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.
A woman seeks damages in excess of $75,000 in a suit alleging that she sustained personal injuries after being run over by a row of shopping carts.
On December 13, Jo Ann Funk filed suit in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas, naming Sam’s East Inc., doing business as Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. doing business as Sam’s Club, as a defendant.
The suit claims that on September 12, 2009, Funk was standing in the foyer area of a Sam’s Club store in Tyler, Texas with her back to the entrance as she prepared to take a shopping cart.
Funk claims she was run over by a long train of shopping carts that were being pushed through the entrance doors at a high rate of speed.
The suit alleges negligence on the part of the defendants for operation of the shopping cart train at an excessive rate of speed, failure to maintain a proper lookout, failure to operate the shopping cart train in a safe manner, failure to timely apply its braking system, failure to have appropriate safety policies and procedures in place for the operation of shopping cart trains, and failure to provide appropriate instruction to employees concerning safe operation of the shopping cart trains.
Funk seeks damages for physical pain and impairment, mental anguish, medical costs, interest, and costs of suit.
A woman has filed suit against Dollar Tree Stores Inc. and Weingarten Realty Management Co. for the personal injuries she sustained in an alleged fall at their store in Texas City, Texas.
Karen Woodworth filed suit in Texas’ Galveston County District Court on December 20, alleging that she tripped and fell on the welcome mat while entering the front doors of Dollar Tree on May 27.
Woodworth alleges that the mat in question contained indented and unlevel parts that exacerbated her injuries, increasing the damage caused by the alleged incident.
The suit said that after falling, Woodworth’s knee slammed into the concrete floor and her momentum carried her into a nearby display table, causing her and its contents to fall to the floor.
One of the cashiers at the store attempted to assist Woodworth to her feet, but the suit says it was several minutes before she was able to lift herself to her feet, wobbling in pain.
Woodworth says she wasn’t aware of the condition of the mat and the store had no warning signs posted in the front. She said the knee she injured required medical treatment and physical therapy.
Woodworth seeks unspecified damages.
A man from Mississippi has filed suit against his employer, alleging that he sustained personal injuries while working on one of its vessels.
In a suit filed in the Galveston Division of the Southern District of Texas on December 1 naming Ensco Offshore Co. as a defendant, Travis Dion Chambliss alleges that he was injured while aboard the Ensco 82 on May 27.
Chambliss said that a pallet that was being lifted fell on him, causing injuries to his neck and head.
The suit alleges negligence on the part of Ensco and claims the vessel was not seaworthy.
Chambliss seeks damages in excess of $75,000 for his injuries plus mental anguish and loss of wages.
Signs advertising sales or specials may be a common sight in retail stores, but a woman from Orange, Texas claims a particular plastic sign at a J.C. Penney was not clearly visible, resulting in her sustaining personal injuries when she tripped and fell over it in 2008.
In a suit filed in Texas’ Jefferson County District Court on December 21 by Wilda Stewart, along with her husband Ray, J.C. Penney is accused of negligence in its placement of the sign in a high traffic area.
According to court records, Stewart was shopping at the J.C. Penney store at Parkdale Mall in Beaumont, Texas, when she tripped on a clear plastic sign “that had been placed in a main traffic area,” resulting in her falling to the ground, landing shoulder-first on a center concrete support post adjacent to the bedding area.
The suit says that the part of the sign Stewart tripped on “was not clearly visible and constituted an unreasonable risk of harm.” The suit notes that the sign wasn’t attached to the floor or any other structure and could have easily been moved by anyone.
Stewart seeks damages for past and future mental anguish, impairment, medical expenses, and pain. Her husband seeks damages for lost consortium.
A man sustained personal injuries on December 20 after being butted several times by a bull in a pasture off Rosehill Road in Fayetteville
The identity of the victim was not immediately made available. He received transport to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, according to neighbors.
The incident occurred around 12:30 p.m. in a small pasture on Flora’s Lane, a dirt road beside the Westarea Fire Department on Rosehill.
Cumberland County tax records show the owner of the land the pasture is located on as John A. House Life Estate.
Eyewitness Emma Trumbo said she was visiting her daughter, whose residence is adjacent to the pasture, and with her grandchildren as they fed two calves that are kept in the same pasture as the Black Angus bull. She noticed the bull was out of the pasture and in a strip of woods between the two wire fences behind her daughter’s home.
Trumbo said her daughter went to notify the owner, who walked over to the bull and used a small stick of wood to attempt to force it back and behind a gate. She said the bull then began butting the man about six or seven times, knocking him about 25 feet from where the initial impact occurred. He landed on a piece of chain-link fence lying on the ground.
