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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Elder Abuse in San Francisco/Oakland, California

The abuse of vulnerable elderly people in nursing homes or their own homes can take many forms. Physical abuse is relatively easy to detect, but abuse in form of financial exploitation of the elderly is an insidious abuse that hides in the shadows, masquerading as care and concern.

Financial exploitation of the elderly occurs when someone entrusted with the care of the elderly and vulnerable steals, withholds or misuses that person's money, property or valuables for their own benefit or profit without the elderly person's permission or knowledge.
Some instances of financial exploitation may include a person taking money, property or valuables without permission or the awareness of the elderly, borrowing money with no intention of paying it back, selling the elderly person's possessions without permission, misusing credit or ATM cards, forging signatures on checks and documents.

The caregiver typically uses emotional deceit and subtle intimidation practices to control the assets of the elderly often promising life-long personal care in return for financial control of bank accounts or being designated the beneficiary in a will or on life insurance policy. In some instances, the victim is totally unaware of the abuse being perpetrated on them and will often defend their abusers to all who inquire.

If you suspect your elderly family member or friend is the victim of financial exploitation by a caretaker entrusted with their well-being, please contact the Oakland, California office of The Cochran Firm today to protect their legal rights and hold those responsible for this abuse accountable.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 1:09 PM

Truck Accidents in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Massive, heavy trucks are a danger to cars that share the road with them. A truck has blind spots and a high center of gravity which makes it prone to rollover accidents. Truck's brakes fail, their loads shift or can spill, leaving hazardous substances or debris on the roadways causing dangerous driving conditions. Drowsy or alcohol and drug impaired truck drivers' raises the danger to other drivers to an even higher level.

A truck accident in Minnesota is not just another motor vehicle accident from a legal point of view. Truck companies and their drivers must follow strict state and federal regulations based on log books, time sheets and other criteria that can be crucial to a claim based on fatigue or alertness problems.

If you are ever involved in an accident with a truck, never take it upon yourself to negotiate a settlement with the trucking company because they do not have your best interests in mind. They employ highly skilled adjusters trained in claims negotiations to gently coerce and manipulate a victim of a truck accident into signing a statement or accepting a much lower financial settlement than you would actually receive if you had your own legal representation looking out for your interests.

Truck accidents often result in catastrophic injuries or death, usually to the other driver and the occupants of the other vehicle involved. The truck driver and truck company should be held accountable when the fault is theirs in an accident.

If you live in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area and you have been the victim of a truck accident, please contact The Cochran Firm today to get proper legal representation to protect your rights and get a fair and just settlement for the injuries you have suffered.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 12:45 PM

EPA Expands Regulation of Drugs in Water

Though lobbyists and those who work for large pharmaceutical companies would tell you the water is safe, scientists and environmental researchers point to the dozens of pharmaceuticals found in drinking water. Though these chemicals are in the parts per billion or trillion, way below medical dosage, there is fear among researchers that even small amounts of medication can harm people over decades, especially those who take other drugs, children, and pregnant women.

As a result, the Environmental Protection Agency is expanding efforts to remove pharmaceutical residue from the water and treating them as environmental pollutants. Since the Obama administration started a year ago, federal regulators have made a sharp shift from the last decade’s refusal to do anything about this issue.

Now, the EPA has come up with a list of pharmaceuticals that should be regulated, as well as started a survey to see which kinds of drugs show up in water plants across the country. The FDA announced a goal of having unused medications returned rather than flushed, and updated their list of waste drugs that can be flushed. The National Toxicology Program is researching how low levels of a bevy of drugs effects human health.

The EPA’s study will now look at 50 water plants for 200 chemical and microbial contaminants. There are 125 pharmaceuticals on this list. The EPA has already put 13 pharmaceuticals on their Contaminant Candidate List. While parts per billion or trillion may not seem like a serious threat, consider that most of the pharmaceuticals on this list are sex hormones. Also included are erythromycin, an antibiotic, and other chemicals that can be used for drugs, but have better uses.

According to the report, these chemicals will join a list of over a hundred chemicals and over ten microbial contaminants already under consideration for candidacy for regulation. Contaminants already on this list include formaldehyde, metal cobalt, the rocket fuel perchlorate, and the germ E. coli.

If you believe your or a loved one has become ill from pharmaceuticals or chemicals in the drinking water, please contact the experienced toxic tort attorneys at the Cochran Firm. We serve clients nationwide.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 9:44 AM

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Automobile Accidents/Pedestrians in Tuskegee, Alabama

Pedestrians practice a healthy, "green" and necessary pursuit in walking to get from point A to point B, but it can also be a dangerous pursuit.

Pedestrian accidents in which walkers are struck by a car, truck, bus or motorcycle often lead to serious injuries and deaths. Over 5,000 pedestrians are killed and over 64,000 are injured every year in the United States. The human body is no match for the massive forces involved in being struck by any type of motor vehicle. The injuries sustained in such an accident may include brain and spinal cord injuries, broken bones, paralysis and may often prove fatal.

Accidents involving pedestrians
often occur between 5:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. when darkness and the consumption of alcohol become a factor. The additions of speeding and distractions while driving further increase the possibility of a pedestrian being hit. A pedestrian has an obligation to take reasonable care for their own safety or they may be accused of contributory negligence in the event of an accident if they ignored a "Don't Walk" sign, failed to use a designated crosswalk or darted out in front of a vehicle between parked cars.

If you live in the Tuskegee, Alabama area and you or someone you care about was injured or killed in a pedestrian accident, please contact The Cochran Firm today to protect your legal rights and get the advice of the experienced attorneys there on how to proceed with a claim against the responsible parties.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 1:11 PM

Spinal Cord Injuries in Sacramento, California

Over 250,000 Americans are living with a spinal cord injury (SCI), one of the most devastating injuries to cope with for the victim and those that love and care for them. Over 11,000 new cases of spinal cord injuries are documented every year, with males accounting for 80% of that number. Half of those injured are between the ages of 16 and 30 with the most common causes being automobile accidents, acts of violence, falls, and sports related injuries.

The effects of a spinal cord injury are virtually irreversible despite major advances in medical research. In cases of spinal cord injury where the nerve damage is minimal, some basic motor functions do remain, but the majority of spinal cord injuries cause paralysis below the level of the injury.

Symptoms of having sustained a spinal cord injury include a sudden loss of consciousness, pain in the back, head and neck, loss of movement of limbs, difficulty breathing, and loss of bladder and bowel control. Victims of spinal cord injuries require life-long care involving physical, emotional and financial support in order to have a certain quality of life to sustain them.

If you or a loved one has suffered the devastating effects of a spinal cord injury, please contact the Sacramento, California office of The Cochran Firm today to learn how to proceed to get the financial help you may need to improve your quality of life and the lives of those dear to you.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 1:07 PM

Traumatic Brain Injury in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

A catastrophic injury has a severe impact on the victim and their family for a long time; that is why it is important to pursue financial compensation that covers medical and personal care expenses not only for the present, but well into the future.

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is classified as a catastrophic injury because of the complex and delicate tissues of the brain that are damaged as a result of a blow to the head. A traumatic brain injury can cause a lessening of motor and cognition skills, memory loss, debilitating headaches, vision and hearing problems, dizziness, loss of consciousness, emotional instability and personality changes. People with TBI often suffer permanent damage and require extensive medical and personal care for their entire life.

Traumatic brain injuries can occur as a result of an automobile accident, a sports injury, a criminal assault or a job-related injury, but can also result from a simple fall or what is perceived to be at the time, a slight bump on the head. Over 3,000,000 people struggle with life after TBI in this country every day that requires physical, emotional and financial support in enormous quantities.

If you or someone you love has suffered a traumatic brain injury, please contact the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania office of The Cochran Firm today to find out if you are entitled to financial compensation for your injury to assist you in securing a better quality of life.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 1:00 PM

Defective Chinese Drywall in Miami, Florida

Thousands of homes across America were constructed using defective Chinese drywall after a construction boom and repeated hurricane damage that was experienced between 2004 and 2007 created a shortage of domestically manufactured drywall.

