Slip and Fall - Articles
February 19, 2015
A woman filed a lawsuit against a cocktail lounge in Madison County, Illinois, for falling on its premises
The lawsuit, filed by Mamie Ammonette, accused C.T.W.'s Lounge Inc. of being negligent in maintaining their premises safely and failing to keep the parking lot clear of ice.
Ammonette aleges she suffered injuries to her wrist, arm and extremities after slipping on an icy sidewalk in front of the building. In addition to past and future suffering, she alleges that she has accumulated medical bills and is unable to earn the amount of income she could earn if she were not injured.
Ammonette seeks damages in excess of $50,000 in the suit, plus attorneys' fees and costs.
Settlement Reached in Lawsuit Over Wild Dog Mauling at Pittsburgh Zoo
June 02, 2014
A settlement was reached this week in a lawsuit filed by the parents of a toddler who was mauled to death by wild dogs at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium.
The suit was filed by the parents of 2-year-old Maddox Derkosh, who died in November 2012 after being mauled by a pack of African painted dogs.
Maddox's mother had set her son on the railing of a viewing platform when he fell in to the enclosure of the wild dog exhibit. He was attacked by 11 African painted dogs, which is slightly smaller in stature than the grey wolf - the largest breed among wild canines.
According to lawsuit documents, the zoo had allegedly received several warnings from employees that the African painted dog exhibit was unsafe.
The official terms of the settlement were not publicly released.
Woman Mauled by Chimp Seeks Permission to Sue State of Connecticut
March 21, 2014
A woman who was attacked by a 200-pound chimpanzee at a friend's home in Stamford, Connecticut, in 2009 has asked permission to sue the state for $150 million in damages.
The request was made by 60-year-old Charla Nash, whose face and hands were literally ripped off by a chimp that had been described by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection as a "threat to public safety" prior to the day of the attack. The chimp was shot and killed by a Stamford police officer at the scene of the incident.
Nash has had to undergo a face transplant, a failed double-hand transplant, and numerous other surgeries as a result of the mauling.
She addressed the Connecticut General Assembly's Judiciary Committee at the Connecticut State Capitol on Friday, asking the legislature to pass a law that overturns a state claims commissioner's ruling in June that denied her request to waive the state's sovereign immunity from lawsuits.
Connecticut is one of only a handful states in the U.S. that still holds sovereign immunity, and it is the only state where the decision on whether or not to waive that immunity is made by a single claims commissioner.
NJ Woman Sues Dunkin' Donuts Over Hot Cider Spill
February 25, 2014
A New Jersey woman has filed a lawsuit against Dunkin' Donuts after spilling a cup of "excessively hot" apple cider in her lap in September 2012, causing her to suffer second- and third-degree burns, according to court documents.
The lawsuit was filed last week by 24-year-old Jennifer Fragoso, who claims that the apple cider purchased at a Dunkin' Donuts in Bellevue, New Jersey, was served at a temperature "beyond industry standards" in a to-go cup with a lid that "was not properly secured." According to the complaint, Fragoso is alleged to have suffered second- and third-degree burns, as well as permanent injuries to her legs.
Fragoso's suit was filed 20 years after a similar lawsuit against McDonald's, in which a customer who spilled hot coffee in her lap was awarded nearly $3 million. That case has been cited as an example of frivolous litigation by many tort reform advocates.
In a statement issued this week, Fragoso's attorney denied that the lawsuit is frivolous, saying that his client would not have suffered third-degree burns unless the beverage was too hot for consumption.
Outback Steakhouse Sued Over Bits of Broken Plate in Mashed Potatoes
February 19, 2014
An Oregon man has filed a lawsuit against Outback Steakhouse, claiming he broke two teeth when he bit down on porcelain from a broken plate in the mashed potatoes served to him at the chain's Portland location.
The suit, filed by Roger Bransetter in Multnomah County Circuit Court last week, is seeking $48,000 in damages. Bransetter claims he suffered two cracked molars in the 2012 incident, which required dental implants to replace the teeth.
According to lawsuit documents, Bransetter alleges that a manager at the restaurant told him that bits of a porcelain plate that was broken in the kitchen had fallen into the mashed potatoes.
Bransetter is charging the restaurant owners, Evergreen Restaurant Group, with negligence because the company's managers failed to warn customers of a potential hazard and failed to discard the mashed potatoes after the plate was broken.
