NC Aviation Law Attorney

Children with Brain Injuries Need Time,Tenderness and Rehabilitation

Although the thought of an inactive child concerns most of us, the fact of the matter is we need to guide our children into activities with smart safety measures unthought of in previous years.  One of the most serious children’s injuries is a brain injury. Many advances have been made in sports medicine, but the reality is our children can be and are effected permanently.

Injuries can range from a scrape to a concussion, which fortunately are taken much more seriously today. This is in part due to the fact that we know more about these injuries and have a greater understanding of how to treat them. Children engaged in any type activity, as well as adults, are at risk for the more severe accidents that seem more commonly reported today.  An Australian study done on TBI, or traumatic brain injury, “shows that many may actually end up with some lasting deficits.” From the Vitals article done by

These new data suggest that the majority of these kids will have long-term problems, says the study’s lead author Vicki Anderson, a researcher at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne. And while there was some ‘spontaneous’ recovery, those who had access to rehab did better. It appears that, after a protracted recovery period, these children gradually stabilize and begin to make some developmental gains, suggesting that even many years post-insult, intervention may be effective.

It is critical that parents note the so called “red flags” for more severe brain unjury or structural injuries such as a skull fracture or a subdural hematoma. This knowledge is fortunately bringing more people, adult and children, to the ER seeking treatment.

Excercise is a must for all and establishing good excercise habits is necessary for our childrens future health. Teaching the rules and technique of a sport is necessary and does in fact lead to playing safely, or rather safer than without instruction. But we should expect that those teaching understand that the future safety of our children is the real trophy. A trophy that will lead to a healthier nation, a nation that protects what is most dear to all of us – our children.





Posted by 12:36 pm

Ben Coleman Named Safety Advisor to Sun ‘n Fun’s President

Aviation expert, Ben Coleman, a frequent contributor to this blog, has been named Safety Advisor to the President of       SUN ‘n FUN. In this role, Ben will serve as the resident safety advisor contributing to all phases of SUN ‘n FUN and its Florida Air Museum’s operations. President John R.”Lites” Leenhouts made the announcement last month online at the Sun ‘n Fun website with a great article stating his dedication to safety:

 I am dedicated to advance SUN ‘n FUN’s long-term commitment to safety to the next level, says Lites Leenhouts, SUN ‘n FUN’s new CEO, and the opportunity to work with Ben Coleman to review our entire operation will yield significant benefits to our safety culture. Our commitment to safety is one of the cardinal values in the day-to-day operations of our campus. It is paramount in the operation of our annual International Fly-In & Expo, says Lites.

As stated on it’s website:

SUN ‘n FUN has been promoting aviation since our first fly-in in 1975. What began with a small group of dedicated aviation enthusiasts has grown in the second largest event of its kind in the world. Every April, tens of thousands of aviation enthusiasts travel from around the globe to to enjoy one of the world’s greatest aviation conventions. Held at the SUN ‘n FUN Complex at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport in Lakeland, FL, this six-day event celebrates aviation with more than 4000 airplanes, over 500 commercial exhibitors showcasing the latest products in the industry, and in excess of  450 educational forums, seminars, and hands-on workshops for virtually every aviation interest.

SUN ’n FUN’s mission is to preserve and enhance the future of flight through world-class events, inspiring and educating people of all ages.

When I spoke to Ben about his new role he referred to what he called “Ben’s” plan:

I am developing an actual comprehensive safety program for all aviators AND helping them develop year round activities that engage the aerospace and aviation industry.  One long weekend will be dedicated to aircraft maintenance, another weekend to ballooning, etc.  My role will be much more than just “safety” for the Fly-In, but will include prevention techniques in our comprehensive safety program.

All things considered, Pres. Leenhouts, you’ve got the right man for the job. Congrats!  We look forward to a safe and exciting SUN ‘n FUN Fly-In & Expo.

Posted by 1:37 pm


The cruise ship industry’s spin on the Costa Concordia’s grounding makes the tragedy worse.

A spokesman said that compared to the airline industry the cruise ship industry death rate is lower.  Even if true, we  have been sailing for centuries and we should have figured it out by now.  And although I would never say the sea is without peril, it somehow seems wrong to me to compare a vessel cruising on the earth’s surface at a relatively slow speed to an aircraft hurtling through the air at a high rate of speed.  Plus, what is the ratio of cruise ship operations vs. airline operations and what is the total number of ship passengers vs. airline passengers on any given day?

