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Mobile Home Manufacturers Settle Lawsuit

Reuters reports that more that 20 mobile home manufacturers have agreed to pay $14.8 million to thousands of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita victims who claimed they were harmed by formaldehyde in the trailers. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provided trailers for homeless Gulf Coast residents to temporarily live in after the hurricanes destroyed the area. Residents of the homes claimed that they sustained respiratory illnesses and other medical conditions from the formaldehyde in the trailer homes.

Formaldehyde is colorless, flammable gas that is used in the production of paper, resins and building materials. Exposure to formaldehyde can cause wide range of health problems from respiratory issues to cancer.

Tens of thousands of people may receive a payment from the class-action settlement. Potential victims should file a legal claim before August, if they have not already done so.

If you or a loved one has become ill from a defective mobile home, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the product liability attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers to discuss your legal options. To receive a free case evaluation, fill out the contact form on this page.

Honda Settles Class-Action Lawsuit

A judge has tentatively approved a settlement between Honda Motor Company and Civic owners over fuel economy claims. Honda Civic owners claimed that the automaker had inflated the Honda Civic hybrids’ gas mileage.
USA Todayreports that 200,000 Civic hybrid owners will receive between $100 to $200, and a rebate towards the purchase of a new Honda in the settlement.

Last month Heather Peters, a Honda Civic owner won a $9,867 judgment against Honda Motor Company in small claims court over the gas mileage issue. The carmaker plans to appeal the judgment.

If you or a loved one has been injured or suffered financial losses due to a defective product, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit. Contact the defective product attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers to discuss your legal options. Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers offers free and confidential case reviews.

Winter Storm Pax Blasts Northeastern U.S. with Heavy Snow

The most recent winter storm Pax has set its sights on Connecticut, and with as much as one foot of snow expected to fall today and through the evening, Governor Dannel P. Malloy has ordered non-essential state employees to stay home from work.

In the face of Pax, many school districts announced cancellations and the state is bracing for heavy, wet snowfall over the course of Thursday and into Friday. Gov. Malloy released a statement, saying, “With heavy snow falling across the state and forecast to continue throughout the day, I am asking residents to avoid unnecessary travel.”

Blinding, wind-driven snow like the precipitation brought by Pax can mean not only dangerous driving conditions but also dangerously low temperatures, freezing rain and strong winds.

To say safe while Pax passes, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Put together a supply kit with enough water and food to last at least three days
  • Keep a flashlight and extra batteries nearby
  • Ensure that your first-aid supplies are fully stocked
  • Know where all medications, sanitation and personal hygiene items are
  • Keep cell phones charged
  • Secure an ample amount of alternate heating methods like fireplaces, wood or coal-burning stoves
  • Don’t forget to secure any items your pet may need while preparing for the storm (collar, leash, identification, food, bowls, etc.)
  • Have emergency family contact information at the ready
  • Keep sand, rock salt or kitty litter on hand to help with slippery walkways or driveways on your property
  • Have extra cash
  • Keep copies of important personal documents in a designated place of the house
  • Winterize your vehicle by keeping all fluids topped off and a full tank of gas, which will keep the fuel line from freezing

Prior to a storm hitting it’s a good idea to install storm windows and perform regular maintenance on chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected every year. If you plan to travel during the winter or will not be home for most of the season, set your heater to no lower than 55° F.

Connecticut Light & Power released a statement assuring residents that the utility company is prepared to respond to any and all outages quickly and safely. “The company will activate its emergency response plan…and we will have crews standing by across the state,” CL&P said. The company also encouraged customers who rely heavily on electricity for critical medical needs to make alternate arrangements wherever possible by switching to a backup source or securing another location.

Pax is forecast to end by early Friday. Residents should take all reasonable precautions and stay off the road until absolutely necessary.

Shelton Fire Engulfs, Collapses Building Injuring 5 and Displacing Dozens

A massive fire in Shelton late Sunday evening destroyed a building and injured five people while leaving 28 others homeless. The Shelton Fire Department was dispatched to battle the flames and rescue residents.

