Frank Gallucci, Author at Plevin & Gallucci

Prius Owners: Beware of Faulty Brakes

Prius RecallMany people decide to purchase a Toyota Prius based on fuel savings and tax breaks. However, like any other type of motor vehicle, the Prius needs repairs and maintenance. There is always the possibility that a certain Prius part will be defective, will malfunction, and will cause an accident and injuries.

Prius manufacturer Toyota recently reported a potentially dangerous defect in the parking brakes of thousands of 2016 and 2017 models of the Prius. Specifically, the parking brake can stop working without warning. If you are not in “park” and are trying to use the parking brake to keep the car still while the ignition is on, the brake may suddenly not engage and the car may start moving. If you are getting out of the car when this happens, you can be seriously injured. In addition, an inoperative parking brake can result in collisions and injuries to others.

Toyota admitted to hearing reports of collisions, injuries, and even fatalities that are possibly related to the defective parking brake on Prius models. Victims can report such accidents and injuries to many agencies, including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). If the agency receives a number of complaints or serious enough complaints to deem the problem a serious risk of injury, it can recommend that the auto manufacturer issue a recall for all affected vehicles. In addition, auto manufacturers can voluntarily issue a recall, as Toyota did in this situation.

The Recall Process

When auto manufacturers issue recalls, they first notify the owners of all vehicles that were assembled with the potentially defective part, identified by the vehicle identification number (VIN). Any notified car owners will be able to bring their vehicles into a dealer and have the defective part repaired or replaced – whichever is necessary to resolve the issue and ensure the vehicle is safe. In the case of the Prius recall, Toyota plans to add certain clips to the brake cable dust boots, which the company believes will prevent the problem and will keep the emergency brake operative. This repair will be performed at no charge to Prius owners.

How do You Know if Your Prius has been Recalled?

92,000 Priuses have been recalled in the United States, as well as 212,000 vehicles in Japan. If you own a Prius, it is natural to be concerned whether your vehicle has a defective and possibly dangerous parking brake.

Toyota has announced plans to send out notices to all Prius owners of affected vehicles in November. If you have not yet received such a notice, it may not necessarily mean that your vehicle is not involved, as mistakes can happen. For this reason, if you own a 2016 or 2017 Prius, you should check your VIN number on one of the following websites:

If you do learn that your vehicle may have a defect online or through notice from Toyota, you should not delay in following the instructions provided to make an appointment to have your emergency brake repaired. Any delay in doing so can put you and your family at serious risk of injury. While a recall may be an inconvenience, a serious injury can significantly affect many aspects of your life. You do not want to wait to take action regarding any type of recall, especially if it involves the vehicle you drive on a regular basis.

Know Your Rights if You Have been Injured

Many people have reportedly already sustained injuries because of the defective parking brake on the Prius. In addition, more people may suffer injuries if they are not aware of the recall. If you sustained a serious injury because of the faulty parking brake on your Prius, you should discuss your legal rights with the experienced attorneys of Plevin & Gallucci as soon as possible.

Like all product manufacturers, auto manufacturers have the duty to sell products that are safe for consumers to use. If they fail to do so, you can hold them liable for your medical bills and other losses related to your injuries.

If you have been injured by a defective product of any kind, contact the products liability attorneys of Plevin & Gallucci to get  the compensation you deserve.

 

Image Credit

Plevin & Gallucci’s Michael Shroge Has Been Named One Of The Top 10 Personal Injury Attorneys In Ohio

The Plevin & Gallucci team is proud to announce that our very own Michael Shroge has been chosen as one of Ohio’s Top 10 Personal Injury Attorneys by the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys (AIOPIA). He has been part of our family for almost 10 years and has worked tirelessly to get the best possible outcomes for his clients – he very much deserves this honor.

Michael spent his early career working on medical malpractice cases at Reminger & Reminger and the Cleveland Clinic, so he has a deep working knowledge of the ins and outs of malpractice and personal injury law. He joined us in 2007 to put that knowledge to use on behalf of Ohioans that have suffered serious injuries and are facing big insurance companies and corporations that want to deny them compensation.

In addition to his work with clients, Michael is involved with lobbying efforts in the Ohio legislature to improve protections for injured Ohioans and ensure that their rights are respected. He also works with the Ohio Association for Justice, the Academy of Medicine of Cleveland, and a working group on specialty medical tort courts in Northeast Ohio.

