The Philadelphia Personal Injury Law Blog

November 2010 Archives

Harold Chapman's Family Receives Settlement For Wrongful Death Suit

Harold Chapman Jr., a 75-year-old who suffered from Alzheimer's disease and dementia, wandered away from a Northeast Philadelphia state veterans' home and froze to death on December 31, 2007. His family filed a negligence and wrongful death suit against the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, claiming the veterans home failed to take timely action. The suit alleges the home's negligence led to the "actual harm and death" of Chapman.

The Philadelphia Daily News reported that court records revealed footage from a surveillance camera that showed Harold Chapman, a retired Philadelphia police officer, wearing pajamas and walking past a security desk without being seen. The temperature that evening in the Philadelphia area was below freezing and followed with an icy rain.

Johnson & Johnson Recalls Children's Medicine

After two high-profile recalls earlier this year, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Johnson & Johnson has also recalled more of its products manufactured at a Fort Washington plant near Philadelphia. The company recalled nearly 800,000 bottles of junior-strength Motrin caplets and around 4 million packages of Children's Benadryl allergy tablets.

The company reassured consumers that the products were still safe to use and said the recall was to review "insufficiencies in the development of the manufacturing process." McNeil Consumer Healthcare had evaluated Johnson & Johnson's manufacturing procedures at their subsidiary base in Fort Washington and discovered "insufficiencies" in the production of the company's children's medicines.

FDA Announces Four Loko Is Illegal

Six weeks ago, students from the Ramapo College of New Jersey in Mahwah were taken to the emergency room after drinking Four Loko, the well-known alcoholic energy drink. Many 18- to 20-year olds in Pennsylvania and New Jersey who consumed the beverage suffered from alcohol poisoning and had trouble breathing. Some young people were even "on the edge of dying," according to Temple University Hospital chairman Robert McNamara.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sent notice letters last week to Phusion Projects, the manufacturers of Four Loko. The FDA told the company that it was illegal for them to produce their potent beverages.

Nicholas Hasselback Charged With Hit And Run

A fundamental rule to follow after being involved in a motor vehicle accident is to never leave the scene until it is appropriate to do so. Leaving the scene of an accident can lead to serious penalties for being a hit-and-run driver; especially if someone was killed or injured.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Common Pleas Court Judge Harold M. Kane sentenced Nicholas Hasselback, 23, to three to six years in jail for a hit-and-run that occurred last year. A white Subaru struck 25-year-old Tony Foltz as he was walking on 22nd Street, and the driver did not stop after hitting Foltz.

Philadelphia Shoppers: Watch Out for Shopping Injuries on Black Friday

Many Philadelphia shoppers are just counting the days until they can reap the benefits of the annual day-after-Thanksgiving sales and discounts presented by various retailers during “Black Friday.” While and retailers hire numerous seasonal and temporary employees to prepare for the hundreds of consumers who are eager to shop for bargain items, Black Friday also raises concerns on the potential injuries that may occur for both shoppers and workers.

In one instance, the OHSA, or Occupational Safety and Health Administration, provided retailers with crowd control guidelines after a 38-year-old employee was trampled to death by a crowd of shoppers who rushed into a New York Wal-Mart in 2008. As any Philadelphia personal injury attorney can tell you, store owners have a duty to keep their premises free from any known hazards and safe for shoppers and their workers.

Awad Family Charged With Assault for Beating Naseem Abu-dayya

22-year-old Fatima Awad asked her father and brothers to beat up her husband Naseem Abu-dayya, 22, after she found out her husband had been cheating on her. According to the Philadelphia Daily News, Abu-dayya suffered critical injuries after Fatima Awad and her family assaulted him. Police arrested the Awads and charged each of them with criminal conspiracy, robbery, simple assault, terroristic threats, and rioting.

Naseem Abu-dayya told police that he and Fatima Awad had been married for five years but were currently separated. He and Imane Jellouli, his alleged mistress, checked into the Mall Motel in Langhorne when Awad showed up at his motel room, fuming. She started screaming and slapping Abu-dayya in the face, then grabbed his car keys and leaped into the backseat of the vehicle.

