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E-Cigarette Liability Case Brought by Burn Victim in Late June

close up portrait of a man smoking an e-cigaretteAn Illinois couple recently filed a claim against e-cigarette battery manufacturer LG and two vape stores in their state, alleging product liability. LG makes a lithium-ion battery that exploded in the pants pocket of Scott Schroeck in mid-June, causing second and third degree burns. Mr. Schroeck and his wife Denise are charging both the manufacturer of the battery and the retailers, Rockin Vape and Tobacco Zone, with failure to give adequate warnings about the danger of exploding e-cigarettes. The stores are both located in Joliet, Illinois.

The claim states that Scott Schroeck’s burns have cost $200,000 in medical charges so far. Denise Schroeck alleges negative effects on the marriage from the injuries.

Batteries in e-cigarettes are flammable

The chemicals used in lithium ion batteries are known to be extremely flammable. They are safe if manufactured and processed correctly when placed in the device, and if the device is designed properly.

Unfortunately, however, manufacture, integration, and design is far from perfect. The batteries can short circuit or catch on fire as a result of “thermal runaway,” a chemical reaction that causes the battery to catch on fire. Both these accidents, in turn, can be caused by battery damage, too rapid recharge, extreme temperatures, the juxtaposition of other metal material, or using chargers from the aftermarket.

Scott Schroeck has indicated that he had two batteries in his pocket when one caught on fire.

Injuries from e-cig explosions and fires rising

The number of injuries from exploding e-cigarettes and their batteries has been rising for several years. In 2015, the American Burn Association noted several hundred injuries from e-cigarettes that year.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) believes that the injury rate from exploding e-cigarettes is underreported. The agency believes that explosions may occur when no one is injured, and thus not inclined to report the incident. In addition, news reports cause the number of reports to rise, indicating a number not reported without the impetus of a recent similar event.

Another U.S. agency, the Federal Aviation Administration, indicates that more than 80 emergency events have been reported in the past four years from accidents related to lithium battery powered items. The events have ranged from unplanned landings to fires igniting in mid-flight.

The risks have caused some lithium powered devices, including e-cigarettes, Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones, and hover boards, to be banned or restricted by the FAA.

Last year, all forms of electronic smoking products were banned from flights and checked baggage by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA). These products include e-cigarettes and vape pens.

Do you need an attorney?

The increasingly clear dangers posed by e-cigarettes, vape pens, and lithium-powered batteries can no longer be ignored. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries or died as a result of an accident caused by one of these products, attorneys from Edelman, Krasin & Jaye can help. We are seasoned personal injury attorneys who will fight for justice. Compensation from a New York e-cigarette lawsuit can cover medical bills, lost wages, retraining, and emotional loss or harm.

Call us today for a free initial consultation at 1-800-469-7429. We can meet you in New York City or Long Island at your convenience.

Additional “e-cigarette burn injury” resources:

  1. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Vaporizers, E-Cigarettes, and Other Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS). https://www.fda.gov/TobaccoProducts/Labeling/ProductsIngredientsComponents/ucm456610.htm
  2. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. FDA Warns of Health Risks Posed by E-Cigarettes. https://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm173401.htm

Plea Deal for Impaired Driver Shocks Victims’ Families

In July of 2015, eight women were departing from a tour of a North Fork vineyard. At about 5 p.m. in Cutchogue, the women’s limousine executed a legal, but ill-advised U-turn on County Route 48. A pick-up truck driven by Steven Romeo T-boned the limo, killing three of the women nearly instantly. A fourth died at the hospital. Two others suffered critical injuries. Recently, the case reached an unsatisfactory conclusion for the four families of the victims.

Plea deal causes outrage

The truck driver had originally been charged with driving while intoxicated and driving while ability impaired by alcohol (DWAI) after the deaths of Brittney Schulman, Lauren Baruch, Stephanie Belli, and Amy Grabina, who were all in their early 20s. According to the prosecutors, Romeo’s blood alcohol content was 0.06 percent, measured about 90 minutes after the crash. The prosecutors did not feel there was sufficient evidence to obtain a conviction, and so a plea deal was arranged.

