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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Lawyers representing injured persons

Our law firm is dedicated to vindicating the rights and expectations of consumers injured at home, work, or play. We have lawyers who specialize in injuries arising from automobile accidents, from defective products and machines, medical malpractice, work related accidents, and slip and fall accidents.

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U.S. House Republicans again attempt tort deform measures

The House of Representatives has passed another so-called tort reform bill that would limit recovery of people harmed or kill by acts of malpractice. H.R. 5, the “Protecting Access to Healthcare Act” would impose a cap of $250,000 that would severely cut the damages of victims and make it far more difficult for such victims to secure contingency counsel. The bill passed 223 to 181 with seven Democrats joining Republicans to pass the bill. The bill is unlikely to be considered by the Democratic-controlled Senate.

If enacted, H.R. 5 would cap the nonecomomic damages that a plaintiff in a health care lawsuit could recover. It would also preempt existing state laws on proportionate liability, allow courts to reduce contingent fees, and abolish the collateral source rule. For over 200 years, the authority to determine these matters and other aspects of medical liability law has rested with the states. For some reason, Republicans want to ignore 200 years of history, ignore state’s rights, and curtail the rights of ordinary citizens to seek complete justice.

We have written frequently about other misguided tort reform efforts in the United States. Click here to see our previous posts. A 2011 film called Hot Coffee puts faces on the rights at stake, and details the impact of caps and other tort deform efforts. It is a must see for anyone concerned about civil justice. You can view our post about the movie by clicking here.

We urge you to call your U.S. Senator and urge him/her to reject this misguided attempt to strip us of our rights, and leave tort law to the states.

Study offers incentive to keep restaurant floors safe

A new study commissioned by Cintas Corporation found that nearly one in three American adults are unlikely to dine at a restaurant where someone they know had slipped and fallen.

The study, conducted by Harris Interactive, found that 30 percent of more than 1,000 adults surveyed were “very unlikely” or “somewhat unlikely” to dine at restaurants where such accidents occur.

“We’ve always known that slip-and-fall accidents result in increased costs due to litigation or injury, but this research shows that the cost of an accident might be even greater than initially thought,” said David Collette, Director of Marketing and Strategy, Cintas Foodservice. “Implementing a safe floor program not only mitigates hard costs and gives restaurant operators peace of mind, it can also offset potential long-term costs associated with lost business down the road.”

The survey surprisingly showed very little difference between gender or age, but interestingly, it showed adults residing in the Northeast are significantly more likely than those who live in the Midwest or South to say they would be very unlikely to dine out at a restaurant with a recent slip-and-fall accident (23 percent in the Northeast vs. 13 percent in the Midwest and 11 percent in the South).

Each year, more than 3 million food service employees and over 1 million guests are injured as a result of restaurant slips and falls, according to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI). A recent NSFI study indicates that the industry spends over $2 billion on such injuries each year and that these injuries are increasing at a rate of about 10 percent annually. A safe floor program helps reduce the opportunity for these accidents by providing restaurants with a program to protect, maintain and deep clean floor surfaces.

“As the economy begins to recover and restaurants compete for business, this research shows that a slip and fall accident can derail these efforts and send customers out the door,” added Collette. “A safe floor program not only protects employees and guests, but also a restaurant’s bottom line.”