Rock Thrown From Overpass Kills Michigan Man

A Michigan man has died after the vehicle he was traveling in was struck by a large piece of concrete. According to the Detroit Free Press, on Wednesday, October 18, 2017, Kenneth White, 32 of Mount Morris, Michigan was riding in the passenger seat of a work van, traveling south on I-75 at about 70 MPH. As the vehicle approached the Dodge Road overpass, a chunk of concrete weighing about 6 pounds smashed through the windshield. White sustained fatal injuries, most notably a fractured skull, and was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. The accident occurred in Vienna Township, Genesee County, about 80 miles north of Detroit. White leaves behind a fiance and a young son.

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Investigators immediately suspected that the chunk of concrete had been thrown from the overpass intentionally, as opposed to other accidents in which debris has fallen from overpasses accidentally. Before White’s vehicle had been struck, approximately 20 other rocks had already been thrown, and 4 vehicles had been hit and were pulled over waiting for police to arrive. Those 4 vehicles only sustained minor damage.

Mlive reported that investigators were handling the accident as a homicide investigation, and initially offered a $2,500 reward for anyone with information who was willing to come forward. Police received a social media tip that lead them to take 5 teenagers into custody for questioning. Kyle Anger, 17; Mark Sekelsky, 16; Mikadyn Payne, 16; Trevor Gray, 15; and Alexander Miller, 15, all of Clio, Michigan, have since been charged as adults with second-degree murder. They have also been charged with conspiracy to commit second-degree murder and six felony counts of malicious destruction of property. They face up to a lifetime in prison, and a preliminary hearing was scheduled yesterday morning, November 2, 2017.  According to Fox 2 Detroit, "police say the 17-year-old Anger is accused of throwing the rock that hit the van."

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Officials say the the debris were gathered from a dead-end street in Vienna Township, Michigan, and then transported to the overpass in a flatbed pickup truck. Genesee County Sheriff Robert Pickell said in a statement that “while some may be saying well we want first-degree murder, I don't believe there was pre-mediation (to cause a death) here. It's not a prank. It's second-degree murder. I don't think anybody is laughing. This is not a prank.”

According to ClickOnDetroit, Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton, who is trying the 5 teenagers as adults echoed Sheriff Pickell saying, "I don't believe this was a deliberate act to take someone's life...It was a willful and wanton act that resulted in someone's death. These people should've known better. They should've known this could kill someone, and under Michigan law, that's second-degree murder."

While we can all make choices to drive as safely as we can, accidents like this are unfortunately something we have no control over. Nothing, a rock or otherwise, should ever be thrown from an overpass. It’s not a prank, it’s not funny, and it could be deadly. Drivers already have enough to pay attention to on the road in order to avoid being involved in motor vehicle accidents. Adding something that's falling from the sky that the vehicle will likely be unable to avoid is has proven to be deadly, and anyone who thinks that doing such a thing is funny or harmless will likely find themselves in serious trouble.


Any sort of "prank" that involves distracting drivers or adding another element to the road that drivers need to be prepared for is not funny, and could lead to a serious car accident and fatal injuries. If you or someone you know have been the victim of an automobile accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation.

Michigan Horse-drawn Buggy Collision Kills 3

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A horse-drawn buggy collision in central Michigan has killed three and injured several others. The Detroit Free Press reported that at 8:34 AM on Sunday, October 29, a pickup truck rear-ended a horse-drawn buggy that was carrying a family of nine in Montcalm County, Michigan. The buggy was traveling east on Condensery Road near Wood Road in Bushnell Township, Michigan when it was struck but a Dodge truck. The truck was driven by Brandon King, 29, from Sheridan, Michigan.

Three children traveling in the buggy suffered fatal injuries. A 7 year-old girl, a 9 year-old girl, and an 11 year-old boy were all pronounced dead at the scene. An 18 month-old girl, a 2 year-old boy, 3 year-old boy, and 8 year-old boy were all transported to Helen Devos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The 18 month-old has since be released. The children’s parents, Paul Martin and Judith Martin were also injured, and were taken to Hurley Medical Center in Flint, Michigan and Spectrum Health Butterworth in Grand Rapids, Michigan, respectively. King was a wearing a seatbelt at the time of the truck accident and was not injured. Investigators have ruled out alcohol as a factor.

