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Is the Lake or Pond in Which You are Swimming or Training Safe?

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Unlike swimming pools, which are chlorinated to prevent the spread of disease and germs, lakes and ponds carry an inherent — yet unseen — risk of bacteria and parasites. Doug Landau is shown here before entering the Collegiate School’s world class indoor pool for the VTS Richmond Sprint Triathlon

A Minnesota boy died of a rare brain disease after swimming in Lily Lake in the town of Stillwater in 2012.

The boy contracted primary amoebic meningoencephalitis, a central nervous system disease caused by infection from the brain-eating amoeba Naegleria fowleri.

But he was not the first child to die after swimming in Lily Lake.

It turns out another young swimmer had died two years earlier of the same disease.

The family of the second child has sued the city, claiming its officials knew about the presence of the parasite and were therefore liable for the boy’s death.

Sports lawyer Doug Landau has tried a number of brain injury cases, and has seen the devastation brain trauma and disease can cause in otherwise healthy individuals.  However, this case prompts the question, “How do you know if the lake you are bathing in has this condition?”

Rocky Mountain lever

Rocky Mountain Bicycle Recall

Rocky Mountain leverBike safety lawyer Doug Landau took note of a recent recall involving 17,300 Rocky Mountain bicycles in the U.S.  The affected bikes have an issue with the front disc brakes.  Having been involved in a sudden stop caused by a front wheel malfunction, Doug Landau knows how dangerous such a defect can be.  Luckily for lawyer Landau, he only sustained scrapes and bumps.

The bikes in question are 2003-2016 models of Rocky Mountain cycles equipped with front disc brakes and a black or silver Quick Release (QR) lever on the front wheel hub.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission,  an open quick release lever on the bicycle’s front wheel hub can come into contact with the front disc brake assembly, causing the front wheel to come to a sudden stop or separate from the bicycle, posing a risk of injury to the rider.

If you have this bike, you should stop using it and bring it to an authorized Rocky Mountain dealer for a free installation of a new quick release lever on the front wheel.

Contact Rocky Mountain:

  • Toll-free at 800-663-2512 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday
  • Email at info@bikes.com or online at www.bikes.com and click on Safety/Recall at the bottom of the page.

If you or someone you know has been injured when using a defective bicycle or other sports and recreation product, email or call Abrams Landau, Ltd. at once (703-796-9555).

Landau Father & Son Crack Top 10 at Oak Hill Race

Doug & Zach Landau both finished in the top 10 out of over 300 runners in the Oak Hill 5km., and both won their respective age groups at this Chantilly Highlands Virginia race
Doug & Zach Landau both finished in the top 10 out of over 300 runners in the Oak Hill 5km., and both won their respective age groups at this Chantilly Highlands Virginia race

With soon-to-be doctor Zach Landau on the East Coast for a Pediatric rotation, the opportunity for the Landau men to race together came to fruition at the Oak Hill 5km on May 7th, 2016. Who would get family bragging rights ? The future Navy doctor or his dad, the “Triathlon Trial Lawyer ?

With over 300 participants, Landau senior had to weave in and out of the elementary school students who took off like jackrabbits at the gun. In the lead group were two of Landau’s friends (and fellow Sport & Health Club at Worldgate trained triathletes), Donald Goodman and Robert Osterreid, who finished 3rd and 2nd respectively. Not one to ever look back, lawyer Landau did not realize that the runner right behind him the final mile was none other than his own son !  Both finished in the top 10, with Ensign Landau finishing 8th to his father’s 7th place effort, averaging just under 7 minutes per mile.

The Oak Hill 5k is a fun, community run that winds its way through a course through the Chantilly Highlands neighborhood with both start and finish lines at Oak Hill Elementary School. The event was greeted with good weather and it encourages family fitness. The 5km and 1km events raise funds to benefit programs for Oak Hill students including the purchase of instructional technology and supporting the teaching garden. The event included a raffle and refreshments after the race. Potomac River Running did the race timing, with full results found by clicking here.

Pool drowning cases that are the result of design defects &/or staff inattention are always tragic

Child’s Apartment Complex Pool Drowning Results in Settlement

Pool drowning cases that are the result of design defects &/or staff inattention are always tragic
Pool drowning cases that are the result of design defects and/or staff inattention are always tragic

With swimming season just around the corner, it’s time to think once again about safety when it comes to pools.

Long-time Richmond, Virginia friend of injury lawyer Doug Landau,  Walter Emroch, was able to help a grieving family that lost a child due to the negligence of pool operators where they lived. According to the news reports, this was a premises liability/wrongful death case, stemming from a drowning that occurred on July 1, 2011.

The corporate defendants were the apartment owners, the apartment management company, and the company hired to manage the apartment complex pool and supply a trained lifeguard.

