One Killed, One Injured In Tubing And Boating Accident

tube-582270-mAn accident will leave a family mourning in the coming months after a 16-year-old girl’s life was cut short.  Police reported arriving on the scene to find one teenager already deceased and another seriously injured in a boating and tubing accident.

For many Americans, riding behind speed boats on rubber inflatables is a much-anticipated pastime.  These two girls were no different.  Onlookers reported that the two laughed and cheered as they were tugged quickly behind the boat.  Unfortunately, they were tossed from the tubes and the driver acted too quickly.

It should be noted that these girls were doing as they should have been.  There were two people in the boat – a driver and a spotter.  The spotter announced that the girls had fallen off and the driver slowed.  Turning the boat, likely in an effort to get back to the girls so they could be pulled aboard before another spin on the tubes, the wheel was cut too hard, too fast, and the girls were caught by the propellers.

The force was enough to cut one life short.  The second girl was rushed to a local hospital, where she received emergency surgery on a serious leg injury.  Fortunately, her injuries are considered not life threatening.  She is highly fortunate, as propellers like the one on this boat, turn with great force and are sharp enough to cause much greater damage than what she suffered.

This accident has ended one life, and has likely altered three others forever.  The girls were just trying to enjoy a hot summer’s day, like so many people do.  It is a reminder that these sports are dangerous and should be treated with the utmost respect.  It is not entirely clear what caused the accident.  If it is determined that this was a result of a product malfunction, a personal injury attorney may be called on to help the families collect damages to cover some of the associated costs.

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Dog Tries To Run And Is Shot Down By Police

a-pit-bull-rescue-pup-at-sunset-1438802-2-mAll too often, this blog looks at the aggressive side of dogs.  Though there are many dog attacks that end tragically, these animals should not be feared.  For many centuries, dogs have been providing loving friendship to people all over the world.  Unfortunately, a small percentage act out violently and make headlines, thereby leading to the start of a negative reputation.

Even for animal lovers, these stories instill some level of concern.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as it may lead pet owners to take the proper precautions – training, socialization, and safekeeping.  However, it can also paint a bad image in the subconscious mind and for the professionals who regularly encounter unfamiliar animals that can become a problem.

A story out of Lancaster, PA is pointing to the downside of such vast media coverage.  Witnesses stood up for a dog killed at gunpoint recently, stating that the animal was not acting aggressively before the police officer pulled the trigger.

The pit bull was sitting in the back of an SUV, with the tailgate lifted when the police officer was yelling at a man standing nearby.  The chaos frightened the animal, which jumped down and started to run away.  Police officers acted and shot it twice with a rifle, according to Lancaster Online.

Witnesses assured the police and media that the dog was not doing anything to threaten the officers.  It barked several times and then began to run away.  There is an investigation underway to determine if the police acted appropriately.  It is important to understand that your dog can be a liability if it attacks, but you can also seek damages if your dog is injured or killed without provocation. Speak with a personal injury attorney in your area if this has happened to your pet.  After all, a dog is often considered a member of the family and you shouldn’t face financial loss in addition to your mourning, as well as the wrongful death of your beloved pet.

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Recall Is Both Good And Bad For Women

medical-doctor-1314903-mA relatively new class action lawsuit is receiving public attention.  Women diagnosed with cancer related to myomectomy, hysterectomy, oophorectomy, or salpingectomy are eligible to join this large scale lawsuit against the manufacturers of morcellators.  These medical devices used in the common surgeries have demonstrated some risk of spreading cancer within the pelvis, abdomen, and uterus.

  • Myomectomy: The removal of fibroids, non-cancerous growths that can develop in the uterus during childbearing years.
  • Hysterectomy: The removal of the uterus due to medical concerns.
  • Oophorectomy: The removal of the ovaries and often performed at the same time, or for the same reason as hysterectomy.
  • Salpingectomy: The removal of the fallopian tubes due to medical concerns.

