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2013 - California Personal Injury Blog

E-Cigarette Commercials to Hit Television Amid Swirling Controversy

By Brian Chase on December 31, 2013 - No comments

e-cigarettes are they harmfulAs a product liability attorney, I have issues with the onslaught of e-smokers coming out in what seems like droves. Whenever a new product hits the market and the only one telling us it’s safe is the maker, that causes me concern.

There is much more that needs to be understood about the potential dangers of electronic cigarettes. Especially if they are going to be advertised across our televisions in millions of households with young children and teens watching.

Even as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is poised to propose curbs on battery-powered E-cigarettes, the electronic cigarette industry has big television advertising plans for 2014.

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, politicians and anti-tobacco groups have called to regulate these devices just like traditional cigarettes, which have not been allowed in TV commercials for more than 40 years. Experts view the E-cigarette industry’s move to unleash a flurry of new national TV ads as a way to reach out to as many consumers as possible and cement their brands nationally. …Read the rest »

Posted in: Defective Products

How to Have a Safe and Happy Holiday

By Brian Chase on December 24, 2013 - No comments

Christmas safety tips

The holidays are a joyous and wonderful time of the year. It is of course the time when we decorate our homes, put up the Christmas tree and open our homes to friends and family. The holidays are also a time when several types of safety hazards lurk in and around our homes. Each year dozens of fires start in the home from overexposed or dried out trees.  From food illness to protecting your pets, here are some holiday safety tips.  …Read the rest »

Posted in: Personal Injury

Bisnar|Chase donates Lakers tickets for local Child Guidance Center

By Brian Chase on December 23, 2013 - No comments

Lakers tickets donation to CGC Shannon Feathers picking up Lakers tickets donated by Bisnar Chase.

The Child Guidance Center (CGC) performed a silent auction to raise donations for those in need at their Annual Holiday Tree Fantasy Charity event on December 8th 2013, and the winning bid of Lakers tickets provided by Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys was a local Irvine business man.

The event raised just over $100,000.00 

The charity is in its 31st year, and the Center has several different donation programs to help aid families.

They depend on private donors and grants to cover program expenses aimed at helping children with many aspects of their lives such as recovering from emotional or physical abuse and mending families.

Their mission statement is to provide quality outpatient mental health and child abuse related counseling services to empower children and families to reach their potential. …Read the rest »

Posted in: Charities

BMW Recalls More than 76,000 Vehicles for Defective Airbags

By Brian Chase on December 20, 2013 - No comments

BMW has issued an auto defect recall for a wide range of its vehicles from the 2006 and 2007 model years for potential airbag defects. According to a news report in The Washington Post, the recall affects 75,565 BMW vehicles including the 3 Series, 5 Series, 7 Series and X5 crossover from the 2006 and 2007 model years fitted with a certain type of seat. …Read the rest »

Posted in: Auto Defects

Michelin Recalls Defective Tires for Tread Separation Issues

By Brian Chase on December 18, 2013 - No comments

Michelin is recalling about 1.2 million tires for potential tire defects. According to a news release issued by the company, the safety recall involves one version of a specific size of Michelin LTX M/S tire. These tires are typically found on vehicles such as commercial light trucks, full-sized heavy-duty vans, small recreational vehicles and some large pickup trucks. The tires included in this recall were manufactured between January 2010 and June 2012. The tire version and size are: Michelin LTX M/S LT 225/75R16 115/112R LRE. …Read the rest »

Posted in: Auto Defects

Lake Forest Car Crash Proves Fatal for Elderly Driver

By Brian Chase on December 16, 2013 - No comments

Claude J. Makin, 89, was killed in a Lake Forest car accident after his car was struck by another vehicle at a street intersection. According to a news report in The Lake Forest Patch, the incident occurred the morning of December 13, 2013, at the intersection of Rockfield Boulevard and Dune Mear. Officials say Makin, who was driving a 1984 Cadillac El Dorado, was struck by a 1995 Infiniti sedan as he pulled onto Rockfield from the Dune Mear access road. …Read the rest »

Posted in: Car Accidents

Is Robotic Surgery the Right Path for You?

By Brian Chase on December 14, 2013 - No comments

using robots for surgeryRobotic surgery in the United States became available to the public more than 20 years ago, in 1992, when a 64-year-old man had his hip successfully replace with the help of a machine called Robodoc.

However, it wasn’t until 2000 that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved use of the da Vinci robotic system for a large group of minimally invasive procedures. This is when robotic surgery really started gaining popularity.

Marketing Hype

Over the last 10 years, nearly 2,000 surgical robots have been sold in the United States and the number of robotic procedures for everything from head and neck surgery to hysterectomies has soared by 30 percent each year. It seems that this soaring in popularity has been due to aggressive marketing tactics playing up the robot’s “wow” factor rather than a solid track record of safety and effectiveness.

Billboards and television commercials have cracked up these robotic systems to be more high-tech and cutting edge than they really are, safety experts say. However, what we have learned from several sources including the FDA is that these robots may not be living up to their promise. Researchers at Johns Hopkins say that while some people may benefit from robotic surgery, it may actually end up hurting others.

