Articles Posted in General Negligence

The Seattle Fire Department came to the aid of a man at 3507 S. Morgan Street after he was bitten by a dog in the arm. The Fire Department was initially hindered in their ability to provide aid to the man when two vicious dogs surrounded their ladder truck. (Seattle Police Blotter

A 911 call reported four dogs on the loose prior to the attack. According to the Seattle Animal Shelter (SAS) Humane Animal Law Enforcement Officers, there were two pit bulls, one mixed-breed and one Pomeranian running loose.

In reading the Seattle Police Blotter, it appears that the dogs were very aggressive. Officers used pepper spray and a fire extinguisher on the dogs to deter them and one dog was eventually shot to death.

The injured man was taken to Harborview Medical Center for treatment of dog bite injuries. According to The Seattle Times, the injured man was hospitalized after the acck.

Dog Bite Injuries

Dog bite injuries can leave the injured with serious injuries and emotional trauma. Victims of dog attacks often require multiple surgeries and victims are often left with scarring and permanent nerve damage.

Washington Revised Code 16.08.040 — Dog Bites

Washington state has a dog bite law that provides that the owner of any dog(s) that bites another person, whether it be on the owner’s property or in a public place, can be held liable for the damages suffered by the person who was bitten regardless of whether the dog was previously vicious or known to be vicious.

In Seattle, law enforcement becomes involved in more than 300 dog bites or dog attacks every year. A little more than 20% of those attacks involve pit bull dogs or pit bull mixes even though pit bulls are less than 5% of the dogs owned by Americans.

Obtaining Compensation for your Dog Bite Injury

Washington state law provides that dog bite victims can seek damages for their injuries. Damages should pay for medical bills, lost wages for time off work, compensation for permanent disability or disfigurement, emotional stress and any other costs.

It is common to file a claim against the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance policy but it is recommended that before signing anything, that the dog bite victim or their representative seek the counsel of a dog bite lawyer to insure that their rights are protected and that the compensation offered is fair and just.
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1023281_fireworks.jpgWe recently read in The News Tribune that a Puyallup man has been charged with six felonies for hoarding illegal fireworks. Don Albert Murphy, 48, was arrested after someone tipped off police that Murphy was selling illegal fireworks. Undercover investigators arrested Murphy after an undercover informant purchased illegal fireworks from Murphy. Murphy admitted that he had been selling illegal fireworks for the past five years and that he had knowledge that an accident involving fireworks he sold caused a child to lose fingers last year.

In light of this article, The Farber Law Group would like to remind residents of Bellevue, Clyde Hill, Hunts Point, Kirkland, Medina, Seattle and Yarrow Point that it is illegal to discharge fireworks in these cities. We would also like to remind people to exercise great caution, regardless of whether fireworks are legal in your city, in the use of fireworks. We recommend attending a professional fireworks show is the safest was to celebrate the 4th of July holiday.

Over the years, we have documented the downside of personal fireworks in the countless personal injuries and even some deaths, either by explosion or fireworks-related house fires, because of fireworks.

While fireworks are fun and exciting, it is important that one obey local laws as well as exercise proper fire safety. In the case when someone breaks a law or fails to take fire safety precautions, that person may be legally liable for any injuries or deaths and property damages caused by the errant or illegal use of fireworks.

Fireworks cause more than 17,000 fires every years including structure fires, vehicle fires, brush fires and dumpster fires. In 2011, it is estimated that nearly 10,000 people were treated in emergency rooms for fireworks related injuries with 61% of the injuries to the extremities and 34% to the head.

The most common fireworks-related injury are burn injuries. Injuries to the hands and fingers are some of the most frequent fireworks-related injuries. Other injuries include lacerations or injuries to the face, eyes or head. While burn injuries are extremely painful, sometimes there are deaths associated with fireworks or explosives.

Sparklers are the type of fireworks that causes the greatest number of injuries. Sparklers gets very hot and they can reach up to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit.
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Linda Astorga has been awarded $75K by a Thurston County jury for injuries she sustained when her neighbor’s dog bit her reports The Olympian.

Astorga filed a dog bite lawsuit seeking $25,000 in economic damages and $50,000 in other damages after her neighbor’s dogs, which were running loose, attacked her and bit her in the calf on the driveway of her Tenino home.

