Earlier last month, a Maryland jury awarded a man over $21 million after he was severely injured and permanently paralyzed in a workplace accident at a Pepco plant in Montgomery County. According to a report by the Washington Post, the man was working high up in the air on some scaffolding when he was struck by a transformer. The force of the collision sent the man eight feet into the air.

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Upon landing, the man snapped his spine, paralyzing him from the neck down. In addition to his paralysis, the man also received burns over 10% of his body because the transformer—which the worker had been told was discharged – was still powered on. The man sued Pepco for negligence.

The trial was not focused around whether Pepco was negligent. In fact, Pepco admitted its negligence. The only trial issue for the jury to determine was the amount of damages that would be appropriate for Pepco to pay out.

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In a case out of the Alabama Supreme Court, released earlier this month, the court determined that a doctor who administered the drug Demerol to a patient who soon after died was not medically negligent, even though the patient had listed it as one of the drugs she was allergic to.

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In the case of Kraselsky v. Calderwood, the Supreme Court of Alabama had to determine whether a doctor was liable for the death of a patient who had told the doctor she was “allergic” to Demerol. Evidently, the patient had told the doctor that she was allergic to over 20 drugs, including Motrin, Codeine, Vicodin, and more.

However, at some point during the physician’s treatment of the woman, he had prescribed her medication that shared ingredients with some of the drugs she claimed she was allergic to. This led the doctor to wonder if there was a true allergic reaction. After confronting the woman about whether she was allergic to Demerol, the woman admitted that it gave her headaches. The doctor then determined that this was more of a side effect and not a true allergy.

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If you recall, last year a Maryland man was killed when he was accosted by three police officers for sneaking into a movie for which he didn’t have a ticket. The 26-year-old man had Down Syndrome and had walked back into the movie “Zero Dark Thirty” after seeing it once to watch it again. He did not have a ticket for the second showing.

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Three Frederick County deputies were moonlighting as security guards for that particular theater, and they approached the man. The situation escalated, and the deputies eventually placed the man in handcuffs and dragged him out of the theater. At some point in the fray, the three deputies crushed the man’s larynx, which caused him to have difficulty breathing.

The deputies released the man and called emergency personnel, but it was too late. He had asphyxiated in the meantime.

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Earlier this week, the American auto manufacturer Chrysler issued a recall of about 184,000 of its vehicles due to issues related to their airbags. According to a report by the Detroit News, the defect in the vehicles’ airbags was the same type of defect that caused Ford Motor Company to recall approximately 850,000 vehicles earlier this year.

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Evidently, the recall affects 2014 models of the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Dodge Durango. The problem is that the vehicles may have internal electrical short-circuits that interfere with the airbags deploying. In other words, the airbag may not deploy when it is supposed to.

In some cases, Chrysler is reporting that the issue may cause the “airbag” light to illuminate on the dashboard of the vehicle.

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Earlier this month in a Maryland court, a 17-year-old Baltimore boy was awarded over $2 million by a jury after a case involving lead exposure. According to a report by WBALTV, the boy suffered permanent brain damage from lead exposure that occurred while he was living in a Baltimore house between the year of his birth in 1997 and 2001.

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According to court documents, the owner of the house had not painted the house in many years, leaving a coat of lead paint exposed on the interior of the home on the 1600 block of East 25th Street in northeast Baltimore. The jury ended up finding the owner of the building as well as the property manager negligent for failing to keep the house up to code.

At trial, the boy’s attorneys submitted evidence that showed the following:

  • The loss of four to five IQ points, as well as cognitive deficits, attention problems, and learning and behavioral issues;
  • Last year, the boy had a 1.0 average GPA, was taking bridge classes, and was taking other measures to graduate on time, although it didn’t look likely; and
  • The boy was tested for lead exposure and had more than double the amount of lead in his blood that qualifies as “lead exposure.”

