Make Sure You have a Safe Dog for a Pet

By on 8-05-2013 in Insurance Bad Faith

The 2007 survey conducted by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association showed that 71.1 million US households had at least one pet. Breaking down these pets’ rank and numbers, the results showed freshwater fish at top spot and numbering to 142 million, cats came in second at 88.3 million, while at third spot, with 74.8 million, were dogs. Well, considering the number of offspring these pets are capable of producing, that would explain their rank and the number. However, when it comes to which pet is loved most, then there is a completely different story to tell.

While pet owners will naturally express their love for their fish or cat, majority of them never hide their adoration for dogs. Thus, despite having a cat or fishes in the house, many also have a dog around.

Dogs are simply great pets; they are terrific companions, great and dependable protectors, and they are great with kids. To make sure, though, that you get a dog that quite perfectly fits such descriptions, dog experts say that it is important that you carefully choose the breed of dog you intend to have. This is because, while dogs are generally friendly, there are certain breeds that are more rough and hostile than gentle and friendly.

One specific breed of dogs that dog experts would never recommend, especially if you intend to allow your very young children to play with them, are Pit bull terriers (and their mixes) and Rottweilers. Pit bull is one dog breed that has been identified in, at least, 250 fatal attacks on senior citizens and children between 2005 and 2012. In many US states, these dogs have even been branded as lethal weapons, that courts have even authorized law enforcement officers to shoot them if they manifest any threat to attack or bite.

Dog bites are not caused by Pit bulls and Rottweilers alone, however, as other breeds (though in very minimal numbers), have also bitten people, especially if they feel threatened or to protect their owners. In fact, the US Centers for Disease Control Prevention (CDC) says that 800,000 individuals are victims of dog bites in the US every year.

Regardless of how friendly your dog is, once it bites or attacks anyone, you, as the owner, may legally face responsibility towards the victim, especially if he/she sustains an injury. For the victim, seeking legal advice immediately after a dog bite or attack will prove helpful as this will make him/her understand if his/her situation deserves pursuing legal actions. A Louisville personal injury attorney is someone who might be able to help in this type of legal matter.

Protecting Nursing Home Residents from Abuse

By on 8-05-2013 in Insurance Bad Faith

Nursing home abuse is a dark reality that is difficult to face. We place a huge amount of trust in the institutions that provide care for our elderly loved ones. It can be devastating to consider that this trust gets continually broken behind the scenes. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have found, there are over a million Americans living in nursing homes all over the United Sates. Unfortunately, due to the nature of their conditions, the residents in these institutions are particularly vulnerable to injustices that are rampant behind closed doors. One of the ways the government helps the nursing home residents is through the implementation of the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987, which you can read in full from the National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center. It sets certain rules and requirements that keep nursing homes accountable for the welfare of their residents. In particular, it also establishes that all these residents are entitled to the following basic rights:

  • The right to freedom from mistreatment, neglect, and abuse
  • The right to freedom from physical restraints
  • The right to privacy
  • The right to have medical, physical, psychological, and social needs appropriately accommodated
  • The right to participate in social activity, such as resident and family groups
  • The right to communicate freely
  • The right to exercise self-determination
  • The right to be treated with dignity
  • The right to participate in one’s care plan, which includes being fully informed of any changes in treatment and other health care directives
  • The right to voice grievances without discrimination or fear of being reprised

Despite such policies having been implemented in the last few decades, the cases of nursing home abuse continue to take place away from the public eye. Unfortunately, cases of intimidation, malnutrition, use of force, neglect, misuse of medication, and sexual abuse remain rampant. Data gathered by the National Center on Elder Abuse points out that nearly 1 out 10 have been cited for violations that lead to cases of harm and serious injury. This doesn’t include incidents that have remained unreported.   The policies and regulations imposed by the government can only do so much to prevent nursing home abuse. Significant change can only take place if the culture of silence and violence is eradicated. Nursing homes and long-term care facilities must be held accountable for physical, emotional, and psychological trauma caused to victimized residents.

