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TopDog Law | Safe Driving Tips This Holiday Season

The holidays are almost here, which for many people is a time for celebration with family and friends. However, the holidays are also a dangerous time for driving, as drunk driving rates typically spike during this time of year. In 2019, there were 127 fatalities over Thanksgiving and 140 fatalities during Christmas from drunk driving in the U.S.

It is also more risky to drive during the holidays because more people are on the roads than normal. Factor in the snow, sleet and ice that normally comes with winter weather driving and the number of motor vehicle accidents goes up significantly.

Here are some holiday driving tips to keep you and your loved ones safe:

  • Never drink and drive – make a plan to have a designated driver or a rideshare company such as Uber and Lyft take you home if you are planning to drink.
  • Always wear a seatbelt when driving – wearing a seatbelt reduces your chances of death or severe injury in the event of a car accident
  • Do not text and drive – minimize all distractions while on the road
  • Keep a safe following distance – maintaining a safe following distance from the car in front of you greatly reduces your risk of being in an accident
  • Stay awake and alert – driving while tired decreases your ability to focus and increases your risk of an accident
  • Watch your speed – driving above the speed limit reduces your ability to react to the traffic around you

The attorneys at TopDog Law are here to help if you or a loved one get into an accident over the holidays. Give us a call at 800-215-7211 or send us a message here for a free consultation.

TopDog Law | Famous Rapper Falls During Performance

Last weekend, 27-year-old rapper Post Malone suffered an injury while performing at his concert in St. Louis. A video from the incident shows him falling through a trapdoor on the stage mid-song and rolling over in pain. The trapdoor used to transport stage equipment was left open during the performance, causing the rapper to fall.

He laid on the stage grimacing in pain as medical personnel came to his aid. However, he ended up returning to the stage ten minutes later and finishing the show. Shortly after the performance, he went to the hospital where doctors confirmed that he bruised three ribs.

Fortunately, Post Malone is feeling okay and will likely be able to finish the rest of his tour. In many cases, however, a bad fall can impact your ability to work or comfortably carry out daily tasks. Some of the worst slip and fall accidents can lead to serious injuries that require surgery or physical therapy.

If you or a loved one suffered a slip and fall due to dangerous conditions on a property, it’s important to seek medical treatment and to contact a lawyer. At TopDog Law, we want to help you receive the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering. Call 800-215-7211 or send us a message for a consultation.

TopDog Law | Philadelphia Hit-and-Run Pedestrian Accidents

Philadelphia has seen two hit-and-run pedestrian accidents that resulted in fatalities recently. The first accident occurred Monday around 7pm on Germantown Avenue. A 21-year-old woman was crossing the street as a driver in a gray Tesla struck her. She sadly passed away at Einstein Hospital from severe head trauma. 

The second accident took place at a crosswalk in West Philadelphia Wednesday night. A 27-year-old man driving a Toyota Highlander crashed into two pedestrians, killing one of them and injuring the other. The driver faces several criminal charges; however, police have not found the driver from the first accident.

There are far too many pedestrian accidents each year. The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration reported over 6,500 deaths and 55,000 injuries from pedestrian accidents in 2020.

Preventing Pedestrian Accidents

The NHTSA highlights numerous safety tips for both drivers and pedestrians to prevent future pedestrian accidents from happening. It’s important to always be vigilant and keep an eye out for pedestrians while on the road. Follow speed limits and never pass a vehicle that’s stopped at a crosswalk as there could be a pedestrian crossing that you cannot see.

Some safety precautions for pedestrians include always opting to use sidewalks when available, looking in all directions before crossing the street, and avoiding drugs and alcohol while walking. For more on pedestrian safety and statistics, visit the NHTSA’s website. To learn more about your legal options in the event of an accident, click here.

TopDog Law | Man Injured in Police Car Accident Challenges Longtime PA State Cap

A jury for the Philadelphia Common Pleas Court awarded a $2.7 million verdict to a man severely injured in a police car accident. The city of Philadelphia then filed a motion asking the judge to lower the awarded amount down to the $500,000 cap.

August 14th, 2019, Anthony Blume was driving through the intersection of Cayuga Street and Broad Street when a police cruiser crashed into him. The police officer had his lights and siren on, but he failed to come to a complete stop at the intersection. Philadelphia law requires officers to stop before entering the intersection during red lights.

Blume broke his arm as well as his neck in three places and required multiple surgeries. His injuries left him unable to work, eventually leading to him moving out of his home into a boarding house.

Pennsylvania law has set a limit of $500,000 that municipalities must pay for incidents that involve injury, property damage and even death. The $500,000 cap has stayed the same since 1980. The cap stays at $500,000 regardless of the severity of the incident and how many victims there are.

