Ziff Law Lawyers Fighting In Albany For NY Families

 

tort reform art

Christina Sonsire and Adam Gee of the Ziff Law Firm recently went to Albany to fight for grieving families in New York State – like Craig and Melissa Storms, who lost their 2-year-old son in a hospital emergency room.

“Knowing that the same family could recover if they lived just across the border in Pennsylvania due to its strong wrongful death laws makes it even tougher for us to deal with families in New York,” said Adam Gee.

“Knowing that the same family could recover if they lived just across the border in Pennsylvania due to its strong wrongful death laws makes it even tougher for us to deal with families in New York,” said Adam Gee.

Christina and Adam lobbied with other members of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association in the New York State Legislature to fight for reforming New York’s 153-year-old wrongful death law, something the lawyers at Ziff Law have been doing for nearly a decade.

“We have been to Albany numerous times to fight for justice for those who lose a loved one due to negligence. It’s one battle we will never stop waging until the laws in New York finally improve,” Christina said.

Under the present wrongful death statute in New York, the assessment of damages is based almost exclusively on expected future income, something that is very biased toward the state’s highest-earning residents. Worse, New York is one of only seven states that do not compensate family members for their grief and sorrow.

“The reality is that New York law discriminates against people who are very young, retired or out of the work force, such as stay-at-home parents or people with disabilities,” said Christina Sonsire. “The families of people who are not actively engaged in the work force have little to no claim for wrongful death in New York.”

“The reality is that New York law discriminates against people who are very young, retired or out of the work force, such as stay-at-home parents or people with disabilities,” said Christina Sonsire. “The families of people who are not actively engaged in the work force have little to no claim for wrongful death in New York.”

“The reality is that New York law discriminates against people who are very young, retired or out of the work force, such as stay-at-home parents or people with disabilities,” Christina said. “The families of people who are not actively engaged in the work force have little to no claim for wrongful death in New York.”

Having to tell a family that we cannot take a case because their loved one’s life is worthless in the eyes of New York State law is a very difficult thing to do, Adam said. “Knowing that the same family could recover if they lived just across the border in Pennsylvania due to its strong wrongful death laws makes it even tougher for us to deal with families in New York.”

The tragic case of 2-year-old Zachary Storms highlights the discriminatory nature of New York’s wrongful death law.

Zachary’s story is heartbreaking.

Craig and Melissa Storms rushed their child to a hospital emergency room because they feared he may have ingested some red and blue dye from a child’s chemistry set.

They did all the right things. They consulted with the American Association of Poison Control Centers, which recommended, to be safe, that they take the child to a local hospital for precautionary treatment.

Things turned nightmarish quickly.

The Poison Control Centers urged “observe-only” to the hospital, but instead, the doctor forced young Zachary to drink an activated charcoal solution. He vomited and refused to drink more and the hospital put a gastrointestinal tube down his throat and poured so much liquid that it filled his throat, stomach, and lungs, killing him almost instantly.

“He was running around the emergency room, playing. Then he was dead,” said Melissa Storms.

“This is about justice and holding the people who caused his death accountable,” said Craig Storms.

However, New York’s wrongful death law only values financial loss, not human loss. A toddler, Zachary clearly was not earning any income, and his young age made it too speculative to project what he would make in the future. Therefore, under New York’s current wrongful death law, Zachary’s life was worthless.

When Congress established the Sept. 11th Victim Compensation Fund, it circumvented the law so surviving victims and victims’ families could be properly compensated. “Congress understood New York’s law is antiquated, and doing something like denying compensation to the parents whose children died that day was just wrong,” said Christina.

It’s time for New York State to do the same and take a giant step toward civil justice reform.

The lawyers at the Ziff Law Firm will not stop fighting for families until New York State changes this law.

Contact your local state representative and tell them about Zachary and why it’s important to modernize the state’s wrongful death law.

Thanks for reading.

