On December 18, 2008 Evenflo, a manufacturer of infant products including highchairs, recalled approximately 95,000 Majestic highchairs due to fall and choking hazards. According to the recall notice, Evenflo Company of Miamisburg, Ohio noted that plastic caps and metal screws on both sides of the highchair could loosen and fall out causing fall and choking hazards for children. Plastic caps and screws that become loose and fall out can cause a seatback to suddenly fall back or detach from the highchair. Children can fall out or collide with objects and suffer broken bones, abrasions, cuts and bruises. The detached plastic components also pose a choking hazard to children. Evenflo received approximately 140 reports of seatbacks reclining, falling back or detaching unexpectedly and also received over more than 1,000 reports of plastic caps and screws falling out of the highchairs, including seven incidents in which caps and screws were found in children’s hands or mouth but were removed before choking.
Many of you, including myself, have had the occasion to visit the hospital during the holiday season. What you normally observe is that many doctors and staff are on vacation and temporaries are brought in who may or may not be familiar with the normal routine of the hospital. Martine Ehrenclou M.A. has written a book entitled Critical Conditions: The Essential Hospital Guide To Get Your Loved Ones Out Of the Hospital Alive that I highly recommend. This very worthwhile book highlights issues that the Philadelphia medical malpractice law firm of Reiff & Bily have known, researched, and litigated for all too long a time.
When your loved one is in the hospital, your natural instinct may be to surrender control to the hospital staff or doctors because you believe that they know what they are doing. For the most part they do; however, we must recognize that no matter how skilled and committed these individuals are to your or your loved one’s case, they are overloaded and sometimes short staffed as is the situation over the holiday period.
Pool Drain Law Goes Into Effect Designed To Prevent Drain Suction From Trapping Infants and Children Under Water
On December 19, 2008, The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act became effective. This law requires installation of anti-entrapment drain covers and other systems outlined in the act.
The Pool and Spa Safety Act was enacted by Congress and was signed into law by President George W. Bush on December 19, 2007. It is designed to prevent the tragic and hidden hazard of drain entrapments and eviscerations in pools and spas. Under this law, all public pools and spas must have ASME/ANSI A112.19.8-2007 compliant drain covers installed and a second anti-entrapment system installed when there is only one single main drain.
Just when you thought you were safe after calling 911, you may be in the hands of a predator. Recently a story came across the wires that caused me an unusual amount of concern. Reportedly over the past 18 months at least 129 ambulance attendants across the United States have been accused of sexually related crimes on or off duty according to an investigation by The Associated Press. Alarmingly, many patients were molested while riding in the back of an ambulance.
State health officials in 23 states reported receiving sexually related complaints involving EMS workers. It is quite disturbing to think that while one is in the most disabled state and incapacitated traveling the back of an ambulance one could be assaulted or fondled by a sexual predator.
According to news sources, a deadly crash occurred on Route 19 in North Strabane, Pennsylvania when a trailer broke loose from a pickup truck striking a car and killing a woman. A utility trailer broke loose from a pickup truck as it was headed south on Route 19 causing the trailer to bounce over the medial strip landing on a car in the passing lane headed north. The car then caught fire and two woman who were in the front seat were killed and a young girl, 3 or 4 years old, was in the back seat. (news article)
Michelle Kott, 36, of Ellsworth was killed.
Many crashes involving trailers stem from basic mistakes such as failing to engage a locking device when hitching a trailer and often operators and drivers neglect a series of precautions any one of which might have prevented such a deadly, catastrophic tragedy.
A Master lock company which makes hitches and other towing equipment surveyed more than 300 trailer owners in 2006 and found that most were lacking in knowledge of basic safety and proper towing procedures and few have had any real training or instruction. Fewer than half properly attach their trailer safety chains the survey found. Adding to the risk is the growing number of trailers on the road. The number of light duty trailers registered in the United States rose from 10.6 million in 1990 to 15.9 million in 2005 according to the Federal Highway Administration. In all 50 states one only need a basic driver’s license in order to tow a small to medium size trailer. Basically, there is no law enforcement program that requires a person towing a trailer to have any special training. The result is a lot of ignorance, carelessness and catastrophic injuries and deaths.
