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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Car Accident Injures 10 Near Tuskegee, Alabama

A van carrying 14 Montgomery church members lost control on I-85 and overturned near Tuskegee, Alabama. The driver of the van lost control when one of the rear tires blew out. All 14 passengers survived the auto accident but 10 of the 14 members suffered injuries. According to Alabama State Troopers, 7 passengers were taken to Baptist South Hospital by ambulance and 3 passengers were airlifted to the hospital.

Auto accidents happen at any time for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • Defective tires
  • Defective parts
  • Hazardous roads
  • Improperly marked construction areas
  • Narrow shoulders
  • Distracted drivers
  • Drunk drivers
  • Inexperienced drivers

No matter the reason, auto accidents can cause serious personal injury or wrongful death to the driver, passengers or pedestrians. Whether your injury leaves you with a permanent disability or simply causes you to lose a few days of work, it is still an unexpected stressful and costly situation. You deserve compensation for your injuries and damage to your property if the accident was caused by a negligent driver or defective vehicle.

For more information about auto accidents or to schedule an evaluation of your auto accident case in Tuskegee, Alabama with an experienced auto accident lawyer, please contact the Cochran Firm today.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:43 AM

California Doctors Still Practice Medicine Even After Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

In most cases involving doctors that have committed medical malpractice or caused the wrongful death of patients in California, the doctor is put on probation and required to take additional medical classes. During this probation time, however, the doctor is allowed to continue treating patients and these patients are unaware of the crimes the doctor has committed.

In some of these cases, the doctors treat hundreds of patients as more and more disciplinary actions are given to the doctor for repeated negligence. The Medical Board of California does not take more drastic measures to discipline these doctors nor does the Board revoke their medical licenses because the doctors have a legal right to retain their medical licenses. Depriving these doctors of their licenses can get into constitutional issues, according to the Medical Board of California.

All doctors who have committed any type of medical malpractice or have caused the wrongful death of a patient should be held liable and this information should be made public for all current and future patients to see.

The San Jose medical malpractice attorneys at the Cochran Firm are committed to making sure that justice prevails for their clients. If you have been the victim of medical malpractice in San Jose, California, please contact the Cochran Firm immediately for help with your case.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:42 AM

FDA Exec Says Agency Too Slow in J & J Recall

Johnson & Johnson executives, including one who oversaw the consumer division of the McNeil Healthcare unit, are testifying before Congress today to explain a series of recalls last year. The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is especially interested to know more about the phantom recall.

A phantom recall is one in which a company quietly buys up defective products from the shelves without announcing a formal recall. In this case, it was millions of bottles of defective pain killers. According to one Food and Drug Administration executive, the agency should have acted more quickly to stop this secret recall. The executive will testify that Johnson & Johnson informed the FDA about the plan in April 2009. However, previous statements made by the FDA show that the agency didn't learn about the recall plan until July, and immediately demanded a formal recall.

Congress is investigating this, as well as why several J&J products have failed safety standards over the last few years, such as the painkillers which had bacterial contamination issues or bits of metal in them. J&J's chief executive has prepared a statement in which he will admit that the company has let the public down. The executive who oversaw McNeil Healthcare will be stepping down in March.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective Johnson & Johnson product, please contact the experienced product liability attorneys at the Cochran Firm. We serve clients nationwide.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:04 AM

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Abuse of Medical Certification System for Truck and Bus Drivers Endangers others Sharing the Road

Drivers of commercial vehicles such as trucks and buses must possess a medical certification card to prove that they are qualified to operate their vehicle. While this requirement was originally intended to ensure that all drivers meet certain minimum health standards, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCA) has not strictly enforced this regulation, enabling unqualified drivers to abuse the system in order to remain on the road.

After a 1999 bus accident caused by a medically unqualified driver killed 22 passengers, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued a series of recommendations to the FMCA in order to prevent similar commercial vehicle-related accidents in the future. These recommendations specifically called for tougher medical standards regarding eligibility for certification cards as well as the establishment of a medical oversight program for interstate commercial drivers.

The FMCA's poor response to these recommendations has made it possible for medically unqualified drivers to remain on the road, resulting in a significant number of fatal truck accidents and bus accidents. Between 2002 and 2008, more than 825 fatal accidents were attributed to the actions of medically unqualified or fatigued drivers.

There are two main problems with the system which have enabled these drivers to remain on the road:

  • Lack of rigorous guidelines for the dispensing of medical certification cards
  • Poor enforcement of regulations and a lack of appropriate penalties for noncompliance

There are several issues at play regarding the first problem. Just about any licensed medical practitioner can administer a Department of Transportation medical exam. It is not uncommon for doctors of osteopathy, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and chiropractors to perform these exams. This has made it much easier for medically unqualified drivers to engage in the practice of "doctor shopping." Due to the lack of a medical oversight program and a centralized data base monitoring the results of these exams, drivers who fail their initial exam will regularly go from doctor to doctor until they find one willing to certify them.

Furthermore, the medical certification forms can be downloaded on the internet, making it substantially easier to forge these documents. Roadside checks regularly uncover forged forms among the drivers stopped for inspection.

The second problem is equally problematic and has essentially fostered a climate of noncompliance with these safety regulations. While commercial drivers can receive a citation for not possessing a valid medical certification, they are often allowed to continue driving. Medically unqualified truck drivers are rarely pulled off the road, even after receiving multiple citations. As a result, these citations have become nothing more than a slap on the wrist.

Unfortunately, this problem is likely to persist until the FMCA imposes greater consequences for noncompliance and establishes an electronic monitoring system to cut down on the rampant fraud committed by unqualified drivers and unscrupulous healthcare practitioners.

If you have been injured in a truck accident or bus accident caused by a medically unqualified driver, 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 10:50 AM

Six People Injured in an Explosion in Tennessee

A recent explosion caused a fire at the Kilgore Flares Co. causing six people to suffer personal injuries near Memphis, Tennessee. Three of the six people were listed in critical condition. The cause of the explosion is still unknown. Authorities have ruled out terrorism, however.

Kilgore Flares Co. manufactures and supplies red decoy flares to the military designed to act as a decoy for the threat of guided missiles. During the explosion, sparks and debris were thrown through the air by the fire and ignited the clothing of the three critically injured people. These three victims were airlifted to the Regional Medical Center in Memphis, Tennessee where their personal injuries are being treated. The additional three victims are in good condition and were taken to West Tennessee Health Care.

Unfortunately, work related accidents do happen and can cause the personal injury or wrongful death of employees. It is the responsibility of the employer to make sure that the working conditions of every employee are safe and hazard free. The employer is at fault for any injuries suffered if an employee is harmed while performing his or her job.