Astorga’s attorney said that she suffered permanent scarring after being bitten and that she is coping with ongoing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after she was chased and attacked by the neighbor’s dog.

medication error attorneyThis Saturday, the Seattle Police Department will be participating in the National “Drug Take Back Day”. People can bring any unused, expired or unwanted prescription drugs to one of the five Seattle Police Department precincts between 10am and 2pm.

The “Drug Take Back” day is a coordinated effort with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). It allows people to safely rid their homes of medications which could be stolen or abused.

The SPD accepts the prescription drugs on an anonymous basis and does not charge a fee for accepting the drugs. Last September, more than 2 million pounds of drugs were turned in across the U.S. at 5,200 “Take Back Drugs” sites.

Deaths to intentional and unintentional drug overdose and pharmaceutical drugs is a significant problem in the United States and has risen over the past decade. Some of the most commonly abused drugs are opiods which are contained in pain killers like oxycodone, codeine, morphine, hydrocodone and fentanyl.

In fact, prescription drug overdose kills more Americans than car accidents and is the leading cause of accidental death and in 2009, killed 37,485 people.

Accidental drug overdose are the highest in men between the ages of 20 and 64.

Ridding one’s home of unused and unneeded prescription drugs can help subvert misuse and abuse. Many of those who have died of accidental overdoses took the medication from the medicine cabinet of a friend, a parent, or a grandparent.
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mri accident lawyerThe Oregonian reports that a teenager who was burned during an MRI exam because a technician left metal discs on his body from an electrocardiogram has filed a negligence lawsuit against Oregon Health & Science University.

The boy, Aaron Lee, who was 16-years-old in September 2011, was undergoing testing to find the source of his abdominal pains at the medical center when the accident happened.

According to the lawsuit, Lee suffered burns to his chest which required skin grafting. He also suffered post-traumatic stress disorder after the painful experience.

Lee and his mother, Sharon, are asking for $30,000 in economic damages and $2million for pain and suffering.

This is one of several incidents of people being injured during an MRI exam. In 2010, the family of a 6-year-old boy was paid $2.9M in damages after their son was killed when an oxygen tank was brought too close to the MRI’s magnetic field and struck the boy in the head. He died of a fractured skull and injuries from blunt force trauma.

MRI Exams

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) tests are commonly used to provide about problems that can not be seen using a traditional X-ray, ultrasound or CT because it provides a two-dimensional photo.

An MRI can be used to visualize the brain to look for damage after a motor vehicle accident or to look for tumors or bleeding after a stroke. It can also be used to check on problems with joints and bones as well as other internal problems.

Every year it is estimated that 10 million MRI tests are performed in the United States.

Because MRI machines use strong magnets, it is important that metal objects not come near the machines. The MRI technologist should insure that a patient does not have metal implanted on the body, that all jewelry is removed and the patient have no metal attached to their body. The technician should do a thorough screening of the patient before undergoing the test. Patients should be asked if they have a pacemaker, a cochlear implant, coronary stents and certain type of artificial joints. Patients with these devices are or even with certain types of tattoos are at risk for a burn injury during an MRI.
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Every since the Sandy Hook massacre, the country has been debating gun control. With nearly 47% of American adults owning a gun, it seems like the genie is out of the bottle already with an estimated 350,000,000 guns in circulation.

Accidental Shootings

When one looks for newspaper articles about accidental shootings, they are not hard to find. In fact, there are upwards to 680 accidental shooting deaths annually with more than 15,000 people injured. We easily found the following articles in The Seattle Times and other newspapers about accidental shootings:

accidental shooting lawyer seattle1/19/13 – 3 hurt in accidental shooting at NC gun show 1/19/13 – 5 hurt in shootings at gun shows in Ohio, Ind., NC 1/16/13 – Pa. dad won’t be charged in gun store shooting in which his 7-year-old-son was killed 3/28/12 – Mother, boyfriend charged in boys accidental shooting 10/12/11 – Accidental shooting is third in Seattle since Friday 8/15/2012 – Nevada man shifts in his theater seat, shoots himself 1/19/11 – Two Gardena High students wounded in accidental shooting on campus 8/8/98 – Man accidentally wounded by 4-year-old neighbor dies 11/24/07 – Man dies in accidental shooting at Riverside firing range 5/14/07 – Boy accidentally shoots, kills fathers

Liability Insurance

One proposal to reduce gun violence is requiring gun owners to carry liability insurance the same as car owners have to carry car insurance.

