Tort Reform: How Does it Affect You?

You may have heard or read the term “tort reform” recently, regarding litigation and verdicts awarded to victims of nursing home abuse, medical malpractice and negligence, or defective products.
If you were unclear as to what it meant, read on.

new jersey philadelphia attorneys tort reform nursing home abuse medical malpractice defective products


What is Tort Reform?

Tort reform is an effort to take away the average consumer’s rights to fair compensation for substantial losses brought on by negligent manufacturers, doctors, nurses, or caregivers. Tort reform allows big businesses and other power players to get away with negligence, fraud, or other acts of harm.
These corporations, insurance companies, and their political counterparts promote an aggressive campaign of propaganda, boasting the economic benefits of tort reform, so that companies will not have to rightly compensate the people they injure. It pushes for caps on recoveries that judges and juries can award in litigation.

Who is in Favor of Tort Reform?

Tort reform advocates are a coalition of insurance companies, HMO groups, pharmaceutical companies, big businesses, and other interests who want to protect companies from liability when they harm their own consumers.

Who is NOT in Favor of Tort Reform?

Civil rights advocates, consumer advocate groups, plaintiffs attorneys, labor groups, state prosecutors, legal scholars, and more. Some of these entities include The Public Citizen, The Committee for Justice for All, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD), The Center for Justice and Democracy, and The American Association for Justice.

Who is Harmed by Tort Reform?

Consumers are the victims of tort reform. Tort reform takes away your right to a fair case, in which an impartial judge or jury looks at the facts of your case to determine liability, if you are eligible for compensation, and what that compensation should be.
We trust juries every day to determine if people are guilty of capital crimes and other serious offenses, but tort reformists claim that we shouldn’t we be able to count on them to determine fair compensation for someone whose life has been negatively affected by the negligence of another.

Particularly in the case of medical malpractice, doctors are made to appear the victims of the tort system. However, most of the damages paid to those harmed by medical malpractice comes from the deep pockets of the insurance industry.
When tort reform measures are passed and the insurance companies are shielded from paying for the mistakes of their insured, they do not pass those savings down to doctors who are charged outrageous premiums to obtain medical malpractice insurance. Our doctors are simply being used as pawns in an effort by insurance companies to pay out less in damages, and raise premiums anyway.

NJ and PA Attorneys at the Mininno Law Office

The Attorneys at the Mininno Law Office are dedicated to protecting the rights of consumers. If you have been affected by the negligence of a manufacturer, a doctor, a nurse, or a caregiver at a nursing home, contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation.
We are here to work for you, and earn you the compensation that you DESERVE!

You may also call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.

Defective Baby Recliner Recalled By CPSC

On Monday, July 26, 2010, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with Baby Matters, LLC of Berwyn, PA, recalled 30,000 Nap Nanny portable baby recliners. The recall comes after reports surfaced of infants being found hanging over the side of the defective recliner, still harnessed in. The device poses entrapment, suffocation, and fall hazards.The CPSC is currently investigating the report of a 4 month old baby girl in Michigan who died in a Nap Nanny that was being used in a crib. She was found hanging over the side of the recliner, even though she was harnessed in, caught between the Nap Nanny and the crib bumper. If you are looking for a new recliner then check out these popular recliner brands.

The Nap Nanny instructions do not reccommend using the product in cribs or confined spaces, or on tables or counter tops. But the harnesses do not seem to be keeping infants in place while in the Nap Nanny. This situation worsens when velcro straps located underneath the Nap Nanny cover are not properly attached to the “D” rings.

Click to see the CPSC’s full report on the defective product.

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The Nap Nanny poses entrapment and suffocation threats, even while infants are still harnessed in.

Have You Been Negatively Affected by a Defective Product?

If you or a loved one have been injured by a defective product, you must act quickly. A Defective Product or Product Liability Attorney in New Jersey will help determine whether or not your are entitled to compensation. Contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation, or call us at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia. Let the Civil Trial Attorneys at the Mininno Law Office help you.

