Archive for October, 2008

"The Winger was a 'Ringer'" – Injured Soccer Goalie's lawsuit for Head, Face and Jaw Injuries

Soccer Officials have a duty to protect players from dangerous In a case handled by Doug Landau, a goalie for an adult embassy soccer club was kicked in the face and had his jaw broken by an opposing player. While injuries during contact sports are not unusual, what made this case different is the fact that the offensive forward who struck the keeper did so after the goalie had possession of the ball AND he was not a member of the opposing team or even the league. In other words, as Reston Herndon sports injury lawyer Doug Landau told the Court, “The Winger was a “Ringer.”

At the beginning of the match, the referees had simply counted the player cards and the bodies on the field. They failed to match the league issued ID cards to the faces on the pitch. So, the opposing team was able to bring a “hit man” on to the field in order to injure and “take out” players from the Abrams Landau client’s side with impunity. Knowing this, the Defendant soccer player ran right at the goalie in possession inside the box and kicked him in the head. This “Ringer” could not be fined, suspended or kicked out of the league, because he was not a member to begin with !

If you or someone you know has been injured due to the illegal or reckless conduct of someone at a sports event or during competition, call a member of the Abrams Landau team. There are strict time deadlines, and meritorious cases can be lost because too my time has passed. For example, while most personal injury cases in Virginia have a 2 year time period in which to be filed in court, intentionally caused injuries may only have half that amount of time. So, filing an intentionally caused sports injury case 18 months after the incident may be too late.

Tragic Swimming Pool Injury Case: Wrongful death caused by pool drain

We have previously written about the dangers posed to children from pool drains. In this post we note that according to Minnesota Public Radio, a Minneapolis Golf Club has reached an $8 million settlement with the family of Abigail Taylor, a 6-year-old girl who was fatally injured by a swimming pool drain. Taylor died of injuries she suffered in 2007 when she sat on the drain of the club’s wading pool. The powerful suction ripped out part of her intestinal tract. She died in March at after undergoing triple organ transplant surgery shortly before Christmas. The settlement exceeded the $6 million limit on the club’s insurance, so the members had to vote to get a $2 million bank loan to pay the difference. A majority of members approved the deal when the ballots were counted.

After Abigail died, her family was instrumental in persuading the state Legislature and the U.S. Congress to pass new pool safety laws that require entrapment-proof drain covers for new public pools. The state law also requires daily physical inspections of drain covers and forces operators of pools that lack redundant suction outlets to put them in. Only single-family residential pools are exempt. While we send our condolences to the Taylor family, it is important to note that their actions despite their loss will lead to the prevention of future deaths and horrific injuries. At Abrams Landau, Ltd. we have been fortunate enough to have clients who have thought and acted to protect others from being harmed in the same way that they were injured.

Penalties: Understand, Evaluate and Improve

USAT Referee & Triathlon Lawyer Doug LandauHaving gotten penalties in only the last 3 years after 30 years of racing, my first inclination is to find out what the alleged infraction was for, and then educate myself so as not to do it again, and finally to continue to try to improve. I have never threatened a referee or race official, and I have never challenged a 2 minute penalty, even for “crossing the imaginary center line” while cycling around a sharp turn in an Olympic Distance Triathlon ! I have never been penalized for drafting, and I am very careful to keep my distance. My other two infractions were for “blocking” and “passing on the left” on crowded courses where I was passing other competitors the entire time I was on dry land. I say these things not as any defense, but as a lead in to a recent post by the USAT President. I accepted the penalties, even though they cost me spots on the podium. I respect the time and effort the USAT referees put in to fulfill the difficult task of tracking hundreds and even thousands of athletes going as fast as they can over many miles of road. Read the rest of this entry »

Swimmer Kicker Vencill's tainted vitamin lawsuit

Tainted supplements have been proven in court to have tripped up elite athletes in doping tests. Swimmer Kicker Vencill in 2005 won a legal judgment against a company that provided him with multivitamins contaminated with steroid precursors that resulted in a positive dope test and two-year ban from the sport. The process of clearing his name took two and a half years according to the Seattle Times.

