Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

crashed-car-921217-m.jpgThe Insurance Institute for Highway Safety began conducting frontal overlap crash tests in 2012. In these tests, the Institute tests how well a vehicle traveling 40 mph will protect a passenger if it hits a barrier in the front 25% of the front (the outer edges) of the vehicle.

In a small frontal overlap crash, a wheel of the vehicle can be forced into the foot-well of the passenger compartment leaving the driver with serious leg and foot injuries.

Since the IIHS testing began, car manufacturers have responded and improved the design of many of their models to do well in these types of car accidents.

Unfortunately, according to a new report by the IIHS, there is one class of car that is not rated well and that is mini cars.

Only 1 of 11 mini cars tested pass small overlap frontal crash tests
Mini cars were the worst performing group of vehicles in the frontal overlap crash tests of any groups tested.

Mini cars include the2013 and 2014 models of the Chevrolet Spark, Mazda 2, Kia Rio, Toyota Yaris, 2014 Ford Fiesta (after August 2013), 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage, Nissan Versa sedan, Toyota Prius C, Hyundai Accent, Fiat 500 and the 2013 Honda Fit.

Only the Chevrolet Spark received an Acceptable rating in recent testing. The other mini cars received a Marginal or Poor rating.

It is important in an accident that the occupant space remain intact so that the airbags and the restraint systems can do their jobs. If the occupant space is intruded on in an accident, then the passengers are at risk of serious injury or even death.

The Fiat 500 performed especially poor in testing with the door coming off of its hinges and open. Car doors should never open in a accident because the occupants risk being ejected.

If you are in the market for new vehicle, we suggest you check the website to peruse the ratings of the vehicles you are considering purchasing.
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Seattle Children’s hospital has notified the parents of 100 children that their child may be at risk for infection after the hospital discovered that some equipment used in colonoscopies was not properly sanitized.

Citing a “cleaning process lapse,” the hospital’s medical director Dr. Danielle Zerr, said that the risk of infection was low but that the hospital is recommending screen for hepatitis B and C and HIV which are infectious diseases..

The patient calls came after a “cleaning process lapse” was discovered on two auxiliary channel scopes according to The Seattle Times. Apparently technicians were not properly trained in cleaning procedures.

Patients who underwent colonoscopy testing prior to early November should contact the hospital’s information line at 206-987-5193.

It may be of little comfort to parent’s whose children may have been exposed to a potentially serious disease that the chance of infection is “low.”

One study of five hospitals nationwide found that 3 of 20 endoscopes used in colonoscopy exams were contaminated with fecal matter from previous patients. Any biological material on equipment such as an endoscope which is inserted into the rectum can pass on infection such as hepatitis and HIV.

Colonoscopies are procedures that most people dread regardless of age. Not only is the preparation for the exam not very pleasant but the thought that equipment is not 100% sterile is frightening.

One factor in non-sterile endoscopy equipment is the nature of many colonoscopy clinics. Clinics often schedule one patient after another and this puts stress on the staff to completely sanitize equipment in preparation for the next patient. One solution to this problem is for the clinic to purchase sufficient equipment.

Hospital-acquired infections are a concern for any patient . Failure to wash hands, failure to control the spread of microorganisms in sinks and wash basins, contaminated surgical instruments and failure to properly dispose lab waste can all result into a hospital-acquired infection.

Bellevue Hospital Infection Lawyer

Herbert Farber, the founder of The Farber Law group, is a Washington hospital infection attorney with 40 years experience in medical malpractice claims. Call our office to evaluate the circumstances of your injury or a loved one’s death after a hospital-acquired infection.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.
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breathalyzer2.jpgThe Insurance Institute for Highway Safety just published an article, Alcohol paradox: Drop in weekend drinking and driving doesn’t bring drop in fatal crashes involving alcohol, reporting that 7,132 lives could have been saved in 2012 if people with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher stayed off the road. The IIHS touted the efficacy of ignition interlock devices (IID), also known as breathalyzers, that prevent an impaired driver from starting their car if they register a preset level of BAC.

In Washington state, the alcohol ignition interlock law has proven to reduce rates of recidivism after a first-time DUI conviction. In fact, recidivism (or repeating the offense) decreased by about 12% for first-time DUI offenders who were ordered to install an interlock device.

