Walmart Ordered To Pay 7.5 Million Dollars For Negligence and Wantonness

Imagine walking into a store to shop and coming out on a stretcher. Henry Walker intended to buy a watermelon at a local Walmart when all hell broke loose. Henry fell while reaching out to get the watermelon placed inside a container on a pallet. His foot slid inside a pallet opening and stuck as he fell.

Injuries sustained
Apart from other injuries, Walker broke his hip. The incident begs the questions how safe are you in a shopping store? Who takes responsibility in case of accidents? Can one be compensated?

The Case and Verdict
Walker sued Walmart for negligence and was awarded $7.5 million as compensation by the court. The Russel County jury found Walmart Stores Inc. guilty of negligence and endangering lives of customers. The security footage from the store showed that other people had gone through similar experiences in the past and the jury may have heavily relied on it to deliver the judgment.
Through his attorney Shaun O’Hara, Walker sued Walmart on two counts. First was for negligence and secondly for wantonness. On both counts, the jury ruled in favor of the plaintiff. In the ruling, the panel noted that Walmart had a responsibility to ensure all clients and employees are safe on their premises. Also, the jury cautioned that the store had a duty to inform and warn the public of dangerous conditions. On wantonness, Walmart was found culpable of neglecting the danger posed by the hidden pallet. In his argument, O’Hara stated that Walker has been active in basketball before but now confined to using a walker.

Reactions from Parties
O’Hara welcomed the jury’s decision to award his client $2.5 million damage compensation and an additional $5 million for punitive. He further acknowledged the fact that most other stores will ensure the safety of customers on their premises remains uncompromised.

On the other hand, Walmart was not happy with the verdict. Through their spokesman, the store expressed disappointment in the damages awarded vowing to appeal. “We strongly believe that the award was excessive and we’ll be making an appeal soon,” Randy said.

Walker’s representatives were Shaun O’Hara, David Rayfield, and Charles while Walmart was represented by Stanley Sasser together with Paul Russel Jr.  It remains to be a compelling case to keep an eye on as it sets precedents on other similar cases in the United States.

Family Files $2.5 Million Negligence Lawsuit After Boy is Injured at Dublin Water Park

The family of a 10-year-old boy is asking for $2.5 million in a lawsuit over injuries the child sustained in a Dublin waterslide accident in May 2017. Although the parents originally filed a $25,000 claim against the city, they are now naming the city, the state of California, the Wave Water Park, and the waterslide manufacturer as plaintiffs in a larger suit, citing negligence and emotional distress.

Mother Susanna Jones and her son expected a day of fun and leisure when they showed up for the opening day of Dublin’s new city water park. A mere 90 minutes into the park’s launch, the experience quickly turned frightening as the boy flew off the side of the Emerald Plunge waterslide and skidded onto the concrete. Jones says she took her son to the park’s first aid station, which wasn’t adequately equipped to deal with the boy’s injuries.

Emerald Plunge is a three-story waterslide with an 80-degree decline that flattens out toward the ground. Footage of the incident shows the boy toppling over the edge near the bottom of the slide, and the family released photos of scrapes and bruises on his arms, legs, and back. The lawsuit alleges that the sides of the waterslide were poorly designed and the city failed to provide proper protection for children. It also questions whether regulators misjudged the appropriate height requirements for riders using the slide.

According to reports, city officials immediately closed Emerald Plunge and another waterslide while working with the manufacturer to test the rides and make sure they are safe for children. Jones is hoping to hold the state and manufacturer accountable, as regulators from both organizations were responsible for testing and approving the waterslide before the park opened.

For now, the matter remains unresolved as both sides offer up conflicting stories. According to the family’s lawyer, the city never responded to the $25,000 lawsuit, prompting the boy’s parents to file a new claim. On the other hand, the city issued a public statement claiming the family did not submit information to support the claim and bring the incident to an end. For the family, the most important thing is to compel the city and state to improve the regulation of city water parks, so other children feel safe playing in public facilities.

