Archive for negligence

Woman Falls to Her Death After Wandering from Retirement Home

Retirement homes are tasked with providing care, safety, and peace of mind to their residents. Even a minor oversight can lead to tragedy, a fact that the family of 78-year-old Barbara Jones-Davis knows all too well.

On the night of July 8, 2018, Jones-Davis wandered from Wesley Enhanced Living at Stapeley in Germantown, PA never to return. Living with dementia, Jones-Davis had a history of wandering, and her glaucoma made it difficult for her to safely navigate the grounds. Cameras showed her walking unattended for 23 minutes before she fell 15 feet from the unfenced property onto the concrete sidewalk on West Washington Lane. She suffered a skull fracture, bleeding in the brain, and broken bones, ultimately succumbing to her injuries later that night.

Jones-Davis’ daughters, Heather Davis-Stukes and Pamela Davis-Edwards, sued Stapeley on the grounds of negligence and wrongful death. The retirement home expressed their commitment to safety and condolences for Jones-Davis’ family, but could not provide further details on the matter.

Moving to a retirement home was a tough but necessary choice for Jones-Davis. Her daughters worried constantly about her worsening dementia and glaucoma and believed she needed more supervision. Jones-Davis initially refused to move to Stapeley in 2015, but reluctantly accepted in 2017 at her daughters’ behest. The sisters picked Stapeley for its beauty and myriad of activities. They also believed that their mother was becoming too isolated and needed to socialize more.

The suit mentions multiple occasions on which Jones-Davis was found wandering both inside and outside the building. Stapeley caregivers assured her daughters that their mother’s cognition had improved following treatment for a urinary tract infection, opting them to keep her in personal care rather than transferring her to the more monitored memory care. The sisters alleged that the staff knew she needed more supervision, but neglected to provide additional safeguards such as a wander guard, or bands that trigger locks or alarms when worn through a checkpoint.

Daniel Jeck, the lawyer arguing the case, deemed Jones-Davis’ death “totally preventable.” He also affirmed that his clients’ main goal was to understand the exact circumstances that led to their mother’s death and to improve safety at the retirement home.

Jail Officials’ Negligence Leads to Death of a Woman in A Nevada County Jail

Three days after she was arrested and jailed for driving with a suspended license and unpaid tickets, Kelly Coltrain died in her jail cell. According to the family of the deceased woman, before her death, Kelly Coltrain pleaded with the guards to be taken to the doctor but her pleas fell on deaf ears. She was struggling with drug addiction and had a history of seizures, a condition she revealed to the guards at the Mineral County Jail moments after she was arrested.


At one point she asked to be taken to a doctor but the guard told her that she wouldn’t be taken to the doctor just to get her ‘fix.’ According to Terri Keyser-Cooper, the family attorney, Kelly Coltrain suffered painful withdrawals hours before her death, and the guards didn’t do anything to help her. According to the lawyer, there’s hospital right across the street, it could have taken the guards about two minutes to get her to a doctor and yet they just left her to die.


Deliberate Indifference


CCTV footage shows the 27-year old throwing up and convulsing in her jail cell the day she succumbed to the effects of withdrawal. The disturbing footage even captured a guard ordering her to mop up her own vomit in her agonizing final hours. She appears to pass on about an hour later, which was around half past six in the evening. A guard checked on her at around midnight and found her cold and unresponsive. Her body was removed from the cell at around 5:30 am, about 11 hours after she died.


According to Keyser-Cooper, the attorney, Coltrain’s death was as a result of deliberate indifference to a serious medical needs on the part of the Mineral County Jail. Last week, the Coltrain family (through their lawyer) filed a federal lawsuit against the jail officials. In the lawsuit, the family accuses the officials of inflicting cruel and unusual punishment on Kelly Coltrain and violating her rights. The guards captured in the CCTV footage have since been dismissed by the county jail.


Lawsuit Claims First Responders Delayed Rescue of Fallen Mount Hood Climber

John Thornton Jenkins ascended Mount Hood on May 7, 2017. Located approximately 50 miles east of Portland, Mount Hood rises 11,249 above sea level as one of the prominent summits of the Cascade Range in Oregon. As Jenkins, a 32-year-old experienced mountain climber approached the Pearly Gates area near the summit around 10:40 a.m. he lost his footing and fell nearly 600 feet along the snow-covered terrain. He came to a rest in an area known as Devil’s Kitchen, a high, remote, and cold area on the mountain face.