Blume hopes to challenge this cap or to find another way to uphold the $2.7 million verdict from his police car accident. Those who oppose raising the cap feel as though a higher cap would lead to more financial strain on taxpayers and local governments.

If you or a loved one are a victim of a police car accident or another injury matter, it’s important to have a personal injury lawyer that will work to get you the compensation you deserve. Our Philadelphia personal injury lawyers are here to help. Please give us a call at 800-215-7211 or you can contact us here for a free consultation. For more on this story, click here.

TopDog Law | Man Dies After Being Punched by Bouncer

Eric Pope, 41, died on Saturday the 23rd after a bouncer punched him outside of Tabu Lounge and Sports Bar. Pope was escorted out of the bar around 1 am on April 16th when the bouncer allegedly punched him in the head. He fell to the ground and went unconscious.

The bouncer dragged him out to the sidewalk and left him unattended before he was rushed to Jefferson University Hospital in critical condition. Tabu staff insisted that the bouncer was not an employee of the bar and instead was an employee of a third-party security company.

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident with the security company. In fact, Mainline Private Security has had a host of lawsuits since 2020 for similar incidents. A lawsuit in 2020 accused a bouncer of punching a patron in the head as he was leaving Voyeur Nightclub. The injured person was hospitalized, and the bouncer was found guilty of assault.

The bouncer turned himself in to the police on Thursday, April 28th and will face a third-degree murder charge. One of the owners of the bar said the assault did not occur on their property. The managers insist that authorities were called right after the incident, and they will fully cooperate with the investigation. 

For more information on this story, click here. If you or a loved one need assistance with a personal injury case, TopDog Law is here to help. Please call our office at 800-215-7211 or send us a message here.

TopDog Law | Recent Baby Formula Recall

Last week, Abbott Nutrition issued a recall on select baby formulas manufactured in a facility in Sturgis, Michigan. The company recalled select units of Similac, Alimentum, and EleCare baby formulas. The FDA has also warned consumers to stop using these formulas from the Michigan facility.

This recall follows reports of 4 infants that developed bacterial infections. All four babies ended up in the hospital as a result. One infant had Salmonella Newport, which is a common infection involving fever and gastrointestinal illness.

The other three children developed Cronobacter sakazakii, an infection that can spread throughout the body and cause bowel damage. Furthermore, this can lead to sepsis, meningitis and even death.

If you feel as though your child may have been affected by the recent baby formula recall, you can visit Home (similacrecall.com). The website includes an area to type in the multi-digit code at the bottom of your container to find out. Also, you can call 1-800-986-8540 for assistance. If your child ended up hospitalized from one of these formulas, please contact our office at 800-215-7211.

Several Babies are Hospitalized after the Recent Baby Formula Recall

About Baby Formula Lawsuits

Sadly, this is not the first-time baby formula has led to significant health complications. In fact, there are currently several lawsuits against the manufacturers of Similac and Enfamil baby formula for its link to NEC in premature infants. Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) is a gastrointestinal condition that can lead to inflammation in the intestines. In worst cases, it can be fatal if the bacteria leaks from the intestines into the rest of the body.

Further research has shown a link between cow’s milk-based formulas and NEC in premature infants. The lawsuits allege that the manufacturers of Similac and Enfamil failed to warn parents of the risk of developing NEC. The parents feel as though the companies should have known of these risks and should have properly communicated them.

If your child has developed an illness from a baby formula, seek medical attention immediately. If your child was born prematurely and was diagnosed with NEC after being fed Similac or Enfamil, TopDog Law is here to help. Please call 800-215-7211 or send us a message for a free consultation. For additional information on the baby formula recall, click here.

TopDog Law | Lyft Reports over 4,000 Sexual Assaults between 2017 and 2019

In 2019, Lyft pledged to release a report on its sexual assault statistics. The company has finally released its Community Safety Report and the results are shocking. 

Lyft has disclosed that over 4,000 incidents of sexual assault occurred between 2017 and 2019. The number of incidents each year is as follows: 1,096 in 2017, 1,255 in 2018, and 1,807 in 2019.

Jennifer Brandenburger, Lyft’s head of policy research and development said the following about the report, “While safety incidents on our platform are incredibly rare, we realize that even one is too many. Behind every report is a real person and real experience, and our goal is to make each Lyft ride as safe as we possibly can”.

Lyft decided to release its report following Uber’s release of its safety report in 2019. Uber reported over 6,000 incidents of sexual assault on its platform in 2017 and 2018. Both companies have an incident rate of 0.0002%. 

