Last year was a record year for vehicle recalls. Already this year, Ford has announced a recall of nearly 400,000 Ranger pickups due to faulty airbags. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has just announced a recall of Britax car seats. The Consumer Product Safety Commission issues a new recall virtually every day. As a consumer, how do you know if the products you and your family use are safe? And what do you do if you get hurt by a defective product? Continue reading
You may have seen the Xarelto commercials featuring Arnold Palmer, Kevin Nealon, Chris Bosh and Brian Vickers — the ones that tout the convenience of Xarelto. According to the manufacturer, there are two benefits of Xarelto: (1) patients on Xarelto do not have to avoid vitamin K rich foods and (2) patients on Xarelto do not have to undergo frequent blood tests to monitor their INR. Now, if you are a patient on warfarin (Coumadin), the decades-old blood thinner, Xarelto might sound like an attractive option. But, most patients do not know the dangers of Xarelto. Continue reading
So, it is January 4th. How many of your New Year’s resolutions are already busted? If you are like most of us, it is probably at least one. That is the bad news. But, here is the good news: below is a list of 10 easy New Year’s resolutions that are easier than losing 10lbs and will help keep you safe and prepared in 2016. Continue reading
Being a pedestrian is dangerous. Each year in the United States roughly 5,000 people are killed in pedestrian accidents and another 76,000 are injured. But recent data shows the risk to pedestrians using wheelchairs is even more profound as those individuals are 36% more likely to die in an accident with a vehicle. The majority of these crashes occur while the wheelchair user is properly within the crosswalk, and about 18% of the crashes occur where no crosswalk was available. Why is this happening? Continue reading
Ban the Box is a movement, which seeks to eliminate from job applications any questions about a job applicant’s criminal background. The theory behind the movement is that by “banning the box” prospective employers will not automatically discriminate against and eliminate candidates in the hiring process.
Metro Nashville has adopted a ban-the-box policy that will take effect January 1st. As it has been reported, under the policy, job applicants will not be asked if they have ever been convicted of a crime unless they are applying for a position in an emergency department or a Metro school position. It also does not prohibit the applicant from being asked about their criminal history during an in-person interview or prevent a criminal background check. Continue reading
Some people are natural born complainers. Like this one from Middle Class Problems on Twitter: “A pecan from my maple and pecan slice has tragically fallen into my fresh coffee. Worst day ever.” (If you have never checked out Middle Class Problems, you should.) But some of us are loathe to complain. We do not want to be perceived as demanding, obnoxious, whiny, needy, etc. Or, we don’t complain because we think it will not do any good. But from my perspective as a personal injury lawyer, there are times when it is critical to complain. Below are 5 times you should complain freely and without hesitation. Continue reading
This seems to be Congress’ position on the issue. Because in the past year, they have decided to weaken a number of important safety measures despite the fact that the death toll in truck-involved crashes has risen 17 percent from 2009 to 2013 (which is the most current data) and despite the estimated cost of tractor-trailer and bus accidents is roughly $99 billion dollars a year. Yes, that is billion with a B. And, that is just economic cost. It does not reflect the emotional suffering the victims and their families suffer as a result of these accidents. So, let’s take a look at just a few steps that Congress has taken in favor of the trucking industry and against the rest of the motoring public. Continue reading
Yesterday, Stewart Parnell was sentenced to 28 years in prison for conspiracy, fraud and other federal charges that related to knowingly shipping out salmonella-tainted peanut butter that sickened and killed people. And all I can say is: it is about time. It is about time that corporate executives who make reckless or knowing decisions that ultimately kill people receive jail time.
“Just ship it.” That was Mr. Parnell’s response when notified of the problem by a plant manager. To be clear, this was not a case in which a company was unaware of a problem with their product. To the contrary, Parnell and Peanut Corp. of America knew the peanut butter was contaminated with salmonella. In fact, they covered up positive lab tests and shipped it out anyway. The result: 9 people were killed and 714 were sickened. Perhaps, Parnell’s sentence will send a message to corporate executives across the country that public safety comes before profits. Continue reading
The last two posts have been about the John Jay High School incident in which two players purposefully hit a referee from behind and then while he was lying prone on the ground. The first post examined Tennessee civil (not criminal) law on assault and battery. The second post reviewed the defense of provocation because the players claimed they were provoked by the referee’s use of racial slurs against them. On our final post on this incident, we will discuss Tennessee’s law on defamation. The referee has insinuated he might take legal action against the players for falsely stating he made racist remarks to, in what he believes, justify their battery of him. And yes, this all really did start as part of a high school football game.
Under Tennessee law, defamation can take two forms: slander and libel. Libel is a written defamatory statement and slander is a spoken defamatory statement. If someone has slandered you, then you have 6 months to bring suit. If someone has committed libel against you, you have one year to bring suit. To prove a case for defamation, you must show: Continue reading
Our last post was about whether the John Jay High School football players who intentionally hit a referee during a game could be found liable for the torts of assault and battery. As promised, we will now take up the racial slur issue and the defense of provocation.
Provocation is a defense to battery, but it is not a complete defense. Instead, it can be used to minimize the damages and it stems from the idea that a person should not be entitled to benefit from their own wrongful conduct. Or, in schoolyard terms: you started it. Continue reading