fatal accident

On behalf of Weisman, Kennedy & Berris Co., L.P.A. posted in wrongful death on Tuesday, October 9, 2012.

When people make purchases from local businesses, they typically don’t expect to end up in a quarrel that results in injury or worse. Unfortunately, that is what appears to have happened to a Wheelersburg man, and his widow has filed a wrongful death suit against the business and two representatives because of the fatal incident.

The lawsuit alleges that representatives of Stakers Sales and Service in Ohio sold the couple a used lawnmower in January. Later, the company claimed the couple owed them money for the machine, which the couple disputed. Two representatives from the company appeared at the couple’s residence on July 11 and demanded the disputed payment. Shortly afterward, they left threatening to return.

Allegedly, the two representatives returned the next day and one shot the decedent in chest with a pistol.

The lawsuit charges the business and the two men with trespassing, intentional infliction of emotional distress, assault, and common law battery. The widow is seeking damages for loss of companionship, loss of earning, funeral expenses, care, counseling, mental anguish and attorney’s fees among other things.

The man allegedly responsible for shooting the victim was not indicted by a grand jury. However, the burden of proof for criminal cases is very different from civil cases. Those in similar situations, however, should research their legal options before filing a case with the Ohio courts. Speaking to an attorney experienced in wrongful death may be helpful. A death in the family shouldn’t also bring with it financial difficulties.

Source: Portsmouth-DailyTimes.com, “Holsinger’s widow files civil suit against Stakers,” Frank Lewis, Oct. 3, 2012

On behalf of Weisman, Kennedy & Berris Co., L.P.A. posted in Car Accidents on Wednesday, December 5, 2012.

Travel by automobile is standard in Ohio and across the United States. Not surprisingly, laws are in place related to automobile and road safety. They cover areas such as speed, seat belts and operating a vehicle while under the influence. When people do not follow these rules, the consequences can be devastating.

Three passengers and the driver of a truck were killed north of I-71 in Lebanon on Nov. 21. As reported by the State Highway Patrol, the driver of the truck apparently lost control of the vehicle prior to approaching a curve in the road. The truck exited the road and violently rolled, finally coming to rest in a residential yard approximately 100 feet from the roadway. Debris littered the scene, and emergency crews had to shut down the roadway for roughly seven hours following the accident.

Spokespersons for the State Highway Patrol indicated that none of the victims of the crash were secured by seat belts. All four people involved in the truck crash were ejected from the vehicle. They were all pronounced dead at the scene.

Although the crash is still under investigation, law enforcement officers suspect that alcohol might have been a factor in the accident. The violence of the crash also suggests that the vehicle was traveling at an excessively high speed when the accident occurred.

Not all automobile accidents that occur in Ohio are preventable. Even so, Ohio automobile safety regulations do require buckling up, adhering to posted safety limits and refraining from driving while under the influence. Those who travel on Ohio roadways may research these laws to learn how they can prevent serious injuries or even save a life, especially during the holiday season when traffic increases.

Source: The Columbus Dispatch, “‘Violent’ truck crash in southwestern Ohio kills four,” Nov. 22, 2012

On behalf of Weisman, Kennedy & Berris Co., L.P.A. posted in Truck accidents on Friday, December 21, 2012.

Safety precautions in the trucking industry are designed to prevent fatalities in a number of ways. Properly secured loads rarely become detached from their trailers; well-rested drivers are more likely to retain control of their vehicles in hazardous traffic or difficult weather conditions. Occasionally, however, sudden and unexpected equipment failure occurs. When a truck accident does happen, it can spark a dramatic and tragic chain of events.

The case of an Ohio trucker who lost his life on Dec. 10 brought this issue into sharp focus. The incident, which involved multiple vehicles, took place at approximately 3:30 a.m. on an eastbound section of Interstate 80 located in Pocono Township. The weather conditions in the area at the time were reportedly foggy.

