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Naming a Defendant in a Product Liability Lawsuit

Posted by on 2:33 pm in Product Liability | 0 comments

Naming a Defendant in a Product Liability Lawsuit

Consumers naturally believe that the products they purchase are safe and without defects; this is the most normal thing about manufacturer and consumer relationship. This trust is not just rooted on consumers’ knowledge of the legal responsibility of manufacturer firms in ensuring that their products are never sources of harm (injury or illness), but also on the standard of quality observed and implemented by these firms plus the reputation they have built and need to maintain.

In reality, however, despite the laws on product safety and standard of quality, reputation of firms, and the watchful eyes of government authorities and company managers, flawed or defective products still slip through quality control, find their way in stores, and made available to American consumers. As a result, every year, thousands of product liability claims, also called tort lawsuits, against manufacturers of harmful products are filed by consumers due to the injury they sustain from the use of these products.

There is a seemingly endless list of defective, harmful products (both local and imported), many of these sold even in big malls, supermarkets, drug stores, etc. A number of things on this list are nursery items, children’s toys, electronic gadgets, household appliances and furniture, food, and pharmaceutical products, including prescription drugs. Depending on the type of product, each fall under the jurisdiction of specific agencies, like:

  • Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) – this agency is tasked to regulate nursery items, children’s toys, electronic gadgets, and household appliances and furniture;
  • Food and Drug Administration – for the regulation of food, medical devices, drugs and cosmetics;
  • Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau – regulates alcohol, tobacco & other tobacco-related products;
  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – assigned to regulate automobiles;
  • Federal Aviation Administration – assigned to manage aircrafts; and,
  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms – regulates firearms and ammunition.

When a product injures anyone, especially a child, all those involved in the chain of distribution, including the manufacturer, the distributor and the retailer, can be named as defendants in a civil or tort lawsuit. But while proving that an injury exists may be easy, establishing that such injury was caused by a defective product would be challenging.

The Kankakee personal injury lawyers of Spiros Law, P.C. know that though it is the responsibility of a manufacturing company to keep consumers safe from malfunctioning and dangerous products, not all companies make consumer safety a top concern. Sometimes, in an attempt to save money or to increase productivity, a company may not design a product to meet top safety standards, endangering any consumers who later purchase it. In addition, sometimes defects can be overlooked in the design and production process due to negligence or carelessness. Just because a company makes an honest mistake does not mean that it is not responsible for the injuries caused by its products.

No one should be hurt by a product, regardless of its type, that he/she has bought; you, most of all, should never be hurt by anything you buy which you believe will never hurt you or your child. If a product you have bought causes injury, however, then you should take action. Consult with a seasoned and determined personal injury lawyer today who may be able to help you understand your right and what legal action would be best for you to take.

The Close in Age Exemptions or the Romeo and Juliet Laws

Posted by on 4:07 pm in Sex Crimes | 0 comments

On November 1, 2016, the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office in Burlington, North Carolina, received a complaint from the parents of a 15-year old female teenager, saying that their daughter was raped twice. The accused was a 20-year old young man from Burlington, Alamance County. Though he and the 15-year old teenager seemed to have a relationship and both consented to the sexual act, the accused was still charged with two counts of statutory rape of child.

The case of Peter and Jane, who were in a romantic relationship, had the same unfortunate ending. Jane, who was 23 years old, was criminally charged with statutory rape despite the consensual sexual relationship she had with Peter, who was only 15 years old and who usually instigated the sexual act. This is because, in a statutory rape case, the sexual partner who is above the age of consent is always seen as the offender and person below the age of consent, always the victim.

Statutory rape, though very much different from forcible rape which is non-consensual and accomplished through the use of force and/or weapon, is a serious crime in many jurisdictions. For a non-violent offense, this sexual activity between adults and a person below the legal age of consent can either be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the ages of the victim and the perpetrator (statutory rape is also referred to as rape of a child, aggravated sexual battery, sexual exploitation of a minor or solicitation of minor; a minor or a person under the legal age of consent is a person who may be under the age of 16, 17 or 18, depending on what is set from state to state). This offense also carries very harsh punishments, including really large fines, years in jail and, in many states, a mandatory lifetime registration as a sex offender.

