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Why Is Asbestos Legal?

/ Mesothelioma /

Why Is Asbestos Legal?ROCHESTER, N.Y. – We know about the dangers of cigarettes. They can lead to lung cancer, throat cancer, and many other diseases. Tobacco companies are now required to warn consumers about the deadly impacts; but they’re still legal.

Asbestos is still legal too.

Like cigarettes, it’s often linked to deadly cancers like mesothelioma – but those who acquire the illness often get sick without warning, and years after they were exposed. Asbestos is so deadly the World Health Organization (WHO) is calling for a global ban on asbestos.

Rochester mesothelioma attorneys at Cellino & Barnes say thousands of people die from asbestos-related illnesses each year and thousands more are diagnosed with cancers, as a result of asbestos exposure.

“A person can develop these deadly diseases after a single exposure to asbestos fibers,” Rochester mesothelioma attorney Ross Cellino said. “What makes asbestos even more dangerous is that most people don’t know they were exposed to the fibers for 10, 20 or 30 years when they suddenly discover they have mesothelioma.”

Since the 1970’s, asbestos use in America has greatly declined but it is still used in dozens of products. In many cases, manufacturers are not required to warn consumers that their products contain asbestos.

According to one WHO study, more than 105,000 people die each year from mesothelioma, asbestos-caused cancer and asbestosis.

Members of WHO say the costs of treating asbestos-related diseases are now four-times higher than the cost of manufacturing it. Despite its deadly properties, asbestos is banned only in a handful of nations.

“Australia for example, used to import 1.5 million tons of asbestos in the 1980’s,” Cellino said. “The nation was one of the world’s top asbestos users – and now, they have one of the highest mesothelioma death-rates in the world.”

Australia banned asbestos in 2003. Many nations however, including the United States, continue to manufacture asbestos fibers.

Rochester, New York has one of the highest rates of mesothelioma in the United States. According to federal statistics, more than 40 people die from asbestos-related disease each year in Monroe County alone.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related illness, you may be entitled to compensation. Nationally recognized for its efforts in personal injury, Cellino & Barnes has Rochester mesothelioma lawyers who have experience fighting against asbestos the manufacturers that plagued New York.

Contact a Rochester mesothelioma attorney today for a free case evaluation.

New Bill Could Relax Safety Restrictions on Truck Drivers

/ Truck Accident /

New Bill Could Relax Safety Restrictions on Truck DriversNEW YORK – Some U.S. Senators have slipped new language into a transportation spending bill that could allow truck drivers to work longer weeks. The Senate Appropriations Committee released the updated text of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) spending bill that passed with a 30-0 vote on Thursday.

The bill fixes a drafting error made in last year’s spending bill but it could also allow truck drivers to spend up to 73 hours behind the wheel each week.

A Brooklyn truck accident attorney at Cellino & Barnes says many truck drivers are already battling fatigue and upping the limits could put lives at risk.

“Truck driver fatigue is one of the leading causes of big rig crashes in Brooklyn,” truck accident lawyer Steve Barnes said. “Trucks are very dangerous vehicles and they must have an alert driver behind the wheel.”

Currently, truckers are restricted to 70 hours of drive-time each week. If the bill passes as it is drafted, truckers would be allowed on the roads for an additional 156 hours every year. In a press release, the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (AHAS) blasted the bill’s passage through the senate committee.

“Before today is over, 11 people will die in large truck crashes and 275 more will be injured,” AHAS Vice President of Governmental Affairs, Cathy Chase said. “[Thursday’s] ‘markup’ of the THUD bill lacked any actual ‘marking up’ of the bill, any discussion of the anti-safety provision in the bill, and any debate on how the bill will impact the American public.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics and Forbes both consider truck driving one of the 10 most dangerous jobs in America today.

Brooklyn truck accident lawyers say truck drivers already have some of the most relaxed laws regarding fatigue in the transportation business.

“Airplane pilots are limited to about nine hours of fly-time in a single stretch and they must have at least 30 consecutive hours off each week,” Barnes said. “Truckers can currently work up to 11-hours per day and many of them drive seven days per week.”

Chase and other highway safety advocates believe the trucking industry lobbied for the new provision despite several high-profile truck crashes in the last 12 months.

“This closed door backroom politicking is a prime example of why the American public distrusts the process,” Chase said. “Unfortunately, the change made to the HOS Rule does nothing to address the serious problem of cumulative fatigue.”

