Friday, May 28, 2010

Woman Files a Claim for Trip-and-Fall Accident

City officials must make sure that public properties are in properly maintained and will not cause harm to anyone. They must immediately fix roads and sidewalks that have become hazardous to people walking by.

A 66-year-old Anaheim woman recently filed a $50,000 claim against Huntington Beach for the injuries she sustained in a trip-and-fall accident last December near the intersection of Knoxville Avenue and Florida Street.

Reports indicate that Peggy Carroll was walking to her daughter’s parked car when she tripped on an uneven sidewalk and hit her head onto the ground causing the side of her face to be bruised.

Since then, the woman claimed she was burdened by medical expenses including an on-going treatment for her neck and back injuries.

The uneven sidewalk caused by raised roots of nearby trees was fixed by the city shortly after the accident.

These accidents could have been avoided if only city officials were thorough in making sure that sidewalks are still in good condition and repair those that are damaged by different factors.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Alabama KFC Owner Settles Sexual Harassment Lawsuit for $1 Million

An Alabama KFC owner has just agreed to pay $1 million to settle the sexual harassment lawsuit filed against the company by the EEOC.

The EEOC filed the sexual harassment suit against Jack Marshall Foods Inc. last March 2009 in behalf of 19 former female employees.

According to the lawsuit, the family run business tolerated a workplace that allowed male employees to describe their sexual intentions to the female employees and perform unwanted touches and groping that were sexual in nature.

Three of the female workers involved were teenagers at the time.

In a press release, Jack Marshall Foods Inc said that the male cook in question was fired even before the lawsuit was filed.

They also said that they agreed to pay the settlement to avoid costly litigation and to protect the jobs of their other 400 employees.

The drawback to settlements of course is that the case never gets its day in court and the sexual harassment claim was neither proven nor discredited.

There will be no judgment on whether the company did what it can to prevent the sexual harassment or were they really negligent and tolerated that type of workplace?

However, it is also a win-win situation between the two sides.

The female workers get compensation while the company ends the case without having to go through a hearing where they may lose.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Wal-Mart Stops Selling Miley Cyrus Necklaces Due to Toxicity Concerns

Retailers can be held liable in a product liability lawsuit if the product they are selling caused injury to other people. This may be the primary reason why Wal-Mart has decided to pull out a line of necklaces, which were made after 17-year-old singer and actress Miley Cyrus, after several tests revealed that they have high levels of metal cadmium.

According to reports, the retailer issued the statement hours after the initial findings were released. It announced that the jewelry will be removed while investigation is being conducted.

Wal-Mart also said that though children are not the intended buyers of the necklace, there is still a chance that some of them might try to look for it in stores.

Cadmium, which is a toxic substance, will not be dangerous if the jewelry containing it is simply worn. However, problems may arise if children suck or bite the necklace, like many of them would have done.

Long-term exposure to this substance can result in kidney failure and bone softening. In addition, research findings revealed that it can stop a child’s brain development, just like the effect of lead.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Colonial Healthcare to Pay $28 Million for Elderly Abuse

A nursing home corporation based in Rocklin was recently held liable for $28 million worth of punitive damages for the death of one of its residents in Auburn because of an infected bedsore.

Colonial Healthcare in Auburn and mother company, Horizon West of Rocklin who runs 33 nursing homes mostly in Northern California, were found guilty of elder abuse. Elizabeth Pao sued Colonial for their lapses which contributed to the death of her mother, 79-year old Frances Tanner.

Long-time civil servant Tanner was suffering from mild dementia but otherwise healthy and mobile when she was admitted to Colonial. But within 7 months, after breaking her hip in a fall accident, she died from an infected bed sore.

Witnesses, who included former Colonial employees, accused the nursing home of chronic understaffing, poor medical documentation and corporate greed.
The jury found the nursing home’s conduct to be “malicious, oppressive and fraudulent and awarded Pao $1.1 million in damages for Tanner’s pain and suffering as well as Pao’s loss of companionship.

However, a monumental award of $28 million in punitive damages was also set by the jury. Colonial, who has a history of problems with state regulators, was cited for the fourth time for the death of an elderly patient in Tanner’s case.

Carole Herman from the Foundation of Aiding the Elderly said that the multi-million award should send a strong message to Colonial as well as other nursing homes that they have to do better.

In any personal injury or wrongful death claim, damages can be awarded to the victim or the deceased’s family once it is proven that the defendant’s negligence or actions caused the damage or injury.

The plaintiff can receive damages which are either be compensatory or punitive. Compensatory damages are monetary compensation intended to compensate the injured party for his actual loss or injury.

On the other hand, punitive damages or exemplary damages are given in addition to compensatory damages to “punish” the defendant and set an example to keep others from making the same mistake and ruining other people’s lives.

