Sisters Awarded Compensation for Boat Accident Injuries

Two sisters from New Jersey have been awarded $9.5 million compensation for boat accident injuries following a hearing at Bergen County Superior Court.

Gina and Jamie Franzino claimed compensation for boat accident injuries after the boat they were passengers in was hit by a much larger boat in the Manasquan Inlet in Monmouth County, New Jersey. Such was the force of the impact that the two women had to be cut from the wreckage of the boat, put into a coma, and airlifted to Jersey Shore Medical Center.

As a result of the accident, Gina (23) suffered a shattered pelvis, multiple spleen lacerations, a broken hip and broken ribs. She underwent a splenectomy – due to which her immune system has been compromised – and high dose radiation treatment after the surgery on her hip. Due to being exposed to radiation, Gina fears that she will never be able to have children.

Jamie (19) was treated for a collapsed right lung, three fractures of her pelvis, nerve damage to her left foot and an injury to her right shoulder. After her discharge from the medical center, Jamie also developed anosmia – the loss of her sense of smell. She attended the outpatients department of her local hospital and attended physiotherapy sessions for more than a year.

Along with several other passengers that had been injured in the incident, Gina and Jamie claimed compensation boat accident injuries against the Edward McCarthy – who had been in command of the boat that hit them – and his marine sales business. For the purpose of establishing liability, the claims were consolidated. In January 2016, McCarthy was found negligent in the operation of his vessel.

Once liability was determined, the claims for compensation for boat accident injuries were treated separately – with the exception of Jamie and Gina´s claims, which were heard recently by a jury at the Bergen County Superior Court before Judge Charles Powers Jr. At the hearing, the extent of the sisters´ injuries and their subsequent PTSD diagnoses were explained to the jury by an expert witness.

Lawyers represented McCarthy tried to play down the extent and the consequences of the women´s alleged injuries. They argued that both sisters had made full recoveries from the accident. However, after five hours of deliberations, the jury awarded Gina $5.1 million compensation for boat accident injuries and Jamie $3.9 million compensation. The jury also awarded Gina $500,000 towards her future medical costs.


Guest Awarded Compensation for Emotional Distress due to Hotel Negligence

A former guest of the Sofitel Hotel in Philadelphia has been awarded compensation for emotional distress due to hotel negligence following a court hearing.

In November 2012, Heather Baumgardner was celebrating her thirtieth birthday by staying at the Sofitel Hotel in Philadelphia. On 11th November, at around 4:00am in the morning, Heather´s ex-boyfriend Christopher Werley entered the hotel and identified himself as Heather´s boyfriend and asked for a key to her room.

As Werley was not a registered guest, the front-desk manager made a call to Heather´s room. When she did not answer, the night manager accompanied Werley to her room and tried to gain access using a master key. On finding that the safety chain was in place, the night manager contacted the security supervisor who used bolt cutters to cut the chain and gain access to where Heather was sleeping.

The night manager and the security advisor then left – leaving Werley alone in the room with Heather. Allegedly, Werley went through Heather´s birthday gifts while she was sleeping, and was texting sexually explicit messages to men registered on her mobile phone when she awoke. Heather screamed and ordered Werley to leave. Heather subsequently called the police and claimed compensation for emotional distress due to hotel negligence.

In her legal action against the Sofitel Hotel and its owners – Accor North America Inc. – Heather claimed that she had suffered Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder due to its lack of security. An expert supporting her claim reported that the hotel had violated multiple industry and security standards by allowing Werley into her room, while Heather´s lawyer alleged that the hotel had shown reckless disregard and cared more about its profits than the safety of its guests.

The claim for compensation for emotional distress due to hotel negligence was disputed by the defendants. It was claimed that Heather was not entirely honest about her relationship with Werley (the couple restarted their romantic relationship about four months after the event) and that she had come to no physical harm. The case went to the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas where it was heard by a jury before Judge Angelo J. Foglietta.

