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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Last year, two young women were killed in a drunk-driving accident on the Sawgrass Expressway in Florida. According to one news report by the Washington Post, the accident occurred when a drunk driver began traveling down the Expressway the wrong way, ultimately colliding head-on with another car. The evidence suggested that she was traveling at 80 miles per hour.

refreshing-mojito-1287429-mWhile the police were conducting their investigation into the accident, they discovered that not only was the driver who caused the fatal accident drunk, but also her blood-alcohol concentration was twice the legal limit. Additionally, minutes before the fatal accident she had tweeted “2 drunk 2 care.” Those who had the chance to view the woman’s social media sites before they were removed have told reporters that the woman was a self-proclaimed “pothead princess” and had posted several other comments about her recreational drug and alcohol use.

Evidently, a Florida court recently sentenced the 22-year-old woman to 24 years in jail for her role in the fatal accident. Evidence presented to the court suggested that the woman drank two fishbowl-sized drinks before getting into her car that fateful night. At the time of the accident, the woman was underage and did not have a driver’s license.

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A recent case in front of the Maryland Court of Appeals affirmed a judgment favorable to an accident victim’s insurance company, limiting the victims’ overall damages. Back in 2009, a man and his wife from Waldorf were taking a walk through their neighborhood when a car backed up out of a driveway and struck the couple.

classic-mercedes-132794-mAs a result of the accident, both the man and his wife sustained serious injuries. The man sustained a traumatic brain injury, as well as injuries to his head, neck, and limbs. He was taken to a rehabilitation center, where he died about 18 months later. The man’s wife also sustained injuries in the accident, although not as serious as her husband.

In 2010, the couple filed suit against the driver and his insurance company. At the time of the accident, the couple also had their own insurance coverage, through GEICO, which had a policy limit of $300,000 per person and $300,000 per accident. The couple entered into a settlement agreement with the driver’s insurance company for $100,000 each and then filed an underinsured-motorist claim under their own insurance company, seeking to recover the entire $300,000 that their policy covered.

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Roughly one month ago, several organic food companies instituted voluntary recalls after it came to light that some of their products may have contained spinach that was contaminated with the listeria bacteria. According to an article by USA Today, the listeria concerns continue, this time over Blue Bell ice cream.

ice-cream-1176503-mThe Texas-based creamery recently recalled its entire product line after discovering contaminated ice cream originating from its Brenham, Texas plant as well as its Broken Arrow, Oklahoma plant. The company told reporters that they discovered several half-gallon containers of cookie dough ice cream had been contaminated with the dangerous listeria bacteria.

Blue Bell ships its products across the country. The following states are all included in the recall:  Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Wyoming, Missouri, Nevada, and New Mexico. The manufacture dates of the contaminated product are March 17 and March 27.

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Earlier this year, in a pivotal case regarding the application of damages caps to alleged violations of the Maryland State Constitution by state actors, one Maryland circuit court reduced the damages received by a deceased man’s estate from $11 million to just $400,000.

restrained-624824-mThe Facts of the Case

Back in 2008, the deceased person was on his porch having a drink with a friend when a police officer drove by and suspected the men of drinking alcoholic beverages outside, which was against the law. The officer allegedly drove by twice before getting out of his car and approaching the men. As the men got up and went inside the apartment, the officer followed, using his master key to the apartment complex.

Once inside, accounts of what exactly occurred differ. However, what is known for certain is that one of the two men was killed and his son arrested after he came to his father’s aid.

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There have been several recent incidents where slow ambulance response times resulted in seriously injured individuals having to wait a significant amount of time before receiving any type of emergency treatment. One Washington D.C. news source reported that during one week in March there were three incidents where injured people had to wait over 20 minutes before an ambulance arrived.

ambulance-1334534-mIn the first incident, an injured police officer called for an ambulance. However, it never arrived. Finally, fellow officers ended up taking the injured officer to the hospital. D.C.’s 911 center stated that unfortunately there were no ambulances available when the officer called for assistance. After the fact, the center claimed that generally ambulances should arrive within eight minutes of dispatch.

