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Shapiro & Appleton

Shapiro & Appleton Law Firm E-Newsletter (February 2016 Edition)

Your Health & Safety E-Newsletter

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Health & Safety News

The water crisis in Flint, Michigan is a disgrace. Thousands of children could be afflicted with serious, debilitating illnesses. A lawsuit was filed seeking class action certification against city and state officials who appear to have ignored this preventable crisis for years.

  • ‚ÄčThis article, published by Vox.com, does a great job analyzing what happened and just how outrageous it is that government officials are only taking serious action now.

February is National Electric Safety Month. Approximately 600 people die from electrocution each year in the United States. In addition, over 250,000 residential fires occur as a result of electrical malfunction, causing extensive property damage and death.

The FACT Act is making its way through Congress and needs to be stopped. The FACT Act (short for the Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act) would forfeit the privacy of individuals suffering from asbestos disease by putting private information – including name and asbestos exposure history – into a publicly accessible database that would make victims vulnerable to identity theft and a target for online predators. It serves no purpose other than to intimidate asbestos victims from coming forward.

Law Firm News

VICTORY FOR MEDICAL MALPRACTICE VICTIM

Rick Shapiro, joined by co-counsel David Kopstein (former president of Maryland Association for Justice), obtained an $860,000 jury verdict for a first grade Baltimore school teacher who suffered a colon perforation injury during a laparoscopic hysterectomy. Our client resided in Baltimore, Maryland, so Rick partnered with experienced Maryland medical malpractice attorney David Kopstein.  Again, our firm proves that when skilled trial attorneys from two law firms partner up, it is a powerful combination that often leads to excellent results for clients.

  • The case facts were very tough: the OB/GYN had a fine reputation, and the operative report revealed no problems noted during the surgery and two OB/GYNS assisted the lead defendant doctor, and backed up his story.  All three said all anatomy was inspected, and no damage was noticed.  However, our client was re-admitted to the hospital for abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting within hours of her discharge.  The 1 centimeter colon hole was not found until exploratory surgery 11 days post-hysterectomy and the teacher was hospitalized for 40 days and then had to wear and change a colostomy bag for 9 months. 
  • Our experts testified nothing except colon damage caused one of the 4 surgical tools was plausible, while the defendant and many experts claimed there was no surgical damage, and instead a diverticulum suddenly ruptured the day before the exploratory surgery.  As we waited for the verdict, we could only hope that the jury saw through the defense smokescreen.
  • After nearly a day of deliberation, they returned an $860,000 verdict, the exact amount we requested in our opening statement and closing argument. For more information on this trial and verdict, check out the case review here.

GETTING RESULTS FOR TRUCK ACCIDENT AND WRONGFUL DEATH CLIENTS

Randy Appleton successfully settled a truck accident injury case for $550,000.00. Our client was operating a tractor trailer when another driver veered into his lane and smashed, head-on, into his big rig. Our client suffered significant injuries to his shoulders (including a torn rotator cuff), knee and hand. Check out the full case result here.

Randy Appleton, assisted by Rick Shapiro, recently obtained a truck case arbitration award in the amount of $1,250,000.00 for the estate of a company mechanic who was killed on a North Carolina highway. His work truck became suddenly disabled, at 5 a.m. on a dark, two lane 55 mph highway when he was hit by another driver.

  • The facts of this tragic case are as follows: the hydraulic brake fluid suddenly leaked from our 49 year old client’s vehicle, locking up the brakes and there was no paved shoulder on the rural highway.  While standing behind the truck with flashers on, an oncoming driver failed to observe the mechanic’s disabled truck, and skidded into our client’s vehicle at 45 mph, killing him. In North Carolina, for underinsured motorist cases, state law permits a plaintiff to opt for 3-panel member arbitrations.  
  • In order to expedite a result for the widow and the decedent’s adult daughter, arbitration short circuits a long litigation process.   
  • Randy also knew that the insurance lawyers would argue that the decedent was contributorily negligent. In North Carolina, contributory negligence wipes out any recovery for a plaintiff.  After presenting all the evidence and witnesses in a day long arbitration, Randy and Rick argued (and supplied a memo of law) outlining there was no evidence of the mechanic’s negligence but in any case the doctrine of “last clear chance” was fully applicable and therefore the other driver’s negligence nullified the mechanic’s acts. 
  • The 3 attorney arbitration panel agreed, specifically found that “last clear chance” applied, returning the award in the amount of $1.25 million.  For more information click on the case result here.

Random, Weird Laws

Wisconsin has a law on the books that makes it illegal to serve apple pie in public restaurants without cheese. If that wasn’t weird enough, they also have a law which gives livestock the right-of-way on public roads.

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Virginia Beach Office: 1294 Diamond Springs Rd., Virginia Beach, VA 23455

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