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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Car Accidents: Taking Issue with the IIHS

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is one of the most well-respected voices in striving to reduce car accident injuries and deaths. The organization, which crash-tests and rates vehicles, has arguably done more to ensure the safety of every one of us on the road than any other non-governmental organization. However, in its most recent Status Report (August 21, 2010), it focuses on misplaced criticism of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and others. The IIHS claims that putting emphasis on defective automobiles as in the Toyota recalls, defective equipment such as faulty tires, or on cell phones as a cause of distracted driving, the NHTSA, personal injury lawyers, and the general public are missing many opportunities to help make people safer on the road. But in this the Institute both overestimates the impact of some changes and ignores the potential benefits resulting from the efforts of NHTSA and others.

For example, it says, speeding is a factor in about one-third of all fatal crashes. Therefore, policy emphasis should be on reducing speed limits and increasing enforcement with roadside cameras to catch violators. In its alarmist report on speed limits, it notes that since control of speed limits was passed back to the states in 1995, speed limits have risen on rural and urban highways. However, its own data notes that speed limits are only roughly correlated with actual average speeds, as shown in the following graph comparing the speed limit with actual speeds traveled in or around seven or eight metropolitan areas:

Looking at this data, it's clear that while there is a general correlation between posted speed limits and average vehicle speed, lowering the speed limit does not necessarily lead to slower vehicle speeds. Instead, it is more likely the local driving habits have the biggest impact on speed. Compare, for example, Denver and Boston. In Boston, IIHS reports the speed limits as 65 for rural highways, 55 for urban highways, and 45 for arterial roads, while the average vehicle speeds are 67, 62, and 62, respectively. In Denver, the speed limits are 75, 55, and 40, while the average vehicle speeds are 70, 56, and 42. Bostonians, it seems, are more likely to drive in the 60s--regardless of the posted speed limit-- than Denverites, who seem to pay more attention to posted speed limits.

The IIHS also took aim at the NHTSA's campaign against distracted driving. It cited data that laws against cell phone use while driving reduce cell phone use, but not accidents. While cell phone laws enacted by many states may be ineffective, the NHTSA's campaign, it should be noted, focuses on all forms of distracted driving, not just cell phones or texting.

Finally, the main point that the IIHS neglects in its report is to note that, despite rising speed limits, cell phones, and other factors, the number of auto accident deaths in this country has dropped to its lowest level since recordkeeping began in the 1950s. This is due in part to the IIHS. But we should also not neglect the tireless efforts of the NHTSA in getting people to use seatbelts and avoid cell phone use, as well as the efforts of personal injury lawyers in highlighting defective roadways, vehicles, and equipment that lead to needless deaths.

If you have lost a loved one in a fatal car accident, the lawyer of The Cochran Firm stand ready to help highlight the cause of the accident, and, if possible, save other families from suffering a similar tragedy. Please call or email us today for a free initial case evaluation.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 11:23 AM

Boating Accidents in Mobile, Alabama

Recreational boating is a favorite pastime in Alabama for families and friends where fishing, exploring marine life or leisurely cruising the waterways can be a relaxing change of pace from hectic daily lives.

However, boating activities can result in serious injuries, property damage and even wrongful death due to the careless or reckless behavior of inexperienced or inattentive operators who use excessive speed or operate the boat while intoxicated or both. Thousands of people are needlessly injured or killed in boating accidents every year throughout the United States due to reckless and careless behaviors. Over 50% of all boating accidents can be attributed to the consumption of alcohol.

If a boating accident results in property damage, bodily injuries or fatalities you need to consult the experienced boating accident attorneys at The Cochran Firm to be advised of your legal rights under Alabama law. Our boating accident attorneys are very knowledgeable in the field of maritime law and are familiar with the complicated legal issues involving boating accidents and will be able to guide you through the legal process while protecting your legal rights.

If you live in the Mobile, Alabama area and you have been involved in a boating accident that resulted in property damage, injuries or deaths, please contact the experienced boating accident attorneys at The Cochran Firm today to learn how to proceed to protect your legal rights.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:39 AM

Monday, August 30, 2010

Zicam Cold Remedy Side Effects in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Zicam nasal cold remedies have robbed many consumers of their sense of smell and the ability to taste. This medical condition known as anosmia, is related to the presence of zinc gluconate in Zicam nasal cold remedies including Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Gel, Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Swabs, and Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Swabs for Kids.

Matrixx Initiatives, Inc. the maker of these cold remedies has had to remove Zicam Nasal Cold Remedy products from the market because of their link to anosmia. Anosmia is nothing to sniff at and in reality it can be quite devastating for those afflicted with this medical condition.

A person's ability to smell and taste heightens their awareness of the dangers of fires, poisonous fumes, leaking gas and tainted food and beverages. The loss of the sense of smell can be life threatening and leave individuals vulnerable to depression and other emotional disorders as well.

The defective pharmaceutical attorneys at The Cochran Firm understand the enormous pain and suffering inflicted on Zicam cold remedy asnomia victims and will fight to make certain our clients receive the justice and financial compensation they deserve for the injuries they have suffered.

If you live in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area and have lost your sense of smell and the ability to taste after using Zicam cold remedy products, please contact the defective pharmaceutical attorneys at The Cochran Firm today.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:37 AM

Seroquel Tied to Dangerous Off-Label Side Effects for Vets

Thousands of soldiers returning from Afghanistan and Iraq and suffering from PTSD have been given Seroquel, a powerful anti-psychotic. However, several of these vets have died while taking Seroquel, leading to questions from the families about the drug's risks. It is the nation's fifth best selling drug and the families claim the government is not being upfront about the dangers. They are asking for Congress to investigate.

Because many of the vets return unable to sleep, are constantly restless, and suffer from nightmares, they are prescribed a regimen of drugs, including Seroquel. One solder whose nightmares did not cease was given an increasingly large dose, until he was taking more than 1600 milligrams a day. This is more than double the maximum dosage recommended for schizophrenics. The soldier died in his sleep after taking the medication. Investigators at the Veterans Affairs Department ruled that he died of a rare drug interaction because he was also taking an antidepressant and an anti-anxiety medication.

However, using Seroquel as a sleep aid has not been approved by the FDA. It is only approved to treat schizophrenia, depression and bipolar disorder. Still, it is commonly used by psychiatrists for off-label conditions, like insomnia.

Seroquel's side effects are well-known and extremely dangerous. They include:

  • Diabetes
  • Weight gain
  • Muscle spasms
  • Sudden heart failure

According to a study that appeared in the January 2009 edition of New England Journal of Medicine, there were three cardiac deaths per year for every 1000 patients taking anti-psychotics like Seroquel.

AstraZeneca PLC, maker of the drug, is reviewing the study. They are also facing thousands of lawsuits tied to Seroquel's dangerous side effects.

If you or a loved one has suffered side effects from Seroquel, please contact the experienced pharmaceutical liability attorneys at the Cochran Firm for an initial consultation. We serve clients nationwide.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:20 AM

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Zicam Cold Remedy Defects in Miami, Florida

Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Gel, Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Swabs and Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Swabs for Kids were withdrawn from store shelves by their manufacturer after a warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said there were reports of consumers losing their sense of smell after using this product.

Although the manufacturer of Zicam, Matrixx Initiatives, Inc. recalled these products from store shelves, they have denied any link between Zicam and anosmia. A researcher has discovered scientific evidence that nasal cold remedies containing zinc may indeed cause a loss of the sense of smell, known as anosmia in the medical community.

It is estimated that over two million Americans suffer from this disorder which can have serious consequences. Anosmia can inhibit an individual’s ability to detect serious threats to their health and well-being such as gas leaks, fires, poisonous fumes or spoiled food products. The loss of the sense of smell can effect a person’s ability to earn a living as well.

If you live in the Miami, Florida area and you or someone you love has lost their sense of smell after using Zicam Cold Remedy products, please contact the defective pharmaceutical attorneys at The Cochran Firm today to schedule a confidential consultation to learn how to proceed to protect your legal rights and get the financial compensation you deserve for the injury you have suffered.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:35 AM

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Automobile Accidents in Metairie, Louisiana

Automobile accidents and the serious injuries and deaths they cause can change your life and the lives of those you love forever in one chaotic moment. Victims of automobile accidents suffer pain and disfigurement and often need extensive medical care and treatment and are unable to work for long periods of time or may become disabled for life.

