Are You Able to Out Run the Berryville Virginia Zombies ?

Have fun at Saturday afternoon's "Zombie Run" in Berryville

Have fun at Saturday afternoon’s “Zombie Run” in Berryville

Looking for a unique, family-friendly running event that does not start in the early morning ? Runners, Walkers 10 years and up can have a great time at the wonderful Chet Hobert Park in Berryville this coming Saturday evening. The “Zombie Chase 5km” is a 2-part race where 5 km RACERS (runners & walkers) are chased by ZOMBIES. The RACERS will have race numbers AND a “survival belt” similar to flag football that will serve as their “lifelines.” The RACERS’ goal is to finish with their lifelines intact, while the ZOMBIES’ goal is to collect lifelines from racers !

"Zombie averse" injury lawyer Doug Landau, with Clarke County Virginia Park & Recreation, staff points out Race Director Tracey Pitcock

“Zombie averse” injury lawyer Doug Landau, with Clarke County Virginia Park & Recreation staff after a long run after court in Berryville, points out Race Director Tracey Pitcock

Get your team together, dress up and burn off some calories as you are being chased by Zombies. For more information about Race Awards, Costume Awards, Zombie Parade and afterparty… click here to download race application, or contact Tracey Pitcock, Recreation Program Coordinator, Clarke County Parks and Recreation, 225 Al Smith Circle, Berryville, VA 22611 (Tel. 540-955-5149), and on on the FaceBook.

Having been in trial at the Berryville Virginia Courthouse the last 2 weeks with clients and witnesses from Winchester, North Carolina, West Virginia, Florida, Doug Landau has had a chance to run around the grounds of the Clarke County Recreation complex.  It is a perfect setting for this fun family fitness activity. You can be a ZOMBIE, a RACER or a spectator. “Health Stations” will be available.  They are “Zombie-Free” so that RACERS can stop comfortably without the threat of their lifelines being stolen.  There are even prizes for ZOMBIES with the most lifelines and costumes.  The race takes place rain or shine, with refreshments, an after-party, and raffle afterwards.

Health Club and Gym Safety – Maintenance and Consistency

Fitness Center

Some clubs, like this “deluxe” example, are kept very clean and safe, but memberships are costly. Others are not well maintained, and members’ health is put in jeopardy

With the weather turning cooler, athletes and fitness buffs will be turning to indoor venues for their exercise.  Gyms and health clubs are places where health should be improved, not endangered. Yet when maintenance is not a priority, and equipment is not cared for properly &/or on a consistent basis, members’ safety is put at great risk. Plus, the economics of the fitness industry tend to cause many gyms to devote employee resources to membership sales and personal training contracts.

Speaking with experts in the health club and fitness industry, Herndon Virginia injury lawyer Doug Landau has noted that many gyms:

  • keep exercise equipment past their useful lives,
  • do not repair or replace in a timely manner, or
  • do not have a consistent “sweep schedule” to reveal broken machinery, missing pieces, or “accidents waiting to happen.”

Other clubs do not renew the maintenance policy with the equipment manufacturer, and then fail to provide their own in-house exercise equipment upkeep plan.

Having received a number of calls for injuries at gyms, Landau believes there should be minimum standards for all health clubs, gyms and exercise facilities and a national certifying body for those clubs that wish to commit to the safety of their members and staff.

Landau’s grandfather Abrams (for whom the law firm is named) used to say, “you get what you pay for.” So for those clubs which only cost a few dollars a month, consumers should make sure that they are not in bad shape with minimal staff, maintenance, and cleanliness.  Gym members should be on notice that their health are at risk when clubs are not operated with safety as a top priority. On the other hand, many people may not be aware of latent dangers that exist when exercise equipment is not properly cared for and staff is not aware of how to properly use sophisticated machines.  Still other gyms do not invest in the tools necessary to properly fix machines when they break down.

If you or someone you know has been injured due to poorly maintained fitness equipment at a gym or fitness center and there are questions as to what laws apply, email or call Abrams Landau, Ltd. at once (703-796-9555).

Lawyer Landau Violates California Speed Limit – On Foot!

