Tag: Product Liability

Buying the Right Ski Equipment

By now, you’ve probably learned how to ski, but do you know which ski equipment is safest to use? It is very important to take the time to choose equipment that is safe and comfortable for you. There are many variables you must consider before buying your ski equipment, such as:

  • Gender
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Skill level
  • Expected terrain
  • Snow conditions

Boots

Whether you are skiing or snowboarding, your movements will be governed by your ankles and feet, and so it is important to start with boots before you buy skis. Buy comfortable boots that will be compatible with your skill level; your boot stiffness will increase with skill level. Make sure your bindings pair correctly with your skis or board.

Poles

Select your poles by turning them upside down and holding them by their baskets. The angle of your elbows should be at 90 degrees. If they are more than 90 degrees, try shorter poles, and if they are less than 90 degrees, try longer poles.

Helmet and Goggles

Make sure your helmet fits snugly but comfortably on your head with a comfortable chin strap. Your goggles should fit tightly with the front rim of your helmet. If there is a gap, your goggles will fog and it will impair your vision on the slopes.

Now you’re ready to safely hit the slopes

10 Tips to Stay Safe on Amusement Rides

A few years ago, a 3-year-old boy died of head injuries from a roller coaster in Illinois. He managed to get underneath the safety bar and slip out of the ride while it was in motion. What steps can be taken to keep your child safe at the amusement park?

  1. Look for the Safety Equipment Limitations– Amusement rides are neither childproof or child-safe, as there are not mandatory federal standards for the design of amusement park rides. Many safety devices used on children amusement rides aren’t designed to keep young children in their seats.
  2. Discuss the ride with your child– Let them know what they’re up for and what may happen during the ride. It is important to let them know to stay seated, even it gets scary!
  3. Always obey the minimum height/weight/age regulation– Requirements are there for a reason!
  4. Don’t put children on rides that could scare them– When asked, the number one thing a child will do if he/she gets scared is “get off the ride.”
  5. Follow special instructions for loading or seating– Sometime’s there are safer spots for children to sit, i.e. spinning rides.
  6. Never seat your child on your lap with rides that twist or have restraints– If the ride takes an unexpected turn or twist, your child could slip out of your hands and off the ride.
  7. Stay cool and don’t get sun-burned
  8. Tell your kids what to do if you ever get separated– Have your kid have some sort of physical ID and carry a photo of them in your wallet. Teach your kid to drop to the ground and scream loudly if someone is trying to take them. If you have the money, there are “child locator GPS” you can buy.
  9. Know your limits– If you get easily car-sick in the back of a vehicle, then don’t get in the back of a ride! Also, most people that do better at amusement parks eat and drink in small amounts throughout the day.
  10. Keep in contact with your kids if they decide to go to another ride– Stay in contact via cell phone and have designated meeting spots.

The Hidden Dangers of Hot Tubs

Imagine that you are on vacation, and you decide to grab a drink at the hotel pool and settle in the hot tub. You do this several times throughout your stay and begin to start feeling weak. It gets worse and worse and it begins to feel like the flu. Finally you see yourself in a hospital fighting for your life with pneumonia. What happened?

You contracted Legionnaire’s Disease, which is common, but very preventable. It is contracted through improper maintenance and sanitation of spas or hot tubs. It happens all over the world, and many thousands of people learn this lesson. It has even resulted in death.

Legionnare’s Disease is caused by the bacterium Legionella. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 8,000 to 18,000 people a year are hospitalized with Legionnaire’s Disease. Symptoms include muscle aches and headaches, along with fever, cough and chills. These symptoms usually occur within 10 days of first contact with the Legionella bacteria.

The problem with Legionnaire’s Disease is that it cannot be detected in pools or hot tubs, as it is present in clear water. The hot tub can appear to be safe when, in fact, it can be filled with bacteria living in the sludge of hot tub’s filters. Furthermore, even if you are not in the hot tub, the Legionella bacteria can spread in the air, even in long distances!

Chemical test kits can be purchased at retail stores and local food stores in order to check the water before going in. You can also check pool and spa maintenance logs at public pools in order to see proof of maintenance. Even better, you can ask the hotel to run a test of the pool and spa water to make sure it is clean with the appropriate disinfectants. Most hotels will gladly comply, and you can finally relax in the summer sun!

Brain Cancer linked with Cell Phones?

A branch of the World Health Organization, The International Agency for Research on Cancer has officially linked cellphone usage with being “possibly carcinogenic.” It only points out the “possibility” of a link and the need for caution when using cellular devices.

Cell phones emit radio waves during phone calls and other data transmissions, and this is a form of electromagnetic radiation. It is not clear how large quantities of these waves affect our biological tissues, but some scientists believe that these waves may spur the growth of brain tumors.

Studies have shown there there is a spike in glioma tumor rates among people with the highest level of cellphone usage–those who talk for at least a half hour per day for a decade. There has not been a correlation for less frequent users.

You can best minimize your radiation exposure by using a headset/bluetooth device, which allows you to use your cellphone without holding the phone to your ear. The power radiated from the phone drops enormously with distance, and some scientists even say that you can decrease your exposure by holding your phone and inch or two away from your ear during phone calls.

Buy a headset…It’s better to be safe than sorry!

Injured on the Job?

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Organization (OSHA), work-related accidents and illnesses claim over two million lives every year. Over 250 million accidents in the workplace cause victims to miss up three days of work.

Construction sites are one of the most hazardous job locations in the United States. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 350,000 suffered disabling injuries with another 1,000 people dying in 1995. More than 30 percent of injuries and fatalities are due to falls from defective ladders or scaffolds. That’s why construction companies and all contractors and subcontractors must ensure employees work in safe conditions, inform them of inherent job hazards, provide safety training, and enforce compliance with safety regulations.

