New York Injury Blog

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Manhattan and Orange County Personal Injury Lawyers | Whittel & Melton, LLC | New York City, Middletown, Newburgh and Goshen

Being involved in an accident can be one of the most unsettling and devastating times in a person’s life. Because accidents caused by other people’s negligence are by their very nature, unplanned, victims may find themselves bridled with injury, pain and financial losses, not knowing which way to turn. It may feel like there are many things to do, and that it is impossible to know where to start.

We are here to help.

The Orange County Personal Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton, LLC guarantee that you will receive the personalized attention you and your family need. Our first priority is to give you the representation that you deserve and that includes doing everything in our power to give you full and fair compensation for your injury and loss. While we cannot take the pain away, many times, we are able to refer you to Doctors who will treat and manage your pain--even if you don’t have health insurance. At Whittel & Melton we don’t think that you should have to suffer unnecessarily just because you were involved in an accident and are awaiting settlement.

Offering Commitment to Our Clients in Manhattan and Orange Counties

Our New York personal injury practice involves representation of clients on injury claims arising out of a wide range of incidents and accidents -- from serious car or motorcycle accidents to pedestrian accidents to slip and falls. Our first step with prospective clients is to schedule a free consultation to discuss the facts of the case. At that meeting, our NY City Personal Injury Lawyers will offer advice about options to seek financial recovery following a serious accident, catastrophic injury or the wrongful death of a loved one. Click any area to the left to learn more about our wide range of expertise.

We Stand with You.

At Whittel & Melton, you can be confident that we will stand behind you and your case. We will never put you or your claim on the back burner, and we are available by phone 24 hours a day. We promise will strategically deal with the parties and insurance companies in play to obtain justice for you and your loved ones. Simply put, we will not be satisfied until you are. Whether the case is resolved by financial settlement or trial, we will prepare your case to achieve maximum compensation. You will never be responsible for any attorney’s fees unless and until there is a successful financial recovery for your damages.

We are proud to help accident victims throughout New York and NYC – Manhattan, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, Middletown, Town of Walkil, Scotchtown, Newburgh, Goshen, Pine Bush, Monroe, Chester, Warwick, Washingtonville and Port Jervis, New York
Please call us, we are available 24 hours a day. 866-608-5529

A New York father has filed a $4.5 million lawsuit against the makers of a plastic T-ball bat that allegedly mangled his 5-year-old son’s face, leaving him to suffer severe facial injuries and permanent scarring.

The lawsuit claims that the Adjust-A-Hit T-Ball set was defectively designed, according to reports. The boy was injured after a section of the plastic bat, which adjusts in length, came apart.

Once the telescopic bat came apart it shot a jagged piece of plastic into the boy’s face, causing a wound that required more than 300 stitches.

The boy and his older brother were playing with the bat when it fell apart. It’s unclear what caused the bat to snap into pieces.

4905479985_d8837dbdcd_mThe lawsuit claims negligence on the part of Franklin Sports, a sporting goods company based in Massachusetts, according to court documents.

When an injury is caused by a defective product, the injured person can file what is known as a product liability lawsuit. Product liability lawsuits essentially hold a manufacturer of a product, or the seller of that product, legally liable for for injuries that occur when a product fails to live up to the ordinary expectations of the consumer.

Product liability lawsuits are usually centered around a product that is defective in one of three ways – marketing defects, manufacturing defects or design defects. Marketing defects may include improper labeling or even failing to warn consumers about the dangers associated with the product. A defect in manufacturing happens when a product is not manufactured correctly, which can lead to unexpected risks of injury to a user. Design defects happen when a product is designed in a way that makes it unsafe for how it is intended to be used.

In this specific case, the boy’s family alleges that the design of the bat was defective, making it unsafe for use even though it was used correctly. If it can be shown that the design of the bat was defective, the boy’s father may be able to financially recover for the boy’s injuries. It must be demonstrated that the bat’s manufacturer was negligent in placing the product on the marketplace when it is not safe for use.

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A woman was critically injured in Brooklyn last week after a car hopped a curb and crashed into her, according to witnesses at the scene and the FDNY.

Witnesses and fire officials claim a black car heading south on Court Street in Brooklyn Heights made a right turn onto Atlantic Avenue when it was struck by a truck around 12:50 p.m., causing the driver to lose control.

The injury victim was standing at the corner when the black car jumped the curb, striking her and crashing into a Rite Aid at the corner, according to a witness.

3393420998_1b32954984_mA witness of the crash told investigators the following: “The car hit a lady and she fell on the ground. She just went unconscious, her leg bones were sticking out.”

The injured woman was rushed to Lutheran Hospital in critical condition.