Doug Landau under a 8 mph speed limit sign

Would Virginia lawyer Doug Landau be ticketed for running faster than 8 mph in the recent Hermosa Beach Sprint Triathlon?

While previewing the race course for this past week’s Hermosa Beach Sprint Triathlon, Virginia injury lawyer Doug Landau noted some peculiar signs all along the California’s Pacific Coastal Highway (“PCH”).

Doing his customary “scouting trip”, so as to know where to go on race day, Landau parked his car below the PCH and rode a borrowed bike over the cycling and running courses.

The east coast triathlete trial lawyer was surprised to see signs stating a speed limit of 8 miles per hour!

Landau knew this was a 7:30 per mile pace on foot. The Herndon accident attorney has run a faster pace at every single race he has competed in during the 2014 multisport season. Concerned that the police might write him a ticket if he ran faster than the posted speed limit for bicycles, skateboards, rollerblades, etc., Landau checked with local police so as not to run afoul of southern California law.

The Dulles airport area lawyer was advised that police would not be ticketing athletes who ran faster than 8 miles an hour. Armed with that information, Landau ran sub seven minute miles to pass athletes the entire time he ran along the Pacific ocean.

However, Landau noted after the race he would have liked the speeding ticket for running faster than the posted speed limit. “It would’ve made for one heck of a souvenir,”  he joked.  “However, the finisher’s medal, the podium, and the other swag were more than enough to make for a memorable day at the beach. Plus, I had my wife and daughter with me to enjoy the day in SoCal.”

Bike Insurance for Cyclists and Their Bicycles

Doug Landau and Jay Paul

Experienced Richmond-area insurance agent Jay Paul, pictured with attorney Doug Landau, can help bicyclists and other athletes secure adequate insurance to protect their expensive equipment as well as themselves from risks associated with cycling, racing, transporting equipment, etc.

When you spend $5,000 to take part in an Ironman or other endurance sports competition, the last thing in the world you want to happen is your bike to get lost, stolen, or crushed. You also do not want to be fighting with your insurance company because the Airline Agent (with no bike racing experience) cannot believe anyone would pay more than $500 for the right bicycle!

Experienced Herndon bicyclist and lawyer Doug Landau receives inquiries each year from frustrated bike racers, triathletes, and bicycle tourists.

So what can a conscientious bicycle rider do, when he or she owns an expensive bicycle with costly components, attachments, and gear?

To find the answer to this pressing question, lawyer Landau went to Richmond to meet with Jay Paul, an experienced insurance broker and multisport athlete himself.  Jay Paul has completed triathlons, Xterra races, running events. Jay is also on the board of the Richmond Sports Backers.

His company has a number of special insurance products that are just perfect for Ironman athletes, cycle tourists, bike racers, or shorter distance triathletes who have invested a lot of time, effort, and money in making their bike – and themselves – the best they can be.  Coverage for trip insurance, the bicycle itself, the athlete, and even those situations where a bicycle crash is the fault of no one but the rider, are all products Jay is capable of explaining and providing.  For an athlete who travels to international races or competes in several major events each season, these insurance products make sense as an investment to protect their equipment and peace of mind.

Landau explains, “One of the things I like about Jay Paul is that he is located here in Virginia, and actually “walks the walk” and “talks the talk”.  He understands the needs, concerns, and liabilities of cyclists. It is a good fit for the needs of so many of my clients, fellow athletes, and callers.”

For more information about Jay Paul and the products available, click here.

Tough Mudder Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Last May, Avishek Sengupta, a 28 year old Maryland man, died the day after he jumped into 13 feet of muddy water as a participant in the Tough Mudder obstacle course race held in West Virginia.

Sengupta’s mother has filed a wrongful death suit in West Virginia against Tough Mudder, alleging that the race organizers did not have enough safety personnel in place and that those who where there failed to monitor the “walk the plank” obstacle where her son jumped in to muddy water, but failed to resurface.

Furthermore, the suit states that the “walk the plank” obstacle was overcrowded, and nothing was done by organizers to track racers to be sure they had safely made it out of the water.  Finally, the suit claims it took too long for a rescue diver to search for Sengupta, and for an ambulance to be called to the scene.

