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Monday, December 22, 2014

Pregnancy Discrimination

A jury in California has awarded a former AutoZone employee $185 million for discrimination she faced at work while pregnant. The jury found that the discrimination against this employee was systemic – extending all the way to the corporate office – and therefore deserving a settlement that helped set future corporate policy.
As with many other forms of workplace sexual harassment, this employee was better served by taking legal action than trying to solve things on her own. Many corporations have shown a willingness to dismiss or further harass and humiliate employees who step forward, making it necessary to seek legal representation as soon as possible following any type of workplace discrimination.
The experienced employment law attorneys at The Cochran Firm strongly believe that everyone is deserving of a safe and fair work environment. If you believe your rights have been violated or if you have faced harassment based on your sex, gender, or any other reason, we are here to take your case, protect your rights, and help ensure that justice is served.
To schedule your free consultation with one of our sexual harassment attorneys, please contact The Cochran Firm today. We maintain offices throughout the country to provide legal representation for workers across the nation.  

posted by Admin at 10:58 AM

Monday, December 15, 2014

Chrysler Expands Recall

Like Honda before them, Chrysler has announce an expansion of its recall for vehicles equipped with Takata airbags. Adding nearly 281,000 vehicles to the recall list, Chrysler maintains no injuries have been reported due to this particular airbag defect. The company holds that its recall of what is now more than 617,500 vehicles is precautionary only.
If you have been notified by Chrysler or another auto manufacturer of a recall, be sure to visit your local dealership for recommended repairs. There should be no charge for fixing defects, even if the car is no longer under warranty.
Remember, recalls may help prevent legal action, but are not a shield against liability when a defective vehicle causes injury or death. If you or someone you love has been injured by a defective vehicle or component part such as an airbag, the personal injury attorneys at The Cochran Firm are here to help you get justice.
Our experienced attorneys focus on helping those injured by negligent companies get fair treatment and full compensation. We would be happy to meet with you free of charge to discuss your case and help you better understand all of your options.
To discuss your case with one of our personal injury attorneys, please contact The Cochran Firm today. We have offices throughout the United States and can even come to you if your injuries make travel difficult.

posted by Admin at 6:34 AM

Monday, December 8, 2014

Honda Expands Recall

Honda has recalled an additional three million vehicles due to the risks associated with Takata airbags. Exploding airbag deflators manufactured by Takata are blamed for at least five deaths in the United States. Honda, Takata’s biggest customer, continues to recall vehicles that may be impacted by this problem.
It is important to remember that a recall does not waive a company’s liability when defective products cause harm.
Defective vehicles injure and kill thousands of people every year. If you or someone you love has suffered injury from a vehicle defect – including issues with airbags – you need an experienced personal injury attorney on your side immediately to help ensure justice is served.
The personal injury attorneys at The Cochran Firm have a long and proud history of holding negligent corporations accountable and helping victims get the true compensation they deserve. We welcome an opportunity to meet with you free of charge to discuss your case, your rights, and the most effective way to get the justice you are due.
To schedule your free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys, please contact The Cochran Firm online or by calling (800) 843-3476 today. We maintain offices in several major U.S. Cities, allowing us to meet the varied needs of people living throughout the country.       

posted by Admin at 9:28 AM

Monday, December 1, 2014

ATVs Pose “High Risk” of Injury and Death for Children

According to a study published in the November 24th online edition of the journal Pediatrics, “riding ATVs poses high risks of injury or death for children and teens.” The study, conducted in part by researchers at University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine in Iowa City, found that 95 percent of all ATV-related deaths were suffered by children riding adult-sized vehicles.
The study’s authors note that adult supervision is key to helping prevent serious injury or death. However, they also note that, “engineering improvements in safety, such as shorter seats and requirements to meet stability and crashworthiness standards, would help prevent injuries.”
All ATV Accidents deserve a full investigation from an experienced personal injury attorney. The attorneys at our firm have the resources necessary to identify all causes of an accident and the tenacity required to help victims get proper compensation.
If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed in an ATV accident, please contact The Cochran Firm today to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our experienced attorneys. We maintain offices in several U.S. cities, better enabling us to meet the varied needs of families throughout the country.

posted by Admin at 5:44 AM

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Depakote: A Possible Cause of Autism?

