Pitbulls Bite Just Like Any Other Dog

Posted by on Apr 3, 2013 in Dog Bites | 0 comments

Pitbulls Bite Just Like Any Other Dog

Most people associate the word “pit bull” with “dangerous dog” because there have been quite a few well-publicized incidents when people have been seriously injured by a pit bull. Advocates deny that pit bulls are more dangerous to humans than other types of dogs, and were in fact known as nanny dogs early on because of their gentle and protective nature.

Pit bulls are actually a group of dog breeds that more or less share similar traits. Among the better known breeds included in the group are American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, and Staffordshire Bull Terriers. The stigma attached to pit bulls may be because they were bred for dog-fights, and their natural aggression against other dogs were heightened. It should be noted, however, that dog aggression is different from human aggression.

Pit bulls that have attacked humans are said to be disproportionately represented in the news when compared to other dog breeds that may also have shown aggression. Any dog that is teased, baited, tortured or abused will attack. Oftentimes, it is the fault of humans who have little control, understanding or discipline of dogs in general that starts the trouble. Moreover, despite the heroic image of certain dog breeds, dogs are still animals that may act in unpredictable ways. Young children, the most vulnerable victim of dog bites, should never be left unsupervised with any dog, regardless of breed. Children often don’t understand when they are behaving in ways that bother or annoy animals. This causes them to do something that could set off even the most loyal of dogs, and become injured.

However, according to the website of the Jeff Sampson law firm, this fact does not lessen the seriousness of a dog bite or the liability of a pet owner, no matter what kind of dog it is. Unfortunately for pit bull owners, its classification as a dangerous dog makes liability insurance more expensive. Fortunately, many states do not allow an insurer to deny liability coverage for dog bites. If you or someone you know is bitten or attacked by a dog, whether a pit bull or another breed, the owner will almost certainly be required to cover the costs of any financial losses resulting from the injury, but unfortunately, many dog bite victims have to enlist the services of a personal injury lawyer to secure the compensation they need.

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Pharmaceutical Sales Reps Don’t Sell but are Still Overtime Exempt

Posted by on Mar 28, 2013 in Overtime | 0 comments

Pharmaceutical Sales Reps Don’t Sell but are Still Overtime Exempt

A 2011 decision by the Ninth Circuit established that pharmaceutical sales representatives (PSRs) are considered “outside sales“ employees and therefore exempt from overtime pay although they don’t actually sell products but only promote their prescription or product to doctors. The decision affirmed the long-standing opinion of the Department of Labor that considers the peculiar nature of the work of PSRs, who are not allowed to sell prescription drugs directly to consumers. For all intents and purposes, the promotion of prescription drugs to doctors constitutes a sale.

Outside sales personnel are defined specifically and extensively under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as exempt from overtime pay under federal law. A person may qualify as outside sales personnel if:

  • The primary duties are to get new order or contracts – making sales – for goods, services or use of facilities
  • Business is “customarily and regularly” conducted outside the employer’s office/s or business premises (excludes telesales, online sales, mail-order sales and home-based sales)

Aside from being exempt from overtime pay, outside sales personnel are also not covered by the minimum wage law, which in many states is the same as the current FLSA minimum wage. Instead, outside sales personnel may be paid by salary, commission, fee, bonus, piece or a combination of two or more types of compensation. There are no federal or state laws requiring minimum compensation for this type of employee.

However, if you or someone you know do not fit the criteria for outside sales personnel i.e. you sell products, services or use of facilities but do so within the business premises of the employer, and yet are denied overtime pay, it’s possible that you are not being compensated as required by law. Consult with an overtime attorney if your case has merit and if you should pursue a complaint against your employer.

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Lawsuit Accuses Anheuser-Busch InBev of Watering Down Beers

Posted by on Mar 5, 2013 in Lawsuits | 0 comments

Lawsuit Accuses Anheuser-Busch InBev of Watering Down Beers

While it may not come as a surprise to beer enthusiasts, a class action lawsuit filed against the world’s largest and most profitable alcoholic beverage company, Anheuser-Busch InBev, is accusing the brewer of adding water to its beer before sealing cans and bottles.

The accusation is being made against 10 of the company’s products, including Budweiser, Bud Ice, Michelob Ultra, and Bud Light Lime. The class action suit has been filed in seven states and alleges that the company is cheating consumers by not including the advertised alcohol by volume in their products. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau regulates claims made on alcohol labeling.

The lawyer representing the class claims that several higher-ups from the company’s 13 U.S. breweries supplied him with the information that is the basis for the suit. According to the lawsuit, the watered down beer loses between three and eight percent of its alcohol content. Anheuser-Busch InBev denies the allegations against it, claiming it sells the highest quality beer it can. Nonetheless, the attorney is confident that the evidence he has will prove his claims. The lawsuits each seek damages $5 million.

In 2011, the company produced more than three billion gallons of malt beverages worldwide and made $22 billion in profits.

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Causes of Wrongful Death

Posted by on Feb 13, 2013 in Car Accidents, Medical Malpractice, Product Liability, Wrongful Death | 1 comment

Wrongful death is the accidental result of a person’s negligence, carelessness, or recklessness. The death of a person becomes a civil case when there was no intent or premeditation on the part of the actor to cause death but which still happened because of that person’s action or lack thereof.

