Sep 20 2012

Man Dies After Being Stunned with a Taser in Houston


The death of a man who was Tasered by police at on a freeway in Houston has once again raised questions over the safety of the equipment that’s meant to stun suspects.

Denis John Chabot, 38, was pronounced dead at Ben Taub General Hospital  on September 1, 2012, after he was stunned with a Taser, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Chabot became “agitated and paranoid while visiting a friend at a motel in north Houston,” the Chronicle reported.

The hotel manager had called security when Chabot refused to leave and the situation escalated. According to reports, Chabot continued to act aggressively toward the security guard, leading to police arriving at the scene. The Chronicle reported Chabot ended up running on the North Freeway.

“Officers attempted to protect him by blocking traffic, but he continued to run. He was then stunned with a Taser, police said,” the report in the Houston Chronicle stated.

While the man who was Tasered by police had a troubled past, the fact this incident ended in his death alarms me as a Houston wrongful death attorney.

There have been a number of wrongful death lawsuits brought against the manufacturer of Tasers.

In 2011, the family of a teenager from North Carolina was awarded $10 million after he died when he was shocked twice by a police Taser in Charlotte.

The award was made against the manufacturer of the equipment after a jury found that Taser International failed to provide adequate warning or instructions about the potentially lethal electrical stun gun, the Insurance Journal reported.

During the case the company based in Scottsdale, AZ, claimed the 17-year-old had a heart condition, which caused his death. A medical examiner testifying at trial disagreed with that the statement.

Sadly deaths through Taser guns are not as rare as many of us may think. CBS reported there were about 70 in 2009 alone in the United States.

In 2005 a heart doctor told the San Francisco Chronicle electric stun guns pose a potentially lethal danger to the heart. “Tasers might interrupt the rhythm of the human heart, throwing it into a potentially fatal chaotic state known as ventricular fibrillation. When 50,000 volts of electricity from a Taser surge across the body, it can instantly incapacitate a person,” the newspaper reported.

If a family member or a loved one has been killed by a piece of dangerous equipment , we’d like to hear from you. Call our Houston wrongful death attorneys at  713.888.8888 or contact us online for a FREE consultation, Ramji & Associates, your law firm. 

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Sep 15 2012

Cap Means Lawsuits Against Nursing Homes are Problematic in Texas


If you have ever made the heart wrenching decision to put an elderly parent or other family member who can no longer cope with living on their own in a nursing or residential home you know you want them to receive the best standard of care possible.

Unfortunately, recent cases in Texas have highlighted how some homes fall well below the standards we expect.

In 2011 KHOU.com a Houston-based TV station highlighted a wrongful death lawsuit that was brought against a nursing home in League City, Texas.

It accused the Regent Care Center of League City of “nursing home of neglect, claiming staff put a resident to bed after a fall caused bleeding and head trauma.”

The report said Rachel Mohr, 78, was shouting for help and was discovered on the floor next to her bed, according to the lawsuit. It said she suffered head trauma and was bleeding.

“She was neurologically alert, coherent and in severe pain,” the lawsuit claimed. “She was placed back in bed and was later discovered nonresponsive.”

These kinds of cases disturb me as aHouston personal injury lawyer.

Alarmingly a recent article in the Dallas Morning News suggested caps on damages in Texas means nursing homes can get away with elder abuse because medical malpractice lawsuits are less likely to be brought.

It’s been that way since 2003 when the Texas Legislature approved changes that capped noneconomic damages in lawsuit at $250,000.

And because elderly residents can’t show they have lost earnings the cap means $250,000 is the most they can receive. It’s not much for the loss of a life or a serious injury.

“Mounting a medical malpractice case is expensive and time-consuming, and lawyers say they simply can’t afford to pursue a case with a maximum award of $250,000. So the threat of lawsuits against Texas nursing homes has virtually disappeared — along with their incentive for quality care,” stated the Dallas Morning News.

The newspaper highlighted an ongoing protest by Bill and Kelly Putnam against Signature Pointe on the Lake, a home in Dallas where Kelly’s 80-year-old father died in 2008.