Depakote: A Possible Cause of Autism?
By: Anna Blood, Intern
The Cochran Firm

Depakote, a valproate product, is an epilepsy drug that was approved by the FDA in 1983 and is manufactured by AbbVie Inc, formerly Abbott Laboratories. Valproate medications are used to treat seizures, manic or mixed episodes associated with bipolar disorder, and to prevent migraine headaches. Valproate medications include: valproate sodium (Depacon), divalproex sodium (Depakote ER and CP), valproic acid (Depakene and Stavzor) and their generics.
According to the FDA, valproate is known to cause malformation of an embryo. In recent years, women’s use of Depakote and other valproate medications during pregnancy has been linked to an increased risk of severe birth defects and malformations, including spina bifida, cleft palate, abnormal skull formations and other health problems.
In 2011, the FDA released the results from the Neurodevelopmental Effects of Antiepileptic Drugs (NEAD) study that showed children exposed to valproate medications while their mothers were pregnant had decreased IQ scores by age 3 when compared to children whose mothers took other antiepileptic drugs.
Since then, the FDA has worked with valproate manufactures to revise the drug warning labels to include the results of the NEAD study and advises health care professionals that valproate medications, such as Depakote, should not be taken by pregnant women for the prevention of migraine headaches.
The FDA assures that stronger warnings about the use during pregnancy to treat migraines will be added to the drug label and will be changed from a category D, where the potential benefit of the drug during pregnancy may be acceptable despite potential risks, to a category X, where the risk of use in pregnant women clearly outweighs any possible benefit of the drug. Additionally, the FDA recommends that pregnant women with epilepsy or bipolar disorder should only use valproate products if other medications are not effective in treating the condition.
Last year, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published results from a Danish study directly linking autism to children whose mothers use valproate medications during pregnancy. The study examined data on every child born in Denmark from 1996 to 2006. The study found that 4.24% of the children exposed to valproate had an absolute risk of developing autism spectrum disorders in life, as compared to the 1.2% of children not exposed to the medication who were likely to develop autism.
JAMA concluded that, “Maternal use of valproate during pregnancy was associated with a significantly increased risk of autism in the offspring, even after adjusting for parental psychiatric disease and epilepsy. For women of childbearing potential who use antiepileptic medications, these findings must be balanced against the treatment benefits for women who require valproate for epilepsy control.”
More recently, in August of 2014, AbbVie Inc. added autism as a potential risk and to the warning label of all valproate products. This change came in response to a recent observational study suggesting that children exposed valproate products during pregnancy had a greater risk of developing autism. While the FDA did approve the change to the warning label, it did not issue a Drug Safety Communication confirming the drugs link to autism.
In the study, children born to mothers who had used valproate medications during pregnancy had 2.9 times the risk of developing autism spectrum disorders compared to children not exposed to the medication. The absolute risk for autism spectrum disorders was 4.4% in children exposed to valproate and 1.5% in children not exposed to the drug. According to the FDA, “Because the study was observational in nature, conclusions regarding a causal association between in utero valproate exposure and an increased risk of autism spectrum disorder cannot be considered definitive.”

Despite the surmounting evidence that Depakote and other valproate related medications may be linked to autism, the FDA is yet to state whether or not there is a definitive link present. For now, warning labels on valproate medications seem to be the only existing safeguard in protecting expecting mothers and their children from the risks associated with the use of valproate and the development of autism.

posted by The Cochran Firm at 11:42 AM

Airspace Wars: Attack of the Drones

Airspace Wars: Attack of the Drones
By Caleb Thurston, Intern
The Cochran Firm

It is no longer breaking news that the U.S. Military uses drones, officially known as Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS’s), to assist them in battling the War on Terror. The majority of voters in the U.S. approve of drone usage for this purpose. However, how will U.S. citizens feel when drone usage is extended to local police forces, public agencies, or for commercial purposes?
  • Legislation passed by the U.S. Congress in 2012 mandated the FAA to accelerate the issuing process for Certificate of Waiver and Authorizations (COA’s). COA’s are essentially the licenses required to operate drones. The first non-military use of drones was extended for law enforcement purposes. Law enforcement utilizes UAS’s for numerous reasons:
  • Cost effective surveillance (exponentially cheaper than helicopters)
  • Significantly less risks for officer safety
  • Versatility of accessories (cameras, heat sensors, audio devices, nonlethal munitions)
  • Reduces human error in law enforcement
  • Noncriminal applications (auto accidents, fires, chemical spills, or other emergencies)

Drone use can be beneficial to the nation as a whole, but it does not come without issues. At issue is the possibility of police surveillance and monitoring.

