A quick reminder on behalf of Mothers Against Drunk Driving this holiday weekend:

On average, 191 men, women and children die every Fourth of July holiday because of drunk driving. And it’s usually worse when the Fourth is next to a weekend, like this year.  MADD urges you to show your support by making a generous, tax-deductible gift to help prevent these senseless deaths. Law Offices of Gary Green is a proud supporter of MADD; we make a donation on behalf of every victim we represent against a drunk driver.

From everyone at Law Offices of Gary Green, we wish you a happy – and safe – holiday weekend.

Independence Day is special for all of us. It’s a good time to spend with family and friends and a good time to be thankful for our Bill of Rights. As a lawyer who represents injured citizens I am particularly appreciative of the Seventh Amendment.

I’m also very appreciative of those who call on Law Offices of Gary Green as clients. Good laws, bricks and mortar, top-shelf staff, resources, education and experience mean little if there are no good clients to serve. I personally thank you for calling on us.

Truly,

Gary Green

More than 20 million recalls.

13 deaths.

54 crashes.

At least 80 lawsuits, and more to come.

$2 billion in recall-related charges.

The numbers are in, and so far it’s been a rough year for General Motors.  The auto maker is under fire for a faulty ignition switch, and product liability lawsuits are already under way. Still, the number of lawsuits filed pales in comparison to the total number of recalls. Forced to finally take the recalls seriously, GM is no longer laughing all the way to the bank.

So, who cares? People who buy stock. People who file lawsuits. People who drive GM vehicles. And people want to know what their recourse is for driving a car with a recalled part.

The truth is I can’t afford to represent a client who hasn’t been catastrophically injured, or a client who isn’t the representative of an estate. A product liability lawsuit against General Motors could cost me a million dollars. It certainly would run in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Product liability cases are won with expert witnesses. Expensive engineer experts who charge me while they sleep if they’re attending a deposition, hearing, or trial away from home.

GM won’t be hearing from me over any defects that don’t cause serious physical injury or death. And GM knows that. They know you won’t be lawyering up over a repair; they’re not going to pay for your inconvenience or consequential damages of having to deal with the recall. They’ll pay for the switch, and you might get a courtesy ride, but don’t expect anything else for your trouble.

So what’s GM going to do? It’ll fight like hell all the product cases – even the most righteous. It’ll deny, delay, and defend every one until one day there develops a pattern. Then its president will tell the GM attorneys to settle the worthy ones.

But some brave souls are going to have to set the pattern. They’ll have to stare down their claim being called frivolous and their personal life being aired for all to see. They’ll have to survive the modern-day trial by ordeal, the adversarial process. It is no small task to take on General Motors. For those who have to, we wish them well and thank them for being leaders.

 

Tuesday, 10 June 2014 16:25

The Dangers of Driver Fatigue

Written by Law Offices Of Gary Green

The recent fatal collision in New Jersey involving comedians Tracy Morgan and James McNair (and several others), whose vehicle was hit by a fatigued truck driver, reminds me of a case we tried in Arkansas several years ago.

The defendant truck driver, who worked for an interstate company, left his home in Mississippi, traveled to California and then was returning to Mississippi – without sleeping. He made it as far as Arkansas – three days after he had started – before literally running over my client’s car. Adding insult to serious injury, he didn’t stop there, but plowed on for another mile before crashing into another vehicle that stopped him. When the state trooper arrived at the final resting place of the truck, he turned off the windshield wipers that had worn down to the metal. It was a blue-sky day.

At the deposition, the defendant driver testified that he “smoked [meth], snorted it and even put it into my Mountain Dew. I did everything but shoot it.”

The moral of the story? Drive defensively. Report erratic driving and sue to send a message that fatigued driving will not be tolerated.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a truck driving accident, contact Law Offices of Gary Green to discuss your legal options without obligation. Email us at gGreen@gGreen.com or call toll-free at 1-888-4GARYGREEN.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014 16:25

Recalls Up; System Under Fire

Written by Law Offices Of Gary Green

Today there are currently more than 3.5 million cars listed for sale online that have open recalls, in addition to nearly 36 million already on the road that have unfixed recalls.