“But it’s also aimed at lawsuit restrictions in Texas, which they say put them on the sidewalk instead of in a courthouse,” reported the Dallas Morning News.

If an elderly relative has been hurt at a nursing home please call our law firm at (713) 888-8888 or  (281) 888-8888.

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Sep 05 2012

Death of Baby in Houston Raises Crib Safety Concerns


When an infant dies in a crib questions are inevitably asked as to whether defective equipment was to blame.

On August 23, 2012 a seven-month-old girl was found unresponsive at a home in Hammerly, Houston.

Police said the child was found to be unresponsive. Although she was taken to Texas Children’s Hospital she was pronounced deceased.

As an experienced Houston children’s injuries attorney, I am saddened by this death. Inevitably it raises many questions.

“The child’s grandfather was caring for the baby when he put her down for an afternoon nap, police said. Later, another person who lives in the apartment came home and discovered the infant unresponsive. Police said the baby was found between the railing of the crib and the mattress,” the Houston Chronicle reported.

Police were awaiting autopsy results on the child, before they could determine a cause of death.

It’s not clear what kind of crib was being used, but I’m well aware of the dangers of some kinds of cribs. A potential suffocation risk, led to a number of massive recalls of drop sided cribs in recent years.

More than 10 million drop sided cribs were recalled after as many as many as 32 children suffered strangulation and suffocation deaths.

In December, 2012, the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s announced that after decades of use, the sale of drop-side cribs was being banned.

The circumstances of the baby death in Houston makes me wonder if a crib with drop sides was, in fact, being used.

Cribs are not the only piece of infant equipment to present dangers to children.

Recently I reported on how Evenflo recalled thousands of Chinese-made high chairs after several incidents of trays detaching, leading to infants falling out of them. At least 8 infants were injured.

If a child is killed or injured by faulty equipment there may be grounds to bring a product liability lawsuit.

If your child has been injured by equipment such as a crib, a car seat or a toy please call our law firm at (713) 888-8888 or (281) 888-8888.

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Sep 02 2012

Falling Balcony in Galveston Causes Severe Injuries to Woman


If you are the owner of a building or a management company you have a duty to make sure the structure is maintained in a safe condition. Likewise construction companies have a duty to their employees and members of the public to make sure construction sites aren’t hazardous.

You don’t need to be an experienced Houston personal injury attorney to know someone failed in that duty in Galveston, Texas, when a large section of a balcony fell 20 feet onto a busy sidewalk, seriously injuring a woman and scraping the face of an 18-month-old child.

The Houston Chronicle reported on how a large section of material fell from the bottom of a balcony at the Urban Lofts in Galveston on the evening of August 25, 2012.

Police said the sidewalk was packed with visitors who were attending the Art Walk, a weekend art festival.

Witnesses said a chunk of material “the size of two large windows appeared to have peeled away from the balcony bottom,” according to the Houston Chronicle.

My thoughts as a Houston injury lawyer are with the family of the injured woman.

The victim in this case who was minding her own business on a public sidewalk would not have expected to be hit by a falling balcony. She has clear grounds for a personal injury lawsuit against the owners or managers of this building which was clearly in an unacceptable state.

Freak accidents like this are thankfully rare but they happen. In a recent article I reported on some of the terrible consequences of elevator accidents.

If you have been injured by a dangerous building, we’d like to hear from you. Call our Houston premises liability or slip and fall attorneys at 713.888.8888 or contact us online for a FREE consultation, Ramji & Associates, your law firm. 

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Aug 30 2012

Four Million Bumbo Seats Are Recalled After Infants Suffer Skull Fractures


Our children are our most precious commodity but all too often they are put in danger by the carelessness or negligence of manufacturers.

As an experienced Houston product liability attorney I was concerned to read about the dangers posed by Bumbo baby seats.
Why? Well, one reason is because I have two little kids of my own, so this hits closer to home, and also because there have been dozens of reports of infants suffering skull fractures after wriggling out of these seats that are placed on the floor.

The Huffington post recently reported the recall of 4 million Bumbo Baby Seats after “nearly two dozen reports of infant skull fractures.”
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission babies can wiggle out of the floor seats, leading to potentially life changing injuries.