The comment that was especially offensive was the one that came close to calling the ship’s evacuation successful by saying that “almost all of the 4,000 people onboard the ship got away … safely…But in the scale of the event, the evacuation was achieved.” “Almost all” is not good enough—not this close to shore, or anytime. The fact that “almost all got away” is not the measure for a safe, efficient evacuation. Passengers are not supposed to just “get off” from a ship in distress. They are supposed to be evacuated safely and orderly by the crew. The crew of this ship, without its Captain, failed in providing this most basic of services.

This is an industry with even bigger boats and even bigger profits.  This will happen again and will be worse unless the industry and government address these issues.

Posted by 2:19 pm


National Transportation Safety Board investigators will be on scene today at the site of the tragic crash near the Harnett County (NC) Regional Jetport.  Although too early to speculate on the cause of the crash, this type of crash, a night-time approach-to-landing accident, will result in the NTSB focusing on the following areas while trying to answer the main question of why was the Cessna 182 low enough to clip trees a mile from the airport?

Any night approach to landing crash in which an aircraft crashes short of the runway leads to concerns about “spatial disorientation.”  This can be caused by lack of light in remote areas which causes pilots on visual flight rules (VFR) flights—meaning not being directed and monitored by Air Traffic Control and flying by instruments—to lose reference to visual cues which keep them safe.  If this happens, a pilot can become disoriented and lose his or her ability to fly the aircraft safely.

Also to be investigated is whether the aircraft sustained some sort of mechanical problem that caused the aircraft to lose power.  The NTSB will be looking at potential engine mechanical problems.

Another consideration is some type of control malfunction which prevented the pilot from being able to control the aircraft.  The NTSB will look at all control linkages, pulleys and cables.

Another potentiality is fuel exhaustion.  It is not inconceivable that after a long cross-country flight the aircraft could have run out of fuel.  The NTSB will be checking departure airport records and any en route stops to see if the aircraft took on fuel and, if so, how much.

The degree of damage seen on aerial photographs initially indicates an impact with considerable force which could indicate powered flight.

James T. Crouse
434 Fayetteville Street
Suite 2350
Raleigh, N.C. 27601
(919) 861-0500
(919) 861-0170 Fax
(919) 622-2275 Cell

Posted by 9:04 am

Mr. Crouse With Founder Janette Fennell

Earlier we posted an article describing the impressive talk founder Janette Fennell gave at a gathering in Florida.  You might recall that Janette is a powerful advocate for child safety in and around cars, and works diligently with congress and attorneys to see that everything that can be done is being done to prevent tragedies involving children being injured or killed by car “rollovers” and “frontovers,’ as well as leaving children in locked cars.  Please visit her website to learn all you can about how to avoid these senseless accidents.

Here is a picture of me with Janette and with Raleigh North Carolina lawyers Beth Leone Noble and Jennifer Seate.  Beth, Jennifer and I are determined to bring Janette’s message to the entirety of North Carolina—and maybe Janette herself—so look for future announcements on this important safety message.

By the way, we recently learned of Safe Kids North Carolina, the North Carolina Chapter of Safe Kids USA,  which addresses all areas of child safety.  We encourage you to visit all of these web sites and get the word out to your schools, civic organizations, neighbors, churches, and work places—anywhere the word might save a life.


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Posted by 12:31 pm

Saving Our Children From Avoidable Car Accidents

I just returned from speaking at a lawyer’s conference in Florida. While there I was fortunate to hear Janette Fennell speak about the important issue of children’s safety. Janette is the founder of, an organization dedicated to improving the safety of children in and around motor vehicles while on private property—in non traffic accidents.

We’ve all heard of these unthinkable horrors—when children are run over in their own driveways, usually by a member of their own family. Janette told us not only about back overs but also about front overs, both of which are caused by blind spots in the front and rear of the vehicles. These blind spots can reach as much as 60 feet.

Janette has done something about this. Her organization is not only the first organization to recognize the dangers of what is generally an unknown and ignored problem, but she collects data to present to legislatures and other organizations to bring attention to the tragic loss of the lives of our children caused not only by these types of events, but also in such things as children left in cars where they can die because of heat stroke.

