Tracy Morgan Back on Stage After Accident Resulting in Traumatic Brain Injury

September 23, 2015

Last year, actor and comedian Tracy Morgan was involved in a six-vehicle accident that ended up claiming the life of his dear friend, James McNair. In addition, Morgan suffered broken ribs, a broken nose, a broken leg, and a traumatic brain injury. However, according to one recent news article, the comedian has made great strides in his recovery and has begun taking the stage again, most recently with an emotional speech at the Emmy's.

truck-on-hwy-1615510.jpgThe Accident

Back in the early morning hours on June 7 of last year, Morgan was riding in a limo with his entourage, leaving Atlantic City and heading back to New York City. The group was heading north on the New Jersey Turnpike when they were slowed down by construction. The limo was stopped in traffic when a 2011 Peterbilt truck that was owned and operated by Wal-Mart struck the back of the group's limo.

Evidence that has been collected since the accident showed that the driver of the truck was traveling between 10 and 20 miles per hour over the speed limit at the time of the accident. It was also later discovered that the driver of the truck had not slept in the 24 hours preceding the accident.

Continue reading "Tracy Morgan Back on Stage After Accident Resulting in Traumatic Brain Injury" »

Gym Injury Case Allowed to Proceed Based on Failure to Perform Required Maintenance

August 9, 2015

Earlier this month, an appellate court in neighboring California reversed the decision of a lower court that dismissed a plaintiff's case against the gym where she was injured while she and her husband were working out. In the case of Chavez v. 24-Hour Fitness, the plaintiff suffered a traumatic brain injury at a 24-Hour Fitness location when the back panel of a workout machine came loose and struck her in the head. The woman and her husband sued the gym, alleging that it was negligent in performing the required maintenance to the machine to ensure that such accidents did not occur.

pink-fitness-center-1432405.jpgThe Facts of the Case

According to the court's opinion, after the woman sustained a traumatic brain injury, she suffered from "lapses of consciousness, severe headaches, photophobia, poor memory, stuttering, dizziness, nausea, changes in her ability to taste, decreased appetite, and personality changes." She and her husband filed suit against the gym, alleging claims of ordinary and gross negligence, product liability, and premises liability.

24-Hour Fitness could not locate the person responsible for the routine maintenance, since he was no longer an employee. However, other employees were called and testified that the machines were routinely maintained, but they could not produce documentation indicating when the particular machine at issue was last serviced.

Continue reading "Gym Injury Case Allowed to Proceed Based on Failure to Perform Required Maintenance" »

Wrestling League Seeks to Dismiss Case Alleging Liability for Wrestlers' Traumatic Brain Injuries

July 28, 2015

Earlier this month, World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (WWE), a professional wrestling entertainment league, filed papers in a federal court in Connecticut seeking to dismiss a number of cases filed against the league alleging that WWE knew about the dangers involved in participating in the league but failed to disclose them to participants. According to one local news source that analyzed the court documents, WWE is claiming that the allegations are time-barred.

clock-1196246.jpgEvidently, a number of wrestlers have filed suit against the WWE in recent months, alleging that they were "injured as a result of WWE's negligent and fraudulent conduct." WWE took issue with the filings and has responded that the wrestlers waited too long to file the claims against the league, and therefore the wrestlers should be prevented from recovering at this late juncture. According to the article, several of the wrestlers participated back in the league in the 1980s and 1990s and just recently filed suit. There are, however, wrestlers who have more recently participated in the league who have also alleged traumatic brain injuries from the "fraudulent and negligent" conduct of the WWE. It remains to be seen how the court will rule on the WWE's request.

Continue reading "Wrestling League Seeks to Dismiss Case Alleging Liability for Wrestlers' Traumatic Brain Injuries" »

Don't Get Mad Get Legal!

June 1, 2015

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November 25, 2013



October 2, 2013

zoo.pngParents across the country routinely take their children to the zoo every weekend in an effort to instill an appreciation for nature. However, a routine visit turned tragic for the Derkosh family when 2-year old Maddox Derkosh was mauled to death at the Pittsburgh zoo by a pack of African wild dogs.

Visiting the zoo with his mother, young Maddox fell into the African wild dog exhibit when his mother lifted him above the railing so that he could get a better view. Tragically, he fell into the exhibit housing the wild dogs whereupon they pounced and mauled him to death.