Police said that on the night of December 13, a woman sustained fatal personal injuries when she was struck by a train in Raleigh.
According to authorities, Rebecca Smith Vasquez was struck by a Norfolk Southern train around 10 p.m. at Granite Street and Carolina Pines Avenue. She was apparently sitting on the tracks.
Multiple media organizations reported that another woman was fatally struck by an Amtrak train she stepped in front of in Kannapolis earlier that day.
That woman was identified by police as 18-year-old Concord resident Stephanie Nichole Ennis.
It has been determined that a Michigan woman who suffered a broken hand while reaching for toilet paper may file suit against a restaurant over her personal injury.
The Michigan Supreme Court is divided over the case. The liberal majority says a jury should determine whether the dispenser created an unreasonable risk of harm at a Texas Roadhouse in Taylor, Michigan.
However, the three conservative justices argue that there should not be liability over ordinary accidents.
The woman, 58-year-old Sheri Schooley, called the incident “a bizarre story.” She said the dispenser’s cover fell on her right hand, breaking it.
Schooley said the injury has caused her to be unable to perform her duties as an administrative assistant because she is unable to type. She also said her bowling average dropped by 40 pins because she was forced to swap hands.
A lower court refused to dismiss the suit.
The parents of a young boy have filed suit against a Beaumont, Texas Sutherland’s, claiming the company is responsible for the personal injuries their son suffered when he fell out of a shopping cart.
On November 12, Connie and Edward Stunkard filed suit in Texas’ Jefferson County District Court.
Court papers say that on February 19, 2009, the minor child was in a shopping cart at the lumber store when he “fell from the cart and sustained injuries.”
The suit does not specify how the child fell and if his parents were supervising him at the time. The suit also does not list any negligent acts on the part of Sutherland’s.
The Stunkards seek damages in excess of $75,000.
The trial of a roofer’s personal injury suit was set to begin after the Thanksgiving holiday in Illinois’ Madison County Circuit Court.
The trial of the case, brought by plaintiff Anthony Lovsey, began on November 29.
Lovsey filed suit against Rehkemper and Sons Inc. and Home Structures Inc. for damages of more than $50,000, plus costs.
Lovsey alleges negligence on the part of the defendants for failure to provide him with a safe workplace.
According to the suit, the defendants’ negligence resulted in him being knocked from the roof of a building he was working on in December of 2005, causing him to suffer injuries to his back and leg, in addition to other injuries.
Rehkemper filed a third party complain in the suit against Home Structures in March 2009, also denying Lovsey’s claim.
However, Rehkemper claims that if it is found liable for any damages, Home Structures must bear a commensurate percent of the fault and damages.
A CSX Transportation conductor who suffered personal injuries has been awarded $10 million by a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois.
In the case, Owensboro, Kentucky resident Richard Burden was injured in 2007 while releasing the vertical handbrakes on a tank car at night. While dismounting the car, he fell, suffering a fractured leg, a neck injury requiring surgery at three disc levels, a lower back injury, and a traumatic brain injury.
The suit claimed that since the injury, Burden had been unable to work and had been adjudicated totally unemployable.
The November 10 award was reduced by 10 percent for contributory negligence, meaning Burden received a total of $9 million.
Burden's award on Nov. 10 was reduced by 10 percent for contributory negligence, netting him a total of $9 million.
Burden’s attorney noted that before the trial, CSX offered a settlement of $600,000.
A man from Boone County, West Virginia has filed suit against Charleston Area Medical Center, alleging that he sustained personal injuries on the premises.
According to the suit he filed in West Virginia’s Kanawha Circuit Court on October 29, Timothy Lee Miller was a patient at the hospital on October 31, 2009. He was taking a shower in the bathroom when cleaning staff entered his room and began cleaning the floor with a chemical cleaner and water.
Miller said that he was unaware of the staff cleaning the floor and slipped and fell upon exiting the bathroom.
The suit claims the cleaning staff did not place any signs in or around the room to indicate that the floor was wet and/or slippery.
Miller said that the fall caused him to land on his right arm, fracturing the distal radius and requiring orthopedic surgery and other treatment.
The suit said the hospital had a duty of reasonable care to keep the premises free from hazards and a duty to warn non-trespassing invitees of hazardous conditions and breached its duties by failing to do so.
Miller seeks compensatory damages and pre- and post-judgment interest.
A man from Lewis County, West Virginia has filed a personal injury suit against the heavy equipment manufacturer he alleges manufactured a roller that defectively failed to turn off when it flipped on its side, causing burning oil to spew onto the man.
