THE FIRM’S SEPTEMBER 2014 NEWSLETTER

NEWS

  • Once again, our Firm is raising money and participating in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. This year’s race is being held in downtown Birmingham on October 11, 2014. Komen aims to end breast cancer. If you would like to join our team, Team Kate has Hope, or if you want to donate to this worthy cause, please click on the link: 2017 Komen North Central Alabama Race for the Cure®
  • David attended a day-long seminar about workers’ compensation in Birmingham. The seminar included 12 workers’ compensation specialists who educated the class on the latest workers’ compensation issues in Alabama.
  • Away from the office, David is staying busy coaching his daughters’ soccer teams. This is the 3rd year David has coached his girls’ teams. David enjoys seeing the girls improve each week and looks forward to the post-game snack each Saturday.
  • With the general election coming up in November, if you are not registered to vote, now is the time to do so. To register, folks can print out the form at the Secretary of State’s website and mail it in, or go to any county or state office that provides public assistance and fill out a form there. The Secretary of State’s officewill even mail you a form.
  • David became a Charter Member of the Advocates of Justice Society, which is part of the Alabama Civil Justice Foundation. The Alabama Civil Justice Foundation helps fund nonprofit organizations that are assisting Alabama’s most disadvantaged, disabled and at-risk families and children.
  • Joel Nomberg continues his work with the Baldwin County Veteran’s Court. He reports the members had a productive meeting this month. The purpose of the program is for Veterans to serve as mentors to those Veterans who are in trouble and help them solve their infractions with the court system.

RECENT CASES OF INTEREST

  • In March, David filed a lawsuit in Huntsville, Madison County, Alabama on behalf of a client injured while working. David’s client hurt his back lifting hardwood boards. Our client suffered serious injuries to his back. Our client continues to have pain and leg numbness, requiring ongoing medical care including several prescription medications to treat his daily pain. He worked in the lumber industry for over thirty years, but due to his injuries and permanent work restrictions he can no longer perform this line of work. He is disabled pursuant to the Social Security Administration due to the injuries sustained in the accident. Six months after filing the claim in court, the claim settled at mediation for $150,000 with the employer/workers’ compensation carrier being responsible for our client’s future medical care related to the on-the-job accident. This was a most significant settlement for our client but most important for him, the several medications and other treatment he is prescribed will be paid for by the employer/workers’ compensation carrier. The settlement, which was approved by the Circuit Court Judge, was a very good result for a deserving client. This case was filed in Madison County, Alabama.
  • David filed a workers’ compensation lawsuit in Autauga County on behalf of a boilermaker injured at work. Our Client injured his back at work performing his job duties. He has permanent lifting restrictions; therefore he can no longer perform the job duties of a boilermaker. We look forward to assisting our Client get the workers’ compensation benefits he is entitled to.
  • Bernard settled a St. Clair County case this month. This case involved a fellow who injured his shoulder on the job in a witnessed accident. The accident was timely reported and his medical care was taken care of through workers’ comp until the doctor recommended surgery to repair the torn rotator cuff. The client was then forced to file suit to protect his legal rights. We are very pleased at the settlement. The client now will be able to have the medical care he needs to get him back to be able to work and move on to bigger and better things.
  • Bernard settled a case out of Tuscaloosa County that involved a client who worked on an assembly line for many years. As a result for the repetitive movements required by his job, the client developed bilateral carpel tunnel syndrome in both wrists. To relieve the pressure in the wrists the client was forced to undergo surgery in each wrist. We settled his case for full value while keeping his future medical care open. Client returned to work for the employer but in a less strenuous position.
  • Another recent case Bernard settled involved litigation in Bessemer. Client worked for a local steam plant for years as a general laborer. This job required him to be exposed to dust, silica particles and others dangerous airborne particles. This lead to the client developing chronic pulmonary disease which greatly impaired his ability to breathe normally. After many months of heated litigation, we are pleased to report of a great settlement for our client. We recently mediated this case to a successful resolution.
  • David filed a workers’ compensation lawsuit in Jefferson County on behalf of an injured freight delivery driver. Our client injured his back while moving freight resulting in two back surgeries. He cannot return to his normal job duties and has been found disabled by the Social Security Administration. We look forward to representing our client and helping him receive his workers’ compensation benefits.

CASES THE FIRM IS INVESTIGATING

GM Defective Ignition Switch – General Motors (GM) recalled about 780,000 2005-07 Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5 vehicles on Feb. 13. Twelve days later, it expanded the recall to include an additional 590,000 model-year 2003-07 Saturn Ion, Chevy HHR, Pontiac Solstice, and Saturn Sky vehicles. It was later expanded again to include model-year 2006-2011 Chevy HHRs. The recall now encompasses 2.6 million vehicles. Court documents and other evidence reveal that GM knew about the ignition switch problem as early as 2001. The company says it has linked 31 crashes and 13 deaths to the faulty ignition switch, but an independent study commissioned by the Center for Auto Safety indicates the death toll exceeds 300.

Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer – As many as 10,000 cases of ovarian cancer diagnosed each year may have been caused by regular use of talcum powder. Talc is a mineral made of up various elements including magnesium, silicon and oxygen. Talc is ground to make talcum powder which is used to absorb moisture and is widely available in various products including baby powder and adult products including body and facial powder. Talc products used regularly in the genital area could increase the risk of ovarian cancer if the powder were to travel through the vagina, uterus and fallopian tubes to the ovaries. A jury recently found consumer health care products manufacturer Johnson & Johnson knew of the cancer risks associated with its talc products but failed to warn consumers.

Actos – The FDA has approved updated drug labels for Actos, usually prescribed to treat Type 2 diabetes. The new label states that the use of the drug for more than one year may be associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer.

Transvaginal Mesh – The FDA has issued an updated safety communication warning doctors and patients that the placement of surgical mesh through the vagina to treat pelvic organ prolapse may present greater risk for the patient than other options. This is also called transvaginal mesh. According to the FDA, reported complications from using the mesh include the mesh becoming exposed or protruding out of the vaginal tissue, pain, infection, organ perforation and urinary problems.

Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) products for men have been linked to an increased risk of death, heart attack and stroke. Researchers found men who used testosterone therapy were 30 percent more likely to have a heart attack, stroke, or die after three years of use. A second study found that men had a significant increase in risk of heart attack and stroke in just the first 90 days of testosterone therapy use. Furthermore, men who started the study with clear, unobstructed coronary arteries were just as likely to have a heart attack, stroke or die as men who entered the study with established coronary artery disease. Testosterone therapy, such as the prescription topical treatments Androgel, Testim and Axiron, are used to help boost testosterone levels in men who have a deficiency of the male hormone. Symptoms of low testosterone include decreased libido and low energy.

Viagra and Melanoma – A preliminary study indicates the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra (sildenafil) may increase the risk of developing melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. The study, published in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal, analyzed data from nearly 26,000 men, 6 percent of whom had taken Viagra. The men who used Viagra at some point in their lives had about double the risk of developing melanoma compared to men who had never taken the drug. Men who were currently taking Viagra were at an 84 percent greater risk of developing melanoma. We are currently looking at cases involving men who are taking or have taken Viagra and were diagnosed with melanoma.

Risperdal, an atypical antipsychotic drug used to treat schizophrenia and certain problems caused by bipolar disorder, has been linked to the development of gynecomastia in boys and young men. Gynecomastia is a condition that causes boys to grow breasts. The drug is manufactured by Johnson & Johnson.

Metal-on-Metal Hip Replacement parts – The FDA has ordered a review of all metal-on-metal hip implants due to mounting patient complaints. Problems with the metal-on-metal devices include loosening, fracturing and dislocating of the device caused by inflammation in the joint space. We are investigating all cases involving metal-on-metal hip implants, including the DePuy Orthopaedics ASR XL Acetabular System and the DePuy ASR Hip Resurfacing System, recalled in August 2010; the Smith & Nephew R3 Acetabular System, recalled in June 2012; the Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II modular-neck stems, recalled in July 2012; the DePuy Pinnacle, the Zimmer Durom Cup, the Wright Conserve, and the Biomet M2A and M2A-Magnum hip replacement systems, which have not been recalled. Reported problems include pain, swelling and problems walking.

GranuFlo – GranuFlo® and NaturaLyte® are products used in the dialysis process. On June 27, 2012, the FDA issued a Class 1 recall of GranuFlo® and NaturaLyte®. A Class 1 recall is the most serious FDA recall, reserved for situations in which the FDA deems “there is a reasonable probability that the use of or exposure to a violative product will cause serious adverse health consequences or death. Use of these dialysis products has been linked to an increased risk of cardiopulmonary arrest and sudden cardiac death. The manufacturer, Fresenius Medical Care, was aware of the dangers and injuries associated with these products but failed to warn patients and doctors until 2012. We are currently investigating death claims as well as claims of heart attack, cardiopulmonary arrest or any other serious injury.

BP Oil Spill – The settlement claims center has now started trying business claims again under the new matching rules set out by the Judge. Claims can still be filed under the settlement. Any business not excluded in the settlement in ANY part of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, or the west coast of Florida can qualify for compensation. Generally speaking, any private business in one of the areas mentioned above that had an aggregate revenue decrease of 15 percent or more over a consecutive three-month time period between May and December 2010 and had at least a 10 percent aggregate revenue increase for the same three months in 2011 may be entitled to compensation. More than $3 billion has been paid out to date under the settlement.

NEW ARTICLES FROM NOMBLOG

IN CLOSING

We are often asked by clients what type of lawyers we are. We like to think that we are good ones!!! We primarily represent injured workers throughout Alabama in workers’ compensation cases. We also handle civil litigation including personal injury, auto and truck accidents, collections, contract disputes, employment issues, medical malpractice and wage and hour cases (FLSA). While we do not handle criminal defense, divorce, custody, bankruptcy or tax matters, if you need an attorney’s help with any of these matters or any other area of law, we can assist you with finding an attorney that specializes in a particular area of law. When you think you need a lawyer, please call us! /s/ Bernard and David

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