Will Self-Driving Cars Change Personal Injury Law?

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Driverless cars will be the way of the future. They seem likely to change a number of industries, including car insurance, taxis, and parking. But will they change the practice of law for personal injury lawyers? This might be one of the first major shifts from technology in the plaintiff’s bar other than the acquisition of clients (from the yellow pages and newspaper ads to the internet/websites).

1 out of 8 Fatal Crashes Involve Heavy Trucks

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The National Transportation Safety Board concluded its investigation into the New Jersey traffic accident that injured comedian Tracy Morgan and killed James McNair. The corresponding statement by NTSB Chairman Christopher Hart presented several statistics reflecting on the dangerousness of commercial trucks on the road. Heavy trucks, according to Hart, are involved in nearly one in eight fatal crashes and one in four accidents with a fatality in a work zone.

Even More Harbor Freight Jack Stands Recalled


The very recent recalls of the Harbor Freight Steel Jack Stands have brought to light an alarming safety hazard and source of severe injuries that cause over 4,500 injuries each year according to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NHTSA).

With over 1.7 million Pittsburgh 3-Ton and 6-Ton Jack Stands recalled to potential for severe injury and death from a jack stand collapse remains an incredible risk.  With decades of experience getting justice for injury victims, our jack stand collapse attorneys can help you or a loved one get suitable compensation for their injuries or possible death.  We have always offered a free case evaluation and you won’t pay a dime unless we win.

How Dangerous Are Floor Stand Jacks?

Even without recallable manufacturing defects, jack stands remain a dangerous tool for any business or individual needing to jack a vehicle up for repair.  Over 4,822 people were injured by collapsing jacks annually according to an NHTSA report, with over 96% of the individuals needing to visit the emergency room.  Currently – there is no concise study available on any fatal injuries caused by collapsing jack stands.

Of these 4,800+ injuries, the NHTSA broke them down into the following injury types:

  • 5% – Amputations
  • 40% – Contusions
  • 15% – Fractures
  • 18% – Lacerations
  • 10% – Strains or Sprains
  • 13% – Other Injuries

In over 39% of these cases – the hand, wrist, or fingers were injured by the jack stand collapse.

Our attorneys understand the law surrounding these incidents, and by calling us at 1-800-590-4116 we can help you learn whether or not you have a case with no fees required.

The May 2020 Harbor Freight Jack Stand Recalls 

After years of complaints, the NHTSA finally issued a recall of over 1.7 Million Pittsburgh Automotive® 3-Ton and 6-Ton Heavy-Duty Steel Jack Stands.

Harbor Freight is generally known for producing cheap tools and severe manufacturing defects within their Chinese factory led to the possibility of these stands collapsing suddenly under large loads.  This collapse can result in serious injuries and even death. 

The July 2020 Harbor Freight Jack Stand Recall

Harbor freight put out a new batch of jacks to replace the ones that had to be recalled, however, in July of 2020, just a few months later, the new 3-ton jacks also had to be recalled due to a manufacturing issue. A number of these new jack stands were failing and collapsing as the old batch had, except for a different reason this time. While the exact cause of the manufacturing issue has not been reported, the cause of these collapses is a defect in the welding of the jack stand. In response, the company has issued a recall to cover many of the jacks that people had bought to replace the jacks that had already been recalled.

What Harbor Freight Products Were Recalled?

In March 2020, an initial 454,000 Pittsburgh Automotive 6-Ton Heavy Duty Steel Jack Stands were recalled by Harbor Freight.  Only months later in May 2020, an additional 3-Ton Heavy Duty Steel Jack Stands were recalled due to the same manufacturing defect. In July 2020, more 3-Ton Heavy Duty Jack Stands were recalled, due to an issue with the welding which caused them to collapse.

What Manufacturing Defects Caused These Harbor Freight Jack Recalls?

The first two instances of these product recalls were linked to manufacturing defects within a manufacturer called Jiaxing Golden Roc Tools Co., Ltd.  An analysis of these jack stands determined that the product quality was inconsistent due to aged tooling – and due to this the gears used to keep the load aloft are prone to slippage.  In addition an inconsistent location of the main pawl armature hole also caused a margin of error which further exacerbated the issue.

