Monday, September 30, 2013

The Passing of the Honorable Thomas G. Peoples, Jr.

Re:  The Passing of the Honorable Thomas G. Peoples, Jr.
Judge Thomas peoples died on September 19, 2013, at the age of 77.  Like most people, and particularly attorneys, I had the utmost respect for Judge Peoples.  He was a man of utmost integrity, and unflappable character.  He was very loyal to his family, staff, and the people he served, i.e., the citizens of Blair County. 

 I enjoyed an inside view of Judge Peoples.  My mother, Barbara Stoehr, served as his secretary for many years in the District Attorney’s Office and later as the Judge’s secretary.  I remember Judge Peoples being mentioned at the dinner table on many occasions during high school.  Judge Peoples could be stern and seemingly inflexible.  However, this somewhat tough exterior was his way of committing to his own beliefs.  If you needed someone to jump in the foxhole with you, Tom Peoples was definitely in my Top 10. 

 Later in life I had the good fortune (maybe not, he was a tough grader!) to be a college student in Criminal Law I and II taught by District Attorney Tom Peoples.  More often than not I managed an “A” in college.  With Tom Peoples I savored my “B” in both courses!  Later I was undecided whether I wanted to go to law school.  I conferred with Judge Peoples after college, but the timing wasn’t right, and I entered the business world.  I became more serious about law school at age 30 and discussed this with him in great detail prior to application.  I was living in Virginia at the time and remember coming home for the weekend.  Judge Peoples remained in his office Friday afternoon until I arrived.  We talked for several hours in his chambers until early evening.  Perhaps our talk was not the sole reason for attending law school, but the insight he gave me was pivotal in my decision.

 Finally, I had the opportunity to try my first case as a civil litigator in a two-day jury trial before his Honor.  My mother went to high school with Judge Peoples and was still his secretary.  Perhaps a cynical person would believe that this relationship would give me the “inside advantage” with Judge Peoples.  After all, I would merely need to smile and wink, and expect favorable rulings.  It was wise on my part not to have any such expectations . . . Judge Peoples’ pretrial rulings and rulings during the trial were very even-handed.  In one instance, Judge Peoples politely listened to my objection, gave me his ice-cold stare, and overruled me with such emphasis that I wondered why I had opened my mouth.  Fortunately I won this “slip and fall” case but it had nothing to do with an alleged relationship I had with the Judge. 

 I attended Judge Peoples funeral and the Resolutions of the Blair County Bar.  I spoke with Judge Peoples’ wife, Maureen, who now resides at Garvey Manor.  I think she remembers me but it is not important.  What is more important is the admiration and love she felt from the many mourners.  The eulogy given by Court of Appeals Judge Brooks Smith reminded us that Judge Peoples was a complex man.  He was steadfast in his beliefs and unwavering in his faith.  Yet he was a common man with a dry sense of humor.  Above all, Judge Peoples was respected by all.  The Blair County Court has lost its leader and he will be sorely missed. 

                                                                                                 Attorney Doug Stoehr, Altoona


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Attorney Stoehr and Dog Bites

Recently, Pit Bulls have been receiving a lot of negative attention due to the perceived danger of the breed.  Whether you agree or disagree with this danger, the truth of the matter is that any type of dog breed can be harmful under the wrong circumstances. 

If you or a loved one have been attacked or bitten by a dog, you as a victim have rights. Many people do not know their rights and therefore fail to go after the compensation they deserve.  Dog bite laws can be confusing and may vary from state to state. Here is what you need to know about dog bite laws in Pennsylvania:

1.) Legal liability must be proven in order to receive compensation from an attack.  This means that a victim must prove that the dog owner was being negligent in order for the owner to be held responsible for the attack.
2.) Landlords may be held liable for injuries by a dog their tenant owns/takes care of if he/she is aware that the dog is a danger and fails to take action to remove the pet from the premise.
3.) If a dog is deemed "dangerous" different laws and penalties may apply. A dangerous dog is one that has a previous record of attack or has attacked without provocation or both. 

Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer serving Blair and the seven surrounding counties in central Pennsylvania.  He takes cases for victims of dog bites and other types of animal attacks. For more information on his Altoona, PA area firm, please call his office at 814-946-4100 or visit his website at

Friday, September 20, 2013

Protect Yourself From Defective Products

Defective products are unfortunately a common source of lawsuits in Pennsylvania and across the rest of the United States.  Recently, a Pennsylvania couple filed a $5 million lawsuit against Medtronic Inc., a company that manufactures the Infuse bone graft.  The couple claims the company failed to warn them about serious side effects caused from using the product. Read the article in its entirety posted by HERE

As consumers, we must always be on alert for defective products. Here are some tips to prevent you and your loved ones from falling victim to product liability:

      Research products before you buy them
-          -Beware of low-cost products – you get what you pay for
-         - Purchase products from companies with an established reputation
-          -Know your product’s warranty and guarantees 

Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer serving Blair and the seven surrounding counties in central -Pennsylvania.  He takes cases for product liability.  For more information on his Altoona, PA area firm, please call his office at 814-946-4100 or visit his website at

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Wrongful Death Class Action

On September 6, posted an article about a wrongful death class action filed against Fresenius Medical Care (FMC).  Click HERE to view the entire article.  Tina Nunn filed on behalf of herself, her late husband and others who have also been affected by Granuflo and Naturalyte, dialysis products made by FMC. The case has received a lot of national attention and the products have been recalled due to harmful side effects including cardiac arrest and heart attack, the latter of which Nunn’s husband was a victim of.

When tragedy strikes, even the little things can seem overwhelming.  Support and understanding is vital for the surviving family members to move forward and also for a successful case. Attorney Stoehr can help a family take care of the legal matters accompanied by an accidental death. You can count on his firm to answer all of your questions in a timely and honest manner.

Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer serving Blair and the seven surrounding counties in central Pennsylvania.  He takes cases for surviving family members who have tragically lost a loved one in an accident. For more information on his Altoona, PA area firm, please call his office at 814-946-4100 or visit his website at

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Attorney Stoehr Involved in Police Shooting Case

Doug Stoehr is currently representing an Altoona resident who was shot by an Altoona Police Officer on April 8, 2013.   Doug and his client preferred to avoid publicity but needed to respond to a newspaper article and TV spot about the incident.  Most recently the case was highlighted again in the newspaper, when the Altoona Mirror obtained a copy of the formal Complaint that Attorney Stoehr filed in federal court in Johnstown. 
Below is the link to the Altoona Mirror article.  Although the article is not entirely accurate, it does summarize the allegations in the Complaint.  This claim will now be litigated through the federal system, and Attorney Stoehr will work zealously to obtain compensation for his client, who was shot in the shoulder area.  This has resulted in a permanent injury for the client, and a loss of  income. 
Attorney Stoehr represents those injured through no fault of their own in Blair and the surrounding  counties.  Call Attorney Stoehr at 814-946-4100 for a free evaluation of your personal injury claim.