Man Free After 37 Years – Detectives Offered Sex & Drugs for False Testimony

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Willie Stokes was finally freed from prison on Tuesday January 4th, 2022 after spending 37 years behind bars for a murder he didn’t commit.

Allegedly, Philadelphia Police detectives offered witness Franklin Lee sex and drugs in exchange for his false testimony which would ultimately land Stokes behind bars.

The detectives have both since passed away, but the extreme miscarriage of justice cannot be ignored or forgotten by history.

The prison in Delaware County where Willie Stokes was held unjustly for 37 years.

Stokes was 37 years into his life sentence for the 1984 murder conviction, and Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner’s office investigated the case and found that Stokes did not receive his due process during the original trial.

The murder victim was a woman, whose murder Stoke’s denied throughout the entire trial.  This took place in 1984, which was during Philadelphia’s so-called “Tough on Crime” time period, which occurred during the 1980’s and 90’s.

There’s An Urgency To Seek Justice Over Finality

Over the nearly four decades of Stoke’s false imprisonment, he filed numerous appeals and petitions of relief only to be rejected by procedure at every turn.

In late November the U.S. District Court of Pennsylvania finally agreed to hold a hearing and ultimately concluded that for 37 years prosecutors knowingly withheld information from his defense lawyers that witness Franklin Lee had not only lied, but was convicted of perjury for it – long before Stokes was released.

The court ordered that Stokes be released within 120 days of the findings, and it took everyone by surprise.

“He’s only known for a half hour he was going to be released, this isn’t something that we expected,” said Stoke’s attorney Michael Diamondstein via CBSLocal.com soon after they left the corrections building.

This Isn’t The Only Falsely Imprisoned Victim in Philadelphia

Thousands of men and women were incarcerated during the “tough-on-crime” era of the 1980’s and 90’s in Philadelphia and if the behavior of these detectives is indicative of a long history of prior bribes and corruption in order to put innocent victims behind bars.

If you or a loved one knows a person you suspect might be falsely imprisoned don’t hesitate to contact our civil rights attorneys.  Our attorneys have worked for years to help deliver justice to victims of police corruption or brutality – don’t hesitate to call us immediately at (800) 590-4116 or live chat directly with our legal team below to set up a consultation.

At Least 13 Dead as Fire Rages Through Fairmount Philadelphia Housing Authority Apartments

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The 800 block of North 23rd Street faced a deadly fire in the early hours of January 5th, 2022.  At least 13 residents of the Philadelphia Housing Authority building have already been found dead, and early reports state that at least 7 of those are children.

This is one of the worst fires in decades to hit this Fairmount neighborhood and firefighters are still dealing with the aftermath.

Philadelphia Deputy Fire Commissioner Craig Murphy was quoted through CBSLocal.com as saying, “It was terrible, I’ve been around for 35 years now and this is probably one of the worst [fires] I’ve ever been to. We plan on making sure that this tremendous loss of life did not happen in vain.”

Crews were finally able to get the fire under control around 7:30 am, and multiple victims were transported to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, as well as Temple University Hospital.

The location of the fire was near the 800 block of North 23rd Street in Fairmount.

Still, the number of fatalities remains dynamic, according to Craig Murphy, as there is still recovery efforts being made throughout the building.

He had also commented that at least four smoke detectors were not working during the fire.  As far as the actual cause of the fire – investigations are still underway.

Does The Philadelphia Housing Authority Have A History of Fires in Their Buildings?

The Philadelphia Housing Authority (or PHA) was founded back in 1937, and is the nation’s fourth largest public housing authority.  In total, they administer over 12,800 public housing units throughout Philadelphia.

Certainly as with any housing unit fires are an unfortunate reality that are often out of the control or any housing authority.  Still, there have been multiple fire-related incidents in PHA housing – including a fire at a vacant PHA building in Center City in 2020, as well as reports of fires in one of the PHA’s last surviving towers.

Only after a thorough investigation by the Fire Department will more details emerge on the cause of this deadly Fairmount fire.

Were You or a Loved One Hurt or Fatally Injured By This Fairmount Fire?

If you or a loved one suffered due to this fire it’s important you retain an attorney and make sure you are following sound legal advice from the beginning of your incident.

The attorneys at McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt have helped thousands of burn victims and wrongful death victims earn the compensation they deserve for their injuries.

