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.


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Sometimes we need to change doctors. Sometimes a medical condition needs to go to an expert. And sometimes, a medical emergency prevents us from giving our complete medical history to the doctors and nurses treating us. In any case, the quality of health care that we receive is only as good as the accuracy of our medical records.

And while it may be impossible to calculate exactly how many errors are  hidden in our medical histories, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology estimates that nearly 1 in 10 people who access their medical records online end up requesting that they be corrected. So how do you find out if your medical records are accurate? And how do you correct them if they're not?

Like any experienced music festival attendee, Michael Ryan, of Panama City Beach, Florida, purchased VIP tickets for the Gulf Coast Jam country music festival in 2014. That gave Ryan access to unlimited quantities of free alcohol in the VIP area.

And like any experienced litigant, Ryan doesn't explicitly admit to consuming any of that free booze before he fell off a platform in the VIP section, "causing him to suffer severe and permanent injuries resulting in loss." Ryan also doesn't elaborate on those injuries in his lawsuit against the company hosting the music fest and the company providing security, but he is asking for $15,000 in compensation.

Accidents and natural disasters may seem inevitable or like an act of God. But that doesn't mean that all injuries stemming from a disaster are unavoidable, or that someone isn't liable for the accident itself.

Determining that liability, however, and recovering for your injuries, can be complicated. Here are some tips if you've been injured and are considering a lawsuit after a disaster.

Facebook Content Moderator Developed PTSD, Suit Claims

It is no secret that Facebook users upload thousands of videos and images each year that are filtered out, based on obscenity and decency guidelines. Just like there's no tooth fairy, there's no content fairy.

Almost all of Facebook's uploaded content is screened by contracted content moderator workers, and some of them have been emotionally scarred by what they have been forced to view. As a result, one content moderator, Selena Scola, has filed a lawsuit claiming she is suffering from psychological trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder because she was not properly protected by Facebook, as promised in its corporate guidelines.

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.