Defective Chinese drywall
causes a strong sulfur odor, reminiscent of rotten eggs, property damage and health problems like headaches, respiratory and sinus problems, nosebleeds and eye irritation. Homes constructed with defective Chinese drywall have been experiencing corroding electrical systems, heating and cooling systems and piping corrosion along with the health problems.

Over 100,000 homes are reported to be affected at this time and simply removing the defective Chinese drywall presents another problem. It has been reported that the removal procedure can actually release more toxic gases if not done properly.

Insurance companies are reportedly dropping homeowners or not renewing their homeowners insurance policies based on the presence of defective Chinese drywall in their homes. The defective product attorneys at The Cochran Firm are aggressively pursuing the international companies, builders and insurers involved in this complex issue for their clients.

If you live in the Miami, Florida area and your home has been affected by defective Chinese drywall, please contact The Cochran Firm today and allow the experienced defective product attorneys there to advise you on how to proceed to protect your legal rights and get the financial assistance you deserve.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 12:45 PM

Nursing Home Abuse in Chicago, Illinois

It is one of the most difficult decisions you will ever have to make in your lifetime. The placement of an elderly family member in a nursing home is a heart-wrenching decision, filled with feelings of guilt and fault. It is important to remember that aging and ill-health are no one’s fault, but just the next step in the process of life.

It is a fact of life that, unfortunately, elderly people in a nursing home are vulnerable to those that provide their care and are easy targets for nursing home abuse and neglect. Due to understaffing, overcrowding and inadequate training, nursing home residents often fall victims to physical and emotional abuse and neglect.

Nursing home residents are subject to malnutrition and dehydration, prescription and medication dosage errors, bedsores from failure of the staff to turn them at appropriate intervals when they are bedridden, broken bones from falls, wandering away from inadequate staff supervision, and bruises and injuries inflicted by physical abuse. A recent finding in several Chicago area nursing homes has uncovered sexual abuse of residents committed by unregistered convicted sex-offenders residing in area nursing homes.

Nursing home abuse and neglect can lead to serious injuries and death and it is reported that over one million elderly residents of nursing homes nationwide suffer the consequences of abuse and neglect every year.

If you suspect a loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse and neglect, please contact the Chicago, Illinois office of The Cochran Firm today to protect your legal rights and the legal rights of your loved one.

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posted by Erica at 12:25 PM

Tylenol Recall Expanded

In September, 2009, McNeil Consumer Healthcare announced a recall of infant and children’s Tylenol. McNeil Consumer Healthcare is part of the Johnson & Johnson group that manufacturers Tylenol. They had found that one of the inactive ingredients in 21 Tylenol products was possibly contaminated. Bacteria were found in the ingredients but not in any finished products. However, they issued the recall for safety’s sake.

Arthritis Pain Caplets Now Included

Now Johnson & Johnson is expanding this Tylenol recall to include Arthritis Pain Caplets that are reported to have a moldy smell, described as musty like mildew, when the bottles are opened. The caplets are in 100-count bottles that have a red “ez-open” lid to enable people with arthritic fingers to open the bottle easily.

The first of these caplets were recalled in November – five lots only. At first the smell was causing nausea and Johnson & Johnson called those reactions “non-serious” and “temporary”. However, more reports were received where people were suffering from vomiting, stomach pain and diarrhea because of this odor, as well as nausea.

A Fungicide the Cause

An in-depth investigation was then carried out and officials found that the cause of the odor was a chemical fungicide called 2,4,6-tribromoanisole. It was used to prevent fungus in the wooden shipping pallets used for the materials that were used in bottling the caplets. That is how the fungicide got inside the bottles.

This original September 2009 recall announcement by McNeil Consumer Healthcare gives the lot numbers of all the infant and child Tylenol withdrawn from the market at that time.

If you have purchased the arthritis caplets in those 100-count bottles, you are advised to stop using them immediately. The company is offering refunds and you can call them at 1-888-222-6036 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Eastern time.

Defective drugs can be caused by events at many points along the route between initial manufacturing steps and consumer use. Investigations sometimes take a long time to pinpoint the problem and sometimes come up with an erroneous answer at first. This happened with the Heparin recall earlier this year, where the problem turned out to be a faulty ingredient used in China.

If you have been harmed by a defective product of any kind and would like to know more about your legal options, please contact our law office today for a free case review.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 10:24 AM

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Premises Liability in San Jose, California

"Premises liability" is a legal term that refers to the responsibility of certain people or entities for injuries and costs to others stemming from the ownership of property where the injury or damages occurred.

Under California law, there must be negligence on the part of the property owner in order for them to be held legally responsible for injuries or damages sustained on their property. The simple fact of owning a property does not make the owner legally responsible for injuries or damages that occurred on their property.

Some common types of injuries often involved in premises liability lawsuits include slip or trip and fall accidents, dog bites, construction accidents or accidents involving repairmen, swimming pool drownings or diving board accidents, injuries from exposure to hazardous or toxic substances, fires, inadequate security at malls or office buildings, poor lighting in parking garages or parking lots leading to criminal assaults.

Premises liability lawsuits are complex and most likely involve property insurance issues that only an experienced premises liability attorney can decipher and pursue to provide adequate compensation for the injuries you have suffered.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury on someone else's property, please contact the San Jose, California office of The Cochran Firm today to schedule a confidential consultation, at no cost to you, to learn how to proceed with your case and obtain the financial compensation you deserve.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 1:10 PM

Defective Pharmaceuticals in Norfolk/Portsmouth, Virginia

Defective pharmaceuticals are responsible for causing serious harm and even death to thousands of trusting American consumers every day in the United States. With sales totaling hundreds of billions of dollars annually, recalled drugs are still in the news daily, because callous pharmaceutical executives make the decision to release a drug to the public knowing dangerous side effects exist. Taking a medication prescribed by your doctor should not be a life-threatening occurrence.

Pharmaceutical manufacturers routinely ignore the safety of consumers in a mad dash to get new drugs on the shelves while being guilty of inadequate testing and quality control procedures. A defective drug can cause heart attacks, kidney and liver damage, stroke and birth defects.

In the recent past drugs for arthritis pain, cholesterol lowering medications, oral contraceptives, diet drugs, anti-depressants and vaccines have been on the dangerous drugs list along with hundreds, if not thousands of others.

Defective drugs cause enormous pain and suffering for many and have been responsible for lawsuits and awards for damages in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

If you have been the victim of a defective drug, please contact the Portsmouth, Virginia office of The Cochran Firm today for a confidential evaluation of your case, at no cost to you, to take the first step towards justice and the financial compensation you deserve.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 12:59 PM

Defective Chinese Drywall in Metairie, Louisiana

Many homeowners in Louisiana are abandoning their homes after reporting foul odors, health concerns like headaches, respiratory problems, nosebleeds and eye irritation, and the corrosion of wiring, copper pipes and appliances due to toxic defective Chinese drywall that was used in the construction of these homes.

The defective Chinese drywall has higher than normal levels of the hazardous substances strontium and sulfur. To make matters worse, some homeowner insurance companies are canceling the homeowners insurance on these homes citing a failure on the part of the homeowner to maintain the home in a livable condition. This is a classic “catch 22” situation.

Louisiana’s defective Chinese drywall problem has not yet peaked and shows signs of getting worse. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita were responsible for thousands of homes being rebuilt with the defective Chinese drywall and now those same people whose homes were destroyed have become victims of a different kind of disaster. However, citizens of Louisiana are protected to some extent by a consumer protection law unique to Louisiana.

If you or a family member or friend suspects your home contains defective Chinese drywall, you need the help of The Cochran Firm, a leading products liability and personal injury law firm that is committed to holding the international companies responsible for this disaster accountable.

