Samsung Being Sued After Exploding Android Causes Burns

Samsung’s troubles with the Galaxy Note 7 have gone from bad to worse.

On September 09, a Florida man was shopping at Costco when his Galaxy Note 7 exploded in his pocket. The device caught fire, burning through the pocket of his pants, and causing second-degree burns to his right thigh. The man also suffered burns to his right thumb as he attempted to remove the phone from his pocket.

The man is now suing Samsung for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other alleged injuries according to a report that was filed. He is seeking unspecified damages.

Samsung voluntarily recalled the Galaxy Note 7 on September 02 after receiving 35 reported cases of the Android either exploding or catching fire. This number has now climbed to 92. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission issued an official recall on September 15, which unfortunately, came 6 days too late for the Florida plaintiff.

Samsung insists the problem lies with the batteries and not the phones themselves. A rare deficiency during the manufacturing process of some batteries can cause them to overheat, leading to fire or explosion. In many of the reported cases, the devices were plugged in and charging when the incidents occurred. It is estimated about 2.5 million customers are affected.

Samsung is asking all customers to turn off their devices immediately and exchange them as soon as possible. Replacement Galaxy Note 7s only became available today, which is perhaps why so few have been returned.

This recent case in Florida marks the first alleged injury and lawsuit as a result of the faulty Note 7 devices.

If you, a loved one, friend, neighbor, colleague or client has been injured as a result of a Galaxy Note 7 defect, please contact our firm at 561-655-1990 or chat with us at www.ForYourRights.com. We are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day / 7 days a week.

If you are in need of a Personal Injury Attorney in West Palm Beach, call now!

 About Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath

Conveniently located in West Palm Beach for 27 years, Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath, LLP concentrates in Personal Injury, Wrongful death, Medical Malpractice, Product Liability and Auto accidents. At Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath, we specialize in helping victims and their families get fair compensation for injuries caused by the negligence or recklessness of others. Our main areas of practice include personal injury, wrongful death, auto accidents, product liability, medical malpractice, and premise liability. We provide each client with the highest quality representation from a top Florida accident and injury lawyer.

 

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Lawsuits Reveal Volkswagen Clean Diesel Playing Dirty with Consumers

Volkswagen “clean diesel” had been a staple in the green culture for years. Now it seems the car wasn’t so green. Federal reports estimate that 11 million VW “clean diesel” vehicles had actually been polluting the air at rates 40 times the federal emissions standard.

Not only had Volkswagen been “playing dirty” while pretending to set the clean standard, they installed technology to hide the problem and beat emission tests. The market has reacted harshly, criticizing Volkswagen and calling for tougher measures on the German automaker. Meanwhile, consumers who purchased Volkswagen diesel vehicles, incurring the additional cost and burden of using diesel fuel as an environmentally responsible choice, have been duped into driving a vehicle that caused more damage than cheaper alternatives.

There are currently a few class-action lawsuits currently pending against Volkswagen seeking compensation for the depreciated value of the owner’s vehicles. Most of the lawsuits already filed have focused on product liability claims. VW’s fraudulent claims to consumers about the fuel efficiency and environmentally sound design of their cars is likely to spur many more lawsuits.

Volkswagen may also be sued by government environmental agencies. Harris County, Texas filed a lawsuit against VW in September 2015 seeking $100 million in damages for polluting Houston and other parts of the county with toxic chemicals and then fraudulently deceiving local consumers and authorities by concealing the problem.

Owners of Volkswagen clean diesel vehicles may also find it difficult to now register their vehicles and pass emissions tests, especially in states with tougher environmental standards like California. While VW plans to recall 500,000 “TDI Clean Diesel” brand vehicles, it must first address the massive pollution inflicted on the environment by their products. Before any recall happens, Volkswagen will work with the EPA to set a plan in motion.

If you have purchased or leased a Volkswagen manufactured diesel powered vehicle then you may be entitled to damages. You should speak with a qualified commercial and products liability attorney immediately to protect your rights. At Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath, we have achieved some of the most significant products liability verdicts nationwide. Our lawyers will fight to makes sure that Volkswagen lives up to their responsibility to you. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Silent Killers in Your Garage: Keyless Ignition Deaths Surge in Florida

Keyless ignition devices allow drivers to start and shut off their cars with the click of a button on their keychain. A recent study reveals this convenient feature can be a killer, and the Florida seems to be the place it strikes most.

According to the Palm Beach Post, there have been 21 deaths nationwide since 2009 associated with keyless ignition. One third of those deaths have occurred in Florida. Keyless ignition deaths typically happen because drivers leave their cars in a garage attached to the home, but do not realize that the keyless ignition device failed to turn the car off. Deadly carbon monoxide, a colorless and odorless gas, then seeps into the home.

