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shutterstock_155052533-300x199Losing a loved one is often one of the most painful things that one has to experience in life. Knowing that your loved one’s life was cut short, however, because of another person’s recklessness or lack of care is even worse. When a preventable accident causes the death of a loved one, those who are responsible must be held accountable—and you may have grounds to do so through a wrongful death claim.

According to a local news report, a major head-on car collision in Ottawa County left a woman dead. A Ford Edge was attempting to pass another vehicle when it crashed head-on with a Honda CRV. Local authorities responded to reports of a head-on crash, and when they arrived on the scene, the driver of the Honda CRV was pinned in her car. The driver of the Ford Edge sustained serious injuries and was transported to a local hospital for treatment. The driver of the Honda CRV also had critical injuries and had to be freed from her car by the local Fire Rescue. She later died from her injuries at the hospital. The accident remains under investigation.

In Michigan, there are several criteria that one must meet before being eligible to file a wrongful death claim. As a threshold matter, to file a wrongful death lawsuit, a loved one must have been killed because of another party’s negligence. For potential plaintiffs, you must be able to prove that if the negligent or careless action had not taken place, your loved one would still be alive.

shutterstock_1426522850-300x200Car accidents frequently occur in the most unexpected ways and can yield devastating results. When an accident results in the death of a loved one and was potentially caused by negligence or wrongdoing of another driver, those who are responsible must be held accountable. In Michigan, you may be eligible for compensation through a wrongful death claim if you lost a loved one in a Michigan car accident.

According to a recent news report, a deadly local car crash killed a father and injured his family. The driver who caused the crash drove his pickup truck across the road’s centerline and crashed into a family heading in the opposite direction. Police who arrived on the scene reported that the driver who caused the collision was well beyond what constituted “super drunk” under Michigan laws. Based on the police report, the driver’s blood-alcohol level was at 0.34 percent, which is more than four times the legal limit in Michigan. Following the crash, the driver is facing several charges in connection with the accident and other crimes, such as possession of a loaded firearm. The local family that was hit had the father pronounced dead on the scene and the wife and two children badly injured in the crash.

In Michigan, a wrongful death claim may be filed when a case involves a death “caused by a wrongful act, neglect, or fault of another.” When filing a wrongful death claim, it is typically executed by the estate or the family of the deceased person and liability is expressed in terms of monetary damages or compensation. The defendant would be responsible for compensating the family if they are found liable.

shutterstock_1170860896-3There have been many technological advancements in the motor vehicle industry, especially those involving self-driving vehicles. Autonomous vehicles, such as the self-driving Tesla, presents consumers with economic shifts and industrial changes. Although there are positive environmental and societal impacts of the state’s early adoption of these innovations, these vehicles pose many dangers to Michigan motorists. Those who suffer injuries in a Michigan accident involving a self-driving vehicle should consult an attorney to address their right to recovery.

A self-driving car is an autonomous or automated vehicle that can sense its environment and operate without a human driver. These vehicles use sensors, algorithms, actuators, and other sophisticated processors to detect their surroundings. Manufacturers market self-driving cars as a safer alternative to human drivers. However, these vehicles are still in their infancy and have shown that they pose significant dangers to anyone in their vicinity.

For instance, recently, a national news source reported that the federal road safety agency is investigating a recent Michigan Tesla crash. The federal government is involved because the accident included a state police vehicle. According to reports, a state trooper parked on the side of a highway while he was investigating a deer crash. The 22-year-old in the self-driving Tesla slammed into the police vehicle. Law enforcement issued the driver traffic citations for failing to move over and driving with a suspended license.

shutterstock_1329029651-300x200Michigan recently underwent drastic changes to its automobile insurance laws. Despite general guides and notices about the change, many people are left confused about how the reform will impact their right to recovery after a Michigan car accident. For 50 years before the change, Michigan followed the no-fault auto insurance system. Lawmakers framed the no-fault insurance system to allow accident victims a straightforward and efficient way to file claims and recover damages. Further, the law was designed to address the growing number of personal injury lawsuits. Under this framework, Michigan motorists generally carry unlimited medical coverage to cover expenses if they experience injuries in a car accident.