If you live in and around Metairie, Louisiana please contact The Cochran Firm today and learn how the law in Louisiana can assist you in your efforts to obtain justice and protect your legal rights in your fight against the manufacturers and distributors of defective Chinese drywall.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 12:44 PM

Wrongful Death in Birmingham, Alabama

A "wrongful death" occurs when an individual dies as a result of the negligence or misconduct of another person, company or entity. Pursuing a wrongful death claim for financial compensation can never replace the loss of a loved one, but it will provide for lost income, medical and funeral expenses and the pain and suffering caused by the finality of your loss.

Wrongful deaths can be the result of medical malpractice, fatal car or truck accidents, construction fatalities, deaths caused by defective products or defective drugs, drowning or fire-related deaths and those killed as the result of a violent act. Losing someone you love is heartbreaking, but when that loss was avoidable and caused by the negligence or misconduct of another, the loss somehow seems more difficult to endure.

The only method available for measuring the cost of the loss of a loved in a court of law in a wrongful death case is by determining the financial loss that the death caused to the victim's survivors and beneficiaries.

When that loss is measured, the money the deceased earned, could have earned had they lived and how financially dependent the survivors were on the support of the deceased is taken into account. Medical, burial and funeral expenses are also taken into consideration.

Please contact the Birmingham, Alabama office of The Cochran Firm today if you have lost a loved one to a wrongful death to schedule a confidential consultation at no cost to you to protect your legal rights and get you the financial compensation you so rightfully deserve.

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posted by Erica at 12:23 PM

Truck Accident Spills Grape Juice, Driver Suspected of Being on Stiffer Stuff

In the early morning hours Monday, a truck carrying a load of grape juice on an icy highway in Pennsylvania crossed the median, then flipped onto its side, skidding towards oncoming traffic. The accident closed the highway north of Pittsburgh for nearly seven hours. After the accident, the driver was arrested under suspicion of driving drunk, and officials said his blood alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit.

More worrisome than the individual truck accident are hints that the accident might be part of a systematic failure at the trucking company. Investigative reporters have found that the company, Hiner Transport, has failed 49 driver safety inspections in the last 30 months, nearly 17% higher than the national average. During the same period, its drivers have been cited for 80 moving violations, three of which were related to alcohol or drug use. As a result of the inspection failures, the moving violations, and seven accidents involving Hiner Transport trucks, the driver safety score has been climbing, and now approaches the deficient score. Carriers with a higher driver safety rating are 63% more likely to be involved in accidents. Ironically, Hiner Transport was named "Safest Fleet" in Indiana by the Indiana Motor Truck Association, a professional organization. This is the 8th time the company has been granted this honor, which may reflect a poor emphasis on safety by other carriers.

If you have been hurt or lost a loved one in a trucking accident in Pennsylvania, the personal injury lawyers at the Philadelphia office of The Cochran Firm stand ready to help. We have the experience and resources to identify when trucking companies fail in their duty to ensure the safety of their drivers. To learn how we can help you, please schedule a free case evaluation today.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 9:35 AM

Monday, December 28, 2009

Police Brutality in the Latino Community

The Constitution of the United States guarantees the citizens of this country certain rights. Police brutality violates those rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

The police are obligated to treat everyone with dignity and respect and to honor your rights under the Constitution. You have the right to be free from the use of excessive force and cruel and unusual punishment even if you broke the law.

It is apparent that too many Latinos are put at risk everyday of their liberties and in some cases their lives, because of police brutality. The Latino community is a population that suffers a disproportionate number of instances of police brutality.

Although the use of reasonable force by the police in certain circumstances is necessary and understandable for the protection of innocent citizens, there are well documented cases of police abusing their authority and causing harm to undeserving citizenry. Police brutality can take many forms, such as racial profiling, false arrest, sexual harassment, intimidation and corruption. The majority of incidents of police brutality go unreported and therefore undocumented.

If you or someone you love has been the victim of police brutality, please contact the Latino Section of The Cochran Firm with offices nationwide today to schedule a private consultation at no cost to you to learn what you can do to protect your legal rights and the legal rights of those you love.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 1:19 PM

Automobile Accidents and Texting in Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina

The end of 2009 has brought the beginning of a well-deserved and highly anticipated ban on texting while driving in North Carolina. Drivers must now take their hands off the cell phone buttons and leave them on the steering wheel or face a fine.

The risk of an auto accident is 23 times greater than usual when a driver is texting while behind the wheel according to a recent Virginia Tech Transportation Institute study. Texting causes drivers to take their eyes and attention off the road for at least five second intervals. During that five second interval a car moving at highway speeds will travel the length of a football field.

The North Carolina texting while driving ban carries a one hundred dollar penalty that can more than double with fines for someone caught sending or reading a text while the car is in motion. Studies reveal that talking on a cell phone while driving, even using a hands-free headset, is also dangerous, increasing the likelihood of an automobile accident to the level of an alcohol or drug impaired driver. This distraction should be included in the ban as well to protect everyone on the roads and highways around the state.

If you have been involved in an automobile accident with a cell phone using texting driver, please contact the Durham, North Carolina office of The Cochran Firm today to learn how to proceed to protect your legal rights.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 1:04 PM

Truck Accidents in New York, New York

According to the United States Department of Transportation there are over 170 people killed in truck accidents on New York roads every year with more than 2,000 people seriously injured. In spite of strict government regulations regarding driver training, truck safety and safety procedures, truck accident injuries and fatalities cause devastation to victims and their families.

Due to the tremendous size and weight of these trucks on the road today, they create enormous amounts of energy as they travel at highway speeds. As a consequence collisions with these trucks cause serious injuries or death to those unfortunate occupants of smaller passenger vehicles involved.

Common causes of truck accidents are overloading or improper loading of cargo, poor tire and equipment maintenance, defective or poorly designed roadways, poor driver training, driver fatigue, unsafe speeds and driving while impaired.

The wide spectrum of possible causes of a truck accident makes determining the cause of a truck accident a difficult job for anyone other than an experienced and knowledgeable truck accident attorney who understands the complexities involved. The Cochran Firm has experts in all fields of truck accident investigation available to assist their clients in obtaining the best possible legal representation when confronting the trucking industry in litigation regarding an accident with one of their trucks.

If you have been in an accident involving a truck in the New York City and surrounding areas, please contact The Cochran Firm today to get the legal representation you deserve.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 12:57 PM

Slip and Fall Accidents in Memphis, Tennessee

Property owners are obligated by law to provide safe premises for guests, customers and renters. If the owners of properties or businesses fail in their legal obligation to keep people safe on their property, innocent people may be seriously injured or killed.

Premises liability
laws hold property owners legally liable when serious injuries or deaths occur due to their negligence. A "slip and fall" accident is an example of what can happen as a result of a hazardous condition on someone else's property. A hazardous condition may be caused by pooling water, ice, snow, poor lighting, a hole or crack in the pavement, a torn carpet or oily substance left on the floor.

Slip and fall accidents
account for over 16,000 wrongful deaths each year in people aged 65 or older. Almost 2,000,000 elderly people are treated annually in emergency rooms across the United States for fall-related injuries with over 1,000,000 actual admissions to hospitals for those injuries.

If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident on someone else's property, you are eligible for financial compensation for your pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages and other expenses incurred as a result of your fall.

If you live in the Memphis, Tennessee area and you believe a negligent property owner was responsible for your injuries suffered in a slip and fall accident, please contact The Cochran Firm today to learn how to proceed to protect your legal rights and get the financial compensation you deserve.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 12:41 PM

Recent studies have revealed that over one hundred thousand people are injured in this country every year resulting in over five thousand fatalities in accidents involving large trucks More than two hundred of those people lost their lives in Georgia. The massive size and weight of a large truck traveling at highway speeds creates an incredible force in an accident that can cause devastation to people and property.

A
truck accident is a frightening event that becomes a complicated event in the aftermath that requires knowledge of trucks, the trucking industry and insurance issues. Truck accidents typically involve multiple vehicles, multiple victims and multiple insurance companies that complicate the resolution of culpability and responsibility further. An experienced truck accident attorney such as those with The Cochran Firm have expertise in all types of truck accidents and are familiar with just how catastrophic injuries and losses can be in an accident involving a truck, with broken bones and severed limbs, internal trauma, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, paralysis, severe burns, and even death.

