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New Orleans Personal Injury Law Blog

Top GM attorney retires after product liability scandal

The last thing any Louisiana driver wants to hear is that their vehicle may have a defective car part. However, for many drivers who had GM vehicles, that's exactly what they heard regarding their ignition switches. The car maker is still under fire after waiting a reported 11 years to recall vehicles that had known ignition-switch defects. Thus far these defects have been linked to almost 30 deaths. The ignition-switch can slip out of position while the car is in motion. This causes the vehicle to stall and disable air bags. Since the start of 2014, 2.6 million vehicles have been recalled.

After almost 40 years with GM, the company's top lawyer Michael Millikin is set to say goodbye to the company. It is reported that he will retire from his position in early 2015. At age 66, Millikin has worked for GM for 38 years and has been in the top spot for the last 5 years. He will remain at his job until his replacement is named. GM spokesman Patrick Morrissey stressed that the attorney was not forced out. On the contrary, Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra and the board have asked him to stay longer as they continue to steer through the cloud of controversy.

How can I protect myself from truck accidents?

Anyone who has driven on a Louisiana highway has observed 18-wheeler trucks. These massive vehicles haul cargo throughout the United States. To stay on schedule, drivers spend long hours behind the wheel. These long hours can lead the most careful of drivers to make mistakes. Car drivers must take affirmative steps to avoid a collision.

The first thing to remember when a truck approaches your vehicle on the interstate is to remain alert. This means paying close attention to possible lane changes and swift movements from the truck. It is important to avoid blind spots on a truck. A good rule of thumb is if you cannot see the truck's side mirrors, chances are the truck driver cannot see you. This could be dangerous for both you and the truck.

Louisiana wrongful death claim takes new turn

The death of a loved one is devastating. Moving forward can be particularly difficult when there is a belief that the death was caused by the wrong doing of another person. The family of Willie Lee is now seeking justice through a wrongful death claim filed against Sheriff Marlin Gusman.

Lee died on March 15, 2014, while in police custody. The 40-year-old was arrested for criminal trespass, unauthorized entry and criminal damage to property. It has been alleged that Lee died after being beaten by inmates and abused by deputies who failed to provide proper medical attention after his injuries. Instead, Lee died after a fatal cardiac arrest.

What is product liability in Louisiana?

From time to time, this blog features product recalls that may affect citizens of Louisiana. This firm sounds the alarm on these products as a public service to our community. This week, no product is highlighted. Instead, an overview of the legal theory behind products liability cases will be explained.

Products liability refers to the manufacturer or seller of a product that is being held responsible for the injuries done to a consumer. A product is expected to meet the ordinary expectations of the consumer. If the product injures the consumer, it has failed its purpose. Therefore, any party involved in the chain of distribution of a product could be held liable in products liability. Product manufacturer, manufacturer of component parts or retail store may all be responsible to the consumer, if a product is defective.

What is "maintenance and cure" in a maritime injury case?

"Maintenance and cure" is a term that comes up often in cases involving workers who have been injured while working in Louisiana's maritime industries. To explain what it means first requires some background information.

Accidents can happen at any kind of workplace, and any kind of worker can be injured on the job. After a serious injury, workers may face huge medical expenses or long periods without income while they recover. This can create a financial disaster for Louisiana workers, no matter what kind of work they do. The good news is that, for most workers injured on the job, there is help available. However, the laws that provide help for maritime workers are different than those that apply to most other workers.

Major fire alarm recall prompts questions of product liability

Smoke detectors are an essential tool used to keep us safe in the event of a fire. Each year consumers are reminded to test their smoke detectors and change the batteries to ensure optimal function. What if this is not enough to keep your smoke detector functioning properly? This is the case for over one million Kidde smoke detectors that have been sold in the United States.

Kidde is manufactured in China by Fyrnetics Ltd. These smoke detectors are sold at Home Depot and online at The problem with these detectors is their failure to reset after a power outage. Subsequently, if a fire breaks out after a power outage, consumers may not be alerted. Kidde is offering free replacement detectors to consumers who have purchased the defective models.

Why is an attorney important in malpractice wrongful death cases?

No one in Louisiana enjoys being sick. When an illness or accident results in a trip to the hospital, the circumstances can lead to increased stress. Physicians and other support providers work hard to give the best possible care to their patients. However, there are times when medical mistakes are made and death results. Family members may seek to file a wrongful death or a medical malpractice lawsuit.

When a negligent act or omission by a medical professional causes harm to a patient, medical malpractice occurs. It is important to differentiate between a bad outcome and an act of negligence. Legal medical malpractice can arise against one of the following entities:

  • The physician for care that deviated from acceptable standards of practice;
  • The hospital for inadequate training or improper care to a patient; or
  • Hospital facilities operated by local, state or federal agencies.

Stalled settlement payments in BP oil spill

Because the aftermath of the massive BP oil spill that affected the Gulf Coast years ago, this blog continues to cover the issues this event continues to present. There have been many ups and downs for plaintiffs seeking to recover for loss due to the spill. No settlement payments were made from October 2013 to May 2014, while the oil giant sought to challenge the settlement in court. Recently, a pair of businesses was denied a timely payment of their settlement by the Circuit Court of Appeals.

Both plaintiffs are a part of the 2012 BP oil settlement. Rocon Inc. and Benny Whitehead Inc. have still not received any settlement payments since the ban was lifted earlier this year. The two companies have requested immediate payment by citing the Federal Arbitration Act that allows private disputes to be settled outside of court. The U.S. 5th Circuit Court dismissed the claim. The plaintiffs must now continue to wait for payment.

Attorney knowledge matters on truck accident cases

A post from a few weeks ago focused on truck manufacturers attempting to improve the safety features of their commercial vehicles. Safety features that are being implemented by Volvo Trucks and Daimler were highlighted. Although these companies are making an attempt to make a safer vehicle, however, the fact remains that 18-wheelers can be dangerous hazards on the roads of Louisiana.

When these massive machines collide with unsuspecting drivers, the results are often catastrophic. Here at Frischhertz Poulliard Frischertz Impastato, we know how to help victims of 18-wheeler accidents. These types of cases are a special class of personal injury cases that often require more investigation than the average car crash.

Important smoke detector recall

Smoke detectors are an effective tool used to save lives in a fire. The blaring alarm can alert the deepest of sleepers to the fact that a fire is near. A defective fire alarm can be life threatening for those who have them installed. Edwards (ESL) and Interlogix brands have issued a recall for their series 400 and 500 Hard-Wired Smoke detectors. The recall is a result of the detectors potentially not warning of a fire due to interference with their radio frequencies.

The fire alarms were sold as part of integrated security suite at various security system retailers and installers. The alarm systems are utilized in commercial and residential settings. At the time of the recall, over 100,000 units were sold in the United States. The systems were sold from March 2013 to February 2014.