More than 115,000 wooden infant toys, wooden puzzles, infant rattles, pacifier holders and stroller toys were recalled by manufacturer Habermaass Corporation of Skaneateles, New York due to a choking hazard according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). There are 19 different types of toys in all. Many contain small pieces that can detach and choke an infant. Pieces include glued-on mirrors and the head of a ladybug. So far the CPSC has received 15 reports of items becoming detached. Consumers can identify the brand, made in Germany, by the “HABA” logo. They were sold nationwide at specialty toy stores from January 2002 through August 2008. They range in cost from $10 to $35. Habermaass can be contacted at (800) 468- 6873 ext. 107.
The Dram Shop Act begins with the ancient word “dram” that refers to a unit of weight equal to 1/8 of an ounce in apothecaries’ weight. A dram shop became known as a place where liquor was sold.
Generally, dram shop laws today refer to the liability of any establishment that sells alcohol to a minor or to someone who is visibly intoxicated, and then causes death or injury to a third party.
They are used to sue adults who knowingly allow teenage parties at their home where liquor is involved.
In Florida, the Dram Shop Act statute says that a person who sells or provides alcohol to an underage person, may be liable for injury or damage resulting from that intoxicated minor’s actions.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission, along with six retailers, is recalling nearly 900,000 Simplicity bassinets because of a strangling hazard.
The recall follows the death last week of an infant girl from Kansas who became entrapped between the bed’s metal bars. Last year another infant girl from Missouri died when she strangled in the bars of the bassinet.
The Simplicity 3-in-1 and 4-in-1 convertible bassinets have metal bars that are covered by an adjustable fabric, attached by Velcro.
It’s hard to imagine what might cause people to take to the roads during a hurricane or tropical storm but Fay, which just passed through our area, took a number of lives, including a teenage girl who was the head of her class as Paxon.
Now the Florida Highway Patrol is issuing safety tips as a precaution before Tropical Storm Gustav hits Florida.
First on the list is to stay put! Even if a hurricane never materialized, a Tropical Storm, with its extended rain and wind and the aftermath, can lead to injuries and deaths. Sightseers impede roads for emergency personnel to pass.
Slow down even if the storm has passed, the roads remain slick and you could hydroplane.
Buckle up your seat belt, the extra time it takes may just save your life, besides it is the law in Florida.
Four of the deaths related to Tropical Storm Fay involved motorists who were not wearing their seatbelts.
Gusty winds make driving very difficult, adversely affecting all vehicles, especially high profile trucks, buses as well as motorcycles. Even if you are not in a high profile vehicle, the vehicle next to you might be one.
Do not drive through any flooded areas, even if you know the roads. You have no idea what is beneath the water, such as an eroded roads surface, electrical wires, debris or tree branches.
If traffic lights are down, as can happen during a storm, look for law enforcement directing traffic. Otherwise treat the intersection as if you were coming upon a four-way stop sign.
Motorists looking for additional information during a story can call 511 on their cell phones for up-to-the-minute information on traffic congestion, road construction, lane closures, and delays on Florida’s roads.
And it is a good time to remember to enter your contact information on the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles web site.
That information shortcuts the time it takes to alert loved ones if you are in an accident. The effort was started by a woman whose child was killed in a motorcycle accident and she had to wait a half day to find her body.
Go online to enroll at http://www.flhsmv.gov/.
Beginning the first day of next year, the Health Care Consumer’s Right to Information Act becomes law.
This will provide the uninsured medical consumer with reliable and understandable information about health care charges so a patient can make an informed decision.
Often it is the uninsured patient, seeking doctor or hospital services, who is charged a full retail rate, which is higher than the rate an insured patient pays.
As Tropical Storm Fay leaves our area of north Florida, we’re accessing the damage she left behind in the state, especially on the roads.
People were told to stay home and stay off the roads because of the unpredictable nature of this storm, but not everyone minded and seven people lost their lives during the four days.
Two men were in their vehicle Thursday morning when a tree fell on their car in Nassau County. The passenger, Roberto Constantino, 27, of Tijuana, Mexico died from the felled maple. The driver was hospitalized.
A 44-year-old driver was killed when his truck lost control while going around a curve Thursday. And a 16-year-old girl died after her vehicle collided with an SUV after spinning around on a wet road Wednesday.
A 43-year-old man died in Indian River County Wednesday when his car lost control and hit a traffic light post.
And two swimmers who decided it was a good time to hit the surf at Neptune Beach, had to be pulled from the water. A 21-year-old women from Indiana died.
A 35-year-old man drowned Thursday in Volusia County.
The roads are the last place you want to be during a storm and our governor, Charlie Crist predicted, “This is going to be a killer storm.”
Our condolences to the families of those killed during Tropical Storm Fay.
This doesn’t happen very often. If it did, there would be fewer medical malpractice lawsuits, and that would be okay.
When the chief of staff at a Veterans Hospital in Tampa told the family of a man who died he was sorry, he broke the mold.
Doctors rarely say they are sorry, even when they make horrible mistakes.
There is a national movement afoot to change that. It’s called Sorry Works! Coalition and its founder Doug Wojcieszak calls it a “massive cultural shift.”
“For decades, the typical approach of hospitals and their insurance carriers was shut up, and literally break off communications with the family” he tells the Tampa Tribune.
The fear is that people will sense weakness and take advantage of the apology to use against the institution in a lawsuit.
With high winds from Hurricane Fay predicted to hit the Jacksonville area this week, the Department of Transportation reports that motorists are calling to find out if roads will be closed.
Motorists can call 511 for traffic information. Newly constructed electronic signs along portions of I-95 will keep drivers updated on any road or bridge closures.
Bridges are a concern as well as the new elevated flyovers that take cars high above the congestion below.
When are winds too high to travel on them? The DOT says there is no wind threshold that requires vehicles to stay off the elevated roadways. It’s up to the local law enforcement.
Florida and Allstate Insurance have settled their differences with state insurance regulators and the news is good for consumers for a change.
The Northbrook, Illinois company is giving Florida homeowners an additional 5.6 percent rate cut, as part of a settlement. That means homeowners can expect a 19.8 percent homeowners cut in rates since June of last year.
The insurer will also offer coverage to 100,000 more Floridians against hurricanes and other perils; pay a $5 million fine; and forgive a $175 million loan to its Florida subsidiaries.
An accident on the Buckman Bridge in Jacksonville has sent a motorcyclist to the hospital in critical condition.
26-year old Frank Belarde was on the bridge when he reportedly lost control of his motorcycle and slammed into the back of a northbound Florida Highway Patrol cruiser.
Belarde is in Shands-Jacksonville with life-threatening injuries. He may be charged with drinking and driving.
Luckily the trooper Tyra Keplinger was not hurt in the wreck, but her Ford Crown Victoria was not so lucky. It sustained about $3,000 in damage.
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