If you have suffered a personal injury or if you have lost a loved one due to an accident on the job in Memphis, Tennessee, please contact the Memphis personal injury lawyers at the Cochran Firm today to schedule a consultation about your personal injury case.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:41 AM

Victim Finally Identified in Pedestrian Accident

A woman was hit and killed by a car in a pedestrian accident on August 11, 2010. She remained unidentified for several weeks while news sources searched for her identity by displaying a sketch of her face on television. A local news viewer identified the victim as a 52-year-old doctor from Sacramento, California and helped authorities contact her family in California. The doctor was about to start her new position at Darnall Army Medical Center.

The law states that pedestrians have the right of way and vehicles must yield to all pedestrians in the road. Sometimes, negligent drivers disobey crossing signals or do not pay attention to their surroundings. A driver may be distracted by a cell phone or may be lost and looking for street signs rather than looking at crosswalks or paying attention to traffic signals.

Whatever the reason for the cause of a pedestrian accident, the pedestrian may be entitled to compensation for any personal injuries sustained in the accident. When a motor vehicle and a pedestrian try to occupy the same space, the motor vehicle will usually win, which can result in the wrongful death of the pedestrian. Unfortunately, this recent pedestrian accident resulted in the wrongful death of a Sacramento, California doctor.

If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, or if you have been the victim of a pedestrian accident in Sacramento, California, please don’t hesitate to contact the experienced Sacramento pedestrian accident attorneys at the Cochran Firm. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and loss.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:41 AM

Fatal Truck Accident in Los Angeles

Truck accidents happen very quickly and for many reasons. A truck accident can be the fault of the truck driver, the truck manufacturer, the government who maintains the roads, or the fault of another driver. In the case of one recent truck accident in Los Angeles, the person at fault was a 36-year-old man who was driving a van.

Authorities do not yet know why the 36-year-old man veered off the road and hit a parked car. The parked car was pushed forward hitting a 50-year-old truck driver and throwing him onto the bed of his broken down truck that he was having towed. The 50-year-old man was airlifted to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The 36-year-old driver of the van suffered minor personal injuries. This Los Angeles truck accident was caused by the negligent actions of the 36-year-old and resulted in the truck driver’s wrongful death.

If you have suffered personal injuries or lost a loved one in a truck accident in Los Angeles due to the negligent behavior of someone else, please contact the Los Angeles truck accident attorneys at the Cochran Firm to schedule an evaluation of your case. You are entitled to compensation for your injuries and loss.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:40 AM

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

SUV Rollover Accident is the Cause of Baseball Player's Death

A 2001 lawsuit filed against the Ford Motor Company was finally settled in Jackson, Mississippi recently. A jury declared that the Ford Explorer being driven by baseball player Brian Cole caused his death due to the unsafe nature of the vehicle and the defective safety belts. An award of $131 million dollars was given to the family of Brian Cole for the actual damages sustained and a dollar amount for punitive damages has not yet been established.

According to reports, Brian Cole and his cousin, Ryan Cole, were driving home to Meridian, Mississippi from spring training in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Both passengers were wearing their seat-belts when the SUV rollover accident occurred. Brian Cole was thrown from the vehicle and, upon arriving at Jackson Memorial Hospital, was pronounced dead from his injuries

SUV rollovers are a common auto accident that can cause serious personal injury or wrongful death. SUV rollover accidents occur because of the high center of gravity and the narrow body of the vehicles. The style of SUVs makes them prone to rolling over in cases where the driver has to turn sharply or swerve to try and avoid an oncoming vehicle or object in the road. In the case of Brian Cole, his seatbelt was defective and he was thrown from the vehicle. He may have survived the auto accident if his seatbelt had functioned properly.

If you or someone you love has been in an SUV rollover accident in Jackson, Mississippi, please contact the Cochran Firm's experienced Jackson, Mississippi SUV rollover accident attorneys today to schedule a consultation about your case.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:38 AM

Dangerous Drug Blinds Woman

A jury found that Mutual Pharmaceutical Co. based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was liable for a 51-year-old woman’s personal injuries because they should have known that the prescription drug meant to help with shoulder pain was dangerous to consumers. The victim in this dangerous drug case suffered burns to her eyes, mucus membranes, and skin after taking the dangerous drug Sulindac. The woman was awarded $21 million dollars for her injuries, pain and suffering, and because the dangerous drug blinded and scared her.

Two weeks after starting to take Sulindac, the woman noticed irritation around her eyes and that her face was showing red spots. She was admitted to a hospital where she was diagnosed with Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN). This dangerous drug literally burned her body inside and out.

Prescription drugs are meant to help improve our quality of life. Some pharmaceutical companies ignore certain effects of their drugs and put them on the market even though they know the drug is potentially harmful. Pharmaceutical companies can be held liable for manufacturing and distributing dangerous drugs.

If you have suffered from taking a dangerous drug in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, please contact the Philadelphia dangerous drug attorneys at the Cochran Firm today to schedule a consultation about your case.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:38 AM

Taking an Actuarial Approach to Medical Malpractice Reduction

Last month, the Society of Actuaries (SOA) released its study of claims data estimating that measurable medical errors cost nearly $20 billion in 2008. One of the stated goals of the study was "helping heathcare systems to take an actuarial approach, which can more systematically identify potential causes of medical errors than alternative approaches," according to SOA spokesman Jim Toole. Now, it seems healthcare systems are doing just that, using the data from medical malpractice claims to help identify the causes of error and reduce future occurrences.

The SOA analyzed doctors own insurance claims statements to determine that there were probably at least $19.5 billion in additional medical costs related to medical errors. The SOA study began by looking at medical injuries. They determined that there were at least 6.3 million medical injuries in the US in 2008. They found that about 7% of all hospital admissions resulted in some form of medical injury, and that these medical injuries included about 1.5 million medical errors, resulting in at least 2500 avoidable deaths and more than 10 million days of work missed due to temporary disability. They estimated that the average total cost per error was about $13,000, but this did not include pain and suffering, legal costs and other costs not trackable in the doctors' claims.

It seems that doctors are taking this data to heart. According to a column in yesterday's Wall Street Journal Health section, doctors are analyzing medical malpractice claims to figure out what causes medical errors and prevent future errors. According to the data reported by the Journal, the actual cost and frequency of injuries is much higher than the SOA study found. Patient-safety researchers at Johns Hopkins University estimate that diagnostic errors alone kill 40-80,000 hospital patients annually.

Medical malpractice lawsuits also show that it is often not a single error, but multiple errors--generally at least three--that lead to medical malpractice claims. According to data compiled by the Journal, the most common causes of error are:

  • Error in judgement
  • Forgetfulness or lack of vigilance
  • Gap in knowledge
  • Patient's error
  • Handoffs between doctors and other staff

This trend shows that your medical malpractice lawsuit can do more than get compensation for your injury or loss. It can help doctors and other healthcare providers learn the serious flaws in the system that contribute to serious medical errors. Once doctors learn these flaws, they can be corrected and perhaps then no one else will have to suffer the same type of serious injury that you have suffered.

