The birth control pill Yaz was approved by the FDA in 2006 and Yasmin was approved in 2001. These drugs are oral contraceptives taken by women as birth control pills to prevent pregnancy. They have also been used to treat premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) and occasionally as an acne treatment for women. We are investigating claims that Yas and Yasmin causes pulmonary embolism, stroke, heart attacks and other injuries including gall bladder injuries. Yaz is made by Bayer Pharmaceutical Company. There are numerous lawsuits against Bayer, and the cases have been consolidated in a Multi District Litigation in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. On October 1, 2009 the US Judicial Panel for Multidistrict Litigation issues a transfer order for 24 lawsuits to the Southern District of Illinois and the cases are being heard by U.S. District Court Judge David R. Herndon. The claims in the lawsuits relate to the fact that the Yasmin is a defective product and that Bayer engaged in illegal and misleading advertising relating to Yas and Yasmin. Judge Robert Miller explained in his Yaz Order of 10/1/09 that "We are persuaded that the Southern District of Illinois is an appropriate forum for this docket." If you or a loved one have suffered injury that you believe may have been caused by Yaz, call us at 877-774-3652 or visit our website at www.gfmlawllc.com
October 2009 Archives
Approximately 22% of Maryland pedestrian accidents in Montgomery County occur in parking lots according to an article that appeared in The Washington Post. Montgomery County, Maryland County Executive Ike Leggett is launching a safety campaign to address parking lot safety for pedestrians in Montgomery County, MD for pedestrian automobile accidents.
Montgomery County spends about $30 million a year on pedestrian safety initiatives. Of the 1,496 pedestrians struck by vehicles from 2006 to June 2009, 324 occurred in parking lots. Those in the field of traffic engineering know that parking lots are very dangerous places for pedestrians. One thing being considered is forming dedicated pedestrian paths through parking lots away from cars.
When a pedestrian accident occurs in Maryland, the pedestrian struck generally can bring a negligence lawsuit against the operator of the vehicle that struck the pedestrian. Defendants will often raise the defense of contributory negligence which in Maryland, is a complete bar to any recovery (a very unfair and outdated law).
Our law firm has been very successful in overcoming contributory negligence defenses in pedestrian accidents in Maryland. When the striking vehicle has inadequate insurance coverage, the pedestrian struck can make a Maryland uninsured motorist claim under his or her own automobile insurance policy (or the policy of any resident relative).
It is also important to understand that a pedestrian who is struck by an automobile in Maryland can generally make a claim for Personal Injury Protection Benefits (these are no fault benefits so contributory negligence would not apply to the PIP Claim). It is good news that Montgomery County Maryland is considering forming a work group to further study engineering options to address pedestrian safety in Maryland.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a pedestrian accident call us and talk to one of our Maryland Pedestrian Accident Lawyers at 301-589-2999 or Fill out our Free Case Evaluation Form on our site.
Airborne asbestos fibers were found in floor tiles and officer lockers at the Police Building located at 1700 Rhode Island Ave., NE in Washington, D.C. The locker room, boiler room and two storage rooms were sealed. It has been reported that officials were first notified of the problem on June 25, 2009 when signs were seen for asbestos abatement work at the D.C. Office facility. Asbestos causes serious injuries including asbestosis, cancer and mesothelioma. Those employees of the D.C. government exposed to the asbestos while working likely have a D.C. Workman's compensation claim and the right to bring a claim non-economic damages and/or medical monitoring.
Mesothelioma is a cancer and a deadly disease that causes injury to the mesothelium and lining of organ tissues in the abdominal cavity. Exposure to asbestos can also cause lung cancer, esphogus cancer, kidney cancer, larynx cancer and pancreatic cancer. The risk of acquiring lung cancer is seven times higher for those exposed to asbestos than for those who have not been exposed. There have been many asbestos jury verdicts around the USA and in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area for asbestos cases for well over $2 Million Dollars. Mesothelioma often remains latent and dormant for years until it is diagnosed. Once it is diagnosed, there is generally a very poor prognosis.
If you or anyone you know was exposed to asbestos at 1700 Rhode Island Avenue it is important that you understand your legal rights and take prompt action. To bring a claim for non-economic damages against the D.C. Government they (The D.C. Government) must be put on notice within six months of the injury being sustained (See 12-309 of the D.C. Code). The D.C. Code states:
§ 12-309. Actions against District of Columbia for unliquidated damages; time for notice.