During two weeks of testimony, Heather´s claim for compensation for emotional distress due to hotel negligence was supported by her doctor and psychologist – both of whom testified that Heather had suffered from Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder, hypervigilance, and paranoia. At the end of the hearing Judge Foglietta instructed the jury to find in Heather´s favor; and, after five hours of deliberations, the jury awarded Heather $25,000 compensation for emotional distress due to hotel negligence.


Risperdal Side Effect Compensation Claim Resolved in Philadelphia Court

A Risperdal side effect compensation claim has been resolved in the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia in favor of the twenty-one year old plaintiff.

Wisconsin-born Timothy Strange was first prescribed the antipsychotic drug Risperdal to help control his symptoms of Tourette´s syndrome when he was eleven years of age in 2005. Over the next few years, Timothy gained 60 pounds in weight, which masked the fact that he had developed gynecomastia – a side effect of the drug that manifested as enlarged breasts.

As he grew older and began to lose the weight, the side effect of Risperdal became more apparent. Teased and tormented by his peers, Timothy underwent a double mastectomy when he was eighteen to remove the excess tissue. Timothy´s mother also sought legal advice and made a Risperdal side effect compensation claim on behalf of her son.

The Risperdal side effect compensation claim alleged that the manufacturers of the drug – Janssen Pharmaceuticals – were aware of the possibility of gynecomastia, but had failed to warn Timothy´s doctor of the risks. Janssen Pharmaceuticals denied liability, and a hearing commenced in October at the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia.

Four weeks into the hearing, it became apparent that the defense was using an out-of-date analysis of Risperdal to support its arguments. The case was adjourned so that a 2012 reanalysis of the drug could be presented to the court and the hearing resumed on December 8.

The new evidence revealed that Janssen Pharmaceuticals was aware of the potential for gynecomastia in 2002 – three years before Timothy was prescribed the drug. The jury took just three hours to find in his favor, and awarded him $500,000 in settlement of the Risperdal side effect compensation claim.

Timothy´s Risperdal side effect compensation claim was the fourth case against Janssen Pharmaceuticals to be heard in Philadelphia. Three have now been settled in favor of the plaintiffs, while no causation could be found in the fourth.

Commenting on why Timothy´s Risperdal side effect compensation claim was settled for considerably less than the two previously successful claims, Timothy´s solicitor said that his client´s injury had been lessened by the double mastectomy he underwent in 2012. Furthermore there was no forecast loss of life expectancy as had featured in the previous claims.


Judge Awards $9.6 Million Compensation for Medical Malpractice at Birth

A judge has awarded a 3-year-old Californian girl $9.6 million compensation for medical malpractice at birth against the doctor who delivered her.

At 11:00pm on 29th April 2012, the unnamed girl´s mother was admitted to the Banner-Lassen Hospital in Susanville, California, in the advanced stages of labor. At the time of her admission she was dilated 4cm. By 2:00am the following morning, she had dilated to 9cm, but never progressed to 10cm.

From 2:00am, the fetal heart rate went from normal to variable, before showing more significant drops. At 3:45am, the mother´s consultant – Dr. Paul Davainis – told her to start pushing even though she was not fully dilated. At 5:00am, after more than an hour of pushing, Dr. Davainis ordered a C-section. A surgeon arrived at 5:15am, by which time the fetal heart rate was undetectable.

The baby girl was finally delivered at 5:28am with her umbilical cord wrapped around her neck. She was limp and blue, and needed to be resuscitated and intubated. She was then transferred to the UC-Davis Medical Center in Sacramento suffering from hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy caused by a lack of oxygen.

As a result of the delayed C-section, the little girl cannot walk, talk or care for herself. She is blind, suffers occasional seizures and is fed by a tube into her stomach. She will need full-time care for the rest of live – which is only likely to be until she reaches her mid-20s.