If you have suffered a serious medical injury or lost a loved one due to a doctor's or systematic error, the medical malpractice lawyers of The Cochran Firm can help. Please contact us today for a free case evaluation.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:31 AM

Monday, September 27, 2010

Judge Grants Discovery of Facebook, MySpace Posts

SUFFOLK COUNTY, NEW YORK – A judge in New York has ruled that personal injury plaintiff Kathleen Romano must allow the court access to private postings on Facebook and MySpace that may contradict her previous testimony. Romano is suing Steelcase Inc., manufacturers of the office chair that Romano fell off in 2003 while working at Stony Brook University, for damages for personal injuries. She claims that the chair was a defective product and caused her "serious permanent personal injuries," including herniated discs, restricted neck and back motion, and "pain and progressive deterioration with consequential loss of enjoyment of life."

The defendant, Steelcase, says that the public sections of Romano's Facebook and MySpace profiles suggest that Romano has an "active lifestyle" and does activities she has claimed that her injuries prevent her from doing. Acting Justice Jeffrey Arlen Spinner of New York's Suffolk County Supreme Court has ruled in the defendant's favor, stating that Romano may not withhold material necessary to the defense because she has placed her physical condition in controversy. Romano's lawyer has said that she is considering an appeal of the decision.

This case is a reminder of the inherently public nature of social media networks, even with self-regulated privacy settings available. This decision may or may not influence personal injury and product liability lawsuits in other states, but should serve as a warning to plaintiffs not to post information or photos damaging to their cases. If you are pursuing a personal injury lawsuit, the experienced personal injury attorneys of The Cochran Firm will help you understand how to protect yourself from similar problems.

If you have been injured by a defective product or by someone else's negligence, please contact The Cochran Firm today to find out about your legal options.

posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 3:29 PM

Armed Robbery Sentencing in Alabama

Armed robbery is defined as robbing a person or place of business with a deadly weapon such as a knife or gun. The robber uses the weapon to intimidate his or her victim by threatening them with it.

The situation becomes aggravated robbery when the robber uses force and violence to complete the robbery, which can include using the weapon being brandished.

In Alabama, aggravated robbery is considered a first-degree felony and is punishable with prison time from 5 to 99 years or life in prison. A fine may also accompany the prison time but is not to exceed $10,000.

If you are faced with an armed robbery or aggravated robbery charge in Huntsville, Alabama, you will need a skilled and experienced attorney on your side to make sure your rights are protected and justice is served. The sentencing for aggravated robbery can be as severe as a murder charge. It is important to have the right criminal defense attorney on your side.

The Huntsville criminal defense attorneys at the Cochran Firm will meet with you in a confidential case evaluation to discuss your charges, your rights, and the legal steps you must take in order to protect your rights.

If you have been charged with an armed robbery or aggravated robbery charge in Huntsville, Alabama, please contact the Cochran Firm today.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:37 AM

Texas Laws Governing DUIs

Whether you're meeting friends after work or having a party at your house, you quite often have an opportunity to drink. Drinking to excess and then driving, however, can result in anything from a minor fender bender to jail time to death. Texas DUI law prohibits anyone over the age of 21 from driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit of .08 percent, the nationwide standard. Drivers under the age of 21 are prohibited from driving with a BAC of .02 percent, and commercial drivers from driving with a BAC of .04 percent.

If you are arrested with a DUI in Houston, Texas and it is your first conviction, you are facing the following sentencing:

  • Between 72 and 180 days in jail
  • Between 180 days to 2 years in jail if a child under the age of 15 was in the vehicle
  • Suspended driver license between 90 to 365 days
  • A fine up to $2,000
  • A fine up to $10,000 if a child under the age of 15 was in the vehicle
  • A DUI surcharge of $1,000 per year for 3 years
  • A DUI surcharge of $2,000 per year for 3 years if your BAC was .16 or higher

Sentencing for repeat convictions will cost you more jail time and higher fines. You have rights under the law if you have been convicted of a DUI in Houston, Texas. Please contact the experienced Houston DUI lawyers at the Cochran Firm for legal representation in your DUI case. You deserve to have your rights protected.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:37 AM

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in Las Vegas Results in $500 Million Award

A Las Vegas plaintiff was awarded $500 million for punitive damages received after he contracted hepatitis C from an endoscopy center that was reusing needles and medicine vials. This amount is believed to be the largest amount a Nevada jury has awarded to a victim in the history of Nevada.

This medical malpractice lawsuit is the first in a line of 250 lawsuits where residents contracted hepatitis C from two endoscopy centers in Las Vegas. Law officials shut down the two centers in 2008 because of their unsafe medical practices. Two pharmaceutical companies have been targeted in the case because they manufactured and distributed a generic anesthesia medication that the two clinics used. The two pharmaceutical companies are Baxter Healthcare Corp. and Teva Pharmaceutical Ltd.

In this first medical malpractice lawsuit against the two companies, the jury found that both Baxter Healthcare Corp. and Teva Pharmaceutical Ltd. were responsible for the plaintiff’s infection because they manufactured single dose needles and vials that were reused on multiple patients. The jury declared that the two companies endangered patients.

If you or someone you love has been injured due to the negligence of a medical professional in Las Vegas, please contact the Cochran Firm today to discuss your medical malpractice case with our Las Vegas medical malpractice attorneys.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:39 AM

Fatal Bus Accident in New York

A double-decker bus crashed into a railroad bridge that did not provide the height needed for the bus to safely pass under. The bus fell on its side after hitting the bridge killing 4 passengers. At least 17 passengers were sent to a local hospital following the bus accident in New York.

Reports of the bus accident indicate that the 59-year-old driver took the wrong exit off the highway and found himself on an unfamiliar road without a place to pull over or turn around. Officials are unsure how the driver missed the warning signs and flashing lights indicating that the clearance under the bridge was only 10 feet, 9 inches. The bus driver was not under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substance.

This New York bus accident may have several possible causes. The driver could be at fault if he was driving while distracted or driving while exhausted. Government entities that maintain the roads may be at fault if the roads were inadequately marked or if the warning signs for the bridge’s clearance were not readily visible. An experienced New York bus accident lawyer has the knowledge and resources to figure out who was at fault, especially if a wrongful death occurred.

No matter what party or parties were at fault, you are entitled to compensation if you or a loved one was involved in a bus accident and suffered a personal injury. Please contact the Cochran Firm today to schedule an evaluation of your case in New York, New York.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:36 AM

Two Police Officers Use Excessive Force in Dothan, Alabama

On September 13, 2010, the opening arguments began in a Dothan Federal Courthouse in a police brutality trail brought forth by a woman who claims that one police officer used excessive force against her while another officer was present and failed to intervene.

