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Philadelphia Injury Lawyer Blog

The Pearce Law Firm, including well-known Philadelphia injury lawyer Edith Pearce, is dedicated to the personal care of each individual case. We believe in educating our potential clients on the variety of cases being filed in the state of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The blog posts below feature accidents and events that may lead to potential law suits. Whether you need a personal injury lawyer to represent you due to car or truck accidents, slip and fall accidents, construction accidents, dog bites, or head injuries, The Pearce Law Firm works on your behalf to provide you the compensation you deserve.

Archive for Wrongful Death


Medical Mistakes Can Be Deadly. Do You Need Representation?

November 13, 2013

A personal injury lawyer is often consulted on medical malpractice cases, especially when they result in a fatality. In 2010 a study indicated that about 180,000 people died due to a preventable medical mistakes. Three years later, a new study done by the the Journal of Patient Safety reported the numbers to be much higher, in the 210,000-440,000 range, making it the third-leading cause of death, right below heart disease and cancer.  Patients who suffer from any sort of malpractice incident along these lines have a one in five chance of dying from resulting complications.

The list of common mistakes that a medical malpractice lawyer sees is quite long and includes surgical accidents (such as cutting an artery), not ordering the proper tests, delaying treatment, and not acting on test results. Additionally, improper patient monitoring, delaying a diagnosis, and the administration of the wrong medication dose or usage can cause complications and lead to tragic results.

The death of 19-month-old Alicia Coleman of Omaha, Nebraska, is an example of what can happen when medical personnel inject medication into the wrong tube. The young girl passed away when medicine that was meant to be administered to a particular site was inadvertently injected into her jugular catheter, sending the medication straight into her bloodstream.

Medical accidents don’t always result in death, however. Sometimes, injuries occur leaving you or your family in a tough emotional situation as well as facing even more medical issues and bills. During these times, a consultation with a personal injury lawyer can be highly beneficial in getting your questions answered, informing you of your rights, and assisting you with seeking justice for your injuries. The attorneys with The Pearce Law Firm have experience handling medical malpractice and hospital negligence cases. Visit us online at thepearcelawfirm.com for more information.

Posted in: Accidents & Injuries, Medical Malpractice, Wrongful Death

MADD Set To Host “Walk Like MADD” Event To Raise Drunk Driving Awareness

August 27, 2013

On September 22, 2013, MADD will host its annual signature event in order to raise awareness and funds in hopes of ending drunk driving and saving lives. The Philadelphia Walk Like MADD 5K will take place at the Philadelphia Zoo. The event registration will begin at 7:30 a.m., with the opening ceremony scheduled for 8:00 a.m., and the walk to follow at 8:30 a.m. Participants can be as young as 14 years old.

MADD’s goal is to end drunk driving and to prevent reckless acts that end up taking the lives of countless victims each year. Just like the non-profit organization, auto accident lawyers have the same goal of getting this danger eliminated from the roads. Their shared hope is to prevent accidents that claim thousands of lives each year. Law firms across the country are devoted to supporting victims and their families and to ensure that those who take part in these careless acts are held fully responsible.

By enlisting legal representation following a car accident involving alcohol, families can press charges on those who should be held responsible. Auto accident lawyers understand that having a loved one involved in a drunk driving accident can be very overwhelming. While focusing on that person’s health is vital, so is enlisting the legal services of a dedicated lawyer to protect their rights.

Legal counsel can make sure that those who drive drunk are being held accountable for the full consequences of their actions. With the help of an attorney, families can also get the compensation they need to cover medical bills and any physical or emotional therapy needed. After a loved one has been hurt in a car accident, don’t delay in hiring a lawyer to receive the support and legal guidance to help in serving justice. Visit The Pearce Law Firm for more information on auto accident representation.

 

Posted in: Accidents & Injuries, Wrongful Death

Family Sues Fraternity after Alcohol-Induced Fatality

September 5, 2012

In 2010, Megan Helal, a nineteen year old college student in Texas, went with her boyfriend to his fraternity’s party at a local bar. After consuming 10-17 alcoholic beverages, Megan lost consciousness and died at the hospital. Her parents have now filed suit against the fraternity, Sigma Chi, alleging negligence and over-serving of alcohol and seeking $50,000 for medical and burial expenses. They contend that Megan’s death was the result of binge drinking facilitated by the fraternity at its event.

