Ohio Product Defect Lawyers: Magnetic balls dangerous to young children

A safety watchdog has filed suit against the manufacturers of magnetic balls, claiming they are dangerous to children. The Ohio product recall lawyers of Elk & Elk believe companies should not benefit from dangerous products.

In an effort to protect children, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has sued two companies that manufacture high-powered magnetic balls.

The CPSC filed administrative complaints against Zen Magnets of Denver, CO, and Maxfield & Oberton Holdings of New York City alleging that the company’s products contain defects in the design, packaging, warnings and instructions which pose a substantial risk of injury.

Maxfield & Oberton is the manufacturer of the popular Buckyballs, the high-powered magnetic desktop toys for adults that many young children have swallowed. The tiny magnets can then cluster together and get stuck in the gastrointestinal tract, causing blockage or infection or punching holes through the stomach or intestinal walls. Continue reading “Ohio Product Defect Lawyers: Magnetic balls dangerous to young children”

Ohio Product Defect Lawyers: FDA restricts use of Stryker brain stent

The FDA has restricted the use of the Wingspan brain stent after evidence surfaced that the device may increase the risk of stroke and death. The Ohio medical malpractice lawyers of Elk & Elk want to make you aware of the possible danger involved in using these stents.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is restricting use of a brain stent manufactured by Stryker that props open clogged brain arteries.

The Wingspan stent was approved by the FDA in 2005 for use in patients with plaque-filled arteries in the brain – a condition which can lead to strokes. After looking at data suggesting the stent can actually increase stroke and death in some patients, the FDA now says the device should only be used only for a small segment of patients who have experienced multiple strokes but have not had any stroke symptoms in the last week.

The Wingspan stent is made up of a small, mesh tube that is secured via an inflatable tube, promoting blood flow thorough the arteries to the brain. Continue reading “Ohio Product Defect Lawyers: FDA restricts use of Stryker brain stent”

Ohio Personal Injury Lawyers: Parents must make sure kids are properly restrained

A new study found that most children are not properly restrained when they ride in vehicles. The Ohio personal injury lawyers of Elk & Elk urge all parents to make sure that their children are properly restrained every time they ride in a vehicle.

One of the most important jobs for any parent is to keep their children safe. A study released this week said that many parents may be failing to do just that each time they get in a vehicle.

The study published Tuesday in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine found that the majority of U.S. kids do not sit safely in cars, either because they are not properly restrained in car seats or booster seats, or because they sit in the front seat.

Researchers at the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, analyzed data from past studies that tracked children’s seating in cars at public sites such as restaurants, child care centers and gas stations. They observed nearly 22,000 children and found that only 3 percent of children ages 1-3 who were restrained were sititing in a proper, rear-facing car seat. And only 10 percent of 8- to 10-year-old children were properly restrained in a booster seat or car seat.

Some experts say confusion about child seat laws may be partially to blame. Child seat laws vary from state to state, and most state laws aren’t as strict as the recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Under current Ohio law:

–          Infants should ride rear-facing in an infant-only or convertible seat until they are at least 1 year old and at least 20 pounds.

–          Children less than 4 years old or 40 pounds must use a child safety seat.

–          Children less than 8 years old, unless they are at least 57 inches tall, must use a booster seat

The latest AAP recommendations say that until age 2, children should sit in rear-facing seats, and children over 2 should sit in front-facing seats with harnesses until their weight and height exceeds the car seat’s capacity. Then, a booster seat should still be used until a child is 57 inches tall – the average height for an 11-year-old. They recommend that children shouldn’t sit in the front seat until they’re 13. Click here to read more from the AAP on child seat safety.

Common mistakes included that children over age 7 were seldom seated in a booster seat (only 2 percent of kids used a booster seat), and that by ages 8 to 10, 25 percent of kids were already sitting in the front seat.

Car crashes are the leading cause of death for children older than 3 and more than 140,000 children go to emergency rooms annually as a result of car accidents. But properly seating a child in a car seat or booster seat greatly reduces the risk of injury or death. According to the Centers for Disease Control, child safety seats reduce the risk of death in passenger cars by 71% for infants, and by 54% for toddlers ages 1 to 4 years. According to researchers at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, for children 4 to 7 years, booster seats reduce injury risk by 59% compared to seat belts.

The personal injury lawyers of Elk & Elk urge all parents, grandparents or anyone else who transports children to make sure that they follow all laws and guidelines for properly restraining children every time they get in the car. It is up to each parent to decide whether they want to just follow the restrictions enforced by law, or if they want to abide by the stricter suggestions from the AAP. Also, make sure you wear your seat belt every time you get in the car. This sets a good example for your children and shows that you are concerned about and value safety.

