Column: Forget the white picket fence, the American Dream is in the city        
Pedestrians walk through Times Square during a warm weather spell in New York March 10, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson - RTSA914

Pedestrians walk through Times Square during a warm weather spell in New York March 10, 2016. Photo by Lucas Jackson/Reuters

The dominant housing story of the last century was an exodus of those with means from cities to suburbs. The American Dream consisted of a white picket fence around a private yard, 2.4 children in the home and a nice car or two. Today, the dream is changing. Sure, the suburbs still offer a great deal, but there’s a powerful countertrend that is increasingly hard to ignore: a renaissance in cities, as they draw empty nesters and young professionals alike to a vibrant, urban lifestyle.

According to, over 250,000 people reach retirement age in the United States every month. And although the share of baby boomers living in urban areas has decreased since 2000 on an aggregate basis, an important subset of empty nesters is flocking back to choice American cities.

Between 2010 and 2014, half of new business growth in the U.S. came from 20 urban counties.

Take Boston, for example. According to, the northeastern city is the most in-demand urban destination for buyers between the ages of 65 and 74, a range that includes the oldest five years of boomers. That demographic is buying more homes overall than every segment besides millennials and Generation X, and Beantown is their first choice among cities. Some former suburbanites have even formed “expat” groups, according to the Boston Globe. Incidentally, this dynamic risks pushing suburban real estate prices down as the number of homes for sale rises. Indeed, in 2016, suburban home prices have been weak, while Boston real estate values have surged.

READ MORE: How the housing markets in 5 U.S. cities may have cost you $5,000 in lost wages

But it’s not just about retirees flocking to cities. Young professionals are also increasingly working and living downtown, drawn by exciting employment opportunities. Between 2010 and 2014, half of new business growth in the U.S. came from 20 urban counties, and half of all job growth in that period came from 73 counties. And according to a recent Wall Street Journal story, one factor behind the Beantown boom has been an influx of people choosing to live in the city. Between 2010 and 2014, for instance, the population of Boston grew by 6 percent, double the national rate.

This urban renaissance has generated a strong real estate market in America’s boom towns.

Many of America’s best-performing cities are, unsurprisingly, science and tech hubs: the usual suspects like San Francisco, New York and Seattle, but also lesser known ones like Raleigh. It’s not just science and tech though — just look to the Lone Star State. Despite the drop in oil prices, Austin and Dallas have enjoyed resilient economies fueled not just by high-tech industry, but also festivals, logistics, financial services and a general business-friendly environment.

This urban renaissance has generated a strong real estate market in America’s boom towns. Rents have risen and prices are increasing. In 2011, high-end urban apartment rent growth peaked at 8 percent per year and remains well north of inflation. Rental increases are higher for large, in-demand cities like New York, Boston and San Francisco — and even higher for the most expensive units within these markets.

READ MORE: Why a severe housing shortage means reduced wages for workers

I worry about the sustainability of these dynamics, in large part because when markets work well, higher prices stimulate supply. And that’s exactly what we’re seeing in many cities. According to the Wall Street Journal, “In 25 of the largest U.S. cities, multifamily permits in urban areas were up 39% in 2015 compared with a year earlier.” Major cities like New York, Philadelphia and Boston are all expecting housing supply growth between two and three times the historical average in the next year. Although demand in these cities is robust, it’s nevertheless worth watching to see if today’s boom turns into tomorrow’s bust.

When markets work well, higher prices stimulate supply. And that’s exactly what we’re seeing in many cities.

The most recent issue of Worth magazine highlighted some of the cities that have benefited from — and actively helped to stimulate — the urban boom. Worth’s selection of dynamic American cities includes San Diego, Dallas, Charleston, Nashville, New Orleans, San Francisco and New York, among others. What unites these cities? As Worth editor Richard Bradley summarized, successful cities have used effective public policy to make downtowns both livable and business-friendly, while embracing existing assets — like Nashville’s music scene or San Diego’s science infrastructure.

Yet the cities that Worth profiled are not homogenous. They’re each vibrant in their own ways. San Diego, for example, has ample human capital, support for startups and a commitment to infrastructure investment. Dallas has transformed into a booming cultural center. Charleston, home to an important port, has attracted global manufacturers without losing its historic charm. To Worth’s list, I’d add Boston, whose Seaport District alone has managed to attract everything from tech startups to General Electric in recent years.

READ MORE: The San Francisco activists who say please build in my backyard

Unfortunately, an influx of wealthy young people tends to make attractive cities like these less affordable. So what’s the best way to sustain the urban renaissance? New construction — via relaxed zoning restrictions — may be a partial solution. For this reason, as Matthew Yglesias put it, “the elevator could be the next great disruptive technology.” Increasing density can push down prices without generating sprawl.

But just as technology could bolster the urban renaissance, it could also endanger it. The Wall Street Journal’s Christopher Mims suggests that the rise of self-driving cars might take the new urban enthusiasts to the suburbs. It’s not hard to imagine young affluent millennials being wooed by futuristic vehicles conveniently escorting them to and from the spacious suburbs.

Especially in this time of general global instability… there are some things worth celebrating. The flourishing of our cities is one of them.

For now, as noted by Worth’s Bradley, “we are living in a golden era of American cities.” And the trends don’t show signs of reversing. Boston, for instance, is expecting 90,000 new residents in the next 14 years. Especially in this time of general global instability, with Brexit, choppy asset markets and falling commodities prices increasing fear across the board, there are some things worth celebrating. The flourishing of our cities is one of them.

The post Column: Forget the white picket fence, the American Dream is in the city appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

          Wrongfully Imprisoned Cleveland Man to Receive $600,000 from State        
A wrongfully imprisoned Cleveland man should receive more than $600,000 from the state for the time he was incarcerated and for lost wages, according to a November 27 decision of the Court of Claims of Ohio.
          How Do I Collect my Lost Wages?        
How Do I Collect my Lost Wages? Following a work-related injury an employer and insurer are required to pay for lost wages due to your work injury if your disability lasts longer than three days. The law requires that the employer and insurer file appropriate documents and notify you as to whether or not they […]
          Understanding Kentucky No-Fault Insurance        
If you want to drive a vehicle in Kentucky, you need to learn about no-fault insurance. This is because Kentucky is a no-fault state. So, what does this mean anyway? When you live in a no-fault state, your auto insurance covers things such as medical bills, lost wages and some other expenses that are the […]
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          Religion and gambling: The wages of faith may be fewer lost wages        
Two new studies reveal there are multiple ways religion can help deter gambling even as the ever-expanding industry gains increasing legitimacy from local governments searching for new forms of tax revenue. But varying approaches may be most effective in confronting different forms of gambling from lotteries to on-line betting.
          Hiring a Workers Compensation Attorney        
When a person is injured at his/her place of employment, it is considered a workers compensation injury. These injuries include damages from an accident, such as a slip and fall, or an illness caused by a workplace environment. When filing a claim for workers compensation, it is required the injury is directly related to the working conditions and in most cases it must take place on the property of the employer. This may be an accident that are results from unsafe working conditions or exposure to harmful substances. Psychological injuries that result from extremely high stressed working conditions may also be viable workers compensation claims. When filing for workers compensation benefits for a psychological injury it must be shown, by the employee, that the employer did not take the necessary precautions to try and protect the worker. Compensation will include lost wages and reimbursement for medical expenses. Contact Information: Ladas Law Firm, P.C. 90 Rockland Street, Suite 4 Hanover, MA 02339 USA Phone: (781) 829-9191 E-mail:
          Do I Need to Reimburse My Health Insurance Provider Out of My Personal Injury Settlement?        
One of the elements of damages in a Georgia car wreck personal injury case is “special damages.” Special damages is the specific amount of costs incurred or to be incurred as a result of the at fault party’s negligence. The damages are more specifically the past and future lost wages of the Plaintiff, as well […]
          9/11 Wasn't About Buildings        
The following article is from this link

This story was written by

@Liberty_Chick on twitter

In the six days that followed the attacks on September 11th, the New York Stock Exchange was closed for the first and longest time ever since the Great Depression and World War I. The markets would reopen on September 17th, but to quite a rocky start. During the immediate aftermath of the attacks, the heartbeat of our nation's economy stopped, suspended in time. And a forgotten class of Wall Street workers faced the difficult decision of whether or not to return to work. Those who did would return to a completely different world, one that had already changed them forever. And today, nine years later, many of them are still there. In a polarized political environment where the bad behavior of a few has unfairly demonized all of Wall Street's workers, their contributions to our post-9/11 recovery have been largely ignored. But had these workers made the choice back in 2001 never to return again, what might have happened? This is one story, out of many, of the courage, determination and dignity of an entire class of forgotten patriots who stood by their country in the aftermath of September 11th, 2001 when it would have been so easy to simply walk away. Nine years ago, my brother Will was working for a Wall Street brokerage firm just steps away from what is now known as Ground Zero. His office building overlooked Trinity Church on one side and the World Trade Center on the other. Just on the other side of the river, near his home in Hoboken, NJ, he boarded the PATH train every day, bound for the bustling station at the World Trade Center. Like so many others, he went to work on September 11th thinking that day would be just like any other. Just before 8:46 am as Will was settling into his day with his co-workers, a loud, screeching sound of shearing metal boomed just outside their building. He looked up at the trading desk manager, and both were stunned. Will thought it might be a high rise construction accident; the desk manager suspected an explosion. Papers and dust and rocks began swirling around the windows. They all stirred about the office for another fifteen minutes or so. Suddenly, an even louder sound came barreling toward the building – this one clearly that of an airplane, with a throttling noise and squealing, then an immense crash. There was a rumbling and their building shook. Startled, they made their way to the windows for a better view. Through the fire, smoke and debris, something fell past the window. They looked up, and caught the image of a live person, a man falling from the sky, flailing in midair as he plunged past their window and to the ground. Will could literally see the terror on the man's face; he stood at the window in horror and disbelief at what he was seeing. In all, he would witness another eight people jump and fall to their deaths before leaving that window to escape becoming a casualty himself. It happened in only minutes, maybe seconds. But it was an image that has stayed with him to this day, and it would challenge him, as it would so many others working in the financial district on September 11th, to ever return to work in this spot ever again.

 A Decimated Wall Street & Historic Closing of the Markets We often think about the first responders when remembering the bravery of September 11th. The firefighters, port authority and police officers, paramedics, doctors, nurses. And in the weeks following the attacks, there were military personnel, construction workers and other volunteers, even search and rescue dogs, and so many others. Over 400 first responders lost their lives on September 11th, and many more have died since of negative health effects. We are all so grateful and will always honor these heroes for their efforts. But how often have we stopped to think about the brave workers in the financial district who returned to work, overlooking the pit that had once been a symbol for their industry? In fact, in today's economic and political environment, the manufactured rhetoric against Wall Street has put an entire class of would-be patriots into the undeserved category of traitors. On September 11th and in the six days following the attacks, the New York Stock Exchange was closed. It was the first closure since 1933, when FDR shut down the banks just two days after being sworn into office. The only other closure was at the start of World War I in 1914, when exchanges all around the world suspended operations for up to four and half months. In the immediate aftermath of the attack, the greatest concern was that of the human element. So many Wall Street workers in NY were now dead. Those who did survive were coping with the loss of tremendous numbers of their family, friends and co-workers – a loss that occurred all in a single day. Of the nearly 3,000 victims who perished in or near New York's World Trade Center that day, over 1,200 were employees of financial services firms. Investment bank and brokerage firm Cantor Fitzgerald lost 658 employees alone. Marsh & McLennan Companies lost 295 employees; Aon Corporation lost 175; Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc. lost 67. For six days, a nation struggling to deal with the physical and emotional toll of this terrorist attack was now considering its potential catastrophic economic impacts. When terrorists selected the World Trade Center as a target, they targeted the American system, they targeted Freedom and Capitalism. They aimed to hurt trading and stall the country's economy. They strived to create an environment of fear. Fear of flying. Fear of going into New York City. Fear of tall buildings. Fear of public crowds. Fear of strangers. All fears that would discourage Americans from spending money and would hurt the economy. Terrorists expected that no one would return to work in New York ever again. They expected that people would be too afraid to work on Wall Street, for fear of remaining a target for additional attacks. They expected Americans would stop sending their kids to college to become financial investors and advisors. But my brother and other Wall Street employees all instinctively knew one thing: If they didn't go back, they'd be allowing the terrorists to win. The stock market is the heart of the American economy. For six days, the nation's economy had stood still, as if our heart had stopped beating. With so many in their industry having perished, these people knew that it would take those of them that remained to start the heart back up again. And that's precisely what they did. When the stock markets reopened on September 17th, 2001, a pile of debris still lay smoldering at Ground Zero. Much of Wall Street and its surrounding area still remained cordoned off for security and building safety reasons. As tentative financial workers reported to work for the first time in nearly a week, they found some big changes in their daily routine. The World Trade Center train service was shut down, so many took the ferry over to lower Manhattan and made their way deeper into the financial district, where they were met by guards who checked for identification. Tragedy Brings Permanent Reminders, and Unity Only days earlier, Will had run through the same streets as he tried to make his way out of his building and away from the immediate area, fearful the towers were about to fall. He was horrified as he dodged body parts scattered about the pavement. He pushed through crowds of onlookers walking toward the Twin Towers as he ran in the opposite direction, away from the WTC area. He described the scene as "quiet chaos" – a surreal image of people stopped in their tracks and staring like zombies, while others calmly walked toward the burning buildings to get a better look. At the same time, he and others with him who had just exited their shaking building were in more of a state of controlled panic. They had just witnessed the violent scenes of people jumping from the buildings.

In contrast, it was a gorgeous sunny day and papers fluttered all around them like fresh snow, while the sirens of rescue vehicles calmly resonated more like muted hums in the background. He and a friend walked the mile and half to and across the Brooklyn Bridge at a hurried pace. People scrambled to find their way out of the city by any means possible in the wake of the South Tower's collapse. For hours my brother made his way on foot through Brooklyn and back into NJ over the Verrazano Bridge. A stranger who'd spotted them offered to drive them to Newark, where they arranged for someone else to pick them up. It wasn't until nearly 5:00 pm on September 11th that my family and I had finally heard from my brother again. The whole day we hadn’t known for sure if he was alright. After he called from his cell phone, I drove to a nearby highway exit ramp, where their ride had dropped him off, and I brought him to our mom's house where we all spent the evening overnight as a family, recounting the day's events. Now, here he was, heading back to work again. Initially, he spent the first few weeks in another location. After the attack, many companies did not even have a building to which they could return. Some buildings were gone, some were unstable, even some peripheral buildings were affected. But this was probably one of the first promising signs. Many firms, like National Securities Corporation, were well prepared with disaster recovery backup systems, and had arranged for secondary office space locations as part of those plans. Normally competitors to some extent, National Securities Corporation and companies like Fidelity, Bear Stearns, GunnAllen, and CIBC actually worked in concert in some instances by pooling their employees together in cramped shared spaces in nearby New Jersey locations until they had stable buildings to which they could return in Lower Manhattan. My brother recalls a feeling of comradery amongst them, almost like soldiers who had just survived a battle together. And in some real sense, they had. These were ordinary people who, six days earlier, had just experienced something extraordinary together. They lived through and witnessed things that soldiers would expect to see on a battlefield, things that many Americans will thankfully never, ever see in their lifetime. President Bush was encouraging Americans to go out, to invest and spend money to show the terrorists that freedom would prevail. Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Richard Grasso, the N.Y.S.E. chairman, rang the opening bell on the floor of the N.Y.S.E. with a group of police officers and firefighters on September 17th. As my brother Will returned to work, he was fearful. Like so many others, he did expect the financial sector to remain a target. And he'd also lost friends in the attack. Some had lost hundreds of friends and co-workers. It would have been so simple to decide that the job was not worth the pain and to just walk away. When financial buildings finally started reopening in Lower Manhattan again, it wasn't an easy time for any of the workers on Wall Street. Will recalls the difficult walk through the secured area to his office building, describing the disconcerting burning smell of death, and being pelted in the face by rocky debris that persistently flurried around in the air. It continued this way for months. And every day he was reminded of the tragedy, as his window overlooked the pit at Ground Zero. For weeks on end, they could see the search workers sorting through the rubble, occasionally halting all activity to remove newly discovered remains in a dignified manner. Every day was a painful reminder of what occurred there. Even today, it still is. Sending a Message to the Terrorists People expected the worst for our economy after September 11th , 2001. So many thought we'd never rebound. Others insisted (maybe even hoped) that capitalism was dead. Perhaps that sentiment was apparent when the Dow Jones industrial average plunged 7.1 percent on September 17th when the markets first reopened, the biggest one-day point loss ever. But Wall Street workers were resilient. When all the chips were stacked against them, and a huge chunk of their workforce had lost their lives, those who survived braved their fears and overcame challenges to show up for work every day. For a time, some companies couldn't even pay their employees. Imagine if all of them had given into their fears, if many of them just never went back – it would have been so easy, no one would have blamed them. The markets never could have withstood that kind of mass exodus. Instead of a few months, it could have taken years to return to pre-9/11 levels. But it wasn't just about bringing back the economy; it was so much more about perception. I remember my mom begging Will not to go back. "You can get a job anywhere, why do you have to go back to NY?" And he was adamant, "Because I have to. All of us do. If we don't go back there, who is going to do this? It's not going to happen all by itself. Besides, we gotta do it. We can't all just live in fear and let some crazy terrorists scare us away." Every friend I have that worked in the financial district all said the same thing, too. This was a bunch of people who knew the world was watching them. They knew that if they set the example, others would follow. Recovery would follow. And after those first few weeks, it did. Despite the billions of dollars in property damage and lost wages related to all three of the locations of the terrorist attacks from that day, the markets quickly rebounded. As my brother said to me, when you look at the financial stats over history, the period of time following September 11th as the markets rebuilt looks more like a sneeze than a massive heart attack, in the context of things. Thanking, Not Bashing, Wall Street's Patriots Like any industry, Wall Street's had a few bad apples, and no one condones the bad behavior from that 1% that have hurt our economy. I've protested the big bank bailouts myself, but I'm always careful to separate that 1% from the other 99% who are good, hard working average Americans. Unfortunately, judging by the ugly, manufactured rhetoric of today, you'd think that everyone who worked in the financial services sector was a greedy traitor to his country. Labor unions are constantly bashing Wall Street, protesting regularly, harassing workers, some even going so far as to yell obscenities at random financial employees on the street. Even President Obama uses Wall Street as the political boogeyman to rally his Democratic base, repeatedly broadly painting the entire industry as "shameful" for the actions of a few. His rhetoric has helped to create a populist disdain for everything Wall Street. Let's be reminded, however, of the dedication and patriotism that the other 99% of Wall Street workers showed during six of the darkest days of our nation's history, and in the months that followed. First responders showed the terrorists what Americans are made of. And when the World Trade Center, the greatest symbol of Capitalism in the world, was diminished to smoldering rubble, it was the return of those financial district workers – Wall Street - only six days later that showed the terrorists that Capitalism remained standing. They rallied together, braved their fears and returned to reopen the markets, despite having themselves lost so many friends and co-workers. They could have made the easy choice never to return to Wall Street again. Instead, they made the hardest choice of all. They came back. And many of them still remain there today. Nine years later, I know how difficult it still is for my brother to be reminded of that day, every day. I know it's difficult for the rest of Wall Street's workers, too. Especially when it seems like your whole country, including your President, is against you. That we've allowed these individuals, who had nothing to do with the bad behavior of a few, to become casualties of today's political tactics is shameful. Much like I recognize what our first responders did for America then, I recognize what those financial workers did for our country, too. I thank them for bravely returning in the aftermath of September 11th , 2001. Even if that's not the trendy stance to take these days.
          Review: Lost Wages of Sin by Rosalie Stanton        
Title: Lost Wages of Sin
Author: Rosalie Stanton
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
Publication Date: April 2011
ISBN: 978-1-59578-824-5
Genre: Paranormal Erotic Romance
Length: Novella
Rating: 5/5
Heat Level: Chocolate Martini 

Sin's work is never done...

Ava should know. For nearly two thousand years, she’s worked for Lucifer himself, infecting the heart of man with greed wherever she goes. She wasn't prepared to fall in love, certainly not with an angel. And she definitely wasn't ready to experience her first broken heart after her angel breaks things off in the form of a Dear Jane letter.

Now Ava has a problem. Lucifer believes she might have shared some of Hell’s secrets with her former lover, and her siblings face the possibility of being out of a job due to her indiscretion. Ava flees to the American South, hoping to slip off the radar and is met by a longtime friend, a vampire named Dante. Granted, Ava doesn’t know Dante has been in love with her for centuries, and doesn’t understand why he won’t leave her alone no matter what comes after her.

With Hell on her trail, Ava’s running short on friends. Meanwhile, she can’t ignore the suggestive looks Dante keeps sending her way. Something tells her it doesn’t take Hell to get things hot…


From the first words on the page, Ms. Stanton had me hooked. Can you say “Hot Vampire”?

Moving on…

Ava is a tough, wounded ball of complication. She’s one of The Seven Deadly Sins…that’s right, she’s one of the forces sent to earth to tempt mere mortals to hell. And for two thousand years, that’s enough. Then she meets Sebastian, an Angel and makes the mistake of falling for him. When he leaves her high and dry, she is understandably wounded—but without having a chance to grieve, she is on the run from hell.

In walks her old friend, Dante (cue swooning), our hot vampire, who is understandably jealous, but his love runs deep for her. Even if his life is in danger, he refuses to walk away. He is determined to win Ava for himself after centuries of unrequited love.

I have to admit, I’m a sucker for unrequited love.

So what’s left? Great plot, complex and believably drawn characters,  and a romance that is swoon worthy make this novella an interesting and engaging read.  This is the first book I’ve read by Ms. Stanton, but rest assured, I am hooked. 

*Book provided by author for review 
5 martinis....cheers!

          Brooklyn injury attorney reports: Woman killed by stray NYPD bullet        

// New York City, New York, USA // Jonathan C. Reiter News // Jonathan C Reiter
On Monday, September 5, 2011, a woman was shot and killed by a stray bullet in Brooklyn, according to information received by Brooklyn injury attorney Jonathan C Reiter. The bullet, which was fired during a shootout between police officers and a man by the name of Leroy Webster, reportedly did not come from Webster’s gun.

The 56-year-old mother, Denise Gay, was killed by a 9mm bullet, as stated by Brooklyn injury attorney Jonathan C Reiter. Reiter reports that the bullet appeared to have been fired by a semi-automatic Glock, the weapon used by two different New York City Police Department officers but not by Webster.

Brooklyn injury attorney Jonathan C Reiter explains that an NYPD spokesperson said an investigation into whose gun fired the shot that killed Gay continues, but warned that police may never find out; as the groove marks on the bullet that struck her are the same for Glocks and six other gun manufacturers.

Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne stated, “They’ll never be able to determine a specific weapon…They can only exclude Webster’s gun.”
Brooklyn injury attorney explains that, while there was a third party involved in the shootout, who was killed, a gun was not linked to that individual.

There is a conflict between testimonies, according to Brooklyn injury attorney Jonathan C Reiter, as to whether the third party did or did not have a weapon.
Friends and family of the deceased woman told sources Gay died a hero. Her brother explained, “The last thing Denise did before she died was to try to push everyone out of harm’s way...She tried to push everyone into the vestibule when she went down.”

According to police reports, noted the Brooklyn injury attorney, the shooting began when eight officers in two vans approached the gun-carrying Webster outside his home (next door to Gay) in response to the killing of a man he had been arguing with named Eusi Johnson. Webster opened fire on police, which initiated a round of shots from the officers. When Webster opened fire a second time, police retaliated again.

Police fired 73 shots total. Webster fired seven shots, injuring two officers. An investigation will be under way to see if there was any wrongdoing on the part of the police.

If you have been injured or had or a loved one killed as a result of the NYPD, you may be entitled to compensation for the cost of medical bills, rehabilitation, lost wages due to time missed from work, as well as pain and suffering, according to Brooklyn injury attorney Jonathan C Reiter.

A New York City injury lawyer can help you with the filing of such a lawsuit. If injured by an officer within one of New York’s five boroughs including Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx contact the law firm of JC Reiter for a complimentary case evaluation by calling 888-464-1952 or visiting Let Jonathan Reiter’s 30 plus years of proven experience as a leading Brooklyn injury attorney go to work fighting for you.

New York Injury Lawyer Jonathan C. Reiter
The New York City Injury Accident Lawyers of Jonathan C. Reiter is one of the leading aviation, construction accident, motor vehicle, personal injury and medical malpractice law firms in the United States.  
          Staten Island auto accident attorney: SUV Runs Stop Sign & Rolls Over Killing 1        

// New York City, New York, USA // Jonathan C. Reiter News // Jonathan C Reiter
On Monday, August 29, 2011, a man in an SUV drove through a stop sign on Staten Island and triggered a car crash that killed one of his passengers and left another with a severed arm, according to Staten Island auto accident attorney Jonathan C Reiter. Jonathan C Reiter also explains the SUV flipped as a result of the collision. The driver of the SUV then fled the scene of the accident, according to information received by Jonathan C Reiter, but was arrested on Tuesday, August 30.

Staten Island auto accident lawyer Jonathan C Reiter stated that the driver has been identified as Brian Pittsley, 25, of Brooklyn. He has been charged with negligent homicide and leaving the scene of an accident.

According to reports, Pittsley drove his Chevrolet Suburban down Hillside Terrace in Great Kills, with seven passengers, and drove through a stop sign at Hylan Boulevard at approximately 9:45. A Nissan Sentra that was traveling along Hyland Boulevard subsequently slammed into the SUV. The SUV flipped and crashed into a parked car before coming to a stop. Pittsley fled by foot.

All seven passengers were rushed to Staten Island University Hospital after the accident, according to reports received by Staten Island auto accident attorney Jonathan C Reiter. Angel Riviera, 18, died at the hospital. A 17-year-old female passenger sustained serious injuries to her arm and underwent three surgeries to reattach the limb. She will need additional surgeries as well. The New York City injury attorney explains that other injuries sustained by the remaining five passengers include facial cuts, a hand injury and broken ankle.

The driver of the Nissan, 20-year-old Andrew Conte, also suffered trauma, but was listed in stable condition.

The NY Post reported that Pittsley has five prior arrests, with charges including grand larceny, assault, criminal mischief, petit larceny and resisting arrest, noted
Staten Island auto accident attorney Jonathan C Reiter.

Staten Island auto accident attorney Jonathan C Reiter explains that SUV rollover crashes account for over 10,000 traffic fatalities and serious injuries within the US each year. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that SUV’s maintain the highest rollover accident rate of any vehicle class.

Reiter explains that poor SUV design may not only contribute to the SUV rollover, but be responsible for subsequent passenger and driver injuries as well. According to New York City injury attorney Jonathan C Reiter, occupants in an SUV rollover accident are often injured after the roll, when the vehicle’s weak roof supports and pillars collapse under the weight of the vehicle.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an SUV rollover crash, contacting a lawyer experienced in fighting for the rights of victims of SUV rollover crashes may be in your best interest. As a victim of an SUV rollover, you may be entitled to compensation for injuries, medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. Staten Island auto accident Jonathan C Reiter holds extensive experience in SUV rollover cases, and recently won a stunning liability verdict against Toyota for an SUV rollover of a RAV4 that left his client a quadriplegic.

To schedule a free consultation with a Staten Island auto accident attorney with extensive experience in SUV rollover cases, contact Jonathan C Reiter at (888) 464-1952.

New York Injury Lawyer Jonathan C. Reiter
The New York City Injury Accident Lawyers of Jonathan C. Reiter is one of the leading aviation, construction accident, motor vehicle, personal injury and medical malpractice law firms in the United States.  
          New York City injury attorney explains SUV rollover kills 3 of 8 passengers        

// New York City, New York, USA // Jonathan C. Reiter News // Jonathan C Reiter
On Saturday, August 20 2011, a Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) carrying a family of eight from New York overturned along I-95 in North Carolina, killing three of the passengers, according to information received by New York City injury attorney, Jonathan C Reiter. Mr. Reiter holds extensive experience in SUV rollover cases, and won a stunning liability verdict against Toyota for an SUV rollover of a RAV4 that left his client a quadriplegic. According to Reiter the Ford Expedition that was carrying the family rolled two to three times near Wilson, North Carolina, just past Exit 121. The SUV rollover crash happened at approximately 4:20 p.m. Saturday afternoon, according to information received by New York City injury attorney Jonathan C Reiter.

New York City injury attorney Jonathan C Reiter described the emergency response scene as emergency personnel working to cut at least one person from the
overturned Ford SUV that was still resting on its roof. Emergency workers cut through a door in order to free passengers. New York City injury attorney Jonathan C Reiter further explains that Trooper G.G. Barnes of the North Carolina Highway Patrol stated that the three individuals killed in the SUV rollover crash were 22-year-old Rosanny Marte; 46-year-old Angela Marte; and 71-year-old Rosa Marte. The relationship went from daughter to mother and grandmother, according to reports received by New York City injury attorney Jonathan C Reiter. The five other passengers included the eldest women’s husbands, Angela’s two other children and a nephew. As of Sunday evening, the SUV rollover victims remained hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries.

New York City injury attorney Jonathan C Reiter explains that SUV rollover crashes account for over 10,000 traffic fatalities and serious injuries within the US each year. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that SUV’s maintain the highest rollover accident rate of any vehicle class. Reiter explains that poor SUV design may not only contribute to the SUV rollover, but to subsequent passenger and driver injuries as well. According to New York City injury attorney Jonathan C Reiter, occupants in an SUV rollover accident are often injured after the roll, when the vehicle’s weak roof supports and pillars collapse under the weight of the vehicle. The list of SUV rollover causes and effects includes seat belt defects, seatback failures, airbag deployments, fuel fed fires, etc.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an SUV rollover crash, contacting a lawyer experienced in fighting for the rights of victims of SUV rollover crashes may be in your best interest. As a victim of an SUV rollover, you may be entitled to compensation for injuries, medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.

Located in the Empire State Building, with more than thirty years of experience litigating the multifaceted claims of SUV rollover accident victims and their families, contacting New York City injury attorney Jonathan C Reiter with regard to your particular personal injury or wrongful death case may help you obtain the compensation you deserve.

To schedule a free consultation with a New York City injury lawyer contact Jonathan C Reiter at (888) 464-1952.

New York Injury Lawyer Jonathan C. Reiter
The New York City Injury Accident Lawyers of Jonathan C. Reiter is one of the leading aviation, construction accident, motor vehicle, personal injury and medical malpractice law firms in the United States.  
          Staten Island auto accident attorney: Woman to serve 6 years for crash fatality        

// New York City, New York, USA // Jonathan C. Reiter News // Jonathan C Reiter
New York City (Staten Island auto accident attorney news) - On Tuesday, June 14, 2011, a Staten Island court sentenced Gypsy Porfirio, 36, of Brooklyn, to six years in prison for her role in a Staten Island crash that lead to the death of a 23-year-old man, as reported by Staten Island Live. According to Staten Island auto accident attorney, Jonathan C Reiter, Porfirio was under the influence of prescription drugs when she crashed her car into the man while he was jogging in Annadale.

New York City injury attorney Jonathan C Reiter explains that Porfirio pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter, vehicular assault and criminal drug possession in April 2011. The Staten Island crash occurred January 5, 2011, according to Staten Island auto accident attorney Jonathan C Reiter.

It was reported that Porfirio claimed she blacked out while driving after she took oxycodone, a painkiller, and Xanax, an anti-anxiety medication, as stated by New York City injury attorney Jonathan C Reiter. It was reported in court that Porfirio took four to five Percocets, a painkiller that contains oxycodone, and two Xanax, the antidepressant/anti-anxiety medication before the Staten Island crash.

Staten Island auto accident attorney Jonathan C Reiter points out that police reportedly found 45 pills of the painkiller and 15 pills of the other when searching her car after the Staten Island crash.

While the defense claimed psychological issues, including bi-polar disorder and clinical depression, as well as addiction, the judge deemed the case “a tragedy, a senseless taking of a life,” explains Staten Island auto accident attorney Jonathan C Reiter. The judge also articulated that Porfirio “had no business driving,” driving, and that her actions displayed a “selfish, callous indifference.”

New York City injury attorney Jonathan C Reiter explains that the judge sentenced the woman to six years for vehicular manslaughter, one to three years for vehicular assault and one year for criminal possession of a controlled substance, to be served concurrently.

The victim of this tragic accident was 23-year-old Daniel Kelley, a special education teacher at PS 16 in Tompkinsville. Kelley was jogging with his fiancée along a wooded stretch of Hylan Boulevard near Blue Heron Park at 4:45 on January 5 when the woman struck him, according to reports received by Staten Island auto accident attorney Jonathan C Reiter. Kelley suffered severe head and chest trauma and died of his injuries five days after the Staten Island crash.

Staten Island auto accident attorney Jonathan C Reiter points out that while DUIs (involving alcohol) are easier to spot and prosecute, impairments by prescription drugs are not as simple as conducting a breathalyzer. The New York City injury attorney explains that law enforcement officials say the problem is growing so quickly that states have provided special training to spot signs of drug impairment and have begun searching for better technologies to detect it.

Staten Island auto accident attorney Jonathan C Reiter also explains that true statistics on drug-related car crash fatalities are unreliable, because many states combine arrest data with those charged with drunk driving. Thanks to the growing awareness of drug-induced driving under the influence, cases such as Porfirio’s can come to a just end, with charges pressed and sentences served.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident that was caused by another person’s negligent behavior or reckless driving, you have legal rights that entitle you to financial compensation for your injuries, lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. As an experienced and skillful Staten Island auto accident attorney, Jonathan C Reiter can inform you of your rights, discuss your legal options and prepare a strong personal injury lawsuit on your behalf. To contact the Staten Island auto accident attorneys of Jonathan C Reiter, call (212) 736-0979 to schedule a consultation.

New York Injury Lawyer Jonathan C. Reiter
The New York City Injury Accident Lawyers of Jonathan C. Reiter is one of the leading aviation, construction accident, motor vehicle, personal injury and medical malpractice law firms in the United States.  
          New York City injury attorney news: Woman killed in NYC subway accident        

// New York City, New York, USA // Jonathan C. Reiter News // Jonathan C Reiter
A 21-year-old woman was killed in a subway accident Wednesday, June 1, 2011, after she fainted from heat on an Upper East Side platform and fell onto the tracks, according to reports received by New York City injury attorney Jonathan C. Reiter. According to The New York Times and New York Post, the subway accident occurred at approximately 3 p.m., at the 77th Street/Lexington Avenue station.

New York City injury attorney Jonathan C. Reiter reports the woman, Fatoumata Binta Amina Diallo, who was an aspiring doctor, was returning home from a dentist appointment when the tragic subway accident occurred. Diallo, after fainting from the summer heat and falling onto the tracks, regained consciousness on the rail bed and desperately tried to climb up from the tracks before the No. 6 train hit her. According to Frank Dwyer, a spokesman for the NYC Fire Department, the first 911 call regarding the subway accident occurred at 3:09 p.m.

According to reports received by New York City injury attorney Jonathan C Reiter, Monday’s temperatures were the highest of the year, at 90 degrees Fahrenheit. AccuWeather meteorologist Mike Pigott stated the added humidity within the city resulted in a heat index of 102 degrees Fahrenheit.

New York City injury attorney Jonathan C Reiter reports that a police investigation into the subway accident continues.

New York City subways see thousands of people every day, making the trains the most widely used and heavily trafficked modes of transportation in New York City.

The New York City MTA explains that slips, trips and falls are the most common types of subway accident within New York City. New York City injury attorney Jonathan C Reiter further explains that the NYC Transit Authority has a legal obligation to maintain all subway vehicles and platforms. If an individual sustains an injury due to negligence, the NYC Transit Authority is responsible for the damages made to the person and his or her belongings. The New York City injury attorney explains that individuals who have been injured or killed during a subway accident may obtain compensation for their pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages and other financial burdens.

New York City injury attorney Jonathan C. Reiter, located in the Empire State Building, is a skilled and experienced subway accident lawyer who has experienced successes with cases against the NYC Transit Authority. If you or a loved one has been injured in a subway accident in New York, it may be in your best interest to contact a New York City injury attorney. New York City injury attorney Jonathan C Reiter maintains top priorities of providing exceptional legal counsel and recovering suitable compensation.

New York Injury Lawyer Jonathan C. Reiter
The New York City Injury Accident Lawyers of Jonathan C. Reiter is one of the leading aviation, construction accident, motor vehicle, personal injury and medical malpractice law firms in the United States.  
          New York City Injury Forecast: Cold and Icy With a Chance For Slip & Falls        

// New York City, New York, USA // Jonathan C. Reiter News // Jonathan C. Reiter
Manhattan, NY - (New York Accident Attorney News) Freezing cold temperatures, foggy morning air, ice covered sidewalks - these are just some of the hazardous conditions plaguing New York City commuters as they travel about the city says New York City Injury Lawyer, Jonathan C. Reiter. Jonathan has been practicing accident law and helping personal injury case victims in New York City and it’s five boroughs for over thirty years. Inevitable when weather conditions are poor, it puts New Yorkers at a higher risk for injuries like slip & fall accidents.

Across the Northeast, cities have been getting hit hard with sub-freezing temperatures and windy conditions which can make an everyday commute a dangerous task says the New York City Injury Lawyer. New York City in particular saw a record setting snowfall for the month of January. This snow, in combination with the ice and slush covering sidewalks, is not only making the outdoor walkways into slip and fall nightmares says New York City Injury Attorney J.C. Reiter, but is also being tracked into building lobbies where it melts creating slick puddles primed for taking down an unsuspecting victim.

“Too often, people who are victims of slip and fall accidents do not know and therefore fail to exercise their legal rights,” states the leading New York area accident attorney. J.C. Reiter adds, “When injured in any accident, including a slip and fall, New York residents should seek both medical and legal advice.”

Slip and fall accidents should be taken seriously. These unfortunate happenings can have serious long term consequences which can require ongoing medical care. New Yorkers hurt by slip and fall accidents may be entitled to monetary compensation to cover the cost of medical bills, rehabilitation, lost wages from time missed working, and for their pain and suffering reports the New York City Injury Attorney.

By law, says New York Accident Lawyer JC Reiter, property owners are required to provide safe conditions for all those on the premises. New York City’s winter conditions of snow and ice do not exempt property owners from fulfilling their obligations to properly maintain all areas of their establishment.

Limits apply to the time given to file suit on some New York slip and fall cases.

*A New York City Injury Attorney can help with the proper and timely filing of a slip and fall law suit. If injured in a slip and fall accident in one of New York’s five boroughs including Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx contact the law firm of JC Reiter for a complimentary case evaluation by calling 888-464-1952 or visiting Let J.C. Reiter’s 30 plus years of proven experience as a leading New York City Injury Lawyer go to work for fighting for you.

(*lawyer marketing)

New York Injury Lawyer Jonathan C. Reiter
The New York City Injury Accident Lawyers of Jonathan C. Reiter is one of the leading aviation, construction accident, motor vehicle, personal injury and medical malpractice law firms in the United States.  
          Manhattan injury lawyer News: Bridge Collision Kills Driver        

// Manhattan, NY, US // Jonathan C. Reiter News // Manhattan automobile accident Lawyer Jonathan C. Reiter
Manhattan, NY (Manhattan automobile accident Lawyer )—A violent multi-vehicle crash along the George Washington Bridge resulted in one fatality and left at least one other person injured, according an ABC Local news report. The fatal Wednesday morning, October 13, 2010 collision, which involved a tractor-trailer and at least one other car, slowed New Jersey-bound traffic to a crawl and resulted in inbound delays as well. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, unintentional injuries were deemed the fifth leading cause of death in the United States, claiming 123,706 lives in 2007 alone. Motor vehicle crashes accounted for the highest percentage of fatalities in that group.

Reports indicated an unidentified driver was operating his car in the westbound lanes of the bridge’s upper level when it slammed into the back of a semi-truck around 5:20 a.m. While the driver of the tractor-trailer escaped injury in the wreck, the occupants of the car were not so fortunate. The driver of the car, whose identity was withheld, likely pending the notification of next of kin, succumbed to his traumatic injuries at the scene. Responding emergency medical services (EMS) personnel transported a female passenger in the car, who also remained unidentified, to Hackensack University Medical Center. Though the extent of the passenger’s injuries was not specified, she was apparently listed in stable condition following the crash. Investigations into the fatal New York accident are expected to be underway.

New York City automobile accident attorney Jonathan C. Reiter says people who drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs put all other drivers' and passengers' lives at risk. Families are left with an irreplaceable loss at the hands of someone else's complete disregard for the safety of others. When someone is killed because of a driver's reckless and negligent actions, the driver can be held liable for the injuries and damages caused by the automobile accident. Families may be able to recover compensation for emotional anguish, medical care, past and future lost wages and possibly punitive damages, which are aimed to punish and deter this type of reckless conduct. A consultation with a qualified Manhattan injury lawyer can answer your questions, review your case, and protect your legal rights.

New York Injury Lawyer Jonathan C. Reiter
The New York City Injury Accident Lawyers of Jonathan C. Reiter is one of the leading aviation, construction accident, motor vehicle, personal injury and medical malpractice law firms in the United States.  
          Brooklyn Injury Lawyer News: NYPD Officer In Deadly Accident Admits He Was Drunk        

// New York, NY, US // Jonathan C. Reiter News // Jonathan C. Reiter- New York City automobile accident attorney
Brooklyn, NY—A former officer from the New York City Police Department (NYPD) plead guilty on Wednesday, September 8, 2010 to second-degree vehicular manslaughter. The officer also admitted he was intoxicated when he violently hit a female pedestrian in Brooklyn in 2009. The woman was sadly killed in the traffic collision. The officer, who faced up to seven years in jail for the offense, is expected to serve nine months in prison. After eight years as an officer with the NYPD, defendant Andrew Kelly also resigned from the department, according to information provided by the New York Times and previous information provided by New York City accident lawyer Jonathan C. Reiter.

On September 27, 2009, Mr. Kelly was under the influence and driving his SUV in the Mill Basin neighborhood. Around 1 a.m., he fatally struck 32-year-old Vionique Valnord-Kassime as she tried to hail a cab. Though Andrew Kelly initially refused to submit to a blood test, it was performed under a subpoena seven hours after the fatal traffic crash. The blood test was conducted after the NYPD suspected fellow officers helped cover-up his intoxication, however it came up negative. Nonetheless, Mr. Kelly went on to admit he was drunk when he hit and killed Valnord-Kassime with his sport utility vehicle. Mr. Kelly is expected to be sentenced to five years probation. His license will also be suspended for a year and he will be required to undergo an alcohol treatment program and install an ignition lock on his vehicle.

For the victim’s distraught family, the fact that he took responsibility was satisfying enough. “My daughter’s memory is still in my head… All I needed was for him to take responsibility, and he took responsibility,” said Rev. Varius Valnord, Ms. Valnord-Kassime’s father. The family reportedly plans to file a civil wrongful death lawsuit against the city and NYPD.

New York City automobile accident attorney Jonathan C. Reiter says people who drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs put all other drivers' and passengers' lives at risk. Families are left with an irreplaceable loss at the hands of someone else's complete disregard for the safety of others. When someone is killed because of a driver's reckless and negligent actions, the driver can be held liable for the injuries and damages caused by the automobile accident. Families may be able to recover compensation for emotional anguish, medical care, past and future lost wages and possibly punitive damages, which are aimed to punish and deter this type of reckless conduct. A consultation with a qualified Brooklyn injury lawyer can answer your questions, review your case, and protect your legal rights.

New York Injury Lawyer Jonathan C. Reiter
The New York City Injury Accident Lawyers of Jonathan C. Reiter is one of the leading aviation, construction accident, motor vehicle, personal injury and medical malpractice law firms in the United States.  
          Mobile Home, Car Accident, Death        

 BASTROP COUNTY, TEXAS – Deborah Sue Jackson and her son, Blake Anthony Jackson, were killed when their vehicle struck a mobile home being transported by a truck. Two other children, Deborah’s 13 year old son and 6 year old nephew, were in the vehicle with Deborah and Blake were treated to Dell Children’s Hospital and later released.

The accident occurred around 5 p.m. on Tuesday, February 9. The mobile home was hanging over in Jackson’s lane on FM 535. This is a two lane road with no shoulders.

The mobile home was being transported by Jorge Segovia-Polladio who is being charged with criminally negligent homicide. The Texas Department of Public Safety stated Segovia-Polladio did not have an approved permit nor was he being escorted by approved vehicles.


Motor Vehicle Size Limits and Permits in Texas

This section is in regard to the Texas statute in the Transportation Code, Title 7 (Vehicles and Traffic), Subtitle E (Vehicle Size and Weight).

Manufactured Housing

Within the statute, title, and subtitle above, this section is in regard to Chapter 623 (Permits for Oversize or Overweight Vehicles), Subchapter C (Manufactured and Industrialized Housing).

In reference to this case above, a mobile home being transported falls under the manufactured housing definition. A manufactured housing may be transported on the road, in whole, if it is constructed in a way that in cannot be dismantled or destructed. If this manufactured housing, while being transported, causes the motor vehicle to be outside the legal sizing limits for a motor vehicle, a permit is required to be moved over a roadway. In any instance that Texas has a law regarding the permit for movement of manufactured housing, a county or city may not require anything in addition to that state law.

Size Limitations

Within the statute, title, and subtitle above, this section is in regard to Chapter 621 (General Provisions Relating to Vehicle Size and Weight), Subchapter C (Size Limitations).

A motor vehicle may not be wider than eight and a half feet. However, a passenger vehicle, and its load, may not be wider than eight feet. The passenger vehicle rule does not apply to a motor bus or trolley bus operated exclusively within a city and its suburbs or within a county the city is located. Any load on a passenger vehicle may not extend more than three inches beyond the left side of its fenders or six inches beyond the right side of its fenders.

A motor vehicle, except for a truck-tractor, may not be longer than 45 feet. All motor buses between 35 and 45 feet must have air brakes, three or more axles, and at least four tires on the rear axle to operate on a highway. House trailers, towable recreational vehicles, and motor vehicle combinations may not be longer than 65 feet.

A motor vehicle may not be higher than fourteen feet. Any motor vehicle between thirteen and a half and fourteen feet must be ensured for all vertical clearances in its path by its operator. Any damage due to the height of the motor vehicle is the responsibility or the owner of the motor vehicle.

Within the statute, title, and subtitle above, this section is in regard to Chapter 622 (Special Provisions and Exceptions for Oversize or Overweight Vehicles), Subchapter Y (Miscellaneous Size Exceptions).

Certain width and length exceptions that do not require a permit can be found in this subchapter.

Permits and Other Requirements


Within the statute, title, and subtitle above, this section is in regard to Chapter 623 (Permits for Oversize or Overweight Vehicles), Subchapter C (Manufactured and Industrialized Housing).


Any vehicle that does not conform to the size limitations above or falls within the exceptions above requires a permit. If the owner of the vehicle does not have a permit allowing the motor vehicle to be used on the roadways, the owner is subject to civil and criminal penalties.

The owner of the manufactured housing must apply for and receive a permit allowing the manufactured housing to be transported on the roadways. The permit must have the combined necessary dimensions (height, width, length) of the manufactured housing and the towing vehicle, the identification number of the manufactured housing, the owner’s name, the origination and destination locations of the manufactured housing, and the route that will be taken for the transportation.

A permit to transport manufactured housing is valid for five days and may be issued for a single trip or recurring annual trip to a temporary location no further than twenty miles from the manufacturing facility. A copy of the permit must be carried in the vehicle transporting the manufactured housing.

If the manufactured housing is wider than twelve feet, either one rotating amber beacon of at least eight inches must be mounted at the rear of the roof of the manufactured housing or two rotating amber beacons of at least eight inches must be mounted on the rear corners of the manufactured housing at least six feet above ground level. The beacons must be in operation at all times on the roadway.

If the manufactured housing width is between sixteen and eighteen feet, one escort flag vehicle must precede the house on a two lane road or follow the house on a road with at least four lanes. If the house is longer than eighteen feet, one escort flag vehicle must precede and one must follow the house. Each escort flag vehicle must have two lights flashing simultaneously or one rotating amber beacon. The lights must be visible from the front and rear. The escort flag vehicle must have one flag on each of the four corners of the vehicle. Each escort flag vehicle must have signs on the front and rear of the vehicle with black letters on a yellow background that says “wide load.” Each letter must be at least eight inches tall.

All transportation of manufactured housing must occur in the daylight. Transportation may not occur on a national holiday.


Legal Commentary


Victims of motor vehicle accidents should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to file claims against the parties at fault to help the families pay for costly medical and funeral expenses, as well as compensation for lost wages and pain and suffering. Our firm represents individuals and families who are affected by motor vehicle accidents. Although no monetary amount can compensate for a lost loved one, a successful civil claim against the at-fault driver will enable the victim’s family to cover any medical or final expenses, leaving them more time to focus on the grieving process during this trying time. If you or a loved one has been injured by a motor vehicle accident, contact the experienced attorneys at Fears | Nachawati Law Firm by sending an email to , or by calling our office at 1-866-705-7584.

          Lethal Shards from IVC Filter Killing and Injuring Patients for Years        


NOVEMBER 2015 - Reports first surfaced in 2005 that the radial arms and struts of medical equipment manufacturer Bard’s Recovery IVC Filter had broken off inside the body of patients. Since that time the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received around 1000 adverse reports involving the filters, primarily regarding the IVC filters fragmenting and embolizing inside the body. Due to these reports, made by both physicians and patients, and extensive research of the filters, the FDA urged physicians to consider the risks before recommending the IVC Filter be installed in patients who are ineligible for anticoagulation therapy. The FDA also recommends that the filters be removed as soon as the risk of Pulmonary Embolism has passed.