Under Michigan law, horse-drawn buggies are street legal and are considered traffic. However, there are no types of licensing laws when it comes to horse-drawn buggies, so they can be driven by a person of any age. Michigan legislature states that “a person riding an animal or driving an animal-drawn vehicle upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all the duties, criminal penalties, and civil sanctions applicable to the driver of a vehicle.”

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According to Mlive, horse-drawn buggies are considered “implements of husbandry”, which is any sort of vehicle use for farming or agricultural purposes. As such, they are required to display an orange safety triangle on the rear of the buggy, which indicates that they are a slow moving vehicle. They also must not obstruct traffic, meaning that if a large line of vehicles forms behind the buggy, it must pull of to the side of the road and let the vehicles pass. It is not until the person dismounts the buggy that they are considered a pedestrian, and the horse is considered an animal.

While seeing a horse-drawn buggy, or any other sort of “implements of husbandry” may be frustrating due to their slow moving speed, it’s crucial that automobile drivers remember that there are people riding in them, and that those people are at a bigger risk for injury should a motor vehicle collision happen as compared to the driver who is protected inside their metal vehicle. Passing and overtaking a buggy may seem like a quick fix drivers to get back up to the speed they want to be going, but buggies don’t operate the same way vehicles do, and it’s impossible to predict how a horse will react when a car goes flying by. No one likes to have to slow down, but under Michigan law, horse-drawn buggies have as much of a right to be on the road as any driver.


Driving on rural roads can present obstacles many drivers aren't used to, such as slow moving farm vehicles, sharp curves, and unpaved roads. It's important that drivers are extra cautious when traveling in a rural area, especially if it's something they don't do often. If you have been involved in an automobile accident, including a car crash in a rural area, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation.

Total Knee Replacements Common After Automobile Accidents

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Total knee replacements are one of the most common surgical procedures in the country. In fact, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality expects that by 2030, about 11 million Americans will have had either a hip or knee replacement. In 2010 alone, approximately 7 million people underwent joint replacement surgery. And while many people may associate knee replacements with the elderly, patients of all ages undergo the procedure. This is due in part to the fact that car accidents can result in damage to the joint of the knee, and car accidents don't care how old you are.

The knee is made up of three bones - the lower end of the thigh bone known as the femur, the upper end of the shin bone known as the tibia, and the knee cap, also called the patella. Where these bones all meet is covered by protective cartilage. When the cartilage starts to wear away (either over time with old age, or sped up by a traumatic injury such as an automobile accident), this results in knee pain, also known as arthritis. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), “damaging a joint raises your chances of developing arthritis sevenfold.” When unbearable pain, deformities of the knee, and loss of mobility are not being effectively treated by medication and/or physical therapy, a total knee replacement surgery is the final option.

Victims of automobile accidents who undergo total knee replacements are likely suffering from post-traumatic arthritis. According to the Cleveland Clinic, post-traumatic arthritis occurs when an intense force hits the knee, such as the impact from a car collision. This results in fracturing of the bone and damage to the surrounding cartilage, which alter how the joint moves and wears out the cartilage more quickly.

During a knee replacement surgery, the surface of the bone as well as the cartilage are replaced with an implant, creating a joint that glides much more smoothly than an arthritic joint does. The implant can be made out of metal, ceramic material, or plastic. According to the AAOS, there are 4 basic steps of a total knee replacement operation.

Steps of a Total Knee Replacement Operation

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  1. Prepare the bone. The damaged cartilage surfaces at the ends of the femur and tibia are removed along with a small amount of underlying bone.
  2. Position the metal implants. The removed cartilage and bone is replaced with metal components that recreate the surface of the joint. These metal parts are cemented onto the bone.
  3. Resurface the patella. The undersurface of the patella (kneecap) is cut and resurfaced with a plastic button. Some surgeons do not resurface the patella, depending upon the case.
  4. Insert a spacer. A medical-grade plastic spacer is inserted between the metal components to create a smooth gliding surface.