According to the plaintiff, she was restrained face down in a Southeast Alabama Medical Center gurney and one of the police officers used a TASER gun on her three times consecutively. She claims the second police officer stood nearby and did nothing to prevent the excessive brutality.

The officers claim that the woman was unrestrained at the time the first officer used the TASER gun and only used it twice after repeatedly warning her to calm down. They claim she kept attempting to kick and bite the police officers.

Both officers are being charged with:

• Excessive force
• Assault and battery

Police officers are responsible for keeping us safe. Sometimes, however, police officers use excessive force or needlessly use their TASER guns causing personal injury and wrongful death to those they are meant to protect.

If you have been a victim of police brutality in Dothan, Alabama, do not hesitate to contact the Dothan personal injury attorneys at the Cochran Firm.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:35 AM

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Parent’s Death at the University of North Carolina Caused by Lack of Bed Rail

A 49-year-old woman from Rocky Mount, North Carolina was visiting her daughter at the University of North Carolina where she fell off a bunk bed and suffered a fatal head injury. After this woman’s wrongful death near Raleigh, North Carolina, the demand for safety rails on the university’s bunk beds has soared.

UNC usually receives roughly 30 requests a year for safety rails, but has recently provided over 300 of its students with safety rails. Due to the surging demand for the safety rails, UNC has order 800 additional rails. The university is now considering supplying safety rails for all of the bunk beds on campus. This would require that the university order 8,500 safety rails that would cost about $250,000.

University campuses are responsible for making sure all students and their visiting parents are safe. This means that the entire premises of each campus have the proper safety measures in place, including safety rails on bunk beds, to prevent the personal injury or wrongful death of anyone on campus.

Losing a loved one unexpectedly is devastating especially if the death could have been prevented. If you have lost a loved one due to a wrongful death in Raleigh, North Carolina, please contact the Cochran Firm to speak with one of our experienced Raleigh wrongful death attorneys about your case.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:40 AM

Train Accident Caused by Drunk Driver in New Orleans

A 42-year-old man drove his vehicle onto the train tracks and stopped. A passenger Amtrak train immediately hit the vehicle causing a train accident in New Orleans. Amazingly, the man was not killed. However, police officers did have good reason to arrest the man for a DUI because the driver had a strong odor of alcohol, displayed slurred speech and his eyes were glassy and bloodshot

The man was arrested and sent to University Hospital in New Orleans to have his blood alcohol level (BAC) checked. The man’s BAC level was reported as 0.18 percent. The legal BAC limit to drive is 0.08 percent. Charges include:

• Driving while intoxicated
• Disobeying the train crossing signal
• Driving without liability insurance

The train accident did not result in the personal injury of anyone on the train. The man, however, suffered a head wound.

The New Orleans train accident attorneys at the Cochran Firm have experience helping victims of train accidents get the compensation they are entitled to. Possible compensation includes:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages
  • Wrongful death
  • Prescriptions
  • Physical therapy
  • Hospital bills
  • At home care
  • Other medical bills

Train accidents can occur for several reasons other than people stopping their vehicles on the tracks. Trains to collide with each other on occasion and they can hit a defect in a rail that sends cars off the tracks completely. Whether trains collide with each other or a vehicle, they can result in serious injuries and death.

If you or a loved one has suffered a injuries due to a train accident in New Orleans, please contact the Cochran Firm for a case evaluation.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:35 AM

Cell Phone Usage Can Cause Auto Accidents in Washington, D.C.

Drivers can be easily distracted by their cell phones while driving. An auto accident can occur quickly if a driver’s attention is taken off the road for even a split second. For this reason, Washington, D.C. has put several laws in place limiting the usage of cell phones by drivers.

In Washington, D.C., drivers of all ages are prohibited from using handheld cell phones while driving. Experienced drivers are allowed to use hands-free devices with their cell phones while driving so both hands are available to control the vehicle. Police officers can cite a driver for using a handheld cell phone even if no other traffic violation has taken place.

Washington, D.C. does not ban all drivers from using hands-free cell phones while driving. However, Washington, D.C. does prohibit school bus drivers from using a cell phone in any manner while passengers are present and prohibits inexperienced drivers from all cell phone use.

All drivers are prohibited from text messaging while driving. Text messaging while driving is a leading cause of SUV rollover accidents, truck accidents, and auto accidents in Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. cell phone laws are in place to keep all drivers and pedestrians safe. If you or someone you love has been in an auto accident due to a distracted driver, please contact the Cochran Firm today to get the help you need with your auto accident case.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:33 AM

Friday, September 24, 2010

GM Seatbelt Recall

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – Last month, General Motors issued a recall of 2009 and 2010 Chevy Traverse, Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia, and Saturn Outlook crossover vehicles due to a defect in the trim on the second-row seats. GM has noticed in returned warranty vehicles that the trim can damage the buckle of the second-row seatbelt and may even press on the red release button, creating a risk of seatbelt failure in the event of an auto accident.

Seatbelts are such a critical safety feature of any vehicle that any potential seatbelt defects should be taken very seriously by owners of the recalled vehicles. If a defective seatbelt fails, it could lead to serious vehicle accident injuries and possibly car crash fatalities.

So far, no defective vehicle injuries are known to have happened as a result of the defective GM seatbelts. However, GM went ahead with the voluntary defective seatbelt recall in order to prevent any potential car accident injuries that might result from the defective product. If any defective seatbelt injuries do occur, the defective product liability attorneys of The Cochran Firm will be ready to defend the rights of any defective vehicle injury victims nationwide.

GM will notify owners of the affected crossover vehicles and give them instructions to take the defective vehicle to a GM dealership for repairs to correct the defective seatbelt issue.

If you or a loved one has been injured because of a defective seatbelt, please contact the experienced defective vehicle injury lawyers of The Cochran Firm today for a complimentary case evaluation.

posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 1:37 PM

Alabama Woman Dies Due to Medical Malpractice

Lucy Thomas' mother died at Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers, Florida after receiving hip replacement surgery. The hospital staff declared that Thomas’ mother died of stress caused by the surgery and a heart attack. Thomas is certain that her mother died due to the injection of an undiluted heart medicine and that the hospital staff is guilty of medical malpractice.

Thomas’ mother’s body was embalmed and prepared for her funeral in Alabama. Unfortunately, any evidence of an overdose may have been destroyed during the embalming process. Thomas’ mother’s body was returned to Fort Myers from Alabama for an autopsy to discover if medical malpractice caused Thomas’ mother’s wrongful death.

If a jury finds Lee Memorial Hospital guilty of medical malpractice, then they are in turn guilty of lying and having committed fraud. Thomas has rejected any settlement offers and her lawyer is seeking an undisclosed amount from the jury.

When a hospital or hospital staff acts in a negligent manner and causes a patient to suffer a personal injury or wrongful death, the hospital is guilty of committing medical malpractice. It is illegal for the hospital to try to cover up the negligent behavior.

