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Monday, November 30, 2009

Defective Vehicles Recalled

The Toyota Motor Corporation, the world's largest automaker, has announced that it must replace the gas pedals on almost four million recalled vehicles due to sudden acceleration problems and the gas pedals getting stuck in the floor mat. As a temporary fix, Toyota is having its manufacturing plants shorten the length of the pedals while replacement pedals are made. Beginning in April 2010, new pedals will be available to consumers; some vehicles will also have brake override systems installed as a precautionary measure. Toyota is expected to release more details at a later date.

At the time of this writing, the following vehicles were included in the recall:

Toyota Camry (model years 2007-2010)
Toyota Prius (model years 2005-2009)
Toyota Avalon (model years 2005-2010)
Toyota Tacoma (model years 2005-2010)
Toyota Tundra (model years 2007-2010)
Lexus ES350 (model years 2007-2010)
Lexus IS250/350 (model years 2006-2010)

This recall, Toyota's largest ever, was prompted by a high-speed collision in August involving a Lexus that killed a highway patrol office for the CHP (California Highway Patrol). Three members of the officer's family were also killed. At a speed exceeding 120 mph, the Lexus struck an SUV, went off an embankment, rolled over several times and then exploded into flames. A passenger in the Lexus had called 911 prior to this incident stating that the accelerator was stuck and the car could not be stopped.

If you or a loved one has been harmed or killed due to a defective vehicle anywhere in the United States, please contact the attorneys at The Cochran Firm, with offices nationwide, today to schedule a confidential, no-cost consultation.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 7:49 AM

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Wage and Hour Disputes in The Latino Community

Wage and hour disputes take place daily nationwide involving employees and employers who are either unfamiliar with or do not adhere to Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA) standards and regulations.

Although wage and hour disputes are complex, the law puts the responsibility on employers to ensure their workers are fully compensated under the law. The most frequent violations include failure to pay overtime, denial of meal or rest breaks, minimum wage violations and failing to pay on time.

All workers, with very few exceptions, are entitled to the current minimum wage, an uninterrupted, unpaid meal break of at least thirty minutes during an eight hour work period and two uninterrupted, paid, ten minute rest breaks for every four hours worked. Thousands of employees have lost wages due to unpaid overtime, unpaid meal breaks and for being coerced to work "off the clock" through intimidation and threats.

Laws are designed to protect workers' rights and The Cochran Firm's Latino Section is experienced in handling wage and hour violations, and has the expertise to make sure unscrupulous employers are held legally accountable for their violations of federal law. The Cochran Firm takes pride in taking on those who would abuse workers in the Latino community and stands up for the rights of laborers who are not treated fairly.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of wage and hour law violations, please contact the Latino Section of The Cochran Firm, with offices nationwide today to learn how you can protect your legal rights.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 1:15 PM

Friday, November 27, 2009

Tiger Woods Injured in Auto Accident

Tiger Woods, the top ranked golfer in the world, was involved in an auto accident this morning just outside of his home near Orlando, Florida. Woods pulled out of his driveway and crashed his 2009 Cadillac Escalade into a nearby fire hydrant. He then hit a tree on a neighbor's property. No other vehicles were involved in the accident.

Woods was treated for injuries at a local hospital and has since been released. He is reported to be in "good condition." Woods has not publicly discussed the accident yet; he is reported to have sustained several cuts and bruises from the crash.

Police are currently investigating the accident, although they do not think alcohol was a factor. Woods has not spoken with investigators yet, but he is expected to do so over the weekend.

If you have been injured in an auto accident caused by the negligence of another driver, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your damages. The experienced attorneys at The Cochran Firm have the skills and experience to battle insurance companies in order to make sure that you receive a fair settlement.

Please contact The Cochran Firm today to schedule your free initial consultation. We serve clients nationwide.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 11:46 AM

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Nearly 50 People Given Wrong H1N1 Vaccine in Massachusetts

Almost 50 Needham, Massachusetts residents and firefighters were given a vaccine wrongly labeled as H1N1 vaccine. This means the firefighters, first responders, falsely believed they were immune to the virus. First responders, like firefighters, have a higher than average chance of coming into contact with those infected by the virus than most other people. Children, pregnant mothers, those with underlying health conditions, and the elderly are also being given preference. However, it is a virus that seems to sicken and strike down those in the prime of life, like most firefighters.

The people were apparently vaccinated against another strain of the seasonal flu, even though the label read that it was for H1N1. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned the health department in Massachusetts of the labeling confusion. When reports of the error were made public, many people were understandably worried. Among those who were given the vaccine was the Needham Fire Chief. He hopes none of those given the wrong vaccine came into contact with H1N1, thinking they were immune.