Safety Measures to Prevent Lyft Sexual Assaults

While the number of incidents has increased each year, so has the number of rides. The rate of sexual assaults has actually decreased by 19%. This is largely due to the measures the company has taken to improve safety between its drivers and its passengers. 

Safety measures include thorough background checks before hiring its drivers and annual background checks. The company also requires a community safety course for its drivers and continuously monitors their driving records. Lyft also has ride verification and location sharing features for its passengers.

Unfortunately, the number of Lyft sexual assaults is shocking, and sexual assault is prevalent in most industries. TopDog Law and its lawyers are trained to help you if you need a lawyer. We want to help you receive the compensation you deserve for your suffering. Contact TopDog Law today at 800-215-7211 or send us a message for a free consultation. For Lyft’s safety report, click here

TopDog Law | 8 Infant Deaths Spark Boppy Recall

When an infant passes away unexpectedly, one of the first questions we ask at TopDog Law is if the their baby was in an inclined sleeper. Far too often, the sleeper is the cause of the infant’s death.

The Boppy Company recently recalled over 3.3 million Lounger Pillows after reporting 8 infant deaths from suffocation. According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (C.P.S.C.), the deaths occurred between 2015 and 2020, with the infants found on their side or their stomach.

Before the company announced the recall, the C.P.S.C. released a study that found that inclined sleepers are unsafe for use. Inclined sleepers can lead to the baby’s head tilting too far forward or to the side, blocking airways. This study follows reports of 73 infant deaths due to inclined sleepers.

The Boppy Company is not the first company to recall its sleepers. Fisher Price, Graco, Kids II and other manufacturers have recalled their sleepers as well. Dozens of lawsuits are in suit as a result of these sleepers.

What to do if Your Boppy Lounger is Recalled

The company has recalled the Boppy Original Newborn Loungers, Pottery Barn Kids Boppy Newborn Loungers and Boppy Preferred Newborn Loungers. If you own a Boppy Lounger, then stop using it immediately and contact Boppy for a refund. If you believe you own a product from the Boppy recall, then fill out the form on their website here. We urge parents to discontinue the use of other inclined sleepers as well. 

The Boppy Company has recalled the three lounger pillows shown above.

If you are a parent and you’ve lost your child from a Boppy Lounger or another inclined sleeper, you may have a case. Our attorneys at TopDog Law are trained professionals who want to help you get compensation for your pain and suffering. You can call us at 800-215-7211 or send us a message for a free consultation. 

TopDog Law | “What Do I Do After An Accident?”

An accident can be one of the most stressful situations someone can find themselves in. Often, those involved are left shaken up and wondering “what do I do now?” If no one is injured, the accident can usually be handled between the drivers. However, it does get more complicated if injuries are sustained.

First things first, move all vehicles and people to a safer area if possible. Try to pull off to the side of the road or into a parking lot to handle the situation. However, if someone is injured and unable to move, do not try to move them on your own; wait for medical professionals to arrive.

In addition to calling for medics, also call the cops. It will be beneficial in the future if all parties involved have an official police report done. While completing the report, also gather the other parties’ information such as their name, phone number, address, insurance information, make and model of their car, and license plate number. Also make sure to take pictures, get law enforcement names, and speak with witnesses to gather statements.

Once everyone is safe and home, an insurance claim with the at-fault’s insurance should be filed. This helps to make sure you are compensated for injuries, bills, lost wages, and property damage. Something else that will help your cause will be keeping a record of everything that happens from the moment the accident occurred. Note any symptoms you or others may have, repair expenses, doctor’s visits, etc.

If you ever do find yourself in a car accident resulting in injuries, contact TopDog Law. Our car accident lawyers want to get you the best compensation possible for you! Contact us at 800-215-7211 or send us a message for a free consultation.

TopDog Law | Sexual Assault Case Dropped Against Former Philly Police Inspector

In October 2019, former Philadelphia police inspector, Carl W. Holmes Jr. was charged with sexual assault of three female officers. In March 2021, the District Attorney’s Office withdrew the second case, leaving only one before the court.

The withdrawn case involved the sexual assault charged alleged by Christa Hayburn. Gregory Pagano, Holmes’s attorney, said Hayburn’s credibility was questionable. In a Zoom court hearing, Hayburn stated she did not agree with the decision to withdraw her case, and that she was a “willing participant throughout… even though it has been re-traumatizing…”

In hopes to dismiss the case that was filed in September 2020, Pagano argued that Holmes has been the victim of a “witch hunt” and “the allegations in the case have received extensive local press… beginning approximately ten years ago.”1

In March 2020, the case involving former officer Elisa Diaz was withdrawn after she failed to appear in court. They were dismissed by Judge Karen Simmons but refiled the next month by the District Attorney’s Office.