Our philosophy is to fight every day to help you and your families get the peace and compensation you deserve.

If you or a loved one wants to speak to an attorney specializing in your case, don’t hesitate to call us at (800) 590-4116 or speak directly with us through our live chat.

 

Improper Fetal Heart Monitoring Complications That Might Count As Medical Malpractice

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When it comes to childbirth, doctors are meant to be there to make sure that everything is going as smoothly as possible. They are meant to use technological advancements, science, and eagle-eyed monitoring to ensure that the baby is never in distress and that everything goes well.

There is, of course, the possibility that things outside of their scope occur, but all the same, most events are meant to go as smoothly as possible when it comes to childbirth.

One of the ways that they might continue to watch and make sure that things go well during childbirth is to monitor the heart of the fetus as it’s emerging from the birth canal.

Childbirth is hard on the mother and on the baby. For this reason, doctors are meant to take consistent stock of the mother’s status and the baby’s status by monitoring their heart rates and other factors.

If a doctor didn’t do proper monitoring, there might be complications during childbirth, and you might be eligible for a settlement claim for birth injury medical malpractice.

 

Medical Malpractice

Fetal distress is when a baby’s heart rate is either much higher or much lower than expected. This typically means that the baby is struggling to get enough oxygen. This is why it is vital for doctors to monitor the heart rates and ensure everything is going all right. A lack of oxygen in the newborn can lead to complications such as infant asphyxia which can lead to problems as serious as seizures or cerebral palsy caused by birth complication.

If you think you’ve been a victim of medical malpractice, and if you think you or your baby are suffering from it, please contact a lawyer to discuss if you have any grounds for a settlement claim.

 

Preventing Fetal Distress

Fetal distress is when a baby’s heart rate is either much higher or much lower than expected. This typically means that the baby is struggling to get enough oxygen. This is why it is important for doctors to monitor the heart rates and make sure everything is going all right.

If doctors discover that there is something improper going on with the baby’s heartbeat, there are a few things they can do to try and help the baby.

The end goal is to make sure that the baby is getting enough oxygen, and this can be helped by:

  • Doing an amnioinfusion, which is a process that refers to the installation of fluid into the amniotic cavity to fix an extremely low amount of amniotic fluid in the amniotic cavity.
  • Administering extra oxygen to the mother
  • Providing the mother with additional IV fluids
  • Changing the mother’s position
  • Stimulating the fetal scalp which might help accelerate the baby’s heart rate
  • Decreasing or stopping contraction-enhancing medications such as Pitocin or Cytotec
  • Doing a C-Section

When it comes to making sure that a baby is in distress for the shortest amount of time possible, the best way to manage this is to perform an emergency c-section on the mother. When it comes to helping a baby, there are truly very few things a doctor can do to try and get the baby out of the distressing situation, which means it might be best to default to a C-section. Sometimes if the doctors delay a c-section too long, the damage to the baby cannot be reversed, and this is considered a delayed c-section medical malpractice case.

Once they get the baby from the uterus, the possibilities open up for what the doctors can do to help the baby. Once the baby is out of the mother, doctors can initiate resuscitation or other procedures to help the baby no longer be distressed.

 

Are You In Need of Legal Help?

If you think that you or your baby are victims of improper fetal heart monitoring, then you should reach out to a legal team to see if you’re eligible for additional support or a settlement claim. 

If you or your baby is suffering from the consequences of fetal monitoring errors, hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE), or other birth-related injuries, seek help. The reason you might have a claim is because fetal monitoring is meant to help the medical staff on the scene take immediate and beneficial actions.

However, if a medical professional misinterprets or ignores these signs, you might be eligible for a medical malpractice claim. The sole purpose of the fetal cardiac monitor is to alert any on-site medical staff of any signs of fetal distress. If the baby ends up in any distress, the medical professionals are meant to use swift and appropriate actions to get the baby out of distress. If a healthcare provider ignores or misinterprets however they’re monitoring the signs of fetal distress, it might result in oxygen deprivation and newborn brain damage.

This is called medical malpractice and falls under the umbrella of a birth injury.

Because of how important and detrimental these types of cases can be, birth injury cases will typically require extensive and highly specialized knowledge to have a claim filed. If you want to see the best results for your claim, you must make sure that your lawyer is well-versed in both medical practices and in law practices.

