COVID-19 Update: How We Are Serving and Protecting Our Clients

Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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A new study may send a shock to millions of at-risk Americans.  The study, which was published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology early this week, claims that taking heartburn medication featuring “Proton Pump Inhibitors” (PPI) could increase your chances of contracting the cause of the current pandemic, COVID-19.  In fact, it claimed the medication could make you between 2 – 4 times as likely to test positive for the potentially deadly virus (compared to non-users).

The study, which was led by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s Dr. Brennan Spiegel, surveyed over 86,000 individuals through online communications.  Among them, more than 53,000 people reported taking medication for pain or discomfort associated with gastrointestinal regions of their bodies.  Ultimately, over 3,300 of them tested positive for COVID-19.

Although there is an array of medications to deal with gastrointestinal issues, proton pump inhibitors are extremely popular, and accessible.  Offered both through prescriptions and over-the-counter, popular medicines featuring PPI’s include, but are not limited to: Prilosec, Prilosec OTC, Zegerid, Prevacid, Protonix, Aciphex, Nexium, and Dexilant. These medications act by turning off pumps in cells that release acid into your stomach, and can be taken once or twice daily.  The study also determined the more frequently an individual was to take PPI medication, the more likely they would be to contract COVID-19.

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Social media has created online communities, and continues to drive online communication.  As this process occurs, the media adapts.  The newest adaptation in this trend is an app known as “Tik Tok”.  The app, which was started in China in 2016, launched in the United States in 2018 and has become an enormous hit with the country’s youth.  As with the social media of the past and present, Tik Tok trends have become prevalent.  Their flagship trend is called a “challenge”.  During Tik Tok Challenges, the participants attempt to recreate previous videos made by other users.  They all share the same general actions, music, dances, etc.

The newest, and most dangerous Challenge is titled “The Skull Breaker Challenge”.  This consists of three individuals standing side by side. As the middle participant jumps into the air, the two outside participants kick the legs out from underneath him/her.  As you may predict, this challenge has caused head, neck, and back injuries to many of its participants, which is how it received its charming name.  Some of these injuries have been severe, causing serious complications.

While Tik Tok has requested its users not participate in dangerous challenges like The Skull Breaker Challenge, their requests have largely gone ignored.  With COVID-19’s impacts driving online activity through the roof, Tik Tok users have continued to churn out these dangerous videos.

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Four major automakers have landed squarely in the crosshairs of a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigation.  According to documents posted on December 19th, 2019, Audi, Toyota, Honda, and Mitsubishi are the companies under investigation.  The probe revolves around a Takata airbag recall, which involved 1.4 million airbag inflators.

The inflators are reported to have a unique problem that can cause them to blow apart, sending metal shrapnel into drivers’ and passengers’ faces and bodies.  The issue stems from problems caused by insufficient seals and a chemical deterioration within the product.  Takata, the maker of the air bags, has already recalled approximately 100 million inflators worldwide, while 19 automakers have recalled approximately 70 million inflators, making it the largest grouping of automotive recalls in United States history.

Takata, who has gone bankrupt due to the recalls, believes it’s made about 4.5 million of the faulty inflators.  However, Takata claims only a portion are still in use, because the vehicles equipped with the inflators are so old.

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Once thought to be a fad of the late 1990s and early 2000s, “scooting”, or the act of riding a scooter, has once again become popular among young teens.  It’s also become a popular mode of transportation in cities among business professionals, tourists, and citizens alike. All summer, rural and urban communities alike saw an influx of rentable and purchasable scooters being ridden around their communities, creating yet another obstacle for pedestrians and motorists.  Because of the popularity of scooters, manufacturers have increased production; this increase has resulted in a manufacturer’s recall for a particular model.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that fluidfreeride, the maker of popular kids’ scooters, began recalling their Mercane WideWheel electric kick scooter, due to hazardous malfunctions of the brake caliper, on October 4th, 2019.  When this malfunction occurs, riders have been found to lose the ability to brake, lose control of their scooter, and suffer injuries.  The injuries reported thus far include flesh wounds, deep bodily bruises, and lower body sprains.

The problematic scooters were manufactured in China and sold online at fluidfreeride.com, Amazon.com, and ebay.com for $1,000 to $1,200.  Fluidfreeride has decided to remedy the situation by offering to repair all scooters free of charge.  If you or someone you know has a fluidfreeride scooter, you should immediately stop using it and check to see if yours is one that’s been recalled.  Telltale signs include: scooter is foldable and electric, has “WideWheel” and “Mercane” printed on its platform, made of gray aluminum alloy, and includes a single 500W motor with an 8.8Ah battery or dual 500W motors with a 13.2Ah battery.

Auto Accidents

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The Facts About Truck Accidents 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration ( FMCSA ) makes new laws and regulations regarding our safety all the time. But, regardless of how many laws and regulations are put in place to keep us safe, if we don’t actively do our part to keep ourselves and others safe, none of those things will matter. 

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Mary Edwards Vs Coca-Cola 

Okay, so here’s the case; in August 2013, the plaintiff Mary Edwards was struck by Willie Lee Jr., A Coca-Cola vendor, while she was shopping at Walmart. After amending her original complaint to include Willie Lee Jr. in the lawsuit, Coca-Cola accepted responsibility but denied negligence, and Walmart was later dismissed from the suit. 

So where did the case go wrong.

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We have all seen more than our fair share of recalls over the years for all different parts, of all different makes of cars. We have even had a few recalls over the last few years for seatbelts and airbags which are obviously big safety issues for these cars and trucks. We have had engine parts that cause fires. We have had electrical parts that cause fires.  What we haven’t seen in recent memory are seatbelts that can cause fires. There typically are not any parts in a seatbelt that you would even think of that could cause a fire.

Ford has reports of over 23 vehicles having an issue where smoke was generated. The seat-belt pretensioners can malfunction and send sparks out when activated. What is a seatbelt pretensioner? It’s a small part that you likely have never seen in action because it typically only fires when your car is in an accident. Similar to how the airbags in your car will deploy when you hit something, the seatbelt pretensioner will fire when you are in an accident which causes a piston to block the seatbelt from allowing you to move forward.

The National-Highway Traffic Safety Administration received reports of 5 fires caused by the seatbelts, with 3 of those leading to the car being engulfed in flames.

Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of avoidable motor vehicle accidents.  The most common form of distraction behind the wheel is cell-phone use while driving.  This is why so many states have enacted laws to cite those that drive while using their cell phone in a hope to decrease distracted driving accidents.

From 2016 to 2017, distracted driving-related citations increased by 52% in Pennsylvania.  Pennsylvania law enforcement officials issued 5,054 distracted driving citations in 2017, up from 3,336 citations in 2016. 15,542 citations have been issued in Pennsylvania since 2013.

According to the NHTSA, 3,477 people were killed and 391,000 were injured in crashes involving distracted drivers in 2015.  They estimate that around 660,000 drivers are using an electronic device while driving daily.

Previous studies have shown that properly installed rear-facing car seats will protect children in front end and side impact accidents.  However, a new study performed at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center shows that rear-facing car seats are also effective in protecting children in a rear end accident. 080924-F-4042M-029

According to the university, the research team performed crash tests with multiple rear-facing car seats and found all the seats were effective in absorbing the force of the crash and controlling the child when properly installed.  The study was authored by Julie Mansfield who is a Research Engineer for the Injury Biomechanics Research Center at The Ohio State University College of Medicine.

Pennsylvania law requires that children under the age of 2 must be secured in a rear-facing car seat until the child outgrows the maximum weight and height limits designated by the car seat manufacturer.

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