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Levine and Slavit, PLLC - Blog

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

Toy Industry Announces Safety Coordination Initiative in Response to Unprecedented Recalls of Dangerous Products

Posted On May 11, 2008 @ 11:23 PM by Ira Slavit

In response to toy safety concerns raised during the summer of 2007 and the record number of unsafe toys recalled last year (and doubtlessly a number of product liability lawsuits), the U.S. Toy Industry Association (TIA) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) have formed the Toy Safety Coordination Initiative, a developing program that is designed to improve the safety of toys sold in American and to rebuild consumer confidence in the safety of toys in the American marketplace. The purpose of the initiative may be two-fold: to increase toys' safety and to head-off stricter federal and state laws. The program has three components: 1. Design Hazard Analysis - A requirement for a risk assessment or design hazard analysis to be conducted on all new toy designs. Industry analysts say

Propaganda in Health News: An Epidemic of Fake Health Stories

Posted On May 8, 2008 @ 10:43 AM by SEO Admin

A feature article in the March/April 2007 issue of the Columbia Journalism Review discusses and labels as an epidemic the pervasive role hospitals play in producing "feel good" stories that are essentially advertisements for themselves and feeding the stories to television stations that run the stories as purported health news on their local TV news programs. The stories chosen tend to promote expensive specialties and procedures like bariatric surgery for obesity and gamma knife surgery for brain cancer at the expense of stories about less profitable diagnoses, like AIDS or pneumonia, care for the uninsured, or critical stories such as hospital infection rates, medical mistakes or poor care. Perhaps the most egregious example cited in the feature involves the partnership between the CBS station in Philadelphia with Temple University Hospital, which produces stores called Temple LifeLin

New York City Holds 4th Annual Construction Safety Week

Posted On May 5, 2008 @ 04:50 PM by SEO Admin

Last week, April 28 - May 2, 2008, was New York Citys 4th annual Construction Safety Week, the purpose of which is to "advance safe construction practices. Seminars were offered in topics such as Scaffold Safety: Keeping Workers Safe on the Job, (held by the NYC Department of Buildings in conjunction with the Latin American Workers Project), Performing Safe Excavations, Safety First: Urban Demolition, Crane Safety: New Regulations You Must Know and Safe Concrete Operations, Design, Methods and Regulations. The previous week saw Buildings Commissioner Patricia Lancaster resign her position at the Department of Buildings. She admitted to the City Council that the plans for a 43 story tower in Turtle Bay, Manhattan, where a crane collapsed on March 15, 2008, did not me

Possible Medical Malpractice LASIK Cases? FDA Advisers Recommend Clearer Warnings of Risks and Contraindications For Would-Be Patients

Posted On May 1, 2008 @ 06:10 PM by SEO Admin

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Ophthalmic Devices Panel convened last Friday to discuss post-LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) quality-of-life issues. Of the 7.6 million people who have undergone the procedure in the United States since the mid-1990s, 140 have written letters of complaint to the FDA. Approximately one in four people who seeks Lasik is not a good candidate. Perhaps 1 percent or fewer, suffer serious, life-changing side effects: worse vision, severe dry eye, glare, inability to drive at night. One young man committed suicide because of severe eye pain and fuzzy vision. Some patients have had to have corneal transplants when LASIK went wrong. The FDA says it is concerned that doctors are not adequately informing patients about the potential risks. The FDA advisers recommended that the agency make clearer the warnings it already provides for would-be Lasik patients: Add photographs that illustrate what people suffering certain side

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Seeks to Increase Dealer Compliance with Required Tire Registration

Posted On Apr 28, 2008 @ 01:56 PM by SEO Admin

It has been the law for years that when a purchaser/lessor of a vehicle with new tires takes possession of the vehicle that the dealer must provide a tire registration card to the purchaser/lessor and instruct the purchaser/lessor to mail the registration card to the tire manufacturer. Nonetheless, it is estimated that only approximately 10% of tires are registered due to the perceived burdensome nature of filling out and mailing the cards. Now the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has proposed new rules allowing this to be done on-line or electronically by the dealer. The goals of the proposal are to potentially reducing costs and to improve tire registration rates. (For those with privacy concerns, the law stipulates that the manufacturer can use the registrant's information only for a recall). Illegibility or other ambiguity caused by hand-written information would also be eliminated with electronic registration. The importance of tire registra

