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Lawsuit Filed in Fatal Antero Well Pad Explosion

Storage tanks known to contain flammable and explosive gases were aligned on the well pad close to a diesel pump. Despite the fact that it is well-known that the storage tanks contained flammable and explosive gasses, the hatches on top of the tanks were left open. An explosive mixture of gasses from the storage tanks escapes and engulfed the employees on the well pad in an invisible explosive gas cloud, which ignited July 7, 2013.

Charles Arbogast and other workers were on the well site located near New Milton when a flash fire and explosion erupted, which resulted in severe and permanent injuries to Charles Arbogast.

Charles and Diane Arbogast, who are represented by Colombo Law, are suing the defendants due to permanent injuries sustained in this explosion.

For more information:

http://www.wboy.com/story/27168437/couple-file-lawsuit-in-fatal-july-2013-antero-well-pad-explosion-in-doddridge-county

http://www.wboy.com/story/22776291/update-gas-well-fire-injures-5-workers-in-doddridge-county 

http://www.wboy.com/story/22919294/worker-injured-in-july-7-antero-gas-wellpad-explosion-dies

Greater Morgantown Convention and Visitors Bureau Grand Opening

Attorney Dino Colombo participated in the grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony at the Greater Morgantown Convention and Visitors Bureau with Senator Joe Manchin III on Thursday. 

Colombo Law wishes the best of luck to the CVB in their continued mission to create a positive economic impact on the Greater Morgantown area.

Colombo Law sponsoring animals at the Humane Society of Harrison County

Each month, Colombo Law will be sponsoring one cat and one dog at the Humane Society of Harrison County.  The Humane Society offers a great service to both the animals and the community as a "no kill" shelter. Unfortunately, this means there are often more animals waiting for adoption than the shelter has room for which puts the no-kill policy at risk. We need people to adopt these pets and give them their forever home. 

We will feature these animals on our Facebook page, starting Nov. 3rd. 

Traumatic Brain Injuries a common result of West Virginia car accidents

When a loved one suffers from a traumatic brain injury, his or her life can be permanently changed, impacting not just the victims but their loved ones as well. Often, those afflicted with these injuries are forced to relearn basic tasks, as brain injuries can impact an individual's thinking, sensation, language and emotions. Traumatic brain injuries can also result in long-term financial consequences associated with medical care, disability, and rehabilitation.

What is a traumatic brain injury?

According to the Brain Injury Association of America, a traumatic brain injury is defined as "an alteration in brain function, or other evidence of brain pathology, caused by an external force." These injuries are, unfortunately, common. They can be associated with a number of incidents, including the following:

Auto accidents account for 17.3% of traumatic brain injuries in the United States, and medical professionals report that it is remarkably easy to suffer a brain injury in a car crash. You don't have to be traveling at a high rate of speed, and you don't even have to strike your head on an object to suffer injury. Clinical neuropsychologist Dr. Glen Johnson explains a common scenario: "If a person is driving a car at 45 miles per hour and is struck head-on by another car traveling at the same rate of speed, the person's brain goes from 45 miles per hour to zero in an instant. The soft tissue of the brain is propelled against the very hard bone of the skull. The brain tissue is 'squished' against the skull and blood vessels may tear. When blood vessels tear, they release blood into areas of the brain in an uncontrolled way."

Bleeding in the brain can be especially dangerous, because it can cause brain tissue to stop functioning or even die off - and it can happen fast. In many cases, symptoms of these injuries don't appear right away: "Some people have sustained a head injury from a car accident and [seemed] 'just fine' right after at the accident. Some have even gotten out of the car and directed traffic," Dr. Johnson says. "Within a short period of time, they began to get more and more confused until they eventually [lapsed] into a coma."

Legalities and finances

It's extremely difficult to place a dollar amount on losses, damages and expenses that are connected to traumatic brain injuries. If your loved one has suffered from a traumatic brain injury, you are most likely struggling with a large or even astronomical financial burden.

One way a personal injury attorney can provide assistance is by focusing on the legalities and finances while you and your loved one focus on healing. A lawyer can negotiate with an insurance company on your behalf, and help you ensure that your needs are met, both in the present and long-term.

At Colombo Law, our personal injury lawyers represent car accident victims throughout the state of West Virginia. We offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case and answer your questions. For more information, please call us toll-free at 1-888-860-1414.

1 Dead After Ambulance Collision on Route 250 in Marion County

Route 250 in Marion County closed for several hours Monday afternoon following a fatal two vehicle accident. At approximately 1:14 p.m. first responders were dispatched to a report of a crash involving a Jeep and an ambulance near the Barrackville intersection of Route 250.