Sadly, drivers of taxicabs, cars, trucks, city buses and all other vehicles do not always observe the rules of the road, especially when it comes to pedestrians at crosswalks and intersections. In fact, statistics from 2012 show that more than 15,000 New York pedestrians survived a collision with a motor vehicle. Unfortunately, another 312 people were killed in pedestrian-related collisions.

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A patron of McDonald’s is suing the fast food giant after an incident in which his orange juice allegedly came with a plastic spear instead of a straw, which lodged itself in his throat.

According to reports, when the man attempted to extract the object from his mouth, a serrated spear deployed and shot itself into his esophagus. After he managed to remove the spear, the man claims he suffered severe injury to his throat.

The spear in question, is believed to be a part of the OJ machine. However, orange juice should not be served with bits and pieces of machinery floating in it, so the man has joined the many people who sue for foreign objects in their food and beverages.

4282658992_3e72772b5d_mThis is certainly not the first case of something odd turning up in a person’s drink. Recently, a 67-year-old Utah woman was burned from the inside by iced tea that was accidentally served to her with caustic lye instead of sugar. In cases like these, the restaurant that served the food or beverage can be held responsible for the injury caused by the hazardous substance in the food or drink.

For this specific case, the man will likely claim that McDonald’s was negligent for allowing a piece of the OJ machine to be served with his OJ. Due to the fact that orange juice does not typically contain sharp plastic instruments, McDonald’s will most likely be found negligent. The man could also argue that McDonald’s violated its implied warranty to only serve food and drinks that are safe for human consumption.

One fact that is not mentioned in the report that could be crucial to the outcome of this lawsuit is when the man filed his claim. The Statute of Limitations could bar the man from seeking damages against McDonald’s since his injury happened more than two years ago. In New York, the time limit to file a personal injury claim is three years. A lawsuit filed after the deadline set by the NY statutes can be dismissed by the court unless a judge sees it fit to allow for the tolling, or extension, of the deadline.

If the man has missed the cutoff date to file, he may have difficulty obtaining financial compensation.

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The parents of a 3-month-old baby girl who died while under the care of Waukegan-area babysitter in Illinois have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the woman and, the nanny screening service that helped the couple hire her.

The parents of the child, who reside in Kenosha, Wisconsin, allege that failed to perform an adequate background check that they believe would have shown that the woman had a criminal record, according to the civil lawsuit.

The babysitter, 35, was charged with first-degree murder in the 2012 death of the infant after an autopsy showed that the baby suffered a fractured skull. Her criminal trial is scheduled to begin in September.

This month the baby’s parents filed wrongful death lawsuits in both Kenosha, Wisconsin and Lake County, Illinois courts.

2682928834_51c31c8410_mThe parents began their search for a child care provider through in the fall of 2011, according to court records. The lawsuit alleges that they paid a monthly charge, plus an additional fee for a “premier background check,” which was to include criminal records.

Lake County court records show that the babysitter was convicted of a 2010 DUI charge in Illinois under a different last name. The lawsuit claims the woman had two other legal discrepancies that failed to disclose to the couple.

Prosecutors allege that on July 27, 2012, the babysitter was changing the infant’s diaper when the baby became fussy. The woman apparently became agitated and struck the baby’s head on the table.

Authorities also claim the woman left the baby alone twice that day, taking a cab both times to a drugstore. It is alleged that she purchased a 1.5-liter bottle of white wine during each trip.

That same day, around 4:30 p.m., the babysitter called police and said the baby was not breathing. The infant was rushed to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead a short time later.

While the parents have filed lawsuits against both the woman and, it is likely that any large recovery amount will come from and not the woman who was employed as a nanny/babysitter. As it applies to this case, an employer like can be found negligent if it hired an employee known to have a criminal history. Negligent hiring claims against employers can arise from an assortment of crimes and injuries caused by employees such as murder, sexual assault, violent crimes and traffic crimes. When an employer fails to conduct an adequate background check, this can often prove they were in fact negligent when hiring the person in question. The parents of the infant claim that failed to disclose at least two of the nanny’s legal issues that was aware of.

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The city has agreed to pay $2.75 million to the family of a Rikers inmate who died while in prison in 2012 from an alleged brutal beating by correction officers.

The city medical examiner’s office ruled the 52-year-old man’s death a homicide. Despite these findings, the Bronx district attorney’s office declined to press criminal charges against the correction officers who allegedly beat him.

The deceased, a burglary suspect, had complained that doctors and correction officers were withholding treatment for his kidney disease.

266430661_ce7d19cfa8_mHis family claimed the officers retaliated by beating him to death.