Unfortunately, the class action lawsuit, which will help many women who suffered as a result of their surgeries, is also pointing to a huge need in the medical field.  The morcellators are now being recalled, which means that many women will not receive the treatment they need because there is no replacement for the device.  Though alternative surgeries are available, they require longer healing times, are more painful, and are not an option for all women.

The issue at hand is that as many as 1 in 350 female patients have undetected cancer at the time of the procedure.  The use of the morcellators greatly increases the risk of this cancer spreading and reaching life-threatening levels.  For now, that puts the risk too high for most medical facilities, who will stop the procedure altogether until a better, safer option is presented.

Approximately 50,000 women undergo these procedures every year.  That means that as many as 145 women will face cancer-related complications due to the use of morellators annually. If you are among them, you should consult a personal injury attorney to help ensure that you get the financial assistance you need to recover related medical expenses.

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Dog to be Euthanized After Attack

broken-heart-pic-1267479-mNews out of Ohio has many dog lovers heartbroken this week.  A dog that attacked a woman and killed her will now face the same fate.  The decision to euthanize the dog was made public recently and the media was quick to relay the message to a national audience.

The woman who lost her life in this attack was Cindy Whisman.  According to Dayton Daily News, she was 59 years old at the time of her death.  Police were called in at 1:03PM.  It took first responders seven minutes to get to the scene and Whisman was already deceased.

Because the dog, named Polo, has killed a person, he cannot be adopted to another family.  As such, it has been ruled that the most humane action to take is to euthanize the animal.

This story is another heart-wrenching example of the need for better animal training and care in this country.  Though they can make wonderful, loving pets, dogs are animals and they do rely on instinct.  They can become aggressive if placed in high stress situations, or if they feel they are being challenged in some way.

Authorities on the topic assure pet owners that this fate does not have to await their dogs.  It is possible to properly train pets to prevent dog bites.  According to WebMD, this begins with discouraging puppy nibbling.  Puppies will often play by nipping and chewing on human hands and feet.  It is important to stop this behavior as quickly as possible.  This article also discusses the need to teach bite inhibition.  That is to say that dogs can be trained to control the strength of their bite, so even when placed in a stressful situation, they are less likely to break skin when feeling threatened.  For more training tips, visit the WebMD article.

The dog’s owner was Cindy’s daughter.  Julie Whisman has decided that she does not want the dog back, knowing what he has done.

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Are Political and Religious Rights Extended to Soldiers?

flag-1342516-mWhat are the rights of a United States soldier?  Should he or she have the same rights to political discontent as an average citizen?  In a recent news story, it appears that military officials do not believe so.  Master Sergeant Nathan Sommers was with the military for 25 years when he was forced to retired.  He is taking his case to court with the help of a personal injury attorney, arguing that the reason for his dismissal was his religious and political beliefs.

Sommers was found in the possession of an anti-Obama sticker and a book by Sean Hannity. For those who are not familiar with Hannity, he is a popular TV host known for his highly conservative views.  He has written three best-selling books on the topic. In addition to these two possessions, Sommers was vocal about his belief in traditional marriage.  He was forced to remove his anti-Obama bumper stickers from his car and accused of causing a stir within the ranks of officers.

Is it wrong for a soldier to speak out against his government or is this soldier simply exercising the rights that he and his peers fight for?  This is the question that will likely have to be answered in the courtroom.

What ultimately led military higher-ups to make the decision to let Sommers go?  Some believe it was his choosing “to serve Chick-fil-A sandwiches as his promotion party, in honor of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’”  More on this can be found on the FoxNews website.

For now, it is simply important to understand that this country was founded on the rights of the individual.  While the fate of this soldier is not yet known with any certainty, you do have the right to seek an attorney’s representation if you are being discriminated against in the workplace.

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When Adopting a Dog, Know the Risks

royal-dog-1446188-2-mI have written a great deal about dog bites and how good dogs can turn bad in some instances.  I have also written about the importance of proper dog training, fences, and leashes to protect the animals and those who may be hurt by them.  In many dog attack cases, the animal has been poorly trained, abused, or put into a situation of high stress or anxiety.  This ultimately leads to bad situations for both the nearby human beings and the pet.

