Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “Can I wait a few months to pursue a personal injury claim?”

 

Almost six months after a horrific fair accident left several people seriously injured at the North Carolina State Fair, a group has filed the first personal injury lawsuit in the case. The suit was filed by four family members who were riding the Vortex at the time of the accident and all sustained serious injuries as a result of the malfunction.

 

Fair ride Charlotte Injury Lawyer Mecklenburg County Wrongful Death AttorneyThe lawsuit was filed against a worker in charge of the ride, the owner of the Vortex machine itself and two other companies that service fair attractions. The lawsuit was filed by the Gorham family and seeks an astounding $150 million from the defendants, a sum that rests largely on punitive damages. The lawsuit estimates that medical bills could continue costing the family money for decades to come and may end up totaling as much as $30 million. The remainder, $120 million, is intended to punish those responsible and ensure that another tragedy like this never happens again.

 

The Gorham family, Kisha and her husband Anthony, as well as their 14-year-old son and a niece, were all trying to get off the ride when it sprang back to life and threw the riders back into the area, many of whom were unsecured. Anthony Gorham suffered permanent brain damage, neck and spinal trauma and is now unable to act on his own legally. The man has had multiple brain surgeries and continues to struggle with what many agree will be a lengthy recovery.

 

One of those sued in the case is Timothy Tutterrow, a man from Georgia who police have said may have tampered with critical safety systems on the ride prior to the disaster. Safety investigators say they believe Tutterrow’s actions may have allowed the machine to continue operating when riders’ safety restraints were in the unlocked position. In addition to the civil lawsuit, Tutterrow faces criminal charges including assault with a deadly weapon.

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Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “What can you sue for in a personal injury case?”

Parents across North Carolina place their children into the hands of others everyday. Whether it’s with babysitters, nannies or larger daycare centers, tens of thousands of young girls and boys are entrusted into the care of strangers. The worst nightmare of most parents is that something happens while they are not around to do anything about it. Sadly, such an episode recently took place in Charlotte when a group of nearly a dozen young kids were rushed to local hospitals after an accident at their daycare.

 

Glass of Water Charlotte Injury Lawyer North Carolina Negligence AttorneyAuthorities say that the children, who were all between three and four years old, were injured after drinking bleach at the daycare. The problems began when the kids gathered for a morning snack at the Bolin Day Care Center on Monday and were each given cups of water poured from a common pitcher. Soon after the children received their drinks, staff members noticed that several had become ill. As more and more children began vomiting, staff members decided that something was awry and called local police and medical personnel for help.

 

The children were all rushed to hospitals in the Kings Mountain area for treatment and are thankfully expected to be okay. Investigators retraced the steps of the employees and discovered that the pitcher that served the water contained an ounce of bleach. A staff member mistakenly placed that pitcher with the bleach into the refrigerator, which was then grabbed by a different person who was serving the water, somehow failing to notice the distinct scent of the cleaning agent.

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Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “What can you sue for in a personal injury case?”

Two men that authorities say were involved in the recent ride malfunction at the North Carolina State Fair that sent five people to the hospital with serious injuries were formally indicted this past week. Wake County, NC’s District Attorney Colon Willoughby announced that the ride’s operator and the son of the owners of the ride were both charged in connection with the terrible October accident.

Roller Coaster Charlotte Injury Lawyer North Carolina Wrongful Death Attorney.jpgThe original incident occurred on the night of October 24th when one of the Vortex rides at the State Fair malfunctioned. Authorities say the ride restarted itself as riders were disembarking. This sent several people flying through the air, falling as much as 30 feet, including a family of three.

The operator of the Vortex, Tim Tutterrow, has been accused of tampering with the ride and now faces three counts of felony assault with a deadly weapon. Investigators say they believe Tutterrow tampered with the Vortex, specifically, that he overrode important safety features that kept the ride from turning on while it was stopped. Officials say they believe Tutterrow did so to keep the ride in business, a crucial shortcut that nearly cost several people their lives.

In addition to Tutterrow, Joshua Macaroni has been charged with identical crimes. Macaroni is the son of the couple that owns the Vortex. Macaroni’s employer, Family Attractions, has issued a statement saying that Macaroni was not involved in the accident and was never even in the state at the time of the incident. As a result, Family Attractions says it does not understand the basis for the charges filed against Macaroni. Wake County’s DA claims that they have good reason to charge Macaroni and will lay out their case later.

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Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “What should I do if I have been injured by another party but I can’t afford a lawyer?”

A man’s attempt to collect some money from the Washington, D.C. metro system ended up backfiring, instead earning him only criminal fraud charges. The incident surrounds Maurice Owens’ staged slip-and-fall inside a Metro subway station.

