Disregard for safety caused serious burns in Seattle apartment

Apartments in the Seattle area are a booming business for property owners and management companies.  The demand is high, and it is a leasers market. Regardless of the power garnered by apartment owners, one thing needs to be at the top of their priority: safety. Recently, one of my clients – “Kay” – suffered serious burns because of the failure to recognize the dangers associated with uninsulated water pipes. It is an older apartment building; pipes carried boiling water upward in the building for heat. The uninsulated pipes in Kay’s apartment were recorded at 236 degrees Fahrenheit.   Kay had asked for the apartment’s management company to address the danger created by the uninsulated pipes. Her requests went unanswered. Kay

The Truth About the McDonald’s Coffee Lawsuit (video)

It’s one of the most famous lawsuits in the country. A woman spills coffee on herself, and files a lawsuit against McDonalds because the coffee was hot. She wins a million dollars, and becomes the poster child of “frivolous lawsuits”. What if everything you’ve heard about the hot coffee lawsuit is wrong? In this 5-minute video, you’ll learn what really happened. Stella Liebeck was 79 years old. McDonalds served her coffee so hot that it caused third-degree burns on her legs and groin. She had to have painful skin grafts, and multiple surgeries. Ms. Liebeck didn’t want to file a lawsuit. She asked McDonalds to pay the medical bills not covered by insurance—about $20,000. After six months, McDonalds offered her $800. The

The inspiring resilience of a young burn injury survivor

In the last 30 years, I’ve worked with thousands of injured people. I have seen the aftermath of massive truck crashes, of pedestrian fatalities and of tragic accidents that have destroyed lives. But the incredible pain of a burn injury stands out as particularly devastating. Burn wounds are not only physical, but also psychological: visible burns drastically change a person’s appearance. Survivors often experience severe depression, and withdraw from society to conceal their injuries. That’s why it’s so inspiring to see a young burn injury survivor bravely tell her story as part of the documentary Trial By Fire.  Calais Weber was only 15 when she almost died. An accidental fire started during chemistry class changed her life forever. She was

How to avoid car fire burn injuries

My office has been working with several clients who have sustained severe car fire burn injuries. These are some of the most traumatic injuries I have seen in 30+ years of representing injured people. During National Burn Awareness Week, I was thinking about car fire burn injury victims, and how these horrible wounds could be prevented. Car fires are the biggest cause of burn injuries — and are way more common than most people realize. If your car starts on fire:  1. Stop. Get your car out of traffic, and turn it off. This cuts the flow of gasoline and electric current. Don’t pop the hood: because more oxygen can make the fire larger. 2. Get Out. Everyone should move at least 100

5 Tips for Holiday Fire Safety and Burn Prevention

The holiday season generates an increase in serious burns, primarily because there’s more opportunity for accidental fires during winter months. 5 easy ways to avoid holiday fires 1. Check your outlets and power strips. It’s easy to overload, especially with decorative lights. If the strip feels warm, or there are any dark marks around the outlet, shut it down and replace it. State Farm Insurance suggests looking for CSA or UL certification marks, indicating the lights were tested and met the product safety standards. Due to the high volume and low manufacturing cost, Christmas lights are a common counterfeit.   2. Care for your Christmas tree. Indoor Christmas trees are very flammable, and often the first thing ignited in a holiday fire.

Summer Safety for July 4: forget the sparklers

Fireworks (and burn injuries) If you are setting off fireworks this weekend, it is your responsibility to keep people safe.   Your ignition area should be clear of trees and branches, and point away from buildings. Light fireworks one at a time. Have a bucket of water ready, and a hose nearby. Never re-light a dud. One more note on fireworks: sparklers are the most dangerous. They cause about 20% of fireworks injuries, and some of the most serious burn injuries to children. It makes sense: there’s no other situation in which it is acceptable to give a small child a stick burning at 1200 degrees or more. It’s not OK on July 4, either. Burn treatment Most people who


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