Victims and Relatives of Those Affected By the Las Vegas Shooting File Lawsuits

Victims of the October 1st shooting in Las Vegas have filed five different lawsuits in Los Angeles Superior Court. The plaintiffs are against the hotel’s operators and the festival’s organizers. One of the suits also mentions the killer’s real estate as one of the defendants.

The lawsuit was filed in California because nearly all the plaintiffs are residents of the state or had been treated there. The event organizer, Live Nation Entertainment Inc. is also a California based company. The largest of the five lawsuits were filed by 450 individuals who comprised of eyewitnesses and those injured during the shooting.

Inadequate Security

On October 1, Stephen Paddock fired into a crowd that had gathered for the Harvest Festival from the Mandalay Bay Hotel’s 32nd floor in Las Vegas. The shooting cited as the worst in America’s modern history, left 58 people dead and scores injured.

The victims of the shooting accused MGM Resort International and its subsidiary, Mandalay Corp, that own and managed the hotel of failing to monitor the activities of Stephen Paddock. The lawsuits also accuse the MGM and its branch of not offering proper training to their security personnel.

The festival goers accuse live Nation Entertainment of failing to provide adequate exits from the venue. It is also faulted for not training its staff for an emergency. The Plaintiffs claim that had Live Nation done these two, the number of deaths and injuries would have been reduced significantly.

The Killer’s Estate

Stephen Paddock was reportedly a wealthy individual believed to have owned multimillion-dollar worth real estate investments in California and Texas. The Plaintiffs sued his estate for battery and assault.

Previous Lawsuits

Several lawsuits had been filed over the mass shooting. Paige Gasper, a college student, filed the first one which he later dismissed voluntarily.

Most of the previous lawsuits mentioned Slide Fire Solutions as one of the defendants. Slide Fire is the manufacturer of the bump stock device that the shooter used to achieve a nearly automatic firing rate. However, none of the five lawsuits mentions the firm.

According to lawyer Muhammad Aziz who is representing the plaintiffs, the focus of these cases is venue and hotels security not the right to own arms.

A 50-Year-Old Mother of Six Seeks Asylum in a Church to Avoid Deportation

The implementation of President Donald Trump’s immigration laws has rubbed many people the wrong way. It is also a threat to some families. A case in point is that of Francisca Lino, a 50-year-old mother of six. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement department had given her until Thanksgiving Day to turn herself in for deportation or be declared a fugitive.

A Former Deportee

The escapades of Francisca Lino with ICE have been a cat and mouse race for nearly two decades. Their first encounter was in 1999 when the department detained her for illegally crossing the USA-Mexico border. She was fingerprinted and expeditiously deported from the US.

Days after her deportation, Ms. Lino made a second attempt and successfully crossed the border. She married Diego Lino, a US citizen and finally settled in Bolingbrook. Each of them had a child from previous relationships. They had four more together, making Ms. Lino a mother of six.

A Victim of a Notary Fraud

Ms. Lino’s current woes began in 2005 when she applied for a green card. Through a notary public, she had managed to get a driving license and a Social Security Number. After paying all necessary fees to the ICE, she was called for an interview to review her application. She was arrested during the interview for not stating her previous arrest during the application.

However, according to her attorney, she had made this admission verbatim to the officials during application. Not including this in her application was a notary fraud for which she is not responsible.

Nevertheless, in March 2017, she received a notice of deportation. She was required to visit the ICE with a plane ticket. In a desperate attempt to avoid deportation, she had her husband drive her to Adalberto United Methodist church. The same parish had offered asylum to immigration activist, Elvira Arellano years before.

Ms. Lino through her attorney filed a federal civil rights lawsuit citing a breach of her Fifth Amendment’s rights in the 1999 arrest. The arrest made her lose legal immigration status. Her immigration attorney plans to use the lawsuit to urge the ICE to stay their deportation until the federal case is finalized.