Make sure that you work with a lawyer or with a firm that has a proven track record of success when it comes to cases involving birth injuries and other similar complications. The PA Birth Injury lawyers at Mceldrew Young Purtell Merritt have handled hundreds of birth injury cases, and have extensive knowledge on how to make sure you get the damages you deserve to make your life easier after such a traumatic experience. Call 1-866-721-8431 or fill out our form for a free consultation – we want to get you the representation that you deserve!

What Are The Leading Causes of Hospitalizations for Non-Fatal Traumatic Brain Injuries?

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When it comes to health and safety, there is very little that is scarier than injuries that happen involving the brain. The brain is one of those parts of the body that scientists are still scratching their heads over.

Why do brains react to certain stimuli in the way they do? Why do they sometimes fail or become prone to illness when the rest of the human body is otherwise healthy?

Not knowing the answer to these questions is only part of where the terror comes from. But there are even scarier things out there, especially if you’re somewhat in the know about the topic.

The rest of this article will discuss traumatic brain injuries, their causes, and more.

 

What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

A traumatic brain injury is an injury that can – and usually does – disrupt normal brain function. These injuries to the brain typically end up in hospitalization for the patient.

As may seem obvious from their name, traumatic brain injuries are nothing to joke about. They’re terrifying, especially if they happen to you or a loved one. What are the warning signs of a brain injury? 

 

Statistics

Across the board, these acquired brain injuries tend to happen mostly to men and persons older than 75 years. In these situations, traumatic brain injuries can happen when there are severe slip and falls and when people get into car accidents. 

Traumatic brain injuries are the most common injuries that might result in hospitalization. This specific type of traumatic brain injury is typically non-fatal.

 

How To Prevent Traumatic Brain Injuries?

Even if traumatic brain injuries are non-fatal, they can still be very scary. As such, it’s best to try and prevent them if at all possible.

When you’re driving, try to make sure that you’re wearing your seatbelt. If you have young passengers in the car with you, make sure they’re securely fastened to their car seats and booster seats. 

When cars and other vehicles aren’t involved, configuring houses and other abodes in ways that make it hard to fall or that don’t provide too much of a fall risk can go a long way towards preventing nonfatal traumatic brain injuries.

If you’re careful and take care of yourself, you can make sure to prevent a traumatic brain injury.

 

Traumatic Brain Injury Study

A study was recently performed focusing on the topic of traumatic brain injuries. The CDC analyzed the data they received and come up with the following statistics:

  • Hospital rates among persons aged ≥75 years were approximately three times higher than those among persons aged 65–74 years when it came to traumatic brain injury incidents
  • Males tended to end up in the ER with brain injuries twice as much as females ended up in the ER
  • Unintentional falls were the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries 
  • Traumatic brain injuries can happen to anyone of any age, even though they’re more prevalent in older individuals. 
  • Traumatic brain injuries in older individuals can lead to complications based on other underlying medical conditions 

Outside of falls and the like, the second most common reason people end up with traumatic brain injuries is car accidents and other vehicle crashes.

Once again, male individuals who participated in the survey were found to have ended up with traumatic brain injuries twice as often as female participants, which is the same as the statistic for falling. 

The reason for this is very simple – men tend to be involved in more car accidents than females. This might be because men tend to speed and lose control of vehicles more than females do. 

The higher the loss of control at high speeds, the more that a driver might likely end up in an accident that causes a traumatic brain injury.

photo by Yan Berthemy

 

What Can We Do?

Traumatic brain injuries may not be fatal, but they’re certainly terrifying and cause additional health issues on the body that no one is even aware of. As such, trying to protect yourself and prevent traumatic brain injuries from occurring in your life should be important. You should take preventative measures to keep you and your loved ones safe. 

For example, make sure to consistently – and correctly – wear a seatbelt properly when you’re driving. Make sure that you’re fully cognizant of your surroundings and that you’re not driving under any external influences, such as drugs or alcohol.

That last point may seem obvious and yet drunk driving or driving under the influence continues to be one of the largest causes of car accident-born traumatic brain injuries. 

When it comes to young adults and children, make sure to use the same safety measures and the like for them, as well. When dealing with new drivers in their teens, make sure that they’re being careful and observant drivers.