While the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) plans to issue keyless ignition rules for automakers the fact remains that millions of these cars are already out there. In the meantime, the families of victims killed by keyless ignition devices are fighting back against automakers, filing wrongful death and products liability lawsuits in Florida and nationwide. These lawsuits allege that automakers knew or should have known about the danger presented by keyless ignition, and provided some kind of safeguard such as an auto shut-off feature.

Companies must ensure the products they put on the market, such as keyless ignition, are safe for consumers. Succeeding on product liability claims such as these involve many defendants, including the product’s manufacturer, distributors, retailers and even the service centers responsible for maintenance and repair of the product. Given the high number of fatalities related to keyless ignition, there is a likelihood these devices are defectively designed and the automakers should know it.

Here at Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath, our defective products lawyers have successfully litigated against hundreds of nationally known manufacturers. Our experience and resources allow us to go up against corporate giants like the automakers and hold them responsible for their negligent actions.

We stand ready to represent individuals and families in Florida and nationwide who seek compensation for keyless ignition and other product liability claims. Our firm has achieved some of the most significant products liability verdicts nationwide, and works tirelessly to hold corporations responsible for their actions. Contact us today for a free consultation.

When Trucks Collide: 2 Dead, 1 Injured in State Road 80 Tractor-Trailer Crash

A tragic crash involving two tractor trailers and a small Mazda sedan left two people dead in early March 2016. South Bay resident Jeremy Banks, 21 left for work at 4am to get to his job at the Osceola Farms sugar cane mill. He would never make it there.

While turning onto the poorly lit State Road 80 Banks failed to notice the tractor-trailer barreling down in his direction. Driven by Martin Willis Gray, 54 of Ocala, the eastbound tractor-trailer t-boned Bank’s Mazda shattering the small car into pieces and killing the young driver. Willis then lost control of his tractor-trailer, which jumped the median and collided with a westbound tractor-trailer driven by Erick Vinson, 54 of Palm Beach.

Upon impact Willis went into a rollover that left the trailer on its roof and his cab rolled over on the drivers’ side. Willis was pronounced dead on the scene prior to investigators arriving. Vinson’s tractor-trailer careened off of the road, but he managed to escape the cab as it caught fire and engulfed his truck in flames. Rescue workers flew Vinson to St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach where he remained in critical condition.

Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles report at least 24 crashes on the 15-mile stretch of State Road 80 that runs between Hooker and Connors highways. There are four reported deaths since 2015 on that stretch of road, which is surrounded mostly by farmland providing little-to-no additional lighting for drivers. There are just four traffic lights on the road, and many of the entrances and exits on the roadway require careful maneuvers that are difficult at night.

As the story above illustrates, truck accidents are devastating. These large tractor-trailers just decimate passenger cars in most collisions. When the truck driver then loses control of their eighteen-wheeler it causes even more damage. Furthermore, studies show that road fatigue affects 1-in-5 drivers of tractor-trailers with many of them reporting having nodded off behind the wheel.

The tragic accident on State Road 80 claimed two lives and injured a third. Many factors could have contributed to this crash, including driver error on both sides of the initial collision. At this point it will be up to the victims and their families to decide their courses of action. We strongly advise anyone involved in a truck accident to contact an experienced Florida Accident Lawyer.

If you or a loved one has been impacted by a truck accident then you should hire an attorney with extensive knowledge of Florida truck laws. The attorneys at Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath have handled hundreds of cases involving commercial trucks. We have the experience and financial resources to take on the most powerful trucking companies and insurance giants. Call today for a free consultation.

Tire Failure: Are Tires More Deadly Now Than Ever Before (Part 2)?

In the last post about [tire failure fatalities] [GREG: add a link to Post #10 “Part 1” of the series] we introduced you to the studies conducted by the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) and The Safety Institute (“TSI”). According to the TSI, tired failure fatalities jumped nearly 11% between 2013 and 2014 in contract to NHTSA claims that such deaths have been reduced by 50% over the last twenty years.

What accounts for this discrepancy? Last post we told you the NHTSA only counts a death as “tire related” if it occurs in the actual vehicle that experienced the tire failure. TSI takes a more holistic view counting any deaths that result from crashes that were caused by tire failure. This includes the deaths of pedestrians and passengers of other vehicles affected by the car that experienced the tire failure.

TSI believes their accounting to present a more accurate picture of tire failure fatalities. They note that the NHTSA’s limited data set (a random sample of 5,000) and emphasis on counting only deaths that occurred in the vehicle experiencing the tire failure do not accurately represent the threat posed by tire failure. Also, the NHTSA data does not count crashes that happen off of the roadway or crashes for vehicles that are more than 10 years old.

