Tag: personal injury attorneys

FDA Food Safety Campaign too late to avoid personal injury to one infant and death of another from contaminated formula

The FDA has announced a new initiative to start a long overdue overhaul of the nation’s food safety system, while in the meantime, one infant has died and another was hospitalized from a rare infection that authorities are blaming on contaminated powdered food products.  Personal injuries from food are a growing problem in the U.S. if media reports are to be believed.

This sort of thing used to be the province of lesser developed nations.  But with the underfunding of FDA food safety regulators coupled with anti-safety tort reform laws that close the courthouse doors to families suffering personal injury from contaminated foods, we’ve seen more frequent reports of contaminated products finding their way onto store shelves.

The FDA announcement described a campaign to reshape its food inspection arm by increasing the number of inspectors in the field and updating software tools.  Still, the government is going to be hampered from any increased effort by the very real budget problems that exist at both state and federal levels.

So, in response to the nationwide problem of increased food contamination risk, the FDA has committed to hiring an additional 130 employees to conduct inspections and collect samples.  While this is a good start, clearly the tort system needs to find its own increased role in policing food safety, since a private sector solution isn’t hampered by governmental funding shortfalls or transient political priorities.

An example of the high stakes in food safety is found in a report that two New Mexico infants contracted rare infections that the Center for Disease Control and prevention said are associated with contaminated powdered formula products.  On infant died, the other remains hospitalized.

While the CDC says other environmental sources of the infection are possible, without a robust public and private safety system in place — meaning government inspectors on the public side and private investigators working in the tort system on the private side — we may never know the actual source of the infection.

Time to get pro-safety in this country.  The stakes are high.

Bill Daniels is a trial lawyer and shareholder with the law firm of DANIELS LAW in Sherman Oaks, CA.  A graduate of Loyola Law School of Los Angeles, he is a former member of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles Board of Governors, a founding member of Loyola’s Civil Justice Program and a past president of the Encino Lawyers Association.  Since 2007, he has been named a Southern California “Super Lawyer” by Los Angeles Magazine.  Mr. Daniels focuses his practice on serious personal injury, insurance and employment. For information, visit our website at www.daniels.legal or contact us through e-mail: Info@danielslaw.com.

Consumer Product Safety Act of 2008 may lower personal injuries in children this holiday

You recall all the horror stories of late where children’s toys from offshore — usually China — have unsafe levels of lead or other defects that threaten children with harm.

This past summer, Congress passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 to try to remedy some of these problems.  The new law bans lead and other harmful substances from toys, creates a publically accessible consumer complaint database, increases civil penalties for violators and protects whistleblowers who report safety defects.

The law didn’t come into full effect in time for this holiday season, but it ups the ante for those who manufacture and distribute unsafe toys because it creates higher standards they will face should their products cause injuries that wind up in court.

Toy-related accidents are a big problem in the United States.  The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates there were 220,500 toy-related injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms in 2006, with some 165,100 injuries involving children younger than 15.  Twenty two of the later group, died, with the leading causes of death being airway obstruction from small toys and injuries sustained from riding toys.

When purchasing toys for your own children, be aware that you are your family’s first line of defense.  Read the labels on the toys you buy and purchase age appropriate products.  

Holidays should be happy times.  By paying attention to the toys your children play with, you can make sure the holidays are filled with nothing but fun.

Bill Daniels is a trial lawyer and shareholder with the law firm of DANIELS LAW in Sherman Oaks, CA.  A graduate of Loyola Law School of Los Angeles, he is a former member of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles Board of Governors, a founding member of Loyola’s Civil Justice Program and a past president of the Encino Lawyers Association.  Since 2007, he has been named a Southern California “Super Lawyer” by Los Angeles Magazine.  Mr. Daniels focuses his practice on serious personal injury, insurance and employment. For information, visit our website at www.daniels.legal or contact us through e-mail: Info@danielslaw.com.
 

Poor economy means more drivers are dropping their car insurance, which is bad news if you have a personal injury accident

In the news today, word that a rise in the unemployment rate is leading to a rise in uninsured drivers as people try to save money.  In California, roughly 25% of drivers aren’t insured.  That means if you stand on a street corner, one out of every four cars passing you has absolutely no insurance if they injure you in an accident.

Your best protection is to make sure you have adequate uninsured motorist coverage on your own policy.  This is something many people don’t pay attention to, or try to save money on by buying the lowest possible limits.

You need to be proactive in making sure you have enough uninsured motorist coverage on your policy.  Check your insurance policy declarations page and then ask your carrier how much extra they will charge for limits equal to what they would pay another driver if your were responsible for their personal injuries.

On the bright side, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is reporting that small cars are faring better in crashes than they used to, though they still show some weakness in side-impact collisions.

Top safety picks are the Scion xB, Honda Civic, Mitsubishi Lancer, Volkswagen Rabbit, Toyota Corolla and Honda Fit.

Bill Daniels is a trial lawyer and shareholder with the law firm of DANIELS LAW in Sherman Oaks, CA.  A graduate of Loyola Law School of Los Angeles, he is a former member of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles Board of Governors, a founding member of Loyola’s Civil Justice Program and a past president of the Encino Lawyers Association.  Since 2007, he has been named a Southern California “Super Lawyer” by Los Angeles Magazine.  Mr. Daniels focuses his practice on serious personal injury, insurance and employment. For information, visit our website at www.daniels.legal or contact us through e-mail: Info@danielslaw.com.