Dangers of Button Batteries to Children

Batteries fitting

Lithium “button” batteries have replaced the more familiar alkaline batteries in many electronic devices, from remote controls and key fobs to hearing aids, cameras, and even holiday ornaments. Unfortunately, they are also prevalent in children’s games and toys, posing a significant risk of serious injury. Safety organizations say the shiny objects catch the eye of many small children, who do what small children do with almost everything—put them in their mouths.

According to statistics, more than 3,000 children were taken to the emergency room last year after swallowing a button battery. Doctors confirm that ingesting the batteries can cause serious health issues, even death. The batteries can lodge in the throat, posing a risk of suffocation or choking. In addition, the batteries carry an electrical current that may react with the child’s saliva, resulting in serious internal burns. Some can also become lodged in a nasal passage or ear, causing risk of burns or other injuries.

Symptoms that Your Child May Have Swallowed a Button Battery

Because the batteries are so small, it may be difficult to observe that your child has swallowed the battery. Typical symptoms include:

If you suspect that your child has swallowed a button battery, immediately go to the nearest emergency room. Don’t give the child an emetic or any medication for constipation, and don’t give them anything to eat or drink. In fact, don’t try any medical procedures, such as the Heimlich maneuver. Leave all treatment to the professionals.

Contact the Law Offices of Fritz & Bianculli, LLC

At Fritz & Bianculli, we have more than 30 years of combined experience successfully protecting the rights of personal injury victims in the greater Philadelphia area. We have recovered nearly $200 million in settlements and verdicts in cases that other law firms initially turned down.

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. We will come to your home or the hospital for an appointment.

The Most Dangerous Toys on the Market

Dangerous Toys

With the vast number of toys on the market, it can be difficult, as a parent, to ensure that the products you buy for your children are safe. WATCH (World Against Toys Causing Harm) is a non-profit organization that monitors toys and toy safety. WATCH has just released its annual list of the most dangerous toys being sold. Here are some to beware of:

  • Kids Time Baby Elephant Pillow—The Consumer Product Safety Commission warns that pillows can obstruct an infant’s breathing, leading to suffocation, and has banned them from use by children under the age of one. This purple elephant pillow has no product warnings or age recommendations.
  • The Slime Ball Slinger—Essentially a slingshot that will launch a gooey mess more than 30 feet, this product has been tied to serious eye injuries. There are also air guns that shoot foam balls, which can have the same result, particularly since those are often marketed for close-up head-to-head combat.
  • Peppy Pups—According to industry standards, any string attached to a crib toy must not exceed 12 inches in length. The “leash” on this puppy is more than 30 inches long and poses a serious risk of strangulation.
  • Flying Heroes Superman Launcher—This toy launches a Superman action figure from a hand-held device. The product package warns not to aim at anyone’s face, but it’s easy for children not old enough to read to get hold of the toy.
  • The Warcraft Doomhammer—This is exactly what the product implies—a big plastic hammer. But it encourages use as a blunt object and provides no product warning about the potential for injury by beating someone over the head with it.

Contact the Law Offices of Fritz & Bianculli, LLC

At Fritz & Bianculli, we have more than 30 years of combined experience successfully protecting the rights of personal injury victims in the greater Philadelphia area. We have recovered millions in settlements and verdicts in cases that other law firms initially turned down.

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. We will come to your home or the hospital for an appointment.

Why You May Need More than a Workers’ Compensation Attorney after a Work Injury

When you’ve been injured on the job, your first course of action is typically to pursue benefits through the state’s workers’ compensation system. That’s the right thing to do, but when you’re looking for an attorney to handle your claim, you should consider hiring someone who has experience with more than just workers’ compensation claims. Here’s why.

When a work injury occurs, the injured worker may have two distinct avenues for recovery. First, a claim for workers’ compensation against their employers’ workers compensation insurer. Second, a claim against someone or company outside of the employer who contributed or caused the accident. The second form of action is often referred to as a “Third Party” case because it falls outside the employer-employee relationship.

Under Pennsylvania law, the damages recoverable in a workers’ compensation claim are limited. Thus, a Third Party action must be explored for an injured worker to make sure that their full monetary recovery available under the law is realized.

