Lake Pontchartrain Oil Rig Explosion Today

Lake Pontchartrain Oil Plattform Explosion Today

The tragedy of the Lake Pontchartrain Oil Rig Explosion and fire on Sunday, October 15 near Kenner, Louisiana just highlights the danger that offshore workers face on a daily basis. At least 7 people have been injured during the oil rig explosion today, and one person is still missing.

When an oil rig explosion explosion takes place on and oil rig and creates a fire, there is often no time to escape the danger for the unfortunate victims who live and work on these isolated and dangerous offshore structures. Sources say that there were seven individuals aboard the platform, and those injured have been taken to hospitals in New Orleans. According to the Advocate, five members have been  taken to University Medical Center are being treated for severe burns and blast-type injuries consistent with the oil rig explosion today, and two in stable condition were taken to East Jefferson General Hospital.

Having been attorney for many victims of offshore injuries, I can tell you that the saddest truth about incidents like the Lake Pontchartrain oil rig explosion is that they are usually avoidable if the most basic of safety measures are followed.

Tragically, the companies who employ these workers are often more focused on speed than safety. That is when safety rules and regulations get ignored, resulting in death or serious injury such as horrible burns as were suffered by the victims of the Kenner oil rig explosion in Lake Pontchartrain.

The law provides special rules that help victims of these types of injuries recover monetary compensation for their injuries and damages, and establish liability on the part of the oil companies. However, no amount of money can ever adequately compensate the death of a loved one or adequately compensate for serious burn injuries suffered by victims of terrible tragedies such as this one, and the negligent companies who are at fault immediately focus on one thing – avoiding or minimizing liability. Our prayers go out to the victims and their families.

J. Price McNamara
Law Offices of J. Price McNamara

What Makes Catastrophic Personal Injury Cases Different from Other Types of Injury Cases?

All personal injury cases are serious matters and require experienced representation by a seasoned personal injury attorney.  What make catastrophic personal injury cases different are the extent of the injuries, the amount of monetary compensation available, and the types of damages that are available to the injured party.  This article explores some important distinctions to keep in mind when comparing catastrophic personal injury cases with other types of personal injury cases.

Nature and Extent of the Injuries Sustained

Catastrophic injuries, quite simply, are those types of personal injuries that have permanent and potentially long-term impacts on the person injured.  Common types of catastrophic injuries include concussions, traumatic brain injuries, paralysis, loss of limbs or other body parts, spinal cord injuries, and neurological injuries.  Treatment for these types of injuries often involves multiple surgeries, a long and difficult recovery process, and medical treatment that extends well into the foreseeable future.

Two key words which characterize catastrophic injury cases – especially when compared with other types of personal injury cases – are “debilitating” and “permanent.”  Catastrophic injuries may cause the injured person to have difficulty performing daily living and household activities.  In some cases, the  injured person is forced to reside in a nursing home or assisted living facility as a result of his or her injuries.  These catastrophic personal injuries can also have a significant impact on the injured person’s family and loved ones.

Common Causes of Catastrophic Personal Injuries

While catastrophic personal injuries may be sustained in very serious motor vehicle accidents, they are even more commonly associated with pedestrian accidents, bicycle accidents, and motorcycle accidents.  These types of accidents are more likely to lead to catastrophic injuries because the accident victims are usually directly exposed to the environment, have limited protection around them at the time of the accident, and are more likely to make direct contact with the ground upon impact, often leading to a concussion or other serious injury.  As a result, these types of events, generally speaking, are more likely to result in a catastrophic personal injury than accidents involving a motor vehicle in which the driver and passengers were wearing seat belts. Moreover, motor vehicles have advanced safety features, such as airbags and other devices, which are not available to bicyclists, motorcyclists, or pedestrians, who are no match for an oncoming vehicle which hits them at a high rate of speed.

A Common Characteristic: Delayed Onset of Symptoms

Catastrophic personal injuries are unique in that they are oftentimes difficult to diagnose, due to a delayed onset of symptoms.  This is particularly true with traumatic brain injuries, when serious symptoms may not manifest themselves for days, weeks, or even months after the initial injury is sustained.  Moreover, the breadth and extent of these types of injuries can be significant and potentially lifelong, and may include short- or long-term memory loss, neurological deficits, and other types of cognitive impairments, requiring long-term care.

Damages Available in Catastrophic Personal Injury Cases

“Damages” is the legal term for the compensation that may be available to you if you are injured due to careless actions (or inaction) of another person or entity.  Given the severity of catastrophic injuries, it is likely that the amount of necessary medical treatment will far exceed that of other types of personal injuries.  As a result, the amount of damages in play is likely going to be higher.  Moreover, the types of damages available are typically more varied and extensive than in smaller personal injury cases.

The underlying purpose for awarding damages in any personal injury case – regardless of the severity of injuries sustained – is to make the injured victim whole, to the extent that’s possible with money.  Monetary compensation, for example, is a poor substitute for a lost limb or other body part.

Economic damages, or damages that can be measured in dollars and cents, are often higher in catastrophic injury cases, simply because the nature and extent of the injuries, medical treatment, physical therapy, and even missed time from work, are greater than with cases involving less severe injuries.  However, the real difference lies with non-economic damages.

Non-economic damages are those types of damages that can’t be measured, strictly speaking, in dollars and cents.  Most states have a statutory cap on non-economic damages which changes on a yearly basis.  Proving non-economic damages can be much more complex in catastrophic injury cases when compared with other types of cases. What follows is a list and brief description of some common types of non-economic damages that may be sought in catastrophic personal   injury cases.

  1. Loss of future earning capacity – These types of damages compensate catastrophic injury victims in cases where their injuries preclude them from working at the same job, working in the same field, or working at any job whatsoever. Economists and vocational rehabilitation experts are often good witnesses for proving loss of future earning capacity in catastrophic injury cases.
  1. Future pain and suffering and lost quality of life – These types of damages compensate catastrophic injury victims who are expected to endure pain, suffering, and inconvenience well into the future as a result of their injuries. Damages for lost quality of life compensate victims who are totally unable to engage in certain household tasks, social activities, family activities, or recreational activities since their accident – or whose ability to take part in these activities is severely limited as a result of their injuries.
  1. Future medical treatment – These types of damages compensate catastrophic injury victims who require medical treatment or procedures well into the future. These damages might include compensation for a future surgery or other type of invasive medical procedure.
  1. Expenses for long-term care – These types of damages compensate catastrophic injury victims who require care at a nursing home, rehabilitation center, or assisted living community, as a result of the injuries sustained in their accident. Medical experts are necessary and helpful witnesses for proving these types of damages.
  2. Loss of consortium or companionship – These types of damages compensate catastrophic injury victims whose relationships – specifically, marriage relationships – have been harmed by the injuries that they sustained. This includes an inability or limited ability to be intimate or engage in sexual relations with a spouse.

