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Serving all of Montana for over 25 years

Bliven Law Firm, P.C. is a Montana personal injury law firm located in Northwest Montana serving all of Montana. A group of experienced, dedicated professionals who care about their clients’ needs. Our Montana personal injury attorneys have over 25 years of experience in aggressively pursuing the goals of our clients.

Month: January 2012

ONE DEAD TWO INJURED IN FATAL CAR ACCIDENT IN TROY

A fatal car accident in Troy on Friday afternoon left one dead and two injured, the Montana Highway Patrol reported.

The fatal car wreck occurred on Highway 2 near Troy, MT early Friday afternoon.

According to authorities, the 72-year-old woman, was a passenger in a vehicle that turned left into oncoming traffic. She died from injuries sustained in the crash.

The two drivers were taken to St. John’s Lutheran Hospital in Libby.

Authorities reported that it did not appear that the Troy car accident was a drunk driving accident.

For over 25 years, the attorneys at Bliven Law Firm, P.C. have helped the family members of wrongful death car accident cases. Montana law provides family members and the estate of the deceased wrongful death and survivor claims in fatal personal injury cases.

At Bliven Law Firm, P.C., we are attorneys who have experience in wrongful death cases and survivor cases in places like Troy, Kalispell, Libby and other places throughout Montana. We aggressively represent the deceased’s family, and are sensitive to the family’s needs while they mourn the loss of a loved one.  We can also recommend professional counselors to help cope with an unexpected loss during the grieving process.

GREAT FALLS SEXUAL ABUSE SCANDAL VICTIMS FAMILY DEFENDS THEMSELVES FROM MISLEADING STATEMENTS BY SCHOOL OFFICIALS

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Bliven Law Firm, P.C. Montana School Law Lawyers and Montana Personal Injury Attorneys represent the child victim and the family regarding a violent sexual assault, also commonly referred as rape, which occurred at the Great Falls High School.  At the time of the incident in September of 2011 the victim was 15 years old child.  The felony sexual assault was committed by an upperclassman Alex Mauricio Botina-Roehm an 18 year old senior.  The incident has been referred to as the Great Falls High School Sexual Abuse Scandal.

Great Falls High School sexual assault was a result of a hostile environment, involving assaults upon the sophomore football practice squad members perpetrated by older varsity Great Falls High School Football team, in particular Roehm who was a very popular player.  The practice, which was allowed as reported by the victim, occurred for over a 1 year period where the older upper classmen would assault to younger players in the shower by grabbing the younger children by the genitals and throwing them down onto the ground. This environment escalated into a felony sexual assault along with two other counts of assault brought by the Cascade County Attorney’s office. Great Falls High School personnel permitted such assaults which included grabbing the genitals of the underclassmen on the football team by the upperclassmen.  School Officials have called it “horseplay”.

The victims’ mother reported the sexual assault abuse on or about September 15, 2011 in written email to a Great Falls High School Official. Like many victims, the minor child victim in this case was concerned about his safety, along with the fear of further assaults. In fact the victim asserts that he was threatened with assaults by Roehm and others, after the written report of the sexual assault to Great Falls High School officials.

Both the victim and others, had been physically and verbally abused. He was fearful of retaliation, and again suffering severe injury through another attack.  Two of the victims’ friends were actually attacked after the report was made to school officials. As a result the family made a written report and provided explicit details of the sexual assaults occurring in the great falls high school locker room.

Due to this fear of retaliation and trauma to the 15 year old victim, his mother when reporting in great detail the vicious assault, had simply requested anonymity, but firmly requested that the matter be handled immediately as her son was fearful of returning to school. Roehm has been charged with felony sexual assault.

Great Falls Superintendent Crawley has made many inconsistent statements, mostly providing excuses for the failure to report.  According to the Great Falls Tribune, Crawley now claims confusion on the reporting law claiming it was the staff’s understanding that it only involved abuse in the home not at the school.  In fact, Montana Law requires school officials to report abuse whenever suspected, whenever reported, whether anonymously or otherwise.

