The Philadelphia Personal Injury Law Blog

February 2011 Archives

Two Women Killed In Fatal Car Accident In Northeast Philadelphia

Law enforcement officials reported two female passengers in an SUV were killed in a fatal car crash on Worthington Road, near Byberry Road in Northeast Philadelphia's Somerton neighborhood. Police said speed, the weather, and maybe even alcohol may have contributed to the car accident, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The SUV was on a slippery road when it spun out of control and collided into a utility pole. Byberry Road has a very sharp curve, which might have caused the vehicle to slam into the pole with tremendous force on the passengers' side. The rear wheel of the SUV was torn off from the impact, and one of the victims flew out of the automobile before it crashed into a brick wall.

Toyota Recall: 2.2 Million Autos For Floor-Mat Problems

As some Philadelphians may have heard, recent reports of floor mats hampering the operation of the accelerator pedals in Toyota vehicles initiated the recall of 2.2 million cars and sports-utility automobiles this week.

According to Fox Business, the company found that the side floor carpet and the two retention clips located on the driver's side could potentially get in the way and interfere with the accelerator pedal arm if not properly installed or replaced after servicing. Toyota Motor Co. recalled the following vehicles to replace those problematic items on the driver's side:

Immigrant Leaders Say District Should Do More To Stop Bullying

Leaders from the African and Caribbean immigrant communities spoke at a City Council Education Committee hearing this week and said the Philadelphia School District has not been doing enough to prevent immigrant students from getting bullied. They also felt that the school district has not even stood by the commitment it made five years ago to tackle this problem.

Several recent incidents of bullying prompted the City Council hearing, including the brutal attack of 13-year-old Nadin Khoury in Upper Darby last month. Khoury, who is of Liberian descent, had been tossed into a tree and left to hang on a fence, according to the Philadelphia Daily News.

Googling Jurors: The New Voir Dire?

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When it comes to selecting a jury for a civil or criminal case, lawyers always try to choose individuals whom they think will likely take their side. Typically, lawyers will conduct a traditional question-and-answer session referred to as "voir dire," but many have also taken the selection process into a new level that has raised some concern.

Reuters reported a number of lawyers have been quietly Googling potential jurors and snooping around social media pages like Facebook and other websites to learn more about their personal life, including everything from their level of income to their sexual orientation.

Archdiocese Of Philadelphia Sued For Endangering Children

Philadelphia Archbishop Cardinal Justin Rigali and his predecessor, Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, along with Monsignor William Lynn, and Rev. Richard Cochrane and Martin Satchell, are among those currently facing a civil lawsuit accusing them of endangering children.

The lawsuit, which was filed in Philadelphia's Common Pleas Court, claimed the defendants allegedly covered up the identities of predatory priests from police in an attempt to save the church from disgrace. According to Reuters, some of the clergymen had sexually abused several children, like the anonymous 28-year-old man who filed the abuse suit.

Philadelphia Expected To Have More Potholes As Weather Gets Warmer

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation maintenance specialist Peter Scerati said road conditions in the state are beginning to deteriorate as rising temperatures melt the snow and the potholes begin to surface once again, like last year.

Philadelphia is especially prone to getting potholes, said PennDot maintenance director Nick Martino. While the average amount of potholes in the state typically ranges from 11,000 to 15,000, city workers repaired 26,000 potholes in Philly at around this time in 2010. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported PennDot almost issued a flying-hubcap advisory for this week as temperatures are predicted to reach 50 degrees, heralding the beginning of the freeze-thaw cycle.

Judge Rules Mazeratti Mitchell Must Be Treated By Doctors

In the case involving 16-year-old Mazeratti Mitchell, Delaware County Judge Mary Alice Brennan recently ruled that the teen, an injured wrestler from Chichester High School, will have to receive treatment from doctors. The judge's decision overrode the wishes of the teen's parents to have their son treated at home without surgery or the use of any drugs.

Brennan faxed an order to the doctors at Thomas Jefferson, which allows the hospital to continue with medical treatment and leaves the doctors to decide on "when and what" medication and treatment will be administered. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Brennan agreed that surgery was necessary for Mitchell to recover and said "that is what the judge ordered."

Parents Rights: The Mazeratti Mitchell Case

This story has many legal questions still unanswered. What are a parents rights to accept or deny medical care for their child? At what point does the refusal of medical care become child neglect or even abuse? The latest update in the story of Vermell and Jack Mitchell and their 16-year-old son, Mazeratti Mitchell, brings up these questions and more.

Mazeratti Mitchell was on the wrestling team at Chichester High, reports the Philadelphia Daily News, when he became injured during practice on February 1. For a time, he was not able to move or feel his arms and legs. Doctors are seeking to give him treatment using steroids or possibly surgery to repair what is thought to be a bruised spine.

The conflict arises because Vermell and Jack Mitchell are proponants of herbal medicine and other non-invasive techniques and do not want the techniques suggested by the doctors, like steroids or surgery, used. They have been given until Monday, Feb. 7 to find a lawyer to help them block the proposed treatment.

Carl Greene's Defamation Claim Gets Dismissed

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported U.S. District Judge Ronald L. Buckwalter dismissed the defamation claim of former Philadelphia Housing Authority executive director Carl R. Greene, who accused PHA Chairman and former Mayor John F. Street of offending him.

Street had talked about Greene to the media and PHA board, describing him as a “serial sexual harasser” after several women began complaining that Greene had sexually harassed them at work. But Judge Buckwalter decided to reject Greene’s allegations of having been defamed and ruled that Street was a “high public official” who had immunity as PHA’s chairman.

Philly Man Found Dead from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

A Philadelphia man was found dead in his home on the morning of February 1, not the victim of a crime, but likely the victim of carbon monoxide poisoning. Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers said this death was the first caused by the poison gas in many years. The man, who was in his forties, was found unconscious in his West Oak Lane home that morning.

When firefighters arrived on the scene, they found that the carbon monoxide readings in the home to be more than 200 parts per million, according to the Philadelphia Daily News. A reading of anything over 25 parts per million is considered dangerous and can sound a carbon monoxide alarm, Commissioner Ayers told the Daily News.