If you get hurt at Disneyland, it’s not that small of world after all, if you try to hold the theme park accountable. Overwhelmingly, unsafe floors and walking spaces prompted most of some 140 civil cases filed at Disney-related theme parks across the last five years. Because many of those cases settled out of court, the news for visitors to theme parks is probably good: if you get hurt at a theme park, pursuing some form of compensation is likely to be successful. Being familiar with common types of injuries can also help you avoid risky areas and prevent getting hurt in the first place.
Of course, for the millions of visitors hosted at Disneyland each year, 140 is actually fairly small, particularly because most of the injuries are minor. When a defendant faces persistent litigation over minor injuries, chances are that a far larger number sustained injuries but elected not to pursue any formal remedies.
Some of the injuries documented in the cases had comic elements: a woman fell after walking over eggs dropped in Goofy’s Kitchen, for example. Most, however, revealed numerous areas of danger throughout the park. Disneyland’s form of entertainment, looked through a lens of construction, employment, and public safety, is sophisticated and unusual, featuring:
This is not to say that Disneyland is a defenseless target that will pay claims to avoid conflict. The legal entities involved in operating the park are formidable. Disneyland’s considerable popularity translates into revenue for local authorities, and thus considerable influence over local regulations.
However, Disneyland’s management knows something else: it doesn’t cost very much to keep people with very minor injuries happy. If someone slips and falls, gets a bruise but thinks “they’re fine,” the park may offer free tickets, an upgrade to a better hotel, or other things of value. Visiting Disneyland is expensive, and the operators know it is in their best interests to keep their guests happy. That knowledge, combined with a modest medical staff in the park, means that many injuries can be handled quickly and quietly.
When Disneyland doesn’t agree with someone over the extent or consequences of their injuries, the person may get nothing, or very little, with no recourse but litigation. But the park also knows that belabored civil litigation isn’t worth the time and adverse publicity. If a person complains about a broken foot, he may receive $250 informally, but $1,000 as a quick settlement in a formal personal injury case. To Disneyland, it’s a balancing act between money and reputation, but it often works to the advantage of vigilant guests: when those injured from unsafe conditions are willing to seek redress in the courts, they stand a far better chance of receiving a better deal.
While in this post we’ve focused on Disneyland because of its visibility and being recently in the news for a settlement, many of the items pointed out here apply to other theme parks as well. If you or someone you love has been injured at a theme park and you are wondering whether you may have a claim, please contact us for a free case evaluation.
You may have noticed a number of product recall alerts on our blog as well as our Facebook and Twitter pages. We’re concerned about the well-being of Minnesotans, and we strive to keep you informed when something arises that could be a threat to your health and safety. It doesn’t happen every day, but sometimes products on shelves go bad, and others should never be sold at all. When manufacturers of consumer products issue recalls, retailers must stop customer access to the covered items rapidly. It’s an unhappy moment for retailer and manufacturer alike, but if you’re a retailer, recalls can also be opportunities to show customers that crises can’t defeat you. Here’s how.
Customers may not remember how well you organize your shelves, but they’ll never forget if you sell them tuna that kept their youngest child out of the school play. Be agile, reach out to your customer base confidently, and get it right the first time: your customers will be more loyal than ever.
The personal injury attorneys at Lord & Faris represent Minnesotans sickened or injured by defective or contaminated products.
April 15 has come and gone, but for many people 2012’s taxes are far from settled. While this period may be somewhat calmer for taxpayers, it’s also a ripe time for identity thieves to prey upon those who let their guard down. While we specialize in personal injury representation, we realize that many Minnesotans we come in contact with are concerned about identity theft. Ads for identity theft protection abound, but rather than paying for a service that doesn’t necessarily deliver what it promises, here are some things to be aware of in the event identity theft strikes home for you.
Vigilance is still important, particularly in areas unique to tax season. Here are some risks you could face if the IRS is still on your mind:
A common theme of dealing with identity theft is to communicate: early, often, and in detail. Your bank, creditors, relatives, Social Security office, and in these cases, the IRS, need to understand how they’re affected by the steps you’re taking to get your identity back.
The IRS has set up a telephone line to work with actual or suspected victims of identity theft, as well as people who are simply interested in knowing more. Call them at (800) 908-4490.
National Asbestos Awareness Week is held every year in April. While this annual event may only last seven days, it offers lessons and advice useful throughout the year about one of the most infamous, tragic, and wholly preventable cancers: mesothelioma. If you or those you love are concerned about asbestos or mesothelioma—if you rent an apartment or house and your landlord has never signed the disclosure about the property’s condition—if you don’t know what all the fuss is over—you need to know what it means. You may be entitled to compensation, entitled to be heard, and entitled to know you’re not alone. If you haven’t heard already, knowing the history of asbestos can help you understand why it’s not just harmful, but hard to give up. Keep these points in mind:
Despite billions of dollars of research over many decades, the exact causes and effects of most cancers are elusive. Not so with mesothelioma; its cause is unequivocal: inhalation of asbestos fibers.