Defective Product information is a necessity

Each day a defective product manufacturer quietly pays off another victim in a secret settlement that no one will ever learn about. These Court approved secrecy agreements hide vital information concerning public health and safety. How? Companies manufacturing defective products will only pay for the harms they cause if the victims agree to secrecy. Why do negligent product manufacturers insist on secrecy? Because makers of unsafe products such as medicines, airplanes, baby cribs, or car tires, realize that consumers would not buy these products if the products dangerous aspects were known to consumers. Below are just a few examples of the harm that secret product liability settlements cause.

In 1996, a mother gave her 7 year old son the recommended dosage of an over-the-counter children’s medicine to treat an ear infection. Hours later the boy suffered a hemorrhagic stroke (a stroke that involves bleeding on and outside of the brain) and fell into a permanent coma. Three years of life support and failed rehabilitation attempts followed before the boy died. Later, doctors concluded that the boy’s stroke was caused by an ingredient in the medicine called phenylopropanolamine. The unsafe ingredient has since been banned by the FDA and removed from the number of over-the-counter medicines in which it was found. But before this little boy took the medicine, similar lawsuits had been filed against the negligent drug manufacturer. All of these claims should have been in the public record; however each of these defective product suits was quietly and secretly settled. Had information about the unsafe drug been made public, that boy would be a young man today.

In 2003, three Texas businessmen died when their Cessna Caravan airplane, being flown by a professional pilot, crashed due to a defective deicing mechanism. This mechanism, when working properly, removes built up ice from the wings and exterior of the plane. Ice on the wings and the airframe disrupt airflow, and can seriously affect flight, as it did in this case. During this product liability lawsuit, the plaintiff’s lawyers found concealed evidence that proved that Cessna knew its deicing system was both defective and unsafe before the plane was ever certified by the Federal Aviation Administration. When this damning evidence was found, Cessna agreed to compensate the families of the three men but only after insisting that the families agree to secrecy in order to be fairly compensated. As part of the settlement agreement, Cessna demanded its documents back and these documents were never made public. To this day, Cessna has not addressed the deicing defect in a number of its aircraft, most of which still take flight. The National Transportation Safety Board has reported 6 fatal crashes and 1 serious injury crash since the crash in 2003 that, the attorneys have claimed, involve the same defective deicing mechanism. The most recent Cessna Caravan crash that resulted from the alleged same deicing defect was October 7, 2007 in Washington State. It killed the pilot and 9 passengers.

In May of 1998, Linda Ginzel and Boaz Keysar lost their son Danny when he strangled to death after his Playskool crib collapsed. Linda and Boaz later found out that 3 secret settlements were made in product liability cases involving the same defect in the same crib. Manufacturers Kolcraft and Hasbro fought to make it 4 secret settlements, but fortunately Linda and Boaz were able to successfully deny the request, allowing news of the defective, collapsing crib to be made public.

The most well known case of of a secret settlement causing harm involved tire manufacturer Firestone 6.5 million defective tires that Fireston manufactured. Evidence linked these defective tires to car crashes occurring over a 7 year time frame. By October 2001, after the defective tires had finally been recalled, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration determined that the defective tires had been the cause of at least 271 deaths. Most of those product liability cases were settled secretly.

Manufacturers must not only be held liable for their defective products, but must also be required to make news of these product defects public! These products have caused the death of far too many lives, and who knows how many lives could have been saved had news of product defects been made public sooner. Product liability cases should never be settled secretly, especially when the health and safety of men, women, and children is at stake. If you or a loved one have suffered injury or loss due to a defective product, you need help. The Civil Trial Attorneys at Mininno Law Office are here to help you. Call (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.

Defective products are dangerous products, potentially causing injury or death

Have you heard about a defective product? Something dangerous that injures and harms an innocent consumer or child? Chances are that the defective product was not made in the USA, but by a manufacturer outside of our borders and our legal rules. Research performed by the American Association for Justice last year has shown that 83% of defective product recalls announced in 2009 by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, or the CPSC, were from foreign manufacturers. These foreign made products are ones that are unsafe, dangerous, or pose a safety hazard to the users or others. Let’s look at the data and numbers to see if we can make some conclusions about where unsafe products come from.

