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DWKMRS is known throughout the state of Florida as a firm that is passionate about strengthening the community and helping to address the needs of people who live, work or travel here.
DWKMRS partner Bill Ruffier has had a lifelong dedication to the Boy Scouts. In Central Florida, the Eagle Class is named each year with that of an outstanding eagle scout in our community. This individual is selected by the council leadership to honor their contributions to Scouting. This year, Bill Ruffier was selected for this honor.
The Council Recognition Banquet brings together over 900 top corporate and community leaders throughout Central Florida each year to honor both the recent Class of Eagle Scouts who achieved the highest rank in Scouting and the outstanding adult Scouters for their contributions to the Scouting program with the Silver Beaver Award. The Silver Beaver Award is the highest council-level distinguished service award of the Boy Scouts of America.
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Florida hosted the 8th Annual GolfClassic presented by McDonald’s at Lake Nona Golf & Country Club. This annual event brings together nearly 130 golfers from around the country in support of RMHCCF’s programs to keep...
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On August 20, 2013, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recalled roughly 7,000 sets of children’s pajamas and nightgowns manufactured by Klever Kids. The CPSC states that the pajamas do not meet federal flammability standards that apply to children’s sleepwear. As a result, the pajamas and nightgowns pose a burn injury risk to children. Consumers are advised to immediately return all pajama sets to Klever Kids for a full refund.
Recalled Children’s Pajamas
The recall includes Klever Kids 100% Pima cotton pajamas that were sold nationwide from September 2012 to March 2013. The recalled pajamas were sold in girls and boys sizes 2 through 8. They include two-piece shirt and pant sets with elastic waistbands. The pajama sets were available with both long and short sleeves. The recalled nightgowns featured short sleeves and a gathered shoulder hem.
Both of the recalled pajama sets were sold in a number of prints, including ballerinas, flowers, pink and white polka dots, paisley with green fabric edging, shark print, blue and black skeletons, and two-toned monster print with navy and blue. The recalled girls’ nightgowns were sold in patterns including ballerinas, flowers, pink and white polka dots, and paisley. The pajamas were sold in clothing boutiques nationwide at prices ranging from roughly $30 to $80.
Consumer Next Steps
Any consumers who purchased any recalled Klever Kids recalled pajamas should immediately stop using them and ensure that they are no longer accessible to children. Consumers are encouraged to contact Klever Kids to receive a full refund for the purchase. Fortunately, there have been no reports of incidents or injuries associated with the pajamas.
Reporting Incidents to the CPSC
The CPSC has continued to request information from consumers regarding any incidents or injuries that occur involving the affected Klever Kids pajamas products. The CPSC requests information regarding the discussed fire hazards, as well as information regarding other potential hazards from the same line of products. Consumers with information are encouraged to visit SaferProducts.gov to share information.
CSPC Children’s Sleepwear Flammability Standards
The CSPC’s federal flammability standards for children’s sleepwear are designed to help protect children from burn injuries. These regulations require that all children’s sleepwear is flame resistant. The sleepwear must self-extinguish in the event that a match, lighter, candle, or similar flame causes it to catch on fire.
Flammability standards cover sleepwear ranging from nine months up to size 14. All sleepwear garments and fabrics must either pass certain flammability tests or meet specified dimensions to be considered “tight-fitting.” The fit of the sleepwear is considered due to the fact that loose garments are more likely to catch fire than tight-fitting sleepwear. To learn more about federal flammability standards, consumers can visit the CPSC.gov.
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When individuals sustain a burn injury, they may seek financial compensation by filing a burn injury claim or lawsuit against the party responsible for the injury. When pursuing a burn injury claim or lawsuit, the victim is also frequently referred to as the plaintiff. The plaintiff has the burden of proof. This means that victims and plaintiffs must provide sufficient evidence to prove fault on the part of the responsible party, known as the defendant. Gathering and providing burn lawsuit evidence is critical and must be done quickly. It can be a time-consuming, expensive and potentially difficult task. For this reason, burn injury victims should seek the representation of an experienced burn injury attorney immediately.
Burn Injury Evidence
In order to prove a burn injury claim and win a lawsuit, the plaintiff must provide reasonable proof of a specific set of elements in order to meet the legal requirements. The plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed a legal duty to him. Then, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant breached that duty by doing something unreasonable or dangerous. This breach of duty must then be the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s burn injury. All elements must be proven in order to meet the burden of proof.
