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Legal Headlines

Defective Airbag Blamed for Wrongful Death - August 26, 2015

A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed by the family of a California woman who suffered a serious neck injury and later died due to a defective airbag. Jewel Brangman sustained serious head and neck injuries and later died following the deployment of a Takata airbag in her 2001 Honda Civic.

The airbag in question had been previously found to be defective - when moisture was allowed to seep into it, the ammonium nitrate used to rapidly inflate the airbag during a crash was adversely affected. As a result, the airbag, along with the metal canister designed to hold the ammonium nitrate, exploded. This caused not only the overly forceful inflation of the airbag, but triggered an explosion of metal fragments which caused lacerations in the victims head and neck. It was these lacerations that would prove fatal.

Gordon Gibb

NJ Jail Named in Wrongful Death Lawsuit - August 24, 2015

The family of 24-year-old, Alissa Allen, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Cumberland County Jail, as well as the department of corrections, the corrections officers working at the jail and the county itself.

Alissa, who was jailed on March 22 after a routine traffic stop revealed an outstanding warrant for her arrest was found hanging, alone and unresponsive in her cell the morning after her arrest. Medical examiners determined her death was a suicide.

The suit brought by Alissa's family alleges that the staff at the jail failed in their duty to maintain a safe environment and perform an adequate psychological assessment, ultimately causing her death. It also maintains that the Warden was negligent in training officers to properly screen inmates for suicidal tendencies. The Cumberland County's legal department has refused to comment on the suit.

Rebecca Forand

Settlement Reached in Brain Eating Amoeba Suit

The New Orleans Advocate - August 21, 2015

The family of a young boy in Mississippi who died from a rare brain-eating amoeba has finally reaced a settlement in their wrongful death suit against St. Bernard Parish. The financial terms of the settlement were not disclosed, but U.S. District Judge, Martin Fledman, confirmed that both parties had agreed to a compromise.

The young boy contacted the rare brain-eating amoeba after getting water up his nose while playing on a Slip'N Slide at his family's home. Lower than usual chlorination levels at St. Bernard's water distribution plant, caused by a malfunctioning valve on an ammonia tank, allowed the amoeba to remain alive in the water supply. Despite being aware of the low chlorination levels, however, the parish failed to notify its residents of the potential dangers.

Richard Thompson

$21 Million Awarded in DUI Lawsuit - August 14, 2015

The Cardona family has been awarded $21 million in compensation for injuries resulting from a 2011 DUI car accident. The couple and their adult son were traveling along a local street in Palmdale when a drunk driver in an SUV struck their car going around 50 mph.

As a result, all three occupants suffered serious injuries including – brain and leg trauma, lacerations, bruising and a ruptured abdominal wall. The injuries were not only traumatic, but had long lasting effects as well including - headaches, tremors, slurred speech, dizziness, anxiety, depression, unpredictable mood, loss of concentration, memory problems, facial numbness and debilitating pain.

Because of the debilitating nature of their injuries, all three members of the Cardona family involved in the collision were awarded various economic and non-economic damages for pain, suffering, loss of income and future medical care. The total award for all partied involved was $20,968,903.

Gordon Gibb

NASCAR Driver Named in Wrongful Death Suit - August 12, 2015

A year after his death, the family of Kevin Ward Jr. has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Tony Stewart. The suit filed by Kevin’s parents alleges that Stewart gunned his 700-horsepower sprint car as he passed Ward on the track, causing the vehicle to slide and strike Ward with the right rear tire.

Ward was declared dead a mere 45 minutes after the collision. The medical report names complications due to blunt force trauma as the cause of death. The lawsuit does not yet specify the amount of damages the family is seeking for their claims of wrongful death, reckless conduct, gross negligence and Ward's suffering between the time he was struck and his death.

Bob Pockrass

Monster Energy Wrongful Death Trial to Start This Month - August 10, 2015

The Monster Energy Drink Death and Hospitalization trial involving the death of 14-year-old Anais Fournier is set to start this month. The 14-year-old went into cardiac arrest after consuming 2 24oz cans of Monster Energy Drink in a 48-hour period. Despite being rushed to the hospital, Anais never regained consciousness. She was placed in a medically induced coma and eventually taken off life support by her parents.

She died shortly thereafter. The official cause of death, according to the medical report - “cardiac arrhythmia due to caffeine toxicity” – meaning that caffeine levels either caused or directly contributed to her death. The two Monster energy drinks that Anais consumed contained a total of 480 milligrams of caffeine, roughly as much as the amount contained in fourteen, 12-oz. cans of Coca-Cola.

