Top U.S. Official for Protecting Consumer Product Safety Wants LESS Money and Clout to Enforce Consumer Protection Laws Than Senate Committee Approves

In an attempt to rectify problems and ensure the safety of our children, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation voted yesterday to approve a bill which would overhaul federal standards on consumer products, and includes vital whistle-blower provisions to protect employees who report consumer safety violations. Yet notwithstanding the widely reported recalls of children’s products and the real risks posed to consumers, the top U.S. official for consumer product safety, Nancy A. Nord, the acting chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), had asked Congress in recent days to reject the legislation.

Thus far this year, Read the rest

File This Under “You Can’t Fight City Hall”

One of the banes of representing plaintiffs in personal injury cases against The City of New York is the seemingly endless ability of the City to delay the prosecution of these cases by simply ignoring with impunity court-ordered directives and deadlines to provide disclosure of records and to produce witnesses for depositions.

Most of the time, when a conference is held and the City has not complied with an earlier court order, the City is just given more time to respond. Rarely is the City penalized for its delay and noncompliance. (This is why our office, whenever possible, commences personal … Read the rest

How to Recognize a Sex Offender in School

The New York State School Boards Association New York State School Boards Association has issued tips to recognize signs of possible educator sexual misconduct. State reports say many of the sex offender teachers and administrators maintained sexual relationships with students for months or years, with subtle signs of the abuse discounted or missed by colleagues and students.

Some tips to recognize signs of possible educator sexual misconduct include:

– Student has difficulty walking or sitting, torn clothing, stained or bloodied underwear, pain or itching in the genital area, venereal disease, pregnancy, and changes in weight.

– Sexual behavior inappropriate … Read the rest

AP Report: Sexual Misconduct Plagues U.S. Schools

An Associated Press investigation found more than 2,500 cases over five years in which educators were punished for actions from bizarre to sadistic. A seven-month investigation in which reporters sought disciplinary records in all 50 states and the District of Columbia from 2001 through 2005 found 2,570 educators whose teaching credentials were revoked, denied, surrendered or sanctioned following allegations of sexual misconduct. The number of abusive educators is equal to nearly three for every school day. At least half the educators who were punished by their states also were convicted of crimes related to their misconduct.

Young people were the … Read the rest

New York Attorney General’s Office Issues Tips to Parents to Keep Their Children Safe On the Internet

In connection with the settlement of its consumer fraud investigation of Facebook, the New York State Attorney General’s Office issued advice to parents to take preventive steps to keep their children safe from sexual predators and issued tips on “How to Occupy Space on Social Networking Websites Safely”:

* Be cautious about sharing your personal information online that can be used to locate you offline. This includes your screen name, personal photos, hobbies, social security numbers, address, phone number, bank or credit card number. Remember, websites for underage users are not permitted to request personal information without a parent’s permission.… Read the rest

Facebook Settles New York Attorney General’s Consumer Fraud Investigation

Facebook will step up the policing of pornography, harassment and inappropriate behavior on its social networking site, settling a consumer fraud investigation by New York State Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo. Investigators posing as minors on Facebook were repeatedly solicited by adult predators, and the site did a poor job of responding to complaints from investigators posing as minors or their parents.

The settlement implements a new model to enforce safeguards aimed at protecting its network members, especially children and adolescents, from sexual predators, obscene content and harassment.

Under the terms of the agreement Facebook will, amongst other steps: … Read the rest

Consolidated Edison Files Notice of Claim against New York City Over July 18, 2007, Steam Pipe Explosion

Consolidated Edison has filed a Notice of Claim with the City of New York alleging that leaking cold water caused the steam pipe explosion that occurred on July 18, 2007, near the intersection of Lexington Avenue and East 41st Street in Manhattan. The filing of a notice of claim is a prerequisite to instituting a lawsuit.

Con Ed’s notice of claim was apparently filed just before the expiration of the 90-day statutory time limit. One wonders whether Con Ed has filed the notice of claim based upon the results of the investigation it has been conducting into the explosion, or … Read the rest

It’s Lunchtime, It’s Sunny, and It’s Raining Glass

As an attorney representing people injured in accidents, I have been told by adversaries who regularly represent building owners, general contractors and subcontractors that when they are walking on a sidewalk and are approaching a sidewalk bridge (commonly referred to as scaffolding), they always cross to the other side of the street in order to avoid walking under the sidewalk bridge. They are too familiar with what can and do go wrong.

This past Wednesday afternoon, October 17, 2007, provided a vivid example of why these attorneys feel the way they do. That afternoon, a bathtub-size steel bucket toppled from … Read the rest

Medtronic Urges Doctors to Stop Using Defibrillator Leads After Linking Five Deaths to Breaks in Them

The nation’s largest maker of implanted heart devices, Medtronic, said yesterday that it was voluntarily urging doctors to stop using a family of leads known as the Sprint Fidelis, a crucial component in its most recent implantable defibrillator models, because the leads break too often.

Medtronic told doctors to stop using the Sprint Fidelis wires after linking five deaths to breaks in them. The company said the Fidelis wires failed slightly more often than the thicker wires they were meant to replace. A lead is a wire that connects the heart to a defibrillator, a device implanted near the shoulder … Read the rest

Concussions: Serious Injury for Males and Females Alike

While many might assume that concussions are a “boy thing”, studies are showing that girls are more susceptible to suffering a concussion. For instance, in high school soccer, girls sustained a concussion 68 percent more often than boys, while in basketball, girls are practically three times more likely to sustain a concussion. Due to the erroneous notion that a concussion is a problem that primarily plagues males, looking for and diagnosing concussions in women are not reasonably and diligently pursued.

Some symptoms of a concussion include blurred vision, dizziness, nausea and disorientation. However, often the diagnosis of a concussion is … Read the rest