Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

It was reported on the website sfexaminer.com that families of the 10 people killed when a semi truck smashed into stopped cars on the Will Rogers Turnpike in Oklahoma have decided to file a joint lawsuit against several defendants. The defendants mentioned in the lawsuit are the driver of the truck, his employer, Associated Wholesale Grocers, ACE American Insurance located in Pennsylvania, G.D. Transport out of California, their insurer National Liability and Fire Insurance Co. located in Nebraska, Rajeev Sharma a resident of California, and Erin Alf who is from Texas.

At approximately 1:15 p.m., the 73-year-old truck driver slammed his big rig into the cars while cruising at 70 miles per hour. Oklahoma Highway Patrol reports that the driver made no attempt to avoid the devastating collision. The lawsuit contends that the driver was rushed by his employer Associated Wholesale Grocers to make a delivery and forced him to work beyond what is deemed safe and lawful. The two residents mentioned in the truck accident lawsuit were the drivers of another tractor trailer involved in the collision that had stopped traffic on the turnpike when unfortunately the worst case scenario occurred. G.D. Transport is their employer and they are accused of not training their drivers properly.

A lawyer for the plaintiffs said the grieving families acted this way as “a means of obtaining efficiency and economy in the administration and handling of the case, and demonstrates the enormity and gravity of the loss, and harm caused.”
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Even though the FDA has not issued a recall of popular birth control pills Yaz and Yasmin as of September 2009, it is understandable for many consumers to have various questions of concern regarding the serious medical conditions that can result from taking these medications. One of the main questions refers to what kinds of dangers are linked to Yaz and Yasmin.

First of all, both Yaz and Yasmin contain a type of hormone that most birth control pills do not contain. Drospirenone (DRSP) has been linked to be the cause of increasing a woman’s potassium levels, which can create health problems for a woman who has liver, adrenal, or kidney disease. There have also been multiple incidents of Yaz and Yasmin increasing the chances of a woman suffering deep vein thrombosis (blood clot), stroke, heart attack, and other serious medical issues.

Another major question that consumers have been asking is whether studies have been conducted to support claims that Yaz and Yasmin can inflict serious injury. One study performed in the Netherlands discovered that all birth control pills raise the risk of blot clots by five times. What is more shocking, however, is that due to containing DRSP, Yaz and Yasmin have been shown to increase the risk by 6.3 times. In recognizing these dangerous Yaz side effects, the FDA issued a letter of warning to Bayer, the drugs’ manufacturer, regarding questionable results from tests for key ingredients in the pills and said that many batches of the oral contraceptive should never have been given to the public.
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The Washington D.C. Metro crash that took place in June (the region’s deadliest on record) that killed 9 people and injured 76 others will cost the insurance company American International Group Inc., insurers at Lloyd’s of London and several other companies at least $100 million in claims. The exact dollar amount is not known yet since it hinges on a few factors like expected lifetime earnings of victims and how negligent the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority was.

This high cost will most likely prompt insurers to raise their rates on coverage to other entities that they insure, like the aviation industry. A Manager for a New York based insurer said, “Underwriting criteria will get more strict. And this in turn may prompt the transit agencies to buy new safer equipment.” Washington D.C. officials have ordered an “urgent” review of the Metro rail system in order to ensure that a repeat of the incident does not occur.

Operating several thousand tons of moving train cars requires the utmost concentration and diligence. Yet all too often, operator negligence is found to be the root cause of a train accident. Although much is made of the operator’s responsibility for the safety of passengers and the general public, a large team of professionals are also involved in keeping a train running safely. Investigators are continuing their investigation as to the exact cause of this tragic train accident.
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An industrial explosion at the ConAgra Foods Plant in Garner, North Carolina that killed two workers and injured many others in June is still an incident that has many industrial workers concerned over the safety of their future. A wral.com report stated that approximately 300 workers were in the plant at the time of the explosion, many of whom were exposed to toxic fumes released from ammonia leaks. Thirty-eight individuals had to be transported to local hospitals for serious injuries resulting from the explosion, and three firefighters suffered from ammonia inhalation.

According to the article, district chief for Wake County EMS stated, “It’s not just a matter of fire or any chemical exposure, but certainly with the structure collapse, there’s the issue of the safety of going in.” In any explosion, structure integrity is always a serious issue, but it is not the only concern that involved workers have to deal with. Exposure to toxic substances in the workplace can have long-lasting effects on a person’s well-being, putting an individual who has come in dangerous contact with an environmental toxin at risk of organ damage, cancer, severe burns, and many other calamities.

Fortunately in this incident, the ammonia toxic fumes were contained enough that the surrounding community was not threatened. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials kept a close watch over the air quality near the plant soon after the explosion to ensure that the toxic chemicals did not endanger people in the surrounding areas.
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The website post-gazette.com reported that another big rig accident on route 22 in West Wheatfield claimed the life of an 82 year old man from Apollo, in Armstrong County. The man suffered serious injuries according to the authorities. He was immediately taken to Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown, where he was later pronounced dead of multiple traumatic injuries according to the Cambria Country Deputy Coroner. State police said the 82 year old man crossed over to oncoming traffic and hit the semi truck. The man stood no chance of surviving the impact, and there was a third vehicle involved which ran over a tire that became loose from the truck accident in Pennsylvania. That driver suffered minor injuries.