The accident started when two concrete pieces fell off a trailer several vehicles ahead of the man’s rig. Another tractor-trailer collided with one of the concrete blocks, suffered a flat tire and lost control. According to reports, the deceased man could not stop his rig in time and drove into the back of the disabled tractor-trailer.

The force of the impact propelled a number of the aluminum framing components on the man’s trailer through the rear of the tractor cab, trapping the trucker inside. He was declared dead at the scene.

The accident also affected one additional tractor-trailer, as well as a car. No other fatalities were reported. Emergency personnel spent more than 12 hours clearing the road of wreckage, diesel fuel and other debris, while a team of accident reconstruction experts recorded the disaster.

While relatively uncommon, multi-vehicle accidents like the one above are a very real danger for truckers as well as for other drivers on the road. When safety measures are followed and trucking logs are completed, risks diminish. Nevertheless, adverse weather conditions are not always accurately forecast and human errors continue to occur. For victims of trucking accidents, seeking information about available legal resources and potential compensation can be advantageous in the fight for recovery.

Source: Pocono Record, “Ohio truck driver killed in chain of crashes on I-80 in Poconos,” David Kidwell, Dec.11, 2012

On behalf of Weisman, Kennedy & Berris Co., L.P.A. posted in Car Accidents on Wednesday, January 2, 2013.

Time cannot heal the painful fracture that results when family members are killed in a fatal car accident. A serious car accident can completely transform the lives of all involved and leave a gaping hole in the ones of those left behind. While tragic at any time, accidents that cause serious injuries or death are even more heartbreaking when they happen during the holidays, whether it’s in Cleveland or elsewhere in Ohio.

Such was the case on Dec. 23 when two minivans carrying two families were involved in a head-on collision. The fatal wreck, which occurred on Interstate 75, left three adults and one child dead. Two other children were left in critical condition, according to the Ohio State Patrol.

One minivan, carrying a family leaving a Christmas party, went the wrong way on I-75 near Franklin, colliding at 2:30 a.m. with another minivan carrying a family on its way to visit grandparents for the holiday. Police suspect that alcohol was a factor in the crash, and investigators reported smelling liquor in the wrong-way minivan.

When families lose a loved one due to the negligence of a drunk driver or distracted driver, they may be entitled to compensation for the loss of companionship and loss of future income. Although no amount of money can heal the wound that is left when a fatal car accident occurs, it can relieve some of the financial burden that the family must also endure.

Source: USA Today, “4 holiday travelers die in Ohio car crash,” Amanda Lee Myers, Dec. 23, 2012.

On behalf of Weisman, Kennedy & Berris Co., L.P.A. posted in wrongful death on Wednesday, February 13, 2013.

Dealing with the loss of a loved one is difficult under the best of circumstances. When there are unusual circumstances surrounding such a death, it is all the more difficult to handle. Cleveland residents may be interested in the story of a wrongful death case in which a man died of an overdose of pepper spray while in police custody.

In 2009, a woman called the police when her husband began acting erratically. She asked the officers to take him to the hospital so he could get medication. Instead, the officers booked the man into jail on disorderly intoxication charges. The judge’s order for the trial states the man was sprayed more than 12 times.

Ultimately, the man died as a result of the spraying. The coroner’s report states the death is a “homicide due to OC poisoning,” which may place the liability for his death on the law enforcement officers. OC is oleoresin capsicum and is the main ingredient in pepper spray. The judge in the case stated that jurors could conclude police corrections officers were “simply attempting to harm” the man.

The man’s widow has filed a wrongful death lawsuit. It alleges that while the man was in jail, he was sprayed with pepper spray 10 times in a 48-hour period while in a restraint chair. The case will be heard later this year.

Dealing with the wrongful death of a loved one is difficult. Despite the emotional turmoil associated with the death, researching possible legal action to cover funeral expenses, and the pain and suffering associated with the death may be necessary. If a loved one was the victim of a fatal accident that was due to the negligence or wrongful act of another, you may have recourse to a wrongful death claim due to their untimely passing. To explore those options, please seek out competent legal counsel.

