A quick Google search shows that chemical agricultural giant Monsanto is a polarizing figure in public discourse. The company is always front and center when debates about the safety of genetically modified organisms or GMOs are discussed in the public stage. However, these discussions rarely touch on Monsanto’s history of toxic contamination and pollution. Before it shifted its focus on chemical agriculture and biotechnology, Monsanto was a leader in the chemical industry. The company used to be the top producer of polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs, a synthetic chemical compound used as industrial coolants and insulators during the 1920s until the late 1970s.
PCBs have unique properties that made them useful for a wide variety of industrial and chemical applications. They are nonflammable, chemical stable, can withstand high temperatures, and have electrical insulating properties. These qualities made PCBs vital materials for everything from flame proof Christmas trees to sealants and adhesives in commercial buildings. Despite its utilitarian benefits, it soon came to light that PCBs posed potential health risks. According to an in-depth report by The Washington Post, evidence that Monsanto PCBs can cause detrimental health effects has been found as early as 1966. Unfortunately, the chemical industry giant chose to keep these findings confidential until two years before the government imposed a ban against the toxic chemical substance.
Monsanto produced PCBs at a local factory in the Alabama city of Anniston. For almost four decades, the city’s west side Snow Creek became the company’s dumping ground for chemical wastes and by-products. According to The Washington Post, this practice caused millions of pounds of PCBs to seep through open landfills and contaminate nearby areas. Confidential Monsanto files that surfaced after the state-imposed ban show that the company has long been aware of their pollution problem and did very little to mitigate the problem. The 1966 report showed that certain managers discovered how the fish in an affected creek “turned bell-up within 10 seconds, spurting blood and shedding skin as if dunked into boiling water.” A few years later, in 1969, The Washington Post noted that Monsanto found fishes in another affected creek with PCB levels 7,500 times above the legal level.
The city of Anniston continues to suffer the devastating effects caused by PCB pollution. The environmental damage and health risks caused by Monsanto PCBs have resulted in a number of lawsuits. By 2008, Monsanto paid up to $550 million to settle claims made by more than 20,000 Anniston residents exposed to PCB. However, many of these residents continue to deal with health issues caused by toxic exposure. Plenty of areas around Anniston also remain toxic, waiting for dredging procedures to help clear sediments and waters of the dangerous substance. Today, the Environmental Protection Agency identifies PCBs as probable human carcinogen.
Police shot a man to death in the early afternoon of March 23, 2015 as he was attempting to flee in a car. His family says there was no need for the police to have killed the 24-year-old.
Police involved incidents have come under intense scrutiny following a series of controversies about the use of excessive force. An Atlanta personal injury lawyer could carefully examine a case like this one. The shooting occurred in Cobb County when Nicholas Thomas tried to avoid arrest by Smyrna police officers for violating the terms of his probation. According to the police, Thomas tried to run down the police officer who shot him. The case is under investigation. In the meantime, the police officer who shot and killed Thomas is currently on administrative leave. This is part of the standard procedure in officer-involved shootings.
The family insists that it was not necessary to kill the young man as his probation involved a traffic citation. However, Thomas had a long history of run-ins with the law. He was charged in 2013 for aggravated assault when he tried to run down a police officer of the Kennesaw State University. In the most recent case that led to Thomas’s death, the police says that the officer shot the young man, who was in a white Maserati at the time and headed straight for him, in self-defense.
It may very well turn out that the officer had no choice but to shoot the man for his own safety. On the other hand, it may have been a error in judgment. When a person dies because of human error, such as excessive force, this is considered wrongful death. If you suspect that a close family member dies because of the negligent or impulsive action of others, you may have a wrongful death case. Consult with a wrongful death lawyer in your state for more information.
One of the most important elements in a doctor-patient relationship is trust; but while this element is a requirement that leans on the patient’s side, the doctor’s duty, to keep this trust alive, is the provision of quality care.
