In New Jersey, the coming winter months mean ice, sleet, snow and a higher risk of slip-and-fall accidents. Many slip-and-falls happen where outdoor pedestrian activity is common: parking lots and sidewalks outside businesses. Business owners have a legal obligation to ensure their premises, including their parking lots and and the area surrounding their shops, are safe for consumers in the winter months and clear of any obstruction or dangerous condition.
The New Jersey slip-and-fall lawyers at Breslin and Breslin are reporting that two NJ men were arrested on Saturday after police said they tried to cover up a drunken car crash by making black ice. Brian Byers, 20, allegedly blew through a stop sign at an intersection, then hit a guard rail before fleeing the scene, according to a CBS report. He returned hours later with 20-year-old Alexander Zambenedetti. Byers then allegedly proceeded to pour water at the intersection in an attempt to create black ice, police said. "I've never seen anything like this and I've been here 21 years," Sgt. John Lamon of the Sparta Police Department told CBS2. Added Sgt. Dennis Proctor to 1010 WINS: "The original driver of the first vehicle that crashed and left the scene made an admission that ... their intent was to blame it on the ice so they could collect insurance for the vehicle, for the damage to the vehicle." Investigators said Byers was drunk at the time of the crash. "You could actually see the skid marks underneath the water they had just put there, so we knew that they had dumped this water over the top of where he lost control of the vehicle rather than the vehicle losing control on the ice itself," said Proctor. Byers faces charges of DWI, leaving the scene of an accident and disorderly conduct for creating a dangerous condition by purposely icing the intersection, according to NBC 4. Zambenedetti was arrested on DWI charges as well after he failed a sobriety test.
When it comes to personal injuries suffered by patients in hospitals and nursing homes in New Jersey and throughout the country, emphasis is commonly placed on preventable medical errors -- things like facility negligence, medication errors, hospital-acquired infections and other mistakes that experts say can and routinely should be prevented.
Did you know that slip-and-fall injuries account for nearly 9 million emergency room visits in the U.S. every year? Unfortunately, these accidents occur more frequently than most of us realize or would like to believe. And it appears that a large number of these incidents are occurring on the job: according to the U.S. Department of Labor, slip-and-fall injuries are the third largest cause of workplace injuries, causing more than 100 million lost workdays every year.
Last month, a jury ordered coffee giant Starbucks to pay several million dollars to a man who suffered lasting brain injuries as a result of a fall on a Starbucks retail store's wet floor in 2008. Starbucks did not dispute the man's slip-and-fall injury or the fact that the company was responsible for it.
Several slip-and-fall injuries and violent attacks were reported in a number of stores in New Jersey and throughout the nation on Black Friday. These events caused potential premises liability to retail stores and injury to numerous shoppers desperate for a great retail deal. One attack involved a woman who allegedly pepper sprayed fellow Wal-Mart shoppers as she attempted to grab an Xbox game console that was on discount.
Earlier this month, a state appeals court ordered Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., to pay $10 million to a truck driver who suffered severe injuries while making a delivery to a Wal-Mart retail store. Wal-Mart appealed the initial verdict, denying that it was responsible for the truck driver's injury, but the appellate court affirmed the verdict.
In the past 18 months, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority has agreed to settlements in seven personal injury cases, amounting to a total liability of approximately $1 million. The causes of action ranged from slip and fall injuries to wrongful death to violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. According to Turnpike Authority officials, the number and wide range of cases filed against it is to be expected, given the size of the agency.
In a new release from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the agency reports that over 200,000 people are treated in U.S. emergency rooms every year due to falls in public or private bathrooms. These incidents can lead to serious slip and fall injuries and premises liability lawsuits. However, in its report, the CDC states that bathroom injuries are completely preventable, and gives tips for making bathrooms safer.
Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson has won the dubious honor of being named the most sued company in New Jersey for 2010. The company defended 63 lawsuits in the state last year, the majority of which were products liability lawsuits based on the harmful side effects of Johnson & Johnson medication. Other companies near the top of the most sued list range from pharmaceutical companies such as Merck and Bristol-Meyers Squibb, retailers such as Wal-Mart, and large banks and mortgage lenders.