The vaccine the people received is reportedly harmless and will act as a booster to this year's seasonal flu shot. However, according to one doctor, this is the first time in 40 years that she has seen a mistake of this nature.

While you most likely know H1N1 is a serious type of flu, which can keep you down for at least a week, other types of flu can be just as serious. However, if you believed you were given an H1N1 shot and wound up sick, you may have a defective drug case.

Please contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at the Cochran Firm. We serve clients nationwide.

posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 12:07 PM

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pharmacy Error Endangers Small Girl

Media stories about the H1N1 swine flu virus have created something of a rush for the flu vaccines. It has turned out that not enough vaccines were made to fill the demand, and media stories have declined. The medical laboratory Quest Diagnostics has done more than 142,000 swine flu tests and reports that requests for those have declined since late October.

Besides vaccines, there have also been medications for the H1N1 flu, one of which is called Tamiflu. It is designed to either prevent or treat the infection. A news report has appeared of a California mother, one Wilma O’Neil, getting some Tamiflu from Walgreens for her five-year-old daughter. She was given the correct bottle but no Tamiflu was in it. Instead there was a heart medication called Amiodarone, designed to treat heart arrhythmias.

Amiodarone was FDA-approved in 1985 but reluctantly. It has some serious side effects:

  • Interstitial Lung disease
  • Thyroid gland abnormalities
  • Corneal vision defects
  • Liver problems
  • Skin discoloration

The FDA approved it under pressure from the European drug companies and did not conduct its usual clinical trials.

Tests For Heart Damage

Walgreens discovered the mistake and called O’Neil. They advised her to take her daughter to a hospital if she had ingested any of the medication. O’Neil did that and two electrocardiograms were done, both showing heart irregularities. Now O’Neil must take her daughter, Ellen, to a heart specialist to learn whether any damage was done to Ellen’s heart.

Walgreens issued a prepared statement saying: “We're sorry this occurred and we apologized to the family. We have a multi-step prescription filling process with numerous safety checks in each step to reduce the chance of human error.”

Medical malpractice claims can be brought against pharmacies as well as against physicians, nurses, X-ray technicians, etc. All healthcare professionals are expected to abide by established rules of conduct and levels of patient care.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a medical error, you may have a valid legal claim. Please contact our medical malpractice lawyers today if you would like to schedule a free case review. We have offices in all states to serve you.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 10:08 AM

Defective Cribs Recalled

Over two million cribs were recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on Monday, November 23, 2009 due to defective hardware that can lead to suffocation in toddlers and infants using the crib. The CPSC urged parents to stop using Stork Craft drop-side cribs manufactured by Stork Craft Manufacturing, Inc. located in British Columbia, Canada. Approximately 150,000 of these cribs have the Fisher-Price logo.

The cribs were sold from January 1993 to October 2009 in major retail stores such as Sears, Wal-mart and on online through Target.com and Amazon.com. Over this 16-7ear period, approximately 1.2 million cribs were distributed to the US and just under a million were distributed in Canada, where they were made.

The CPSC explained that the cribs' drop-side, which is attached with plastic hardware, can suddenly and unexpectedly detach and create a space between the wall of the crib and the mattress. The space is large enough for infants and toddlers to become trapped and suffocate or they can fall out of the crib.

At the time of this writing, four children have suffocated and 20 children have sustained injuries such as brain injury, concussion, and bumps and bruises.

If you or a loved one has been harmed or killed by a defective product anywhere in the United States, please contact the product liability attorneys at The Cochran Firm, with offices nationwide, today to schedule a confidential, no-cost consultation.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 6:13 AM

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mandatory A.T.V. Product Safety Standards

Good for Business, but Are They Good Enough for Americans?

Last year, legislation gave the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) new powers for regulating imports that are intended to be used by children. They also made voluntary safety guidelines for ATVs (All-Terrain Vehicles) into mandatory safety standards. The latter move was in response to an increasing number of Chinese-made imported ATVs, normally small and intended to be used by children, whose manufacturers did not follow the voluntary safety guidelines. Although some are praising this change in standards, others claim that it is not enough, that ATVs should face the same level of regulation as cars and that children under age 16 should not be allowed to use these dangerous products.

Some charge that the growing number of ATVs imported from China and not meeting US safety standards pose a significant threat to children. They claim that making safety standards mandatory is a necessary move to protect children. Others claim that the imposition of safety standards is primarily a move to level the playing field between manufacturers of domestic and imported ATVs, and isn't likely to lead to increased safety for children.

