Friday, December 27, 2013

Article that shows the importance of modern safety features in Cars

This article from the Moose Jaw Times Herald titled:
Mexico's booming car industry sells unsafe cars at home, safe ones for export to US, Europe Published on November 28, 2013
Explains how Mexico doesn't incorporate the same Safety standards at home as it does for cars it exports overseas, and the effect that this is having on Mexico. This excerpt from the article explains this in some detail "In 2011, nearly 5,000 drivers and passengers in Mexico died in accidents, a 58 per cent increase since 2001, according to the latest available data from the country's transportation department. Over the same decade, the U.S. reduced the number of auto-related fatalities by 40 per cent. The death rate in Mexico, when comparing fatalities with the size of the car fleet, is more than 3.5 times that of the U.S." This article further explains "The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said air bags and electronic stability control have prevented tens of thousands of injuries in auto accidents and reduced fatal crashes by as much as a third in the U.S."
This goes to show how important it is take advantage of safety features to prevent injuries on the road. If you or anyone you know has been involved in a car accident please call our law firm at 343-0494 or visit our main website at  

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Article about injuries from horses


Local News

Are Horses “Naturally. . . Vicious?”

Associated Press
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — After a horse named Scuppy bit a boy in the face, a Connecticut court came to a conclusion that threw animal lovers: Horses are a naturally vicious species.
Horse owners and farmers are mobilizing as the state Supreme Court hears an appeal in the case Tuesday. Such a classification — the nation’s first, if it stands — would make owning horses uninsurable and jeopardize the state’s sizable horse industry, farmers and horse owners say.
“You could not pair children and horses, the core equestrian business nationwide that it’s all about,” said Doug Dubitsky, a lawyer who represents farmers and horse businesses.
When the boy tried to pet the horse at Glendale Farms in Milford in 2006, according to court papers, the animal stuck his neck out from behind a fence and bit the child on his right cheek, “removing a large chunk of it.”
In February 2012, the mid-level Appellate Court overturned a lower court ruling and said that testimony by Timothy Astriab, whose family owns the farm, demonstrated that Scuppy belongs to “a species naturally inclined to do mischief or be vicious.”
Although he had no knowledge of Scuppy biting anyone before, Astriab testified that Scuppy was no different than other horses that would bite if a finger was put in front of him. “Significantly, Astriab acknowledged his concern that if someone made contact with Scuppy, whether to pet or feed him, they could get bit,” the justices said.
The injury suffered by the boy was foreseeable and the owners of the farm had a duty to use reasonable care to restrain the animal to prevent injury, the Appellate Court ruled.
Astriab did not return a call on Monday seeking comment.
If allowed to stand, Connecticut would be the first state to consider horses as inherently dangerous, said Dubitsky.
Horse farmers and equine enthusiasts, who cite 2005 statistics saying that the horse industry contributes about $221 million a year to the state’s economy in boarding, training, lessons and breeding businesses, are asking the state Supreme Court to overturn the Appellate Court’s decision. The Connecticut Farm Bureau and Connecticut Horse Council filed a friend of the court brief saying that under common law viciousness generally is judged individually according to age, breed and gender, not as an entire species.
Fred Mastele, acting president of the state’s horse council, said it is encouraging horse owners to attend the hearing Tuesday and support the Astriab family.
“In our opinion, horses are not vicious animals,” he said. “They are certainly not attack animals.”
Astriab had won at a lower court in 2010, when a New Haven judge sided with the horse’s owner and ruled that the child’s father, Anthony Vendrella Sr., failed to prove the owner knew of previous incidents of aggression by Scuppy.
The Superior Court judge said Astriab testified that neither he nor anyone else had ever seen Scuppy bite a person before and that in 28 years, none of the horses at the farm bit or injured anyone.
“Cats have a tendency to scratch and horses have a tendency to bite, but the plaintiffs have failed to show, as they must, that the defendants were on notice that Scuppy specifically, and not horses generally, had a tendency to bite people or other horses,” Judge Robin Wilson ruled.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

This is a great article found on CBS Connecticut. It is a good illustration of some of the issues there are with lawsuits coming from recreational activities. Although in this article the injury happened from a child being bitten by a horse while petting it, this case can have a big impact on the liability of many business that run horse riding operations and other business like that where the public interacts with horses. Now the general rule in most jurisdictions is that a person assumes the risk of an activity like horseback riding and mere negligence is not enough to prevail in a personal injury suit against a business owner engaged in a business like this. However, if a Court rules that horses are inherently dangerous then this will hold businesses that run horse riding operations and other such operations that have horses to a higher standard of care. I have gone horseback riding myself, and I know how dangerous an activity it can be so it will be interesting to see how this case turns out when the Connecticut State Supreme Court rules on it. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Article about a case in Ireland from the where an unborn baby was given an award for damages

Girl gets €18k for injuries as a baby

A BABY, who was injured in a car accident two days before she was born, has been awarded just under €18,000 in the Circuit Civil Court for personal injury damages.

