Beware of Hazardous Children’s Toys

Posted by on Jul 20, 2015 in Dangerous Products | 0 comments

For children, playtime is all the time, and the tools they use in play, of course, are toys.

Toys aid children in learning about their surroundings; thus, they feel and learn to distinguish shapes, appreciate colors, listen to sounds, feel texture and even taste whatever they can get their hands on. It is very important, therefore, that the toys parents give them are totally safe, that is free of choking hazards and pointed edges, and do not contain any toxic substance.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is an independent government agency that was formed in 1972 for the purpose of regulating the sale and manufacture of consumer products, as well as for ensuring the safety of these. Some of its other duties include the banning of any type of consumer product that causes danger (or has the potential to cause danger), issue product recalls (of those already available on the market), and formulate product safety requirements.

To help ensure the safety of small children the CPSC determines the allowed sizes of toys, limits for toxicity and noise (due to the very loud noise produced by some items), the inaccessibility of the toy’s batteries and magnets, removal of sharp edges or parts that can wound a child, and the display of clear product labels that warn about the toy’s possible dangers.

In 2014 the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), a non-profit organization, released “Trouble in Toyland,’ a report which highlighted potentially hazardous toys and issued tips to parents on how to make sure that they get to purchase safe toys for their children.

W.A.T.C.H., which stands for World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc., is another non-profit organization that is committed to providing the public with helpful information on dangerous children’s products, at the same time protecting children from any harm. W.A.T.C.H. also notifies the public about the different types of dangers found in many children’s toys and products, and recreational activities.

A list of the “10 Worst Toys of 2014” was released by W.A.T.C.H. to send parents the clear message of the need to keep their children away from harmful toys and from toy manufacturers who are more concerned with sale over safety.

Very young children getting injured can evoke varied emotions, including anger, frustration and the determination to bring the liable party to justice. Pursuing legal actions, however, may require the assistance of a seasoned personal injury lawyer, whose knowledge of, and experience in, the tort law may be able to help the child victim attain the justice that he or she rightly deserves.

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Understanding the link between Anencephaly and Depakote

Posted by on Jun 19, 2015 in Dangerous Products | 0 comments

Some babies are born with their skull and brain underdeveloped. This is a condition known as anencephaly, which means “no brain.” While some brain development may have occurred, it is typically not enough to sustain life. The anencephalic child is stillborn or dies soon after birth.

Anencephaly is one of a group of fetal developmental disorders called neural tube defects, which refers to problems with the spine, spinal cord, and the brain. The causes of these birth defects are unknown, but there are studies that indicate they may be associated with inadequate intake of folic acid during pregnancy. Some studies also indicate a link to certain drugs, especially those containing valproic acid. The anticonvulsant Depakote (valproate) is one of these drugs.

Researchers believe that fetal exposure to valproic acid through the mother in early pregnancy increases the risk of neural tube defects such as anencephaly by up to 20 times compared to pregnant women that do not take in valproic acid. According to a November 2011 Canadian study “Valproic acid-induced DNA damage increases embryonic p27KIP1 and caspase-3 expression: A mechanism for valproic-acid induced neural tube defects,” Depakote-related neural tube defects have a 1% to 2% incidence in infants.

The study used rats to observe how valproic acid acted on the DNA. The researchers found that it increased the production of the yH2A.X protein, which inhibited the ability of the DNA to replicate in the normal course of fetal development. Because most of the fetal development occurs during the first trimester, any interruption in the process has long-term and often serious consequences for the fetus.

According to the website of Williams Kherkher, Depakote has been in the market since 1983 for the treatment of epileptic seizures, and later for migraine headaches and bipolar disorder. Many women in their childbearing years had continued to take Depakote during their pregnancies, unaware of the risks until the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning in 2011. It is uncertain how many of these women gave birth to an anencephalic baby because they were on Depakote, but medical records and the latest studies should be able to establish a link easily enough.

However, proving that the drug maker Abbott Laboratories via its subsidiary AbbVie was negligent in any way will be more difficult. A recent win by a 12-year-old plaintiff with spina bifida in state court sets a good precedent, but it takes a skilled birth defect lawyer to handle the big drug companies. If your child was born anencephalic and you had been on Depakote during your first trimester, you may be eligible for compensation. Find an experienced lawyer to help you in the process.

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Additional Factors of Battery Convictions

Posted by on Mar 18, 2015 in Criminal Law | 0 comments

Apart from the physical condition of the victim in battery cases, there are additional factors that affect the severity of repercussions for the defendant. The presence or use of a weapon, characteristics of the victim, and characteristics of the defendant can determine the severity of the punishment when convicted of battery.

