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Poisonous Holiday Plants

As residents in New York City prepare for the holidays, people will be lining their homes with gorgeous seasonal greenery such as holly, mistletoe, yew, ivy, and poinsettias. However, what many people don’t realize is that these plants can be toxic — or even fatal — if ingested. Unfortunately, children are the most at-risk of being poisoned.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “over 300 children in the United States . . . are treated in an emergency department, and two children die [from accidental poisoning].” By becoming educated on how these holiday plants can impact the health of your child, you can help reduce the risk of poisoning in your own home.

  • Holly – While the leaves of a holly plant are non-toxic, the berries can be poisonous if ingested. In children and pets, symptoms can be seen if even two berries are consumed. Swallowing these berries can cause diarrhea, vomiting, drowsiness, and dehydration. In severe cases, a trip to the emergency room may be necessary.
  • Mistletoe – Some species of this plant contain viscotoxins, which are poisonous proteins that can cause gastrointestinal distress, a slowed heartbeat, and other reactions. All parts of this plant (including berries, stems, and leaves) are considered toxic.
  • Yew – Yew plants contain the poisonous chemical compounds, Taxine and Taxol. In a 2015 study focused on the toxicity of the plant, researchers found that “patients who ingest a lethal dose [of yew] frequently die due to cardiogenic shock, in spite of resuscitation efforts.” The berries and needles of this plant are poisonous.
  • Ivy – English ivy, otherwise known as Hedera Helix, is toxic to both humans and animals. The leaves can cause severe contact dermatitis, blisters, and skin inflammation. The berries, which are a deep purple color, may cause a burning feeling in the digestive tract, breathing issues, gastrointestinal problems, delirium, hallucinations, and even seizures.
  • Poinsettias – Ingesting the leaves of a poinsettia can lead to mild cases of nausea and vomiting in humans. In pets, these symptoms can be more severe. If the sap of the plant comes into contact with the skin, it can lead to mild irritation.

If your child or loved one has ingested a toxic amount of any of these plants, do not hesitate to call the Poison Control Center for immediate advice. While a trip to the emergency room may be necessary, it is preferable to losing a loved one.

Contact a New York Premises Liability Lawyer

The holidays should be spent spreading cheer and showing generosity, not worrying about unexpected cases of poisoning. If you or your child became ill due to a negligent property owner’s failure to warn you about dangerous plants in their home or on their property,  call Hach & Rose, LLP at (212) 779-0057 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your rights. 


The Dangers of Space Heaters

With temperatures falling and holiday season just around the corner, many people are dusting off their space heaters to stay warm and cozy during the winter. However, defective space heaters can pose as a deadly fire hazard. Unfortunately, even space heaters that are correctly manufactured and fully functioning can be a significant risk.

According to a report from the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFi), “heating equipment is the second leading cause of home fires in the United States.” Each year, over 65 thousand residential fires are caused by heating equipment. The result? Millions in property damage, thousands of serious injuries, and hundreds of fatalities each year.

It is extremely important to exercise caution when using these space heaters, as there can be many underlying risks. To help minimize the risks of space heater use, here are some safety tips that you can practice in your own home.

  • Ensure that your space heater is up-to-date, and is certified with a label from a nationally recognized testing agency like Underwriters Laboratories, Intertek ETL Semko or Canadian Standards Association.
  • Before you use any kind of space heater, make sure to carefully read the manufacturer’s instructions and warning labels.
  • Always inspect your space heater for frayed wires, cracked or broken plugs, and loose connections before using it. If the space heater is worn, damaged, or defective in any way, refrain from using it.
  • Never plug any type of space heater into a power strip — always use a wall outlet. Extension cords and power strips are not designed to handle the extra energy needed to power a space heater.
  • Do not leave your space heater running while unattended, especially around children or pets. Before leaving, make sure your space heater is switched off, unplugged, and safely stored away.
  • Allow your space heater to cool before storing it away.
  • Only use space heaters for their intended purpose. Do not use them to heat bedding, clothing, or food.
  • Place your space heater in a non-flammable area, such as a ceramic tile floor. Be sure to keep it away from curtains, bedding, rugs, papers, or other things that could easily catch on fire.
  • Always keep your smoke alarm running and functional with regular inspections.