Though production of asbestos in the US ceased in 1978, existing stocks of asbestos-containing building products were permitted to be used, some as late as 1986. Older homes and commercial buildings may still contain asbestos insulation, acoustical ceiling tiles, fireproofing, etc.
The lesson? Whenever you hear the word “asbestos” or see it on a form, think of it a different way. Don’t get caught up in the sophistication of the cancer’s name. When a delinquent landlord doesn’t tell you about the asbestos in the walls, he’s saying he doesn’t care about your risk of cancer. If people at work say there’s still some asbestos in the basement, they mean cancer is in the basement. It’s senseless, preventable, and easy to remember: asbestos means cancer.
If you or someone you love was exposed to asbestos and believe you may have developed mesothelioma, please contact our office for a free case evaluation. The compassionate personal injury attorneys at Lord & Faris represent Minnesotans and their families who have been injured by cancer-causing or other toxic substances.
Automobile insurance is a requirement for drivers in most jurisdictions, and a good idea in all. Naturally, the tens of millions of drivers in the United States can be assembled into thousands of insurance risk pools with hundreds of products in each, but the multitude of options for most drivers can be overwhelming, among policies that are hard to distinguish from one another. But unlike credit cards, for which consumers are also regularly solicited, car insurance is difficult to see operating on a regular basis. (Hopefully you’ll never have an auto accident and need to see it in operation.) While no composite of advice can address all the choices available, some high-level tips can help you keep your scrutiny focused. Consider the following.
It’s a lot to take in, and this is just the beginning. Researching options in detail also has to be paired with researching a sufficient number. Three is too few and 20 is probably too many. Fully researching and getting a written quote for 5 different policies across several insurers can help you understand the variety of options so your choice can be intelligent and informed.
Remember, the purpose of automobile insurance is to protect you financially in case of an accident. When choosing an insurance policy, you want to make sure that you’re getting the coverage you need, and that you are actually covered for what you think you’re paying for.
A poorly-understood variety of the E. coli bacteria has infected ten million pounds of pizza and other frozen snack foods distributed across the country. With at least 35 people officially reported sick or hospitalized, the importance of avoiding snack foods branded as Farm Rich , Market Day, and some Schwan’s items cannot be overstated.
The risk of injury from this E. coli contamination is substantial, not only because of the severity of diseases the bacteria can cause, but because of its exceptional rarity. Government databases have only recorded its presence 30 times.
How the contamination happened is less important than what to do about it, but knowing the cause can help you look for products that may come next:
A troubling sign is that Rich Products has been changing its story with no apparent justification. First it said only three million people had potential exposure to the poisonous foods; a few weeks later it was ten million. The number may grow again.
Identifying the products is easy:
Identification of the disease is difficult. The bacteria strain:
E. coli O121
is rare. E. coli comes in many different forms, called strains. The various strains have a lot in common, but the slight variations cause trouble for public health officials and doctors: medicines that treat one strain may be less effective, or wholly ineffective, at treating another. The “E. coli O157 H7” strain is far more prevalent in the United States, and far easier to treat. Unfortunately, there is no way to distinguish the strains other than by sophisticated laboratory testing, a time-consuming process that patients can’t afford to wait for.
Symptoms can be severe, but difficult to detect early. The warning signs of O121 infection are hard to miss:
However, those infected with the bacteria may not recognize any symptoms at all for 2–8 days. Fortunately, some will recover within a week with no apparent damage; others, though, may become quickly emergent within days of death. It is difficult to distinguish between the two groups in the early days of infection.
If you think you may have been exposed to Farm Rich or Market Day frozen snack foods, the statistical chances are low of infection and subsequent disease. It’s hard to know, however, so the first step is seeking medical attention immediately. More information is available from the Rich’s website .
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The Law Firm of Lord & Faris is a Minneapolis and St. Paul based personal injury law office that works for individuals and families throughout Minnesota including the following cities: Minneapolis, St. Paul, Plymouth, Burnsville, St. Louis Park, Golden Valley, Edina, Bloomington, Eden Prairie, Eagan, Richfield, Maplewood, Roseville, Brooklyn Park, Maple Grove, Blaine, Lakeville, Woodbury, Duluth, Coon Rapids, Lino Lakes, North Oaks, Stillwater, White Bear Lake, Minnetonka, Apple Valley, St. Cloud, Plymouth, Rochester, Wayzata, Excelsior, Chanhassen, Chaska, Mankato, Marshall, Hibbing, Brainerd.