Archive for the ‘Children’s Advocacy’ Category

h1

Wal-Mart Pulls Jewelry Off Shelves That Contain Cadmium

May 25, 2010

A Wal-Mart jewelry recall? High levels of the toxic metal cadmium have led Wal-Mart to pull its Miley Cyrus line of children and adult jewelry.

Wal-Mart’s reputation has taken a bath recently. This won’t help. Wal-Mart reportedly received information about the high cadmium levels in February and did nothing. In April, Wal-Mart said it were testing product not on the shelves but to test items already on the shelves would be “too difficult.” Wal-Mart also didn’t define the jewelry at risk, saying it was just jewelry for juniors. After the AP reported the story, Wal-Mart flipped its position and issued a recall of the jewelry.

Are their lawsuits coming here? I doubt it because it will be almost impossible to prove damages at this time from a high level of toxic metal cadmium. However, this clearly underscores that we need a strong, vibrant civil justice system to keep these Fortune 500 Companies in check!

Attorney Scott Edgett is a Texas Trial Attorney with Humphreys & Peterson Law Firm, PLLC in Dallas, Texas.

Advertisements
h1

Daycare Warning: Drop-Side Cribs To Be Banned

May 25, 2010

The Washington Post reported this weekend that the US will ban drop side cribs amid ongoing safety concerns.

The drop side crib has been on the US market since the 1950, although it is unknown how many are still in use. Because many cribs cost $1,000 or more, many are used repeatedly and handed down to family members, making it difficult to estimate their numbers. By the end of the year, it will be illegal in the U.S. to sell drop-side cribs and for places like daycare centers and hotels to use them. Repeat offenders of the ban, which comes after years of growing concern about the cribs, could face criminal penalties.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has seen too many recalls and far too many deaths from defective drop side cribs in recent years. Since 2005, more than 7 million drop side cribs have been recalled because of suffocation and strangulation dangers. There have been at least 32 deaths from defective drop side cribs since 2000. Cribs are meant to be safe enough to leave a child unattended and when cribs malfunction, the infant is usually alone.

Safety advocates have been pushing for tougher crib regulations for nearly a decade, with little action. Federal safety standards for cribs have not been updated since 1982 (those infants are now nearly 30 years old).

Safety experts encourage anyone owning a drop side crib to examine it thoroughly. New cribs should be used without the drop side feature. Older or hand-me-down cribs should be discarded and replaced.

With defective cribs, it is absolutely important for crib manufacturers and CPSC to warn not only parents, but also caregivers and day care centers, which may not even know about these recalls. CPSC is warning parents not to give away the recalled cribs or sell it to a thrift store. The lives of innocent children is at risk here. It is absolutely important that these “death traps” be kept out of homes and daycare centers.

The tragedies caused by drop-side cribs must not be forgotten. It’s high time that federal officials finally decided to ban drop-side cribs and came up with strict regulations for safe crib design. Almost all children’s nursery products are made in other countries, a majority of them in China. These dangerous product defects occur because distributors and companies here have almost no control over the quality of products manufactured offshore. This is unacceptable. If your child has been injured by a nursery product, please contact Attorney Scott Edgett, a reputed Texas Trial Attorney, who will go after these defective product manufacturers and hold them accountable. www.TexasJusticeForAll.com

h1

Dallas Attorney On How All Parents Should Protect Children From Internet Predators.

April 26, 2010

Over the last decade, a bewildering assortment of laws have been passed recently to protect children from online pedophiles, Internet pornography, and advertisers. Some laws have been challenged and overturned; others have been upheld. Much of the proposed legislation never gets past the committee stage.

The bottom line is: The government is not going to protect your child. Thus, the purpose of this article is to urge you to abide by the checklist below to keep your children safe from predators.