Romeo pleaded guilty to driving while ability impaired, which is a traffic infraction that resulted in a 90-day license suspension and an $885 fine. Audible gasps were heard from the families of the victims, who were present in the courtroom at the time.

However, the Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney John Scott Prudenti asserts that the responsibility for the crash rests with the limo driver, not with Romeo. “A sober driver would not have been able to react and prevent the crash based upon the limo driver’s actions that day,” said Prudenti. ““A professional driver had put them in harm’s way by carelessly and negligently making that ill-advised turn into oncoming traffic.”

Wrongful death lawsuits

Despite the dismay they experienced in the courtroom, the families of the victims do have legal recourse available to them. As they exited the courtroom, the families briefly mentioned their plans to sue both Romeo and the limo driver, Carlos Pino. Although U-turns are legal in that particular area, parties involved with the case have suggested that it was inappropriate for the driver of a limo to make such a maneuver because of the limited space. The Suffolk County District Attorney, Thomas Spota, gave this statement regarding Pino: “He failed to take any precaution or any action to make sure he could safely enter the westbound lanes. He continued to attempt to make his turn without stopping, without looking.”

The limo driver was later indicted by a grand jury on four counts of criminally negligent homicide. However, in October 2016, a judge dismissed all of the charges on the basis of improper grand jury testimony.

Because criminal cases and civil lawsuits proceed entirely separately from each other, filing a wrongful death lawsuit is still an option, even if a defendant does not face criminal charges or is found not guilty.

Effective legal advocates in New York

Car crashes are rarely as straightforward as they might appear at first. At Edelman, Krasin & Jaye, our clients can take advantage of our substantial resources and personalized, courteous attention. Our litigators have the experience necessary to effectively handle drunk driving cases, limo crashes, and wrongful death cases.

Our Long Island car accident lawyers are dedicated to securing maximum compensation for our clients, and we never charge a fee unless we win. You can request a free case review by calling today.

Additional “Long Island limo crash” resources

  1. CBS New York, Victims’ Families Call Plea Deal For Driver In Deadly Long Island Limo Crash A Disgrace, http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2017/04/26/long-island-limo-crash-guilty-plea/
  2. The New York Times, Driver Charged in Fatal Limousine Crash on Long Island Left Scene, Prosecutor Says, https://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/21/nyregion/driver-charged-in-fatal-long-island-crash-left-scene-prosecutor-says.html?_r=0
  3. CBS New York, Limo Driver Indicted In Fatal Long Island Crash, http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2016/03/16/long-island-limo-crash-indictment/

Lawsuits Filed in New York and Texas Claim Damages from Exploding E-Cigarettes

close up portrait of a man smoking an e-cigaretteTwo lawsuits were recently filed charging that exploding e-cigarettes caused injury to men in New York and Texas.

The separate claims showed similar patterns of damage. The New York man, Otis Gooding, suffered second and third degree burns all along his leg and his right hand when an e-cigarette exploded and began burning in his pants pocket. A surveillance video shows sparks flying as he attempts to put out the fire.

He faced a lengthy hospital stay and skin grafts. Gooding is suing both the manufacturer and the store where he bought the product.

The Texas man, Navy veteran Matthew Bonestele, suffered third degree burns to his right leg and severe damage to his right thigh. A battery, the LG Chem HG2 18650, exploded in his pocket.

Bonestele’s suit brought charges against the manufacturer, LG Chem America, Inc. for defect design and manufacture, and also for not placing warnings on the product alerting purchasers to the defect. Distributors Lightfire Group, LLC and Great Vapes LLC, where he bought the product, are also charged.

Exploding e-cigarettes: the problem continues

Electronic cigarettes and vaporizers have increasingly been shown to be very unsafe. These products, their chargers, and their batteries pose very serious risks of explosions and burns.

