Parents File $10 Million Lawsuit after the Death of Their Daughter

Almost six months after Jordin Taylor was found dead underneath a party bus, her parents have filed a multimillion dollar suit with the Hays County District Clerk. Jordin, a Texas State Student, met her death when she was dragged by a party bus after a fraternity party she had attended in Martindale. Her parents have filed the suit against the bus company, the multiple fraternities that had hosted events and a number of other entities involved in the event.

Freddie Joey Taylor filed the lawsuit on March 21, seeking $ 10 million in damages and compensation. The court documents allege that Skyline Party Bus Company, the management officer, Brandon Burleson, B&B Shuttles, the driver of the bus, Gabriela Wilson, SMTX Properties, VCD San Marcos River and four different national fraternities at Texas State University were negligent in their actions. The plaintiff claims that the death of his daughter was as a result of the said negligence.
Jordin Taylor was found on the morning of October 28, lying lifeless between the ground and the axle of a party bus. These events unfolded ate Cool River Ranch, a venue that had been used by Pi Kappa Alpha, Alpha Tau Omega, Kappa Alpha Order Epsilon Lota and Delta Tau Delta Zeta Delta to host events. These are some of the national fraternities at Texas State University. In the lawsuit, the plaintiff argues that Jordin was trapped underneath the bus after the vehicle had struck her during the party. It is a mechanic who found Jordin’s lifeless body the following day.

In the lawsuit, Mr. Taylor argues that the negligence of all the parties led to the failure to create a safe environment for the party. The lawsuit goes further to claim that the parties failed to ensure that there was enough security for a party whose attendance went beyond 2,000 people. According to the document, the venue had poor lighting, the organizers allowed underage drinking and that the reckless driving of the party bus driver amounted to negligence. All these actions put the safety of those entering and exiting the property at risk. In the lawsuit, the plaintiff demands that the case proceeds to a trial by a jury so that they can get fair compensation for the damages suffered.

Class Action Suit Proposed Over Federal Student Aid

We can all agree that student loans can be expensive and unfair- on April 13, 2017, a group of students decided to do something about it. Students who were unhappy with the way their student loan payments were being handled filed a proposed class action lawsuit against three companies- Higher One Holdings, Inc., WEX Bank, and Customers Bancorp. Students believe that they were mislead and unfairly charged fees in conjunction with their student loans.

Shayla Edelman, the named plaintiff in the case, is claiming that these companies made unfair deals with higher education institutions. Edelman claims that these deals were beneficial to the loan companies and the colleges/ universities, but not so beneficial to the students taking out (and eventually repaying) the loans.

Basically, the complaint states that money that was awarded to students was often more than they needed, and those additional funds were difficult for students to access, even though the students should have had them easily accessible so that they could use them for books, room and board, and other typical college living expenses. Furthermore, the companies made it hard to get the money that the students were promised.

Some of the problems she mentioned included that students were required to use an ATM network that was difficult to access, and often were hit with high overdraft fees as a result, creating even more financial trouble for students who struggled to access the money they were promised in the first place. Students were also given debit cards that were branded with the logo of the school they attended, tricking students into believing they were in a financial relationship with a higher education institution that they trusted, instead of an unfair loan company.

The class action suit, if it moves forward, would benefit any students who had a Higher One account opened between December 20, 2013 and July 30, 2016 and were charged overdraft fees for using non-Higher One ATMS and engaging in transactions that required a PIN. Edelman is also seeking special restitution for Pennsylvania residents under Pennsylvania-specific laws.

Wrongful Death Suit

The son of a man who died in the Uvalde bus crash has filed a lawsuit against the pickup driver he believes to have been responsible for the accident. The pickup driver, whom the plaintiff believes is liable for the death of his father, had told a witness that he had been texting using his phone when he hit the New Braunfels church bus. The collision between the two vehicles claimed a total of 13 lives.
The plaintiff, Ross Allen, is the son of one of the victims of the car accident, Howard B. Allen. Ross has filed a wrongful death suit against the pickup driver, Jack D. Young, as well as his father, Joseph B. Young. This is according to a copy of the lawsuit that was filed on Monday.

The collision, which occurred on March 29, killed 13 congregants of the New Braunfels church, all of whom were travelling in the church bus. The congregants had gone for a retreat in Uvalde and were on their way back when the crash happened. Of all the congregants in the church bus, only one survived the gruesome accident.
According to the Department of Public Safety in the state of Texas, no charges and citations have been issued in the crash. However, both the Department of Public Safety (DPS) and National Transport Safety Board are still conducting investigations on the crash.
In the lawsuit, Ross Allen alleges that Jack Young, the driver of the pickup, was intoxicated at the time of the crash. Through the lawsuit, Ross Allen goes further to state that the driver had taken marijuana as well as prescription medicine, drugs that impaired his sense of judgment. Jack Young would then drive the pickup on a public road, causing the crash which occurred on U.S 83.

