Archive for May, 2012
May 30, 2012
You may have heard about a major recall of a US-manufactured automobile in the past week. We’d like to spend this blog explaining what caused the recall, and what goes into a given automobile recall. This one in particular concerns the Chrysler-produced Jeep Wrangler.
Chrysler is recalling roughly 87,000 Jeep Wranglers in the United States and elsewhere because of a risk of fires. The recall has only been issued in relation to Wranglers from the model year 2010 that have automatic transmissions and were constructed prior to July 14th of 2010. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) provided the information on the recall. According to documents provided by the NHTSA, it is possible for debris to get trapped in between a plate that serves as a transmission protector and the catalytic converter — the result can cause a fire.
The catalytic converter uses a great deal of heat — with precious metals — to control the amount of pollution produced by the car. Chrysler said that debris can get trapped when the Jeep Wrangler is driven off-road. At least 14 complaints of fires with the 2010 Wranglers are confirmed. At this time, Chrysler isn’t sure whether or not the fires caused injuries, but there is obviously always the risk that someone can get injured if a car starts a fire. Chrysler will fix the problem for free by replacing the transmission-protecting plate with a bar so that debris can’t get caught.
Recalls can be ordered either by the independent manufacturer or by the NHTSA—in either case, the NHTSA oversees the recall process to ensure that consumers are taken care of and that the manufacturer of the recalled automobile properly remedies the problem. The company that is responsible for the manufacturing of the vehicle in question is required to issue a public report which outlines the safety-related defect, the vehicle in question/equipment group, the major incidents that led to the recall determination, a description of the solution, and a schedule for the recall.
The manufacturer is also required to attempt to notify owners of the automobile being recalled. The letter sent to the owners must contain the following information: description of the defect, the risk or hazard posed by the problem, and a description of the free remedy. Even if you do not receive a notification from the manufacturer, and you are an owner of the affected vehicle, you are wholly entitled to a free remedy of the issue. The only time issue concerning recalls is related to tires. If there is a recall that concerns the tires of the vehicle, according to the U.S. Safety Act, the owner must have the recall work completed within 60 days of receiving the notification—all other recall issues may be remedied and covered for the lifetime of the product.
If you have any questions, there are answers available to you. You can contact the NHTSA directly for information on what you are entitled to expect.
If you believe you may have been injured as a result of a vehicle defect, please contact one of the attorneys at the Law Offices of Aronberg & Aronberg by calling us at 561-266-9191 or emailing us at email@example.com.
May 29, 2012
By going to court to seek justice in any personal injury case, the intent is to receive a favorable financial settlement or jury award. These settlements are often times decided by a jury or judge and navigated by the applicable law. However, there is something else that has major influence in determining whether financial compensation is warranted; this is known as precedent. Legal precedent can be understood as influential decisions that have been made in a prior, similar situation. For example, if you are involved in a complicated incident that ended in your injury, you can look in the past to see if there have been similar incidents—and see what the outcome was to try and predict what your result could be.
Because legal precedence is such an important part of understanding the wide scope of personal injury law, it’s imperative to stay up-to-date with legal settlements in areas that might affect you. In this blog, we’ll look at a few case results and one instance of a newly filed lawsuit.
We’ll start in Missouri, where a 14-year old girl was awarded $12.5 million in the settlement of her sexual assault lawsuit. The girl’s attorneys contended that while the 14-year old was being transported by ambulance from one hospital to another, and while she was strapped to a gurney, she was raped by one of the ambulance attendants (who was also a convicted felon). The felon eventually disclosed the crime to his superior, though it came out during the lawsuit that the ambulance company knew about his felon status when they were in the process of hiring him. He acted criminally and the company acted negligently in hiring a felon to take care of the helpless.
Next, we move to California, where $6 million was awarded to a woman who unfortunately suffered a brain injury after she was struck by a car while she was walking in Sacramento. She was just 25-years old when the vehicle hit her. She filed the lawsuit against the city, claiming that the curve in the road impaired motorists’ capacity to see the crosswalk. The jury in the trial decided that the city was 51% responsible. The jury awarded the woman $18 million, though because attorneys previously agreed her injuries did not exceed $6 million, she will be getting $6 million.