First, the CPSC reports that there were 377 recalls of defective and dangerous products last year. Of those recalls, 312 of these defective products were for products that were made outside of the United States and then exported to the United States from foreign countries that do not have the same product safety regulations or access to the civil tort system. Even more interesting is the facts that of these 312 recalled products, a whopping 206 of these defective products were Chinese manufactured.

So ask yourself, why are most defective products that cause injuries to workers, children and families made in third world countries and not here in the USA? It’s simple. Our legal system protects consumers against dangerous products by holding United States based manufacturers accountable for the production of unsafe products by plaintiff’s lawyers in our courts.

In addition, dangerous product manufactures also can avoid our employee and product safety rules and regulations and hire low wage workers who are not afforded the same labor, wage, and legal protection that American workers are given by our labor protection laws.

The sad truth is that foreign manufacturers are not held to the same legal and safety standards as American manufacturers once their products arrive here, and they can easily avoid being held accountable in a court of law in front of a jury of our peers. As a result, they can gamble with product safety and never have to face consequences for negligent conduct. Since these defective product manufacturers can not be held accountable for the injuries their products cause, there is virtually no incentive to ensure that product safety is the number one goal when making these products

Fortunately, new legislation being proposed would force foreign manufactures to have representation here in the US so that they can not avoid being held accountable in Court. If a foreign made product proves itself unsafe, its manufacturers will be subject to the same laws that US manufacturers are subject to. The proposed legislation would require that foreign manufactures wanting to do business here in the US be required to consent to the same state and federal jurisdiction that local manufacturers do. The unsafe products would be required to meet or exceed the US safety regulations set for by the by the CPSC , the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), and the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).

This legislation comes too late for many who have already suffered injury or loss due to defective products. For example, Taishan Gypsum, a Chinese manufacturer of drywall, exported 500 million pounds of sulfuric-acid emitting drywall to the U.S. These emissions have caused significant amounts of property damage to homes built with the Chinese made material. Reported damage includes that of HVAC systems, smoke detectors, electrical wiring, and metal plumbing components. The emissions have been linked to metal corrosion. They cause a sulfurous odor that permeates the house, and may be the cause of eye, respiratory, and sinus problems. If Taishan Gypsum knew it would be held accountable for any harm it caused by a defective product, it is likely that Taishan Gypsum would have ensured the safety of its drywall. Because it was essentially immune from our Courts and Tort System, Taishan Gypsum was free to export these unsafe products to the US and reap billions of dollars in profit.

Taishan Gypsum is not the only foreign company exporting sub-par and defective products, causing danger, illness, injury, or loss. If you or a loved one have suffered due to a defective product, the team at Minnino Law Offices wants to help. Our Civil Trial Attorneys in New Jersey and Pennsylvania have experience in cases involving defective products and are here for you. Please give us a call at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey or (215) 567-2380 in Pennsylvania.

The 2010 car recalls have left people wondering if their vehicles are safe

In 2010, there have been car recalls left and right. You’ve seen it all over the news and the Internet. People are talking about it and wondering when their vehicle will be called back. Buying a new automobile is a big investment. When making an investment of that magnitude, we want to know that it’s a good one. We expect the product to be safe and perform exactly as advertised.

The 2010 car recalls have created cause concern with companies we usually can trust. Toyota is being talked about the most right now, but it’s not the only company currently on the chopping block.

2010 Toyota car recall

In February, Toyota was all over the news. On Feb. 9, Toyota officially recalled more than 400,000 Prius cars, which is the best-selling hybrid in the world. Roughly 8.5 million total vehicles were recalled including the Camry. Brake problems were cited as the main cause. To learn more about what vehicles have been recalled, read an article from the Business Journal here.

