Legal News Archive July 2013 Image

Legal News Archive: July 2013

Building Collapses in the News

July 31, 2013 | Finz & Finz, P.C.

In early June, Philadelphia first responders were called to the scene of a building collapse with people trapped inside. The accident killed several and injured many others. Buildings can collapse for many reasons: faulty construction and /or engineering, terrorism, fires or explosions, lack of owner’s attention to inspections and warnings, earthquakes, sinkholes and other situations. While we may see this type of accident in third-world countries, their incidence is relatively rare in developed areas such as the United States. So, when we do hear of a building collapse in our country, we begin to ask all types of questions.  What can be done in the event of a building collapse, and who is to blame?  Those are just a few of the questions that are difficult to answer, especially if you find that you or someone you know is a victim.

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Additional Info: Building Collapses

Deck Collapses and Other Unexpected Mishaps When Visiting the Local Bar and Grille

July 29, 2013 | Finz & Finz, P.C.

Earlier in June in Miami, sports fans watching a Spurs v. Heat NBA Finals game were dumped in the water when a deck collapsed at their favorite local watering hole.  In another instance, a fire breaks out at a popular nightclub and many are left fleeing from the danger. We take visits to the local neighborhood bar and grille for granted.  We trust that their regulations are up to code and that the structure is sound. In the instance of the decking, the supporting beams collapsed; investigations are pending as to why the areas hadn’t been treated.

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Additional Info: Premises Liability

When Bullying Takes Over Your Child’s Day

July 26, 2013 | Finz & Finz, P.C.

Unfortunately, we see sad headlines time and time again: teen abuse and suicide related to bullying and cyber bullying.  We know that bullying comes in all forms, from verbal abuse to mild physical assault, muggings, brutal beatings, and outings on Facebook and other social media platforms.  Bullying can cause severe injury to the victim. Laws are being established to define acceptable behavior, and lawsuits are continually filed against schools where bullying takes place. Adults supervising children at school are required to report child abuse situations and bullying can easily fall into that category.  They must report if a child is in distress from bullying, but it can be difficult to recognize instances of bullying, particularly when there are threats to the victim who displays a tendency to hide any injuries and cover up through fabrication of stories or minimizing the action.  And, in many cases, whose side do the authorities take?  If a student is perceived as weak, it might be easier for the school principal to say that the child needs to toughen up.  While it may be difficult to entrust or rely on the school to ensure your child’s safety, it’s wise to tune in to signs and symptoms that bullying may be occurring.

Continue Reading: When Bullying Takes Over Your Child’s Day

Additional Info: School Injuries

Escalator Accidents: Mishaps in Department Stores, Airports and Office Buildings

July 25, 2013 | Finz & Finz, P.C.

An escalator malfunctions at Macy’s when steps fail to engage.  An escalator at a subway station becomes the scene of a horrific accident.  A child’s foot is caught between the stairs. Escalators are “modes” of transportation we use daily at our favorite department stores, airports and our office buildings. With a slow-moving pace, it is hard to imagine something going wrong that cannot be corrected.  But, as in the cases above, escalator accidents can cause broken limbs, head injuries, severe lacerations and sometimes death. 

Continue Reading: Escalator Accidents: Mishaps in Department Stores, Airports and Office Buildings

Additional Info: Premises Liability

Elder Abuse: It’s Not Always Easy to Speak Up

July 24, 2013 | Finz & Finz, P.C.

The number of elders in a care facility are high. It’s estimated that there are approximately 3.2 million Americans in care facilities. Of those care facilities, many have been marked with violations or substandard care for the residents who live there.   There are approximately 2.1 million Americans who are the victims of elder abuse, and those are the instances that are reported.  Many other instances go unnoticed or unreported. What are some reasons for elder abuse, and how can you detect that your senior has been a victim?

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Guns, Children and Spinal Cord Injuries

July 23, 2013 | Finz & Finz, P.C.

A child finds an improperly stored gun at a friend’s home and pretends he is shooting his friend.  Only this time, there is no pretend. The gun really fires and the friend is killed on the spot. Who is to blame? The parents of the kid who found the gun? The owners of the house where the gun was found? The child himself?   So many questions remain when a case like this occurs, and many others like it when children are involved. This is just one of the many ways that guns are the cause of violence, devastating injuries to the head and spine, and fatalities among children and adults.

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Additional Info: Spinal Cord Injuries

Amusement Parks and Theme Parks: Safe or Scary?

July 22, 2013 | Finz & Finz, P.C.

Over the past weekend a woman fell to her death from a roller coaster a a well-known amusement park in Texas.  It’s estimated that close to eight million visitors and tourists frequent theme parks and amusement parks in the United States annually. Many of the visits occur during in the summertime when the kids are out of school and places of employment can be slightly more flexible with time off for parents. As soon as school ends, the vacation planning takes place. The kids chomp at the bit, so excited they can hardly sleep in any number of days leading up to the time of departure. To make sure that your family has a safe trip at the amusement park of choice, you will want to add certain safety items to your checklist when planning.

