Cheers for a New U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Rule That Exposes Renegade Manufacturers to Greater Civil Penalties

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) voted last week to approve (4-1) a final rule interpreting factors to be considered when seeking a civil penalty amount for knowing violations of CPSC laws.

The new factors required to be considered are: (1) the nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of the violation, including the nature of the product defect or the substance; (2) the appropriateness of the penalty in relation to the size of the business or of the person charged, including how to mitigate undue adverse economic impacts on small businesses; and (3) other factors as appropriate.

These factors are … Read the rest

Deadly Warning to Users of Sling Carriers for Babies Younger Than Four Months of Age

In 2009, there were three infant deaths associated with sling-style infant carriers. Going back 20 years there have been 14 other deaths. Twelve of the seventeen deaths involved babies younger than 4 months of age. As a result, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) earlier this month warned parents and caregivers to be cautious when when using sling carriers for babies younger than four months of age.

CPSC urges parents of preemies, twins, babies in fragile health and those with low weight to use extra care and consult their pediatricians about using sling carriers because many of the babies … Read the rest

Former Professional Football Player Brings Medical Malpractice Suit for Improper Attention to Head Injury

The sports pages continue to be filled with articles about athletes who suffer concussions and other head injuries. A hot topic this week is the National Hockey Leagues consideration of imposing a rule effective this season – as opposed to next season) – to prohibit shots to players heads from behind or blindside (considering that such contact bears no relation to the skills of playing the game on an individual or team wide basis it seems almost incomprehensible that such hits are presently legal so long as there is no finding of intent to injure).

Now, in what has been … Read the rest

More McDonalds Cases for the Late Night Comics?

At first, it was coffee. Now it’s chicken sandwiches and cancer. Perhaps the greatest propaganda tool for the insurance industry in its self-serving campaign against supposedly frivolous lawsuits is the so-called McDonalds Case where the plaintiff sued for spilling hot coffee on herself. Never mind the hundreds and hundreds of prior complaints against the coffee McDonalds deliberately super-heated in order to keep customers from realizing just how bad it tasted, or the third-degree burns to sensitive, private areas requiring grafting.

Carnival operator Frank Sutton sued McDonalds after suffering burns to his lips when he bit into a chicken sandwich at … Read the rest

Criminal Charges Against Individuals and Corporations Shed Light on Cause of 2008 Crane Collapse in Manhattan

On March 8, 2010, two individuals and two corporations were indicted on criminally negligent homicide, manslaughter and other charges related to the May 30, 2008, crane collapse in New York City that killed two people and seriously injured a third. The indictment describes the callous indifference to safety by the defendants who decided, in an effort to lessen the downtime of and lost rental income from a broken crane, to use a cheaper and quicker means of repair from a Chinese company whose qualifications had not been verified.

The collapse of the crane was caused by the failure of a … Read the rest

Is It Acceptable That No Sprinklers Were Required in Long Island Elementary Schools Destroyed By Fire?

Last month there were two fires in Long Island schools. Just days before there was a fire in Riverhead Charter School, South Bay Elementary School in West Babylon was destroyed by fire, forcing the relocation of its classes to a nearby church.

The school was built in the early 1950s. Fire sprinklers were not required at that time. Since then, updated building codes in New York and other states require sprinklers in school spaces of more than 20,000 square feet. But sprinklers are not required in schools built before the code was changed. In addition, the 20,000 square foot rule … Read the rest

What a Maroon! Man in Crowded Train Station Loudly Speaks His Name, Social Security Number and Date of Birth into Payphone

There I was in the train station, reading the newspaper while waiting for my train when I heard a man in a loud voice say, Representative. I turned to see a man using a pay phone and empathized with his plight to get a live person on the other end of the line. But then the man stated and spelled his name for the representative, said he was going to give his social security number and then did so in its entirety, and finally blurted out his date of birth. Can anybody say identity theft? Yet none of it seemed … Read the rest