According to the CPSC, about 90 percent of accidents involving children, of which there are over 10,000 per year, occur because children are operating ATVs that are too large and powerful for them. Child safety advocacy groups claim that ATVs are inherently unsafe for children, and that increased safety standards would have no impact.

It is hard to know what impact mandatory safety standards will have on childhood injuries and deaths related to ATV use. Although overall ATV-related deaths have continued to grow, reaching over 800 per year in 2005, and likely to reach nearly 900 for 2008, the number of children's deaths has been falling, especially as a fraction of overall deaths. During the first years for which records were kept, the period from 1982-1989, children younger than 16 made up about 40% of all ATV-related deaths. In 2007, the last year for which reasonable figures are available, children made up only about 20% of all ATV-related deaths. Large declines in children's deaths seem to be associated first with the voluntary ban on three-wheeled ATVs and second with the growing number of child-oriented, Chinese-made, less powerful ATVs.

Short of banning children under age 16 from using ATVs, increasing the number of less powerful, Chinese-made ATVs seems the best route for decreasing children's ATV-related deaths. Ironically, "leveling the playing field" with mandatory safety regulation may work against that and against children's safety.

If you or a loved one has been hurt by an ATV or another dangerous consumer product, the product liability lawyers at The Cochran Firm stand ready to represent you. Please contact us today for a free case evaluation.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 12:57 PM

Monday, November 23, 2009

Defective Vicks Nasal Spray Recalled

On November 20, 2009, the company that manufactures Vicks Sinex Nasal Spray, Proctor & Gamble, recalled this product in the United States, Germany and England after discovering the popular decongestant contained bacteria. Proctor & Gamble voluntarily recalled the spray that was produced at a small manufacturing plant in Germany. The problem was detected during routine quality control testing, but, thankfully, the contamination is limited to a single batch involving three lots of the spray, which were sold only in the three countries mentioned above.

Lot numbers for this product can be found on the outer carton and the bottle; the following lot numbers have been recalled:

United States: Vicks Sinex Vapospray 12-hour Decongestant Ultra Fine Mist lot number 9239028831

Germany: Wick Sinext Schnupfenspray Dosiersystem lot number 9224028833

England: Vicks Sinex Micromist Aqueous Nasal Spray lot number 9224028832

If you have purchased Vicks with the above lot numbers, please stop taking the medication immediately. At the time of this writing, no reports of illness have been made, but the bacteria could cause serious health problems for people with weak immune systems or who have chronic lung conditions.

If you have been made ill due to a defective product, please contact the defective product attorneys at The Cochran Firm today to schedule a confidential, no-cost consultation.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 7:23 AM

Friday, November 20, 2009

Conn. Supreme Court Allows Truck Owner to Sue Insurance Company

The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that David Wilcox and his son Shaun can bring their lawsuit against Acadia Insurance in relation to a denied pay-out for a 2005 truck accident. The decision overturned a trial court's 2007 dismissal of the lawsuit.

Four people died and eleven people were injured in the 2005 truck accident at Avon Mountain. It occurred when the truck driver lost control of the vehicle and ran into a line of cars traveling as part of the morning commute. The crash was caused by poor truck maintenance and truck driver inexperience.

Wilcox is the owner of American Crushing and Recycling, the company that owns the truck responsible for the accident. He and his son are claiming that Acadia Insurance improperly refused to honor their $3 million insurance policy. Acadia insists that Wilcox let the coverage lapse prior to the accident.

The case will now return to the lower court to determine the whether or not Wilcox's insurance policy had lapsed. His lawyers plan to bring evidence showing that Acadia issued documentation confirming his policy was valid days before the accident.

If the lower court determines that the insurance policy was in effect, the truck accident victims will be able to file claims against Acadia for compensation for damages suffered in the accident. However, if the policy is ruled to have lapsed, then Wilcox will be deemed an uninsured motorist, and accident victims will be forced to file claims with their own insurance companies. Hopefully, their uninsured motorist coverage will fully compensate them for their losses.

If you have been the victim of a truck accident caused by an uninsured motorist, the experienced personal injury lawyers at The Cochran Firm can help you receive the compensation you deserve. Please contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation. We serve clients nationwide.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 10:49 AM

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Colorado Salmonella Outbreak Last Year Leads to Chlorine Waiver Revocation This Year

The Western Slope town of Alamosa, Colorado has 8,900 residents. Last year, nearly 1,300 of them became ill when salmonella infected the city’s water. Forty percent of Alamosa’s infants were sick, 442 cases of “probable salmonella infections” were identified by the state, and one man died. This was the worst waterborne disease outbreak in the US since 2004.