In his arguments, Ross Allen claims that Young drove and operated the Chevrolet Truck while intoxicated, with his negligence leading to the crash that claimed 13 lives. He also alleges that Young’s father was negligent in allowing his son to use the truck, which he owned. For this reason, Ross has filed a claim seeking $ 1 million in damages and as compensation for lost companionship, lost wages and related expenses as a result of the death of his father.


Consolidation of Defective Hip Implant Lawsuits

A number of lawsuits relating to Stryker hip implants are set to be consolidated. This means that a single judge at the Massachusetts federal court will handle all the cases over the next several weeks. The decision was reached after about three dozen cases of alleged defects to a prosthetic hip replacement device from Stryker were reviewed. The US Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation (JPML) agreed to transfer all the cases to US District Judge Indira Talwani, a judge in the District of Massachusetts.

What is multidistrict litigation?
When the federal court system identifies several similar cases that follow a particular line of argument, multidistrict litigation (MDL) can be used to consolidate the cases to a single judge in the pre-trial stage.
A good number of the pending implant cases against Stryker are complaints about corrosion of the device, commonly known as LFIT V40. According to the transfer order, such corrosion can result in serious health complications, necessitating surgery to remove and replace the device.

The defendant’s argument
Stryker, the manufacturer of the implant and the defendant in these cases, has argued against the consolidation of the cases. The defendant claims that there are only a few actions when it comes to the device. The JPML has disagreed with this argument, stating that the order reveals a total of 33 pending Stryker hip replacement cases in 17 different districts.
In 2016, Stryker had received an unexpected high number of complaints of taper lock failure in their devices. This forced the company to voluntarily recall some of the hip implant devices in August of the same year. Most of the complaints focused on specific sizes of the devices that had been manufactured before 2011. With the current consolidated cases, Stryker had requested that the MDL be renamed so that the name “Stryker” is replaced with “HOC.” The manufacturer had also requested that the lawsuits be limited to the recalled hip implant devices that had experienced taper lock failure. The JPML has since disagreed with this request.

Reasons for turning down the request
The reasons given for turning down the request are that the Stryker brand name had been used to market the device. Based on the transfer order, the JPML also declined to restrict the scope of the lawsuit to the recalled devices. This is because, rather than complaints about taper lock issues, most plaintiffs had complained about corrosion and metal debris problems. This means that even devices that had not been recalled will be included in the MDL.

Club Negligence Causes the Drowning of a 4-Year-Old Girl in Downers Grove

Last Father’s Day saw the near drowning of a 4-year-old girl who was later pronounced dead while receiving treatment in a hospital. The girl had accompanied her parents to a private club in Downers Grove where the incident occurred. Anna Trent of Downers Grove has now filed a suit in DuPage County court against the club for the wrongful death of their daughter.

A closer scrutiny of this case reveals imminent negligence on the side of the club. Evidence points that before Anna was found floating in the deeper area of the pool, her parents had left her playing in the shallow part in the presence of lifeguards. This clearly reveals that the lifeguards did not monitor the swimming properly, which from a broader perspective indicates a lack of proper training.

Even after the drowning victim was recovered from the swimming pool, the lifeguards could not perform Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and the child’s aunt and father had to do it in a bid to save their girl’s life.

The club also lacked proper resuscitation equipment at the pool, which might have contributed to her death. Anna’s demise comes at a time when the drowning death toll for younger children is on the rise.

Based on federal government statistics, submersion injuries remain the second-leading cause of unintentional deaths among children between the age of 1 to 14 years. Further evidence reveals that children between the age of 1 to 4 years are at the greatest risk of accidental drowning and injury-related deaths. For every four children who are rushed to the hospital for drowning-related emergencies, another one child dies from the submersion injuries.

Although the case against the club is still hanging in the balance and we cannot predict what the final ruling will be, there are several things we can dissect from this case. To begin with,swimming pool deaths and injuries are subject to both federal and county laws. If everything goes well, the suing party, Ann’s parents, may be entitled to the following types of damages:

  • Loss of enjoyment of life,
  • Loss of love and companionship,
  • Mental anguish,
  • Medical expenses encountered while Ann was hospitalized, and
  • Pain and suffering.

Everything will depend on how well the family’s attorney proves the negligence case against the Downers Grove club.

