Articles Posted in Product Liability

When children are out of school for the summer and look to have fun in pools and on trampolines, they see fun, not danger. Many parents, too, don’t realize the hidden dangers that trampolines and pools present to children.

However, the statistics do not lie. A study conducted by the Indiana University School of Medicine found that approximately 289,000 children suffered bone fractures as a result of accidents on trampolines between 2002 and 2011, according to USA Today. A similar study published in the Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics found that trampoline accidents resulted in 1 million emergency room visits during the same period.

Pools are not any safer. An average of 10 people per day died in unintentional, non-boating-related drownings between 2005 and 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Approximately 50 percent of these victims were children under the age of 14.

Who Is Responsible for Swimming Pool and Trampoline Accidents?

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With all the high-tech safety equipment on new cars today, it’s surprising that one of the oldest and most basic safety features could fall short of the mark on many vehicles – yet that’s exactly what a new report has found. A study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) concluded that “new ratings show most headlights need improvement.”

Few would argue that headlights are not one of the most essential safety features of a car. As such, headlights that fail to illuminate the road properly should be of significant concern to drivers.

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Self-driving cars are coming, and in the future, they may be a common way for people to get to and from where they need to go. But a new study reveals that most people are scared to ride in autonomous vehicles.

However, the dangers of being on the road may be the same, regardless of whether you are the one driving, or the computer is in charge.  Negligent drivers are all around us, and cause thousands of car accidents per year.  Citing safety concerns, the Association of Global Automakers recently urged the National Transportation Safety Administration to “slow down” its production of guidelines for the vehicles.

Drivers Trust Their Own Skills – But Should They?

According to a recent study conducted by AAA, and summarized in an article published on AutoBlog.com, three out of every four Americans are fearful about riding in self-driving automobiles. The report found that 84 percent of drivers said that they trusted their own driving skills more than those of a car computer.

Up until late February 2016, all of the accidents in which a self-driving car had been involved had been caused by another driver, not by the self-driving car. That changed when a Google vehicle recently collided with a bus in Mountain View, Calif. The accident happened when the self-driving car traveled into the center lane to make a right turn around some sandbags, wrongfully assuming that the approaching bus would slow and let the car pass.

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Although self-driving cars could someday reduce injuries from car accidents and ease traffic jams, recent reports show that the technology still has a long way to go, and error-prone humans are still needed to take over in situations that the computer can’t handle.

Google, one of the leaders in the autonomous vehicle field, recently revealed that its self-driving prototypes experienced 272 failures with their autonomous technology that required human drivers to take the wheel between September 2014 and November 2015, according to an article on AutoBlog. There were an additional 69 instances in which the driver felt the need to take control, Google reported. Continue Reading

Companies in the North Carolina are facing stiff penalties if they fail to purchase required workers’ compensation insurance to pay for their employees’ workplace injuries and occupational illnesses, according to a recent report by the Raleigh News & Observer.

In the past year, more than 100 employers across the state have been charged with crimes for failing to carry the legally required workers’ compensation insurance, and more than $1 million in fines have been levied against uninsured employers, according to the article. Continue Reading

I handed the document to my client while the jury watched us. I asked my client, “Can you tell me what this document is?” He answered honestly, “It’s the property damage estimate… prepared by State Farm”.  I knew what was coming, and I slumped. Defense counsel stood up and asked the judge, “Can I take a matter up outside of the presence of the jury?” The jury was marched out of the courtroom so the lawyers could speak to the judge.

At that point, the lawyer hired by the insurance company to represent the person who rear-ended my client made a motion for mistrial.  Mistral means that the trial is so irretrievably broken that a whole new trial must be started. Bear in mind that only the truth had been spoken. The document had been prepared by State Farm, but it also had been carefully redacted by agreement of the parties to remove all reference to State Farm. There was no mention as to who State Farm Insurance Company insured in the case, and it was just as likely that State Farm insured my client and prepared the property damage estimate for him. Furthermore, state law requires that owners have car insurance. Nevertheless, the trial court granted the insurance company lawyer’s motion for mistrial. Days of preparation for that trial were wasted. We will re-try the case, but much will have to be redone.

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If you or someone you love took Risperdal and have developed gynecomastia, you may be able to seek financial compensation by filing a product defect claim. According to a fact sheet from the Mayo Clinic, gynecomastia is a condition in which breast tissue swells in boys or men, resulting in enlarged breasts.

Recent articles in Forbes Magazine and The Wall Street Journal reported that Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which is a Johnson & Johnson company, has been accused of a failure to warn about the side effect. In this product defect allegation, the articles suggest that the drug maker failed to alert healthcare providers and consumers that risperidone, the generic name for the brand-name drug Risperdal, may lead young males to develop breasts.

Understanding Risperdal and Its Uses

What kind of drug is Risperdal, and why are young male patients taking it? Continue Reading

The loss of a loved one is one of the most traumatic and psychologically stressful events that a human being can endure. The stress and pain are only magnified when a loved one’s death is sudden, unexpected and caused by the negligent or reckless actions of another person. This can leave the surviving family members devastated. Not only must they say goodbye to their loved one and process their feelings of grief and anger, they are also left worrying about the costs associated with the funeral and carrying on without their loved one’s contributions.

While a North Carolina or South Carolina wrongful death lawsuit cannot undo a tragic and untimely death, these lawsuits can provide surviving family members with much-needed financial compensation to address the expenses and losses they must endure because of someone else’s wrongdoing.

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There’s nothing cozier than curling up by the fireplace with a mug of hot cocoa as fall nights become cooler. Kerosene heaters are also a commonly used option for chasing away the chill in many homes in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Candles, of course, are popular at Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmastime, and add a romantic ambiance during the dark nights of fall and winter.

However, fireplaces, kerosene heaters and candles are all potential fire hazards, so it’s important to make sure you know how to use them safely this fall and winter.

Take Precautions Around Flames of All Kinds

Follow these tips to keep you and your family safe when using fire this season: Continue Reading

It is well understood that wearing a seat belt is the best step you can take to protect yourself in case of a car accident.

North Carolina requires all passengers age 16 and older to wear seat belts and addresses children less than age 16 with the NC child passenger safety law. South Carolina requires all passengers age 17 and younger to wear set belts.

Still, many people do not regularly wear seat belts. A recent report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the national seat belt use rate in 2013 was 87 percent, up slightly from 86 percent in 2012. This, says the NHTSA, is a substantial increase from 58 percent in 1994.

Despite the statistical increase in seatbelt use, far too many people are still not buckling up.

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