Posts Tagged Disaster Accident

EXPLOSIONS CAUSE MASSIVE TAKATA AIRBAG RECALLS

17 November 2014

Nissan has recently increased the number of vehicles recalled in the United States for passenger airbags manufactured by the Japanese-based Takata. The massive airbag recall has affected over two dozen brands of vehicles in the United States.

Defective Takata air bags have been the subject of NHTSA safety alerts after reports of incidents in which the automobile restraint systems exploded and hurled metal shrapnel into the heads and bodies of drivers and passengers.

While airbags are one of the major safety innovations in the auto industry, the Takata recalls have now caused a shift in safety concerns for consumers.

At least two deaths and many injuries have been associated with the defective Takata air bags, which were installed in vehicles made by Honda, Toyota, Mazda, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Chrysler, Ford and BMW in various model years ranging from 2000 to 2008. About 5 million of the cars are Hondas.

These vehicles were all originally sold or currently registered in geographic locations associated with high absolute humidity, specifically, vehicles sold or currently registered in Puerto Rico, Hawaii, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, Saipan, American Samoa, Florida and adjacent counties in southern Georgia, as well as the coastal areas of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

Safety regulators believe the problem might be associated with hot, humid climates. But other safety experts, such as Clarence Ditlow, executive director for the Center for Auto Safety, said it’s not clear how much of a factor weather has been, believing there should be a wider recall.

To read more about this topic please visit:

http://www.businessinsider.com/r-nissan-expands-us-recall-for-faulty-takata-air-bags-to-52738-vehicles-2014-11

Swartz & Swartz, P.C. has assisted many families over the years whose lives have been tragically and forever altered as the result of a significant personal injury or wrongful death due to a car accident or automobile defect.  If you would like to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney at Swartz & Swartz, P.C., please contact us. You can call us at (617) 742-1900, or if you are outside the Boston area, call toll-free at 1-800-545-3732. We are here to answer your questions and discuss how to protect your legal rights.

Seven People Dead After Fire In Lowell, Massachusetts

10 July 2014

According to authorities, seven people died in an overnight fire at an apartment building in Lowell, Massachusetts. All of the victims were discovered in two third-floor apartments. The origin of the fire remains unknown. An extensive investigation, including the fire department as well as State police, is ongoing.

Residence fires unfortunately are a fact of life. Although we hope of course that we and our loved ones will not be involved in any fire incidents at home, it is important to understand your rights should such a fire occur. Proper investigations will focus on the existence, placement and operation of smoke and fire detectors; access to emergency exit routes; and other related potential building code violations. The first step is knowing whether or not you even have grounds to file a claim for your injuries. The accident scene should be investigated, coordinated (when necessary) with a proper team of professionals and experts, examining all evidence relating to the cause of the fire.

If you or a family member have suffered significant burn injuries as the result of a fire, or if a loved one has suffered a wrongful death as the result of burn injuries, please contact one of our personal injury attorney at Swartz & Swartz, P.C.. You can call us at (617) 742-1900, or if you are outside the Boston area, call toll-free at 1-800-545-3732. We are here to answer your questions and discuss how to protect your legal rights.

Suspected Gas Explosion in Dorchester, MA Injures At Least 12 People

23 April 2014

A suspected gas explosion on last week damaged a multi-family house and initiated a three-alarm fire in Dorchester, Massachusetts. The 2 1⁄2-story house is located at 27 Hansborough St., near Harvard Street and Blue Hill Avenue. At least 12 people were reported injured – some of those people were reportedly outside the building.

The house was still standing, with large holes blown in the walls. A door was also blown across the street, according to fire officials.

There were reports at the scene of a “smell of gas” just prior to the explosion. As of last week, investigators had not yet confirmed a gas leak.

Factors causing or contributing to gas explosions resulting in burn injuries or wrongful death have included improper gas line locations, faulty parts and equipment in mobile homes, workplace equipment, camping equipment, and defectively designed propane stoves. One important signal indicating the potential for a catastrophic event is the odor of gas (note that although gas has no smell, laws require that odorants be added for safety purposes). Should a gas leak be suspected, the property owner or occupants should immediately evacuate, then contact the proper authorities.