Automobile accidents can happen because of driver carelessness, defects in the car design, hazardous road or weather conditions and various other factors. You may have suffered a whiplash injury or an injury to your spinal cord, a broken leg or even lost a limb.

Automobile accident victims in Louisiana are allowed to name an insurance company in a lawsuit because Louisiana is a "direct action" state. The ability to name an insurance company in a lawsuit is very helpful to the injured party because it tells a judge or jury that there is insurance to cover the damages. Louisiana also has a one year statute of limitations for filing an automobile accident claim.
The Louisiana automobile accident attorneys at The Cochran Firm will fully investigate your claim and also understand your need to get your medical bills paid and the loss of your income financially compensated.

If you live in Metairie, Louisiana or the surrounding area, and you or someone you love was injured or killed in an automobile accident, please contact the experienced automobile accident attorneys at The Cochran Firm today.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:34 AM

Friday, August 27, 2010

Bus Accident Injures 7 Students

Seven elementary school students, a student aid, and their bus driver were injured in a bus accident in Ohio Wednesday afternoon. The accident occurred when a semi-truck drove through a traffic light, colliding with the bus.

Many of the injured children were special needs students. The bus was taking the students back from classes when the bus accident occurred. The injured students, bus driver, and student aid were taken to the Fulton County Health Care Center for treatment.

The truck driver was injured as well. He was flown by helicopter to a hospital in Toledo for treatment. While the bus accident is still under investigation, police believe the accident was caused by the truck driver’s failure to stop at a traffic light.

The bus driver reportedly has a clean record and is an excellent driver. After the accident, his primary concern was the safety of the students in his charge. According to police, the aid and students trained to handle emergency situations acted appropriately during the accident.

If your children have been injured in a bus accident, please contact the experienced bus accident attorneys at The Cochran Firm today to schedule your free initial consultation. We serve clients nationwide.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 10:11 AM

Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect in Memphis, Tennessee

Tennessee law requires a criminal background investigation for all nursing home staff, but staffing shortages and budget issues have meant that nursing home abuse and neglect is still a danger in nursing homes across the state.

In nursing homes throughout the state of Tennessee, the factors that contribute to the abuse and neglect of residents of nursing homes include unqualified and inadequately trained staff, staff with a history of violent behavior, understaffing, isolation of the residents, and the reluctance of the residents to report any abuse out of fear of retaliation.

Specific indicators of nursing home abuse and neglect are bedsores and skin ulcers, chronic infections, medication dispensing errors, broken bones, sexual abuse, financial exploitation of the resident and the failure to provide adequate water, food and personal services.

Even though state resources try to address nursing home abuse and neglect, a Tennessee nursing home abuse lawyer at The Cochran Firm can advise and guide you as you seek monetary compensation for the pain and suffering your elderly loved one may have endured.

If you live in the Memphis, Tennessee area and someone you love has suffered nursing home abuse and neglect, please contact the nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at The Cochran Firm today to make certain this abuse stops and your loved one gets the financial compensation they deserve for what they have suffered.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:32 AM

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Slip and Fall Accidents in Los Angeles, California

A slip and fall accident is a term used to describe an accident in which a person is injured by slipping and falling on someone else’s property. Property owners such as businesses of all kinds, theaters, restaurants and others are obligated by law to provide a safe environment for their customers. Anything that could cause someone to slip and fall must be removed or clearly marked if it cannot be removed. The failure to take cautionary measures makes the property owner liable for legal action in the case of a slip and fall accident.

Common causes of slip and fall accidents involve wet and slippery floors, cracked cement in a sidewalk, and poorly lit stairways. The victim of a slip and fall accident may sustain only scrapes and bruises or suffer a traumatic brain injury that results in death.

The slip and fall accident attorneys at The Cochran Firm have extensive experience in handling slip and fall accidents in the Los Angeles area and have been very successful in securing financial compensation for their injured clients for their present and future medical bills, rehabilitation expenses, income losses and their pain and suffering.

Please contact the experienced slip and fall accident attorneys at The Cochran Firm in Los Angeles, California today if you or someone you care about has been injured in a slip and fall accident and learn how to proceed to protect your legal rights.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:31 AM

Two Egg Brands Added to Recall List

Wright County Egg, the Iowa company responsible for almost all of the eggs recalled because of salmonella, has announced that Cardenas Market stores in California and Nevada contain tainted eggs as well. Cardenas was notified at the time of the original recall and began quarantining, destroying, and returning eggs in the stores and distribution centers that may have been infected.

Cardenas Market eggs are labeled with plant number 1026, and have Julian dates ranging from 136 to 228. The eggs come packaged in cases of 60 and are overwrapped in plastic.

Trafficanda Egg Ranch brand eggs distributed to stores throughout California has also announced cases of salmonella linked to its Wright County supplied eggs. Trafficanda eggs are in 12 egg cartons, 20 egg over-wrapped packages and 60 egg over-wrapped packages. Plant numbers 1026, 1413, 1720, 1942, and 1946, and Julian dates ranging from 136 to 229 are on the packages.

Earliest Salmonella Cases

The earliest cases of salmonella linked to this outbreak may have occurred as far back as May 28 and 29 in California. Several people became sick after attending a prom or graduation party in Santa Clara County. Clusters of salmonella began popping up throughout California, as well as 22 other states, in June and July.

People across the country continue to be wary of what eggs are on the shelves as well as in their refrigerators. Salmonella can be deadly for some, but generally "only" sickens people for several days. Nausea, cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea are the symptoms.

If you or a loved one has become sick with salmonella from eating tainted eggs, please contact the experienced defective product attorneys at the Cochran Firm. We serve clients nationwide.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 7:57 AM

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

NHTSA Launches Safety Probe of 3 Million Jeep Grand Cherokees

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has launched an investigation into the safety of gas tanks on 3 million Jeep Grand Cherokees manufactured between 1993 and 2004. The safety probe was initiated in response to a petition from the Center for Auto Safety (CAS) which claims the Jeep Grand Cherokees in question have defective gas tanks that may pose a fire danger in the event of an auto accident.

According to CAS, the plastic gas tank on 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokees is placed behind the rear axle and below the bumper, creating a serious risk of a rupture in the event of a rear-impact collision. Furthermore, the gas tanks lacked adequate shielding.

There have been 172 fires associated with Jeep Grand Cherokee auto accidents. These fires resulted in 254 fatalities. However, the federal reports providing this data did not specifically indicate that the defective fuel tanks were responsible for the fires.

As part of the safety probe, the NHTSA reviewed records dating back to 1992 and found 10 auto accidents which might have been impacted by the defective gas tanks. These accidents led to 13 fatalities.

It is important to note that while the safety of these vehicles is under investigation, no recall his been initiated as of yet. If your auto accident injuries were exacerbated by these defective autos, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your damages.

Please contact the defective auto attorneys at The Cochran Firm today to schedule your free initial consultation. We serve clients nationwide.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 2:44 PM

Premises Liability in Washington, D.C.


Premises liability refers to a legal situation where someone is injured on property owned or maintained by someone else.

Property owners have a legal obligation to maintain their premises in a realistically safe manner. That means sidewalks and stairways should be free of snow and ice and in good repair, carpets and floors should be free of hazards such as tears and spills to discourage falls and the premises should be secured from possible criminal activities.

If an injury occurs on someone else’s property due to negligence, the owners or those responsible for the maintenance of the property can be held legally liable for that injury. Premises liability can involve falls on slippery floors, dog bites, swimming pool accidents, criminal assaults and injuries sustained in a fire.

If you or someone you care about has suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence, the experienced premises liability attorneys at The Cochran Firm can evaluate your case and determine how to go forward with your claim to recover financial compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, rehabilitation costs and your pain and suffering.

