Month: October 2016

Damage Claim

Raizner Slania Files Commercial Hail Damage Lawsuit On Behalf of Nonprofit

Our client, a veteran’s group and non-profit organization, was forced to file a lawsuit against Covington Insurance Company and Engle Martin & Associates after its commercial property damage insurance claim was wrongfully denied.

April 2016 Wind and Hail Storm

On April 26, 2016, a severe wind and hail storm struck Tarrant County, causing damage to the roof, exterior, and interior of the plaintiff’s property. Immediately upon discovering the damage, the plaintiff filed an insurance claim with Covington for the damages caused by the storm. In response to the claim, Covington assigned adjusters, consultants, and agents to the plaintiff’s file that were inadequately and improperly trained to assess this type of damage. Specifically, Covington assigned the claim to Engle Martin, who in turn, assigned the claim to an employee.

The Engle Martin employee inspected the property on May 4, 2016, but he performed a substandard inspection. Engle Martin and Covington failed to hire qualified experts to properly inspect the damage and did not prepare any estimates or scope of damages for the plaintiff.

Engle Martin and Covington performed an inadequate, incomplete, and unreasonable investigation of the claim, and Covington relied exclusively on this inadequate investigation to determine what amounts should be paid. As a result, our client’s claim was grossly underpaid.

Because of Covington’s delays, denials, and underpayment, the plaintiff remains unable to make the necessary repairs to its property, which has resulted in further interior and roof damage. The plaintiff suffered significant economic impact, worry, distress, and continuing economic and physical damage.

Covington Operated In Bad Faith

Our client cites numerous violations of the Texas Insurance Code, including failure to effectuate a prompt, fair, and equitable settlement of a claim, failure to implement reasonable standards for investigation of a claim, and refusal to pay a claim without conducting a reasonable investigation.

Texas Wind and Hail Damage Attorneys

If your insurance carrier wrongfully denied or grossly underpaid your Texas wind and hail damage insurance claim, the experienced attorneys at Raizner Slania can help. Our consultations are free and you won’t owe us anything unless we help you recover compensation. Call us today to schedule your consultation.

Bair Hugger Infection Lawsuit

North Carolina Man Files Bair Hugger Infection Lawsuit Against 3M and Arizant

Raizner Slania filed a lawsuit on behalf of a North Carolina man against 3M Company and Arizant Healthcare after the man suffered an infection caused by the Bair Hugger Warming Blanket. The lawsuit alleges the company failed to properly warn that the Bair Hugger device could cause infections when used during total hip or knee replacement surgeries.

In March 2011, the plaintiff underwent a total hip replacement surgery during which the Bair Hugger Forced Air Warming System was used during the procedure. The Bair Hugger introduced contaminants into the plaintiff’s open surgical wound that resulted in the development of a periprosthetic joint infection (PJI), more commonly known as a deep joint infection (DJI).

The infection was identified as Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA). MRSA is sometimes referred to as a “superbug” because the bacteria is resistant to most types of antibiotics commonly used to treat infections.

As a result of the plaintiff’s infection caused by the Bair Hugger, he had to undergo irrigation and debridement, which removed infected soft tissue from his body and also had part of his metal hip implant removed. Additionally, he had to undergo antibiotic therapy to fight the infection.

The infection not only caused the plaintiff additional pain and suffering, but caused substantial economic loss in medical bills and lost wages.

The plaintiff alleges that 3M and Arizant were grossly negligent in their failure to warn patients and that the Bair Hugger is defective in design and manufacturing. The plaintiff also claims the companies are in breach of the implied warranty of merchantability and violated the Consumer Fraud and/or Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Law of the state of North Carolina.

Bair Hugger Infection Lawyers

Patients who had a total hip or knee implant replacement surgeries and developed an infection within the last five years may be entitled to compensation. The experienced defective medical device attorneys at Raizner Slania offer free, no-obligation consultations to individuals who may have suffered a hip or knee replacement infection due to the Bair Hugger warming blanket. Call Raizner Slania today learn more about your legal rights.

NCAA Concussion Law Firm

Former University of Louisville Football Player Files Concussion Lawsuit

Raizner Slania filed a lawsuit on behalf of a former University of Louisville football player against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), Conference USA, and the Big East Conference. The former student-athlete alleges the NCAA, its conferences, and its universities had a reckless disregard for the health and wellbeing of athletes who sustained concussions during play.

College football players are subjected to more than 1,000 impacts greater than 10g’s (gravitational force) while playing football each season. This is the equivalent of hitting the windshield of a car crashing into a wall at twenty-five miles per hour several hundred times during the course of each season.

The plaintiff played for the University of Louisville as an outside linebacker, defensive end, and a special teams player from 2003 to 2005. He suffered several concussive and sub-concussive hits in both practices and games, but each time he was told to “shake it off” and was promptly returned to play.

