Archive for the ‘Personal Injury’ Category

Loophole Gives Driver’s Licenses back to DWI Offenders

June 24th, 2013 | Posted in DUI/DWI, Personal Injury by Seth Bloom | 1 Comment »

Jenifer Englade, the woman responsible for a tragic Memorial Day weekend car accident that left three dead, should not have had a valid driver’s license. The case against Englade has uncovered a loophole in the Louisiana judicial system that allows certain DWI offenders their license back after 30 days.

Jennifer-Englade

Normally, if a DWI offender pleads guilty under Article 894, the driver would be required to complete a court-ordered probation–often including alcohol counseling or drug treatment, as well as community service–before the state Office of Motor Vehicles would reinstate that driver’s license.

In 2009, in an effort to make it more difficult for DWI offenders to get their driver’s licenses back, state Rep. Henry Burns enacted new legislation: instead of a notice being sent to the OMV only after the terms of the probation are complete and the conviction is set aside (under Article 894), Burns’ amendment made it so a notice is sent within 30 days of the plea itself (before the probation is completed). Burns thought that by making the office aware of people who had admitted to DWIs immediately after they occurred, it would make it easier for the office to keep track of those drivers and ensure they stayed off the road.

However, the OMV interpreted this new legislation differently, taking the notice after 30 days to signify that the conviction had been set aside. In many cases, as with Jennifer Englade, this meant that within 30 days of pleading guilty to a DWI, a first offender can have their license reinstated.

Now, Jennifer Englade is no first time offender. The LaPlace woman had two DWIs in 1999, and one in 2012 before her most recent, and most serious, conviction. However, in many states including Louisiana, there is legislation that affords drivers a clean record if they stay out of trouble for 10 years. In Englade’s case, that wipes both of her 1999 convictions off of her record, and explains why she was considered a first-time offender on her third DWI, a little more than a year ago (June 12, 2012).

Another troubling issue that, if heeded, could have saved multiple lives was that on Englade’s third DWI (in 2012), the woman refused the breathalyzer test.

Louisiana is an implied consent state, which means that having a valid drivers’ license implies the driver’s willingness to take a breathalyzer test; if the driver refuses, their license is automatically suspended for a minimum of one year.

So how was Englade driving (under the influence of cocaine, methamphetamine, and a BAC of .15%) less than a year after her last DWI? Her one-year suspension was set aside when she invoked Article 894.

Now that this issue has been unearthed, state Rep. Burns is calling for measures that ensure those at the OMV understand the purpose of the 30 day notice. Hopefully this time these measures will make it harder for DWI offenders to drive, not easier.

If you or anyone you know has been involved in a DWI or DUI don’t hesitate to contact Seth Bloom at Bloom Legal (504) 599-9997 for your free consultation.

Orleans Parish School Board Member Seth Bloom Supports Transparency

June 14th, 2013 | Posted in Personal Injury by Seth Bloom | No Comments »

Orleans Inspector General Ed Quatrevaux is getting fed up with the Orleans Parish School Board’s resistance to an audit he requested on Nov. 29, 2012. Now, seven months later, the School Board is still fighting the request.

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The Orleans Parish School Board has challenged the requested audit, justifying their claims with arguments that are “totally without merit” and have been disproven in case law, Quatrevaux holds. He has recently expressed his willingness to file suit against the board.

Ed Morris, School Board lead counsel, did not respond when reached for comment. However, Seth Bloom, chairman of the School Board’s legal committee, is one member on the School Board who supports an investigation. A criminal defense lawyer in New Orleans, Bloom stated that he is “completely in favor of the OIG auditing us. To show that we’re doing everything right, to show we have nothing to hide, I welcome it.” Bloom also told reporters that the audit was not in response to any specific allegations or wrongdoings.

When questioned about the School Board’s overall resistance to the audit, Bloom explained, “Certain entities in the administration don’t want people looking over their shoulder.”

Quatrevaux, who was reappointed to a second four-year term last month by the city ethics board, said it was unusual for an agency to so vehemently resist an audit. His office may still audit the agency without permission.