Jenkins landed in an area difficult to reach. In intense pain, he immediately needed emergency services. Another climber came to his side within eight minutes and called 911. They awaited the arrival of a rescue team. With Jenkins suffering and in terrible pain, every moment lost made the situation worse.

In a $10 million lawsuit filed by members of his family, they claim that emergency personnel mishandled the 911 call. The delay that resulted from these missteps contributed to Jenkins’s death. A 911 dispatcher routed the call to the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office. An employee there mistakenly told the person who made the call to contact the ski patrol teams at Timberline Ski Resort, even though Jenkins was a climber, not a skier, and on a different part of the mountain far above and away from any ski areas

Nearly 45 minutes after Jenkins first fell, a staff member at Timberline called 911 and they were directed back to the Sheriff’s Office. This series of delays kept first responders from requesting a rescue helicopter from the Oregon Army National Guard until 12:29 p.m. The helicopter did not reach the scene until 3:11 p.m. When rescuers tried to fasten Jenkins to the basket, his lungs started to fail and he perished.

The lawsuit claims that judgment errors led to a delay of more than four hours between the time of the fall and the arrival of the rescue team. The dispute involves disagreements about whether ground crews could have arrived more quickly and whether various agencies handled these calls with enough urgency. Even though the helicopter arrived very quickly after getting the call, the delays beforehand certainly complicated the situation.

A Split Pa. Court Voids a $35m Damage Award

Two years ago, Allegheny County court gave Eugene Straw’s family a $35m damage award for the death of their six years old son in a fatal road accident. The court found 41 years old, Kirk Fair responsible for the crash.

Recently, a Split Pa. court voided the award and sent the lawsuit to Allegheny court for another trial. The court stated that Senior Judge Paul F. Lutty Jr erroneously freed some defendants like Straw’s father, Thomas, from the suit. Judge Judith Ference summarized the court’s majority opinion.

The accident occurred after the Straw’s family vehicle’s hood opened while cruising in Allegheny County on Route 28. Upon noticing, Thomas Straw quickly stopped the automobile in the middle of the highway’s lane. He lit his flashers to alert oncoming motorists.

Kirk Fair, from North Buffalo, was driving a pickup on the same highway at the same time. The truck belonged to Golon Masonry Restoration Inc. investigators discovered that Fair leaned to collect some folders which had drooped to the vehicle’s floor. He bumped into Thomas Straw’s car cruising at 17mph.

During his prosecution, Fair pleaded guilty to homicide charges. He also admitted having endangering lives by driving recklessly and over speeding. In 2014, the county court sentenced him to 23 months imprisonment.

In 2015, the court heard Thomas Straw’s lawsuit against Golon and Fair. By then, judge Lutty had removed some co-defendants who Kirk and Golon wanted to be included in the trial. They included two service stations and an auto parts shop that repaired Straw’s car. Kirk and Golon accused Thomas Straw of driving an automobile with a faulty hood latch. However, Lutty dismissed the defendant’s claim.

While ordering a new trial, Judge Olson deemed it appropriate for the second jury to determine whether the parts store, Thomas Straw, and the two service stations should be held responsible for the grisly accident. Judge Victor Stabile had a dissenting opinion. He opposed granting the case a new trial. He stated that Fair’s negligence was overwhelming rendering the actions of other defendants irrelevant.

Stabile noted that the accident occurred at around 7:30 pm. Besides, it was on a bright day, and the particular road has a 55mph maximum speed limit. He noted that apart from over speeding, Kirk wasn’t attentive. He delayed applying his emergency brakes hitting Eugene and killing him instantly.

Judge Stabile wrote that if Fair were prudent while driving, he would have seen Thomas Straw’s vehicle. He had clear visibility of over 2,000 feet and would have avoided the collision.

Parole Officer’s Son Commits Suicide Using His Father’s Service Weapon

In the early morning hours of Valentine’s Day 2017, 18-year-old Marist High School senior William Han Manstrom-Greening committed suicide by using his father’s unsecured service weapon. William’s father Glenn Greening, along with Greening’s employer Lane County, have both been named as defendants by William’s estate in a wrongful death lawsuit filed just last week. According to the lawsuit. “On February 13, 2017, Lane County Parole and Probation Officer Glenn Greening left his Glock 19 duty weapon and ammunition readily accessible, loaded and unattended inside his home, and went to bed. His son, William Han Manstrom-Greening,” having gained easy access to the unsecured weapon then used the gun to kill himself.

