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Lowry Law Blog

Portland & Bangor Injury Lawyers Serving the Entire State of Maine

July 16th, 2014

Immediately after suffering an unexpected physical injury, the ramifications of that injury begin to pile up. One of the most expensive outcomes of any type of accident can be your medical bills. Costly medical treatment can easily result from:

From the moment you ride in the ambulance to the emergency room and then throughout your recovery period, you will be incurring medical expenses. So who will pay for these bills, you may wonder. That depends on a number of factors, including the type of accident, state laws, your insurance coverage and the insurance coverage of the person who caused the incident.

If the personal injury incident was not your fault, why should you be on the hook for an injury you did not cause? Why is the other person’s insurance company not paying your bills?  Why should your insurance company pay anything if you were not at fault? These issues can sometimes be tricky. The other person’s insurance company will want to pay as little as possible and it can get very confusing. The good news is that there are clear laws and rules that determine who pays for what. In the end, the laws and rules usually put the responsibility of paying the bills on whoever is at fault for the incident. If you have a personal injury claim there are many possible ways to get your bills paid or delayed until they can get paid. You may also be able to get paid for your lost earnings, pain and suffering. Because the details of the incident and the insurance situation can be different in each case, the only way to know how this will work for you is to consult our experienced law team.

To find out if you have a case to pursue compensation with our Maine personal injury attorneys, please contact Lowry & Associates for a free consultation. We can provide free evaluations 24/7, and have offices in Portland and Bangor.

tags: Personal Injury
April 28th, 2014

Throughout the nation, the month of April is being recognized as distracted driving awareness month. The National Safety Council and other agencies and organizations want to use this month to raise awareness about the dangers posed by distracted driving. Common motorist distractions can lead to serious, sometimes fatal car accidents. According to the NSC, driver distraction leads to thousands of accident fatalities each year in the US.

Although cell phones are what most people associate with distracted driving, anything that leads to the following can cause a car accident:

  • Manual distraction
  • Visual distraction
  • Cognitive distraction

A distraction takes your eyes, hands and/or mind away from the task of driving, thus increasing the risk of an accident. Texting, talking on a cell phone, using a car's infotainment system – all of these can be sources of distraction. Other sources include getting into a heated discussion with a passenger, reaching for something that has fallen to the floor or in the backseat, adjusting audio controls, and even using a hands-free cell phone device.

If you live anywhere in Maine and believe a careless, distracted driver caused your car accident and resulting injuries, please contact Lowry & Associates for a free case evaluation and to find out if our experienced accident attorney can help you and your family.

tags: Car Accident, Distracted Driving
March 26th, 2014

An auto accident can leave you and your loved ones with catastrophic injuries. These life-altering injuries can leave you with the hardships of expensive medical bills, an inability to work, lost wages, and possibly disability, disfigurement and scarring.

Some of the most common causes of car accidents are:

  • Drunk driving
  • Driving under the influence of illegal drugs or certain prescriptions
  • Distracted driving
  • Reckless driving
  • Speeding
  • Failure to obey traffic signals

If someone else caused the accident that injured you, then you deserve compensation for the impact your injuries will have on your life and the lives of your loved ones. You should not have to deal with the financial, physical and emotional ramifications of your injury without the compensation you need and deserve. Our experienced auto accident lawyer will fight aggressively on your behalf, dealing with the powerful insurance companies while you focus on your recovery.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a car accident caused by someone else's negligence or careless driving, please contact Lowry & Associates for a free case evaluation and to learn more about our experienced Maine car accident attorney, serving Portland, Bangor, and the entire state.

tags:
September 26th, 2013

          Wendy’s customers will be glad to know that they can have confidence that what they get at one Wendy’s will be the same at whatever Wendy’s they may visit, anywhere in the country.

 

A large Wendy’s franchise group in the Midwest refused to install new toasters in its stores to accommodate a newly created cheeseburger, Dave’s Hot’n Juicy.  Wendy’s brought suit claiming that failure to install the toasters would undermine the success of the new cheeseburger.

 

In a settlement of the lawsuit, the franchise group, which operates 329 Wendy’s stores in 20 states, agreed to install the new toasters in all of its stores.

 

So you need never wonder about what sort of product you will get in a Wendy’s.  It will always be the same as in any other Wendy’s restaurant.  Obviously Wendy’s takes this very seriously as evidenced by its intolerance of any deviation from its strict guidelines for uniformity.

tags: Uncategorized
September 17th, 2013

          2/4/11 – I have a tendency to deride my wife when she checks the liquid level of every bottle on the shelf when shopping at the supermarket, but maybe she has a point!

 

Five northern California counties brought suit against Clorox Company alleging that the company was filling its bottles to only 80% of capacity.  The action was successful when Clorox agreed to settle for $200,000.

 

So here is fair warning to all: you may be getting cheated on the quantity of stuff you buy in the store, so it is probably worth checking before buying.

tags: Uncategorized
September 9th, 2013

Our gut reaction may tell us that an action which discriminates against someone for no apparent good reason should be illegal, but as a matter of fact there are only a very limited number of factors which are specifically spelled out in the law and which can be the basis for a legal remedy.

 

If a barber should decide that he will refuse to cut the hair of any redheaded person, that would certainly seem unfair, but it would be perfectly legal.  On the other hand, if he decides that he will refuse to cut the hair of any Protestant person or any person of color, that would be not only unfair, but also against the law.

 

A 2011 survey conducted by the Sun Sentinel found that 15 out of 105 ob-gyn practices in South Florida now refuse to see otherwise healthy women who are not pregnant solely because they are overweight.  For years ob-gyn practices have been sending pregnant obese women to specialists.

 

Although some said that the main reason for declining overweight women was that their ultrasound machines do not give good images of internal anatomy in obese women, the doctors claimed that there is more risk of something going wrong and they have complained about the high number of lawsuits after difficult births and the high rates of medical malpractice insurance.

 

Although experts said that it violates the spirit of the medical profession, physicians, like any other business, can decline service to whomever they choose for any reason, except for race, gender, sexual orientation or infectious diseases.

tags: Discrimination
August 28th, 2013

Back in 2012, following a seven-day trial in the federal court in New Hampshire, a jury awarded $8.5 million to the family of a bicyclist who was killed in August, 2008, when he was run over by a tractor-trailer on a rural road in Porter, Maine.

The bicyclist was traveling on the right side of the road as he approached a curve to the left.  The tractor-trailer, traveling in the same direction, pulled into the left lane to avoid the bicycle, but when confronted with a pickup coming in the opposite direction pulled back to the right to avoid a head-on collision.  The bicyclist was forced off the pavement, lost control of his bike, fell back onto the roadway, was run over by the rear tires of the trailer and died instantly.