If you live in the Mobile, Alabama area and are in need of legal assistance with your medical malpractice case, please contact the Cochran Firm immediately.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:32 AM

Reasonable Suspicion for Detroit Field Sobriety Tests

If you are pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) in Detroit, the police officer must have reasonable suspicion before he can request that you submit to field sobriety tests. Field sobriety tests are meant to determine if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is above the legal limit. If the officer does not have reasonable suspicion to conduct a field sobriety test or to conduct a DUI investigation, your arrest may be illegal.

Michigan courts require that several factors be present in order to give the officer reasonable suspicion. The smell of alcohol alone is not enough to warrant a DUI arrest. Possible factors for reasonable suspicion include:

  • The smell of alcohol
  • Slurred speech
  • Bloodshot, watery eyes
  • Staggered walk
  • Flushed face

These combined factors along with a traffic violation will provide the arresting officer with legal reasonable suspicion and will warrant your arrest. Officers may exaggerate or lie in their police reports about what gave them reasonable suspicion.

If you have been pulled over for the suspicion of a DUI in Detroit, Michigan, you will want the skilled Detroit DUI attorneys at the Cochran Firm on your side. You have rights under the law and your DUI arrest may be illegal. Please contact the Cochran Firm today to schedule a case evaluation.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:31 AM

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Minneapolis Works to Lessen the Amount of Pedestrian Accidents

Minneapolis has tried in recent years to lower the amount of pedestrian accidents and pedestrian deaths that occur every year. Drivers tend to get upset easily with people who are walking or riding their bikes because they feel as though pedestrians get in their way. Many pedestrian accidents happen because drivers are not yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks and because drivers sometimes drive while distracted.

A safe crosswalk law was recently passed in Minnesota requiring all drivers to stop for pedestrians crossing in crosswalks and on the road. Unfortunately, this law has done little to reduce the amount of pedestrian accidents that happen each year. Minneapolis police officers seldom stop drivers for failing to follow the crosswalk law and yield to pedestrians. The next course of action Minneapolis will take is educating drivers of the dangers of causing pedestrian accidents.

As a pedestrian, you rule the road and vehicles must yield as you cross the road. In some cases, drivers become frustrated and give into road rage. In doing so, they can quickly cause pedestrian accidents that may lead to personal injury or wrongful death.

Please contact the Cochran Firm if you have been involved in a pedestrian accident in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Cochran Firm's Minneapolis pedestrian accident attorneys are here to help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:31 AM

Nursing Home Abuse in Illinois Kills 74-Year-Old Woman

Dolores "Dee" Howorth, a 74-year-old woman, died 27 days after being admitted to a nursing home in Chicago, Illinois. It is reported that she died of dehydration. She was restrained in a wheelchair with a lap belt and the nursing home staff neglected to document her declining health or keep her adequately hydrated, which led to acute renal failure and Howorth's wrongful death.

Howorth's family is suing ManorCare Health Services-Hinsdale for nursing home abuse and the wrongful death of Dolores Howorth. The family believes that Howorth was unnecessarily restrained physically and chemically for the convenience of the nursing home staff. They also believe that Howorth's quality of life deteriorated when she was admitted into their facility.

We want our beloved family members to have the best of care in their later years. This is why we do our best to choose nursing homes that will meet our loved one’s needs and make sure they are safe and healthy. When a nursing home neglects to properly take care of our loved ones, they are committing nursing home abuse.

If you live in the Chicago, Illinois area and have a nursing home abuse lawsuit, please contact the Chicago nursing home abuse lawyers at the Cochran Firm for help. Our experienced lawyers will protect your rights and the rights of your loved one.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:30 AM

Baby Formula Recalled over Presence of Beetle

Abbott Laboratories has recalled around five million cans of Similac-brand powdered baby formula because of the possible presence of beetles. According to an Abbott spokeswoman, a small beetle was detected in the baby formula at the manufacturing plant in Sturgis, Michigan. To add to the company's problems, both the website and hotline were apparently down.

The recall only affects Similac products inside plastic cans that come in 8 oz., 12.4 oz., and 12.9 oz sizes. The liquid products are fine. Abbott has stopped production and shipment of the affected Similac formula and contacted the Food and Drug Administration about the situation and to initiate a recall.

The spokeswoman added, "Parents place a lot of trust in Similac, and delivering anything less than the highest quality formula is unacceptable to us. That's why we're initiating the recall."

According to the FDA, the common beetle can cause indigestion and cause the infant to lose their appetite for a little while. The plant is also in the process of being fumigated, which will take a few days.

The recall is being issued in the US, Guam, Puerto Rico, and some nations in the Caribbean.

If your child becomes ill after ingesting formula you suspect is defective, please contact the experienced defective product attorneys at the Cochran Law Firm for an initial consultation. We serve clients nationwide.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:24 AM

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

FDA Claims they were Duped by J&J on Motrin Phantom Recall

Documents provided by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) indicate that McNeil Consumer Healthcare, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, ignored federal regulators when they staged a phantom recall of defective Motrin products during July 2009. The pharmaceutical company hired contractors to purchase up large quantities of the defective drug as if they were consumers. In this way, they were able to remove all of the defective Motrin products from store shelves without announcing an official recall, which would have garnered considerable amounts of negative press.

The phantom recall involved defective Motrin caplets which did not dissolve properly, potentially causing adverse side effects.

While the FDA lacks the authority to require companies to initiate product recalls, the organization stated that based on the evidence available, these Motrin caplets would have warranted a Class 2 recall, which covers defective products which may cause temporary or medically reversible adverse health consequences, but have a remote chance of causing serious adverse health consequences.

However, earlier this week, the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform divulged documents indicating the FDA may have known about and approved McNeil's phantom Motrin recall. The FDA has denied these allegations and insists that as soon as they discovered McNeil's plan to covertly remove the defective Motrin products from store shelves, they prompted the pharmaceutical company to initiate an official recall. As a result of the tactics used throughout the process, Johnson & Johnson was able to avoid issuing a press release about the recall, preventing many consumers from becoming aware of the recall altogether.

Time will tell whether the FDA was aware of and approved the phantom recall in advance. Regardless, it seems that Johnson & Johnson clearly went to great lengths to avoid following proper recall protocol in this situation.

If you have suffered an injury from taking the defective Motrin caplets, the please contact the experienced defective product 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 10:04 AM

Police Brutality in Dallas, Texas

A 28-year-old motorcyclist was beaten by three Dallas, Texas police officers in early September 2010 following a chase. The police officers are facing criminal charges for their roles in the police brutality incident. Some of the confrontation was caught by a dashboard camera in one of the police vehicles before an officer moved the camera to avoid filming the beating.

