There is no doubt that breakthroughs in medical technology have improved the lives of millions of Americans. And certainly orthopedic implants in particular have relieved the suffering of a growing number of older patients. But as we have seen too many times in the past, the rush to profit from a growing market in health care often compromises patient safety. As you will read here, there are serious concerns about the testing and approval process for new implant devices. Particularly worrisome are reports that the FDA will fast-track even more of these devices without proper review.
When a dear pet dies, we are often told: “Get a hold of yourself; it’s only a dog. It’s only a cat. Get another one.” But for anyone who has experienced the constant loyalty and love of an animal companion, it’s never “only just a pet." Yet, when the family pet is injured or killed through another person’s negligence, the courts limit damages to only the “market value” of the pet and stop short of considering sentimental value. As you will read in this month’s “You Should Know” newsletter, that precedent is being challenged by animal lovers throughout the country.
When courageous people step forward and seek accountability through our system of civil justice, good things happen. Manufacturers make safer products. Health care providers improve care. Employers create safer working conditions. Now the brave survivors of human trafficking are turning to the civil justice system for accountability, as you will read in this month’s newsletter. Their victories against the perpetrators of these crimes could someday help end a form of modern-day slavery that has ensnared millions of men, women and children around the world.
The best way to ease the pain and suffering caused by workplace injuries is to prevent them in the first place. Every year on April 28, we recognize Workers’ Memorial Day. This international day of remembrance honors workers who have been "killed, disabled, injured or made unwell by their work." So join us in keeping the Workers’ Memorial Day slogan in your thoughts this year: Mourn for the dead, fight for the living.
It doesn’t matter whether you're rich or poor. White- or blue-collar. College educated or never finished high school. Opioid abuse, injuries and deaths are plaguing millions of Americans from all walks of life. Now we know that the drug companies that make these drugs used aggressive marketing and questionable research to convince us that these drugs were not addictive and could be safely used for even minor aches and pains. And once again, Americans are turning to our civil justice system to hold these companies accountable and make them pay for the damage caused by their dangerous products.
Major revelations of sexual harassment in the workplace have started a long-overdue movement to protect all workers, but most often women, from a long history of abuse. You would think our major corporations would be taking the lead in stamping out these injustices. Instead, way too many are actually doing the opposite by writing “forced arbitration” clauses into employment contracts that prevent an employee from taking action in court. Instead, harassment disputes are forced into closed arbitrations that almost always favor the company and hide the outcome from the public. This has to stop!
Wouldn't it be nice to read the paper, check your email and enjoy a second cup of coffee while your driverless car whisks you off to work in the morning? As you will read here, that reality is closer than many Americans might think. Aside from the new conveniences, autonomous vehicles could also save thousands of lives lost every year in auto accidents. The challenge for regulators, safety advocates and the driving public is managing the transition from our current system to one dominated by fully autonomous vehicles. As with any new technology, there will be several bumps along the way.
Normally at this time we highlight the year’s greatest victories for civil justice. Like forcing automakers to admit that they sold vehicles with exploding airbags or faulty ignition switches. Like holding accountable those who cover up the use of cancer-causing asbestos. Like shedding light on medical devices that fail or cause debilitating side effects. Yes, those battles and many more continue, but 2017 might be remembered instead for several troubling reversals in the fight to protect the health, safety and legal rights of all Americans. You should know why.
Injuries from prescription drugs (called adverse drug events) come in two forms: unforeseen side effects caused by the drug itself or human error in taking or prescribing a drug. This month we focus on medication errors, which are far too common today in our country. Many of these errors occur when a mistake is made by a health care provider in a hospital, nursing home or other health care setting. While the medical profession, regulators and safety advocates look for ways to prevent errors in these settings, here are measures you can take to better protect yourself and loved ones.
Home is where we should feel most safe and secure. Home is where we celebrate with friends and family, raise our children and grow old with those we love. “Peace – that was the other name for home,” wrote poet Kathleen Norris. But too often that peace is shattered by unintentional injuries. You should know more about these top three household dangers and how to prevent them.
Labor Day weekend is over and summer is in the rear view mirror. New backpacks are crammed full of the tools of learning: laptops, books, pens, pencils, notebooks and more. But what about the tools young drivers need to stay safe on the road? These tips can help the teen drivers in your life get from home to homeroom in one piece.
