Stuff in the ‘best lawyers/attorneys’ Category

Bicycle and Large Truck Accidents and Deaths Rise Suddenly and Sharply

Deaths of bicyclists and occupants of large trucks rose sharply last year even as total traffic fatalities dropped to their lowest level since 1949 according to federal safety officials. Bicyclists deaths jumped 8.7 percent and deaths of occupants of large trucks increased 20 percent while overall traffic fatalities dropped 1.9 percent.

The increase in bicycle deaths may reflect more people riding bicycles to work and for pleasure according to Jonathan Adkins, deputy executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association which represents state highway safety agencies.

For example, in Washington D.C. there has been at 175 percent increase in bicyclists during morning and evening rush hours since 2004.

The increase in large truck accidents in death may be more difficult to ascertain. The NHTSA is working with the Federal Motor Carrier Administration to gather more information to better understand the reason for the increase. Industry officials suspect there may be a connection between states increasing their speed limits and the increase in deaths. Texas has increased the speed limit to 85 mph on Highway 130 between Austin and San Antonio with a correlating increase in accidents.

Grazian and Volpe cannot stress enough the need for bicyclists to obey safety laws. where protective gear and use equipment and clothing that is lighted and/or visible in all weather conditions.

Remember-it is always better to stay safe and avoid accidents but if you can’t stay safe stay with Grazian and Volpe – Chicagoland’s Injury Lawyers for over 30 years.

Most Bedrail Injuries and Wrongful Deaths Suffered by the Elderly

Sixty-one percent of bed rail injuries occur at home and twenty-five percent occurred at a nursing home or assisted living facility. So states a report of bed rail deaths and injuries issued in December 2012 by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The report cites 155 wrongful deaths due to bed rails from the period of January 2003 through September of 2012. While 37,000 thousand people were treated for serious personal injury sustained in a bed rail accident during the same time period.

The Commission found that nearly half of those who died in bed rail accidents had medical problems, such as dementia, heart disease and Parkinson’s disease and occurred when the person became stuck in the bed rails, mainly by his or her neck.

Consumer safety advocates have long campaigned for federal regulators to study bed rail deaths and injuries. Advocates state that oversight remained on of the biggest issues because there are unanswered technical questions about which rails are medical devices and which are consumer products.

Unfortunately, hospital records or doctor’s notes do not indicate the manufacturer of the offending bed rail making it difficult to track a defect in a design or its implementation.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission will use this report to effect better coordination between federal regulators, namely consumer and drug agencies as well as the Federal Trade Commission. The hope is that Congress will enact a task force to address the regulation of bed rails and bed systems, specifically rails that blur the line between being medical devices and consumer products.

Grazian and Volpe has represented hundreds of victims of hospital and nursing home abuse and negligent. We advise loved ones to be ever vigil in noting and addressing lapses in care and the condition of the patient. Bed rail safety appears to be another area that the bedridden and their loved ones need to be cognizant.

Remember it is always better to stay safe and avoid injury, but if injury finds you, call Grazian and Volpe, Chicagoland’s Injury Lawyers for over 30 years.

General Electric Joins Forces with N.F.L. in Effort to Detect Brain Injuries

The N.F.L. has been plagued by a rash of litigation involving thousands of former players alleging that the N.F.L. knew of connection between head injuries sustained on the field and long-term cognitive impairment.

In response, the N.F.L has altered rules and fined and suspended players who hit opponents in the head. The N.F.L. has also contributed millions of dollars fort he study of head and traumatic brain injuries.

The league recently announced that independent neurological consultants will be on the sidelines at every game to help detect head injuries and concussions.

In addition, the new initiative with General Electric represents the N.F.L.’s most aggressive collaboration in pursuit of resolutions to some vexing player safety issues: determining if some players are predisposed to head and brain trauma; diagnosing and gauging the extent of brain injury and detecting the chronic effects of concussion; as well as improving equipment to insulate the brain during play.

These efforts will benefit the public at larger by determining those most vulnerable to brain trauma and diagnosing the trauma and long term effects. These tools will help doctors recognize brain trauma earlier and provide treatment that may prevent long term cognitive impairment. The improvement in helmets will aid bikers, skiers, construction workers and all persons engaged in activities that may threaten a head injury.

The lawyers at Grazian and Volpe caution all their clients to wear protective head gear where ever appropriate. We know that prevention of injury is always the best course, but it you can’t prevent an injury and accident, call Grazian and Volpe, Chicagoland’s Leading Injury Lawyers for over 30 years.