The 28-year-old-man suffered personal injuries from being beaten with the officers’ fists and batons. All three officers are faced with felony charges and two of the officers face misdemeanor charges. The charges include:

  • Tampering with or fabricating physical evidence
  • Assault and official oppression

There is no evidence that this police brutality incident was the cause of any racial prejudice. Dallas police are investigating the incident and internal affairs investigations are being conducted on two of the three officers. The third officer, who was still on probation as a new member of the department, was fired.

Naturally, the police officers involved in the Dallas police brutality incident do not represent the Dallas police force philosophy of treating citizens with fairness and compassion. And, while police brutality cases are rare, they still happen. If you have been the victim of police brutality, please contact the Cochran Firm today. You have rights and the Dallas police brutality lawyers at the Cochran Firm are committed to protecting those rights.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:34 AM

Possible Medical Malpractice Case for the Bengals

Rashad Jeanty, a former linebacker with the Cincinnati Bengals, fractured his left fibula on January 9, 2010, in a playoff game against the New York Jets. The Bengals medical staff informed Jeanty that he did not need surgery for his injury. Jeanty visited the Miami Dolphins as a restricted free agent and was informed that he required major surgery in order to stabilize his leg. The Dolphins were uninterested in Jeanty due to his injury.

Jeanty underwent the surgery for his leg and was thought to be placed on the reserve list for the Bengals. However, due to his injury, the Bengals cut him from the roster even though Jeanty was an extremely valuable player for the team and had won the Ed Block Courage award in 2008.

The Bengals medical staff misdiagnosed Jeanty’s injury and did not get him the medical attention he needed to properly recover from the fracture. The misdiagnoses cost him potential employment in the form a place on the Miami Dolphins roster.

Medical malpractice is the misdiagnoses or mistreatment of an injury or health condition by a medical professional. The Bengals medical staff had a duty and a responsibility to correctly diagnose Jeanty and to get him further medical attention for his injury.

If you live in the Miami, Florida area and believe you have been the victim of medical malpractice, please contact the experienced Miami medical malpractice attorneys at the Cochran Firm today to schedule an evaluation of your case.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:29 AM

Fatal Auto Accident Caused by a Louisiana Man

A family of 5 died in a fatal auto accident caused by a Louisiana man who was driving at 98 mph, according to a crash data recorder. The Louisiana man crashed into the family’s minivan killing the two parents, a 12-year-old daughter, and two foster children who were 5 and 6 years old.

The Louisiana man claimed he was driving at a safe speed when the auto accident occurred. He was given a prison sentence of 15 years for the manslaughter of the five victims. The Louisiana man suffered a spinal injury and a traumatic brain injury.

Losing a loved one unexpectedly in an auto accident can bring your entire world to a halt. You may not know what your next legal steps should be and grief can make it difficult to make these decisions. An experienced Metairie auto accident lawyer at the Cochran Firm will guide you through the legal process and help you claim compensation for:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Medical bills
  • Loss of companionship
  • Lost wages
  • And more

If you lost a loved one in a fatal auto accident in Metairie, Louisiana, please contact the Cochran Firm to schedule a confidential consultation with an experienced auto accident attorney.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:28 AM

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Indiana Pesticide Verdict Should Give Pause to Propoxur Advocates

The bed bug epidemic sweeping the country and being felt most acutely in Ohio, has some people proposing that the FDA re-approve a banned pesticide for temporary indoor use. While bed bugs have developed resistance to some pesticides, propoxur is still an effective treatment. However, since 2007, the pesticide has been banned from " use on residential use sites, including schools, day care facilities, motels, hotels, and other indoor locations where children may be present." This ban followed hundreds of reports of toxic exposure to children associated with propoxur, leading in the short-term to a loss of consciousness. In the long-term children may suffer nerve tissue damage from propoxur exposure, similar to that in the case decided on September 16 in Floyd County, Indiana.

The more than $23 million verdict comes after a 14-year fight by a family. The family, especially its two children, suffered serious health effects after toxic exposure caused by misapplication of Creal-O, a then-legal indoor pesticide. The family moved into an apartment complex in February 1994. Later that year, the complex fired its professional pest control service and began using its own personnel to apply pesticide. Not long after this change, first their son (aged 5 months) and then their daughter (aged 3 years) were hospitalized for seizures. The family moved out of the complex when their lease expired in January 1995, and in 1996 they filed a lawsuit naming the complex, its pest control service, and the pesticide manufacturer. The case against the pest control service and the pesticide manufacturer were dropped. After a four-week trial that included at least one jury controversy, a verdict was passed down in favor of the family. The jury awarded $500,000 each to the parents, $16 million to the daughter, and $6.5 million to the son. The mother says the two children "haven't been the same since the first seizure." The daughter, now 20, is severely developmentally disabled. Her mother describes the girl's condition: "she can't dress herself, undress herself, brush her teeth, brush her hair, shower herself--basically everything but feeding has to be done by somebody else." The 5-month old, now 17, is academically and socially delayed.

This lawsuit should give pause to people advocating the use of banned pesticides like propoxur against bed bugs. Bed bugs seem to be resistant to many pesticides, although the EPA is still testing the effectiveness of approved pesticides against the resistant bed begs, samples of which are hard to obtain. Propoxur, though, is very effective at killing them. Unfortunately, in these cases, pest control comes at a potentially high cost. According to EPA formulas, the levels of propoxur needed to control bed bugs would also pose serious risk to children. Furthermore, even if propoxur is effective in the short-term, it is unlikely to work for long. Bed bugs will likely develop a resistance within a short time, while the victims of toxic exposure to the chemicals would have to live with the consequences for a lifetime.

Unfortunately, the EPA ban is not stopping some desperate people from misusing pesticides. Some businesses, pest control services, and even individuals desperate to control bed bug infestations have been found using pesticides in unapproved applications, putting people at serious risk.

If you or your family has suffered toxic exposure due to an unapproved use of pesticides for bed bug control, the personal injury lawyers of The Cochran Firm may be able to help. Please call or email us today for a free case evaluation.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 10:43 AM

Crash Taxes Don’t Apply for Atlanta, Georgia Auto Accidents

Difficult economic times seem to force states to find creative ways to collect revenue. One of the newest tactics to collect revenue is commonly known as "Crash Taxes". Even though taxes pay for emergency response teams to respond to auto accidents, many states are sending bills to drivers who are involved in auto accidents in order to fill holes in the revenue stream.

Some states are billing both drivers regardless of who was at fault. Other states are only billing the at-fault driver and a few states only bill out-of-town drivers. Sacramento has started taxing residents around $435 for a typical auto accident and up to $2,275 for an auto accident that required airlifting a person with a personal injury to the hospital.

There are ten states that have outlawed this possible crash tax and do not allow the lower taxing jurisdiction to enact such a tax. The ten states are:
AlabamaArkansasFloridaGeorgiaIndianaLouisianaMissouriOklahomaPennsylvaniaTennessee
Some people in states that have enacted the crash tax feel they are being taken advantage of because they already pay taxes. Out-of-state drivers who get hit with this crash tax while traveling feel they are being unjustly targeted.

