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October 2020

Getting the Support You Need When Going Through a Divorce

By | October 23rd, 2020|Products Liability|

No matter the terms, making the decision to end a marriage is emotionally taxing. However, with the right representation, the divorce process itself doesn’t have to be. When going through this challenging time, hiring the right attorney to oversee your case can make a world of difference. At Paul Ganim Legal, we proudly serve our local counties of Bridgeport, Westport, Greenwich, Darien, Fairfield, and Norwalk, Connecticut. Our experienced divorce attorneys are here to serve you with compassion, respect, and personable support and guidance, so that you can make informed decisions and get the outcome that you deserve. We believe that client-attorney communication is the key to a favorable outcome, and will advocate for you through every step of the process. There are several moving parts to settle when filing for a divorce. Depending on your unique situation, you may have to consider a number of factors including how to divide your shared financial assets; child custody and support; as well as any businesses or other investments involved. Figuring out how to negotiate so that both parties’ interests are protected can be a complex process. Having a trusted representative with experience in divorce proceedings can make this emotional process far more bearable. Identify Your Needs When entering the divorce process, it’s important to know what your primary needs are in terms of legal support. Some people prefer a divorce lawyer to make all of the decisions for them, while others want to work collaboratively with their attorney to discuss what you are looking to get out of the process. Plan Your Approach There are a few different approaches that you can take when proceeding with a divorce. You can choose to go the traditional route in a courtroom; or you can choose between two non-adversarial approaches: collaborative and mediation processes. Collaborative divorce proceedings are carried out by both parties and their attorneys directly, outside of a courtroom. There are typically other specialists involved, to handle specific matters such as finances and childcare. Collaborative divorces are a sound option for those looking to settle the separation to create the best solution for both parties. The mediation process is similar to the collaborative process, however only one attorney is involved. The mediator is chosen by both parties in order to reach an agreement. This selected third party informs both sides of their options so that they can reach a settlement. They then write up papers that serve as [...]

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June 2016

The dangers of furniture tip-overs to children

By | June 29th, 2016|Products Liability|

On behalf of Paul J. Ganim P.C. posted in Products Liability on Wednesday, June 29, 2016. If you have children, you know that once they start walking, there's no keeping up with them. They love to explore. That includes opening drawers and climbing on top of furniture. Unfortunately, that can lead to serious injuries and death. On average, every two weeks a child is killed by a falling piece of furniture, a television or an appliance. Even furniture intended for children's bedrooms can be dangerous. Just this week, IKEA announced that it was recalling about 29 million of its "Malm" series chests and dressers after they were linked to the deaths of three children in less than three years. The furniture giant's USA president is telling customers to "take them out of the room" until or unless they properly anchor them to the wall. The company is providing free kits to anchor the furniture. The mother of a two-year-old boy who was crushed to death when an IKEA dresser fell over on him has sued the company. Anchoring furniture in order to prevent injuries and deaths has been a focus of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Its "Anchor It!" public education campaign warns parents of the dangers of unsecured furniture, televisions and appliances, which can cause catastrophic injuries in seconds. Besides properly securing furniture to the wall, the CPSC advises mounting your flat screen televisions to the wall instead of placing them on a table or other piece of furniture. If you still have one of the older CRT televisions in your home, anchor it to a TV stand or wall. Don't place it on a surface not designed to hold a TV. New furniture is often sold with anti-tip brackets. If you have young children in your house, you should secure the furniture as soon as you move it in or set it up, carefully following the directions. Another piece of advice from the CPSC is to minimize the temptation for children to climb on tall furniture by not placing objects on top. Of course, toys are tempting, but a remote control can be fascinating to a toddler as well. When a child is injured or killed in a tip-over accident, it may be wise to find out what your legal options are. While no legal action can bring back a child, it can help hold the manufacturer accountable and call attention to a [...]

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What you should consider before you file a malpractice suit