Most vehicle-related traumatic brain injuries that are caused by adolescents can be prevented by practice and confidence when it comes to lane merging, passing, maintaining a safe distance while driving, etc.) and limiting how much they’re driving under high-risk conditions such as during floods or storms. 

If you’ve been involved in a crash that resulted in a TBI, and are struggling to return to normal, contact the traumatic brain injury lawyers at Mceldrew Young Purtell Merritt to make sure that you get the compensation you deserve, and help get your life back on track. Call us today at 866-521-0865 or fill out our contact form here for a free consultation.

Driving with Dogs: Some Safety Tips

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It’s not uncommon for us to travel with our constant friends. Cats and dogs frequently accompany their owners in the car, whether they’re going to the vet, performing errands, going on a road trip, or even just a joyride!

Safe driving, like riding without cats and dogs in the car, involves a level of planning and the ability to avoid distractions. Here’s a list of things to remember the next time you’re driving with your pet. There are three different forms of distractions that might happen when driving:

    • Visual distraction
    • Manual distraction
    • Cognitive distraction

When a driver’s eyes are taken off the road, this is known as a visual distraction. When a driver takes their hands off the steering wheel, this is known as manual distraction. Finally, cognitive distraction occurs when the driver’s attention is diverted from the activity at hand. When driving with a pet in the car, any or all of these distractions could occur.

Any type of distraction while driving, even being distracted by a pet, can result in a collision. That is why, especially when traveling with cats or dogs in the automobile, safe driving rules should be continuously enforced.

 

Understand the Rules of the Road When Driving With a Dog

First and foremost, you should be aware of the regulations governing the transportation of animals in vehicles. Because these rules might differ from place to location, it’s even more crucial to do your homework before you go so you don’t end up with a hefty fine. This covers legislation governing your pet’s safe transportation, such as whether or not the dog must be transported in a carrier.

“Dog In Car Stock” by RebaSpike is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Fearful or car-sick dogs should be trained or prepared

Long road journeys present a lot of obstacles, which are amplified if your dog dislikes traveling or gets car sick. You can teach your dog to not be afraid of automobile journeys. You begin by training your dog to eat food from a parked car that has not been turned on. Work your way up to eating in the car while it’s running. Then practice on short journeys that conclude in a pleasurable location, like a dog park. Because this process can take weeks or months, you should begin well in advance of any extended trips. However, with the right training, your dog may come to like vehicle rides!

Car sickness, on the other hand, is an entirely separate problem that you can’t prepare for. You might be able to talk to your veterinarian about drugs that can help ease your dog’s nausea or put him to sleep during long bouts of travel.

 

Always have some food and water with you

You never know what could happen, so keep some dog food and a water bottle on standby to keep your pup hydrated in case of emergency. Keeping a spill-proof water bowl with the dog’s name on it will make it apparent what the dish is for. Allow your pet to have a drink and some food whenever you stop on a long journey, so they are not alarmed if an emergency stop needs to be made.

 

Every few hours take a break

People were not built to ride in a vehicle for eight hours or more, and your pet should not be expected to do so either. Make it a point to stop every two to three hours if you’re on a long journey. Step outside and stretch, then do the same for your pet. Before getting back in the car for a few hours, go for a short stroll to burn off some pent-up energy. This is beneficial to everyone’s health!

“Dog Eats Car” by fsamuels is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Locking your dog in the car is not a good idea

There are a variety of reasons why you should never leave your pet in the car alone. The interior of automobiles can become excessively hot in the summer, suffocating animals. Temperatures might plummet in the winter, causing your pet to freeze. It is prohibited in some areas to leave your pet unattended in a vehicle. 

 

Have fun on your journey!

Traveling with a dog is similar to traveling with a small child in many respects. Because they are unable to care for themselves throughout a journey, you must keep their needs in mind and be proactive in caring for them. Any resulting injuries of cars can be compensated by an Ontario car accident attorney. These suggestions should help you and your canine companion have a lot more enjoyable car rides in the future!

Philadelphia Nursing Home an Example of How Administration Profits From Elder Abuse

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St. Francis Center for Rehabilitation and Health Care

A former manager has pleaded no contest to the charge of recklessly endangering residents at the Darby Nursing Home known as the St. Francis Center for Rehabilitation & Health Care. The misdemeanor charges were filed after the state Health Department completed an inspection that found severe neglect of patients in the home, including one patient with “wounds that went down to the bone with exposed tendon”.

