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Pittsburgh Wrongful Death Law Blog

Allegheny County military veterans and asbestos claims

Allegheny County workers in several types of industries unknowingly were exposed to toxic minerals during the last century. Strong, fire-proof asbestos fibers were part and parcel of numerous U.S. products until the 1970s, when regulations severely limited the material's use. Asbestos was traced to respiratory diseases and other health conditions, like mesothelioma – a deadly cancer of the linings of the lungs, body cavity, abdomen or heart.

Employees in refineries and manufacturing and chemical plants were not the only workers to be poisoned by asbestos. The military found countless uses for asbestos in ships, vehicles and buildings built, serviced, maintained and used by military personnel. Today, 30 percent of mesothelioma victims are veterans.

Allegheny County drivers who act as their own DUI judge

For many Pittsburgh drivers, drunk driving education ended with testimonies from surviving DUI accident victims and violent crash videos in high school. Many people assume they understand the effects of alcohol, particularly on their own bodies. How many drivers take the attitude they're adults now and can "handle" alcohol?

The blood alcohol content level equal to legal intoxication is 0.08 percent in all states. Drivers sometimes believe any BAC level less than the limit means they can operate a vehicle safely. In fact, the ability to drive as well as a sober person suffers at a BAC level of just 0.02 percent.

Uninsured employers and Pittsburgh workers’ compensation claims

Pennsylvania laws require employers to carry liability insurance to cover job-related worker injuries, illnesses and deaths. Consequences are severe for Pittsburgh employers who fail to follow workers' compensation rules. With or without employer insurance, employee injury and worker death benefits are available,

The Uninsured Employers Guaranty Fund pays benefits for victims of at-work accidents, including surviving family members, when employers have no workers' compensation insurance. The state then takes action against the employer to recover claim-related costs plus interest, fees and penalties. Without insurance, the employer lacks immunity from accident-related civil claims.

What are Pennsylvania workers’ rights concerning asbestos?

Some Allegheny County employees work regularly with or around toxins like chemicals and dangerous gases. Asbestos fibers are among the hazards that threaten the health of Pittsburgh workers.

Asbestos becomes a danger when the mineral fibers are disturbed and become airborne. Studies have established links between deadly medical conditions, like mesothelioma and lung cancer, and the inhalation of asbestos fibers. The government has imposed rules upon employers that protect workers at risk of asbestos exposure.

Teen faces homicide charge for Pennsylvania school bus fatality

You've probably seen Allegheny County drivers who think carving out a small circle of ice and snow from a windshield provides adequate visibility. Similarly, some drivers think it is okay to pull into traffic when a clouded windshield is only partially defrosted. Practices like these place drivers, their passengers and other motorists at risk.

A Pennsylvania teen driver was arrested last month after the 30-year-old truck he was driving struck and fatally injured a high school student in a Bensalem crosswalk. The 16-year-old female victim was walking across a street to reach a school bus when she was hit. Police determined the bus had been stopped with fully activated red flashing lights and extended warning arms.

When companies try to hide product injuries and defects

Allegheny County product manufacturers, like other businesses, concentrate on the bottom line. Profits are necessary for continued success but unfortunately, some companies make money making the only focus. Sometimes, the lure of profits causes manufacturers to neglect safe practices or ignore reports of harm caused by products.

Manufacturing, distribution, marketing and sales rules are imposed upon product makers by federal agencies, including the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which also act as law enforcers. The agencies' jobs are to keep defective and dangerous products from harming consumers. The CPSC sometimes files legal complaints against businesses on behalf of consumers, as the agency did in a case against an axe maker.

Aid for Pennsylvania emergency responders’ families

Pennsylvania rescuers who hurry to car accidents, fires and other tragedies are focused on saving lives. In the course of their courageous professional work, some emergency responders suffer permanently disabling injuries or die. Benefits provided by state and federal programs assist critically-injured victims and families.

Workers' compensation is probably the most recognizable financial aid available for injured Pittsburgh workers and surviving family members. Claims filed through an employer's insurance cover a victim's medical costs and lost wages. Compensation is also available for funeral expenses, in case of a worker's death.

Asbestos risk factors for Pennsylvania workers

Many people believe all poisonous substances are man-made, but some hazards are natural, not artificial. It's likely almost everyone in Allegheny County has breathed asbestos without knowing it. The mineral fibers are a natural part of the environment and pose few risks to the majority of people.

Researchers aren't certain how much asbestos a person has to breathe before the fibers threaten health, but there are many things scientists have learned. Although there is no known "safe" exposure level, studies have shown certain factors contribute to the likelihood of developing an asbestos-related disease like asbestosis, lung cancer or mesothelioma.

Pennsylvania laundry pod user sues over breast burn injury

Strict liability laws allow Pennsylvania plaintiffs to file liability claims against product manufacturers without having to prove the defendant was at fault or careless. The plaintiff still bears the responsibility of showing a defective or dangerous product caused an injury.

A federal product liability case recently filed in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania blames Tide Pods for a woman's injury. Pod maker, Proctor & Gamble Manufacturing Company, is accused of manufacturing a product that burst and burned the plaintiff's breast. The Northampton resident said the accident occurred when she tried to separate pods that were stuck together.

Financial recovery after a Pennsylvania work zone accident

Nearly half of 1,845 motor vehicle accidents in Pennsylvania roadwork zones resulted in injuries or deaths in 2013 -- 16 deaths and 1,262 injuries were recorded. The overwhelming majority of work zone accidents occurred on state highways other than interstates. Between 2003 and 2013, Pennsylvania had the fourth highest number of worker fatalities within construction zones.

Transportation accidents were responsible for two-thirds of nationwide work zone fatalities in 2013, but the most hazardous vehicles weren't the ones driven by passing motorists. Sixty-nine percent of transportation deaths involved on-site vehicles and equipment striking pedestrian workers. More than half the workers were struck by vehicles moving in reverse.

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