Hoverboards Pose a Danger to Users and Their Property

Published on Jan 21, 2016 at 5:03 pm in General.
Hoverboards Pose a Danger to Users and Their Property

It appears that hoverboards, one of the recent holiday season’s most popular gifts, come with some serious safety concerns. Now under investigation by the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), owners and riders of hoverboards are encouraged to exercise caution with the futuristic devices.

If you’ve seen them around town, then you know that hoverboards don’t hover, but instead roll. The motorized, self-balancing scooters rely on two wheels, one on either side of footpads that are used to control the device. Riders shift their bodyweight forward on the footpads to roll forward and accelerate, and shift backwards or to either side to reverse or turn. While some models top out at 5 or 6 mph, others can travel up to 15 mph. The devices don’t come cheap—a hoverboard will run you between $300-$1,000.

Law enforcement and safety organizations in the UK have been in a battle against hoverboards for even longer than those in the US. Due to the risk to pedestrians and drivers, it is illegal to ride hoverboards on public streets or sidewalks in the UK. Owners there can only ride them on private property, with the property owner’s consent. The National Trading Standards, the British equivalent of the CPSC, has already recalled 90% of all hoverboards imported into the UK since October of 2015, due to a faulty charging port that can sometimes cause the devices to explode. One British woman was badly burned while riding a hoverboard when the device caught fire.

In the US, the CPSC has received over 70 complaints of property damage or personal injury caused by hoverboards. The CPSC is currently investigating over 20 fires that consumers claim were started by their hoverboards, and has warned owners to monitor the devices carefully for signs of overheating, especially while charging. One Alabama couple has filed a lawsuit in state court seeking compensation for the damage to their home after the hoverboard they purchased caught fire. Another man has filed a federal class action lawsuit on behalf of purchasers of a Swagway brand hoverboard after the board he purchased for his daughter burst into flames the first time he charged it. Those who have purchased defective hoverboards that have subsequently caused property damage or injury are encouraged to contact an attorney to determine their rights to compensation for their damages.

If you have purchased a hoverboard in Mississippi that has caused you injury or property damage, contact the experienced Biloxi personal injury attorney Corban Gunn for a consultation on your claims, at 228.284.6805.

New Study Reveals Risk of Head Injury for Infants in Rear-Facing Seats

Published on Dec 10, 2015 at 9:03 am in General.
New Study Reveals Risk of Head Injury for Infants in Rear-Facing Seats

Keeping your children safe when on the road involves weighing a number of competing concerns. Parents can spend weeks or months debating the different options for child safety restraints, trying to find the car seat with the best possible crash rating. Now, a new study has offered additional information on the risk of injury when using rear-facing car seats for infants, pointing out the need for improved car safety restraints for small children.

The study, published in the Journal of Traffic Injury Prevention, examined the effects of rear-end crashes on infants restrained in rear-facing car seats, using either the car’s lower “LATCH” anchors or the car’s seat belts to secure the car seat. The study found that when a car was involved in a rear-end crash, infants’ rear-facing seats were prone to tipping forward, throwing the infant into the seat back in front of the seat, which caused serious head trauma to the child. The researchers found that this risk of head trauma was greater when the lower LATCH anchors were used, rather than the car’s seat belts.

While rear-facing seat technology stands to be improved to promote greater safety, the researchers involved in the aforementioned study caution parents that rear-facing safety seats remain the best way to ensure infant safety in the event of a crash. The American Association on Pediatrics has recommended since 2010 that infants two years of age or under be restrained in a rear-facing safety seat, and a small number of states legally requires that parents use rear-facing seats when transporting infants. The researchers of the rear-facing seat study have recommended that the safety of these seats would be improved with the use of an additional tether that came from the car’s floor, a style of securing a rear-facing seat that cars in some other countries use with great success.

