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ARCHIVES: August 2014

McAngus Named Officer of SC Association of Justice

McAngus Named Officer of SC Association of Justice

Hugh McAngus, Jr. has been elected the Secretary/Treasurer of the South Carolina Association of Justice for the 2014/15 year. McAngus, who has been practicing law with Chappell Smith and Arden, P.A. since 2006, will now serve as an officer of SCAJ until 2016/17, at which point he will serve as President of the organization.

Midlands Biz Reports on McAngus’s Election

SCAJ is the largest organization of plaintiff’s and criminal defense attorneys in South Carolina with over 1200 members. McAngus previously served as Chairman of the organization’s Young Lawyers Division and as a SCAJ delegate to the nationally-based American Association of Justice. His areas of practice include personal injury, products liability, and trucking litigation.

Spartanburg Groundwater Contamination Suit Proceeds

Spartanburg Groundwater Contamination Suit Proceeds

Last week, a federal judge in Spartanburg, South Carolina denied numerous motions to dismiss filed in response to a class action alleging that various industrial entities had contaminated the groundwater in the Cannon’s Campground community from the 1960s to the present. The lawsuit rests primarily upon the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (known as “RCRA”), a federal law that prohibits the contamination of the environment and the creation of substantial risks to public health, as well as common law claims for nuisance and negligence.

Spartanburg Herald on Groundwater Contamination Suit

In January of 2014, attorneys for the proposed class of citizens filed a lengthy complaint of nearly one hundred pages detailing the allegations of environmental contamination and threats to the public health. Had the defendants been successful in their motions, the complaint would have been dismissed in its entirety and the community’s attempt to seek compensation for the damage allegedly caused would have failed. Instead, now the parties likely will move to the “discovery stage” of litigation where the roles of each individual defendant in creating the contamination will be scrutinized closely.

Attorney Graham L. Newman of Chappell Smith and Arden, PA authored the complaint in this case as well as the legal memoranda that successfully turned away the motions to dismiss. Newman’s practice areas focus on complex civil litigation, including class actions and environmental torts such as those alleged in this case.

Rejected Class Action Settlement Highlights Court’s Role in Protecting Class Members

Rejected Class Action Settlement Highlights Court’s Role in Protecting Class Members

In an unusual turn of events, this week a federal judge in the Northern District of California rejected a settlement proposed by both the plaintiffs and defendants in a major antitrust class action involving many of the nation’s largest tech companies. The settlement would have distributed over $300 million from the defendants to the class members, but represented a substantial discount from the potential $9 billion in damages the plaintiffs have been seeking.

NY Times Story on Rejected Settlement

Judicial rejection of a proposed class action settlement is somewhat rare–particularly in a case of this magnitude–but the court’s meticulous scrutiny of the proposal is specifically mandated by Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Judges stand as caretakers of the rights of absent class members and are called upon to ensure that those rights are not violated by the settlement process. It appears that, in this case, the federal judge did not feel as if she could reach that conclusion.

The court’s role in approving (or rejecting) proposed class action settlements provides class action lawyers with additional incentive to doggedly litigate their clients’ claims. If an extraordinary effort and/or an excellent settlement value can be shown to the reviewing court, judicial approval of a class action settlement is much more likely to occur.

3 Personal Injury Claims When You REALLY Should Talk to an Attorney

Sometimes,Chappell Smith Arden, P.A. Brain Injury, blair Pettrey, gillespie agency, blair eckstrom, CSA-LAW, chappell smith arden, brain injury, south carolina lawyer, graham newman SC, graham newman lawyer, the skills of an experienced personal injury lawyer — or at least the threat to an insurance company that such a lawyer may present — are worth the money you must pay that lawyer to represent you. You may need a lawyer because of complex legal rules involved in your particular claim, or because the severity of your injuries might cause your compensation to vary greatly from the norm — or simply because an insurance company refuses to settle a matter in good faith. According to NOLO, Law for All, the following types of injuries and accidents almost certainly require a lawyer’s help.

Long-Term or Permanently Disabling Injuries

Some accidents result in injuries that significantly affect your physical capabilities or appearance for a long time — over a year — or even permanently. Figuring out how much such a serious injury is worth can be a difficult business. You’ll probably require some assistance from an experienced lawyer to get the most out of your claim.

Severe Injuries

The amount of your accident compensation is mostly determined by how severe your injuries were. And the severity of your injuries is measured by the amount of your medical bills, the type of injuries you have, and the length of time it takes for you to recover. As the amount of your potential compensation increases, the range within which that compensation may fall becomes wider. In such cases, it may be worth the expense to have a lawyer handle your claim and make sure you receive compensation at the highest end of the range.

Toxic Exposure

In the increasingly chemical world, we sometimes become ill because of exposure to contaminants in the air, soil, or water, in products, or in food. Claims based on such exposure are difficult to prove, however, and often require complex scientific data. And because the chemical and other industries have erected a huge wall to protect themselves from legal exposure while they continue to expose us to potentially harmful chemicals, the required evidence is very hard to come by. Get expert help.

Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. is experienced in all sorts of personal injury claims, from a bridge collapse at a NASCAR track which injured hundreds of innocent people and resulted in a $150,000,000 settlement to an $875,000 settlement in a trucking accident that occurred as a result of negligent maintenance by the trucking company.

Product Defects: Whose Fault is It?

Product Defects: Whose Fault is It?

Whose Fault Is It? Defective ProductsWhat would you think about a coffee pot whose handle came off when the pot became hot enough to, oh, make coffee? Or a ladder that would collapse under the weight of an average person? How about a refrigerator with defective wiring that starts a house fire? Don’t laugh. All of these things (and many, many more) have actually happened. Defects in design, workmanship, or materials are no laughing matter, especially when the end result is serious injury or even death.

Better Safe Than Sorry

To avoid purchasing or using a defective products, you can protect yourself and your family staying up-to-date on product recalls. To provide better service in alerting the American people to unsafe, hazardous or defective products, six US federal agencies with vastly different jurisdictions have joined together to create — a “one stop shop” for U.S. Government recalls. Visit this site periodically or before making an important purchase (i.e. a new car, a baby stroller, an electric heater, etc.)

Recent Recalls

Feb. 12: Toyota is recalling certain model year 2012 and 2013 Toyota Tacoma and Lexus RX350 vehicles and certain model year 2012 Toyota Rav4 vehicles. In the affected vehicles, the brake system contains a brake actuator that adjusts the fluid pressure of each wheel cylinder. An electrical component within the actuator may experience an increased resistance resulting in the illumination of various warning lights, including those for the Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) system, Antilock Brake System (ABS), and Traction Control system. If this occurs, these systems could become inoperative, reducing the directional control assistance, increasing the risk of a crash.

Toyota will notify owners, and Toyota and Lexus dealers will update the software for the Skid Control electronic control unit, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact Toyota at 1-800-331-4331.

Feb. 16: BebeLove™ Baby Walkers failed to meet federal safety standards. Specifically, style number 358 can fit through a standard doorway and is not designed to stop at the edge of a step as required by the federal safety standard. In addition, style number 368 contains leg openings that allow the child to slip down until the child’s head can become entrapped at the neck. Babies using these walkers can be seriously injured or killed. If you purchased one of these baby walkers, you are urged to call BebeLove toll-free at (888) 464-1218 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT Monday through Friday or online at and click on “Recall Contact” for more information.

Even though litigation in product liability cases can often be complex and convoluted, Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. attorneys understand product liability law, know what to investigate, and are here to serve you.

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