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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Slip and Fall Accidents in Sacramento, California

The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control estimates that over 8,000,000 Americans are injured every year in slip and fall accidents. In the state of California, negligence must be shown on the part of the property owner where the accident occurred in order for them to be held legally liable for injuries. The fact they own the property does not automatically assign responsibility to them for injuries that occurred on their property.

Slip and fall accidents
are generally considered premises liability cases which is a legal term that refers to the responsibility of property owners for accidents that occur on their property. Property owners are responsible for maintaining their properties in a safe condition or, at the very least, warning people of the existence of potential safety hazards.

A slip and fall accident can result in minor scrapes and bruising or cause a life-threatening head trauma, or life-altering spinal cord injury. The experienced premises liability attorneys at The Cochran Firm will work together to make certain you are fully compensated for the injuries you have suffered by recovering costs of your medical expenses, income losses, loss of enjoyment of life and your pain and suffering.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a slip and fall accident in Sacramento, California or the surrounding area, please contact The Cochran Firm today and learn how you can be financially compensated for your injuries and losses suffered.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 11:45 AM

Nursing Home Abuse in Mobile, Alabama

It is difficult to determine how many cases of elder abuse occurs in Alabama nursing homes because there is a lack of a uniform system for reporting nursing home abuse and nursing home residents are unable or unwilling to report their abuse.

Alabama nursing home abuses cover injuries that result from falls, dehydration or malnutrition, medication errors, bedsores, physical, emotion and sexual abuse, and general neglect. Residents of nursing homes are also being financially exploited by caretakers who prey on their vulnerabilities.

Alabama's nursing care facilities are among the worst nationwide. Perpetrators of Alabama nursing home abuse must answer to federal and state laws that are supposed to protect the elderly and defenseless nursing home residents.

Signs of nursing home abuse and neglect include bruising, chronic infections, broken bones, increased anxiety and depression, heavy sedation medication and unnecessary physical restraints. The attorneys at The Cochran Firm will work as a unified, highly trained team to investigate allegations of nursing home abuse and bring those responsible to justice and hold them legally responsible for the damage they have done.

If you suspect that your elderly loved one has suffered nursing home abuse, you should take immediate action and contact The Cochran Firm in Mobile, Alabama. Our experienced nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys are dedicated to aggressively pursuing all instances of nursing home abuse and neglect for our clients.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 11:29 AM

Automobile Accidents at Intersections in Las Vegas, Nevada

Many intersections in Las Vegas are equipped with video cameras, so in many instances an accident at an intersection is recorded. One third of all car accidents occur at an intersection and typically involve left-turning vehicles attempting to cross on-coming traffic, failure to yield, and failure to obey stop signs and traffic signals.

Other factors that contribute to the high incidence of car accidents at intersections may include faulty design of the road or faded or missing stop signs and defective traffic lights. It is important to have an experienced automobile accident attorney working for you to investigate the circumstances of your accident to protect your legal rights and get you the financial compensation you deserve for your injuries.

Las Vegas is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States and also is a very popular tourist destination; as a result, Las Vegas roadways are congested and present drivers with many challenges, especially those unfamiliar with the city.

The Las Vegas automobile accident attorneys at The Cochran Firm are experienced in handling a wide variety of claims involving automobile accidents and there is never a fee charged to consult with an experienced car accident attorney at The Cochran Firm.

If you have been involved in a car accident at an intersection in Las Vegas, Nevada, please contact The Cochran Firm today for help with your claim with a quick evaluation of your case and fair compensation for your accident.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 11:03 AM

Wrongful Death in Dallas, Texas

Wrongful death is a legal term that is used to describe a death that has occurred due to the negligence or intentional actions of an individual and, in addition, the wrongful death entitles the deceased's survivors and beneficiaries financial compensation for their loss.

No one is ever prepared for the sudden death of a loved one and nothing can come close to replacing that loss. When the loss is compounded by the knowledge that the death was caused by negligence, or wrongful or intentional actions of another, family members have the legal right to seek just financial compensation and should not hesitate to do so.

The circumstances of the tragic death may vary and can be the result of a car or truck accident, a workplace injury, medical malpractice or the use of a defective or dangerous product. Pursuing a wrongful death claim through the justice system is a complicated process, but the assurance that negligent behavior or intentional acts will be punished is well worth the effort.

The Cochran Firm can guide you through this emotional, stressful time with their knowledge and expertise in the field of wrongful death law. Financial compensation may include payment for medical, funeral and burial expenses, loss of financial support for the survivors, the loss of future earning potential of the deceased, and payment for the pain and suffering caused by the loss of a loved one.

If you live in the Dallas, Texas area, please contact The Cochran Firm if you are suffering the loss of a loved one due to someone else’s actions to learn what you can do to protect your legal rights and obtain the financial compensation to which you are entitled.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 10:31 AM

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Surgical Medical Malpractice in Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina

A medical error during a surgical procedure can lead to permanent and lifelong injuries or wrongful death.

Surgical medical malpractice leading to injuries and wrongful death can occur when the surgeon, nurses, anesthesiologist or surgical technicians fail in their obligation to maintain the highest standards of care required of their profession. This can result in the wrong surgical procedure being performed, medical instruments being left inside the patient, or a failure to recognize or correct an unforeseen occurrence that arises during surgery.

Surgical medical malpractice is a leading reason for medical malpractice and negligence claims being filed against healthcare professionals and facilities each year. Almost 12,000 people die every year due to unnecessary surgery. Surgical complications due to surgical errors can include post-surgical infections, anesthesia-related brain injuries and retained foreign bodies.

Our medical malpractice attorneys at The Cochran Firm think surgical medical malpractice is very serious whether your claim involves unnecessary surgery, botched surgery, wrong-site surgery or post-surgery problems. The Cochran Firm employs a network of medical and legal experts to develop a strong case for their clients to ensure the best outcome possible.

If you live in the Raleigh/Durham area of North Carolina and you or someone you care about has been the victim of surgical medical malpractice, please contact The Cochran Firm today to schedule a no cost to you confidential consultation to determine how to proceed with your claim.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 11:43 AM

Premises Liability in Minneapolis, Minnesota

All property owners have a legal obligation to provide a reasonably safe environment for people who access their property.

An injury or wrongful death that is caused by the negligent design, maintenance or functioning of a property presents the injured party with the legal right to financial compensation from the property owner, landlord or those responsible for the functioning of the property.

Injuries may result from falls on wet, slippery or icy surfaces, an elevator or escalator malfunctioning, improper lighting, or a failure to provide adequate security in malls, hotels or parking garages that result in physical assaults causing injuries and fatalities.

The Minneapolis premises liability attorneys at The Cochran Firm have assisted clients throughout Minnesota in filing negligence claims for injuries and have been very successful in litigating for fair and just financial compensation for them. A premises liability claim asserts that the property owner created the dangerous condition that caused your injury or knew about the dangerous condition that led to your injury and did nothing to correct it.

Minnesota premises liability laws
are complex so if you have been injured on someone else's property, please contact The Cochran Firm today to schedule a confidential consultation where our highly skilled attorneys and investigators will work as a team to protect your legal rights and make sure those responsible are held legally accountable.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 11:19 AM

Truck Accidents in Jackson, Mississippi

A large commercial truck can weigh over forty tons, while the average passenger vehicle weighs only approximately three thousand pounds. It is easy to understand why the occupants of an automobile involved in a collision with a truck are the ones who suffer the most serious injuries and are most often killed.

