- The defendant owed a duty of care, according to applicable legal standards.
- The defendant breached the duty of care by doing something or failing to do something.
- As a consequence of the defendant’s breach, a person was injured.
- The person’s injuries can be quantified as damages that can be compensated through the legal process.
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- Wrongful Death
Daniel DeMaranville served as a police officer for 21 years before retiring from the force in 1990 and becoming a security officer for a private company. In 2012, Daniel died from cardiac arrest shortly after undergoing gallbladder removal surgery.
After his death, Daniel’s wife, Laura DeMaranville, filed a claim for workers’ compensation death benefits. The claim was denied by both the City of Reno and Employers Insurance Company of Nevada (EICON), the company that provided workers’ compensation coverage to the city at the time Daniel was employed. Both parties argued that there was no evidence that Daniel’s death was caused by heart disease.
The denial was appealed, and an appeals officer reversed this decision. The appeals officer found:
- There was evidence that occupational heart disease was the cause of death.
- The City of Reno was liable since they were self-insured at the time of Daniel’s death. EICON was not liable since they no longer insured the city at the time of Daniel’s death.
- Benefits should be calculated using the income Daniel earned as a security officer at the time of his death.
The Supreme Court’s Decision
The Supreme Court’s ruling addressed three questions: • Did a compensable injury cause Daniel’s death? • Who is responsible for compensating Daniel’s family? • How should the death benefits be calculated?
Did a compensable injury cause Daniel’s death?
Both Daniel’s surgeon and a cardiologist specialist agreed that heart disease caused Daniel’s death. Based on this evidence, the Supreme Court ruled that it was clear that heart disease was the cause of Daniel’s death.
By law, heart disease is considered an occupational disease if it is diagnosed in a police officer who has served for more than five years. This is true even if the heart disease is not diagnosed until after the police officer has retired. Therefore, the Supreme Court ruled that the plaintiff was entitled to benefits since Daniel’s occupational heart disease was covered by the workers’ compensation system.
Who is responsible for compensating Daniel’s family?
The Supreme Court ruled that the lower courts were wrong to conclude that the City of Reno was liable for the workers’ compensation claim. Daniel’s heart disease was related to his work as a police officer. EICON was the city’s insurer the last time that Daniel was employed as a police officer. It doesn’t matter that EICON no longer insured the city at the time of Daniel’s death—the company did provide coverage when Daniel was employed and exposed to the risk of heart disease. Therefore, the court found that under the “last injurious exposure rule,” EICON was liable for compensating Daniel’s family.
How should the death benefits be calculated?
The Supreme Court also disagreed with the method used by the lower court to calculate the workers’ compensation death benefits. The law states that a spouse can recover two-thirds of the victim’s average monthly wage for the rest of their life. The law also states that the average monthly wage should be calculated by looking at the victim’s income during the 12-week period ending on the date which the injury occurred. In this case, the court found that the date which the injury occurred was the last day that Daniel was exposed to the risk of occupational heart disease, which was his last day as a police officer. Therefore, the court ruled that the benefits should be calculated using the income Daniel earned as a police officer.
This is a complex case, but it answers a lot of questions regarding occupational disease benefits, death benefits, and liability for fatal work-related illnesses. If your loved one has suffered a fatal work-related injury or illness, it’s important to seek legal representation as soon as possible.
The GGRM Law Firm Represents Victims Suffering From Occupational Diseases
The workers’ compensation attorneys at Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez have decades of experience representing clients who have been diagnosed with occupational diseases in the Las Vegas area. Our attorneys have the legal expertise and resources that you need to win the benefits you deserve. Schedule a free consultation about your case by calling 702-388-4476 or filling out the form on this contact page.
Suing for wrongful death claim in NevadaWhen a spouse’s death was caused by another person’s negligence the survivor may have the option of suing for damages under the legal concept of wrongful death. Wrongful death is a cause of action that can only be brought by the heirs or legal representatives (typically, estate attorneys) of a person who died as a consequence of a negligent act. Negligence is the backbone of many personal injury cases. It applies when the defendant owed a duty of care toward the deceased person and failed to meet that duty of care, and as a consequence of that failure caused the injuries that led to the deceased person’s death. Duties of care are defined by law, either in statutes or in the long tradition of court cases. An auto accident often involves an act of negligence. For example, a person who runs a red light has committed negligence by failing to obey traffic laws. A plaintiff in a wrongful death case can sue for damages that aren’t available in an ordinary personal injury case. Among other things, the plaintiff can pursue compensation for grief, loss of companionship, and loss of comfort. They can also seek compensation for the pain and suffering of the deceased spouse. If the deceased spouse was also a major source of income for the family, the plaintiff can also pursue compensation for that loss of income.
