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Child Safety Seats April 9, 2009

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in Personal Injury Law, Wisconsin Auto Accidents.
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I was surprised at the small number of states that require children to ride in the back seat.  To me it seems like common sense.  Wisconsin requires that children under the age of 3 be in a rear seat, if available.

The info provided by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has a good visual of the age at which children must be in a restraint or booster seat.

In Wisconsin those who must be in a safety seat are:

children younger than 1 and all children who weigh less than 20 pounds are required to be in a rear-facing infant seat; children 1 through 3 years who weigh at least 20 pounds but less than 40 pounds are required to be in a forward-facing child safety seat; children 4 through 7 who both weigh at least 40 pounds but less than 80 pounds and who are less than 57 inches tall are required to be in a booster seat

Simply an adult safety belt is permissible in Wisconsin if the child is:

8 years and younger and more than 80 pounds and 57 inches or taller

Jon Groth is a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney handling cases throughout Wisconsin and most recently in West AllisSheboygan,  Plymouth,  and Germantown.

If you’d like to submit a question or case please complete a case submission form.

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Contact Sport Injury February 4, 2009

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in FAQ Personal Injury.
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Cheerleading is a contact sport. 

So says the Wisconsin Supreme Court.  So, what does this mean for teenage girls across Wisconsin?  Well, you can’t sue another cheerleader if you are injured in the act of leading cheers. 

This decision was the first of its kind.  It came not too long after a study that says that cheerleading is the most dangerous sport

So, what does this mean for those injured in the same manner as Brittany Noffke?  Parents make sure you have good health insurance, discuss the risks with your child and have good long talk with the coach about safety during practice.

Unsafe Car Parts from China December 22, 2008

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in Personal Injury Law.
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Is there any good news about products coming from China these days?  The New York Times writes about a few serious safety problems found in auto parts manufactured in China:

Child restraints that may come apart in an impact. Fuses that could catch fire when overloaded. Tires susceptible to tread separation.

A consumer safety organization, the Center for Auto Safety, has a whole page dedicated to recent recalls of products made in China.

This next quote really concerns me.  Like many others I tend to believe that some Chinese manufacturers don’t really look to the long term.  They are only concerned about short term profits.

The executive director of the Center for Auto Safety:

said his review convinces him that too many Chinese companies are unfamiliar with — or don’t care about — safety standards in the United States and thus don’t meet them.

Be sure to check out the recent recalls when you get a chance.

Jon Groth is a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney handling cases throughout Wisconsin and most recently in Milwaukee, West Bend, New Berlin and Wauwatosa.

Click here to submit a Case or Question.

It’s Snowing So Let’s Talk About Pools and Spas December 18, 2008

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in Personal Injury Law.
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I’m in Wisconsin.  It is NOT warm here.  It is cold, snowy and icy.  But, I can at least think warm. 

This post is for the water lovers out there with small kids.  Many people try to think warm this time of year (including my family) by going to the YMCA, hotel or local indoor (heated) pool.

In theory, on December 19, 2008 pools and spas will be safer because the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act goes into effect.   This law was signed by President Bush on December 19, 2007.  Congress gave all effected pool and spa owners one year to comply with the new standards.

According to WSJ.com:

Under the law, all public pools and spas must have ASME/ANSI A112.19.8-2007 compliant drain covers installed and a second anti-entrapment system installed, when there is only a single main drain.  

The reason for this law is tragic.  Former Secretary of State James Baker’s granddaughter died after being stuck to the drain of a pool.  The suction was just too much for the 7 year old girl to overcome.

According to USA.Safekids.org:

Seven-year-old Graeme was a member of the community swim and diving team and had been swimming unassisted since she was 3 years old — but her death is listed as a drowning.  In fact, she drowned by entrapment, pinned under water by hundreds of pounds of suction force at the drain of the hot tub.

I encourage you to check out Safe Kids USA’s website.  There is a lot of useful information for parents of kids who love to swim.   Be careful this holiday season!

If you or a loved one is injured because you think the pool or spa owner did not comply with this law I’d be happy to discuss this with you.

Jon Groth is a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney handling cases throughout Wisconsin and most recently in West AllisSheboygan,  Plymouth,  and  Germantown.

If you’d like to submit a question or case please complete a case submission form.

Front Page News December 16, 2008

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in Personal Injury Law.
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Avvo Legal Guide

Avvo's Featured Legal Guide 12-16-2008

 

Thanks Avvo for placing me on your homepage.  I hope your readers took some useful information from my legal guide.

Attorney Ed Wallis and the Mid South Trial Lawyer’s Blog December 15, 2008

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in Personal Groth, Personal Injury Law.
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I just added Ed Wallis and his partner Tim Edwards’ blog to my list of links (on the right side of your screen).  Ed is a trial lawyer in Tennessee and an active member of the American Association for Justice (AAJ). 