Patients are likely to experience some pain and discomfort directly after surgery. This is managed through medication and physical therapy. Health Care providers encourage the use of over-the-counter pain medications as much as possible, as opioids can have severe side effects, namely addiction. Physical therapy is used to help strengthen the muscle surrounding the knee, and restore range of motion. In the long term, total knee replacement patients experience a dramatic reduction of pain, and can enjoy low impact activities such as walking, swimming, and biking.

While overall quality of life is greatly improved for the vast majority of patients, doctors at the Cleveland Clinic are working to minimize pain and improve patient satisfaction in both the short and long term.

Research on Improving TKR Experience:

  • Robotic Total Knee Replacement: Using robots can improve accuracy and precision during surgery. This leads to a more exact placement of the implant, resulting in better patient outcomes.
  • Press-fit Implant Technology: This type of implant does not require cement to adhere it to the bone. This allows the bone of the knee to regrow better, allowing implants to last longer. This is especially beneficial for younger patients, who need their implants to last 20+ years.
  • Customized 3D Implant Printing: Knee implants typically have one design that only varies in size, even though human anatomy varies tremendously. Custom printed 3D implants that more closely match the patient’s anatomy improve function and satisfaction.
  • Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation: This utilizes a brace that sends electrical stimulation to the muscles surrounding the knee. This causes the muscle to contract, strengthening the joint. These braces can be used before surgery, to make sure the joint is strong enough, and after surgery during recovery.
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Accidents happen, so while there is no way to completely prevent needing a total knee replacement due to a car collision, there are other areas of your life in which you can take steps to minimize your risk. Maintaining a healthy weight so as not to put extra strain on the joint is what most doctors recommend. More so, be sure to wear the proper safety equipment, such as knee pads and shin guards, when playing high impact sports such as football or soccer. And who knows, since most car crashes are caused by human error, maybe with the future of autonomous vehicles we will be able to minimize the risk of knee injuries from automobile accidents. The good news is that total knee replacements are a relatively safe and effective procedure, should you find yourself needing one, and doctors and researchers are working to make the experience even better.


Knee injuries make the simplest things in life, such as anything involving walking or moving, difficult. The experienced attorneys at The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC understand that it is especially frustrating to have sustained a knee injury due to a motor vehicle accident, since medical treatment can be very expensive and auto insurance companies can be difficult to work with. If you have suffered any injury from a car accident, including a knee injury, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation. Let our attorneys handle your legal situation while you focus on recovery. 

Flint Water Festival Raises Awareness for Flint Water Crisis

While many Michiganders were lighting fireworks and firing up the grill over Fourth of July weekend, the city of Flint hosted its second annual Flint Water Festival to raise awareness for its water crisis and failing infrastructure. As reported by MLive, the festival took place at Riverbank Park in Downtown Flint and consisted of music, a waterworks art program, a F.A.M.E. motivational panel, and fireworks in celebration of Independence Day. Local artists such as Lyric Da Queen, played for Flint residents for 8 hours at the park’s amphitheater. The festival also provided free children's books for families and inflatable bounce houses for kids to have fun.

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The Flint Water Crisis

If you have not heard by now, the city of Flint has been without clean water for three years. Per NPR, The crisis started in 2014 after the city decided to cut its water supply from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department and build its own pipeline that would be connected to the Karegnondi Water Authority (KWA). This move was projected to save the city an estimated $200 million over 25 years. A year after the announcement was made to switch water suppliers in April 2013, the city of Detroit cut the supply of water to Flint. On April 25, 2014, Flint decided to use the Flint River as its water supply while the pipeline was being constructed. Shortly after the switch to the Flint River, water pipe corrosion became noticeable. After this discovery, tests were done and it was discovered that lead contaminants and bacteria such as E. coli were present in the water. Since April of 2014, Flint residents have had to live without clean running water. 

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Flint Water Crisis Aid

Last year, the first Flint Water Festival was created to inspire the children affected by the water crisis. This year the festival focused on the continued endeavor of raising awareness about what the city has been going through for the past three years. A point of emphasis was the necessity for better infrastructure. 

Luckily, the city’s calls have not been completely ignored. According to Snopes, in March, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a $100-million grant to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to aid in the improvement of drinking water infrastructure. Just recently, on June 30, 2017, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services confirmed that $15-million will be donated the Genesee County Healthy Start Program. Read more about the donation on The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC Blog.