After each concussive and sub-concussive hit, the plaintiff was denied the appropriate medical attention and treatment necessary to monitor, manage, and mitigate risks associated with traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). As a result, he now suffers from memory loss, mood swings, headaches, and anxiety, among other symptoms.

The NCAA governs more than 400,000 student athletes across the U.S. with the goal of safeguarding their health and wellbeing both on and off the field. Conference USA was formed with a “commitment to excellence, integrity, leadership, and its student athletes in competition, academics and community.” The Big East Conference issues rules, handbooks, and regulations to regulate the athletic departments of its member schools. Despite the lofty claims made by these organizations, the NCAA, Conference USA, and Big East failed to implement protocols and guidelines to protect student-athletes from the long-term effects of concussions.

NCAA Concussion Lawyers

Collegiate football is a huge moneymaker for the NCAA and universities, yet very little action has been taken to protect athletes from complications related to concussions. The NCAA and its conferences and universities have a responsibility to put their athletes’ wellbeing before profits. If you or someone you love sustained a concussion while playing football for an NCAA regulated team, the experienced trial attorneys at Raizner Slania can explain your legal options and protect your rights. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.

Texas Wind Damage Lawyers

Harris County Windstorm Damage Lawsuit

Our client, a local multi-story hotel tower owner, was forced to file a lawsuit against Everest Indemnity Insurance Company and Engle Martin after its commercial property damage insurance claim was wrongfully denied under Texas law.

April 2016 Windstorm

On April 18, 2016, a severe windstorm swept through Harris County and caused substantial damage to the roof, exterior, and interior of the plaintiff’s property. Immediately upon discovering the damage, the plaintiff filed an insurance claim with Everest for the damages caused by the windstorm. In response to the claim, Everest assigned adjusters, consultants, and agents to the plaintiff’s file that were inadequately and improperly trained.

Specifically, Everest assigned the claim to Engle Martin, who in turn assigned the claim to an adjuster. The adjuster and Engle Martin failed to perform a thorough investigation of the claim. The adjuster performed a substandard inspection of the property and failed to prepare any estimates or scopes of damages. The employee and Engle Martin also failed to hire qualified experts to properly assess the damage.

The employee and Engle Martin performed an inadequate, incomplete, and unreasonable investigation of the plaintiff’s claim, which Everest relied exclusively on to determine what amounts, if any, to pay on the claim.

As a result of the haphazard investigation, the plaintiff’s claim was denied. Everest represented to the plaintiff that the damages were not covered under the policy, when in fact they were. The plaintiff was forced to hire its own consultant to independently evaluate the property damage because Everest and Engle Martin refused to do so.

The Insurance Carrier Violated the Texas Insurance Code

Our client cites numerous violations of the Texas Insurance Code, including failure to effectuate a prompt, fair, and equitable settlement of a claim, failure to implement reasonable standards for investigation of a claim, and refusal to pay a claim without conducting a reasonable investigation. Additionally, our client also cites violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act.

Raizner Slania: Texas Wind Damage Lawyers

If your insurance carrier wrongfully denied or grossly underpaid your Texas wind damage insurance claim, the experienced attorneys at Raizner Slania can help. We’ve helped policyholders across Harris County, throughout Texas, and around the country get the rightful payments they deserve under their insurance policies. Our consultations are free and you won’t owe us anything unless we help you recover compensation. Call us today to schedule your consultation.

O’Bannon Ruling Could Help NCAA Concussion Claims

The Supreme Court has turned down an appeal in the case O’Bannon v. NCAA. The lead plaintiff, Ed O’Bannon, a former UCLA basketball player, believes the National Collegiate Athletics Associate (NCAA) does not fairly and adequately compensate student-athletes for their efforts in contributing to the substantial revenue earned by NCAA each year. Although the appeal will not be heard, the case will still have a profound impact on the current NCAA claims. As a result of the decision, the NCAA has been branded as an antitrust violator, and this aspect of the ruling could have profound impact on the nature of how the NCAA must compensate student athletes.

O’Bannon v. NCAA 

Ed O’Bannon played for UCLA’s national championship basketball team in 1995, and in 2009 he filed a lawsuit against the NCAA alleging the association violated antitrust laws and deprived him of his right to publicity. The lawsuit arose after O’Bannon’s likeness was used in a video game for which he did not receive financial compensation for the use of his image. O’Bannon’s lawsuit claims the NCAA violates antitrust laws because it does not compensate student-athletes for its commercial use of their images and likenesses. The case was tried in 2014 and at the center of the case was a challenge to NCAA’s amateurism rules, which forms the basis of NCAA’s claim that it does not have to compensate student athletes in any significant way, regardless of the financial gains that NCAA stands to make. On appeal to the Ninth Circuit, the Court determined that NCAA’s compensation rules represented an unlawful restraint on trade. On the other hand, the Court determined that amateurism was an important goal, and that any compensation must relate to education. Both sides appealed to the United States Supreme Court, which declined to consider the case and effectively left the Ninth Circuit decision in place.