Holmes, a 55-year-old father of two, was accused by the grand jury of sexually assaulting the police officers in 2006-2007. According to the jury, he kissed them, fondled their breasts, and digitally penetrated their vaginas. The allegations are years old and there have been details given by the officers.

The last case is that of Michele Vandegrift. In 2004, Vandegrift joined the police department at the age of 22. In 2006, she noticed that Holmes was acting oddly towards her and making inappropriate comments. During an overnight shift in 2007, Holmes asked Vandegrift to come to his office. According to Vandegrift, he made small talk then made comments on her body, followed by physical contact.

Vandergrift filed a complaint in 2014 stating there had been multiple years of sexual harassment from her colleagues; a lawsuit that Vandergrift filed against the city over Holmes settled for $1.25 million in 2017. 

If you or someone you know has been through sexual assault, contact TopDog Law immediately. Our sexual assault lawyers are trained to get you the best compensation possible for your pain and suffering. Call us at 800-215-7211 or send us a message to get a free consultation.

1Second case dropped against a former Philly police inspector accused of sexual assault (inquirer.com)

TopDog Law | Personal Injury Lawsuit: Dog Bite Settlement

Receiving settlement after a dog bite depends on many factors. The court has to consider the type of injury, exactly how it happened, what state it occurred in, and more. In this post, we will discuss things taken into consideration because every case is different.

There are multiple different statutes depending on the state where the bite occurred. Some states have “strict liability,” which makes it easier to decide whether the dog owner can be found at fault. If the state has a “one bite” or negligence-based rule, things can become more difficult. If there are major injuries and it is clear that the plaintiff was attacked, the defendant will most likely have to settle for something, especially if an insurance company is involved. You can read more on Pennsylvania’s laws here.

Another factor that will determine settlement will be the plaintiff’s losses and how much they would need in their compensation. Estimating this amount is difficult because a jury will decide how much the defendant must pay. Pain and suffering are also a loss, however, it is more subjective. It is hard to determine someone’s pain and suffering, so an educated guess is made based on similar cases.

The location where the lawsuit was filed plays a large factor in a dog bite settlement. Residents of that area will make up the jury so it all comes down to that localized opinion. Sometimes it can be unfair, such as being in an area where dog bites have become more common. In that type of situation, the jury will be more sympathetic with the plaintiff and a higher settlement may be the result.

Lastly, if an attorney has a habit of accepting low settlements, that trend will likely continue and there will be no trial. That is why you have to find the right lawyer for you.

TopDog Law does handle these types of cases. While we will not know what your case is worth immediately, we want to work with you to get the compensation you deserve. If this has happened to you, call us today! You can call us at 800-215-7211 or send us a message to receive a free consultation!

TopDog Law | Glen Mills Reformatory School Faces Lawsuit

Former students that attended Glen Mills Reformatory School are coming forward to tell their stories of abuse from the school. The newest round of stories is joining the hundreds that other students have already told. These students are suing the institution for abuse that has occurred for decades.

Students that attended Glen Mills found themselves fearing for their lives but also quiet about the events that occurred. There were beatings, threats, rapes, assault, and more that the students fell silent about.

Glen Mills School is the oldest reform school in the country for court-ordered boys. It is located in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. The school created a toxic environment for the students, intimidating the boys but putting on a perfect facade to the rest of the country.

The first class-action lawsuit was filed against Glen Mills School on March 27, 2019, by Berger Montague PC. This was the first class-action lawsuit against Glen Mills on behalf of the former students.

We are aware of the long-term effects that a place like Glen Mills Reformatory School leaves on someone, and we want to help. TopDog Law is taking claims from former Glen Mills students. If you or someone you know has suffered from abuse at Glen Mills, contact us immediately. Call us at 800-215-7211 or send us a message to speak with someone and get a free consultation.

TopDog Law | Toxins Found in Name Brand Baby Foods

An investigation in February 2021 by the House Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy discovered toxins and metals in name brand baby foods. “Dangerous levels of toxic metals like arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury… levels that exceed what experts and governing bodies say are permissible.”1  The World Health Organization says that these mtals are some of the most toxic chemicals for infants.

