Brain Injuries Can Impact Daily Living

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that brain injuries are the leading cause of death among people ages 18 to 35. Most of these injuries result from household falls, auto accidents and common incidents. In Wisconsin alone, it is estimated about 6,000 residents suffer from brain injuries and 50,000 live with the effects of brain injury each year.

Brain injury symptoms include headaches, memory loss and sleep disorders that can interfere with everyday living, including jobs and personal relationships. Unfortunately, after suffering head trauma, many people do not go see a doctor, thinking that the simple remedy is to get some rest. However, often a more serious brain disruption can be undetected without medical intervention. Indications that you or a loved one should see a doctor after such trauma include loss of consciousness, blurred vision, or any negative effect in thought process (such as “seeing stars”).

Remember, you only have one brain, and taking care of it is a key to a long and healthy life.

Our tireless work ethic – and the resulting recoveries for our clients – speak for themselves. If you or a loved one has experienced a catastrophic brain injury due to someone else’s negligence, contact the Boston law office of Swartz & Swartz, P.C.

We will answer your questions and protect your legal rights. Speak with a personal injury lawyer today by calling (617) 742-1900, or toll free outside of Boston, 1-800-545-3732.

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Safer Together: CPSC and CBP Collaborate to Keep Unsafe Toys Off Store Shelves

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are joining forces to help keep dangerous toys away from children. Their focus will be on detecting shipments of toys and children’s products at the ports, to prevent offending products from entering the streams of commerce. Over the past four years, the CPSC and CBP have reportedly stopped more than 8 million unites of about 4,500 different type of toys due to a failure to meet minimum government standards.
CPSC reports that there were an estimated 185,500 toy-related, emergency department-treated injuries and 11 deaths in 2015 involving children younger than 15 years old.
Here are some safety tips to keep in mind for the Holiday season:
• Toys with small magnets present a particularly concerning ingestion hazard.
• Balloons can choke or suffocate. Children younger than 8 years old should not have access to any deflated or torn balloons.
• Children younger than 3 years old should not be in possession of small balls or other toys with small parts which can present a choking hazard.
• Helmets and safety gear must be a priority, and should be worn properly when riding scooters, skateboards, in-line skates, and other wheeled or riding toys.
• Beware of toys requiring chargers or adapters, which have the potential to overheat and can cause a thermal burn.
The non-profit organization World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. (W.A.T.C.H.) has been at the forefront of child safety issues for decades. Please check out its website at for this year’s “Ten Worst Toys” list, as well as other safety tips and information

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Toys ‘R’ Us Will Stop Selling Toy Truck Due To Fire Hazard

Toys “R” Us has announced that it will stop selling certain Tonka Trucks due to a Bellingham, Washington family’s experience. According to the Harden family, the Tonka truck, which was a Christmas gift for their grandson, caught on fire. The family stated that they had bought the Tonka 12V Ride-On Dump Truck from Toys “R” Us.

Delmond Harden tried extinguishing the fire, but the toy ignited again, causing an explosion. Hardon was shocked that a toy for his grandson would be capable of almost shutting down an interstate due to the fire it caused. Nicole Hayes, a Toy “R” Us spokeswoman, said that the toy has been removed from shelves and their website. They are working with Dynacraft, the manufacturer of the toy, to further investigation the cause. A recall has not been issued at this time. Dynacraft acknowledges the incident and is taking very serious by trying to find the cause for the explosion.

Manufacturers and retailers must do a better job of ensuring that defective toys do not reach the hands of our youngest citizens.
The non-profit organization World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. (W.A.T.C.H.) has been at the forefront of child safety issues for decades. Please check out its website at for this year’s “Ten Worst Toys” list, as well as other safety tips and information.

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Hospitals Faulted For Failure to Report Injuries and Deaths

