Articles Posted in Negligence

A woman receiving a massageGiven the rising cost of healthcare and insurance, it’s perhaps not surprising that more and more people are turning to alternative medicine for minor and even major illnesses. However, there are serious consequences to consider, and juries are starting to hold practitioners liable for the aftermath. In a case reported by the Los Angeles Times earlier this month, an alternative medicine practitioner by the name of Robert Young was held liable for advising a cancer patient to forgo traditional medical care. The plaintiff in the case was awarded $105 million, more than double what she was seeking. The woman now has stage 4 cancer, and doctors have estimated that she has only three or four years left to live.  

Negligence and Fraud

In her lawsuit, the plaintiff argued that Mr. Young’s practice was negligent and fraudulent. The jury obviously agreed after hearing a considerable amount of evidence, spending only three hours in deliberation. The plaintiff’s attorney hopes that the “cure-all cancer industry” will take notice, and stop taking advantage of desperate people overwhelmed with a life-threatening illness.  

The lawyers at Slappey & Sadd focus almost exclusively on personal injury law. In most of these cases, the victim is suing the other party based on the theory that his or her negligence caused the victim’s injury. We use that term a lot, and so we thought we’d devote some time to discuss what negligence actually is and, more importantly, how it is defined by Georgia law.  

Negligence Defined

Generally speaking, negligence is when someone fails to act with “the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances.” Negligence can be an affirmative action, such as reckless driving, or the result of failing to act, such as car accidents that happen because the driver wasn’t paying full time and attention.  

In most personal injury cases, the plaintiff (the person who is injured) is trying to prove that the defendant (the person who is at-fault) was negligent and their negligence resulted in the plaintiff’s injuries. For example, the plaintiff in a car accident case might argue that the accident was caused by the fact that the defendant ran a stop sign, which caused the plaintiff’s neck injury. The defendant may argue that he wasn’t negligent or that he didn’t cause your injury.  

Even if he can’t deny liability, there are still a couple of defenses that the defendant may raise.  It’s important to understand what these are and how they work.

Contributory Negligence

If you have fallen when you were on someone else’s property and are injured, you could be entitled to ask for compensation for your injuries and other losses. Personal injury attorneys refer to these as “slip and fall cases.” Even though slip and fall cases are less common than cases arising from automobile accidents, they can result in injuries that are every bit as serious. These injuries can result in thousands of dollars in medical bills and have a significant impact on your quality of life. If you’ve fallen and are in pain, you should get checked out by your doctor or another medical professional as soon as possible if you haven’t already done so.  

The attorneys at Slappey and Sadd have years of experience in handling slip and fall cases. We have helped many of our clients recover compensation for the common injuries listed below.  

Visible Superficial Injuries

A “slip and fall” case is one in which a person is injured when they fall on another person’s property. If this has happened to you, it’s possible that you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries and other losses. This isn’t as easy as it seems, and there are some pitfalls you want to be aware of and avoid.

Statute of Limitations

A statute of limitations is basically a law that limits the period of time that you can file a lawsuit. There are different statutes of limitations for different kinds of cases, and these vary by state. Failing to file your lawsuit within the specified time period will almost certainly result in your lawsuit being dismissed by the court. As a result, it is essential that you know what the statute of limitations may be for your case and exactly when it expires. You might need a lawyer to work with you on this, as it can be more complicated than it appears.

If you’ve fallen and suffered injury, you may have what personal injury lawyers refer to as a “slip and fall case.” As the name suggests, these are cases when someone is injured when they slip or trip and fall on someone else’s property. In these cases, the injured person may be entitled to compensation for their injuries and other resulting harms such as lost wages. It sounds simple, but can be rather complicated depending on the particulars of the case.  

An experienced personal injury attorney can help you determine whether you have a case, but you will need to be able to answer the questions that follow.   

Are you Injured?

More than a dozen tourists are alleging that TripAdvisor, a popular travel review site that boasts over 400 million monthly users, deleted their attempts to post descriptions of rapes, assaults, and unexpected blackouts that they experienced while staying at Mexican resorts. The allegations came to light when the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel began an investigative journalism project looking into alcohol-related safety issues at Mexican resorts. The newspaper reports that TripAdvisor users who attempted to warn other potential visitors about the dangers were “muzzled” by the website’s staff.

