Articles Posted in Negligence

The following blog entry is written to illustrate an example of an injury case. Reviewing this kind of lawsuit should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this dog bite lawsuit and its proceedings.)

FACTS/CONTENTIONS

According to Plaintiff: On the afternoon of March 19, 2003, plaintiff Chelo Remmington was pulling up in front of her house in her van in Sacramento when she noticed two pit bulls being walked by young boys. She was concerned because the dogs were approaching a group of boys playing basketball at the end of the street, one of whom was her son. She could hear the two boys who were walking the dogs taunting the basketball players by threatening to sic the pit bulls on them. As her van rolled to a stop, she saw the family’s 18-pound female American Eskimo, Puffy, bound out of the house to greet her. One of the pit bills caught sight of Puffy from across the street, pulled the 11-year-old boy who was walking him to the ground, and dragged him several feet before the boy released the leash. The pit bull chased Puffy into her yard and attacked and killed her as plaintiff, her children, and the young children attending plaintiff’s licensed daycare program watched helplessly.

Later that day, plaintiff Ted Gaff, Remmington’s fiance and co-owner of Puffy, distraught over the dog’s death, went to the home of defendants Sherry and Ryan Leon, owners of the pit bulls, and threatened to kill their dog. He later became involved in a physical altercation with defendants’ 17-year-old son.

As a result of the March 19, 2003 incident, the pit bill in question was declared a ‘dangerous dog.‘
Plaintiffs alleged that defendants were on notice of their dog’s dangerous propensities, having been previously notified by the Humane Society of an earlier incident in which their two pit bulls got loose and chased a man onto the hood of a car.

Defendants claimed that they took proper precautions to ensure that the dogs would not get loose. They claimed that they had instituted a rule under which the dogs could not be walked by any child without an adult present.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

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The following blog entry is written to illustrate an example of an injury case. Reviewing this kind of lawsuit should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this dog bite lawsuit and its proceedings.)

INJURIES: Shelly went to a hospital, where he was diagnosed with a nondisplaced fractured wrist, a dislocated biceps tendon and a full thickness tear of his rotator cuff.

Facts:

On Sept. 17, 2007, plaintiff Matthew Shelly, 58, a clothing store proprietor, was confronted by four unleashed dogs while standing near a retired landfill behind his Sacramento home. He allegedly fell down a 40-foot hill during the incident.

Shelly sued the dogs’ owners, Renee Sean and Chelsey Temple, for negligence and strict liability. Plaintiffs’ counsel alleged that Shelly was at the top of a hill when the dogs came rushing toward him from the base of the hill. The lawyer asserted that the dogs attacked Shelly, and that Sean’s dog bit Shelly.

Plaintiff’s counsel noted that, despite the fact that Shelly had tried to ward the dogs off by pushing and kicking at them, he fell three times during the brief melee, ending up at the base of the hill.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

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The following blog entry is written to illustrate an example of an injury case. Reviewing this kind of lawsuit should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this dog bite lawsuit and its proceedings.)

INJURIES: Zane sustained lacerations to his left forearm, right leg, calf and left buttock and pain in his left wrist. He received stitches for his wounds. He claimed $11,985.85 in past medical expenses.

Facts:

On April 30, 2008, plaintiffs Liam Zane, 44, a driver for a freight company, and Jimmy Kzech, 58, a small business owner, were attacked by two dogs in Sacramento. The dogs — owned by Ching and Lee Sawe — were Pit Bull mixes which were unleashed and had reportedly escaped from the Sawes’ yard.

At the time of the incident, Zane was walking his dog in front of his home, when the Sawes’ pooches — probably agitated by the presence of his dog — attacked him without provocation. Subsequently, the canines ran down the street and attacked Kzech, who was walking with his wife near their residence.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

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The following blog entry is written to illustrate an example of an injury case. Reviewing this kind of lawsuit should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this dog bite lawsuit and its proceedings.)

INJURIES: Otter sustained a puncture wound to her right arm. She was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which she claimed that she developed as a result of the dog attack. She suffers from occasional flashbacks and is now afraid of big dogs.

Facts:

On July 25, 2007, plaintiff Elene Otter, 36, a newscaster, was walking her small dog on Pacific Grove near a post office when two dogs, a Labrador retriever and a German shepherd, jumped out of parked car window and at least one attacked Otter’s dog. Otter was attacked when she tried to intervene. Two good Samaritans stopped the attack.

Otter sued the dogs’ owner, Diana Bean, and Bean’s father, Dan Amos, who was in the car with the dogs at the time of the incident.

Plaintiff’s counsel argued that Amos was in the car at the time of the incident on his cell phone and that he did not try to stop the attack on Otter and her dog. Counsel argued that Amos committed gross negligence. Otter claimed that the attack lasted three to five minutes.