A dozen hospitals worldwide, including three large hospitals in Massachusetts, have been faulted by Federal regulators for failing to properly report the injuries and deaths. Due to a lack of effort by medical facilities to detect problems with certain medical devices, these devices may have caused significant harm. Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and UMass Memorial Hospital were three of seventeen hospitals inspected last December by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Duodenoscopes, which are used to examine the small intestine, were a concern for regulators, who acknowledged the fact that this instrument could have a possible link to infections. Another device that regulators connect with the possible spread of uterine cancer is a known as a power morcellator, which is used my physicians to cut tissue. Fifteen out of seventeen medical centers were found to have either missed or failed to report cases in which patients were harmed by devices. Director of the FDA’s center for devices and radiological health, Dr. Jeffrey Shuren, stated that the problems that were identified at these hospitals are widespread.
The FDA depends on hospitals to identify new safety problems with devices and to report any problems. Simply, there is no excuse for a defective medical device to be used in the care of patients, and equally impermissible for a care provider to fail to issue a report once a defect is known. Mass General Hospital, for example, failed to report the death of two patients. These two patients both suffered heart attacks. Hospitals are required to report with 10 days information about a medical device that may cause or has caused a serious injury or death of a patient. Dr. Elizabeth Mort, Senior Vice President of Quality and Safety at Mass General, stated that her hospital did not report the incidents because they did not believe the device was at fault for the patient’s harm.
There are numerous patient safety concerns raised by the growing use of advanced medical devices. The attorneys at Swartz & Swartz, P.C. have the resources and experience necessary to assist with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your medical care, or care provided to a loved one. Please contact our Boston, Massachusetts office at (617) 742-1900, or toll-free at 1-800-545-3732.

Posted in Defective Medical Devices, Medical Malpractice: Robotic Surgery, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

WATCH OUT For Toy Hazards This Holiday Season

World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. (W.A.T.C.H.) revealed its nominees for the “10 Worst Toys of 2016” and demonstrated the reasons why “Flying Heroes Superman Launcher” and other potentially hazardous toys should not be in the hands of children. Since December 2015, there have been at least nineteen (19) toys with recognized safety defects recalled in the United States. These recalls involved over eight hundred thousand (800,000) units of toys—five hundred thousand this year alone— and prove the inadequacy of existing standards.

W.A.T.C.H. warns shoppers to be aware of the types of toy hazards available online and in retail stores. This year, W.A.T.C.H. highlighted toys with inconsistent and inadequate warnings, cautions and age recommendations as well as other classic safety hazards that continue to reappear year after year. The organization’s website provides up-to-date information about toy recalls and stresses the necessity for more stringent oversight of the toy industry.
For a list of toys representing potential dangers this year, as well as additional safety information, please visit

Best wishes to everyone from Swartz & Swartz, P.C. for a safe and healthy holiday season!

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9-year-old girl dies after being dragged by her school bus!

According to Massachusetts State Police, a 9-year-old girl dies after being dragged by a school bus in Plainfield, MA. The school bus Investigations indicated that the incident happened around 4.p.m when she was dropped off at the stop on South Central Street.
Investigators believe the 9-year old girl was not fully cleared from the bus’s door when they closed, causing her to get caught in the door and dragged as the bus drove away. Northampton Barracks state troopers, Planfield Fired and EMS immediately responded to the scene. In addition, a State Police Collision Analysis, Reconstruction Team and the State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Section as well responded to the accident.
The bus driver is currently being interviewed by the State Police detectives and the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office. The 9-year-old girl reported to be a student of the school in the area as well as the children who were in the bus with her. Furthermore, the name of the school or the bus company has not been released and is in further investigation.

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Sexual Assaults and Children – Awareness Is Critical

Reported sexual assaults are tragically becoming more prevalent in today’s society, as teenagers, middle school and even elementary school children are falling victim to these outrageous crimes. Recent research and statistics show that the sexual abuse of children includes a wide-range of behaviors and actions made by the perpetrator, described alternately as either non-contact sexual abuse or contact sexual abuse.

A 2012 report shows that 1.8 million adolescents have been victims of sexual assault. Records shows that 35.8% of child and adolescent victims are between the ages of 12-17, 26% between the ages of 12-14 and 34% of child victims are under the age of 9 years old. Further, statistics indicate that females account for 82% of juvenile sexual assault victims and females between the ages of 16-19 years old are 3.5 times more likely than the average person to be victims of sexual assault, along with rape or attempted rape.

Children and teens of sexual abuse do not all display the same symptoms and reactions to sexual abuse. 40% of children are asymptomatic, while many other children experience long term effects. There is a wide-range of physical signs and behaviors expressed by children, including changes in their behavior that may be important indicators to pay attention to.

On September 19, 2014, the New York Times published an article written by Charles M. Blow in which he explains that he was a victim of sexual abuse when he was just 7 years old. This first-hand account demonstrates the consequences an individual faces after becoming a victim of sexual abuse. On September 1, 2015, The New York Times published another article written by Charles M. Blow, continuing on this issue touching on recent examples of child sexual abuse that had arose with the TLC Reality Show “19 Kids and Counting” and the former speaker of the House of Representatives, J. Dennis Hastert.

