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Pittsburgh Personal Injury Law Blog

Products liability: 1-year-old child swallows 20 magnetic balls

Pennsylvania parents may want to heed the warning of parents in another state who came to experience the dangers posed to children by magnetic toys. After their ordeal of facing the possible death of their child who will turn two years old soon, this family plans to file a products liability lawsuit. They aim to get manufacturers and distributors to remove these toys from the market -- even though the products are marketed as adult desk toys.

The family reports that they supervised the child as he was playing with the magnetic balls which were gifted by friends. However, they never noticed the child putting the tiny balls into his mouth, and when the boy experienced severe pain, they rushed him to the hospital. They were shocked when X-rays revealed that the baby had swallowed 20 of the magnetic balls that were now in his stomach.

The difference between nursing home neglect and abuse

The number of elderly residents in Pennsylvania nursing homes that suffer neglect is alarming. Nursing home abuse is a form of neglect; however, there is a distinct difference between the two. While caregivers typically commit abuse with the intention to cause harm, nursing home neglect is the provision of substandard care. The patient suffers harm due to the breach of duty rather than intent to injure.

Nursing home neglect typically involves different types of negligence. Medical neglect happens when caregivers fail to provide the necessary medical care to prevent complications such as infections, bed sores and other maladies. Neglecting the basic needs of a patient is a second type that involves the failure to provide sufficient food and water and a safe and clean environment.

Construction workers' accidents: The threat to female workers

While construction is a male-dominated industry in Pennsylvania, women nationwide have been involved in it for decades. Even though women represent what may seem like an insignificant percentage of construction workers, they are entitled to the same protection from construction workers' accidents. To promote this, the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) renewed its alliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

NAWIC has been looking after the safety of female construction workers since 1955, making sure that this growing segment of the workers in the construction industry is safe. There are particular concerns of women safety on which the organization focuses. These include the selection of personal protective equipment that is suitable for the female physique along with sanitation issues. Furthermore, they address workplace violence and intimidation.

2018 Kia Sorentos recalled due to auto defects

Vehicle owners in Pennsylvania and other states who purchase new vehicles expect those vehicles to take them safely to any destination. However, recalls of vehicles with defects that threatened the safety of motorists were prevalent this past year. One of the most significant auto defects that led to recall action was airbags that deployed unexpectedly, exploded or malfunctioned in other manners. While one would expect that problem to be resolved after all those recalls, another airbag-related recall was recently announced.

Kia Motors America reported that approximately 2,000 of its brand new 2018 Sorentos that were produced mere months ago had defective side curtain airbags. The maker says the manufacturing dates of the affected SUVs fall between Sept. 5 and Nov. 29, 2017. The risk posed by the airbags is the detachment of the inflator diffuser from the inflator body at the time of deployment in the event of an accident.

Construction workers' accidents: Preventing fires is essential

Construction sites are known to be minefields of life-threatening hazards, one of which is the danger of fires. Too many construction workers' accidents that involve fires have claimed the lives of workers nationwide, including Pennsylvania. However, safety authorities say most occupational injuries and fatalities could have been avoided had safety regulations been followed.

Safety measures include adequate training and supervision, wearing appropriate personal protective equipment and having the necessary lockout/tagout devices on tools and machines to de-energize power supply during maintenance and cleaning. These measures may prevent electrical fires. Also essential are sufficient fire exits and clear signs to indicate their locations.  Fire extinguishers to suit the work done in every area must be readily available.

Pittsburgh hunters beware of exploding rifle

The Allegheny Mountains and the woodland areas surrounding Pittsburgh provide plenty of opportunities for hunting enthusiasts to hunt bucks and other wildlife. Children of both genders often accompany their parents into the woods to learn the basics of safe hunting at a young age.

But regardless of the hours of safety instruction and demonstration, hunters of all ages are at risk when a gun manufacturer fails to timely recall a firearm with dangerous design flaws.

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.

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