Frightening Statistics Tell The Story: (According to the National Internet Safety Group “Protect Kids) –>

  • 6 Million American children between the ages of 6 through 17 years of age have their own personal Websites;
  • Only 1/3 of households with Internet access are proactively protecting their children with filtering or blocking software;
  • 75% of children are willing to share personal information online about themselves and their families in exchange for goods and services;
  • Approximately 25% of children who encountered a sexual approach or solicitation on the Internet have told a parent;
  • 1 out of 5 American teenagers who regularly log on the Internet say they have received an unwanted sexual solicitation via the Web;
  • 1 out of 33 children received an aggressive sexual solicitation within the past year (i.e. asked to meet the child somewhere, called on the phone, offered money or gifts, etc.);
  • 75% of the targets for online predators are age 14 or older. Another 22% are from ages 10 to 13;
  • 75% of children solicited online were not troubled children;
  • 10% of children solicited online did not use chat rooms;
  • Only 17% of children could name a specific authority, such as the FBI, CyberTipline or an Internet service provider, to which they could report and Internet crime;
  • Only 11% of parents could name a specific authority, such as the FBI, CyberTipline or an Internet service provider, to which they could report and Internet crime;

The following checklist is recommended to help protect your children:

  • Install software to filter out harmful Web sites;
  • Only provide child-safe search engines;
  • Never reveal, and make sure your child never reveals personal information online to anyone;
  • Do not share files with strangers;
  • Monitor children’s Web sites;
  • Avoid chat rooms; and
  • Consider spy software;

It is clear that the Internet provides a valuable service for our children, but it also poses great potential for danger. Parents must take appropriate precautions to keep children safe while using the Internet. We cannot rely upon our government to stop these Internet predators from harming our children.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the foregoing, please contact our office at (972) 303-4529 or visit our website for other helpful tips in raising your children in today’s society www.TexasJusticeForAll.com.

h1

Who is Liable for Amusement Park Injuries?

July 23, 2009

If you are injured while on a ride at an amusement park, would you be able to hold the owner or manager of the park liable for your injuries?

An amusement park owner is not the insurer of the safety of patrons, but is required to take proper measures to remove safety hazards in the park that could cause injury, and to notify patrons if hazards do exist.

Safe Conditions: In maintaining a safe environment, an amusement park owner must routinely:
  • Ensure that all areas are in safe condition for patrons (from grounds and walkways to facilities and rides) See that all equipment is properly designed, built, and maintained;
  • Make sure any child entering a ride is of proper height and weight and old enough to understand and avoid the risks of a ride; or
  • Make sure elderly persons or people with obvious health conditions are warned about the ride’s risks before entering In most states, however, the owner’s duty and liability is diminished for trespassers, although posted warnings explaining the risks of entering a property may be required.
Evident Risks: An amusement park owner may not be responsible for evident risks associated with the proper use of a ride or participation in an event. The owner may not be held accountable if a patron became ill or was injured while:
  • Exiting a ride before it completely stopped, or before being advised to exit;
  • Failing to follow instructions or safety precautions;
  • Reacting to a frightening event, such as voluntary entry into a haunted house (as long as no defect in the ride caused the injury); or
  • Riding a roller coaster (which has an inherent risk of becoming ill) Routine Maintenance

An amusement park owner is responsible for thoroughly testing and inspecting all equipment on a regular basis.

Texas courts require owners to take the same care as most public transportation systems; however other courts require greater care. The amount of care required varies with each different ride.

The owner may be responsible for:

  • Any defect found during a regular inspection;
  • Negligence resulting from either a lack of care or failure to correct a defect that was discovered;
  • Neglect in maintaining safety devices, such as brakes, wheels, conveyor chains, or rails The owner may not be liable for manufacturer’s defects not apparent during regular inspections.

Many different circumstances may cause an amusement park accident. If you, a friend, or a family member, have suffered and injury due to the negligent behavior of the property owner or another party, you deserve compensation for your losses and suffering. It’s in your best interest to have an experienced premises liability attorney on your side.

Attorney Scott Edgett is a civil trial attorney with the Humphreys & Peterson Law Firm in Garland, Texas. Mr. Edgett is licensed to practice law in Texas and Florida. Over the last decade, Mr. Edgett has emphasized on providing superior client representation in a professional and ethical manner, while experiencing high job satisfaction and trying to make the world a safer place for all. Mr. Edgett has been representing families and consumers whose lives have been devastated by reckless drivers, dangerous products, and other negligent tortfeasors. When a tragedy occurs because of the irresponsible behavior of a tortfeasor, an insurance company, or a corporation, Mr. Edgett and the firm of Humphreys & Peterson are advocates for the people and will help pursue justice for all. To speak directly to Attorney Scott Edgett, please feel free to contact him at (866) 259-0661, via email at Scott@TexasJusticeForAll.com, or visit our website at www.TexasJusticeForAll.com for further information regarding our law firm.

h1

Dallas Injury Attorney On Swimming Pool Accidents

July 23, 2009

During the scorching summer temperatures here in Texas, a swimming pool can provide hours of enjoyment for adults and children. But a swimming pool accident can bring unexpected tragedy to any family in the blink of an eye. If you have watched the local newscasts or read the local newspapers, then you know of the tragic drowning stories in our neighborhood pools.

