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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Medical Malpractice in Washington, D.C.

Thousands of Americans become victims of medical malpractice and negligence every day in this country. It is estimated that over 250,000 people die every year across the country from the consequences of medical malpractice such as botched surgeries, misdiagnoses, delayed diagnoses, medication errors and infections contracted in hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

Although not all errors committed in a medical setting rise to the level of medical malpractice and negligence, it is vitally important to know that the laws pertaining to medical malpractice are there to protect you in case you do become a victim.

The five diseases or medical conditions most connected to allegations of medical malpractice are breast cancer, lung cancer, colorectal cancer, myocardial infarction (heart attack) and appendicitis. Delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis of these diseases or conditions may result in a delay in the appropriate treatment or no treatment at all which of course can result in death.

Financial compensation in the case of medical malpractice or negligence may include payment for pain and suffering, medical expenses, loss of income and future earning potential and in the event of a death, the survivors are also entitled to compensation.

If you live in Washington, D.C. and you or someone you care about has been the victim of medical malpractice and negligence, please contact the experienced medical malpractice attorneys at The Cochran Firm today.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 1:18 PM

Retained Foreign Bodies after Surgery, in Tuskegee, Alabama

The actual incidence of surgeons mistakenly leaving foreign bodies inside the patient is unknown, but estimates are as frequently as one out of every one hundred patients to one out of every five thousand patients. Whatever the true number, it happens too frequently and is a serious problem.

Surgical teams have been known to leave surgical sponges, pins, blades, clips, gauze, cotton and other medical instruments in the patient’s body due to outright recklessness and negligence. When left in the human body retained foreign bodies damage tissues, blood vessels and organs and can cause life-threatening infections and damage that can in turn lead to life-long disability or even death.

The physicians, nurses, anesthesiologists and the entire surgical team can be held liable for medical malpractice and negligence if this type of preventable occurrence takes place. Many times this situation goes unresolved for a period of time while the patient's condition continues to deteriorate for what appears to be unknown reasons.

If you or someone you love has been injured or died because of a foreign body left in the surgical site, or even if you only suspect this is what happened, please contact the Tuskegee, Alabama office of The Cochran Firm today to speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney at no cost to you to help you decide what course of action you should take to hold the responsible parties legally liable.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 1:16 PM

Dangerous Denture Cream Adhesive in San Jose, California

Researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center published their findings in "Neurology" in 2008 of a number of patients who used denture cream adhesive who developed neuropathy and other neurological symptoms consistent with copper depletion and zinc poisoning. These symptoms included numbness or tingling of the extremities, loss of mobility of the legs, feet, arms and hands, unexplained pain in the extremities, and poor balance. The symptoms appeared more severe in people who used large amounts of the denture cream adhesive for poorly fitting dentures.

Denture cream adhesives, such as Fixodent, Poligrip and Super Poligrip contain the mineral zinc. Large amounts of zinc can cause zinc poisoning and copper depletion if used over a long period of time.

Many of the over 35 million American who wear dentures are totally unaware of the link between using denture cream adhesive and the reported neurological symptoms found in many users.

Denture cream adhesive manufacturers should be held accountable for failing to warn consumers of the possible dangers of their product and failing to market a product that is safe.

If you or someone you care about has used denture cream adhesive and are exhibiting the neurological symptoms associated with zinc poisoning and copper depletion, please contact the San Jose, California office of The Cochran Firm today to consult with an experienced attorney at no cost to you, to protect your legal rights and hold the manufacturers responsible for your injuries.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 1:14 PM

Defective Chinese Drywall in San Francisco/Oakland, California

When a dangerous or defective product causes damage, serious injury or death the manufacturer, distributor, designer or installer can be held legally responsible under product liability laws.

Does your new home smell of rotten eggs? Have you had to have frequent repairs of your heating and cooling systems, wiring and piping? Does your family suffer from irritated eyes, breathing problems, nose bleeds and headaches? Do your symptoms disappear when you are away from your home for any length of time? If the answer is yes to any or all of these questions you may be living with defective Chinese drywall.

Thousands of homeowners have reported these problems in new homes built with drywall imported from China. Many home builders used imported Chinese drywall during a shortage of United States- made drywall between the years of 2004 and 2006. Reports are that this Chinese drywall was kept on barges at sea for many months waiting to be allowed to enter this country, and the drywall was exposed to high humidity which has caused the toxicity problems to surface.

Many people living in homes with imported Chinese drywall have experienced various health problems as a result of the noxious fumes leaking out into their homes.

If your dream home has instead become a nightmare due to the use of imported Chinese drywall, we encourage you to contact the Oakland, California office of The Cochran Firm today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced product liability attorneys at no cost to you to protect your legal rights and hold those responsible for this outrage accountable.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 1:13 PM

Automobile Accidents and Texting in Sacramento, California

Cell phone use while driving is a high risk behavior whether you are talking or texting. Talking or texting drivers are four times more likely to be involved in an automobile accident than someone who is not. The danger of texting and talking on a cell phone while driving is well documented.

A report published in the New York Times reveals drivers generally ignore the research about the dangers of texting and talking while driving and continue this risky behavior. Most drivers overestimate their ability to multi-task with disasterous results. There is no doubt that drivers using cell phones are putting themselves and others at risk.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that over 80% of automobile drivers admit to texting or talking on a cell phone while driving. A cell phone using driver can be charged with negligence if they were engaged in texting or talking when an accident occurs. An automobile accident attorney who has experience with cell phone related automobile accident claims can assist you as the laws governing cell phone use while driving change daily.

If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident caused by a texting or talking cell phone using driver, please contact the Sacramento, California office of The Cochran Firm today to learn about your legal rights.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 1:12 PM

Medical Malpractice-Dialysis Errors

Kidney disease kills fourteen people out of one hundred thousand annually, making it the ninth leading cause of death in the United States. Medicare alone spends fourteen billion dollars each year to treat End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). Several hundred thousand Americans undergo kidney dialysis treatment every year.

Treatment for renal failure has risks, and patients must be educated to minimize these risks and protect themselves. People die or are unnecessarily injured every day in this country due to medical errors perpetrated during their kidney dialysis treatments.

Kidney dialysis medical malpractice can include but not be limited to, medication errors, patient falls, dialyzer errors, vascular access injuries, excess blood loss and prolonged bleeding, dialysis machine leaks, malfunctioning machine alarms, failure to clear dialysis machines of cleaning solutions and failure to appropriately monitor blood pressure. There are documented kidney dialysis errors in the thousands each year in this country.

If you are a person on kidney dialysis treatments and you did not receive adequate and proper care and treatment and sustained a serious injury, you should contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney familiar with kidney dialysis errors.

If you live in the Raleigh, Durham, North Carolina area and you would like to speak to an attorney who is an expert in the field of kidney dialysis errors, please contact the Durham, North Carolina office of The Cochran Firm today to schedule a no cost to you confidential consultation.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 1:10 PM

Defective Weight Loss Drugs in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reviewing safety information regarding adverse liver-related problems with the use of orlistat, which is marketed in the United States as Xenical, manufactured by Roche and Alli from GlaxoSmithKline. Xenical is available by prescription only while Alli is available over-the-counter.

There have been over thirty reports of serious liver damage and six cases of liver failure in patients using orlistat. The most common side effects reported were jaundice, weakness and abdominal pain. Other symptoms noted were nausea, vomiting, light-colored stools, itching, loss of appetite and brown urine. Patients have been advised to consult with their healthcare professionals if they are experiencing any of these symptoms with their use of orlistat.

Xenical and Alli have generated nearly $200 million in sales since 1999. Millions of people have taken Xenical and Alli believing the two were safe products that would help them lose unwanted weight, but are now finding out they may have been exposed to serious and perhaps life-threatening liver damage by these potentially defective weight loss drugs.

If you believe you or someone you care about has suffered liver damage from the use of Xenical or Alli, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your injury, medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. Please contact the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania office of The Cochran Firm today to schedule a confidential consultation to protect your legal rights.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 1:09 PM

Toyota Advises About Defective Floor Mats

If you drive a Toyota, whether a car, truck, or SUV, check your floor mat on the driver’s side. Toyota has issued what it calls a “safety advisory” and what the FDA calls a “recall” of all-weather floor mats in seven models.

These are considered dangerous floor mats because they can get stuck to the accelerator pedal and cause your vehicle to surge forward when you are not expecting that. This could clearly cause an auto accident – perhaps a rear-end collision.

