Over $100 Million recovered for our clients.

Volkswagen to pay over $14 billion to settle emissions scandal

Posted on Tuesday, June 28th, 2016   

One of the largest consumer class action settlements in United States history is currently underway after it was uncovered that automaker Volkswagen programmed some of its diesel cars to cheat on emissions test. The scandal affects 11 million vehicles worldwide. The company has agreed to pay $14.7 billion to settle claims in the US, which only covers a fraction of the 11 million vehicles that have been confirmed to be involved.

In accordance with the Clean Air Act, automobiles are not permitted to emit a certain amount of common air pollutants because of the harmful effects they subject to both human health and the environment. The Volkswagen vehicles involved were found to be spewing nitrogen oxides at up to 40 times the levels that are permitted by law. The company circumvented this legal limit by fitting the pollution controls systems in their cars with illegal software that enabled the cars to pass emissions tests, but exceed legal pollution limits while on the road.

Volkswagen has been subject to a $10.3 billion dollar buy back of all affected cars at their pre-scandal values coupled with cash compensation for all of the vehicle owners. They must also pay $2.7 billion to an E.P.A fund for environmental impact compensation as well as another $2 billion on new cleaner vehicle projects. Aside from this, the company also still faces criminal investigation by the Department of Justice and attorneys general in 42 states, the District of Columbia, and the District of Puerto Rico, with a pending settlement of $500 million in penalties for defrauding consumers.


Several injured in Tennessee accidents

Posted on Tuesday, June 21st, 2016   

Multiple individuals sustained serious injuries along Middle Tennessee interstates following multiple car accidents on Saturday, June 18.

The first accident occurred near the Fesslers Lane exit off I-40 West around 2:45 a.m. A car flipped over along the highway, causing non-life-threatening injuries to the driver and child passenger. Investigators said weather disturbances may have played a part in the crash.

The second accident happened when a car that was traveling on the I-24 West Harding Pike exit hit the median, crossed through all four lanes of traffic, and finally crashed into a guardrail around 4 a.m. At least one person was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center for critical injuries.

The attorneys at Pohl & Berk, LLP provide legal services for our clients in Nashville and other areas of Tennessee. We have been fighting for years to protect those harmed in personal injury accidents. To learn more about the services that we offer and to discuss your case, call our offices at (615) 277-2765.


Murfreesboro four-vehicle collision kills one

Posted on Monday, June 6th, 2016   

A four-vehicle collision on Monday, May 30 at the intersection of Highway 99 (New Salem Highway) and Veterans Parkway in Murfreesboro resulted in the death of one individual.

According to a Murfreesboro police report, the accident involved a white Griffy Trucking dump truck, a white Toyota Highlander, a white Volkswagen Jetta, and a blue Dodge Ram truck. The victim was identified as 45-year-old Rockvale resident William Holloman, who was driving the blue Dodge Ram truck. Holloman was airlifted to Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville via helicopter, but eventually succumbed to his injuries while confined at the hospital. The Murfreesboro Fatal Accident Crash Team is currently conducting an investigation into the matter to find out who or what caused the accident.

The attorneys at Pohl & Berk, LLP understand the painful reality of unexpected accidents and know how difficult it is for communities to recover from such tragedies. Our condolences are with the victim’s family as they mourn the loss of a loved one.


Defective Takata airbags still being installed in new cars

Posted on Friday, June 3rd, 2016   

Despite the fact that they will need to be recalled eventually, there are at least four carmakers—Volkswagen, Toyota, Mitsubishi, and Fiat Chrysler—that will continue to install defective Takata airbags into new vehicles, according to a report released by a Senate Commerce Committee.  As reported by The New York Times, the report indicates that some vehicles that have been recalled for their defective airbags have been receiving airbags that are defective and which will need to be subject to another recall down the line.

As of now, regulators do not require automakers to tell people who buy new cars that they their vehicle has been equipped with a defective Takata airbag.  Since these airbags are not thought to pose an immediate threat—they only become defective after a certain period of time—regulators have allowed the continued use of Takata airbags in new and recalled vehicles. However, these newly-installed Takata airbags will still need to be recalled at a later date.

Considering that 60 million vehicles have already been recalled to fix the defective airbags, Karl Brauer, a senior analyst for Kelly Blue Book, noted that it has been difficult for automakers to find alternate airbag suppliers.  Nonetheless, Brauer believes that regulators should require carmakers to at least disclose which models have been installed with a defective airbag that will eventually need to be replaced.

When it does come time to begin recalling these newly-installed airbags, automakers will begin contacting owners in the first quarter of 2017 so that their airbags may be replaced with a non-Takata inflator.

 


Ford issues recall on vehicles manufactured in North America

Posted on Friday, June 3rd, 2016   

Michigan-based Ford Motor Co. issued one recall and one safety compliance recall on Wednesday, May 25 for its vehicles manufactured in North America.

Included in this recall are around 271,000 2013-2014 model Ford F-150 vehicles. The issue is the defective brake master cylinders, which can cause brake fluid leaks that impairs the effective operation of brakes to the front wheels. The total number of vehicles impacted numbers 270,873, which includes 225,012 vehicles manufactured in the United States; 43,682 vehicles manufactured in Canada; and 402 vehicles manufactured in Mexico. Dealers are expected to replace the brake master cylinder for Ford F-150 owners for free. Brake boosters will also be replaced for free if dealers find leaks from brake master cylinders.

If you were injured in a personal injury accident in Nashville or another area of Tennessee, the attorneys at Pohl & Berk, LLP are here to help you obtain financial compensation from those responsible for your plight. Get in touch with a qualified member of our legal team by calling our offices at (615) 277-2765.