But that wasn’t the end of the 2010 car recall for Toyota. According to the Los Angeles Times, Corollas may be next to be called in. People have been complaining about the vehicle’s power steering, and Toyota may be ready to respond. If so, it would just be the next rung on a ladder of problems the company is having right now.

2010 Honda car recall


Turning back the clocks a little bit, Honda’s troubles started heating up in late 2008. The company announced that some of its vehicles had faulty airbags in November 2008. After 437,000 vehicles were added to the list during February of this year, that brought the total up to nearly 1 million. Just to give you a measuring stick, Toyota has recalled roughly 8 million vehicles in the past few months.

Regarding the Honda car recall, another matter of note is the number of injuries. According to the aforementioned AP story on, there were 11 injuries in 2009 and one death. Even one death is a big number. One is too many. If you’re driving a Honda or Toyota vehicle, do you feel safe?

Do you have a question? We can help


There are clear-cut dangers to using a defective product or driving a vehicle with a defect. At the Mininno Law Office, our civil trial lawyers deal with these types of cases all the time. If you have a question for a defective product attorney, please let us know. Call (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey or (215) 567-2380 in Pennsylvania.

Is Your Computer Chair Really Safe?

Each day millions of people sit down on their computer chair to check their email, have conversations with people and even to do business. We also let our children sit at the computer to play computer games, learn or do homework. We all assume that our trusty computer chair in our home is safe; we never consider that to could possibly injury or harm us.  This assumption is wrong.  Each day, millions of products are recalled because they are unsafe and may cause injury. One of these recent product recalls was on the OfficeMax Office Chairs which was found to cause serious injuries to user because it was a fall hazard.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission the chairs were recalled on September 1, 2009 because the back and base were defective and could break during routine use causing a serious personal injury.  The OfficeMax Company has received thirty-six reports of these chairs bases or backs breaking while in use, resulting in fifteen reported personal injuries including lacerations, muscle strains, contusions, and concussions.

The specific office chairs being recalled are the OfficeMax Task Chairs with the model number OM182 and OM96614. The chairs are also charcoal in color and have plastic arms and a plastic and metal base.

If you have one of these office chairs, you should stop using it right away and go to an OfficeMax location for a full refund or a gift card.

If you have been injured or hurt by a defective product like this office chairs or know someone that may have been, you should contact a defective products lawyer right away. They can help you fight for your consumer product safety rights and be your advocate to make sure your rights are protected the way they should be.

For additional information regarding Consumer Safety Product Recalls you may go to the U.S. Product Safety Commission  located here:  and for additional information concerning this specific product recall you may visit:

CBS Report Brings to Light the Ugly Truth on the Yamaha Rhino

A CBS Special Report has finally brought to light the outrage surrounding the Yamaha Rhino. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), more than 59 riders have been killed in accidents involving the Yamaha Rhino, an all terrain vehicle guilty of a seriously flawed design. A staggering 440 wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits are pending against Yamaha for accidents involving the Rhino, and that does not include lawsuits they have already decided to settle. For years, Yamaha has done their best to avoid public humiliation and increased legal pressure regarding the Rhino, however recent pressure from the CPSC has brought the matter to the attention of the public.

The consequences of poor design and lack of safety standards applied to the Rhino has had staggering consequences. Hundreds upon hundreds of cases have surfaced describing accidents involving crushed legs and arms, amputations, head trauma, and in far too many cases, even death.

So where does the problem stem from? Thanks to the extensive work of plaintiff’s attorneys and the experts that aide them, two fatal flaws have been discovered in the design of the Rhino. Almost all accidents involving the Rhino result from rollovers and full or partial ejection from the vehicle. Rollovers are reported to have been the result of a high center of gravity mixed with a shallow wheel base. This has resulted in rollovers even at low speeds and on flat terrain. Once the vehicle has begun to roll, injury becomes almost unavoidable, as the Rhino contains no safety restraint system, and does not include any doors which keep operators and their limbs inside the vehicle during a rollover. The results of these two design flaws has obviously been catastrophic.