Since the law prohibits raids on places of worship, Francisca has a reprieve to pray for her fate or plan how to leave her family.

Oakmont Senior Living Faces Charges For Abandoning Residents During Wildfire

A senior living center in Santa Rosa is facing charges filed against it after the residents in the center opted to go to court claiming that they were abandoned amidst the outbreak of last month’s wildfire.

Four residents who appeared in Sonoma County Superior Court on Monday claimed that the staff in the assisted living center left them alongside others who were in wheelchairs, suffering from dementia, and others who were not in a position to cognitively or physically get out of the building.

The plaintiff’s lawyer, Kathryn Stebner, argued that the defendants – Oakmont Management Group and Oakmont Senior Living – provided absolutely no information to the residents concerning the imminent danger. Therefore, seniors were left stranded. They had nothing to help them communicate or someone to help them get out of the residence.

The plaintiffs argued that the caregivers who were at the residence had no evacuation plan; as a result, they waited for an executive director to come to their rescue. The director did not show up.

The residents were rescued by two female visitors who ran to the residence to evacuate everyone in the center. Stebner indicated that the two visitors were, in fact, relatives of some of the residents. She also indicated that the residents who were between the ages 82 and 92, wouldn’t have made it out of the building had it not been for the two rescuers. The Plaintiffs, Alice Eurotas, Helen Allen, and Elizabeth Budow praised the two females for their efforts to save their lives.

All the members of the senior living center were evacuated. This incident raised a lot of concerns about the readiness of various institutions to handle disasters. It was a shock that Oakmont lacked an evacuation plan.

The lawsuit went ahead to detail how Oakmont gave a false statement to the press that seniors living in Villa Capri had been safely evacuated. The plaintiffs further allege negligence on the part of the management of the center and demand unspecified compensation for false imprisonment and emotional distress.

The plaintiffs were quick to justify their move to court. They said this move was to ensure that Oakmont and other senior living centers create an evacuation plan as well as train their staff to handle such emergencies.

New England Utility Companies Accused of Causing Excessive Electricity Costs

Monopolies have always used their power to strangle out weaker competitors. They do achieve this by offering their products at lower rates than their struggling competitors can afford. However, a recent lawsuit shows that this has been the opposite in New England’s energy sector.

A lawsuit filed against the state’s largest energy firms, Eversource Energy and Avangrid Inc. reveals shocking details on a calculated misuse of monopoly power to defraud the consumer. The two companies are accused to have made consumers pay unnecessarily high charges for electricity in the period between the years 2013 and 2016.

The scheme affected over 14.7 million people who spent more than $3.6 billion in excess costs.

The Core of the Matter

At the center of the lawsuit is the fluctuation in electricity pricing rates over the years. It had increased by over 20% for those who live in Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. According to the attorney representing the consumers, Tom Sobol, this was a natural consequence of deliberate acts by the defendants.

Artificial Market Manipulation

The lawsuit explains how Eversource and Avangrid Inc. used their authority and privileges to manipulate the market prices. The firms consistently limited the amount of natural gas flowing to New England. This led to a shortage and a consequent increase in prices of natural gas. As expected, power plants relying on this for fuel passed the cost on to the consumer through increased electricity bills.

Outsmarting the Law

Most of the power plants in the affected areas receive their supply of natural gas via the Algonquin Gas Transmission Pipeline. The lawsuit reveals that Eversource owns part of this pipeline and consequently have unique legacy contracts which allow it to reserve space in advance.

It is alleged that Eversource and its counterpart, Avangrid Inc., daily reserved more space than they needed. This left limited space for the power plants and other facilities. The two firms always reduced the size of their reserved spaces at the last minute to avoid penalties of over-use. They knew it would be too late for another to take up space.

The result of this anticompetitive scheme is that; utility customers had to pay more for electricity than they would under a non-manipulated circumstance. It is the second largest market manipulation after Enron’s greed led to an energy crisis in California 20 years ago.