Both vehicles were traveling towards Fairmont on the Husky Highway. The driver of the Jeep didn't hear the ambulance behind it and attempted to turn onto Barrackville Road causing the accident. The ambulance traveled off of the road and landed upside down in a nearby creek. Two people were transported to Ruby Memorial Hospital and two were transported to Fairmont Regional Medical Center, according to the Marion County Rescue Squad. All four MCRS employees had a varying severity of injuries but are in stable condition while no one in the Jeep was injured. However, the Marion County Sheriff's Department said that a patient in the ambulance died during the incident, but that a medical examiner will determine the patient's cause of death. 

The Husky Highway at Hillcrest, Hampton Road, Pike Street, and Smith Road were closed following the accident while The Division of Transportation was assessing the scene, including guardrail damage. The Marion County Sheriff's Department and West Virginia State Police are investigating and reconstructing the crash and have determined that no charges will be filed against the driver of the Jeep, said the Marion County Sheriff's Department.

"The Marion County Rescue Squad wishes to extend our heartfelt sympathies to all involved, as well as their families.  We extend our appreciation to all who assisted at the scene, to include the Barrackville, Farmington, and Fairmont Fire Departments, Monongalia EMS, Harrison & Taylor Emergency Squads, Marion County Homeland Security Director Chris McIntire and HealthNet AeroMedical Services," said MCRS Chief of Operations Michael Angelucci.

 

Texting & Driving May Be To Blame For Head-On Collision

Just after 5:30 p.m. Saturday evening there was a two car accident in Wallace along Bennetts Run Road. According to Harrison County 911 officials, Two people were flown to Ruby Memorial Hospital and four others were taken to UHC by ambulance. Texting and driving may be to blame, but it hasn't been confirmed.

Troopers say four men were driving in a Toyota Tacoma South Bound on Route 20 when the driver crossed the center line and hit a Ford F-150 head on.

Apparently none of the people in the Toyota were wearing a seatbelt. The driver and the front seat passenger in the Toyota were trapped in the car and had to be cut out. Those were the two people flown to Ruby.

The two other men in the Toyota were taken to UHC with serious injuries. A man was driving the Ford and a woman was a passenger in that car; both of them were taken to UHC by ambulance as well.

19-year-old Christian Shaver (driver of Toyota) and 20-year-old Austin Eddings (front seat passenger in Toyota) are in ICU at Ruby.

23-year-old Kyle Thompson (Toyota passenger) was transferred to Ruby from UHC, but his condition is unknown at this time.

22-year-old Michael Gill (Toyota passenger), 46-year-old Jefferson Flesher (Ford driver), and Regina Flesher (Ford passenger) have all been treated and released from UHC.

Charges are pending. Harrison County State Police is handling the investigation.

The use of life care planning in personal injury cases

Representing clients with severe permanent injuries can be challenging on many levels. It can take an emotional toll on a lawyer and it can also be very expensive. The use of a qualified life care planner will greatly assist a trial lawyer in effectively representing clients who suffer such devastating injuries. When we undertake to represent such clients, it is our practice to get a qualified life care planner involved at the beginning.

To begin with, a life care planner is likely to see things in the medical records that are not immediately apparent to a trial lawyer. Many life care planners are health care professionals who can be a very effective liason between the medical providers and the attorney. The life care planner will get to know the client well enough to work in partnership with treating physicians to insure that the client is getting appropriate and excellent medical care. The goal, of course, is to develop a plan for life that details the current and future medical needs of the client.

Any traumatically injured person can benefit from a well developed life care plan. Persons with traumatic brain injuries, spinal chord injuries, severe burn injuries or amputations are specially appropriate for a life care plan. A life care planner will be aware of and can put the lawyer in touch with resources that will be invaluable for assisting a client with overwhelming injuries to receive medical care, rehabilitation services and attendant care necessary and appropriate for his condition.

In terms of proving damages and obtaining adequate compensation, a good life care plan is indispensable. This is especially true for clients who will require some type of attendant or residential care. And the younger the client, the more critical this is. The cost of attendant care for a young adult, projected over the period of his life, can be enormous. A qualified CPA or economist can calculate this cost and reduce it to present value. We have seen life care plans that cost out at tens of millions of dollars.

At Colombo Law, we are trial lawyers who take our obligations to our client seriously. A life care plan does not just help us successfully prosecute our clients’ cases. It can make a difference in the client’s life even without regard to the outcome of the case. We view it as a privilege to represent clients with catastrophic injuries and the cost of a life care plan is a small price to pay to insure that we do the best job we can. 

Mountainfest Gift Card Winner

The winner of the Colombo Law Mountainfest gift card is Jennifer Woody of Buckhannon, WV. 

We are glad that Jennifer took the time to enter the raffle and excited she won the $500 gift card! Congratulations Jennifer, and enjoy your shopping spree.

