The Philadelphia Personal Injury Law Blog

August 2012 Archives

Michael Vick's Flak Jacket Maker Guarantees No Injuries

It's hard to tell if Michael Vick is scared of being shot on field, is as injury-prone as everyone says, or is just promoting a product with his new flak jacket. Whatever the case may be, the CEO of the maker of the jacket, Unequal Technologies, has guaranteed that Vick will not be injured while wearing the jacket, according to NBC10.

So will the vest protect Vick from an injury to his ribs this season, or will he have to sit out a game or more and Unequal Technologies' CEO will have to eat his hat? The real question is whether the CEO just made a statement that could be thought of as false advertising.

Peco Smart Meters Spark Fires, May Lead to Lawsuits

Some folks have been a little bit paranoid about the smart meters that utility companies are using these days. Smart meters are those digital electric meters that wirelessly transmit data about your energy use. Some believe that radiation from the devices can hurt them or their children, or that the new meters would transmit private information.

While most of the rabble-rousing is just that, there actually has been a danger here. The smart meters used by Peco Energy Co. have been blamed for starting fires at two of its customers' homes, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Peco says that 15 of the 186,000 digital meters installed have overheated. Some have even burst into flames.

What rights to consumers have in dealing with any damage?

What Did Fisker Do To Deserve Its Bad Karma? Recalls Continue

It's getting pretty exciting out there for car enthusiasts who are also somewhat eco-conscious, with the advent of the all-electric Tesla Roadster a few years ago and the more recent release of the Fisker Karma -- an all-electric vehicle with a gas generator engine, much like the Chevrolet Volt.

Like many new cars and car manufacturers, the Karma is facing some difficulties with its first production runs. This current Fisker Karma recall is the third since the release of the vehicle, according to Forbes. The ironic issue with the $107,000 car is that the cooling fan overheats and can set it on fire, as it did to one car in Woodside, Calif.

So if there haven't been any accidents, why is Fisker recalling the vehicles?

S. Philadelphia Home Depot Chair Collapse Leads to Lawsuit

To think, of all the things that could go wrong for you at the Home Depot. You could get hit with a board, run over by a forklift, or assaulted by a paint shaker. What happens instead? One of the display chairs collapses.

A chair allegedly collapsed while Shelly Perkins was merely sitting in it minding her own business, according to The Pennsylvania Record. While she was sitting, the chair collapsed, sending her to the floor and, she claims, injuring her back, neck, and knees, along with practically the rest of her body.

This is a potential case of premises liability.

Atco Raceway Sued for Not Making Drag Racing Safe

Drag racing is fun to watch because of its danger. Sure, it's not as dangerous as Formula 1 racing can be, because in F1 you are driving 200 mph and then are expected to turn. In drag racing, however, there are dangers in the measures taken to get your hot rod down the quarter-mile in the least amount of time.

The Atco Speedway in Camden was reminded of this danger in September 2010 when driver Jose Cruz crashed into the wall and his car burst into flames. Cruz suffered second- and third-degree burns and died a year later. His widow Evelyn Cruz is now suing the Speedway and the National Hot Rod Association for failing to provide a safe premises for drag racing.

Evelyn Cruz's Acto Speedway lawsuit alleges that when Jose Cruz crashed, the ambulance with fire extinguishers failed to start, requiring Cruz's nephew to sprint down the track with a fire extinguisher, according to the Philadelphia Daily News.

'Basement of Horror' Victim Sues City for Placing Her With Weston

Generally, when a child is put up for adoption or otherwise placed in a home there are many steps taken to ensure that the home in question will be safe for the child. One factor that is taken into consideration is whether the adoptive parent is related to the child.

But in Beatrice Weston's case, the City of Philadelphia allegedly placed her with her aunt without doing a background check or home visit. This is an issue because her aunt was Linda Ann Weston, who was convicted of killing her boyfriend by locking him in a closet and starving him to death in 1983, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. Further, Beatrice Weston claims that had there been a home inspection at her aunt's home in Tacony, officials would have found the four disabled adults whom Linda Ann Weston had locked up in a "basement of horror" in a scheme to collect their Social Security checks.

Once Beatrice Weston was placed in the home, she was subjected to significant abuse along with the other adults. She was subjected to ten years of torture, depravation, beating, and being forced to drink her own urine, according to CBS 3. Now she is suing the City of Philadelphia and her aunt for her injuries.

Walking Fish Theatre Sued for Uneven Steps Without a Railing

Slip and fall lawsuits are probably one of the most maligned lawsuits in popular culture. The argument is always made that if the injured person had just been paying attention that they wouldn't have been hurt. In other words, it's your own damn fault if you get hurt.

But what about when you can't tell if a surface is dangerous or not?

This can also be the case with stairs or stairwells. Dawn Barrett of Philadelphia's East Falls Neighborhood filed suit against Fishtown's Walking Fish Theatre because she fell and injured herself on an "unsecured stairwell with no railing and a collapsible door," according to The Pennsylvania Record.