According to TSI, the narrow approach adopted by the NHTSA has resulted in a significant under-reporting of tire failure fatalities. The result of this has been a de-emphasis on tire safety issues, which can be dangerous to the general public. The recommended nine points that the NHTSA should consider regarding tire failure that can make tires safer and help those affected by tire failure:

  1. Require tire dealers to register all tires sold.
  2. Create a voluntary database of tire sales and registration information.
  3. Connect tire sale registration to customer data so they can be notified immediately of any recalls.
  4. Require manufacturers to include ID numbers on both sidewalls of the tire.
  5. Require manufactures to post safety recall information on their website, searchable by ID number, brand and model.
  6. Include tire recall search features on manufacturer websites.
  7. Develop process to mitigate crash risks in aging tires.
  8. Develop documentation to educate industry professionals and consumers on tire aging issues, risks and best practices.
  9. Develop a unified safety plan to reduce tire related crashes that includes promotion of technological innovation and updated regulations as needed.

The issues presented in this series form the basis of NHTSA rulemaking and safety standards. Tire failures affect all drivers on the road and having the right policies in place can save lives. If you or someone you love has experienced injury or death from a tire failure, then call the law firm of Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath today for a free consultation. We will fight for the compensation you deserve.

Tire Failure: Are Tires More Deadly Now Than Ever Before (Part 1)?

It happens everyday on Florida highways: tire failure. Tire blowouts, tread and belt separation and improper repairs causes thousands of serious traffic accidents each year. Tire manufacturers have issued major recalls costing millions of dollars to avoid liability, and still the injuries mount. In fact a recent studies show that tire failures caused more deaths in recent years than ever before.

Deaths for tire failures rose to nearly 11% in 2014, according to a new study in tire fatalities by The Safety Institute (“TSI”). That’s a huge jump compared to the changes in previous years that were reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”). Looking across the last 20-years of data from the NHTSA, it seems that tires were actually getting safer, a claim that the TSI study seems to contradict.

According to the NHTSA tires became safer in recent years. Comparing tire failure fatality data from 2007 to 2010 with data from 1995 to 2006, the NHTSA reported a 50% reduction in tire failure fatalities. So are tires in fact safer or more dangerous than in the past?

Disparity between the TIS and NHTSA can likely be due to the way each organization obtains their data and calculates tire failure deaths. TSI takes data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (“FARS”), a nationwide database maintained by the NHTSA, that reports all deaths related to tire failure (TSI includes pedestrian, passenger and other deaths in their final count). The NHTSA uses a system called the Crashworthiness Data System (“CDS”), which analyzes a random sample of 5,000 police reported tows from accident scenes to determine the overall number of tire related deaths nationwide.

It must be understood that the NHTSA conducts their annual study to analyze three key traffic safety points:

  1. Vehicle crashworthiness.
  2. Safety system performance.
  3. How injuries relate to the crash that caused them.

With these goals in mind the NHTSA studies only count a tire related death that occurs in the actual vehicle that experienced the tire failure.

So are tires more dangerous today than in the past? You will have to read Part 2 of our series to find out. Until then let us reassure you that if you or someone you love has experienced injury or death from a tire failure then call the firm of Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath. We have the resources and experience to go up against the biggest tire manufacturers and hold them accountable. Call today for a free consultation.

School Bus Accidents: Florida Bus Crash Inspires New Standards

A fatal Port St. Lucie school bus accident from 2012 has prompted federal endorsement of safer seatbelts for students. The crash that injured dozens of people claimed the life of nine-year-old student Aaron Beauchamp when his school bus driver turned directly into the path of a large truck. At the time of impact, onboard surveillance video showed students being whipped about, despite wearing the standard lap belt that comes equipped on all school buses nationwide.

Since the accident, the Nation Transportation Safety Board (“NTSB”) has committed to totally revamping the safety standards for school buses.

A joint study and presentation by Dr. Kris Poland, an investigator for the NTSB, and Dr. Kristy Arbogast of the Children’s Hospital in Pennsylvania have clearly demonstrated the need for lap and shoulder belts on school buses. The 3-point seatbelts are not yet federally mandated, but many families of children injured or killed in school bus crashes are working towards seeing that put in place.

Buses and especially school buses are generally trusted as safe modes of transportation. Accidents on buses tend to be very dangerous and even deadly because seatbelts are not universally used or required. Typical injuries from these accidents include:

  • Head traumas.
  • Traumatic brain injury.
  • Spinal cord damage.
  • Broken bones and lacerations.
  • Whiplash.
  • Death.

Often a school bus accident can be traced to driver error or even defective equipment on the bus itself. If you or someone you know is the victim of a dangerous bus accident, please contact an experienced Florida accident attorney.

At Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath, our attorneys have more than 250 years of combined legal experience. There is no cost for our services unless we make a recovery on your behalf. Contact us today to schedule a meeting with one of our attorneys. We look forward to speaking with you.