The Huffington Post reported about 1 million of the molded foam seats were recalled back October 2007 so as warning labels could be put on them advising parents against placing the Bumbo seats on raised surfaces.

“Since the first recall, CPSC and Bumbo International of South Africa have learned of at least 50 incidents in which babies fell from Bumbo seats while they were being used on raised surfaces. CPSC says another 34 babies fell from the seats while they were being used on the floor or at an unknown elevation. In all, there were 21 reports of skull fractures to infants,” the Huffington Post reported.
Consumers have been requested to stop using the seats and contact Bumbo to obtain a free repair kit that includes both a restraint belt and instructions on how to safely use the seat.

The repair kit can be ordered by visiting or calling 866-898-4999.www.recall.BumboUSA.com
As an experienced Houston serious injury attorney I am aware brain injuries are one of the most potentially catastrophic kinds of injury a child can suffer. They can impact infants for the rest of their lives.

Alarmingly these Bumbo floor seats have been widely available for a long time. They were sold at Babies R Us, Target, Walmart, as well as some other major retailers nationwide from August 2003 through August 2012.

All too often infants are the victims of defective products. Recently I reported on therecall of thousands of Chinese made Evenflo high chairs because children were falling out of them.

If your child has been injured by equipment such as a Bumbo seat, a crib, a car seat or a toy please call our law firm at (713) 888-8888or (281) 888-8888.

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Aug 03 2012

Prescription Drug Overdoses On The Rise


Every year hundreds of people die in Texas from overdoses of prescribed drugs, making legal drugs one of the biggest killers in the state.

 

In 2010 the Texas Tribune reported how deaths from accidental overdoses had risen in the state by more than 150 percent from 1999 to 2007, from 790 to 1,987, citing a report from the Drug Policy Alliance, a drug policy think tank, based in New York.

 

“The problem is particularly pronounced in Houston, where prescription drugs were identified in half of all accidental overdose deaths from 2005 to 2009, according to the report,” the article stated.

 

The figures make me wonder about the role of drug companies as well as the responsibilities of doctors and pharmacists toward patients.

 

This month the giant British drug companyGlaxoSmithKline agreed to pay $3 billion in fines after pleading guilty to pushing popular antidepressants such as Paxil and Wellbutrin on unapproved users.

 

The fine is likely to make little difference to a company that made about $44 billion in sales of drugs last year.

 

But as a Houston injury lawyer, it concerns me that Glaxo had been illegally marketing drugs to vulnerable people who may have been harmed by side effects.

 

Federal prosecutors accused the giant drug company of illegally promoting Paxil for treating depression in children from 1998 to 2003, when it wasn’t approved for anyone under age 18.

 

It seems the actions by Glaxo were designed to sell their drug to teenagers who were at greater risk from it. It prepared, published and distributing a misleading article in a medical journal that misreported a clinical trial of Paxil, saying it was effective in treating depression in patients under the age of 18.

In fact, the study had failed to demonstrate the drug’s effectiveness. At the same time, data from two other studies which failed to show the drug’s effectiveness in treating depression in minors was hidden.

 

“The company also promoted Wellbutrin from 1999 through 2003 for weight loss, sexual dysfunction, substance addictions and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, although it was only approved for treatment of major depression,” reported Fox News.

 
Two whistleblowers said Glaxo had given kickbacks to doctors and sales reps, encouraging them to promote drugs for unapproved uses

“For far too long, we have heard that the pharmaceutical industry views these settlements merely as the cost of doing business,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Stuart F. Delery, head of the Department of Justice’s civil division. “Today’s resolution seeks not only to punish wrongdoing and recover taxpayer dollars, but to ensure GSK’s future compliance with the law.”

Even when marketed to the people who are meant to take it, drugs such as Paxil, can have alarming side effects. Paxil has been linked to changes in mood behavior, anxiety, suicides and even homicides as well as lung problems in newborns.

 

Donald Schell shot and killed his family and himself after taking Paxil. A jury later found Glaxo liable in a massive lawsuit.