Many truck accidents are caused by truck driver error, resulting from demanding deadlines and too many hours behind the wheel with no rest. Typical causes of truck accidents involve speeding, alcohol and drug use, reckless and aggressive driving, mechanical failure and poor equipment maintenance, hazardous road or weather conditions and cargo overloading or shifting cargo loads.

The victim of a truck accident may be confronted with many critical needs, such as emergency medical care, loss of income, possible long-term care costs, and legal actions initiated due to the truck accident and its aftermath. You should be financially compensated to the fullest for all your medical expenses, pain and suffering and lost income caused by the truck accident.

To ensure your legal rights to financial compensation from the trucking company responsible for the truck accident are protected, you should contact The Cochran Firm today located in Jackson, Mississippi, and in the tragic event you have lost a loved one in a fatal truck accident, The Cochran Firm can help you pursue a wrongful death claim.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 11:02 AM

Construction Site Accidents in Chicago, Illinois

Construction workers confront some of the most hazardous working conditions every day they report to work. According to the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, construction site accidents account for the greatest number of worker fatalities of any industry.

Construction workers can suffer serious injuries even though there are regulations, statutes, ordinances and industry standards that are supposed to provide a reasonably safe working environment.

The many dangerous conditions inherent at a construction site make it almost impossible to prevent all injuries from happening. Falls from scaffolds and other elevations, being struck by heavy machinery, electrocution, exposure to asbestos and other hazardous substances, and injuries caused by defective or other unsafe equipment occur with alarming frequency.

If you have been injured in a construction site accident, the experienced construction site accident attorneys at The Cochran Firm can help you and make certain you understand just what your legal rights are and what financial compensation you can expect for the injuries you have suffered. The severity of construction site injuries often makes it impossible for a worker to resume their previous occupation and this must be taken into consideration when determining the extent of financial compensation due to the loss of future income potential.

If you have been injured in a construction site accident and live in the Chicago, Illinois area, please contact The Cochran Firm today to schedule a confidential consultation at no cost to you to learn how to proceed in securing your future and the future of those you love.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 10:25 AM

Friday, January 29, 2010

Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse in Washington, D.C.

Neglect or abuse of the elderly can take many forms and happens much more often than we would like to believe. Thousands of instances of nursing home neglect and abuse are documented in the Washington, D.C. area each year.

Signs of nursing home neglect and abuse can be bedsores, chronic infections, changes in behavior, unexplained bruises, the use of unnecessary physical restraints or heavy sedation, or missing financial assets. Do not ignore any feelings of suspicions of abuse you may have when visiting a loved one even if they do not give voice to instances of abuse. Many nursing home residents are fearful of exposing their abusers to avoid retaliation and an escalation in the abuse.

There are many complex legal issues involved in allegations of nursing home neglect and abuse which the experienced attorneys at The Cochran Firm are very familiar with and knowledgeable about. These issues may involve medical malpractice, premises liability, negligent security and even wrongful death claims.

If you know or even only suspect someone you care about has been the victim of nursing home neglect and abuse and you live in the Washington, D.C. area, please contact The Cochran Firm today to schedule a confidential consultation to learn what you can do to protect the legal rights of a vulnerable older adult and get them the justice they deserve.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 11:55 AM

Truck Accidents in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Truck accidents are often serious and deadly and may involve trucks colliding with cars, other trucks, motorcycles, trains at railroad crossings, multi-vehicle pile-ups on fog shrouded highways, pedestrians or bicyclists being struck by delivery trucks on city streets, jackknife accidents, brake failures and runaway trucks on downgrades, rollovers caused by tire blowouts, unsecured and shifting loads and toxic spills that endanger communities.

Common causes of catastrophic truck accidents involving serious injuries and deaths are speeding, driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, reckless and aggressive driving, fatigue due to demanding schedules, mechanical failure and poor maintenance of equipment, tire failures and dangerous driving conditions due to weather or road hazards.

If you have been in an accident with a truck in the Philadelphia area the experienced truck accident attorneys at The Cochran Firm will work diligently to make certain you are fully compensated for your medical expenses, your pain and suffering, lost income and lost capacity to earn in the future, and any other expenses you have had to incur due to injuries caused by the truck accident. Do not be pressured into settling for less than you deserve by the trucking company or the insurance company.

If you or someone you love was seriously injured or killed in an accident with a truck, please contact the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania office of The Cochran Firm today to have your case evaluated, at no cost to you, and work to obtain the financial compensation you deserve for the injuries you have suffered.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 11:40 AM

Traumatic Brain Injury in Miami, Florida

According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, over 1.5 million Americans suffer traumatic brain injuries every year. Of this number over 50,000 succumb to their injuries and over 235,000 are hospitalized.

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be caused by an impact to the head that causes the brain to move inside the skull. Traumatic brain injuries are frequently the result of motor vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, sports injuries, criminal assaults, nursing home abuse, heart attacks or electrocutions. Permanent disabilities caused by a traumatic brain injury range from the mild to the severe with the area of the brain impacted usually determining the scope of disability.

The medical expenses incurred as a result of a traumatic brain injury are often much greater than your insurance coverage because of the life-long disability and life-long care and support needed to recover and survive such a devastating injury. The highly skilled brain injury attorneys at The Cochran Firm can help you recover financial compensation from those responsible for your injuries and will evaluate your medical requirements for the present and into the future, because they have experience in litigating brain injury lawsuits and have gained substantial financial compensation and lifetime care support for brain injured clients in the past.

If you live in the Miami, Florida area and are suffering with a traumatic brain injury, please contact the skilled traumatic brain injury attorneys at The Cochran Firm today to learn how to proceed with your claim for damages.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 11:16 AM

Traumatic Brain Injury in Huntsville, Alabama

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is unlike any other injury because at first, the symptoms may be subtle or non-existent, and typically avoid detection by advanced hospital imaging equipment.

Victims of traumatic brain injury often go untreated for hours after their injury because there may be no obvious sign of trauma, such as in the tragic case of award-winning actress, Natasha Richardson, who suffered an undetected TBI while on a ski trip in Canada after a fall. She died shortly after returning to her hotel room to rest after the incident.

More than one million new traumatic brain injury cases are treated each year in hospitals across the country, with many more cases going undiagnosed and untreated. At the present time there are almost five million adults and children living with the consequences of having sustained a traumatic brain injury in America. The risk of a TBI is highest among young adults and people over 75 years of age. Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries, and falls are the second leading cause of TBI in the elderly.

The emotional stress, physical challenges and financial hardships victims of traumatic brain injuries and their families endure are almost incomprehensible.

If you believe you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury due to someone else’s negligence or conduct, please contact The Cochran Firm, located in Huntsville, Alabama today so our expert attorneys can provide the knowledge and advice you need at this difficult time in your life.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 10:59 AM

Medical Malpractice in Birmingham, Alabama

Medical malpractice leaves stunned families feeling unbearable grief, wanting answers to probing questions. Medical professionals do make mistakes that can cause permanent disabilities and even deaths, but not all bad medical results are caused by mistakes.

Medical malpractice can occur in your doctor's office, in an emergency room, during surgery, in the labor and delivery room, a laboratory or a nursing homes. Medical malpractice can even occur in a hospital waiting room when a delayed diagnosis or treatment results from a long delayed assessment of your medical problem.

Medical malpractice is alleged when injuries or wrongful deaths occur as a result of negligence or medical errors by doctors, residents, nurses, pharmacists, technicians, nursing homes, hospitals or other healthcare providers or institutions. Medical malpractice may involve an error in the diagnosis, treatment or management of an illness, a surgical error, a prescription error, a birth injury or other negligent action by a medical professional or institution.

