Author Archives: Ivan Reid

Outback Steak Pays Settlement in DUI Wrongful Death Civil Case

In 2001, 25 year old Maureen C. Moran went to two different restaurants where she drank heavy before becoming involved in a DUI accident that resulted in the death of a motorcyclist. In addition to having to deal with the legal ramifications of the poor choices the Moran made, she also found herself named as the defendant in a civil case that was filed by her victim’s widow.


When Denise Toral filed the civil lawsuit, she didn’t simply name the Moran as the defendant, she also listed Outback Steakhouse as a co-defendant along with a night club, Salsa’s. The paperwork was filed in 2003.

Toral’s husband, Robert, was riding his motorcycle on Dixie Highway when he was involved ina head-on collision with Moran. Toral succumbed to his injuries while the friends he was traveling with managed to live through the incident, though he was severely injured. The accident took place September 7, 2001.

dui-car-accidentMoran wasn’t convicted of DUI manslaughter until December 2003. As a result of her actions, she was sentenced to spend 14 years in prison. At the time of her sentencing, Moran stated that as a result of her drinking, she had no clear memory of the accident. During her trial, it was revealed that following the accident, Moran’s blood-alcohol level was 0.24, which exceeded the legal limit in the State of Florida which is 0.08.

The reason that both Outback and Salsa’s were named in Toral’s civil suit was because she felt they failed to pay attention to Moran’s behavior or the amount of alcohol she’d consumed while she was at both establishments. She felt they failed to adhere to their duty to “not to knowingly serve alcoholic beverages to persons habitually addicted to the use of any and all alcoholic beverages.”

Outback decided to settle with Toral during the negotiation phase. The terms of the settlement prohibited Toral from stating the value of the settlement.

Attorneys Joe and Martin, a managing partners in one of South Carolina’s leading personal injury firms, commends Toral and her legal team for properly pursing the matter. “This case is a perfect example of businesses not paying enough attention to their customers. Had someone at either Outback or Salsa’s been paying attention to Miss Moran the way they should have done, they would have been able to take steps to prevent her from getting behind the wheel of a car and this whole tragedy would have been avoided.”


“In a perfect world, each person would be responsible for the amount they drink and the bartenders and wait staff at establishments like Outback and Salsa’s wouldn’t have to worry about how much their patrons have consumed, but the world isn’t perfect. Right now dining establishments and clubs have to step up and do everything possible to keep their patrons safe.”

Driving under the influence of alcohol is a general problem throughout the world. Worst of all is that innocent people often be victims. It is necessary to increase control in traffic and through the media to draw attention on the risks when driving drunk. If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident or someone you loved was killed in one, it’s in your best interest to contact a personal injury attorney at They’ll help you understand who is and who isn’t responsible for the accident.



Published: August 6, 2016

Wegman’s Ham Recall Shakes California

Most of us operate under the assumption that the ham purchased at Wegman’s is safe, after all, every single person who comes into contact with the ham from the moment the hog steps into the slaughter house until you serve it must adhere to strict safety protocols. Knowing this makes the news that in 2014 Wegmans issued a recall for nearly 6 thousand pound of deli stores shocking.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA) the ham itself isn’t the problem. The real issue is that the pieces of plastic used to protect the ham are contaminated, which in turn, contaminates the meat. According to sources, the problem was discovered by one of Wegman’s employees who was slicing the ham when they found a piece of plastic that appears to have broken off the supplier’s interlocker belt.

“It’s very lucky that the problem was discovered before anyone fell ill from eating the contaminated ham,” Drew Warren, managing partner of a top personal injury firm with an office headquartered in California said when he heard the news.

Anytime there’s a story about recalled food, it’s natural to feel a sense of panic, especially if you go into the fridge and see you have a half eaten baggie of the same ham.


Situations like this are exactly why the current safety system is used by grocery stores and everyone else involved in food production. The long list of safety precautions everyone follows increases the likelihood of a problem being discovered and corrected before anyone has an opportunity to eat any of the contaminated food. However, there are times when the system doesn’t work and someone does eat contaminated food and ends up falling ill.

If this happens to you or someone you love, the first thing you need to do is get to the nearest hospital and get treated. There’s an endless list of health complications that can arise from eating contaminated food, including the development salmonella and E. Coli.

