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Louisiana Personal Injury Law Blog

Loureauville mayor killed in head-on collision

The mayor of a small town in Louisiana was killed in a car wreck on April 3. The fatal car accident occurred while the 65-year-old mayor of Loureauville was traveling westbound on La. 86. At the time, he was a passenger in a Ford Mustang that was being driven by a 62-year-old woman.

According to a spokesman for the Louisiana State Police, the fatal collision happened at about 6:40 p.m. when a young passenger in a Dodge Ram bumped the truck's steering wheel. While the eastbound Dodge was traveling around a curve near Lake Teche Road, it entered the opposite lane of traffic and collided with the mayor's vehicle.

Experts say 15-seater vans may be unsafe

Individuals in Louisiana may be unaware that the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has been issuing warnings about the dangers of 15-seater passenger vans for years. On March 30, another fatal accident occurred in one of these vehicles in Florida. The van was overloaded with 18 passengers when the driver missed a stop sign, and the van ran off the road and into a ravine. The driver and seven passengers died.

In many accidents that occur with this type of van, the tires blow or the van turns over. While neither of these happened in this particular accident, experts say that the vans are difficult to control and have safety issues. Many of these safety issues have to do with the inherent design of the vehicles. Some do not have stability controls or tire pressure monitoring, and their height and weight are an issue. The seats do not always have enough seat belts, and the seats themselves lack structural integrity.

Louisiana driver was indicted for vehicular homicide

Drivers are well aware of the serious effects driving under the influence of alcohol can have on themselves and others in the general public. As one particular incident of impaired driving demonstrates, injuries suffered in drunk driving accidents can have fatal results. The 34-year-old woman in this incident had been driving with a blood alcohol level that exceeded the legal limit. The driver apparently overcorrected her driving after running the vehicle off the road. The vehicle, a 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe, overturned.

The investigation of the single-vehicle accident has indicated that the woman's condition caused the incident. Thus, the driver's impaired driving was responsible for the harm that came to the Tahoe's passenger. The victim suffered fatal injuries in the car accident and was pronounced dead at the scene. As a result, the driver has been indicted on charges of vehicular homicide in regards to the passenger's death.

Bauer Hockey recalls goalie masks over laceration concerns

Louisiana hockey enthusiasts should be aware that Bauer Hockey has recalled two potentially hazardous goalie masks from the market. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the metal wires on the cages of the masks can break, possibly causing facial lacerations or impact injuries.

The recalled products are the NME 10 Goal Mask with Certified Titanium Oval Wire, the Concept 1 Goal Mask with Certified Titanium Oval Wire and the RP NME Ti Titanium Replacement Cage. The masks were offered in black and white and featured a titanium mask that attached with two screws. The NME 10 is a Senior mask sold in sizes Fit 1, Fit 2 and Fit 3 with "NME10" printed on the top shell. The Concept 1 is a Senior mask sold in sizes S/M and M/L with "Concept C1" printed on the top shell. The RP NME Ti is a replacement cage intended for use with the NME 10 and Concept C1 masks. It features a side plate that reads "Bauer Titanium Oval Wire" and "RPNME Ti Sr."

Louisiana teens may be multitasking while driving

Even minor multitasking while driving can cause a driver to be distracted, putting everyone in the vicinity at risk of harm. Teen drivers, in particular, may not recognize when their behavior behind the wheel could be dangerous. Though safety campaigns have raised awareness of the risks involved with texting and driving, a study shows that adolescents participate in other activities not necessarily mentioned in driver education courses that could cause car accidents.

According to one report, students tend to use time in the car to accomplish tasks, such as putting on make-up, finishing homework or changing clothes. Around 40 percent of the teens admitted to texting behind the wheel and demonstrated limited awareness of the risks of taking their focus off the road to complete a cognitive or physical task. Since distracted driving causes the majority of all motor vehicle accidents, it is suggested that driver education courses need to emphasize what constitutes unsafe driving and alternatives. For example, students could be advised to pull over when manipulating a GPS device rather than doing so while driving.

Man arrested following fatal hit-and-run bicycle accident

According to authorities with the Louisiana State Troopers, a 28-year-old man was arrested and charged with multiple offenses following a fatal hit-and-run with a bicyclist. Reportedly, the accident occurred on March 21 around 8:00 p.m. in Terrytown on Louisiana Highway 428 at its intersection with Peter Street.

Troopers reported that the man was driving north on the highway when he struck the bicyclist, killing him. The man that died was a 52-year-old man from Terrytown. After striking the bicyclist, the driver allegedly then continued on. While fleeing the scene, he reportedly crashed into a 2004 Chevrolet Monte Carlo. The driver of that car and her two passengers were all injured. They were transported to a hospital by emergency medical personnel for treatment of injuries deemed minor and moderate.

Motor vehicle crash on Louisiana 631 kills 1, injures 1

On March 19, a 39-year-old woman died in a motor vehicle crash around 7 a.m. on LA 631 in St. Charles Parish. The woman, who was a resident of Des Allemands, was driving a sedan eastbound when an SUV, traveling in the westbound lane, crossed the centerline and hit her vehicle.

A Louisiana State Police spokeswoman reported that the fatal accident investigation continued and that the driver of the SUV was suspected of operating the vehicle while impaired. Police may file criminal charges pending the results of the crime lab's toxicology tests.

Fine for Graco in car seat flaw case

Car seats are an essential piece of automobile safety equipment for families with young children. In Louisiana and other states, the law requires that all children under 4 years old ride in a seat with an internal harness. Car seat makers are expected to ensure the safety and smooth operation of their equipment, and when they become aware of a defect, alert customers promptly and issue a recall.

The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration has reached a $10 million settlement with Graco Children's Products, a subsidiary of Rubbermaid, which has agreed to pay the fine for taking too long to alert customers to a problem with its safety seat buckles. The company has since issued a recall of more than 4 million seats, the largest ever in this industry. Customers had filed hundreds of complaints about trouble getting children out of the seats due to jammed buckles.

A Louisiana accident kills 1, injures another

A fatal accident occurred when an SUV struck a man and killed a woman walking in a private parking lot in Marrero on March 7. Louisiana state police stated that an evaluation of pending toxicology results could provide further insight as to what caused the 52-year-old male driver of the SUV to leave Highway 45 near Bourgeois Lane and enter the parking lot where the couple had been.

According to reports, when the SUV left the highway, the male pedestrian noticed the vehicle beforehand and attempted to move the woman out of the path of the SUV. He was subsequently struck by the vehicle and sustained moderate injuries. He later stated that he then saw the female pedestrian lying on the ground beneath the tire of the SUV.

McNeil is fined $25 million for contaminated Tylenol

Residents of Louisiana, as well as around the country, may have bought liquid Children's Tylenol or Children's Motrin that was contaminated with metal particles. Prosecutors said McNeil Consumer Healthcare, part of Johnson & Johnson, knew about the contamination for almost a year yet failed to take the proper actions.

On March 2, the company pleaded guilty to the federal crime. After a customer complaint in 2009, McNeil discovered that metal particles were in the liquid medicine. The metals included chromium, nickel and iron, but McNeil still continued production for months without taking action. The plant in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, was found to be the site of the manufacturing defect. This plant, the cause of several other nonprescription drug product recalls, was shut down in April 2010. The production plant was rebuilt but still remains closed.

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