Chase, frustrated with the rewritten bill, is now urging Congress to add language to the bill that would make sure truck drivers get more rest time and reduce fatigue.

For the latest information on truck safety and news reports, follow Cellino & Barnes on Twitter.

The 5 Best (and Worst) States For Medical Care

/ Medical Malpractice /

States For Medical CareNEW YORK – Americans often trust their doctors with their lives but each year, millions of patients discover they misplaced that trust. Medical errors are now the third leading cause of death in the U.S. and many experts say improvements are being swept under the rug in many states.

According to the National Practitioner Data Bank, as many as 400,000 patients are killed following a doctor’s mistake – and it costs the nation nearly $20 billion each year.

A Bronx medical malpractice attorney at Cellino & Barnes says many hospitals have made improvements to prevent dangerous medical errors but progress has been slow.

“Medical errors are still occurring at astounding rates in hospitals around New York and in the Bronx,” medical malpractice attorney Steve Barnes said. “Some hospitals and doctors have changed their policies but many others continue to ignore safe practices.”

A recent study of medical malpractice statistics determined that northeastern states had high rates of malpractice – with New York boasting 55 cases of death or major injuries per 100,000 patients.

Many cases however, result in minor injuries – but these injuries can be just as costly for patients.

When Bronx medical malpractice lawyers analyzed the total number of claims per capita, New York established itself as a risky place to receive medical care:

  1. New York – 116 malpractice suits per 100,000 residents
  2. New Jersey – 95 malpractice suits per 100,000 residents
  3. Pennsylvania – 92 malpractice suits per 100,000 residents
  4. Washington D.C. – 91 malpractice suits per 100,000 residents
  5. Louisiana – 89 malpractice suits per 100,000 residents

The states where doctors were least likely to face a medical practice claim are:

  1. Alabama – 18 malpractice suits per 100,000 residents
  2. Wisconsin – 19 malpractice suits per 100,000 residents
  3. Minnesota – 20 malpractice suits per 100,000 residents
  4. North Carolina – 24 malpractice suits per 100,000 residents
  5. Virginia – 29 malpractice suits per 100,000 residents

The statistics showed that New Yorkers also filed more Treatment and Surgery-Related lawsuits than any other state and nurse practitioners were defendants in 45-percent of all cases. Physicians were the objects in roughly one-third of the claims.

One recent study suggests that almost every American will receive at least one misdiagnosis in their lifetime, which can lead to serious consequences.

Bronx medical malpractice lawyers say safety must be taken seriously and it is important for patients to learn as much as they can about their conditions and seeking a second opinion if they are at all uncomfortable.

If you or a loved one have been misdiagnosed or suffered an injury as the result of medical malpractice, Cellino & Barnes has been recognized by Best Lawyers and with offices across New York State, they are always available to help.

The Most Dangerous Day of the Week

/ Personal Injury /

The Most Dangerous Day of the WeekNEW YORK – All kinds of accidents happen every day – from car crashes to slip and fall injuries, the world can be a dangerous place. But have you ever wondered what day is the most dangerous day of the week? Someone at LiveScience figured it out.

Using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, writers at the science news source determined there were nearly 40 million recorded deaths between 1999 and 2014. They said the breakdown was ‘fairly equivocal’ at first glance but it was much different when they broke down the data into different categories.

A Manhattan personal injury attorney at Cellino & Barnes says preventable deaths like accidents skyrocket on the weekends.

“Many drivers for example, can be more reckless on Saturdays and Sundays in Manhattan,” personal injury lawyer Ross Cellino said. “It’s no secret that bars are busier on the weekends and some will choose to drive when they’re intoxicated. This behavior puts everyone at risk.”

Accident-related incidents like car crashes spiked on Saturdays, according the LiveScience’s research. Since 1999, more than 42,000 people have been killed in car accidents on Saturdays and another 40,000 deaths happened on Sundays.

“Almost every type of accident spikes over the weekend,” Cellino said. “People are simply out of the house and the office more.”

From firearm deaths to ‘venomous plant or animal” accidents, Manhattan personal injury lawyers say Saturdays are consistently more dangerous than most other days of the week with one exception:

LiveScience said more than 685,000 heart attacks occurred on the first two work days each week. According to the CDC, nearly 350,000 heart attacks happened on Mondays over the last 15 years.

Showering A Challenge in Flint

/ Lead Poisoning /

Showering A Challenge in FlintFLINT, Mich. – Every day is a challenge for those living in Flint. The city still doesn’t have safe drinking water and many question whether the water supply is even safe to bathe in.