Truck accident victims can be financially compensated for medical expenses and lost income, lost future earning capacity, pain and suffering and the loss of your quality of life. In the event of a wrongful death due to a truck accident, survivors are also entitled to financial compensation for their losses brought about by the death of their loved one.

If you live in the Atlanta, Georgia area and have been impacted by the involvement in an accident with a truck, please contact The Cochran Firm today.

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posted by Erica at 12:18 PM

Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a cancer that affects the linings of our internal organs. The mesothelium is the lining that protects our organs. Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to and inhalation of asbestos. Asbestos is a natural material that became a very popular use for many products due to its resiliency and resistance to heat.

The signs and symptoms of mesothelioma often do not manifest for decades after asbestos exposure. There are three main types of this cancer:

  • Pleural Mesothelioma
  • Peritoneal Mesothelioma
  • Pericardial Mesothelioma


Pleural mesothelioma is the most common type of mesothelioma. It affects the lining of the lungs. Inhalation of asbestos causes the tiny, sharp fibers that make up the material to penetrate the lining of the lungs and destroy the mesothelium.

Peritoneal mesothelioma affects the peritoneum, which is the lining that surrounds the gastrointestinal tract. The peritoneum provides lubrication for the stomach and intestinal tract, allowing them to move and digest food properly.

Pericardial mesothelioma is the rarest form of mesothelioma. Just like the gastrointestinal tract, the heart is a moving organ, and requires lubrication to move and operate properly. The pericardium is the fluid filled sack that surrounds the heart, allowing it to move and function properly, and also preventing it from over-expanding. In pericardial mesothelioma, the tiny, sharp fibers of asbestos penetrate this lining and mutate into the cancer. It can cause coughing, chest pain, shortness of breath, and heart palpitations.

The symptoms associated with all three types of this cancer resemble many more common diseases, which is why it is very important for your doctor to be aware of any exposure you may have had to asbestos, even if that exposure occurred decades ago.

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or exposed to asbestos, please contact the experienced mesothelioma attorneys at The Cochran Firm, with offices across the nation, today.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 10:18 AM

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Defective Consumer Products in Los Angeles, California

Every time you go to a store you take your life in your own hands. Does that sound like a true and rational statement? What if you went shopping knowing a few items in every store could cause you serious harm, but you did not know which ones?

That is exactly what happens every day in the United States as millions of Americans buy products and bring them into their homes, a sort of consumer- based game of Russian roulette. Most products are tested by their manufacturers, but in some cases dangerous flaws are either allowed to remain or go undetected until it is too late.

Defective or dangerous consumer products cause devastating injuries and deaths to thousands of unsuspecting consumers every year. Defective and dangerous products cause severe burns, brain injuries, paralysis, lost limbs or debilitating illnesses and even deaths. The parties responsible must be held legally culpable and financially liable for the damages they inflict on an unsuspecting public.

Some typical defective consumer products have included food items, toothpaste, toys, household appliances, automobiles, airbags, tires, cribs, strollers, pet foods, smoke detectors, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, flammable fabrics, the list is endless.

If you or someone you love has been injured by the use of a defective consumer product, please contact the Los Angeles, California office of The Cochran Firm today to learn about your legal rights and how an experienced product liability attorney can get you the financial compensation you deserve.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 12:38 PM

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Defective Pharmaceuticals in Washington, D.C.

Every day it seems a new drug is recalled or a warning is issued to consumers from pharmaceutical manufacturers regarding defective drugs. Over 20 million people have been affected by drug recalls in the past. The effects of taking a defective pharmaceutical can cause long term medical complications, frightening symptoms and permanent disabilities and death.

Too often pharmaceutical companies put profits before people and their safety by rushing to release the latest "wonder drug" to consumers eager for a solution to a health problem. The result can have a disastrous impact on those who take the drugs and experience horrific side effects. Defective pharmaceuticals have been responsible for heart attacks, strokes, birth defects and liver and kidney failure at times resulting in death.

Laws are in place for individuals injured by a defective drug to seek justice and financial compensation for their injuries or wrongful death. Defective pharmaceutical lawsuits are very complicated and require the knowledge and expertise of a law firm experienced in taking on the giant pharmaceutical industry. The Cochran Firm has been fighting successfully for justice for their clients against this industry for decades and it is their firm belief a company that places profits before peoples’ lives must be held financially accountable for their actions.

Please contact The Cochran Firm today at their Washington, D.C. location if you have been injured by a defective drug and make it your first action toward getting the financial compensation you deserve.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 1:13 PM

Truck Accidents in Las Vegas, Nevada

A fully loaded18-wheeler traveling at interstate speeds can cause terrible injuries and death in a collision with an automobile. Speeding, distractions, fatigue, an alcohol or drug impaired driver, a poorly maintained truck, are all typical reasons why trucks crash.

Other truck accidents involving delivery or commercial trucks on city streets that do not involve speed, but entail pulling out into traffic without maintaining the proper lane, running over pedestrians or bicyclists, failing to see a motorcycle rider or sideswiping a car, can also cause serious injuries.

Due to the weight and speed of these trucks, the injuries are often catastrophic. Spinal cord injuries for example can result from these accidents and require multiple surgeries, or result in paralysis and require a lifetime of medical care, expenses and limitations.

When you are the victim of a truck accident you have inadvertently entered into an adversarial relationship with a trucking company and team of lawyers working to deflect blame for the accident and distance themselves from any legal responsibility for your injuries. An experienced truck accident attorney at The Cochran Firm will make sure you are fully compensated for your medical expenses, pain and suffering and any expenses you incur as a result of your injuries.

Visitors and guests injured in a truck accident while visiting Las Vegas should consult with The Cochran Firm whose attorneys have the experience and knowledge of trucking industry law and insurance issues to make certain you receive adequate financial compensation.

Please contact The Cochran Firm today in Las Vegas, Nevada if you have been the victim of an accident with a truck and make sure you receive the financial compensation you deserve.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 12:37 PM

Friday, December 25, 2009

Police Brutality in Jackson, Mississippi

Mississippians expect their local police forces to protect them, not harm them. The people of Mississippi do not expect abusive behavior from the police during a routine traffic stop, or unnecessary and unwarranted racial profiling of their particular minority group either.

They do not expect physical or emotional abuse, assault by a police officer with a nightstick or flashlight, unlawful or warrantless arrests, vindictive arrests or prosecutions or problems with off-duty police officers at a restaurant or bar. Mississippians do not expect this behavior, but they are often victims of police misconduct and brutality.

The use of reasonable force by the police in certain circumstances is necessary to protect their lives and the lives of innocent people caught up in the rising tide of criminal behavior in many communities. However, there are cases where some police officers have abused their authority over the years.

When a police officer abuses their power and deliberately harms an individual, the victim can file a police brutality claim. The Cochran Firm has a long and proud tradition of civil rights advocacy and is well equipped to use every legal avenue to retaliate against police brutality wherever it occurs and to pursue financial compensation for the insults and injuries innocent citizens have suffered at the hands of a few bad police officers.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of police brutality, please contact the Jackson, Mississippi office of The Cochran Firm today to schedule a confidential consultation at no cost to you to learn how you can protect your legal rights and obtain the financial compensation you deserve.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 12:35 PM

White Firefighters Sue for Racial Discrimination, Seek Back Pay

This past June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that New Haven officials were guilty of racial discrimination and civil rights violations due to an incident in 2003, when they disregarded test results in which the overwhelming majority of minorities scored poorly. As a result, 14 white firefighters did not receive the promotions they deserved based on their strong performance on the tests.

These 14 firefighters were recently promoted to lieutenant and captain. This week, they filed a lawsuit seeking back pay, damages, and legal fees. Their employment law attorneys claim that the firefighters are entitled to back pay with interest for the promotions they should have received more than six years ago had their test scores been certified.

