An elderly Washington state woman was seriously injured when a shuttle driver pushed her wheelchair out a back door before the wheelchair lift had been opened and set in place. Labeeba Alim fell to the ground and an employee fell on top of her, according to a news report of the case. She suffered bleeding inside her head and part of her skull had to be removed to reduce swelling. Now the 81-year-old woman is bedridden and she was forced to receive nourishment through a feeding tube. Alim’s family sued the shuttle company, Northwest Transport, and won a $1 million settlement in the case.
A case of breaking the rules resulted in a huge verdict in a Maryland courtroom recently. It involved the death of a teenager who was struck by a car as she crossed the street to get to her school bus in the early days of the school year in September 2009. In a wrongful death lawsuit, her family blamed the school district for failing to provide required safe transportation, specifically for violating a school policy that students be picked up on the side of the street on which they live.
A study focusing on brain injuries in New Hampshire shows an alarming increase in recent years, with thousands more people winding up in that state’s emergency rooms. Data compiled by the Department of Health and Human Services revealed an increase in traumatic brain injuries nearly doubling from 2001 to 2009, with ER visits rising from 6,514 to 12,306. Half of those patients were younger than 24, with incidents ranging from car accidents to sports injuries.
In 2004, 12-year-old Jonathan Reynolds fell on a nail. The Tennessee boy was taken to Dyersburg Regional Medical Center but hospital personnel reportedly failed to take adequate procedures to avoid an infection and did not administer the proper antibiotics. The result was catastrophic. Jonathan contracted a flesh-eating bacterium that required numerous skin grafts and he developed severe brain injuries after slipping into a coma, according to an Associated Press report.
Injuries due to premises liability can happen to anyone and anywhere – almost always when least suspected. Such was the case during the Tony Awards in 2009 when rock singer Bret Michaels was struck on the head by a falling piece from the stage set. The incident happened after Michaels and his band, Poison, performed the 1980s hit song "Nothin' But A Good Time" with the "Rock of Ages" musical cast. He suffered a broken nose, split lip and trauma to the head. Later, in April 2010, Michaels suffered a near-fatal brain hemorrhage. Last year he sued the Tony Awards and CBS for damages.
A railroad jack falling on a worker’s foot and breaking his big toe wasn’t that big of a deal – until the Metro-North Railroad in Connecticut disciplined the worker for reporting his injury. A jury recently awarded Andy Barati $50,000 for lost earnings and pain and suffering in the incident. But it went further, much further, also awarding more than $1 million in punitive damages in what was reported by the Associated Press as the first verdict under the Federal Rail Safety Act. That law forbids retaliation against workers who report violations or workplace injuries.