As evidence rises that e-cigarettes and related products are unsafe, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Medical Association are increasingly considering regulation.

In 2016, the FDA was given a mandate to regulate all manufacture, packaging, labeling, advertising, promotion, sale, distribution, and importation of these products.

Increasingly, specific regulations and legislation are being enacted against e-cigarette use. They are currently not allowed on checked luggage because of the risk of in-flight fire. They are also prohibited on any Navy fleet due to the risk of injury to personnel.

In April 2017, the FDA will hold a public workshop to discuss safety concerns about e-cigarettes. The results will be made public in May 2017.

If your e-cigarette explodes

The e-cigarette explosion lawyers at Edelman Krasin & Jaye believe every e-cigarette user needs to be warned about the risks and dangers posed by these products, their batteries, and their chargers.

Given the dangers reported so far, it might be prudent to stop using e-cigarettes until more regulation is forthcoming.

If you have experienced injuries from using an e-cigarette, contact our firm immediately for a consultation at no charge to you. We will discuss your legal rights to compensation under product liability law.

We recommend the following steps if you have been harmed by e-cigarettes:

  1. Keep any evidence, including the device, battery, and charger. Any burned clothing or other damaged items should be kept.
  2. Take pictures of this evidence and any injuries or other damage. Pictures should be taken as soon as possible, from a cell phone if necessary.
  3. Get all medical records pertaining to the incident.
  4. Check if surveillance video that recorded any incident is available.

Our seasoned lawyers have fought for the rights of injury victims for more than 60 years. Call us toll free to speak with a product liability lawyer now.

Additional “e-cig injury lawsuit” resources:

  1. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Tobacco Products. Vaporizers, E-Cigarettes, and Other Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS). https://www.fda.gov/TobaccoProducts/Labeling/ProductsIngredientsComponents/ucm456610.htm
  2. Villeda, Ray. “Man Injured by Exploding E-Cigarette Sues Manufacturers, NYC Shop.” NBC Channel 4, New York. April 12, 2017. http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/NYC-Man-Injured-by-Exploding-E-Cigarette-Sues-Manufactures-Shop-419304364.html
  3. Wolf, Mackenzie. “Navy Veteran Whose E-Cigarette Exploded Files a Lawsuit.” NavyTimes, April 18, 2017. https://www.navytimes.com/articles/navy-veteran-whose-e-cigarette-exploded-files-a-lawsuit

The Alarming Rise in Dog Bite Injuries

Dog attackAs National Dog Bite Prevention Week wraps up this April, troubling statistics have been released regarding the recent uptick in dog bite injuries. A report released by State Farm Insurance in collaboration with the Insurance Information Institute revealed that in 2016, there were 18,123 dog-related injuries reported. That’s a substantial rise from 2015, which saw 15,352 dog bite injuries reported. If you or a loved one is attacked by someone else’s dog, you should know that there are options for securing compensation for medical bills, emotional trauma, and similar losses.

Dog bite injury compensation

As they recover from their physical wounds and emotional trauma, dog attack victims can explore legal avenues for demanding compensation from the negligent party. Since 2003, the average compensation paid for dog bite injuries has climbed by 73.4 percent. Insurance Information Institute Vice President Loretta Worters said this jump in compensation was due to “increased medical costs as well as the size of settlements, judgments, and jury awards given to plaintiffs.”

In 2016, the average claim for dog bite injuries resulted in compensation of $33,230. Californians had the highest number of dog bite injuries—1,934. However, New York had the highest payout per claim at $55,671.

For victims of dog attacks, these high payouts are a way to get their lives back on track after suffering setbacks like substantial medical bills, lost wages, disfigurement, and psychological trauma. Dog bite claims can also cover damaged or destroyed property, such as torn clothing or handbags.

