The Philadelphia Personal Injury Law Blog

April 2012 Archives

Salmonella Sushi: 200 Sick, Tuna Recalled

Epicureans with an eastern preference will have to look elsewhere in the short-term future. At least two-hundred cases have been reported of salmonella poisoning, all along the East Coast, and all originating from a company’s now recalled “tuna scrape,” reports NBC 10 Philadelphia.

Tuna scrape, which is tuna scraped off of the bones and ground up, is at fault in all of the known cases so far. So far, all of the known cases have been in the eastern half of the United States. The company behind the fishy fish, Moon Marine USA Corp., has recalled 300 tons of tuna. As of now, sushi restaurants and consumers should be extra-cautious, as the fish may also have been sold wholesale and may not be labeled with the company’s name, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

And some question us when we refuse to eat sushi or other raw fish.

Who is to Blame for Khalil Wimes' Death?

There is one guaranteed way to get the attention of even the most convoluted and mismanaged public bureaucracies: go after the money.

Khalil Wimes was three years old when a family law court ordered his foster parents to return him to his birth parents, despite their seven other children being taken away, reports The Inquirer. Khalil was six when he died after years of abuse by his parents. He was still wearing the same tiny red sweater that he was wearing when he left his foster parent's care.

Death Race 2012 Could Have Ended Worse for NJ State Police

Instead of worrying about whether the upper ranks of the police department will have their reputation tarnished over the incident, which was addressed by Superintendant Col. Rick Fuentes with the Star-Ledger, the New Jersey State Police should take solace in the fact that no one got hurt.

Besides the harm to innocent drivers that could have occurred, the “Death Race 2012” could have also cost the department a lot of money.

“Death Race 2012” is a nickname given to at least two incidents where state troopers escorted a fleet of exotic cars at high speed through daytime traffic on New Jersey’s busiest highways. One officer would lead, the guests would follow, and one would cover the tail end of the caravan.

Is Your Herbal Weight Loss Supplement Deadly?

There seems to be a growing trend amongst herbal supplement makers. Perhaps realizing that goat weed isn't exactly good at anything, manufacturers in foreign countries are now lacing the drugs with prescription medication. Or to put it in their more polite terms, "accidentally mislabeling" their products.

Since January 2011, the FDA has released the names of twenty-seven herbal weight loss supplements, sold online or sometimes even in stores, that are laced with prescription drugs. The most common drug is Sibutramine, also known as Meridia, which is an appetite suppressant. The drug was banned in the United States and many other countries because of increased amounts of heart complications versus patients using a placebo.

Man Ran Over by SEPTA Bus; City Liable?

A man tried to sneak in the back door of a bus and lost his life today. An unidentified 61-year-old man tried to enter a SEPTA bus via the rear exit door, got his arm stuck in the door, and was dragged under the vehicle, reports

He was pronounced dead upon arrival at Hahnemann University Hospital. An investigation is currently under way.

$4.2 Million Settlement for Paralyzed Bullying Victim

The family of Sawyer Rosenstein, a now paralyzed victim of bullying, settled their case against the New Jersey school district for $4.2 million this week, reports The Associated Press. Rosenstein, now 18, was only 12 when he lost the ability to walk. A bully punched him in the abdomen, causing a blood clot that lodged in his spine and paralyzed him from the waist down. The injury, while incredibly rare, followed from the punch, which was proceeded by months of bullying from the other child.

The theory behind the lawsuit was likely based on negligence. The school had a duty to provide a safe environment for the children. The bully had a history of violence, including punching another student in the face while riding the school bus a year earlier. The school kept no record of that incident, nor others.

Woman Dies Via Airborne Highway Sign

In a scene reminiscent of something from Final Destination 16, a woman died from injuries sustained from a flying road sign, reports NBC 10 Philadelphia. A semi-truck was driving along when its side mirror made contact with the sign. The sign took flight, caught a little wind, and smashed through 31-year-old Emily Morris’ windshield. She sustained head injuries and crashed her car into another barrier. She succumbed to her injuries two days later.