Duty of Care and Breach of Duty
For example, a plaintiff in a stove burn case may allege that the manufacturer owed a duty to provide customers with a safe device, that under reasonable and foreseeable circumstances, would not catch on fire and create a danger to the user. By manufacturing a stove that would catch on fire and therefore be dangerous, the manufacturer may be seen to have breached the duty of care owed to the plaintiff.
Direct or Proximate Cause
In addition to acting negligently and breaching the duty of care, it must be proven that the defendant’s negligence was the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries. For example, the plaintiff in a defective stove case must prove that the stove’s defect was the direct or proximate cause of the burns sustained.
The plaintiff must provide sufficient evidence of the injury. This is often established through the presentation of photographs, videotape, medical records, hospital or direct care bills, and other factual documents surrounding the burn injury. The plaintiff may not be eligible to recover compensation if he or she cannot reasonably prove a burn injury or financial loss due to a burn injury. For this reason, it is important that all aspects of injury or loss are documented.
Burn Injury Liability
The majority of burn injury claims and lawsuits are based on the victim asserting that the defendant’s actions or conduct was dangerous or negligent, which in turn caused the plaintiff’s injury. Negligence refers to actions or behaviors that are careless, thoughtless or dangerous. Negligence can occur when an individual or entity acts in an inappropriate manner, such as manufacturing a defective stove that catches fire, despite evidence that burn injuries may likely occur. Negligence may also occur if the defendant fails to act in an appropriate manner, such as a manufacture failing to warn users of a potentially hazardous quality of an otherwise safe stove, or failing to recall an unsafe stove when it has reason to know that users could be injured.
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Clermont, Kevin M. “Litigation realities redux.” Notre Dame Law Review July 2009: 1919+. Academic OneFile. Web. 5 Oct. 2013.
Pardo, Michael S. “The nature and purpose of evidence theory.” Vanderbilt Law Review Mar. 2013: 576+. Academic OneFile. Web. 5 Oct. 2013.
Trevor, Eunice. “Representing a burn survivor.” Trial Sept. 1996: 40+. Academic OneFile. Web. 5 Oct. 2013.
Campus and dorm fires can place college students in life-threatening danger. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) states that roughly 3,780 dorm fires were reported in 2011. College students should practice continuous fire safety techniques and remain alert and aware of potential hazards. Additionally, students should be familiar with evacuation plans and fire safety protocol in their college dorms and campuses.
Causes of Campus and Dorm Fires
Campus and dorm fires are commonly caused by conditions such as cooking, open flames, and overloaded power strips. Arson and intentional controlled fires within dorm and campus locations may also lead to unintentional or uncontrolled fire spread. A large number of deaths during campus and dorm fires occur within individuals with high blood alcohol content levels. Alcohol consumption is known to increase unsafe fire practices and decrease the ability to respond safely and quickly when a fire occurs.
Campus and Dorm Fire Statistics
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), campus and dorm fires have increased 18 percent from 1980 to 2011. The NFPA data reveals that only 7 percent of these fires started in dorms or bedrooms. However, these bedroom fires accounted for 27 percent of injuries that occurred. Campus and dorm fires have been observed to occur most commonly between 5 p.m. and 11 p.m., and on weekends as well. Roughly 84 percent of these reported dormitory fires involved cooking equipment.
Damage from Dorm Fires
From 2007 to 2011, an estimated 3,810 dormitory, sorority, fraternity, and barracks fires were responded to by U.S. fire departments. On average, these campus and dorm fires caused an estimated $9.4 million in property damage. In addition to property damage, the fires caused 30 injuries and two deaths.
Preventing Campus and Dorm Fires
College students should take the following steps to prevent campus and dorm fires:
- Never disable or remove batteries from smoke alarms, and test each alarm monthly.
- Ensure that the dormitory of choice contains a fire alarm in each bedroom and outside all sleeping areas on each level.
- Learn fire evacuation plans for each building and practice these plans to ensure smooth implementation in the event of a real fire.
- Use flashlights during a power outage, as opposed to open flames such as candles.
- Only cook in specially permitted areas. When cooking, remain in the kitchen at all times.
- Do not cook while tired or under the influence of medications, as this can cause a lack of alertness and attentiveness that can contribute to a dorm fire.
- Plug surge protectors directly into outlets for all electrical devices and appliances.