Under the new system, insurance companies must provide motorists with more choices that may fit their specific needs more adequately. Before the change, Michigan drivers had to carry unlimited Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance coverage. PIP coverage is medical and rehabilitation insurance benefits that an accident victim can claim.

Now, the law allows Michigan motorists to keep unlimited PIP coverage or choose from six other options. The other options include the following:

Photograph of Close Look at Retina of the EyeMedications are meant to bring relief and peace of mind, but when your treatment begins to attack unrelated areas of your body, that peace of mind can be compromised. In June 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (‘FDA’) issued a Labeling Change related to the prescription drug Elmiron used for a bladder condition. This label change gave warning that Elmiron can cause issues with eyesight. Although there has been no recall, users were advised to get regular eye exams and stop using it if they notice problems with their vision.

Elmiron is used to treat pain and discomfort from interstitial cystitis (‘IC’), a painful (and common) bladder condition which is difficult to treat and often mistaken for urinary tract infections. Elmiron is believed to help with the pain from this condition by attaching to the bladder wall and creating a barrier to prevent more damage. Elmiron has been prescribed to treat this condition for decades and is the only drug approved by the FDA to do so.

After a troubling study at Emory University in 2018, researchers wrote a letter to the Journal of Urology stating they found that long term use of Elmiron can cause serious damage to the retina. This “pigmentary maculopathy” comes from injury to the outer layer of the retina. Physicians at Kaiser Permanente took this warning seriously and reviewed medical records of over four million of their patients and were able to actually study 91 of them who had been taking Elmiron over a long period of time. Around one-quarter of the patients examined were found to have significant damage to the retina which had previously—and unfortunately—been attributed to other diseases that affect the eyes.

Okay-Bone-240x300Motor vehicle accidents (“MVAs”) are extremely dangerous. An average mid-sized sedan weighs about one-and-a-half tons. Even when moving at relatively low rate of speed, the force of a one-ton collision is enormous. A head on collision is far worse. If a vehicle going 47 mph strikes another vehicle traveling 64 mph, the collision is of a similar magnitude to a vehicle traveling at 111 mph ramming into a concrete barrier. Modern safety features have dramatically reduced the risk of injury in a MVA, but there is little technological innovation can do to offset the impact of a high-speed head-on collision.

Some MVAs cause immediately life-threatening injuries. First responders take the injured directly to a hospital for critical care. However, other incidents may not cause injuries that require the same type of immediate life-saving intervention. The injured party will be offered the option to travel to a hospital in an ambulance, but instead of accepting emergency transport, the individual injured will decline for a number of reasons. He or she might feel embarrassed or ashamed of being in an accident; the cost of the ambulance service will cause financial hardship; the idea of taking an ambulance when not in a life-threatening situation may feel selfish; pride may play into the decision-making process; or the injured person may just not feel like they’ve suffered a severe enough injury to justify that level of attention.

While some of those who decline emergency transport may go directly to the emergency room by other means, many decide to wait and see their primary care physician. Others will not seek medical attention at all, or simply decide that the injury is not severe enough for pay for the office visit, waiting to see if the injury heals on its own. While financial concerns are valid—our system’s fundamental flaw is that seeking medical treatment can end in bankruptcy—it is always wise to see a doctor after an MVA.

lady-justice-statue-wallpapers-1024x768-1-300x225About one in three working age adults has a criminal record—about the same number of Americans that have a four-year college degree. Employers put great emphasis on both factors, and the absence of one or existence of the other can severely impede the ability to find gainful employment. Michigan has just passed a package of bills called “Clean Slate.” Under Clean Slate, a vast number of convictions will be removed from the public registry.

For decades, being ‘tough on crime’ was synonymous with good governance. When someone was convicted of a crime, a permanent record was made of the event that would follow that individual for the rest of their life. The underlying reasoning, aside from punishing the offender, was to help employers avoid hiring someone that could threaten their business.

