will be revisited next year.

Candice Burks Files Injury Lawsuit After Megabus Crash

South Jersey resident Candice Burks suffered injuries after the Megabus accident that occurred last month. A double decker bus from Philadelphia heading to Toronto slammed into a railroad bridge in New York state. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Burks filed a lawsuit last week seeking damages for her injuries from the crash.

Four out of the 28 passengers who were onboard the bus were killed. 26-year-old Candice Burks claims she suffered serious head, neck, and back trauma and has permanent physical and cognitive injuries as a result of the crash. She filed her lawsuit against Megabus driver John Tomaszewski, who is also a New Jersey local, and the two companies that owned and operated the bus.

Truck Accident Results in Roger Stockton's Death

While students prepared for a 3-day holiday weekend, one high school sophomore from Bartram High hopped on his bike and left school with a friend. As he pedaled his way through traffic, a privately owned trash truck struck 16-year-old Roger Stockton, bringing the sophomore to an immediate death.

According to, no reasonable and clear explanation has been made as to why Roger Stockton did not see trash truck while biking. Witnesses said no one could have seen the accident coming for it all happened as quickly as the blink of an eye. They claim Roger Stockton was not paying any attention to oncoming traffic as he crossed the intersection at 58th Street and Elmwood Avenue.

Could X-rays Potentially Cause Leukemia In Philly?

Even though the risk is still minute, a recent study revealed that exposure to three or more X-rays in childhood could potentially double the odds that youngster could develop a form of leukemia. According to, the study does not confirm that X-rays do directly increase the risk of leukemia, but researchers are suggesting that medical physicians not order X-rays if they aren't necessary.

Each year nearly 3,317 children from birth up until the age of 14 have leukemia, which is a type of cancer that affects bone marrow and blood. Leukemia can generally be treated, but has a larger potential to be fatal.

Two Vehicle Crash Results in One Teen's Death

Police officials reported a head-on vehicle collision resulted in the death of a 19-year-old Glenside male resident. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, a private ambulance crashed into the 19-year-old's automobile at 66th Avenue and Broad Street in East Oak Lane. The name of the victim has not yet been released by authorities.

As the car headed north on Broad Street, it ran into the ambulance while merging into the southbound lane. The vehicle caught on fire after the impact, and the 19-year-old driver along with a 24-year-old male passenger were trapped inside. Pennsylvania police were able to pull the 24-year-old man out of the car, finding him in critical condition and suffering severe injuries.

Fraudulent Slip And Fall Claims Are On The Rise In Philadelphia

The current state of the American economy has brought a rise in insurance fraud, and studies reveal that more people coming through Las Vegas and other cities such as Philadelphia have attempted to fake "slip-and-fall" accidents to obtain compensation from casinos, hotels, and other commercial properties. In fact, many slip and fall claims are filed against businesses.

According to a report by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), such claims against businesses are now being carefully examined for potential fraud. Joe Wehrle, NICB president and chief executive officer said: "While many people have legitimate accidents in stores and businesses across the country, we've seen a growing number of cases that have some indication of potential fraud."

Ride The Ducks: Are Their Boats Safe?

Even after two recent duck boat lawsuits, the Ride the Ducks company and city has announced plans to resume tours next spring on the Schuylkill River. The Coast Guard regards the boats as sound, but The National Transportation Safety Board and the lawyers of the two students killed in the duck boat accident are still concerned with its safety.

According to My Fox Philly, the NTSB continues to investigate the boat crash that happened in July. They requested the boats to be redesigned, claiming the canopies could potentially trap passengers. After the Coast Guard cleared the duck boats as secure, Mayor Nutter was excited for Ride the Ducks to start again. He sees the tours as "a great component of our hospitality" and thinks they provide a different experience for visitors.

Duck Boat Captain Gary Fox Files Injury Lawsuit

As we have mentioned before, a wrongful death lawsuit was filed by two Hungarian families from an accident where an immense barge pulled by a tugboat collided into an idle duck boat. Two Hungarian students died in the crash. Another lawsuit involving the July crash has surfaced involving Gary Fox, the captain of the duck boat.

According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Gary Fox filed a suit in Common Pleas Court and claimed he still suffers from serious emotional and physical injuries after the near death experience from the boat accident. The lawsuit was filed against the City of Philadelphia, which owned the barge, tugboat owner K-Sea Transportation.

Fisher Price Recall On Over 10M Toys

Toy manufacturer Fisher Price, along with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, has recently recalled more than 10 million children's toys, according to ABC News. The Fisher Price recall is due to the potential dangers of children falling onto certain parts of a toy that stick out and choking from small parts.

Recalled toys include tricycles and play places like the Fisher Price Trikes, Trough Trikes toddler tricycles, Fisher-Price Little People Wheelies Stand 'n' Play Rampway, and the Baby Playzone Crawl & Cruise Playground. CPSC chairwoman Inez Tanenbaum said toddlers and young children have fallen on the pegs that stick out. More than a few kids have been injured while seven children needed stitches.