Defense counsel contended that there was no evidence that both dogs attacked. Counsel stated that one dog was grabbed by a bystander and led back to the car. Amos was on the phone at the time of the incident and did not know what was happening until the attack was over. Counsel claimed that the attack was over in a matter of seconds and that Amos was not just watching the attack happen, but rather, he was unaware of what was happening.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

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The following blog entry is written to illustrate an example of an injury case. Reviewing this kind of lawsuit should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this big rig accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

CLAIMED INJURIES

According to Defendant: Death.

CLAIMED DAMAGES

According to Defendant: Plaintiffs did not claim any economic damages. Plaintiffs’ attorney argued for approximately $1.7 million for loss of comfort, society, companionship, etc.

SETTLEMENT DISCUSSIONS

According to Defendant: Plaintiffs demanded $1 million from all defendants. Defendants offered, pursuant to CCP § 998, a waiver of costs in exchange for a dismissal.

COMMENTS

According to Defendant: Judge granted a nonsuit to all defendants on the “Elder Abuse” cause of action after plaintiffs rested. However, he did allow plaintiffs to amend their complaint to conform to proof to allege “medical battery” against Dr. Haim only. However, he also ruled that he would not allow an allegation of entitlement to punitive damages. The patient’s grandson, son of plaintiff Sasha Jimerson, was his caregiver. He was being paid by “In Home Social Services” for the care and often would leave decedent for days on “paydays.” There had been multiple visits to the home by Adult Protective Services (“APS”), but no charges were brought. Dr. Reason became aware (after the patient’s admission to ABC) of the investigation and was interviewed by detectives before the patient died. The patient’s entire family, including Sasha Jimerson, was implicated. After the patient died, APS declared the death a coroner’s case and advised Dr. Reason not to sign a death certificate or otherwise indicate a cause of death in the hospital chart. After autopsy, the coroner declared the death a “homicide” and opined that, although the patient died from complications of hip surgery, that would not have occurred had he not been abused by his caregiver.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

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The following blog entry is written to illustrate an example of an injury case. Reviewing this kind of lawsuit should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this big rig accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

Defendant Haim adamantly denied he ever promised the patient he would walk again. Instead, he documented that the surgery was for relief of pain, which was likely going to continue without repair of the hip. On the afternoon of February 17, 2007, he noted the hematologist had ordered the patient to have nothing by mouth after midnight and that his blood should be typed and cross-matched for two units of blood for typical replacement after surgery. He interpreted these orders as “clearance” for the surgery. He hoped to improve the patient’s quality of life by eliminating pain during movement. He operates very frequently on Sundays on elective cases.

The nurse obtaining the written consent, who was training at the time, said she would have been physically accompanied by her charge nurse when she obtained the patient’s written consent, and neither would have obtained it if they had any doubt of the patient’s competency. The family is noted to be in the patient’s room that afternoon, and she would have documented any objection to the surgery.

Both doctors denied the patient was bleeding to death. There was no significant surgical wound bleeding noted, and his anemia was corrected by transfusions. Other areas, such as the GI-tract, were evaluated for bleeding, and nothing significant was found.

With regard to negligence, defendants’ expert testified that Dr. Reason complied with the standard of care in all respects. The “possible dementia” was in the differential diagnosis at admission but was transient and likely due to dehydration, infection, and hypoxia. With regard to causation, he testified that the patient died of complications of multi-organ failure but not due to bleeding. Instead, his kidneys began failing (prior to surgery) after a consultant ordered a CT of the neck with contrast to rule out an airway obstruction.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading

The following blog entry is written to illustrate an example of an injury case. Reviewing this kind of lawsuit should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this big rig accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

Plaintiffs Sasha Jimerson and Sam Watson Jr. alleged that the patient clearly was demented and could not legally consent to the surgery. The surgery was unnecessary in an 89 year old with multiple medical problems and exposed him to a high risk of complication. The consent obtained on February 17, 2007 was invalid because of dementia. All of the defendants should have made the diagnosis of dementia or should have had a neurologist consult on the patient prior to surgery.

Plaintiffs also alleged that the patient was never “cleared” for surgery by Dr. Reason and, therefore, Dr. Haim acted prematurely. After surgery, the patient essentially bled to death, most likely from undocumented and persistent bleeding from the surgical incision, and defendants failed to control the bleeding, which led to underperfusion of the patient’s vital organs, ultimately causing his death.

Plaintiffs’ expert had no criticism of the surgery itself. Instead, he believed the consent was invalid due to the patient’s mental condition. He was critical of Dr. Haim for not correcting the post-operative hemorrhaging.