Banana Peel Charlotte Injury Lawyer North Carolina Wrongful Death Attorney.jpgInitially, Owens told police that he slipped and fell on a banana peel while he was getting off an elevator at a D.C. Metro stop. He then sued the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority for $15,000, hoping to quickly and easily cash in on a simple slip-and-fall claim. Owens claimed in his suit that a janitor had left the peel in the elevator and, as a result, WMATA ought to be responsible for the injuries he suffered as a result of the slip. Owens said that as a result of the fall he suffered serious injuries to his hip and leg and had to be transported to a nearby hospital for evaluation.

Unfortunately for Owens, the case would not prove to be as easy as he had hoped. Officials with D.C. Metro said they located security camera footage in the Potomac Avenue station which clearly shows Owens faking his fall on the banana peel. The footage reveals that prior to Owens walking in, the elevator floor was totally clear. After Owens enters, he is seen looking up at the camera located inside the elevator, then dropping something that had been in his hand on the floor. Immediately thereafter, Owens is shown falling on the item. The object that Owens dropped was later identified as the banana peel.

Owens’ fake slip-and-fall not only did not work out as he had hoped, but has now led to second-degree felony fraud charges. Many wonder whether Owens believed he would really get away with his scam given the multitude of cameras positioned in the area.

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Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “Can I wait a few months to pursue a personal injury claim?”

In yet another twist in the ongoing saga of the dangerous Vortex rides at the North Carolina State Fair, police say they have now arrested the owner of one such ride. Authorities say that Joshua Gene Macaroni surrendered to police late last week on three felony assault charges related to the accident that left five riders seriously injured.

State Fair Ride 3 Charlotte Personal Injury Lawyer North Carolina Wrongful Death Attorney.jpgOfficials with the Wake County Sheriff’s Office say that Macaroni, a 32-year-old from Georgia, turned himself in to face charges related to the October 24th accident involving the Vortex amusement park ride. Investigators say that as riders were just starting to get off, the ride jolted back to life and ended up dropping five people from heights of up to 30 feet.

Investigators have so far not released word on why they believe Macaroni might be involved in the accident, though they have said that his name is listed as the owner of the Vortex ride at issue. For his part, Macaroni’s attorney has said that he is puzzled about why Macaroni would be charged and says that his client intends to plead not guilty. Macaroni is currently free on $225,000 bond.

The recent arrest marks the second since the accident occurred a few weeks ago. The ride’s operator, an independent contractor named Timothy Tutterrow also from Georgia, was arrested several days after the incident and has also been charged with three counts of assault with a deadly weapon.

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Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “What can you sue for in a personal injury case?”

In a recent and troubling episode in Spring Lake, North Carolina, one high school biology teacher is now without a job after she allowed students to share needles as part of an in-class experiment. The teacher, Miyoshi McMillian, was fired after officials learned that she had her students prick their fingers with lancing needles and then leave them on their lab trays for other students to use later in the day.

hypodermic needle 2 Charlotte DWI Lawyer North Carolina Criminal Defense Attorney.jpgThe horrible incident occurred because McMillian was teaching the student’s about blood types and the finger pricks were meant to allow the students to identify their own blood types. The problem was that rather than properly disposing of the used lancets, McMillian simply had the students wipe the used lancets off with rubbing alcohol before students in a subsequent class reused them. The problem with this approach is that alcohol is not always enough to kill certain blood-borne viruses such as hepatitis or HIV.

A spokesperson for the Harnett County School District said that the incident was troubling for all those who were informed about it. The district not only does not want children sharing needles, but also said that any type of human blood should be kept out of high school classrooms.

The incident only came to light because McMillian offered students who did not want to participate in the experiment a chance to leave the room and write a five-page paper. One girl, who said she was concerned about the exercise, then left them room and called her parents. The girl’s parents then called the school’s principal who later fired McMillian.

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Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “Can I wait a few months to pursue a personal injury claim?”

According to police officials in Raleigh, NC, the operator of the Vortex ride that injured five riders last week is now facing criminal charges after it was discovered that he cut crucial corners regarding the safety of the ride. Police say that Timothy Dwayne Tutterrow has been charged with assault after it was revealed that he intentionally tampered with the ride to bypass several safety features, an act that may have been directly responsible for the serious injuries suffered by the five fairgoers.

State Fair Charlotte Injury Lawyer North Carolina Wrongful death attorney.jpgWake County law enforcement officials say police investigators uncovered evidence that clearly showed that Tutterrow had tampered with the ride. This may have led to the accident last week at the North Carolina State Fair where five people suffered serious injuries. According to a spokesperson for the fair, the Vortex started moving last Thursday while people were exiting the ride. The riders were then dropped from heights of up to 30 feet. Three of the riders remain hospitalized recovering from serious injuries.

Investigators say that Tutterrow has a criminal history including several previous busts for cocaine possession. Beyond Tutterrow’s actions, it has also been revealed that the Vortex ride in question suffered another technical problem four days before the accident. Just before the State Fair officially opened for business a safety switch that keeps the ride from operating unless seat restraints are engaged malfunctioned. The ride was temporarily suspended while workers repaired the problem.

