Recently Samsung axed its entire line of Galaxy Note 7 phones because, despite efforts to replace the original batch with working models, they were unable to correct the battery defect that causes and injuries. Despite the company’s heartfelt plea for users to return the phones, social media reports showed that some people wanted to the keep the dangerous items. In response to the ongoing danger, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) on Friday banned the phone on all U.S. airplanes. Many international airlines have instituted similar bans.
What do you think of when you hear the words “summer camp?” Fun, adventure, new friends? Summer camp invokes memories of all of these things. But for children with burn injuries, summer camp can feel like it is off the agenda—at least until they are fully healed. Luckily this is no longer true—there are a growing number of options in the form of specialized burn camps that cater to the needs of pediatric burn victims.
Children with burn injuries sometimes have difficulty performing common tasks due to physical damage. Some have problems with social interaction due to pain, isolation, or scars. Others may require continuous treatment—sometimes daily; sometimes weekly or monthly. Summer camps are seldom set up to meet the needs of these specialized functional and medical requirements. This is where the burn camp comes in.
While the physical injuries caused by burns often receive the greatest attention from medical staff, the psychological and psychiatric injuries caused by burns cannot be overstated. As reported in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, more than 90% of burn victims experience some symptoms of stress within the first week of the injury and more than 45% develop chronic signs of stress that can be categorized as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after one year. Approximately one third of survivors of major burn injuries suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after being discharged from the burn center.
Earlier today I released a blog post about the difficulty of following the chain of commerce to identify product liability in exploding vape devices. That was in response to a weekend e-cigarette battery explosion that injured a fourteen year old girl in Florida.
Today there is a related incident in the news where a suspected lithium battery failure resulted in injuries to a student in New Jersey. According to a TechTimes news article a witness heard “fizzing and a popping sound” just before Darin Hlavaty’s iPhone 6 Plus started on fire. Hlavaty had the phone in his back pocket.
Over the past weekend a young girl was injured in yet another e-cigarette explosion. The vaping device burst into flames in the pocket of a nearby person on an adventure ride at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. Caroline Saylor, 14, received first and second degree burns to her face, arm and leg when the flames “shot out” from the neighboring seat. Conflicting reports suggest the man and his friends ran off after it happened. Without access to the defective vaping device it is impossible to determine whether the product mechanism was defective or whether there was misuse by the user. In either event, this incident is further evidence of a consumer safety issue that is being flippantly dismissed by the profit-seeking e-cig industry.
When evaluating Workers’ Comp claims, the New Jersey courts closely evaluate the location, circumstances, and nature of work events that lead to an injury. There is a distinct difference in the approach to mandatory work activities vs. voluntary work activities.
Scenario 1: You are on the company softball team. During the last game, you are just about to run for home base when the batter’s ball strikes you in the head, knocking you out. You develop a subdural hematoma and have to have emergency surgery. Does Workers’ Comp cover you?
Recently, Samsung voluntarily recalled millions of its Galaxy Note 7 phones because the batteries were catching fire and causing injuries. This decision was made at a crucial time—right before the launch of competitor Apple’s new iPhone. Why did they do it? Because within two weeks of its release there were 35 cases of the phone exploding or catching fire. Although that does not seem like a large number of incidents from millions of units, Samsung made the conservative call in light of growing reports of injuries from lithium battery malfunctions in other electronic devices.
Sunday there was yet another e-cigarette lithium battery explosion—this time in woman’s purse while she was shopping. Mara McInerney’s handbag exploded with the sound of a “gunshot,” pouring thick black smoke and sending other shoppers scurrying away from the blast. It was the 15th anniversary of 9/11, a day when people’s nerves were already on edge. According to an NBC 4 New York article, McInerney was terrified; “It was 9/11. I thought someone had put something in my bag.” It turned out the lithium battery in her vaporizer exploded burning her designer bag into fragments. Luckily the flaming bag didn’t burn her hands and face as well. The New Jersey woman is even more thankful it didn’t explode while her four year old daughter was reaching into the bag to get a toy or a piece of candy.
Red light cameras have become a hot topic in many states. Some people view them as a safety measure, whereas others view them as only a moneymaker for municipalities. Even still, others view them as unwanted governmental intrusion into citizens’ private lives. As a result of the criticisms raised over the cameras, some states have opted to turn them off.
As some states have started to turn off the cameras, new research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety indicates that turning off red light traffic signal cameras actually costs lives. The Institute’s research shows that red light programs in 79 large U.S. cities saved nearly 1,300 lives through 2014.
If you think you think you can drink heavily all night and be okay to drive in the morning you may end up seriously injuring someone on your way to work. And if you are the bar or restaurant that served that drunk driver, you remain open to liability lawsuits. Worse than either of these is the result for innocent drivers who are caught in the ensuing accidents from “morning-after” drunk drivers.