October 23, 2010

Car Accident Injures University of Maryland Football Player

On Thursday evening Maryland Terp Offensive Tackle Pete DeSouza was injured when he was struck by a car while he was riding on a motor scooter on the University of Maryland's campus. The driver of the car that struck Mr. DeSouza was operating his vehicle in a negligent manner and was given a traffic ticket. The accident occurred at about nine pm on Campus Drive at the University of Maryland College Park Campus which is in PG County Maryland. Unfortunately, Mr. DeSouza fractured his legs and will require surgery and will be out for the rest of the season. We certainly wish Pete a speedy recovery. Thumbnail image for Maryland_Terps.gif

October 18, 2010

Maryland Foreclosure Fraud

Its astonishing that banks and foreclosure attorneys now admit that thousands of foreclosures throughout the United States have been based on fraudulent documents and improperly executed affidavits. What is not as clear, is how prevalent these improper foreclosure practices were in Maryland. Circut Courts throughout Maryland are reviewing foreclosure petitions to see if there is apparent evidence of improper documents (The Washington Post reported that the Prince George's County Circuit Court is reviewing 14,000 filings). Two law firms have already filed corrective affidavits---Covahey, Boozer, Devan & Dore in Towson and Bierman, Geesing, Ward & Wood in Bethesda, Maryland.

Stop Foreclosure.bmp

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley wrote to the Chief Judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals about his concerns for Maryland consumers and Maryland homeowners over the foreclosure scandal. He urged Judge Bell to take "immediate action." A new Maryland Rule is being considered by the Maryland Court of Appeals this week that will allow Circuit Court Judges to summons Maryland lawyers into Court if there is suspicion that the supporting affidavits for the foreclosure were not signed by the lawyer. The Rule will also allow Maryland circuit courts to designate lawyers to serve as a Special Master to review foreclosure documents for irregularities in signatures and to make appropriate recommendations to the Courts.

If you believe that you are a victim of an improper foreclosure or that the documentation supporting your foreclosure was improper, you should call a Maryland lawyer.

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October 11, 2010

Tragic Pedestrian Accident in Rockville, Maryland

On Sunday October 10, 2010 in the early morning hours two pedestrians were struck and killed by a car on Rockville Pike near the White Flint Metro Station. Those killed, Rory Weichbrod and Adam Hosinski, were only 26 years old. The driver of the car that struck these young men was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of those killed. What is disturbing though, is that news reports suggest that Montgomery County knew that the roadway in that area was unsafe and that they will soon be making changes. Montgomery County Pedestrian Safety Coordinator Jeff Dunckel says the crash happened on the edge of a known hot spot for pedestrian accidents along Rockville Pike" and that within the next year, drivers will see obvious changes including new signals, medians and other traffic calming devices. Are you kidding me? If the County knew the roadway was unsafe, the fact is that the roadway should not have been built that way in the firstplace and the changes should have occurred long ago. Roadway safety is generally governed by standards set forth in the MUTCD--Manual for Uniform Traffic Control Devices. Montgomery County and/or the contractors who designed the unsafe roadway likely contributed to this tragic incident. Legal claims against the County require that notice be provided pursuant to the Local Government Tort Claims Act---and this must be properly done within 180 days of the incident.

Another disturbing aspect of this incident is that the driver who hit the young men may have been drunk. Unfortunately, under Maryland law, even if he was intoxicated, he will not be subject to punitive damages. There has been proposed legislation to change this aspect of Maryland law, but so far it has not passed.

October 7, 2010

Baltimore City Lead Paint Verdict-$20 Million+

Just yesterday a Baltimore City jury returned a $20 Million dollar verdict in a lead paint case against the Baltimore City Housing Authority. About $825,000.00 were awarded in economic damages and about $20 Million Dollars in non-economic damages. The jury did not consider punitive damages (punitive damages are very difficult to get in Maryland). This jury verdict will be reduced because of Maryland's cap on non-economic damages. Just last week, the Maryland Court of Appeals upheld Maryland's cap on non-economic damages There will surely be post-trial motions and a motion for remittur so the plaintiff will not be collecting $20 Million Dollars.

Lead paint is known to cause serious brain damages to children. Unfortunately, many homes in Maryland and Washington, D.C. are contaminated with lead paint. In this case where the $20 Million dollar jury verdict was rendered yesterday, the plaintiff's IQ was diminished by 10 points to 89 which is below average.

September 28, 2010

Cardiac Stent Abuse In Maryland

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The issue of cardiac stent abuse has been big news in Maryland. Several months ago cardiologist Mark Midei from St. Josephs Hospital was found to have been doing unnecessary stent procedures in patients who underwent cardiac cathertization. Not only is this offensive to the patient, but it also almost always involves medicare fraud and/or medicaid fraud.