Make sure you save all of the invoices, bills, and additional documentation you receive from the medical facility where you were treated. You’ll need to have all of this information when you contact an attorney and start the paperwork needed to file a claim against the business responsible for making you ill.

personal-injury-claim-320x200Some people are hesitant to file a personal injury claim because they ate food that made them ill. They feel making the matter a legal matter makes them appear selfish. It doesn’t. The personal injury lawsuit accomplishes two things. First, it forces everyone to look at how things could have been handled differently so that the situation that caused you to get sick can be avoided in the future.

The second thing that the personal injury lawsuit does is provide you with the financial resources needed to make up for your medical expenses, lost wages, and the amount of suffering you endured.

Published: June 14, 2016

City of Grand Rapids Agrees to a $725,000 Settlement Following the Death of a Cyclist

Despite the fact that no criminal charges were every pressed, a settlement has been reached in the wrongful death lawsuit of Gregory Siemion, a man who was struck and killed on Bridge Street NW, the city of Grand Rapids. The settlement amount of $725,000 was the agreed upon amount.

Vicari, Matthew L-webWrongful death attorney, Matthew Vicari, handled the case for Siemon’s sister and is very pleased with the city’s settlement agreement. “For damages, it’s hard to know how a jury might value the case” since Siemion was unemployed, Vicari said. “(The settlement) is a significant amount. We think it’s an affirmation of the fact that the city dump truck driver should not have been on the road that day.

The accident took place on May 20, 2009 when a city dump truck driven by Benny Branch, a city employee who didn’t have a spotless driving record, struck Siemion who was riding a bicycle. After impact, Siemion was caught under the dump truck and dragged close to 90 feet. Branch claims he never saw Siemion until he heard a noise and looked in a rearview mirror.

Siemion passed away as a direct result of his injuries, and the driver retired. No criminal charges were ever filed against him.

One of the big problems both sides of the lawsuit faced was the fact that no one witnessed the accident, making it impossible to accurately reconstruct what had taken place. What gave the plaintive an edge in this situation was Branch’s driving record. During his time as a city driver there had been numerous times when he’s been involved in vehicular episodes, often when he was behind the wheel of an official city vehicle.

“Branch has a long history of being involved in accidents while driving city vehicles, some including where he is the at-fault driver,” wrongful death attorney Matthew Vicari stated in the paperwork.


At the time of his accident, Siemion was unemployed and didn’t have any immediate family, which made it possible for his sister to file the wrongful death lawsuit. She plans to use the settlement to pay Siemion’s outstanding medical bills.

While some members of the Grand Rapids City Council have raised concerns about the fact the settlement isn’t going to immediate family, most are pleased with the results of the case. City Attorney Catharine Mish feels that settling the lawsuit out of court was the best way to spare the city the cost of lengthy trial.

tumblr_nxynisrZvA1uak29xo1_400In the United States, vehicular accidents are one of the leading causes of unintentional deaths. In the United States during 2006, 2,459 deaths were the direct result of an auto accident. If someone you loved was killed in an auto accident, don’t assume that just because the investigating officers weren’t able to determine an actual cause of the accident means that a wrongful death lawsuit can’t be filed. Also you can contact legal team for help.  An experienced wrongful death attorney will launch a deeper investigation might uncover additional information that makes filing a lawsuit a good decision.

Contact us if you find yourself in need of a good John Bales Attorneys


Published: May 17, 2016

Tax Audit Attorney: Does Your Small Business Need One

When it comes to an IRS audit, it’s far better to have a personal audit conducted than a business audit. The business audit is much more in depth and can sometimes be intrusive. The fact that if the IRS finds a mistake, they can force you to temporarily close down your business adds additional stress to an already tense situation. You don’t want to go through a business tax audit without the assistance of a highly experienced tax audit attorney.

Yes, You Need a Tax Audit Attorney

It’s amazing how many business owners assume that they can make it through the audit process without the help of an attorney, and the smaller the business, the more likely the business owner is to make this assumption. The main reason that so many business owners try to avoid using an attorney during the audit process is because they’re worried about the cost. What most discover is that having an attorney on hand actually ends up saving them a great deal of time, stress, and money.