So far, 2014 has seen much higher recall rates than previous years, and some analysts say it’s due to heightened safety concerns following GM’s disastrous recall earlier this year.

The recall system has certainly faced scrutiny over the years, but it drew especially harsh criticism following the recall of GM’s faulty ignition switches that caused 13 deaths and 47 crashes. GM is under fire for taking more than 10 years to issue the recall, while the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is facing criticism for not realizing the problem sooner and forcing a recall of the defective switches.

The NHTSA maintains a list of several hundred complaints from owners, as well as a database of all vehicle recalls.

Sources: New York Times, Detroit Free Press

On April 9, 2014, Law Offices of Gary Green, in the case of Graciano vs. Frances Renee Montgomery, received a verdict for the plaintiff in the amount of $6,378,120.68, the largest medical negligence verdict ever awarded in Independence County.

The jurors assigned 60 percent of the blame to Dr. Montgomery and 40 percent of the blame to a nurse and the hospital. The lawsuit was filed following complications during the birth of Mrs. Maria Graciano’s daughter in May 2005.

Dr. Montgomery was Mrs. Graciano’s treating physician during the birth, and the lawsuit filed against her states the doctor was negligent in her medical duties. The document also states that Dr. Montgomery examined Mrs. Graciano only once during 27 hours of delivery, despite several calls from staff that aid was necessary.

The child suffered permanent brain damage and blindness as a result, among other permanent injuries.

On behalf of the Gracianos, Gary Green sought compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses, economic loss, in-home assistance for the child, and punitive damages for the gross negligence of Dr. Montgomery and the hospital staff.

The $6 million verdict is thought to be the largest civil verdict ever awarded in the county.

Nurse Making Notes During Home Visit With Senior Couple

When your health is compromised, even the smallest tasks and decisions can zap your energy and leave you feeling lost. That’s why it’s so important to have someone at your side – and on your side – to navigate the red tape of the healthcare system and look out for your best interests. Relying on an advocate during this already stressful time will ensure that your wishes are being honored and will help promote accountability among those providing care.

An advocate may be your spouse, child, another member of your family, or a close friend; or, you may choose to employ a professional advocate, such as a Patient Representative via your hospital, a social worker, nurse, or chaplain. The key to finding your ideal advocate is making sure you choose someone you can trust and with whom you can effectively communicate, and someone who can in turn effectively communicate with others on your behalf.

The following information is from the National Patient Safety Foundation. (Learn more about NPSF at their website.) They highlight several factors to consider when choosing an advocate:

  • Select a person you can communicate with and that you can trust. It’s important to pick someone who is assertive and who has good communication skills. Make sure that the person you select is willing and able to be the type of advocate that you need.
  • Let your physician and those caring for you know who your advocate is and how you want them involved in your care.
  • Decide what you want help with and what you want to handle on your own. For example, you may want help with: clarifying your options for hospitals, doctors, diagnostic tests and procedures or treatment choices; getting information or asking specific questions; writing down information that you receive from your caregivers, as well as any questions that you may have; and assuring that your wishes are carried out when you may not be able to do that by yourself.
  • Arrange for your designated advocate to be the spokesperson for the rest of your family and make sure your other family members know this. This will provide a consistent communication link for your caregivers and can help to minimize confusion and misunderstandings within your family.

 

Thursday, 17 April 2014 14:14

What is the Attractive Nuisance Doctrine?

Written by Law Offices Of Gary Green

Whether you’re a property owner or the parent of a small child, the “Attractive Nuisance” doctrine is legal news you can use.

The doctrine of attractive nuisance states that the owner of potentially hazardous property can be held liable for injuries to trespassing children if the injury is caused by a hazardous object or condition that is likely to attract children.

An “attractive nuisance,” simply put, is a structure or condition of property that is both dangerous and irresistible to children. These structures or conditions must be artificial (meaning man-made bodies of water as opposed to rivers or natural lakes, for example), and include abandoned property, such as vehicles or appliances. Common examples of attractive nuisances include swimming pools, railroads, and constructions sites or equipment.

