Families of Workers Who have been Exposed to Asbestos are also in Danger of Developing Mesothelioma

Thirty years after she came in contact with asbestos, this now 36-year old woman from St. Paul, Minnesota is found to be with mesothelioma, a deadly cancer with no known cure.

Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos, a mineral that was very widely used during late 19th and early 20th centuries. Workers who were regularly exposed to asbestos then included asbestos miners, and those who worked in manufacturing plants, power plants, construction sites, chemical plants, mills, railroads and shipyards, where thousands of enlisted personnel, especially from the US Navy were assigned.

Asbestos’ elasticity and resistance from heat rendered it a perfect fire retardant component in the production of thousands of different commercial and household products. Although perfectly useful, this mineral was discovered to release sharp fiber dusts which mixes easily with air, water and the food we eat. Once inside the body, these dusts accumulate in the lungs, scarring and damaging these over a period of time.

The surprising thing about the 36-year old woman diagnosed with mesothelioma was how she came in contact with asbestos. What she could remember was, when still aged six, she would always hug her father, a demolition worker, as soon as he arrived from work. Afterwards, she would put on and play with his dust and dirt-covered coat and shoes.

Mesothelioma is a rare form of malignant cancer that develops in the mesothelium, a lining that protects the internal organs, like the lungs, the heart, and the abdomen. One of the worst things about this malignant cancer that causes extreme pain is that it takes about 20 to 40 years to develop.

The owners and managers of the firms where mesothelioma victims previously worked knew about the dangers which exposure to asbesto would result to. Despite this, they chose to expose their workers to the deadly effects of asbestos for profit. Though many of these firms have already ceased operations, the government made sure that these were able to set up a Mesothelioma Compensation Trust Funds for the purpose of compensating workers whose lives and whose quality of living have been ruined.

According to the Williams Kherkher law firm, many more Americans may be at risk of developing mesothelioma due to the wide use of asbestos for a very long time. Though the effects of this cancer is irreversible, diagnosing the illness early on may help prolong the life span of the affected victim. Individuals who know or who think they have been exposed to asbestos (even during the early years of their lives) should never have second thoughts about approaching a doctor to have their medical condition checked.

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Truck Driver Error, the Cause of Majority of Large Truck Accidents

Contrary to the results of a number of surveys which say that accidents involving passenger cars and trucks are more blamable on car drivers, a study conducted by the Federal Motor carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rather says that trucking accidents are more due to errors committed by drivers of large trucks.

These errors are usually results of many different factors which directly affect a truck driver’s capability to react properly and on time to danger. The top three factors that the FMCSA has identified include driver fatigue, driving too fast for road conditions, and impairment due to intoxication from prescription and/or over-the-counter-drugs; other causes of these errors are speeding, unfamiliarity with the road or vehicle, driving distractions and inattention, improper attachment of trailer, failure to check blind spots, depowering of the front brakes (this is what truck operators commonly do in order to minimize wear and tear on tires and breaks and so save on operating costs), and failure to make sure that the brakes are in good working condition.

In an article posted on its website, the Chris Mayo Law Firm points out why it is of utmost importance that truck drivers and trucking companies exercise the strictest caution and control in the operation of large trucks. Due to the enormous size of a commercial truck, it is deemed as a significant hazard on the road, considering the major damages to properties and the severe injuries it can cause if ever an accident occurs. Regrettably, some truck operators and/or drivers fail to act responsibly and carefully, a failure that often ends up in tragic road mishaps.

Once on the road, truck drivers can practically do whatever they want, like drive continuously despite feeling fatigued, just to be able to cover as many road miles as possible, or drive over the speed limit or too fast for certain road conditions. Because of these, as well as the fact that driving a truck is just much more challenging than driving any passenger vehicle, both the federal and local authorities make sure that a driver, before being granted a commercial driver’s license, has been given the necessary training in the safe operation of large trucks, has passed the required tests, and is totally aware of how dangerous trucks can be on roads and highways.

According to the Highway Loss Data Institute, a non-profit research organization, there were at least 3,500 fatal large truck accidents in 2013. About 570 truck drivers lost their lives in these accidents; all other fatalities were passengers of smaller vehicles, bicyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians.

While it may be tempting to say that many of those who survive large truck accidents are lucky, any personal injury lawyer may say otherwise due to the different types of serious injuries that victims may sustain which, according to a Milwaukee personal injury lawyer, can include brain damage, injuries to the neck and spine, broken bones, severe cuts and bleeding or organ damage.

A serious injury will always necessitate fast medical attention and maybe long-term recovery care too. The high cost of medical treatment, worsened by the loss of wages due to days or weeks of absence from work, can very well lead to financial problems.

