03/27/15 at 2:57pmBassinet Recall

Two-and-one Dream On Me bassinets that were sold nation wide nationwide from May 2012 to October 2014 by Amazon.com, Walmart.com, Wayfair.com, ToysRUs.com, and Kohls.com are being recalled. These basinets pose both a fall and suffocation hazard.  Babies can be entrapped and suffocated or the infant can fall out of the basinet if the wire supports on the sides of this defective product disconnect.


The Dream On Me two-in-one bassinet to cradle products, come in pink, blue, green and white.

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If you own one of these bassinets stop using it immediately and contact Dream On Me. The recalled model numbers are 439-A, 439-B, 439-G, 439-P and 439-W, located on a tag under the mattress pad of the bassinet. This tag is a removable tag you see in the store, but it is removed prior to use.


For more information contact Dream on Me toll-free at (877) 201-4317, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or online at www.dreamonme.com and click on the "Recalls" icon on the home page for more information.

03/03/15 at 8:43amCarbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a very real threat. It should be taken seriously. Carbon monoxide is a colorless gas that can cause serious injuries and even death.  A defective gas furnace, gas water heater, car, truck, gasoline engines, gas burning stoves or fireplaces can produce lethal levels of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide form sources like these can build up unnoticed unless one has a certified carbon monoxide detector.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends a home have at least one carbon monoxide alarm with an audible warning signal.

02/27/15 at 3:26pmTire Recall

Tireco Inc. is recalling 3,793 Milestar medium tires for possible cracks in the lower sidewalls.  Tires with cracks have an increased risk of sudden failure, increasing the risk of a crash. The tires are Milestar BS623 Premium All Position tires, size 225/70R19.5, and Milestar BD733 Regional Open Shoulder Drive tires, size 225/70R19.5, manufactured between June 9 and Sept. 26, 2014, by Shandong Wanda Boto Tyre Co. Ltd. at its plant in Dongying City, Shandong, China.
Toyo Tire USA Corp. has also just announced a safety recall some of its light truck tires. They include Toyo’s Open Country M/T tires in size 40X15.5R22 127Q, manufactured during the week of Oct. 26, 2014, with TIN CXPCEV74314.

Toyo reported some of these tires have a manufacturing defect that may result in off-center belts. This defect may cause tread/belt separation and/or loss of inflation pressure, increasing the risk of tire failure and causing wrecks. Owners of these affected tires should return to their tire dealer as soon as possible for free replacement tires or call Toyo at 800-442-8696 from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST.

It is critically important for tires on all vehicles be free of defects. Defective tires put both drivers and passengers’ lives at stake.  A defect in the tire can result in tread separation, belt adhesion failure, blowouts and tire/rim explosions. A defective tire can make the vehicle’s weight shift, resulting in the vehicle being thrown around and rolling over.  The roof of the vehicle may then collapse and crush the driver and passengers. 

A defective tire can also blow out and the driver to lose control of the vehicle. It is very important to return all tires to the dealer if a tire has been recalled.

Over the years, our firm has successfully handled defective tire cases in Wyoming and other states.  Some were catastrophic injury cases and others were wrongful death lawsuits.  To successfully prosecute these cases, the defective tire and damaged vehicle must be preserved so an expert engineer can examine the tire and vehicle.  Junkyards and wrecker companies will dispose of this evidence after a short time. Photographs alone are generally not enough evidence.  So if you suspect a defective tire may have caused a crash, it is imperative to contact an attorney as soon as possible if you want to preserve your rights. 

02/19/15 at 1:37pmJeep Fires

More than 70 people have been killed in fires involving older Jeeps because these vehicles have plastic fuel tanks mounted behind the rear axle.  Last November on Veterans Day, a woman who was eight months pregnant slowed her 2003 Jeep Liberty that was behind two other cars to exit a freeway. After her Jeep was re-ended by another vehicle, her jeep collided with a car in front of her. The Jeep rolled onto its side and then exploded in flames.


The heat from the fire forced back other drivers who tried to free the woman.  The firefighters who arrived at the scene just three minutes later were also unable to rescue her.  She died as the result of smoke inhalation and burns.  Her unborn baby also died. 

In June of 2013, Fiat Chrysler recalled 1.56 million Jeeps.  Unfortunately, it appears that only about 12 percent of the SUVs have been repaired since the recall.

To prevent a tragedy like this one, it is important to periodically check to see if any recalls have been issued for your vehicle.  You can search a database for uncompleted recalls at http://www.safercar.gov/.

04/22/13 at 8:47amWhat's Your Lawyer Worth?

Does Your Lawyer Have Financial Stamina?