I happen to know a lot about cardiac stent procedures in Maryland because my father is a cardiologist and because I have friends and family members who have undergone the procedure. The fact is that for certain patients, stents can save lives. In the aftermath of the stent scandal in Maryland though, certain journalists have taken the bait and tried to make it seem that all stent procedures are bad. A perfect example is Jay Hancock's article in the Baltimore Sun. To see the article click here.

I wrote a letter to the editor responding to the ridiculous statements in this article. To see my letter to the editor click here.

The bottom line is that if you or someone you love had a stent procedure you very well may have needed the procedure and it may have saved your life. Then again, some patients have had cardiac stent procedures who did not need them. If you suspect that your stents were unnecessary, you should have a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer review your case.

September 26, 2010

Maryland's Cap on Damages Upheld in Pool Drowing Case

Maryland has a terribly unfair cap on damages in personal injury cases. On September 24, 2010 the Maryland Court of Appeals upheld the cap in DRD Pool Service, Inc. v. Thomas Freed. The case is a very sad case about the swimming pool drowning of Connor Freed, a healthy 5 year old boy. A swimming pool drowning lawsuit was filed in the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County, MD. Legal Claims were made for the drowning death and for the conscious pain and suffering of the young child who drowned to death. Although the trial judge excluded evidence of conscious pain and suffering of the drowing victim, the Court awarded over $4 million dollars. Unfortunatley, pursuant to Maryland's cap on non-economic damages the total award to $1,002,500.00. The young drowinging victim's family appealed to the Maryland Court of Speial Appeals and theat Court upheld the Maryland cap. The Maryland Court of Appeals granted certiorari. Friday's decision affrimed the Court of Special Appeals and rejected the constitutional arguments that were made agains the Maryland cap on damages. The decision is based on the legal concept of stare decisis which basically means the court should not generally change prior precedent ---latin for "to stand by the thing decided." The Court said "overall the constitutional challenges purt forth by the Freeds are essentially the same challenges that we rejected in Murphy and Oaks." It should be noted that Judge Murphy filed a dissenting opinion arguing that the case should go back to the Circuit Court for them to use a heightened scrutiny test to determine if the Equal Protection Guarantee of the Constitution was violated.

Continue reading "Maryland's Cap on Damages Upheld in Pool Drowing Case" »

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September 24, 2010

Gulf Oil Spill Update---Professor McGovern Appointed as Special Master

It has been over 5 months since the Deepwater Horizon Exploded in the Gulf of Mexico. A quick update as to what is going on in the Gulf Oil Spill MDL located in the Eastern District of Louisiana.

1. Today Judge Barbier appointed Professor Francis McGovern as a Special Master in the Gulf Oil Spill Litigation. Professor McGovern is a well regarded professor at Duke University School of Law and he is known as one of the nations best when it comes to mediating and resolving mass tort cases.

2. Monday is the deadline for Gulf Oil Spill lawyers to file their application to be on the Plaintiff Steering Committee. So far, from what I can tell about 40 people have applied.

3. The GCCF is up and running. Some of our Gulf Oil Spill clients have even received their 6 month emergency payment. From what we can tell though, the pay outs are calculated using the lowest possible numbers and the emergency payments are less than fair. Unfortunately, there is no mechanism in place to appeal the emergency payment.

4. A great way to keep up with currrent developments in this litigation is to go to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana website.

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September 24, 2010

Avandia Causes Heart Attacks

Yesterday Avandia was banned in Europe. Here in the United States, because of lobbyists for the pharmaceutical industry, our FDA has not banned the drug. Rather they have indicated that it should only be used by patients whose blood sugar cannot be controlled by other means. What a joke. Doctors don't even realize it, but they were just stabbed in the back by the drug company. What just happened is that the drug companies lobbying efforts have made it so that now rather than just the drug company getting sued, doctors may now get dragged into these lawsuits for failing to find appropriate alternatives for their patients. If you know of anyone on Avandia who had a heart attack, have them call us at 888-213-8140. At our law firm we keep the focus of these claims where they belong---on Glaxo. We will not sue your doctor.

Avandia was the world's most popular drug to treat Type 2 diabetes, and it was approved as safe by the FDA. Unfortunatley, GlaxoSmithKline chose not to share with doctors, regulators, and the public the fact that it also causes heart attacks (one of the leading causes of death for diabetics). Avandia is a bad drug, and if you know anyone on it, you should tell them to ask their doctor for an alternative.

September 19, 2010

Hip Relacement Surgery Recall By DuPuy Orthopedics

If you had hip replacement surgery and are suffering from hip pain, joint pain or having difficulty walking, then you should check to see if the recalled Dupuy product was used. Unfortunately, individuals in Maryland, D.C. and Virginia who underwent hip replacement surgery and received a DuPuy Orthopedics hip may very well need a revision surgery.