Despite the overwhelming evidence, Yamaha’s response has been to deny until death. After being pressured by the CPSC to recall the product, Yamaha responded by announcing a , “free repair program,” to improve the Rhino’s handling and stability-seemingly a recall in everything but name. The company agreed to install spacers on the rear axles of the vehicles to make them a few inches wider, to remove their rear anti-sway bars, and install protective half-doors on Rhinos that don’t already have them. Owners who watch a safety video when they bring in their Rhinos will also get a $100 coupon toward purchase of a helmet. Yamaha stressed that the action was not a recall, but a, “voluntary repair program.” By avoiding the term, “recall,” Yamaha is attempting to protect itself from legal punitive damages, which has upset many agency officials and consumers.

While the evidence seems undeniable, Yamaha’s extensive legal team is making life as difficult as possible for the families of wrongfully injured or killed consumers. The problem comes from proving causation. Jurors have to be convinced that it was the design of the ATV, not driver error that caused the accident and resulting injuries. While accident reconstructions and expert testimony clearly point to faulty design, Yamaha’s attorneys have attacked its own customers by alleging improper use and dangerous driving. However, much to Yamaha’s avail, some cases brought regard drivers that are not doing anything irresponsibly. They are not going too fast, traveling on level ground, and not turning hard. They still roll over and because of lack of restraint systems these drivers and passengers are subjected to incredible injuries.

While it appears to be a long and difficult road ahead, the side of consumer safety and protection will eventually prevail. Plaintiff’s attorneys are continuing the fight to have the product entirely recalled and make sure the victims of faulty design are compensated for their pain and suffering. If you or anyone you know owns one of these vehicles, please inform them of the dangers immediately, and advise them to cease using it. Finally, if you, your family, or a friend has been a victim of an accident involving the Yamaha Rhino, please contact an attorney immediately. The only way to get Yamaha to right the situation is to press them legally. Each new case against Yamaha involving the Rhino send the message to corporations that the public demands safety be the top priority of vehicle design.

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What Every Citizen Should Know About the Nursing Home Industry: A background

Deciding whether to put a loved one into a nursing home is the one of the most difficult decisions we must all face. In today’s fast paced society, however, it has become increasingly difficult to care for the elderly at home. Even more daunting, is choosing the right nursing home. Indeed, making a decision on a facility is difficult; with more and more nursing homes going up every year, the number of available options seems endless, even in some of the more remote sections of the country. Although on the surface many nursing homes may appear to be the same, there are dramatic differences between nursing homes, and unfortunately, many shortcomings. In order to have a better understanding of how nursing homes can be so dramatically different in quality of care, and to help you choose which nursing home might be best for your loved ones, you should first have a basic understanding of how nursing homes function in the United States.

First and foremost, it is important to constantly be aware that more than 80% of nursing homes in the Unites States are for-profit, publicly traded, corporations. This is in direct contrast to hospitals in the Unites States, which 87% of are non-profit operations. So how does this affect you and your family? Simple. In any publicly traded corporation, the final goal will always be profit. The Profits must come first. This is not just common practice, it is written into law. By law a publically traded corporations the most important, if not the only, obligation is to increase the profits of their shareholders. This set up has helped drive industrial and technological advancements at a staggering pace. However when it is applied to the practice of nursing homes and long term care, a problem arises.

By nature, medicine and long term care are extremely expensive. The cost to run hospitals and long term care, and nursing homes can reach staggering figures. In fact, it is estimated that at least $180 billion is spent on critical care alone in the United States each year. Although cost cutting is always a simple and desirable way to boost profits in any corporation, the nature of health care and long-term care simply does not allow for it. When dealing with the lives of human beings, there are large and unavoidable costs connected to providing their patients with the care they need to stay healthy with an acceptable quality of life. Unfortunately, this does not stop these corporate nursing homes from doing whatever they can to minimize their spending.

