Insurance Law – Reckless Rich Pay Less Than Safe Poor Drivers

January 30, 2013

The Consumer Federation of America did a mystery shopper review of several auto insurers and found that drivers with at-fault accidents paid lower premiums than drivers with spotless records — provided that the careless driver was rich and well-educated and the careful driver was a single renter without an advanced degree.

via American insurers charge reckless rich drivers less than safe poor drivers – Boing Boing.

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Wrongful Death – Tower Climbing Death and Question of Control

June 6, 2012

Understanding the contracting chain on cell tower jobs can be complicated, but crucial when workers die.

William “Bubba” Cotton, 43, was the first of 11 cellsiteworkers who died on AT&T projects from 2006 through 2008, years when the carrier merged its network with Cingular and ramped up its 3G network for the iPhone.

As ProPublica and PBS “Frontline” reported last month, tower climbing ranks among the most dangerous jobs in America, having a death rate roughly 10 times that of construction. The project Cotton was on involved several layers of subcontractors, which is common in the tower industry. The accident was more unusual. Most of the 50 tower climbers killed on cell site jobs since 2003 have died in falls, but Cotton was crushed to death by an antenna.

A wrongful death lawsuit subsequently filed by Cotton’s survivors, as well as a personal injury suit filed by his cousin and co-worker, Charles “Randy” Wheeler, explored two questions at the heart of every tower fatality: Who controlled the tower site? And who was responsible for the safety of the subcontractors working on it?

Read More:

via Anatomy Of A Cell Tower Death · OPB News.

tower death

The AT&T cell tower job in which William Cotton died involved several layers of subcontractors. This chart shows which companies in the contracting chain were investigated by OSHA and the results of litigation by Cotton’s family and his co-worker, Charles Wheeler.

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Product Liability – Restore Legal Rights to Victims of Generic Drug Gain Support Amongst Attorney Generals Across US

May 29, 2012

A group representing state Attorneys General across the country has backed a proposed Senate bill that would allow the makers of generic prescription drugs to update safety labels on their products if they become aware of new dangers and side effects from taking them.

According to a statement from the National Association of Attorneys General NAAG, the bill proposed by Senators Patrick Leahy and Al Franken would give all users of prescription drugs the same legal rights if they suffer a side effect from taking it that’s not expressly noted on safety information included with the drug. Under current federal law, makers of generic drugs are blocked from updating the safety labels on the copies of name-brand drugs they manufacture and distribute until the company that makes the name-brand drug makes changes. If a patient is prescribed or dispensed a generic drug and suffers a side effect, they are unable to file any legal actions against the makers of the generic drug, which is exempted from facing lawsuits for hiding side effects of that drug.

This law gained attention when the Supreme Court was presented with the case PLIVA Inc. vs. Mensing in which the high court ruled that federal law only granting permission to makers of name-brand drugs to independently update the safety labels on drugs prevented those who’ve been injured by generic prescription drugs from seeking any legal actions against the makers of it.

NAAG states that more than 70 percent of all prescriptions filled in the U.S. are for generic drugs and that’s likely to increase as patents for top-selling drugs expire, as the one for the cholesterol drug Plavix has recently done. In that case, seven companies have been permitted to make copies of Plavix to be sold under its generic name.

via The Trial Lawyer Magazine – State Attorneys General Support Bill to Restore Legal Rights to Victims of Generic Drug Side Effects | The Trial Lawyer Magazine.

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Personal Injury – Bicycle Injuries – $5M Settlement in Truck versus Bicycle Accident

April 14, 2012

The interesting thing that I keep seeing in personal injuries resulting from intersection related incidents, is that the person who is in the intersection at the time the personal injury event occurs, regardless of stop signs and who did or did not stop at the signs, controls the the intersection and therefore has the right of way.

In the personal injury case illustrated below, since the Plaintiff must have already been in the intersection, therefore was in control of the intersection, had the right of way. The truck driver did not look to his right before proceeding into the intersection and hit the biker causing him catastrophic injuries.

In other words, just because a person failed to stop at a stop sign, does not give green light for other drivers to plow them over…

A case involving an elderly bicycle rider who lost part of his leg after a truck struck him recently settled for $5 million.The case stems from an Aug. 14, 2009, accident between Paul Zanoni and a Mack truck.

On that date, Zanoni rode his bicycle home from church when a truck owned by Rossi Contractors Inc. of Northlake hit him near a Bellwood intersection, said [Plaintiff’s Lawyers].

Zanoni did not stop his bicycle at the crosswalk near the intersection of Madison Street and 25th Avenue in Bellwood, he said.The truck’s driver, John O’Shea, moved through the intersection but did not look to the right and struck Zanoni, he said. Zanoni became trapped under his bike and the truck dragged him about 40 feet before stopping.

via Chicago Daily Law Bulletin – The City’s No. 1 Source for the Law Profession.

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A World Without Lawyers

March 26, 2012

I have heard many tales about how life would be if only lawyers would not be around. You know, the joke that goes something like this: “What do you call a dozen lawyers dead at the bottom of the sea?” and the answer is something like: “a good start.” We have all heard the lawyer jokes and I always get a good chuckle out of them. But in reality, the world would be a dismal place was it not for us lawyers who are the last line of defense between those who place money and profit ahead of all else including the safety of the people around them. Lawyers are making sure your rights are preserved and those who do harm are held accountable for their action.

