Injured - The FindLaw Accident, Injury and Tort Law Blog

Health Hazards

Health Hazards are commonly brought under several theories of tort liability. Asbestos lawsuits are a common example of this, as are toxic mold lawsuits and even food poisoning cases. Essentially, these claims can be brought under theories of strict liability, negligence, breach of warranty or even fraud. If there is a strict liability statute, then the responsible person will be held under very strict scrutiny. Some products liability cases, involving hazardous drugs, fall under this type of scrutiny. Under a negligence theory, the responsible person would have to owe a duty to the injured and will have breached that duty. A breach of warranty duty applies in some states, where the health hazard exists because of faulty workmanship.

Recently in Health Hazards Category

Lead Found in NC Schools Drinking Water

Lead poisoning of school-aged children is unfortunately back in the spotlight, this time in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina area. Last year, 58 schools voluntarily tested the drinking water in local schools, and nearly half showed high lead levels. Results started posting earlier this week, reporting at least 27 schools had lead levels at the action-level 15 parts per billion (ppb) or greater. Some had lead levels as high as 100 ppb.

"Natalie started to eat hers and as she cut the chicken the chicken oozed red blood to which point I commented it looked bloody." Not the start you want to a meal while on vacation.

That was widower Stewart Rawnsley, describing food from a restaurant buffet in Corfu, Greece. His late wife, Natalie, immediately returned the chicken for another piece, but not before consuming a bite. That bite would turn out to be deadly, as Natalie's condition deteriorated from food poisoning to fatal over the course of that night. Natalie Rawnsley passed away less than 48 hours after consuming the uncooked chicken -- so what happened?

Once our medical devices became "smart," or even just dependent on embedded computer or radio components for communication, the possibility of hacking those devices became a reality. While much of the focus has been on hacking pacemakers, doctors writing in the Chicago Sun-Times point out that those aren't the only vulnerable medical devices. "Defibrillators, neurostimulators and implantable drug pumps, like insulin pumps, rely on the same embedded computers and software radios for their two-way communication, they noted, adding, "weak security features have left these devices potentially vulnerable to outside manipulation."

And if a medical implant is tampered with, what can you do about it? Here's what you can do if your medical device is hacked.

For three months in 2015 and 2016, 109,000 metric tons of methane spewed into the atmosphere over the Aliso Canyon north of Los Angeles. Thousands were evacuated from the Porter Ranch suburb. California declared a state of emergency.

The state charged the Southern California Gas Company, or SoCalGas, with violating state health and safety laws by failing to promptly report the leak, and creating a public nuisance, and several other entities -- the city attorney's office, the county, and the California Air Resources Board -- filed lawsuits against the company. SoCalGas settled those claims yesterday, agreeing to pay $119.5 million in damages.

Nail Salon Injury May Require Finger Amputation, Woman Claims

Many are willing to pay a high price for beauty. But a finger? That's too high.

Maria Luisa Gerardo visited TJ Nails in Phoenix, AZ to get her nails done, which she has done regularly for the past decade. But at her last appointment, the technician nicked her finger with a manicure tool. Though this can occasionally happen, this time her finger swelled immensely the next day.

Gerardo went back to the nail salon to inform them, and was given $100 and told to keep the wound clean. But as things got worse, she found herself at the doctor's office, and then the surgeon's office, as the wound continued to grow deeper, all the way down to the bone. The wound was infected, and might possibly lead to amputation.

CLIMB Works has been rated the #1 zipline in Tennessee for the past eight years, according to its website. But the reviews the company has been receiving this summer are far from positive. The Tennessee Department of Health revealed more than 500 cases of gastrointestinal illness were reported at CLIMB's facility near Gatlinburg since mid-June. Tests conducted by the TDH indicated contamination of E. coli in the well water CLIMB was serving its customers, and multiple patients tested positive for norovirus as well.

Unfortunately for the Manthey family from New Orleans, those announcements came days after their visit to CLIMB, when they had already consumed well water provided by the company. "As a result of drinking said water, the plaintiffs became ill," according to their new lawsuit, which seeks $50,000 in damages.

Compton Residents Sue Over Dirty Water

Approximately 6,000 Compton residents are suing the local water company over the dirty, red-tinted water they claim is not safe to drink. The class-action lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, accuses Sativa Los Angeles County Water District of misappropriating taxpayer dollars and causing low-income residents to suffer a financial burden. Residents say the water has been like this for months, and they want their money back: $65 per residence for each month that the water has been unsafe to drink, cook or bathe in, for a total of about $1.5 million.

We were just telling you last month that, with a little care and respect, it was still safe to visit Hawai'i this summer. And then a lava bomb crashed through the roof of a tour boat, injuring 23 passengers off the coast near Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. (It turns out the tour company has been sued twice in the last five years for "failing to warn passengers of dangerous conditions" and "dispensing with any kind of risk assessment when selecting an area to view the volcanic eruption.")

While the U.S. Coast Guard extended the restricted area around the Kilauea volcano to 1,000 feet, the incident does raise concerns about safety in and around our national parks, and what happens if you're injured in one. Here's what you need to know.

Fish Pedicures Leaving Your Toenails Fishy -- What Can You Do?

Fish pedicures, wildly popular in Europe and Asia, are gaining in popularity here in the United States. Over the past decade, fish spas are popping up across the country, and consumers are definitely intrigued. But waders beware! Before jumping in, there's a few things you should know.

It's as natural as the seasons changing -- as soon as summer arrives, so do the injuries. Sunburn, heat stroke, animal bites and stings, and swimming pool injuries. And, as the calendar approaches July, fireworks injuries.

Police are cracking down on illegal fireworks sales and communities are cancelling legal fireworks shows, for good reason. Fireworks, essentially decorative bombs, are dangerous. So much so that we have a whole trove of fireworks injury blog posts from the past few years. In another attempt to keep you and your family safe this July Fourth holiday, here are some of our best fireworks law and injury-related tips, from our archives.