Mississippi law requires that children under 7 years of age are somehow restrained when riding in a vehicle. Children who are 4 or more years old, but under 7, and who weigh under 65 lbs and are shorter than 57 inches, should be restrained with a booster seat and the car’s built-in seat belt. Children under 4 years of age should be in an appropriate child restraint seat for their size under the law. While the use of a rear-facing seat isn’t legally required in Mississippi, it is recommended for infants age 2 or younger by the Mississippi State Department of Health.

If your child has been injured in a Biloxi car accident and you wish to obtain experienced legal assistance to ensure you’re fully compensated for their injuries, contact skilled personal injury attorney Corban Gunn for a free consultation on your possible lawsuit, at 228.284.6805.

Pulled Over for a DUI in Mississippi?

Published on Nov 13, 2015 at 3:50 pm in General.
Pulled Over for a DUI in Mississippi?

Driving completely sober is always the safest and best way not to get charged with driving under the influence in Mississippi. If you are pulled over under suspicion of a DUI violation, there are some facts you should know about your rights when under questioning by police for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

You do not have to answer questions. When you’re first pulled over by police, you may be nervous and feel tempted to try and talk your way out of the problem. Perhaps you think you’ll be able to explain the situation, or be so agreeable and cooperative that the police will allow you to go without trouble. Resist this urge. Without having a nuanced understanding of the law, it can be difficult to know what will or will not later prove incriminating in a case against you. Instead, politely decline to answer questions beyond providing your name and producing identifying documents, with “I would rather not answer any other questions, officer.”

Taking a handheld portable breath test or other field sobriety tests may not be in your best interest. If the police continue to suspect that you have been driving under the influence, they may ask you to get out of your car and complete one of a series of field sobriety tests, such as a walk and turn test, a portable breath test, or a horizontal gaze nystagmus test (i.e., having you follow their finger with your eyes as they move it back and forth). You have the right in Mississippi to refuse to take these tests, and you should. These tests, including the portable breath test, do not afford an accurate representation of your blood alcohol level, and there is no penalty for refusing to take them. However, always do so politely and respectfully. An officer cannot arrest you simply for refusing to take these tests; an arrest requires probable cause to believe that you have committed a crime.

If you are arrested and asked to take a chemical test, there is a penalty for refusing to do so. Once the officer has placed you under arrest and taken you to the station, you will no longer have the right to refuse without penalty to take a blood, breath, or urine test to determine your blood alcohol level. Should you nevertheless refuse to take one of these tests, you will face certain penalties. In Mississippi, a driver who refuses a chemical test faces a license suspension of at least 90 days for the first time they refuse to take a chemical test, where there is no prior conviction for a DUI. However, you do have the right to have your blood alcohol level tested by an independent medical facility after completing the police-administered test, and to obtain the results of the test completed by police. Once you are arrested, call an attorney immediately to determine how you should proceed.

If you have been arrested for a DUI in Mississippi, contact Biloxi DUI defense attorney Corban Gunn for a consultation on your claims, at 228.284.6805.

Volkswagen Emissions Scandal Results in Lawsuits by Defrauded Consumers

Published on Oct 7, 2015 at 10:59 am in General.
Volkswagen Emissions Scandal Results in Lawsuits by Defrauded Consumers

In a massive deception which will likely result in billions of dollars in costs to the German automaker, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that Volkswagen installed a device in some of its cars specifically to deceive air quality smog inspections. The EPA claims that Volkswagen installed software in cars manufactured between 2008 and 2015 that enables cars equipped with diesel engines to bypass emissions standards that they would otherwise not pass. The “defeat device” software is engineered to ensure that, while the car is undergoing emissions testing, it emits minimal pollutants, but does not control these pollutants while the car is on the road. The EPA estimates that the cars actually emit the harmful pollutant nitrogen oxide at 40 times the federal limit. Should Volkswagen’s cars be found noncompliant with EPA guidelines after a full investigation is completed, the manufacturer may be liable for up to $18 billion in civil penalties. These fines would be on top of the cost of recalling and repairing the vehicles, as well as any damages in civil lawsuits.

