Articles Posted in Product Liability

regulation-photo-300x201

Government regulations are often scorned and characterized as job killers, expensive and unnecessary. To be sure, there are some odd regulations on the books that deserve some derision  (I am looking at you, T.C.A. 70-4-115, the Road Kill law). But generally, government regulations are a good thing for the public.  For example, government regulations (via the EPA and FDA)  have stopped the pollution of our nation’s water and air and have ensured we have access to safe and uncontaminated food and drugs. Right now, there are several government regulations in the transportation industry that are being rolled back or nixed that would offer substantial protection to the public.  Here are a few: Continue reading

In any line of work, there are always a few that embarrass the rest of the profession whether you are talking about lawyers, plumbers, car salesmen, contractors, teachers, accountants, etc.  Unfortunately, some of the bad apples tend to come out after injury accidents, so here is what you need to know. Continue reading

new-years-225x300
As the New Year approaches, many start to think about improvements they want to make in their lives for 2017.   At the Law Offices of John Day, our work involves helping people who have been injured in accidents and, since most accidents are preventable, we thought we would give you some New Year’s resolutions that can help protect you and others. The best part of these resolutions is, for the most part, they are easy and painless to implement (unlike that weight resolution most of us make). Here are our recommendations:

  1. Check your auto insurance and make sure you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. I can’t tell you how often someone calls our office with significant injuries from a car accident who cannot recover any money because the driver who caused the accident did not have insurance and the client did not have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. We have written a number of posts about uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage and you can find them here, here, here and here. But, our number one piece of advice to protect yourself would be to purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage with as high of limits as you can afford. You will truly be surprised at how cheap it is and it can mean the difference between receiving compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and injuries and receiving nothing.
  2. Wear your seatbelt. They save lives. Period.

Government regulations get a bad rap. To be sure, if you look long enough, you can find some that will make you shake your head and wonder, but for the most part regulations do a good job of providing protection to the public.  And, they can also be a big boost in accident claims and injury lawsuits.

As proof that regulations are needed to protect the public, one need only look at the tragic hot air balloon crash in Texas that killed the pilot and 15 passengers earlier this year. Many believe this accident occurred because the Federal Aviation Administration does very little to exercise oversight of hot air balloon operators.  In fact, regulations on hot air balloon operators are almost non-existent despite the fact that they often carry more passengers than small commuter planes and helicopters.  Unlike conventional pilots, hot air balloon operators do not have to get regular medical exams and, while the form operators must complete asks about narcotic drug charges, it specifically excludes alcohol- related driving offenses.  In the deadly Texas crash, the operator was taking at least 10 different drugs for various medical problems.  Some of the drugs including oxycodone would have disqualified him from flying conventional aircraft because of their effect on decision-making and reaction times.  Moreover, the operator had been convicted of drunk-driving on at least four occasions.  Of course, regulations do not prevent every accident, but it is probably safe to say that if the Federal Aviation Administration had implemented tighter regulations over hot air balloon pilots that this particular pilot would not have been in the sky with passengers on that fateful day.

Regulations not only provide protection to the public but they also can help your accident claim or injury lawsuit. If you are injured in an accident and you want to recover money for your injuries, you must prove that someone else was negligent, that negligence caused your injuries and the extent of your injuries and damages.  Let’s focus on negligence.  In simplest terms, you should think of negligence as either doing something you should not have done or not doing something you should have done.  Lawyers will often refer to it as a violation of the standard of care.  Part of proving the other party was negligent involves proving the standard of care, but when there is a safety regulation the standard of care has already been established by the regulation itself.  So then, all you must do is prove the defendant violated the regulation.  In other words, the regulation can eliminate one step of what is normally a two-step process.  So regulations can play a critical role in injury litigation.

flag 2 copy

Memorial Day is a day to remember and be grateful for those brave men and women who have died while serving our country in the military. It is also the unofficial start of summer. Beach trips, parades, lake outings, pool parties and barbecues are on a lot of folks’ agenda.   Here are ten safety tips to help keep your weekend fun and injury-free:  Continue reading

hospital bed

Here is the scenario we often see: a patient goes in for a surgery. The surgery is successful but the patient continues to experience pain and other symptoms without any identifiable source.  Often the patients are treated as though they are whiners or malingerers.  Finally, at some point, the medical providers realize the source of the patient’s pain and problems: a surgical item has been left inside the patient during the surgery.  Of course, this necessitates a second surgery with all the attendant risks, more medical bills and more pain and suffering.  Think this is a rare occurrence?  Think again. Continue reading

DCF 1.0

In a nutshell, here is the case: Jacqueline Fox had used talcum powder for more than 35 years. After she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, a pathologist found talc in Fox’s ovaries.   Experts believe the talc caused inflammation, which led to cancer and Fox’s death. During a recent trial, a St. Louis jury awarded $72 million dollars to Fox’s family. Continue reading

mangled bike

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

pill bottles

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

Scale

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