Ameren Settles Wrongful Death Caused By Residential Gas Explosion

While gas is cheaper than electricity when it comes to powering homes and commercial properties it does carry the rare but always present risk of explosion.

Ameren recently settled such a case with the daughters of elderly parents in wrongful death lawsuit. The explosion occurred at the couple’s home in March of 2008.

According to an investigative report filed by the responding fire department was powerful enough to thrust the walls of the house outward several feet. The front door of the house was blown into the yard across the street, and the first floor collapsed into the basement. Further investigation revealed that 1,800 cubic feet of gas had flowed into the basement of the home on the morning of the explosion. In the weeks prior to the explosion, no more than 700 cubic feet of gas per day had been pumped into the home.

The theory of the wrongful death lawsuit alleged that Ameren had “superior knowledge” of the gas distribution system that carried natural gas into the home and that it was the company’s responsibility to act in a timely manner to shut off the excessive gas it had been pumping into the home.

Ameren countered that it did not willfully cause the accident and was acting according to government regulations. They argued that defendants did not respond to the distinctive “rotten eggs” odor  which occurs when even a small amount of gas is released. Ameren also claimed that the decedents failed to maintain their gas appliances.

It is important that all homeowner’s be aware of the risks of gas utilities and be vigilant in reporting any smell of gas in the home.  Decedents in this wrongful death suit may have been too elderly to recognize the warning signs and utility companies need to be aware of infirmities of their consumers and monitor closely the flow of gas into all buildings.

Remember, it is always better to stay safe and avoid injury-but if you can’t stay safe-stay with Grazian and Volpe, Chicagoland’s Injury Lawyers for over 30 years.

Drowsy Drivers Responsible for Fatal Car Accidents

A new study of driving behavior finds drowsy drivers responsible for 730 deadly motor vehicle accidents and an additional 30,000 crashes that were nonfatal.

Even being tired and sleep deprived without actually nodding off can be a serious problem on the road. Fatigue slows reaction times and can lead to poor judgment. Studies show that going without sleep for 20 to 21 hours and then getting behind the wheel is comparable to having a blood alcohol level of about .08%, which the legal limit in most states. In fact, going without sleep for 24 hours is equal to a blood alcohol level of 0.1 percent which is higher than the legal limit in all states!

Studies show that people who fall asleep at the wheel may do it so quickly-and briefly-without registering the lapse. Warning signs included having trouble remembering the last few miles that you’ve driven, or missing an exit.

Many people who find themselves groggy while driving resort to blasting the radio or rolling down the window but those measures are largely shown to be ineffective. Drinking a caffeinated beverage may help, but effectiveness depends largely on an individual’s physiology or tolerance to caffeine.

Experts advise finding a safe place to pull over and drift off for a few minutes. Alertness can be restored by a short nap and a cup of coffee keeping you and other drivers safe from your drowsy driving. Remember is is always better to stay safe but if you can’t stay safe stay with Grazian and Volpe, Chicagoland’s Injury Lawyers for over 30 years!

AT&T Chief Speaks Out on Texting at the Wheel

Chicagoland’s Injury Lawyers at Grazian and Volpe have been adamant in informing the public against the dangers of serious injury due to car accidents that occur when a driver is texting.  We are pleased to see that a prominent carrier is raising awareness on this issue and the message is personal and starting at the top.

Randall L. Stephenson, the chairman and chief executive of AT&T, spoke at a conference in New York to hundreds of major investors, including Fortune 500 executives. The topic was the state of the telecom businesses, but he began with a request on a different topic: Please don’t text and drive.

Mr. Stephenson said that a few years ago someone close to him caused an accident while texting. As he has become more vocal about texting and driving, he said people were coming up to him and writing him with their own stories of tragedy, including admissions that they caused accidents.

The smartphone “is a product we sell and it’s being used inappropriately.” For him, that means the company he runs has to get involved in a public awareness campaign. “we have got to drive behavior.”

While safety say that history shows that public service campaigns have had limited success on issues like drunken driving or seat belt use unless they are paired with strong laws and that is something Mr. Stephenson opposes.

David D. Teater, senior director of the National Safety Council, had a son killed by a driver talking on her phone. He states that he is pleased to see telecommunications companies no longer lobbying against laws aimed at curbing driver distraction caused by electronic devices.

“We’d love their support on the legislative side,” he said of AT&T’s position. “But the fact they’re are not opposing us is good.”

Currently 39 states ban testing while driving. Research shows that the activity sharply increases the risk of crash, even beyond the risk posed by someone with a .08 blood alcohol level, the legal limit in many states. Yet researchers say that there is no indication drivers are less incline to text and drive, and there is some indication that the behavior is increasing.