Although state officials and government scientists say the water is safe for bathing, hundreds of people have reported skin irritation, rashes and hair loss after showering in the lead-tainted water. The complaints are so persistent that researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are investigating.

A lead poisoning attorney at Cellino & Barnes says most residents are convinced that showering in the water is harmful and some have taken extreme actions to bathe in cleaner water.

“It’s difficult to put into words what these people are going through in Flint,” lead poisoning attorney Joe Vazquez said. “Some are using their gym memberships just to use a shower outside of the city and others are bathing in bottled water.”

The most common technique is limiting the use of the public water. Residents say they’ll duck under the shower for just a few seconds or a few minutes – but many people are finding creative alternatives to avoid the lead-tainted water.

Last month, some residents waited in line to get their hands on a device called “Pump-N-Spray.” The device uses a foot pump to spray clean water out of a large bottle.

Some dermatologists investigating the cause of the skin irritation are lending their services for free. So far, they haven’t found anything that can positively link the number of cases to lead-tainted water but they’re not ruling out their prime suspect either. Around 70 percent of those with skin complaints were diagnosed with eczematous dermatitis; a rash often caused by allergies or irritation.

Doctors say the condition is often a result of cold, dry weather combined with stress, all of which have been very common in Flint recently.

“In just the last two years, thousands of lives have been drastically changed,” Vazquez said. “Families don’t have clean water to drink, to cook with, or to clean with – and they’ve seen many of their neighbors get sick from lead-poisoning.”

More than 80-percent of those living in Flint have admitted to changing their bathing habits due to the long-lasting water crisis, researchers said.

Lead poisoning attorneys at Cellino & Barnes say they’re regularly speaking with residents in Flint and are offering their legal services to those who have been impacted by the city’s water crisis. If you believe your health has been affected by lead-tainted water, contact an attorney today for a free consultation.

Most Pickup Trucks Fail This Safety Test

/ Car Accident /

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – When you’re purchasing a new vehicle, safety is often a top priority. Most consumers would agree ‘bigger is often safer’ but if you’re looking at pickup trucks, the general rule doesn’t always apply.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), only one truck earned a “good” crash test rating. The test is called a “small-overlap test,” which simulates a front-end wreck at a speed of 40 mph.

Safety experts at the institute said Ford’s F-150 pickup was the only model to completely pass the test. Ford’s competitors like the Chevy Silverado 1500 and Toyota Tundra received mixed reviews while Dodge Ram pickups were rated “marginal,” which is a nice word for nearly a failure.

Rochester car accident attorneys at Cellino & Barnes say the new crash ratings should be concerning for pickup drivers.

“Pickup trucks are often marketed as some of the safest personal vehicles on the market in Rochester,” car accident attorney Ross Cellino said. “But most models have room for improvement and some safety gaps could lead to serious injuries.”

IIHS safety experts said both consumers and businesses should carefully consider their test results before purchasing a new vehicle or fleet.

According to the crash test results, Ram trucks had several red flags.

In multiple tests, parts of the trucks’ structure punched nearly two feet into the cabin.

“Drivers in these pickups would need help freeing their legs from the wreckage following a small overlap crash,” a top IIHS researcher said. “We encourage manufacturers to redesign their pickups to resist intrusion in the lower occupant compartment to safeguard people from serious leg and foot injuries that might require months of rehabilitation.”

Researchers also tested roof strength of each truck.

“Roof strength should be a vital safety component of any pickup truck,” Cellino said. “Rollovers currently cause nearly half of the occupant deaths in pickups.”

Unfortunately, roof safety was also widely varied from truck to truck.

Fords, Chevys, GMCs, and the Toyota Tundra extended cab had “good” ratings for roof strength. Once again, the Ram models did not pass the test with flying colors.

Although all the vehicles tested meet federal safety standards, Rochester car accident attorneys say there is clearly room for improvement.

Watch the video to see the crash tests in action.

Watch ‘Autopilot’ Car Prevent A Crash

/ Car Accident, Personal Injury /

BUFFALO, N.Y. – The future of vehicle safety is already on display. Fully autonomous vehicles are on test roads but you’ll see some cars, fit with an array of sensors and cameras, are already making an impact on real-world roads.

Recently, one driver uploaded a video showcasing how this relatively new technology can prevent an accident. The video, which was recorded in April 2016, shows a Tesla Model S automatically swerving to avoid a merging truck.