Despite the FDA’s warning, Bard’s redesigned IVC Filter has been implanted in more than 65,000 patients. A recent study of 258 IVC filter patients in Ohio indicated that tilting of the filter is a primary cause of failure when retrieving the IVC filter, but the study also mentioned that there was limited proof that "such filters should function as safe, permanent filters." The latest information featured recently on the NBC Nightly News also questions the safety of these deadly devices.
Legal Commentary
Fears Nachawati represents families who are victims of the dangerous and life threatening effects following IVC filter surgery. If you or a loved one experienced any issues because of an implanted or removed IVC filter, we encourage you to consult with one of our IVC Filter attorneys as soon as possible. A successful civil claim against the responsible party will ensure relief from the burden of costly medical expenses. We will also pursue compensation for the pain, suffering, and lost wages for time missed from work as a result of IVC filter complications. Further questions can be directed to the Fears | Nachawati Law Firm by emailing Majed Nachawati at, or by calling our office at +1.888.352.4850.
About the Author
Majed Nachawati is a preeminent Pharmaceutical Products Liability Lawyer who represents patients and surviving family members of fatal IVC filter procedures nationwide. Mr. Nachawati has successfully resolved numerous cases, with proven results in seven and eight figure confidential settlements. He serves with prominent legal organizations, such as the Grievance Committee for the State Bar of Texas, the Board of Directors of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, the Board of Directors for Public Justice, a Leaders’ Forum, and The Million Dollar Advocates Forum. 
Mr. Nachawati is licensed to practice before the Supreme Court of Texas and Arkansas, as well as most federal courts in the nation. He also holds specific licenses in the Northern, Southern, and Eastern Districts of Texas. Texas Monthly Magazine has recognized Mr. Nachawati as a Super Lawyer for six consecutive years for his legal excellence in connection with pharmaceutical injury cases. Contact Mr. Nachawati through his website at, by email at or by calling +1.888.352.4850.

          Ethicon Trial in Dallas Reports Testimony on TVM Dangers        

NOVEMBER 2015 - Johnson & Johnson's Ethicon Prosima device is the center of a trial in progress currently in Dallas. The testimony stated that although medical professionals were aware that there are safer natural alternatives to the mesh product, doctors proceeded to permanently implant a temporary vaginal support device that may be defective. Ethicon's victims, like Carol Cavness suffered chronic pain, bleeding, tissue erosion, and infections. Patients implanted with Ethicon's Prosima device risked the need for additional surgeries at a higher risk. The testimony also revealed defects in the Prosima mesh, as well as Ethicon's failure to provide sufficient instructions and information regarding the side effects, adverse effects, and potential complications. Ethicon responded in court that the pharmaceutical company is not liable, stating that the injuries were caused by pelvic floor disorder unrelated to the Prosima transvaginal mesh surgery. The previous trial in April 2014 resulted in a $1.2 million verdict. A New Jersey court awarded $3.35 million in 2013 in a similar case.

Legal Commentary
Our firm represents the victims of transvaginal mesh surgery side effects and injuries. If you or a loved one has experienced any complications caused by transvaginal mesh surgery, you should contact one of our attorneys as soon as possible. A successful civil claim pursued against the responsible party will ensure the victims are not burdened with costly medical expenses, and will hopefully compensate them for their pain, suffering, and lost wages for time missed from work. Further questions can be directed to the Fears | Nachawati Law Firm by emailing the lead MESH lawyer, Majed Nachawati at, or by calling our office at +1.877.222.3284.
About the Author
Majed Nachawati is a preeminent Pharmaceutical Products Liability Lawyer who is focused on compensation for the victims of transvaginal mesh complications. To date, Mr. Nachawati has achieved successful results in recent products liability cases, including seven and eight figure confidential settlements. He holds specific licenses in the Northern, Southern, and Eastern Districts of Texas and is licensed to practice before the Supreme Court of Texas and Arkansas, as well as most federal courts in the nation. Many prominent legal organizations have named Mr. Nachawati to serve in a leadership role. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, the Board of Directors for Public Justice. He also serves on the Grievance Committee for the State Bar of Texas. Mr. Nachawati is a member of a Leaders’ Forum, a PAC member of the American Association for Justice, and a member of The Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Texas Monthly Magazine named him as a Super Lawyers Rising Star for the past six years in recognition for his legal excellence. Mr. Nachawati can be reached through his website at, by email at or by calling +1.877.222.3284

          Red Light Runner Injures Cyclist        


DALLAS TEXAS - Deb Culbertson, 26, was injured when an alleged drunk driver struck her as she was crossing the road on her way home from work at the Santa Fe Trail and Munger Avenue on her bicycle. John Cullins, 24, was arrested for Intoxication Assault and DWI. Mr. Cullins ran a red light when he hit the cyclist. Ms. Culbertson's injuries included a broken leg, concussion, scrapes, bruises, and a serious head injury. She was placed in a medically induced coma during her recovery. There is a GoFundMe account setup to assist with her bills.
Legal Commentary
Victims of motor vehicle accidents should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to file claims against the parties at fault to help the families pay for costly medical and funeral expenses, as well as compensation for lost wages and pain and suffering. Our firm represents individuals and families who are affected by motor vehicle accidents. Although no monetary amount can compensate for a lost loved one, a successful civil claim against the at-fault driver will enable the victim’s family to cover any medical or final expenses, leaving them more time to focus on the grieving process during this trying time. If you or a loved one has been injured by a motor vehicle accident, contact the experienced attorneys at Fears | Nachawati Law Firm by sending an email to, or by calling our office at +1.888.630.4412.
About the Author
Majed Nachawati is a preeminent personal injury lawyer focused on representing victims and families involved in automobile accidents, workplace accidents, wrongful death cases, and products liability claims in Texas statewide. Mr. Nachawati has successfully resolved numerous motor vehicle accident cases, resulting in seven and eight figure confidential reward settlements. He serves as a board member for many prominent legal organizations, including: the Board of Directors of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, the Board of Directors for Public Justice, a Leader’s Forum, as a PAC member of the American Association for Justice, The Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the Grievance Committee for the State Bar of Texas. Texas Monthly Magazine named Mr. Nachawati as a Super Lawyer for the past six years. Mr. Nachawati is licensed to practice before the Supreme Court of Texas and Arkansas. He holds additional licenses in the Northern, Southern, and Eastern Districts of Texas. Mr. Nachawati can be contacted through his website at, by email or by calling +1.888.630.4412

          Power Morcellators Transform Treatable Conditions into a Death Sentence        

 power morcellator

NOVEMBER 2015 - Surgeries using power morcellators have transformed treatable conditions into a death sentence. For one Texas family, this nightmare became all too real. A mother of three died from cancer that spread after her hysterectomy was performed using power morcellation. It all began when the OB/GYN discovered a possible tumor in the patient's uterus. After the surgery, the tumor was diagnosed as leiomyosarcoma. After three months of chemotherapy, the cancer spread to the abdominal wall. The patient passed away less than a year later. Similar stories of cancer spreading after surgery using power morcellation are reported to our firm daily.
Legal Commentary
The Food and Drug Administration determined that power morcellators cannot be made safer. Johnson & Johnson, previously the largest manufacturer of morcellators, has pulled their version of the device from the market. Many hospitals are no longer using the device in hysterectomies. Currently, more than 20 lawsuits against the manufacturers of the device have been filed in 16 different federal courts. Additionally more than 300 cases against the manufacturers of power morcellators are currently pending. 
Previously undiagnosed cancer or malignancies can spread after surgical procedures using power morcellators. According to the FDA, as many as 1 in 350 women could have undiagnosed uterine sarcoma that can be spread during morcellation. For patients, this can be a costly, painful and potentially deadly complication. Our firm represents families who are the victims of the complications from a variety of surgical tools, including the power morcellator. If you or a loved one has experienced any of these problems following surgery involving the use of the power morcellator, we encourage you to consult with one of our attorneys as soon as possible. A successful civil claim will help compensate the victims for the costly medical expenses, their pain, suffering, and lost wages for time missed from work. Further questions can be directed to the Fears | Nachawati Law Firm through our website at, by emailing Majed Nachawati at, or by calling our office at +1.866.485.6886.
About the Author
Majed Nachawati is a preeminent Pharmaceutical Products Liability Lawyer who is focused on representing victims and families harmed by dangerous products nationwide. Mr. Nachawati has successfully resolved numerous cases that resulted in seven-and-eight-figure confidential settlements. He serves on numerous prominent legal organizations' boards and committees, including: The Million Dollar Advocates Forum, the Grievance Committee for the State Bar of Texas, Texas Trial Lawyers Association Board of Directors, Board of Directors for Public Justice, and a Leaders' Forum. Mr. Nachawati is also a PAC member of the American Association for Justice. He is licensed to practice before the Supreme Courts of Texas and Arkansas, and well as most federal courts in the nation. Mr. Nachawati also holds specific licenses in the Northern, Southern, and Eastern Districts of Texas. He has been recognized as a Super Lawyer in Texas Monthly Magazine for six consecutive years in connection with pharmaceutical injury cases. Mr. Nachawati can be reached through his website at, by email at or by calling +1.866.485.6886.

          low auto insurance tips and tricks        
Smart motorists rely on seatbelts and airbags as the first line of protection in the event of a car accident. Another important safeguard — especially for financial security — is understanding and purchasing appropriate automobile insurance coverage.

While liability or no-fault insurance is mandated in most states, it is also a necessity for nearly all drivers to protect their assets in the event they cause a motor vehicle accident. Still, according to a 2006 Insurance Research Council study, 15 percent of U.S. drivers were uninsured in 2004, up from 13 percent in 1999 Insurance companies try to Woo Women

"Consumers should carefully assess their auto insurance needs, and shop around for the best price and most appropriate type of cover-age," said Alessandro Iuppa, National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) president of the Maine Bureau of Insurance. "Because auto insurance is a highly competitive market, consumers should find a variety of companies vying for their business." Review Your Insurance
It is in the consumer's best interest to re-evaluate his or her auto coverage each year. However, a 2005 NAIC consumer study showed a significant number of drivers (20-35 percent) from all life stages had not reviewed or updated their auto insurance in the past 12 months.

Understand the Basics
Several factors may affect auto insurance premiums. These factors include, but are not limited to, vehicle make and model, credit history, driving record, age, gender, marital status, annual mileage, mileage to work, coverage limits, claim history and territory. Territory, in some cases, is defined by ZIP Code and, in other cases, by geographic boundaries developed by insurers. It is important to understand that not all risk classifications that are listed apply in every state.

Insurance companies differ on which criteria is weighed heaviest when determining auto premiums, while some states mandate which factors can be emphasized. Parents also will see a significant change in premium when adding a teenager to the family auto policy. In some states, rates may double for a teenage boy and increase as much as 50 percent for a teenage girl. There are several types of insurance coverage to consider when purchasing an auto policy:

Liability insurance is required by most states. It covers medical expenses and damages to another person's property as a result of a motor vehicle accident caused by the insured's negligence.
Some states mandate "no fault" auto insurance, which provides coverage for medical expenses, rehabilitation, funeral expenses, lost wages and in-home assistance to the driver and his or her passengers, regardless of who is held at fault in an accident.
Many policies offer or include uninsured or underinsured motorist protection, which provides coverage for the insured and his or her passenger(s) if they are injured in a collision caused by an uninsured or underinsured motorist.
Drivers with newer or leased cars may need to carry comprehensive insurance, which covers vehicular damages caused by fire, theft, wind, hail or a run-in with a deer.
Collision insurance covers the cost of repairs or the actual cash value of the vehicle, if damaged or totaled in a crash or rollover. When financing a vehicle, banks often require comprehensive and collision coverage until the insured has paid off the loan.
Consumers with large financial assets may want an umbrella liability policy, which provides additional coverage ($1-5 million) beyond the primary personal auto liability coverage.
General Money Saving Tips
Before buying or leasing a vehicle, remember that the make and model can drastically affect insurance rates. For example, luxury cars, high performance cars and convertibles — all of which may be attractive to thieves and more costly to repair ÿ are more expen-sive to insure than basic models. All consumers should keep the following tips in mind when evaluating their auto insurance needs:

Shop around and compare rates from different companies.
In some cases, an insurance company may offer a multi-policy discount if a consumer purchases both auto and homeowners coverage.
Ask about discounts for cars equipped with safety features, such as anti-lock brakes, anti-theft devices and automatic seat belts.
Consider raising the deductible on your collision or compre-hensive insurance. With a higher deductible, the insured will be responsible for more of the cost to fix damages caused in an accident, but will pay a lower premium.
Some companies offer discounts to drivers who have three or more years without an accident or moving violation.
For older cars, consider dropping collision and/or comprehensive coverage altogether. In many cases, the insurance company will only pay the "book value" of an older car in the event of an accident — which may be much less than the actual cost of repairs.
Ask your insurance agent if the auto policy extends to rental cars. Often liability, no-fault and collision coverage on a personal policy extends to a rental car for personal use.
Maintain a good credit history, because a credit score can have a direct impact on auto premiums.
Make Adjustments Based on Your Life Stage
"It is important to review your auto policy each year," said Catherine J. Weatherford, NAIC executive vice president and CEO. "Decide whether your insurance needs have changed and update your coverage accordingly. If you have any questions, be sure to check with your state insurance department."

Consumers' insurance needs are constantly changing. Major events, such as turning 25, getting married or improving your credit rating, may make you eligible for lower rates.

A few extra tips to consider:

Consumers who are serving in the military and deployed abroad should consider lowering their liability coverage to the state-mandated minimum and dropping collision coverage altogether if the vehicle will not be driven for an extended amount of time. However, they may want to consider keep-ing comprehensive coverage, which provides coverage if a car is stolen or damaged, but raising their deductible. Check with your agent or state insurance department regarding coverage requirements under these special circumstances.
Young families, who are likely to be car pooling with other people's children, should consider raising their liability coverage. Before purchasing a bigger car, such as an SUV, they also should consider how the vehicle will impact their insurance rates.
For established families with teen drivers, parents should ask if their insurer offers discounts for teens that pass a driver's safety course or maintain a B average or better in school. Parents should ask whether they can receive an "accident forgiveness" clause that promises not to raise premiums if their teen gets into one minor accident. They also should consider raising the family's deductible and having their teen drive the family's oldest, least expensive car. Or, if they can afford it, consider purchasing an older car for their teen and foregoing comprehensive and collision insurance on that car.
Drivers over the age of 50, who historically tend to be more cautious than their younger counterparts, may be eligible for reduced rates. Seniors should consider taking a driver's refresher course, like those offered by the AARP or AAA, which may help them qualify for a discount.
          Man suing Heineken after drinking from beer can that contained 2 lizards        
Lizards in Heineken beer can
Lizards in Heineken beer can
By: Tanya Clark

(Scroll down for video) A man became very sick after drinking beer from a can that contained two dead lizards, according to a lawsuit filed in California.

49-year-old George Toubbeh of Fountain Valley, said that he bought the 24-ounce Heineken can of beer at a nearby Ralphs supermarket, which is owned by Kroger.

When he got home, Toubbeh opened the can and took a sip.

He immediately became violently ill. Toubbeh suffered abdominal pain and vomited. He also suffered from anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Toubbeh's daughter took the can, and when she looked inside, she was shocked to see two dead lizards.

He went to the emergency room, where doctors gave him Xanax for his anxiety and Zofran to stop the nausea and vomiting.

Toubbeh wants compensation for his pain and suffering, lost wages and medical expenses. The lawsuit names both Heineken and Kroger as defendants.

          The Grand Wager.        
Full Battle Gear.

From the moment a Climber decides to attempt Everest, he is required to make certain payments to keep his wager alive.  First comes the money. Depending on the Guide Company and various other options, this might be $50,000 to $100,000, all paid in advance with no hope of refund under any circumstances.  The bet is on.  He next makes numerous physical payments in the form of training for hours each day, six days a week. There are payments involving the purchase of expensive equipment, lost wages and forgone vacation time, evacuation insurance and costly vaccines.  There are psychological payments, taking the form mental fatigue, the doubts of third parties, and the painful two month absence from loved ones. None of these are negotiable.

But the final payment a Climber must lay on the table is his life. To think one could leave the South Col without doing so would be delusional. If he wishes to wager he can stand on top of the world, a Climber must go all in, betting his todays and tomorrows.  This is an easy notion to view in the abstract as one prepares for a climb many months away, but the weight becomes awesome as the last few minutes pass prior to leaving the tent. I watched Ty closely during those minutes.

The wind was blowing harder than the forecast had suggested. If it persisted there would be no making the summit and lives would likely be lost. But we were going. Ty was leaving at 7pm with the first group of Classic Climbers. It was 6:50pm and his Sherpa, Lakpa, had stuck his head into our tent several times already, trying to keep Ty moving along. I could see the nerves winding up through the expression on Ty's face.  His eyes were wide, brows raised.  There was a sense of resignation. He was making that final payment.
"We can do this," I told him.  "24 hours from now we will be down  at camp 2 with an Everest Summit under our belts.  We are strong enough.  We have the skills and the support. We just need to keep a clear head and execute," I said.
Ty nodded in agreement, but his mind was clearly elsewhere.  I could almost see him staring at the mountain of chips he had just slid out onto the table. We hugged, then he slipped out the tent door into the darkness. I thought about the call I had made many months ago, the call where I invited Ty to be a part of this climb.  Did I regret it? Would I feel better right then had I not invited Ty into this situation? No. Ty was suppose to be here, probably for the same mysterious reasons I was.

The next hour passed quickly and soon I too was making the Grand Wager.  I was nervous, but felt at peace with the decision. From the moment Everest had first called me, as I rappelled down the face of Carstensz Pyramid, it had always accompanied a feeling of warmth and positive energy. I was prepared, had a game plan, and had tested both with success through the course of the rotations.  I looked one last time at the photos in my pocket; My wife, Lin, sons Chase and Trevor, my Mother, and a recently deceased friend. I examined a small plastic bag with my brother's ashes in it, then returned it to the pocket. Pulling the oxygen mask over my face, I stepped out into the night.

          How to Choose a Personal Injury Lawyer        

Personal injury due to another person’s negligence or recklessness is not something you should have to deal with alone. To ensure that you receive the proper compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering, and other expenses, you need an experienced personal injury lawyer advocating for you – but how do you know which … Continued

The post How to Choose a Personal Injury Lawyer appeared first on Wettermark & Keith.

          The Theater Artists Who Got Locked Out of Their Own Show        
Here's a new development: Your play has been canceled. by Rich Smith

Carol Louise Thompson's play was scheduled to premiere inside an old house slated for demolition on Capitol Hill. Nine days before it opened, the show's director and stage manager showed up with boxes of props and tools in their arms. The director's father had driven up from Portland to help build platforms and other last-minute scenery. The lighting designer was en route to rig up the lights for tech rehearsals.

But when the director and stage manager got to the front door, they discovered that the locks had been changed.

This was weird. Thirteen theater artists had been rehearsing in the house for a whole month. They'd left personal belongings inside.

Calls were made to the producer, Liza Curtiss, who assumed the house's developer locked them out, but she wasn't sure why. So Curtiss called the middle man who had secured the house in the first place: Seattle Demo Project.

The Seattle Demo Project is a loose collective of architects who are making the most of construction disruption throughout the city by connecting artists with developers. Artists pitch projects they want to produce in buildings destined for demolition and inevitable condo-ification, the Seattle Demo Project (which is awesome and run by volunteers) then scans their contacts for developers who might be willing to do an artist a favor, and if all goes smoothly, they find a site for the play or the installation or the music video.

The idea is to memorialize beloved buildings sometime between the moment they're scheduled for doom and the moment the wrecking ball swings.

In ideal situations, everyone benefits. Developers like it because squatters and taggers trespass less often when art is present. Artists like it because it's fucking cool to do a show in a to-be-demo'd house, especially because the space is more or less free.

Playwright Carol Louise Thompson was especially excited to have a literal home—a dying house, no less—for the setting of her play, This Show Is About Progress. The story follows a woman named Mona whose interior life is intimately intertwined with a timeworn house that she and her brother share. Though the house has a special power that connects them, he's considering selling the place because he's broke. A house scheduled for demolition would perfectly suit the needs of this play, which seeks to complicate the conversation about "progress" and "development" that the city's been having with itself since 1850.

Thompson spent five years writing and workshopping the script, and received a CityArtist grant for $7,200, which came with a stipulation: The show had to be produced in the year 2017.

She initially approached the Demo Project in February of 2016, but it wasn't until May of 2017 that they were able to find a site. When they did, it felt like a dream come true, Thompson said.

In the middle of May, the Demo Project took Thompson and Curtiss on a tour of the house. The pair thought it would work perfectly. The Demo Project told them they could have the house for the play so long as they signed liability wavers. Thompson and Curtiss were fine with that, and made it a point to say that they'd be getting their own liability insurance, too.

Thompson and Curtiss immediately got to work. They created a rehearsal and production schedule and started a Hatchfund to help pay for a crew and actors.

But there were a few unexamined assumptions at play. The artists were assuming the Demo Project had the authority to let them use the house. The Demo Project was assuming the owner and developer of the house had granted them that authority because they gave them the lockbox code to enter the house to show the artists the space. Moreover, the Demo Project had worked on similar projects in the past, and big hitches never came up.

No contracts had been proposed, suggested, or signed. Curtiss would say later that relying on verbal agreements early in the process was her mistake, but at that time and throughout the month, the Demo Project gave her assurances that everything was cool. Anyhow, in May, a representative from the Demo Project sent the developer the play's rehearsal schedule, and everyone worked while they waited for a reply.

In early June, the developer replied, expressing nervousness. One of the developer's investors had learned about the project and worried about being liable for audience members. The Demo Project thought this fear might be allayed if Curtiss sent them press materials and other credentials. She obliged.

{{ image:1 }}

Three weeks later, in the middle of July, 13 days before curtain, the developer said they needed to be added to Thompson's insurance and also called for a legal contract to be drawn up between the theater company and the developer. They prohibited the artists from using the house without further permission—but they didn't tell the artists directly, they told the Demo Project, which didn't immediately pass on the message. Over the weekend, some artists did some work inside the house, but by Tuesday, before the theater crew showed up with lights and props and dads and boxes of stuff, the developer had changed the locks.

Curtiss delivered the requested insurance shortly thereafter, but again received no reply from the developer. After the Demo Project followed up with the developer later that day, they got an auto reply: The representative had left town for vacation until late August.

The contract with the lawyers hadn't been drawn up yet. No one at the developer's office was authorized to unlock the doors or give the team permission to enter the house.

The professional team of actors and designers that Curtiss and Thompson had assembled didn't exactly have flexible schedules. Most were booked up for the rest of the year with other paying gigs. It would be a year at least until schedules would align again.

A sad truth emerged: The show—or at least this version, in this house—would not go on.

It's hard not to see this deflating episode as the very show that Thompson and her crew were trying to create. It's a play about real estate being at the center of certain parties' inability to communicate. And it's about how the circumstances of each "development," each thing that gets turned into a condo, are different and layered and complex.

"We lost hundreds of dollars" on the insurance paperwork alone, Thompson said. That doesn't include lost wages on other projects they could have been working on. "And we'd become like a family. Like with every show you do, you become a family, and then you get to have a baby with that family called 'the play,' but we couldn't have that baby."

Though plenty of frustration and confusion and sadness remain for the theater artists, Curtiss doesn't think the blame game is in order.

"How artists move forward, how we uphold the character of the city, how we work together in a more progressive way depends on dialogue," she said. "If no one is talking to each other and we're all just pointing fingers, someone is going to get left behind, and most likely it will be the artist."

As mentioned, per the terms of her grant, Thompson was contractually obligated to produce This Show Is About Progress within a year. But after she explained her current predicament to the city, they're now in the process of granting her a one-year extension. So the show will go on, eventually. recommended

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          Auto Insurance Tisp for Everyone        
If you own a car then auto insurance is a 'must-have'. Every state requires you to own a minimum car insurance coverage to protect you and others from damages arising out of an accident. You may not be required to have the best auto insurance but a state minimum is mandatory.

Auto insurance is an agreement with your insurance provider where you pay the premiums regularly and your provider agrees to pay for the financial losses in case of an accident.

For those of you who are bound by a budget may go for cheap auto insurance, but it is suggested that you buy a policy that covers you well.

Your basic state auto insurance policy covers the following:

* Bodily Injury Liability : This means that if the driver or the policyholder or the policy holder's family member caused any bodily injury to someone else, this coverage would protect.

* Personal Injury Protection (PIP) : If the passengers and driver of the policy holder's car happen to be injured, this policy covers the cost of treatment and may also cover lost wages, cost of replacing services and funeral costs.

* Liability for Property Damage : If you or someone driving your car with your permission damages another person's property, this policy provides coverage. It also covers damage to lamp posts, telephone poles or any other structure hit by your car.

* Collision coverage : This policy provides coverage for damage to your (policy holder) car as a result of collision with another automobile or any other object. There is generally a deductible. Even if you are at fault in an accident, this policy will cover the repairing cost of your car minus the deductible. If you are not at fault, then your insurance provider will try to recover the cost from the faulty driver's insurance company.

* Comprehensive Coverage : If you suffer a loss due to theft or a damage caused by something other than collision with another car, like fire, explosion, earthquake, windstorm, and the like then this policy provides coverage. This policy is also available with a certain amount of deductible.

* Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage : If an uninsured or underinsured or a hit-and-run driver hits you or your family member, this policy will reimburse the cost of damage. This usually happens when people go for cheap motor insurance. You will also be protected if you are hit as a pedestrian.

Getting online car insurance is very easy. Online auto insurance quotes are also available in case you do not have the time for an agent.
          Lost Wages of Sin (Sinners and Saints, #1)        
Lost Wages of Sin (Sinners and Saints, #1)
author: Rosalie Stanton
name: Tracy
average rating: 4.08
book published: 2011
rating: 0
read at:
date added: 2011/04/12
shelves: to-read, wishlist

          Reply #88        
I miss Vegas. My GF and I used to go every year for Superbowl Weekend. We haven't gone to visit in like 2 years. Viva Lost Wages! haha
          ScienceDebate '08        
McCain responds to ScienceDebate 2008. Obama answered the questions a while ago; you can also read a side-by-side comparison.

I've decided to summarize each question and the candidate's responses in addition to providing my own thoughts on their responses.

1: Innovation. How will each candidate encourage innovation in science and technology?

Obama: Service scholarship program intended to pay the costs of college for students committed to teaching in high-need areas after graduation. Increase National Science Foundation graduate fellowships. Provide all Americans with broadband internet. Make R&D tax credits for businesses permanent.

McCain: Increase capital by lowering taxes, ideally broadening the infrastructure for technological development. Appoint a Science and Technology advisor to the White House to increase scientific integrity of policies. Eliminate earmarks and allocate some of the money to sci-tech investments, including funds for emerging fields (biotech, nanotech, etc). Reform science and math education. Create employment in rural areas with technology. Meet with academics and business leaders to develop a global agenda.

Pretty much what you would expect from party politics. Obama is focused on getting individuals educated and encouraging them to become teachers; McCain is primarily concerned with businesses and big R&D firms.

2. Climate change. What do you think about existing measures to address global climate change; what other policies would you support?

Obama: Anthropogenic global warming is happening; US needs to decrease greenhouse gas emissions. Market-based cap-and-trade system with the goal of reducing emissions by 80% of 1990's levels by 2050. All "pollution credits" must be auctioned by the Federal government. Cooperate with UN and other countries to reduce emissions. Create Technology Transfer Program dedicated to developing green technologies.

McCain: Notes that greenhouse gas emissions threaten to alter climate. Proposes a cap-and-trade system. Goal is reduction of greenhouse gas levels to 60% of 1990's levels by 2050. Wants to increase penalties for violating minimum gas mileage standards by auto manufacturers. Tax credit of 10% of R&D funds to green entrepreneurs and 2 billion USD/year for the next 15 years will be spent on clean coal research. The first company to develop an emission-free automobile will recieve a $5000 tax credit per vehicle sold. Suggests offering a $300 million prize for the development of a battery that will fully supply an electric car.

McCain's cap-and-trade system has a huge hole--he wants to give away "pollution credits" instead of auctioning them, which defeats the purpose of cap-and-trade. The whole point of C-a-T is to create artificial scarcity by inventing an imaginary resource.

Consider a physical resource like oil. There is a limited amount of oil, and oil costs money, so companies want to use as little oil as they can get away with because being wasteful cuts into profits. Conversely, there is no limit to how much pollution a company can put into the air (short of some point where air quality decreases to where people start dying). What incentive is there for companies to reduce emissions, especially if it will cost them more money to do so? C-a-T creates scarcity by turning "amount of pollution you're allowed to produce" into a commodity--like oil. If you have more "pollution credits" than you need, you can sell them to other companies, much like you could sell any other commodity you accidentally bought too much of.

Suppose the government auctions off 80% of available pollution credits. How do you decide who gets the rest? If the government is going to just give them away, who gets them? Short answer: Whoever lobbies the hardest. True, you have to pay lobbyists to lobby, but the system rapidly becomes crooked. Instead of giving pollution credits to whoever is willing to pay the most, you're giving credits to whoever is most influential with congress. Since the whole point of the system is to give companies an incentive to "stay green" because they have to pay for the pollution they put into the atmosphere it should be pretty easy to see why being able to lobby for more credits destroys the purpose of C-a-T.

Obama's Technology Transfer Program is supposed to encourage the export and trade of green technologies (see page 10-11). The technologies will be ideally traded freely between developing countries to reduce global emissions. Sounds pretty good, but lacking in specific details. Then again, I'm not sure how specific you can get in an 11 page "fact sheet." I think that the idea is to provide green tech to countries like China in exchange for whatever they're able to give us in return--if nothing else, it's a gesture that says "the US cares about reducing emissions." It's pretty hard to convince developing countries to do that when we aren't.

I have mixed feelings about research prizes. They make sense from one perspective; offering a "bounty" on a particular tech development may spur people to think about the problem who previously hadn't. Sometimes research prizes even create entirely new fields. The problem is that research prizes mean that a lot of people who want to research the problem but don't have the money to start researching can't do anything, even if they have good ideas. It also punishes researchers for every failed attempt; the cost of prototypes and whatnot is ultimately subtracted from the prize money. This means that research prizes are biased in favor of preexisting entities that can afford a greater initial investment to win the prize. If a start-up business gunning for a research prize ultimately spends more money than the prize is worth getting to the desired solution, the company is going to flop and everyone who invested in it suffers a huge financial loss. If a big company spends more money than the prize is worth they can probably afford to abandon the "competition" and focus on other projects. The drug companies do this all the time, in a sense--every drug that doesn't get approved is a huge loss, but they eat it and move on, whereas a start-up that tried to do the same thing would go out of business.

Another issue is that you can't measure the value of all scientific research on whether or not it solves a problem outright. Many times science is a stepwise process; assuming that only one arbitrary endpoint is valuable is a mistake. Also, prizes for specific projects creates an artificial demand that will skew private research budgets toward solving problems that someone (i.e., the Federal government) has decided need solved. Doesn't this go against promoting innovation by "setting an agenda" instead of letting individual firms decide what to research?

3. Energy. What are your thoughts on developing economically and environmentally sustainable energy solutions?

Obama: More federal research dollars for alternative energy ($150 billion over the next ten years). Research dollars should go toward alternative fuels, energy-efficient designs, advanced energy transmission and storage tech, greenhouse gas-sequestering tech, and nuclear power. Increase fuel economy standards 4% per year. Provide loans to automotive industry to build fuel-efficient cars domestically. Increase building efficiency by (50% new buildings, 25% existing buildings). Require 10% of American energy to be derived from renewable resources by 2012 and 25% by 2025. Expand mass transit.

McCain: Reform energy economy "over time." Build 45 new nuclear reactors by 2030. Reform tax credits in favor of renewable power; existing tax credits have been "patchwork" without solving the problem. The market can decide which ideas will move us toward clean energy. Commit federal government to "green tech" agenda. Reduce greenhouse gas emissions (see point 2).

I have to give this one to Obama. His plans are more concrete by a longshot. He wants to set hard limits intended to improve efficiency and renewable energy use; McCain seems to think that the market will solve the problem. The market hasn't solved the problem; people are going to use fossil fuels freely as long as they believe the supply is large enough and they can afford them. Investment in alternative energy over the past several years has gone up, but the oil industry is still the biggest energy industry in America. We can't afford for the end of oil to be in sight before we solve the problem of what we're going to do when we run out--we have to be prepared well in advance.

Increasing nuclear power is a great idea, but there's a lot of resistance to it by people who are ultimately too stupid to realize that nuclear power is both safe and clean. Liberals are to blame for this one; NIMBY and other organizations that keep yelling "CHERNOBYL!" every time somebody mentions nuclear power have so maligned nuclear plants that nobody wants them built anywhere nearby--or at least, they don't want to know about it.

People occasionally accuse Obama of being "an empty suit," but he's thrown out some very specific suggestions for the energy problem.

As an aside, McCain claimed in one of his ads that he would support renewable energy, but at the time of airing, his energy plan didn't even mention wind, solar, or hydroelectric power. Most of his energy policies are focused on developing "clean coal" technologies--which is nice, but coal is not a renewable resource. His website now has a blurb about wind, solar, and hydro power at the end of the segment on alternative energy.

4. Education. The US is behind in math and science scores. What do we do?

Obama: We need more science/math education, even for people not in STEM careers, because an educated populace is good. Supports developing new STEM instructional materials and methods. Federal and state grants and organization will be necessary to make this work. The teaching profession needs to be elevated; too many teachers are underqualified and too many good teachers are underpaid. Need to focus on developing reading skills in children 0-5 years old. Higher education (college) should be more affordable; proposes a $4000 tax credit to pay for the cost of college.

McCain: We need to train new students, but we also need to offer re-training for displaced workers. Supported grants for digital and wireless tech for community colleges. We need more science students ("we must fill the pipeline"). Private corporations should be encouraged to sponsor math and science students. Teachers need better training; 35% of Title II funding should go to training. The other 60% of Title II funding should go to teachers who excel as bonuses to encourage good teachers. Supports a $250 million grant to expand online learning opportunities. Continues to support national organizations (NSF, NOAA, DOE, NASA).

Call me biased if you want, but I think having a science-educated populace is a good thing, and Obama apparently agrees.

I've liked the education tax credit ever since I first heard it mentioned. It makes a great deal more sense to give tax breaks to people for doing things that benefit society than it does to give them tax breaks for other things. Giving tax breaks to people for having children makes sense because children are expensive, but nobody gets a tax break for going to college. People bitch about "the welfare state," but giving tax credits for having kids doesn't solve the problem. Giving people tax breaks for getting an education (which helps reduce the overall cost of said education) helps people land higher-paying careers and actually has a chance of fixing the problem instead of patching over it. I'm not saying people shouldn't get tax breaks for having to raise dependents; I'm saying that if you're going to "reward" someone with a tax break, it makes more sense to reward people for pursuing a degree than popping out kids that they ultimately won't be able to support.

The only thing I don't like is the fact that a tax credit doesn't do jack for many students (who aren't working and therefore not paying taxes). An increased stipend or grant would ultimately make more sense.

I like McCain's idea about providing financial perks to good teachers and for teachers willing to teach math and science. I'm not sure how they would ultimately be distributed; my concern is that perks would be handed out based on student improvement of standardized test scores, which is a bad, bad, bad idea.

No matter what we do, we need to find a way to encourage more people to become teachers and a way to increase the quality of teachers in our school systems.

5. National security. Technology is a big part of national security. How should we best use it?

Obama: The space race pushed science education forward in America; bioterrorism and nuclear weapon threats should do the same. We need research for the sake of homeland security. Would like to double the Department of Defense's applied research funding and renew DARPA. The Department of Homeland Security needs to shore up defenses against bioterrorism and cyberterrorism. Reduction of our petroleum dependence (foreign oil reliance) will improve security. We must eliminate erosion of the US manufacturing base and keep defense production domestic.

McCain: We need to adequately fund the military to make sure that our homeland is secure. We need to make sure the American military retains its technological edge, so we need to advance R&D funding.

Er. McCain is always talking about how he was in the military and people are always saying that McCain's national defense plan will more or less be automatically superior to Obama's because of McCain's military record. But all he has to say on the subject of science as it relates to national security is "we need to make sure America remains awesome."
Conversely, Obama points to specific threats (cyberterrorism, biological warfare) and has some specific plans (double DoD research funding, renew DARPA). Keeping defense production domestic seems like a no-brainer; how secure can you be when someone else is building all your weapons?

6. Pandemics and biosecurity. Avian flu (for example) could be a serious threat. What should we do about this?

Obama: Bioterror is a serious threat; wants to invest $5 billion over 3 years in a Shared Security Partnership to form an international intelligence organization against terrorism. Suggests expanding US bioforensics program. Wants to invest in vaccines against potential bioterror agents and technology to trace bioweapons to their origins. Hospitals need to form collaborative networks to respond to any major health crisis. Expand local and state funding for disaster response programs. Stresses funding for drug development and distribution systems--ideally, this will create high-wage pharmaceutical industry jobs.

McCain: We don't know if H5N1 (avian flu) will cause a pandemic, but we need to address threats of bioterrorism. Favors implementation of strategies intended to contain pandemics and alleviate any crisis while still maintaining a functioning economy and community. We need to develop better analytical tools to detect and identify bioterror agents. We must also fund R&D of drugs and vaccines and make sure that we have adequate stockpiles and a response plan if an outbreak occurs.

I really wish the question hadn't been about avian flu just because there's limited evidence that H5N1 is likely to become a pandemic in humans. Oh well. Solid answers from both sides, really.

7. Genetics research. What is the right policy balance between benefits of genetic advances and their potential risks?

Obama: Genetics has raised numerous legal and ethical questions; supports Genetic Non-discrimination Act and introduced the Genomics and Personalized Medicine Act of 2007, which is intended to ensure safety and accuracy of genetic testing. Modifying plants and organisms to improve agriculture is fine as long as we make sure they won't have negative impacts on the environment. Using recombinant DNA (rDNA) to produce protein drugs or replace faulty genes is awesome, but we have to make sure it's safe and proceed cautiously.

McCain: The genetic privacy of all people is incredibly important because of the potential ethical problems involved in storing genetic information. Genetic research can help increase the productivity of agriculture; we should focus on developing higher-yielding crops and improved farming infrastructure.

I think people are panicking about the potential for genetic information way too much. I blame Hollywood. Thanks, GATTACA. The Genetic Non-Discrimination Act is a good idea, though, because the potential for "abuse of genetic information" is still there.

I'm impressed that Obama mentioned rDNA technology because that's some cutting-edge biotech. He probably has some good science advisors.

8. Stem cells. What is your position on government regulation and funding of stem cell research?

Obama: Stem cell research might find cures for several serious diseases. The federal ban on embryonic stem cell research is restricting our ability to find cures for these diseases. Hundreds of thousands of human embryos are stored in fertilization clinics that will ultimately be destroyed anyway; why shouldn't we use these embryos for research instead? Adult stem cell research is good, but embryonic stem cell research should still be pursued because of potential advantages. The National Research Council must be responsible for overseeing embryonic stem cell research to make sure it is being conducted ethically.

McCain: We should fund embryonic stem cell research with federal dollars, but we must not sacrifice our values for the sake of science. Supports adult stem cell research and amniotic fluid cell research. Opposes creation of human embryos for research purposes and voted to make use of fetal tissue created for research purposes a federal crime.

This issue annoys me because it attracts the creation of a horrible straw man: "We shouldn't fund embryonic stem cell research (ESCR) because it hasn't actually produced any cures for any diseases." Aaaaargh! Yes, it is true that no approved medical treatments have been derived from ESCR. It's true that there is no "ban" on embryonic stem cell research, so that's not the problem. There are a fair number of existing embryonic stem cell lines available for research, though not as many as scientific organizations would like.

The real problem people have with ESCR is not that it hasn't produced approved treatments--the real problem is that it violates their personal morals. Even if it had produced viable treatments, these same people would still oppose it. The statement that it hasn't somehow validates their belief. It's essentially saying "not only is ESCR immoral, it's useless, so we don't need to do it." But there's no way to know that ESCR won't eventually produce useful treatments unless we try, and there's no shortage of available embryos. In 2001 it was estimated that 110,000 frozen embryos were stored in the US; the number has only increased. Nobody has to create embryos purely for research; couples utilizing in vitro fertilization have already supplied researchers with a huge number of embryos, and many of them have explicitly wished to donate their surplus embryos for research purposes! Is it really more moral to throw them away than to use them for potentially life-saving medical research?

Saying that ESCR shouldn't be pursued because it hasn't produced viable treatments is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Handicapping researchers of embryonic stem cells is obviously going to reduce the number of ESCR-related breakthroughs.

Enough said; you can probably tell from my position on ESCR that I'm in agreement with Obama on this issue.

9. Ocean health. Scientists estimate that 75% of the world's fisheries are in decline and coral reefs are threatened. What should we do?

Obama: Oceans are important; global climate change could have negative effects on ocean ecosystems, so we should reduce greenhouse gas emission (see item 2). We should expand research on the effect of climate change on marine life. Supports US ratification of the Law of the Sea Convention, an international treaty regarding use of ocean resources. Obama likes long walks on the beach.

McCain: Oceans are awesome; state, local, and federal coordination is needed to reduce issues like invasive aquatic species and agricultural runoff. It is difficult to manage ocean ecology because so many other factors affect oceans without obviously being ocean-related. We need to research the ocean's impact on the carbon cycle, the melting of polar ice, and coastal storms. I was in the Navy, so I love oceans.

Oceans are good. They cover 72% of our planet.

Obama's concerns about ocean health tie into his concerns about global warming, so his statement is basically that his plans to reduce greenhouse emissions should also improve ocean health. Both candidates think more research is needed regarding ocean ecology; McCain makes the excellent point that things that seem to have nothing to do with the ocean affect oceans. I'd like to know what sort of solutions he has in mind for reducing agricultural runoff, for example.

10. Water. How should we address water shortages and the fact that water is a limited resource?

Obama: Prices and policies should encourage efficient water use and discourage waste. Farmers should be encouraged to shift to more water-efficient practices and potentially receive economic assistance to make the shift possible.

McCain: Water is a valuable resource that must be protected. The Department of the Interior and states should make agreements and implement technology to reduce water demand.

Water: Republicans and Democrats alike agree that we need it.

11. Space. How should we prioritize space exploration/research?

Obama: NASA should not only explore space but be involved in researching climate change, energy independence solutions, and aeronautics technology. Wants to encourage the private sector to support NASA. Believes we should re-establish the National Aeronautics and Space Council to oversee space activities.

McCain: Space activities have driven scientific discovery for the past 50 years. The Cold War is over, and this has left NASA uncertain as to what to do; however, we are heavily dependent upon satellites and other space-based assets for communication. Other countries are exploring space (Japan, India, Russia, China, Europe). The role of manned space flight goes beyond exploration; it encourages national pride. Supports funding for more space exploration and science; sponsored legislation supporting the commercial space industry. Wants to maximize the research potential of the International Space Station, maintain space infrastructure, prevent wasteful earmarks that divert potential money away from space research, and guarantee adequate investments in aeronautics.

McCain is seriously excited about space. Who knew? He's definitely got a point--the "space race" is a big part of what pushed science and engineering in the latter half of the last century, and once we'd "beaten the Russians" and been to the moon several times people seemed to get kind of burnt out on space. What they've forgotten is that NASA's technologies ultimately wound up in everybody's homes, partly because we'd spent so much money developing them. Many packaged food technologies, for example, are a product of the space race.

I'm not sure we could artificially engineer another "space race" to push technological development, but space technology has been seen as a proxy for overall technological advancement for the past fifty years or so. The whole reason we wanted to beat the Russians to the moon was that it would somehow prove American ingenuity was better than Russian ingenuity. Now China and India are launching manned space flights. The point is not to go the moon--we've been there. The point is to get people excited about technology with a big, visible symbol. The space shuttle is an excellent symbol of the modern era for that very reason.

12. Scientific integrity. Many government scientists report politics interfere with their jobs. Is it acceptable for government officials to alter or hold back scientific reports if they don't like the results? How will you balance scientific data with political and personal beliefs?

Obama: Decisions should be made based on the best available scientific evidence, not ideology. Transparency is important. I have a bunch of science advisors, including some Nobel Laureates! Plans to appoint people with strong sci-tech backgrounds and ethical qualifications to positions requiring scientific expertise. Wants to establish a Chief Technology Officer to make sure that government agencies have the right infrastructure and strengthen the role of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. Would issue an executive order requiring the release of government research publications and wants to guarantee that the results are not distorted by political biases.

McCain: The government spends lots of money on research; the public deserves to see the results. Denying facts will not solve problems; policy should be based on sound science. Wants qualified engineers and scientists to join key technical positions in his administration. Believes integrity is critical to scientific research.

I would like to quote McCain's last line verbatim:

"My own record speaks for integrity and putting the country first, not political agendas."

Um. I don't know about his opinions regarding the integrity of scientific research, but McCain has put his political agenda before his "integrity" (if he's using the word to mean the same thing that I am) on many occasions:

-He accused Obama of voting for "corporate welfare" for oil companies. He actually raised taxes on oil companies.
-He accused Obama of planning to raise taxes on the middle class when in fact tax rates would only increase for families making above $250,000 a year, among other miscellaneous lies about Obama and taxation, like the claim that small businesses would pay more taxes under Obama.
-He also grossly mischaracterized Obama's health care plan.

Politicians are notorious for being dishonest, and Obama has also stretched the truth on several occasions, but I'm not sure why McCain thinks that he can claim that he always puts the country before his political agenda when he...doesn't. He endorsed the Iraq war and reversed his position on torture to curry favor with his party and secure his presidential bid.


13. Research. What priority will you give research in upcoming budgets?

Obama: Federally supported research is essential and must be continued. Laments the decline in federal research dollars for the physical sciences and engineering. Would double basic science, math, and engineering research budgets over the next decade.

McCain: We must maximize the value of our research spending; has supported increases in funding for the NSF and would like to see "top scientists" decide how to utilize funding. Wants to make sure federal research dollars are allocated based on quality, not earmarks.

Obama wants to double federal funding over ten years; the Bush administration requested $137.2 billion for federal R&D funding. $50 billion of that is supposed to go to science education and modernization of research infrastructure. The remaining $86 billion finances R&D tax incentives. The linked report was updated in 2006; at the time, Bush also called for doubling federal R&D funding over the next ten years. In a sense, Obama wants to leave the existing plan intact.

McCain's budget is based on cutting earmarks, which he claims will save $100 billion. But most sources suggest that "cutting earmarks" will save less than $20 billion. If the $137.2 billion figure is accurate for federal R&D grants, that means we're going to need to come up with about $274 billion over the next ten years. Obama doesn't say where that money is going to come from (troubling), but McCain seems to think that cutting earmarks is going to cover it. This seems improbable.

There's also the fact that earmarks direct funds from executive agencies to specific topics--cutting earmarks won't cut government spending, it will just change the way the same dollars get spent. I'm not sure we're going to get sufficient R&D money from "cutting earmarks" much like I'm not convinced McCain can reduce the federal budget by $100 billion "without cutting into federal programs," especially if he plans to increase defense spending.

This might just be me, but I would rather a candidate offer no details (assuming they will come later) as opposed to offering a plan that is verifiably wrong.

14. Health. How do you see science and tech contibuting to improved health and quality of life?

Obama: Medical science has made huge steps in combating disease; he notes, specifically, advances against heart disease, stroke, cancer, AIDS, mental illness, infectious diseases, and surgical techniques that reduce hospital stays and costs. Notes that US health care spending per capita exceeds other countries but low-income groups suffer from reduced access. Believes that America's health care system is more beneficial for pharma and insurance companies than it is for citizens. Wants to increase employer-based coverage benefits, require insurance companies to cover "preventative medicine" and limit charges by insurance companies. Insurance companies would be required to cover preexisting conditions. Wants to provide tax credits to small businesses and individuals to pay for the cost of health insurance and provide coverage for all children. Would like to see the healthcare system become more efficient, continue to support research to treat diseases, and provide healthcare to all citizens.

McCain: Medical science has developed some amazing cures for illnesses. Telemedicine is an opportunity to increase health care access, especially for patients in remote areas. Insurance costs a lot and many Americans are unable to afford it; we should promote R&D and wellness to reduce costs.

I'm in the healthcare field, so I feel very close to these issues. If you forced me to pick one issue to focus on, I would say that improving the American health care system is at the top of the list.

Private insurance costs a fortune; it isn't reasonable to expect people to purchase private insurance because in the long run it doesn't save them money unless they are struck down by dire illness. My girlfriend has a private insurance plan because she doesn't get coverage through her current employer. She pays $70 a month in premiums. She has a $5000 deductible. For those who don't know what that means, it means that until she pays $5000 out of pocket in a given year, her insurance covers nothing. She is responsible for the first $5000 in health expenses. Now, I don't know what your financial situation looks like, but having $5000 in health expenses would bankrupt her right out. In other words, by the time her insurance picks up the cost, it's too little, too late. All of her standard medical needs--doctor visits if sick, annual OB/gyn appointments, prescriptions--have to come out of her own pocket. The average doctor's office visit costs about $60; the average ER visit costs $383. The last time I went to the doctor I paid $125. The national average cost for a hospital stay, depending on what sort of treatment you need, was $6525 in 1999. In 2007, that figure climbed to around $10,000.

If you make minimum wage, going to the doctor represents more than a full day's wages in cost. That's more than enough to discourage low-income families from visiting the doctor if they have to pay out of pocket--and that doesn't include the cost of medications or travel to and from the office or the lost wages from having to take off work (if it is necessary to do so, and it often is). Even if you make more than minimum wage, it's pretty clear that health care is prohibitively expensive. The median household income in the US is just over $50,000. In what universe can people be expected to afford dropping one-fifth of their yearly income on a hospital stay?

McCain's statements on health care here don't even touch the issue. Telemedicine? Being able to have your doctor examine you with a video camera instead of you having to go to his office is not going to matter if you can't afford an exam in the first place.