Wells Fargo Says It Will Pay $110 Million To Settle The Lawsuit Regarding Fake Accounts

Wells Fargo & Co finally agreed to pay $110 million over a lawsuit that was filed by customers who complained that there were over 2 million accounts its employees opened for them without their approval. The bank announced this announcement on Tuesday. This will be the first private settlement that they have reached since the company paid $185 million to the federal and California authorities last year. Authorities said that the workers were driven by high pressures which made them open bank and credit accounts without customers’ authorization and they even used forged signatures.

They also revealed that there was a federal regulator that had downgraded its rating under a law meant to help in monitoring and promoting banking practices to the minority and low-income earners. This move restricts Wells’ business which includes opening more branches.

This funds settlement will include the clients who had opened new accounts without their authorization. This will go even for those who were signed up for products they did not agree to which goes back to Jan 1, 2009.

Wells Fargo said that they believe that the settlement will help resolve the other 11 pending lawsuits filed against it. However, Wells stated that they are refraining from insisting on their right to take the customers into third-party arbitration instead of going to the court.

They said that after paying the $110 million, they would cover the customers’ out of pocket losses or any fee that they might have incurred through the unauthorized accounts. The rest of the money will then be split among the impacted customers.

The San Francisco-based bank has been experiencing a decline in new account openings, and it has been working to restore the customers’ trust. This scandal has led to the retirement of its chief executive, John Stumpf. Wells has since then changed its sales practices and had called millions of customers to check if their accounts were opened genuinely.

Some of the named plaintiffs include Shahriar Jabbari from California and Kaylee Heffelfinger from Arizona. The two had two accounts each from Wells, but the bank had opened nine and seven accounts respectively for them without their approval.

This bank still has a lot of work to do to restore the customer’s trust, but they are doing the best they can.


Will Petco Be Held Liable for Selling a Rat Carrying an Infectious Disease?

Opening statements have concluded for a civil suit involving a San Diego family seeking damages after their ten year-old son tragically died of rat bite fever.  The boy contracted the rare disease from his new pet rat purchased by his grandmother from one of the stores in the Petco chain.

Lawyers for Petco stated that their client followed all laws that they are required to in selling rodents and that all purchases come with literature that explains the possibility of rodents carrying and passing diseases and bacteria.  Additionally Petco lawyers stated that all pets come with danger and consider the case with Aiden to be an isolated incident and far from an epidemic.

The attorney for the family disagrees stating that more than 16 children have been infected by the disease and claims that Petco should be held responsible for not requiring that the rats be tested before they were sold and failing to put the informational brochure on rat bite fever where it was visible to customers.

The jury will be responsible in determining whether or not Petco was responsible in selling a defective product and whether or not they acted reasonable and appropriately once they were informed of Aiden’s infectious illness.

Symptoms of rat bite fever are similar to the flu and can often be mistaken for it.  Symptoms can include,

  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Pain the Joints
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle Pain
  • Skin Rashes Primarily on the Arms

While the infection can be fatal due to complications it is usually treatable with a round of antibiotics if caught in time.  Most often the disease is transmitted via a rat or rodent bite, but in the case of Aiden no bite had occurred.  It is believed that due to his routine contact and bathing with his pet, he contracted the disease through the animal’s saliva.

If you or someone you know suffered from a pet related disease and want to discuss your legal options, contact an attorney today to see if you or your loved one might be entitled to compensation.

The Legacy of An Unnecessary Death

In 2012 a 43 year-old woman named Carmen Alexander came to the Emergency Room at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital with a large bruise on her chest, a high white blood cell count—which indicates unchecked infection—difficulty breathing, and nausea. The doctors sent her home later that day.  She died two days later.

Carmen Alexander was a victim of necrotizing fasciitis, a rare but potentially deadly infection caused by bacteria that rapidly destroy tissue as they multiply. By the time she was discharged from the Emergency Room, her lungs were filling up with blood. When she returned to the ER the following day in severe distress, she was admitted directly to the Intensive Care Unit, where a surgical team couldn’t save her, despite having the correct diagnosis.

Ms. Alexander’s family recognized that the Emergency Room physicians made a critical error when they decided to send her home after her initial visit, and her three teenaged children sued the hospital.  “The evidence was right in front of them,” said Vadim Hsu, the children’s guardian. “It should have made the physician jump out of her skin.”

It took almost exactly 5 years after Alexander’s death for the plaintiffs to settle the case.  The total fees and costs were about $200,000, and each child will receive a total of slightly over $132,000.  For them, though, it’s not about the money.  “What the upshot of this lawsuit was, was to put in place measures to idiot-proof policy and procedure,” said Hsu. “There needed to be a system in place so that a doctor who ordered the test in the first place actually reads the test and does something about it.”