Attorneys General from at least 27 states, including Mississippi, have come together to investigate the Volkswagen fraud, and a number of states have already filed suit against the car manufacturer. The US Department of Justice has also opened an inquiry, as have the governments of South Korea and Germany. A number of private class actions have been filed on behalf of Volkswagen and Audi owners, as well, including on behalf of owners in Iowa, New York, Illinois and California, by owners who feel defrauded by the company’s false statements regarding the environmentally-friendly and fuel-conserving nature of the cars.

There are believed to be roughly 11 million vehicles using the defeat device worldwide, with roughly 482,000 of those being diesel cars in the US. Owners of the following models manufactured between 2009-2015 should contact their local dealer regarding the recall: Volkswagen Jetta, Volkswagen Beetle, Audi A3, Volkswagen Golf, and Volkswagen Passat, manufactured between 2014-2015.

If you have been the victim of fraud or of a defectively manufactured product, ensure that you’re compensated for the deceit perpetrated on you by contacting skilled product liability attorney Corban Gunn to discuss your claims, at 228.284.6805.

Did my Car Accident Give Me Whiplash?

Published on Sep 17, 2015 at 5:28 pm in General.
Did my Car Accident Give Me Whiplash?

Whiplash is one of the most common injuries that results from car accidents. If you’ve recently been in a car accident, determine whether you developed a case of whiplash, seek treatment, and request the compensation you’re owed from the driver who caused your injuries with the help of a skilled Mississippi car accident attorney.

  • Whiplash results most commonly from rear-end accidents, but also from sports injuries, or from physical assault. Anytime your head is whipped backward and forward abruptly and violently, whiplash can result.
  • Whiplash may not show up right away. You may walk away from a car accident feeling fine, only to wake up a day or two later in pain. However, the most severe cases of whiplash are often associated with pain occurring immediately after the injury.
  • The pain of whiplash results from damage to the soft tissues in the neck, including ligaments, nerves, and muscles, as well as damage to bones in the neck and spine, and damage to spinal discs.
  • Symptoms of whiplash include: stiffness and soreness in the neck; tenderness in the neck and shoulders; a diminished range of motion in the neck and pain from turning the neck; dizziness; headaches typically stemming from the base of the skull; and numbness and tingling in the arms.
  • When you see your doctor for a case of whiplash, the doctor will likely discuss your pain with you and test your range of motion, as well as have you undergo an X-ray, CT and MRI scan, in order to ensure that no bones are broken and you did not incur a concussion in the crash, as well as whiplash.
  • Treatment of whiplash will likely include rest, ice, heat, over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen or aspirin, prescription pain killers, muscle relaxers, and numbing injections. The doctor will also likely recommend gentle neck stretches and exercises, and may prescribe physical therapy. Whiplash typically lasts somewhere between several weeks and a few months.
  • In more serious cases of whiplash, symptoms may include difficulty with concentration or recall, depression, difficulty sleeping, irritability, and blurred vision. Chronic neck pain can persist for many months, and even years, in the most severe cases.

If you have been injured in a Mississippi car accident and developed a case of whiplash, contact skilled Biloxi personal injury attorney Corban Gunn for a consultation, at 228.284.6805.

Massive Recall by IKEA of Popular Malm Line of Furniture

Published on Aug 25, 2015 at 9:08 pm in General.
Massive Recall by IKEA of Popular Malm Line of Furniture

In a recall spanning a line of products sold over the course of the last 13 years, IKEA has issued a recall notice for its Malm line of dressers and chests of drawers. The recall, issued through the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), warns those with pieces of the Malm furniture that there is a risk that the furniture items can tip over if not anchored securely to the wall. The furniture had long been sold without anchoring hardware. The CPSC and the popular Swedish furniture manufacturer are issuing the recall after having received a number of reports of the furniture tipping over, including reports of the deaths of two young children who were killed by the furniture in 2014. Since 1989, IKEA has received 14 reports of pieces of Malm furniture tipping over, which include four reports of injury, and three additional reports of individuals receiving fatal injuries. The recall includes the Malm line of dressers and chests of drawers sold since 2002, as well as any other IKEA chests and dressers intended for children’s rooms that are taller than 23 ½ inches, or chests and dressers not intended as children’s furniture that are taller than 29 ½ inches. If you own furniture subject to the recall, call IKEA’s toll-free hotline to receive a free wall anchoring kit in the mail, which you should use as soon as possible to anchor the furniture to the wall.