In the case of a Class E or Class H felony, an additional five years in prison can be added to a sentence if the defendant used or threatened to use a weapon. For Class I felonies, an additional four can be added. These weapons include anything that can cause great boldly harm or death, even if they are not used.

Secondly, if the person is over 62 years old, it is assumed that their older age puts them at greater risk of harm. Because of this, when in court, the defendant has to demonstrate that they did not personally put the elder person at a greater risk.

If the crime has been committed against people that embody certain characteristics, the defendant can receive more severe punishment. If the battery has been committed against a grand juror, trial juror, public officer, a village, city, or town employee, an operator of a transit vehicle, or a protected employee, the defendant’s punishment can increase in severity.

On the other hand, if the defendant is categorized by certain characteristics, they can receive more punishment if convicted. If they are a prisoner, a person that is institutionalized as a sexually violent person, or a person under a restraining order, penalties can be more severe.

While the punishment basis for felonies is identified by which class the action falls under, these surrounding factors can determine how long the imprisonment is, how high the fine is, or if any additional years or fines will be added to the punishment. A Waukesha Criminal Defense Attorney would likely attest to the possibility of having these repercussions reduced. If accused of battery, hiring an attorney for legal representation is a favorable option in order to reduce negative effects of the situation.

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Symptoms of Concussions

Posted by on Feb 12, 2015 in Personal Injury | 0 comments

Concussions are the most common form of brain injury in the United States. According to the website of Pohl & Berk, LLP, concussions make up 75 percent of the 1.7 million brain injuries in the U.S. every year. This mild form of brain injury is generally caused by bumping or receiving a direct blow to the head. When these accidents occur, the soft tissue of the brain can be damaged through the protective spinal fluid and shell-like skull. Sometimes the brain will bruise, blood vessels will break, and nerve damage will occur.

Children’s heads take up a much larger percentage of their bodies than the adult proportions. Due to this, children are the most common recipients of concussions. Usually sports and recreational activities are involved at the time of accidents. Physical activity is also a leading cause in adults receiving concussions. Adults also may suffer a concussion from a workplace injury, in a car or bicycle accident, or during a fight or fall.

Symptoms of a concussion include blurred or impaired vision, loss of equilibrium, confusion, slurred speech, headaches, memory loss, or sensitivity to light. These symptoms can last anytime between a few seconds to several weeks depending on the severity of the brain injury. There are different grades to concussions depending on the symptoms and severity of brain damage. Grade 1 concussions last no longer than 15 minutes, grade 2 will last longer than 15 minutes but not result in loss of consciousness, and grade 3 concussions happen when the injured party loses consciousness.

While concussions may be the least harmful type of brain injury, severe forms of concussions can still be fatal. The physical, emotional, and psychological pain that concussions can cause may be devastating to an individual. If you received a concussion because of a vehicular accident or work place injury, consult an attorney in your area to discuss legal options to receive compensation for your pain and suffering.

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How To Properly Brush Your Teeth

Posted by on Dec 7, 2014 in Health and Beauty | 0 comments

It may seem like a no-brainer, simply brushing your teeth with your toothbrush and toothpaste everyday. However, the way you are brushing your teeth can cause damage without you knowing it. Although it may seem like second nature to us, brushing our teeth the right way is a very crucial part dental hygiene and dental health. Brushing your teeth the wrong way and using the wrong way can cause abrasion, which could lead to your teeth being worn away and exposed to cavities. Abrasion can also cause sensitive gums due to the root surfaces being exposed.

According to the website of Dr. Sid K. Steadman, D.D.S., proper tooth brushing should last about 2 minutes. One suggestion is to make four sections of your mouth, and brush each section for 30 seconds. This is to make sure that each section is thoroughly cleaned, but don’t take too long, otherwise you might damage your teeth or risk sore gums and other gum problems. It is also recommended to brush your teeth three times a day, but make sure to wait for about an hour after eating before brushing your teeth. This is because after eating, the mouth will be full of acids that could soften the tooth enamel and make it vulnerable if you are brushing your teeth immediately after eating or too abrasively. Don’t overdo it.

Holding your brush at an angle of 45 degrees to your gums, brush in an up-and-down action is short strokes. Avoid brushing with wide strokes moving side to side as this could scrape your gum line. Make sure to brush the inner and outer part of your tooth surfaces, and don’t forget to clean the tongue (the main reason for bad breath). To avoid getting bored or lazy, start brushing in different areas than you usually do.

Dentists generally recommend using soft-bristled toothbrushes – they are more efficient in cleaning the teeth without cause abrasions. To compliment your toothbrush, find toothpaste that is not too harsh to your tooth enamel. Whitening toothpastes tend to have strong ingredients that can sand away tooth enamel. Lastly, toothbrushes also lose their flexibility and become frayed and broken through time. Make sure to change your toothbrushes every 3 to 4 months.