Contact a Catastrophic Personal Injury Attorney

In a catastrophic injury case, as with any personal injury case, you need an experienced and compassionate attorney who is always one step ahead of the insurance company, who can safeguard your rights, and who can obtain every penny of compensation you are entitled to under the law.  If you or a loved one sustained a catastrophic personal injury as a result of the carelessness of another person or entity, contact us by phone or email today. We will respond promptly.

Ridiculous Lawyer Ads: How Did We Get Here?

Have you seen those crazy attorney ads on television?

For the first time, in 1977, lawyers were officially permitted to advertise. Before then, you had to actually speak with attorneys, or have someone tell you about them, in order to find out anything about them. Permission to advertise came from the United States Supreme Court after two Arizona attorneys advertised low prices. Their bar association and other attorneys tried to stop their ads, but the Supreme Court ruled that they could advertise.

In so ruling, the Supreme Court stated:

The only services that lend themselves to advertising are the routine ones: the uncontested divorce, the simple adoption, the uncontested personal bankruptcy, the change of name, and the like.

The Supreme Court could not have imagined then where we are today. Look around – from billboards, to yellow pages, to television commercials. “Call Me! Call Me!” ads are everywhere. What do these ads tell you about the important factors to consider in selecting an attorney? Honesty and integrity? True experience handling your type of case? Trial experience? Track record? Work history? Not much.

I looked through a recent Louisiana yellow page attorney ads section. There were 63 pages of them, some covering one and even two full pages. There were pictures of crashed cars, 18-wheelers, cash, accident victims on stretchers, wheelchairs, scales of justice, the Statue of Liberty, law books and judges’ gavels. There were oil drilling rigs and railroad crossings. There were catchy slogans. Any truly useful information for those trying to make such an important hiring decision? Not much.

Turn on your television. It won’t take long to see a slew of attorney commercials. Helpful information there? Not much.

Do I mean to suggest that the advertising attorney should be viewed as lacking in the important qualities mentioned above? Not at all. I do suggest, however, that a person looking to hire a lawyer needs to learn much, much more than a typical television commercial or yellow page ad tells them about an attorney in order to make a sound, reasoned, informed hiring decision.

Think you can believe everything you see in attorney advertising? Think again!

CASE STUDY #1: LAWYER DISBARRED FOR FALSE ADVERTISING

A lawyer by the name of Jim Shapiro advertised on television in Rochester, New York. He referred to himself as the meanest, nastiest s.o.b. in town,@ claimed to be super-aggressive in the courtroom and called himself “The Hammer.” He had offices in New York and Florida.

Christopher Wagner sued “The Hammer” for malpractice. Shapiro had represented Mr. Wagner, after he responded to one of Shapiro’s New York television ads following an automobile accident injury.

Mr. Wagner had incurred medical bills of $182,000, but Shapiro’s firm advised him to accept a settlement of only $65,000 from the driver, promising that he could get more money by filing suit against the State of New York. As it turned out, the state had no liability and Shapiro abandoned further pursuit of Mr. Wagner’s claim.

In a video deposition, Shapiro testified that he had never tried a personal injury case in court, and had been living in Florida for the last seven years. Shapiro’s New York firm staffed one attorney who had only tried four cases. A New York jury found that Shapiro engaged in deceptive and misleading advertising and committed malpractice. Mr. Wagner was awarded $1,500,000. Shapiro was later suspended from practicing law both in New York and in Florida. He was later sued by four additional clients claiming malpractice and misleading advertising.

CASE STUDY #2: LAWYER DISBARRED FOR FALSE ADVERTISING

Arizona attorney Stephen Zang and his partner ran massive print and television advertising to market their law firm, then in existence for only four years. Their marketing produced over 1,600 personal injury cases in just four years.

The ads included scenes showing accidents, books about accidents and medicine, a judge in a courtroom and a picture showing Mr. Zang arguing before a jury in the courtroom. They also contained the following assertions:

  • We are a personal injury firm with the medical experience to understand complicated injuries.
  • We perform detailed preparation in your case, and the better your case is prepared for trial, the more likely your case will settle out of court.
  • If you are in an accident, you need more than a lawyer’s words.
  • We have investigators to find witnesses and hidden evidence.

The Supreme Court of Arizona investigated and discovered:

  1. No attorney in the firm had ever tried a personal injury case to conclusion in court.
  2. Mr. Zang admitted that he was not competent to try personal injury cases, although he was pictured in ads arguing a case in front of a jury.
  3. The firm had an express policy of not taking cases to trial.
  4. The firm’s policy was to refer the case to a competent personal injury attorney from another firm who would try the case in court for a cut of the fee if trial was necessary.
  5. The clients were not told that the firm=s policy was to settle all cases.
  6. Clients were never informed that their case would be referred to another attorney if trial was necessary, nor of the lack of experience of Mr. Zang and his law partner.

The Arizona Supreme Court disbarred Mr. Zang and his partner for numerous ethics violations.

THE TAKEAWAY – Make a well-informed, well-investigated decision when hiring a personal injury attorney or any other attorney. Don’t decide solely on the lawyer’s advertising.

Personal Injury vs. Workers’ Compensation

Man in PainSuffering from an injury is never an easy situation. In fact, not only do injuries cause mental and physical stress, but they can also put pressure on your finances. For this reason, many people suffering from injury sue to recover expenses for an injury that was not their fault. That said, there is some confusion over which kind of suit they should pursue, whether it be considered personal injury or workers’ compensation. For this reason, we went ahead and compared the two, so that our Baton Rouge and Metairie area clients can have a better idea of which case their situation falls under.

Personal Injury

For a personal injury case, your wound must be the fault of a third party. This typically means you were injured due to the negligence of another person or entity. As long as you are able to properly prove that your injury occurred because of that third party’s negligence, you will be able to pursue damages for pain, suffering, and emotional distress, as well as recover money you yourself spent on treating these conditions.

Workers’ Compensation

When it comes to workers’ compensation, you are entitled to compensation so long as you suffer an injury while performing duties for your employer. To specify, workers’ compensation can provide you with disability payments should you be found unable to work, full payment of all your hospital fees and charges, and a fair settlement should your disability prove to be permanent.

What Sets These Cases Apart?