In the U.S. there are about 3.8 million Lexus and Toyota cars on the roads. Not all of them have these dangerous mats. They are removable mats, the kind that naturally slides up towards the driver pedals and must be routinely pulled back into position. It is not clear from news reports why these particular mats get stuck to the accelerator .

There was a fatal car accident involving a 2009 ES350 in San Diego that a Lexus dealer lent to someone. Investigators have indicated that the floor mat could have been the cause. The U.S. Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood, has said:

  • “This is an urgent matter. For everyone's sake, we strongly urge owners of these vehicles to remove mats or other obstacles that could lead to unintended acceleration."

Toyota is planning to recall the mats but in the meantime, all Toyota drivers are asked to remove their driver’s side floor mats for safety’s sake.

Models With Defective Floor Mats

The Toyota models involved are:

  • 2007-2010 Camry
  • 2005-2010 Avalon
  • 2004-2009 Prius
  • 2005-2010 Tacoma
  • 2007-2010 Tundra
The Lexus models are:
  • 2007-2010 ES 350
  • 2006-2010 IS 250 and IS 350.

Discovering defective products has become a routine part of life these days and reporting on them is a popular topic for journalists. In this instance, you can easily remove the offending item from your car and continue driving safely.

If you have been severely hurt by a product you bought – a defective vehicle, defective medical device, or defective drug – please contact our experienced attorneys today for a free case review. We have offices nationwide for your convenience.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 12:39 PM

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Texting and Car Accidents in Norfolk/Portsmouth, Virginia

The dangers of cell phone use while driving are well documented, but that has not stopped the growth of this practice which is evident to everyone on the nation's roadways on a daily basis.

Most Americans ignore the dangers of this risky behavior and are increasingly guilty of using cell phones, navigational devices and even laptops to turn their vehicles into mobile offices, chat rooms and entertainment venues.

Distracted drivers are responsible for the majority of automobile accidents and are four times more likely to cause an accident than other drivers. The likelihood a distracted driver will have an accident equals that of a driver with a .08 percent blood alcohol level.

A major factor is the drivers misconception they are capable of multi-tasking at a greater level than is actually true. There are limits to how much the brain can actually process at one time. When something unexpected takes place when you are behind the wheel, the human mind cannot process the unexpected move in time to react safely.

Only five states ban hand-held cell phones and only fourteen states ban texting while driving. There is no question drivers using cell phones behind the wheel are putting themselves and you and your loved ones at risk.

If you have been the victim of a cell phone using driver and you live in the Norfolk, Portsmouth, Virginia area, please contact The Cochran Firm today to learn how to protect your legal rights and obtain the financial compensation you may be entitled to.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 1:08 PM

Xenical and Alli Weight Loss Drugs, New York, New York

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has raised concerns that the popular weight loss drugs, Xenical and Alli containing orlistat, may cause serious liver damage.

Xenical is a prescription medication that contains 120 mg. of orlistat and Alli is an over-the-counter medication that contains 60 mg. of orlistat. Both Xenical and Alli are to be used with a reduced calorie, low-fat diet to produce weight loss.

Xenical is manufactured by Roche Pharmaceuticals and Alli is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline and together they have generated almost $200 million in sales.

Reports of serious liver damage have surfaced with the use of orlistat including liver failure, with symptoms such as fatigue and weakness, fever, jaundice, abdominal pain, brown urine, nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite and light-colored stools.

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with liver failure, liver damage, liver inflammation, lesions on the liver or hepatitis after taking the potentially defective drugs Xenical or Alli, you should consult an attorney as you may be entitled to financial compensation for the damage you have suffered.

If you live in New York or the surrounding area and you have taken Xenical or Alli, even if you are not having symptoms at the present time, please contact The Cochran Firm today to learn all you can about this disturbing situation and speak with an experienced defective pharmaceutical attorney, at no cost to you.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 1:07 PM

Mesothelioma in New Orleans, Louisiana

Exposure to asbestos fiber in the workplace is a major factor in the incidence of mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that affects the mesothelium, a thin layer of cells that lines the internal organs of the human body.

Pleural mesothelioma affects the lining of the lungs and accounts for 70% of the diagnosed cases of the disease. The dust created from working with the asbestos fiber settles in the lungs and abdomen if inhaled or swallowed. The irritation caused by the dust to these organs is thought to lead to a diagnosis of mesothelioma.

Workers who may encounter asbestos fiber on the job are widespread throughout the workforce and may be found in mining operations, factories, ship building installations, insulating manufacturing, construction sites, automobile repair, steel mills, oil refineries and cement plants. The risk of contracting mesothelioma increases when you are exposed to high levels of asbestos for long periods of time.

If you or someone you know has been employed in one of these fields and has been experiencing chest or back pain, coughing, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, shortness of breath, abdominal pain or difficulty breathing, you may be experiencing the symptoms of exposure to asbestos fiber and mesothelioma.

By contacting the experienced mesothelioma attorneys at the New Orleans, Louisiana office of The Cochran Firm today you can discuss your legal rights and learn whether you are entitled to financial compensation.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 1:06 PM

Landlord-Tenant Disputes in Mobile, Alabama

If you are a renter dealing with issues of broken plumbing or heating and cooling systems, and unsafe conditions in your apartment building or rented house being ignored by your landlord, you are not alone in your efforts to be heard.

Problems like these are the responsibility of the landlord who must make the necessary repairs to meet local housing codes and to ensure the premises are safe. If you feel you are being ignored you can take action. For instance, did you know you have the legal right to put your rent money into an escrow account instead of handing it over to the landlord, until that time your problem is addressed? This is just one course of action available to you in a landlord-tenant dispute.

Many tenants do not know they have certain legal rights that protect them from being exploited by landlords. It is important that you know what your legal rights are. If you have tried to resolve your problems with your landlord with no results, consulting an attorney may be the best course of action for you to take in settling your dispute.

If you live in the Mobile, Alabama area and you are frustrated because you have tried to solve a dispute with your landlord and cannot seem to find a resolution, please contact the experienced landlord-tenant dispute attorneys at the Mobile, Alabama office of The Cochran Firm today to schedule a confidential consultation at no cost to you to learn just what can be done to help you solve your problems.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 1:05 PM

Medical Malpractice in Minneapolis, Minnesota

When a physician is found responsible in a medical malpractice lawsuit, the patient is financially compensated for the harm they have suffered. These payments are referred to as damages.

Money paid for medical bills, rehabilitation expenses, prescription drugs, nursing home care, domestic services, loss of current and future income and living expenses is called compensatory damages. Under this guideline you can also recover damages for physical pain and suffering, mental and emotional suffering, disfigurement and the loss of enjoyment of life.

It is difficult to assess a monetary value on pain and suffering, but experienced medical malpractice attorneys are trained to investigate the circumstances of your case and come to terms with a just calculation.

A second type of damages assessed in a medical malpractice judgment is called punitive damages. This is money awarded to the patient in order to actually punish the physician for their negligent actions.

Medical malpractice lawsuits have deadlines for filing. Those deadlines are called statutes of limitations and may be as short as one year. It is vitally important to consult an experienced medical malpractice attorney to be certain you are within the time limit required to file your case.

If you or someone you love was the victim of medical malpractice, please contact a medical malpractice attorney at the Minneapolis, Minnesota office of The Cochran Firm today.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 1:04 PM

High School Football Player Dies from Brain Injury

Drew Swank, a 17-year-old student at Valley Christian High School in Spokane, Washington, died Sunday night after suffering a serious brain injury during a high school football game this past weekend.

In the first quarter of the game, Swank was hit head-on during a kick return. He was launched into the air by the hit and landed on his head. Within minutes, he lost consciousness and was rushed to the hospital.

As a result of the hit, Swank sustained a severe brain injury which caused swelling. He ultimately died from the brain swelling.

Football is a dangerous sport and players on all levels - high school, college, and professional - are constantly battling through head injuries ranging from mild concussions to severe traumatic brain injuries that may lead to the untimely death of the player.

If you or a loved one ever sustains a serious blow to the head during a football game, it is important to seek medical attention immediately as a precautionary measure. Often, it takes several hours or even days for the symptoms of a brain injury to develop, and by that time, it is generally too late to prevent irreparable damage.

The experienced personal injury lawyers at The Cochran Firm can help you receive the compensation you deserve if you have suffered a serious brain injury caused by the negligence of another. These cases are often complex, and it takes a great deal of skill and experience to successfully bring about a fair settlement for your injuries.