According to Money, the city has also received countless generous donations in the form of money and bottles of water. The most notable donations have come from big name celebrities such as Eminem and Mark Wahlberg, and professional athletes including Detroit Lions' defensive end Ezekiel Ansah. 

The Future of Flint

There is hope for the City of Flint. The residents have certainly shown that they are strong enough to overcome the crisis. In March of 2016, a plan was enacted outlining Flint’s recovery. According to Reuters, highlights of this plan include special medical attention for children under the age of 6 with high contents of lead in their blood, opening three new child health care centers, and replacing contaminated water faucets in numerous public facilities. The plan is also said to provide continued replacement of water pipes, more options for mortgage financing for undervalued homes, and new training programs to at least 500 resident for long-term employment. Rick Snyder, Governor of Michigan, said primary focuses of the plan are the improvement of children’s health care, expanding support of Flint Schools, and the city’s economic development. 


The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC is a Birmingham, Michigan personal injury firm. Our firm handles personal injury lawsuits throughout the state. Call 844.464.3476 today to speak to an experienced injury attorney today. We offer free consultations and honest and fair legal representation.

Up To 13 People May Die On The Job Everyday

Source: GIPHY

Source: GIPHY

June is National Safety Month. This designation was established by the National Safety Council as a special recognition dedicated to reducing the leading causes of injury and death, at work, on the road, and in homes and communities. In 2014, according to the Bureau of Labor’s Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, 4,821 people died while on the job. This number equates to more than 13 people dying per day - a shocking statistic that is more frequent than people realize. While those working in an office job may be less at risk than those doing manual labor, knowledge of safety in the workplace benefits everyone.

The top 5 occupations that experience the largest number of workplace injuries, and as a result, more days away from work are:

Top 5 Jobs That Cause Workplace Injuries

  1. Public servants such as firefighters and police officers
  2. Transportation and shipping workers
  3. Manufacturing and production employees
  4. Installation, maintenance, and repair men
  5. Construction workers

The dangerous nature of these occupations shouldn't come as a surprise since exposure to machinery and heavy physical activity on the job are more likely to cause harm than operating a computer behind a desk.

While there are differences between these occupations, they share some consequential injuries.

Common Types of Workplace Injuries

Source: GIPHY, Live Leak

Source: GIPHY, Live Leak

  1. Overexertion can occur with heavy lifting and lowering, and from repetitive motions. This can cause workers to become tired and susceptible to making injurious mistakes, like hammering their hands instead of a nail on a maintenance job.
  2. Contact with objects or equipment also causes injuries, when people are struck by the object/equipment, caught or compressed by the object/equipment, or struck, caught, or crushed in a collapsing structure, equipment, or material. This type of injury is frequent on construction sites when people are injured by heavy machinery.
  3. Slip and falls, either on the same level or to a lower level, result in 25% of workplace injuries. Examples include, a painter slipping on a wet tarp, firefighters tripping over a hose, or construction workers carrying large and heavy items not being able to see and avoid a pile of bricks in their way. 
  4. In general, any employees in these hazardous jobs may be kept away from work because of strains, sprains, tears, soreness, pain, cuts, lacerations, and punctures, resulting in missed days and difficulties returning to the workplace. 

You never know when you may be in a situation to help an injured coworker. Therefore, learning how to recognize injuries and being safe on the job is a smart precaution. It's also important to know how to prevent these types of workplace injuries from happening in the first place. Below are some safety tips for employees at work:

How To Avoid Workplace Accidents

  1. Avoid bending, reaching, and twisting when lifting heavy objects.
  2. Take short breaks frequently to minimize exertion.
  3. Store heavy objects close to the floor.
  4. Be aware of moving objects and equipment in and around work areas.
  5. Wear the proper personal protective gear.
  6. Place the base of ladders on an even, solid surface. 
  7. Use good housekeeping practices.
Source: GIPHY

Source: GIPHY

This June, help spread awareness in your workplace as part of National Safety Month. At work, taking safety steps now, may help in the long run. Office and desk workers should also be mindful of professionals working more physical or dangerous jobs, keeping a safe distance from them and alerting emergency personnel if a workplace injury occurs. Safety doesn’t just stop when you leave your car or home, it must continue at work, as well. No employee wants to endure the pain and suffering that comes with a workplace accident. At the very least, the image of their boss in the back of an ambulance might scare people enough to brush up on workplace safety. 