The decedent was a 6-year-old kindergarten student at the time of her death. She was survived by Continue reading

Karate Studio’s Insurance Policy May Cover Negligent Retention Claim

In a lawsuit filed by a minor against a karate studio alleging the minor was sexually molested by a studio employee during a summer camp, the studio’s insurance policy would not cover claims for battery, but could cover claims that the employer was negligent for retaining the employee after learning of an earlier sexual assault and for failing to report the earlier assault to authorities, a Roanoke U.S. District Court rules.

In a case reported in the Virginia lawyers Weekly, the court concluded that coverage exists for the negligence claims. The insurance carrier tried to avoid coverage by asserting that Continue reading

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Protecting the Heads of the Class – Free Bike Helmets for Herndon Elementary School

Doug Landau and Herndon Police
Local attorney Doug Landau was joined by school staff and members of the Town of Herndon police department to teach Herndon Elementary School sixth graders about brain injury prevention.

The Herndon Elementary School sixth grade was buzzing with excitement on a recent spring afternoon.

Doug Landau fitting helmet on student
Landau and his team fitted each student with his or her own brand new bike helmet after explaining the importance of bike safety.

As the students filed into the gymnasium, they were greeted by huge cardboard boxes, audiovisual presentation equipment, and members of the Town of Herndon police force.

Local lawyer Doug Landau was there too.  Landau — dressed not in a pinstripe suit, but in the Team USA uniform — was there to educate the students about their brain in the hopes that he could protect them from unnecessary injury.

After explaining how to avoid needless brain injury by wearing a helmet each and every time they get on a bike, skateboard, rollerboard, etc.,  Landau told his energetic audience that they would each receive their very own helmet, free of charge.  Members of the Herndon police, Abrams Landau staff, and school officials were on hand to see that each student’s helmet was carefully fitted.

Furthermore, the labels Landau and the volunteers affixed inside the helmets guarantee that any student whose helmet is cracked in an accident, de-laminated, broken, or not fitting properly would be replaced, at no cost.

Lawyer Landau has provided helmets to all of the six graders at Herndon Elementary School in the past, as he has done for students in the top grades at Hutcheson Elementary School, Rolling Ridge Elementary School, Guilford Elementary School, and elsewhere.

Landau feel so strongly about this program that he is willing to go far and wide to protect schoolchildren from preventable concussions and permanent brain injury.

The Abrams Landau “Putting Lids on the Kids” program is conducted in conjunction with the Virginia Trial Lawyers Foundation, a nonprofit arm of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association.

Landau stated “I have seen too many clients permanently disabled by preventable traumatic brain injury.   I myself sustained a double concussion.  My recovery took a long time, but was successful because I was able to adhere to a strict rehabilitation protocol with the outstanding team at the Fairfax Family Practice Concussion Clinic.”

If you, or someone you care for, has been injured or sustained a concussion through no fault of their own, and is still suffering from the aftereffects of a head injury, and has questions about what laws apply, please contact us at once so that we may see if we can help.  Phone: 703-796-9555 or email.

No Coverage for Paintball Gun Injury After Notice Delay to Insurance Company

Although an insured defendant said he did not know his homeowners policy might cover a claim for a victim’s eye injury that resulted from his 25-year-old son’s use of a paintball gun at a friend’s home, the insurance carrier need not defend the claim due to the insured’s 378-day delay in giving them notice of the potential claim; at the latest, the insured should have provided notice at the time of the criminal action against the son, says the Danville U.S. District Court.

As per the news reports of the State Farm Fire & Cas. Co. v. Wallace case, Virginia law does not require that an insurance company be prejudiced by the delay in notification; a prolonged delay in notification alone may breach the policy even absent a showing of prejudice. In most cases, the question of the reasonableness of a notice delay is a question for a jury.

The crux of this Federal Court case turns on the language of the homeowners policy.

One of the main disagreements in the case was whether it was “objectively reasonable” to know the policy covered the incident. Continue reading

Dedicated bike lanes do not guarantee cyclist safety. Distracted drivers and those who are not paying attention can still cause permanent injury to bikers through their unsafe driving.

Bicyclist Struck by Motorist in Dedicated Bike Path Settles Case

Dedicated bike lanes do not guarantee cyclist safety. Distracted drivers and those who are not paying attention can still cause permanent injury to bikers through their unsafe driving.
Dedicated bike lanes do not guarantee cyclist safety. Distracted, speeding  drivers can still cause permanent injury by running into bikers through their unsafe driving.

A biker was injured in a motor vehicle/bicycle collision in Virginia Beach.

The crash occurred when the defendant driver failed to maintain proper lookout, speed, and control of his vehicle as he was exiting a parking lot to enter the street. Plaintiff was operating a bicycle on a dedicated bike path which intersected the driveway exit and when struck, was thrown from his bicycle onto pavement.

