Earlier this month in the DC area, an Annapolis woman was arrested and charged with driving under the influence after she crashed into two bicyclists, seriously injuring one of them. According to a report by CBC DC, the accident occurred back in June 28 on the Governor Ritchie Highway.

girl-silhouette-1122906-mEvidently, for an unknown reason the woman veered out of her lane and drove onto the right shoulder, which is designated as the Baltimore & Annapolis trail. Once she crossed into the right shoulder, she hit two bicyclists who were riding on the trail, a 28-year-old and a 27-year-old. Both of the victims were flown to Shock Trauma.

One of the victims was released shortly after she was admitted. However, the other victim was held in the hospital for almost a month before staff felt that she was in good enough condition to return home.

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In Washington DC, the current state of the law prevents any accident victim from recovering for his or her injuries if he or she is found to be at all at fault for the accident resulting in his or her injuries. This means that even if an accident victim is found to be just 1% at fault, the law in Washington DC would prevent him or her from recovering from a defendant who was 99% at fault. This is the law of contributory negligence.

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However, according to a recent article by the Washington Post, there is a new bill pending in the legislature that would shift the current contributory-negligence scheme to a comparative-fault system. As of right now, Washington DC is one of only a handful of jurisdictions that uses a comparative-fault system. Most other states have moved away from the strict system in recent years.

Under comparative fault, an accident victim’s damages get reduced by the percent that he or she is found to be at fault for the accident. For example, if an accident victim is found to be 5% at fault, and the jury determines that the damages should be $1,000,000, the plaintiff’s total damages would be reduced by 5%, or $50,000. That would leave the plaintiff with a total recovery amount of $950,000 under a comparative-fault system. Under a contributory-negligence system, however, the plaintiff would recover nothing.

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Earlier this month, a high-end kitchen product retailer announced that it was recalling a large batch of potentially tainted food that was for sale across the country in its retail stores. According to a report by one local news source, the manufacturer of the product, California Olive and Wine, decided to recall thousands of jars of Pumpkin Seed Pesto.

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Evidently, the pesto may have been improperly packaged, leading to the possibility that the bacteria causing botulism may be present in the sauce. This was discovered after there were irregular lab test results that came back when the product was tested. The pesto sauce was available for purchase in Williams Sonoma stores across the country from September 2014 until mid-October. The FDA released its announcement of the company’s voluntary recall on October 10, 2014. The contaminated product, which was sold in eight-ounce jars, bears the SKUs 6404305, 6389043.

Thankfully, there have been no reports of serious illness or death stemming from the contaminated food product. However, since botulism is a very serious and dangerous bacteria, anyone who has purchased any of this product should return it to the retailer for a full refund.

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Earlier last year, a New York woman was taking a Segway tour of the National Mall when she sustained a nasty fall, shattering her elbow and requiring her to spend three days at George Washington University Hospital. According to one local news report, the accident occurred last fall while the rider was taking a tour with Bike & Roll D.C.

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Evidently, the woman was riding her Segway when suddenly the handlebar jerked forward “like a propeller,” and the woman was thrown from the Segway, landing on her elbow, which was shattered as a result. Recently, the woman decided to file suit against Bike & Roll D.C., alleging that it did not adequately inform her of the risks involved with the use of a Segway.

Apparently, several Segway models had been recalled, but the woman was not made aware of this. Additionally, she is having a difficult time determining if she was riding a model that was recalled, since Bike & Roll is not answering her requests for the answer. She is seeking monetary damages around $5 million for her injuries, including medical expenses as well as pain and suffering.

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Sam’s Club, the big-box chain owned and operated by the same owners as Wal-Mart, recently recalled a popular brand of baby wipes, fearing that the wipes may actually spread bacteria. In a report by one Fox News affiliate, the brand of the wipes is “Simply Right.”

baby-hand-1439525-m.jpgEvidently, Sam’s Club somehow obtained information that these baby wipes may contain a type of bacteria, B. cepacia. Anyone who purchased the wipes after June 30 may have contaminated product and should return the wipes to a Sam’s Club store as soon as possible for a full refund. Supposedly, Sam’s Club has emailed all purchasers and requested they stop using the wipes and return any remaining products.

