After approximately 47 phone calls between Verizon and Cox and 7 service calls, our phone lines are finally fully operational again. I want to sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused to my clients or potential clients over the past several days.
Depuy orthopedics announced a formal recall of their ASR hip implant in August of this year and it has since become an increasingly talked about story. The recall affects two products, namely, the ASR hip resurfacing system and the ASR XL acetabular system. Hundreds of lawsuits have already been filed and many more are expected.
The ASR hip implant was marketed and sold in this country for approximately six years and has been implanted in nearly 100,000 patients. The reason for the recall is that approximately 13% of the patients who received the Depuy hip replacement required a second unnecessary surgery. Hip surgery is extremely painful and recovery can take many months of grueling therapy.
If you received a Depuy implant you may have a valid product liability claim. There are three common types of product liability claims:
- Defective product design
- Defective manufacturing
- Inadequate warning and/or instruction
The Depuy hip replacement qualifies as a defective product design. The device is defectively designed and manufactured so that high levels of metal ions are released from the ASR hip implant. These metal ions released in the body can cause serious injury including, tumors, damaged muscle tissue, and osteolysis requiring hip surgery for correction.
It is also well established that the problems with the ASR device were known for quite some time. Many adverse reports were published highlighting the dangers with the Depuy ASR device and the FDA received hundred of complaints. The product was recalled in other countries as long as one year ago due to the serious risk.
Product liability cases are extremely complex and you need an experienced personal injury attorney to help you with this case. If you had hip surgery in Rhode Island or Massachusetts and received a Depuy ASR hip implant, contact our office right away for a free consultation. There is no fee unless we are successful in obtaining the compensation that you deserve.
I have to offer a sincere apology to any client, potential client, insurance company, or law firm who has tried to contact this office since yesterday afternoon. An attempt to switch our phone lines from Verizon to Cox has gone horribly wrong and my lines are down. I have been promised that the problem will be resolved by tonight.
I am sorry for any inconvenience. In the meantime, please feel free to contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Providence Journal is reporting that Attorney General Elect, Peter Kilmartin, is planning to adopt the federal immigration program, “Secure Communities“. Under this controversial plan, anyone arrested for a crime in Rhode Island will have the fingerprints taken and compared against a federal immigration database to determine if they are illegal aliens.
According to Kilmartin, the program is only aimed at identifying illegal immigrants accused of breaking the law. In his words, “these people are being accused of crimes, have probable cause to be arrested for crimes.” Others are nervous that such a program could incite racial profiling arrests and discourage victims from reporting crimes (in particular, domestic abuse) for fear that their friend or family member may be deported. In addition, opponents to the program fear that people who are accused of trivial crimes, or have their charges dropped completely, can still find themselves embroiled in an immigration battle.
The Rhode Island ACLU is sure to challenge this program and there are bound to be opponents and proponents. It will certainly make the criminal justice system in Rhode Island a much more serious environment for those lacking proper immigration status.
Massachusetts has long held a very pro-defendant stance when it came to slip and fall accidents due to snow and ice accumulation on sidewalks, driveways, stairs, etc. Under the prior law, a landlord was only liable for injuries caused by slip and fall if the accumulation of snow and ice was “unnatural” or “man-made”. As you can imagine it was very difficult to prove that an accumulation of snow was “unnatural” and, therefore, it was next to impossible for those injured by slip and fall to collect for their injuries. This outdated law stems from an 1883 ruling and essentially encouraged landlords to neglect their property because they were immune from liability.
The law has been finally changed and landlords are now responsible for clearing natural and unnatural accumulations of snow from their property within a reasonable amount of time. In the ruling, Papadopoulos v. Target Corp, the Court held that the jury is now free to decide:
What snow and ice removal efforts are reasonable in light of the expense they impose on the landowner and the probability and seriousness of the foreseeable harm to others
The Court will now:
apply to hazards arising from snow and ice the same obligation that a property owner owes to lawful visitors as to all other hazards: a duty to ‘act as a reasonable person under all of the circumstances including the likelihood of injury to others, the probable seriousness of such injuries, and the burden of avoiding the risk.’