The jury determined that the driver of the tractor-trailer was negligent in attempting to pass on a curve with insufficient visibility ahead, and rejected the defendant’s claim that it was a safe and reasonable place to pass.  The jury also rejected the testimony of the state police accident reconstructionist who said that the main cause of the accident was the condition of the shoulder of the road which caused the decedent to loss control of his bicycle.

The 38-year-old decedent was an experienced bicyclist, a college graduate and owned his own contracting business.  At the time of his death he was in excellent health and left a wife and two minor children.

After four hours of deliberation the jury awarded $3.5 million for lost wages and earning capacity and $5 million for loss of consortium for the surviving spouse and children.  If the case had been brought in Maine where the accident occurred, the law would have limited the amount of the award for loss of companionship (the legal term is consortium) to only $500,000.  The law in New Hampshire appears to have a similar restriction on damages for loss of consortium as Maine, so it is likely that the amount of the award will have to be reduced.  The difference between how a jury values loss of a loved one and the limited amount set by the legislature is troubling.  I would submit that a jury of ordinary citizens with access to the facts of each case is better equipped to reflect the values of the community than lawmakers sitting in the state capital considering only a theoretical case and responding to the pleas of insurance industry lobbyists.

tags: Auto Accidents, Bicycle Accident, Insurance Benefits, Liability
August 27th, 2013

          Running out of gas can be an inconvenience, but it also can present a risk of being in a car crash.

The manufacturers of motor vehicles have a responsibility to make their products as safe as possible, and this includes avoiding misleading drivers by installing gauges which are inaccurate.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration initiated an investigation of 865,000 GM sports utility vehicles for faulty gas gauges which can indicate a level of gasoline which is more that actually exists in the gas tank.  This action followed 668 complaints, including 58 which resulted in a stall because the fuel gauge readings indicated more fuel than what was actually in the tank.  One complaint alleged that this occurred on an interstate exit ramp and that the stalled car was rear-ended.

Another similar investigation is being made of a fuel tank problem on Ford F-150 pickup trucks.  The steel straps holding up the tank can rust and break causing a fuel spill and fire.

When injuries happen in a car wreck the job of the attorney is often to look beyond the obvious to determine responsibility for the crash.  A seemingly unimportant defect in a product may be a contributing cause for an injury or even a death.

tags: Auto Accidents
August 20th, 2013

A settlement of $1.3 million has been received by a former Philadelphia police officer as a result of a rear-end collision which caused only minor damage to his vehicle.  The officer was on duty when he stopped at a red light and was tapped in the rear by a young woman who failed to stop in time.

Even though the force of the collision was only minor and neither car suffered significant damage, the officer suffered a nerve injury to his right arm which made it impossible for him to handle his weapon and ended his police career.

This is typical of many situations which we see in our cases at Lowry & Associates.  It is intuitive to assume that if there is little damage to the vehicles in a rear-end collision, then the occupants cannot have received any significant injuries.  However this is far from the truth.  In fact more damage to the vehicle indicates that it has absorbed more of the force of the impact resulting in less being transmitted to the occupants.  Slight damage to the vehicle may indicate that more of the force has been delivered to the people in the car, thus producing more serious injury.

Insurance adjusters should be aware of this principle of physics, but we find that time after time we are faced with the argument that slight damage to the car is proof that the person inside was not injured.

tags: Auto Accidents, Insurance Benefits, Liability, Recovery
August 16th, 2013

          There appears to be no end to the variety of conditions and situations which can form the basis for legal action, but whiskey fumes in the air?  Who would have thought?

In a unique class-action lawsuit filed year in Louisville, Kentucky, the plaintiffs had sued three Louisville distilleries claiming that “sweet vapors” from aging whiskey carry a fungus which produce persistent black spots on cars and homes in the neighborhood.

According to the plaintiffs’ attorney recent on some of the spots have detected a substance known as “whiskey fungus” or “angel’s share fungus.”  Officials identified it as some sort of nonlethal mold which is not harmful to human health but is a nuisance.

A spokesman for the targeted whiskey companies said that the spots are caused by a naturally occurring mold found often in the environment and unrelated to the production of whiskey.  He said that that the companies do not believe that they have caused any harm to the plaintiffs.

So here we have a clear disagreement, and resolving disputes is, after all, what our courts are for, but a class action lawsuit seems a bit over the top for what appears to be a rather minor issue.  The fellow who started all of this could probably have got the justice he wants by bringing his claim in small claims court—with no lawyer required.

tags: Liability, Miscellaneous
August 1st, 2013

We are used to seeing insurance companies ripping people off, typically by doing everything they can to avoid paying legitimate claims, but here is a case where the insurance company itself is complaining of being scammed.

 

Allstate Insurance Company has sued two New York medical professional corporations alleging that they were involved in a scheme to fraudulently bill Allstate for procedures which were medically unnecessary and often inappropriate.

 

As was noted by Jere Beasley, the prominent Alabama plaintiffs’ attorney, “As I have mentioned on numerous occasions, corporate entities such as Allstate appear to really “like” the court system when they consider themselves to be victims.  But when they are the wrongdoers, the corporate bosses have a totally different mindset.”

tags: Liability, Recovery, Uncategorized
July 31st, 2013

SAN DIEGO — A California university student who was left handcuffed in a federal holding cell for nearly five days without food or water has reached a $4.1 million settlement with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, his lawyers said on Tuesday.

Daniel Chong, who was rounded up along with eight other people in an April 21, 2012, drug raid at a San Diego-area home, has said that he was forced to drink his own urine and nearly died after being placed in the cell and apparently forgotten.

After the ordeal, the 24-year-old student of the University of California, San Diego, spent five days in a San Diego hospital, three of them in intensive care. Last year, he filed a $20 million claim, a precursor to a lawsuit, against the DEA.

On Tuesday, his attorneys, Eugene Iredale and Julia Yoo, said they had settled that claim with the DEA for $4.1 million.

“To its credit, the government has responded by acknowledging responsibility, apologizing personally to Daniel and instituting changes in policies regarding safety checks for prisoners in temporary holding cells at DEA facilities,” Iredale said. “What happened to Daniel Chong should never happen to any human being on the face of the planet.”

A spokeswoman for the DEA said the agency was investigating the incident but referred calls regarding the settlement to the Department of Justice. A spokesman there could not immediately be reached for comment.

The DEA previously acknowledged that Chong had been accidentally left in a holding cell, and the head of the DEA’s San Diego office said in a statement that he was “deeply troubled” by the incident.