The NCAA as an Antitrust Violator

While O’Bannon was unsuccessful in overturning the NCAA’s amateurism rules, his case determined “the N.C.A.A.’s compensation rules were an unlawful restraint of trade.” Although the NCAA was quick to claim victory concerning amateurism, the key takeaway from the O’Bannon decision is that the NCAA has now been deemed an antitrust violator. It is this finding that will have a lasting impact on pending litigation against the NCAA.

Increased Scrutiny of NCAA Guidelines

The publicity generated by O’Bannon’s case put the spotlight on NCAA guidelines, and this increased scrutiny of the association revealed deficiencies in the NCAA’s treatment of sports-related concussions, particularly for football players. Although growing evidence of the long-term effects of repeated concussions have been known for decades, it wasn’t until recent years that the NCAA implemented concussion protocols, with current protocols serving as mere suggestions to its affiliated universities. Often, coaching staff, trainers and officials are not properly trained to follow the limited protocols that have now been put in place.

Concussion Related Injuries

Unfortunately for student-athletes, the repeated head trauma sustained during a typical football season can have severe and debilitating long-term effects. While the severity and type of symptoms can vary greatly from person to person, some of the most common symptoms associated with brain trauma include: chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), loss of memory, depression, anxiety, irritability, fatigue, and psychosis, among others. Additionally, repeated head trauma sustained while playing football can lead to the development of dementia, Alzheimer’s, PTSD, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Parkinson’s, and bipolar disorder.

Concussion Injury Attorneys

The NCAA is responsible for the wellbeing of student-athletes from more than 1,300 colleges, universities, conferences, and organizations. If you or a loved one have experienced concussions or other brain trauma as a result of a head injury while playing for an NCAA-regulated team, please contact the attorneys at Raizner Slania. The NCAA has an obligation to protect student-athletes – not to be a silent party to their injuries. Our team is leading the college football concussion lawsuits, helping college athletes around the nation recover damages for head injuries suffered during sports play. Call us today for a free consultation.

Bair Hugger Infection lawsuit

Louisiana Family Files Bair Hugger Infection Lawsuit

Raizner Slania has filed a lawsuit against 3M Company and Arizant Healthcare on behalf of the family of a Louisiana woman who suffered severe complications from an infection caused by the companies’ Bair Hugger Warming System used during surgery. The infection from the defective medical device was so severe, the plaintiff underwent an amputation of her left leg and, tragically, she subsequently passed away as a result of her injuries.

In February 2015, the plaintiff underwent surgery in which the Bair Hugger warming blanket was used during the procedure. The Bair Hugger introduced contaminants into the plaintiff’s open surgical wound that resulted in a periprosthetic joint infection (PJI), also known as a deep joint infection (DJI). The infection was identified as Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococcus (VRE). VRE is an antibiotic resistant infection that is most commonly found in hospitals.

As a direct result of the infection caused by the Bair Hugger warming blanket, the plaintiff underwent multi-staged removal and revision arthroplasties, placement of antibiotic spacers, placement of a wound vac, numerous irrigation and debridement procedures, and antibiotic therapy.

Despite extensive medical treatment, the plaintiff developed a polymicrobial infection that required the amputation of her left leg. Unfortunately, the plaintiff succumbed to the infection and passed away in January 2016.

The severe infection caused the plaintiff extensive pain and suffering and economic loss before ultimately causing her death. Her surviving family members filed the lawsuit on her behalf.

The lawsuit alleges the Bair Hugger device is defective in both design and manufacture, and that 3M and Arizant are in breach of express warranty and committed consumer fraud and/or unfair and deceptive trade practices under Louisiana and/or Minnesota law.

Bair Hugger Lawsuits

There are currently almost 700 Bair Hugger federal lawsuits on file against 3M and Arizant in a multidistrict litigation consolidated in Minnesota. Because a majority of hospitals utilize the Bair Hugger warming blanket during surgeries, thousands of Americans have been exposed to an increased risk of infection. Because of the popularity of the Bair Hugger, it is anticipated the number of lawsuits against the company will continue to rise substantially.

Raizner Slania: Bair Hugger Lawyers

If you or someone you love developed an infection after a total hip and/or knee replacement surgery within the last five years, you may be able to obtain compensation for your injuries. The experienced defective medical device attorneys at Rainzer Slania can analyze your case and help you understand your legal options. Our consultations are free and you don’t owe us anything unless we help you obtain compensation. Call us today to schedule your consultation.