It is all about personal responsibility.

A World Without Lawyers
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Wrongful Death – A Series of Mistakes Cause Girl’s Death

February 22, 2012

If not for a series of “mistakes” made by the four paramedics who treated Starks on that fateful day, attorney Brian Murphy argued that the girl would be alive today.

The first mistake was that the child was “intubated through the esophagus that leads to the stomach, instead of through the trachea that leads to her lungs,” Murphy said.

The second mistake involved ignoring a “standing medical order” issued by the Fire Department. According to Murphy, it states that, if a patient’s condition worsens, paramedics are to look into the patient’s mouth to “visually observe where the breathing tube was placed.”If the paramedics had done that, Murphy said, “They would have seen the tube was in the esophagus and not in her trachea and they would have removed it and properly placed it.”

The third mistake involved the “fender-bender” that delayed Starks’ transport to the hospital.Instead of proceeding to Trinity Hospital after determining that the driver of the other vehicle was not injured, the paramedics chose to follow, what Murphy called a “ridiculous general order” that states that, if you’re in an accident involving property damage, you remain on the scene.

via Paramedics’ alleged mistakes in girl’s death likely to cost taxpayers .

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Dog bite Injuries – Denver TV Anchor’s Is Bitten In The Face During Interview

February 16, 2012

Approximately 800,000 dog bite attacks occur each year in the United States that require medical treatment. Children account for many of these dog bite victims. Each year, thousands of children are either killed or seriously injured by dog bites injuries. Dog bites can cause serious and disfiguring injuries that may have life changing and life long effects on a person. The effects are catastrophic all the way around: the victim will have to live with the effects of his injuries and the dog, more often than not, will have to be put down.

The story below is just an all too familiar story about an all too trusting individual who simply fails to assess the real dangers of getting too close to an animal with which she is unfamiliar.

A veteran Denver television anchor was injured Wednesday after she was bitten in the face by a dog while doing a live broadcast about a dog rescued by a firefighter. Kyle Dyer was interviewing Michael Robinson — the owner of an 85-pound Argentine mastiff that fell into a lake on Tuesday while chasing a coyote in the city’s Lakewood area — and firefighter Tyler Sugaski, who put on a wetsuit and rescued the dog, when the attack occurred. According to KUSA-TV, firefighters, paramedics and animal control officials were called to the station after the attack.

The station posted a statement on its Facebook page that Dyer was “getting medical attention due to the injury” and the station was waiting to find out the extent of her injuries before issuing further information. A station spokeswoman was not available for comment. The station showed video of Dyer petting the dog, but cut off the video before the attack and said they would not show it. A station spokeswoman did not return a call seeking comment. Julie Lonborg, spokeswoman for Denver Health hospital, said in a statement that Dyer was in fair condition and being evaluated by a trauma team. The hospital said she was awake and visiting with family. KUSA-TV said she may go home as soon as tonight.

Megan Hughes, spokeswoman for the Denver Environmental Health department, said no decision has been made on what will happen to the dog.

via Dog bites Denver TV anchor’s face during interview – CBS News.

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Wrongful Death – Father Knows Best – Son’s Death in Salt-truck Was Avoidable

January 24, 2012

When a company designs and manufactures a product, the Law requires that manufacturer and/or designer to make sure that the designed product is reasonable safe for its intended use. Too often, it is the personal injury legal battle that brings about those simple changes, that were they implemented to begin with, the injury for which the lawsuit was brought would not have happened. It was the amputated leg of a homeowner whose legs were badly mangled up under his lawnmower when he felt and it back over his legs that prompted manufacturers to put that kill switch on the mower’s handle. It was the McDonald’s case that prompted car manufacturers to equip their cars with cup-holders. It was the avoidable death of several drivers that prompted car manufacturers to use the three-point seat belts. These simple modifications added to the cost of manufacturing, but has prevented additional injuries and death.

In the example below, and the wrongful death lawsuit that has been filed, the same principle is again at play. A simple cut-off switch and/or a protective panel could have prevented the death of a young man? The Jury will make that finding in due time I suppose.

“A suburban father filed a wrongful death lawsuit Monday, one month after he made a horrific discovery at the family’s business: His son had fallen on a salt-truck auger, and the younger man’s clothing had been pulled in to the mechanism, strangling him.

David Pittas filed the suit Monday in Cook County Circuit Court against the manufacturer and others tied to the sale of the salt spreader that killed his 26-year-old son Timothy Pittas. The younger Pittas would still be alive today had the salt-spreader been equipped with an emergency shut-off device or at least if the auger — the metal device that spins and spreads the salt — had a guard around it.

“The only reason we’re doing this is so no other person has to go through what I’m going through, or what my wife is going through or my [other] son is going through or my daughter is going through,” a choked up David Pittas told the Sun-Times, referring to his wife Mary and their two surviving children. “It’s wrong to bury your son, and it’s wrong that we had to. If I can save one other person’s life with this then Tim didn’t die in vain.””

via Father says son’s death in salt-truck accident didn’t have to happen – Chicago Sun-Times.

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If you or a loved one has been a victim of personal injury in Chicago or the surrounding area, contact or call us at 312-252-5252 for a free no obligation consultation to discuss your legal options.

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