Six Flags Blames Coaster Manufacturer for Wrongful Death
February 18, 2014
In a wrongful death lawsuit against Six Flags over Texas involving a roller coaster malfunction that killed a woman last July, the Arlington amusement park is blaming the German company that manufactured the coaster.
The original lawsuit was filed by the family of 52-year-old Rose Esparza, who fell to her death from a roller coaster named "Texas Giant," which she was riding with several members of her family at the time of the tragedy. The family alleges that Esparza's lap bar restraint malfunctioned, causing her to fly out of the car while the roller coaster was in operation.
Eaparza's family filed a wrongful death claim against Six Flags and Gerstlauer, the manufacturer of the roller coaster, for over $1 million.
According to documents filed this week, the defendants in the case are blaming one another for the ride's malfunction.
Six Flags filed a cross complaint against Gerstlauer for full indemnity, claiming the roller coaster's design was defective.
Although Gerslauer has a full 20 days to respond to the complaint, a spokesperson for the company announced that the roller coaster was designed according to Six Flags' specifications.
Parents of Child Who Swallowed Souvenir Penny Sue Bronx Zoo
February 02, 2014
The parents of a 3-year-old boy who swallowed a souvenir penny from a dinosaur exhibit at the Bronx Zoo have filed a lawsuit against the zoo.
The suit was filed by the parents of Ethan Yi, who visited the dinosaur exhibit at the zoo during the summer of 2013. The admission price to get in to the exhibit promised each ticket holder a free gift.
Once inside the exhibit, each family member, including 3-year-old Ethan were handed a pressed penny that had the words "Dinosaur Safari" imprinted on it.
Ethan placed the penny in his mouth and immediately began choking, according to court documents.
Unable to dislodge the penny, the Yis rushed Ethan to a nearby emergency medical clinic where X-rays revealed that the boy had swallowed the coin, which had moved to his stomach.
When the coin did not naturally pass through Ethan's digestive system, he had to undergo endoscopic surgery to have it removed.
Doctors discovered that a rough edge of the penny lacerated the lining of Ethan's stomach, resulting in more than $50,000 in medical bills.
The lawsuit, which names the zoo and the Wildlife Conservation Society as defendants, is seeking an unspecified amount in damages.
Court: Man Injured by Skydiver Cannot Sue Host of Charity Event
January 30, 2014
A man who was injured at a charity event in Wisconsin when he was struck by a descending skydiver is barred from suing the host of the event, according to a court ruling on Thursday.
The lawsuit was filed by Stephen Scheuren against Cheryl Vogel and her bar, the Smiling Moose Saloon and Grill, after a skydiver descending onto a field outside the bar slid on a paper plate that was lying on the ground and struck Scheuren and several other bystanders.
The skydivers were part of the 2009 Moosefest, a charity event held each year in Newton, Wisconsin.
This week, the state Court of Appeals issued a ruling that Vogel and her bar were protected by the state's "recreational immunity" statute.
Under the statute, a recreational property owner does not have a duty to warn of potentially dangerous conditions or activities on the premises.
Lawsuit Filed Over Deadly Fire Escape Collapse in Philly
January 27, 2014
A lawsuit has been filed against a Philadelphia landlord this week over a fourth-floor fire escape collapse, which injured two tenants and killed another.
The suit was filed by the families of 22-year-old Albert Suh, who died after the fire escape outside his fourth-floor apartment collapsed while he and two roommates were using it as a balcony, and 24-year-old Laura O'Brien, one of the roommates who suffered injuries in the collapse.
According to court records, Suh, O'Brien and a third roommate stepped out to the balcony during a birthday party they were hosting on January 12 when the fire escape detached from the building and plummeted to the ground.
Suh was killed and O'Brien suffered a broken back, which required doctors to surgically implant steel rods into her spine, and a serious leg wound which required 60 stitches.
The third roommate, who also suffered serious injuries in the incident, is not a party to the suit.
The families allege that the collapse resulted from a lack of routine maintenance and inspection.
Named as defendants in the lawsuit are the landlord, Alex Khorram, and a business he owns, the Khorram Group of Newtown Square.
Investigators determined that the metal nails securing the fire escape to the exterior of the building were rusty, which caused them to break.
