News to Use April 2013 Edition | Richard A. Pignatiello
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April 2013 Newsletter

April 1, 2013

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This publication is intended to educate the general public and is for information purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. Prior to acting on any information contained here, you should seek and retain competent counsel. The information in this newsletter may be freely copied and distributed as long as the newsletter is copied in its entirety.



News to Use
April 2013 Edition




He Walked in as a client. And out as my friend.

My office scheduled a new client meeting for me. The potential client was being referred to me by another attorney. That's always a nice compliment.

He walked into my office. This wasn't any new client. It was Bob Feller. Cleveland Indians Pitcher. Member of the Baseball Hall of Fame class of 1962. Bob hired me and we took that case all the way to the Ohio Supreme Court.

People always asked me – What's the best part of being friends with Bob? Let's just say spending time with Bob was always memorable. I'll give you an example.Bob Feller Cleveland Indians Pitcher

Bob calling me every year, saying, “Meet me at spring training. I'll have them put your room next to mine”. One year, we met up at the ball field. Bob said, “I need soup. Let's go”. I followed him. Into the locker room. Inside a buffet table was set up. Players were getting out of the shower, and walking past the food table in their towels. At one point, Kenny Lofton sat down. He winked and then nodded towards Bob and said, “Hey Bob. If you were pitching to Manny Ramirez today, how would you do it?” Bob said, “High and tight”. And he kept eating his soup. Kenny Lofton had a nickname for Bob. That's one I can't share with you. This is a family newsletter.

When traveling, Bob always rented the biggest Buick available. He would say, “See all those guys renting a Cadillac? Waste of money. This is the same ride, but I have a pocket full of money.” It is important when you realize that Bob's signing bonus to become a professional baseball player was $1.00. In Cleveland, however, Bob drove a Jaguar.

Over the years, we had many conversations. The best ones had nothing to do with baseball. Bob's accomplishments are legendary. But what he was most proud of was his service to his country.

Without consulting the Cleveland Indians, Bob enlisted in the Navy the day after Pearl Harbor was attacked. He was a gunner on the USS Alabama and he was awarded eight Battle Stars for his service. Bob told me he turned down an assignment teaching calisthenics in the United States. Bob said it was because he wanted to fight for his country and be where the action was.

Bob FellerBob was loyal to his country. Loyal to the Cleveland Indians, the team that recruited him. He played his entire career in Cleveland. Bob lived in Cleveland and stayed in Cleveland. There is a lot to be proud of when talking about Bob Feller – the man, the patriot, the professional baseball player.

I am proud he called me his friend.


Richard A. Pignatiello's signature


A Bounce in Their Step

Inflatable "bounce houses" (or "moon walks") are commonplace at church picnics, county fairs, indoor playgrounds, and backyard birthday parties. They're fun and kids gravitate to them.

But in the midst of the frivolity, there are concerns. The number of kids visiting hospital ERs due to injuries sustained in bounce houses doubled between 2008 and 2010 – a dramatic jump. Every 46 minutes, a child is injured seriously enough in a bounce house to warrant a trip to the ER.

Documented injuries are just the tip of the iceberg; many other injuries occur that aren’t serious enough for an ER visit. Collisions with other kids, getting pushed, and kids falling on each other are sources of injuries that include sprains, fractures, concussions, and head injuries, with fractures accounting for over 80 percent of cases involving observation or a hospital stay. Some kids fall while entering or exiting a bounce house.

There are no formal guidelines for safe use of bounce houses like there are for trampolines, but the remedies are similar:

  • Make sure bounce houses are properly anchored.
  • Limit the use of bounce houses to kids 6 years of age or older.
  • Make sure adult supervision is on hand.
  • Horseplay and flips should be off limits.
  • Restrict the number of children in a bounce house at one time, and make sure they’re of similar age and size.

Bounce houses haven't become more dangerous, they've just become more popular. Exercise proper caution to keep your kids safe.

Fighting Red Light Camera Tickets

A red-light camera is triggered when a car passes over a sensor in the intersection when the light is red. Still and video pictures are taken of the license plate and the driver. A citation is then mailed to the vehicle's registered owner.

In most states permitting photo enforcement, the driver of the vehicle - not the owner - is liable for the ticket. If the owner was not the driver, he/she may have to fill out an affidavit swearing they weren’t the driver.

If you want to fight the ticket, get the photos. In some states, the photos will accompany the mailed citation. In other states, you may have to make a "discovery" request to retrieve them. Make sure the license plate number and your face are clearly identifiable in the photos.

Yellow traffic light with traffic cameraThe state must present evidence on how the red-light camera works and that it was working properly on the day in question. They must also present the photos of the license plate and driver. If no representative for the company that maintains the red-light camera testifies, you should object to the photos being admitted as evidence, since no one is there to authenticate them.

If you truly were not driving, then you should challenge the photo's clarity. If you ran a red light to avoid a serious accident, present that argument. A judge can rule that you acted out of "necessity".

In some states, warning signs of photo enforcement must be posted. If they haven't been or were obscured, you may have an out.

Red-light cameras have some benefit to the public, but they're not without their flaws.

The 4-1-1 On Meteorites

When a meteorite hit Russia in February, injuring over 1,000 people and causing extensive damage to buildings and other structures, there was a renewed interest in all things meteoric. Here are some basic facts:

  • Meteors are classified differently than meteorites; meteors are pieces of space rock that come from asteroids or comets and usually burn up when they hit the Earth's atmosphere. The pieces of rock that actually make it to the Earth's surface are called meteorites.
  • Meteorites can hit the Earth at over 18,000 miles per hour.
  • Large-impact strikes, like the one that hit Russia recently, happen about once every five years, according to experts. Smaller strikes occur 5 to 10 times per year but usually hit in remote, unpopulated areas.
  • A famous large meteorite strike known as the "Tunguska Event" hit Russia in 1908, knocking down millions of trees in a Siberian forest but caused no known injuries.

Did You Hear? Botox, Not Just for Wrinkles Anymore

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved the popular anti-wrinkle drug Botox for a far different use than what we're accustomed to. It now appears that it can help reduce the frequency of urinary incontinence caused by an overactive bladder.

According to the FDA's clinical studies, injecting Botox into the bladder muscle helped to relax the organ, boost its capacity and cut down on the number of incontinence episodes.

The FDA studies also indicated some side effects from the Botox procedure were possible, including painful urination, urinary tract infections, and incomplete emptying of the bladder.

An estimated 33 million men and women in the U.S. suffer from overactive bladder.

This publication is intended to educate the general public and is for information purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. Prior to acting on any information contained here, you should seek and retain competent counsel. The information in this newsletter may be freely copied and distributed as long as the newsletter is copied in its entirety.

Contact Attorney Richard A. Pignatiello Today

We invite you to contact the Ohio law office of Richard A. Pignatiello at 216-524-1000 to schedule a free, initial consultation with our lawyer regarding your legal needs. We return phone calls within 24 hours. In addition to our regular office hours, evening and weekend appointments are available upon request. We offer payment plans.

The law office of Richard A. Pignatiello is based in Seven Hills, Ohio. We represent clients throughout the cities of Independence, Bedford, Parma, Brecksville, Broadview Heights, North Royalton, Strongsville, Berea, Middleburg Heights, and Valley View, as well as Cuyahoga County and Medina County.

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