Jason and Elizabeth Derkosh filed a lawsuit this past May alleging negligence on the part of the zoo for failing to provide adequate warning that the space above the railing was unprotected and that a small child such as Maddox could fall into the exhibit. According to the lawsuit filed by the Derkosh's, the zoo was on "notice" of a dangerous condition given that parents routinely lifted their children above the railing area. The parents also allege Maddox's death could have been prevented if the zoo had better tranquilizer darts for subduing the wild dogs.

In recently filed court papers, the zoo has fought back claiming that Elizabeth Derkosh was contributorily negligent when she lifted her small child above the railing, which at 42-inches in height complied with applicable building and safety codes. Further, according to the zoo's court filings, the zoo cannot "control all of the conduct of its patrons while they are on zoo premises." It also defended itself in court papers by noting that visitors must be "responsible for their safety" and have "a duty to act in a reasonable prudent manner."

While the zoo has some valid defenses and points in response to the Derkosh's lawsuit, the tragic fact remains that a small child died needlessly and under exceptionally horrific circumstances. The "failure to warn of a dangerous condition" is a legitimate legal theory that is very applicable in this case and will require resolution by a jury. If in fact the zoo had notice that parents routinely lifted their children above the railing, an area that was unprotected and could lead to a child falling directly into the wild dog exhibit, then a jury could find the zoo liable.

Michael Jackson Wrongful Death Lawsuit Dealt A Setback - Personal Injury Lawyer Paul S. Padda

September 10, 2013

Thumbnail image for gavel.jpgFollowing the tragic death of Michael Jackson, the "King of Pop," his family filed a lawsuit against AEG Live, the company with whom he had contracted to perform a series of worldwide concerts. The lawsuit named AEG and two of its corporate executives as defendants claiming that they had acted negligently when they hired and supervised Dr. Conrad Murray, the physician that treated Michael in preparation for the concerts.

This past week, the judge presiding over the case dismissed the two corporate executives from the lawsuit ruling that the Jackson family failed to show that the executives did anything to "control, direct or perpetrate" Michael's drug use. The ruling, however, allows the case to proceed against AEG Live.

AEG has claimed that it never had a contract with Dr. Murray and therefore cannot be held responsible for Michael's death. The company has admitted, however, that it paid Dr. Murray $150,000 to care for Michael using an "artist advance" which Michael was allegedly obligated to pay back at a future date. At the heart of the case is an internal corporate email in which an AEG executive writes the following regarding Dr. Murray: "We want to remind [Dr. Murray] that it is AEG, not MJ who is paying his salary." This email forms the cornerstone of the Jackson family's lawsuit advancing the theory that AEG is ultimately responsible for Michael's death since it paid Dr. Murray's bills.
Dr. Murray is currently serving a four year prison sentence for Michael's June 25, 2009 death resulting from a drug-overdose. A jury will now have to determine whether AEG can be held liable in the civil wrongful death suit that seeks millions in compensation.

Cohen & Padda, having previously represented Michael Jackson's father Joe Jackson, understands the pain families go through at losing a loved one. Death is the ultimate price to pay, but when it results from the potential negligence of another, it can be exceedingly difficult to deal with on an emotional level. While the American justice system cannot bring back a loved one or rectify an injury, it permits compensation for those left behind who must suffer the agony of life without a precious family member.

Teen Drivers in Nevada

September 4, 2013

traffic.jpgAs teens go back to school this falls, many will transition from riding a school bus to driving themselves. However, passing a driver's test alone does give a young driver enough experience to fully handle all the driving hazards on our roads today.

Motor vehicle crashes are the #1 cause of death for teens. Take some extra steps to ensure the safety of your teen and the other drivers.

  1. Ban cell phone use while driving. There are many discussions about this across the web and it is illegal. Your teen can sign a pledge and you can download apps that prevent phone usage while the car is in motion. However, it is important to remember to lead by example in this case. Show your teen that driving is not a time to multi-task by putting your own phone away while driving.
  2. Make seat belts mandatory. It is the law after all.
  3. Extend the time your teen holds a learner's permit. Spend more learning time with your child driving. This allows your teen to encounter different driving experiences with you there to guide him/her.
  4. Set a nighttime driving restriction. Most fatal accidents happen at night. Set a driving curfew.
  5. Set a passenger restriction. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that one passenger increases a teen's accident risk by 48 percent and the risk grows dramatically by each passenger added. Determine how many (if any) passengers our teen can handle and set limits.
  6. Set a no tolerance policy on alcohol. Again, this is the law. Your teen has likely been taught not to drink and drive, but it is an important discussion to have prior to driving.
  7. Consider formal training. There are many agencies in the Las Vegas valley that offer formal training for teen drivers. This is an important activity that is often second nature to experienced drivers. A professional instructor likely has techniques, tips and advice that a mother or father forgets to pass on.