Jim

___________________________________

James B. Reed
NY & PA Injury & Malpractice Lawyer
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
Office: (607)733-8866
Toll-Free: 800-ZIFFLAW (943-3529)
Blogs: NYInjuryLawBlog.com and
            NYBikeAccidentBlog.com

 


Government Recalls Millions Of Vehicles With Dangerous Takata Airbags, Says NY and PA Accident Lawyer

Takata 1

Federal safety regulators this week called for all automakers to recall any vehicle equipped with driver’s-side airbags made by the Japanese supplier Takata.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) contacted Takata and the vehicle manufacturers this week to call for the recall of millions of vehicles after evaluating a recent incident that involved a failure in a driver’s side air bag inflator.

Takata 2Based on this new information, unless Takata and the manufacturers quickly agree to this recall, NHTSA will use the full extent of its statutory powers to ensure vehicles that use the same or similar air bag inflator are recalled.

“We now know that millions of vehicles must be recalled to address defective Takata air bags and our aggressive investigation is far from over,” said NHTSA Deputy Administrator David Friedman. “We’re pushing Takata and all affected manufacturers to issue the recall and to ensure the recalls capture the full scope of the problems.”

According to news reports, the agency said it had yet to make a detailed list of the models or model years affected. But the recall will affect millions of vehicles made by Ford, Honda, Chrysler, Mazda and BMW, mostly from model years 2008 or earlier, Friedman told the news media in a conference call.

More than 14 million vehicles made by 11 automakers have been recalled worldwide since 2008 over concerns about Tanaka airbags, news reports said. At least five people have died in accidents linked to the airbags.

There is a propellant in the airbags that can lead them to explode when they activate in an accident, spraying metal debris into the car and possibly injuring the driver or passengers.

The agency did not expand a limited recall that was already in place for some Takata passenger-side airbags in some vehicles in humid regions of the country. The agency said they had a different design than the driver’s-side airbags and tests did not suggest a need to include them in the recall.

Residents of the Twin Tiers, if you believe you have been injured by a Takata airbag, contact me today for a free consultation.

Thanks for

Adam
__________________________________________

Adam M. Gee, Esq.
NY and PA Injury and Malpractice Attorney
The Ziff Law Firm, LLP
303 William Street
Elmira, NY  14901
Phone: (607)733-8866
Fax: (607)732-6062
Email: [email protected]

 

 

 

 

 


NY Toughens Regulations On Boats And Other Watercraft, Hopes To Curb Invasive Species

H39DawnLeftRunSpread2Gal-634x390Boaters and operators of other watercraft in New York State — including the Finger Lakes, of course — are now required to clean and drain their vessels before hitting the water to help stop the spread of invasive species like zebra mussels.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation earlier this month adopted regulations requiring owners to remove visible plant and animal matter from boats, canoes and any other motorized or paddled vessel, before reaching the water. All watercraft owners are also required to clean trailers.

logo_sah-vert-200pxDEC Commissioner Joe Martens said boats and boat trailers can spread invasive species, a threat to our ecosystem.

Before launching, boaters are asked to inspect and remove all mud, plants and other organic material, and drain the bilge.

The state has a great step-by-step inspection process here. The steps are check, clean, drain, dry and disinfect.

You can read the new regulations here.

You can learn more about aquatic invasive species in New York State here.

Read some basic questions and answers about aquatic invasive species here to learn more.

Here is the first question and answer:

Q: What is an aquatic invasive species?

A: According to New York State Environmental Conservation Law, an invasive species is a species that is not native to an ecosystem and causes or is likely to cause significant economic or environmental harm, or harm human health. In reality, the species rarely have any human health implications, but do have the potential to outcompete native species and grow or reproduce to nuisance proportions in a body of water. In certain cases, these species may be native to the U.S. or another section of NY, but are not native to the entire state. White perch and alewife are an example of two fish species that are native to the marine and coastal region of NY, but have become problematic when introduced to inland waters. In other cases, invasive species may be introduced from other regions of the world.

Thanks for reading, and remember to check, clean, drain, dry and disinfect!

Thanks for reading,

Adam
__________________________________________

Adam M. Gee, Esq.
NY and PA Injury and Malpractice Attorney
The Ziff Law Firm, LLP
303 William Street
Elmira, NY  14901
Phone: (607)733-8866
Fax: (607)732-6062
Email: [email protected]

 

 


Tracy Morgan Accident Puts Spotlight On Fatigued Truckers Who Pose Real Danger To Other Drivers, Says NY and PA Truck Accident Lawsuit Lawyer

Actor Tracy Morgan is recovering in a New Jersey hospital after almost being killed in a highway accident involving a tractor-trailer.