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Currently, it is the law in Maryland that any driver passing an emergency vehicle on the side of the road must move over one lane in order to help prevent an accident. This legislation was passed in the wake of a nationwide trend of accidents involving emergency workers assisting (or ticketing) motorists on the side of the highway.

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However, a new law that went into effect on October 1 will extend the category of protected individuals to tow-truck drivers as well as emergency personnel. As it turns out, a number of tow-truck drivers have lost their lives in accidents caused by passing motorists getting too close—much too close, in fact.

In one account, described in a recent article by CBS Baltimore, a tow-truck driver was on the side of the road on Route 100 helping a disabled motorist when he was hit by a car. The car didn’t stop and left him for dead. He left behind a wife and two young children.

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If you have been reading the news lately, you may be familiar with the various recalls that the car-manufacturing giant GM has made in the past year. The death toll in the GM recalls started off below 10, hovered around 13 for awhile, but now has been increased to 19, according to a recent report by the Daily Record.

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The Recall

The GM recalls have been based on a number of faulty parts that were used to manufacture several of the company’s most popular models, including the Chevy Cobalt and Saturn Ion. Often, what would happen is that the car would shut down while being driven, leaving the driver with no control of the vehicle. Unfortunately, many of these incidents resulted in serious injury or death.

Initially, after the first round of recalls, the death toll stood at 13 for several months. However, the man hired by GM to keep track of all the claims against the company recently told reporters that the official death toll is at 19 and may go higher from there. GM has currently set aside $400 million to pay victims and their families, but that number may increase to $600 million as the number of potential plaintiffs increases.

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Recently, Johnson & Johnson was determined to be liable to a woman after she suffered serious injury as a result of using the company’s vaginal sling product. The jury returned a verdict in the woman’s favor for $3.27 million after it determined that the product was negligently designed.

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According to a report by the Daily Record, the woman had a vaginal sling implanted in order to help with her incontinence. However, shortly after the sling was installed, she noticed that sex was painful, and there was considerable pain near her groin. She then had to have another surgery later that year to remove the implant.

The company faces over 30,000 other lawsuits claiming that the negligently designed vaginal implants cause injury to the female organ and tend to make sex more painful. Many of these lawsuits have been consolidated by the federal court system in order to make the process easier on the justice system. As a result, however, the plaintiffs are usually bound by the single judge’s determinations. For example, the judge recently determined that, while women may be eligible for compensatory damages, the company cannot be required to pay punitive damages for the negligently designed products.

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Earlier this summer, a woman from Philadelphia was visiting Ocean City, Maryland with her family when she fell out of her wheelchair and fractured her arm. According to a report by DelmarvaNow, the woman is claiming that the city was negligent in its maintenance of the sidewalk and that she deserves compensation for her injuries as a result.

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Evidently, the woman was visiting the boardwalk with her family around 8:00 in the evening. On their way back to their rental condo, the woman was being pushed by her daughter when the family decided to cross from east to west across Philadelphia Avenue.

As the woman’s daughter was pushing her across the street, the woman’s wheelchair suddenly stopped when it hit a raised piece of a rubber warning mat on the ramp on the other end of the intersection. The jolt caused the woman to fall out of her wheelchair and fracture her arm as a result.

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Earlier this year, a Maryland physician had his license suspended when reports surfaced that he had sexually assaulted a female patient. Last month, another report was made that the doctor assaulted another patient in a similar manner. According to a recent article by one local news source, the second patient is seeking damages in excess of $1.5 million and has named both the doctor and his employer, the MedExpress Clinic.

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Evidently, the doctor had been convicted of raping a woman at gunpoint in Florida several years ago. However, since he did not disclose the nature of the crime to the licensing board and only disclosed that he had been convicted of “assault” while under the influence, he was still permitted to be licensed as a physician.

The patient, who is suing the doctor and the clinic that employed him, claims that the hospital should have conducted a further background check into the doctor’s past before putting him in a position where he will be alone with female patients.

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