33 year-old Deanna M. Barton of Upton, Kentucky sustained fatal injuries when the Dodge Caravan she was driving crossed over the center line of Ky. 224 and crashed into a Ford F-750 pickup truck driven by 56 year-old Paul Neff. Mr. Neff suffered injuries that required emergency medical treatment and care.

The Kentucky State Police are investigating the cause of the accident. While driver error appears to be the cause, in a case like this, it is appropriate to investigate other potential causes, such as faulty mechanics, poor or flawed design, defects in manufacturing and negligent repairs or maintenance.

We use our blog as a forum to educate the public using real life events. However, we are very sensitive to the fact that these real life events have resulted in a tragedy that will inflict great pain and sorrow on those involved and those close to the victim(s). As such, we understand that they may not approve, and we will immediately remove a post if a victim or their loved ones makes that request.

A wreck in Madison County turned fatal for 33 year-old Nicolas King of Richmond. He was the passenger in a car that wrecked on Lancaster Avenue early Sunday. He was transported to UK Hospital where he later died. There is no word on the condition of the driver. No other vehicles were involved.

When there is only vehicle involved in a wreck, many people are under the mistaken impression that a passenger cannot bring a civil claim against the driver of the car in which they are riding. That is incorrect. If the driver of a vehicle is driving carelessly and injures or kills his passenger, he can be held civilly liable for the damages.

In addition to a claim against a negligent driver, the passenger, if he or she has car insurance with underinsured motorist coverage, may also have a claim against the passenger’s own insurance carrier to receive additional benefits under the passenger’s policy. If you or a loved one are involved in a wreck, it is always beneficial to get a consultation from an experienced personal injury attorney to make sure that you know all the available sources of compensation.

An Indiana teenager was killed and three others were injured in a single-car crash Thursday afternoon on Ind. 11 near Elizabeth, minutes after leaving South Central Junior-Senior High School. Local authorities reported that the wreck happened shortly after 3:30 p.m., when the Honda Accord slipped off the northbound lane of Ind. 11. The driver then overcorrected and the car traveled about 60 yards before it spun across the southbound lane and slammed broadside into a tree, said Kevin Taylor, a Harrison County police officer.

The teen died of multiple blunt-force trauma and was pronounced dead at the scene by Harrison County Coroner Rusty Sizemore. Two classmates were transported by helicopter to Louisville hospitals. A fourth victim, senior Justin Behr, was transported from the scene by ambulance, according to Keith Marshall, South Central’s principal.

“Speed definitely appeared to be a factor,” Taylor said. An investigation is continuing and an Indiana State Police is in the process of reconstructing the accident.

Our sympathies and condolences go out to the families of all the parties involved. Hopefully, a full investigation looks at all potential causes in addition to driver error. Car wrecks, such as these, often involve complex questions of law regarding potential product liability and insurance coverage. We use our blog as a forum to educate the public using real life events. However, we are very sensitive to the fact that these real life events have resulted in a tragedy that will inflict great pain and sorrow on those involved and those close to the victim(s). As such, we understand that they may not approve, and we will immediately remove a post if a victim or their loved ones makes that request.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC” and Health Canada have announced a recall of Coleman, Coleman Evcon and Red T Gas Furnaces for Manufactured Homes. The recall affects approximately 223,600 in the U.S. and 2,400 in Canada (previously recalled in November 2004). The furnaces are manufactured by Unitary Products Group (UPG).

The CPSC has received reports that the furnace can overheat and cause the heat-exchanger to crack and create openings that allow flames to be exposed. When this happens, nearby combustibles are exposed to the flames, posing a fire and smoke hazard to consumers. CPSC has received reports of 393 incidents, including some involving extensive property damage that could be related to these hazards.

The recall involves Coleman, Coleman Evcon and Red T brand furnaces. The furnaces are silver with white access panels. “Coleman,” “Coleman Evcon” and “Red T” brand names are located on the middle of the front access panel. The model number is written on a faceplate, found by removing both front access panels. The faceplate is found mounted on the left inside surface behind the lower panel. Models included in the recall are:

If you have one of these models you should stop using the product immediately until it has been inspected.

Crystal Marlowe, the Louisville Metro Police detective fired for wrongfully charging several people and repeatedly misusing photographs intended to help witnesses identify suspects has appealed her termination in Jefferson Circuit Court.

Crystal Marlowe was fired in January 2011 for what then-Police Chief Robert White called “blatant disregard” for departmental rules; a decision that was confirmed by the Louisville police merit board.