Chong’s lawyers have said that he was arrested at the home of friend during a raid by a drug enforcement task force investigating an Ecstasy trafficking ring.

Iredale said that once authorities determined Chong was not part of the ring, a San Diego police officer put him in the 5-by-10-foot cell with his hands cuffed behind his back, telling him, “We’ll come to get you in a minute.”

Instead, Chong remained in the cell for 4½ days and by the time he was found he was suffering from severe dehydration, muscle deterioration, hallucinations, liver and kidney failure and extremely high levels of sodium, according to his attorneys. He lost 15 pounds during the ordeal.

The DEA said in a statement issued at the time that agents detained nine people, including Chong, during the raid and seized some 18,000 Ecstasy pills, marijuana, hallucinogenic mushrooms and prescription medicines, firearms and ammunition.

 

Taken from the Bangor Daily News

tags: Uncategorized
July 29th, 2013

Follow the link to be taken to an online article from the Portland Press Herald.  What do you think?

 

http://www.pressherald.com/news/Lawsuit-Girl-kicked-out-of-Massachusetts-camp-over-kiss.html

tags: Miscellaneous
July 26th, 2013

Relying on records which showed that there were a dozen accidents at the same intersection and based on the city’s failure to install a traffic light, the family of a motorcyclist who was killed there has recovered $1.8 million in a 2011 settlement with the City of San Diego.

Although a recovery of that magnitude is not foreseeable in Maine because of the limitations in our antiquated wrongful death statute, this is an example of the sort of case where Lowry & Associates would be very helpful, not only in making sure of a fair settlement, but also in personally guiding the family through the difficult process.

tags: Auto Accidents, Liability, Recovery
July 25th, 2013

          Here is one for the books!

 

Lowry & Associates has been representing the families of people who have been killed in accidents for many years, and yet here is a case which is nothing quite like any we have ever handled.

 

The National Park Service has been sued in U.S. District Court in Tacoma, Washington, by the family of a man who was killed in OlympiaNational Park by a goat.  It seems that the 63-year-old man was hiking in the park with his wife and a friend when the goat charged the man, goring him in the thigh.  The goat then stood over him, preventing anyone from coming to his aid until a park staffer was able to shoo the goat away by waving a space blanket at him.

 

According to the suit the Park Service failed to deal with the large aggressive male which weighed 370 pounds, about 30 per cent larger than the average male goat even though the Park Service had had many complaints before about its aggressive conduct.  The suit also alleges that the government failed to provide emergency help on a timely basis.  It took more than an hour after the attack for a Coast Guard helicopter to arrive with a medical technician, but the victim bled to death.

 

Lowry & Associates stands ready to assist any Maine family who has lost a loved one in an accident.  No matter how bizarre the circumstances may be, you owe it to yourself and your family to see if we can help.

tags: Dangerous Premises, Insurance Benefits, Liability, Miscellaneous, Recovery
July 18th, 2013

In jury trials it is routine for the judge to instruct the jury to refrain from any contact outside of the courtroom with anything or anyone related to the case.  It is not unusual for a juror to let curiosity get the best of him or her and to do a bit of independent research.  When this occurs and is discovered the result is most often that the offending juror is admonished and dismissed from the case.

 

In one court, however, the transgression was taken a bit more seriously as the guilty juror was sentenced to community service after “friending” the defendant on Facebook and discussing the case on the social network.  The defendant notified her attorney who in turn told the judge.  Officials in the Texas county court said that this was the first instance that they were aware of where a juror had contacted a party in a case via the internet.

 

Most jurors take the judge’s instructions seriously, but some people do not understand the importance of limiting a case to the evidence provided in court and feel justified in making inquiries of their own.  This is a serious problem which undermines the legitimacy of trial results.

tags: Uncategorized
July 12th, 2013

I am reporting this trial result in this blog, not because it is at all unusual for a person to recover damages when injured by a defective product, but because of the strikingly remarkable amount of the verdict and how clearly this demonstrates the differences among juries in various parts of the country toward the value to be placed on human
suffering.  A verdict of this magnitude would be unheard of in Maine, or in most other
northern New England states for that matter.

In a 2011 case, A Virginia man has been awarded $212 million by a jury on a claim that Botox injections to treat hand tremors and writer’s cramp caused him to suffer a disabling brain injury.  The verdict was against Allergan Inc. of California and was the result of a trial which lasted nearly two weeks.  The jury awarded $12 million in compensatory damages and an additional $200 million in punitive damages.  The company has not yet decided whether or not to appeal.

tags: Defective Products, Liability, Recovery
July 10th, 2013

            Many of our clients have been injured in accidents where their car is damaged to the point of being totaled or being undrivable pending repairs.  In these cases it is often necessary to get a rental car until the damaged vehicle can be replaced or repaired.  The cost of the rental car will usually, but not always, be paid for by the owner’s insurance or by the insurance company for the person who caused the accident.  When filling out the papers the rental company will offer the opportunity (for a price) to take out insurance to cover any accident which might happen while the car is rented, so the question which many people have is: Do I need to spend this extra money to be safely covered while driving the rental car?

 

The answer to this question is, generally, NO so long as  your existing auto insurance is still in effect and provides enough coverage.  In other words almost all auto policies provide coverage when another vehicle is being driven by a person who is designated as a driver in the insurance policy, so this would include a rental car.  The amount of coverage, meaning the policy limits, will be the same, so if there was not enough coverage to start with, it will be a good idea to get some extra protection when taking out a rental.  Since the length of time the car will be rented is fairly short, the amount charged for this extra coverage will not a lot.

 

HOWEVER, if your policy does not include collision coverage, then you should purchase the collision coverage offered by the rental company.  If the rental car should be damaged, no matter who may be at fault, you will be responsible, by the terms of the rental contract, to pay for the damage, so it is important for you to be covered.  If the rental is being provided by the insurance company for the person who caused your accident, then the law requires them to pay for the collision coverage if you don’t have it.

 

All of this may appear to be a bit complicated, but it is good to have a handle on it, because too often people will accept and pay for the extra insurance when they don’t need it.

 

 

 

 

 

tags: Auto Accidents, Liability
June 26th, 2013

Cut and paste the below link into the URL bar of your internet browser to be directed to an article from the Portland Press Herald.

 

http://www.pressherald.com/news/nationworld/Lawsuit-filed-against-Monste...

tags: Liability, Wrongful Death
June 24th, 2013

One of the least understood parts of the personal auto policy is a section called Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage. Simply stated, if you or a family member are involved in a motor vehicle accident that is not your fault and the responsible party is uninsured, you and your passengers may recover for injuries and damages incurred in the accident from your own automobile policy.  In essence, uninsured motorist coverage allows your insurance company to step into the shoes of the uninsured driver who is responsible for your injuries.