A Buffalo car accident lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says although the video shows promising improvements in road safety, it also shows the need for drivers to stay sharp behind the wheel.

“Merging vehicles are often very dangerous and it’s important for drivers to remain aware of their surroundings while maneuvering in traffic in a city like Buffalo,” car accident lawyer Steve Barnes said. “Although some cars can now automatically move out of the way, the entire incident could have been avoided.”

Clearly, the driver of the Model S depicted in the video was grateful the car suddenly changed its direction. The video’s description reads:

“Tesla Model S autopilot saved the car autonomously from a side collision from a boom lift truck. I was driving down the interstate and you can see the boom lift truck in question on the left side of the screen on a joining interstate road. Once the roads merged, the truck tried to get to the exit ramp on the right and never saw my Tesla. I actually wasn’t watching that direction and Tessy (the name of my car) was on duty with autopilot engaged. I became aware of the danger when Tessy alerted me with the “immediately take over” warning chime and the car swerving to the right to avoid the side collision.

You can see where I took over when there’s a little bit of blip in the steering. Tessy had already moved to the right to avoid the collision. I was not able to slow down even more due to the heavy traffic (cars were behind me). Once I got behind him I slowly added more room between us until he exited. I was not tail gating after the incident.

It was a mistake on the other driver’s part. He did not even know I was there until I honked my horn. There was a group of women in the black sedan to my left and they went nuts about the guy and what he did (all kinds of gesturing in their car). Once I was beside the truck as it slowed down on the ramp, the guy gestured a “sorry!” I gave him, “it’s okay” wave.

Tessy did great. I have done a lot of testing with the sensors in the car and the software capabilities. I have always been impressed with the car, but I had not tested the car’s side collision avoidance. I am VERY impressed. Excellent job Elon!”

Although it’s not fully autonomous, Tesla’s Autopilot feature allows the vehicle to steer itself in emergencies and warn the driver of a pending side collision. In practice, the system has successfully shown that it can automatically adjust to avoid a crash.

Many safety advocates welcome the safety improvements but warn about the dangers of relying on them.

“It’s encouraging to see that companies are using technology to help prevent accidents.” Barnes said. “But electronic systems can fail so it’s always going to be important to have a deep understanding of how operate a vehicle.”

Tesla’s crash avoidance features were also recorded in action in November when a semi-truck was close to colliding with a different Model S.

Buffalo car accident attorneys say the features are a promising glimpse into the future of vehicle safety but there is no substitute for a safe driver.

Another Automaker Accused of Cheating Emissions Tests

/ Defective Products /

Another Automaker Accused of Emissions ScandalNEW YORK – If you own a Mercedes diesel, your vehicle may have had a “defeat device” used to cheat emissions testing, a new lawsuit claims.

The automaker, owned by Daimler, has denied the accusation but it wouldn’t be the first time a company has denied using the software.

Volkswagen famously equipped millions of diesel vehicles with software designed to make it appear that a vehicle was operating within emissions standards. Following emissions tests, the “Clean Diesel” vehicles would emit up to 40 times more pollutants.

According to the complaint filed in February, new tests have found Mercedes BlueTEC cars emit greater amounts of nitrogen oxide in road tests that it does in controlled lab tests. The research suggests the luxury vehicle company is implementing a “defeat device” similar to the one Volkswagen had used.

A Brooklyn Volkswagen emission lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says the cheating software, if it is installed in a vehicle, misleads consumers and could be dangerous to your health.

“Volkswagen marketed their vehicles as ‘Clean Diesel’ cars when they were likely producing more pollution than many other models in Brooklyn,” Volkswagen emission lawyer Steve Barnes said. “Currently, pollution can be attributed to about 3-million deaths each year.”

Daimler released a statement on Friday to address the accusations in the new legal complaint against them:

“We consider this class action lawsuit to be unfounded. Our position remains unchanged: A component that inadmissibly reduces emissions is not used in Mercedes Benz vehicles.”

Volkswagen also did not admit it was using test-cheating devices in its Clean Diesel cars until the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency formally announced proof of the shady strategy in September of 2015. At that time, the EPA had already accused Volkswagen of deliberately dodging regulations since 2008.

The new complaint against Daimler claims the automaker knowingly programmed its BlueTEC filtration systems to emit illegal levels of nitrogen oxide in low temperatures.

The EPA has since requested information from Mercedes regarding these accusations but it has not officially launched an investigation.