The autopsy report determined that the man’s death was caused by hypertensive cardiovascular disease, but also said that a physical altercation with blunt-force trauma to the head was a contributing factor. The report also found that the man suffered blunt-force trauma to the torso and arms.

Bronx prosecutors decided against pressing charges because they could not prove criminal responsibility by the correction officers beyond a reasonable doubt, according to reports.

The man’s family has called on the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office to investigate the case.

The correction officers union president maintains that the officers did everything by the book.

Inmates who have been subjected to abuse by prison staff while incarcerated are not alone. There are several options for getting help, including:

Filing a CRIPA complaint: The Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act maintains that those in state prisons or county jails can file reports of abuse with the U.S. Department of Justice.

Filing a federal civil rights lawsuit: Under Section 1983 of the U.S. Code, inmates who believe their constitutional rights have been infringed can file a civil lawsuit.

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A 22-year-old mother who was kicked out of a New York Barnes & Noble bookstore for failing to cover up while breastfeeding has settled her complaint with the Attorney General against the company.

According to a press release issued by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office, the terms of the settlement include improved employee training at Barnes & Noble stores, a $10,000 donation to a local breastfeeding support group and the posting of the international symbol for breastfeeding at the entrances of all New York Barnes & Noble locations.

baby-17327_150The 22-year-old New Jersey mom was browsing children’s books in a Nanuet, New York, Barnes & Noble while breastfeeding her infant when an assistant manager walked up to her and asked her to cover up or leave the store. The mother apparently told the manager that she had the right to breastfeed in public, but the manager insisted it was “against store policy.”

A few days later the mother returned with 15 members of a local breastfeeding group, who all breastfed their babies in the store, despite the manager’s disapproval.

The mother claims that her stream of complaints to the Barnes & Noble corporate office led nowhere, so she took her issues straight to New York’s Attorney General’s office.

Under New York law, women are allowed to breastfeed virtually anywhere. The law clearly states, “a mother may breastfeed her baby in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be, irrespective of whether or not the nipple of the mother’s breast is covered.”

New York’s indecent exposure statute does not apply to women breastfeeding, which otherwise bans the public display of female breasts below the areola.

This is not the first time women breastfeeding in public has been an issue. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 46 states now have laws that were specifically aimed at allowing women to breastfeed in public. Another 28 states exempt women from public indecency charges if they breastfeed in public. Likewise, 24 states have more laws that allow breastfeeding women to nurse their babies in the workplace, and 12 states have laws that exempt breastfeeding mothers from taking part in jury duty. In Puerto Rico, California, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri and Vermont, education awareness and other campaigns have encouraged breastfeeding in public.

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A San Francisco Giants fan, who suffered brain damage after two Dodgers fans beat him at the Dodger’s Stadium on opening day in 2011, was awarded $18 million for his suffering, which the Dodgers will be partially responsible for, according to the New York Daily News.

The permanently disabled man sought $37.5 million for his lifetime care and compensation for lost earnings after he was left with brain damage.

The man spent two years in the hospital recovering from the injury.

Ibaseball-255178_150n the civil case, the man’s lawyers argued there was no security present in the California team’s parking lot.

It took the jury of six men and six women 20 days of listening to testimony before they reached a verdict on Wednesday.

The Dodgers were found 25 percent liable for the victim’s pain and suffering. Jurors found that the two men convicted of beating the man were each 37.5 percent responsible for his pain and suffering. The jurors awarded $4 million for pain and suffering, which means the team is responsible for paying $1 million. The remaining $3 million will be paid by the man’s attackers.

The Dodgers were also found fully liable for the man’s economic damages. While only liable for 25 percent of the man’s pain and suffering, jurors found that the team’s negligence was a huge factor in causing the man’s injuries. Due to the team’s lax security measures set in place, which were found to be unsafe, the team will be held responsible for the man’s economic losses – lost wages and medical bills – valuing $14 million. The man asked for $37 million for economic damages, which included future college expenses for his two children.

The victim’s lawsuit also named former Dodgers owner Frank McCourt as a defendant, but he was not found liable for any damages.

Additionally, the jury also cleared the injury victim himself of any culpability in causing his own injuries, which ultimately could have lowered his total award of $18 million. Defense attorneys claimed the injury victim was intoxicated and may have instigated the attack.

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The Brooklyn, New York-based company, Tough Mudder, is now facing a lawsuit filed by a Maryland mother who lost her son after he drowned in a Tough Mudder competition last year in West Virginia.