According to the Virginia Lawyers Weekly case report, the injured plaintiff suffered a displaced right subcapital hip fracture and multiple right rib fractures. Open reduction and internal fixation of the hip fracture with placement of percutaneous screws took place on the date of the crash. Upon his release from the hospital, plaintiff was admitted for in-patient rehabilitation of his hip injury. Over the course of the next several months, the plaintiff’s hip did not respond to conservative care and ultimately nonunion of the fracture with bone collapse was diagnosed.

Thereafter, the plaintiff underwent a right total hip replacement. At the time of the procedure, the titanium screws were cultured and a staph infection was identified. The plaintiff was maintained on intravenous and oral antibiotics thereafter and underwent another lengthy period of in-patient rehabilitation of his injuries and treatment of the infection.

Past medical expenses were $162,554. At the time of the accident, the plaintiff was retired. His sole mode of transportation is his bicycle. He made an excellent recovery from his injuries, as seems to be the case with many of Doug Landau’s active cyclist clients, and he is back riding his bicycle more than 500 miles per month ! (Herndon bike injury lawyer Doug Landau bikes about 400-420 miles per month when training for the National Championships!)

This Virginia Beach Circuit Court case resulted in a mediated settlement of $700,000.

Doug Landau after finishing the Virginia DUathlon & copping 2nd place in the age group at the the Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships

Virginia Duathlon (“VaDu”) determines the Best DUathletes in the MidAtlantic Region

Doug Landau after finishing the Virginia DUathlon & copping 2nd place in the age group at the the Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships
Doug Landau after the Virginia DUathlon & copping 2nd place AG at the the Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships

The Virginia Duathlon (or “VaDu” for short) was selected as the championship of a series of duathlons in the USAT Mid-Atlantic Region with races in NC, VA, MD, DC, PA and NJ. Top athletes compete for series championship as well as qualifying for the USAT Duathlon National Championship. Doug Landau intends to return to the Duathlon Sprint National Championships in Bend, Oregon at the end of June. Last year at Nationals, he finished 3rd in his age group, and then went on to finish 12th at the 2015 World Championships. In 2016 the multi-state multi-sport lawyer intends to compete in the Mid-Atlantic AND National Duathlon SERIES competitions. Complete information for the regional series is available at the USAT Mid-Atlantic Region homepage.

In the "race after the race"  lawyer Landau barely made the ferry to Williamsburg !
In the “race after the race” lawyer Landau barely made the ferry to Williamsburg !

The VaDU is an excellent event put on by Mettle events at the lovely Chippokes Plantation, conveniently located off of Highway 10 between Smithfield and Petersburg Virginia. The park is also a short ferry ride from Williamsburg on the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry. The first and second 5K runs wind inside the park along the James River, under the tall pines and soaring osprey. In between, participants had a difficult 23-mile bike ride through the rolling rural countryside of Surry County, with stiff, 19-mile-per-hour winds and cold. Some bikers were blown off their bikes by side winds. While he has averaged nearly 24 mph for this distance at the Dewey Beach Duathlon, at the VaDu Regional Championship, Landau could not even average 20 mph !

As the USAT Short Course Duathlon Mid Atlantic Regional Championship Race, participants are eligible for bragging rights and awards in the Championship. This race also provides the perfect warmup for the USAT Long Course Duathlon National Championship Race in Cary, NC on May 14th.

By taking the FREE Ferry from Surrey to Jamestown, lawyer Landau was able to change out of his soaked racing kit while not losing time en route to lunch with his daughter and other hungry William & Mary undergraduates
By taking the FREE Ferry from Surrey to Jamestown, lawyer Landau was able to change out of his sweat-soaked racing kit while not losing time en route to lunch with his daughter and a half dozen hungry William & Mary undergraduates

Doug Landau managed to improve upon his past 3rd place award from 5 years ago (also in cold, windy conditions), by finishing 2nd in his age group. His prize last time was a small, hand carved decoy duck. The hand made prizes at this event are wonderful. This year lawyer Landau got a tern.

His good friend, fellow All American Triathlete, VTS/MTS Superseries prizewinner and sometime training partner, Gail Waldman, won her age group and was the 2nd female overall, despite a stacked field of competitors. Her prize ?  A hand-carved owl ! What is even more remarkable is the fact that she also was a prize winner at the VTS Smithfield Triathlon the day before ! She is truly a remarkable, consistent, hard-working and disciplined multi-sport athlete who will be a force to be reckoned with at future Regional and National Championship races. After racing for nearly two hours, Landau did not stick around for awards, as he had promised to feed some William & Mary students, and had to catch the ferry across the river !  VaDu results can be found here.