This is because DuPuy has recently issued a recall for its ASR XL Avetabular System and DePuy ASR Hip Resurfacing System. The DuPuy recall was announced in late August 2010. These products have been used by Maryland/Virginia Orthopedic Surgeons doing hip replacement procedures because they were believed to be stronger than other products on the market. Unlike other hip replacement products, these are a metal on metal system, and there is concern that tiny pieces of metal can break off into the human body. The metal contains chromium and other metallics that can cause non cancerous tumors.

Bottom line is that if you have had hip replacement surgery and one of the recalled systems was used, you very well may need a revision surgery. There is a 12-13% 5 year revsion surgery rate for those who have the recalled products. About 93,000 of the recalled Dupuy Hip Replacement Systems have been surgically implanted. The lawyers at Goldberg, Finnegan & Mester can answer your questions about your hip replacement surgery and help you determine whether you have a valid legal claim. www.gfmjustice.com 888-213-8140.

Dupuy Orthopedics is a division of Johnson & Johnson. J&J has had numerous product recalls in the last year or so, and this is troubling. It should also be noted that the FDA issued a Warning Letter to DuPuy President on August 19, 2010 indicating that they were illegally marketing certain hip replacement products including the Corail Hip SYstem and the TruMatch Personalized Solutions System--basically marketing the products without the required pre-market approval. Hip replacement surgery is often used for those with serious osteoarthritis, traumatic arthritis, congenital hip sdysplasia, avascular necrosis of the hip femoral head, acute traumatic hip fractures, hailed prior hip surgeries, and certain types of ankylosis.

September 14, 2010

Goldberg, Finnegan & Mester represents baby with cerebral palsy and brain damage: settles case for $5.175 million

Partners Christian Mester and Jean Jones, R.N., J.D. resolved a case for $5,175,000 on behalf of a baby who suffered permanent brain damage and cerebral palsy when the health care providers mismanaged his mother's labor and delivery. The money (which is controlled by a trustee pursuant to applicable state law) going to the child allows the family to obtain much needed additional care and services for the child that will enable him to achieve optimal medical care. In this case, the mother's labor and delivery care was handled by certified nurse midwives at a hospital. Mr. Mester and Ms. Jones alleged that when the mother presented to the hospital for induction of labor, there was a lack of appropriate and timely interventions, including that the defendant health care providers inappropriately ignored warning signs on the fetal monitor tracings that the mother's uterus had become hyperstimulated (the contractions were coming too close together and lasting too long), and the baby was not compensating, as exhibited by persistent variable and late decelerations (reductions in the heart rate of the fetus below baseline), as well as episodes of prolonged decelerations, tachycardia and bradycardia. The lack of appropriate and timely interventions caused undue stress to the baby and eventually exhausted the fetal reserves. The health care providers could have avoided permanent neurological damage to the baby had they adhered to the standard of care and delivered the baby in a timely fashion - what this means is that had the health care providers not ignored these signs, the baby would have been born normal, with no injuries. Mr. Mester and Ms. Jones further alleged that the health care providers' failures to take proper measures led to the baby's hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, which is brain damage due to lack of oxygen. The health care providers denied any improper treatment and further denied the allegations that any improper care caused or contributed to the baby's subsequent injuries.

These types of cases, sometimes referred to as delay in delivery cases or brain damaged baby cases, are some of the most complicated and expensive medical malpractice cases to handle and prosecute. They involve numerous medical specialties (obstetrics, midwifery, neonatology, nursing, pediatric neurology, pediatric neuro-radiology, pediatric infectious disease, and life care planning, to name a few), and the medicine at issue is likewise complex. Plaintiffs' firms routinely spend over $100,000 and usually double that amount to prosecute the case and take it through trial. Mr. Mester and Ms. Jones, who is a registered nurse attorney, have much experience in cases like these, having prosecuted such cases on a national basis (in states where they are not licensed, they would get specially moved in by attorneys in those states). Being able to assist a family whose life has been a struggle since birth with a monetary settlement such as this is extremely rewarding and it is something the Goldberg, Finnegan & Mester, LLC medical negligence lawyers take very seriously.

If you or a loved one has been injured at the hands of a health care provider, call Goldberg, Finnegan & Mester, LLC at 1-888-213-8140 When looking for any lawyer, make sure they are able to afford to prosecute the case fully and properly and that they have experience in the field of law in which you are calling. At Goldberg, Finnegan & Mester, LLC, we look forward to answering your questions and earning your trust.