Swimming pool accidents occur with more frequency during the summer months, as one might expect. Diving accidents, drowning, and slip and fall accidents are quite common in the summer months when there are a great number of children running around in pool areas.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), in 2005, there were 3,582 fatal unintentional drownings in the United States, averaging ten (10) deaths per day. An additional 70 people died from drowning and other causes in boating related accidents.

More than one in four fatal drowning victims are children 14 and younger. For every child who dies from drowning, another four receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries. Nonfatal drownings can cause brain damage that may result in long term disabilities including memory problems, learning disabilities, and permanent loss of basic functioning (i.e. permanent vegetative state).

Who’s at Risk?

  • Males: In 2005, males were four times more likely than females to die from unintentional drownings in the United States.
  • Children: In 2005, of all children from 1 to 4 years old who died, 30% died from drowning. Although drowning rates have slowly declined from 2005 to 2008, fatal drownings remains the second leading cause of unintentional injury related death for children ages 1 to 14 years.
  • Minorities: From 2000 to 2005, the fatal unintentional drowning rate for African Americans across all ages was 1.3 times more than whites. For American Indians, this rate was 1.8 time more than whites.

Who’s at Fault?

A determination of liability for a swimming pool accident depends in part on whether the injured person was a guest at the pool, or was there for a business reason, or was trespassing. The legal designations in Texas are as follows:

  • Invitee: Someone who the property owner allowed onto the premises for social reasons, such as a guest invited to a pool party at a private residence, or the guests of a hotel using the pool there.
  • Licensee: A person who was allowed on the property for reasons for business; for example, a swimming pool serviceman or a utility company technician.
  • Trespasser: A person who was not given permission to enter the property where the swimming pool is located. For instance, if the injured person jumped over two high fences and broke a gate’s lock to get into the pool and was then injured, he or she will be found to have some or all of the liability for the accident.

What is Premises Liability?

Premises liability covers most swimming pool accidents. Whether the pool is part of an individual homeowner’s property or at a setting such as a school, park, neighborhood pool area, hotel, or resort, the property owner has a legal duty to maintain safety and health standards at the pool.

When these standards are not met, the pool owner and/or manager may be held civilly liable for an injury or fatality that occurred in or around the pool. Premises liability concerns the determination of who is at fault for an injury on the premises. In a given swimming pool accident, the liability may be entirely the property owners or it may rest sole with the individual who was injured, or both the property owner and the injured individual may be at fault.

What Are The Swimming Pool Risk/Accident Factors?

Many local and state laws and regulations are in place to protect swimmers’ health and safety in private and public pools. Sometimes these safety measures are neglected. A swimming pool accident may be due to such factors as:

  • Inadequate fences or barriers around a pool;
  • Poor supervision of children;
  • Inadequate presence of lifeguards;
  • Poorly enclosed pool drains;
  • Too many people or children in the pool;
  • Slippery swimming pool deck or broken tiles;
  • Poorly trained lifeguards;
  • Excessive alcohol on the premises;
  • Diving board malfunctions;
  • Cloudy pool water that obscures the lifeguards’ view.

Many different circumstances may cause a swimming pool accident, and the injuries that can occur in or around a swimming pool are often overwhelming. If you, a friend, or a family member, have suffered and injury due to the negligent behavior of the property owner or another party, you deserve compensation for your losses and suffering. It’s in your best interest to have an experienced premises liability attorney on your side.