Waivers in Many Places


In a report that has been made public, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment states deficiencies in Alamosa’s 320,000 gallon reservoir allowed salmonella to enter the system. When asked how this outbreak could have been avoided, the state drinking water program manager said chlorination treatment would have stopped it. As a result, the state is requiring that 72 chlorine treatment waivers be revoked and that most, if not all, water systems be treated. Alamosa had been exempt from chlorination since 1974.

The state has reviewed nearly 130 public drinking water systems, including school districts, towns, campgrounds, and mobile home parks, that were exempt from chlorine treatment. Others are still under review. In Alamosa’s case, the chlorine waiver was just part of the problem. Poor maintenance, inadequate supervision of a short-staffed drinking water program, and incorrect bacteria testing all played their part.

Cause of the Outbreak

The reservoir was drained after the salmonella outbreak. The reservoir had not been drained and cleaned in almost a quarter century. The crew found holes so large they could see daylight through them and sediment over a foot deep in places.

Inspectors also discovered that a city water tower built in the ‘30s contained 145 gallons of sediment and was missing bolts that bird feces could have gotten into; two mortuaries and a meatpacking and restaurant property posed a hazard to the water supply; and the city’s tests for coliform bacteria in the water did not comply with federal requirements for diverse sampling.

Furthermore, the water pumped into the reservoir was at least 75 degrees. This is a perfect temperature for bacteria, but also for wildlife. All it takes to create a massive outbreak is a tiny amount of salmonella-tainted feces.

Salmonella infection can cause serious personal injury through dehydration, as well as death. When an entire city’s water supply becomes tainted because they waived off the one thing that could have kept salmonella from entering the drinking water, it may be possible to get compensation.

If you or a family member has become ill because of bacteria in your drinking water, please contact the experienced municipal liability attorneys at the Cochran Firm. We serve clients nationwide.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 11:47 AM

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Pain Pumps Causing Pharmaceutical Injury

The FDA has stated that between 2006 and 2008 it received 35 reports of cartilage damage caused by pain pumps. A pain pump is a small device surgically implanted beneath the skin. It has a plastic tube that slowly and continuously delivers pain medication, usually for several days after surgery.

Pain pumps are an excellent idea in that they eliminate the need for any systemic narcotic. They deliver the anesthetic locally and thus avoid the usual side effects of ingested narcotics – nausea, constipation, headaches, etc.

However, in the cases reported to the FDA, the patients, who had mostly had shoulder surgery, lost cartilage tissue from the shoulder joint and had to have additional surgery, even a joint replacement in some cases. These particular pain pumps were not FDA-approved for shoulder surgeries, just for abdominal surgery such as a hysterectomy.

New Labeling Required

The pain pump companies are I-Flow Corp., Moog, Inc. and Stryker Corp. and the manufacturers of the anesthetics used are APP Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Hospira, Inc., and perhaps others. They are all being asked to update their labels to include a warning about potential cartilage damage.

In a November 13, 2009 notice to doctors and others involved, the FDA states:

  • “The significance of this injury to otherwise healthy young adults warrants notification to health-care professionals.”

The reports of cartilage problems have been trickling in for several years and the Canadian government warned surgeons about the potential problem in January 2009.

Dr. Constance Chu is the director of a cartilage restoration center at the University of Pittsburgh and has written several medical articles on this topic. She describes the problem as “continuous use over two or more days”. The tissue is being saturated with so much anesthetic that its integrity is threatened. Her words were:

  • “If you don't give these tissues a break the toxicity is so high you can lose the tissue."

Hundreds of Pending Lawsuits

Because of the FDA’s statement that it never approved these pain pumps for joint surgery, the door is open to plaintiffs who were given a pump after their shoulder surgery and subsequently lost cartilage tissue. The defendants will not be able to say that they are covered by the FDA’s approval of the pumps for other kinds of surgery.

If you have been injured by any sort of defective product, you may have a valid legal case. To learn more about your rights and options, please contact our personal injury lawyers today. Our offices are nationwide for your convenience.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 10:36 AM

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Maclaren Didn't Inform Officials, Public of Dangerous Stroller Defect

Last week, Maclaren announced a recall of over one million of its umbrella style strollers because the strollers create a dangerous scissoring effect during folding or unfolding that can cut off the fingertips of children. The recall includes every folding umbrella stroller sold by Maclaren from 1999 through November 2009. Consumers are urged to immediately stop using the dangerous defective products and contact Maclaren USA to receive a repair kit that will cover the strollers and protect children from injury. The strollers have resulted in at least 12 children's fingers being severed.

