The New York Personal Injury Blog

September 2012 Archives

What Effect Will Sleepy Bus Driver's Criminal Trial Have on Lawsuits?

A sleepy driver allegedly led to unimaginable carnage, reports The Associated Press. Thirteen people died at the scene when a bus, driven by Ophadell Williams, slid off the side of the road, tipped onto its side, and had its roof sheared off. Two died at the hospital. One passenger used his arms to protect his head and had those arms torn off. Another man lost an ear. Others suffered broken bones.

Williams is currently on trial for multiple counts of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide. Both charges require proof of negligence, or even worse, recklessness. In order to convict, the allegations of speeding and fatigued driving will have to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. This means the judge or jury will have to be nearly certain that Williams' conduct caused the accident and that such conduct fell below what is expected of the reasonable bus driver.

Whistleblower Alleges Shady Organ Harvesting; Could Lead to More Lawsuits

Patrick McMahon, 50, was labeled a troublemaker. In fact, he only lasted four months as a transplant coordinator with the nonprofit New York Organ Donor Network. In his brief time there, he alleges that he witnessed families being pressured to consent to organ donation, premature declarations of brain death, and even a quota system implemented upon the employees, reports the New York Post.

McMahon’s lawsuit cites four cases as examples of alleged malfeasance by the nonprofit. In one, a 19-year-old victim of a car accident was declared brain dead despite the man trying to breathe and showing signs of brain activity. In another, he claims that the family of a woman that had previously received an organ donation was pressured to pay it forward.

It's Not Just Trader Joe's - Peanut Recall Expanded to 76 Products

After hearing of the Trader Joe's Creamy Valencia Peanut Butter recall, you may have been tempted to avoid all peanut-related products when you went to TJ's. Fair enough, but it turns out you might want to avoid all peanut products.

And some Tahini. And some almond butter. And some cashew butter. And Kroger spinach, though that is a completely unrelated recall. In fact, the only safe thing to eat is probably a McDouble from the Notorious Mickey D's. Oh wait. Never mind.

Get Your iPhone Fix: Early Termination Fee Avoidance, Maybe

On day 21 of month 9 of the year 2012, Anno Domini, the sixth incarnation of the “Jesus Phone” sprang forth. After the riots quelled and the thirsts of the most ardent worshippers of the late Great Jobs were quenched, the masses already bound to another telecom deity wondered: Is there a way to break my loyalty and obligation and instead pay tribute to another minion of the Great One?

In plain English, many people who are stuck in two-year phone contracts based on their previous phone purchases want to how to escape their lengthy contracts. There are three ways. Pay the early termination fee, find a loophole, or breach your contract.

Notorious Mickey D's: Is Restaurant Liable for Violent Patrons?

Are these random acts of violence or a disturbing pattern? In March, a man was attacked at the "notorious McDonald's" in the West Village by two people shouting gay slurs. Last October, a cashier beat down a couple of rowdy customers who slapped him and tried to cross the counter. And earlier this year, also in March, a St. Patrick's Day brawl on the sidewalk again called the restaurant's safety into question.

Last night, a patron let loose with a few homophobic slurs before taking out a razor blade and slicing another customer's elbow, face, neck, and back, reports 1010 WINS. The victim was stitched up at Bellevue Hospital and will survive. Meanwhile, the restaurant's reputation as a danger spot is growing.

Ph.D. Student Rejects Prof on Grindr, Gets Fired?

Supposedly, It all started with an app. A "hookup" app, to be exact. Ph.D. student Alberto Leguina was at work when he received a curious message on the app. A man wanted to know if he was interested in seeing older men. Uninterested in the elder folk, Leguina ignored the message. Shortly thereafter, according to Leguina, another message, this time accompanied by a picture of his boss, Qais Al-Awqati, arrived in his inbox, reports the Columbia Spectator.

For those unfamiliar with Grindr, it's an app that allows gentlemen, with either a same sex preference or a bisexual orientation, to connect to other nearby gentlemen via their GPS-enabled smart phone. The app boasts more than 4 million guys in 192 countries around the world. One presumes that the nearest man to the much older professor was his 25-year-old assistant, as he was allegedly hitting on Leguina from the next room.