While it is true that statutory rape statutes only aim to protect minors from sexual predators, it also cannot be denied that many of these statutes have unintended consequences due to many legal gray areas. One example is charging with statutory rape two teenagers who engage in consensual sex simply because both are just 15 years old. Though underage, they can both be convicted and possibly even be required to register as sex offenders for life.

To save many teenagers from statutory rape prosecution and conviction, many states have passed the “close in age exemptions,” a law that will not criminalize: (i) two individuals under the age of consent if they have sexual relationship with one another; or, (ii) an older individual who has a sexual relationship with a person who is under the age of consent. There is a limit in this “close in age exemptions,” though.

a) In the state of Delaware, where the age of consent is 18, for example, a person who is either 16 or 17 years old is still legally allowed to consent with an older partner, so long as this partner is under the age of 30. Minors below the age of 16 may consent to a partner who is no more than 4 years older; however, those under the age of 12 may not consent under any circumstances (ages of minors and older partner vary from state-to state, thus, it is very important that one knows the differences in allowed age).

b) Marriage exemption. This allows a young individual to consent, but only to his/her spouse.

c) Close in age exemption of four years. This means that a person under the age of consent may consent to an older partner who in no more than four years older than him/her.

On the other hand, older individuals (such as teachers, guardians, government workers, or others who have position or authority over a young person) who take advantage of minors, face more extreme punishment if proven guilty.

There are instances, however, when a person had reason to believe that the one who consents to him/her is over the age of consent when, in fact, he/she is not (maybe due to a fake I.D. or the person lied about his/her age). Whatever the case, anyone charged with statutory rape, according to a Nashville sex crime defense lawyer at Horst Law, should understand that this is one serious offense that can ruin many years of his/her future if he/she is convicted. A conviction will require that his/her name, current address, and picture be displayed in the Internet, that is, registered into the national sex offender registry, for all to see and judge.

The act that is considered a crime was non-violent; more than this, though, it was totally consensual. The only mistake was one of those who consented was below the age of consent. There may be valid and a strong defense that will save a person charged from being convicted . . . from getting his/her future destroyed. A highly-skilled sex crime defense lawyer may be his/her greatest chance for an acquittal.

Types of Train Accident Injuries

Posted by on 7:29 pm in Rail Accidents | 0 comments

Trains have played a significant role in the history of the United States. While they are no longer common as a mode of transportation, there are still trains that ply the more than 600 railroads that are still operating. As a mode of transportation, trains are extremely large and heavy. For this reason, the risk of injuries or even death is great in trains. According to the website of Hankey Law Office, train accident injuries can be fatal.
Figures from the Department of Transportation and Federal Railroad Administration revealed that more than 2,500 accidents occur every year. As common carriers, railroad companies cannot guarantee the safety of passengers. However, they are required to use the highest level of care and vigilance. Here are some of the most common types of train injuries:

Passenger Injury

Despite traveling at a great speed, passengers do not have some kind of protection which makes them susceptible to devastating injuries or deaths. Passengers can also suffer injuries while boarding or leaving the train.

Bystander Injury

Bystanders can be injured or killed at unprotected crossings, which have no lights or signals to warn bystanders of incoming trains. The Federal Highway Administration reveals that less than 25% of railroad crossings are unprotected. They are also susceptible to get injured in train derailments or hazardous cargo spills.

Injured Railroad Workers

Railroad workers are protected from injuries by the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA). The law covers workers who get hurt while on the job in interstate commerce between several states. The FELA requires railroads to be safe and conductive as well as implement safety rules. Under the FELA, the surviving members of the plaintiff can receive compensation. Injured railroad workers can receive benefits, regardless of who is at fault.

Filing claims for train injuries need to be done within the prescribed time limit. Failure to do so may invalidate available compensation.