While change is slow, DUI/drug courts, mental health intervention, and other pretrial interventions are being implemented across Michigan. Studies show that such programs are more effective at reducing recidivism that incarceration. Moreover, they cost less than placing people in jail. The other side of the equation is to place the diverted individuals into good jobs that pay a livable wage.

melons-65652_1920-300x225On October 6, 2020, Meijer announced a recall of whole cantaloupe and cut cantaloupe fruit trays and bowls sold between September 26, 3030, and October 5, 2020. The recall was necessary because Michigan inspectors detected salmonella, a type of bacteria that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections, in the produce. The recall affects Meijer stores in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin according to the company’s press release. Neumann Law Group is aware that at least one potential instance of illness is being investigated; however, there could be many more potential injuries

Salmonella is one of the most common food borne illnesses in the United States. The infection is very serious—approximately 22% of cases require hospitalization. Salmonella is responsible for about 30% of all food borne illness related deaths each year.

Anyone who contracts food borne illness from consuming the recalled cantaloupe may have a legal claim and be entitled to financial compensation. There are several legal standards imposed on grocery stores to ensure consumer safety. Grocery stores are strictly liable when they sell produce that causes harm (Product Liability). Moreover, they have a duty to use reasonable care to ensure the safety of the food they are selling (Negligence). Finally, the law implies a promise that the food they sell is fit for consumption (Warranty).

0001-232x300On May 3, 2020, Harbor Freight Tools, a discount tool and equipment retailer headquartered in Calabasas, California, issued a recall of over 1.2 million jack stands. Jack stands are a device placed under a vehicle—or other large piece of equipment— to keep it in an elevated position after it is lifted using a jack. The recall warned that the ‘pawl,’ a circular saw blade shaped piece of metal that is part of the assembly which ratchets the jack into place, was flawed, causing inconsistency in the engagement of the ratchet teeth. The ratchet teeth could disengage, dropping the load to the ground. This potential is an obvious and serious danger to anyone working under or around the vehicle. The recall affected the ‘Pittsburgh Automotive 3 Ton Heavy Duty Steel Jack Stands’, sold throughout Harbor Freight Tools’ 1,000 retail stores as well as its robust mail-order and e-commerce business.

After the initial recall, Harbor Freight Tools began to systematically test all of its jack stand products, as all of the Pittsburg Automotive jack stand product had been manufactured by the same company, Jiaxing Golden Roc Tools Co., Ltd. Seven days later, the company issued an additional recall of 454,000 Pittsburgh Automotive 6 Ton Heavy Duty Steel Jack Stands, for the same reason. Harbor Freight Tools laid blame at the feet of the manufacturer, alleging that aging of production tooling was the cause of the flaw. To minimize the damage to the retailer’s brand image, the company sent replacement jacks customers that purchased the defective product.

Astoundingly, on July 7, 2020, Harbor Freight Tools had to issue a third recall, this time because it “identified a welding defect” in the jack stands sent to replace the previously recalled product. ” Although the company recalled all 454,000 replacement jack stands, it claimed the defect was only present in a “small number” of the units. Harbor Freight Tool’s CEO and founder, Eric Schmidt, said the company was “disappointed and embarrassed’ about the entire situation.

Courthouse-300x200In May of 2020, speculation began that the multi-district litigation (MDL) regarding the German chemical giant, Bayer, and its weed killing product, Roundup, was close to settling. Hundreds of thousands of claims have been made claiming the product causes serious long-term health conditions, most notably, leukemia, B-cell lymphoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma or multiple myeloma.

In late June, that speculation seemed to be well supported, as Bayer disclosed its intent to settle tens of thousands of cases for a sum of $10 billion, while continuing to sell the product with new warning label. As a result, the Judge presiding over the matter, the Honorable Vince Chhabria, paused the massive litigation until November, allowing the parties to work out the particulars of the complex agreement.

Now, last Thursday, August 27th, Bayer announced that the majority of the settlements it had previously declared resolved, were in-fact in jeopardy of falling apart. Where Bayer had told the court that 75% of the 125,000 Roundup claims were resolved, only 32,000 cases were actually resolved—12,000 of which were in state courts, rather than the federal MDL over which Judge Chhabria presides.

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