July 2011 Archives

July 27, 2011

New Fines for Parking Violations in Havre de Grace, Maryland are Proposed

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City of Havre de Grace, Maryland, New Parking Fee Schedule is as Follows:

Handicapped Parking $125
Driving over curbs or sidewalks $100
Imitation of Signs of Signals $100
Vehicles Display of Repair on Streets $100
Fire Lane $50
Too Close to Fire Hydrant $50
Abandoned Vehicle $50
Parking at Yellow/Red curb or "No Parking Zone" $25
Time Limit Violation $25
Parking Facing the Wrong Direction $25
Prohibited Parking on City Property $25
Angled Parking $25
Commercial vehicle in Residential Zone $25
Parking on a Sidewalk $25
Other Parking Violations $25
Interference with Traffic control devices and markings $25
Failure to comply with signs, signals and directions $25
Obstruction of Intersections, Crosswalks or Sidewalks $25

July 19, 2011

BPA Exposure can Affect the Human Endocrine System

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The Environmental Health Perspective published a study on the effects that many plastic additives have on the human body, the endocrine system and thyroid levels to be exact. Bisphenol- A (BPA) is an additive used in plastic products to harden and make them shatterproof, that has been shown to lower thyroid levels in human beings and has been linked to cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity. BPA and other types of plasticizer are most commonly used in food processing and packaging, as well as bottles, cups, can liners, baby products and various other types of food containers. It is the chemical in BPA and other phthalates that can affect the human endocrine system and cause developmental problems.

1,700 adults and teenagers were studied and it was determined that the higher the rate of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recommended that parents reduce the amount of exposure to BPA and other Phthalates to their children. The FDA is currently investigating and re-evaluating the previously established safety regulations of BPA. The re-evaluation began in June of 2009 and is still currently underway. Until the re-evaluation is completed, parents and all adults are recommended to reduce their exposure to BPA and other Phthalates in order to reduce health problems to their endocrine system.

July 12, 2011

Basis for Product Liability Legal Claims

When consumers make purchases they expect them to function properly and safely. It is when the purchased defective item causes injuries and illnesses that there are basis for product liability lawsuits. Some of these items are: automobiles, prescription drugs, beauty products, frozen foods, automobile parts and tires, etc.

When Manufactures realize that a product is defective they issue out a recall of that item to consumers. However, recalls do not always keep the consumer safe.

Product liability claims are based on the theory of negligence. The manufacturer has a duty to exercise a reasonable standard of care for developing a particular product, and has failed to do so; thus resulting in harm to the consumer. When making a negligence claim, the injured consumer must prove that the defective product was the actual and proximate cause of the injury. One must show that had it not been for the defective product, the injury would not have occurred. The manufacturer should have foreseen the danger and risk when it sold the product.

Design defect, failure to warn/improper labeling and manufacturing defects are the most common scenarios that form the basis for a product liability claim.

Product liability claims can also be based on the following legal theories:
- Breach of Warranty - failure to fulfill terms of a promise or claim made regarding the quality and safety of a product. A manufacturer must guarantee certain warranties on products sold and needs to be held accountable when they are breached;

- Strict Liability - responsibility of the manufacturer to all consumers who might be injured by a product and does not require the injured consumer to prove negligence. The consumer only needs to prove that the product was defective and therefore cause the injury, therefore; making the product unreasonable defective and dangerous. The designer, manufacturer, distributor and seller of the defective product can and should be held liable for the injury and illnesses cause to the consumer.

- Misrepresentation - when a manufacturer gives the consumer false or misleading information on the safety and reliance of a product. When the consumer relies on this information and is harmed, they can recover money damages.

A consumer can also contact the Consumer Product Safety Commission for further details and advice.

July 5, 2011

New Traffic Law in Virginia Effective July 1, 2011

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Virginia drivers, under the age of 21, could have their license suspended for a year if they get behind the wheel after drinking alcoholic beverages. These underage drinkers and drivers will face stiffer penalties for driving with a blood alcohol concentration of .02% or more. Violators will have their license suspended for a year and will receive either a fine of up to $500 or 50 hours of community service.