If you or a loved one has suffered burn injuries from a fire, explosion or electrocution, contact a personal injury attorney at our Boston law office. We are here to answer your questions and protect your legal rights.

By James A. Swartz of Swartz & Swartz, P.C.Permalink

Construction Site Accident In Boston’s Theater District Being Investigated

24 March 2014

On March 20, 2014, a partial building collapse in Boston’s Theater District caused injuries to three workers. While the investigation is in its early stages, initial reports indicate that a heavy load of steel placed on the unfinished 12th floor of the apartment tower under construction may have caused the incident.

Inspectors from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will conduct more interviews today and examine the debris field inside the damaged building. The federal investigation could take several months to complete. One focus will be whether there were any workplace safety violations that contributed to the event.

The planned 30-story tower at 
45 Stuart Street is being built by AvalonBay Communities of Arlington, Virginia; the developer’s general contractor is John Moriarty & Associates Inc. of Winchester.

Construction work is one of the most dangerous areas of employment, with thousands of workers hurt on the job every year. Many of these injuries are the result of contractors’ and management’s failure to maintain a safe jobsite. Some of these injuries are the result of defective equipment. Other injuries are the result of carelessness or negligence on the part of a general contractor or subcontractor, for example failing to properly inspect the jobsite, failing to provide safe machinery or tools, or failing to provide workers with adequate fall protection equipment.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a construction site accident or workplace accident, and you have questions, please contact an injury lawyer at Swartz & Swartz, P.C. Call our Boston, Massachusetts office at (617) 742-1900, or toll-free at 1-800-545-3732.

By James A. Swartz of Swartz & Swartz P.C.Permalink

Propane Explosion Kills Man in Yarmouth, Maine

26 June 2013

A Yarmouth, Maine man was killed and at least a dozen of his neighbors were displaced by an explosion Tuesday, June 25th that destroyed or damaged homes. The effects of the blast were felt miles away. Police and fire officials said the blast, believed to be a propane explosion, occurred about 6:17 a.m. and destroyed a condominium unit at 50 Gables Drive, where Peter Corey lived. Mr. Corey, 66 years old, lived alone and was described as severely disabled.

The blast was being investigated by the state Fire Marshal’s Office, and was reportedly likely caused by a propane leak in one of the units.

According to reports, several propane tanks serve the 14 units on Gables Drive. The tank that fed into the building that exploded is four units away and was not damaged by the blast. It was thought initially that any leaking gas must have been inside the condominium. Propane is heavier than air, so a leak can cause a dangerous accumulation in low spots in enclosed spaces.

A structural engineer was hired to check each of the buildings to determine which ones are safe for residents to enter to gather belongings, said the police chief.

Explosions caused by various ignition sources, such as gas explosions, as well as burns caused by fire and electrocution, can have a devastating and catastrophic impact, resulting in death or severe, permanent disabilities. Surviving burn victims and their families suffer through long months of painful and costly medical procedures and rehabilitation in order to regain function. The psychological damage of a burn injury, especially highly visible burns to the face or hands, may last a lifetime. Therefore, proper precautions must always be taken in and around homes and businesses using gas, including propane. If a leak is suspected, users should immediately leave the area and call emergency officials to investigate, since combustible vapors can quickly accumulate.

Update: Springfield, Mass. Gas Explosion

29 November 2012

A natural gas explosion that took place on November 23, 2012 has injured more than 20 people and damaged 42 buildings in Springfield’s entertainment district. Human error from a utility worker from Columbia Gas Co. is reportedly he cause of the explosion.

According to reports, the worker accidentally punctured a high-pressure pipeline while looking for a leak using a metal tool, causing a flood of gas to build up in a strip club building, and a spark touched off the blast. Columbia Gas Co.’s president claims that the employee was following the correct procedures. However, he was following older markings on a sidewalk that indicated the location of the gas line that were incorrect, accidentally puncturing the pipe.