Auburn University Sued Over Student's Murder
January 23, 2014
The family of an Auburn University student who was kidnapped on campus and later murdered has filed a lawsuit against the Alabama school, according to court records.
The lawsuit was filed by Jim Burk and Viviane Guerschon, the parents of Lauren Burk, who was kidnapped from a parking lot located on campus in March 2008. Burk's body was later discovered off campus.
Police arrested Courtney Lockhart, who has since been convicted and sentenced to death for the murder. Lockhart kidnapped Burk while attempting to rob her and shot her to death as she tried to escape by jumping from his car, according to police reports.
The lawsuit alleges that if Auburn's campus had a police department or if the school had heeded the security recommendations of a federal report released prior to their daughter's death, Lauren might still be alive.
Because the university is protected by sovereign immunity laws, Burk's parents had to file a $1 million claim with the Alabama Board of Adjustment.
Sister of Woman Killed in Navy Yard Shooting Plans to Sue the U.S.
November 09, 2013
A woman in Florida plans to sue the U.S. government over the death of her sister in a mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard in September, her lawyer announced on Friday.
The wrongful death suit will be filed by Patricia DeLorenzo, who intends to seek $37.5 million from the U.S Navy and Department of Veterans Affairs for the death of her sister, Mary Francis DeLorenzo Knight.
DeLorenzo's attorney said that an administrative claim, which is the necessary first step in suing the federal government, was filed last week.
The lawsuit claims that the Navy acted negligently in granting the perpetrator, 34-year-old Aaron Alexis, security clearance and allowing him to enter the Navy Yard on the day of the shooting.
Alexis had a history of mental illness and gun violence, which should have prevented the Navy from granting him access to the premises.
Knight, a naval cybersecurity specialist, was one of 12 people killed in the shooting.
Lawsuit: Moldy University Housing Sends Girl, 1, to Hospital
November 06, 2013
A graduate student filed suit against a university in California this week, claiming that toxic mold in a campus apartment caused his daughter to be hospitalized.
The lawsuit was filed by Matthew Richert and his wife, Lori George, against the University of California at Santa Cruz, alleging that their 1-year-old daughter, Libby, had to spend three days in the hospital in critical condition due to respiratory problems caused by mold in the university's family housing.
According to court documents, the apartment in the university's family housing building, which they moved into in 2011, contained toxic mold. Their daughter, who was diagnosed with asthma and allergic rhinitis shortly after the move, was later hospitalized in critical condition due to respiratory problems.
The university relocated the family to a hotel in 2012 after a test of their apartment revealed five different species of mold present in the unit.
According to a spokesperson for the university, repairs are currently underway in 60 of the 200 family housing apartments located on campus.
Richert and George are seeking $25,000 in damages.
Virginia Supreme Court: Virginia Tech Not Negligent in 2007 Shooting
October 31, 2013
According to a state Supreme Court ruling on Thursday, Virginia Tech University did not act negligently when it failed to warn students of potential criminal activity in the hours leading up to the 2007 shooting on campus in which 32 people were killed.
The wrongful death case was filed by the families of two students, Julia Pryde and Erin Peterson, who were killed in the massacre.
The Court's ruling worked to overturn a previous ruling by a Circuit Court jury in Montgomery County in 2012. In its 15-page decision, the Supreme Court stated that the school wasn't negligent because there was no reason to expect the school to warn students of the potential for criminal acts committed by a third party.
The perpetrator, student Seung-Hui Cho, committed suicide after killing 32 people and injuring 23 others.
Macy's Sued Over Escalator Injury
October 09, 2013
The parents of a 10-year-old New Jersey girl filed a $10 million lawsuit against Macy's this week after their daughter lost two toes due to an injury sustained on a store escalator.
The lawsuit was filed by the family of Juliana Valdez, 10, who lost two toes after her foot was caught in the escalator of a Macy's store located at Garden State Plaza in Paramus, New Jersey.
The girl has had to undergo 15 different surgeries as a result of the incident.
Macy's recently reached a settlement in another lawsuit filed over a similar escalator injury at different New Jersey location. A child lost a toe in that incident, as well.
Family of Woman Killed on Roller Coaster Sues Six Flags
September 11, 2013
The family of a Texas woman who was killed after being thrown from a roller coaster at Six Flags is suing the amusement park, according to court documents.
The woman, 52-year-old Rose Esparza, was thrown from the Texas Giant roller coaster on July 19 at Six Flags Over Texas, located in Arlington.