Read more about the incident in an article from the Baltimore Sun.

Who is Responsible for Sengupta’s Death?

When someone dies in a tragic accident such as this, it is natural to try to find a cause.  Can someone be found responsible for Sengupta’s death?  Here are some questions raised in this case:

  • Were there appropriate procedures in place to ensure participants’ safety AND were those procedures followed that day?  Was there adequate crowd control for such a risky event?
  • Why did it take several minutes for a rescue diver to search for Sengupta?
  • What responsibility did General Mills (which advertised the “walk the plank” obstacle) have for the death?
  • Did the race facility itself (Peacemaker National Training Center in West Virginia) bear responsibility?
  • Did racers willingly take on risk of death when they agreed to participate in an event advertised as “hardcore 10-12 mile obstacle course challenges designed to test your all-around strength, stamina, mental grit and camaraderie”? (source: Tough Mudder website).

Facts to Consider

Here are some interesting facts, however, discussed in news accounts:

  • Tough Mudder conducted a review of safety procedures after Sengupta’s death and found them to be satisfactory.
  • No members of the rescue staff were disciplined.
  • The sheriff’s office investigated Sengupta’s death at the time, and no charges were filed.

But on the other hand:

  • Eyewitness accounts indicate that the “walk the plank” obstacle was overcrowded, with participants being told to jump in without regard for whether the coast was clear in the water below.
  • Some reports indicate that Sengupta had been jumped onto in the water, more evidence that crowd control was inadequate.
  • Why was only one diver present at a 13-foot deep, cold, muddy water pit, AND why was that one diver not wearing appropriate dive gear and ready to jump in on moment’s notice?

The lawyers for all involved parties in this case will have a lot of research to do and many things to prove.  We will be following this case with particular interest since helping injured athletes is one of our passions at Abrams Landau, Ltd.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a sporting or other event, and there are questions as to what laws apply, email or call Abrams Landau, Ltd. at once (703-796-9555).



Exciting Family Fun at George Mason University

Doug Landau and fellow soccer coach /parent

Doug Landau, along with a fellow soccer coach and parent, at a recent UVA-GMU soccer match held on a rainy night on the Fairfax campus of GMU.

Recently, in-state rivals George Mason University and University of Virginia battled in the rain at the GMU Fairfax campus.  Both schools have excellent soccer programs and are nationally ranked.

Although it had been several years since Herndon sports injury lawyer Doug Landau had been on the campus to see a match, this promised to be an exciting game. Scoreless through the first half, University of Virginia got a goal and pulled in front of the GMU team.  Thereafter, series of yellow cards lead to a red card to a UVA player, and the visitors playing “down a man.” Despite their disadvantage, the visiting team from Charlottesville managed to hang on to the win.  The Cavaliers won despite the home crowd, the weather and the GMU home-field advantage.

“At $6 a ticket (less if purchased in advance or for group sales), this local athletic match is a good value for families and teams. Plus, many of the players on both sides are products of our excellent club system and high schools. And, the parking is free of charge!” notes Landau.  Lawyer Landau enjoyed the game with a friend and fellow soccer parent/coach .

Just as when he goes to court, Landau tries to anticipate all contingencies.  For trials, the Herndon law firm prepares early and prefers to be over-prepared.  For the GMU vs. UVa game, Landau brought extra dry clothing, towels and his oversized golf umbrella, to the delight of everybody sitting around him.  For more information about George Mason University sports, click here.

Triathlon Knee

Stryker is a manufacturer of various medical devices, including knee replacement systems.  Athletes in need of a knee replacement may be drawn by the name alone toward Stryker’s “Triathlon” series of artificial knees.  The Triathlon knee is marketed by Stryker as an extremely durable device which closely mimics the natural motion of the knee.

Problems with Triathlon Knees

But, recently there have been reported problems with Triathlon knee patients.  Complaints include chronic pain, limited mobility, joint instability, loosening or failure of the device.  Some patients have even required subsequent surgery to replace the implant.

