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Pittsburgh Personal Injury Law Blog

Nursing home neglect lawsuit follows premature death

As the loved ones of Pennsylvania residents age, the so called golden years could become a time of suffering for some. Having to place a parent or grandparent who needs constant care in a nursing home is a difficult decision, particularly when nursing home neglect and abuse appear to be increasingly common. A lawsuit was recently filed in another state, alleging such neglect.

Reportedly, a woman sued a lawsuit a nursing home, alleging failure to provide care of an acceptable standard. According to court documents, the plaintiff's mother, who had a stroke history and suffered weakness and Alzheimer's dementia, was admitted to the defendant's facility in 2011. The daughter claims her mother suffered both physical and mental neglect and abuse during her stay.

Dangerous toys could lead to products liability lawsuits

It is only natural for Pennsylvania parents to want to protect their children from harm, but many of them also rush out to buy every new toy that comes onto the market. Although the Consumer Product Safety Commission tries to prevent dangerous toys from landing on the shelves, some are only identified as hazardous after thousands of them have been sold. Vigilance by parents is required to keep their children safe and avoid the need for filing products liability lawsuits.

Reportedly, the CPSC recalled over 6.5 million individual toys -- in about 30 recalls -- over the past year, and although it is necessary to keep a lookout for toys that are recalled, parents may not be aware that they might already have a toy in their home by the time the recall is announced. Furthermore, toys bought online, and even at car boot sales, can put children in danger. The CPSC's safety standards include size requirements of toys and their parts, toxic substance limits, choking hazards, warning labels, noise levels, and accessibility of batteries and magnets.

Construction workers' accidents: Fatal fall claims 1 life

Employers in Pennsylvania and other states must protect their employees from all known hazards. Workers in the construction industry typically face multiple life-threatening risks every day. Falls are regarded as the cause of a significant percentage of fatal construction workers' accidents, and roof workers are particularly vulnerable.

A 20-year-old construction worker died in a workplace accident in a neighboring state. Authorities say the incident took place at about 8 a.m. on a recent Sunday. Reportedly, the young worker fell from a warehouse roof that was approximately 60 feet high. The circumstances that led to the fatal fall are yet to be determined, and no other employees were injured in this incident.

What to do about a workers’ compensation denial

You never expect to suffer an on-the-job injury, but you know that this could happen when you least expect it.

If you are injured on the job (or become ill) you need to understand your legal rights. You may come to find that filing a claim for workers' compensation benefits is an absolute must, as you are unable to return to your job in the near future.

Safety group seeks recall of Pacifica with alleged auto defects

Pennsylvania owners of 2017 Chrysler Pacifica may be interested in learning that the Center for Auto Safety is asking the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to order the recall of these vehicles. According to the safety group, over 50 Pacifica owners have experienced a sudden loss of power and stalling with no warning. Although the manufacturer, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, says no injuries or accidents have been reported to them, the group is asking NHTSA to investigate the alleged auto defects in the Pacificas.

Reportedly, drivers say they have experienced instances in which the power steering of their Pacificas failed. They say they could not accelerate or decelerate. An executive of the safety agency says stalling is known to lead to tragedy, and it is not only the occupants of these minivans who are at risk, but also the occupants of other vehicles that might crash into the stalled vehicles.

Nursing home neglect deemed cause of businessman's death

Robert Frankel, a well-known Pennsylvania businessman, died in a nursing home in Pittsburgh on Sept. 17. He was the father of Dan Frankel, a member of the state House of Representatives. At the time, the medical examiner declared the cause of death to be accidental asphyxiation caused by the compression of the 89-year-old man's neck. However, the Health Department ultimately concluded that nursing home neglect was to blame.

According to the report, the patient's Alzheimer's disease caused severe cognitive impairment and mobility limitations, along with other physical issues. Side rails, which are sometimes used to help patients to reposition themselves, were ordered to be fitted to his bed. However, the elderly patient had apparently developed severely painful sensitivity in one hand. Investigators concluded trying to adjust the side rails with the use of only one hand was dangerous.

Products liability claims may follow fire extinguisher recall

Manufacturers can be held responsible for harm caused by defective products. Consumers nationwide recently learned that the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced recall action after receiving almost 300 reports of malfunctioning fire extinguishers. Pennsylvania consumers who suffered personal injury as the result of such a defect may have grounds for filing products liability lawsuits.

Reportedly, almost 40 million Kidde fire extinguishers were recalled by the manufacturer. It was determined that the extinguishers might malfunction during emergencies. CPSC records indicate that the 291 incidents of such failures included 16 reports of consumers suffering injuries and one fatality.

Many TBIs caused by construction workers' accidents

In Pennsylvania, hard hats are worn to protect workers from suffering head injuries. However, they cannot prevent traumatic brain injuries if employees walk around without them on. Construction workers' accidents can cause life-changing brain injuries to unprotected workers. However, hard hats do not prevent all brain injuries on construction sites.

When a worker suffers a blow to his or her head or even an injury that penetrates the skull, damage to the brain can disrupt normal brain functions. TBIs could vary in severity from concussions, which are usually mild, to severe brain trauma that can cause permanent disabilities. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires hard hats to be worn wherever a danger exists of heads bumping into fixed objects, being struck by falling objects or receiving unintentional electrical shocks.

Fisher-Price voluntarily recalls vibrating infant seats

New parents in southwestern Pennsylvania and beyond undoubtedly have their own tips and techniques for soothing fussy babies. But it's quite likely that some involve the use of different types of products designed to calm crying infants.

However, if one of those go-to products is a vibrating infant seat by Fisher-Price, caregivers just lost a resource in their baby-soothing arsenal.

GM agrees to settle after another auto defects probe

Following several other settlements, automaker General Motors Co. recently agreed to yet another one. This time, the company will settle a state attorneys general auto defects probe in all 50 states into what is deemed to be the mishandling of a defective ignition switch that apparently caused many injuries and numerous deaths in Pennsylvania and other states. GM will pay $120 million in settlement of this latest case.

The company acknowledged being aware of the safety problem with the defective ignition switches in approximately 2.6 million vehicles for about 10 years. However, it failed to admit to it during that time period and only initiated recalls in 2014. Additional recalls involving ignition switches that rotate unintentionally are also addressed in this settlement, bringing the total number of recalls covered to seven and affecting over nine million GM vehicles.

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