Her efforts have produced legislation which will require back-up camera on all vehicles—a worthy requirement. This is not her first “win” for safety. Following a terrifying kidnapping in her own family, she succeeded in convincing the government and the automotive industry that trunk entrapment was a real problem. This resulted in federal legislation that now requires a “glow-in-the-dark” internal trunk release being required in all cars produced in the US after September 1, 2001.

At this same conference were two terrific North Carolina lawyers, Beth Nobel and Jennifer Seate, also from Raleigh. These attorneys have their hearts and minds in the right place, not only representing people who have been hurt, but also understanding and believing in the importance of safety so that people won’t be harmed.

Those of us at Crouse Law Offiecs, along with Leone, Nobel and Seate, want to be Janette’s “troops on the ground” in North Carolina to carry the KidsandCars message throughout our state. Log into our websites for news about our future efforts in this vital crusade and to see how you can help save our children visit It is our goal that no other child be harmed by these wholly preventable events.


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Posted by 3:05 pm

Elon Freshman Dies After Taking YAZ

Michelle Pfleger, an 18-year-old college student – full of hope and promise –  collapsed and later died of a blood clot in September, 2010 after taking YAZ, also known as Yasmin or Ocella, a contraceptive often used to treat acne.  The drug is made by the German company, Bayer.

Her mother has filed a lawsuit against the Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals and hopes by publicizing what happened to her freshman daughter will keep another family from having to go through the same tragedy.

The lawsuit claims YAZ is a dangerous prescription drug sold without proper warnings of the risks of serious and fatal injuries.  It claims YAZ poses a greater risk of serious side effects than previous generations of oral contraceptives because it contains the hormone drospirenone.  Last month the British Medical Journal published two studies which found drugs containing drospirenone increased the risk of serious blood clots 2-3 times that of earlier-generation oral contraceptives.

Although Bayer contends these side effects are rare, the official website for YAZ does warn of “increased risks of several serious side effects, including blood clots, stroke, and heart attack.”


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Posted by 12:55 pm

New Jersey 7th State To Implement “Sara’s Law” For Car Accident Emergency

In 2007, Sara Dubinin of Sayreville was in a car accident which left her in a coma before she died of her injuries. It was almost two hours before her parents were notified of the accident.

On April 11, Governor Chris Christi signed legislation that will hopefully eliminate this lengthy delay before next of kin are notified when there has been a serious accident. “Sara’s Law” will establish a next-of-kin registry that will provide authorities with immediate access to contact information when a family member is involved or injured in a motor vehicle accident. It will go into effect in 18 months.

New Jersey is now the 7th state to have this procedure, along with Florida, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Colorado and Delaware. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by 7:02 pm

$8.8M Awarded In Defective Product Suit

A New York jury has awarded a 21-year-old woman $8.8 million for injuries she suffered when the pocket of her coat was caught on a bolt of a digger being operated by her stepfather.

The bolt was protruding from the drive shaft of an auger-like post-hole digger and her arm wrapped around the digger when the pocket was caught on the bolt, resulting in the loss of her arm in 2004 when she was only 16-year-old.

The jury cited the manufacturer of the digger, Ford New Holland (now known as Case New Holland) for selling a defective product.   The bolt that caught on the girl’s coat was supposed to be covered by a shield, but the shield broke under normal use and was removed by Peter A. Smith, the owner of the digger, in 1999.  The lawsuit alleges the shield was always inadequate and there is nothing to support the fact it was ever tested.

The jury placed 35% of the blame on Case New Holland and 30% each on Peter A Smith, the  owner of the digger and the person who loaned the digger to the stepfather, and on SMC Corp. from Sioux Fall, S.D., the company who assembled the digger.

Products are often made carelessly, designed without using the most appropriate design standards, are haphazardly tested, or have insufficient instructions, warnings or labels. This includes products around the home.

Personal injury cases involving defective products often involve serious injury and permanent disability. A qualified and experienced personal injury lawyer is needed to make sure you receive the maximum compensation for your loss.




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Posted by 3:13 pm

Medical Negligence Often Not Reported

I have known for sometime that most acts of medical negligence are never reported, let alone brought into litigation.  In a previous post I have also decried the fact that legislators are limiting the rights of these people who have been harmed by medical negligence – medical malpractice – without addressing the source of the harm – mistakes made by our medical profession including doctors, hospitals and drug companies.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by 2:43 pm

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