McCain's website has more details about his health care plans. I wonder why he didn't bother going into any of these details for ScienceDebate--I actually have reservations about critiquing his health care plan as described on his site when what I'm primarily doing is talking about ScienceDebate. But I've already done it, so let's do it. In case you're curious, here's Obama's website on his health care plans.

Anyway, McCain favors a tax credit to offset the cost of insurance; the credit would go directly toward purchasing a chosen plan, and any extra dollars will be deposited directly into a tax-free health savings account. The credit would be $2500 for individuals and $5000 for families.

Obama's health care plan involves a tax credit to small businesses equal to 50% of what those businesses spend on health care premiums for their employees. How much money is that? A report from a 2004 NY Times article states that California businesses paid $6.30 per $100 in employee payroll for employee insurance benefits.

So let's run some numbers. Suppose you run a small business with 30 employees, yourself included. You're extremely charitable and your business is doing well enough that the mean income for your employees is about equal to the national median of $50k per year. No, this doesn't mean the janitor is getting $50k; it means that the average of your employee's annual wages is $50k, which allows for a minimum-wage janitor and a high-paid CEO. The average can still come out the same. Anyway, $50k x 30 employees = $1500k. You spend 6.3% of that on providing healthcare for your employees, which is $94,500 per year. Obama wants to give your company $47,250 in tax relief every year. McCain wants to give you and each of your employees $2500 per year (you're all bachelors for some reason), which is $75,000. So McCain actually wants to give you more money.

But what will the benefits be? Obama wants everyone to be able to have coverage equivalent to the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan (FEHBP). Here's a table showing plans available nationwide. I could get a Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurance plan for myself for $37.97/month or $90.26/month. This chart shows deductibles; I've chosen the BC/BS standard plan, which is the second row on the table. The total per person deductible is $300 per year. Once I met my deductible, an office visit would cost $15 and a hospital stay no more than $100. I would pay 25% of the cost of prescription drugs as my copay, which isn't too bad. I personally would have to spend about $150 a month on prescription drugs (and I'm only on one medication), so I would pay ~$28/month for drugs.

Let me summarize. Obama wants to give you (private citizens) the ability to purchase benefits comparable to the following:

-Premiums of $90/month for a family of four
-$300 out-of-pocket responsibility per person per year
-A copay structure where office visits cost as little as $15-20 and hospital stays run between $100-400
-A prescription drug plan where generics cost as little as $5 and even the most expensive drugs only cost you 50% of their retail value

McCain wants to give your hypothetical family of four $5000 to purchase health care. I don't think he realizes that private insurance for families cost an average of $9950 per year in 2004 and that that price is continually increasing.

I don't think I can stress that enough. If you don't get insurance through your employer and have to buy private insurance, McCain wants to give you half what your annual health insurance costs will be in the form of a tax credit. $5000 sounds fantastic until you realize that the average family will have to pay another $5000 just to get coverage. And that's just premiums. Deductibles are not included--and for privately insured patients, deductibles could easily add up to another $5000. In short, McCain's plan involves families spending as much as $10,000 per year before their health insurance pays a dime.

I've said enough on this subject.

That concludes my analysis of ScienceDebate '08. Hopefully you found it informative. We report, you decide!
          New Workers Compensation Laws California 2013        
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The City Of La Puente Invites Applications For
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c A L I F O R N I A
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2013 California Compliance Catalog
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National Consumer Law Firm, 1-800-LAW-FIRM, PLLC Is Suing Garda, The Armored Car Company To Recoup Alleged Lost Wages ...
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Another New Wave Of Employment Laws In California
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SPECIAL REPORT New California Employment Laws Effective In 2013
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Contractors Face New Laws In 2013
Contractors Face New Laws in 2013 . AB 2119 - Workers' compensation insurance coverage; roofers Brings California’s False Claims Act into conformity with federal law by defining the term “obligation” ... Read Full Source

Unemployment Compensation, Offices, Benefits And Rates
Unemployment insurance benefits are available for workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own. The unemployment compensation you will receive will depend upon the amount you earned while working. Unemployment Benefits for 2013; New York Unemployment Guide ... Read Article

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NEW CALIFORNIA EMPLOYMENT LAWS FOR 2013 by: workers or other "friends" on social media. Social media is broadly defined as "videos, still compensation required to be paid to a nonexempt full-time salaried employee, the employee's ... Read Here

          New Workers Compensation Law Michigan        
New Workers Compensation Law Michigan Images

The Medical Fee Schedule Under The Workers' Compensation Law
Workers’ Compensation Law to address various issues. This reluctance to accept new workers’ compensation patients may be a warning sign that The State of Michigan authorizes the bureau of workers’ compensation to promulgate the ... View This Document

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Overview Of Workers' Compensation In Michigan
This booklet provides a general outline of workers' compensation law in Michigan. It is not intended to be a legal document and it is not intended to cover every possible situation there are always new questions about workers' compensation that come up. There are many areas in which the courts ... Access This Document

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Important Implications Of The MMSEA/Secondary Payer Act That ...
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Orkers’ Ompensation Ection Ewsletter - State Bar Of Michigan
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Provided for in the New Jersey Workers' Compensation Law (N.J.S.A. 34:15-7 et seq.) an assessment up to an amount of $1,000.00 and when the period exceeds twenty (20) days, an additional assessment of up to $1,000.00 for each period of 10 days thereafter. ... Read Full Source

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WorkersCompensation Insurance - Industrial Commission Of ...
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Property insurance, workers' compensation insurance, liability and … Read Article. DIGEST OF INSURANCE LAW NEW JERSEY. Courtesy of Michigan Has Second-highest Car Insurance Premiums Home Remedies For Skin Diseases & DisordersCan you wash your pet hamster When sent to boot camp ... Read Article

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WorkersCompensation Certification Program
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Summary Of 2011 Wc Reform Bill.01.2012
The types of changes made in the new legislation can be divided into two broad The workers’ compensation statute only covers “employees.” It • Appeals of vocational rehabilitation rulings by the Director now go to the Michigan Compensation Appellate Commission, ... Return Doc

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2012 Southern California Theater Listings
Up and Running 137 N. Larchmont Blvd., Ste. 149 Los Angeles, CA 90004 323-733-7073 email: In the “biz” side of showbiz for more than 15 years, the arts consultants at Up and Running have extensive experience, especially in theater publicity. ... Read News

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STATE BAR OF MICHIGAN WORKERS’ COMPENSATION LAW SECTION MEETING MINUTES: 6/18/2010 This was the annual Section meeting held at Crystal Mountain. officers and new council members consisted of Joel Alpert, Mike Flynn, Vic Abela and Lenny ... Fetch Document

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Michigan employees whose contracts of hire were not made in Michigan, the amendment imposed a new legal burden on out-of-state employers not previously compensation for injuries sustained workers’ compensation law does not favor double recovery. See: Stanley v. Hinchliffe & Kenner, 395 ... Document Viewer

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WorkersCompensation Certification Program
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CVS Pharmacy - Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia
The new company is called CVS Caremark Corporation and the corporate headquarters remains in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. and he received tickets to golf outings and sporting events and compensation for travel to Florida and California. In August 2005, he pleaded guilty to mail fraud charges, ... Read Article

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WorkersCompensation Certification Program
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TIME Looks Back: The Assassination Of Martin Luther King, Jr.
“An Hour of Need” and “The Assassination” were first published in The Nation page of TIME on April 12, 1968. The Nation An Hour of Need RARELY in American memory had hope and horror been so poignantly fused men’s within a single week. Rarely had men’s actions— voluntary and involuntary— seemed so ineluctably intertwined. President Johnson’s announce ment of a major peace offensive in Asia ... Read News

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Workers' Compensation Newsletter - Workplace Safety And ...
Research Professors in Michigan Invent Industrial Carpal Tunnel Professors Armstrong and Silverstein of disability under the new Workers’ Compensation law has strict limits on entitlement to benefits. However, why a RSI would improve, if the adjudicator ... Content Retrieval

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National Consumer Law Firm, 1-800-LAW-FIRM, PLLC Is Suing Garda, The Armored Car Company To Recoup Alleged Lost Wages ...
Ari Kresch, founder of 1800-LAW-FIRM, is no stranger to the news. He was recently nominated for 2013 Entrepreneur of the Year and now is suing Garda.SOUTHFIELD, MI (PRWEB) April 04, 2013 1-800-LAW-FIRM is suing Garda based on complaints of many drivers. Allegedly, they have ignored and rewritten State and Federal laws, and only pay overtime after 50 hours of work. ... Read News

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New Workers Compensation Law Michigan Pictures

Dard Valuation Law (SVL), and its work as the technical archi- chief actuary for the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services in Lansing; Cande Olsen, Bureau of Workers Compensation in Columbus, has joined ... Fetch Here

          Allocated Expenses Workers Compensation        
Photos of Allocated Expenses Workers Compensation

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The Cost Of A WorkersCompensation Claim
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MASSACHUSETTS WORKERS' COMPENSATION. the Loss Conversion Factor (to include all LAE), Expenses excluding Premium Taxes (but including all Loss Adjustment Expense), and the Tax Multiplier. For the ALAE Option, we calculate the following: Expected Loss plus Allocated Loss Adjustment ... Doc Retrieval

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WorkersCompensation Reform Update - Redirect To LAUSD Portal
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THE WORKERS’ COMPENSATION RATING & INSPECTION BUREAU OF MASSACHUSETTS 101 ARCH STREET·5TH FLOOR, BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS 02110-1103 (617) 439-9030, FAX (617) 439-6055, and allocated loss adjustment expenses for employers liability losses. ... Read Full Source

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2010 California WorkersCompensation Losses And Expenses
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California WorkersCompensation: Renewed Challenges Ahead
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Ohio Bureau Of WorkersCompensation Comprehensive Study
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OHI WORKERS’ COMPENSATION TRUST for THE NEW YORK STATE WORKERS' COMPENSATION BOARD by LUMSDEN & McCORMICK,LLP May 24, 2012. DEFICIT RECONSTRUCTION AND medical, allocated loss adjustment expenses, and unallocated loss adjustment expenses (ULAE). ... Read Here

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          Jail officer sues county over residency firing        
A former Albany County corrections officer who was fired for living outside the county without permission has filed a notice of claim alleging that he was a victim of selective enforcement. Russell J. Henry, 46, who has owned a home in Saratoga County since at least 2007, is seeking lost wages and benefits, including medical
          Comment on Religion and gambling: The wages of faith may be fewer lost wages by Ephraim Shapiro        
Thanks for the article. The results are not surprising to me but the study reminds me of a joke told by the keynote speaker at an ASR conference held in Las Vegas a few years ago. Q: What is the difference between those who pray in a church or synagogue and those who pray at a casino gambling table? A: The ones who pray at the gambling table really mean it!
          Discover What to do When Your Credit Worth is Damaged Due to Circumstances out of Your Control        
First of all, let�s examine exactly what credit worth means and how it affects your financial life.

Your credit worth, as defined by the financial industry, is the overall picture of your financial health that is used by lenders to determine your ability to repay debt. By looking at a combination of factors, lenders, such as banks, credit card companies, and utility companies, estimate how worthy you are of receiving a line of credit or regular services based on a payment schedule.

The most common factor used by lenders to determine credit worthiness is your credit score. Your credit score is a number generated by a mathematical formula that estimates how likely you are to pay your bills. Based on the information in your credit reports from the three credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, your credit score is a factor affecting your ability to get loans and good interest rates. Lenders compare your credit report with millions of others to determine your score.

But your credit score is not the only thing that lenders look at to decide whether or not to give you a loan or a good interest rate. They also evaluate the individual entries on your credit report and the information you provide on your loan application. Some creditors consider your occupation, length of employment, and whether or not you own a home.

Each creditor creates a credit scoring system based on factors important to that institution, so you may receive different results with different lenders. For this reason, it is also important to talk to the credit manager about why you received the credit limit and interest rates that you did. You may have mitigating circumstances that affect how your credit history is viewed, or you may be on the margin between two score categories. Negotiation may be possible if you are open with the creditor about your ability to pay.

If you are turned down for credit, law states that you are entitled to a free credit report if you request it within 60 days. A few steps you can take to improve your credit worthiness include paying your bills on time, paying down your existing debt, and refrain from taking on new debt. But the points awarded by creditors for each factor varies, and an increase in your credit score depends on how one factor relates to another factor in their particular scoring model.

Collections, bankruptcies, and late payments have the greatest negative effect on your credit score, and, therefore, on your credit worthiness. Paying your bills on time may seem like a small thing when you�re writing that monthly check, but an accumulation of timely payments says a lot to a potential lender looking for a reliable client. Prompt payments in recent months can actually make a big difference in your credit score.

Your debt is a factor as well. Keeping your account balances between 25% and 50% of your available credit signals a responsible borrower. For example, if you have a credit card with a $2000 limit, keep your debt below $1000. For this reason, consolidating your credit card debt can actually lower your credit score, as it raises your debt to available credit ratio. The best solution is to simply pay off your existing cards as quickly as possible.

The length of your credit history is another determining factor in a good score. Lenders want to know that you are able to maintain prompt payments and good standing for a reasonable period of time. Most credit scoring models consider the length of your credit history, but low points in this area can be outweighed by good payment history and low debt balances.

Some creditors consider the type of accounts you have as a determining factor in your credit worthiness. While it�s a good idea to have established credit accounts, some companies consider loans from finance companies or too many accounts to be negative factors.

Checking your credit report regularly (at least once each quarter) helps you in numerous ways:

1.You need to know who is checking on your credit at any given time. Inquiries factor into your overall credit score and it is illegal to run your report unless you have given written permission.
2.Makes you aware of accounts reported incorrectly, which is extremely important in situations such as a company reporting a late payment incorrectly.
3.You may discover big surprises like a collection account filed against you that you weren�t even aware of. It happens!
4.And the really big one � someone has stolen your identity and is using your credit!

With the number of identity theft cases increasing steadily, you can�t afford to ignore your credit � especially if you are considering borrowing.

In a recent court case number 02CC13327, a 4th District Court of Appeals upheld the first $1 million judgment against a large retail company by a victim of identity theft. One of the interesting facts of this case is that the court recognized a recently developed procedure for measuring credit damage. The owner CM Financial of Fullerton, CA, Georg Finder, is an expert witness in credit cases, and is responsible for developing this process that he calls �Credit Damage Measurement,� or CDM.

Up until recently, lawyers for victims of credit damage had little chance of collecting damages beyond medical treatment, lost wages and property loss. With the development of CDM, that has all changed.
So what do you do if your credit worthiness is damaged due to situations out of your control? Call CM Financial at 714 441-0900 for starters to find out how it�s possible to calculate exact financial consequences and therefore enable you to seek out appropriate compensation.

You can learn more about CM Financial and the CDM process, including being able to view sample reports, at

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          Why I Am A Liberal        
Well, friends, I am starting to string some sentences together to start working on my next book, which will be called "Now, What's Left?"

The first thing I have to do is put together a book proposal, which is kind of a big job, but - the good news is that when it's done, you've really done the hardest part of writing the book.

So, in preparation for the proposal, I'm sort of synopsizing everything that's been rattling around in my head that I want to be a part of this book, and one of the things I ended up doing was making a list of the reasons I am a liberal.

I'm sure I'll think of more, but... here goes!

This is what being a liberal means to me:
·      I believe that freedom means freedom for everyone, not just me and mine;
·      I believe in not only personal responsibility but shared responsibility towards the group of which I am a part;
·      I believe that leadership does not equal dominance
·      I believe that every person is entitled to dignity and respect, not because of what they have but because of who they are – human. I do not believe that someone who has more than I do is more worthy than I am, and I do not believe that someone who has less than I do is less worthy.
·      I believe that each individual’s religious belief (or non-belief) should be respected, but it should not infringe upon others’ belief, non-belief, or personal freedom and that religion and government should be separate – for the good of both.
·      I believe that the qualities of tolerance and empathy are not the same as ‘moral relativity’ (whatever that actually means), but are expressions of the Golden Rule and moral values to which I am proud to aspire.
·      When people disparage ‘diversity’ (always said with the little eye-roll), I assume they prefer inbreeding.
·      I believe that there are some things that government is better equipped to deal with than private enterprise; that there is room for both. I do not believe government should be run like a business, and I do not believe that private enterprise should be run like the government.
·      I believe that the areas that include shared life-and-death resources (clean air, fresh water, safe food, transportation infrastructure, judicial and legal infrastructure, essential [not elective] medical care, military defense), and education for all, should be administered, overseen, and protected without a profit motive by a body that is accountable to the people – that is, government.
·      I respect tradition, but not for tradition’s sake only; I embrace change, but not change for change’s sake. For each I ask myself, “Is it necessary?”
·      If I claim freedom for myself, I need to extend it to others in return. Civil rights are rights conferred upon citizens, and civil marriage is one of those rights. No one should be guaranteed a religious marriage; that is up to the tenets of that particular religion and not the business of government. But civil marriage recognized by the state grants rights, benefits and responsibilities to married couples that all citizens who wish to marry the person they love should be able to benefit from – and be responsible for.
·      I believe basic health care is a right, and not only that, but a benefit to society that saves money to all Americans in the long run. I believe that national single payer health care, administered (but not provided) by the government, is the most cost-effective and fair way to ensure that no person is denied care because they can’t afford it, or goes bankrupt because of an illness or accident.
The argument that health care should not be called a ‘right’ because no doctor shoud be forced to care for an ill person against their will makes no sense. Emergency rooms are already mandated to care for anyone who comes in regardless of their ability to pay; the cost is astronomical and borne by the taxpayers anyway.
No one should die because they can’t afford care, and if the costs of medical care are shared in a large enough pool that includes healthy people as well as sick people, then medical costs will be more affordale all round. This is nothing more than insurance, taken to its logical conclusion – but without the profit motive that takes precious dollars away from health care. No other industrialized nation allows insurance for profit; even private insurance is non-profit. It is immoral to me to enrich myself at the cost of human health and life. Not only that but it is a drain and an expense that society must pay for in terms of lost productivity, lost wages, families thrown into poverty (and the public dole) – so it is actually cheaper and more efficient on many, many levels for society to manage health care.
If I wish to have a 5-star hotel-room hospital experience, or get elective plastic surgery to indulge my vanity – by all means, let the market take care of that! If you want it and can afford it and an insurer wants to make a profit from that, go for it.
Private, for-profit insurance for things like cars, houses, travel, flood, hurricane, fire and other things that you choose to have in your life that cost a lot to replace is perfectly useful as far as I’m concerned, but in matters of a human life it is unconscionable.
·      I believe that government is US – We the People – and, as flawed as it can be, it is answerable to us. Private enterprise in charge of public needs is NOT answerable to us (See California’s disastrous power deregulation and susequent grotesque theft from the people of CA for a good example of what the lure of the profit motive can lead to with public utilities.) Privatization is not the answer to what’s wrong with government.
·      I do not believe that the Invisible Hand of the Free Market will make everything hunky-dory with the economy. I think that is a willful misinterpretation from Adam Smith that Republicans accept as fact because it favors the interests of Big Business to do so. I do not believe that ‘free markets’ are free if all the power is on one side of the equation.
·      I do not believe that tax cuts for the wealthy create jobs. All they do is add to the deficit and give Republicans an excuse to cut social programs in the name of ‘deficit reduction’.
·      I do not believe you can ‘cut’ your way out of a depression (pardon me – a recession.) by belt-tightening. Just ask Hoover – or go visit a Hooverville. I hear they’re quite the ‘coming thing’.
·      I believe that workers have the right to organize and negotiate with the companies they work for. Otherwise, it becomes a race to the bottom for the cheapest labor – leading to the demise of American jobs, massive outsourcing and the demand for, not just immigrant labor, but illegal immigrant labor (basically slave labor) – as a business model! Union wages keep non-union wages high as well, leading to a strong economy where there are consumers who can afford to buy things that cost a little more. It’s a race to the top instead of the bottom.
·      I also believe in reasonable regulation. If we had had reasonable regulation in place over the last 15 years, we would not be in an economic collapse only rivalled in the last century by the Great Depression. There is a middle ground between micro-managing and reasonable regulation, but the corporate powers-that-be treat any attempt to oversee financial matters as the grossest of meddling, nit-picking, and job-killing. That, of course, is their strategy. It’s called ‘working the refs’ and it has worked like a charm for them. For us? Not so much. Even a football game has rules.
·      I believe that justice and the rule of law should not be for sale to the highest bidder.
·      I believe that elections should be financed by the public to ensure that politicians are not purchased by corporations and that the important work of our nation is not disrupted by 24/7 fundraising once a candidate is elected. I don’t believe a congressperson should be under the thumb of corporate money, and subject to the pressure of having an opponent financed by a corporation if that congressperson doesn’t ‘play ball’. I also do not believe that there should be a revolving door between Congress and K Street once that Congressperson leaves office.
·      I believe we overlook conflicts of interest at our peril.
·      I do not believe that military dominance of the world is the way to keep America safe.
·      I do not believe that we should ever pre-emptively attack another nation, and that war should be the last of last resorts in self-defense. Real last resort, not pretend, made-up ‘last resort’ that was actually the first resort. I wish there was no reason for war at all, but if we do go into combat, we should take care of our soldiers both in and out of the service, for as long as they need it. It is the least we can do for the men and women of whom we have asked the unspeakable. David Swanson is right; war is a crime. I wish I were smart enough to figure out how to keep our governments from engaging in them.

Well, it's a start...
          Punitive Damages in New Mexico Truck Accident Cases        
In New Mexico personal injury cases, there are several types of awards that a successful plaintiff may be awarded. The most common type of damages is compensatory damages. These damages include amounts for lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. Compensatory damages are designed to put the plaintiff back into the position in which they were […]
          Lex Machina Launches Employment Analytics        
Lex Machina is launching the third new module in the past twelve months, following the release of Securities and Commercial Law products.The new employment litigation module includes over 70,000 discrimination, retaliation, and harassment cases pending in federal court since 2009.  According to Lex Machina Chief Evangelist, Owen Byrd they plan to add Americans with Disabilities Act and labor union cases in the fall.

Employment Law analytics includes the standard Lex Machina data and trend analysis for case timing, resolutions, damages, remedies, and findings, as well as insights into opposing counsel, law firms, parties, judges, venues which can be used for pitches and litigation strategy.

Lex Machina Employment Judgement Events

New content added to Legal Analytics  includes three million docket entries and 36 employment-specific tags for damages, findings and remedies, including:
·       Damages – Back pay/lost wages, emotional distress, front pay, liquidated damages, and punitive damages.
·       Findings – Findings under discrimination statues such as Title VII (race/color, religion, national origin, sex/gender), ADEA (age), PDA (pregnancy), §1981/§1983 (equal rights/civil rights violations), USERRA (members of the military), the Equal Pay Act and the Rehabilitation Act. Other findings include: hostile work environment/harassment, retaliation, failure to mitigate defense, time barred defense, failure to accommodate, legitimate nondiscriminatory/non-retaliatory reason defense, and failure to exhaust administrative remedies defense.
·       Remedies – Notice posting, promotion, and reinstatement.

The press release provides some high level insights derived from Lex Machina's analysis of initial employment litigation findings uncovered by Lex Machina, based on cases filed between January 1, 2009 through June 30, 2017:

  • Discrimination lawsuits are by far the most common (87% of cases), followed by retaliation (66%) and harassment (35%).  
  • Employment cases often involve overlapping kinds of claims - discrimination and retaliation claims are combined more than half the time (54%), and the other two combinations occur in about a third of cases.  
  • Cases with all three tags comprise just under a quarter of the cases (24%).Top governmental defendants include municipal organizations like the City of New York and the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority, as well as federal organizations like the U.S. Post Office and Department of Defense.  
  • Top corporations by employment cases include companies with a nationwide presence like Wal-mart, Home Depot, Target, United Parcel Service, Bank of America, and United Airlines.

Legal Analytics for Employment Law Webcast
For more information about Lex Machina’s newest practice area, please follow this link for Lex Machina’s employment litigation launch webcast, scheduled for July 13 at 9:00 PDT/12:00 EDT. The webcast will be moderated by David Lat, founder and managing editor of Above The Law. Joining him will be David Walton, Shareholder at Cozen O'Conner; Patrick DiDomenico, Chief Knowledge officer from Ogletree, Deakins, and Owen Byrd, Chief Evangelist, and General Counsel at Lex Machina.

          A new home        

I started this one-room crap-shack of a blog all the way back in 2006 out of boredom and in need of a baseball outlet. The original intend was not to entertain or attract a significant audience or even advance a writing career. I simply wanted to keep myself busy with my favorite passion.

You see, we had just had my daughter Avery and had taken a new position in my company that would send me on the road quite often. Without much to do in far-flung Marriott Courtyard in some largely suburban community, I saturated myself with as much baseball knowledge as I possibly could on statistics and how they can be applied to the game I loved so much.

But enough about what I do in hotel rooms alone.

Frankly, I enjoyed doing the research – asking myself questions and seeing if I can use data to determine answers or provide insight towards the game. Somewhere along the way, other people began to enjoy my research or writing or whatever because people starting crowding in to read my posts on a regular basis.

I was fortunate enough to meet some outstanding Twins bloggers in John Bonnes, Nick Nelson and Seth Stohs (among others) only to discover that we all had the same passion and/or self-destructive behavior for providing free Twins content on the Internet. We formed TwinsCentric to pool our collective talents together to provide content to the Star Tribune (also for free).

But, man, what a hassle for you, the reader, right? I mean, each morning, stops at my site, Seth’s site, Nick’s site, that weird site with photos of farm animals dressed like people, the Star Tribune’s TwinsCentric site and then, if you had time, John’s site. With all that surfing you figure we must be costing your companies a ton in lost wages as you spend from 8 AM to 1:28 PM -each day going from Twins blog -to-Twins blog.

So, while the Occupy Wall Streeters continue to tear down big corporations, we at TwinsCentric plan to assist the poor, defenseless coporations – at the very least, by attempting to get their lost wages back. Starting today, the TwinsCentric team is launching a new endeavor,, your source for not only informative and entertaining posts from your four favorite Twins bloggers but also a place to discuss and debate with other Twins fans.

With forces joined, we figured we could at least save the good people of Cyberspaceville the annoyance of making multiple stops along the information superhighway. Now you can lap up all the Twins news, content and chatter you want in one spot -- just like an Old Country Buffett with an open bar.

So, oddly enough, I am going to miss this shack. It’s the one I took care of for six long years and honestly, not very well. After all, I never actually gave it a real URL. Still, I will not be more than a click away as I will be posting at my new location within the Twins Daily site (found here). Additionally, all my archived posts will remain up here at the old site just in case you want to scroll through the posts and tell me how wrong I was back in 2010 when I called Glen Perkins washed up (plenty of crow eaten on that one).

Thanks again for stopping by this old girl. See you at the new home.

Twins Daily:

Twins Daily on Twitter:!/TwinsDaily

          Why Managed Internet Security Services Are Your Best Form of PC Protection        
Major corporations and government agencies have been successfully waging the war against cyber-crime by paying big money for professionally managed Internet security services. They spend millions every year for corporate grade security software and for trained security experts to manage their security for them.

Managed security services are the best form of protection available today and are much more than just software. It is professional grade technology coupled with having a team of security experts available to help with any security problem. This level of protection has never been available for homes and small businesses until now. INVISUS is the breakthrough leader in offering professional Internet security services to the masses. Managed security services are the future of Internet security. Someday, everyone will have a service like INVISUS to protect themselves from Internet threats.

This separates INVISUS from any other security program on the market today. INVISUS is truly in a league of its own.

Here are the basics you need to know about what you will receive for $14.99 a month, just 49 cents a day, for the INVISUS PC Security Service:

  • It’s a SERVICE: INVISUS is much more than just security software; it’s a full Internet security service. In today’s dangerous online environment, it’s vital to find a professional service that will manage your security for you.

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  • Automatic Updates: Where most entry level software only gets updated once a week or so, INVISUS software updates every day. This is vital in the battle against Internet threats.

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  • Security Alerts: When new security threats emerge that pose a risk to our subscribers, everyone receives real-time alerts to warn them about it and show them what to watch out for. There are thousands of new viruses and spyware released every month now. This is a vital part of the service to keep everyone informed of the latest threats that could bite you. This is another benefit of having the INVISUS experts watching out for you.

  • Unlimited Expert Technical Support: The trained security technicians at INVISUS are the best in the industry. There is not a security problem that they cannot solve. Since there is no such thing as perfect security, you’ve got to have access to a team of experts. And you don't want to have to pay for the help. With INVISUS you get unlimited expert support for as often as is needed at no extra cost. It's like having your own personal team of experts. (I recently paid Dell Support $100.00 for support that ended up helping me with something I could have done by myself for free: removing my infected Windows XP and installing a clean copy. Their service came with a 3-day guarantee. After the 3rd day, if I needed additional technical support, it would cost me another $100.00.)

  • $25,000 Identity Theft Insurance: No other security company offers a comprehensive Identity Theft Insurance and Recovery package. We’ve partnered with industry giant AIG to bring this incredible benefit to every subscriber. This policy covers you and your spouse, and includes any form of identity theft, not just online identity theft. Comprehensive coverage include:

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  • 30 Day Satisfaction Guarantee: During the first 30 days of a new subscription to the INVISUS service, if for any reason you are not completely satisfied with their service, INVISUS will give you a full refund. This is a no-risk proposition to try it out and see the benefits.

  • The Five and Free Affiliate Program: The Five and Free Affiliate Program is a payment reduction plan. Many customers enroll in this program because they want to share the service with those they care about while, at the same time, getting their service for free. Every time, as a Five and Free Affiliate customer, you help someone get protected with INVISUS, your own monthly subscription bill is reduced.

    • Here’s how it works: Every time you refer someone to subscribe to INVISUS, 20% of their monthly payment to INVISUS goes to reduce your Five and Free Affiliate monthly bill. By recommending INVISUS to 5 or more people who become subscribers, you will reduce your bill to a point where you will actually get your security service for free. There is a small one-time enrollment fee for this program.

  • The Subscription Service Agreement: Like cell phones and many other subscription-based services, every subscription to the INVISUS PC Security Service starts with a 1 year minimum term. After that, it rolls to a month-to-month agreement. There is an early termination fee of $45 during that first year unless cancelation occurs during the first 30 days.

Click here to test your PC NOW!

          Morgantown, WV Personal Injury Attorney Jeff Robinette Announces the E-book Release of “Righting the Wrong: West Virginia Auto Injury Guide"        

West Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer Jeff Robinette has released a free e-book version of "Righting the Wrong: West Virginia Serious Injury Guide" to the public. This guide provides essential information WV accident injury victims need to know when filing an insurance injury claim in order to maximize chances of being fairly compensated for injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and future expenses and losses.

(PRWeb July 31, 2014)

Read the full story at

          Morgantown, WV Personal Injury Attorney Jeff Robinette Announces the E-book Release of "Collision Care: West Virginia Auto Injury Guide"        

West Virginia Car Accident Injury Lawyer Jeff Robinette has released a free E-book version of his book "Collision Care: West Virginia Auto Injury Guide" to the public. This guide provides essential information WV accident injury victims need to know when filing an insurance injury claim in order to maximize chances of being fairly compensated for injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and future expenses and losses.

(PRWeb June 30, 2014)

Read the full story at

          The Tangled Legal History of James Pendergraft        

Abortionist James Pendergraft arrives at Orlando Women’s Center in the summer of 2011. Pendergraft owns a chain of five abortion centers in Florida that specialize in late-term abortions. (Click to enlarge.)

The legal history of James Pendergraft is complicated enough to make anyone’s head spin. Due to the confusing aspect of this tangled web of iniquity, I’ve compiled a brief biographical sketch and a time-line of the highlights to make sense of it all. After the time-line is a list of over 100 articles detailing James Pendergraft’s legal troubles in chronological order.

In future articles, I will summarize the circumstances of Pendergraft’s medical license suspensions from more than 1000 pages of legal documents. I’ll follow that with another article giving a brief legal history of several other convicted felons who have worked as abortionists in the state of Florida. Finally, I will show evidence that demonstrates that not only have illegal third-trimester abortions taken place routinely at Pendergraft’s five abortion mills, but that many of these children were born alive and left to die in violation of the federal Born Alive Infant Protection Act.

A Brief Biography of James Pendergraft

From “About Extortion or Abortion?” Business Week, 10/9/2000

Born – July 4, 1957, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Early years – Grew up in Chapel Hill. Eldest son of a mortician and a nurse.

Education – BA, University of North Carolina, 1978; MD, Meharry Medical College, 1982.

Medical training – U.S. Army, residency at a hospital affiliated with University of Maryland; fellowship in high-risk obstetrics, University of South Florida, an elite credential.

On abortion as a career – “A lot of doctors with my training diagnose fetal abnormalities, but won’t perform abortions. I felt it was much more satisfying to work with women through termination.”

On money as a motive – Pendergraft likes to boast that he is “a $2000-an-hour man.”

Administrative philosophy – “It’s easy to keep the doctors who work in my clinics in line because they know I can come in and do the procedures myself.”

Known to friends as – “Scott.”

Family – Father of four children. Denise Williams is the mother of his two middle children. She holds approximately two-thirds of Pendergraft’s assets through Wilson Medical Management, LLC according to 2011 court records.

The Tangled Legal History of Abortionist James Scott Pendergraft IV

James Pendergraft worked at Aware Woman abortion clinic in the early 1990s when he lived in the Tampa area. In 1995, residents of Orlando awoke to the news that a new “doctor” was coming to town. This abortionist proudly proclaimed that he was going to fill a niche left open by other facilities in the area. His specialty would be late-term abortions.

Abortionist James Scott Pendergraft IV on a local news broadcast in Orlando in the 1990s. (Screen capture)

Pendergraft advertises that he performs second and third trimester abortions in five abortion clinics in Florida. In a television interview, Pendergraft openly admitted performing late-term abortions on babies as old as 24 weeks or older if he deems it “necessary.” And the late-term abortion business is lucrative. Pendergraft makes no qualms about bragging that he makes “$2000 an hour.”

His plan is simple. Set up late-term abortion clinics in areas of the state that are easily accessible to women in Georgia and Alabama where late-term abortion is practically illegal.

1995 – Pendergraft files a lawsuit against the city of Orlando after it blocks the opening of his Orlando Women’s Center abortion clinic on Lucerne Terrace on zoning grounds.

1996 – An Orlando hearing officer recommends that Pendergraft ought to be allowed to open his clinic. Then a district judge rules that Pendergraft can perform both first and second trimester abortions.

As Pendergraft seeks a settlement, he predicts the city might lose millions in a legal fight. Pendergraft asks the city for lost wages, plus attorney’s fees amounting to almost $1 million. Pendergraft says:

“I’m not going any lower than that offer because I deserve more.”

The city of Orlando eventually settles for $325,000.

Abortionists Joe Sanchez, Jr., Paul Shipley and Randall Whitney work with Pendergraft in Orlando.

1998 – Pendergraft opens an abortion clinic in Ocala and accuses city officials of discriminating against him by prohibiting police officers from moonlighting as security guards at his clinic. He recruits Roy Lucas, the legal mind who devised the argument that won Roe v. Wade, to write a lawsuit against the city of Ocala. The lawsuit reads in places like a silly, paranoid, hysterical screed.

Roy Lucas says that providing police protection for abortion clinics in Florida has been more difficult than in other locations.

“There’s a Bible Belt problem here. You’ve got state judges overruling protective injunctions upheld by the Supreme Court.”

In March 1998, Pendergraft tells Marion County officials he will “stay away three years for $500,000, five years for $750,000, and forever for $1,000,000.”

1999 – As the case proceeds, the FBI begins an investigation of Pendergraft. Wiretaps find that Lucas and Pendergraft falsified information in affadavits in a conspiracy to bankrupt the city of Ocala. In late 1999, Roy Lucas lets all three lawsuits drop and promptly disappears. Pendergraft vows to fight on.

During this time, Pendergraft continues to do illegal third trimester abortions. In the procedure, the patient is injected with a long spinal needle through the abdominal wall with digoxin, a medication that is supposed to stop the baby’s heart. The mother has her cervix dilated with laminaria or Cytotec and returns to the clinic the next day for a forced birth while sitting on a toilet. The toilet is not used to dispose of the fetal remains, but to collect them in one place. The water would obviously serve to drown a baby born alive.

Orlando Women’s Center advertises “Second and third trimester abortions by induction method.” James Pendergraft’s website also offers handprints and footprints of aborted babies. Note that this abortionist does not attempt to depersonalize the unborn by calling them “fetal tissue” or “product of conception,” but instead terms them, “the baby” and “their child.”

At the Women’s Centers we are prepared to aid patients and their families in getting through the entire process with our compassionate and caring staff, supporting them from the beginning to the end of the termination procedure. Each patient goes through the procedure process differently. We encourage all patients to at least see the baby minimally as we believe that this is the best way to bring closure for families. We are also prepared to help families have a memory of their child such as having a handprint or a footprint. Some patients want the baby to be cremated and others want a burial to take place.

On November 6th, at 21 weeks of pregnancy, a mother chooses to have her child aborted by Pendergraft. The reason given for the abortion is that the mother is 13-years-old. Sidewalk evangelist Patte Smith describes the scene.

The father didn’t want the abortion. He named her Little Mary and talked the clinic staff into letting him take the attached photograph of her inside the clinic. He asked that I use it to honor his daughter’s short life by telling her story.

Around this time, a Florida Agency for Health Care Administration report notes the following incident:

Interview with the physician revealed there was an incident … where a patient allegedly went out to get some lunch after starting the procedure, got lost, delivered a viable fetus in the car, and patient and fetus were sent immediately to the hospital. Baby lived 2 days. Policy changed, patients no longer leave after getting medication…. Physician also stated that sometimes an 18 week old fetus may twitter but this is not considered “viable.”

Later testimony from Randall Whitney suggests that he is the “physician” interviewed here.

2000 – Former Mickey Mouse Club extra and Britney Spears back-up singer Kelly Clinger has two abortions in November 1999 and February 2000. On duty are James Pendergraft and William Phillip Egherman, a Cincinnati abortionist who has been the subject of a string of complaints and lawsuits due to abortion related injuries. Kelly is injured during the second abortion and experiences cramps and bleeding. After tests in her doctor’s office, it is discovered that she has had a incomplete abortion and a perforated uterus. After professing Christian conversion a few years later, she writes about her experience in several blog entries beginning in 2011 and becomes a spokesperson for Silent No More Awareness.

Pendergraft is indicted for extortion. In June, James Pendergraft and his real estate investment associate, Michael Spielvogel, are indicted in federal court. The five-count indictment alleges that the two men conspired to extort millions of dollars from the Marion County government by making false and fraudulent statements. The extortion charges stem from evidence gathered by the FBI that they offered false testimony in the 1998 lawsuit case in a failed attempt to win a big judgment.

In October, a forensic psychologist characterizes Spielvogel as “self-aggrandizing,” “manipulative,” “obnoxious,” “ingratiating,” “narcissistic,” “paranoid” and “almost like the permanent puppy, seeking to get approval.” The psychiatric testimony is ruled as irrelevant to the trial by a federal judge.

2001 – In January, a grand jury watches secretly recorded video by the FBI showing Pendergraft and his attorney, Roy Lucas, talk about wrecking the finances of the Marion County government with a lawsuit.

“We’re going to go for a verdict of over $100 million, and they better come up with some money or they’re gonna get burned,” declared Lucas, according to the transcript. “We’ll try to bankrupt the county.”

Added Pendergraft: “Not try. We will bankrupt the county. And I promise you I’ll put a statue of myself in the town square that states that Dr. Pendergraft brought freedom to Ocala” (Businessweek).

James Pendergraft (center), his bodyguard and attorney enter the Golden-Collum Memorial Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in 2001, in Ocala, Florida. (AP Images/ Ocala Star-Banner, Bruce Ackerman)

Odd events occur during the trial. First the trial is postponed by the death of Pendergraft’s grandmother. A juror falls outside the courthouse and is hospitalized with head injuries. Two electrical blackouts occur during playback of the surveillance video and two more occur the next day. One attorney on Pendergraft’s defense team, Jacob Rose, falls in the dark during one of the blackouts and reinjures a knee. He reappears the next week walking on crutches.

Pendergraft is convicted of extortion. Both Pendergraft and Spielvogel are found guilty and sentenced to 46 and 41 months respectively. Pendergraft begins serving his sentence in July at a federal prison camp in Atlanta, but vows that all five of his abortion clinics will remain open while he is in prison.

Pendergraft and his attorneys allege racism motivated the trial. Dr. Sangeeta Pati, Pendergraft’s long-time girlfriend and spokeswoman for an abortion rights group, comments to the Orlando Sentinel:

“We can see how an innocent person can be convicted in a United States court room. Abortion was an issue. Race was an issue.”

In August, pro-life sidewalk evangelist Patte Smith receives a letter from the imprisoned abortionist, who states:

“God says to love thy neighbors as thyself and to love all people including your enemies. That in order to love people you must not have hatred. I go to sleep every night with love and peace in my heart. I hate no one.”

On November 11th, Carol Howard goes to Orlando Women’s Center, to abort her 22 week old baby girl. The abortionist on duty is Randall Whitney. As a result of mistreatment and gross malpractice, the abortion is botched and a baby girl is born alive in a local hospital. The child survives with massive birth defects.

2002 – In February, Pendergraft is released from federal prison after serving seven months of his 46 month sentence. In July, all but one of Pendergraft’s extortion charges are overturned by an appeals court. The charges against Michael Spielvogel, Pendergraft’s real estate business associate are also dismissed.

On August 5th, the federal Born Alive Infants Protection Act is enacted. It extends legal protection to an infant born alive after a failed attempt at an induced abortion.

2003 – A complaint investigation at Orlando Women’s Center is conducted by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration. In the case of 11 patients, AHCA notes that

… the facility failed to have two physicians certify in writing to the fact that, to a reasonable degree of medical probability, the termination of pregnancy in third trimester was necessary to save the life or preserve the health of the pregnant woman as required by Florida Statute …

Common reasons cited by Pendergraft for these late term abortions include “depression,” “suicidal ideation,” mental instability,” “alcohol abuse in first trimester,” “depressed mental state,” “increased risk to the mother due to a young age,” “alleged rape,” and “fetal anomalies.”

The complaint summary alleges that the facility is performing third trimester abortions. A medication called Cytotec is continually given to women until the baby is aborted. Cytotec’s only FDA-approved use is treating ulcers. The process takes 6 to 36 hours. The complaint witness also states that in speaking with a nurse who once practiced at this facility that babies are at times born alive and no actions are taken by staff. Many times the physician is not in the building and the abortion is completed by a certified medical assistant.

On November 3rd, Roy Lucas, Pendergraft’s lawsuit attorney and infamous Roe v. Wade lawyer, dies at age 61 of a heart attack while vacationing in Europe.

2004 – On May 25th, Carol Howard files a civil lawsuit against Randall Whitney, Pendergraft, and the Orlando Women’s Center.

On June 10th, Pendergraft pleads guilty to a final count of accessory in an agreement that allows him not to serve any more time in prison.

According to an AHCA report, Pendergraft determines a pregnant woman to be at 22 weeks’ gestation. She is given medication to take at home to initiate uterine contractions and begin the abortion process. But the woman progresses more quickly than expected and aborts the fetus at home before she can return to the clinic. A hospital later evaluates the fetus and estimates its gestational age to be 25 to 27 weeks – putting it in the third trimester.

2005 – On April 2nd, 911 Emergency receives a frantic call from a woman claiming her friend has given birth to a live baby at Pendergraft’s EPOC clinic in Orlando. Harry Perper is the abortionist on duty. When the mother alerts medical staff that her baby was born alive, the staff tells her to leave the baby in the toilet. The young mother holds the child and the amniotic sac in her hands as she calls a friend at a nearby hotel who had traveled with her to Orlando from out of state. An ambulance is dispatched, but arrives too late to save the baby. An autopsy report and photos show a perfectly formed baby boy who died from premature birth confirming part of the mother’s story. Liberty Counsel begins a lawsuit case on behalf of the mother and Baby Rowan, but later abandons the effort. Meanwhile, the story receives wide coverage by pro-life media.

In July, a third trimester abortion is performed at Orlando Women’s Center on a woman who is 28 weeks pregnant according to an AHCA report.

2006 – In April, the state board of medicine drops its disciplinary case considering the revocation of Pendergraft’s medical license and affirms a decision by a judge that the extortion case should be dropped.

On July 24, 2006, Carol Howard’s motion for summary judgment is granted. The case will eventually be decided for the plaintiff with a judgment of 36.7 million in July 2011.

On July 26, 2006, James Pendergraft changes most of his Florida corporations associated with his five abortion clinics to limited liability companies (LLC) and then converts each of the LLCs to the state of Nevada on the same day.

Pendergraft receives his first suspension. In August, James Pendergraft’s license is suspended for the first time on evidence that he did illegal third trimester procedures in 2004 and 2005.

The suspension order temporarily closes all five of Pendergraft’s abortion clinics. The clinics in Tampa, Ocala and Fort Lauderdale are allowed to open in late August. The two Orlando clinics are reopened later in the year.

2007 – In February, Orlando sidewalk counselor and evangelist Patte Smith is interviewed for a series of videos about Baby Rowan, which include the taped 911 calls that were placed to the Orlando fire department and emergency.

Pendergraft receives his second suspension. In December, Pendergraft’s suspension is extended another year. He is also fined $10,000 and ordered to pay more than $80,000 to cover the state’s legal fees. Pro-life evangelist Mary Jo Gardner states:

“He’s been killing children through nine months of pregnancy here for a number of years. I have personally met women who have been as far along as eight months and I think he should be thrown in jail.”

Medical malpractice attorney Mark Morsch agrees:

“What would be right is for Dr. Pendergraft to never have a medical license in the state of Florida.”

2008 – A film on Baby Rowan called 22 Weeks is released in the fall.

2009 – This 30-minute dramatization is shown in churches including a showing in Orlando in early 2009. Filmmaker Ángel Soto, lawyer John Stemberger (Florida Family Policy Council) and sidewalk counselor Patte Smith (Sanctuary Ministries) form a panel to take questions from the audience after the showing.

Pendergraft receives his third suspension. In July, Pendergraft loses his license suspension appeal. Although he argues that he cannot be suspended for violating state statutes regarding late-term abortion since he has never been criminally prosecuted, the state notes that:

Criminal sanctions are available for violation of this subsection as any person who violates this provision is guilty of a second degree misdemeanor…. A violation of [other] sections is punishable as a third degree felony… Although the statutes Dr. Pendergraft is charged with violating may provide penal sanctions, there is no explicit statutory requirement that a licensee be adjudicated guilty of the acts specified in the penal statutes before disciplinary action may be instituted.

On December 19th, abortionist Paul Leslie Sibley dies of complications of a stroke at age 53.

2010 – On March 27th, abortionist Randall Whitney is arrested at Orlando Women’s Center for aggravated battery after slapping a patient while she was on the operating table.

On April 3rd, abortionist William Phillip Egherman dies at age 56. The cause of death was not published in his obituary. Egherman is known for leaving a string of botched abortions while he worked as a “circuit rider” abortionist throughout Florida.

Pendergraft receives his fourth suspension. In August, Pendergraft, already serving his third suspension, is suspended again. The state finds evidence that Pendergraft

  1. Allowed a woman employee to administer narcotics to patients although she had no license to do so;
  2. Knew she abused drugs but gave her “free reign” to order drugs under his name;
  3. Prescribed steroids for the woman without medical justification.

On September 22 at 9:20 pm, abortionist Randall Whitney is taken out of the Orlando Women’s Center abortion clinic in handcuffs by the police. This time it is on a warrant issued because he did not show up for a court hearing. The police are tipped off by two sidewalk counselors who knew about the warrant and noted that Whitney had been sleeping in his car in the OWC parking lot. This is the second time in six months that Whitney has been arrested while on duty at the abortion clinic.

2011 – Filling in the gaps early in the year at Orlando Women’s Center in the absence of James Pendergraft is Walker Whaley who spent time in prison and had his medical license suspended for manufacturing synthetic cocaine in his home.

In January and February, abortionist Vera Stefanac’s neighborhood and office is the setting for several pro-life awareness campaigns. A few weeks later, Stefanac officially retires from doing abortions, according to an abortion clinic worker.

In March, Zvi Harry Perper, the abortionist on duty at EPOC when Baby Rowan was born alive and left to die, is charged with multiple counts of racketeering, drug trafficking and conspiracy. The charges carry a possible penalty of 490 years in prison.

Abortionist Zvi Harry Perper is arrested at a Florida “pill mill.” He worked here as a dealer of pain pills for a controversial clinic in Miami that was founded by a convicted drug smuggler.

Beginning in March, abortionist Scott Spagnolo-Hye’s neighborhood is the setting for several pro-life awareness campaigns.

Other awareness campaigns are held in the neighborhoods of Randall Whitney and Sangeeta Pati, James Pendergraft’s long-time girlfriend and abortion rights promoter. Pendergraft sometimes stays at Pati’s residence and drives a vehicle registered in her name.

On July 22nd, a Florida jury awards $36,766,000 in damages to Carol Howard, to provide funding for lifetime care of “JH,” who was severely harmed as a result of being born alive after a botched abortion that occurred at Orlando Women’s Center in 2001.

During the trial, Pendergraft testifies to instances of infants born alive in abortuaries.

“… you can allow a patient to just deliver vaginally by just using Cytotec alone… Anyone over 23 weeks we use digoxin….

Either the medical assistant does it or a physician does it. In a lot of situations, the patient delivers into the toilet by herself. So even though a physician or medical assistant may be present, it actually delivers into the toilet without any help….

Well, usually you don’t have to worry about fetal demise, because, again, when you’re dealing with a zero possibility of viability [between 17 and 21 weeks], then you don’t have to worry about that. But, again even at 22 weeks now, there are – a certain amount of those fetuses may live…. But between 17 and 21 weeks there’s not even an issue.”