That same week, a motorcycle crashed into a car and became airborne as it was leaving a garage near 7th and E streets. The man suffered serious injuries, yet ambulances did not arrive until about 22 minutes after they were called to the scene. Finally, an individual was stabbed in southeast D.C. and needed emergency medical treatment. That victim had to wait almost 30 minutes for an ambulance to arrive.

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Earlier this month, the National Football League adopted a new rule that allows a medical professional on the sidelines to pause the game and determine if a player should be assessed for a concussion. The new rule was announced amidst settlement negotiations between the NFL and a class of about 5,000 players who claim that the League failed to take adequate precautions to prevent brain injuries, including concussions.

football1-399827-mAccording to a recent article by ESPN, many in the sports world are applauding the measure, explaining that it will almost certainly prevent at least some of the head injuries that occur in the league.

How the New NFL Rule Works

According to the ESPN report, the new rule will work as follows:

  • An official in a booth on the sideline keeps an eye on players during the game, pausing the game if he believes that the player may have sustained a concussion.
  • The game’s clock will then stop and remain frozen during the pendency of the examination.
  • The injured player’s team will be given an opportunity to substitute in another player, and the opposing team will then be allowed to substitute a match-up, if necessary.
  • At no point will coaches be allowed onto the field, and there will be no headset communication permitted. Also, no players will be allowed to the sideline unless they are being substituted out.
  • The player in question will then undergo an evaluation and, depending on the result, may or may not return to play for the rest of the game.

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Earlier this month, Maryland’s highest court rejected a final appeal by MedStar Harbor Hospital in a birth-injury case that resulted in a $20.6 million verdict against the hospital. According to a recent article by the Baltimore Sun, the family of a boy born with cerebral palsy and other severe disabilities will receive the $20.6 million figure plus interest since the original verdict was rendered back in 2012.

baby-feet-1439529-mEvidently, the birth injury was caused when the young boy was deprived of oxygen at birth. Rather than perform a cesarean section, the delivering physician opted for a prolonged vaginal birth.

After his birth in 2002, the boy had to undergo a series of major surgeries in order to regain movement in his limbs. Even after those surgeries, he still only has limited use of his limbs. His parents have been forced to work opposite shifts so that one of them can always remain home with their son.

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Last year, one man and his passenger were injured in a car accident involving U.S. Representative Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) chief of staff on Interstate 395. Ryan’s chief of staff was driving Ryan’s car at the time. Earlier this month, the two injured in the accident filed suit against both Ryan and his chief of staff claiming that driver at the time was following too closely, resulting in the accident. Paul Ryan was not in the car at the time of the accident.

road-1289757-mAccording to a recent news report by 4 NBC Washington, the accident occurred on I-395 when Ryan’s vehicle crashed into the back of the accident victim’s vehicle. No one suffered serious or life-threatening injuries. However, the driver and his passenger both sustained a “closed head injury” and reported nausea and a concussion.

Recently, the two filed suit in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. against both Ryan and his chief of staff. According to the news article, the U.S. Department of Justice is defending the suit against Ryan because he is a federal government employee. The Department has filed an answer to the complaint, claiming that the government is immune from suit and that it should be dismissed.

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Earlier last year and throughout this year, the NFL has been involved in a lawsuit brought by a number of former players alleging that the league failed to take adequate precautions to protect the players from concussions and related head injuries. According to one news source, recently a group of NHL players have piggy-backed on that same idea and have filed a lawsuit against the NHL making similar allegations.

goal-saves-2-535933-mThe lawsuit specifically alleges that the NHL withheld information about the long-term effects of the head injuries that can occur from playing in the NHL. Originating back in early 2014, the NHL concussion lawsuit has recently been picking up steam with the publicity surrounding the NFL litigation. In fact, just recently 29 former players joined the lawsuit.

Like many deceased players formerly in the NFL, it is surmised that several NHL players have chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which is a disease of the brain that can only be diagnosed post-mortem. Consistent with a CTE diagnosis, the lawsuit points to several players who died at young ages from suicide.

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