Wednesday, October 27, 2010

California Gets Part of $3.3M Settlement with Bayer

Manufacturers, especially pharmaceutical companies, must never mislead consumers by making unfounded claims that can give false hopes to people who are in desperate need to find a cure or prevent an illness.

As with the recent news, Bayer had to learn their lesson the hard way. In a multi-state settlement, Bayer Healthcare had agreed to pay a total of $3.3 to the states of California, Oregon, and Illinois which investigated the company’s claim that their One-A-Day men’s vitamins reduces the risk of having prostate cancer.

In the complaint, the states argued that Bayer should have known that the ingredient mineral selenium in their multivitamins does not, in any way, reduces the risk of incurring prostate cancer as they claimed in their advertisements.

Despite the clinical trial funded by the National Institute of Health in 2008, the company continued to advertise their multivitamin’s potency in television and print until 2009. Bayer even engaged in a promotional relationship with Major League

Baseball wherein the multivitamins designed for men aged over 50 was advertised and endorsed by MLB’s graphics and players.

As included in the settlement, the company will stop advertising their
unsubstantiated claims on the effectiveness of their products without securing reasonable scientific claims.

California’s share of the settlement, which will reach more than $1 million, will go to the state’s consumer protection fund.

These companies should never jeopardize their reputation for making quality products by taking advantage of the consumer’s vulnerability to find ways to lessen the risk of having cancer.

To help you pursue claims involving injuries caused by defective products, consult with knowledgeable personal injury lawyers.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Former NFL Linebacker Junior Seau Injured after Driving Off Cliff

Vehicle accidents are common, though there are different programs which try to raise people’s awareness regarding the importance of following traffic rules.

An accident can happen if you encounter a negligent driver. You may also become a threat to yourself and to other road users if you are the one who is unfit to drive.

Former National Football League (NFL) star linebacker Junior Seau was recently involved in a solo Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) accident in Carlsbad.

According to reports, Seau’s Cadillac SUV drove off an embankment hours after he was released from jail due to suspicion of domestic violence. His vehicle was found about 30 feet beneath the roadside.

After the accident, the former player of the Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, and San Diego Charges was brought to Scripps La Jolla Hospital in San Diego to be treated for minor injuries.

This accident, like all other kinds or road crashes, may have occurred due to different reasons like:

• Vehicle defect- If the SUV malfunctioned while in use and the accident occurred because of it, the vehicle manufacturer or designer may be held liable for Seau’s injuries.
• Driver distraction- Trying to do different things at once like driving while eating or reading a book can make a driver lost control of his vehicle. If this is the case, Seau will have no one to blame but himself.
• Driver fatigue- It was mentioned that the accident occurred hours after the former linebacker was released from jail. He may be under too much stress because of what happened to him. As a result, he may have failed to operate the vehicle properly.

Hopefully, authorities will be able to finish their investigation quickly so that the person at fault in the accident will be punished for his or her actions.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Oil Spills: An Ecological and Economic Disaster

Although oceans occupy nearly 71 percent of our planet's surface, size is hardly a deterrent for humans from overfishing and polluting our seas. According to oceanographer Sylvia Earle, the sea has become both a "supermarket and a sewer”. As human appetite for seafood continues to deplete and disrupt the aquatic food chain, so does the havoc wrecked on the ocean’s ecosystems through pollution such as plastic waste, fertilizer runoff, and oil spills.

As wide as the sea is, there is a limit to how much damage it could take. To date, as much as 60 per cent of the world's remaining coral reefs are at significant risk of being totally destroyed in the next three decades because of destructive fishing practices and pollution. Further, if the seas were get polluted to the point of no return, it isn’t just the marine species who will bear the loss – so will the human race.

Oil spills are one of the greatest pollutants of the ocean. These include oil spills from large vessels carrying crude oil, offshore platform and drilling rigs explosions as well as spills from wells.

If anything, we should learn about the recent BP Oil Spill which President Barack Obama has called "the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced." The BP oil spill not only killed 11 platform workers and injured 17 others, about 4.9 million barrels of crude oil were released onto the ocean causing massive damage not just to the marine ecosystem but to Gulf residents whose livelihood consisted of fishing and tourism industries.