The suit goes on to say that Lane County Parole and Probation, together with William’s father Glenn Greening, not only enhanced the dangerous circumstances surrounding the young man’s passing but in the end were the cause of William Han Manstrom-Greening’s wrongful death. “Lane County failed to ensure that Glenn Greening, an armed Lane County parole officer, properly stored his handgun.” Finally, the suit uncovers the previous history that Greening was suspended from carrying a gun in 2004 for threatening and harassing William’s mother. Despite this incident, the county re-authorized Greening to once again carry a gun in 2012.”

David Park, the attorney representing William’s estate says “law enforcement officers should be held to the highest standards of firearms safety. Doing so requires careful selection of the persons authorized to carry firearms as well as careful supervision of those persons, once selected.” Without access to his father’s gun, the wrongful death suit alleges that William would still be alive today.

Adopted at the age of just eleven months, William grew up In Eugene, Oregon as a well-liked scholar-athlete who ran cross country, played soccer, flag football, basketball, and baseball all while maintaining a 3.6-grade point average. William has been described an especially kind young man who was known to enjoy volunteering, traveling, playing a variety of board games and spending time with his family and friends. William’s future plans included attending Oregon State University with his fellow Marist High classmates following graduation this past spring.

Widow Sues Power Company for Negligence that Led to Husband’s Death

UHP Trooper Erick Ellsworth’s widow is suing Rocky Mountain Power and a teenage girl (not mentioned in the suit) for the deadly car crash that led to the death of her husband.

Erick was serving in a cleanup of a sagging cable which apparently had been sagging since 28th November 2016. Erick succumbed to his injuries 4 days later after being struck by a car being driven by the teenager who is not mentioned in the suit because she is a minor. The cable was not fixed by the time Erick was arriving there.

The lawsuit was filed on a 3rd district court on 2nd February, 2018 states that “Rocky Mountain Power by acts or omission, caused serious injuries to Erick Dale Ellsworth and ultimately his death.” Rocky Mountain Power had been informed about the cable though no one came to repair before the arrival of Erick.

Erick parked his car at the edge of the street for oncoming vehicles to spot the cable by shining his car head lights on the cable. Erick stopped a semitrailer truck at around 8:37 pm that would have snagged the cable if it attempted to go under it.

After efforts on trying to reach a spokesman for Rocky Mountain Power to speak on the accusations, he declined to comment on the charges. The company made no efforts to comment on any of the accusations against them.

According to the lawsuit, the teenager’s truck struck Ellsworth suddenly and without any warning. This has brought disorientation to the home of Erick Ellsworth. The lawsuit was made accusing the first defendant, Rocky Mountain Power, of negligence. The minor was sued for reckless driving and the issue of underage driving seemed to be a possible lawsuit that will also befall the minor.

Janica Ellsworth, the widow, is inquiring for compensation for Medical expenses, funeral, and other bills. She is also seeking compensation long run wages for loss of care, comfort, guidance, love, society, affection, support, associations, and services that Erick would have provided. Janica has requested for a jury to give the verdict on the case.

Erick Ellsworth was 31 at the time of his death and had served as a trooper for seven years. He left behind his wife and three sons.

A Chicago Father Sues Foster Care for Negligence After His 9-Month Old Baby Died

A Chicago northwest father has filed a lawsuit against childcare claiming that the program denied him his constitutional rights and freedom as a father and released his 9-month old daughter to her careless mother who later caused her death. Justin Freeman describes the program in question as an option to foster childcare and claims that the program blatantly declined to release Cherish to his care.


Justin Freeman filed a lawsuit on February 7th, 2018 accusing the non-profit organization of negligence by declining to release his daughter to him without the mother’s consent after he was employed. He says that the organization, later on, conspired with the mother of the child and released the 9-month old toddler to her mother without him knowing.

The couple had voluntarily taken their baby to the SFC (Safe families for Children) program in early September after they were unable to provide for themselves. The organization, which is based in Chicago’ northwest side, is a non-profit organization that helps parents who are unable to provide for their toddlers.

The baby died on December 20, 2017, shortly after she had been released into her careless mother’s custody against the wish of her father. Justin Freeman believes that baby Cherish Freeman died as a result of Shanquilla Garvey’s actions inside her Joliet motel’s room.

