Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Tests Vehicle Passenger Safety in Rollover and Rear-End Accidents

Rollover crashes constitute 3 percent of passenger vehicle crashes, but about one third of the fatalities. Injuries can occur even if there is minimal roof deformation after a crash. At other times vehicle occupants are unharmed even if there is significant roof deformation. A recent study performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has demonstrated the inadequacy of the proposed federal rule to increase a vehicle’s roof strength from 1.5 times to 2.5 times the weight of a car.

The study concludes that 212 of the 668 deaths involved in rollover accidents in 2006 could have been … Read the rest

A New Fire Code and an Improved Building Code For New York City Effective July 1, 2008

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has signed legislation establishing a new Fire Code for the City of New York, effective July 1, 2008. It is the first comprehensive revision since the City’s Fire Code was adopted in 1913. The Fire Code, enforced by the Fire Department, governs emergency preparedness and planning and more specifically the permit and inspection process for the use of building safety systems such as sprinklers, fire detectors, and extinguishers.

The new fire code improves public and emergency responder safety by establishing new permit requirements, requiring more detailed fire and safety evacuation plans, requiring a fire safety program … Read the rest

Major League Baseballs Liability for Injuries Resulting from Shattering Maple Bats

When players or spectators are injured at sporting events, a common and often successful defense alleged by the team or stadium owner is that the person injured assumed the risk of injury; in other words that the injury is considered to be an acceptable risk understood and known to the injured person. Another common defense is that the defendant did not have any notice of the dangerous condition prior to the occurrence so as to permit it the opportunity to correct or warn about it. But with a great number of maple bats literally shattering (a much more dangerous phenomenon … Read the rest

Protest and Crane Dismantling Latest Developments Highlight Critical Importance of NYC’s Proposed Legislation To Increase Construction Site Safety

Families of the firefighters who died in last summer’s fire at the former Deutsche Bank building held a demonstration at the Manhattan site yesterday morning to call for construction site safety and reform throughout New York City. Meanwhile, a Kodiak crane owned by New York Crane at a Washington Street construction site is being dismantled after inspectors found two cracks in the turntable of the tower crane. Kodiak cranes owned by New York Crane were involved in fatal crane collapses that occurred on March 15, 2008, and May 30, 2008These developments and others make all the more … Read the rest

New York State Bar Association Creates Task Force To Study Proliferation Of Wrongful Convictions

The new President of the New York State Bar Association Bernice Leber, noting that the number of criminal convictions overturned in New York State is undermining public confidence in the justice system, recently announced the creation of a Task Force on Wrongful Convictions. The task force will study the systemic, procedural and statutory causes that contribute to wrongful convictions and propose solutions to this growing problem, and will begin work immediately.

The Task Force on Wrongful Convictions will conduct an analysis of cases in New York State that have led to wrongful convictions, hold a series of hearings to provide … Read the rest

June Through August is the Deadliest Time of Year for 15-Passenger Van Occupants

New research from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has found June through August to be the deadliest time of year for 15-passenger van occupants, due to rollover crashes. Statistics show that 31 percent of fatal rollovers involving 15-passenger vans occur during the busy summer travel months.

The NHTSA also emphasizes that conventional 12 to 15-passenger vans cannot be used as school buses because they are not certified to carry students on a regular basis, and thus cannot be sold or leased as new vehicles to carry students on a regular basis. NHTSA data shows a significant increase … Read the rest

From Cranes to Window Washers to Trenches, Construction Accidents Roil New York City

It seems that troubling news regarding the construction industry and construction accidents in New York City are heard on a daily basis. 15 people in construction-related accidents have been killed in the city so far this year, compared with 12 in all of 2007. After the second of two recent crane collapses within 12 weeks of each other during which period the city held its 4th annual Construction Safety Week, a window into the world of New York City Buildings Department crane inspections and inspectors has been opened. Nine people, all but one of them construction workers, died in … Read the rest

Medtronic Recalls Selected Heparin-Coated Products

Medtronic, Inc., in what is termed a precautionary measure, has voluntary recalled selected products featuring its Carmeda BioActive surface, a coating applied to some devices used in heart bypass surgery and dialysis, because the coating includes contaminated heparin, a blood thinner that has been linked to 81 deaths. Affected products include blood oxygenators, reservoirs, pumps, cannulae, and tubing packs.

This action was taken subsequent to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s April 8, 2008 recommendation to device manufacturers that heparin supplies be checked with newly-developed tests, and that affected products be evaluated for possible field corrective action.

Limited … Read the rest

Court Victories Last Week for Fantasy Baseball and Mayor Bloomberg

Last week, the United States Supreme Court declined to accept an appeal of an 8th Circuit decision that upheld a fantasy baseball company’s right to use, without license, the names of, statistics and information about major league baseball players in connection with its fantasy baseball products. Fantasy sports are estimated to generate $500 million in revenue per year from more than 19 million participants, according to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association.

The circuit court had held that CBC’s first amendment rights in offering its fantasy baseball products supersede the players’ rights of publicity. The Supreme Courts denial of the petition … Read the rest

Litigation Again Reveals What Big Pharma Wants Kept Secret

Recent federal court filings in the Ortho Evra products liability litigation disclosed that Johnson & Johnson hid data from the FDA about their birth control patches’ side effects and failed to address flaws in the manufacturing process which could increase the risk of serious and potentially fatal problems.

The factual allegations were publicly released as part of the plaintiffs opposition to a motion by Johnson & Johnson to dismiss the claims of women injured by their birth control patch. The allegations include that Johnson & Johnson applied an apparently random correction factor of 60% to tests that measured the level … Read the rest