Historic Lawsuit Against Norway Over Oil Drilling In the Arctic

The Norwegian government is facing a lawsuit from a coalition of environmental and community activist groups over the granting of oil exploration in the Arctic. Greenpeace Norway and Nature of Youth are claiming that the government has violated the constitutional right to a healthy environment and failed to respect the Paris agreement.

Although many lawsuits claim to be groundbreaking, the lawsuit against the Norwegian government may just be well so. This is the first time a state is being brought to justice for exploring new areas for gas and oil extraction after signing and approving the Paris Agreement.

Norway, which is seen internationally as a champion at protecting the environment for its continuous efforts to save the rainforest, ambitious plans to use electric cars and its pledge of climate neutrality by 2030.

The plaintiffs have filed the lawsuit against the Norwegian government on the grounds that the opening up on the new licenses for oil exploration in the Barents Sea violates the Norwegian Constitutional environmental law which guarantees the right to a healthy environment for future generations.

Norwegian Grandparents Against Climate Change has also joined the case in support of the environmental groups and as interveners against the government.

The state, however, rejected the allegations that it has violated the goals set out in the Paris Agreement and the Constitution, claiming that the lawsuit is a constitutional activism that inappropriately interprets a critical constitutional law paragraph.

What’s at stake?
The Norwegian government maintains that the issuing of licenses has no relation to the constitution, and emphasizes that the lawsuit will have immense consequences than just suspending the 23rd license round should the court find in favor of the plaintiffs.

This is the first time in nearly two decades that the Norwegian government is defending their decision to open up a new oil drilling area in the Barents Sea, by issuing 13 new licenses for oil exploration.

Campaigners have responded with a lot of support for the case by attending the courtroom dressed in traditional Norwegian costumes and made the victory sign.

At the same time, the suit is being heard at Oslo district court, Fiji is hosting the United Nations climate change conference in Bonn aiming to continue the work on the 2015 climate agreement struck in Paris.

Wake Up America! The Opioids Are Taking Over Medicine, One Dosage At A Time

Of the 77 million Americans that use opioids up to ninety-one Americans die from an overdose daily. Opioid medications are taken for chronic pain which occurs in at least fifty million Americans. It is ironic that the medical profession and the pharmaceutical companies are in the middle of this opioid epidemic because physicians continue to prescribe Opioids despite the fact that they are highly addictive. Further, selling and manufacturing Opioids is, at yet still legal, but only can be dispensed with prescriptions. It is a well-known business practice for drug company employees to personally visit their physician clients to introduce the company’s specific drugs. Opana ER was wrongfully marketed for a more extensive treatment of ailments, which included back pain. Back pain requires a more prolonged use of Opana ER, increasing the risk of addiction.

While Canada is facing its opioid crisis, not all countries have followed the same route as the United States and Canada. For instance, the Germans use opioids at the same rate as the Americans but do not face a crisis because there is an emphasis on the proper ways that a physician should prescribe opioids. Further, in Japan, it is not as easy to obtain a prescription of opioids than it is from the physician in the United States. Thus, the emphasis in Germany and Japan is to use opioids to support palliative care to improve the patient’s quality of life.

The United States has looked at the practices of drug companies in marketing opioids to the public and physicians. Andy Beshear, the attorney general of Kentucky, took legal action against Endo Pharmaceuticals and Endo Health Solutions for the deceptive marketing and manufacturing of Opana ER a robust painkiller. These pharmaceuticals minimized the risk of taking Opana ER.

Two hundred Kentuckians, without knowledge of the risks of Opana ER, perished in 2016, while the pharmaceuticals’ misrepresented that its competitors’ drugs were at a higher risk than that of Opana ER.

What was most troubling, was that Endo misinformed physicians that risk screening tools would identify people that would be predisposed to find Opana ER addictive. Endo Pharmaceuticals has withdrawn Opana ER from the market in July 2017.