ShapeMatch Cutting Guide

Interestingly, the problems have not necessarily been caused by the implants themselves.  Rather, difficulties seem to arise in cases in which a particular form of instrumentation called the ShapeMatch was used during the implant surgery.  According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the ShapeMatch, a cutting guide used to help the surgeon determine the proper place to cut existing bone and insert the artificial knee, was recalled in April of 2013.  The FDA also notes that surgeons were instructed to stop using the ShapeMatch in November of 2012.

Today, patients who were fitted with a Triathlon knee between May 2011 and November 2012 (the dates the ShapeMatch was in use) may wonder if problems they are having with their knee are due to the surgeon’s use of a defective ShapeMatch guide or due to some other cause.  Unfortunately, the medical records do not always clearly note the use of ShapeMatch since it is merely an instrument, and not an implanted component itself.

But if the problems are due to a defective product, legal recourse to recover any damages incurred may be an option.

Patients with the Triathlon knee who are experiencing symptoms should follow up with their surgeon right away.

Triathlon Season Ends “On A Roll” at Hermosa California “Day at the Beach”

Herndon Virginia injury lawyer Doug Landau finishes his 2014 Triathlon season on the podium once again at the Hermosa Beach California "Day at the Beach" sprint race

Herndon Virginia injury lawyer Doug Landau finishes his Triathlon season on the podium once again at the Hermosa Beach California “Day at the Beach” sprint race

Once again making the podium at the Hermosa Beach Sprint Triathlon , Herndon Virginia lawyer Doug Landau finished his 2014 triathlon season on the West Coast. Besting over 750 other athletes, lawyer Landau had a rough start. In short, the waves that the Southern California surfers enjoy got the best of the Triathlon Trial Lawyer. He noted that there were lifeguards on jet skis and surfboards fishing out swimmers and bringing them to shore, as they had signaled that they were out of the race. As he was in the 6th wave,

Landau watched seasoned SoCal triathletes jump over and through the waves on the way out to the first swim buoy, and then “body surf” back to the shore after the 400 yard swim, Landau thought he could do the same. Instead, he was stood up like a lineman stymied by a larger blocker, buffeted by the waves and lost valuable time getting out to smooth water. Once able to get into a rhythm, Landau picked off a few swimmers, and then turned to head to the beach. Remembering the pummeling he endured at Bethany Beach, Landau kept looking behind him for big waves to avoid a repeat performance ! Nonetheless, 50 yards from shore, Landau was rolled so hard, he lost his goggles and swim cap, was scraped against the Ocean floor, and wound up fighting for air and fighting a losing battle against the undertow !

A LA County Lifeguard on a jet ski came over to the struggling lawyer, who waived him off and survived several more waves that “rolled” him, and then hit the beach. Before the race Landau had determined to break an hour and to have the fastest transitions. So, despite the sand in his ears and salt water down his gullet, he took off on the long run to the bike racks. Passing faster swimmers, Landau had to contend with a very crowded transition area and then do 3 laps on narrow, packed roads to complete the 10 mile bike course. Passing athletes the entire time on a borrowed bike, the Herndon Reston area lawyer averaged about 25 miles per hour and had another fast transition.

Landau took off along the beach road with several hundred triathletes already on the 3 mile out-and-back course. Passing runners the entire time, he averaged 6:48/mile and finished comfortably in 3rd in the age group. He missed second by only 5 seconds and first by less than 30 seconds more. The top 5 in each division received awards, and Landau broke up an all SoCal locals sweep of the Age Group. In fact lawyerLandau was the best finisher from Virginia and his time of 56:17 would have won the age groups above and below ! Finishing in the top 20, he enjoyed the excellent race logistics, friendly volunteers and post-race festivities at the Day at the Beach Triathlon at Hermosa Beach. Click here for results

Landau expects to relax the rest of the week on the “Left Coast,” enjoy visiting family and plot a winning 2015 multiSport competition season.  Stay tuned !

White House Conference on Concussions

Mindball Barin injury game

Always studying the effects of sport on the brain, Herndon Virginia lawyer Doug Landau is shown here playing “Mindball” after the annual Vasa Ride at the Swedish Embassy in Washington, DC. This game measure brain electrical activity

This past summer, President Obama hosted the first-ever summit on concussions at the White House.  The purpose of the conference was to increase awareness and education about the serious nature of concussions in youth, and more importantly, to kick start a culture shift in America when it comes to youths and sports.