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Florida Felony Sentencing Guidelines

Posted by on Nov 3, 2014 in Criminal Law | 0 comments

Florida has an extensive criminal sentencing system history that dates back to when all felonies were eligible for parole for crimes committed before October 1, 1983 even for what is termed “life” felonies where the prescribed punishment was a life sentence. Historical developments had made it necessary for the system to be changed several times, primarily because of the increase in the Florida population as well as practical issues such as the costs of state incarceration.

The current sentencing guidelines for felonies today bear very little resemblance to the original system back before 1983 but which remains a threshold for determining if the individual will be held to that standard or the current one. In other words, a felony i.e. murder committed prior to October 1, 1983 will be treated differently from crimes committed on or after that date. More information about felony sentencing is available on the website of the Flaherty Defense Firm.

There are five classifications of felony in Florida for purposes of sentencing, all of which sentences of more than a year are carried out in a state prison. There are many exceptions to these rules as any competent Florida criminal defense lawyer will be aware of.

  1. Capital Felony: The Florida Statutes provides under § 921.141 that a capital felony is punishable by death or life imprisonment without parole. Capital felonies include armed kidnapping, capital drug trafficking, and murder.
  2. Life Felony: Life felonies committed before October 1, 1983 is eligible for life imprisonment or no less than 30 years while those committed on or after that date is eligible for life imprisonment or no less than 40 years. However, there are several more conditions that have to be considered based on exactly when the crime was committed and the nature of the felony. For example, the punishment of “lewd or lascivious” molestation of a minor by an individual 18 years or older committed on or after September 1, 2005 is life imprisonment or no less than 25 years followed by lifelong probation or community control.
  3. First Degree Felony: Generally, this type of crime warrants a sentence of up to 30 years unless specifically provided for by statute which could bring it up to life imprisonment.
  4. Second Degree Felony: A conviction under this classification carries a sentence of up to 15 years in prison.
  5. Third Degree Felony: Under the current statutes, a felon in the third degree may spend as much as 5 years in prison.
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Risperdal Lawsuits

Posted by on Oct 8, 2014 in Dangerous Products | 0 comments

Galactorrhea is a condition where there is spontaneous discharge of milk-like substance from the breast that is not linked to breastfeeding after pregnancy. The discharge may appear milky white, but it is not always milk, and can come from just one breast or both. Although it is common in women, it can also occur in men. There are several factors that can lead to galactorrhea, and taking certain psychiatric treatments can result in patients exhibiting it.

Certain anti-psychotic medications such as Risperdal (with its active ingredient risperidone) can cause hyperprolactinemia that could lead to galactorrhea. Although it would generally require large doses of Risperdal for patients to experience galactorrhea, recent studies have shown that even lower doses can still cause adverse effects.

Those who have suffered from galactorrhea due to taking Risperdal have also higher chances of developing other side effects that this anti-psychotic medication can cause. Aside from galactorrhea, those have taken Risperdal have also reported experiencing heart arrhythmia, sexual dysfunction, tardive dyskenisia, pituitary tumors, and gynecomastia. The manufacturers of Risperdal, Johnson & Johnson, has already been fined by an Arkansas judge after it was discovered that they did not provide the complete report on the risks that Risperdal may cause to patients.

Those who have experienced severe side effects from Risperdal, such as gynecomastia and galatorrhea, have already filed for a Risperdal lawsuit in order to make the manufacturers liable for their negligence. Those who have loved ones of who are taking Risperdal are urged to immediately report and side effects that they may be suffering, and consult with their physician and lawyer to determine if they are qualified to file a Risperdal lawsuit. Despite the number of risks and FDA warnings that come with Risperdal, it is still being used as an anti-psychotic drug and is being sold in the market. Although galactorrhea can be treated and can be a small annoyance to most people, galactorrhea can still affect the quality of life of the patient.

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Real Estate Litigation

Posted by on Oct 6, 2014 in Real Estate Laws | 0 comments

The world of real estate can be a difficult place to navigate through, and if you are in the process of buying a property it would be a great asset to have a lawyer to help you through the whole deal. At first it may just seem like an additional expense, but consulting with and eventually hiring lawyers for real estate litigation is often always money well spent. Although generally people can negotiate and purchase a house on their own, there are certain aspects or real estate litigation that would require the assistance and expertise of a lawyer.