James Scott Pendergraft appears at the Orange County, Florida courthouse in July 2011 awaiting the jury verdict that awarded a plaintiff $36.7 million. The lawsuit stemmed from a 2001 botched abortion in which a baby girl was born alive and has suffered lifelong handicaps. (Photo credit: Ken Scott)

Perhaps the most interesting part of the trial testimony is when Randall Whitney, the abortionist on duty at the time, speaks cavalierly and without being prodded about babies being born alive into the toilet.

Question: Has there ever been a circumstance where you have been contacted by the medical staff that there has been a delivery of a live fetus?

Randall Whitney: They would not have contacted me because of that.

Question: What was the procedure to be followed in that circumstance?

Randall Whitney: Well, usually the fetus was into the toilet. I mean, nearly always they made it to the toilet. It was precipitated into the toilet so …

Question: Okay. Explain to me what you mean by that, I’m kind of confused. Is that how it was disposed of?

Randall Whitney: No…. No. That’s how it happened, though, at the time of the expulsion. It was just more convenient to be in the toilet, okay? So I assume that at times there might be some movement, which would suggest life…. But there was no attempt at resuscitation.

Question: Were there any protocols or procedures in place that there should be resuscitation attempts where there was fetal movement?

Randall Whitney: I don’t know of any.

Question: And I take from your response when you say “usually it was in the toilet,” that had occurred before that you were aware of? The woman has delivered a fetus, there had been movement, and the movement ceased thereafter?

Randall Whitney: Where? In the toilet?

Question: Yeah.

Randall Whitney: I think so.

Question: Was that at the Orlando Women’s Center?

Randall Whitney: Yes.

Question: So just that I’m clear, the instances where there may have been signs of a live birth; i.e., movement by the fetus, were instances where the woman was experiencing symptoms within the restroom and delivered the fetus into the toilet – that is what you’re saying?

Randall Whitney: Yes.

One of the jurors in Pendergraft’s lawsuit trial revealed that Pendergraft’s baby momma, Denise Williams, is hiding 64 percent of the assets generated by his late term abortion empire. The anonymous juror wrote:

Pendergraft in fact has upwards of 8 LLC’s he funnels money thru. The umbrella company for his 5 clinics, Wilson Management, he put 64% controlling interest in his girlfriend’s name and the other 36% is in his. He & his girlfriend refused to divulge the umbrella company’s finances as authorized by discovery rules, chosing to instead be charged with contempt. All of the jurors’ greatest hope is the plaintiff can recover the money awarded. Unfortunately, we all realize it most likely will be a long hard road fraught with appeals. But that is out of our hands. My disgust with the whole scheme got to me emotionally and I was pushing for $50m, $100m whatever I thought could crush him (in my outrage obviously I wanted this guy bankrupt & his clinics closed).

On September 8th, Denise Williams, the mother of the middle two of Pendergraft’s four children, files corporation papers for LLC. Williams is also an officer in two of Pendergraft’s corporations and holds about two-thirds of his assets. A website is launched, which describes Pendergraft’s plan to do late term abortions in the Washington, D.C. area.

The procedure is to do an intra-cardiac injection with digoxin, a medication that stops the baby’s heart. The mother has her cervix dilated with laminaria or Cytotec in order to force a premature birth. The injection takes place in a doctor’s office, but there is no medical clinic involved in the abortion by forced delivery. When the mother begins to deliver her baby, she is instructed to call 911 or go to an emergency room. Several pro-life media groups cover this new twist on late term abortion services in the form of an exposé, but describe what Pendergraft explicitly states on his website.

On September 28th, abortionist Joe Sanchez, Jr. dies of a stroke at age 77.

2012 – On February 17th, Bayview Loan Servicing, Inc. files a commercial foreclosure lawsuit against Pendergraft’s EPOC clinic at 609 Virginia Drive, Orlando, Florida. The suit is settled and dismissed later in the year.

Pendergraft’s license comes up for review. On April 24th, Pendergraft, who has had his medical license suspended four times, is a respondent in a complaint filed by the Florida Department of Health. The complaint states that Pendergraft still owes a fine of $121,303.21 stemming from the previous suspension of his license in 2010. The complaint concludes:

WHEREFORE, the Petitioner respectfully requests that the Board of Medicine enter an order imposing one or more of the following penalties: permanent revocation or suspension of Respondent’s license, restriction of practice, imposition of an administrative fine, issuance of a reprimand, placement of the Respondent on probation, corrective action, refund of fees billed or collected, remedial education and/or any other relief that the Board deems appropriate.

James Pendergraft’s medical license status is changed from “suspended” to “probation.” Probation is defined by the Florida board of medicine:

The licensing board or department has disciplined the licensed practitioner and placed his/her license in a probationary status. The licensed practitioner may practice his/her profession in the state of Florida under terms specified by Final Order. Practitioner is obligated to update his/her profile data.

In late May, abortionist Scott Spagnolo-Hye announces on video that he is quitting abortions and going into family practice. Pro-life evangelist John Barros writes on his Facebook page:

“I have been speaking to Scott Hye for about two years. I have prayed with him shared God’s Word with him. I have even stood in front of his house. I have continued to pray and talk to him. He has said he hated doing abortions, but after so long I wondered. Then today he promised that he is going to quit and said he would meet with me to discuss where he stands with God and repentance. Won’t you pray with me?”

On May 31st, abortionist Walker Whaley dies of a heart attack at age 64.

In August, abortionist Harold O. Alexander, one of Pendergraft’s on duty abortionists with, is suspended by the Maryland Board of Physicians. The final suspension order includes several legal and ethics violations by Alexander, which include:

  1. sexual boundary violations;
  2. botched abortions;
  3. shoddy or non-existent record keeping;
  4. illegal prescriptions of large amounts of Viagra and other drugs to himself and non-patients.

In late August, the Republican National Committee Platform is ratified. Among other pro-life measures it urges Congress to strengthen the Born Alive Infant Protection Act of 2002 by adding civil and criminal penalties for doctors who don’t adequately care for newborn babies.

April 2013Pendergraft’s license suspended for fifth time
Owes state of Florida more than $120,000 in unpaid fines

June 2013Police raid Orlando abortionist James Pendergraft’s clinic
An Interview with Sidewalk Evangelist John Barros

“What is nicer than seeing police knock down doors and haul out evidence at Orlando Women’s Center abortion mill?” ~ John Barros

August 2013Orlando abortionist slaps woman, gets slap on the wrist
Florida Board imposes discipline on notorious abortionist Randall Whitney but does not suspend license

January 2015Pendergraft’s former associate, abortionist Zvi Harry Perper, receives emergency suspension of medical license
Notorious Orlando and Miami-Fort Lauderdale child killer now serving a one-year sentence for drug trafficking

October 2015 — Pendergraft is arrested in Spartanburg County, SC and charged with operating an illegal “rolling abortion scheme.”

May 2016 — Pendergraft is indicted on drug charges and illegal abortion procedures.

October 2016 — First trial date. Postponed due to defendant’s health issues and required recuperation period.

January 2017 — Second trial date. Again postponed – no reason given for this further trial delay.

March 27, 2017 — Third trial date. Again postponed, this time the reason given was “because Pendergraft’s defense lawyer does not have time for the trial and asked for another postponement.. His defense lawyer, reported to have offices in Columbia, SC, contacted Spartanburg County, SC court officials to say that “his trial docket is filled until sometime in June 2017.”

Mid-June 2017 — Fourth trial time frame. No definite June date has been set.

Related Articles

          More on compensation for donors        
It's hard for anyone to say anything new in the long (and long-running) debate about whether we should try to increase the supply of kidneys by crafting some form of ethical, non-coercive compensation for donors, or whether this should remain illegal.
Frank McCormick points me to this recent article, which ends with what I hope is a fairly noncontroversial link to the deceased donor registries:

It May Sound Awful, but We Really Do Need to Pay for Human Organs
by Mark Joffe

It concludes:
"While there is little support for an Iranian-style organ market in the United States, there is an increasing realization that finding more live donors will involve offering them incentives to give up a kidney. A reform that compensates donors without allowing recipients to pay for organs is a viable middle ground. The government could fund such a program with cost savings on dialysis. One estimate puts the potential savings at as much as $12 billion a year.
Last year, Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Penn.) introduced the Organ Donation Clarification Act, which would have allowed state and local governments to implement pilot programs offering non-cash benefits to live organ donors. These in-kind benefits might include a tuition voucher, loan forgiveness or a contribution to the organ donor’s designated charity. In addition, Cartwright’s legislation would have clarified language in NOTA to establish that cash reimbursement for donor travel expenses, medical costs and lost wages is permissible. The bill attracted 11 bipartisan cosponsors but did not move out of committee.
Cartwright’s office told me that he plans to reintroduce the legislation in the current Congress. Once he does, he will have the support of a group of D.C. policy wonks who have created the Organ Reform Group and Network. One of the group’s members, economist Kurt Schuler, donated a kidney to a stranger in 2014 under the current system, but believes that incentives are needed to end the nation’s kidney shortage.
Whether or not you agree that live donors should be compensated for their kidneys, I hope we can all agree that donating our organs at death is no sacrifice. While this issue is on your mind, consider signing up for the organ registry at"

          Depositions in Personal Injury Cases – What Can I Expect?        
Insurance companies can be difficult to work with when it comes to personal injury claims.  In some instances, an insurance company may deny their insured was responsible for an incident and refuse to make any settlement offer to compensate an injured person for their medical bills, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and lost wages.  In […]
          Construction Crews Prepare Nationwide for Summer of Safety        
In preparation for the upcoming summer season, many states are having their construction workers take extra precautions, trainings, or revisiting standards of safety for construction teams. Historically, the summer months between June and August are the most dangerous times for construction workers, due to several factors.

Construction sites across Tennessee shut down for 45-60 minutes Monday morning in order to conduct safety training through a partnership with the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration(TOSHA) and several construction trade associations. Other states are taking additional precautionary measures similar to TOSHA.

The summer months typically see an increase in home and building construction. One-third of all construction site accidents that result in fatal injuries are due to falling from great heights and the majority of the accidents occur on job sites of home and building construction.

The typically clear and sunny weather during the summer encourages people to take vacations and many families travel via car. Road construction during these times can be especially hazardous, not only for the drivers but also for the construction workers. Many construction accident injuries sustained by highway crews could be life-threatening, considering the factors involved.

The number of injuries sustained on the job for workers in the construction field continues to rise, both on the number of fatalities and serious debilitating injuries. According to the latest data released by the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, construction site accidents accounted for the highest number of fatal occupational injuries, that is, deadly accident while on a construction work site. In 2007, 1,204 fatalities were reported.

Oftentimes, workman's compensation insurance is not enough to cover medical expenses, living expenses, and outstanding debt that might have accrued during the recovery time. To that end, it is paramount that workers who have been injured on the job seek compensation through the proper channels, such as contacting a construction accident lawyer when they have settled on legal recourse.

Many victims of a construction accident injury find themselves either unable to find work befitting their skill set or faced with insurmountable debt as well as intimidating amounts of paperwork, insurance claims, and a fair amount of heartache. Workers who have been injured on the job should consider contacting an experienced construction accident lawyer in the interest of protecting their financial and legal rights. Developing a lawsuit soon after suffering an injury is advisable, as there may be the possibility of being awarded monetary compensation for physical and mental suffering, lost wages, or permanent disability.

For more information on construction accidents, visit for access to a wide range of resources including a construction accident attorney and a construction accident lawsuit.

government funded grants: government funded grants
federal government grants

          When You’re In, You’re All In        

This post comes from the Cozen O'Connor side of the blog.

Drug and device lawsuits fling open the plaintiffs’ medicine cabinet and slide open the drawers to their doctors’ file cabinets.  Everything is in play: the plaintiff’s disease state, the alleged side effects, the revision surgery, all the pre-existing conditions, the risk factors, the medication history, medical histories (pre-and-post event), all the doctors, and more.  In almost every mass tort drug or device case we’ve handled, plaintiffs provide records for all of this.  In fact, one of the first things that courts managing mass tort drug and device cases do is order plaintiffs, as a matter of course, to provide a profile or data sheet laying out this information. 
The hip-replacement plaintiff in Raab v. Smith & Nephew, Inc. 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59185 (S.D.W.V. May 4, 2016), wanted to provide less.  She objected to discovery of two medical providers and all her medical insurance coverage, arguing that her gynecologist and plastic surgeon had no information relevant to her hip issues and that her insurance coverage provided only irrelevant collateral source information.  Id. at *3-7.  She claimed to have otherwise produced enough information about her doctors and medical treatment, using catch-phrases such as “carte blanche” and “fishing expedition” to describe defendant’s efforts to get more.  Id. at *5, 7. 
And she lost.  While the court acknowledged that these arguments might work to limit discovery under FRCP 26 in certain cases, plaintiff’s medical device claim was not one of them.  Id. at *8.  The claim itself placed her medical care and medical condition squarely at issue, which could easily implicate every aspect of her medical treatment.  But her claims of physical injury and emotional and stress-related damages only further broadened the defendants’ need for already broad discovery into her medical history:
Plaintiffs have claimed a variety of damages as a result of [Smith & Nephew’s] allegedly defective joint replacement components, including physical injury, pain, suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, and damage to the marital relationship. Given the broad nature of the damage claims asserted by Plaintiffs, S&N is entitled to broad discovery of Ms. Raab’s medical and emotional history.
Id. at *8. 
Plaintiff also argued that, after providing information on seventeen of her doctors, she shouldn’t have to provide any more. *5.  That isn’t the test.  The test is whether the information is relevant to plaintiff’s claims and its discovery is proportional to the needs of the case.  Here, information from her gynecologist and plastic surgeon could easily address her bone quality, health status, and emotional state.  Moreover, adding only two doctors certainly seems proportional.  Just as important, plaintiff provided no evidence to suggest that her gynecological and plastic surgery history had no relevant evidence:
Plaintiffs have not provided any information regarding the nature of Ms. Raab’s plastic surgery or gynecologic treatment that would clearly demonstrate the irrelevancy of that care. Plaintiffs have not moved for a protective order, nor have they demonstrated that providing the requested information would be disproportional to the needs of the case.
Id. at *9.  The court therefore ordered plaintiff to provide information as to all of her medical providers, not just those she had unilaterally selected.  Id.
Plaintiff’s effort to block her insurance coverage from discovery fared no better.  Collateral source rule or not, the insurance records will provide information on plaintiff’s medical care and her medical condition, including the need for disability benefits.  This information cuts across all aspects of her claims.  Even information about collateral source payments could be relevant to damages and, perhaps, credibility:
In this case, while some of the information requested by S&N may be collateral source data, the remaining information deals with other claims related to medical care, disability benefits, and the like filed by Ms. Raab in the past ten years. Certainly, in view of Plaintiff’s physical injury, emotional distress, and lost wages claims, materials related to disability and unemployment benefits sought or received by Plaintiffs are relevant, as is evidence of Ms. Raab’s medical claims and treatment. To the extent materials reflect payments by collateral sources and may not be admissible, those materials may still be relevant to issues of credibility and damages and, thus, are discoverable barring other exceptions.
Id. at *10-11.  The court ordered plaintiff to produce this information as well.
We see this as an easy call.  Frankly, there are additional reasons to produce these records.  Each medical provider records a medical history and history of medication, and experience tells us that each doctor’s history is rarely complete or the same as that of other doctors, making a full set of medical records necessary.  Each doctor must also consider the plaintiff’s disease states and ongoing treatment by other medical providers when determining her or his own treatment.  And, so, even doctors not directly treating a plaintiff’s disease state or the claimed side effect will have relevant information in their records.  Our experience also tells us that plaintiffs’ own recollections of their medical histories, even the identities of their own doctors, are rarely complete, and getting medical and insurance records is necessary to fill in those gaping holes.  Moreover, all medical providers are likely to have information on risk factors or pre-existing injuries. 
There may be cases in which discovery of medical information can be somewhat limited.  But those instances are few and far between in drug or medical device cases.  And, like in Raab, a plaintiff who tries to limit that discovery will, and should, almost always lose. 


I have an honours degree in Political Science and History.  It's not a very helpful degree in the real world but I have a intense interest in both subjects.  Although I ended up finding myself in a career in sales and project management, I have always thought that getting into politics would be an option for me at some point. Over the years and as I have grown and watched the world change, I have finally become dismayed at what I am seeing in my once prosperous and growing province of Ontario.  I have never spoken about my local politics on any kind of social level as there are so many moving parts that its tough to pass judgement most of the time... however, I have come to a point where I feel like the system that I live in, has become so broken and corrupt and lost that I need to say something as it is making me sick. When I was younger, Ontario was the place to be in the great and vast country of Canada... there were jobs all over the place, people seemed generally happy with the booming economy, and the big thing I remember when I was a kid, was that teachers were unhappy... in fact they held a strike and it was great because we kids all got a week off from school. Maybe it was that veneer of childhood (although I was a teenager) or maybe I just did not understand the political landscape of the times, but generally... I think people were happier... and it "felt" prosperous. This will probably not make sense to anyone reading this in the US, but at the time... Ontario had a Conservative Government... and generally, in Canada, that means that they favour the Private Sector and do their best to encourage business to create jobs and try to limit unions etc.  Now don't get me wrong, I understand the need and the importance of unions and fairness to workers... it is a very big deal... but I am now understanding that unions can also be a massive burden on a population. About a decade ago, the Conservatives were removed from power and the Liberal government took over.  They are more geared towards helping unions, increasing social services and typically, this means spending more than they bring in. Around the time this new Liberal government took power, I was in my early twenties, and I will not lie, I voted for them.  As time went by there really seemed to be no change in Ontario... but after a few years... cracks began to show and now.... in 2013 we are in a big mess.... I have never seen, such wasteful and blatant disregard for the tax payer. Now perhaps this is because I have never been a tax payer, but when you grow up and you find out that a huge chunk of your pay is removed from you to pay for things like roads, and teachers and health care and electricity, you expect to see SOMETHING for what you pay for.  But all I have seen is bullshit.

The Liberal government in Ontario is 100% bullshit.  We had a guy name Dalton McGuinty running things who seemed, generally like a good dude in the beginning... however, his policies have really damaged our province and left us behind with regards to the rest of Canada.  It all starts a few years ago during out last election, where the voters were divided on what party to vote for.  In an effort to win votes, the Liberal government cancelled some gas plants in order to appease a couple of regions in the province that would ensure their win.  They told us that this cancellation would cost only a few million dollars of tax dollars... a few years later we found out it actually cost over 1 billion of tax payers dollars..... that amount is completely insane.  This is the money of people who work hard... raise families and pay tax on literally everything... all of it wasted.. to win an election for the select few.

Shortly before this was announced, Dalton...resigned... knowing before hand that shit was going to hit the fan.  As we investigated this big waste of money... we found out that government officials were deleting emails (which has got to be totally illegal) and were literally obstructing justice. Dalton, our leader, told us he didn't know it was going on and had no idea that the cancellation of the gas plants was going to cost that much.  There has been no repercussion to him or his party for the lies and cover up, Dalton now lives comfortably without a care in the world.  After Dalton resigned, the Liberal party then elected a new official from within their ranks to run the country... this is completely undemocratic as the person WE THE PEOPLE elected is gone and no longer working for us... instead they brought in some lady who I have never heard of.  THAT, is bullshit...

In the wake of the 2008 recession, myself and my family have had to deal with lost jobs, lost wages, decreased services and higher taxes and bills.  Thankfully, we have weathered the storm but it has set me back a ways and I have been working hard to catch up, in fact.. I worked an entire year without pay to help grow a company I started which should have been successful under Ontario's Green Energy Plan, a Liberal program designed to grow the province's renewable energy sector.  Despite an innovative and proven product, my company was denied all the grants/incentives the government said would be provided.  Instead, billions of dollars where used to buy wind power from Samsung, a foreign company with zero Canadian workers.  Without the government's assistance, we were forced to shut down the company, along with many other renewable start ups in the province.  Jobs were lost instead of created and I have since had to go back to my old job in order to make ends meet.  Similar stories are found all throughout the province with people being mislead and let down by the government.

While all these problems with the economy was happening... our government paid teachers went on strike... teachers in this province already make extremely good salaries, but... at a time when there's was a global recession they wanted a raise.  Dalton... said no... although he gave them great benefits earlier, it was simply too much to ask to give more to teachers as Ontario was now in massive debt.  So the government put a freeze on teachers wages, simply put... they would make the same amount of money they had been making for the next few years, no raises.  But the teachers decided to strike anyway, and the government forced them back to work as they are an essential service... teachers then stopped any extra curricular activities outside of the school, in essence, making the province's children and parents suffer, so they could get more money.  Gone, were school sports teams, dances, clubs and many other extremely meaningful programs that are super important to today's youth.

It was at this point that Dalton resigned and Ms. Wynn came into power... she "solved" the problem by giving the teachers a raise.  I'm going to say this... teaching is not an easy job, it demands a good pay... but they get summers off... teachers in Ontario get approximately $40K to start.... $70K after a few years... and most teachers at the end of their work lives are making near or over $100K... ON TOP OF 2 MONTHS OFF, VACATION (March Break, Christmas, Exam Breaks) AND SICK DAYS (up to 20 days per year... and BANKABLE!)... ...guys like me who make $50k a year (plus commission) are the guys who pay for their salary... and guess how many kids I have.... ZERO.  The fact that a public paid servant can have their salaries increase in a recession, while the provincial debt skyrockets is completely unjust.  But one thing is for sure... teachers always vote Liberal and its a big reason why they have been in power for so long.

Last week were were told by our government, was that our electricity bills would be going up by nearly 50% over the next 4 years... how can this be?  I, along with most other Ontario residents conserve as much as we can... but somehow... our bills are going up big time... they blame this on the gas plants, but we found out that our bills will only really increase by $2/month for the gas plants.  So why the huge increase to the cost of electricity?.....Today it was explained that the OPG (ONTARIO POWER GENERATION) was giving massive bonuses and huge salaries/pensions to its employees who were just raping the tax payers... these public sector workers got perks like you wouldn't believe... image this... your job paid you to move closer to it as a incentive to live nearby.. but instead you used this incentive to buy a new house FURTHER away....this is one example that cost the tax payer $80k..unreal.  The OPG has a large amount of executives that all hire from within their families, most of the employees are married or related.  Their payment structure has a very generous salary (over $100k per year) plus several bonus incentives that top these executives up to annual take home incomes of around $400k.  Even the standard workers are able to earn "Overtime" pay, which allows them to earn over $50k on top of their salaries.  Remember, this is every worker at the OPG...thousands of workers, who are paid by tax dollars from the Ontario people.

This exploitation of the Ontario tax payer is furthered by the fact that for every dollar that an OPG employee pays into their pension, they also put in FIVE dollars of tax payer money.  This will allow some of the top executives to have an annual pension of over $700k each year when they retire at age 65....Seven, hundred, thousand, dollars, per, year, to one person.  After this news came out, three top executives were fired, but who knows what the severance pay will be and what that will cost the tax payer... and it was only three executives, I guess the other hundred are doing such a good job that they can stay and reap the rewards.

I am so mad at this government.. businesses in this province are closing...people are losing jobs... tax payers are pushed to their limit they and the government is constantly asking for more... its a broken, greedy, corrupt, terrible system and there seems to be no justice... no repercussion.  I honestly do not know who to vote for and may have to consider moving away from this place that was once so prosperous.  I have in the past trusted our elected officials and thought maybe one day to be one. I have always believed that most people are typically good and want to help others, but I am not so sure that is the case anymore.... I have lost my faith in government... and maybe people too.  My effort will now be to get in touch with my local MPP and see what I can do to stop this downward spiral for this province, the corrupt Ontario.

          A Tale of Two Studies: Medical Male Circumcision, Ischaemic Heart Disease        

This week: Economic Incentives for Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision, and Lifestyle Counselling for Ischaemic Heart Disease Reena and Amol want you to: 1. Understand that medical male circumcision is effective in reducing transmission of HIV and other sexually-transmitted infections. 2. Recognize that an economic incentive designed to compensate people for ancillary costs and lost wages is modestly…

The post A Tale of Two Studies: Medical Male Circumcision, Ischaemic Heart Disease appeared first on Healthy Debate.

          TRAFFIC JAM ... IN MANILA ?        
Cela ne s'arrange vraiment pas. !

Je me souviens, c'était en 1995, peut-être en 1996 et j’étais invité à l'anniversaire de la fille d'un de mes amis philippins.

A cette époque j'habitais Ermita, un quartier touristique qui se trouve le long de la baie de Manille, non loin du Rizal Park et de la vieille ville d'Intramuros.
Vers dix-sept heures trente , un vendredi soir et après une longue attente pour trouver un taxi libre, me voici parti en direction du Shangri-la EDSA.

Incompréhension du chauffeur qui confond le Shangri-la EDZA avec celui de Makati ? Toujours est-il qu'il prend Roxas Boulevard, puis il tournera à gauche pour prendre Buendia, nous rejoindrons alors EDZA et enfin à gauche, en route direction Mandaluyong... oui, mais arrivée à... vingt et une heure trente.

Quatre heures pour faire moins de quinze kilomètres, environ quatre kilomètres heure, j'aurais eu plus vite fait de m'y rendre à pied.

Depuis les choses ne se sont pas améliorées, je dirais même que la situation a empiré !

Traffic jams are getting worse every day in Metro Manila and environs. This situation is exacerbated by stupid planning and the lack of coordination among government agencies in charge of transportation and traffic enforcement and concerned local government units.

Last Saturday, friends and I had a birthday lunch in Chinatown. We left Quezon City in two cars at 12 noon. We had the birthday lunch in just a little over an hour, but we didn’t get home until 7 p.m. The reason: traffic jams all over Metro Manila.

We took Quezon Avenue, España, Quiapo, and up Quezon Bridge. At the foot of the bridge at Plaza Bonifacio, we turned right to the tunnel under Sta. Cruz Bridge, planning to come out at the service road between the Post Office and the Postal Savings Bank to turn right at Jones Bridge and then to Chinatown.
In the tunnel, however, debris was scattered across the road. The street was being repaired but there was no worker in sight. It was as if the road repair job had been abandoned. There was no sign that the road was closed to traffic. The site is just five minutes from the head office of the Department of Public Works and Highways in the Port Area.

We turned back, went through Intramuros and came out of the Walled City near the office of the Bureau of Immigration beside the Pasig River. We were planning to use the road beside the river to reach the foot of Jones Bridge. But that road was also closed.

We turned back again, went past City Hall and the National Museum and around the rotunda to reach the flyover to Jones Bridge, but the traffic there was hardly moving. We moved by inches, literally. It took us more than an hour to get to Jones Bridge. At its foot is the welcome arch to Chinatown. But there was no welcome; that part of the road was also closed. We had to go around a few blocks to get to the street just after the arch. The street under the arch had been cemented over. The part was no more than 10 or 15 square meters long, but it held up traffic for nearly a kilometer.

Past the Binondo Church, Chinatown traffic is always congested. In spite of the fact that the streets are narrow, double parking is allowed. Again, we had to literally crawl forward. The lunch host and guide, who came from Makati, texted that she also had to crawl through traffic to get to our restaurant.

When we found parking places, we left the cars and walked the rest of the way to the Hole in the Wall where we had a quick Chinese lunch. Then we started to walk back to the cars, but a downpour prevented some of us from even crossing the street. We waited it out in another restaurant.

Finally, we were in the cars and got out of Chinatown at Plaza Sta. Cruz and across the bridge, past City Hall, the National Museum and around the rotunda again, across the bridge to Mendiola, turned right toward Malacañang, then to Sta. Mesa and Quezon City.

At Quezon Avenue, the Elliptical Road, Commonwealth Avenue and all connecting streets, traffic was crawling again. These are very wide streets. Commonwealth is the widest in the Philippines and traffic there was never that heavy except when the Iglesia ni Cristo held one of its birthday bashes.

The reason this time: The Quezon City government was holding a marathon in the streets after an only-one-day notice. A marathon on city streets during the evening rush hours, on a Saturday after payday, at the same time that malls were having their Christmas sales? Isn’t that stupid?

We made shortcuts through two private subdivisions and came out on Congressional Avenue where we found the traffic also hardly moving. The reason: those infernal road reblocking projects—again. Huge cement mixers, giant cranes, and jackhammers were blocking two lanes of the avenue; only one lane was left for the long line of vehicles that included huge cargo trucks and trailers. There were no sign of workers on the job. It seemed all the road workers had taken a holiday.

That trip to Chinatown took us seven hours, the same time it takes to drive from Quezon City to Baguio and back.

What I and many other motorists cannot understand is this: Congressional Avenue Extension is a relatively new street, but it has already been repaired several times, although there wasn’t anything wrong with it. Private contractors would just arrive with jackhammers and tear up perfectly good streets, then pour new concrete into the holes. This is also happening in many other streets. Isn’t that a waste of the people’s money just to make some contractors so happy that they would be willing to share some of their profits? In the meantime, many other streets in the provinces are not being repaired allegedly for lack of funds.

Another puzzler: Can’t the DPWH, the Metro Manila Development Authority, the Department of Transportation and Communications and the agencies under it, and local government units coordinate their street and traffic plans to minimize traffic congestion? Imagine the billions of pesos squandered in lost man-hours, lost opportunities, lost wages, late deliveries, wasted fuel, etc. All because of stupid, or lack of, planning.

It is as if all these government agencies are conniving to irritate the motoring public.

Ano ba kuya?

Expériences, avis, critiques et commentaires, comme d’habitude sont les bienvenus.

Ainsi que chaque jeudi de 18 à 20 h, 12 à 14 h  en Europe sur Yahoo Messenger :
Pseudo < dtesteil >

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Prendre sa retraite aux Philippines,
Pourquoi ?
7107 îles, plus de 36.000 kilomètres de côtes,
   des  milliers de plages de sable blanc, le soleil toute l’année ;
des montagnes qui culminent à plus de 3.000 mètres,
la jungle, les forêts, des paysages grandioses.

Une population chaleureuse et accueillante, des tribus colorées.
Un excellent service de santé à un prix abordable. Le coût de la vie,
   un des plus bas au monde ; de nombreux avantages offerts aux retraités,
pas d’impôts ni de taxes.
      Rendez-vous sur la page livres pour en savoir plus.

“Épouser une Femme Philippine”,

sous titré, 

Chercher Trouver et Marier une Pinay,

S’adresse à tous les hommes occidentaux  qui souhaitent trouver aux pays des 7.107 îles celle qui deviendra la compagne de leur vie.

Un livre complet qui aborde tous les sujets sans tabous.

Plus d’information sur la page ‘’livres’’

Mon petit livre 

“101 façons de Générer des Revenus aux Philippines, pour y vivre’’ est maintenant disponible. 

Vous trouverez plus d’information sur la page ‘’Livres’’

 EST-ELLE réelle ?
              Est-elle celle qu’elle
                Prétend être ?

Enquêtes et Investigations
                   Aux Philippines

          Catching up.        

I have not written anything in a long time, as a result this will no doubt ramble.  My head is full of partly collected thoughts, any one of which could become a rich post if I had found the time and discipline to crystallize them.  In truth the things that needed written about the most happened at a time when writing was hardest to fit in.  Thought that is ignoring the truth, which is in December and January I knew I needed to write badly, and choose not to. It continues to be difficult for me to write about and or during the worst emotions.

About December.

The gig I had hoped to last well into that month ran dry when the company simply did not have enough orders to demand extra manpower.  This was a disappointment, at all levels, it was interesting the job took me to different sites and kept me engaged, it was making better money than the last few gigs and occasionally overtime was achieved.  An important feature of the job was it started to frame more of what I wanted in a job I could do long term.  Come to think this contract ran short at the end of November, but its failure set the mood for the following month.

Other work was arranged.  This took me back to a warehouse with a broken and toxic atmosphere, I was prepared to ride it out and move on to the next thing once that dust settled.   The flu changed my plans. Two weeks into the warehouse gig I found myself feverish and lacking the strength to reliably cross my apartment let alone leave it.  This took me out for a week.  The lost wages meant even the low budget christmas gifts I wanted to arrange were out of the question.  New work came my way, it took me to Delta with an nearly 90 minute commute.  This was exhausting but the work is comfortable.

In this long tiring daily scramble I managed to get the wrong stuff down the sink, plugging it up real good. This only days before christmas. For more days than I am comfortable admitting I came home to a stagnate sink which I bailed into the toilet. No where was this a good alternative to calling the management.  I came home from christmas dinner to that undraining sink, it did nothing good for my mood.  In the aftermath it two things became clear, the rent was too high and I was too vulnerable to lost income, and no amount of cleaning was going to make that apartment anything but dark and dingy.   So I made the choice I had been avoiding since May of last year I gave my notice on the 1st of January.  This of course filled me with dread.

On January.

Still recovering from the flu, and making the three hour round trip from work I set out to free myself from the old grey box.  Added to the slow healing from the virus, I had developed insomnia, waking too early in the morning and staying awaking stewing in worry and dread. For at least a month feeling absolutely toxic from long term sleep dept was normal.  It was in this syrupy mind set that I tried to do one of the more challenging things in life, plan a move.  

When it came to finding a place I was lucky, but did not believe it.  Over the years since I moved to the old place, I had built a list of qualities that would make moving worth while. This was embedded in my thinking, and had I not internalized it as deeply as I had I would not have made the snap decision to apply for my current home.  It met the criteria I had set up, it is off of the ground floor, close to skytrain, bright, a better kitchen, simply newer and better.   Yet a pathological doubt took root, the part of me that always wants me to fail refused to accept a good thing was happening.

Against evidence and logic, after the application was approved and even after the damage deposit cheque cleared, I somehow believed I would not end up here, that something would go wrong.  I spent January, not properly preparing for a move but exhausted form sleep lost to worries not worth having. Every day I feared something would derail the application, and I would be forced to scramble for a new place at the last minute.  This crippling illogical mind fuck kept me from doing the proactive things.  In believing things would fail I failed to try to get my shit together.  The abyssal cluster fuck that was moving day is proof that I should have had enough faith to plan.

I won't say much about the move. It went badly and things found extra special ways of going wrong.  But thanks to heroic efforts from family and friend it got done.

On February.

After 6 to 8 weeks of sleep shortage, long commutes, endless packing, the flu, a cold, I was moved.  Suddenly I had light, I could walk to skytrain in 10 minutes, I could stretch out, no upstairs neighbours thumped and squeaked the floor boards.  Gone was the tiny grey hole with the fridge that scared the cat.  In its place a imperfect laminate floor and a view of the Golden ears mountains.

Slowly I relearned to sleep through the night, the panics in the wee hours subsided.  It took time but the cold cleared up too.  Money remains tight, I may have saved some on rent, but my addiction to independence, and the need to keep the Lady in a big enough home kept me from cutting as much as I would have liked from the costs of living.  That said, I can get some milage out of the money saved and can relax just a little bit.

In leaving the old place I realize there were a lot of bad times tied to that place.  The frustration of the layoff and the fruitless job search that followed.  The Lady Baroness von Softpaws of Gallefrey ran away from there.  Her disappearance, rescue and recovery kept me in some form of big stress from July 30 2013 till February 2014.  It was not until February of last year that I was confident that the house was free of fleas.  And perhaps just perhaps a home that lets me shed my stress a little better will in the end leave me with the ability pick a new stress to manage.  Because it is dawning on me that I have to do some work to getting back into work for the long term.

          Employers And Insurers Gain Control In Workers' Compensation Disputes        
Frances Stevens could have been a contender. She was training to be a Golden Gloves boxer and working as a magazine publisher in 1997 when 1,000 copies of the latest issue arrived at her San Francisco office. "I'd just turned 30. I was an athlete. I had a job that I loved, a life that I loved," she recalls. "And in a second my life changed." Stevens tripped on a rug and broke her foot as she carried boxes of magazines. The relatively simple break triggered serious nerve damage and she was eventually diagnosed with chronic or complex regional pain syndrome . Seventeen years later, the pain is so bad that at times she can't walk. She can't bear contact with bedsheets or socks. Even a shower's spray is excruciating. "I've asked to have my feet amputated," Stevens says. "It's just so painful." Injured and disabled workers like Stevens turn to the nation's workers' compensation system for medical treatment, as well as weekly payments that help replace lost wages. But some are finding it
          Understanding the Process of Evaluating and Negotiating Automobile Injury Claims        
In an effort to help our clients understand the process of negotiating a personal injury claim, I have compiled the following information that I feel is important you understand once the medical bills, lost wage statements and any other “special” damages have been obtained and the negotiating process has begun. There are basically two types […]
          Miami Businessman Arrested for Orchestrating $400,000 Workers’ Comp Scam        
Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and the Department of Financial Services’ Division of Investigative and Forensic Services (DIFS) today announced the recent arrest of Elso J. Macias, owner of Puertos Enterprises Inc. in Miami. Macias allegedly orchestrated a fraud scheme by providing false and misleading information during his application for workers’ compensation insurance and by grossly underreporting the company’s total payroll amount. As a result, Macias illegally avoided more than $400,000 in workers’ compensation insurance premiums, leaving his employees at risk of covering health and lost wage costs associated with on-the-job injuries.

          Naples Business Owner Arrested for $700,000 Workers’ Compensation Fraud Scheme        
Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater today announced the recent arrest of Raimundo Hernandez-Argueta, owner of Naples construction company Complete Framing Professionals (CFP). Following a joint investigation by the Department of Financial Services’ (DFS) Division of Insurance Fraud and Division of Workers’ Compensation, Hernandez was arrested on fraud charges for allegedly misrepresenting information regarding CFP’s employee operations and payroll when applying for a workers’ compensation policy. By doing so, Hernandez avoided at least $700,000 in workers’ compensation premium payments. Workers’ compensation policies protect employees in the event of an on-the-job injury and if proper policies are not in place, injured employees could be faced with lost wages and costly medical expenses to cover.

          Orlando Business Owner Arrested for $300K Workers’ Compensation Scheme        
Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater today announced the arrest of Oscar Matute, owner of Orlando construction company Matute Express General Construction Inc. Matute is alleged to have misrepresented information regarding Matute Construction’s employees and payroll when applying for a workers’ compensation policy. By doing so, Matute avoided at least $300,000 in workers’ compensation premium payments. Workers’ compensation policies protect employees in the event of an on-the-job injury and if proper policies are not in place, injured employees could face lost wages and costly medical expenses to cover.

          Pompano Beach Business Owner Arrested for $1.8 Million Workers’ Compensation Fraud Scheme        
POMPANO BEACH, Fla. – Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater today announced the arrest of Maira Chirinos, owner of Pompano Beach construction company Tocoa Builders, Inc. Chirinos is alleged to have misrepresented information regarding Tocoa Builder’s operations, employees and payroll when applying for a workers’ compensation policy. By doing so, Chirinos avoided at least $1.8 million in workers’ compensation premium payments. Workers’ compensation policies protect employees in the event of an on-the-job injury and if proper policies are not in place, injured employees could be faced with lost wages and costly medical expenses to cover.

          Nissan Settles Takata Class-Action Lawsuits For $98 Million        

Nissan has reached a Takata airbag settlement worth nearly $98 million to settle class-action lawsuits that take in about 4.4 million Nissan and Infiniti vehicles.

Nissan and Infiniti vehicles included in the settlement agreement are the:

  • 2001-2003 Nissan Maxima
  • 2002-2004 Nissan Pathfinder
  • 2002-2006 Nissan Sentra
  • 2007-2017 Nissan Versa Sedan
  • 2007-2012 Nissan Versa Hatchback
  • 2017 Nissan Altima
  • 2017 Nissan Versa Note
  • 2013-2017 Nissan NV 200 (includes taxicab version)
  • 2008-2018 Nissan 370Z
  • 2008-2018 Nissan 370Z Roadster
  • 2009-2014 Nissan Cube
  • 2010-2017 Nissan NV
  • 2012-2017 Nissan Armada
  • 2012-2017 Nissan Titan
  • 2014-2017 Nissan Rogue
  • 2016-2017 Nissan Maxima
  • 2018 Infiniti QX30
  • 2009-2017 Infiniti QX56 / QX80
  • 2003-2008 Infiniti FX35 / 45
  • 2006-2010 Infiniti M35 / 45
  • 2002-2003 Infiniti QX4
  • 2001-2004 Infiniti I30 / I35

The Nissan settlement follows on the heels of similar agreements over defective Takata airbags between consumers and BMW, Mazda, Subaru and Toyota. Those four automakers reached deals worth more than $550 million, with Toyota writing the largest check for about $278.5 million.

The Nissan agreement includes consumers who weren't injured by the Takata airbags. Nissan consumers who allege they were injured, other than economically, will be handled separately by Nissan and Infiniti.

Based on details of the $98 million agreement, current and former owners of the above vehicles could receive various benefits, including free rental cars while waiting for the Takata airbags to be repaired. Some owners will qualify for payments up to $500 and reimbursement payments for towing, childcare, previous rental car expenses or lost wages caused by the airbags.

Settlement money will also be used to convince Nissan and Infiniti owners to get their vehicles fixed because the majority of owners (70 percent) still haven't done that.

Many automakers have tried just about everything to convince owners to get the vehicles to dealerships, but owners continue to ignore the recall notices. For example, Honda has spent millions of dollars in an effort to convince owners to get the vehicles repaired, yet many owners continue to ignore the automaker.

Honda says some of the people who have been killed and injured by the exploding Takata airbags were mailed as many as 12 recall notices, but the vehicles were never repaired.

Nissan denies any wrongdoing in the Takata disaster and says it has been a victim of the airbag manufacturer just as everyone else. However, the automaker says it will settle the lawsuits to put the matter in the rear-view mirror.

          Ford PowerShift Transmission 'Mass-Action' Lawsuit Filed        

A Ford PowerShift transmission "mass-action" lawsuit has been filed after Ford agreed to settle a separate class-action lawsuit involving 1.5 million 2011-2016 Ford Fiesta and 2012-2016 Ford Focus cars.

The mass-action lawsuit is for Fiesta and Focus owners who don't believe the settlement terms are enough compensation concerning the automatic transmissions.

The Ford PowerShift transmission lawsuit the automaker agreed to settle came about after years of complaints about transmissions jerking and shuddering, while many owners report delayed acceleration and deceleration. In some instances, drivers report unintended acceleration when stopped at traffic lights and other times the cars roll backward on an incline.

Any Fiesta or Focus owner or lessee who has not filed a lawsuit against Ford or opted out of Ford's settlement agreement prior to September 5, 2017, will automatically be bound to the terms of Ford's class-action settlement.

According to the PowerShift mass-action, Ford owners and lessees should decline the settlement agreement because of how strict Ford's settlement terms are to consumers.

According to the class-action agreement, Fiesta and Focus owners must have at least three transmission part replacement to qualify for even $200. And owners can indeed qualify for "up to $2,325," but only after at least eight transmission part replacements occurring on eight or more Ford dealership visits.

Attorneys who filed the mass-action lawsuit say less than one-percent of their clients received eight or more transmission part replacements and would never qualify for the $2,325.

As a mass-action, each client's claim about the PowerShift transmission is different and every award is based on the unique circumstances of each owner or lessee. In addition, an attorney won't accept an award unless it's approved by the client.

Attorneys who filed the mass action lawsuit say Ford owners and lessees can try to win the maximum allowable compensation available under the law and seek possible full buybacks of the cars. And although a judge must approve them, clients can pursue out-of-pocket expenses such as rental car fees, lost wages and inspection fees related to any PowerShift transmission problems.

As for attorney's fees, Ford must pay those fees and nothing can be deducted from the award received by a client.

Attorneys handling the Ford PowerShift mass-action say nearly 10,000 owners and lessees have declined Ford's settlement terms and joined the mass-action lawsuit.

Ford Fiesta and Focus owners interested in learning more about the Ford PowerShift transmission mass-action lawsuit should visit

          Lost Wages        
Lost Wages bruce Wed, 08/09/2017 - 19:30
Cartoon Image

          Europeans Facing a Decade of Lost Wages        
Interesting commentary from Bloomberg Economist Joseph Brusuelas this morning paints a grim future ahead for European workers. The problem is this: whenever there is a banking budget or even a private debt crisis and the option of devaluing the currency is unavailable as is the case with the European Union deflation in labor costs and prices is the only option left. Brusuelas writes:"Countries facing sovereign debt crises typically bring down their costs and jumpstart their competitiveness by devaluing their currencies. This option is not available to the countries tethered to the euro meaning that the members of the euro zone ...
          How AI Can Prove Workers' Best Defense In The Race Against Automation        
Automation could cost $2.7 trillion in lost wages. But artificial intelligence, specifically as it could help through coaching networks, could be human workers' best bulwark against the trend.
          St. Landry Parish Man Awarded Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Injury Despite Performing Task Incorrectly        
Workers’ compensation pays for an employee’s medical expenses and lost wages when an employee is injured on the job. But what happens when an employee is injured while performing his or her job in a manner not approved of by the employer? Recently, a Court of Appeal for the State of Louisiana addressed this issue […]
          If You Plan To Become An Independent Insurance Agent, You Will Have More Opportunities For Success, But You Will Also Have More Challenges!        

You can go online to these websites, fill in shop is over burdened, with other work that needs to be completed. Comprehensive pays for damages to the vehicle on a policy that do reward programs offered to residents reporting auto insurance fraud. This system uses a rating scale of one to 27 as an anti-theft device, airbags and automatic seat belts in your car. Some people, however, decide to acquire insurance through a co-operative, or "co-op," car insurance company where their companies and also among several other factors in your actual policy. Depending on the agency, you may be billed for the and their refusal to renew is for the entire area.

If you've been injured in an auto accident or even if the only damage done was to your car, else is taken care, such as repair work and payment from the insurance company. There are some things that you need to know as well which you maintained the old auto insurance coverage. How to get DUI Auto Insurance DUI Auto Insurance DUI Auto Insurance can be car, there's no way around this?you have to have insurance coverage. There are a variety of car insurance companies from which you can and driver's license number; other information may be required as well. At a certain time in our lives our eyesight becomes worse; we have located at the Department of Financial Services DFS website.

Visit insurance agents, salesmen and brokers to talk about for policy holders who insure more than one car. Auto insurance companies determine premiums based on the individual risk of the insured, claims and offer specialty policies, such as those that cover classic or custom vehicles. And if you plan on working in Florida, knowledge of the state's a current policy and have all of the basic data pertaining to your car. Before signing up for a defensive driving course check with your auto insurance company to states and takes care of lost wages, funeral costs and some other expenses. 3 Provide the old insurance company with the policy or failing to pay your premiums can cause problems when you need insurance again.

One of the fastest and easiest ways to get hold of several can usually be carried out in person, over the phone or online. If you presently have car insurance, you can insurance regulatory agency, or by a third-party approved by the agency. Reduced risk means reduced car insurance premiums, which download an application for an insurance license for the State of Texas. It's recommended that you buy more in states with high premiums, because a prelicensing course and to take a state exam. Don't feel you have to explain why, but if you are switching because insurance premiums vary greatly from company to company.

          Teacher fired over pregnancy can sue religious school        
Terry Baynes | Reuters | May 16 2012

An appeals court on Wednesday revived a Florida teacher's lawsuit against a Christian school that fired her after she admitted to conceiving a child before her marriage.

Overturning a lower court ruling in the school's favor, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit found that Jarretta Hamilton was entitled to a trial on her claims of pregnancy discrimination by the Southland Christian School in St. Cloud, Florida.

The fourth-grade teacher informed administrators in April 2009 that she was pregnant and needed to take maternity leave. During the conversation, she admitted that she had conceived the child three weeks before her February wedding.

The school fired her a week later. Administrator John Ennis explained that "there are consequences for disobeying the word of God," according to the court opinion.

Hamilton sued the school in 2010 under a federal law that bars discrimination based on pregnancy, seeking compensation for lost wages and emotional distress.

A federal district court ruled in the school's favor before a trial, finding that Hamilton failed to establish that she was fired for her pregnancy rather than moral concerns over her premarital sex.

The three-judge appeals panel disagreed.

The Atlanta-based court pointed to evidence that the school may have been more concerned about Hamilton's request for leave than about her admission to having premarital sex.

Ennis expressed concern over finding a replacement teacher, Hamilton testified.

"Hamilton has established a genuine issue of material fact about the reason that Southland fired her. The ultimate issue is one for a jury to decide," Judge Edward Carnes wrote for the unanimous panel, sending the case back to the lower court for a trial.

David Gibbs, a lawyer for Southland Christian School, said in a statement that he would vigorously defend the school's religious rights before the district court. Edward Gay, who represented Hamilton, was not immediately available for comment.
          Sun Dog        

Position: 70 miles southeast of PANC (aviation shorthand for Anchorage; P= Pacific)

Altitude: 25,000 feet and climbing at 2,000 feet per minute

Groundspeed: 506 mph (440 knots)

Destination: Lost Wages, and then on to LAX for the overnight

The sun is hanging low in the southern sky as we blast out of Anchorage for the lower 48. (Earlier, at noon, I was walking around town and noticed very long shadows; it is that time of year up here.) The co-pilot spotted a sun dog, so I gave him my camera for a quick photo. The result was surprisingly good. A sun dog is refracted sunlight through ice crystals aloft which creates little bright spots close to the sun's orb. Sometimes they show a bit of halo, which this one clearly does.

On the left side of the aircraft, no clouds over the land mass, but beautiful orange light on the snow. I love this job!

Two hours and 11,000 pounds of fuel later, we are under a canopy of stars. To our left, the undercast is illuminated by the lights of Seattle, a pale smudge of yellow penetrating the cloud layer. The crosswind is tremendous, as in 151 mph (132 knots) from the west. Fi-Fi's navigation computers are commanding the number one auto-pilot to fly a heading 18 degrees right of the course line to maintain the correct track across the surface. Yikes!

Imagine trying to stand in a 151 mph wind... 

          Is the Occupy Movement Running Amok?        
On Monday, December 12, the Occupy movement plans to stop international commerce at eleven ports on the West Coast from Alaska to San Diego. In early November, the Occupy Oakland movement was very successful in shutting down the Port of Oakland. This was accomplished largely because the police allowed it and because it was tacitly supported by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (See prior letter of support for OWS from the ILWU at: ILWU Int’l President Bob McEllrath releases solidarity statement in support of ‘Occupy Wall Street.)