The best ways of providing quality care are through timely treatment, correct diagnosis and effective medication plus, of course, taking time to really listen to patients’ complaints during initial consultation periods (many doctors have fallen into the practice of meeting and diagnosing patients only within 15 minutes, the duration of office visits accorded by many doctors to patients to enable them to meet as many patients as possible during the day).
Quality care, however, has become just a byword to many present day medical professionals (such as doctors, nurses and surgeons). When a doctor fails to live up to his or her responsibility, it leads to many different errors which make up what is identified as “medical malpractice.” These errors include wrong diagnosis or misdiagnosis, delayed or wrong treatment, surgical errors, birth injuries, wrongful death, emergency room errors and hospital negligence, among others.
Most medical errors are definitely preventable; thus, it is a totally sad fact that despite its being such, it ends up claiming 98,000 lives in the US every year (this figure is based on a study made by the government’s Institute of Medicine, which also shows 15 million yearly occurrences of preventable medical errors in the US).
Hospital negligence, specifically, is a fault that applies to errors committed by any hospital employee (doctors, nurses, technicians and all other hospital personnel). Some examples of hospital negligence include: giving a patient the wrong medicine or the wrong dose of medicine; performing an unnecessary surgery or operating on the wrong body part or wrong patient; amputation of the wrong limb; leaving a sponge or surgical instrument inside a patient’s body; use of unsterilized instruments that eventually leads to infection; wrong dose of anesthesia; failure to provide timely treatment; and, failure to properly monitor a patient.
According to the website of the Pohl & Berk law firm, individuals who fall victim to the negligent acts of medical professionals and suffer injuries have the right to pursue legal civil actions against whoever is liable. Medical malpractice lawsuits, for the purpose of seeking claims for damages resulting from any injury, are meant to protect anyone seeking medical care from careless healthcare providers, as well as to encourage hospitals to actively prevent medical errors from happening by taking greater measures to protect their patients.
But though, pursuing legal actions may be an inherent right of all individuals, seeking the assistance of highly-skilled personal injury lawyers or medical malpractice lawyers of the law firm will definitely be in the best interest of the victim.
California has recently passed a piece of legislation that could effectively reclassify a pending, ruled, or served conviction for felony to a misdemeanor. This means a significant improvement to a convicted individual’s future prospects.
Entitled the “Safe Neighborhood and Schools Act,” the new laws were submitted during the November 2014 sessions as Proposition 47, then called the “Reduced Penalties for Some Crimes Initiative” and approved. It is now part of the Penal Code (§1170.18) and technically revises several other sections in the Penal as well as the Health and Safety Code sections of California law.
Essentially, Prop 47 addressed the reclassification of non-serious i.e. less than $950 value and non-violent i.e. unarmed property and drug crimes from a felony to a misdemeanor. This may include possession of drugs in small quantities, shoplifting, and hot checks.
This is a major break for a lot of petty criminals because the laws allow for the reclassification for even those who have already served out their sentences to petition for a modification of their criminal record. When executed properly, the petition will take about 30 days to be processed. Individuals who are on parole or in custody may be reclassified immediately upon petition.
Prop 47 impacts significantly on the employability of qualified felons because once their petition is granted, the felony conviction is erased from their records (effectively expunging it) to be replaced with a misdemeanor, and the employee may rightly claim that they have not been convicted of a felony. Employers routinely reject job applicants that have been convicted of a felony, rarely for a misdemeanor.
However, reclassification is not automatic; it must be petitioned by the individual or their criminal defense lawyer. Reclassification is initiated by submitting a Prop 47 Petition or Penal Code section 1170.18 Petition (they are the same form) to the county clerk’s office. Each county may have slightly different ways of processing the petition but generally they are simple enough if you have all the information. It is still advisable to have a competent lawyer in the county to execute the petition for you to handle any possible objections that the prosecutor’s office may raise.
You may have friends and coworkers who speak about their attorney as if it were perfectly normal to have one. Though the costs of hiring a lawyer are prohibitive to the average person, there are actually ways to have legal representatives on retainer for a fraction of the cost of hiring one in an emergency. Read here about how to find these attorneys and how to establish the relationship.
