Articles Posted in Injuries to Children

Only six states in the U.S. have laws that require seat belt installation on school buses. Maine isn’t among them. That should change, according to Mark R. Rosekind, National Highway Traffic Safety administrator.

In a recent keynote speech to a group of school transportation officials in Virginia, Rosekind announced the NHTSA would putting more resources toward researching the effectiveness of seat belts on school buses. He further committed his agency to pursuing mandates requiring every school bus in the country to have three-point seat belt systems installed for children.

However, he didn’t indicate the NHTSA would be initiating the rule-making process, which is necessary to enact a mandatory rule. The aforementioned study will focus on school bus seat belt safety in Florida, California, Louisiana, New York, New Jersey and Texas. These are the states that have required schools to have seat belts installed on all vehicles responsible for transporting children. Continue reading

A high school in Rockport, about an hour north of Portland, has canceled the rest of the school’s football season – and next year’s too – amid “serious safety concerns” attributed to a reduced number of players.

Players, speaking recently to The Boston Globe, are bitterly disappointed. They argue even if they suffered major losses on the field, they shouldn’t be denied the opportunity to play. But school administrators say it wasn’t the scoreboard that concerned them. Rather, it was the risk of injury to players.

The superintendent in an open letter explained several team members had sustained injuries early on in the season, and two of those incidents led to trips to the emergency room. She also said a number of players were afraid to go on the field, though they would not admit so publicly. The number of players had dwindled substantially in recent years, and the school says that meant players were young and inexperienced and often going up against bigger, stronger, older players. Continue reading

The father of a 21-month-old boy says their child died in a Portland hospital after falling ill a week after a visit to the Oxford County Fair. The child was diagnosed with Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome, which is a disease born of E. coli, a bacteria that’s typically found in the intestines of both humans and animals.

After learning of another toddler who is in critical condition with the same condition after visiting the same petting zoo, the deceased boy’s father said he is convinced his child picked up the illness at the petting zoo. He told the Boston Globe he and the other family compared notes on everything they ate, places they went, cleanliness practices. He said the two children didn’t know each other and had never met.

“But we both went to the petting zoo,” he told a reporter.

The other child, 17 months, remains hospitalized. Continue reading

Following the death of a teen girl on a hayride last fall, Maine lawmakers are searching for way to tighten amusement park regulations and restrictions, to ensure similar tragedies never happen again.

Recently, the Legislature’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee weighed testimony from one lawmaker sponsoring a bill named after the teen that would enhance protections for those who pay money to go on amusement park rides in this state.

The measure, “Cassidy’s Law,” is formally titled LD 1057, An Act to Increase the Safety of Amusement Park Rides. It bears the name of the high school junior who was killed in Mechanic Falls when a 197os-model Jeep hauling a trailer with 20 people on it careened off the trail and into a cluster of trees at a “haunted” hayride offering at a local farm festival.

An elementary school student was struck and seriously injured by a vehicle while boarding a bus in Sedgwick recently. The child was later transported to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor. Coincidentally, the accident occurred just days before National School Bus Safety Week, Oct. 20-24.

According to the Maine State Police, the crash occurred as the child was boarding the bus to school around 7:30 a.m. The bus slowed with its yellow flashing lights to indicate it was preparing to stop to pick up the girl. However, she was not standing outside as usual, so the driver pulled to the side of the road and turned off the yellow flashing lights, an indicator that through traffic was allowed to pass. As a 64-year-old driver was passing the bus, the girl raced out into the street, thinking the bus was stopped for her. (It was, but the absence of yellow flashing lights meant it wasn’t safe for her to cross.)

The private busing company that provides service to the school district declined to comment.

During the summer in Maine, we inevitably see an uptick of dog bites as more folks are out-and-about enjoying the nice weather. Many are accompanied by their dogs, or they may be more lax regarding their dog’s outdoor enclosures.

Portland dog bite lawyers want to point out that Maine is a strict liability state with regard to dog bites. That means if a dog injures another person, the owner or keeper is liable for whatever damages result. M.R.S.A. 3961 holds that any fault on the part of the injured party won’t reduce damages covered, unless the court finds that fault exceeded the fault of the owner.

In instances of dogs biting children, this is rarely an issue because owners are supposed to recognize that children do not have the foresight as adults when approaching and handling dogs.

When three young children and their parents were exposed to toxic lead in their rented Maine home, they sought compensation through the courts.

After being denied a jury trial on some of the negligence complaints raised, the family lost the remaining claims at trial.

But now, the Maine Supreme Court has found clear errors in the way the trial court handed the case, ruling that the burden of proof was unfairly shifted to the plaintiffs. The victims will now have the opportunity to seek a new trial in the case of Bratton v. McDonough.

A man has filed a Maine injury lawsuit alleging he sustained serious injuries in a 2010 fair accident at Windsor Fairgrounds. He was reportedly struck in the head and shoulder while watching a harness race. He was one of five people hurt in the accident.

Bangor injury lawyers understand the gate, which is towed by a vehicle, didn’t retract fast enough and several spectators were hit. The gate, which weighs approximately 1,500 pounds, was reportedly traveling some 35 mph at the time of the incident.

As in many cases like this, where injuries occur due to dangerous conditions or faulty equipment on a property, several of those involved negotiated settlement agreements with insurance companies However, this plaintiff said his settlement negotiations were unsuccessful and now, his medical bills are approaching $100,000.

More than once every half hour, a child suffers a shopping cart injury in Maine.

In fact, it’s a problem across the country, despite voluntary safety standards that were adopted by the industry back in 2004.

A new study, conducted by the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio and published in the journal “Clinical Pediatrics” in January, reveals that concussions and closed-head injuries resulting from shopping cart use has increased over the last several decades.

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In filing a Bangor child injury lawsuit on the grounds of negligent supervision, plaintiff attorneys must first establish that the defendant had a duty to supervise the child.The existence and scope of the duty of negligent supervision is a matter of law, and in order to prove it, plaintiffs have to show that there was some type of custodial relationship between the two parties. Per Dragomir v. Spring Harbor Hosp.,, Me: Supreme Judicial Court 2009, a custodial relationship in Maine exists between two parties when one party is required or voluntarily takes physical custody of another, such as to deprive the other party of his normal opportunities for protection.

This custodial relationship is not necessarily a formal agreement. It need not be in writing or even expressly stated verbally.

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