Articles Posted in In The News

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For the third year in a row, there have been more than 40,000 traffic deaths throughout the United States. Although this number is startlingly high, there has been a slight downward trend over the past two years.

In 2017, the traffic death toll of 40,231 decreased by slightly less than 1% compared to 2016’s count of 40,327. The National Safety Council reports that 2018 is down another 1% with an estimated 40,000 traffic fatalities.

Annual Motor Vehicle Fatality Estimates - NSC
According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, traffic deaths began dropping in 2008 and reached their lowest point in six decades in 2011 at 32,000. Experts suggest that this low point was a result of the recession, and as the economy started to bounce back, so did the number of cars on the road. Not only were American adults driving more, but so were the unexperienced teens. Additionally, more people were engaging in riskier behavior such as going out on weekends and taking lengthier road trips to new places.

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E-Scooters Crash Leaves Woman in a Coma - Reyes Browne ReilleyWe recently discussed the dangers e-scooters have been posing to riders and pedestrians across the country, but there is a new lawsuit coming out of Florida that may pave the way for safer regulations across the country.

In late December, Ashanti Jordan ended her shift at Broward General Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale, and started her 4-mile ride home on a Lime scooter. Following Lime’s instructions of staying off sidewalks, she stayed on the main road where she unfortunately collided with a Toyota Corolla. Flying more than 100 feet, Ashanti, who was not wearing a helmet at the time, suffered broken bones, fractured ribs, and a catastrophic brain injury that has left her in a vegetative state ever since.

Ashanti’s mother, Tracy Jordan announced her plan to sue Lime on behalf of her daughter for negligence. While the state of Florida doesn’t allow e-scooters to be ridden in the streets, Lime’s instruction uses language that specifically instructs riders to stay on main roads, therefore putting them in very dangerous situations. This violates its operating agreement with the city, which requires them to inform riders of the legally and safely ride the scooters. Riders are getting hit by cars, hitting pedestrians, and having accidents that shouldn’t be occurring.

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Desperate people will do desperate things for money. However, if you think attempting to fool insurance companies with a fake claim sounds like a good idea, think again. Apparently, 57 year old Alexander Goldinsky from New Jersey thought this was a wise idea when he allegedly staged a slip-and-fall incident at a local business.

Security cameras captured the entire scene on camera. Take a look:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WyKQXvBiBg

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At Least 8 Casualties and Counting as Polar Vortex Hits Midwest - RBR Law
The upper midwest and eastern states are experiencing the coldest winter storm they’ve seen in years. Not only are these subzero temperatures astounding, but they are incredibly deadly.

At least eight fatalities have been reported as a direct result of the polar vortex. An elderly Illinois man was discovered several hours after he had fallen trying to get into his home. A University of Iowa student was also found dead just hours before dawn behind an academic building.

Chicago’s temperature plummeted to 21° below freezing Wednesday morning, only 6° away from The Windy City’s all-time record of -27° in 1985. As the storm continues, meteorologists predict this record could be broken this week. Norris Camp, Minnesota, almost made it there without allowing for wind, recording an actual air temperature of 48 degrees below zero.

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The Fyre Festival Fiasco Continues - Kendall Jenner and Modeling Agencies Face Subpoenas - Reyes Browne ReilleyThe Fyre Festival meltdown continues — As seen in documentaries by Netflix and Hulu, the music festival fantasy-turned-frankenstein of rapper Ja Rule and young entrepreneur Billy McFarland has left scorching legal repercussions. Founder, fraud, and convicted felon Billy McFarland kept no accounting records regarding the millions of dollars spent in the months prior to the tropical catastrophe. So where exactly did all this money go?

In an effort to track down the $11.3 million paid out by McFarland, a bankruptcy judge has granted subpoenas for two modeling agencies which were involved in paid advertisement for the festival. The agencies in question, DNA Models and IMG Models, supplied the talent for the festival’s 2017 promotional video in the Bahamas. The supermodel cast included the likes of Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski, Hailey Baldwin, and others. Kendall Jenner personally faces her own subpoena after allegedly accepting a payment of $250,000 for one instagram post about Fyre Festival. According to BillboardMesser has also asked to subpoena 16 companies involved with travel, staging, food, and beverage for the event, totaling $4.7 million in payments.