The firefighters are also suing for damages to cover “the humiliation and economic hardship of prolonged career stagnancy in a rancorous atmosphere fostered by raw racial divides.” These employment law claims may cost the city of New Haven as much as $1 million.

The experienced employment law attorneys at The Cochran Firm can help you recover damages for unfair practices committed by your employer, including but not limited to racial discrimination. These are highly complex cases and require the assistance of an attorney with a great deal of expertise in the field of employment law.

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 10:31 AM

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Errors in Kidney Dialysis in New Orleans, Louisiana

Kidney dialysis treatments replace the function of the kidney which serves as your body's filtration system. The kidney dialysis treatment removes waste products and excess fluids from your bloodstream while maintaining the correct chemical balance of your blood.

Twenty million people over the age of twenty suffer from chronic kidney disease. Several hundred thousand people must undergo kidney dialysis treatments every year to stay alive. Unfortunately, kidney dialysis treatments themselves are not without risk to victims of chronic kidney disease.

There are thousands of incidents of errors in kidney dialysis treatments every day in the United States. Errors in kidney dialysis treatments may include medication errors, vascular access-related injuries, excess or prolonged blood loss, inadequate cleaning and filtering of dialysis machines, failure to properly monitor patient vital signs and patient falls.

If you or someone you love is presently undergoing kidney dialysis treatments and you have questions regarding the level of care you are receiving you should consult an attorney with experience in kidney dialysis errors like the attorneys with The Cochran Firm who are well-versed in kidney dialysis care and treatment and incidents of malpractice in that field.

If you are a resident of New Orleans, Louisiana or the surrounding area, please contact The Cochran Firm today to learn how to protect your legal right to high quality medical care and treatment.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 12:48 PM

Medical Malpractice in Huntsville, Alabama

According to a heart-stopping statistic, some hospitals are responsible for causing harm to up to 36% of their patients due to medical errors that caused injuries and deaths.

Medical malpractice is the result of a negligent act by a healthcare professional or facility that culminates in damage to a patient. That healthcare professional or facility may include, but not be limited to, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, nursing homes or hospitals and involve misdiagnoses, surgical mistakes, medication and dosage errors, failure to diagnose a life-threatening disease and other countless acts of negligence.

Medical malpractice laws were designed to protect patients and their right to pursue financial compensation if they were injured as a result of medical negligence and malpractice. There are time constraints governing how long someone may wait to bring a medical malpractice claim.

If you are concerned you have been a victim of medical malpractice, do not hesitate in contacting an experienced medical malpractice attorney. A medical malpractice attorney at The Cochran Firm can evaluate your case, determine if you do indeed have a just claim and initiate that claim for financial compensation for you without further delay.

We encourage you to contact The Cochran Firm today if you live in the Huntsville, Alabama area and have been the victim of medical malpractice, to protect your legal rights and take the first step in obtaining justice for yourself and for those you love.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 12:34 PM

Report Shows Texting Drivers Six Times More Likely to Have an Accident

A study done by psychologists at the University of Utah shows that texting drivers are six times more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle accident than those who concentrate on the road. This adds to mounting evidence that texting while driving is an enormous threat to safety while on the road. The study involved 20 men and 20 women between the ages of 19 and 23. All were described as experienced texters who had been driving on average 4.75 years.

While the experiment was performed in a driving simulator, it shows that drivers experienced delayed reaction time and a decrease in following distance. Compared to simply driving, median reaction time increased by 30 percent while texting and nine percent while talking on a cell phone while driving. According to the study, it was also shown that texting drivers showed more impairment in forward and lateral control than drivers who were having conversations on the phone.

This study and earlier ones like it point to adults who talk on the cell phone while they drive performing as poorly as drunk driving study participants. It has also been found that around 60 percent of teens text while they drive. Both of these indicators seem to show that this technology has made the roads much less safe than they used to be. Scenarios are dependent on if the driver is composing or reading a text and how engaged they are in the conversations.

In January, the National Safety Council urged state and federal lawmakers to ban using cell phones and text messaging devices while driving, as well as urging businesses to do the same.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident caused by someone on their cell phone, please contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at the Cochran Firm. We serve clients nationwide.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 9:31 AM

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Coming Issue for the Supreme Court

In 2005, one Lester Fleming, M.D. entered into a contract to provide anesthesiology services to a medical center in Yuma, Arizona. Before he began work there in November that year, he was asked to sign an addition to his contract and refused to do so. It would have disallowed him to keep a work schedule that accommodated his Sickle Cell anemia. Because he would not sign this paperwork, his contract was canceled.

Fleming sued the medical center for breach of contract and claimed that the center was in violation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

What is Sickle Cell Anemia?

Anemia is a general term for conditions where the blood has too few red cells or the cells have too little hemoglobin. Hemoglobin carries iron and oxygen around the body and gives blood its red color. With a deficiency of red cells and hemoglobin, a person has too little oxygen in the body’s organs.

Sickle cell anemia is an inherited disease where the red blood cells have a sickle shape instead of a donut shape. They are sticky and stiff and cannot flow easily through the blood vessels. They tend to form clumps and block blood flow. They live only ten to twenty days instead of the normal 120 days, and the body cannot replace them fast enough.

Symptoms of sickle cell anemia include fatigue, poor concentration, and a feeling of malaise. The heart may race in an effort to circulate the blood faster. The legs may be painful and tend towards cramping.

An anesthesiologist would spend a lot of time standing, as the job includes monitoring each patient’s vital signs for the duration of their surgery. He would visit all patients in the recovery room to determine when they are awake and alert enough to be discharged or sent back to a ward. With sickle cell anemia this could be exhausting and painful in the legs and the doctor might need shorter shifts or more days off.

The Rehabilitation Act

The Rehabilitation Act is a provision in a 1973 federal law designed to protect qualified people from discrimination based on their disability. When Fleming sued, the court ruled in favor of the medical center on the basis that Fleming was not an employee, but a contractor. Fleming appealed on the basis that Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act did cover him even if he was a contractor.

The Ninth Circuit court reversed the dismissal, claiming that Section 504 does not incorporate the American with Disaiblities Act’s definitions of who is covered; it incorporates only the ADA’s standards for defining a violation of the Act. The Rehabilitation Act is broader than the ADA and covers “otherwise qualified individuals” as well as employees.

The Sixth and Eighth circuit courts have previously ruled otherwise but the Tenth has agreed with this current ruling. Therefore the issue will probably make its way to the U.S. Supreme Court at some point for a final determination.

Employment law can be very complex. If you think you have been dealt with unfairly by your employer, please contact our law office today for a free case review. Our offices are nationwide for your convenience.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 1:27 PM

Automobile Accidents at Intersections in Mobile, Alabama

A high number of automobile accidents happen at intersections, causing serious injuries and deaths. Collisions at intersections involving cars, motorcycles, trucks, buses, bicycles and pedestrians are caused by many factors including speeding, drunk driving, distractions like cell phone use and texting, failure to obey traffic laws and poor road maintenance.

Many motor vehicle accidents at intersections involve left-turning vehicles attempting to cross on-coming traffic, the failure to yield the right of way and ignoring stop signs. Over 40% of fatal automobile accidents involve driving through a stop sign or ignoring a traffic light at intersections. A collision at an intersection can result in devastating injuries like traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones or amputations, severe burns and death.

Missing, faded or obscured stop signs are also responsible for many accidents at intersections. The experienced automobile accident attorneys at The Cochran Firm have design engineers, accident investigators and experts in the dynamics of car accidents available to expose negligence on the part of municipalities responsible for a dangerous intersection and will hold them legally responsible for the injuries and fatalities caused by poorly designed or maintained intersections.

If you or someone you love was injured or killed at a dangerous intersection in the Mobile, Alabama area, please contact The Cochran Firm today to protect your legal rights and learn how to proceed with your case during a confidential consultation at no cost to you.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 12:47 PM

Premises Liability in Houston, Texas

People injured as a result of negligence on someone else's property are entitled to pursue financial compensation for their injuries. Business owners, homeowners and commercial property owners are all legally liable for accidents that occur on their property and they are equally liable for the resulting injuries.

