Monday, 25 July 2011

Why Eli Lilly/Xanodyne are Liable in Darvon/Darvocet Injuries

Thousands of people who have filed Darvon/Darvocet injury lawsuits against Eli Lilly and Xanodyne have questions about when the company became aware of the side effects of the use of the painkillers, and why it concealed these effects.

It's not easy for any Darvocet injury attorney to answer questions about exactly when these pharmaceutical companies became aware about these side effects. These medications were banned in Europe in 2005. It is safe to assume that Eli Lilly and Xanodyne were aware of these side effects at least as far back as then.

However, questions about why these companies concealed these side effects from users are easier to answer. In most cases where pharmaceutical drugs cause injuries and illnesses, it ultimately turns out that the company was aware of the side effects and complications arising from the medication, but chose not to reveal these to the public.

Before a pharmaceutical drug is introduced into the market, it must be put through a rigorous process of testing and trials. The company is required to do its own testing into the medication before it submits an application for approval to the FDA. Unfortunately, the approval process at the Food and Drug Administration often tends to be less than adequate, and the agency depends very heavily on the word of the companies. Often, companies are in a hurry to introduce their new drug onto the market, and many clinical trial studies indicating side effects or complications may be suppressed, or ignored.

The Food and Drug Administration often waits until it has dozens of reports of injuries and illnesses arising from the use of a medication, before it decides to step in. The agency has admitted that it has up to 3,000 reports of Darvon/Darvocet related injuries including cardiac arrhythmias, suicidal tendencies, suicidal fantasies, and heart attacks.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Distracted Driving Associated with 25% of All Car Accidents

Distracted driving behaviors are linked to 25% of all car accidents in the United States. That information comes from a report by the Governors’ Highway Safety Association. The report Distracted Driving: What Research Shows and What States Can Do, runs through the increased accident risks that come from distracted driving, and the kinds of measures that states around the country can take to reduce these risks.

This much Woodland Hills car accident lawyers will agree on - distracted driving impacts a driver's ability to drive safely. However, the report claims that drivers can expect to be distracted as much as 50% of the time while they're driving. Moreover, the report claims that car accidents caused by distracted driving probably account for between 15% and 25% of all car accidents. This includes all kinds of car accidents, from those that cause only property damage and no injuries to fatal accidents. Not surprisingly to San Fernando Valley car accident attorneys, the most serious distracted driving behavior is texting while driving. Texting substantially increases the risks of an accident.

The Governors’ Highway Safety Association report urges states to pass measures that will reduce distracted driving practices. These measures include a complete ban on texting while driving and the use of cell phones while driving for all motorists, including a ban on handsets. States like California that already have laws banning cell phone use and texting while driving can do more to enforce these effectively. The report also encourages employers to develop anti-distracted driving programs.

Besides prevention of distracted driving, the Governors’ Highway Safety Association also recommends that states employ low-cost roadway safety measures, like installation of edge line and centerline rumble strips to alert drivers when they are beginning to veer off the road from distractions. The report also encourages states to track distracted driving accidents and report these better.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Senior Pedestrians at High Risk of Accidents in California

Elderly pedestrians in California and around the country are at a much higher risk of pedestrian accidents than young pedestrians. Part of the reason for this has been poor road planning and design, which has failed to take into account the special needs of seniors. For instance, elderly pedestrians take more time to walk across crosswalks that were designed for younger pedestrians. Also these pedestrians are using streets that were mainly designed for automobiles.

Most of our streets were designed decades ago when pedestrian safety concerns were not a priority. There were fewer pedestrians compared to cars then, and roads were designed for the safety of motorists. Flash forward to 2011, and there are approximately 17 million people who will turn 65 this year. Not only are there more seniors now, but these persons are living healthy, productive and independent lives. Many seniors prefer to walk for exercise because it's convenient and inexpensive. Additionally, many older citizens live in cities that have easy access to healthcare facilities. But for many senior pedestrians, the simple act of walking often becomes a life-or-death struggle.

It's about to get worse. Transportation safety groups around the country and Los Angeles car accident lawyers are already warning about an explosion in the number of pedestrian accident fatalities involving seniors over the next few years unless we take action quickly. According to estimates, by the year 2030, elders will account for close to 20% of the nation's population. Those are huge numbers, and our streets are simply not designed for the safety needs of these people.

The federal government must launch pedestrian safety initiatives aimed specifically at the senior population. Further, any new street plans and modifications should take senior pedestrian concerns into account before road designs are implemented.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Veterans Troubled by Illnesses Related to Burn Pits

California veterans’ benefits disability lawyers believe that this could be the Agent Orange of 2011. Veterans are returning home from combat zones in Iraq, suffering illnesses caused due to the nonstop and constant burning of chemicals and waste.

For many veterans, the burning of waste in so-called burn pits poses yet another potential high-risk health hazard. In Corpus Christi, Texas, a vet who has just returned from Iraq is trying to raise attention to the neglected health aspects of these burn pits. According to Capt. Leroy Torres, there were burn pits located close to his army barracks, and these burned 24 hours a day, spewing possibly dangerous chemicals into the atmosphere. As a result of constantly breathing these toxic fumes, he has been ill since he returned from duty.

After his return, he filed a benefits claim with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, but his claim was denied. Torres is continuing to pursue his claim. His family, meanwhile, has been trying to raise attention to the health hazards that face veterans who have been in proximity to these pits. His wife has been meeting with lawmakers to ask them to recognize the health effects of burn pits on the health of service members.

The family is demanding the creation of a national registry for victims of burn pits. The family already has a website, Burnpits360.org, and is asking other victims suffering these from these health effects to come forward and register their names.

What California veterans’ benefits disability lawyers really fear is that the Department of Veterans’ Affairs will continue to turn a blind eye to the health effects from burn pits, until decades later, when these health effects will explode in a generation of Iraq vets.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Former Los Angeles Car Wash Employee Receives $80,000 in Back Wages

A carwash worker in Los Angeles is set to receive $80,000 in back wages after he won a lawsuit that alleged that his employers forced him to report for work early in the morning, but did not allow him to clock in until several hours later in the day.

The lawsuit was filed by Tomas Rodriguez against Handy J Carwash. According to Rodriguez, he and his coworkers had their hours reduced after the owner of the carwash hired other employees to work only for tips. This is a common practice in the carwash industry. Workers are required to report to work early in the morning, but are not allowed to clock in until later. Because these workers are clocking in hours after they begin work, they receive pay for fewer hours. Rodriguez alleges in his lawsuit that as a result of these lower wages, he was not making enough money even to pay his rent and buy groceries.

The car wash owners pressured the workers to remain silent about the situation unless they wanted to be reported to federal immigration authorities. Not surprisingly to California employment lawyers, at least eight of the workers who were initially involved in the lawsuit, dropped out because of this pressure.

The Los Angeles Times has conducted investigations into working conditions in the carwash industry and their reports seem to indicate that carwash owners frequently violate both labor laws and immigration laws. Carwash owners frequently hire illegal immigrants, because they can be paid lower than the minimum wage. In fact, these immigrants are often forced to work only for tips. In that investigation, the Los Angeles Times concluded that the carwash industry has one of the worst records for compliance with California labor laws. Some of these violations include hiring of minor employees, and failing to buy Workers’ Compensation insurance.