New Law Makes It Harder to Introduce Evidence of Prior Incarceration or Conviction in Negligent Hiring Claims

Under a negligent hiring theory, an employer’s liability arises from its failure to take reasonable care in making hiring decisions, thereby placing the newly hired employee in a position to cause foreseeable harm to others. The negligent hiring theory creates an incentive for employers to avoid hiring previously incarcerated individuals.

To avoid such tort exposure, many employers choose not to hire ex-offenders when they apply for employment even though New York Law provides that to do so under certain circumstances constitutes unlawful discriminatory practice.

The employer’s dilemma poses a serious problem for society.The unemployment rate for ex-offenders in New York … Read the rest

Sixteen Athletes, Including Six Former NFL Players, Agree To Donate Their Brains To a Study of the Long-Term Effects of Concussions

Sixteen athletes, including six former NFL players, have agreed to donate their brains to a program that will study the long-term effects of concussions. Of particular interest is a condition known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (C.T.E.), which has been likened to pugilistica dementia seen in boxers. Common symptoms of the condition, a form of traumatic brain injury (TBI) include dementia, Parkinson’s, irritability and short-term memory problems. The condition can be confirmed only by postmortem tissue analysis; X-rays and magnetic resonance imaging tests cannot yet detect it.

Five out of six former N.F.L. player’s brains that have been examined in this … Read the rest

“Google Transit” To Help Customers Navigate New York City Transit System, But At What Cost to the Privacy of Its Customers?

This is cool! Google Transit, a feature of the Google Maps online mapping service, provides point-to-point public transit trip planning. Google Transit will now allow travelers to access streamlined, regional trip-planning based on up-to-date schedule data across the subway, bus and rail systems, including walking directions for the beginning or end of the trip.

The new service will include transit services throughout the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) service territory including: New York City Transit, Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad, MTA Bus, Long Island Bus and Staten Island Railway, as well as other regional connecting services participating in the initiative, … Read the rest

Yo-Yo Waterball, Bearing Risk Of Strangulation, Target of Legislation in New York; Childrens Product Safety and Recall Effectiveness Act of 2008 Also Signed Into Law

New York Governor David A. Paterson signed into law a bill prohibiting the importation, manufacturing, distribution, or sale of dangerous yo-yo waterball toys, and providing for enforcement by the attorney general. The New York State Consumer Protection Board has issued two warnings calling yo-yo waterballs a serious hazard to children. The second warning was issued after a five-year-old girl from the Rochester area was nearly strangled by the toy’s long elastic cord.

Similar to other choking incidents involving yo-yo waterballs, the elastic cord became wrapped around the child`s neck after she had been twirling it above her head. The … Read the rest

New Suffolk County Law Sets $150 Fine for Texting While Driving

Starting September 21, 2008, Suffolk County drivers caught driving while text messaging will face a $150.00 fine under a new county law that is the first of its kind in New York State. Westchester and Nassau recently approved similar laws, but those measures have not taken effect. New York City is considering a similar ban. Four other states have such a law: Alaska, Washington, Minnesota and New Jersey.

County officials said they hope that the new law will encourage New York lawmakers to approve a statewide measure. In May of this year, State Senate Republicans passed legislation yesterday prohibiting drivers … Read the rest

Talcum Powder: Not as Fresh and Innocent as You Might Think (Asbestos, Ovarian Cancer)

For many years, doctors have been discouraging the use of baby powder for infants. Though it works well as a drying agent and fights against rashes, ointments are now the preferred remedy for diaper-related rashes. Have you wondered why? Talcum powder, which contains the mineral talc, is potentially harmful to infants, and it should never be used as a powder during diaper changing. Inhaled talcum powder causes serious breathing complications.

Talcum powder is toxic if swallowed. Inhaling talcum powder can cause twitching, fever, cough, breathing problems, convulsions, and collapse. Asbestos and products containing asbestos are not limited to industrial … Read the rest

Increasing the Driving Age Requirement = Increased Safety

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is a nonprofit, scientific and educational organization aimed at reducing loss on the nation’s highways, including deaths, personal injuries and property damage. Its research has divulged that in the year 2006 alone, 42,642 people died in motor vehicle crashes. In particular, they have found young adult and teen drivers to be at risk, especially drivers younger than the age of 18.

Teen drivers are at significant risk on the road because they lack both the judgment that comes with maturity and the skill associated with experience. In attempts of ameliorating this situation, the … Read the rest

Are Those Plastic Baby Bottles Safe? Some Findings and Advice

What parent could not be concerned upon hearing worrisome reports that bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical used in many polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins such as plastic baby bottles, is dangerous to their newborns. The federal government and others are now studying this issue, but are not reaching the same conclusions as each other. Most recently, a final report released September 3, 2008, by the National Toxicology Program (NTP), finding that BPA is of some concern for effects on development of the prostate gland and brain and for behavioral effects in fetuses, infants and children.

Some concern is the midpoint … Read the rest

Enjoy A Relaxing Lunch as Traffic Whiz’s By Just Inches Away

Recently, on August 27, 2008, two cabs collided sending one of them onto a Times Square sidewalk. Shortly before that accident, on August 15, 2008, New York City carved a new public esplanade on the roadway of Broadway from 42nd to 35th Streets for people to sit, eat lunch, and to just enjoy being outdoors. Called Broadway Boulevard by the Department of Transportation, the area has a gravel coating glued to the pavement, and a bike lane next to the sidewalk. Cafe tables, benches, chairs, umbrellas and flower-filled planters have been set out for people to use as cars and … Read the rest

Few Doctors Report Abuse of Elderly Patients

A recent article in The Providence Journal notes that although doctors in almost every state are required by law to report suspected elder abuse of their patients, hardly any of them do, even if they fear that their silence may subject an elderly person to continued abuse at the hands of a caregiver or in a nursing home. Physicians report just 2 percent of the elder abuse and neglect cases recorded each year by state protective service agencies, according to medical and legal experts and recent articles published in medical journals.

One study, published in 2005 in a journal … Read the rest