September 2007

Car Driver is Injured After Driving Under 18-Wheeler Truck in Charlotte, North Carolina

September 27, 2007, by Michael A. DeMayo

The driver of a car was injured in west Charlotte, North Carolina on Sunday after the motor vehicle collided with an 18-wheeler truck. Medics took the driver, who had serious injuries, to Carolinas Medical Center. The motor vehicle accident took place on Billy Graham Parkway and West Boulevard.

The car ended up going under the truck and being completely totaled. Police have been working on determining the cause of the truck accident.

Any time a person is involved in a motor vehicle accident involving a large truck, there is a good chance that the persons involved who were not riding in the truck may have sustained serious injuries. Large trucks tend to be very heavy in weight as well size. While the driver of a truck may be protected by the size and weight of a truck during a collision with a motorcycle or small car, the passengers in the other vehicles may not be as lucky.

By law, truck drivers have to adhere to stricter standards of safety than the drivers of cars and motorcycles. Regardless, truck accidents do occur, and the injuries that result are often serious and life threatening.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident in North Carolina or South Carolina because a driver acted negligently or carelessly, you should speak with a personal injury attorney right away.

Your attorney can investigate the accident scene and the vehicles involved while the evidence is still preserved. He or she can also look at the truck driver’s log reports to see whether the truck driver had been driving longer the legally allowed driving time for truck drivers when the accident occurred.

Some common causes of motor vehicle accidents involving trucks:

• Driver fatigue
• Not enough truck driver training
• Drunk driving
• Improperly loaded trucks
• Negligence
• Carelessness
• A truck that is poorly maintained
• Speeding
• Equipment failure
• Jackknifing
• Driving for a longer period of time than is legally allowed
• Using the cell phone while driving
• Reckless driving

Not only can the truck driver be held liable for a victim’s injuries, but the truck company and the company that hired the truck can also be named as responsible parties if evidence shows that they acted negligently—whether directly or indirectly—and were also responsible for the accident taking place.

Driver Runs Into 18-Wheeler, Rushed To Hospital, WSOCTV.com, September 23, 2007

Related Web Resources:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Facts About Trucks – Eighteen Wheelers, The Truckers Report

Graco and Simplicity Recall One Million Cribs After Crib Deaths

September 24, 2007, by Michael A. DeMayo

The Consumer Product Safety Commission announced on Friday that Simplicity is recalling 1 million cribs, some of them with the Graco label, after reports that three infants had become trapped, suffocated, and died in their defective cribs.

Reported deaths attributed to the cribs include:

• 9-month-old Liam Johns who died in a faulty crib in 2005.
• 6-month-old Edward Millwood who died in a Simplicity crib in November 2006.
• A 1-year-old died in a newer model that has not been recalled but is under investigation.

All three children were in cribs that had drop-rail sides that had been installed upside down. The error left a gap in the cribs where a child could fall into and suffocate.

At least seven other infants have gotten trapped in defective cribs. 55 incidents have been reported where the drop sides came off or did not hold to the cribs’ sides.

An attorney for Liam Johns said that it took the Consumer Product Safety Commission more than two years to respond to the complaint that the infant had died from a faulty crib.

Simplicity Inc. is the manufacturer of the cribs, all of which were made in China. This is the second largest crib recall since 1972. In another crib recall last June, the CPSC recalled 40,000 Nursery-in-a-Box cribs, also made by Simplicity. The recall was issued because the assembly instructions were incorrect.

The American Academy of Pediatrics offers the following tips on choosing a crib and ensuring that it is safe for use:

• Look for Juvenile Product Manufacturers Association (JPMA) certification.
• The slats should be no more than 2-3/8 inches apart. Widely spaced slats can trap an infant’s head.
• All joints and parts should fit tightly, and the wood must be smooth and free of splinters.
• Check for cracked and peeling paint. All surfaces should be covered with lead-free paint safe for nursery furniture.
• The end panels should be solid, without decorative cutouts. Cutout areas on panels can trap an infant’s head.
• Corner posts should be flush with the end panels or else be very, very tall (such as posts on a canopy bed). Clothing and ribbons can catch on tall corner posts and strangle an infant.
• The lowered crib sides should be at least 9 inches above the mattress support to prevent the infant from falling out. Raised crib sides should be at least 26 inches above the mattress support in its lowest position.
• The drop sides should have a locking, hand-operated latch that will not release unintentionally.
• The mattress should be the same size as the crib so there are no gaps to trap arms, body, or legs. If you can fit 2 fingers between the mattress and the side of the crib, the crib should not be used.

Injury or death to an infant caused by a defective product is grounds for a products liability claim or a wrongful death lawsuit. Manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure that their products are safe for use. Failure to do so can be grounds for a products liability case.