Vencill sued the manufacturer, Ultimate Nutrition of Farmington, Conn., after having his own, independent tests done on the supplements. Vencill received a judgment of $578,000 in May, 2005, but his suspension from swimming was never reduced nor set aside, and he missed a shot at the 2004 Athens Olympics while adjudicating the matter.

Under U.S. and international doping rules, Read the rest of this entry »

Team work the key to success at ABRAMS LANDAU

Crew takes team work - just like trial lawIn previous posts I have written about the importance of our team approach to case selection, preparation and successful outcomes at our Herndon Reston area injury and disability law office. This wonderful poster hangs in the Clyde’s Restaurant in Reston Town Center. The teamwork required to be successful in rowing crew is similar to that in our law shop. Everyone must pull their weight and careful timing and smooth functioning are paramount. This also requires cooperation on the part of the client, witnesses, treating health care providers and experts. I and my clients are thankful and grateful for the effort and teamwork of the staff at ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd.. As an aside, my Grandfather, William L. Abrams, used to row on the Charles River when a student at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.!

Herniated or "slipped disc" or "disc protrusion" revealed by MRI

dkwl___Hope_MRI.jpegClients of ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd. are often confused by the various terms used by health care providers for what is essentially the same condition. A “Herniated Disc,” “Disc Protrusion”, “Extrusion,” “Disc Prolapse” or “Slipped Disc” all essentially mean the same thing. Doctors use these terms to explain the fact that some of the material inside the discs of the cervical (neck), thoracic (torso) or lumbar (lower back) spine have “escaped,” “leaked out” or been pressed out of their ring or band of fibrocartiledge and into the spinal canal. Part of the disc has pushed out, and this disc material may be putting pressure on a nerve or creating inflammation around the spinal cord.

Doug Landau often demonstrates to clients the difference between a “bulging disc” (where the disc material is still contained within the intervertebral disc) and a truly herniated disc (where there is a break, tear or whole in the disc and contents are now outside the fibrocartiledge). Technically speaking the diference between a Disc bulge and a disc herniation is that a disc hernation involves the inner part of the disc breaking out through the outer layers.

The disc is made up of an inner gel like part called the nucleus and an outer more cartilaginous section called the annulus. The annulus has fibers like radial car tires. We have all seen car tires that still operate with bulges. But once there is a puncture, the car may no longer function properly. So a bulge is when that annulus is pushing outward or “bulging” outward but the fibrous cover or “shell” is not broken. In a herniated disc, the inner material actually breaks through the annulus to the outside. A common analogy is a jelly donut – the nucleus is the jelly and the annulus is the rest (or the outer crust) of the donut. If you squeeze the donut the jeely pushes toward one side bulging the donut on that side. “a bulged disc” When you squeeze that donut and the jelly comes out that is like a disc “herniation.” Either a disc bulge or herniated disc can put pressure on a nerve. Typically a herniation creates more pressure but this is not always the case.

[TriathlonTrialLawyer Doug Landau and Fairfax-Reston area Neurosurgeon Donald Hope, M.D. review the MRI films of an injured worker with a herniated lumbar disc.]

Nike Fabric Testing Department

NIKE world headquartersNike, the people from Beaverton, Oregon who brought athletes the “air sole,” the “lighter than the box it came in Eagle racing flats,” and “The Swift Suit” are constantly testing new fabrics and materials in order to assist athletes in achieving the goals of higher, faster and farther. They have incorporated improved moisture-wicking technology, called Nike Dri-Fit, to help sustain body temperature. TriathlonTrialLawyer Doug Landau has tried out this new technical clothing line as the Herndon Reston area injury and disability lawyer prefers to race in hot and humid conditions. The Dri-Fit fabric draws sweat away from the skin and moves it to the outside of the fabric, where it evaporates, and the Dri-Fit panels are mesh so they breathe. Doug Landau visited the NIKE headquarters and observed first-hand the lengths to which the technical staff goes to test and improve the garments in light of known human physiology and sports science.

[Melissa and Alexa Tremere, Apparel Material Developer, at the NIKE world headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon, prior to the USAT National Olympic Distance Triathlon and Aquathlon Championships]

TriathlonTrialLawyer Doug Landau again selected for TOP ATTORNEYS IN VIRGINIA AND WASHINGTON, D.C.

