Archive for wrongful death lawsuit

Grieving Man Sues Father for Violent Crime

Any type of violent crime is a tragedy that needs to be properly handled by the court of law. This can be even more devastating when one family member harms another, which then causes an untimely death. A few years ago, a story in Texas made national news when a man was arrested for killing his wife after a fight.

On December 19, 2016 Johnny Oliphant returned home from an evening at a local bar and was immediately involved in an argument with his wife, Gina Oliphant. The argument quickly got very heated, and Johnny Oliphant ended up shooting and killing his wife. After shooting his wife, Johnny Oliphant ended up drinking more alcohol and took a lot of pills in an apparent attempt to take his own life. However, he ended up surviving and called 911. When authorities arrived on the scene, he was arrested and charged with murder. Oliphant was initially released on $100,000 bond but is still facing federal felony murder charges with a trial forthcoming.

While Johnny Oliphant is facing serious charges as a result of the murder, his legal troubles do not appear to be ending there. More than two years after the initial charges, the couple’s son, Dylan, has decided to file a lawsuit against his father citing wrongful death. The new lawsuit was filed under Dylan’s new last name, Riccio, which he changed shortly after the murder took place, which led to national news.

In the lawsuit that was recently filed, Riccio claimed that his parents had been fighting a lot in the year leading up to the incident. He stated that the couple had contemplated divorce several times, but never fully went through with it. During this time, Riccio also frequently suggested that his mother leave his father out of concern for her emotional wellbeing and overall personal safety.

While his mother never did leave his father, Riccio clearly continued to have a great relationship with his mother during this difficult time. Riccio considered his mother to be his best friend and cited a significant amount of emotional damage ever since the incident took place. Through the loss of his mother, Riccio no longer has the emotional support that he used to receive.

Widow Of Metra Worker Killed In Deadly Explosion Files Lawsuit

The widow of a Metra track inspector who was killed in an explosion in Chicago on 3rd November has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the commuter rail agency.

On Thursday, Sandy Zavala from Joliet filed the suit in Cook County saying Metro failed to give her husband Omar Solis, 37, with a logically safe working environment. The lawsuit also contents Metra contravened engineering regulations in regards to the use of flammable gas tanks and failed to accord adequate labor to perform the assigned tasks, amid other allegations.

Zavala also filed an urgency motion to probe and shield evidence that includes welding equipment, trucks, and railroad tracks.

At the day of the accident, a metra official revealed that Solis and another man were using flashlights when making repairs to raised tracks when the sudden explosion occurred.

The blast happened in the Old Irving Park neighborhood, near the Grayland station, and neighboring residents reported the large blast shook their homes. According to the Cook County medical examiner’s office, Solis, a father of two boys, succumbed to injuries at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center about 30 minutes after the blast. The other man whose name has not been released who was working at the scene was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in critical condition, as reported by Chicago Fire Department spokesman at the time of the incident.

“He knew he was prone to risk, but he always was ‘safety first, safety first,’” Zavala, 37, indicated. She met her late husband when they were both 14. “He loved his work and liked learning new things.”

Relatives said Solis came from a railroad family. He started working at Metra at only 20 years and had a spanning 17-year career with the agency. His brother also works for Metra together with 11 other relatives.

More than 300 people including many members of his Metra work community, came to bid farewell to Solis at his burial in Joliet on Thursday.

Described by his family as a hard worker and a family man with an “infectious smile,” Solis enjoyed taking his sons Omar, 19, and Brian, 16, on excursions to the batting cages. At times, he would overcook dinner on the grill then order pizza instead, a thing his family liked to tease him about. Brian Solis had a birthday since his dad passed on, and begun the day with a visit to his gravesite.

“People who ride Metra don’t know how much effort and work goes into keeping the tracks and the rail in a safe environment for 70 mph trains,” stated one of the attorneys for Solis’ family, George Burgess.

“Railroad workers aren’t liable to state workers’ reimbursement laws,” Burgess explained.