August 27, 2010

Create Entry - Goldberg, Finnegan & Mester | Movable Type

Well, I just got back from another trip to St. Bernard Parish Louisiana. The people there are still struggling. Although some of the waters are now open for fishing, the charter boat operators do not have enough customers. I have heard first hand accounts of how there are not nearly as many shrimp as there once were for the Louisiana shrimpers and fishermen. As of Monday August 23, 2010 BP closed down their claims operations and those making claims are now required to file with the Gulf Coast Claims Facility. For more information about this new claims process and what damages are recoverable, please check out this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jCCHj0Uglk

Although Kenneth Feinberg has indicated that businesses that are not in close proximity to the Gulf do not have a valid claim, we continue to believe that businesses and inviduals that suffered losses as a result of the Gulf Oil Spill may indeed have a valid legal claim under the Oil Pollution Act, and therefore a claim should be submitted to the GCCF. The GCCF will be making emergency payments for up to 6 months. Then you must submit your final claim. Again, for more information about the process check out the video link above.

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August 21, 2010

Feinberg Issues Emergency Claims Protocols For Oil Spill Victims

Friends-On Monday the claims process for the BP Oil Spill will be transferred to Ken Feinberg and the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (often referred to as "GCCF"). Information will apparently be available online at www.gulfcoastclaimsfacility.com. Just yesterday, he issued the claims Protocol for Emergency Claims which will, in some cases, make payments for up to 6 months in a lump sum. The deadline for making a claim for Emergency Relief (technically called "Emergency Advance Payments") Due to the Gulf Oil Spill is November 23, 2010. If your business or livelihood has been impacted by the Gulf Oil Spill call us at 888-213-8140.

Also, I want to note that there is an item of damages being recognized called loss of subsistence claims (technically called "Subsistence Use of Natural Resources." Feinberg says claims can be made by "Any individual who uses the natural resources that have been injured, destroyed, or lost as a result of the Spill to obtain food, shelter, clothing , medicine or other subsistence uses" This will make payments to individulas who relied on fish and seafood from the Gulf that they fished for themself to feed their families. Since the spill, if they were unable to feed their family from this self-caught fish, and had to spend money to buy food that they otherwise would not have had to spend to feed their family, then they can make a claim for "loss of susbsistence" and it seems that this claim will be honored by Ken Feinberg.

I am headed back to Louisiana to Tuesday to meet with several of our clients and to deal with some other issues relating to the Gulf Oil Spill.

Well, here is the protocol for Emergency Advance Payments:

Gulf Coast Claims Facility

Protocol for Emergency Advance Payments

August 23, 2010

I. PURPOSE

This Protocol sets forth the procedure for the submission and resolution by the Gulf Coast Claims Facility ("GCCF") of claims for Emergency Advance Payments by Individuals and Businesses for costs and damages incurred as a result of the oil discharges from the April 20, 2010 Deepwater Horizon incident ("the Spill").

A. Role

The United States Coast Guard ("USCG") has designated BP Exploration & Production, Inc. ("BP"), as a Responsible Party under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 ("OPA") for oil discharges from the Deepwater Horizon facility. Under OPA, Responsible Parties must establish a claims process to receive certain claims by eligible claimants. USCG, without in any way relieving other Responsible Parties of liability, directed BP to maintain a single claims facility for all Responsible Parties to avoid confusion among potential claimants.

The GCCF is intended to replace BP's claims facility for individuals and businesses. The GCCF (and the protocols under which it operates) are structured to be compliant with OPA. A final claim may be presented to the GCCF at any time that the facility is receiving claims. Whether or not a claim has been presented shall be governed by OPA and applicable law. All open Individual and Business claims that have been filed with the BP Claims Process will be transferred to the GCCF. BP has also authorized the GCCF to process certain non-OPA claims involving personal injury. Submission of such claims shall be wholly voluntary and participation in the GCCF shall not affect any right that the claimant would have had absent such participation unless final resolution and settlement of the claim is achieved.

2. Approach

The following non-exclusive principles apply to the operation of the GCCF:

. The GCCF will evaluate all claims in a prompt and fair manner guided by applicable law.

. The establishment of the GCCF does not diminish any right of any individual or business that existed prior to the creation of the GCCF; claimants have all of the same rights with respect to their various claims that they had prior to the creation of the GCCF and shall not be forced to relinquish any rights for the opportunity to seek compensation through the GCCF.

. The GCCF claims process is structured to comply with OPA and apply the standards of OPA.

The GCCF is administered by Kenneth R. Feinberg ("the Claims Administrator"), a neutral fund administrator responsible for all decisions relating to the administration and processing of claims by the GCCF. This Protocol addresses only claims for Emergency Advance Payments; a subsequent Protocol will deal with all Final Claims. Under the Final Protocol, interim claims will be considered where appropriate.

II. ELIGIBILITY

Claimants who are experiencing hardship resulting from damages set forth below incurred due to the Spill may apply for an Emergency Advance Payment.

A. Removal and Clean Up Costs

1. Who may make a claim?

Any Individual or Business that incurred costs, as a result of the Spill for the removal of oil or to prevent, minimize, or mitigate oil pollution.