A 2005 study, Ignition Interlocks reduce re-arrest rates of alcohol offenders, found that recidivism was reduced by 64% in drivers with multiple DUIs who were required to install an interlock device.

Ignition interlock devices are instruments which drivers blow into in order to start their car. If the driver blows a blood alcohol content above a preset number, their vehicle will not start.
Washington courts can require an IID if a driver has been convicted of a DUI related to driving a motor vehicle, a driver convicted of reckless driving or a driver convicted of negligent driving.

The period require for an IID can vary depending on the conviction. For a reckless or negligent driving conviction, the person may be required to use the device for a period of six months or more. For a person convicted of DUI or Physical Control of a motor vehicle, for the first offense they may be required to to use the device for at least 1 year; for a second offense at least 5 years and for a third offense for at least 10 years.

Drivers can have the device removed after a prescribed period of time if they haven’t tried to start their vehicle with a BAC of .04% or more.

Bellevue Attorney Represents People Injured in Drunk Driving Accidents

Drivers who have been drinking or using drugs endanger the lives of every other person on the road. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured by a drunk driver, you may be seeing answers to your legal questions. The Farber Law Group has been representing victims of drunken and impaired drivers for more than 40 years. We work hard to obtain compensation for victims and their families.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.
Continue reading injury lawyerAre you joining the crowds on Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year? If you’re buying toys for the children in your life, you’ll want to purchase age-appropriate toys and make sure they are safe. Avoid toys that can be misused and result in serious injury or even death to the children you love.

The following are some safety concerns that you should be aware of:

Plastic film — some toys have a plastic film covering on mirrors or other surfaces so they won’t get scratched during shipping. You should be sure to remove plastic films because they can pose a choking hazard. According the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), several children nearly choked on the plastic film after putting it into their mouths.

Strings and Straps — strings and straps on toys including guitar straps, necklaces, cords, or ribbons can pose a strangulation hazard. Make sure that straps are only on toys for older children and that they are removed on toys for younger children.

Magnets — magnetic toys and batteries can cause very serious intestinal injuries to young children. Toys such as magnetic building sets have been known to cause serious injuries and even death in young children who have ingested magnets. You should also be careful to make sure that magnets that are components in other toys do not fall out. Magnets can cause perforations, twisting and blockage in the intestines.

Electric toys — electrical toys should not be given to very small children, especially those under the age of 8. For toys that require the use of an electrical plug, children should be taught how to disconnect the toy safely and should be supervised in their use.

Balloons — balloons pose a suffocation or choking hazard to small children. Broken balloons can be inhaled and cause choking. Children under the age of eight should not play with un-inflated balloons and any parents and caregivers should collect all pieces of broken balloons.

Toy Buying Tips

  • Read labels — read the labels provided on the toy you are purchasing and make the toys is age appropriate.
  • Don’t buy large toys for small children — do not purchase toys with small parts for small children to avoid choking hazards.
  • Avoid shooting Toys – avoid shooting toys which can cause eye injuries.
  • Avoid loud toys — very loud toys can injure a child’s hearing.
  • Plastic toys — make sure that plastic toys are made of quality plastic so that they do not break easily and cut a child.
  • Avoid toxic materials — make sure that toys are marked “non-toxic”.
  • Crib toys — be careful when buying crib toys so that any strings or wires could pose a strangulation hazards.
  • Make sure electric toys are UL Approved.

Let the holidays be joyous and safe by purchasing age-appropriate and safe toys.
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Nga Woodhead, a Spanaway woman who was attacked by two pit bulls a week ago has died in Tacoma’s St. Joseph Medical Center of a heart attack. The Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office said that Woodhead’s death was brought about by “extremity contusions, lacerations and fractures due to dog bites.”

The Pierce County Prosecutor’s office is reviewing all the information related to the attack and investigating the history of the dogs, whether the dog’s owner knew they were loose and the dogs’ past behavior.

The dog attack on Woodhead occurred on October 30 when Woodhead was on a walk about a mile from her home. The dogs attacked her from behind. Woodhead tried to defend herself from the attack with an umbrella but she suffered serious injuries to her right arm and bruises on her body.

Woodhead’s husband said the couple had been married nearly 41 years.

The dogs’ owner claims he did not know how the dogs got out of the yard and they were raised as “family dogs.” An investigation should determine whether the fence was too low, whether there was a breech in the fence like a hole under it, whether the gate was not properly fastened or whether someone let the dogs out.

