Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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ap_170707_brenda_fitzgerald_250x188Former Georgia health commissioner Brenda Fitzgerald was recently named the head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by the Trump administration. Almost immediately, critics raised concerns about the 71-year-old obstetrician-gynecologist’s history. During Fitzgerald’s tenure as Georgia health commissioner, she had the Herculean task of combatting the state’s child obesity rates. To her credit, Fitzgerald succeeded in bringing the state down from second to seventeenth in child obesity. To do so, however, Fitzgerald formed a less-than-wholesome alliance with Coca-Cola, a company many would argue is, in part, responsible for the United States’ obesity epidemic.

Fitzerald’s actions do make sense, to some degree. After all, not only was combatting the child obesity rate a daunting challenge: there was also the question of sourcing money to do so. Fitzgerald helmed a program called Power Up for 30, which encouraged schools to give children 30 more minutes of exercise every day, and was almost entirely paid for by Coca-Cola.

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New-York-State-Supreme-Court-300x192It is widely believed that state courts are drowning in lawsuits. Many corporate lobbyists would have you believe that tort lawsuits are on the rise, when in fact the opposite is true: tort lawsuits have declined sharply in recent years.

In 2015, less than two people out of 1,000 filed tort lawsuits, and tort cases accounted for just four percent of civil filings in state courts. Compare this to 1993, when roughly 10 people per 1,000 filed tort lawsuits and tort cases made up 16 percent of those filed. This downward trend has raised some concern among judges. If victims are no longer filing tort lawsuits, perhaps they no longer see the courts as a legitimate avenue for finding justice in civil cases.

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NP0914_poty_img3Since 1919, the International Labor Organization has brought together governments, employers, and workers from 187 UN Member States to set labor standards, develop policies and devise programs promoting decent work environments for all women and men. During a convention to address migrant workers’ rights, the ILO pronounced that employers should provide migrant workers “treatment no less favorable than that which is applied to its own nationals,” and that it is necessary “to respect the basic human rights of all migrant workers.” Here in the United States, that is simply not the case. 

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https://blog.caesarnapoli.com/files/2017/06/Screen-Shot-2017-06-04-at-3.34.53-PM-300x225.pngIt may be illegal, but hiring undocumented workers is a long-standing practice in the agriculture and food production industries. While the oft-given justification is that these workers “do jobs Americans won’t,” this is not necessarily the reason many employers hire them. A more accurate statement might be that undocumented immigrant workers tend to do jobs Americans would do, but they do it for lower pay and under unsafe conditions. And that, at its core, is the problem: employers who hire undocumented workers often treat them poorly because they can. Meanwhile, undocumented workers are risking life and limb for their income, and if they complain, they risk losing their jobs or being deported.

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MCI-Doctors-Office-Medical-Ops-1-300x200New bills spearheaded by the GOP could make it harder for victims of medical negligence and medical malpractice to secure fair compensation for their injuries. As part of the House Republicans’ efforts to replace President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, these bills would place new limits on lawsuits that involve doctors, hospitals, and nursing homes, and would likely be most harmful to low-income and elderly victims.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer claims the bills will lessen “frivolous lawsuits that unnecessarily drive up health care costs.” This idea–that health care would be affordable if only the government could curb all of the “frivolous” lawsuits attacking good doctors hospitals–is not only false, it is also dangerous. GOP Republicans have made countless attempts to limit the rights of medical negligence victims, but have failed consistently because the rights of victims to seek justice in the court system is guaranteed in the US Constitution.
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Bronx_Construction_Scaffolding-Accident-Lawyer-300x136Construction work is one of the most dangerous professions in New York City. As we detailed in our last blog, in New York City alone, 31 construction workers were killed on the job in the last two years. 29 of those deaths occurred on non-union work sites. This statistic bears out what we commonly see in our law practice: non-union workers risk their life and limb every time they step on a work site.

Though insurance carriers and contractors would like to refer to these injuries as “accidents,” most construction-related injuries are the direct result of a manager’s or company’s negligence. Safety violations were found at 90 percent of fatality sites inspected by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in 2015.
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construction-300x2252015 and 2016 were two of the most devastating years in history for the New York City construction industry. 31 men and women died on the job, meaning that on average, one worker did not come home from a construction site about every three weeks.

The last death of 2016 occurred on December 23rd, when a worker, whose safety belt was not attached to any cable, fell down an elevator shaft. Just weeks prior, another worker, also not wearing a connected safety belt, fell to his death in Brooklyn at the Old Domino Sugar Factory. These two fatalities, heartbreaking in themselves, portray a larger problem: 29 of the 31 deaths happened at non-union sites. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), almost all of the deaths were preventable.
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141002-self-driving-car-02f124b0329691bfb4519f2108e0a10427-300x176Toyota, Tesla, Google, and other automakers have promised that driverless cars will revolutionize the personal transportation industry within the next five to ten years. They cannot promise, however, that driverless cars will be immune from accidents.

The death of Joshua Brown, a technology consultant whose autonomous car failed to apply the brakes before colliding with a semitrailer truck, is tragic evidence of these cars’ limitations. In the aftermath of his death, lawmakers are left to answer: Who is responsible when a driverless vehicle accident occurs?
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https://blog.caesarnapoli.com/files/2016/12/102026290-coca-cola-pepsi-soda.1910x1000-300x157.jpgCristin Kearns, a fellow at University of California, San Francisco, recently uncovered documents that reveal decades of deception and bribery in the sugar industry that implicates elite professors and the United States government. These revelations not only shed light on the way corporations wield power in American politics and culture; they also have significant legal ramifications.

Plaintiffs’ attorneys have struggled for years to hold the sugar and sugar-sweetened beverage industries accountable for their misleading advertising, targeting of children, and disproportionate effect on the United States’ obesity epidemic. In case after case, Big Sugar has successfully argued that consumers need to take responsibility for their own nutritional choices, even bad ones.

This report by Ms. Kearns adds a new element to the story: deception.
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Uber-app-300x225When you click “accept” under the multi-paragraph “Terms and Conditions” portion of the Uber app, are you really bound by those terms? How about if those terms strip you of your constitutional rights?

Uber, the cell-phone based transportation company, is working to make sure the answer to both of those questions is an unambiguous “Yes.” Now, with their new terms of use, which became effective on November 21, 2016, Uber may have succeeded.

At stake is nothing less than your constitutional right to sue a wrongdoer in court. Uber is once again seeking to waive the customer’s right to seek justice in a court of law even in such cases of death or passenger sexual assault.
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