By | June 16th, 2016|Medical Malpractice|

On behalf of Paul J. Ganim P.C. posted in Medical Malpractice on Thursday, June 16, 2016. If you believe that you or a loved one has suffered harm because of the action or inaction of medical professionals, you should at least consider the possibility of taking legal action. With a malpractice lawsuit, you can seek compensation for expenses, lost wages and other damages. Moreover, you can hold the responsible medical parties accountable. A malpractice suit, like any legal action, should not be taken lightly. There are multiple factors to consider. Of course, you first need to determine whether you have a case. Just because harm was done, that doesn't mean that it was due to medical negligence. An experienced Connecticut medical malpractice attorney can offer advice, sometimes after consultation with medical professionals, on whether you have a viable case. He or she can also answer other questions that can help you determine whether or not you want to move forward with legal action and, if so, against whom. It's essential that you take action against the appropriate personnel and/or facilities. This can improve your chances of prevailing. Once you and your attorney have determined whether you have a case, how strong the evidence is and whom you'll be taking on, it's important to step back and determine whether you're emotionally ready. Medical malpractice suits can be lengthy and difficult -- particularly if you're going up against a hospital with considerable financial and legal resources. Because you'll likely be dealing with personal health issues, you need to be certain that you're comfortable discussing those with strangers and possibly in open court. The cost of bringing a lawsuit is also an important factor. Many medical malpractice attorneys don't charge their clients a fee until and unless they get a recovery for them. That can help mitigate the costs considerably. It's essential to know what the statute of limitations is for bringing a medical malpractice suit. Too many people never receive the compensation or justice they deserve because they waited too long to pursue action. In Connecticut, in most cases, the statute of limitations is two years from the date the alleged malpractice was discovered, with a maximum of three years from the date of the incident. Therefore, regardless of what you decide, it's best to seek guidance sooner rather than later. Source: Huffington Post, "6 Things You Should Consider Before Filing a Suit for Medical Negligence," Toby Nwazor, accessed June 16, 2016

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May 2016

The rich and famous aren’t immune from medical malpractice

By | May 31st, 2016|Medical Malpractice|

On behalf of Paul J. Ganim P.C. posted in Medical Malpractice on Tuesday, May 31, 2016. In this country, the quality of medical care that people are provided is, sadly, often linked to how much money they have. People with considerable wealth can afford the best doctors, treatments, medications and facilities that are out of the question financially for most of us. However, as we saw two years ago with comedienne Joan Rivers, wealth doesn't always guarantee good medical care. Rivers died after what was supposed to be a routine out-patient procedure called an endoscopy went wrong, causing a lack of oxygen and brain damage. Her family won a wrongful death suit against the Manhattan clinic where the procedure was performed and some of the medical personnel involved in the procedure. Other famous people with enough resources to seemingly get the best care available have also been victims of medical malpractice. Julie Andrews' singing career was essentially ended after a 1997 operation damaged her vocal cords. The surgery was being done to remove nodules from her throat. She reached a settlement with the doctor three years later. In 1998, when comedian Dana Carvey underwent double bypass heart surgery, the surgeon operated on the wrong artery. He reached a settlement with the heart surgeon, which he then donated to charity. He told the press that the suit "was about accountability and doing everything I could to make sure that it wouldn't happen to someone else." Many people may not remember this, but famed artist Andy Warhol died in 1987 just two days after having surgery to repair a hernia and remove gallstones. The hospital settled with his estate four years later. We hear a lot about the dangers of healthcare-associated infections, or HAIs, which patients can contract at medical facilities if proper precautions aren't taken. That's how legendary sportscaster Dick Schaap died. He had hip replacement surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York in 2001, which is when he contracted an HAI. He died several months later. His family received an award of nearly $2 million in that case. Even routine surgeries can go horribly wrong for any number of reasons. It may be difficult, if not impossible, for a victim or surviving family members to find out what really happened and if it could have been prevented. Experienced Connecticut medical malpractice attorneys know how to work to get all of the necessary information to determine whether medical personnel and/or facilities should be [...]

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E-cigarettes are attractive — and dangerous — to children

By | May 20th, 2016|Products Liability|

On behalf of Paul J. Ganim P.C. posted in Products Liability on Friday, May 20, 2016. Electronic cigarettes, more popularly known as e-cigarettes, have become an increasingly popular alternative to traditional cigarettes. However, they are not without their own dangers -- particularly when young children get ahold of them. E-cigarettes convert liquid nicotine into an inhalable vapor. The nicotine in the battery-operated devices can harm children if they touch, inhale or swallow it. The nicotine, which is flavored, can be attractive to young children, as can the colorful packaging. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that adults call a local poison center if their child has been exposed to an e-cigarette. Indeed, calls to poison centers involving such exposure have increased in recent years. The effects on children generally involve jittery behavior and vomiting and usually these symptoms subside within a couple of hours. However, in rare cases, children have had to be hospitalized with more severe complications such as breathing problems, seizures and comas. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is looking at increasing restrictions on e-cigarettes. Proposed regulations include making the packaging more child-resistant and adding nicotine exposure warnings. Pediatricians have also expressed concern about the dangers of e-cigarettes in the hands of children. They have called for more warnings to parents about keeping them where children can't see or reach them. One doctor at Texas Children's Hospital says, "If you use these products, you need to treat them as medication or toxins and keep them closed, locked and out of reach of children." A physician at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Ohio called the problem of e-cigarette poisoning in children "an epidemic by any definition." If your child has been harmed by exposure to an e-cigarette, it may be worthwhile to find out what your legal options are. Source: Peoria Journal-Star, "E-cigarette poisonings surge in young children, study says," Lindsey Tanner, AP, May 09, 2016