What to do after a dog attacks

During an attack, your first priority is to get away from the dog. You can use a trash can, handbag, briefcase, or any other nearby object to put a barrier between you and the dog. Once you’re safe, you should call 911 immediately if you’ve been seriously injured. Otherwise, get to the nearest urgent care center or hospital and inform the doctor that you’ve just been attacked by a dog. Be sure to save your co-pay receipts and all other documentation pertaining to the attack.

You’ll need to contact the animal control agency for your municipality and provide information about the dog, such as where the incident took place and whether you know who the owner is.

Your next priority is to contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal options. In New York, dog bite laws are quite complex. Your lawyer will consider all aspects of the case, including whether the dog had previously been declared dangerous due to a prior attack.

Exploring your options after a dog attack?

Call the personal injury law firm of Edelman, Krasin & Jaye in NYC today to request a free case review. There’s no charge and no obligation. During your case review, one of our skilled litigators will explain the merits of your case and discuss your options for securing compensation for your dog bite injuries. Our dedication to upholding the rights of our clients has contributed to the sterling reputation of our law firm in the Bronx and Long Island.

Additional “dog bite injury” resources

  1. Insurance Information Institute, Dog Bite Homeowners Liability Claims Nationwide Increased 18 Percent; California, Florida And New York Lead Nation In Number of Claims, http://www.iii.org/press-release/dog-bite-homeowners-liability-claims-nationwide-increased-18-percent-california-florida-and-new-york-lead-nation-in-number-of-claims-040517
  2. DogsBite.org, Dog Bite Statistics, http://www.dogsbite.org/dog-bite-statistics.php

Lawsuit Filed After E-Cigarette Explodes in New Jersey Man’s Pocket

close up portrait of a man smoking an e-cigaretteA lawsuit was recently filed alleging that an exploding e-cigarette in a New Jersey man’s pants pocket caused severe burns to his leg and emotional hardship sufficient to alter his life. The suit alleges that the store that sold the product, Gorilla Vapes, and LG Chem LTD, a company making e-liquids, knew the product was both defective and dangerous.

Gorilla Vapes sells e-cigarettes and e-liquids in New Jersey, with roughly six stores scattered throughout the state. The exploding product was bought in one. The company’s website indicates that it both sells and develops “designer e-cigs.”

Medical costs sought in e-cig injury lawsuit

The lawsuit was brought by the alleged victim and his wife, William and Kathleen Barrese. Mr. Barrese was hospitalized and consulted a specialist after the explosion, which caused flames to shoot down his leg. He carried the e-cigarette in his pocket at work.

The accident happened in late December. The suit is seeking damages, ongoing medical costs, and legal fees.

Exploding e-cigarettes: an ongoing problem

Electronic cigarettes and vaporizers (where the term “vaping” comes from), are often marketed and used as a way of curbing tobacco smoking, and thus limiting the health risks of smoking.

However, they have turned out to have an unexpected consequence that is not safe. It is increasingly clear that these products pose a serious danger of explosion and burns.

The recent New Jersey suit is one in a line alleging malfunctioning batteries. They can short, explode, and catch on fire. All of this can cause serious burns and other harm to users and people and property in proximity to them.

These lawsuits and reports also indicate problems with charges, both manufacturer and third party. These can also supercharge and explode.

In the e-cig or charger is kept in a pants pocket with change and keys, the metal contact can cause the battery to short and explode.

Given the accumulating evidence that the devices themselves are not safe, both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Medical Association are becoming increasingly interested in regulating them. This is a separate issue from their healthcare-related safety, as products curtailing tobacco use.

Last year, the FDA’s authority was extended to cover all manufacture, packaging, labeling, advertising, promotion, sale, distribution, and importation of these products.

In April 2017, the FDA will hold a public workshop to discuss the safety concerns regarding these products. The results will be made public in May 2017.

If your e-cigarette explodes

The e-cigarette explosion lawyers at Edelman Krasin & Jaye want to give all e-cig users a warning about the potential dangers posed by the batteries.

If you have experienced injuries from a device or battery, contact our firm immediately for a free consultation. We will discuss your legal rights to compensation under product liability law.