Wet floors, obstacles and poor lighting are the common causes of many accidents that occur in stores and businesses, but other premises liability injuries may involve a lack of security or other negligent actions. Accidents that may result in a valid premises liability lawsuit include a slip and fall caused by torn carpet, uneven walkways or highly polished slippery floors or a parking lot assault resulting from inadequate security personnel or poor lighting.

The injuries in premises liability accidents may include back or neck injuries, hip fractures, head injuries or other serious life- threatening injuries. Texas premises liability law requires the injured party must prove the property owner knew the dangerous condition existed but failed to correct it. The experienced premises liability attorneys at The Cochran Firm have proved liability under Texas law for their many clients’ countless times over the years.

If you live in the Houston, Texas area and you or someone you love has been injured on someone else's property, please contact The Cochran Firm today where your case will be investigated and your options explained to you so you can pursue the financial compensation to which you may be entitled.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 12:32 PM

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Emergency Room Medical Malpractice in Dothan, Alabama

The fast pace, overcrowding and understaffing of emergency rooms in Alabama and throughout the country are responsible for seriously ill people sometimes being sent home with a misdiagnosis, a serious and often fatal occurrence.

The risks of going to the local emergency room, though well-known, must be put aside when you have no choice in the matter. Accidents, medical crises and health concerns come without warning in most cases and visits to the local emergency room are not by choice but by necessity. However, over 50% of all allegations of medical malpractice come from injuries suffered as a result of an emergency room visit.

Common emergency room medical malpractice incidents may include a delay in treatment or a failure to treat, medication errors, a wrong diagnosis, diagnostic testing and laboratory errors, and overall negligence on the part of healthcare professionals on staff there.

Emergency room errors can lead to medical complications and deaths from medication overdoses, infections contracted in the emergency room due to unsanitary conditions, and brain injuries due to the lack of oxygen.

Financial compensation for medical expenses both present and future, lost wages, rehabilitation costs and other damages may be awarded to victims of emergency room medical malpractice and their families.

If you or someone you love has been the victim of emergency room medical malpractice, please contact the Dothan, Alabama office of The Cochran Firm's experienced medical malpractice attorneys to get the legal representation to ensure justice is served and those responsible for your injuries are held accountable.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 12:31 PM

Safety in Construction Zones: an Underappreciated Danger

Accidents in work zones have killed at least 4700 Americans in the last five years--over two and a half per day--and the number may be much higher. Many accidents related to the hazards of construction zones are attributed to driver error, such as distraction, rather than the dangers created by a construction zone. For example, several people who have been killed when their vehicle went off a roadway drop-off have been held responsible for their own deaths. A truck driver was blamed for a fatal truck accident caused at least partly by a lack of warning about construction ahead, making him unaware that there may be stopped traffic ahead.

Unfortunately, the truth is that many people are killed in preventable work zone accidents. Consider the case of a 1998 repaving operation in Texas, on I-35, near Dallas. During this paving operation, less than three months, over a stretch of roadway barely five miles long, six people were killed in nine accidents related to a steep pavement edge. It was only through lawsuits that the truth of the situation came out. An employee of the contractor voiced concerns about the drop-off before accidents began, and though his concerns could have saved six lives, he was ignored. Although workers for the Texas Department of Transportation and the contractor in charge of the repaving were both aware the drop-off created a dangerous and defective roadway, they bickered over the cost of correcting the drop-off rather than actually fixing it while the fatal accidents continued.

Actual safety regulations about how roadway operations should be conducted are sparse. For many contractors, a major influence on making work zones safe is a fear of lawsuits. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a construction zone accident, your lawsuit can do more than just help you pay bills--it can help protect other families from experiencing similar pain by encouraging safer practice among roadwork contractors.

To keep lawsuits a credible threat that can encourage contractors to maintain safety in work zones, work with an experienced firm with a track record of success. The accident lawyers at the Dallas, Texas office of The Cochran Firm are prepared to take on any opponent, no matter how large, to fight for your case. Please contact us today for a free case review.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 10:43 AM

Monday, December 21, 2009

Medical Malpractice in Detroit, Michigan

Whenever you seek medical care in Michigan you expect a healthcare provider will treat you or your loved ones with the high standards demanded of the medical community nationwide. Medical malpractice is a healthcare provider's failure to provide a degree of care and skill expected of any other medical professional under similar circumstances.

Medical malpractice is a serious issue in Michigan and is the leading cause of wrongful death. There are many different instances you or someone you care about can be affected by medical malpractice, some of which include surgical errors such as wrong site surgery or instruments left behind in the surgical site, anesthesia errors, medication errors, birth injuries, misdiagnoses, emergency room failures to diagnose the correct problem, infections contracted in a hospital and nursing home neglect and abuse.

It is important your attorney has extensive expertise in the field of medical malpractice litigation. Medical malpractice law is complicated, technical and a specialized field of law. The highly skilled team of professionals at The Cochran Firm has long worked together to ensure you have the best legal representation available and are focused on your needs. Their experience and perseverance will help you obtain the financial compensation you deserve for the injuries you have suffered.

Please contact the Detroit, Michigan office of The Cochran Firm today if you or someone you love has suffered injuries or died due to medical malpractice.

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posted by Erica at 12:28 PM

Monetary Abuse of the Elderly

When our parents or loved ones are no longer able to care for themselves, we do the best we can under the circumstances and sometimes have to entrust their care to caregivers or nursing homes when we can no longer take care of them ourselves.

In doing so, we expect our loved ones to receive adequate care. It is unfortunate, but nursing home abuse does exist, even though we pay these facilities to provide excellent care for our loved ones. The word "abuse" brings with it physical implications, but financial exploitation is also a very real type of elderly abuse.

Financial exploitation of the elderly occurs when a caregiver or relative takes advantage of an elderly person and uses their money, property or valuables for their own gain without their permission or proper consent. The sad truth is that the elderly are prime victims for financial exploitation because they are vulnerable, easily coerced, and not inclined to report any suspicion to the authorities out of shame.
There are many forms of financial exploitation, including:

Not repaying borrowed money
Selling or giving away property without permission
Misusing access to ATM cards or bank accounts
Stealing property, valuables, or money
Forcing the victim to part with property through coercion

Elder victims are less likely to report any suspicions that they may have been the victim of fraud or financial exploitation out of shame or fear of losing their caregiver. Look for these signs:

Suspicious signatures on checks
If the elder is unable to explain his or her financial status
A power of attorney has been executed without the elder fully understanding its implications
Bills are not being paid
Money is missing from checking or savings accounts that cannot be explained

If you or a loved one has been the victim of financial exploitation and would like to learn more, please contact the experienced attorneys at The Cochran Firm, with offices nationwide, today.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 9:24 AM

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Automobile Accidents and Texting in Dallas, Texas

Texting while driving can lead to a fatal distraction. Millions of Americans are hooked on texting and using their cell phones at the expense of others on the roadways. "Intextication" like drunk driving, causes slower driver reaction times, weaving in and out of lanes and the general risky driving behaviors often associated with intoxicated drivers.

According to a recent Virginia Tech Transportation Institute study the risk of an automobile accident is 23 times greater while a driver is texting. Texting causes a driver to divert their eyes from the road for at least five-second intervals, the length of a football field when traveling at highway speeds.

Text-messaging is increasing dramatically with more than 135 billion text messages sent in the period of one month in 2009, a 19-fold increase over four years earlier according to a wireless industry group that supports bans on texting while driving.

Public outrage and common sense are having an effect on lawmakers in many states, causing bans on texting and phoning while driving to be implemented so the laws in reference to texting while driving are changing daily. An experienced automobile accident attorney familiar with Texas texting laws like those at The Cochran Firm are a valuable asset to you if you were involved in an accident with a texting driver.

If you live in the Dallas, Texas area and you were in an automobile accident with a texting driver, please contact The Cochran Firm today to protect your legal rights and get the financial compensation you deserve.