Putnam County two-vehicle collision kills two, injures four

Posted on Thursday, May 26th, 2016   

Two individuals lost their lives while four others sustained critical injuries during a head-on collision between two vehicles along State Route 136 at Bear Creek Road in Putnam County, Tennessee around 4:30 p.m. last Monday, May 23.

According to preliminary investigations made by the Tennessee Highway Patrol, a Honda CR-V crossed the center line of State Route 136 at Bear Creek Road, causing the CR-V to hit a Chevrolet Impala head-on in the northbound lane of the highway. The driver of the Honda was identified as 21-year-old Joshua Burkett, who was killed in the accident. Burkett’s passenger, identified as 26-year-old Kalya Randolph, sustained injuries and was transported to Cookeville Regional Medical Center for treatment.

The Chevrolet’s occupants were identified as 67-year-old David Maynard, his 66-year-old wife Kathleen Maynard, and two of their children – 15-year-old Nikita and 12-year-old Damon. Kathleen Maynard died in the accident, while the rest of her family was airlifted to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville to receive treatment for their serious injuries.


Jeep issues recall over potentially faulty airbags

Posted on Tuesday, May 24th, 2016   

Around 500,000 Jeep Wranglers are being recalled by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles due to an airbag issue, with approximately 392,000 of these vehicles located in the United States. The concerns regarding this recall are extremely serious, as it has been discovered that the airbags on the driver’s side of these vehicles might not deploy in the event of an accident.

7,400 2011-2016 Wranglers used for delivering mail have been recalled in the US, as well. These vehicles are different in that they have right-hand drive.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) discovered the defect during investigations, causing the automaker to issue the recall. According to Fiat Chrysler Automakers, because Jeep Wranglers are built and often used for off-roading purposes, dirt accumulated during these excursions could clog the system that activates an airbag deployment in an accident. Luckily, should this occur, an airbag warning light will come on, alerting the driver to the issue.

The automaker has stated that so far, no injuries related to the defect have been reported.


More than 250, 000 deaths in the U.S. attributed to medical error

Posted on Wednesday, May 11th, 2016   

A new study in the latest issue of BMJ, a weekly peer-reviewed medical journal, shows that most medical errors go unnoticed, especially in official records.

In their study, it was revealed doctors estimate around 251,454 deaths resulting from medical malpractice yearly in the United States.

This statistic is higher than the number released by a 1999 study from the Institute of Medicine, which lists the number of deaths in the 44,000 to 98,000 range, while other studies estimated medical-error related deaths are about 195,000 per year.

The United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General reported in 2008 there had been 180,000 patients who died due to medical error in Medicare patients alone.

Dr. Martin Makary, a professor of surgery and health policy at Johns Hopkins, stated the reason behind the different number of reports on deaths via medical errors is due to the lack of accurate data on these kinds of fatalities.

At Pohl & Berk, LLP, we know how difficult it is for personal injury accident victims to return to their everyday life after experiencing a traumatic incident in Tennessee. Our legal team wishes to restore normalcy in our client’s life by do everything in our power to provide justice and financial compensation via aggressive and compassionate legal representation. Call our offices today at (615) 277-2765.


NHTSA requires Takata to expand recall in U.S.

Posted on Tuesday, May 10th, 2016   

After reviewing three investigations and conducting its own inquiry into the matter, federal safety regulators say they know what causes some Takata airbags to suddenly explode and send metal fragments into the cabin, according to The New York Times.  As expected, federal safety regulators say that long-term exposure to humidity and fluctuations in temperature causes the airbag’s propellant to degrade.  Over time, this degradation causes the propellant to become unstable and more likely to explode when unnecessary.

In response, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that Takata would be required to initiate the recall of another 35 to 40 million airbags in the United States.  This new recall will raise the number of airbags that will have been recalled in the U.S. to around 64 million, making “‘the largest recall in American history,’” according to NHTSA administrator Mark Rosekind.

Though Takata eventually began to use a drying agent to better stabilize its airbag propellant, ammonium nitrate, those airbags without it still pose a risk to drivers, even if that risk may not be immediate.  Since time is a factor in the degradation of the airbag’s propellant, new vehicles equipped with a defective airbag will not become dangerous for several years.  However, every one of these airbags will eventually pose a risk, which is why every airbag without the drying agent will be replaced as part of this most recent recall.

Takata has been given until the end of 2018 to finish recalling vehicles that were equipped with its defective airbag, and until the end of 2019 to recall those newer defective airbags that were installed in other recalls that were initiated in recent years.


Settlements announced for families of Georgia Southern students killed in accident

Posted on Thursday, May 5th, 2016   

Large settlements have been announced in the cases of the families of three Georgia Southern University students who were killed in a tragic truck accident in 2015. The lawsuits named several defendants, such as U.S. Xpress Inc. and John Wayne Johnson, the driver of the big rig that caused the accident.

The tractor-trailer driven by Johnson crashed into the back of Emily Clark’s vehicle, which was siting in traffic due to an earlier collision, on eastbound I-16 at around 5:55 a.m. on April 22, 2015. According to Brandon Peak, a member of the legal team, the driver did everything she possibly could to get out of the way after seeing the truck barreling in her direction. It appears that Johnson likely fell asleep before the accident, because there were no brake marks on the road.

The attorneys at Pohl & Berk, LLP send their condolences to the families of those injured in this accident. Too often, drivers are not held accountable for their actions and the wrongful death that results is tragic.

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