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Pittsburgh Wrongful Death Law Blog

Woman sues in Pennsylvania court over pressure cooker explosion

Some products Pittsburgh consumers buy carry an element of risk. Manufacturers are expected to provide consumers with clear instructions and warnings about inappropriate use. Product liability claims allege a consumer's injury or death was due to a defect – a product that was improperly designed, manufactured or sold.

Verdicts in defective product cases sometimes hinge on whether a consumer used a product in a safe manner. For instance, a manufacturer might not be liable for an injured consumer, who fell after balancing on one foot while standing on top of a ladder. A court could find the consumer used the ladder in an unreasonable way, against manufacturer recommendations and warnings.

Wrongful death claims targets Pennsylvania prison officials

Allegheny County convicted criminals lose a substantial number of rights. Prison punishment can be harsh but not cruel or unusual, according to the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Although the legal process to challenge a government institution is complicated, prisons may be held accountable for negligence leading to inmate injuries or deaths.

A state prison in Cresson shut down last year following the release of a federal report stating the facility's mentally ill prisoners were mistreated. The parents of a Cresson inmate who hanged himself in 2012 have filed a liability claim. The lawsuit blames Cresson employees for disregarding the 23-year-old man's rights and medical condition.

Pennsylvania worker died in preventable sugar hopper accident

Allegheny County temporary workers are eligible for benefits following at-work accidents. Workers’ compensation insurance claims are filed through employers or temporary employment agencies. Insurance proceeds are paid to replace lost wages and cover medical expenses for injuries and provide benefits for families of workers who die. Safe working conditions for temporary employees have become a priority for the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Federal regulators have seen a disturbing uptick in fatal work-related accidents among temp employees, including a worker’s death last year at a Pennsylvania sugar warehouse. The man suffocated, after being engulfed by sugar while clearing a clogged hopper. All CSC Sugar warehouse workers, including the 50-year-old victim and the warehouse manager, were temporary employees. The head of the warehouse told investigators the plant manager was warned about the dangers employees working in the hopper faced. A request to install a sugar clump-prevention screen eventually was granted, but the device was removed later because it slowed production.

Death in Pennsylvania brings attention to work zone safety

An employee working for the Turnpike Commission was struck by a semi-truck and killed while on the job back at the beginning of June. The man was an equipment operator, and he was working in a lane that had been closed off to traffic. However, a semi-truck drove into that lane anyway, and it hit and killed the man.

The accident happened near the Downingtown Interchange, just around two miles to the east.

Metal gate at Pennsylvania Rita's Water Ice falls, kills girl

Making a success of a brick-and-mortar business in Pittsburgh takes a lot of hard work. Many proprietors measure success in profits, but there are business owner responsibilities other than offering good products and service. A business location can be a dangerous place for customers when owners or property managers neglect safety issues.

A mother and her 3-year-old daughter recently attended a sorority and fraternity fundraising event at Rita's Water Ice in Brewerytown, a neighborhood in Philadelphia. Reports said about 20 or 30 people were on hand when the crowd heard a crashing sound. A one-ton metal security gate fell from the front of the store onto the little girl.

Trial underway for alleged drunk driver in fatal accident

A man just went to court to give his testimony about a car accident that he witnessed in Pennsylvania, an accident that took place in December. He was one of the first on the scene, having actually spotted the car that was involved as it drove erratically, switching from one lane to the other, before the crash. He then watched it lose control as the driver tried to make another pass.

An accident specialist who studied the crash said that the driver, who was drunk at the time, was responsible for the crash. There was snow present, but police did not think that snow or ice played much of a part.

Pennsylvania Tylenol product liability case moves forward

Drug manufacturers don't need a government order to announce voluntarily recalls of flawed products. However, companies are expected to keep the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the public informed about discoveries of defects. Some drug makers may try to preserve profits by hiding or delaying the revelation of defective product information.

Action was taken recently on a 2012 fatal product liability case filed in Pennsylvania, home to the manufacturers of Infants' Tylenol. An out-of-state couple charged several companies and executives in the pediatric drug's distribution chain with the death of the couple's newborn. The baby died in 2009, after the mother administered doses of Infants' Tylenol as directed by a physician.

Hit-and-run tip leads to 2 arrests by Pennsylvania authorities

Police in Eastern Pennsylvania have filed charges against a couple for leaving the scene of a pedestrian accident. Authorities in Bensalem said the woman was driving a pickup truck that struck a man walking along a highway.

The critically-injured victim, a 61-year-old Philadelphia man, was found on the shoulder of the road by passers-by. Police were shocked that it took up to seven minutes for anyone to notice the victim since the road was heavily traveled. The fatally-injured man later died at a hospital.

Pittsburgh firm cited over Amazon warehouse worker’s death

Thirty-one Pittsburgh workers died on the job in 2012, according to the latest information available through the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The same year fatal work-related accidents claimed the lives of 77 Philadelphia metro employees, 11 in the Harrisburg area and dozens more throughout Pennsylvania. Employer attention to safety can prevent many workplace deaths.

Federal safety inspectors have recommended fines against five companies that manage or schedule temporary workers for Amazon warehouses. Among the companies cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration was a Pittsburgh logistics firm, Genco. Genco places Amazon warehouse temps screened by temporary staffing agencies.

$11.6 million settles Pennsylvania vaccine liability case

Summertime is vaccination time for many children going to school this fall for the first time. Eight immunizations are required for all children who attend kindergarten or first grade in Allegheny County. The county health department makes exceptions for medical or religious reasons or strong parental objections.

Many employers also mandate or encourage flu shots among employees during the fall and winter months. Offering workers flu vaccines at a low cost or for free is a benefit to companies concerned about lost productivity due to illness. Unfortunately, the flu is the last thing some people have to worry about after having a vaccine.

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