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Why the post-hospital discharge period can be the most dangerous

By | May 5th, 2016|Medical Malpractice|

On behalf of Paul J. Ganim P.C. posted in Medical Malpractice on Thursday, May 5, 2016. Numerous and potentially fatal errors can occur when someone is hospitalized. However, did you know that patients are actually most in danger in the period following their discharge from the hospital? That's especially true for older patients with complex and multiple medical conditions who are transitioning from the hospital to a nursing home, rehabilitation facility or at-home health care. Medication errors are among the most common reasons for complications that occur in the period after hospital discharge. In fact, they've been called a "public health issue." Congress authorized $30 billion for electronic medical records to help reduce prescription drug and other errors that result when care is coordinated among multiple providers. However, none of those funds were earmarked for rehabilitation facilities, home health agencies or nursing homes. Even when a patient isn't being cared for by others after a hospital discharge, errors can happen. Sometimes they result from simple lack of communication to the patient. According to government statistics, less than 50 percent of patients report that they have confidence in their understanding of their after-care instructions. One tragic case is evidence of the consequences of poor coordination, error and negligence among those involved when a patient is released from the hospital. A woman who was hospitalized for congestive heart failure was mistakenly given a cancer drug rather than a diuretic when she was discharged. She died as the result of its toxic effects. The medication error was made by the pharmacy while taking the woman's prescription orders from a nurse at the medical center where she'd been hospitalized. However, the woman's daughter says that the prescription error "should have been caught about five different ways." The woman's home health nurses also reportedly failed to note that she was taking the wrong medication. The family won a suit against the pharmacy and reached a settlement with the medical center. It can be challenging to determine who should be held liable when a patient is harmed or killed due to mistakes or negligence when a patient is discharged from the hospital. An important aspect of a medical malpractice attorney's job is to investigate the situation fully and determine what individuals and entities should be held responsible. Source: The Washington Post, "Hospital discharge: It’s one of the most dangerous periods for patients," Jordan Rau, April 29, 2016

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April 2016

U.S. consumer product safety laws apply to U.S. and non-U.S. companies alike

By | April 4th, 2016|Products Liability|

On behalf of Paul J. Ganim P.C. posted in Products Liability on Monday, April 4, 2016. U.S. consumers expect that the products they purchase have been tested and deemed safe by manufacturers and federal regulatory agencies. In the event that a product is found by a maker or manufacturer to be defective or dangerous in any way, the problem must be reported to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission which then takes steps to investigate the claims. The safety and very lives of U.S. consumers depend upon adherence to and compliance with this process and U.S. consumer product safety laws. These same safety regulations must be followed by foreign product makers and manufacturers that wish to market and sell their products in the U.S. either directly or via U.S. retailers. This issue is one that is central to a $15 million civil penalty that was recently issued by the CPSC against the Chinese company Gree Electric Appliances Inc. According to ABC News story, from 2005 to 2013, Gree Electric Appliances Inc. sold its appliance products "under 13 different brands" at popular online and in-store retailers. During this time period, the company received reports from consumers that the dehumidifiers were smoking, sparking and even catching fire. According to the CPSC, an estimated $4.5 million in property damage resulted from the faulty dehumidifiers. Equally, if not more, troubling was Gree's response to the complaints. According to the CPSC, the Chinese company failed to notify the agency of any complaints or potential defects and instead "continued to sell the dehumidifiers with the known defect." What's more, after the CPSC got wind of and began investigating the consumer complaints, Gree attempted to downplay the product's dangers and "also then quietly changed the product to make it safer, again without notifying U.S. safety officials." Recalls for the dehumidifiers were finally issued in 2013 and 2014. The sizable civil fine issued by CPSC is meant in part to send a message to both U.S. and non-U.S. makers of consumer products that there will be serious repercussions for companies that fail to comply with U.S. consumer safety regulations. Source: ABC News, "US: Appliance Co. Lied About Dangerous, Fiery Defect," Cindy Galli, March 25, 2016

