Tragic Pedestrian Accident: Mechanical Difficulty or Drunk, Leering Driver?

There are all too many news stories of motor vehicles mounting curbs and striking pedestrians with tragic results. Two incidents like this occurred in Manhattan just this past Friday afternoon. But one of these incidents has an unusual element: according to witnesses, rather than an apparently random occurrence,the driver of the vehicle and his passenger were following the pedestrians just before mounting the sidewalk. At 5P.M., a 28-year-old pregnant woman, Ysemny Ramos, was killed while she was walking west along East 37th Street, between Fifth and Madison Avenues.

According to the police, the driver, Keston Brown, was apparently intoxicated and … Read the rest

Unwanted Prolongation of Life Held Not Actionable Without Separate Injury

The plaintiff alleged, in Cronin v. Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, — N.Y.S.2d —-, 2009 WL 711761 (March 17, 2009), that the defendant wrongfully prolonged the decedent’s life by resuscitating him on two occasions against the express instructions of the decedent and his family as contained in two Do-Not-Resuscitate orders issued by the hospital and executed by members of the decedent’s family. The Appellate Division, Second Department, affirmed the granting of summary judgment in favor of the defendant and dismissing the complaint on the ground that the plaintiff was asserting a claim for wrongful living and that no such cause of … Read the rest

Tragic Day Care Toddler Death Highlights Childrens Food-Related Choking Hazards

In 2000, 160 children age 14 and younger died from obstruction – 41 percent caused by food items and 59 percent by nonfood items. In part due to concerns about children choking, New York State regulation (18 NYCRR 418-1.5) requires handbags, backpacks or briefcases belonging to adults; plastic bags; and toys and objects small enough for children to swallow must be used and stored in such a manner that they are not accessible to children, especially in day care centers.

Unfortunately, an apparent violation of this regulation by an unlicensed day care center for toddlers turned tragic on March 17, … Read the rest

Fallout from Salmonella in Tainted Peanuts Continues Unabated as President Obama Announces Creation of Food Safety Working Group

Recall after recall has resulted from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expansion of the Peanut Corporation of America’s (PCA) Salmonella related recall to include all peanut ingredient products produced in PCA’s Plainview, Texas facility since January 1, 2007. Just last week, the FDA announced recalls of 18 peanut-containing products because the products have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

Salmonella is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. The government fails to inspect 95 percent of food processing plants. Referring to … Read the rest

FDA Launches SAFEKIDS Initiative to Assess Safety of Anesthetics And Sedatives In Young Children

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced on March 13, 2009, agreements with five partners to study the effects of anesthetics and sedatives on the neurocognitive development of infants and young children. Exposure to some anesthetics and sedatives is associated with memory and learning deficits and other neurodegenerative changes in the central nervous system, according to research using juvenile animal models by the FDA’s National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR). Insufficient human data exists to either support or refute the possibility that similar effects could occur in children. The FDA hopes to develop this data through the Safety of Key … Read the rest

Don’t Be So Sure That Dietary Supplements Are Safe; The F.D.A. Isn’t

In the first 10 months of 2008 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.) received 948 reports of health problems associated with dietary supplements, but not necessarily directly caused by them, according to a report from the federal Government Accountability Office (G.A.O.). Those included 9 deaths, 64 life-threatening illnesses and 234 hospitalizations. The F.D.A. recently estimated that there are more than 50,000 minor and serious health problems a year related to dietary supplements.

For purposes of the G.A.O. report, dietary ingredient means an ingredient that is included in the dietary supplement definition in the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act … Read the rest

Study Finds Cell Phones Distract Preadolescent Children While Crossing Streets

Cell phones are known to distract motor vehicle drivers to the point that their safety is jeopardized and an accident may occur. But what about whether cell phones might also distract child pedestrians? A study of effect of cell phone use on pediatric pedestrian injury risk suggests that cell phones distract pre-adolescent children while crossing streets. While distracted, children were less attentive to traffic; left less safe time between their crossing and the next arriving vehicle; experienced more collisions and close calls with oncoming traffic; and waited longer before beginning to cross the street.

Seventy-seven children aged 10 to … Read the rest

Protect Your Children from Exposure to Lead Resulting From Home Renovation, Repair, and Painting Activities

Home renovation, repair, and painting activities cause elevated blood lead levels in children no doubt about it. A 1997 analysis conducted by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) indicated that home renovation, repair, and painting (RRP) activities were important sources of lead exposure among children with blood lead levels (BLLs) >20 g/dL in New York state. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report dated January 30, 2009 identified RRP activities as being the probable source of lead exposure in 139 (14%) of the 972 children in New York with BLLs of over 20 … Read the rest