Accidents involving trucks account for over 130,000 injuries in the United States. There are 5,000 deaths each year and close to 35% of the injuries are catastrophic. Trucks over 10,000 pounds (semis and tractor-trailer) represent only 3% of all registered vehicles but are responsible for over 25% of vehicle related deaths. The most common causes of truck accidents are unsafe driving, driver fatigue, oversized loads and mechanical negligence.
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Three members of a Pennsylvania family were in a small single propeller plane which was involved in a crash with a helicopter over the Hudson River in New York City, killing them and six others. Not only was the controller on the phone taking a personal call but his supervisor was not even in the building. Both have been pulled from duty and placed on administrative leave with pay. In their defense, the Federal Aviation Administration stated that presently there was no reason to believe that their actions had anything to do with the accident but the investigation was ongoing.

The FAA added that the controller had transferred the plane monitoring to another airport just before it crashed with the helicopter. According to the FAA, “air traffic controllers, including supervisors are considered on duty throughout their shifts and are expected to be available in case they are needed, even when they are taking breaks.”

A recently retired air traffic controller and former union representative for controllers said, “This had absolutely nothing to do with the accident. The suspended controller handling the plane appeared to perform all his duties related to the doomed flight properly.”
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A two-car crash in Warren County killed two people, according to this news report. The fatal auto accident occurred when a pickup truck collided with a sport utility vehicle on Route 6 in Columbus Township. The driver of the pickup attempted to pull out of a driveway into Route 6 when he drove into the path of an SUV driven by a 20-year-old man.

Police say the man tried to avoid the collision, but that his vehicle struck the truck. The impact caused the pickup to roll over to its left side. One person was ejected from the vehicle. The driver of the SUV and a passenger were transported to an area hospital with injuries. Police say none of those involved in this accident may have been wearing seat belts.

Auto and truck accident cases in Pennsylvania can be extremely complex. The causes for car crashes could range from drunk driving, negligence, recklessness, dangerous roadways or defective automobile. Some auto accidents, such as the incident previously described, may involve multiple defendants and claims against auto makers or even governmental agencies. In various other cases, Philadelphia car accident lawyer Jim Ronca has seen auto accident cases often involve uninsured or underinsured motorists.
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A report stated that an Airbus 310 jetliner from the island nation of Comoros had crashed into the ocean on June 30, 2009. Facing daunting winds, the plane carrying 153 passengers was unable to maintain itself in the air and plummeted into the Indian Ocean as it was attempting to land. According to authorities, five bodies have been found and a 14 year old girl miraculously survived the crash.

Aviation officials had warned of faults with the plane just two years before this tragic accident. Chief Mohammed Abdul Qader, Yemeni Civil Aviation Deputy, told reporters that the plane was flying against 40 mph winds in the middle of the night. Rescue efforts were unsuccessful and limited due to harsh weather conditions including strong winds. Qader reiterated to the press that all efforts were being made to locate the flight data recorder.

This Yemenia plane crash is the second Airbus to go down in June. On June 1st, an Air France Airbus went down in the Atlantic killing all 228 people on board. That plane is also believed to have been flying through a storm. Officials have not located the flight box in that crash and it is feared the 30 day beacon will soon run out of strength and prohibit any chance of finding out exactly what went wrong. Inspectors from the French Aviation had found a “number of faults” in 2007 after an inspection.
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University of Georgia officials were startled to find out that Hardin Construction Co., the general contractor that is currently building its parking garages, is the same contractor that built the Centergy garage that just collapsed in midtown Atlanta, according to a story. Fortunately the collapse in Atlanta did not injure anyone except by way of their vehicles.

Onlineathens.com also reported on July 1st, that UGA officials have ordered that their 10 parking garages be inspected along with the two garages that are currently under construction. Hardin Construction Co. is leading the construction team that is erecting two 400 plus parking garages on the UGA campus. The two lots are scheduled to open sometime this coming fall after a thorough inspection that reveals a safely built parking garage.

This eye-opener for Hardin Construction Co. hopefully will prevent any other collapses that could be a lot more costly, especially in terms of human lives. The private contractors as well as the owners of these buildings must make every conceivable effort to ensure that the parking garages are built correctly and efficiently in order to insure public safety.
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Rollover and roof crush is a serious auto product liability issue. Because of a defective or weak roof, vehicle occupants can suffer serious brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, or even death when the collision’s force causes the roof to cave in. These rollover accident victims are put at risk of being rendered disabled for the rest of their lives because of these defective autos. This is particularly true when it comes to several brands of sport utility vehicles or SUVs that have a propensity to roll over because of their high center of gravity.

The federal roof strength standard has not been changed since the 1970s. Large auto makers including Ford and General Motors have lobbied to keep those standards unaltered in spite of knowing that these roofs will only result in more injuries and deaths. It wasn’t until this April that the U.S. Department of Transportation announced new roof standards for light vehicles weighing up to 6,000 pounds.

In an effort to help lower the severity of rollover accidents in Pennsylvania and throughout the nation, the new rule specifies that both the driver and passenger sides of the roof must be capable of withstanding a force equal to three times the weight of the vehicle. The Department of Transportation also announced recently that heavier vehicles from 6,000 to 10,000 pounds must now have both sides of the roof capable of withstanding a force equal to 1.5 times the weight of the vehicle. The phase-in schedule, which begins in September 2012, will be completed for all affected vehicles by the 2017 model year.
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