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Monday, January 25, 2016

Causes of Traffic Collisions

The majority of people are going to be involved in traffic accident at least once in their lifetime.

Traffic collisions are so common that they account for the leading cause of accidental deaths in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control. The majority of those accidents, driver’s negligence or a driver’s error is to blame for a life-altering traffic accident. Those errors and negligence can manifest in a number of ways; which is why our team of personal injury lawyers would like to discuss a few of the leading causes of fatal and injurious traffic accidents.

The causes of car accidents vary, but drunk or drugged driving remains a major issue all across the country and the cause of many tragedies. Data from the Department of Public Safety shows that impaired driving accounted for 31 percent of fatal traffic accidents. Even though impaired driving has been on the decline nationwide, this reckless driving habit still accounts for a third of deadly traffic accidents and leaves tens of thousands suffering.

Everyone is always in a hurry these days, so it should be no surprise that speeding is another leading cause of deadly traffic accidents. Speed limits may be annoyances to time-strapped motorists, but they are actually developed with safety in mind. A motorist who is speeding could easily lose control of their vehicle, rear-end another motorist or cause an accident in a number of other ways. Speed also typically causes the resulting injuries to be more severe or deadly.

Distraction is another leading cause of traffic accidents in the United States. According to the Department of Public Safety, distracted driving accounted for 9 percent of car accidents. Now that a majority of motorists have smart phones and use them behind the wheel, distracted driving continues to be a major safety hazard on the road. Cell phones are not solely to blame for distracted driving accidents, even activities like talking to a passenger, reaching for a cup of coffee or changing the volume on the stereo can lead to a tragic car accident.

Any one of these unsafe driving habits can lead to an accident and life-changing injuries for all parties involved. If you have been injured in accident caused by the negligent behavior of a motorist, speak with a personal injury lawyer and set up a case evaluation to see what moves you need to make next. You may be eligible for compensation for your medical expenses, emotional distress and any other accident-related expenses you incur.

Those who are injured in a traffic accident caused by the negligent actions of another driver can contact the lawyers of Miller Weisbrod about their legal options. We offer sound legal advice, experienced representation and dedicated advocacy to victims of car accidents and their families.

For more information, we invite you to contact our offices in Dallas at 214.987.0005 to schedule a free initial consultation with our experienced personal injury trial lawyers. If you are calling from outside the DFW Metroplex, please call us toll free at 888.987.0005. You may also contact us by e-mail now for prompt attention or to request an appointment.

Deadly explosion at PeroxyChem's Pasadena, Texas facility

Deadly explosion at a Pasadena hazardous chemical plant was the 10th such incident in the greater Houston area since the DuPont tragedy 14 months ago.

Two people have been killed and 18 injured amid explosions, fires and chemical leaks throughout the petrochemical complexes in southern Brazoria County.
DuPont's third deadly U.S. accident in five years, and the deadliest. On November 15th, a chemical leak in LaPorte took the lives of four workers, including two brothers
A blast at PeroxyChem killed one worker and sent three to the hospital.

Philadelphia-based PeroxyChem, which was bought by a private equity firm in 2014 from chemical manufacturer FMC Corp., employs about 600 people worldwide, with facilities in North and South America, Asia and Europe, according to its 2014 annual report.

News reports and company documents show it places a strong emphasis on safety, with its plant in Pasadena housing a special group that provides "technical expertise to all PeroxyChem sites." In 2007, when it was still FMC, the company consulted on a safety system at a British Columbia plant after an explosion.

The company's main product is hydrogen peroxide, one of three hazardous chemicals listed in its most recent chemical inventory.
Hydrogen peroxide is a common household item in low concentrations. It's an antiseptic used to clean cuts, causing kids everywhere to wince at the sting. It's a bleaching agent, so it can be found in hair dye and tooth-whitening products. At high concentrations, though, it's highly toxic, causing serious burns, and can explode if heated.
The balance between helpful and harmful is an inherent part of the chemical industry.

In its 2014 report, PeroxyChem said it had "recordable incidents" that year but was fortunate to have no serious or life-threatening events.

"Our injuries spanned across functional areas, reminding us that our focus on safety must extend past the traditional manufacturing setting, and incidents can happen anywhere, anytime," the report reads.

Last February, one of the Pasadena facility's control rooms caught fire. The company controlled the fire before first-responders arrived. No one was injured.

