Earlier this month in Seattle, a collision between an amphibious tour vehicle and a charter bus resulted in four fatalities and several injuries. According to one local news source, the Fire Chief reported that in addition to the four who were killed, 12 people were in area hospitals in critical condition as a result of the accident.

vintage-bus-01-1459344Evidently, the accident took place on the Aurora Avenue Bridge, which is a main north-south artery through Seattle. The bridge has three lanes in each direction, with no median separating the directions of travel. While investigators are conducting an investigation into the accident, it is not clear at this time how the accident was caused, or which of the drivers may be at fault. However, there has been some concern expressed over the safety of the military-style amphibious tour vehicle that was in the accident.

To increase the danger and potential for harm, the amphibious vehicle was being operated by a tour company known for excited and flamboyant drivers who would speak to their passengers over megaphones as they toured the city. This concept, some argue, invites distracted driving and other dangerous driving behaviors.

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Earlier this year, the Supreme Court of New Mexico decided a case that was brought by a man who was injured when a pair of boots he purchased from Wal-Mart came apart at the sole and caused him to trip. The court ended up remanding the case back to the lower appellate court so that it could reconsider the case in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling.

old-worn-out-boots-1415056According to court documents, the plaintiff bought a pair of work boots at Wal-Mart and shortly after the purchase tripped and fell when the sole of the boot started to come off. The man was seriously injured and received treatment for a back injury as a result.

A little over three years later, the man filed suit against Wal-Mart, claiming that the boots caused the fall and that the poor quality of the boots violated implied and express warranties.

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Earlier this month, a man who crashed into a stopped car, killing all four people inside as well as his own passenger, was indicted on 28 counts, including manslaughter, reckless driving, and driving without a valid license. According to one local news source, the accident, which took place back in October of last year, occurred in Oxon Hill, Maryland, near where Livingston Road meets Livingston Terrace.

signs-4-1457898Evidently, an Acura with four people inside was stopped at a red light when the driver of another vehicle slammed into the back of the car. Police documents report that the man was traveling at about 70 miles per hour at the time of the collision. All four people inside the Acura were pronounced dead shortly after the accident. The passenger of the other driver’s vehicle was also pronounced dead.

Police suspected the driver of the other vehicle of being intoxicated at the time of the accident, and they conducted toxicology tests that came back showing that his blood-alcohol content was nearly twice the legal limit. He was indicted in May of this year but evaded police until just last month. He is currently being held on $500,000 bail.

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Organic food choices have come to be seen by some as a healthier, more eco-friendly way to eat. However, it would be incorrect to believe that food is safe to eat merely because it has been certified as organic. In fact, according to one recent New York Times article, the amount of organic food that has been recalled because it is not safe to consume has more than tripled since last year. The Organic Trade Association takes issue with these numbers and counters that, according to their data, the percentage of recalled organic food accounts for about 4.9% of all recalled food products.

berries-02-1544672According to the article, thus far in 2015 organic food has accounted for approximately 7 percent of all recalls. Last year that figure was just 2 percent of the total number of recalls. In 2012 and 2013, respectively, the figures were just one percent.

Why the Increase in Recalled Organic Food Products?

One of the reasons cited by experts for the increase in recalled organic food products is that organic food has become much more prevalent in American diets over the past few years. In fact, since 2012, there has been an increase of 25% in the total amount of organic food sold in the United States.

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Earlier this month in Hagerstown, Maryland, local businessman Leonard B. Robinson died in a fatal car accident. According to a local news report, Robinson was known to many as the “Route 29 Batman” because he drove a tricked-out Lamborghini that was made to look like the Batmobile. Prior to passing, he would dress up as the Dark Knight and visit sick children in area hospitals. He would bring them toys and books, and encourage them to be strong in the face of their illnesses.

batman-close-up-1-1486843Evidently, Robinson was on his way home from a car show when his vehicle broke down on Interstate 70, near Hagerstown, and he was forced to pull off the road. However, according to witness accounts, it seems as though the Lamborghini was not completely off the road, and it may have been partially in the eastbound passing lane. As fate would have it, a passing Toyota Corolla collided with the Batmobile, sending it into Robinson, who was standing a few feet in front of his vehicle. Robinson was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident by emergency responders. Police are still in the middle of an investigation.

Robinson became well known after a police dash-cam video of him getting pulled over in the Batmobile surfaced a few years back. The exchange between the Dark Knight and the police was a unique one, with the officers clearly intrigued and confused by the man whom they pulled over for having an invalid license plate. Apparently, the plate on the Lamborghini only had a bat symbol on it.