In suit he filed on October 1 in Lewis Circuit Court, James R. Stutler, Jr. said that he was operating a roller machine manufactured by Terex on October 6, 2008, when the incident took place.
The suit says the portion of the highway Stutler was working on gave in, causing him and the roller to tumble down a hillside. The roller “did not land in a vertical position” and “did not shut its motor off,” resulting in the roller continuing to operate, spewing boiling oil onto Stutler’s body.
Stutler said the accident caused him to suffer third-degree burns to his body, requiring substantial medical care and resulting in permanent scarring, extreme pain and suffering, mental anguish, annoyance, and inconvenience.
Stutler faults Terex for his injuries, claiming the company was negligent in its failure to provide an adequate mechanism to shut the Terex roller when it was no longer upright.
Terex denies responsibility, saying Stutler’s injuries were the result of a superseding cause.
Stutler seeks attorney’s fees, costs, and other relief the court deems just.
Terex wants the complaint dismissed and wants to be awarded costs, attorney’s fees, and other relief the court deems just.
The parents of a minor boy have filed a personal injury suit against Walmart and a bicycle manufacturer, alleging that they are at fault for the front wheel of the child’s bicycle falling off as he was riding it, causing him to fall onto his face.
Stephanie and John Klug filed suit in West Virginia’s Wetzel Circuit Court on the behalf of their minor son, identified only as C.M.K., naming Walmart and Pacific Cycle as defendants.
The Klugs said the incident took place on October 4, 2008 while their son was riding his Mongoose XR-75 bike on a paved road in a New Martinsville, West Virginia city park.
The suit said that while the boy was riding the bike, the front wheel “suddenly broke free from the front bicycle fork,” causing him to fly over the handle bars and land face-first on the pavement. He sustained severe and permanent injuries and experienced pain, suffering, mental anguish, and a loss of ability to enjoy life, according to the suit.
The Klugs claim Walmart was negligent in its defective assembly of the bicycle, which resulted in the boy’s injury. They claim Pacific Cycle was negligent by allowing Walmart to assemble and market its products.
The defendants argue that the incident was the result of an accident, rather than their negligence. They seek to have the complaint dismissed and be awarded costs of suit, including attorney’s fees.
In their two-count complaint, the Klugs seek damages for their son’s injuries, medical expenses, interest, costs of suit, and other relief the court deems just.
Authorities say a 27-year-old man from Johnston County died and his friend sustained serious personal injuries in an ATV accident on November 20.
Johnston County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Tammy Amaon said that Four Oaks resident Thomas Murphy was found dead on the morning of the accident after he apparently lost control of the ATV and crashed.
Amaon said that Murphy’s passenger, 20-year-old Savannah, Georgia resident Jessica Wadsworth, was knocked unconscious and sustained serious injuries in the crash.
According to Amaon, the two were riding in woods owned by Johnston County Community College in the southern part of the county near Turkey Pen Ridge Road.
Amaon said that the pair was found when Murphy’s brother became concerned around 6:30 a.m. when Murphy didn’t show up for work. He repeatedly called their cell phones, eventually reaching Wadsworth, who told him they’d both been injured.
Amaon said that Murphy was pronounced dead at the scene. Wadsworth received transport to WakeMed with injuries that were not considered life-threatening.
A man suffered fatal personal injuries on November 21 when an Amtrak train struck him in the Lemon Springs community, according to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.
Captain Jeff Johnson said the incident had been ruled a suicide by investigators.
Johnson said that 24-year-old Lemon Springs resident William Shoemaker had recently moved from Vermont to Lee County. At the time of the collision, he was laying on the railroad tracks.
Johnson said the incident took place shortly after 10:30 p.m. near Greenwood Road.
North Carolina state inspectors were investigating a November 9 incident at a paper plant in Scotland County in which a worker suffered fatal personal injuries.
Around noon on the day of the incident, worker Kenneth Oxendine was struck by a forklift in the Wagram Paper Stock Inc. plant, according to police in Wagram.
Oxendine was the lone injured person in the incident. No further details were immediately made available.
On the morning of November 9, a small tank exploded at a DuPont plant in New York, resulting in one worker’s death, another suffering personal injuries, and part of the building having to be evacuated.
Tonawanda, New York Police Lt. Nick Bado said that the deceased worker, an outside contractor, was apparently repairing or maintaining the empty, 10,000 gallon tank when it exploded around 11:15 a.m. Bado said there might have been welding underway and the blast could have been caused by fumes or residue from whatever chemical was once contained in the freestanding tank.