Sec. 41-3-201 MCA, provides “school teachers, other school officials and employees who work regular school hours” must report any “reasonable cause to suspect, as a result of the information they receive in their professional or official capacity, that a child is abused or neglected by anyone.“(emphasis, added)

In a prior tribune article, Crawley dispassionately complained about having to deal with possible lawsuits if discipline was imposed.  However, as to reporting requirements Superintendent Crawley herself has defined the circumstances in the school district reporting policy as follows:

MANDATORY REPORTING

ANY DISTRICT EMPLOYEE WHO HAS REASON TO SUSPECT THAT A STUDENT MAY BE AN ABUSED OR NEGLECED CHILD SHALL REPORT . . . .

Moreover, The Great Falls School District training materials provide an even clearer explanation of the Great Falls High School reporting requirements. As part of its PowerPoint presentation on Mandatory Reporting, the School District stated, “Any district employee who has a reason to suspect that a student may be an abused child shall report such a case to the Montana Department of Family Services (DPHHS). The Employee should notify the principal that a report has been made.”

In the same training presentation, the Great Falls High School District defined “Child abuse or neglect” as “Actual physical or psychological harm to a child; substantial risk of physical or psychological harm to a child; or

Abandonment.”  As examples of child abuse, the School District included, “physical injury,” “sexual abuse”, “bullying” and” harassment.”

The presentation also stated that school employees “must report promptly upon employee becoming aware of alleged misconduct (within 24 hours).”

The situation in this case involved a complete breakdown of trust and disregard of duty on the part of certain school officials.  When the victim’s mother reported the abuse that occurred in the locker room she did so hoping that the school would protect the victim’s anonymity and that the school would report the abuse to the proper officials. After reporting the incident a school counselor, the counselor sent an email to the victim’s mother stating “Just to let you know this will be addressed today.   If you are comfortable, please tell [the victim] thank you for having courage to tell you.”

In a subsequent email to the school official, the victim’s mother stated,” The kids need to understand that their perceived innocent fun and games is exactly the same behavior that get[s] people expelled from school, fired from jobs, or land[s] them in jail, [or] registering as a sex offender for the rest of their lives.”

When the victim’s mother wrote  “I’ve assured him the situation is being handled in such a manner that no one will know from whom or when the complaint was made…” her intent was to clarify with the school that the victim’s identity would be protected while she was reassured that prompt immediate action was taken.  Over 6 weeks past while the harassment, bullying and attacks continued without any school action, until the family notified the school police officer directly.

The family relied upon the school officials promises that the reported abuse would be addressed. She assumed that the proper legal actions would be taken. She assumed that the school would alert the authorities about the assaults taking place inside the shower at the Great Falls High School Locker Room.

This resulted in a complete breakdown of trust between my child and family that the Great Falls School District cared about the permanent damage done to my child.”  Stated the grandmother.

While there certainly are many underpaid and hardworking teachers at the Great Falls High School, the problem based upon Superintendent Crawley’s seeming indifference and inconsistent excuses lies squarely upon her feet.

While there are billboards around the Great Falls, Montana area which indicate a “ZERO TOLLERANCE” against any bullying, Crawley now makes excuses.  Crawley promised a prompt independent investigation and report to be completed by neutral third party investigator. Instead, school defense attorney, Meagan Morris was hired for the task.  The School District announced it completed its investigation and the report would be made public over one month ago.  It has not been released to date.  Maybe the reason the investigative report has not been released is because the original draft, did not result in favorable conclusions and revisions continue in progress, with excuses floated in the press like trial balloons.

Instead of admitting mistakes were made, acknowledging that a horrific traumatic assault occurred and subsequent abuse violations occurred after reporting to Great Falls High School Officials, Crawley seemed more concerned with public image and protecting the Great Falls School Districts upper level bureaucracy from the Great Falls High School sexual assault scandal.

All Montanans with children in school, expect school official to protect our children.  We entrust them to their care during school hours.  The breach of trust and confidence in this case should raise great concern about how the high level bureaucrats who receive the largest salaries, perceive their responsibilities of trust and protection towards Montana’s children and their conflict to protect their own bureaucracy though denial of responsibility.