Concussions in Youth Sports

According to an article in the Washington Post, Obama told the audience, “We want our kids participating in sports.  I’d be much more troubled if young people were shying away from sports.  As parents, though, we want to keep them safe, and that means we have to have better information.”

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is not something to be taken lightly.  The Abrams Landau law firm has been helping victims of TBI caused by bike, truck and auto accidents, workplace incidents, slip and fall accidents, etc. for many years.  TBI can change a person’s life irreparably.  That is why Doug Landau and his staff participate in bike safety education, distribute free bike helmets to local school children, support the efforts of Northern Virginia’s Brain Injury Services (BIS), and more.

Landau notes, “All four of my children participated in youth sports — soccer, wrestling, lacrosse, track, cross country, and pole vaulting — so sports injuries are certainly not uncommon in the Landau family.  I even coached my kids’ teams when they were young, and drawing on my training as a coach and my background in medicine, I sometimes knew it was time to pull a player or sub out a star who had taken a blow to the head.  The key is prudence, balance, and long view when it comes to children’s sports.  After all, the reason they “play” to begin with is because it’s fun!  And TBI is no fun!”

Concussion Lawsuit in Soccer

Concussion in soccer can happen at all levels of "The Beautiful Game" and need to be closely monitored

Concussions in soccer can happen at all levels of “The Beautiful Game” and need to be closely monitored. A change allowing for quick substitution in the face of potential TBI.

At the end of the summer, a group of soccer parents and players filed a class action lawsuit against Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) — the international governing body for the sport of soccer.  The suit, which also names American soccer organizations U.S. Soccer and the American Youth Soccer Organization, charges the groups with negligence in monitoring and treating head injuries.

The timing is likely not coincidental.  It comes on the heels not only of last summer’s World Cup which brought renewed worldwide publicity to the sport of soccer, but also at the same time concussion litigation is being faced by the National Football League (NFL), National Hockey League (NHL), and National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA).

Soccer Players Vulnerable to Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Soccer players are no exception to the list of athletes whose sport makes them particularly susceptible to head injury and TBI.

The plaintiffs in the soccer lawsuit do not seek financial damages.  Rather, they are asking for changes to the sport’s rules, starting with its youngest players and going all the way up.

For example, children under age 17 would have a limit as to how many times in a game they could “head” a ball.  Professional and other advanced leagues would be allowed to make temporary substitutions (in addition to the currently allowed three substitutions in a game) to allow a player to be examined for head injury.  Like in the suits in other sports, medical testing would be available for soccer players who are dealing with effects of concussion from as far back as 2002.

As we wait for FIFA and other defendants to to respond to the complaint, athletes lawyer Doug Landau recalls his years coaching youth soccer.

“Luckily none of my players had TBI while I was coaching.  But I have seen plenty of kids and teens sustain head injuries from the stands, especially in my daughters’ varsity high school matches,” notes Landau.  “TBI is not pretty and can be life-changing.  If we can prevent even one athlete from TBI by enacting stricter rules and guidelines for the sport of soccer, then it is worth it in my book!”

If you or someone you know has taken a blow to the head, sustaining a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and there are questions as to what laws apply, email or call Abrams Landau, Ltd. at once (703-796-9555).

Douglas K.W. Landau is admitted to practice in DC, VA, CT, FL, and NJ. Abrams Landau services clients in Washington DC, Pennsylvania, PA, Maryland, MD, Virginia, VA (including Northern Virginia, Fairfax county, Loudoun county, Herndon, Reston, and more), Connecticut, CT, Georgia, GA, Florida, FL, New Hampshire, NH, New York, NY, New Jersey, NJ, Maine, Massachusetts, MA, Rhode Island, RI, North Carolina, NC, and South Carolina, SC.

Information disseminated on this website is intended for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. This information is not intended to create an attorney-client or similar relationship. Please do not send us confidential information. Past successes cannot be an assurance of future success. Whether you need legal services and which lawyer you select are important decisions that should not be based solely upon this website. Please contact: Abrams Landau Ltd. at (703) 796-9555.