After the explosion officials evacuated several buildings. Most of the injured victims were part of a group of firefighters, police officers, and gas workers. Officials praised the firefighters’ work,  claiming that it was a miracle no one had suffered fatalities. Columbia officials have been cooperating with the state Department of Public Utilities and have determined that there are no more gas leaks in the neighborhood.

Factors causing or contributing to gas explosions resulting in burn injuries or wrongful death have included improper gas line locations, faulty parts and equipment in mobile homes, workplace equipment, camping equipment, and defectively designed propane stoves. One important signal indicating the potential for a catastrophic event is the odor of gas (note that although gas has no smell, laws require that odorants be added for safety purposes). Should a gas leak be suspected, the property owner or occupants should immediately evacuate, then contact the proper authorities.

If you or a loved one has suffered burn injuries from a fire, explosion or electrocution, contact a personal injury attorney at our Boston law office. We are here to answer your questions and protect your legal rights. Call us at (617) 742-1900 or Toll Free at (800) 545-3732.

“Human Error” Said To Cause Gas Explosion In Springfield, MA

26 November 2012

Human error was the cause of Friday’s natural gas explosion in downtown Springfield that leveled a strip club, damaged dozens of other buildings, and injured at least 19 people, officials said today. In a statement, State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan’s office said the explosion at Scores Gentleman’s Club at 453 Worthington St. occurred when a worker from Columbia Gas of Massachusetts who was investigating a gas odor accidentally punctured a high-pressure gas line at the foundation of the building. The blast, which also displaced hundreds of people, occurred at around 5:25 p.m.

According to the statement, investigators are still trying to determine the source of the odor that prompted the worker to respond on Friday. “The investigative team believes that the gas from the leak entered the building around the pipe and at some point reached the correct explosive level of gas and air, which was ignited by any of many possible ignition sources inside the building,” the statement said. Officials did not identify the worker this afternoon.

Investigators expect to conclude the scene examination today, and the Department of Public Utilities is now taking over the probe, according to Coan’s office.

Reginald Zimmerman, a spokesman for the state agency that oversees the utilities department, said investigators will work to determine whether Columbia Gas had all of the proper safety measures in place at the time of the explosion.

Thomas Walsh, a spokesman for the mayor, said that 115 residential units, a mix of apartments and condominiums, were affected by the blast and hundreds of people were at least temporarily displaced. He did not have a more precise figure. Walsh said some residents had been permitted to return to their homes as of Sunday afternoon, but he could not say how many. Nobody stayed overnight at a shelter the city opened on Friday, he said, though some people came by to receive information about the recovery effort.

Factors causing or contributing to gas explosions resulting in burn injuries or wrongful death have included improper gas line locations, faulty parts and equipment in mobile homes, workplace equipment, camping equipment, and defectively designed propane stoves. One important signal indicating the potential for a catastrophic event is the odor of gas (note that although gas has no smell, laws require that odorants be added for safety purposes). Should a gas leak be suspected, the property owner or occupants should immediately evacuate, then contact the proper authorities.

If you or a loved one has suffered burn injuries from a fire, explosion or electrocution, contact a personal injury attorney at our Boston law office. We are here to answer your questions and protect your legal rights. Call us at (617) 742-1900 or Toll Free at (800) 545-3732.

One Teen Dead and Three Teens Hospitalized in Kingston, MA Car Crash

21 August 2012

According to police, a motor vehicle crash on Elm Street in Kingston, Massachusetts Monday night left one teenager dead and three others hospitalized. Reportedly, the 1998 Ford Explorer was traveling east on Elm Street when the driver lost control, striking a pole and then a tree after becoming airborne. The crash impact affected neighborhood power lines. The SUV contained four 19-year-old men, all from the South Shore.

When police arrived at the scene, three men were reportedly still in the vehicle and one was walking around. Two of the victims were flown by a MedFlight helicopter to Boston-area hospitals, and two were taken to South Shore Medical Center by ambulance.