This may seem like an outlying case, but unfortunately, nursing home administrations often profit by neglecting and abusing the elders who are in their care, making this kind of situation horrifically common. At McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt, we have years of experience bringing nursing home administrators and owners to justice after instances of neglect and abuse. We can help you successfully file a claim if your loved one has suffered due to negligence or malpractice while living in a nursing home or long-term care facility.

 

What Happened at St. Francis Center for Rehabilitation and Health Care?

In September of 2017, The PA state Health Department took the extraordinary step of revoking the center’s license and installing a temporary manager at St. Francis after an inspection found multiple instances of negligence, and immediately removed manager Chaim “Charlie” Steg.

The Health Departments inspection was prompted by five complaints. The inspection itself found multiple issues at the facility, including:

Three residents tragically died in the facility due to these types of abuse and neglect. These issues began at St. Francis shortly after staffing was severely cut back under manager Charlie Steg. 

 

Why Was St. Francis Understaffed?

St. Francis was majority owned by Charles-Edouard Gros, who bought St. Francis along with seven other nursing homes in 2014. Gros operated under the umbrella of Center Management Group, who used Charlie Steg as their regional director of operations. Center Management had previously paid fines to state and federal authorities related to neglect. 

A 2018 analysis done by the Philadelphia Inquirer showed that staffing at all facilities purchased by Gros fell sharply after his takeover, while his profits soared. Gros reduced the amount of care provided by registered nurses by 29% at St. Francis by cutting hours for nurses. The number of registered nurses at the facility fell by almost half after the facility was purchased by Gros. Numerous studies have shown that the presence of registered nurses is one of the key elements to providing high-quality care in nursing homes. 

Photo by Sabine van Erp via Pixabay

Is Elder Mistreatment More Common in For-Profit Nursing Homes? 

Despite all this, Gros has yet to face any criminal charges, with only manager Charlie Steg facing penalties. Attorney General Josh Shapiro has stated that  “We filed criminal charges where they were warranted. We held the establishment accountable to the best of our ability.” So why is it so difficult to file charges against the owners of facilities that commit gross acts of negligence?

The answer lies in the complicated legality of for-profit nursing homes. Nearly 70% of the nursing homes in the United States are owned by for-profit companies that often change hands. Who actually owns a nursing home can then become a convoluted question. 

 

How To Hold Negligent Nursing Homes Accountable

For-profit nursing homes can change owners multiple times in a single week, and often have management and ownership structures that are purposefully complex in order to obscure who is responsible for delivering care – and who is ultimately responsible when major issues arise. In fact, the charges against Steg are believed to be the first criminal reckless endangerment charges based on inadequate staffing levels and practices in a nursing facility in Pennsylvania. 

The experienced team at McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt know how to navigate the complex legal issues surrounding liability in cases of nursing home abuse and neglect. If your loved one has suffered abuse or neglect at a nursing home, contact us today for a free consultation, and we can help you hold the responsible parties accountable. We can be reached at 1-866-690-2848 or by filling out our form here.

 

 

 

The Role of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the Workplace

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"silent diversity" by DryHundredFear is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Diversity, equity, and inclusion comprise the modern workplace mantra, yet discrimination, disparity, and oppression remains widespread in professional settings. Despite the fact that many employers claim that diversity, equity, and inclusion are the foundation of their business, the reality isn’t even close. Many of them do not fully comprehend the terms, while the rest are more focused on putting on a show rather than actually incorporating those values in their organization. Old habits die hard, which is why business owners are not as broadminded and accepting as they claim to be. 

People of color and other minority groups in society repeatedly find themselves at a disadvantage. Racism and stereotyping are two major obstacles that prevent them from personal growth and professional success. The United States is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world, thus it is not surprising that there are so many contradicting opinions all around. While the Millenials and Generation Z are actively participating in campaigns promoting equal rights, the older generations are reluctant to let go of traditional bigotry and sexism. 

What is Workplace Diversity?

Diversity in the workplace means that people from different origins and cultural backgrounds come together. The employer must hire individuals on the basis of their skill, rather than what meets the eye. Diversity is not limited to skin color, religion, and ethnicity, but also includes people of all ages, genders, and sexual orientations. Diversity in the workplace promotes innovation and creativity, which is ultimately beneficial for the business. Collaboration and merging of contrasting ideas gives rise to new and promising prospects.  

