February 14, 2014

How Does Your Credit Score Impact Your Auto Insurance Premiums?

We all know that your credit score is a very important number when it comes to buying a car, getting a credit card, or buying a new home. But did you know that auto insurance companies are using your credit score to help determine your risk of causing an accident? Interestingly enough, your credit score plays a major role in determining the cost of your automobile insurance premiums; in some bad cases, doubling the cost of your insurance for particularly bad credit. Read this article by CBS news for more information.

February 5, 2014

Major Winter Storm Causes Road Closures on I-70 Yesterday

KOMU News tweeted a traffic alert yesterday stating that all four lanes of I-70 were closed at Lake of the Woods in Columbia due to multiple serious crashes. Although the Missouri Department of Transportation had issued a "no travel advisory" for the areas affected by the snowstorm, many people still had to venture out on the roadways.

Before the next snowstorm hits, review these Winter Driving Tips from the Weather Channel and stay safe!

February 3, 2014

TGFW Attorney Sidney Wheelan presenting CLE on Handling Auto Accident Cases

Sidney Eckman Wheelan, an attorney with Tatlow, Gump, Faiella & Wheelan, LLC is presenting two sections of a three part CLE series on the Basics of Handling an Auto Accident Case. This CLE will offer critical and up-to-date information in the motor vehicle accident area of Missouri law practice.

Part I is to take place on February 5th at noon. To register, contact the Missouri Bar at 888-253-6013 or visit mobarcle.org.

February 2, 2014

MODOT Traveler Information Map

The Missouri Department of Transportation (MODOT) maintains a web page on it's site that displays all major roadways in the state and their current status. If there is snow on the ground, a wreck causing delays, or even road construction in the summer, the Traveler Information Map can be very helpful to motorists. Check out the map before you head out so you can be well informed of known issues ahead of time.

January 13, 2014

Crews respond to multiple car crash on Hannibal's Stardust Drive

A Center, Missouri man was arrested for driving with a suspended license for a multiple car crash he caused near the Aldi's store in Hannibal, Missouri. Read more on the incident here.

If you or someone you know has the been the victim of a crash, seek the advice of an experience personal injury attorney. The Law Firm of Tatlow, Gump, Faiella & Wheelan, LLC can help.

November 25, 2013

Angelcare Monitors Voluntarily Recalls 600,000 Baby Monitors Following Two Infant Deaths

Angelcare Monitors Inc. has issued a voluntary recall of 600,000 baby monitors after they received reports of two infants dying due to strangulation.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission cites a cord attached to the sensor pad as the problem. The pad is placed under the crib mattress to monitor movements and there is a cord attached to the sensor pad which poses a strangulation risk if the child gets to the cord. Two infants have died from cord strangulation deaths using Angelcare Monitors. Two more children have reportedly become entangled but did not die.

These monitors were sold between 1999 and 2013 for between $100 and $300 at many U.S. retailers. Consumers should stop using the product and contact the company for a repair kit.

The recall involves all Angelcare sensor monitors including model numbers: AC1100, AC201, AC300, AC401 AC601 and 49255 that did not include rigid cord covers. Angelcare, is providing a repair kit that includes rigid protective cord covers and revised instructions.

For more information: Consumers can contact Angelcare at (855) 355-2643 or online at www.angelcarebaby.com.

November 2, 2013

Daylight Savings Time Reminder to Change Smoke Alarm Batteries

Daylight savings time affects us each spring and fall, and can serve as a reminder to change the batteries in your smoke detectors when you adjust your clocks.

September 30, 2013

MODOT Overhauls Stadium & I-70 Interchange

If you have been in northwest Columbia lately, you've likely noticed the road construction happening along Stadium Blvd. and at the Stadium & I-70 interchange. MODOT has nearly completed construction of what is referred to as a diverging diamond interchange. This type of interchange includes travel on the opposite sides of the road from what drivers are accustomed to, which will surely cause confusion while drivers adjust to the change. MODOT plans to have the interchange fully operational by November 15.

