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January 2016 Archives

Fallout from Jerry Sandusky scandal still lingers in Pennsylvania

It has been nearly five years since the American public first heard about Jerry Sandusky's horrible crimes against children. As new information was revealed and investigations were conducted, it became clear that Sandusky's pattern of sexual abuse was allowed to continue for so long because Penn State officials turned a blind eye. There were several people with knowledge of his crimes and the power to intervene, but they chose not to act.

Office of Civil Rights Investigates FSU's Handling of the Jameis Winston Rape Case

The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights continues to investigate Florida State University regarding their handling of the alleged rape by Jameis Winston of a former FSU student. The victim has since left the school after a barrage of public harassment. Read more.

Vicarious liability and medical malpractice

Michigan residents often trust that health care facilities will provide them with the care they need to get better. Sadly, this does not always happen, and, sometimes, patients leave in a worse condition than when they arrived as the result of a doctor's negligence. When this happens, it may be possible to pursue legal action against a responsible party in the form of a medical malpractice lawsuit.

More outrage over Catholic churches moving accused priests around

In one of our posts last week, we wrote about an unfolding story in the Midwest involving a former Catholic archbishop. Although the incident did not happen here in Pennsylvania, similar incidents have happened here and in many other parts of the country.

No more passing the trash in schools and churches

There is a term that is sometimes used in connection with allegations of child sex abuse. That term is "passing the trash." When a teacher (or other school employee) is accused of abusing children, they should be turned over to police and publicly fired. Too often, however, the employer allows that employee to quietly resign and look for work elsewhere. The employer may even provide a recommendation, omitting any mention of sexual abuse allegations.

Pennsylvania accident involves many vehicles, injuries

In what seems like a second, a two-car collision can evolve into a many-vehicle affair. If the collision occurs on a busy highway, it is possible for dozens of vehicles to get pulled into the wreck. In such a massive multi-vehicle car accident, it may become difficult to determine who is at fault. However, it is often possible for attorneys and law enforcement to piece together the evidence and discover whose negligence caused the accident.

Nursing home staff taking degrading pictures & videos of residents

Advancements in video technology have greatly aided the protection of vulnerable, elderly adults in nursing homes and other care facilities. When family members suspect that their loved one is being abused or neglected, they may secretly place a recording device in the resident's room. Videos of elder abuse captured by these cameras are often very disturbing.

Prestigious Prep School Investigates Widespread Sexual Abuse

At the elite St. George's School in Rhode Island an investigation has commenced after at least 40 alumni have come forward with credible claims of child sexual abuse suffered at the hands of seven former staff members and four students. This abuse was spread over three decades. Read more.

Archdiocese of Philadelphia Denied Confidentiality in Priest Sex-Abuse Case

Marci Hamilton, counsel for deceased sexual abuse victim Sean McIlmail in his estate's wrongful-death claim, believes that the ruling for transparency by Common Pleas Court Judge Mark I. Bernstein is a first in priest sex-abuse filings against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. This ruling allows for the public disclosure of some case related information that the Archdiocese of Philadelphia had intended to keep confidential including the names of church officials involved including Rev. Robert L. Brennan.

Judicial Panel Cites Jehovah's Witnesses' "Abusive Tactics" in Child Sexual Abuse Litigation

S&Z attorney Jeffrey Fritz, representing sexual abuse victim Stephanie Fessler, prevailed in a venue motion after a panel of judges found Jehovah's Witnesses' guilty of "abusive tactics" in their "last-minute gambit to delay trial" and have the case moved to York County from Philadelphia County. York County currently has the largest backlog of civil cases in Pennsylvania.

Seeking restitution for victims of violent crime: Part II

In our previous post, we began a discussion about the long and difficult aftermath often experienced by victims of violent crime. A recent news story noted that in the case of particularly horrific crimes, even the jurors in criminal cases can be left with emotional scars and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Seeking restitution for victims of violent crime: Part I

No matter what your views on gun control may be, it is difficult to ignore the fact that no other industrialized nation on earth experiences as many mass shootings, murders and other violent crimes as the United States. These horrific incidents are now so common that many Americans have simply stopped watching the news.

Medication errors are a serious concern for victims

Medical malpractice can refer to a range of different types of medical mistakes and medical negligence including misdiagnosis, failure to diagnose, surgical and anesthesia errors and medication errors. Medications are able to do significant good when they are properly administered, however, when medication is improperly prescribed or administered, the results can be serious.

Defective auto part acknowledged as cause of PA teen's death

It's all but impossible to avoid the seemingly constant reports of people being injured or killed due to an issue with a defect in an automobile. A large portion of these have had to do with a faulty air bag manufactured by Takata. While many dangerous products can cause consumer injuries, mistakes made when building motor vehicles takes on greater importance because, if there is a mistake made, it can very easily result in the death of the consumer. Those who have been affected or believe they might have been affected by these mistakes need to hold the manufacturers accountable.

New Pennsylvania law will aid many sex abuse victims in court

One of the factors that often works against victims of sexual abuse is delayed reporting. Victims who were abused as children sometimes stay silent for years before finally coming forward. In both criminal and civil trials, jurors are sometimes confused or skeptical when they hear that the alleged victim took so long to report the crime.

Bill Cosby Formally Charged in Montgomery County

Bill Cosby appeared at his arraignment hearing in Elkins Park, PA on December 30th where he was charged as a felon with indecent sexual assault. These charges stem from an incident at Cosby's home in which he is accused of drugging and raping a woman. Read more.

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