An action may not be maintained against the District of Columbia for unliquidated damages to person or property unless, within six months after the injury or damage was sustained, the claimant, his agent, or attorney has given notice in writing to the Mayor of the District of Columbia of the approximate time, place, cause, and circumstances of the injury or damage. A report in writing by the Metropolitan Police Department, in regular course of duty, is a sufficient notice under this section.
DC ST § 12-309
Case law has interpreted this code provision very strictly in favor of the D.C. Government and against individuals who are injured. Therefore, if you or someone you love was exposed to airborne asbestos at 1700 Rhode Island Ave. it is important that you hire legal counsel right away to protect your rights. The Washington DC and Maryland Asbestos Lawyers at Goldberg, Finnegan & Mester, LLC provide free asbestos case evaluations via telephone at 202-887-5533. Call us at 202-887-5533 or visit our website at www.gfmlawllc.com.
The Washington Post reported that most fatal car accidents are single car accidents. Statistics in the article include that of the 7,945 people who died in the past 5 years in Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia 58.9% were in single car crashes. The statistic came from AAA. The factors contributing to the deadly car accidents included speed, driving at night, driving under the influence. Several single vehicle wrongful death accidents that occurred include that on 2/1/09 a 17 year old passenger died after being ejected from a motor vehicle in Montgomery County, Maryland on Veirs Mill Road near Robindale Drive in Rockville, in April 2009 a 22 year old Virgnia, Leesburg lady was killed when her vehicle struck a tree in Chantilly, VA. Even when there is a single car accident, out lawyers thoroughly investigate potential negligence claims. Quite often, single car accidents are caused by phantom vehicles (unidentified vehicles). When this is the case, those injured or killed in a single car accident can make a claim for uninsured motorist benefits. If you or a loved one is injured or killed in a single Washington D.C., Virginia, or Maryland car accident call Goldberg, Finnegan & Mester at 301-589-2999.
Many people are confused over their rights when a loved one dies in Maryland. This is for good reason, as Maryland's wrongful death act is indeed complicated, even for attorneys. Generally speaking, when someone in Maryland dies as a result of the negligence of someone else (for example from a Maryland car accident, Maryland medical malpractice, Maryland work injury, from mesothelioma or a Maryland tractor trailer accident) two categories of legal claims relating to the death are possible. The first is the survival action which is brought by the Personal Representative of the Estate. This encompasses the decedent's conscious pain and suffering and other damages. Unlike many other states though, in Maryland a wrongful death claim is not brought by the PR of the Estate. Instead it is brought by the wrongful death beneficiary. The wrongful death claim does not belong to the decedent's estate. It belongs to the next of kin/wrongful death beneficiaries (if none exist, a wrongful death claim can sometimes be brought by secondary beneficiaries who are dependent). When someone in Maryland dies there is generally a wrongful death claim for the wife, husband, parent and child of the deceased person. Even adult children have a claim under Maryland's wrongful death act (See Cts. Jud. Proc. 3-904 (e)). The damages that can be recovered in a wrongful death claim include mental anguish, emotional pain and suffering, loss of society, companionship, loss of comfort, loss of protection, loss of care, loss of attention, advice , counsel and education/guidance. Basically the full slate of non-economic damages are recoverable in a Maryland wrongful death claim. A wrongful death claim must be brought within 3 years after the death (except if the death was caused by "occupational disease" in which case the claim must be brought within 10 years of the time of death or within 3 years of the date when the death is discovered (whichever is shorter). Navigating Maryland's wrongful death act is tricky and complicated, and claimants generally should have a lawyer to assist with this. For more information on, click here: Maryland's wrongful death act. It should be noted that there are a separate set of procedural rules for Wrongful Death Claims in Maryland, and all potential wrongful death beneficiaries need to be included in a lawsuit as use plaintiffs under the rules.
The lawyers at Goldberg, Finnegan and Mester are available to discuss any potential wrongful death claim, and there is no charge for the initial telephone consultation. If we take the case, there is generally no attorney fee if there is no recovery. We arrange to advance the litigation costs as well. Call us at 877-774-3652 (toll free).
