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Car Accidents

July 24th, 2019 by Rieders Travis in Car Accidents

Three Things You Should Not Have to Worry About When You Hire a Capable Car Accident Attorney If you have been in a car crash in Pennsylvania, you probably have lots of worries. Your first priority should be taking care of your injuries, but there are also worries about your financial situation and how the crash will affect your future and your family. You worry about paying your bills and your living costs, especially if the injury affects your ability to work and you no longer have a vehicle. Then there is the stress of dealing with insurance companies. What if you say something wrong and it damages your case? How do you know how much your settlement is worth and whether to agree to what the insurance company offers? You will want to know what underinsurance is. You will need to know if you have signed any waivers or sign-downs reducing your underinsurance coverage. You will need to know about the insurance coverage of the other driver or drivers. You will want to know whether the other driver who was at fault for the accident was at work and, if so,…

Bicycle Accidents

July 24th, 2019 by Rieders Travis in Bicycle Accidents

Motorists Have To Share The Road In a crash, a cyclist is much more vulnerable to suffering severe injuries than someone driving a car. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2009, 630 bicyclists were killed and another 51,000 were injured in traffic collisions in the United States. In Pennsylvania alone, 19 people died as a result of bicycle crashes in 2014. Although cycling is more popular among adults, especially in major cities like Philadelphia, 25% of all injuries involving bicycles and cars in Pennsylvania were suffered by children between the ages of five and 14. (visit this website) And serious injuries can happen close to home -- recently a Williamsport High School student, Elijah Allen, died after the bicycle he was riding was struck by a car on Pa. 416 in Montgomery Township. Pennsylvania has a bike safety law, and both motorists and bicyclists should abide by it. Bicyclists should always wear a helmet; stay to the right of the highway; ride with traffic, not against it; ride defensively; and use hand signals to indicate turning or stopping. However, even so, an automobile is bigger, heavier, and…

Brain Injury

July 24th, 2019 by Rieders Travis in Brain Injury

Observing Brain Injury Awareness Month The human brain is wonderful, complex, and controls our ability to function in every area of life; but it is also extremely sensitive and subject to damage.  When the brain is injured, any of our abilities can be affected, and severe symptoms from paralysis to death may result. According to the Brain Injury Association of America (BIA), over 1.5 million people face traumatic brain injuries (TBI) every year, and at least 50,000 individuals will die from their injury.  Approximately 80,000 will face life-long injuries and rehabilitative care from their injuries, and there are currently about 5 million Americans suffering from some form of TBI disability. To make the public aware of the importance of the brain, recognize the growing prevalence of traumatic brain injuries, and to help make lives better for brain-injured individuals, the BIA leads a nationwide Brain Injury Awareness Month Campaign each March. To participate, the BIA suggests public activities that include: Learn about traumatic brain injury Invite a speaker for an educational workshop Post support on social media Donate and fundraise Attend an awareness event planned by your state chapter of the…

Attorney Malpractice

July 24th, 2019 by Rieders Travis in Attorney Malpractice

The Catastrophe of Infections in American Hospitals People go to hospitals and medical facilities to get well, but all too often they wind up getting sicker or even dying from infections acquired at these very facilities. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1.7 million cases of infection will contribute to more than 90,000 deaths annually at United States hospitals. Preventable medical infections are one of the greatest causes of sickness and death in the United States. If infections drop to manageable levels, the cost of healthcare insurance would be dramatically lower. It has been shown that many infections can be prevented if healthcare professionals are careful and follow guidelines. For example, one big source of infection is blood stream infections (CLABSIs), which are caused when central lines that deliver medications directly into the blood vessels near the heart become contaminated. Experiments have shown that CLABSIs can be prevented if healthcare workers follow guidelines for careful and sterile central-line insertions and maintenance. At Johns Hopkins Hospital in Maryland, a program has been instituted with the goal of eliminating all CLABSIs. The hospital has come up with a specific central-line insertion checklist…

Wrongful Death

July 23rd, 2019 by Rieders Travis in Wrongful Death

Fewer Patients, Better Care? Proposed Bill Seeks to Limit Patient-to-Nurse Ratio. Seriously ill patients in hospitals depend on competent nursing care when needed; but when there is a shortage of nurses and they are overworked and exhausted, the result is risk to patient safety and their lives. To prevent these problems, there is now a proposed Congressional bill, House Bill 867, that would limit the number of patients Pennsylvania nurses can care for at one time. The bill bases the nurse-to-patient ratio on the type of hospital unit, with a 1:2 or fewer ratio proposed for intensive care units and a 1:4 or fewer ratio for emergency departments. Advocates of the bill cite the ratio mandate already in California, which has proven to be cost-effective, produce better health outcomes and create openings for job-seeking nurses.   The hospital industry opposes the legislation, arguing that there is not enough research to support it, there are not enough nurses to meet the lower ratio, and that staffing mandates would force facilities to close. Nurses disagree and have appealed to the House committee, saying that having too many patients leads to making mistakes and giving…

