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Houston Personal Injury Blog

Ford Recalls Cars Over Seat Belt Safety

Photo of Kelly Woods

Ford is recalling nearly 700,000 vehicles due to a possible defect in the front seat belts of several models. The company says the pre-tension deployment system can fail, preventing the seatbelts from properly restraining an individual in a car accident. The pre-tension system automatically tightens the seatbelts when a driver stops a vehicle, preventing the buildup of slack in the restraints. The recall covers certain 2013 to 2016 Ford Fusion, 2013 to 2015 Lincoln MKZ and 2015 and 2016 Ford Mondeo cars.

Fifth Circuit Rules on Applicability of the "Collateral Source Rule" for Medical Benefits Paid Under a Workers' Compensation Insurance Policy Required by the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act

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The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that the "collateral source rule," which prevents a defendant from reducing his liability by the amount a plaintiff recovers from independent sources such as health insurance, does not apply when the defendant's workers' compensation insurance carrier pays benefits pursuant to the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA). Under the court's ruling, written off portions of billed medical expenses are not recoverable when the remaining portion of the billed medical expenses were paid through LHWCA workers' compensation insurance.

E-Cigarette Explosion Injury

Photo of Imrana Manzanares

In December 2015, James Dardini's e-cigarette exploded a few hours after he arrived at work. Mr. Dardini, who had smoked his e-cig during his 60 mile commute, suffered burn injuries to his leg. In July 2015, James Lauria also suffered serious injuries to his mouth, face, and hand when his e-cig exploded while taking a break from his job as a concierge at the Beach House in Destin, Florida. Both men have filed suit.

Coexistence of Traditional and Driverless Cars

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Autonomous driving technology has grown in leaps and bounds over the last few years, but Mercedes CEO Dietmar Exler says that doesn't mean everyone will be in such vehicles. Traditionalists are estimated to still be driving among the robotic counterparts for at least two decades after they hit the streets, and while the new cars will be programmed to avoid collisions at all costs, humans are still not up to par. Be it phones, emotions, poor vehicle care, or any other distraction, humans simply do not meet the same black and white priorities a computer does. On top of this, the CEO claims that humans will take advantage of the safety-first mandate. With sensors to initiate stops, Mr. Exler claims that humans will actively target autonomous cars to get ahead in traffic.

Two Fatalities in the News

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Two fatal motor vehicle collisions are in yesterday's news. And one of them involves another hit-and-run.

Airbag Software Defect Leads to General Motors Recall

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General Motors Co. is recalling more than 4 million vehicles to fix an airbag software defect that has already been linked to one death and three injuries. 3.6 million of the 4.28 million vehicles involved are in the U.S. and are all from the 2014-2017 model years.

Deadly Bus Crash

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On Monday, November 21, 2016, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, a school bus carrying dozens of elementary school children crashed into a tree. As a result of the crash, five young children lost their lives. Six children are hospitalized in an intensive care unit, and six more children are hospitalized but in stable conditions. The children ranged from kindergarten to fourth grade.

Bar in Spring, Texas Settles Dram Shop Lawsuit

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In July of 2012, Ed Blackwell was driving in Spring, Texas when he entered the southbound lanes of Interstate 45 near Woodlands Parkway. He then suddenly made a sharp U-Turn and began travelling north in the southbound lanes. Shortly thereafter, he crashed into a car occupied by Anis Atkins and Dominique Hobbs. As a result of the crash, Atkins and Hobbs died. Stephen Isbell, a passenger in Blackwell's vehicle, also lost his life as a result of the collision. At the time of the crash, Blackwell's blood-alcohol content was more than twice the legal limit. Prior to getting in the car, Blackwell and Isbell were drinking at Papa's Ice House in Spring.

Problems Continue to Grow for Samsung

Photo of Alvin Adjei

After the widely reported recall of Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 became known to the public several owners of Samsung Galaxy S6 edge, Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge have complained that the Oculus app on their device is affecting their phone's battery life. Users say the app is causing their device's CPU to run very high, which is also happening when the app is not being used. This problem prevents the phone from shifting to sleep mode and also interrupts other apps.

Two Pedestrians Killed in Motorcycle Accident

Photo of Kelly Woods

A man and woman were pronounced dead Thursday night after being hit by a motorcycle on the Galveston seawall. While Police do not believe alcohol was a factor, the investigation into the accident is ongoing. The pedestrians were crossing the street at an unprotected crossing at the time. Fault has yet to be determined because the motorcycle riders were also taken to the hospital in critical condition

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