Friday, May 14, 2010

WWE Executive allegedly Sacked Over Sexual Harassment Claims

The World Wrestling Entertainment recently fired a general counsel after reports about an alleged sexual harassment came out.

Jared Bartie, who was the executive VP and general counsel handling the company’s legal and business affairs, is no longer on the WWE’s listing of its corporate officers in their corporate website.

According to reports, a female WWE employee from its sales department has accused Bartie of making unwanted sexual advances during the Wrestlemania 26 after party last March.

There were no details on whether he resigned or he was let go.

But it did not end there, in a twist of event worthy of a WWE Raw or Smackdown script, the female employee was also sacked after she was reportedly caught in a sex act with a subordinate male employee within the company premises.

Since Bartie is a lawyer himself, I would not be surprised if he turns the tables on WWE and file for wrongful termination.

If he could discredit the allegations of the female worker who filed the sexual harassment claim, especially now that she was caught in an inappropriate affair herself, then maybe he could also justify that he was not given due process when he was let go.

There are not many details to go about but I would not be surprised if counter lawsuits are filed by each camp in the next few days.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Everdry finally pays Damages from 2006 Sexual Harassment Verdict

Thirteen women finally got paid for the damages they deserve after winning their sexual harassment lawsuit against Everdry Marketing and Management Inc. and Everdry Management Services Inc., which is also known as Everdry Waterproofing and Everdry of Rochester.

In 2006, a federal jury ruled that the 13 women, who were teenagers when why worked with Everdry as telemarketers, were subjected to a hostile working environment between 1998 and 2001.

According to EEOC, the harassment included physical and verbal harassment, requests for sex, grabbing and kissing; all of which were unwanted.

The women also filed complaints a number of times but the harassment never stopped.

The jury awarded the women $325,000 for lost income, pain and suffering and an additional $260,000 for punitive damages.

The Rochester location was also closed because of the lawsuit but has since reopened under new ownership in 2004.

The payment was delayed because Everdry brought it on the appeals court but finally, the 13 women are getting their due.

Under article VII of the Civil Rights Act, it is illegal to discriminate against employees based on their sex and gender.

Sexual harassment is a severe form of gender discrimination and should not be tolerated.

These causes negative effects to the victims such as emotional trauma, anxiety and deep depression.

It also affects work performance so employers are affected too.

That is why employers should have strong anti-discrimination policies in their companies.

This case should serve as a lesson to all companies that they should respect the right of their employees.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Motorcyclist, Wearing Helmet, Dies in Crash

Motorists should always make a safe turn and always check out the other lane for incoming vehicles that might be hit when they make the turn or when shifting lanes. This will prevent accidents from happening and will probably save you from paying up compensation for the said accident.

A 24-year-old motorcyclist was recently killed after he was hit by a vehicle that made a sudden left turn in front of him into a hospital parking lot. Andre Fernandez was said to be wearing a full-face helmet but was declared dead on the scene as he slammed into the car.

The accident was reported at around 9:20 am when Fernandez was riding a Honda CBR 600RR on the eastbound lanes of Audubon Drive when his sport bike was hit by a vehicle heading west.

This unfortunate motorcycle accident could have been prevented with cautiousness and alertness of the vehicle’s driver. He should have made sure that no one was on his path before he made that turn.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Connecticut Woman Files Genetic Discrimination Complaint against MXenergy

A 39-year-old Connecticut woman has just filed a genetic discrimination complaint against MXenergy, a natural gas and electric supplier, after allegedly being eased out of her job and then ultimately let go because of her genetic history.

According to Pamela Fink, she had a double mastectomy last year as a preventive measure against breast cancer.

She underwent surgery because she and her 2 sisters had a genetic test that showed that they carry the hereditary BRCA2 gene that makes them predisposed to breast cancer.

Her two sisters did get breast cancer but survived after a series of treatments.

After some biopsies and some scary false alarms, she decided to go under the knife.

Because of her good relationship with the company that has given her good reviews and merits of increases and promotions, she told her bosses about the genetic test and the surgery.

However, Fink said the company hired a consultant to do her job while she was recovering.

When she came back, she was asked to work under the consultant then was quickly eased out of her office and her duties.

Six weeks after she came back from her second injury, her job was already eliminated (only one in her department) and was escorted off the office.
MXenergy denied the allegations but made no further comment.

The charges are based under the new federal law, Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act or Gina, which just took effect last November 2009.

The law prohibits discrimination based on the employee’s genetic information.

It also prevents employers from making employment decisions based on gender discrimination because it does not tell the employer about the current working capabilities of the employee.

In addition, if employers are allowed to use these to either hire or fire an employee, it will discourage a lot of Americans from taking advantage of genetic tests, which could pinpoint the health hazards that they could be facing in the future.