In addition to the caffeine, the lawsuit references other ingredients contained in Monster energy drinks - namely taurine and guarana, as factors in the girl’s death. Taurine in particular is alleged to affect cardiac muscles.

Gordon Gibb

Fiat Chrysler Denied Retrial

CBS News - August 05, 2015

The motion filed by Fiat Chrysler (FCA) to retry a $150 million wrongful death case has been denied by a Georgia judge. The lawsuit in question involved the wrongful death of Remington Walden, a 4-year-old boy who was killed in 2012 when the Jeep Grand Cherokee carrying him burst into flames. The fire was due in part to the positioning of the vehicle's fuel tank, mounted just behind the rear axle, which punctured and leaked when the car was rear-ended by a pickup truck on the road.

Fiat has been asking for a new trial after a Georgia jury awarded the Walden family a $150 million settlement in April. Although the request for a retrial has been denied, the judge has ordered the settlement awarded to the family to be reduced to $40 million.

Megan Towey

Wrongful Death Suit Filed by Family of Texas Inmate - August 03, 2015

A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed in the case of an inmate who was killed while in the custody of the Harris County Sheriff's office in February. The victim, 38-year-old Kenneth Christopher Lucas, died after a confrontation with officers who claimed they had extracted Lucas from his jail cell after they observed him attempting to fashion a weapon out of a smoke detector.

After examination of the body, the medical examiner's office listed Lucas' cause of death as a heart attack and ruled the death a homicide. While the Harris County Sherrif's office claims that all officers involved in the death “followed policy and procedure”, Lucas' family disagrees. The wrongful death lawsuit filed by Lucas' girlfriend alleges that the “brutal and excessive” force used by the authors is directly responsible for Lucas' death.

This lawsuit is also being brought as a discrimination action under the American Disabilities act with attorneys sighting that the victim suffered from long-standing anxiety problems.

Sara Donchey

Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed Over Defective Medical Product

Law Firm Newswire - July 31, 2015

A wrongful death suit filed recently alleges that defective product AndroGel TRT, used for testosterone replacement therapy, led to death. The plaintiff, spouse of the deceased, alleges that soon after taking AndroGel her husband sustained a significant pulmonary embolism that, in turn, triggered a fatal heart attack. The plaintiff is seeking compensation for loss of consortium, companionship, income and wrongful death, among other things.

The suit, followed by the victim's widow, is part of a much larger litigation effort involving over 1,000 cases in Illinois alone dealing with the defective testosterone replacement device made by AbbeVille. The sheer number of complaints of heart issues has prompted the USFDA to conduct its own study to verify the safety of TRT products. The study found that males using TRT products, like AndroGel, were significantly more prone to heart attacks, particularly if they were over 65-years-old or younger with a pre-existing heart condition.

Law Firm Newswire

Uber Settles Wrongful Death Case

The Verge - July 29, 2015

Uber has finally settled a wrongful death lawsuit from 2013. The victim, a six-year-old girl, was walking around San Francisco's Tenderloin district with her family when she was struck and killed by and Uber driver on New Year's Eve. Her mother and brother were also hit by the driver, but managed to survive the crash.

The question of liability in the case was complicated as the question of whether or not Uber drivers are employees or independent contracts is something that continues to plague the company. However, despite the confusion about liability Uber decided to simply come to a settlement than risk losing at trial.

The amount of the settlement is not presently being disclosed by the family at this time.

Nathan Ingraham

Personal Injury Suit Filed Against Knott's Berry Farm - July 27, 2015

A personal injury lawsuit has been filed against amusement park Knott's Berry Farm. The plaintiff, then aged six, was on the Timber Mountain Log Ride when she hit her head against the seatback in front of her. The amusement park ride had stopped suddenly at the bottom of the flume and the force of the sudden stop caused her to jerk forward into the seat in front of her. As a result, she broke the bone directly above her right eye.

The lawsuit filed claims that the injuries sustained by the plaintiff could have been avoided if safety measures like foot braces, adequate leg space and better monitoring of the water levels at the bottom of the drop, were installed on the ride.

The plaintiffs are seeking compensation for punitive damages as well as reimbursement for the six year old's medical bills.

Gordon Gibb

Lumber Liquidators Faces Lawsuits - July 24, 2015

Discount flooring giant Lumber Liquidators is facing a RICO lawsuit for trying to cover up the extent of the presence of toxic levels of formaldehyde in their flooring.

