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Levine and Slavit, PLLC - Blog

Personal Injury Attorneys - Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island and the Bronx

Taser International Says It Changed Preferred Target Area Not for Safety But To Avoid Giving Plaintiffs Lawyers a Chance to Sue

Posted On Nov 3, 2009 @ 09:02 PM by SEO Admin

TASER Training Bulletin 15.0 Regarding Medical Research Update and Revised Warnings, released on October 12, 2009, removed a persons chest from the preferred target area for the 50,000-volt weapon. The bulletin said that hitting a suspect in the chest from the stun guns could cause an "adverse cardiac event." It marks the first time the company has suggested there is any risk of a cardiac arrest related to the use of Tasers. But three days later, Taser International released an addendum to its training bulletin stating that its recommendation has less to do with safety and more to do with effective risk management for law enforcement agencies that is that since (Taser International claims) heart attacks often occurs in arrest situation without the suspect being shocked, why give a plaintiffs

Village Denied Summary Judgment in Domestic Violence Suit Alleging Violation of Due Process Rights by Police Department

Posted On Sep 25, 2009 @ 06:46 PM by SEO Admin

Holding a municipality liable in negligence for personal injuries sustained as a result of a third-party is often a difficult task because the plaintiff must show a special relationship between the plaintiff and the police department - a multi-prong test that is difficult to satisfy. The plaintiff circumvented these problems by bringing a 42 U.S.C. 1983 action alleging violation of her Fourteenth Amendment rights to due process. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that the victim of domestic abuse alleged sufficient facts from which a jury could find that it had implicitly but affirmatively sanctioned abuse of a wife by her husband in violation of her rights to due process, and that the municipal and certain individual defendants, if found liable, would not be entitled to qualified immunity. In Okin v. Village of Co

Should Television Ads for Chantix Be Required to State That Its Side Effects are the Subject of an FDA Black Box?

Posted On Sep 11, 2009 @ 07:10 PM by SEO Admin

Yesterday morning an advertisement for smoking cessation drug Chantix came on my television. The ad featured a man extolling how much better his life is now that Chantix (and support, slips in the ad) has helped him kick his smoking habit. Then an announcer came on and read, for what seemed like an extraordinary time for the disclaimers usually heard on drug commercials, a litany of side-effects and warnings. These warnings included suicidal thoughts, personality changes, and skin rashes. The announcer did not state, however, that many of the side-effects announced are the subject of an FDA-mandated black box warning.

A black box warning is a type of warning that appears on the package insert for prescription drugs that may cause serious adverse effects. A black border usually surrounds the text of the

Personal Injury Lawsuits in Dallas Cowboy Roof Collapse; Low Scoreboard OK for this Season

Posted On Sep 6, 2009 @ 01:07 AM by SEO Admin

A Dallas Cowboys scouting assistant paralyzed and a special teams coach whose neck was broken in the May 2, 2009, collapse of the teams practice facility due to high winds filed separate lawsuits against the Pennsylvania-based company that built the structure and several other companies involved in the construction and maintenance. Cowboys scouting assistant Rich Behm was paralyzed from the waist down and 11 others were injured when the structure was toppled in high winds. Special teams coach Joe DeCamillas suffered a broken neck in the collapse. Summit Structures, the company that built the practice facility. Summit, an engineer and five other companies are named in the lawsuits. The suits contend that the structures concrete foundation was improperly constructed and that the practice facility should have been repaired or rebuilt after problems with the design were discovered in 2007. The lawsuits state that the Cowboys were informed that the "design defects i

Suffolk County Nations First County to Ban Electronic Cigarettes from Minors and From Public Indoor Spaces

Posted On Aug 31, 2009 @ 10:33 PM by SEO Admin

On August 18, 2009, the Sullolk County Legislature voted to ban electronic cigarettes from public indoor spaces where 'traditional forms of smoking are already disallowed,' but allows adults to use the devices anywhere cigarette smoking is permitted. The bill also bans the sale of e-cigarettes to anyone under the age of 19. The bill has been described as the first of its kind in the nation. It cites the 'unknown' amount of nicotine in the battery-operated devices as presenting a 'significant risk of rapid addiction or overdose.' Suffolk's new law is expected to take effect 90 days after the New York Secretary of State signs the bill in Albany. Electronic cigarettes, also called e-cigarettes, are battery-operated devices that generally contain cartridges filled with nicotine, flavor and other chemicals. The electronic cigarette turns nicotine, which is highly addictive, and other chemicals into a vapor that is inhaled by the user. They deliver nicotine without burni

Four New York Juvenile Detention Centers Use Excessive Force and Restraints, Concludes U.S. Department of Justice