Contact a New York Product Liability Lawyer

Unfortunately, even when following all of these tips, defective space heaters are still sold to thousands of customers every year. Manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their products. If you suffered an injury because of a defective space heater, contact an attorney to discuss your rights and legal options. Our experienced New York premises liability attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP, will conduct a thorough investigation to obtain justice on your behalf.


The Dangers of Mold in Your Home

Mold can be a serious concern for several reasons. Not only can it cause extensive property damage, but it can also lead to severe and chronic health issues. In fact, certain types of mold may cause long-term health issues due to their toxigenic nature.

 According to data from the New York State Department of Health (DOH), mold can grow wherever there is an issue with moisture control. This includes several spaces within a household, including bathrooms, windows, kitchens, refrigerators, and air conditioning units. While mold spores can be found almost everywhere, they flourish in warmer environments with sufficient amounts of moisture. Within households and other properties, some common sources of moisture can include leaks, drainage issues, condensation on cool surfaces, and improper ventilation.  

Some types of mold can also cause various illnesses because of the toxins they release. In a 2014 study from the Institute of Medicine (IOM), researchers found sufficient evidence linking indoor mold exposure to respiratory illness in individuals who were otherwise healthy. Additionally, researchers also found that people with asthma and compromised immune systems can experience exacerbated symptoms.

 

Early mold exposure may also be linked to the development of childhood asthma. According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “recent studies have suggested a potential link of early mold exposure to [the] development of asthma in some children, particularly among children who may be genetically susceptible to asthma development.” Asthma is a chronic, long-term respiratory condition that is particularly dangerous for children, as their airways are smaller than adults.

While removing mold is often a time-consuming and costly process, it is completely necessary for both health and safety reasons.

Contact a New York Mold Illness Attorney

If you or someone you know has developed severe health issues due to the presence of mold, don’t hesitate to discuss your rights and legal options with an experienced New York premises liability attorney right away. Hach & Rose, LLP will be ready to discuss your rights and legal options when you call (212) 779-0057 or reach out to us online today.


Escalator Accidents: Common Risk Factors

Much like elevators, escalators are typically seen as a safe way to travel between different floors. However, serious escalator accidents are much more common in the United States than most people think. According to a study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), “about 10,000 escalator-related injuries per year result in emergency department treatment in the United States.” Accidents involving escalators have the potential to leave victims with severe physical trauma.

What are some of the causes of escalator accidents in the United States? Studies have shown that the most common factors include:

  • Mechanical malfunctions – In order for an escalator to continue functioning properly, regular maintenance is required. If not, major mechanical failures could lead to life-threatening accidents.
  • Missing or broken steps – If a step is missing or broken, a rider could fall through and become trapped within the machinery below.
  • Missing or broken handrails – Although escalators only transport riders between two or three stories within a building, the heights could be hundreds of feet. If a rider falls off a moving escalator, serious fatal injuries could result.
  • Comb plate malfunctions – Comb plates are present at the top and bottom of escalators. If a comb plate has gaps, missing teeth, or is otherwise malfunctioning, a rider could get caught and seriously injured.
  • Intoxication – Alcohol is a huge risk-factor within many escalator-related injuries. According to data from the NCBI, 50 percent of male victims and 7 percent of female victims showed signs of alcohol intoxication.

New York City is home to some of the oldest escalators in the world. In fact, the very first escalator was built and installed on Coney Island as an amusement park ride in 1892. Since then, escalators have become a seemingly harmless part of everyday life. However, the risks of riding escalators are still present. 

Contact an Elevator and Escalator Injuries Attorney in New York

If you or someone you know has been seriously injured or killed in an escalator accident, you have the right to fair compensation from the party responsible. Property owners have a duty to ensure the safety of visitors by properly maintaining the functionality of all escalators on the premises.

Our experienced team of attorneys will do everything in their power to get justice for you. For more information about how to prepare for a premises liability claim in New York, contact a premises liability attorney from Hach & Rose, LLP, today by calling (212) 779-0057.


Swimming Pool Injuries and Deaths

According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “about one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger. For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries.”