The fourth amendment protects people “in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable search and seizure.” Under the law what is an “unreasonable” surveillance search?

The seminal holding in Katz found that the fourth amendment “protects people not places.” This case established a two-part test for dealing with this issue; (1) person must have exhibited an actual subjective expectation of privacy, and (2) that expectation of privacy must be one that society is prepared to accept as reasonable.

In two cases subsequent to Katz, Ciraolo and Riley the Court held that law enforcement officers flying at an altitude of 1000 feet and 400 feet respectively was not a search and there was no reasonable expectation of privacy. The Court opined that any member of the public flying at these levels could have seen these illegal crops.

A pivotal case on technology came in the matter of Kyllo, when the Court held that heat sensors utilized from the outside of a residence after police observation of excessive use of electricity, and snow melting over one unit of a duplex and not the other cannot be used without a warrant. Heat sensors identify human movement, lamps, and other areas from outside the residence where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy.

What do these cases mean to you?

“If police can see something from airspace in which they have a lawful right of access to be, there is no reasonable expectation of privacy.”

Under the law should privacy expectations decrease as modern technology becomes more used by the general public? If UAS usage is not restricted, there will virtually be no protection against UAS flight in areas immediately surrounding the property, or through the “curtilage,” (an area immediately surrounding the premises where there is a likely expectation of privacy). This could allow surveillance of activities inside the premises.

Could drones be used in the future for non-military, non-law enforcement purposes?

In October 2014, the FAA authorized a handful of video production companies within the closed confines of their video production sets. Additional businesses such as Amazon, Google and Facebook have now petitioned the FAA to obtain a COA for utilizing drones. If authorized, these businesses will be able to pioneer the use of drones in their industries.

Potential Solutions:

  • Congress could pass law regulating the use of drones.
  •  Courts could interpret laws and the constitution to limit the use of drones where they may violate a reasonable expectation of privacy. These interpretations could take an extended period of time as cases and controversies arise regarding these matters.
  • The FAA could limit and regulate drone flight, but this would have to be on a rational based on “safety” rather than on the “expectation of privacy.” FAA action could be limited due to Congress’s recent mandate to expedite issuance of COA’s for drones.

Each of these possible solutions must consider whether it is time to revise the concept of privacy rights under the law to include protection against invasion of privacy by non-government parties.

posted by The Cochran Firm at 11:32 AM

Monday, November 24, 2014

Safe Travels this Holiday Weekend

AAA has released its 2014 Thanksgiving Holiday Travel Forecast and is predicting 46.3 million people will travel more than 50 miles from their home between Wednesday, November 26th and Sunday, November 30th. This represents a 4.2 increase over 2013, most likely due to this year’s unusually low gas prices. According to AAA, 90 percent of those traveling over Thanksgiving Weekend will be doing so by car.
Nearly 42 million motorists on the road over the same weekend increases risks for car accidents. To help reduce your risk of causing an accident, the personal injury attorneys at The Cochran Firm recommend you:
  • Do not drink and drive
  • Obey all traffic signs and signals
  • Be conscious of weather conditions and adjust driving appropriately
  • Give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination
  • Drive calmly and avoid reckless or erratic behavior
  • Do not text or use a cellphone while driving
  • Avoid common distractions such as eating, grooming, and fiddling with GPS
If you are involved in a car accident this weekend, you will want an experienced attorney on your side. We are here to take your case and fight for your rights, and to help ensure you are provided the full compensation you are due.
To schedule your free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys, please contact The Cochran Firm today.

posted by Admin at 9:00 AM

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The Cochran Firm handles Civil Litigation and Criminal Defense claims for clients throughout the United States of America. The information on this website does not constitute legal advice nor form an attorney-client relationship.Please contact The Cochran Firm today to schedule a free consultation.

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