Workplace injuries are much more common than people think. National Safety Month in June is helping spread awareness of safety on the job, in order to keep people off the stretcher and on their feet. If you or someone you know has experienced a workplace injury, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation. 

Samsung's Latest Phone Is Literally Blowing Up

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7, praised for its bigger battery which could power the phone for an impressive nine hours, was supposed to be the next great phone for Samsung. According to The Washington Post, the company advertised that the phone was "designed to be a key that opens the door to new experiences on the go." Since its August 19, 2016 release, the Note 7 has indeed become known for all of the above, though not in the way Samsung had hoped.

On Thursday, September 15, 2016, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a recall of the new Samsung phones, saying that defective Note 7 batteries had been linked to "26 reports of burns and 55 reports of property damage, including fires in cars and a garage." The recall followed numerous reports, including one where police officers responded to a report of a car on fire in a residential neighborhood in a southern Florida beach town. Officers found a vehicle "fully engulfed in flames." The driver, who was unharmed, told police he had been charging his Samsung 7 phone when it burst into flames.

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The first lawsuit related to the phone was believed to be made by a Florida man, who filed a claim against Samsung on September 9, 2016, alleging that his Galaxy Note 7 exploded and caused him severe burns on his right thigh and left thumb, Reuters reported. In the lawsuit, Jonathan Strobel claimed that his Note 7 exploded in his front pants pocket while he was at a Costco on September 9th. The explosion was intense enough to burn through his pants and also severely burn his left thumb when he reached in to try to remove the phone. "He has a deep second-degree burn, roughly the size of the phone, on his right thigh," Strobel's attorney, Keith Pierro, told Reuters.

Similar reports have continued to plague Samsung, since they first issued a voluntary recall of its Galaxy Note 7 phones because of a "battery issue" on September 2nd and offered to give replacement phones to customers who had bought the devices. The lithium-ion batteries in the phones could overheat and pose a safety risk, the company said after it had received a few dozen reports of Note 7 batteries catching on fire. "To date (as of September 1) there have been 35 cases that have been reported globally and we are currently conducting a thorough inspection with our suppliers to identify possible affected batteries in the market," the company said in a statement. "However, because our customers’ safety is an absolute priority at Samsung, we have stopped sales of the Galaxy Note7."

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According to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), in September, Samsung recalled around 2.5 million phones after complaints of exploding batteries. After having a replacement program in place to replace the recalled Note 7's, Samsung insisted that all replaced devices were safe. However, that was followed by reports that those phones were catching fire too. A Kentucky man said he woke up to a bedroom full of smoke from a replaced Note 7, days after a domestic flight in the US was evacuated after a new device started emitting smoke in the cabin.

Now, Samsung has permanently stopped production of the Galaxy Note 7. They had already reduced the Note 7 production volumes, but now, they have made the decision to completely stop producing the Note 7. Owners are expected to be able to return the phones for a refund or an exchange for a different Samsung phone. "We recently readjusted the production volume for thorough investigation and quality control, but putting consumer safety as top priority, we have reached a final decision to halt production of Galaxy Note 7s," the company said.
"For the benefit of consumers' safety, we stopped sales and exchanges of the Galaxy Note 7 and have consequently decided to stop production."

Consumer Tech Analyst Caroline Milanesi of Creative Strategies told the BBC that Samsung should "call it a day" on production of the Galaxy Note 7 to limit long-term risk to the brand.
However, South Korea's finance minister had warned that the country's exports would be hurt if the phone model was scrapped. In the end, Samsung decided that the safety of it's customers is what is most important.


Phones which set themselves on fire has the potential to cause several accidents. Whether a phone charging in a car causes the car to explore or a pedestrian with a smoking pocket walks into oncoming traffic, it appears that the Samsung Note 7 is a dangerous device. If you or anyone you know has been injured in a car accident due to the faulty manufacturing of a product such as the Samsung Note 7, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC today. Our attorneys are highly experienced in dealing with all types of personal injury cases and will fight to get you the help you need. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM, for a free consultation.