Actor Tracy Morgan is recovering in a New Jersey hospital after almost being killed in a highway accident involving a tractor-trailer.

The tragic June 7 accident that critically injured actor and comedian Tracy Morgan has led to a renewed focus on the danger on our highways from fatigued truck drivers working too many hours without taking a break.

A friend of Morgan’s was killed when a Walmart tractor-trailer driven by Kevin Roper rear-ended Morgan’s Mercedes limousine at 1 a.m. June 7 on the New Jersey Turnpike. Morgan is now in fair condition in a New Jersey hospital.

The truck driver, charged with Vehicular Manslaughter By Operating A Vehicle Recklessly and Recklessly Causing Serious Bodily Injury, remains free on $50,000 bail. Prosecutors claim Roper went more than 24 hours without sleep before the fatal wreck. The Jonesboro, Ga., man pleaded innocent last week to the charges in the crash.

In a recent Law Talk segment on WETM-TV News at Noon, I talked about the accident and the charges faced by the truck driver.

Q&A 1Question: Who is held responsible when a truck driver is driving for a company?

Answer: The driver and the owner of the truck are both responsible. The driver has the responsibility of driving safely, and if he is not safe, he can be held liable.

If the truck driver works for Walmart and is operating the truck in the course of his employment, then the company is responsible, too.

In this case, there is an allegation that the driver had been awake for more than 24 hours at the time of the crash. That would be a major violation of federal trucking regulations.

Federal regulations are very specific. Drivers are not supposed to operate a truck for more than 11 hours in a 14-hour period, and after those 11 hours, they are supposed to rest for at least 10 hours. They cannot drive more than 70 hours in a week.

The truck driver is also supposed to list the hours he spends on the road in a log book in his truck. There are many log requirements, but I know from handling many truck accident cases that often the log books are incomplete, and in some cases, falsified.

Sen. Schumer is calling for tougher monitoring of truck drivers.

Sen. Schumer is calling for tougher monitoring of truck drivers.

Drivers are trying to get in more hauls because they get paid by the number of miles they travel and so often, we see truck drivers who have broken the law.

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY, called for “black boxes” (electronic logging devices) in trucks yesterday so trucker hours can be monitored. He cited some startling statistics: 4,000 people are killed and 100,000 injured in accidents involving trucks, and 13 percent of serious accidents are cause by trucker fatigue.

Schumer also wants the federal Department of Transportation to study, and if necessary, increase the insurance coverage level that truck companies are required to cover so victims of accidents receive the compensation and coverage they deserve, he said.

As a lawyer who has handled many tractor trailer cases in N.Y. and PA, I strongly support Senator Schumer’s call for great safety action.

To submit a legal question you’d like answered here on one of our Ziff Law blogs, please send an email to me at [email protected]

Thanks for reading, and remember when you are sharing the road with tractor-trailers, use extreme caution.

Jim
_________________________________

James B. Reed
NY & PA Injury & Malpractice Lawyer
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
Office: (607)733-8866
Toll-Free: 800-ZIFFLAW (943-3529)
Blogs: NYInjuryLawBlog.com and
            NYBikeAccidentBlog.com

 

 

 


Contact Me If You Have Been Injured Because Of GM Ignition Defect, Says NY and PA Personal Injury Lawyer

The 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt is among the recalled GM cars.

The 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt is among the recalled GM cars.

New revelations come out seemingly every day about the botched recall of 2.6 million small GM cars worldwide to replace faulty ignition switches that have led to at least 13 deaths.

If you are one of the GM drivers injured because of a faulty ignition, please contact Ziff Law Managing Partner Jim Reed toll-free at 800-943-3529 or send email to [email protected]  if you want to discuss bringing a claim.

Jim Reed

Jim Reed

GM made a business decision to put millions of lives at risk to save less than $1 per vehicle that would’ve been recalled.

GM dealers were warned nine years ago that the Chevrolet Cobalt could stall because of the switches, but it did not recall the vehicles until February of this year.

GM chose to send alerts to dealers like service bulletins rather than recalls because they are an inexpensive alternative to recalls.