When it comes to the differences separating these two types of case, there are two main factors we will look at. These are:

  • Faults: A big difference between which case you have is who was at fault. If you can show enough proof that a third party was responsible for your injury due to their own negligence, then you have a personal injury case. With a workers’ compensation case, it doesn’t really matter who was at fault so long as your injury occurred while you were on the clock and performing duties for your employer.
  • Damages: When it comes to personal injury, you are able to seek damages for pain, suffering, and emotional distress. But with workers’ compensation, you will only be able to claim compensation for lost wages, medical bills, rehabilitation, and permanent impairment benefits. And, with workers’ compensation, you will not be able to sue your coworkers, combining personal injury with workers’ compensation.

Schedule A Case Review Today

When it comes to navigating your injury and what you might be entitled to, you can rest assured that we here at the Law Offices of J. Price McNamara can help. We have a lot of experience with both personal injury and workers’ compensation, and we are ready to use that experience to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve. If you would like to learn more, then we encourage you to contact our office and schedule your no-obligation case review with J. Price McNamara today. We are ready and willing to assist you!

Summer and Trauma Season in the ER

summer funWith May officially here, that means we are about one month away from the start of summer here in the states. Now, for many people, especially young people, this means a certain amount of freedom, outdoor adventures, family bonding time, and, of course, fun. While the idea of summer fun is a wonderful one and one that is supported wholly by Baton Rouge, LA personal injury attorney J. Price McNamara and the rest of his staff, it also happens to be busy season for the ER and that means it’s Busy season for us as well.

With that in mind, today we have decided to tell you a bit about what the warm weather does for emergency rooms. And how some of the most common accidents are sustained during summer. We’re not trying to convince you to stay inside all summer, or to shy away from fun. However, arming yourself with knowledge is always a good idea.

Let’s take a closer look.

Trauma Season in the ER

As the weather warms up, waiting rooms in emergency rooms all over the country start to fill up. The three-month period that makes up summer is known as trauma season in hospitals here in the U.S. you might not believe it, but as soon as April hits, the incidences of bicycle-related injuries skyrockets in comparison to their normal occurrences in urgent care centers and emergency rooms. It seems that as soon as the sun starts shining and the birds start chirping, people are ready to get outside and enjoy it.

As soon as summer hits, most trauma centers report that there are normally at least three to five lawn mower-related injuries seen within their walls. Swimming and water related accidents also rise, especially in children.

“The first thing that lets us know trauma season is near is when we turn the clock ahead,” states Barbara Gaines, a trauma surgeon at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. This is because children get “an extra hour or two in the evening to play.”

However, children are not the only ones at risk during the season of trauma. To prove this, we have listed a few of the most commonly sustained injuries during the summer months so that you can at least arm yourself with knowledge.

Most Commonly Sustained Summer Injuries

Dirt bike, ATV, and Motorcycle Accidents

Many families take their loved ones on camping trips during the warm months. often these involve renting or riding motorized vehicles like dirt bikes, four wheelers, ATVs, and other forms of off-road and all-terrain vehicles. You might also guess that many of these trips end in an accident of some sort. Dr. Gaines states that the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC sees upwards of eighty to one-hundred ATV-related accidents a year. “We strongly feel that children under the age of sixteen should not be driving ATVs,” Dr. Gainer says.

Trampoline Accidents

This is another common summer activity that many children take part in and even adults. On days when there is no school, and the weather is nice, getting outside and jumping around on a giant trampoline with your friends is loads of fun and a great way to get some exercise to boot. However, trampolines are also one of the most common causes for visits to the emergency room during the summer. Sprains, concussions, and broken bones are just a few of the injuries most often associated with trampoline trauma. However, this shouldn’t discourage you from getting outside and jumping around. Just try and be careful and know that accidents happen.

Burns

This one almost needs no explanation. Bonfires, BBQs, fireworks, and other activities that involve fire are all very popular in the summertime. This means that burns caused by these activities are also another common occurrence in the emergency room. Try and be careful around those open flames and hot metal this summer.

If you do happen to find yourself injured and you think you might need legal advice, well, this is what we’re here for. The Law Offices of J. Price McNamara are just as prepared to deal with trauma season as the emergency rooms across our country are.

Until next time readers, stay safe and Godspeed.

 

 

6 Critical Tips About Louisiana Personal Injury Cases

lawsuit imageIn a recent blog post, we discussed if you Can You File A Personal Injury Lawsuit 12 Years Later. In this week’s post, we will cover some tips about Louisiana Personal Injury cases that might affect your own personal injury lawsuit.

1) Does Louisiana Have Specific Deadlines For Personal Injury Lawsuits?

Many people may not consider the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit if you are injured by another person. However, Louisiana laws do set a specific deadline, or “statute of limitations,” for the amount of time you have to file a personal injury lawsuit after your injury. This deadline falls one year after the date of your accident in most instances. In most cases, if you miss the one-year window, you lose the right to file a lawsuit over your injury. There are limited exceptions to this rule, but they can be complicated, so it is best to seek the advice of an attorney as soon as possible to avoid missing your deadline for filing your lawsuit.

2) What Is Comparative Fault And Will It Apply To My Case?

When it comes to determining how your case will be affected if injured person is found to be partly at fault for their injuries, you should be aware that each state follows different shared fault rules. If you are injured in Louisiana, this state has a “comparative fault” rule which reduces the amount of an injured person’s damages by a dollar amount equal to the share of fault that may be assigned to that person. One example of this is if you are driving your car over the posted speed limit and you get into an accident. If someone else hit you and caused injury, you could be responsible for part of your own damaged because you were violating the posted speed limit when you got into the accident. This means that if your damages for the accident were $10,000, and it was determined that you were 10 percent at fault for the accident, your damages would be reduced by 10 percent. So you would only be allowed to collect $9,000 from the party that caused the accident. These numbers can change, but the basic calculation will stay the same.

3) Does Louisiana Have Auto Insurance Laws?

Like many other states, Louisiana requires drivers to carry a minimum amount of auto insurance. Part of this coverage must include damages for injuries. According to regulations, your coverage should be enough to pay your bills from the accident, but if it is not, going to court is an option. Moreover, Louisiana is considered an “fault” state for auto accident injuries and insurance purposes. This means that if you are involved in an accident and you have injuries, you have a choice to file a claim with the appropriate insurance carrier or file a lawsuit to recover damages in court.

4) What Is The Rule For Dog Bite Cases?