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Defective Airbags: A Cause of Great Risk to Car Occupants

A car airbag, otherwise identified as Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 208 (FMVSS 208), is a vehicle safety device that is designed for a dual purpose: provide protective cushion and lengthen the time of impact between a car driver (and passenger) and a car’s interior components, such as the steering wheel, dash board and the windows – in order to lessen the possibility of serious crash injuries.

General Motors was the first car manufacturer to introduce the use of frontal air bags, offering this “Occupant Crash Protection” device as optional equipment in at least 10,000 of its vehicles from 1974 to 1976. Lack of consumer interest, however, made General Motors terminate this program, which majority of car manufacturers in the US resisted anyway. Thus, rather than equip their vehicles with a device which the government considered as life-saving, these manufacturers designed their cars with a fancy trim and striking upholstery instead since customers obviously preferred these more. Even when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) mandated in July 1984 that all passenger cars manufactured after April 1, 1989, should be equipped with an automatic occupant protection (an air bag or an automatic seat belt), some manufacturers continued to invest on improving their car’s look, allotting for crash protection devices a budget which could afford nothing more than an airbag with a cheap and unsafe design.

Despite the “unintentional” fatalities and severe injuries that deploying frontal airbags inflicted on adults (with small stature) and children during low speed or minor crashes, the NHTSA was convinced that the said occupant protection device was more beneficial than harmful, especially during potentially fatal crashes. To make sure, therefore, that this protection which an airbag can provide during crashes would benefit all motorists, the 1991 US Congress passed the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act, a law that mandates the installation of a driver (frontal) air bag, a passenger air bag, and manual lap-shoulder belts in all passenger cars and light trucks manufactured after September 1, 1997, and September 1, 1998, respectively.

Now, while it may be true that airbags save thousands of lives, one cannot simply disregard reports which speak of malfunctioning ones, such as airbags failing to deploy, an airbag suddenly deploying on its own, or one that deploys with such an impact, thus, causing death rather than saving lives.

Very recently, Takata airbags unexpectedly inflating with excessive explosive power and shooting potentially-fatal metal fragments inside the vehicle have been linked to hundreds of injuries and at least five deaths. This particular defect has resulted to 19 million vehicles being recalled in the US (this figure is based on safercar.gov records as against the more than 30 million stated in other sites) and a total of 53 million cars worldwide, including Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, General Motors, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Chrysler, BMW and Lexus.

As explained by on the website of a personal injury attorney in Milwaukee, the mechanical and electrical systems of an automobile are incredibly complex and there are times when one its parts is either manufactured or installed improperly. A mistake can appear without warning, endangering the safety of a vehicle’s occupants in the process.

A the website of NCR Legal also affirms the high risk of injuring-causing accidents that defective auto parts can bring about.

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Bridal Hair and Makeup in Houston

Like most girls, you too may have dreamt about your wedding while you were still little . . . the kind of dress you would be wearing, the place where you will be wedded, how beautiful you would look, and how perfect your husband will be.

Well, of course, you know that, come that day, more than on your husband to be, all eyes will rather be on you, staring at, and staring again, at three very important things: your dress, your hair and your make up.

Some brides want to think of themselves as knowledgeable in makeup application and hair styling, thus, they do most of these things on their own or with the help of a friend or kin. One thing you should know, however, is to never make this mistake.

Your Wedding Day is one of the most important days of your life. But, however you would want to look, with a touch of glamor or simplicity, the best way is to leave it to the experts – people who have been trained in bridal hair and makeup.

On its website, Therapy Salon explains that bridal hair and makeup should not only be beautiful, memorable and flawless, but should also be able to endure the weather, especially if you are planning for a wedding outdoors.

While some salons will leave you at the hands of any of its hair-stylists and makeup artists who, like a general surgeon able to treat a wide range of illnesses, would claim being knowledgeable in all kinds of hair styles or makeup artistry, respectively, well-established and trusted salons have trained and certified experts who handle certain types of hair styles or makeup. This is to make sure that you look your absolute best on this extremely special occasion.

Therefore, rather than have your hair lose its style during the so many hugs and kisses after the ceremony (long before the dancing part) or suffer the embarrassment of your face slipping off because the primer, setting powder, foundation, blush, mascara, and eye shadow used were not budge-proof, why not go to the experts. Your wedding may last only for a few hours, but the pictures which will capture just how beautiful or “not so beautiful” you are will last forever.

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Potential Danger of Scaffolds

Long pieces of metal and wood laid scattered almost as long as a city block after a scaffolding collapse at an apartment complex that was under construction in downtown Houston in October of 2015. Of the 200 construction workers at the site, six were said to have been injured; they were immediately rushed to the nearest hospital.

The increasing number of high-rise construction jobs and the need to restore the aesthetic appearance of many old buildings in the US has also led to an increase in the number of workers who need to work on scaffolds to be able to reach the exteriors of tall buildings. In fact, more than a million construction workers are said to be working on scaffolds every day, which means more than a million lives always in danger.

