Workplace Injury Fines – Ohio’s Big Change

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As of August 1, 2016, Ohio Occupational Safety and Health Administration—also known as OSHA— raised safety violation fines by 78%.

This is a large jump, but workers have anxiously awaited this since 1990. Workers’ safety has been a large topic of discussion after two tragic fatalities this year.

The most recent fatality occurred in March of 2016 when an Aqua Ohio employee Alexander Marcotte was working in a trench and it collapsed on top of him. He died hours later at the hospital.

The company was previously cited for at least 5 very serious safety violations and one for inadequate trench safety, but no safety modifications were made before this young worker was tragically killed.

OSHA’s new rule will increase maximum penalties for serious violations from $70,000 to $124,000. The last time the maximum fine penalty was adjusted was in 1990. It has been 26 years since OSHA last reviewed precautions to protect our workers.

In 2014 alone, there were 185 work-related fatalities in Ohio.

After seeing Aqua Ohio ignore multiple safety violations, how many other companies have in the past or are currently ignoring OSHA penalties?

This new safety violation rule will do the following:

  • Increase the minimum penalty fine from $5,000 to $8,909 for “repeat” and “willful” violations
  • Increase the maximum penalty fine from $70,000 to $124,709 for “repeat” and “willful” violations
  • Continue to reduce/adjust fine amounts based on company size and Consumer Price Index

If you or a loved one was severely hurt or tragically killed on the job, acquiring a Workers Compensation attorney will provide you the guidance and experience needed during this difficult time.

As your Ohio workplace accident attorney, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

The NCAA’s First Head Injury Settlement Marks a Turn in Concussion Awareness

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We often hear a lot of news and chatter revolving around the National Football League and its athletes suffering from serious head injuries. However, the news of a young athlete’s death caused by a head injury is shocking and appalling.

In 2011, Frostburg State University senior football player Derek Sheely suffered a concussion during a pre-season practice. A few days later after complaining of a headache, one of the coaches told the player to “get back out there”.

The 22 year old died that day from what they believe to be second-impact syndrome.

Second-impact syndrome can have fatal effects. When this occurs, the brain swells rapidly due to a previous concussion that has not had time to fully heal.

In Sheely’s case, his first concussion was not treated properly, and the coaching staff’s negligence led to this young man’s death.

For the first time in NCAA history the association has settled on a $1.2 million wrongful death suit for the player last week.

Although the NCAA and the athletic staff defendants did not admit liability on Sheely’s death, the state of Maryland awarded the family $50,000 on behalf of those school staff members.

In addition, the NCAA proposed it will pay $70 million toward concussion testing/diagnosis for both current former collegiate athletes in order to settle several other class action suits relating to concussions.

This case is a major change in the way schools, athletic staff members, and players conduct concussion protocol for sports-related head injuries.

Not only did the family win this case for the death of their son, but in his tragic death the awarded money will go toward the Derek Sheely Foundation.

This foundation will provide research funding for student-athlete head injury risks, scholarships in Derek’s name, and pushing institution policies that will reduce severe head injuries in sports. The NCAA agreed to create a head injury video to push education for this topic.

Strides for sports-related concussions over the years have been small, but the more injuries that occur shed more light on the overall severity of this problem. Being a father and a personal injury attorney, is my duty to educate others on the severe consequences of traumatic brain injuries.

As your Ohio catastrophic injury attorney, I will be there for you and I’ll Make Them Pay!® 

Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

Ohio’s ‘Move Over’ Law Taken Seriously After State Trooper is Injured

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In the state of Ohio it is a law for drivers to move a lane over when passing a roadside vehicle or a safety vehicle. This includes service trucks, broke down vehicles, construction vehicles, and emergency vehicles like ambulance or police cruisers.

This law has been in effect since 2004 and expanded in 2013. It is meant to provide safety for roadside vehicles and pedestrians and limit the number of roadside car accidents.