What’s your lawyer’s net worth?  What does that have to do with anything?  Well, take the issue of costs, for example. It takes a lot of money to make a case most of the time.  The general public has a lot of misconceptions about lawyers.  One mistake is thinking one lawyer is as able to handle your case as well as the next.  Far from it.

If a giant corporation damaged you, it will spend a lot of money on lawyers and expert witnesses to get out of  paying you, if possible.  Defendants usually have insurance and the insurance company has a lot of money to fight against you, billions and billions.  Just one company, State Farm, ended 2012 with a net worth of Sixty Five Billion Four Hundred Million dollars.  That’s $65,400,000,000,00.  It didn’t get rich paying fair amounts in claims.  

Your lawyer has to take it away from them.  Your lawyer must have the financial staying power to work up the case, not cave in to the crushing expenses the insurance company will make him or her lay out.

You probably don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars laying around to take your case to court.  Does your lawyer?  Somebody has to front the money, almost always running well into six figures in a significant case.  It costs a lot to hire experts to evaluate your case and, if justified, to testify about their findings.  Somebody has to pay the court reporting fees, travel expenses, investigators, research costs, and so on and so on.   You need to ask about this before you sign a fee agreement with a lawyer.  Ask hard questions.

It used to be a little easier to figure this out.  Until 1972, the premier legal directory, Martindale-Hubbell, published ratings of lawyers’ net worth.   Here’s how it rated their estimated net worth: 

1  over $100,000

2  over 50,000 under $100,000

3  over 30,000 under 50,000

4  over $20,000 under $30,000

5  over 10,000 under 20,000

6  over 5,000 under 10,000

7  less than $5,000.

With inflation, a lawyer rated “1” in 1972 would have a 2012 net worth of $549,450.55.  It’s too bad you can’t go to the library and look up lawyers’ net worth anymore.  But it is still important for you to gauge your lawyer’s financial ability – and commitment –to spend what it takes to fight for you.  Ask about that before you sign a fee agreement.

03/13/13 at 1:51pmWhen should I hire a lawyer after being seriously injured or a family member has been killed?

Call an attorney immediately if you or a loved one has been injured.  Gone are the days when insurance companies out of the goodness of their corporate hearts paid claims made by innocent people without a fight.  What this more than likely means for you is a long, drawn-out battle even if you did nothing wrong.  The insurance company most likely will not pay you except for a limited amount to cover some of your medical bills, until a lawsuit is filed.  Even after you file a lawsuit, the insurance company’s lawyers will go to great lengths to prove the guilty party did nothing wrong or if s/he did cause the accident, you really are not hurt as much as you and your doctors say you are.

Therefore it is very important to preserve all of the evidence.  Even if you did nothing wrong, you will have to prove you were not at fault.  No matter how you were injured, there is a lot of evidence to be preserved.  For example, if you were injured when a semi-truck struck your vehicle, it is important to make sure the trucking company does not destroy the driver’s logs and the truck’s black box information, among many other documents.  The driver’s log along with other electronic data will show whether or not the truck driver was in compliance with the Department of Transportation’s hours of service requirements, for example.  In other words, was the truck driver legally on the highway when the wreck occurred?    If a careless physician has injured you or a loved one, all of your medical records will need to be preserved.

If a defective product like a defective tire, seatbelt or airbag or other product injured you, you will almost always need to preserve the product to prove it is defective.  This is true, even if you were injured in a car accident.  An accident reconstructionist will need to examine your car and the vehicle that injured you to determine who was at fault.  If your car has been “totaled” by your insurance company, do not let your insurance company sell it for salvage until you have talked a lawyer.  You will need to find an attorney who has experience representing people injured in auto and trucking collisions.  No matter how you were injured, your attorney should request all of the evidence be preserved for later testing if necessary and reviewed.

The bottom line is that if you have been seriously injured or a loved one was killed, it is important to contact an attorney immediately.  Do not wait until a few months before the statute of limitations (the time period for which a lawsuit must be filed) expires.  If you wait, important evidence will most likely be gone and memories will have faded, making your case difficult to prove.

02/13/13 at 11:13amUninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Protect yourself and your family

            Even the safest driver can be injured by careless motorist or truck driver.  If an uninsured or underinsured reckless driver injures you or a family member, your only recourse may be your own auto insurance coverage.  Many states require all motorists to carry uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage.  However, Wyoming only mandates that its car owners carry $25,000 per person for bodily injury and $50,000 per accident.  Not only are many drivers underinsured, thousands more are driving cars without insurance.  If you are injured by one of these drivers your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage may be the only insurance coverage available.  

So, what can you do to protect yourself and your family from an uninsured/underinsured motorist?  The answer is simple.  Buy the most uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage you can afford.  At the very least, insist that your insurance company sell you UIM coverage of $250,000 per person and $500,000 per occurrence.  Not only is UIM coverage cheaper than liability auto insurance, it may be the only insurance that will protect you and your family if an uninsured driver hits you.  (Sometimes there is a product defect that may lead to additional coverage from a manufacturer, or bad repairs that may lead to additional coverage from a tire shop or service station or the like.)

