Lundy Law Blog

Personal Injury Lawyers


Archive for February, 2011

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25
Feb

Supreme Court ruling protects vaccine makers from lawsuits


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Major national and regional print media including the Los Angeles Times, the AP, USA Today, and the Washington Post widely covered the Supreme Court ruling in a case which sought to hold a drug maker liable for the side effects of a childhood vaccine. Most sources considered the Court’s decision a victory for vaccine makers.

By a 6-2 vote, the court ruled against the parents of a child who sued the drug maker Wyeth in Pennsylvania state court for the health problems they say their daughter, now 19, suffered from a vaccine she received in infancy.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, which along with the US government had urged the court to bar such lawsuits, said the decision will enhance the national immunization system and ensure “that vaccines will continue to prevent the spread of infectious diseases in this country.”

 

 

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25
Feb

Justice Department Wants Tobacco Companies to Admit Wrongdoing

To all of our readers, this is a story worth following.

The AP (2/24) reports, “The Justice Department disclosed Wednesday it wants to require the tobacco industry to admit publicly that smoking causes a multitude of medical problems, killing 1,200 Americans every day.” The department has “proposed that a federal judge order the companies to say in advertisements that they lied to the public about the safety and dangers of smoking.” Industry heavyweight Altria Group and its Philip Morris subsidiary “said the proposed statements go beyond factual and scientific information and that the Justice Department would compel the tobacco companies to admit wrongdoing under threat of contempt of court.” Specifically, Phillip Morris “said the Justice Department proposal would violate a court of appeals decision which held that any corrective statements must be purely factual and uncontroversial.”

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20
Feb

Data show nearly 10,000 infants injured in crib accidents annually

Here is some disturbing information on infant deaths due to accidents. Many of these are caused by falls from cribs.

 

USA Today (2/17, Szabo) reports, “More than 9,500 babies and toddlers” go to the emergency department (ED) each year because of injuries related to “cribs, playpens and bassinets,” according to a “19-year” study in the journal Pediatrics. The researchers found that an average of “113 children die each year from these accidents.” Lead author Dr. Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, says the “true number of crib-related injuries and deaths is probably much higher,” because the study included only children treated in EDs and “not those seen at doctor’s offices or urgent-care centers.”
According to the AP (2/17, Tanner), the researchers analyzed “national 1990-2008 data on ER-treated injuries” from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Overall, the data showed “181,654 infants were injured”; and of the injured children who received ED treatment, there were “2,140 deaths.”
The Washington Post (2/17, Huget), in its “The Checkup” blog, notes that an “average of 26 such injuries per day occurred during the time studied, with most (66%) involving falls, usually from cribs (83%) and most commonly affecting the head or neck (40%).” The study calls for “creation and implementation of safety measures in the design and construction of cribs, playpens and bassinets. It also recommends that parents be told how to safely use such equipment and made aware of dangers they may pose.” Notably, the CPSC in December “voted to ban the manufacture and sale of drop-side cribs.”
Lundy Law recently reported on several recent crib and infant toy and baby monitor recalls. If you have purchased any of these items, we encourage you to call the manufacturer. Of course, if your infant or toddler has been injured by an unsafe product, you can call the injury lawyers at Lundy Law, 1-866-281-8612.

 

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16
Feb

Study: Energy drinks harmful to kids and teens

Thirty to 40 percent of kids and teens consume energy drinks which are high in caffeine, sugar and other stimulants. However, as the AP (2/13) reported, “Energy drinks are under-studied, overused and can be dangerous for children and teens, warns a report by doctors who say kids shouldn’t use the popular products. The potential harms, caused mostly by too much caffeine or similar ingredients, include heart palpitations, seizures, strokes and even sudden death,” according to a study published in the journal Pediatrics, which “reviewed data from the government and interest groups, scientific literature, case reports and articles in popular and trade media.”

Notably, these findings come “amid a crackdown on energy drinks containing alcohol and caffeine, like Four-Loko, including recent Food and Drug Administration warning letters to manufacturers and bans in several states because of alcohol overdoses.”