Attorney Scott Edgett is a civil trial attorney with the Humphreys & Peterson Law Firm in Garland, Texas. Mr. Edgett is licensed to practice law in Texas and Florida. Over the last decade, Mr. Edgett has emphasized on providing superior client representation in a professional and ethical manner, while experiencing high job satisfaction and trying to make the world a safer place for all. Mr. Edgett has been representing families and consumers whose lives have been devastated by reckless drivers, dangerous products, and other negligent tortfeasors. When a tragedy occurs because of the irresponsible behavior of a tortfeasor, an insurance company, or a corporation, Mr. Edgett and the firm of Humphreys & Peterson are advocates for the people and will help pursue justice for all. To speak directly to Attorney Scott Edgett, please feel free to contact him at (866) 259-0661, via email at Scott@TexasJusticeForAll.com, or visit our website at www.TexasJusticeForAll.com for further information regarding our law firm.

h1

An Attorney’s Outlook On How Insurance Companies Value Personal Injury Cases

March 23, 2009

All insurance companies have different methods for placing a value on your claim, but there are a few factors that are constants in every case. The insurance company will be looking at any property that was damaged, physical and or emotional damage to you, both long and short term, medical bills, and other damages.

To begin, medical bills, if applicable, are factored in separately. These are usually ranked in severity and long term, lasting effects. For example, trips to the ER would pay higher than regularly scheduled doctor visits. Likewise, an injury that took or will take a long time to heal is more “valuable” than an injury in which the victim recovers quickly.

It is very important that the doctors are told every detail about all injuries that may have been caused in the accident. The value of a case increases when the doctor assigns more than one injury code to a patient at the time of the first examination. These injury codes must be in the doctors chart notes. They will not get into the chart notes unless you, the injured party, tell the doctor what your physical complaints are.

There are two types of injuries. The first category comes from an injury that causes pain. Report all of your pain to your doctor. The second type of injury is one that causes functional loss. That means any condition after an accident that limits your normal functioning level in daily activities at home, at work and at play. For example, if you can’t turn your neck fully after an accident, then that is a limiting function that should be reported to your doctor.

Remember, it is in the insurance company’s best interest to set a lower value on your claim than you will want, since they want to limit the amount they have to pay out. It will be up to you (or your personal injury attorney) to build the case for your claim to be a higher value.

They key to building your case will be careful documentation of everything involved in your case. Keep diligent records of every expense, every doctor’s visit, every loss you feel you have suffered due to the accident. The more organized and prepared you are, the less “wiggle” room an insurance company will have in negotiating your settlement. For example if your case is based on your memory alone, or just verbal statements of losses, you case may have much less value, than if you had organized receipts, photographs, witnesses’ statements, etc.

The negotiation process can be very stressful and confusing if you are not used to dealing with these types of situation. Remember, to, that the insurance companies have people on staff who’s job it is to be the best at lower the exposure (financial losses) to the insurance company – they are not in business to be sympathetic to you or your situation. It is strongly recommended that you hire an attorney who specializes in personal injury cases.

It is both an art and a skill in successfully negotiating a personal injury settlement with an insurance company. Unless you have the experience and knowledge of the laws of your state regarding your case, you will find that you may settle for a lot less than you deserve if you try to represent yourself.

Protect yourself after any accident! Before you speak with anyone concerning your case, find out what your rights are and what compensation you may be entitled to.

Attorney Scott Edgett is a civil trial attorney with the Humphreys & Peterson Law Firm in Dallas, Texas. Mr. Edgett is licensed to practice law in Texas and Florida. Over the last decade, Mr. Edgett has emphasized on providing superior client representation in a professional and ethical manner, while experiencing high job satisfaction and trying to make the world a safer place for all. Mr. Edgett has been representing families and consumers whose lives have been devastated by reckless drivers, dangerous products, and other negligent tortfeasors. When a tragedy occurs because of the irresponsible behavior of a tortfeasor, an insurance company, or a corporation, Mr. Edgett and the firm of Humphreys & Peterson are advocates for the people and will help pursue justice for all. To speak directly to Attorney Scott Edgett, please feel free to contact him at (866) 259-0661, via email at Scott@TexasJusticeForAll.com, or visit our website at www.TexasJusticeForAll.com for further information regarding our law firm.

h1

Pit Bull Attacks 88 Year Old Woman & Slays Her Little Chihuahua In Garland Texas

March 23, 2009

On February 11, 2009, an 88 year old Garland, Texas woman started her daily lunchtime stroll with her 5 year old pet Chihuahua who weighs less than 8 pounds. After placing a leash on her little dog inside her garage, she opened her garage door to what was suppose to be a warm and sunny afternoon walk. However, this is one time she wished her garage would not have worked.