1 million Graco, Simplicity cribs recalled in U.S., MSNBC.com, September 21, 2007

Choosing a Crib, American Academy of Pediatrics

Related Web Resources:

About 1 Million Simplicity Cribs Recalled Due To Failures Resulting in Infant Deaths, CPSC.gov, September 21, 2007

Simplicity for Children

North Carolina Highway Patrol Begins Weeklong Crackdown on Overweight Commercial Trucks

September 17, 2007, by Michael A. DeMayo

Today marks the beginning of the North Carolina Highway Patrol’s weeklong crackdown on overweight commercial trucks in a number of counties, including Mecklenburg County, Wake County, Robeson County, Guilford County, and Buncombe County. Troopers will be targeting trucks whose weight exceeds what is allowed under federal law, as well as trucks that purposely take alternate routes to avoid weighing stations. Truck safety inspections will also be conducted. Truck drivers apprehended while driving overweight trucks face stiff fines.

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for overweight trucks to try and get out of having to stop at a weighing station, and state troopers have had to use portable scales to catch trucks suspected of avoiding these stations. Annually, more overweight trucks have been cited from using portable scales than from actual weighing stations.

The weeklong crackdown is the latest in a serious of efforts by North Carolina state troopers to remove overweight trucks off state roads. In 2007, they were able to detect and remove at least 200 million pounds.

Overweight Trucks
Large commercial trucks that violate federal safety standards because they weight too much are considered dangerous. Trucks that are overweight can be more difficult to drive and harder to stop. They are also more prone to rollover accidents and can more easily damage roads and bridges at a faster rate. With every excessive ton that a truck carries, the greater the chance that someone could get injured or killed during a large truck crash.

A Few Large Truck Crash Facts
• The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the yearly death toll caused by large truck collisions is equal to that of twenty-six large plane crashes in a year.
• The larger truck—even trucks weighing a legal 80,000 pounds—the greater the chances the commercial vehicle could become involved in a deadly truck accident.
• The larger the truck and the more it weighs, the more time it needs to brake in order to stop.

Truck accidents can be grounds for a North Carolina wrongful death claim or a personal injury lawsuit.

NC Highway Patrol to conduct truck weight crackdown, Citizen-Times, April 13, 2009

Fewer Overweight Trucks Make Safer Roads, Troopers Say, WRAL.com, December 12, 2007

The Dangers of Large Trucks, Advocates for Highway Safety

Related Web Resources:
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Truck Scales Weigh Stations DOT Rules

Plaintiff Mother In Ag-Mart Birth Defect Lawsuit Worked in North Carolina Tomato Fields While Pregnant With Son Born Without Limbs

September 12, 2007, by Michael A. DeMayo

Ag-Mart Produce has agreed to settle the birth defects lawsuit filed by the parents of Carlitos Candelario, a 3-year-old boy born without arms or legs. The boys’ parents Abraham Candelario and Francisca Herrera had worked for the tomato grower in fields in North Carolina and South Carolina that had been sprayed with pesticide while Francisca was pregnant.

Candelario and Herrera filed their birth defects lawsuit against Ag-Mart in 2006. They have accused the family of spraying pesticides on the fields while workers were present and not waiting long enough to send workers back to the field after the pesticides were applied.

A hearing has been scheduled this summer in North Carolina by the state pesticide board to determine whether Ag-Mart workers were exposed to toxic chemicals in pesticides. The tomato grower grows grape tomatoes in Brunswick County, North Carolina.

In 2005, Ag-Mart was charged with 369 violations of the state’s pesticide law. Company officials, however, says that many of the charges are false because North Carolina investigators had misinterpreted work records.

To this day, Ag-Mart continues to deny responsibility for causing Carlitos’s birth defects. Other farm workers under its employ also had children with birth defects around the time that Carlitos was born.

Ag-Mart has also voluntarily stopped using certain pesticides that appeared to be responsible for developmental problems in lab animals.

The terms of the birth defects settlement between Ag-Mart and Carlitos’s family is confidential, but their personal injury lawyer says that Carlitos will receive financial support for his medical costs, plus income, for life.

In South Carolina and North Carolina, our personal injury lawyers represent children and adults that have sustained catastrophic injuries because of the negligent or careless actions of people and/or corporations.

Ag-Mart settlement with couple OK’d, News and Observer, April 18, 2008

Board revives pesticide case, News and Observer, March 12, 2008

Related Web Resources:

Ag-Mart Produce

Beyond Pesticides

North Carolina Motorcyclist is Injured in Collision with SUV at N.C. 150 and N.C. 27 Intersection

September 10, 2007, by Michael A. DeMayo

A motorcyclist from Crouse was injured in North Carolina on Sunday after he was struck by an SUV at the intersection of N.C. 150 and N.C. 27.

