Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

The heirs of a 52-year-old man killed last year in a car crash have settled a civil lawsuit against a driver accused of running a stop sign. The driver was driving a truck when he ran a stop sign and struck a pickup driven by the victim who was headed north and preparing to turn left, according to charging documents. He later died from his injuries. As a Maryland car accident attorney I am frequently retained in pursuing these challenging cases.

Third District Judge this month approved a motion to settle the case filed by the decedent’s sister, who is the court-appointed guardian of the victim’s adult son. Under the settlement, the heirs will accept the policy limits offered by insurance companies. The undisclosed amount is to cover attorneys and accountants fees, hospital and medical bills, taxes owed and funeral expenses. Any remaining money is to go to the victim’s heirs, 60 percent to the adult son, and 40 percent to his disability trust.

The victim is legally blind, suffers from epilepsy, microcephaly and pervasive developmental disorder, court documents state. The driver was charged with negligent homicide in the crash. Later that year, he entered a guilty plea in abeyance. Under the plea, the class A misdemeanor negligent homicide count will be reduced to a lesser class B misdemeanor after 36 months, as long as he follows court conditions that include completing 540 hours of community service. His license was also suspended for two years.

The daughter of a 49-year-old immigrant detainee who died after an infection overwhelmed his body has filed a federal civil lawsuit accusing officials at House of Correction and its privately run infirmary of gross negligence leading to his death. The claim seeks unspecified damages in the death of shuttle driver who was in jail fighting deportation to the Dominican Republic. As a Maryland lawyer I review these types of cases for potential liability of the correctional facilities and state actors in pursuing claims on behalf of familys aggrieved by such misconduct.

In the lawsuit,his daughter accuses jail and infirmary officials of reckless neglect, saying her father “died from a heart attack caused by a massive infection that the defendants failed to properly treat.” The lawsuit, which alleges civil rights violations and medical malpractice, cites a federal report last year that said jail officials waited too long to take the victim to the hospital, allowing the infection to spread. His death triggered protests from advocates for immigrants and others concerned about detainees’ care.
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A major Gas Co. could have prevented the death of a 20-year-old woman, one of eight people who died in the inferno from the gas pipeline explosion, according to a lawsuit filed by the woman’s parents. The wrongful-death lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for negligence and “ultra-hazardous activity” by the gas company. The lawsuit points to “a long list of incidents and safety lapses,” and criticizes the utility for its “sluggish” response to the incident.

“The gas company had knowledge of this pipeline’s defective condition but put profits ahead of public safety,” the attorney said in a statement. “No one should have lost loved ones or suffered injuries or damage to their homes.” The lawsuit claims that the pipeline was over-pressurized at the time of the explosion and that the company failed to maintain or properly inspect the pipe or install automatic or remote shutoff valves.

On the night of the explosion,the victim was visiting her boyfriend to watch a football game when the 30-inch natural gas pipeline exploded at about 6:15 p.m. on Sept. 9 and flames rushed into the house. Terrified, she “ran for her life towards the back yard but was unable to escape the flames, according to the lawsuit.The boyfriend was severely burned while trying to rescue her. The victim’s body was found the next day. The Gas company spokesman declined to comment directly on the lawsuit; except to say that “…,obviously, our hearts go out to the family and we respect their right to file a lawsuit and we will work with them to address their concerns.” The victim’s family is the latest of more than 50 families to sue the utility after the disaster, which injured at least 50 and destroyed 38 homes.

Jurors awarded $10.1 million in damages to the family of an overdose victim hoping the multimillion dollar verdict strikes fear into other “pill mills” that have turned the city into a national hub for prescription drug abuse. “Our verdict shows how much our community is against these pill mills and wants things to change,” said a juror after finding gross negligence led to the overdose death of the victim. Another juror agreed, saying the verdict issued in District Court should discourage others who might be improperly churning out the addictive drugs that killed the plaintiff.

The victim 54, died two days after his only visit to a Medi Clinic where he received a prescription for three potent drugs: hydrocodone, xanax and soma. He had sought help there for chronic pain he suffered from a motorcycle injury and a fall at a petrochemical plant. The clinic’s director had prescribed this same drug combo — known as the “holy trinity” — at least 3,800 times between 2006 and 2007 at more than 17 pain area clinics that he then oversaw, records showed. But his prescription-writing came to an abrupt halt when he was forced to surrender his license to the Medical Board just three days after the victim died.

The Dr. who repeatedly pleaded the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination during the four-day trial, was found grossly negligent and slapped with the stiffest penalty: $9.05 million. The 72-year-old physician chose not to be present for the reading of the verdict, and his attorney declined comment. The family’s attorney commented on the Dr.s absence: “I don’t think he has any remorse or compassion. The other two defendants expressed their sympathy about my client’s death, but he took the Fifth even on that.”

A woman seriously injured in a car crash is blaming the maker of an alcoholic energy drink, according to a lawsuit filed Friday. The woman, 20, was ejected from a car on State Road 417 in an August crash. The driver of the car, 20, who is also named a defendant in the suit, drank the energy drink before she struck another car while driving at a high rate of speed.

The suit, which comes days after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning to the maker of the energy drink and three other drink makers, was filed against the company.The convenience store that sold the drinks, was also named as a defendant. “We filed this suit against the makers of this beverage because we believe this drink is dangerous,” said the lawyer. “My client nearly died.”

According to published reports, a man filed a lawsuit against the drink manufacturer because his son drank the energy drinks before committing suicide. The FDA on Wednesday warned the company and other caffeine-alcohol drink manufacturers that caffeine in the drinks was “an unsafe food additive” and further action against them was possible.

St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson is facing lawsuits and two federal investigations related to its cardiac care division has just informed 169 more heart patients received costly and dangerous treatments that were not needed.

These additional cases bring the total to 538 patients notified by St. Joseph’s that coronary stent implants they received at the hospital may have been unnecessary. Officials at the Hospital also said more questionable procedures may be uncovered while an internal review continues.

The St. Joseph’s announcement is the latest debacle in an issue that has spawned a class action lawsuit, required the removal of a prominent physician and interested the U.S. Senate. It could also result in a multi-million dollar fine for the hospital per court records.

A six person jury found three cigarette companies responsible for the cancer death of a Florida woman. The woman had begun smoking in 1953 at the age of 15 and died in 1995.

The lawyer who was representing her three children stated , “She started smoking in an era when cigarette advertising was pervasive, on TV– in its infancy – in print media and on radio.”

The verdict follows a series of losses by the tobacco industry after a ruling by the State Supreme Court in a tobacco class action case. In the decision the high court decertified a statewide class of addicted smokers and permitted individual suits to go forward.