Local Chipotle Shuts Down After Customers Become Sick

A Chipotle restaurant on Tripleseven Road in Sterling, Virginia shut down yesterday after numerous customers reported becoming ill after eating there recently. The website iwaspoisoned.com shows 10 reports of customers falling ill after eating at this Chipotle location in the last few days.  The reports all indicate customers ate at this Chipotle on Friday or Saturday, and became ill over the weekend with nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Quite a few of the reports indicate the symptoms and illness were “violent.”  Not pleasant.

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DC Releases Huge Trove of Crash Data

Last month, the DC Department of Transportation released a trove of collision data.  The DC DOT and Metropolitan Police Department have a history of sharing information about collisions in the District of Columbia, often through periodic reports.  But this data release is different in that provides information about individual crash report incidents taken by Metropolitan Police Department officers.  So instead of a statistical summary, what you see is individual collisions mapped onto the streets of DC, one collision at a time.

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Where am I? Jurisdictional Borders in Washington, DC, Virginia, and Maryland

By Cory Bilton

Memorial Bridge 1

If you are the type of person that thinks “jurisdiction” only matters to lawyers and fugitives on the lam, you might be surprised to learn that the moment you cross a jurisdictional line you are subject to a completely different set of laws.  As you are walking across the Key Bridge from Rosslyn to Georgetown, for example, it is “Goodbye, Virginia law.  Hello, DC law.”  This has important consequences because Virginia law and DC law differ in many ways.  By crossing over that bridge you subject yourself to those new laws just by being present in the District of Columbia.

So, jurisdiction matters to everyone in the area.  But where exactly does Virginia end and Washington, DC begin?  The Potomac River, right?  What about the line between DC and Maryland?  It’s those diagonal streets (Southern Avenue, Eastern Avenue, and Western Avenue), right?  Both these answers are close, but not quite right.  The jurisdictional lines between Virginia, Washington, DC, and Maryland are very specific and do not necessarily match up with common understanding.  Here is what you need to know about jurisdiction in the DC area.

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April 2015 Collision Tweets from DC Fire and EMS

By Cory Bilton

Cars in Traffic

DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services (“DC FEMS”) has been using Twitter to announce the occurrence of collisions and fires in the District of Columbia (and other, more pleasant things, too). Take a look at their Twitter feed (@DCFIREEMS) and you will see numerous reports of collisions involving vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists almost every day. Although the DC FEMS’s tweets are certainly not exhaustive, I was curious to look at a summary of a month’s worth of collision tweets. So I scrolled through every DC FEMS tweet from April 2015 to gain an overview of the collisions happening in Washington, DC.

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Should I get Bicycle Insurance?

By Cory Bilton

Bike Lane 3

I recently learned that insurance companies are starting to offer bicycle insurance as a separate, stand-alone policy. Many types of insurance—such as health, auto, and home owner’s—already provide some coverage while you are riding your bike. So the idea of a stand-alone bicycle insurance policy intrigues me. What types of coverage does it provide? Who is the intended buyer? Is there any type of coverage that a bicycle insurance policy has that isn’t covered by health insurance, auto insurance, or homeowner’s insurance? Here is a close look at one cyclist insurance policy (offered by Markel Insurance).

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DC Superior Court Jury Verdicts from 2014

By Cory Bilton

Each year, the DC Superior Court releases jury verdict data for cases involving automobile collisions, medical malpractice, and slip and falls. Since the Superior Court is Washington DC’s main trial court, this data provides some insight into the characteristics of cases that are going to trial and how juries are deciding them. Here is a summary of the jury verdict data for 2014:

Case Type
# of Cases
Plaintiff Verdict
Avg. Verdict Amount
Defense Verdict

Automobile
57
35
$25,414.32
22

Slip & Fall
7
1
$105,000
6

Medical Malpractice
8
3
$327,908.59
5

Totals
72
39
$50,723.76
33

There are a lot of ways to misinterpret these statistics. So before jumping to any conclusions from looking at these numbers, keep the following in mind:

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A Personal Injury Lawyer Walks in His Client’s Shoes: Part 3 – Nerve Conduction Study and EMG

By Cory Bilton

Banneker Park 3 - Aug 2014

Back in December 2014, I woke one morning with significant numbness and tingling in my left arm. After initially visiting an orthopedist, I was referred to a neurologist to perform a nerve conduction study and electromyography (“EMG”). I knew the doctor was looking to see if the nerve signals were travelling down my arm correctly. But I really had little to no idea what a nerve conduction study or EMG involved. It sounded innocent enough. Diagnostic testing would hopefully give me some insight about what was causing these symptoms in my arm.

What I didn’t realize was just how uncomfortable it is to have a nerve conduction study and EMG performed. Allow me to explain what these tests are like for the patient…

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Great Idea: Using Social Media or Online Forums to Warn of Defects and Dangerous Conditions

By Cory Bilton

Memorial Bridge 1

“We didn’t know it was dangerous.” This is the response you will get in almost every case involving a dangerous product or hazardous condition that causes someone to be injured. Whether we are talking about faulty ignition switches, contaminated spinach, or uneven pavement, the initial response is nearly always that the danger was not known. Without knowledge of the danger, there was no way to prevent the harm. So the argument goes.

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A Personal Injury Lawyer Walks in His Client’s Shoes: Part 2 – A Doctor’s Visit

By  Cory Bilton

Union Station 1

In mid December, I injured my arm while I slept. I’m sharing my experience getting medical treatment, going to physical therapy, and working to regain function in my left arm and hand. You can read the first part of my experience here.

In the weeks after I injured my left arm, I continued to experience constant pain and discomfort, particularly in my wrist and hand. I Googled my symptoms. Everything I read seemed to point to the idea that I had a pinched ulnar nerve in my left arm. For anyone that has had a pinched nerve, I have great sympathy for you. It has been incredibly uncomfortable for me. For anyone who hasn’t had a pinched nerve, it is painful and annoying. The worst part is that the sensations pulse through your arm. These are not good sensations, either. I frequently felt like my hand was on fire. Then the sensation would cool until it felt like electricity flowing through my arm. Sometimes these sensations came on so quickly my arm would recoil reflexively. In addition to these sensations, I had constant numbness and a “pins and needles” sensation in my pinky and ring finger.

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A Personal Injury Lawyer Walks in His Client’s Shoes – Part 1: The Injury

By Cory Bilton

NH and 20th 3

In mid-December I woke one morning with severe numbness and tingling in my left arm. Initially, I thought the sensations would quickly subside. Within a few minutes of stretching, some feeling had returned to my left arm. But my pinky and ring finger continued to feel completely numb. In the month since this happened, I have had ongoing pain, discomfort, and dysfunction in my left arm and hand. I have recently seen an orthopedist and will undergo diagnostic testing and some occupational therapy in the next few weeks. At this time, my recovery is hopeful, but uncertain.

While my injury was not the result of someone’s negligence, my path to recovery shares something with what many accident victims experience while recovering. I am very fortunate that my injury is slight compared with the injuries of most of the people I have represented. But the sequence of experiences—injury, symptoms, diagnosis, therapy, and ongoing evaluation—is similar.

Although I had some scuffs, scrapes, and bruises as a kid, my injuries were always visible and I recovered in a predictable fashion. But this injury seems different. The problem is completely invisible to me, the symptoms are largely discomfort and dysfunction, and the outlook for recovery is uncertain. These factors make an injury harder to cope with and explain to others. From what I know right now, what has happened to my arm may be permanent.  So there is a psychological impact in addition to a physical one. Because this seems like a useful opportunity for a personal injury lawyer to walk in his client’s shoes, I will share my experience dealing with my injury, medical treatment, and recovery in a series of posts. My hope is that my experience will help advance the discussion on injuries, medical care, and the ways in which people cope and recover.

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