Given the uncertainty, it might be wise to cease using e-cigarette products until the safety picture is clarified. However, if you have been the victim of an exploding or burning e-cigarette, take prudent steps:

  • Save any evidence, including the device, battery, and charger. Any burned clothing or damaged items should be saved.
  • Take pictures of this evidence and any injuries or other damage.
  • Get all relevant medical records
  • Ask if surveillance video that documented the explosion is available.

We have experienced lawyers who have fought for injury victims for more than 50 years. Call us today for a free case review with a product liability lawyer.

Additional “e-cigarette explosion lawsuit” resources:

  1. McCarthy, Craig. “Man Sues After E-Cig Explodes in Pocket, Shooting Flames Down Pants.” NJ.com. March 27, 2017. http://www.nj.com/middlesex/index.ssf/2017/03/nj_man_sues_after_e-cig_explodes_in_pocket_shootin.html
  2. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Tobacco Products. Vaporizers, E-Cigarettes, and Other Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS). https://www.fda.gov/TobaccoProducts/Labeling/ProductsIngredientsComponents/ucm456610.htm

Deaths from Traumatic Brain Injury Rise in Elderly

More elderly people are dying from traumatic brain injury (TBI), according to a recent report from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The data, published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), noted that in general fatalities caused by TBI declined in the 2007-2013 period. However, the drop in the general population was caused by a reduction in TBI-related fatalities related to car accidents. Traumatic brain injury in people over 75 years old rose, likely as a result of falls.

A separate CDC report, issued in 2015, noted that the number of fall-related deaths in the elderly doubled between 2000 and 2013.

In the overall population, according to the MMWR, a fall was the most frequent cause of a head injury, accounting for 47%. Being hit by an object and car accidents were the second and third most common causes, respectively.

TBI-related emergency room visits rise dramatically in elderly

Overall, U.S. hospitals saw 2.8 million TBI-related incidents in 2013, in emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and fatalities.

ER visits alone rose 56% overall in the period, to 2.5 million from the 1.6 million recorded in 2007. TBIs related to falls among the elderly (people over 75) constituted 18% of the climb.

Hospitalizations related to concussions were also up among patients over 75 years old in the period, a rise attributed chiefly to falls.

Traumatic brain injury causes 30% of all deaths related to injuries. Close to 1 in 50 emergency room visits overall are for injuries related to TBI.

Identifying risks for traumatic brain injury in the elderly

The MMWR noted that, given the rise of TBI-related falls in the elderly, more attention needed to be paid to effectively identifying risks and necessary interventions.

Nursing homes and assisted-living facilities, for example, need to be careful of overprescribing sedatives, which may contribute to falls, difficulty walking, and mental impairment. Exercise, medication management, and safe surroundings can all be implemented to make the elderly safe from falls.

For the live-at-home elderly, interventions might also include medication management and environmental adjustments, such as anchoring rugs and letting in more light for optimal vision.

Hurt in a fall? Contact a personal injury attorney

Edelman, Krasin & Jaye are seasoned personal injury lawyers who have practiced in New York state for over five decades. Have you or a loved one been hurt or lost a life in an injury caused by a fall? If so, we can explain your rights under personal injury law. You may be able to claim just compensation for medical bills and more.

For a complimentary consultation, call us today. Our attorneys can provide you with a thorough review of your case and clear explanation of your legal options. We can also come to you if traveling is an issue.

Additional “elderly risk for brain injuries” resources

  1. Taylor, Christopher A., et al. “Traumatic Brain Injury–Related Emergency Department Visits, Hospitalizations, and Deaths — United States, 2007 and 2013.” MMWRSurveillance Summaries, March 17, 2017 / 66(9);1–16. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/66/ss/ss6609a1.htm
  2. United States Centers for Disease Control. Home and Recreational Safety. Older Adult Falls. Important Facts About Falls. https://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/falls/adultfalls.html

Injured Man Receives $5.4 Million Award Due to Brain Damage

A  jury recently determined that a 63-year-old man who fell off his bicycle as a result of a defect in a road under construction should receive over $5.4 million from Pennsylvania’s Department of Transportation (PennDOT). PennDOT was doing construction on the road near a suburb of Philadelphia at the time of the plaintiff’s fall.