Photo by Amy Elting on Unsplash

How To Establish Equity and Inclusion at the Workplace?

Hiring a diverse workforce is only the first step; many business owners fumble with what comes next. There is no point in increasing the number of female, disabled, LTBTQ, Black, Asian, and immigrant workers if you are not ready to treat them fairly. Every employee at your firm needs to feel included and respected, regardless of who they are and where they come from. Their input is as invaluable as everyone else, and they deserve equal opportunities for advancing in their career. They are entitled to same pay scale, employment incentives, and worker’s compensation policy as everybody else.

When an employer implements equity, inclusion develops automatically. When all employees are treated as equals, none of them will feel singled out. Equity and inclusion eliminate the possibilities of favoritism and victimization. Companies that abide by the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion are 30% more likely to outperform competitors who do not share these values. When employees from all walks of life feel welcomed and appreciated, they are encouraged to perform optimally and exhibit loyalty. 

A workplace that discourages all sorts of discrimination is less susceptible to legal claims and lawsuits filed by employees. Diversity, equity, and inclusion eliminate in-house conflicts, and ultimately protect the business from litigation costs. Every employer and employee should be aware of his/her rights and responsibilities at the workplace. While an employer does not need a reason to fire a worker, there are situations where it can be considered as wrongful termination. If the employee presents proof of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, the company may have to face harsh legal consequences. If you have been wronged by a figure of authority or person of power in the workplace hierarchy, Personal Injury Lawyer in Philadelphia can help you attain justice. 

Call the experienced team at McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt today at 1-866-333-7715 or fill out our form for a free consultation on your case.

 

Fatal Pedestrian Accidents Increased Dramatically During Coronavirus Pandemic

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Road Crowd People City Traffic Street. Source: Maxpixel.net, shared under a CC0 license

 

The lockdowns of 2020 caused many departures from routine. In the case of pedestrian accidents, these changes in pattern were sometimes tragic.

Vehicle miles traveled in the first six months of the year dropped by 16.5 percent compared with the same period in 2019. Despite this drop, an increase in pedestrian deaths was registered — from 2,951 in 2019 to 2,957 in 2020!

This continuity represents an actual pedestrian fatality rate increase of 20% over 2019. The fatality rate increased to 2.2 pedestrian deaths per billion vehicle miles traveled, compared to 1.8 deaths in 2019.

The pedestrian rights lawyers at McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt represent civilians with cases of serious medical injuries or wrongful deaths caused by automobiles. If you were injured due to the negligence of a driver, we will fight for the compensation that you deserve.

 

What Causes These Accidents?

In the first months of the pandemic, traffic was light but enforcement was lax. In addition, many more pedestrians were on back roads near to their houses, owing to an excess of time spent at home and no open destinations to head to.

This may help to explain the per-mile spike in pedestrian deaths in 2020 — but it doesn’t excuse it. 

When pedestrian accidents occur, drivers are often speeding, distracted, or otherwise operating their vehicle in an unsafe manner. These are the most common causes of pedestrian traffic accidents:

  • Drunk or otherwise intoxicated driving
  • Running red lights 
  • Right turns through crosswalks without looking for pedestrians
  • Distracted driving, such as driving while texting
  • Illegally parked cars making it difficult to see pedestrians and bicycles

 

Do Pedestrians Always Have the Right of Way?

Pedestrians harmed in traffic accidents are rarely to blame. If you or a loved one were injured on a sidewalk or at a crosswalk with no traffic signal, the driver was definitely in the wrong. Even if that was not the case, you may have had the right of way. 

Motorists must:

  • Yield to pedestrians crossing a roadway in a marked or unmarked crosswalk when the pedestrian has the right of way
  • Yield to pedestrians crossing a roadway with the assistance of a white/red-tipped cane or a guide dog. Motorists must also pay careful attention when moving past such individuals
  • Exercise “due care” by making use of all available precautions to avoid hitting pedestrians, including honking or giving audible signals when possible

Pedestrians have several responsibilities when dealing with traffic as well. They should:

  • Follow traffic control devices such as red lights, stop signs and “do not walk” signals
  • Cross at marked crosswalks or pedestrian crossings when traffic control devices are present at an intersection
  • When there are no designated crossings, pedestrians must yield the right of way to vehicles

Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries

When a vehicle and pedestrian collide, the results are predictably tragic. Our lawyers have helped pedestrians who have suffered:

These injuries don’t just cause extensive pain and suffering, they also carry staggering medical expenses. A personal injury lawsuit can help you handle the heavy burden brought on by driver negligence.