Please contact The Cochran Firm today to schedule a consultation with one of our brain injury lawyers. We serve clients nationwide.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 7:01 AM

Monday, September 28, 2009

Environmental/Toxic Tort in Miami, Florida

People are exposed to toxic chemicals or materials in many ways, including chemical spills, discharges from landfills, leaking underground storage tanks, and pollution from industrial facilities. A toxic tort refers to a certain kind of personal injury that happens as a consequence of exposure to toxic chemicals or materials.

Cancer is one disease that afflicts workers who are exposed to hazardous chemicals and materials without proper protective equipment or appropriate warnings. Workplace substances known to cause cancer include benzene, beryllium, vinyl chloride, trichloroethylene and ethylene oxide.

Exposure to hazardous materials may cause bronchiolitis/obliterans (popcorn worker's lung), hormonal and sexual dysfunctions, occupational asthma and stillbirths and miscarriages.

The companies that manufacture and sell these substances have an obligation to make certain workers are aware of the dangers involved and can protect themselves, or they should be held financially responsible for their employees who are harmed by exposure to these substances. Compensation for your pain and suffering, disability, medical expenses, emotional stress, loss of enjoyment of life or the death of a loved one is an entitlement in the case of a toxic tort.

If you or someone you care about was harmed by exposure to a toxic chemical or substance, please contact the Miami, Florida office of The Cochran Firm today to schedule a confidential consultation to protect your legal rights and get the financial compensation you deserve.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 1:01 PM

Wrongful Death and DUI in Atlanta, Georgia

A wrongful death is legal terminology used to describe the death of someone due to the negligence or wrongful actions of another which entitles the deceased's survivors to financial compensation for their loss. Since absolutely nothing can replace the loss of a loved one, the legal system has only one option to bring justice and comfort to the survivors. That one option is in the form of financial damages to be paid by the individual that is responsible for the death.

One of the most common examples of a wrongful death is being killed by a drunk driver. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) is a major cause of automobile accidents with fatalities. Someone is killed every thirty minutes in the United States by a drunk driver. Lives are devastated by alcohol and drug impaired drivers who make the choice to drive while under the influence.

If someone you love was the victim of an alcohol or drug impaired driver, you are entitled to financial compensation for the loss you have suffered from the driver, the bar or restaurant that served the driver or the person or homeowner who provided the alcohol to their guest. You may be entitled to financial compensation for medical, funeral and burial expenses, the pain and suffering of the deceased prior to death, loss of financial support and your pain and suffering due to the loss of your loved one.

We encourage you to please contact the Atlanta, Georgia office of The Cochran Firm today to schedule a no cost to you consultation to learn about your legal rights in this situation and obtain the financial compensation you are entitled to.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 12:45 PM

Tractor Trailer Wheel Kills Interstate Worker

A woman was killed on September 8, 2009 in Nebraska after being hit by a wheel that flew off a passing tractor trailer on the interstate. The woman was working on a Nebraska interstate when the tractor trailer passed by and was struck by the wheel. Another worker was also injured and was taken to the hospital and is in serious condition with head and back injuries. Truck accidents are a common occurrence on our nation's roadways, and they often result in serious personal injury or death due to the massive size and weight of trucks.

Although two wheels came off the trailer, the driver was unaware of the problem and continued driving. The driver didn't become aware of the missing wheels even after he stopped to dump the truck's load. Workers noticed the missing wheels as the tractor drove by and radioed the driver to pull over.

When Nebraska state troopers inspected the rig, a staggering 16 violations were found. The negligence of this driver caused the death of one and seriously injured another. Had the driver of this rig performed his job properly, a life could have been saved and the serious injuries of another could have been prevented.

Tractor trailer accidents are often serious and can result in wrongful death or a serious injury, as it did in this case. If you or someone you love has been the victim of a tractor trailer accident, The Cochran Firm can help. Please contact us today to see if we can help.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 12:11 PM

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Motorcycle Accidents in Metairie, Louisiana

Research reveals that the major cause of motorcycle accidents is the failure of other motorists to detect motorcycles in traffic.

Statistics prove that over 70% of collisions are a result of a motorist not having seen a motorcyclist. Other causative factors include bad road conditions, speeding, riding skills and experience levels, and driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

Researchers at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report that speeding, aggressive driving and driver distractions by motorists are major factors in motorcycle accidents along with negligence on the part of the motorcycle rider.

When motorcyclists take the safety precaution of wearing personal protective gear, they lessen the risk of serious injury in case of an accident, but even cautious riders can have the misfortune to be involved in an accident.

Motorcycle accidents often result in life-threatening injuries such as spinal cord injuries, head injuries, amputations and even death. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident you may be eligible for financial compensation in the form of payment for your medical expenses, loss of present and future income, rehabilitation costs and other expenses related to your injuries.

If you live in Metairie, Louisiana and you have suffered injuries from a motorcycle accident or know of someone who has, please contact the Metairie, Louisiana office of The Cochran Firm today to learn about what financial compensation you may be entitled to.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 1:00 PM

Truck Accidents in Memphis, Tennessee

Truck accidents that involve tractor trailers, semi-trucks, or freight carriers like log trucks, automobile transporters, and gasoline tanker trucks almost always cause catastrophic damage when involved in a crash. When these huge trucks crash, they can spill hazardous substances, cause multi-vehicle involvement and reduce passenger vehicles to scrap heaps.

On any given day there are over three million trucks on the highways nationwide. Many businesses in the United States rely on the trucking industry and their ability to move commodities from coast to coast efficiently and relatively inexpensively. Truck drivers are professionals whose own lives depend on safe driving practices, but sometimes the trucking company does not always put safety first, but puts profit over safety.

Speeding to meet deadlines, driving hours without rest and using drugs to stay alert while behind the wheel contribute to many accidents involving trucks. If you are involved in an accident with a truck, you really have the entire trucking company for an adversary. It is very important that you be represented by an experienced truck accident attorney who is skilled in combating the team of lawyers working for the trucking company against you.

You should be financially compensated for all your medical expenses, loss of present and future income, your pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life caused by your involvement in the truck accident.

If you have had an accident involving a truck and feel overwhelmed by the trucking companies efforts to prevent you from getting the financial compensation you deserve, please contact the Memphis, Tennessee office of The Cochran Firm today.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 12:59 PM

Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect in Los Angeles, California

Most people are not aware of the abuse and neglect that happens on a daily basis in nursing homes and assisted living facilities around the country. With over 65 million people over the age of sixty-five years nationwide, nursing home and assisted living abuse and neglect should be a subject we are all aware of.

Sometime soon you or someone you are close to may find themselves in a precarious position as far as health and the ability to care for themselves is concerned. Hopefully, you will encounter a positive experience and find a facility staffed with hardworking, dedicated and caring people. More than likely, you will encounter facilities staffed by uncaring, undertrained and frustrated staff.

The signs of physical abuse in a nursing home or assisted living setting are relatively easy to recognize, such as open sores, cuts, bruises, malnutrition, and poor hygiene. Emotional abuse behaviors such as continuous rocking, agitation and depression are also less recognizable signs of abuse and neglect.

Visiting family and friends find the nursing home and assisted living residents reluctant to speak out about the abuse or unable to communicate their concerns. Residents of these facilities are guaranteed certain rights under the law and at the very least should be treated with respect and dignity in a safe and clean environment.

If you suspect someone you care about is a victim of nursing home or assisted living abuse and neglect, please contact the Los Angeles, California office of The Cochran Firm today to protect their legal rights.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 12:58 PM

Automobile Accidents in Las Vegas, Nevada

Somewhere near 50% of all automobile accidents are reportedly caused by driver distractions. Driver distractions are cell phone use and texting, driver fatigue, passenger behaviors that interfere with driver concentration, reading, and adjusting dashboard controls for the various functions displayed.

Other major causes of automobile accidents are driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, speeding and adverse weather and road conditions. There are over six million car accidents nationwide annually with over three million injuries and over forty-five thousand deaths, so it makes sense to be prepared for the eventuality of a car accident. Car accidents are unexpected, stressful and frightening occurrences that often happen to very cautious drivers who have the misfortune to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.

It is important to have an experienced automobile accident attorney on your side to deal with insurance companies that routinely deny or delay legitimate accident claims or refuse to settle your claim fairly and honestly.