Maclaren has known about the defect since at least 2004, when it was informed about a 23-month old child who lost his finger while his mother was testing the unfolding mechanism in the store. The child's finger could not be reattached. Maclaren alleged that the mother's negligence was to blame for the amputation and did report the problem to the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC). But it did settle the mother's lawsuit for an undisclosed amount, with the condition that the mother not discuss the lawsuit or the settlement.

An engineer who worked at the CPSC said of the Maclaren umbrella strollers,"this stroller contains a substantial design defect when compared to other . . . strollers." At this point, the CPSC is not stating a position on the criminality of Maclaren's actions because its investigation is ongoing.

Defective product lawsuits, otherwise known as product liability lawsuits, are partly intended to protect the public by bringing to light dangerous defects such as this one. Often manufacturers will attempt to use confidential settlements to keep defects hidden. If you work with The Cochran Firm for your product liability lawsuit, you will be in charge of the lawsuit, and we will never accept a confidential settlement if you want to push for a public trial to let people know about the defect.

If you or someone you love has been injured by a dangerous product, please contact The Cochran Firm today for a free case evaluation.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:38 AM

Monday, November 16, 2009

Criminal vs. Civil : Texting while driving results in loss of limbs

At The Cochran Firm, we are often asked what the difference is between a civil case and a criminal case. Here's a god example: Just last week in Orlando, Florida, a man was arrested by police for reckless driving causing bodily injury following an automobile accident he caused while texting on his cell phone.


The texting driver rear-ended a stopped garbage truck and hit Manny Mejia, 20, of Winter Haven, Florida. Police said that no road or weather conditions contributed to the crash. So, because Stephen Horne was arrested and charged with a third-degree felony, this is obviously a criminal case. His punishment could involve fines, revocation of his license, or all three (or more).

However, a civil case could certainly come out of this car accident. Because Mr. Mejia suffered serious bodily injury (loss of limbs) causing his life to be forever affected, he could sue Mr. Horne for damages such as:


  • Medical bills
  • Rehabilitation
  • Prosthetics (if applicable)
  • Lost wages
  • Future lost wages
  • Pain and suffering


So, there are criminal cases that can result in civil cases, also. Criminal charges may result in prison time while civil cases may result in the defendant having to pay monetary compensation to the victim.

If you feel you may have a civil case following a criminal act perpetrated against you, please contact The Cochran Firm today to schedule a confidential, no-cost consultation.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 9:53 AM

Friday, November 13, 2009

Who is Responsible for Informing Patients of Medical Device Recalls?

Diane Conetta, a Rhode Island resident, received a Kugel Mesh hernia patch during a 2005 hernia operation. In 2007, Davol Incorporated, the manufacturer of the Kugel Mesh Patch, recalled the device after receiving reports that the plastic ring inside the patch was prone to breaking, resulting in bowel perforations and other serious injuries.

However, it was only recently that Ms. Conetta learned about the recall through a newspaper article. She was never informed by the medical device manufacturer, the hospital, or her surgeon that the hernia patch implanted in her body during her surgery was defective and may potentially result in a serious injury. Ms. Conetta is now part of a class action defective product lawsuit being filed against Davol Incorporated in relation to the defective hernia patch.

Unfortunately, this situation is all too common in our country. When defective medical devices are recalled, there is often no chain of communication which reaches patients affected by the recall. As a result, thousands of patients across the country may be living with defective medical devices implanted in their body without even knowing that their health is in danger.

Who is Responsible for Informing Patients?

In this particular instance, Davol notified hospitals using the defective medical device of the recall, but not the patients. Some doctors were informed of the recall by the device manufacturer, but many were not. Instead, it was left to the hospitals to notify their surgeons. Some hospitals relayed this information to surgeons, others did not.

It was then the responsibility of hospitals and doctors to sift through medical records to determine which patients received these defective hernia patches and inform all affected patients of the recall.

There were several reasons why many patients were never made aware of the recall:

  • Many doctors never found out about the recall, and therefore did not know of the need to notify their patients of a potential problem
  • The process of sifting through medical records is quite long and tedious, and many hospitals simply failed to follow through with this process
  • There is no clearly defined protocol as to who is responsible for informing patients, resulting in confusion on the part of hospital staff as to how to proceed with relaying this information

According to an FDA spokesperson, it is the responsibility of the medical device manufacturer to inform hospitals and doctors of the recall, who then must notify patients. However, there is no one to enforce this protocol to ensure that every patient receives this vital information.