If you have been injured on someone else’s property in the Washington, D.C. area please contact the experienced premises liability attorneys at The Cochran Firm today to learn how to protect your legal rights and get the financial compensation you deserve.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:51 AM

Automobile Accidents in Las Vegas, Nevada

In the aftermath of an unexpected automobile accident in Las Vegas, whether you are one of the forty million visitors to Las Vegas every year or a resident, you are often confused, hurt and do not know what to do next.

Being involved in an automobile accident can happen to anyone; even the most careful and law-abiding drivers are not immune to being in a collision that is no fault of their own. The experienced automobile accident attorneys at The Cochran Firm are here to help you cope with the aftermath of an automobile accident that can leave you injured both physically and psychologically and financially devastated and overwhelmed.

It is essential to have an experienced automobile accident attorney who is licensed in the state of Nevada if you are visiting from another state and are involved in an automobile accident in Las Vegas or the surrounding area. You need a Las Vegas attorney familiar with Nevada state laws to battle the insurance companies that routinely deny or delay legitimate automobile accident claims or just refuse to honor a valid claim.

If you live in Las Vegas, Nevada or are visiting Las Vegas and you were involved in an automobile accident, please contact the experienced automobile accident attorneys at The Cochran Firm today to get the assistance you need to protect your legal rights.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:30 AM

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Wyeth v. Levine Breathing New Life into Drug Negligence Cases

In 1996, Wyeth brought to market a weight-loss drug called Redux. Within less than 2 years, the drug was pulled from the market because it led to significantly elevated risks of pulmonary hypertension. Pulmonary hypertension, elevated blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs that forces the heart to work harder, can lead to progressive heart failure and death. After the drug was approved, a number of people who suffered this serious adverse side effect pursued lawsuits to get compensation on the basis of state laws.

The family of one woman who died of pulmonary hypertension after taking Redux attempted to pursue a pharmaceutical injury lawsuit alleging that Wyeth was negligent for marketing the drug at all. The lawsuit was stopped in 2008 when the judge in Cleveland gave summary judgment to Wyeth because he believed that federal law pre-empted state-based claims of negligence. The judge said that, by approving the drug, the FDA essentially gave its manufacturer and marketer a free pass. This argument is the one most commonly pursued by drug companies.

However, since the ruling in Wyeth v. Levine, drug lawsuits all across the country are being revived by a commonsense recognition that just because the FDA is supposed to stop dangerous drugs from being marketed, its approval does not absolve drug companies from responsibility if the products they market are dangerous. For example, a major case about anti-acne drug Accutane was reversed in reference to this groundbreaking decision.

And last week, the United States District Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit also revived this case against Redux. The Court decided that the lawsuit, brought by her estate, can proceed. This decision came over the arguments by Pfizer (who now owns Wyeth) that Wyeth v. Levine applied only to failure-to-warn lawsuits and not to strict negligence lawsuits.

Although it is impossible to know how the drug lawsuit will play out, it seems hard to ignore that Wyeth must have known what it was getting into with Redux. During the pre-approval hearings, its experts claimed that the drug had a "very favorable safety profile," but studies had shown that the drug caused at least a ninefold increase in the rate of pulmonary hypertension. After approval for short-term use in France, the drug resulted in about 20 percent of that country's pulmonary hypertension cases. Continuing to pursue marketing for a drug knowing that it posed that level of threat definitely seems to constitute negligence.

If you or a loved one has suffered serious injury as a result of taking a pharmaceutical drug, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries, even if a previous court decision has dismissed your claim. The Cochran Firm is prepared to fight for all victims of pharmaceutical drug injury, and may be able to help you. To learn more, please contact us today for a free initial case evaluation.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 3:25 PM

Emergency Room Medical Malpractice in Jackson, Mississippi

When you are forced to go to an emergency room during a health crisis, you assume you will be properly cared for and treated. The healthcare professionals that staff emergency rooms in Mississippi are trained to handle the challenging medical situations they are confronted with daily so not every unsatisfactory outcome can be considered medical malpractice or negligence. However, mistakes are made in emergency rooms across Mississippi on a daily basis when emergency room healthcare professionals break the standard of care they owe to their patients.

Emergency room negligence and medical malpractice can be as simple as the failure to take an adequate medical history that results in a medication error or an allergic reaction. An emergency room error can also involve a procedure that results in a surgical error or in a person contracting a serious or deadly infection. A delay in obtaining diagnostic tests or misreading laboratory reports can also result in injury or wrongful death.

The Mississippi emergency room medical malpractice attorneys at The Cochran Firm are aggressive advocates for our clients injured by medical malpractice or negligence in an emergency room, and we will fight for fair financial compensation from those responsible for your pain and suffering.

If you live in Jackson, Mississippi or the surrounding area and you or someone you love suffered a serious injury or died due to substandard care or a preventable error in a Mississippi emergency room, please contact the experienced medical malpractice attorneys at The Cochran Firm today to protect your legal rights and get the help you need.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:27 AM

Monday, August 23, 2010

Parkinson’s Drug has Potential Heart Risk

The Food and Drug Administration is investigating the Parkinson's drug Stalevo due to concerns it may increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, and death. The FDA states patients should not stop taking the drug, but should contact their physician if they are at risk for cardiovascular disease.

Stalevo is a drug manufactured by Novartis. It is a combination of the three drugs carbidopa, entacopone, and levodopa. Carbidopa and levodopa are sold as a combination under the brand name Sinemet. It is routinely given to Parkinson's patients as standard therapy. Entacapone is sold under the name Comtan. There is reportedly no benefit to Parkinson's by itself, but enhances the effects of the other two drugs.

The FDA says the first indication that something was wrong with Stalevo came from a clinical trial called STRIDE-PD. 373 patients took Stalevo and 372 received carbidopa/levodopa. The average age of patients in the drug trial was 60. The average length of the trial was almost three years. There were seven heart attacks and one death in the Stalevo group and none in the other group.

The results of STRIDE-PD were compared with 14 other trials totaling 4800 patients. In the Stalevo group, there were 27 heart attacks, strokes, or deaths; there were ten in the carbidopa/levodopa group. When the data from STRIDE-PD was included, there was a risk increase of nearly 150%. When it was discounted, it was "not statistically significant" at 67%.

The FDA is looking for ways to quantify the potential risks due to limitations of the study. All Parkinson's patients have an increased risk of cardiovascular problems, but the studies were not designed to examine these kinds of risks. Most of the studies had a duration of only six months, rather than the three years of the STRIDE-PD study.

If you or a loved one has had a significant cardiovascular event while taking Stalevo, please contact the experienced defective drug attorneys at the Cochran Firm. We serve clients nationwide.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 9:43 AM

Spinal Cord Injuries in San Jose, California

A spinal cord injury can devastate your life and challenge you in many ways. If your spinal cord injury was the result of someone else’s negligence or misconduct, the challenges and devastation are accompanied by emotions and psychological stresses that can incapacitate you as well.

Motor vehicle accidents, violent assaults, sports-related injuries, falls and other incidents can cause a spinal cord injury. Over 50% of all spinal cord injuries result in quadriplegia which requires an average hospital admission of ninety-five days at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars in medical expenses.

The cost of medical care and treatment for a victim of a spinal cord injury depends on various factors. A person who is twenty-five years old at the time of their spinal cord injury can expect to be burdened with over $1.5 million of medical costs in their lifetime. This amount does not take into consideration the physical and emotional pain and suffering of the victim, lost wages and other expenses incurred as a result of the spinal cord injury.

The experienced spinal cord injury attorneys at The Cochran Firm know how devastating a spinal cord injury can be since we have decades of experience in helping spinal cord injury victims regain their lives by obtaining the financial compensation they need to meet the challenges they will face for the rest of their lives.

If you live in the San Jose, California area and you or someone you love has suffered a spinal cord injury, please contact the experienced spinal cord injury attorneys at The Cochran Firm today to schedule a no cost to you confidential consultation to learn how you can protect your future by getting the financial compensation you need and deserve.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:48 AM

Birth Injuries in Huntsville, Alabama

Statistics reveal that over 25% of all childbirths in the United States result in some type of birth injury. A baby who suffers a birth injury may recover quickly with no discernable after-effects or may face long-term physical and/or mental disabilities. Birth injuries are usually caused by medical negligence and malpractice during labor and delivery.

