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Liability for Falling Objects in Construction

Posted by on 12:48 pm in Workers' Compensation, Workplace Injury | 0 comments

Construction is one of the most hazardous industries to work in. There are four major ways that a worker or the public can be at risk. These are accidents involving electrocution, caught-in, falls, and falling objects. Many cases of construction accidents are a result of the construction company failing to provide the appropriate safety gear or training for worker protection, which can sometimes spill over to non-worker injuries as well.

According to the website of law firm Hach & Rose, falling objects is one of the more common hazards that can strike workers and members of the public, especially in high-rise projects where even the smallest objects can gain enough momentum to do serious damage to anyone or anything in its downward path. It is not necessarily a hammer or wrench; a nail falling from a hundred stories up attain the force of a high-speed bullet at those heights.

This is the reason why the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) urge construction companies and workers to observe safety regulations. Any work done more than 6 feet up should include the use of debris mats and other falling object prevention measures. Workers are directed not to stay under a crane in operation and to wear safety hats at all time while at the worksite.

Tools used in construction need to be secured whether in use or not, and all construction materials such as wood, nails, steel bars, and the like need to be likewise secured to prevent being inadvertently dislodged and falling on workers on a lower level or on pedestrians and vehicles that may be passing on the ground below.

When construction accidents happen that involves falling objects, the contractor or construction company is liable for any injury or property that may occur if it is proven that they failed to follow safety regulations. If you have been seriously injured because of negligence at a construction site, you may be eligible to get compensation. Consult with a construction accident lawyer at the earliest possible time.

Recent Rulings on the Open and Obvious Doctrine in Kentucky

Posted by on 5:23 pm in Personal Injury | 0 comments

Reasonable people are expected to take reasonable steps to prevent harm to themselves and to others against hazards that are out in the open and obvious even to an untrained perception. This is basically the definition of the open-and-obvious doctrine that is typically used as a defense in premises liability cases, and in general results in a summary judgment (dismissal) when the hazard proves to be open and obvious. In other words, it hinges upon the personal responsibility and common sense of people to make sure they don’t hurt themselves. However, like in anything legal, this is not as simple as it seems.

In Kentucky, recent Supreme Court rulings on two unrelated premises liability cases qualified the open-and-obvious doctrine which could significantly impact how premises liability cases, specifically slip-and-falls, are conducted in the future. The ruling basically says that a premises owner is guilty of a breach of duty to its invitees if there is a failure to do more to obviate the dangers posed by a hazardous situation, regardless of whether the hazard itself was open and obvious i.e. wires for medical equipment in a hospital room, and which failure resulted in an injury to the plaintiff.

According to the website of the Sampson Law Firm in Louisville, property owners in Kentucky owe a duty to invitees to eliminate potential risks for harm. As such, they share some responsibility for any harm that does occur to invitees even when the danger is open and obvious. Based on this, the Supreme Court states that the open-and-obvious doctrine was incompatible with the pure comparative fault system in place in Kentucky. Pure comparative fault allows a plaintiff to recover damages in tort cases even if the plaintiff is 99% at fault. That 1% fault of the defendant is enough to make the case viable, although whatever award is given is reduced by the plaintiff’s share of the fault. In essence, what these rulings denote is that the result is most likely to go against the defendant in a slip-and-fall lawsuit.

If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident in Kentucky, you have a very good chance of getting compensation. Consult with a skilled premises liability lawyer in your area as soon as possible.

Effects of Supreme Court Ruling on Dangerous Drugs

Posted by on 4:53 pm in Personal Injury, Pharmaceutical Defects | 0 comments

An 8-year-old case that began in Pennsylvania has finally come to a conclusion as the Supreme Court issued a ruling in favor of the plaintiff, setting a precedent that could have a significant impact on how drug makers and sellers will fare in the state’s civil courts.

The case Lance v. Wyeth involved popular weight loss drugs manufactured and marketed by the drug company in the 1990s and which were later withdrawn from the market when it turned out that using them increased the risk of developing valvular heart disease. The lawsuit was filed 2006, and was summarily dismissed because it did not fulfill the requirements for strict liability.

