The Philadelphia Personal Injury Law Blog

June 2011 Archives

A tree fell on a tent at a campsite in Bull's Island State Park killing a camper and critically injuring his wife.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that a Sycamore tree weighing thousands of pounds fell on the family's tent crushing the man to death and injuring his wife in the early morning hours. The couple's 12-year old daughter, a 10-year old son, and a 9-year old nephew were not injured.

Police and park officials are still investigating the incident, but an accident like this leads one to ask if the accident could have been prevented and if anyone bears responsibility.

July 4th, Fireworks Injuries and Safety Tips

July 4th began as a holiday to celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia in 1776, now it’s evolved into a holiday that allows anyone with access to a backyard and fireworks to become a pyrotechnic expert.

But as more and more people are shooting off fireworks, more and more people are suffering horrific burn injuries.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that last year 18,700 people nationwide suffered fireworks injuries around the July 4th holidays.

Phillie Phanatic, Foul Balls, and Spectator Injuries

It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt. The Phillie Phanatic was struck by a foul ball in the neck at a Lehigh Valley IronPigs game. After getting hit, the Phanatic clowned around for a bit, before going to the hospital. The Phanatic has since been released, reports the Associated Press.

While there may seem to be some cruel justice in the Phanatic getting doinked by a foul ball — after all, the Phanatic has caused his fair share of injuries — the incident brings to light the very real danger of spectator injuries at baseball games.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) completed its investigation into the deadly Ride the Ducks accident that killed two Hungarian tourists by finding fault with both the tug boat operator that struck the duck boat as well as the operators of the duck boat.

In July 2010, a tugboat pushed a barge into a stalled duck boat in the middle of the Delaware River. As the vessels collided, many of the 35 duck boat passengers were thrown into the river. Two Hungarian tourists drowned and many others were injured.

A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that too many doctors are overtesting for cervical cancer in the wrong women or by using the wrong test. The government study indicates that doctors are not following medical industry guidelines when they perform checks for the cervical cancer-causing HPV virus. By not following these guidelines, the Associated Press reports that too many women are getting unnecessary tests.

According to the AP, 60 percent of doctors are wrongly administering a routine Pap-plus-HPV test to detect cervical cancer. Industry guidelines say that this test combination should only be given to women 30 years of age or older; however, 60 percent of the doctors polled by the CDC are giving this test combination to women much younger.

The family of Jon Christian ("Chris") Jensen has filed a lawsuit against a Mitsubishi car salesman, Michael Hershey, and a Mitsubishi dealer, Imports of Lancaster County, for the death of Jensen and injuries to his son, Tyler Jensen, following a fatal car accident.

Last December, Jensen and his son visited Imports of Lancaster to view a Mitsubishi Lancer reports the Philadelphia Daily News. Hershey, their salesman, took the pair for a test ride in the Japanese sports car. Unfortunately, Hershey is alleged to have had alcohol and marijuana in his system, and he sped off at 100 mph.

Parents of Wildwood Ferris Wheel Victim Considering Lawsuit

Eleven-year old Abiah Jones was riding alone on a 156-foot Wildwood Ferris wheel when she fell to her death at the ride's apex. Now her parents have hired an attorney and are claiming that "someone is responsible" for their daughter's death reports The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Jones, a fifth-grader, was on a class trip with PleasanTech Academy to Mariner's Landing Pier in Wildwood when she boarded the Ferris wheel. The Inquirer reports that Jones was both old enough and tall enough to ride the Ferris wheel, though she rode alone.

Joshua Levin is the latest student from the Lower Merion School District to sue the district over school spying allegations. Last year, the district spent more than $1.6 million to litigate and settle claims that school administrators had spied on students through webcams on laptops it had given students, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer.

According to the Inquirer, Levin, a 2009 graduate of Harriton High School, claims that his civil rights were violated when the district captured nearly 8,000 webcam photos and screen shots from his laptop over a six-month period during the 2008-09 school year.

The family of Daviay Legrand, the 4-year old boy who was killed after being hit by a police car, is set to receive $600,000 after the City of Allentown settled a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the boy's mother. The lawsuit stems from a 2007 incident where two Allentown police cruisers collided, and then struck and killed Legrand reports the Express-Times.

According to the terms of the settlement, the City of Allentown admitted no fault in the incident and agreed to settle only to avoid the cost of further litigation. Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski even described the incident as a "tragic accident" reports the Express-Times.

Danielle Jordan Suing Dunkin' Donuts for Too Sugary Coffee

Danielle Jordan, a Philadelphia woman, is suing Dunkin' Donuts for allegedly serving her coffee containing so much sugar that it sent her into a diabetic coma. Jordan, who suffers from diabetes, filed a personal injury lawsuit against Dunkin' Donuts claiming that the donut and coffee retailer mixed up her order by placing real sugar in her coffee instead of the artificial sweetener that she requested reports the Philadelphia Daily News.

According to the Daily News, after drinking the coffee, Danielle Jordan suffered light-headedness, dizziness, numbness, and had a diabetic shock requiring an emergency room visit. In her lawsuit, Jordan is claiming unspecified damages including damages relating to "loss of life's enjoyment."

Jenna Addis has asked a judge to dismiss a defamation lawsuit brought against her by former Lower Merion High School physics teacher Robert Schanne. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Addis is claiming that her alleged defamatory statements were made in a “quasi-judicial” setting and are exempt from defamation claims.

Last December, Jenna Addis told Lower Merion school officials that as a student at the school she had a relationship with teacher Robert Schanne. Addis claimed that the relationship began during her senior year in 2003 and morphed from flirting to hugging to kissing to oral sex by the end of that year reports the Inquirer. As a result, the Lower Merion school board fired Schanne.