There are many ways in which a wrongful death can happen. It could be due to a car accident, medical error, surgical mistake, adverse reactions to medication, defective products, attacks by a pet, plant explosions, or workplace accidents. In some cases, a death may result even when there had been no negligence but in most cases, it was due to the action of another person, especially in instances involving:

  • Car accidents – includes driving under the influence (DUI), distracted driving, cell phone use, fatigue, speeding, tailgating, swerving, road rage
  • Medical malpractice – this is an area rich in wrongful death cases. It can be due to misdiagnosis, late diagnosis, prescription error, inebriation, etc.
  • Product defects – a manufacturer, distributor, or retailer may be held liable by a wrongful death lawyer if the use of a product that did not work as it should have leads to death. It could be through contamination, mislabeling, malfunction, breakage, mechanical failure.

Since in a wrongful death, the victim is not capable of making a claim, it has to be done by a spouse, parents, or children, including adoptive parents and children or separated or divorced spouse. Step-parents and step-siblings, however, may not make a wrongful death claim. Insurance companies may also take legal action against the person who caused the death of their insured party, leaving them no choice but to honor the provisions of a life insurance policy.

Proving negligence in a wrongful death claim can be a complicated process that could overwhelm an inexperienced lawyer. Find one who has a proven track record in wrongful death cases and who is willing to take on the case on a contingency fee basis if there is no money for litigation.

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Deformed Face or Skull due to Depakote

Posted by on Jan 11, 2013 in Birth Defects, Pharmaceutical Drugs | 0 comments

Deformed Face or Skull due to Depakote

The prescription drug Depakote proved to be an effective remedy in treating seizures and manic episodes in those with bipolar disorder. Unfortunately, while this prescription drug helped stabilize the condition of some patients, its effect on others, specifically pregnant women, was quite serious: studies showed that it increased the likelihood of birth defects, as well as other permanent health problems.

The worst side effects affected pregnant mothers, who gave birth to babies with a deformity of the cardiovascular system, deformity of the face or skull, brain defects, or spinal defects / spina bifida. These problematic side effects are especially discouraging in light of Depakote’s obvious benefits for many patients suffering from bipolar or manic-depressive disorder, a psychiatric state wherein a patient goes through disruptive energy, behavioral, psychological, and emotional swings, rendering him or her overexcited at one moment but suddenly depressed on the next.

The failure of the manufacturers of Depakote to warn pregnant women of the risks Depakote could cause them to face as a result of their medication use renders them liable for damages, including suffering, pain, injury, financial losses, and costly medical treatment they and their babies may be subjected to.

Malformation of the face or skull is one particularly unfortunate example of this permanent defect which can cause the baby and the baby’s family indescribable heartache and suffering. Some of the facial and skull defects directly caused by Depakote include anencephaly, cleft lip & palate, facial dysmorphism, and craniostenosis. Sadly, far too many medications are marketed as being safe for use, but end up causing devastating side effects later on. According to the website of Williams Kherkher, many of these medications, like Depakote or the popular anti-depressant medication Zoloft, result in life-altering birth injuries in babies born to women who took the drugs while pregnant. While nothing can make up for the pain and suffering that these victims endure, a successful lawsuit against the responsible pharmaceutical company may be able to provide victims with the financial compensation they need to pay for their injury-related expenses.s.

 

 

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Special Issues in Military Divorce

Posted by on Jul 2, 2012 in Child Custody, Child Support, Divorce | 0 comments

Special Issues in Military Divorce

Even when it comes to dissolution of a marriage, the government sometimes gets involved. Military divorce is different from civilian divorce in many ways, from where to file to what happens to a person’s pension and other benefits. The government provides for both the service member and their spouses, especially if the service member is on active duty.

Jurisdiction

When you file for a civilian divorce, it is usually in the state where you lived as a couple. This is jurisdiction. But when it comes to military divorce where one or both spouses may be stationed in different states or even countries, deciding on where to file for divorce can be tricky. The laws of the state where the divorce is filed applies, which can have significant differences in terms of finances as well as rights.

Spousal and Child Support

Married military service personnel are governed by a set of laws designed specifically to address issues of divorce. The Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA), for example, is a federal law that addresses calculation of child and spousal support as well as the impact on military retirement pension, which is considered property rather than income.

Pension and Other Benefits

Under the USFSPA, a former spouse is entitled to a certain portion of a service member’s retirement pay. If the service member was on active duty for 10 years and had been married to the same spouse for that period or longer, the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) pays in a portion of the retirement directly into the former spouse’s account. If the marriage was less than 10 years, the former spouse is still entitled to some portion of the retirement pay, but it will no longer be sent directly from the DFAS. Other benefits are treated based on state laws subject to special instructions for specific conditions.

Visitation Rights and Child Custody

When one or both parents are on active duty and constantly moving or deployed, coming to a realistic custodial and visitation schedule can be challenging. To resolve these and other issues, military divorce lawyers should be retained for the informed and experienced negotiation of an equitable settlement.

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