I do not believe any parent can feel secure about the safety of their children in the Great Falls School District considering, the attitude of the upper echelon of the Great Falls, Montana, School District.

In this situation, and similar situations of abuse on Great Falls School District Campuses as reported previously by the Great Falls Tribune the Superintendent Crawley puts a nail in the coffin of what trust and credibility the upper level bureaucrats have with the students and the parents of the Great Falls Community.

ICY ROADS CAUSE MULTIPLE CAR ACCIDENTS IN KALISPELL, WHITEIFISH, COLUMBIA FALLS AND THE FLATHEAD VALLEY

download (1)The Montana Highway Patrol responded to 27 car accidents in the Flathead Valley yesterday.  Wet surfaces, freezing temperatures and a slick layer of snow combined to form icy roads in Whitefish, Kalispell, Libby, Lakeside and others areas in the Flathead Valley.

Mike, an attorney for Bliven Law Firm, P.C. a Kalispell law firm stated, “the slick roads took a lot of people by surprise.”

Late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning, sanding trucks were seen in Kalispell, Whitefish, Lakeside and Columbia Falls.

Of the 27 car accidents in Kalispell and the Flathead Valley on Tuesday, several were reported on Highway 93 and Highway 2.

Bliven said he helps people who have been injured from car accidents in Kalispell, Whitefish, Missoula, and throughout Montana. “We see a lot of people who get hit by another driver, who was taking an icy corner too fast, or couldn’t stop in time. People get hurt, need medical treatment and can’t go back to work. We help them receive medical treatment and receive compensation for their missed work and injuries.”

Bliven Law Firm, P.C. has been practicing personal injury law in the Flathead Valley for over 25 years. They offer FREE CONSULTATIONS to car accident victims to discuss their  case.

HISTORIC RECALL OF MILLIONS OF DANGEROUS OVER THE COUNTER MEDICATIONS IN MONTANA, 2 YEAR OLD DIES FROM BAD TYLENOL

BuffHISTORIC RECALL OF 12 MILLION BOTTLES INCLUDING COUNTLESS AMOUNTS OF OVER THE COUNTER MEDICATIONS IN MONTANA / 2 YEAR OLD DEATH BLAMED ON MISLABLED DRUGS

Johnson and Johnson Company stated that is recalled 12 million bottles of Motrin brand painkillers. Other products manufactured by Novartis, including Excedrin, No Doz, Gas-X and Bufferin products were recalled by the FDA today with the explanation that the over the counter OTC’s may contain other products with risks of different or opposite side effects. These drugs are manufactured by Novartis.

The recall effects all of these medications in Montana and at Montana Pharmacies with the expiration dates of 12/20/2014 and sooner and Gas-X and Bufferin products with expirations dates of 12/20/2013. Fox News has reported that some of these medications include powerful prescription painkillers. You should inspect any of these medications for miss-matched color or size of pills.

NodozeThe actual number of pills recalled by Novartis here in Montana or throughout the country has not been disclosed. The company has stated there is no safety issue only that the product may contain other medicine with different side effects. These are common items sold over-the-counter here in Montana Stores, Kalispell, Missoula, Billings, Bozeman, Columbia Falls, Whitefish at outlets such as Walgreens, Wal-Mart, Smiths and other Montana Pharmacies. Any store that sells over the counter (OTC) medications here in Montana are affected.

GasMontana Law provides strict liability for non-confirming over the counter (OTC) medications. A family with a 2 year old son died after being given a batch of the liquid Tylenol. The child died because the medicine was in the highly concentrated form causing liver failure. The family has filed a lawsuit for wrongful death.

Moreover, under Montana Law a pharmacy is strictly liable for dispensing the wrong medication. When purchasing over-the-counter medication (OTC) you should consult with the pharmacist about the medication and whether it is affected by any of the many recalls. The problems resulted from a manufacturing plant in Lincoln Nebraska. This is a nationwide recall, which affects all of us here in Montana.

