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San Antonio Personal Injury Law Blog

Risk factors that put some seniors at increased risk of abuse

Making the decision to place an elderly loved one in the care of a nursing home or medical facility is not easy. Family members often spend a lot of time researching options and figuring how to pay for accommodations, and they want to feel confident that their loved ones are in a place where they are safe and treated with dignity.

Tragically, this doesn't always happen. Nursing home residents in facilities across Texas can be targets for abuse and neglect. And unfortunately, some are at a particularly high risk of being mistreated in a nursing home.

Is carbon monoxide exposure still a risk in the summer?

The winter months are known for higher risks of exposure to the tasteless, odorless and colorless silent killer: carbon monoxide. If you're not careful, exposure could lead to accidental poisoning or death. While it is commonly associated with furnaces and warming a car up in a closed garage, cold weather is not the only time you may be vulnerable. There are ways you can be exposed during the warmer months. Activities that could cause these risks during the summer include:

Workers seriously injured in Midland pipeline explosions

A series of three natural gas pipeline explosions injured four pipeline employees and a volunteer firefighter at 11:30 am on Wednesday, August 1. The pipeline blasts happened on Farm-to-Market Road 1379, about twenty miles southeast of Midland. The first of the explosions started a fire. The pipeline workers and the firefighter had managed to quell the blaze, when two additional explosions followed in quick succession. The pipeline employees suffered serious burns and were transported to University Medical Center in Lubbock. The firefighter was taken to Midland City Hospital. So far, the cause of the explosions has not been determined.

Harmony recalling child booster seats due to injury risk

Harmony is recalling certain Big Boost Deluxe booster seats because in case of crash, the seatbelt may put excessive force on a child's chest. This type of force could result in injury for children.

Though no known injuries have occurred, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration warns that these seats do not comply with federal safety standards. The recall includes almost 150,000 booster seats made between Nov. 1, 2015 and June 24, 2017. Retailers like Walmart and Amazon carry Harmony brand booster seats.

It's important to take measures to prevent apartment fires

Life in San Antonio often means living in an apartment or condominium building. Perhaps you have a prime location in or near the downtown area shops, restaurants and entertainment. Maybe one of the area's newer high-rise buildings better suits your needs. Or you may live in a more modest accommodations in an outlying neighborhood.

In any case, during your apartment or condominium search, you probably had specific things on your wish list. You may have considered safety issues like fire prevention, but many people do not. Wherever you live, the law requires rental property owners and  condominium associations to maintain safe conditions in their buildings, including measures to reduce the possibility of fires.

Premises liability: 3 injured in roller coaster derailment

People in Texas and all over the country go to amusement parks to have fun. Some even ride a roller coaster. Despite the thrills they expect to experience while doing so, they ultimately assume that those who own and maintain such rides ensure that they are safe for everyone. Unfortunately, three people were recently injured in an out-of-state incident that could ultimately result in a premises liability lawsuit.

The incident happened on a day in June. According to reports, inspectors had found several safety issues with the ride days before the derailment. However, an inspection the day of the accident found that all issues had been corrected. Unfortunately, three people were injured when the roller coaster derailed.

Explosion at Gatesville hospital kills 1 and injures 12

On the afternoon of June 26, a massive explosion tore through a construction site at Coryell Memorial Hospital in Gatesville, Texas. The blast killed one construction worker and seriously injured 12 workers. The injured workers were transferred to area hospitals, including Baylor Scott and White Hospital in Temple and Hillcrest in Waco. Some of the injured workers suffered serious burns. Four of the most critically injured workers who were initially sent to Baylor White and Scott Hospital were later transferred to Dell Seton at the University of Texas.

After the explosion, David Byrom, the CEO of Coryell Memorial Health System, said that the blast was possibly related to a gas line leak. He also said that no hospital patients or staff were injured.

In the wake of the explosion, attorney Paula Wyatt expressed her concern: "We at Wyatt Law Firm are deeply moved by the suffering of the victims and their families. Our thoughts and prayers are with them."

J&J loses lawsuit over defective products

There is a wide variety of uses for baby powder for consumers in Texas and around the country. While its name certainly associates the product with uses for babies, it is often utilized in health and beauty applications or other household situations. Unfortunately, problems can arise if the baby powder becomes contaminated. A major manufacturer recently lost a defective products lawsuit that claimed the product caused cancer after long-term usage.

Johnson & Johnson must pay $4 million in punitive damages to a woman who is the victim of mesothelioma, according to a court jury in another state. The total verdict against J&J is over $25.5 million when this amount was added to the previous compensatory damages of over $21.5 million. In April 2018, the company was ordered to pay $117 million in another talc powder case involving mesothelioma.

Is danger lurking in your child's toy box?

Buying toys for their children is a basic pleasure most Texas parents would say they enjoy. Perhaps you reserve such purchases for birthdays, Christmas or other special occasions. Maybe your children earn weekly allowances and make many of their own toy purchases themselves. Regardless who buys a toy, if it winds up in your child's hands, you have the right to reasonably expect that appropriate parties took all measures to ensure your child's safety when using it. 

Sadly, many children throughout the nation suffer serious burns, broken bones, choking hazards and other injuries due to defective toy products. Witnessing your child's suffering is one of the most traumatic experiences you might have as a parent, especially if you feel helpless to relieve his or her pain. The aftermath of defective product injuries often include financial strain heaped upon families from expenses associated with such incidents. Know your rights and where to seek support if this happens to you.           

The long recovery from a traumatic brain injury

After your loved one's accident, you were likely shocked and concerned to hear that he or she had suffered a traumatic brain injury. The many questions and uncertainties about the future may have your head spinning. You may also be experiencing an emotional whirlwind, including those feelings of anger and frustration that this accident was preventable if not for the reckless or negligent actions of someone else.

Now that you face the long and difficult road ahead, you will certainly be having many intense conversations with the medical team treating your loved one. For now, it may help to have a general idea of what to expect in the days, months and years to come.

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