Yearly Archives: 2009

Seat Belts = Safety

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in Washington DC has documented a steady increase in the use of seat belts across our nation since 1994. As a result, there have been less unrestrained vehicle passenger deaths. Click here to see this research information.

City of Charlotte to Settle Wrongful Death Lawsuit for Driver Killed By Falling Tree

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The Charlotte Observer reported this week that the City will pay a settlement fee to the family of Kay Plyler because the root system of the tree that crashed into her SUV and killed her was known to be decayed. No warning had been issued to the public . Ms. Plyler was the assistant town clerk for Matthews, NC and the lawsuit defines the City as negligent. Read the complete article here. Recently in Greensboro, a young mother was killed when a tree toppled and crushed her as she was driving home in her SUV. It has been reported that heavy rain contributed to the tree falling. Read more about this tragic accident here. All this brings to mind that sometimes unimaginable circumstances can happen when you’re on the road and weather can be a contributing factor. Be careful out there. It’s also important as homeowners to keep up with maintenance on your property.

Ensign Amendment Fails — Good News for Malpractice Victims

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A vote in the US Senate this past week showed that a bi-partisan majority did not agree with John Ensign’s proposal to limit plaintiff’s attorney’s fees for handling medical malpractice claims. The bill to limit plaintiff’s attorney fees in medical malpractice cases failed because the overwhelming majority of lawmakers realize that victims of medical malpractice face some of the fiercest litigation battles from negligent doctors. And those battles result in ever-increasing costs to injury victims. This on top of numerous hurdles that burden medial malpractice injury victims (at least in North Carolina) from ever getting to see the inside of a courtroom. The message from Ensign’s proposal –doctors can vigorously defend the harm they cause, but we will continue to limit the victims ability to pursue cases. Interestingly, Ensign’s proposal did not limit attorney’s fees for defending negligent doctors. Instead it was another veiled attempt to stick it to trial lawyers, at the expense of people who suffer or die from medical mistakes. If real “tort reform” is ever to have a chance, it must be based on a genuine and sincere effort to level the playing field for all.

North Carolina’s Senators Kay Hagan (D) and Richard Burr (R) voted in favor of the failed Ensign amendment.