Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Series of Unfortunate Bus Accidents

Looks like swine flu isn’t the only thing racking up the body count in California.

Going through the news, I read from the Los Angeles Times about a bus crash in Monterey County that left four people dead with more than thirty more injured.

It was an Orion Pacific tour bus carrying French Canadian tourists from San Francisco to Santa Maria. According to the article, the bus hit a guard rail on the two-lane southbound overpass, where it overturned and threw out three or four passengers at least 30-40 feet from the site.

Unfortunately, this bus crash isn’t the first for California and even more unfortunate is the fact that it isn’t even the first bus accident for this month as I remember reading two other bus accidents a week or two ago.

It just goes to show that we are simply not doing enough to make public transport particularly, commercial buses, safe for the public. One can’t help but sympathize with National Transportation Safety Board’s oft-repeated calls about the lax oversight of the commercial bus industry and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s failure to implement their recommendations that could lead to new safety equipment on buses, including seatbelts and stronger roofs and windows.

California laws actually place a higher duty of care on bus drivers to drive reasonably than an average driver. So in bus accidents, the blade cuts both ways, the negligent driver and the employer.

In times like this, there can only be regret—regret on the part of relevant government agencies who have been sitting on their hands instead of being proactive, regret for the part of the bus driver who may or may not have been negligent in the performance of his duty and yes, regret on the part of the employer for having failed to be more vigilant about the skills and qualifications of the person he has hired.

Bus accidents are deaths that could have been easily prevented and that on its own, is what makes it all the more tragic.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Mega Brands pays civil settlement for defective toy

Every defective product has an equivalent liability on the part of the manufacturer. Hence, some companies would voluntarily undergo recall process in case of any untoward incidents involving their products. For some, however, liability attached as damage had already been done.

The toy maker Mega Brands America Inc. (Mega Brands) has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $1.1 million as settlement for its defective Magnetix building sets.

If you would recall, in March 2006, Mega Brands recalled its building sets for children less than 6 years old. The recall was made following the death of a boy who swallowed eight magnets.

The company waited for 3 months following the boy’s death before it ordered the recall of its defective toys. It only showed that they cared less to children who swallowed the magnets and hundred of children who has the product.

When Consumer Product Safety Commission investigated the incident, it revealed that Rose Art currently known as Mega Brands already received at least 1,100 reports of children being injured after swallowing the magnets but failed to act on it.

Mega Brands was now in dispute with Rose Art regarding such previous incidents as failure to report them amounted to violations of CPSP rules specifically on requiring companies to report any defect in their product after 24 hours of discovery.

This omission revealed so much of the integrity and truthfulness of some manufacturing companies. CPSP relied heavily on these manufacturers’ proper reporting to prevent further injuries.

However, if you were one of those victimized by these irresponsible manufacturers, you can always count on defective product lawyers. They can help you claim for damages on your child’s injuries and punish unscrupulous manufacturers.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Women sue for discrimination and harassment

Discrimination remains a challenging issue in this modern time. Employees continued to be discriminated against by reason of their race, gender, age and beliefs.

Employees also deal frequently with another serious work issue, harassment.

Employees who have to deal with acts of discrimination or harassment can file a case against their employers.

In one case, the supervisor of a furniture shop was sued for sexual harassment and discrimination suit. Plaintiffs alleged that they were subjected to unlawful sexual and racial harassment sufficient to create hostile work conditions.

In California, employees can neither be sexually harassed nor discriminated against by their employers or superiors. The law requires equal treatment for all persons, regardless of gender. Harassment and discrimination are violations under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Similarly, under California law, a harassed or discriminated worker may file a suit against an oppressor, whether he is an employer or a colleague. If claim is valid and proven, plaintiff may be awarded damages. Be sure to employ an experienced employment lawyer for better and faster services.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Elderly man smashes car into restaurant

Driving is a skill. It involves focus, attention and physical stability.

An elderly man driving a car may lack the driving skills he once possessed. He may be disoriented and be oblivious to the surroundings.

A perfect example for this was the car crash that happened in Redondo Beach where an 88-year old man mistook the accelerator for the brake.

The elderly driver was apparently trying to park his Jaguar outside Ham Supreme restaurant near Pacific Coast Highway and Carnelian Street when he committed the error which led to the crash. His car hit pedestrians on the sidewalk before smashing through the restaurant’s window.

The car hit several diners including a woman who was pinned against the wall of an adjoining business. Some diners were trapped inside. In fact, the rescuers had to smash a front window to free the restaurant patrons.

Authorities must review rules and regulation concerning elderly drivers. Although victims sustained only minor injuries, the incident could have been worse.

As the elderly driver admitted his fault, the victims and their families have the right to sue him. Their claims may be settled or pursued by a personal injury attorney.