Zavala revealed that she opted to file the suit against the agency as she wants answers on what exactly happened to her husband.

Solis’ father-in-law, Manuel Zavala Sr., 69, revealed that he worked for Metra for close to 43 years, sometimes alongside Solis. Zavala also said one of his uncles’ was also killed in his line of duty on tracks a few decades ago.

A Metra spokesperson was however not immediately accessible to give an opinion regarding the lawsuit.

 

Wrongful Death lawsuit of Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn settled out of court

A 2016 Wrongful Death lawsuit concerning Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn has reached a settlement this week.

Gwynn’s family filed a Wrongful Death lawsuit after years of chewing tobacco led him to develop salivary gland cancer. He died in 2014 at age 54 as a result.

Gwynn’s smokeless tobacco addiction began about ten years prior to when health warnings about smokeless tobacco were required to appear on all products. by then, he was “hopelessly addicted” and continued using it for over 30 years. Smokeless tobacco was historically a staple in baseball, with its use on the field only forbidden for players who make their debut in 2016 and onward. The process of eliminating it from the sport is still ongoing.

Two years after the filing of the Wrongful Death suit by Gwynn’s family, they and the U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company have reached a settlement over Gwynn’s death.

Originally, Gwynn’s family sued for an amount meant to cover funeral costs, inheritance and loss of financial support. Though the settlement was handled privately, it was said to have been to the satisfaction of both parties involved.

Though the settlement amount remains undisclosed and the terms of the deal are to remain confidential, a similar case in 2010 resulted in the company agreeing to pay $5 million to the family of a deceased North Carolina man who died battling mouth cancer. It’s expected that this lawsuit was settled for a similar dollar amount

Settling the lawsuit instead of taking it to court benefits both parties in the long run. The U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company eliminates the negative press that comes with a lawsuit, while Gwynn’s family can avoid the years of litigation sure to follow. The U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company, having more resources than the Gwynn’s, would be able to extend the court case for a significant period of time should the have made it into the courtroom. The company also would have struggled, as San Diego holds much love for Gwynn, and winning a court case there would have proven to be a challenge.

The original case was set to have a trial date in Sept. 2019.

 

Boy Decapitated on Water Slide

In an effort to get the record for having the world’s largest waterslide, the Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City rushed through the building of a ride that was as structurally complex as it was dangerous. They ignored all the “red flags” with regard to safety, and they used crude methods instead of performing proper calculations. This act of negligence resulted in the death of a 10-year-old boy and more than a dozen injuries. The boy was decapitated while riding the 170-foot-tall slide. A year and a half after his death, the Attorney General’s Office for the State of Kansas has announced the filing of criminal charges against the company and one of its employees.

Both Schlitterbahn and Tyler Austin Miles (the former director of operations) are facing charges of involuntary manslaughter as well as several counts of battery, child endangerment, and interference with law enforcement. They claim that the company knew the slide wasn’t safe as there had been several injuries that had been reported before the boy’s death. The spokeswoman for Schlitterbahn denied that the company and Miles withheld any information or evidence. She said the boy’s death was the result of an accident – not a crime.

The 47-page indictment has detailed evidence that has been gathered from emails, memos, blueprints, videos, photos, and accounts from witnesses. It paints a different picture than what she and the company described. It proves that the company took little to no consideration for people’s safety, and they were only concerned about breaking a world record. The ride is a cross between a roller-coaster and a waterslide, and it was a spur-of-the-moment proposal that was meant to impress the producers of Travel Channel’s Extreme Waterparks series. Since the ride was opened in July of 2014, and before the boy’s death approximately two years later, 13 people have been injured because a raft went airborne and hit both the net and the suspended hoops. The boy was decapitated when the raft hit one of the hoops.

