Tag Archives: personal injury

Court awards record S$8.65m in personal injury claims to cyclist

SINGAPORE — The High Court has awarded S$8.65 million in damages to a cyclist struck by a bundle of overhead cables while riding on a pavement, in what is believed to be the largest payout in a personal injury claim.

While Ms Siew Pick Chiang’s physical injuries were “relatively minor”, the 42-year-old suffered serious post-traumatic stress disorder which saw her hospitalised up to 19 times over seven years after the accident, Justice Woo Bih Li said.

Apart from injuries on her head, face, neck, back and limbs, her memory and cognitive ability were impaired, the court heard. Ms Siew’s frequent meltdowns also disrupted various bodily functions, resulting in urine and faecal incontinence, irritable bowel syndrome and other health problems.

More than half of the payout (S$4.8 million) was to cover her future expenses for medical help and equipment and potential hospitalisation fees, a written judgment released last Thursday stated.

Ms Siew — who was cycling on a pavement along Pasir Ris Drive 8 on Oct 15, 2009 when the accident happened — sought to claim more than S$26 million for medical expenses, hiring caregivers to care for herself and her son who was born six months after the accident, loss of earnings, and taxi fares, among other things.

She launched the lawsuit against Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co Ltd in September 2012. The company was the contractor handling the cables that originated from its worksite.

Hyundai’s lawyer argued that Ms Siew’s “staggering” claim, 13 times the highest award of damages by a Singapore court for a personal injury claim, was a figure that “should give anyone pause for thought”.

The litigation process, which lasted almost four years, was singled out as an “important trigger” for Ms Siew’s stress, Justice Woo said.

Since the accident, she has been in and out of the hospital about 19 times, and remains warded at Mount Elizabeth Hospital since her last admission in February 2014.

Ms Siew, who ran a business providing pre- and post-natal services with her mother before the accident, was awarded S$1.08 million for loss of future earnings and S$4.8 million for anticipated future expenses.

Among the claims that were disallowed included expenses for separate caregivers for her son. There was no “documentary evidence” to support Ms Siew’s claims that part-time caregivers were indeed engaged to care for her son, Justice Woo said, adding that reports from doctors treating her showed that it was her mother who was taking care of her son, now aged six.

“(Ms Siew) submitted that her mother was suffering from stress from the constant worry over (her) … While such an argument might evoke some sympathy from the court, the point is that the plaintiff has to prove her case with evidence and not just rely on arguments,” Justice Woo said.

The judge also slashed her claims for hospital expenses, noting that she was staying in an executive room instead of an ordinary one for most days in the last admission, resulting in a higher charge of S$400 a day. “This was not justifiable,” he said.

The claims for hospital expenses were also inflated because of charges for food for her visitors and supplements and painkillers which “need not be dispensed by the hospital”, he pointed out.

Judge dismisses personal injury case against Smith & Wesson

A federal judge reasoned Smith & Wesson was not at fault in a personal injury case in which a pistol accidentally discharged and caused a man to lose a finger.

U.S. Judge Todd Campbell followed recommendations from the court when he dismissed the case, according to his order issued Sept. 16 from a Nashville federal court.

A Tennessee couple, Randy and Vicki McNeal, sued the Massachusetts’ gun maker for more than $75,000 in January. According to their complaint, Randy McNeal was shot in the finger as he attempted to make the gun safe inside a gun store in Murfreesboro, a town just outside of Nashville. They claimed a loose screw on the built-in laser sight of their Bodyguard .380 pistol prevented the slide from locking in position.

The couple’s lawsuit says McNeal dropped the gun as he tried to lock the slide back, which he was having trouble because the screw obstructed the locking mechanism, and the gun discharged when he tried to catch it. Afterward, he needed the small finger on his left hand amputated.

The court’s report cited past rulings that state an injury is not proof of a defective product, a product failure or malfunction does not necessarily make a company liable, and the company has no duty to create an “accident proof” product.

Full article – http://www.guns.com/2016/10/04/judge-dismisses-personal-injury-case-against-smith-wesson/

How Big Is Cycling? Big Enough to Have Its Own Personal-Injury Lawyer.