If you are a resident of Atlanta, Georgia, or if you are passing through, and happen to be involved in an auto accident, you do not need to worry about being taxed. Atlanta, Georgia does not have a "Crash Tax" and the state’s governing body will not allow any other state entities to pass this tax, either.

Auto accidents can happen at moment’s notice and you deserve to be compensated for your injuries and for any property damage. If you have been involved in an auto accident in Atlanta, Georgia, please contact the law offices of the Cochran Firm today. Our Atlanta, Georgia auto accident lawyers will fight for your rights.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:27 AM

Alabama Has Fewer Fatalities in Motorcycle and Auto Accidents

Birmingham, Alabama roads have become increasingly safer since 2008 due to the Take Back Our Highways campaign started by Governor Bob Riley. The numbers of fatalities that have been a result of auto accidents and motorcycle accidents have decreased all over the state of Alabama. This is due, in large part, to the fact that law enforcement has engaged in more intelligent means of targeting dangerous drivers.

The Department of Public Safety has reported a steady decline of fatalities over the past couple of years. In 2008, 828 deaths were reported. The report also indicates that, for the first 3 quarters of 2010, there have been fewer than 375 fatalities. This decline in loss of life can also be attributed to drivers getting the message of the importance of driving safely.

Speeding, changing lanes abruptly, and driving while distracted are three of the most common causes of auto accidents. Accidents involving both automobiles and motorcycles in Birmingham, Alabama generally occur because drivers do not give motorcyclists adequate room on the road. Other issues than can lead to serious injuries or death include:

  • Driving under the influence
  • Driving without corrective lenses
  • Driving unsafely in bad weather conditions
  • Driving while sleep deprived
  • Driving while distracted
  • Not giving enough room between the vehicle and the motorcycle
  • Changing lanes too closely in front of a motorcycle

A motor vehicle accident can result in serious personal injury or wrongful death. If you or someone you love has been in a motor vehicle accident in Birmingham, Alabama, please contact the Cochran Firm today to schedule a consultation with a Birmingham auto accident attorney. You have rights and we will help you protect those rights.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:24 AM

Monday, September 20, 2010

Toyota Settles Case that Spurred Recalls

Toyota has settled the California case that spurred recalls of millions of vehicles for an acceleration defect. The lawsuit Toyota was facing was brought by the families of four people killed when their rented 2009 Toyota Lexus crashed in San Diego, California in August 2009. Investigators determined the cause was a wrong-size floor mat that trapped the accelerator pedal.

The amount of the settlement is supposed to be disclosed sometime today, but the parties reached a settlement in June. The attorney for the plaintiffs is not talking at the time of this writing. The settlement that was reached did not include the dealer who loaned the Lexus. His attorney alleges Toyota is protecting its own interests by cutting out the dealer who seems to be on his own.

The dramatic and highly violent accident was caught on a cell phone 911 call made by the driver, a California Highway Patrol officer. He, his wife, his 13-year-old daughter, and his brother were driving through a San Diego suburban freeway when they could not keep from accelerating. The driver told the 911 operator they had lost their brakes.

The Lexus reached speeds of 120 mph, and only ended when they hit an SUV, launched off an embankment, rolled, and burst into flames. Just before the vehicle crashed, one of the four can be heard telling the others to pray.

This crash lead to Toyota recalling millions of vehicles to replace floor mats that caused the accelerators to jam. Millions more were recalled later to fix gas pedals that could stick. There were hundreds of lawsuits filed against Toyota claiming sudden acceleration, but the San Diego case was the strongest one settled thus far. Some of those involved in the Toyota recall cases believe it may cost the company billions of dollars.

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

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 12:15 PM

Friday, September 17, 2010

Chuck E. Cheese Toy Recall

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in cooperation with Health Canada and Chuck E. Cheese's Restaurants, issued a recall Wednesday of approximately 1.2 million Chuck E. Cheese's toys given to children in restaurants across the US and Canada. The recall affects Chuck E. Cheese's light-up rings and star eyeglasses, both of which contain a small battery that can be removed and swallowed by small children if the toys' plastic shells are broken or pulled apart. If swallowed, the battery can cause serious damage to a child's digestive system.

CPSC has recommended that parents take these defective toys away from children immediately and bring them back to a Chuck E. Cheese's for a refund of one dollar for the light-up rings and $4.99 for the star glasses. If you worry that your child may have swallowed the dangerous battery, seek medical attention for your child right away to determine if there is, indeed, a problem. If your child is injured by these defective toys, you can file a report with the CPSC and contact an experienced defective products liability attorney to discuss your legal options.

Defective toys that are dangerous to children are a serious problem in the US and Canada, where cheap toys made overseas are not always subjected to serious safety testing and inspection before being imported. The defective product personal injury lawyers of The Cochran Firm represent defective product injury victims and their families nationwide.

If you or your child has been injured by the recalled defective Chuck E. Cheese's toys or any other defective product, please contact The Cochran Firm's defective product injury attorneys today for a free evaluation of your case.

posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 11:58 AM

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Alleged Bias on FDA Rosiglitazone Panel

The Food and Drug Administration committee that decided to keep rosiglitazone (Avandia) on the market this year has been accused of loading the panel with pro-rosiglitazone members. Rosiglitazone has been linked to increasing the risks of heart attack and death in thousands of cases.

Two members of the FDA's Office of Surveillance and Epidemiology first made the accusations at the beginning of September. They claim that half the members on the July 2010 panel previously voted in favor of keeping rosiglitazone on the market at a similar panel in 2007. They blame the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) for inviting not only current members of the panel, but all members from the 2007 meeting, even though they were not active members of the current committee. This is a move labeled "unprecedented" by the accusers.

This brought the number of members on the 2010 panel up to 32; 16 of them attended the 2007 meeting, and 15 of the 16 voted then to keep rosiglitazone on the market. The accusers claim that members voting for the first time were 4.4 times more likely to vote that the defective drug be withdrawn from the market. One said that if the previous members from the 2007 panel were not invited to the 2010 panel, ten of 17 members would have voted to pull rosiglitazone from use.

Suspected Reasoning Behind Rosiglitazone Vote

The two accusers, as well as many other researchers and doctors believe the reason rosiglitazone is still available is because the leaders at CDER and the FDA made the mistake of allowing a harmful drug on the market and then didn't do anything about it when problems came to light as early as 2003.

There are also questions about the questioning at the 2010 panel. In 2007, the question of withdrawing rosiglitazone had a straight yes/no answer. In 2010, there were five different options for members to choose from giving many involved the impression that the people in power don't want the drug pulled from the market. Due to the several options, there is a gray area on whether the members actually voted for withdrawl or severe restriction. The sponsor of the panel says the members voted to keep it on the market, but detractors believe 22 of 32 actually voted to pull rosiglitazone from the market or severely restrict its use.