In a majority of states, dog owners have some protection from injury liability the first time their dog injures someone. This only applies if they had no reason to believe their dog was dangerous. This is referred to as the “one-bite” rule. This is not the case in Louisiana. Here, La. Civ. Code, art. 2321 makes the owner of a dog “strictly liable” for any personal injury caused by their dog. This means that regardless of the animal’s past behavior, the dog owner is responsible for any and all damage done by their dog.

5) Are There Limits To Personal Injury Damages In Louisiana?

In most personal injury cases, courts can award damages in a dollar amount to compensate injured parties for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, or other losses directly related to the accident. Some states limit the amount and type of damages a person can receive from their injuries. In some instances, parties cannot recover from non-economic injuries like “pain and suffering”. There are not typically limits on damages for cases that do not involve medical malpractice.

6) What Are The Limits For Damages On Medical Malpractice?

Louisiana laws limit all damages in medical malpractice cases to $500,000 or below. Additionally, medical providers that are found liable for medical malpractice only have to pay $100,000 if they are covered by the Patient Compensation Fund. This means that the injured patient receives $100,000 from the provider and the rest of the money up to $500,0000 directly from the specified fund. It is worth noting that this limit does not apply to future medical expenses.

Let J. Price McNamara Help You With Your Personal Injury Case

J. Price McNamara has been practicing law in Louisiana for many years and has handled many personal injury cases just like yours. With a wealth of knowledge and respect from both the legal and surrounding community, J. Price McNamara can provide the legal representation that you need. The legal team at the Law Offices of J. Price McNamara is waiting to help you with your case. Call us today to schedule your free case review and get an experienced legal team on your side.

Preparing For St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations In New Orleans

four leaf cloverMany years ago, a large number of Irish immigrants settled in New Orleans, creating the what was called the “Irish Channel”. Through the years, the area’s Irish descendants have built on the great tradition of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. This week New Orleans and neighboring Jefferson Parish are set to host some of the biggest St. Patrick’s Day parties in the United States. Because the Big Easy is a city known for its parties, this holiday is often on par with festivals like Mardi Gras, French Quarter Fest, or the local Essence Festival. So if you are planning on heading to New Orleans to enjoy some of the parades or block parties, we encourage you to remember that there are still rules and laws to follow. Here is some additional information on how you can best prepare to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day safely.

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day In Crescent City

Starting the weekend before St. Patrick’s day, partiers can make their way to the French Quarter for the annual Molly’s at the Market Irish Parade. This parade starts on Decatur Street and kicks off a week of wonderful festivities. Local residents and tourists can also enjoy the Tracey’s St. Paddy’s Day Party and Parasol’s Block Party Celebration and stay for the parade. The large Irish Channel Parade begins with a Catholic Mass at noon and the parade follows around 1 p.m. at Felicity and Magazine Streets.

Later that evening, you can make your way back to the French Quarter for the Italian-American St. Joseph’s Parade. Evidently the day isn’t just for Irish as the Italians in New Orleans parade through the quarter with amazing floats and talented marching bands. Locals also host a spaghetti dinner to add additional support for the Italians marching in the parade. On Sunday, participants can also hop over the Parish line to neighboring Metairie Road for the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Metairie Road. This parade usually starts at noon in front of Rummel High School and winds back to the Parish line.

And finally, for those who have not gotten their St. Patrick’s Day fill, the Downtown Irish Club Parade begins at 6 p.m. in the Bywater and Marigny area and the Louisiana Irish-Italian Parade begins at noon on Sunday following St. Patrick’s Day.

Enjoy St. Patrick’s Day in New Orleans Responsibly

St. Patrick’s Day is typically a holiday that includes drinking alcohol. You should be aware that laws and safety guidelines are intended to help residents celebrate the Irish and Italian heritages of Southeast Louisiana. Here are some general guidelines to follow as you celebrate this green holiday:

• Anyone who is consuming alcohol in Louisiana must be at least 21 years old. Underage drinkers will be cited and can receive a Minor in Possession violation.

• There is no “open container law” in Orleans Parish or Metairie. However, regardless of the temptation to do so, partiers should never drink out of open glass containers in public.

• If you plan to drive to celebrations or parades, never drink and drive!

• Always obey your local law enforcement officers. If an NOPD or JPSO speaks to you or makes a request, listen to them, respect their authority, and follow their directions.

• Follow all local rules and regulations and always stay alert.

• Parades are a prime opportunity for criminals. Do not leave valuables in your car or carry expensive items with you.

• Use common sense and act with the safety of those around you at all times.

What Should I Do if I Am Injured During This Year’s St. Patrick’s Day Celebration?

If you or someone you know has been injured during the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, you should call an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Only an experienced personal injury attorney can help you with your case and get you the relief you need.

Let J. Price McNamara Help You With Your Personal Injury Case

If you or a loved one has recently suffered an injury related to an accident or any other type of personal injury, you may be able to obtain compensation for your injuries. J. Price McNamara has been practicing law in Louisiana for many years and has an outstanding reputation in his community. Call us today to schedule your free case review and get an experienced attorney on your side.

Man Sues Video Game Manufacturer Over Addiction To Game

In previous blog postings, we discussed a variety of “crazy or ridiculous” lawsuits. We also discussed if parties could file a lawsuit 12 years later. This week’s post is a further addition to the list of ridiculous lawsuits that were addressed in 7 Crazy Lawsuits And 1 Legitimate One. In the most recent addition to ridiculous lawsuits, a man from Krasnoyarsk, Russia, is suing Bethesda Softworks for his addition to a video game. Evidently, the man didn’t know Fallout 4 would be “so addictive”. The Bethesda, MD, gaming company has yet to comment on the lawsuit, but one can imagine their legal department is already preparing for a very strong defense.

According to court documents, the man saw an advertisement for the game and decided to download it. He anticipated spending a few hours playing the game over the next few days. However, “…those days quickly turned into weeks, and after missing several days of work, he was fired from his job. His friends stopped hearing from him, his sleeping and eating habits deteriorated and his wife left him.” Officials say the man is seeking $7,000 in damages.

Getting Started With A Personal Injury Lawsuit

Fortunately, most lawsuits that are filed are not as ridiculous as the one listed above. Let’s assume you would like to initiate a personal injury lawsuit for a legitimate reason. Here are some frequently asked questions to help you navigate the first steps in a personal injury legal claim.

I was hurt in an accident. What should I do first?

1) According to experts, the first thing that you should always do after being injured in an accident is to seek attention for any possible injuries. This usually means seeing a medical expert to ascertain the extent of your injuries. You should also be aware that some injuries will not be visible to the naked eye and may need x-rays or cat scans.

