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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For several years now, Google has been developing self-driving cars that do not require the attention of a human driver to get to the final destination. According to one news source, these vehicles have recently undergone some safety testing, and the results may be surprising. The self-driving cars are involved in fewer accidents than those operated by people.

that-hurt-1450455According to the news source, Google recently released a comprehensive report indicating all the accidents that the self-driving cars have been involved in. The report indicates that the robotic cars have driven about 1.8 million miles in total and that they have been involved in 12 accidents, none of which were the fault of the robot that was “behind the wheel.”

Most of the accidents, the report claims, were caused by another driver rear-ending the self-driving car. Evidently, another accident was caused when a human-driven car veered out of its lane on the highway and drifted into the self-driven vehicle. Yet another accident occurred when a driver rolled through a stop sign and plowed into the side of the robotic car. The one accident that was determined to be the robotic car’s fault was not when the robot was in control, but when a Google employee took the car to run an errand and rear-ended the vehicle while he was in control.

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It is common knowledge these days that drunk driving is a dangerous and irresponsible habit that can all too easily claim innocent lives. However, for a number of seemingly irrational reasons, drivers continue to engage in drunk driving despite the physical dangers to others as well as the potential criminal consequences they may face if convicted of a drunk-driving offense. According to one news report looking at a recent nationwide study, however, Washington D.C. ranks as the most lenient jurisdiction in the country for drunk drivers.

the-last-drop-1083566-mEvidently, the study was conducted by wallethub.com and took into account factors such as minimum jail time for first and second offenses, when a DUI becomes an automatic felony, the length of a license suspension following a DUI conviction, when an ignition interlock device is required, whether the jurisdiction uses sobriety checkpoints, and how much the fines and costs are relating to a conviction.

The researchers conducting the study assigned a numerical value to each factor, ultimately coming up with a final “score.” The higher the number, the stricter the jurisdiction is on drunk drivers. Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C. ranked as follows:

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Earlier this month in northwest Washington, D.C., a 79-year-old woman was killed while she was struck by a delivery truck. According to one local news source, the accident occurred at the intersection of 37th Street NW and Calvert Street NW.

truck-delivery-1042539-mEvidently, the grocery delivery truck was at the intersection facing southbound on 37th Street, waiting to make a right turn. As the truck made its turn, it struck the woman as she was crossing Calvert Street. The driver of the truck remained on the scene until police arrived. Sadly, the elderly woman was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident by emergency workers.

Peapod, the company that owned the grocery delivery truck, released the following statement:  “On behalf of all of us at Peapod, we offer our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of the person involved in the tragic accident in Glover Park this evening. We will cooperate with the investigation into this matter.”

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Earlier this month, an appellate court in California heard a premises liability case involving an injury that occurred in a gym. In the case, Jimenez v. 24 Hour Fitness USA, the plaintiff was injured while running on a treadmill in one of the defendant’s gym locations.

elliptical-trainers-489121-mEvidently, the plaintiff fell backwards off the treadmill, and as she fell she hit her head on an exposed steel foot of another exercise machine that was placed less than four feet away from the rear of the treadmill. She ended up fracturing the right occipital and right temporal bones in her skull.

At trial, the plaintiff’s theory was that the gym was negligent for placing other machinery so close to the rear of the treadmill. To support her claim, she submitted the user’s manual of the treadmill into evidence, since it recommended that an area of six feet be left behind the treadmill for user safety.

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Earlier this month, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced a recall of over 15,000 pounds of ground beef produced by the Tyson Fresh Meat Company. According to one industry report, the recalled meat was all shipped to one central distribution center in New York. It is not clear at this point where the contaminated meat went from there.

grillin-burgers-858671-mEvidently, the contaminated meat bears a “best before or freeze by” date of June 15. The meat was packaged as 5lb. chubs, meaning large sausage-like packages of meat most commonly used in restaurants or institutional settings.

The USDA discovered the contamination  through a routine inspection, and no one has reported any illnesses relating to the contaminated meat. The agency’s concern is that consumers bought the bulk meat for future use and have it stored in their freezers. Those who may have purchased the contaminated meat should call Tyson directly or return it to the store from which it was purchased.

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Earlier this year in April, a Washington, D.C. police officer admitted to hitting and killing a 68-year-old woman on Southern Avenue SE. According to a recent news report, criminal charges of involuntary manslaughter have formally been filed against the officer by the D.C. police department.

new-york-times-square-1443347-mEvidently, just before nine at night on April 28th of this year, the 68-year-old woman was coming home from United Medical Center. She was traveling southeast when a tan Mercedes hit her. The Mercedes, driven by a female police officer, failed to stop and see if she needed any medical assistance and instead continued on its way.

Three hours later, the driver of the car called police, explaining that the vehicle had just been stolen. During that conversation with police, they told her that the car had been involved in a very serious accident. She denied any knowledge of the accident.

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Earlier this month, Japan-based airbag manufacturer Takata announced the largest auto-part recall in United States history, affecting over 34 million automobiles. Takata is the second-largest airbag manufacturer in the world, behind only Autoliv, which is based in Sweden.

airbag-850338-mAccording to one news report by CNN, the airbag manufacturer announced the recall after it came to light that the company’s airbags were prone to sending shrapnel in drivers’ and passengers’ faces upon deployment. Evidently, there have been six deaths allegedly caused by the faulty airbags, and countless other injuries. Most of the incidents involve older vehicles. However, newer models are also included in the recall.

It is estimated that there are approximately 52 million vehicles worldwide that will need to have their airbags replaced. Both Takata and Autoliv are struggling to manufacture airbags as quickly as possible to fill the orders. Currently, Takata is producing about 500,000 airbags a month, but it plans to double that number by September of this year.

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With the tragic Philadelphia train accident still dominating the news, it may have been easy to overlook another train accident that occurred closer to home, here in Washington, DC. Earlier this week, a MARC train struck and seriously injured one person, according to an article by the International Business Times.

train-1442313-1-mEvidently, the accident took place at around 9:50 in the morning, near Ninth Street and New York Avenue Northeast. MARC service was shut down for the day, as investigators surveyed the scene and maintenance workers attempted to ensure that the tracks and trains were all safe for the afternoon commute. In the meantime, the DC Metro subway system honored MARC tickets.

The person who was struck by the train remains in serious condition but is expected to recover from the injuries sustained in the accident. The exact cause of the accident is still under investigation.

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