Awards and Recognitions

This is not the first time Michael has been recognized for his terrific work. In 2012, he was named a Super Lawyer® in Ohio by Super Lawyers for his professional achievements. Also in 2012, he received a Distinguished Service Award from the Ohio Association for Justice.

Now, he has the additional honor of being named one of the Top 10 Personal Injury Attorneys in Ohio by the AIOPIA. The AIOPIA is an independent rating service dedicated to making the process of choosing an attorney as easy as possible. The most important criterion for selection is client satisfaction – top attorneys can achieve great professional success while still providing excellent service to their clients. In other words, the clients have to come first. They certainly do for Michael.

We’re so proud of Michael and his work on behalf of injured Ohioans and we can’t think of anyone more deserving of this prestigious award.

So if you’re looking for a personal injury attorney in Ohio, look no further – Michael Shroge is ready to fight for you. You can learn more about him here or contact our office to schedule a free consultation.

Register To Vote

Your Vote Matters – Register By October 11!

In Ohio, just 61% of the voting-age population is registered to vote. About 2/3 of those voted in the last presidential election, but that isn’t the only election that matters. Judicial elections are coming up!

Judges at all levels of Ohio’s judicial system make decisions every day that affect you and the rest of our community. Though they decide individual cases, it doesn’t end there. Those cases create precedents for future cases and a single decision can have far-reaching consequences. That means it’s crucial to have the most qualified and capable judges possible.

Voter turnout is frequently very low for judicial elections. About 2/3 of Ohioans report that they don’t vote in judicial elections because they don’t know enough about the candidates or the different types of judges they’re electing. Compared to other elected officials, judges are often relatively anonymous to the general population and it can be tough to know whom you’re voting for.

The good news is that there is a great resource to help you get to know your candidates. You can take a look at it here.

How To Register Or Update Your Registration

Before you even start investigating the candidates, you have to register to vote! If you’re not yet registered or if you’ve changed addresses since the last time you registered, you’ll need to register. If you haven’t voted since 2008, your registration may have been purged. That means you’ll need to register again.

You can check your Ohio voter registration status online here.

If you’re already registered but have moved, you can change your voter registration address online here. You can also send this form to your county board of elections or the Secretary of State’s office.

And if you’re not registered, you’ll need to submit a voter registration form. Once you’ve filled out the form, you can return it in person or by mail to:

  • Any county board of elections
  • The Ohio Secretary of State’s Office
  • BMV or deputy registrars
  • The Department of Job and Family Services
  • The Department of Health (including the Women, Infants, and Children [WIC] program)
  • The Department of Mental Health
  • The Department of Mental Disabilities
  • Opportunities for Ohioans With Disabilities
  • Any state-assisted college or university that provides assistance to disabled students
  • Any county treasurer’s office
  • Any public high school or vocational school
  • Any public library

The easiest place to turn in your form in person is a public high school or library – you probably pass several every day! You can find more detailed instructions for registering to vote here.

Don’t forget: The deadline to register in Ohio is Tuesday, October 11; the vote of anyone that registers after that date will not count in the upcoming election. All it takes is a simple form – then you have the ability to cast your vote in an election that really affects you and your community. So get out there and register!

 

Image Credit and License

Cleveland Clinic Sues To Deny Death Benefits To Murdered Employee

People often ask us what we do and who we represent. This is who:

A Tragic Death, A Tragic Lawsuit

Stephen Halton Jr. was an anesthesia technician at the Cleveland Clinic. He was on call on January 11, 2014 when he was paged to assist in a liver transplant surgery. On his way to the hospital, he was gunned down by a still-unknown assailant.

After this tragedy, Stephen’s family applied for death compensation benefits from Cleveland Clinic to support his widow and two young children, aged 6 and 8. The Ohio Industrial Commission refused the claim originally, but changed their decision on appeal when they found that Stephen’s employment contract specifically stated that time spent going to the hospital counted as paid, on-call time. The Cleveland Clinic was required to pay back benefits and start paying regular benefits going forward. But now there’s a new twist – Cleveland Clinic has filed an appeal to block payment of those benefits.

Death On Call

Compensating the families of people that are killed on the job can eat into a business’s budget – so they don’t want to do it. Even though the benefits amount to about $850 per week, the Clinic doesn’t want to set a precedent of making those kinds of payments when employees may not have been on the clock.

The case would have been indisputable if Stephen had been at the hospital when he was killed, but the Clinic is looking for an opening because he was still en route. They argue that Stephen wasn’t on the clock until 6:00 am, the planned surgery time, and was not yet on-call when he was murdered at 4:30 am.

