Brent Adams & Associates Legal Blog
Our North Carolina legal blog covers personal injury news, accident information, medical malpractice reports, lawsuits, and other topics of interest for those who are dealing with their own North Carolina legal issues. Updated daily, our NC injury attorneys hope this blog helps readers stay connected to legislation changes and informed when it comes to significant NC court decisions.
According to a December 13 statement from the North Carolina Highway Patrol, a truck owned by a Burlington police officer was involved in a hit-and-run accident were involved on the evening of December 10.
Troopers said the truck of Bruce Clyde Shoe was involved in a collision at Huffman Mill Road around 11 p.m. The truck rear-ended one vehicle and backed into another before driving away.
The driver of the truck drove into a nearby apartment complex and struck another vehicle, according to troopers. That collision resulted in the truck’s tire coming off and damaging two other vehicles.
Troopers said the truck was abandoned when police arrived at the scene.
Assistant Police Chief Greg Seel said that Shoe was suspended without pay.
Troopers said the investigation is ongoing and the findings will be handed to the district attorney’s office, where a decision about charges will be made.
Seel said Shoe has been an employee with the Police Department since 1987.
Police said that a Durham police officer was charged with running a red light on December 7 in connection to a collision with another vehicle in which personal injuries were involved.
At the time of the accident, Officer L.A. Harvey was responding to a report of a breaking and entering in progress on Washington Street shortly before 8:30 a.m. when his patrol car struck a 1993 Cadillac on the driver’s door on Roxboro Road.
Police said that Harvey’s patrol car had its blue lights and siren on at the time of the collision.
The Cadillac’s driver, Durham resident Avery Hunt, was charged with driving on a revoked license, having no insurance, using a fictitious registration, and having an unregistered vehicle.
The incident is the second in which an on-duty Durham police officer was charged after a wreck.
On December 2, Officer Kevin A. Stewart was charged with DWI and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident after a rear-end collision on Fayetteville Street. He was fired the next day.
Interstate 85 South has been closed around mile marker 90 in Lexington due to a crash in which personal injuries were involved.
The North Carolina Highway Patrol said that two officers from the Lexington Police Department were struck by a tractor-trailer. One officer received transport to Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem. The other received transport to a nearby hospital. Their conditions were not immediately made available.
The collision took place shortly after 12:30 p.m.
On the morning of May 21, a Fayetteville police officer suffered personal injuries when a sport utility vehicle struck his patrol car in the College Lakes neighborhood.
Police say Officer Michael Boone sustained a broken collarbone in the collision, which took place at about 10:30 a.m. at the intersection of Saddle Ridge Drive and Shoreline Road.
According to police, Boone was in the process of responding to a call concerning a domestic dispute involving Malcolm Leon Savage. Police say that Boone had stopped at an intersection when Savage veered his Ford Explorer into the cruiser and knocked it off the road and into a yard.
Boone was pinned inside the vehicle and called 911 as Savage fled, police said. Responding officers apprehended Savage after locating him with tracking dogs.
Members of the Fayetteville Fire Department extricated Boone from the patrol vehicle.
Boone and Savage each received transport to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, where they each underwent treatment for minor injuries.
Police charged Savage with assault on a female, carless and reckless driving, and failure to reduce speed.
A Cary police officer suffered personal injuries after crashing his patrol vehicle into a home on the night of March 10 after losing control while attempting to catch up with a speeding driver.
At approximately 11:30 p.m., Senior Police Officer Mike Smith was sitting in his vehicle with a radar gun and clocked a driver speeding. He turned his vehicle around and tried to catch up with the speeder, according to Deputy Chief Barry Nickalson.
Nickalson said Smith’s wheels spun on the wet road and he lost control at SW Maynard Road and Pond Street. The car rand into a yard and collided with a house, which was unoccupied at the time.
Smith suffered lacerations to the left side of his face and a concussion. Nickalson said he was released from the hospital the following morning.
Nickalson said the impact knocked a hole in the house’s foundation and it has been declared uninhabitable.
A woman has filed a personal injury suit against the City of Huntington, West Virginia for a traffic accident involving a city police officer.
Courtney Bohnke filed suit in West Virginia’s Cabell Circuit Court on October 7, alleging that on August 1, as she was a passenger in a vehicle driven by Montana Marks, Huntington Police Officer Ronnie Lusk ran a stop sign and struck the vehicle she and Marks were riding in, causing her to suffer injuries. Bohnke’s suit claims that after the collision, Lusk exited his patrol vehicle and fled the scene.
The suit says that another police officer arrived shortly afterward to investigate the crash. The suit says that Lusk reappeared at the scene during the investigation and claimed to have been chasing a suspect, citing that as the reason for leaving the scene.
Bohnke says that she has been without the use of her vehicle since the crash and alleges that Lusk’s insurance company has failed to resolve the property damage or extended any settlement offer.
Bohnke seeks damages for past, present, and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, emotional distress, nuisance and inconvenience, and lost wages.
A federal jury has awarded $500,000 in damages to a man who filed suit against the town of Clayton and three police officers after he suffered personal injuries when the officers shot him five years ago.
According to court documents, on February 2, 2004, Manuel Pena was inside his home when the officers fired 16 rounds of ammunition, striking him twice. At the time, the officers were searching for another man and believed him to be inside Pena’s home.
The jury found no wrongdoing on the officers’ part in relation to Pena’s excessive force claim. However, they awarded him $300,000 in compensatory damages for his claim of illegal search. The jury also ordered two of the officers to pay a combined total of $200,000 in punitive damages.
