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LOUISIANA MAN SUFFERS SERIOUS HAND INJURY ON CRUISE SHIP

A Louisiana native has filed a lawsuit against American Cruise Lines for an incident that he claims cost him part of his right thumb.

The vacationer was hoping to enjoy an uneventful cruise on the Queen of the West from Portland to Clarkston. Instead, he ended up suffering an injury that was both painful and disfiguring.

According to the lawsuit, the man was leaving the cabin he was in when the vessel collided with a dock as it moved into port at The Dulles, Oregon. The victim believes that is what caused the cabin's metal door to slam shut, partially amputating the man's thumb.

The lawsuit also claims that the door itself "was defective and unreasonably dangerous to passengers in the cabin." It apparently lacked any kind of resistance -- like a pressure bar -- that could have kept it from swinging shut or closing violently without warning. In essence, the lawsuit alleges that the cruise line should have known the heavy door was dangerous to passengers and done something to make it somewhat safer.

The victim is suing for $300,000 for the injury due to its severity, including the pain and suffering he endured as well as the permanent disfigurement and the physical limitations he will have to endure for the rest of his life. The cruise line has declined to comment on the litigation.

Suing a cruise ship for an injury isn't an easy process. Under maritime law, however, the cruise ship can be found liable for a passenger's injuries if a reasonably careful operator could have foreseen the possible injury or if there had been previous incidents that would lend strength to a case.

If you've been injured due to someone else's negligence, find out more about your legal right to compensation for those injuries.

WHEN BULLYING BECOMES PHYSICAL ASSAULT IN NURSING HOMES

You might think that the worries of being the victim of a bully ended in high school. Unfortunately, some people remain bullies their entire lives. When they enter nursing homes and other senior living facilities in their sunset years, they can torment those who live in close quarters with them. Bullying, along with verbal, emotional, sexual and physical assaults among residents, is an unfortunate reality in too many of these elder care facilities.

Staff members can and should help new residents by partnering them with a current resident who can show them around and help them integrate into the community. When a couple of residents can't be in a common space without a dispute erupting, staff can split them up -- much like teachers do with kids.

Even normally well-behaved people can develop serious behavioral issues with age. Dementia can cause people to act out -- sometimes violently. So can certain medications. Sometimes, older people who have lost their independence and ability to control their lives lash out at others in sheer frustration and anger.

Physical assault, however, is a whole other matter. These facilities typically have clauses in their contracts that allow them to evict residents for repeated and/or serious bad behavior. They can potentially be held liable if one resident harms another -- particularly if they were aware of the resident's propensity for violence and didn't take reasonable precautions to protect others living and working in the facility.

No one should have to live out their final years in fear of being abused or assaulted. If you're concerned that a loved one is being harmed or even treated badly by other residents of their long term facility, don't try to intervene with a problematic resident or their family on your own. That could make the situation worse.

It's essential to talk to those in charge. Find out what steps they intend to take and follow up to make sure that they have. Encourage your loved one to let you know if the problem continues.

If a family member has suffered harm at the hands of another resident and you believe the facility hasn't taken the appropriate action, it may be wise to determine what legal options you have. You can find more information about residential care litigation on our website.

THE SHOCKING COST OF A MISDIAGNOSIS

When a doctor makes a mistake and gives you a misdiagnosis, it can be incredibly costly for you. It's crucial that you know your rights.

Most people think of a misdiagnosis as the doctor not realizing how serious an issue is. They say you just have a headache because you are stressed out, for example, when you have a brain tumor. By the time someone else figures out it is a tumor, it has grown so much that they can't operate, and it costs you your life.

Sometimes, however, it can go the other direction. What if the doctor thinks it's more serious than it is?

For instance, one man went in for gastronomical issues and got a staggering diagnosis: He had cancer. It was in his small intestine. Doctors could treat it, but it was going to be very expensive. It would also cause him a lot of pain and discomfort.

The man was wealthy, so he decided to take on the discomfort and the cost, pouring money into the various treatment options to try to find a cure.

In the end, doctors realized he had never had cancer. He just had some gastric issues. It was simple and should not have cost much to treat. Understandably, that man decided to sue the medical professionals who put him through a stressful, painful, expensive experience that he never needed to endure.

As you can see, any type of misdiagnosis takes a serious toll on your life. Be sure you know what legal options you have when holding the appropriate medical professionals accountable for their errors.

ARE TRAMPOLINE PARKS UNNECESSARILY DANGEROUS?

Trampoline parks have become a billion-dollar industry. They provide year-round family fun and exercise. Most people come away from their visit exhausted and exhilarated. Some, unfortunately, suffer serious and even fatal injuries.

Jumping on any trampoline can be dangerous. However, in trampoline parks, multiple trampolines are connected by chain links or steel cables. With multiple people of varying sizes and weights jumping on this interconnected equipment simultaneously, the resulting waves of energy create "double bounces."

These can result in serious falls and other incidents. As one former gymnastics coach notes, the people on the trampolines are "moving at speeds and with energy that when they hit or get hit by somebody else that's twice their weight, they end up with crush injuries."

The former coach, who is sometimes called as an expert witness in civil cases against these parks, says, "Everyone in the gymnastic community calls them death parks."

While that may be an overly grim assessment, a recent report by CBS News found that at least six people have suffered fatal injuries in trampoline parks since 2012. The real number could be higher if some of the plaintiffs had to settle their cases in arbitration and sign confidentiality agreements.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the number of people treated in emergency rooms for injuries suffered at trampoline parks rose from 2,500 to nearly 18,000 between 2013 and 2017. Even nonfatal trampoline injuries can be catastrophic -- like broken backs and necks. Some people break or dislocate bones.

The former coach blames the design of these parks -- with trampolines not only interconnected but placed up against walls with only thin padding. Foam pits next to the equipment are often too shallow, he says. He also blames a lack of supervision.

The International Association of Trampoline Parks acknowledges, "There are parks that do not adhere to industry technical standards, and do not operate with safety at the forefront of their agendas." The group says it's working to require inspections of the facilities. State laws vary, and the federal government currently has no oversight of these parks.

If you take your family to a trampoline park, it's essential to carefully read any liability waiver or other document presented to you before you sign it and to keep a copy of it. If you or a loved one suffers an injury, it's wise to explore your legal options.

DAMAGES FOR CAR WRECKS CAN BE VERY SERIOUS

Personal injury cases are difficult for the victims because they are already dealing with so much from the effects of their injuries. This can make it hard for them to do much when it comes to their case. Fortunately, we can handle the legal work so that you can heal and focus on your recovery if you are in this position.

We find out what you need and what happened in your case. Once we have the basic information, we can give you an idea of what options you have. You need to think about these carefully so that you are giving us directions on your case based on what you feel is best for your needs.

These cases are usually resolved in one of two ways. Either you are going to be able to settle the case using negotiations, or you will have to go through a trial. Even when we are working toward a settlement, we still prepare for trial so that we aren't left scrambling if the negotiations fall short of a suitable resolution.

We know that you might be concerned about your bills during this tumultuous time. By seeking compensation, you are taking a proactive step toward trying to make that happen. Of course, there aren't any guarantees in these cases, so we will have to fight to protect your rights and keep the facts focused on what the negligent driver's actions did to you.

Remember that you only have a limited time to file your claim. The clock starts when the accident happens, so don't waste time. Once you pass the time limit, you can't do anything about the damages you suffered.