The most vulnerable age group includes children who are 1 to 4 years old. Tragically, the overwhelming majority of drowning incidents involving children of this age group take place in private pools. According to the CDC, “drowning is responsible for more deaths among children [aged 1 to 4] than any other cause except congenital anomalies (birth defects).” For children ages 1 to 14 years old, drowning is one of the major leading causes of unintentional injury-related fatality — only second to car accidents.

For parents to reduce the risk of unintentional drowning, here is some information on the common causes of drowning incidents:

  • Lack of adequate fencing and barriers – Oftentimes, young children can gain access to pools without their parent’s knowledge. The presence of a four-sided barrier around a private home pool significantly reduces a child’s risk of drowning.
  • Inability to swim – Swimming is a skill that must be taught through proper training. Research has shown that teaching young children to swim early on greatly reduces their risk of drowning.
  • Absence of close adult supervision – Even with the presence of a life-guard, drowning can still occur. It is important for parents to closely watch their children whenever water is involved.
  • Location – Swimming in the choppy ocean is a much different experience than swimming in a calm pool. It is important for swimmers of all ages to be adequately prepared to swim in different settings.
  • Not wearing a life-jacket – The use of a life-jacket can mean the difference between life and death in many situations. Parents must make sure that their young child is fitted for the appropriate preventative gear.
  • Alcohol use – Alcohol can negatively impact judgment, motor control, and reaction time. Often, it is a factor within a high number of drowning incidents.
  • Seizures – For children with seizure disorders, the most common drowning risk isn’t a pool at all — it’s a bathtub. This is why it is important for parents to closely supervise their children any time water is involved in an activity.

Contact a New York Swimming Pool Injury Attorney

If you or a loved one were hurt or if your child was killed in a drowning accident caused by negligence, call the New York premises liability lawyers atHach & Rose, LLP for help. Our compassionate and knowledgeable attorneys will help you understand your rights and will aggressively advocate for your family during this challenging time. Call us at (212) 779-0057 to schedule a free consultation.


Dunkirk, NY – Woman Taken to Hospital After Hit by Neighbor’s Firework

Dunkirk, NY – Woman Taken to Hospital After Hit by Neighbor’s Firework

Dunkirk, NY (July 5, 2019) – A fireworks accident that happened on Thursday, the Fourth of July, left a woman injured in the town of Dunkirk, according to authorities. Police stated that a woman was hit with a firework on Bayshore Drive at approximately 10:15 p.m.

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Fire Island, NY – Man Killed in Pool Incident at Restaurant

Fire Island, NY – Man Killed in Pool Incident at Restaurant

Fire Island, NY (July 5, 2019) – A fatal accident occurred in a swimming pool at the restaurant Canteen at Fire Island Ponds on Thursday evening, July 4th. According to authorities, a man died after he was found in the swimming pool of the restaurant, unconscious and unresponsive around 7:00 p.m.

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Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY – Three People Hurt After Scaffolding Falls onto Bar

Bensonhurst, NY – Construction Worker Hurt After Falling Through Roof of School in Brooklyn

Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY (July 1, 2019) – On Sunday afternoon, June 30th, three people were stated to have suffered various injuries after a section of scaffolding fell onto a bar located in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn. The incident occurred at an unspecified time at Mission Dolores on Fourth Avenue.

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Mt. Morris, NY – Tree Service Worker Killed by Electrocution while on the Job

Mt. Morris, NY – Tree Service Worker Killed by Electrocution while on the Job

Mt. Morris, NY (May 22, 2019) – A fatal workplace accident that occurred at a home is currently under investigation by Livingston County Sheriff’s deputies. The incident took place on Tuesday, May 21st, and tragically resulted in the death of a tree service worker at an unspecified time.

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Brentwood, NY – Person Hurt After Tree Falls on Moving Vehicle

Hadley, NY – 16-Year-Old Killed in Fatal Crash on Antone Mountain Road

Brentwood, NY (May 13, 2019) – Police stated that a bizarre accident involving a falling tree and an unspecified vehicle resulted in injuries to the driver of the vehicle on Sunday afternoon, May 12th. According to authorities, the incident happened when a tree fell and managed to strike a moving car around 2:40 p.m.

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