The indictment suggests that the company was aware of the dangers, and they knew that the ride could possibly kill people. Yet, despite the warnings, they rushed for a faster completion date. Investigations also revealed that the company hired an engineering firm to perform tests on the ride a week before it was officially opened, but they decided to ignore the results (which showed that a raft carrying 400-500 pounds of weight could go airborne).

 

Family Files Lawsuit After Their 18-Year-Old Girl Dies When FIU Bridge Collapsed

18-year-old Alex Duran’s family filed a wrongful death complaint against the defendants Munilla Construction Management, Figg Bridge Engineers, and subcontractors involved in the bridge project in Florida.

Alex Duran a student in the Florida International University met her death while driving her Toyota SUV. The bridge collapsed on her SUV vehicle trapping her in the rubble. She was confirmed dead on Friday.

It is questionable how Figg Engineers constructed the bridge with much haste. On a statement by Goldfarb, the constructors hurried in the project. He said that there were no precautions taken by the said constructors as at the time of construction there was still traffic along the road.

Richard Humble, a friend of Duran, escaped death when a slab of concrete hit on Duran’s SUV where she died.

More lawsuits follow as Duran and Richard Humble took to the courts to file a new lawsuit.

Still, the families of Rolando Fraga who did not survive the tragedy; Emily Joy, a college student who escaped a crushed car, and marquise Hepburn who got injured while cycling just near the bridge have pressed lawsuits against the defendants.

Goldfarb, a representative of the plaintiff, mentioned earlier that they have six months and one day before pressing charges. He said that the constructors acted so reckless by putting more effort building the bridge during the college spring break. He also stressed that they optimized on using the spring break which is not long enough to complete the bridge.

FIU retained Munilla Construction Management LLC as the general contractor. The purpose of Munilla was to oversee the building of the bridge project. A statement reported that the contractor lacked skill and experience in ABC techniques.

In an attempt to fulfill its duties, Munilla entered into an agreement with subcontractors who possessed the expertise. The use of ABC technique was to the advantage of the contractors. Reason being structural components can be assembled at the construction site even as traffic flows.

Five days following the placement of the bridge and post-tensioning was underway, cracking and popping sounds could be heard as adjustments were made to the tensioning rods.

A short while afterward the bridge collapsed as a tensioning rod failed. The tragedy claimed several lives and that of the plaintiff – Alex Duran.

Families of Three Bucks County Murder Victims Sue the Parents of Cosmo Dinardo

“In our eyes, Cosmo DiNardo was given a playland for illegal acts,” said Carin O’Donnell, the attorney representing the Patrick family.

On Monday, March 5, exactly eight months after the first of four Bucks County murder victims went missing, the families of three victims filed a wrongful death lawsuit. Their lawyers said DiNardo’s parents and their construction company share the blame with the co-defendants in the criminal trial, Cosmo DiNardo and his cousin Sean Kratz.

The suit alleges that DiNardo’s Parents, in light of his documented mental health issues, should not have given him access to guns, ATVs, or their company’s heavy construction equipment. It delineates how in 2017 Dinardo was involuntarily committed to a mental institution and prohibited from carrying a firearm. An affidavit from his February 2017 charge of illegal possession of a firearm states that DiNardo is “known to be suffering from mental illness.”

Craig Penglase, defense attorney for Kratz, said he was concerned the civil litigation could affect the criminal trial. Fortunato Perri Jr., a defense attorney for DiNardo, could not be reached for comment.

In July 2017, the bodies of Jimi Patrick, 19, of Newtown; Dean Finocchiaro, 18, of Middletown; Thomas Meo, 21, and Mark Sturgis, 22, of Pennsburg, were found on a 90-acre Bucks County farm owned by the DiNardo family. The remains of the four men were found buried 12.5 feet underground in a converted oil tank that had served as a pig roaster.

On March 5, for the first time, family members publicly voiced their grief and remembrances of the three young men. Bonnie Finocchiaro remembered her son as an “awesome person” with a “huge heart.” Melissa Fratanduono-Meo spoke of her son Tom as “bright and funny,” always “a lot of fun.”

