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New York City Personal Injury Law Blog

Which court decides class action products liability cases?

When a defective product is marketed and sold, the damage can be immediate or it might take years to uncover. These cases may relate to a defectively designed dresser that tips over and kills a child or a medical device or drug that causes harm (for example, transvaginal mesh or Plavix).

A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision Bristol-Myers Squibb v. Superior Court of California looks at the question of which court should hear these claims, especially when there are many people affected. This case continues a trend to limit state-court jurisdiction.

New law would extend time limits in medical malpractice claims

National Cancer Survivors’ Day was recently celebrated on June 4 to celebrate those who have survived, those who are currently battling cancer and their families/communities. With a prompt diagnosis the odds for survival are much higher than in the past.

A delay in diagnosis, on the other hand, can allow the disease to spread to the point that treatment options are no longer available. When a radiologist or other physician notices something suspicious but fails to follow up on it, a malpractice claim may provide a remedy. But strict deadlines apply for New York families. Lavern’s law proposes to extend the time allowed to bring a claim.

What federal safety regulations exist for commercial trucks?

Commercial truck accidents cause the most serious injuries on New York roads. Not only is weight differential a factor, but an industry that pushes drivers to stay on the road to meet deadlines also contributes.

Safety regulations are in place to prevent these catastrophic truck crashes. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) dictates when vehicle inspections need to take place. The agency also sets the number of hours a driver can spend behind the wheel. In this post, we will provide an overview of these rules.

Buckle up: every time, every person

Very few things are in your control in the split seconds leading up to a car accident. For instance, you cannot control the weather, the reckless and negligent behaviors of others, the way your car handles or your vehicle’s response to an impact.

Wearing a seat belt, on the other hand, is in your control. You can and should buckle up every time you get behind the wheel. And make sure everyone else is wearing their seat belt, whether they are in the front or the back of the car. Unfortunately, people across New York – who likely know the benefits of seat belt use – still fail to click them and then sustain serious injury because of it.

“Crypto” outbreaks increase: Is that pool still safe?

Cryptosporidium, a microscopic parasite, can lead to weeks of misery once ingested. Symptoms for healthy people include nausea, stomach cramps and diarrhea and can last several weeks. For anyone immuno-suppressed or with an underlying health condition, fighting the illness is even tougher.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that outbreaks had doubled from 16 in 2014 to 32 in 2016 in pools and water parks across the country. Ohio was one of the hardest hit states with nearly 2,000 people falling ill.

Stories of breast implant-associated lymphoma

A diagnosis of breast cancer in her mid-30s while raising a young child was only the first part of a nightmare battle. After chemotherapy and the agonizing decision to go with complete breast removal and reconstructive surgery with implants, she was cancer-free.

For six years at least – the implants had lead to another form of cancer. Breast implant-associated anaplastic large-cell lymphoma has been linked to textured implants that may cause inflammation that develops into cancer. We wrote about these links in a March blog post.

Unintended acceleration: More than floor mats and pedal design

When 89 fatalities and numerous serious injuries are caused by unintended acceleration, why isn’t there more media coverage? It might be because software/hardware failure is not easy to pinpoint especially when source code is proprietary.

More lawsuits allege that Toyota failed to exercise reasonable care in developing and testing code that controls the throttle in its vehicles. Software engineering processes have become the issue in these trials. We’ll explain more in this blog and link to additional resources.

Malpractice claims against federally qualified health centers

Federal funding of a healthcare clinic affects the amount of time to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit. In New York, there are more than 100 health centers that receive federal funds. Claims against the appropriate federal agency, not the clinic or the doctor, must be brought within two years.

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services maintains a directory that lists community-based federally qualified health centers (FQHCs). In New York City, a few include Betances Health Center, the New York and Presbyterian Hospital and the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center. These clinics receive federal funding to provide services from primary care to maternal and child health care.

Delay in sepsis diagnosis and treatment can be fatal

As a parent, it may be tough to identify when a child is simply whining or instead very ill. A young child may not have the right words to convey where it hurts. An older child's symptoms may mimic something benign, but could actually be very serious.

When a 12-year-old boy died five years ago, it was because the symptoms of sepsis mirrored those of a stomach bug. A resulting New York program has sought to speed identification and treatment of sepsis. The advocacy of the boy's parents has meant that 4,727 fewer people have died from this condition across our state.

Does glyphosate, a main ingredient in Roundup, cause cancer?

To the many people who have developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after exposure to glyphosate, the answer is yes. This type of cancer that starts in the lymphatic system has been on the increase. The International Agency for Research on Cancer listed the main ingredient in Roundup a “probable carcinogen” two years ago after research supported a link with the cancer.

On the other side is Monsanto, who defends its flagship product as completely safe, stating “Glyphosate is not a carcinogen.” The scale of use in the U.S. makes this an important debate – more than 220 million pounds of glyphosate were applied to genetically modified Roundup-ready soybean, corn and cotton crops in 2015.