The 1885 law enacted in New York when the first skyscrapers began being built which protect workers from fall-from-height accidents is still in force today, and not a lot of people are happy about it.
Labor Law § 240, more commonly known as the Scaffold Law, essentially places all the liability for construction site injuries of workers on the contractor or construction company no matter if the worker was partly or entirely at fault. Others characterize it as “absolute” liability which critics say is unfair to conscientious and law-abiding contractors that ensure the safety of their workers to the best of their ability. There have been numerous attempts to modify the law, understandably mostly by construction companies and their insurers, but so far it remains essentially the same.
The main contention of these would-be reformers is that the law is hurting the industry by driving up costs. But as stated in the website of Hach & Rose, the fact is that some contractors and construction companies cut corners when it comes to the safety of their workers, making a construction site even more dangerous than it has to be. This is one of the main reasons that the Scaffold Law came into being in the first place.
Construction workers are constantly in danger of serious injury because of the nature of the work, but it would be incredible to suggest that they would risk life and limb simply to collect damages under the Scaffold Law. It is undeniable that there are accidents that are due to the worker’s own negligence, but this is by far the minority.
While modifying the Scaffold Law to put liability on a comparative fault basis may be a good idea, there is little impetus to push this beyond the proposal stage at this point. Construction workers in New York are still under the current terms of the Scaffold Law.
Two product liability cases filed on the same day in the same place for the same reason are being transferred back to state court where the cases were originally after both being transferred to federal court. The remand to state court was petitioned by both plaintiffs and was duly granted on the basis of the forum defendant rule, but their request to be compensated for legal costs incurred in the maneuvering over the venue was denied.
The separate cases filed against Benicar principals Daiichi Sankyo and Forest Laboratories by plaintiffs George and Martha Williams from Texas and Shelly and Abu Rahman from Pennsylvania were initially filed in the Atlanta County Law Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey in February 2014. The cases were filed in New Jersey because Daiichi Sankyo is based there, as is Forest Research Institute. As suggested in http://www.williamskherkher.com/practice-areas/defective-pharmaceuticals/benicar/, both cases alleged that the defendants were negligent in failing to warn and failing to adequately test the product for safety.
Benicar (olmesartan) is a drug from a class of hypertension medication called angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) or sartan. This particular brand was developed by the Japanese drug company Sankyo for distribution in the US in partnership with Forest Labs. Sankyo won Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for the drug in 2002, and by 2012 was filling more than 10 million Benicar prescriptions.
In that same year, however, doctors at the Mayo Clinic finally figured out that what was causing a condition called sprue-like enteropathy in 22 of their patients was Benicar. Having ruled out celiac sprue (or celiac disease) as the cause of gastrointestinal problems of these patients, doctors turned to finding out what the patients all had in common. It turned out that all 22 patients were on Benicar, and when it was discontinued, so did the symptoms. By July 2013, the FDA was issuing warnings, and the first lawsuits were being prepared.
If you suffer serious symptoms of sprue-like enteropathy from using Benicar, you may be eligible to get financial compensation for your health problems. Contact a reputable Benicar lawyer in your area to find out more.
Regardless of the type of workplace an individual may be working in, safety should be among his/her top concerns. This same concern was what led the US Congress in passing the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) in 1970 with the goal of making sure that all employers (of private and government firms) provide their employees with a working environment that is free from known hazards, like excessive levels of noise, heat stress or cold stress, contact with toxic chemicals, mechanical dangers, and all forms of unsanitary conditions.
In a regular office environment, measures that will ensure the safety and health of employees can be easy to observe; with regard to industrial working environments, such as construction sites, oil rigs, power or nuclear plants, manufacturing firms, factories, mills, mining fields, and so forth, the meaning of ‘freedom from hazard’ (or even the word ‘hazard’ itself) will have to take off from a much higher level of platform.
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics records around 3 million injuries every all, all involving industrial workers. These injuries are usually caused by broken or unsafe scaffoldings, exposure to dangerous chemicals, contact with heavy machinery, malfunctioning heavy equipment, being hit by falling tools or objects, falling off from a high working place, slip and fall, and so forth.
Joe Miller Law, Ltd., through an article posted in its website, explains how an industrial accident can leave a worker with a life-changing injury that causes a crippling financial situation for him/her and (his/her) family.
Besides injuries, industrial work can also cause a deadly chronic illness, especially in those who are regularly exposed to toxic substances. Workers, whose share of exposure to hazardous chemicals is on a daily basis, ought to be aware of the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) of 1986. This law, which is also known as the Right-to-Know law or Worker Right-to-Know Legislation, gives workers the right to be informed about the dangers they are exposed to and how they can safeguard themselves from such dangers.