[Source: Nola.com]

Suspect in Deadly DWI Released from Hospital

June 12th, 2013 | Posted in Personal Injury by Seth Bloom | No Comments »

Jennifer Englade, the woman responsible for the death of three over Memorial Day weekend, was released from the LSU Interim Hospital yesterday afternoon. Still wearing a neck brace and with bandages on her arms, Englade was immediately turned over to St. Charles Parish officials, being held at the St. Charles Parish Correctional Center.

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It is suspected that Englade was legally drunk when her car crossed the median on Highway 61 and collided with an oncoming vehicle. The vehicle held two women: Esther Contento, 20, and Romishe Mejia-Fequier, 23. Both women were mothers, and Contento was pregnant.

Englade was in violation of her probation when the accident happened, due in court in June, as law enforcement officials sought to revoke her license and return her to jail. When asked if she had been drinking on the day of the Memorial Day weekend accident, Englade reportedly said “I don’t know.”

Englade is facing three counts of vehicular homicide, third-degree feticide, first-degree vehicular negligent injury, a second-offense DWI, reckless operation of a vehicle and driving with an open container, as well as charges related to driving without insurance.

UPDATE: Officials say Englade had amphetamine and cocaine in her system along with a blood alcohol level of .15 on the morning of May 26. Her bail has been set at $500,000.

This is a tragic story. Think before you drive drunk. If you have been involved in a DUI/DWI related incident, don’t hesitate to call Seth Bloom at Bloom Legal, (504) 599-9997, for your free consultation.

http://www.wdsu.com/news/local-news/new-orleans/suspect-in-deadly-dui-out-of-hospital/-/9853400/20515058/-/eg18ktz/-/index.html

DUI Checkpint Stops 1000, Arrests None

June 7th, 2013 | Posted in Personal Injury by Seth Bloom | No Comments »

Los Angeles, Calif. – This past weekend over 1,000 drivers were stopped at a DUI checkpoint in the Burbank area of LA, and none were over the legal limit. In the 5 hours from 9 P.M. to 2 A.M. six drivers were asked to exit their vehicle and perform a field sobriety test, but none were arrested. As seen in many cities across the nation, the Burbank Police Department received a $31,500 grant last year to conduct sobriety checkpoints in hopes of reducing drunk driving in their area.

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The constitutionality of sobriety checkpoints has been a contentious issue for some time in the United States, ever since 1990 when the US Supreme Court reversed a ruling by the Michigan Supreme Court, which held that sobriety checks violated Fourth Amendment rights. The US Supreme Court ruled that reducing drunk driving fatalities was worth the minor infringement on the constitutional rights of Americans. Today, there are 12 states that prohibit sobriety checkpoints. While some states prohibit them based on state law or Constitution, Texas is the only state that prohibits them based on its interpretation of the US Constitution.

Louisiana is one state that does conduct sobriety checkpoints, and with good reason. In 2011 Louisiana ranked in the top 20 (#16) of states with the highest rate of drunk driving fatalities, at a whopping 226. Have you received a DUI recently? Call Bloom Legal at (504) 599-9997 for your free consultation. Seth Bloom has a vast record of dealing with DWIs/DUIs. He knows the law, and can make it work for you.

Two DWIs in 24 Hours

June 4th, 2013 | Posted in Personal Injury by Seth Bloom | No Comments »

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A 26-year-old woman impressively garnered two DWIs in 24 hours in Slidell this past weekend. Marjorie Portier, a Mississippi woman, was first pulled over at 2:30am Saturday morning after swerving dangerously in front of an officer. Portier had just left a local bar and agreed to take a breath alcohol test, showing her BAC to be more than double the legal limit (.08). Less than 24 hours later Portier was at it again, speeding and swerving, eventually making an illegal turn in front of a different officer on Gause Boulevard. The woman begged the officer, who was previously unaware of Portier’s arrest only hours before, not to take her to jail for the second night in a row. The woman once again agreed to a breath alcohol test, which showed her to be over the limit.