Drivers need be aware of the dangers of mobile devices while driving and not ignore the dangers because this activity is not prohibited by legislation.

Remember, it is always better to stay safe but if you can’t stay safe, stay with Grazian and Volpe, Chicagoland’s Injury Lawyers for over 30 years.

Drinking on the Job Costs Employer $10 Million in Punitive Damages

Drunk driving accidents are always tragic and never really an accident but the result of the total disregard the intoxicated driver has for others who share the road. A recent verdict assessing punitive damages against the employer of a drunken employee is a landmark finding in the war against drunk driving.

Ten million in punitive damages was upheld by a the New Mexico Court of Appeals in favor of the family and estate of a man killed by a drunken driver in 2003.

The Court ruled that there was enough evidence to support the full amount of damages awarded against the parent company of a New Mexico convenience store. A store maintenance worker employed by convenience store, crashed into a motorcycle ridden by the decedent who was stopped at an intersection. Decedent died from the injuries sustained in the crash.

The Court found that the convenience store owner and employees knew the employee drank on the job and had bought alcohol at the store on the day of the accident and that these actions “demonstrated a reckless disregard for the health and safety of others.”

This verdict drives home the responsibility that we all need to exercise in the prevention of drunk driving. If someone you know or see is intoxicated and about to drive an auto, truck, motorcycle or bicycle, please do your best to prevent that person from doing so. The life you save could be your own or that of someone you love.

It is always better to avoid or prevent an accident but if you can’t stay safe, stay with Grazian and Volpe, Chicagoland’s Injury Lawyers for over 35 years.

Grocery Store Slammed with $2.3 Million Damages in Premises Liability Cover-Up

A Kroger grocery store was slammed in a slip and fall lawsuit for destroying and manipulating key video evidence.

The 49-year-old plaintiff slipped and fell on crushed fruit on the floor of the Kroger store in 2008 sustaining a serious spinal cord injury. He sued the grocery company for negligent maintenance of its premises and the jury returned the $2.3 million verdict after a three day trail in which the Judge sanctioned Kroger and issued an order finding that the store had tampered with video evidence.

Ouch! Grazian and Volpe has practiced injury law in Chicago and South Chicago for over 30 years. It is always gratifying to hold wrongdoers accountable for their negligence and cover-ups are inexcusable and should be punished accordingly.

$3 Million Settlement in Gas Station Premises Liability Case

A $3 million dollar settlement was awarded to the parents of a 21-year old man in a premises liability cause of action filed against the owner of the gas station as well as two other firms that supplied the station with products and marketing.

The 21-year old man, who had schizophrenia died after the clerk allegedly shot him during a scuffle in the convenience store gas station. The clerk fled the United States to his own country before he could be charged voluntary manslaughter and armed criminal action.

Grazian and Volpe are glad that the victim’s mother was able to get some closure in this wrongful death suit and wish her strength in recovering from this tragedy.

Well Deserved $8 Million Dollar Verdict in Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit

Nursing home abuse is always tragic and often compounded by the fear or inability of the victims to communicate what is happening to them. That is why we at Grazian and Volpe are always pleased to see justice served to those who do not take care for the safety and well-being of our elderly.

A state court jury in Tennessee awarded $8 million in damages including $5 million in punitive damages to the estate of a retired surgeon whose legs were broken while he was in the care of Treyton Oak Towers, a nonprofit nursing home.

Dr. David Giffen died less than two months after he was improperly transferred from a chair into his bed. After Dr. Giffin’s legs were broken he was put back in bed “like it didn’t happen” according to the court transcript. Employees were ordered to change medical records and cover up the incident. Because of a stroke, Dr. Giffin was unable to communicate what had happened or the agony he was experiencing.

After being found with the two broken bones, Dr. Giffen was treated at the hospital and later transferred to a different nursing home. He died less than 6 weeks later. Dr. Griffen had severe osteoporosis and the nursing home said doctors failed to inform its employees of this diagnosis. It was determined that Dr. Griffin was transferred without a lift and by only one nursing assistant, in violation of the nursing home’s care plan, which required two nursing assistants.

This verdict should serve as a warning to all nursing homes. Once again, Grazian and Volpe strongly recommends that family members be ever vigilant for the care and safety of their loved ones in nursing homes. It is always better to stay safe, but if you can’t stay safe-stay with Grazian and Volpe, Chicagoland’s Injury Lawyers for over 30 years.