Justice for the Victim of Nightclub Stabbing

Carolina Forest High School graduate, David Jon Houghtaling, was at the The Afterdeck nightclub with a group of his friends when he was stabbed to death on Sept. 8, 2009. As a result of the events that took place that night, both Joshua Griffith, 23, of Greenville and Blakely Kalen Brown, 27, of Columbia were arrested and charged with murder. Police records indicate that the initial arrest resulted in two counts of assault and battery with intent to kill. Police were called the nightclub at 2:52 a.m. and arrived just a few minutes later.

52cde8c484067.imageHorry County Deputy Coroner Tamara Willard announced that the teenager had passed away as the result of his injuries. The time of death was 3:39 a.m. at Grand Strand Regional Medical Center.

After a brief investigation, police arrested both Blakely Brown and Joshua Griffith. The charges filed against Brown include a murder charge. The charges filed against Griffith include, two counts of assault and battery with intent to kill and murder.

.Houghtaling’s friends, including Sierra Gordyk, said things progressed really fast. “Some guys were just staring them down, guys trying to be tough, I think. They were just staring at my friends. One of the guys approached Ryan, and it just broke out into a fight.”

The fight, which took place near the dance floor resulted in two of Houghtaling’s friends,
Ryan Palmer and Rob Penna, getting stabbed. Penna spent two weeks recovering from a punctured lung.

“[Houghtaling and Penna] were just trying to help their friend out,” Gordyk said. “They went into the fight to help their other friend and they just got caught in the wrong place.”

54cbe5e53f120.imageAfter a long and sometimes complicated trial, Griffith was found guilty of the stabbing murder and was sentenced to spend the next 30 years of his life in prison. Brown was found guilty of being an accessory after the fact of a felony and was sentenced to an 8 year prison term.

During the trial, the defense attorneys tried to argue that the stabbing was an act of self-defense, which the prosecution neatly parried.

During the trial, Prosecutor Nancy Livesay, stated her belief that the defendants hadn’t gone to the nightclub in search of a good time. “They weren’t down here to socialize,” she said of Griffith and Brown. “They were down here to start trouble.”

She also direct the jury’s attention to the fact that prior to the stabbing inside the nightclub, both Brown and Griffith attempted to start a fight outside, but didn’t succeed, that changed when they went inside and bumped into Ryan Palmer whose hand somehow got cut during the fight.

“Horrible cases like this that involve such young victims always break my heart. They’re also the reason I chose to focus my energy on personal injury law. I want to protect families who have been victimized by others and help them recover from financial setbacks triggered by incidents like this one,” said Joseph Sandefur, managing partner of Joe and Martin, a top personal injury firm with an office headquartered in Myrtle Beach.



Los Angeles Woman Fights Disability Denial in Court

In Los Angeles, Melinda Weatherford has decided that filing a lawsuit against Life Insurance Co. of North America is the best way to handle her current problem with the company’s attitude towards her disability. On July 5th, 2016, she went to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California and filed the paperwork. In it, she states that she feels the insurance company violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

ds160728_platforms-668x418In 2013, Weatherford was declared disabled and as such qualified for benefits, which she received from that time through April 9, 2015 at which point she was told she was no longer eligible and that her benefits were denied. A few months later, the benefits were reinstated, but that only lasted for a few months before Weatherford was once again denied by the Life Insurance Co. of North America company. According to the insurance company, Weatherford failed to provide sufficient evidence of her medical condition.

In her claim, Weatherford asked for all back benefits she’s been denied as well as future benefits.

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act was created in 1974. Amongst other things, the purpose of the act was to make sure employee benefits were protected. It’s a solid piece of legislation and it really has done a good job of protecting both the rights of pensioners and those who suffer from disability. That being said, the language can be confusing and insurance companies are brilliant at either finding loopholes they feel will prevent them from paying or they try to deny claims and revoke benefits with the hope that the individual in question will simply give up.

background150dpi1-1024x680If you find yourself in a similar position, you need to remember that you do have legal options. The best way to learn exactly what they are is by contacting a good lawyer who’s familiar with current disability laws like the attorneys featured on www.killinofirmca.com/. Most have a free initial consultation service which provides them with an opportunity to explore the details of your case and advise you about your best course of legal options.