The Pasadena plant, which is in the Bayport Industrial District along with dozens of other chemical plants, is one of four facilities in North America where PeroxyChem manufactures chemicals.

The facility was last inspected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in December 2014 and is in compliance with the Clean Air Act. Prior to Saturday's explosion, OSHA had not visited the plant in the last 10 years.

County fire officials, Haz-Mat and Channel Industries Mutual Aid all responded to the explosion at 12:45 p.m. in the 12000 block of Bay Area Boulevard.

Fire officials said Saturday that the explosion was caused by an "over-pressurized tank." PeroxyChem officials said workers were "conducting a routine function" during the explosion.

The worker who died at the scene was a contractor, PeroxyChem said. Another contractor and two PeroxyChem employees were taken to the hospital, one with a broken arm and two with chemical exposure, Pasadena police have said.

Working in the hazardous chemical industry is dangerous. The incidence of accidental injury and death is high. Unfortunately, companies often ignore safety problems, and serious accidents can occur.

At the law firm of Miller Weisbrod, we believe in holding hazardous chemical companies responsible for their negligence.

Experience and Results in Hazardous Chemical Accident Lawsuits
Miller Weisbrod has successfully pursued multiple lawsuits against hazardous chemical companies arising from explosions due to aging pipes, broken pipes and inadequate policies relating to replacement of pipeline components.

Clay Miller, partner in Miller Weisbrod, recently obtained a $12,500,000 Settlement in a gas explosion resulting in serious burn injuries to our clients.

If you have suffered an injury or property damage in a hazardous chemical or natural gas explosion, please contact us at 214.987.0005 or toll free at 888.987.0005 for a free consultation. You may also contact us by e-mail today for answers to your important questions or to schedule an appointment.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

$20 million verdict upheld in Gas Explosion injury case

A California appeals court upheld a jury award of nearly $20 million for a man severely burned nearly five years ago in a natural gas explosion in San Gabriel, California.

Pengxuan “Dean” Diao sued Southern California Gas Co. and the owners of the home where he was hurt.

A Los Angeles Superior Court jury deliberated for about a day and a half before finding in favor of 26-year-old in June of 2014. The jury awarded him a total of $19,876,818 and found that the Gas Co. was liable for about $18.1 million of that amount.

Diao suffered second- and third-degree burns over 20 percent of his body, as well as brain damage that will likely cause him to begin experiencing dementia when he’s about 50.

Diao was 23 when a Gas Co. employee opened a natural gas valve that activated a gas line running to the converted garage where he was sleeping on Jan. 19, 2011. The room filled up with 300 cubic feet of natural gas and exploded in flames after Diao, who had awakened, unwittingly lit a cigarette.

Miller Weisbrod has successfully pursued multiple lawsuits against natural gas companies arising from explosions due to aging pipes, broken pipes and inadequate policies relating to replacement of natural gas pipe components. Clay Miller, partner in Miller Weisbrod, obtained a $12,500,000 settlement in a gas explosion resulting in serious burn injuries to our client.

Lewisville gas explosion compared to 2008 fatal blast from Miller Weisbrod.

If you have suffered an injury in a natural gas explosion accident, please contact us at 214.987.0005 or toll free at 888.987.0005 for a free consultation. You may also contact us by e-mail today for answers to your important questions or to schedule an appointment.

Friday, January 8, 2016

"Do's" of Being in a Car Accident

Injured in a Car Accident — What You Should Do?
Over 6 million car accidents take place in the U.S. each year. 1 of every 3 car accidents involves injury to at least one of the persons involved. If you were recently one of those statistics, contact an experienced accident attorney at Miller Weisbrod to determine if you are entitled to be compensated for the injuries you have suffered.

Every car accident is unique, yet there are some common tips that any car accident victim can follow to ensure the situation is resolved as quickly as possible.

Seek proper medical attention:
Unquestionably, the health and safety of you and your loved ones should be your top priority. Seek medical treatment for any injuries sustained as soon as possible.

Avoid discussing the accident and save your apologies:
You were just involved in a traumatic event and might not be thinking clearly — limit your discussions to avoid admitting liability. Discuss the accident with the police and your insurance agent only.

Have someone obtain vital information:
Get the names, insurance information, phone numbers and addresses of everyone involved in the accident.

Have someone photograph the scene:
Many insurers recommend obtaining photos of the accident scene to avoid discrepancies and to obtain accurate evidence.