The latest recall was due to a defect in the quality of the welding of load bearing pieces in the jack. When these welded joints received a heavy load, the stress caused them to snap and the jack to collapse, putting Harbor Freight customers in danger again due to twisting metal and falling loads.

This kind of welding defect could have a number of causes. If the joints don’t get hot enough when they’re formed, several issues could occur. For welding to be done successfully, both of the pieces have to be hot. This is because welding is basically fusing together two pieces of metal, until they become combined on the molecular level, if one of the pieces is too cold, that means it’s material won’t be altered enough to accept the fusing. The outcome of this is that if both pieces aren’t adequately heated at the same time, you’re essentially sticking one piece of metal onto another instead of fusing them together, creating a weak joint.

The failures of the July 3-Ton Jack Stand could also be due to cracking. This is a common defect that happens within the joints of the weld. It happens when the heated metal gets cooled rapidly, causing a build up of stress that makes cracks appear in the metal. A common process, annealing, is used to prevent this kind of issue from happening. By reheating the weld to a lower temperature than the original one and allowing the metal to then naturally cool, the metal refuses but undergoes less stress while cooling. Of course, cutting corners on these product quality steps is one way that suppliers and manufacturers are able to cut costs, unfortunately, the result is that the customer on the receiving end can be put at unnecessary risk.

Weld problems could also be a result of distortions, oxidation, slag, and corrosion, many issues that can be caused by poor quality base metals.

With such a large load depending on these jack stands, even a small defect can have catastrophic responses for those individuals working around the lifted load. 

How Were The Defective Harbor Freight Jack Stands Failing?

If affected by the May defect, the ratchet teeth on the jack stand lifting extension were inconsistency engaging the pawl, which provides the support for the load.  Due to the manufacturing defects these ratchet teeth were not engaging at an appropriate depth which could cause sudden slippage.

While under load, potential shifts in weight were causing these gear teeth to slip suddenly, which would cause the jack stand to collapse and potentially injure any bystanders. 

In the case of the July defect, the top stand that holds the arm of the jack is also the place where the teeth and levering action are located, because of the pyramid shape of the stand, the top of the stand had to be fused by welding. However, because this is where the levering action is located and where the arm meets the base, the area has to absorb a lot of stress, and the welds could not handle it and would fail, causing the entire jack to collapse.

How Can Our Jack Stand Collapse Attorneys Help You?

Our team at McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt have helped bring justice to hundreds of individuals that were injured through no fault of their own.  Our team provides a free consultation so we can help you understand whether or not your injuries deserve compensation.  Throughout the entire process – you won’t pay a single dime.  We don’t charge any fee unless we win your case.

If you or a loved one owns or has been injured by a jack stand collapse, don’t hesitate to contact us immediately at 1-800-590-4116 so we can help you determine whether or not you have a case.

Should Medical Malpractice Be Overhauled?

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Tort reform has diminished the availability of medical malpractice lawsuits in many states, leaving the option a viable one for fewer patients with an injury they suspect was caused by poor medical treatment. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands suffer an injury during their medical care every year in the United States. As a result, we expect there will be increasing debate over whether an alternative to the present system is warranted.

FMCSA Releases 2012-2016 Strategic Plan


The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) has released its 2012-2016 Strategic Plan to increase Highway Safety Standards for Highrisk Carriers. It is the second strategic plan since the Administration was established in 2000.

FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro says, “We are committed to saving lives by reducing crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving commercial motor vehicle (CMV) transportation”

The report details how the FMCSA plans to:

• Enhance safety in every aspect of the CMV transportation system from warehouse to  roadway to boardroom;

• Leverage stakeholders in a common CMV safety agenda;

• Ensure accountability, quality data, and leveraged technology for informed decisions impacting CMV transportation safety; and

• Inspire and energize their workforce and partners to tackle their toughest CMV safety challenges with new innovative ideas and programs.