On the little girl´s behalf, her mother claimed compensation for medical malpractice at birth – alleging that Dr. Davainis had been negligent by waiting too long to perform a C-section despite evidence of fetal distress. On 28th October, Judge John Mendez at the Sacramento Federal Court found in her favor, and last week announced the settlement of compensation for medical malpractice at birth.

The judge awarded the girl a total of $9.6 million compensation for medical malpractice at birth to account for her pain and suffering, medical expenses and loss of income. The bulk of the compensation settlement will be used to pay for her ongoing care. The girl´s mother was also awarded $250,000 compensation for medical malpractice at birth to account for the emotional trauma she experienced during the delivery of her daughter.


Passengers Claim Compensation for Las Vegas Airport Injuries

Passengers who were injured when a plane caught fire on the runway of McCarran International are claiming compensation for Las Vegas airport injuries.

On September 8th, a British Airways Boeing 777-200 was engulfed in flames as it prepared to take off from McCarran International, bound for London Gatwick. The cause of the fire is still officially under investigation, but it is understood that a turbine blade detached from the left engine of the plane and sliced through fuel and hydraulic pipes – the fuel igniting and causing the fire.

All 172 people on board the plane, including 13 crew, managed to escape the inferno. However, some passengers suffered injuries during the evacuation and – according to the British press – are now claiming compensation for Las Vegas airport injuries against a number of potential defendants.

One of the passengers – Steve Bingham (35) from County Down in Northern Ireland – suffered an arm injury and the effects of smoke inhalation. He has also been prescribed medication to help him cope with the emotional trauma. Steve told the British Daily Mirror:

“I’m still suffering from the incident and have regular flashbacks. You simply never expect something like this to happen. I am continuing to suffer from the effects of what happened but I know we are all incredibly lucky not to have been more seriously injured.”

Lawyers representing the passengers believe that they could be entitled to significant compensation for Las Vegas airport injuries. In addition to their physical injuries and the potential long-term harm caused by smoke inhalation, the lawyers say that the psychological injuries suffered by the passengers should not be underestimated.

The lawyers have urged the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to conclude their investigation quickly so that “appropriate measures can be implemented to improve flight safety” and in order that the passengers claiming compensation for Las Vegas airport injuries can have their claims resolved without unnecessary delays.


Jury Awards $2.8 Million Compensation for Dental Negligence after Court Hearing

A jury in Georgia has awarded a woman $2.8 million compensation for dental negligence after a hearing at the DeKalb County State Court.

In February 2008, Haley Buice attended the Coast Dental of Georgia practice in Acworth, DeKalb County and was evaluated by James Cauley DMD. Cauley recommended the placement of multiple crowns and veneer implants – a course of treatment that would cost in excess of $20,000.

Cauley agreed to discount the cost of the treatment in return for being paid in cash but, when Caulet resigned from Coast Dental the following year, the dental practice refused to continue Haley´s treatment as there was no record of her cash payments.

Over the course of the next few months, the crowns inserted by Cauley began to fall out of Haley´s mouth. An evaluation by another dentist revealed that Cauley had failed to treat many of Haley´s teeth that were in poor condition and had instead placed crowns on perfectly healthy teeth.

Haley claimed compensation for dental negligence against Cauley and Coast Dental of Georgia – alleging that Cauley had failed to meet the required standard of dental care and that the dental practice was vicariously liable as his employer.

According to Haley´s lawsuit, Cauley had failed to treat teeth that were in obvious need of repair and had improperly fitted more than a dozen crowns – many unnecessarily. Cauley settled the claim against him for an undisclosed amount of compensation for dental negligence, but Coast Dental argued that Haley´s condition was caused by a pre-existing condition and was not the result of dental malpractice.

The dental negligence compensation claim proceeded to the DeKalb County State Court – where it was heard by a twelve-member jury before Judge Stacey Hydrick. At the hearing, Haley claimed that she was embarrassed by the condition of her teeth and had suffered depression as a result.