This is an important ruling for anyone injured in a slip and fall caused by ice or snow accumulation in Massachusetts.
Providence has its share of violence occurring in, and just outside, of its many bars and nightclubs. Police details seem to break up fights every weekend and the City has made efforts to curb the violence including, but not limited to, revoking the liquor license of bars with frequent problems of violence, attempting to reduce closing time from 2 am to 1 am, and by increasing the police detail outside the clubs at closing time.
If the injury or attack occurs inside, or immediately outside, of a bar or nightclub, you may have a case for negligent security. Negligent security is a form of premises liability, in which the landlord may be responsible for the injury sustained. A property owner (including bar and night club owners) has a responsibility to assess the danger to their invited guests and take measures to prevent injury. Landlords can try to protect guests by hiring additional security guards, limiting the number of guests allowed inside, monitoring the amount of alcohol served to individual patrons, increased lighting, training their security personnel to properly respond to an incident, and many other methods. Such steps are particular necessary in high crime areas or in bars or nightclubs with “questionable” reputations.
I represent the family of a young man who was murdered outside of a Providence nightclub, and I receive many other inquiries from people who have been attacked inside a bar. It seems to me an increasingly serious problem occurring with all too much frequency. If you have been physically attacked or sexually assaulted inside a public facility, you may have a case for negligent security. And keep in mind that these types of cases, while most common in bars and nightclubs, can occur almost anywhere. Malls, sports stadiums, schools and universities, and apartment buildings all have a duty to protect invited guests and prevent foreseeable injuries.
In order to succeed in a negligent security case you need to show that the attack was foreseeable and that the landlord, or his or her employees, failed to take adequate action to protect the victim. Whether your case meets the requirements for a negligent security case really depends on the facts and you will need to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney to help you decide if you have a case worth pursuing.
It is also important to know that because of the increased frequency of these types of cases, many insurance companies are now placing exclusions in their policies which state that they are not obligated to pay negligent security claims. In other words, the insurance company will cover a slip and fall or other type of accident, but will not cover the damages to a victim who was physically or sexually attacked due to lack of security.
Over the past several years, no less than eight pedestrians and one bicyclist have been struck by a motor vehicle while walking on Atwells Avenue in Providence. The number of bars and restaurants along the famous street draw out hundreds of pedestrians every night and due to the low visibility and high traffic of Federal Hill there is a persistent danger of a car accident. In addition, many drivers use Atwells Avenue as a short cut from Route 10 to downtown Providence increasing the number of cars on the busy street.
Following the high profile accident of City Council member Terrence Hassett, the City has decided to finally take action to improve pedestrian safety. Working with a number of engineers, the City intends to now increase the number of crosswalk signs, re-stripe existing crosswalks, and install a speedbump near Piedmont Street to slow down passing vehicles. The speedbump is to be located at a critical area of the street where passing cars often drive well over the speed limit, and near the area where Councilman Hassett was struck and injured.
It is an important and vital step for Providence to increase safety on one of its most beloved roads. The combination of too many cars, too many pedestrians, parking valets run back and forth, and dark and busy roads is a recipe for disaster. It is no surprise that so many pedestrians have been struck by vehicles in the past few years.
Pedestrian accidents are the most serious form of car accidents. A pedestrian is absolutely defenseless against the weight and speed of a passing vehicle and injuries are often permanent and severe. Pedestrians struck by cars often suffer: broken bones, head injuries, scarring, extended hospital stays, internal injuries, and more.
As a father, I can not imagine a worse scenario than to see your son or daughter injured in a car accident. Unfortunately, over 250,000 kids are injured each year in car crashes and auto accidents are the number one cause of death for children under 14 years of age. There are several unique problems that can arise when the injured party is a child, and it is helpful to speak with a personal injury attorney to understand your child’s rights.
There are two common scenarios in which children are injured in car accidents. First, the child is a pedestrian, either struck while playing in the street, or while getting onto or off of a school bus. Second, the child is a passenger in a car that is struck by an at fault driver. Let’s examine each situation.