Don’t let your child become a statistic.

 

Ohio Personal Injury Lawyers: Walking and texting an underreported danger

The number of pedestrians killed and injured due to distractions from electronic devices appears to be on the rise. The Ohio personal injury lawyers of Elk & Elk want all walkers to be aware of the dangers of walking and texting.

Studies have proven, and you have likely noticed yourself, that most people can’t focus on two things at once. But how many of us continue to text and drive or text and walk? Although there is a lot of attention being focused on ending texting and driving, evidence shows that distracted walking is a growing problem.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports 4,280 pedestrians died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2010, a 4% increase from 2009. Officials estimated another 70,000 were injured, an increase of 19 percent from 2009. According to the NHTSA, on average, a pedestrian was killed every two hours and injured every eight minutes. Pedestrian deaths accounted for 13% of all traffic fatalities in 2010.

Many officials believe the recent increase in pedestrians injured and killed is tied to the increase in pedestrians distracted by electronics – cell phones, iPods and other portable devices.

Reports of injuries to distracted walkers treated at hospital emergency rooms have more than quadrupled in the past seven years and are almost certainly underreported. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 1,152 people were treated in hospital emergency rooms in the United States last year for injuries suffered while walking and using a cellphone or some other electronic device. But officials believe that number is likely an underestimate, because many patients may not mention they were using a cellphone at the time they were injured or the doctor or nurse may neglect to include the information in their report.

Officials and safety groups are working hard to find ways to protect people, without infringing on their personal rights.

In Delaware, officials are using a public education to increase awareness of the issue, placing decals on crosswalks and sidewalks at busy intersections urging pedestrians to “Look up. Drivers aren’t always looking out for you.”

Efforts to legislate distracted walking have proved mostly futile. The Utah Transit Authority adopted an ordinance banning pedestrians from using cellphones, headphones or other distracting electronic devices while crossing the tracks of its light rail system in Salt Lake City. However, the state legislature refused to make it a statewide law. Other distracted walking bills in Arkansas, Illinois and New York also failed.

The Ohio accident attorneys at Elk & Elk encourage you to avoid texting while walking to reduce your risk of being involved in a pedestrian accident. No text message is worth you being killed or injured in a pedestrian-vehicle accident.

While it is important that pedestrians pay attention while they are walking or jogging, it is also important for drivers to watch and pay attention. As U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said, “Roadway safety is a two-way street that requires effort on the part of motorists and pedestrians alike.”

If you or someone you love was injured in a pedestrian-vehicle accident, contact the Ohio accident attorneys at Elk & Elk. We have almost 50 years of experience representing victims of pedestrian accidents and we can help you and your loved ones get the justice you deserve. Call 1-800-ELK-OHIO today.

Ohio Employment Claims Lawyers: Illinois becomes 2nd state blocking employers from asking for social media logins

State lawmakers and the federal government are taking steps to stop employers from improperly snooping in employees’ and potential employees’ social media accounts. The employment claims lawyers of Elk & Elk believe laws must be in place to protect individuals’ privacy.

Earlier this week, Illinois became the second state to pass a law that makes it illegal for employers to ask job applicants for passwords to their online profiles.

Some companies and government agencies have started asking for passwords to log in to prospective employees’ accounts on social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter. Many have criticized the practice as a serious invasion of privacy.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed the law at the Illinois Institute of Technology, where several students claimed that their bosses’ online snooping had caused them to lose out on jobs or forced them to deactivate their profiles.

Quinn said that it was important that the law keep up with technology. “We’re dealing with 21st-century issues … Privacy is a fundamental right. I believe that and I think we need to fight for that,” Quinn said.

Rep. La Shawn Ford, sponsor of the bill, said, that penalties in any successful civil suit would start at between $100 and $300 but would likely end up costing employers much more.

Maryland is the only other state with a similar law, but several other states are considering bans, including Washington, Delaware and New Jersey.

The Illinois law protects both current and prospective employees. However, the law, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2013, does not stop bosses from viewing information that isn’t restricted by privacy settings on the social media site.

Some research shows that as many as 75 percent of employers look at an applicant’s online profile before offering them a job. One-third of employers have turned down applicants based on what was found in those searches.

Employers asking employees or potential employees for their social media passwords is a gross invasion of privacy. While an employer has the right to vet any potential employees, there has to be a line maintained between what is public and what is private. There are limits about what questions an interviewer may ask an applicant. Is there any reason similar limits shouldn’t exist in cyberspace?

But no matter what the law may say about your privacy, it is always smart to be cautious about what you post on social media sites. You never know who may end up seeing it. Be smart and make good choices.