Published on:

New Hampshire is a perfect place for boating; our state has over 400 public state-owned launch sites for boating, kayaking, or canoeing. But when boaters fail to follow safety laws and guidelines, boating can quickly turn from a fun to a dangerous activity.boating-accidents-in-new-ha

Earlier this month, a New Hampshire man was killed when in a boating accident upstate New York when his powerboat hit a rock. Allen Lighthall was boating with his 13-year-old son when the powerboat hit a rock in the lake, throwing his son into the water. Lighthall dove in after his son. Another boater in the area saw the accident and was able to rescue the 13-year-old, but Lighthall did not survive.

Also this month, a kayaker was fishing in Lake Massabesic when a powerboat struck him, expelling him kayaker into the water and causing serious internal injuries.

Published on:

An 89-year-old Texas woman is suing United Airlines after falling down an escalator, claiming that the company failed to provide the wheelchair assistance they had promised.

In February, Thelma Kiger arrived at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas after on her way home from a cruise with her niece. When Kiger departed from Los Angeles on her way to Texas, United employees escorted her to the gate with a wheelchair. The employees promised that she would be met with a wheelchair when she arrived in Texas.

Instead, an employee in an electric cart came to the gate for her and dropped her off near a set of escalators down to the baggage claim. Kiger was left alone and was not informed if anyone else would come to assist her. She attempted to take the escalator, but fell and landed unconscious at the bottom. Kiger suffered “four fractured ribs, a fractured pelvis, and injuries to her left shoulder, left arm, back and legs.”

The lawsuit alleges that United Airlines failed to follow federal and state statutes and regulations when they failed to provide adequate wheelchair assistance to Kiger.

Continue reading →

Published on:

This week, a man in Austin, Texas was hospitalized after flying over the edge of a water slide onto a cliff below. He suffered a broken arm and fractured ribs, and had cuts and bruises on his back.

Waterpark rides can be incredibly dangerous, causing severe injuries like broken bones and nerve damage, or trapping young children under rushing water and causing drownings. Though waterparks must have slides and rides safety-approved before opening, many of these parks do not face routine safety inspections of the rides once opened. Safety inspections of already-opened parks tend to focus on the safety and cleanliness of the water at the parks, not on the safety and maintenance of slides and rides.

The Insurance Information Institute reports that every year, amusement park visitors take about 1.38 billion rides at fixed-site amusement parks. Those rides result in about 40,000 injuries and 357 deaths.

Continue reading →

Published on:

Last week, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that General Motors (GM) cannot bar plaintiffs from suing the company because of GM’s bankruptcy filing. In 2014, GM was forced to recall 2.6 million vehicles over faulty ignition switches that caused over one-hundred deaths, close to three-hundred injuries, and thousands of claims of car devaluation resulting from the ignition switch defect. GM filed for bankruptcy in 2009 and transitioned from “Old GM” to “New GM” which was protected from, the debts and liabilities of the old company. The 2nd U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that barring plaintiffs from suing GM for defects that originated under “Old GM” would violate the plaintiff’s constitutional rights to due process. Continue reading →

Published on:

Last month Ikea issued a massive recall of over 29 million dressers after reports of six child deaths and 36 injuries. The dressers can easily tip over and crush of suffocate children. Ikea officials say they have done everything possible to prevent the injuries including warning consumers about the dangers and distributing 300,000 wall-anchoring kits to prevent dressers from tipping. But with the continual stream of injuries and deaths, the company finally decided to remove the dressers from the market.

The problem of tip-furniture accidents extends far beyond Ikea furniture. On average, one child dies every two weeks from a furniture tip-over accident. Seemingly safe furniture can become deadly when a small child climbs on the furniture, often to reach for something on top, and creates a weight disturbance that causes the heavy furniture to tip. While some children walk away with minor injuries, many are crush or suffocated to death under the heavy furniture.

Continue reading →

Published on:

The decision to place a loved one in a nursing home is never easy. But when a loved one requires more care than their family is able to provide, nursing homes should provide a safe, trusted, and nurturing environment. Unfortunately, many elders suffer abuse and neglect at the hands of their nursing home caregivers.

Approximately 12 million Americans receive long-term care in assisted living homes; about 6.3 million of them are elderly. The size of the Baby Boom generation means that the elderly population will continue to grow in the United States, and it is estimated that by 2050 more than 27 million Americans will require some kind of assisted living. People over the age of 85 are one of the fastest growing sections of the population.