Source: My Fox Tampa Bay, “Pepper spray death headed for trial,” Doug Smith, Jan. 31, 2013

On behalf of Weisman, Kennedy & Berris Co., L.P.A. posted in Car Accidents on Friday, March 22, 2013.

Careless driving can cause serious injuries or even death for the driver as well as everyone else on the road. People who have lost a family member in a car accident understand the emotional hardship of this sudden loss. However, a victim’s family can hold a driver accountable for his or her carelessness.

A Canton woman who caused the death of a 52-year-old home health aide will serve a 90-day jail sentence for vehicular manslaughter. She was found not guilty of vehicular homicide, likely because she insisted that the crash was an accident. The woman has also been charged with other misdemeanors unrelated to the accident.

At the time of the accident, the 29-year-old single mother was driving without insurance, which caused the victim’s husband to resort to litigation in order to recover his losses. Although she reportedly was obeying the speed limit on her way home from a shopping trip, her vehicle crossed the center lane on state Route 43 by more than 8 feet. The woman’s SUV crashed into the other driver’s car as it was coming from the opposite direction on the two-lane road. During the court hearing, the victim’s family members asked for the maximum sentence.

Fatal car accidents are difficult for the family members of victims, who may be entitled to compensation through a wrongful death claim. This compensation can help the family cover the costs of emergency medical care or funeral expenses. People who have lost a loved one in a fatal car accident may want to seek the help of an attorney.

Source: CantonRep.com, “Driver gets 90 days in jail for fatal Route 43 crash,” Dave Sereno, March 12, 2013

On behalf of Weisman, Kennedy & Berris Co., L.P.A. posted in wrongful death on Monday, April 22, 2013.

Some Ohioans face potentially dangerous conditions at their daily jobs. For this reason, companies are responsible for ensuring that their employees are as safe as possible. Proper training and safety precautions help to reduce the likelihood of a fatal accident.

A local energy company supervisor knows about on-the-job accidents all too well. In 2007, one of his workers was injured as the crew was setting up a temporary power connection during a repair. The company apparently failed to learn from the mistake. Four years later, another worker on the supervisor’s crew was killed while performing the same task. The man was reportedly electrocuted after someone told him it was safe to handle the wire; although the supervisor was on site at the time of the accident, it is not clear who told him he could proceed.

The victim’s family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Akron company. The family alleges that the company failed to provide adequate training for its employees and did not take safety measures that may have prevented the man’s death. It is unknown whether the supervisor was disciplined for his part in the 2007 injury or the man’s more recent death. If the court sides with the victim’s family, they could receive more than $50,000 in damages. Because the man was working on a crew, there are likely several witnesses; however, it is unknown whether any of the victim’s former colleagues are scheduled to testify in court. The energy company has not spoken about the accident.

The loss of a loved one is devastating, especially when it is the result of a preventable accident. Family members of victims may want to talk with an attorney. They may be entitled to compensation to help them cover funeral costs and other expenses.

Source: CantonRep, “Family sues over FirstEnergy worker’s death,” April 11, 2013

On behalf of Weisman, Kennedy & Berris Co., L.P.A. posted in Car Accidents on Monday, June 17, 2013.

Because they are smaller than most cars and trucks, motorcycles pose more risks than other types of motor vehicles. For this reason, all Ohio drivers must be especially careful to check for motorcycles. Failure to do so can cause serious, and even fatal, car accidents.

The driver who allegedly killed a motorcyclist has apparently made a pattern of fleeing the scene of accidents he has caused. In the most recent incident, the man was allegedly involved in an altercation with his girlfriend. A witnesses said that the man stormed to his truck and angrily started it, apparently without taking a moment to check for pedestrians or other vehicles. Although the witness noticed that the victim was in harm’s way, there was apparently not enough time for the witness to warn the motorcyclist. The truck hit the motorcyclist, and the victim crashed into a van; emergency responders were unable to rescue him.