Lumber Liquidators, an importer and vendor of laminate and engineered flooring that mimics hardwood, had been increasing profit margins by purchasing product through China. Problems with the cheap Chinese product presented almost immediately with customers reporting a strong chemical odor and eventually getting sick. It was later discovered that the levels of formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, found in the flooring were responsible for the effects. These levels were far higher than what is legally allowed under California law, in some cases as much as 13 times the amount considered safe. Lumber Liquidators plant officials told visiting journalists that the containers of the product were mislabeled to reflect formaldehyde levels that were in compliance with the California safety standards.

Gordon Gibb

$6 Million Awarded in Asbestos Lawsuit - July 22, 2015

A plaintiff who had filed asbestos lawsuits against more than ten companies after being diagnosed with mesothelioma has been awarded $6 million dollars. The award, which was only made against two companies, did not not include punitive damages.

The plaintiff, a construction worker and home builder, filed the lawsuits claiming he had been exposed to asbestos, a known carcinogen, in the workplace and that the exposure was ultimately responsible for his mesothelioma diagnosis. The jury found two of the ten companies named by the plaintiff, Murco Wall Products and Welco Manufacturing Co, liable for the plaintiff's asbestos exposure. Claims against several other companies were either dismissed or settled out of court.

Heidi Turner

Durom Cup Hip Implant Lands Zimmer in Court - July 20, 2015

A defective product lawsuit was filed by a California resident against Zimmer, the maker of the Durom Cup hip implant. The plaintiff, who had the Zimmer made hip implant put in in 2007 was forced to get an additional surgery to have it removed only 15 months later. This will be the third defective products suit filed against Zimmer and this particular product since its release on the market.

Although Zimmer was able to win the previous two trials, their legal troubles are far from over. As many as 400 similar defective product lawsuits are pending in New Jersey and Los Angeles alone.

Despite the fact that the potentially defective hip implant was removed from the US market in 2008, it is still estimated that over 13,000 patients received the Durom Cup Implant.

Lucy Campbell

Monster Faces yet Another Wrongful Death Suit - July 17, 2015

The Monster Energy Drink Corporation came under fire again at the beginning of July as the company became embroiled in yet another wrongful death suit.

This latest lawsuit, that begins in August, alleges that the 14-year-old plaintiff died after suffering cardiac arrest at home while watching television with her family. The reason? The plaintiff had consumed two cans of Monster energy drink within a 24 hour period.

In the past, the drink corporation has seemed to favor simply paying out of court settlements rather than allowing a lawsuit to run the full course of a trial. This recent lawsuit, however, appears as though it will be going to court.

Gordon Gibb

$108,000 Settlement Granted to Oregon Woman in Dog Bite Case - June 15, 2015

A 43-year-old woman from Oregon was awarded a settlement of $108,000 after she was bitten by a dog in her face that left her with scarring, required corrective plastic surgery and caused permanent loss of sensation in her lower lip.

The suit alleged negligence on the part of the dog owners because they allowed the dog in question to roam freely during a party attended by the victim. Witnesses to the incident testified that the dog was often aggressive and unpredictable.

Despite the fact that the victim was granted a certain amount of compensation, the court still found her 48 percent liable for her injuries, for petting an animal she didn't know.

The National Trial Lawyers

Patient Wins Augusta Malpractice Case

The Augusta Chronicle - June 12, 2015

A Richmond county jury recently awarded $474,477 in damages and $1.1 million for pain and suffering to the plaintiff in a medical malpractice case.

The plaintiff suffered a perforated bowel during surgery, but despite exhibiting serval alarming post-operative symptoms was not sent for tests or admitted to the hospital for almost a week. During the time in between her getting proper medical care the patient suffered through high fever, racing pulse, abdominal pain, elevated white count, vomiting, all classic symptoms of a perforated bowel.

As a result of this negligence on the part of her doctor, the victim was forced to undergo two additional surgeries.

Sandy Hodson

Client Reviews
I have worked with Mr. Beasley numerous times over the years and I have never been disappointed. His knowledge, professionalism, dedication, and ability to explain the ins and outs of the law is truly phenomenal. The care and concern that he has shown throughout each situation sets him apart from others! Teresa N.
I have used Eric a couple of times for my own injury cases. He is an excellent lawyer. He explains your case in plain English, and he is very helpful. He did such a great job for me that even my children have hired him when they needed a lawyer to help them, as well. He was willing to step in and do his thing. We love him and would recommend him highly!!! He works really hard for his clients! Yvette B.
I called Eric and he jumped in immediately. He got my hospital bills paid, and he got me compensation for my injuries. Did I get rich? No. I got what was fair and right, and I have Eric to thank for it. Since then I have referred Eric to friends in similar situations and he has always been able to help them through the legal process. He is top shelf in my opinion. John J.