For our last settlement, we fly over to Maryland, where a family was awarded $620,000 for the death of their dog. The family dog was shot by a police officer when he was at the family’s home searching for the owners’ son. The crucial evidence in the case was the police vehicle’s dash video camera that caught the shooting on tape. Evidenced by the video, the officer shot the dog as it was bounding outside to greet the officer. The officer claimed that the dog was interfering in his police activities, but the jury didn’t agree and awarded the family $620,000 in what has been branded a “civil rights” case.
Now we’re going to look at a newly filed lawsuit. In New York, a consumer fraud Class-Action lawsuit has been filed against the Dial Corporation, manufacturers of a wide variety of soap products. The lawsuit claims that although Dial’s nationwide marketing campaigns tell consumers that washing their hands with Dial products is more effective than merely washing with soap and water, there isn’t enough evidence to support the claim.
Hopefully now you’re clued into the current goings-on of the world of personal injury! If you have any questions relating to these or any other legal matter, please contact the Law Offices of Aronberg and Aronberg at 561-266-9191 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
May 24, 2012
Forgery is a dirty word. Forgery is defined as the action of “forging” – or producing – a copy of a document, signature, banknote, or work of art. The word “producing” can be misleading. Someone can produce their own work, and thus it isn’t a forgery, as per common law. Perhaps the word “replicate” is better to use than “produce” when trying to understanding “forgery.” Most commonly, forgery is understood as the illegitimate replication of a signature on a bank checks, deed to a house, title to a car, court document, business contract, etc. Forgery is a serious crime and can carry serious penalties if the felon (yes, that’s right, felon) is caught committing the felony of forgery.
Florida state law minces no words when articulating what forgery is and how it is to be handled by the long arm of the law. According to Chapter 831.01 of the most recent set of Florida state statutes, anyone who commits forgery, i.e., “falsely makes, alters, forges or counterfeits,” any document with legal standing, or who utters, passes or tenders fake banknotes, is thereby guilty of having committed a third degree felony. These third degree felonies are punishable by up to 5 years in prison and carry a fine of up to $5,000. If you forge something, you are a felon. Be aware, though, that the above penalties only have to do withFlorida. If you forge someone’s signature on something like a bank check, business contract or car deed, and the piece of paper that you sign travels out of state or is involved with business across state lines, you are in for a treat known as federal punishment.
Furthermore, the penalties for forgery are contingent on how much money was to be gained through the forgery. For example, if you sign your name on a friend’s check and make the check out to yourself for $20, your penalty won’t be as severe as if you forge a business partner’s name on a business promissory note that would guarantee you ownership of a million-dollar bank account in a different state. In the second circumstance, you would be penalized more severely because you would be attempting to gain $1 million (as opposed to $20). Also, because the bank account in question is registered in another state than the one the document was forged in, you would be crossing state lines, and via the Interstate Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, the federal government would have the ability to penalize you (in addition to the state penalizing you).
In addition to the fines and penalties associated with forgery, the guilty party is typically expected to repay the victim the amount of money that the victim lost as a result of the forgery. If the guilty party does not have the available funds on hand, often times their property will be seized and sold to repay the stolen money. This process of repaying the victim their lost money is known as restitution. The legal consequences of forgery extend past the prosecutor’s office. Civil lawsuits play an important role in determining what the guilty party owes the victim. The victim clearly would have endured damages as a result of the forgery, and therefore a personal injury attorney can represent the victim in an effort to recover damages for them which may cover financial losses, emotional distress, marital discourse, etc., all which may occur as a result of the forgery.
Forgery is a serious issue—and a serious crime. While many of us were at one point guilty of innocent, childlike wrongdoings like forging a parent’s signature on an early dismissal note in high school, the forgery discussed in this blog is much more unsettling and carries a much higher risk. This blog was intended to make you aware of the penalties associated with forgery and the rights you have as a victim of the crime.
If you feel that you have been a victim of forgery, please contact one of the attorneys at the Law Offices of Aronberg & Aronberg by calling us at 561-266-9191 or emailing us at email@example.com.
May 22, 2012
Here in Florida, the airwaves are filled with advertisements for various personal injury law firms all detailing how they will represent you in seeking compensation for your injury. These injuries can stem from smoke inhalation, to dangerous prescription drugs, to medical malpractice, to (most commonly) auto accidents. All of these situations and many more result in injuries to people (thus the phrase “personal injury”). While every case is unique in its origin, investigation and result, there are some basic concepts pertaining to personal injury law that it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with. Perhaps you have questions and concerns about the process? We’d like to help you become more comfortable with the whole notion of fighting for what’s rightfully yours in case you’re ever in a situation where you need to do so.