The aging population of the U.S. means that an increasing number of elderly loved ones will require care in nursing homes, but numbers on the level of care provided in these homes are grim. More than 50% of nursing home staff admits to abusing (including physical and mental abuse and neglect) elderly patients. Between 1999 and 2001, 1 in 3 nursing homes in the U.S. were cited for violations of federal standards, and 1 in 10 nursing homes had major violations that placed residents in serious harm. Physical abuse, psychological abuse, and neglect are the most common forms of elderly abuse.

Continue reading →

Published on:

A man is suing the City of Pittsburgh for using a hand-held magnetic security wand too close to his pacemaker, causing it to fail.

Vince Kelly says that when he arrived at Pittsburgh Municipal Court in June of 2014 2014 he cautioned the guard that the metal detector could interfere with his pacemaker. The guard allowed Kelly to go around the detector, but then waived a hand-held metal detector device too close to his heart, causing Kelly to fall and briefly loose consciousness.

The security guard worked for a private company that was contracted by the city and county. Kelly is suing the City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, and Victory Security.

A previous study by researchers in Europe found that airport metal detectors have no effect on pacemakers. Researchers used two different detectors set to the highest settings on almost 400 patients with pacemakers or defibrillators. The patients had devices from 11 different companies, representing about 75% of the pacemaker and defibrillator market. After 30 seconds under the detectors, researchers noted no problems with the patients. Continue reading →

Published on:

Imagine turning on your television and watching your significant other die before your eyes. This may seem like the plot of a TV show but it actually happened to Anita Chanko in 2012. Chanko was up late one night because she couldn’t sleep. She turned on her TV and put on the ABC program, “NY Med.” The show, which aired episodes in 2012 and 2014, stars Doctor Mehmet Oz. It follows the real life medical cases that occurred at New-York Presbyterian Hospital. While watching the program, a segment came on about a man who was hit by a vehicle. As the segment progressed she realized that she knew the man. It was her husband, Mark Chanko. He had passed away the previous year “after being struck by a sanitation truck while crossing a street near his home.” Anita watched as doctors tried and failed to save her husband’s life. She stated, “I saw my husband die before my eyes.”

According to the New York Times, “no one in the Chanko family had given ‘NY Med’ permission to film Mr. Chanko’s treatment at the hospital or to broadcast the moments leading up to his death.” Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, also known as HIPAA, patient information is only supposed to be shared with the patient and those the patients authorizes.

Mark Chanko’s son, Kenneth Chanko, filed several complaints after the airing of the show. He filed complaints with the “hospital, the New York State Department of Health, ABC, a hospital accrediting group and the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ civil rights office.” ABC was quick to remove the segment from the show and any future airings. In addition, the Chanko’s filed a lawsuit against ABC, as well as the hospital and the doctor who treated Chanko.

Published on:

Star Wars actor Anton Yelchin was killed by his jeep when it rolled backward and crushed him in his front yard. The actor’s Jeep Grand Cherokee, manufactured by Fiat Chrysler, was singled out last August for problems with its gearshift.

Last August, the U.S. National Highway Traffics Safety Administration (NHTSA) began an investigation of 408,000 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs, which turned into an engineering analysis of Jeep Grand Cherokees, Dodge, and Chrysler cars. The agency described the gear shifts as “not intuitive” and likely to result in “unintended gear selections.”

New vehicles were outfitted with electronic gearshifts that did not operate in the same way as regular gearshifts. Instead of moving to a new position for each gear, the electronic gearshift was pushed and returned to a central position. Drivers had to check the highlighted gear to know the chosen gear. Many drivers, especially drivers new to these cars, were not able to discern which gear was selected, and accidentally left the car in neutral or reverse.

Continue reading →

Published on:

Accidental deaths have reached a record high in the United States, according to a new report by the National Safety Council. Accidental poisonings, vehicle crashes, and falls are now among the leading causes of accidental deaths.

The report found that in 2014, about 136,000 Americans died from an accidental incident. The new number is 4.2% higher than the year before, and over 15% higher than the percent of accidental deaths a decade ago.

For a long time, vehicle crashes were the number one cause of accident deaths. The new report found that accidental overdoses and poisonings increased more than 78% from a decade ago, moving them to the number one cause of accidental death. This might explain why accidental deaths have increased in the last decade despite car accidents falling by 22%. Over 60% of accidental poisonings occur in people under the age of 20.