Here’s the legal issue: death benefits from an employer only apply if the death happens on the job. If the employee dies during a vacation, for example, the employer isn’t liable. The question is whether Stephen was “on the job” or not.

The Ohio Industrial Commission, which is responsible for deciding workers’ compensation and death benefits claims, is siding with the family. They’re pointing to his employment contract and to other cases in Ohio where people were injured or killed while responding to work calls and were entitled to death benefits.

Employment Contracts, Employee Rights

Stephen had a contract with his employer stipulating, among other things, when he would be on the clock. The contract specifically said that he would be on the clock – and getting paid – while traveling to answer a call.

Employment contracts can legally cover a lot of different aspects of your job. They may include pay, non-compete clauses, procedures for arbitration, benefits, and more. In general, they can’t be used to deny your statutory rights to things like workers’ compensation. They can, however, expand those rights. That’s the situation we’re looking at here, and it has happened in other cases in Ohio.

Why We Do What We Do

This is a situation where a grieving widow and her two young children have had to withstand the sudden and tragic death of a husband and father. They have had to endure the agony of knowing his murderer is still on the street somewhere – he still hasn’t been found. And now, they’re facing losing his death benefits compensation under the latest appeal by the Cleveland Clinic. This family has been through an incredibly difficult time and the last thing they deserve is to be denied compensation after Stephen was killed on the job.

We’re proud to represent these kinds of people – people that deserve fair treatment and are having to fight to get it. We wish these kinds of cases never came up, that tragic murders never happened and families were never broken, but they do. And that’s why we’re here – to fight for them.

Stephen’s colleagues have set up a fund to help support his widow and children during this difficult time. If you’d like to contribute, you can do it here.

Attorney at Law Magazine Profiles Managing Partner Frank Gallucci

Photo credit: Attorney at Law Magazine

Photo credit: Attorney at Law Magazine

Plevin & Gallucci managing partner Frank L. Gallucci III is profiled as “Attorney of the Month” in the latest issue of Attorney at Law, a prominent digital magazine that reports on the legal profession.

Frank is featured on the cover of the magazine’s Cleveland edition in a photo shot at Gallucci’s Italian Market in Cleveland, the retail store and deli his family has owned for more than a century. Frank’s father founded the law firm in the 1970s while working part-time at the family store.

The article notes that Frank’s father focused on workers’ compensation cases, “often meeting with clients and signing their cases up on top of cases of tomato cans.”

The magazine chronicles Frank’s decision to enter the legal field and his passion for helping injured individuals get justice and compensation, especially workers who are injured on the job.

“Essentially, money is playing too large a role in our society. Insurance companies and large corporations are dictating laws and policies at the expense of innocent parties,” Frank states in the article. ”But if you ask any of the victims who sustained serious injuries or the families of those killed, they would take their good health or loved one they lost over any amount of money without a doubt.”

The article calls Frank “a compassionate, strong-willed advocate for his clients,” noting that “his close-knit, hardworking family ethics carry over to the way he represents his clients. The key to finding balance between his work life and his personal life is that they both completely overlap one another. ‘My next client can be anybody,’ he said. ‘My neighbor, a friend’s child or someone I just met the day before. Whether at work or in my personal life, I want to surround myself, my co-workers and my family with people I respect.’”

Read the full profile here: http://www.attorneyatlawmagazine.com/cleveland/attorney-of-the-month-frank-gallucci/

How to Create a More Ergonomic Workspace

ergonomic workspaceWhen you think of workers who are prone to sustaining injuries on the job, a desk worker may not be the first example that comes to mind. Sure, factory workers, rig workers, coal miners, and construction workers are at risk for hurting themselves while performing demanding physical work – but what about accountants, administrative assistants, or other professionals who mostly work before a computer and behind a desk?

Desk workers are in fact at risk for an occupational injury or illness that at the very least is uncomfortable and at worst, painful and disruptive to day-to-day life. These workers typically sustain repetitive strain injuries (RSI) related to typing and sitting still most of the day. Continue reading

Attorney Frank L. Gallucci III Calls Ohio BWC Premium Reductions “Another Billion Misdirected”

Frank L. Gallucci III, managing partner of Plevin & Gallucci Co., L.P.A., one of the largest law firms in Ohio representing plaintiffs in workers’ compensation cases, took issue today with Ohio Governor John Kasich’s characterization of the recent reduction in employer premiums paid to the state’s workers’ compensation system as “another billion back for employers and worker safety.”

