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December 2015 Archives

Throwback Thursday: NO Granny Snatching?!

We've all heard of kidnapping, but what in the world is "granny snatching"?! Read more from our Throwback Thursday post below!Information taken from Daily Local News article written on 7/23/2012 by Janet M. Colliton. Full story can be found by clicking this link.

$30 Million Settlement in Allegheny County!

Recently, an Allegheny County family was awarded $32 million dollars in a wrongful death lawsuit that killed their six-year-old son.  The suit was filed against a driver (and his employer) who hit a car that the boy was traveling in.  The car the child was in was pulled off to the side of the road due to car trouble, and was hit so hard that it went into the median of the road. The other passengers were injured as well.  The driver who hit their car was charged with homicide by vehicle, reckless endangerment, and speeding. He is also facing serious jail time.  The driver was on the job for a masonry company, and his employer was violating their own policy by letting the driver use a company vehicle with a prior history of DUI.  For more on the story, please read the original Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article here.

String your lights, trim your tree...avoid premises liability?

Wow, there is a lot to think about as the holiday season rolls around! Prepping your tree, stringing your lights, and planning holiday parties is a lot to add to an already large seasonal to-do list.  Are you staying safe as you carry out your Christmas prep?  Forbes.com listed the most common holiday accidents and how you can avoid them!  Staying away from premises liability claims from others who visit your house is one good reason to take a look at that list!  
In talking about holiday parties and premises liability, there is a lot to think about, too!  When throwing a party or inviting friends over, most people are concerned with cleaning their homes, preparing the food, and making sure that there's enough to drink.  Although these things are important, it is also important to remember that, as hosts, you are responsible for what your guests ingest at your party.  Many hosts believe that, if their guests are 21 or older, they should be able to consume as much alcohol as they want without hosts having to monitor them.  This is a common misconception.  If a party attendee leaves the party drunk and causes injury or accident to themselves or another person, the hosts are partially responsible for the injuries.  This is true not only at a home-based party, but also at such public gatherings as graduation parties, wedding receptions, and other celebrations.
As a host, it is important to monitor your attendee's level of drinking and make sure that they are not over-imbibing.  If they do become intoxicated, it is your responsibility to find them a designated driver or call them a taxi. If you choose not to do this, you could face very serious legal ramifications later on if accident, injury, or police involvement occurs.  Be smart when both hosting and attending a party.
Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer serving western and central Pennsylvania.  For more information on his firm or to talk about your potential legal claim, please call his office at 814-946-4100.  

Throwback Thursday: Your Rights and Dog Bites

Every year nearly 5 million people are bitten by dogs, and close to half of those victims are children.  1 in 5 people that are victims of dog bites require medical attention, which equates to about 900,000 Americans that received medical attention for dog bites in the past year. 
In 2012, dog bites accounted for approximately one third of settlements of all homeowner's insurance liability claims.  Pennsylvania ranked fifth in states with the most dog bite insurance claims. 

Pick Your Toys With Care This Holiday Season!

Have you shopped for Christmas for the children in your life?  Be careful what you buy!  The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has posted this guideline when shopping for toys this holiday season.  Toys can often get recalled, especially around the holiday season. This year, there have been 25 toy recalls; last year, that number reached almost 175.  For the 2014 calendar year, there were almost 200,000 injuries related to toys and 11 deaths.  So, what can you do to keep your children safe?  You can start by following these guidelines, many of which can be found on the CPSC's website.  
  • Read the labels and make sure the toy you've picked is actually appropriate for your child's age, cognitive level, and level of mobility.
  • When gifting riding toys, always include helmets and padding with the gift.
  • Don't give small children any gifts involving magnets! 
  • Research the toy online to find reviews, tips, and warnings from other consumers.  Sometimes, word of mouth is the best way to find out whether a toy is safe or not.
  • Unsure about whether a toy is safe or not?  Skip purchasing it and choose something else that you don't have reservations about. 
  • Beware of low-cost products.  In many cases, you get what you pay for
  • Want to learn more about from last year's annual CSPC Toy Report?  Click this link for the full document!
At our law office, we always recommend researching any products before you buy them.  It is also important to know your product's warranty and guarantees!  Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer serving Blair and the seven surrounding counties in central Pennsylvania.  He takes cases for product liability.  For more information on his Altoona, PA area firm, please call his office at 814-946-4100 to set up a free initial consultation.  

Police Misconduct and Victims' Rights

Most of our law enforcement officers work tirelessly and diligently to keep our homes, community, state, and country safe.  However, police are people just like the rest of us, and can sometimes make poor choices.  

Holiday Gift Services Makes Great Difference For Seniors in Doylestown Area Community

Wow, what a great idea to help our state's nursing home residents during the holiday season!  A Doylestown-based nonprofit organization called Wrapping Presence recently spent the day helping area nursing home residents pick out gifts from new and donated items to wrap for Christmas and Hanukkah presents.  This is a really special service, especially for those residents who cannot physically or mentally get to a store, pick out presents for their family and friends, and stand in line.  The staff at the nursing home spent several weeks ahead of time figuring out what their residents may be interested in giving as gifts, and tried to coordinate the donations to meet their wishes.  The donations of gifts and money towards gifts had been a year-long fundraising process, culminating with this event where the seniors were able to pick out their gifts.  The event was arranged with the help of over 650 volunteers who work with 19 nursing homes in the Doylestown area. 

How To Avoid ATV & Snowmobile Fatalities

Are you being safe when you ride your ATV this fall? Hopefully, if you plan to ride your snowmobile this winter, you will keep safety in mind as well.  Over the Thanksgiving weekend, an unnamed victim lost his life while riding his all-terrain vehicle.  Near Pittsburgh, in Beaver County, an ATV driver passed away after he drove his vehicle off a trail and into a pond.  The site of the crash was in an old mining area, where the victim was not with the rest of the group of riders that he had started off with.  Unfortunately, he was trapped under the vehicle for an extended period of time before the emergency response teams could get him out.  Our sympathies go out to the victim and his/her family.

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