After the purchase, the contract between the seller and the new owners should be made legally binding. Having a lawyer to help you purchase and draft the contract would allow you to own the property in accordance to the law of the state. Specific issues and state laws are followed and everything about the purchase and contract is made visible and effectively addressed to avoid conflicts and misunderstandings that could compromise the purchase. There are instances where the seller has no legal right to sell the property. This is why lawyers perform title searchers: these are done by and through lawyers to determine whether a property is legally up for sale without any type of encumbrances such as liens and judgments. Issues such as these can cause problems to the new owners, and could complicate the purchase should the new owner plan to get a mortgage or loan.

Filing for real estate deeds generally begins at the county and state level, and for Dallas real estate litigation lawyers, it will be more efficient and faster to process the transaction with the guidance and representation of a lawyer. They are crucial in navigating through the intricacy of state regulations as well as cutting through red tapes in order to make the purchase brief and legal. There are many legalese in real estate litigation, and avoiding such complications would give less worries.

The financial commitment that comes with real estate litigation and purchase can be significant enough to affect your life. Because each real estate purchase is unique in its case, having someone on your side that you are sure to protect and enforce your rights can make the transaction faster and smoother.

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Reducing the Incidence of Trucking Accidents with Technology

Posted by on Oct 5, 2014 in Automotible Accidents | 0 comments

Technology has helped in making sure the roads are safer for everyone. There are many technological equipment that have made vehicles faster and safer, and also helps in evaluating and measuring driving behaviors that can lead to lower rates of road accidents. One of the many helpful equipment being used in vehicles, especially by commercial truck drivers, is dashboard cameras, or dash cams. They are often called Digital Video Recorders (DVRs) or In-Car Cameras. And are little video cameras that are installed inside the vehicle that would continuously record both the audio and video.

Most dash cams works pretty much the same way: they automatically turn on and start recording once the engine is started. Along with the video, the speed, and the route will all be stored on a micro disc or memory card that can easily be ejected from the dash cam and plugged into a computer. There are also dash cams that have shock sensor features that would automatically record video in an event of a shock from an accident.

Dash cams are vital in commercial trucking, because aside from recording speed and route through GPS, they can be used as evidence in a commercial truck accident. Truck accidents often lead to serious injuries and significant property damage, and finding out who is at fault for the accident would determine who will be liable for compensation. In the court of law, dash cam recordings would help establish the cause of the accident. This is important in a personal injury lawsuit after a truck accident, as it says on the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®. Claimants must present evidence in order to have a positive outcome from the case. It will report to authorities who were negligent or reckless in their driving that eventually lead to the accident. Likewise, dash cams help prevent vehicle abuse and misuse, and will greatly contribute to vehicle logistics and fleet maintenance. They will report poor driving decisions and skills and dangerous activities that could be detrimental to the trucking business. A good way to help keep a trucking business in the money, however, is by using a factoring service. TBS Factoring says that a factoring service can help a trucking company get its payments in on time, when they are needed.

Because of the different laws each state has on car accident, safety driving, and personal injury laws, it helps to have dash cams as proof of responsible driving. It helps keep the roads safe and protect motorists from criminal liability. Investing in dash cams would not only help in keeping you safe from accidents, but also provide necessary information in an event of an accident.

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Laws Regarding Overtime Pay

Posted by on Oct 3, 2014 in Employment | 0 comments

The state of New York follows the Department of Labor’s rules regarding overtime pay. Employees who fall under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) who are required or permitted to work overtime have the right for overtime pay of at least one and a half times their regular pay, provided that they are covered under the minimum wage law. Overtime work is work that is rendered over the necessary 40-hour work week. There are many misconceptions or misperceptions regarding overtime pay and unpaid wages, and although states have the freedom to create additional laws regarding overtime wage protections.

Not every worker in the state of New York is qualified for overtime pay. Making sure you are under the overtime law would ensure that have the legal right to ask for unpaid overtime wages. In order to determine if you do qualify for overtime pay, you can visit US Department of Labor website or directly consult a lawyer who understands the laws in that particular state. Because many workers are not aware of don’t really understand their eligibility for overtime pay that many suffer from unpaid wages or are being taken advantage of by their employers.

There are different options for recovering unpaid overtime wages, and it is important to first talk with a lawyer to determine which will work for a specific case. The first option is to have the Wage-Hour handle the payment of the unpaid overtime wages, of the Secretary of Labor could file a lawsuit for the back wages along with additional penalties that could potentially double the amount of back pay if it is proven that the employer deliberately violated the law. Another option is the employee directly files a private lawsuit, although this option will be unavailable if the Wage-Hour or Secretary of Labor has already filed suit for recovery of wages.

One last option is by obtaining a court order to restrain the employer for violating the FLSA. Each state may have their own way of handling the recovery of lost wages and overtime pay issues and the different remedies may provide different remedies that will be awarded to those who have been proven to have unpaid overtime wages.

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