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April 2014 Archives

Simple safety measures protect military children in Hawaii

In a joint statement with the Department of Defense issued during the Month of the Military Child, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has called for increased awareness of the safety risks faced by children who live in military housing.

7 fatalities caused by auto accidents so far this year on Maui

Some motor vehicle crashes are truly accidents, but too many are caused by reckless behavior on the part of a driver. One Hawaiian island is experiencing an uptick in fatal car crashes, and law enforcement officials are responding as best they can to try to get drivers to focus on safety.

Large award in liability suit involving mobile home park

In Hawaii, premises liability issues often center around swimming pool accidents, shopping center falls or inadequate security in public areas. Another common issue causing dangerous property conditions is landlord negligence, and a recent lawsuit in another state could have a ripple effect, particularly for tenants of mobile homes throughout the country. Interestingly, the name of the mobile home park at the heart of the dispute is "California Hawaiian Mobile Estates."

The limitations of medical malpractice litigation

Medical malpractice litigation is not in reality what many assume it to be. In particular, one thing that many people do not realize about medical malpractice litigation is that it isn’t necessarily easy to get your case picked up by an attorney. The cost of medical malpractice litigation is high, often so high as to be prohibitive unless there is a promising payout at the end. This being the case, even cases that have strong merits can get left on the sidelines due to lack of incentive.

California bus accident prompts federal safety investigation

A recent catastrophic accident in Red Bluff, California could lead federal regulators to reconsider safety rules that apply to tour buses and other commercial carriers. The accident, which left 10 dead and others injured, occurred when a FedEx truck crossed over an interstate median and crashed into a sedan and a tour bus full of 44 high school students.

Japanese lawmakers vows to fight large damages award

Japanese drugmaker Takeda Pharmaceutical is not happy with a recent verdict in a lawsuit targeting the company for hiding the cancer risks of using diabetes medication Actos. The jury that heard the care reportedly requested that the company pay $6 billion in punitive damages. Eli Lilly and Co, the company that helped promote the drug between 1999 and 2006, was ordered to pay $3 billion in punitive damages. Ultimately, however, that company’s damages will fall on Takeda according to an agreement.

Study looks at distraction levels in driver cell phone use

According to a new report from the National Safety Council, the use of a cellphone while driving may be more dangerous than many of us previously thought. The study found that cellphone use was behind 26 percent of traffic accidents in 2013. Interestingly, only 5 percent of such crashes take place because of texting. The real problem appears to be conversations on either handheld or hands-free phones.

Some observations about medical malpractice payouts

When an individual is harmed as a result of the negligence of a physician or other healthcare provider, they deserve to be compensated. But compensation for medical errors is a complicated thing. A recent Forbes article posted the results of a study of annual medical malpractice payouts on a state-by-state basis. The information, compiled by a company called Diederich Healthcare, does not include medical malpractice payouts to practitioners---this excludes hospitals—nor does it include payouts made after a purely verbal request for payment or payouts during mediations.

General Motors CEO questioned about deadly ignition defect

There was tense questioning of the CEO of General Motors on Capitol Hill on April 1 over a small auto defect that led to the deaths of 13 people over several years. The automaker has recalled 2.6 million vehicles that had a defective ignition switch, which could cause the cars to shut down unexpectedly, exposing drivers and passengers to potentially deadly car accidents.