“It was a mass evacuation rescue from the get-go,” said Shelton Fire Department Assistant Chief Nick Verdicchio. The four-story blaze required several crews to extinguish, though approximately 30 minutes into the effort the building collapsed. Crews from Shelton, Ansonia, Derby, Monroe, Milford, Seymour and Stratford worked together throughout the night to dampen the flames. Firefighters were battling two frozen fire hydrants in addition to the blaze, which delayed their efforts considerably. At approximately 5 a.m., fire crews finally extinguished the blaze by shutting off a gas line which had been obscured by the smoke and underneath the rubble caused by the fire.

Five people were transported to local hospitals to treat injuries, though none of them were reported as life-threatening. Another 28 individuals were left homeless after the 125-year-old building was destroyed. The Red Cross is reportedly offering assistance to these people who were left without shelter, clothing and food after the blaze.

“Someone grabbed me and dragged me out to where the back door was,” said third-floor resident John Quick. “Someone held me up and I got in the ambulance.”

The building itself was 125 years old with apartments on the upper stories and businesses on the ground level units. Resident Adam Barbera said of the fire, “You just woke up and there was a cloud of smoke, and within 10 minutes it was just more and more.”

The cause of the fire is yet unknown, though investigators determined that it began in the building’s basement at approximately 11:10 p.m. Sunday night. Monday afternoon, Howe Avenue was closed between Center Street and White Street.

Connecticut Christmas Tree Chosen to Adorn Rockefeller Plaza

As the holiday season draws near, the excitement of Rockefeller Plaza’s Christmas tree selection has heightened.

Today, the residents of the Connecticut town of Shelton beamed with pride as one of their massive trees was chosen for the prestigious honor of Rockefeller Christmas tree for the sixth year in a row.

The 76-foot Norway spruce was transported from Shelton to New York City via tractor-trailer on a trip 70 miles long. Shelton’s mayor Mark Lauretti noted that the honor of having their tree selected for display was tremendous.

Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers would like to congratulate Shelton on their repeat performance as providers of America’s most famous Christmas tree once again.

Pratt Whitney Cuts 200 Connecticut Jobs

After a voluntary separation program eliminated 575 Pratt and Whitney workers last month, the technology giant is cutting an additional 400 salaried positions, half of which will be from their Connecticut offices. These cuts are effective immediately and will impact mostly administrative positions within the company.

Pratt & Whitney spokesman Ray Hernandez gave a statement noting that the job cuts were difficult to make but, “necessary to remain competitive.”

The aircraft company is offering severance pay to the employees who were laid-off and claims the group insurance will continue. Pratt & Whitney’s parent company UTC (United Technologies Company) was listed by Fortune Magazine as the second largest in the state of Connecticut, and today 200 residents are without employment.

At the time of the report, no further details were available although the company plans to release more information in the coming days.

I-95 Lane Closures and Traffic Shifts in New Haven Continue

If you’re headed into the city from the South bound lanes, the latest traffic shift will move drivers toward the new lanes of the Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge. Transportation officials are even warning drivers of serious delays in next weekend’s plans to shift southbound traffic to the new Pearl Harbor/Q Bridge.

Along with the detour drivers will have to deal with lane closures. During the day only two lanes will be open and one at night. Ramp closures will also occur.

Although electronic signs will warn drivers of the detour and lane closures, it is important that all motorists stay alert of shifts in traffic. It is estimated that in the last five years more than 200,000 persons have been injured in construction zone accidents.

In Connecticut specifically, approximately 124 accidents involved construction vehicles in 2008 and more than 13% of all accident collisions occurred on the interstate.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a construction zone accident caused by a careless driver, the victim may be entitled to compensation for property damage, medical, expenses and more. Contact our knowledgeable New Haven attorneys today to find out more about your legal rights.

Prepare Your Home for the Winter

Fall has finally arrived, the air is crisp, and the leaves are changing colors! While we are enjoying the New England autumn, now is the time to prepare your home for the winter months. Follow the tips below to ease into the winter season:

  • Make sure to service your oil burner every year.
  • Remove air conditioner window units or covers.
  • As far as the outdoor plumbing goes, turn off outside faucets from the inside and drain, leaving the outside handle open.
  • Check the chimney draft by opening the damper and testing with a lit piece of newspaper held up into the chimney. Have a professional clean and inspect the chimney even if you don’t frequently use it.
  • Put up storm windows.
  • Replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Clear any leaves out of the gutter.

Click here for tips on winter car care.

Following these safety tips will keep you and your family safe during the winter.