In Louisiana, a DWI is an enhanceable offense. The first offense DWI carries a $300 to $1000 fine and up to six months in jail. Second offense DWI brings a $750 to $1000 fine and between 30 days to six months in jail. A third DWI offense carries a $5000 fine and between one and five years imprisonment.

If you have questions about DWI’s or DUI’s in New Orleans or anywhere in Louisiana then please call Bloom Legal at 504-599-9997 or email us at info@bloomlegal.com.

http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2013/06/woman_gets_2_dwis_in_24_hours.html#incart_river_default

Football Players Sue NFL for Damages

May 28th, 2013 | Posted in Celebrity Justice, Personal Injury by admin | No Comments »

Photo courtesy of nytimes.com

Photo courtesy of nytimes.com

Former professional football players have launched a lawsuit against the National Football League, or NFL, holding the members of the organization responsible for actively promoting and profiting from a culture of violence that has led to multiple severe injuries for players each year. New Orleans personal injury attorneys say that, depending on U.S. District Judge Anita Brody’s decision, the case could initiate a widespread, and lasting, change in one of America’s favorite sports.

About 4,200 of the 12,000 former NFL players are involved in the lawsuit. Many of them are living with serious medical complications that they attribute to their careers on national teams–dementia, depression, Alzheimer’s and Lou Gehrig’s disease to name a few. In the last few years, the NFL has seen a tragic increase in the number of former players committing suicide, such as the deaths last year of Pro Bowler Junior Seau and Atlanta safety Ray Easterling.

Leading the lawsuit are the injured players and their families, together with former players who fear that they too will develop these debilitating diseases, and want their health to be monitored. They claim that the competitive nature of the league and of the game itself offered them no time to recover after head injuries that led to concussions. They were forced back into the game, to go out and repeatedly risk more blows to the head on the field.

Personal injury attorneys in New Orleans report that doctors and scientists have learned more about the human brain and the effects of concussions over the last several years, which led to the development of the Mild Traumatic Brain Injury committee in 1994. In the lawsuit, the players’ leading lawyer, David Frederick, blames the NFL for deliberately “concealing” the new information available, calling the Brain Injury committee a “sham committee designed [to] spread misinformation.”

The NFL has been trying to shift blame to the lower levels, claiming that a player’s individual team is responsible for his health and well-being. Their lawyers cite the language of the contracts between teams and players, and the standard level of care at every game. “The clubs…had doctors on the sidelines who had primary responsibility for sending players back into the game,” NFL attorney Paul Clement said. But the lawsuit is aimed more on the organization’s silence when it comes to latent head injuries, and their focus on profit and player performance over well-being.

Judge Brody will issue a ruling in the coming months concerning whether the trial belongs in arbitration or the courtroom. The main concern is the contracts, which may explicitly identify who is responsible for specific health and safety measures on the field. Some personal injury lawsuits can go to arbitration, if the parties have a contract dictating that they must work out legal issues in arbitration rather than the courts. In this case, the arbitration ruling would make for a shorter trial, but would not get at the negligent activity the former players say the NFL has committed.

At New Orleans law firm Bloom Legal, Seth Bloom, a leading personal injury lawyer, represents anyone suffering from head and brain trauma inflicted while working. Bloom legal will be monitoring this specific lawsuit, to see if its outcome may set precedents for future cases.

Orleans Parish Sobriety Checkpoint May 24th

May 24th, 2013 | Posted in Personal Injury by Seth Bloom | No Comments »

NOPD Sobriety Checkpoint for May 24th

NOPD Sobriety Checkpoint for May 24th

NOPD will be conducting a sobriety checkpoint tonight on May 24th, 2013. NOPD did not announced where the checkpoints will be taking place, but they will be conducted between 9pm and 5am.

If you or someone you know ges arrested for a DWI in Louisiana, please give Bloom Legal a call at 504-599-9997 or email us at info@bloomlegal.com.