Car crashes unfortunately are a fact of life. In fact, auto accidents are among the leading causes of deaths and injuries in the United States. Although we hope of course that we and our loved ones will not be involved in any incidents on the roads, it is important to understand the rights of victims should such a tragedy occur. Victims of motor vehicle negligence may have legal remedies available, however the period immediately after the accident is crucial to the preparation of a car accident case, which can be complex, especially if the accident involved wrongful death or catastrophic injury.

If you or a family member have suffered significant personal injuries as the result of a car accident and would like to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney at Swartz & Swartz, P.C., please contact us. You can call us at (617) 742-1900, or if you are outside the Boston area, call toll-free at 1-800-545-3732. We are here to answer your questions and discuss how to protect your legal rights.

By James A. Swartz of Swartz & Swartz, P.C.Permalink

Obama Makes Nomination for the Fifth CPSC Commissioner

3 February 2012

President Obama has presented Marietta S Robinson as his nominee as a commissioner with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). If confirmed, Ms. Robinson would be in place as the fifth commissioner now leading the government agency. The CPSC oversees the quality and safety of over 15,000 everyday consumer products. Ms. Robinson would represent an agency charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death potentially caused by many types of products manufactured, distributed and sold in the United States.

Ms. Robinson’s experience includes more than a decade of legal work in complex litigation, a Fellowship of the International Society of Barristers, as well as service as a fellow in both the American and Michigan Bar Foundations. If approved by the senate, Robinson will fill Democrat Thomas H. Moore’s vacated seat, allowing democrats to regain control of the commission. Robinson pronounced her excitement about being nominated, stating, “I’m very, very honored to be nominated, and I hope to get through Senate confirmation quickly.”

Many tragic deaths and serious injuries could be avoided if corporations paid less attention to their bottom line, and more attention to preventive engineering and consumer education. Too often, manufacturers pour money into self-serving public relations campaigns, rather than critical safety measures to protect the consumers who use their products. Although an underfunded and understaffed CPSC works diligently to uncover products that have the potential to inflict harm, the civil justice system remains an important check against the harm caused by defective products that nevertheless make their way into the streams of commerce.

If you or a family member has suffered significant personal injuries, or if a loved one has suffered a wrongful death as the result of a defective product, contact the law office of Swartz & Swartz, P.C. Call (617) 742-1900 in the Boston area, or for clients in greater Massachusetts, New England, or other states across the U.S., call toll-free at 1-800-545-3732. Our product liability attorneys are here to answer your questions and protect your legal rights.

By James A. Swartz of Swartz & Swartz, P.C.Permalink

Lee Carter Co. Announces Voluntary Recall of Two Kids Products

30 January 2012

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced a voluntary recall of Lee Carter Co.’s action figure toys and baby rattles, manufactured in Mexico. About 7,000 of the Super Luchamania Action Figures were sold. The recalled action figures, sold in packs of 12, are plastic with plastic capes, and are less than 5 inches tall. In an effort to brand the product, the logo “Super Luchamania” is printed on the action figures’ packaging. The manufacture of the toys reportedly included immersion in surface paints that contain excessive amounts of lead.

Another product distributed by Lee Carter co., infant rattles, have been recalled due to a choking hazard. The multi-colored, woven plastic rattles have a handle of a shape and size that could be ingested by a child.

At any point during the design and manufacturing process, significant failures may contribute to a product’s hazards, including (1) missteps during the early design stages; (2) inadequate testing to ensure safe performance; and (3) marketing efforts that include inadequate instructions and warnings, or even fail to include any relevant cautions. Even one act of negligence during the process from product’s conception to its sale can cause catastrophic injuries and wrongful death once the product reaches the homes, schools and workplaces of unsuspecting consumers.

If you or a family member has suffered significant personal injuries as the result of a defective product, contact the law office of Swartz & Swartz, P.C. Call (617) 742-1900 in the Boston area, or for clients in greater Massachusetts, New England, or other states across the U.S., call toll-free at 1-800-545-3732.

By James A. Swartz of Swartz & Swartz, P.C.Permalink

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