Strict liability for drug companies was based then on two standards: design defect and failure to warn. In the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, however, a 4-2 decision released on January 21, 2014 established that drug companies can be held liable for drugs that turn out later to be too dangerous to be marketed even if they have received approval from the Food and Drug Administration. The legal concepts discussed in the Supreme Court’s decision are complex, but it boils down to a simple concept: drug companies have a duty of care that includes ensuring that safety of the public by exhaustive testing of a product before it is marketed, and immediate withdrawal of a product that carry unjustifiable risks.

Law experts predict that this would have a ripple effect in personal injury lawsuits in the state and elsewhere, and can seriously impact distributors and makers of new drugs such as Xarelto (rivaroxaban) which Williams Kherkher states on its law firm’s website can cause serious injury or death. In fact, the first personal injury lawsuit against Xarelto manufacturer Bayer AG and US distributor Johnson & Johnson via subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceutical was filed shortly after the decision was published and alleged that Xarelto was just too dangerous to be sold.

If you have been seriously harmed from using Xarelto, you may be able to get compensation based on this ruling. Contact a Xarelto lawyer in your area to find out more about it.

Errors in the Machine Age

Posted by on 4:37 pm in Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury | 0 comments

Since the 1990s technology and research surrounding robot assisted surgeries has been advancing. In 1999 the first robotically assisted heart bypass surgery in the United States was performed at Ohio State University. Robot surgical procedures present healthcare outlets with opportunities to decrease the margin for human error while increasing precision and accuracy. This can include surgeries done to address defects in babies who are still developing, helping to set shattered bones from car accidents and other traumatic events, and surgeries dealing with some of the most delicate parts of the body, like the brain. According to the New York Times, “robotic surgery has grown dramatically, increasing more than 400 percent in the United States between 2007 and 2011.”

Despite the promising prospect of robotic surgeries, recent findings are showing that hospitals have not been diligent about reporting patient injuries incurred during robotic surgeries to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Due to the lack reporting when robotic surgeries occur it’s difficult to know exactly how effective robot assisted surgery is. Likewise, it is difficult to gauge how much of a risk robot assisted surgeries pose. The underwhelming efforts of hospitals in reporting calls attention to a system in which oversight, enforcement, and consequences are needed when holding hospitals accountable.

In order to keep up with competition many hospitals have invested in robotic technology. Using robotic technology requires specific and extensive training. According to Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, errors from robotic assisted surgeries might occur because of improper training, unknowledgeable staff, or inexperience with the new technology.

Nobody should have to suffer because of robotic technology. If you or your loved one has been injured in a robotic surgery, contact a personal injury attorney today. An attorney will be able to guide you through your case and defend you to the best of their capabilities.

Exercise for Dogs

Posted by on 6:08 pm in Pets | 0 comments

Dogs are full of energy, and not having any outlet for that energy can cause destructive behavior and psychological issues. Just like young children, dogs need exercise in order to stay healthy, happy, and away from trouble. The benefits of having a routine exercise for dogs range from social skills to physical abilities.

Dogs are more active than humans, therefore you need to know a variety of ways you can help exercise your dogs. You should understand that these exercises depend on the dog’s breed, age, physical health, size, and individual traits. Different dog breeds have different levels of energy, thus you need to have the veterinarian check and recommend the right exercise for your dog.

The most recommended forms of dog exercise are walking, swimming, and jogging. These not only help physically maintain the health of the dog, but also expose them to natural stimuli that make them comfortable with other dogs and situations that will develop their confidence and trust. Another dog exercise, especially when going outside is not possible, is focusing on the brain. Dog puzzles and toys, along with indoor games and obstacles, can help your dog’s focus and make them mentally alert. If you are the competitive type, there are many dog sports that measure dog’s agility, focus, obedience, tracking, and other traits. These exercises, though, need longer and more training than regular dog exercises.

Exercising your dog is not only helping your pet, but it also helps keep you in shape. Personally taking care of your dog and going out with them for exercise builds trust and establishes stronger bonds between you and your pet. You can also help keep yourself in shape, thus making it a win-win solution.