A professor of economics and public policy at the University of Michigan, Justin Wolfers, said, that if gun owners were required to pay an annual gun license fee that took into account the social — the potential loss of life or injury by the guns whether it be an accidental or intentional death — then people would buy fewer guns.

Russ Roberts, a fellow at the Hoover Institution, believes that requiring people to buy insurance for their guns could potentially deter a person from buying many guns or would make the person consider the potential harm the firearm could cause.
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Tyler Shawn Gonzalez, 16, was killed on May 11 in a pedestrian accident. He was hit by an SUV who did not see him lying in the road.

Now, two Chehalis women face charges for furnishing the teen with alcohol prior to his death.

Gonzalez had drank alcohol at a party. Allegedly, two 22-year-old women furnished the underage youth with alcohol. At some point, Gonzalez left the party and he lay down in the roadway where he was hit by an SUV around 2:30am.

Gonzalez suffered fatal injuries to his head, chest and abdomen. His blood alcohol was tested and it was .17% showing that he was very intoxicated at the time of the accident.

The Lewis County Sheriff Steve Mansfield is holding the two women responsible for Gonzalez’s death:

“The supplying and voluntary consumption of alcohol ultimately led to Tyler Gonzalez’s death. This is a sad, tragic and preventable accident. The initial actions of these two women ultimately set things in motion for the tragedy to occur. One must wonder if he would still be alive today had he not had access and consumed the alcohol which ultimately caused him to make some poor decisions resulting in his death.”

Social Hosts: The Law and Furnishing Alcohol to Minors

In this case, Gonzalez died. In many other cases where alcohol is furnished to teenagers, innocent people die including passengers in a car driven by a drunk teen or people in the motor vehicle an intoxicated teen hits.

In Washington state it is illegal for anyone to furnish alcohol to minors. There are serious legal consequences for those who do so. RCW 66.44.270 states, “It is unlawful for any person to sell, give or otherwise supply liquor to any person under the age of twenty-one years or permit any person under that age to consume liquor on his or her premises or on any premises under his or her control.” Penalties can include jail time and fines of up to $5,000.

Bars or liquor establishments may lose their liquor license if they knowingly serve or sell alcohol to minors.
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Even though nearly all of the states have enacted laws prohibiting cell phone usage while driving, a new study by the National Traffic Safety Administration (NTSA) had found that texting while driving has actually increased by 50% in the past year.

In the latest study, researchers polled drivers and also conducted observations at stoplights and intersections.


Researches set up their study at stoplights and intersections. They observed that 1% of the drivers were texting or using hand-held devices and were texting, e-mailing, using navigation systems, surfing the internet, dialing, playing games, or holding phones in front of their faces.


Researchers surveyed drivers 18 years of age and older. 50% of younger drivers – those between the ages of 21 ad 24 – admitted to texting while driving.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is dangerous. According to NTSA figures, in 2009, 5,500 Americans were killed and 450,000 were injured in distracted-driving related car accidents.

Cases in the News

There have been two high-profile cases in which texting drivers were involved in fatal car accidents.

Joseph Brynda, 20, an Illinois man, received a 7 years sentence this week in the pedestrian accident death of Phillip Rangel, 60, who was killed while walking in a crosswalk. Brynda was under the influence of both alcohol and freon and was driving with his knees while texting when Rangel was hit.

Danae Marie Miller, a 22-year-old California woman, was charged with vehicular manslaughter after she hit and killed Armine Britel, 40, who was riding a bicycle when he was hit by Miller. Miller was texting when the bicycle-car accident occurred and she was also under the influence. She faces a 10-year prison sentence. Her court date is December 12.

In Olympia, Washington, Ashley R. Davis-Jones, was believed to be texting when her car crossed the centerline and collided head-on with another vehicle. IN this accident, Davis-Jones was killed.