 

As a Houston dangerous drugs attorney I am alarmed by the behavior of drug companies such as Glaxo. If you or a loved one has been harmed by a prescription drug you should contact us.For a free case evaluation by anexperienced Houston injury attorney who could assist you with a potential personal injury case, please call our law firm at(713) 888-8888 or (281) 888-8888.

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Aug 01 2012

Toyota Recalls More Cars Following Sudden Acceleration and Injury Fears

by admin in Civil Justice

Toyota made the wrong kind of headlines two years ago when the auto giant made a massive recall of cars over a sudden acceleration problem linked to deaths.

The recall was on a scale I have seldom seen before as a Houston car accident injury attorney and related to a defect linked to deaths and injuries.

Now the problems have come back to haunt the company after it announced the recall of more than 150,000 vehicles -  2010-model Lexus RX 350 and RX 450h hybrid SUVs.

Toyota said the new recall covers about 131,800 RX 350s, and 22,200 RX 450h hybrids.

The problem is a familiar one - floor mats that can trap gas pedals leading to sudden acceleration in line with a 2009 recall, CTV news reported.

 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reviewed a number of “consumer complaints and information provided by the manufacturer” and “requested that Toyota conduct an immediate recall, according to a statement.

NHTSA said officials noticed “an increase in consumer complaints and other reports regarding pedal entrapment in these vehicles,” and Toyota “confirmed last week that it had received a significant volume of complaints on the same issue.”

The new recall adds to the massive recalls in 2009 and 2010 for defects that could result in unintended acceleration, although it was not on a comparable scale.

The company recalled about 6.9 million cars amid fears that floor mats could jam the gas pedal.

It also recalled 2.1 million cars for a gas pedal mechanism that could stick. The defect has been linked to deaths and wrongful death lawsuits.

When a death or an injury is linked to a defect a product liability lawsuit can be brought. Recently I reported on a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the family of a couple who died in a Chrysler Town & Country over alleged defects in the minivan they were in that was involved in a crash in Texas.

For a free case evaluation by an experienced Car /Houston Auto Accidents attorney who could assist you with a potential personal injury case, please call our law firm at (713) 888-8888 or (281) 888-8888.

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Jul 22 2012

Man is Charged with Intoxication Manslaughter After Single Car Crash Kills Four in San Antonio


You don’t need the specialist knowledge of a Texas auto accident injury attorney to know driving and alcohol or drugs don’t mix.

But even by the standards of alleged drunk driving accidents a recent crash in San Antonio was heartbreaking.

A wreck in the city in the early hours of June 18, 2012 claimed the lives of four people, and injured two others.

The occupants of the car were killed when it slammed into construction equipment by the side of the road.

The Associated Press cited jail records showing 35-year-old Larry William Demers was jailed on three counts of intoxication manslaughter, two counts of intoxication assault and a probation violation. His bonds total $420,000.

The driver only suffer minor injuries. Passengers in the car he was traveling in were less fortunate.

A police statement said a 31-year-old woman and two children, ages 2 and 3, were killed outright in this crash. And a 5-year-old child died later at a hospital.

Another child aged 12 is hospitalized in critical condition at University Hospital. Our thoughts are with the relatives of those who died in this tragic crash.

If this driver was intoxicated at the time of this horrific crash there can be few more damning indictments than the four deaths that resulted from the accident.

As well as the criminal charges he could also face a wrongful death lawsuit brought by relatives of those who died.

 

In 2009 Texas recorded 1,235 road deaths linked to DWIs. This represented 40 percent of all deaths on the roads of the state that year, indicating Texas has one of the most significant drunk driving problems in the United States.

If you have questions about an injury you suffered from a drunk driver or if a family member was killed, please complete our online contact form or call us at (713) 888-8888 or (281) 888-8888.  We provide a free consultation.

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Jul 20 2012

How A Speeding Ticket Will Sour Your Summer Road Trip


As the school year ends many families are planning their summer road trip. What they are unlikely to be factoring in is the cost of a speeding ticket or a reckless driving charge on their insurance premiums.

According to research from Insurance.comwhich tracks industry trends and provides comparisons, the true cost of a citation goes well beyond the initial fine.