2) Collect any and all evidence that shows who caused the accident. This could mean writing down the events as you remember them, filming the scene, or taking pictures. If you are injured and unable to do this, you should see if a friend or family member would be willing to do it for you.

3) Get the names and contact information of any witnesses that may have seen the accident. Be sure to verify their contact information to ensure it is current and legitimate.

4) Write down the specific things that were damaged in the accident and take photos of the damage caused by the accident.

5) Make a list of everything that happened to you after the accident and any expenses involved. This will likely include medical bills, hospital stays, lost work or wages, etc. Copies of these bills will likely be necessary to recover for your injuries.

6) Speak to a qualified and experienced attorney. This step is critical since finding the right attorney for your case could make the difference between wining your case and ending up paying expenses for an accident that you did not cause.

Do I have to file my lawsuit within a certain amount of time?

Personal injury claims can take years to resolve and there are time limits detailed in the statute of limitations for whatever state you live in. In order to get compensation for your injuries, you must file your claim in a timely manner. If you fail to file your lawsuit within the appropriate time period, you may be barred from ever bringing suit to recover for your injuries. You should always do a check on the statute of limitations for your type of claim in your state to be sure that the time period has not expired.

Call the Law Offices of J. Price McNamara For Help With Your Lawsuit

Want an experienced and qualified legal representation for your personal injury lawsuit? If so, you need to contact the Law Offices of J. Price McNamara. Attorney J. Price McNamara and his skilled legal team have made a difference in the lives of Baton Rouge, LA clients for decades. If you want to get the compensation you deserve for your injuries, contact our office for your free case review. Call us now to get started.

Can You File A Personal Injury Lawsuit 12 Years Later?

personal injury lawsuit LouisianaOne of the most frequent questions we get at J. Price McNamara is how long do clients have to file a lawsuit. The answer to this is not always as simple as one would expect. An example of this can be seen by exploring a recently filed lawsuit against former Buffalo Sabres defenseman Grant Ledyard and his wife.

Twelve years ago, the Ledyards hosted a birthday party for their son. During that party, one of their guests swung a plastic golf club and struck another guest in the face. The victim, 11-year-old Brianna Fasanello, suffered a split her lip and the loss of a front tooth. The next day the hosts went to the young girl’s home with gifts and a get-well card. They reportedly “…felt bad that Brianna had had her tooth knocked…”, and went over the next day to “…say hello and check on her and make sure she was okay.”

Did They Really Try To Sue 12 Years Later?

As the years went by, the Ledyards thought the birthday incident was in the past. However, in 2012, a lawsuit was filed by the victim. Now a 23-year-old woman, Fasanello sued the Ledyards over the incident, as well as the mother of the boy who hit her with the plastic club. The lawsuit reportedly seeks unspecified damages. According to court records, a judge dismissed the lawsuit against the boy’s mother but allowed the lawsuit against the Ledyards to move forward. Normally a lawsuit would be well past the statute of limitations if it is filed 12 years after an accident or incident. Here is some additional information about the statute of limitations.

What Is A Statute Of Limitations?

A statute of limitations is a set of laws that dictate the maximum time allowed to file legal proceedings after an event has happened. When the specified period of time passes, a claim can no longer be filed.

Are There Any Exceptions?

In certain instances, a person will be unable to immediately discover that they have been injured. In such cases, it would not be fair or reasonable to require the injured party to file a lawsuit when they could not have detected their injury at that time. To combat this problem, the Louisiana statute of limitations “…begins to run from the time the injured party discovers or should have discovered that they have been injured”. This means that even when the typical statute of limitations may specify a year or two, the plaintiff may have longer than that to file their lawsuit.

Delaying A Statute of Limitations

In certain cases, fairness requires that the statute of limitations be delayed. An injured party may not have the ability to initiate a lawsuit even though they are aware of an injury or damages. This can happen when a plaintiff is “disabled”. However, once the disability ends, the statute of limitations begins to run.

What Is The Statute Of Limitations For My Louisiana Case?

Here are some of the limitations that apply to civil cases in Louisiana:

  • Personal Injury, 1 year (La. Civ. Code art. 3492)
  • Product Liability, 1 year (La. Civ. Code art. 3492)
  • Assault and Battery, 2 years (La. Civ. Code art. 3493.10)
  • Contract (in writing), 10 years (La. Civ. Code art. 3499)
  • Contract (oral or not in writing), 10 years (La. Civ. Code art. 3499)
  • Medical Malpractice, 1 year (La. Civ. Code art. 3492)
  • Property Damage, 1 year (La. Civ. Code art. 3492)
  • Wrongful Death, 1 year (La. Civ. Code art. 3492)

Determining the specific length of time that a plaintiff has to file a lawsuit can be very complicated. Parties that have suffered significant injuries or damages may wish to consult with a Louisiana attorney to ensure that all claims and notices are filed within applicable the time limits set forth by the appropriate laws.

NOTE: This list is not intended to be comprehensive. For further questions about your potential case, we encourage you to contact an experienced law firm like J. Price McNamara.

Call J. Price McNamara For Help With Your Personal Injury Case

If you or someone you know has suffered a personal injury, you need to find an experienced and effective attorney to help you get the results you deserve. J. Price McNamara has been serving his Baton Rouge community for decades and has gained the respect of his colleagues during this time. Call us now for a free case review and get our experienced legal team working for you today.

Hoverboards and the Spike in Personal Injury Cases

Hoverboards and person injury lawsuitsHoverboards — a wildly popular gadget that is much different than Marty McFly’s flying board shown off in Back to The Future. In 2015, this self-balancing scooter soared in popularity and it seems this trend is continuing with the newest 2016 models making their way to consumers. Everyone from high-profile celebrities to kids and their parents enjoy taking a ride on their hoverboards. While these hands-free electronic boards are the hottest craze among both children and adults, there are plenty of unseen hazards to enjoying the trendiest gadget of the moment.

After a slew of injuries including dangerous falls and hoverboards catching on fire, the U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission has devoted time to look at safety concerns regarding hoverboards. So, what does this mean for hoverboard users that have experienced a personal injury due to a hoverboard accident? Personal injury attorney, J. Price McNamara explains product liability and takes a look at some of the personal injury cases that are in the works due to hoverboard incidences.