If you live in Las Vegas, Nevada and you or someone you care about was involved in an automobile accident and you are getting no satisfaction from the insurance company involved in your claim, please contact the Las Vegas, Nevada office of The Cochran Firm today to obtain the help you need to protect your legal rights and get the financial compensation you are entitled to.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 12:57 PM

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Car Accidents in Jackson, Mississippi

The use of alcohol and drugs while driving is a major contributing factor to automobile accidents nationwide. The problem of drug abuse is not only limited to illegal drugs, but pertains to the use of prescription medications as well. Substances that can impair your ability to drive include alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, heroin and prescription medications such as Vicodin, Percocet, Valium and Xanax.

Someone in the United States is injured or killed by an alcohol or drug impaired driver every two minutes. Over 40% of fatal automobile accidents involve alcohol or drugs. Sleeping pills, muscle relaxants, alcohol and other depressants work to adversely affect motor skills, slowing reaction times and distorting vision.

The decision to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a choice not an accident. The result of the choice to drive while under the influence destroys lives. If you have been victimized by an impaired driver you should retain an experienced automobile accident attorney to assist you in seeking financial compensation for your injuries. You should be able to be compensated for your medical expenses, loss of income, future earning capacity and your pain and suffering.

If you live in Jackson, Mississippi please contact The Cochran Firm today to protect your legal rights and the rights of those you love by scheduling a confidential consultation at no cost to you to learn about the steps you can take to secure financial compensation for your injuries.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 12:56 PM

The Defective Drugs Yaz and Yasmin in Huntsville, Alabama

Although there are many brands of oral contraceptives available Yaz and Yasmin have dominated the marketplace due to the manufacturer's aggressive marketing campaign. Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals is the subject of multiple lawsuits over alleged life-threatening side effects attributed to these popular oral contraceptives.

The lawsuits allege the pharmaceutical company failed to warn women and their physicians of the increased risk of injury associated with the pills while overstating the benefits of the oral contraceptives. Pharmaceutical manufacturers are obligated to disclose any known side effects to consumers, either directly or by making the information available to physicians.

The life threatening conditions associated with these pills include deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolisms. The irresponsible marketing of these oral contraceptives by Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals has caused innumerable young healthy women to face devastating health conditions caused by a drug they were led to believe was safe.

If you or someone you know has suffered blood clots, pulmonary embolisms, elevated potassium levels, hypertension, seizures, convulsions or kidney problems after taking Yaz or Yasmin, you should contact an experienced defective pharmaceuticals attorney to investigate the reasons surrounding these occurrences and whether you are entitled to financial compensation.

We encourage you to contact the Huntsville, Alabama office of The Cochran Firm today to schedule a confidential consultation with an attorney experienced in defective pharmaceutical claims to protect your legal rights and obtain the compensation you deserve.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 12:54 PM

Toxic Torts in Dothan, Alabama

Toxic torts are legal cases that refer to injuries caused by the exposure to toxic substances because of the negligence of chemical manufacturers, distributors or users of toxic chemicals. In a toxic tort, the people who were injured by exposure to the toxic substance are the plaintiffs and the people whose negligence caused the exposure and injuries are the defendants.

Some toxic substances involved in recent toxic tort cases include asbestos, pesticides, toxic waste products, paints, benzene and fertilizers. These toxic substances are found in the environment, home and workplace.

Diseases that can occur after exposure to toxic substances include, but are not limited to mesothelioma, silicosis, leukemia, lung diseases, aplastic anemia and Hodgkins disease.

Despite the difficulty of proving responsibility in a toxic tort case, the effort may gain you compensation for your pain and suffering, disabilities, medical expenses, emotional stress, loss of enjoyment of life or the death of a loved one. Proving responsibility can also result in protection for your community by forcing the polluters to stop their damaging activities and punishing them with large monetary losses.

If you know or suspect a toxic exposure in your environment, home or workplace has caused serious injury to you or someone you know, please contact the experienced toxic tort attorneys at The Cochran Firm in Dothan, Alabama today.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 12:52 PM

Defective Consumer Products in Detroit, Michigan

In recent years, serious injuries and even deaths have been attributed to defective consumer products. Everyday products we all use without a second thought to our safety or the safety of the ones we love have been responsible for devastating injuries and fatalities.

Defective automobiles, tires, infant car seats, faulty medical devices like pacemakers and defibrillators, vaccines, toys, appliances, power tools, dog food, dry wall from China, the list is endless and frightening.

If you or someone you care about has been injured or killed by the use of a defective consumer product, you must consult a product liability attorney as soon as possible as there are time limits involved in filing a claim against the manufacturer, designer or the distributor of the defective consumer product.

An experienced product liability attorney will assist you in obtaining the medical records, bills for your medical expenses and documenting your injuries with photographs to record the severity of the harm done to you, as this will determine the level of compensation you are entitled to.

Financial compensation for your injuries may include the cost of present and future medical care and treatment, rehabilitation expenses, loss of present and future income, the loss of enjoyment of life and in the case of a death, funeral and burial expenses, and survivor benefits.

Please contact the Detroit, Michigan office of The Cochran Firm today to schedule a confidential consultation at no cost to you to discuss the possibility of filing a product liability lawsuit so you may obtain justice and receive the financial compensation you deserve.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 12:50 PM

Defective Products-Chinese Dry Wall in Dallas, Texas

Thousands of homes in this country were constructed during the past few years using defective, toxic dry wall imported from China. The use of this defective drywall has led to serious illnesses and damage to those homes. The majority of the defective drywall was used between the years of 2004 and 2006, but there are reports of this drywall still being available for sale, waiting to be used by an unsuspecting public.

The defective Chinese drywall emits corrosive gases that have a foul odor, and can damage electrical systems, and the copper and other metals used throughout the home including the heating and cooling systems. The foul odor the drywall emits is reminiscent of rotten eggs and exposure to the drywall is said to be responsible for respiratory problems, nose bleeds, headaches and eye irritation.

Over one hundred thousand homes in the United States are suspected of having defective Chinese drywall installed. Over five hundred million pounds of defective Chinese drywall made it to this country in a three year period.

If you suspect Chinese drywall is the reason for your health problems or you have experienced the damage and destruction of your electrical and heating and cooling systems in your new home for an unknown reason until now, please contact the Dallas, Texas office of The Cochran Firm today to learn more about this looming catastrophe.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 12:49 PM

Friday, September 25, 2009

Immigration Litigation in the Latino Community, Metairie, Louisiana

Your immigration needs are very important to you and your family. It is vital you obtain the highest quality representation and legal advice in all fields of immigration law.

Clear and hones communication is essential in immigration matter, but it is easy to make mistakes on employment visas or family visa applications. The Department of Homeland Security often issues new guidelines for entering the United States and it is difficult for you to know when changes occur. An immigration law attorney can assist you with these complex issues.

The Latino section of The Cochran Firm has attorneys with special knowledge in Immigration Law. The Latino section of The Cochran Firm is headquartered in Metairie, Louisiana with offices in Atlanta, Georgia and is accessible nationwide to handle all your Immigration Law needs.

If you are experiencing difficulty dealing with Immigration laws anywhere in the country, please contact the Latino Section of The Cochran Firm today to schedule a confidential consultation at no cost to you with our nationwide network of experienced attorneys.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 1:19 PM

Police Brutality in Houston, Texas

Police brutality refers to the excessive use of force, physical, verbal or psychological, by a police officer. In some instances, the use of excessive force is triggered by so-called "contempt of cop," a perceived disrespect and disregard for the authority of the police.

Police brutality is just one of various forms of police misconduct which may include false arrest, intimidation, racial profiling, political repression, surveillance abuse, sexual harassment, and police corruption.

Studies have shown most police brutality cases go unreported and undocumented. Police brutality is often associated with racial profiling, differences in religion, politics or socioeconomic status. Some police officers view certain sections of the population as generally deserving of punishment and certain sections of the population view the police as oppressors.

Although the use of force by the police is certainly warranted at times, there are instances when the police may step over the line and take advantage of their authority and cause undue harm to an undeserving victim. The very ones we depend on for protection from the criminals in our communities should never become the criminals themselves.