Esparza's family filed suit this week, claiming the lap bar on the car in which she was riding failed to lock, causing her to be hurled from the roller coaster.
Esparza's daughter and son-in-law, who were seated in the car in front of her, heard her screaming as she clung to the car after the first drop and witnessed her fall 75 feet to her death.
The lawsuit alleges the death was caused by the negligence of ride operators, as well as a technical malfunction and design flaw on the car's lap bars.
Esparza's family is seeking over $1 million in damages.
Parents Sue After Son Killed by Falling Sign
June 06, 2013
The parents of a 10-year-old boy who was killed by a falling sign at an Alabama airport have filed a lawsuit against several companies responsible for designing, constructing and installing the sign, according to court documents.
The suit was filed by the Bresette family, who claim a sign at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth airport wasn't secure and that contractors knew it posed a safety hazard. Nine contractors, designers and construction companies were named as defendants in the lawsuit.
A large electronic sign displaying arrivals and departures fell on the Bresnette family as they were waling through the airport in March.
Their son, 10-year-old Luke Bresette, was killed, and his mother, Heather Bresette, sustained several injuries, including two broken ankles, a broken pelvis, and a fractured tibia in the incident. Two of Luke's siblings also suffered serious injuries due to the falling sign.
The family is seeking an unspecified amount in damages.
Judge: Lawsuits Against Aurora CO Theater Can Move Forward
April 18, 2013
A U.S. District Court judge ruled this week that several lawsuits against the owner of the Aurora, Colorado, theater where 12 people were killed in a July 2012 shooting rampage can move forward.
The lawsuits were filed against Cinemark, the company that operates the Century Aurora 16 theater, by survivors and families of victims who were killed by shooting suspect James Holmes.
The plaintiffs accuse Cinemark of a pattern of inadequate security measures, which allowed the attack to occur, according to court documents.
U.S. District Judge R. Brooke Jackson said in Wednesday's ruling that the 10 outstanding lawsuits against the theater chain pose valid questions of premises liability law.
The claims were brought under Colorado's Premises Liability Act.
Body in Hotel Water Tank Prompts Lawsuit
March 01, 2013
A couple has filed a class action lawsuit against Los Angeles' Cecil Hotel after the body of a woman was found floating in a rooftop water tank, according to court documents.
The suit, which was filed by Steven and Gloria Cott on Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, is seeking a refund of the cost of the couple's hotel room for two nights, as well as $100 or more in medical costs.
The decomposing body of 21-year-old Elisa Lam, of Vancouver, B.C., Canada, was discovered by police in one of the rooftop water tanks at the hotel on February 19.
The lawsuit claims that guests at the hotel drank, brushed their teeth and bathed in the contaminated water, which had Lam's body floating in it for over two weeks.
According to police, Lam checked into the hotel on January 26, and was last seen by hotel surveillance cameras on February 1. Officials are investigating Lam's death as "suspicious" because the water tank was allegedly locked and inaccessible to the public at the time of her death.
Passengers Sue Over Disabled Cruise Ship
February 21, 2013
Passengers on the cruise ship Triumph filed a class-action lawsuit in a federal court in Florida against Carnival Corp. over a fire that disabled the cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico for five days.
Matt and Melissa Crusan of Oklahoma filed the lawsuit on behalf of themselves and other passengers, alleging that Carnival should have anticipated the mechanical and/or engine issues that caused the ship's engine to catch fire because of similar issues in the past.
The Triumph, which departed from Galveston, Texas, on February 7 for a four-day cruise along the coast of Mexico, was disabled on February 10. The cruise ship was carrying over 4,200 people, including 3,100 passengers, when the vessel became disabled, losing power and plumbing.
The suit claims that passengers were placed at unnecessary risk of injury due to conditions on the vessel after it became disabled, including being served spoiled food and being exposed to human waste on the deck of the ship.
The ordeal was not over until the Triumph was pulled into port in Mobile, Alabama, on February 14 by tug boats, although disembarking did not end until February 15.
An investigation by the U.S. Coast Guard revealed that a leak in a fuel-oil return line in one of the ship's engines was to blame for the fire.
Judge Limits Aurora Theater Shooting Lawsuits
January 26, 2013
A judge in Colorado ruled that seven lawsuits filed under the legal theories of negligence and wrongful death against a movie theater in Aurora must be brought under the state's premises liability law, instead.