Falls, Crashes, and Spontaneous Combustion with Hoverboards

Despite the name, hoverboards don’t actually levitate like the name suggests. This gadget can more accurately be described as a hands-free, motorized scooter. The premise to riding hoverboards is pretty simple; Lean forward to move forward, lean back to reverse, and slightly shift your weight to the right or left to steer. Although steering and operating a hoverboard may seem intuitive, being stable on the board is more difficult than you would expect. Some manufacturers even recommend having a spotter when you first get on the hoverboard because it will begin to excel as soon as you apply pressure.

The difficulty with riding a hoverboard is apparent when you look at the number of injuries that occur due to falls and collisions. In fact, hoverboards have been banned in places all around the world including parts of New York City, the University of California, Los Angeles campus, and the public streets of London. The popularity of hoverboards and the lack of regulations is a dangerous combination.

Adding to the obvious dangers of this trendy gadget, there have been many reports of hoverboards exploding. A Louisiana family lost their home after their son’s hoverboard caught fire while charging the battery. The mother reported that the board caught on fire so quickly that her house was in flames within a few minutes. Fires associated with hoverboards have been traced back to faulty batteries. The lithium-ion batteries that are used to power hoverboards can overheat in some instances and then catch fire. Major retailers like Amazon are erring on the side of caution with this product and offering a full refund for consumers that want to return their hoverboards.

Hoverboards and the Louisiana Products Liability Act

Fortunately, the Lafitte family sustained no injuries from the hoverboard fire. However, this brings up the question, who would legally be responsible if an injury had occurred? There are specific laws that create legal ramifications for manufacturers with defective goods that harm consumers. Louisiana created the Louisiana Products Liability Act, LPLA, in 1988 to address this exact concern.

A manufacturer that is liable for injuries is characterized as an entity that puts its name on a product label, a seller who controls the design or quality that causes an injury, or a seller that sells products made outside of the country.
In order to successfully use LPLA in court, you must prove several elements of the specific case. A successful claim would have to prove that a dangerous characteristic of a product caused damage during anticipated use, the product caused injuries without adequate warning or the dangerous aspect of the product existed while it was still in control of the manufacturer. If you’re able to prove that a manufacturer is liable for damages that occur under the LPLA, you can be compensated for emotional stress, pain and suffering, lost income from not working, medical bills, and wrongful death.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairman, Elliot F. Kaye announced last week that the CPCS staff is looking into the designs of hoverboards. Kaye stated that he didn’t believe manufacturers fully took into account how hoverboards would be affected by users at different weights.

The lack of regulations with hoverboards makes this product a personal injury lawsuit waiting to happen. It’s important to be aware of all of the safety concerns with this gadget and to be cautious with this purchase, especially if it’s a lower-end hoverboard in regards to combustion.

Contact the Law Offices of J. Price McNamara

With hundreds of falls or collisions and more than 40 hoverboard fires, this trendy gadget can certainly cause a significant amount of damage. If you’ve experienced a personal injury due to hoverboards or any other reason, contact the Law Offices of J. Price McNamara. You can seek compensation for you and your loved ones injury with the help of an experienced, knowledgeable attorney. Contact our Baton Rouge, LA office today to schedule your free case review!

The History of Personal Injury Law

The folk at Kevin P. Landry, P.C. have put this wonderful infographic together. I thought it well worth sharing:

Legal systems have existed in some forms since ancient history, but personal injury laws did not truly come into their own in the United States until the 20th century. Before personal Injury lawyers first began advertising their services in the late 1970’s, personal injury law did indeed exist, but as a more common form of law. Find more details of The History of Personal Injury Law as mention below :

History of personal injury law infographic.

Did Natural Born Killers Cause A Crime Spree?

robberyWell, it’s time for yet another Myth Buster’s: Personal Injury Edition blog courtesy of the Baton Rouge, LA Law Offices of J. Price McNamara. This time, we’re going to talk about killers. Natural Born Killers, to be exact. Not many people have heard about this particular case, however, trust us when we say that this particular case is about as ridiculous as they come.

Hollywood has been producing films for longer than the majority of us have been alive. The genres spread across hundreds of mediums from romance, horror, suspense, mystery, mystery, etc. we’ve all been watching them for years, all of us owing large portions of our entertainment to the brilliant minds in Hollywood both on and off the screen.

However, one family decided to take inspiration to a whole other level, then retroactively blame Hollywood. More specifically, they blamed Natural Born Killer’s director Oliver Stone.

Let’s take a closer look at this story, and what actually happened.

The Crime, the Family, the Consequences.

In 1995, a young couple by the names of Sarah Edmondson and Ben Darras decided to walk into a local convenience store and rob it. Unfortunately, during the scuffle of this robbery, an innocent bystander by the name of Patsy Byers was shot and nearly killed. Instead, he was left a quadriplegic. Of course, despite how horrible these events are, they are not uncommon. Unfortunately, that’s the world we live in. However, when a crime like this strikes your family, everything becomes real. It’s no longer a story you are hearing about on the news and then moving on about your day. It’s personal, it’s life-altering, and it’s tragic.

Natural Born Killers Get the Blame

Here’s where this case jumps from the norm and into the slightly abnormal. Once apprehended the two suspects, Edmondson and her boyfriend Darras, claimed to have watched Oliver Stone’s 1994 blockbuster filmed Natural Born Killers several times before deciding to go through with their robbery plans.

In case you aren’t familiar with the movie, Natural Born Killers is a film that that follows a mentally unsound couple as they burglarize and shoot their way across the country. If you are seeing a connection between the crimes portrayed in the movie, and those committed by Edmondson and Darras, you are not alone. The family of Patsy Byers felt the same after they heard the couple spent the days before their crime watching Stone’s film several times.

Constitutional Amendments Save Stone

Like any normal family, Byers’ wanted justice, and someone to blame other than the criminals. They wanted a reason, they wanted sense to be made of a senseless situation. This is normal and nearly anyone would feel the same in a situation similar to the one Byers’ family was now in. Because of this, the family soon sought out repercussions in the form of a lawsuit filed against Stone and his movie. They claimed Stone’s film drove Edmondson and Darras to commit the crime.

However, and some might see this as unfortunate or fortunate, anger and a need for closure do not override the first amendment, under which Stone’s film is protected. That amendment promises and protects the rights of American citizens to freedom of speech, religion, and press. Stone’s film was a direct exercise of this amendment. As an American citizen, he is free to produce any film, as long as that film does not affect another person’s free will or rights. Stone was also not present at the time of the shooting and did not know of it, or the people involved, in any way.

For this reason, the lawsuit was thrown out by a judge right here in our own beautiful state of Louisiana. Edmondson and Darras were not so lucky. Edmondson, who was the one that actually shot Byers, is serving a thirty-five year prison sentence. Darras is in prison for life, as he committed murder Mississippi during the same crime spree that Byers was shot in.

