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Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What happens when the employer refuses to acknowledge my claim?”

 

Chris Beck Charlotte Mecklenburg Injury Lawyer North Carolina Medical malpractice AttorneyMilitary regulations require the immediate dismissal of any service member who is found to be transgender. That is placing the some 15,500 transgender people serving in the military in a quandary, and forcing peers, supervisors and military doctors who are aware of members’ status to “look the other way,” according to sources and advocates interviewed by the Washington Post.

Political leaders from President Barack Obama to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi have expressed support for examining the ban and, potentially, lifting it. The Pentagon, however, told the Post that no review was underway, and Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, worries that transgender service members are being lulled into a false sense of security.

Chris Beck 2 Charlotte Mecklenburg Injury Lawyer North Carolina Wrongful Death AttorneyShe said openly transgender service members risk losing their jobs. Some two dozen service members have been discharged in the past two years after their transgender status was uncovered, according to advocates.

Military leaders are focused now on more urgent priorities such as the conflict with the Islamic State raging in Iraq and Syria and looming budget cuts. Army Maj. Gen. Gale S. Pollock told the Post that the military will eventually “do the right thing” by allowing transgender service members to serve openly. The change is just not going to occur as soon as some would like.

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Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question ” If an incident report was filled out, do I have a right to receive a copy?”

 

Scenes and outtakes from countless television shows and movies have shown cyclists speeding past people jogging or skating alongside the sands of Southern California beaches. Many of these have featured the twenty-or-so mile paved Marvin Braude Bicycle Path that runs from Pacific Palisades in Los Angeles south to Torrance.

Bike Lane Charlotte North Carolina Injury Lawyer North Carolina Car Accident AttorneyCyclists may enjoy a relative safety on the seaside paths, but inland things have gotten downright tragic for bicycle riders. California saw 338 cyclists killed in collisions with motor vehicles between 2010 and 2012, according to a report issued Monday by the Governors Highway Safety Association. Florida lagged not far behind Golden State, reporting 329 cyclists killed in collisions with motor vehicles in the same period.

Bicyclist deaths nationwide increased by 16-percent between 2010 and 2012, according to the report, but Florida and California reported the largest increases in deaths.

Allen Williams, a scientist who worked at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, compiled the report. He observed what he described as “remarkable changes” in the profile of those killed in crashes involving bicycles and cars. Adult males accounted for 74-percent of bicyclists killed in 2012. In 1975, by comparison, only 21-percent of bicyclists killed were adults of either gender.

Two-thirds of bicyclists killed in 2012 were not wearing helmets, while nearly a third of those killed registered a blood-alcohol content of .08 or more.

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Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What if the accident was my fault?”

 

A 17-year-old girl who was “virtually decapitated” at the waist when she “jackknifed” over the lap belt in a 1996 Toyota 4Runner has been awarded $12.5 million by a California jury. If she had brought suit in North Carolina, her case would have been dismissed.

Crash Dummies Charlotte Mecklenburg Injury Lawyer North Carolina Car Crash AttorneyToyota spokeswoman Carly Shaffner said the carmaker respected the jury’s time and consideration, but she remained confident that plaintiff Chelsie Hill’s injuries “were not the result of a defect in the 1996 Toyota 4Runner.” The jury reached the opposite conclusion after four hours of deliberations.

Hill—now 22—was a passenger in the February 21, 2010 crash in Monterey, California. Driver Aaron Corn, who was only 18 at the time and was driving while under the influence of alcohol, struck a tree while driving 30 miles per hour. The jury found that Corn was five-percent responsible for Hill’s injuries and that Hill was five-percent at fault for getting into a car with a drunken driver.

Dr. Robert Lieberson, the neurosurgeon who treated Hill after the crash, said the lap belt severed the girl at her midsection, and she was only held together by her skin. Lieberson and others testified that Hill used the belt properly.

Hill’s attorney suggested that Toyota chose to install the least safe and least expensive restraint system in the seat. Videos shown to the jury depicting dummies compared crashes involving lap belts against those with shoulder belts. Test dummies with lap-only belts jackknifed violently in crashes, while dummies in lap-and-shoulder belts remained upright.

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Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What exactly is a wrongful death claim?”

 

The wife of an inmate who died of dehydration after two stints in solitary confinement has hired an attorney to pursue potential legal claims, the inmate’s sister has revealed.