With the ignition switches, the defect can cause the vehicles to turn off while they are being driven, raising numerous safety issues, including failure of air bags to deploy and diminished ability to steer and brake the vehicle.

We have written several blog posts about this mess at GM. We urged people to get their recalled car checked immediately.

GM signWe told the story about the parents of a Georgia woman killed in a 2010 crash in a Cobalt who helped drag this sad and tragic story into the headlines.

But this is what you need to know right this minute: If you are driving one of the vehicles listed below. get it to your GM dealer today. Not. tomorrow. Now.

These cars are killers.

The defect has been primarily linked to Chevy Cobalt vehicles, but the recall includes:

  • 2005-2010 Chevy Cobalt.
  • 2006-2010 Pontiac Solstice.
  • 2007-2010 Pontiac G5.
  • 2007-2010 Saturn Sky.
  • 2006-2011 Chevy HHR.
  • 2003-2007 Saturn Ion.

Please contact Ziff Law Managing Partner Jim Reed toll-free at 800-943-3529 or send email to [email protected]  if you want to discuss bringing a claim.

Thanks for reading,

Jim
_________________________________

James B. Reed
NY & PA Injury & Malpractice Lawyer
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
Office: (607)733-8866
Toll-Free: 800-ZIFFLAW (943-3529)
Blogs: NYInjuryLawBlog.com and
            NYBikeAccidentBlog.com

 


Q&A: Act Quickly If Your Vehicle Is Recalled By Manufacturer, Says NY and PA Personal Injury Lawyer

GM recalls

GM has recalled 2.6 million small cars for defective ignition switches.

In today’s Question & Answer feature, Ziff Law managing partner Jim Reed fields a questions about car recalls, which have been a big national news story lately because automakers are on a record pace for recalls.

According to news reports, about 9 million vehicles have been recalled already in 2014, including 2.6 million small GM cars for defective ignition switches and 1.8 million Toyotas.

Toyota has recalled 1.8 million vehicles recently.

Toyota has recalled 1.8 million vehicles recently.

A Georgia couple’s search for the truth after their daughter died in a one-car accident in 2010 in a Chevrolet Cobalt drove the GM ignition switch problem into the headlines.

On a recent “Law Talk” segment on WETM News at Noon on Wednesdays, Jim talked about why car owners need to pay attention to the recall notices. In “Law Talk,” the Ziff Law lawyers talk about legal issues, often in connection with news events.

Question: What should Twin Tiers residents do if they receive a recall notice for their car? And what happens if they get in an accident in a vehicle that has been recalled?

Jim Reed: Car owners are seeing a lot of recalls now and wondering if this is a good thing or a bad thing. Recalls are a good thing because they are saying that the manufacturer is doing the right thing, rather than sweeping it under the carpet, as used to happen years ago. We used to talk about cases like the Ford Pinto, where manufacturers knew there was a dangerous problem with one of their vehicles and did not do something about it. The Pinto was recalled in 1978 after fuel-tank design flaws led to fatal fires in some cases when Pintos were struck from behind. At that time, Ford was accused of deciding that it was cheaper to pay off lawsuits than make the repairs.

recall signThese recalls are getting away from that and they are a good safety step. Frankly, a lot of people are critical of lawsuits – I understand, I am a lawyer who handles these lawsuits – but the thing I have to constantly stress to people is it is often these lawsuits that motivate manufacturers to change their behavior. So people should embrace recalls.

When you get a recall notice, make an appointment with your dealer right away. Some of the recalls may be for something small, like weather stripping that can lead to a leak in your car, but others involve braking systems or ignition systems, things that make a huge difference.

Don’t ignore a recall notice or wait for something bad to happen. Take steps to make sure you are driving in a safe car.

If there is something really critical in that recall notice, avoid using the recalled car until it is repaired. Better to be safe than sorry.

Jim Reed

Jim Reed

Have a legal question for the Ziff Law lawyers to answer here? Submit your questions by email to [email protected] and we may answer it in a future Q&A blog post. While we will answer questions about personal injury, medical malpractice and divorce law, our primary practice areas, we will also be glad to talk about car/motorcycle/truck insurance, medical bills, lost wages, property damage and any legal issue in the news.

