Setting up your estate may seem daunting at first. After all, you are planning for the event of your death- plus, estate planning can have plenty of legal and familial factors to concern.

Thankfully, understanding these factors can make planning your estate far less intimidating. No matter what, setting up your estate will always be a time-consuming process; however, it doesn’t have to be scary!

While legal factors may vary, family matters are one of the most vital things you must consider- this includes anything from their needs to their changing personal life.

If you have watched any TV in the past few months you have seen a commercial or new story about Camp Lejuene Lawsuits. So what is it? I thought we could discuss what this litigation is about, why we are hearing so much about it now and what to do if you have been impacted. So here are those questions with a couple of brief answers:


To understand why it is such a big deal you have to know a little about the history. Basically, between 1953 and 1987, drinking water at Camp Lejeune, military base in North Carolina, was contaminated with dangerous chemicals linked to cancer, Parkinson’s disease, birth defects, and more. Once the impact became know, which took decades, hundreds of families filed lawsuits to get help for these illnesses. Unfortunately, all these lawsuits were dismissed in 2016 based on a law in North Carolina known as a statute of repose. This created outraged and the legislature is in the process of passing a law that will because it meant that thousands of innocent victims (including military veterans and their families) would be denied compensation for serious injuries. In response, a new federal law was proposed in Congress called the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (“CLJA

In cases as poignant as nursing home neglect and abuse, the need for qualified, experienced legal representation is never more important. At The Higgins Firm, we have an entire department devoted to holding negligent nursing homes and assisted living facilities accountable for the lack of care they provide to their vulnerable residents.

Our extensive history of working with nursing home abuse victims and their families has made us the go-to firm in Knoxville, Nashville, and their surrounding metro areas. We strive to ensure that every nursing home victim receives our compassion and the most compensation possible for their experience.

Two major baby formula manufacturers are being sued by parents whose premature infants became very ill or died from flawed baby formula produced by major manufacturers Similac and Enfamil. The lawsuit alleges that these manufacturers knew that the ingredients in the formulas might make premature babies very sick but failed to disclose this information to parents.

Under Tennessee’s product liability laws, failure to post an adequate warning label and failure to notify the parents about possible complications for premature babies violates statute §63.8 Duty to Warn – Time of Sale. The manufacturers are being held liable for the injuries sustained by the babies and pursued in cases of wrongful death.

The Higgins Firm is representing families affected by these defective products.

In Tennessee, 11 well known nursing homes have been named as some of the poorest performers in the state. Violations ranging from untreated bedsores, unreported falls, bruises that are unexplainable, and an insulin overdose that equated to 25 times more than the standard dosage are just some of those that have been made.

These revelations come after two U.S. Senators: Bob Casey, D-Pennsylvania, and Pat Toomey, R-Pennsylvania, of the Senate Special Committee on Aging released a “secret” report in June. The report suggested that in the U.S. there were at least 400 underperforming nursing homes. After the report was released Medicare and Medicaid opted to disclose to the public a list of these homes; the agencies said they would also receive extra inspections and attention through the Special Focus Facility Program.

Although lists of underperforming nursing facilities have always been public, resources to improve their services are very limited. For instance, in this case when 400 nursing homes are not performing to the best of their ability, there are only enough resources for 88 homes to be a part of the Special Focus Facility Program.

In 2018, a judge for the Department of Justice ordered 3M to pay $9.1 million in damages to veterans who were injured after using their dual ended Combat Arms Earplugs (CAEv2).

For a free case review with a 3M defective earplugs lawyer Nashville, TN has to offer, please call The Higgins Firm right away.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, hearing loss, tinnitus, and other hearing problems is the most prevalent “service connected” medical condition among veterans. As of 2017, at least one million U.S. military veterans were receiving disability for hearing loss. Another 1.6 million U.S. military veterans were receiving disability for tinnitus. It is thought that both of these numbers are much higher, but some veterans have not yet noticed, or reported, their symptoms.

Tennessee has the highest number of denied medical disability claims in the United States. In 2017, 72% of applicants were denied – the national average is 66%. The state contracts medical doctors to review all Medicare disability claims. These doctors are paid per review which means the faster they can work, the more money they make.

The federal standard of reviewing disability claims is 1.5 cases per hour. Of the 50 contracted medical doctors in Tennessee, over 25 of them exceed that amount. One of them reviewed a case every 12 minutes.

Some of these cases are short and a few pages. Others comprise of several hundred pages, lab reports, MRI results, X-rays, work records, and other important information. It is the medical doctor’s duty to review the case, in full, and report their findings back to the state. Opinions from experts and previous employees say there is a shortage of medical doctors to review the cases; therefore, it’s impossible to do so without making wrongful rejections.

A San Francisco jury ruled that the most popular weed killer in the world, Roundup, caused a former schoolteacher, husband, and father of two to become terminally ill with cancer.

Dewayne Johnson’s case was the first to go to trial, and was expedited, because doctor’s had said he wasn’t expected to live long. In California, plaintiffs near death can be granted a speedy trial. His victory is likely to set a precedent for thousands of other cases who claim the herbicide made by Monsanto causes a deadly, painful form of cancer known as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

The jury deliberated the case for three days at the San Francisco Superior Court before choosing to award Johnson $250 million in punitive damages and $39 million in compensatory damages. Johnson’s lawyer says he will live the rest of his life in “extreme comfort”, but this won’t change the fact that he will almost certainly lose his life, and very soon, leaving his two sons and wife.

The settlement was made with the U.S. Department of Justice after Signature HealthCare was found to have submitted forged pre-admission certifications regarding patient needs to the Medicaid program in Tennessee.

These allegations initially arose after two former employees of the nursing home company filed a federal whistleblower lawsuit. The U.S. government became involved and also accused Signature HealthCare of engaging in multiple fraudulent practices that were lead to false claims for “unreasonable, unnecessary, and unskilled services to Medicare patients.”

The two whistleblowers say they felt that it was necessary to file a lawsuit after one of their patients had been very sick for days and was not able to attend therapy. Even so, their boss demanded that the resident undergo 4 hours of therapy in a single day so that his reimbursement bill would not fall into a lower bracket.

Earlier this year a father was being accused of of child abuse by Child Protective Services. They alleged that between December 2017 and January 2018, his sustained unexplained broken bones including a fractured femur and wrist. The boy’s father claims no abuse had taken place, and that he had been caring for his 10 year old son for years since his mother left.

The boy has cerebral palsy and a number of other medical problems. He uses a wheelchair, is non verbal, but very happy. He also uses a feeding tube and has been prescribed an amino based acid food called Neocate Formula. He consumes nothing but this dietary food supplement. As CPS was looking into the case, the boy’s father remained determined to find out the real reason why his son was experiencing sporadic fractures. Eventually he discovered a link in legal advertising which described the potential for unexplainable broken bones, sprains, or fractures while taking Neocate Formula. Upon further testing, it was discovered that the boy also had hypophosphatemia, a disorder that results in dangerously low phosphate levels which can cause broken bones, fractures, and rickets.  The father went immediately to CPS and explained that the injuries were the probable result of the low phosphate levels.

This case is not unique. Throughout the U.S. there are parents who have been wrongfully accused of child abuse after their child suffered broken bones while taking Neocate Formula. In this case, the investigation was closed and accusations against the father were dropped.

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