Even People with Different Religious and Ethnicities have the Right to Enjoy Equal Opportunities

Posted by on 8:31 pm in Employment Law | 0 comments

Discriminatory acts, based on religious and/or ethnicity, include performance or utterance of derogatory and humiliating actions/words towards and against people due to their culture, language, ancestry or birthplace. Laws in the United States give equal opportunity to everyone, to both locals and migrants alike. This simply means that no one in the US (so long as the individual’s identity and qualifications have been recognized and acknowledged by the government) can be deprived of equal opportunity simply because he/she: comes from a foreign country; participates in practices or activities linked to a certain ethnic group; possesses an accent or name that can be identified with a national origin group; or, is married to someone or is associating with people who belong to a particular ethnicity.

Different federal and state laws prohibit all discriminatory practices related to employment. These practices include hiring, salary and compensation, fringe benefits, type of work, promotion, training, layoff or firing, and all other factors related to employment. Besides discrimination, harassment of people due to their ethnic or religious identity is also an unlawful act. Those who may be guilty of acts of harassment and/or discrimination include any company supervisor, the victim’s co-worker, a customer or a client.

Besides prohibiting offensive verbal remarks or physical acts, the law also mandates employers ensure that their company’s policies or practices, which all employees are required to observe, do not have any content that may create a negative effect on people with certain religious or ethnic affiliation, especially if these contents have nothing to do with business operations.

No employer may also base any employment-related decision (such as hiring, firing, promotion, etc.) on an employee’s accent, unless the accent is critical or highly-important in the performance of the job (in BPO companies, for instance, or a telephone operator job).

Those who feel that they have been harassed or discriminated should think of hiring legal counsel. Laws involving employment discrimination are complex and filing a complaint involves a long process that is subject to a statute of limitations. Having a knowledgeable labor lawyer at your side will help ensure that you accomplish everything correctly.

Byetta and Dangers of Pancreatitis

Posted by on 9:46 pm in Pharmaceutical Defects | 0 comments

People who have been using Byetta have been exposed to an even more dangerous ailment: pancreatitis. Byetta is a drug prescribed for those suffering from type-2 diabetes, the most common form of diabetes where the patient suffers because they are not able to produce insulin or are not able to process the insulin that their bodies produce. There have already been confirmed reports of people dying from severe inflammation of the pancreas as a complication due to using Byetta.

Byetta has been linked to an increased risk of acute pancreatitis and kidney problems, and although there are other drugs that can be just as risky, patients are still at life-threatening risks when taking Byetta. Those who are at greater risk of pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas, where if severe, can lead to death) are those who are already suffering from conditions such as gallstones, high blood triglyceride levels, and alcoholism.

Because of the increased risk, the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) has issued additional warnings for patients taking Byetta, and they are always reminded to seek immediate medical care upon first signs of pancreatitis: undetermined abdominal pain, persistent vomiting, fever, and nausea. Warning labels inform of the side effects of taking Byetta, and these serious complications should be addressed immediately.

Injured Harbor Worker Benefits

Posted by on 4:26 pm in Workers' Compensation, Workplace Injury | 0 comments

The Connecticut, Delaware, Hudson, Mississippi, and Rio Grande are among some of the rivers that flow into the Atlantic Ocean. The natural geology of the east coast lends itself to a vast array of maritime industries. Some popular jobs along the East Coast and Longshore Harbor are ship repairing, ship building, ship breaking, and harbor construction. Laborers in shipyards tend to work long hours in demanding conditions. Though the work conditions are rigorous, many men and women are able to effectively support their families with their wages.

However, the shipyard industry is a high-risk environment and workplace injuries can be as severe as the loss of a limb. Debilitating injuries result in time away from work indefinitely. The Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA) is a bill that was recently passed in 2012 in order to protect injured workers of the United States maritime industry. The LHWCA offers a much more generous benefit plan to injured workers than the state workers compensation act. According to the website of attorney Joe Miller Law, Ltd some of these benefits are higher maximum compensation rates, reimbursement for medical travel, no caps on medical benefits or for medical devices, and no limits on compensation periods.

