Yea, but the benefits make it worth it

Having a job is a good thing, let’s be honest.  Not getting hurt or killed on the job is even better.

Look out below!

In Ohio, though, if your employer is at fault for injuring you, you cannot make a claim against them.  Even if they could and should have prevented it.  Even if they knew you were going to get hurt and did nothing to stop it.  Thanks to the Ohio Supreme Court, unless your employer got up that morning and was specifically out to get you that day, they are not responsible for your medical bills, loss of a limb, or any damages, even if a death results.

What does this mean to you:

Someone injured or killed on the job is not always left out in the cold. If a person or company other than your employer was at fault – such as a sub-contractor doing work at an industrial job site or construction site, the manufacturer of a defective product, or any other third party – they may be entitled to make a claim, even though the injury happened while on the job.  A major part of any case brought by a lawyer or law firm is investigating all potentially-liable parties.  Workers comp may also be available, but by no means makes the person whole.

Wait… what?!?

We want people to design safe products.  Fairly radical idea, I know.  Stay with me.  We also want people to make their products safe after they learn their product is not safe.  This is especially true for products used in a a manufacturing or warehouse setting, where the risks of amputation or death are high from exposed gears or rollers on all types of molding and other machines.

Number 35 is alive!

And what better way to show that a product was dangerous in the first place than that the manufacturer made it safer by adding a guard or other safety device after an injury or death.  If it was safe before, as they claim, why would they need to make any changes?

But Ohio law does not allow the jury to hear that the manufacturer made the produce safer.  Why?  The theory is that it would discourage manufacturers from doing the right thing and fixing their dangerous product.  Such after-injury changes are called subsequent remedial measures.

What does this mean to you:

Even though after-injury changes are usually not admissible at trial, they can be used to learn other relevant, admissible evidence to prove your case by counsel.

Excuses are like …

Everybody hates excuses.  They are self-serving, after-the-fact justifications for jerky behavior. In the law, a “legal excuse” can allow a wrong-doer to avoid responsibility for their own conduct.

Ohio law recognizes several legal excuses, including the sudden medical emergency excuse.  Quite surprisingly, The Ohio Supreme Court allowed drivers who break the law by driving the wrong way on a highway or going left of the center line and cause car wrecks to avoid responsibility for wrongful death or personal injuries to innocent drivers and passengers as long as there was some unexpected, sudden medical issue.

The medical emergency excuse often comes in to play with elderly drivers who claim to have had a heart attack, complications from diabetes, or other condition that caused them to lose control and break the law.

What does it mean to you:

Drivers who cause a crash and then claim their conduct is excused due to some “sudden medical emergency” can still be held accountable. A lawyer investigating the case will need to look into the driver’s medical history to determine whether the driver had similar medical problems in the past and should have taken steps to ensure this did not happen again.

Better, stronger, faster

And so, after much anticipation and gnashing of teeth, Apple released the latest iteration of the iPad this week, as had been surmised.  The new iPad offers many new improvements that will no doubt appeal to lawyers of all stripes.

But first, I should mention something the new iPad left off: a clear name.  The name of the new iPad is – wait for it – “the new iPad”.  Apple did not go with iPad 3 (to follow the iPad 2) or even iPad HD, as had been rumored.  A couple thoughts on this:

1. I suspect Apple was hoping to avoid confusion if it were called “iPad 3” but had “4G” connectivity, and simply side-stepped the issue.

2. Using simply the product name is already the convention Apple uses for its computers (remember those?).  The new iMac is always called an iMac, nothing more, nothing less.  There is something to be said for simplicity.

3.  If avoiding confusion was the goal, changing strategy mid-stream may have the opposite effect.

In any event, the new iPad offers more of everything that made it good in the first place: a better screen, faster processor, better camera, and faster wireless, all at the same price as iPad 2.  What’s not to like?  True, it is a smidge thicker and heavier, but hardly noticeable or a major drawback.

As Abraham Lincoln would have said, if this is the kind of thing you like, you are going to like this kind of a thing even more.