Have someone take notes:
Detailing the nature of your injuries, the damage to your property and anything you find unusual could be very beneficial down the road.

Do not accept initial insurance offers:
Insurance companies do not have your best interests in mind. They want your case to go away as quickly and quietly as possible, and typically undervalue the damages accident victims sustained.

Contact an experienced car accident lawyer:
Speak to a knowledgeable car accident attorney to discuss your case, learn your options and determine if you are entitled to compensation.

If you or your loved one were injured in a car accident that was caused by another driver’s negligence, you may be able to recover financial compensation for your injuries.

To help determine whether you may be able to file a claim against the other driver, contact the car accident lawyers of Miller Weisbrod to discuss your accident.

2013 BMW X3 Airbag Recall

BMW is recalling 2013 X3 xDrive 28i/35i vehicles for airbag defect
Failure to deploy is only one result of a defect in a vehicle's air bag system. Late deployment can exacerbate injuries in a crash. Overly powerful deployment can pose serious risk of face, head and neck injuries, especially in smaller passengers, women and the elderly. In addition, the gases that power air bag deployment may cause serious chemical burns to the face, neck and chest.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) attributed more than 200 deaths to faulty airbag deployment in low-speed or low-severity auto crashes from 1990 to 2001. Other serious injuries included tooth loss, eye injury, broken noses, whiplash, blindness, quadriplegia and partial decapitation. NHTSA also reports that over half those killed or injured by over-aggressive airbag deployment are children.

BMW of North America, LLC (BMW) is recalling the following:
2013 X3 xDrive 28i/35i vehicles Manufactured February 11, 2013 - February 27, 2013

Due to a production process error, the tear seam on the instrument panel was not manufactured correctly. In the event of a crash, the air bag could improperly deploy, thereby reducing the effectiveness of the air bag’s protection and increasing the risk of injury to the front passenger. In addition, parts or fragments from the air bag system could strike and injure the front passenger or other vehicle occupants.

BMW has notified owners and dealers will replace the instrument panel, free of charge. Owners may contact BMW customer relations at 1-800-525-7417 or email BMW at

By taking on auto manufacturers regarding design and defects, we are a safeguard against motor vehicle industry negligence. Our work demands that all producers meet national safety standards.

If you suffered a serious injury in an automobile accident or a loved one died due to a defective air bag, we invite you to contact our Dallas offices at 214.987.0005 to discuss your rights and legal options with an experienced trial lawyer.

We offer free initial consultations to potential clients nationwide. If you are calling from outside the DFW Metroplex, please use our toll-free line at 888.987.0005 or contact us by e-mail to schedule an appointment.

Toddler Crushed by IKEA Dresser

The parents of a toddler who died after being pinned beneath a toppled IKEA dresser have filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the furniture provider, claiming IKEA sold the dresser despite knowing it was unstable.

Camden was taken to the hospital and remained on a ventilator for four days. His parents then removed him from life support.

2-year-old Camden Ellis of Bothell, Washington is the second lawsuit, in less than a year against IKEA, stemming from a fatal tip-over of a Malm dresser.

A similar suit was filed by the mother of Curren Collas, another 2-year-old, who died in February 2014 when a dresser tipped onto him.

IKEA cited the deaths of both boys when the company and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in July jointly announced a "repair program" involving 27 million dressers. The company said the dressers could become unstable if not secured to the wall, and offered to send replacement restraint kits to customers who bought them.

While a repair program, under the safety commission's laws, is a type of recall, IKEA has taken pains to not use that word, stressing that it has not offered to buy back or replace the units.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages for medical expenses, funeral expenses, pain and suffering, and the family's emotional distress.

IKEA, a Swedish company with U.S. headquarters in Conshohocken, PA., declined to comment, citing a policy against discussing ongoing litigation. In a statement, it said: "The safety of our customers is the highest priority at IKEA. We continue to work with the CPSC on the important issue of tip-over safety."

The lawsuit also accuses IKEA of designing and selling dressers that do not meet the furniture industry's safety standard for stability.

Furniture tip-overs - most often from unsecured dressers and televisions - lead to more than 38,000 emergency-room visits in the United States each year, according to the CPSC.

If you were hurt or a loved one died, make the call to the experienced team that can act quickly to set you on the road to recovery. Call Miller Weisbrod, LLP toll free at 888.987.0005 for a free consultation.