Spinal Tap Bass Player Files Suit for Noise Violation

May 20th, 2013 | Posted in Personal Injury by admin | No Comments »

Harry Shearer

The members of satirical rock group Spinal Tap may have given up the loud music and the rock-and-roll lifestyle in recent years, New Orleans personal injury attorneys report. Harry Shearer, the band’s bass player, has recently filed a lawsuit against a disc jockey for noise violations stemming from a 2012 incident on a Mardi Gras float. According to his lawsuit, Shearer is pursuing restitution for the loss of hearing and livelihood he has suffered.

In his lawsuit, Shearer describes the incident that lead to his current hearing problems. At the 2012 Mardi Gras parade, Shearer was on the 85-foot-long Bacchawhoppa float, strapped into position directly in front of a loudspeaker. The loudspeaker, which was the property of Rock-it Productions Inc, pumped music at high decibels into Shearer’s left ear for “the duration of the parade, which lasted at least four hours, if not longer.” Shearer claims that he tried to move further away from the loudspeaker, but found himself unable to do so. He also asked the DJ to turn the volume down, or to give him a set of earplugs. The DJ did neither.

A year after the incident, Shearer claims that he still suffers from a “loud, persistent ringing in his ears.” Doctors have diagnosed him with tinnitus and measurable hearing loss in both ears. New Orleans personal injury lawyers report that the rock star’s lawsuit is seeking an unspecified amount of money in damages from Rock-it Productions Inc, the company that employs the DJ, and from two insurance firms to cover his medical expenses as well as his “loss of enjoyment and quality of life.”

In Louisiana, the laws governing negligence and personal injury state that businesses have a duty to take proper care regarding their product, and to protect consumers from harm. In his lawsuit, Shearer claims that Rock-it Productions Inc failed to maintain a safe environment by cranking up the volume on their loudspeakers for such a prolonged period of time.

Attorneys for the DJ and his company have countered Shearer’s claims, saying that the musician could reasonably have suffered hearing loss at any time during his career, including the concerts Spinal Tap performed after making their 1984 mockumentary, This is Spinal Tap. At their shows, the group used Marshall amplifiers cranked up to volume 11 for “that extra push over the cliff.” The defendants have pointed to this and other demonstrations of Spinal Tap’s loud performances as evidence that Shearer’s injuries could be caused by his “participation in various music endeavors.”

The defendants have also argued that Shearer should have expected loud music at the Mardi Gras festival, given that he chose to ride on one of the parade’s floats. But New Orleans personal injury lawyers say that expectation may not outweigh negligence, especially if Shearer tried to remove himself from the harmful circumstances. The musician’s lawsuit makes note of the fact that he suffered substantial losses to his hearing after the parade, not during his career as a bass player.

At New Orleans law firm Bloom Legal, Seth Bloom, a leading personal injury attorney, represents anyone seeking restitution for medical conditions or other lasting injuries that have been caused by negligence.

North Carolina DUIs/DWIs

May 20th, 2013 | Posted in Personal Injury by Seth Bloom | No Comments »

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Sometimes at Bloom Legal we are fortunate to have contributions from other bloggers around the country that are on point with topics that affect us here in New Orleans , Louisiana. If you have any more questions about this then please contact me Seth Bloom. at Bloom Legal.
By Brandon Jaynes, Partner at King Law Offices, Shelby, NC.