To begin with, many people believe that if they don’t have a surgery to correct their injuries, their claims will be ignored. This is FALSE. Sometimes doctors choose not to operate because there is the chance that the surgery could worsen the already painful injury. Having a surgery is not a prerequisite for receiving compensation, and as such, not having surgery doesn’t mean you won’t receive compensation. Be aware, too, that even if you don’t think you want to have surgery, but doctors recommend it, you can claim compensation to include the future cost of the operation that the doctors recommend.
Now let’s move to the issue of prior injuries. Many people think that because they have previously been involved in an auto accident, they are ineligible to be compensated for this accident in which they were the victim of someone else’s negligence. If the other person was negligent in the accident, you are entitled to compensation! The only issue concerning a prior injury comes into play when determining the effect of the accident. For example, if you had a broken leg and then were hit by a car, the driver of the car can’t be held responsible for that broken leg (but he might be responsible for making it worse if it worsens).
Let’s look at some more technical aspects of personal injury cases. Though there are always lawyers and court filings involved, only about 5% of personal injury cases actually go to court. These cases typically involve huge sums of money or highly contentious issues. Most times, the plaintiff and defendant (via their attorneys) settle before the trial. This cuts down on legal expenses and makes the process easier (and simpler) for everyone involved.
Let’s end on the most common misconception regarding personal injury cases: the idea that there is a “typical” settlement amount. There is absolutely no “common” settlement amount. Every case is different and the factors of each case are different, and this means that the settlement (the value of the case) varies considerably from case to case. The factors in a given case that affect the value are, but are not limited to:
1. Amount of medical bills
2. Loss of past income
3. Future medical bills
5. Permanent limitations/injuries
6. Capacity to earn money, etc.
Remember, this is a guide intended to help you understand the ins and outs of personal injury cases, though it should not stand in lieu of an experienced attorney’s recommendations and opinions. The attorneys like the ones at the Law Offices of Aronberg and Aronberg, know how to handle all personal injury cases and can cater to your specific case requirements. If you have any questions about this posting or any other legal matter, please contact us for a free consultation at 561-266-9191 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May 18, 2012
In this blog we’ve got some unsettling news about two common household products: Skechers shoes and the popular cold-fixer referred to as “Z-Pack.”
A giant settlement was just announced concerning one of the most famous companies in the world: Skechers, the shoe brand/manufacturer. They’ve been all over the news recently, specifically with their television ads for their “Shape-Ups” shoe line which claims the shoes have a “slimming” effect on those who purchase the shoes. Skechers poured so much money into the ad campaign that they even hired reality television star Kim Kardashian to promote their shoes in their television advertisements.
Despite its notability, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that the shoe giant will pay $40,000,000 to settle charges over their ads being deceptive. The U.S. government agency says Skechers has been falsely claiming to have legitimate, clinical studies that to back-up the “slimming” claims in the ads.
Some of the ads for the shoes featured a chiropractor who said—in the ad—that he le an “independent” clinical study which proved that the shoes really did slim down those who wore them. His claim that the study was “independent” was entirely false. The chiropractor in the ad was married to one of Skecher’s marketing executives! That’s like having a dentist say that she conducted an “independent” study to prove that a certain type of toothpaste works—and then it being discovered that the dentist is married to a marketing executive of the same toothpaste company. Because of Skecher’s questionable actions, they will shell-out $40,000,000 in the settlement and also provide refunds to customers who were duped into buying the shoes in the first place.
Our next issue concerns Zithromax—more commonly referred to as “Z-Pack,” an popular antibiotic used for treating bronchitis and other common infections. Last year, in the US alone, Zithromax, which is produced by Pfizer, raked in $464,000,000 in sales. Its popularity is due to its effectiveness and the fact that it can be taken for fewer days than other leading brands. A 14-year study conducted by Vanderbilt University, however, has yielded some surprising and concerning results about Z-Pack. Apparently, use of the antibiotic increases chances for sudden and deadly heart problems. While the overall risk is low, it is present, the doctors involved in the study confirmed. It’s good to stay informed about the dangers involved with medications. While we rely on these medicines to cure uncomfortable sicknesses, its important to be aware of the fact that these remedies can have negative side-effects of their own.