The birthing process involves many members of a team of healthcare professionals any one of which can make a mistake before, during or following the delivery of your baby. Common injuries at birth may include bone fractures, damage to the spinal cord, brain damage, internal bleeding, infection, cerebral palsy and paralysis.

If a birth injury results in permanent damage to your baby, you have the right to file a medical malpractice lawsuit on behalf of your baby. The experienced birth injury attorneys at The Cochran Firm will seek financial compensation for past, present and future medical expenses, future medical care and treatment costs, and your pain and suffering. Our attorneys will make certain your child will live their life free of the burdens of financial challenges while facing the challenges of daily life they are sure to encounter in the future.

If you live in the Huntsville, Alabama area and your baby suffered an injury at birth, please contact the experienced birth injury attorneys at The Cochran Firm today to protect your child’s future.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:26 AM

Sunday, August 22, 2010

What to do after an Automobile Accident in Tuskegee, Alabama

Immediately after an automobile accident you must make quick and important decisions that can affect your future health and well-being and your financial future as well.

After an automobile accident it is important to pull off the side of the road to a safer location if you can, but do not leave the scene of the accident as that is a crime in most states. Check all people involved for injuries and call for medical assistance if needed. Some injuries are not obvious at first, such as a whiplash injury or a brain injury, so it is better to call 911 if you have the slightest suspicion someone is injured.

If you are able, exchange information with the other driver, such as driver’s name, address, telephone numbers, license plate number, driver’s license number and all automobile insurance information. If there were witnesses to the accident try to get their information as well.

Do not admit fault and do not sign anything without your attorney’s advice. Cooperate with the police at the scene of the accident, but avoid admitting responsibility. The experienced automobile accident attorneys at The Cochran Firm have decades of experience assisting our clients through the complex legal issues involved when someone is injured or killed in an automobile accident.

If you live in the Tuskegee, Alabama area and you or someone you love was injured or killed in an automobile accident, please contact the experienced automobile accident attorneys at The Cochran Firm today for comprehensive legal representation from our compassionate and knowledgeable team.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:49 AM

Boating Accidents in Houston, Texas

It is not surprising that boating is a popular pastime enjoyed by many in Texas. Texas has hundreds of miles of coastline and more inland waterways than any other state. There are hundreds of thousands of registered boats in Texas, but unfortunately Texas also ranks in the top five in boating accident deaths.

Wearing a life jacket, keeping your boat in good repair and staying sober while operating your boat are important to the safe and enjoyable operation of your watercraft. If you do have a boating accident however, it is important to help any injured first, and report the accident to the proper authorities.

Boating accidents can also occur to those who work on and around boats and offshore rigs. Injuries sustained under these circumstances can include traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, severe burns, crushing injuries and even death.

If you were injured or lost a loved one in a boating accident in Houston or the surrounding area, the boating accident attorneys at The Cochran Firm can investigate the circumstances of your accident to determine if you are eligible for financial compensation for your medical bills, property damage, loss of income and pain and suffering.

Please contact the experienced boating accident attorneys at The Cochran Firm today if you were injured in a boating accident in the Houston, Texas area so you can focus on healing while we fight for your legal rights.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:24 AM

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Motorcycle Accidents in Sacramento, California

Motorcycle accidents often result in serious injury to the motorcycle rider because they are very vulnerable to injuries since motorcycles do not have built-in physical protective frames, seat belts or air bags. Catastrophic injuries such as traumatic brain trauma, spinal cord injuries and loss of limbs are common in motorcycle accidents.

The failure of other drivers to see a motorcyclist on the road is a primary cause of many motorcycle accidents. Many motorcycle accidents are the fault of negligence and carelessness on the part of other drivers, with intersections being the most dangerous places for motorcyclists to traverse.

If you are injured in a motorcycle accident you should protect your legal rights as well as seek immediate medical attention. Call 911 and make sure a police report is filed so there is an official record of your accident. Obtain all pertinent information from others involved or witnesses. It is essential to retain all the clothing you were wearing at the time of the accident as it may be important evidence in a future legal action.

The experienced motorcycle accident attorneys at The Cochran Firm have the knowledge and resources to investigate the scene of a motorcycle accident to establish liability due to possible speeding, driving recklessly or inattentively and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

If you live in the Sacramento, California area and you or someone you love was injured or killed in a motorcycle accident, please contact the experienced motorcycle accident attorneys at The Cochran Firm today and get the help you need and deserve to protect your legal rights.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:47 AM

Medical Malpractice in Dothan, Alabama

Medical malpractice is a failure of healthcare professionals and/or healthcare facilities to adhere to a standard of care that results in a misdiagnosis, a failure to diagnose, inadequate medical management, errors in medication, emergency room or surgical errors, birth injuries during labor and delivery and more. If such medical malpractice or medical negligence results in an injury or death, you have a case against the healthcare professionals and the healthcare facility involved.

Medical malpractice laws are designed to protect your right to pursue financial compensation if you are injured as a result of medical negligence or medical malpractice. However, medical malpractice lawsuits are complex and require the skill and medical and legal knowledge of an experienced medical malpractice attorney such as those at The Cochran Firm who can help determine whether you have a legitimate claim.

If you have suffered an injury or wrongful death due to medical malpractice or negligence you are eligible for financial compensation for your medical expenses, loss of current and future income and living expenses, pain and suffering, mental and emotional anguish, disfigurement, the loss of enjoyment of life and funeral and burial expenses in the case of a wrongful death.

If you or someone you love was the victim of medical malpractice or negligence in Dothan, Alabama or the surrounding area, please contact the experienced medical malpractice attorneys at The Cochran Firm today to schedule a confidential consultation to learn how to proceed with your claim to get the financial compensation you need and deserve.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:23 AM

Friday, August 20, 2010

New Study Finds Link between Brain Injuries and ALS

A recent study partially funded by the NFL has found a link between brain injuries and a condition very similar to Lou Gehrig's disease, also called ALS. The study evaluated three athletes who suffered serious brain injuries and were later diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease. Toxic proteins were found in the spinal cords of these athletes. These proteins are also found in the brains of athletes who have developed chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a disease that causes cognitive deterioration, unusual behavior, and dementia.

These proteins were not found in the spinal cords of athletes suffering from CTE but not Lou Gehrig's disease, and they were not found in non-athletes who died of Lou Gehrig's disease.

These findings indicate that the condition affecting the three athletes who were part of the study was similar but not identical to ALS. Researchers have renamed the condition chronic traumatic encephalomyopathy (CTEM), and they believe it is "likely caused" by repetitive head trauma affecting many athletes involved in contact sports.

Researchers also believe that brain injuries suffered while playing baseball might have caused Lou Gehrig to develop ALS, although it is possible that he actually suffered from CTEM instead.

ALS is a condition that attacks nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, inhibiting an individual's ability to move and speak.

If you have suffered a brain injury caused by the negligence of another, the attorneys 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 1:12 PM

Nursing Home Horrors in Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina

At least four residents of North Carolina nursing homes or assisted living centers have been killed by fellow residents who had histories of severe mental illness and violent behavior in the past two years.

More than 6400 people with severe mental illness are housed in nursing homes and assisted living centers across North Carolina despite the fact that these facilities are not designed to provide psychiatric care and treatment to people with mental illnesses.

In addition to being exposed to the possibility of violence against them from mentally ill residents, some common physical signs of nursing home abuse and neglect include untreated bedsores, open wounds, cuts, bruises or welts, torn or dirty clothing, the odor of urine or feces or the presence of insect bites.

Mistreating, neglecting or depriving nursing home residents of proper care and treatment and allowing them to become the victims of the violent behavior of other residents are violations of their rights under the law. These violations are grounds for a lawsuit against the nursing home facility responsible for the abuse and neglect.

The nursing home neglect and abuse attorneys at The Cochran Firm are advocates for abused North Carolina nursing home residents and will represent them aggressively in their battle to obtain justice for the indignities they have suffered.