Child as Pedestrian
It is an unfortunate tragedy but children are struck and severely injured every day in this Country while they are outside playing in the street. A driver proceeding through an area known to have children present (i.e. a residential neighborhood, or school zone) must proceed with caution. Children, especially very young ones, are curious and impulsive. These characteristics make it foreseeable that a child may run into traffic without warning. If the child was visible in the open road, or if it was foreseeable that a child could run into an open road, the driver of the automobile may be responsible for the injuries to the child.
Children are also victim to car accidents as pedestrians while entering and exiting school buses. By law, drivers must stop for all school buses. Sometimes inattentive drivers fail to see the stopped school bus and strike defenseless children. School bus drivers might also take shortcuts and fail to properly stop traffic or employ monitors to ensure a child’s safety. In such cases, the school bus operator may be liable for the victims injuries.
Finally, children can be injured while in a parking lot. Each year, 2500 kids are injured in parking lot accidents. Distracted drivers looking for a parking space may not see children walking or standing in the lot. The majority of children in these types of accidents are under 4 years old.
Children as Passenger in Car
Children, like any passenger in a car accident, are entitled to make a personal injury claim if they have been hurt. Children can be seriously hurt even if riding in a safe and secure car seat. Furthermore, children are injured if they are not in a proper car seat. Studies show that many children are overweight for the car seat that they are using, and that many children who are out of car seats are not yet ready for adult seat belts alone.
A Child’s Injury Claim
Injuries to children are extremely serious. A permanent injury can greatly affect the course of a child’s life and detract from their overall quality of life. It can also mean decades of future medical expenses and care, and may even effect the potential future earnings of the child. Scarring and disfigurement is also extremely serious for children because they will have to endure the taunts and ridicule of other kids and will have to live their entire life with a noticeable flaw. This results in extreme emotional and psychological pain.
A child injured in an accident is entitled to:
- Pain and suffering
- Medical bills
- Future medical bills
- Future pain and suffering for permanent injuries
- Loss of earning capacity (if injury impacts childs ability to work in the future)
On the back of my recent post about a man who was conned into taking an early and low settlement from the insurance company, I thought that one point in particular deserved further discussion. The claimant in that New York case was unaware of the extent and nature of his injuries until after he signed the Release. Some people may find this hard to believe, but it is, in fact, quite common to be unaware of the extent and nature of your injury.
There are two common problems with an early settlement:
You Didn’t Know You Were Injured At All
When the injury is soft tissue in nature (i.e. neck and back muscle pain) you may not experience any symptoms until two or three days later, sometimes longer. That is because the pain is most severe when the injury has set-in and the body begins to repair. Those of you who have worked with weights at a gym will recognize that your body feels much worse the next day than it did at the gym. This is the same principle at work.
Therefore, a lot of accident victims do not complain of any pain at the accident scene because they are still symptom free. He or she may even give a recorded statement to an insurance company attesting to the fact that they are not injured. A day or two later, however, and the symptoms become increasingly severe and persistent.
It is OK if you told the police you were not injured. It is OK if you told the insurance company that you were not injured. You are not giving away your rights to a personal injury claim because you were unaware that you were actually injured in the car accident. You are, however, bound, if you agree to sign a Release (as the New York claimant above) mistakenly did. Even if you previously indicated that you were not injured, but then began to experience symptoms of pain, contact an auto accident lawyer right away.
You Didn’t Know How Seriously You Were Injured
People will sign a Release for a lot of reasons:
- They need the money
- Their attorney told them it was a good settlement
- Their doctor told them they are not going to get any better
Sometimes the Release is signed before you know how serious the injury is. I always tell clients to seek ALL medical attention and obtain second and third doctor opinions, if necessary, because a Release is final. If you discover that you herniated a disc the day after signing a Release, you will NOT receive the compensation you deserve.
I have a close family friend (I did not represent her because I was not yet an attorney) who settled her case years ago for less than it was worth. She was told by doctors that her back was fine and by her attorney that the settlement offered was a fair one. To this day, she still has ongoing back pain.
Before you settle any personal injury claim make sure that you know the full extent of your injury and do not settle any case with the insurance company within a few days of the accident because the pain and symptoms may not have set in.
I want to wish all my past, current, and future clients a Happy Thanksgiving weekend. Be careful on this busy and dangerous travel weekend and get to your family safely.