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New Mexico Legal Issues Blog

Prisons may serve tainted food to inmates

Even incarcerated citizens have a right to decent healthcare and nutrition. However, some prisons throughout America have failed to adequately prepare meals for the citizens in their custody, creating massive outbreaks of foodborne illness.

Evidence suggests that poor food management of correctional facilities is widespread and dangerous. In fact, The Atlantic called it “a hidden-public health crisis.” Researchers have discovered that inmates contract foodborne illness at 6.4 times the average rate beyond prison walls.

When might a drowning be considered wrongful death?

No one anticipates losing a family member to an accidental drowning. Even for families who live near bodies of water, engage in water activities or have jobs involving waterways, a drowning comes as a tragic shock. Drowning deaths are nearly always accidental, but that does not necessarily mean that the deceased is at fault. Some drownings are the result of another party's negligent or reckless actions. In these cases, the family of the decedent may seek legal recourse through a wrongful death lawsuit.

New Mexico ranked seventh least friendly state for bicyclists

New Mexico is known for a lot of great things, but unfortunately it is not known for bicycle friendliness. The League of American Bicyclists ranks all 50 states every year based on their friendliness toward bicyclists, and New Mexico ranked 44th in 2017. In the Western region, New Mexico ranked 11th of 13, outranking Montana and Hawaii, respectively.

Each state is ranked on five criteria: Infrastructure & Funding, Education & Encouragement, Legislation & Enforcement, Policies & Programs, and Evaluation & Planning. New Mexico does not rank higher than 25th out of 50 in any criteria.

Police allegedly pointed assault weapons at 9-year-old girl

A New Mexico family has filed suit against the Department of Public Safety, claiming that New Mexico State Police officers used excessive force while searching for an escaped prisoner. Family members claim that, among other things, several police officers pointed their assault rifles at an unarmed 9-year-old girl who was holding an infant.

Last summer, the Olveda family of Grants, New Mexico, was hosting a birthday barbecue when police officers swarmed the family's house in search of an escaped convict. According to the lawsuit, the fifteen family members in the home were ordered outside at gunpoint, where they were handcuffed and made to kneel on hot rocks. They were then forced to wait in a hot patrol unit for an hour. The police officers proceeded to ransack the house in search of the suspect.

Complications from childbirth are increasing in the U.S.

The United States currently has the highest maternal mortality rate of any industrialized country in the world. Approximately 4 million women give birth in the country every year. Of these women, 50,000 will endure serious or life-threatening complications related to their pregnancy.

Even more disturbing is the amount of pregnant women in the U.S. who die because of pregnancy or childbirth—700 to 900 per year, or about one percent of all births. Why is it that so many pregnant women are at risk of complications—or even death—in the United States?

Deadly truck crash spurs bill requiring side guards

An auto wreck that claimed the lives of four people could change safety standards in the trucking industry. The accident, which saw two cars slide underneath a jackknifed milk tanker, caught the attention of federal lawmakers.

On Dec. 12, two senators introduced the Stop Underrides Act of 2017. The proposed bill would require that guards be placed on the front and sides of all trucks, a measure aimed at preventing cars from sliding underneath the rear wheels when a collision occurs.

The 10 most dangerous toys of 2017--and why they're so hazardous

Have you been preoccupied with holiday shopping lately? Picking out the perfect toys for your kids can be a blast--as long as the toys don't turn out to be dangerous. Many people don't think of toys as potential dangers. After all, what could possibly be harmful about cute, colorful playthings that give children so much entertainment? As it turns out, plenty.

Product liability is a serious issue, particularly when the products in question are toys intended for young children. The consumer watchdog group World Against Toys Causing Harm, or WATCH, has released a list of the ten worst toys currently available for purchase--and why they're so dangerous.

Five things you may not know about truck accidents

Truck accidents may not be as frequent as car accidents, but they can be just as serious-sometimes even more so. Still, not many people know about the dangers that trucks can pose to other motorists. Here are five facts about truck accidents that you may not know.

Time limits could affect your wrongful death case

Wrongful death lawsuits are often fraught with emotion-- not only has your loved one passed away, but you must now attempt to seek justice for their death. As much as you and your family may wish to take your time and grieve, it is important to act quickly. When it comes to wrongful death lawsuits, timing could affect your ability to seek justice.

Many people do not know this, but there are statutes of limitations for wrongful death lawsuits, just as there are statues of limitations on any other civil case. That means that if you and your attorney do not file suit within a certain amount of time, you could lose the right to sue for wrongful death altogether.

Family of police shooting victim files wrongful death suit

Reports of New Mexico civilians being mistreated and even shot by police officers have become all too common. Just some of the misconduct allegations that have been raised against New Mexico's police force include false arrest, racial profiling, false imprisonment and manufacturing evidence. In some cases, unarmed citizens have even been shot.

This is what happened to 24-year-old Anthony Benavidez. In an attempt to seek justice, his family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of their fallen loved one. Benavidez's family filed the complaint on November 13th in state District Court in Santa Fe, New Mexico, after a months-long attempt to hold the Santa Fe Police Department accountable for its officers' actions.