Summer 2002

Vol.7 – No.1

Landlord Seminar

“How to Survive Legally as a Landlord” will be presented by attorney/author Robert Friedman from 6:00 to 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 17, 2002 at Clarence High School, 9625 Main Street, Clarence, New York. Mr. Friedman will discuss evictions, leases, Small Claims Court, discrimination laws, civil liability, insurance, security deposits, elderly tenants, drugs, debt collection and lead paint regulations. There is a registration and book fee. To register, call Clarence Community Education at (716) 759-0403.

Wealth Preservation and Accumulation Seminar

Proper planning will legally protect your family and business from the tragedies that destroy financial security and peace of mind. Robert Friedman of Friedman & Ranzenhofer, P.C. and Susan R. Coriale of Tax and Investment Strategies, Inc. will present a “Wealth Preservation and Accumulation Strategies” breakfast seminar on Tuesday, October 22, 2002, from 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. The seminar will be held at the Asa Ransom House Country Inn, 10529 Main Street, Clarence, New York. Attendees will learn: (a) techniques to minimize individual, estate and business taxes and maximize deductions; (b) how to minimize the costs and delays of probate; (c) how to qualify for Medicaid for nursing home care; (d) financial management and medical decision-making in the event of disability; (e) how to provide for your dependents and favorite charities; (f) asset protection strategies; and (g) business succession planning. The legal tools for retirement, financial and estate planning which will be discussed include wills, trusts, life estate deeds, limited liability companies, health care proxies, private annuities, IRAs and insurance. There is no registration fee. Seating is limited. Please call 716-542-5444 before Friday, October 11, 2002 to make reservations.

Injury Victim’s Legal Survival® Guide

Veteran prosecutor/author, Robert Friedman, advises injury victims in layman’s terms on how to protect their legal rights and obtain maximum cash damages in the “Injury Victim’s Legal Survival® Guide.” Released by Victoria Square Publishing, the guide provides straight forward answers to frequently asked questions. The types of injuries covered are automobile accidents, defective products, criminal, domestic violence, workplace violence and accidents, slip and fall, dog bites, toxic mold and lead paint. Medical malpractice, nursing home abuse and recreational accidents are also explained. Mr. Friedman has prosecuted over 75,000 cases and appeared on CourtTV as a guest commentator. His books and articles have been published by West Publishing,, Buffalo News, Dearborn Financial Publishing, USA Today and®. To order a copy, call 716-542-5444 or visit click here.

Injured Runner Sues Marathon Organizer

A man who was injured after running a marathon, can sue the organizer for failing to provide adequate water and other drinks during the race. The runner suffered a grand mal seizure a few hours after the race because he did not consume enough fluids during the marathon. Many of the water stations were either out of water or unmanned. No electrolyte replacement beverages were available. He now suffers from some neurological problems as a result of being on a ventilator for four days. The California Court of Appeal 4th District disagreed with the Defendant’s argument that the Plaintiff’s suit was barred by assumption of the risk, ruling that “a race organizer that stages a marathon has a duty to organize and conduct a reasonably safe event. This duty includes the obligation to minimize the risks of dehydration and hyponatremia by providing adequate water and electrolyte fluids along the course, particularly where the race organizer represents to the participants that these will be available at specific locations throughout the race. Such steps are reasonable and do not alter the nature of the sport.”

Homeowner Sued for Injury at Yard Sale

A woman browsing at a yard sale was injured when she stepped backward from the lawn onto the sidewalk. The drop-off was hidden by overgrown grass. Homeowners must exercise reasonable care to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition and make a reasonable inspection to discover defective conditions. The New Jersey Appellate Division held that “…A reasonable homeowner conducting a garage sale under these circumstances would have mowed the yard and properly trimmed the edge so the elevation between the lawn and sidewalk was readily apparent to the shoppers, or would have warned the shoppers of the drop-off.”

$4.44 Million for Snowboard Accident

A woman claimed that a dangerously designed snowboard jump caused an accident which resulted in her paraplegia. The ski resort had been closed for the season when resort officials constructed a snowboard jump for an employee party. There were several problems with the jump’s design: a) the angle at the take-off area was too sharp; and b) the landing area was dangerously configured – instead of running downhill, as is always done to dissipate much of the energy of the landing, the landing area actually ran uphill, exacerbating the energy of the impact. These unsafe conditions caused the woman to hit the landing hard and to fall flat on her back. This caused her back to break at the T-12 vertebral area (San Francisco Superior Court).

Laser-Eye Surgery Award

A 35-year-old pilot who lost his job after laser-eye surgery damaged his night vision was awarded $4 million. This was more than twice the previous record of $1.7 million awarded to a Kentucky woman who had to undergo a corneal transplant after four failed laser eye surgeries. The trial focused on poor preoperative screening rather than on surgical error or equipment function. The cause of the Plaintiff’s problems was failure to accurately measure his pupils in dim light. This type of improper screening of candidates is one of the most widely reported problems with laser-eye surgery (Superior Court, Pima County, Arizona).