This may seem conspiratorial, but the FDA has previously come under suspicion for playing politics with science, as well as looking out for the interests of those who already work there. Since the July meeting nothing has been done to look into why so many rosiglitazone patients are having cardiac events.

If you or a loved one has been injured by rosiglitazone (Avandia), please contact the experienced defective drug attorneys at the Cochran Firm for an initial case evaluation. We serve clients nationwide.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:13 AM

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Hospital Settles Medical Malpractice Suit after Leaving Sponge inside Patient

The Good Samaritan Hospital in West Palm Beach, Florida recently settled a medical malpractice lawsuit filed by a local judge who was injured after a surgical error resulted in a sponge being left inside his body. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

The 67-year-old judge had initially been treated for diverticulitis, a digestive disease affecting the large intestine. After the procedure, his pain intensified and doctors were at a loss to explain why. It took five months before doctors discovered that a 12x12 inch sponge had been left in his body after the initial surgery.

During the five months the sponge remained in his body, it began rotting. As a result, it created perforations inside his intestines. Doctors were forced to remove a portion of his intestines when the sponge was removed.

Surgical errors such as these are a common problem. The Journal of Radiology released a report indicating that approximately 1,500 patients in the United States suffer similar incidents of medical negligence every year.

If you have been the victim of a surgical error, please contact the medical malpractice 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 3:57 PM

Uninsured Motorist Towing to Begin in Texas

A standard requirement for being allowed to operate a motor vehicle is to have liability insurance. This insurance protects you and other drivers from having to pay the potentially high costs of a car accident. However, in most states a person found driving without insurance is simply issued a ticket and allowed to go on his or her way. However, that is about to change in at least one city.

On Monday, police in Lufkin, Texas, will begin enforcing the city's new ordinance, which allows police to tow the car of a driver who cannot produce proof of insurance after a traffic stop. Drivers are forced to obtain insurance and present proof of insurance to get their vehicle out of impound.

It will be interesting to see how well the program goes, because uninsured motorists present a serious danger to other drivers. Typically, uninsured motorists fall into two categories:

  • Drivers with bad accident records for whom insurance is prohibitively expensive
  • Drivers unable to afford insurance of any kind

In other words, the types of drivers for whom insurance is most necessary are also the drivers most likely to be without it. The new plan to take these dangerous drivers off the road by towing their vehicles may be able to dramatically reduce the threat they pose to others.

If you or a loved one has been hurt in a car accident with an uninsured motorist, you may need to file a lawsuit to get compensation for your injuries. The lawyers of the Houston or Dallas, Texas offices of The Cochran Firm can help you get the compensation you deserve. Please call or email us today to learn more.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 7:45 AM

Monday, September 13, 2010

Medical Malpractice Costs only 2.4% of Total Medical Expenditure (Maybe)

According to a recent study published in the journal Health Affairs, medical malpractice costs, including unnecessary tests and other defensive medicine practices, account for only 2.4 % of the total cost of Americans' $2.3 trillion expenditure on health care in 2008. Defensive medicine accounted for over 82% of that expense, with actual courtroom costs--including compensation for victims and the so-called lions' share taken by personal injury lawyers--amounting to 0.4% of health care spending annually. Although critics of the current tort system and tort reformers want to portray the system as broken, the product of a litigious culture that is being propped up by greedy trial lawyers, it is clear that someone may be getting rich from health care, but it isn't the lawyers or the injury victims.

Of course, this is only the latest in a number of estimates attempting to put a hard number to the question of how much medical malpractice costs us. Previous estimates range all over the place, from two percent up to ten percent (if you account for medical malpractice insurance, which, we've already discussed costs much more than lawsuits). Unfortunately, it seems unlikely that we will ever be able to have the kind of numbers that could inform policy on a large scale.

What we do have good numbers on is the conduct of individual lawsuits. As it is, the majority of people injured in a hospital or under a doctor's care do not file lawsuits, and, among those lawsuits filed 97% stem from an actual medical injury. The majority of people whose injury was the result of a doctor's error get compensated, and the majority of those whose injury was not the result of error don't get compensated. Further, the amount of compensation scales up with the severity of injury and doctor's error. The system may not be perfect, but discussion of tort reform must be sure that proposals do not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

If you or a loved one has been hurt by a doctor's error, the medical malpractice lawyers of The Cochran Firm may be able to help you get the compensation you deserve. To learn more, please contact us today for a free initial consultation.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 3:24 PM

Friday, September 10, 2010

Gas Line Explosion Ravages San Francisco Suburb

A massive gas line explosion occurred in San Bruno, California on Thursday. At least four people died in the accident and more than 170 homes were damaged or destroyed. A 100-foot-high tower of fire launched into the air as a result of the explosion, forcing local residents to flee for safety. Hundreds of people spent the night in a shelter.

More than 100 firefighters arrived at the scene to battle the blazing flames. By late Thursday night, approximately 50% of the fire was contained. Rescuers will continue their search for victims today. Many victims have already been treated at Bay Area hospitals for severe burn injuries.

The National Transportation Safety Board has sent out a team of investigators to determine the cause of the gas line accident. Pacific Gas and Electric has acknowledged that a broken gas line set off the explosion, but they were uncertain as to how the gas line was damaged.

Pacific Gas and Electric has assured residents that they will take full responsibility if the fire is determined to be their fault. It is possible that they may face numerous personal injury lawsuits as a result of the incident.

If you have been injured or suffered property damage in the San Bruno gas line explosion, please contact
the experienced personal injury lawyers 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 8:50 AM

Thursday, September 9, 2010

New York to Require Companies to Reveal what is in Cleaning Products

Due to the increased interest and concern about what goes into cleaning products, New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner stated in a letter to Earthjustice that he has decided to begin requiring the disclosure of all ingredients that go into household and commercial cleaning products.

This is the beginning of enforcing a 40-year-old state law, which calls for manufacturers to reveal everything that goes into some of the most common under-the-sink products. This may be the only law of its kind in the country.

Responding to fears about what these cleaners do to the health of consumers and the environmental harm they may cause, environmental and health advocates sued several manufacturers of cleansers last year to try to get information about what they put into them under the 1971 New York law, but the suit was unsuccessful. The New York DEC demand that companies release their ingredients only affects that state, but health and environmental advocates hope it spurs a broad change in what chemicals are put into products.

Studies have linked chemicals in some cleansers to asthma, hormone changes, and antibiotic resistance, among other things.

Industry groups unveiled their own list of ingredients this year, and claim that potential health dangers are “off-base.” They say that research is flawed and that the products are safe if used correctly. Environmental advocates applaud the list of ingredients, but say that the list was too vague.

Defective products injure and kill thousands of people every year in this country. If you or a loved one has become sick because of a chemical in a cleaning product, 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 9:40 AM

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