Articles Posted in Personal Injury

A new regulation proposed in May by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) would require new vehicles to come equipped with automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems. These systems detect potential collisions and automatically apply the brakes to lessen the impact of a crash — or avoid it altogether. NHTSA estimates that the new regulation could prevent at least 360 deaths and 24,000 injuries annually.

This technology has been available on many automotive models for years, but it hasn’t yet been mandated. If the new regulation is adopted as proposed, it would require almost all US passenger vehicles and light trucks to have AEB systems three years after the publication of a final rule. In addition, NHTSA and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced in June that they plan to require AEB technology on heavy vehicles as well.

What Exactly is AEB Technology?

Navigating the streets of the Bay State can be treacherous for even the most seasoned of drivers. According to recent studies, Massachusetts has the fourth-worst roads in the country and Boston has the fourth-worst traffic in the world. A new Forbes Advisor report sheds more light on the issue by pinpointing the most dangerous times to drive in the state.

As it turns out, you may want to start driving more cautiously during your evening commute. According to the report, the most deadly time to drive in Massachusetts is between 5 and 6 pm. Using National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data for 2016 to 2020, Forbes Advisor found that more fatal car accidents happened in the state during this hour than during any other. The same was true for Maine and New Hampshire.

This time was slightly earlier than the country as a whole. Nationwide, the report found that 6 to 7 pm is the most dangerous hour to drive. The next most deadly time is 8 to 9 pm, followed by 9 to 10 pm. Overall, the most dangerous driving hour in the majority of states falls between 3 and 10 p.m., especially after sunset.

After the accidental shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the “Rust” set in 2021, her family agreed to settle their wrongful death lawsuit against the film’s producers. In 2023, her parents and sister filed a new suit against Alec Baldwin and other parties, alleging negligence, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and loss of consortium. While you may have heard of the other kinds of claims, what exactly is “loss of consortium”?

A loss of consortium claim seeks financial compensation for the damage to a relationship caused by the death or injury of a family member. Specifically, it is a type of personal injury claim by individuals who have lost the benefits of a close relationship, such as comfort, companionship, affection, marital intimacy, or assistance with parenting or housework.

In some states, only spouses can claim loss of consortium. In other states, parents and children may also be able to make a claim. Massachusetts loss of consortium claims are available to married couples whose spouse is injured, minor children whose parent is injured, dependent adult children whose parent is injured, and parents whose minor child is injured.

The powerful weed killer paraquat has been used in commercial agricultural applications for decades. Although direct ingestion of the herbicide can be fatal, manufacturers have maintained that paraquat is safe when used as directed. Recent research, however, has suggested that chronic exposure to the chemical may lead to Parkinson’s disease (PD).

A growing number of farmers, agricultural workers, and others exposed to paraquat have filed suit, claiming the herbicide is to blame for their illness. In fact, paraquat lawsuits have been grouped into an MDL (multidistrict litigation) that added more than 200 plaintiffs per month in 2022. The cases continue to mount in 2023, with hundreds of new paraquat Parkinson’s lawsuits joining the MDL.

The Paraquat Parkinson’s Link

Every year, dangerous baby products are recalled for a variety of reasons: choking hazards, toxic substances, suffocation risks, and more. In fact, the average year sees over 100 children’s product recalls, according to the nonprofit organization Kids in Danger (KID). Just this month, more than 3.2 million Calico Critters figures were recalled after two children’s deaths involving pacifier accessories that came with the toys.

Calico Critters Recall

On March 9, Epoch Everlasting Play recalled all of their Calico Critters animal figures and sets sold with small bottle and pacifier accessories, which can pose choking hazards. The recall came after reports of three incidents involving the pacifiers, including two deaths — a 2-year-old child in New Mexico and a 9-month-old infant in Japan.

Every year in the United States, over 100 people die and thousands more suffer injuries in ladder-related falls. While some accidents result from improper usage, others happen when the ladders themselves are defective. Even when you buy well-known brands at major retailers, products can sometimes have design flaws or manufacturing defects.

In 2018, U.S. company Werner Co. recalled about 78,000 aluminum telescoping ladders after receiving a report that the ladders can break while in use, posing fall and injury hazards. The recall affected five models of ladders sold at Home Depot and Lowe’s stores nationwide in April and May of that year.

If you have a recalled Werner ladder as posted on the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) website, immediately stop using it and return it to the store of purchase for a refund. If you were hurt while using a recalled Werner model or any brand of defective ladder, a personal injury attorney can help evaluate whether you qualify for financial compensation for your injuries.

Companies are reminding consumers not to use two recalled models of baby rocker sleepers, after more infants have died since the recalls were issued in 2019. Both announcements also include a warning that it is illegal to sell or distribute the recalled sleepers, many of which may still be in circulation.

Fisher-Price announced the recall of 4.7 million Rock ‘n Play Sleepers after at least eight additional deaths were reported, bringing the total to approximately 100 infants who have died while using the product. Kids2 announced the recall of nearly 700,000 Rocking Sleepers after at least four more babies died, bringing the total number of fatalities to 15.

Dangerous Infant Sleep Products

A problem with Exactech joint replacements that led to one recall in 2021 and an expanded recall in 2022 is now at the heart of a growing number of lawsuits from patients across the U.S. Exactech has recalled about 200,000 knee, hip, and ankle replacements since August 2021 due to an issue with the polyethylene components that can cause them to degrade prematurely.

Surgeons have already implanted over 147,000 of these potentially defective joint replacements, meaning thousands of Americans could be at risk of injuries and medical complications. Plaintiffs filing Exactech lawsuits complain that the implants fail early, leading to a variety of health symptoms and sometimes requiring revision surgery.

Exactech Joint Replacement Recall Details

The parents of a former Stanford student have sued the university following their daughter’s suicide, according to multiple news sources that have reviewed the complaint. A senior and goalkeeper for the school’s soccer team, Katie Meyer ended her life in her dorm room on February 28. At the time of her death, the 22-year-old faced disciplinary action from Stanford that put her degree on hold and threatened to remove her from the university.

Meyer Charged Over Coffee Incident

The disciplinary charges stemmed from an incident where Meyer allegedly spilled coffee on a Stanford football player accused of sexually assaulting a female soccer player. It is unclear whether the spill was accidental or whether Meyer was defending her soccer teammate.

Massachusetts residents had higher rates of traumatic brain injury-related emergency department (ED) visits than residents of any other state studied, according to a 2021 report in the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation. Over 998 per 100,000 MA residents went to an emergency room for a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in a single year, topping the list of the 25 states reporting that data. While the Commonwealth fared better on TBI-related deaths and hospitalizations, one thing is clear: brain injuries affect a substantial number of Massachusetts residents every year.

TBIs occur when a bump, blow, jolt, or penetration to the head disrupts normal brain function. Although many TBIs result in mild concussions, serious brain injury is a major cause of death and disability. In fact, a 2018 special report by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH)  indicated that TBIs contributed to 68,260 emergency room visits, 5,062 hospitalizations, and 820 deaths of MA residents in one year.

Causes of Brain Injuries in Massachusetts

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