Several pilot projects, one in Syracuse, N.Y., and one in Hartford, Conn, found that strictly enforcing cell phone laws and public education campaigns do affect motorists habits. In Syracuse, texting and using cell phones dropped by 30% after enforcement and publicity campaigns. Hartford, after enforcement and publicity, hand-held cell phone use dropped 57% and texting dropped by nearly 75%.

This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. Our Bellevue car accident lawyers represent people who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents caused by the negligence of another. Read, “What if my accident was caused by someone using a cell phone?” if you believe your car accident was caused by someones negligent use of a cell phone.

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Texting driver killed in Olympia head-on car accident

Texting may have been the cause of Lacey car accident

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The wife and daughter of Othon Cortes of Miami have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against American Airlines and Sky Chefs, an airline catering company, alleging that food contamination of a chicken meal that Cortes consumed on a Barcelona to New York flight on May 18 caused him to become ill and led to his fatal heart attack.

The family is asking for $1 million in damages.

Cortes experienced symptoms of food poisoning including severe stomach cramps and extreme thirst that came on suddenly after he arrived at JFK and not long after he consumed his airline meal. Cortes went ahead and boarded his Miami connecting flight where he experienced a cardiac emergency with symptoms of nausea and shortness of breath. American Airlines landed the plane at Norfolk but Cortes was deceased by the time the flight landed.

Cortes’ family claims that the meal was contaminated with Clostridium perfingens bacteria, the third leading cause of food poisoning in the United States.

The bacteria can grow in food that is prepared properly but if too much time elapses before it is served bacteria germination can occur and bacterial colonies can form.

Most times when food is contaminated by C. perfingens it is not lethal

Sky Chefs is attempting to dismiss the case against them saying:

Based upon the allegations in the complaint it is not possible that Sky Chefs is the responsible party because we did not cater the Barcelona flight in question.”

There are a lot of unanswered questions about this case. Most cases of food contamination do not present for 12 to 24 hours. The claimants will need to provide an autopsy report which reveals the presence of perfingens and show how that bacteria contributed to Corte’s death.

This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have serious illness due to foodborne illness and the family of those who have died.

Source: Passenger dies in-flight, family says airline to blame
By Tanya Mohn, contributor Related Posts:

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A Washington State Appeals Court has ruled that Pierce County cannot require owners of dogs that animal control officers have deemed to be “dangerous” or “potentially dangerous” to pay fees to appeal the county’s ruling on their dog.

Pierce County constructed an animal control ordinance that allowed them to deem any dog a “dangerous animal” if the dog:

  • bit a person without provocation
  • injured or killed another animal without provocation
  • has previously been found to be potentially dangerous and the owner was previously warned of the animal being aggressive and a danger to human or other animals.

If an owner wanted to appeal the county’s decision, they were required to pay fees for appeal hearings upwards of $500.

A dangerous dog designation requires owners to purchase a $250 permit and buy $25,000 in insurance that allows them to keep a dangerous dog.

The case came before the appeals after one dog owner, Heidi Downey, appealed the ruling that her dog was dangerous after it injured another dog that had to be put to sleep. Downey was required to pay $125 of an initial hearing on the ruling and another $250 for a hearing before an examiner.

The appeals court found that requiring owners to pay such stiff fees to get a hearing is tantamount to “purchasing justice” and that the fees denied owners due process.

Due process is guaranteed by the Bill of Rights and it balances the rule of law with an individual’s rights. Due process allows all people to have access to the judicial system regardless of their financial status.

Pierce County argued that without fees that some owners may have “frivolous appeals”. The court, however, felt that dog owners were legally entitled to a hearing before they were deprived of their property.

According to the Centers for Disease Control approximately 4.5 million people suffer dog bites every year and 31,000 people are so severely bitten or injured that they require surgery. In addition, approximately 16 people are killed ever year because of a dog attack.

Washington state does have a dog bite law, RCW 16.08.040 which states that the owner of a dog that injures another person, regardless of whether the dog was previously declared dangerous, to be liable for the injuries to the dog bite victim.

This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group, a Seattle dog bit lawyer. We represent people who have suffered serious dog bite injures. With our help, you may recover compensation for your damages.

Source: Pierce County’s dangerous-dog policy unconstitutional, judge rules, The Tacoma News Tribune, 12/04/11

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