If you live in the Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina area and your loved one has been injured or abused while a resident in a nursing home or assisted living center, please contact the experienced North Carolina nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at The Cochran Firm today.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:45 AM

Wrongful Death in Detroit, Michigan

The sudden, unexpected death of a family member can be so traumatic you feel as if you were struck down by a bolt of lightning. You are consumed with grief and unable to think just when you most need to think clearly and logically.

After a loved one is tragically killed in a motor vehicle accident, due to a medical error, a reckless or careless act of negligence or a criminal assault, the simple but necessary act of choosing a wrongful death attorney to protect your legal rights can mean the difference between an uncertain future or a future free of the added burdens of financial insecurity.

Every life has a fundamental and financial value whether young or old, and our wrongful death attorneys at The Cochran Firm have the experience and the resources available to determine the impact your loss will have on your family. You have the right to be financially compensated for medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, lost wages, and lost future earning potential, as well as the loss of the companionship of the deceased.

If you live in the Detroit, Michigan area and you have suffered the wrongful death of a family member due to the negligence, recklessness or criminal behavior of someone else, please contact the experienced wrongful death attorneys at The Cochran Firm today and learn how we can help you at this tragic time in your life.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:21 AM

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Millions of Eggs Recalled because of Salmonella

A salmonella outbreak has caused Wright County Egg of Galt, Iowa to recall at least 380 million eggs from 17 states. People in four states have been confirmed sick and several others are suspected to be ill with it, according to federal health officials.

The tainted eggs were distributed to wholesalers, food service companies, and distribution centers. Reports say that initially there were 19 million dozen egg cartons recalled, but that has since expanded to 32 million dozen egg cartons.

Jump in Salmonella Cases

Although there have been only four salmonella illnesses linked to these eggs, many states have seen an increase in the numbers of people sick with this strain. California has reportedly seen 266 illnesses since June and health officials there believe many of them may be related to the eggs. Colorado saw 28 cases in June and July. Other suspicious spikes in salmonella have been recorded in Arizona, Illinois, Nevada, North Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin.

In Wisconsin, all 21 cases of salmonella-related illness have been linked to one restaurant in Kenosha. One of those who became sick has filed a lawsuit against the egg producer and others after getting sick from eating Cobb salad.

The salmonella cluster in North Carolina is linked to a meringue with chocolate chips and banana pudding that sickened as many as 80 people.

The contaminated eggs include the brands Albertsons, Farm Fresh, James Farms, Glenview, Mountain Dairy, Ralphs, Boomsma, Lund, Kemps, and Pacific Coast. Authorities are asking consumers to throw away or return any eggs that may be part of the recall.

If you have questions, you are asked to contact www.eggsafety.org, or contact the Egg Safety Consumer Hotline at 800-272-5582.

If you or a loved one has become sick from eating eggs contaminated with salmonella, please contact the experienced defective product attorneys at the Cochran Firm today. We serve clients nationwide.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 9:31 AM

Medical Malpractice in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Thousands of Americans die every year because of medical malpractice and negligence. A well regarded study by Harvard University stated that over one million people are victims of medical malpractice and negligence each year in the United States caused by doctors, nurses, technicians, other healthcare professionals and defective medical devices.

Medical malpractice and negligence can occur wherever medical care and treatment is rendered, such as in hospitals, nursing homes, doctor’s offices, same day surgery centers, dental offices, and dialysis centers.

Medical malpractice and negligence can be the failure to diagnose a disease or medical condition, a birth injury caused by a prolonged and difficult labor that was mismanaged, medication dispensing errors, anesthesia and surgical mistakes, emergency room errors or contracting an infection while hospitalized. Over twenty thousand people were infected in Pennsylvania hospitals in the span of one year and over twenty-five hundred of that number died.

The experienced and highly skilled medical malpractice attorneys at The Cochran Firm can evaluate the facts regarding your case if you feel you have been a victim of medical malpractice or negligence and determine how to proceed to protect your legal rights and get you the financial compensation you are entitled to for any injuries or losses you have suffered.

Please contact the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania medical malpractice attorneys at The Cochran Firm today to schedule a confidential consultation at no cost to you.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:44 AM

Truck Accidents in Dallas, Texas

Texas is proudly known for having the most and best of many things, but having the most dangerous highways in the country is not something to be proud of. Thousands of innocent occupants of passenger vehicles are injured or killed in accidents with trucks because the trucking industry places too much emphasis on profits and not enough emphasis on the safety of the driving public.

Truck accidents are an everyday occurrence on I-35, I-30 and I-20 as well as Highways 175 and 67; due to the weight, size and speed of these trucks, the injuries sustained in these accidents are often catastrophic. Truck drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs, overweight or shifting loads, excessive speed and fatigued truck drivers all contribute to the high incidence of truck accidents on our roadways.

The truck accident attorneys at The Cochran Firm know how trucking companies function and we have the experience and professional resources to go toe to toe in a battle for your legal rights and fair and just financial compensation for the injuries you have suffered.

If you or someone you love has been injured or lost their life in an accident with a truck in the Dallas, Texas area, please contact the experienced truck accident attorneys at The Cochran Firm today and learn how we can ensure you get the legal representation you need and deserve.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:20 AM

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Did Plastic Surgeon's Texting Cause Fatal Car Accident?

Police are still investigating, but at this point it seems like texting and driving may be to blame for the fatal crash that killed the plastic surgeon to the stars on Monday. According to the surgeon's ex-girlfriend, he was texting a Twitter message about his border collie, Jill, and that led to the car accident. The surgeon's Jeep went over the cliff off the famous, curving Pacific Coast Highway. While his celebrity patients and friends mourned his passing both at and away from a ceremony today, his ex-girlfriend hopes that others learn from the tragedy. She says, "people should not text and drive at all."

Although the ex-girlfriend said investigators told his family that texting caused the accident, the California Highway Patrol would only confirm that he had been texting and "It is one of the elements that we are investigating," according to an officer. Distracted driving, especially cell phone use and text messaging, are the focus of a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) campaign. Studies have shown that texting can have as big an impact on driving and reaction time as driving drunk.

A texting driver endangers not only himself and his passengers--in this case the beloved Jill, who survived with head, eye, and paw injuries--but also everyone else on the road. If you have been hurt or lost a loved one in an accident with a distracted driver, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries. To learn more, contact the Los Angeles office of The Cochran Firm today for a free case evaluation.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 2:08 PM

Wrongful Death in New York, New York

There is no sadder event in life than the untimely death of someone you love. If that unexpected death was caused by someone else’s negligence or wrongful actions, you may be eligible for financial compensation to meet the challenges that lie ahead without the comfort and support of the one you love.

A wrongful death can be the result of an automobile accident, medical malpractice or negligence, a death caused by a defective product, pharmaceutical or medical device, a fall caused by unsafe conditions on someone else’s property or a work-related incident among others.

You may be able to recover money for your loved one’s medical expenses prior to death, their pain and suffering, lost income, mental anxiety and emotional distress family members have had to endure, the loss of support and companionship of the deceased and the loss of their future financial support, along with their funeral and burial expenses.

Our wrongful death attorneys at The Cochran Firm will review all evidence regarding the cause of death in order to determine how to prove fault or negligence in an effort to maximize the financial compensation you are able to receive.

If you live in the New York, New York area and you have lost someone you love to a wrongful death, please contact the experienced wrongful death attorneys at The Cochran Firm today to protect your legal rights and get the financial compensation you need for your future.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:42 AM

Spinal Cord Injuries in Chicago, Illinois

A spinal cord injury is a medical emergency that requires immediate medical intervention in the hope of reducing the devastating long term effects that can include partial or total paralysis.

A spinal cord injury is usually the result of a trauma that fractures or dislocates vertebrae or severs the spinal cord, such as occurs with an automobile accident, a sports-related injury or a workplace injury. Medical conditions and medical procedures can also injure the spinal cord. Tumors, infections and surgical errors also contribute to the occurrence of spinal cord injuries unrelated to trauma.