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posted by Erica at 12:26 PM

Friday, December 18, 2009

Three Injured in Ski Lift Accident

A chair lift accident at Devil's Head Resort in Merrimac, Wisconsin resulted in the hospitalization of twelve skiers and snowboarders. Three of the twelve suffered serious injuries, although none are in critical condition.

The accident occurred last night at around 7 pm when the chair lift suddenly stopped and then started going backward. It took some time before the lift operators were eventually able to stop the lift. Many skiers panicked and decided to jump off the lift, often from distances as high as 25 feet off the ground, in order to avoid a catastrophic accident. Several skiers remained trapped on the lift for almost two hours before rescuers were able to complete the chair lift evacuation.

It is currently uncertain whether the chair lift malfunction was caused by a product defect or negligent maintenance of the equipment. Devil's Head Resort plans to conduct a more thorough investigation today, since it was difficult to determine what went wrong in the dark last night.

If the accident is determined to be the result of negligent maintenance of the chair lift equipment, Devil's Head Resort may face several premises liability lawsuits from the injured skiers. However, if the accident was the result of a product defect, the chair lift manufacturer will most likely be liable for damages in a defective product lawsuit .

If you have suffered an injury caused by the negligent actions of another, 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 10:33 AM

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Cincinnati Bengals Receiver Dies after Fall from Truck

Cincinnati Bengal Chris Henry died this morning from injuries he suffered after falling out of the back of a pickup truck in Charlotte, North Carolina yesterday. Police have said the incident was the result of a domestic dispute the 26-year-old Henry was having with his fiancée.

Police recently released two 911 calls that indicate Henry was banging on the back window of the cab as his fiancée drove. One minute after the call describing the situation, the second 911 call describes a man in the road and unconscious. Henry was rushed to the hospital a short time later.

Police are still investigating the truck accident, but have said Henry may have jumped into the bed of the pickup truck a half mile away at his fiancée’s parent’s house. At some point, said police, Henry, “came out of the back of the vehicle.”

Chris Henry had legal trouble off the field, being arrested for things like drug and gun possession, and assault, but it seemed he was on track to cleaning up his life both on and off the field. He was helping his fiancée raise three young children and was playing well this season until he suffered a season ending fractured arm in late November.

The circumstances surrounding this accident are still sketchy, but they once again reinforce how dangerous it is to stand or sit in the back of a pickup truck. Henry was found on a curve in the road, so we may presume his fiancée was going around a bend when Henry fell out. His injuries are unknown at this time, and it may take several weeks before they are released. However, most people who fall or are thrown from vehicles suffer traumatic brain injuries.

If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury in a fall or from being thrown from a vehicle, please contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at the Cochran Firm for an initial case evaluation. We serve clients across the nation.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 11:55 AM

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

H1N1 Vaccines Recalled But Less Swine Flu Than Predicted

After repeated media pronouncements about an upcoming pandemic of swine flu, it has turned out that the H1N1 virus is less serious than predicted. According to Harvard University researchers, it is only slightly stronger than the seasonal flu. U.S. demand for vaccines has dropped overall, though it varies across the country.

Tom Skinner, spokesman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), states that there may be a surplus of vaccines, although it is still too soon to be sure. There could be more cases of swine flu in the new year and meanwhile, the seasonal flu has started appearing.

Swine Flu Shots Recalled

Sanofi Pasteur is a large French pharmaceutical company that has made many of the swine flu shots used in the U.S. Yesterday they voluntarily recalled about 800,000 pre-filled syringes that had been designed for children between the ages of six months and three years.

In fact, most of those syringes have been used, as they were distributed around the country in November. Testing at the time of shipping confirmed that they had the correct strength, but testing done a few weeks later showed that the strength had dropped a bit below the necessary level. It is not known why they lost strength, but they are safe.

The children these vaccines were meant for were supposed to be given two shots about a month apart. If your child was given two of these shots, you do not need to take any action. If your child had just one shot so far, you should go ahead and have the second one done according to the plan.

Tips For Avoiding Swine Flu

The H1N1 virus is transmitted by personal contact. You can reduce your chances of getting this swine flu, and of spreading it if you do get it, if you wash your hands effectively and often. Also cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough and do not share any food utensils or eat any food samples you might find in stores.

Recalls of defective products happen every day. There can be defective medications, defective vehicles, or defective medical devices. Defective product lawsuits can become complex, with product experts warring over details; but it is important that there be consequences to a manufacturing company if any of their products injure people.

If you have been badly hurt by a product that turned out to be defective, please call or email our personal injury attorneys today for a free case review.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 9:46 AM

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

GlaxoSmithKline Has Paid Over $1 Billion to Settle Lawsuits over Paxil

Paxil, GlaxoSmithKline's blockbuster SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor), has cost the company over $1 billion in lawsuit costs. The costs reflect a combination of lawsuits, including pharmaceutical injury lawsuits and antitrust lawsuits, according to court records, and is expected to be only a portion of the drug's final cost to the company.

Paxil has been said to be responsible for many different types of injuries. The first significant risk to come forward with Paxil and other SSRIs was the increased risk of suicide. Although some patients taking Paxil and other SSRIs saw their depression relieved, others saw a spike in suicidal ideation that if undetected led to actual suicide. Accusations have been made in court that GlaxoSmithKline knew about this risk, but concealed it, accusations the company denies.

The risk of suicide ideation was worsened by the sudden withdrawal symptoms experienced by people trying to get themselves off Paxil. Many lawsuits have been filed by people who have experienced Paxil addiction.

In addition, several SSRIs have been associated with serious birth defects in children. Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) is a potentially deadly consequence of taking Paxil during pregnancy. If not properly treated, it can lead to a child's death shortly after birth. In addition, children whose mothers took Paxil during pregnancy were at an elevated risk for heart defects known as ventricular septal defect and atrial septal defect, both of which may require surgery, and can lead to a lifelong risk.

GlaxoSmithKline continues to conceal the number of drug injury lawsuits that it has settled, a decision that has been criticized by some doctors. A psychiatrist at Tufts University School of Medicine said, "It's important to disclose such settlements because it raises the red flag for both doctors and patients that there might be a problem. It would motivate doctors to dig into the literature even more before prescribing these drugs."

That, of course, may be exactly what GlaxoSmithKline is trying to avoid, because Paxil is still big money. Because of its combined liabilities, some speculate that GlaxoSmithKline's total payouts for the drug may be as high as $1.5 billion. However, U.S. sales of the drug in 2002, the last year before generic alternatives of the drug were allowed, were over $2 billion, and the drug continues to bring in significant residuals. Although sales were down to $129 million in 2008 and seem to be down as much as 52% this year, those sales continue to defray the cost of ongoing lawsuits.

If you or a loved one has suffered a significant pharmaceutical injury from using Paxil or another SSRI, the pharmaceutical injury lawyers at The Cochran Firm can help. Please call or email us today for a free case evaluation.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 2:45 PM

Landlord/Tenant Disputes in the Latino Community Nationwide

If you are dealing with broken plumbing, heating, or other unsafe building conditions in your rented apartment building or rented house and are being ignored by your landlord, help is on the way.

Problems with leaky roofs, and malfunctioning heating systems or water heaters are the responsibility of the landlord. If your concerns about your living conditions are being ignored, there are legal actions you can take to make things better. Your landlord must make necessary repairs to make your living conditions meet local housing codes and to ensure the premises are safe. In a landlord/tenant dispute, the law is on your side. There are legal rights that protect tenants from being exploited by their landlords and it is important that you know what those legal rights are and you take advantage of the full protection of the law.

Headquartered in Metairie, Louisiana, but connected to a nationwide network of attorneys, the Latino Section of The Cochran Firm is ready to help the victims of oppression across this country, standing by our commitment to uphold civil rights for all. The Cochran Firm Latino Section is dedicated to ensuring equal treatment under the law for all.