Understanding The Side Effects of Subsys Spray

Posted by on 11:31 pm in Subsys Spray Lawsuit | 0 comments

Subsys sublingual spray is a potent opioid analgesic for treating breakthrough cancer pain in opioid tolerant adult patients who are already taking other opioid pain medicines round the clock as part of their routine. It is a liquid medicine that is sprayed underneath the tongue and allowed to asor. According to the website of Williams Kherkher, subsys spray has been associated with hundreds of causes of death.

Subsys spray is 100 times more potent than morphine and has therefore proven useful in providing pain relief to terminal cancer patients. The bad news is that it has been prescribed for off label use in non-terminal patients who have no symptoms of cancer. Off-label drugs are those which are offered to patients for use that is not approved by the FDA. Common side effects of subsys include nausea, vomiting, constipation, sleepiness, dizziness, drowsiness, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, and headache.

The drug can also have serious side effects such as breathing problems which can be life-threatening and have the potential for abuse or addiction. Patients should refrain from drinking alcohol while taking subsys. Pregnant women should refrain from taking subsys as it is dangerous for unborn babies. It can also pass into breast milk causing serious harm to babies. It should not be taken while breastfeeding. Among the side effects of fentanyl include:

Slow heart rate, weak or shallow breathing, sighing, severe drowsiness
Confuision, extreme fear, unusual thoughts or behavior
Feeling like you might pass out
Less serious side effects may include the following:
Dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, constipation
Headache, drowsiness, feeling tired, or
White patches or sores inside the mouth or on the lips

Do inform your doctor if you are experiencing breathing disorder, slow heartbeat, seizures, mental illnesses, low blood pressure, liver or kidney diseases, or a history of head injuries, brain tumor, or drug or alcohol addiction.

Claiming Car Insurance Benefits is Better if Done with the Help of a Car Insurance Lawyer

Posted by on 3:43 pm in Insurance | 0 comments

Proof of car liability insurance is among the very first things that a police officer responding in a car accident scene will ask of drivers involved in the accident. Depending on the type of auto insurance recognized in the state where the accident occurred, an insurance policy may either be a “tort” (or fault) insurance coverage or a “no-fault” coverage.

As explained in the website of the Hankey Law Office, in “no-fault” automobile accidents, none of the individuals involved are assigned blame for the cause of the accident. In these cases, each insured driver recovers financial losses from their own insurance company and pays for their own automobile and health expenses. The no-fault system is intended to get people compensation for their accident as quickly as possible.

In fault accidents, however, liability can be assigned to one or more individuals involved in the accident. In these cases, the liable party (or their insurance company) is responsible for paying for the losses of the other drivers involved in the accident.

Carrying car liability insurance is a basic driving requirement in all U.S. states, except in New Hampshire, where it is enough for drivers to carry an SR-22 filing or depositing securities or money with the state treasurer.

Despite eligibility of drivers to claim insurance benefits, however, many insurance firms are not always willing to pay and so resort to tactics that will enable them to deny application for claims, delay payment or make small payouts.

After an accident, driver or policy holders and car insurance firms know how important it is for drivers, especially those injured in an accident, to receive the cash benefits that they have faithfully paid for, despite the high cost of monthly premiums. This is because injuries means costly medical treatment and loss of wages due to absence from work (for who knows how long). A denied claim would be no less than adding insult to injury. This is why it is important for drivers claiming benefits from their insurance providers to seek the services of a seasoned car accident lawyer and let these legal professionals deal with insurance firms instead.

Injuries that workers may sustain in the workplace with forklifts

Posted by on 3:14 pm in Personal Injury | 0 comments

Many workers every year who have been injured in their workplace are required to either stay at home or at the hospital for couple of days for them to recover. Though some workplace accidents are fatal, those who are fortunate enough to survive such mishaps are devastated. The lawyers at Russo, Russo & Slania, P.C. state on their website that depending on the severity, workplace injuries can result to hefty financial loss to the injured industrial worker and his or her family.