Scaffolding is a provisional structure that is either suspended from above or supported from below. It is used to support workers and the materials they will use in the construction, repair and maintenance of man-made structures like buildings and bridges. Due to the many accidents (because of collapsing scaffolds) in the past, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), an off-shoot of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) of 1970 and which is charged with the regulation and enforcement of the OSH Act mandate of creating a safe and healthy working environment for all employees, saw it fit to impose a standard on scaffoldings to reduce incidences of falls or scaffold collapse that lead to injuries or workers’ death.

The website of law firm Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® says that the construction industry is one of the most dangerous career fields in the US; it is also very aware that accidents which injure construction workers can most likely result to a number of daunting consequences, such as loss of income, due to time spent in recovery and costly bills for medical treatment. This is why the firm strongly emphasizes the importance of an injured worker understanding his or her legal rights and options in seeking the compensation that he or she may have a legal right to receive.

Avoiding a work-related accident, which will save an employer additional expenses, such as higher Workers’ Compensation premiums, is totally possible, first by complying with OSHA safety standards, which includes using the right type of scaffolds based on the type of job to be accomplished, the materials to be loaded on these and the weather condition and, second, by double checking the structure, to make sure that it has been assembled firmly and properly.

Another law firm, the Abel Firm, explains in its website the importance of scaffolding in various types of construction projects, how it enables a construction crew to reach a tall building’s exterior levels which cannot be accessed by ladders. However, this structure will need to have good and strong material and should be assembled properly, otherwise, it will only put workers and bystanders at risk of serious injury.

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US Supreme Court Rules on Immunity of Generic Drugs from Legal Liability: Where do Injured Patients Stand?

In 2004, Karen, who complained of a sore shoulder was prescribed with Sulindac, a generic anti-inflammatory drug that is manufactured by Mutual Pharmaceutical. After three weeks of medication, she started experiencing extreme pain and her skin began to peel off, exposing her raw flesh, making it look like she had a third degree burn.

The new disease that Karen developed is called toxic epidermal necrolysis, a drug’s side effect about which many drug companies fail to warn patients. Karen’s only choice was to sue Mutual Pharmaceutical (in New Hampshire state court ) for her new severe illness and for the drug firm’s failure to warn about its drug’s possible side effect. After winning the case, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also took action, requiring Mutual Pharmaceutical and Merck & Co., manufacturer of the drug’s branded version, to mention (the drug’s) side effects in the warning labels.

The FDA is the government agency responsible for approving which prescription drugs (and many other kinds of products, including medical and radiological devices, food and cosmetics, biologics, veterinary drugs, and tobacco products) can be brought to the market and used as treatment for certain kinds of illnesses. Of the FDA’s six centers, it is the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) which is directly charged in making sure that all drugs marketed in the US are safe and effective. While CDER’s Office of Testing and Research does study a drug’s quality, safety, and effectiveness before approving it, this study is only partial as the exhaustive test on the drug, including clinical trials (experiments wherein human subjects are used to determine a drug’s effectivity and the side effects it may cause), is the responsibility of the drug’s manufacturer. Clinical trials data are necessitated by the FDA as these will show whether the drug needing approval meets, or does not meet, the level of safety and effectiveness required by the FDA.

Now, considering all the studies and tests a drug is subjected to prior to actual formulation and approval, it would be very interesting to know exactly why some drugs are found and proven to be causing adverse effects, while some are even linked to patients’ death.

While some medical experts agree on the fact that a patient’s overall health condition, use of other medication, immune system and family history can directly affect a particular drug’s performance (thus while some specific drugs may work effectively in some patients, these very same medicines may cause adverse effects in others), others point out a loophole in the testing and approval process. Specifically, since clinical trials and other tests are performed and funded by the drugs’ manufacturers themselves, they have total control, therefore, of all data and test results. Due to this control some choose to commit the fraud of forwarding to the FDA only the positive results derived from the tests, while keeping or destroying the negative ones.

The two reasons stated cannot be discounted and they offer a clear proof why some drugs, including Sulindac, the generic anti-inflammatory drug mentioned above, are considered threats rather than remedy to some patients. In its website, the National Injury Law Center mentions a flaw in the FDA’s approval process and this agency’s failure to sometimes detect certain types of problems. The consequence of this flaw, however, will be seen in patients, whose health conditions may be dramatically harmed by the drug.

Another source of real worry for harmed patients is the latest US Supreme Court ruling, which exempts all manufacturers of generic drugs (which make up about 80% of all drugs consumed in the US) from any liability due to mislabeling or side effect/negative reaction that their drug/s may cause in patients.