Posted On Aug 29, 2009 @ 01:23 AM by SEO Admin

A report of the Civil Rights Division of the Civil Rights Divisions investigation of conditions at four Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) facilities found conditions violate constitutional standards in the areas of protection from harm and mental health care. The investigation revealed that: 1) staff resort quickly to a high degree of force that is disproportionate to the level of the youths infraction; and 2) the technique employed to restrain a youth results in an excessive number of injuries, including concussions, broken or knocked-out teeth, and spiral fractures. There was even one death. In November 2006, a 15-year-old resident at Tryon Boys died following a prone restraint. The youth allegedly pushed a staff member and was then pinned facedown on the floor and handcuffed by two staff. The youth stopped breathing only minutes later, and then died at a nearby hospital. His death was ruled a homicide by the medical examiner. Despite this death

District Attorney Unsuccessfully Attempts to Prosecute Charges Carrying Maximum Penalty Against Taxi Driver for Fatal Accident

Posted On Aug 17, 2009 @ 12:00 AM by SEO Admin

In 2006, Hassan Afzal, was involved in an accident while driving a taxicab on West Street (a/k/a the West Side Highway) in the vicinity of West Houston Street in Manhattan. Mr. Afzal had a history of seizures that he failed to disclose in applications that he filed for a taxi license. In the accident, Danielle Ricci, one of the passengers in the taxi, either exited or was ejected from the cab and was then struck and killed by a second taxi. Three other passengers in the taxi suffered significant injuries while still in the cab when the vehicle struck a building. The People alleged that the accident was caused by a seizure the Defendant suffered. The Defendant denied that he had suffered a seizure at the time of the accident. It was also alleged that the Defendant had a history of seizures and fraudulently failed to disclose this information in applications for a taxi license he file

Take Me Out to the Ball Game, Take Me Out to the Crowd, Buy Me Some Peanuts and a Helmet

Posted On Aug 12, 2009 @ 08:20 AM by SEO Admin

Two stories recently in the news raise questions about what risks are assumed by baseball fans attending games. One story involves a minor-league game last year, at which pitcher Julio Castillo threw a baseball that went into the stands during an on-field melee in Ohio, striking a fan who suffered a concussion. Castillo was recently sentenced by a judge in Montgomery County, Ohio, to 30 days in jail and three years probation. The other story involves a minor-league game in 2003, at which 4-year-old Emilio Crespin was with his family at a picnic table in the left field stands before an Albuquerque Isotopes game when a batting practice home run fractured his skull. An appellate court recently held that his parents can sue the minor-league team and the city. The 22-year-old Castillo was pitching for the visiting Peoria Chiefs, a Chicago Cubs affiliate, when the 10-minute brawl broke out during a game against the Dayton Dragons. Castillo testified at a non-jury trial tha

A 100th Birthday and Lessons Learned

Posted On Aug 9, 2009 @ 01:49 AM by SEO Admin

Today marks what would have been the 100th birthday of our founder, Louis H. Levine. Its hard to imagine that on this day 100 years ago he was just starting out, and how different the world was in 1909 and all the things that have happened since then. One of the important lessons Mr. Levine taught was tenacity dont think that a case is lost solely based upon first blush, such as an unfavorable police report. Sometimes, for instance, a defendant at a deposition says something that provides an opening to argue that what is on a police report is wrong. A recent decision, Kaufman v. Quickway, Inc.,--- N.Y.S.2d ----, 2009 N.Y. Slip Op. 05727, 2009 WL 1955864 (3rd Dept. 2009) is an example of that lesson, albeit that the lesson helped the defendant in that case.

Court of Appeals Reverses: No Liability Where Violation of Leash Law Without Pet Owner's Prior Notice of Pet's Vicious Propensity

Posted On Aug 7, 2009 @ 11:40 PM by SEO Admin

Last year we wrote a blog about the case of Petrone v. Fernandez, 53 A.D.3d 221, 862 N.Y.S.2d 522 (2009), an Appellate Division, Second Department decision that held that liability can be imposed when the leash law violation is coupled with affirmative canine behavior such as a dog bite, or an attack upon the plaintiff, or where there is a history of prior violations, even in the absence of a showing that the dog owner or possessor had or should have had knowledge prior to the attack of the dogs vicious propensities. The Second Department was apparently not completely sure of itself and the Appellate Division asked the Court of Appeals if this portion of its order was properly made. The Court of Appeals concluded that it was not. 12 N.Y.3d 546, --- N.E.2d ----, 2009 WL 1585848, N.Y. Slip Op. 04694 (2009). The court held that the liability of the owner of a domest

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