One of the workplaces where people are at high risk of sustaining injuries is in industrial or factory sites that uses forklift trucks in transporting materials from one place to another inside the work premises. Forklifts should be properly maintained regularly and only highly-qualified people should operate it. Aside from transporting materials inside boxes or crates, forklifts are convenient in raising and lowering containers inside industrial and factory sites. Unfortunately, forklifts according to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) can cause serious injuries to people around the workplace. Forklift operators can cause injuries to themselves or to other workers around if they become negligent in driving away from loading docks or they are not qualified enough to operate such machinery.

Workers across the state by default are covered by “workers’ compensation” benefits to provide them financial assistance after sustaining injuries in a workplace accident. Workers’ compensation is created to prevent workers from filing a lawsuit against their employer after being injured in an accident. However, if the workers’ debilitating injury is caused by negligent third-party contractors, they may possibly file for personal injury claims mostly if they are already unable to earn a living. Third-party contractors like machinery companies, maintenance service providers, parts manufacturers and forklift operators are usually contracted and employers are often cannot be held liable if their negligence resulted to a serious injury.

How Bad Can Personal Injury Get?

Posted by on 8:14 pm in Personal Injury | 0 comments

There are a lot of stories that are on the internet these days about situations that are so horrible, they’re almost ridiculous. They become almost urban legends – that accident at the mall, that car accident footage that happened on a highway thousands of miles away from you – that make you feel better because it wasn’t you.

You never think it can be that bad until it happens to you and realize that it is much, much worse.

What news segments can’t tell you about accidents that happen to people but an Oceanside Medical Malpractice Lawyer can are that the injuries that victims have to not only suffer through but also live with. Accidents that warrant legal action are more than just little incidents like forgetting the last step at the bottom of a stairwell but rather, these are accidents that have debilitating consequences. Some people can get that a bit confused.

On the website of the Law Offices of Yvonne M. Fraser, personal injury is but the legal jargon that is used to describe an incident made through negligent action of a third party that resulted into the injury of the complainant. The injury may be physical, emotional, or mental in nature. Something that quite a lot of people aren’t aware of is that mental injury – psychological issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder as well as severe clinical depression – can make work practically impossible. And so if an accident caused any or all of these injuries, there must be justice and compensation done for the victim.

These cases are quite personalized due to the individual nature of each case. Not a single personal injury case is the same due to the infinite varying factors that need to be considered. That is why it is then recommended that the help of an experienced legal professional is sought out at the first possible availability in order to be guided intelligently into make the best legal decisions possible.

Types of Bank Fraud

Posted by on 9:31 am in Crime | 0 comments

Bank fraud is a type of crime wherein a person or an institution obtains money, assets, or properties (from another person or institution) through illegal means. Federal law legally defines bank fraud as any form of execution, or attempt to execute a scheme or artifice that is intended “to defraud a financial institution or to obtain any of the moneys, funds, credits, assets, securities, or other property owned by, or under the custody or control of, a financial institution, by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises” (https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1344). Those convicted of this criminal act will face up to 30 years imprisonment or be required to pay up to $1,000,000 fine, or both.

A financial institution, according to federal law, may refer to any federally insured credit union or bank, such as a mortgage lending business, a federal reserve bank, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and any other institution where one can deposit his or her money and assets.

Fraud is an intelligently planned criminal act. A fraudster can use your name and your other personal information for whatever purpose they intend to, including gaining access your bank account, renting an apartment, making purchases (especially online purchases), getting a job, obtaining loans, and getting medical services. To be able to convict a person being accused of fraud, however, it will have to be proven that the accused or defendant was aware that he or she was making a false representation in order to obtain something of value; otherwise, the defendant can be cleared of the allegations made against him or her.

Bank fraud can be committed through lots of different ways, like stealing checks, forgery and altered checks, check kiting, booster checks, accounting fraud, rogue traders, fraudulent loans, wire transfer fraud, bill discounting fraud, payment card fraud, stolen payment cards, skimming or duplication or of card information, empty ATM envelope deposits, money laundering, and so forth.