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March 2016

Increase in traffic deaths nationwide blamed on distracted drivers

By | March 21st, 2016|Car Accidents|

On behalf of Paul J. Ganim P.C. posted in Car Accidents on Monday, March 21, 2016. Dangerous driving behaviors like speeding, drinking and driving and driving while distracted put the lives of not only the drivers who commit such driving violations in danger, but also other drivers, passengers and pedestrians. While it's difficult to accurately assess just how many drivers are distracted prior to getting into a traffic accident, there’s growing evidence that the proliferation in cellphone use in general and among U.S. drivers is likely a major factor in the reported increase in total U.S. traffic deaths. According to the National Safety Council, traffic deaths during 2015 increased eight percent over 2014 totals. U.S. billionaire and Geico Insurance owner, Warren Buffett, is among those who believe that this increase reflects the fact that, today, more U.S. drivers are driving while distracted. In addition to an increase in the number of overall traffic fatalities, preliminary data suggests that the number of pedestrians who were killed during 2015 also increased nationwide by 10 percent over 2014 numbers. While Connecticut was actually among the 21 states that reported a decrease in pedestrian fatalities, 26 states experienced an increase. Even more troubling is the fact that fatal pedestrian accidents in four states, including California, Texas, New York and Florida; accounted for 42 percent of all pedestrian fatalities. When it comes to suffering injuries or death at the hands of a distracted driver, pedestrians are especially vulnerable targets. A driver who is checking a text message or fiddling with a GPS device may only look away from the road for a few seconds. However, this short amount of time provides ample opportunity for a pedestrian who has the right of way to step off of the curb and into the path of a distracted driver. Source: Connecticut Post, "Pedestrian deaths rise nationwide; Drop in Connecticut," Amanda Cuda, March 14, 2016 Connecticut Post, "Buffett says distracted driving is a growing problem," Feb. 29, 2016

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High depression rates a danger to U.S. nurses and patients alike

By | March 7th, 2016|Medical Malpractice|

On behalf of Paul J. Ganim P.C. posted in Medical Malpractice on Monday, March 7, 2016. Nurses play an integral role in our nation's health care system and are often the most experienced medical practitioners when it comes to anticipating, monitoring and providing for patients' care and needs. While, in recent years, there's been more focus on the physical health of nurses with regard to preventing back and other musculoskeletal injuries, not all injuries can be diagnosed via a physical exam or MRI. According to the Mayo Clinic, individuals who suffer from depression are likely to experience a range of disruptive symptoms including sadness, hopelessness, fatigue, sleep problems, anxiety, agitation, trouble concentrating and psychosomatic ailments. These symptoms are often highly disruptive and can negatively impact an individual's private and professional lives. Nationally, an estimated nine percent of the U.S. adult population is believed to suffer from depression. However, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative, depression rates among U.S. nurses are closer to 18 percent. Given the high-stress conditions associated with the health care and nursing profession, it’s no wonder that so many nurses experience signs of depression and the resulting complications. Individuals with depression are more prone to be overweight, report pain and illness, develop problems with substance abuse, isolate socially and experience relationship difficulties. These serious complications coupled with the known side effects of this serious mental health disorder put the health and wellbeing of both the nurses who have depression as well the patients they treat in danger. In an effort to shed light on this important issue, health care advocates encourage hospitals and nurse managers to raise awareness among nursing staff members about the signs of depression and encourage that they get help. Additionally, many hospitals are taking steps to develop programs that have been proven effective in helping nurses reduce and manage stress. Source:, "Depression: A silent epidemic for nurses: Nurses suffer from depression at twice rate of general population," David Ferguson, March 4, 2016

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February 2016

Preventing construction injuries and deaths

By | February 22nd, 2016|Workers Compensation|

On behalf of Paul J. Ganim P.C. posted in Workers Compensation on Monday, February 22, 2016. On a daily basis, the men and women who work at active construction sites are exposed to numerous hazards. According to the Occupation Safety and Health Administration; falls, electrocutions, being caught in or between and being struck by are all leading causes of injury and death in the construction industry. OSHA reports that more than 20 percent of the fatal workplace accidents that occurred during 2014 occurred within the construction industry. Of the 874 construction workers who suffered fatal injuries while on the job, nearly 40 percent died from injuries suffered in a fall. During this same year, both electrocutions and being struck by an object accounted for roughly eight-and-a-half percent of construction fatalities, while accidents involving workers who were caught in or between represented less than two percent of fatal accidents. In an effort to reduce the risks that construction workers will suffer injuries or harm due to one of these key hazards, OSHA advises that employers take the following steps: Falls - Ensure that workers are equipped with fall-protection gear, utilize perimeter protections, employ the safe use of scaffolding and ladders and makes sure floor openings are covered and appropriately labeled. Electrocutions - Locate all utility and power sources prior to starting a project, ensure workers use caution when carrying out assigned tasks or operating equipment near power sources and lines and utilize ground-fault circuit interrupters. Struck-by - Ensure workers wear high-visibility clothing and communicate that workers should not put their bodies "between moving and fixed objects." Caught-in / between - Make sure that proper sloping, shoring and benching perimeters are followed when digging trenches or carrying out excavation work and ensure that trenches which are five feet or deeper have an "adequate protective system in place." Source: OSHA, "Top Four Construction Hazards," Feb. 22, 2016 OSHA, "commonly used statistics," Feb. 22, 2016

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