Failure to maintain road and negligent design alleged

The man, David Carletti, suffered brain damage in the accident. He hit a patch on the road that caused him to be ejected from the bike’s seat. His head hit the pavement as a result. He suffered brain damage, broken ribs and vertebra, and is subject to ongoing seizures.

Carletti brought a suit against his bike helmet’s manufacturer as well as PennDOT. The manufacturer settled out-of-court for an undisclosed sum. Claims against PennDOT were negligence in design and failure of road maintenance.

The total award, $5.46 million, included $2.5 million for medical expenses and lost wages and $2 million in pain and suffering to Carletti. His wife received $1 million for loss of consortium.

Pennsylvania state law limits civil damages against any agency of the state to a $250,000 maximum settlement. Both Carletti and his wife are expected to receive the maximum.

Personal injury liability involved in case

The case illustrates key tenets of personal injury law. Injured parties can bring a suit provided that the entity that caused their injury was negligent. Negligence is often determined by reference to whether a duty of care was owed and whether the other entity knew or should have known that the conditions were dangerous.

PennDOT is charged with maintaining Pennsylvania’s roads in part to make them safe. In addition, although the state maintained that it was not road defects that made Carletti fall off the bike, the jury found for the plaintiff, indicating that they did not agree with the state’s defense.

An accident reconstruction expert was credited with providing the jury with compelling testimony about the cause of the accident.

Mr. Carletti has brain damage and does not remember the incident.

Consulting an attorney about a personal injury

Edelman, Krasin & Jaye are experienced personal injury lawyers who have practiced in New York state for more than five decades. If you or a loved one have been hurt in an accident caused by another party’s negligence, you deserve just compensation for lost time at work, medical bills, and more. We can explain liability laws in New York State.

Call us today for a complimentary consultation. Our bicycle accident attorneys will answer all your questions about the strengths and weaknesses of your legal case and work tirelessly for just compensation.

  1. Associated Press. “Jury: PennDOT Owes Cyclist, Wife $5.4M Over Brain Injuries.” WJAC, March 13, 2017. http://wjactv.com/news/nation-world/jury-penndot-owes-cyclist-wife-54m-over-brain-injuries
  2. Mitchell, Max. “Delco Jury Awards $5.4M to Brain-Damaged Cyclist.” The Legal Intelligencer. March 9, 2017. http://www.thelegalintelligencer.com/id=1202780966598/Delco-Jury-Awards-54M-to-BrainDamaged-Cyclist?slreturn=20170216112633

Woman Charges Uber with Sexual Assault and False Imprisonment by Driver

Car Accident Lawsuit New YorkOn February 23, a Minnesota woman brought a lawsuit against ride-share service Uber, charging that the company does not adequately screen its drivers and that, after using an Uber service, the driver sexually assaulted her and held her against her will.

The woman was identified as “Jane Doe.” The driver was identified as Abdel Jaquez. The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Was Uber negligent in hiring and screening?

The facts of the suit indicate that on August 5, 2016, the plaintiff and some friends used the Uber app to get a ride. The driver, Jacquez, gave the group his direct number to get in touch with him later in the evening, for a second ride.

During the second ride, Jacquez is alleged to have propositioned the plaintiff. After she refused, he grabbed her aggressively and committed a sexual assault.

The plaintiff’s suit claims Uber Technologies is negligent in its driver hiring and screening practices. It is alleged that a sufficient background check would have revealed that Jaquez had a prior arrest for a sexual crime against another person. The usual standard in the taxi industry is a thorough background check based on fingerprints. The charge alleges that, had Uber done such a check, the incident could have been avoided.