Clearly, there is a serious breakdown in the communication process between medical device manufacturers, hospitals, doctors, and patients which has prevented patients from learning of important defective product recalls which may impact their health and safety. It is time our government took steps to improve the process in order to ensure greater patient safety and awareness.

If you have not been properly made aware of the use of a defective medical device as part of your surgical procedure, you may be entitled to receive compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. The experienced defective product lawyers at The Cochran Firm can help you receive the compensation you deserve.

Please contact The Cochran Firm today to schedule your free initial consultation. We serve clients nationwide.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 9:43 AM

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pfizer Drug Studies Found to be Misleading

Just two months after being fined a record $2.3 billion for illegally marketing drugs, an article appearing in the New England Journal of Medicine states that Pfizer Inc.'s reports of studies of an epilepsy drug were often misleading. According to the article, results showed the medicine worked better than company documents showed. Unfavorable results were buried and another aspect of the drug highlighted to make it seem the medicine was okay. The change in information was never disclosed.

Pfizer is disputing the report and says the company never tried to mislead anyone about the effectiveness of the drug called Neurontin. However, the report only came to light after lawyers seeking class action status for cases related to obtaining refunds on prescriptions from Pfizer that were paid for by consumers and insurers made documents under review public.

Off-Label Uses


Neurontin was approved by the Food and Drug Administration ten years ago for treating seizures. This approval was later opened to treating pain caused by shingles, but nothing else. Doctors often prescribe drugs for unapproved, or off-label, uses, but drug companies are forbidden from marketing drugs for off-label uses. However, it is believed that Neurontin sales, which peaked at $2.7 billion in 2004, were mostly for off-label uses. Pfizer paid a $430 million fine to settle allegations it was marketing Neurontin for unapproved uses.

Two of the potential side effects of Neurontin are depression and suicidal thoughts. Pfizer and its Parke-Davis unit had begun patient studies of prevention of migraines, and treating nerve pain and bipolar disorder. In eight of the 12 published studies that showed up in medical journals and presented at conferences over the last decade, the central outcome listed later was different than what internal documents showed. In half of the cases, the information was substituted and in others the original outcome was either reported as a secondary conclusion or not disclosed at all.

It is not known who made the changes.

If you or a loved one has been injured by undisclosed side effects of a drug, please contact the experienced pharmaceutical injury lawyers at the Cochran Firm. We serve clients nationwide.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 9:43 AM

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Texting Driver Causes Severe Auto Accident

One Emmanuel Mejia, a 20-year-old amateur boxer, was working his temporary job for Florida Refuse Services in late August, wondering whether to go professional. He had been training since he was nine and was feeling ready to start doing tournaments. He had a backup plan too, of becoming a nurse.

As he was about to empty a can, he heard a noise behind him and turned around. A car was very close and barreling towards him. He jumped so that his waist would not be crushed against the garbage truck. He remembers being hit and rolling off the car’s hood on to the grass.

He quickly took out his cell phone and called friend, asking him to tell his mother that he had been hit by a car. He dimly remembers a helicopter ride and nothing else until about two weeks later, when he woke up in hospital.

Both Legs Amputated

His right leg was gone from halfway up the thigh and his left leg gone below the knee. His right index finger was also gone and half of his right thumb. The doctors told him that as they operated on him, his heart had stopped beating three times and they had revived him.

His parents, family, friends, and girlfriend are supporting him through the anger and depression he now feels. He will be transferred shortly to Tampa General Hospital to be fitted with prosthetic legs and to have physical therapy and other rehabilitation. He has a lawyer representing him.

Careless Driver Admitted he Was Texting

The driver of that car was one Stephen Horne, aged 26, who has been arrested on charges of reckless driving with serious bodily injury. That is a third degree felony and brings a prison term of up to five years. He is in jail on $15,000 bail.

Polk County Sheriff’s Office obtained a warrant to seize Horne’s cell phone. Emergency workers had told the Florida Highway Patrol officer that right after the crash, Horne had stated that he had been texting on his cell phone.

Just last month, the Polk County Commission voted to prohibit texting by county employees when they are driving on county business.

On average, a pedestrian-automobile “accident” kills someone every 108 seconds, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Pedestrians and road workers have no defense. However, they do have legal recourse after the accident.

If you have been hurt by a distracted driver and would like to know more about your legal rights and options, please contact our auto accident attorneys today for a free case review. We have offices in every state.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 9:00 AM

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Southwest Airlines Faces Personal Injury Lawsuit over "Fume Event"

On January 27, 2009, a Boeing 737 operated by Southwest Airlines lifted off in Los Angeles. About an hour into flight, several of the passengers began having trouble breathing. The crew was informed that the air quality in the cabin was poor. In response, the pilot engaged the engines at full thrust and climbed the aircraft. The intent of this maneuver is unknown, but the effect was to send super-heated air through the ventilation system, bathing the passengers in hot, contaminated air. A mist hung in the cabin, and several passengers began to experience problems, so the plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Two sisters who were among the passengers now claim to have suffered disabling neurological injury and respiratory symptoms and have filed a personal injury lawsuit against Southwest Airlines.