A good tip to remember when looking to hire a lawyer is to make sure you find a lawyer that has the necessary experience that you're looking for. If you're going to court soon for a criminal case, it wouldn't make sense to bring on a divorce lawyer, you'll need a criminal lawyer. Just like if you are attempting to file a Viagra melanoma lawsuit, you wouldn't want to hire a divorce lawyer.
Make a budget when it comes to paying for legal fees. If you contact an attorney and they are above your price range, try to find someone else. While there is nothing wrong with going a little over your budget, you do not want to choose a lawyer that you will have trouble trying to pay.
You have a right to expect clear, consistent communication with your lawyer. He or she should be able to give you a general summery of what you can expect in terms of your case, as well as what potential issues might arise and what could be done to remedy these issues.
Do not hire a lawyer until you know more about their experience and their results. A young lawyer might be more affordable but you will definitely benefit from hiring a more experienced and more successful lawyer. If possible, try finding a lawyer who has positive experience with very similar cases.
Even if you have not been in trouble or had legal needs before, you now realize that it could happen at any time. Even for routine legal paperwork or getting advice about transactions, it always helps to have professional legal oversight. Take what you have learned here and put it to use in finding the legal help that you may need.
When a person dies, any property and assets that are left behind, these are usually processed through what is called probate. Probate laws differ from state to state, and in California, it is easy to avoid probate court.
For one thing, it isn’t necessary for all estates. Notably, community property with the spouse and living trusts are exempt from probate, and so are assets owned in joint tenancy with survivor clauses. Other assets exempt from probate are accounts with a named beneficiary after death. When assets have a total value of less than the state cap, currently $150,000, the estate may also be exempt from probate, and will require heirs to simply execute an affidavit or alternatively pass through a quick summary probate.
Inherited assets with no value limit can be transferred to a registered domestic partner or spouse using a Spousal Property Petition or the domestic partner equivalent. Technically, it still goes through probate but it is a quick, streamlined procedure.
When probate is required, it is mostly handled according to the rules prescribed in the Independent Administration of Estates Act (Cal. Probate Code § 10400), which empowers the executor to act independent of the probate court in most things. It can take from 6 to 12 months to go through once the executor of a will or a court-appointed administrator starts the process by filing a Petition for Probate at the appropriate county court.
Typically, the filing fee is $400, although some counties may charge a little more. Los Angeles County, for example, charges $435 for a first filing in 2014. If everything goes swimmingly, the process goes faster. If not, such as when the will is contested or other problems arise, Los Angeles probate lawyers will be needed to sort it out.
Probate in California is largely a matter of getting a ton of paperwork done; many of the forms that need to be filled out are available online for free from the website of the California Judicial Council. Technically, a lawyer is not needed to do this. However, problems can arise when the procedure is not followed correctly so a probate lawyer is usually recommended when regular probate is required. Probate lawyers in California are usually paid a statutory fee, a percentage of the total value of the assets that pass through probate. The rate will depend on what the statute currently dictates.
There was a time when women would change their look from day to night by simply changing wigs. Nowadays, wigs are more closely associated with cosplayers, and no one really wants to go to a formal dinner looking like the latest big-busted fantasy girl from the current anime film. Besides, wigs are itchy and require a lot of maintenance.
Instead of wigs, women now turn to their hairdressers to give them hair extensions to switch from stodgy schoolteacher to happening party girl. Or you may just want to get a little more volume or length without doing anything drastic. In Texas, for instance, you would look much more the thing with big hair. Here are some types of hair extensions that you may find in the best hair salon in Houston.
This is probably the easiest and cheapest way to get a great big do. A set of clip-on extensions are several (usually 8) hair wefts attached to toupee clips that you can attach to your hair at the start of the day and all through the night, only to be removed before going to ed. Clip-ons are fun and they can be washed and styled just like regular hair but unfortunately don’t last very long if you use them every day. Ask your hairdresser for the best quality clip-ons, preferably made from real hair, so they will last longer.