Stryker Hip Replacement Litigation

The litigation concerning Stryker Orthopaedics’ Stryker Rejuvenate and Stryker ABG II hip implants continues as more and more patients are noticing problems with their “neck and stem” hip implants. In fact, there are currently nearly six hundred lawsuits pending nationwide against Stryker Orthopaedics. Since July 2012, when the company voluntarily recalled these two metal hip replacement components, patients have become increasingly more concerned about their Stryker devices.

Stryker Orthopaedics marketed the Stryker Rejuvenate and Stryker ABG II hip implants as being revolutionary and “next generation” in the world of hip replacements. Their designs were significantly different than the hip implants on the market at the time. However, Stryker apparently did not conduct any safety testing on the devices before they were sold to the general public. Only a few years after they were first introduced, Stryker recalled the implants due to patient complaints of pain and swelling in the areas where the implants were inserted. It was found that the implants were causing the release of metallic debris into the blood stream and into nearby tissue.

The fundamental flaw of the Stryker implants was that the metal devices were corroding inside the patients and releasing particles into their bodies. This led to heavy metal toxicity in those patients. Metal toxicity can cause serious symptoms such as: chronic pain, infections, gastrointestinal issues, dizziness, numbness, and mood swings, among others. Additionally, conditions such as necrosis and osteolysis can occur as a result of the release of metal debris into the body.

In light of the severe complications associated with Stryker’s hip implants, hundreds of patients have filed suit against the manufacturer. Plaintiffs are alleging that the devices are defective and have led to serious tissue damage, and in some cases, painful surgery in order to remove the devices. Further, many plaintiffs are alleging that Stryker knew or should have known that the devices were unsafe.

At this time, Colombo Law is accepting inquires by patients who have been implanted with Stryker Orthopaedics’ devices. If you or a loved one has been injured by the Stryker Rejuvenate or Stryker ABG II implant do not wait to get help. After first speaking with a health care professional to ensure that you are not at risk for any immediate harm, call Colombo Law. Our attorneys are here to help you learn more about the legal options available to you. Call today for a free consultation because you could be entitled to significant compensation.

Mountainfest 2014

Colombo Law was the gate sponsor at this year's Mountainfest Motorcycle Rally. We had the opportunity to meet riders from West Virginia and the surrounding areas and participate in the event.

Now that motorcycle season is in full swing, many area riders are likely making plans to attend other motorcycle events in the months ahead. In this post, our West Virginia Motorcycle Accident Lawyers want to share a few recommendations to help you prepare for an upcoming road trip. Being proactive about planning for a motorcycle trip can allow you to relax and just enjoy the ride.

TIP 1: Make sure your motorcycle is properly maintained before you hit the road. Especially when planning a long ride, it’s essential to confirm that your motorcycle is in good working order. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) recommends a method known as T-CLOCS (click here to view the MSF’s official checklist).

T=Tires: Check that your tires are properly inflated, and carry an air pressure monitor with you while you travel. Also, be sure to check your tires’ tread depth, wear and weathering. If you’re concerned that one of your tires may need to be replaced, err on the side of caution and get a new tire before you take off.

C=Controls: Specifically, you’ll want to check that your cables (clutch and brakes), hoses, throttle and controls are in good condition and good working order.

L=Lights: Your brake lights, turn signals, and headlamp (high beam and low beam) are a key part of alerting other motorists to your presence and to your intended maneuvers.

O=Oil and Fluids: In particular, check your engine oil and coolant, along with your brake fluid.

C=Chassis: Check your motorcycle’s frame, suspension, chain or belt, and fasteners to confirm that are all intact and in good working order.

S=Stands: Inspect your center and/or side stands for cracks and bends, and make sure the springs are in place with enough tension to hold your bike in position.

TIP 2: Pack smart, given the length of your ride, your destination, and your planned lodging. When packing, consider how long you’ll be on your bike, the weather conditions you may encounter, and where you’re planning to stay. For example, if you’re camping, you’ll obviously need different clothing and food items than if you’re staying in a hotel. And of course, don’t forget your safety gear. 

TIP 3: Know your route and be ready for any obstacles that may come up. When possible, it’s best to travel with a portable GPS system, just in case you get turned around or decide to take an unplanned detour. It’s also a good idea to check for any detours, construction zones, or heavy traffic areas that you may be passing through.

TIP 4: Keep safety in mind. As motorcyclists, we know that we can be more vulnerable to injury than other motorists on the road. Always ride with caution: don’t tailgate, watch for unexpected maneuvers from other drivers, and obey the posted speed limit.

TIP 5: Enjoy the adventure! Once of the best things about taking a motorcycle road trip is the freedom and adventure that comes along with the journey. Taking steps to ensure you’re well-prepared for the trip will make the ride all the more enjoyable.

At Colombo Law we serve motorcycle accident victims throughout West Virginia. To contact our office, call us toll-free at 1-888-860-1414.