In 2015, a baby boy only known as ‘Baby Doe’ was born addicted to opioid painkillers. His first few days of life were spent in an agonizing withdrawal in the neo natal unit. Three Tennessee prosecutors and the baby’s guardian have teamed up together and filed a lawsuit against several manufacturers of opioid painkillers. The prosecutors claim the drug companies used deceptive marketing tactics which ultimately downplayed the risks of developing an addiction to opioid medications.

Filed in June, at the Sullivan County Circuit Court in Kingsport, Tennessee, the infant boy who was the driving push behind the suit is known to have survived his battle. The extent of impact which the addiction had on his health is yet unknown.

Since 2016 lawsuits involving hernia mesh developed by Ethicon, Inc. continue to mount. Sold under Physiomesh, the products have raised concern over their safety and ability to reduce the symptoms of a hernia. Multidistrict litigation, on the Federal level, is now underway at the U.S. District.

On July 17th, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) released an update on the number of suits. At that time there were at least 84 pending Physiomesh lawsuits with more expected to come. Eighteen of these were filed within the previous month when 66 suits were reported.

The Physiomesh lawsuit alleges that the hernia patches are flawed in their design and result in irritation, adhesions, extreme pain , perforations, infections, mesh erosions, , and other health complications. The JPML have effectively transferred the federally filed suits against Physiomesh to the Northern District of Georgia. Here they will undergo pretrial proceedings that will include a full discovery. The litigation is scheduled to convene on August 1st at an Initial Conference meeting. All disclosure and discover proceedings are at halt pending the outcome of the Initial Conference.

Eventually, many of us will spend time living in a nursing home. This does not need to be a negative or stressful transition. Instead, it can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience that also increases a persons’ safety, improves their health and overall wellbeing. The key is finding a great nursing home to live in since the facility and staff make all the difference in a persons’ quality of life.

What Makes a Great Nursing Home

There are several key factors that make one nursing home better than another. They include –

A jury in St. Louis just delivered the largest verdict against Johnson & Johnson in the talcum powder trials. There have been around 2,400 lawsuits filed against the company by people claiming that using their talc-powder caused ovarian cancer and other illnesses.

In this recent case, a Virginia woman, Ms. Slemp, sued after developing ovarian cancer. She was using the Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder for feminine hygiene and had for several decades prior to being diagnosed. The St. Louis jury awarded her $110 million. This is the largest verdict to be rendered against J&J for their talc-powder thus far. Four prior trials resulted in verdicts of $197 million in total.

Ms. Slemp was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012 and has undergone chemotherapy. Since then, the cancer has also spread to her liver.

The futuristic dream of self driving cars could be a reality sooner than many people realize. In fact self driving cars already exist. Companies like Google and Tesla have cars that are nearly autonomous and lack a steering wheel or foot pedals. They could revolutionize the idea of driving, reduce the number of accidents or decrease traffic jams. That’s if the legal concerns encompassing them don’t slow down their full public release.

Self driving cars have added complications to the current legal definition of “driver”, and this has made it difficult to identify the at-fault party. Is it the manufacturer of the car? The software provider whose technology is used in the car? The human driver?

A bill has been filed in the Tennessee General Assembly that would make drivers immune from any civil liability if they hit and injure a protester who is blocking the road. The proposed bill was filed in early February by Sen. Bill Ketron, R-Murfreesboro, and reads:

“A person driving an automobile who is exercising due care and injures another person who is participating in a protest or demonstration and is blocking traffic in a public right of way is immune from civil liability for such injury.”

According to the bill, if the driver intentionally hit the protester or did not exercise due care, they are not immune to being sued in a civil court. This bill is one of many that have been filed nationwide; each specifies similar protection for drivers, and targets protestors. Other proposed bills have been filed that would hold protestors financially liable for causing law enforcement officials to work overtime; thereby, leading to millions of dollars in overtime pay.
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In February 2016 Playboy model and ‘Queen of Snapchat’, Katie May, died after visiting a chiropractor for a neck adjustment. Earlier in the week Ms. May had fallen during a photo shoot and injured her neck. She believed to have pinched a nerve and sought the help of a chiropractor on a Friday morning. By Monday, after a weekend of extreme pain, she suffered a stroke. The mother of one remained on life support until Thursday in which she was tragically proclaimed as being ‘brain dead’.

The incident left many to wonder how the 34 year old suffered a stroke, something which tends to be more common in older people over the age of 60. According to the L.A. County Coroner, the neck adjustment tore a major artery in Katie May’s neck. This led to the cutting of the blood supply, and eventually caused a stroke.

Can Chiropractic Adjustments Cause a Stroke?

It’s a breathalyzer for cell phones. A new device could be the start to an end of texting while driving in Tennessee. State Sen. Lee Harris, Democrat of Memphis is pushing for a bill to be passed that allows law enforcement officers to combat driver distraction with the “Textalyzer”. As a spin on the “breathalyzer” this device can show whether or not a driver was texting just prior to causing an accident.

State lawmakers have already stated that texting while driving is equivalent to driving while intoxicated, and since 2009, the act is illegal and punishable by law. Enforcing this rule has proven to be difficult because a warrant for cell phone records is required. With the Textalyzer, police can plug the device into a phone and conduct a scan to uncover any recent texts, emails, or other messages which may have ultimately contributed to a collision. The device is not able to read the message’s content or see who the receiving recipient is. Using the results displayed, the officer could determine that distracted driving was a probable cause. Insurance companies and Tennessee car accident lawyers may also be able to use the Textalyzer results to settle claims faster.

As a law firm, we help victims of nursing home abuse and neglect. This is all too common with many elderly simply not receiving the quality of care that they deserve. Whether this means a failure to provide necessary medications or outright abuse, it is important to seek legal help as soon as possible.

New Rules Enacted to Protect Residents of Nursing Homes
Now, in an attempt to protect nursing home residents, new rules have been passed. These rules must be followed for a nursing home to receive money through Medicare and Medicaid. They include:

  • Binding arbitration is no longer allowed. In the past, nursing homes have required patients to enter binding arbitration agreements when they first became residents. This prevented cases from going to court and has kept many of the abuse issues swept under the rug. Now, nursing home patients must be allowed to file a lawsuit in court unless they agree to enter a binding arbitration agreement after a dispute has already been filed. For example, if a resident has a dispute a year after living at a facility, they can choose to enter an arbitration agreement but cannot be forced to do so. This provides greater opportunities for victims to recover financial damages after abuse.

As drivers and passengers, we count on airbags to protect us in the event of a collision. Few people would think that these airbags could actually be the source of trauma and pain. Unfortunately, this is exactly what’s happening with airbags produced by Takata. Typically found in Hondas, these airbags are incredibly dangerous and explosive. In one case, a 17-year-old girl lost her life due to this faulty product.

The Case

Huma Hanif was killed on March 31 after her Civic was in an accident. The airbag inflated like it was supposed to but not without a metal piece breaking apart and causing her fatal injuries. This is in-line with the reported explosions happening in the metal canisters that are part of the Takata airbag make up. Grieving for their loss, her family filed a lawsuit against Takata, the car dealer they purchased the Civic from, and Honda. All three have recently settled the case with her family outside of court. The settlements were for an undisclosed amount, as is common in these types of cases. Due to this incredibly tragic event her family will mourn their loss for the rest of their lives. Money can’t bring her back, but the settlement can ease any financial burdens caused by this loss.

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