On July 29, 2016 a Chardon Post sergeant in Geauga County was doing a traffic stop when he was struck by an oncoming vehicle.

As the sergeant approached the pulled over vehicle, an oncoming driver struck his body causing him to flip over the front hood.

It is danger incidents such as this that call for a serious assessment on how to enforce laws like the Move Over Law.

If you’ve seen the chilling video of the trooper being struck by the oncoming vehicle, you know how important it is for our drivers to start paying attention and obeying these laws!

The Ohio State Highway Patrol released a statement on this incident and ORC 4511.213—approaching safety vehicles displaying emergency light.

Cars must move into the next lane if possible and proceed with caution when approaching safety vehicles displaying their emergency lights. When drivers ignore this law, do not move over, and do not slow down, serious accidents can happen and potentially result in death!

According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, officer fatalities in the state of Ohio are currently at 3 deaths for 2016 due to traffic-related incidents.

There have been 24 traffic-related deaths nationwide in the past 6 months.

As a personal injury lawyer and a seasoned driver, I urge drivers to follow this law so we can keep our safety workers and roadside pedestrians safe. If you or a family member has been injured due to a roadside accident, call me immediately.

As your Ohio catastrophic injury attorney, I will be there for you and I’ll Make Them Pay!® 

Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

Paying It Forward- Why I Do What I Do – Tim Misny

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Let me tell you something about myself that not many people know.

I did not grow up in privilege, far from it. I worked hard, and along the way, I had the benefit of some great mentors.  I’m talking about Father Paul Woelfl from John Carroll University, and Patrick Rocco, the former Law Director of the City of Euclid.

These two gentlemen went out of their way to help me.  They opened doors that presented some really great opportunities.

To put it simply, my family and I would not be where we are today, if not for their help.

It is for that reason that I feel so compelled to pass this on by lending a helping hand to those who need it the most in our hometown.

My wife Stephanie and I have awarded numerous scholarships at my Alma mater, Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School.  Each and every recipient went on to excel in college.

We raise money for the City Mission.

It touches your heart when you see a single mom come to the Mission with her children.

They receive good meals, clothing, and a safe and clean place to sleep along with an abundance of love and understanding.

We sponsor the “Make Them Pay!” Boxing Club on West 25th Street.

This remarkable facility teaches inner city kids discipline and self-reliance, while at the same time emphasizing the importance of staying in school.

As the director Gary Horvath will tell you, when a kid from a tough neighborhood gets off track, it is almost impossible to get him or her back on track.

Throughout the year I reprise my role of Superman’s arch enemy, Lex Luther with the group, Super Heroes to kids in Ohio.

Super Heroes to Kids in Ohio is a wonderful non-profit organization that allows “Super Kids” to work with their favorite super heroes to stop the bad guys. They often visit children’s hospitals in a series of events to fight the criminals, like Lex Luther.

In doing so we put smiles on kids’ faces who may not have a whole to smile about.

People helped me along the way and this is my chance to pay it forward. And I’m having a lot of fun doing it!

Please watch my newest Make Them Pay! Moment episode 8  to learn more about what I do to give back.

As your Ohio personal injury attorney, I will be there for you and I’ll Make Them Pay!® 

Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

How Talking About Sports Related Head Injuries Can Enact Change

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The catalysts for change in our society is information and open dialog.

When we become informed of the facts and the issue becomes prominent in our media coverage, we as a society then and only then contemplate and enact real change.

Concussions and closed head injuries as a result of contact sports was something that was swept under the rug. The occasional mention by a sportscaster that an athlete “had his bell rung” was the end-all in the discussion. In the last five years medical studies and news stories on these issues has been gaining momentum.

The two lead stories in today’s New York Times Sports section deal exclusively with sports-related head trauma. The lead story exposes the “hidden world” of concussions among synchronized swimming.

