The Seven Signs of Nursing Home Neglect

Elderly woman looking out window of nursing home

Do you have an elderly family member currently living in a nursing home?

Finding a facility that will care for them as you would is always a challenge. Facility sales staff often paint the rosiest of pictures. But does their version of life in a facility match reality?

Often it does not.

Continue reading “The Seven Signs of Nursing Home Neglect” »

Defibrillator Maker Fails to Adequately Warn Patients and Doctors of Defect

Defibrillator Maker Fails to Adequately Warn Patients and Doctors of DefectWe write often about corporations selling products they privately know are dangerous.

In almost every instance, the choice to sell in spite of the dangers is made for the sake of corporate profits.

To the long list of companies that have made this choice, we now add St. Jude Medical – a company, recently purchased by Abbott Laboratories.

The product they have sold that is dangerous? Defibrillators with batteries packs known to fail.

Think about that for a moment. Defibrillators protect patients with heart problems by delivering an electric shock to return a diseased heart to a normal rhythm when it is not beating properly.

These brief electrical discharges are life savers. And these devices are implanted in the chests of the patients who need them.

So what happens when the batteries suddenly fail? Continue reading “Defibrillator Maker Fails to Adequately Warn Patients and Doctors of Defect” »

Four Critical Things to Remember if You Are Hurt in an Accident of Any Kind

Four Critical Things to Remember if You Are Hurt in an Accident of Any KindAnyone who’s ever been injured in an accident knows the challenges that follow. First, there’s the need for proper medical care and questions about if and how soon you can return to work or normal activity. And then there are financial and legal matters to consider, such as who pays the medical bills and whether a lawyer is needed to help protect your rights?

If you’re ever injured in an accident through no fault of your own, here are four critical things to remember: Continue reading “Four Critical Things to Remember if You Are Hurt in an Accident of Any Kind” »

More Consumer Protections Under Assault

New law could strip consumers of their rights for protectionThe U.S. House of Representatives is currently considering a bill that would strip states like Connecticut of their ability to best protect their citizens through patient safety liability laws.

Called H.R. 1215, this pending Act would severely limit the ability of Connecticut families to hold health care and medical providers accountable in the event they injure or kill their patients.

Seem hard to believe? Continue reading “More Consumer Protections Under Assault” »

Big Trucks and the Rules of the Road

Photo credit: TruckPR via / CC BY-NC-ND

Photo credit: TruckPR via / CC BY-NC-ND


If you are like most drivers, sharing the road with massive, fast moving tractor trailer behemoths can be a bit intimidating at times – particularly in inclement weather.

While most truck companies and their drivers are safe, there are a number that aren’t – relying on unsafe driver scheduling, unqualified drivers and poorly maintained vehicles.

Happily – there are rules governing the use of these massive vehicles and the drivers operating them. For these we cite the published regulations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA):

  • A driver may drive only during a period of 14 consecutive hours after coming on duty following 10 consecutive hours off duty. The driver may not drive after the end of the 14-consecutive-hour period without first taking 10 consecutive hours off duty. During the 14 hour period, a driver may only drive a total of 11 hours.
  • Except when allowed for, due to short-haul exceptions, driving is not permitted if more than 8 hours have passed since the end of a driver’s last off-duty or sleeper-berth period of at least 30 minutes.
  • Supervisors of commercial motor vehicle drivers are required to take 60 minutes of training on the symptoms of alcohol abuse and another 60 minutes of training on the symptoms of controlled substances use (120 minutes in total).  The purpose of this training is to teach supervisors to identify circumstances and indicators that may create reasonable suspicion that a driver is using or under the influence of alcohol or drugs, supporting referral of an employee for testing.
  • It is the responsibility of truck companies to ensure that all parts and accessories on tractor trailer trucks intended for use in interstate commerce are maintained at, or promptly repaired to, the minimum standards set by
  • There are very specific rules carriers must follow with respect to cargo. Cargo must be firmly immobilized or secured on or within a vehicle by structures of adequate strength, dunnage (loose materials used to support and protect cargo) or dunnage bags (inflatable bags intended to fill space between articles of cargo or between cargo and the wall of the vehicle), shoring bars, tiedowns or a combination of these.

Truck drivers driving at excessive speeds are also a major safety problem in Connecticut and across the country.

To address this hazard, federal regulators have just proposed equipping all new large trucks made in the U.S. with an electronic device to cap the speeds of vehicles weighing more than 26,000 pounds. Regulators are considering a cap of 60, 65 or 68 miles per hour, though that could change. Whatever the speed limit, the device would make it physically impossible for drivers to exceed it.

Is there a role car drivers can play in truck safety?

Continue reading “Big Trucks and the Rules of the Road” »

Connecticut. A Dangerous Place to Walk.

