Archive for the ‘In the news’ Category

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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.

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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

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Dallas Attorney On How To Protect Yourself From Fraudulent Census Bureau Workers.

April 26, 2010

Well a new decade has arrived and this means one thing……….the United States Census Bureau workers will begin knocking on our doors.

The general rule is to never give strangers your personal information. But assisting officials in getting an accurate 2010 U.S. Census Bureau count is an important exception. More than 140,000 census workers are charged with counting every person in the United States. The first step is a survey that household residents will receive in March. If the surveys are not returned, residents will be telephoned or visited by census workers. The goal is to gather information such as name, age, gender, and race of each person living at each address.

It’s important that each area’s population is accurately recorded. More than $435 billion in federal funds are distributed across the United States every year based on the population count. In addition, congressional redistricting hinges on decennial figures. All census information collected, including addresses, is confidential and protected by law.

How can you tell if you are talking to a legitimate census worker and not a con artist? It is important to follow these guidelines from the Better Business Bureau:

  • If it’s a U.S. census worker knocking on your door, he or she will be wearing a badge and carrying a Census Bureau canvas bag, a confidentiality notice, and a computer equipped with GPS software to reduce the number of geographic coding errors created by using paper maps. Ask to see the individual’s identification and badge before answering any questions.
  • While the Census Bureau might ask for basic financial information, such as a salary range, it will not ask for Social Security, bank account, or credit card numbers.
  • Do not pay any cash or checks to the census workers. Census workers to not solicit any donations.
  • Census workers will not contact you by e-mail, so be on the lookout for e-mail scams in which someone claims to represent the Census Bureau. Never click on a link or open any attachments in an e-mail that are supposedly from the Census Bureau.

For more information on the census and advice on avoiding identify theft and fraud, visit www.bbb.org and www.census.gov.

If you would like to read further articles on how you can keep your loved ones safe, please visit our website www.TexasJusticeForAll.com.

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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.

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Garland and Mesquite Above National Average for Likelihood of Having an Auto Accident

July 24, 2009

According to the Star Community Newspaper, drivers in Mesquite, Garland, and much of the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex are more likely to get into a car accident than the national average, according to a two year study compiled by a major insurance company.

Allstate compiled and analyzed the average vehicular crash rate and ranked the 200 largest cities in America according to the relative likelihood of being in a collision. Mesquite ranked No. 167, with drivers 36 percent more likely to be in a crash than the national average.

Twenty-one Texas cities were included in the 2009 Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report. Other Dallas-Fort Worth area cities are Fort Worth at No. 133, Plano at No. 162, Grand Prairie at No. 165, Carrollton at No. 166, Dallas at No. 173, Arlington at No. 177, Garland at No. 178 and Irving at No. 183.

Mesquite’s rank fell slightly on the Allstate list. In 2008, Plano ranked No. 150. Sioux Falls, S.D., took the top honor with drivers 26 percent less likely to be in a crash than the national average.

A common sense approach is that any time you put more cars on the same amount of roadway, you increase the probability of a crash.

Since 2005, Allstate ranked America’s 200 largest cities in terms of car collision frequency to identify which cities have the safest drivers. Every year, Allstate actuaries conduct an in-depth analysis of company claim data to determine the likelihood drivers in America’s 200 largest cities will experience a vehicle collision compared to the national average. Internal property damage reported claims were analyzed over a two-year period, from January 2006 to December 2007, to ensure findings would not be impacted by external influences, such as weather or road construction, according to the survey report.

Auto crashes in general have declined over the last few years, but crash fatalities still average about 40,000 every year despite technological advances according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Allstate offers the following safe driving tips drivers should consider:

  • Minimize distractions – Engaging in any other activity while driving – talking on your cell phone, text messaging, changing a radio station, putting on makeup – is a distraction.
  • Be aware of road conditions – Ice, snow, fog, rain – all of these weather conditions require extra caution and slower speeds.
  • Leave a safe distance between your car and others around you – Maintain at least one car length space between your car and the vehicle in front of you for every 10 miles per hour of speed.
  • Steer clear of road rage – Reduce stress on the road by allowing plenty of time for travel, planning your route in advance, and altering your schedule or route to avoid congested roads. Remember not to challenge aggressive drivers and stay as far away from them as possible.
  • Maintenance matters – Ultimately, safety also depends on the maintenance of one’s car. Ensure that car brakes, exhaust system, tires, lights, battery, and hoses are in good working order.

Please be safe as you venture out on our local Dallas Fort Worth roadways.

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.

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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.

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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.