Catch this week's edition of the regionally beloved Bordas & Bordas Legal Review. Jamie Bordas and guest Chris Regan discuss important cases on worker safety decided by West Virginia's Supreme Court of Appeals this last term. Find out if the "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" defense worked out for one employer and whether or not employers can blame their own employees for on-the-job injuries, even where the employer knew that the employee had been subjected to an unsafe condition.
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Over a year ago Bordas & Bordas, PLLC brought you information about the massive safety concerns surrounding exploding gas cans and how the manufactures of those gas cans could take a simple and inexpensive step to avoid catastrophic injury to their consumers. This story is now making national news. NBC News Investigations has prepared an investigative article about this issue. The story aired on the TODAY SHOW on December 4, 2013. The story highlighted that after significant testing and inquiries, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a statement calling on the consumer gas can industry to incorporate flame-arrester technology into gasoline containers. For your ease and enjoyment, we have republished attorney Jeremy McGraw's previous article on the topic below:
We've probably all heard Sergeant Shultz from Hogan's Heroes bellow out emphatically: "I see nothing!" In McComas vs. AFC Industries, LLC, No. 12-0548 (W.Va. October 17, 2013), the employer attempted to invent a Sergeant Shultz-type defense in deliberate intent cases. Thankfully, the West Virginia Supreme Court rejected this attempt to avoid an employer's duty to conduct mandatory safety inspections. The plaintiff, David McComas, was a welder by trade. His employer, AFC Industries, was a company that built railroad cars. McComas, joined by two other welders, were assigned to a part of AFC's plant that had been out of operation and all electrical power had been shut off. When McComas attempted to restart the power at an electrical box, an arc blast occurred. McComas was thrown to the floor, and despite wearing all of the required safety equipment including hat, goggles and gloves, he suffered severe burns to 25% of his body. It turns out that the electrical box had been installed over 50 years before this tragic incident and, incredibly, that AFC had never inspected it.
There is not a day that goes by that I don't hear a story in our office about telephone calls we receive by people in need. Many of the people who call don't really have a case that will be filed in a court of law, but rather have an issue that is bothering them that needs to be listened to, addressed and have suggestions offered for resolution. There have been numerous times over the course of my practice of law that people on the other end of the phone have thanked me simply for taking the time to listen. It still surprises me, even today, when I am thanked simply for listening. One would hope that most would listen even if they are not able to act on the problem that is being presented. Nonetheless, that doesn't seem to be the case. There are oftentimes things I would much rather be doing than listening to a person talk about a problem that I know will be a case that we will not be able to take. As a lawyer, I have a duty as a brother of lawyers to listen so that the public receives a good impression of me and lawyers in general. If for no other reason, I would encourage other lawyers to take the time to accept phone calls and listen even though you know from the first few seconds of the conversation that the caller is describing to you a case you will not be able to take, still pay respect to the individual by listening to the problems they are presenting you. I have found this listening thing to be a lifelong quest. Certainly, I have had my wife tell me a number of times that she said something when I simply must not have been listening. That is a problem I've been working on since the day we got married. I am still not as good as I would like to be but I am much better than I was as a young husband.
Now is your chance to win three lower level tickets to see the Steelers take on the Dolphins, this Sunday, December 8. Grab your two best friends, throw some hotdogs on the grill, throw back some Iron City and you'll be good to go. Just share this entry, text the keyword STEELERS to 22828 (standard text messaging rates apply) and like our facebook page. Good luck! The winner will be drawn this Thursday. Be watching our Facebook and your email for notification!
As my children get in the car, I always say those two words as I back out of the driveway,-SEATBELTS ON? I check all the mirrors and am ever so cautious by looking into the rearview mirror every three seconds. I feel as though I am saving an important document on my computer, as I check for all possible problems in my way. After all, I am carrying some very special cargo. Now, I must turn the wheel over to my son. I am on child two out of my four that's learning to drive. With the first child, I wanted no part of the training process. However, as their father's work schedule is insane these days, this time, it has become my duty to hone my son's skills.
As the Ohio Valley, like much of the United States, is facing serious winter storms this Thanksgiving holiday, we have decided to re-post the following entry about safe winter driving practices from attorney Zak Zatezalo for your use and enjoyment. Have a very Happy Thanksgiving, and please stay safe, wherever your travels may take you. With the winter driving season again upon us, nearly all families will have reason to be out on the road in the dark, cold conditions of the next 3-4 months. Winter driving brings additional hazards, particularly in the more northern regions, like ours, that get a lot of snow and ice. Making time for a few preparations can help keep families safer and help motorists deal with an emergency.
Last April, I wrote a blog titled Get Up and Get Moving . I spoke of some reasons to engage in a regular exercise program which included some of the emotional and physical beneficial payoffs. I hope many of our readers were able to utilize this in an effort to get fit and healthy in time for summer fun, but here comes my follow-up.
All this week you can see Jamie Bordas and Chris Regan discussing the life and legacy of John F. Kennedy on the 50th anniversary of his assassination in Dallas, Texas. The Bordas & Bordas Legal Review continues to bring you the fascinating issues of interest to our local area, our State and the Nation as a whole and this episode is no different. Kennedy's influence on the space race, the civil rights era, the Vietnam War and his enduring place in the hearts and minds of Americans are all covered to help our viewers reflect on this solemn but also fascinating occasion.
I sat in the rocking chair in the nursery in our house holding my youngest child, alone. I may have sat there thousands of times and have rocked four different babies in that chair, but at that moment, time stopped. I looked around the room and saw the crib and changing table and reminisced about where they were situated in our old house. The place we lived before living where we do now was the place I spent my first pregnancy and brought home my first baby- my six year old daughter, Alexis. I remembered vaguely, although only a short six years ago, how the crib lay in the back right corner of the room at our old house. And how the changing table was along the wall across from the crib. I looked up on the armoire and saw the big white stuffed bear that I got at my baby shower and tried hard to place where exactly his home was before moving here. Sadly, I just couldn't clearly picture it. By this time, my baby, Matt, was slowly fading to sleep, and as I heard the sounds of bath water running in the next room, and the voices of my three older children giddy and over-stimulated for bath time, I continued to get nostalgic. I glanced up at the wall and saw that it was still decorated with the pink wooden letters A-L-E-X-I-S. Despite having had three subsequent children who have taken possession of this nursery since Alexis, I never changed the name on the wall, even though they all have their own wooden letters spelling out each of their names as well. I couldn't help but wonder whether it was subconsciously intentional that I have let them stay there all this time? Had I been unable to leave those precious memories as exactly what they are- memories?