Inside jail cell Charlotte Mecklenburg Injury Lawyer North Carolina Wrongful death AttorneyPrison officials accused 54-year-old inmate Michael Anthony Kerr of flooding his cell, according to an autopsy released in September. Prison staff are permitted to switch off the water flowing to an inmate’s sink and toilet if the inmate is found to have misused “plumbing facilities,” according to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety.

Kerr died on March 12 after he was found unresponsive in the back of a van while being transported from Alexander Correctional Institution in Taylorsville to a mental hospital at Raleigh’s Central Prison.

It is unclear whether prison officials turned off the water to Kerr’s cell. Records obtained by the Associated Press showed that Kerr was placed in “administrative segregation” in February. He was cited twice—on the 21st and again on the 24th of February—for flooding his cell. Kerr was also cited for disobeying orders and for “lock tampering,” although, according to WCNC, inmates can be cited for lock tampering if they “repeatedly bang on the steel doors of their cells.”

Kerr was moved into “disciplinary segregation,” or solitary confinement, on February 25. Medical Examiner Dr. Susan E. Venuti, who conducted Kerr’s autopsy, said that she was allowed to read an internal prison report regarding Kerr’s death, but she was not allowed to make a copy of the report. She said the report failed to answer key questions such as when Kerr had last consumed food or water. Venuti could not even classify whether Kerr’s death was natural, accidental or the result of a homicide, given the lack of information.

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Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Can I wait a few months to pursue a personal injury claim?”

 

A 77-year-old Irish golfer who sued Eddie Murphy after a golf club told him he had a 13 handicap watched Ireland’s High and Supreme Courts sink his lawsuit last week.

Golf Putt Charlotte Mecklenburg Injury Lawyer North Carolina Accident AttorneyThe golfer, a retired insurance official from Dublin named Thomas Talbot, sued the Golfing Union of Ireland, the Hermitage Golf Club and Hermitage Officer Eddie Murphy in 2004 after the golf club sent Talbot a certificate showing he had a 13 handicap and was entitled to “General Play (Handicap Building).”

Talbot felt his handicap was lower. By assigning him a 13 handicap, he believed, the golf club accused him of cheating.

Irish Supreme Court Justice Daniel Herbert rejected Talbot’s claim. While the justice conceded that the words “Handicap Building” could have been interpreted by fellow golfers to mean that Talbot was inflating his handicap, “the words were only published in a limited form to a computer programmer who designed software for the club, including for handicap records.” The limited, intra-club publication of the words meant that it “enjoyed qualified privilege from being sued,” Justice Herbert said.

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Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Can I wait a few months to pursue a personal injury claim?”

 

Red Bull does not really give you wings, but since you might have thought it did, the company that makes the popular energy drink has agreed to pay $13 million to customers in the United States.

Red Bull Delivery Truck Charlotte Injury Lawyer Mecklenburg Wrongful Death AttorneyIf you are one of those customers, you can claim your share of the $13 million by simply filling out an online form. On the form, you will have to certify—under penalty of perjury—that you purchased at least one Red Bull can between January 1, 2002 and October 3, 2014. If you did, you can choose either a $10 reimbursement or a voucher for $15 worth of Red Bull products.

The company was sued by Plaintiff Benjamin Careathers in 2013 in United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Careathers alleged that the company misled him about the energy drink’s health benefits. Careathers—who said he had been drinking Red Bull for over ten years—said the company’s claims that the drink increased consumers’ performance, concentration and reaction speed were “deceptive, fraudulent and therefore actionable.”

Careathers’ lawsuit was certified as a “class action.” Class action lawsuits enable one or more plaintiffs to file and prosecute claims on behalf of a larger group of people, or a “class.” The class action device saves time and expense by resolving claims of potentially thousands or millions of plaintiffs in a single court action. A company like Red Bull might actually save money by settling a merit-worthy class-action suit rather than facing thousands or millions of identical lawsuits.

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Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What constitutes nursing home negligence?”

 

A four-year-long pursuit of justice ended last month for a former Orangeburg, South Carolina nursing home employee who was accused of attempting to rape a mentally handicapped woman in 2010.

Shadowy Hallway Charlotte Injury Lawyer Mecklenburg Nursing Home Negligence AttorneyThen-54-year-old Ralph C. Williams was charged in June of 2010 with third-degree criminal sexual conduct and abuse of a vulnerable adult. At the time, an employee at the Orangeburg Nursing Home called Capt. Mike Adams of the Orangeburg Department of Public Safety to report that she saw Mr. Williams on top of a 42-year-old female patient with his “scrub pants down and appeared to be starting to have sex with (the patient).”