Name brand baby food companies Gerber, Beech-Nut Nutrition Company, Nurture, Inc., and Hain Celestial Group were found to have been knowingly selling foods with metals but did nothing to stop it. One of the bigget questions asked was “how did they get away with this?” Dr. Leonardo Trasande, a pediatrics professor at NYU said “the reality is that the funding for the FDA is chiefly for drug studies… resources for testing food in the comprehensive way that parents might prefer is not so easily available.” 2

Naturally, soil contains these toxins and some regions contain even higer levels than others. However, even the organic baby foods were found to have extremely high levels of metal in them. Compare the standard of 100 parts per billion of arsenic for baby food, which is entirely too high, to the much lower standard of 10 parts per billion of arsenic in bottled water.

The next question is “how do I know if my child is affected by these metals?” If possible, have your child checked out by a pediatrician. They will most likely show symptoms of having development delays and/or breathing issues. Additionally, they may get sick after eating any of the brands listed.

TopDog Law wants to get justice for the babies that have ingested these toxins. These companies created a trust for decades, just to leave so many parents with little to no other food options. If your child has displayed any symptoms mentioned, contact us immediately. You can call at 800-215-7211 or send us a message for a free consultation.

1https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/04/health/baby-food-heavy-metal-toxins-wellness/index.html

2https://www.today.com/health/levels-toxic-metals-have-been-found-baby-food-report-says-t208366

TopDog Law | Wrongful Convictions and What To Do

A Philadelphia District Attorney, Larry Krasner, has helped overturn fourteen wrongful convictions in the last three years. Almost every case involved official misconduct such as prosecutors withholding evidence, secret investigations, or detectives manipulating suspects into giving false confessions.

In 2020, the National Registry of Exonerations reported that there were 2,400 overturned convictions in the last thirty years. Approximately half of the overturns were due to intentional mistakes by police or prosecutors.

So what does this new report do for the justice system? It sheds light on the issue of wrongful conviction; an issue that has always received attention. Not only does it result in someone living their life in prison for far too long, but the consequences last far after their release. Sometimes the victim of wrongful conviction struggles to adjust to regular life, get a job, make friends, and reconnect with their family. It’s a shame and all of that because there was a wrongful conviction.

A wrongful conviction victim definitely deserves compensation for their time spent in jail. But what could their compensation be? There are so many factors that could go into it, so the best thing to do is contact TopDog Law to discuss it! TopDog wants you to get the best compensation possible for your pain and suffering.

Get the compensation you deserve from our Pennsylvania wrongful conviction lawyers. Call TopDog Law today at 800-215-7211 or send us a message to get a free consultation.

TopDog Law | Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Center Sued For Sexual Assault

Thirteen former Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Center attendees are filing a lawsuit against the center. The lawsuit states that between 2004 and 2014 they were assaulted by staff. The youngest victim was only eight years old.

Philadelphia law groups Saltz, Mongeluzzi, and Bendesky, along with TopDog Law, are the two firms representing complainants in the Devereux lawsuit, Jane Doe (X.X.) vs. Devereux Foundation, Inc. This lawsuit is believed to be the largest survivor-group complaint filed against Devereux to date. Kristen Feden of Saltz, Mongeluzzi, and Bendesky commented “… they were sexually abused by the very people who were supposed to protect them.” Feden also stated that Devereux was aware of the abuse and did nothing to prevent it.

The President of Devereux, Carl Clark, apologized for the abuse and said that all facilities will remain open while undergoing these investigations. Devereux leaders claim that safety measures have improved and safeguards have been put in place to prevent future abuse. Despite those claims since 2018, there have been four staff members charged with sexual abuse of more than ten children.

We are aware of the long-term effects that a place like Devereux leaves on someone, and we want to help. TopDog Law is taking claims from former Devereux attendees. If you or someone you know has suffered from Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Center, contact us immediately. Call us at 800-215-7211 or send us a message to speak with someone and get a free consultation.

TopDog Law | Wrongful Conviction Leads To Exoneration

Jahmir Harris, 31, was exonerated last month after serving eight years in prison after a wrongful conviction of murder in 2012.

An extensive investigation into Harris’s Post Conviction Relief Act petition exposed that there had been Brady violations during the trial, Harris was not the shooter, and that the DAO was investigating the suspect who the evidence points to as the actual shooter. In January 2021, at the conclusion of an evidentiary hearing, the Court granted Harris’s PCRA petition, and a new trial was constitutionally mandated.

During the new investigation, the Commonwealth requested expedited proceedings to get Harris released from prison; the request was denied even though the court knew another individual was at fault for the murder.

The Court granted the motion to exonerate Harris on March 12th after conducting two additional hearings.

TopDog Law wants the public to know how seriously we take wrongful convictions. It is devastating to all parties involved when there is a mistrial. If you or someone you know has been wrongfully convicted, TopDog wants to help. Call us at 800-215-7211 or send us a message to speak with someone and get a free consultation. 

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