 

Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage also serves to provide additional coverage for your injuries in the event that the responsible party has liability insurance coverage, but the limits of that coverage are inadequate to pay for your damages.  In such situations, your underinsured motorist provision will provide coverage above the limits of the responsible party up to the limits of your underinsured motorist coverage.

 

Many people in the State of Maine operate their vehicles with either no coverage or minimum coverage which means that often the insurance of the responsible party, if any, will be too low to cover the value of injuries sustained in an accident.  The minimum limit of allowable liability coverage in Maine is $50,000.  In the case of an even moderately serious injury, that $50,000 of coverage would not go very far in paying medical bills, lost wages and compensation for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, etc.

The importance of maintaining adequate uninsured motorist coverage cannot be stressed enough.  This is especially true for people who operate motorcycles.  Over the years, our firm has handled numerous motorcycle accident claims involving catastrophic injuries in which the defendant driver has inadequate or no coverage.  Unfortunately, in a vast majority of these cases, we find that the operator of the motorcycle has inadequate uninsured/underinsured insurance resulting in a tragic result where there is little or no recovery available for a seriously injured person.

 

Based upon our experience, we believe that uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is the most important part of a motorist’s or cyclist’s policy.  In Maine, the limit of uninsured motorist coverage is generally the same as the liability limit you select.

 

By the way, uninsured/underinsured insurance would, in most situations, cover you and your family even if you are in some else’s vehicle or a pedestrian that is struck by a vehicle.

 

How much coverage is enough?  If you own a house and have a family, you want to make sure that you are adequately protected in the event that you are injured and incur high medical bills and a significant period of lost wages.  Everyone’s situation is different but even a single person with little in the way of monthly expenses needs adequate protection in the event that they are seriously injured in an accident. Increasing your policy limits to $300,000, $500,000 or more may not be as costly as you think and would add greatly to your financial protection and peace of mind.

tags: Auto Accidents, Liability, Recovery
June 20th, 2013

A 2011 inspection of a Delta Airlines plane in Atlanta in January revealed rat droppings “too numerous to count” in the in the ceiling panels of the aircraft directly over places where food and drinks are stored and also rodent droppings above the door panels in the forward galley where food is prepared.  The Food and Drug Administration issued a warning letter earlier this month and ordered the airline to demonstrate that it is properly cleaning the aircraft.

The president of a pest control company in Atlanta said that contamination of food may not be the biggest potential problem.  He said that the possibility of rats chewing the wires could pose a safety hazard.

tags: Miscellaneous
June 17th, 2013

3/24/11 – In a macabre case in Florida the LeeCountyEMS has been sued by the widow of a man who suffered a heart attack.  When the EMS crew was brought in to assist, the man was pronounced dead and left in the bedroom.  When the undertaker arrived more than an hour later he found the man struggling to breathe on the bedroom floor.  He was rushed to the hospital where he died four days later.

The suit seeks recovery on behalf of his wife of 49 years for a wrongful death plus infliction of emotional distress.  The wrongful death claim appears to be a difficult case to sustain, because it looks like the man would have died anyway, and as far as the infliction of emotional distress goes, it would no doubt depend on whether or not the wife was present or was falsely informed of her husband’s premature death.

Perhaps a more promising claim would be based on the discomfort experienced by the deceased when the EMS left him for dead.

tags: Wrongful Death
June 14th, 2013

Here we go again on the health care system.  The issue of doctors receiving gifts, other incentives or even payments for recommending certain brands of medications to their patients or using particular medical devices in their practices has been troubling for a long time.

 

On April 6th the New York Times reported that the governor of Nevada, Brian Sandoval, has ordered an investigation by health officials in that state into whether payments made to cardiologists by a previously little-known manufacturer of heart devices were legitimate consulting fees or in fact inducements to use the company’s products.  It seems that doctors at a Las Vegas cardiology practice started using Biotronic implants almost exclusively in their patients after they became consultants to the device maker in 2008, receiving up to $5,000 a month in fees.

tags: Liability, Medical Malpractice
June 5th, 2013

How many times do we see instances of the application of excessive force by police?  Here is an instance where the cops apparently went way over the top.

 

In 2011 A family in Columbia, Missouri, has filed a lawsuit against the police department based on allegations that the SWAT team raided their home without justification and literally shot up the place.  According to the suit the police shot and killed one family pet dog and wounded another and also shot numerous holes in the walls of the home and so traumatized a child who was present that extended counseling was necessary.

 

The police expected to seize a large cache of marijuana in the home, but found none.

tags: Uncategorized
May 31st, 2013

The oil which poured into the Gulf of Mexico last summer wasn’t the only instance where conduct by British Petroleum was challenged.

A woman in Southeast Texas has brought suit against BP claiming that the death of her infant son was caused by emissions released from a Texas   City refinery.  The child, whose residence was less than a mile from the refinery, developed pneumonia around the same time that the factory reportedly began releasing thousands of pounds of harmful materials into the air, including benzene.  BP is also being sued by the Texas Attorney General for illegal emissions.

You might think that a company that is making billions of dollars in profits could afford to practice proper disposal techniques.

tags: Dangerous Premises, Liability, Wrongful Death
May 24th, 2013

A person who is the object of a repulsive or disgusting act or situation is often understandably and justifiably outraged, but this may not translate into a recovery in court.

As personal injury lawyers in Maine we see cases such as this from time to time and generally there is little that can be done to quell the anger which many people feel when victimized by this sort of event.  I am reminded of a prospective client who came to us following an incident in which she discovered a dead mouse in a soda bottle after she had already taken a drink from the bottle.  This caused her to experience revulsion, disgust and nausea, but she did not require medical treatment, nor did she experience any lasting physical or mental effects.  A jury would no doubt share her outrage, but there is really no basis here for awarding significant money damages.

 

A woman in Chicago recently filed a suit against McDonald’s claiming that an employee of the restaurant spit in her face following an altercation over her order.  She claimed that she suffered injury, embarrassment and humiliation, but how, or if, this will convert into money recovery remains to be seen.

tags: Uncategorized
May 10th, 2013

What is Medpay and why is it important?

 

Medical Payments (medpay) is a coverage that is available to you under your own auto insurance. This coverage will pay for reasonable expenses incurred for necessary medical services because of bodily injury caused by an accident.