This cost cutting rears its ugly head in many forms in corporate nursing homes. Most apparent however, is the effect it has on the staff. Many for-profit nursing homes are dramatically under staffed, many of whom do not have the proper training to manage their positions in the first place. Lack of training, oversight, and personnel immediately translates into health risks to the patient. This includes, but is not limited to: bed sores, falls, under and over medicating, mixing up patients’ medications, unacceptable poor hygiene, physical abuse by staff, and lack of response to emergency situations. Incidents such as this are a daily occurrence. Fortunately however, you have the power to choose where to place your loved ones, and when the worst happens, you have the legal power to do whatever you can to rectify the situation.

When the worst happens to a loved one in a nursing home, contact an attorney immediately. The status quo of dramatic cost cutting in the nursing home industry will not change until it is no longer profitable to continue cutting costs and quality of care. By bringing a suit against a nursing home or long term care facility, you are demanding they change their way of business by punishing them financially for their neglect. By contacting an attorney who specializes in nursing homes, you are doing your part to make sure what terrible things happened to your loved ones do not happen to someone else.

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Help Pass The Medical Safety Device Act

In February 2008, the Supreme Court of the United States ignored Congressional intent and disregarded 30 years of experience under the 1976 Medical Device Amendments (MDA), during which FDA regulation and state tort law worked together to protect consumers from dangerous devices. The court’s recent decision in Riegel v. Medtronic gave total immunity to device manufacturers who fail to adequately warn consumers about device risks. The court, failing to understand that FDA approval does not mean a device is entirely safe, sided with the corporate world over the rights of its citizens, preventing the public from suing when a medical device fails and causes serious harm.

When patients with devastating injuries are unable to hold the negligent manufacturer accountable, the patient and the taxpayers are left footing the bill. For a patient with private health insurance, the health insurance would most likely cover the additional surgery. However, true to the nature of the beast, the price of that patients coverage will most likely increase, leaving that patient stranded to find a way to pay for their increasingly unaffordable health insurance, with no compensation for the physical limitations caused by the device’s failure.

For Medicare or Medicaid-covered patients, the costs of the additional medical care are passed to, that’s right, you, the taxpayers. And for patients who can no longer work, they may need additional taxpayer supported programs, such as Social Security disability. All this cost shifting does nothing to help the injured patient, drains public funds, and does not encourage the manufacturer of the faulty device to fix the problem.

So what can be done? Write to your state and federal representatives and let them know you support the Medical Device Safety Act of 2008. What will it do? The bill simply does two things:

1) It restores Congressional intent by explicitly stating that actions for damages under state law are preserved.
2) It makes the amendment retroactive to the date of enactment of the Medical Devices Amendment of 1976.

The court took the decision-making process out of the hands of Congress and of the court system and put it completely in the hands of FDA bureaucrats. State legislators and attorneys general are joining the cause of rolling back the situation to before the Supreme Court’s decision and restoring the status quo in effect for decades. An American who thinks people should have some access to the courts – any access at all – should be for the act, because right now, in these situations, there is no access, and that’s not the American way.

For more information, please click here.

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Legal Side Effects or Legal Remedy?

In May’s issue, Kate Wilcox stated that a recent U.S. Supreme Court’s decision left drug companies “wide open for lawsuits” because it allowed juries to hold negligent drug companies accountable for harm they cause. The principles expressed by the Supreme Court in the Wyeth decision require federal regulations to improve transparency and public participation in the FDA regulatory process. Also, the decision recognized the state civil justice system provides an additional protection against billion dollar pharmeceutical companies when government regulations fail, and therefore agencies must limit their attempt to preempt state law, except in cases when Congress has explicitly stated its intent to do so. The decision upholds laws that are much needed, especially in light of the long standing practice of pharmaceutical companies to sponsor and pay for the, “research,” of the drugs they make. This practice allows the companies to market the drug’s positive effects while concealing the dangerous side effects that harm patients. The Court’s decision upholds important constitutional rights afforded to all citizens in this country and should be welcomed by a journal that promotes scientific study.

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