Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

F&H Coatings LLC is a commercial and industrial painting contractor that contracted with Boardman LLC, a manufacturer of steel pressure vessels and tanks. F&H was contracted to sandblast and paint a number of vessels at Boardman’s manufacturing facility. During the contract work, a fatal incident at the Boardman facility killed Tony Losey, an employee of F&H.

At the time of this of this fatal accident, Losey and his F&H supervisor were preparing a 12,000 -pound vessel for sandblasting when the vessel slipped from its supporting racks and crushed Losey.

F & H characterized this event as a “freakish, unforeseeable, and still-unexplained accident.”

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In 1959 George Lucas started working as a longshore laborer and clerk at various San Francisco Bay-area piers where ships were loaded and unloaded with cargo.

Reportedly during his breaks, he would venture into the ship’s engine rooms to stay warm.  Often, employees of shipyard contractor Triple A Machine Shop Inc. were in the same engine rooms removing and replacing asbestos-containing insulation, gaskets and packing.

The work that he was doing exposed him to substantial amounts of asbestos dust. His bystander exposure from Triple A employees’ work continued until 1986.

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The plaintiff in this lawsuit, Roscoe Giles, was the representative and administrator of the estate of his brother, Morris Giles. Giles filed suit two years and one day after the death of his brother who was hit by a tow truck while walking through a cross-walk. When there is a sudden traumatic injurious event, the cause of action accrues, and the statute of limitations begins to run on the date the injury occurs.

As the original lawsuit complaint was not timely filed, no subsequent pleading can relate back to it. Any legal disability on the part of the decedent, and any negligence by the Giles’ attorney, cannot extend the statute of limitations.

Roscoe Giles, Morris’s brother, retained an attorney to sue Robert Parks, the tow truck’s owner and operator. On Dec. 23, 2014, exactly two years after Morris’s death, counsel for Roscoe filed the lawsuit, a survival claim. Survival claims have a statute of limitations of two years.

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Brian Squire hit a bicycle rider while driving his car. The bicyclist died from injuries six months later.

GEICO, Squire’s automobile insurer, never offered the bicyclist or his estate Squire’s $300,000 policy limits or attempted to settle with the decedent’s estate and family.

In addition, the insurer, GEICO, allowed several settlement offers by the estate and family of the bicyclist to expire.

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Atinderpal “Gavan” Singh, a commercial truck driver, was driving his tractor-trailer eastbound on Interstate 80 in Nebraska when this tragic crash occurred.

Freddie Galloway, a trucker for Ecklund Logistics Inc., was also driving eastbound on the same interstate. He was some distance ahead of the Singh truck. This incident occurred in late summer. A grass fire had started on the highway median, which created a smoke cover that affected visibility on the highway. Local fire and sheriff personnel were on the scene trying to contain the fire and control traffic at the same time.

Galloway heard about the fire on his CB radio while still several miles away and slowed his truck to 5 mph in a 75-mph zone.  He was driving at that speed for 5-10 minutes as he approached the area of the fire.

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Nathaniel Cooper, 24, was working in the packing area of a United Parcel Services (UPS) facility when he suffered heat exhaustion that led to his fatal cardiac event. He is survived by his fiancé and a minor child.

His fiancé, on behalf of the couple’s child, sued UPS claiming it was negligent in that it directed Cooper to work in unsafe conditions despite knowing that he had cardiac problems.

The lawsuit also claimed that UPS was grossly negligent for choosing not to install an adequate ventilation system, establish mandatory rest schedules and monitor workers for heat stress. Apparently the UPS facility where Cooper was working was an enclosed area that held heat at high temperatures. Continue reading

Lisa Tam Chung, a Texas high school senior, bought a vacation package through the defendant, StudentCity.com Inc., for a trip to Cancun, Mexico. She added an optional snorkeling excursion as part of her package.

This unfortunate trip had a tragic ending when the snorkeling catamaran hit a coral reef and began to take on water. The crew of the boat was not able to help passengers who were on the boat. Lisa and her friend put on life preservers and tried to reach safety by grabbing a rope that extended between the catamaran and a small private vessel. Their efforts to reach safety failed when they were pulled under water. Lisa suffered heart failure and died. Her friend, Loren, suffered serious injuries, but she survived.

StudentCity is a Delaware corporation that has its principal place of business in Massachusetts. It sells vacation packages to students, including those traveling for spring break or to celebrate graduations.

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Gilbert Gail Gerth was riding his lawnmower down a street when he was rear-ended by a pickup truck. The incident killed Gerth. At the time of the collision, the defendant pickup owner and driver, Gary Sachau, was insured under an automobile insurance policy with a $30,000 liability limit.

Gerth had an automobile insurance policy as well with an underinsured-motorist liability limit of $100,000 per person.  In addition, Gerth had an umbrella insurance policy with Grinnell Select Insurance Co. with an underinsured-motorist liability limit of $1 million per accident.

Dawn Goldstein, the executor of the estate for Gilbert Gerth, settled the claim against Sachau for $30,000, and her underinsured claim against Hartford for $100,000 minus $30,000 recovered from the settlement with Sachau.

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Dennis Seay worked for Daniel Construction Co., which was a contractor for Celanese Corp. From 1971 through 1980, he did maintenance work at the Celanese polyester fiber plant located in Spartanburg, S.C. Seay was exposed to asbestos-containing products while working at Celanese. The different jobs that Seay had included handling various brands of gaskets, packing and insulation manufactured by John Crane Inc. and others for use on and in equipment throughout the Celanese plant.

In 2013, Seay at age 69 was diagnosed with mesothelioma. Seay underwent 3 procedures to reduce the size of his tumor and multiple procedures to drain fluid from his lung, which had collapsed on various occasions. Seay unfortunately died the following year at age 70. He was survived by his wife, two adult sons and one adult daughter.

Seay’s daughter, individually and on behalf of his estate and his wife, sued Celanese Corp. alleging that the company was aware of exposure to asbestos products used throughout the plant but chose not to warn of the dangers or to take other steps to protect workers like Seay. The Seay family contended that Celanese was in complete control of the plant and was responsible for auditing the safety program provided by Seay’s employer to ensure that it was adequate.

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The Illinois Appellate Court has found that a rental car company, Enterprise Leasing, and the driver who rented the vehicle from it are not liable for a deadly drunken driving incident involving the rental car and the driver who was not the customer.

The Illinois First District Appellate Court dismissed the lawsuit filed by the estate of Laura Linderborg against Enterprise and David Soto, finding that they could not have foreseen the accident that eventually killed Laura Linderborg.

On April 2, 2012, David Soto rented a 2012 Nissan Altima from Enterprise. He parked the car at the house of his boss, Katrina Scimone, and left the keys there. Scimone’s boyfriend, Jesse Medina, took the car and drove it while he was drunk. Later that day he was involved in a fatal crash in Burbank, Ill., after colliding with Laura Linderborg’s car, killing himself and Linderborg, who survived for a while but died two months later from her injuries. Her medical bills totaled $1.34 million.

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