According to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) influencers and marketers are required by law to clearly disclose any “material connection” regarding their social media posts. Monetary payment, business or family relationships, and gift of free product all fall under the umbrella of material connection.

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fyre festival fiasco - Reyes Browne Reilley
Flying to the Bahamas for what was advertised as an “experience of a lifetime” quickly became a disastrous and potentially dangerous situation — one that would be known as one of the greatest scams of the decade. The biggest takeaway from this PR nightmare? Things are not always as they seem.

The Fyre Festival, created by Billy McFarland and rapper Ja-Rule, had been heavily marketed through numerous social media channels and captivated millennials with lofty promises of famous attendees, gourmet food, unforgettable musical performances, top of the line accommodations- all taking place on a private island previously owned by Pablo Escobar. After paying upwards of $200,000 for tickets, guests flew out to Great Exuma, Bahamas to find a “refugee-like” environment filled with half-built hurricane tents, rain-soaked mattresses, no medical personnel, and barely any food to share amongst the guests. Even after Fyre Festival was cancelled, guests were left stranded at the airport without nourishment or even a way to get home.

Through documentaries like Netflix’s Fyre Festival: The Greatest Party That Never Happened, we are seeing first hand how aware the event’s organizers were of the poor and unsafe conditions on the island well before the attendees arrived. Their alleged negligence and fraud has lead to more than nine different lawsuits against the Fyre Festival organizers and promoters. This past July, Seth Crossno and Mark Thompson were these first to be awarded a settlement of $1.5 million each in compensatory damages, and $1 million in punitive damages for not only the tickets ($13,000) but for the mental anguish they suffered as well. With more class action lawsuits making their way through the justice system, this will not be last we hear of Fyre Festival.

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Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 2019The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. dedicated his life to promoting equality and hope. He was a cornerstone in the American Civil Rights Movement of the 1950’s and 1960’s, inspiring peaceful protests and non-violent civil disobedience. Some of his efforts include leading the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott, the 1963 March on Washington, and becoming the first president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. His words of tolerance and love resound through the ages. We’ve selected some of our favorite quotes from the man with a Dream.

MLK Quotes:

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Bird Box Challenge Gone Wrong - Reyes Browne ReilleyEveryone is talking about the latest Netflix original movie, Bird Box. (For those who have not seen it yet, don’t worry, we won’t release any spoilers.) In the film, the characters must navigate through the world while remaining blindfolded. The internet took this idea and ran with it, thus giving birth to “The Bird Box Challenge.” This meme is centered around performing everyday tasks all the while, you guessed it, remaining blindfolded. Unfortunately, one risky individual took this challenge to the streets.

Last week, a 17-year-old girl from Layton, Utah decided to try this challenge while driving. According to Layton police officer Lt. Travis Lyman, the young driver pulled her hat over her eyes to replicate the blindfold used in the movie. She then drifted into oncoming traffic where she hit another car. Thankfully, no one was injured in the crash.

One of the first things every driver should learn is to keep your eyes on the road. By throwing common sense to the wayside for the sake of “going viral,” she put herself, as well as everyone around her, at risk. Earning likes, comments, or shares should never threaten another person’s life. After this incident was made public, Netflix turned to Twitter with a message to their viewers:

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Elementary Football League Bus Crash, 1 Child Dead and 45 InjuredBENTON, ARKANSAS — A charter bus carrying a youth football team crashed in the early hours of Monday morning. The team was from Tennessee, and had just played a championship game in Dallas this past weekend. On their homeward-bound commute at about 2:40 AM, the bus lost control and veered off of Interstate 30, where it rolled to a stop outside of Benton, Arkansas.

The tragic incident left one casualty and injured at least 45 others. The Saline County coroner identified the victim as 9-year-old Kameron Johnson. The majority of those injured were children, ages 8-10, accompanied by chaperones. The injured survivors were taken to hospitals in Little Rock and Benton, Arkansas.

The Tennessee charter bus company Scott Shuttle Service has had a clean record over the past two years with zero crashes. However, they received a penalty fine in July 2018 for a driver operating a truck without a proper license.

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