Medical malpractice laws are there to protect your right to pursue financial compensation if you are injured as a result of medical negligence or error, but medical malpractice lawsuits are complex and costly.

If you think you are the victim of medical malpractice, you should consult an experienced medical malpractice attorney without delay, because there are time limits involved in how long someone may wait to bring a medical malpractice claim. The medical malpractice attorneys at The Cochran Firm can evaluate your case, determine if you have a legitimate claim, and work conscientiously to bring your case to a successful conclusion.

If you or someone you love has been the victim of medical malpractice, please contact the Birmingham, Alabama office of The Cochran Firm today.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 10:19 AM

New York City Bans Cell Phone Use by Cab Drivers

Effective today, cab drivers and limo drivers in New York City can no longer use cell phones in any capacity for any reason while driving. This includes the use of Bluetooth devices.

The penalties for non-compliance to this law are very steep:

  • $200 fine for first offense
  • $200 fine and 30 day license suspension for second offense
  • $200 fine and revocation of license for third offense

The new law has been met with mixed reactions by New York City cab drivers. Many cabbies agree that it is inappropriate to spend large amounts of time on a cell phone while they are driving passengers around, but do not think the law should prevent them from ever answering their phones. Many cabbies would like to be able to answer their phones in the event of an emergency, especially if it involves their family. However, in the future, they will have to pull over to the side of the road if they are going to take a call.

This law is the latest example in the widespread crackdown on distracted driving occurring throughout the country. As an increasing number of studies are released linking distracted driving to a greater likelihood of auto accidents, states are trying to take additional steps to reduce this risk on our roads.

If you have been injured in an auto accident caused by a distracted driver, the attorneys at The Cochran Firm can help you receive the compensation you deserve. Please contact our auto accident lawyers today to schedule your free initial consultation. We serve clients nationwide.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 9:11 AM

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Premises Liability in Tuskegee, Alabama

According to Alabama premises liability laws, property owners can be held legally responsible for an injury caused by dangerous conditions that exist on their premises. All property owners must take appropriate action to prevent accidents from occurring on their properties.

One of the most common accidents is a trip, slip and fall accident on an icy or wet walkway, a broken stairway or a slippery floor. Slipping, tripping and falling on a wet surface or broken pavement or hurtling down a flight of broken steps can cause serious injuries. Poor lighting in a parking garage or the lack of security in a hotel hallway can lead to a physical or sexual assault that results in massive trauma or wrongful death.

The experienced Alabama premises liability attorneys at The Cochran Firm can determine whether property owner liability was a factor in your accident or assault and help you recover financial compensation for medical expenses, lost income, your pain and suffering and other costs due to your injury. Your case will be handled by our experienced premises liability attorneys who will work conscientiously to ensure your get the financial compensation and personal attention you deserve.

If you live in the Tuskegee, Alabama area and you or someone you care about was injured or assaulted on someone else's property, please contact The Cochran Firm today to learn what you can do to recover the losses you have suffered due to your injuries.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 11:52 AM

Truck Accidents in Norfolk/Portsmouth, Virginia

Victims of truck accidents in Virginia find out fairly soon after the accident how difficult it is to receive fair and just treatment from the trucking company and its' multiple insurers.

If you have been involved in an accident with a truck, you probably suffered serious injuries and feel lucky to be alive. The last thing you should be doing on your own is fighting the trucking company and its' insurers for the financial compensation to which you are rightfully and legally entitled.

Trucking companies and their insurers do not want you aware of your legal options and will offer you the lowest financial compensation for your injuries possible, but the law allows recovery of present and future medical expenses, lost income, physical pain and suffering, mental and emotional anguish and other expenses incurred due to the truck accident.

In the state of Virginia, The Cochran Firm is ready to do everything to help you obtain justice and the financial compensation you deserve if you have been in an accident involving a truck, not what the trucking company will offer you.

Studies have revealed that 80% of all truck accidents are the fault of the truck driver with speeding, alcohol and drug use, reckless and aggressive driving behaviors, fatigue, cargo shifting or overloading and mechanical failure being some common causes.

If you have been the victim of an accident with a truck in the Norfolk/Portsmouth, Virginia area, please contact The Cochran Firm today for a consultation at no cost to you to evaluate your case and determine how to proceed to obtain the financial compensation you deserve.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 11:38 AM

Train Accidents in New York, New York

Train operators and their employers have an obligation to ensure safe passage for passengers, but train accidents do happen for many reasons, including engineer negligence, poor rail maintenance and operator error.

If a train operator is negligent and fails to deliver passengers in a safe manner, injures motor vehicle occupants in a collision or harms pedestrians, the train operator and train company may be found negligent and legally liable according to the laws of the state of New York.

The most common types of train accidents are collisions with motor vehicles at railroad crossings, collisions between trains, derailments and incidents involving pedestrians. People injured on the New York Subway System are usually injured by slipping and falling and collisions with other subway trains caused by human error.

Train operators and railroad employees have an obligation to the traveling public to protect the safety and well-being of their passengers by maintaining equipment and following all safety regulations and protocols. Defective railroad equipment such as faulty railroad crossing gates and signals, along with train operator error can result in catastrophic injuries and wrongful death.

The laws surrounding New York train accidents are complex, so it is important to have an experienced New York train accident attorney at The Cochran Firm working for you to ensure your rights are protected. Whether you were injured in train or subway accident, The Cochran Firm has the experience and dedication to seek the maximum financial compensation for your injuries and losses.

If you live in the New York area and you were injured in a train or subway accident, please contact The Cochran Firm today for a no cost to you confidential consultation.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 11:35 AM

Automobile Accidents and DUI in Metairie, Louisiana

Describing an alcohol or drug-related collision as an accident is really inaccurate because that impaired driver made a deliberate choice to drive under the influence and put other people's lives at risk. Driving drunk or under the influence of illegal or prescription drugs greatly increases the risk of a serious accident involving injuries and fatalities and everyone who gets behind the wheel of a vehicle knows that.

A driving under the influence (DUI) automobile accident is one of the most senseless tragedies that could have been totally avoided if only another choice had been made. A startling statistic states that a so-called "first time drunk driver" offender has actually driven drunk almost ninety times before being caught.

If you were injured by a drunk driver, you have the legal right to seek financial compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering and punitive damages under Louisiana law from the drunk driver. If a loved one was killed by a drunk driver, our Louisiana DUI accident attorneys at The Cochran Firm can protect your family's legal rights to a wrongful death claim.

If you live in Metairie, Louisiana or the surrounding area, and you have been victimized by a drunk driver, please contact The Cochran Firm today so you can have the benefit of our highly skilled lawyers working to ensure those responsible for your losses are held accountable.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 11:12 AM

Defective Pharmaceuticals in Houston, Texas

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for safeguarding Americans against the dangers of defective pharmaceuticals but fails to do so in many instances, causing serious illnesses, disabilities, and deaths.

At times, drugs that have been approved to treat patients, even when taken as directed, have serious adverse side effects. People who have taken these dangerous drugs suffer blood clots, heart attacks, strokes, kidney, liver and lung damage and are often left with life-altering disabilities or fatal conditions.

In their efforts to rush new drugs into the hands of a population in need of remedies to alleviate pain and suffering, drug companies often ignore safe practices and fail to conduct adequate trials that may have exposed dangerous side effects, or may even choose to ignore the results of those trials in their quest for larger profits.

The experienced defective pharmaceutical attorneys at The Cochran Firm have the skill, knowledge, technical and medical resources, and persistence to fight for your rights against the giant pharmaceutical industry.