While the company Novartis claims that no injuries have been “confirmed”, if you believe you have taken a recalled product here in Montana, and you or your child is suffering from side effects you should seek medical attention. “This is a very dangerous situation for Montanans” stated food poisoning and bad drug attorney Bliven from Bliven Law Firm, P.C. Trial Attorneys. Bliven Law Firm, P.C. has provided experienced legal services in the areas of bad drug injuries and food poisoning. Our Attorneys are focused on Montanans. While not “confirmed” one death has already been reported. The number of related illnesses or side effects right here in Montana may be enormous, but not severe enough to result in severe illness.

Excedrin1However in some situations, particularly concerning children who have compromised immune systems or cannot tolerate adult doses of a bad drug can be disastrous. FDA officials warned that some of the medications might contain powerful painkillers including “Percocet, Endocet and Zydone. “ This could be deadly for infants and small children right here in Montana. The danger is increased even more, since there are reports of mislabeling of the concentration levels of these bad drugs, which are sitting on the shelves of Montana Stores around the State.

If you suspect you or a family member have suffered injury as a result of one of these recalled products after seeking medical attention, Bliven Law Firm, P.C., Montana, bad drug attorneys and food poisoning attorneys located right here in Montana can help. We can put you in touch with local health officials and pursue Justice for you and your family.

In these tough economic times a trip to the emergency room could easily run thousands of dollars. We also work with health care providers, including in Kalispell, Whitefish, Great Falls, Billings and other providers throughout Montana to get the bills paid by the drug companies who’s negligence caused illness, death and other economic damages such as the medical bills.

Montana Law also provides an independent cause of action for “serious and severe” emotional distress. Wages v. First National Insurance. Close family members of those who are injured may also have a claim under Montana Law.

Bliven Law Firm, P.C., Montana Injury Attorneys, focuses on obtaining full and fair compensation for victims resulting from the carelessness of the drug companies and large food corporations. Last year Novartis reported over 50 billion dollars in sales. “In my experience as a Montana Products Liability Attorney, this is likely the tip of the iceberg. I would expect further recalls to come.”

The Personal Injury Lawyers at Bliven Law Firm, P.C. care about Montanans. We have been providing legal services right here in Kalispell, Whitefish, Columbia Falls, Billings and all throughout Montana for 18 years. We would prefer to prevent any bad drug injury or damages and therefore issue the following NOTICE:

WARNING: WHEN PURCHASING OVER THE COUNTER MEDICATION, HAVE THE PHARMACIST CHECK THE PACKAGE FOR THE LATEST RECALL INFORMATION. BEFORE TAKING OR GIVING ANY OF THE RECALLED MEDICINES TO ANY FAMILY MEMBER CALL YOUR PHARMACIST.

The above two recalls mentioned in this article involving Montana Bad Drugs, sold Over-the-Counter medications are a part of a string of OTC recalls affecting Montanans. While there are drug recall hotlines, the situation continues to evolve as more drugs and companies become implicated and the number and amount of dangerous products shipped to Montana has yet to be determined. Children in Montana are particularly susceptible in that Montana is a rural area, the bad drugs may be in the medicine cabinet, or the local quick mart, and the concentrations may cause serious injury and death. It is less likely that the quick marts such as the Town Pump in my home town Columbia Falls will have equal information as a store with a pharmacist. While I make no claim that Town Pump or any other gas station quick mart have not taken the recalled items off the shelf, the fact is the pharmacies have up to date computer information from the FDA that can be accessed immediately in the event the recalls either spread or increase in numbers.

The list of recalls as of today, may be found on the FDA website. http://www.fda.gov/drugs/drugsafety/DrugRecalls/default.htm

BUS CRASH OUTSIDE OF MISSOULA LEAVES 2 DEAD AND 33 INJURED

4f09fd3da9b9a.imageTragedy struck outside of Missoula Sunday Morning when a Rimrock Stages bus carrying 35 people, flipped on its side and slid more than 150 feet, causing 2 deaths and injuring 33 people.

