New York Personal Injury Law Blog

Jury awards patients millions in defective hip lawsuit

On Nov. 16, six people in New York who were fitted with Pinnacle artificial hips that subsequently had to be surgically removed were awarded $247 million in a decision against Johnson & Johnson. The company's DePuy unit was responsible for the hips' manufacturing. Although the company tried to argue that the artificial hips failed because of normal wear and tear, the jury found that the company did not warn medical professionals and patients that the devices were defective despite knowing they might fail prematurely. The hips have not been sold since 2013 when regulations for artificial hips were tightened by the Food and Drug Administration. The total awarded in punitive damages was $168 million with the remaining $79 million in actual damages.

There have been 9,9000 lawsuits filed against Johnson & Johnson regarding the artificial hips. The first case in 2014 was unsuccessful as a jury ruled against a woman's claims that the device caused metal poisoning. Later, one group of five patients was awarded $150 million while half a dozen others got just over half a billion.

Mitsubishi recalls 84,000 Mirage sedans to fix airbag fault

New York residents that drive Mitsubishi Mirage sedans may soon be receiving recall notices. The Japanese car manufacturer is recalling about 84,000 compact cars because of a potentially deadly flaw in their airbag control systems. Mitsubishi announced the recall on Nov. 17, saying that the dealers will begin rectifying the problem at no charge. Work can commence almost immediately because the repair involves reprogramming computers, and no special parts are required.

According to Mitsubishi, the restraint computers fitted to Mirage models may interpret the vibrations caused by a flat tire or rough road surface as a sensor error and deactivate the vehicle's seven life-saving airbags. However, the company was quick to say that they are not aware of any instances where Mirage occupants have been killed or suffered injuries because of the problem. They pointed out that a dashboard light in the Mirage notifies drivers when their airbags have been disconnected.

Why do construction site accidents happen?

When New York construction workers report for work, they know they will be facing a myriad of risks and threats to their personal safety. Construction work is fraught with risks and dangers, yet that does not mean that these men and women must needlessly expose themselves to unnecessary ones. With planning, enforcement of safety training and other measures, employers can ensure that workers are as safe as possible on construction sites.

If you suffered an injury on a construction site, you may think that your pain and suffering is your own fault. In reality, many accidents on construction sites are the result of specific hazards that are largely preventable. After a construction site accident, you would be wise to take quick action to seek an evaluation of your case and determine if you have grounds for a workers' compensation claim.

ADHD could increase the odds of an accident

According to a study that has been published in JAMA Pediatrics, a young driver who has ADHD is 36 percent more likely to get into an accident. Other studies have also found a potential link between ADHD and an increased likelihood of getting into an accident. However, past research was considered limited in its scope. The new study reviewed the medical records of 18,500 people, and roughly 2,500 of those individuals had ADHD.

The records were linked to licensing and crash databases spanning 2004 to 2014. Previous studies used data involving accidents reported either by the drivers or the parents of young drivers. One author of the study said that the risks posed by drivers with ADHD can be managed and that society shouldn't be too fearful of letting them get behind the wheel. However, if the symptoms of ADHD are left untreated, they could cause impairment similar to that of an intoxicated driver.

Slippery floors persist as danger to workers and customers

Entries, sidewalks and parking lots throughout New York represent common sources of falls among employees and visitors to a property. A slip-and-fall survey conducted by a risk management company evaluated flooring at numerous locations across a seven-year period. Half of the floors tested did not reach the minimum dynamic coefficient of friction of 0.42 as set by the American National Standards Institute. To prevent falls, the risk management company recommended four best practices.

A property owner or manager should select flooring with sufficient slip resistance. The slip resistance needs to be measured under wet conditions with a tribometer. Maintenance staffs should apply the correct cleaning products for the flooring type. Property owners should adopt ongoing efforts to warn people about the hazards of slippery floors.

Disability following car accidents not always apparent

If you were driving to work in New York and a drunk driver veered across the center line of traffic, smashed into your car and caused you to suffer injuries, including broken bones, lacerations and contusions, anyone who would see you in the near aftermath of the accident would immediately notice your injuries. However, not all car accident injuries are so immediately apparent. If you were to suffer post-traumatic stress disorder, for instance, many people may cross your path without realizing you were a recovering accident victim.

The emotional and psychological injuries associated with motor vehicle collisions can be devastating. Those who suffer often face tremendous challenges because their injuries are not visible. Your spouse, children or others close to you would obviously know you were suffering, yet that wouldn't necessarily make your recovery any easier.

Drowsy driving common to night shift workers, study says

Researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital conducted a study to better understand the link between night shift workers and drowsy driving, the results of which should interest workers in New York. Shift work disrupts the ordinary sleep-wake cycle, which can lead to high blood pressure and a higher risk for conditions like heart disease. It also leaves many feeling drowsy during their daytime commute.

In the study, 16 night shift workers participated in two driving sessions on a closed driving track; the first session determined their driving performance after a normal night's sleep, and the second session was after a night of work. Drowsiness was measured by an EEG during micro-sleep episodes and partial eyelid closure.

How smartphone use may make roads more dangerous

In 2008, there were 37,262 traffic deaths, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Although traffic fatalities went down in later years, the fatality rate has increased dramatically in the past two years. In 2016, there were more than 100 people who were killed either in or near a vehicle each day. Distracted driving is among one of the most common reasons why New York residents are others are killed while on the road.

The increase in smartphone use is considered to be a major cause for distracted driving. In 2016, 81 percent of Americans owned an Android, iPhone or some other type of smartphone. In many cases, phones are used for more than just making a call. Additionally, they are used to send and receive text messages, use social media and read the news.

What is the FDA's process for recalling dangerous drugs?

It seems as though a new medication comes onto the market every week. Many of these drugs literally save people's lives. However, in the rush to be the first company to put a medication for a particular condition on the market, a pharmaceutical manufacturer could make a mistake that threatens the lives of those who take it.

There are often more than enough potential side effects that do the same thing. The last thing you and others here in New York and elsewhere need is to worry about a manufacturing issue that makes taking the medication even more dangerous. When a manufacturer realizes that a product is dangerous, it may issue a recall. The question is how this happens.

Research indicates that stairs injure all age groups

In New York City, there are many areas where stairs can pose a safety hazard. A study in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine has stated that over 1 million Americans injure themselves on stairs each year. Researchers behind the study analyzed cases of ER visits due to stairway accidents between the years 1990 and 2012, and these are some of their findings.

While the elderly, young children and young adults in their 20s had the highest injury rates, two-thirds of patients were between 11 and 60 years old. Over 60% of the accidents took place at home, and more than 60% of victims were women. This may be due to the increased time they spend at home during the childbearing and parenting years.

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