In this IssueFebruary 2010

  • College To Pay $7.5 Million Over Brain Injury At Duquesne University Field

LaSalle University will pay $7.5 million to provide care to a football player who suffered a severe brain injury in a 2005 game, settling a case that questioned how the school handled a concussion the player allegedly suffered a month earlier. The family of Preston Plevretes, 23, of Marlboro, NJ, settled their lawsuit against LaSalle University on the day it was set for trial in Philadelphia. Plevretes, then a 19 year-old sophomore, was injured when he took a hit while covering a punt in a 2005 game at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. He was briefly knocked unconscious, then awoke and was combative for three to five minutes. Later in the same game, the team put him back into the game where he was severely injured on another play. This led to the lawsuit against the University.

  • Insurance Companies Make Record Profits-At Your Expense

Insurance companies in America posted record profits of $62 billion in 2007. These profits are not a fluke – insurers have made almost $170 billion in profits since Hurricane Katrina, and about $235 billion since 2002. The staggering profits are due to a combination of higher premiums and smaller payments. Insurers often routinely refuse to pay covered claims and they use unfair claims and settlement practices to increase profits, harming policyholders like you who have paid for coverage. The next time you hear insurance companies crying about poor profits and blaming greedy lawyers for increases in premiums, remember who it is that has all the money. Often if you want a fair shake from an insurance company, you have to hire a lawyer to help you, which is why people with lawyers regularly recover far more from insurance companies than people without lawyers.

  • Economy

The cost of a typical auto insurance policy will rise 4% to $875 this year, on top of a 3% increase last year, according to the Insurance Information Institute, a trade group. Consumers also will pay more for homeowners insurance. The average policy will jump 3% to $841. And term life insurance rates are rising after several years of declines.

  • Jury Awards $38M For Botched Spinal Surgery

A jury has awarded $38 million to a former nurse who was left bedridden and in excruciating pain after a surgeon injected the wrong dye into her spinal cord. Amanda Slavin, 38, has suffered from a debilitating neurological disease called arachnoiditis since the failed surgery. Slavin had originally undergone surgery at a hospital to repair a herniated disc. Three weeks after the first operation, she was readmitted for additional surgery to repair a spinal fluid leak. The surgeon mistakenly injected Ms. Slavin with the wrong dye and a tragedy occurred. Surgeons work under incredible stress, but when they make a mistake, it is often disastrous.

  • Scaffold Accidents and Injuries

Construction workers have one of the most dangerous occupations, with thousands of people killed on job sites every year and many more injured. Some of the most common construction accidents involve scaffolds or other types of lifts. These accidents can be very serious and usually result either from falls due to defective scaffolding or from objects plummeting from scaffolding that injure a worker below. Suits involving injured construction workers are often more difficult to handle than other kinds of injury cases. Often an injury or death at a construction site involves the acts of many subcontractors employed by different companies, each of whom is pointing at someone else as the party responsible. The question of liability can turn on whether a party is the property owner, the general contractor, the subcontractor, or someone else. Because of these complexities, it is vital to have a lawyer involved in a construction injury case.