On July 24, 2016, The Boston Globe printed a story regarding private schools and sexual abuse claims in which the cases had collectively over 300 alleged victims. More recently, there have been more accounts of sexual abuse that have been told. On September 1, 2016 The Boston Globe reported the abuse that was uncovered occurring at an elite Rhode Island prep school by 61 alumnae. 51 alumnae stated that they were victims of sexual abuse by faculty and staff, while 10 alumnae stated that they fell victim to abuse by other students.

Sadly, child sexual abuse can arise in many different settings, resulting in different signs and symptoms. It is critically important to be educated about the prevalence of such crimes, as well as how best to protect our children, among the most vulnerable in our society. Swartz & Swartz, P.C. has been a leader in advising and representing families who have suffered as a result of such inexcusable acts. If you want more information about child or adolescent sexual abuse, please contact Swartz & Swartz, P.C. by email at, or call (617) 742-1900 in the Boston area, or toll-free at 1-800-545-3732.

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Questions Arise Within Braintree MA Police Department Regarding Missing Evidence

On September 14, 2016 the Boston Globe reported an emerging scandal involving the Braintree Police Department. An audit commissioned by the police chief revealed missing drugs, guns and money from the evidence room. As a result, numerous cases which resulted in convictions will be reviewed by the district attorney’s office and a number of pending criminal complaints were dismissed because of the tainted evidence. Therefore, a number of dangerous criminals may be set free.

Were you a victim related to any of these convictions or pending prosecutions? If so, your rights may have been violated. If you or a family member has questions, please contact the law office of Swartz & Swartz, P.C. by email at, or call (617) 742-1900 in the Boston area, or toll-free at 1-800-545-3732.

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Ikea MALM Drawers Recalled

On June 28, 2016, Ikea announced that it is recalling several models of its MALM drawers due to a tipping hazard that has caused the deaths of three children since 2014, as well as 19 reported incidents of injuries to children. The most recent incident occurred in February 2016, when a 22-month-old boy in Minnesota died from a MALM chest falling on top of him. This recall follows an announcement made in July 2015 in which Ikea warned of this potential hazard from these same models of MALM chests. At the time, Ikea offered consumers of this product free wall-anchoring kits which, if properly installed, would prevent the drawers from tipping over and causing injuries.

If these chests are not properly anchored to a wall, they become unstable and pose a serious danger. The drawers are made of light particleboard or fiberboard which may make the base of the drawers unstable and possibly be the cause of this tip hazard if the drawers’ contents make them top-heavy.

Parents and caregivers should also be aware of this hazard generally regarding other household furniture items, especially those filled with weighty items, and those which serve as a stand for larger items, such as televisions. In fact, recent statistics indicate that a major cause of personal injuries to children are tip-overs involving heavy furniture or televisions. Every year 23,000 children (under the age of 9) are rushed to emergency room for injuries sustained from unanchored products.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has urged parents of young children to anchor and stabilize their televisions, furniture, and appliances to prevent tip-over related incidents. In a quest to reach a toy, TV or game remote, or other desired item, young children may use dressers and tables as climbing devices, often leading to tragic results. Manufacturers of such items have long been aware of these dangers, and are required to anticipate the environment of end use, to help prevent these injuries.

Posted in Injuries to Minors, Products Liability | Leave a comment

W.A.T.C.H. Out! 2016 Summer Safety for Children

On June 28th, the consumer advocacy group W.A.T.C.H. (World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc.) presented its 2016 Summer Safety Report at its annual “Safe Fun in the Sun” conference at Franciscan Children’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.

The conference addressed “Summer Safety Traps” of common outdoor activities and highlighted some of the many different types of hazards of which parents and caregivers should be aware in order to prevent potentially life-threatening injuries to children this summer. One of the primary goals of this conference was to increase awareness about hazards associated with some summer recreational activities and products so that these incidences become less frequent. There are especially high rates of child injuries during the summer in particular, when almost half of all injury-related deaths in children occur, according to W.A.T.C.H.

Some of the summer activities that were discussed at the conference included swimming and drowning hazards, toys made for outdoor play like remote helicopters and other flying objects, realistic-looking toy guns, projectile toys, and “hoverboards”, the motorized two-wheeled scooters that have gained particular popularity over the past year.

If you have questions about children’s toys or products, please contact an attorney at Swartz & Swartz, P.C.

Posted in Consumer Protection, Dangerous Toys, Injuries to Minors | Leave a comment