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Louisiana Personal Injury Law Blog

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.

Car catches fire in crash that injured motorcyclist

Authorities report that a motorcyclist in Louisiana hit a car that turned in front of him, causing the motorcyclist to fly off of the bike. The motorcycle slid into a nearby car, damaging the gas tank and causing the vehicle to erupt in flames. The accident reportedly took place on March 2 around 7:15 a.m. in Metairie.

The motorcyclist's injuries did not appear to be life-threatening, though he suffered from several broken bones. He was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. The driver of the car did not report any injuries, and there was no further information given regarding which driver had the right-of-way.

No FDA clearance for device linked to superbug

The sale of a medical instrument to hospitals around the nation might be effecting those in Louisiana and other states as the endoscopes made by Olympus Corporation are linked to the recent "superbug" that does not respond to antibiotics. It appears that the device was sold even though the manufacturer did not receive clearance from the Food and Drug Administration.

Companies must receive clearance when making or updating medical devices for sale in the U.S., and the FDA reported that the endoscopes that the company started selling in 2010 were an updated version of an older model that did not receive clearance. It has been reported that the manufacturer has a pending application for clearance with the FDA as of March 2015, and physicians associated with the agency said others should continue using the endoscopes since a review might not have prevented the infections anyway.

Accident on Louisiana Interstate 10 kills one

A 27-year-old man was charged with reckless operation after allegedly killing another driver in a car accident in Gonzales on Feb. 21. The crash occurred just past Louisiana 30 on Interstate 10 at about 5:15 a.m.

The 27-year-old was driving a 2003 Acura RSX when he struck a 2004 Isuzu Rodeo headed west on the interstate, and the collision sent the SUV into the air. The Isuzu landed next to the interstate in a grassy area located on Boudreaux Road. The 66-year-old driver of the SUV, who was from Baton Rouge, died even though he was wearing his seat belt when the crash occurred.

How to explain road rage

Louisiana residents might have heard of a recent case in which a woman was shot and killed in a road rage incident. While many people experience feelings of anger while driving, it is not clear why this happens. One theory is that a car is a small space that people feel invincible in. Because of this, those who may act calm and rational in other areas of life explode with anger in their cars.

Another factor that might explain road rage is the fact that people feel anonymous while in their vehicles. Without a relationship or a personal connection with the other driver, it becomes easier to yell or raise a finger at them after being cut off. Additionally, those who engage in this type of behavior may believe that it is easy to drive off after making a rude gesture with no consequences for those actions.

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