Pedestrian safety in CTThe Auto Insurance Center (a news and information website for insurance purchasers) publishes regular reports on pedestrian safety, looking at pedestrian deaths by state.

Where does Connecticut fall?

Twenty-eighth among the 50 states – and second worst in New England behind Rhode Island.

What’s the cause?

There are factors that seem to impact pedestrian safety in general more than others.

First – male pedestrians are far more likely than women to be injured or killed while walking along Connecticut roads. That statistic holds in every state except Delaware and Montana.

Population density seems to play a prominent role as well – although Ohio, a state with fairly dense population centers – is considered to be one of the top five safest for pedestrians.

Believe it or not – texting and walking is increasingly becoming a significant safety hazard.


Continue reading “Connecticut. A Dangerous Place to Walk.” »

Why Personal Injury Lawyers Matter… A Lot.

Throughout the ages, powerful corporate interests have made choices in the name of profit that do immense harm to consumers.

Deadly harm.

In fact, the last 75 years have witnessed countless instances of greed trumping the common good.

Did you know that in virtually every case where corporate recklessness was challenged – it was an attorney who fought the powerful interests to uncover the truth and protect the innocent? At times risking their careers…

One of the latest examples of exceptional conduct involves a lawyer, Rob Bilott, from the prestigious corporate law firm Taft Stettinius & Hollister in Ohio. Taft, Stettinius & Hollister focuses almost entirely on defending corporations – not suing them.

The story begins one day when Bilott received a call from a man named Wilbur Tennant – a West Virginia dairy farmer. Normally Bilott would have taken a call like this one, listened politely and declined interest in the case.


This call was different. The farmer said his cows where dying agonizing deaths in great numbers – and that the DuPont Chemical Company was to blame. And then he blurted out Bilott’s grandmother’s name. It turns out that Attorney Bilott had visited his grandmother in West Virginia as a child and had visited a farm adjacent to Tennant’s – a visit that still conjured up fond memories.

Continue reading “Why Personal Injury Lawyers Matter… A Lot.” »

Riding and Walking to Make a Difference

Jim_Calhoun_Ride_and_WalkMany of us at RisCassi & Davis are active walkers, runners and cyclists and we also work hard to defend walkers, runners and cyclists across the state. Many of us are also UConn graduates. For the past eight years, we have taken this passion and served as the Presenting Sponsor of Coach Calhoun’s annual ride and walk to support medical research at UConn Health. To date, over $2 million has been raised for this purpose. We are proud to say that over $250,000 of that has been raised by the lawyers and staff in our office!

This year’s event – the Jim Calhoun Ride and Walk for Lifesaving Research and Care – is an event Coach Calhoun created because Federal and State dollars, as well as corporate support for important, cutting edge medical research and care has been declining for years at academic health centers across America.

The 2015 Jim Calhoun Ride and Walk for Lifesaving Research and Care will take place on May 30th and will start and finish at Northwest Catholic High School in West Hartford. The event will feature rides of 15, 30 and 62 miles and a 5K walk, and as the day ends, there will be a celebratory cookout for all participants. Ninety cents of every dollar contributed by riders and walkers and their supporters will go directly to the cause and every UConn Health department will be eligible to receive funds.

All funds raised by the Jim Calhoun Ride and Walk for Lifesaving Research and Care will specifically benefit the UConn Health Research and Discovery Fund – a fund to support research aimed at curing disease and improving human health.

Each of us at RisCassi & Davis is proud to be a part of this important endeavor and commend Coach Calhoun for his decades of support of UConn Health.

Do Your Floors Present Hidden Dangers?

In March of 2015, 60 Minutes aired a segment alleging that laminate flooring sold by Lumber Liquidators, the largest flooring company in the U.S. with 360 stores in 46 states, contained levels of formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, that exceeded California emissions standards.

While Lumber Liquidators is a U.S. company – virtually all of their laminate flooring (a very big seller for the company) is made in China.

When the story first broke about the dangers of their product – the company did what so many companies do – they denied there was a safety problem.

Well is there?

Continue reading “Do Your Floors Present Hidden Dangers?” »

Is Danger Lurking at Your Child’s Next Birthday Party?

Birthday parties are supposed to be fun… right?

Most of the time they are.   But mix in a bounce house, castle, moonwalk or other inflatable bouncer and injuries become a real concern.

Did you know that a child in America is injured in a bounce house every 46 minutes?  Falls account for 43 percent of injuries, followed by stunts and child collisions.  More than half of the injuries are fractures, sprains and strains, followed by serious injuries to the head (concussions and brain injuries), neck and face.  Studies show that boys (average age 7 1/2) are somewhat more prone to these injuries than girls.

Continue reading “Is Danger Lurking at Your Child’s Next Birthday Party?” »