For more information, visit the ABC17 news article here, which includes a video showing how traffic will flow through the interchange.

August 21, 2013

Recent Report Highlights Questionable Spending in Supreme Court Election

Authors Billy Corriher and Brent DeBeaumont, in a recent article for the Center for American Progress, highlight allegations that State Farm violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) in the 2004 Illinois Supreme Court election. The report indicates this was done by secretly contributing to the campaign of Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier. Before the 2004 election, State Farm appealed a case to the Illinois Supreme Court in which they were ordered to pay over $1 billion for breaching a clause in their automobile insurance contract. The case, Avery v. State Farm, stayed pending during the 2004 election cycle. During said election cycle, State Farm and its employees contributed $350,000 to Justice Karmeier's campaign. Justice Karmeier won the election, and refused to recuse himself from the case. In 2005, he joined the majority in overturning the ruling against State Farm.

In 2009, in light of the Caperton v. Massey ruling, the plaintiffs' counsel in Avery "launched an investigation to determine whether State Farm's financial involvement in Justice Karmeier's 2004 campaign had been fully disclosed. The plaintiffs claim to have uncovered additional evidence that proves that Justice Karmeier's conflict of interest was just as significant as the conflict of interest in Caperton. As with the donations from Massey Coal, State Farm had a 'stake in a particular case' that was 'pending or imminent' at the time that it 'rais[ed] funds or direct[ed] the judge's election campaign.'"

Information uncovered by retired FBI Special Agent Daniel Reece led the plaintiffs to believe that "as much as $4 million given to Justice Karmeier's campaign came from State Farm or entities strongly influenced by State Farm executives."

Per the authors, "This newly unearthed evidence suggests that State Farm deliberately concealed the extent of its financial support for Justice Karmeier's 2004 campaign by funneling money through a trade association, a political action committee, and a political party--all with the goal of reversing the $1 billion verdict against the company."

Source: Billy Corriher and Brent DeBeaumont, Dodging a Billion-Dollar Verdict, Center for American Progress, August 2013

If these allegations prove to be true, this would certainly indicate a need to reform the system.

August 13, 2013

Kia Sorentos Recalled

Kia Motors Corp. is recalling certain model year 2014 front wheel drive Sorento vehicles manufactured January 7, 2013, through March 12, 2013; and equipped with 2.4 liter engines.

A fractured front axle may result in a loss of power to the wheels. Additionally, if the vehicle is parked without the parking brake applied, it may roll away. Either condition increases the risk of a crash.

Kia will notify owners, and dealers will replace the front axle shaft assembly, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in September 2013. Owners may contact Kia at 1-800-333-4542 . Kia's recall number is SC099. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.


August 8, 2013

Outdoor RV Creek Side Trailers Recalled

Outdoors RV Manufacturing is recalling certain model year 2013-2014 Creek Side trailers manufactured February 27, 2013, through March 11, 2013; model year 2013-2014 Timber Ridge trailers manufactured April 5, 2013, through May 1, 2013; and model year 2013 Wind River trailers manufactured April 3, 2013, through April 19, 2013; and model year 2014 Black Stone trailers manufactured April 24, 2013, through April 25, 2013. Due to a design change in the Dometic-brand power awning motor assembly, the motor assembly screws may unknowingly shear.

If the motor assembly screws shear, it is possible that the awning can unfurl unexpectedly, either while the vehicle is at rest or while in transit, increasing the risk of personal injury or a vehicle crash.

Outdoor RV will notify owners beginning August 26, 2013 and Dometic staff will replace the affected motors with motors of a different design. Owners may contact Outdoor RV at 1-541-624-5500 or Dometic at 1-888-447-0003 for more information. Owners are being instructed not to drive their vehicle until repairs can be performed.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY: 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.


July 29, 2013

Toyota Faces More Lawsuits Involving Unintended Acceleration

Toyota, the world's largest automaker, has spent well over $1 billion settling lawsuits involving unintended acceleration. However, the company still faces hundreds of other cases which are awaiting trial.