 

In Maine it is mandatory that you carry at least $2,000.00 in medpay coverage.  For a small increase in your insurance premium you can purchase more coverage. Carrying more than the minimum amount is strongly recommended, especially if you do not have health insurance or have to pay deductibles or co-pays.  Typically the charge for this additional coverage is small compared to the benefit you can receive if you are ever in an accident.

 

If you are injured in a vehicle, then you are entitled to medpay benefits regardless of who was at fault for your injuries. This medpay coverage can help aid you in getting the needed or recommended treatment.

 

We have many clients who experience hard financial times after car accidents and medpay is extremely helpful easing the burden of medical expenses.  If you or a loved one have been in a car accident please feel free to call us for advice.  Also, if you have any questions about your auto insurance policy you can call us for advice.  We are here to help.

tags: Insurance Benefits
May 10th, 2013

In our practice representing people who have been injured in accidents we sometimes hear a client say, “I could have been killed!” or “I almost died!”  Although the thought of coming close to death is disturbing to say the least, the law generally does not, in spite of what some people think, permit compensation for something that could have happened or that almost occurred.

Even so, a jury in Mississippi has awarded $4.7 million to a family which brought suit against a motel over the near-drowning of their two children in the motel pool.  The suit claimed that the two kids, both of whom suffer from learning disabilities, wandered into the pool area after hours when the motel staff had negligently failed to lock it up.  The jury found the hotel 85 percent responsible and the parents 15 percent responsible.

tags: Dangerous Premises, Liability
May 1st, 2013

Lawsuits for medical malpractice are always a subject of intense controversy.  Many in the health care industry, including doctors and health insurance companies, as well as many conservative politicians, contend that the fear of being sued causes physicians to order excessive and unnecessary tests and treatments which are a major factor in causing the escalating costs of medical care in the United States.  Of course many attribute the excessive testing to the pay for service system where the more tests that a doctor or hospital does, the more they get paid.  On the other hand trial lawyers and consumer groups point out that medical mistakes are causing thousands of needless deaths and that the threat of being sued makes health care providers more careful and saves lives.

In 2010 Peter Orszag, the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, weighed in on this issue in an op-ed for the New York Times.  It was Mr. Orszag ‘s contention that a much more aggressive effort is needed to protect doctors who follow “evidence-based guidelines”.  A representative of the Center for Justice and Democracy immediately jumped on this proposal, calling it “a horrendous idea” and saying that clinical guidelines should never be the basis for determining whether harm to a patient was caused by negligence.

At the risk of bringing down the wrath of my brother trial attorneys on my head, I do think that what Mr. Orszag suggests has the kernel of an idea which could work.  I have long thought that the solution to relieving doctors from the fear of being sued because of a failure to order sufficient diagnostic testing would be to establish detailed protocols so that with any given set of facts concerning a patient’s condition, there would be a clear standard of the testing to be implemented.

The fly in the ointment, so to speak, of this idea is that development of such protocols would take an enormous amount of effort and the input of many diverse participants.  It would require establishment of a body with authority to determine the precise action condoned under every possible set of circumstances.  The complexity and magnitude of this task would be just short of overwhelming, but if we are serious about addressing this problem, then it would, I think, be worth the effort.

tags: Liability, Medical Malpractice, Wrongful Death
April 29th, 2013

GAP Insurance – Unfortunately many people are either unaware of this form of insurance or elect to decline it when purchasing a new or used vehicle.  So-called GAP Insurance, short for Guaranteed Auto Protection or Guaranteed Asset Protection, provides coverage of the difference between the actual cash value of a car and the balance owed on the loan in case the vehicle is  totaled in a crash.  The reason that this situation occurs is that the value of a car, especially when purchased new, declines more rapidly than the reduction in the amount owed on the loan.  Thus, when an accident happens, the owner of the car may end up with no vehicle, but still owing a considerable amount on the loan.

We strongly recommend that people involved in the purchase of a new vehicle seriously consider purchasing this type of insurance.  Too often in the cases we see in our office the client who has been injured in an accident is faced with the additional burden of dealing with a “new” debt to the bank or financing agency.  The insurance company for the person responsible for the wreck will normally pay the current market value of the vehicle, but this is often not enough to pay off the loan.  For a small premium when the car is bought this problem can be avoided.

tags: Uncategorized
April 26th, 2013

Here is a case from 2010 where police officers got a bit carried away, to say the least.  It seems that after robbing a bank the perpetrator hijacked the plaintiff’s car with her and her 2-year old son still in it.  When the police caught up with the car parked in a Wendy’s parking lot they fired 42 rounds into it killing the perp, but also injuring both the plaintiff and her son.

The plaintiff brought suit against the Jacksonville sheriff’s department alleging that the officers fired on the car with no regard for the safety of innocent lives and, apparently based on some history of similar actions, that the department has a “widespread practice” of shooting citizens without justification.

Most police officers act with reasonable restraint where the safety of innocent people might be in jeopardy and are subject to rigid regulations about when lethal force may be employed, but occasionally we read about a case like this which leaves us shaking our heads in disbelief.

tags: Liability
April 24th, 2013

In a decision from February 2010, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court upheld a Superior Court judgment granting damages in the amount of $4.9 million against Central Maine Power Company to a man who was severely injured when the mast of a sailboat he was moving in a boatyard came in contact with a power line.

The court held that CMP was negligent, because it had strung its lines too low knowing that they were within the area of a known boatyard operation, even though the power lines were strung over a public road, Rt. 166 in the Town of Penobscot.  The case turned on an interpretation of a Public Utilities Commission rule requiring a 45.5 foot height in an area intended to be used by the public for launching and rigging sailboats.

tags: Auto Accidents, Dangerous Premises, Liability
April 22nd, 2013

As strange as it seems IHOP (formerly International House of Pancakes) is feeling threatened by a religious organization, even to the point of bringing a lawsuit to stop the religious group from using the same name which is a registered trademark of the restaurant chain.

It seems that the International House of Prayer has persisted in using the IHOP designation in spite of being asked to stop on several occasions.  Although one would not think that restaurants and churches are easily confused, the suit claims that this misuse of its trademark is causing IHOP “great and irreparable injury” and is confusing the public.  Go figure.

tags: Uncategorized
April 19th, 2013

We can only guess at what portion of the enormous cost of medical care in this country can be attributed to fraud, but we can take some comfort in the fact that the government is actively pursuing the criminals who are elevating expenses for the rest of us.

A joint health care fraud strike force (the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team – HEAT) shut down a massive Medicare fraud operation in Miami which netted $83 million since 2003.

The American Therapeutic Corp. and its sister companies faked medication and care charts and paid owners of assisted living facilities and halfway houses to bring patients to their mental health centers for therapy sessions which were never held and from which the patients would not have benefitted even if given.  Employees falsified medical records to make it look like the patients had a mental illness and needed medication and therapy.