There are a lot of extraordinary people and organizations dedicated to protecting the safety and legal rights of Americans. Of course our brave clients who decide to stand up for their rights are the first line of defense in holding corporations and powerful special interests accountable. Then there are those legislators and public servants throughout the nation who hold strong for consumer rights and protections. This month we highlight several national organizations that have stood unfailingly for civil rights and safety for all of us regardless of party or politics. Check them out!
We see insurance companies in action almost every day. While not all of them act in bad faith, many of the largest companies changed business tactics in the 1990s to maximize profits while minimizing claim payments. Many of these are also the companies with the catchy advertising slogans and the quirky commercials. This month we uncover some of the “tricks of the trade” these companies use to deny people the insurance benefits they deserve. And we include tips and resources we hope will help you fight back if your claim is unjustly denied.
Summer, playgrounds and kids: It's a magic combination of exercise, social interaction and just plain fun. The last thing any of us want to see is a child injured while at a playground. But unfortunately it happens nearly 200,000 times a year. The good news, as we discuss in this month's newsletter, is that adults can play a key role in preventing playground injuries. Inspect playground equipment and report shoddy maintenance to school or park leadership. Then supervise your kids while they play. You might even want to join your kids for a little swinging, climbing or sliding yourself!
Traffic deaths are up 6 percent since 2010, pushing U.S. road fatalities to the highest level in a decade. However, the percentage increase in pedestrian deaths is far outpacing those on the road, jumping 25 percent from 2010 to 2015. Walkers on smartphones, bicyclists ignoring traffic rules – coupled with distracted driving – are a deadly combination. Teens, who are much more likely to walk distracted with a mobile device, make up 50 percent of all child pedestrian deaths. Our recommendation: Spend a few minutes together with your kids and the tips in this newsletter!
In 2010, the U.S. Census recorded 40 million Americans aged 65 or older. By 2050 that number will double! The long-term care industry has exploded, posting more than $300 billion in profits in 2015 alone. Unfortunately, some providers treat residents as a commodity rather than patients. Abuse, assault, fraud and forced arbitration contracts have become increasingly common in nursing homes across the country. Before you choose a nursing home for your loved ones, make sure you know the facility has their best interests at heart. Our oldest citizens deserve respect and quality care.
We understand that it is difficult for anyone to wrap their head around the issue of errors and health care. Americans have a justifiably high opinion of doctors, nurses and other care providers. The vast majority are dedicated professionals that do tremendous good for society. But to err is human, and it has become clear that the big business of health and nursing home care results in too many preventable injuries. So read this newsletter not as an indictment of the fine people who work in health care today, but rather a defense of every American’s right to justice and accountability.
Injuries and deaths from vehicle crashes have always been a major problem on U.S. roadways. But as a nation, we have made steady progress over the past four decades, thanks to education and many safety innovations. Then came reports in 2015 and now 2016 that this trend has been reversed.
In keeping with the December spirit of reflection, we reviewed a year's worth of headlines for a list of the top safety and justice stories from 2016. Progress was made, but there are still many challenges ahead. Thanks for supporting civil justice!
Family, parades, turkey, football – sounds like a recipe for a great Thanksgiving day. Keep family and friends healthy and safe this holiday season with these food safety tips for all your upcoming festivities. And have a happy Thanksgiving!
The number of people suffering, and all too often dying, from prescription drug abuse is staggering. And the epidemic is growing exponentially, fueled by the prevalence of opiate painkillers. Here's an overview on cause and prevention.
Most people know asbestos is a serious health hazard. But what might surprise many is how prevalent it still is today despite years of dire health warnings and the continued risk of exposure in schools, businesses and homes. This month, the latest.
Here are four remarkable stories of people who courageously took on long odds to make a difference in protecting the safety and legal rights of all Americans. Take a look and use the survey link below to tell us which story impacts you the most.
Motorcycle riders and their passengers are much more likely to suffer serious injuries in a crash than car or truck occupants. With distracted driving on the rise, motorcyclists must now be even more vigilant. Browse these motorcycling safety tips.
Drinking remains the number one cause of accidents and deaths from impaired driving. However, an increasing number of drivers are testing positive for marijuana. Here are the latest reports on this growing public safety concern.
Forced arbitration is considered by many as a dire and growing threat to our constitutional right to an open and unbiased hearing in court. Yet most Americans have never even heard of it. Take a minute and learn how this issue effects all of us.
Federal officials recently reported a steep increase in roadway deaths throughout the nation in 2015. We suspect that distracted driving is one factor in this increase. This month we urge all our friends and family to help end distracted driving.