In a quivering voice, Sharon Patrick, guardian and grandmother of Jimi Patrick, described her final moments with her grandson. “I said, ‘Are you waiting for me to get up and kiss you goodbye?’ So I stood up and I kissed him goodbye. And I told him I loved him, and he told me he loved me. Then we hugged each other, and I told him, ‘Come home early.’ “He said he would,” she continued, beginning to weep. “That was the last time.”

An Estate Files a $9.5m Suit Against Multnomah County After a Falling Tree Kills an Expectant Woman

The Multnomah Estate of a 30-year-old expectant woman who lost her life when a huge cedar fell onto her Ford SUV has moved to court to seek compensation amounting to $9.50 million. The suit has been filed against the registered owners of the Multnomah County land where the cedar tree grew.

According to the information provided in the lawsuit, Olivier was about four months pregnant when the incident occurred on 1st March 2016, at almost 6:30 am as she was heading to work along the Southeast Oxbow Drive. The cedar tree which was approximately 100-foot tall fell onto the driver’s side of Olivier’s 2001 Ford Explorer and killed her instantly.

Denied Permission

After Olivier’s death, Mark Harrington, the owner of the land where the tree grew came forward and said that the county authorities had denied him the permission to cut down the ill-fated tree and other trees near it that were also in a devastating condition.

Although it isn’t clear why Harrington was denied the permission to cut down the tree, Mr. Pullen, the official county spokesman, says that the county lacks a general code governing the cutting down of trees on private property.

At the time of her death, Olivier was a wife to Jeremy Olivier, and they had a baby boy who was three years old.

The estate where Olivier lived has taken the county to court claiming that the county denied granting the landowners where the tree grew permission to cut it down even after informing them about the rotting nature of the tree. The lawsuit argues that if the county had granted the sought orders to cut down the tree, Olivier’s life couldn’t have been cut short.

Portland attorneys Anthony Furniss and Gregory Leineweber are representing Olivier’s estate in the case which was filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court.

Related Cases

The lawsuit filed by Olivier’s estate is the fourth one to be recorded in the past two years over deaths caused by falling trees. A case was filed in 2016 in which the parents of an 11-year-old kid, Lake Oswego after he was killed when a tree fell on top of the car he was riding in.

During the same year, another lawsuit was also filed by the estate of an elderly woman who was killed when a neighbor’s tree fell onto her house at night. This happened in Southeast Portland. A similar case was also reported last year when a 27-year old man was killed while driving along the Columbia Highway.

Recalled Ikea Dresser Results in 8 Child Deaths

IKEA is known for its stylish, affordable furniture, but that affordability can come at a price. IKEA’s furniture needs to be assembled at home, and can actually be quite dangerous if not assembled properly. The latest example of this is the 2 year old California toddler who was recently crushed underneath IKEA’s Malm dresser while he napped.

This is the 8th such incident resulting from the Malm dresser line. IKEA says the accident was caused as a result of a failure to properly anchor the dresser to the wall. The family of the toddler claims they were not made aware of the danger of the Malm dresser, or the recall. This dresser has become known to be unstable if not properly anchored to the wall and has a great risk of tipping over, posing the greatest threat to young children. IKEA had already paid out $50 million to 3 families in 2014 and 2015.

Unfortunately, the lack of knowledge regarding the recall isn’t unique. IKEA sold as many as 65 million Malm dressers over the past 13 years. Only recently has the furniture company removed them from the website and stopped selling them altogether. The first public reports of child deaths associated with this dresser line occurred in 2014. When the problem became public, IKEA offered to replace the Malm dressers or provide replacement anchors to ensure their safety. As of now, IKEA is offering a full refund on the dresser or store credit depending on how old the unit is. If the customer would like to keep the dresser, IKEA is offering to send a repair team to anchor the dresser properly.