Judge Matthew Deery heard that Aoife Sheehan, now aged 14, was still in the womb when the accident in which she was injured occurred in April 1999.
Barrister John Martin said Aoife's mother, Martina Sheehan, was pregnant and driving her car when another car crashed into her at Templeroan Road, Rathfarnham, Dublin.

He said the crash had induced an early onset of labour which had resulted in a pre-term birth leading to Aoife having immediately suffered respiratory distress syndrome.
Mr Martin told Judge Deery that within hours of birth the child had been admitted to intensive care in the Coombe Hospital.
By the evening of the birth, April 15, 1999, the severity of her respiratory distress had increased and mechanical ventilation had to be initiated.
Aoife, through her mother Martina, who lives at Scholarstown Road, Rathfarnham, had sued the owner of the other car involved in the crash, Elaine O'Connor of Orlagh Rise, Scholarstown Road.
Mr Martin said the defendants had proffered a settlement of €15,000 general damages together with €2,800 special damages and he was recommending approval of the offer by the court.
Judge Deery, approving the settlement, accepted there could be substantial difficulties with liability, given the medical evidence available to the child's legal team.

Despite the fact that this article took place in Ireland this shows how a Plaintiff can be compensated for injuries that may not be apparent to most people. Although in this case the unborn baby was actually awarded the damages, I can see how an argument can be made that the mother would be entitled to compensation for the complications of her pregnancy. This case is also a good illustration of the complexities that arise when dealing with children, babies, and pregnant women in personal injury cases. There are extra steps and procedures that must be followed in these cases. That is why it is important to hire a law firm with experience in such matters. Our law firm has handled several such cases.
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Monday, September 9, 2013

A recent case that illustrates liability for further injuries that occur after an initial injury

Nebraskan's lawsuit alleges Wal-Mart's plastic bag broke, leading to fatal injury to his wife

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — An eastern Nebraska man has sued Wal-Mart, saying the failure of an overfilled
plastic shopping bag led to the death of his wife.

The Lincoln Journal Star reports ( that the Sarpy County lawsuit filed by William Freis, of Plattsmouth, has been moved to U.S. District Court in Omaha.

The lawsuit says the bag failed on April 16, 2010, outside a Wal-Mart store in Bellevue. A can inside fell onto the right big toe of Freis' wife, Lynette, breaking and cutting it. The lawsuit says the injuries led to an infection that spread through her body "and ultimately resulted in her death on March 12, 2011."

The lawsuit seeks more than $656,000.

A Wal-Mart spokesman declined to directly comment on the lawsuit's allegations.


Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, 
This article above, which was reported in KSPR abc 33 News gives a good example of a lawsuit where one injury occurs, which then leads to another injury that is possibly more serious. In this case the woman suffered a severe infection from a cut, which is rare, and not usually expected. However, it is generally the case that the person or entity whose negligence caused the harm to the person will be liable for all the injuries they suffered as a result of that harm even if the later injuries suffered after the initial injury occurred seem unlikely or are hard to predict. Basically the reason for this is that it is a good policy to hold the person or entity responsible for all injuries suffered from their negligence because otherwise the burden of paying for treatment of the injury and other aspects of the injury will fall on the injured person or society at large. Therefore, it is just fair that the person who caused the harm should pay. This policy makes sense even though it may seem a little hard to see how some harm that comes to a person after the initial injury will be part of the injured person's original case.

Thursday, August 1, 2013


All the news recently about the Bride to be and the best man that were killed in a boating accident shows just how dangerous boating can be. Although people don't really think of boating as dangerous it definitely can be, and this is one reason why boating accidents occur. Many people think if they are just going out on the open water driving a boat it is okay to have a few drinks. These same people may not do the same when it comes to driving a car. Well the problem is that operating a boat in the water can be more tricky that driving a car in the street given how difficult it can be to maneuver, and all the hidden dangers that can be in the water.
Even though it may appear to most people that they are unlikely to hit another boat with all the open water there are so many dangers in the water that it is not any safer or easier to operate boat than a car. That is why it is never a good idea to have a few drinks before operating a boat. Accidents in lakes and oceans caused by drunk boaters occurs a lot more often than people realize, and when they do they are often very severe and end up in death or permanent injuries. Our law firm has experience with these types of cases, and we realize how serious the injuries from boating accidents can be. That is why it is important to operate boats with at least the same amount of care you would use in operating a car or other vehicle, and not let your guard down because you think it's large open water and somehow safer.

If you have been the victim of a boating accident please call me at 521-3794 or visit our website at:

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


I have noticed for some reason that many times insurance companies will not settle a case until after a lawsuit has been filed, and the case has been in litigation for a while. This seems to be a huge waste to me because after spending a lot of time and money fighting out a case in Court we often end up settling for the same amount that would have settled at the beginning of a case. Often times the client and us would have happily taken the amount we ultimately settled for at the beginning of the case. However, the insurance company will often deny liability for any number of dubious reasons, and refuse to pay us anything, so we just go ahead and file a lawsuit. If these insurance companies only agreed to settle in the beginning it would  save everyone involved a lot of time and money. This shows me that some insurance companies should definitely re-evaluate the way they do business.

If you believe you have a personal injury claim please call 521-3794 to speak to me directly or visit our website at: