Monthly Archives: May 2017

Las Vegas Police Likely

Las Vegas Police Likely to Face Civil Action in Usage of Neck Restraint Maneuver in Suspect’s Death

A controversial neck hold was applied by police to an unarmed man at a Las Vegas casino. Toshii S. Brown was unable to be revived after he fled two pursuing officers through The Venetian and ultimately was restrained by a “lateral vascular neck restraint”. Critics of the maneuver claim it is simply dangerous to use, as some officers may hold the position, which can lead to death by choking. The police department states that this hold has been applied by
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Colorado Regulators Issue Report

Colorado Regulators Issue Report on Ski Chairlift Accident Leading to Woman’s Death

The much-anticipated state inspection report regarding a Ski Granby Ranch chairlift accident which sent 40-year Kelly Huber falling 25 feet to her death has been completed. A spokesman told the Denver Post that this was a very unlikely occurrence, and with the additional changes to be implemented, it will likely not occur again. The lift system known as the Quickdraw Express allows for operator adjustable speed changes, which led to Huber’s fall and death. The daughters were examined in the
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Colorado Legislature Finalizing Two

Colorado Legislature Finalizing Two Bills for Vehicle Accident Prevention & Safety

The Colorado Senate is focusing on motorist safety with new legislation. Senate Bill 17-229 involves motorists who fail to exercise care as they pass stationary vehicles that are displaying their visual signals. Currently, those in violation of exercising caution nearing the emergency or towing vehicles along the roadway are committing a Class A traffic offense. The bill makes an addition to include municipal utility service vehicles. The penalty for a motorist who causes bodily injury will be increased from a
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Parallel Criminal & Civil

Parallel Criminal & Civil Cases Likely in Penn State Fraternity Pledge’s Death

In February, Timothy Piazza, a 19-year old Penn State University student died after collapsing down a staircase at a fraternity party while heavily intoxicated. Eighteen members of Beta Theta Pi have been charged criminally in connection with the death, following participation in a drinking game. The authorities were not notified for 12 hours. Piazaa’s family retained a Philadelphia-based attorney for a civil suit, which may be pursued parallel to the criminal case. So far there had been conflicting accounts of what
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Women on Bicycle Killed

Women on Bicycle Killed in Car “Dooring” Accident

Authorities in Cambridge, MA conducted an accident reconstruction of a collision which killed a 27-year old female bicyclist. Amanda Phillips was traveling down Cambridge Street when she struck an open car door which pushed her in front of a moving landscaping truck. Bicyclists use the term “dooring” to refer to a situation where someone opens a car door in front of an approaching cyclist. The results can be serious injuries—and even death. The “Door Zone” Analysts refer to an area
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Driver Falls Asleep Behind

Driver Falls Asleep Behind the Wheel & Nearly Drives into House

A man that was driving down Foley Avenue in Coon Rapids, MN abruptly fell asleep at the wheel and missed a turn. His vehicle remained heading straight toward a home; however, his car hit a parked truck which woke him and prevented the potential catastrophe. Police reported that the man was transported to a local hospital for treatment. AAA reports that those who sleep five hours per night or less have a four times greater likelihood of being involved in
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Major Insurer Denies Liability

Major Insurer Denies Liability for Injury Case Involving Borrowed Vehicle

In a South Carolina district court, the 2017 case of Nationwide Mutual Insurance v. Van Sickle & Rush challenged whether insurers could be responsible for paying liability claims stemming from accidents where the insured had loaned their vehicle to someone and caused an accident. Appolina Rush was driving a car borrowed from a Nationwide Insurance customer when she injured a couple (the Van Sickles) in a collision. The Van Sickles brought a suit against Rush and Lois Prince, the vehicle
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May is Motorcycle Safety

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month & Large Rally Planned by Colorado Nonprofit

