All over Illinois and the nation, people gathered in honor of the men and women who have been injured or who lost their lives in workplace accidents. Workers' Memorial Day services were a time to express gratitude while focusing on the challenges still facing us. In many industries such as construction, worker accidents are a regular occurrence. By ignoring the tragedies of the past, we put today's workers at greater risk.
We all rely on hospitals to maintain and improve our health, but a new government study reveals that hospitals often represent dangerous environments where patients are frequently harmed by preventable errors.
In 2007 Illinois-based pharmaceutical company AM2 PAT, Inc. manufactured heparin-filled syringes contaminated with the dangerous bacteria serratia marcescens then sold the dangerous syringes to various distributors who provided them to unsuspecting patients. Many of the patients who used the syringes became seriously ill from exposure to the bacteria. The victims looked to AM2 PAT and the suppliers to compensate them for the injuries, medical expenses and other losses caused by the contaminated syringes. The majority of these cases are pending in Chicago where the Circuit Court of Cook County has appointed the product liability lawyers of Rapoport Law Offices, P.C. as liaison counsel on behalf of all of the victims nationwide.
For years, expecting parents have been celebrating one of the most joyous occasions in life, the birth of a child, by taking pictures and video before, after, and often during the delivery. But recently many patients and their families have been surprised to learn that the hospital where the delivery is taking place has denied them the ability to preserve these moments by banning the use of still cameras, video cameras or both in the delivery room. This trend is the subject of a recent New York Times article, which also describes efforts by patients to fight back, including at least one instance of a community organizing a petition to have the local hospital reverse its new rule banning pictures and videos until after the baby is born.
Last week a father and son travelling in Toyota minivan sustained serious injuries in an accident on Illinois highway 75 when their vehicle collided head-on with a semi tractor trailer. According to an article from the Rockford Register Star, the accident occurred early Tuesday morning when the semi truck driver lost control of his rig which then jackknifed and crossed the center line. After crossing the center line it struck the minivan head-on. The article indicates that the highway was covered in snow at the time of the accident.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has announced a recall of Ford Windstar vans due to concerns over a potential equipment defect posing an increased risk of crashing. The recall is intended to fix brackets and mounts in the front subframe that may separate and cause reduced steering control. More than 400,000 vehicles are potentially affected, including vehicles sold in Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana.
The Illinois Court of Claims has awarded $8 million to the parents of two Collinsville sisters who were killed in an auto accident caused by an Illinois state trooper. Judge Peter J. Birnbaum's opinion in the wrongful death case stated that when the trooper drove his vehicle "at a speed of 126 mph he operated his vehicle in a manner that endangered life and/or property of the public." A news story from myfoxchicago.com indicates that the trooper was e-mailing and talking on his cell phone at the time of the accident.
A 33-year-old construction worker who was killed September 17th when he was struck by a semi-truck in an Interstate 55 construction zone became the 22nd person - and third construction worker - to die in a work zone crash this year, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). The post-crash investigation resulted in the driver being ticketed for failing to stop in a construction area, making an improper turn and disobeying a traffic control device. This latest incident spotlights a serious problem on Illinois highways: the extreme indifference of some drivers to the heightened standard of safety and awareness required when driving through a construction work zone.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued two recommendations yesterday to the U.S. Coast Guard regarding the use of wireless devices during the operation of Coast Guard watercraft. The recommendations decry a need for regulations governing such use amongst both the Coast Guard and the maritime industry in an effort to prevent the consequences of distraction.
In the past five years, the railroad crossing between Nagle Avenue, Avondale Avenue and the Northwest Highway has seen six accidents involving trains and automobiles, and in the wake of several such collisions in Chicago this year, steps are being taken to make the crossing safer - a trend that will hopefully extend to the city's other hazardous crossings.