Let’s hope that the drive to cut back on government spending does not include reductions in law enforcement in the area of Medicare and Medicaid fraud.

tags: Insurance Benefits
April 17th, 2013

Whether or not to get involved in a high speed chase with a person wanted for a crime is always a difficult decision for police.  On one hand there is the motivation to apprehend the person who is fleeing and on the other is the consideration of the danger that such a chase poses, not only for the fugitive and the police themselves but also for the public at large.  When innocent people on the highway get hurt, the police may be guilty of negligence.

A Detroit couple sued the police department after they received permanent injuries when they were hit from behind by the car that the police were chasing, causing them to crash into a telephone pole.

Generally police will be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the risk posed by a high speed chase.

tags: Auto Accidents, Liability
April 15th, 2013

In an unusual case from 2010,  the Supreme Court of Maine has upheld a jury finding in Superior Court which resulted in an award of zero to a plaintiff who sought recovery for injuries sustained in an automobile collision.

The parties agreed that the defendant’s negligence was the sole cause of the collision, but the court found that the jury was justified in awarding no damages where there was evidence that the plaintiff had engaged in a number of rather strenuous physical activities following the accident.

tags: Auto Accidents, Recovery
April 10th, 2013

In a landmark decision in June of 2010 Justice Crowley of the Maine Superior Court ruled that a person who observes an injury to his domestic partner is entitled to recover damages for the resulting emotional distress.

In this case plaintiff was the operator of a motorcycle, and his domestic partner was a passenger behind him when a car operated by the defendant turned left in front of them causing both plaintiff and his girlfriend to be thrown from the bike.  In the instant which ensued plaintiff sat up and saw his partner lying on the ground moaning and rocking with cuts on her face and with swollen eyes.  Because she was not responsive to him plaintiff concluded that she was seriously injured and he experienced anxiety that she might die or be permanently injured.

Recovery for bystander emotional distress has been limited by most courts to family members or persons with a “family relationship”, precluding people who are not “closely related to the victim”.

Plaintiff and his partner had co-habited for eight years, were registered as domestic partners with the City of Portland and maintained joint bank accounts.  He carried her on his health and dental insurance, and she was the beneficiary of his life insurance.  They filed separate tax returns and had no plans to marry.

 

In concluding that their relationship was equivalent to actual family ties Justice Crowley has taken a bold step in bringing the law into conformity with the reality of the modern world in which many couples have the close bond of marriage without the benefit taking the legal step to get married.

 

tags: Auto Accidents, Bus Accidents, Dangerous Premises, Defective Products, Dog Bites
April 5th, 2013

A suit filed by two current and one former officer charges that the Los Angeles Airport Police Department discriminated against white officers and favored African-American officers.  The suit claims that the department is “racially charged” and that white officers were passed over for promotions even though they had the highest test scores.

 

I think that we all realize that racial discrimination can be directed against the members of any racial group, but we do not often see a situation where African-Americans, who historically have been the victims of discrimination, are accused of directing negative bias against whites.  The law is clear that whoever is the subject of racial discrimination is entitled to compensation.

tags: Uncategorized
April 1st, 2013

A jury in federal court in New Hampshire has awarded $21 million to a woman who suffered blindness and scarring as a result of extreme burns to her skin, mucus membranes and eyes after taking the prescription anti-inflammatory drug Sulindac for shoulder pain.  It was determined that the manufacturer of the drug, Mutual Pharmaceutical Co. was liable because is should have known the drug was unreasonably dangerous to some users.

 

Even when a drug has been given the okay by the Federal Drug Administration, manufacturers are still responsible for making sure that the drug is safe for most consumers.  Failure to find out the dangers of a product is a basis for legal liability, as is a failure to warn of known potential dangers.

tags: Liability
March 29th, 2013

The widow of a Florida highway patrolman has filed suit against Ford Motor Company following the death of her husband who was killed when his Crown Victoria cruiser burst into flames when struck in the rear.  The suit claims that the car was poorly designed in that the gas tank was located in an unsafe position where it could easily ignite when the car was struck from the rear.

 

Manufacturers of products ranging from toasters to steam engines have the responsibility to design their products so that they do not pose an unreasonable threat to people who use them in ways that the manufacturer should have anticipated.  However, if a design feature can cause harm only if the product is misused, then the manufacturer will not be held responsible for injury to someone who uses the product in a way for which it was not intended.

tags: Auto Accidents, Defective Products, Liability
March 27th, 2013

Following the death of a firefighter in a fire in Houston his family has filed suit seeking to keep his death benefits from being paid to his widow.  It seems that about a month before he died the fireman had separated from his wife after learning that she was born a man, but had undergone sex change surgery.  In the lawsuit the family cites Texas state law which prohibits same-sex marriage and asks that the benefits go to the fireman’s two sons by a former marriage.

 

Same-sex marriage is already as contentious as any issue in the public forum today, but here we have an added complication: how does the law define who is a man and who is a woman?

tags: Insurance Benefits
March 25th, 2013

There are certain circumstances and situations where the law allows critical, even slanderous, statements such as in a political context, but speaking from the pulpit is not one.

A Georgia jury has awarded $500,000 plus attorney’s fees to a woman who claimed that her pastor made slanderous remarks about her in church.  The lawsuit alleged that the clergyman made false statements about the plaintiff that insulted her and insinuated that she had committed “some form of fornication”, a claim which she denied.  According to the woman the pastor targeted her because of the way she dressed and because he did not think she was submissive enough.

tags: Uncategorized
March 15th, 2013

We all say that everyone is entitled to his or her own beliefs, but that apparently does not apply at Augusta State University in Georgia where the school has allegedly threatened to expel a student if she refuses to change her views against homosexuality.  Jennifer Keeton, a graduate student, has sued the university for unspecified damages because homosexuality “goes against her Christian beliefs.”

 

It is hard to imagine a university making such a threat, even in the deep South, but this student apparently felt threatened, so she has turned to the place where so many people go when they are frustrated or angry: the courts.  This may seem a huge waste of judicial resources, but courts have a way of straightening these things out rather quickly, and it is better to go through many frivolous claims than to overlook one that has merit.

tags: Uncategorized
March 13th, 2013

A former football player for the Cleveland Browns has reached an undisclosed settlement of his suit against the team claiming that as a result of the team’s failure to sterilize their practice facility properly he contracted a staph infection in his knee.  The infection caused the player to miss two seasons and led to his early retirement.  Four other players contracted staph infections in the same facility between 2003 and 2009.