United Steelworkers Local No. 6992 President Gary Guralny said that a portion of the facility was damaged and some sections had to be evacuated.
The tank’s contents were not immediately identified by the company. Police said there were no immediate plans to evacuate the area surrounding the plant.
About 700 workers are employed at the Tonawanda plant, which produces Corian countertops and sinks and Tedlar laminate film used in solar panels.
North Carolina Department of Labor and company officials confirmed on November 5 that a 39-year-old worker at a Raleigh recycling facility suffered fatal personal injuries in a work-related accident on the night of November 3.
The labor department’s Occupational Safety and Health Division has launched an investigation into the death of Simon Martinez, a contract employee at Sonoco Recycling.
The death is the second one at a North Carolina Sonoco facility within a span of just over two months. On August 26, a man operating a forklift at a Salisbury facility died after being crushed by 1,600 pounds of baled cardboard, according to Labor Department spokesman Neal O’Briant.
Sonoco corporate spokesman Robin Montgomery said that there were no witnesses for the fatal November 3 accident, which took place around 9:30 p.m. The company is based out of Hartsville, South Carolina.
Montgomery said that Martinez had been operating a forklift, but was not on it at the time of the accident.
O’Briant said that a state inspector was sent to the facility shortly after the accident occurred after being notified of a fatality. He said the employer is required by law to report a fatality within eight hours.
U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration records say that the Raleigh Sonoco facility was fined $1,900 in October 2008 for six violations, three of them serious, after a scheduled inspection. The fine was later reduced to $1,330 and the case was closed.
On November 3, the N.C. Department of Labor released statistics showing the rate of injury and illness among the state’s private industry seeing a decrease to a historic low in 2009.
The 2009 rate of 3.1 cases per 100 full-time workers was a decrease from 3.4 in 2008.
The department said the state’s rate is below the national average.
5-Year-Old-Killed in Accident in Harnett County
A 5-year-old boy died at Central Carolina Hospital on Sunday afternoon due to injuries he received in an
The accident occurred on McNeil Road and involved a tractor and a car.
According to the report of the North Carolina Highway Patrol, Randy Thomas, 54, was operating a tractor and turned in front of the car driven by Emilie Rogers, 30.
Blake Rogers, in a car seat in the back of the vehicle was killed.
Ms. Rogers received a citation for driving while her license was revolked.
Fatal Accident Involving Semi and Mower in Cumberland County
An Erwin man lost his life in Cumberland County this morning while on the job.
John Glenn McLean, 47, was operating a mower in the median of Interstate 95. McLean was employed by Martin Edwards & Associates which contracts with the Department of Transportation.
Before striking the mower, the tractor-trailer hit two safety vehicles with flashing warning arrows and went just left of a third one.
According to N.C. Highway Patrolman, Greg Steffens, the accident occurred just after 11:30 a.m.
McLean’s son and brother were working with him.
The semi driver, Luis Valdez, 65, of Lehigh Acres, Fl., sustained minor injuries.
Valdez was driving for Marlu Transportation Services.
Investigation is underway to discover what caused the truck to run off the road.
The left lane of northbound traffic at the U.S. Highway 13 / Newton Grove (Exit 58) was closed until around 3:00 p.m.
Four people and three horses suffered fatal personal injuries when a small plane crashed in a horse corral in northern Los Angeles County.
According to County fire Inspector Matt Levesque, the plane crashed behind a barn and caught fire shortly after 12 p.m. pacific time on October 21 in Agua Dulce, which is approximately 30 miles north of Los Angeles.
Levesque said that the four occupants of the plane were killed in the crash and three horses in the corral were killed and one was injured.
The flames were quickly extinguished. The crash’s cause remains under investigation.
There is an airport a short distance from the crash site, but Levesque said it wasn’t immediately clear if that was the plane’s departure point.
A pilot has sustained serious personal injuries after his small plane crashed in Southern Pines.
According to Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen, the experimental aircraft crashed on the afternoon of October 17. The crash’s cause had not yet been determined.
The pilot, whose identity was not immediately made available, was the lone occupant.
The FAA registry says that the owner of the plane is Hope Mills resident Keith Cox.
On the morning of October 11, a pedestrian suffered fatal personal injuries in Durham after he was struck by an Amtrak train, police in Durham said.
Police say the male victim was struck by the plane shortly before 7:30 a.m. at T.W. Alexander near Miami Boulevard as the train was on its way into Durham.
Police said the man was pronounced dead at the scene. No one aboard the train was injured in the accident.
The accident remains under investigation.