First up is a suit filed by the heirs of a 66-year-old bookkeeper who was killed when her Toyota Camry unexpectedly sped to 100 mph on a city street in 2009. Jury selection started recently in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. This lawsuit argues Toyota Motor Corp. should have had a fail-safe system that enables the brakes to override the accelerator. A judge has selected the case as a bellwether case that will help set the direction for hundreds of similar lawsuits against the automaker. Opening arguments are expected to begin soon, and the trial could last well into October.

There is also still a chance the lawsuit won't reach a jury and there may be some sort of settlement. Toyota has settled numerous other sudden acceleration cases, including a pair of suits in Michigan in 2011 just days away from trial. The automaker settled the most notorious acceleration case -- involving a California Highway Patrolman who was killed along with his family -- for $10 million in late 2010. In late December and early January, the automaker settled the first two bellwether cases scheduled for trial.

Toyota also settled a class-action suit filed by consumers alleging that defects hurt the value of their cars, agreeing to pay as much as $1.6 billion. That settlement was finalized by a federal judge in Orange County recently.

The list goes on and on, yet Toyota seems to have put this list of scandals in the rearview mirror for now. It is felt that many consumers either shrugged off or ignored the recalls and alleged incidents of unexpected acceleration. Toyota's Camry remains the bestselling sedan in America.

Read more about the latest litigation regarding Toyota's unintended acceleration issues here.

July 22, 2013

Electric Shock Drowning - What You Need to Know

Last year over Fourth of July weekend, a 13 year old young lady and her 8 year old brother were swimming near a homeowner's dock on the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri when they began to scream. By the time the siblings were pulled from the lake, they were unresponsive and a short while later were pronounced dead. Two hours later on Cherokee Lake in Tennessee, two young boys aged 10 and 11 died in a similar manner (one died the following evening). These were not drowning victims. In all four of these cases, 120-volt AC (alternating current) leakage from nearby boats or docks electrocuted or incapacitated swimmers in freshwater. This little-known and often-unidentified killer is called Electric Shock Drowning or ESD.

Per Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) Director of Technical Services Beth Leonard: "Every one of these deaths was preventable. Any boater and every adult who swims in a freshwater lake needs to understand how ESD happens, how to stop it from happening, and what to do - and not to do - if they ever have to help a victim."

To assist with this important task, BoatUS has compiled a new online Electric Shock Drowning Resource Center to educate and inform the public about ESD at BoatUS.com/seaworthy/ESD.asp.

"An effort to increase safety standards on marina docks has been underway for several years now, but few resources have been available for the general public," said Leonard. "ESD is a complicated subject, and what information has been available for boaters, private dock owners, and swimmers has, all too often, been inaccurate, incomplete, or misleading. Our Electric Shock Drowning Resource Center addresses this problem with a range of helpful articles and presentations, all of which have been vetted for technical accuracy. We'll continue to add to and update this material to ensure it remains a valuable source of information," she added.

Be aware of what boat owners, private dock owners, and swimmers can do to prevent ESD. You can view more about Electric Shock Drowning and what you need to know here.

July 13, 2013

Insulin Infusion Pump Recalled

The FDA has issued a Class I recall of the Medtronic MiniMed Paradigm Insulin Infusion Sets due to a safety issue that can occur if insulin or other fluids come into contact with the inside of the tubing connector.

If this occurs, it can temporarily block the vents that allow the pump to properly prime. This may result in too much or too little insulin being delivered by the device, which can lead to serious illness.

The recall affects 37 models of Medtronic's Paradigm infusion sets.Caution to patients was issued by the FDA to not insert the infusion set if they noticed anything unusual during the priming process, such as insulin continuing to drip from the tip of the set's cannula after priming.

Class I recalls affect products with a reasonable risk of serious adverse events or death with use.

To read more of this recall, go here.

July 2, 2013

Happy Independence Day

The Law Firm of Tatlow, Gump, Faiella & Wheelan, LLC wishes you a safe and happy Fourth of July holiday.