Injuries from furniture tip-overs most commonly occur to children who are playing on or near the furniture, who are small enough to be trapped under or seriously injured by the falling object. Tip-over injuries and deaths are believed to be highly under-reported, due to the fact that the children were typically unsupervised when the injury occurred. Since the injuries are under-reported, many parents don’t understand the potential dangers of un-anchored or cheaply manufactured furniture. International ASTM furniture safety standards advise manufacturers to ensure that their products can withstand at least 50 pounds of force being exerted on an extended drawer without tipping over. However, meeting these standards is not mandatory for furniture manufacturers, resulting in furniture that can be unstable or fails to include anchoring kits. However, while compliance with ASTM guidelines may not be legally required, manufacturers do have a duty not to sell items that they know or should know could cause injury or death to the consumers buying those products. Purchasers who are injured by these products may have a legal claim for compensation for such injuries.

If you or a loved one have been hurt by furniture that was negligently designed or manufactured, contact a Mississippi attorney who understands the technically complex field of product liability and can zealously represent you in court. Biloxi attorney Corban Gunn is an experienced personal injury attorney who will fight to ensure that you’re compensated for your loss. For a free consultation on your potential product liability or personal injury lawsuit, call 228.284.6805.

Families Suing Drug Maker for Birth Defects Believed to be Caused by Zofran

Published on Jul 15, 2015 at 2:32 pm in General.
Families Suing Drug Maker for Birth Defects Believed to be Caused by Zofran

Families across the country, including many in Mississippi, are filing lawsuits against GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) for birth defects which they believe to have been caused by a drug manufactured by GSK. Several studies have now shown a link between use of Zofran early in a pregnancy and the occurrence of certain birth defects. For example, one study showed a link between Zofran use and the occurrence of fetal heart malformation, namely in the septum dividing the baby’s heart’s ventricles. Another study found a possible link between Zofran used to treat pregnancy-related nausea and the increased likelihood of craniofacial defects, including cleft lips, cleft palates, and malformed skulls. GSK denies that there are any links between the defects and Zofran use.

Zofran, also known by its generic name Ondansetron, was initially developed for use in treating nausea in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, and it was this purpose for which the FDA offered approval of the drug. When physicians saw how well the drug performed as a treatment for nausea, doctors began to prescribe it off-label to pregnant women who suffered from particularly severe nausea and morning sickness. “Off-label” indicates where a drug is prescribed for a use for which the FDA has not specifically approved it. While such prescriptions are not illegal, the companies manufacturing drugs which become popular for off-label uses are not legally permitted to promote the drugs for those off-label uses. The U.S. Department of Justice found cause to believe that GSK was promoting Zofran for use as an anti-nausea drug for pregnant women, and even that GSK was paying physicians to prescribe the drug to pregnant women, despite a growing number of claims that the drug was linked to birth defects. The Justice Department filed both civil and criminal claims against GSK based on these and other allegations, which GSK settled for $3 billion, all while denying that they had committed any wrongdoing.

Birth defects are tragic events in a young family’s life, and can lead to decades of struggles with health and enormous treatment and rehabilitation expenses. If you or someone you know gave birth to a child with birth defects after taking Zofran during early pregnancy, contact a skilled personal injury attorney to explore your legal options. Contact experienced Biloxi, Mississippi attorney Corban Gunn for a consultation on your possible birth defect lawsuit at 866-212-7533, or online.