While it is a morally wonderful idea to try to adopt one of the many abandoned dogs and cats around the country, as opposed to buying a puppy from a breeder, there are a number of risks that come with this decision.  While many stories of adopted dogs turn out to be happy endings, there are those that prove a serious point about the danger of dog adoption as well.  A pit bull mix adopted by a family not all that long ago made headlines.  The dog had shown signs of aggressive behavior when first brought to the shelter.  Records documented the animal attacking the bars of his crate when people would walk by.  Yet this animal was later adopted out to a family with small children.  Less than two days later, the kids were seriously injured when the animal attacked.

Though details were not immediately released about this animal’s past, chances are good that it was another story of animal neglect and abuse.  When animals are forced to find their own food sources, are starved for long periods of time, or learn to fear humans, they tend to be more aggressive.  This is something that should be considered when adopting a dog from a shelter.

If you are thinking about bringing an adoptee into your home, consider the following tips:

  • Go to a well-known shelter or affiliation to choose your new pet.  Good shelters will help families find the right match for their homes.
  • Choose the right breed.  Many dogs at shelters are mixed breeds, but the traits of those breeds can still be evident – temperament, size, etc.  Some families are better equipped to take in large, high-strung dogs, while others would be better suited with small, lap dogs.  It is important to recognize the best fit for your family.  Good shelters will have employees that are highly familiar with the individual temperaments of the animals and can help you choose the right pet for you.
  • Trust your instincts as well.  If you don’t feel right about the dog, if you find yourself overwhelmed, or just don’t feel a connection to the animal, then it is best to move onto another option.
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The Season For Bullying Will Soon Be Upon Us

first-day-in-first-grade-555003-mMany students will be returning to school this month, and by midway through September, the country will be fully engulfed in school season mode.  Of course, with that comes many concerns for parents about what their children will be forced to endure in the halls, on the bus, and even on the Web.  A recent article in the news discusses a parent who suffered the worse tragedy of all – the loss of her 12-year-old daughter.  The girl committed suicide at this time last year after being bullied relentlessly in school and after hours.  The mother has decided to file a lawsuit against the School Board, citing negligence in the form of failed supervision and discipline.

The Board is not the only defendant named in the case.  The family of one of the girl’s classmates will be part of the trial, as will the construction company that owned the property where the girl jumped to her death.  The argument is that the three parties created the perfect storm – exposing the 12-year-old to constant emotional torment and an unsupervised, unsecured cement silo from which to jump in an attempt to end the pain.  The child being named bully in this case will not be listed as an actual defendant, nor will her parents, but they will undoubtedly play a large part in the case.

Think that this couldn’t possibly happen to your child?  Think again.  This case has been filed in Florida.  An Orlando personal injury attorney is filing on behalf of the plaintiff.  The $15,000 in damages sought would cover funeral expenses and some of the suffering that this mother has endured.  It will also be a reminder to parents and school districts throughout the country to look for signs of trouble in their children.  Not only should you be ensuring that your child is not suffering emotional torment at the hands of others, but also that he or she is not the one doling it out.  These losses cannot be repaid in the courtroom.  They are much greater than any sum of money.

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What You Should Know About Listeria

fruits-in-vase-1444657-2-mListeria is making headlines all over the country currently because of a recall out of California.  A company based in the area has issued a statement that certain fruits shipped during the month of July may be contaminated.  As a result, people everywhere are concerned about their own health and the status of those they love.

Though there is a definite reason for concern, the illness related with Listeria, monocytogenes, is most severe in the very young, the elderly, and those with significant immune issues.  The vast majority of the population would have little reason to fear a lethal reaction.

It is also rare to see this contamination in fruit products.  It is more often found in dairy products, smoked fish, and undercooked meats.  Cooking and pasteurization greatly reduces any concerning levels of Listeria.  This is the reason why so many are uneasy about this recall.  Raw fruits are often consumed in that form, without the cooking and pasteurization that would keep those most at risk safe from the bacteria.