Amazingly, as the fair was being dismantled on Monday another version of the Vortex ride injured a 35-year-old worker who was dismantling it. His leg became trapped and he had to be taken to a local hospital for treatment according to officials with the North Carolina Agriculture Department.

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Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “What can you sue for in a personal injury case?”

One woman from Atlanta learned first hand just how dangerous smoking could be. Though the case of Elizabeth Wilkowski is different than you might be expecting given that the danger she saw was not due to lung cancer or other conditions related to cigarette smoking. In her case, an e-cigarette she had been using to cut back on the real stuff exploded and lit a large portion of her living room on fire.

No smoking sign Charlotte North Carolina Personal Injury Wrongful Death Attorney Lawyer.jpgThe wild case has received national attention after Wilkowski says she had her eHit electronic cigarette plugged into her computer’s USB port to charge. While plugged in, the device suddenly, and without warning, began shooting flames across the living room, burning a hole in her carpet and sofa. Wilkowski was quick on her feet and moved her pets away from the area while wrapping her hand in a nearby towel so that she could get close enough to the computer to unplug the faulty device.

Wilkowski said once she had unplugged it from the computer the flames finally abated. She has since contacted the store where she purchased the e-cigarette and informed the owners of the incident. The store says it has pulled all eHits off its shelves. A company known as Shenzhen Seego Technology makes the cigarette in China.

While Wilkowski learned a valuable lesson about the dangers lurking in supposedly safe e-cigarettes, the industry is a massive one with more than three million such devices on the market today. Though no one believes exploding cigarettes are common, there have been more disturbing incidents than many people may realize.

Within only the last few months, stories of fires started by exploding e-cigarettes have been reported in California, Oklahoma, Arizona and Florida. Several people say that their houses nearly burned down due to battery explosions that occurred while their electronic cigarettes were charging.

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Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “Can I wait a few months to pursue a personal injury claim?”

A recent airline accident at the Bangkok International Airport led to a bizarre cover-up attempt that ended up creating worse media attention than the accident itself. The incident involved a Thai Airways jet that skidded off the runway last week seconds after landing. The accident was thankfully not too severe, with less than 20 people out of the 288 on board suffering injuries.

Airplane Charlotte Personal Injury Wrongful Death North Carolina Attorney Lawyer.jpgAccording to news reports, once the airline had successfully evacuated passengers from the plane, the company almost immediately went to work trying to hide their connection with the crashed jet. Within hours of the crash, maintenance men wielding black paint brushes were spotted painting over the plane’s prominent purple and gold logo. In no time, all the identifying marks on the plane had been covered-up. Thai Airways believed that this attempt at “de-identification” would help avoid thousands of damaging photos being circulated with the company’s logo being associated with a crashed plane.

Unfortunately for Thai Airways, they forgot that this is the era of Instagram. In the current time of instant communication, pictures of the plane before, during and after the cover-up were beamed around the world, subjecting the company to even more negative attention than the relatively minor accident. Passengers began Tweeting images of paint crews and noted how botched the attempt to hide the plane was from a public relations standpoint.

The problem became even worse when a Thai Airways spokesperson came out in defense of the cover-up and said that the actions were only taken in accordance with crisis communication rules of the Star Alliance network it is a part of. Thai Airways said that all Star Alliance members (including United and US Airways) are required to de-identify any airplanes involved in an accident. Almost immediately after making the claim a Star Alliance spokesperson flatly rejected it as untrue, clarifying that no such guidelines exist.

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Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “Do I have to sign a release allowing the insurance company to get my medical records?”

City Council members in Raleigh, NC say they are examining the current location of bike lanes and whether the lanes are so tight that bicyclists are actually put in harms way. The reason for the examination is that some bikers have complained about being injured by “dooring”, the term for what happens when a bicyclist runs into an open car door.

Bike lane sign Charlotte North Carolina Personal Injury Wrongful Death Workers' Compensation Attorney Lawyer.jpgTo help remedy the problem, a local cycling organization, Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission (BPAC), suggests that laws be changed to say that it is illegal for a motorist to open the door of their vehicle on the side that faces moving traffic unless it is reasonably safe to do so. Though dooring might seem like a minor annoyance, BPAC leaders say that the practice can frequently turn deadly. BPAC says that they hope local lawmakers in North Carolina will make it clear that it is the responsibility of the person opening their door to be sure that the door has sufficient clearance.

BPAC leaders said that they are working at the local level to push for dooring changes given that North Carolina is one of only 10 states across the country without a dooring law already in place. A survey of state laws found that besides North Carolina, the following states lack dooring regulations: Virginia, Connecticut, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, Tennessee and West Virginia. Even Alaska, where there are surely few instances of cyclists being endangered on congested streets, has passed an anti-dooring law.

One council member noted that cyclists must also have some responsibility for their own safety and use common sense to stay alert when they see an approaching vehicle has just parked. The city council considered the dooring proposal, but said that before they feel comfortable voting on the issue they would like to have staff gather statistical data on the number of accidents that involve dooring and how best to remedy the problem.

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