And there is it. The case of the Natural Born Killers inspired crime spree busted – J. McNamara style.

Until next time readers, be safe out there and Godspeed.

 

The Strange Case of Injury at a Healing Service

church personal injuryAs we talked about in previous blogs, people will go to some crazy lengths to try and get a “quick” buck. In most cases, these end up getting them in more trouble.

Some of these staged cases can make the legitimate ones seem like cons, and unfortunately, they can put a stigma on personal injury lawsuits. With an experienced personal injury lawyer, these legitimate cases can be brought to justice, and people can get compensation for their pain and suffering.

Today, we’re going to continue our conversation of strange personal injury cases, and how they’re not always so black and white. In this case, the plaintiff claimed to suffer from a personal injury in the least likely place, a church.

The Unusual Case

In August 2001, a woman named Gloria DeFrancesco in Akron, Ohio took her 94-year-old mother to go see a healing service by the TV evangelist Ernest Angley. People from all over the country flocked to Angley’s televised services at Grace Cathedral. The services were well-known for dramatically curing members of the pulpit. After the healing show, they would fall back into the ministry worker’s arms after the healings. It would make sense that there could be some injuries at these events, which was DeFrancesco’s experience.

It was at one of these showy services, that DeFrancesco was reportedly injured, trying to take her mother up to the stage. According to the lawsuit, six of Angley’s employees blocked DeFrancesco and her mother from going to the stage and assaulted her in the process. DeFrancesco claimed that she suffered from a detached retina, and sued the evangelist and his employees for $25,000 compensation.

Two Sides to Every Story

One thing that stands out to me about this personal injury case is that all of the research I found had a different perspective of the case. There’s DeFrancesco’s perspective, in which she claimed to be roughed up by ushers while trying to get her wheelchair-bound mother to the healing stage.

DeFrancesco’s mother was a “long-term” financial contributor to the church and was asked to go to the handicapped area to wait before going on stage to be healed. According to the lawsuit, the workers grabbed her and lifter her off the ground before striking her down. She claimed to have to go to the hospital and undergo surgery to fix her eye. She ended up suffering from facial and body trauma, as well as emotional and psychological damages.

Then there’s a slew of viewpoints from Angley’s employees and pulpit. According to the spokesman of Angley’s church, DeFrancesco’s story was of epic proportions and got crazier the more than she told it. From his perspective, DeFrancesco started a fight by using her umbrella to hit one of the ushers “20 times in the gonads.” (Which, if you ask me, his version of the story seems a little bit crazier than hers.)

According to a local newspaper, the business manager of Angley’s church said that DeFrancesco made the allegations completely up. One witness told the police that Angley injured herself by falling face first on the parking lot pavement while walking to her car.

The witness went on to say that the fall was and that later she was seen hitting her head on the dashboard of her car. The spokesman of the church said that DeFrancesco schemed the entire ordeal and asked for compensation before filing for a lawsuit.

There were lots of holes in this case. The whole case was based on hearsay from the plaintiff and the church witness. There wasn’t sufficient testimony from medical personnel to exemplify whether the injuries were self-induced or caused from the ushers.

It would make sense that the witness of the church would take Angley’s side, as church-goers can sometimes get carried away by a minister’s charisma. On the other hand, we saw from the Wendy’s chili case that people DO go to some extreme measures to try and claim injury.

If DeFrancesco had truly been harmed by the ushers to an extent that she’d need medical attention, it would seem more logical for her to claim assault charges – then, there’s the mechanics that go into filing a personal injury lawsuit against a ministry. Just like personal injury lawsuits against businesses, there needs to be sufficient evidence that the plaintiff’s injury was the establishment’s fault.

Can You File Against Ministries?

It’s not totally uncommon for people to file personal injury cases against religious ministries. In fact, a lot of these religious institutions operate like businesses, so they often carry liability insurance. Churches, just like businesses, have a legal obligation to make sure that its pulpit, employees, volunteers, and even visitors are safe while they’re on church premises.

If a church official hasn’t kept up with its property, then the victim has a right to receive compensation for the injuries that were suffered. Sometimes churches are also liable for unforeseeable accidents.

If you’ve been injured on the premises of a church, synagogue, or other areas of worship, you have a right to compensation for your suffering. The best way to receive compensation is by having sufficient evidence. Talk to an experienced attorney, like myself, get evidence from eye witnesses, take pictures and video evidence, and make sure that you document all the damages, such as medical or therapy bills.

If DeFrancesco had taken these measures, she might’ve won her case! Stay tuned into our blog to learn more about personal injury lawsuits and hear more about cases that have taken a turn for the weird.

Strange Personal Injury Lawsuits at Theme Parks

Theme park personal injuriesWhen most people think of theme parks, they conjure up images of quality family fun with exciting rides and entertainment. While we’d love to believe theme parks are all fun, they can actually be a personal injury waiting to happen. In fact, we’ve covered a few cases involving theme park personal injuries already, most notably, the case of Cleanthie Peters at Universal Studios. This particular situation isn’t a rare case of personal injury at a theme park. Every year theme park goers file personal injury lawsuits because of slip and fall cases, negligence by the theme park, or other various reasons.

If you’re headed to a theme park this holiday season, should you be worried about a personal injury? Probably not — the number of injuries in relation to the number of visitors a theme park is actually pretty low. However, it doesn’t hurt to be aware of the type of injuries that can happen, what to do in the situation, and what can you learn from cases in the past. For a majority of personal injury cases at theme parks, it can be boiled down to a simple slip and fall accident. Other cases can be a bit more unusual and hard to make sense of. Let’s take a look at strange instances of personal injury at theme parks.

Unusual Theme Park Personal Injury Cases

  • Deadly Swim at Seaworld Orlando: A man decided to pursue his dream of swimming with a killer whale in 1999 by staying in the park after closing. He then dove into the tank to splash around and ended up being killed by the orca. His parents then filed a personal injury claim against Sea World citing that there were no warning that a killer whale could actually kill people. They even used the stuffed whales sold at Seaworld as evidence that the whales were depicted as being friendly. The parents lawsuit was not successful.
  • Stranded on It’s a Small World: A wheelchair-bound man filed a lawsuit after enduring more than 30 minutes of “It’s a Small World” on loop when the ride broke down. He claimed he was the only passenger not escorted off of the ride and instead was left there. Being abandoned on the ride while the man needed to urinate also increased his blood pressure and almost sent him into a panic attack. The judge ended up ruling against the theme park because they did not take proper care of the man while he was stuck and failed to let disabled passengers know they would be stuck if the ride broke down.
  • Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom: In 2007, a thirteen-year-old girl went on the superman tower of power, a ride that lifts and drops its passengers from about 17 stories. While on the ride, a cable broke and wrapped around the girl’s neck and legs. She was able to get free from the cable, but it snapped around her legs as the ride descended and severed her feet. Fortunately, surgeons reattached her feet and the ride was then removed.