If we can’t answer your question, we will refer you to a lawyer with expertise in that particular area.

Please appreciate that while we are happy to provide basic legal information, doing so does NOT create an attorney/client relationship (unless you formally retain us to represent you). The information provided is general information and should NOT be considered legal advice. Also appreciate that in order to give definitive legal answers, it is critically important that a lawyer meet with you to get all the necessary details to provide a definitive answer so we encourage you to review the information we are providing with your own lawyer.

Thanks for reading,

Jim
_________________________________

James B. Reed
NY & PA Injury & Malpractice Lawyer
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
Office: (607)733-8866
Toll-Free: 800-ZIFFLAW (943-3529)
Blogs: NYInjuryLawBlog.com and
            NYBikeAccidentBlog.com

 


Get Lifetime Licenses To Fish, Hunt And Visit New York State Parks!

Get a lifetime pass to visit Watkins Glen State Park and other New York State parks. Photo: Finger Lakes Wine Country.

Get a lifetime pass to visit Watkins Glen State Park and other New York State parks. Photo: Finger Lakes Wine Country.

If you hunt or fish in our great state, or you’d rather visit one of our wonderful state parks like Watkins Glen State Park, you can now buy a lifetime outdoor recreation pass and never have to worry about annual renewal fees again.

The New York State Adventure License Series gives New Yorkers and visitors to our state an Adventure License. The state also unveiled nine new license plate designs in connection with the new series.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other state officials, in a recent news release, said the series and plates will enhance sporting and recreational options and boost tourism.

“As part of our ongoing efforts to promote New York as a top destination for outdoor enthusiasts and sportsmen, we are launching the NYS Lifetime Adventure License Series that will allow New Yorkers to hunt, fish and enjoy our vast state parks for the rest of their lives,” Cuomo said. “Under this program, we are creating the new Adventure License to make it easier for New Yorkers who hold these lifetime passes to travel and enjoy outdoor activities across the state, as well as new special Adventure License Plates available free to anyone who signs up for a lifetime hunting, fishing or parks license this year. With this initiative, we are growing the state’s tourism industry even further and creating jobs for communities statewide. And most of all, we are excited to offer New Yorkers and visitors the opportunity to enjoy and explore the Empire State’s great outdoors for a lifetime.”

New York’s Lifetime Adventure License Series

  • Lifetime Hunting License: $535 for small/big game.
  • Lifetime Fishing License: $460.
  • Lifetime Empire Passport: $750 with special offer. In addition, as a free one-time special bonus, purchasers will be able to select from any one of the following: a free week of camping, a free round of golf for four, or a $100 State Parks gift card.
  • Adventure License Plates: Adventure license plates will be free of charge for those purchasing new lifetime licenses in 2014, including one free plate renewal. Nine beautiful plate designs are available to display the lifetime commitment that hunters, anglers and parks visitors have made.
    ny-adventure-plates
  • NYS Adventure Licenses: Lifetime holders of sporting licenses, Lifetime Empire Passports, and NY Safe Boating Certificates have the opportunity to consolidate their paper licenses onto one document, their New York State driver’s license. The license will feature icons including: a deer and fish for sportsmen lifetime licensees; an arrowhead for bowhunting; a bobcat paw for trapping; a powderhorn for muzzleloading; an anchor for a boating safety certificate; and a maple leaf for Lifetime Empire Passports.

To purchase a lifetime pass or to learn more about these offers, go here.

If you love the great outdoors, check out these super deals today.

Thanks for reading!

Jim
_________________________________

James B. Reed
NY & PA Injury & Malpractice Lawyer
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
Office: (607)733-8866
Toll-Free: 800-ZIFFLAW (943-3529)
Blogs: NYInjuryLawBlog.com and
            NYBikeAccidentBlog.com

 


NY Politicians Toughen Penalties Instead Of Providing Assistance to Enforce Existing Laws

The state of New York has made a misguided effort to crack down on distracted drivers.

The state of New York has made a misguided effort to crack down on distracted drivers.

Our New York State government is at it again, calling for tougher penalties for laws already on the books that go largely unenforced at present.

