Articles Posted in Burn Injury

In 2012, Justin Dominguez, 15, was playing with friends in a neighbor’s yard. The neighbor’s house was located next to a vacant spot that contained bamboo stalks under a 13,000-volt, uninsulated power line.

Justin climbed up the bamboo stalks, which contacted the power line. He received a severe electric shock and was hospitalized. He unfortunately remained in a coma until he died approximately two weeks later. He was survived by his mother.

Justin’s mother, on behalf of his estate, sued Florida Power & Light Co., alleging it negligently chose not to remove the bamboo despite a 2008 work order and written report to the defendants’ lead arborist identifying the location as a critical removal site. The Dominguez family asserted that Florida Power & Light had a duty to clear its line of vegetation, especially bamboo, which is highly conductive and fast-growing.

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Mazda Motor Corp. appealed a judgment involving its Mazda 3 car. There were two jury verdicts that resulted from two product liability claims filed in Alabama. The lawsuits arose out of a crash involving a Mazda 3 driven by then 16-year-old Sydney McLemore, with 15-year-old Natalie Hurst as a passenger.

McLemore was driving 55 mph in a 35-mile-per-hour speed zone when she lost control of the car. The Mazda spun around and hit a light pole before coming to a stop and then burst into flames.

McLemore suffered third-degree burns covering approximately 15% of her body. Unfortunately, Natalie Hurst died from her burn injuries. The Hurst parents filed a lawsuit against Mazda and McLemore, asserting wrongful death. They also filed what was important in this case — a product liability lawsuit and claim related to the fuel tank of the Mazda 3.

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An Indiana jury found entered a $4.25 million verdict against a truck driver and his employer for the wrongful death of 28 year-old Hawa Sissoko in Estate of Hawa Sissoko, deceased v. Roadway Express, Inc., YRC Worldwide, Inc., et al., 09 L 2542.

Sissoko’s vehicle was stopped on an Indiana tollway; Sissoko’s 2007 Dodge Intrepid was not pulled to the side of the road, but was in fact sitting in the right lane of traffic. According to eyewitness reports, Sissoko was standing behind her car when she was struck by a semi truck driven by Alfred Baggiani. Sissoko was pinned between the truck and her car, which then caught on firing; Sissoko died immediately as a result of the highway accident.

Sissoko was survived by her parents and eight siblings, all of whom lived in Mali, West Africa. And while Sissoko’s parents had not seen her since 2000, they maintained regular contact by telephone. A lawsuit was brought by Sissoko’s surviving family members against Baggiani according to the Illinois Wrongful Death Act. Sissoko’s estate also brought a claim against Roadway Express, Inc., the trucking company Baggiani worked for, and its parent company, YRC Worldwide, Inc. The wrongful death claims sought damages for the loss of Sissoko’s society that her family had allegedly suffered as a result of the defendants’ negligence.

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