Is The Structured Settlement That I Entered Into When My Catastrophic Injury Case Was Settled Safe In Today’s Economy?
Since 1979, the Philadelphia catastrophic injury lawyers at Reiff & Bily have effectuated many structured settlements on behalf of catastrophically injured clients. Recently, we have received calls from clients that are concerned about the security of their structured investment. In light of the recent downturn of world capital markets, these calls are no surprise. Briefly put, events on Wall Street seem to put more credibility than ever in every structured annuity entered into on behalf of a client. According to authorities while world stock markets have lost trillions of dollars in the last few months, not a single dollar was lost in any structured settlement written. For the most part, they are guaranteed, safe, secure, low risk and offer the best rate of return around. Every structured annuity issued in this country must be backed dollar for dollar by a secure and liquid asset in the insurance companies general account. The majority of the assets backing up each annuity are the safest possible assets, namely U.S. Treasury Bonds.
The swimming pool accident attorneys at Reiff & Bily wish to inform you that swimming pools built before 1992 should be upgraded due to the fact that many of these pools have never been inspected by authorities and are not properly maintained. The lack of proper maintenance creates an unsafe condition that may render the owner or operator liable for monetary damages. Swimming pool inspections can lead to prevention of the drowning of toddlers and pool-side accidents. Backyard swimming pools are the most common location of the drowning of children under the age of five. While one is inspecting the swimming pool, the fence around it should also get inspected. The weakest part of the fence is the gate and that is how many children enter into the swimming pool area. Not so surprisingly, many fences around swimming pools are non-compliant with local regulations.
What the average client does not know is that insurance companies track all legal claims that an individual makes against homeowners, workmen’s compensation and auto insurance policies. The two major databases that insurance companies use to keep track of previous claims are The Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE) and The Automated Property Loss Underwriting System (A-PLUS).
Mumbai Hotel Attacks Trigger New Debates About Inadequate Hotel Security - Philadelphia Inadequate-Security Lawyer Weighs In
As an experienced inadequate-security lawyer, I have been blogging about security concerns at hotels and resorts for many months prior to the unfortunate occurrence last week at two Mumbai luxury hotels. The terrorist attacks in Mumbai once again reveal that inadequate security is always a risk at a gathering place for travelers and hotel guests.
Philadelphia Superlawyers Jeffrey Reiff and Raymond Bily Announce the Expansion and Relocation Of Their Law Offices In Philadelphia
Dear Friends, Clients and Colleagues,
Philadelphia Superlawyers Jeffrey M. Reiff and Raymond M. Bily are pleased and proud to announce that the law offices of Reiff & Bily will be relocating to The Beasley Building located at 1125 Walnut Street, Third Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107 effective December 6, 2008. Our phone number, fax number and email will remain the same.
Automobile safety and motorcycle safety during the holiday season is a growing concern. Roadways are more crowded with drivers heading to shopping malls that are easily distracted as well as people coming from holiday parties who may be driving under the influence. With economic downturns, more and more people are turning to motorcycles as their primary mode of transportation. The Philadelphia motorcycle accident and car accident lawyers of Reiff & Bily offer the following tips that could improve your level of safety
People who have been involved in severe car accidents often suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a significant injury and the symptoms can last for decades. Typically, passengers or drivers involved in car accidents sustain symptoms of shock, nervousness and anger and guilt. These symptoms often involve PTSD if the car accident was severe, involved fatalities, or if the individual had underlying psychiatric disorders or a prior traumatic experience.
