Marijuana a Rising Factor in Personal Injury Cases

Web Admin - Monday, September 17, 2018
Des Plaines marijuana product liability lawyerNow that 30 states (including Illinois) have legalized marijuana for medical use and nine also allow recreational use, the number of personal injury lawsuits involving cannabis is growing.

Background on the Cannabis Market

Over 100 distinct chemicals, broadly termed phytocannabinoids, are present naturally in the cannabis plant. Currently, two of the best-understood cannabinoids are THC, the psychoactive ingredient that produces a euphoric sensation, and CBD (cannabidiol), which has demonstrated pain-relieving, inflammation-reducing, neuro-protective, and cancer-fighting properties.

As scientists learn more about the way cannabinoids affect the human body and discover new applications for these chemicals, the variety of products made from cannabis is increasing. In fact, the U.S. market for legal cannabis is expected to grow 17% per year through 2028, reaching nearly $50 billion in annual sales. In comparison, U.S. wine sales are estimated at $65 billion. 

With such rapid growth, mistakes are bound to be made, and injuries are likely to result. 

Potential Grounds for Cannabis Personal Injury Lawsuits

Here are a few situations that could be grounds for a personal injury lawsuit against a marijuana producer/distributor: 

- Failure to warn of risks. If a cannabis product has the potential to impair a consumer’s ability to drive, or if it could affect a person’s thoughts or behavior in other ways that could prove dangerous, the packaging should provide appropriate warnings. If such warnings are not provided, and someone suffers an injury as a result, the producer/distributor could be sued for negligence and required to pay compensation to the victim. 

- Misleading or false advertising. If a producer says (in advertising, on packaging, or otherwise) that their product will provide a particular benefit, and the product fails to perform as promised, a consumer could file a lawsuit on the grounds of breach of contract or breach of warranty. 

- Product contamination. Many states do not yet have laws regulating the use of pesticides, fungicides, and other chemicals on marijuana crops, nor adequate procedures to enforce such regulations or test for toxins. Many lawsuits have resulted from contaminated consumables in other industries (e.g., E. coli in ground beef), and there have already been lawsuits against marijuana producers alleging harmful contamination. 

- Unsafe packaging. Marijuana products containing THC should be provided in packaging that is both child-resistant and tamper-evident, just as is required for other medicinal products that have a potential to cause harm. Portion sizes and the amount of THC per portion should also be made very clear on product labels. Defective packaging and foreseeable misuse could become grounds for a lawsuit. 

While the probability of a fatal overdose is near zero, marijuana is an intoxicant, and overconsumption can have serious consequences. Because of the potential for personal injury lawsuits, many states are requiring marijuana businesses to purchase liability insurance, so that funds will be available to compensate consumers for injuries caused by cannabis products.

An Arlington Heights Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help

If you or a loved one has been harmed by a medical cannabis product, consult an experienced Palatine personal injury attorney to discuss the details of your case and possible options for recovering compensation. The attorneys of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC provide skilled representation, working to protect your rights when you have been harmed by an unsafe product. Contact us at 847-934-6000 to schedule a consultation.

Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.


McDonald’s Salads Linked to Food Poisoning Cases in Illinois

Web Admin - Thursday, July 19, 2018
Crystal Lake food poisoning injury attorneyEating food purchased from a restaurant or grocery store should not be a risky proposition, but in recent weeks, a number of Illinois residents and people in nearby states have become seriously ill after doing so. Dozens of cases of food poisoning have been reported and linked to salads sold at McDonald’s restaurants, and the problem is becoming more widespread, affecting people in several states throughout the Midwest. If you have experienced food poisoning because of contaminated salads or other foods, you should be sure to understand your options for recovering compensation for your damages.

The Dangers of Contaminated Salads and Produce

The current food poisoning case involves the Cyclospora parasite, which can cause intestinal illnesses to those who consume it. Infections from this type of organism are known as cyclosporiasis, and symptoms include explosive diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain or cramps, gas, fatigue, loss of appetite, weight loss, headaches, and fever. 

Cyclospora can be transmitted in fresh produce because these foods do not go through a cooking process that would kill the parasites. Washing or rinsing produce is not sufficient to remove these organisms.

After more than 100 reported cases of cyclosporiasis, McDonald’s has opted to remove salads from any restaurants that may have been affected by the outbreak. More than 3,000 restaurants are involved, and in addition to Illinois, people in Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Missouri may have been in danger of contamination.

This is not the only case of food poisoning from Cyclospora which occurred recently. In June, vegetable trays produced by Del Monte were found to be the source of an outbreak that affected more than 200 people in Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan, and Minnesota. The company recalled several products from grocery stores in states throughout the Midwest. This outbreak appears to be unrelated to the contaminated salads from McDonald’s.

Contact an Inverness Personal Injury Attorney

Food poisoning can not only cause a great deal of pain and discomfort, but it can have serious, long-lasting effects on one’s health. If you have contracted cyclosporiasis or any other type of infection after eating food purchased from a restaurant or grocery store, you may be able to pursue compensation for the damages which you have suffered. The Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyers at Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC can help you understand your options and advocate for your interests throughout the legal process. Contact us at 847-934-6000 to arrange a personalized consultation.

Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.


Contaminated Lettuce Leads to Widespread E. Coli Outbreak

Web Admin - Wednesday, May 30, 2018
Rolling Meadows product liability attorney food poisoningWhen you purchase food at a grocery store or restaurant, you expect it to be safe to eat. Unfortunately, cases occur all too often in which foods containing pathogens are provided to consumers, resulting in serious diseases and even death. A currently-ongoing case involving romaine lettuce illustrates the dangers of contaminated foods, and people injured by food poisoning should be sure to understand their options for recovering compensation under product liability laws.

E. Coli Contamination

An outbreak of food poisoning from romaine lettuce contaminated with E. Coli began in March of 2018. In the ensuing weeks, 149 cases have been reported across 29 states (including Illinois), with 64 people being hospitalized and one person dying so far. These cases were linked to lettuce grown in the Yuma, Arizona region, and the strain of E. Coli in this case is especially virulent, resulting in a high rate of complications.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has advised consumers to avoid eating any romaine lettuce, including whole heads or hearts, bagged lettuce, organic romaine lettuce, and salads containing mixed greens, unless they can confirm that the lettuce was not grown in the Yuma region. While some restaurants and grocery stores have announced that the lettuce they are selling or serving is not from the Yuma region, consumers may prefer to avoid romaine lettuce altogether. People should also be aware that rinsing or washing lettuce is not an effective way to remove E. Coli.

The strain of E. Coli in this case is known as a Shiga-toxin producing E. Coli (STEC). After consuming STEC, symptoms will typically occur within three to four days, and they may include severe stomach cramps, bloody diarrhea, and vomiting. This strain has been shown to result in hemolytic uremic syndrome, a life-threatening form of kidney failure.

Contact a Palatine Personal Injury Attorney

Food poisoning from contaminated foods can lead to severe, life-threatening illnesses that can have long-lasting effects on a person’s health and well-being. If you have contracted E. Coli or another disease after eating food bought from a restaurant or grocery store, you may be able to recover financial damages from the party or parties who were responsible. At Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC, our Des Plaines product liability lawyers can help you understand your rights and options, and we will advocate for you to receive the compensation you deserve for the damages you have suffered. Contact us at 847-934-6000 to arrange a personalized consultation.

Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.


GM Faulty Ignition Switch Cases

Web Admin - Friday, January 27, 2017
Arlington Heights product liability lawyersDriving is such an integral part of our lives today. It’s an inescapable part of our daily routine. And like many appliances, machinery and technology we use, we expect them to be manufactured to the highest standards and with warranties in place to protect us. The outcry over General Motors (GM) and certain cars with faulty ignition switches, is now before a federal court, with the first case underway in New York.

If you suspect that a faulty mechanism in a GM manufactured car, caused serious injury to you or a loved one, speak with a personal injury attorney today who can determine if a legal case has the merits to proceed which could mean a cash award if you are successful.

The Fault and Knowledge

GM was recently fined 900 million dollars as a result of a criminal suit for deaths that that arose from certain makes and models with faulty ignition switches. 124 people died behind the wheel of cars with this defect. The defect lead to cars actually shutting off in the midst of being driven, disabling the airbag, power steering and power brakes. This is clearly serious defect putting innocent lives in harm’s way.Disturbingly, the ignition defect was known to the company years in advance of the actual recall being issued. And while civil cases involving serious injuries and death have been settled, personal injury and wrongful death suits in the hundreds have now commenced.

Federal Regulation - The Process of Recalls

The National Highway and Transportation Department (NHTSA) is tasked with overseeing the automotive industry and ensuring proper safety standards are maintained to protect consumers.Usually NHTSA technical experts investigate to deem whether or not an issue exists that would warrant the issuance of a recall. However, in some instances a manufacturer voluntarily implements a recall but in others they are court ordered. If a manufacturer discovers a defect, they are obliged to notify NHTSA, but unfortunately, that is not always the case. In this highlighted case, GM knew of the defect but did not notify NHTSA in a timely manner.

Caring and Experienced Legal Counsel

When you get behind the wheel, you may encounter several potential incidents due to distracted, drunk impaired or speeding drivers. What if the very car you are sitting in can put you at risk for catastrophic injury or harm? That is the case with GM and several vehicles that had a faulty ignitions switch that led to deaths and injuries. GM has been noted to have not filed the recall as promptly as they should have, made claims that the problem was not pervasive enough to be a safety concern and possibly putting profits and reputation above the safety of loyal customers. To know that the fix could have only cost as little as one dollar, is a slap in the face of the loved ones left without theirs.

If you or someone you know experienced a possible ignition switch defect in a GM Chevrolet, Saturn or Pontiac and suffered a serious injury call the Arlington Heights personal injury lawyers at Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC today. The consultation is personalized to suit your needs, and the advice is invaluable. If you decide to move forward, we will fight to get you the compensation you and your loved ones deserve.

Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.


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