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Blog Posts in 2016

  • U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Challenges to NFL Settlement

    Posted By Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. || 21-Dec-2016

    By: Allan M. Siegel The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that it will not consider challenges to the concussion settlement between the National Football League and over 20,000 former athletes. The Supreme Court’s decision, handed down on Monday December 11th, settles a long-running class action lawsuit from former players and families who claimed the NFL concealed information about what it knew ...
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  • Former DC Mayor and Advisory Board Recommend Saving Metro by Amending its Founding Charter

    Posted By Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. || 16-Dec-2016

    By: Allan M. Siegel The last few years have seen a spate of bad news for Metro (officially known as the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, or “WMATA”). There have been safety failures and accidents resulting in death and injury. The Federal Government has been forced to step in and take over safety oversight. Emergency repairs and maintenance have caused significant, ...
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  • Congress Suspends Trucking Safety Rules to Ease Regulations on Driver Fatigue

    Posted By Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. || 14-Dec-2016

    By: Allan M. Siegel Lawmakers were recently successful in blocking safety rules designed to keep tired truck drivers off the road. The rules, which were supported by the Obama Administration, concerned mandatory rest periods that require truckers to take two nights off after a work week up to 75 hours. Specifically, the rules mandated that the 35-hour rest period following a work week include two ...
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  • Driver Fatigue is as Serious a Problem as Driving Drunk, AAA Study Reports

    Posted By Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. || 8-Dec-2016

    By: Allan M. Siegel A report released Tuesday by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says that sleep-deprived drivers are just as dangerous as drivers who have had one too many and are too drunk to drive. In fact, driving with four to five hours of sleep was comparable to driving with a blood alcohol content at or above the legal limit. The report draws from a rising tide of research and past ...
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  • DC Court of Appeals Rules on Admissibility of Expert Testimony in Cell Phone Cancer Case

    Posted By Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. || 7-Dec-2016

    By: Allan M. Siegel Thirteen cases went up on appeal, all of which involve plaintiffs against cell phone manufactures and service providers alleging that long-term exposure to cell-phone radiation causes brain tumors. The appeal asked the Appellate Court to decide what test the DC Superior Courts should apply to the admissibility of expert testimony. Expert testimony was essential to these cases - ...
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  • Texas Crash Involving School Bus, Tractor-Trailer Results in Death of Cheer Team Sponsor

    Posted By Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. || 5-Dec-2016

    By: Allan M. Siegel One victim was killed and several others injured in a fatal collision between a school bus and a commercial tractor-trailer in Texas this past Friday. According to authorities, the crash took place Friday evening on Interstate 20 in Big Springs following a football game in Colorado City. Representatives from the Iraan-Sheffield School District report the school bus was carrying ...
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  • Winter Driving Safety Tips

    Posted By Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. || 1-Dec-2016

    By: Allan M. Siegel Winter is here and Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. would like to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season. During this time of year, we unfortunately see a number of traffic accidents caused by poor weather, and we want to remind all local drivers about the importance of taking extra precautions when driving during the winter. Below are a few helpful winter ...
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  • 'Surge 11' of DC Metro's SafeTrack Program Began

    Posted By Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. || 29-Nov-2016

    ‘Surge 11’ of DC Metro’s SafeTrack Program began this past Monday, which will result in a 2/3 reduction in service on the Orange and Silver lines through December 21 st. After numerous injuries and fatalities on the DC metro system over the years, the SafeTrack Plan was implemented by WMATA. The goal of the SafeTrack Plan is to make the DC metro system more safe and secure. ...
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  • DC Council Passed 'Death with Dignity Bill'

    Posted By Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. || 22-Nov-2016

    By: Allan M. Siegel On last Tuesday November 15, 2016, the DC Council passed 11-2 the 'Death with Dignity Bill.' If enacted, the law would enable certain patients with irreversible, terminal illnesses to request and potentially receive covered medications that induce death. It is a complex bill, which attempts to draw a sharp distinction between ‘death with dignity’ and ...
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  • Progress for Legal Protections of DC Pedestrians and Cyclists

    Posted By Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. || 18-Nov-2016

    By: Allan M. Siegel Mayor Bowser recently signed into law the much-anticipated Motor Vehicle Collision Recovery Act of 2016. The act will provide additional protections to the legal claims of pedestrians, cyclists and other ‘non-motorized users’ injured in a collision with a motor vehicle. ‘Non-motorized users’ include people on skateboards, non-motorized scooters, Segways, ...
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  • D.C. Council Moves Forward With Plan to Provide Free Lawyers in Certain Civil Lawsuits

    Posted By Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. || 16-Nov-2016

    By: Allan M. Siegel The District of Columbia Council is considering passing a law that would provide free legal counsel to low-income tenants in certain housing cases, such as evictions. The bill was authored by council member Kenyan R. McDuffie (D-Ward 5). The bill is significant because, in landlord-tenant disputes, tenants are rarely represented by lawyers, whereas landlords usually are. ...
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  • Recent Transportation Crashes Highlight Shortcomings of Federal Minimum Insurance Limits

    Posted By Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. || 14-Nov-2016

    By: Allan M. Siegel In the wake of several large transportation accidents, including a fatal bus collision in Baltimore and another fatal crash in California, victim advocates are highlighting the shortfalls of federal minimum insurance limits for commercial vehicles. Low policy limits are often not enough to cover victims’ damages, especially when catastrophic accidents cause large scale ...
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  • By Allan M. Siegel In the day’s following last Tuesday’s fatal collision between a school bus and an MTA commuter, local and federal authorities have been working diligently to determine an underlying cause. In a wreck that killed 6 victims and injured 11 others, this investigation is crucial in determining whether the incident was preventable, and how regulators can better address any ...
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  • Special Police Officers Will Not Be Charged for Causing Man's Death During 2015 Arrest