            Before making a claim for UIM coverage, read your insurance policy carefully to so you will know what your insurance company requires.  Many insurance companies require their insureds to get the company’s approval before settling their claim against the careless, underinsured motorist.  In addition, your insurance company will require you to prove your damage before paying your UIM claim.  Before making an UIM claim, it could be a good idea to talk with a lawyer.

08/02/10 at 3:12pmAvandia: New Problems for GlaxoSmithKline

Like the ones it has with Paxil

According to a New York Times article, GlaxoSmithKline knew of the potential risks of the diabetes medication Avandia.  GlaxoSmithKline is also the maker of the SSRI Paxil.

Allegedly, GSK hid results of studies that showed Avandia was a dangerous medication.  According to an email obtained by the NY times, an executive wrote “Per Sr. Mgmt request, these data should not see the light of day to anyone outside of GSK.” 

The public first became aware of the potential heart risks of Avandia in 2007 after a lawsuit against the drug maker.  In that suit, it was discovered that GSK knew of the risks as of 2005.  However, new documents purportedly show that GSK knew of the potential risks as early as 1999.

After a lawsuit involving Paxil settled in 2004, GSK agreed to post the findings of all of their studies on the internet.  However, this does not solve the problem for many who say that GSK’s method for releasing the study information is still too mysterious.  It also does not resolve the issues for those who have suffered heart problems after taking Avandia.

Recently, the Food and Drug Administration determined there was a problem with Avandia.  An FDA panel voted in the majority that Avandia should be removed from the market or have its sales severely restricted.

Patients who have suffered heart attacks or heart failure while taking Rosiglitazone (Avandia) may have a product liability case against GlaxoSmithKine.  If you have been injured by this medication, you should contact a products liability attorney immediately.  The Fitzgerald Law Firm was part of one of the two successful courtroom trials against GlaxoSmithKline for failure to warn users about the potential dangers of Paxil, another GSK drug.  Paxil was linked to suicide in teens and adults, and also to birth defects in newborns when their mothers had taken Paxil.

07/22/10 at 9:37amPaxil

GlaxoSmithKline announced it expects legal charges of approximately $2.4 billion for the second quarter of 2010.  The reports are that the $2.4 billion legal bill includes charges related to product liability lawsuits over Paxil, mothers and babies. “The charge we have announced today reflects the company’s ongoing efforts to resolve certain longstanding legal cases,” according to its main corporate lawyer in a statement quoted in the New York Times. “This represents a substantial proportion of GSK’s outstanding litigation.”

GlaxoSmithKline settled more than a hundred Paxil birth defect lawsuits in June 2010.  The Fitzgerald Law Firm has cases alleging GSK deliberately chose against adequately warning physicians and expectant mothers about the risk of birth defects when those pregnant mothers took Paxil.  Those birth defects include persistent pulmonary hypertension in newborn babies (PPHN) and heart defects, including holes in the heart and malformations.

Many law firms claim to have success in Paxil cases but only two lawsuits have ever resulted in a verdict against GSK for a birth injury, or death from suicide. One of those two successful cases against GSK over its Paxil product resulted in a verdict in which Jim Fitzgerald was privileged to serve as trial co-counsel for the family. If you or a loved one has faced issues with Paxil use during pregnancy and resulting birth defects in the baby and you are considering legal action, The Fitzgerald Law Firm will review your case free of charge.


06/21/10 at 10:10amDriving Accidents

Wyoming residents on average drive the most of any state in the U.S.  Wyoming’s large size makes for long drives.  All of this driving has the potential to lead to accidents.  While accurate numbers are not kept on non-fatal traffic accidents, there were 34,017 fatal traffic accidents in 2008 in the United States. http://www.nhtsa.gov/ Because of the large amounts driven by Wyoming drivers, those drivers are more at risk of accidents.  There are certainly accidents on the road but many times car and tire manufacturers could have prevented them or at least avoided serious injuries and deaths.

Accidents can happen for many reasons, including tire failure like the problems that plagued Firestone tires in the past and accelerator problems like those that are troubling Toyota.  There are also many other types of problems that can contribute to a traffic accident.

Truck accidents can occur for a variety of reasons.  Semi-trucks are a common sight in Wyoming.  Interstate 80 is one of the most heavily used corridors to move freight from coast to coast.  As a result of the large numbers of trucks on I-80, there are numerous accidents involving commercial vehicles or semi trucks.

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in this type of accident, and you are considering legal action, The Fitzgerald Law Firm will review your case free of charge.

Plenty more in the Archives