The month of May has been designed as Motorcycle Safety Month and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has initiated a program to encourage motorcyclists to attend training programs currently available across the state. Sam Cole, a department spokesman, says that riders should take advantage of the available training, as riders who are simply mediocre should not be operating on the roads. In 2016, Colorado had 125 motorcyclist fatalities, which is a 15% rise from the prior year. This fatality
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Day Care Operator in

Day Care Operator in Florence Faces Wrongful Death Suit for 9-Month Old

Florence police and Fremont County sheriffs responded to a call regarding an unresponsive infant. 9-month old Rhett Walker was pronounced dead, which has led to a civil suit of wrongful death against defendants Christine and Sean Humphrey and James and Connie Clark. Rhett was brought to her day care provider in a car seat. Defendant Christine Humphrey placed the infant in the seat in the living room. Upon returning from another room, Humphrey noticed the seat had flipped over. She
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Will Continued Tort Reform

Will Continued Tort Reform Eliminate the Collateral Source Rule?

Back in 1854 on the Great Lakes, a steamboat collided with a schooner causing it to sink while loaded with freight. The schooner was insured and the defense argued that they had already been paid for the replacement. The court would not make any reduction in damages stating that the insurance had no relevance to the case. Many states still employ the collateral source rule (including Colorado), which existed under common law. The rule states that recovery for damages will
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Denver Implementing New Crosswalk

Denver Implementing New Crosswalk Signal Systems in Response to Surge in Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities

Auto accident-related deaths of pedestrians are rising more rapidly than fatalities among motorists, approaching 6,000 annually. As a part of fatalities from 2016 crashes, approximately 15% are among pedestrians compared to 11% from 2015. Experts attribute this trend to lower fuel prices and more people walking for exercise and environmental purposes. The largest contributor may be that both drivers and walkers are simply distracted by usage of mobile devices, but this cause it rarely documented and goes unreported. Denver is
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$1.6M Award in California

$1.6M Award in California Wrongful Death Case with Drunk Driver in a Rental Car​

It appears that a settlement has been reached in the wrongful death case of a couple killed in a head-on collision. The family of Bertha & Ruben Betancourt filed suit in Santa Barbara County Court against EAN Holdings, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Shaquille Lindsey, the driver. Lindsey’s vehicle apparently crossed into the opposite lane at a pace exceeding the speed limit by over 20 mph. Lindsey was alleged to have been intoxicated. Grounds for action included wrongful death based on negligence,
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City of Greeley Settles

City of Greeley Settles Third Personal Injury Case This Year in Pedestrian Accident

The City of Greeley has apparently settled their third personal injury claim so far this year. They have paid out at least $725,000 in these incidents where fault was determined. This week, the city agreed to pay $225,000 to Jerry Hill, a pedestrian who was struck by a recently retired police officer who was driving an unmarked police vehicle. Hill suffered several injuries to the head, shoulders, and knees after being impacted in a crosswalk at 9th Avenue and 10th
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U.S. Supreme Court Rules

U.S. Supreme Court Rules on Tribal Immunity in Car Accident Negligence Suit

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, there are presently 566 federally recognized tribes, in addition to a few recognized at the state level. Currently, in Colorado, there are two: The Southern Ute Indian Tribe of the Southern Ute Reservation and Ute Mountain Tribe of the Ute Mountain Reservation. Since these tribes are considered self-governing, they are similar to U.S. governmental entities in that they are afforded sovereign immunity which shields them from most litigation. Lewis v. Clarke Accident
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Life Saved at Vail

Life Saved at Vail Ski Resort Illustrates the Importance of Colorado Senate Bill 09-010

A snowboarder at Vail Resort named Peter Roskovich recently collapsed and went into sudden cardiac arrest. The Vail Ski Patrol sprang into action using an automated external defibrillator (AED) to temporary restore Roskovich’s pulse. Using a snowmobile, the patrol began transporting him to seek medical care. Strangely, Dr. Greenberg, a Vail Valley Medical Center cardiologist, happened to be skiing at the resort that day and upon realizing the circumstances, began further life preservation efforts during transport to the hospital. Greenberg
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