Archive for the ‘Premise Liability’ Category

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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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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.

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Texas Legislature Finally Implementing Legislation To “Crackdown” On Texas Daycares

February 5, 2009

According to CBS 11, a North Texas mother has convinced state lawmakers to take action after a boy was left unattended in a daycare van in Dallas. Dallas Police were out at Sheranda’s Playhouse in East Dallas Wednesday, continuing their investigation on claims that a 7-year-old boy was left alone in a day care van for five hours. Luckily, the boy was not physically injured.

Currently, daycare center drivers are not required to have ANY safety training, but it could soon become mandatory.

Few people will face a more horrible death than four-year-old Jacob Fox. He was left inside a daycare van for five hours on July 20, 2006. The temperature outside the Dream House Learning Center in Dallas was 104 degrees when he was found dead from hyperthermia. The child was found in the front seat in the fetal position. This was clearly a painful death for this child in which he suffered tremendously.

Jacob’s mother says the void is still there after nearly two years. Mrs. Fox has spent much of the time since her son’s death promoting legislation to require training of daycare van drivers so it won’t happen again. Due to her hard work and determination, Texas State Senator Florence Shapiro has introduced a bill in Jacob’s memory that would mandate at least two hours of annual training on transportation safety for all child care providers.

The daycare operator responsible for Jacob’s death is serving a two year prison sentence that will soon end.
As an officer of the Court, I personally believe this is a life saving bill that will make a difference, but it is clearly not enough action by the Texas legislature. But Jacob’s mother is just beginning her mission to give meaning to her son’s life and death. Child care experts believe training drivers to conduct roll calls and develop routines that keep a head count will prevent deaths.

As we all watch our local evening news or read the local newspaper, on a weekly basis we hear of horror stories are North Texas daycares. These need to be stopped. Parents need the peace of mind while they are at work trying to make ends meet, that their children are safe and secure. The only way to reduce these tragedies is to have the Texas Legislature pass tougher legislation that implements strict criminal prosecution and civil penalties for daycares’ negligent and reckless operations.

If your child was seriously injured or abused at a Texas daycare, it is imperative that you contact an experienced children’s rights attorney who will hold all parties financially responsible for their wrongdoings.

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 him at (866) 259-0661, via email at Scott@TexasJusticeForAll.com, or visit our website at www.TexasJusticeForAll.com.

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Dallas County Jails Continue To Provide Inept Medical Treatment & Provide a Dangerous Condition For Inmates

February 5, 2009

According to the US Department of Justice and The Dallas Morning News, a team of federal inspectors says Dallas County’s jail health system still can’t perform even the most basic tasks, such as giving medicine to prisoners when they arrive at the jail.

After four years of pouring millions of dollars into jail improvements, county officials say they expect the jail system, the nation’s seventh largest, to be a model for the rest of the country. However, in their latest report, federal inspectors wrote that they remain impressed by the county’s progress, but the infirmary care, tracking chronic illness and mental health programming remain as significant obstacles.

It was a lack of proper medical and mental health care that brought intense federal scrutiny upon the county in 2005. The inspection was conducted over several days in late September and early October, but the final report was only recently made public. Inspectors noted delays in issuing medications, a lack of medical evaluations, inconsistent care, lack of medical care for mental-health patients, a long backlog in sick-call requests, and sanitation and maintenance lapses.

The inspectors reserved their harshest language for the Lew Sterrett jail kitchen, where they found moldy ceilings that dripped water, live wires next to standing water and condensation so thick it was almost impossible to see across the room. Obviously, this combination of live electrical wires and a very wet floor poses a severe electrocution hazard to the inmates.

Conditions were so bad, the report said, it appeared that a jail quality-assurance team had never even been to the kitchen, which prepares food for up to 6,000 inmates a day. Parkland Memorial Hospital has provided jail health care since early 2006. Nonetheless, county commissioners have committed millions of dollars to the jail system for more staff and medical facilities to make up for inadequate spending in the past. Several large projects are nearing completion, such as new fire-safety systems and a $65 million jail tower. But the county so far has been unable to devise a system for quickly issuing needed medications to sick inmates.