The lawsuits were filed against Cinemark by people who were injured and the families of people who were killed in the 2012 theater shooting in Aurora.
Last week, U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Hegarty ruled that Colorado law prohibits lawsuits involving claims of negligence and wrongful death on the part of the theater.
The judge recommended that the seven lawsuits currently filed under negligence and wrongful death be filed as premises liability lawsuits, instead.
Cinemark has already challenged existing premises liability lawsuits, arguing that the events of that night were unforeseeable.
First Lawsuit Filed Over NYC Ferry Crash
January 22, 2013
The first of many expected lawsuits was filed this week by a passenger on board a New York City ferry boat that crashed into a pier early this month, according to the plaintiff's attorney.
The lawsuit was filed by Desmond Sullivan, who was one of 83 passengers who were injured when the ferry boat crashed into Manhattan's Pier 11 near Wall Street on January 9.
The suit alleges that Sullivan suffered injuries to his back and neck and is still receiving treatment for those injuries.
One crew member and 83 other passengers were injured in the crash.
Attorneys for Seastreak LLC, the company that operated the ferry, filed a motion to have passenger claims adjudicated in maritime court rather than Superior Court in the passengers' home counties.
If Seastreak's motion is successful, damages would be limited and the injured passengers would not be able to receive a jury trial.
Moviegoer Sues Texas Theater Over Shooting
January 17, 2013
A moviegoer who was shot in the back at a Texas theater last month has filed suit against the theater chain for $30 million, according to the plaintiff's attorney.
The lawsuit was filed by Mario Acevedo, who was shot on December 16 while exiting the restroom at the Mayan Palace 14 movie theater in San Antonio.
Acevedo was shot by a stranger who was distressed after a breakup with his girlfriend, according to police reports. The bullet missed all of Acevedo's vital organs, and he was released from the hospital that same night.
According to the lawsuit, police had been called to the theater on several occasions prior to the incident. Acevedo claims that Santikos Theatres, the parent company that owns the Mayan Palace 14, failed to exercise ordinary care to ensure the premises was reasonably safe for guests.
Acevedo is seeking compensation for physical pain, mental anguish, lost wages and diminished capacity to enjoy life after the shooting.
$3 Million Settlement in Frat Party Death Suit
December 04, 2012
The parents of a Pennsylvania university student will receive over $3 million in a case involving their son's death at a frat party.
Their son, a 20-year-old junior at John Carroll University fell to his death at a New Year's Eve party at the Phi Kappa Sigma house on the University of Pennsylvania campus in 2010.
The student was intoxicated when he fell while climbing a flight of stairs at the frat house. He tumbled over a faulty railing, landed on his head, and died several days later.
Lawyers for the student's parents claimed that the university had issued several citations to the fraternity for the broken railing and had repeatedly ordered that it be fixed. The fraternity never did so.
The fraternity agreed to pay $3 million in damages to the student's family. They will also receive $375,000 from the beer distributor that allowed their son to purchase alcohol underage.
55 Injured in Florida Apartment Roof Collapse
October 21, 2012
Fifty-five party goers were injured at an apartment's clubhouse in Florida, when the building's roof collapsed early Sunday morning, according to police officials.
The collapse occurred at Seminole Grand Apartments in Tallahassee at around 1:20 a.m., injuring 55 people who were attending a party at the clubhouse.
None of the injuries were life threatening, police said.
The collapse caused nearly $250,000 worth of damage to the clubhouse.
The cause of the collapse is currently under investigation.
Vail Resorts Sued Over Avalanche Death
October 15, 2012
A judge in Colorado is reviewing a motion by Vail Resorts to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the parents of a 13-year-old boy who died in an avalanche while skiing at the resort.
The wrongful death suit was filed by the parents of Taft Conlin, who claim negligence at the resort created an "avalanche trap" that killed their son on January 22.
Vail Resorts filed the motion to dismiss the case, alleging that the company complied with Colorado's Skier Safety Act and that Taft's death was the result of the 'inherent dangers and risks' of skiing.
The plaintiffs contend that an avalanche does not constitute an inherent risk of skiing.
The parents' attorney argued that avalanche is not listed as an inherent risk of skiing in the text of the Skier Safety Act.
The judge is expected to make a ruling on the motion later this week.