During the 2013 event, the man died on the “Walk the Plank” obstacle, which involved climbing up a wall and then jumping off a platform 15 feet into the water. According to reports, the man jumped off the platform, and immediately after another woman jumped, landing on top of him and stopping him from surfacing.

tough mudderAccording to the lawsuit, Tough Mudder had an overwhelming number of attendees that day and took shortcuts on safety. The suit alleges that there was only one volunteer stationed at the obstacle where the man died, and that the volunteer could not tell if the path was clear for the next racer to jump.

Furthermore, the lawsuit claims that the rescue diver was not geared up and took more than two minutes to dive into the water and rescue the drowning man. The lawsuit alleges that Tough Mudder fell short in making sure adequate safety precautions were set in place so that all racers stayed safe throughout the race course.

Tough Mudder is an 11-mile race that has various obstacles throughout the entire course. The obstacles are generally quite extreme, and can entail climbing, swimming, balancing and sprinting. Extreme races are becoming increasingly popular throughout not only the state of New York, but the rest of the United States. While these challenging events can offer a fun test for fitness and health enthusiasts, they can also be dangerous, as this case shows. If organizers of these events do not take proper care, serious accidents can occur. Negligence, including lacking proper safety measures, as well as other factors can result in severe injuries and even death for racers.

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A federal judicial panel decided on Monday that lawsuits against General Motors from customers who suffered economic damages from a recall over faulty ignition switches will be heard in New York.

According to the ruling from the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, the cases will be sent to U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman in the Southern District of New York.

More than 80 lawsuits have been filed since February by customers who allege that their cars lost value as a result of the recall.

gmGM asked that the cases be consolidated and transferred to New York, which is the same district they filed for bankruptcy in 2009. GM is asking the federal bankruptcy court in Manhattan to finalize whether claims brought by plaintiffs over the recall are blocked by the terms of its bankruptcy sale order, which lead to the creation of “new GM” and basically prohibited liability against the new company for the pre-bankruptcy handling of “old GM.”

The order does not affect lawsuits regarding personal injuries or deaths that these defective vehicles caused.

Plaintiffs’ lawyers suing the company were in agreement on consolidating the cases, but they disagreed on where. The cities suggested included Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, San Francisco and Texas.

The panel ordered that the Manhattan district was the most appropriate choice, since it was the same district that handled GM’s bankruptcy. The Manhattan district also handled the bankruptcy of Delphi Automotive, a GM supplier that created the switch at issue. Delphi has been named a defendant in many of the cases.

Different from a personal injury or wrongful death claim, the more than 80 cases consolidated in New York federal court deal with alleged economic injuries involving GM’s ignition switch defect. While the plaintiffs involved were not physically harmed by their vehicles, they claim that the resale values for their cars were drastically reduced because of the defect.

The owners of these GM vehicles all present a common question to the court – Should GM be held liable for the economic losses associated with the recall? Cases that have enough similar questions of law or fact are often consolidated and tried as one case.

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Two young boys were seriously injured Monday afternoon when a gust of wind blew an inflatable bounce house into the air with three children inside. Two of the children inside, boys ages 5 and 6, were tossed to the asphalt from at least 15 feet above ground.

The boys were taken to Albany Medical Center, where they were admitted for serious injuries. According to reports, one suffered a traumatic head injury.

bounce houseA 10-year-old girl was also inside when the bounce house got carried away, but only suffered minor scrapes when she fell.

One of the boys landed on a parked car while the other landed on pavement after being tossed out of the bounce house around 3:20 p.m. off Ferry Boulevard.

According to South Glens Falls Police, the boys’ conditions were not known as of early Tuesday, but the one boy who landed on the pavement was conscious and talking at the scene.

A neighbor told reporters that the younger boy suffered two broken arms and facial injuries, while the older boy suffered a serious head injury. Both were apparently conscious and alert at the hospital later Tuesday.

Police claim that the wind blew the bounce house more than 50 feet in the air from in front of a four-apartment complex at 22 Ferry Blvd. to the fields behind Oliver W. Winch Middle School.

The bounce house was apparently owned by a resident of the complex, and it had been set up for neighborhood children to play in. The inflatable house was fixed to the ground with stakes, but the wind pulled them out.

According to the Center for Injury Research and Policy, around 30 children are sent to emergency rooms across the country every day to treat bounce house injuries such as broken bones, sprains, cuts and concussions. That’s nearly 11,000 child injuries per year. Most of these injuries happen when children fall inside the bounce houses by crashing into one another, falling clumsily or by falling outside the bounce house itself.

Following a bounce house accident, the primary concern should be obtaining medical attention for the injured parties. Once medical care is rendered, a full investigation should be conducted to determine the exact cause of the accident. This is important, not only to identify any negligent parties that are liable for the accident, but because doing so could prevent other children from suffering the same fate in the future.

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