The Rights of Victims of Industrial Accidents

Posted by on Oct 1, 2014 in Personal Injury | 0 comments

Safety ought to be the top concern of every worker and among those strictly checked and guaranteed by employers, most especially those who are in the construction and industrial businesses. This is to make sure that the past never happens again, specifically the time between the latter part of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century when construction and industrial injuries were always very high.

It was during those times when Post Civil War factories greeted very young and inexperienced new hires with dangerous machines, dusts, chemicals, and an untidy heap of gears, pulleys and belts which caused many grisly accidents that resulted to severe injuries or death. Worried about the absence and/or lack of safety measures that will save workers from harm and its financially-crippling effect, the fast-growing labor sector and social reformers moved to call for the passing of state laws that would ensure safety and health in factories.

Taking cue from the nation’s first factory inspection law, which started in Massachusetts in 1877, other states passed their own Factory Acts and made amendments one after another to cover all forms of existing and newly emerging workplace hazards. Today, aside from each state’s own laws on workplace safety and health standards, there is also the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) which the UC Congress passed in 1970. The OSH Act is tasked with making sure that private and government employers provide for all their workers and employees a workplace that is free from the many known forms of dangers, such as toxic chemicals, heat or cold stress, mechanical dangers, excessive levels of noise, and all forms of unsafe and unhealthy conditions.

The devastating consequences of industrial accidents to victims and their families can suddenly change the lives of injured workers or the family of a killed worker. For personal injury in San Diego, an injured worker could possibly seek workers’ compensation and under very special circumstances may be able to also file a personal injury claim.

It is also highly necessary that industrial workers who get injured on worksites (this is the same for innocent private individuals who are affected and injured during industrial accidents) immediately contact a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury lawyer, who can help them file the necessary legal cases so as not to prolong the acquisition of justice.

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The Severe Complications of Improper Suturing

Posted by on Aug 2, 2014 in Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury | 0 comments

On February 2, 2009, Michelle Zarick underwent a da Vinci robot-assisted hysterectomy (a surgical procedure that would remove the whole or a part of the womb) at the recommendation of her Obstetrics and Gynecology doctor, Dr. Rita Biesen-Bradley. The surgery was intended to remove the fibroids (benign or non-cancerous tumors) that grew in her uterine wall and which have caused her agonizing pains, especially during her periods.

She stayed two days at the hospital after the procedure and was advised to have a four to six week-recovery period at home. Five weeks after the surgery, as Zarick was using the restroom, she felt like something “popped” in her body. As she looked down, she was shocked at the sight of her intestines protruding from her organ.

In a hysterectomy, stitches are made at the top of the patient’s vagina after the removal of the uterus and the cervix. Stitches or sutures are basic in surgical procedures. No matter which part of the patient’s body is operated on, that part will have to be sutured before the surgery can be completed.

Sutures are required for the proper healing of the treated skin, organ, nerve or tissue. Before the introduction of the da Vinci robot in the year 2000, all surgeries (called open surgeries) and surgical site-suturing were done by surgeons; thus, any error that would occur would be tagged as human error.

Improper suturing is a serious medical error that can cause the incision site to reopen or be infected; either way, it means severe harm and pain for the patient. This medical error is usually a result of using the wrong instruments or lack of training (one probable cause of the severe complication suffered by Zarick may be the surgeon’s lack of training or experience in using the da Vinci robot); it may also be a case of simple negligence on the part of the surgeon. Its result can vary from tissue or organ damage, paralysis, scarring or disfigurement, coma and (definitely) a corrective surgery, additional medical cost, great pain and trauma.

It took another surgery, about six seeks of recovery period and a really large scar that spanned from one of Zarick’s hips to another. The scar on her abdomen would now be a constant reminder of her horrifying experience from what was supposed to be a perfectly accurate and precise surgical procedure.

