The Philadelphia Personal Injury Law Blog

March 2011 Archives

Volkswagen Jetta Recall: 71,000 Cars Recalled Due to Wiring Problem

Many Philadelphia VW owners may have heard that Volkswagen of America has recently recalled almost 71,000 Jetta sedans because of a particular wiring problem. CNN reported that using the car’s horn could potentially cause the vehicle to accidentally turn off, which has led the auto company to recall VW Jetta models that were built between March 2010 and March 2011.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Volkswagen said the problem may come from the Jetta’s anti-theft alarm and the converter box that activates the headlights and windshield wipers. In rare situations, a short circuit in the car’s horn could stop the lights and wipers from working, which would then increase the likelihood and risk for a potential car crash to occur.

Joseph Lozito Says NYPD Cops Didn't Protect Him In Subway Attack

As some Philadelphia locals may have heard, 40-year-old subway hero Joseph Lozito from Northeast Philly has decided to a file a lawsuit against New York City and its police department, claiming the defendants had failed to protect him when alleged murderer Maksim Gelman attacked him in a subway car in February.

The Philadelphia Daily News reported Lozito, who commutes to New York for his job as a ticket-taker at Lincoln Center, was apparently forced to handle the attack on his own as he took down Gelman with a move he had seen on an Ultimate Fighting match. Lozito was then able to kick Gelman to the ground but was stabbed several times during the brawl.

FDA Announces Japan Food Ban Because Of Radiation

As most Philadelphia locals have already heard, the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan earlier this month has led to hazardous radiation leakage from the country's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. As a result, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it would stop importing dairy products and fresh produce coming from the affected areas in Japan.

The New York Times reported that foods from Japan only account for less than four percent of all U.S. imports. Although the FDA has stated that it does not anticipate any risks of radiation in America's food supply, any other foods from Japan, including common imports like seafood and snack foods, will still continue to be screened before being sold to the public.

Authorities reported that they have identified the motorist in the Haddon Heights train-car accident in Camden County as 37-year-old Christopher Benner, a native of the borough. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Benner was killed over the weekend after a freight train ran into his car as he crossed the city's main street.

The train was heading south when it crashed into Benner, who appeared to have been driving home and traveling east on Station Avenue across the train tracks. Witnesses said Benner did not respond or react to the bells or lights flashing at the intersection and the train's horns as it approached the crossing, said Haddon Heights Police Chief Richard Kinkler.

Robert Schanne Sues Former Student For Slander And Libel

Former Lower Merion physics teacher Robert Schanne, 43, has filed a lawsuit against 26-year-old Jenna Addis, a former student whom he's accused of slander and libel in federal court. According to the Philadelphia Daily News, Schanne was terminated in January for allegedly having an inappropriate relationship with Addis years ago while she was still a student.

Addis contended in December that she started "dating" Schanne when she was 18-years-old and a senior in high school. Although Schanne did not deny having "an occasional intimate relationship" with Addis, the former teacher asserted that his relationship with her had actually started in 2004, "well after" she had graduated.

NTSB Reports Matt Devlin Was On Phone During Duck Boat Accident

An investigative report from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) revealed that the first mate of the tugboat involved in the duck boat accident last summer had been on his cell phone during the 2 ½ hours leading up to the crash.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Matt Devlin, from the tugboat Caribbean Sea, received 21 calls on his cell phone as he talked to family members about his son's life-threatening emergency. The NTSB report showed that one of the calls started five minutes before the tug had dragged a barge into the duck boat and carried on until one minute after the collision.

Philip Gaughan Claims Sex Abuse Against Philly Archdiocese

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Delaware County resident Philip Gaughan is now the most recent alleged sex abuse victim to file a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He accused the archdiocese of negligence and claimed its leaders' carelessness made it possible for him to be molested as a teen.

Gaughan, 31, also contended that the victim-assistance employees at the church had been indifferent and failed to address the issue when he had sought their help. His lawsuit also alleged that the archdiocesan leaders were guilty of fraud and conspiracy because they had supposedly remained unresponsive to victims and dismissed any indications of abusive behavior.

Skippy Peanut Butter Recalled Due to Salmonella Concern

Unilever USA recalled its Skippy Reduced Fat peanut butter products this week because of possible salmonella contamination. While both Unilever and the FDA say that there have been no reports of illnesses linked to the recalled peanut butters, it’s probably best to err on the side of caution and get rid of the recalled Skippy peanut butters immediately. Medical News Today reports that consumers can even get a replacement coupon to get a new salmonella-free jar of peanut butter by calling 1-800-453-3432.

The recall reportedly involves certain numbers of Skippy Reduced Fat Creamy Peanut Butter Spread and Skippy Reduced Fat Super Chunk Peanut Butter Spread. The six different best-if-used-by dates affected by the recall can be found on FDA’s website.

Tyler Jensen To Sue Car Salesman For Fatal Car Crash

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According to the Philadelphia Daily News, a horrifying one-car crash led to the death of Lancaster County resident Jon Christian "Chris" Jensen, 48, this past December while his son, 21-year-old Tyler, was left with some injuries. But what makes the accident particularly unusual and noteworthy, was that neither of the Jensens were driving the vehicle.

Instead, police reported car salesman Michael Hershey, 48, from Lancaster County was the one behind the wheel.

Katharine Watson Pushes Bill That Will Put Limits On Teen Driving

The state Department of Transportation reported fatal car accidents involving drivers who are 16- and 17-years-old have jumped 43 percent, from 40 crashes in 2009 to 57 in 2010. In response to similarly alarming reports, Pennsylvania State Representative Katharine M. Watson held a news conference to promote House Bill 9 for the fourth time during her legislative career.

The measure seeks to impose certain restrictions on teenage drivers, such as limiting minors to having one non-family member who is under the age of 18 as a passenger. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported the bill would also require teens to take 15 additional hours of driver training, which could include 10 hours of driving at night and five hours during tough weather conditions.