If you or someone you care about was injured by a defective pharmaceutical and you live in the Houston, Texas area, please contact the compassionate and determined attorneys at The Cochran Firm today to schedule a confidential consultation to learn how to proceed to obtain justice and the financial compensation to which you are entitled for your injuries.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 10:57 AM

Premises Liability in Atlanta, Georgia

Premises liability law is a section of Georgia law that holds property and business owners legally responsible for dangerous or hazardous conditions that may exist on their property.

If you slip and fall on a wet floor in a store, premises liability law may hold the store owner legally responsible for your injuries, depending on the circumstances. Common situations that may cause the initiation of a premises liability claim are falls on wet or icy walkways or stairs, attacks by dogs running loose and not in the control of the owner, exposure to toxic substances, an injury caused by a so-called "attractive nuisance", such as an old refrigerator left unlocked outside, or lack of adequate security measures at an apartment, hotel or mall parking garage that leads to a criminal assault. Premises liability laws also apply to private homeowners and injuries sustained on government properties such as parks and libraries.

Serious injuries can result from accidents on someone else's property including spinal cord injuries, burns, broken bones, head injuries, back injuries that can lead to paralysis and injuries that cause permanent disability or disfigurement.

The experienced premises liability attorneys at The Cochran Firm have accumulated years of knowledge and skill in litigating premises liability claims and will work diligently to successfully resolve your claim.

If you live in Atlanta, Georgia or the surrounding area and you or someone close to you was injured on someone else's property, please contact The Cochran Firm today to learn how to proceed with your claim for financial compensation for your injuries.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 10:10 AM

Orange County Trial Focuses on Use of BOTOX Resulting in Death of Child

When a 7-year-old girl with cerebral palsy died in November 2007, her mother blamed the BOTOX treatments she was injected with. BOTOX, usually used to lessen wrinkles in the face, has several off-label uses, including relaxing the muscles of children with cerebral palsy. However, the dead girl's mother claims an overdose of the medication killed her daughter.

This trial is believed to be the first one targeting BOTOX as the cause of a death to make it this far. It is one of several lawsuits that are pending related to BOTOX and its non-cosmetic uses.

It is alleged by the mother, lawyers, and experts that BOTOX weakened the young girl's muscles that controlled her breathing and swallowing. This lead to pneumonia and respiratory failure, which is noted as the cause of her death on the official death certificate. Allergan, the maker of BOTOX, claims the girl died of a bacterial infection, and that there is no proof BOTOX was the reason she died.

BOTOX was given to the girl to calm spasms she suffered in her legs. The lawsuit alleges that she was given seven injections in her chest, legs, and groin over a 15-month time span. The 33-pound child suffered seizures prior to the injections, but they got worse after the treatment started.

Physician and Drug Company at Odds

The trial focuses not only on the drug, but the doctor who administered the treatments. He testified he learned to give children 15 units of BOTOX per kilogram of body weight. Allergan says this is twice the amount they advise is safe for children. The say the company would never share the maximum dosage information with physicians since this would violate a federal ban on marketing non-approved uses for drugs, also known as off-label uses.

This information is disputed in motions and depositions, which show Allergan representatives visited the physician's practice around 50 times over several years to discuss the use of BOTOX on juvenile cerebral palsy patients. The physician claims one rep said other doctors were using ten to 15 units per kilogram of BOTOX on their patients.

Last year, federal authorities noted serious reactions to BOTOX with black box labeling. It has also come to light that as early as 2005, there were problems the drug maker knew of. In 2005, a European health official sent a letter to Allergan reporting botulinum toxin, the active part of BOTOX, was spreading beyond the injection site in patients using it for cosmetic reasons. The letter noted muscle weakness in the neck region, trouble with swallowing, and "fatal cases of aspiration."

The child's death came a year before the Food and Drug Administration ordered the labels on BOTOX to include warnings that the drug could cause "life-threatening swallowing and breathing difficulties and even death."

If you or a loved one has been injured due to side effects or reactions from taking a drug, please contact the experienced product liability attorneys at the Cochran Firm today. We serve clients nationwide.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:06 AM

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

$1.5 Million Awarded For Wrongful Death

In February 2008, one Ashley McIntosh, a kindergarten teacher assistant aged 33, was driving out of a shopping plaza. She got a green light and began turning on to the road. Amanda Perry, a police officer aged 22, was driving north on the road that McIntosh was entering. She had her police emergency lights flashing but did not have the siren on.

She drove through the red light where McIntosh was turning with her green light and hit McIntosh’s car on the passenger side in an intersectional collision accident. McIntosh was thrown from her car and died the following day.

This incident occurred in Fairfax County in Virginia. County prosecutors charged Perry with reckless driving, but she was found not guilty in October 2008. McIntosh’s family then sued her for wrongful death.

An Emergency or Not?

In August 2009, a Fairfax County Circuit Court judge ruled that Perry could not claim “sovereign immunity” as a public official performing her job because she had been grossly negligent. In a pre-trial hearing, she had admitted that she had not used her emergency lights for several miles as she drove to what she thought was an emergency. (However, she did have the lights on when she struck McIntosh’s car.)

She believed she was driving to “a fight in progress”. However, according to evidence at the pre-trial hearing, the fight was actually the capture of a shoplifter. The dispatchers had sent text messages to Perry, as evidenced by tape from her in-car camera, but Perry stated that she had not seen them and therefore did not know about any shoplifter. Because an ice storm was making the airwaves busy, the dispatchers had not sent her any radio message.

The Circuit Court judge ruled that a shoplifter being captured at a grocery store miles away did not constitute an emergency for Officer Perry. For McIntosh’s parents as the plaintiffs, that meant they would just have to establish simple negligence on Perry’s part.

Fair Compensation For the Family

In the wrongful death case, Fairfax County has agreed to pay $1.5 million to the McIntosh family for the loss of their daughter. Perry herself is not personally liable, since the county pays all legal bills for its police officers.

The police department put her on administrative duties for a year but took no disciplinary action until she was found to have falsified her time cards. She was forced to resign in March 2009.

One can never get the full story from news reports. It would seem that since McIntosh was thrown from her car, she must not have been wearing a seatbelt. If that is contributory negligence, it would perhaps mitigate the policewoman’s liability. Further, if the police car’s lights were flashing, it would have been very visible to McIntosh. On the other hand, an ice storm was in progress which possibly reduced visibility. We must trust that the County and the Plaintiffs have arrived at the best settlement of the case.

If you have been injured by another driver’s negligence, you may have a valid legal claim. Please call or email our office today to schedule a free case review with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 1:08 PM

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

$4.75 million Verdict in Shoulder Pain Pump Defective Product Lawsuit

Last week, an Oregon jury ordered I-Flow Corp to pay a man $4.75 million for the postarthroscopic glenohumeral chondrolysis (PAGCL) that destroyed cartilage in his shoulder after he used the company's pain pump. The jury found that the company, now a subsidiary of Dallas, Texas-based Kimberly-Clark, encouraged surgeons to use the pump in an unapproved manner that it had reason to believe was unsafe.

According to the verdict, the company encouraged surgeons to use the pump for delivering pain medications directly to the joint space, even though it had never been approved for that use. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a statement in November stressing that neither the pump nor the medications it infused had been approved for long-term delivery directly into the joint. The FDA's statement came after a thorough review of dozens of cases of PAGCL, 97% of which affected the shoulders.

This verdict represents the first successful defective product verdict against pain pump manufacturers, who face hundreds of lawsuits across the country. Last year, attempts to consolidate the lawsuits were rejected because so many different pain pumps have been targeted by plaintiffs. In addition to I-Flow, numerous pain pump manufacturers have been implicated in lawsuits.