Medical care and other expenses following a car accident have skyrocketed. Unfortunately too many people find out the hard way that they don't have sufficient insurance coverage. Use these tips to start a review of your policy protections.
The concussion story is another example of what can happen when people stand up for their rights. As former Pittsburgh Steelers QB Terry Bradshaw said: The NFL is "forced to care because it's politically correct to care. Lawsuits make you care."
This year a growing number of smokers will turn to e-cigarettes to help them quit smoking. But recent studies indicate that e-cigarettes may actually make it harder to kick the habit, while masking several other serious health hazards. Take a look!
Courageous Americans dedicated to making this a safer, more just nation are a gift to us all. We hope you enjoy this review of the top stories covered here in 2015. May you and all those close to you enjoy a joyous and SAFE holiday season!
Thanksgiving dinner at your house this year? Throwing a holiday or New Year's party? Driving to or from any of these festivities? As we prepare to celebrate with friends and family, here are a few tips to get everyone home safe and sound!
With the kids back in school and Halloween around the corner, fall is in full swing. We hope you and your loved ones had a wonderful summer. This newsletter features safety tips for those of you hoping to help aging relatives stay in their homes.
All of us use hazardous substances in our homes. To prevent accidental poisoning or exposure, it is important that we recognize these hazards and store these products safely. Check out helpful resources and tips in this issue of You Should Know
One of the most rewarding aspects of our job is to help courageous people stand up for their rights and recover from what are often terrible circumstances. Here are the stories of several remarkable people who have turned tragedy into action
ATVs have become wildly popular in the U.S., with more than 11 million ATVs and 35 million riders. Unfortunately, ATV accidents and injuries are all too common. Here are safety tips and resources you might consider for the ATV riders in your life.
If you have ever owned a lemon, you know how frustrating it is to get the problem fixed or the car replaced. If you haven't, consider yourself lucky. Here are tips on how to avoid buying a lemon in the first place and your rights if you do!
Dog bites are a serious problem here and across the country. Sadly, the victims are most often children. However, we can prevent dog bites by better educating owners, parents, children and the public. Start here with this month's newsletter.
The big technology story for 2014 is Uber, the wildly popular ridesharing app that has revolutionized the taxi business. Great ideas, however, often experience growing pains. This month we bring you up to speed on possible safety risks using of Uber.
Invariably, every parent is confronted with questions about video games for his or her kids. Knowing that video games top many wish lists for holiday gift giving, we thought a little inside information on the topic might be helpful. Happy holidays!
The holiday season is fast approaching. And that means decorating the house, planning family visits and attending lots of celebrations. So here's a checklist to help you and those close to you have a happy and safe holiday this year.
One of our nation's most sacred promises to veterans is that we will take care of them if they are hurt in battle. But that promise is too often broken. As Veterans Day approaches on Nov. 11, we take a closer look at the issue of veterans' benefits.
The right to a trial is America's great equalizer, protecting individuals from those with more power and influence. We should all be aware and concerned whenever this right is threatened, as we discuss in this month's issue of You Should Know.
Read about how ordinary people took extraordinary action to pursue justice, and in the process, helped protect the safety and legal rights of others. We think these stories represent the best of our civil justice system in action.
Every summer we read the sad news of children dying from heatstroke after being left in a hot car - one every 10 days, according to the statistics. Share this information with everyone you know and help us prevent these tragedies.
If you aren't grilling already, you probably will be soon – or at least joining friends and family for a festive summer barbeque. So whether you are wearing the apron or are just a hungry bystander, here are some timely tips on fun and safe grilling.
Revelations that GM chose profit over safety highlight once again why it is so important to stand up for every American's constitutional right to pursue justice in a court of law. It is the great equalizer between the individual and the powerful.
Knowledge is important in navigating the safety issues around the use of prescription drugs and medical devices. This is especially true for women, who are marketed to heavily by pharmaceutical companies hoping to cash in on their health care needs.
Employees have a right to a safe and healthy workplace. Employers also benefit by helping prevent on-the-job injuries. Working together, we can continue the recent trend in America toward a safer workplace. Check out these helpful tips and resources.
Assisted living started out as an alternative for seniors who needed a little help with their day-to-day needs. But now it has become a big business that isn't always consistently scrutinized. Use this guide to find quality care for your loved one.
The last thing on your mind when you go to a hospital is the possibility that you will be hurt instead of helped. But that is exactly what's happening to thousands of Americans every year. Patient safety can help you protect yourself and others.