July 2009 Archives

July 27, 2009

What was the Cause of the July 23, 2009 Helicopter Crash in Western Maryland

Late Thursday there was a terrible helicopter crash in Western Maryland. The Robinson 44 Helicopter went down on Interstate 70 in Washington County, Maryland. Unfortunately, all 4 passengers on board were killed. Three of those killed were apparently employees of Advanced Helicopter Concepts in Frederick, MD. The fourth person was a passenger. The Highway was shut down while investigators investigated the crash. The chopper was apparently a commercial helicopter flying and owned by Marsan Aviation, Inc. which is a company in Wilmington, Delaware. Witnesses apparently saw the craft flying low and then saw a large arc of electricity in the air. This was most likely due to the helicopter striking a power-line (but needs further investigation/confirmation). Visibility may have been a factor in the crash due to fog. Although The R44 Model has been involved in several similar incidents recently, the other recent incidents did not result in crashes or fatalities. The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) indicates that an incident occurred on July 13, 2009 in Marysville, CA when a R44 struck a powerline and was forced to land (there were no fatalities in this incident). On May 3, 2009 a Robinson R44 rotorcraft struck powerlines and was forced to land in Scottsdale, AZ. An R44 helicopter is believed to have crashed in Fenner NY on January 15, 2008 (there were no fatalities). An R44 helicopter crashed off of the Oregon Coast on August 14, 2006 in foggy weather.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those killed in this crash. The families of those involved in the crash should consider hiring a private investigator or lawyer to track down lay witnesses in Western Maryland who may have witnessed the crash, and to conduct an independent investigation. Although the FAA will investigate the crash site and the airplane, they do not always have the resources to locate fact witnesses and get statements close in time to the crash when people's memories are fresh. The legal claims for those killed, assuming they were working at the time of the crash, include claims for workman's compensation benefits, and the third party claims against the negligent third parties responsible for the crash (possibly the owner of the helicopter, maintenance companies who did work on the aircraft, and parts manufacturers that may have malfunctioned (negligence claims, product liability claims, and strict liability claims). The dependants of those Advanced Helicopter Concepts employees killed are entitled to death benefits under Maryland workman's compensation law. For more information about the benefits available under Maryland workers compensation law.

Of course the more significant claim is for negligence and product liability, Maryland wrongful death claims, and survival claims against the responsible third parties that caused or contributed to the crash. Our team of lawyers provide a free consultation to victims of catastrophic airplane crashes, and if we are hired to handle the case, there is no attorney fee owed unless and until there is a recovery (we work on a contingent fee). Our lawyers can be reached at 301-589-2999, or toll free at 888-213-8140.

July 23, 2009

After Losing Husband to Medical Negligence, Woman Becomes Advocate for Patient Safety

Tuesday's Washington Post contained an article about Michelle Hereford, whose husband died from sepsis (where an infection spreads throughout the body) while being treated at the hospital. Ms. Hereford claims that the hospital ignored the signs and symptoms and was unresponsive to her concerns over how her husband was doing. By the time the hospital acted, it was too late to save him and Mr. Hereford died. Ms. Hereford says that she is speaking out because she hopes it will bring about some change, however small. "When mistakes happen in hospitals, it's not because they don't have bells and whistles and technology," she said. "It's because nurses become robots and they don't listen." Ms. Hereford should be applauded for her courage and her willingness to help others so that this does not happen again.

While it is a tragedy what happened to Ms. Hereford and her husband (and their young children), unfortunately, medical negligence, also known as medical malpractice, is all too common. And it has nothing to do with doctors and nurses not being decent human beings or making simple mistakes or worrying about rising insurance premiums for doctors: health care providers must adhere to the standard of care and when they do not (whether they call it a mistake or something else) and their actions or inactions injure someone, they are negligent. And the rising insurance premiums and doctors fleeing states are myths propagated by the insurance industry to justify its continued greed.

When you or a loved one are injured due to medical negligence, then you need to call an experienced Maryland Medical Malpractice Lawyer to advise you of your rights. Health care providers need to be held accountable when their negligence causes injury. Here at Goldberg, Finnegan & Mester, we have experienced medical malpractice lawyers (including a registered nurse-attorney) ready to fight for you. For more information about medical malpractice/negligence, call us at 301-589-2999 x125 (we are located in downtown Silver Spring very close to the Metro Station) or visit our website at www.gfmlawllc.com.

July 23, 2009

Horrible Crash in Montgomery County Maryland--Was It The Result of Unlawful Use of Cell Phone Or Text Messaging?