If you had arthroscopic surgery and received a pain pump, you should be aware of the signs of PAGCL, including:

  • Pain in the joint
  • Stiffness in the joint
  • Clicking or grinding with motion
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Strength loss

If you experience any of these symptoms, report them to your doctor. The only way to know whether you are experiencing PAGCL, though, is with diagnostic x-rays of the affected joint.

If you have had increased or ongoing joint problems after arthroscopic surgery, you may be one of hundreds of people suffering from PAGCL as a result of inappropriate use of a pain pump. The product liability lawyers at the Dallas, Texas office of The Cochran Firm can help you receive compensation for your injuries. Please call or email us today for a free initial consultation.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 11:30 AM

Monday, January 25, 2010

Navy Plane Goes Down in Lake Pontchartrain

A Navy plane crashed into Lake Pontchartrain on Saturday, and at the time of this writing, the Coast Guard is still searching for one of the pilots; one has been rescued. Around 6:40 p.m., a Coast Guard command center received a call from air traffic control that the naval plane was no longer visible on radar, so the Coast Guard launched two boats, crews and a helicopter to look for the missing Navy pilots.

Upon finding the plane in the water, the Coast Guard could see the two pilots clinging to the sinking plane. The Coast Guard continues to search the one-mile square mile around the plane in hopes of rescuing the other pilot.

If you have been injured in a plane crash or have lost a loved one due to someone’s negligence, please contact the http://www.cochranfirm.com/about-us.html with offices nationwide, today to schedule your confidential, no-cost consultation.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 6:58 AM

Friday, January 22, 2010

Toyota Announces Second Major Recall for Sticking Gas Pedals

Yesterday, Toyota announced a recall of 2.3 million cars in the United States due to defective gas pedals which may become stuck. This is the second major product recall initiated by Toyota in the past few months. This fall, the auto manufacturer recalled 4.2 million vehicles due to defective floor mats which could move around, resulting in accelerator pedals getting lodged underneath the mats.

Toyota has made it clear that the current recall has nothing to do with the floor mats which were causing gas pedals to get stuck in the accelerating position. Instead, this problem deals with the gas pedal mechanism itself, which is becoming stuck even if there is no floor mat in the car.

According to officials from Toyota, the problem is being caused by a build-up of condensation in the accelerator system. Currently, the auto manufacturer has not devised a solution to the problem, but they are hard at work trying to create one.

The current recall affects the following vehicle models:

  • 2009-2010 RAV4
  • 2009-2010 Corolla
  • 2009-2010 Matrix
  • 2005-2010 Avalon
  • 2007-2010 Camry
  • 2010 Highlander
  • 2007-2010 Tundra
  • 2008-2010 Sequoia

If you drive one of the above-mentioned vehicles and your gas pedal becomes stuck, you should firmly press down on the brakes. Do not pump them. Once you have safely stopped the vehicle, contact your local Toyota dealer at once.

The defective product attorneys at The Cochran Firm can help you receive compensation for your damages if you have suffered an injury caused by a defective auto. Please contact our experienced personal injury lawyers today. We serve clients nationwide.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 9:08 AM

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Off-Duty New York Cop Tries to Blame DUI Victim

Last September, an off-duty New York City officer struck and killed a 33-year-old woman who was attempting to hail a cab. At the time, the officer was allegedly drunk when he hit the woman. Officers responding to the accident say he reeked of alcohol, seemed as though he was drunk, and refused a breathalyzer.

At the time of the accident last September, it seemed like a straightforward tragedy: a drunk driver hit and killed a pedestrian. However, the story has changed a little as the officer who hit the woman now claims she was drunk and blames her for the accident. She was leaving a wedding at the time and witnesses say she was visibly drunk. Now, the officer's lawyer alleges she stepped out into traffic, right in front of the accused officer. The lawyer claims she was "struck by a vehicle that had the right of way…and wasn't driving recklessly."

Since this time, the officer has been charged with vehicular manslaughter and driving while intoxicated. He has pleaded not guilty to both charges.

A toxicology report has also been released before the trial, as well as surveillance video that allegedly shows the officer drinking. He was forced to submit a DNA swab to determine if three cups found in or near his vehicle contain his DNA.

To top all of this, an investigation into a possible police cover-up is pending.

It may be easy to blame the dead for many things. After all, they can't speak for themselves. Yet for the officer who may have been intoxicated himself to blame the woman, who was the daughter of a pastor, of negligence seems the height of hubris.

While the jury will decide the fate of the officer, now facing years in prison if convicted, the stain of blaming the victim will be with him for life even if he is found not guilty.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident, 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 8:37 AM

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Cribs Recalled After Baby Dies

This week, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has announced the recall of about 635,000 cribs that have unsafe drop sides. They are sold by many stores, Wal-Mart, Sears, and Kmart among them. They were made by Dorel Asia, based in Barbados, although the manufacturing was done in China and Vietnam. They were selling for anywhere between $120 and $700.

The company received 67 reports of malfunction with ten involving scratching or bruising for the infants and six where babies became trapped between the drop side and the mattress. About half of them involved broken slats on the drop-side of the crib. The drop-side hardware has a tendency to break.

Circumstances of the Infant Fatality

Yesterday, January 19, an infant death was reported that had occurred in a Dorel Asia crib. According to Dorel Asia’s clarifying statement issued yesterday, when an investigator looked into this fatality, he found that the crib had earlier been used for an older child who had broken it. The parents had repaired it with duct tape and then used it for their six-month-old baby. The duct-taped area came apart, somehow trapping the baby, who was strangled.

The parents had also wrapped their baby in a thick afghan rug, something that Dorel Asia’s instructions warn against, as thick bedding can hamper a baby’s movement so that suffocation may occur. Both parents were arrested for child endangerment with death. The father also received several drug charges.

Free Repair Kit

Dorel Asia is offering a free repair kit to fix the drop-side hardware. If you have one of these cribs, you can call 1-866-762-2304 to obtain a kit and the CPSC recall announcement lists all the models involved in this recall. Meanwhile, do not use the crib.

Please contact our law office if you have been injured by any type of defective product and wonder if you might have legal recourse. We will be happy to schedule a free case review for you with one of our defective product attorneys. We have offices across the nation for your convenience.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 9:45 AM

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Chrysler Recalls over 24,000 Potentially Defective Automobiles

Chrysler Group, LLC, has announced it will recall 24,177 vehicles in its Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep lines for potential brake failure. The automaker reported the potential defect to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on January 7. The vehicles were built with an improperly formed or missing part in the brake system, a defect that could result in brake failure without warning and cause a serious auto accident.

The potentially defective automobiles are mostly Dodge Ram pick-up trucks. These pick-ups account for nearly 17,000 of the recalled vehicles, but here's the complete list of the recalled cars and their model years is below:

  • Sebring (Chrysler) 2010
  • Ram (Dodge) 2009-2010
  • Avenger (Dodge) 2010
  • Nitro(Dodge) 2010
  • Commander (Jeep) 2010
  • Grand Cherokee (Jeep) 2010
  • Liberty (Jeep) 2010

At this point, there have been no confirmed accidents or deaths associated with the recalled models. However, if you or a loved one has suffered as a result of an accident that you think may be due to these or any other defective vehicles, the personal injury lawyers at The Cochran Firm can help. For a free case evaluation, please call or email us today.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 1:44 PM

Monday, January 18, 2010

Potentially-Defective Drugs Raise "Stink" with FDA

The recall of several OTC (over-the-counter) drugs including Motrin, Benadryl and Tylenol, came too late states a spokesperson for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). According to reports, drug manufacturer, Johnson and Johnson, was well aware that these products emitted a "moldy, mildew-like" odor back in 2008. McNeil-PPC, a division of the larger Johnson and Johnson, said it received only a small number of complaints and that these complaints were not serious.