The right to drive is an important time in a teenager's life. Follow the steps above to ensure it is a safe time.

Lost Sperm Leads To Lawsuits - Las Vegas Personal Injury Lawyer Paul S. Padda

August 27, 2013

Thumbnail image for What's the difference between an M.D. and a D.O.?  Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Illinois recently found itself the recipient of 40 separate lawsuits filed by men that lost the chance to be biological fathers after their sperm samples were destroyed when a tank that was keeping them frozen malfunctioned. In a press release, hospital officials acknowledged the mishap by stating "we deeply regret that this equipment malfunction occurred."

As a result of the tank's failure, a team of doctors from Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation urology and reproductive endocrinology departments contacted more than 250 patients to advise them of the equipment failure in the sperm bank. The hospital's press release noted that more than 100 patients have "engaged us in further evaluation and consultation."

The lawsuits seek monetary damages from Northwestern under a negligence theory based on the hospital's failure to take adequate precautions to safeguard the sperm, costing the men a potential opportunity to be fathers. In assessing the men's damages, a jury will be required to place a value on lost "fatherhood." These cases could potentially result in damages awards in the millions of dollars.

#Back2School Safety: Sharing the Road with School Buses

August 21, 2013

Thumbnail image for School Bus School buses are a safe form of transportation for your kids. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, riding a bus is 13 times safer than riding in a passenger car and 10 times safer than walking to school. Most of the students injured by a bus are injured are pedestrians. This is why it is important to know the school bus safety laws and proper procedures.

  • It is illegal to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children in all 50 states.

  • All traffic must stop (in both directions) on undivided roads when the students are exiting or entering the bus.

  • Never pass a school bus on the right.

  • Yellow lights are used to alert drivers that the bus is preparing to stop to load or unload children.

  • Red flashing lights and an extended stop sign signals drivers that the bus is stopped and unloading or loading children.

Always be alert when traveling near school buses. Children can be unpredictable and excited to get to school or get home to tell their parents about their day. The distraction makes them less likely to be aware of your vehicle. It is up to you to keep pedestrians safe on the roadway!

Be safe as you head back to school and have a great year!

Why Should I Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?

August 14, 2013

Thumbnail image for spine xray.jpgIf you're visiting this site, chances are you've been in an accident. Chances are you're also experiencing pain from your accident and struggling with the uncertainty of what comes next. Dealing with the insurance company can be intimidating and confusing. Equally importantly, how you deal with the insurance company can make the difference between whether you obtain successful compensation for your injuries or not. If you don't cut your own hair when you need a haircut or perform surgery on yourself when you're sick, why would you attempt to vindicate your legal rights without the benefit of a lawyer? The right lawyer can make a substantial difference in how much compensation you receive from an insurance company. At Cohen & Padda, we take pride in keeping our clients educated and fully informed in the entire claims process following an accident.

Do I Need To Make A Personal Injury Claim?

While you may have medical insurance to cover your healthcare after an accident, you may still need to file a personal injury claim to cover other expenses. The claim can help you recover additional damages including lost wages, damage to your property, any permanent disability, rehabilitation, as well as, present and future pain and suffering. Many of these claims can be settled outside of a courtroom, but some will require decision by a judge or jury.

Why Settle?

Cohen & Padda will only suggest a settlement when it is appropriate for your situation! In some cases, it will be necessary to go to court. However, a court case can take several years from beginning to end. By settling a case, the defendant pays you an agreed-upon sum of money quickly after all documents are signed. The documents include a statement releasing the defendant from future responsibility.

When Can You Settle?

You can agree to a settlement at any point in the case. Cohen & Padda will discuss the possibilities with you as each offer is made in your case.

How Much Is My Case Worth?

The amount of a settlement is based upon your lawyer's ability to show "damages." You must provide the responsible party with information about your injuries, expenses and any need for future treatment.

How Can Cohen & Padda Help?

The laws surrounding personal injury cases can be complicated and each case is unique. Cohen & Padda has successfully handled thousands of cases. We are prepared to offer you fierce advocacy to protect your rights!