You may have heard the phrase that “driving is a privilege and not a right,” and that “privilege” that many of us have to drive is more closely scrutinized today than it was many years ago. In the day and age of computers and freer access to information, together with states cooperating and communicating together with motor vehicle information, having a ticket in one state can spell disaster for your license in another.
If you live in one state but receive a ticket in another state, don’t think that it is something that can be ignored. In many cases, ignoring a ticket, or receiving an entry of responsible (or guilty) on a ticket in one state may end up having your license revoked in another state. For instance, if a North Carolina driver is convicted of a driving while under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) in South Carolina,e.g., that information can be (and often is) transmitted back to the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, where the North Carolina laws concerning suspension of licenses trigger.
Of course, it isn’t just limited to DWI or DUI convictions, but in North Carolina you could have your license suspended for certain traffic infractions, as well. Likewise, many other states practice the same sort of reciprocity when it comes to suspension of licenses in their own jurisdictions. One of the primary ways we see out-of-state residents with revoked licenses in their states are through these reciprocity and communication laws.
This is a primary reason why you can’t ignore a ticket in North Carolina. Sitting half a country away may make you feel safe in the knowledge that the North Carolina police can’t come and get you (under most instances), but ignoring a ticket (or taking care of it without an experienced attorney to minimize any damage to your ability to drive) may very well ultimately end up in your own state’s database of information. Then, before you know it, your license is suspended.
Rules concerning traffic infractions are very detailed and specific, and there exist a wide variety of ways to handle a traffic ticket, given the facts and circumstances. Also, specific counties will have their own local rules and practices. It’s completely plausible that you could have five speeding tickets in three years and not see your insurance rates go up. And while it does turn on the facts of each individual case, taking care of your ticket online (or ignoring it completely) will usually ruin any chance or opportunity to save your license, as well as your insurance rates.
All said, driving may be a privilege and not a right; however, it is a privilege that can often be retained if you hire the right attorney.

King Law Offices has five locations to represent clients with DUI and traffic tickets throughout Western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina.

Family of Child Injured in Shooting May Seek Legal Action

May 9th, 2013 | Posted in Personal Injury by Seth Bloom | No Comments »

Photo Courtesy of nola.com

Photo Courtesy of nola.com

A fatal shooting in Mid-City last month left two men dead, and a third-grade boy severely injured, New Orleans police say. The family of 8-year-old Daymond Harris reported that the boy is awake and talking, after suffering shots to the stomach and arm. He was recovering only a day after the shooting, and is expected to pull through. New Orleans personal injury lawyers say that, although police are still searching for suspects, the family may consider bringing a lawsuit against the men who shot their son.

On Tuesday, April 23, 2013, two men in hooded sweatshirts came up to a porch three houses down from the Harris household, and fired several shots, reportedly around 15. Two men were killed in the gunfire, and Daymond was struck twice, leaving the child in critical condition. Authorities did not immediately report the names of the two other victims, but were waiting to notify their families first. Local police have issued statements encouraging anyone with information about the shooting to come forward.

Despite the fact that no one has been charged in the incident, New Orleans personal injury attorneys say that the gunmen could still be held accountable for the boy’s injuries, should the family choose to file a lawsuit. In Louisiana, recoverable damages for a non-fatal injury include loss of enjoyment of life, disfigurement, medical costs in the present and future, and past and future mental or physical pain. Gunshot wounds can cause serious damage, and depending on where or how deep the bullet strikes, medical care could be long-term, racking up expenses for innocent victims.

New Orleans personal injury lawyers recommend that the injured party file a claim no more than one year from the date of the injury. In this case, the Harris family may have to wait for the police to catch the gunmen before legal action can be taken, but they can take steps to prepare. Keeping meticulous copies of medical bills and a detailed account of everything that happened on the day the shots were fired could help the family build a case to sue the alleged shooters for the cost of emotional and physical damages that Daymond has suffered. A personal injury lawsuit could coincide with any homicide charges the gunmen will face, and the shooters may be held liable for any settlement costs along with potential jail time.

Daymond Harris, known to his family as Bubba, is recovering well from his gunshot wounds, but his hospital stay may be long, and costly. It is for this reason that many personal injury lawyers in New Orleans encourage early action for those seeking to file a personal injury claim. While the case is in progress, many lawyers work a clause covering the bills incurred before the lawsuit is settled. Louisiana has set no caps on the maximum amount a personal injury lawsuit can seek in damages.

New Orleans personal injury attorney Seth Bloom at leading law firm Bloom Legal represents victims of crime who have suffered severe damages and are seeking compensation.

Available 24/7. Call 1-877-NOLATIX for immediate help.