If you have any questions about these issues or any other possible legal issues, please contact the Law Offices of Aronberg and Aronberg at 561-266-9191 or email us at email@example.com.
May 16, 2012
There have been a number of high-profile personal injury settlements decided recently that have helped set the standard for personal injury cases going forward. Each of them, in their own way, will help to influence future verdicts and substantiate long-standing precedents. These precedents are more influential than any court, legislator or lawyer. When something is ruled on in a certain—consistent—way, the standard is set for every case like it to follow. When lawyers draw up arguments in court, they will cite other similar cases that have come before and use their outcomes as the appropriate basis for forming the conclusion in the current case. Because legal precedent is such a powerful part of our legal culture, it is important to keep yourself aware of these recent developments because they may very well add credibility to a potential case of yours.
This past month, Susann Bashir was awarded $5,120,000 in a harassment suit against AT&T. Bashir contended that following her conversion to Islam in 2005, she faced years of harassment at AT&T which culminated with her boss snatching her head scarf (her “hijab”) and exposing her hair in 2008. Typically, exposing one’s hair isn’t a malicious action, but according to Islamic religious law, Bashir was forbidden from revealing her natural hair (and thus the head scarf was worn). She was awarded $120,000 in lost wages and actual damages and an additional $5,000,000 in punitive damages—a form of damages aimed at teaching companies a lesson in an effort to prevent future abuse and negligence. Bashir endured discrimination every day at work—being called a “towel-head” and constantly being asked by her co-workers if she was “going to blow up the building.” This verdict proves that harassment and discrimination—especially of a religious nature—is not something that needs to be tolerated and it can cost the guilty party dearly.
For our next story, we look at Medieval Times—no, not the time period, the restaurant and entertainment sensation. A New Jersey federal court has approved a a class action settlement brought against Medieval Times, claiming that the company violated the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA) by disclosing personal information on credit and debit card receipts. The company is accused of printing prohibited information, such as a card’s expiration date, on receipts given to customers. Many people leave their receipts at the table or toss them in the trash, never expecting anything bad to come of their indifference. However, if a criminal were to pick a receipt out of a trash or snatch it off of a table, they would have the ending credit card numbers AND the expiration date—both of which are key pieces of information necessary when trying to access an account. As terms of the settlement in this disturbing case, Medieval Times has agreed to pay $525,000 and provide 25,000 free tickets to class members and others.
Lastly, we end with a story of an elderly man reaching a $65,000 settlement with a sheriff’s department. The man was tasered when police allege he tried to interfere as medics attempted to provide assistance to his injured wife. At the time that he was tasered, the elderly man was handcuffed, causing his attorney to allege an extreme measure of force. The case never went to trial, as the sheriff’s department agreed to settle.
For questions on these or any other legal matters, please contact us at the Law Officers of Aronberg and Aronberg by calling us at 561-266-9191 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May 4, 2012
When considering something as horrific as the death of an 8-year-old girl, there is little to be delighted about. That said, the Law Offices of Aronberg & Aronberg and attorney Todd A. Newman of Philadelphia are proud to announce a $6 million settlement from the first of two defendants responsible for the unspeakable loss of life that took place nearly four years ago. As we approach the anniversary of this little girl’s death, her family might finally begin the process of healing with the understanding that there is justice in the world — it just won’t be given to you.
Talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time. In the summer of 2008, a little girl and her family were traveling along the New Jersey Turnpike. It was nighttime, so the little girl was asleep in the backseat with some of her family members. The driver of the car, the little girl’s uncle, was an off-duty NYPD officer at the time. So when the family came upon a motorist in distress, it’s no surprise that the officer pulled the family’s vehicle into the emergency lane and got out of the car to help.
The officer, helped a woman escape her car that had become wedged underneath a giant 18-wheeler, which was stuck in the highway. The driver of the 18-wheeler violated company protocol and NJ state law by driving the vehicle without the proper reflective tape and failing to place the reflective, orange, triangle markers behind his truck to warn other motorists of the danger in the road.
The little girl, her mother and her sister were still in the backseat of the car at this point, safely in the emergency lane. Out of nowhere, another 18-wheeler came barreling down the highway at normal speeds despite the obstruction in the road ahead. At the last split second, the driver noticed the other 18-wheeler and the car beneath it and swerved to the right to avoid hitting them. He lost control of his truck and slammed into the back of the family’s vehicle, delivering an unimaginable injury to the little girl, her sister and their mother.