Wegmans Soup Recalled, Unless You Like a Little Plastic in Your Diet

It seems like most of the recalls these days are because of Listeria outbreaks. There have been recalls of salads, cantaloupes, onions, and apple slices, all because of Listeria. But don't worry, this recall is because of bits of plastic.

Tiny bits of plastic have been found in soup sold by Wegmans supermarkets, according to NBC10. The manufacturer, Blount Fine Foods of Fall River, Massachusetts, is recalling 4,100 pounds of the soup marketed as Wegmans house brand soup.

Family Sues Ryan Dunn's Estate and Barnaby's After Fatal Crash

Everyone at least knows about the TV show "Jackass." What you may not know are the names of the guys that, along with Johnny Knoxville, made money doing stunts and pranking one another. Last year, one of the "Jackass" crew, Ryan Dunn, was killed in a car accident that was likely caused by alcohol and excessive speed.

In the car with Dunn was Zachary Hartwell, who had been out with Dunn that night. Both Hartwell and Dunn were killed in crash and ensuing fire. Now Hartwell's parents are suing Dunn's estate and Barnaby's for the wrongful death of their son, according to The Pennsylvania Record.

How can a bar be liable for a death caused by a traffic accident?

When Is a Student Athlete's Injury a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

As much as we don’t want summer to be over, it is getting to be that “back to school” time of year. We all saw the commercials during the Olympics that reminded us that the time was drawing near for the children to head back. You might not have even needed the reminder because your kids are already in their preseason camp or, like the Eagles, have already had a preseason game.

But what happens if your child gets injured on the gridiron? You signed the permission form and had the kids get their physicals, but does that stop you from having any recourse from the school? Not necessarily, because there are injuries that could rise to the level of a personal injury lawsuit.

Pelvic Mesh Manufacturer Endo Pharma Faces Products Liability

There are products that we hear about recalls and think, "so what?" or "who cares?" because the recall seems to be for a product that people should know could be used in a dangerous manner. Then there are those products, like some cars, that we learn are practically death traps that we would have no idea about unless there was a recall.

This products liability claim might lead to the recall of a product that is little known and the dangers of are just being discovered. We're talking about the pelvic mesh, also known as transvaginal or vaginal mesh, that is used to help treat pelvic organ prolapse. The suit is being brought by Connie Pinkerton of Ohio against Endo Pharmaceuticals, a Pennsylvania based pharmaceutical company, and Minnesota-based American Medical Systems, according to The Pennsylvania Record.

Reebok Pays Up; Toning Shoe Settlement Checks Sent

Didn't it just sound great? You could just put on a pair of shoes and walk around during your normal daily business and you could tone your body. Of course, anything that sounds too good to be true usually is. When will the next iteration of the Shake-Weight hit shelves and infomercials anyway?

Reebok International, Inc. was caught in its claims that its shoes created "micro instability" that toned muscles as you walked or ran. The Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") brought a claim against Reebok to stop its deceptive advertising. In the settlement that resulted, Reebok agreed to pay $25 million to those who filled out a claim form, according to the FTC. That amount divided among those that purchased the shoes should refund about 87% of the total purchase price of the shoes.

Premises Liability for Pocono? Lightning Strikes NASCAR Fans

NASCAR is one of those things that you either seem to love or hate. It is either a sport of the gods or a bunch of guys taking left turns for a few hours.

No matter your feelings towards the sport, anyone would be saddened to hear about the one death and nine injuries that occurred at the Pocono Raceway on August 5th. During the race, a storm front moved in and the resulting lightning hit multiple people in the stands and parking lot, according to The Associated Press.

The issue raised is whether the Raceway officials properly warned spectators or otherwise had a safe facility.

T.G.I. Friday's Sued for Wrongful Death of Officer by DUI Driver

Driving under the influence is always in the news when people are injured or killed in accidents. What we don’t often hear about is what happens afterwards. Instead, we feel sad and then move on while the families are left to deal with their loss.

However, when there is a high profile DUI, we can learn about what can happen to not only the driver, but the establishment that served the driver. Philadelphia Police Officer Brian Lorenzo was killed on his way home from his shift by John D. Leck Jr. after Leck drove his Audi A6 the wrong way on I-95 and hit Lorenzo’s motorcycle, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Worker Killed Cutting Tree in Bucks County: Wrongful Death?

If you live in the north, people assume that you want to be a lumberjack. However, trees grow everywhere, so you don’t have to live in Canada to cut down trees. Unfortunately, cutting down trees is a dangerous job.

A member of a tree service crew was killed while working with a team taking down an 80-foot tree in Bucks County. A large limb started to swing while it was being lowered to the ground, and it hit Martin David Reusing of West Reading in the neck, according to WPVI-TV. Reusing died shortly after being hit.

Does his family have a wrongful death claim?