2. Required Proof

. The costs are for removal of oil discharged due to the Spill or that are to prevent, minimize or mitigate oil pollution from the Spill;

. The costs are reasonable and necessary; and

The actions taken to remove, prevent, minimize, or mitigate oil pollution were approved by the Federal On-Scene Coordinator or are otherwise proven to be consistent with the National Contingency Plan.

3. What information should the claimant submit?

. Information or documentation (e.g., bills) showing the costs incurred after the Spill for removal of oil discharged as a result of the Spill or incurred to prevent, minimize, or mitigate oil pollution from the Spill.

. Information or documentation explaining how the actions taken were necessary to prevent, minimize, or mitigate the effects of the Spill.

. Information or documentation showing that the actions taken were approved by the Federal On-Scene Coordinator or were consistent with the National Contingency Plan.

. Information or documentation explaining why the costs were reasonable.

B. Real or Personal Property

1. Who may make a claim?

Any Individual or Business that owns or leases real or personal property physically damaged or destroyed as a result of the Spill.

In order to avoid duplication of claims, an owner or lessee of the property must provide notice to all others with an ownership or lease interest in the property of the intent to file a claim. If duplicate claims are received, the GCCF will determine the appropriate claimant.

2. What information should the claimant submit?

. Information or documentation showing an ownership or leasehold interest in the property.

. Information or documentation showing the property was physically damaged or destroyed.

. Information or documentation showing the damages claimed were incurred as the result of the physical damage to or destruction of the property.

. Information or documentation showing the cost of repair or replacement of the property, or economic losses resulting from destruction of the property.

. Information or documentation showing the value of the property both before and after damage.

C. Lost Profits and Lost Earning Capacity

1. Who may make a claim?

An Individual or Business that incurred a loss in profits or earning capacity due to the injury, destruction, or loss of real property, personal property or natural resources as a result of the Spill. The individual or business need not be the owner of the injured property or resources to recover for lost profits or income.

2. What information should the claimant submit?

. Identification of injury, destruction, or loss to a specific property or natural resource.

. Information concerning Claimant's lost earnings or profits that were caused by the injury, destruction, or loss of specific property or natural resource as a result of the Spill (such as lost income by a fisherman whose fishing grounds have been closed or a hotel or rental property that has had decreased profits because beaches, swimming, or fishing areas have been affected by the oil from the Spill).

. Reduction of earnings or profits, or increase in expenses resulting from such damage.

. Amount of profits and earnings or expenses in comparable time periods.

. Income received from alternative employment or business during the period when the loss was suffered, and expenses incurred in generating the alternative income.

. Savings to overhead and other normal expenses not incurred as a result of the Spill.

D. Subsistence Use of Natural Resources

1. Who may make a claim?

Any Individual who uses the natural resources that have been injured, destroyed or lost as a result of the Spill to obtain food, shelter, clothing, medicine, or other subsistence uses.

2. What information should be submitted?

. Identification of the specific natural resources that have been injured, destroyed or lost as a result of the Spill for which compensation for loss of subsistence use is being claimed. The Claimant need not own the affected natural resource.

. Description of the actual subsistence use made of each specific natural resource.

. Description of how and to what extent the subsistence use was affected by the injury to or loss of each specific natural resource as a result of the Spill.

. Description of expenditures made to replace or substitute for the subsistence use.

E. Physical Injury /Death

1. Who may make a claim?

A claim may be made by an injured individual or the representative of a deceased individual for a physical injury or death proximately caused by the Spill or the explosion and fire associated with the Deepwater Horizon incident, or by the clean-up of the Spill.

Submitting a physical injury or death claim to the GCCF is entirely voluntary. However, unlike claims under the Oil Pollution Act, claims for physical injury and death cannot be submitted to the National Pollution Funds Center.

2. What information should be submitted?

. Medical records or death certificate demonstrating physical injury or death.

. Medical records reflecting diagnosis by a medical practitioner.

. Information concerning the cause of physical injury.

. Information concerning the circumstances of the physical injury and the location where the physical injury occurred.

. Information concerning any total or partial disability of the Claimant.

. Records showing expenditures for medical care not otherwise compensated.

. Proof of lost income, if the Claimant seeks compensation for such lost income.

F. Causation

The GCCF will only pay for harm or damage that is proximately caused by the Spill. The GCCF's causation determinations of OPA claims will be guided by OPA and federal law interpreting OPA and the proximate cause doctrine. Determinations of non-OPA claims will be guided by applicable law. The GCCF will take into account, among other things, geographic proximity, nature of industry, and dependence upon injured natural resources.