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Earlier this month, a former football player for the University of California, Berkeley, has filed suit against the regents of the University, as well as several others, seeking damages for the long-term injuries he sustained as a result of his participation in the school’s football program. According to a local California news report, Bernard Hicks played in the position of safety for the Golden Bears for a period of about four years between 2004 and 2008. In all, Hicks played 32 games with the team.

good-game-1540547Evidently, during his tenure with the team, Hicks suffered numerous concussions during both games and practices. After leaving the team in 2008, Hicks alleges that he suffered from permanent and debilitating injuries, including depression, suicidal thoughts, memory loss, and problems with his vision.

The lawsuit, which also names the school’s head coach and athletic trainer, claims that the school should have been more proactive in educating the players regarding the long-term risks of neurological damage associated with participating in a high-impact sport such as football. Hicks claims that, had he been properly educated about the risks involved, he would have not participated or at least taken off more time in between games to allow himself to heal.

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Last year, actor and comedian Tracy Morgan was involved in an accident when a Wal-Mart truck rear-ended the limo Morgan and friends were riding in, seriously injuring Morgan and fatally wounding one of his friends, fellow comedian James McNair. According to one news source covering the issue, the National Transportation Safety Bureau will meet next week in Washington D.C. to conduct a hearing investigating the cause of the fatal accident.

truck-on-hwy-1615510Allegations of Drowsy Driving

While the NTSB is still conducting its investigation into what occurred in the moments leading up to the fatal accident, a preliminary report issued just weeks after the accident showed that the driver was traveling 65 miles per hour in an area with a designated speed limit of 45 or 55 miles per hour due to ongoing construction. Additionally, there have been claims that the driver was awake and on the road for almost all of the preceding 24 hours, which is in violation of state and federal laws. In New Jersey, where the accident occurred, causing an accident after having not slept for 24 hours can result in an “assault by auto” charge.

Morgan was seriously injured with a broken leg, serious head trauma, and several broken ribs. James McNair was pronounced dead shortly after emergency responders arrived on the scene. Several others in the limo at the time of the accident also suffered varying injuries.

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Earlier last month, the Court of Appeals of Maryland decided a case that may have lasting effects on the landscape of personal injury cases brought against government officials. In the case of Cooper v. Rodriguez, the court determined that the normal official immunity that all government employees enjoy was waived because the employee was acting in a grossly negligent manner at the time of the accident.


According to court documents, the plaintiffs in the case were the parents of an inmate who was brutally murdered while on a prison bus. The murder occurred in front of several correctional officers, who allegedly failed to stop the acts of violence. Evidence presented at trial suggested that there were several violations of Department of Corrections policy on the day in question, including too few correctional officers on the bus at the time of the murder and improper use of the three-point harness to secure the inmate who allegedly killed the other inmate. Despite the murder occurring less than eight feet from the correctional officer, he claimed to have failed to have seen anything.

The Case Against the Correctional Officers

The deceased inmate’s family filed suit against a number of parties. Most relevant to this case was the lawsuit against one of the correctional officers, Cooper, who was in charge of the inmate who allegedly murdered the plaintiffs’ son.

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Earlier this month in Washington D.C., an Arlington man was killed when his vehicle was struck by another car that had lost control. According to one local Washington D.C. news source, the accident occurred on 16th Street NW near the intersection with Madison Street, not far from Rock Creek Park.

speed-limit-1444776Evidently, the accident occurred on a Sunday morning, around three o’clock. The accident victim was driving southbound on 16th Street NW in his Volvo when another motorist in an Acura heading northbound on the same road lost control. As the driver of the Acura lost control of his vehicle, it crossed the center median and struck the Volvo. Both drivers were taken to the hospital.

Sadly, the driver of the Volvo passed away from the injuries he sustained in the accident two days later. The driver of the Acura sustained non-life threatening injuries and is expected to make a full recovery.

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Back in May of this year, eight passengers were killed and dozens others seriously injured when an Amtrak train originating in Washington D.C. crashed just outside Philadelphia. According to one local news source, Amtrak recently indicated in court filings that it was not going to contest the issue of liability for compensatory damages by those passengers injured or killed in the fatal accident.

amtrak-1481742This means that the company will likely be held responsible for the medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering of those injured passengers who survived the accident. For the families of those who died in the accident, Amtrak will be responsible for their wrongful deaths. It remains to be seen if Amtrak will also be responsible for punitive damages.

In order for a judge to issue punitive damages to the accident victims and their families, the judge would have to determine whether Amtrak acted with “conscious, flagrant indifference to the rights or safety of others.” The company has not conceded that punitive damages are appropriate in this case.

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