Faulty Guardrails: Intended to Protect the Public, Now Blamed for Injuries and Deaths Nationwide

Author: Scott D. Fitzgerald, Personal Injury Lawyer, Richmond VA 

On September 17, 2012, Melton Tucker fell asleep at the wheel on his commute to work on Highway 81, outside of Dallas, Texas.  His car drifted off the highway and collided with a guardrail.  His Chevrolet Cruze struck the beginning piece of a guardrail, otherwise known as an end terminal or guardrail head.  The guardrail came through the car and struck Tucker in the head, killing him instantly.[1] 

This accident and others like it have raised questions about the effectiveness of guardrail heads manufactured by Trinity Highway Products, based in Dallas.  The ET-Plus, designed by Trinity, is one of the most common guardrail end terminals…

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Faulty GM Ignition Switches Lead to at Least 13 Deaths

Scott D. Fitzgerald, Personal Injury Attorney, Richmond VA

Allen & Allen is currently investigating claims for people who were injured or killed in accidents involving GM vehicles that were recently recalled due to defective ignition switches. If you or a loved one were injured in an accident involving one of those vehicles, please contact us today for a free consultation at 866-388-1307.

Author: Scott D. Fitzgerald, Personal Injury Attorney, Richmond VA

As the fallout from GM’s recall of faulty ignition switches in Saturn Ions and Chevrolet Cobalts continues, details of the crashes linked to the faulty ignition switches that have killed 13 people have begun to emerge. 

Amy Rademaker, age 15, of St.…

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Passing and Overtaking on Two Lane Roads: Safe Driving


Author: Scott D. Fitzgerald - Richmond, Virginia Personal Injury Attorney

Although less than 20% of the U.S. population lives in rural areas, about 55% of traffic fatalities in the United States occurred there in 2010.  Many of these rural motor vehicle fatalities were on two-lane roads.[1]

An older study based on 2003 data revealed that two-lane primary roads in Virginia accounted for almost half of all traffic fatalities in the Commonwealth.  However, only approximately 1/3 of the estimated miles driven on Virginia roadways in 2003 were on two-lane primary roads.[2]

Serious accidents on two-lane roads occur for a variety of reasons, including driver inattention, excessive speed…

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The Dangers of Hazing

Scott D. Fitzgerald, Richmond, VA Personal Injury Lawyer

Author: Scott D. Fitzgerald, Richmond Personal Injury Lawyer

On November 19, 2011, Robert Champion, drum major for the award-winning Marching 100 at Florida A&M University, performed at halftime of the FAMU football game against Bethune-Cookman in Orlando. Hours later, he was beaten to death in a bizarre but unfortunately common hazing ritual of the March 100 known as "Crossing Bus C."  Champion had to walk down the center aisle of the bus while fellow band members savagely beat him with fists, drumsticks, straps, and even an orange cone. The hazing ritual is complete when the band member reaches the back of the bus, known as "Crossing Bus C." Moments after Champion reached the back of the bus, he complained…

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Motor Vehicle Safety: Top 10 Most Dangerous Vehicles

Author: Scott D. Fitzgerald, Richmond, VA Car Accident Attorney

We all know that driving or riding in a car can be dangerous, but there are some vehicles that are particularly worrisome. This article is designed to educate you about some of the most dangerous cars on the market today, as well as what exactly makes them unsafe compared to the competition. Compiled by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the following 10 vehicles garnered the lowest safety ratings, as measured by the number of fatalities per mile driven between 2006 and 2009[1]:

Nissan 350Z Nissan Titan Crew Cab (extended cab) Chevrolet Aveo Chevrolet Cobalt Nissan Titan Kia Spectra Chevrolet Malibu Hyundai Tiburon Nissan…

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Update: The Fungal Meningitis Outbreak Linked to Steriod Injections

As of November 5, 2012, there have been 409 confirmed cases of fungal meningitis across the country and 10 others who have contracted fungal joint infections.  The death toll has reached 30.  In Virginia, public health officials have announced forty-nine cases and two deaths.

The tainted drugs have been linked to the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Massachusetts.  Almost all cases have been linked to a preservative-free steroid called methylprednisolone acetate, which is used to treat arthritis and back pain.

Several lawsuits have already been filed against the NECC and its sister company Ameridose in multiple jurisdictions across the country.  One suit in Pennsylvania alleges that the plaintiff contracted…

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Deadly Fungal Meningitis Outbreak Linked to Contaminated Steroid Injections

Author:  Scott D. Fitzgerald, Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer

Public health officials have linked the recent outbreak of fungal meningitis to contaminated epidural steroid injections, commonly intended to alleviate back pain.  As of October 11, 2012, 170 people nationwide have contracted fungal meningitis and 14 have died.  The contaminated steroid shots were mixed by a compounding pharmacy in suburban Boston, Massachusetts and distributed to approximately 75 facilities in at least 23 states.  The pharmacy issued an emergency recall on September 26, 2012, but not before an estimated 14,000 patients nationwide received potentially contaminated injections.

It is not clear how many people who received…

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Virginia Traffic Fatalities: Increase for the First Time Since 2007

Author: Scott D. Fitzgerald,  Richmond Car Accident Lawyer

In the year 2007, 1,026 people lost their lives on Virginia highways, the most since the late 1980s.[1]  In reaction, the Commonwealth began several ambitious campaigns to emphasize safety on the highway and minimize driver distractions.[2]  The General Assembly passed new laws with stiffer penalties for drunk drivers and also banning drivers from texting while driving in the Commonwealth.

These efforts bore fruit.  In the three year period from 2008 to 2010, Virginia traffic fatalities decreased each year, with 821 deaths in 2008 and 756 in 2009.  The Commonwealth set a new record low in 2010 with only 740 fatalities.  This was the fewest…

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Who Watches the Watchmen? The vigilant lawyer in the age of Facebook

Republished from VTLA Journal by Malcolm P. "Mic" McConnell III and Scott D. Fitzgerald

"The discovery and use of social media in litigation is developing rapidly. Keeping up with the law and with the technology itself is not optional. If your client is a social media user and you are not familiar with the media, both you and your client are vulnerable. You need to know how it works so that you can understand the discovery requests you get, judge their reasonableness, reach a conclusion that is supported by the facts and the law, and then defend that conclusion to the court, if necessary. You simply cannot do that without understanding the subject matter."

Click here to read the full article: http://www.vtla.us/2012/Journal/Vol_23_No_3/McConnell.pdf


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The Harmful Effects of Fracking On Drinking Water

Author: Scott D. Fitzgerald, Richmond Personal Injury Lawyer 

In an attempt to extract deposits of natural gas located thousands of feet beneath the earth's surface, oil and gas companies are turning to a controversial process called hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking."   Oil and gas companies begin by drilling wells up to 8,000 feet deep.  Millions of gallons of water laced with hundreds of (sometimes unknown) chemicals are injected into these wells under high pressure, which fractures the shale to permit otherwise trapped natural gas to flow to the surface where it can be collected.[1]  Each "frack" contains up to eight million gallons of water laced with harmful chemicals, and a single well can be fracked…

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