Buoyed, perhaps, by this relatively easy success, they are now taking on a much more ambitious action. Will it be as successful as last month's effort? I think not, and here is why I feel that way.
  1. This time around, there is no such approval. In fact, there is actual opposition. (See multiple sources below.) 
  2. While some longshoremen supported last month's action, others only tolerated it, and that level of support and tolerance is waning among their ranks. As a result, there is considerably greater opposition to this sort of action.

  3. There is a growing feeling that no self-appointed group should decide what actions are good or bad for another group without that group's consent, agreement, and support. The longshoremen feel that they should be deciding this for themselves, in unity with one another, and in full control of its own plans and actions. They have their union that speaks for them in matters of work, and the Occupy movement is not authorized to speak or demonstrate on their behalf. 
  4. The Occupy action in November accomplished essentially nothing of positive tangible value for the longshoremen, the community, or the 99% the movement purports to represent. On the other hand, it cost Port workers tens of thousands of dollars in lost wages and truck rentals and had little or no impact of any significance on the big-money interests the movement opposes.

  5. During the November action, the police took a back-seat position. They did not interfere with the shutdown. They were hardly visible, although they were there and available for traffic control as needed and in case there were any violent outbreaks. This time will probably be different. The various local governments and law enforcement agencies are not likely to just stand by and watch as they did on November 2. Many viewed that shutdown to be a one-time action. This second, highly-expanded action is now viewed as something that has to be controlled, contained, and confined. Shutting down one port is an inconvenience. Attempting to shut down eleven ports constitutes a threat to interstate and international commerce that these cities cannot be expected to tolerate.

  6. There are already indications that there could be violence. One organizer, Boots Riley, has been urging people on his Twitter feed to bring shields so they can "push through a police line.” To make such a recommendation in advance of the demonstration is inflammatory and promotes physical insurrection that can lead to violence. That is not my idea of a peaceful demonstration. It appears that they are inviting a non-peaceful, confrontational demonstration, or they wouldn't be making plans to push through police lines.

  7. Because the ports are involved in interstate and international commerce, and many of the ships that would be affected are from other countries, this could provoke action by the Coast Guard and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, in addition to local police, police from other jurisdictions, county sheriff officers, and the Highway Patrol. Because three of these ports are among the largest in the country, and because of national and international implications, it could be just a short step to calling out the National Guard to preserve order. We don't need or want that.
Some of the strongest points against the action come from an article in the San Francisco Chronicle. Here are some excerpts extracted from that article.

“... unlike last time, when the area's major unions gave tacit or outright approval, many of them see Monday's action as disruptive and unnecessary.”

“And some occupation activists are labeling it as too confrontational, with the protest's potential for violence detracting from Occupy's stated intention of narrowing the chasm between rich and poor.”

"'Support is one thing,' Robert McEllrath, president of the International Longshoreman and Warehouse Union, wrote to his members last week. 'Outside groups attempting to co-opt our struggle in order to advance a broader agenda is quite another and one that is destructive to our democratic process.'"

“... unions represent more than 1,400 workers at the [Port of Oakland]. Other unions that have refused to endorse the shutdown, including the California Nurses Association, declined to comment - all apparently not wanting to antagonize protest organizers.”

“However, some activists in the roughly 30 other Occupy organizations in the Bay Area have also concluded that a port blockade is too extreme. They say confronting police and blockading commerce is as outdated as they now regard the tent cities recently cleared by authorities.”

“In fact, outside of major cities, some activists so strongly disagree with confrontational tactics that they now call themselves '99 Percenters' rather than 'Occupiers.'

"'The 99 percent is non-confrontational,' said Ellis Goldberg, a marketer who has organized Occupy protests in Dublin and San Ramon. 'You don't use a bat to get your point across, and this port action is a bat. It's going to hurt innocents - in this case, port workers and truckers.'"

These are just some of the items from that article Read it in its entirety at Opposition grows to Occupy's port shutdown plan.

Countdown to Occupy Protest Shutdown Attempt

The Occupy movement has yet to clearly define the goals it hopes to accomplish in shutting down the ports. Nor has the movement come to grips with the impact of its actions on the many longshoremen, truck drivers, rail yard employees and other blue-collar workers in the harbor, all of whom are members in good standing of the 99 percent. 
Oakland Port to Occupiers: Don’t shut us down
"It does not serve the goals of the movement to shut down the Port of Oakland," said Port Commission President Pamela Calloway.. On Nov. 2, demonstrators were able to bring the port to a standstill as part of their Day of Action. Calloway says they are still adding up the cost from that action. "It's in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and that was for the event on Nov. 2," Calloway said. "We cannot afford to be shut down again."

When the port was shut down Nov 2., Calloway said she was at a trade conference in Africa and had to answer plenty of questions to potential international customers. "People are concerned, is Oakland a safe place to be?" said Calloway. "We worked really hard with our customers, with our business partners, to make sure that they understand that we are open for business, we are a good place to do business."

The ILWU issued a strongly-worded statement following the Occupy movement's announcement of their plans. "It does not serve the goals of the movement to shut down the Port of Oakland," said Port Commission President Pamela Calloway. "The port needs to be open, and people need to be working here."

The second planned shutdown does not have the support of the Longshore Workers Union (ILWU). The ILWU issued a strongly-worded statement following the Occupy movement's announcement of their plans. "The ILWU...and Local 21 are not coordinating, independently or in conjunction with, any self-proclaimed organization or group to shut down any port or terminal," the letter read.

Unions say no to Occupy Portland’s call for a waterfront strike
“If I wanted to shut down the port, I could do it without Occupy. I don’t need ’em,” says Jeff Smith, president of ILWU’s Columbia River District Council. “This is a question for the Occupy movement: Why would I want to send my people home? Why would I take a job away from somebody?

“I don’t get what they’re thinking. It’s my job to put people to work. I’ve got jobs for ’em, so I’m going to put ’em to work. And I’m going to take some of Wall Street’s money.”

​Longshoremen’s Union Rejects Occupy Protestors’ Call for Strike
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union is not exactly known for backing away from a fight. But the feisty workers apparently draw the line at calls for strikes coming from out-of-state Occupy protesters. As hinted at last week to me by union sources, that call has now been rejected by the ILWU as a whole.
Robert McEllrath, ILWU President, put out this statement:
“Only ILWU members or their elected representatives can authorize job actions on behalf of the union, and any decisions made by groups outside of the union’s democratic process do not hold water, regardless of the intent.”
In other words: Thanks for the suggestion, folks. Next time keep it to yourself

ILWU won’t join Occupy Oakland’s attempts to shut down West Coast ports

Facing hefty fines for illegal picketing, union longshore leaders this week rejected a call from Occupy Oakland protesters to shut down West Coast ports Dec. 12 in support of the union's dispute with the owners of the new EGT grain terminal at the Port of Longview.
A federal judge sided with the ILWU and sent the case to a labor arbitrator, who is expected to hear the case in December. In the meantime, the judge fined the ILWU about $315,000 for illegal picketing, including blocking incoming grain trains Sept. 7 and 21 and vandalism occurring during an early-morning raid on the terminal Sept. 8.

ILWU clarifies position regarding third-party protests at ports

In response to recent third-party announcements that community activists will attempt to shut down various West Coast marine terminals on December 12, 2011, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) sent a memo to its 15,000 longshore members and leaders emphasizing the union’s internal democratic process and stating its rejection of third-party calls for job actions that have not been sanctioned by its Officers or voted on by member representatives. The memo stated in part,
“To be clear, the ILWU, the Coast Longshore Division, and Local 21 are not coordinating independently or in conjunction with any self-proclaimed organization or group to shut down any port or terminal, particularly as it relates to our dispute with EGT in Longview.”

In view of all this negative feedback, why would any organization persist in actions that are clearly unsolicited, unwanted, unwarranted, unwelcome, and unnecessary, and which are significantly harmful to those they purport to help? What gives them the moral right and prerogative to inflict this sort of action upon them? They will only do further damage to their cause and to the cause of the 99%.


Buat Penis Anda Besar Panjang dan Tahan Lama 

Female Salary

When it comes to careers for women, it was normally stability that was given precedence over salary. What are those high paying jobs?
There has been a gradual shift from the traditional careers for women like nurse, dental assistant, etc to non-traditional and alternative posts like general practitioners, dentists, etc. When we talk about the best paying careers for women today, we easily notice that the field of medicine is dominating the charts. No wonder such an important job is paid so well.
Human resources in larger firms is another attractive field where women dominate and earn a good pay package. The Fashion industry has always attracted women. Traditional jobs which women used to hold required little educational requirements in many cases. People may question the claims made by the book but the wage gap between women and men has actually widened between 1990 and 2003. It also showed that on an average, women are paid 23% less than men are. A different survey also showed that when people were asked how much women should earn compared men, respondents said that 80 cents to a man's dollar was fair wage for a woman. Ironically, only a few respondents said that women's salaries should be equal to men's. The difference in wage gap translates into bigger problems for women. Sometimes, these lost wages have meant bankruptcy for women. Women also need to be more aware of the wage gap by finding out how their male counterparts are making in the same job,
Here's an excerpt from an article about women and their uneasiness with power...including salary negotiations :
"If women were to negotiate on behalf of themselves as much as men do, they would advance as quickly as men and eliminate the under-representation of women in the top ranks of the organization."

More Info read here :

The term of insurance is very important in our life. As we know that there are many types of insurance and with the help of different types of insurance people get many relief in their life. In this article you will get some basic and other information which help to know about the insurance and its different role in our life.

Insurance :

In the simple way we can say that the insurance is the small predictable amount of money which we deposit as a premium to protect against a major unpredictable expense ( claim or loss ). It means, if we will pay the small amount of premium in the insurance then we can live peacefully. As we know that if something wrong happen in our life then we can claim our insurance and no need to take the worry about the financial situation.

General insurance is one of the good insurance. In this insurance you also need to give some premium but with that premium amount you can live without any worry as we are human being and in our life, anything can happen at any time in our life. If something wrong ( accident or lost wages etc ) happen to you then definitely you need money and the amount of money would depends on your situation but if you have the general insurance then you can claim on your general insurance policy and in this way you can get the relief. You can sort out the problems of medicals bills and other like lost wages etc.

Property insurance is also a kind of insurance where you can protect your physical stuff against loss or damage of use. In property insurance there are many conditions like war is not include almost in every insurance but fire is included in the property insurance.

Those insurance which have mentioned in the above paragraph is only the two types of insurance. There are many other types of insurance is also available like professional insurance, auto insurance etc. If you want to get the more details about the other insurance then you can also get from Internet.

If you want happy with your family then you should touch with insurance as we know that with the small amount of premium we can safe our family in better way and this small amount is nothing for the happiness of your family.

          Employers And Insurers Gain Control In Workers' Compensation Disputes        
Frances Stevens could have been a contender. She was training to be a Golden Gloves boxer and working as a magazine publisher in 1997 when 1,000 copies of the latest issue arrived at her San Francisco office. "I'd just turned 30. I was an athlete. I had a job that I loved, a life that I loved," she recalls. "And in a second my life changed." Stevens tripped on a rug and broke her foot as she carried boxes of magazines. The relatively simple break triggered serious nerve damage and she was eventually diagnosed with chronic or complex regional pain syndrome . Seventeen years later, the pain is so bad that at times she can't walk. She can't bear contact with bedsheets or socks. Even a shower's spray is excruciating. "I've asked to have my feet amputated," Stevens says. "It's just so painful." Injured and disabled workers like Stevens turn to the nation's workers' compensation system for medical treatment, as well as weekly payments that help replace lost wages. But some are finding it
          Comment on Client Testimonials by Kimberly        
I first heard about David while listening to an early morning radio show where he was a guest discussing bankruptcy. I was in a really bad place in my life....going through a separation from my husband, lost wages at my job with a truck load of credit card debt that I just couldn't pay anymore! Not even the minimum balances that were due. After listening to David, I decided to meet with him for a free consultation. One of the BEST decisions of my life! He helped my through the process and changed my life. Very understanding and one of the nicest guys around. I can never thank you enough David!!!
          How to Select a Personal Injury Lawyer        
If you have been in an accident that was not your own doing, then you must call a personal injury Lawyer. Such a lawyer would be able to get you money to offset injuries. The settlement could help you get on your feet in terms of lost income, medical expenses, and relieve you a bit of your pain and suffering. You will be able to get four tips on getting your own personal injury lawyer after an accident from this article. This article will also give you contact information that you can use to contact a professional law firm to help you out. This site teaches you about workers compensation lawyers.

These medical treatments cost a lot of money. Many accident victims are not prepared for the medical bills that follow, especially if their injuries prohibit them from working for a period of time. You can also file a no win no fee claim through the help of a personal injury lawyer so that you can settle these medical invoices. This will give you the opportunity to focus on recuperating.

If you're unable to go back to your job, you also cannot collect salaries. Financial stress can intensify because of this. However, you may be able to obtain monies for any lost earnings. A personal injury lawyer can file compensation claims for accident victims like you to pay out bills, and make up for any losses in wages. The settlement is necessary for paying lost wages and helping accident victims get back on their feet, especially if the accident was not their fault.

As with other accident victims, you will still need to go through other medical processes after your first injuries heal. These other medical treatments can be quite expensive. With the help of car accident compensation, you can get payment for rehabilitation services and get on the road to recovery. Car accident lawyers will be able to obtain a fair settlement for you that may include rehabilitation costs. You can then focus on getting back to your regular activities while being assured that all the medical services you need are covered. You will gain a deeper understanding about victoria work cover by checking out that resource.

The pain and suffering that accident victims undergo cannot be completely given a monetary sum. However, a accident compensation claim can use specific formulas to factor this component into a settlement. A victim can expect financial, physical, and emotional stresses following an accident. The party that caused the accident should also be responsible for compensating the victim. Through the efforts of a personal injury firm, you can have all your needs placed in the hands of the firm and get the settlement you deserve.

Have no fear: you can get help after you have been injured in an accident. Talk to a personal injury lawyer to determine the compensation package you can get. Make getting better your number one priority as your lawyer works to get you the settlement you need and deserve.
          Personal Injury Compensation - Tips to Scoring the Best Settlement        
If you are hurt in a road mishap, you would most likely be interested in knowing more about personal injury compensation. This may include funds for medical bills, lost earnings and pain and suffering. Getting full compensation will be very difficult if you try to get it on your own. It is vital to enlist the assistance of a personal injury lawyer because of this. Read on to discover the four points that form part of an injury compensation claim, as well as contact info for a leading law firm that can provide you with assistance. Visit this site for further information on workers compensation lawyer.

The first thing considered in most compensation claims is compensation for your medical expenses. This comprises emergency assistance given at the time of the accident and hospital bills accumulated thereafter. A no win no fee lawyer will charge you for rehabilitation and follow up appointments that will usually be conducted. There are some injuries sustained from an accident that will take an extended period for total healing to take place. You must secure that your current costs and those that will be paid in the future are covered in the settlement.

Some damages as a result of the accident take longer to heal than others. For example, settlement for back injury compensation lawsuit may include an amount for any pain and suffering experienced by the victim. In the long run, managing chronic pain brought about by a back injury is not easy to handle, plus this injury requires a long time to heal. Dejection, as well as physical and mental problems can be the effects of unrelenting discomfort. As such, you can ask for a bigger settlement - one that considers your pain and suffering - if you're experiencing chronic pain.

Your injuries can also hinder you to work again. Majority of people do not possess disability pay from their company and for those who do, it may not be adequate to pay for all the bills. If you?re not responsible for the accident, you should not suffer any financial problems as a result of it. That is why it is just right for compensation lawyers to ensure that the accident injury compensation claim takes into consideration all lost wages due to the accident. If the accident has left you with injuries that prevent you from returning to work, you may be allowed to seek compensation for the loss of future income. When you would like to get more information on workers compensation lawyer melbourne check out this site.

Car mishaps are the most common reasons for personal injury claims. A car accident lawyer is experienced enough to make sure that the victim of the accident is totally assessed by the doctor for present injuries and future injuries that may arise. Most car accident claims will include any physical or mental disorders that may arise as a complication of the accident. Current and future medical expenses of the victim are surely covered through this.

Before filing a work injury compensation claim, a personal injury lawyer will keep in mind all these things. After you get hurt from an accident through no fault of your own, contact a reliable law firm that can help you process your claim. This is the most efficient method to guarantee you received the remuneration you require and, quite frankly, ought to have.
          Car Accident Compensation: Getting a Lawyer to Help You Out        
To get the best car accident compensation, you need the right lawyer. But which law firm should you choose? With so many lawyers advertising on the Internet and television, it can be hard to know which one to hire. With the information that you find in this article, you can get the best lawyer for your case, thanks to the organized information that you can give him or her. You will also receive information on how to contact a leading law firm that works in car accident compensation. Go to this site for further information on car accident lawyer.

To get the no win no fee solicitor that you need for this case, you should give the prospective firm all the information it needs. Your documentation of the car accident will help figure out the right car accident claim to be filed. The files that you take to your first meeting should have all the information that they need about insurance coverage, reports on your prognosis, reports on impending medical costs, and current medical records. The top issue that a compensation solicitor would tackle is repayment of your medical expenses.

You need to have police and accident reports detailing your injuries at your first legal meeting concerning car accident compensation. A full settlement will be within reach through your personal injury lawyers if you give this information. It is important to discuss how your life has changed since the accident in terms of work and quality of life. Compensation can be given to you for your suffering and pain, and even for lost wages for the days at work that you lost.

While giving information to the car accident lawyer, take care to ask questions about them too. You can start by inquiring about how much experience the lawyer has, and how many car accident cases the lawyer has dealt with. You might also want to inquire about what your settlement will contain, not to mention how long the case will be processed. With all the information that you have provided, a good personal injury solicitor should be capable of providing some assessment about the case. When you would like to get more information on tac claims check out this site.

You may also check with the Bar Association to ensure that your lawyer is in good standing. You can also ask about a lawyer's area of specialization and the level of his education through the referral service. You can also request the lawyer to provide the information. Some will even furnish references of former clients so you can find out for yourself how other cases have been handled.

You may have a hard time enough getting over your car accident to begin with. You should have a good lawyer fighting for you and making sure that your settlement needs are well met. Through this advice, you can obtain the car accident compensation claim that you need.

          A Day on the Docks        

Venice, LA
June 25, 2010

It’s a hot afternoon on the crowded docks of the Venice Marina. To kill time, boat owner Rennie Buras and his crew cut up and laugh while waiting with the other boats, all packed with boom and oil mops, for the green light from BP to set off for Grand Isle to help with the clean up. 

The guys tell me BP makes everyone take tests before shipping out, which sounds reasonable enough to ensure safety. But the questions  - True or false, if you get dizzy, drink water? True or false, if it looks like your hand might get pinched, should you move it? -  seem ludicrous to veteran fishermen.  And half the fishermen speak only Vietnamese and don’t understand the questions in the first place, so the proctor issuing the exam finally screams the correct answer!

BP’s work instructions also seem silly to the men. Work 20 minutes, rest for 40. Don’t lift more than 40 pounds. Child’s play for these pros. 

They’ve been ready since Tuesday. It’s Friday and still they wait. Three men will live and work on this boat for the next three weeks. It’s tight—three bunk beds, a sink and a stovetop, but no one complains about the close quarters, only that the whole process is so disorganized and slow. BP promised to provide food and supplies, but as the wait drags on two of the fishermen make last minute runs for more cigarettes.

A shrimper on the docks tells me that it was slow after Hurricane Ike but that the season after Katrina was one of his best. This season was shaping up to be great too. Now he and his son, an oysterman, are both working for BP as boat captains in the cleanup effort. He’d rather be shrimping, but wants to get what he can from BP while it lasts. Who knows, he wonders, BP may quit paying, they may go bankrupt. Also, while the clean up work may last six months or 
longer, who knows when fishing will begin again. For now, he’ll start saving for the time after BP’s gone and no one’s paying lost wages. And, of course, keep on waiting. 
-Mary Clayton Carl

          Who's Got The Power?        
It's interesting and coincidentally ironic.  Just when we're celebrating Labor Day (summer, I hardly knew ye), the top television networks in Korea (MBC, KBS, SBS) have been beset by union strikes over withheled employee wages.  I had been following Korean entertainment blogs for the past few weeks over news concerning the strike made by the Korean Broadcasting, Film, and Performing Artists Labor Union whose actors and film crews make up a majority of our favorite K-Dramas.  Now, this is a serious issue because if the strike prolongs and negotiations will not be settled soon; this can severely impact the K-Entertainment Industry and cause devastating economic effects.  If there's a lesson we could all learn from, it's from the 2007 Writer's Guild of America Strike -- the pen  is costlier than the sword.  Ultimately, nobody wins in a strike.  It's going to hurt everyone and the business.  The WGA strike alone resulted in billions of losses for Hollywood with millions of dollars in lost wages for cast and crews of shuttered film and television productions.  Adding to the stigma is the fact that since Tinseltown was paralyzed, majority of television programs were interrupted, delayed, prematurely shorted, postponed, or cancelled.

"Network bosses, rich and rude!  We don't like your attitude!"

Thankfully, as of this writing, the three Korean networks have finally reached an agreement with the union and hope is fast looming in the horizon.  Woot!  We might still be able to see Dong Yi's resident she-devil; Jang Hee Bin,  get egged in the face.  Hah!

So on this long weekend, as we head on our road trips and feast on our barbecues, let us fly our flags and remember those who toiled, labored, and made it possible for America to become what it is today.

          Tennessee Court Holds That Plaintiff Cannot Assert Both Workers’ Compensation and Tort Claims Against Co-Worker        
If you are injured while on the job, you may find that there are multiple parties who potentially may be liable for your damages. If you were in the course of your employment when you were injured, your employer may be required to pay for your medical expenses and lost wages through your workers’ compensation […]
          Tennessee Supreme Court Reviews Wrongful Death Benefits Awarded to Severely Injured Carpenter’s Family        
If you’ve been severely injured in a Tennessee car accident, you may be able to access workers’ compensation funds if the car accident occurred while performing work for an employer. Workers’ compensation provides payments to an injured employee to cover lost wages and medical expenses. If the employee suffers a partial or total disability, he […]
          Employers And Insurers Gain Control In Workers' Compensation Disputes        
Frances Stevens could have been a contender. She was training to be a Golden Gloves boxer and working as a magazine publisher in 1997 when 1,000 copies of the latest issue arrived at her San Francisco office. "I'd just turned 30. I was an athlete. I had a job that I loved, a life that I loved," she recalls. "And in a second my life changed." Stevens tripped on a rug and broke her foot as she carried boxes of magazines. The relatively simple break triggered serious nerve damage and she was eventually diagnosed with chronic or complex regional pain syndrome . Seventeen years later, the pain is so bad that at times she can't walk. She can't bear contact with bedsheets or socks. Even a shower's spray is excruciating. "I've asked to have my feet amputated," Stevens says. "It's just so painful." Injured and disabled workers like Stevens turn to the nation's workers' compensation system for medical treatment, as well as weekly payments that help replace lost wages. But some are finding it
          Blog Post: Man fired over Facebook ‘meat deal’ post wins employment tribunal        

Case a reminder to employers to make sure disciplinary procedures are followed correctly, lawyer says

A man who was fired for sharing another butcher’s ‘meat deal’ on social media has won an employment tribunal against his former employer.

Michael Hayward had worked for Noel Chadwick, described to Manchester Employment Tribunal as a small and well-respected butchers in Wigan, for seven and a half years before he was dismissed for recommending a discount from online retailer Fresh Meat Packs North West to his then-girlfriend on Facebook.

Hayward was subsequently dismissed for gross misconduct and breach of contract by father and son directors John and Paul Chadwick for ‘advertising’ what they believed to be a competitor and breaching the company’s social media policy. The tribunal heard the pair, whose business did not have a formal HR function, had already decided to dismiss Hayward before they brought him into a disciplinary meeting in April 2016. 

The 37-year-old said he was not issued a written or verbal formal warning, despite requesting one, nor was he given the opportunity to have someone with him at the meeting or given an explanation regarding his actions. As no appeal was arranged within a few weeks of his sacking, Hayward eventually lost confidence in Noel Chadwick and did not follow up the matter.

The tribunal also heard that Hayward had been ‘pulled up’ on his use of social media before he posted the offer, but there was no warning given to him that suggested such behaviour could lead to his dismissal.

Allowing Hayward’s unfair dismissal claim, Judge Keith Robinson called Noel Chadwick “fanciful” for suggesting it experienced any financial or reputational loss because of the Facebook post.

“Hayward’s misdemeanour, if one can call it that, was minor,” the judge continued. “This is not an advertisement; this [matter] was a wholly mishandled dismissal root and branch. The claimant was dismissed summarily in a process that was reprehensible.”

The judge awarded Hayward a £6,091 payout – £4,891 in lost wages and compensation, and £1,200 to reimburse his tribunal fees.

Victoria Davies, managing associate in Addleshaw Goddard's employment group, told People Management the case reflected the importance of creating and following a full and fair disciplinary process before dismissing an employee for any reason.

“It is well established that employers can take action to protect their business where employees overstep the mark outside of work on social media,” she said. “However, this is a salutary reminder that employers must make sure disciplinary allegations are properly drafted to fairly reflect any wrongdoing, there is a sufficient connection with their work and there are reasonable grounds to support summarily dismissing an employee for gross misconduct.” 

Paul Chadwick said Noel Chadwick accepted that it had not followed the correct dismissal procedure in this case, and “graciously accepted the judge’s decision and the compensation awarded to the claimant”.

Chadwick added: “We would like to take this opportunity to urge other small-to-medium businesses to ensure that their HR team is doing their job properly and, if they do not have an HR team, to enlist the services of a professional HR consultancy for the protection of both employer and employee.”

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Court hears remark that women ‘take things more emotionally than men’ was the ‘final straw’

Tribunal awards £25,000 to trainer who lost job over pregnancy

Ruling describes dismissal as ‘serious act of discrimination’

          Florida Fifth District Court of Appeal Grants New Trial to Determine Punitive Damages in Wrongful Death Rear-end Car Accident Case        
In personal injury actions, an injured party or estate can sometimes seek punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages for medical care and lost wages. Punitive damages are intended to penalize a negligent actor for intentional misconduct and gross negligence. An injured party must show with clear and convincing evidence that the negligent person or […]
          America Should Adapt New Zealand’s Method of Handling Medical Malpractice Cases        

I’ve spent most of this summer driving across Oklahoma asking physicians how lawmakers should reform health care in our country (among other questions). As you might imagine, the answers are peppered across the political spectrum. A geriatrician adamantly supported a single-payer system that could grow from Medicare, which he praised; an internist wanted to tweak what we have, suggesting modifications in the same way she might consider adjusting the drug panel of a chronically ill patient. A vascular surgeon proposed cutting out most insurance policies altogether and unleashing a “free market” for health care in our operating rooms.

The varied responses were not surprising, and perhaps they explain some portion of Washington’s seeming inability to resolve this problem. What was surprising was how every approach involved addressing medical malpractice and tort reform. Many of the doctors I spoke to grumbled about rising malpractice insurance premiums and shared the story of their lawsuits, which often left them second-guessing their career choice. They collectively described a broken malpractice system—one fueled by late-night television ads promising “entitled compensation,” which gives way to cases argued by expert witnesses hired by prosecutors to litigate instead of inform. These cases are then unpredictably arbitrated by juries confused by the complexity of difficult medical decisions or settled to avoid resource drain.

To them, the defensive medicine they feel forced to practice to avoid the courtroom is a key driver for soaring health care costs in recent years. (Evidence from 2008 suggests that its impact is large in value but likely overestimated by physicians, accounting for $45 billion per year out of the $2.3 trillion spent on health care.) But at the very least, they asserted, the status quo of medical malpractice today is a psychological burden that impairs clinical judgment and hardens cynicism.

While the drama around Obamacare repeal has dominated headlines, House Republicans took the advice of my physician-interviewees and quietly passed a tort reform bill on June 28. HR 1215, better known as the Protecting Access to Care Act, is straight from the conservative health policy playbook for controlling health care costs. Among other changes, it would create a $250,000 cap for non-economic damages in malpractice lawsuits (meaning payouts granted for damages like disfigurements, disabilities, or for pain and suffering rather than lost wages or future costs) and shorten the statute of limitations for suing—for any patients “using federally subsidized health care.”

This might help limit the costs doctors could incur when responding to inevitable lawsuits. Unfortunately, it will not yield a stronger health care system that is invested in limiting or addressing what is often the true cause behind medical malpractice: medical errors. And as much as doctors try to limit medical errors, they will still happen—causing death and permanent injuries, violating bodies, and inciting mistrust in medicine. (As a medical student, one of the aspects of practicing that I least look forward to the inevitability of being sued sometime during my career.) When medical errors occur, people deserve to be compensated. Unfortunately, HR 1215 only addresses financial bottom lines. It doesn’t engage with the medical errors that cause the lawsuits themselves.

Other countries have taken paths to tort reform that address medical error and protect doctors’ finances. For example, since 1974, New Zealand has used a no-fault compensation system to regulate medical malpractice (as have Denmark and Sweden), which goes outside of the courtroom to exact justice for patients and replaces malpractice insurance with a government fund for payouts. If Congress is serious about tort reform, maybe it’s time we try it here.

To understand why, let’s consider a case presented to my classmates and I last fall about a misadventure that happened in a busy Wednesday clinic staffed by resident physicians. That afternoon, a man with diabetes was scheduled for a follow-up visit. He only spoke Spanish. The nurse prepped the patient and called the building’s Spanish interpreter while his resident physician saw another patient. That other patient required a hepatitis B vaccine, which the doctor asked the nurse to order. Pressed for time, she gave a verbal order to the nurse instead of writing it down. The doctor later visited the man, and after a few minutes, both she and the interpreter—needed throughout the busy clinic—left him alone in the exam room. The nurse came back to the man’s room, syringe in hand, and gave him the hepatitis B vaccine intended for the other patient.

Fortunately, the man didn’t suffer from any adverse effects—vaccines are normally harmless, and the vaccine was in this case, too. The story could have had a catastrophic ending if something more dangerous had been in that syringe. But what if the man was unhappy about getting a vaccine he didn’t need or want? In the current American malpractice environment, it is highly unlikely that he would’ve received compensation for what happened, let alone that he would have found a lawyer to make his case, given its low potential payout. Even if the case somehow made it to court, a decision would take, on average, three years to hash out. The medical team, apprehensive about lawsuits, has no incentive to inform or apologize to the patient for making that error even though there are “apology laws” that protect the sympathetic admissions health professionals tend to offer from being rehashed in a court of law for most states. And so this mistake is left alone, written off as an error from a rookie doctor, never to be dissected further.

What if this episode had happened in New Zealand instead of in the United States? The resident physician and her team could openly admit their mistake and apologize to the man without a cloud of litigation hanging over them. He could fill out a claims application, at little or no cost, to be arbitrated by a panel of physicians and lawyers. His claim would be compiled into a database available for researchers studying medical errors and care teams in hospitals hoping to practice better medicine. A decision for his compensation would be reached within nine months. And even if he wasn’t awarded compensation, the man would at least get an honest apology for what happened and would know that the mistake he endured, however benign, would be used to improve patient care. His story would mean something.

Oddly enough, in this particular case, if the man had been injured while getting that vaccine, he wouldn’t have had to sue the hospital for compensation. He likely would have received a payment from the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP), a New Zealand–style malpractice system instated in the U.S. in the 1980s, after lawsuits nearly spooked pharmaceutical companies out of producing vaccines in the United States. The VICP sets aside a certain amount of case for compensating people who suffer common injuries due to receiving vaccines (identified by experts). Since its enactment, the VICP has helped thousands of children (and adults) while providing the legal predictability needed for manufacturers to create new vaccines.

Of course, both the VICP and the New Zealand malpractice system face challenges: Critics argue that the VICP has made decisions too slowly in recent years, fostering antagonism between the government and petitioners. New Zealand’s system, as designed, tends to disadvantage claimants who are unemployed. And serious malpractice cases involving criminal negligence cannot be addressed in these arrangements and still need to be adjudicated by the traditional judicial system.

But these are not insurmountable challenges. A no-fault compensation system would address many of the injustices of our current malpractice system. It could offer an antidote to the poisonous specter of lawsuits that haunts hospital wards and harms the doctor-patient relationship. If done effectively, it could offer a path forward that is more dignified for the patients who suffer from medical errors and more navigable for the doctors who mean well.

          Employers And Insurers Gain Control In Workers' Compensation Disputes        
Frances Stevens could have been a contender. She was training to be a Golden Gloves boxer and working as a magazine publisher in 1997 when 1,000 copies of the latest issue arrived at her San Francisco office. "I'd just turned 30. I was an athlete. I had a job that I loved, a life that I loved," she recalls. "And in a second my life changed." Stevens tripped on a rug and broke her foot as she carried boxes of magazines. The relatively simple break triggered serious nerve damage and she was eventually diagnosed with chronic or complex regional pain syndrome . Seventeen years later, the pain is so bad that at times she can't walk. She can't bear contact with bedsheets or socks. Even a shower's spray is excruciating. "I've asked to have my feet amputated," Stevens says. "It's just so painful." Injured and disabled workers like Stevens turn to the nation's workers' compensation system for medical treatment, as well as weekly payments that help replace lost wages. But some are finding it
          Personal Injury Tips and Things to Do        

What Should I Do if I Need to File a Personal Injury Claim?

Accidents can happen at anytime, but handling the legal aspects of a personal injury claim can be challenging.  Personal injury claims can involve many different types of injuries, including automobile accidents, slip and fall accidents, or defective products.
Fortunately, there are several steps you can take after a personal injury to prepare you for filing a claim or a lawsuit.  Here’s a list of the top ten tips for personal injury claims:
1) Seek out medical attention immediately
If you have been seriously injured, the first thing you should do is to get medical attention.  Do not attempt to handle any claims before you have properly addressed your injuries with a medical professional.
You should be aware that failing to seek medical attention after an accident can sometimes reduce the amount of damages you are able to recover.  As the injured party, you may have a duty to “mitigate your losses.”  This means that you must take steps to ensure that the injury does not cause any further injuries or economic losses.
2) File a Police Report
Filing a police report can help ensure that you have records of important information.  This may include the names and contact information of other parties that were involved.  Also, the report itself can serve as a record of the important facts involved in the accident.  The police report can be used in court if a lawsuit arises.
3) Be aware of what you say at the scene of the accident
While it is necessary to communicate with the other party after an accident, exercise discretion when speaking with other parties.  You are under no duty to state whose fault the injury was or to offer additional information.  Avoid making statements that might make the situation more complicated, and avoid creating conflicts in relation to the event.
4) Keep accurate records of all costs and expenses related to the injury
These may include hospital bills, medical diagnosis statements, bills related to property damage, and insurance records.  You may also need to maintain records of lost wages if the injury has caused you miss work.  It’s also a good idea to make a written account of the injury, especially while the events and facts are still fresh in your recollection.
5) Be cautious when dealing with insurance companies
Involving insurance companies can sometimes make the legal process more complicated in a personal injury claim.  However, in most cases, working with an insurance company will be necessary to completing your personal injury claim or lawsuit.  Be sure to protect your interests when negotiating with an insurance company.  It may be helpful to have a lawyer on hand for advice when dealing with third parties.
6) DO NOT sign any forms or documents without understanding them
Make sure you completely understand the terms of any forms and documents to be filled out in relation to the personal injury.  Do not sign any forms if you are not sure of how they will affect you in the long run.  This includes any forms that may be presented to you well after the actual event.  Be especially wary of any documents or contracts that ask you to release the other party from liability, or that require you to forfeit your right to a lawsuit.
7) Avoid trying to settle on your own if you don’t understand what to do
Trying to settle on your own with the other party or with their insurance company can sometimes be a complicated process.  If you are unsure of what you are doing, it is best to find some help through the advice of a legal expert.  This is especially important if the other party will be hiring a lawyer.  Working with your own lawyer can help you avoid costly mistakes that can have negative effects on your claim.
8) Be aware of filing deadlines
Make sure that you file your legal claim or lawsuit in a timely manner.  For most personal injury claims, you only have a certain window of time after the accident to file with the courts.  This is known as the “statute of limitations,” which can vary depending on the state and the type of accident involved.  Once the statute of limitations has expired, you might not be able to file your claim anymore.
9) Do some preliminary research on the legal process
It may be worth your while to familiarize yourself with the basics of personal injury lawsuits in your area.  Local rules may vary, and personal injury claims can take some time to fully resolve.  While you are not expected to become an expert, speaking with a lawyer for some basic guidelines can help take some of the confusion out of the process.
10) Be aware of what type of lawyer you will need to hire
Remember, not all personal injury lawyers are the same.  Some specialize in certain fields, while others handle more general claims.  There are many different types of personal injury lawyers, and one may be more suitable for your situation than another.

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          Derogatory names for cities        

Here are a few:

  • Augusta, ME -> Disgusta

  • St. Screwy (St. Louis)

  • Indiano-place (Indianapolis)

  • I've heard Orlando called "O-bland-o" or maybe "Or-bland-o

  • Nashua, NH referred to as "trashua"

  •  Berzerkeley

  • Frederick, MD = Fredneck

  • Sioux City, is affectionately referred to as "Sewer City"

  • Lewisville, Tx as Loserville

  • Filthadelphia

  •  Regina, Saskatchewan: Vagina, Sadcatchtochewon

  •  Iowa Shitty --> Iowa City, IA

  • Rottenfester = Rochester, NY

  • Not just Filthadelphia, but also Philasmellphia

  • Des Peres, Missouri - Despair, Misery

  • Big Sleazy=New Orleans (Big Easy)

  • Cleveland=Thieveland

  • Las Vegas=Lost Wages

  •  Burlington, ON -> Borington, Girlington

  • Sacramento = Excremento

  • Cincinnati --> Cincinasty

          Reply #521        
Smh not even close lol....

Well Tonight i'll only be playing to cover lost wagers soooooooooo

Trip 4's three times exact

560 $3.00 any

956 $3.00 any

469 $3.00 any

346 $3.00 any

568 $3.00 any

Grand Total $18.00 Bucks lol

Looking to win anywhere from $240.00 to $1,500.00

I'm sure once in the store im going to combo something hahaha probably a double or two, currently undecided
          Modest Increases in Kids’ Physical Activity Could Avert Billions in Medical and Other Costs        
Increasing the percentage of elementary school children in the U.S. who participate in 25 minutes of physical activity three times a week from 32 percent to 50 percent would avoid $21.9 billion in medical costs and lost wages over their lifetimes.
          Comment on No evidence that Prop 46 will affect community clinics’ services by Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D.        
With regard to the "cap," please take note that... even if one believes that the cap is an effective means to keep scumbag lawyers on a leash while still fully compensating victims of hack doctors, the amount which our legislature thought to be the perfect amount was $250,000… in 1975… it is now 2014… inflation has reached us in every area… there should be no reasonable argument against the notion that a dollar is 1975 bought more than it does in 2014. An adjustment for inflation to 2014 values should be acceptable… even for those promoting the cap. Another point to make is that MICRA is absolutely discriminatory in its effect... the limit on pain and suffering of $250,000 is very often the limit of the entire case when it comes to the elderly and more often than it should be when it comes to women and minorities... Punitive damages? There are no punitive damages in medical malpractice cases... Lost wages? People over 65 are retired and women and minorities earn less than white males. Medical Costs? People over 65 have MediCare so there is none, and people on MediCal have none either. People, think before you vote. This law hurts the elderly and women and minorities and the poor... the very people who seem to NOT get the best medical care in the first place. As a medical malpractice attorney AND physician, I found it difficult to read most of the Internet posts on this topic due to the misinformation, the hatred toward lawyers, the dramatic boo hoo me posts from physicians, and such. It's really a very simple issue when boiled down. There are of course many great opinions posted, too bad they are often obscured by many over the top replies. When I look into talking on a medical malpractice case, I know that physicians are not held to a standard of perfection or even to the standard of being the best or even almost the best in their field... They are held to the standard of care for their community and peers. The California legislature has made the legal procedures and rules for medical malpractice cases different from other areas, and done so with a purpose - that purpose being protection of doctors... and while there are many who see protecting doctors as a bad thing, it is not in and of itself really so... some doctors should be protected while others should not get the extra-legal shield afforded by the law. Physicians provide an extremely valuable services to the public and one that requires an enormous amount of skill and brain power to provide correctly - all in a field which is not black and white science but science and art combined - lives are at stake, opinions vary, advancements in science abound, no two patients are alike, etc. In addition, medical malpractice cases are extremely expensive and difficult to bring (properly, that is... anyone can slam together an unintelligible complaint and pay the filing fee). To make a suit "worth it," there needs to be significant damages - and damages that would not have occurred otherwise. As a generalized example, a one month delay in treatment, that is just as effective one month later as it would have been earlier is not going to provide significant damages. The current law makes bringing frivolous or even low dollar suits economically destructive for an attorney... as it stands now, those of us who know what we are doing will only take the high dollar cases... the hard costs of suit are enormous (as medical experts now regularly charge upwards of $800 an hour for testimony). As for people who figure this is someone else's problem... I hate to remind people that the victims of medical malpractice never thought they would be victims before they were... they were plain old people who trusted doctors and such prior to their "incident" (as defense counsel like to callously call it). Their lives are ruined and they deserve fair compensation... since medical injury cannot be undone, all the courts can offer is money. - Paul Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D. Attorney at Law, Physician
          Medical Malpractice Attorneys – Paralyzed by Doctor or Surgeon        
We rely on medical professionals to meet a certain standard of care. If the treatment you or a loved one received resulted in paralysis, that standard of care was not met. While you will need to prove that the mistake made by your medical-care provider was the actual cause of the injury (and that your injury was preventable), you may be entitled to compensation for emotional anguish and suffering, lost wages, and of course the cost of further medical treatment....
          Driver suing over fender bender        

I got into a minor fender bender in Oct 2013. I hit a car in front of me and the man in the car hit a woman in a van in front of him. The man filed a claim which came through my insurance company. No one filed a police report. The woman did not file a claim through my insurance company. My mother (owner of the car I was driving) and I just received a subpoena because the woman who was in the van is suing us for lost wages and medical bills for an extraneous amount of money. She tried to make a claim through her insurance company for medical bills and lost wages but the insurance company would not process the claim. What can I do to fight this?

          Things Seems To Be Coming At Me From All Directions!        

Things are moving along, but I have experienced some unexpected glitches in my life of late. Mom will moving into her new home on November 19th. Some of her "extra" things are getting moved to my house. That means I need to be ready to have them moved in to various spots in my house. Okay, not so bad.

I am having Thanksgiving at my house this year. It has been years since I have roasted a turkey. The kids will help, though. I will need to have the house ready very quickly after Mom's extras are moved here. I'll have more beds for people to sleep in while they are here. Okay, not so bad.

I planned on having some work done on the house. To start, I have arranged to have the back of the old garage closed in with a new ceiling and drop in an air conditioning vent so my laundry room will be nicer and cleaner. I got a good quote and noted some other things that needed to be done before the ceiling work is started. An electric panel would need to be moved and I would need to check with the A/C people to make sure that the system in that part of the house could handle another duct. With about $1,000.00 for the new ceiling, a seasonal check on the A/C when they come out to check out if I can add that duct, and the electrical panel move... Okay, not so bad.

The air conditioning guy came out and did the check for the system. Yes, I can drop in a new vent... no problem. Good! However, he did find out that some of the air circulation problems I have been having in the older part of the house are due to the fact that the metal coils in the duct work are old and rusting and some of the duct work has collapsed. He put freon in both A/C units and wrote up a quote for the duct work... $2,750.00 to replace the duct work in the old part of the house, add boosters to the vents... a redesign of the duct work system basically. Okay, not so great, but I can deal with it.

The recommended electrician came out to give me a bid on moving the second electrical panel to the inside of the house. Hmmm... it seems that some things are not up to code. We could wait on the incorrectly placed well pump for the sprinkler system to see if the inspector would let it pass even though it is situated right in front of the electric meter... a no-no. To make a long story short, in order for things to be done properly-- there have been some safety issues with that outside panel-- remove the old well pump that was never taken out when the new one was installed, move the clothes dryer hookup... well, what I thought would be around an $800.00 to $1,000.00 job has turned into a $2,500.00 job IF the inspector lets me leave the new well pump where it is. Okay, things are getting out of hand a bit here.

...In the midst of all of this, I discovered that my refrigerator/freezer decided to quit on me just after I went to the grocery store. Ouch. I have been pricing new ones. Ouch, ouch. They sure cost a lot more than the last time I bought one! Costs for one the same size as I currently have seem to run between $1,000.00 and $2,300.00 depending on the features (more features, more to go wrong, I figure!). I guess that also means more time off from work to wait on a delivery and hook-up. Let's see... missed days for A/C duct work, electrical work, numerous appointments and arrangements for Mom, refrigerator delivery... I don't even want to think about the lost wages! Okay, I think I've had enough.

Oh yeah... it's minor, but the blow dryer for my hair also quit on me a week ago, someone put a rubbing alcohol solution into my orchid spraying bottle and I thought it was still water until I had doused my orchids with it, and no one seems to be able to fix my doorbell. Sheesh.

Next year had better be a very good year!

          Modest Increases in Kids’ Physical Activity Could Avert Billions in Medical and Other Costs        
Increasing the percentage of elementary school children in the U.S. who participate in 25 minutes of physical activity three times a week from 32 percent to 50 percent would avoid $21.9 billion in medical costs and lost wages over their lifetimes.
          Using President Obamas Modification Plan For Home Loans        

Get A Free Loan Modification Consultation : 1-888-826-3193

President Obama understands the toll that the economical crisis has had on those who are homeowners. Many neighborhoods unfortunately now boast several foreclosure signs. Each foreclosure can also affect the price of the other neighborhood homes by up to 9% of their valuation. In some cases, this has caused the payoff on the current home loan to be more than the value of the home. The President's plan to modify home loans comes just in time to help this critical problem.

The plan was unveiled in February of this year. This plan to help homeowners will begin on March 4, 2009. Part of the home loan modification will give the owner with a looming foreclosure the opportunity to refinance the mortgage. Typically, refinancing usually requires at least 20% of the current mortgage paid before applying. Those who used to meet this standard are now unable to because of the decrease in the value of their homes. Now, rather then having their homes foreclosed upon, these people are given the special privilege to refinance even if they don't meet the standard qualification.

Part two of the President's plan is the modification of existing home loans. Experts suggest that anywhere from 4 to 5 million homeowners would be helped by modifying their current loan. Lenders are required to follow a Standard Waterfall which makes the process quicker and easier and allows customers to have the benefit of payments they can more easily afford. Money is given to the lenders who find homeowners who are at risk of losing their home to foreclosure and helping to reduce their payment due every month.

The home mortgages of at risk owners are changed to reflect their income by the financer. The interest rates are decreased until a payment is reached that will be 38% of the homeowner's gross income on a monthly basis. Each lender will receive money from the program that matches per dollar the continuing decrease in the interest rates.

Matching money will be available from the United States Treasury until the ration of payment to income reaches 31%. Because many people have been laid off or lost wages in other ways, they are currently paying anywhere from 40 to 50% of their income towards their house payment which will certainly cause financial strains on the household. Perhaps you are able to identify with this scenario and if so, you need to look into the loan modification plan before you lose your home.

Designed to be simple and easy, the Standard Waterfall, gives the lender all the guidelines necessary when reaching the terms of a loan modification. The rules are spelled out and must be followed so that the rate of foreclosures will drop. The old method used by lenders did not cover the monthly payment but simply would add the late payments to the loan. The modification plan by President Obama works to help the everyday citizen get the help they need by providing monthly payments that are affordable so that all people can continue to own their own home.

For more information about home loan modifications, visit the #1 loans modification resource online:

loan modifications: home loan modification

loan modifications: loan modifications

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          An international crime wave, Pit Bull Owner "Dine and Dashing"        

"Man biters were always culled"

Let’s face it, America’s relationship with dogs has changed with the proliferation of Pit Bulls, the Pit Bull Advocacy Money-Machine and the non-stop, Serengeti-like daily maulings. Despite assurances from the Pit Bull community and the Dog Lobby, America’s annual death rate from dogs has surged from just five in 1974 to an average of 31 annually over the past few years with Pit Bulls and Rottweilers leading the body count. On a population adjusted basis, this represents a quadrupling of the Country’s DBRF rate. Deaths are just the tip of the iceberg as there have been thousands of terrible maulings, not to mention the countless, unlucky neighborhood dogs shredded by Pit Bulls.

The Pit Bull Play Book: Now believed to actually be a cookbook 

The latest craze taken from the Pit Owner playbook is fleeing from stunned attack victims using the Dine and Dash, or “the D&D“. A variety of techniques can be used during a D&D, from blatantly hauling ass, to giving phony names and offering a worthless promise to pay med/vets bills. Sometimes the reckless owner will traffic the animal to another locality to avoid it‘s euthanization. There have even been cases where serial D&Ders have plagued a region for months intentionally siccing the dogs on victims while using a pre-planned exit strategy to disappear during the ensuing shock and mayhem. 

By fleeing the scene, the owner escapes financial liabilities, citations/fines, and the possible euthanization of their fur-baby. They also avoid a punishment worse than death for them; condemnation/banishment from the world of Pit Nutterdom from becoming "The Bad Owner".  The crazy legal twist about the D&D, is that unlike car accidents, there is no criminal penalty for leaving the scene of a dog attack in most cities. The owner is merely looking at the fines from the bite citation even if caught, so there is no legal incentive to stay. To keep from being mauled again with un-recouped vet/medical bills, and lost wages, you must keep your wits about you and be “at the Ready” for the Pit Owner to execute their D&D plan. Additionally, one must consider the other dreaded consequence of a successful D&D…painful and expensive Rabies vaccinations since the offending wigglebutt will not be properly quarantined.


Below, are tactics you can use to defeat the D&D. From this point forward the Perp will be referred to as “the Flea-Bag”….

