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New York City Personal Injury Law Blog

Components, the whole is only as strong as it parts

As supply chains have expanded across the world, quality assurance procedures become ever more crucial. One misstep along the way and the final product might not be safe.

That is why the announcement last week from Kobe Steel was troubling. In a public apology, the president of the company admitted fake inspection data. The metal in question was a component used to build many products, including cars and appliances.

Undiagnosed sleep apnea played a role in train accidents

The National Transportation Safety Board investigates train accidents and then issues findings and recommendations. A common issue uncovered in two somewhat recent crashes (a January 2017 Long Island Rail Road crash and September 2016 New Jersey Transit crash) was undiagnosed sleep apnea.

Each of the engineers had no memory of the crash. The NJ Transit engineer remembered looking at his watch and checking the speedometer and the next thing was a “loud bang.” Similarly, the LIRR engineer remembered approaching the terminal and then being thrown from his seat. They each suffered from undiagnosed sleep apnea.

A lesson on the deterrence effect of products liability cases

Baby powder was long touted as not just safe for kids and adults alike, but beneficial. In recent years, the public has become more aware of the dangers associated with this product. In extreme cases, long-term effects can include ovarian cancer.

We recently wrote about a California case out that resulted in a verdict against Johnson & Johnson in our August blog. What can others learn about the purpose of product liability cases from this baby powder case? A recent piece published by an economist delves into the benefits of product liability cases, using this case to opine on the merits of this area of law.

After-market installation problems uncovered

Ford Motor Company recently announced it would pay to repair Ford Explorer SUVs used by law enforcement across the country. The company blamed after-market police equipment installed on the vehicles for causing the carbon monoxide leaks.

Holes drilled in the under body left gaps that allowed exhaust to enter the vehicle’s cabin. A better seal would have avoided the issue from occurring. How was the installation/manufacturing defect discovered?

NYC eyes bike lane changes following deadly accidents

Recent fatal bicycle crashes have prompted New York Department of Transportation officials to revisit the issue of bike lanes throughout New York City, particularly in Manhattan. This year, there have already been six fatal accidents in Manhattan, (this is triple the number for all of 2016).

The rise in both measurable bicycle traffic and fatalities means that city planning officials who were dragging their proverbial feet on adding new, protected bike lanes, must act, and they must act quickly. Even though bike pathways increased by approximately 37.5 miles between 2014 and 2016, the fact that accident rates continue to rise indicates that bicycles and vehicles are not coexisting peacefully.

Liability when a failure to investigate costs lives

Last week, the Food and Drug Administration accused the maker of EpiPens with failing to investigate device failures thoroughly. For those who depend on an EpiPen firing mechanism to work when suffering a severe allergic reaction the news is troubling.

What is the responsibility of a manufacturer? For a drug maker of a product that is crucial during life-threatening emergencies, it is high. A manufacturer or seller of a product that causes personal injury because of a defective design is strictly liable.

Postnatal nurses unaware of maternal health risks

Most people are not aware of the health risks that new mothers face after childbirth. During delivery and after birth, the focus often tends to be the baby. A recent study finds that some health problems new mothers face postpartum go unnoticed.

In a ProPublica/NPR report on the new study, postpartum nurses do not always identify these health risks. It notes that 700 to 900 new mothers die each year – often needlessly. Even more striking is that another 65,000 experience other serious issues (near-fatal events) annually. What are these issues and when should you as a new mother or loved one caring for a new mother and baby seek help?

Johnson’s Baby Power verdict and causation

A California jury recently concluded that Johnson’s baby powder usage was linked to ovarian cancer. The 63-year old woman was one of many to sue Johnson & Johnson arguing long-term use of the talc-based product caused her cancer.

It has been more than a year since our last blog on the dangers of talcum powder and several more of these cases have gone to trial. Most have now gone against the company.

Citibike: Where is the helmet sharing?

Concussion and traumatic brain injury are common injuries in bike accidents. What many do not understand is that these injuries can change the trajectory of your life. Recovery may be frustratingly slow. Years later, you may still be feeling the effects.

Helmet use, however, can save lives and avoid brain injuries. How does this relate to bike sharing services, such as Citibike? New York City does not provide helmets or require riders to use them. This was not an oversight, but a decision the City made after reviewing studies that showed mandatory helmet use could decrease ridership and riders wearing helmets could be more reckless.

A strict filing deadline slams the courthouse doors shut

The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit recently ruled a claim for damages under the FTCA was too late. Because of the holding, a U.S. Citizen placed in immigration detainment – 1,273 days (three and a half years) – because of numerous errors has no remedy against the government.

FTCA – what does the acronym stand for? The Federal Tort Claims Act is how you bring a lawsuit against the government for the “wrongful or negligent act of a federal employee acting in the scope of his or her official duties.” This includes claims of medical malpractice against the VA. You must file these claims within two years of the date the claim accrues. This accrual date, however, can be very tricky and that is why we want to discuss this recent case.