The Lawsuit

The lawsuit further claims that Freeman believes that his child could not have died if her custody had been handed to him instead of the mother since he knew the nature of environment the mother was living in and the kind of people that hang around her although his plea was ignored despite raising these concerns. The lawsuit further states that there had been previous serious allegations leveled against Shanquilla Garvey by the father of her other kids.

Justin Freeman states how he loved his daughter so dearly that he wouldn’t allow anything wrong to happen to her if he was allowed to take her from the organization.

SFC organization declined to talk about the matter and only stated that the organization was shocked and saddened to learn about the death of baby Cherish Freeman and reiterated the fact that parents retain complete guardianship of their kids even when they are at the organization.

Shanquilla Garvey, the baby’s mother was arraigned in court and charged with provoked battery; denied cash bond and is still locked up in custody.

SoyNut Butter Co. Sued on the Grounds of E. Coli Contamination

Just a few days after recalling its I.M Healthy SoyNut butter, SoyNut Butter Co. gets sued by parents of an 8-year-old child hospitalized with E. coli after consuming the spread.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the boy is one of the 12 people infected with E. coli. So far, the outbreak has been reported in five states — Arizona, Oregon, New Jersey, California, and Maryland. Out of the 12 infected, eleven of them are children.

Erin Simmons and Mosby of California argue that their son was diagnosed with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) after regularly eating the SoyNut butter, which is the company’s peanut butter substitute. The condition was so dire that the young boy had to undergo a blood transfusion and dialysis — hospitalized at Stanford Children’s Hospital for 21 days.

E. coli (Escherichia coli) is a bacterium that thrives in animals and human’s digestive tracts. A person can become infected with E. coli after getting into contact with stool, or feces, of animals or humans. It mostly happens when you eat food or drink water that is already contaminated by the E. coli bacterium. Out of the many types of E. coli, only a few of them are harmful and may cause the following:

  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Severe anemia
  • Kidney Failure
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Sometimes death

Although the case is still ongoing and we cannot predict what the final judgment will be, there are a few things to understand about this case, which can shape and influence the verdict. These are:

  1. Most cases arising from a food poisoning fall under product liability, meaning that SoyNut Butter Co. may be held liable for selling defective products.
  2. SoyNut Butter Co. could also be held liable for negligence. The company did not provide a safe environment for the production or manufacture of the SoyNut butter.
  3. There is also another possibility that the company may be held liable for breach of implied warranty. This concerns about the notion that products sold to the ordinary consumers should meet their expectations.

The New York MTA Will Sue City for East Harlem Fire That Wreaked Havoc for Metro-North Commuters

A neighborhood plant nursery, a place to pick up soil for windowsill herb gardens or some potted plants to give as a housewarming gift, hardly seems the sort of place likely to house the materials capable of creating an explosive situation, but on May 17, the Urban Garden Center in East Harlem turned out to be combustible. Workers mistakenly poured gasoline onto a generator, causing the lot, which the garden center used to store materials that included flammable fertilizer and wood pallets, to be quickly engulfed in flames. The four alarm fire occurred directly underneath Metro-North train tracks, severely disrupting service to three lines: the Hudson, Harlem and New Haven, all of which run out of Grand Central Station to points north.

MTA-fire-lawsuit-NY-quoteWhile no one was injured, the fire left between 30,000-40,000 commuters stranded in Grand Central on that Tuesday evening, as the MTA worked through the night to try and make enough repairs to allow for limited service for the morning commute on the following Wednesday. In the end, serious structural damage led to major delays and disruptions for a few days for the tens of thousands of people who use those lines during each weekday commute. Now, the MTA has warned that they will file a lawsuit against the city of New York.

Last Wednesday they filed a notice of claim, stating that the fire was due to the city’s “carelessness, negligence and recklessness” in allowing the storage of flammable and explosive substances underneath the elevated railroad tracks. Soon after the accident, Urban Garden Center, was served with four summonses for its storage of gas and propane and an illegal generator. They have since renegotiated their lease and remain open on the same land, which is owned by the Economic Development Corporation of the city, which has also been specifically named in the suit. While the MTA has not commented on the exact amount of damages it will seek in its suit, it has said that it is looking to recoup the lost income from the period of time when the trains were not running, or running at diminished capacity, as well as the cost of repairs to the tracks from the fire.

Both David Mayer, the MTA’s chief safety officer, and a spokesman for the mayor’s office have both stated that in the wake of the fire, an office has been set up to monitor and regulate safety measures regarding the property underneath the train tracks.