"The foundations of justice are that no one shall suffer wrong." - Cicero

Truck Accident Injuries, Fatalities on the Rise

Posted on Thursday, June 26th, 2014 at 10:34 am    

Truck AccidentAccording to the most recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of injuries resulting from a truck accident increased 18% in 2012 over the figures from 2011. A total of 104,000 people were injured in accidents involving a large commercial truck, according to the agency.

In addition to injuries, fatalities resulting from truck accidents also demonstrated an increase. 3,921 people were killed in a truck accident in 2012, compared to 3,781 in 2011, for a reported increase of 4%.

The worrying trend displayed in these numbers makes clear that truck accidents remain a significant threat to those on our nation’s roadways. Indeed, as the website for Williams Kherkher, Houston truck accident lawyers, points out, the average cost resulting from a truck accident is more than $59,000, meaning that many accident victims have to cope with large financial costs as a result of their injuries.

For this reason, truck accident lawsuits can play an important role in helping the victims of truck accidents, as well as the families of those who may have been killed in these types of accidents, to pursue much-needed compensation.

City Sued over “Excessive” Parking Ticket Fines

Posted on Monday, June 9th, 2014 at 10:59 am    

When your parking ticket fine is three times more than what you earn in a day, it is a matter of concern. But is it in violation of the Constitution? shutterstock_55735285

A resident of Los Angeles, Jesus Pimentel, started the class action ball rolling when he received a parking ticket when the meter where his car was parked expired. He is claiming that the $175 fine was excessive, and in violation of the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution as well as Article 1 Section 17 of the California Constitution. He also alleged that when he failed to pay the fine, he was not allowed to renew the registration on his car and was threatened with impoundment of his car as well as civil litigation. This, Pimentel’s lawyer says, is a violation of due process, another hit at the Constitution (Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments).

Pimentel is the lead plaintiff in a class action suit against the city, but his lawsuit is not the only one. Jeff Galfer, another Los Angeles resident who received similar treatment is also petitioning for joiners for a class action suit. In addition to the city’s Department of Transportation, Galfer also named Xerox State and Local Solutions, which handles the parking ticketing system for the city. If the court rules for the plaintiffs, it could have significant repercussions in transportation departments all over the U.S.

Stryker Hip Implant Trials Scheduled for mid-2015

Posted on Wednesday, May 14th, 2014 at 3:47 pm    

hip implantA case management order filed earlier this year for the multidistrict litigation case regarding defective Stryker Hip Implants in the District of Minnesota (MDL 2441) indicates that the cases may go to trial by next summer. MDL 2441 currently represent 616 cases but more than 1,500 cases are pending throughout the US and the number of lawsuits filed is only expected to rise.

The Stryker Rejuvenate & ABG II Hip implants and similar models were recalled in 2012 when studies revealed that the products had unacceptably high rates of failure, causing a lot of pain as well as bone and organ damage in some cases, often requiring replacement surgery. The hip implants were supposed to last at least 15 years before needing replacement, but about 13% of patients needed replacement less than two years after implant surgery. Many patients retained metal debris that resulted from a design defect in the implants.

A similar case was filed against medical device maker and Stryker Co. rival Biomet, which has agreed to settle cases under MDL 2391 in the Northern District of Indiana for its M2a 38 and M2a Magnum hip implants. Stryker likewise settled four cases on December 16, 2013.

Pier 1 Subject of Pregnancy Discrimination Lawsuit

Posted on Thursday, April 17th, 2014 at 8:40 am    

Pier 1 Imports, a national chain devoted to furniture and home décor, has become the source of a class-action lawsuit after allegedly failing to PregnancyDiscriminationaccommodate the needs of a pregnant employee. Kimberly Erin Caselman, a 31-year old employee at a San Jose Pier 1 store, has alleged that the company refused to allow her to refrain from lifting heavy items and climbing ladders, per her doctor’s recommendations, and has forced her to go on unpaid medical leave which is set to expire months before her child is due.

Fortunately for Caselman, California law does not allow for discrimination against employees because of pregnancy. This includes failing to make reasonable accommodations for the needs of pregnant workers, something which Caselman’s request clearly should have been considered, particularly in light of the fact that the store had previously granted the request for an 8 week period.

Individuals in other states, unfortunately, are not always able to receive these types of legal protections. Many states do not have specific laws protecting workers against pregnancy discrimination, and it is a sad but undeniable truth that women in these states may lose their jobs or otherwise face discriminatory treatment without any means to pursue justice.

Actos Makers Ordered to Pay $9 Billion in Damages

Posted on Wednesday, April 9th, 2014 at 2:14 pm    

PillBottleTakeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. and Eli Lilly and Co. have been ordered to pay a total of $9 billion in damages to users of the drug Actos after evidence linking its use to an increased risk of bladder cancer emerged. A Lafayette, Louisiana jury ordered Takeda to pay $6 billion in punitive damages and Eli Lilly to pay an additional $3 billion for the effects that the drug may have had on patients.

Actos is a medication used to treat Type 2 diabetes and was originally developed and distributed as a safer alternative to another medication used in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes, Avandia. However, more recent studies have found that the serious risks associated with Actos may make it more harmful than beneficial for patients.

According to some legal observers, the final amount of damages that Takeda and Eli Lilly will be required to pay are likely to be lower than the jury’s $9 billion verdict, citing a Supreme Court precedent that limits the amount of punitive damages that can be imposed in cases relative to the amount of compensatory damages awarded. Nevertheless, the total damages awarded may still end up as among the largest ever assessed against a pharmaceutical company for intentional wrongdoing in U.S. history.

