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Civil Lawsuits Archives

Recent Disasters Offer Reminder to Plan Ahead

Many on the East Coast of the United States were recently reminded how unprepared they were for Mother Nature’s whims. An unprecedented earthquake that rattled buildings and people from the Deep South to Canada was swiftly followed by Hurricane Irene which swept up the Atlantic coast from the Bahamas. While somewhat familiar with hurricanes, Easterner’s certainly could not have predicted an earthquake for the area. And lately, many areas of the U.S. have seen such unusual events, from deadly outbreak of multi-state tornadoes to devastating wildfires in drought-stricken areas. Such events remind us that not only are we not immune from nature’s wrath, but that planning now for even unlikely disasters can save lives and property.

New E. Coli Strain Among Deadliest

This spring, the European Union saw one of the deadliest outbreaks of food poisoning ever recorded. The culprit, a new strain of E. coli, confounded doctors and investigators with its surprising virulence and resistance to antibiotics. Even months later, its affects are still being tabulated, with the World Health Organization to date citing over 50 fatalities and over 4,000 sickened. The food-borne illness largely struck residents of Germany, but its victims include citizens from fourteen other countries in the EU, Canada and the United States. Most recently, the death of a 65-year old man resident of Arizona was confirmed as being the first American fatality as a result of the outbreak.

Thousands of Children Injured Yearly From Window Falls

Having children brings with it a host of hopes and fears. Every hopeful parent wishes for a happy and healthy child, and dreams of all the joys a new baby will bring. But with this anticipation also comes concerns about childhood dangers. Particularly once children begin crawling and walking, their innocent curiosity and lack of dexterity means they are easily injured. For parents, it can be hard to think of every detail, and children are notorious about finding even the tiniest overlooked pitfall. Most parents educate themselves about these dangers and take precautions to safe guard their homes. However, a recent study reveals that too often caregivers are overlooking a major cause of injury to children: falls from windows.

Traffic Accidents Numerous but Declining

Despite a steady increase in population and roadway traffic, the 2011 report by the Census Bureau’s Statistical Abstract had some good news for drivers and passengers. Traffic accidents and fatalities have been consistently declining. The latest report, which combines a variety of analysis from federal, state and private organizations, includes information on traffic accidents from the years 1980-2008. Happily, the latest report shows not only an improvement in traffic safety nationally, but nearly across the board for every individual state.

Negligence Concerns Emerge In Train Collision Tragedy

Despite faster and more convenient modes of transportation, traveling by train has continued to be popular. While some choose the speed of flying or the control of driving, others enjoy the tradition and adventure of seeing the country by rail. And others simply feel safer on the ground than in the air, letting another do the “driving”. Unfortunately, a recent tragedy proves that train travel is not without risks.

Illinois Ruling Reduces Liability for Underage Drinking

Parents face a number of challenges in raising their children. Teenagers, in particular, seem to present a conundrum – raising them to be independent and self-sufficient, while also protecting them. For instance, allowing your teen to drive away on a weekend night to a party requires you to have faith he or she will make smart choices about dangerous situations like underage drinking. However, you can still make certain your teen is attending parties you deem safe and appropriate by knowing who your teen’s friends are, and by opening a line of communication with those friend’s parents. But what about when a person who should be your ally, another parent, steps over that line of trust by allowing underage drinking to take place at their home? You likely assume those parents can be held both criminally and civilly liable if the drinking they allow results in injury or death. But parents in Illinois may be shocked to learn that a recent ruling by the Illinois Supreme Court may actually protect certain parents who knowingly allow underage drinking in their home.

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