PA Appeals Court Affirms Award for Amy Fledderman's Family

Former Pennsylvania State University freshman Amy Fledderman, 18, died in 2001 from complications after a liposuction operation. She died two days after King of Prussia plastic surgeon Richard P. Glunk had done a procedure to remove fat from her stomach and chin. After the 18-year-old’s death, Fledderman’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Glunk and a nurse who assisted him in the surgery.

After a five-week trial in 2008 at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, a jury ruled in favor of the Fleddermans and found Richard Glunk liable for Amy Fledderman’s death. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Glunk filed for an appeal to the Pennsylvania Superior Court, but a three-judge panel affirmed the jury’s award of more than $20 million to the Fleddermans, which included $15 million in punitive damages.

Jorge Alvarado-Barbosa Charged for Punching 8-year-old

Bullying, in its many manifestations, is a growing problem, and many Philadelphia personal injury lawyers may be coming across a larger number of assault-related cases. For example, the Chester Community Charter School had an unusual case of bullying that involved the school’s janitor punching an 8-year-old student in the mouth. The Philadelphia Daily News reported 18-year-old Jorge Alvarado-Barbosa, a cafeteria janitor, struck the boy on the playground during recess.

Jorge Alvarado-Barbosa approached the third grader and mentioned something relative to putting the 8-year-old’s brother in a headlock. When the boy told Barbosa he didn’t care, the 18-year-old grabbed the boy’s arms with one hand and started punching him with the other, leaving the boy with a busted lip. Steven Lee, the school’s chief executive, said a teacher who witnessed the altercation reported the incident to the principal.

What Constitutes As Assault In Philadelphia?

It's easy to feel that urge to just punch someone when you are incredibly heated or upset at the person. Sure, most of us may not actually act on that urge, but what about those who do attempt to hit an individual? Many people may not realize that just the gesture or act of intending to cause harm to another can legally constitute as assault in Philadelphia under tort law.

Even if you don't actually hit (or otherwise make some form of contact) the person, making a fist and holding it to his or her face with the intent to strike the individual may be enough to create a basis for assault. In a similar instance, threatening to shoot another person while pointing a gun constitutes as assault, even if the gun is not loaded or you don't verbally make the threat. Words without an act are not enough to establish assault.

When Is A Person Too Old To Drive?

Pennsylvania State Police charged 86-year-old Margaret Lazor with traffic violations when she drove the wrong direction along the I-95 from October. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported the elderly Delaware local was driving a 1993 Buick Century and allegedly got lost on Route 322. PA law enforcement asked Delaware officials to retest Lazor for her to retain her license and her ability to drive.

Margaret Lazor entered the westbound lanes of the Route 322 but drove in the eastbound direction. She continued to travel in the northbound direction as she merged onto the southbound lanes of the I-95. Other vehicles swerved to avoid getting in Lazor's way, and police reported there were only minor accidents that occurred on the highways.

Roofer Dies In Roof Collapse In Pottstown

According to 69 WFMZ-TV News, police officials say roofer Kevin Sensenig's life could have been saved with a safety harness. A section of the roof at one of the buildings at Hill School in Pottstown had collapsed, taking down 47-year-old Sensenig and his coworker down with it. Sensenig died from suffering multiple injuries, and the Montgomery County Coroner's Office determined his death was an accident.

Sensenig's coworker, however, survived the fall after landing on top of a crumbling I-beam. He was rescued after having been trapped under all the rubble for over an hour. The coworker was rushed to Reading Hospital and suffered serious injuries, though they were non-life threatening. Rescue officials found that Sensenig's coworker had been wearing his safety harness after falling through the roof.

2 Million Cars Recalled In Nissan Recall

According to NBC Philadelphia, Yokohama-based automaker Nissan Motor Co. announced its third largest vehicle recall. The car company recalled 2.14 million vehicles, affecting most autos in the United States and Japan. The Nissan recall was caused by a potential ignition problem that may stall the car engine.

Philadelphia Nissan owners might have to check whether they need to make a trip to the nearest auto shop for the ignition fix. Included in the recall are vehicles made between August 2003 and July 2006 such as the Cube, the popular March and Myrca subcompacts, and nearly a dozen other Nissan models. The Titan pickup, Tiida sedan, and Infiniti QX56 luxury model have also been recalled.