In a live Zoom event in conjunction with the American Museum of Tort Law, Ralph welcomes safety expert, Russell Kendzior, who runs the National Floor Safety Institute to discuss where, why, and how slip-and-falls happen, how to prevent them, the legitimacy of slip-and-fall lawsuits, and the role of the Consumer Product Safety Commission for a phenomenon that for older adults every year causes over 36,000 deaths and $50 billion in medical costs.
Russell Kendzior is the President of Traction Experts, Inc. and founder of the National Floor Safety Institute. Mr. Kendzior is internationally recognized as the leading expert in slip and fall accident prevention and has been retained in more than 1,000 slip, trip, and fall lawsuits. He hosts the podcast The Safety Matters Show, and he is the author of several books, including Falls Aren’t Funny: America’s Multi-Billion Dollar Slip-And-Fall Crisis.
This concept of simply testing to an internationally-recognized consensus standard and labeling the product is really what we’re asking the government to do. We’re not demanding any level of performance, but simply tell the consumer.
You can participate in the public review process— the process whereby commissioners are asking members of the public for comments… It’s important that the people of our country have a voice, and that they be represented, and that the safety of these products that are contributing to six million hospital emergency room visits a year need to be better managed.
We should emphasize that all these situations [involving slips, trips, and falls] in the court of law are under tort law… It's good to talk about them as torts, because people often don’t recognize how important tort law is to protect them, to help compensate them, to disclose to the larger audience the hazards for their own protection, and to engage in prevention.
In Case You Haven’t Heard with Francesco DeSantis
1. In a major blow to Governor Greg Abbott, the Texas House of Representatives voted 86-52 in favor of an amendment to bar state funds from being used for private school vouchers, according to KXAN. This was achieved through a coalition of Democrats and rural Republicans in the Lone Star State, per NBC.
2. The Washington Post reports that greater numbers of assisted-living facilities are rejecting Medicaid and evicting seniors from their homes. One particularly harrowing story involves Shirley Holtz, a 91 year old with mobility issues and dementia who was evicted from her hospice care because the facility decided to refuse Medicaid payments.
3. In a statement responding to the ProPublica report on undisclosed gifts received by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin stressed that “Supreme Court Justices must be held to an enforceable code of conduct, just like every other federal judge. The ProPublica report is a call to action, and the Senate Judiciary Committee will act.” However, the Judiciary Committee has been hamstrung by Democratic absences, particularly that of California Senator Dianne Feinstein, who has missed nearly 60 votes since February, according to The San Francisco Chronice.
4. Barak Ravid reports that the U.S. has blocked the release of a planned United Nations Security Council statement decrying the Israeli police raid at the al-Aqsa mosque, one of the holiest sites in Islam, during Ramadan.
5. More Perfect Union has issued a statement saying “Months after 440 Planned Parenthood nurses and staff in five Midwest states voted to unionize, management has fired 2 members of the union’s bargaining team and issued ‘final written warnings’ to all 11 other bargaining team members threatening immediate termination.”
6. From Truthout, Rep. Pramila Jayapal has filed an official constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. A constitutional amendment is currently the only means available for reversing this catastrophic decision.
7. In a video obtained by Gothamist, NYPD officers arresting a man wearing a Black Lives Matter sticker on his bike helmet were recorded bragging about “milking” overtime, referred to a female arrestee a "liberal [c word]," and joked about committing the arrestee to a mental hospital. This comes as Mayor Eric Adams announced that NYPD officers who work for five years will now make approximately $50K more per year than teachers with the same amount of time, an overall increase of $5.5 billion to the most expensive police department in the country, according to CBS.
8. Robert Costa of CBS reports that former Rep. Dennis Kucinich is advising Robert F Kennedy Jr. on his presidential run. Costa went on to say that Kucinich could be the campaign manager or a top political adviser, and that Kucinich has urged Kennedy to focus more on the environment than his signature anti-vaccine message.
9. Kansas Public Media KCUR reports that Republicans in that state overrode the Democratic Governor’s veto and authorized genital inspections on minors in order for children to play sports. Somehow, the party advocating for adults to inspect children’s genitals is calling the other party “groomers” with a straight face.
10. From Deadline: Progressive lawmakers are calling on the Department of Justice to investigate the Warner Brothers merger with Discovery. In a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and DOJ antitrust chief Jonathan Kanter, the signatories allege that the merger “appears to have enabled” the company to “adopt potentially anticompetitive practices that reduce consumer choice and harm workers in affected labor markets.” They went on to argue that the merger has led to the “hollowing out” of an “iconic American studio,” and cited the cancellation of projects and the removal of content from the HBO Max platform.
11. Dueling court orders have resulted in uncertainty about universal access to the abortion pill Mifepristone. Regarding the order to suspend the drug, Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden issued a statement declaring “I believe the Food and Drug Administration has the authority to ignore this ruling.” The Senate Finance Committee oversees the FDA.
12. The Austin American-Statesman reports that, less than 24 hours after Daniel Perry was convicted of murdering Garrett Foster, a Black Lives Matter protester in 2020, Governor Greg Abbott announced that he would pardon the convicted killer as soon as a request "hits my desk." While the killer claimed that he was acting in self defense, he had mused on social media that he might “kill a few people on my way to work.”
13. From Bloomberg Law: The International Brotherhood of Teamsters reported gaining 206,000 members in 2022, an increase of 20% from the previous year. Many credit this growth to the new leadership in the union, which took power in 2022. Teamsters President Sean O’Brien responded to this news by tweeting “Just getting started.”