Many prescription drugs are manufactured for specific conditions, but may also be efficacious in others that may not have been intended or studied. Viagra (sildenafil), for instance, was originally formulated as a treatment for hypertension, but is currently more closely associated with erectile dysfunction. Many birth control formulations are also frequently used as a treatment for acne. These are considered “off label” uses and are generally acceptable provided it is done with caution and after some studies have been conducted to investigate the effects of this type of use. In many cases, off label uses have provided unexpected benefits for patients.
But it does not always work out for the best.
One example is Depakote, the anti-seizure medication manufactured by Abbott Labs. It is accepted that prescription medications are likely to have serious side effects, which is why they are not available over-the-counter and patients take it under the supervision of a doctor. But when a drug company in the US encourages the use of a product without the approval of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and personal injury results, it renders the company vulnerable to criminal and civil action.
Depakote is primarily intended to provide relief for epileptic patients; even when used for this, allegations of the drug causing birth defects have sparked legal trouble for the manufacturer for failing to provide adequate and timely warning to physicians and patients. Add to that marketing strategies that encourage off label uses of Depakote for treatment of bipolar disorder and migraines, and there is a recipe for disaster. Many civil lawsuits focus on the fact that women who suffer from bipolar disorder or migraine are prescribed with Depakote when they should not be, and the resulting birth defects of their children are due to this off label use.
If you or someone you know has been described with Depakote for epilepsy or other uses and a child is born with a birth defect such as spina bifida, there may be a personal injury case in the making. Consult with a products liability lawyerfamiliar with Depakote litigation in your area to get advice on how to proceed with a claim.
A popular story that has been circulating by email and on social networks is misleading, although there is a possibility of product liability in specific instances.
The story about how a laptop left on the bed caused the fire which killed its sleeping 25-year-old owner is mostly true, except for the part about what caused it. The young graduate named in the story, Arun Gopalratnam, did actually die from a house fire in June 2010 but fire experts have not determined how the fire got started in the first place.
It is possible that a laptop ignited the fire, but only if there was some type of defect involved. The story was circulated to warn the public about how leaving a laptop on the bed would cause the unit to overheat because the vents are blocked and start a fire is inaccurate. A laptop would not normally cause a fire unless the wiring is defective or the battery is faulty. If, in fact a house fire is caused by a laptop and it was found that unit was defective, it could be the basis for a product liability lawsuit. In general, however, laptops are not a fire hazard, covered vent or not.
That having been said, it is not recommended to keep electronic gadgets such as computers, game consoles, and the like near combustible materials such as pillows and beds. Defects are usually not apparent until an accident happens.
A hit-and-run auto accident is a crime anywhere in the US. Under the Tennessee Code, the statute (55-10-103) specifically requires that the driver who injures or causes the death of another person to remain at the scene of an accident to render aid and reasonable assistance or arrange for transportation of the injured person to a medical facility for emergency treatment.
Being involved in auto accidents is bad enough. Making a run for it just makes it that much worse for everyone involved, especially if it results in injury to another person who may then need assistance which would have mitigated the circumstances. Although the law punishes someone who leaves the scene of an accident more severely when it results in death, the knowledge of undue suffering of the injured person is more distressing especially for the family.
Failing to follow the law as stated in the Tennessee Code for auto accidents involving injury or death to a third party automatically subjects the at-fault driver to both criminal charges and civil litigation. According to the website of Pohl & Berk, LLP, in Nashville, this type of negligence should be sanctioned to the fullest extent allowed under the law, and that includes a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.
In Tennessee, a hit and run auto accident is a Class A misdemeanor unless it results in a death; in which case, it is a Class E felony. As a Class A misdemeanor, the driver may be subject to not more than 11 months 29 days in prison and/or a fine not exceeding $2,500. As a Class E felony, the penalties may include jail time up to 6 years and a fine not to exceed $3,000. However, these sanctions may be superseded by circumstances that may call into action other statutes.
Being convicted in criminal court has no bearing on the at-fault driver’s civil liability. A plaintiff has the right to seek to recover damages sustained as a result of a hit-and-run car accident. An experienced lawyer in Tennessee should be engaged to negotiate a reasonable settlement, if possible, and to effectively bring the matter to civil court.
The laws governing personal injury cases vary from state to state. In terms of determining the possibility and extent of recovery, there are two schools of thought: contributory negligence and comparative negligence. Under the purest form of contributory negligence which is in force in only 5 US states, if the plaintiff is at fault even in the smallest degree (1%), recovery is not possible at all. Under the pure comparative negligence rule which is force in 13 states, the plaintiff may recover damages even if most of the fault can be attributed to the plaintiff (99%) although the recovery would be reduced by the percentage by which the jury determines the plaintiff was at fault.
The remaining states follow a modified comparative negligence rule, which are of two types: the 50 percent bar, and the 51 percent bar. Under the 50 percent bar which includes Oklahoma (23 Okla. Stat. Ann. § 13), the plaintiff may recover damages if he or she is 49% at fault or lower, but not if higher, and the damages are reduced by the degree of fault. According to the website of Abel Law Firm in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, it can be difficult for a victim to recover damages for a serious injury if the lawyer fails to present a compelling enough case about the negligence of the defendant.
