$157 THOUSAND

Personal Injury Claim

JR was offered a settlement of $35,000. The jury returned a verdict in her favor for $157,000, a net verdict over two times the amount offered by the RTB’s insurance company.

our client results

Toy Trouble

If you have kids, toys are often on your mind when you’re buying gifts for Christmas, birthdays, and other special occasions. As a parent, it’s a pleasure to see your children’s’ eyes light up upon receiving a longed-for play item. Is it any wonder that “toy” and “joy” rhyme?

Indiana Unsafe Toy Injury Attorney

Sadly, sometimes it’s not all fun and games. Toys purchased out of love can cause injuries, even fatalities, through no fault of our own. In 2013, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), almost 257,000 kids ended up in emergency rooms for toy-related injuries. About three-fourths of injuries involved children age 14 and under, with one-third of injuries happening to kids under 5. The nine deaths all involved children under 12.

Thankfully, the vast majority of children who go to the ER for toy-related injuries are treated and released. But that fact can be cold comfort when it’s your child on the examining table, crying.

Risky Ride-ons and Hazardous Happy Times

Every year, lists of unsafe toys appear. There’s no doubt that some toys are poorly designed, or are manufactured in countries that don’t always pay attention to our regulations, such as those regarding lead paint. But the problems go beyond lists of specific toys, because a lot of injuries can be attributed to certain varieties of toys.

By far, the category responsible for the most injuries are riding toys—38 percent of all injuries to children 14 and younger were because of riding toys during 2013, including two deaths. Riding toys include powered and unpowered wheeled riding toys, unpowered nonwheeled riding toys (think sleds and toboggans), tricycles, wagons and — the biggest cause of injury—nonmotorized scooters. Of the 38 percent group, nearly three-fourths of the injuries were attributable to foot-powered scooters. A nonmotorized scooter is perhaps the most dangerous toy your child can use.

With younger children, especially those under the age of 3, choking is the leading cause of injuries. Toy balls and latex balloons are often responsible; in fact, latex balloons are the No. 1 cause of choking and asphyxiation deaths. Of the nine children who died of toy-related causes in 2013, seven were due to asphyxiation.

What About Our Laws?

In 2008, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) gained a greater ability to fight dangerous toys and children’s products through the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). The regulations of the CPSIA define children’s products and require manufacturers of all children’s products and toys to:

  • Test products using an accredited, CPSC-accepted lab
  • Provide a written certificate demonstrating compliance
  • Provide permanent tracking data for all products sold (where possible)
  • Comply with all other related product safety rules.

The Federal Hazardous Substances Act and the Child Safety Protection Act cover hazards caused by lead paint and choking, respectively. Imported items, however, can sometimes cause problems because of noncompliance.

The sad fact, though, is that manufacturers don’t always pay attention to laws, and they sometimes cut corners. A design could be flawed, a warning label could be missing, or the age-appropriate notation on a product could be incorrect. Every year, countless toys that injure kids end up in on the market — and in our children’s hands. The manufacturers who flout the law can and should be held to account for negligence and be made to pay damages.

What Can Parents Do?

The legal system can only do so much to protect our children. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help prevent injury. Nationwide Children’s Hospital has some suggestions regarding the best ways to keep your kids safer:

  • Always follow a toy’s listed age restrictions. Giving a child a toy he or she is too young for is a leading reason children suffer injuries.
  • With very young children, inspect all toys for small parts that could become choking hazards.
  • Don’t use latex balloons or allow young children to have balls small enough to fit in their mouth.
  • Supervise any child under the age of 8 while they are using a riding toy.
  • Allow your kids to use riding toys only on flat, dry surfaces that are well removed from traffic dangers.
  • Make sure your children wear protective gear, such as helmets and knee and elbow pads, when using riding toys, especially on scooters.
  • If you have questions about the safety of a particular toy, you can always check the CPSC’s recalls page to see if the toy has been recalled.

real-life cases

“B.K.” was driving on a two-lane road one Sunday afternoon with his mother in the front seat and his brother and sister-in-law in the back seat when his life was forever changed. B.K. was struck head on by D.C.

D.C. had spent the day drinking with a friend and had stopped at a restaurant less than five miles from the point of the accident where D.C. had been served several drinks. D.C.’s blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit.

