Archive for the ‘Connecticut Wrongful Death Attorney’ Category

Could Keyless Ignition Systems Lead to Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

October 12th, 2015 at 7:00 am

carbon monoxide poisoning, keyless ignition systems, Westport wrongful death attorneyThe majority of new cars sold in the United States and abroad come with a keyless ignition option. Vehicle owners are given a key fob, which is a device that has security authentication built into it, and is used to control a network. Many people are familiar with key fobs because these devices have been use for several years as a way to unlock and lock vehicles. New cars now use key fobs in place of ignition keys.

A driver can actually start his or her vehicle without a key by pushing a button in the vehicle, as long as the key fob is close by, such as in the driver’s pocket or purse. Still, are these keyless ignition systems safe? Not according to a recently filed lawsuit, which claims that these systems contain deadly defects.

According to the lawsuit, the danger occurs when drivers leave their vehicles running and walk away, believing that by taking the key fob with them, the vehicle will shut off. However, the engines do not shut off; instead they keep running and emit carbon monoxide—a deadly gas which is odorless, colorless and tasteless. This can be especially dangerous when the vehicle owner has left his or her car in the garage of their home. Instead of shutting off, the carbon monoxide vapors seep into the home, poisoning unsuspecting victims.

So far, there have been 13 deaths attributed to carbon monoxide poisonings linked to keyless ignition systems, and many more injuries. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has received at least 27 complaints from consumers.

The lawsuit names ten major car manufacturers as defendants—BMW, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen. Attorneys for the plaintiffs claim that the defendants were well aware of the defect in these ignition systems for years and could have averted the dangers by installing a safety feature which would automatically turn off unattended running engines. They go on to claim that not only was this feature an inexpensive one to install, but that both Ford and General Motors had actually applied for a patent on the feature.

If you have lost a loved one due to an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, please contact an experienced Westport wrongful death attorney to find out what legal recourse you may have for your family’s pain and loss.


Model Loses Leg after Developing TSS from Tampons

September 17th, 2015 at 7:00 am

leg amputation, Westport Personal Injury AttorneyIn 1980, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) began receiving reports of toxic shock syndrome (TSS). The disease was a newly recognized one, discovered by a physician at Children’s Hospital in Denver. The doctor’s findings were published in the British medical journal The Lancet in 1978.

TSS occurs when bacteria present in the body begins to produce toxins which spread throughout the body. Symptoms include a sudden high fever, a rash resembling a sun-burn, low blood pressure, vomiting, diarrhea, confusion, muscle aches and seizures. Victims of TSS may go into shock or suffer from a shutdown of the renal system. Many victims of TSS have died from the disease.

During the eighties, as more and more cases of TSS were reported, research showed a direct correlation between the use of tampons during menstruation and developing TSS. By the end of 1980 the CDC had received 890 reports of TSS, with 812 of those cases determined to be caused by tampon use. Of those cases, 772 of the victims died.

A study by Yale University pointed to the change in the ingredients used to manufacture tampons as a major contributor to the development of TSS. Instead of using cotton, many companies began to produce tampons made of synthetic ingredients, like rayon and plastic, which creates a possible breeding ground for the types of bacteria which cause TSS. These deaths led to warning notices being placed on tampon packages, advising users to “change tampons every four to eight hours, including overnights.”

However, one woman and her family say that warning is not clear enough, especially to younger girls who have different sleep patterns than older women. The 27-year-old professional model had to have her leg amputated after she developed TSS brought on by using a tampon. The victim says she is lucky to be alive—she was found by a friend and rushed to the hospital. According to her doctors, when she arrived at the hospital, her internal organs were shutting down and she was just 10 minutes from death. She had also suffered a massive heart attack. The infection in her body later turned into gangrene and she needed to have her right leg amputated below the knee. Doctors say her other leg may eventually need to be amputated as well.

Although TSS does not garner the media headlines like it did in the 1980s, there are still victims of TSS, such as this young woman. If you have suffered illness or injury from toxic shock syndrome caused by a tampon, or other defective product, please contact an experienced Westport personal injury attorney to discuss your case and available options.


Medical Helicopter Crashes on the Rise

January 29th, 2015 at 7:00 am

medical helicopters, Westport wrongful death attorney, medical helicopter transports, aircraft crash, medical helicopter crashesWhen a major accident occurs and severe injuries are sustained, victims may be airlifted to a medical facility for treatment. Typically, the mode of transportation used as an air ambulance is a helicopter. However, there have been major concerns raised over how safe these air ambulances really are, especially in light of the number of crashes that occur every year.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), there have been 185 medical helicopter crashes since 1998—the latest occurring just this past October in Wichita Falls, Texas. Three people were killed in a crash, bringing the total number of victims killed in medical helicopter crashes to 174. This total includes both crew members and patients being transported to medical facilities.

One of the reasons cited for this increase in crashes is the incredible growth the air ambulance industry has seen over the past two decades. Up until 2002, the only air ambulances in operation were owned solely by hospitals. These ambulances were typically twin-engine aircrafts and the medical staff who flew with patients was comprised of emergency room physicians and critical care nurses. The hospitals usually lost money in these transfers, and, after much lobbying, Medicare agreed in 2002 to reimburse hospitals for the actual costs of these patient transports.

However, instead of using the increased funds from Medicare to ensure equipment and staff was of the utmost in safety, companies instead downgraded. They began using single-engine helicopters to transport patients and hired crews with limited experience. The number of air ambulance companies in operation exploded, from 545 medical helicopters flying in 2003 to 1,020 medical helicopters in operation as of 2014.

Most air safety analysts agree that it is the for-profit companies who are responsible for the dramatic number of crashes and fatalities. Even though for-profit air ambulance companies only make up 40 percent of the number of businesses in operation, it is their aircrafts that account for 80 percent of helicopter crashes.

The NTSB also points out that one popular model of air ambulance—the Bell 206—are well-known for problems which cause the aircraft to spin uncontrollably. This is what happened in the Texas crash. Also contributing to safety issues is the shortage of available pilots. This has caused many companies to lower their flight hour requirements when hiring people to fly air ambulances.

Tragically, it appears that the profits companies are making on these medical helicopter transports have taken priority over the safety and welfare of both patients and medical and flight crews. If you have lost a loved one in an aircraft crash, please contact an experienced Westport wrongful death attorney to find out what compensation you may be entitled to for your pain and loss.

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