Spinal cord injuries are often permanent and always life-changing events that affect both the lives of the victim and the lives of those who love them. The Chicago, Illinois spinal cord injury attorneys at The Cochran Firm have the skill and experience to make sure their spinal cord injured clients get full and fair financial compensation for their injuries and the long term consequences with which they have to cope. Our spinal cord injury attorneys will make certain your medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, supplies and equipment and your pain and suffering are fully compensated by those responsible.

If you live in the Chicago, Illinois area and you or someone you love has suffered a spinal cord injury, please contact the experienced spinal cord injury attorneys at The Cochran Firm today to protect your future and get the compensation you deserve.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:19 AM

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Understanding the Relative Cost of Medical Malpractice Lawsuits and Insurance

This month, the American Medical Association not only published but promoted (with major press releases) a study showing that over 60% of physicians late in their career had been sued in a medical malpractice lawsuit. Furthermore, the report went on to state that many had also been sued multiple times, so that the average number of medical malpractice lawsuits per 100 doctors aged 55 or older was 161. In other words, the average doctor can expect to be sued for medical malpractice 1.6 times over the course of his or her career. This again shows that claims of frivolous medical malpractice lawsuits run amok are false.

First, if we consider that doctors may begin practicing medicine at age 25 or 30, then by the time a doctor reaches age 55, he or she will have been practicing for 25-30 years. If the doctor faces only 1-2 lawsuits over the course of this time, it is a remarkably low rate. If a doctor tells you that, over the course of a career, he or she made less than one mistake that led to serious injury of a patient, that doctor is lying. Doctors have the potential to do great good, but they also have the potential to do great harm, and the evidence shows that they cause great harm with unfortunate frequency. The best evidence shows that, on average, there is one fatal medical error per seven doctors every year in this country. While statistics also show that a relatively small number of doctors is responsible for a large percentage of medical errors, it certainly seems unlikely that any doctor could go an entire career without making a fatal error, let alone any serious error. This is the nature of the medical profession.

The report also explored the cost of these lawsuits. It found that, on average, 65% of lawsuits were dropped, dismissed, or withdrawn; 25.7% were settled out of court, 4.5% were decided using alternate dispute resolution (such as mediation), and 5% went to trial (with the defendant prevailing in 90% of cases). The report noted that the average cost of defending lawsuits was $40,649, with even dropped cases costing $22,163 dollars to defend and trial cases costing over $100,000 each. If we put this in terms of the physician's career, we multiply it by the average of 1.6 lawsuits to show that, on average, a physician will expect to pay over $65,400 defending him or herself from medical malpractice lawsuits over the course of a career. If we assume an average career length of 27.5 years, that breaks down to only $2380 per year, a pretty moderate cost, generally paid not by the doctor, but by the doctor's insurance company.

Now, let's factor in the figures for the 30.5% of lawsuits that actually result in compensation for the injured patient. According to the report, the average cost of a lawsuit settled out of court is about $200,000 while the lawsuit that goes to trial results in an average of $375,000. It doesn't give figures for mediation and other types of resolution, so we'll use an average between the two other figures, $287,500. This gives a weighted average for compensation for victims of medical errors of about $66,000 per lawsuit, a total average lifetime cost per doctor of $106,000, or about $3900 per year. This means that the average cost to defend a lawsuit and compensate victims was just over $6200 per doctor per year. To me, this seems a relatively small cost when we consider that 97% of plaintiffs in lawsuits did suffer actual injury (although not all were due to medical errors).

The above information comes from the Physician Insurers Association of America (PIAA). But what these figures do not include is the relative cost of lawsuits and medical malpractice insurance premiums. Data on this cost is hard to find because the insurers do not like to release it. The most recent good evidence comes from a 2003 General Accounting Office (GAO) study. It showed that a median cost of medical malpractice insurance is about $28,000 per year, more than four times the cost of defending lawsuits and compensating victims. The disparity becomes even more pronounced when you look at it by specialty. On average, an internal medicine specialist will pay only $17,000 per year in medical malpractice insurance, but on average they face about one medical malpractice lawsuit over the course of the career, reducing their total average annual lawsuit cost to less than $4000, still about one-fourth the cost of medical malpractice insurance. Obstetrician-gynecologists (OB/GYNs), on the other hand, face on average over 2 medical malpractice lawsuits over the course of a long career, making their average annual lawsuit cost over $8200, and their medical malpractice insurance costs skyrocket--on average $73,000 per year--nine times the annual cost of lawsuits!

The evidence shows that medical malpractice lawsuits are not unreasonably common--in fact, they are likely unreasonably uncommon due to the high barriers in place to prevent injured patients from filing lawsuits.

If you have been hurt by a doctor's error, you deserve compensation, but it may be a hard fight. The medical malpractice lawyers of The Cochran Firm are ready to help you fight for justice after your injury. To learn more, contact us today for a free case evaluation.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 9:42 AM

Wrongful Death in New Orleans, Louisiana

A wrongful death lawsuit attempts to provide financial compensation to the dependents of a person killed as a result of someone else’s misconduct or negligence. As an example, wrongful death claims can take place because of an automobile accident, medical malpractice, workplace accidents or the use of a defective product.

According to Louisiana state law, dependents and immediate family members, such as parents, spouses and children may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The explosion of the Deepwater Horizon and resulting catastrophic fire and oil spill is a perfect example of wrongful deaths in the workplace.

If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s actions or negligence, you may be entitled to financial compensation for funeral and burial expenses, medical bills, pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of wages, loss of companionship and other losses caused by the tragic death of your loved one.

The Louisiana wrongful death attorneys at The Cochran Firm will advise and guide you with caring compassion and the respect you deserve while doing everything legally possible to hold those responsible for your loss accountable under the law. We have the experience and knowledge to maximize your financial compensation so you will not face an uncertain future without the support of your loved one.

If you live in the New Orleans, Louisiana area and you have suffered the loss of someone you love due to a wrongful death, please contact the experienced wrongful death attorneys at The Cochran Firm today.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:40 AM

Traumatic Brain Injury in Birmingham, Alabama

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can occur when a sudden violent blow to the head causes damage to the brain that can range from a mild concussion to coma and death. A traumatic brain injury can also be caused by medical malpractice and negligence due to a physician’s or medical facility’s failure to diagnose or properly treat a medical condition or injury. In addition a traumatic brain injury can be caused during a fall, a car accident, and sports-related or work accidents. Tragically, criminal physical abuse is the number one cause of traumatic brain injury in children.

A traumatic brain injury is often referred to as an invisible injury because at times there are no visible signs of trauma and brain injury symptoms may be subtle and not immediately apparent to the casual observer.

A traumatic brain injury can manifest as memory loss, loss of smell or taste, confusion, headache, blurred vision, impaired judgment, violent behavior, paralysis and other serious physical and emotional disabilities. Over five million Americans live with the long term and permanent disabilities of a traumatic brain injury and need assistance to perform the various tasks involved in daily living.

The Cochran Firm's experienced traumatic brain injury attorneys will evaluate your injury and protect your legal rights as we work toward obtaining a fair and just financial compensation for the injuries you have suffered.

If you live in Birmingham, Alabama or the surrounding area and you or someone you love has suffered a traumatic brain injury, please contact the experienced traumatic brain injury attorneys at The Cochran Firm who look forward to helping you get the legal representation you need and deserve.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:17 AM

Monday, August 16, 2010

Traumatic Brain Injury and the Elderly in Atlanta, Georgia

A traumatic brain injury is classified as a catastrophic injury because an injury of this magnitude usually culminates in devastating and overwhelming changes to the victim’s life even if they survive the injury to their brain. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is caused by a sudden, violent blow to the head that disrupts brain function.

The majority of traumatic brain injuries are the result of automobile accidents, criminal assaults or sport-related injuries, such as injuries suffered in diving, football or skiing accidents. According to statistics, approximately 1.4 million people sustain traumatic brain injuries annually. Falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injury in the elderly in the United States.

Risk factors for falls leading to traumatic brain injuries in the elderly include medical conditions and medications, visual impairment, problems with motor skill limitations, and improper footwear. If you combine these risk factors with slippery floors in a restaurant, poorly lit walkways in public areas and torn carpeting in business establishments, the likelihood of an elderly person experiencing a fall resulting in a traumatic brain injury increases dramatically.