The suit states that Uber, as a transportation company and common carrier, is “directly liable for its negligent hiring, supervision, and retention of Jaquez, directly liable for its advertising misrepresentations holding out its transportation service as a safer alternative to taxis for women.”

The suit also states that the company “placed profits over safety by deliberately lowering the bar for drivers in order to rapidly expand its network of drivers and thus its profits.”

Growing evidence of Uber liability raises concerns

The case unfortunately joins a growing list of cases in which ride-share services like Uber and Lyft have been found guilty of negligence in screening their drivers. The drivers have been charged with a variety of actions, including murder, manslaughter, and rape.

At one point, the ride-share services were attempting to argue that the liability was borne by the drivers alone, as they are contractors and not employees. Courts, however, have increasingly found the companies liable for not conducting proper background checks.

In addition, the companies charge a safe ride fee intended to cover motor vehicle screenings and driver safety education.

Recently, the California Public Utilities Commission ruled that Uber and Lyft do owe a duty to passengers. More stringent regulations make the responsibilities and potential liabilities of rideshare services more congruent with traditional taxi drivers. The responsibilities include regular vehicle inspections, more stringent and detailed background checks, mandated proof of liability insurance, and heightened transparency about past driver suspensions and deactivations.

Filing a lawsuit against a ride sharing company

Attorneys at Edelman, Krasin & Jaye understand ride sharing liability laws inside and out. We are experienced with laws concerning the ride-share services like Uber and Lyft. Our commercial vehicle accident lawyers guide plaintiffs through the process of filing Uber accident claims and help them pursue maximum compensation for their injuries and losses.  Call today for a free consultation today.

Additional Uber lawsuit resources

  1. Farivar, Cyrus. “Woman: After I Rebuffed My Uber Driver’s Advances, He Tried to Rape Me.” ArsTechnica, February 25, 2017. https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/02/woman-sues-uber-claims-driver-with-prior-record-attempted-to-rape-her/
  2. Rosenblatt, Joel. “Uber Settles Lawsuit Over Driver Sexual Assault Claims.” Bloomberg, November 3, 2016. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-11-03/uber-settles-lawsuit-over-driver-sexual-assault-claims

Traffic Deaths Show Most Dramatic Rise in More than 50 Years

auto Accident Victim Waits Outside of Her CarAccording to data from the National Safety Council (NSC), traffic deaths likely rose 6% in 2016. Combined with the 14% climb in 2015, the number of traffic deaths in the past two years have shown the most dramatic spike since 1964 — more than 50 years ago.

The preliminary 2016 figures indicate that up to 40,000 people died on the nation’s roadways last year. The rise means that 2016 was the most dangerous year on the road in nine years, since 2007.

Roughly 4.6 million people on the nation’s roads were injured significantly enough to seek medical attention. The overall cost of vehicle accidents was $432 billion.

Driver actions the cause of growing crash rate

Why are deaths and accidents so high, and rising at such a significant rate?

Unfortunately, it seems to be the actions of drivers themselves. Eighty-three percent of drivers polled by the NSC believe that driving is a safety concern. However, in the same group, 64% confess to feeling comfortable speeding, 47% text, either manually or via voice apps, and 13% drive while under the influence of marijuana. Ten percent drive under the influence of alcohol.

The NSC points out that these actions — and any accidents they cause — are entirely preventable. Deborah A.P. Hersman, NSC President and CEO of the NSC, also observed that the U.S. is behind the rest of the developed world in road deaths.

Traffic death solutions advised

The NSC also wants a number of solutions implemented. If enacted across the country, the nation’s deaths from vehicle accidents could be near zero. The solutions include:

  • Expand existing texting while driving laws, including hands-free texting.
  • Require placing ignition interlocks for vehicles of people found guilty of drunk driving and increased education about substance impairment.
  • Utilize automated enforcement methods to catch speeding drivers.
  • Move seat belt laws to primary enforcement from secondary and expand their use to every passenger in every kind of vehicle.
  • Use a three-tiered license system for all new drivers less than 21 years of age. (Currently, this is done only for drivers less than 18 years old.)
  • Manufacture vehicles with safety technologies that can save lives. These include adaptive headlights, automatic emergency braking, monitoring of blind spots, and lane department warnings.
  • Strengthen motorcycle helmet requirements.
  • Institute comprehensive pedestrian safety programs.