Unfortunately, by the time that this recall was issued, it is likely that many had already consumed the fruits and byproducts.  Newborns, young children, older adults, the severely sick and unborn fetuses are at risk of fatal reactions and should seek immediate medical care if there is any sign of trouble or if any of the recalled fruit was recently consumed.  Pregnant women should not take any risks if they believe fruit could possibly have been contaminated. Listeria has been known to cause serious pregnancy complications. Those impacted might notice muscle aches, fever, chills, abdominal pain or diarrhea.

Doctors can determine if this bacteria is to blame for illness with a blood or spinal fluid test.  If listerosis is diagnosed, consult a personal injury attorney about your options.  You could receive damages to cover medical care costs, lost wages, and other related expenses.

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Beware of Public Swimming Pools

lesson-of-swimming-2-1224247-mThis swimming season is far from over and all over the United States, kids and adults alike are taking to public pools. There is some risk involved, though. This should be acknowledged before diving in.

There are a wide variety of microorganisms that can live in standing water, such as pools. All too often, skin infections and other illnesses are passed through swimming. Fecal matter is often to blame. Unfortunately, young children have accidents. Even when contained within a swimming-approved diaper, water can pass through and carry the bacteria along with it. Birds and rodents that happen upon outdoor public pools can also contaminate the water, as can vomit, mucus, saliva, and open wounds.

Unfortunately, when operating a public pool, these issues cannot be entirely avoided and regular treatment of the water can help reduce the chances of widespread infection. The same is true in hot tubs. Not only will treatment reduce the chances that bacteria can spread, it can also improve clarity, which gives the swimmer increased confidence in the water’s quality.

Treatment, which in some cases is chlorine and a proper pump with filter, is meant to remove particulates, bacteria, and microorganisms. This must be a combination of chemicals or chemical alternatives and a proper filtration system. Alone, neither can perform the proper reduction of such pollutants. Fresh water should also be added at regular intervals. This will often involve a flush of the filtration system to lower water levels and then the introduction of fresh water. Regular cleanings should also be done, involving a pool vacuum to remove fungi and other scum from the pool walls and floor. This will also help circulate the water, thereby giving the filter system a boost in productivity.

If you develop an unusual rash or illness shortly after visiting a public pool, consult a physician immediately. Your report can help stop the spread to other unsuspecting swimmers and can also help ascertain that the pool water was the source of your contamination. If it is found that swimming was the likely cause, it is wise to speak with a personal injury attorney about your rights to collect damages to cover the costs of medical care and lost wages.

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If Your Car is Stolen and Involved in an Accident, Will You Have to Pay?

metal-570770-mA story out of Chicago is turning heads this week, as it was reported that two teenagers were killed at the scene of an accident and there are two others in critical condition. The accident happened in the town of Harvey at approximately 2:00. The four teens were riding around in a stolen Saturn sedan. Witnesses report that “they were flying.” The high rate of speed was likely a big factor in the severity of the accident, as the car was literally wrapped around an electrical pole.

This was ruled an accident. The two passengers in the back seat – just 15 and 18 years old – were pronounced dead at the scene. The two riding in the front of the vehicle were taken to the hospital in serious condition, a 16-year-old male and an 18-year-old female. It is unclear if any of these teens were responsible for the theft, but the question that has been raised is what part the car owner will play in all of this.

Could you be held liable for any damages done after your car has been stolen? In this accident, it was four teenagers involved and seriously injured or killed. Who is going to pay the medical expenses and repair costs associated with that accident? Will your insurance company have to fork over the cash and, if so, what will that mean for your premiums?

As a general rule, the car owner is not liable when the vehicle was taken without permission. However, there is some burden to prove that it was, in fact, taken against the will of the owner. If your car is taken and involved in a Tampa auto accident, it is highly recommended that you seek the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible, to ensure that you are not made responsible for the related expenses and also to ensure that you are compensated for your losses.

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