The Downside to Propylene

Posted on Wednesday, June 19th, 2013 at 9:08 am    

Propylene, also known as propene or methylethylene, is an important organic compound used in many industries and products, including medical supplies, construction materials, and plastic manufacturing. It is considered a relatively safe environmental product because it can be re-used and recycled many times.  One of its polymers, polypropylene, in particular is widely used in laboratory equipment, textiles, packaging and labeling, automotive parts, and reusable containers. It is typically used in such products as it is a durable polymer that can withstand degradation from a large number of chemical acids, bases and solvents.

Its high rate of use prompted the creation of propylene plants that would ensure the steady supply of the compound at predictable prices. Prior to the existence of propylene plants, the compound was largely a by-product of petroleum refining and ethylene processing.  Despite its benefits, however, there are dangers inherent to working with propylene.

Because it is a volatile and flammable compound, it can be dangerous if not handled properly. Propylene is a gas at room temperature. This was the problem when an accidental tear in one of the propylene pipes at the Formosa Plastics plant in Port Comfort, Texas exposed the compound to the air. As the plant does not produce propylene, but rather uses it, it is kept in storage tanks. Normally stored as a liquid, the escaping substance turned into gas at it hit room temperatures, forming a deadly layer of flammable vapor. The resulting propylene explosion was triggered by a stray spark and burned for 5 days. Because of a flaw in the plant safety system, the pipeline could not be shut off. As a result of the explosion, some workers were badly burned.

Most of the time, such accidents can be avoided if due care and caution is used when handling propylene. According to Williams Kherker in Houston, TX, there is only one propylene plant in the US, also in Texas, but more plants are planned to be in production by 2015. These have a higher potential for explosion accidents because these plants have a capacity of 455,000 metric tons of propylene at the minimum. In order to avoid such explosions and serious accidents, plant managers and owners need to take the proper precautions and follow all necessary regulations.

Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against NSA, Obama Administration, Telecom Giants

Posted on Thursday, June 13th, 2013 at 5:15 pm    

CellPhoneInformationFollowing revelations that the NSA has been secretly tracking the phone and internet records of American citizens, former Justice Department prosecutor Larry Klayman has filed a class action suit against a wide range of different parties, alleging a violation of the three named litigants’ basic constitutional rights. The suit seeks damages of $20 billion, as well as an injunction to end the program.

Named in the suit, in addition to the NSA, the Department of Justice, and Obama administration officials Eric Holder and Barack Obama himself, are nine companies who are alleged to have participated in the NSA’s PRISM program, including AOL, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, and Skype, as well as the CEOs of each of these companies.

All nine of the companies named in the suit deny knowledge of and involvement with the program.

Subaru Recalls over 5,000 Vehicles over Steering Concerns

Posted on Thursday, May 16th, 2013 at 8:29 pm    

Subaru has announced that they will recall 5,379 vehicles from their 2013 Outback and Legacy lines because of concerns over a defect with the vehicles’ steering.steering wheel Specifically, the company is concerned that in some vehicles, two components in the steering  shaft do not meet, resulting in drivers’ losing the ability to steer their vehicles.

This defect was actually discovered in June of last year in an Indiana assembly plant. The company stopped selling the vehicles while they attempted to identify and address the defect, but earlier this year, they received a complaint from a Subaru owner that he was unable to steer his vehicle. The company is currently informing dealerships about the potential defect and the subsequent recall, and expects that dealerships will begin to notify owners within 30 days.

Subaru is the most recent auto manufacturers to issue a recall of their vehicles in recent weeks. Recently, Chrysler recalled nearly 500,000 Jeep models over concerns of a transmission defect. Sources within Subaru have said that they are not aware of any injuries resulting from this defect, and this voluntary recall is likely intended to help prevent any future injuries from occurring and avoid subsequent legal liability. You can read more about the Subaru recall by clicking here.

Class Action Lawsuit against Apple over Retina Displays

Posted on Friday, March 15th, 2013 at 3:48 pm    

MacBook Pro owner Beau Hodges has filed a lawsuit in California federal court against Apple over complaints of ghosting in the computer’s retina display. The caseComputer Display is expected to turn into a class action lawsuit against the company, as there have been numerous complaints about this problem since MacBook Pros with retina displays became available in the summer of 2012.

At the core of this lawsuit is a difference between MacBook Pros sold with panels made by LG, and other panels made by Samsung. The lawsuit claims that Apple was not forthright with consumers by not disclosing which computers came with which panels. As a result, some consumers who received the panels made by LG experienced problems with “ghosting,” or an image being burned into the screen of the laptop and remaining once the image has been changed.

According to the lawsuit, Apple did nothing to help users avoid this problem, save publishing a support document about the issue, nor has it taken the LG-produced panels off the market.

State and Federal Marijuana Laws in Conflict

Posted on Monday, March 11th, 2013 at 5:25 pm    

In the United States, the recent passage of laws legalizing the recreational sale and use of marijuana in the states of Washington and Colorado has highlighted the marijuanalawsnatural tension between state and federal legal authority. Marijuana has been illegal under federal law for decades, and most states have similarly criminalized the substance throughout this time. However, with the new laws, it is unclear what actions, if any, will be taken by federal authorities.

Some states have already dabbled with legalized marijuana for medical purposes, and in some instances, particularly in California, the federal government has ignored state prerogatives in these cases in favor of enforcing federal statutes. The new laws, however, represent a far greater challenge to federal authority than that posed by medical marijuana laws, calling into question whether the federal government will even be able to pursue this same strategy, or whether enforcement will necessarily become more enhanced or ignored altogether.

Attorney General Eric Holder, the nation’s highest-ranking lawyer, has recently acknowledged the difficulty of this problem, and provided assurances that the Administration’s position will be clarified relatively soon in the future.