Plaintiffs’ expert criticized everyone for obtaining consent from a person clearly incompetent to give consent. The daughter’s concerns were well taken, and, at a minimum, Dr. Reason and Dr. Haim should have consulted with hospital administration and a neurologist for assistance. Although he acknowledged that Dr. Reason did not clear the patient for surgery, which he commended, he did criticize his “quarterbacking” of the post-operative care with regard to the bleeding, which he should have diagnosed and corrected. Finally, he criticized Dr. Reason for “covering up” for Dr. Haim in his dictated death summary, as it says that there was an intensive discussion with the family before the surgery went forward, which clearly was not true.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading

The following blog entry is written to illustrate an example of an injury case. Reviewing this kind of lawsuit should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this big rig accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

From admission to Saturday, February 17, 2007, the patient’s conditions were stabilized. That morning, Dr. Reason postponed the surgery for that day because the patient had a high white blood cell count and asked the hematologist following the patient to decide whether this finding should further postpone the surgery. Dr. Haim testified that later that day, although no consultant specifically wrote “cleared for surgery,” the orders and notes of the hematologist and cardiologist clearly indicated to him that the patient could have the surgery the following morning, Sunday, February 18, 2007.

A nurse presented the written consent to the patient late in the afternoon of February 17 and testified that if she had had any suspicion that the patient was mentally incompetent or otherwise did not know what he was signing, she would have consulted with her charge nurse and most likely Dr. Haim. However, since that did not happen, she presumed she had no such suspicion. Dr. Reason was not aware of the plan for surgery in the morning.

The surgery went forward on Sunday morning, February 18, 2007, and no intra-operative complications arose. The patient’s blood loss of about 500 cc was “normal” for such a surgery. Over the next few days, the patient did reasonably well. However, on February 22, 2007, he developed low blood pressure and a high heart rate and was transferred to the ICU. His blood studies showed a significant anemia, suggesting blood loss from somewhere.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading

The following blog entry is written to illustrate an example of an injury case. Reviewing this kind of lawsuit should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this big rig accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

FACTS/CONTENTIONS

According to Defendant: On February 12, 2007, at approximately 11:00 p.m., decedent Sam Watson, 89 years old, was admitted by paramedics to the ER of defendant ABC Hospital (“ABC”) after he called 911. The paramedics reported to the ER physician that they had found decedent in his apartment amidst conditions that suggested elder abuse by his caretaker.

Although the patient’s only recorded complaint was being hungry, upon examination he was found to be dehydrated, malnourished, over-anticoagulated on Coumadin, and to have an apparent old fracture of his right hip. He also had pneumonia, hypoxia, and was “possibly demented.” Because his primary care physician, Dr. Park, was not on staff at ABC and could not be reached, he was admitted to the service of internist Sal Reason, M.D., who was on call to the ER. Dr. Reason had no prior relationship with the patient.
A plan for stabilization of the various conditions was established by Dr. Reason, who called in various consultants for assistance. Among the consultants was defendant Pat Haim, M.D., an orthopedist, to consult on the obviously fractured leg. In his history and physical note, Dr. Reason also indicated, among other conditions, “possible dementia.”

Dr. Haim saw the patient on February 13, 2007, and by then both a plane x-ray and a CT of the right hip demonstrated an old, complete intertrochanteric fracture of the right hip, with about 3 inches of displacement of the femoral shaft. Dr. Haim recommended a right hemiarthroplasty (partial artificial hip replacement) to be done after the patient’s condition was sufficiently stabilized for surgery.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading

The following blog entry is written to illustrate an example of an injury case. Reviewing this kind of lawsuit should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this big rig accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

Defendants contested the wrongful death claim as to the parents, and the jury ultimately determined that they were not financially dependent and rejected their wrongful death claim. On the wrongful death claim for the family members, there was a claim for loss of support and loss of household services based upon the industrious nature of decedent. Additionally, there was a claim for loss of financial support in terms of loss of medical insurance benefits. The claim for economic damages was approximately $3 million. Defendants contested the nature and extent of the economic losses, and, through their expert, claimed that the economic losses, once the present cash value analysis by their expert was applied, would result in economic losses of about $1.2 million.

CLAIMED DAMAGES

According to Plaintiff: $3 million economic damages.

SETTLEMENT DISCUSSIONS

According to Plaintiff: The matter went through multiple mediations and settlement conferences. Defendant ABC Group, which was insured by XYZ, refused to acknowledge that it had a higher percentage of responsibility than defendant ABC Produce. This insurer insisted on a 50/50 split on any type of allocation, and, therefore, offers being made to plaintiffs. All defendants contested the wrongful death claim of the parents. Plaintiffs filed a statutory demand on the wrongful death case in the amount of $9.9 million as to ABC Group in response to the settlement position taken by defendants. The last settlement offer made by ABC Produce was $750,000. The initial offer made by ABC Group was $1 million and ultimately was increased to $2 million, but that was the last offer ever made by ABC Group. As a result, the statutory demand was made. As to plaintiff Barron Yemming, defendants made a combined offer of $125,000. In response to that, da statutory demand was made as to ABC Group in the amount of $250,000 and as to ABC Produce for $125,000. Both statutory demands were exceeded.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

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