New Federal Rule to Make School Buses Safer

New federal rules will make the nations 474,000 school buses safer by requiring higher seat backs, mandating lap and shoulder belts on small school buses and setting safety standards for seat belts on large school buses, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters announced this past October.

Secretary Peters said the new rule requires all new school buses to be equipped with 24-inch-high seat backs, instead of the 20-inch-high seat backs required today. Higher seat backs will help prevent taller and heavier children from being thrown over the seat in a crash, decreasing the chance of injury to them and … Read the rest

Injuries from Laser Hair Removal: There Ought to Be a Law

Our office is currently representing a client who sustained what appears to be permanent scarring as a result of undergoing laser hair removal. However, the laser hair removal center involved has gone out of business to the chagrin of, as readily apparent from the internet, many former customers of the facility.

An apparent owner of the laser hair removal facility, a non-physician, has boasted on the internet that any judgment a customer might obtain in court for the facility’s breach of contract by not rendering services that had been paid for would be a useless judgment against his “defunct” corporation … Read the rest

Death and Injuries Prompt Major League Baseball To Require That Each New Bat Be Examined and Certified For Safety

A major issue of concern that arose during this past baseball season was the frequent incidence of shattering baseball bats, particularly shattering maple bats. In fact, the issue was of such concern that baseball’s Safety and Health Advisory Committee was convened to study the problem and issue recommendations, including, if deemed appropriate, banning the use of maple bats.

After studying thousands of broken bats and hundreds that shattered into multiple pieces, the committee concluded the cause was the poor-quality “slope of grain” and ruptures caused by excessive bending. It was concluded that there was no inherent weakness in using … Read the rest

Older Pedestrians More at Risk to be Killed in an Accident, Especially In New York City and Nearby Counties

Elderly pedestrians, those over 65 years of age, are far more likely to be killed in motor vehicle accidents while walking than younger ones, according to a new study by the Tri-State Transportation Campaign. The study analyzed accidents occurring between 2005 and 2007 in New York City and five nearby counties: Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland and Orange.

The study found that 255 pedestrians aged 65 years and older were killed on downstate New York roads. Though comprising less than 12 percent of the area’s population, people aged 65 and older accounted for 30 percent of the total pedestrian fatalities during … Read the rest

One in Three Children’s Toys Tested Found to have Significant Levels of Toxic Chemicals Including Lead, Flame Retardants, and Arsenic

The Ecology Center, a Michigan-based nonprofit organization, and partners across the country on December 3, 2008, released the 2nd annual consumer guide to toxic chemicals in toys at www.HealthyToys.org. Researchers tested over 1,500 popular children’s toys for lead, cadmium, arsenic, PVC and other harmful chemicals in time for this year’s holiday shopping season. One in three toys tested were found to contain “medium” or “high” levels of chemicals of concern.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission last month announced that in 2008 toy recalls had dropped to 74 from 138 in 2007. Toy recalls in 2007 included toys containing lead … Read the rest

Doctor May be Liable to Infant Strangled by His Mother

In Lizardi v. Westchester County Health Care Corp, 1990/03, a father is seeking to recover damages for the wrongful death of his 7-month infant son Marc Ryan Lizardi who was strangled by his mother, Susan Moody, on February 25th, 2001. The infant’s father is suing Dr. Scott Marder, who was not the treating physician for Ms. Moody during her admission to defendant Stony Lodge Hospital, but had treated her on at least one occasion during that stay during the weeks preceding the tragic event.

The doctor made a pre-answer motion to have the case dismissed against him … Read the rest

New Data Show Drinking Age Laws, Motorcycle Helmets, Frontal Air Bags, Child Safety Seats and Seat Belts Saved 30,235 Lives Over 5 Years

Minimum 21-year-old drinking age laws prevented an estimated 4,441 drunken driving deaths in the last five years alone, according to a new report released today by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

In addition to estimating lives saved due to 21-year-old minimum drinking age laws, the new NHTSA study shows the number of lives saved by motorcycle helmets has risen sharply in recent years, paralleling an increase in motorcycle use. Agency estimates indicate that lives saved by helmets rose from 1,173 in 2003 to 1,784 in 2007.

For the five-year period ending last year, fully 7,502 lives were spared because … Read the rest

Slavery Lesson Goes Awry: Was It Educator Misconduct?

A white seventh-grade social studies teacher teaching a lesson about slavery attempted to simulate the conditions by which African natives were transported in slave ships by binding the hands and feet of two black girls with tape and having them crawl under a desk. It happened in Haverstraw Middle School in Haverstraw, New York of the North Rockland School District.

It not clear whether the girls volunteered for their role in the lesson, but it does not seem very likely that the students felt that they had much choice to refuse their teacher’s request that they participate in being bound. … Read the rest

How Will “Doorbuster Bill” Proposed In Wake of Trampling Death of Wal-Mart Worker Effect Stores’ Civil Liability in the Future?

This past Black Friday bore witness to the inherent dangers in failing to properly control a crowd that could and did turn into a stampeding mob oblivious to the fact that a man was being asphyxiated beneath them. Two days after stampeding shoppers trampled a Wal-Mart worker to death at a Valley Stream, New York store, Queens-based New York City Councilman James Gennaro announced his plans to craft a “Doorbuster Bill” that would require retailers to enact greater security measures during major sales. Nassau County is apparently considering enacting a similar law.

On Black Friday, the now-traditional day after Thanksgiving … Read the rest

FDA Approves Tapentadol Hydrochloride, The First New Drug In Its Class In More Than 25 Years for the Relief of Moderate to Severe Acute Pain

According to the American Pain Foundation, more than 25 million Americans experience acute pain each year as a result of injuries or surgeries, and a recent study estimated that 42 percent of U.S. hospital emergency department visits were due to pain-related problems. Acute pain is a symptom of many medical conditions and can significantly interfere with a person’s quality of life and general functioning. Arthritis is the most common chronic debilitating disease in the United States (more than 43 million people or 1 in 6). Osteoarthritis of the knee is a very common and a major cause of disability.

The … Read the rest