The jury was told that Haley sought compensation for her emotional trauma, the unnecessary pain she had suffered, and the cost of repairing the damage to her teeth. At the end of the four-day hearing, the jury deliberated for just forty minutes before finding unanimously in Haley´s favor and awarding her $2.8 million compensation for dental negligence.


Woman Awarded Compensation for Failed Gastric Band Operation

A woman has been awarded £35,000 in compensation for a failed gastric band operation after doctors negligently failed to close an incision in her stomach which led to complications.

Rachel Benefer (28) – a mother of two from Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire – underwent the operation in 2007 at the Classic Hospital in Hull after her weight had risen above nineteen stones due to polycystic ovary syndrome.

Surgeons at the hospital initially thought that the operation had been a success, but Rachel developed a hernia in her small bowel due to the failure to properly close an incision in her stomach and she developed an inflammation of the abdominal wall and acute peritonitis as a consequence.

Rachel lapsed into a coma and spent five weeks in hospital – during which time she had to undergo an emergency tracheotomy procedure and have further surgery to treat the hernia. As a result of her ordeal, Rachel suffered from mild depression and has permanent scars from surgery on her abdomen.

After seeking legal advice, Rachel made a claim for compensation for a failed gastric band operation against the Hull and East Yorkshire NHS Trust and, shortly before a hearing into her case was scheduled, the Trust admitted liability for her injuries and a settlement of £35,000 was negotiated.


Emotional Injury Compensation Awarded after Poor Work on Pensioner´s Home

An elderly pensioner, who was the victim of poor workmanship when renovations were made to her home, has been awarded 3,500 Euros in emotional injury compensation by a judge in Dublin.

Mr Justice Matthew Deery at the Circuit Civil Court heard how pensioner Kathleen O’Leary (84) had contracted the services of Cranlowe Ltd – a father and son building company situated in Terenure, Dublin – to renovate a 1.82m2 (6 feet) utility room in her home in Walkinstown, Dublin.

Soon after the workmen had finished – and Kathleen had paid them 23,000 for the work they had done – faults began to appear. First the utility room flooded due to faulty pipework. This caused the electricity to short-circuit as the power supply had not been earthed and, on closer inspection by a quantity surveyor, a further eighteen faults were discovered.

The judge heard that Kathleen had approached the senior partner of the building company – Patrick Cowzer – to demand an explanation and arrange for remedial work to be done, but he had become aggressive and abusive towards her.

After seeking professional legal advice, Kathleen made an injury compensation claim for professional negligence against the father and son and, in November 2011, had a judgement made in her favour after the defendants failed to contest the claim.

Mr Justice Matthew Deery heard that the case was before him for the assessment of damages only and, after hearing that it would cost 14,192 Euros to put right the errors made by Cranlowe Ltd, he awarded Kathleen 17,692 Euros to account for the repairs to her home and to provide emotional injury compensation for the stress she had experienced throughout the affair.


Compensation for Bad Hair Colouring Treatment

An artist and painter, whose hair fell out following a hair treatment at a hair salon, has won her claim for compensation for bad hair colouring treatment at the High Court.

Aileen Dunleavy (40) sued Hair Republic for negligence and breach of care of duty towards her after her hair started to fall out following a treatment in the salon in March 2007.

Aileen alleged in her action that she had not been warned that the colouring treatment could have an adverse effect on her hair, and that the treatment itself was applied by a stylist who was both inexperienced and insufficiently skilled.

Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O´Neill heard at the High Court how Aileen had become socially withdrawn due to the sense of embarrassment she suffered as a result of what happened to her hair and had been unable to paint in a way that is meaningful to her.

Finding in favour of the claimant, Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O´Neill awarded Aileen £38,000 in compensation and said that what had happened to her as “a disaster”. The judge stated that he had no doubt that the hairdressing salon was completely responsible for Aileen’s trauma.