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Help for Burn Victims
Second and third degree burns are considered severe burn injuries. Severe burns require immediate medical attention. In many cases, severe burn treatment involves the use of skin grafts to heal the damaged skin. Skin grafts are a painful medical procedure that may require weeks or months of medical supervision.
When a person suffers from second or third degree burns, severe burn treatment is vital for full skin recovery. While many first degree burns can be treated at home, severe burns need prompt medical attention. For example, third degree burns may require graft healing. Unfortunately, most people do not know when they should seek medical attention for burns.
Severe Burn Causes
Thousands of people visit the hospital each year to receive severe burn treatment for second and third degree burns caused by:
- Flames or fire
- Scalding liquid
- Contact with an extremely hot object
- Electrical burns
- Chemical burns
How to Tell if a Burn is Severe
To tell if a burn requires immediate medical attention, consider the following:
- How much of the body has been affected by the burn? A large burn area means that it is probably classified as a severe burn injury. If you have a large burn area, the sooner you seek medical help, the better.
- How deep does the burn go? While a mild burn may blister, becoming red or pink in color, a severe burn injury can literally char the skin. A severe charred burn will make the injured skin white or black in color. This means the burned skin is dead and unable to heal.
Skin Grafts for Burns
A skin graft procedure may be used for a number of medical reasons. For severe burn treatment, a surgeon may perform a skin graft by applying healthy skin to the patient’s severely burned area. The healthy skin is rich in oxygen due to continued blood flow since it was uninjured. In some cases, the skin graft bonds with the damaged skin to heal the burn wound. In other cases, the skin graft simply suffices as a covering long enough for the burn wound to begin to close on its own.
Types of Skin Grafts
Depending on the degree of the burn, the overall health of the patient, and the level of healing required, doctors may use a variety of three different types of skin grafts:
- Xenograft – This type of skin graft is for a severe burn that only needs a temporary skin graft. It is for the lightest level of burn healing that still requires surgery. A xenograft is a temporary covering for the burned area. It is essentially skin that is harvested from an animal. Pigs are the most common animal to provide xenografts. All xenografts are eventually rejected by the patient’s body, within three to five days, which is why they are only a temporary solution.
- Allograft – This type of skin graft is for a severe burn that requires an immediate solution, but the patient may be unable to withstand supplying his or her own skin graft at the time. Allografts are skin grafts taken from human cadavers and may be used in place of xenografts. Similar to xenografts, allografts will eventually be rejected by the patient’s body. However, skin graft rejection takes longer, around seven to ten days.
- Autograft – An autograft is for patients who have been severely burned and are healthy enough to supply their own skin graft. Healthy skin is taken from an injured area of the patient’s body and transplanted to the severely injured area with second or third degree burns. This form of skin graft is the only one that will not eventually be rejected by the patient’s body.
Skin Graft Healing
To heal, a skin graft needs to be moisturized regularly, infused with oxygen, and the process needs to be monitored by a medical professional to prevent infection. Most skin grafts require weeks to months for full recovery. In some less traumatic cases, a xenograft or allograft may only require several days of medical observation to heal. Regardless of the length of time, skin grafts are extremely painful and stressful for the patient. If a severe burn injury occurs, it is important to seek medical help immediately to minimize the need for skin grafts and length of recovery time.
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The Organizations That We Support
Through charitable contributions, volunteering and holding key leadership positions, the attorneys of DWKMRS actively support the following organizations:
- |Autism Speaks
- |Boy Scouts of America
- |Central Florida Fair
- |Central Florida Commission on Homelessness
- |City of Orlando Affordable Housing Commission
- |Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida
- |Florida Citrus Sports
- |Give Hope
- |Make-A-Wish Foundation
- |March of Dimes Florida Chapter
- |M.D. Anderson Cancer Center Foundation
- |Morning Star Charities
- |Orlando Civil Service Board
- |Orange County Charter Review Commission
- |Orange County Young Lawyers Section
- |Ronald McDonald House of Central Florida
- |UCP of Central Florida
- |Winter Park H.S. Crew
- |Winter Park YMCA
- |Orange County Legal Aid Society
Contact Dellecker, Wilson, King, McKenna, Ruffier, & Sos
The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form. We do not undertake representation of your claims until all parties involved have entered into a signed agreement. If we have not entered into a signed agreement with you, you may want to speak with other attorneys regarding your claims since statutes of limitations may apply.