This case reminds us of the 2008 pit bull attack on an elderly Sea-Tac woman who was disfigured when two dogs mauled when as she walked her grandchild to the school bus.

Washington state has a dog bite law, RCW 16.08.040:

The owner of any dog which shall bite any person while such person is in or on a public place or lawfully in or on a private place including the property of the owner of such dog, shall be liable for such damages as may be suffered by the person bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of such dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.

The statute finds that dog owners can be held liable for injuries inflicted by their dog. The low provides that dog bite victims to bring suit against a dog owner whose dog attacked them such as in the case of a Gig Harbor woman who was awarded a $2.2 million settlement after she was mauled by a pit bull.
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bellevue drunk driving car accident lawyerA teenage girl was killed, her twin sister was critically injured and their friend was also injured when a suspected driver crossed the centerline and struck the1993 Acura Vigor they were riding in near Anacortes on Thursday evening.

The head-on car accident occurred on State Highway 20 at the intersection of Miller and Gibralter roads according to the South Whidbey Record.

Ira Blackstock, 53, of Oak Harbor, was arrested on charges of vehicular homicide and two counts of vehicular assault as police believe he was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident.

Police said the girl who was killed was 17-years-old and was from Oak Harbor. Her twin sister was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Another passenger in the vehicle, Alysha Picklery, 18, also of Oak Harbor was taken to Island Hospital in Anacortes.

Drinking and driving are far too common contributing factors when it comes to fatal car accidents. In Washington state, around 700 people are killed every year in car accidents and in 50% of those accidents, alcohol was a factor. The Farber Law Group is disturbed by the number of drunken drivers in Washington state and provides some of the following facts about drunk driving in our state:

  • Although 0.08% BAC is the legal standard for drunk driving, a BAC of 0.05% increases a the risk of a car accident substantially.
  • Drivers involved in a fatal car accident were four times likely to have a previous DUI conviction on their records than drivers with a 0.00% blood alcohol limit.
  • It does not matter if a person drinks beer, wine or hard liquor, one is not more dangerous than the other. What does matter is the amount of alcohol a person consumes.
  • Drivers between the ages of 21 and 24 are involved with about a third of all fatal DUI accidents.
  • In 28% of fatal motorcycle accidents, the motorcyclists had a BAC of 0.08% or higher.

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treats.jpgThe Washington Injury Attorney blog represents people who have become ill due to foodborne illness. We closely follow recall notices for products which have sickened people with illnesses such as listeria, e-coli and salmonella. In some cases, we represent people who have life-threatening illnesses due to food contamination and work to obtain them compensation for their medical costs and for pain and suffering.

A recent notice by the Food and Drug Administration regarding jerky treats for dogs made in China caught our eye and we thought we should post information about the illnesses and deaths to warn dog owners as we are pet lovers here at The Farber Law Group.

The FDA is investigating the death of 600 dogs and more than 3,600 pets who have become sickened by jerky treats made of chicken, duck and sweet potato. The deaths have occurred since 2007 and recently decreased when some jerky treats were removed from the market. While the illnesses been linked to many brands of jerky treats one common denominator is that the treats were exported to the U.S. from China.

The FDA finds the death of the pets to be a mystery. The FDS has tested treats for toxins, metals, bacteria and pesticides and still have not found the cause of the illness. They have even had inspectors visit Chinese plants yet have still not found the exact cause of the illnesses and deaths.

Dogs have experienced decreased appetites, vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy after eating some treats. In the most severe cases, the pets have suffered kidney failure and internal bleeding and death.

Because treats are optional, some veterinarian’s are recommending eliminating them from your pet’s diet just in case.The FDA recommends that pet owners to watch their pets for the symptoms listed above.

For more information read, “Questions and Answers Regarding Jerky Pet Treats” on the FDA website.
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Elizabeth Helen Meyers faces manslaughter charges for the death of a motorcyclist whom she hit while she was allegedly driving and texting.

The auto-motorcycle accident occurred on March 10 in Gambrills, Md. When Meyers pulled in front of the 30-year-old motorcyclist, Jonathan Wesley Roberts, causing him to crash. He died a short time after the accident at the hospital.

An eyewitness to the accident saw Meyers driving with one hand on the steering wheel and looking down and texting with the other hand prior to the accident.