Making the Right Decision

So how do you determine if robotic surgery is right for you? Here are a few tips:

• Do not believe everything you see or hear. Ignore the hype. According to a 2011 Johns Hopkins study, hospital websites often cite studies comparing robotic surgery with open surgery instead of with minimally invasive procedures. Many claims with regard to safety and effectiveness can also be misleading.
• Carefully consider your options. Think twice about going in for robotic surgery for routine procedures such as hernia surgery, appendix removal or gallbladder removal. However, you may want to consider it for complex surgeries such as cancer surgery, head and neck tumors and other procedures where there is no minimally invasive option.
• It is important to ask questions before you go in for surgery. Some patients are not even informed that a robot will be used. If you are scheduled for surgery, ask questions about what procedures will be used.
• Make sure that you select the right doctor if you are going in for robotic surgery. Find out about his or her experience, number of procedures performed using a robot and his or her success rate.
• Talk to others you know who may have had the surgery or visit support groups.

It is important that all patients have the facts they need to make informed choices about their health. It is important for consumers to weigh all the positives and negatives of robotic surgery. There’s been recent talk of medical malpractice cases looming over the robotic surgery tool and it’s still early to determine if there will be legal cases surrounding robotic surgery and it’s level of safety.

Posted in: Defective Products

Increase in Dog Bites Observed During the Holiday Season in San Diego

By Brian Chase on December 13, 2013 - No comments

Dog bites up in San Diego this Holiday Season

According to an article on NBC San Diego’s web site, dog bites in San Diego are up this year in the region and could get worse with the holiday season.

According to the U.S. Postal Service, December is also the peak season for dog bites and dog attacks. With children out of school for the winter break and mail carriers delivering a higher volume of mail and holiday packages, the environment is ripe for dogs to strike. …Read the rest »

Posted in: Dog Bites

Feds Looking into Whether Hyundai Airbag Recall Should Be Expanded

By Brian Chase on December 11, 2013 - No comments

Hyundai auto recall for airbagsFederal safety regulators are looking into whether a defective product recall relating to Hyundai Elantra vehicles should be expanded. According to a news report in The Star Tribune, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has opened up a recall query to determine if 52,000 Elantra Touring cars – model years 2009 to 2012 – should be recalled.

In March, the Korean automaker recalled more than 186,000 Elantra compacts from the 2011 to 2013 model years because a ceiling support bracket can come loose when side airbags inflate. In one of the cases, a bracket sliced a driver’s ear. NHTSA says the 2009-2012 Elantra Touring models have a bracket design that is similar to the recalled cars. In the recall, dealers were to install industrial adhesive strips to keep the brackets in place. The bracket design was changed in cars built after March 5, 2013. …Read the rest »

Posted in: Auto Defects

Canada Comes Closer to a Ban on 15-Passenger Vans

By Brian Chase on December 10, 2013 - No comments

One sad tragedy after another has finally caused the Canadian Parliament to consider a bill to ban 15-passenger vans for all student use and eventually they will be banned altogether. The Canwest News Service reports that MP Crowder is now backing the bill that was originally presented by MP Yvon Godin.

Ms. Crowder’s son was killed in a rollover accident in one of these vans in 2008 in Manitoba. This was also the year that the Bathurst High School basketball team and one teacher were killed when their van swerved on the Trans-Canadian Highway and hit a truck. The Bathurst tragedy was the incident that moved Godin to write the bill. Prior to this bill, Canada has not banned these 15-passenger vans at all, while many of the American states including California have banned them for all student use under the college level. Universities and colleges are starting to ban these vans for university sponsored events as a risk management precaution and private groups are doing the same.

The “Times Colonist” reports that the Canadian bill would also limit the sale, import and interprovincial shipment of vans and van parts in Canada, leading to an all-out ban on the “deadly” vehicles when used to transport passengers, said Godin. “The reason why these vans are so dangerous is simple: They were never designed to transport passengers. They were designed to transport goods,” said Godin. “I hope for the good of the safety of our children that the government takes the lead on this…and introduces a bill right after this one.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has put out several safety advisories on the 15-passenger van since 2001, the most recent being in spring 2010, but has stopped at recommending a full ban of the vehicles, although since 1990 400 people have died in accidents due to the rollover of these vans.

The only federal regulations existing state that new 15-passenger vans may not be sold to schools and that drivers of these vans need to have a commercial driver’s license with the training that entails.

The 15-passenger van was actually considered a very convenient idea and was an economical way to move relatively small groups without all of the fuel and other expense of a school bus. Several church groups and other non-profit agencies still use these vans and cannot afford to get rid of them to buy some other form of transportation. However the extreme danger of 15 passenger vans with their product liability cases product defect is still out there for the passengers of the vans, and for the unfortunate vehicles they may collide with. This is why an act banning these vehicles to force them off the road for good is absolutely necessary. The federal and state governments need to do this as soon as possible.

For more information, please see For more information, see 15-Passenger Van Advisory.

Posted in: Car Accidents

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