BCCN partner Will Nefzger and associate Lauren Marley coordinated the American Association for Justice’s mock trial competition for law students called the Student Trial Advocacy Competition (STAC). AAJ asked Will to volunteer to coordinate one of 16 regional tournaments in Louisville. The competition was held from March 2-4 at the Jefferson County Hall of Justice. The competitors included teams from:

Northern Kentucky University (1)
Indiana University (2)
Notre Dame University (2)
Valparaiso University (1)
University of Tennessee (2)
University of Oklahoma (2)
University of Tulsa (2)
Oklahoma City University (1)
Charlotte School of Law (1)
Duke University (1)
Loyola University, New Orleans (1)

Both Notre Dame teams made the finals and both will advance to the national finals in Las Vegas, NV.

Have you been affected by the recent storms or floods in Kentucky? Do you
need assistance in one or more of the following areas?

• Assistance with insurance claims (life, medical, property, etc.).
• Counsel on landlord-tenant and other housing problems.
• Assistance with home repair contracts.
• Assistance in consumer protection matters, remedies and procedures.
• Counsel on mortgage foreclosure problems.
• Replacement of important legal documents destroyed in a major
• Referring individuals to local or state agencies that might be of further

If so, you may qualify for free legal assistance from members of the Kentucky
Justice Association, the state’s professional organization of trial attorneys. If
you need assistance, please call (502) 339-8890. We need your name, address,
phone number and a brief description of the problem you are facing. That
information is passed along to our volunteer attorneys who will contact you.
Please note, there is no charge for these services and no fees will be accepted
for any advice given. Should the need arise for litigation representation; KJA
will assist you in locating an attorney outside of the volunteer program.

Our goal is simple. We want to help assure the health and safety of Kentucky
families and help get you back on your feet as quickly as possible.
We are all Kentuckians, and we are all in this together.

This is becoming an all to familiar story. It seems like there is at least one accident per week involving a school bus in Jefferson County. This time a van crashed into a JCPS bus in the west end injuring 10 students and the bus driver. It happened around Algonquin Parkway and 40th Street.

The bus had 31 students aboard from Kerrick Elementary. All injured students went to Kosair Children’s Hospital for treatment. None of the injuries appeared life-threatening. Louisville Metro Police Department is investigating the crash.

Hopefully, all of the injured students and adults will make quick and full recoveries. Let’s also hope that the at-fault driver has sufficient insurance coverage to compensate the injured for the harms and losses sustained by them.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) is working on establishing new safety rules for infant swings. The swings are a common sight in households with infants, as they can be very helpful in getting a little one to fall asleep. The CPSC has some important guidelines to follow when using these swings.

First, when you bring your new baby home, remember that newborns and young infants don’t have the muscle tone or strength to keep their heads up. So, when you put them into a swing, make sure that your baby is lying down.

It’s likely that you’ll see this warning on your swing: “Use only in the most reclined seat position until infant can hold head up unassisted.” That warning is there to alert you to a safety concern. Infants who are placed sitting up can end up in a slumped-over position that blocks their breathing. Of 15 deaths related to infant swings between January 2002 and May 18, 2011, five infants died from being slumped over. An upright swing is not a safe spot for your infant to sleep.

Meanwhile, restraints, or lack of proper restraints, are another danger posed by infant swings. Many parents have probably watched their baby lean forward or sideways and fall or nearly fall out of the seat; or their baby leans back, causing the seat to tilt backwards and their baby then slides out backwards onto his or her head. CPSC officials report that “as infants start to learn to sit up on their own, they tend to lean forward in the swing. If the infant leans forward while the swing is moving backwards, the infant’s upper body can fall out of the swing. A number of the incidents reported finding the infant hanging upside down with the waist/crotch restraint still attached.”

Authorities are reporting that part of the ceiling of Chuy’s, a Mexican restaurant in St. Matthews, collapsed on Sunday while diners were present. The ceiling crashed down on a table where four people were eating. Two adults and two minors have been transported to the hospital for their injuries.

A building inspector is going to examine the damage to determine the cause of the collapse. Structural failures at public establishments are rare, but not unheard of. It is important that a proper inspection take place to determine the cause of the collapse and ensure that it does not happen in the future. Hopefully, the injured parties will make a speedy recovery and Chuy’s owners will take responsibility for what happened.

Glenmark Generics, Inc., the manufacturer of the contraceptives Norgestimate and Ethinyl Estradiol Tablets, has recalled seven lots. The issue is a packaging error resulting in a reversal of tablet orientation. The risk is an unintended pregnancy.

The recall includes Norgestimate and Ethinyl Estradiol Tablets USP, 0.18 mg/0.035 mg, 0.215 mg/0.035 mg and 0.25 mg/0.035 mg. The lot numbers are:

04110101 0
04110106 0
04110107 0
04110114 0
04110124 0
04110129 0
04110134 0
Users who discover they possess the defective drug should notify their physician and pharmacist. However, before returning the product, a user should make certain they have not been harmed because the product could be required for evidence in any legal action.

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.