The recently recalled defective drugs include:

Junior Strength Motrin
Motrin Caplets
Children's Tylenol Grape Meltaway Tablets
Extra Strength Tylenol
Extra Strength Tylenol Rapid Release Gel Caps
Extra Strength Tylenol PM Gel Tabs
Extra Strength Rolaids Fresh Mint Tablets
St. Joseph Aspirin Chewable Orange Tablets
Benadryl Allergy Ultratab Tablets

Late last week, a warning letter was sent by the FDA to McNeil alerting the company it had fifteen days to report back on its efforts to fix this problem and avoid future violations. Failure to address the violations may result in legal action, according to an FDA spokesperson.

The odor was caused by a chemical called "2,4,6-tribromoanisole (TBA)," which can be found on the wooden pallets used to transport and store the products in the manufacturing plants. The tainted pallets have been traced to Puerto Rico. At the time of this writing, there is an investigation to find out if any other drug companies used pallets from this particular Puerto Rican location.

If you are concerned you may have these defective drugs in your possession, please stop using them immediately and call 1-888-222-6036 or go to www.mcneilproductrecall.com to learn more. If you have been made ill, please see your doctor immediately.

If you or a loved one has been harmed by a defective drug, the defective product attorneys at The Cochran Firm, with offices nationwide, is accepting these cases at this time. Please contact a Cochran Firm office near you today to schedule a confidential, no-cost consultation.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 10:28 AM

Friday, January 15, 2010

Does Everyone Really Deserve a Driver’s License?

Yesterday afternoon, a young man was flagged down in a parking lot by a frantic woman. When he got out of his car to find out what the commotion was about, she informed him that she desperately needed a jump for her car. The young man happily came to her aid.

It turns out that the woman was acting frantically because she was trying to take her road test at the time her vehicle decided not to cooperate. As the young man sat in his car waiting for her battery to get a charge from the jumper cables, he noticed the woman was blowing into a breathalyzer machine that had been installed in her car. Apparently, this woman was taking her road test to recover a suspended license due to a DUI.

The woman spent several minutes trying unsuccessfully to start her car, constantly blowing into the breathalyzer as she tried. With each passing moment, the DMV employee waiting to administer the road test grew more visibly disgusted by the events transpiring. After all, it is pretty important to show up for your road test in a vehicle that works properly.

Eventually, the DMV employee informed the woman that she would not be allowed to take her road test that day and asked her to reschedule for a later date. She also told the woman that she would need to show up for her next appointment with a vehicle that functions properly.

The woman became very angry at this point, accusing the DMV worker of being unfair and blaming her for the problems with her vehicle. Somehow, it was the DMV employee's fault that this woman did not have a fully functioning car.

On a side note, it is uncertain whether the car wouldn't start due to a faulty battery, a different problem with the vehicle, or potentially because the woman was not sober enough to pass her breathalyzer test. At any rate, the problem did not sound like a dead battery.

Fortunately for drivers in the Denver, Colorado region, this woman will be off the road for a little while longer. However, this whole incident makes you wonder whether everyone really deserves to be issued a driver's license.

Clearly, this woman had been caught at least once if not several times driving under the influence of alcohol – a behavior that threatens the safety of other drivers and passengers on the road. Furthermore, she lacked the common sense to realize the importance of showing up for her road test with a vehicle that runs properly. Most alarmingly, when the situation did not work out for her, she tried to place the blame on another individual instead of taking responsibility for her own actions.

Based on this brief incident, there is no indication whatsoever that this woman would be a safe and responsible driver. Her careless attitude in life demonstrates a behavior pattern that correlates with an increased likelihood of causing an auto accident which may seriously injure others on the road. Furthermore, her inability to take responsibility for her actions would lead you to believe that if she were to cause an auto accident, she may not readily fulfill her obligations to compensate the injured victim.

Driving should be a privilege, not a right. Our nation's roads would be much safer if our local government agencies denied a license to individuals who demonstrate, either by a prior history of actions or by grossly inappropriate behavior at the time of their exam, that they cannot handle the responsibility of driving. By making licensure requirements a bit stricter, we can go a long way towards reducing the number of serious auto accidents that occur each day.

The experienced auto accident attorneys at The Cochran Firm can help you receive the compensation you deserve if you have been injured in an accident caused by the negligence of another driver. Please contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation. We serve clients nationwide.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 10:31 AM

Thursday, January 14, 2010

California High Court Denies Appeals of Tobacco Company

R.J. Reynolds lost an appeal decision of a San Francisco jury's decision to award the family of a woman who died of lung cancer millions of dollars. The 40-year-old woman died in 2000 after smoking cigarettes for 26 years. The jury awarded her family $2.85 million.

The woman testified she began smoking when she was 13-years-old and smoked two packs a day until she was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1998. The woman claimed she did not pay attention to the warnings since the benefits of smoking were pushed by the tobacco companies. She sued Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds. Four months before she died, a jury awarded her and her husband $1.7 million in compensation and $20 million in punitive damages.

It has been reported that this was the nation's first verdict in favor of someone who began smoking after 1965. That was the year the government began putting warnings on cigarette packages.

In 2004, a state appeals court granted the tobacco companies a new trial. A law that immunized them from damages for harm caused by tobacco products between 1988 and 1998 was cited. However, a second jury awarded the woman's family the $2.85 million in 2007.

Tobacco companies appealed this, claiming they were not responsible for any statements made by industry groups and that research regarding harm caused by cigarettes was still inconclusive up through the 1980s.

Last October, the verdict was upheld by a state appeals court. The court stated tobacco companies influenced the research of several industry groups through bankrolling them. The court stated the companies never tried to contradict false statements made by trade groups, and added to this by engaging in a "campaign of deception" at the same time to keep people smoking.

The California high court denied a review of the companies' appeal with a unanimous vote.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or has developed a disease because of a dangerous product, please contact the experienced defective product attorneys at the Cochran Firm for an initial consultation.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:58 AM

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Bitter (Orange) Pill to Swallow?

New Weight Loss Supplements Still Have Heavy Consequences
By Farrest Taylor, Esq. and Catherine Walding, Legal Editor


In a country where obesity is an ever-growing problem, the dieting industry is selling a mouthful of dangerous products. Consumers spend a staggering $20 billion each year on dietary supplements in the United States, despite recurring evidence of the dangers of such products when sold over the counter.

Specifically, research conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration confirmed that diet drugs containing ephedra and ephedrine-alkaloid were found “to raise blood pressure and otherwise stress the circulatory system,” possibly causing myocardial infarction, stroke, seizure, cerebrovascular accidents, and/or sudden death. Due to these findings, the FDA banned ephedra and ephedrine containing supplements from unregulated use in 2004.

The result? Synephrine, a derivative of a citrus fruit known as Bitter Orange, Sour Orange, or Zhi Shi. With a molecular structure very similar to ephedra, synephrine is the new chemical of choice for dietary supplements, and manufacturers of supplements containing synephrine claim that they, like those formerly containing ephedra or ephedrine, will also burn fat, increase energy levels, increase metabolism, and promote weight loss. Unfortunately, it appears that the negative side effects of the new supplements are very similar as well. Though not well documented, it is becoming more evident with time that synephrine can be associated with adverse cardiovascular events. A tragic example of this evidence comes from the Texas Heart Institute Journal, which reports a case of a previously healthy 24-year old male who presented to Walter Reed Army Medical Center with a severe myocardial infarction just hours after ingesting a dietary/performance enhancing supplement. The man, who had been using the supplement to enhance to his daily workouts, had no preexisting cardiovascular issues, family history, or history of drug use. He had, however, been taking the supplement, which contained synephrine.