Brooklyn Volkswagen emission lawyers at Cellino & Barnes say about 11 million VWs have rigged exhaust emissions. If the allegations against Daimler are proven to be true, many more customers could be affected.

How Astronomy Causes Crashes

/ Car Accident, Personal Injury /

How Astronomy Causes CrashesBUFFALO, N.Y. – This time of year can be dangerous for anyone who uses the road. Pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers are at all at risk because of the sun.

During the spring and fall, the sun can cause what’s called “sun blindness,” or sun glare – and it can be incredibly dangerous for those who behind the wheel.

A Buffalo car accident attorney at Cellino and Barnes says this condition spikes because of an astronomical event that only occurs twice in a year.

“Drivers are most at risk of sun glare during the fall and spring because that’s when the sun directly rises in the east and sets to the west of Buffalo,” car accident lawyer Steve Barnes said. “Sunrise and sunset times also coincide with rush hour times and that can make the roads a dangerous place.”

Making matters worse, most cities are constructed on what’s called a “grid.” This means the roads, for the most part, run east to west and north to south.

According to one British study, sun glare causes roughly 3,000 accidents each year – and due to the fact that the U.S. boasts more drivers, the number of accidents could be much greater in America.

The bright sunlight could be affecting drivers differently depending on their age, a recent federal study suggested. Older drivers were found to be more likely to cause a crash if their vision was obstructed by a glare. The study also notes that other bright objects, like billboards and headlights, can also cause vision impairments for the elderly.

According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 38.5 percent of the drivers who reported a glare-related crash were over the age of 45.

“Glare can be a difficult problem to address – especially on bright spring days but there are many steps drivers can take to prevent an accident,” Barnes said. “So, while a glare can be a factor; it’s not an excuse and drivers need to take responsibility for their actions if someone gets injured in a crash.”

Buffalo car accident lawyers suggest putting sunglasses in your vehicle, just in case. Many sunglasses can minimize sun glare – and most cars have a convenient compartment to hold your shades.

A clean windshield can also improve a driver’s ability to see through a glare, Barnes said. Dirt and grime can sometimes refract and reflect light but keeping a clean windshield can minimize the stress on your eyes.

Safety advocates also suggest considering alternate routes during your morning and evening commutes. Using north-and-south roads should allow you to avoid sun glare – or you can do a little research and plan your commute well before or after sunrise and sunset.

Finally, attorneys say if you are getting blinded by the light, slow down. Speed is also a factor in many glare-related accidents. Slowing down could save a life.

Txt me L8r

/ Car Accident, Personal Injury /

Txt me L8rGARDEN CITY, N.Y. – You may have been in this awkward position before: you’re driving. Your phone rings from your pocket or your purse on the passenger seat. Did you answer it? Be honest.

Many drivers choose to take that call or text and too often, it causes a crash.

In fact, some studies say you’re 23-times more likely to cause a crash if you’re texting behind the wheel.

Both doctors and lawyers have seen their share of distracted drivers. Unfortunately, it’s usually after the fact. A Long Island car accident lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says victims of distracted drivers often go through emergency rooms.

“We’ve seen how heartbreaking and devastating car crashes can be – and most of those crashes are caused by a distracted driver in Long Island,” car accident lawyer Ross Cellino said. “Distractions are now the leading cause of all personal injury collisions.”

According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study, about 660,000 drivers are using hand-held cellphones or another electronic device right now, at this moment.

Researchers say distracted driving is comparable to being drunk. Studies have shown that texting and driving is roughly the same as having a blood-alcohol level of 0.19, which is twice the legal limit in New York.

With all this new information coming to light, police are ramping up enforcement.

Recently, law enforcement agencies have begun a “crackdown” on distracted driving in New York and other states. The Washington State Patrol reported officers pulled over more than 18,000 drivers last year for talking on a hand-held cellular device. Another 4,000 drivers were ticketed for texting – but police believe that’s just a small fraction.

“This is huge problem,” Cellino said. “Even if you’re a safe and responsible driver, your life can be at risk because another driver isn’t paying attention.”

If you’ve been injured because of a negligent or distracted driver, the Long Island car accident lawyers at Cellino & Barnes have experience achieving justice and they can help you and your family get the best result possible from a claim.

Contact a Long Island car accident attorney today for a free consultation.

Client Thanks

I would like to thank your firm for representing our family on behalf of my late husband. This whole process was, at times, difficult for us and sometimes painful. But, we were always in good hands as Brian and Maria are two of the hardest working and sincerest people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. They did a tremendous job.

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