April 2013 Archives

Court hears case of $91.5 million nursing home verdict

Family members of Alabama nursing home residents are often concerned that their relatives may be victims of abuse or neglect. Seeing cases such as the recently decided nursing home neglect lawsuit that resulted in a $91.5 million verdict only heightens these fears. The case is currently headed to the West Virginia Supreme Court for review.The case was filed by a son who alleged that a nursing home failed to provide the requisite standard of care to his mother, who apparently died of dehydration in 2010. The nursing home denied his claim, stating this his 87-year-old mother died of dementia after being transferred to a hospice care facility 18 days before her death. However, the jury agreed with the plaintiff, awarding him $91.5 million in damages and holding the home responsible for medical negligence as well as violations of the Nursing Home Act.

Monitoring tools increase safety for teen drivers

Thanks to new advances in technology, parents in Alabama are now able to monitor their children's driving. One of the leading causes of death for teenagers is car accidents, so it is no wonder that parents worry about their children's safety when they are on the road. However, dashboard cameras and geographic monitoring are allowing parents to keep track of their teen's behaviors behind the wheel.One product, the Drivecam, will turn on and start recording video footage when a driver does something unsafe. This monitoring makes teens more cautious about their driving habits since they will be caught on film if they are being reckless. The video is also viewed by the manufacturer's data center and provides parents with suggestions for their children to improve their driving.

Seat belts not used in 59 percent of fatal car crashes in Alabama

According to a recent report released by the Alabama Department of Transportation, 59 percent of the people who were killed during car accidents were not wearing seat belts at the time the accidents occurred. The report is based on preliminary data collected by Alabama State Troopers during 2012.In 2012 alone, 424 people died in car accidents in which seat belts were available. Of those 424 fatalities, 251 were not wearing their seat belts. Alabama law requires front-seat passengers and children between ages 6 and 15 to wear seat belts at all times. Any child under the age of 6 must sit in a federally approved child seat as well.

MRB Attorney Rip Andrews in Court for Widow of NASA Engineer

MRB attorney Rip Andrews argued in Madison County Circuit Court Friday that a wrongful death lawsuit filed on behalf of the widow of Marshall Space Flight Center engineer Darren Spurlock should be allowed to move forward to a jury. The lawsuit stems from a 2008 high speed police chase; the driver fleeing drug squad agents was traveling about 90 mph when she ran a red light and crashed into Spurlock, killing him.

Kent State student dies in car crash

A 23-year-old Kent State senior from Parma was killed when he was ejected from an SUV according to police sources. The truck accident occurred on Interstate 65 when a semi truck driven by an Ashville, Alabama, man collided with the SUV in which the student was a passenger. Four other young men were in the SUV at the time, and the 22-year-old driver, along with the other passengers, was taken to an area hospital to be treated for injuries. There was no word as to their conditions or whether any of them were admitted for injuries. The group was said to be traveling home from a Florida vacation at the time of the crash. The truck driver was not injured.

U. of Alabama student dies in crash, and family sues

After a student in attendance at the University of Alabama died in a vehicle crash following a sporting event, her family filed a wrongful death lawsuit that targeted the other parties who allegedly caused the wreck. The deceased student, a 20-year-old from Roswell, Georgia, was severely injured in the Montgomery area when the pickup truck she was in was hit by a bus. According to investigators, the pickup truck may have attempted to turn in front of the bus in order to merge onto the interstate. After the bus hit the truck, the truck collided with a third vehicle. The lawsuit brought by the woman's family accuses the pickup truck's driver and its owner, who were also students at the University of Alabama, of negligence, gross negligence and wantonness. The suit also named the bus driver and the operating company as defendants, alleging that their lack of proper care directly led to the death.

3-vehicle crash in Huntsville seriously injures two

A recent collision involving three vehicles in Huntsville seriously injured two individuals and trapped one driver inside his Chevy S10 truck. It took nearly 30 minutes for respondents to extricate the man from his vehicle, which was hanging off the Memorial Parkway overpass following the car accident. According to authorities, the wreck occurred when the man drove the wrong way on the stretch of the Parkway near Sparkman Drive and hit a Volkswagen Passat, sending it into a barrier. The truck then collided with a Mazda RX-7, coming to rest on the car's hood while the back end of the truck dangled over the Parkway. The driver of the Passat reportedly sustained minor injuries, and the truck driver as well as the individual driving the Mazda are both reported to be in serious condition at Huntsville Hospital. 

Alabama's traffic fatalities higher than national average

According to the latest data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, speed is the number one contributing factor of fatal car accidents in Alabama, which typically leads the nation in traffic fatalities, and the current statistics do not buck that trend. Alabama's 2010 1.34 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled fatality rate is higher than the nation's 1.11 average. Speed was a factor regardless of the type of roads traveled, though more fatal crashes did occur in rural areas, where speed is often combined with alcohol use and emergency response times can be slower. But even in accidents that occur on highways, the fatality rate is increased. In Shelby and Jefferson counties, 43 crashes caused 47 traffic fatalities on the most used highways. These accidents include single-vehicle accidents, multi vehicle accidents and accidents that involved vehicles and pedestrians. 

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Birmingham Office: 205-879-1981
Montgomery Office: 334-557-7114
Fax: 205-879-1986