Photo of top of open brown medicine bottle with black and red capsules spilling outThe New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that an Alabama man was entitled to the $25 million awarded to him by a jury in connection with his 2003 lawsuit against Hoffman LaRoche.

The original lawsuit claimed the man had become seriously ill after taking Accutane, a drug manufactured by the New Jersey-based pharmaceutical company for the treatment of acne. It further claimed the company did not properly disclose the potential effects and health risks of the drug.

The man was awarded damages in 2010. An appellate court overturned the verdict stating the lawsuit was filed too late under Alabama law.

Photo of hand-held breathalyzer device used to measure blood alcohol contentNew Jersey lawmakers once again are backing a proposal to revise the State’s drunk driving laws in an effort to increase safety without putting undue pressure on violators. Under the proposal, the new law would require everyone convicted of a DUI/DWI violation to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle and would also reduce the length of time those drivers’ licenses are suspended.

Statistics have shown that ignition interlock devices reduce repeat drunk driving violations by about 70% and, in some states, have reduced the number of fatal motor vehicle accidents related to drunk driving by half. Supporters of this change have stated that license suspensions are less effective than the interlock devices because drivers will continue to drive on a suspended license especially when they need their vehicle to get to work. To learn more about this proposed change, read “DWI penalty overhaul in NJ: Shorter license suspensions, more ignition locks?

Photo of double escalator viewed from bottomA New Jersey family recently filed suit against the Oxford Valley Mall and the Schindler Corporation, which operates the escalators at the mall, claiming the two entities were responsible for a 2014 incident in which the family’s young son was seriously injured.

According to reports, during a shopping trip to the mall in December 2014, the boy and his mother were riding the escalator when the boy’s foot became trapped between the step and the side panel of the escalator. It took emergency services personnel close of a half-hour to free the child’s foot and doctors later had to amputate the toes on the injured foot. The suit claims the boy was permanently disfigured and disabled and family members were traumatized as a result of the accident. For additional details, read “Parents sue after 7-year-old boy loses tows in escalator accident.”

food-processor-recall-400-07820538d-200x300Conair Corp. last month recalled about eight million Cuisinart brand food processors just as home cooks were putting the machines to work chopping, grating and mixing food in preparation for the Christmas and Hanukkah holidays. The recall, which involves the stainless steel riveted blades in Cuisinart food processors sold nationwide between July 1996 and December 2015, came after the company received more than 65 complaints from consumers who found pieces of broken blades in food that had been processed with these machines. About 30 of those complaints included reports of cuts to the mouth and tooth injuries.

The sheer number of machines affected makes this one of the three largest appliance recalls ever in America. Consumers were urged to stop using their food processors and contact Cuisinart for a replacement blade. However the timing of the recall, coupled with the fact that homemakers could have had the food processors in their kitchens for more than 20 years, caused some consumers to decide to keep a careful eye on their holiday food preparation rather than participate in the recall. If you own a Cuisinart food processor and want to see if it is affected by this recall, read “8M Cuisinart Food Processors Recalled Over Laceration Hazard.”

Photo of driver yawning behind the wheel of carThis time of year it is not uncommon for people to push through to accomplish everything on their to-do lists, even when that means sacrificing some sleep. But depriving yourself of the recommended amount of sleep can have serious consequences, especially for drivers.

A recent study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety revealed that missing even two or three hours of sleep in a night increases your risk of an accident by four times over a driver who has gotten the recommended amount of sleep. It’s tantamount to driving drunk, yet one out of every 25 drivers admitted to driving drowsy when surveyed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To learn more about how sleep deprivation can affect your driving, read “Driving while drowsy can be more dangerous than thought.”

Photo of man fastening seat belt over his lapThere’s truth behind the slogan, ‘Seat Belts Save Lives.’ In fact, last year alone seat belts were credited with saving some 14,000 lives. At the same time, however, these safety harnesses can contribute to the injuries drivers and passengers suffer as a result of motor vehicle accidents.

Part of the problem, according to researchers, is that seat belts essentially are designed to restrain middle-aged males, and the force they use could be too strong for smaller passengers, particularly women and older people. While these researchers encourage all drivers and passengers to continue using seat belts, there is one professor at Ohio State University’s School of Medicine, on a crusade to see improvements that would allow seat belts to adjust to the individual person. To learn more, read “When seat belts pose a safety hazard.”

accidental-poisoning-400-05670556dInjury is the leading cause of death of children and teenagers in this country and accidental poisonings rank among the top five leading causes of injury. Most of these poisonings occur when children accidentally ingest medications or common household cleaners.

Young children are particularly susceptible to this type of injury because they often experiment by putting things in their mouths. But even older children are at risk if they ingest a dangerous substance that isn’t clearly marked. This was the case recently in New Jersey when two children, in totally separate incidents, ingested industrial-strength cleansers that had been stored in an unmarked container. See, “Poison alert: cleaning product landed 2 …”

To learn how to prevent incidents like this from happening in your home, read the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Tips to Prevent Poisonings.”

Personal Injury attorney, Victor Rotolo, and the attorneys of the Victor Rotolo Law Firm offer legal counsel to clients seeking to recover damages for injuries suffered as the result of accidents, including those related to defective products, accidental falls, and workplace mishaps.

Collecting damages for injuries you suffered as a result of another person’s negligence encompasses more than simply pointing the finger of blame. Laws governing personal injury cases vary by state. In New Jersey, those laws determine when you can file your claim, which injuries qualify for a personal injury lawsuit, and the type and amount of damages you can expect to collect.

When to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit

dwi-lawsuit-400-07662288dSince a Supreme Court ruling in 2008, breath tests have been admissible in court as proof of a driver’s impairment in a DWI case. However, certain criteria must be met in administering these tests for the results to be considered valid evidence. It is these criteria that are the basis of a federal class action lawsuit that could result in more than 20,000 New Jersey DWI convictions being overturned.

For the results of a breath test to be admissible in court, the device used to measure a suspect’s blood alcohol content (BAC) must be in working order and appropriately inspected at the time of the test; the person administering the test must be a certified operator; and the test must be administered according to procedure.

The lawsuit, which was filed in federal district court in New Jersey last month, claims that a New Jersey State Police sergeant failed to properly recalibrate devices that potentially were used to administer breath tests in more than 20,000 DWI cases in five different counties throughout New Jersey. In addition to unspecified damages and court costs, the suit seeks to have a review of all DWI cases that may have involved the sergeant in order to determine if any of the convictions should be reversed. To learn more, read “20,000 DWI cases called into question in NJ: Is yours one of them?

teen-driverrs-400-05083531dA recent report from the Governors Highway Safety Association revealed that the country has seen an almost 10 percent increase in fatal car accidents among teenage drivers this past year except in New Jersey where such accidents have actually declined. Could New Jersey’s graduated drivers’ license (GDL) program be the reason?

While all states have some sort of GDL program for teens, New Jersey’s system has some strict requirements. For one thing, any driver between the ages of 16 and 20 must first hold a learner’s permit before getting a probationary license that will last for at least one year. Elsewhere in the country, teens can opt out of their state’s GDL program by age 18. To learn more about how New Jersey’s GDL may be saving teen lives, read “More teens are dying behind the wheel – how NJ’s bucking the trend.”