Given the close molecular structure and the growing evidence as to the detrimental effects of supplements that contain synephrine, it is imperative that the FDA involve itself in the regulation of such supplements

Thomas, John E., MD; Munir, Jamalah A., MD; McIntyre, Peter Z., MD; and Ferguson, Michael A., MD; “STEMI after Use of Synephrine Dietary Supplement;” Texas Heart Institute Journal; Volume 36, Number 6, 2009
http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/2004/ucm108379.htm
Thomas, John E., MD; Munir, Jamalah A., MD; McIntyre, Peter Z., MD; and Ferguson, Michael A., MD; “STEMI after Use of Synephrine Dietary Supplement;” Texas Heart Institute Journal; Volume 36, Number 6, 2009

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posted by Guyg at 3:26 PM

Lawsuits Lingering Over Defective Heparin

In the early months of 2008, the blood thinner Heparin supplied by Baxter International, Inc. was found to be contaminated. At first the situation was puzzling. It was not immediately obvious how a contaminated ingredient had got into the drug. Part of the manufacturing was done in China and eventually investigators traced the problem to over-sulfated chondroitin sulfate made in China.

Successful Research

At the time, Baxter was supplying over half of the heparin used in the U.S. The contaminated supply caused about 80 deaths and injured many other people. Baxter recalled this heparin and researchers at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) eventually published their discovery of how the tainted heparin had evaded detection at the U.S. border and why the contaminated ingredient made the heparin so deadly.

They had discovered the exact chemical structure of the contamination. They suggested that their discovery methods could be used by federal regulators to prevent any repetition of this error. The FDA had no test that could have discovered the contaminated ingredient. Over-sulfated chondroitin sulfate does not occur naturally, although chondroitin sulfate does, and is used in supplements for arthritis.

The FDA did ask for some new manufacturing standards after the problem was traced to China. The reason Baxter used a manufacturing plant in China is that enzymes from pig intestines are used and China had enough pigs to meet the demand. However, China also had an epidemic of pig disease at the time that reduced their supply and they compensated by making a synthetic ingredient. Twelve Chinese companies were found to be responsible and subsequently, contaminated heparin was found in ten other countries besides the U.S.

Hundreds of Lawsuits

Many lawsuits were filed, including class action suits, some for wrongful death, some for product liability. In Illinois alone, there were about 300 product liability suits. New claims are still being filed. Complaints state that Baxter and its supplier, Scientific Protein Laboratories, LLC, were negligent in allowing the contaminated ingredient to be used. They are demanding monetary damages for those who were injured by the tainted heparin and compensation for the survivors of those who died.

Defective products are constantly in the news. Defective vehicles have been recalled recently by Toyota and this space wrote about that on November 30, 2009. The recall was subsequently expanded. On December 30 this space wrote about the Tylenol recall being expanded.

If you have been hurt by a defective drug or any type of defective product, you may have a basis for a legal claim. Please contact us today if you would like to schedule a free case evaluation.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 10:18 AM

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Cadmium in Jewelry Shows Difficulty in Regulating Toxic Products

Yesterday, the Associated Press (AP) announced test results showing that costume jewelry imported from China contained very high levels of the toxic metal cadmium. Cadmium is a heavy metal that can lead to numerous toxic effects, including cancer, kidney dysfunction, developmental disorders, and bleeding in nerve bundles related to sight, hearing, and other senses. Cadmium is, like many other heavy metals, a bio-accumulant--once in your body it tends to stay in your body, finding its way into numerous tissues and causing toxic effects throughout your life.

The AP-coordinated tests were performed on over 100 pieces of costume jewelry found in US-retail stores. The tests revealed that although most of the jewelry did not contain cadmium, about 10 percent did, sometimes at startling amounts. Several pieces were more than 10% cadmium by weight, others over 80%, and one piece was 91% cadmium by weight.

Cadmium is a soft metal, easily worn away through normal use, and once free it can be readily absorbed, either by inhalation or ingestion.

It is not uncommon for manufacturers to use cadmium in products intended for the Chinese domestic market, and some speculate that manufacturers are using the metal as a substitute for lead they have been forced to remove as a result of higher standards for all children's products, including jewelry. There is currently no standard for the level of cadmium that jewelry, toys, or other products can contain.

Although lawmakers are looking at altering the law to cover cadmium, this situation shows the difficulty in writing laws to regulate toxins in products. Lawmakers can only foresee and write standards for so many toxic substances, but manufacturers know what they are putting in their products, and know whether it is toxic or not. By holding them to the highest level of responsibility for their products with product liability lawsuits, we can make them consider the real cost of their products before they cause harm.

If you or a loved one has been hurt by a toxic or defective product, the personal injury lawyers of The Cochran Firm can help. Please schedule a free case evaluation today.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 7:35 AM

Monday, January 11, 2010

Tips to Avoid Truck Accidents

According to a report published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 5,000 people die each year in truck accidents in the United States. The NHTSA reports that when a car is involved in a collision with a truck, 98% of people in the car are killed. For obvious reasons, passenger cars usually are typically severely damaged when involved in a an accident with a truck, but there are steps you can take to minimize your chances of being involved in a truck accident.

Avoid the blind spots of the truck driver. You may think that because truck drivers are so high up, they can see everything; that is simply not true. Trucks have large blind spots; for that reason, you will often see the sign on trucks indicating that if you cannot see the truck driver in his side view mirror, then he cannot see you.
Give trucks plenty of room to turn.
Stay 4-5 seconds behind a truck.
Put your lights on as you pass a truck as this helps the truck driver see you.
Pass with care. If a truck driver blinks his lights, he wants you to pass. Blink back to let him know you saw his signal.
When you pass a truck, make sure you pass it enough to see its headlights in your rearview mirror before you get back into your lane.
Keep in mind that trucks always need twice as much stopping distance as cars, so leave plenty of room between you and a truck. Always use more caution in bad weather or at night.

If you have been involved in a truck accident, you will need an experienced truck accident attorney on your side. Please contact the truck accident 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 7:58 AM

Friday, January 8, 2010

Judge Approves Night Club Fire Settlement

A federal judge has recently approved settlements for more than 300 plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed after a fire killed 100 spectators and injured more than 200 others at a 2003 Great White show in Rhode Island. The fire started when a pyrotechnics display caused foam soundproofing covering the club's walls to catch fire. The club burned in minutes.

The settlement, totaling approximately $176 million, will be disbursed to people injured in the fire as well as surviving family members of the wrongful death victims. The judge also approved the creation of a trust which will distribute money to the victims.

The defendants have two to three months to place the settlement money in the trust. Once deposited, the trust administrator has another two to three months to start issuing checks to the victims.

The minimum payout to victims is $25,000, while some people may receive multimillion dollar settlements. There were 41 children under the age of 18 who lost parents in the fire. Each one will receive approximately $202,000 from their wrongful death claim.

The experienced wrongful death attorneys at The Cochran Firm can help you receive the compensation you deserve if you have lost a loved one due to the negligent actions of another. 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, January 7, 2010

Hormone Replacement Therapy Breast Cancer Lawsuits Reinstated

The 8th District Court of Appeals in St. Louis has overturned a district court ruling from 2008 that blocked over 100 lawsuits filed against drug companies by women or their surviving family members who claim hormone replacement therapy caused breast cancer from being sent back to the state court in Minnesota, as well as those that were dismissed in Little Rock, Arkansas.

