Lithium Battery Catches Fire on Flight

Posted in E-Cigarette, Product Liability

Recently a lithium battery fire in a passenger’s backpack caused a plane to divert its flight and make an emergency landing, reported the Federal Aviation Administration. Lithium batteries, which are used in e-cigarettes, phones, laptops, and other devices, are known to explode and/or catch fire without warning. The backpack was quickly removed from the plane, preventing injury or further damage.

Although no one was injured on the flight, lithium battery explosions can cause devastating injuries, particularly in cell phone and e-cigarette explosions. Last year, Samsung recalled millions of its Galaxy Note 7 phones because the batteries were catching fire and causing injuries. Panasonic, Toshiba, and Lenovo recalled laptop batteries for fire danger. Continue Reading

Are Your Kids Taking a Summer Vacation from Car Restraints?

Posted in Motor Vehicle Accidents

Summer is almost here! Do you know where your kids will be going? Amusement parks, day camp, swimming pools, lakes, the shore, grandma’s – the list of fun things to do is almost endless.

But if they are getting in a car – don’t forget to check on car restraints. Are there enough age appropriate car restraints in the car for all of the children who are going on the trip? Ask and check. Before your child rides in a car, ask the driver if he or she has the appropriate car restraints. If need be, install your child’s own car seat in the car. Never allow a child under 13 years old to ride in the front seat unless the air bag is deactivated. If they are old enough, talk to your kids about not getting into a car without appropriate child safety restraints.

Why is this so important? Because between 2010 and 2014, 2,885 children died in motor vehicle accidents in the United States – and almost half of them (43 percent) were not wearing seatbelts or were improperly restrained. Another 15 percent were sitting inappropriately in the front seat.

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More E-cigarette Explosion Injuries

Posted in E-Cigarette, Product Liability

In May 2017, an Arizona woman suffered severe injuries when an e-cigarette exploded in her lap while she was driving. The 20-year-old driver tried to jump out of the truck but the flames spread, lighting up her pants and car seat, causing her to crash the vehicle.

“I opened the door and the whole inside of the cab was on fire,” said an officer.

The woman suffered severe burns to her legs and back, a broken pelvis, and broken legs.

The same month a woman in the UK suffered third degree burns to her thigh and legs when her e-cigarette battery also exploded while she was driving. Continue Reading

FDA Issues Warning Letter to DSE Healthcare Solutions for Prostate Supplement Claims

Posted in Product Liability

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent New Jersey-based DSE Healthcare Solutions LLC a warning letter about DSE’s labeling and website claims pertaining to certain over-the-counter (OTC) products, including Urinozinc for prostate health and Prelief for heartburn. DSE Healthcare Solutions sells the products in drug stores throughout the United States.

The FDA conducted an inspection of DSE’s Edison, New Jersey facility. Upon reviewing DSE’s product labels and websites, the FDA concluded that certain products violated the food labeling requirements of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the Act). The warning letter stated that the therapeutic claims on product labels and websites established that the Urinozinc Prostate Health Formula and Prelief products are drugs under the Act because they are intended for use in the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease.

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New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Benefits Unraveled – Part 2

Posted in Workers' Compensation

New Jersey workers’ compensation benefits are governed under N.J.S.A. 34:15, et seq. There are three benefits you are entitled to when you get hurt at work in New Jersey: payment of medical bills, payment of temporary disability benefits or wage replacement and payment of an award of permanent disability. I will address each of these in a series of blogs.

This is the second in a series of three blogs. Blog one can be read here: Part 1.

When you are hurt at work and the authorized doctor (see previous blog) indicates that you must be out of work to recover from your injury, you may be entitled to receive a portion of your wages. The law in New Jersey entitles you to 70% of your gross weekly wage. However, if you earn in excess of $1,221.50 per week, you can never receive more than $855.00 per week.

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May Is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

Posted in Motorcycle Injury

Our motorcycle accident attorneys wish to remind all drivers to be aware of motorcyclists. Be mindful that the warm weather means more motorcycle riders will be taking trips to the shore, countryside, or mountains. Due to the increase in motorcyclists on the road, May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.

Consequently, it is a great time for all drivers to remind themselves to be extra safe while driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcycle deaths occur 27 times more frequently than fatalities in other motor vehicles. Motorcycle accidents most often occur because other vehicle drivers are not paying 100 percent attention to driving. They are not looking at everything that is going on around them and they too often take their eyes off the road ahead for a second or more.

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OSHA Announces Annual National Safety Stand-Down Campaign

Posted in Construction Accidents

Fatalities caused by falls continue to be a leading cause of death for construction employees. Lack of proper fall protection remains the most frequently cited violation by OSHA. In response to the number of fall related injuries and fatalities, OSHA launched its National Safety Stand-Down Campaign to Prevent Falls in Construction. The annual event strives to raise fall hazard awareness. The 4th annual National Fall Prevention Stand-Down will take place May 8-12, 2017.

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New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Benefits Unraveled

Posted in Workers' Compensation

New Jersey workers’ compensation benefits are governed under N.J.S.A. 34:15 et seq. There are three benefits you are entitled to when you get hurt at work in New Jersey: payment of medical bills, payment of temporary disability benefits or wage replacement and payment of an award of permanent disability. I will address each of these in a series of blogs.

This is the first in a series of three blogs. With regard to the payment of medical bills, the statute requires the employer to provide medical treatment that is reasonable, necessary and related to your accident and that is designed to cure your condition. You are NOT permitted to seek treatment with your primary care doctor or specialist without the prior consent and approval of your employer and their workers’ compensation carrier. Your employer is also obligated to pay 100% of the bills. There are no deductibles, co-pays, or out of pocket expenses, including prescription medications and any other medical devices prescribed by the authorized doctor. Absent any obvious broken bones or other critical medical conditions, your treatment will generally begin with conservative treatment which might include rest and prescription medications. If your symptoms do not improve, you may be referred for diagnostic tests to help the physician arrive at a diagnosis. You may also be referred for physical therapy to help alleviate your symptoms. If that fails, you may then be referred to a specialist. This process could take weeks or months.

At some point in the process the authorized doctors will indicate that your condition is as good as it is going to get or maximum medical improvement. When this happens, the carrier’s obligation to you ends, even if you are not back to normal. You are not entitled to additional treatment that is not designed to cure your condition, even if that treatment might make you feel better. However, there are some limited circumstances under which you may be eligible for ongoing medical care and you should seek legal advice to determine if you fall within those exceptions. If you are still having complaints and problems, you will then be entitled to additional benefits which will be address in this blog series. At Stark & Stark, our experienced attorneys and legal staff can help you understand your rights. Please call us to schedule your free, no obligation consultation.

Update on Contamination of Heater-Cooler Devices

Posted in Medical Malpractice

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued a Medical Device Safety Communication update to provide new information about Mycobacterium chimaera infections associated with the use of the LivaNova/Sorin Stöckert 3T Heater-Cooler System during cardiothoracic surgery. The update includes recommendations and additional steps for health care facilities to take in order to mitigate the risk of infection associated with the use of these devices.

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Medical Malpractice Claims Paid on Behalf of Physicians Decrease

Posted in Medical Malpractice

A recent database study conducted at Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that the rate of medical malpractice claims paid on behalf of physicians in the United States declined substantially from 1992 to 2014. The study analyzed data from the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB), a centralized database of paid malpractice claims that was created by Congress in 1986. Researchers found an overall drop in the amount of paid claims across all specialties, but the extent of the decline was markedly different by specialty, according to Adam Schaffer, MD, lead author of the paper. The findings are published in the March 27, 2017 issue of the JAMA Internal Medicine journal.

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