Now You Can Receive Alerts of Recalls of Tires and Child Car Seats By E-mail or On Your Personalized Homepage

Posted On Apr 24, 2008 @ 09:25 AM by SEO Admin

Consumers can now sign up with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to receive automatic e-mail alerts when there is a government recall of defective tires or child restraint safety seats. Before this alert system, consumers had to rely on press reports or, if they filled in and then mailed the registration card when buying a tire or car seat, a notice from a manufacturer to learn about recalls. Recall completion numbers indicate that fewer than one-third of affected consumers respond to tire recalls, while less than half of affected consumers respond to child seat recalls. By contrast, 70 percent of vehicle recalls are completed. In addition to registering for e-mail alerts, consumers can have the latest tire and/or child restraint recalls automatically delivered to your personalized homepage. The NHTSA uses RSS or Really Simple

Exposure of Vioxx "Ghostwriting" Another Example of How Litigation Can Benefit Society (and Why Big Business/Pharma Fears It)

Posted On Apr 21, 2008 @ 11:31 PM by SEO Admin

Product liability litigation involving rofecoxib (Vioxx) has led to the disclosure of materials that has provided direct evidence of something that has long been suspected but well-hidden by industry; the manipulation by for-profit manufacturers of pharmaceuticals and medical devices of study results, using authors, editors, and reviewers to misrepresent research data and manipulate clinical research articles and clinical reviews. Reports published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) based upon a review of materials disclosed by Merck & Co. in the course of the Vioxx litigation claim Merck & Co. frequently paid academic scientists to take credit for research articles prepared by company-hired medical writers, a practice called "ghostwriting". The reports also contend Merck tried to minimize deaths in two studies that showed that the now

Medicare Proposes Adding to Its List of Hospital-Acquired Conditions For Which It Will Not Pay the Extra Costs

Posted On Apr 17, 2008 @ 08:55 AM by SEO Admin

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing to add an additional nine categories to its initial list of 8 conditions that could reasonably have been prevented. that Medicare will no longer pay the extra costs of treating when acquired in the hospital . In a statement dated April 14, 2008, CMS proposed to add the following to its list of conditions that it will not pay for: Surgical site infections following certain elective procedures: Legionnaire's disease; Extreme blood sugar derangement; Iatrogenic pneumothorax or collapsed lungs; Delirium; Ventilator-associated pneumonia; Deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism; Staphylococcus aureus septicemia or bloodstream infection; and Clostridium difficile associated disease. In addition, CMS is proposing to create new codes to better identify two conditions that were previously selected: foreign object retained after surgery; and pressure u

Construction Accidents: What's Up With the Cranes?

Posted On Apr 14, 2008 @ 10:14 PM by SEO Admin

Apparently it's not sufficient that an inspector makes a phantom inspection of a Manhattan construction site crane that subsequently collapses, killing 7 people, injuring another 24 people, destroying a building, and causing untold other horrors. An investigation by New York State's inspector general has found that a Crane Operator Examining Board examiner issued more than 200 improper certificates to operators even though they had failed their practical exams. Examiner Frank Fazzio even improperly issued himself a crane certificate. He has been removed from the Crane Board. The investigation was prompted by an allegation that certificates were being unfairly denied to non-union crane operators. The inspector general's office found that state labor officials were notified about 42 improperly issued crane certificates in 2004, but failed to act. Als

First Nationwide Hospital-By-Hospital Survey Of Patient Satisfaction Released: Results Not Flattering for Long Island Hospitals

Posted On Apr 13, 2008 @ 02:33 PM by SEO Admin

For the first time, the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has posted consumer survey information on its Hospital Compare Web site (www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov) that attempts to capture the experiences of a patients in a hospital. It is a unique attempt by the government to evaluate hospital care from the perspective of the patient. Unfortunately for Long Islanders, on average, Long Island hospitals scored lower in patient satisfaction in eight out of 10 measures compared with other hospitals statewide or nationally. The Island's largest health system, North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, did not fare well on the survey. Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park scored below the state and national average in all 10 areas. North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset scored below the state and national average in 8 out of 10 measures. Other North Shore-LIJ hospitals also scored below the state and national average, including Plainview H

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