 

Employers, especially in high-risk enterprises such as operation of a professional football team, are obligated to provide a reasonably safe environment for their employees.  The danger of infection is probably not something that is very apparent in a football training facility, but a failure to make sure that sanitary conditions exist, can, as happened in this case, result in damages far beyond what might be expected.

tags: Uncategorized
March 8th, 2013

Perhaps it is fortunate that domestic airlines no longer offer meals to coach class customers.

 

In response to a Freedom of Information Act request the FDA has revealed that its inspections have found health and sanitation violations in the kitchens of catering facilities that prepare airline food.  The violations include improper food storage temperatures and the use of  “unclean equipment and . . . workers who practice poor hygiene.”  The companies reported on are LSG Sky Chefs, Gate Gourmet and Flying Food Group which are the world’s biggest airline caterers and which provide more than 100 million meals annually, serving nearly all of the large American airlines including Delta, American, United, US Airways and Continental.

 

This is certainly not a happy thought for first class passengers who are the (un)lucky ones who get the meal with the price of the ticket.

tags: Uncategorized
March 1st, 2013

There has been a settlement of a lawsuit against the City of Baltimore based on a claim that the city police department was arresting people without cause.  It was alleged that one-third of the people arrested in 2005 were released without charges, and officers who failed to maintain high arrests rates were reassigned to less desirable positions.  The settlement provides for payments of almost $900,000 by the city.   Although it is far from perfect and does not always correct injustices, we should be grateful that our civil justice system at least has the capacity to weed out and correct abuses and that sometimes it actually works quite well.

tags: Uncategorized
February 20th, 2013

The handbag maker Coach has brought suit against the city of Chicago over the sale of counterfeit purses which, the suit claims, are being sold at the Maxwell Street Market.  The suit claims that hundreds of vendors are selling knock-off Coach products “out in plain view” causing the company substantial damages.  Coach wants the city to force the vendors to stop selling the fake bags. Fair enough.  The city police department has the responsibility of enforcing the law, and if the allegations are true, then the vendors are violating the legal rights of the manufacturer.  On the other hand, it would seem that this is a civil matter, a controversy between private parties and does not entail any criminal violation.  The police probably do not have the resources nor even the responsibility to get involved.  Anyway, how can anyone expect a cop on the beat to discern the difference between a genuine Coach bag and a knock-off?

tags: Uncategorized
February 15th, 2013

In a case inJacksonville, Florida, the city and the police department have agreed to pay $65,000 to settle a claim by a woman who was arrested for going through a red light while being rushed to the hospital in premature labor.  The police arrested her in the lobby of the emergency room and took her outside in handcuffs until a nurse noticed that she had vaginal bleeding and was in false labor.  An appeals court ruled that the police officers should have recognized that she was in a medical emergency.

We give police a certain amount of power over us in order that we can be protected from violators of the law, but we expect that this power will be exercised with a certain amount of common sense and good judgment.  Sometimes it is hard to understand how misguided the actions of police officers can be.

tags: Uncategorized
February 12th, 2013

Based on a fiery crash in which two girls were killed, a California jury has awarded $15 million to their families..  The girls were riding in a Chrysler PT Cruiser rented from Enterprise Rent-A-Car.  A month before the crash Chrysler had issue a recall of PT Cruisers for a defect that could cause the car to catch fire, but the rental company had not returned the car for repairs. A very unusual aspect of this case is that the defendant, Enterprise, admitted that “their negligence was the sole proximate cause of the fatal injuries.”  The only question to be answered by the jury was the size of the award. As I have mentioned before, there is a law in Maine which limits the amount which can be recovered in a wrongful death action for the loss of a loved one to $500,000 which essentially means that our Legislature considers a life in Maine to be worth less than a life in other states.  In the case cited here, if the crash occurred in Maine, assuming that the girls’ future earnings would not be a factor, the families would have been able to recover only a total of $1 million compared to the value of $15 million placed on their lives by a California jury.

tags: Uncategorized
February 8th, 2013

Product liability cases come in all shapes and sizes.  In Florida a lawsuit has been filed against Cooper Tire and Rubber Co. seeking recovery for the deaths of four Jacksonville teenagers in a motor vehicle accident involving a group of nine students who were headed for the beach in an SUV when one of the tires blew out.  The suit is based on a claim that an inappropriate manufacturing process made the tire susceptible to tread separation.

 

Thousands of manufactured products are placed in the stream of commerce every year for use or consumption by the American public.  Sometimes a defect in the design or manufacture of an item, even though appearing to be safe and being used in a way that appears to be safe, can cause a malfunction resulting in serious injury or death.  Even after a tragic event has occurred the defect is often not obvious and can only be discovered through the efforts of an attorney who is willing to look beyond the obvious and to consult with experts in the field.

tags: Defective Products, Liability
January 30th, 2013

Distracted Driving – (Again)                                                January 28, 2013

Yesterday I read in the paper that a new survey by the AAA Foundation for Safety shows that although most drivers admit that using a cell phone while driving is dangerous, more than two-thirds say that they have done so recently.  This disconnect between what we should do and our actions in actual practice is something that I can understand.

For many of us, myself included, since childhood the ringing phone was an urgent call to action.  There was no thought of letting it ring or any indifference to who might be calling or what they might be calling about.  The ringing phone was no less compelling than as if it was a call for help from someone caught in a burning building, or from someone in mortal danger during a robbery, which it might have been for all we knew (and this was, of course, before 911).  Letting a caller dangle on the other end of the line while the phone continued to ring was unthinkable, the height of discourtesy and incivility.  We were duty bound to run, not walk, to pick up the receiver.

So now enter the mobile telephone which nearly everyone carries on his or her person at all times with rare exception, including, of course, while operating a motor vehicle.  When the darn thing starts ringing, with whatever exotic ring tone we may have selected, the ingrained reaction, at least for people with my upbringing, is to tap or swipe, depending on the model of phone, to put it to the ear and to answer with a polite, “Hello?”.

We are well aware that driving while talking on a cell phone is dangerous and that many serious, even fatal, accidents are caused by distracted driving, but failing to answer the call takes a grim determination and self-discipline that is no easy task to manage.  The longer the phone rings the more and more guilt gets piled on.  Maybe our failure to answer is an affront to a good friend, or perhaps it is Aunt Gertrude calling to inform us of the death of Uncle Charlie.  We might be missing the call we have been hoping for on some great business deal.  Or it might be a call for help from someone caught in a burning building.

Hopefully we will, in time, be able to train ourselves to resist the temptation to answer the phone while driving, but I have no doubt that it will take a major effort.  I have even observed men who answer the siren call of the cell phone in the middle of a round of golf!