From the moment you sign up with a tax audit attorney, they handle all of your dealings and communications with the IRS, leaving you free to worry about the million things you need to do to keep your business running smoothly. After each meeting with the IRS, the attorney will explain what happened and help you prepare for the next step in the business audit process.

Even before the audit officially commences, your tax audit lawyer will look at your business, your business tax returns, and your businesses financial status and look into different things they can do to minimize any backlash the audit might trigger, including protecting you from Shareholder Derivative Suits if you have shareholders. The best thing that your tax audit attorney does is monitor the IRS auditor handling your case, making sure they don’t overstep their authority and harass your vendors, employees, or customers.

When Should You Hire a Tax Audit Attorney 

You shouldn’t wait until you have a dispute with the IRS tax auditor to hire a tax lawyer. In fact, you should have a business tax lawyer in your corner long before you learn your business is about to be audited.

The best time to connect with an attorney who’s experienced with business taxes and IRS audits is when you’re still in the process of creating your small business. The tax attorney will advise you on the best way to set up your company and help you avoid doing something that could lead to an unintentional tax mistake down the road.

Even though your attorney might not be able to prevent your small business from ever being audited, having one in your corner can help ensure that your don’t do something that inadvertently raises one of the red flags the IRS uses to determine which businesses it’s going to audit. Before you file your taxes each fiscal year, the attorney will take a look at your businesses financial states and explain how you can use federal and state tax laws to protect yourself, your business, and your customers.





Published: November 18, 2015 | Comments: 0

Criminal Law 101

Published: October 16, 2015 | Comments: 0

Global Law School

Published: September 7, 2015 | Comments: 0

Grieving Parent’s Use Their Daughter’s Death to Change Medical Malpractice Legislation


Drew Martin is determined that his daughter didn’t die in vain. He is using his grief and the circumstances surrounding his daughter’s death to urge lawmakers in Wisconsin and the rest of the United States to, “create a system of accountability (so) there will be fewer parents sent home with keepsakes” instead of their children.

When Martin’s daughter, Grace Magdalena, was born, she wasn’t breathing and lacked a heartbeat. The birthing staff was able to revive the newborn and hurried her into surgery to deal with hemorrhaging. Grace survived the surgery, but her doctors weren’t optimistic and told her parents she was severely brain damaged and would never be able to live a normal life and would require intense care for the rest of her life. The Martin’s made the painful decision to remove her breathing tube. Grace passed away when she was just seven days old.

The decision to remove the breathing tube made it difficult for the Martins to find a lawyer willing to handle the medical malpractice case. But after doing some research, they discovered that current medical malpractice laws make it in the hospital’s best interest if the child dies as opposed to living out their life. Medical malpractice settlements are currently capped, whereas if the patient lived, the hospital would be forced to cover the living expenses of the patient. The companionship damages is limited to $500,000 in cases where a child dies. An additional $750,000 can be added for pain and suffering. The problem with the caps is that by the time the case goes to trial, it’s not uncommon for the prosecuting legal team to have spent $100,000 preparing for the case.

Drew Martin and his wife have partnered with Senator Nikiya Harris Dodd to create a bill that, if passed, grants parents the right to sue attending medical staff when a child under the age of 28 passes away as a result of medical malpractice. The proposed bill is titled Erin’s Law in honor of Erin Rice, a young woman who passed away after she was misdiagnosed.

Current laws and legislation allow parents to sue for medical malpractice in their children’s names, but only if the child is a minor, an issue that has haunted many parents who are unable to seek justice on their older children’s behalf.

Although the Martin’s situation would not have been changed by Erin’s Law, Senator Dodd asked them to be involved in the proposal in an attempt to help set the stage to open the door for future legislation involving children and medical malpractice laws, including those that would ask for higher settlements.

Medical malpractice is a slippery slope and it’s estimated that 80% of the law suits fail to generate a settlement. If someone you love has died as a result of a medical mistake, you want to be one of the 20% that receives a settlement, which means you need the assistance of a good NYC wrongful death lawyer. The NYC wrongful death lawyer will examine the details of the case, conduct a thorough investigation, and provide unwavering support throughout the entire experience. The odds of you winning your medical malpractice case increase when you have a top notch NYC wrongful death lawyer in your corner.

Published: August 9, 2015 | Comments: 0