The biggest issue is getting the word out to owners of the Malm dressers. According to non-profit Kids In Danger, out of the 65 million Malm dressers that have been sold, it’s possible that only 3% have actually been repaired with IKEA’s repair kits or refunded altogether. That means there are potentially millions of households with this dresser still in them, posing a potentially life threatening risk to small children. This has led some to believe that IKEA has not done enough to get the word out regarding the Malm recall.

The Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Malibu Boats

The recent wrongful death law suit filed by Florida Personal Injury Lawyer, Don Fountain and the legal team working at Clark, La Vista, Fountain, Prather, Littky-Rubin, and Keen, and the co-counsel at the Copper Firm, has led to an NBC consumer investigation that focuses on the potential hazards of recreational boating. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a family in Lake Worth, FL. The family lost their 7 year old son in an unfortunate recreational boating accident. The lawsuit alleges that the boat manufacturer, Malibu Boats, used an improper design for their boat and further failed to test the vessel.

 

How Did The Accident Take Place?

 

Ryan Batchelder, the 7 year old who died in the boating accident sustained fatal injuries after being washed out of the seat of the Malibu Response boat. The bow of the boat swamped and dipped causing it to take on water and washing Ryan and one of his family members overboard. The driver of the boat tried to reverse the boat to prevent it from sinking, but to no avail. Ryan was entangled on the boat’s propeller and died from blood loss and drowning.

 

Findings by NBC

 

Investigations into the case have found that the authorities at Malibu Boats had expressed concerns regarding the design of the boat that caused Ryan’s death. Their concerns address the new design of their boat that put additional seats to the bow and added more weight on the front of the boat. Malibu Boats claims that it tested this new design but they had no records or documentation of such testing.

 

Apart from highlighting the dangerous practices involved in designing recreational boats, NBC has raised questions regarding the regulations that allow manufacturers to test their own boats instead of a government agency such as the U.S. Coast Guard. Currently, the U.S. Coast Guard’s authority with regards to recreational boats is focused on the safety equipment stored in these boards and enforcing laws on the water.

 

The legal team representing Ryan’s family intends to use this lawsuit to get justice for the child and his family, and to lobby for changes in the recreational boating sector that will focus on public safety.

Former NBA player Marcus Camby being sued for nephew’s death

Former NBA player Marcus Camby is subject to a wrongful death lawsuit filed Thursday, June 22, 2017. The suit was filed by Marcus Kendall McGhee in the U.S. District Court in Houston. McGhee is the father of Camby’s autistic nephew, 9-year-old Marcus Carter McGhee, who drowned in the manmade pond at Camby’s home in November. According to the suit, the child was son to Camby’s sister.

In the suit, McGhee claims the former NBA Houston Rocket player’s pond was not fenced in — offering no protection to keep the child away from the water — which led to his son’s death while visiting family at Camby’s Pearland home. The report also alleges Camby did not properly supervise the child despite knowing of his nephew’s limitations.

Local news sources report that search crews and law enforcement conducted a search when the child went missing last Thanksgiving afternoon. The search concluded the weekend after Thanksgiving, with searches getting more community support when he was missing more than 24 hours. Locals were asked to check their home security footage and volunteers looked in a six-mile radius around the property. The boy was said to be shy around strangers and non-verbal, leading search parties to play ‘Wheels on the Bus’ — his favorite song.

When the body was found, Camby even expressed his gratitude to those who helped look when speaking with local news outlets:

“My family and I would like to thank the Pearland police department, search and rescue and everyone from the community who assisted in the search for my nephew Marcus. Losing a child is every parent’s worst nightmare and we are heartbroken.” He then claimed that he and his family would be “front and center” to help before requesting privacy.

Marcus Camby played in the NBA for 17 seasons and was named Defensive Player of the Year in the 2006-07 season, having the most blocked shots per game on average. Starting his career on the Toronto Raptors, he made his longest stays with the New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets, playing for the Houston Rockets in 2012 and finally retiring from the Knicks in 2013.