North Carolina's Guilford County recently paid $475,000 to family of a county jail inmate who died after detention officers kept him in a restraining chair for an excessive amount of time. The sum is likely the highest the county has paid in the settlement of a legal liability case, though officials say a trial would probably have been even more costly. The company responsible for medical care in the jail is reportedly providing even more money to the family, who filed a wrongful death lawsuit following the fatal 2010 incident.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation announced plans to review a heavily-trafficked county road for possible safety issues following a serious car accident that left three teenagers dead and a 53-year-old truck driver injured. An ongoing police investigation has yet to confirm the cause of the wreck, but troopers with the North Carolina Highway Patrol say that unsafe speeds and wet road conditions were likely at fault. Investigators have already cleared the truck driver from responsibility and explained that they do not currently believe driver intoxication was a factor.
The city of Charlotte faces legal action after a 21-year-old man died when police officers shocked him with a Taser in 2011. The wrongful death lawsuit, which the man's parents filed in federal court in North Carolina, accuses a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer of using excessive force against the victim; the plaintiffs claim the officer used a Taser to fatally shock their son as he was attempting to calm down his girlfriend, who had begun to physically attack him. The lawsuit also names Taser International, the manufacturer of the popular stun gun, as a defendant.
A tobacco manufacturer ordered to pay $116 million over the 2002 lung-cancer death of a 54-year-old woman has requested that those damages be vacated and a retrial be ordered. The company argues that its initial trial was not conducted fairly. In lieu of such an action, North Carolina-based Lorillard asked the court to reduce its ordered payments to the victim's estate to $1 million.
The parents of a North Carolina teenager who fell to his death after stowing away in the wheel well of a passenger jet are suing the Charlotte Douglass International Airport over the incident. The wrongful death claim, which also names the City of Charlotte and two airlines as co-defendants, argues that the airport's lack of proper security and safety regulations allowed the 16-year-old victim to easily sneak onto the runway and enter the plane's wheel well.
A 50-year-old North Carolina man faces jail time after being arrested in connection to a truck accident that left a tow truck driver dead. The suspect faces numerous criminal charges, including driving while impaired, felony hit and run and second degree murder. Police say the man has 11 previous license revocations and eight DWI convictions on his criminal record. He has been detained on $1 million bail and is presumed to be a flight risk, as he has no permanent ties to the area.
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that a rare form of fungal meningitis has afflicted 119 people in several states across the country, including North Carolina. While the CDC stresses that this type of meningitis is not contagious like its viral or bacterial counterparts, a total of 11 people have died due to the ailment. The CDC has linked the outbreak to a steroid injected into a patient's spine in order to treat lower back pain.
A North Carolina woman has filed a lawsuit against the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, claiming that hazing by the group contributed to her daughter's death. The wrongful death claim argues that the car accident that killed the victim could have been prevented if not for the sleep deprivation and other negative effects inflicted on the victim and other new pledges by older sorority members as part of a hazing ritual.
A car accident in North Carolina has left a 19-year-old young woman dead, with several other people sustaining severe injuries. Police say that speeding appears to have played a critical role in the wreck, but no charges have been filed as of yet, pending the result of their investigation. Authorities reportedly found empty beer bottles in one of the vehicles, but do not currently believe alcohol contributed to the accident.
Consumer advocacy group Public Citizen has released a report that shows payments from medical malpractice lawsuits hit their lowest point in 2011 since 1991, when such data first became available. The report illustrates an eight-year streak of declines.