Tractor Trailer Accidents on the Rise in South Carolina

January 25th, 2012 • By: RPLLC Uncategorized

A 4-year-old died 10 days after the car she was riding in was hit by a tractor trailer.

According to the Highway Patrol, the little girl died Monday from injuries sustained in the January 13 accident.

She and another child were airlifted to the hospital after an accident at Washington Davis Rd. and Bill Davis Rd. around 6:15 a.m. that morning.

Troopers said an 18-wheeler truck struck a Honda Accord at Davis Crossroads. Inside the car was an adult and 3 children. Everyone who was in the car was transported to hospital. All but the deceased 4-year-old were released.

The driver of the truck was charged with failure to yield the right of way. He was not injured.

“Tractor trailer accidents seem to be on the rise”, said Robert Rikard.  ”All too often death and serious injury are the result of this kind of truck crash.”

Rikard recently gave a presentation to South Carolina lawyers on trucking accidents and how to prove liability and damages in truck accident cases. If you have a potential case involving a tractor trailer please feel free to call Rikard at 803-978-6111.


New South Carolina Case Holds Plaintiff Must File Expert Affidavit with Notice of Intent

January 25th, 2012 • By: RPLLC Legal Malpractice, Medical Malpractice

Shannon Ranucci v. Crain

Three years after suffering a collapsed lung following a medical procedure, Shannon Ranucci filed a Notice of Intent to File Suit (Notice) against Corey K. Crain, M.D.  Forty-five days later, Ranucci filed an affidavit of a medical expert as a supplement to her Notice of Intent to File Suit. Dr. Crain filed a motion to dismiss the Notice of Intent to File Suit alleging that Ranucci’s failure to file the expert affidavit at the same time as the filing of the Notice of Intent was a violation of S.C. Code of Laws Section 15-79-125. The Circuit Court granted Dr. Crain’s motion and dismissed Ranucci’s Notice of Intent for failing to file the expert affidavit at the same time as the Notice of Intent. The Court of Appeals affirmed the Circuit Court’s dismissal.

At issue in the case is the operation of 2 South Carolina statutes: Section 15-79-125 and Section 15-36-100. Section 15-79-125 deals with Medical Malpractice actions and requires that a Notice of Intent to File Suit be filed prior to filing a lawsuit. This section also requires that an expert affidavit be filed along with the Notice of Intent to File Suit and also provides for the statute of limitations to be tolled during the time frame outlined by the statute for presuit discovery and presuit mediation.

Section 15-36-100 outlines requirements for expert affidavits. The Court of Appeals found in this case that Section 15-36-100(A) is the only part of 15-36-100 that applies to Section 15-79-125. Specifically, the Court found that the reference in Section 15-79-125 to Section 15-36-100 applies only to what is to be contained in the expert affidavit which is found in Section 15-36-100(A). The remaining subsections of 15-36-100 apply only AFTER a lawsuit has been filed; they do not apply to expert affidavits filed with a Notice of Intent to File Suit. This means that all Notices of Intent to File Suit MUST contain an expert affidavit attached to the filing at the time the Notice of Intent to File Suit is filed.

Because Ranucci’s Notice of Intent to File Suit did not contain an expert affidavit at the time it was filed, the Circuit Court properly dismissed the Notice.

Now Ms. Ranucci is forever barred from recovering from the doctor that caused her injuries in the first place because of the failure to follow the timeline set out in the Notice of Intent statute.


Fosamax Lawsuits Over Bone Fractures Being Consolidated

June 13th, 2011 • By: RPLLC Uncategorized

Fosamax is under fire after claims that the drug causes small bone fractures and consequentially, led to a consolidated Multidistrict proceeding in the District Court of New Jersey.

The litigation combines over 37 different lawsuits currently pending in district courts throughout the country, all related to bone fractures. Fosamax is also facing a number of lawsuits regarding jaw issues. The jaw issues have led to multidistrict litigation of their own in New York.

Over 60 percent of the cases that were filed pertaining to Fosamax were filed in New Jersey–which is where the case will be centrally located. Fosamax was originally distributed to combat osteoporosis and improve bone strength. It has been discovered, in multiple cases, to actually lead to unusual thigh bone fractures with little or no trauma taking place. These fractures have occurred for the most part in a patient’s femur. Merck, the distributor of Fosamax, has been accused of failing to give proper warnings of side effects regarding the risk of fractures throughout the body, specifically in the femur.

Currently, there are nearly a thousand lawsuits involving Fosamax. The jaw lawsuits and femur litigation were not combined because it was ruled that evidence would be substantially different between the two cases.

If you or someone you know has taken the drug FOSAMAX and has experienced bone fractures of any sort, jaw issues, or any other type of painful, life altering side effect, contact the lawyers at Rikard and Protopapas at (803)978.6111 or email us at


June 9th, 2011 • By: RPLLC Uncategorized

The Securities and Exchange Commission is considering whether the Goldman Sachs Group Inc and other financial companies violated bribery laws in connection with Libya’s sovereign-wealth fund. SEC Enforcement lawyers are reviewing documents that detail relationships with Libyan Investment Authority controlled by Muammar Gaddafi.

The regulators are interested in a $50 million fee that was agreed upon, but never transpired due to the violence in Libya earlier this year. The absence of any transaction does not exempt the bank from the federal Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which bans U.S. companies from offering or paying bribes to foreign government officials or employees of state owned companies.

There were several other companies listed as having significant dealings with the Libyan Investment Authority. The Wall Street Journal reported Goldman Spokesperson, Lucas van Praag as saying, “We are confident that nothing we did or proposed was or could have been a breach of any rules or regulation,” Praag was also quoted by saying, “We retained outside counsel, as our normal practice for any transaction, to ensure that we were compliant with all applicable rules.” The SEC declined to comment.

For more on this story, click here.

If your business is being investigated for a similar matter by the SEC or State regulators, feel free to contact the attorneys at Rikard and Protopapas at 803.978.6111, or email to


June 9th, 2011 • By: RPLLC Uncategorized

Citigroup Inc. has confirmed a computer breach which has given hackers access to customers’ data.
Unauthorized access was discovered through the bank’s routine monitoring system. A spokesperson for the bank confirms that 1 percent of card customers were affected by the breach.

The information that was compromised includes names of customers, account numbers and contact information such as email addresses. However, social security numbers, dates of birth, card expiration dates and card security numbers were not viewed according to Citigroup.

A spokesperson for Citigroup Inc. says, “We are contacting customers whose information was impacted. Citi has implemented enhanced procedures to prevent a reoccurrence of this type of even.”

For more on this story, click here.

If your identity or bank information has been compromised in this or a similar situation, contact the lawyers at Rikard and Protopapas at 803.978.6111, or email to