A Detroit personal injury lawyer is well aware that industrial work is one of the most dangerous jobs in the US. Among the many types of injuries that it has already caused are second or third degree burn, fractured or broken neck, broken bones, severe cut and/or bruising, hemorrhage, suffocation, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, paraplegia or selective paralysis, and/or quadriplegia or complete paralysis; in some worst case, industrial accidents have also led to the amputation of limbs or death of victims.
However, speaking with an attorney can help victims seek justice for their injuries and for all the damages he or she is (and will be) faced with.
Reports of medical malpractice lawsuits have been the content many newspapers, and radio and TV news programs over the past years. Though alarming it may be, medical malpractice is a reality and, based on the numbers given by the Journal of the American Medical Association, it claims about 225,000 lives in the US every year, making it one of leading cause of death in the nation.
Medical malpractice can be committed through many different ways; usually, however, these have just one common root – wrong diagnosis, which may mean delayed, missed or over diagnosis. Because of wrong diagnosis patients can be made to undergo unnecessary laboratory tests, prescribed with the wrong medication, be subjected to a surgical procedure or given other kinds of treatment that are not needed. Worse, with the real illness not properly diagnosed it can worsen, while the unnecessary medical treatment resorted to may cause the development of another serious health condition in the patient.
One major cause of misdiagnosis, according to a study conducted by the U.S. News and World Report, is physician bias. This is the most common result of the 15-minute doctor and patient interaction, a doctor’s way of meeting as many patients as possible (within his/her consultation schedule). During this very limited 15-minute office visit, the doctor tends to automatically apply the “18-second rule,” wherein he/she would readily identify the patient’s illness based on symptoms (failing to consider the fact that many types of illnesses have the same symptoms).
Unless doctors fully understand the incalculable importance of their responsibility over their patients, wrong diagnosis would more likely just go on and on. A New Hampshire medical malpractice lawyer, however, can help patients, who have fallen victims to medical incompetence, take legal action against erring medical practitioners and hopefully receive compensation from them for whatever damages may arise from an erroneous practice.
A Louisville personal injury lawyer would, likewise, be another best legal counsel to consult if a patient knows and feels that he/she is a victim of medical malpractice. While doctors, despite the errors they commit, may clearly not have intended any harm on the patient, the fact that a totally preventable event has happened makes them totally liable for their failure to provide quality care.
When a disaster wreaks havoc in a particular state, among the first to respond to help those affected are usually charitable institutions and non-profit organizations. Though both usually work together and share funds, both would be required to dig deep into their pockets and expect that the rebuilding and recovery process costs so much more than what it usually seems.
Such is especially true with regard to the states affected by the biggest oil spill in U.S. history in April of 2010. Louisiana and the other states have actually not fully recovered yet from the destructions left by hurricane Katrina when British Petroleum’s (BP) Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, spilling more than 200 million gallons of oil in the Gulf of Mexico.
The oil spill made a major disastrous impact in the public health, tourism industry, fishing and wildlife of the states along the Gulf of Mexico, slamming the economic growth and privileges of individuals and businesses in those states.
A couple of months after the disaster, BP put up the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF), a claims program that was intended to help small businesses and workers get compensated for their damages and losses. Two years after (in 2012), all claims were consolidated and placed under the care of a court-supervised settlement program.
While it is true that individuals and businesses suffered economic losses, it cannot be denied that nonprofit organizations and churches had been affected too as the amount of contributions and donations these used to receive over the past years suddenly decreased during the months following the spill. As BP realized this loss of nonprofits, these were, therefore, included in the list of those that were supposed to receive settlement payments.
Churches, K-12 schools, pre-schools, private daycare centers, rescue missions, homeless shelters, rehabilitation facilities and religious institutions are among those affected by the spill. Besides these, Williams Kherkher, through an article posted in his website, also mentions the losses suffered by Disease research organizations, Historical societies and Wildlife preservation organizations, making these eligible too to receive compensation from BP. The only worry many legal professionals worry about is the non-action of nonprofits, choosing not to file claims lawsuits despite BP’s offer to settle.
With the special training for skills development and improvement, plus the tests required of applicants for commercial driving licenses, it would be easy to assume that drivers will be able to drive big rigs or 18-wheelers smoothly and easily. Every year, however, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) records more than 400,000 truck accidents, with at least ten percent of it resulting to someone’s death. Huge and heavy enough to crash a smaller motor vehicle, trucks are, thus, considered threats on the road.
According to the website of Nashville personal injury lawyers Pohl & Berk, a truck’s threatening size and weight are actually compounded by the practice and the job requirement of some drivers. Meaning that mistakes made by drivers who have a hard time staying focused can be that much more devastating. Thus, though it may be true that these drivers possess the necessary skills in operating a truck, driving long distances for about 11 hours a day (to keep a delivery schedule), driving while intoxicated, smaller vehicles tailgating a truck or not driving from a safe distance from trucks, truck drivers texting or using a handheld phone while driving, and so forth, will definitely not render any road, where a truck is being driven, totally safe.
