Archives for January 2016

Dangerous Christmas Presents—What To Know

Portrait of a 6 year old boy hugging teddy bearEvery year hundreds are people are hurt using the Christmas present they receive. Below are some of the hottest presents that present dangers everyone should know about:

  • Hoverboards—Just six months ago, hoverboards were the rage and retailers selling these had dreams of a very green Christmas. After a number of these “skateboards without wheels” caught fire, and after escalating reports of emergency room visits for broken bones and concussions, Amazon.com has limited the brands it is selling and Overstock.com has stopped trading in the gizmos altogether. In another blow to the boards, most of the major airlines have banned them on any flight.
  • Drones—Though industry officials estimate that more than 200,000 of these radio-controlled crafts will be given as gifts this Christmas, there are numerous reports of collisions with building and with humans. Recently, a skier in a professional competition was almost hit by an overhead drone. As a sign of the potential risks, a number of insurance companies have added provisions to homeowners, policies expressly prohibiting coverage for any drone accidents.
  • Miscellaneous toys—According to WATCH (World Against Toys Causing Harm), “Bud” Skipit’s Wheely Cute Pull Along and Kid Connection doctor play set have many small parts that pose a risk of choking injuries. The Splat X Smack Shot (from Imperial Toy) and G.D. Jiefeng’s foam dart gun have significant potential to cause eye injuries. The Stats’ 38″ quick-folding trampoline may lead to neck, head and other injuries. Also, avoid toys with long pull strings (strangulation) or sharp ends (cuts and bruises).

Some items that have traditionally been considered serious safety risks are, thankfully, no longer commercially available. For example, lawn darts, once the rage, have long been banned by the Consumer Product Safety Commission after the deaths of a number of children.

If you or someone who know have been injured by a toy, Contact Fritz, Goldenberg & Bianculli

At the law firm of Fritz, Goldenberg & Bianculli, we have more than 30 years of collective experience successfully protecting the rights of personal injury victims in the greater Philadelphia area. To set up a free initial consultation, call our office at (215) 458-2222 or send us an e-mail. Evening and weekend meetings can be arranged, if necessary.

Pepper Spray – Can It Constitute Police Brutality?

Court of Appeals Says Pepper Spray Can Constitute Excessive Force

Police task force

During the Occupy Wall Street protests in 2011, police used pepper spray on a 23-year-old demonstrator who was trying to get into a Starbucks to use the bathroom. The woman, Imami Brown, filed a civil suit in U.S. District Court in June, 2015, alleging that NYPD officers arrested her without cause and used excessive force. The federal district court threw out the lawsuit, but the U.S. Court of Appeals overturned the ruling on the excessive force claim.

According to Brown’s lawsuit, she approached the Starbucks at approximately 5 am on the morning of November 15, 2011, and knocked on the door (which was locked), asking if she could use the bathroom. An employee inside the coffee shop called police and when they arrived, Brown asked them if they knew where she might find a bathroom. She says that the officers asked for her ID, and when she refused to show it to them, grabbed her by the arm, shoved her to the ground, and accused her of resisting. She was then pepper-sprayed twice before she held out her hands to be handcuffed. A videotape of the incident shows one of the officers kicking her legs out from under her, even though she was already in handcuffs.

In its opinion, the Court of Appeals focused on what Brown’s attorney called “lack of courtesy” toward his client. The court wrote that “even on the officers’ version of the events, the arrest, the ensuing scuffle and this lawsuit could very likely have been avoided if the police had explained to Brown why they were asking for her ID.”

If You Have Been The Victim of Police Brutality Contact Fritz, Goldenberg & Bianculli

To set up a free initial consultation, call our office at (215) 458-2222 or send us an e-mail. Evening and weekend meetings can be arranged, if necessary.