Fighting for Victims of Injury or Loss
Daniel J. T. Sciano’s clients come to him after suffering devastating injuries or even death. Equally important to compensation for the clients, if not more important, is the desire to prevent others from experiencing the same injury or loss.
“Many of my resolutions involve non-economic compensation as part of the conditions of the resolution, whether it’s retraining drivers to make sure that they’re not actively involved in unsafe acts, changing policies, or changing the manuals and training materials,” Sciano says.
Sciano’s work has taken faulty fireworks off the market. He’s had brakes with redesigned mechanical components added to prevent injury from happening again. His work has translated to better warnings and instructions on equipment and valves.
“I got a note the other day from probably one of the finest defense lawyers that I’ve ever dealt with who commented that at some point he saw that there was a difference in the way I handle cases,” Sciano says. “My clients obviously want the bad act punished. They want the higher-level personnel punished, but they don’t want to hurt workers who are often working the wrong shift at the wrong time.”
Sciano has been recognized nationally for his work in consumer product cases in which children and the elderly suffer serious injury or death due to range tipping. He was involved in a national class action against a major retailer that resulted in it retrofitting ranges throughout the country after previously selling and installing them without first attaching the proper safety devices.
Sciano has a pending case in Amarillo involving a child who died as a result of a range tipping over and trapping him inside. Other cases have involved hot pots of liquid tipping over when the children put weight on the open oven door.
“I started handling these cases 30 years ago and I’mstill handling these same cases today in which children are being fatally injured,” Sciano says. “This problem can be eliminated by design for as little as a buck. I’ve created and provided designs that will eliminate the hazard and not rely on anti-tip devices to be installed. But the manufacturers continue to sell them, blaming the installer for not using the anti-tip devices. At some point the manufacturers have to take the responsibility to fix the problem, but they won’t because it’s cheaper not to.”
A great part of Sciano’s practice last year was devoted to handling cases in which someone was seriously injured or fatally injured as a result of the unsafe acts of commercial motor vehicle operators. The injuries occurred while truck tractors were backing out, were illegally parked, or while they were being operated by someone who was texting while driving.
Sciano handled several cases against commercial motor vehicle operators who parked in an unsafe or illegal location. Unsafe parking resulted in the deaths of three boys in Grapevine and one driver in South Texas, as well as a catastrophic brain injury sustained by a San Antonio woman.
Sciano also handled a flammable fabrics case in which two marines were badly burned during a training exercise due to their ghillie suits not being properly flame retardant.
“One of the marines was engulfed in flames when he started firing his blank fire weapon, and another marine was badly burned after trying to help him,” Sciano says. “That product actually got pulled from the market and the manufacturer agreed to modify the way that it makes the suits.”
When the propane, butane, and isobutene inside a paint can caused it to ignite after falling from a shelf in a basement, a mother and her two children were horrifically burned. Sciano was focused on getting the company to modify its warnings and instructions. A product designer recommended design changes to allow the cans to fall from a foreseeable height without being damaged.
“One of the reasons clients hire me is because I’m a pretty good trial lawyer, but I also have the financial strength to develop cases,” Sciano says. “I’ve got three different cases this year, and we’re out of pocket to develop the cases in excess of $300,000 per case.”
In addition to investing funds in developing cases, Sciano commits countless hours of time to each case. He recently finished a case in which he took almost 60 depositions.
“The lawyer on the other side asked me if I had any other cases, and I laughed because not two days before another lawyer asked me the same thing,” Sciano says. “Some people turn over stones, and my staff jokes that I turn over pebbles.”
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Ashley Cisneros is a co-founder of Chatter Buzz Media, an Orlando Internet marketing firm that helps companies and organizations engage with their target markets through inbound marketing via the Internet. Chatter Buzz Media, which won the Social Madness competition for the Orlando small business market, is a full-service digital marketing firm specializing in website design, search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing and content creation. Prior to founding Chatter Buzz, Ashley worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine editor, technical writer, marketing manager, public relations practitioner and freelance journalist. To see Ashley’s content writing, visit www.ashleycisneros.com. You can also reach Ashley on her Google profile.