To establish a similar negligence claim in Pennsylvania, a Philadelphia personal injury attorney needs to provide evidence that: (1) the fraternity owed the victim a duty to make sure she was not over-served alcohol; (2) that the fraternity breached its duty; (3) that there is a causal connection between the fraternity’s failure and the resulting injuries; and (4) that the victim sustained actual loss or damage. Kenner v. Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., 808 A.2d 178 (Pa. Super. 2002). Pennsylvania courts have not addressed this specific issue, but the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has determined that a national governing body of a fraternity has no duty to monitor the activities of its individual chapters. Alumni Ass’n v. Sullivan. However, it is plausible that a bar, which serves alcohol to university students, and an individual chapter of a fraternity, who planned the event, may be considered social hosts for purposes of establishing a duty of care to event attendees. Individuals who have received injuries during the course of an event held by a university fraternity or sorority should seek advice from The Pearce Law Firm.

Posted in: Wrongful Death

Family of hiker reaches $15.4M settlement with State of Hawaii in suit over her falling death

September 5, 2012

After misreading a warning sign at a Hawaii state park in 2006, Elizabeth Warke Brem, a prominent California lawyer, and her companion fell 300 feet to their deaths when they unexpectedly reached a steep cliff shrouded in thick vegetation. The women’s families brought suit against the state seeking damages for their deaths. The Hawaiian state court ruled in favor of the victims’ families in March 2011, finding that the State Park Administrator had actually made the area more dangerous by posting the sign, which implied hikers should follow the same path Ms. Brem chose, and by failing to close off public access to that area despite full knowledge of its popularity with tourists and local visitors. These errors could have been easily avoided, the court observed, had the State Park employees taken reasonable care to inspect the area regularly.

Under Pennsylvania state tort law, government agencies generally are immune from tort liability, unless an exception applies. The Pearce Law lawyers would rely on 42 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 8542(b)(3) to argue the State was liable in a case factually similar to Brem v. State of Hawaii. The Pennsylvania legislature has granted eight exceptions to the general rule that the state is immune from cases involving injury caused by the government’s negligent violation of an individual’s rights. These include: vehicle liability; care, custody or control of personal property; real property; trees, traffic controls and street lighting; utility service facilities; streets; sidewalks, and; care, custody, or control of animals. Importantly, the state employee must have acted negligently, not willfully or with actual malice, for purposes of attaching liability and receiving damages from the state. A state agency is liable for damages on account of injury sustained by an individual on real property possessed by the state and under the care, custody or control of the state agency. Clients who seek a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer in such a case should be prepared to demonstrate that they were not trespassing on state property and were not engaged in willful misconduct such as possession of drugs, guns, or ammunition at the time of the injury. Whether or not a Pennsylvania jury would award $15.4 million in damages against the State in such a case remains a question for the justice system.

Posted in: Wrongful Death

Father Sues Caretaker Over Son’s Death

July 14, 2011

The father of a Philadelphia area man with severe Autism is suing his caretaker for wrongful death. The caretaker left 20 year old Bryan Nevins in a van in sweltering heat last summer, leaving him to suffer and die of hyperthermia.

Caretaker Stacey Strauss of Woods Services, a Bucks County facility for people with disabilities, left Nevins in the back of the van on July 24, one of the hottest days of 2010. That day, Strauss was assigned to take Nevins and three other Woods Services clients to Sesame Place. The trip was cut short when Nevins misbehaved. Instead of simply disciplining Nevins by ending the Sesame Place trip, Strauss inexplicably left him in the back of the van alone even after returning with the other clients to Woods Services campus.

Other workers on the Middletown campus of Woods Services found Bryan Nevins dead in the van more than five hours later, possibly of wrongful death. Prosecutors contended that Strauss may have been distracted by a 44-minute phone call with her boyfriend as Nevin’s suffered and died in the van.

Bryan Nevins lived at Woods Services and was diagnosed with autism, mental retardation, and other conditions. According to reports he functioned at the level of a toddler, and his file at Woods said he was supposed to be within reach of a caretaker went outside his residence.

Strauss, 41, of Northeast Philadelphia, is currently serving a two to five year state prison sentence after pleading guilty in March to involuntary manslaughter, neglecting a care-dependent person, and recklessly endangering another person.

Nevin’s father is now suing Woods Services saying Woods never should have hired Strauss and that the organization failed to adequately supervise her or ensure proper care for Nevins. The wrongful death suit was been filed in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia by William Nevins of Oceanside, N.Y.

Posted in: Wrongful Death

Young Girl Suffers Fatal Injuries after Falling from Ferris Wheel

June 7, 2011

An extremely tragic possible case of wrongful death occurred last week near Philadelphia. An 11 year old girl fell to her death while riding the Ferris Wheel at Morey’s Piers in Wildwood, New Jersey.

