Archive for June, 2011

How Personal Injury Cases Set the Rules for Our Society

Monday, June 6th, 2011

Many of the cases that we take are a result of businesses not doing the work that is required to protect the people that they serve.

Every business should have proper processes and procedures to protect citizens from foreseeable hazards and personal injury:
18-wheeler companies should have strict policies about what happens when their drivers speed.
Local businesses should keep their premises safe and free from obstacles for their patrons.
Doctors should follow the common sense rules of medicine in order to preserve their patient’s lives.
Manufacturers should make their products well so that they do not break and injure the consumer.
Drivers should keep a proper lookout for bicyclists who share the road with them.

If they do not often the following injuries may sometimes occur:
When drivers of 10 ton 18 wheeler trucks speed, wrecks are more likely to occur.
When places contain obstacles or are not well maintained, trips or slips and falls sometimes occur.
When Doctors do not follow the standard of care in medicine, death of the patient sometimes occurs.
When products are not designed well or fail in use, consumers are injured by defective products.
When drivers fail to keep a proper lookout in their car, bicyclists are involved in an accident with a car.

Unfortunately, it often takes an injury or death to change the way that businesses feel about an “acceptable loss.” Here at John D. Giddens Law Firm we are committed to making our community a safer place by holding companies who break these common sense rules accountable for the personal injury and wrongful death they inflict.

We recently finished a trial on a wrongful death case that occurred in the Jackson area. In the case a patient was in a wheel chair that was strapped down inside of a van.  Some nursing homes and assisted living facilities do not have adequate training or procedures on how to secure wheelchairs in transport vans that are used everyday to move patients. In this particular case the van hit a bump and stopped abruptly catapulting our client forward in her chair and mortally injuring her.

Sometimes it takes a case like this to emphasize the necessity of simple safety precautions. Our community is a safer place for patients being transported in a passenger van. This is as a result of the loss endured by one family and John D. Giddens Law Firm’s efforts in making it strikingly clear to the nursing homes and assisted living facilities that they must make sure that patients are strapped in properly to their wheelchair and that the wheelchair is strapped properly to the Van before they begin a trip.

If you have a loved one who is transported in a passenger van frequently, we would recommend asking about the facilities safety policies and safety procedures for their patients. Often you will find the businesses are happy to oblige, and you can have some peace of mind for the safety of your loved one. Hopefully you will find safety measures and safety procedures in place that will prevent another traumatic accident leading to wrongful death from happening again.

John D. Giddens Law Firm will continue to fight for the little guy, and to make sure that companies follow the standard of care that we as a community expect. Often this takes time and the cases are woeful ones, but we believe in our community and want to see it free of personal injury, wrongful death, broken products, defective products, medical malpractice, and 18 wheeler wrecks.

McBroom v. Massengill Trial

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

While the jury found that Massengill did not use excessive force when he shot Zeta in the back, through his windshield. The John D. Giddens Law Firm has appealed the findings of the lower court and looks to the 5th Circuit Court to review whether the jury should have been given confusing and prejudicial information. Read on for an account of how this played out at trial, and we will keep you updated with the appeal process.

The jury sent out a note about an hour and a half into deliberations asking for a copy of Zeta’s guilty plea, which had not been introduced into evidence.  It was clear during the course of the trial Zeta had no choice but to plea to whatever deal she was offered or face a potential 20 years in prison for aggravated assault on a police officer.  The district attorney’s office in Harrison County pushed for her to plea to a felony disorderly conduct, a strategy which looked as though helped benefit the county in the civil litigation.  Zeta would have pled to whatever was offered to be able to return home to her kids – whatever the language in the plea.

We are working with our webmaster to bring to you a link to the video showing Zeta being knocked down and dragged around the Harrison County detention center on October 30, 2005.  Check back with us over the next couple of days.  This is the reason why she was scared to pull over for the Harrison County deputies attempting to stop her.  The jury heard none of this information, only that she had been drinking at the time and was scared of the police officers and scared of going to jail.  In our mind, her fear was rational because in February of 2006, these same four jailers who beat Zeta McBroom in October, were involved, and served time in connection with the beating death of Jessie Lee Williams.

We believe the jury should have been told Zeta had a legitimate reason for not pulling over the night she was shot.  The Payne era jail beatings made the public, and Zeta in particular, fearful and distrustful of the police.  She would not allow herself to go back to that jail to be abused and beaten again.  She was told by the same sadistic jailers that if she ever returned, she would surely die.

The people who are most surprised by the jury’s verdict are the people that lived out there on Beulah Church Road and eye-witnessed the entire shooting incident and testified how the police opened fire on Zeta as she was merely trying to back out of a ditch.  This story is completely different than what the police claim to have occurred.  It is always been our contention that Sergeant Massengill opened fire on Zeta after she bumped into his car and was driving away down a dead-end street.  The evidence supported this.

The Sunherald Article and Comments By Concerned Residents

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