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March 2013 Archives

Fungal Meningitis Infections Caused by Tainted Steriods

Just last Sunday 60 Minutes did a segment on the recent outbreak of fungal meningitis caused by tainted steroid medication from the New England Compounding Center. I believe they reported 40 deaths to date and hundreds or thousands of innocent victims suffering from the effects of these infections.In most cases when an injured person sues or makes a claim for negligence they need to prove that the other party was, in fact, negligent and that negligence was the cause of the injury. The rules change a bit when suing the manufacturer of a product. Most states, including Minnesota, have adopted a legal principle called "strict liability in tort". When an injured consumer sues a manufacturer under this theory of liability they do not have to prove that the manufacturer was negligent. All that has to be shown is that the product was in an unreasonably dangerous condition when it reached the end user. In the case of NECC that is a foregone conclusion.

Two Accidents Within a Short Time

I got a call yesterday from a woman who was involved in 2 car crashes within about 30 days. One of the insurance companies for the at fault driver had approached her with a settlement offer and she wanted to know if I thought it was a good idea for her to accept that offer. It would be, in most cases, a huge mistake to do that because it can be very difficult in some cases (most cases) to separate out the effects of one accident from another when they are so close in time. If one of the at fault drivers is released, as sure as the sun rises in the east, the insurance company for the other driver will try to blame all of the injuries on the person who already settled. If they are successful, then the injured person will get nothing other than what they settled for from the first driver. My rule of thumb in these cases is that either everyone is in or everyone is out.