If you have attempted to resolve a landlord/tenant dispute with no results, please contacto the experienced landlord-tenant dispute attorneys with offices nationwide at el Bufete de Abogados Cochran today to schedule a no cost to you consultation to learn how to solve your problem quickly and successfully.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 1:18 PM

Monday, December 14, 2009

Four Fatalities in Train vs Car Accident in South Carolina

An Amtrak train hit a car in Hardeeville, South Carolina killing all four people in the automobile. The incident occurred near the South Carolina-Georgia state line. According to reports the car tried to go around the gate arms to beat the train; the car became wedged onto the front of the train and pushed for it for at least a mile before coming to a stop. No one in the train was injured. The train was en route from Charleston, South Carolina to Savannah; one of the dead was a twelve-year-old child. The other three fatalities were adults.

If you have been involved in an automobile accident, you may need legal representation. The experienced automobile accident attorneys at The Cochran Firm, with offices nationwide, have represented thousands of accident victims from all over country. We can help you, too. Please contact an office near you to schedule a confidential, no-cost consultation. We work on a contingency, which means we do not get paid unless we win your case.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 4:55 AM

Friday, December 11, 2009

Harley-Davidson Recall

Harley-Davidson has recalled more than 111,000 motorcycles due to the risk of a gas leak during a front-end collision. The motorcycles recalled were produced between June 6, 2008 and November 19, 2009.

Several 2009 and 2010 touring bikes such as CVO Touring and Trike bikes are affected by the product recall. These bikes are some of the higher end motorcycles produced by Harley-Davidson.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has stated that these motorcycles have front fuel tank mounts which may distort after a front-end crash, which may result in a fuel leak and an ensuing fire. The federal agency did not disclose the number of incidents of gas leaks or fires that have been reported to date.

Harley-Davidson released a statement claiming that they have not been informed of any injuries related to this product defect, and the decision to recall the defective motorcycles was made as a precautionary measure to ensure customer safety.

To correct the problem, dealers will install right and left front braces which will minimize front mount distortion in the event of a motorcycle accident. This repair will be made free of charge starting next week. To learn more about the Harley-Davidson recall, you can call the company at 414-343-4056.

The experienced defective product lawyers at The Cochran Firm can help you receive the compensation you deserve if you have suffered a severe injury as a result of one of these defective Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

Please contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation. We serve clients nationwide.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 9:25 AM

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Colorado Bans Texting while Driving

On December 1, Colorado became the 19th state in the country to ban texting while driving. This is a watered down version of the original bill, which would have banned all hand-held devices while driving. The bill was modified and passed last summer.

According to Colorado State Patrol, there were 51 people killed last year by distracted drivers, and 11 of those can be directly attributed to cell phone use. In a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report, there were 6000 deaths across the US due to distracted driving. The National Safety Council states that on any given day, there are around 800,000 vehicles whose drivers are on cell phones, even in the states where this is illegal.

Different police departments across Colorado have said that, though texting while driving is now considered a crime, there is no push to target texting drivers. Rather, police will be looking for drivers who are weaving or those who blow through stop signs. One officer states that the law was meant to target those 17-years-old and younger who were using a cell phone, and older drivers who are texting or emailing from their phones. Those, he said, are the people they'll be looking for.

Colorado state representatives believe it was important to pass this bill due to the increasing number of young drivers who use cell phones and texting to communicate. With more young people, and inexperienced drivers, being distracted while they are on the road, it is important to have a law set in the books in which both police and civilians can look to for safety.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident because of a distracted driver, please contact the experienced auto accident attorneys at the Cochran Firm for an initial case consultation. We serve clients nationwide.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 12:15 PM

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Radiation Overdoses: Possible Medical Malpractice

According to the FDA, there are about 150,000 CT brain perfusion scans done each year in the U.S. They are done to diagnose strokes. These are not ordinary CT scans. The patient is given an iodine injection first and then for 45 seconds, a long series of X-rays are taken that gives a detailed image of the brain’s blood flow. There is therefore more radiation administered in these scans than in routine CT scans.

The FDA is doing an investigation into some possible radiation overdoses at two hospitals: one in California and one in Alabama. In August 2009 there was a similar investigation into eleven Cedars-Sinai facilities in Los Angeles county and that review is finished now.

The current possible California overdoses were found by L.A. county safety inspectors who reported them to the FDA last week. They were at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank and the CT scanners were made by Toshiba. Previous scanners were made by General Electric.

Possibly a Nationwide Problem

The fact that two manufacturers and several medical institutions are involved is giving rise to the suspicion that this problem may be nationwide. The case in Alabama involved a 59-year-old woman who had a CT brain perfusion scan in September at Huntsville Hospital and then developed a bald strip around her head where the X-rays had entered. The scan determined that she had not had a stroke, but her medical records evidently show that she was given too much radiation, even more than was given at the Cedars-Sinai centers.

This week, the FDA asked hospitals nationwide to review their radiation dosage guidelines for these CT perfusion scans and to train their CT technicians to check the scanner’s display panel for dosage data before they begin any scan.

Physicians are not the only professionals who can be charged with medical malpractice. X-ray technicians can be thus charged, as well as nurses, physician assistants and even the hospitals themselves.

If you have been injured by a medical professional who was possibly negligent in doing their job, you may have a valid legal claim. Please contact our medical malpractice attorneys today for a free case review.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 9:50 AM

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Zhu Zhu Pets: Safe or Dangerous Product?

Last week, a consumer advocacy group caused a minor panic among holiday shoppers by declaring that one of the "must-have" gifts of the season was toxic and violated federal safety standards. Zhu Zhu Pets hamsters, cat toys rebranded and accessorized for children, were selling out as parents rushed to get them for the Christmas season, and were being resold for up to four times their original retail value. Many who bought the toys were shocked and frightened when a consumer group, GoodGuide, declared that one variety, "Mr. Squiggles," was a dangerous product containing higher-than-allowed levels of the heavy metal antimony. The consumer advocacy group has since retracted its statement. And the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued a statement confirming that "the toy does not violate the very protective antimony standard that applies to all toys in the United States." But does this statement put the question to rest?

In response to GoodGuide's statement, a spokesman for Zhu Zhu's manufacturer, Cepia, said, "They accused us falsely of having high levels of antimony and tin in Mr. Squiggles by using a methodology that is not used by any federal standards." GoodGuide, for its part, stated in its apology, "while we accurately reported the chemical levels in the toys that we measured using our testing method, we should not have compared our results to federal standards." What are the testing methods used and what are we to believe about the toxicity level of Mr. Squiggles?

The current federal standard is based on a soluble test, but GoodGuide issued its initial statement based on the results of an X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) tester. To conduct a soluble test, a sample is taken from the toy, dissolved in acid, then tested spectroscopically. XRF testing shines x-rays at a sample and measures the characteristic emissions of lead, antimony, and other heavy metals. Although Cepia is right in saying that XRF is not currently used by any federal standard, it would probably be overstating the case to call GoodGuide's statement "false." In conducting a comparison between soluble testing and XRF, the CPSC "found generally good agreement" between the two methods, according to a report issued in August 2009. If the test showed that Mr. Squiggles contained antimony, it is likely that he did. How much antimony is another question, since federal standards and conversions for XRF testing have not yet been established.

Toy industry advocates commonly rail against the use of XRF for what they claim are "false positives," but it has been acknowledged that soluble tests can give inaccurately low readings. Some propose that federal standards should be modified to incorporate both testing methods.

Does the CPSC statement prove the toy is safe? Not exactly. On Monday morning, the CPSC said that it would look into the issue and perform tests, but the statement on whether the toy violated federal standards came too quickly for any testing to be performed (one of the limits of soluble testing is that getting results can take days). Instead, the CPSC examined the toy and found that because it did not have painted surfaces, it did not violate new federal standards aimed at painted toys, then looked at third-party testing. Hopefully, the CPSC is performing promised tests and will issue a definitive statement shortly.

Although Zhu Zhu Pets are apparently mostly harmless, the Christmas season is a time to be onscious of dangerous products that may impact your children. If you or a loved one has been hurt by a dangerous product, the product liability lawyers at The Cochran Firm can help. Please contact us today for a free case evaluation.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 9:35 AM

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