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December 2010 Archives

Products Liability, Chinese Drywall and Who Is Keeping Watch - Part 2

In our last post we talked about the problems homeowners have faced dealing with defective Chinese drywall. In this post we will talk about the difficulties of legally trying to tackle a products liability issue that began in a foreign country. As we have already discussed, the Consumer Protection Safety Commission has been assigned to figure out the problem.

Products Liability, Chinese Drywall and Who Is Keeping Watch - Part 1

Homeowners have experienced the problem of defective Chinese drywall from Louisiana to Virginia yet the federal government has struggled and even failed to hold some of the parties involved in the creation and distribution of the drywall responsible for products liability. In the next two posts we will talk about what homeowners have experienced dealing with the defective drywall and how current domestic consumer protection laws are inadequate in a globalized economy.

Emergency Response May Be Added to Cost of Car Accidents

Car accidents in New York City may start to get a bit more expensive next July. The Fire Department of New York City may start charging every driver involved in a car accident for the department's emergency response services. The new policy is meant to create new sources of revenue as the department faces budgetary shortfalls. The new "Cash for Crash" policy is slated to go into effect July 2011.

Texting Bans Found Ineffective in Louisiana and Across Nation

A new study conducted by researchers at the Highway Loss Data Institute has found that laws against texting while driving did not reduce car accident numbers in Louisiana and the other three states the study reviewed. The study also found that car accident insurance claim rates increased over the time period the researchers reviewed. The results of the study are consistent with another study that looked at the effectiveness of laws against handheld cell phone use while driving.

Majority of Fatal Alcohol Related Car Accidents Caused by Repeat Offenders

In the early 1980s, 50 percent of highway fatalities were caused by drivers who had been drinking and driving. As of last year, just over one third of fatal car accidents were caused by drunken drivers. However, the majority of those crashes involved a group of drivers labeled as hard-core drunken drivers. Hard-core drunken drivers are defined as drivers who are pulled over with a 0.15 percent blood alcohol level, or are offenders who have been arrested for drunken driving multiple times over the last ten years.

Senate Proposal Would Allow Greater Wrongful Death Compensation

A bill proposed at the United States Senate would allow for greater wrongful death compensation for the family members of the 11 oil rig workers that died during the April BP rig explosion. The bill has the potential to allow the families of the rig workers to receive similar legal compensation available for accidents that occur on land. Unfortunately, a broad bill that applied to all offshore accidents and a bill that addressed the BP rig explosion accident were not passed.

One Third of Traffic Deaths Caused by Alcohol

This month is National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's campaign to raise awareness on the issue reminds all drivers that they should plan ahead and not put the lives of others at risk when consuming alcohol. Even though we all know the dangers of driving after drinking, alcohol is still the cause of almost one-third of fatal car accidents in the United States.

Smokeless Tobacco Company Settles Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The largest smokeless tobacco company in the United States settled a wrongful death lawsuit for $5 million. The company claims it will not settle similar cases in the future. The plaintiff in the lawsuit used smokeless tobacco for multiple decades and died of mouth cancer at the age of 42.

Michael Jackson's Wrongful Death Suit Saga Continues

Joe Jackson, Michael Jackson's father, recently refiled a wrongful death lawsuit against Michael's former doctor Conrad Murray. The wrongful death suit was already rejected once by a federal court judge, and the lawsuit has now been refiled in California state court.

Driving Under the Influence of Drugs Kills Significant Number of Drivers

According to researchers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration there is a rising number of people who are driving under the influence of drugs both legal and illegal. About one in five drivers who were killed from car accidents over the last year tested positive for drugs. Researchers caution that while drivers tested positive for drugs, it is not clear whether the drugs were the primary cause of the crashes.

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