Instead of a clip, tape hair extensions use, well, tape. The hair wefts are pre-taped and need to be applied by a hairdresser for a seamless look. They stay on until they come off on their own, which can be in as little as 6 weeks, and maintenance is usually low as they are washed as if they were part of your natural hair. The biggest problem of tape hair extensions is that it may be visible if your hair is thin, and you will have to leave off the ponytails for a while.
It may sound like a school project, but glue-in hair extensions look and feel much more natural than the first two methods if it is done correctly by a trained professional. The natural hair is bonded with the hair extension strand by strand using an adhesive such as keratin or glue with a special little hot glue gun. As you can imagine, application is labor and time intensive (so a bit expensive, but really worth it), and you need to go to the salon regularly to maintain it. You will also have to be careful about applying excessive heat or oils to your hair, as these may weaken the bonds. However, it can last up to 6 months with care.
Workers’ compensation insurance coverage is required in most states in the US for most employees. In Illinois, the relevant legislation is the Illinois Worker’s Compensation Act (820 ILCS 305) which was first enacted in 1911 and revised in 2011. Employers may elect to self-insure, except for those in “extra-hazardous” occupations, meaning that they would be responsible for providing workers’ compensation benefits rather than depend on an insurer, but they have to get permission from the state Workers’ Compensation Commission.
Whether covered by an insurance company or by the employer, a worker who sustains a job-related injury is entitled to benefits as stipulated in the law. However, when an accident happens and an employee needs immediate medical attention, there is some confusion about who pays for the bills when a claim has not yet been filed.
Champaign workers’ compensation lawyers will explain that under the law, the employer is responsible for paying for all qualified and reasonable emergency and in-patient medical expenses upon notification of the injury. The medical or health care provider should be notified from the outset that the injury is work-related so that they know that payment should be collected from the employer. The employer may deny a claim and will not have to pay or process a claim with an insurer if it turns out that the medical expenses do not qualify under workers’ compensation, and the worker will then be responsible for the expenses incurred. However, according to the website of the Hankey Law Office P.C., qualified workers may still consult with a disability lawyer to claim benefits for injuries that will prevent the employee from returning to work for at least 12 months. If the disability is permanent, the worker may even qualify for Social Security as well.
If an employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance or fails to give the benefits that an injured worker is entitled to, payment may be forthcoming from the Injured Workers' Benefit Fund if the employee reports this to the Commission in a timely manner. In the meantime, the Commission will go after the employer to get reimbursement for any monies expended on behalf of the injured worker.
When choosing your very first yacht, you need to consider quite a lot of factors. Fishing is a highly personal sport; this is the reason why a custom luxury yacht is the way to go. You can tailor-fit the yacht that will be perfect for the kind of sport you like. Companies like Mikelson Yachts can give you that option, but if you aren’t willing to wait, they can liaise with boat owners or companies selling ready-made yachts as long as you keep in mind the following factors.
Buying a yacht can be a sizeable investment, but even if you have loads of cash, buying the biggest is not always going to be the best. Aside from the expenses of maintaining a large boat, the size of the boat will determine how many people it will need to run. If you are looking for an adventure for one or two people, you will be better off with a smaller, more efficient yacht.
If you intend to use your yacht to get out into the big blue sea, you will need a yacht that can handle the typical weather and other challenges that running offshore will present. On the other hand, if you are planning to stay strictly within sight of the shore, a smaller yacht will do nicely.
Most sport-fishing yachts use V-hulls, but there is much to be said for the power catamaran because it is much more stable in rough weather than V-hulls and uses fuel more efficiently, a major factor when offshore fishing. If you want the option of going farther out, you may want to consider a power catamaran design over the more popular V-hull. If you’re having a hard time deciding, make a test run with both types of yachts to see what works best for you.