Medical Internet Resources

  • contains information on health and medical topics, including articles on diseases and conditions, health news, drug information and first-aid and self-care guides.
  •, created by a network of board-certified physicians, features descriptions of diseases and conditions; medical tests and procedures; medical and health news; prevention guidelines; and a concise, readable medical dictionary.
  • provides access to Wheeless’ Textbook of Orthopaedics, orthopedic journals, current medical news, and commercial Web sites related to orthopedic products. A search feature allows users to access multiple related sites, including MEDLINE (a database of medical literature) and Medhunt (a guide to online medical resources).
  •, targeted to both consumers and medical professionals, provides medical and health care news, treatment updates, medical specialty resources, professional practice guidelines, medical conference coverage and schedules, and access to MEDLINE.
  • contains access to Merck publications, including the 17th edition of the Merck Manual, product information and corporate material.
  • National Library of Medicine (part of the National Institutes of Health) provides online access to multiple medical and health care databases. These include MEDLINE, OLDMEDLINE, PubMed (which accesses more than 11 million citations from MEDLINE and life science journals), and MEDLINEplus (which accesses medical dictionaries; drug information; health care organizations; consumer health libraries; international sites; and locations and credentials of physicians, dentists, and hospitals). Users also can search the National Library of Medicine database.
  • WebMD offers health care information for both consumers and professionals, drug and product recall data and health education material.

Is Your Range Defective?

Improperly anchored kitchen ranges can cause burns and crushing injuries when tipped. The Underwriters Laboratories did not adopt a comprehensive stability test for ranges until 1991. Hundreds of thousands of houses, apartments and institutions are still equipped with poorly designed and unsafe ranges. Freestanding or slide-in ranges are inherently unstable when their oven doors are open. They can easily tip forward when slight or moving weight is applied to the front or leading edge of the open door. The open door acts as a lever, causing the range to tip forward on its feet, exposing victims to scalding burns from spilled hot food or liquids or crushing injuries and asphyxia from the tipped appliances. Young children and the elderly are most at risk for these injuries. Defective ranges are a good example of the many levels of defendants that are responsible for their defective products including manufacturers, retailers, installers, trade associations, certifiers or endorsers (e.g. Underwriters Lab). Landlords and management companies may be liable for failure to properly install or retrofit ranges. Claims against these parties may also include failure to provide reasonably safe premises and conduct safety inspections. Landlords have a non-delegable duty to repair all defects in the dwelling of which they knew or should have known. They are liable for negligent performance of their duties by contractors and others.

What is No-Fault Law?

Under the no-fault law, victims of automobile accidents receive compensation for their economic losses without regard to fault or negligence. However, a party who suffers a serious injury may bring a lawsuit to recover for non-economic loss, pain and suffering. “Serious injury” means a personal injury which results in death; dismemberment; significant disfigurement; a fracture; loss of a fetus; total permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function or system; permanent consequential limitation of use of a body organ or member; significant limitation of use of a body function or system; and/or medically determined injury or impairment of a non-permanent nature which prevents the injured person from performing substantially all of the material acts which constitute such person’s usual or customary daily activities for not less than 90 days during the 180 days immediately following the occurrence of the injury or impairment.

Accident Victims…Dignity

Have you been hurt in an accident? Are you worried what this may mean to your family, your job, and your credit? Is the insurance company pressuring you? Are you beginning to feel a bit confused? Since 1955, the attorneys at Friedman & Ranzenhofer, P.C. have been helping injured people. You have a lot of choices to make. We can help you make the choices that will get you what you need quickly, honorably and with your dignity intact.

We will help you to maximize your benefits, while protecting you and your family. If you have questions about your responsibilities, your legal remedies or just what the best thing is for you to do, call us at 716-542-5444. Our initial conversation costs you nothing even if you choose not to have us represent you.

Our promise:

  • To communicate with you in plain language that is easy to understand.
  • To promptly return your telephone calls.
  • To quickly and thoroughly investigate and analyze your case. Friedman & Ranzenhofer, P.C. does not accept every accident case.
  • To have your case personally handled by an attorney.
  • To keep you informed of the progress of your case at all times.
  • To show you the personal care, concern and attention which has been the hallmark f Friedman & Ranzenhofer, P.C. since 1955.
  • To accommodate the needs of you and your family during the handling of your case.
  • To vigorously protect your legal rights.

Attorney Michael H. Ranzenhofer limits his practice to automobile accident, slip and fall, dog bite and defective product cases. He is a member of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, the New York Trial Lawyers Association, the New York State Trial Lawyers Association and the Erie County Bar Association Negligence Committee.

Do You Know the Answers to These Questions?

  • What is a “springing power of attorney?”
  • What is an “animal card?”
  • What are the responsibilities of an executor?
  • Who can be an executor?
  • What is the difference between a living will, health care proxy and do-not-resuscitate-order?
  • Where on the internet can you find information on birth, death, marriage and divorce records?

The answers to all of these questions are in the Fall 2002 issue of the® newletter.


While a great deal of care has been taken to provide accurate and current information, the ideas, suggestions, general principles and conclusions presented in this newsletter are subject to local, state and federal laws and regulations, court cases and any revisions of same. The reader is thus urged to consult legal counsel regarding any points of law – this newsletter should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice.

The purpose of this newsletter is to give the reader a general understanding of the law – not to provide specific advice. Every effort has been made to achieve accuracy. The law constantly changes and is subject to differing interpretations. Always consult with your attorney and act only on his or her advice. Legal Survival, LLC shall not be responsible for any damages resulting from any inaccuracy or omission. This newsletter is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. Certain portions of this newsletter may be applicable only to New York State law.

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