If you live in Houston, Texas and you or someone you know has been the victim of police brutality in the form of physical, verbal or psychological abuse, please contact the experienced police brutality personal injury attorneys at The Cochran Firm today to protect your legal rights.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 12:53 PM

Spinal Cord Injury in Chicago, Illinois

Almost twenty thousand people in this country suffer a spinal cord injury every year. There are, at the present time, over two hundred thousand people living their daily lives coping with the devastating consequences of a spinal cord injury. Automobile accidents are a major contributing factor to the incidence of spinal cord injuries, with falls and sports related injuries also a factor in the number of injuries reported.

A spinal cord injury is usually the result of a sudden, forceful impact to the spine that damages or dislocates the vertebrae. Although some spinal cord injuries have a reasonably good prognosis, most injuries to the spinal cord result in either partial or complete paralysis.

The physical, emotional and financial burdens suffered by victims of spinal cord injuries are immeasurable. The cost of medical care and treatment over the long term can total hundreds of thousands of dollars, and years of pain and suffering.

Since the permanence and severity of a spinal cord injury make this a life-altering occurrence, it is vitally important you have an experienced spinal cord injury attorney on your side to make certain all your legal rights are protected and you obtain the financial compensation you are entitled to.

Residents of the Chicago, Illinois area who have suffered a spinal cord injury should contact The Cochran Firm today to obtain the representation necessary to obtain justice and the financial compensation you deserve.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 12:48 PM

Automobile Accidents/Rear End Collisions in Birmingham, Alabama

There are over 2.5 million rear end collisions nationwide annually, making rear end collisions the most common type of automobile accident. The bumper system on a car is an important safety feature that is capable of absorbing the force of a low speed collision, but at times the impact of the collision is absorbed by the occupants of the automobile instead.

A low speed, rear impact collision, although resulting in minor damage to the automobile, can result in serious injuries to the occupants of the vehicle. Whiplash is the most common injury sustained in a low impact rear end collision and is the result of a sudden, violent, and involuntary back and forth motion of the neck. Whiplash is soft tissue trauma to the muscles and ligaments of the neck that results in pain, swelling, stiffness, headache, nausea, numbness and loss of balance.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a rear end collision car accident you should protect your legal rights by consulting with a rear end collision car accident lawyer who has experience in this field of law. You deserve to be financially compensated for your medical expenses, lost wages and possible loss of future income, due to the injury you have suffered because of someone else's negligence.

Please contact the Birmingham, Alabama office of The Cochran Firm today and learn how to obtain the financial compensation you are entitled to for the injuries suffered in a rear end collision.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 12:46 PM

Eli Lilly Paid Georgia Doctors and Others over Half a Million $ to Promote Drugs

As part of a settlement over the illegal promotion of its best-selling drug Zyprexa, drug-maker Eli Lilly has been required to publish payments it made to doctors and others for patient education, healthcare professional education, and advising. The list, which shows payments made to what it calls "faculty" during the first three months of 2009 shows that it paid over half a million dollars to doctors, nurses, and others to perform educational services for the company.

Although Eli Lilly did not admit wrongdoing (other than a misdemeanor guilty plea) as part of the settlement, the Department of Justice forwarded many charges against the company, including that paid consultants were an essential part of the campaign to promote potentially dangerous side effects as benefits. According to DOJ charges, Lilly used a "5 at 5" slogan to promote the drug as a sedative for nursing home patients, making them easier to handle. In some nursing homes, chemical restraints are a common form of nursing home abuse.

In addition, the DOJ charged that Lilly had a campaign to educate primary care physicians to use Zyprexa as an "everyday agent in primary care," even though these physicians are not generally the ones responsible for treating schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Ely Lilly is the first major drug manufacturer to publish fees paid to doctors and others to promote its drugs, but the DOJ has also compelled Pfizer to begin publishing a similar report as part of its $2.3 billion settlement over Bextra, Geodon, Zyvox, and other drugs.

Doctors who take payments and the drug companies that give them claim that they do not influence doctors in prescribing drugs, but it seems unlikely that a corporation would invest over half a million dollars over three months on any practice from which it did not expect to reap some return.

If you or a loved one has suffered a serious pharmaceutical injury, the product liability lawyers at the Atlanta, Georgia office of The Cochran Firm stand ready to help. No opponent is too big for The Cochran Firm to oppose in the preservation of your rights. Please contact us for a free consultation today.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 12:43 PM

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Investigation Called For Into Fatal L.A. Shooting

Los Angeles County Sheriff, Lee Baca, has called for an investigation into an incident that occurred on September 14, 2009 in Athens, CA. Athens is an area just south of downtown Los Angeles.

The Events So Far Known
That night, there was an armed robbery in this area and sheriff's deputies from the Lennox station were looking for two suspects. They were near 120th St. and Budlong Ave. when they saw two men who matched the suspects' descriptions. According to Sgt. Diane Hecht, the deputies approached to speak to them but one of the men ran and the deputies chased him. When he reached into his waistband, a deputy fired at him, thinking him to be armed. By this time they were in the 1200 block of Poindexter St.

The man was hit in the upper body and was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. He was one Darrick Collins, aged 36, who had apparently been playing a video game with a friend. He is reported to be the father of two and one of them, a daughter, lives in L.A. with her mother. The other child is a boy of 16 months whose mother is one Kendra Dean.

According to Sheriff's Lt. Dave Dolson, who spoke with reporters at the scene, the deputies called out to Collins to "Freeze!" but as the man then ran, they did not get to question him about the armed robbery. The Sheriff’s office is still looking into whether Collins might have been involved with the robbery.

The other man was not detained and no weapons have been yet found at the scene. So far there are no details available about the armed robbery. Collins' uncle, brother, and other family members are much grieved and angry at this sudden loss - perhaps a wrongful death.

An Expedited Investigation
The President of the Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable, Earl Ofari Hutchinson, will be meeting with Sheriff Lee Baca and various community leaders to discuss this incident. Baca has called for an expedited investigation. Usually such investigations take up to twelve months to complete, but Baca would like this one to be finished within 90 days.

Pending the investigation results, the true facts of Collins' death cannot be certain. It is well known that one should never run when a police officer wants to speak to you - it suggests guilt. On the other hand, Collins was apparently planning to attend barber school and could have been an innocent citizen mistaken for the suspect. Police brutality is never acceptable; yet the police and sheriff's deputies risk their lives daily to protect the innocent and must often make snap decisions under a lot of stress. Genuine mistakes can happen.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a law enforcement officer and are wondering about legal rights and options, please contact our personal injury attorneys today for a free case review. The Cochran Firm has offices nationwide and we are here to serve you regardless of where you live.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 10:43 AM

Multi-Million Dollar Medical Malpractice Award Reinstated in Florida

In 2003, a Florida man was rushed to the hospital after suffering a heart attack. He allegedly did not receive the medication he needed in the amount of time necessary to keep his heart from being irreversibly damaged. While he lived for a few more years, he was constantly drained of energy and unable to have any type of a quality life. He died at age 73 after complications from a heart transplant. According to his family's attorney, the man's heart actually died the day he suffered his heart attack.

The man's wife filed a medical malpractice suit and was awarded $10.3 million by a Florida jury. Unfortunately, the timing of her lawsuit, and her husband's heart attack, were politically poor. This is because her husband suffered his heart attack and she filed her lawsuit just after medical malpractice award caps were imposed by the Florida legislature. This meant that $10.3 million would be reduced to $781,000.

After $440,000 in medical bills, attorney fees, and experts used in the case, the plaintiff would get nothing.

The woman and her lawyer appealed this ruling and the appeals court agreed with them: The medical malpractice caps could not be imposed retroactively. This means that the woman and her teenage daughter are entitled to $9.5 million for pain and suffering caused by the death.

The attorney for the plaintiff said that this ruling will affect few other cases in Florida due to the four year statute of limitations on medical malpractice. But the appeals court made the right decision here.

Even if you have been told your award limit has been capped or are concerned about statutes of limitation, if you or a loved one has been injured and are, or were, involved in a medical malpractice suit, please contact the experienced medical malpractice attorneys at the Cochran Law Firm for a case consultation. We serve clients nationwide.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 10:13 AM

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Flash Fire Kills Patient: Possible Medical Malpractice

In Marion, Illinois last week, a surgery patient was burned by a fire in the operating room. The patient, one Janice McCall, died six days later at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee from burn injury complications. The Tennessee medical examiner's office has classified the death as accidental.

The fire occurred at the Heartland Regional Medical Center in Marion. In a statement issued shortly after the incident, Heartland said that "there was an accidental flash fire in one of the hospital's operating rooms" and that it had been extinguished by "necessary and appropriate measures."