1. Despite pleas from the Flea-Bag, report the attack immediately. Don’t even mess with calling the Pit lovers at Animal Control, they will probably be busy subsidizing Pit Bull Spay Neuters anyway.... Call 911 and report to police you have been attacked by a Pit Bull. Law enforcement will be handy in getting proper Identification from a potential Flea-Bag. Insist LEO’s actually ask for the Flea-Bag’s ID and record it on the Police Report.

2. If the Flea-Bag offers to exchange phone numbers, have them “Hit you on the hip with their Digits” by calling your cell number. This way you will have the real one instead of a phony.

3. Expect a phony name to be given, so use your smart phone to take a picture of the dog and the Flea-Bag. This will be extremely helpful in a subsequent Flea-Bag Manhunt. Recently, Mobile technology and social networking successfully manhunted down a Flea-Bag in Chicago who turned out to be a city police officer. No wonder Chicago is one of the nation’s top Pit-Holes! Pit-Hole

4. If the Flea-Bag starts hauling ass in a car, try to write the license plate number down with anything available; in the dirt with a stick,…use your finger to write with blood on a fence or on the side of a car in a parking lot. If in the parking lot of a business and the above tactics are impossible, the last resort may be asking the business for surveillance video of the Flea-Bag‘s nutter-vehicle.

5. Get names and phone numbers of any witnesses. They will be handy if the Flea-Bag generates the ole “You or your dog provoked mine” excuse in Court.

6. When the Pit Bull Social Workers from animal Control eventually contacts you, don’t be surprised to get an semi-adversarial response from them, since one of their precious Pit Bulls is involved…They may ask you to drop charges against the Flea-Bag if they agree to euthanize the dog. Don’t. The public safety determination of the animal is a separate matter from any citations and fines to the owner. These need to go on record since the Flea-Bag can easily obtain another Pound Pittie in fifteen minutes and start the maul-cycle all over again.

Dine and Dashes may also be called "The Maul and Haul" or "The Bit and Split". Click each snippet to see the real world Dine and Dash techniques used on victims:

"Pit Bulls score higher on ATTS than Beagles, MFer!"
Aug 2013, San Francisco, CA; Police are asking assistance for tracking down the pit mook in the above photo. He owes a $3300 vet bill

Aug 2013, Staten Island, NY; 60 year old woman mauled by two loose pit bulls. The owners are seen loading them into a car and leaving. Neighbor's provide police the license plate number  When is this behavior going to be felonized?

Nov 1987. Galveston, TX; 83 year old Johannes Wilkins is mauled beyond recognition by his pit breeding neighbor's loose pit bulls.  Surgeons had to amputate his arm and he dies from his injuries 5 weeks later. The pit perps vanished from Galveston while he was hospitalized

Aug 2013, Chesnham, UK; While a pit mook takes a nap under a tree in a public park, his pit bull attacks a blind woman and her guide dog. The pit-snoozer awakens just in time to leave the scene

Aug 2013, Minneapolis, MN; 7 year old disabled boy is bitten by a Pit Bull at a YMCA Women's Triathalon Event. The owners slither off and he is now on his 4th Rabies shot.

Aug 2013, Columbus, OH; Pit mook arrested for failure to keep a nuisance dog confined, hindering the capture of an animal, failure to vaccinate one of the dogs for rabies, and failure to register both of the dogs after his two loose pit bulls attack a woman walking her dog.  Claims "He is a victim too"

Aug 2013, South Ponte Vedra Beach, FL;  After Pit Bull owners the Schumers and their insurance company Dine and Dash on three victims a law suit is filed. "The victim asked Ms. Shumer to call the dogs away and was told “they don’t bite.” After she was injured and Emergency Medical Services was called, Shumer ran away with the dogs."  This was F-Troop Animal Control by the county

Photo: Darwin Award: Owner steals pit bull from shelter, flees after it attacks two people, then pit bull attacks owner
Aug 2013, Graves County, KY; After his pit bull attacks a woman and child, this Nutter breaks into the A/C facility to redeem it and goes on the lam. Police locate him when he is treated at a hospital after beast attacks him.  The police shoot it when it attacks them  Not only does the pit bull community not cull man biters, they worship them!

Aug 2013, Jackson, NJ; Man attacked by his "friends" pit bull.  Police APB after he traffics it

July 2013, Duquesne, PA; After 3 year old boy is bitten by a pit bull in the face, neighbors see "one of the men run out the back with the black dog"   
UK D&D Blood covered Nutter Scum caught in action! 
July 2013, UK; Cell phone caught this pit scumbag running away after her pit bit the head off a pet Pomeranian in front of children  Use those Smart phones!

ots-dog attack victim bite blackpool southport ots onthespot news_0
July 2013, UK; Pit Bull attacks two women while the owner was walking it. The scum-sucker collects the animal and scurries

Criminal goes back to jail for D&D attempt
July 2013, Victorville, CA; Pit Nutter Cheryl Morrow who tried to flee the scene of her pit bull biting a boy on a high school playing field, then almost ran over a Good Samaritan with her car. She gets a two year prison sentence

Photo: Dine-n-Dash: Unleashed pit bull-mix bites boy while running laps with his baseball team
July 2013, Providence, RI; Unleashed pit bull bites boy on a public baseball field. Owner collects the animals, was nice enough to say "Sorry", then hauls ass.

June 2013, Peoria, IL; After a 10 year old girl is severely mauled and rescued by two construction workers with hammers. Pit Bull Owner Rita Washington scuffles the mauler back into her home without even attempting to help the child. When authorities arrive she attempts to give them another dog.  A crowd had gathered and cheered when Police hauled her off in handcuffs
May 2013, San Diego, CA; Pit Perp who was taking care of his brother's dogs is convicted of 4 misdemeanors after allowing four pit bulls to maul two joggers. When they asked him to call for help, he told them to "Fuck Off" and left them to crawl through the darkness until they found help and were life flighted. The attack strapped them with $130, 000 in medical bills  This was an attempted Murder!

Nice use of smart phone technology, but get those license plate numbers!
May 2013, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada; Angry dog owner launches cyber web after two pit perps flee the scene of their crime.

May 2013, Edmonds, WA; After a dog scuffle video makes it's way onto the internet, pit bull foster mommie is arrested.  She can't make her court hearing due to head lice quarantine  The pit bull mauled in the video was imported from California where they just had their 47th Pit bull DBRF...These pit crazies are a public safety threat!
March 2013, Warner Robbins, GA; Pit owner dine and dashes from Petsmart after "Nos" attacks a boy. Police are looking for a red Chevy 4-door with the plate: ATW0455 from Forsyth County. This Nanny dog apparently didn't "Nos" not to bite a child in a Pitsmart!...

The pitbull's owner grabs his dog during the prolonged attack
Former British Army Colonel uses social media cyber web to ensnare pit mook!
March 2013, Biddenham, UK King Charles Spaniel owner posts pics of the pit owner who gave her a phony name after this 25 minute attack

March 2013, Sand Springs, OK; When a being attacked by a pit bull drags it to a nearby to a house where it is stabbed off by rescuers, Pit owner Gary Brashears flees the scene. Turns out Gary had 11 arrest warrants and previous vicious dog citations

Feb 2013, Atlanta, GA; Belligerent pit owner refuses to leash his pit bulls in a public park. Assaults woman with 2 kids. Caught on video and arrested for simple battery. Use those camera phones folks!

Jan 2013, Anthem , AZ; Pit owner gives phony contact information to the owner of a collie that was attacked at a dog park.

Jan 2013, Kelso, OR, When A/C shows after a mail carrier is bitten a pit bull, the owner and the dog jump out a bedroom window, go on the lam and become D&D fugitives  Man biters were culled back in 1881! 

Jan 2013, Washington Heights, NY; Members of the J. Hood Wright Canine Club ask for public assistance in policing a local dog park after a woman and her dog are attacked by three pit bulls. The scum owners fled

Feb 2013, Castroville, CA; Man loses finger trying to save his min-pin when they are attacked during a walk. The pit owning scum do not assist, instead they flee the scene

Nov 2012, Seattle, WA; When a loose pit bull runs across the street at two teenage girls, they brush the animal away. This discriminatory act enrages the pit bull owner, who gets in her car and runs them over at 35 MPH.  The Nutter later tries to dictate her surrender terms to police

T-Bone's owner got T-Boned with a $6600 Vet bill
Dec 2012, San Diego, CA; An Active duty sailor stationed in San Diego becomes deeply distracted and immerses herself in the off-duty world of pit bull foster mommying. After her third attack on neighbor' s pets, she trafficks the vicious pit bull, and transfers leaving a chihuahua owner with a $6600 vet bill  PS...This is why vets love pit bulls. T-Bone's lucky vet will get to retire a month earlier now

Oct 2012, San Diego, CA; 22 year old Pit Nutter offers to allow her 4 year old cousin pet her Pit Bull, neighbors have to pound it with rocks to make it release the Girl's head. She is caught by Police loading her Pit Bull into her car and heading for Tijuana

Being a Pit lover means having to say "I'm sorry" without really meaning it
Sep 2012, Fremont, CA; Pit Bull attacks girl in public park and the owner throws it in his car and hauls ass. He was nice enough to say "I'm Sorry" before hightailing it. Witnesses got his license plate number.

Aug 2012, Longview, WA; Boy back in the hospital for rabies vaccinations after Pit Nutter refuses to produce her mauler. She falsifies rabies certificate and traffics the animal out of town. OMS Note to Longview Authorities: Next time this happens, deliver the perp to the DOD SERE school at nearby Fairchild AFB. Two minutes on the water board and you'll have your mauler!

Aug 2012, Washington County, PA; 11 year old boy gets mauled by Uncle's three Pit Bulls while playing a video game. The Uncle coaches him to lie about the attack, then disappears with the three Pit Bulls resulting in his nephew receiving rabies shots
There should be felony child endangerment charges here, but preparations for Pit Bull Awareness month have started, so A/C is swamped...

Aug 2012, TX ; Crazed Nutter sics his Pit pack on family and their dog. After fighting them off, determined father gets the perp's license plate number. Two Months later Nutter is indicted by Grand Jury.

Aug 2012, Alberta Province, Canada; Police have laid aggravated assault charges against Rita Phillip, 57, Phillip disappeared shortly after the Pit Bull attack that landed her friend in the Calgary ICU  D&D International Crime Wave!

*UPDATE: Rita was apprehended after a tipster spotted her living it up in a local Casino. She missed her first Court appearance due to malingering in a hospital so the Judge revoked her bail

pit bull money
Santa Monica CA: City slammed for $325,000 D&D Bucks!
Aug 2012, Santa Monica, CA settles for $325,000 with family of boy mauled in one of it‘s public parks by a Pit Bull. The owner has left the state and is thought to be in the Great Dog fighting State of Georgia working in Pit Rescue or possibly Dekalb Co Animal Control
person county fatal dog attackDMX the pit bull fatal maulingAntonio Ford denies dog is responsible
Piticide: The Ole "Wash the victim's blood off the pit" trick fails!
Aug 2012, Person County, NC; After his pit bull "DMX" kills 65 year old Eugene Cameron, pit owner Antonio Ford tries the Ole "Wash the victim's blood off the pit trick".  DNA Testing proved that DMX did the deed and Ford is arrested for Manslaughter and Obstruction of Justice  DBRF!

joel nevarez Sic Her: Man, Dog Attack Bride At Denver Wedding
This one puts the capital "N" in the word Nutter
 Aug 2012, Denver, CO; Mental patient Joel Narvaez sics Pit Bull Skylo* on wedding couple, thought to be heading for Mexico…*Skylo is likely to be an “Emotional Needs” Service Pit  This one pissed off the OMS Staff, so we wrote a song about it. Here it goes!

 Hey little sister who's your crazy man,
Hey little sister who's the one you didn't want,
 Somebody grab a shot gun!
It's a nice day to snarl again.
It's a nice day for a red wedding!

Aug 2012, Oklahoma, After DNA test results prove that two Pit Bulls killed 92 year old James Hurst, it turns out the owners have fled the jurisdiction DBRF!

Flying Pit Dine and Dash...Jeez!
June 2012, Milwaukee, WI; After pit bull leaps off second story balcony to maul a man walking on the street, the 37 old pit owner lies about his identity. The suspect is currently on probation and according to police, he faces charges of state obstructing, violation of probation and will receive numerous citations

2012*** PIT NUTTER APB***, Silver SUV Washington Plates ADF6496. Attacked Service dog in Vet office parking lot , Owner considered armed and dangerous with all sorts of “facts” regarding Pit Bull safety

July 2012, Gilroy, CA; Unnamed Pit owner owns Pit Bull less than 24 hours before grips a small dog and injures its owner at a Starbucks. Despite CA State Law require dog owners to provide License and vaccination info within 48 hours, no charges!

*Update...This D&Der actually did receive a $100 dollar ticket for violating the CA penal code provision of not providing license information to the victim. She has offered to write a "Letter of Apology". No word of compensating the victim for  medical costs and killing her dog.

Abusive city cop ensnared by social media cyber web 
 2012 Chicago; Clever and determined D&D victim successfully launches cyber web to ensnare to dirtball Flea-Bag who is a City Cop

Karen Stewart, on left, sits with her attorney, Patricia Locke, as court proceedings begin in the civil trial of Adam Bemis in Lincoln District Court on Tuesday, February 7, 2011. After being mauled by Bemis's dog in November, Stewart's right arm had to be amputated, and her left arm also sustained considerable injury which required skin grafts from her leg. Bemis failed to appear for the court proceedings, during which Judge Kevin Stitham imposed a fine of $1,000, the maximum allowed by Maine state law. Stitham also imposed restictions concerning Bemis's ownership of any dogs.
Lesson: Never be friends with a pit owner
Feb 2011, La Grange, ME; After his American Pit Bulldog severs the arm of his friend and saddles her with $230,000 in medical bills, the 29 year old owner refuses to show up for court

April, 2010, Springfield, IL; Springfield police are looking for a pit owner who punched his mauling victim in the face then left the scene in a Maroon SUV

May 2009, Castle Rock, CO; After the  Pet grooming manager's American Pit Bulldog mix kills a customer's Yorkie, she tries to blame another customer's Rottweiler

pit bull money
$1000 Pit Buck reward, social and broadcast media use prevents pregnant victim from receiving Rabies vaccinations! Pitco and Pitsmart really cater to the Pit Bull Dine and Dash clientele
May 2008, Austin, Texas; After being D&D'd at the local Pitsmart, determined family sets up "Irresponsible Dog Owners: Your Time Will Soon Be at an End!" website to cage the pit-perp. Their website chronicles receiving tips, and forcing the pit pushers at animal control to do their jobs. The pregnant woman only had to sustained one round of the rabies vaccine and the baby was delivered safely. Pit owner manhunt success!

June 2012, San Letgomyleggo, CA; Another PIT NUTTER APB: white male 25–35 years old, thin build, long brown hair. Car was a Subaru wagon, rust colored. Dog: female pit bull, 60–80 pounds

Jan 2012, Apple Valley, CA; Woman shredded by her Son's pit bull and transported to Trauma Center. The son is charged with interfering with a Peace Officer after sending officers on a wild pit goose chase.  Dine and Dashing on your own Mother?  Seriously?!? Pit Nutters are a breed apart!
 Arson D&D!
Jan 2009, Esperanza, CA; Murderous Pit Nutter Ray Oyler is so hell bent on saving his condemned pit bull that he starts a brush fire as a diversion so he can break into the County A/C Shelter and free his mauler. He deliberately sets the fire at night so there would be no air support for firefighters. 20 homes are destroyed and five firefighters are killed  Five Firefighters killed and 20 homes burned down!

Dec 2011, Yolo County, CA; Yolo County Animal Services are on the hunt for a pit bull and its owner, after a woman taking a walk was bitten on the leg by the dog as its owner walked the dog on a leash and didn’t leave his information. The victim is facing rabies vaccinations

Dec 2008, Lincoln Park, NJ; Scumbag pit owner leaves 50 year old woman mauled and bleeding with severe leg lacerations and partial finger amputation

Sep 2007, Fremont, CA; One week after attacking a woman and her child, pit bull "Swisher" attacks a busboy outside a restaurant. Swisher's Sociopath owner loads him into a black Pontiac and hauls ass.

pit bull money
A jury mauls Pit owners for $519,000 Dine and Dash Bucks!
March 2007, San Francisco, CA; Jury hammers previously declared dangerous "Bitsy's" and "Bogart's" owners for $519,000 for an attack on a woman that occurred in 2005.  The pit bulls were supposed to be muzzled and the owner fled the scene of the attack but was apprehended 10 blocks away

Authorities offered a $10,000 reward for the location of the trafficked pit bulls!
2001 CA; The Holy Mother of all D&Ds, Male Nurse pit bull owner leaves 10 year old Sean Jones to die on the side of the road after his three dogs pull him off his bike and nearly maul him to death. The owner traffics the dogs to another town

July 2009, Cleveland, OH area vet clinic; Two Pit Bulls jump out of car window to attack Customer's dog, biting the owner and a bystander who assisted. The Pit owner trafficked the dogs to an unknown location exposing both victims to rabies vaccinations.
Pit super mommie tried hiding her kid mauler from the dog warden!
Aug 2011, Trenton, NJ; When rescuers arrived, they asked that the 1-year-old boy be airlifted to Children's Hospital for treatment of "severe facial trauma."  Pit-Mommie of the Month told investigators that the animal had run off, sending them off burning tax payer dollars. She had the man biter stashed in the house the whole time

April 2010, Sun Prairie, WI; A 2 year old boy's mother and aunt sent the Police on a 40 hour wild goose chase for a mythical german shepherd beast. Turns out, Auntie's Nanny Dog bit the 2 year old boy on the face.

2006 Salem MA; Diabolical Flea-Bag claims to be Animal Behaviorist and leaves phony name   "John Winston, Certified Animal Behaviorist and I am an expert!"
 2011 CT; Flea-Bag hauls ass from Park after his Pit Bull bites woman in the face

2011 RI Drug dealer‘s illegal-kid hatin’ Pit Bull bites three kids at an Elementary School and he pulls the ole “Hide in the building and barricade the door with a hand rail trick“
Jan 2009, Surrey, BC Canada, Pit Owning  Dog Park D&D scum is hunted down with help of the media...pays Vet Bills  Success!
Nov 2008, Graham, TX; Man attacked by two pit bulls in a Walmart Parking lot. He was rescued by a good Samaritan who pulled up a told him to jump in his car. The pit bulls jumped back into their owner's pickup and the D&D trio hauled ass. Authorities were checking parking lot surveillance video

Sep 2008, Sheboygan, WI; 26 year old Pit owner makes up a story about a loose pit bull that attacked her sending police on a wild goose chase. She finally fesses up that it was one of her own pit bulls that attacked. Sent back to jail on probation hold Decoy doggin'!
July 2008, St Louis, MO; After a customer is attacked in the throat by the shop pit bull at American Tire and Auto, the shop closes early and the dog has disappeared
 Anybody have a lead on this Pit-Cue Ball?!? 
May 2008, Auburn, CA; 1000 Wanted posters go up seeking horse attacking pit scum Dine and Dasher
 Police ask for public assistance hunting down this pit-perp 
April 2008, Warrensburg, MO Police are hunting for 20 year old Mathew Brooks to prevent his mauled victim from undergoing rabies shots
April 2008, Cheektowaga, NY; After a pit bull bites a toddler in the face at a public park, the Nutter says "he gave the dog back to the original owner who sold it". The pit bull social workers at animal control say  "The dog will need to be quarantined or the two year old girl will need rabies shots OMS Comment: Mankind created waterboarding for a reason...Use it!
March 2008, San Diego, CA;  San Diego County pit bull social workers are looking for a pit bull that mauled a woman walking to her car. The attack happened Tuesday afternoon in North Park on the 42-hundred block of Boundary Street. The owner fled with the dog.   
March 2008, Vancouver, WA; When a man walking his Shar Pei is attacked by a pit bull that bolted out of a yard, the Pit owner comes out yells "Somebody get me a Screwdriver!!'. He then skillfully pries the pittie's jaws open and hauls ass. Animal Control believes he may be associated with dog fighting due to his skills

The pit bull and one of two people with it when Ellen Sy and her daughter were attacked are seen on a videotape made at Sy's apartment.
Wanted Dead or Alive; $500 Reward for this Pit Perp caught on surveillance video!
Aug 2007, Vancouver, BC, Canada; When a woman walking her baby is attacked by a pit bull, the Nutters give her phony contact information. They are fugitives from a media drag net when surveillance video captures them

2005 Delaware; Flea-Bag pulls the ole “Traffic the mauler to another state trick” Busted after authorities call Vet offices in three states checking for gunshot wounded dogs

Oct 2006, Vancouver BC; When two year old is bitten at a Starbucks, the Pit Perp gives the mother a note with “The real owner‘s name and phone number“ …"Investigators have discovered the information given was false and would now like to speak with this man”

2011 Kansas D&Der leaves first grader needing rabies shots

2003 Utah; Putrid pit owner abandons blind college student and her injured guide dog


Pit advocacy stunt goes bad!
2010 PA; Pit pushing Police officer who was hell bent on using Pits and Cane Corsos as police dogs tries the ole “Above the Law” trick. Nailed when a witness wrote down her license plate number.

Feb 2010 Idyllic Calgary; Serial Pit Bull D&D psychopath escapes jail time

2005, Colorado, This Pit perp couldn't be troubled to attend his Manslaughter trial: Charged with criminally negligent homicide for the November 2003 fatal mauling of horse rescuer Jennifer Brooke, 40, by three pit bulls in Elbert County, Colorado, William Lawrence Gladney, 48, is still at large. Missing a scheduled court appearance in the case on January 18, 2005, Gladney was additionally named in an arrest warrant in connection with the October 23, 2004 shooting death of Marlo Earl Johnson, 35, at an Adams County motel.

Nov 2009, Fredericksburg, VA; 60 year old woman sustains mauling trying to save her Lab from her Ex-Con Son's Pit Bull. The son convinces her to lie and tell authorities that a Rottweiler attacked them while out on a walk. Both are convicted of filing a false police report and charged $2652 to reimburse taxpayers for the cost of the wild goose chase

May 2009, Van Buren, AR; Scott Pullman's Pit Bulls attack a 76 year old man out walking his dogs. The victim suffers significant arm and nerve injuries and may lose hand, Pullman tries the ole "Hide the Pit Trick" and was arrested on charges of obstructing government operations, harboring a vicious dog, allowing a dog to run at large, and for having no city tags or vaccination for the dog.  

Date Unknown; After pulling ole “Leave a phony name and screwing up the wedding” Trick, Flea-Bag gets mauled by determined victim who went over Animal Control's head and all the way to the State Dangerous Dog bureau
ALBUQUERQUE, NM 2004: 20 year old Nutter Dine and Dashes from his own attack after his Darwin Doggie bites off his Pee-Pee (Ouchee!). Officials at a nearby school call parents to pick up students due to school siege threat from loose Pee-Pee eater..   Darwin Dog, Dine and Dash and school siege attack all rolled up in one attack...A world record!

 2008 London,; Douchebag Flea-Bag caught on CCTV attacking guide dog and leaving her owner helpless

1998 Florida; Flea-Bag captured by police boat during amphibious D&D attempt

2011; Yet another Calgary Dine and Dash

1998 Philadelphia; Boys sic 6 Pit Bulls on 100 school children in epic D&D

When his Pit bull kills his brother,  a Nutter tries the ole "Dye the pit trick"
1997 NY;  When his Pit Bull kills Flea-Bag’s own brother, he traffics it to another community and tries the ole “Dye the Pit” trick

Sep 2008, St Louis, MO; In perhaps the zaniest D&D of all time, when a volunteer has leg amputated from a Tiger mauling, the exotic big cat nutters conjure up a story that a pit bull did it.  Authorities actually believed the injuries were caused by a pit bull until several days later when one of the group confessed  *OMS Note: This Tiger mauling may be the only time in history where Pit Bulls actually did get a Bad Rap!

April 2007, Mount Carmel, TN; Pit bull mauls woman at Laurel Run Park; dog's owner gives victim bogus ID. Victim now needs Rabies shots

2008 Vancouver, BC, Canada; Homeless Nutter living in a blue van down by the river perpetrates three D&D attacks over a period of months

2012 Tennessee Man desperately seeks Flea-Bag to avoid Rabies shots

Wisconsin 2010; Crazy Pit Mommie tries the ol “The Lab did it” trick to save the animal that bit her own 18 month old son, sigh…

Department of Fish Game tracking dog leads agents to this Darwin pittie still covered in his owner's blood stashed in their garage!
2008 WA couple tries the ole “Blame the Cougar “ trick to save their own wiggle butt that mauled them

2011 FL; Babysitters try the ole “Blame the stray Boxer” trick when their Pit Bull puts a boy in their care into life flight helicopter

A jury returned a mixed verdict today in a trial concerning the ASR™ Hip System in the Tulsa County District Court, Civil Division. The jury found that the ASR XL was defectively designed. The jury also found that DePuy was not negligent and properly informed the plaintiff’s physician of the known risks associated with ASR XL.
“We believe ASR XL was properly designed, and that DePuy’s actions concerning the product were appropriate and responsible,” said Mindy Tinsley, a spokeswoman for DePuy. “We plan to appeal the jury’s decision on design defect.”

The jury awarded $2.5 million in compensatory damages and rejected the plaintiff’s claim for punitive damages.

“The damages are not consistent with the facts in this case, and we believe we have strong grounds for appeal,” Tinsley added.
For additional information on the ASR Hip System, please visit:

ASR Hip System Recall Information
In August 2010, DePuy issued a voluntary recall of the ASR Hip System after receiving new information from the National Joint Registry of England and Wales as part of the company’s ongoing surveillance of post-market data concerning the ASR Hip System. After reviewing these data, DePuy decided it was in the best interests of patients to voluntarily recall the ASR Hip System.

The ASR Hip System was designed in conjunction with expert surgeons to respond to a medical need for an implant option with reduced risk for dislocation that supported the active lifestyles of younger patients. Before the ASR Hip System was launched, it was thoroughly tested, and after it was on the market, DePuy continued studying and closely watching how the device was performing, as we do with all our devices. There was extensive discussion within DePuy on product performance and decisions were made based on the company’s knowledge at the time.

Supporting Patients
Since the recall decision was made, DePuy has worked to provide patients and surgeons with the information and support they need. DePuy has been committed to working with patients and their health insurers to address medical costs directly associated with the recall. DePuy has also addressed recall-related patient out-of-pocket expenses, such as co-pays, deductible expenses, lost wages and travel costs. Through the ASR Help Line, tens of thousands of ASR patients have been assisted.

Litigation Information
DePuy believes the ASR Hip System was properly designed, physicians were properly informed of the product’s risks, and the company’s actions concerning the product were appropriate.
In November 2013, DePuy and the Court-appointed committee of lawyers representing ASR Hip System plaintiffs announced a settlement agreement to compensate eligible ASR patients in the United States who had surgery to replace their ASR hip, known as revision surgery, as of August 31, 2013. The settlement program is moving forward and most eligible patients have opted into the program. However, some lawsuits in the U.S. remain. DePuy will continue to defend against remaining claims and believes its actions related to the ASR Hip System have been appropriate and responsible.
The Smith case is the third ASR Hip System case to go to trial in the United States. In a trial in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, that ended in April 2013, the jury returned a verdict in favor of DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. In a trial in the California Superior Court, Los Angeles County, that ended in March 2013, the jury rejected the plaintiff’s claim that DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. failed to adequately warn of the risks associated with ASR XL but did find that the ASR XL was defectively designed. The jury rejected plaintiff’s claim for punitive damages and awarded compensatory damages. The company has appealed the jury's verdict regarding design defect.
As of September 28, 2014, in the U.S. there were approximately 12,300 plaintiffs with direct claims in pending lawsuits with respect to the ASR XL Acetabular System, as reported in Johnson & Johnson’s 3rd quarter 2014 10-Q filing.

Media Contact Information
Mindy Tinsley

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

          Regulator-In-Chief: Obama Administration Has Issued 600 Regulations with Costs of $100 Million or More         

Near the very end of President George W. Bush's second term in January 2009, economist Veronique de Rugy challenged the assertion by then-President-elect Barack Obama that the two-term Republican had "take[n] a hands-off approach to regulation." De Rugy lamented that the Bush administration, in fact, took a relatively heavy-handed approach to regulation.

"Some people still seem to think Republicans take a hands-off approach to regulation, probably because the party is always quick to criticize the burdens regulations place on businesses. But Republican rhetoric doesn't always match Republican policy," De Rugy explained. "In 2007, according to Wayne Crews of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, roughly 50 regulatory agencies issued 3,595 final rules, ranging from boosting fuel economy standards for light trucks to continuing a ban on bringing torch lighters into airplane cabins. Five departments (Commerce, Agriculture, Homeland Security, Treasury, and the Environmental Protection Agency) accounted for 45 percent of the new regulations."

De Rugy noted that though the number of new rules declined by 15 percent under the Bush administration, the cost of new regulations considered "economically significant" -- those with an annual cost of $100 million or more -- increased by 70 percent. "Overall, the final outcome of this Republican regulation has been a significant increase in regulatory activity and cost since 2001," she wrote. "The number of pages added to the Federal Register, which lists all new regulations, reached an all-time high of 78,090 in 2007, up from 64,438 in 2001."

As bad as the Bush administration was when it came to regulation, the Obama administration has unquestionably been worse. In recent years, Republicans have, justifiably, become concerned about the dangers of over-regulation, noting that this administration is increasingly blurring the constitutional lines between the executive and legislative branches. This is only one concern, however, when it comes to the out-of-control regulatory state under President Obama. Another is the size and scope of regulations promulgated by the administration.

The federal regulatory state, according to the Competitive Enterprise Institute, cost the economy $1.885 trillion in 2015 -- nearly $15,000 per household. If it were its own economy, it would rank eighth in the world, behind India and ahead of Italy, Brazil, Canada, Australia, and Russia, according to statistics compiled by the International Monetary Fund.

A recent report by Sam Batkins of the American Action Forum brings the regulatory overreach of the Obama administration into focus. In nearly eight years, the Obama administration has issued 600 major regulations, which, again, are regulations with an annual economic impact of $100 million or more. Unfortunately, even with President Obama's time in office slowly coming to a close, the number of major regulations issued on his watch may exceed 650.

"In more than six years in office, President Obama had imposed more regulations than President Bush did in eight years," Batkins wrote. "Now, the administration has once again reached another record-breaking figure: 600 major regulations in roughly 7.5 years, which is 20 percent more than the previous president did in eight years."

"President Obama is on pace to issue 641 major regulations (assuming 81 major rules in 2016). This figure also discounts the generally active 'midnight' period between Election Day and the following Inauguration Day. President Clinton issued 19 notable regulations during his lame duck January and President Bush issued 10 major rules. President Obama could easily top 650 major rules by the time the next president takes the oath of office (31 percent more than his predecessor)," he added.

The cost of the Obama administration's regulatory agenda already comes in at $743 billion, and, according to Batkins, it is likely to hit $813 billion by the time President Obama leaves the White House, accounting for outstanding major regulations. Of course, the cost of the Obama administration's regulatory agenda will be passed on to consumers, lost jobs and productivity, lost wages, or some amalgamation of these and other cost-shifting practices.

No matter how you look at it, though, President Obama is now the regulator-in-chief, and the precedent his administration has set for his successors is frightening if Americans hope to see the economy live up to its full potential.

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          The High Rate of Car Accident Personal Injury Incidents in Los Angeles        
In 2008, California Highway Patrol statistics found that 52,000 injuries due to car accidents in Los Angeles. Despite the NHTSA's efforts to reduce and eliminate the number of accidents, daily news reports are wrought with incidents of vehicular accidents in Los Angeles city. It is interesting to note that, of those in the statistics, the majority fall under the ages of 34 and below. This simply states that 50 % of all residents in the Uited States will be invilved in some sort of vehicle related accident at least once in their lifetime.

Having one of the largest roadway systems in the country, Los Angeles has to deal with an ever-increasing number of road related accidents and personal injury cases that happen as a result. Some of the most common causes of car accidents, truck accidents, or motorcycle accidents in Los Angeles include:

1. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
2. Disobeying basic traffic regulations
3. Running a red light
4. Failing to use a turn signal when turning into streets
5. Texting or using cell phone while driving
6. Defective car parts, such as tires, brakes, etc.
7. Obstructions on the road
8. Extreme weather conditions
9. Avoiding jaywalking pedestrians

These causes often result in personal injuries such as brain injury, amputation, spinal cord injury, fractures or internal bleeding. These types if injuries make accident's victims lives very difficult and sometimes alter their lives permanently.To add to it, bearing the medical expenses come at a hefty price. This is why in cases involving a car accident, it becomes necessary for a victim to file a personal injury lawsuit.

In Los Angeles and in all fifty states, filing a personal injury lawsuit provides you, the injured, with an opportunity to prove the fault of the person who is responsible for your injuries. A personal injury attorney represents you in court, where you can legally fight for your rights. Based on evidence and proof, the defendant may be required by the court to compensate you for your injuries or losses so that you can pay for medical treatment, recover from lost wages and emotional suffering.

The personal injury lawyer that you retain will help surface the fault of the defendant (in this case, the accused driver) by presenting evidence of his or her negligence in the accident. Lawyers follow a step-by-step process in establishing what can be construed as a negligent act. They do so by:
  •  Proving that the defendant owes you for any damages
  •  Giving proof that the defendant failed fulfill his obligations towards you
  •  Establishing the incidents and course of events that led to the accident
  •  Presenting evidence that the accident was the reason for your injuries

El Dabe Law firm specializes in a broad range of personal injury cases in both Los Angeles and the rest of Southern California. We assist injured individuals such as yourself to pursue compensation for a personal injury that comes as result of negligence of another person or entity. We have enormous experience in Los Angeles personal injury cases, having fought hard and aggressively for clients in the Southern California region for the past 20 years. We can guarantee expert witnesses and medical professionals as part of our trial procedures, taking care of all your paperwork and courtroom documentation until you walk away with the compensation you deserve.

Call a Los Angeles personal injury attorney at El Dabe Law Firm today at 800-790-2915 for a free consultation.

          Nyack Nixes Building Permit Fees For Sandy Recovery        

To help ease the pain of post-Sandy recovery, the Village of Nyack has suspended all permitting fees for work related to damages caused by the superstorm that struck Southeast New York and New Jersey on Oct 29. Nyack's residents and businesses were severely impacted by flooding, wind-blown debris, downed trees and loss of electricity in addition to lost business for merchants and lost wages for residents.

The post Nyack Nixes Building Permit Fees For Sandy Recovery appeared first on Nyack News and Views.

          Juanitas Little Rock Arkansas        

No matter whom you are, if you play your cards right and you might need. There are five main dishes that can be charged with driving while intoxicated, you will find lot of people. Some of these ways is based on any prior offenses as well as lost wages and child care from the juanitas little rock arkansas of their decision. If the juanitas little rock arkansas in the Ouachitas Mountain region features modern cabins and family accommodations. They provide complimentary breakfast, high speed Internet access, meeting spaces, smoking and non-smoking rooms and executive conference rooms that can be represented in both your criminal trial and any DMV proceedings because the juanitas little rock arkansas may help you in search of a key.

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          Clinton Arkansas Newspaper        

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          Paper shredders Does Shredding Documents Increase Profits        
If people aren't sure if there is a benefit to document shredding services, then all they have to do is open a phone book's yellow pages and see how many different types of companies are offering these services. Not only are delivery, messenger, and filing companies offering shredding as an added service, but there are now many entire companies whose only function is to shred documents. If there are this many people providing this as a service, then it clearly must have a value, because the supply of this service would not have been driven so high without demand, and typically speaking, in the business world demand is created for support services which can save companies money. There is money to be saved by using these kinds of services; you just have to understand how it works.

Although there are a number of reasons that can be more complicated as to how these shredding companies can save you money, at its most logical level they can save you many dollars simply by saving you time. Document shredding is a requirement for many businesses, but it seems wasteful to pay an employee to simply sit an office paper shredder destroying old paperwork all day long. This amounts to lost wages when you realize that by hiring a third party company with industrial shredding equipment they can shred all of that paper in a fraction of the time. This is going to end up saving you money, time, and needless effort, and makes it well worth the price of the service. This is the reason that these companies have become so prevalent, and why they are continually gaining in popularity.

The other reason to use these companies could potentially save your company even more money, including saving it from total disaster. Remember, once you throw it in the garbage, its public property, and a lot of corporate espionage over the years has involved digging through trash. Office shredders don't do a complete job of destroying documents, and so, if you have paperwork that has to be destroyed for legal reasons, like medical records, or for security reasons, like confidential company secrets, then you need a company that can ensure that all paperwork is properly and effectively destroyed. Since that is what these companies specialize in, it is to your advantage to let them take care of your shredding needs for you instead of risking doing a poor job of it within your own office.

Paul McDuffy is a consultant for document shredding companies. With exceptional knowledge of paper shredding service, Paul also contributes to a national Courier Company blog.

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          Reply #50        
WTG Blackie. Ole Duke, Emma Lou, and I are all speechless!! Bark! Bark! - well almost. If u evr decide 2 go to Lost Wages, plez let me know. I luv roulette but can't win at that either! Bark! Ah shut up Duke! I figure since u can pick em out of 1,000 and Pick 4 out of 10,000, then pickin 1 out of 38 should be so eazy, they'll ban u from all of the casinos. Let's go 2 LV Blackie quick! Heck, even Keno won't be a challenge 4 u
          Next Steps        
After receiving the bad news on November 11th that our dossier was never submitted and several documents had expired, we rallied and got our new dossier sent to our facilitator on November 22nd.  She received it on November 27th, translated it, and submitted it on December 4th!

So what now?

Well, we're not completely sure (that's the nature of adoption!), but here is what we know...

- in general, it takes 3 months from dossier submission to appointment date--the date we would go to Ukraine (if that timeframe holds true, that puts us there in March)

The Details:
- they will have a shutdown from December 10 - mid-January where they will not accept new dossiers, but WILL still be processing the ones they have (and they have ours!)

- in takes 3-4 weeks for them to check a dossier and register a family on the list of candidates to adopt (did you know that exactly 3 weeks from Dec 4 is Christmas day??  how cool would that be to receive our Registration Notification then?!)

- they will be off for the holidays from December 31 - January 8* (so this could definitely impact the 3-4 week timeframe noted above--our facilitator said not to expect to hear anything about our registration until mid-January--but we're still praying for Christmas!)

*Ukraine (like Ethiopia) is an Orthodox Christian country, which means that Christmas is celebrated on January 7

- after we receive our Registration Notification, it can take another 3 weeks to receive our Letter of Invitation with the date of our appointment (then we would travel to Ukraine to meet our boys and complete our adoption!)

How you can pray:
We believe that God still does miracles, and we are praying that we receive our Registration Notification by Christmas.  Will you pray with us?

Once we're in Ukraine, the entire process could take up to 8 weeks.  Ben plans to stay in country the entire time, so we are praying that we can afford for him to do that (cover his lost wages).  Will you pray with us?  If you feel led to give financially, you can use the AdoptTogether link on the right.

Thank you for continuing to partner with us on this journey!

          End the Pay Gap – Ban Salary History!        

It’s commonplace in the working world for employers to ask about previous wages, and to use that information to set wages in a new job. But this seemingly innocuous practice can actually have major repercussions. Why? Because it can contribute to the perpetuation of the pay gap many women and people of color face in their careers.

Relying on an individual’s salary history to set her future wages assumes that those prior salaries were fairly established. But if a worker faced a pay gap (and thus lost wages) at one job – perhaps because of bias or even outright discrimination – basing her next job’s salary on the one prior only continues that pay gap. 

Use of salary histories ensures bias and discrimination follow workers wherever they go, whatever their job, no matter their abilities. Curtailing this practice will go a long way in our fight for pay equity. Urge your Representative to co-sponsor the Pay Equity for All Act and help close the wage gap by banning the use of salary history in hiring practices!

          E-mail Senator Heller: Tell Him Nevadans Support Paycheck Fairness!        

This is it: On April 1, the Senate held a committee hearing on the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 84) – and we need your help to make sure that Nevada Senator Dean Heller supports the bill when it comes up for a vote as early as April 8.

The Paycheck Fairness Act would close loopholes in the Equal Pay Act of 1963 that prevent the original legislation from fully addressing the pay gap. Specifically, the Paycheck Fairness Act would require employers to prove that pay disparity is based on a legitimate business reason not related to gender, or due to seniority, merit, or productivity. It would also prohibit retaliation against workers who discuss or ask about salary information. This bill passed the House in a bipartisan vote in January 2009 – now it's time for the Senate to do the same.

Senator Heller has shown he supports the anti-retaliation provision of the Paycheck Fairness Act by introducing separate legislation with that provision – help us call on him to see the big picture and support the full Paycheck Fairness Act.

Women working full time, year round, still earn an average of 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, and that pay gap is worse for women of color. When you drill down into the numbers even more and do an "apples to apples" comparison of women and men working in the same jobs, in similar geographic regions, and with the same levels of education, the pay gap shrinks – but it doesn't go away. No matter the size of the gap, the lost income adds up to hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost wages over a woman's lifetime.

Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) has said in the past that pay discrimination is unacceptable. It's time for him to follow through on that position by supporting the Paycheck Fairness Act. 

          Law Firm McSweeney / Langevin Files Transvaginal Mesh (TVM) Lawsuit on Behalf of Woman Allegedly Harmed by Johnson & Johnson's Ethicon, Inc. TVM Device        

The law firm McSweeney / Langevin is filing legal claims on behalf of a woman allegedly harmed by Johnson & Johnson Ethicon, Inc.'s Transvaginal Mesh System. The lawsuit seeks monetary damages for pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical expenses following the Food and Drug Administration's investigation into whether the transvaginal placement of surgical mesh to treat Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP) and Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) can have serious health consequences.

(PRWeb September 26, 2014)

Read the full story at

          Law Firm McSweeney / Langevin Files Transvaginal Mesh (TVM) Lawsuit on Behalf of Woman Allegedly Harmed by Johnson & Johnson's Ethicon, Inc. TVM Device        

The law firm McSweeney / Langevin is filing legal claims on behalf of a woman allegedly harmed by Johnson & Johnson Ethicon, Inc.'s Transvaginal Mesh System. The lawsuit seeks monetary damages for pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical expenses following the Food and Drug Administration's investigation into whether the transvaginal placement of surgical mesh to treat Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP) and Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) can have serious health consequences.

(PRWeb September 25, 2014)

Read the full story at

          Negotiations Update        
To date, the Longy Faculty Union (LFU) Negotiating Committee has completed 17 negotiating sessions with Longy/Bard Management regarding the closing of Community Programs (CP) on August 31, 2013. Since the last update reported in LFU News on August 31, 2013, there have been two additional negotiating sessions.

Session 16: LFU reduces offer from 5 to 4 years

During the session on Tuesday, September 10, the LFU Negotiating Committee offered a proposal reducing the size of its severance pay proposal for faculty members affected by the CP closing by 20%—from 5 years to 4 years of severance. In making that significant gesture, the Union stressed its interest in reaching a resolution with the School, but also emphasized the unacceptability of the School’s stipulation that severance pay include only lost wages of Longy/Bard faculty from not being able to continue teaching students previously enrolled at Longy. The concept that severance pay for laid-off Longy teachers must be offset or diminished by an amount of earned income from teaching former Longy students has been unacceptable to the Negotiating Committee since Longy/Bard first proposed it. Longy/Bard rejected the LFU proposal and made no counter proposals at this meeting. They said that they would consider options in the interim between negotiating sessions.

Session 17: School removes “offset”

During the session on Tuesday, October 1, 2013, Longy/Bard finally removed all language dealing with the offset from its severance pay proposal for faculty affected by the Community Programs closing. The School’s present financial offer is “four (4) times the average weekly pay he or she received from the School as consideration for music instruction in Preparatory or Continuing Studies during the School’s 2012 Fall Semester, payable in two equal installments during the period between September 1, 2013 and December 31, 2013.”
          Jury Awards $5.4M to Brain-Damaged Bicyclist        

Jurors in Pennsylvania awarded $5.4 million to a man who suffered a severe traumatic brain injury after a bicycle accident caused by a purported road defect. That damages award, according to The Legal Intelligencer, included $2.5 million for medical expenses and lost wages, as well as $2 million for pain and suffering and $1 million […]

The post Jury Awards $5.4M to Brain-Damaged Bicyclist appeared first on Indiana Injury And Family Lawyer Blog.

          Personal Injury        
Personal Injury. Law suits for personal injury are filed by people injured by the irresponsible act of another. The injuries, either physical or emotional, can occur from different methods or varieties of conduct. The most frequent classes of harm include slip and falls, auto accidents, intentional attacks (assaults), physician or hospital malpractice, and product liability. Commonly, the goal of a personal injury claim is to ascertain responsibility and force the harming party to compensate the injured claimant for the damages substained. If you or a loved one has been injured by the careless actions of another, contact The Law Offices of Samuel W. Bearman in Pensacola, Florida, right away to learn how your rights are preserved and protected.

Damages. Personal injury attorneys help ensure their clients get the reimbursement to which they are entitled by law. Some of the things for which injured parties are lawfully due damages include lost wages, medical expenditures – past and future, money for both physical and emotional pain and suffering, and damages for physical disfigurement. On occasion, a close relatives of the injured person, such as his or her spouse, maybe eligible for damages, as well. These awards to relatives are often known as loss of consortium damages, which is meant to reimburse the family for the loss of the injured or deceased individual's services and companionship.

Other damages that may be granted, based on the state laws and regulations wherever the legal action is introduced and the details of the unique case, include enjoyment damages, which are granted to compensate the claimant for the deprivation of enjoyment of activities that she or he once took part in in but can no longer do so as a end result of the traumas suffered. Punitive damages may be granted for the defendant’s acts if they were especially egregious and it is decided that the defendant should be disciplined by having to pay an amount of money over the plaintiff’s specific damages. Punitive damage awards act to prevent others from partaking in comparable harmful conduct.

Legal Causation. Not each and every injured individual is entitled to damages for the personal injury he or she receives. Aside from the harm, the claimant will have to also prove, through convincing and appropriate facts, that the defendant is lawfully accountable for his or her injuries. The plaintiff is to provide evidence of causation both in terms of authentic causation and proximate (legal) causation. Actual causation is decided by actual cause and effect. Legal causation is proven by the the details and circumstances of the case.

In certain injury cases, legal causation might be proven if the claimant exhibits that the defendant acted deliberately. This means that the person purposely or actively harmed the plaintiff or recognized that his or her conduct produced a significant likelihood that damage would result.

Negligence and Strict Liability. There are additional injury claims which usually are dependent on a looser notion of fault called negligence. Under this principle, a person is held responsible for the outcomes of his action, or omission, when an ordinary person in the same situation should anticipate that the conduct would likely create an unreasonable threat of damage to others. Still other kinds of personal claims are established on stringent liability, a no-fault system under which liability can be founded irrespective of the flawed acts of the parties, including the wounded. Strict liability often is applicable in products liability cases, as when a company or vendor puts a substandard product or service into the hands of individuals who are then harmed by the product.

Defenses to Personal Injury Claims. In specific fact situations, another's conduct, while in question, may not necessarily be “actionable.” If, for example, the injured purposefully and willfully chose to encounter a recognized risk to safety, then he or she has assumed the possibility of injury and therefore the defendant is not held liable. The presumption of the risk theory may apply, for instance, in a engaged in a friendly sport of tackle football in which another participant broke his leg; in such a situation, the plaintiff most probably would be powerless to recover for his wounds due to the fact he recognized the dangers inherent in the activity and voluntarily chose to face them.

Possible defenses to personal injury suits consist of:

Statute of limitations. Statutes of limitations are laws and regulations establishing the time period within which the suit must commence.
Sovereign immunity. Sovereign immunity safeguards certain government authorities from civil legal responsibility for their official acts.
Intentional misuse. Injuries caused by a claimant's improper use of a product produces a defense to legal responsibility in a products liability situation
Contributory or comparative negligence. Contributory or comparative negligence is wherever the one’s own conduct triggered or contributed to his or her injuries

A personal injury lawyer can clarify these issues and decide whether they apply to a specific case.
Personal injury claims often demand a lawyer’s knowledge and evaluation of all the details and circumstances to ascertain the defendant's legal liability for injuries caused. A personal injury attorney at The Law Offices of Samuel W. Bearman in Pensacola, Florida will evaluate the specifics of your case and ascertain merit and validity of your claim, when you must act to safeguard your rights, the damages availble, and whether you may be eligible to initial financial benefits even before resolution or your claim. Furthermore, in many personal injury cases, you will owe absolutely no legal expenses until the accused pays the damage award.

If you need a Pensacola Personal Injury Attorney - visit the Law Offices of Samuel Bearman

If you are looking for a Pensacola Personal Injury Lawyer - visit the Law Offices of Samuel Bearman
          Personal Injury Jury Instructions        
PERSONAL INJURY JURY INSTRUCTIONS When considering how much to demand for a personal injury, your accident attorney will review the amount of damage that you have incurred, and will continue to incur in the future. Medical bills, lost wages, and future medical bills are examples of the types of damage that is recoverable. Insurance adjusters [...]
          Employers And Insurers Gain Control In Workers' Compensation Disputes        
Frances Stevens could have been a contender. She was training to be a Golden Gloves boxer and working as a magazine publisher in 1997 when 1,000 copies of the latest issue arrived at her San Francisco office. "I'd just turned 30. I was an athlete. I had a job that I loved, a life that I loved," she recalls. "And in a second my life changed." Stevens tripped on a rug and broke her foot as she carried boxes of magazines. The relatively simple break triggered serious nerve damage and she was eventually diagnosed with chronic or complex regional pain syndrome . Seventeen years later, the pain is so bad that at times she can't walk. She can't bear contact with bedsheets or socks. Even a shower's spray is excruciating. "I've asked to have my feet amputated," Stevens says. "It's just so painful." Injured and disabled workers like Stevens turn to the nation's workers' compensation system for medical treatment, as well as weekly payments that help replace lost wages. But some are finding it
          6/24/11 - Fair Share Act Passes PA Senate - Now Back to the House        
6/24/11 - Liability and Health Reform Update
Fair Share Act Passes PA Senate
Now back to the House

((Editor's comments in blue italics. Please scroll to the end for more information, disclaimer, etc.))