Death at workPotential plaintiffs should bear in mind that a death at work involves a different set of rules from other cases of negligence. A Nevada employer that is compliant with state laws will have workers’ compensation insurance to protect itself in the event that a worker dies on the job. Among other things, the rules around workers’ compensation prohibit most lawsuits against employers who are compliant with insurance requirements. Instead, the surviving spouse needs to apply for death benefits through the employer’s workers’ compensation coverage. Just because the workers’ comp system protects employers doesn’t mean that there is no longer an option of filing a wrongful death claim against other parties who may bear responsibility. A personal injury attorney can examine the facts of the case to determine the extent to which the workers’ compensation bar against lawsuits applies. For over four decades the attorneys at Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez have helped clients seek compensation for personal injuries. Our practice is centered on providing caring, compassionate service to every client. For a free attorney consultation about your case call us today at 702-388-4476 or send us a request on our contact page.
The criminal justice system does not fully compensate victimsThe criminal justice system’s ability to compensate victims is limited in a number of important ways. Criminal courts are constrained in the kinds of financial compensation they are allowed to grant to victims of crime. Convicted criminals can be ordered to pay restitution for economic damages, which includes things like medical costs, funeral expenses, and lost earnings. But a criminal court cannot order the defendant to pay compensation for the victim’s pain and suffering, or the emotional and life-altering harms suffered by the victim’s family. Criminal prosecutions may fail to serve the interests of victims in other ways. Prosecutors may prefer to save resources and reach a plea deal that leaves out restitution altogether. The prosecution may take a long time. And due to the high standards required for conviction, the defendant may be acquitted.
Wrongful death offers family members a path to compensationA civil claim for wrongful death is often an appropriate remedy for qualified plaintiffs who want financial compensation from the person responsible for causing another person’s death. A claim for wrongful death can seek compensation for a range of harms related to the death. In addition to economic losses associated with the deceased’s injuries, plaintiffs can also pursue compensation for their grief, loss of support, loss of companionship, and the pain and suffering of the deceased. These categories often capture significant losses. Nevada law provides that only certain people have standing to bring a wrongful death claim. Two categories of people have standing. The first category is the deceased person’s personal representative. This typically means an estate lawyer or executor. The second category covers the deceased person’s legal heirs. These are the people identified in a will or, if there was no will, by applying default rules. Wrongful death lawsuits can unwittingly give rise to conflicts among heirs and personal representatives, each of whom may have valid claims. This can be especially problematic if the defendant’s resources are limited. Ideally everyone involved in the lawsuit will agree upon the suit’s goals and how any financial awards will be allocated among them. If the plaintiffs have significant disagreements, especially if there is a significant potential recovery available, the parties may need to hire separate attorneys and negotiate a coordinated strategy amongst themselves.
GGRM is a Las Vegas personal injury law firmFor more than 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has been committed to giving our clients the personal, caring attention they deserve. We represent clients in cases involving personal injury, including wrongful death. We work closely with clients to relieve them of the burden of protecting their interests and defending the legacy of their loved ones. For a free attorney consultation, reach out to us today at 702-388-4476, or contact us through our website.
What are the risks of dialysis?There are three types of dialysis. The most common, hemodialysis, uses a machine outside the patient’s body. Peritoneal dialysis involves an implanted catheter that allows waste materials to be filtered through a membrane in the abdomen. A third type, continuous renal replacement therapy, is an in-patient procedure for patients with acute kidney failure. Each type of dialysis involves some form of surgery, to implant a catheter or other medical equipment that will allow blood or waste to be removed from the body. There are a range of common complications from dialysis treatment. Many complications are an unavoidable side effect of the treatment itself. For patients undergoing hemodialysis, problems like low blood pressure, anemia, and cramping are common. As with any surgical procedure, there is a risk of infection at the entry site.
Potential mistakes during dialysisSome complications from a procedure like dialysis may be unavoidable, but others are caused by mistakes by the medical professionals administering the treatment. For a mistake to serve as the basis of a lawsuit in Nevada the plaintiff must prove a number of things, including that the defendant failed to use the reasonable care, skill, or knowledge ordinarily used under similar circumstances by similarly trained and experienced providers of health care. NRs 41A.015. In the case of dialysis, such mistakes might include:
- Failure to operate the dialysis machine in accordance with manufacturer specifications or in accordance with physician instructions.
- Improper sanitation procedures that result in infections.
- Failure to adequately maintain equipment in safe operating condition.
- Improper administration of medications.
- Failure to adequately monitor the patient during the course of treatment.
GGRM is a Las Vegas personal injury law firmFor over 45 years the attorneys at Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez have represented clients in the Las Vegas area in personal injury cases. If you or a loved one has been injured due to mistakes during dialysis treatment we are happy to discuss your case with you. Call today for a free attorney consultation at 702-388-4476 or request a call through our website.
- Anesthesia administered to the mother during labor or in connection with a cesarean birth can lead to numerous complications that require immediate response.
- Hospital staff handle the baby at various stages, including at the delivery itself and for post-delivery baths, weigh-ins, and so on.
- Newborns may require special care after delivery to address common problems like fluid in the lungs (common after C-section births) or misshapen skulls. Children born early may require significantly more intervention.