However, the statement did not say what might have caused the fire. Nor did it reveal what surgery was being performed for McCall, citing federal laws that bar any public release of a patient's medical information and also citing the family's desire for privacy.

Surgical Fires Very Rare

According to Mark Bruley, vice president for accident and forensic investigation at the ECRI Institute, a federally designated Patient Safety Organization, surgical flash fires occur between 550 and 600 times per year in the U.S. That is a very tiny fraction of the many millions of surgeries that are performed each year. They are usually sparked by electric surgical implements in combination with oxygen build-up.

Drapes are used during surgeries to cover the parts of the patient's body that are not being worked on. Only the treatment area is exposed. Oxygen is given when general anesthesia is used since a patient under general anesthesia cannot breathe alone. In recent years, more electric instruments have been developed for surgical use; and at the same time, the older cloth drapes have been replaced by disposable synthetic drapes that are more flammable.

Oxygen is given by the anesthesiologist, who also calibrates the anesthesia dosage and monitors the patient's vital signs. Bruley and his organization have been concerned about the increased danger and have recommended that anesthesiologists use only as much oxygen as each patient needs, rather than 100 percent for all.

The McCall family has engaged an attorney but no lawsuit has been filed yet. There could be a medical malpractice suit against Heartland and certain individuals involved with this patient's surgery, or perhaps an anesthesia malpractice claim.

If your loved one was hurt by a medical mistake, or if you yourself suffered such injury, please call or email our personal injury attorneys today for a free case evaluation.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 2:10 PM

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Houston Bus Drivers to Be Fired For Texting and Driving

The Houston, Texas Metropolitan Transit Authority has decided to fire any bus driver who is caught texting behind the wheel. The decision was made in July, after a bus driver in San Antonio caused an accident due to cell phone use. The driver was captured on a security camera looking at his cell phone for several seconds, then looking up to slam on the brakes, too late to prevent hitting two stopped cars in front of the bus. The Houston METRO had received over 300 complaints since January 2008 that drivers were using cell phones while driving. In addition, several recent crashes in transit systems have called attention to transit safety. A September 2008 train crash in Los Angeles and the June 22 Metro Crash in Washington, D.C. are two of the most familiar events.

As calls from environmentalists and city authorities ask people to leave their cars at home and rely on transit for transportation to and from work, transit authorities do need to step up measures to ensure that public buses and trains are safe for riders. The Houston METRO policy can be a guideline for other transit authorities. METRO employees are being forced to turn over their personal phone records when a complaint is received, and those records are being checked to see if texts were sent or calls made while the bus or train was in motion.

If you or a loved one has been hurt as a result of a transit crash, The Cochran Firm stands ready to help you. Please call or email the personal injury attorneys at our Houston office today.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 9:47 AM

Monday, September 21, 2009

Racial Discrimination Against Latinos in Suffolk County

In early September 2009, CNN posted an article detailing the racial discrimination against Latinos in Suffolk County. The report is a part of a running series called, "Latino in America," where CNN discusses the state of the Latino population in the USA. This particular report raised some alarming issues about the current status of racism in the USA today.

The impetus for this report was the murder of an Ecuadorian immigrant named Marcelo Lucero. As the article says, "Prosecutors allege that the killers were a group of teenagers who targeted Latinos as part of a sport they called 'beaner-hopping.'" The FBI also claims that hate crimes against Latinos rose 40% between 2004 and 2007 nationwide. Two different county officials were also quoted in the article saying hateful things and threatening violence against gatherings of Latin people.

While the above claims are disturbing enough, it is unsettling that all of these things happened in one county in the USA. While this country has made great strides in eliminating racial intolerance, racism still exists in this country today, as shown in the FBI statistic.

Racial discrimination is not only morally wrong, but it can also be illegal. If you or a loved one has been the victim of racial discrimination or gender discrimination, please contact the Cochran Firm today. We will fight for your rights and get you the judgment that you deserve.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 12:11 PM

Friday, September 18, 2009

Spinal Cord Injury Forces Phil Collins to Give Up the Drums

Phil Collins recently announced that he will never be able to play the drums again due to severe pain caused by a spinal cord injury. The injury has been caused by years of playing the drums. Due to the position he sits in while playing, his vertebrae has been crushing his spinal cord.

Collins says that the pain is so intense that he cannot even hold his drum sticks anymore. In recent years, he has been taping them to his hands in order to compensate; however, this is no longer a viable option.

After long, careful deliberation, Collins has decided to give up playing the drums after 50 years behind the kit. In his statement to the public, he explained that he is deeply saddened by this decision, but he must put his health first. However, he has assured his fans that he can still sing.

Collins has been the drummer for the British rock band Genesis since their inception in the early 1970s. When original lead singer Peter Gabriel left the band in 1975, Collins stepped in to fill the void. Several years later, he launched a hugely successful solo career, but has always remained an integral part of Genesis.

Spinal cord injuries can lead to severe, debilitating pain that can irreversibly alter the quality of your life. Often, these injuries will require extensive medical treatment which can be quite costly, even if you have insurance.

If you have suffered a spinal cord injury due to the negligent actions of another, the experienced personal injury lawyers at The Cochran Firm can help you receive the compensation you need to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and decreased quality of life. Please contact The Cochran Firm today to speak with one of our spinal cord injury attorneys. We serve clients nationwide.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 10:47 AM

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Alleged Nursing Home Abuse Lead to Murder-Suicide in California

A mother who shot and killed her 43-year-old disabled daughter before turning the gun on herself last Sunday in an Oakland nursing home alleges in a letter to a local news affiliate there was abuse going on at the facility. In the five-page letter, the mother explains why she killed herself and her daughter in what surviving family members say was "the ultimate act of love."

The mother lists several different nursing homes where her daughter, who barely survived an auto accident in 1994, was at turns neglected and abused. However, it is the last one in Oakland where the disabled woman spent the last six years of her life that has gotten the notice of the California Department of Health. Obviously, this is due to the murder-suicide in the woman's room, but it has opened up the facility's files to public scrutiny and how younger brain damaged patients are treated in places meant for the elderly.

Past Complaints and Abuses

After being left brain damaged and partially paralyzed in an auto accident, the woman was placed in one living facility after another by her mother. In the suicide note, it is explained that many of these places had no idea, or no interest, in taking care of a young person. She was left on the toilet for a time at one place before she fell off and hit her head, fell off the edge of the bed and injured at another place, burned with coffee, threatened by other patients, and more. At one facility, the mother alleges doctors and staff didn't want her daughter around and let her roam the streets in her wheelchair all day long. While out, she stole, panhandled, and fell out of her wheelchair constantly.

The final facility under investigation has had its share of write ups by health investigators. There were at least 32 substantiated complaints involving the staff hitting, ignoring, and neglecting the patients. The state claims these nursing home abuse reports were dealt with.

The murdered daughter had diabetes, yet was allowed ice cream and other things with sugar. As a result, she gained so much weight that she outgrew two wheelchairs. The staff allegedly called the woman "fat pig" and sprayed her down in the shower as they would a car. For the last two years, the daughter asked her mother to end her life. Apparently, she fulfilled this wish last Sunday morning.

This tragedy did not need to play out this way. The facility has gone through several staff and administrative changes, and had several complaints. The state could, and should, have done more to protect the patients. Unfortunately, this is only one of many nursing facilities that have a negative track record.

If you suspect a nursing home of abusing or neglecting your loved one, please contact the nursing home abuse lawyers at the Cochran Firm. We serve clients nationwide.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 2:30 PM

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Asbestosis and Mesothelioma

Asbestosis is a disorder occurring in the lungs caused by inhaling asbestos fibers. These fibers scar the tissues of the lungs. Asbestosis occurs after very heavy, long-term exposure to asbestos. Mesothelioma is another very serious type of cancer associated with exposure to asbestos fibers. Mesothelioma may take years, even decades, to show signs and symptoms.

Asbestos fibers are very small, but very sharp. When they build up in the lungs, they trigger a response from your immune system. As your body tries to rid your lungs of these fibers, your lungs become inflamed, resulting in difficulty breathing.

The symptoms of asbestosis often take decades to appear after the exposure to asbestos. The symptoms of asbestosis include:

  • Difficulty breathing, even while resting
  • Cough
  • Loss of voice
  • Pain in the chest
  • Insomnia
  • Swelling
  • Coughing up blood


Asbestosis is often misdiagnosed for several reasons. The symptoms associated with asbestosis are also associated with a number of less severe illnesses, such as asthma. Also, most patients are unaware that they have been exposed to asbestos.