As evidence, the newspaper described a recent forum post on TripAdvisor’s website in which a woman asked other TripAdvisor users about their concerns over safety at the Riviera Maya resort on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. Of the 55 replies to this question, only 24 of them were positive, telling the woman not to worry and that she would be fine. However, the remaining negative posts had been deleted from the forum. TripAdvisor had stated a message in their place citing various reasons for the deletion, including that they were “determined to be inappropriate by the TripAdvisor community,” removed because they were “off-topic,” or contains language or subject matter that was not “family friendly.”

The Trouble with Filtering Reviews

Research from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business suggests that the risk of fans being hit by foul balls or errant bats at baseball games has increased in recent years and, as such, it may be time to reconsider the “Baseball Rule.”

What is the Baseball Rule?

The Baseball Rule is a legal doctrine that immunizes baseball teams and stadium owners from liability and has been in effect for over 100 years. Generally, the Baseball Rule limits the landowner duty of care owed to spectators to providing a reasonable protection in the form of screening behind home plate. Spectators who choose to view the game in an unscreened area assume the open and obvious risk of being struck by balls entering the stands during the ordinary course of play. This legal doctrine has been adopted by a majority of the courts in this country generally as a practical matter. It avoids creating a potential lawsuit for every ball entering the stands and striking a spectator. Without the Baseball Rule, each spectator injury would have to be considered on a case-by-case basis based on the particular circumstances of a particular game in each stadium setting. Naturally, this scheme would flood the courts with personal injury claims. The Baseball Rule avoids that outcome by imposing a bright-line rule: If you choose to sit in an unprotected seat, you assume the risk of getting struck by a baseball.

The pest control company Terminix will pay more than $9 million in criminal fines tied to their use of a banned pesticide that sickened a Delaware family who was on vacation in the US Virgin Islands in 2015. The US Department of Justice says Terminix was sentenced earlier this week after admitting to using a pesticide called methyl bromide at 14 locations, including the St. John resort where the Esmond family was vacationing. Terminix will pay $8 million in fines and $1 million in restitution to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The company will also perform community service.

The EPA Found Traces of the Illegal Substance

The incident occurred in 2015 while the family was on vacation at the Sirenusa resort on St. John when two employees of the local Terminix fumigated the villa below theirs on March 18 with methyl bromide, which is not approved for residential use. After the family became ill, the Environmental Protection Agency found traces of the lethal gas in their villa. The exposure was so significant inside the treated unit that 6 weeks after the family fell ill, dangerous amounts of methyl bromide were still being detected inside the rental villa, according to EPA documents.

A Louisiana mother has filed suit against Walgreen’s after two different stores allegedly incorrectly filled her daughter’s medication. According to the claim, the plaintiff and her minor child were at the Walgreens at 4600 Westbank Expressway in Marrero Louisiana, on Sept. 26, 2016, when the first incident took place. The suit states that the plaintiff was picking up medication prescribed for her daughter’s seizures but she was given the wrong medication. The child began to show symptoms and was admitted to a hospital, where she was treated for an overdose of the incorrect medication. On May 30, the plaintiff went to a Walgreens at 2001 Carol Sue Ave. in Gretna and after returning home saw that there were two types of pills in the bottle. Her claim accuses Walgreen’s of negligence by failing to take the proper care, failing to warn of danger, and overall negligence of the employees who filled the prescription incorrectly.

How Common is this Problem?

This case raises an interesting question—how often do pharmacists incorrectly fill prescriptions, and what can you do about it if they do? While estimates vary, it’s believed that one percent to five percent of prescriptions filled in U.S. pharmacies involve some kind of error. According to Gerald Gianutsos, an associate professor of pharmacology at the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy, a prescription label with incorrect directions is the most frequent type of prescription error, but, occasionally, a patient will also receive either the wrong dosage of the correct medication or the wrong medication altogether. Many drugs have names that sound similar and that use similar spellings, and when they’re arranged alphabetically on the pharmacy shelf, “it’s very easy to grab the wrong one by mistake and look at it real quick … and think that you’re dispensing the right drug,” Gianutsos says.

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