 

Other Pedestrian Injuries

It isn’t just vehicles responsible for harm to pedestrians. Negligence of all kinds is to blame for many pedestrian injuries each year. 

Slip and fall injuries occur on icy and dangerous sidewalks, in open manhole covers, from falling debris from construction projects, and down slippery stairs. 

Negligent property owners may be liable for some or all of your injuries, including medical bills and other economic damages. If intangible damages occur as a result of their negligence, they may be responsible for these too.

Photo by Nout Gons from Pexels

When to Consult with an Experienced Traffic Accident Attorney

When a devastating accident occurs, it can be hard to understand the next steps. Insurance companies are not on your side. An experienced personal injury law firm like McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt is best equipped to help you navigate this challenging process.

If you or a loved one are injured due to the negligence of a driver, property owner or construction project, don’t hesitate to contact our team of lawyers today. Fill out our form or call 1-866-382-4806.

 

Amazon Working Conditions Just As Bad for Delivery Drivers

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Recent news headlines have focused on the “unsafe” and “grueling” working conditions that employees labor under in Amazon warehouses across the globe. While the media focuses its attention on the warehouses, delivery drivers working for Amazon are now stepping forward to have their stories told as well. 

Amazon is famed for its lightning fast delivery times, with customers often receiving orders within the same day. These tight delivery schedules make for stressful and often hazardous working conditions that endanger drivers. 

 

Amazon Drivers Are Overworked and Underpaid

Amazon delivery drivers are reporting working ten to fourteen hours in a shift. This is in part because drivers are not allowed to return any packages from their routes, meaning drivers can make over 160 stops per shift. 

While the pay rate seems decent enough, with drivers starting at $15 an hour, this rate is actually far less than the average starting wage for other delivery drivers. For example, UPS drivers are represented by the Teamsters Union that starts their wages at $21 an hour, up to $40 an hour or more for more experienced drivers. 

 

The Amazon Mentor App Leads to Invasive Oversight for Drivers

When drivers start their shift, they first log into the Amazon “Mentor” app. The Mentor app provides information on where to leave packages, access codes to apartment buildings, and dictates every step of the drivers day. The app tracks and measures driving behaviors such as speeding, harsh braking, or making phone calls, and gives the drivers a score based on these behaviors. 

Since the Mentor app is constantly monitoring the drivers every move, it also alerts their supervisors if they deviate or stop along the route even briefly. When a van stops for longer than three minutes, a dispatcher will call the driver and ask why. This constant oversight creates a stressful environment for drivers when dropping off packages or simply trying to take a lunch or restroom break.

 

No Bathroom Breaks for Delivery Drivers

With the Mentor app constantly monitoring drivers, every stop has to be accounted for. That leaves most drivers with no time to use the restroom on their ten hour shifts. Drivers need to use public restrooms such as ones inside grocery stores, so if their route does not include an area that has such a location, drivers have to make a long detour that could cost them their job. Because of these strict measures, drivers report using empty water bottles in their vehicles instead of stopping to use the restroom.

 

Amazon Hires Contractors To Prevent Workers From Organizing

Amazon has consistently stated that they are not responsible for these working conditions because the drivers are not actually Amazon employees. That’s because Amazon uses contractors for delivery services, a move that allows them to duck responsibility, while also helping to prevent workers from organizing for better conditions. 

The Teamsters Union has been working with Amazon drivers and the delivery service providers that hire them in an attempt to curtail these exploitative practices, with the director of the Teamsters Amazon project stating, “This sort of model is problematic for the entire (delivery) industry”. 

 

Do Amazon Delivery Drivers Get Overtime?

Although drivers are being asked to work long hours with few breaks, they are still only paid flat day rates for their work with no additional pay for overtime hours. This has led to multiple class-action lawsuits being filed against the company in over ten states. 