Insurance.com has now come up with a new tool called the “Uh-Oh!” calculator which estimates how violations such as speeding or failure to yield can impact your insurance premiums.

“We all make mistakes, and doing so while driving will cost you. Of course, you’ll know immediately how much you owe for your ticket, but often you won’t know the impact of the ticket on your car insurance rate until you get your renewal from your insurer,” said Michelle Megna, managing editor of Insurance.com. “The ‘Uh-Oh! Calculator’ helps ease ticket trauma by showing how much more you’ll likely pay.”

 

According Insurance.com’s analysis of how much a violation will hit your pocket book your average insurance rate will rise 22 percent for a reckless driving citation, 19 percent for a DUI first offense, 16 percent for careless driving and 15 percent for speeding 30 mph or more over the speed limit.

 

Although the table covers most violations, one dangerous habit that’s outlawed in most states, texting while driving, is not listed.

 

In a recent article our experienced Houston auto accident injury lawyers described how a teenage girl died in Texas after she lost control of her car while texting a friend.

 

Although people of all ages use cellphones behind the wheel teens are particularly susceptible and are most likely to risk flouting texting bans.

Recent research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found teenage girls are the group most likely to use cell phones and other electronic devices while driving. They are twice as likely as newly licensed teenage boys, to use their cell phone while driving.

The new information published byInsurance.com could ruin the summer road trip for some families if they are pulled over by the police. But more serious than the increase in insurance premiums are the dangers this kind of driving places on other road users.

Time and time again I have seen speed or impatience lead to death and maiming on the busy highways of Houston and beyond.

If you have been hurt by a speeding, reckless or distracted driver you should contact an experienced Houston Injury Attorney. For a free case evaluation by an experienced injury attorney who could assist you with a potential personal injury case, please call our law firm at (713) 888-8888 or (281) 888-8888, or simply text the word INJURY to our short number: 313131 to communicate via text.

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Jul 18 2012

Evenflo Recalls Thousands of Chinese Made High Chairs Following Fall Injuries


If you visit the children’s aisle of a big store such as a Wal-Mart in Houston you expect the product you buy to be safe for your child.

But a number of high profile recalls of products sold in the store and other major stores, has raised questions about the safety of some equipment for children.

In the latest recall the manufacturer of children’s equipment, Evenflo has warned about a flaw in a line of convertible high chairs, following a number of injuries sustained by children who have fallen from them.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, along with Evenflo, has issued a recall on certain convertible high chairs, due to falls, WRIC.com reported

Evenflo produces a wide range of products including pacifiers, bottles for babies and child car seats. The company warns the activity and feeding tray on the ”Dottie Lime” (29111259), ”Dottie Rose” (29111271), and ”Marianna” (29111234)convertible high chairs can detach, allowing a child who is not restrained to tumble.

“Model numbers are located on a label on the lower portion of one of the high chair’s leg. Consumers who bought the chairs are urged to stop using them immediately,” WRIC reported.

As Houston product liability lawyers we are concerned that thousands of children could be at risk from these chairs.

There are about 35,000 of these chairs in the US.  Evenflo records 18 cases of the chairs’ trays detaching. At least 8 children were injured.

The extent of these injuries are unclear, but we know a fall from a high chair can be very damaging for a baby and can cause serious injuries

These chairs were made in China, and sold in a number of major stores including Wal-Mart and Toys ‘R’ Us Stores (as well as on walmart.com and wayfair.com) from December 2011 to June 2012, retailing for about $40.

Parents who bought the chairs should contact Evenflo for additional information at (800) 233-5921, or visit their website: http://safety.evenflo.com.

This is not the first time in recent months that Chinese manufactured equipment for children that was on the shelves of Wal-Mart has been recalled. Wal-Mart recently announced the recall of 92,000 potentially dangerous trampolines that were breaking, causing children to fall.

In 2010 the recall of 40,000 drop sided cribs made headlines amid fears they were a suffocation risk for children. There were even instances of deaths.

If your child has been injured by equipment such as a crib, a car seat or a toy please call our law firm at (713) 888-8888 or (281) 888-8888.

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