Ferro goes on to say, “The successes we have realized in reducing crashes, injuries, and fatalities are great, but there is more to be done. Every life is precious, and even one fatality is one too many. This new Strategic Plan is our road map that charts our course for the next five years.”

The Strategic Plan works to strengthen partnerships with  “Federal, State, local, tribal, and foreign governments; reach out to all stakeholders–our citizens, the industry and related associations, drivers, victims and advocacy groups; and collaborate effectively with other DOT safety agencies.”
The FMCSA hopes this Strategic Plan will strengthen their cause, and prevent crashes, injuries and fatalities involving Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMVs).


Olympus Revises Duodenoscope Cleaning Procedure

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Olympus sent letters to health care facilities with updated reprocessing instructions for their TJF-Q180V duodenoscope following months of media attention concerning the risk of CRE superbug infections from contaminated scopes.

The key changes are detailed in a safety communication on the FDA website for gastroenterologists, gastrointestinal surgeons, endoscopy nurses, infection control practitioners, risk managers and staff in endoscopy reprocessing units.

The FDA recommends that facilities begin using portions of the new procedure immediately. The new manual cleaning procedure involves the use of a smaller bristle cleaning brush that has not been shipped yet by Olympus. The company anticipates shipping it by early May.

In the meantime, the procedure calls for raising and lowering the elevator three times during immersion while pre cleaning, additional raising and lowering of the forceps elevator during high level disinfection, and increased flushing volume and manual flushing steps of each endoscope channel as well as the elevator recess area.

The letter from Olympus America with the Urgent Safety Notification and Updated Label Information provides their complete revised instructions. It is available at http://medical.olympusamerica.com/sites/default/files/pdf/150326_TJF-Q180V_Customer_letter.pdf

The instruction manual for the medical device previously indicated that no reprocessing of the sealed elevator wire channel was necessary.  Olympus changed the device back in 2010 but did not seek 510(k) clearance for the change.  In 2014, the FDA requested the manufacturer submit an application demonstrating the substantial equivalence of the device to prior versions.  The application is still pending.

Our attorneys have filed the first lawsuit in Philadelphia for an infection following a procedure using a duodenoscope.  The procedure took place at a Seattle hospital who has denied evidence of any CRE infections.  A Philadelphia hospital has announced a CRE superbug outbreak of at least 8 cases, including two deaths, in patients who had duodenoscope procedures in 2013 and 2014.  However, Thomas Jefferson University hospital denies that there is any link to medical scopes.  Hospitals in Seattle, Los Angeles and Pittsburgh have all had outbreaks and concluded that the CRE infections were spread by contaminated duodenoscopes.

If you are a patient who has had an ERCP procedure involving a duodenoscope, our free ebook and additional information is available at https://www.mceldrewyoung.com/superbug-infections/

Duodenoscope News: Olympus Pays $6.6 Million; Fujifilm Recalls ED-530XT

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There have been two recent developments regarding the spread of CRE Superbugs via duodenoscopes used in ERCP procedures that the FDA warned about in February 2016.

Updates on the Amtrak Train Derailment

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We’ve been closely following the coverage of the Amtrak derailment since the news broke that there was a railroad accident in Philadelphia. Our hearts go out to the crew, passengers and their families right now.  We’ve represented hundreds of railroad workers over the course of our legal careers and have spoken to a number of our contacts in this area about what is happening.

Cipro, Levaquin and Avelox Antibiotic Investigations

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Patients taking a class of antibiotics known as fluoroquinolones (which includes popular drugs Cipro, Levaquin and Avelox) may be diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy. This is a form of nerve damage usually affecting the hands or feet. More than 20 million patients had a prescription for an oral fluoroquinolone in 2011.

Federal Court: Essure Lawsuit Can Proceed

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A Federal Court has green-lighted our clients’ cases against Bayer to proceed to discovery for injuries which followed their use of the permanent birth control device Essure. Other individuals who have experienced chronic pelvic pain, hysterectomies and other serious injuries which they suspect were caused by Bayer’s device should call (215) 545-8800 for a free legal consultation by an attorney at McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt.

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