Personal Injury Trial – Court Orders Defendant to Show Why Records Should Remain Sealed

September 15, 2014

secret

Secret

They say Democracy dies in secrecy and transparency helps promote it. Unless we are talking about protection of trade secrets (an am trying to be as lenient as possible) I see no reason why the Public should not have access to the documents that have been filed in Court and should presumably be open for the public’s scrutiny.

In United States ex rel. Harman v. Trinity, a federal whistleblower case involving dangerously defective highway guardrails, the court has ordered Trinity Industries, Inc. to show why records in the case should remain sealed from public view after the trial. Over the course of the case, dozens of key briefs and pleadings were filed under seal without any showing that secrecy was warranted, in violation of the public’s presumptive right of access to court records. The secret documents may contain important information on the safety of Trinity’s guardrails, which have been linked to numerous deaths and serious injuries.

The court’s order was issued in response to a motion to intervene and unseal filed by Public Justice on behalf of two non-profit safety groups, the Center for Auto Safety and The Safety Institute. The nonprofits are seeking to open the records because of the serious safety risks posed by hundreds of thousands of guardrails that have been installed in all fifty states – with federal financial assistance – to protect people in highway crashes. U.S. District Judge Rodney Gilstrap denied the motion to intervene on Sept. 4, but at the same time he affirmed the groups’ contention that Trinity must justify why these important records are shielded from public view.

Judge Gilstrap wrote: “the Court takes seriously the public’s right of access regarding trials and evidence presented in judicial proceedings, as well as the Court’s role in enforcing such access. Accordingly, following the trial and return of a verdict in this case, the Court will enter an Order requiring the parties to show good cause why previously sealed testimony, evidence or other material should remain under seal.”

via Court Orders Defendant in Guardrail Whistleblower Case to Show Why Records Should Remain Sealed | Public Justice.

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Personal Injury – CTA Train Crash Investigation Only Starting – Train Accident

March 28, 2014

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Timothy DePaere, Railroad Accident Investigator, says that they are in the preliminary stages of their investigation. They are currently waiting for the front end outward looking video on the train to be analyzed by their specialist in Washington, DC. Meanwhile, the operator of the train is in the hospital and will be interviewed soon…

Video: Blue Line investigation: ‘We’re at the preliminary stages’ — chicagotribune.com.

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Product Liability – $2.2 Billion in Drug-Marketing Settlement

November 4, 2013

Health-care behemoth Johnson & Johnson will pay $2.2 billion to resolve civil and criminal allegations involving the marketing of off-label, unapproved uses for several prescription drugs, Justice Department officials announced Monday.The cases include allegations of kickbacks to doctors and pharmacies to promote usage of the anti-psychotic drugs Risperdal and Invega, and a heart-failure drug, Natrecor.

Read more: Johnson & Johnson agrees to pay $2.2 billion in drug-marketing settlement – The Washington Post.

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Work Injury – Product Liability – Doctors Remove 3.5-inch Nail from Worker’s Brain

March 20, 2012

workplace injuryWhat came to my mind was a question about safety of the nail gun used. As lawnmower have what is commonly referred to as a “dead-man’s switch” which cuts of the engine to the mower if the operator lets go of the handle, I am surprised that a nail gun could still fire without anyone holding it. Here, the accident occurred when the worker let go of the nail gun and it fell on his head! I like to hear about what causes of action, aside from the obvious worker’s compensation claim resulting from the workplace injuries, an attorney looking at the facts and the details could come up with. Off the top of my head, I see a potential product liability case here.

Autullo was standing on a ladder, reaching over his head to drive nails into the top of a wall, when he lost his grip on his nail gun. The recoil swung the gun back and pressed it against his skull. From the outside, it appeared to be a minor scrape, but just below the skin was the head of a nail.

via Doctors remove 3.5-inch nail from man’s brain – chicagotribune.com.

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Product Liability – Honda Expands Recall of Risky Airbags

December 2, 2011

A manufacturer is responsible to place goods on the market that are reasonably safe and free from defect that could cause personal injury or property damage to others. Here, Honda is taking steps to ensure that the airbags it has installed in nearly 900,000 vehicles are safe by expanding its earlier recall of 2001 to 2003 Honda and Acura vehicles. The question is why did it take almost 11 years to take such an action and how many persons have been injured or have died as the result of this defect.

Originally, Honda said that it needs to replace the driver’s airbag inflator, which has a risk of being deploying with too much pressure. The high-pressure airbags could cause the inflator casing to rupture, possibly resulting in injury or fatality, the automaker said.Honda added 603,000 vehicles to the recall Thursday morning. The automaker said the additional cars need to be brought in to an authorized dealer for inspection, because they may contain faulty parts.

The automaker said it has determined that 640 questionable airbag parts were sold for installation in cars for collision repair or other reasons.

via Honda expands recall of risky airbags – chicagotribune.com.

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