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Philadelphia Personal Injury Law Blog

Man charged with 3rd-degree murder in road crash

A 29-year-old Pennsylvania man is charged with murder in the death of an 18-year-old woman in July. The New Providence man, according to arrest documents, was drunk and on heroin when the accident occurred.

The July 8 crash happened on Lampeter Road in Lancaster when the man hit the teenager's car. According to police, the man had used heroin before the accident and ingested vodka. Witnesses said he was passing on the right shoulder and speeding. Passengers in his vehicle, police said, asked him to stop prior to the accident. Empty syringes were found in the vehicle.

1 dead, 2 injured in tractor-trailer crash in Pennsylvania

An accident involving four tractors trailers left one of the drivers dead and two others injured in Southampton Township on Aug. 3. The chain reaction accident caused the closure of the road for several hours.

According to the Pennsylvania State Police, the accident occurred on the northbound side of Interstate 81 just before 12 a.m. A tractor-trailer, driven by a 49-year-old man from Chatsworth, Georgia, did not stop for stopped traffic on the right lane and hit the rear of another tractor-trailer driven by a 33-year-old man from Newark, Ohio. This rear-end collision caused the second truck to collide with the tractor-trailer ahead of it, which was driven by a 51-year-old man from Newton, North Carolina. A fourth tractor-trailer, driven by a 43-year-old man from Rochester, New York, was slowly moving on the left lane and was also involved in the collision. Two of the trucks were on fire when emergency responders arrived at the scene.

Major car crash kills 1, injures 2

A single-car accident near Philadelphia in Chester County on July 30 left one individual dead and two others injured. According to the report, the incident took place on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Wallace Township at approximately 4 p.m.

Pennsylvania State Police stated that the crash occurred on the westbound lane of the Turnpike near milepost 307. It was not reported exactly how the accident happened, nor were details such as the names and ages of the victims disclosed. The nature and extent of the injuries the victims suffered were also unreported.

Deaths due to Legionnaires' disease lead to Pennsylvania lawsuit

Two men died and a third man became severely ill after contracting Legionnaires' disease at a medical facility in South Whitehall Township in 2013 according to a lawsuit recently filed in Lehigh County Court. The alleged source of the disease was bacteria found in an indoor fountain. Health officials had previously concentrated their efforts on other fountains inside and outside the building, plus the building's cooling system.

One of the men who died had twice visited the building containing the fountain in August of 2013 and began feeling ill shortly thereafter. He was admitted to a hospital suffering from pneumonia, was diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease and died a few days later, the lawsuit says. The other man who died also visited the building about the same time and was also near the fountain. About a week later, he was admitted to a hospital and was diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease. He died in March of 2014. An Allentown man also contracted the disease but survived.

Big Tobacco hit hard with damages of $23.6 billion

Pennsylvania residents may have heard about a recent landmark verdict in which a Florida jury handed down an award of $23.6 billion in punitive damages to the widow of a cigarette smoker who died of lung cancer in 1996. The July 14 verdict followed the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in June not to hear appeals from the cigarette makers who said that cases in which plaintiffs do not have to prove that the companies were liable for selling a dangerous product should be overturned.

Prior class action litigation initiated in 1996 established that, because of their addiction to cigarettes, the plaintiffs developed a range of medical conditions. It further established that the tobacco companies were intentionally fraudulent and hid the dangers of smoking, thus causing harm and emotional distress. The suit was certified and awarded damages to the plaintiffs.

U.S. not equipped to treat uncommon strains of Lyme disease

Many Pennsylvania residents may know that ticks carry Lyme disease. In many cases, those who find that they've been bitten by a tick and contracted a disease can simply visit their doctor for treatment. What one Boston man found, however, was that the U.S. may not be equipped to deal with uncommon strains of the disease.

The man was reportedly in Spain for a music conference when he discovered that a tick had bitten his ankle. Two days later, he discovered a rash that looked like a bull's-eye at the location where he had been bitten. He then experienced classic symptoms of the tick-borne disease including a fever and headaches.

Accident in Bucks County injures 2

Pennsylvania State Police reported that a crash between a truck and a motorcycle left two individuals with injuries on the afternoon of June 6. The driver of the Chevrolet pickup and his passenger were both wearing seat belts at the time. The driver of the truck and his female passenger were not injured. He was cited for entering or crossing a roadway and failing to yield the right of way to oncoming vehicles.

According to authorities, the male driver of a Harley-Davidson was traveling on River Road in Nockamixon Township when the driver of the truck collided with his motorcycle while turning onto that roadway. Police said the driver of the motorcycle was taken to St. Luke's University Hospital. They also stated that the passenger was taken there, although the news source reported that the hospital had no record of her.

No bail for contractor charged in fatal building collapse

Two men who have been charged with murder for the Philadelphia building collapse that killed six people in June 2013 have been denied bail. The prosecutor and the judge in the case agreed that neither man is eligible for bail under Pennsylvania law.

Six people were killed when a wall of the building that was being demolished on 22nd and Market streets collapsed onto a Salvation Army thrift store on June 5, 2013. In addition to the deceased victims, 14 other people were injured. The demolition contractor and a worker were charged with third degree murder in relation to the collapse. The worker is alleged to have been operating demolition equipment while impaired by marijuana, and the contractor allegedly ignored warnings about hazardous conditions at the site.

Hospital sued by woman for surgical sponge error

People in Pennsylvania might find interest in a California case involving a 56-year-old woman who had to have part of her intestines removed because a sponge was left inside of her during a 2007 hysterectomy. Just a short three days after her hysterectomy, she had to go back to the hospital in pain. Following an x-ray, she was misdiagnosed as having severe constipation and then sent home.

Approximately one year later, she almost passed out at work and was transported via ambulance to the hospital. This time, the woman stated that the medical staff diagnosed her with a gastrointestinal issue and advised her to stop eating spicy foods. Again, she was sent home.

Duty of care may have been breached from time of initial contact

Health care is more than just medications and surgical procedures. When a patient contacts a medical facility about an issue, he or she expects that staff will document that communication and forward it to the appropriate personnel for action. 

Although hospitals may be understaffed, there doesn’t seem to be an explanation for what happened at one Veterans Affairs medical center. As part of a national network of over 150 VA medical centers, readers might expect intake procedures to be standardized. Yet just the opposite occurred: an estimated 1,700 service members were not placed on the appointment waiting list. 

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