The officers were cleared four months after the shooting by an investigation conducted by the State Bureau of Investigation and the Johnston County district attorney’s office. They determined the use of deadly force to be warranted and the amount of gunfire not to have been excessive.
The district attorney’s report said that Pena came to the door of his home with a rifle after officers knocked on the door and announced themselves.
The report said Pena didn’t respond to commands to drop the gun officers fired when he moved the weapon “as if to shoulder it.” The report says after he went back into his home, Pena returned to the porch still holding the rifle and appeared to point it in the officers’ direction.
According to Pena’s complaint, he had been sleeping when the officers knocked on his door. By the time he had awaken and reached the door, no one was there.
Pena claims he retrieved the rifle because he believed a predator had frightened his chickens and dogs. When he got to the porch, he heard an officer shout that he had a gun and shots began to be fired.
Pena says the officers never identified themselves.
According to police, a pedestrian died of the personal injuries he suffered when he was struck by the patrol car of a Fayetteville police officer on August 15.
Police say that at approximately 10:45 p.m., the officer, whose name has not yet been released, was traveling on Grove Street when he collided with a man who stepped in front of his cruiser.
The officer immediately called for medical assistance and attempted to revive the man, but was unsuccessful, according to police.
Police were unable to immediately identify the man as he had no identification on him.
An internal investigation is being conducted by the Fayetteville Police Department’s Office of Professional Standards. Simultaneous investigations are being conducted by the North Carolina Highway Patrol and members of the Fayetteville Police Department’s Traffic Unit.
The officer has been placed on administrative duty during the investigation.
A man has filed a personal injury suit alleging that a Belleville, Illinois police officer hit his head on the hood of a police cruiser.
According to the suit filed on March 12 in Illinois’ St. Clair County Circuit Court by Peter Huster, the September 13 incident caused him to suffer personal injury, pain and suffering, and lost wages. The suit names Belleville officer Timothy Crimm, other unknown officers, and the city of Belleville as defendants.
The suit says the Huster was celebrating his birthday at Mo-Jacks Bar in Belleville on the night of the incident. He attempted to go up the stairs, not knowing the top floor was a private residence.
The suit says that upon realizing his mistake, he retreated down the stairs and was confronted by the resident. His friends intervened on his behalf and ushered him outside. However, the resident still called the police.
According to the complaint, Crimm arrived at the scene and began to search for Huster. However, Huster had left and was riding in a vehicle with two females when he was stopped by an officer.
The suit says that after Huster identified himself, he was handcuffed and detained by Crimm and other officers. The suit says that he did not resist, but Crimm and the other officers, with no legal justification, “bounced his face on the hood of a patrol car,” which caused him to suffer severe physical damage.
The complaint claims Crimm’s actions were in violation of Huster’s Fourth and Eight amendment rights.
The suit also claims the city of Belleville was in violation of Huster’s rights through its hiring of Crimm.
Huster seeks damages in excess of $300,000, plus costs, from the six-count suit.
A woman from Beaumont, Texas who suffered a broken arm and leg while performing a physical fitness test for the Beaumont Police Department has filed a personal injury suit against the city.
According to the suit filed in Texas’ Jefferson County District Court by Carla Mattox, she was forced to undergo the physical fitness test in order to qualify as a patrol officer for the Beaumont Police Department.
The suit says that as part of the test on March 25, Mattox was required to run an obstacle course. She claims that as she was running the course, she fell while climbing a ladder that had no handrails and broke her arm and leg.
According to the suit, the course had little or no supervision, despite participants being required to climb to heights exceeding 10 feet. It also claims no “spotters” were in place to provide aid or protection to the participants in case of a fall from the structures.
Mattox claims the fall caused her to suffer severe injuries, pain, mental anguish, and lost earnings and incur medical expenses.
The suit alleges negligence on the part of Beaumont for failure to properly maintain the obstacle course, failure to properly maintain equipment, failure to provide adequate supervision, and failure to provide a sufficient number of people to act as spotters.
Mattox seeks unspecified damages, plus costs.
A California man has been awarded more than $11 million in personal injury damages from a Superior Court jury for the brain injuries he suffered when a San Diego, California police officer knocked him to the ground in 2006.
As a result of the incident, 28-year-old Pablo Gomez suffered a fractured skull. In 2007, he filed suit against the city of San Diego and Officer Joseph DeVeaux for negligence and battery.
The jury found the city to be negligent and mostly responsible for the injuries Gomez sustained and ruled that it must pay the majority of the damages, approximately $8 million. Gomez was found 30 percent responsible; reducing the total amount he is owed.
According to court documents, on January 4, 2006, Gomez was walking to his car with two friends when a pair of intoxicated men approached them and a fight broke out.
Upon Officer DeVeaux’s arrival, Gomez was leaving the scene. The officer pursued him, calling for him to stop.
Within seconds, Gomez stopped and turned to fact DeVeaux, who collided with him and knocked him to the ground. His head struck the pavement and his skull was fractured.
According to his attorney, Gomez had to be confined to a wheelchair at one point and was unable to speak. He underwent three brain surgeries and has since regained his ability to walk and talk, but still cannot work, according to his attorney.
According to police in Cincinnati, Ohio an officer responded to a report of a dog attacking someone shortly after 11 a.m. on April 28.
According to an incident report, upon the homeowner’s opening the door for the officer, the dog escaped out the door and bit the officer on the leg, puncturing it.