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14
Feb

Nearly two million baby monitors recalled after infant deaths

The AP (2/11, Kerr) reported Rhode Island-based Summer Infant issued a recall of approximately 1.7 million video baby monitors Friday, “after being linked to the strangulation deaths of two infants.” Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairman Inez Tenenbaum said, “I urge all parents and caregivers to put at least three feet between any video or audio baby monitor cords and a child in a crib.” The recall includes over 40 different models of digital, handheld, and color monitors. Summer Infant is not replacing the monitors, “but will offer new on-product warning labels and instructions about monitor placement.”

If you’re feeling like there have been a rather large number of baby product recalls in recent days, you’re right.

  1. On January 31, 37,000 Sassy Refreshing Rings Teethers were recalled because pieces of black plastic can come off while baby is chewing on the teether/rattle, posing an ingestion hazard. Fortunately, no injuries were reported. You can call 800-323-6336 or visit sassybaby.com for information on returning the product for a replacement.
  2. Back on January 12, 2011 – More than 3,500 Discovery Discovery Toys Mobile Phones sold in the US and Canada were recalled because the antenna can break off, posing a choking hazard. Three incidents of the antenna breaking were reported. The red and blue plastic phone has a clear plastic antenna. Only model 1231 is included in the recall. “Discovery Toys” is stamped into the red plastic on the back of the toy. Call 800-426-4777 or visit discoverytoysinc.com to return the toy for a replacement.
  3. On Jan. 11, 2011 – About 800 PajamaGram Hoodie Footies infant and toddler pajamas were recalled because the metal snaps that attach the hood to the pajamas can detach, posing a choking hazard. The Winter Whimsy style was sold in sizes for newborns to 5T and has the code GPU#SUNHFH1 or GPU#SUNHFH2 on the tag at the neck. Stop using the recalled pajamas and call 800-262-1162 or visit pajamagram.com to receive a replacement item. 

Why are there so many product recalls? Well, perhaps one reason is that the infant product market is fiercely competitive. Companies often rush their products to market without proper safety training first.  You can always look here for more information on product recalls. You can also look at the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website.

If your child has been injured by a defective product, call the personal injury lawyers at Lundy Law at 1-866-281-8612.

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11
Feb

Nearly 25 percent of early ovarian cancer patients not receiving recommended biopsies

If you or anyone you know is dealing with ovarian cancer, please read this.

HealthDay (2/10, Preidt) reported, “More than one-quarter of women with apparent early-stage ovarian cancer don’t receive recommended lymph node biopsies to check for cancer spread, which nearly doubles these patients’ risk of death,” according to a study in the journal Gynecological Oncology. The researchers analyzed “medical records and cancer registry data of 721 presumed early-stage ovarian cancer patients” and found that only “72 percent had lymph nodes from the pelvis and abdomen tested for signs of cancer spread.” The five-year survival rate was “84 percent for patients who had lymph node biopsies and 69 percent for those who did not have the biopsies.” The study also found that gynecologic oncologists were “nearly four-times more likely to perform all recommended staging biopsies” than other surgical specialists.

 

We recommend that you ask your doctor about these tests. If you feel you haven’t received proper care from your doctor, you can always call the experts at Lundy Law for a consultation at 1-866-281-1682

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6
Feb

Public Database of Product Complaints

The Washington Post recently announced that the Consumer Product Safety Commission will launch a new public database that tracks customer product safety complaints. The database will make public thousands of complaints it receives each year about safety problems with various products, from power tools to piggy banks.

The compilation of consumer complaints, set to be launched online in March, has been hailed by consumer advocates as a resource that will revolutionize the way people make buying decisions.

Industry, as expected, is generally opposed to the database, saying that it will be filled with inaccurate data, harm economic growth, kill jobs and may be filled with fictitious slams against their brands.

While a complaint doesn’t mean a product is unsafe and it certainly isn’t cause for a recall on its own, it can alert you to potential hazrds. You’ll have to be the judge when you read or make complaints.

