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From the Headlines: Car Wash Accident

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+2 (2 votes)

RUCKERSVILLE, Va. —Authorities say a mother and her three daughters were washing their SUV when one of the children accidentally shifted it into neutral, causing the vehicle to roll backward and fatally crush the girl’s 18-month old sister.

Virginia State Police say the 25-year-old mother didn’t realize Monday that her 5-year-old daughter had gotten into the SUV’s front seat and unknowingly shifted from park into neutral. The police statement says the SUV began rolling and that the mother was unable to pull her 18-month-old daughter out of the way in time. The toddler died at the scene.

Investigators say the gear shift could easily be moved without applying the brake or turning on the vehicle.

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A $4.2 MILLION DOLLAR SETTLEMENT WAS AWARDED TO A WIDOW WHO NOT ONLY LOST HER HUSBAND BUT SUBSEQUENTLY HER HOUSE BURNED DOWN AS WELL.

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+2 (2 votes)

HONOLULU – The widow and children of a man who went to a rural Hawaii health center with a sore throat in 2013 and ended up dead will receive a $4.2 million settlement from the federal government, the widow’s lawyer said Wednesday.

Then the doctor decided to further evaluate him under sedation, but Marrero lost consciousness and died, Fried said.

Before sedating him, the doctor should have known Marrero weighed nearly 300 pounds, which would make it difficult to protect his airway, the lawsuit filed by Fried said. There was no anesthesiologist there, and the doctor gave Marrero too much of the sedative drug, Fried said.

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At a news conference in Fried’s office to announce the settlement, Marrero’s wife, Rachel, recalled her shock when she was told that the father of her three young sons had died.

She told health center workers: “He just had a sore throat, what do you mean he passed?”

After the news conference, the health center’s executives hugged her and offered condolences.

“Our providers work tirelessly to assure that the best quality of care is given to our patients, and we grieve that in this case things occurred the way they did and we have this unfortunate outcome,” Chief Medical Officer Dr. Stephen Bradley said.

The executives declined to disclose the emergency doctor’s name, but the lawsuit named Dr. Robert Bonham. Bradley later released a statement from Bonham where he offered condolences and said he couldn’t provide details about the case because of an ongoing formal review.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is conducting the review, Bradley said.

Marrero said she was hopeful that the health center, known locally as “the comp,” will follow through with promised steps to make sure that a similar death never happens again.

The health center implemented changes after the death, including a new emergency room director overseeing operations and a full-time chief compliance officer who is also an attorney. A new emergency room facility is scheduled to be completed within a year, though plans for that were underway before the incident, Bradley said.

“I don’t hate or judge,” Marrero said. “I just hope that the comp does make everything better for other families.”

The federal government will pay the settlement because the center is a federally qualified community nonprofit health center that’s insured by the Federal Tort Claims Act, said center President and Chief Executive Officer Richard Bettini. “In exchange, we take anyone regardless of ability to pay,” he said.

Fried praised the settlement and said people living in west Oahu’s Waianae community should feel comfortable receiving care there.

He noted that Bettini arranged for money to be set aside for the family’s living expenses while they waited for the settlement, which was reached last year but required about a year of federal approvals.

Marrero said her maintenance mechanic husband stayed home with his sore throat for about a week, struggling to eat and suffering fevers. When his vacation time ran out, he went back to work, where his employers advised him to seek medical attention, she said.

“He went right after work, and he never came home,” she said.

She called her husband a “gentle giant” who provided for his family.

“We had kids, got married, bought our house,” she said. “It was a dream come true for me.”

The structured settlement will pay a fixed monthly amount for the remainder of the lives of Marrero and her children, Fried said.

One of the first things she’s doing with the money is rebuilding their home that burned down just a few days before Christmas in 2014, she said. “It won’t ever bring my husband back,” she said.

The Associated Press

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$4.6 MILLION DOLLAR VERDICT AND SHE ISN’T EVEN ILL

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+2 (2 votes)

RIPPED FROM HEADLINES:

A South Carolina woman has won her multi-million dollar case against Target after being stuck by a needle in the store’s parking lot.

According to court documents she parked and had gotten out of her vehicle when her daughter picked up a hypodermic needle. The woman swatted the needle out of her daughter’s hand and when she did, the needle stuck her in her right palm. She reported the incident to an employee and was later tested for HIV and Hepatitis. She was negative for both diseases.

The woman has been awarded more than $4.6 million.

Target is currently considering post-trial motions and appeal options.

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Lies, Lies, Lies

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+2 (2 votes)

Plaintiff alleged that an IME doctor injured him during the examination. It turned out that the IME doctor had Plaintiff fill out a document before he left his office, attesting that he wasn’t injured during the exam. Even better, Plaintiff stated in his answers to interrogatories after the IME that he hadn’t sustained any subsequent injuries. So, Plaintiff lied about this injury allegedly sustained during the IME. At trial, we used this allegation to undermine Plaintiff’s credibility about the slip and fall at issue and the jury ultimately didn’t buy his story and rendered a verdict in favor of defendant on liability.

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FORE!!!! ONE SWING OF A GOLF CLUB CAUSES A FIRE THAT BURNS OVER 20 ACRES

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+3 (3 votes)

It wasn’t a cigar thrown into the rough. The spark that ignited the fire at the Arroyo Trabuco golf course came from a club striking a rock, according to Orange County Fire Authority investigators and witness statements.

A golfer hit his ball into the rough at the Mission Viejo area golf course. When he attempted to hit the ball out, the club sparked against a rock. That spark leaped to tinder dry brush, which burst into a rapid flame.

The golfers tried to extinguish the fire with the water they had on hand and it got away from them. The fire raced uphill.

The golfers immediately reported the blaze, and the fire was determined accidental by Orange County Fire Authority Investigators.

This was a non-intentional fire. Whether the golfers will be held responsible is unknown at this time but ultimately up to the investigators.

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Lying and Greedy Claimant

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+3 (3 votes)

Claimant reported to his condo association that he sustained a head injury when he slipped down 6 wet stairs and hit his head on each stair–a total of 5 times. The manager asked him how tall he is and he said, “6′2″”. The manager then asked, “Wouldn’t your feet have stopped you after you hit your head once or twice?” The Claimant agreed with this statement. The manager then asked, “So, are you lying?” The Claimant responded, “Yes. Can I get insurance money anyway?”

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Lonely Hearts Club

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+3 (3 votes)

A man called our company and reported a claim. He gave details of the accident and requested to come in and give a statement in person. A young female adjuster was assigned to take the claim. The old man started to explain what happened and then apologized and said he wasn’t really in an accident. He was bored and lonely and wanted to talk to someone. The file was closed and he was given a stern warning not to do it again.

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Creepy Stalker Plaintiff

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+3 (3 votes)

Plaintiff alleged that while he was lying on the beach, he was hit on the head by a paddle board dropped by our insured. Our insured claimed that her boyfriend and her were carrying the paddle board and never dropped it. She couldn’t understand why the lawsuit in small claims was brought until she appeared in court and saw Plaintiff. it turned out the Plaintiff was a man who had been stalking her. She and her boyfriend testified in court. The Plaintiff wasn’t able to prove any injury and it seemed clear, he was using the lawsuit as a means to get close to our insured. Our insured filed a restraining order against Plaintiff and it was granted.

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