The bus was traveling West on I-90 at  7:15 a.m. when the driver lost control of the bus just west of the Clinton exit and the bus crashed on I-90 outside of Missoula.

Montana Highway Patrol Sgt. Scott Hoffman said it was the largest mass injury accident he had ever seen. Everyone on the bus was either injured or killed.

“In 16 years I haven’t seen anything like this,” Hoffman said. “So many people laying on the ground with injuries, writhing in pain. It was a terrible scene.”

Read more: http://missoulian.com/news/local/7dceb91e-3a14-11e1-a5ec-001871e3ce6c.html#ixzz1iydNgzLk

Several passengers were ejected after the bus tipped on the drivers side and slid for more than 150 feet in the median.

“When it went on its side, because of the speed involved, it had a bouncing motion,” Hoffman said. “And as it did people were ejected through those windows.”

Local authorities are investigating whether or not the driver was traveling at a reasonable and prudent speed given the condition of the road at the time.

“The law states you must drive to the conditions, and that’s where our investigation is going on this,” said Hoffman. “We have no other indications of another vehicle being involved. We think he was simply going too fast for the road conditions. We had one passenger state already that they felt the bus driver was going too fast right before the crash.

“We’re pretty sure what happened is the conditions rapidly changed and went from wet to icy.”

Montana law specifically states,   “(3) Subject to the maximum speed limits set forth in subsection (1), a person shall operate a vehicle in a careful and prudent manner and at a reduced rate of speed no greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions existing at the point of operation, taking into account the amount and character of traffic, visibility, weather, and roadway conditions.”

In addition, in Montana, every driver is required to operate a motor vehicle including a bus, “ in a careful and prudent manner that does not unduly or unreasonably endanger the life, limb, property, or other rights of a person entitled to the use of the highway. ”

Bliven Law Firm, P.C. is a Montana law firm dedicated to helping injured individuals and families recover from losses likes the Clinton bus crash. We do not represent insurance companies, like other firms. Never have, never will.

Our firm has the legal experience and knowledge you need on your side. Our Montana attorneys sincerely care about helping innocent victims and their families make a complete recovery: emotionally; physically and temporally. We offer FREE CONSULTATIONS and will meet with you at our office, over the phone or wherever is convenient for you.

FOUR BULLDOGS ATTACK 7 YEAR OLD CRESTON GIRL

imagesFour American Bulldogs attacked and extensively injured a 7-year-0ld Creston girl over the weekend according to the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office. The young girl was hospitalized after the attack.

Creston, an area out outside of Kalispell, dog attack took place on Saturday afternoon according to the Flathead Beacon.

Curry says the girl and her father were visiting from out of town and that the girl and a woman were playing outside the residence when the girl was attacked and dragged by the dogs.

“Harboring a vicious dog is in itself a crime. The damage and those injuries that the girl sustained, how exactly those will tie together is going to be determined through collaboration with the County Attorney’s office,” said Flathead Undersheriff Jordan White.

Montana law states that the dog’s owner is liable for damages in an unprovoked dog attack like the one in Creston, outside of Kalispell.

27-1-715. Liability of owner of vicious dog. (1) The owner of a dog that without provocation bites a person while the person is on or in a public place or lawfully on or in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, located within an incorporated city or town is liable for damages that may be suffered by the person bitten regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of the viciousness.

Many people in Montana are unaware that most homeowners insurance policies typically provide coverage for injuries caused by a dog. Every insurance policy is different and actual coverage would depend on the language of the policy.

For over 25 years, the Kalispell lawyers at Bliven Law Firm, P.C., have been helping innocent victims of dog bites in Creston and Kalispell recover damages they are legally entitled to under Montana law. We have Kalispell attorneys who know Montana dog bite law and can help collect funds to pay for the victim’s medical treatment, injuries, pain and suffering, permanent damages and future damages.

In some circumstances, if a child has been harmed by a dog, their parents may be legally entitled to damages as well. If you or someone you know has been injured by a dog, contact Bliven Law Firm, P.C. for a FREE CONSULTATION.