Fuel Capacity Issues
Again, how far out you intend to go will determine what fuel capacity you will need. The advertised capacity of a particular yacht may seem ample, but that’s not considering how added equipment will affect the overall weight of the yacht which will affect fuel consumption. The heavier the load, the more fuel you will need to move. An experienced builder will be able to give you recommendations, but don’t hesitate to get a second opinion to make sure you get it down pat.
Hull Draft Specifications
With larger yachts in shallow water, the hull draft may become an issue because you don’t want to damage the hull by scraping the ground. Find out from the manufacturer what the depth is when the yacht is fully loaded with the outboard motor is down and accelerating from a standing start, at which point the draft will be at its peak. With these specs in mind, you will known up to what point you can bring in your yacht.
For some veterans, it may have been safer to stay in the war zone than to come home.
The number of medical malpractice payouts from the VA hospital system increased by 12% within a10-year, and that only represents roughly one-fourth of the number of actual cases that were filed. Any one Atlanta personal injury lawyer should have at least one veteran or an immediate family member as a client.
In many cases, there was no expectation of injury or death. In 2012, the biggest medical malpractice payout ($17.5 million) was to a vet who was left permanently paralyzed from a stroke triggered by tooth extraction. According to an investigative report, there were nearly 4,500 medical malpractice cases filed against the Department of Veteran Affairs over a 10-year period.
But on the other hand, the VA is faring just as badly as the private sector. This is according to Harvard University assistant professor Dr. Anupam Jena based on an analysis of the data gathered in a study participated in by 40,000 doctors. It cannot be denied, however, that VA hospital doctors have no motivation to take preventive measures against medical errors because they cannot be directly sued.
On the other hand, doctors in the private sector can be directly sued, but that does not seem to be making much of an impact. In many cases, it is not what doctors do, but what they don’t that leads to tragedy. In Massachusetts, a missed diagnosis that led to a patient’s death led to a $16.7 million award verdict with the help of a Massachusetts medical malpractice lawyer. The patient’s daughter filed suit against a radiologist who failed to detect signs of lung cancer in a chest X-ray done 18 months before the patient succumbed to that same disease.
The reason behind the rise in medical malpractice is uncertain. It could be because healthcare professionals are becoming more negligent but it could also mean patients are more aware of their rights and protections under the law. If you suspect medical malpractice, you should not hesitate to consult with a lawyer as soon as possible to clarify the case for you.
Not all car accidents end up in injury or death. Most car crashes yield no more than some minor property damage and some majorly pissed off drivers. But when automobile accidents are bad, they can get really bad. Here are some of the worst ones in different states in the US.
Any Lake Geneva car accident lawyer would know about this case. It was 2002 and Interstate 42 in Sheboygan County was shrouded in fog. Whether it was the fog or some other cause of the initial crash has not been established, but the fog definitely contributed to making it one of the worst automobile accidents in the state to date. At the end of the day, 32 people were injured and 10 people were dead.
Texas is a big state, but when more than a 100 vehicles pile up, it makes a noticeable spectacle. Fog was again a contributory if not causative factor in the 140-vehicle chain reaction on Interstate 10 that happened on Thanksgiving Day in 2012. Eight people were seriously injured and more than 50 people required medical attention. There were two fatalities, both of whom were in an SUV that was crushed by an 18-wheeler. The first thing Texas truck accident lawyers would investigate is if the truck driver was traveling faster than the conditions allowed.
Another series of tragic accidents unfolded during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in 1991 in California, but this time it was dust and not fog that impeded road visibility on the I-5. It led to 104-vehicle pileup which included 4 tractor-trailers that stretched over a mile. Thousands of commuters were forced to wait until the next day to get out of the traffic jam after road crews had cleared most of the wreckage. Seventeen people died in the crash, while about 150 others were seriously injured and had to be airlifted transported to hospitals. Again, San Bernardino County personal injury lawyers would have looked into whether drivers involved in the pileup were traveling too fast considering the weather conditions.
If you sustained serious injuries in an automobile accident because of the recklessness of a third party, you should not bear the burden alone. Contact a personal injury lawyer in the area specializing in automobile accidents to know what you can do to get compensation for your losses.