The 51 percent bar is essentially the same except that the threshold is 51% meaning that if the plaintiff is 50% or lower at fault, recovery is possible less the degree of fault, but not if it is 51% or higher. States under this second rule includes South Carolina (South Carolina Code 15-38-15). The website of South Carolina law firm Steinberg Law Firm in Charleston states that to make a case stick, it is important to have a knowledgeable advocate to prepare and present a convincing case before the jury.
There are always exceptions to these rules, such as when the defendant is found to be grossly negligent or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Navigating the shoals of civil law can be bewildering to the layman, which is why it is advisable to have legal representation with the requisite knowledge of the pertinent state laws as well as experience in tort litigation. This will ensure that the rights of the victim in an act of negligence will be fully protected, and the recovery maximized.
Many businesses depend on a physical site to conduct business. These include retail establishments including restaurants and theaters; it can also apply to the manufacturing and refining industries. Property damage such as that which results from natural disasters, fires and structural defects can halt operations significantly leading to business income loss.
Most businesses have insurance that covers the costs of repairing buildings and property that sustain damage for whatever reason. In places like Florida which is often visited by hurricanes, this often includes damage from windstorm and flooding. However, not all business owners have the forethought or inclination to guard against business income loss due to property damage, which is not always included in business property insurance.
If a business owner is fortunate enough to have such coverage, making a claim can still be a headache. The problem with business income loss coverage is the computation is open to interpretation. Insurance companies are in the business of making money rather than protecting the interests of their insured, so they will try to get away with giving as little as they can get away with. Underpayment is the name of the game as far as the insurance company is concerned.
As an insured business owner, it is often tempting to just accept whatever settlement the insurance company is offering just to get it over with. Insurance companies rely on the general ignorance of the typical business owner regarding what is rightfully due to them. Florida-based Maddux & Kendall P.A. posits that it is not a good idea to try to meet insurance companies head-to-head when it comes to business income loss claims. An experienced insurance claim lawyer can make sure that a business owner gets the maximum benefit under the terms of the policy. If you are a business owner suffering the economic effects of property damage, engage the services of a good lawyer to fight for your rights under your insurance policy.
Breast augmentation or a “boob job” is often undergone for aesthetic reasons, and breast implants have become more natural-looking with improved procedures. In most cases, this is considered an elective procedure and not recommended for young girls. However, according to the website of plastic surgeons Bergman Folkers Cosmetic Surgery, there are some instances breast augmentation may be necessary to rectify the damage done from an injury such as a dog bite.
Dog bite injuries often have serious consequences. When serious enough, it can cause motion problems, permanent disfigurement and emotional trauma. While a dog bite to the breast may be uncommon among adults, children are more likely to be bitten in the chest area which may involve nipple damage. In a young girl, such a disfigurement can affect later physical development, which in turn can lead to feelings of inadequacy and unattractiveness. Surgical procedures to repair the damage, which may or may not include breast augmentation, would go a long way to addressing these issues. In such cases, it may be necessary to also have a breast lift (breast mastopexy) to make sure that the positioning of the nipple as well as the shape of the breast looks natural.
When injury to the breast in an adult results from an animal attack, it may very well involve significant tissue damage that may take several procedures to correct. The costs associated with repairing breast damage due to a dog bite may be prohibitive. If the dog bite was due to the negligence of the dog owner, it may be necessary to recover damages through a personal injury lawsuit to pay for the reconstructive surgery.
There has been a significant reduction of medical malpractice lawsuits in Connecticut after new laws enacted in 2005 significantly increased the burden of proof of plaintiffs. Before the changes, plaintiffs could file a medical malpractice suit without substantial proof of merit. As stated in the website of the Law Offices of Paul Levin, it was relatively easy to get compensation when medical professionals allowed patients to suffer unnecessary injury. After 2005, however, a medical malpractice lawsuit could only proceed if a certificate of merit signed by a medical profession in a similar capacity as the defendant can be produced.
The improvement in the number of medical malpractice cases could be said to be true for Massachusetts as well, although its method of thinning out the herd was through establishing a tribunal system. A plaintiff would be required to present the case in the early stages of the lawsuit before a superior judge, a lawyer, and a medical professional who is in the same field as the defendant to determine if the case had merit and should be allowed to proceed. In the website of Massachusetts law firm Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, it is stated that in wrong diagnosis cases, it is important that the lawyer handling the case have some medico-legal training to accurately assess the merits of a case being brought in as early as the initial consultation.
Both Connecticut and Massachusetts had dramatic rises in the number of medical malpractice suits prior to legislative reform, resulting in skyrocketing medical malpractice insurance premiums, defensive medicine and fewer doctors willing to practice. With frivolous lawsuits failing to make the cut and costing both sides unnecessary litigation expenses, medical practitioners in both states are breathing a collective sigh of relief.
This is not to say that all medical malpractice suits are frivolous, or that medical professionals are immune from civil litigation. The reforms for both Connecticut and Massachusetts merely ensure that the time and money of litigants and the courts are well spent. If you have a legitimate medical malpractice claim in Connecticut or Massachusetts, you should have no problem proving its merit as long as you have competent legal representation to handle the case for you.