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It is virtually universal these days, that any substantial personal injury settlement, whether it be medical malpractice, products liability, or other major settlement, that the amount of the settlement, the name of the product or medical procedure, the venue, and the defense counsel’s name, be prohibited from any public disclosure. This aspect of settlement should be eliminated as a negotiated item at the injured party’s instance and option.
If the defense desires “confidentiality”, it must pay an addition negotiated substantial amount for this silence.
Craig discussed with Sportscaster, Jay Randolph, a case he handled involving a minor who was badly injured during an after school program. This ties into the topic Schlapprizzi Law Office discussed a couple weeks prior regarding the importance of buffer/safety zones in sports and fitness activities to prevent injuries.
Space is a treasured commodity in both athletics and recreation but it cannot come at the expense of safety. The empty space between actual playing surfaces and out-of-play areas is a safety zone. Inadequate safety zones or buffer zones in sports and recreation can expose athletes and patrons to needless and avoidable dangers that cause serious injuries.
A 2006 analysis of lawsuits claiming provider negligence in the conduct of programs of sport and physical activity (Dougherty, 2006) revealed a lack of a sufficient buffer zone was alleged to have been the primary cause of the injuries suffered in 21% of all surveyed cases. Inadequate buffer zones were the primary cause of injuries in:
• 83% of Tennis cases
• 67% of Basketball cases
• 50% of low organized games cases
• 40% of fitness activities cases
• 17% of softball and baseball cases
The point is, by providing adequate buffer zones one can drastically reduce the likelihood of participant injuries and lawsuits in many sports and activities.
Our law firm is again involved in providing a presenter for a Missouri Bar program. This time it is a mock trial program on April 26, 2013 at the Airport Renaissance Hotel. The presenters on the program are all members of the American College of Trial Lawyers, which organization actually co-sponsors the event. This particular program is presented essentially for younger lawyers, or more seasoned lawyers wanting to improve their individual trial skills. The presenters, like Don Schlapprizzi from our office, are all fellows in the American College of Trial Lawyers. A fellow is a trial lawyer whose trial skills and trial record have been reviewed, and who is then invited to membership only after a very exhausting and rigorous screening. The Academy provides these programs from time to time as a service to the public and to members of the Bar.
This particular program is based on a fact pattern case involving an automobile-truck crash causing a fatal injury that resulted in a wrongful death action being brought by the survivors of the deceased individual. The trial demonstration is abbreviated, involving only opening statements, witness examination and cross-examination, and closing arguments provided by the Academy lawyers. There is time then set aside for audience question participation.
Having been selected as the medical malpractice attorney of the year, Don has been asked and agreed to act as the guest lecturer for the Missouri Bar Program to be held at Saint Louis University Law School for the public on the subject of “Anatomy of a Medical Negligence Case”. The public is invited to register and attend the April 3, 2012 session. This program is a part of a series that was established several years ago with the view to aquaint those in the public sector who have an interest in legal issues and how legal issues impact the public at large.
Click below to learn more about the Program and/or register
DWD is “driving while distracted”. We have heard and read so much about DWI and DUI (driving while intoxicated or under the influence) associated with vehicle crashes, but not nearly as much as DWD. Yet, today we are finding ever so many auto collisions and resulting injuries caused by DWD. It is true that texting gets most of the press, as does cell phone use, which activities seem almost universal. But, there exist other multi-tasking that can be just as dire, ie, eating, drinking coffee or soft drinks, changing the radio station, talking to other occupants, or one of my favorites, “grooming”. How often do we see lipstick or cosmetic applications while watching oneself in the rear view mirror?
The point is, let’s not stop with the repetitive criticism of texting and cell phone use. These other “distractions” can be just as lethal.
My father told me: “never forget, we make our living on the tragedies of others.”
Truth is not always easy to accept. Is this virtuous? Is this honorable? Why did he say
this to me? What was his point?
Well, wisdom does not always come at first glance. My father has been a lawyer
representing individuals who have been wrongfully injured in hospitals, on the streets
and highways, at the grocery store, in the parking lot, in jails and prisons; individuals
whose lives have drastically changed because someone was not paying attention, because
someone was not doing their job, because someone wanted to get a product to the market
quickly at the expense of safety, the list and excuses go on and on. He has tried over 300
jury trials. He has won thousand dollar cases and multi-million dollar cases; his efforts
and conviction in every case, no matter what the case, is the same.
His simple comment to me was a reminder, a reminder to never lose sight of the
people we serve and the difficulties they have endured. I do not wish tragedy upon
others, but nevertheless tragedy comes, and when it so unfortunately does, I, along with
my family and colleagues at the Schlapprizzi Law Office, are honored to stand with those
who have been harmed, to tell their story, and to fight for their rights.