As you can probably see, some of these cases can be clearly attributed to the theme park, while others are unclear about who’s at fault. If you believe the theme park is at fault, it’s necessary to take a look at premises liability.

What is premise liability? Essentially, it’s a guideline of rules when a premise is the cause of an injury. It’s also important to consider the type of entrant in the theme park, as with the case of the man being killed in Sea World. An entrant that is admitted, known as an invitee, should be under safe conditions, which is the responsibility of the theme park. However, theme parks in most instances owe no duty to a plaintiff that is trespassing.

What is Considered Theme Park Negligence

Now that we know that invitees admitted into theme parks should be reasonably safe with the proper care of theme park management, here are some of the typical conditions that can be considered negligence by a theme park:

  • Poorly maintained rides
  • Slippery surfaces
  • Dim lit areas
  • Irresponsible ride operators
  • Ride and safety protocol defects

Contact J. Price McNamara

Personal injuries aren’t always the fault of theme parks; In some instances, judges can find injuries to be a result of attendee negligence. This can include going into areas that are blocked off and labeled to be closed to the public. Navigating your way through personal injury cases like this, as with any personal injury case, can be quite difficult. That’s why it’s crucial you have an experienced, knowledgeable attorney on your side. With decades of experience, the skilled team at the law offices of J. Price McNamara can make all the difference in your case. If you’re in the Baton Rouge, LA area, contact our office today to get started with your free case review!

 

The Case of the Chili Finger

finger trickWell, folks, it’s officially winter time. Snow was falling across much of the nation by early November. Now that it’s almost December you could say things are getting rather chilly. Speaking of chilly, Baton Rouge, LA personal Injury Attorney J. Price McNamara and the rest of his staff thought it might be appropriate to delve a little deeper into the infamous “Wendy’s Chili Finger” case.

The Case of the Wayward Chili Finger

Here’s a little light-hearted winter reading for you. I’m pretty sure you have all heard about the infamous lawsuit filed against the mega-conglomerate fast food chain Wendy’s in 2005. If not, well here’s a little background on the whole debacle.

On March 22, 2005, a woman by the name of Anna Ayala claimed that she found a severed human finger in a cup of chili she had ordered from Wendy’s. If this isn’t ridiculous enough, as you would think someone would notice an employee screaming about the fact that they had just severed their finger, an actual investigation was performed by the San Jose Police Department and Santa Clara County.

Though early reports from the incident claimed that the finger was, indeed, fully cooked, it was soon concluded that the finger in question did not come from any employees working at Wendy’s location or any of the ingredients used to make the chili. To make matters even more interesting, simple forensics made short time of determining that the tissue on the finger was not consistent with what human tissue would look like if it had been cooked in something for three hours at 170 degrees. Hmm… the chili plot thickens.

Of course, one would think that if Wendy’s was truly at fault for this incident, they might be looking at a hefty lawsuit. But were they?

Some Facts About the Case

Well, things start to come together, and fall apart for Miss Ayala, within the third paragraph of the San Jose Police Department Statement of Facts, written by Christopher A. Wilson who was the officer assigned with investigating the incident.

According to Wilson, on the day of March 31st, 2005 all of Miss Ayala’s family members who were present at the time she claimed to have “bitten into the finger” were interviewed. However, none of them claimed to have seen the finger in Ayala’s mouth but did see it once she drew attention to it. Ayala’s brother in law, who was sitting next to her, claims Ayala stated the finger had been in her mouth and she spit it out into the cup, however, he did not see her vomit.

On the other hand, Ayala’s mother-in-law states that she witnessed Ayala spit the item into the cup of chili and begin to vomit. However, no evidence of vomiting could be found at the scene upon investigation.

On March 29th, 2005 Wendy’s employees that were present at the time the finger was found in Ayala’s chili cup agreed to consensual Voice Stress Analyzer tests. The employees were asked about the incident and tests revealed that each was telling the truth about having no prior knowledge of the finger, its origins, or its placement into the chili.  Additional witnesses who were present in the restaurant at the time Ayala found the finger in her chili also claimed the same as the Wendy’s employees. No one knew anything about the finger.

Background checks were then performed on Ayala herself. The results of which revealed that Ayala had filed numerous civil claims, thirteen to be exact, in both Nevada and California. It was also discovered that Ayala often times settled for cash payouts before the cases were ever heard in court.

Furthermore, a traceback on the food products used in the preparation of Wendy’s food was performed by the California Department of Health Services. It revealed that no accidents or contaminations had been reported in any of the locations that provide Wendy’s with food products.

Then, on April 12th, 2005 it was publicly announced that Ayala was no longer seeking compensation from Wendy’s. However, the Corporate Director of Marketing for Wendy’s responded with a claim of their own. Apparently, the corporation had been experiencing an estimated loss of one million dollars a day in sales since the incident was made public on March 22, 2005.

So what does this leave us with? It means that the finger came from an outside source, and that outside source appears to have been Ayala herself. It also leaves Miss Ayala looking at a heap of trouble.

So, What Actually Happened? And More Importantly, Where Did the Finger Come From?

This case really flipped on Ayala, and her husband. Jaime Plascencia, as well. Both of them were actually involved in the incident and both ended up pleading guilty to planting the finger. Both were sentenced to nine years in prison.

However, Ayala was released from prison after four years due to good behavior. It was after her release that Ayala came clean to the public about the incident.

“I cooked it,” Ayala states in an interview with ABC, regarding the finger. Ayala revealed that her husband obtained the finger from a friend of theirs who had lost it in an industrial accident. Ayala stated that she cooked the finger at home, brought it to the Wendy’s and then placed it into the cup of chili she had ordered.

Moral of the Story?

Personal injury lawsuits are not something to mess with. They are taken very seriously in the eyes of the law, and full-scale investigations will be launched based on claims made the “victims.” In other words, if you are lying, you will be discovered, and you will have to suffer the consequences. Forensics are leading the way in courts of law across the globe, breaking new ground and making it harder than ever to lie about things.

Remember, people can lie all they want, but forensic evidence has no bias.

Until next time readers, stay truthful and Godspeed.