The federal government now heavily regulates asbestos and asbestos products. Asbestos also occurs naturally in the environment, so some exposure is normal. Asbestosis only occurs after direct, heavy, long-term exposure.

If you or a loved one has asbestosis and mesothelioma due to being exposure, please contact the experienced asbestosis attorneys at The Cochran Firm, operating numerous offices nationwide, today.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 1:29 PM

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Five Children Sent to Hospital in Minor School Bus Accident

On Monday morning, a school bus headed to Valley High School in Las Vegas was involved in a low-speed collision. The bus hit a stopped BMW sedan while turning into the school parking lot. There were 67 children on board. Many of them were thrown from their seats, and five of them were sent to a nearby hospital with what were described as scrapes and bruises.

Fortunately, none of the children were seriously hurt, but that even such a minor collision can injure children reminds us that children are at risk every time they get on a school bus. Most bus drivers are safe, careful drivers, and school bus crashes are rare, but school buses are not equipped with any kind of safety restraints for children. When you put your child in the car, chances are you fasten them into their child seat or booster seat. Or if they are older, you ask them to fasten themselves in. But most children don't even have the option of a safety restraint in a school bus.

If your child suffered school bus accident injuries that might have been prevented by the installation of safety belts, The Cochran Firm can help you get compensation for your child's injuries and fight to protect other children from similar injuries. Please contact the Las Vegas personal injury lawyers of The Cochran Firm today to learn how we can help you.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 2:26 PM

Monday, September 14, 2009

Durabrand DVD Players Recalled from Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart has announced a recall of 4.2 million DVD players made by Durabrand. These Durabrand DVD players have circuit boards which can overheat, causing burn hazards to owners of the DVD players. These DVD players were sold in Wal-Mart stores all over the United States from January 2006 until July 2009 around thirty dollars.

The DVD players came in three colors: silver, pink and purple. Initially, Wal-Mart only recalled the silver model. However, it was discovered some time later that the purple and pink models had the same defect as the silver model. So, the recall has been expanded to include all of the aforementioned models.

There have been 14 reported incidences of the DVD player overheating so far. Seven of these incidences resulted in damage to the owner's property. At the time of this writing, there have been no injuries reported.

Defective products can result in serious injury or death. If you have purchased this model of Durabrand DVD player, please discontinue use of the product. Wal-Mart is offering a full refund to consumers who purchased this product.

If you or a loved has been injured due to a defective product, you may be entitled to compensation. Please contact the defective product lawyers at the Cochran Firm today if you have been the victim of a defective consumer product.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 12:10 PM

Friday, September 11, 2009

Veteran Affairs to Face Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

Juan Rivera, a U.S. Army veteran, has recently filed a notice of his intent to sue the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) for medical malpractice. He claims he contracted HIV as a result of a colonoscopy performed at a VA hospital in Miami.

Rivera is charging the Miami VA facility with failing to properly clean and maintain its medical equipment and failing to employ appropriate policies and protocols which would have ensured that Rivera's colonoscopy was performed safely.

VA has admitted that thousands of procedures were performed with contaminated endoscopic medical equipment. Inspectors discovered that a tube that should have been cleaned after every colonoscopy procedure was only cleaned at the end of each day.

While Rivera is the first victim to declare his intent to file a medical malpractice suit against VA, many more suits are likely to follow. VA revealed that as many as 10,000 patients treated at hospitals in Miami, Tennessee, and Georgia, may have been exposed to blood borne diseases since 2003.

At the Miami VA hospital, five veterans have currently tested positive for HIV, three for hepatitis B, and eight for hepatitis C. At the Tennessee hospital, one veteran has tested positive for HIV, seven for hepatitis B, and 25 for hepatitis C. At the Georgia hospital, two veterans have tested positive for HIV, two for hepatitis B, and four for hepatitis C.

Earlier this year, the VA conducted a nationwide investigation of its medical facilities. The results of the investigation indicated that less than half of the facilities inspected employed proper training or guidelines, resulting in many veterans receiving substandard and unsafe care.

If you have suffered a serious illness or injury from subpar medical treatment at a VA facility, the experienced medical malpractice lawyers at The Cochran Firm can help you receive the compensation you deserve. Please contact our personal injury offices today to schedule your free initial consultation. The Cochran firm serves clients nationwide.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 10:09 AM

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Tractor-Trailer Wheels Come Loose, Kill Nebraska Woman

A roller operator standing in an I-80 median with other workers was killed Wednesday when she was hit with a wheel that came loose from a passing tractor-trailer near Omaha, Nebraska. A coworker of the victim's was also hit and taken to the hospital in serious condition with head and back injuries.

Both workers were standing near a Nebraska Department of Roads vehicle when two wheels came off the passing truck. One wheel hit the NDOR vehicle on the driver's side door, but the driver was not badly hurt.

The rig was pulling a belly dump truck (dumps its load from the bottom of the trailer) and the driver apparently had no indication that the wheels came off the trailer. He continued driving and dumped the load. Workers noticed the truck's missing wheels as he came back past the scene of the accident and radioed for the driver to stop.

Nebraska state troopers investigating the accident allegedly found 16 violations when they looked at the rig. The 30-year-old driver was cited for all 16 violations.

Defective trucks plague the highways all across the nation. In an effort to maximize profit, many trucking companies and individual truck drivers skirt rules and regulations that keep the rest of us safe. This particular situation shows you don't necessarily need to be involved in being involved directly with the truck to be seriously injured or killed.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, please contact the experienced truck accident attorneys at the Cochran Firm for an initial consultation.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 12:13 PM

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

More Details on Pfizer Fine

On September 2, 2009, this space posted a blog about the $2.3 million settlement over Pfizer's off-label marketing of Bextra, a drug for arthritis and menstrual pain.

Five More Pfizer Fine Facts

  1. There are five more whistleblowers involved besides John Kopchinski, the then chairman and CEO of Pfizer who turned whistleblower Together they will be receiving over $102 million of the total settlement amount.
  2. One of the Pfizer employees who was fined was Mary Holloway, the leader of about 100 sales reps who sold Bextra off-label. She has paid a fine of $75,000 and is on two years' probation. That fine is specifically for promoting Bextra for joint replacement recovery, selling it as a drug to get the patient walking sooner and thus avoiding deep-vein thrombosis. She stated that she had support from her superiors and that the off-label campaign was "part of the Pfizer culture." However, Bextra was not FDA-approved for post-surgery use.
  3. A Pfizer sales manager, one Thomas Farina, had a team of sales reps in Brooklyn. They were called The Highlanders, after a TV show and movie about "a cult of immortals living secretly among us who must kill or be killed." He was convicted of obstruction of justice and is about six weeks into a six-month home confinement with an electronic ankle bracelet.
  4. Farina was caught altering a computer's time clock to back-date documents that he had just changed. He had just shown his team a video informing them they were being investigated. He then deleted some documents, deleted off-label references in others, and when he saved these documents, the computer's clock showed their older date instead of that day's date. This hid the fact that he had changed them.
  5. It is not Pfizer's name that will be tarnished by this entire investigation and fine. It will be Pharmacia & Upjohn Company, a Pfizer acquisition.


Off-label use of a drug is not illegal, but drug company marketing of a drug for off-label use is. Please see Business Fraud for more about this type of violation.

If you have been injured by inappropriate use of a drug and are wondering whether you might have a valid legal claim, please contact our personal injury attorneys today to schedule a free case evaluation.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 2:29 PM

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Death, Serious Injury in Michigan Boating Accident

Labor Day weekend saw many Michiganians decide to take their boats out on the water for the semi-official end to the summer season. Unfortunately, with many boats comes an increased risk of boating accidents, especially when teens are in control. On Saturday night, 8 teenagers were boating in Stahl's Bayou, an inlet off Spring Lake, attached to Lake Michigan by the Grand River when their vehicles collided. Three of the teens were riding a personal watercraft that was struck by a motorboat carrying the other five teens. The accident led to the immediate death of the watercraft driver. One of the passengers was transported to a nearby hospital, having lost a leg in the crash.

Although alcohol was not a factor and it is not known whether charges will be filed, the accident might have been due to reckless boating. The teens knew each other. The place where the vehicles collided is nicknamed "Hanky Panky," and has a reputation for thrill-seeking boaters performing dangerous maneuvers.

