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August 2010 Archives

Understanding Liability in Food Poisoning Claims

In the wake of the massive egg recall that began earlier this month, the FDA has reported that more than a half-billion eggs have been recalled and destroyed which were linked to more than 1,000 cases of salmonella in the United States. Although officials have come out to state that this outbreak is under control, on what grounds are the farms liable for the damage caused by this ordeal? Let’s discuss three common legal arguments used when determining liability. Strict Product Liability- Food Poisoning cases are sometimes classified as defective product liability claims. The idea is that the consumer has purchased and/or consumed a product that contained a defect that directly resulted in illness. An example of a defective product that has been highlighted in the news has been baby strollers. Due to either missing or improperly secured components, certain brands of strollers were recalled after parents reported that their children sustained injuries while using the malfunctioning strollers. Many states have enacted strict product liability laws. In the case of the egg recall, the consumer does not have to prove that the producer of the product was negligent or not careful in the distribution of the eggs. All that is necessary is for the person to prove that the product they consumed was contaminated and their illness was a result of the contaminated product. As this outbreak began to unfold, the specific brands and item numbers of cartons were released. This information was invaluable as it gave the public an opportunity to easily identify which eggs were bad to prevent sickness as well as pinpoint the cause of illness among those already suffering from salmonella. Negligence-When basing a claim on negligence, a consumer must prove that somehow the producer of the product did not exercise reasonable methods of safety when processing or preparing the product. Did the restaurant chef prepare your meal in an improperly sanitized kitchen area? Was a product not stored at the correct temperature resulting in a food borne illness that could have been avoided? These questions are really questions of negligence that must be asked in determining liability. Product Guarantees-Many companies make claims about their products that support how safe it is for you-the consumer to use them. Some companies may state that their products are never in contact with infectious agents or that they follow a strict set of guidelines for processing a product to make it safe to consume. In situations where the company may have fallen short on their claims of safety, this may be a reason for a viable lawsuit. Brooke Haley marketing associate at Millon & Peskin, Chicago workers compensation lawyer that practice in the areas of Civil Litigation, Workers’ Compensation, and Personal Injury. Millon & Peskin is a General Civil Litigation Practice with the goal of representing the interests of injured workers, throughout all applicable Courts within the State of Illinois. For more information, please visit http://www.millonpeskin.com.

How to Locate a Chicago Workers Compensation Lawyer

If you find yourself in a legal situation because of a work related incident or injury, you may be entitled to worker’s compensation. Finding a lawyer could require a lot of research and time to hire the lawyer that will accurately represent you in the hopes of winning your claim or lawsuit. You should not hire the first lawyer that you see on a television commercial or the first person in a directory or phone book listing. Here are some tips and places where you can locate a Chicago workers compensation lawyer.You need to hire representation that specializes in the area of your lawsuit. If you are injured while at work or from a work related injury, you should hire a worker’s compensation lawyer and not f a family lawyer for example. Using the Internet is a great start pointing to narrow down your search for a lawyer. You can easily search for a specific term regarding the type of claim or lawsuit you are filing. For example you may need a lawyer for divorce, custody, business, or injuries. The Internet can help you narrow down your search from all the law firms in you city, to the type of lawyer that you will need to represent you.If you do not have access to a computer or the Internet, you can use a phone book or directory listing. It will list lawyers in your city. It is very important to hire someone from your state because laws vary from state to state. A phone book will provide a list but you will not be able to additional research on the law firm you are considering to hire.A great place to do research on a firm and locate a firm is by utilizing the American Bar Association. They will not only have a list of representation in your area, but they will also provide what area of law the lawyers practice in. The American Bar Association will also have information about the firm. Also, they only list lawyers that are in good standing with the bar. Their mission is to serve both members of the bar and the public.Word of mouth and referrals can also be helpful when locating a lawyer. You may know someone at work who was in a similar situation as you who hired a Chicago workers compensation lawyer. They may have had a good experience with the lawyer they hired and would be willing to give a recommendation to hire the same person. It will be helpful to see what other people say about law firms in your area. About the Author: Brooke Haley marketing associate at Millon & Peskin, Chicago workers compensation attorney that practice in the areas of Civil Litigation, Workers’ Compensation, and Personal Injury. Millon & Peskin is a General Civil Litigation Practice with the goal of representing the interests of injured workers, throughout all applicable Courts within the State of Illinois. For more information, please visit http://www.millonpeskin.com.

POWER: A Memo from the White House

On July 19th the President released a memorandum regarding federal worker’s compensation that can be found on the White House’s web page. The subject of the memo read, “The Presidential POWER Initiative: Protecting Our Workers and Ensuring Reemployment.” President Obama is establishing a four year initiative, starting in 2011, to improve workplace conditions, reduce the number of job related injuries, and to reemploy more workers. The POWER initiative was brought into place because of the large amount of worker’s compensation that was paid out in 2009. Here is a preview of the POWER initiative. The memorandum can be found at whitehouse.gov.POWER stands for Protecting Our Workers and Ensuring Reemployment. The President believes that the amount of worker’s compensation claims can be significantly reduced and that workplace environments can be made safer to reduce the number of injuries that occur. The goal of the initiative is to reduce the number of work related injuries to help reduce the financial burden that is left for the tax payers and to help take away the stress and suffering from an injured worker and their family.Efforts will need to be made by the workplace to follow the POWER plan made by the President. The federal government will also be playing a part in the initiative by setting higher safety standards, encouraging companies to collect data from injuries and worker’s compensation claims, and prioritizing the programs that have been effective for training on health and safety in the workplace.There are seven areas where President Obama would like to see executive departments and agencies improve on. The areas are:1. reducing total injury and illness case rates2. reducing lost time injury and illness case rates3. analyzing lost time injury and illness data4. increasing the timely filing of workers' compensation claims5. increasing the timely filing of wage-loss claims6. reducing lost production day rates7. speeding employees' return to work in cases of serious injury or illnessAll agencies must improve in these seven areas by 2014. They will also have to pay for any changes that need to be made to their workplace. You can read the memorandum in full from President Barack Obama on the whitehouse.gov website (http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/presidential-memorandum-presidential-power-initiative-protecting-our-workers-and-en). In 2009, $1.6 billion was paid out in worker’s compensation claims. There were almost 80,000 claims that were filed. The initiative should help to reduce these numbers and keep employees safe. To prevent injuries, you must have a safe work environment. About the Author: Brooke Haley marketing associate at Millon & Peskin, Chicago workers compensation lawyer that practice in the areas of Civil Litigation, Workers’ Compensation, and Personal Injury. Millon & Peskin is a General Civil Litigation Practice with the goal of representing the interests of injured workers, throughout all applicable Courts within the State of Illinois. For more information, please visit http://www.millonpeskin.com.

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