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Articles Tagged with personal injury

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picnic table

Under Kentucky law, a person who is injured on the job is entitled to benefits such as temporary and permanent disability payments and medical expenses. Usually, these benefits are less than what the worker would have received in a negligence case against someone other than his or her employer.

Thus, an employee who is hurt at work may wish to file a personal injury lawsuit against a third party whose negligence contributed to an injury at work. Of course, the third party has an incentive to assign as much fault as possible to the employer, even though the employer is immune from liability in the negligence case.

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Kyle Roby

Attorney Kyle Roby

Attorney and partner Kyle Roby recently settled a truck accident case for $850,000 on behalf of a Kentucky client. We have posted about this case on our main firm web site, and are sharing with our audience here as well.

Here is a summary of the case. For more details, read the main post on our web site. You can read the post here.

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vicious dog

There is no question that some dogs are more dangerous than others, or that almost any dog is capable of an attack under the right circumstances. What responsibility should the owner of a dog with dangerous propensities – or the owner of any dog, for that matter – have toward the general public?

A Kentucky appellate court addressed this issue recently in a case in which a woman was severely injured by a pack of dogs during a hunting trip.

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handshake deal

Do you know how much uninsured motorist coverage you have, or whether you have such coverage at all? One man thought that he had such coverage, but, as it turns out, uninsured motorist coverage was not part of his insurance plan with Allstate.

In a case that went all the way to the state’s highest court, the parties vehemently disagreed about the issue of coverage. Ultimately, the man lost his case in an appellate court opinion issued some 10 years after the automobile accident that led to the dispute.

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A negligence case has four components:  duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages. Sometimes, a particular situation – such as a slip and fall injury, an act of medical malpractice, or a defective product – turns a simple negligence case into a more complex inquiry.
SONY DSC

Sometimes, however, the opposite is true. A recent case from the Kentucky Court of Appeals illustrates this point.

Facts of the Case

In Campbell v. Pro Video Audio Productions, Inc., the plaintiff was working as a professional stagehand at a concert in Louisville in 2012 when his foot became entangled in a tarp placed on the stage. He fell approximately seven feet, hurting his arm, leg, face, and hand. He sued the defendant, who was in the business of providing stage construction and sound system services, alleging that it had created an unreasonably dangerous condition by failing to place handrails around the stage.

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Pinnacle hip replacementA two-month trial in Dallas brought back a huge verdict against Johnson & Johnson, the manufacturer the Pinnacle hip replacement, which is a metal-on-metal hip replacement system. The jury verdict came back today after only one day of deliberations. The jury verdict awarded $497.6 million in damages to five plaintiffs whose cases were combined as part of a multidistrict litigation. The figure included $360 million in punitive damages against DePuy.

The case is considered to be a bellwether case, meaning the outcome of the case indicates how the courts and juries may see future hip replacement cases. The result of the case was posted on law news site Law360 today.

The device targeted in this lawsuit is the Pinnacle Acetabular Cup System, which is made by DePuy, a division of Johnson & Johnson. One of the key components of the Pinnacle hip replacement is a cobalt and chromium liner in the cup part – which was also a key part of the problem with the device.

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lawn mowerBy Kyle Roby, Attorney and Partner
English, Lucas, Priest and Owsley, LLP

The reported cases decided by the appellate courts sometimes come in batches of cases involving similar issues. Since a criminal case questioning the applicability of the death penalty, for example, involves an entirely different set of issues, research, and analysis than does a tort case arguing about liability in a medical malpractice lawsuit, there is judicial economy when the courts decide similar cases during the same time period.

Lately, it seems the courts have been faced with a number of cases involving whether or not a given situation is covered under a particular insurance policy. In the recent case of Auto-Owners Insurance Company v. Holland, the Court of Appeals of Tennessee at Nashville was called upon to decide whether a commercial general liability insurance policy provided coverage in an accident in which a child was injured by the gate of a trailer that an insured used to transport lawn care equipment.

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same sex marriage loss of consortiumWhen a husband or wife dies or is severely injured as a result of someone’s negligence, the surviving spouse can typically seek damages for past medical expenses, future medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, impairment of earning capacity and what’s called “loss of consortium.” Essentially, loss of consortium is the loss of the loved one’s love, care, services, assistance, and companionship. Loss of consortium seeks to compensate the surviving spouse for the harm endured to the marital relationship. Damages for loss of consortium can be awarded not only in wrongful death cases but also in cases in which a spouse has been severely injured and is unable to provide the love, care, services, assistance, and companionship that the couple enjoyed when both persons were healthy.

Damages for loss of consortium are only available to married couples. KRS 411.145 states that “either a wife or husband may recover damages against a third person for loss of consortium, resulting from a negligent or wrongful act of such third person.”

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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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medical malpracticeIn cases involving injuries to a person, a plaintiff must establish the four traditional elements of negligence – duty, breach of duty, damages, and causation – by a preponderance of the evidence. This typically requires some type of medical evidence, including expert testimony concerning the nature, extent, and cause of the injuries at issue. In addition to the medical evidence offered by the plaintiff in support of his or her case, a defendant may also wish to discover additional information about the plaintiff’s medical treatment.

Prior to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), it was a common practice for the litigants in personal injury cases, including medical malpractice cases, to conduct ex parte interviews with the plaintiff’s doctors in order to determine whether a deposition, which is considerably more costly than a mere interview, was necessary in a given case. Since HIPAA, however, many state and federal courts have been called upon to determine whether this one-sided, informal discovery is still acceptable.

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