    Posted By Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. || 3-Nov-2016

    By: Allan M. Siegel Under District of Columbia law, a “special police officer” is a person who is legally vested with the power to make arrests in a specific area. Most often, special police officers protect the property of private entities. For example, many special police officers work as security guards on private land. On November 1, 2015, two special police officers were involved ...
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  • School Bus & Commuter Bus Collide in Southwest Baltimore, Six Killed

    Posted By Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. || 2-Nov-2016

    By: Allan M. Siegel A fatal crash involving a school bus and an MTA commuter killed 6 and injured 10 victims Tuesday morning. No children were aboard the school bus, and both drivers were killed in the collision. Four passengers on the commuter also died in the wreck. Ten injured victims were taken to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center, including one victim in critical condition. ...
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  • Metro Expresses Concern That it is Falling Into a "Death Spiral"

    Posted By Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. || 1-Nov-2016

    By: Allan M. Siegel The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (“Metro”), which operates public bus and underground train lines, is in trouble. After a string of safety incidents, the Federal Government has assumed responsibility for Metro’s safety oversight, and forced Metro to engage in the costly SafeTrack program which involves numerous repairs to the train line that ...
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  • New Rule Grants Nursing Home Patients More Legal Rights

    Posted By Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. || 27-Oct-2016

    By: Allan M. Siegel On September 28, the U.S. Health and Human Services Department issued a rule banning pre-dispute binding arbitration clauses for nursing home patients in facilities that accept federal money (i.e., almost every nursing home). Binding arbitration clauses, which can be buried in long contracts signed by nursing home patients and their families, block patients from filing lawsuits ...
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  • One Concussion Could Have Long-Term Consequences, Study Says

    Posted By Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. || 25-Oct-2016

    By: Allan M. Siegel Research has shown that chronic head trauma can have catastrophic effects on a person’s well-being, especially when experienced at a young age. According to a recent study, one of the largest and most elaborate to date, even a single concussion experienced in youth can have a lasting impact on mental health and intellectual and physical functioning throughout life. ...
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  • Factors that Affect the Value of Your Personal Injury Car Accident Case

    Posted By Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. || 21-Oct-2016

    By: Allan M. Siegel Insurance companies compensate victims of automobile accidents based on the victim’s documented or otherwise proven harms and losses. In most cases, an important factor is the amount of your medical bills and lost wages. If you want to be paid for the wages you lost while recovering from the car accident, it is crucial to thoroughly document your income. Have your ...
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  • D.C. Court of Appeals Rules on the Scope of the "Last Clear Chance" Doctrine in Auto Accident Cases

    Posted By Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. || 13-Oct-2016

    By: Matthew Tievsky The District of Columbia is one of the few jurisdictions that applies the law of “contributory negligence.” For example, this means that if a wrongdoer negligently operates his vehicle so as to cause a motor vehicle collision, but the victim also did something negligent that contributed to the accident – even if the victim was much less at fault than the ...
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  • Federal Government Announces Legal Guidelines for Driverless Cars

    Posted By Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. || 10-Oct-2016

    By: Allan M. Siegel Taking a big step toward the nationwide use of driverless cars, the United States Department of Transportation has announced a set of legal safety guidelines – 15 different requirements – that will establish a framework for the manufacturers of driverless cars to comply with. The legal guidelines include requirements for manufacturers to document how and where they ...
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  • Police Shooting of DC Motorcyclist Prompts Change to Bodycam Rules

    Posted By Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. || 4-Oct-2016

    By: Allan M. Siegel On September 11, 2016, Terrence Sterling had recently left a bachelor’s party and was operating a motorcycle in the District of Columbia, and crashed his vehicle into a Metropolitan Police Department vehicle. Either immediately before or after the crash – the timing is unclear – a police officer, Officer Brian Trainer, shot and killed Mr. Sterling, who was ...
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  • The Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Act

    Posted By Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. || 30-Sep-2016

    At the end of June the D.C. Council passed the Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Amendment Act of 2016 by a unanimous vote. The act was signed by Mayor Muriel Bowser at the end of July and recently finished its 30 day period of Congressional review. This Act contains numerous changes that will make a positive impact on pedestrian and bicyclist protection laws. One of the most beneficial changes in the ...
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  • D.C. Court of Appeals Upholds Freundel's 6.5-Year Jail Sentence

    Posted By Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. || 30-Sep-2016

    By: Allan M. Siegel In a recent opinion by a three-judge panel, the D.C. Court of Appeals unanimously affirmed Rabbi Barry Freundel’s criminal conviction for secretly videotaping women who were partially or totally undressed during a religious bathing ritual. D.C. law generally prohibits imposing multiple sentences for a single offense. Freundel’s lawyer argued that Freundel’s ...
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  • DC Council Passes Bill to End Contributory Negligence

    Posted By Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. || 26-Sep-2016

    On Tuesday, the DC Council voted unanimously to end contributory negligence, an unjust legal doctrine that prevents injured pedestrians and bicyclists from collecting compensation for injuries sustained in accidents if they are in any way at fault. The vote comes after three years of advocacy from organizations such as the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) and its supporters. As a WABA ...
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