This lawsuit is one of the most recent occurrences of what are known as "fume events," where dangerous chemicals are blown into the cabin of aircraft as a result of a malfunction in the aircraft's ventilation system. Ventilation systems need some way to replenish oxygen. Most commonly, this is done by introducing fresh air from the outside. In the case of airplanes, the fresh air is taken from the engines. However, when a malfunction occurs, chemicals from the engine, including tricresyl phosphate, a known neurotoxin in its tri-o-cresyl phosphate isomer, may blend with the cabin air, creating a toxic environment. Often, the level of contamination is below what is considered a toxic level, but some individuals may be more susceptible than others.

The toxicity of tricresyl phosphate and related compounds has been known since 1977. Airline fume events are common to all airlines and involve all makes and models of airplanes currently in service. A British study said that these events occur in about 1 out of every 2000 flights. A National Resource Council study of Canadian aircraft showed that on at least one model of aircraft fume events may occur as frequently as four times out of a thousand flights. With millions of flights a year, even 1 out of 2000 flights means that there would be over a dozen events every day. However, these events are not well-publicized. Although every such event is supposed to be reported, only 108 were reported in 2008, far below the expected level.

If you have been injured as a result of the negligence of an individual, or an airline or other large corporation, the personal injury lawyers at the Los Angeles office of The Cochran Firm are ready to stand up for your rights. Please contact us today for a free case evaluation.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:32 AM

Monday, November 9, 2009

High School Football Player Dies Following Brain Injury

High school football standout, Kyle Wilson, played for the Central Catholic High School Vikings until his death due to a traumatic brain injury. His parents have filed suit against West Penn Allegheny Health System and UPMC for negligence in their son's death. The boy's father asserts that anyone with a concussion should be held overnight for observation.

The day after a practice session in which Kyle was hit in the head, he became ill. According to a nurse at West Penn Allegheny Health System, Kyle had passed out in the bathroom and had "been drinking." But lab tests were negative for both alcohol and drugs. A doctor who diagnosed his head injury as "not serious" discharged him, and the teen was sent home.

He got gradually worse and was taken to UPMC Children's Hospital where a CT scan was ordered but was too late. Kyle had suffered a stroke. Only after the boy exhibited facial flushing, high blood pressure, drooling. and unresponsiveness to voices was a CT scan ordered. He was declared brain dead and died three days later.

No further details are available at the time of this writing. The boy attended high school in the Pittsburgh area.

If your loved one has died as a result of a traumatic brain injury that went undiagnosed, you may have a valid legal claim. Please contact The Cochran Firm, with offices nationwide, today to schedule a consultation.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 9:14 AM

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Truck Accidents in San Jose, California

Truck accidents involving vehicles the size of tractor trailers, 18 wheelers, semis and other large freight carriers can cause catastrophic damage. When these giant trucks crash they can spill hazardous cargo that can endanger the surrounding area, roll-over, cause multi-vehicle pileups and annihilate a passenger vehicle.

Truck accidents cause damage to property and injury, disability and death to people. The medical expenses involved in the care and treatment and recovery of injuries sustained in a truck accident can last for months or even years, depending on their severity. Injuries from a truck accident are among the most devastating seen and can include broken bones, loss of limbs, severe burns, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, and paralysis. In a worst case scenario, the family of truck accident victim could be left with funeral and burial costs.

If you have been in a truck accident, you will need the services of an experienced truck accident attorney like those with The Cochran Firm. Whether you are filing a claim for financial compensation for expenses incurred as a result of a truck accident or claiming wrongful death, you should speak to an attorney with knowledge and experience in that field of law.

We encourage you to contact the San Jose, California office of The Cochran Firm today to make certain you have proper legal representation in your fight against the trucking company and obtain the financial compensation to which you are rightfully entitled.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 3:22 PM

Defective Chinese Drywall in Mobile, Alabama

During the past few years, thousands of homes in the United States have been constructed using defective, toxic drywall imported from China. The majority of this defective Chinese drywall was used during the time period 2004 to 2006, but there are reports some areas of the country still have inventory for sale to the unsuspecting consumer.

