Personal Injury: March 2010 Archives

March 17, 2010

Florida Families Affected by Bed Bugs

The term "Don't let the bed bugs bite" is no laughing matter for the people who have sustained injuries and embarrassment resulting from bed bugs. Bed bug cases have been filed against furniture rental companies and hotels nationwide. People all over the country have experienced the consequences of just how devastating these tiny insects can be. Because they are so small, it's easy for them to live in furniture and hide indoors. And when they bite, it hurts.

Law Offices & has represented clients in Florida who have been affected by bed bugs. One of our clients sustained injuries including permanent scarring, headaches, nausea, aching and swollen joints after staying in a South Florida motel. Because her luggage had also been infested with bed bugs, she continued to suffer insect bites despite the change in rooms. In this case, the motel owners refused to acknowledge any problem or take any action to remedy the bed bug situation.

Another bed bug case our personal injury lawyers handled took place in a Jacksonville, Florida, hotel in May 2009. The bed bugs in the hotel left scarring and dark marks on our client's arms and legs. If the hotel had an inspection procedure in place, the dangerous condition would have been discovered upon inspection.

A bed bug case unrelated to our firm involves a family whose home became infested by bed bugs after renting furniture from Aaron's. The bed bugs spread uncontrollably, even after they disposed of several items, forcing the family to move homes.

Furniture rental companies should inspect items to make sure they are in a safe condition and free from insect infestations. This process should include cleaning and exterminating mattresses as well as supervising store or warehouse managers who control or maintain the furniture. Hotels should also inspect their mattresses and make sure their rooms are in safe condition for their customers.

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March 9, 2010

Florida Residents Beware: New Vehicle Ignition Systems May Pose Carbon Monoxide Risk

Having a car equipped with a keyless system and push button start may be a convenience for some and a cool gadget for others, but regardless, you should be aware of the concerns around owning a keyless system vehicle. A recent LA Times article raised questions regarding the safety of driving a car with a new keyless system. The article states that there have been reported concerns including people not being able to turn off their engines in emergencies and people who unintentionally left their engines running for hours.

How can it be possible for some drivers to forget they left their engines running? With all the distractions of life, it could be very easy to forget to press the off button after stepping out of their vehicles. And while some vehicles warn their drivers that the engine is still running, and some automatically shut off after the driver walks away, some vehicles offer no warning if the engine keeps running after the driver steps away from the car. If all keyless system vehicles shut off on their own via a timer after the driver leaves the car, not only would this be safer, it would also save gas. According to the Chicago Tribune, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Society of Automotive Engineers are working on standards that would make driving these vehicles safer.

If your car is left running in the garage, dangerous carbon monoxide fumes from the vehicle will enter your home, leading to harmful or even deadly consequences. Carbon monoxide does not have a particular smell or color, so it is difficult to detect unless you already feel some of the symptoms from exposure to carbon monoxide. Some of these symptoms include feeling weak, dizzy, disoriented, nauseous, and having headaches.

Causes of carbon monoxide poisoning range from leaving idling vehicles in the garage to having malfunctioning gas heaters at home. Earlier this year, two Sarasota, Florida, Ringling College students woke up feeling dizzy and disoriented. They were lucky to have woken up, as they were suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning. Six people in total were affected as a result of a defective gas heater in a home that is owned by Ringling College. They were all treated and released from the hospital.

Not everyone affected by carbon monoxide poisoning is so lucky. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) carbon monoxide poisoning sends over 20,000 people to emergency rooms nationwide and over 400 Americans die from Carbon monoxide poisoning each year. One of the precautions to take in the prevention of carbon monoxide poisoning includes installing carbon monoxide detectors at home.

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