Don Lowry

 

tags: Uncategorized
January 25th, 2013

It’s hard to know who you can trust these days.  When the Wrigley Co., maker of Eclipse chewing gum and mints says that its product is, “scientifically proven to kill bad breath,” who would doubt it?  In fact the company was able to charge premium prices for its products based on this claim.

 

But wait a minute!  Wrigley has now reached a $6 million settlement of a class action lawsuit which alleged that the claim was false and that the inflated prices were made under false pretenses.  The company apparently conducted flawed studies in order to obtain favorable, but certainly not “scientific”, results.  As a part of the settlement Wrigley will remove the claim from packaging for Eclipse gum and mints.

tags: Uncategorized
January 23rd, 2013

The deaths of two children 2010 (in two separate incidents) has resulted in a rethinking of an old safety standard for toys and the mandatory recall of 1.8 million toy dart gun sets.  In each incident the child suffocated after inhaling the darts when the suction cups blocked their airways.  The recall was ordered only after the second death, even though they occurred nine months apart, because the safety standard at the time was based on the assumption that children over the age of three generally will not put something unsafe in their mouth.

 

Toys can often pose unexpected dangers to children, and it is an ongoing struggle by federal regulators to discover the risky items and to keep them out of the marketplace.  Unfortunately their efforts sometimes fail with resulting tragedy.  The efforts of trial lawyers are a major factor in deterring manufacturers from producing and selling unsafe toys.

tags: Defective Products, Liability
January 21st, 2013

The city of Baltimorehas been the object of complaints by parents who say that its public school system has been lax about protecting their children from bullying in school.  The parents of one 9-year-old student has sued the city and the school system after the boy tried to commit suicide by hanging himself in the special education classroom.  The lawsuit alleges that the teacher ignored his complaints about being bullied, including being hit in the back with a desk, and that the teacher took pictures with a cell phone before helping him. It is unacceptable that kids should feel intimidated about going to school, nor should parents have to be concerned for the safety of their children when sending them to be educated.  School systems should be held responsible for being sure that teachers and other school employees are sensitive to this issue and are trained to take appropriate steps to make sure that all students understand that bullying is wrong and will not be tolerated.

tags: Uncategorized
January 16th, 2013

I am sure you remember the al-Qaida attack in 2001 on the destroyer U.S.S. Cole in a port on Yemenin which 17 Navy men lost their lives.  The immediate survivors of the victims were awarded $8 million to compensate for loss of income.  A new lawsuit has now been filed naming the country of Sudanfor allegedly giving support to those who planned the assault seeking an additional $100 million for punitive and emotional damages.

We, of course, cannot prejudge the case, because we do not have the facts before us, but it is scary to think that a country’s government would condone, much less support, the commission of such a heinous crime.

tags: Uncategorized
January 11th, 2013

4/21/10 - The former chief attorney for the Houston Metro Transit Authority was fired after she tried to prevent Metro employees from destroying documents which she claimed had to be retained under the provisions of the Texasdocument-retention law.  She has now sued the Transit Authority seeking reinstatement in her job and for legal costs under the Texas Whistleblower Act.

 

It behooves any employer who wishes to terminate an employee, for whatever reason, to be sure that there are legitimate reasons for the dismissal and that the record is clear on this, especially if the employer may be seen as having some basis for acting for a reason which is discriminatory and prohibited by law.

tags: Uncategorized
January 9th, 2013

Last week in Boston a jury awarded $81 million in punitive damages to the estate of a woman who allegedly was induced to take up smoking as a child by the marketing efforts of a  tobacco company, Lorillard, Inc., and who died of lung cancer in 2002.  This recovery for punitive damages is to be added to a verdict by the same jury awarding $71 million in compensatory damages earlier in the week.

 

The attorney for the tobacco company urged the jury to look forward and not to punish the company for what occurred in the past, because the harmful actions complained of have all been corrected.  The company has conceded that smoking causes cancer, it no longer advertises cigarettes on radio or television and does not pass out cigarette samples.

 

The lawyer for the estate of the deceased woman and for her only son, however, argued that the jury should punish Lorillard for its past acts to make sure that it would never happen again.  The jury obviously agreed.

 

The subject of punitive damages is controversial, because the huge amounts which are often involved appear to be nothing more than a windfall for the plaintiff.  The argument in favor of this type of damages, however, is that the only meaningful penalty for a large corporation for dishonest behavior is a large sum of money.  A paltry few million dollars would have little impact on a company the size of Lorillard.  Of course a promise to behave in the future will not usually be a sufficient excuse to avoid being punished for truly immoral acts in the past.

 

TheSupreme   Judicial Courthas adopted standards for punitive damages which make such recoveries next to impossible inMaine.  In order to be subject to punitive damages a party must be found to have acted with malicious intent, a standard of proof which few plaintiffs can meet.

tags: Liability
January 9th, 2013

 

 

 

Too often patients in hospitals suffer worse consequences than the injury or illness which brought them there.  It is well known that hospitals are probably the worst possible places to contract an infection, and many patients suffer debilitating injury or death as a result of an infection which was carried by some inadequately sterilized device or dressing, by material which has not been appropriately disposed of or by contaminated food or eating utensils.  It is also well-known that these infections are all preventable.

 

In a move toward dealing with these preventable infections and deaths mostU.S.hospitals will begin reporting the number of patients who contract bloodstream infections following treatment in intensive care units beginning this month.  The information gathered in these reports will be made public on a government web site later this year and will give consumers an easy way to see which hospitals are best at protecting patients.  Any hospital, of the 4300 acute-care hospitals in the country, which fails to comply with the new reporting requirements, will lose 2 percent of their Medicare funding.

tags: Hospital negligence
January 2nd, 2013

Test Video

 

 

Too often patients in hospitals suffer worse consequences than the injury or illness which brought them there.  It is well known that hospitals are probably the worst possible places to contract an infection, and many patients suffer debilitating injury or death as a result of an infection which was carried by some inadequately sterilized device or dressing, by material which has not been appropriately disposed of or by contaminated food or eating utensils.  It is also well-known that these infections are all preventable.

 

In a move toward dealing with these preventable infections and deaths mostU.S.hospitals will begin reporting the number of patients who contract bloodstream infections following treatment in intensive care units beginning this month.  The information gathered in these reports will be made public on a government web site later this year and will give consumers an easy way to see which hospitals are best at protecting patients.  Any hospital, of the 4300 acute-care hospitals in the country, which fails to comply with the new reporting requirements, will lose 2 percent of their Medicare funding.

tags: Uncategorized
November 28th, 2012
tags: Uncategorized