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Articles Tagged with lawsuits

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calendar appThe Kentucky appellate courts seem to have heard more uninsured and underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) insurance cases than usual lately. Perhaps the court has done this intentionally for the sake of judicial economy – the reason being that it is easier to decide cases with similar issues while all of the intricacies of a particular branch of law are still fresh in the court’s mind.

Another reason may be that there are simply more UM/UIM disputes these days than in past years. Kentucky does have mandatory automobile liability insurance requirement, but the minimum required is just $25,000 per person (or $50,000 per accident) for bodily injury claims. Given the rapidly increasing costs of medical care, this coverage is often not enough to fully compensate an accident victim for his or her medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

UM/UIM coverage bridges the gap between a defendant’s liability coverage and a plaintiff’s total amount of damages, at least up to the plaintiff’s own policy limits. It is important to note that, just as in other types of personal injury cases, timeliness is very important when it comes to asserting one’s rights under a UM/UIM policy.

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hand writing in notebookInsurance companies have certain duties not only to their insureds but also to those who file legitimate claims against those who they insure.

A company’s failure to uphold these duties can result in a finding of liability under Kentucky’s bad-faith laws, but the claimant has the burden of proving his or her case by a preponderance of the evidence. This is not always an easy task, since there those involved may not agree about who is at fault or the amount of damages to which the claimant is entitled.

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By Jessica Surber, attorney
English, Lucas, Priest and Owsley, LLP

medic-hospital-laboratory-medical-40559Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear announced today that he is suing Johnson & Johnson for false marketing of transvaginal mesh, a medical product that the company sold to doctors and surgeons. The mesh is an implant used to treat pelvic organ prolapse and relieve stress urinary incontinence.

Beshear said in a press conference that the mesh has been implanted in 15,000 Kentucky women without Johnson & Johnson or Ethicon, the medical device subsidiary, providing proper information to women about the product.

The lawsuit doesn’t seek compensation for women harmed by the transvaginal mesh. Instead, it seeks civil penalties against Johnson and Johnson.

This type of lawsuit by an attorney general is unusual, and while it seeks to punish the manufacturer of transvaginal mesh, it doesn’t help women who are suffering because of this product. Anyone who has been injured is strongly urged to seek help from a qualified attorney, who can help them advocate for their rights.

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school bus 2The term “qualified immunity” refers to a doctrine under which an allegedly negligent public official is shielded from liability when sued in his or her individual capacity for discretionary acts that were performed in good faith and within the official’s scope of employment.

Recently, a Kentucky appellate court was called upon to review a claim of qualified immunity as it pertained to a personal injury lawsuit brought by two people injured in a school bus wreck that allegedly happened due to the failure of certain government officials to respond to public complaints about the condition of a road in Leslie County, Kentucky.

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dangerous products

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about half of all Americans take at least one prescription medication. Many also take over-the-counter medications – such as pain relievers, vitamins, and antihistamines – on a regular basis. It is, therefore, very important that pharmaceutical products be carefully monitored.

Patients who are harmed by unreasonably dangerous or defective medications may be able to obtain compensation for their injuries via a product liability lawsuit. Such suits often allege multiple theories of liability, including negligence, strict liability, failure to warn, and breach of warranty.

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the federal agency charged with protecting and promoting the health of Americans through the regulation and supervision of prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, dietary supplements, and related products.

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TECHNIKA SH-A366

By Kurt Maier, Attorney
English, Lucas, Priest and Owsley, LLP

The basic components of a negligence case are duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages. In slip and fall injury cases, called premises liability cases in legal terms, an injured person must also show that the owner or operator of the premises either caused the hazardous condition that led to his or her injuries or had constructive notice of.

The constructive notice element of proof can be shown in several ways, including proof that the dangerous or defective condition had been in place for a length of time sufficient for the defendant to have become aware of the condition in the exercise of reasonable care. Constructive notice can also be shown through the defendant’s recurring conduct or a continuing condition.

Of course, each case is unique, and disagreements can certainly arise as to whether a defendant was constructively notified of a particular situation. In some such cases, video surveillance footage can be an important piece of evidence, even if the slip and fall injury in question was not captured on camera.

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SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA

When a consumer is injured because of a dangerous product, the consumer has a right to pursue financial compensation for his or her injuries via a product liability lawsuit. There are several types of theories that may be used in product liability cases, depending upon the circumstances.

These types of theories include strict product liability, design defect, manufacturing defect, failure to warn, and breach of warranty. Design defects typically affect an entire line of products that were manufactured according to an inherently dangerous design. Manufacturing defects, on the other hand, may involve only a few products that were the subjects of a flaw in the construction or production process.

Damages available in a product liability case may include past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages. In some cases, there is also the possibility of punitive damages in cases of particularly egregious conduct by the manufacturer.

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Man clearing snow from the streets

By Jessica Surber, Attorney

English, Lucas, Priest and Owsley, LLP

Sometimes, a single individual, business, or governmental entity is clearly to blame for negligently inflicting harm on an accident victim. But there are also times when the injured person must share in the blame for what happened.

When more than one party bears the responsibility for an accident, fault is determined under the principles of comparative fault, such that an injured party’s settlement or judgment is reduced in proportion to his or her level of fault.

Recently, in the case of Carter v. Bullitt Host, LLC, the Kentucky Supreme Court addressed whether the doctrine of comparative fault was also applicable in premises liability cases involving the allegedly “open and obvious” hazards of snow and ice that caused a slip and fall injury.

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By Kyle Roby
Attorney, English, Lucas, Priest and Owsley, LLP

drones photos

Drones can get bird’s eye view of a roadway like nothing else can.

Telling a story about an event is one thing. But it’s so much more powerful when you can show what happened. That’s the job of accident reconstructionists, and their work is extremely important in helping juries and judges understand how, exactly, a crash occurred.

Accident re-constructionists now have a new tool available that has been a game-changer for showing what happened: drones. If you aren’t familiar with drones, these are remote-powered cameras that fly. They’re lightweight and powerful, and can take both video and still photos, and they’re becoming very popular as they’ve come down in price.

The drones can get a view of a roadway like nothing else can. Drones can show exactly how an intersection comes together from many angles, including from directly above and from all sides. With video footage and still photos from a drone, accident re-constructionists can create an animation of how vehicles crashed together on a roadway. The footage a drone shoots can also be rendered into CAD drawings that contain complete information on measurements, scale, size of vehicles and other scientific information that helps court officials properly review a case.
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By Kyle Roby
Attorney, English, Lucas, Priest and Owsley, LLP

IMG_0338For someone who has little experience with law firms or the court system, meeting with a personal injury lawyer can be intimidating. The question we’re asked the most often by our clients is “What do you need me to bring?”

For my personal injury clients, I’ve condensed it down to a short list that you can use as a guideline. These are all documents that are not essential, but they’re very helpful to have with you so your attorney can get to work right away.

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