As hundreds of thousands of students across the country are delving into their first year of college, parents may still be uneasy about the number of things that could go wrong. Particularly when their child is studying several hours away or abroad, they may have an expectation that the university will serve as a kind of surrogate parent, seeking to protect students from harm. college.jpg

It’s true that many colleges do tout their “safety records” as a draw to new students and parents.

But the extent of the protection that is offered may be limited, as we saw recently with the case of Regents v. Super. Ct., recently before the California Court of Appeal Second Appellate District, Division Seven. Of course, this is an out-of-state case and each state may have varying standards, but it’s worth examining when talking about the extent of duty a university owes its students.
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The number of patients who suffer a traumatic brain injury and survive has increased considerably in recent years. There are a variety of reasons for this. One is that more people are actually suffering massive head injuries and surviving the initial trauma and surgery. This is generally a result of the many injuries that occurred in the Global War on Terror and the major advances in military medicine. These advances have become part of the national standard of care in the United States in civilian injuries as well.

brainscan.jpgAccording to a recent news feature from KSL, a new study involving massive amounts of data seems to offer a good look into what has been the mystery of what goes on during the traumatic brain injury recovery period. One study author said that even though the average neurologist and neurological surgeon in the United States is very competent at treating traumatic brain injury patients, they have generally been operating in what researchers call a “black box.”
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According to a recent news article from Business Insider, a school band was participating in a completion with other bands at a high school in the greater Charlotte area. Authorities say the students were under a large canopy or awning at one of the buildings being used to host the completion when there as a loud popping sound.

brass-band-1541989.jpgOne student in the band said as soon as heard what sounded like snapping metal, he ran toward the lawn outside the awning. As he ran to the lawn, he heard the canopy collapsing and saw people getting trapped under it. While the total number of injuries has not been released, it has been confirmed that at least one student was taken to a hospital in Winston-Salem with what has been described with life-threatening personal injuries. There has been no official update on this victim’s condition. In total, authorities reported 25 people were injured as result of this accident.
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A new study conducted by researchers at the Mendoza College of Business at Notre Dame suggests there is a noteworthy correlation between offering substantial stock options to the CEO and future product recalls.
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Published in the Strategic Management Journal, the findings indicate that these stock options, which are often used by boards of directors as a way to encourage CEOs to go after high-risk initiatives, can quite often result in a higher percentage of safety problems.

From the board’s standpoint, they want higher-risk initiatives that have the possibility of earning their shareholders more money. But CEOs tend to naturally be naturally more reticent to take chances. Stock option pay is one way boards try to balance this tendency.
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A New Hampshire woman has filed a lawsuit alleging she suffered disabling dental injuries after she was punched in the mouth during an out-of-control mosh pit in which she was attacked by a drunk 19-year-old.
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That young man was arrested and later convicted of assault. But that didn’t help the victim, who says her teeth were loosened in the incident. She’s suffered numerous surgeries and infections. She can’t chew hard food. She can’t chew chewy food. She can’t chew at all with her front teeth. Eventually, she’s going to need false teeth and there will be extensive ongoing treatment needed. She says the punch also exacerbated a pre-existing condition.

So who pays for this? She could certainly take to task the 19-year-old, and it’s probable he’d be found to have some liability. But whether it actually be worth it financially is questionable. He’s unlikely to have many personal assets, and he probably doesn’t have any insurance that would cover an incident like this.
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When Germany-based chemical company BASF acquired a manufacturing firm nine years ago for $5 billion, it was aware that had been prior product liability cases against the company for asbestos exposure.
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The smaller firm had been in the talc-mining business, and as the years wore on, those who worked in the mines, their family members and some in the public began to get sick. Some filed lawsuit once they learned that there was asbestos in the mine, which causes a number of latent diseases, primarily mesothelioma, asbestosis, COPD and lung cancer.

In the early 1980s, the company was sued by an individual who alleged they were harmed by the asbestos in the mines. During the deposition phase of the proceedings, officials with the company conceded there was asbestos in the mines. However, soon after that, before the case could go to trial, the company entered a confidential settlement agreement. The records were sealed. And from that point forward, the line from the company and its legal team was that there was no asbestos in the mines.
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The family of a 19-year-old special needs student say he was left alone for nine hours on that bus, most likely waiting for instruction from a bus driver or teacher on what to do. But with no one apparently realizing he was missing, he just sat and waited.
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It was one of the hottest days on record in Southern California, where this incident took place. Temperatures reached the triple digits.

He was supposed to arrive at school at around 8:30 a.m., and then return home at 3:30 p.m. But when the severely autistic man never arrived home as scheduled, his mother called the school district to alert them to a problem.

It was only at that point that bus workers returned to that bus and found the man slumped over in the rear aisle, unresponsive. Several bus drivers rushed over to begin resuscitation efforts, and then firefighters stepped in soon after upon arrival. However, the victim was already deceased.
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The manufacturer of many popular children’s products has agreed to pay $3.5 million in fines to settle a case in which federal authorities alleged the company failed to report to federal regulators on a dangerous defect on one of its high chairs.
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The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported that phil&teds created an unreasonable risk of serious injury to children with its MeToo high chair. Not only was the product defective, the agency stated, the company intentionally made claims that were false or misrepresentations when the CPSC investigators first launched an inquiry in 2011.

But despite that hefty figure, it’s likely the company will only be forced to pay a $200,000 penalty. That’s because all but this much of the fine has been suspended, based on sworn depositions by company leaders that the firm can’t afford to pay any more than this without closing shop.
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After a 9-year-old South Carolina girl was forced to have her right thumb amputated following a boating collision, the boat operator who created the large wake that allegedly caused the crash is preparing to settle the case for $1 million.
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Defendant in this federal lawsuit happens to be the tourism leader in Myrtle Beach, who is also the managing partner of a resort company, for whom he was operating a yacht at the time of the collision.

Although $1 million may sound like a substantial amount for the loss of a single digit, one must consider all of the many actions that have now become impossible or extremely difficult without it. Simply holding a cup or writing one’s name has become arduous. As she gets older, it may be difficult to drive a vehicle, and there will probably be certain jobs she will be unable to perform. In that light, that $1 million sounds more reasonable, particularly once all the medical bills are factored in.
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Those who work within the manufacturing industry often rely heavily on large machinery to help them do their jobs. They have a right to expect those machines were thoughtfully designed and carefully manufactured so as to keep workers who use them safe.
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When that does not happen, workers usually have two options of civil remedy. The first is workers’ compensation benefits. Workers file these through their employer to cover their medical costs and a portion of lost wages while they recover. Critical injuries may warrant longer-term benefits, and a death usually entitles dependent relatives to workers’ compensation death benefits. Workers cannot additionally sue their employers for negligence. Workers’ compensation is almost always an exclusive remedy against an employer, as well as co-workers.

The second option for recovery is third-party liability. When a work-related accident was the result of a defective or dangerous machine, careful analysis by an experienced injury lawyer can help determine whether this is a viable option. These cases are often complicated, and, as the recent case of Kirkbride v. Terex USA reveals, they can present significant challenges. But when they are successful, injured workers may have the security of lifelong financial stability, with covered medical expenses and compensation for loss of earning capacity.
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