The bacteria is not necessarily dangerous to a healthy adult. However, it may present a serious danger to those who have weakened immune systems, or also to children. Considering that the target audience of the product is parents of young children, the potential harm from the bacteria is significant.

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Earlier last month, a federal jury found that a peanut plant owner, as well as two top executives, were guilty of conspiracy and fraud in relation to a salmonella outbreak that was caused by contaminated peanut butter. However, according to a report by one news source, the jury did not get to hear that the salmonella outbreak not only caused many to become ill, but also caused nine deaths.
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According to the news report, the jury was not able to hear about the deaths because they were not relevant to the charges that were filed against the peanut plant owner and executives. While the federal prosecutors could have charged involuntary manslaughter, which would have allowed the evidence of the deaths to be presented at trial, they chose not to because they felt that there was a stronger case with just the conspiracy and fraud charges.

However, those who lost family members will be permitted to testify at the sentencing hearing for the defendants.

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Back in 2010, a 24-year-old woman was killed as she was getting out of a parked car when a driver struck her in a last-second lane change. According to a report by WUSA 9, the driver of a Lexus SUV was on Connecticut Avenue NW in a lane that would take her through a tunnel under Dupont Circle. At the last minute, she changed lanes and entered a non-tunnel lane.

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However, as she did so, she struck the 24-year-old woman getting out of her car. The driver continued on her way, not stopping to see if the victim was hurt. A witness to the accident hopped on a bike and followed the car, eventually getting close enough to get her license plate number. The witness called police, who then showed up at the woman’s apartment complex. The woman was in her vehicle, keys in hand, with a strong smell of alcohol on her breath. The front right headlight was damaged.

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In a tragic accident that occurred in a Spanish airport in September of last year, a young mother lost her daughter in an accident involving an oversized baggage belt. According to a report by one news source, the family were on their way to a Mediterranean beach vacation, flying from London into Spain, when the accident occurred at the Alicante-Elche Airport.

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Evidently, the mother was carrying her child in a car seat when she needed to free up a hand to pick up some other luggage. She set the car seat with her child in it on a stationary luggage belt used for oversize luggage. At the time, it was not on and was not moving. However, the weight from the car seat caused the belt to start up, tossing the young child from her car seat.

The baby was caught between two belts and eventually died from head injuries she sustained as a result.

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In a recent article published by Delmarva Now, one inspector for an amusement park in Ocean City, Maryland discussed the safety of the rides, his job in keeping them safe, and what happens when there is a safety issue.

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The article explains that, each year, inspectors are charged with going through all of the rides and making sure that they are safe for the public. However, despite their periodic inspections, problems do arise that can threaten the public’s safety. For example, below is a list of the repairs that were required to be made just last year:

  • Corroded lap bar on the Tornado ride, Jolly Roger at the Pier (May 23);
  • Repair self-locking latch, replace cotter pin, tape torn padding, Zipper at Trimper’s (April 8);
  • Replace corroded steel flooring, Pirate Ship ride at Trimper’s (April 21);
  • Replace bad steel on trailer and track connections, Sooper Jet at Trimper’s (April 22);
  • Keep two seats out of service until pin cover repaired, Giant Wheel at Jolly Roger at the Pier (May 1); and
  • Replace worn seat belts and have electrical wires properly covered, bumper cars at Jolly Roger on Coastal Highway (May 20).

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Earlier this month, the long-time partner of a man who was killed by the Fairfax Police Department filed suit against the Department seeking $12 million in damages for her loss. According to a report by CBS DC, the lawsuit that was filed in federal court claims that the police chief and three unnamed officers engaged in wrongful conduct that was grossly negligent and caused the wrongful death of her loved one.

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Evidently, back in August of this year the woman called 911 during an argument that the couple was having. At some point during the encounter, police shot the woman’s partner in the chest despite several witness reports that he was unarmed. The man died shortly after. The cause of death was officially listed as loss of blood.

The woman told reporters that she filed the suit to get some answers for herself and for her two teenage daughters. The Fairfax Police Department has thus far refused to discuss the case, or to say whether it believes that the shooting was justified.

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