Social+Security+Disability+LawIt’s important to remember that enlisting the service of a good personal injury attorney doesn’t necessarily mean you will be squaring off with the defendant in court. What it means is that you’re exploring your legal options. Although some personal injury cases do end up going to court, most are actually settled outside of the court room during the negotiation phase. In many instances, just learning that the plaintiff had the support of a good lawyer and that they had taken the steps to file a lawsuit was enough to convince the defendant to agree to reverse their initial decision about denying disability benefits. All the same, you and your lawyer will need to be prepared to argue the case before a judge and jury if a settlement can’t be agreed upon.

If you, like Ms. Weatherford, feel you’ve been unjustly denied your disability rights, it’s in your best interest to contact us today.



Regulatory Oversight to Begin After Increased Reports of Exploding Ecigarettes in South Carolina

Reports of e-cigarettes catching fire and exploding are becoming more and more common. In fact, there have been 66 cases identified by the FDA Center for Tobacco Products from January 2015 through January 2016, averaging five to six cases per month. Some fear that this could become a new phenomenon.
“Locally, we’ve seen several patients in the last couple of months who have had burns from electronic cigarettes, particularly exploding and catching fire in their clothing,” states the University of South Carolina/Jackson Memorial Burn Center’s Dr. Carl Schulman. “If it is just in their clothing, and they are not using it, then their clothing is catching fire and they are get a bad flame burn where that is, and our two patients actually needed surgery for their burns and if they are actually using it at the time it explores there have been some reports of actual explosions so they get a blast injury and they catch fire.”

“This tragic accident and similar cases are why I chose to become a personal injury lawyer. I want to be able to help and protect families who others have victimized,” said a managing partner at a top personal injury firm that is headquartered in South Carolina. “It is important that loved ones have someone to rely on that can help them to navigate the various legal aspects of getting justice.”

400x260-ctEvan Spahlinger, a South Carolina resident, experienced an e-Cig exploding when he was using it. According to his attorney, the e-cig, “burst into flames in his face, causing him to inhale flames, smoke and scorching hot air.” In order to recover, he had to be placed into a medically-induced coma. He filed a product liability lawsuit against the e-cig manufacturer.

Spahlinger experienced a number of injuries as a result of this tragedy, including injuries to his esophagus, lungs and mouth, as well as severe neck and face burns.

His attorney feels that e-cig manufacturers need to warn people that there is a possibility that the product could explode and cause injury to the users. Reports show that, in most cases, the item seems to catch fire or explode most often when someone has the e-cig plugged in to charge the battery.

If you have similar case and need a lawyer visit https://joeandmartin.com/.

A report in 2014 created by the U.S. Fire Administration stated, “The shame and construction of e-cigarettes can make them more likely than other products with lithium-ion batteries to behave like “flaming rockets” when a battery fails. Using power sources not approved by the manufacturer to recharge a lithium-ion battery can result in an explosion and fire.”

While not an everyday issue, Spahlinger, as well as others, can attest that the damage associated with an e-cig catching fire or exploding can be substantial. Asking a company to properly warn users is important. Without this information, they are unable to make an informed decision as to whether or not using this type of product is a good idea for them. Hopefully, companies will start to consider this. If you ever heard of a similar case or you have encountered on it by yourself, please hire a criminal lawyer that can help you to receive your justice and punish those that did you harm.


Missing Clinical Trial Data Raises Concerns about Xarelto

When it was first released to the public in 2011, Xarelto was treated like a wonder drug. Since it first came onto the market, it’s estimated that the drug has been prescribed more than 23 million times, netting the manufacturers over $2 billion in sales.


The number of individuals filing Xarelto lawsuits or joining class action lawsuits continues to climb. The anticoagulant drug manufactured by Bayer AG and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals gained FDA approval in 2011 and quickly became quite popular. At the time it was hailed as a new wonder drug, allowing people who were on it greater freedom than they’d enjoyed while taking any of the other blood thinners previously available. However the shine quickly wore off Xarelto and now it has been named in at least 3,400 lawsuits spanning the United States, with more lawsuits getting filed every single month.

Now, people have raised questions regarding the clinical trials Bayer AG and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals used prior to seeking FDA approval for Xarelto. Many suspect that the manufacture failed to provide some bits of data that might have prevented it from gaining approval to be sold to the public.