The defective Chinese drywall emits corrosive gases that smell of rotten eggs that can damage and destroy electrical systems, copper and other metals used in the construction of your home. In addition to damaging your homes' building materials, the corrosive gases cause respiratory problems, nose bleeds, headaches and eye irritation to the homes’ occupants. After consulting a doctor regarding your health problems you should seek the advice of an experienced defective Chinese drywall attorney like those at The Cochran Firm.

There is thought to be over five hundred million pounds of defective Chinese drywall in this country with over one hundred thousand homes affected at this time. The removal of this defective Chinese drywall presents another problem. If done without expert removal procedures it can actually make the problem worse by releasing more toxic gases.

Recent developments indicate insurance companies are dropping homeowner insurance policies or sending notices of non-renewal to homeowners based on the presence of Chinese drywall. This practice will escalate as insurance companies begin to deal with the multitude of claims waiting to be processed.

If you live in Mobile, Alabama and you have been victimized by the installation of defective Chinese drywall in your home, please contact The Cochran Firm today to schedule a consultation to discuss how to proceed to get assistance with your problem and the financial compensation to which you are entitled.

posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 3:12 PM

Defective Drugs Yaz and Yasmin in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Yaz and Yasmin, oral contraceptives manufactured by Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, are the subject of multiple lawsuits that allege these two oral contraceptives are responsible for life-threatening side effects. Defective drugs cause serious injury and death every year in this country.

Allegations have arisen that Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals failed to warn women that they could face an increased risk of serious side effects from taking Yaz and Yasmin that may include heart attack, stroke, cardiac arrhythmia, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, gallbladder disease and sudden death. The health and lives of women across this country have been put at risk because of this failure.

If you or someone you know has taken Yaz or Yasmin and have suffered from blood clots, pulmonary embolisms, hypertension, seizures or kidney problems, the first thing you should do after seeking medical advice is to seek the counsel of an experienced defective drug attorney like those at The Cochran Firm to investigate if there is a connection between your medical problems and these two oral contraceptives. It is important to act immediately as there are legal time limits involved in filing a claim for damages against a drug company.

If you are a resident of Minneapolis, Minnesota or the surrounding area, please contact The Cochran Firm today and speak with a defective drug attorney to learn what your legal rights are and if you are entitled to financial compensation for the damage these defective drugs have caused.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 3:10 PM

Amusement Park Accidents in Miami, Florida

Millions of Americans visit amusement parks, water parks, sports facilities and entertainment complexes annually. Unfortunately, accidents and injuries do occur at these venues despite safety procedures and precautions followed at these amusement parks and other entertainment and sport facilities.

Roller coasters and other "thrill-rides" are responsible for many amusement park injuries. Many amusement park attractions are built specifically to scare patrons. A rollercoaster traveling at speeds over 60 miles per hour is exciting but if an accident occurs, the result is often severe injuries, such as, whiplash, traumatic brain injuries or broken bones.

The lure of an amusement park is the promise of safe fun for the entire family, but children are injured every day on rides, in parking lots and elsewhere on the grounds of entertainment venues. When someone is injured at an entertainment venue, it is important to have the advice of an attorney familiar with cases involving amusement park and entertainment venue accidents, like The Cochran Firm lawyers. The venue owners need to be held legally responsible when an accident occurs on their property.

If you or someone you care about was injured at an amusement park, sports facility or other entertainment venue, please contact the Miami, Florida office of The Cochran Firm today to schedule a confidential consultation to learn all about your legal rights and what financial compensation.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 3:09 PM

Landlord-Tenant Disputes in Metairie, Louisiana

Whether it is a dispute over a rent increase, a late rental payment, responsibility for repairs, the return of a security deposit or damage caused by a pet, both tenants and landlords have rights and responsibilities under the law.

Landlord-tenant disputes are a common occurrence and could be avoided if both tenant and landlord knew what their rights and responsibilities were. Tenants should pay their rent on time, exert care in the treatment of the property, dispose of trash properly and not take in additional occupants without the landlord's knowledge and permission. Landlords should maintain a habitable property, make and pay for repairs, not cut-off the tenant's utilities and not discriminate when it comes to renting the property for any reason.

The only way to avoid landlord-tenant disputes in the future is to put everything in writing so there is no question about your rights and responsibilities before you rent a property so each party is clear as to what is expected of them. The Cochran Firm has experienced attorneys who can advise you about your rights and responsibilities so you can come to an agreement that is satisfactory for all concerned.

We encourage you to contact the Metairie, Louisiana office of The Cochran Firm today so one of our experienced landlord-tenant dispute lawyers can advise you of the best way to resolve your problem in a way that is agreeable to all concerned.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 2:54 PM

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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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