The appeals court ruled that the cases belonged in state court and that the district court judge did not have the jurisdiction to dismiss them. Furthermore, the appeals court said dozens of cases the lower court ruled should not have been part of the litigation since they mirrored claims that are pending in California.

Thousands of lawsuits were filed against a dozen drug companies, including Barr Laboratories Inc., Mead Johnson & Co., Pfizer Inc., Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Inc. (now part of Pfizer), and others over hormones prescribed to treat symptoms of menopause. One of the drugs focused on in the lawsuits is Prempro, a drug that combines estrogen and progestin.

The 8th Circuit granted a new trial requested by Upjohn Co. and Wyeth in November. The drug companies were challenging an Arkansas jury verdict that awarded a Little Rock plaintiff $27 million in punitive damages and $2.75 million in compensatory damages in February 2008. The jury had concluded that Wyeth did not adequately warn that Prempro and another drug, Premarin, carried an increased risk of breast cancer.

In October, 2009, a Philadelphia jury awarded a Peoria, Illinois woman $75 million in punitive damages and $3.75 million in compensatory damages when a link between hormone treatment and her breast cancer was found.

Pharmaceutical companies go to great lengths to deny their drugs harm patients and then work even harder to avoid paying out damages. We can help you get compensation and justice.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or become ill from taking a prescription drug, please contact the experienced pharmaceutical injury attorneys at the Cochran Firm for an initial consultation. We serve clients nationwide.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 11:32 AM

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

$39 Million For L.A. Commuter Train Accident

In January 2005, a southbound Los Angeles commuter train was carrying people to work in the early morning when it collided with an SUV left on the tracks. The train jackknifed and since there were train tracks on both sides of it, it hit two other trains. One was a parked freight train and the other was a second commuter train traveling northbound. A fire broke out because of spilled diesel fuel. Eleven people were killed and 180 were injured.

An Empty SUV Left on the Tracks?

The man who had parked the SUV on the tracks was apprehended on an L.A. street, wandering around and mumbling “I’m sorry”. He was charged with eleven counts of murder with “special circumstances”.

His defense attorneys claimed that he had planned to commit suicide but suddenly changed his mind and jumped out of the SUV. He apparently had previously slit his wrists and stabbed himself in the chest a few times and hoped to finish the job by having his SUV hit by a train. However, some witnesses stated that he inflicted those injuries on himself after the train crash.

L.A.’s Second Worst Train Accident

This was the worst train accident in Los Angeles’ history until another one happened in 2008. Needless to say, it was followed by dozens of lawsuits. California’s statute of limitations allows only six months for a person hurt in a train accident to file a claim. Eventually 186 lawsuits were filed, some for wrongful death and some for personal injury.

Last week the commuter rail agency, Metrolink, agreed to pay approximately $39 million to settle all but one of the lawsuits. A Los Angeles Superior Court judge has vacated the trial date previously set for the one last claim and has urged the parties to settle it.

You can read more about train accidents on our Questions About Train Accidents page.

If you have been hurt in a train accident, you may have a valid legal claim. Please call or email our law office today to schedule a free case evaluation. One of our attorneys will be happy to listen, answer questions, and advise you of your options.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 1:10 PM

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Amtrak Train Accident Kills Teenage Girl

On Tuesday morning, an Amtrak train traveling from New York to Washington struck and killed a teenage girl, one of many fatal train accidents that kill about 1000 Americans every year. The train accident led to stopped traffic on Amtrak's busiest route, connecting the political and cultural capitals of the United States, with delays being expected all day long.

The accident occurred when a southbound train struck the girl about 11 miles north of the Baltimore station, halting traffic on all four tracks leading into Washington from Maryland as authorities investigated the accident.

Authorities have said that the girl was struck while walking to school. She was walking along the tracks headed south. She was with another girl who jumped to safety and called 911 on a cell phone.

In this case, authorities say the girl was struck while trespassing on the tracks, although details about security designed to keep children off the tracks in this area is not available. In other cases, the cause of fatalities in train accidents is a poorly designed crossing for either pedestrians or vehicles. A lack of working signals and poor visibility at the crossing has led to many unnecessary and wrongful deaths, a fact that some railroads have worked hard to conceal.

If your loved one was struck and killed by a train due in part to the negligence of the railroad, the train accident attorneys at the Washington, D.C. office of The Cochran Firm can help. Please contact us today for a free evaluation of your wrongful death lawsuit.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 12:09 PM

Monday, January 4, 2010

Common Types of Construction Accidents

Construction sites are dangerous places to be, even when safety standards are strictly enforced. Here are some of the more common accidents that occur:

• Falls from scaffolding, ladders, rooftops, and other support structures account for a large percentage of construction-related accidents. More than a third of construction-related fatalities result from falls.

• Work-related motor vehicle accidents or other transportation accidents account for roughly a quarter of all construction-related fatalities. Individuals who do not work in the construction industry but who are injured or killed by a commercial vehicle used in construction may have a construction negligence case. For example, improperly loaded cargo that falls from the back of a construction vehicle during transit causes several thousand accidents every year.

• Being crushed, hit, or trapped by falling or moving equipment, tools, or materials accounts for nearly one in five construction-related fatalities.

• One in ten construction fatalities are the result of electrocution. Electricians are most often the victims. However, their neglect to properly mark or turn off high-voltage lines can put anyone in danger.

Not only are construction-related accidents more common than other types of work-related accidents, they are also typically more serious, often resulting in several weeks or months of not being able to work. Calculating damages in such cases can get very complicated, and requires the knowledge of an experience construction negligence attorney.

If you have been injured on a construction site, or if a loved one has died on a construction site due to someone else's negligence, please contact the experienced construction negligence attorneys at the Cochran Firm today to arrange your free case evaluation.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 10:12 AM

Friday, January 1, 2010

Ford Settles Defective Product Lawsuit with Woman Left Paralyzed in Auto Accident

On December 18, a Clayton County, Georgia jury ordered Ford Motor Co. to pay more than $16 million of a $17.7 million judgment related to a 2005 Christmas Day auto accident. The other vehicle's driver had been held responsible for the remainder of the damages.

However, while the jury was pondering additional punitive damages against Ford, the auto manufacturer decided to settle the entire case with the injured woman and her husband for a confidential sum, letting the negligent driver off the hook for his portion of the damages.

Lynn Wheeler was sitting in the back seat of a Ford Explorer in between her two grandchildren on the day of the accident. The Explorer was hit head-on by another vehicle which lost control and crossed into the oncoming traffic lane. Wheeler slammed forward and down when the rear seat latch failed and collapsed on her. She suffered a serious spinal cord injury which has left her paralyzed from the neck down.

Wheeler's lawsuit claimed Ford was negligent in their design for the rear seat latch and in their decision to install a lap belt instead of a three-point shoulder belt. During the trial, Wheeler's attorney presented evidence demonstrating Ford has known about the dangers of lap-only seatbelts for more than 30 years based on company documents and crash-test memos dating back to the 1960s. However, in an attempt to save money, they have not corrected the issue.

The concrete proof that Ford knew of the dangers of their defective vehicles yet did nothing to correct the problem most likely led the jury to feel that punitive damages were necessary as well. However, due to Ford's willingness to settle before a damage figure could be determined, they will not be responsible for any punitive damages in this claim.

If you have suffered an injury due to a defective auto, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your damages. The experienced defective product attorneys at The Cochran Firm have the skills and resources to help you receive what is rightfully yours.

Please contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation. The Cochran Firm serves clients nationwide.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 9:32 AM

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