SUV Crashes Into Restaurant while Driver Has Medical Emergency

Published on Jun 15, 2015 at 3:52 pm in General.
SUV Crashes Into Restaurant while Driver Has Medical Emergency

A driver of an SUV recently crashed into a restaurant, causing injuries to herself and three restaurant patrons. The driver, unnamed in news reports, was driving along Interstate route 80 when she began to experience a medical emergency. This incident caused her to lose control of the SUV, subsequently crashing. The restaurant in question was a Duke’s Steakhouse on route 80 in Pelahatchie. At the time of the crash, there were 40 to 50 people in the restaurant. Fortunately, only three were injured by the crash. Emergency responders initially struggled to extract the driver from the vehicle, but they were eventually able to do so. The driver and another patron were taken by ambulance to the hospital, while the two other injured individuals were taken by friends or family to receive medical attention.

While a car accident caused by a medical emergency can be a sudden, unanticipated event, if a driver is aware of a medical condition that could make her unsafe on the road, she bears a legal responsibility to ensure she is symptom-free before getting behind the wheel. Drivers who know that they are at risk of losing consciousness, fainting, or otherwise becoming unable to continue driving are obligated to stay off the road until the condition is under control, and can be held liable for damages if they drive despite the risk and cause an accident while doing so.

One common example is that of someone with epilepsy experiencing a seizure while driving. Epileptics may have restrictions placed on their licenses when they have experienced seizures in recent months, but if medical treatments are successful in helping them manage the condition, such restrictions can be lifted. Individuals with certain heart conditions that can cause sudden dips in blood pressure should also exercise caution when driving if the condition is not under control. Unmanaged diabetes can also cause swings in blood sugar leading to the individual experiencing a diabetic coma. In one recent incident in New Jersey, a driver of a large dump truck caused multiple accidents and killed another driver while he drove with highly erratic blood sugar and was unable to control his vehicle. If the medical emergency causing a crash is the first time the individual has experienced those symptoms, or there was no reason to believe that the condition was not under control and being successfully managed with medication, then the driver may be able to escape liability for damages caused in an accident.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, lost wages, and pain and suffering. An experienced personal injury attorney can help to ensure that you receive what you deserve for your injuries. Contact the compassionate and seasoned Biloxi attorneys at the law office of Corban Gunn for a free consultation on your possible car accident claim, at 228.284.6805.

Lumber Liquidators Laminate Flooring Contains Possibly Unsafe Levels of Chemicals

Published on May 5, 2015 at 10:41 am in General.
Lumber Liquidators Laminate Flooring Contains Possibly Unsafe Levels of Chemicals

A recent 60 Minutes report describing an investigation into the manufacturing practices of Lumber Liquidators has revealed that the flooring may contain unsafe levels of formaldehyde. Investigations into the Chinese facilities used by Lumber Liquidators for certain laminate products found that the facilities have been mislabeling the products they manufacture as being compliant with safety standards when, in fact, that is not true. Additionally, California environmental nonprofits and attorneys have been taking a closer look at the flooring installed in homes in that state. As reported by 60 Minutes, those investigations have discovered that the levels of formaldehyde present in the Lumber Liquidators flooring manufactured in China were six to seven–and up to twenty–times the amount of formaldehyde permitted by state safety standards. While there is no equivalent federal standard, the amount of formaldehyde being emitted by the tested Chinese-manufactured flooring is at a level deemed unsafe by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Formaldehyde is a colorless and flammable chemical used in a wide range of products, including pressed woods, preservatives, and glues. The U.S. National Toxicology Program, as well its European equivalent, have determined that formaldehyde is a human carcinogen. Additionally, medical specialists in toxic substances have found that prolonged exposure to formaldehyde can cause chronic respiratory irritation and create a greater risk of developing asthma, especially in children.