Medical Malpractice Insurance Companies Show Enormous Profits, Directly Contradicting Their Own Testimony
Below, we have attached a release that demonstrates what we have been advocating for years: that the insurance industry's cries of medical malpractice cases causing a "malpractice crisis" were in fact false and made up by the insurance industry. Trial lawyers are easy targets and the insurance industry spends tens of millions of dollars every year to distort the truth so that they can continue increasing their profits while decreasing the rates they reimburse health care providers while at the same time raising the rates of insurance and improperly denying valid claims. It is business practices such as these that demonstrate the importance of continuing equal justice to all under our civil justice system and not a system that only protects those with the most money, like the insurance industry. Trial lawyers continue to fight for you and your families so that your rights are not further taken away by greedy insurance executives. The insurance industry's attempts to limit your rights should not be tolerated. Call your Representatives and Senators and let them know how disgusted you are at being duped by the insurance industry. Tell your friends and neighbors. Your family is worth it.
Goldberg, Finnegan & Mester, Protecting Your Rights.
Medical Malpractice Insurers Earning More Than Ever
10 biggest malpractice insurers have average profits higher than 99% of Fortune 500 companies
Washington, DC--As Congress debates nationwide health care reform, a new analysis reveals malpractice insurers have long-played a cruel hoax on legislators and the public. By systematically distorting profits and losses, insurers created phony "financial crises," so lawmakers would limit the legal rights of injured patients. Today, while premiums and health care costs skyrocket, malpractice insurers have average profits higher than 99 percent of Fortune 500 companies.
The key findings of the report, which analyzes the annual financial statements of the 10 largest U.S. medical malpractice insurers, include:
- The average profit of these insurance companies is higher than 99 percent of all Fortune 500 companies and 35 times higher than the Fortune 500 average for the same time period.
- Malpractice insurers have seen their profit margins range from 5.9 percent to 74.8 percent, with an average of 31.2 percent.
- Medical malpractice insurers have underestimated profits and overestimated losses, creating overblown insurance "crises" to garner support for limiting patients' legal rights. Then years later after the "crises" abated, revised filings show the companies were never in the financial peril they claimed.
- After overestimating losses, insurers have since reported that losses over the last five years have been approximately 13.5 percent lower than initially reported.
- By overestimating losses, companies have underestimated profits. Insurers averaged about 5.1 percent higher profits last year and 12.4 percent higher profits two years ago; these levels of profits will likely rise as upward revisions are made.
- Medical negligence laws were passed under false pretenses. Overblown reported losses were used by the insurance industry to justify new measures restricting the rights of those injured by medical negligence.
"Insurance companies are gouging doctors on their premiums to mislead lawmakers. And today, injured patients are often left with no avenue to pursue justice, while health care costs continue to skyrocketing," said American Association for Justice President Anthony Tarricone, managing partner at Kreindler & Kreindler LLP.
"As Congress looks to overhaul our nation's health care system, it's clear that limiting the legal rights of patients won't lower health care costs or cover the uninsured," continued Tarricone. "The focus should be on eliminating medical errors that injure or kill tens of thousands of Americans every year. Insurance companies clearly don't need another handout."
As part of its ongoing series on the topic, AAJ earlier released Medical Negligence: A Primer for the Nation's Health Care Debate and The Truth About "Defensive Medicine." These reports, as well as The Insurance Hoax: How Doctors and Patients Pay for the Huge Earnings of Medical Malpractice Insurers, can be located here.
We write simply to remind our friends that today (10/1/09) several new laws take effect in the State of Maryland. Three of the new laws that may impact our everyday lives are summarized below.
- Ban on Texting and Driving: It is now illegal to write or send text messages while driving. This law was passed based on the fact that more than 30 percent of the roughly 95,000 traffic accidents last year resulted from distracted driving according to the State Highway Administration. Maryland joins 18 other states that have already outlawed texting and driving. Violation of the new law is a misdemeanor and is subject to a $500.00 maximum fine. The prohibition does not apply to use of GPS systems or using text messaging to contact 911.
- Teen Drivers: Teen drivers must now wait three months longer to get a provisional license (until they are 16 years and 6 months old). Teens also are not eligible for a full license until they are 18 years old.
- Speed Cameras: Speed Monitoring Cameras are now permitted across the entire State of Maryland near schools and highway work zones. Fines are $40 for people who go at least 12 miles over the speed limit in those zones. For those of us who live in Montgomery County, MD, we already have speed cameras all over the place. Trust me when I tell you that they WILL make you slow down.