Articles Posted in Child Safety

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Fisher-Price is recalling its Rock ‘N Play product, which has been linked to more than 30 infant deaths. The company is offering a cash refund to customers who have owned the product for six months or less. Those who have owned the product for longer can seek a pro-rated voucher refund from the company. cribinjury-300x199

MarketWatch reports the recall could cost Fisher-Price up to $60 million and involves nearly 5 million units. The Rock ‘N Play sleeper is manufactured in China and retails in the United States for between $40 and $149. We can see by the pro-rated refund “voucher” that the company continues to focus on the bottom line, and not on the safety of consumers.

Frequently recalls highlight the risk of serious or fatal injuries resulting from dangerous or defective consumer products. But issuing a recall does not relieve a company of the legal liability associated with marketing these products to consumers.

Mattel issued the recall after complaints to the company and the Consumer Product Safety Commission that infants could roll over and suffocate. The CPSC reports more than 30 infant deaths have occurred while using the product in the last decade. The company said the recall was voluntary and blamed some of the incidents on incorrect use of the products that were contrary to safety warnings and instructions. Our injury lawyers know neither the “voluntary” recall nor the assertion that the product was used incorrectly will protect the company from legal liability in this case.

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For the second time this year a child has been killed near a Lee County bus stop.

Monday’s tragic death of an 8-year-old Cape Coral girl has rallied the entire community. She was struck by a truck while waiting with her twin brothers at the side of the road. A red pickup truck traveling toward the intersection struck her and then left the scene. An outpouring of community support and a GoFundMe page have raised more than $48,000 this week. Police have recovered the truck and identified a suspect as the investigation continues. schoolbusstop-300x225

So far in 2019, a total of 28 people have died on Lee County roads, a record number, The News-Press reported. Nearly half of these deaths have victimized our most vulnerable road users, including the deaths of seven pedestrians, as well as four cyclists.

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New research suggests parents should leave their children in rear-facing car seats until they have outgrown them.

While it’s unclear when Florida will update its own recommendations, parents and caregivers should start using the new guidelines as soon as possible. USA Today reports the new car-seat guidelines for rear-facing seats are designed to save lives. Safety advocates now say children should use the seats until they reach the height and weight limit suggested by the manufacturer. Newer, stronger seats are allowing parents to use them for larger children.

Previous guidelines suggest use of rear-facing car seats until a child reached the age of 2.carseat-218x300

“Fortunately, car seat manufacturers have created seats that allow children to remain rear-facing until they weigh 40 pounds or more, which means most children can remain rear-facing past their second birthday,” said Dr. Benjamin Hoffman, lead author of the policy statement and chair of the AAP Council on Injury, Violence and Poison Prevention. “It’s best to keep your child rear-facing as long as possible. This is still the safest way for children to ride.”
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NBC2 is reporting gun deaths involving children are on the rise in Southwest Florida.

According to hospital discharge data, Florida gun deaths involving children under the age of 18 increased from 75 in 2010 to 105 in 2016. Non-fatal hospitalizations and emergency visits were also up substantially. Nationwide, 1,300 kids a year are killed in firearm’s accidents and nearly 6,000 are treated for gunshot wounds, CNN reported. 

“This has been a steadily increasing progression, and if you look at the numbers and statistics, it certainly shows that,” said Nelayda Fonte, a trauma surgeon at Lee Health.gun injury

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As the holidays approach, the demand for new toys will be high, both in stores and online. Buyers must be cautious when purchasing items to make sure they are following the manufacturer’s age recommendations and that they stay tuned to any reports of injuries or news of a potential toy recall.injury lawyer

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently issued its annual Toy-Related Deaths and Injuries report for 2016, revealing that last year, there were a total of 240,000 emergency department trips spurred by dangerous or defective toys. That doesn’t represent a significant statistical trend

While not every toy-related injury is cause for a personal injury lawsuit, if plaintiff can show the product was unreasonably dangerous or defectively designed or defectively manufactured, there may be grounds for legal action. Serious injuries can occur when toys are made cheaply, with toxic materials or sold with inadequate warnings. Defendants in these cases can include anyone in the chain of distribution – from the product designer to its manufacturer to its distributor. Continue reading →