A third party claim can stem from a variety of circumstances:

  • You may have been injured because of the malfunction or poor design of a tool, machine or piece of equipment. In such a case, you would have a product liability claim.
  • Another employer or contractor may have created a hazardous condition on a worksite that caused your harm.
  • A company with overall safety responsibility, such as a General Contractor, has failed to make sure the work site was safe.
  • You may be injured in a motor vehicle accident while performing the duties of your job. If the other motorist was at fault, you can seek damages in a civil lawsuit, in addition to a workers’ compensation claim.

An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you determine whether there were other third parties who caused or contributed to your injury.

Contact Fritz & Bianculli

At the law office of Fritz & Bianculli, we have more than 30 years of combined experience successfully protecting the rights of personal injury victims in the greater Philadelphia area. We have recovered nearly $200 million in settlements and verdicts in cases that other law firms initially turned down.

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. We

will come to your home or the hospital for an appointment.

Today’s ‘Great Toy’ Can Lead to Tomorrow’s ER Visit

Just a few months ago, hoverboards were all the rage. Celebrities were seen on them every day and most teenagers had one on their Christmas list. The craze has died, and unfortunately, so have a number of users, mostly children, including a six-year-old boy. Hundreds of injuries have also been reported, and not just from falls, although one death in London came when a 15-year-old fell into the path of an oncoming bus. Many users –at least 22 as of January 2016—had also reported that the devices had a risk of spontaneously catching on fire, apparently from overheated batteries.

Just after Christmas, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission released a report indicating that, to its knowledge, there had been more than 70 emergency room visits related to hoverboards, including:

  • Falls
  • Smoke-inhalation when a hoverboard caught fire
  • Broken finger caused when a hoverboard ran over a bystander

 

In Philadelphia, local doctors said they saw a dramatic spike in hoverboard-related accidents in the days following Christmas. According to Dr. Michael Rivlin, a hand and arm specialist at Jefferson University Hospital, he’s never encountered as many injuries in such a short period of time in his entire medical career. He treated seven patients for broken bones in just over a day. The ages of the injured? All across the board, says Rivlin, who treated a patient as young as 10 and one as old as 50.

Rivlin says most fractures come when users try to brace a fall by putting out their arm. He cautioned, though, that the injuries could be much more severe, including neck or head injuries, and even paralysis or death. The hoverboards apparently do not negotiate changes in ground level very well. Safety experts have said that a slight rise in the pavement can stop a hoverboard in its tracks, possibly throwing the rider off balance.

Contact Fritz & Bianculli

At the law firm of Fritz & Bianculli, we have more than 30 years of combined experience successfully protecting the rights of personal injury victims in the greater Philadelphia area. We have recovered nearly $200 million in settlements and verdicts in cases that other law firms initially turned down.

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. We will come to your home or the hospital for an appointment.

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.

Hacked Computers in Cars Cause Accidents – Is There a Product Liability Claim?

The Potential Product Liability Claims Tied to Hacked Motor Vehicle Computers

Traffic at nightIn a number of test experiments, conducted between 2011 and 2014, researchers have been able to hack into the onboard computer on a motor vehicle, causing a number of actions that the driver could not control.

Researchers Charlie Miller and Chris Vasalek admitted that they first hacked into the computer of a vehicle driven by Andy Greenberg, a columnist for Wired magazine, causing the brakes and accelerator pedal to malfunction. The researchers said that they executed the hack through the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee’s UConnect entertainment and navigation system. They claim that they identified the passwords to the UConnect, which has wireless and cellular access, when the UConnect was turned on. They then rewrote the software for the vehicle’s UConnect so that it would interface with the Jeep’s electronic control unit, giving them access to the accelerator and brake functions. They then uploaded the new software to the vehicle through the wireless connection.

In a separate incident, a computer security expert told reporters that he could (and had) successfully hack GM’s OnStar system.

While automakers have publicly stated that hacking a car’s computer requires “unique and extensive technical knowledge, prolonged access to a subject vehicle and extended periods of time to write code,” Fiat Chrysler has issued a recall on the Jeep Cherokee’s with the UConnect System.

Legal experts say that, thus far, there have not been any claims against vehicle manufacturers alleging defective design or manufacturing in the aftermath of a hack on a car’s onboard computer system. They speculate, however, that the time may not be far away when that happens, particularly since automakers have been put on notice of potential liability.

Contact Fritz, Goldenberg & Bianculli

At the law office of Fritz, Goldenberg & Bianculli, we specialize in representing people injured by defective products, including cars.

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. We will come to your home or the hospital for an appointment.