Surgery is already painful and stressful enough, and improper suturing makes it even more so. No one should have to suffer because of someone else’s medical negligence. If you have been injured due to improper suturing, make sure to contact a medical malpractice lawyer, such as Pohl & Berk, LLP, today.

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Vermont Governor Signs Patent Trolling Law

Posted by on May 24, 2013 in Business, Patents | 1 comment

Vermont governor Peter Shumlin has signed a law into effect that will protect businesses in the state from frivolous patent lawsuits.

Patent trolling, as it is called, has become a serious problem. Patent trolls file lawsuits with very little merit claiming some business has infringed on their patents in hopes of acquiring a payoff through a potential court ruling or settlement.

The unique law is the first of its kind in the U.S. It allows Vermont courts to determine whether or not a claim is deceptive and establishes guidelines for making this decision. These guidelines include whether or not the patent infringement claim specifies the specific patent in question and how quickly the plaintiff is demanding compensation.

The new law also helps Vermont companies that are wrongfully accused of patent infringement by offering relief and gives the state’s attorney general the power to make civil claims against alleged patent trolls. It is being celebrated for its hands-on approach, but it is yet unclear whether this power falls within the state’s jurisdiction.

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Colorado Court Upholds Firing of Medical Marijuana Patient

Posted by on May 7, 2013 in Employment | 1 comment

A Colorado man who was fired after testing positive for marijuana on a work-related drug test has had his employment lawsuit turned down by the Colorado Court of Appeals.

The 33-year-old man, who was paralyzed in a car accident during his teens, worked as a telephone operator for Dish Network. He became a medical marijuana patient in 2009, and was fired after testing positive for the drug the next year. The company never reported that the man was ever unable to perform his duties. He filed a lawsuit against the company in an attempt to recover his position, but his case was later dismissed by a judge who ruled that medical marijuana is not covered by a law that is designed to protect employees from being discriminated against for lawful behavior outside of work. This law is most commonly used to protect cigarette smokers from being discriminated against as a result of their habit.

The court ruled that for behavior to be considered “lawful” in Colorado, it must be compliant with both state and federal laws. Colorado allows both medical and recreational use of marijuana, but it is still a controlled illegal substance under federal statutes.

Because of this disparity, marijuana cases in states where its use is legal in any capacity are much more complex than other states.

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What Businesses Need to Know about Consumer Protection

Posted by on Apr 21, 2013 in Business | 0 comments

Especially in the difficult financial situation of the past several years, many Americans have found themselves dealing with unmanageable levels of debt. There are a number of options available to both creditors and debtors to deal with this undesirable situation, but if you have customers who are in default or behind on payments, there are some important regulations in place that govern how these individuals can be treated.

It is essential for businesses to be aware of the consumer protection laws that are in place, because violations of these regulations could have serious repercussions on a business or business owner.

Consumer protection at the federal level

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is included in the United States Code under Title 15 § 1692 and was first enacted in 1977. It is designed to:

  • Prevent abusive collection practices for consumer debt
  • Provide a way for consumers to dispute and validate debt information in terms of accuracy
  • Provide guidelines for the legal conduct of debt collectors
  • Establish penalties and sanctions for violators
  • Codify the rights of consumers in reference of debt collection

Individual consumer protection

The FDCPA, as applied in many situations, covers personal, family, and household debt including credit card debt, auto loans, and medical care debt. It polices the conduct of third-party debt collectors, who may be any person who regularly collects debts and may include lawyers. It does not include internal collectors of the creditor. Under most laws, a debt collector may only contact a debtor between 8 am and 9 pm, and may not call at the place of work if the employer does not allow it. If the debtor tells the debt collector in written form to stop calling, the debt collector may only contact a debtor to provide additional information, such as the intention to sue. A debt collector may also not inform anyone except the debtor that money is owed.

The FDCPA cannot be used to erase debt, but when debt collectors act in ways which violate the FDCPA, issue false statements, or engage in other illegal practices as defined under the Act, then a debtor may be able to file a private lawsuit citing FDCPA consumer protection violations.

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