Water parks owe a high duty of care to guestsEvery business owes its visitors a special legal duty to keep its premises reasonably safe for use. That means that a water park has a special obligation to ensure that its facilities are safely maintained. A water park’s failure to address a safety problem may give rise to a premises liability claim. Examples might include broken equipment, unaddressed slip risks, inadequate sanitation, or repairs that do not adequately restore a feature to a safe condition. A facility’s violation of laws or regulations can improve the likelihood of a lawsuit’s success. Water facilities are subject to specific rules and regulations that govern their design and maintenance. For example, in Las Vegas the Southern Nevada Pool Code imposes requirements for any publicly accessible pool such as safely designed drainage, water quality standards, and proper surface care. Water parks are also required to have lifeguards regularly stationed where they can assist patrons in the event of an emergency. Lifeguards are required to hold certifications that qualify them to perform first aid and other life-saving procedures, as well as being able to rescue someone who has suffered an injury in the water.
Suing for wrongful death in drowning casesDrowning is the worst-case scenario for a water park visitor. If someone should die from drowning at a water park and the park bears responsibility for the death, the person’s next-of-kin may have the option of suing for wrongful death. In a wrongful death suit the plaintiff can recover compensation for grief as well as other damages. The highly publicized case of the boy beheaded by a waterslide in Kansas City offers an example of probably the most extreme case of negligence by a water park. According to the prosecutor pursuing criminal action against the slide’s owners, the slide’s design made it inherently unsafe. One hopes that the Kansas City accident gives operators of water rides reason to pause before building extremely unsafe amusements, but given the competitive landscape one can expect businesses to continue to push the safety envelope.
Talk to a Las Vegas personal injury attorney about your caseThe law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented clients in personal injury cases for over 45 years. If you or a loved one has been injured at a water park and you would like to find out what your legal options are, call us today for a free attorney consultation. We’re available at 702-388-4476 or contact us through our website.
Nevada’s lifeguard requirementsTo be employed as a lifeguard in Nevada one must first obtain a certification from one of several training programs in the state. The specific certification that is necessary to work in a venue is determined by the employer and local regulations. The certification programs all require applicants to demonstrate their strength as swimmers and mastery of basic first aid, including CPR. Some programs involve more training and tougher standards than others. For example, the American Lifeguard Association’s course covers detailed methods for rescuing people from water and has an especially high standard for swimming strength. Ongoing training is necessary to maintain a certification over time. In Las Vegas Section 4-302 of the Aquatic Facility Regulations of the Southern Nevada Health District require a lifeguard to be present during operating hours at pools that meet certain criteria. These criteria include:
- Pools that allow unsupervised children under 14 years of age.
- Any pool that will be used by a youth group.
- Any pool that will be used for group athletic training or exercise programs.
- Large pools (over 2000 square feet).
- Pools with current, waterslides, diving boards.
- Pools that charge an admission fee.
A lifeguard’s negligenceAs certified professionals lifeguards owe a heightened duty of care to the people they supervise. In legal terms a lifeguard must take steps that a reasonable lifeguard would take under the circumstances to protect the safety of other swimmers. The “reasonable lifeguard” is a hypothetical person of similar experience and training, often constructed from testimony and objective professional standards. Significantly, a lifeguard has an affirmative obligation to help someone in trouble. A lifeguard or the lifeguard’s employer may be liable for injuries that a swimmer suffers under a range of circumstances. Here are a few:
- The lifeguard fails to use his or her training to protect the swimmer from injury (for example, by failing to administer basic first aid to stabilize a broken limb).
- The lifeguard was distracted and did not respond in a timely way to an emergency.
- The employer hired someone who did not have the necessary certification.
Talk to a personal injury attorney about pool accidentsFor more than 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented clients in the Las Vegas area in personal injury cases. If you or a loved one has been injured by a lifeguard’s negligence we are happy to discuss your legal options with you. For a free attorney consultation call us today at 702-388-4476, or ask us to call you through our contact page.
- Physical abuse involves an intentional infliction of pain or injury upon a person’s body. Included within the notion of physical abuse are behaviors that affect the person’s wellbeing, such as withholding food (for example, as a form of punishment), or deliberately withholding prescribed medications or administering incorrect medications. Physical abuse may be immediately visible, in the form of bruises, cuts, or broken bones. If a nursing home is unlawfully restraining a resident the resident may have bruises or other injuries on wrists and ankles.
- Emotional abuse can be more difficult to detect, especially in a person who has difficulty communicating, as is often the case with advanced dementia patients. Emotional abuse includes bullying behavior (yelling, insulting, terrorizing) as well as purposeful neglect and isolation. Signs of emotional abuse often come from context, where the victim behaves in strange ways, such as by being unusually withdrawn or uncommunicative, or by adopting repetitive tics.
- Neglect is a distinct category of abuse that applies in situations where a caregiver, such as a nursing home, has expressly agreed to assume responsibility for elements of a person’s wellbeing and has failed to perform those services. If a nursing home is failing to provide contracted-for services, such as food, laundry services, cleaning, or bathing, it may be committing acts of neglect. Unlike physical or emotional abuse, the nature of neglect often hinges on the specific language of the contract governing the resident’s stay in a nursing home.