All were rushed to hospitals. The 8-year-old struggled for life before finally passing on. The excruciating last four years have been made worse by the lack of remorse from both responsible parties — both companies which were operating the 18-wheelers at the time. The first was negligent in that they didn’t put out flares or markers to mark the scene and notify other motorists, and the second was negligent in crashing into the car, causing the injuries that killed the little girl.
One of the companies recently settled for $6,000,000—a considerable amount of money, but nothing in comparison to the value of a young life and the promise that adulthood might have meant. The second company has yet to settle, and a Trial by Jury is scheduled for this Fall.
Where is the accountability? Companies take consumer money and then refuse to cough up a cent when someone dies as a result of their negligence. The refusal to settle means that good deeds do go unnoticed. Not only do they go unnoticed, but if you happen to get killed in the act, because of a negligent driver, that goes unnoticed too.
We will certainly keep you posted with any developments in this case. Representing the family of the little girl who was killed for absolutely no reason, other than her family was doing the right thing, we have a new found understanding of how important personal injury law is. It’s not about squeezing money out of insurance companies—it’s about seeking justice for those who deserve it most.
For questions or comments pertaining to this or any other legal matter, please reach the Law Offices of Aronberg & Aronberg at 561-266-9191 or email us at email@example.com.
May 2, 2012
While it’s true that the original saying is April showers bring May flowers, the same logic can be applied to the implications and ramifications of legal decisions in personal injury cases of all sorts. In this blog post, we’d like to make you aware of three settlements that may pertain to you or your family members. We’ve got news to bring you regarding Bayer, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Five Guys Burgers & Fries. No, this won’t be a contest of what college kids consume more of, but it might give all consumers—including college kids—pause before further consumption.
Let’s begin with Bayer, the multinational pharmaceutical and chemical corporation based in Germany. It’s probably most well-known for its aspirin which line the shelves of pharmacies and kitchen cabinets everywhere. In this case, however, the product in the spotlight was Yasmin, Bayer’s own group of birth-control pills. On the unluckiest day (especially for Bayer), Friday, April 13th, the company was forced into agreeing to pay upwards of $110 million in a settlement with the first 500 lawsuits that claimed that Yasmin birth-control pills caused blood clots. Earlier this year, in February, Bayer said that outside of the U.S., the corporation had settled 170 Yasmin/Yaz cases. According to Bayer’s annual report, as of February, there were over 11,000 lawsuits pending in the United States all in relation to Yasmin/Yaz causing injury or death. United States health regulators said that information on the heightened risks of blood clots will be added to the labels on popular birth-control pills including Bayer’s Yaz and Yasmin.
Let’s stray from birth control for a bit and talk about fried chicken. This past week, fast food corporation Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) was ordered to shell-out $8.3 million to a girl who suffered brain damage and was paralyzed as a result of eating a “Twister wrap.” The girl was seven when she suffered salmonella encephalopathy, a brain injury that is linked to food poisoning that also left her with a blood infection as well as septic shock (back in October of 2005). Several of the girl’s family members fell ill and claimed that the girl’s injuries included cognitive, motor and speech impairment as well as quadriplegia—and were caused by contamination in the chicken wrap.
In other fast-food news, we have news on a class action lawsuit against the ever-increasingly popular Five Guys Burgers and Fries. A preliminary settlement has been reached in a consumer fraud lawsuit against the restaurant chain for the sale of gift cards which did not adhere to New Jersey’s Gift Card Act. The lawsuits have accurately claimed that the cards contained dormancy fee provisions and/or expiration provisions that violated state laws. Anyone who’s ever received a gift card as a gift knows that it’s no “gift” to be charged fees for using a gift card or to be forced to use the card within a certain amount of time at the risk of losing the card’s value. Five Guys is paying for their abuse of customers which clearly violated a state law designed to protect consumers.
As more and more settlements come to light, justice becomes more prevalent. The days of corporate greed without accountability are over and a new era of legal justice has been ushered in. Eighty years ago, people would work 70 hours a week and if they got sick doing so, it was their fault for sticking around. Nowadays, there are laws that protect people and there are people who defend them.
To speak with some of those people, contact one of the attorneys at Aronberg and Aronberg at 561-266-9191 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.