A construction worker’s safety also depends heavily on the condition of their equipment. Manufacturers are responsible for design and production defects in their equipment. Tools and structures necessary for construction must meet basic safety requirements. Injuries caused by failure of equipment may be eligible for compensation from the manufacturer under laws for defective products.

At time, workers’ compensation alone will not cover all of an injured employee’s expenses, particularly if the injuries were serious and debilitating. In these cases, the personal injury lawyers at Berglund & Johnson will investigate the liability of a negligent third party. Third parties can include manufacturers of defective products, a supervising subcontractor or the owner or others responsible for the jobsite.

Should you require assistance with a job-related injury, please contact us for an immediate free evaluation of your situation. It is critical after a workplace accident that evidence be preserved and the responsible third-party located right away.

‘Rock-N-Roll’ and Ice in Flight

Over 50 years ago in 1959, a small private single engine plane took off from Clear Lake, Iowa shortly after 1 a.m. bound for Fargo, N.D. It did not get far. A cold northeasterly wind gave way to heavy snow, reducing visibility to almost whiteout conditions. One wing hit the ground and the plane crashed. The accident claimed the lives of Rock-N-Roll legends Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, J.P. “Big Popper” Richardson and the pilot, Roger Peterson.

The cause was most likely pilot error due to inexperience with instrumentation flight. When visibility is lost due to heavy snow and high winds, it is easy to get disoriented and fly into the ground. While some have said that “Rock-N-Roll” died that day, the “Rock-N-Roll” genre of music lives on and has infiltrated country, religious and even classical music!

Dave Berglund, Senior Litigation Attorney at Berglund & Johnson is an instrument-rated pilot and understands the significant weather conditions and how the pilot’s experience can make for a safe flight. Berglund & Johnson has handled several aviation accident cases from single engine light airplanes to commercial passenger airliners, such as Southwest flight #1455, which over-shot the runway at Burbank Airport and crashed into a gas station. Berglund & Johnson’s experience as seasoned litigators, combined with having a licensed instrument rated pilot on board, makes for the right combination to represent aviation accident victims and/or their families.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of an aviation accident, call us at 1-800-4-IF-HURT (1-800-443-4878) for a free, no-obligation evaluation.

CO Poisoning: A Silent Boating Hazard

A growing number of boating deaths caused by carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning prompted the National Park Service to investigate CO exposures from generators and propulsion engines on houseboats. Studies showed there have been more than 600 boating-related poisonings in 35 states, with more than 100 deaths occurring in the past eight years.

The cause: CO engine exhaust builds up inside and outside the boat in areas near exhaust vents.

Ski boats were also studied- both transom and sideswipe exhaust. Researchers found that CO levels were highest when the boat was motionless. As the boat reached 20 mph and the person being towed was 10 to 60 feet behind, the levels were minimal. For details, click here.

Some important facts about CO:

  • CO cannot be seen or smelled, but it can be fatal or make people very sick
  • Symptoms of CO poisoning include headache, confusion, fatigue, seizures, dizziness and loss of consciousness or nausea.

If anyone on your boat experiences these symptoms, get him or her to fresh air and seek medical help immediately.

Every boat should have a battery operator CO detector that is tested daily. See www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/coboating for more information.

Berglund & Johnson attorneys have handled CO exposure cases and know the experts necessary to prove your case. If you are someone you know has experienced CO poisoning, call us at 1-800-4-IF-HURT ; 1-800-443-4878 for a free consultation.

Injured on the Job? Berglund & Johnson Can Help

When a person is injured on the job, workers’ compensation insurance often provides come coverage for medical and other expenses. However, for serious injuries, workers’ compensation benefits may not cover all losses- that’s where Berglund & Johnson can help.

When an injury is due to negligence by someone other than an employer, workers can file a third-party personal injury claim for additional benefits. While workers’ compensation covers medical bills, some temporary benefits and a reduced disability payment, employees are not fully compensated for loss of earnings, disability, pain and suffering or other damages- all of which are available in third-party cases. However, early investigation is critical, so call Berglund & Johnson today! We will investigate if other parties may be responsible for injuries.

No payment is due up front. Berglund & Johnson receives a fee if we succeed in obtaining a personal injury settlement on your behalf. If you are anyone you know has been seriously injured on the job, email Gary Shanks or call us at 1-800-4-IF-HURT; 1-800-443-4878 for a free consultation.

Bunk Bed Adventures

Bunk beds are one furniture purchase the whole family usually agrees on. Parents love their space-saver convenience; kids love their versatility as a fort, pirate ship or tent. However, their stackable structure also makes them a potential hazard. Nearly 36,000 kids each year are treated for cuts, bruises, fractures and even brain trauma due to bunk bed-related accidents. Adults are, sometimes, victims as well.
If you have a bunk bed, make sure the guardrail is secure enough to prevent falls and the bed’s supporting structures are properly secured with nuts and bolts or other fasteners. Even with a strong structure, make sure children play safe on and around the bed.
Berglund & Johnson has handled many bunk bed-related personal injury cases. One involved a young boy who suffered a severe cut to his face after a bunk bed frame weld failed and came apart. He required dozens of stitches and plastic surgery. He will have a scar for the rest of his life. Another involved a young adult woman who sustained serious brain damage after falling from a top bunk, which had no guardrails,
If you know someone who has suffered serious injury due to a defective bunk bed, contact Berglund & Johnson at 1-800-4-IF-HURT ; 1-800-443-4878 for a free consultation.