Cottage Hospital has changed its Emergency Room policies to require physicians to respond immediately to white blood cell counts as high as Ms. Alexander’s.  Dr. Edmund Wroblewski, the hospital’s vice president of Medical Affairs, wrote a letter to her children stating “Had this change in policy been made prior to your mother’s death, she would not have been discharged from our hospital on February 19, 2012.”

While the circumstances surrounding Ms. Alexander’s death were tragic, patients who appear at the Emergency Room with the same symptoms are now protected against her fate. The lawsuit and the policy changes that resulted, said Hsu, ensure that she “didn’t die in vain.”

Malaysia Airlines Victims’ Families Sue Boeing in Extensive Lawsuit

Boeing is being targeted by an extensive lawsuit filed on behalf of 44 of the 239 passengers who died on Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, the flight that was lost over the South Indian Ocean in 2014. The lawsuit, filed by the victims’ family members, seeks actual and punitive or exemplary damages. It also demands a jury trial.

The complaint, filed March 4, 2017, claims that Boeing made several mistakes, many of them regarding the manufacture of the plane, which resulted in the death of all souls aboard when the plane went down. The complaint also alleges that Boeing did not make enough effort or any effort at all to locate the wreckage and provide closure to the families of the victims.

The plaintiffs allege that the plane had serious and unreasonable defects due to the way in which it was built. The lawsuit states that the electrical wiring on the plane was defective and subject to come into contact with combustible sources, such as the flight crews’ emergency oxygen supply. It also states that the oxygen supply was not fully protected with conductive oxygen supply hoses. Several components were also defective, including the transponder, pressurization system and suppression systems.

All of these defects conspired to create an electrical fire and extensive systems failure, which ultimately resulted in the loss of the aircraft and the persons aboard.

The suit also alleges that the plane would have been located if it weren’t for Boeing’s decision to equip the plane with outdated Emergency Locator Transmitters. The ones attached to the Flight Data Recorder and the Cockpit Voice Recorder were ineffective, argues the complaint, especially in crashes involving water. Better technology was available at the time of the plane’s construction.

The lack of action taken my the manufacture has also caused the victims’ families grief and has not allowed them to find closure. “Boeing has taken no action to find the missing aircraft,” states the complaint. All search efforts have been led by the Australia Air Safety Investigative Board, but those efforts have been called off.

The attorneys representing the plaintiffs include Mary F. Schiavo and James R. Brauchle of Motley Rice LLC as well as Keke Feng. Gregory D. Keith is the special administrator on the case.

Kimberly-Clark Sued For ‘Natural’ Claim on Baby Wipes

A San Diego mother is suing personal care giant Kimberly-Clark for including a synthetic chemical in baby wipes that were labeled ‘natural, and ‘hypoallergenic.’ The chemical, phenoxyethanol, may cause vomiting and diarrhea in infants, according to the Food and Drug Administration. The chemical is used to maintain freshness in the wipes.

Brittany Sebastian bought a package of Huggies Natural Care Baby Wipes in the fall of 2016 based in part on the company’s assertion that the wipes were ‘natural,’ ‘gentle,’ and ‘hypoallergenic.’ The suit states that, had Sebastian known that the wipes contained the chemical, she would have purchased another brand of wipes. In the suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, Sebastian is seeking damages for deceptive advertising, unlawful business practices, and other charges.

Phenoxyethanol can irritate skin and is poisonous if ingested, according to the suit. In France, consumers have been urged not to use wipes which contain the chemical on children under three due to concerns about developmental and reproductive toxicity. The suit indicates that long-term exposure to phenoxyethanol has caused organ damage. The chemical has been used for many years instead of parabens and preservatives that release formaldehyde, as both of those products have been linked to cancer.

Phenoxyethanol is used in small quantities in several other products that claim to be natural, such as some Honest Company cleaning products and Whole Foods’ Premium Baby Care products.

The Honest Company recognized the controversy around the chemical on its blog, stating that “Most of the studies that have found significant negative health impacts are based on full-strength or high-dose exposures. In real life usage, exposures are quite small.”

The lawsuit notes the presence of other synthetic chemicals, including caprylil glycol, which acts as a preservative and skin conditioner; cocamidopropyl betaine, a cleanser; and sodium citrate, which helps keep the wipes white.

Kimberly-Clark denies wrongdoing in the case and has indicated it will defend its brand and products. A spokesman for the company indicated that no safety event was indicated in the suit, and it does not allege any injury or risk of injury to a consumer.