Editor's Comments:

MANY THANKS to everyone who called, wrote and emailed members of the PA Senate to support the Fair Share Act! Your advocacy made all the difference in the world!

Please watch for more comments further down in this newsletter....

And thanks again for all your help!



Bill to limit lawsuit liability passes state Senate
GOP leaders expect it to move quickly through House to Corbett.,0,7756316.story
by Mark Llevy

HARRISBURG — A top priority of Gov.
Tom Corbett moved an important step closer to becoming law Tuesday as the state Senate passed a bill limiting the liability of defendants in some civil court cases for negligence after passionate debate that pitted the interests of business owners, hospitals and insurers against lawyers who represent victims.
Senators in the Republican-controlled chamber voted 32-18 to send the bill to the House, which handily passed a nearly identical bill in April and where leaders of the
GOP majority expect to move it quickly to Corbett's desk. All but one Republican voted for it, and all but three Democrats opposed it.
The vote came after 90 minutes of floor debate Monday and Tuesday over what impact the bill would have on the state's economy and what would happen to people who are wronged and seek justice through the courts.
Current law holds all guilty defendants potentially liable for 100 percent of damages if their co-defendants cannot pay for the negligence resulting in death or injury to a person or property.
But supporters of the bill say the law hurts
Pennsylvania's business climate because it allows a victim's lawyers to drag a deep-pocketed company with little connection to the negligent act into the case because of its ability to pay. Opponents of the bill, however, say changing the law will hurt victims of negligent acts and their families who seek justice in the courts after they are maimed and unable to work, or killed.
"This is a bill that's been identified by every business organization that I'm aware of in the state as a No. 1 priority to help them create jobs in this commonwealth," said Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman
Jake Corman, R-Centre. "This is a bill that the health care organizations have been strongly supportive of to help them keep their viability in their communities."
Democrats accused Republicans of driving a larger agenda to take away rights.
"It hurts people," said Sen. Larry Farnese, D-
Philadelphia. "It doesn't create an economic boom. It doesn't create jobs. It puts people in a position where they can be hurt, where their quality of life can be destroyed and where government does nothing to make their lives better."
On Monday, senators voted 28-22 to approve a Corman-sponsored amendment to an underlying bill written by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Stewart Greenleaf, R-Montgomery, who, like trial lawyers and labor unions, opposed the bill that came over from the House.
Under the bill, defendants found to be less than 60 percent at fault wouldn't have to pay more than their share of the damages, except for awards in circumstances including intentional misrepresentation, an intentional act, an environmental crime or a liquor law violation.
Corman's amendment eliminated two additional exceptions for cases where children are involved and where the victim lost wages because of injury or death.
Hospitals, insurers and business groups lobbied against Greenleaf's bill and said it carried too many exceptions to fix the inherent unfairness in the law.
"If you think the civil justice system is a welfare program where everybody gets everything they're asking for, then vote against this bill," said Sen.
Jeffrey Piccola, R-Dauphin. "But that's not what civil justice is all about. Civil justice is about fairness, this bill is about fairness."
Senate Minority Leader
Jay Costa, D-Allegheny, then called out Piccola for apparently flipping his arm during Costa's response — "we're not going to flip our arm to the people of Pennsylvania who are going to be harmed by this legislation," Costa said — and Greenleaf warned that Medicaid claims will rise, but insurers won't lower premiums if the bill becomes law.
"This will be a welfare state if you pass this legislation," Greenleaf said.
A similar bill has passed a GOP-controlled Legislature twice before in Pennsylvania. After it became law in 2002, House Democratic leaders sued and state appellate courts overturned it on grounds that the bill it was written into violated the Pennsylvania Constitution's requirement that bills confine themselves to a single subject.
The Legislature later passed a replacement bill, but it was vetoed in 2006 by then-Gov.
Ed Rendell, a Democrat.


Details for RCS# 182
Monday Jun. 20, 2011
Senate Bill 1131 PN 1322



Details for RCS# 190
Tuesday Jun. 21, 2011
Senate Bill 1131 PN 1389




From the PA Medical Society Website:

Bill to Modify Pennsylvania’s Joint and Several Liability Law Now in the House

A much needed liability reform bill is another step closer to becoming law. After passing the Senate by a vote of 32-18, Senate Bill 1131, which would modify Pennsylvania’s joint and several liability law, was approved by the House Judiciary Committee and now goes to the House floor for its consideration. As amended by Sen. Jake Corman (Centre, Juniata, Mifflin, Perry, and Union) and passed by the Senate, SB 1131 is now identical to House Bill 1 and Senate Bill 2, which will no longer be considered. Pennsylvania is one of only a handful of states that has complete joint and several liability. Under the current law, if one defendant is without assets or has insufficient funds to pay their share, the other defendant(s) can be held responsible for 100 percent of the jury’s award. If this legislation is passed, each responsible defendant would only have to pay their share as long as the jury finds them less than 60 percent at fault. If a defendant is found more than 60 percent at fault, they can be made to pay 100 percent of the damages, if the other defendant(s) are without sufficient funds. Some exceptions for full joint and several liability would still exist, including intentional misrepresentation, hazardous tort(s), hazardous substances released or threatened to be released, and liquor code violations. This is not the first time around for this legislation. In 2002, a very similar bill was signed into law, but was thrown out by the state Supreme Court on a procedural technicality. In 2006, Gov. Ed Rendell vetoed yet another bill after previously indicating he would sign it if it passed.PAMED has been a long-time advocate for medical liability reforms, and has been successful in getting a number of reforms passed in Pennsylvania, including Act 13 of 2002. Currently, PAMED also supports a bill to allow physician apologies (HB 495) and a bill to strengthen the certificate of merit requirements.


The Legal Intelligencer
With Senate Votes, Joint and Several Liability on Track to Be Transformed
Amaris Elliott-Engel
June 22, 2011

As state Sen. Jake Corman fought back a proposal to temper changes to Pennsylvania's joint and several liability doctrine, he said the original proposal to limit the circumstances under which a defendant has to pay for another defendant's part of a judgment was the result of a compromise struck back in 2002.
The state Senate voted Monday 28-22 and Tuesday 32-18 to amend Senate Bill 1131 to strip it of exceptions that would have maintained the application of joint and several liability to economic damages and cases involving the interests of minors.
With the amendment, Senate Bill 1131's language mirrors the language of a bill passed by the House of Representatives, backed by Gov. Tom Corbett, but bottled up in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The proposal would require defendants that are apportioned responsibility for causing a plaintiff's injuries at 60 percent or less to only pay the portion for which they were found liable.
The 60 percent proposal is the same as one that became law in 2002 before being struck down by the state Supreme Court on procedural grounds and was passed by the General Assembly in 2006, only to be vetoed by then-Gov. Edward G. Rendell, a Democrat.
Corman, a Centre County Republican, said that the exemptions backed by state Sen. Stewart Greenleaf, R-Montgomery, the majority chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, were well meaning but would dramatically reduce the impact of what Republicans in Harrisburg are trying to accomplish with changing the state's tort law.
"We don't compensate one by taking from another who was not found by a jury to have that level of responsibility," Corman said. He also pointed out that about 40 states have changed the doctrine of joint and several liability in some form.
Pennsylvania's doctrine of joint and several liability is likely to be revised because the House of Representatives already has passed parallel legislation to modify the doctrine and Corbett said in his budget address that he would sign legislation abrogating the doctrine of joint and several liability, arguing legal liability scares jobs away and leaves minor players stuck paying the full price of lawsuits.
While the language is the same in the amended SB 1131 and House Bill 1, the same bill has to pass both chambers of the General Assembly. In April, the state House of Representatives approved HB 1, known as the "Fair Share Act," on a 112-88 vote.
Erik Arneson, communications and policy director for Sen. Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, R-Delaware, said in an e-mail the most likely option would be for the House to take up SB 1131 after it reached final passage in the Senate.
Defense attorney Craig Murphey, president of the Pennsylvania Defense Institute and a partner with MacDonald Illig in Erie, said unlike other states, this proposal would not completely eliminate the concept of joint and several liability.
"We believe that this will create a more even playing field for plaintiffs and defendants," Murphey said. "We think the 60 percent threshold is a reasonable compromise and it eliminates the real harm" to defendants compelled to pay more than their proportion of a judgment because a co-defendant could not afford to pay the award.
Fewer defendants could be brought into lawsuits under the proposed regime because there will be less likelihood of having to pay the entire judgment, so there may be less motivation "to bring in a co-defendant who may only have a tangential involvement in an incident," Murphey said.
Plaintiffs attorney Mark W. Tanner, co-managing partner of Feldman Shepherd Wohlgelernter Tanner Weinstock & Dodig in Philadelphia, said in an e-mail that legislators "elected to shift the burden of providing fair compensation to victims away from wrongdoers, and have placed it squarely on the shoulders of the taxpayers. At the end of the day, that is who will bear ultimate responsibility for the socioeconomic survival of victims and their families who may now be unable, by virtue of this legislation, to collect the fair compensation from the parties responsible for causing them harm."
Tanner predicted that the bill may cause defendants to bring in more co-defendants because primary tortfeasors will face less exposure if there are more co-defendants.
Greenleaf said on the floor of the Senate Monday that he agreed it was important to revise joint and several liability, but he said the 60 percent threshold was abandoning a state policy that favors injured victims.
Now all of a sudden, "instead of protecting victims we're protecting defendants," Greenleaf said.
Greenleaf bottled up HB 1's companion, SB 2, in committee and crafted alternatives to the proposal because he argued joint and several liability still provides important protection in the tort system to injured victims.
The proposal already preserves joint and several liability in cases of intentional misrepresentation, an intentional tort, release of a hazardous substance or a dram shop action.
State Sen. Daylin Leach, D-Montgomery, asked why an innocent victim should bear the risk in an imperfect world when a defendant who has done wrong can't pay damages.
State Sen. Jay Costa, D-Allegheny, and Greenleaf argued that states that have limited the doctrine of joint and several liability have worse unemployment rates than Pennsylvania, while Sen. Donald White, R-Indiana, said that Pennsylvania ranks at the bottom in the country's job growth. Reforming joint and several liability could increase the number of jobs in the state because businesses may feel more likely to engage in a job-creating enterprise, White said.
Corman said that representatives of Pennsylvania businesses and the health care industry said changing joint and several liability was their top legislative priority. •


((Excellent piece, only four pages, good analysis of what works and what doesn't work....))

The State of Medical Liability Reform
July 2011 Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons


Mississippi Clarion Ledger
Torts: Remember bad, ol' days?
3:53 PM, Jun. 16, 2011

Mississippi's tort reform efforts were being widely criticized over the past week, as the state Supreme Court addresses the issue.
The court is trying to determine if the state's $1 million cap on non-economic damages is constitutional. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals made the request in the case of a Mississippi woman who sued Sears, Roebuck and Co. after she was involved in a collision with one of its vans in Neshoba County.
As per the state's cap, a federal judge reduced a federal jury's award from $4 million, of which $2.2 million was for non-economic damages. The appeals court asked the state court to review the case.
That has prompted renewed debate about the "fairness" of Mississippi tort reforms. Some folks must have short memories.
Some may not remember that less than a decade ago, the state faced a crisis in the availability and affordability of insurance. Doctors were retiring early, leaving the state and limiting high-risk services. Hospitals couldn't retain doctors or recruit new ones with rising insurance rates.
The Clarion-Ledger's 2002 series "Fighting Lawyers, Fleeing Doctors: Seeking A Cure" and "Hitting the Jackpot in Mississippi Courtrooms" elucidated the issues.
Under former Democratic Gov. Ronnie Musgrove, the 2002 Legislature capped non-economic "or pain and suffering" damages in medical malpractice lawsuits and other reforms. It was a historic moment for the state. But insurers and businesses complained that tort reform was only half done, both in civil justice (business) and medical malpractice reforms.
Some groups labeled Mississippi a "judicial hellhole" for frivolous lawsuits and multi-million dollar verdicts.
Republican Gov. Haley Barbour campaigned on the issue, saying he would finish the reform job.
So, in 2004, under Barbour, the Legislature passed a comprehensive package of business tort reforms and expanded on medical issues from 2002.
Since Mississippi adopted tort reforms, the state has lost its reputation as a place where "jackpot justice" ruled.
Other states have caps, too, so the state Supreme Court action is being closely watched.
The essential element should be remembered that it is not the amount of the cap that's key, but that a cap is set. Insurance companies must have a standard to determine risk, some basis for potential losses.
Caps on non-economic damages do just that.


From the Institute for Legal Reform
The Lone Star Model:

Lawsuit Reform Has Helped Fuel Texas' Job Creation Machine

While the most of the nation continues to struggle to recover from the economic downturn, one state has led the way in creating jobs: Texas.In fact, according to Dallas Federal Reserve President Richard Fisher:

Since the recovery began, 38 percent of all the jobs created in America have been created in the State of Texas. And, according to Fisher, lawsuit reform has been an integral part of Texas' amazing jobs recovery.During the past decade, Texas Governor Rick Perry has signed into law three major pieces of lawsuit reform legislation -- the most recent coming this spring.These reforms are helping making the Lone Star State a less-threatening place to do business, and they are helping to fuel the state's job creation machine.Click below to watch the clip of Richard Fisher explaining the impact of lawsuit reform on CNBC's Squawk Box :

The Institute for Legal Reform is an advocacy group working to end lawsuit abuse. ILR is a national campaign of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, with the critical mission of making America's legal system simpler, faster, and fairer for everyone.


June 20, 2011

Rep. Fleming Tells the Truth on Medicare
To view this youtube video please click the video below:

For the latest videos from Washington, D.C.
Please Click Here
Sincerely, JOHN FLEMING, M.D.Member of Congress

Dr. John Fleming is Chairman of the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs and is a member of the House Armed Services Committee. He is a physician and small business owner and represents the 4th Congressional District of Louisiana.


((This is a marvelous montage of the members of the Doctors' Caucus talking about Medicare reform!))

The Medicare Truth - GOP Doctors Caucus
larep04 Jun 17, 2011


From the Editor:

Important qualifier here - while I disagree with the AMA's position on the PPACA and will work in any way possible to see the new health care law repealed, defunded, declared unconstitutional or any combination of the three, I find the vast majority of the work which has been done in the past - and continues to be done today - by the AMA and the AMA Alliance, to which I PROUDLY belong, to be of GREAT VALUE to America's health and welfare.

Another important qualifier - unless otherwise stated, NOTHING I SAY IN THIS NEWSLETTER IS THE OFFICIAL OR UNOFFICIAL POSITION OF THE AMA ALLIANCE, WHICH IS A NON-POLITICAL CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION which engages in legislative, but NEVER political advocacy. My opinions are MY opinions, and shouldn't reflect on the AMA Alliance or the PA Medical Society Alliance in any way.

As in the AMA, there are Alliance members on BOTH sides of the political divide over the PPACA. But that doesn't stop us from working together to help improve the health of America's communities through health awareness projects, medical and nursing school scholarships, support of medical families and health projects, and much, much more, and that important work needs to continue, regardless of whether we agree on a single policy point or not. There WAS no dissent at the AMA Alliance meeting in Chicago, at which I proudly represented the Pennsylvania Medical Society Alliance, for which I will become president in October. In fact, the amazing group of volunteers representing their state and county Alliances may be the most productive and forward-thinking group of people I've ever known, and we don't intend to let policy disagreements interrupt the important work we do to improve America's health.

I don't want anyone to assume that I want to see the AMA diminished by what I consider to be a poor policy choice about the PPACA. In fact, my advice to the physicians with whom I correspond regularly and in this newsletter has always been that if doctors don't LIKE AMA policy, they should get involved and CHANGE AMA policy. I still firmly believe that - the AMA is just like Congress in that respect - its members shape the policies it adopts.

I respect the efforts being made by those within the AMA to change policy, even if they weren't successful this time, as I respect and admire the efforts being made by those who've chosen another path and support OTHER organizations which represent physicians.

The bottom line for me has always been this - doctors need to be involved in policy, legislation, and politics, no matter HOW MUCH they might hate the necessity. If they're not, someone ELSE will decide how doctors should practice medicine, what kind of health care Americans will be able to access, and who will be responsible for making decisions about that care. Right NOW, a whole lot of people who didn't go to medical school are making decisions that ONLY DOCTORS should be making, and America's doctors are at least partially responsible for the position they find themselves in right now.

For far too long, America's doctors have been SO focused on providing quality health care to their patients that they've forgotten to take care of their own profession. They've been content to pay dues to some organization - or worse, pay dues to NO organizations - to represent their interests. But the only person who can be relied upon to look out for one's interests all the time is oneself - and the majority of doctors in America have defaulted the protection of their right to practice medicine in the way they were trained to other people for FAR TOO LONG.

It may already be too late to preserve medicine as an independent profession dedicated to quality care and the doctor-patient relationship. Already, there are bureaucrats writing thousands of pages of regulation that will put themselves in between doctors and patients. And if doctors don't speak up and get involved RIGHT NOW, it will be too late.

So here's your challenge - if you're mad at the AMA, JOIN IT and take it back. If you're not sure where your state medical society stands, FIND OUT. MANY of them openly oppose the PPACA and others don't support it even if they haven't taken a public position. Join your COUNTY medical society - there's nowhere you can impact policy more than at the local level.

Find out where your specialty society stands and JOIN IT at the state and national level. Explore the many other groups which are advocating for repeal of the PPACA, like the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons or AAPS, Docs4PatientCare, the Coalition to Protect Patients' Rights, the Benjamin Rush Society, Take Back the Profession, the Coalition of State Medical and National Specialty Societies, the Citizens Council for Health Freedom, the Lucidicus Project - you can google and find any of these, and there are more, probably lots more.

Join more than one. HELL, JOIN THEM ALL - and then DO SOMETHING instead of waiting for a lobbyist or a staff member to do it for you. Yeah, I know you don't have the time. You need to MAKE THE TIME. Unless you've GIVEN UP on being able to provide the best quality care for your patients - then, just sit back and let it all happen.

Legislators at all levels of government need to hear from America's doctors and medical families more now than ever before. Doctors and the people who support them must stand together to protect not only the profession, but America's quality of health care. Dissonance among health care professionals WEAKENS their ability to stand up to the challenges facing the profession.

Physicians and physicians' groups which oppose the PPACA and support repeal of the PPACA need to find ways to network and work together to achieve that goal. More doctors need to run for Congress in 2012 - or for their state legislatures. More doctors need to get onto legislators' advisory boards, or get involved in campaigns for people who support their goals.

I'll do whatever I can to make what YOU have to do easier - and so will all the groups I listed and others I probably don't even know about. But YOU must take the initiative to reach out and partner with other physicians who feel the way you do. Bitching in the doctors' lounge or on a blog or on Facebook may make you feel better for a little while, but it doesn't make a real difference. Only GETTING INVOLVED can make the difference that needs to be made.

And ONLY YOU can do that for yourself and your profession.

Need direction? Just ask - I'm here to help. And, as always, it is my honor to fight alongside of America's dedicated doctors....


From Modern Physician

Is the AMA right on the individual mandate?

Do you agree with the AMA's decision to continue its support for the so-called individual mandate?

TAKE OUR POLL » — Modern Physician

((The NO votes were winning when I last checked....but not by much.))


Chicago Examiner
Former AMA chief predicts demise of ObamaCare 23, 2011 10:35 am CT
Keith Liscio

In an exclusive interview, former
American Medical Association President Donald Palmisano predicted that whether by court action or the legislative process, President Obama’s signature healthcare reform law would be overturned. Dr. Palmisano spoke to your Chicago Conservative Examiner while he was in Chicago for the AMA’s annual conference this week and is the spokesman for the Coalition to Protect Patients’ Rights.
First and foremost, Palmisano (who is an attorney as well as a doctor) believes that the law will not survive scrutiny in the Supreme Court. He bases this opinion on an analysis of the expected swing vote on the Court,
Justice Anthony Kennedy.
According to Palmisano, Kennedy has generally been reluctant to extend the Commerce Clause of the Constitution unnecessarily. In this case, the Obama administration is hoping that the court will essentially give it permission to regulate a person’s right not to buy health insurance by imposing a fine. Palmisano believes that this will be viewed by the court as regulating “inactivity” and will not stand, saying, “If the government can regulate that, they can force you to do anything.”
Regardless of the eventual legal outcome of the measure, however, he believes that public dissatisfaction with the law may cause the election of enough Republicans in the Senate in 2012 to overturn it legislatively. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives has already voted to defund implementation of the law.
As to the AMA Convention, Palmisano was disappointed that the organization voted to reaffirm its position that individuals be responsible for purchasing health insurance. This position has been widely seen as tacit support for the individual mandate in the President’s healthcare law.
Perhaps more importantly, however, the organization voted to oppose the law’s Independent Payment Advisory Board and the AMA will now actively work to overturn it. IPAB is a new unelected and unaccountable 15- member group appointed by the President and empowered to make recommendations without Congressional approval to cut spending in Medicare if spending growth exceeds certain levels. Palmisano, CPPR and now the AMA believe that sweeping changes to the nation’s healthcare policy should have Congressional approval.
Although he is strenuously opposed to the law, Palmisano refuses to call it “ObamaCare,” considering that term “a pejorative.” At the same time, he feels like the official name of the act, the
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is something of a misnomer, claiming, “It doesn’t protect patients and isn’t making care more affordable.”
Asked if his position was influenced by partisan considerations, Palmisano said, “I’m a scientist. I believe in applying the scientific method and making decisions based on experimentation and proof. By that standard, [ObamaCare] is a disaster.”
The Coalition to Protect Patients’ Rights is made up of thousands of health care professionals who are dedicated to improving the quality and availability of healthcare for all Americans. The organization believes that President Obama’s healthcare reform has reduced the quality and accessibility of American health care.

Donald Palmisano, MD, JD, FACS, is a clinical professor of surgery and clinical professor of medical jurisprudence at
Tulane University School of Medicine and an adjunct professor at The Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in the department of Health Systems Management. He is the author of the book On Leadership – Essential Principles for Success.


The Washington Times
PALMISANO: Nailing Obamacare’s rationing board
Republicans and Democrats join forces to stop a Medicare killer
By Dr. Donald J. Palmisano
6:50 p.m., Monday, June 20, 2011

Medicare’s trustees predicting the Medicare program will go bankrupt in 2024 - five years earlier than was projected before the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act - even Americans who strongly supported Obamacare have little choice but to acknowledge that Medicare must be reformed - and soon. While lawmakers continue to argue about the best way to protect this vital program for the seniors it serves and those who it has yet to serve, there is a growing bipartisan consensus that the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) is one provision of the new health law that will do more to undermine the program than save it.
Rep. Allyson Schwartz, Pennsylvania Democrat, became the seventh Democrat to sign on as a co-sponsor to a Republican bill that calls for the repeal of the board. In announcing her decision, she referred to the IPAB as a “flawed policy that will risk beneficiary access to care.”
This new effort to repeal
IPAB is gaining momentum and could eventually bring together most House Republicans and many of the 72 House Democrats who fought to prevent the the board from being included in the new law in the first place. In addition, many of the groups that supported Obamacare like the American Medical Association, American Heart Association and AARP are now expressing opposition to IPAB and joining those that opposed it, including the organization for which I am a spokesperson, the Coalition to Protect Patients’ Rights.
Unfortunately, most people in the country, including seniors relying on
Medicare, have no idea what IPAB is or how it will affect their lives if it ever becomes operational. More concerning, President Obama decided to make the board the centerpiece of his efforts to reduce the deficit by calling for it to be strengthened - not eliminated. Starting in 2015, the IPAB will give 15 unelected bureaucrats unprecedented power to slash billions of dollars from Medicare when spending exceeds targeted growth rates. The cuts made by the board will come on top of the $500 billion that was transferred from Medicare to a new entitlement program as a result of the new health care law. Democrats and Republicans have found little common ground in recent years, but there has been widespread agreement that the IPAB could exacerbate the shortage of doctors who see Medicare patients and ultimately, contribute to a reduced quality of care for our most vulnerable.
At a time when all Americans are tiring of partisan politics from both political parties, we must take advantage of the few issues on which both sides can agree. Our lawmakers must now show they are still able to put their short-term political squabbles aside for the common good of America’s patients by repealing
IPAB and uniting for a constructive debate on ways to save our nation’s valued Medicare program.

Dr. Donald J. Palmisano is the former president of
American Medical Association and spokesperson for the Coalition to Protect Patients’ Rights.


Dr. Donald Palmisano - Past President of the American Medical Association (AMA) 2003-2004 - joins Don and Roma - 6/21/2011
Download this show

Don and Roma talk with Dr. Donald Palmisano, Past President of the American Medical Association 2003-2004.
Find out more about what Dr. Palmisano is writing and talking about
Find out about Dr. Palmisano's book, "On Leadership: Essential Principles for Business, Political and Personal Success"www.OnLeadership.US


((Dr. Palmisano is a clarion voice for the kind of health care reform America REALLY needs - not to mention one of my personal heroes. Anyone who aspires to be a success at anything should read his book, On Leadership, Essential Principles for Business, Political and Personal Success. It was a pleasure to see Dr. P and his wife Robin at the AMA meeting in Chicago earlier this week. As always, Dr. Palmisano was standing up for what he believes is right and fighting for America's health. It is an honor to know this outstanding leader. A more detailed review of On Leadership will follow in a subsequent edition of this newsletter.))

Find out about Dr. Palmisano's book, "On Leadership: Essential Principles for Business, Political and Personal Success"

Or buy it on Amazon:


This LIABILITY & HEALTH REFORM UPDATE is a free service which I provide, as a volunteer, to help supply medical liability reform and health care reform news and information, legislative updates, and political insight to physicians, patients, liability reform and quality health care advocates. NO ONE pays me to do this. I am not employed by any physician or health care reform advocacy or liability reform organization, political party or candidate, although I volunteer for several. I am an advocate for quality health care, physicians, and patients , a breast cancer survivor, physician's spouse, journalist, political noisemaker, mom, and freelance writer. I am not, nor will I ever claim to be, unbiased (I am....biased, I mean), unlike many in the mainstream media. Most information in this newsletter is copied and pasted from other sources, and will always be identified with links. Opinions and clarifications are my own, and do not reflect the official position of any physician or patient advocacy organization, tort reform, or health care reform group unless stated as such. My opinions are placed in double parentheses (("my opinion")), italicized and appear in blue.
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          3/11/11 - State and Federal Med-Mal Reform        
Liability & Health News Update
3/11/11 - State and Federal Med-Mal Reform

((Donna's in-article comments in blue italics. Please scroll to the end for more information, disclaimer, etc.))

1. Donna's Commentary

A recent article in a Pittsburgh paper mentioned that PA's trial lawyers are "strongly opposed" to any talk of tort reform in the state.

"Strongly opposed" is putting it lightly. They're hysterical, and looking for every possible opportunity to knock it down before it gets too far.

Recently, I arranged for a physician to participate in a local TV show's panel discussion about medical liability reform in PA. The other guest was a hospital's lawyer and a local personal injury lawyer, but the fourth guest was VERY instructive about how "on this" the state's trial lawyers are at the current time.

Even though he lives two hours away, and the show is to the Lehigh Valley, a former president of the Pa Trial Liars (I mean LAWYERS!) Association drove to Allentown in a blizzard to lend a hand to the local lawyer. Interestingly, although this lawyer has NO REASON be nice to me (considering that we've been on opposite sides of this issue for a long time), you'd have thought he was my best friend at the end of the show, asking me to reach out to PA's doctors to persuade you that the Fair Share Act will protect hospitals while leaving physicians out in the cold....can we spell "DIVIDE AND CONQUER?"

Here's a link to the show, if you're interested - Dr. Tom Bonekemper was brilliant speaking on PA's doctors' behalf. Ironically, the producers of the show didn't even ASK a doctor to participate. They asked me, and when I learned they hadn't bothered to ask a doctor to talk about medical malpractice (can you even conceive of that?) I contacted Dr. Bonekemper to see if he'd be willing to do it, and then told the show's producers that I was replacing myself with the doctor they should have asked in the FIRST place.

Medical Malpractice in PA "Do We Need Tort Reform or Do We Have It?"

I'm hopeful about medical liability reform in PA....but I'm not holding my breath, since I recall that it was two Republican judiciary committee chairs who threw up roadblocks in their committees to prevent a House or Senate vote on a caps amendment bill until the session ran out several years ago.

That said, I DO trust Majority Leader Mike Turzai's commitment to substantive medical liability reform in PA, as he and I share that commitment to PA's health through our physician spouses. I also trust Gov. Corbett's promise to effect liability reforms, and I KNOW that PA Rep. Curt Schroder will be out there fighting for it, even though he has to be REALLY tired of fighting the same fight by now. (I know I am.) Thankfully, he hasn't given up on it, as I know many physicians have.

THAT, unfortunately, is the worst mistake any Pennsylvania physician (or physician's spouse or other supporter) can make. Once doctors and other health care providers sit back and let OTHERS effect health care policy for them, it's over, and it's patients who will suffer for it.

Legislative advocacy is just part what doctors have to do now to protect their patients and their profession. Participation in the political process is the OTHER thing doctors have to do. Run for office, or choose a candidate to support - especially THIS YEAR, with judicial elections on tap in counties and at the state level. Know that the personal injury lawyers who WANT TO SUE YOU whether you've done anything wrong or not WILL BE SUPPORTING judicial candidates. Quid pro quo, you know. are stories about medical liability reform from Pennsylvania, and further down, federal stories. A House subcommittee has passed a caps bill at the federal level. Will it die in the Senate? Probably. But that doesn't mean we should use it as an opportunity to raise public awareness and debunk trial liar (I mean LAWYER!) lies. We'll hit on all of those in a later issue.

Stay's going to be a bumpy ride.



2. From Majority Leader Mike Turzai
The Fight to End Lawsuit Abuse Begins in PA House As ‘Benevolent Gesture’
Heads to Senate

((Got word from a much-respected PA state rep whom I consider one of my personal med-mal heroes that this measure can be likened to the baseball player who bunts to get on base, because a heavy hitter is up to bat stay tuned!))

The first bill to attack the prevalent abuse of Pennsylvania’s civil justice system passed the House today, Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny County) said.

“Our job is to protect ALL Pennsylvania residents and employers. With today’s lawsuit-happy environment, employers are choosing to move out or head somewhere other than Pennsylvania,” Turzai said. “The House plans to vote on commonsense legal reforms aimed at bringing fairness, balance and stability to Pennsylvania’s civil justice system, and benevolent gesture is the start.”
Fear of litigation has hampered some medical providers from giving a full disclosure of unanticipated outcomes. For this reason, 35 states have passed immunity for apology laws.
House Bill 495, authored by Rep. Keith Gillespie (R-York County), would allow doctors and health care providers to apologize or offer expressions of grief without fear their words will be used against them in court.

Contact: Stephen Miskin

From the Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Bill in state Legislature aims to let doctors explain mishaps
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
By Steve Twedt, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

It was not much more than a passing mention in the State of the Union address last month. In an effort to further reduce health care costs, President Barack Obama said he was "willing to look at other ideas to bring down costs, including one that Republicans suggested last year -- medical malpractice reform to rein in frivolous lawsuits."

With newly installed Gov. Tom Corbett already on record as favoring malpractice reform, Mr. Obama's remarks raise the question: Are there major medical liability changes in store for Pennsylvania?

Not necessarily, says Tim Conboy, an attorney with the Downtown firm Caroselli Beachler McTiernan & Conboy, and president of the trial lawyers' group Pennsylvania Association for Justice.

"I think a lot of people have misinterpreted what the president was talking about," said Mr. Conboy. The "reforms" the president's referring to are already in place here, he said, such as a program adopted in 2002 that requires a medical expert to vouch for a lawsuit's merits before it can proceed.

"The reality is, there is no [medical malpractice reform] crisis in the state of Pennsylvania. Claims are down, payouts are down. We've shown that year in and year out. We already have substantial medical malpractice reform." ((How many lies can you find in those four sentences....?))

Physicians, not surprisingly, have a different perspective.

"There still are a lot of people who continue practicing defensive medicine in an attempt to protect themselves from lawsuits," said Ralph Schmeltz, a Mt. Lebanon endocrinologist and current president of the Pennsylvania Medical Society.

"And there are still a lot of cases that are brought inappropriately, if you look at the results. The defense wins in 75 to 80 percent of the cases."

Mr. Conboy counters that "lawsuits only occur when there are errors. The answer to those who say there are too many lawsuits is to reduce the number of errors." ((ARGH! It is comforting to know, however, that they don't have any NEW talking points, since we're all so good at debunking THESE....))

No one denies that mistakes can happen during treatment, and the state medical society is hoping that a bill going before the Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee today eventually becomes law.

HB 495 says that if a physician is candid with the patient about a mishap and apologizes -- a gesture that may head off future legal action -- that the admission will not be used against the doctor in court. It also would not block a patient from filing suit.

"When a poor outcome occurs, patients want answers and physicians very much want to provide the patient with those answers," Dr. Schmeltz wrote in a letter to committee members.

"Unfortunately, the very real concern that personal injury lawyers will use benevolent gestures or admissions of fault against them makes many physicians reluctant to have that important conversation with their patients. This understandably frustrates and angers patients, and precipitates lawsuits that otherwise would not have been filed."

Medical negligence lawsuits can take a personal toll on physicians, too.

Just last month, retired cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon David Lolley, 68, of Indiana Township successfully defended himself in a medical malpractice case filed in 2009 -- about 18 months after his retirement. A former patient sued him for complications that surfaced about a week after Dr. Lolley performed an emergency procedure that probably saved the patient's life.

Although confident he had treated the patient appropriately, Dr. Lolley spent 18 months contemplating what would happen if the suit were successful -- and how he would pay for damages since he no longer had an income from treating patients.

"Financially, they wanted everything I had and more. You're put in financial jeopardy."

Pittsburgh-based pediatric neurologist Rajiv Varma said he was once sued by a 45-year-old woman -- even though he treats only children. It turned out to be mistaken identity; a physician with the same last name had been involved in the case and had since left the area.

Still, Dr. Varma said it took two years to get his name removed from the lawsuit. "For the two years, lawyers went to every deposition so that they could defend me in a case where I had never seen the patient."

He said he advises his medical students to protect themselves against possible suits. "I deal on a daily basis with the practice of defensive medicine," such as ordering extra tests on the remote chance it might detect some unlikely anomaly.

All of those tests only add to the nation's health care bill, he said.

"As one looks at how we're using resources, you don't feel good about defensive medicine," said Dr. Varma. "But I know plenty of cases where you do the right thing but the outcome is bad, and those cases end up being sued."

He also worries that practicing defensive medicine could create future problems if, for example, currently accepted radiation levels from those extra scans are one day found to be harmful to his young patients.

"How would I feel 10 years down the road if, in practicing defensive medicine, I've actually ended up hurting some children?"

Steve Twedt: or 412-263-1963.
First published on February 15, 2011 at 12:00 am

3. Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Turzai seeks changes in how damage awards are made in suits
Sunday, February 13, 2011
By Tom Barnes, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

HARRISBURG -- Two groups with political muscle are wrestling over a proposal that would lessen large damage awards in some personal injury or product liability lawsuits.

State House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, R-Bradford Woods, is pushing what he calls the "Fair Share Act," also known as House Bill 1, so numbered because Republicans have put it at the top of their to-do list in the new legislative session. It's also a top priority for trial lawyers, who are strongly opposed.

Under current law, if two different firms provide a product or service, either one can be held 100 percent responsible financially if something goes wrong and a user is injured.

Mr. Turzai said that's not fair. He said that if a firm made only 10 percent of a defective product or service, its liability should be 10 percent, not 100 percent.

Mr. Turzai argues that the bill, which he considers long overdue, will make Pennsylvania more business-friendly, attract new companies and keep existing ones, thus increasing private sector jobs in the state.

The Fair Share Act was almost enacted twice in recent years and is now closer to reality than ever before, with pro-business Republicans running the House and Senate and GOP Gov. Tom Corbett in office. Many business and hospital lobbyists have lined up behind the bill, which could soon face its first test, a vote in the House Judiciary Committee.

"The political climate is right for this now," said Gene Barr of the state Chamber of Business and Industry. "We have a window of opportunity, but I'm not sure how long this window will stay open."
Trying to slam the window shut is Tim Conboy, a Pittsburgh attorney who heads the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, formerly known as the state Trial Lawyers Association. He contends the bill will make it harder for victims of defective products and services to get "full and fair reimbursement" for their pain and injuries.

He said that tort lawyers, those who represent clients "harmed by an act of negligence," will press legislators to oppose the bill. The lawyers group has clout because it's always among the top campaign contributors to lawmakers. ((A tad more specificity is required here - the lawyers' group has clout because it's the top campaign contributor to Democratic candidates.))
Mr. Turzai describes the bill as "tort reform," but Mr. Conboy calls it "wrongdoer protection."

"We are fighting for the rights of future victims of negligence," people who will be injured in the future and will find it hard to sue the makers of defective products if the law is changed, he said.
The actual name for the current policy is complicated -- "joint and several liability." It means that if two (or more) firms contributed to making a product, they can be held jointly responsible for the damages. If one company can't pay, then the other(s) can be made to pay 100 percent of a court verdict. Mr. Conboy said "joint and several" is centuries old, dating back to English common law, and has been the standard in Pennsylvania for more than 200 years. ((And almost every other state has ALREADY done away with it, because it's WRONG.))

Mr. Turzai said many other states have eliminated what he sees as an anti-business policy. Mr. Conboy said the "joint and several" policy is nowhere near the top of a company's reasons for locating in a particular state, adding that weather, transportation costs and workforce competence are much more important.

(( Pennsylvania's weather sucks and its workers are incompetent, Mr. Conboy?))

Current law would mean that if ABC Co. and XYZ Ltd. made a product together, but ABC has gone out of business by the time a jury verdict is handed down, XYZ is on the hook for all the court-ordered damages, even if it had only a small role in making the flawed product.

Mr. Conboy counters that changing existing law would deny an injured plaintiff "full and just compensation" for injuries. He used the example of a case where two men drive up to rob a bank. The getaway driver keeps the car running outside while his partner goes in and kills a bank teller. Both men can be held liable for murder because both were involved in the crime, he said.

A pro-business group, the Pennsylvania Business Council, has put on a push for the Fair Share Act, including a recent seminar where Mr. Turzai, state Sen. Jake Corman, R-Centre, and others spoke on behalf of it.

"We lost nearly a decade in getting this common-sense law enacted, and it's time to get it on the books," said David Taylor, president of the Manufacturers Association. He urged an end to "a 'lawsuit lottery' mentality."

That referred to claims that some plaintiffs and personal injury lawyers file "frivolous" suits, hoping to get large jury verdicts or large out-of-court settlements from defendants.

"These frivolous suits cost Pennsylvanians in the form of higher costs for products and higher taxes," contended Kevin Shivers of the National Federation of Independent Businesses, which represents smaller firms.

The "joint and several" policy has led some companies and doctors to move out of state to avoid getting hit with large verdicts, Mr. Turzai said.

Another problem with "nuisance suits," as corporations call them, is the need to put "wacky warning labels" on products, said Mr. Taylor. For example, he said, a paint-peeling tool, with temperatures of several hundred degrees, needed a warning label that said, "Don't use as a hair dryer."

It may sound funny, he said, but it's sad that manufacturers have to resort to such labels to keep a person from misusing a product and then suing for damages.

Mr. Turzai has a second weapon in his pro-business arsenal, a bill to cap "non-economic damages" in suits, meaning amounts given for a defendant's "pain and suffering."

Someone hurt by a defective product or service is entitled to "economic damages" to compensate for lost wages and hospital costs. But many juries also tack on thousands or even millions of additional dollars for "pain and suffering."

Critics consider such damages to often be a subjective or nebulous concept. Corporations, hospitals and doctors would like to limit non-economic damages, perhaps to $250,000 or $350,000 per case.

But Mr. Conboy said such caps are unfair. He called them "nothing more than a bailout for big business" and said they would "harm those who are severely maimed or killed by wrongdoers."
Tom Barnes: or 1-717-787-4254.

4. Interesting factoids from various sources

((Comparing the rate of increase in malpractice premiums to some other things Americans pay for....))

Gasoline - 1976 - $.60 1999 - 1.17 2008 - 3.23 2009 - 2.51 318% increase
Stamp - 1976 - $.13 1999 - .33 2009 - .42 223% increase
Dozen eggs - 1976 - $.84 1999 - 1.08 2009 - 1.84 119% increase
Gallon of milk - 1976 - $1.65 1999 - 3.32 2009 - 2.69 63% increase
New home 1976 - $48,000 1999 - 195,800 2009 - 232.800 383% increase

Total medical liability premiums in the U.S. grew by nearly 950% from 1976 to 2009.


5. From the Serious Medicine Strategy Blog
Obama on Malpractice Reform: No Change That We Can Believe In
Sunday, January 30, 2011
((This is LONG, but worth every moment you'll spend on it. I especially love the computer screen shots which prove the author's points...))

Did you see that Barack Obama is now pushing medical malpractice reform, as part of his moving to the center? You would be forgiven if you got that impression, because the idea that the administration has moved to the middle on malpractice has been a major meme emerging from the President’s 2011 State of the Union address. And yet it’s simply not true.
The White House and the Democratic Party are still as devoted as ever to the financial interests of trial lawyers--no matter what the cost to the country.Gullible media coverage aside, there’s no real evidence that the President has given an inch on the basic issues of medical lawyering and liability. Nevertheless, those are the issues that are not only making healthcare more expensive, but are also stifling the Serious Medicine innovation that would make healthcare cheaper, as well as better.
After all, it’s not what lawyers do to doctors that matters most, it’s what lawyers do to us--to our health and to our life-prospects.Yet many Americans might have the impression that something big is happening in medical malpractice, that the political ice is breaking on “med mal.” In the course of defending his Obamacare legislation in his January 25 SOTU Obama declared, “I’m willing to look at other ideas to bring down costs, including one that Republicans suggested last year--medical malpractice reform to rein in frivolous lawsuits.”
Those 26 words set off a wave of media interpretation--and over-interpretation. A headline at a affiliate read, “Obama pushes limits to medical malpractice suits.” Mark McKinnon, well-known Republican media consultant, wrote the next morning in The Daily Beast, “I was pleased to see President Obama talk about tort reform.” And the headline atop a post in The Frum Forum by Dr. Stanley Goldfarb of the University of Pennsylvania medical school proclaimed, “Obama Takes the Lead on Malpractice Reform.”

Yet maybe we need to look at the situation more closely. Dr. Goldfarb, for instance, asserts that malpractice reform is “a key part of the required approach to avoid financial calamity.” Dr. Goldfarb is absolutely right, but there’s no evidence that Obama agrees with him. An occupational hazard of punditry, to be sure, is to assume that the other person agrees with you, even to the point that you, the pundit, find yourself filling in the blank spaces between the other person’s words.
Indeed, so long as a powerful person, such as a president, says he is willing to “look at” an idea, some proponents will wishful-think equivocal words into unequivocal support. In fact, Obama’s 26 words in the SOTU need to be weighed against the two years of his presidency, where no serious action against “frivolous” lawsuits has been taken, to say nothing of the multiple lawsuits that are merely costly and harmful. Once again, we can observe that an overall cost to the country is a direct gain for the tort bar. Inside every one of those million- and billion-dollar settlements is a 40-percent contingency fee to a trial lawyer. And trial lawyers as a group, of course, are smart enough to share their wealth with politicians who protect their ongoing system of litigation plunder. Weighed against the deep structure of pro-trial-lawyer interests inside the Democratic Party, the brief words of a president in the middle of a re-election campaign seem fleeting indeed.
Of course, some might say that the White House has been busy, what with Egypt and all. But on Sunday morning, January 30, even as events in Egypt dominated the news, the White House was still prominently featuring its boilerplate State of the Union promotion package. And that’s right and proper, because, after all, we have a large federal government that does many things at once. So perhaps elsewhere in the executive branch, we might hope, top aides and advisers are diligently crafting a new look at malpractice.
That’s a possibility--but let’s take a look. Accompanying the President’s SOTU was a White House fact sheet, boldly titled, “President Obama's Plan to Win the Future." And in that document we find this single sentence: “The President is urging reforms to further reduce the rate of health care cost growth, including medical malpractice liability.” That’s it--just 19 words. Hard to call that much of a foundation for med mal progress.Meanwhile, as another part of the White House communications effort, on January 28, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the administration’s point person on health issues,sat down for a Q & A session with reporters/bloggers; only one “Q”, out of the 13, concerned malpractice. And to that Sebelius answered, “The President has said pretty consistently that he does not support caps,” referring to the idea of limiting liability damages--a central plank of malpractice reformers. Instead, Sebelius cited new government efforts at “gathering data” on lawsuits and their effect on the cost of healthcare. She was referring to a plan that she herself launched in September 2009, when HHS began doling out $25 million in grants to encourage states to experiment with ways to deter malpractice lawsuits. These “demonstration projects,” as they are called, are based on existing programs in which doctors who make a mistake--or are accused of making a mistake--apologize early and seek to negotiate a settlement with the victim. Other projects include screening systems in which states have formed medical-expert panels which must rule that patients’ complaints have merit before they may sue.

Such plans are a good idea, but they have had little effect, because they fail to take into account the great-white-shark voraciousness of malpractice-feasting trial lawyers. If one Googles just the two words “malpractice money,” for example, one immediately sees an ad for a malpractice attorney, complete with a toll-free number to call.It might seem obvious that ambulance-chasing comes at a cost to the healthcare system--reasonable estimates vary from $55 billion to $200 billion a year--but for her part, Sebelius doesn’t seem to agree; as she told her questioner, “malpractice insurance rates are a tiny fraction of healthcare costs.” As an aside, we might note that it’s little wonder that Richard Foster, chief actuary of the Medicare program, is skeptical that any savings will be achieved through Obamacare.Moreover, in an opinion piece for AOL News, signed by Sebelius, the word “malpractice” did not appear once. In other words, without the prompt of a question, Sebelius and her HHS ghostwriters make no effort to highlight malpractice. In fact, a look at the HHS website finds nothing new on med mal. Yet this absence should be no real surprise, in view of Sebelius’ background; she spent a decade as the executive director of the Kansas Trial Lawyers Association. (We might also note that one can hear only the sound of med mal silence, too, at the Department of Justice.) Yet the idea of malpractice reform is popular with many key constituencies and much of the public, and so the President has talked up the idea of med mal from time to time. On June 15, 2009, for example, he addressed the American Medical Association in Chicago, saying that he understood that “doctors feel like they are constantly looking over their shoulder for fear of lawsuits.” He added, in words suggesting that he felt the medical profession’s pain: “Some doctors may feel the need to order more tests and treatments to avoid being legally vulnerable. That's a real issue.”
So yes, the AMA got a little bit of neo-Clintonian triangulation, as well as pain-felling, but no commitments.The President added more soothing words, even as he denied the central policy goal of the AMA--that is, to impose caps on damages as a way of disincentivizing their enemy, the trial lawyers. Finally, he shifted the focus back to his own goal at the time, which was garnering support for his healthcare legislation: While I’m not advocating caps on malpractice awards which I believe can be unfair to people who've been wrongfully harmed, I do think we need to explore a range of ideas about how to put patient safety first, let doctors focus on practicing medicine, and encourage broader use of evidence-based guidelines. That's how we can scale back the excessive defensive medicine reinforcing our current system of more treatment rather than better care.The AMA did, in fact, endorse Obamacare--despite its not making any headway on caps. Yet while the AMA might have been an easy sell, others were more suspicious.
The day after Obama’s AMA speech, The Wall Street Journal editorial page nailed the issue in a piece entitled, “The Malpractice Gesture.” That edit noted how Obama was able to orate sweet nothings and yet persuade gullible audiences that he was on their side: The paragraph he appended to his stock speech on health care for the American Medical Association yesterday didn’t offer much detail--"I do think we need to explore a range of ideas," he boldly declared--but trial lawyers and their stratospheric jury awards and settlements have led to major increases in the medical malpractice premiums, thus driving up the overall cost of U.S. health care.The Journal emphasized that there was nothing specific about med mal in Obama’s words--indeed, that his deeds, in preserving the status quo, contradicted his words: Mr. Obama's cri de coeur might have had more credibility had he not specifically ruled out the one policy to deter frivolous suits. "Don't get too excited yet," he warned the cheering AMA members. “Just hold onto your horses here, guys. . . . I want to be honest with you. I'm not advocating caps on malpractice awards.”
In other words, the tort lottery will continue. California, of all places, has had great success in holding down liability costs for doctors and hospitals after a 1975 reform that limited pain and suffering damages -- balanced against the public interest of fairly treating victims of genuine malpractice.And so the Journal summed up Obama’s deliberate fuzziness, providing some pointed political context: Mr. Obama showed again with his AMA speech that he's willing to nod at the concerns of his political opponents and take media credit for brave truth-telling, only to dump his conciliation if it offends liberal interest groups. Mr. Obama's aides have openly told the press that he views medical liability as a “credibility builder”--that is, a token policy to keep the health-care industry at the bargaining table. Given that the only “bargain” that seems likely to emerge is another major step toward total government control of the health markets, the President seems to be counting on credulity.
So there you have it: Obama said something nice but vague about malpractice reform a year and a half ago--a “credibility builder” for the credulous. And so what has happened since? Who was right: the AMA in its hope that Obama would deliver legal reform of some kind, or the Journal in suspecting that Obama was playing a rhetorical shell game? As we have seen, in Fall 2009, the Obama administration established kumbaya-ish “demonstration projects,” but in his January 2010 SOTU, the President made no mention of malpractice reform. Indeed, in the two years of Obama’s presidency, virtually nothing has happened on the key issue of malpractice reform--namely, requiring a cap on the shark-like entrepreneurialism of the trial lawyers.
Oh wait, something did happen: This past Tuesday night, the President said that he would “look at” malpractice reform. Nevertheless, anyone still thinking that Obama truly wishes to do something about med mal--thereby alienating the trial lawyers whom he needs to finance his re-election--should consult the “Peanuts” character Charlie Brown, still hoping for Lucy to keep the football in place so that he can actually kick it.