Since the LHWCA benefit package is a generous and comprehensive, there are numerous requirements that the injured worker must meet in order to qualify. Disability benefits depend on whether the nature of the injury is partial or total, temporary or permanent. Total disability indicates that the worker isn’t able to work at any task, partial disability means that the worker can still work, but not at the same level of physical exertion as before. Temporary and permanent benefits cater to the timeline which the worker will be unable to work. Injured harbor workers usually find it helpful to consult a lawyer in order to find out if they qualify for the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act.

Compensation in the Aftermath of a Disaster

Posted by on 5:09 pm in Insurance Bad Faith, Insurance Claims | 0 comments

Though the landlocked terrain of Oklahoma is safe from the devastating effects of hurricanes and tropical storms, the “Sooner State” is often the target of intense tornadoes and hail storms. Many Oklahoma residents pay into comprehensive property insurance plans to protect their belongings from potential damage. When a serious storm, like the 2013 Moore tornado, occurs, a large economical strain is put on insurance companies and policyholders, alike. If a storm has caused extensive damage to a policyholder’s house, the policyholder usually can’t rebuild or renovate without the insurance money.

In the aftermath of a traumatic storm, there’s a sense of urgency, within affected communities, to recalibrate and return to normal. For this reason, policyholders will often consult a lawyer when attempting to collect insurance money. Legal help and knowledge can shorten the waiting period for insurance money. The website of the Smith Kendall Buxton Law Group outlines a few areas in which lawyers can help Oklahoma and North Texas storm victims such as, residential tornado claims, commercial tornado claims, property management companies, business income loss, insurance agent negligence, and insurance company bad faith.

The Gulf Coast faces a completely separate set of difficulties regarding resources and local disasters. Typically the site of hurricanes, the Gulf Coast’s economy suffered unexpectedly in 2010 when a British Petroleum (BP) oil well exploded and proceeded to spill 4.9 million barrels of oil into the gulf. BP agreed to compensate the victims of the oil spill. According to the website of Williams Kherkher, many victims filing claims with the Deepwater Horizon Claims Center are being denied the appropriate compensation. The generous denial of insurance claims renders legal representation almost essential as victims affected by the oil spill seek compensation for damages to their residences and livelihoods.

The Importance of Choosing the Right Nursing Home

Posted by on 4:49 pm in Medical Malpractice, Nursing Home Neglect | 0 comments

Nursing homes can be a lucrative business as families typically want to seek out and hire the best care for their eldest members. Unfortunately, in many cases nursing homes try to cut costs and boost profits by understaffing facilities and underpaying workers. In addition to not providing the best benefits possible for employees, some nursing homes don’t perform adequate background screenings for their employees.

If the staffing committee for a nursing home doesn’t perform appropriate screening they could easily hire under qualified candidates that lack the proper disposition to take care of high needs elderly residents. Eventually, some families find that the quality of care initially promised to their elderly family member isn’t fulfilled.

The website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C.® points out that nursing home neglect has occurred when: proper nutrition needs are not fulfilled, medical needs are not met, proper hygiene and cleaning is not maintained, appropriate assistance is not provided, or when residents are not provided adequate time for socialization. The Affordable Care Act would strengthen nursing home supervision and enforcement penalties, make staff training more comprehensive, and make the lawsuits filed against nursing homes more transparent to consumers.

Choosing the right nursing home for a family member is a decision that should be researched and considered with care. Similarly, people often employ this same practice of research and careful consideration when looking for a physician. When medical conditions become too complicated for a patient to remedy at home, consulting a physician is the most prudent choice. However, sometimes visiting a negligent physician can result in the worsening of a patient’s condition. The website of the Sampson Law Firm mentions that medical malpractice has occurred “when a medical professional’s irresponsible actions cause harm to a patient.” Victims of medical malpractice are entitled to compensation for time lost at work and health bills. They should definitely not have to pay for the mistakes of their physicians, just as people who are hurt by faulty tires shouldn’t have to pay for the mistakes of their tire company.