Last week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced stiffer penalties for distracted drivers — those who are texting while driving or driving while talking on a cell phone without a hands-free device. Violators will receive five points on their license instead of three.The new law took effect Saturday.

large_litter_453Also last week, the state Senate approved a bill that would double fines for littering on highways and adjoining land. That legislation goes on to the Assembly for further consideration.

Anyone who drives with their eyes open knows both of those laws are largely ignored and unenforced.  It seems like at least every other driver on the road is distracted in some fashion, and our roads are virtual garbage dumps

Here’s a novel idea:  How about we enforce the laws already on the books instead of increasing penalties for laws that no one follows and no one enforces???

You know why they won’t do that???  Money.

It doesn’t cost anything to pass a law that sounds tough and makes it look like they are doing something.  In reality, though, they are accomplishing nothing.  Making littering a more heavily punished offense than drunk driving, when no one is ever charged with littering in the first place, just seems dumb to me.  The same is true of texting while driving.  Seemingly everyone does it – including some of the police who are supposed to enforce it –  but hardly anyone is ever charged with it.

If lawmakers really wanted to change people’s behavior thaey would allocate additional financial resources to our law enforcement agencies for targeted enforcement of these laws – but they won’t – because that costs money.

Here are the details on the two laws:

  • Texting: As I said earlier, starting last Saturday, violators who are talking or texting will get five points on their license, not three. Cuomo is also proposing tougher sanctions for probationary and junior drivers, who would see their licenses suspended for 60 days after the first violation. See news stories here and here.
  • Littering: If enacted, the fine for littering will increase from $350 to $700 for the first offense and from $700 to $1,400 for the second offense. Read more about the proposed law here and here.

Residents of Elmira, Corning and the Twin Tiers, what do you think of these two laws? Please comment below.

Thanks for reading, and please don’t drive while distracted or litter!

Adam
__________________________________________

Adam M. Gee, Esq.
NY and PA Injury and Malpractice Attorney
The Ziff Law Firm, LLP
303 William Street
Elmira, NY  14901
Phone: (607)733-8866
Fax: (607)732-6062
Email: [email protected]

 


Energy Drinks May Be Hazardous To Your Health!

At least five people have died in the last three years after consuming highly caffeinated energy drinks, a federal agency told the New York Times and Time magazine this week. And in a sign of what’s to come, a mother of a Maryland girl who died after drinking one of the popular highly-caffeinated drinks has filed a lawsuit against the maker of the drink.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration hasn’t confirmed the drinks were directly responsible for the deaths, but the agency says voluntary incident reports of deaths and injuries by people consuming energy drinks are starting to flow into its offices.

We are going to be hearing a lot more in the months ahead about deaths and injuries blamed on energy drinks!

Energy drinks are largely an unregulated industry – we know very little about the ingredients in these drinks, and even less about how they affect the human body. What we DO know is they are even more dangerous for children.

As their popularity has skyrocketed, we are seeing more incidents of adverse consequences. The first lawsuits have been filed, and there are likely to be more in the future.

If you or someone you love has been injured by an energy drink, please call us at the Ziff Law Firm.

The reports in both news publications focus on a 14-year-old Maryland girl who died after consuming two 24-oz. Monster Energy drinks in 24 hours, according to the family’s lawyer. The lawsuit was filed after the autopsy attributed her death to “cardiac arrhythmia due to caffeine toxicity,” Time said.

The lawsuit claims that Monster Beverage, the maker of Monster Energy, failed to warn people about the risks of its energy drinks, but a spokeswoman for the company said its products were safe and not the cause of the girl’s death.

The FDA said, in addition to the reports of the deaths, it has received reports of people with abdominal pain, vomiting, tremors and abnormal heart rate, according to the New York Times.

The FDA said it is the responsibility of energy drink makers to look into accusations of deaths or injuries associated with them, the Times said.

It appears, however, that the makers of energy products don’t monitor their safety, given the incident reports compiled by the FDA.

During the summer, New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman launched an investigation into whether the multi-billion dollar energy drink industry is deceiving customers with false claims about the ingredients and health value of its products, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Energy drinks are among the fastest-growing beverage products, according to the Journal.

U.S. retail sales of the drinks increased 16 percent last year, to $8.9 billion, accounting for 12 percent of the carbonated soft-drink category, according to Beverage Digest, a trade publication.