As this 88 year old woman walked into her own driveway, she was startled when she looked at a large 65 pound pit bull charging right towards her and her little Chihuahua. She instinctively bent down to attempt to pick up and protect her little companion. However, before she could even reach her little dog, the large male pit bull dog lunged on her knocking her backwards to the ground. The pit bull dog then began to bite the woman’s arms, hands and fingers. Once the pit bull had enough with the elderly woman, the large pit bull began to maul the little Chihuahua right in front of the 88 year old woman. The frail woman could do nothing to stop the brutal attack as she was lying on the ground watching her family pet of 5 years be eaten up by a pit bull.

After several minutes of this brutal attack, finally a bystander came by and was able to pry the pit bull off of the elderly woman and her dog. The pit bull dog was tied to a neighbor’s fence across the alley way.

Then, the hysterical 88 year old woman was finally able to get up off the ground, bend down to pick up her bloody dog in an attempt to save the dog’s life. The dog was still breathing at the time, although barely. Thus, at that time her injuries were not her primary concern. Her main concern was that she wanted to try anything to save her pet’s life.

Having sustained her own injuries, having witnessed a brutal mauling of her family pet, and the hysteria she was undergoing at the time she was in no way able to drive her dog to the veterinarian for treatment. Thus, this 88 year old woman had her 89 year old husband who suffers from Alzheimer disease and dementia, driver her a few miles to the closest animal hospital. Notwithstanding her courageous efforts, the 5 year old Chihuahua suffered a heart attack while initially being examined at the animal hospital.

Thereafter, the elderly woman was taken for medical treatment. As a result of this pit bull dog attack, the 88 year old woman sustained the following injuries: bite lacerations to her arms, hands, and fingers; lacerations to her elbows and knees from being knocked down to the ground; a torn meniscus to her right knee from being knocked down to the ground; an aggravation of a preexisting wrist injury which may require surgery; as well as several other scrapes and bruises. Despite these physical injuries, this woman is now dealing with mental anguish that will affect her the remainder of her life. These symptoms include: inability to sleep; nightmares; continuous crying and grief from the loss of her family pet; lack of appetite; nervousness of entering her own driveway where the attack occurred or even stepping foot outside anymore. To date, this elderly woman’s medical bills exceed $15,000.00.

In addition to the foregoing facts, it is important to note that this pit bull dog had at least two other incidents with local neighbors’ little dogs. Luckily, neither of those incidents resulted in a tragedy like this. Furthermore, the City of Garland has deemed this dog vicious in nature and has ordered that this pit bull dog be immediately removed from the City of Garland.

The State of Texas is one of the few remaining states who have what is called the “one free bite rule”. What this refers to is that generally, a dog owner will not be found liable for damages the dog causes, unless the dog is vicious AND the owner had actual or constructive knowledge of the viciousness. If the animal is vicious or has aggressive tendencies and the owner has knowledge of that propensity, the owner is subject to liability under the law of strict liability. However, if an animal is non-vicious, the owner may still be subject to liability for his or her negligence in handling the dog. In Texas, a dangerous dog is defined as:

(1) a dog that makes an unprovoked attack on a person that causes bodily injury and the attack occurs outside of the dog’s enclosure; OR

(2) a dog that commits unprovoked attacks outside of its enclosure that cause a person to reasonably believe the dog will attack and cause bodily injury.

What do you believe is a fair and reasonable amount of financial compensation to this elderly woman in this case? Your opinions are greatly valued and appreciated as it helps an insurance adjuster, mediator, and/or defense attorney come to realize what a Dallas jury would do these days.

Attorney Scott Edgett is a civil trial attorney with the Humphreys & Peterson Law Firm in Dallas, Texas. Mr. Edgett is licensed to practice law in Texas and Florida. Over the last decade, Mr. Edgett has emphasized on providing superior client representation in a professional and ethical manner, while experiencing high job satisfaction and trying to make the world a safer place for all. Mr. Edgett has been representing families and consumers whose lives have been devastated by reckless drivers, dangerous products, and other negligent tortfeasors. When a tragedy occurs because of the irresponsible behavior of a tortfeasor, an insurance company, or a corporation, Mr. Edgett and the firm of Humphreys & Peterson are advocates for the people and will help pursue justice for all. To speak directly to Attorney Scott Edgett, please feel free to contact him at (866) 259-0661, via email at Scott@TexasJusticeForAll.com, or visit our website at www.TexasJusticeForAll.com for further information regarding our law firm.