Amazon recently agreed to pay out over $8.2 million in a class-action lawsuit alleging that they were engaging in wage-theft by refusing to properly compensate drivers. The lawsuit claims that Amazon failed to pay the minimum wage, and denied compensation for rest breaks or overtime. Amazon has also been fined $6.4 million by California regulators for similar wage-theft violations, though Amazon has stated it is appealing the fine. 

 

Workers Deserve Protections

While Amazon founder Jeff Bezos disputes Elon Musk for the title of world’s richest person, the drivers who keep his company running are struggling to pay rent, while working under increasingly stressful and unsafe conditions. 

The team at McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt have decades of experience fighting for workers, and are following these developments closely. If you work as a delivery driver for Amazon and have been subject to unfair working conditions, contact us today at 1-866-333-7715 or online via our form.  

 

 

Deadly Paraquat: Safety Measures Were Falsified To Keep the Herbicide on the Market

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Syngenta, an agrochemical manufacturer that sells pesticides worldwide, is now in the center of a legal firestorm. This comes after leaked documents, and the testimony of a company insider, revealed deadly secrets the company has long struggled to keep hidden. 

Greenpeace released a devastating takedown of Syngenta in their report titled “The Paraquat Papers”, which was published on March 24th 2021. Paraquat, sold under the brand name Gramoxone, is a Syngenta pesticide that has long been banned in numerous countries after claiming tens of thousands of lives, but is still used widely in the United States as a pesticide. The Paraquat Papers alleges that Syngenta knowingly used manipulated data to prove to US regulators that paraquat is safe for use. 

 

What Is Paraquat and Why Is It So Deadly?

Paraquat has been sold in the United States since 1964, and is used to kill weeds and grasses before planting. Paraquat is so toxic that consuming only a single tablespoon is enough to be fatal. Unfortunately, it has been consumed accidentally, and intentionally, thousands of times since its introduction in the 1960s.

Paraquat is now banned in more than 50 countries around the globe due to its deadly nature. Yet this dangerous chemical remains available for sale in the United States to this day. This is in large part because Syngenta convinced regulators they had come up with a way to make paraquat safe.

Why Is Paraquat Still Sold in the United States?

Syngenta added an emetic to paraquat in the 1970s. This is a chemical that will induce vomiting if swallowed. By adding the emetic, Syngenta stated that individuals who accidentally or purposefully drank paraquat would immediately vomit up the toxin, saving lives. The emetic added to paraquat was codenamed PP796.

The only problem? Newly uncovered documents reveal that PP796 never worked. What’s worse, is that Syngenta knew this, and still continued to tout their products’ safety. In fact, Syngenta had its concentration of PP796 declared the global standard for all paraquat-based weed killers via the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations – a standard that is still in place today. 

 

Fabricated Data

John Heylings worked for Syngenta for 22 years, and has been trying to warn consumers and the company about the ineffectiveness of PP796 for years now. Heyling states that paraquat contains far too little PP796 for it to properly work as an emetic before the victim is killed by the pesticide, even for those who swallow the minimum lethal dose. 

Heylings also alleges that the concentrations that Syngenta uses are based on a report that was fabricated back in 1976, using data that was manipulated. The fabricated data claimed humans were 10 times more sensitive to PP796 than animal test subjects, instead of using the actual doses given to the animal test subjects as a reliable indicator. 

Paraquat and Parkinson’s

Heyling brought this information to Syngenta in 1990, but the company ignored him. In 2018, he again urged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to change its standards in regards to paraquat – yet nothing was done. This has given rise to several lawsuits in the United States, all involving paraquat.

Several farmers have claimed they developed Parkinson’s disease after using paraquat on their farms. Studies have shown that farmers who use paraquat may be up to 11 times more likely to develop Parkinson’s after routine exposure to the pesticide. The disease can cause a loss of motor functions, imbalance, and shaking. Syngenta has repeatedly withheld warnings about the link between its product and Parkinsons, which has resulted in multiple lawsuits being filed. 

 

Paraquat Lawsuits

For too long, Syngenta has been allowed to market a deadly product in the United States, putting farmers and their families at risk. With growing public awareness of the lengths that Syngenta has gone to to keep this product on the market, the team at McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt is tracking this evolving story closely. As Philadelphia’s Top Toxic Chemical Exposure Lawyers, If you or someone you love was impacted by the use of paraquat, we want to hear from you. Call us today at 1-866-333-7715 for a free consultation, or fill out our form

 

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