This ruling is based on the premise that generic drugs are simply copies of their brand name counterparts, thus, they contain exactly the same formula and present the same risks. If anyone should bear liability for mislabeling or adverse effects caused by a drug, it should be, according to the Supreme Court, those who originally formulated and manufactured the brand named drugs.

Patients harmed by any type of medication should never be denied of the compensation that they have a legal right to seek due to the pains and sufferings and all other damages that they have been unjustly made to suffer. The said Supreme Court ruling, however, just made the already complex law that cover pharmaceutical products much harder to understand and deal with.

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Breast Augmentation: Is this Procedure Right for You?

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the total count of breast augmentation procedures performed in the US in 2014 was 286,254. Breast augmentation, clinically called augmentation mammoplasty, which has been the number one cosmetic surgical procedure in the US since 2005, is the surgical placement of implants in a woman’s breasts. It is intended to improve/restore symmetry or increase fullness of the breasts, enlarge naturally small breasts, or restore breast volume which is greatly affected by pregnancy, weight reduction, breast cancer surgery or mastectomy. Besides these reconstructive or medical reasons, there are also personal ones which make some women decide to undergo the procedure, like the desire to look younger, boost their self-esteem, boost their sex life and, according to some, to make their clothes fit better.

Augmenting the breasts may be done through the use of implants that are placed under the breast tissue or chest muscles. Implants, which last about 10 years, has an outer layer that is made of firm silicone, while its inside may be filled with silicone gel, saline solution or salt water, or a composite of alternative substances.

On its website, Bergman and Folkers Plastic Surgery mentions how highly individualized a procedure breast augmentation is; however, though it can be performed for corrective purposes, it cannot correct pendulous or sagging breasts. To restore the youthful firmness and shape of breasts, breast mastopexy or a breast lift will first be required; only after this breast lift may breast augmentation be performed.

Despite some of the risks associated with breast augmentation procedures (the fact is, any surgical procedure poses some kind of risk), this type of cosmetic surgery is safe, thus, the more than quarter of a million women undergoing it every year.

However, before finally deciding whether one should undergo breast augmentation and which implant to choose, it is necessary to discuss things first with your trained and certified cosmetic surgeon, especially if one wants it simply because she wants to look better and she has seen how the procedure has really had great results in others.

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The Effects of a DUI Offense to Service Members

Driving under the influence of alcohol or any type of impairing drug (whether prescription or illegal) is a crime in all 50 states as well as in the District of Columbia. Regardless of how it is referred to, DUI, for driving under the influence, DWI, for driving while intoxicated, or some other name, it is a serious offense that is met with costly fines and harsh punishments. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), alcohol impairment is the cause of about 40% of all traffic deaths in the US.

While the effects of a DUI charge to a civilian can be devastating, to uniformed service members it can be doubly overwhelming since facing a civilian or a military DUI, or both, can impact their personal lives and military career. This is because even if a DUI incident and arrest have taken place off a military base and will be heard in a civilian court, the charge can be filed by both civilian and military authorities. Worse, even if the civilian court acquits a service member, he or she can still be subjected to punitive actions (based on the same incident and arrest) from the military, since the military normally has jurisdiction over any crimes committed anywhere by active duty service members.

Getting arrested for a DUI on base, however, can possibly result to the following, even worse, consequences:

  • First, though saved from facing a civilian criminal charge, the state is authorized, if it wishes to do so, to suspend one’s driving privileges or require the installation of an interlock device in his or her vehicle;
  • Second, be charged with drunken or reckless driving, which is stipulated under Section 911: Art. 111 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), and be subjected to a court martial and administrative actions. A court martial can result to imprisonment, grade reduction, forfeiture of pay, or dismissal from service; an administrative action, on the other hand, can result to revocation of driving privileges, cancellation of pass, letter of reprimand, mandatory treatment for substance abuse, reduction in grade (depends on rank), corrective training (like a mandatory refresher course on military laws), or getting barred from being reenlisted. Repeated alcohol-related misconduct within a year can result to separation from service; or,
  • Third, be offered a non-judicial punishment (NJP), which is authorized by Article 15 of the UCMJ. Non-judicial punishment (or “Article 15” in the US Armed Forces and US Air Force; “Captain’s Mast” in the US Navy and the US Coast Guard; and, “Office Hours” in the Marine Corps) is a form of military justice which allows commanders to discipline the members of his troops.

According to Flaherty Defense Firm, uniformed service member can either accept non-judicial punishment or refuse it and choose a court-martial trial instead (in like manner, one loses his or her right to a court-martial trial if he or she opts for the NJP). Regardless of how service members choose to defend themselves, though, be it in a civilian court, a military court or before a commander, after choosing NJP, it will always be better if, during the preparation of their personal testimony and evidences, they are represented or assisted by a lawyer, who has extensive experience in litigating military cases.

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