Ed and Tim have a lot of good information on their blog and website.  I took special notice of their information about cribs and recent recalls:

In the wake of a recall affecting nearly 1.6 million cribs, federal regulators plan to institute new standards governing crib durability and hardware problems. A spokeswoman for the Consumer Products Safety Commission said that while voluntary standards have decreased the number of crib injuries and deaths, they have not fully addressed comprehensive durability standards. Durability and hardware issues have been at the root of five recent crib recalls, according to the Washington Post. Read more HERE.

Take a moment to check out Ed and Tim’s site.  It’s worth the click.

Jon Groth is a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney handling cases throughout Wisconsin and most recently in West AllisSheboygan,  Plymouth,  and  Germantown.

If you’d like to submit a question or case please complete a case submission form.

It’s That Time of Year December 10, 2008

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in FAQ Personal Injury, Personal Injury Law.
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Yep, time to watch out for dangerous toys.  Who knows what Mr. Mainway will buy for little Johnny or Sally.

I recently wrote a piece about this on Avvo.com.  I touch on Bisphenol A, Phthalates, lead and toxic toys.  Also, I mention the common problems with many toys, i.e choking hazards and following the age limits.

You can check out the “Legal Guide” here.

Jon Groth is a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney handling cases throughout Wisconsin and most recently in Milwaukee, West Bend, New Berlin and Wauwatosa.

Click here to submit a Case or Question.

“Look Both Ways” December 4, 2008

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in FAQ Personal Injury, Wisconsin Auto Accidents.
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I’ve said that phrase a bazillion times the past few years.  Those with small boys will understand.  As a personal injury attorney maybe I’m a little (actually a lot) more worried about car versus pedestrian accidents.  I’ve handled a great number of cases where people walked across the street at the cross walk and not at the cross walk.   In short, always cross at the cross walk, even if it means walking a few hundred feet out of your way.

The reason I mention this is a blog post that Attorney Michael Pines of California wrote.  California has a new program called the “Safe Routes to School Program.”  It’s a good idea.  I don’t know of anything like it in Wisconsin.

In short Attorney Pines describes it as:

What the program intends to do is to create specific, easily accessible routes for children to walk to school with reduced dangers and hazards.  The routes include smaller traffic flow, safety barriers between pedestrians and traffic, lower speed limits in these zones, and in some areas, the restriction of auto traffic altogether.

I don’t know what the cost of the program would be.  But, in theory it sounds like a good idea.  Maybe some generous foundation could fund this?

www.jonpgroth.com

 Jon Groth is a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney handling cases throughout Wisconsin and most recently in Fond du lac, West Bend, Kenosha and Wauwatosa.

Click here to submit a Case or Question.

Child Safety Seats Safe? December 2, 2008

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in Personal Injury Law, Wisconsin Auto Accidents.
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You fly to Grandma’s house for Christmas with your kids.  With the increased prices of luggage these days you decide to NOT bring the kids’ safety seats.  You’ll just rent them.   It’s okay right?  These safety seats are safe?  They have to be safe.  If they weren’t safe the rental company wouldn’t allow the public to use them. 

Well, don’t assume anything.  Consumeraffairs.com wrote about a family’s recent troubles with their rental child safety seats. 

“Some seats were obviously missing parts. Some were obviously very old,” she told ConsumerAffairs.com. “We installed two of the better looking seats thinking that they were okay only to find that they were not working.”

So, what can a family on the move do?  Consumeraffairs.com recommends:

• Inspect each seat thoroughly for any evidence of cracking, twisting, worn harness webbing or broken buckles.

• Verify that seatbelts are threaded through the proper channels.

• Once you have latched the buckles, pull hard to make sure that they do not detach.

• Find the “birth date” label on the side or back of the seat, and don’t use a seat more than 5 years old.

• Get a copy of the car seat manual

www.jonpgroth.com

Jon Groth is a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney handling cases throughout Wisconsin and most recently in Milwaukee, West Bend, New Berlin and Wauwatosa.

Click here to submit a Case or Question.

Troublesome Toys November 28, 2008

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in FAQ Personal Injury, Personal Injury Law.
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The United States Public Interest Research Group released a study entitled “Trouble in Toyland.” 

What caught my eye was the discussion of chemicals in our kids’ toys. 

Toxic phthalates: Numerous scientists have documented the potential health effects of exposure to phthalates in the womb or at crucial stages of development, including (but not limited to) reproductive defects, premature delivery, early onset of puberty and lower sperm counts. Effective February 2009, the CPSIA bans toys that contain concentrations of more than 0.1 percent of a toxic chemical called phthalates. PIRG found toys that contained concentrations of phthalates of up to 40 percent.

So what can you do to avoid these chemicals.  I previously wrote about BPA in baby bottles, cups and dishes.  Along with the advice from that blog I recommend you read PIRG’s study.  In part:

Avoid toys made of PVC plastic; which often contains phthalate softeners. Choose unpainted wooden or cloth toys instead. Read the labels of play cosmetics and avoid products with xylene or toluene or phthalates. All of these pose hazards, especially to developing children’s small bodies.  

Jon Groth is a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney handling cases throughout Wisconsin and most recently in West AllisSheboygan,  Plymouth,  and  Germantown.

If you’d like to submit a question or case please complete a case submission form.