The traumatic brain injury attorneys at The Cochran Firm have a great deal of experience in litigating the complex medical and legal issues involved in obtaining justice for our clients who have sustained a traumatic brain injury, no matter their age or the circumstances that caused their injury.

If you live in the Atlanta, Georgia area and you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury, please contact our experienced traumatic brain injury attorneys at The Cochran Firm today.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:15 AM

Plane Crashes onto Caribbean Island

In what has been called a "miracle," 130 of the 131 people aboard a Boeing 737 survived a crash that saw the plane broken into three pieces as it crash-landed on a Colombian island in the Caribbean early this morning. Amazingly, only one person was killed in this horrifying plane accident. At this time, it is believed the plane was hit by lightning when it crashed around 1:49 a.m. on San Andres Island, a resort island approximately 120 miles east of Nicaragua. A sixty-five-year-old passenger did not survive the crash landing. Five people were reported injured.

According to the commander of the Caribbean Air Group, the skill of the pilot kept the plane from colliding with the airport. The runway on the airport has been closed because parts of the plane are still scattered across it as the investigation continues.

If you have lost a loved one in an aviation accident, please contact the experienced aviation liability attorneys at The Cochran Firm today to schedule a no-cost, confidential consultation.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 7:39 AM

Friday, August 13, 2010

Taser International Settles Defective Product Lawsuit for $2.85 Million

Taser International has settled a defective product lawsuit with a man from Watsonville, California. The man will receive $2.85 million for injuries suffered during a 2006 incident when he was tasered by a police officer.

In October 2006, Steven Butler refused to get off a bus. At the time, he was drunk and had not taken his psychiatric medication. A Watsonville police officer used a Taser X-26 to stun him. After being tasered, Butler went into cardiac arrest and his breathing ceased for 18 minutes before medical professionals could revive him. As a result, Butler suffered a serious brain injury.

He has sustained permanent injuries from the incident, including:

  • Brain damage
  • Loss of short term memory
  • Reduced mobility
  • Deterioration of motor skills

Butler currently needs 24-hour care and cannot be left alone. Medical experts do not expect him to make a recovery. Since the accident, Butler's brother, David, has taken care of him. The settlement will establish a special-needs trust to provide Butler's family with over $4,700 a month to pay for medical expenses.

This is the first time Taser International has settled a defective product claim. While the company has agreed to the settlement, it did not admit any liability for Butler's brain injury.

If you have suffered an injury after being stunned by a Taser, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your damages. The experienced defective product lawyers at The Cochran Firm will aggressively fight for your rights to ensure you receive the financial resources necessary to move on with your life.

Please contact our defective product lawyers today to schedule your free initial consultation. The Cochran Firm serves clients nationwide.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 9:23 AM

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Fresh Express Salad Recall

Salinas, California based Fresh Express has issued a voluntary recall of almost 3000 cases of salad after a random sample tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes. The recall affects Veggie Lovers Salad with the product code I208 and use-by date of August 10 (this past Tuesday).

No illnesses have been reported because of the positive test. The sample was found by the Ohio Department of Agriculture. The recall affects 13 states, and a possible redistribution in 14 states.

This is the third Fresh Express voluntary recall since May. This can mean more than just that Fresh Express product is dirty. It may also mean that new vigilance many companies are undergoing by the FDA, the USDA, and other federal agencies is working. This is due to the alarming rise in people becoming sick after eating food tainted with different bacterium.

Listeria monocytogenes is one bacterium that causes foodborne illness. The symptoms inlcued muscle aches, fever, nausea and diarrhea. People with weakened immune systems and pregnant women are more susceptible to Listeria than others.

There are many foodborne illnesses that can hit anyone at anytime, depending on what is eaten and where. Salmonella and E. coli are two of the most common foodborne illnesses. Others include campylobacter, shigella, vibrio and yersinia.

If you or a loved one has become seriously ill from eating tainted food, please contact the experienced defective product attorneys at the Cochran Law Firm. We serve clients nationwide.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:49 AM

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Man Freed From Prison for Killing Three With Possibly-Defective Toyota

In 2006, a Minnesota man, Koua Fong Lee, was convicted on charges of vehicular homicide after the Toyota Camry he was driving home from church (with several family members inside, including his pregnant wife) accelerated uncontrollably crashing into two other cars, killing a man, his 10-year-old son, and a six-year-old girl. The car was a 1996 Camry, and Mr. Lee insisted throughout his entire trial that he had his foot on the brake the entire time his car raced toward the other vehicles. He was sentenced to eight years in prison, but he was recently freed pending a new trial to determine if his Camry was at fault rather than the driver, himself. Even the victims’ families believe that Lee is not responsible for the deaths of their family members. They are suing Toyota Motor Corp.

Last year, two mechanical engineers testified that the brakes and acceleration system were both working properly at the time of the car accident. Lee’s new lawyer, Brent Schafer, told "American Morning" that evidence was ignored or misstated during the trial, leading to Lee’s conviction. The judge in the original trial stated the original conviction was vacated also because attorney during that trial, Tracy Eichhorn-Hicks, failed to defend him adequately.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed due to a defective vehicle, the attorneys at The Cochran Firm are now taking Toyota cases (and other defective product cases) at this time. Simply contact one of our nationwide offices to schedule a confidential, no-cost consultation with one of our product liability attorneys.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 6:15 AM

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

California Firm Recalls Frozen Meat Patties over E. coli Contamination

The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced a recall by the California-based Valley Meat Company. The recall comes after ground beef produced by the company were linked to seven cases of E. coli illness by the California Department of Public Health. The cases were united by a rare strain of E. coli, and occurred between February and July of 2010. The recall affects approximately one million pounds of frozen ground beef patties and bulk ground beef. A complete list of recalled products can be found on the FSIS website or on the Valley Meat Company website.

E. coli is a potentially lethal foodborne bacterium. It can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration, and kidney failure. The FSIS website does not discuss the extent of contamination, but it does note that the beef was distributed to foodservice providers in California, Texas, Oregon, Arizona, and internationally. Because many of the products were distributed frozen, there is concern that some of it may still be present in consumers' freezers. If you have some of the product, the USDA recommends that it be discarded immediately. Valley Meat Company is offering a full refund if the meat is returned to its place of purchase.

Although E. coli is dangerous, illness can be prevented by cooking all meat to an internal temperature of at least 160º F, which kills the bacteria. Prevent cross-contamination by keeping cooked and raw meat separate and washing hands and all food preparation surfaces before and after contact with raw meat.

If you or a loves one has been sickened by this or another contaminated food product, you may be able to receive compensation for your injury. To learn more, please call or email the Los Angeles office of The Cochran Firm today for a free case evaluation.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 9:35 AM

Monday, August 9, 2010

Reversal of Verdict in Defective Drug Case

Roche Holding AG, the maker of the acne drug, Accutane, has won a reversal of a $10.5 million verdict because a judge barred the company from using evidence about the drug’s use. Lawyers for Roche should have been able to use data about how many people had used Accutane in the 2008 trial of Kamie Kendall, a Utah resident who blamed the drug for causing her IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), a disorder commonly associated with taking the acne drug. This is a huge victory for Roche, a company who has lost all seven cases against Accutane since 2007. Roche paid well over $45 million to plaintiffs in those cases.

According to the appeals court, "Roche was unduly impeded at this trial from adducing and advocating numerical proofs that could have potentially and reasonably led a jury to reach a different verdict."

Accutane, Roche’s second biggest-selling drug, has been taken by approximately 13 million people since it went on the market in 1982. The drug has also been linked to birth defects and depression.

If you or a loved one has taken a defective drug and been harmed, please contact the pharmaceutical litigation attorneys at The Cochran Firm today to schedule a no-cost, confidential consultation.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 6:28 AM

Friday, August 6, 2010

13-Year-Old Boy Causes Auto Accident

A 13-year-old boy driving in Modesto, California caused an auto accident Wednesday, injuring three people. The boy was driving his mother's sedan. She was in the car with him and was trying to teach him to drive.