III. FILING FOR AN EMERGENCY ADVANCE PAYMENT

A. Equal Access and Fair Adjudications in the Claims Process

All potential claimants will be treated with respect, dignity, and fairness, without regard to race, color, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, gender, or disability. The GCCF shall strive to ensure that all claimants can equally access the GCCF process, and that claims will be adjudicated fairly. Individuals with disabilities will be able to effectively communicate their claims and problems to the GCCF. Individuals with language barriers will have meaningful access to the process and to the GCCF. Individuals with low literacy will have documents and forms explained to them plainly and in a simple manner they understand.

B. Claim Form

1. The Claimant will indicate on the Claim Form if the Claimant is applying for an Emergency Advance Payment.[1] Claimants will complete a Claim Form for an Individual or Business.

2. Claimants shall submit the documentation requested on the Claim Form for an Emergency Advance Payment or other similar information as is sufficient to substantiate the claim and for the GCCF to review and process the Claim.

C. Process for Filing a Claim for an Emergency Advance Payment

A Claim Form may be obtained and submitted in any one of the following ways:

1. Via the Internet - Claimants may submit a claim online by visiting the GCCF website: www.gulfcoastclaimsfacility.com. Claimants will be instructed to follow simple steps for completing a claim. Once completed, the claim will be automatically submitted to the GCCF Database, a printable confirmation notification will be generated and displayed immediately confirming submission and providing the Claim Number and a confirmation email will be sent to those Claimants who have provided email addresses. The Claim Number will be the claim identifier throughout the process. The Claim Form and Instructions will be available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese and Khmer.

2. By Visiting a GCCF Claims Site Office - Claimants may visit one of the 36 Claims Site Offices established to assist Claimants with the claims submission process to (1) seek information about filing a claim or to (2) submit a claim in person. Claimants may either walk in to one of the Claims Site Offices or may make an appointment by calling the toll-free telephone line. The locations of the Claims Site Offices are posted on the GCCF website, www.gulfcoastclaimsfacility.com. If a visitor requires an interpreter and an interpreter is not available on site, the Claims Evaluator will make arrangements to provide these services either via conference call or a scheduled return trip to the Claims Site Office. A Claims Evaluator will assist the Claimant in completing the Claim Form. The Claims Evaluator will print a copy of the Claim Form, the claimant will sign the Claim Form and the claim will be automatically submitted to the GCCF Database. A confirmation of the claim submission and Claim Identification Number will be provided by the Claims Evaluator. The Claim Form must be signed by the Claimant.

3. Via U.S. Postal Service - Claimants may call the toll free, dedicated telephone line to request that a Claim Form be mailed via U.S. Postal Service. The Claims Operator will ask the caller to provide basic information which the Claims Operator will enter into the on-line system. The system will automatically generate a unique, pre-populated and bar-coded Claim Form which will include the identifying information provided by the caller. The Claim Form will contain a Claim Identification Number which will be the Claim identifier through the course of the process. The coded Claim Form will be mailed via U.S. Postal Service to the Claimant. The Claim Form must be signed by the Claimant. The Claimant may return the completed form via:

. U.S. Postal Service:

Gulf Coast Claims Facility

P. O. Box XXX

Dublin, OH 43017-4958

. Overnight, Certified or Registered Mail:

Gulf Coast Claims Facility

5151 Blazer Parkway, Suite A

Dublin, OH 43017-4958

. Fax:

1 866 682-1772

. Email:

info@gccf-claims.com.

. The toll-free telephone lines are as follows:

. Toll Free Number: 1-800 916-4893

. Multilingual Telephone Line: 1-800 916-4893

. TTY Telephone Line: 1-866 682-1758

All submitted Claim Forms, regardless of the method of submission, will be automatically forwarded to the Central Processing Database and integrated into a comprehensive GCCF Database.

D. Appointment with a Claims Evaluator

The Claimant may request an appointment with a Claims Evaluator at the nearest Claims Site Office to answer or clarify issues regarding a claim for an Emergency Advance Payment. The Claims Evaluator will review the claim for completeness and eligibility and may contact the Claimant to request additional supporting documentation if necessary or if the Claims Evaluator has any questions about the information submitted with the Claim Form. Examples of information and documentation that support a claim are attached as Exhibit A.

E. Evaluation of Application for Emergency Advance Payment

1. Evaluation of an Emergency Advance Payment application will apply a less rigorous standard for required corroboration than evaluation of a claim for Final Payment. Documentation sufficient to establish the claim will be described in the Claim Form.

2. Each Emergency Advance Payment application will be evaluated preliminarily within 24 hours of receipt of the completed form and supporting documentation to determine whether an Emergency Advance Payment is appropriate based on the information submitted by the Claimant. Complex business claims submitted for an Emergency Advance Payment will be evaluated preliminarily within 7 days of receipt of the completed form and supporting documentation to determine whether an Emergency Advance Payment is appropriate based on the information submitted by the Claimant.