Unfortunately, this man has caused accidents before. It is not clear how many of those accidents have proven fatal. Because the witness will likely testify in court, the man will likely face serious consequences for his careless driving. He may also face domestic violence charges. Although the man allegedly has a history of drunk driving, it is unknown whether his driver’s license was in good standing at the time of the accident. There is no evidence that he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol when he hit the motorcyclist.

When people lose a loved on in a fatal car accident, it is often devastating. Fortunately, the family members of victims may be entitled to compensation. Working with an attorney can be helpful in these circumstances.

Source: Wood TV, “Witness details fatal hit-and-run crash,” Ken Kolker, June 10, 2013

On behalf of Weisman, Kennedy & Berris Co., L.P.A. posted in Wrongful Death on Tuesday, April 8, 2014.

Motorists throughout Ohio uniformly know that state roads and highways are constantly seeing infrastructure upgrades, whether that entails new road surfacing, bridge enhancements, shoulder improvements or some other safety-related matter.

As such, drivers routinely encounter construction zones in which employees are working and where extra caution needs to be exercised. It is imperative that such zones be clearly marked and rendered safe through decreased speed limits, ample space for entering and exiting, adequate lighting and so forth.

A wrongful death case that just concluded in a Cuyahoga County court underscores the need for exacting safety measures in all Ohio construction zones. It further serves as a cautionary tale to defendants that flout safety requirements and are perceived by juries as being negligent in their efforts to adequately protect workers.

The material facts in the case, which concluded with a jury verdict just last week, are clear. A paving inspector was struck from behind by a driver as he was working in a construction zone in the early morning on July 27, 2010. The accident, which killed the inspector, occurred on I-271 in Summit County. The driver was not criminally cited.

The focus of wrongdoing centered instead on the inspector’s employer, The Shelly Company, a large Ohio paving enterprise. The company failed to position the requisite number of highway patrol officers it was supposed to have hired that night at the proper zone locations. As a result, drivers were reportedly not given adequate warning regarding speed limit reductions within the zone.

The jury apparently agreed with the assessment of the plaintiff family’s attorney that Shelly’s lack of ensuring safe working conditions that evening rendered the zone “ridiculously dangerous.”

The man’s family was awarded $39 million for his wrongful death, with $20 million of that amount being assessed as punitive damages against Shelly.

The company states that it will appeal the verdict.

Source: The Plain Dealer, “Jury awards $39 million to family of highway paving inspector killed on I-271 in 2010,” James F. McCarty, April 4, 2014

On behalf of Weisman, Kennedy & Berris Co., L.P.A. posted in Wrongful Death on Friday, May 3, 2013.

Ohio law enforcement is responsible for protecting the rights of citizens, and they are expected to treat everyone fairly, including those who may be in violation of the law. Unfortunately, sometimes people in police custody are harmed, and in some cases, law enforcement agencies are faced with wrongful death lawsuits.

Fremont law enforcement arrested a man who was allegedly under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Later that evening, the man showed signs of health problems that required immediate medical attention. The man died while he was being transported to a local hospital. The man’s family, however, has a different account of the events leading up to his death. Following an investigation, the man’s family blamed law enforcement, alleging that the authorities’ rough handling of the man caused his death. However, this determination was made by an expert hired by the man’s family and may not have been credible.

Nevertheless, the man’s family members filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the local law enforcement agencies that were involved. The results of county coroner’s examination, which indicated that the man likely died of a drug overdose, contradicted the private investigator’s findings. The man’s chronic health problems may have also contributed to his death. As a result of the coroner’s findings, the court dismissed the family members’ case.

When family members experience the loss of a loved one, they often want answers. Family members may be entitled to compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. An attorney may be able to help in these circumstances.

Source: The News-Messenger, “Decision: Wrongful death case dismissed,” April 20, 2013