Though this has been described as a “freak accident,” lawyers know better. Most of the time, there is no such thing as a freak accident. Someone is at fault here.

Bad Month For Bus Drivers; Worse Future For Bus Makers?

It's getting hard to keep track of all of the bus crashes in the area lately. A Google News search for "school bus crash" stories in the last month returns 2.25 million results.

Thursday, there was another crash, this time in New Jersey, reports ABC 6 Action News. A bus, a Cadillac, and a small commercial box truck all collided, sending the drivers of the bus and of the Cadillac to the hospital.

Ashley Zauflik Lawyers Fight for $14 Million Verdict on Lost Leg

The jury gave their verdict. They awarded Ashley Zauflik, 22, $14 million dollars after a school bus ran her down and put her into a coma. The accident, when she was 17, cost her a leg, disfigured her, and caused her to struggle with depression. The case should be over, right?

Wrong. The state-mandated cap on damages is only $500,000. This was done in the name of tort reform, as accident victims being paid over a set amount is apparently a bad thing.

Kid Dies on Illegal Dirtbike; Parents, Cops Blame Each Other

Dirt bikes and ATVs are popular in Philly with the kids and hated by the cops. It’s not surprising that they are loved by teens. The bikes are cheap, fun to ride, and plentiful. Kids can get one for only a few hundred dollars and zip around town, free from parental supervision.

On the other side of the road, cops hate them. They tear up parks, are prime targets for theft, and they are dangerous to the rider. Most aren’t registered or insured and they are illegal.

Jermaine “Dirt Bike Maine” Alexander, 14, was especially fond of the little bikes, reports the Philadelphia Daily News. He learned to ride at age five and by the time he was fourteen, he could turn even the worst junk bikes into something ride-able.

Kensington Fire: Families of Hero Firefighters to Be Compensated?

The five-alarm fire that swept through a long-abandoned factory, multiple houses, and a furniture store claimed the lives of Lieutenant Robert Neary and Firefighter Daniel Sweeney and injured two more, reports ABC 6 Action News. The fire started in the Thomas Buck Hosiery Factory, which has been abandoned since the 1970s, and quickly spread to all six floors.

The fire was under control by 5:21am, but the flames had spread to surrounding buildings. One of the buildings, a furniture store, collapsed, trapping five of the men. One escaped unharmed, while two died and two others required treatment at a local hospital.

Could the Players, Saints, and NFL be Liable For Bounty Injuries?

A video was released this week with recordings alleged to be of Gregg Williams imploring his players to target the opposing players' stars, specifically Michael Crabtree's outer-ACL, and allegedly hinting at bounties as rewards, The Associated Press reports. The allegations somehow rocked the NFL and led to the NFL covering their rear disciplining the New Orleans Saints and a number of their coaches.

Some have argued that the punishments were ridiculous. Football is a violent sport. Players target injured players all the time, if only to prevent them from scoring on them on the next drive. Long-term suspensions, massive fines, and lost draft picks punish the players and fans as much as they punish the coaches. The truth is, the penalties were harsh, at least in part, to reduce potential liability for the league.

Kids Stomp Man in Forest; Will Parents' Pay?

It sounds like a late scene in Lord of the Flies. Five teenagers were getting wild around a bonfire in Central Pennsylvania when a middle-aged man stopped by to find out what was causing the smoke. A conversation between the parties resulted in five of the teens stomping the man until he had two fractured eye sockets, a collapsed lung, a puncture wound to the back, and numerous other injuries, reports the Daily News.

They ran away once he lost consciousness, leaving him to be found by neighbors who were also concerned about the smoke.

Police Chase Ends in Death, Injuries to Third Parties

A police chase ended tragically on Friday night with the death of a bystander and the injury of two others. Danny Roman, 36, died after Gregory Alston, 39, who was fleeing from the police, broadsided his car, reports ABC 6 Action News. The victim's wife Jenny Santiago, 26, who was driving at the time, remains in critical condition while his son Jaeden, 4, is set to be released soon.

The question on the family's mind is, was this preventable?