Checks in mailboxes, post offices or office mailrooms are often the easiest targets of fraudsters. After obtaining a check, a fraudster can use the information on it to either create a new check that would draw on the same account or open a new account, both under his or her own name.

A criminal defense lawyer knows that a bank fraud conviction can threaten a defendant’s freedom, ruin his or her career and put his or her family at risk of severe hardship. And, though the American justice system assures suspected criminals of a fair and unbiased trial process, it is entirely possible that an innocent individual be charged with a crime that he or she did not commit.

Click here to learn more.

Car Accidents and their Consequences

Posted by on 1:20 pm in Automobile Accidents | 0 comments

If you have ever been in a car, you know that feeling – a smooth ride and then, suddenly, comes the unsuspected jerk from your seat. It’s a split second of fear, that single bounce with a sound of a person suddenly colliding with leather, and you almost swear that you felt your heart skip a beat. It is because danger is imminent. It is because damage is possible. It is because if you exist in this century, at this day and age, and with all of these new innovations in the world – it is more than statistically probable that you, at least once in some point in your life, will experience a motor vehicle related accident.

Perhaps the accident can be something small, such as an accidental scratch on a door that will result into a paint job or perhaps a few minimal repairs. In the end, there is no real harm done but to, perhaps, your pride and vanity. That’s fine. But some motor vehicle related accidents can be life-altering in the worst way. It can be a motorbike or a car or even an eighteen wheeler truck – any accident involving a motor vehicle that causes personal injury is bound to be traumatic and expensive in ways that far transcend the word’s meaning.

The website of the John Michael Bailey Injury Lawyers gives evidence that a car accident can affect every aspect of not only the victim’s life – but also the lives of the victim’s friends and family as well. A car accident can mean serious injuries such as that of spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, bone fractures, et cetera. Not only that, but the experience can also cause psychological trauma that results in post-traumatic stress disorder. The expenses for such conditions can be costly – both financially and emotionally. If the victim injured in the accident was the primary source of income then the income of an entire household is affected, severely threatening their financial security and stability. These, however, can be claimed as compensation from the guilty party through legal means.

That is why if you or someone you know has been in a car accident, it is of the utmost importance that legal services are contacted immediately.

INFUSE Plaintiffs Prevail in Appeals

Posted by on 7:47 pm in Pharmaceuticals | 0 comments

Medtronic can no longer refer to the federal law preemption to bail them out of trouble for the alleged off-label marketing of their INFUSE Bone Graft product which resulted in serious injury to numerous plaintiffs; at least, not in some cases. A review by the Court of Special Appeals in Maryland concluded that based on the Medical Device Amendments Act of 1976 because the conduct of the defendant was in violation of state law.

This was major source of relief for INFUSE victims who are looking to get compensation from the manufacturer, especially for one patient who became debilitated after having INFUSE surgery to relieve chronic back pain. The surgery was done in 2008 and the patient has since needed revision surgery to address the problem of bony overgrowth.

The website of Ritter and Associates says that many lawsuits against product manufacturers are filed when the product doesn’t perform as it should. In the case of Medtronic, this happens with the off-label use of the INFUSE Bone Graft, which plaintiffs allege are with the full knowledge and even encouragement of the company. In the case detailed above, a Medtronic representative was present at the time of the surgery and was actually named in the lawsuit, along with the doctor who performed the surgery allegedly using an INFUSE cage that did not have FDA approval and an incorrect approach.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 2002 approval for the use of INFUSE was based on a strict criteria precisely because the side effects with unapproved and improper use of the product outweighed any benefits it may have for the patient. The product is designed to encourage bone growth with the use of a synthetic protein, but when applied in the wrong place or overly-stimulated can result in serious harm to the patient.

If you have been seriously injured as result of using INFUSE Bone Graft or any medical device, you may have recourse under the law. Consult with a personal injury lawyer and find out more about your legal options.