The drinks are not regulated as well as traditional sodas. In 2009, the FDA said it was concerned that ingredients such as botanical extracts were being added to beverages and foods beyond their traditional use, which raised questions about safety, the Journal reported.

The New York investigation is trying to determine whether the drink makers are misleading consumers with inaccurate labeling and advertising, the Journal reported.

Often, the labels on energy drinks don’t say how much caffeine is in the drink. The label on Monster’s 16-ounce can says it contains caffeine but doesn’t say how much; 5-hour Energy doesn’t say how much caffeine is contained in one bottle, but its website says it is about as much as a cup of coffee, the Journal reported.

Monster Beverage makes drinks using names like Monster Rehab, Monster Assault and Monster Heavy Metal. The labels state that they are not recommended for some consumers, including children — a group that beverage producers define as those under 12 years old — and people “sensitive” to caffeine.

If energy-drink makers are found to have violated certain New York state laws regulating food and drugs, they could be forced to pay civil fines and penalties, and to change their labeling and marketing, the Journal reported.

Parents and adults with other health conditions, especially heart problems, need to do their homework and look at the growing evidence of dangers in the drinks before reaching for their next Monster Energy or Red Bull.

Your life, and the lives of others in your family, may be at stake.

Thanks for reading,

Adam
__________________________________________

Adam M. Gee, Esq.
NY and PA Injury and Malpractice Attorney
The Ziff Law Firm, LLP
303 William Street
Elmira, NY  14901
Phone: (607)733-8866
Fax: (607)732-6062
Email: [email protected]

 


Report: Insurance Companies Cheat Many Consumers With ‘Lowball’ Claims Payments!

Download the new report about how insurance giants are "lowballing" accident claim payments.

The Consumer Federation of America issued a new report this month that says the nation’s largest insurance companies use computerized claims systems that can be easily “adjusted” to make “lowball” claim payments to many injured consumers, resulting in payments that are smaller than consumers are entitled to according to their insurance policies!

The primary author of the report is a former longtime insurance executive and an expert on insurance claims’ practices.

This is just another example of the big insurance companies robbing the very people who pay their hard-earned money to have coverage when they need it!

You can read the full report here.

Mark Romano, the Claims Project Director for the Consumer Federation of America, said he hopes the report will be a “wake-up call for consumers and regulators” about Colossus, the dominant claims systems in the marketplace, which is sold by Computer Sciences Corp.

“When CSC and its competitors talk publicly about computer-based claims systems, they stress that the programs allow insurers to more consistently evaluate bodily injury claims,” Romano told the Consumer Federation of America. “Consistency is a legitimate goal, but these companies tell a different story behind closed doors. Software marketing representatives acknowledge that the real reason insurance companies are willing to invest millions in these systems is that they can dial down claims payments to thousands of consumers at a time, regardless of whether these payouts are fair.”

According to the federation, the report also identifies specific techniques that insurers can use to directly and indirectly produce “lowball” claims:

  • Directly reduce payments by a predetermined amount across the board, without determining whether this will lead to unjustifiably low payments for individual claims.
  • Selectively remove higher-cost claims from data used to determine the acceptable range of payments for particular injuries. This has the effect of lowering payments for all claims of this type.
  • Require insurance adjusters without medical training or credentials to second-guess medical professionals by altering injury determinations, thus dictating lower payments for certain injuries.
  • Encourage adjusters to downplay or even ignore the likelihood that injured consumers will need future medical treatment or will be permanently impaired, thus lowering payouts.
  • Encourage adjusters to determine that drivers are partly at fault for the auto accident that injured them, even when they may not be.

All drivers should download a copy of the report and keep it handy in case they ever have an accident. Know your insurance policy and your rights. Read your policy and be vigilant if you ever have an accident.  Educated consumers may be the best defense against these despicable practices!

For drivers in Elmira, Corning and the Twin Tiers — thanks for reading, and stay safe!

Thanks, Jim

_________________________________
James B. Reed
NY & PA Injury & Malpractice Lawyer
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
Office: (607)733-8866
Toll-Free: 800-ZIFFLAW (943-3529)
Blogs: NYInjuryLawBlog.com and
            NYBikeAccidentBlog.com