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Bruce Deming is happy, mostly for the right reasons, to see Washington’s surge in biking. The trim, 59-year-old DC attorney is a once-avid road racer who still takes the occasional 50-mile weekend ride with the National Capital Velo Club.

But he also sees a market in the snarl of cyclists, drivers, and pedestrians jockeying for space amid construction sites, double-parked vans, and gridlocked intersections. Deming specializes in representing injured bike riders, and business is booming.

“The growth is primarily among new riders in their twenties and thirties who use bikes for transportation,” he says, adding diplomatically, “They’re less skilled in the art of accident avoidance. They also trust in bike lanes a little more than they should.”

Deming began his career suing oil companies for price violations at the Department of Energy 30 years ago. After leaving government in the mid-’80s, he “sort of fell into personal-injury law,” he says. “When I started my practice, I did everything, but I rode bikes daily and I raced. Biking friends called for help.” As Washington increasingly took to two wheels, “one case led to another,” he says. “Bicyclists are a social group, so your name gets around.”

Deming takes only about half of the 200 or so cases he hears about each year, earning about a third of damage awards that range from hundreds of dollars to millions: “I pick my fights—and it’s always a fight.”

What makes bike-injury cases difficult, according to Deming, is cops’ casual attitude toward reporting accidents. Last year, Jeanie Osburn,62, a longtime DC bike commuter, was pedaling near FBI headquarters on Pennsylvania Avenue when a driver slowed while preparing to turn left and fooled Osburn into thinking he saw her. She was wrong—and went to the hospital with back and shoulder injuries. When it came time for Osburn to make a claim against the driver’s insurance company, the police report was inaccurate and incomplete. “There was a sea of blue,” she recalls of her accident scene, “but no officer took down witness names.”

Read Full Article – http://www.washingtonian.com/2016/04/11/cycling-personal-injury-lawyer-biking-in-dc/

Jail Violence Creates Surge of Personal Injury Claims

Police: E-cigarette malfunction causes personal injury crash

Tabnie Dozier, @WHAS11Tabnie10:41 p.m. EST January 5, 2016

JACKSON COUNTY, Ind. (WHAS11) – It took just under three hours’ worth of clean-up to remove a semi that crashed on I-65 North in Indiana near the Jackson-Scott County line.

Indiana State troopers say the cause is an e-cigarette the driver was using that exploded in his face. No one else was hurt.

“The truck went onto the shoulder then ultimately struck a guardrail before coming to a stop,” Sgt. Stephen Wheeles said.

Wheeles says the driver, Christian Starasinich was hurt which he calls the crash a rare one.

“His injuries are primarily from the device exploding in his hand and not from the crash itself. I personally have not heard of an instance like this where someone was injured by one and it possibly caused a crash,” he said.

Troy Leblanc, owns the 5 Kentuckiana Derb-e-cigs locations and also represents the Kentucky Smoke Free Association.

“When you hear something like that you hop that the driver is not severely hurt as well as other motorists, that’s a large truck,” Leblanc said. He says e-cig users and people in general should not be alarmed after this uncommon crash.

“It’s extremely, extremely rare. We don’t see it very often, don’t here it very often,” he said.

These devices Leblanc explains are highly popular with more than 9 million Americans using them regularly.

“I urge them to come in the advice is free and we’d be more than happy to help anyone out,” he said.

Here in Kentuckiana, sales are soaring, especially in the past two years.

“We’ve sold over five million dollars in product in our store alone of out of the 30 plus stores in the city,” Leblanc adds.

The circumstances from this crash are still unknown and Leblanc says that can make all the difference as he wonders what type of device was the driver using and how old it was, was he charging it correctly, maintenance there are so many unanswered questions.

But what can be said from both police and e-cig experts, is this crash could have had a much more devastating ending.

Read Full Article – http://www.whas11.com/story/news/traffic/accident-construction/2016/01/05/e-cig-explosion-blamed–65-semi-accident/78314388/