North Carolina Highway Patrol say that Richard Mark Whitaker was riding his motorcycle east on NC 150 when a black Chevy pulled in front of him. Whitaker told police that he was going to go around the SUV but his motorbike locked up.

Whitaker sustained a cut to his head and said he was experiencing pain in his knee. The driver of the SUV, Somsack Phongsa, is from Grover, NC.

Police charged Whitaker with driving with his license revoked and having a fictitious tag. Phongsa was charged with failure to yield right-of-way.

This was the second traffic accident involving a motorcycle in Lincoln County over a 48-hour-period. On Friday, a woman was flown to Charlotte and treated at Carolinas Medical Center after she lost control of her motorcycle.

The woman says that a tractor-trailer was in the lane she was riding in on Shoal Road. She says that she tried to avoid the large motor vehicle but lost control of her motorcycle. She was flung from her motorcycle. An investigation in this case is ongoing.

In 2004, 134 of the 1,557 traffic deaths in North Carolina involved a motorcycle collision.

The “Hurt” Report” provides a number of statistics and information regarding motorcycle accidents, including the following:

• One of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents involving other motor vehicles is the other drivers’ failure to notice there is a motorcycle nearby.

• Motorcycle crashes involving other vehicles will frequently occur at intersections—usually because a car, truck, or bus has disregarded the motorcycle’s right of way.

• Motorcycle riders between the ages of 16 and 24 are significantly overrepresented in accidents; motorcycle riders between the ages of 30 and 50 are significantly underrepresented.

• 2% of motorcycle accidents are the result of road defects.

• Under 3% of motorcycle crashes are caused because of mechanical failure.

• About 75% of motorcycle crashes involve another motor vehicle.

If you have are the injury victim of a motorcycle crash caused by the negligent actions of another party, you should speak to a personal injury lawyer immediately. Injuries from motorcycle accidents are frequently severe, and a personal injury attorney can work with you to obtain financial recovery from the responsible party.

Crouse Man Injured in Motorcycle Wreck, Lincoln Tribune, September 9, 2007

The Hurt Report

Related Web Resources:

North Carolina Motorcycle Roads

North Carolina State Motorcycle Laws, American Motorcyclist Association

Mattel and Consumer Product Safety Commission Recall Another 700,000 Toys Because of Lead Paint Worries

September 4, 2007, by Michael A. DeMayo

Mattel Inc. and the Consumer Product Safety Commission have announced that they are recalling about 700,000 more toys that were made in China over worries that they contain too much lead paint. This is Mattel’s third massive toy recall since August, and more than 21 million toys have so far been affected.

In this latest recall, some 675,000 Barbie accessory toys—made between September 30, 2006 and August 20, 2007—and about 8,900 Big Band World 6-in-1 Bongo Band toys (part of Mattel’s Fisher-Price brand) are included. These toys were sold between July 2007 and August 2007.

So far, there are no reported personal injuries or wrongful deaths resulting from use of these toys. An injured child or adult, however, could have grounds to file a products liability lawsuit if their exposure to lead paint from any of the toys did cause him or her to become ill.

Barbie products include in the September 4, 2007 Mattel Recall:

Barbie® Dream Puppy House™ (lead paint on dog)
Barbie® Dream Kitty Condo™ Playset (lead paint on cat)
Barbie® Table and Chairs Kitchen Playset (lead paint on dog, chip platter, dinner plates)
Barbie® Bathtub and Toilet Playset (lead point on cat)
Barbie® Futon and Table Living Room Playset (lead paint on cat)
Barbie® Desk and Chair Bedroom Playset (lead paint on dog)
Barbie® Couch & Table Living Room Playset (lead paint on purse)

The CPSC Web site provides descriptions of the Big Band World toys that are part of the recall:

The recalled toys have two bongos, including one with a yellow and green plastic drum base with a blue drum surface. The other bongo is yellow and green plastic drum base with an orange drum surface with “It’s a Big, Big World” printed on it. The toys were sold with animal shaped accessories including a monkey, bird, tambourine and drum stick.

Lead paint is especially dangerous for young children and can lead to nervous system damage, brain damage, learning difficulties, behavioral problems, headaches, and hearing problems.

In North Carolina, a product’s manufacturer, retailer, or wholesaler are among the parties that can be held responsible if a person is injured or dies because of a defective or dangerous product.

There are three main causes for bringing a products liability claim or lawsuit.

• Strict liability
• Breach of Warranty
• Negligence

Thousands of Mattel toys recalled because of lead paint, CNN.com, September 4, 2007

Mattel Recalls Various Barbie® Accessory Toys Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard, CPSC.gov, September 4, 2007

Fisher-Price Recalls Bongo Band Toys Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard, CPSC.gov, September 4, 2007

Health Effects of Lead, EPA.gov

Related Web Resources:

Lead Poisoning, NSC.org

Voluntary Safety Recall Facts, Mattel.com

 
 

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