Thursday, May 14, 2009

Actress Natasha Richardson’s Death Due to Delayed Bleeding

Actress Natasha Richardson died on March 19, 2009 apparently as a result of a brain injury suffered in a skiing accident just two days prior. Her death surprised many, as she walked away unscathed after a relatively minor fall on the ski slopes. Doctors characterized Richardson’s injury as a “walk and die” syndrome, which is usually due to delayed bleeding from an artery in the brain. Dr. Christopher Giza, a neurologist at the UCLA Brain Injury Research Center said that “patients like Richardson appear normal immediately after injury, walking and talking as if nothing has happened. But symptoms can develop within an hour, such as a coma or even death.”

It is not yet clear what type of civil liability, if any, the owners of the ski resort are subject to. Richardson was apparently not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, and the resort’s policy, as will virtually all ski resorts, seemingly did not require skiers to wear helmets. Ralph Saltsman, partner with the Playa Del Rey, California law firm, Solomon, Saltsman & Jamieson, and co-host of the weekly televised talk show, Legal Help Live, says…sporting injuries are many times the result of poorly managed facilities with no or little safety plan or procedure.

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