That has resulted in another federal lawsuit against Dallas County. This week, the family of a former inmate with sickle-cell anemia filed suit, saying he went without vital medications for at least several days in 2007 while in the jail, resulting in a permanent brain injury. Lee Jefferson Jr. remains in a permanent vegetative state, according to the lawsuit, which accuses the county of violating his constitutional rights.

A monitoring team visits the jails every six months to evaluate the county’s progress as part of a 2007 agreement with the federal government. Earlier that year, the U.S. attorney general sued the county to force jail improvements. The latest report, the government’s third so far, said the county was “substantially compliant” with 12 court-ordered improvements, partially compliant in 22 areas and noncompliant in two areas (fire safety and infirmary care).

Inviting federal jail scrutiny can bring financial hardship on counties, which have to meet high standards of care, staffing and cleanliness – far more than what state regulations require. However, Dallas County has found itself in that situation because commissioners voted in 2002 to leave jail health to a contractor as a means of saving money. When problems surfaced, commissioners blamed the contractor.

But in two jail neglect lawsuits, it was the county, not the contractor, that had to answer the allegations. The county settled one case and lost the other, forcing two separate payouts totaling almost $2 million.

Noted Jail Deficiencies In Dallas County Jails:

 

  • Medications aren’t given until inmates are moved to permanent housing, a delay that averages up to four days.
  • Inmates with serious medical conditions aren’t getting medical evaluations upon arrival and don’t get adequate follow-up.
  • The jails lack an infirmary and skilled nursing care. An observation unit is understaffed, and nurses don’t know everyone who’s there and why.
  • The jails lack an efficient system for collecting and responding to sick-call requests.
  • A lack of privacy during medical screenings hampers information gathering when prisoners are booked.
  • There is only one doctor who sees HIV patients.
  • Inmates were hoarding food and supplies in their cells, posing a risk of food-borne illness.
  • The jails lack enough sanitation officers and supervision of housekeeping duties.
  • Maintenance and sanitation problems still exist, including broken intercoms, inadequate shower temperatures, sinks without hot water, clogged sinks and shower drains, and broken toilets.

Although these inmates in the Dallas County jail system have allegedly broken Texas laws, they should still be afforded adequate medical treatment and have their constitutional rights protected.

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 him at (866) 259-0661, via email at Scott@TexasJusticeForAll.com, or visit our website at www.TexasJusticeForAll.com.

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Understanding Premise Liability (Slip and Falls) In Texas

February 3, 2009

If you slipped and fell on a slippery floor or debris at the store or any other establishment open to the public, the property owner may be liable for your injuries, such as neck injury, back injury, or other type of damage related to your body.

The elements of a premises liability case are basically the same as an ordinary negligence claim in that the elements involve keeping the premises reasonably safe (duty), the property owner failed to do so (breach), and because of the property owner’s failure to do you have now been injured (proximate cause of the injury).

However, the first thing you should understand about these types of cases is that they’re a lot more complicated than most people think. Too many people often think that a property owner or manager is automatically responsible for the victim’s injuries on their property. Unfortunately, the exact opposite is true. To bring a claim forward, you will need to prove that the owner of the premises was very much aware of the hazardous condition on its premises and that condition indeed caused your injuries. In addition, the owner failed to exercise any measures to correct the dangerous condition and/or failed to warn you or others by not putting up sufficient signs to alert patrons of the possible risks in the area. If any of the above is present, your slip and fall claim case may not progress in the court system.

In order to help your claim, there should also be an incident report completed at the time of your accident, which would include what happened, who witnessed the fall and the conditions of the surface that caused you to have your injury.

Although there is no legal requirement for an incident report to be completed, most businesses do have policies requiring a report be written when a guest slips & falls on their premises. It’s strongly recommend that you request one be filled out for documentation and evidence preservation purposes.

Because of the complexity with slip & fall cases, you should consult with a qualified and competent slip and fall attorney to fully understand your rights. He or she can utilize all the legal methods to defend your rights and maximize the value of your case.

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 him at (866) 259-0661, via email at Scott@TexasJusticeForAll.com, or visit our website at www.TexasJusticeForAll.com.