If you or someone you love has been harmed by an unsafe product, we urge you to call Lundy Law at 1-866-281-8612.

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3
Feb

FDA recalls lead contaminated candies

 

I guess they had the name right on this one…
The AP reported the US distributor of Pakistan-imported candy chew bars is recalling them “because of lead contamination,” the Food and Drug Administration announced. Indianapolis-based Candy Dynamics distributed the bars, which are called Toxic Waste Nuclear Sludge.
The FDA said no one has fallen ill but “elevated lead content could be harmful to small children, infants and pregnant women.”

 

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3
Feb

Ask Marvin Lundy About…Ice and Snow Removal

Every year, thousands of people are injured when they fall on ice or snow, resulting in lost work, medical bills and pain and suffering. Sidewalk

If you fall on ice or snow on someone’s property, you may be able to recover damages for medical expenses, lost income and other costs of the accident.

However, the rules for snow and ice removal vary state to state. So, whether you are a property owner, or if you slip and fall on someone’s property, it’s helpful to understand the law. Here are a few of the basic rules that are used to determine responsibility.

The Natural Accumulation Rule

The Natural Accumulation Rule holds that a property owner is not required to remove ice or snow that accumulates outside his or her building as a result of the weather. However, if a property owner chooses to remove snow and ice, and this removal results in an accumulation of snow that makes the condition worse, then he may liable for any injuries that are caused by the more dangerous condition.

This may seem like a perverse twist on the law. In essence, if you shovel your snow, and do a bad job at your task, then you can be held liable for injury to a pedestrian who slipped on your walk. So, ironically you may be safer staying under the covers instead of going outside to clear the snow!

If you live in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, here are the basic rules that govern your rights if you slip and fall on ice and snow.

Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania courts have adopted the “Hills and Ridges” doctrine. This means that the owner or occupier of land is not liable for general slippery conditions that arise from the natural accumulation of snow or ice following a recent snowfall as long as the owner of the property has not permitted the ice and snow to an unreasonable accumulation in ridges or elevations.

However, this doctrine does not always apply, especially if the property owner if there is an alteration in the natural conditions. For example, in the case of Harvey v. Rouse Chamberlin, Ltd., 901 A.2d 523 (Pa. Super. 2006), the Superior Court held that the “Hills and Ridges” Doctrine would not apply when Mrs. Harvey fell on a road which had been recently plowed and appeared to be clear and dry, but actually had black ice. The Court found that the land was “influenced by human intervention”, namely snowplowing, such that the ice was not the result of an entirely natural accumulation.

New Jersey

Under New Jersey law, a homeowner is not responsible for removing ice and snow. However, commercial property owners are required by the “Snow Removal Law”, controller of a parking area to remove snow, ice or other obstacles from accessible parking spaces, curb cuts and other improvements designed to provide accessibility within 48 hours after snow has stopped falling.

Delaware

In Delaware, property managers and owners are required to maintain their premises and are obligated to provide safe conditions for visitors, customers, and members of the public. This applies to the removal of snow and ice like it does to any other situation.  A jury could find inadequate removal or non-removal negligent if unreasonable in the circumstances.

 

Local Ordinances

Now, your municipality may have an ordinance requiring you to remove ice and snow. If you fail to comply with the local rule, you can be fined. However, a fine from the borough or township does not provide the basis for liability.

The exception to this is when the property owner knows or should know that ice and snow could have created a more dangerous condition than what a pedestrian could reasonably anticipate. In this situation, the property owner is considered negligent if he or she fails to remove the ice and snow.

 

Removing Ice and Snow from Your Car

Another area for snow and ice removal is the car. Laws in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania exist to punish drivers if ice or snow from their vehicle becomes dislodged and causes injury. In New Jersey, the law also encompasses property damage. In addition, New Jersey recently signed a law that requires drivers to make reasonable efforts to remove “winter debris” from their vehicles prior to driving them. Police ticket vehicles whether snow and ice has actually fallen off the car or caused damage.

Keep these rules in mind and have a safe and healthy season!