According to the Baltimore Sun, Meyers faces up to ten years in prison as well as fines if she is found guilty of the charges against her including criminal negligent manslaughter, negligent manslaughter by motor vehicle and reckless driving.

It is common today to see someone using a cell phone while driving as well as texting. Motorists engaged in this behavior put everyone’s lives at risk. Significant studies show that texting or talking on a cell phone while driving impairs one’s ability as much or more than driving under the influence. Texting while driving is an extremely dangerous practice and can increase an auto accident risk by 28%.

If you have been involved in an accident and the other driver was either talking or talking using a cell phone, you should contact a personal injury attorney who may be able to recover damages. Washington laws may allow you to collect punitive damages which are designed to punish the offending driver. The threat of punitive damages may help you obtain a favorable insurance settlement because insurance companies do not want to pay damages beyond insurance coverage.
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food borne illness lawyerConAgra Foods, with the approval of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, has issued a recall of Kroger of Kroger Break N’Bake 16-ounce chocolate chip cookie dough packages with a use-by-date of November 24 and a UPC code of “11110 85730” because they may contain peanut butter cup cookie dough which poses a danger to those with peanut allergies.

In Washington state, the Kroger Break N’Bake products are distributed at Fred Meyer and QFC stores.

So far, there have been no reports of illness or injury due to product.

Customers who purchased the cookie dough may return the product for a full refund.

Peanut allergy can cause a severe immune system reaction in .4-.6% of the United States population. The most severe reaction to peanut allergy is anaphylaxis (anaphylactic shock) which requires immediate medical attention and can result in death.

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, peanut allergy is one of the leading causes of food-related fatalities.

It is rare for a lawsuit to be filed due a peanut allergy. Most adults read food labels and avoid foods with that contain peanuts or peanut oils.

Peanut allergy among children is quite common and reactions to peanuts can cause symptoms such as diarrhea, runny nose, shortness of breath, hives, asthma or abdominal pain to the life-threatening anaphylactic shock.

People with severe peanut allergy should carry an epi-pen. In a school or daycare setting, the staff should be educated on avoiding peanuts in foods provided to children and avoiding cross contamination.

Peanut Allergy Lawsuits

There have been several peanut allergy-related lawsuits in news lately:

In Michigan, parents of a child with peanut allergies are suing their school district after they say their son was bullied because he was identified as having peanut and tree nut allergies and children blamed him for being denied treats.

United Airlines is being sued after a woman suffered a severe peanut allergy on a flight after reassuring they would accommodate her allergy.

A Chicago school child died after a Chinese Restaurant that catered a school party used peanut products even though they were warned about the child’s allergy. The family in this case filed a wrongful death lawsuit.
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Sheria A. Warner, 35, of Beaverton, Oregon was struck and killed by a passing motor vehicle after she was ejected from the motorcycle she was riding on on Interstate 90 near George on Friday evening.

Warner was riding on a Harley Davidson motorcycle driven by a 56-year-old Federal Way man when she ended up in the left lane. The vehicle that struck her did not stop after hitting her.

The motorcycle driver is suspected of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident. If this proves to be the case, he faces serious charges of Vehicular Homicide. Washington state vehicle code, RCW 46.61.520, provides that if a person is killed in a motor vehicle accident and the driver was under the influence, driving recklessly or driving without regard to the safety of others, the driver can be found guilty of a class A felony punishable under chapter RCW 9A.20.

Washington state’s vehicular homicide statute considers a motor vehicle as a deadly weapon when used negligently.

Drunk driving is a factor in approximately 50% of all motor vehicle accidents that involve a fatality. Those found guilty can be sentenced to a maximum of life in prison and fined up to $50,000. However, sentencing guidelines provide for a range of 78-102 months. The penalties also include revocation of the driver’s license and a requirement to install an ignition interlock device.

Wrongful Death

When a loved one dies due to the fault of another person or entity, the surviving family members may be able to bring about a wrongful death lawsuit. Under Washington state law, the surviving family members may seek compensation on behalf of their loved one including funeral expenses, lost wages, loss of companionship.

A wrongful death lawsuit involves all types of fatal accidents from motor vehicle accidents, product liability, medical malpractice or assault.

Wrongful death lawsuits may be brought against the at-fault driver in a motor vehicle accident.
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