Marlowe claims that the board’s decision was “arbitrary and capricious” after nine days of testimony and numerous documents being produced. Ms. Marlowe is also claiming the Rev. Alex Moses, chairman of the merit board did not allow the other members to engage in “meaningful deliberations.”
Marlowe was originally removed from her position as a detective for accusing several people of crimes they did not commit. Some of the people in question literally could not have committed the crimes they were accused because they were in jail on other charges or were out of town at the time.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with International Playthings LLC has announced a recall of some of the Tumblekins Toys line. Consumers are advised to stop using recalled products immediately. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

It is believed that around 30,000 of the units were sold. The toys in question can break into small pieces with sharp points, posing choking and laceration hazards to children.
International Playthings has received one report of a toy breaking into small pieces; fortunately, no injuries have been reported. This recall involves all Tumblekins toy vehicles and playsets, including the farm playset, fire station, police car, roadster, off-roader, fire truck and school bus. The toys are wooden, painted in bright colors.

The toys were sold at children’s product stores, mass merchandisers and other stores nationwide and on various websites from March 2011 through December 2011 for between $14 and $35.

Anyone who may have bought the products at issue should take the recalled toys away from children immediately and contact International Playthings to receive a free replacement toy.

Recently, members of Kentucky’s House of Representatives have proposed House Bill 361, a bill meant to force those injured and harmed by the neglect of nursing home operators out of court and in front of “review panels” to determine whether they are permitted to go to court and seek compensation for their harms. This strategy of adding additional barriers to the courthouse is one that has been successfully implemented by many states by so-called proponents of “tort reform.” Supporters claim it reduces frivolous lawsuits and protects doctors, nursing homes, hospitals, and other health care providers. It does not. I acts as a bar to the constitutional right that injured people have to seek compensation through the court system in front of a jury of their peers. Instead it takes that fundamental right to the jury process and puts it in the hands of a review panel comprised of the very kinds of people who injured you in the first place.

Bahe Cook Cantley & Nefzger PLC is opposed to HB 361. We ask that you help us fight this attempt to block access to the court and jury system by calling your legislator and telling them that you are opposed!

Last weekend and the early part of last week, several attorneys from Bahe Cook Cantley & Nefzger PLC attend the American Association for Justice’s (AAJ) Winter Convention in Phoenix Arizona. The AAJ is the country’s largest and most respected association of lawyers representing plaintiffs and injured people in their cases against those who hurt them. The Winter Convention offers attorneys an opportunity to network, attend Continuing Legal Education courses (CLE’s), meet with different litigation groups within the organization, such as the Traumatic Brain Injury Group, the Fosamax Litigation Group, or the New Lawyers Division. There is also plenty of time for rest and relaxation as well. Those of us who were able to attend the convention return to the office with a renewed sense of purpose, armed with new knoweldge, techniques, contacts and energy, all of which will be put to use fighting for those who have been injured in Louisville and around Kentucky and who are in need of legal representation. Whether it is a car accident, slip and fall, medical malpractice case, product liability, or some other type of injury, we are ready and able to help.

I am sad to report that a tragic crash in Harrison County, Indiana on Thursday claimed the life of a student at South Central High School and injured several others. This crash is particularly devastating for my family, as both of my nephews attend South Central and know the victim, Clint Burns.

Thursday afternoon, Burns and three others were driving on Highway 11, when police are reporting that the Honda Accord they were in crossed the center line, lost control and slammed into a tree. Burns died at the scene and the others suffered serious injuries requiring hospitalization and surgery.

It is still unclear from news reports who was driving or what caused the distraction, but this is yet another opportunity to remind parents to talk to your kids about distracted driving. It is very easy when you get four teenagers in a car to have multiple distractions – talking and joking/horseplay, radio, cell phones and texting, etc. All it takes is a split second for any one of the distractions to cause a tragedy such as this.

My nephews tell me that the South Central High School and whole Elizabeth, Indiana community has come together in support of these teenagers. My hearts go out to the Burns family for this unimaginable loss, and I wish the others a fast and full recovery.

An electronic cigarette exploded while in the mouth of 57 year-old Floridian Tom Holloway resulting in severe burns, partial loss of his tongue, and loss of teeth. His wife said it sounded like a firecracker going off and the local fire department chief said the best analogy is like trying to hold a bottle rocket in your mouth and setting it off.

The explosion started a fire and caused property damage in the form of burned carpet, office equipment, cushions and pictures. The shrapnel reportedly melted almost everything it came into contact with. Investigators speculate the battery type as the rechargeable lithium variety because of evidence found at the scene.

The brand of the e-cigarette is unknown. None are regulated by the FDA and there are no studies with respect to their safety of effectiveness.

Mr. Holloway required transport to a burn center for treatment. Hopefully, he can make a full and speedy recovery.

Dangerous and defective products are responsible for many injuries and deaths nationwide. Our profession calls this area of law products liability. Consulting an attorney experienced in handling these matters is usually easy. Most lawyers will provide a complimentary initial consultation to evaluate a claim or case and let the person know if they can help.

This consumer protection information is provided by Louisville, Kentucky attorney Will Nefzger, a partner at Bahe Cook Cantley & Nefzger PLC.