3. Upon a determination that the Claimant is eligible for an Emergency Advance Payment, a payment will be authorized within 24 hours.

F. Period for Application for Emergency Advance Payment

1. Emergency Advance Payment applications may be submitted on a monthly basis. Emergency Advance Payment applications for Lost Profits and Lost Earning Capacity, Loss of Subsistence Use of Natural Resources, or loss of income due to physical injury or death may be submitted either on a monthly basis or for six months of losses, at the option of the Claimant. Claimants seeking an Emergency Advance Payment on a six month basis must establish that they will incur loss for the six month period. To the extent possible, six month payments will be based on the seasonally adjusted lost income or lost profits, as applicable.

2. Emergency Advance Payment applications may be submitted during the period August 23 - November 23, 2010. After that date, applications for Emergency Advance Payments will no longer be accepted. Applications for Final Claims, and in appropriate circumstances applications for interim claims, will continue to be accepted pursuant to the Protocol for Final Claims.

G. Request or Receipt of Emergency Advance Payment Does Not Waive Any Rights

Claimants requesting an Emergency Advance Payment or receiving an Emergency Advance Payment will not be asked or required to sign a release or waive any rights to assert additional claims, to file an individual legal action, or to participate in other legal actions associated with the Spill.

H. Credit Against Final Payment

Any Emergency Advance Payment made to a Claimant will be deducted from any Final Payment of a Final Claim.

IV. REPORTING

The GCCF shall provide reports of non-personally identifiable information to state, local, and federal government officials and to BP to permit an evaluation of the claims process. The GCCF shall submit to interested parties, including BP, periodic reports regarding claims made and claims determinations.

V.PRIVACY

Information submitted by a Claimant to the GCCF will be used and disclosed for purposes of: (i) processing the Claimant's claim for compensation and any award resulting from that claim; (ii) legitimate business purposes associated with administering the GCCF, including the prevention of fraud and the determination of collateral source payments; and/or (iii) as otherwise required by law, regulation or judicial process.

VI.QUALITY CONTROL AND PROCEDURES TO PREVENT AND DETECT FRAUD

A. Review of claims

For the purpose of detecting and preventing the payment of fraudulent claims and for the purpose of accurate and appropriate payments to Claimants, the GCCF shall implement procedures to:

1. Verify and authenticate claims.

2. Analyze claim submissions to detect inconsistencies, irregularities, and duplication.

3. Ensure the quality control of claims review procedures.

B. Quality Control

1. The GCCF shall institute periodic quality control audits designed to evaluate the accuracy of submissions and the accuracy of payments.

2. The GCCF shall engage an independent outside accounting firm to perform an independent test of claims to ensure that the claims have been accurately processed.

C. False or Fraudulent Claims

Each Claimant will sign a form at the time of application, stating that he or she certifies that the information provided in the Claim Form is true and accurate to the best of his or her knowledge, and that he or she understands that false statements or claims made in connection with that application may result in fines, imprisonment, and/or any other remedy available by law, and that suspicious claims will be forwarded to federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies for possible investigation and prosecution. The GCCF shall refer all evidence of false or fraudulent claims to appropriate law enforcement authorities.

[1] A claim for an Emergency Advance Payment is an interim claim under OPA. To the extent that the claimant incurs additional compensable damages that are not reflected in the Emergency Advance Payment, receipt of an Emergency Advance Payment shall not preclude a claimant from seeking additional damages not reflected in the Emergency Advance Payment.

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August 18, 2010

Case Resolved on Behalf of Baby With Brain Damage and Cerebral Palsy

Goldberg, Finnegan & Mester represents baby with cerebral palsy and brain damage: settles case for $5.175 million

Goldberg, Finnegan & Mester, LLC partners Christian Mester and Jean Jones, R.N., J.D. resolved a case for $5,175,000 on behalf of a baby who suffered permanent brain damage and cerebral palsy when the health care providers mismanaged his mother's labor and delivery. The money (which is controlled by a trustee pursuant to applicable state law) going to the child allows the family to obtain much needed additional care and services for the child that will enable him to achieve optimal medical care. In this case, the mother's labor and delivery care was handled by certified nurse midwives at a hospital. Mr. Mester and Ms. Jones alleged that when the mother presented to the hospital for induction of labor, there was a lack of appropriate and timely interventions, including that the defendant health care providers inappropriately ignored warning signs on the fetal monitor tracings that the mother's uterus had become hyperstimulated (the contractions were coming too close together and lasting too long), and the baby was not compensating, as exhibited by persistent variable and late decelerations (reductions in the heart rate of the fetus below baseline), as well as episodes of prolonged decelerations, tachycardia and bradycardia. The lack of appropriate and timely interventions caused undue stress to the baby and eventually exhausted the fetal reserves. The health care providers could have avoided permanent neurological damage to the baby had they adhered to the standard of care and delivered the baby in a timely fashion - what this means is that had the health care providers not ignored these signs, the baby would have been born normal, with no injuries. Mr. Mester and Ms. Jones further alleged that the health care providers' failures to take proper measures led to the baby's hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, which is brain damage due to lack of oxygen. The health care providers denied any improper treatment and further denied the allegations that any improper care caused or contributed to the baby's subsequent injuries.