Right to Refuse? Gay Couple Gets Wedding Reception Rejection

“We Reserve the Right to Refuse Service to Anyone”

Simple enough, right? The eternal rule posted in nearly every restaurant means that the establishment can refuse service to anyone they want, regardless of reason.

Not exactly.

Barrett Greene and Thomas Eng were looking for a location for their wedding reception. Amber Village seemed like a lovely location with plenty of feng shui. The manager, Tommy Ho, took the couple’s $750 deposit on their American Express card. Shortly thereafter, a senior manager, Mr. Fong, allegedly told Ho that “gay partyers are especially bad for feng shui,” reports the Daily News.

Catty Slap During Fashion Week Leads to Dropped Knowledge, Lawsuit

It's about to be a what? Girlfight! A slap heard 'round the fashion world earlier this week has led to a $1 million injury lawsuit.

The Fashion Week fracas can be traced back to the FDNY. Moments before show time, fire marshals removed about 60 seats, mostly from the front row, of the Zac Posen show at Avery Fisher Hall. Veteran publicist Lynn Tesoro, who has worked for Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, and Giorgio Armani, tried to handle the situation as her vast experience dictated, reports Women's Wear Daily.

Jennifer Eymere, the editor of French fashion mag Jalouse, was upset that her mother didn't have a seat after the fire marshal mix-up. The argument eventually escalated to the point where Eymere reportedly slapped Tesoro after Tesoro allegedly spoke rudely to the French ladies. When asked about the slap, Eymere told Women's Wear Daily that she warned Tesoro not to be rude to her mom. When Tesoro persisted, she let loose with a little physical reinforcement.

The Toilets at the Standard Hotel Come With a View ... and No Warning

You’ve had a couple of drinks. You’re giggin’, having a good time, when suddenly, that milk from the White Russian you consumed hits you. Not to worry, you’re clubbing in style. The Standard’s Boom Boom Room is one of the finest facilities in New York City.

You make your way to the restroom, prepare yourself, and suddenly you realize that the entire wall in front of you is actually a transparent window. The view is magnificent! Because you are on the eighteenth floor, you can see miles away. This might be the most picturesque trip to the porcelain bank you’ve ever experienced!

Cops Caught on Camera Beating 'Suspect', Get Sued

Luis Solivan, 19, was walking home when the NYPD cruiser pulled a high-speed U-turn. He has no idea why, but he took off. According to his lawsuit, he was unarmed and not breaking any laws.

When cops see you run, they are bound to chase. Call it training, or even a Pavlovian reaction. When they caught up with him, the situation became violent, reports The New York Times.

James Franco Slams 'Awful' Professor Who Gave Him a D, Gets Sued

There are websites where the sole purpose is to allow students to rate their professors. Students can vent, review, or compliment the work of their professors. Beyond the internet, we have students complaining in halls, whining on Facebook or Twitter, and submitting angry evaluations at the end of the semester.

Let's sue 'em all!

Former visiting NYU Professor José Angel Santana has decided to start with James Franco, probably because Mr. Franco is kinda famous. Franco got a "D" in Santana's class and then told reporters that Santana was "awful" and that he was not going to waste his time with a crappy professor. He also stated that NYU would never fire a professor for handing out a "D"; Instead, he claimed Santana was asked not to return because he was a bad professor.

Beamer vs. Bentley: When Drunks Collide, Who is Liable?

Was it Beamer Benz or Bentley? Two out of three, apparently. And the question remains: when two alleged drunk drivers collide into each other, who picks up the check?

The casualties from the luxury car collision were severe, reports the New York Post. Besides the cost of the cars, which we'd guess is significant, there were eight people injured. Two were critically injured, two were seriously hurt, and four suffered only minor injuries.

American Airlines Bumps Boy With Down Syndrome Off of Flight

Some have said that American Airlines was going to hell in a hand-basket. Little did they know that they may have been half-right.

According to KTLA, the financially-troubled airline is now making news for allegedly discriminating against the disabled. Bede Vanderhorst is a 16-year-old with Down Syndrome. Bede and his parents, Joan and Robert Vanderhorst were waiting to board a cross-country flight from Newark to Los Angeles when they were informed that they could not board the flight.

The airline cited their pilot's assertion that the child's behavior presented a safety risk. Bede's mother took a video of Bede while they were being told that he couldn't board the flight - he was sitting quietly and playing with his hat.