Boating can be as dangerous for teens as driving when they get together in large numbers and become subject to distraction and one-upmanship. This can lead to accidents, wrongful deaths, and traumatic injuries.

If you have lost a loved one or suffered a serious personal injury as a result of a boating accident on any of Michigan's sporting waterways, the Detroit, Michigan accident attorneys of The Cochran Firm can help. Please contact us today to learn more.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:39 AM

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Epidemic of Elder Abuse

As our country's population grows older, the demand on our medical system to care for our elderly loved ones has grown considerably. Currently in the United States, there are approximately 34 million people older than 65, and nearly one in twenty of those elderly Americans will eventually require some form of assisted living. At the time of this writing, there are just under 17,000 nursing homes nationwide, and over 70 billion dollars is spent annually to subsidize these facilities.

Our nation's senior citizens are much too frequently becoming the victims of intentional abuse and neglect in our nursing homes and assisted living facilities, especially when those places are understaffed or poorly staffed with uncaring, untrained healthcare professionals.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently released a list of the nation's worst nursing homes, a list of 131 facilities with poor inspection records. The list, released Tuesday, March 11, 2008 by the Bush Administration, indicates that 52 of the homes cited as "higher risk" have not shown improvement after they were issued citations while 52 others have shown improvement since being cited.

While most nursing homes do have some deficiencies (with an average being no more than six or seven), the most egregious violators had many more citations. However, publicity about this problem may be doing some good, after all. Out of 54 nursing homes named "poor performers" last year, 21 have shown significant improvement.

Nursing home abuse and neglect is, perhaps, one of the most tragic of all the personal injuries because the victims are often helpless, frail, and unable to defend themselves. Many cases of elder abuse and neglect go unreported because the victims are frightened of further abuse or they do not have the ability to speak out about what they are enduring.

If your elderly loved one has been abused or neglected, there is action you can take. Please contact the nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at one of The Cochran Firm's numerous offices today.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 10:21 AM

Thursday, September 3, 2009

American Association of Justice Releases Worrisome Trucking Report

According to American Association of Justice, there are more than nine million trucks that crisscross the country every year. While they only consist of about four percent of the passenger vehicles on the road, they are involved in 12 percent of motor vehicle fatalities annually. It is estimated that nearly 80,000 people are injured and 4,000 die as a result of truck accidents. Fatalities per mile are 56 percent higher for trucks than for all vehicles combined. All this, says the AAJ, is due to serious violations of federal safety standards. These violations include:

  • Overloading trucks
  • Failure to maintain tires and brakes
  • Unqualified or untrained drivers
  • Drivers with drug or alcohol issues
  • Trucking company salary systems that encourage speeding and driving past maximum driving hours allowed


The AAJ examined a US trucking industry report from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and found there are a staggering 28,000 trucking companies representing 20,000 trucks in the US that operate with safety violations. The states with the worst offenders are Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, West Virginia, and Vermont.

Preventable Accidents

It is no secret that trucking companies cut corners for profit. However, these cost cutting and profit maximizing measures are getting people killed. By overloading trucks with goods, stress is put on tires. These tires may already be bald due to refusal to pay for new ones. The illegal weight and bad tires can, and does, lead to blowouts. It was found that in Florida, trucking companies routinely overload trucks to cut down on freight costs.

In many cases the drivers are extremely unqualified to drive the truck. In one instance, four people including a young woman pregnant with twins were killed when a truck crossed the line and hit them head on. The driver obtained his commercial drivers license with fake social security numbers. He was an illegal immigrant and had a history of truck safety violations and arrests. He admitted all this to his employer after the accident, but was still allowed to drive for another 18 months.

Recommendations

This past June, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance conducted roadside inspections of trucks across the country. The CVSA announced the inspections would be done four months in advance giving the trucking industry - and the public - ample time to fix any problems. Still, over 22 percent of the trucks failed their inspection. The trucking industry, when told that more than one out of five trucks is a danger on the road, considered this a success. They believe this "illustrate the trucking industry's deep commitment to the safety of all motorists."

It was found that most of the small trucking companies carry the bare minimum of insurance needed. This minimum amount, $750,000, has not changed since Congress imposed it in 1980. Adjusted for inflation, this amount would be two million dollars today. When a catastrophic truck accident occurs, victims must often turn to Medicare or Medicaid to cover the costs of their injuries.

Common sense safety improvements requested by the NTSB include:

  • Ensuring drivers are qualified and medically able to drive
  • Preventing trucks with mechanical problems to be put on the road
  • Focus on FMCSA developed smart technology such as brake monitoring systems and collision mitigation systems


If you or your loved one has been injured in a truck accident, please contact the experienced truck accident attorneys at the Cochran Firm for an initial consultation. We serve clients nationwide.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 10:53 AM

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Pfizer Handed a $2.3 Billion Fine

The pharmaceutical company Pfizer is the manufacturer of Bextra, a drug for treating arthritis and menstrual pain. The FDA approved Bextra in 2001 for these purposes but rejected a request from Pfizer to also approve it for some other uses. However, Pfizer went ahead and marketed Bextra for those "off-label" uses and encouraged doctors to prescribe it.

(Note
: Off-label use of a drug or device is not illegal. Any doctor can make a judgment call in a particular case and use a drug in a way that is not specifically FDA-approved. Usually this is quite safe and beneficial for the patient. The FDA is already overloaded and there is no way they can test every drug for every conceivable use, so they are selective about it. However, drug companies are barred from marketing their drugs for off-label use.)

In April 2005, the FDA asked Pfizer to withdraw Bextra from the market because of reports that off-label Bextra use was connected to heart attack, stroke, and pulmonary embolism, which is a blood clot that travels through the bloodstream and lodges in the lungs. High Bextra dosages were thought to be causing these pharmaceutical injuries.

In 2003, one of Pfizer's sales representatives filed a qui tam (whistleblower) lawsuit against Pfizer which started federal and state investigations into Pfizer's marketing practices of Bextra and other drugs.

The Whistleblower
John Kopchinski was hired in 1992 by Pfizer's then chairman and chief executive officer. Kopchinski is a West Point graduate and was serving in the Gulf war as an army officer at that time. He worked for Pfizer for eleven years, during which time he was asked to promote drugs despite undisclosed evidence that they could be risky for patients.

Kopchinski stated, "In the Army, I was expected to protect people at all costs. At Pfizer I was expected to increase profits at all costs, even when sales meant endangering lives. I couldn't do that."

Components of Pfizer's Fine
Of the $2.3 billion total amount, $1.8 billion is based on Pfizer's Bextra marketing. It includes both civil and criminal fines for off-label marketing. Under the False Claims act, Kopchinski will receive $51.5 million for his role as whistleblower and will pay his lawyers from that amount. Kopchinski will also be awarded an unknown amount under state false claims law.

If you have been harmed by a drug's dangerous side effects and are wondering whether you have a legal claim, please call or email our defective drug attorneys today for a free consultation.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 1:12 PM

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Did Toyota Conceal Evidence in Product Liability Lawsuits?

A former lawyer for Toyota has filed a lawsuit alleging that the automaker engaged in a conspiracy to obstruct justice by withholding documents sought by plaintiffs' lawyers in hundreds of product liability lawsuits. The lawsuits alleged that Toyota cars were defective in roof strength and led to numerous deaths and serious injuries in rollover accidents in the US from 2003 to 2007.This revelation comes just days after Toyota recalled nearly 100,000 vehicles for potentially defective brakes.

The lawyer claims that when he worked at Toyota the company systematically withheld--and in some cases even destroyed--information that should have been turned over to plaintiffs' lawyers. This information included the existence of a rollover test requiring about two inches of space between the roof and the head of a dummy after the test.

In response, Toyota has alleged that the lawyer is a disgruntled employee with a vendetta who is violating his confidentiality agreement. It says it has not addressed the material in the filing, claiming it has not had time to review them.

Following the filing, though, lawyers for several plaintiffs have begun petitioning courts to reopen product liability cases that Toyota has won or settled. According to one lawyer, the concealing of evidence "would cause every case ever resolved by Toyota in the past 10 years to be re-opened."

If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a crash where you believe a defective automobile should have given better protection, you deserve compensation and those responsible need to know the injury their negligence or misconduct has caused. The nationwide network of The Cochran Firm has the ability to stand up to any opponents, including the world's largest automaker. Please schedule a consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers today.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 3:23 PM

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