What Can You Expect When You File a Personal Injury Lawsuit

August 7, 2013

gavel.jpgIt is tough enough when you are facing injuries caused by someone else's negligence (or intentional acts), but navigating the legal system can be intimidating and confusing. Cohen & Padda handles each case with fierce advocacy to defend your rights.

File a Summons & Complaint

The first step in recovering damages is to file the complaint in the state the injury occurred. The summons is the notice to the defendant to appear in court with a response to your complaint.

Proof of Negligence or Intentional Tort

Negligence is proven by exhibiting the defendant failed to perform duties safely (i.e. driving in a safe manner).
Intentional Tort may be proven if evidence exists that the defendant planned to do you harm.

Preponderance of Evidence

If you have ever served jury duty or watched an episode of Law & Order you know that criminal cases require "guilt beyond a reasonable doubt." However, personal injury cases require a "preponderance of evidence." This means proof is required that the defendant is 50 percent likely to be responsible for your injury.

Damages can Exceed Medical Bills

Damages from many different aspects of your injury may be claimed in the suit. These may include: past medical bills, future medical bills, lost wages/work time, and pain and suffering.

Cohen & Padda can help with fierce advocacy to defend your rights so you can focus on your recovery!
Don't get mad, get legal!

Stay Safe this Summer - Practice the ABCs of Pool Safety

July 31, 2013


Tips for Handling Damage to Your Vehicle from our friends at Collision Bay

July 23, 2013

car accident.png
1. Take pictures of damage at the scene to eliminate delays.

2. If the car isn't drive-able, have it towed to a shop or your home so you don't accrue high storage fees from a tow yard. If the police take the car, have a shop pick it up the next day that way you don't pay out-of-pocket for anything. Collision Bay tows 24 hours a day and 7 days per week.

3. Insurance companies want you to take the vehicles to their shop; however, you have the right to take it to the repair shop of your choice.

4. If you have full coverage insurance, use it even if it's not your fault. You will need a rental if your car is not drive-able anymore and insurance companies can take days or even months to put you in a rental.

5. Picking the correct shop: Many people go with the cheapest shop or the one that is willing to waive a deductible. Be careful when doing so because shops don't really make a lot of money; if they are saving a deductible make sure you ask how they will do it. You don't want to cut corners when it comes to repairing your car after an accident . If the insurance company gives you a lower estimate than the shop, don't worry - take it to the shop even if it's less than what they are giving you. Insurance companies will always give you a lower amount because:

  • many people take the money and never get the car fixed or

  • because they can't see the hidden damage. They us a process called a supplement which means that even if the insurance company gives you a lower estimate, the shop calls them back and shows the adjuster that things are missing in the estimate and they will make up the difference.

Drive safe!

Many Asiana Airline Passengers Suffer Spinal Injuries - Las Vegas Personal Injury Lawyer Paul S. Padda

July 11, 2013

The recent tragedy involving the Asiana Airline crash in San Francisco proved three things:

  1. it's a miracle more people did not die which only demonstrates how much safer aircraft have become;
  2. the importance of wearing seat belts, whether on an airplane or in a car; and
  3. the human body remains as it always has, delicate and subject to severe trauma.

According to medical reports, the majority of the survivors of the Asiana Airline crash sustained spinal injuries. Dr. Geoffrey Manley, chief of neurosurgery at San Francisco General Hospital where many of the survivors are being treated, stated that some passengers needed immediate surgery to stabilize their spines. In an interview following the crash, Dr. Manley reported that among the worst injuries are crushed vertebrae that compress the spinal cord and ligaments so stretched that they can't hold the neck and back in place like they're supposed to do.

spine xray.jpgWhile there will be a lot of investigative fact finding following this tragedy to ascertain what exactly happened, the accident once again underscores the importance of seat belts. Dr. David Okonkwo, a neurosurgeon with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, has stated that the best thing passengers can do prior to impact in airline accidents is to assume the "crash" position, meaning they should lean forward with the head as far down as possible and arms over the head. This position, according to Dr. Okonkwo, can limit the spine jolting back and forth and offer some protection.

The fact that 305 of the 307 passengers survived the Asiana crash is nothing short of a miracle and a testament to how much safer modern aircraft is. Nonetheless, passengers aboard that flight will undoubtedly be dealing with spine issues for the rest of their lives. While technology has evolved, the human body remains as fragile as it has been since the beginning of time. Whether on a plane or in a car, buckle up if you want increase safety.