“The recent announcement that the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation is looking to reduce premiums collected by 8% is a bit troubling,” stated Gallucci. “While we applaud the efforts to save employers money and make Ohio a stronger state, we have already seen the current administration assist employers to the amount of $1.9 billion. What we have not seen is assistance for the injured workers who continue to suffer.”

“We need to have a system where the focus is on the injured worker,” Gallucci continued. “While I do not advocate that the BWC overcharge employers as they have done for many years, we need to remember that this compromise system is the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, not Bureau of Employer Protection. It is time for this administration to start putting some of the billions of dollars saved to work for the injured.”

“Let’s protect the firefighters who contract cancer,” Gallucci suggested. “Let’s get surgery approved for the worker who has had all conservative options fail; let’s get rid of treatment delays; let’s decrease the paperwork that drives doctors out of the system; let’s stop reducing the benefits of widows and minors; let’s stop taking advantage of the permanently disabled; let’s help those the system was intended to help, the injured.”

Plevin & Gallucci Will Waive Attorneys’ Fees to Pursue Drunk Drivers Who Injure or Kill Northeast Ohio Residents on New Year’s Eve

 

Contact: Frank Gallucci, (216) 861-0804; fgallucci@pglawyer.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Plevin & Gallucci Will Waive Attorneys’ Fees to Pursue Drunk Drivers Who Injure or Kill Northeast Ohio Residents on New Year’s Eve

Prominent Law Firm Continues Aggressive Efforts to Hold Drunk Drivers Responsible for Causing Injuries and Deaths, Waives Fees

Cleveland, Ohio (December 28, 2015) –Plevin & Gallucci Co., L.P.A., one of the largest law firms in Ohio representing plaintiffs injured in motor vehicle accidents, personal injury, medical malpractice, and workers’ compensation cases, is pledging to waive attorneys’ fees to pursue drunk drivers who injure or kill Northeast Ohioans this year on New Year’s Eve. The offer will apply to anyone who is injured or killed as a result of an accident caused by someone charged with driving under the influence.

“There have been over 12,000 crashes involving alcohol and 271 drunk driving fatalities in Ohio so far this year,” stated Frank L. Gallucci III, Managing Partner. “New Year’s Eve is one of the most dangerous times to be on the roads with your family and the injuries and deaths due to drunk driving need to stop.

“If you or a loved one are a victim of a drunk driving accident in Northeast Ohio on New Year’s Eve up until 6 a.m. New Year’s Day, Plevin & Gallucci will go after the drunk driver on your behalf for free,” he continued. “We are determined to fight the scourge of drunk driving and help victims get justice. We will use our considerable legal expertise to hold drunk drivers accountable, with no attorneys’ fees paid by the victim if the injury or death was result of a drunk driver who is charged with driving under the influence.” Continue reading

Gallucci Family Eggnog Recipe

 

On a Christmas Day in 1973, the founding member of Plevin & Gallucci, Frank Gallucci Jr., and his grandmother, Mary “Ma” Gallo decided to restore a family tradition of homemade eggnog.

The tradition has been holding strong since, when every Christmas, family members would arrive at the Gallucci household for dinner. After warm greetings to extended family and those who traveled from afar, it was time for a mug of spiced eggnog with freshly made whipped cream. Back in Sicily, there would be long-distance calls to cousins, aunts and uncles and other family members who would be enjoying the same recipe, albeit a little later in the evening.

With a touch of creamy vanilla ice cream and shaved nutmeg, this is the “secret recipe” to rule them all! Nearly 45 years later, the recipe has been handed down to close friends and the team at Plevin & Gallucci to share with their families. This year, we wanted to share this tradition with more Ohio families in honor of Frank’s dad, Frank Gallucci Jr. and “Ma.”

Cheers!

Continue reading

Opting Out of Workers’ Compensation: Corporate America’s Frightening Campaign to Shortchange U.S. Workers

opting out of workers compThere’s an ominous new development in the ongoing effort by large U.S. employers to deny employees fair compensation for workplace injuries.

According to a recent investigation by National Public Radio and ProPublica.com, some of the biggest companies in corporate America are actively engaged in a comprehensive campaign to get out of state workers’ comp laws.

“Their idea is to let companies simply opt out of the century-old compact between labor and industry and write their own rules for taking care of injured workers,” the report states. Continue reading

Featured & Honored

Awards