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In Florida, property owners are generally liable for dangerous conditions that are not obvious and cause harm to those who are lawfully present. There are varying degrees of a property owner’s responsibility in this area of law – known as premises liability – depending on the status of the individual who was hurt. For example, someone who is invited onto the property for the financial benefit of the property owner is owed a higher duty of care than someone who is trespassing. child injury lawyer

In most cases, trespassers are not owed any duty of care, except that property owners can’t intentionally harm them or set traps. When it comes to children, though, the standards are different. Children are generally owed a greater duty of care than adults in the same situation, and this is true also when children are trespassing. The doctrine of attractive nuisance, for example, holds that if property owners maintain dangerous conditions likely to attract young children to the site, the property owner must be sensitive to that potential danger (which a child may not appreciate) by posting a warning or taking some other affirmative steps to protect children from that danger.

Recently in Minnesota, the state supreme court there considered property owner liability in the case where a 4-year-old boy nearly drowned in the Mississippi River and suffered severe and permanent brain damage.  Continue reading →

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In most Florida wrongful death lawsuits, it’s often a simple matter to link defendant (the person alleged to be legally at-fault) with the conduct that resulted in death. For example: A drunk driver swerves off the road and slams into a tree, killing a passenger. The defendant’s negligent conduct caused the passenger’s death.wrongful death

It can get complicated, though, when we’re dealing with liability for a loved one’s suicide. This is where that causal link (referred to in court as “causation”) becomes difficult to prove. A person who commits suicide is the direct cause of his or her own death. But the question becomes: Was defendant’s action or inaction a substantial factor in decedent’s suicide? Courts will also ask whether decedent’s actions were reasonably foreseeable. There are no hard-and-fast rules for when a defendant may be legally liable for someone else’s suicide, but we have noticed an increase in such cases.

Recently in Wakulla County, the parents of a 15-year-old who tragically committed suicide have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the school and one of his middle school teachers. The lawsuit alleges the teacher and the school are party to blame for the teen’s death following allegations of inappropriate contact between the teacher and the 8th-grader. Continue reading →

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A 3-year-old girl was recently killed in a South Florida pedestrian accident while walking with her mother as they returned from dropping her older brother off at the bus stop. pedestrian accident

According to The Press Republican, the girl, her mother and a neighbor were walking at the intersection of Hampton Meadow Way and Bright Street in Riverview when they were struck by the 33-year-old driver of a pickup truck. The driver said he looked before he turned onto the street, where he saw the two women and the dog. However, he said he did not see the little girl. As soon as he heard the sickening sound of the impact, he immediately stopped and realized he had struck the girl.

The girl’s mother, meanwhile, asserts the driver was operating on the wrong side of the road. Her daughter, she said, was approximately two arm’s lengths ahead of her as they made their way home. The girl had made it nearly to the sidewalk right in front of her home, where she stood waiting for her mother, holding a sippy cup.  Continue reading →

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A recent playground injury involving a child reached a state supreme court, which was tasked with considering whether sovereign immunity laws protected defendant school district from liability for allegedly defective equipment. playground

Sovereign immunity is a legal principle handed down by the English that held the “sovereign” or government could not be held liable for tort actions. The theory is that the government needs to be able to carry out basic function and policies without fear of liability. But this is not absolute. In Florida, there are exceptions under F.S. 768.28, the state’s waiver of sovereign immunity.

Sovereign immunity laws vary from state-to-state. The case in question was weighed by the Colorado Supreme Court, which decided a piece of playground equipment that was not negligently constructed or maintained can’t be considered a “dangerous condition” for purposes of the sovereign immunity exception.  Continue reading →

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The Florida Supreme Court was asked to consider whether four female students at a school in South Florida should be allowed to proceed to trial with their lawsuit against a teacher and the county school board, alleging negligence for sexual molestation that reportedly occurred.crying

The personal injury lawsuit was originally filed in July 2006 by the four students and their parents. In a third amended complaint, filed in 2011, respondents alleged claims of negligent supervision, negligent retention, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligent infliction of emotional distress. Respondents also filed a claim for violation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which centers on the prohibition of sex discrimination by entities that receive federal education dollars.

The school board sought to remove the Title IX claim (and another claim not relevant), arguing that this particular claim was prohibited at this point by the statute of limitations because it didn’t relate to the original filing. Continue reading →