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Manalapan New Jersey Legal Blog

David Copperfield slip and fall trial begins

Over the years, many New Jersey readers may have wondered how magician David Copperfield performs his tricks. On April 13, some of those secrets were revealed during a civil trial stemming from a British man's claim that he was seriously injured when he was chosen to participate in Copperfield's Las Vegas show.

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff attended one of Copperfield's shows at the MGM Grand in November 2013. During the show, he was randomly selected to help perform a trick in which the famed magician makes a person disappear from the main stage and reappear at the back of the theater. During opening statements for the trial, the plaintiff's attorney explained that his client was made to hurry through hallways and a darkened outdoor area that led to the back of the theater. Just short of the theater door, he slipped and fell, suffering serious injuries.

Radiologists and workplace injuries

A third of radiologists practicing in New Jersey could be experiencing lower back pain due to their work. This is according to the results of a national commission workforce survey conducted by the American College of Radiology.

The use of PACS, or picture archive and communication systems, could be the reason some radiologists report work-related musculoskeletal injuries. Although the radiology industry has been migrating to a digitized archive and communication system from a film-based system, the negative effects of using the more contemporary PACS could overshadow the benefits they provide.

Why distracted driving is on the rise

Distracted driving is an epidemic in New Jersey, as elsewhere in the U.S., and it may be more dangerous now than drunk driving. DUI deaths have been reduced by a third over the past 30 years thanks to the efforts of law enforcement and activist groups, but more and more people are being distracted by smartphones, in-car navigation systems, and other technologies. A survey showed that 63 percent of motorists are more afraid of distracted drivers than of intoxicated ones.

In the same survey, 75 percent of drivers said that they see other motorists using their phones every day. Texting, talking on the phone, and talking to passengers are among the most common sources of distraction. Because current laws do not punish distracted driving as severely as DUI, for instance, many drivers do not feel motivated to break their habits.

DWI charges in New Jersey carry serious criminal penalties

Most people know that getting behind the wheel after drinking alcohol or consuming drugs can lead to increased risk of a crash and that states have criminalized having too much alcohol in your body while driving. That includes New Jersey, where driving with a blood alcohol content at or above 0.08 percent constitutes a DWI offense.

There are many situations where a person who hasn't broken the law could end up failing a field sobriety test or a BAC test. Medical conditions could play a part in this situation, or it could be the result of poorly calibrated testing machines. Whatever the cause, those facing DWI charges in New Jersey need to take them seriously. The penalties could cause a host of lasting issues.

Heart disease and the impact of loud workplaces

New Jersey people whose work environments are noisy may have high levels of cholesterol and high blood pressure, raising their risk for heart disease. This information comes from a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The two main risk factors for cardiovascular disease are high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Cardiovascular disease also ranks first in the causes of death in the nation while loud noise is a primary workplace health hazard. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health at the CDC reports that almost 41 million people in the United States, just about a quarter of all workers, have reported being exposed to loud working environments.

Pinch point injuries in the workplace

Employers in New Jersey should know that some safety agencies are warning against pinch points in the workplace. These refer to any area where workers or their body parts are liable to become stuck. It can be between two moving parts of machinery, between one moving part and one stationary part, or between material and some part of the machine. Employers will want to know, then, how to prevent these injuries.

Pinch points are found in machinery like metal forming machines, robotic machines, and plastic molding machines. Power presses and power transmission equipment also contain pinch points. Those who work around printing presses can be in danger, too. Pinch points can endanger workers across a variety of industries because they're found in common machinery like conveyors and powered doors, hatches, and covers.

Hospital workers often find themselves in need of medical care

People rely on the care and hard work of nurses, aides and other hospital workers when they are at their weakest and most vulnerable. Those who work in these stressful settings often sacrifice their own well-being for the care and comfort of their patients.

In some cases, the injuries suffered by hospital workers can leave them unable to continue their jobs. Back injuries, as well as serious knee injuries and other joint problems, can cause ongoing pain, reduced strength and difficulty performing the necessary tasks at work. Illnesses acquired at work, such as MRSA or bloodborne illnesses acquired through an accidental needle stick, can also end someone's medical career. When that happens, these workers should absolutely consider filing for workers' compensation.

Impairment, distraction and bad weather present highway hazards

Hazards that lead to fatal traffic accidents in New Jersey include human error and environmental features. When drivers make bad decisions, like drinking, their impairment often limits their ability to operate a motor vehicle safely. The consumption of alcohol, even in modest amounts, slows the reaction times of drivers and increases the potential for accidents. Drowsy drivers experience a similar level of impairment as intoxicated individuals.

There are an abundance of distractions for drivers. When people take their eyes off the road to adjust radio channels, they have a higher risk of causing accidents. Talking on a cellphone or sending text messages significantly distract drivers and reduces their ability to avoid wrecks.

OSHA declares excavation safety as national focus in 2018

Following a seven-year effort to address trench and excavation accidents, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced the issue to be the organization's primary focus for 2018. This effort includes a national stand down on excavation work to facilitate a safety dialogue in New Jersey and across the United States.

It's not hard to understand the reasoning behind this national focus. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, injuries related to excavations and trenches in 2016 were five times the average of the previous five years. The goal for 2018, according to OSHA, is increasing awareness of hazards in trench construction, reducing the number of collapses and educating workers on cave-in prevention strategies.

New Jersey judge found not guilty in f-bomb DWI case

If you drive for about an hour north of Manalapan, you'll come to East Orange, New Jersey. The city is one of several where a municipal judge Wilfredo Benitez presides.

According to news reports, the jurist was found passed out in his silver BMW at a little past two in the morning. A recently released video shows Benitez repeatedly telling state troopers that he's "a f--king judge" before he was handcuffed and arrested for drunk driving.

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Law Office of Jack L. Stillman, P.A.
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Manalapan, NJ 07726

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