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Additional Info: Amusement Park Accidents

Twisters and Sandstorms—They Come Without Warning

July 18, 2013 | Finz & Finz, P.C.

We’ve heard and experienced recent reports and incidents of tornados and twisters devastating towns and schools in Oklahoma and Texas. On the tails of those natural disasters are extreme winds and dust, producing sandstorms that create multi-vehicle pileups and leave others dead.  In Nevada recently, 26 vehicles were forced to slam into each other on Interstate 80 when unbearable driving and weather conditions occurred as a result of an extreme sandstorm. This was a sandstorm accident so severe that just about every medical, law enforcement and fire worker in the area were called in to respond to the multitude of injuries.

Continue Reading: Twisters and Sandstorms—They Come Without Warning

Additional Info: Motor Vehicle Accidents

Road Rage and Accidents

July 17, 2013 | Finz & Finz, P.C.

We’re all familiar with road rage: the extreme temper outbursts that can be deadly for those on the receiving end. Road rage is different from your average traffic jam cursing.  Road rage happens when a driver becomes “en-raged” at another driver, and actively pursues that person with the intent of physically damaging the car, causing an accident, or at its worst, killing the other driver.  What should you do if you see a situation of impending road rage, and what can you do if you are involved?

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Additional Info: Car Accidents

When Your Client Becomes the Workplace Hazard

July 16, 2013 | Finz & Finz, P.C.

Earlier in the year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration reported fining a company whose service coordinator employee was fatally stabbed by a client.  The charges were based on the premise that the company should have recognized that certain conditions and situations could pose a hazard to the employees and that a workplace violence program should have been in place to address potential hazards and assist employees who may be concerned about their safety. The client, who had a known history of violence, had posed a threat to the employee on previous occasions, evidenced by the employee’s notes in the company log.  She indicated that she would like to be accompanied by another co-worker on her visits to this particular client.

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Additional Info: Workplace Accidents

Using Your Cell Phone as a Primary GPS: Read This Before You Act

July 15, 2013 | Finz & Finz, P.C.

With technology all over the place, there are enough distractions on the road without multitasking one device with another. In a recent case in Massachusetts, an 18-year old was distracted by her global positioning system (GPS) when she hit a 56-year old man by the side of the road, killing him instantly when he was thrown from the scene.  The driver admitted she had been using her GPS at the time of the incident. Any in-car devices that take our eyes off the road can be dangerous, and we’ve heard over and over about about the dangers of texting while driving. Adjusting the GPS while driving is just as dangerous as texting. Even more danger comes when someone multitasks by using the cell phone as the GPS.

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Additional Info: Cell Phone Texting Accidents

Traumatic Brain Injury: When it Happens to Someone You Love

July 12, 2013 | Finz & Finz, P.C.

The road to recovery is painstakingly long for those who are affected by a traumatic brain injury–whether it is the family of the victim who is suffering, or the victim himself.  So many times in the initial incident there is nothing to indicate that an injury occurred—until the victim starts to speak, walk or think. Take the case of two-year-old Tripp Halstead, who was injured while at a daycare center when a tree branch fell on his head. He had run over to the shade of the tree to cool off. Initial calls to the parents indicated he had an accident, but that it was nothing severe. Over time, however, and after the subsequent calls to the parents from the daycare center, this daycare injury proved evident that something was seriously wrong. Doctors determined that little Tripp needed immediate brain surgery where they removed part of his skull in order to access the part of this brain that was damaged from the falling tree limb.  The blunt trauma severely damaged his skull.

Continue Reading: Traumatic Brain Injury: When it Happens to Someone You Love

Additional Info: Brain Injuries

Unlicensed Drivers: When You’ve Been Hit or Injured

July 11, 2013 | Finz & Finz, P.C.

This year, a Memorial Day outing turned into a tragedy in Newport Beach, California when a 17-year-old-driver carrying four friends hit a tree.  The impact was so severe that it split the vehicle in half, engulfed the vehicle in flames, and killed all teens in the car.  The driver of the Infinity G35 was unlicensed. Many families and friends are left wondering why this boy had this extravagant car in the first place, and why he drove it without a license, despite previous warnings of speed and reckless driving prior to this accident. Scenarios like this are even further saddened when there are no survivors. In this fatal accident, speed was said to be a factor, and toxicity results are still pending.  How do you protect yourself and your teenagers on the road when you are unable to predict the condition or status of the other driver?

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Additional Info: Motor Vehicle Accidents

Alternate Plans for Daycare: What To Do When You Have No Choice

July 10, 2013 | Finz & Finz, P.C.