Herndon Virginia & D.C. Super Lawyer Doug LandauAnother honor bestowed on ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd. founding partner Doug Landau received word that he is to be included in Richmond Magazine’s SUPER LAWYER SECTION. The Herndon Reston area injury and disability lawyer promises clients and friends that this does not mean that he is now afraid of kryptonite or will wear a cape. Appreciative of this recognition by his peers, Doug looks forward to helping people every day. As one of the only solo practitioners recognized in both jurisdictions in his practice areas, Landau notes that it is still possible to be recognized for hard work, high ethical standards, success in court and caring without spending a fortune on advertising in the yellow pages, billboards, television or radio. [Doug Landau shown with a gift of an elephant sculpture brought back from Africa from an appreciative client.]

ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd. does not advertise in the yellow pages, on television, radio or billboards. Because we get our cases and clients “the old fashioned way;” from former, satisfied clients, lawyers, doctors, accountants, local business people, health care professionals, court personnel, nurses and others who have observed our special service first-hand. The demeaning advertising that some law firms have to resort to in order to get business is the antithesis of what the Landau Law Shop stands for. Many advertisements suggests that no accident is ever an injured person’s fault. This is of course false and misleading. Lastly, many ads show lawyers in front of court houses or event the United States Supreme Court, even though those lawyers do NOT go to court, regularly try cases for their clients, or are even members of the highest court in the country ! Many advertising firms are simply “settlement mills” that do a disservice to our profession.

Running after back surgery

Many of the clients of ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd., have had successful back surgery. Herniated discs in the lumbar spine can cause disability, pain and loss of function. However, advances in medical science and surgical techniques have lead to shorter recuperation times and smaller scars. Clients of the Herndon Reston area injury and disability law firm have asked, “can I run after this surgery ?”

The Runners Clinic from “On the Run Events.com” addresses this question superbly

Can I run after back surgery?

Lumbar back surgery scar“I had a lumbar discectomy 1 year ago on L5. I was told to stay away from running. But I really want to start back. Is there a easy way to get started back running without injuring myself. I didn’t injure my back from running but from lifting. Is there a reason to stay away from running?”

“you are correct in assuming that you can run. The question is “should you?” Consider that the disc is now effectively a washer between your L4 and L5 vertebral body, and that all of your upper body weight is transfered through the disc to your lower body with every step. The problem with running is that it is a repetitive pounding activity that, over time, will take it’s toll on your tissue. Now that the disc has been reduced from a shock absorber to a washer – a space holder effectively, how much pounding can you reasonably tolerate?

My advice to you is to run only on soft surfaces – dirt trails, tartan track, grass, and avoid any hard surfaces – concrete especially. Also, you must have shoes in excellent condition, and if you start to run, make sure that they stay so. Further, you must start back slowly. Begin with a one or two mile walk/jog, and gradually increase your pace, always measuring your response. Listen to your back along the way. Being in excellent condition will help prevent future episodes of back pain, so it is good that you are walking down this path…but
you have to proceed with caution, and you have to think long term. You might consider some non-impact activities like roller blades as an alternative…Also, as long as your back troubles you – use ice!” Neil

[Shown here is the small scar from a lumbar disc surgery recently performed by the excellent spine specialists at the Commonwealth Orthopaedic Group on one of their own physicians !]

Adopting the Nike logo "JUST DO IT" the Landau Law Shop invites clients to come to court and see us in action

Summer Intern AHronovich at the VWC witness microphone“Just do it” That’s what the Nike ads tell us. At ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd., we have adapted that logo to the way we prepare our cases and our clients. Go to court BEFORE my Hearing or trial ? “Just do it.” Go and visit the courthouse before my “day in court ?” Absolutely ! “Even watch other lawyers and judges trying cases similar to my own ?” Yes ! Every good sports coach knows the value of scouting trips and reviewing pre-game films. Sportscasters talk all the time about the “home field advantage.” In order to neutralize the insurance defense lawyers’ “home court advantage” the TriathlonTrialLawyer advocates clients and their families take him up on his offer of “Court tours” and trial observation.

[Shown here in front of the witness's microphone at the Fairfax Hearing Room of the Virginia Workers Compensation Northern Virginia Regional Office is summer intern Shiri Ahronovich, currently a student at William & Mary]

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.