As a result of the terrible wreck, B.K. received devastating injuries, which included multiple broken bones, facial fractures, and loss of vision. B.K.’s mother, brother, and sister-in-law were all killed in the accident.

As one would anticipate, D.C. had virtually no insurance. Stephenson, through his thorough and detailed investigation, was able to prepare claims against the restaurant and those that provided the alcohol.

Stephenson pursued dram shop claims against those responsible CASE SUMMARY

D.H. was a competitive bicyclist who was riding in preparation for a cross-country fundraising ride. In the spring of 2010, D.H. was riding across an old steel-grated deck bridge in Shelby County when he hit a hole in the bridge and flipped over the handlebars of his bike. The impact to the bridge decking caused severe injuries to his face, teeth, tongue, and elbow.

Through the investigation, they were able to learn as early as 1998, the bridge inspection reports showed the bridge in question needed to be replaced. The county never authorized additional inspections. The county obtained $844,000 in funding for the replacement of the bridge in 2000, but the Historical Society and adjacent property owners wanted the bridge repaired rather than replaced.

This crash could have been avoided if the inspectors and county had done their jobs. CASE SUMMARY

Our client (“D.W.”) was a front-seat passenger in a vehicle that was struck by a UDF truck making deliveries. D.W. received broken arms and legs, as well as internal injuries. Stephenson was retained by D.W.’s personal counsel to prepare and try the case. Discovery determined that the UDF driver had multiple driving violations. Stephenson retained numerous experts to show the jury the devastating effects of the injuries. Before trial, the defendant’s company stated that a jury in a small southern county in Indiana would never return a verdict for $1 million in this case.

The defendant was correct; the verdict was twice that amount. CASE SUMMARY

Successfully litigating personal injury cases in Indiana since 1982.

Shelbyville Injury LawyerProtecting our children should be our No. 1 priority. And when children are injured, we need to investigate the causes and make things right. If your child has been injured by a toy, and you believe that a defect or other negligence is involved, speak with an experienced Indiana personal injury lawyer like Mike Stephenson.

Lawyer Mike Stephenson is a Martindale-Hubbell AV-rated attorney, the highest possible attorney peer rating. You can have complete confidence in Mike because you are talking with an attorney who has more than 30 years’ experience, offering his clients compassionate and successful representation. Keep in mind that there is a statute of limitations – or a deadline – for filing personal injury claims, so it is unwise to delay. Don’t lose the opportunity to obtain the money you need to put your family’s life back on track and to make their future financially secure. Call Mike at 855-206-2555 or contact us for immediate help. McNeely Stephenson. We believe justice matters.

Updates
Personal Injury Lawyer
May 21, 2018 / Vehicle Accidents
Don’t Become a Statistic This Memorial Day Weekend

Most of us consider Memorial Day weekend to be the start of summer -- the perfect time to visit family or enjoy the outdoors. About 35 million of us took to the road in 2017, driving more than 50 miles over the holiday weekend, and 2018 may be shaping up to surpass that figure. Don’t set out on your trip until you learn why Memorial Day weekend is the most dangerous one to be on the road. The Riskiest Holiday Weekend All Year Did you know tha...

AWARDED. CREDENTIALED. PROVEN.

Mike Stephenson is a Super Lawyer in Indiana along with many of his peers at McNeely Stephenson. This is one of the highest honors an attorney can achieve

AWARDED. CREDENTIALED. PROVEN.

The AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale Hubbell is the HIGHEST RATING and considered a significant accomplishment. It is a peer-reviewed process reflecting that other attorneys rank Mike Stephenson at the highest possible level of professional excellence.

AWARDED. CREDENTIALED. PROVEN.

Attorney Mike Stephenson is a proud member of The Litigation Counsel of America’s Honorary Society. A close-knit, peer-selected, and aggressively diverse honorary society of 3,500 of the “best trial lawyers” in the country. Less than one-half of one percent of American lawyers, vigorously vetted for skills, expertise, and service; an invitation-only collegial network.

AWARDED. CREDENTIALED. PROVEN.

The American Board of Trial Advocates is an invitation-only organization for attorneys of “high personal character and honorable reputation.” ABOTA works for the preservation of the civil jury trial, “Justice by the People,” and supports the right of a jury trial.

AWARDED. CREDENTIALED. PROVEN.

Our attorneys are proven advocates and trial attorneys. They have served as lead trial counsel in more than 100 civil jury trials, and have handled litigation in 18 states