I recently met with the passenger of an automobile that was involved in a most catastrophic injury inducing accident where the driver was killed and the passenger sustained broken bones. The driver was the best friend of the passenger and both were seat-belted at the time of the accident which took the life of the driver. The passenger had lost his best friend and had extreme guilt following the accident and asked why he had not died as well. I have seen PTSD manifested in many catastrophic and fatal car accidents. The event makes the victims feel afraid and helpless. People with PTSD have trouble coping with and getting over traumatic events and often feel the affects for months afterwards. People who have anxiety, depression and other mental disorders are more likely to develop PTSD, as well as people who have been the victims of other traumas. The typical PTSD sufferer can undergo changes in their brain and these changes can lead to symptoms including, but not limited to, the constant reliving of the event, avoidance, numbing and feeling “jittery" and anxious. Many times, sufferers will complain of “flashbacks".
The holiday season brings with it more traffic, more drinking, more shopping and hence, many times, more car accidents. Not so surprisingly, car accidents, as a result of intoxicated drivers, dramatically increases during the holiday season and as a result so do catastrophic injuries and roadway fatalities. As a reminder, Pennsylvania law requires that all passengers be buckled up and that any small child be secured no matter what their seating position in the vehicle. Children from ages 0-4 must be in a child safety seat and children age 4-8 must be in a booster seat. It is highly recommended that all children under the age of 12 ride in the back seat of a vehicle with the proper seatbelt securing them.
The Philadelphia car accident lawyers at Reiff & Bily advise that drivers should also be careful in parking lots of shopping malls that will be filled with traffic and hurried and distracted shoppers often not paying attention.
The Philadelphia car accident lawyers at the law firm of Reiff & Bily recognize that “tis the season to be jolly", but not to engage in drunk driving folly. During the holiday season of 2007, approximately one person per day died in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania from DUI according to the Pennsylvania DUI Association. Of course, many more suffered catastrophic injuries. Drinking and driving is taken much more seriously than in the past as social norms and attitudes have evolved. Criminal and licensing penalties are stiffer and even bars, restaurant and other establishments that serve alcohol are included in the chain of legal responsibility.
The most expensive healthcare system in the world per capita is also the most dysfunctional. The United States maintains the most expensive health system in the world per capita. According to recent studies the US lags behind many other countries on many health statistics. Surprisingly, infant mortality in the United States is more than twice as high in Japan, Norway and Sweden and worse than in Poland and Hungary. According to the Center for Disease Control, 1.7 million Americans will acquire an infection while in the hospital and nearly 100,000 of these individuals will die from the infection. Interestingly enough, between 50,000 and 100,000 patients will die each year from preventable medical errors. Health consumers are no different than retail consumers and they suffer from the tragic effects of preventable medical errors. In fact, when a health provider or hospital makes a mistake, many end up paying for it for the rest of their life. In what other business does one charge you or seek money from you for a condition acquired by their own negligence? Typically, when one acquires a disease while in the hospital, the hospital will charge for the hospital acquired conditions. These conditions may include articles left in the body after surgery, blood infections, urinary tract infections, surgical site infections, etc. At the Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Law Firm of Reiff & Bily, we believe that hospitals and doctors should be held accountable for preventable medical errors or the mistakes they make, just like anybody else.
Save money on auto registration in Pennsylvania if retired and receiving Social Security. The Philadelphia car accident lawyers of Reiff & Bily want you to know that if you are retired and receiving Social Security or other pension and your total annual income from all sources is $19,200.00 or less, you qualify to register your car or light truck at a $10.00 per year fee instead of the annual fee. Under the Pennsylvania plan, you will save $26.00 per year on the annual registration for a car and even more for a truck. For more information, please contact Pennsylvania Bureau of Motor Vehicles, P.O. Box 68269, Harrisburg, PA 17106 or contact them at 1-800-932-4600.
Traumatic brain injury and closed head trauma can result even when the damage to your vehicle is minimal in a car accident. In a recent car accident case handled by the Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers of Reiff & Bily, the insurance company of the striking vehicle refused to offer a settlement due to minimal property damage sustained by our client’s car. This case was classified as a “mist" case, otherwise known as a minimal impact soft tissue case.