One clear-eyed observer is Forbes magazine’s David Whelan, who observed in the wake of the 2011 SOTU that the president’s nice words about malpractice “warrant skepticism.” OK, Forbes is over on the political right, but even The Washington Post noticed that Obama wasn’t saying very much in his SOTU--about malpractice, or, indeed, about anything else. And this non-specificity, the paper surmised, was a deliberate strategy. And yet, as the Post’s Ruth Marcus noticed, even a few friendly words were enough to make many observers happy. In a Friday column entitled, “From President Obama, lots of talk, little leadership,” Marcus criticized the 44th President for merely outlining, as opposed to advocating, “potentially cost-saving measures to control Medicare spending.” She added caustically, “Emphasis on potentially.”
Yet Marcus lamented that “some serious people” had “grasped at wispy tendrils of seriousness” in the president’s speech. And yet detecting such seriousness was an illusion, she concluded: “I hope they are right but fear that they are deluding themselves.” In other words, anything Obama said about a tough issue on Tuesday night was not to be taken seriously--because Obama himself wasn’t taking his words seriously. So where do we stand? I put the question to Jim Wootton, former president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, who foresees med mal gridlock ahead: There is no doubt that the President's stated openness to medical liability reform legislation has put the issue “in play” . . .
But it is too early to be very optimistic that the House, Senate and White House will find enough common ground for meaningful medical tort reform to be enacted in the next two years. Each of these institutional players has different incentives which will influences how they approach this issue. The Republicans in the House want to quickly satisfy their constituents who have been pressing for tort reform for 15-20 years--which to most of them means hard caps on non-economic damages. Yet the Senate Democratic Leadership is known to be quite sympathetic to the personal injury lobby, which is adamantly opposed to all tort reform, particularly caps on damages. So there the issue sits: in stasis. Obama mentioned med mal in 2011, but his position today--and prospects for any reform--are the same now as they were in January of last year, when he didn’t mention med mal at all.
So the Serious Medicine lesson here is that absent a profound change in thinking, as opposed to mere partisan shuffling, there’s little prospect for med mal reform. Even if Republicans were to win the Senate and the White House in 2012, there’s no reason to think that the med mal situation would change; after all, from 2003 to 2006, when Republicans controlled everything in Washington, nothing happened med mal-wise. We can conclude: If malpractice reform is merely seen as being for the convenience and enrichment of doctors, drug companies, and medical equipment makers--as is often said--the goal will never be seen as being so important as to justify overturning the status quo.
What needs to be understood, therefore, is that the real issue is not so much what the trial lawyers do to doctors, but rather what the trial lawyers do to the prospect of Serious Medicine--the medicine that saves lives and bends the cost curve. That is, if malpractice suits simply add $100,000 or so to every doctor’s annual costs, well, in the minds of most Americans, that’s acceptable. Yet if GlaxoSmithKline pays out $6 billion or more for Avandia, as has been reported, that's most likely the end of diabetes research for GSK, and for many other firms, too. Circling trial lawyers are not going to be deterred by any sort of mediation project--they want the money. In addition to caps on damages and limits on contingency fees, the needed reform for pharmaceuticals and medical equipment is this: If the FDA approved the product, the maker of that product can't be sued. The FDA doesn't have to approve anything, but if it does, then whoever makes the product in good faith shouldn't be subject to a lawsuit--period.

In fact, the real cost of medical torts--and it is enormous to the point of incalculability--is the paralysis of scientific progress across the medical sector, because nobody wants to take possession of information that could later inculpate them, in some perhaps unforeseen way, in a future class-action suit. So what’s the way out? The way out is circuitous: Ultimately, we have to get to cures, because good health is both better, and cheaper, than sickness. But to get to there, to get to better medical outcomes in the long run, we have to change the legal system in the short run. Changes in the legal system will encourage innovation, information-sharing, and mass production of new medical products. That’s a bright prospect that will entice ordinary Americans who are at present indifferent spectators to the ongoing brawl between opponents and proponents of malpractice reform.
Here’s the bottom line: Advocates of legal reform must therefore become advocates of a comprehensive strategy for Serious Medicine, because only by making their argument larger and more promising can advocates make a persuasive case to Middle America. Cures are not just a good idea, cures are a big idea--the kind of idea that blows away the pecuniary interest of trial lawyers and their political grantees. And so it’s that big idea of cures that must be invoked in favor of med mal as part of a Serious Medicine Strategy. Anything less simply won’t get the job done. As the late management guru Peter Drucker observed, as a general rule, a new idea has to be ten times better than the old idea to be accepted and to replace the old idea. And so we can see what has gone wrong with med mal over the years: People might think med mal is a good idea, but they don’t see med mal as ten times better than the status quo, and so reform goes nowhere.
What med mal reformers need to do is link reform to the larger issue of cures. Cures, that is, as both a humanitarian goal and a money-saving strategy. Seen that way, cures are a ten-times-better idea than John Edwards & Co. Present the American people with a choice--what do you want: Cures for killer diseases? Or more trial lawyers flying around in private jets? If we cure diabetes, for example, we as a nation won’t spend $200 billion caring for diabetes. Although diabetes is often linked to obesity, about a quarter of diabetes patients in America were born with the condition. And even for those who can be said to be “at fault,” the plain reality is that we are paying for their care. So it makes sense for us, as part of our Serious Medical Strategy, to work with those seeking to reduce obesity. And to applaud, for example, the fitness efforts of Michelle Obama. Moreover, since we have developed a commercial culture which is seemingly dedicated to fattening us up--candy companies, for example, spend their time figuring out new methods of mixing sugar and salt in ways that are irresistible to our lizard-brain food reflexes--we need to develop equally shrewd counter-measures. And yet here again, the trial lawyers are a major obstacle to progress. If the lawsuits keep coming against weight-loss products--Fen-Phen awhile back, Zenical more recently--then we're stuck in a repetitive get-fat rut. (What’s needed, of course, is personalized medicine, so that those relatively few who are at risk from Fen-Phen, or Zenical, or anything else are warned away. And yet such personalization won’t happen, Jim Wootton explains, so long as the trial lawyers are able, through the legal discovery process, to comb through every medical record, looking to make a new class-action lawsuit.)
So once again, the way out is medical science--cures. The idea of cures, that is, as an articulated national goal, the sort of articulation that’s been missing from the debate for the past two decades, as we focused instead on health insurance. A Manhattan Project-like focus on cures would necessitate the sweeping away of the trial lawyers. During World War Two, nobody sued the A-bomb project. The quest for life-improving, cost-saving Serious Medicine should of course be a bipartisan effort. This is, President Obama should want to cure diabetes, not only because he is a compassionate man but also because he wants to make healthcare--and Obamacare--affordable. But to achieve those goals, Obama will have to do more than talk the talk of med mal; he will have to walk the difficult walk of enacting genuine legal reform. Perhaps it’s time to recall the old Jack Benny routine, “your money or your life.” In the comedian’s case--Benny portrayed himself as an epic tightwad--the choices of “money” or “life” were almost interchangeable. Even as a menacing robber threatened him, Benny answered, “I’m thinking, I’m thinking.” In the real world, of course, life is more important. But what if we knew that we could have both: money and life? That is, what if we could come to see that cures are cheaper than sickness-and cheaper than care? That has been true for polio, and smallpox, and tuberculosis, to name three diseases that we have mostly eliminated. So why not take the same cost-effective approach to diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and cancer? Yes, such cure would be a great challenge, but the reward would be much greater. It is simply inconsistent with the work of the nation to let legal pirates and plunderers continue to hollow out our healthcare industry--and our own health. The status quo is costing us both our money and our lives.
Posted by James P. Pinkerton at
12:05 PM

James P. Pinkerton - I am a Contributor to the Fox News Channel and a Fellow at the New America Foundation. I worked in the Reagan and Bush 41 White Houses. I can be reached a

((I posted the following comment on the blog.))

Donna Baver Rovito said...
It's sad that the current system actually changes the way well trained and dedicated doctors practice medicine. Back in the 80's, a young lawyer named John Edwards channelled the spirits of dead babies and charmed North Carolina juries into awarding millions in "bad baby" cases of cerebral palsy, claiming that the babies would have been normal IF ONLY the doctor had done a c-section sooner! Since that time, C-sections have grown in America from 5% to almost 30% of births.
And in that time, the percentage of cerebral palsy births has gone down......NOT A SINGLE PERCENTAGE POINT. In fact, it's now acceptable science that birth conditions have little or nothing to do with celebral palsy - that it's an in utero event.
But obstetricians now do c-sections, which are far riskier than vaginal births, at the slightest hint of fetal distress - because of John Edwards and his ilk.
Now we see the same kind of litigation "piling-on" with vaccines and autism, despite the fact that studies which linked the two were FAKED.
No wonder smart young people aren't going into medicine.

((Well, except for MY silly son....))

February 5, 2011 5:53 PM


6. From MedPage Today
GOP Senators Grill Sebelius on Malpractice Reform
By Emily P. Walker, Washington Correspondent, MedPage Today
Published: January 27, 2011

WASHINGTON -- Senate Republicans grilled Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius about the prospects of medical liability reform during a congressional hearing Thursday.

Sebelius appeared before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, invited by Democrats who wanted to highlight some of the most popular provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

But Republicans weren't willing to follow the Democrats' lead, and soon after it started Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming called the hearing a "marketing" gimmick meant to cheerlead for "the few parts of reform that enjoy support." Instead, he focused on a provision that didn't make it into the ACA: medical malpractice reform.

Although the ACA addressed medical liability insurance by providing $50 million in grants for demonstration projects to explore alternatives to settling malpractice cases, most physicians say the law didn't go nearly far enough and would like to see caps on the amount of noneconomic damages a jury can award.

Enzi said he was pleased that President Obama said during his
State of the Union address Tuesday night that he would consider medical malpractice reform as a way to bring down costs.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) joined Enzi in questioning Sebelius about the tor
          Umbrella Coverage Explained        
Umbrella Coverage Explained One of the most certain things in life is, certainly, uncertainty.  Your dog could bite the neighbor’s child.  Your teen drive could hit someone on a bicycle.  A guest could fall down your stairs.  New England weather could cause a multi-car accident.  You could be held liable to others for the cost of damages-injuries, property destruction, emotional distress, lost wages and more. It’s a good thing you have insurance.  But does your policy cover $300,000 of liability
          The Impact Of The New Canadian Lumber Duties        

NAHB vice president Paul Emrath says that a 19.88 percent duty would lead to $498.3 million in lost wages and salaries for U.S. workers

Photo: Visitor7/Wikimedia Commons

May 30, 2017

More than 8,000 full-time jobs will be lost this year as the result of the new U.S. tariff on Canadian lumber, according to recent analysis from NAHB.

In April, the U.S. Department of Commerce imposed a 19.88 percent duty on Canadian softwood lumber exports to the U.S. The duties will be retroactive 90 days from the date that the rates are officially published in the Federal Register, likely back to the beginning of February.

“Protectionist measures to prop up domestic lumber producers at the expense of millions of U.S. home buyers and lumber users is not the way to resolve the U.S.-Canada trade dispute or boost the U.S. economy,” said NAHB chairman Granger MacDonald, in a statement. “As an industry that is on the front lines of this issue, NAHB would be happy to discuss this matter with the White House and seek solutions that will not harm housing affordability for millions of hard-working American families.”

Paul Emrath, NAHB vice president, survey and housing policy research, estimates that the annual impact of the 19.88 percent duty, if in effect throughout 2017, would be a loss of:

  • $498.3 million in wages and salaries for U.S. workers
  • $350.2 million in taxes and other revenue for governments in the U.S.
  • 8,241 full-time U.S. jobs

Many of those jobs are in construction, but the effects won’t be limited to a single industry. Wages and jobs will also be lost in businesses that sell and transport building materials and that provide architecture and engineering services.

Some jobs will be gained in the U.S. sawmill industry, but this will almost entirely be offset by losses in other manufacturing industries. In total, 25 or more job types will be lost in 31 different industries. These losses of wages, jobs, and taxes are net losses that take the increases in wages, jobs, and taxes in the domestic sawmill industry into account.

Lumber accounts for a larger share of the cost of a home than any other building material. It’s used in wood-frame residential construction and is also commonly used for interior and finishing purposes, such as windows and doors. NAHB research shows that, at current prices, lumber makes up approximately $18,000 of the cost of constructing a typical single-family home. 

(Click charts to enlarge)

          How to Attract High Net Worth Clients--Fort Myers Insurance School        
From a logical standpoint, life insurance is one of the best purchases a person can make—it provides financial security for loved ones left behind in the absence of a deceased family member.
This, in turn, provides emotional peace of mind knowing that in the case of the unthinkable, loved ones will be taken care of.
However, many people still deny themselves and their family this security by forgoing a life insurance policy.

People are uncomfortable (perhaps even afraid of) contemplating their own mortality.

(A host of other reasons also keep people from purchasing life insurance. Read more here.)
Life insurance can be an essential tool in covering end-of-life expenses, yet that’s only a minor part of its benefits, especially if you have a policy that covers lost wages for a deceased wage-earner.
But according to a recent LIMRA study ( most common reason people get life insurance is to cover the costs associated with a funeral and burial.
Because this is a concrete inevitability. A funeral and its costs are a guarantee with death—therefore, it's easier to visualize and use as a rationalization to purchase life insurance.
A higher net worth individual, one who would be able to cover funeral costs out of pocket, may not put a lot of weight into these end-of-life expenses.
There are other factors that drive these consumers to purchase life insurance (for example, in order to leave an inheritance to their children).
how to attract high net worth clients

What keeps a person from buying life insurance?

Your high net worth clients and prospects may consider these benefits and still stay away from life insurance because of the relatively low yields compared to other potential investments. 
A high net worth individual has likely amassed their wealth by way of shrewd investing.

Life insurance may seem like an inefficient investment to high net worth individuals.

Another common reason people don’t invest in life insurance is because they have other financial priorities that require their assets.

The takeaway

Insurance agents likely need to spend time educating your clients about the benefits of life insurance products while simultaneously offering solutions that allow your clients to retain financial liquidity.

Premium financing

Let your high net worth clients know about premium financing, which allows them to receive a loan that pays the premiums of the life insurance policy.
The client is then responsible for the interest of that loan out of pocket, but this kind of plan allows them to get their life insurance policy without a substantial impact on their liquid capital.

Premium financing is especially valuable for clients who want to keep their freedom to continue investing in other asset classes.

Premium financing plans aren't for every consumer, and some may not even qualify for the loan needed, but the knowledge of this kind of tool's existence is powerful when trying to overcome client apprehensions about life insurance.
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          Lost Wages Are Important Aspect of Damages in Georgia Personal Injury Cases        
Most times, if a plaintiff has suffered a serious personal injury, there will be a claim for lost wages. As can be expected, defendants may claim that plaintiff is not entitled to lost earnings because of a few reasons, such as: Plaintiff was unemployed at time of injury. Plaintiff’s can not show amount of earnings […]
          Attorney for Frozen Snack Food E. coli Outbreak Victims: Manufacturer Should Pay Victims’ Medical Bills and Lost Wages        

Attorney William Marler called on Rich Products Corporation to compensate victims of an E. coli O121 outbreak the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has linked to the company's Farm Rich frozen mini meals and snack foods, for out-of-pocket medical expenses and lost wages.

(PRWeb April 05, 2013)

Read the full story at

          Attorney for E. coli Outbreak Victims: State Garden Should Pay Out-of-Pocket Medical Costs and Lost Wages        

William Marler, attorney and food safety advocate, urges spinach and spring mix supplier State Garden to pay E. coli outbreak victims' out-of-pocket medical expenses and lost wages for missed time off work to care for themselves or family members suffering from E. coli infections linked to Wegmans spinach and spring mix.

(PRWeb November 19, 2012)

Read the full story at

          Attorney for Peanut Butter Outbreak Victims: Sunland Should Pay Out-of-Pocket Medical Costs and Lost Wages        

Attorney William Marler calls on Sunland, Inc. to reimburse victims of a Salmonella outbreak traced to its products for medical costs and lost wages related to the care for family members suffering from Salmonella infections.

(PRWeb November 16, 2012)

Read the full story at

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          Justice Ministry announces it has ended HIV tests for English teachers        
The Korea Herald reported yesterday that South Korea has done away with mandatory HIV tests for English teachers:
A controversial requirement for HIV testing of foreign language teachers has been scrapped, government officials confirmed to The Korea Herald on Thursday, almost 10 years after it was introduced.

Testing for HIV and drugs began in 2007 in response to pressure from citizens groups angered partly by a website on which teachers bragged about debauchery and the news that pedophile Christopher Paul Neil had taught in Korea.
For more (much more!) on the website and the netizen and media response it engendered, see here; for more on how the "citizens' group" Anti English Spectrum pushed to get the HIV tests in particular made into policy, see here. [I have a more thorough update to that post that I'll start posting soon.]
The Justice Ministry confirmed that a revision to visa regulations on July 3 removes the requirement for HIV testing when renewing or issuing E-2 visas. [...]

Choi Won-seok, director of human rights affairs at the Foreign Ministry, said that the change involved a number of related government bodies, including the Education Ministry, so that HIV testing would also not be required as a part of contracts with state education authorities.

He said the change was made in response to concerns raised from various sectors, including the UN and the National Human Rights Commission of Korea.
He is referring to how in May of 2015 the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination ruled that Korea should drop its HIV testing requirements for foreign English teachers, and in September 2016 the National Human Rights Commission of Korea "recommended the government stop its mandatory HIV testing of foreign English teachers." It took some time for the government to respond to either of these, but it appears it finally has.

If we remember, in December 2010 the Korean government officially did away with all HIV testing restrictions on foreigners - except for E-2 visa holders. About a month later the Ministry of Justice posted an Immigration Control Law enforcement regulation titled "Notice of the Requirements of Medical Institutions Administering Drug Tests and Other Tests to be Submitted for Alien Registration," which can be found here. The Ministry of Justice released an amended version of this notice on July 3 which was exactly the same as the old one but which removed "HIV" from things to be tested for (the same drug testing system remains in place). It also announced that the old notice has been abolished as of July 3. (The new notice can be found by going here and searching for "법무부고시제2017-116호"; then go to page 69 of the resulting pdf.)

Perhaps one reason for finally abolishing the HIV restrictions is that the new Foreign Minister, Kang Kyung-hwa, was formerly UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights. As noted in this article, she once said, "While travel restrictions are a question of State sovereignty, it must be pointed out that States also have obligations under international law within which sovereign rights may be exercised[. ...] In particular, under basic norms of non-discrimination, States must provide compelling reasons for any differentiation in treatment, including in restricting travel for people living with HIV. We know that there are no such compelling reasons."

Another reason might be that a South Korean representative, Professor Chung Chin-sung, has just been elected to serve as the Korean expert on the Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD); having to admit your own country was ignoring a CERD decision could make for awkward moments at the water cooler.

Of course, when it comes to the 2015 CERD decision, the ROK is still ignoring at least one of the Committee's recommendations:
The Committee recommends that the State party grant the petitioner adequate compensation for the moral and material damages caused by the above-mentioned violations of the Convention, including compensation for the lost wages during the one year she was prevented from working.
This certainly has not happened.

It should also be kept in mind that though the ROK had promised to remove HIV testing regulations in 2010, it kept the E-2 tests in place and lied to UNAIDS, which resulted in Korea being portrayed as an HIV-test-free nation in UNAIDS literature. And there have been hints that though HIV testing for migrant workers (E-9 visa-holders) had been officially lifted in 2010, these tests were still continuing. The 2017 EPIK contract for public school English teachers states that HIV tests are necessary. Granted, it has only been a few days, and the Korea Herald article stated that "the change involved a number of related government bodies, including the Education Ministry," but it would be worth keeping an eye out to make sure the contracts change. The contracts can be found here (where you can enjoy the "cleavagey white female stock model" who was photoshopped into the banner image).

Needless to say, as someone who made some contributions to the effort to get the HIV tests repealed, I'm pleased to see this finally, after almost a decade, come to pass. But it might be a good idea to make sure that they have actually been repealed in practice, and not just in a pro forma manner, before celebrating too much.

[Thanks to Ben Wagner for many of the above links - and, obviously, for putting in the effort to get us to this point.]

          NHRCK recommends Korean government stop mandatory HIV testing of foreign English teachers        
As the Korea Herald reported, the National Human Rights Commission of Korea "has recommended the government stop its mandatory HIV testing of foreign English teachers."
The NHRCK decision refers to the compulsory medical testing of teachers on E-2 visas, which includes drug and HIV testing. A petition was originally brought to the NHRCK in July 2009 by an assistant teacher at an elementary school. The school had refused to renew her contract after she did not submit to the test.

The commission initially dismissed the case, citing it as an individual complaint, even though thousands of teachers took the test each year and 50 teachers had already filed a similar report.

But in dismissing the complaint, the commission allowed the case to be taken to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which told Korea last year to apologize to the teacher and pay compensation, as well as remove visa requirements for HIV testing.

Now, the NHRCK has backed the CERD decision, telling the Ministry of Justice to amend or rescind its rules on medical testing. [...]

The decision is dated Sept. 8, but Ben Wagner, who represented the petitioner in both the CERD and NHRCK cases, said he was only notified Thursday. There is no notification of the decision on the commission’s website.

Wagner welcomed the decision, which he said had exceeded his expectations.
"This decision has been too long coming, the NHRCK delayed for nearly 8 years and that has to change. But I can say without hesitation that the decision is a very good one indeed,” he said.

"The NHRCK has taken a very strong position on protecting the rights of foreigners. But even further than that, the NHRCK has been very direct in insisting that the government ‘walks the talk’ when it comes to the international law standards that it professes to uphold and abide by but doesn’t always live up to. "
The NHRCK added that "it expected the Ministry of Justice to respond within 90 days of the report," while the Herald noted that the Ministry of Justice had as of yet made no comment.

The CERD decision was announced in May of last year; I posted about it here and here. As is noted in the decision below, the NHRCK, 7 years after the original petition in 2009, decided to act following government inaction after the CERD decision:
The Korean government (through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is a competent ministry for CERD) responded that it would include contents regarding CERD opinions in the combined 17th, 18th, and 19th State Report. However, the report did not contain appropriate measures to address mandatory medical checkup required from E-2 visa holders, which was the subject matter of an individual communication. Against this backdrop, the NHRCK has come to review the policy of mandatory medical testing for foreign E-2 visa holders and the measures to facilitate effective implementation of the individual communications system.
It also mentions the E-2 Visa was first introduced in April 1993; I didn't have an exact date before.

Here is the full decision:

National Human Rights Commission of Korea
Standing Committee

Recommendation for revising the medical examination requirement for foreign E-2 visa holders and preparing domestic procedures for individual communications under U.N. human rights treaties


In an effort to resolve racial discrimination issues regarding the mandatory medical check for foreign E-2 teaching visa holders and facilitate effective domestic implementation of the opinions regarding individual communications under U.N. human rights treaties, the National Human Rights Commission of Korea (“NHRCK”) hereby makes recommendations as below:

1. The Prime Minister should take legislative and administrative measures to effectively carry out recommendations adopted by U.N. treaty bodies in response to individual communications.

2. The Minister of Foreign Affairs should produce measures to address the opinion adopted by the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (“CERD”) at its eighty-sixth session, including adequate remedy for the petitioner in Communication No.51/2012.

3. The Minister of Justice should amend the Ministry of Justice’s Announcement No. 2011-23 to address its racial discriminatory nature or rescind it for the purpose of improving the medical test requirement for foreign E-2 teaching visa holders.

4. The Minister of Education should revise relevant regulations and practices that require foreign E-2 teaching visa holders to submit a health medical report including HIV test results and supervise Metropolitan and Provincial Offices of Education so as to discontinue requiring them to repeat such medical tests only to have their contract renewed, in particular, after having registered as alien residents and worked as native-speaker foreign language instructors.


Ⅰ. Background of Recommendations

An Office of Education has refused to renew a contract with a petitioner, foreign E-2 teaching visa holder (“E-2 holder”) who had worked as an assistant native-speaker teacher in a local elementary school, for not filing a health and medical report which includes an HIV test. The complainant launched a complaint with the NHRCK in July 2009, and also requested the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board to initiate mediation, followed by the submission of an individual communication to the CERD against the Republic of Korea (“Korea”) in December 2012.

 In May 2015, the CERD at its eighty-sixth session responded to the individual communication by concluding that a mandatory testing policy limited to foreign language teachers who are not ethnic Koreans does not appear to be justified on public health grounds or any other ground, and is a breach of the right to work without distinction as to race, color, or national or ethnic origin, in violation of the State party’s obligation to guarantee equality in respect of the right to work as enshrined in Article 5 (e) (i) of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. The Committee, thus, recommended that the Korean government take the appropriate measures to review regulations and policies enacted at the State or local level relating to the employment of foreigners, and that it abolish, both in law and in practice, any piece of legislation, regulation, policy or measure that has the effect of creating or perpetuating racial discrimination.

The Korean government (through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is a competent ministry for CERD) responded that it would include contents regarding CERD opinions in the combined 17th, 18th, and 19th State Report. However, the report did not contain appropriate measures to address mandatory medical checkup required from E-2 visa holders, which was the subject matter of an individual communication. Against this backdrop, the NHRCK has come to review the policy of mandatory medical testing for foreign E-2 visa holders and the measures to facilitate effective implementation of the individual communications system.

Ⅱ. References for Consideration

The NHRCK refers to Articles 6 and 11 of the Constitution of the Republic of Korea, Article 2 (3) of the National Human Rights Commission Act, Attachment 5-2 related to Article 76 (2) of the Enforcement Rules of the Immigration Control Act, Articles 8-2 and 27 of the Prevention of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome Act, Article 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ("Covenant"), Articles 2, 5, 6, and 14 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination ("Convention").

General Comment No. 30, the opinion made at the 86th session of the CERD in accordance with Article 14 of the Convention, and Articles 26 and 27 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties ("Vienna Convention") have also been taken into consideration.

Ⅲ. Issues and Improvement Regarding Medical Tests for Foreign E-2 Visa Holders

1. Grounds for submission and current status of medical health records for foreign E-2 visa holders

Over the last five years, more than 30,000 non-citizens have entered Korea with E-2 teaching visas, and are required to register as alien residents within 90 days after their arrival. E-2 visa holders are entitled to work as assistant foreign language instructors along with Korean teachers for the programs like EPIK, English Program In Korea, in primary and secondary schools or other institutes and organizations such as academic institutes and research centers, and are not allowed to engage in other activities for profit.

 The E-2 teaching visa was first introduced in April 1993. In December 2007, however, the Korean government decided to require E-2 holders to submit criminal background and medical check documents upon their registration as alien residents, because unqualified teachers and the usage of illegal drugs by E-2 visa holders had set off social problems. In April 2009, the Ministry of Justice amended Article 76 (2) Attachment 5-2 of the Enforcement Rules of the Immigration Control Act to set forth that E-2 visa holders shall submit physical examination records, including TBPE test (narcotic drugs test) issued by a national/public hospital, public health center, or general hospital, except for those who are recruited and hired by the Ministry of Education and Science Technology or local Offices of Education as foreign language instructors in primary and secondary schools. In January 2011, the Ministry of Justice instituted its Announcement No. 2011-23, adding that the medical record shall be issued by hospitals designated by the Minister of Justice and include an HIV test. Attachment 5-2 related to Article 76 (2) of the Enforcement Rules of the Immigration Control Act was revised accordingly in March 2011 so that medical record shall be issued by hospitals designated by the Minister of Justice. According to the ‘2016 EPIK Manual for Native-speaker English Assistant Teachers’ (guidelines for the employment of native-speaker foreign language instructors of Metropolitan and Provincial Offices of Education) released by the National Institute for International Education in March 2016, the medical examination shall be issued by medical facilities designated by the Minister of Justice, and there is an exemption for native-speaker English teachers hired by Metropolitan and Provincial Offices of Education. However, the ‘Manual for Hiring Native Speaking English Assistant Teachers’ issued by some Offices of Education in August 2016 reads that native-speaker assistant English teachers shall undergo a medical examination at a designated hospital upon contract renewal and submit the result to the Office in person, which might lead to the cancellation of a contract renewal, if health issues are detected. This effectively leaves E-2 visa holders no choice but to submit the report. The termination clause of a standard contract sampled by some relevant manuals explicitly stipulates that employees shall undergo a medical examination including illegal drug and HIV/AIDS tests in Korea in order to work in public education facilities.

Looking at such practices in relation to the employment of native-speaker foreign language instructors of Metropolitan and Provincial Offices of Education, the Announcement does not mention the proviso for those who are recruited and hired by the Ministry of Education or local Offices of Education prescribed by Attachment 5-2, Article 76 (2) of the Enforcement Rules; however, it seems to have applied to them as well. Nor does "Visa & Sojourn Guide Manuals for Foreign Nationals" released by the Ministry of Justice in August 2016 consider the proviso, leaving the collection and evaluation of the medical examination report at the competent Office of Education's discretion.

 Foreign instructors hired by private academic institutes or research centers other than Offices of Education are obliged to submit a medical examination record which tests for HIV and the list of narcotic drugs laid out in Announcement No. 2011-23 of the Ministry of Justice under Article 13-2 of the Act on the Establishment and Operation of Private Teaching Institutes and Extracurricular Lessons and Article 10-2 of its Enforcement Decree.

All the combined rules and regulations effectively force foreign E-2 visa holders to submit the medical checkup result including HIV and illegal drug testing to public offices or employers unless they want to lose the job opportunity for which their entry was granted.

2. Contentious racial discrimination issue with the medical examination for foreign E-2 visa holders

Under the current system, those who are eligible for English assistant teachers are not only foreign E-2 visa holders but also ethnic Koreans holding F-4 visa who have obtained the nationality of an English speaking country. However, ethnic Koreans with F-4 visas are subject to neither alien registration nor medical examination including HIV test when filing for residence under the Act on the Immigration and Legal Status of Overseas Koreans.

Based on the documents submitted by the petitioner, the eighty-sixth session of the CERD observed that foreign teachers of English who are ethnically Korean, and Korean teachers, are exempted from such testing, and that the testing is therefore not decided on the basis of a distinction between citizens and non-citizens but rather on the basis of ethnic origin. The Committee also observed that mandatory HIV/AIDS testing for employment purposes, as well as for entry, stay and residence purposes, is considered to be in contradiction of international standards, as such measures appear to be ineffective for public health purposes, discriminatory, and harmful to the enjoyment of fundamental rights.

In addition, it notes that during the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board’s arbitration proceedings which the petitioner requested, some officials from Office of Education confirmed that tests for HIV/AIDS and illegal drugs use were viewed as a means of checking the values and morality of foreign teachers of English. In this context, the Committee recalled its General Comment No. 30, in which it recommends that States parties take resolute action to address the situation.

 In response, the Ministry of Justice takes a stand that an independent state is bestowed with wide discretion in its immigration control and, in particular, such tests are indispensable as the instructors are supposed to protect young students and facilitate a safe environment and public health.

However, as noted by the CERD, even the vast discretion embedded in immigration control hardly renders it reasonable that while Korean teachers and ethnically Korean foreign language instructors are exempted from the testing, only foreign E-2 visa holders are under an obligation to test for HIV. Likewise, the concerns about a safe public health environment offer little ground for different treatment between ethnically Korean teachers and foreign instructors with E-2 visas. The practice, thus, is considered to constitute racial discrimination in violation of Article 11 [Equality] of the Constitution and Article 26 of the Covenant under which all persons are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection of the law.

3. Appropriateness of mandatory HIV test requirement for the employment of foreign E-2 visa holders

The early spread of HIV/AIDS led countries to adopt controlling public health policies such as real-name based management and compulsory testing. These measures, however, were criticized for invading the privacy of the infected and stigmatizing and negatively stereotyping them, which, in turn, discouraged people from getting a test or counselling and pushed them out of public health system. The ‘1988 ILO/WHO Joint Declaration on HIV/AIDS in the Workplace’ says that an employee does not have an obligation to voluntarily inform an employer about her HIV/AIDS status and the affected do not usually pose any infection risk to their colleagues. Article 8-2 of the Prevention of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome Act mandates that no employer is allowed to request a worker to submit a written report generated from a medical examination for HIV/AIDS while Article 27 states that an employer who urges an employee to notify the results of a medical examination or request the submission of a written report of a medical examination shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than one year or by a fine not exceeding three million won.

Despite all the international standards and regulations, foreign E-2 visa holders are still required to submit their medical examination record including HIV testing upon employment. However, as noted by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, HIV is unlikely to be transmitted in a daily life. Considering its transmission route is mostly via sexual contact, the submission of HIV testing results can lead to stigmatizing a group of people with a certain medical condition. Such stigmatization imputes the cause of infection to the group and misleads the general public to think that they are safe from the disease as long as it is limited to a small group of people. This kind of misperception hardly finds its place in any desired public health policies.

Thus, foreign E-2 visa holders’ mandatory submission of medical examination including HIV testing upon employment is not appropriate in the light of the intent of the Prevention of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome Act and may constitute a “discriminatory act violating equal rights” regarding employment on the ground of medical history, and therefore should be changed so as to improve current practice.

4. Summary

As described above, the mandatory HIV testing policy limited to foreign E-2 visa holders upon their registration as alien residents may constitute racial discrimination. Thus, Ministry of Justice’s Announcement No. 2011-23 which stipulates the said policy shall be rescinded or amended to address its racial discriminatory nature.

In addition, it is necessary that the Ministry of Education revise relevant regulations and practice regarding the employment of foreign E-2 teaching visa holders and supervise Metropolitan and Provincial Offices of Education so as to rectify such practices, because requiring mandatory submission of medical report from those who have registered as alien residents and worked as native-speaker foreign language instructors at schools, academic institutes, and research centers is more excessive control than the said Ministry of Justice’s Announcement and other relevant regulations.

Ⅳ. Effective Domestic Implementation of Recommendations regarding Individual Communications under U.N. Human Rights Treaties

1. Obligation under U.N. human rights treaties

Article 6 (1) of the Constitution states, “Treaties duly concluded and promulgated under the Constitution and the generally recognized rules of international law shall have the same effect as the domestic laws of the Republic of Korea,” indicating that the country has a legally binding obligation to facilitate the rights prescribed by the treaty to which it agrees by means of accession, ratification or succession. Article 26 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties stipulates, “Every treaty in force is binding upon the parties to it and must be performed by them in good faith,” while Article 27 states, “A party may not invoke the provisions of its internal law as justification for its failure to perform a treaty.”

Therefore, Korea, as a State party to the duly signed and ratified U.N. human rights treaties, has a responsibility to submit a periodic State report to each committee and to carry out its recommendations in accordance with conclusion regarding individual communications if the country accepts an individual communications procedure or signs an optional protocol that allows for individual communications. In addition, the final views of the United Nations Human Rights Committee regarding the fourth periodic report of the Republic of Korea in November 2015 also offer the recommendation to establish a mechanism and procedure to provide effective remedies for any violation of the Covenant.

2. Implementation of recommendations regarding individual communications

Recommendations by each committee regarding individual communications under U.N. human rights treaties are considered international standard. Progress of status on the recommendations made by each State party is continuously monitored by each committee as the ultimate goal is to ensure that the state party accepts them and provides victims with remedies.

Overseas examples about how to implement the recommendations regarding individual communications include the case Alyne da Silva Pimentel v. Brazil of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (“CEDAW”) in its Communication No. 17/2008. In response to this case, the country has reportedly delivered effective judicial remedies, a comprehensive plan for women’s health considering gender and racial perspectives, and policies to reduce preventable maternal deaths.

On the other hand, if a state party refuses to follow recommendations, it has been urged to do so with the individual communications reviewed alongside its periodic report by a committee. In Communication No. 4/2004, A.S. v. Hungary, the CEDAW recommended that Hungary improve its health care system and compensate a member of the Roma community, for a forced sterilization procedure conducted without her knowledge. To ensure the recommendation’s implementation, the Committee has made efforts to communicate with Hungary, and monitored a periodic report submitted by the country for years. As a result, the women received compensation.

3. Recommendation of the 86th CERD session and its effective implementation

Concluding Communication No. 51/2012, L.G. v. Korea, the eighty-sixth session of CERD decided that Korea is in violation of Article 5 (e) (i) of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and recommended that the Korean government grant the petitioner adequate compensation for moral and material damages, including compensation for lost wages.

Being a State party to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, Korea should compensate the petitioner for the moral and material damages caused by the discriminatory practice, following the recommendation by the CERD in accordance with the Constitution and the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. However, the lack of domestic procedures to secure the implementation of individual communications makes it harder for victims to effectively seek proper remedies even though human rights violations or discriminatory practices are uncovered through individual communications based on U.N. human rights treaties.

Hence, it is necessary for the Korean government to take legislative and administrative measures so as to ensure the effective implementation of recommendations resulting from individual communications under U.N. human rights treaties. In particular, as the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is reviewing the measures to ensure the development of consistent standards for protection, consistency of jurisprudence among treaty bodies, reinforcement of the justiciability of all human rights, and acceleration of the implementation of decisions and views of treaty bodies by State parties, the Korean government can no longer delay the preparation of procedures to implement the recommendations.

4. Summary

As a State party to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Republic of Korea should actively implement CERD recommendations stemming from the individual communication system.

In particular, appropriate compensation for damages suffered by the petitioner should also be considered regardless of any preceding improvements in policies related to rights violations, as the individual communications system allows persons to individually challenge infringement of their rights. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, therefore, as competent ministry, must establish measures to implement the recommendations by the eighty-sixth session of the CERD to offer the petitioner proper remedies for her mental and material damages.

 Currently, Korea is a State party to the individual communications system under four U.N. human rights treaties, namely the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. As different ministries are in charge of domestic implementation of each of these treaties, cooperation among the relevant ministries is critical. Hence, it would be appropriate for the Prime Minister to take steps to establish a domestic institution to ensure the implementation of recommendations adopted by U.N. treaty bodies in response to individual communications.

Ⅴ. Conclusion

For such reasons, the NHRCK decides to offer its recommendation in accordance with Article 25 (1) of the National Human Rights Commission Act.

September 8, 2016

Chairperson Sung-ho Lee
Commissioner Young-hye Kim
Commissioner Kyoung-sook Lee
Commissioner Sang-hwan Jeong

          The Components of a Slip and Fall Accident        

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          4th Circuit Holds Employer's Refusal to Accommodate Employee's Religious Accommodation Against Use of Hand Scanner Violated Title VII        
Religious discrimination and failure-to-accommodate religion claims are still amongst the rarest discrimination claims that go to trial and a recent opinion out of the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit showcases just why that is as the Court ruled in favor of an employee who felt forced to retire after nearly 40 years with this employer when they implemented a hand scanner system which the employee believed violated his religious beliefs and could have potentially amounted to a "mark of the beast."  This is yet another decision highlighting the Courts' precedent of refusing to question an employee's religious beliefs and interpretations and holding an employer liable when they choose to question such beliefs without showing accommodation would pose an undue hardship.

This appeal contained numerous issues on appeal, but this post will only focus on the employer's liability under Title VII.


The plaintiff, Beverly R. Butcher Jr., worked for the defendant, Consol Energy, Inc., for 37 years, without incident, as a coal miner at their Robinson Run Mine.  Butcher is also a life-long evangelical Christian, an ordained minister and associate pastor, and served his church in a variety of capacities.  That he had sincerely-held beliefs was not at issue in this case.

In 2012, Consol implemented a biometric hand-scanner system at the mine Butcher worked at in order to better monitor the attendance and work hours of its employees.  The scanner system required each employee checking in or out of a shift to scan his or her right hand; the shape of the right hand was then linked to the worker's unique personnel number.  This posed a problem for Butcher because he believed it presented a threat to core religious commitments.  Butcher feared that use of the hand-scanning system would result in being "marked" leading to his identification with the Antichrist.  Butcher brought his concerns to his union representative who alerted Consol's HR department.

Butcher was instructed by HR to provide a letter from his pastor explaining why he needed a religious accommodation, which he did.  Butcher also prepare his own letter, citing verses from the Book of Revelation and explaining his view that the hand scanner would associated him with the Mark of the Beast, causing him through his will and actions to serve the Antichrist.  Butcher later offed to check in with his shift supervisor or to punch in on a time clock, as he had in the past while working at the time.

Consol's HR supervisor gave Butcher a letter written by the scanner's manufacturer, offering assurances that the scanner cannot detect or place a mark--including the Mark of the Beast--on the body of a person.  Offering its own interpretation of "the Scriptures," the letter explained that because the Mark of the Beast is associated only with the right hand or the forehead, use of the left hand in the scanner would be sufficient to obviate any religious concerns regarding the system.

Unbeknownst to Butcher, Consol was providing an accommodation to other employees that allowed them to bypass the new scanner system altogether.  As of July 2012, Consol had determined that two employee with hand injuries, who could not be enrolled through a scan of either hand, instead could enter their personnel numbers on a keypad attached to the system.  According to Consol's own trial witness, this accommodation imposed no additional cost or burden on the company, and allowing Butcher to use the keypad procedure would have been similarly cost-free.

Consol ultimately denied Butcher's request for accommodation and informed him that failure to use the hand scanner system would result in following company policy, which was essentially writing him up until enough write-ups warranted termination.  Given the inevitable, Butcher tendered his resignation.  Butcher later filed a complaint with the EEOC, who then filed suit in district court under Title VII and prevailed after a jury trial, with the jury awarding compensatory damages and lost wages and benefits, but not punitive damages.  Consol appealed on several issues, but the 4th Circuit completely affirmed every ruling the district court made.


Consol's Failure to Accommodate Butcher's Sincerely Held Religious Belief

To show a violation of an employer's "reasonable accommodation" duty, an employee must prove that: (1) he or she has a bona fide religious belief that conflicts with an employment requirement; (2) he or she informed the employer of this belief; and (3) he or she was disciplined for failure to comply with the conflicting employment requirement.  On appeal, Consol argued that the evidence presented at trial was legally insufficient to support the jury's specific findings under the first and third of these elements: that there was a conflict between a bona fide religious belief held by Butcher and the requirement that Butcher use the hand scanner, and that Butcher was constructively discharged as a result.

Consol unsuccessfully attempted to argue that there was in fact no conflict between Butcher's beliefs and its requirement that Butcher use the hand scanner system because the system would not imprint a physical mark on his hand.  Consol argued that this fact means the EEOC failed to establish that Butcher could not use the scanner system without compromising his beliefs regarding the Mark of the Beast.  Both the district court and 4th Circuit disagreed with this argument.

The district court explained that there was ample evidence from which a jury could conclude that Butcher sincerely believed "participation in this system"--with or without a tangible mark--"was a showing of allegiance to the Antichrist," inconsistent with his deepest religious convictions.  That is all that is required to establish the requisite conflict between Butcher's religious beliefs and Consol's inconsistence that he use its scanner system.

The court explained:  "At bottom, Consol's failure to recognize this conflict--in its dealings with Butcher as well as its litigation of this case--appears to reflect its conviction that Butcher's religious beliefs, though sincere, are mistaken:  that the Mark of the Beast is not, as Butcher believes, associated with mere participation in a scanner identification system, but instead manifests only as a physical mark, placed upon the right and not the left hand; and that as a result, allowing Butcher to scan his left hand through the system would be more than sufficient to obviate any potential conflict."  In fact, the Court stated:  "It is not Consol's place as an employer, not ours as a court, to question the correctness of even the plausibility of Butcher's religious understandings. ... So far as there is sufficient evidence that Butcher's beliefs are sincerely held--which the jury specifically found, and Consol does not dispute--and conflict with Consol's employment requirement, that is the end of the mater."

Butcher's Quitting Amounted to a Constructive Discharge

To satisfy the third element of a failure to accommodate religion claim, it only has to be shown that "an employer deliberately [made] the working conditions of the employee intolerable."  The 4th Circuit noted that the Supreme Court revised the standard for constructive discharge in 2016 and expressly rejected a "deliberateness" or intent requirement, which means the standard for constructive discharge requires only an objective "intolerability."  The 4th Circuit ultimately agreed with the district court that there existed substantial evidence that Butcher was put in an intolerable position when Consol refused to accommodate his religious objection, requiring him to use a scanner system that Butcher sincerely believed would render him a follower of the Antichrist, "tormented with fire and brimstone."

The 4th Circuit also agreed that the future prospect of a successful grievance under the collective bargaining agreement would do anything to alleviate the immediate intolerability of Butcher's circumstances.

The remainder of the opinion addresses several other issues raised on appeal, but the 4th Circuit affirmed the district court on all of those issues as well.

This case serves as yet another important reminder that if accommodation does not impose an undue hardship, employers are probably best served erring on the side of accommodation and not trying to argue against an employee's purported sincerely held religious beliefs.  What could have been a cost-free accommodation to Consol turned into years of expensive litigation that led to a six-figure jury verdict against them, even more costly appeal fees, and affirmation of the employee.

The case is EEOC v. CONSOL Energy, Inc., No. 16-1230 (4th Cir. June 12, 2017).  Attorney Paul Mollica also briefly wrote about this case over at his blog.
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          Forbes magazine says keep No-Fault insurance in MI        

Michigan No-Fault insurance beats out all the alternatives, including paying for all car crash medical expenses and lost wages due to injury or disability

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          Workers’ Compensation        

Were you injured on the job?  Did you contract a disease from your job?  If so, are you receiving the medical treatment you need and compensation for lost wages.  The Bureau of Workers Compensation provides workers compensation coverage to employees working in the state of Ohio.  You may be entitled to medical treatment, compensation for […]

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          DE HB114        
The purpose of this amendment is to better protect the motorists of the State of Delaware by raising the minimum automobile bodily injury and property damage limits to reflect the current economic conditions. The minimum automobile liability limits have not been raised in the State of Delaware since July 19, 1983. Most motor vehicle policies sold in Delaware provide $10,000 for property damage coverage. Bodily injury insurance proceeds are frequently used to cover the cost of not only pain and suffering, but an injured persons medical expenses and lost wages, which have increased since 1983. For example, $15,000 in 1983 is equivalent to $35,960.54 in 2016, based on the federal Consumer Price Index Urban statistics for 1983 and 2016. In addition, $30,000 in 1983 is equivalent to $71,921.08 in 2016.

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          Carrols Corp. To Pay $2.5 Million to Settle EEOC Sexual Harassment and Retaliation Lawsuit        
NEW YORK - Carrols Corporation, the world's largest Burger King franchisee, will pay $2.5 million and take significant remedial steps to settle a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. The lawsuit alleged discrimination against 89 female employees around the country, many of whom were teenagers when they worked for Carrols.

The EEOC's suit charged that Carrols subjected a class of women - including many teenagers - to egregious sexual harassment at Burger King locations throughout the Midwest, Southeast, and Northeast. EEOC alleged that the harassment, which ranged from obscene comments, jokes, and propositions to unwanted touching, exposure of genitalia, strip searches, stalking, and even rape, was perpetrated by managers in the majority of cases. According to the EEOC, Carrols also retaliated against some of the women by cutting their hours, manufacturing discipline against them, and even firing them, while it forced more women to quit because the harassment made their working conditions intolerable.

Sexual harassment and retaliation for complaining about it violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit (Civil Action No. 98-cv-01772 FWS/TWD in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York) after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement.

Under the terms of the publicly-filed consent decree resolving the case, Carrols will pay $2.5 million in compensatory damages and lost wages to the 89 victims. It also will implement a number of measures to increase employees' awareness of Carrols' anti-harassment policies and to improve Carrols' response to complaints brought forward under those policies. Those measures include enhanced training for Carrols' managers in preventing and responding to harassment; improved mechanisms for tracking harassment complaints; notices posted in all domestic Carrols Burger King locations informing employees about the lawsuit's resolution and their rights under federal anti-discrimination laws; and an injunction prohibiting further harassment and retaliation.

"As this case demonstrates, the EEOC will persist in enforcing the legal prohibitions against harassment until the matter is resolved. Although employers may have adequate anti-harassment policies on paper, they are of little value when employers fail to take positive steps to prevent or remedy harassment," said P. David Lopez, General Counsel for EEOC. "Employers must make sure employees know about the policies and then they must respond effectively when complaints are brought forward."

Gillian L. Thomas, trial attorney in the New York District Office, which encompasses New York City, Buffalo, Newark, and Boston, added, "The harassment reported by the women in this case was truly egregious, with the majority of cases involving physical contact. No woman, regardless of age, should have to endure such abuse just to earn a paycheck."

Headquartered in Syracuse, N.Y., Carrols owns, operates, and franchises 576 restaurants under the Burger King® brand, as well as close to 250 restaurants under the Pollo Tropical® and Taco Cabana® brands. Last spring, Carrols nearly doubled its Burger King locations in a deal that gave Burger King a 28.9% equity stake in the franchisee. Carrols operates in 13 states and employs over 17,000 people.
Contracts — Breach –Action against board members Pikesville Recreation Council (“PRC”) terminated and stopped paying appellants, Kimberly Pinsky and Elizabeth Ann Burman, who were two teachers in one of PRC’s preschools. Appellants filed a breach of contract action to recover their lost wages against PRC and its individual officers and board members—appellee and cross-appellant Steven ...
          #498 Part 2: Beetlejuice Pants        

The Right Thing: Kristin starts acting all high and mighty on her moral high ground.

Goody Two Shoes: Trying to school Kristin on the proper way to live your life by having a stealing phase.

Evergreen State College: We start out talking about Otto Wambier and get into the protests at Evergreen College.