Workers Compensation

July 23rd, 2019 by Rieders Travis in Workers' Compensation

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION-SUBROGATION-COOPERATION OF EMPLOYEE Hartford Ins. Group v. Kamara, 2018 Pa. LEXIS 6033 (Pa. S.Ct. November 21, 2018) Baer, J.  This appeal presents the issue of whether a workers’ compensation insurance carrier may bring a third-party action against an alleged tortfeasor on behalf of an injured employee to recoup the amount paid in workers’ compensation benefits where the employee did not independently sue the tortfeasor, did not join in the insurer’s action, and did not assign her cause of action to the insurer. Reaffirming the well-settled proposition that the right of action against the tortfeasor remains in the injured employee, we hold that, unless the injured employee assigns her cause of action or voluntarily joins the litigation as a party plaintiff, the insurer may not enforce its statutory right to subrogation by filing an action directly against the tortfeasor. Accordingly, we vacate the judgment of the Superior Court and reinstate the order of the trial court, which sustained the preliminary objections filed by the tortfeasor and dismissed the insurer’s complaint with prejudice. Under these circumstances, we find it apparent that sanctioning a workers’ compensation carrier to pursue litigation of the…

Uncategorized

July 23rd, 2019 by Rieders Travis in Uncategorized

CIVIL RIGHTS-JOB DISCRIMINATION-RACE Castleberry v. Sti Group, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 12611 (3rd Cir. July 14, 2017) Ambro, C.J.  Castleberry and Brown brought suit asserting that their termination was racially motivated, citing to various examples of discrimination such as remarks made at the workplace and unfair work treatment.  The District Court dismissed their complaint.  Because Plaintiffs state plausible claims of employment discrimination, we reverse and remand. Castleberry and Brown were hired by STI Group in March 2010 as general laborers and supervised by managers from both STI Group and Chesapeake. Shortly after being assigned to a particular worksite, the only other African-American male on the crew was fired. Plaintiffs allege that, when they arrived at work on several occasions, someone had anonymously written “don't be black on the right of way” on the sign-in sheets. They also assert that although they have significant experience working on pipelines (and more so than their non-African-American coworkers), they were only permitted to clean around the pipelines rather than work on them. They claim that, when working on a fence-removal project, a supervisor told Castleberry and his coworkers that if they had “nigger-rigged” the…

Truck Accidents

July 23rd, 2019 by Rieders Travis in Truck Accidents

What the "Truck Driver Shortage" in PA Says About the Trucking Industry The trucking industry is hurting, causing problems for all motorists. There is a shortage of truck drivers across the country; and while it might seem that fewer trucks on the road should lead to fewer accidents, the result is the opposite.  In Pennsylvania, as well as other states, the high demand for truckers means that drivers who are less experienced and less qualified are being hired, which can lead to an increased number of crashes. Truck drivers and the motor carriers that hire them have a responsibility to follow the rules to keep our highways safe.  They must drive carefully and avoid problems caused by driver fatigue, driver failure due to health issues, alcohol and drugs, and vehicle failure due to improperly maintained or neglected maintenance. However, the shortage of truck drivers means some new employees are not as well trained or vigilant. This situation makes our highways more dangerous, as any crash involving large trucks is likely to be devastating and result in serious injuries or death. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 3,986 people died…

Statute of Limitations

July 23rd, 2019 by Rieders Travis in Statute of Limitations

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS-FRAUD-CONCEALMENT-SEXUAL ABUSE Rice vs. Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, 2018 PA Super. LEXIS 576, 2019 Pa Super. 186, 2019 PA. 186, Opinion by Judge Kunselman.  In 2016, Renee A. Rice read the 37th Investigative Grand Jury Report detailing a systematic cover-up of pedophile clergy in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.  She sued the Dioceses Bishop Adamec, and Monsignor Michael E. Servinsky. (“the Diocesan Defendants”) a few months later.  She alleges that they committed fraud, constructive fraud, and civil conspiracy to protect their reputations and that of Reverend Charles F. Bodziak, her childhood priest and alleged abuser.  Because Fr. Bodziak allegedly molested Ms. Rice in the 1970s and 1980s, the trial court, relying on this Court’s precedents and the statute of limitations, dismissed her lawsuit.  Claiming the trial court misapplied the discovery rule, the fraudulent-concealment doctrine, and the statute of limitations for civil conspiracy, Ms. Rice appealed.  Ten months later, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania decided Nicolaou vs. Martin, 195 A.3d 880 (Pa. 2018).  The High Court emphasized the jury’s prerogative, under the discovery rule, to decide whether a plaintiff’s efforts to investigate a defendant were sufficiently reasonable to toll the statute…

Sovereign Immunity

July 23rd, 2019 by Rieders Travis in Sovereign Immunity

SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY-INTERNATIONAL-ORGANIZATIONS-IMMUNITY Jam v. International Finance Corp. 2019, U.S. Supreme Ct. (________, 2018) Roberts, J-This case concerns an international organization called an International Finance Committee. American legislation grants international organizations privileges and immunities. Indian farmers sued the IFC because of pollution and the IFC claimed immunity under United States law. The United States Supreme Court reversed the D.C. Circuit which threw the case out and said that the Federal Act, the IOIA grants international organizations “the same immunity” from suit that foreign governments enjoy. Immunity is not as tight currently as it was in 1945. The IFC gives no more immunity than is currently granted to foreign countries. The president has power to modify otherwise applicable immunity rules. This is perfectly compatible with the notion that those rules might themselves might change over time in light of developments in the law governing foreign sovereign immunity. SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY-POLITICAL SUBDIVISION TORT CLAIMS ACT-EXCEPTIONS-MOTOR VEHICLES-MOVEMENT OF VEHICLES Balentine v Chester Water Auth., 2018 LEXIS 4299 Supreme Ct of PA (August 21, 2018) Mundy J.  We granted allowance of appeal in this matter to consider whether the Commonwealth Court erred in holding that the…

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