The doctrine holds that putting up a warning sign or otherwise adequately warning of potential dangers on the property is occasionally sufficient, but liability is determined on a case-by-case basis, and usually more proactive steps are required. There is no specific age cutoff at which the attractive nuisance doctrine no longer applies; it is up to the court to decide whether the child was able to understand and appreciate the hazard, and therefore whether the doctrine will apply.

The Restatement of Torts standard states that there are five conditions that must be met in order for a property owner to be liable for a trespassing child’s injuries:

  1. The landowner knows or should know that children are likely to trespass on the property
  2. The artificial condition on the property poses a risk of death or serious bodily harm to children
  3. The children cannot understand or comprehend the risk presented by the condition
  4. The benefit of maintaining the condition or the cost required to eliminate the condition is slight compared with the risk to the children
  5. The landowner fails to exercise reasonable care to eliminate the danger or otherwise protect the children

In order to exercise reasonable care, the landowner should assess all of the property’s artificial conditions that may pose a threat to children, determine if children are likely to trespass, and then take steps to either eliminate the dangerous condition or ensure that trespassing children will not come into contact with the condition, most often by restricting access.

States that currently use the Restatement of Torts test for attractive nuisance include: Alabama, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah, Wyoming, and Texas.

Friday, 11 April 2014 17:26

Auto Recalls on the Rise in 2014

Written by Law Offices Of Gary Green

This year has already seen the recall of about 11 million vehicles so far, compared with 22 million in all of 2013. General Motors is responsible for the largest number of those recalls – 6 million so far.

Other considerable 2014 recalls include 650,000 Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Durangos, 1 million cars from Nissan, nearly 900,000 Honda Odyssey minivans, and around 700,000 Toyota Prius hybrid cars.

Jerry Hirsch of the Los Angeles Times reports that analysts urge consumers not to be alarmed by the high recall rate:

“This is the new normal for recall numbers,” said Karl Brauer, an analyst at auto information company Kelley Blue Book. Automakers are more willing to do recalls today than they were five years ago because they fear incurring the wrath of federal regulators after seeing how delayed recalls caused big problems for Toyota Motor Corp., Brauer said.

Earlier this year, Toyota was ordered to pay a $1.2 billion dollar fine following a criminal investigation into whether it adequately informed regulators about safety complaints regarding sudden acceleration of certain vehicle models. The burdensome fine has alerted other manufacturers to the high cost of recalls: “Toyota changed the thinking on recalls,” Brauer said. “The cost of a recall is a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of what happens if you don’t do it.”

So what’s the takeaway for consumers? Stay informed about recalls, and if there’s one that affects you, get your vehicle fixed.

Click here for a comprehensive list of Recalls & Defects from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

 

 

Source: “Automobile recalls are on pace to break recent highs,” from Los Angeles Times

When it comes to making the safest decisions on behalf of your family, choosing the right car seat ranks high on the list of priorities. Between errands, carpools, family outings, and everyday activities, we spend too much of our time in the car to not take safety very seriously, especially on behalf of our littlest passengers! When you’re carrying precious cargo, it pays to be in the know. That’s why we’ve gathered the best, non-biased research out there on car seat safety.

According to Parents Central (at SaferCar.gov), these are the top 3 tips on finding the right car seat:

  1. Find a car seat that fits your child. As children grow, how they sit in your car will change. Make sure the car seat you purchase is designed to fit your child’s current size and age.
  2. Make sure that the car seat is the right fit for your vehicle. Not all car seats fit in all vehicles. Test the car seat you plan to buy to make sure it fits well in your vehicle.
  3. Buy a car seat that can be installed and used correctly every time. 

Keep in mind that the importance in going the extra mile in choosing the right car seat for your child’s size and age, as well as for your vehicle, cannot be overstated. The CDC reports that car seats reduce the risk of death in car crashes by 71% for infants and 54% for toddlers ages 1 to 4.

Check out the following helpful links for more info:

Sources: SaferCar.gov; NHTSA.gov; CDC.gov