According to U.S. Olympic Committee managing director for sports medicine, Bill Moreau, approximately 50% of swimmers he has supervised have suffered concussions— this is a conservative estimate.

The recent choice of closer swimming formation is yielding a higher number of injuries than in the past, but recognizing concussions in the sport is not easy. Concussion symptoms include dizziness, nausea, and sensitivity to light. All of these symptoms are similar to the outcome of swimming upside down and holding your breath underwater.

Today’s second lead story is a two-fold issue: the long-term effects of a closed head injury can be horrific for the injured and their families, and the issue of how insurance companies treat people should not go unnoticed, as in the lawsuit of former NFL player Haruki Nakamura vs. insurer Lloyd’s of London.

Retired NFL athlete Nakamura suffered a severe head injury in a preseason game 3 years ago that has permanently affected his physical and mental abilities.

Nakamura’s severe head injury resulted in the end of his professional football career; his disability insurance company says otherwise.

Lloyd’s of London disability insurance is denying Nakamura’s one million dollar policy unless he can prove the seriousness of his brain injuries. He had suffered serious side effects months after the concussion, and in 2015 the NFL’s Player Retirement Plan determined he suffered from chronic post-concussion syndrome.

Although he was eligible for this retirement plan, his disability insurer was not convinced. It is this very example that I cannot stress enough; insurance companies cannot be trusted to do the right thing!

As this lawsuit unfolds the question of whether or not insurance companies will include concussions to be covered by their policies remains.

The essence is that if your child is contemplating participating in contact sports, your family simply needs to be informed of the long-term consequences of closed head injuries.

Long-term damages may include:

  • Severe headaches
  • Confusion
  • Blurred vision
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Memory loss
  • Incompetent decision-making

I have developed a specialty over 34 years representing families who have suffered head injuries as a result of work related injuries, car accidents or slip and falls.

If you or a loved one has suffered a severe head injury due to another’s negligence, you need to call me immediately. I will stand by you and fight for the justice and compensation you and your loved ones deserve.

As your Ohio catastrophic injury attorney, I will be there for you and I’ll Make Them Pay!® 

Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

How Newborn Jaundice Can Lead to Brain Injury If Untreated

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Childbirth brings a number of emotions for families; from excitement, concern, worry, and joy, it is a roller coaster of an experience. For many newborns, the process goes smoothly and without problems, but as a birth injury attorney with 34 years of experience, I know not every family is so lucky.

While childbirth is miraculous and beautiful, it can also turn dangerous quickly. For new parents and experienced parents alike, I cannot stress how important it is to do research beforehand and understand the possible complications that may lie ahead.

Understanding the difference between a common occurrence and a life-threatening issue can make the difference in your newborn’s medical care.

Oftentimes, I tell parents to ask questions! A mother knows best, so it is imperative that a mother or father questions the doctor when they feel their baby’s health and well-being is at risk.

One specific medical concern that parents should recognize is the onset of newborn jaundice.

In simplest terms, newborn jaundice is the yellowing of an infant’s eyes and skin.

Jaundice is common in newborn babies and occurs when the infant has high levels of bilirubin—a yellow substance the body produces when it breaks down red blood cells. If jaundice is left untreated for too long, the bilirubin levels in the baby’s blood may become so high that causes a severe brain injury!

Look for the following symptoms in your child and notify the doctor immediately:

  • Yellowing of the skin, whites of eyes, inside the mouth, on soles of feet or palms of hands
  • Dark yellow urine
  • Pale colored feces
  • Limp
  • Poor with feeding
  • Have a high-pitched cry

A newborn should typically be examined for jaundice within 72 hours following their birth but can be more difficult to detect in premature infants.

Although newborn jaundice is typically not life-threatening, delaying treatment for it can have severe consequences on your child. If your baby has suffered permanent brain injury due to this, you need to call me immediately.

As your Ohio birth injury lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay! ®

Author: Tim Misny | For more than 34 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.