On Tuesday July 21, 2009 there was a horrible car crash in Damascus, Maryland near the Frederick County line on Kemptown Road. The Maryland auto accident occurred in Montgomery County. The Montgomery County Police recently identified the victims and the driver of the vehicle that caused the crash. The crash occurred when a Ford F450 XL landscaping truck driven by Ms. Maria Valencia of Monrovia left the road and illegally came back onto the roadway in the Westbound lane. The vehicle crashed into a vehicle driven by Mr. Paul Reid of Monrovia. Mr. Paul Steven Reid was driving a Chevy Astro Van and lived in Monrovia as well. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Mr. Reid. This accident should not have occurred. The police are still investigating this crash and are looking for witnesses. Why would the vehicle driven by Ms. Valencia have gone off the road and swerved back onto it? You can be certain that she was most likely texting or on a cell phone and that this was the cause of this terrible crash and the tragic death and injuries that resulted. Although the Maryland State Police are doing accident reconstruction, we always recommend that the family of anyone killed in a car crash hire a private accident reconstructionist or investigator to make sure that proper fact investigation is done. It is also important that preservation of evidence letters go out to the cell phone carriers so that records of the cell phone use (and text usage) are preserved. For more information about our Maryland car accident lawyers, visit our website at www.gfmlawllc.com or call us at 301-589-2999.

July 17, 2009

What was the root cause of the Metro Train Crash In Washington, D.C.?

Victims of the Metro train crash still want to know what the root cause of the June 22, 2009 Metro train crash was. Those injured in the train accident and families of those killed anxiously await the NTSB report and conclusions on this matter. What is clear already though, is that there were and still are problems in Metro's train control system. Federal regulators have already urged Metro to come up with a back-up system to control its trains immediately to detect failures such as the signaling failure that was a cause of the June 22, 2009 Metro Train Accident. The site of the crash is still being examined and the tracks were actually closed yesterday between Fort Totten and Silver Spring on the Red Line of Washington D.C.'s Metro system so that additional tests to the track could be conducted. Investigators are also looking into site line tests in order to determine what the striking train operator saw (or should have seen). Metro officials have indicated that they expect to use federal stimulus money to pay for the desperately and urgently needed back-up system. Families of those killed in the Metro Train Crash need to understand the complexities of Washington, D.C.'s wrongful death law and survival law and act quickly. For wrongful death claims in Washington, D.C. there is a one year statute of limitations (it is 3 years for the estate's survival claim). This short statute of limitations for the wrongful death claim works to the disadvantage of family members of those killed because the short time frame can pass while family is still grieving. In Washington, D.C. it is very important that family members of those killed due to the negligence of others consult with an attorney immediately after the incident. For more information about D.C. Wrongful Death and Survival law, call us at 301-589-2999 x102 (we are located in downtown Silver Spring very close to the Metro Station) or visit our website at www.gfmlawllc.com. To see the Washington, D.C. Wrongful Death law click here http://www.gfmlawllc.com/dc%20death%20law_20070516093826.pdf

July 10, 2009

Prince George's County Maryland Verdict in Premises Liability Case for Kevin Finnegan of Goldberg, Finnegan & Mester, LLC

On Wednesday July 8, 2009, a Prince George's County, Maryland jury returned a verdict for our client in the amount of $67,553.14. This Prince Georges County Maryland premises liability case award consisted of $6,102.99 in past medical expenses, past lost wages in the amount $1,450.15, and $60,000.00 in non-economic damages (ie. pain and suffering, lost income, etc). The plaintiff slipped and fell on a puddle of standing water that was in the entrance-way (inside the store) at a BJ's Wholesale store located in Bowie, MD. The plaintiff entered the store, took 3 steps, and slipped and fell on the water/slippery surface. She suffered a hairline fracture to one of the bones in her elbow, and a soft tissue injury to her right shoulder. She had orthopedic care, she was in a cast for 4 weeks from wrist to elbow, she had to undergo injections, missed time from work, and had to request that accommodations be made at work when she returned. After 3 months of consistent, steady medical care, she only had 6 more medical visits over the past 18 months. The Defendant BJ's first claimed in the case, in written discovery, that there was no dangerous condition. Then it discovered in depositions that the standing water was a recurring problem caused by rain entering the inside of the store through a space at the bottom of the entrance/exit doors. In fact, the lost prevention manager of the store told a fellow staff member to put out "wet floor" sings in the entrance-way before the store opened. Nobody did it. The defense challenged every part of the case. They argued that our client did not really trip on the water and that she fell over her own two feet. Then they argued that, even if she did slip and fall on the water, it was an open and obvious defect and she was negligent for not avoiding it before he fell. They challenged the damages part of the case also.