Do you need to consult an attorney about an accident?

Edelman, Krasin & Jaye attorneys are seasoned practitioners with wide experience in New York State law regarding accidents. If you or a loved one have been hurt or lost a life in a vehicle accident, we can work with you to gain compensation for lost time at work, medical bills, and more. We can explain liability laws in New York State.

If this has happened to you, call us today for a complimentary consultation. Our vehicle accident attorney team will work for you to receive just compensation.

Additional “traffic death” resources

  1. National Safety Council. Driver Safety Public Opinion Poll. February 2017. http://www.nsc.org/NewsDocuments/2017/Driver-Safety-Poll.pdf
  2. Statistics Department, National Safety Council. NSC Motor Vehicle Fatality Estimates. http://www.nsc.org/NewsDocuments/2017/12-month-estimates.pdf

Report Cites Multiple Cases of Rape, Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes

nursing home residentA new investigation by news organization CNN reveals that U.S. nursing homes can all too easily be sites of rape and sexual abuse against patients by the very people charged with providing their care.

The report, “Sick, Dying and Raped in America’s Nursing Homes,” focuses on the case of George Kpingbah, a Minnesota nursing home aide who committed multiple sexual offenses over a period of at least six years. Despite the repeated crimes against a vulnerable population, he was brought to justice only when the rape of an 83-year-old patient was directly witnessed by another nursing home employee.

Police, nursing homes slow to investigate evidence of abuse

The CNN reports also shines an important light on the multiple issues present in nursing home abuse nationwide.

First, nursing homes don’t always report or investigate allegations or evidence of abuse. They may not believe the allegations. Or, they may be trying to protect the reputation of the nursing home.

Second, police are also slow and sometimes reluctant to investigate. Many senior residents of nursing homes exhibit memory loss or cannot adequately recall — and adequately repeat without changing — a sequence of events. A less-than-cohesive narrative alleging rape or abuse may not elicit police belief.

Third, to successfully make a charge of rape or abuse, there must be evidence. If activities, injuries or fluids are not witnessed, captured, or documented, there may be little chance of successful prosecution and redress. Kpingbah was only suspected and charged because of a witness.

Fourth, employees who abuse nursing home residents are often free to simply move to the next position. There is no central place for flagging suspicious or accusations.

Fifth, there is no national database for reporting elder abuse.

Sixth, and perhaps most heart-breaking, the elderly themselves are often ashamed and reluctant to report abuse.

The law and your loved ones

If you suspect that your loved one has suffered rape or sexual assault in a nursing home, you have multiple recourse. Depending on the nature of the injury, the perpetrator may be charged with rape, sexual assault, or elder abuse. A perpetrator can also be charged with personal injury or wrongful death.

If nursing homes had knowledge of the abuse and failed to prevent it, they too can be charged with crimes including personal injury or wrongful death.

If you or a loved one has suffered harm

If you or a loved one in Long Island or New York City have suffered harm because of any type of elder abuse, please contact us immediately to discuss possible legal recourse and redress.

Edelman, Krasin & Jaye are leading personal injury lawyers in New York City and Long Island. We will fight for those harmed at the hands of negligent healthcare professionals.

Call Edelman, Krasin & Jaye for a confidential, complimentary consultation. We are experts who will provide you with options.

Additional nursing home abuse resources

  1. Elder Abuse. Healthy Aging. Office of Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Womenshealth.gov. https://www.womenshealth.gov/aging/safety-abuse/elder-abuse.html
  2. Ellis, Blake and Melanie Hicken. “Sick, Dying and Raped in America’s Nursing Homes.” CNN. http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2017/02/health/nursing-home-sex-abuse-investigation/