The Danger of The Baseball Rule And The Risks Involved

60-year-old John ‘Jay’ Loos filed a lawsuit for negligence against the Cubs after he got a blind left eye in August after being injured by a flying ball as he sat down near the outfield of Wrigley Field. He told reporters “When you are sitting behind the home plate, you can’t tell the speed of the ball or where it’s going until it’s on you.”

Similarly, in 2009 Juanita DeJesus broke some bones in her face leading to blindness in her left eye after she was struck by the ball. The Indiana Supreme Court dismissed her lawsuit.

In children the injuries can be catastrophic; in 2008 the Tribune reported that a Seven-year-old fan present at his first Cubs baseball game in Wrigley field got a head injury by a line drive that left him with swelling in his brain and a cracked skull. There is no evidence of any lawsuit filed by the family.

While seated behind the Cubs home plate, a fourth grader, Delbert Yates Jr., sustained an injury to his right eye by a ball from Leon Durham in 1983. The family won a $67,500 jury verdict after his attorneys presented evidence that proved the protective screen that was behind the base was not enough. The verdict was upheld in 1992 by a states appeal court.

Oakland U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers while ruling on a group-action lawsuit asked why the Major League Baseball had not done enough to mitigate danger especially to its young fans, “It’s a mystery why the league fails to highlight the danger to parents, particularly knowing the risky exposure to children.”

The more than century-old baseball rule frees the stadium owners from any liability in regards to injuries as long as the protective netting shields substantial seats in the home plate area. The rule also assumes fans seated in other areas are aware of the danger of injuries from a flying ball or a broken bat. A study conducted in 2003 found that 35 fans, per one million visits to the league stadiums, were injured by foul balls.

Plenty of lawsuits in regards to baseball injuries have been thrown out by judges across the country; Illinois, in particular, has enshrined the Baseball rule into law. The League, in 2015, recommended that any seats at the field level within seventy feet of the home plates should be behind netting; this was to be applied in all ballparks.

Tragedy As Preeclampsia Claims Lesniak Staff Chief’s Wife

Marlenes, a classically trained pianist and a vice principal in the Elizabeth Public Schools, came to the US from Cuba at the age of 19. Sadly on June 25th, she became another statistic in the 830 women who die every day, according to World Health Organization, from preventable pregnancy and childbirth-related causes.

Marlenes and her husband Antonio Teixeira checked into Trinitas Regional Medical Center at 3:30 PM on 2nd of February for the birth of their twin boys via cesarean Section. Tony and Teo were born three hours later.

Marlenes, however, had developed a frontal headache and severely elevated high blood pressure, her condition persisted until 11:00 PM when she became verbally unresponsive and lost all feeling on the left side of her body. Minutes later she began seizing, and a CAT scan revealed she had suffered a brain hemorrhage which prompted her to be transferred to St. Barnabas Medical Center where she died four months later, never having regained consciousness.

Though grateful for the gifts of the two boys, Antonio Teixeira has filed a lawsuit against the management and staff of Trinitas Regional Medical Center for the death of Marlenes due to alleged negligent treatment in the immediate hours following her delivery. As per the lawsuit, the Chief of Staff for State Sen. Raymond Lesniak further alleges the medical staffs were unable to detect and correctly treat his wife’s hypertensive disorder, in this case, Preeclampsia.

Preeclampsia is defined as a disorder that commonly affects women in their last and final pregnancy trimester and some cases during postpartum and is characterized by persistent headaches, sudden high blood pressure, and other nervous system disorders. Without a proper care to manage the seizures and the high blood pressure it could potentially lead to postpartum stroke. “The death of such a young mother and wife at a tender age regardless of the circumstance is tragic especially when with proper treatment and management it was easily preventable,” said Ernest Fronzuto, Teixeira’s lawyer. “It is disheartening that Marlenes held her twins for a few countable hours and was affected by a stroke that left her in a coma simply because her care following the childbirth was grossly underestimated and mismanaged”.