Although the spill occurred in the Gulf of Mexico, oil washed up as the Florida barrier island. It was estimated that the spill cost the fishing industry $ 2.5 billion. The U.S. Travel Association further estimated that the economic impact of the oil spill on tourism across the Gulf Coast could exceed $23 billion over a three-year period.

BP was named as the defendant in most suits, along with Transocean, Cameron International Corporation, and Halliburton Energy Services. As on June 2010, over 220 lawsuits have been filed against BP – most of the plaintiffs who claimed for damages were out-of-work fishermen and tourist resorts.

While settlements are ongoing – of the 23,000 individual claims, 9,000 have been settled – it is unlikely that monetary compensation can actually compensate the economic and non-economic damages wrought by BP’s oil spill pollution. The settlement with the affected residents and employees is only just the beginning and cleaning up the effects of the spill is going to take years and for many of those who live along the gulf, life will never be the same again and their lives and livelihood will be impaired for a long time.

Right now, those with foresight are already protesting the $75 million cap in economic damages under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA). However, if it is proven in court that BP or any of its contractors acted with gross negligence or violated any federal safety law or regulation – then they cannot escape legal liability for the oil spill under the $ 75 million cap.

Ocean pollution such as oil spills are not just an ecological disaster – it is also a huge economic blow. If more spills like BP are left to happen, even with the payment of damages to people, nothing can restore the ruined nature and all the animals and marine life killed because of it.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Man Suffers Partial Amputation in Colton Industrial Accident

If you end up with a disabling injury in an industrial accident, what are your options after?

Well you actually have two options; you can either sue or take worker’s compensation.

And that is exactly what the victim of the industrial accident in Colton will be thinking about in the next few weeks.

The incident occurred shortly after 8:00 am in Valley Pallet along the 1200 block of Lincoln Avenue.

According to reports, a man suffered partial amputation of his right hand after an accident while operating a pneumatic pop-up saw.

Paramedics were dispatched to the scene and they treated the man for shock, administered oxygen and intravenous liquids before bringing him to the hospital.
It is not clear yet if the doctors will be able to reattach or reconstruct the hand.
I would recommend that the victim consult with a Los Angeles personal injury attorney to help him weigh his options.

If he decides to sue, he will have to prove that the employer failed to provide a safe environment for him to work in.

Probably cite lack of safety equipment or safety training.

However, there is no evidence of that in the report.
Filing a lawsuit can be risky as the victim may end up with nothing if he loses.
Worker’s compensation, on the other hand, is a safe choice.

Under this state required insurance coverage, the victim will receive monetary and medical benefits regardless of who is at fault for the accident.

However, the victim will also have to give up his right to sue the employer and the benefits that he will get will also be only a percentage of his income.

So the victim will really have to weigh his options.
A personal injury attorney can help him with that.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Pedestrian Hit by Semi in La Puente: Who had the right of way?

The common arguments in pedestrian accidents usually boil down to who has the right of way when the crash happened.

Take what happened in La Puente this week where a man broke his pelvis and had to undergo surgery after being struck by a semi-truck.

According to reports, the man entered the intersection as the truck was crossing South Covina Boulevard from Valley Boulevard.
The man was then struck by the right tire of the tire and he had to be airlifted to Los Angeles-USC Medical Center.

So who has the right of way?

Taking the information from the reports, I think that since there is an intersection, it is more than likely that there was also a crosswalk in the area as well.

Most intersections in California have crosswalks, whether it is marked or unmarked.
So assuming that the man used the crosswalk to cross then he has the right of way.

According to California traffic law, pedestrians always have the right of way in crosswalks and vehicles should always be prepared to stop when you see a pedestrian crossing.

So by virtue of that law alone, the victim can make a personal injury claim against the truck company to recover his losses.

However, he should still be wary of insurance adjusters as they will try to at least discredit his claim by arguing comparative negligence.

They can argue that the semi was already crossing the crosswalk when the man entered the intersection, which could still be a possibility as investigations are still ongoing.

What I recommend is that the victim should consult an auto accident attorney to help him in his accident insurance claim.