These types of cases, sometimes referred to as delay in delivery cases or brain damaged baby cases, are some of the most complicated and expensive medical malpractice cases to handle and prosecute. They involve numerous medical specialties (obstetrics, midwifery, neonatology, nursing, pediatric neurology, pediatric neuro-radiology, pediatric infectious disease, and life care planning, to name a few), and the medicine at issue is likewise complex. Plaintiffs' firms routinely spend over $100,000 and usually double that amount to prosecute the case and take it through trial. Mr. Mester and Ms. Jones, who is a registered nurse attorney, have much experience in cases like these, having prosecuted such cases on a national basis (in states where they are not licensed, they would get specially moved in by attorneys in those states). Being able to assist a family whose life has been a struggle since birth with a monetary settlement such as this is extremely rewarding and it is something the Goldberg, Finnegan & Mester, LLC medical negligence lawyers take very seriously.

If you or a loved one has been injured at the hands of a health care provider, call Goldberg, Finnegan & Mester, LLC at 1-888-213-8140. When looking for any lawyer, make sure they are able to afford to prosecute the case fully and properly and that they have experience in the field of law in which you are calling. At Goldberg, Finnegan & Mester, LLC, we look forward to answering your questions and earning your trust.

August 11, 2010

Gulf Oil Disaster Cases Consolidated in New Orleans

We are happy to report that yesterday the Joint Panel For Multi-District Litigation ordered that the oil spill cases will be consolidated before Judge Barbier in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana pursuant to 28 USC Section 1407. The Court said "Upon careful consideration, however, we have settled upon the Eastern District of Louisiana as the most appropriate district for this litigation. Without discounting hte spill's effects on other states, if there is a geographic and psychological "center of gravity" in thisdocket, then the Eastern District of Louisiana is closest to it. Considering all applicable factors, we have asked Judge Carl J. Barbier to serve as transferee judge."

Apparently there will be another Conditional Transfer Order coming in the next few days that will address various other issues. The August 10, 2010 Order basically held that: (i) Cases go to New Orleans, (ii) Personal Injury cases and economic loss cases will be consolidated,(iii) the Oil Pollution Act cases (AKA OPA Claims) will be included in the MDL, and (iv) The Limitation Proceeding brought by Transocean in Texas will be included in the transfer order and will be moved to New Orleans for evaluation of whether it should be included in the centralized proceedings, and It should be noted that the BP Stock trading cases will go to Houston. The law firm of Finckbeinger & Robin is working in conjunction with Goldberg, Finnegan & Mester, LLC to represent victims of the Gulf Oil Spill Disaster. For more information see:

http://www.myfoxdc.com/dpp/news/silver-spring-lawyer-helping-gulf-fishermen-in-class-action-lawsuit-against-bp-070510

http://www.gazette.net/stories/06302010/silvnew184202_32568.php

http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/blog/2010/06/local_lawyer_helps_bp_victims.html

August 11, 2010

Medical Malpractice Verdict in Montgomery County Maryland Against Shady Grove Hospital

There was a $2.35 million dollar medical malpractice verdict against Shady Grove Hospital in Rockville, Maryland on Monday August 9, 2010. A 24 year old hispanic Silver Spring, Maryland lady was taken to Shady Grove by ambulance after having stomach pain. She had been to the hospital 2 days earlier with kidney stones. Doctors at Shady Grove were found by the jury to have violated the standard of care by misdiangnosing a kidney blockage and this lead to a terrible infection that spread throughout her body. As a result of the doctors failure to make a proper diagnosis, a septic infection went untreated for at least 12 hours and gangrene set in. Eventually, part of her leg and foot had to be amputated, and several of her fingertips fell off (this occurrence is called autoamputation). The Plaintiff's attorney Julia Arfaa siad that the jury "absolutely did the right thing. They listened to the evidence and they understood this case."

The Plaintiff had immigrated to the United States from El Salvador when she was 8, and worked as a maid when this incident occurred in 2006. About $190,000 of the verdict will go to pay the plaintiff's past medical expenses. We believe that many hispanics and other ethnic minorities who do not have health insurance often get medical care that is below the standard of care and that medical doctors often do not give them the time and attention that they are entitled to in the emergency room. If you or someone you love has been injured as a result of a medical mistake or a misdiagnosis, call us at 888-213-8140. We have attorneys who are also registered nurses to evaluate your case and there is no charge for an initial consultation.