The victim has been identified as 11 year old Abiah Jones of Pleasantville, New Jersey. She was a student at the PleasnTech Academy Charter School and was attending a school class trip to the pier for their annual educational extravaganza during the day of the accident. Jones attended the trip with several other students, teachers, and chaperones.

Police say Abiah Jones fell from the upper half of the ride from about 100 feet in the air at about 12:30 p.m. She was apparently alone in one of the ride’s passenger gondolas before falling. The ride is secured by a double latch door which opens inward, designed to make it hard to climb out during the ride.

Emergency responders and Morey’s staff tried to administer first and called a Medivac helicopter immediately to take the victim to the nearest trauma center. The helicopter ended up being recalled due to the severity of Abiah’s injuries. She was instead rushed by ambulance to Cape Regional Medical Center in Cape May Court House where she was pronounced dead at 1:15 p.m. according to reports.

Although preliminary investigations found that the accident did not seem to be caused by a mechanical problem with the ride, there was obviously something wrong that tragically killed Abiah Jones. An investigation is ongoing to determine what exactly caused the Child’s injuries. Police are still trying to get more witnesses to learn more about this extremely tragic incident and the ride that is likely to have caused the wrongful death of such a young child.

Community Affairs Head Hollie Gilroy said the ride opened in 1985 and was last inspected on March 17 and passed. Similar rides are only inspected once per year. Police are still trying to get more witnesses to learn more about this extremely tragic incident and the ride that is likely to have caused the wrongful death of such a young child.

Out of respect for the victim’s family the president of Morey’s Piers reduced the pier’s hours throughout the weekend.

If you ever need an attorney who is experience in wrongful death law suits, we encourage you to contact Edith Pearce for a free consultation.

Posted in: Wrongful Death

Wrongful Death Suit Filed Against Philadelphia Arch Diocese

April 7, 2011

Over the last decade sex abuse scandals involving Catholic priests have gone widely public. The general public has been shocked and upset to learn that several now adults have come forward claiming to have been abused by one or more of the priests at their local parishes when they were children.

Several families have sought compensation for damages from archdioceses throughout the country in the last several years for pain, suffering, and emotional damage.

Recently one family of a Pennsylvania man is filing a wrongful death law suit against the archdiocese of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The family claims that their loved one killed himself as a result of trauma involving alleged past abuse by a priest.

After the man alleged that he was the victim of abuse by Rev. Joseph Gallagher in the 1980’s, the charges were not heard, resulting in what family members say was the final straw for their loved one who has only been identified in reports as “Ben.” Ben killed himself after his allegations were deemed “not credible.”

Ben’s family filed a wrongful death suit on Wednesday in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas after alleging that the archdiocese covered up Ben’s sexual abuse case.
It is too early to speculate whether the family’s lawsuit will be upheld, earning them compensation for wrongful death from the Philadelphia archdiocese.

If you or loved one has suffered a similar loss and feel that your family member may have been the victim of wrongful death, it is important to ensure that your case gets the attention it deserves. Contact a Pearce Law lawyer as soon as possible. Contacting a Philadelphia accident lawyer immediately after the incident will help to ensure that statute of limitations does not further complicate your case.

Posted in: Wrongful Death

Pennsylvania Hotel Settles Wrongful Death Suit

October 5, 2010

A Best Western hotel near Allentown, Pennsylvania has agreed to pay an unspecified settlement amount to the family of a South Carolina man who died of carbon monoxide poisoning while staying at the hotel in 2008. In the tragic personal injury accident, a plastic construction canopy being used to contain construction debris from a remodeling project funneled carbon monoxide into the hotel room where the man and his wife were sleeping, killing the man. His wife survived.

Six months after the man’s death, his family initiated a wrongful death lawsuit against the hotel and several contractors involved in the remodeling project. Experienced Philadelphia personal injury attorneys note that, in cases of wrongful death, it is not unusual for there to be a time gap between a fatal accident and the filing of a lawsuit. It can take several months for the completion of police, coroner and insurance investigations and the filing of their reports. Grief-stricken families also need time to find the strength to cope with their loss and decide to act.

Hiring an experienced Pearce Law attorney immediately after an accident occurs can relieve a family of much of the burden of dealing with legal requests and insurance inquiries. An attorney expert in the handling of wrongful death lawsuits will also ensure that the family’s rights are fully protected and will fight to compensate the family for its loss. In the Allentown hotel case, the man’s family sued for $350,000 in compensation for the loss of household services, Social Security benefits and health insurance, as well as compensation for the emotional and physical pain the wife suffered when her husband died at her side.

Posted in: Wrongful Death