The summertime brings varying routines for parents and children. When school is out, and daycares and kid camps are utilized, parents are often forced to make choices that alter a regular schedule.  This might mean quickly finding a daycare to accommodate your child’s summer schedule. You may not have time to fully investigate before you enroll. In a rare case in Canada, a daycare center was investigated when reports of children being taped to cots for not behaving surfaced in the media and among other parents.  While this may seem extreme, it’s not uncommon for daycare workers to lose their cool and strike out at innocent kids.

Continue Reading: Alternate Plans for Daycare: What To Do When You Have No Choice

Additional Info: Daycare Injuries

Drunk Driving and Other Accidents: The Worst Times to be on the Road

July 09, 2013 | Finz & Finz, P.C.

Sometimes you can’t avoid driving home late at night.  Whether you or your group of friends have chosen to imbibe or not, driving home in a cab or with a designated driver after midnight is a common occurrence when one is out and about on the weekend. But, even when you are careful, there may be others on the road who are not. Night time is the time when most people are careless about getting behind the wheel.  They fail to use their seatbelts.  They fall asleep or become distracted by other devices while driving and speeding. During the month, weekends show a spike in accident activity as more people are out socializing and taking weekend road trips.  A good percentage of those involved in accidents from speeding or drunk driving also fail to wear seatbelts.

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Additional Info: Drunk Driving Accidents

Fireworks and Holiday Weekend Injuries

July 08, 2013 | Finz & Finz, P.C.

This year’s 4th of July holiday launched a four-day weekend for many; a much needed break from the every day routine of work.  In many cities and towns across the nation the events were more than spectacular, with wide arrays of fireworks, special tributes to fallen heroes and celebrations of what our county represents.  For others, however, in a few states, the yearly celebration brought tragedy. 

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Additional Info: Fireworks Accidents

Distractions Outside of the Car—Stay Alert at All Times!

July 05, 2013 | Finz & Finz, P.C.

In-vehicle driver distractions can be blamed for many motor vehicle accidents, from the driver texting to using a cell phone, to programming a GPS for a future destination, to reaching for something in the backseat, to looking over at a passenger while talking, to eating with one hand and driving with the other, and many more.  Most of those distractions occur inside the car, and it’s too late when we see someone or something in the way of our vehicle’s path on the road.  But, in-vehicle distractions are not the only causes for motor vehicle accidents.  What are some of the distractions that occur outside of the car, and when does “being aware of our surroundings” turn into an accident?

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Additional Info: Distracted Driving

Fireworks Safety: What You Do Could Save Your Life

July 04, 2013 | Finz & Finz, P.C.

One of the country’s biggest celebrations is today, and New York celebrations are no exception.  With events that surround some of our nation’s landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and country’s capitol, the 4th of July remains one of the most colorful and celebrated holidays for families and friends to come together and relax.  Professional commercial venues and private consumers will be lighting the way toward celebration all day and evening long, culminating with grand displays that evoke “ohs” and “ahs” from the crowd, each year bigger and better than the one before.  Although some states have banned the use and sale of fireworks, many consumers will cross state lines to purchase celebratory fireworks of choice.  A word of caution, however:  fireworks in the wrong hands can be disastrous and sometimes deadly.  Here are some tips to prevent you from becoming one of the fatalities.

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Additional Info: Fireworks Accidents

Keeping Your Cool on a Field Trip Excursion

July 03, 2013 | Finz & Finz, P.C.

In all parts of the country, the summer heat can bring scorching temperatures up to the 120s, and humidity that drains us of every ounce of protective water in our bodies.  Yet, because summer is the time when most of us travel with family and friends, it’s imperative to take any type of heat-related precaution when it comes to safety during company-run field trips and hiking excursions. We sign up for river rafting trips, take part in group hikes, and ship our children off to summer camps.  In the summer, these areas can become danger zones and death traps if someone isn’t paying attention.

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Additional Info: Accidents

Extension Cords: Injuries and Misuse

July 02, 2013 | Finz & Finz, P.C.

Chances are you have extensions cords in your home office or den, ensuring power to the computer, monitor, printer and other technology devices that keep you connected to the outside world.  You may have extension cords in your living room to connect all components of your entertainment system.  Perhaps you have outdoor projects planned, and have some extension cords running from a garage outlet to behind the house so you can use that power sprayer, weed-removing tool or other outdoor equipment.  Extension cords are handy when used temporarily.  They provide us what we need for a project.  Extension cords are not intended to be used permanently, however. Yet, many consumers use them as part of their normal daily power source.

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Additional Info: Electrocution

Scaffold Accidents at Your Workplace

July 01, 2013 | Finz & Finz, P.C.

Scaffold accidents claim the lives of many construction workers annually. Falls—including falls from scaffolding—remain the number one cause of construction deaths.  The falls come from improper safety harnesses, unstable scaffolding, and reaching or working beyond components for which the equipment is capable. Certain states, through legislation, promote improvements to protect construction workers from falls that occur on the jobsite. With pros and cons on either side, it stands firm that construction accidents still occur and proper scaffold construction is necessary.

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Additional Info: Ladder/Scaffold Accidents

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