The auto accident occurred when the boy drove into an intersection and crashed into a truck. The sedan rolled over during the accident. The boy, his mother, and his 16-year-old sister were all taken to local hospitals to be evaluated.

According to the California Highway Patrol, the truck did not have a stop sign.

The judgment of the mother must be called into question. There is a reason that state governments place age requirements on the ability to receive a learner's permit and a driver's license. In the state of California, the legal age to receive your learner's permit is 15 ½ and you can then receive your driver's license at age 16 if you pass the written and road tests. Clearly, this boy was several years away from legally getting behind the wheel in any capacity.

This incident seems to reaffirm that children under the legal driving age should not be given the keys to their parent's car, even if they are under supervision. In this situation, three people suffered minor injuries. However, in the future, a more serious accident could occur.

If you have suffered an injury in an auto accident caused by the negligence of another driver, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your damages. Please contact the auto accident attorneys at The Cochran Firm today to schedule your free initial consultation. We serve clients nationwide.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 2:07 PM

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Fructose and Pancreatic Cancer Linked

Sugar is not necessarily sugar, no matter what you are told by the industry. On Monday, U.S. researchers published an article in the journal Cancer Research detailing how pancreatic cancer cells sucked up fructose, and divided and multiplied.

According to one of the lead researchers, the study shows pancreatic cancer cells "can readily metabolize fructose to increase proliferation." This supports and explains other studies that have linked fructose with pancreatic cancer. In the experiment, pancreatic cancer cells were fed both fructose and glucose. They proliferated when they took in fructose.

Fructose is in many things Americans consume, especially high fructose corn syrup. This is a mix of fructose and glucose and used in soft drinks, some breads, and other foods. While the debate of how fructose and other added ingredients is making people fat goes on among health experts, regulators, politicians, and the industry, this finding may add another element to what should be done.

It is already known that too much weight leads to other diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, and strokes, yet it is unclear if simply ingesting fructose and other kinds of sugar make people more susceptible to weight gain. The states of New York and California tried to put a tax on soft drinks to help pay for some of the cost of treating obesity-related diseases, but the American Beverage Association and their lobbyists defeated those efforts.

According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, U.S. consumption of high fructose corn syrup went up over 1000 percent between 1970 and 1990.

If you or a loved one has fallen ill because of a food additive, please contact the experienced defective product attorneys at the Cochran Firm for an initial case consultation. We serve clients nationwide.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 7:04 AM

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Use of Dispersants in the Gulf Oil Spill

On Tuesday this week, the EPA reported on a new study that showed the oil dispersants being used in the Gulf of Mexico are no more toxic than the oil is by itself. BP has been using a dispersant called COREXIT® which is made by Nalco Energy Services. It breaks up the leaked oil into little biodegradable droplets and as they sink to the sea floor, they continue to degrade and are eaten by bacteria. That sends them harmlessly into the food chain.

From the Other Side

Also on Tuesday this week, some news reports were accusing BP of using too much oil dispersant, based on documents that were released by the congressional subcommittee on Energy and Environment. According to these documents, the EPA and the Coast Guard ordered BP in May to use dispersants only on rare occasions. Reports do not say why they issued this order. For each rare occasion, BP was to request an exemption and wait for permission to be granted. BP subsequently requested 74 exemptions which were all granted by the Coast Guard.

Members of the Energy and Environment subcommittee are accusing the Coast Guard of granting too many exemptions. "BP carpet bombed the ocean with these chemicals, and the Coast Guard allowed them to do it,” said Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA). “After we discovered how toxic these chemicals really are, they had no business being spread across the Gulf in this manner."

However, Markey went to law school in the 1960s and is not trained in chemistry or oil drilling. He lives and works far from the Gulf. Presumably the Coast Guard personnel who are working on the oil problems are better informed about what actions might be beneficial than any Massachusetts politician.

OSHA and NOAA Find the Dispersants Safe

Since June 24, the federal government has acknowledged the effectiveness of COREXIT. On that date, a press briefing was held with Jordan Barab, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA and Thad Allen, the Coast Guard National Incident Commander. About OSHA’s oil spill monitoring program, Barab said:

  • “We have been taking samples again, of worker chemical exposures. Again, on the beaches, in the swamps, on the boats, everywhere that workers are. And I will just let you know … that we have found no exposure levels to any chemicals that are of any concern.”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) also issued a report on monitoring they had done around the Deepwater Horizon wellhead. The report stated that the oil dispersant is working well in that area, having brought the water’s oxygen levels back to normal (which would have been lowered by the oil, thereby threatening marine life). NOAA’s website gives all their data.

One Alex Kilker, who is a scientist with the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium on Cocodrie, had studied the marsh grasses in Barataria Bay which had been discolored by crude oil. They now are showing a lot of new growth and Kilker stated:

  • “You have to remember that these grasses normally live in pretty difficult conditions. They face changes in water levels and salinity changes on a consistent basis. They face flooding, freshwater from rain or the river. It's not surprising it's a hearty species.”

The Cochran Firm attorneys are ready to help if you have been injured by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill or the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig. Please contact us today to schedule a free case review.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 9:50 AM

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Reopening the Way to Pain and Suffering Compensation for Car Accident Victims

The 1973 Michigan no-fault insurance act sets the threshold for compensation for noneconomic damages in a car accident lawsuit, including pain and suffering, as being limited to cases where the injured person has suffered death, serious impairment of body function, or permanent serious disfigurement." The statute defines serious impairment of body function as "an objectively manifested impairment of an important body function that affects the person's general ability to lead his or her normal life."

Then, in 2004, the Supreme Court of Michigan decided in Kreiner v. Fischer that a car accident victim could only get compensation for pain and suffering if an injury affected the ability of a person to "conduct the course or trajectory of his or her entire normal life." In other words, an injury had to be almost completely crippling in order to enable compensation for noneconomic damages related to a car accident injury.

However, the Michigan Supreme Court on Saturday overturned that restriction, saying it far exceeded the actual statutory language of Michigan's no-fault law. In its decision in the case of McCormick v. Carrier, the court objected to the previous court's insertion of "two terms that are not included in the statute or the dictionary definitions of the relevant statutory language: 'trajectory' and 'entire'" [emphasis in original]. Of the latter addition, the majority decision went so far as to say it was "apparently created out of thin air."

Although insurance companies have already condemned the ruling and promised to raise rates for Michigan drivers, the ruling promises that many people whose lives have been affected by a car accident will now be able to get compensation for their injuries.

If you live in Michigan and have suffered a serious personal injury in a car accident, the personal injury lawyers of the Detroit office of The Cochran Firm may be able to help you pursue compensation. To learn more, please contact us today for a free case evaluation.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 1:18 PM

Monday, August 2, 2010

Medical Error Causes Devastation to Two Men

A Dorchester, Massachusetts man has a lengthy scar and is now incontinent as a result of surgery for prostate cancer. Another side effect Manuel Barros now suffers from is erectile dysfunction. What makes this story so tragic is that the surgery was unwarranted because Barros did not even have prostate cancer. The pathology slides of Barros and another man were mixed up, and the Beth Israel pathologist who analyzed Barros biopsy in November 2009 mistakenly gave the diagnosis of prostate cancer. The surgeon who operated on him had to inform him after the surgery that he never had prostate cancer. Barros’ lawyer, Andrew C. Meyer, Jr., a Boston medical malpractice lawyer, has filed suit against Beth Israel in Suffolk Superior Court.

On the very same day, Meyer also filed another lawsuit (in Middlesex Superior Court) against a private laboratory on behalf of a man from Beverly, Massachusetts who situation was the exact opposite. He was told his biopsy was negative when he did, indeed, have prostate cancer. Thomas Cloutman, 53, had another biopsy about eight months later that was examined by a different lab and it was revealed that he did have prostate cancer after all. Cloutman had surgery to remove his prostate in January at Boston Medical Center, but the cancer has spread to a lymph node.

Tragic mistakes like this happen more often than most people realize and the results are devastating. If you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice, you need a medical malpractice attorney on your side. Please contact The Cochran Firm today to schedule a confidential, no-cost consultation so we may hear the details of your case.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 6:54 AM

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