It is possible to be exposed to formaldehyde without knowing it. Formaldehyde emits gaseous fumes which, in very open or well-ventilated spaces, are not always harmful to humans, since the gases are not sufficiently concentrated. However, in enclosed homes or offices, the gases are more likely to remain at concentration levels which can cause acute and long-term health effects to those inhaling it. This is especially concerning where young children or infants may be playing on the floor, possibly breathing vigorously, and thus inhaling the gas directly from the flooring in higher quantities. Typically, someone inhaling formaldehyde gas would notice its pungent odor, but if someone inhales the gas regularly, they can become acclimated to the scent and fail to notice it.

Lumber Liquidators has challenged the testing done by 60 Minutes and has produced a report detailing their long history of manufacturing safe products. Lumber Liquidators has also issued kits to individuals who have recently had flooring installed that was manufactured by the company to test air in the home for possible chemical emissions from the laminate. Experts recommend that, if you have recently had laminate flooring installed in your home that was manufactured by Lumber Liquidators, you contact the flooring installers to request assurance that your flooring is safe.

If you are in the Biloxi, Mississippi area and believe you may have been the recipient of possibly unsafe flooring, or if are experiencing symptoms of excessive formaldehyde inhalation, don’t wait to take action. Contact the consumer attorneys at Corban Gunn for a free consultation on your possible legal claim. Ensure that you are fully compensated for the hassle, expense, and possible health effects you have experienced. Call 228.284.6805 to speak to a seasoned personal injury attorney today, from anywhere throughout the Mississippi Gulf Coast and beyond, including Biloxi, Long Beach, Gautier, Harrison County, Jackson County, and statewide.

Blue Bell Recalls All Products After Listeria Outbreak

Published on Apr 3, 2015 at 10:33 am in General.
Blue Bell Recalls All Products After Listeria Outbreak

After receiving reports in several states of cases of Listeria occurring in individuals who consumed Blue Bell ice cream products, Blue Bell Creameries has recalled all of its products currently for sale throughout the United States. The Centers for Disease Control reports that a number of recent cases of Listeria, some fatal, have been linked to the ice cream manufacturer’s products, including those distributed in hospitals and nursing homes, as well as products sold in grocery and convenience stores. The tainted Blue Bell ice cream was believed to have been manufactured between February 12 and March 27, 2015, and distributed throughout Mississippi, as well as Arkansas, Louisiana, and twenty additional states across the U.S.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has begun to inspect Blue Bell manufacturing facilities in Texas and Oklahoma, and has found traces of a strain of Listeriosis bacteria on manufacturing equipment in the Broken Arrow, Oklahoma facility that is closely related to strains found in patients recently hospitalized for Listeriosis. In addition to the recall notice issued by Blue Bell, the FDA has issued a warning about Blue Bell products, advising customers to either throw away or return any recently purchased ice creams or novelties, even if part of the product was consumed without resulting in illness. If throwing away the product, customers are instructed to first seal it in a plastic bag to ensure that other people or animals do not eat the product and become ill.

Listeriosis is a bacterial infection that can be serious, and sometimes fatal, to those infected. Symptoms include muscle aches and pains, stomach pains, diarrhea, fever, and chills. While most cases of Listeriosis appear within a few days of consuming an infected product, an infected individual may not experience symptoms for up to a month. Certain individuals are at higher risk for experiencing a more serious or fatal case of Listeriosis, including children, the elderly, or individuals with weak immune systems or chronic medical conditions. Should a pregnant woman contract Listeriosis, the sickness could cause serious harm or death to a newborn baby, or miscarriage.

If you or a loved one has been made ill by a recalled Blue Bell Ice Cream product, contact Biloxi personal injury attorney Corban Gunn for a free legal consultation. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost work, or pain and suffering caused by illness resulting from consuming contaminated Blue Bell products, and you deserve to be made whole. Call 228.284.6805 from anywhere throughout the state of Mississippi, including Biloxi, Gulfport, McHenry, Diamondhead, Perkinston, Stone County, and along the Gulf Coast.



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