Williams was acquitted of the criminal charges in 2012. As it turned out, he was the victim of false allegations lodged against him by Patricia Johnson, Josette Peppers and UniHealth Post Acute Care, LLC, an Orangeburg jury found. Johnson, Peppers and UniHealth were named as defendants in a defamation lawsuit Williams brought to clear his name.

Defamation, in general, is defined as any statement—written or spoken—that damages a person’s reputation. The statement must be “published;” in other words, the defamatory statement must be made to a third party or third parties. The plaintiff in a defamation lawsuit must prove that he or she was damaged by the alleged defamatory statement or statements.

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Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What exactly is a wrongful death claim?”

 

A Uniontown, Ohio mother claims she and her partner must move out of their “all-white hometown” so that their mixed-race daughter will be accepted.

Baby Boy Mecklenburg Injury Lawyer North Carolina Medical Malpractice AttorneyJennifer Cramblett, described by the Daily Mail as a “white lesbian mother,” is suing the Chicago-based Midwest Sperm Bank because, she says, it sent her the wrong sperm samples. She said that she and her partner, Amanda Zinkon, picked a blonde-haired, blue-eyed sperm donor so that their baby would look like Ms. Zinkon.

However, when Cramblett’s order was processed, a clerk accidentally transposed the numbers on her order and sent her vials of sperm donated by an African-American man.

Cramblett said she and Zinkon love their daughter, but they are considering moving to a more diverse community. In her lawsuit, she complained that Payton—the daughter—“has hair typical of an African-American girl.” Cramblett said she must travel to “a black neighborhood” to get the girl a proper cut, “where she is obviously different in appearance, and not overtly welcome.”

Cramblett said many members of her family are openly racist. She said she did not meet a black person until she went to college and worries she is not up to the task of raising a mixed-race child, since she “has limited cultural competency relative to African-Americans.” Cramblett fears when Payton reaches school age, she will be the only non-white child in her class.

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Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Can my employer fire me because I filed a workers’ compensation claim?”

 

Call it blurred lines, redrawn lines or whatever you like, but courts in states that legalize the use of marijuana will have to wrestle with the sundry legal issues that arise as a result of its legal use.

Marijuana Charlotte Wrongful Death Attorney Mecklenburg Injury Lawyer

Perhaps the first issue—surely not the last—related to the State of Colorado’s legalization of marijuana has been decided by that state’s Supreme Court. The case involves a 35-year-old paraplegic named Brandon Coats, who was fired from his job in 2010 after he failed a drug test.

Coats, who worked for Dish Network, was paralyzed in a car accident when he was a teenager. His doctor urged him to use medical marijuana to calm violent muscle spasms that Coats said interfered with his ability to work. Coats had been working for Dish Network for three years when he was asked to submit to a random drug test. He said he told his superiors he would fail the test.

Dish Network has argued that if it is forced to retain employees who test positive for marijuana, it could be forced to overlook “marijuana-induced performance problems.” Colorado attorney Michael Evans said Coats’ performance reviews were all satisfactory, and Dish Network conceded that Coats performed well at his job. Dish Network also cited a federal employment law banning marijuana use and said it could lose federal contracts if Coats wins his case.

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Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question ” I have been injured on another person’s property. What should I do now?”

 

Maybe I am an oddball, but I feel a little insulted when I am asked to present a receipt when exiting a store. The store invited me in. It is equipped with cameras to detect thieves. It employs guards—some or all of them armed—to detect and apprehend thieves. Someone is, or can be, watching literally every move I make in the store. That means someone watches me pay the cashier. In spite of all that, the man or woman guarding the door still wants proof that I bought what I am carrying. I am presumed guilty. I must prove my innocence.

Costco Charlotte Injury Lawyer North Carolina Wrongful Death AttorneyI try not to make a habit of making mountains out of mole hills, so I go with the flow. I present the receipt. I move along through life. It is not the guard’s fault, after all. It is the store’s policy. If I do not like it, I do not have to shop at the store.

But I’ve always wondered what would happen if I refused to show my receipt. Would I be detained? Interrogated? Tortured?

I am kidding, of course, but a Portland, Oregon Costco customer’s refusal to show his receipt to two store employees who asked to see it was no laughing matter. Timothy Walls said he spent $103 on goods at the Costco—enough to need to transport the items to his car in a shopping buggy. When he refused to show his receipt at the exit, one employee yanked the buggy away from him. The worker then grabbed Walls by the collar of his shirt while a second worker administered “a martial arts type” kick to Walls’ leg. Walls said the kick broke his leg.

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