Possible Claims in a Benicar Lawsuit

By on 8-05-2013 in Insurance Bad Faith

The first  lawsuit was filed in February 2014 by a Texas resident alleging serious injury as a result of taking the drug, but many more are likely to follow. There are several claims that potential plaintiffs can make with the help of a qualified Benicar lawyer.

Benicar was aggressively marketed by Sankyo and Forest Labs as a safe and efficacious alternative for patients with intolerance for other classes of antihypertensive drugs including angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. They called Benicar the “ARB with superior efficacy.”

This earned the co-promoters a slap on the wrist by the FDA in 2006 for making false and misleading statements because the studies did not substantiate their claims. The drug was also reviewed in 2010 to determine if there was increased risk of cardiac problems or cancer, but found no evidence to suggest that there was. Despite all this attention, Sanyo and Forest Labs racked up more than $2 billion in sales in 2012 from Benicar alone, representing millions of prescriptions, and because the medication is for the management of hypertension, it is likely that most of these prescriptions were ongoing.

The problem with Benicar emerged 10 years after it had been circulating in the US market. It turns out that patients on Benicar who exhibited symptoms of Celiac disease but were serologically negative for the disorder were actually suffering from a condition known as sprue-like enteropathy. It caused chronic diarrhea and malnutrition that increased in severity over time until the damage becomes permanent and irreversible. The link between the mysterious condition and Benicar was finally established when the symptoms stopped when Benicar use was discontinued.

The first Benicar lawsuit alleges that Sankyo and Forest Labs failed to conduct adequate clinical testing of the drug prior to being sold on the market. It further claimed that they knew or should have known that use of Benicar of more than one year increased the risks of serious and permanent side effects such as sprue-like enteropathy, and failed to warn the public about these risks.

Treating TBI through Tongue Stimulation

By on 8-05-2013 in Insurance Bad Faith

The human tongue may play yet another very important role besides enabling man to speak with clarity and taste food, that is, reversing the incapacitating effects of traumatic brain injury or TBI. This therapeutic role of the tongue was discovered by scientists at the Tactile Communication and Neurorehabilitation Laboratory in the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It involves a treatment process that is expected to greatly improve the condition of people suffering from different types of brain injuries.

The human tongue has sensory receptors that are attached to the nervous system; some even go straight to the brain. By stimulating these sensory receptors through the use of the Portable NeuroModulation Stimulator, or PoNS, brain functioning is found to have gotten better.

PoNS is a battery-powered electronic device intended to treat traumatic brain injuries which cause prolonged impairments to a person’s balance, coordination and memory. It was actually used to treat over 250,000 US soldiers between 2000 and 2012.

Responses to the Deferred Action Program

By on 8-05-2013 in Insurance Bad Faith

Under the Obama Administration, the Deferred Action program was issued in June of 2012 with the intention of providing more legal flexibility and protection over illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children. The program is designed to defer removal action against people if they do not pose a threat to national security. The program covers accepted candidates for two years and is subject to renewal. Though renewing deferred action is possible, no one is guaranteed continued coverage.

According to multiple Latino news outlets, from August of 2012 to June of 2013 about 400,500 out of 538,000 deferred action applicants were accepted for coverage. After being accepted to the deferred action program the candidate is able to obtain legal documentation for employment. Despite majority of cases that are accepted, the Brookings Institute projects that nearly twice the amount of people that apply for coverage are eligible. Factors like the $465 application fee, lack of proof of documentation, and misinformation about the program keep people from applying and receiving coverage. In order to apply, the candidate must provide documentation from their previous country and often times, locating and obtaining that documentation can be nearly impossible.

Deferred Action was created in order to offer an alternative to the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act since its legislation was stalled in Congress. According to the website of the Law Office of William Jang, PLLC, unlike the DREAM Act, deferred action does not lead to citizenship; it is merely a temporary reprieve from the threat of deportation. Since they are one of the fastest growing and most culturally influential groups in the United States, Latinos view deferred action as a temporary solution.