Lawyers have filed paperwork stating that they feel when the New England Medical Journal of Medicine published a report about how Xarelto had performed in clinical trials, some information was missing from the article. The paperwork also maintains that although manufactures, Bayer AG and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals, were aware of the missing data, they chose to remain silent on the matter, which led credibility to the report.

XARELTO-collage1-300x300In the report, the clinical trial compared how Xarelto and the more traditionally used warfarin dealt with health issues commonly experienced by individuals who used blood thinners. During the clinical trial individuals who had either had strokes or another blood issues took either Xarelto or warfarin. At the end of the trial, the article indicated that Xarelto resulted in fewer fatal bleedings, even though both treatment options produced the same risk of hemorrhaging. Many feel that if doctors had been privy to this one key bit of information, they might not have been so quick to prescribe Xarelto to patients.

Following the clinical trial, one of the devices that had been used to measure the blood clotting process was recalled, forcing Duke to reanalysis the date they’d originally collected. Many experts feel that Duke made a mistake when they failed to compare the freshly analyzed data with the data they’d analyzed with the recalled device to better determine how accurate the original results were. Duke claims that the results are accurate, though it failed to publish the results they collected from the patients who received warfarin during the trial.

Dr. Lisa Schwartz was quick to speak up when she learned about the actual results of the clinical trial. “It just feels like it’s a real ethical breach. If you know the direct answer to this question, then how can you not provide it to be able to give insight?”

When questioned, New England Medical Journal of Medicine, claimed to have not known about the missing data when they published the results.



If you’d like to know more about Xarelto lawsuits, rx injury help is an excellent source of information. If you feel that your health was compromised because you weren’t provided with an adequate understanding about the potentially life threatening side effects connected to Xarelto, contact a lawyer today and learn more about your legal options.

Amanda Spence

Distracted driving causes car accidents every single day of the year. It is more common than you may initially realize. Distracted driving comes in many forms, examples include: talking on the phone, texting, eating, putting on makeup, and many other crazy things you’ve probably seen people doing while driving or stopped at a red light. Many people may not consider being tired distracted driving, but it most certainly is. Drowsy driving is still distracted driving and it occurs more frequently than you may think.

The National Sleep Foundation’s 200 Sleep in America poll found that 60% of adult drivers, which is about 168 million people, say that they have driven a vehicle while feeling drowsy in the past year. More than one third of those surveyed have actually fallen asleep at the wheel. Of those who admitted to this distracted and dangerous event, 13% say they have done so at least once a month. These statistics may be hard to believe, but they’re true. In the city of New York, personal injuries occur all the time, and many of them occur from people falling asleep at the wheel. Distracted driving has many victims, and some never make it home to their families.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducts many tests on driving, especially distracted driving. They estimate that 100,000 police reported crashes are the result of driver fatigue every year.  

The warning signs of drowsiness should be taken with caution and show the driver that they aren’t safe to continue to drive. These symptoms include: yawning, blinking frequently, difficulty remembering the last few miles they have driven, missing the exit, drifting onto the side of the road or other lanes. These signs show that you aren’t focused on driving, and an accident could happen at any moment. The CDC reports that an estimated 1 in 25 adult drivers report falling asleep while driving in the last 30 days alone. This is a much more common event than we may initially think.

In the city of New York and elsewhere, a personal injury can occur due to drowsy driving. This fact is clear based on numerous surveys and studies done on the subject. The AAA Foundation estimates that drowsy driving is involved in many crashes, including: 6% of all crashes where a vehicle was towed away from the scene, 7% of all crashes where a person received treatment for injuries in the crash, and 13% of all crashes where a person had to be hospitalized. These statistics are startling. Drowsy driving is much more common than the average driver realizes. That person swerving into your lane may be falling asleep at the wheel, and 6 seconds away from causing a serious collision. Drivers need to be alert and aware of their surroundings so they aren’t a victim of drowsy driving.

In New York, personal injury can occur anywhere. Drivers need to be ready and have a plan if they are ever a victim of someone driving while drowsy or falling asleep at the wheel. You need an attorney that understands your personal injury and wants to help. Pulvers, Pulvers, Thompson and Friedman have the proven record to guarantee a successful result for you. For more information, contact Pulvers and Thompson, or log on at pulversthompson.com.