In addressing such issues like driver fatigue, driver intoxication and cell phone use while driving, the US Department of Transportation has passed laws that would make sure truck drivers do not fall into (or commit) these mistakes while on the road. Laws like the maximum hours of service (HOS) for continuous driving, the 0.4% blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level limit, the total banning of cell phone use and, recently (taking effect on January 1, 2013), the use of bluetooth headset, which is supposed to put a stop to the use of handheld phones while driving (this, according to the NHTSA, is the present major thing that distracts truck drivers).
Bluetooth headsets for truckers are intended to help significantly reduce incidences of driver distraction and, thus, the likelihood of truck accidents from happening. These devices are designed to allow a two-way connection through wireless technology. While some devices may be fitted into the ear, there are those that are inserted into especially-designed caps.
Failure to wear (and use) the device can mean a $2,750 fine for each violation plus revocation of the commercial vehicle driver’s license (for repeated violations). These, of course, come on top of the civil lawsuits that can be filed by a Norfolk personal injury lawyer on behalf of a victim, in case of an accident, to seek compensation for all the damages that the victim will be subjected to.
Every year thousands of lawsuits against manufacturers of defective products are filed by consumers in US courts due to the harm or injury that arise from these products’ defect. Through an article posted on its website, Ravid & Associates, P.C., plainly explains consumers’ attitude of not being meticulous with regard to checking products’ safety. This is primarily based on consumers’ trust that since these products were approved for distribution and/or consumption, then these are totally safe.
Product safety isn’t always guaranteed as there have been many instances when a product has been proven to have defects or contain elements that can serve as potential cause of life-altering or life-threatening injuries. And it could be any type of manufactured good, such as a toy, an electronic gadget, a safety gadget for children, food, prescription drug, a medical device, a motor vehicle, and so forth. Regardless of the type, manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, and retailers are mandated by the law to make sure that their products are safe and that they should accept liability if their product ends up causing injury or harm to someone.
Ensuring product safety is the task of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. Besides making sure that the goods that consumers purchase are neither dangerous nor defective, the bureau is also tasked to:
- Put a stop to unjust, deceptive and fraudulent business practices by accepting and investigating consumer complaints on product defects
- Educate business firms and individuals on their duties, responsibilities and rights as consumers
- Formulate and enforce fair marketplace rules
- Make sure that manufacturers do not place deceptive and misleading labels
- File suits against companies or individuals who violate consumer rights or offer defective products.
With regard to the legal duty of manufacturers, they should: see to it that their products’ labels accurately identify the product’s ingredients; never make claims (on what their products can do) if these have not been scientifically proven; and, include all necessary instructions or warnings connected with product use.
If, despite the requirements of the law, a product is still found to cause (or believed to be the cause of) an injury, then it is best to contact a Madison personal injury lawyer immediately. While some injuries may prove hard to cure or may no longer be altered, filing a lawsuit against the product’s manufacturer would be a legal right of the victim; it can also, possibly, stop the product from harming others in the future. A Madison personal injury lawyer can also help the victim seek and receive compensation from the manufacturer for all the (present and future) damages the injury would cause him/her.
The Child Support Enforcement Act of 1984 considers it a major legal responsibility of all American parents to provide support to their biological children even after divorce. It also lists down the factors that should be considered when making decisions concerning child support.
Child support is a monthly financial assistance paid by the non-custodial parent (or the obligor) to the custodial parent (or obligee). It is intended to cover the child’s basic needs, such as food, clothing, healthcare, shelter and education, and is usually paid until the child’s 18th birthday. Although some states consider factors (in determining child support issues) that are not considered in others, there are constant factors like the age and the needs of the child, the cost of these needs, the parents’ income, which includes salary, commissions, overtime pay, dividends, and so forth, the age and health of both spouses, and the parent’s capability to pay child support.
Sometimes, besides the child’s basic needs, the court may also require the obligor to contribute to his/her child’s distant financial activities and needs, like college education, dental and/or medical needs, vacation and others.
There are instances when the custodial parent would see the need to ask for an increase in child support payment due to the obligor’s improved financial situation; in like manner, the obligor, due to reduced financial capability, maybe because of loss of job or poor health condition that requires regular medical treatment and medication, may see the need to ask for a reduction in the amount of child support. Any changes, however, will have to be decided by the court as the issue is a legal matter. Any attempt of the obligor to negotiate directly with the obligee (or vice versa), can result to contempt of court.
It is no doubt that child support can be a very difficult issue for divorcing parents to resolve. But before the court takes the matter into its own hands, divorcing parents should know that they have all the right to settle the matter amicably, peacefully and privately.
The most commendable way to resolve the issue is through the help of The Woodlands child support lawyer. He or She would be able to assist divorcing spouses to come to an agreement that will work well for both of them, saving them at the same time from the time-consuming court appearances and costly court fees.