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The Harsh Reality of Abuse In Some Nursing Homes
Oct 2018
by Yuriy Prakhin

As we are aging, those we love are getting older too. Whether they are our grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles etc. There are certain types of care that can’t always be provided at home and so many will seek out nursing homes for a family member. Whether it is due to illness or needing around the clock care for other reasons, there’s the good and the awful in some of these places. The good is the nurturing, caring, compassionate staff that does their job from their heart but then there’s also the cruel, abusive, individuals that work in some of nursing homes. It’s a hard reality to sit with but it does exist.

When it comes to our deep concern for our loved ones that are in or will be going to a nursing home- many times the things we worry about don’t occur. However, imagine finding out someone you entrusted to care for your loved one is abusing them. It’s a sickening thought.

There have been cases of pure neglect- whether that is feeding, bathing, giving proper medication or treating ailments properly. How does someone you love speak up for themselves if they don’t have a voice? Some of these victims have Alzheimer’s and can’t tell a staff member or family member what is going on. Some of them are battling depression and have retreated to a place where mentally it is to painful to speak of the abuse. Others are in fear of telling someone or maybe they don’t have family and don’t feel the staff will do anything to help them. Nevertheless, sadly, it happens all too often and it is awful!

There was a case of an employee at a nursing home who was arrested without bail for forcing an elderly woman to hit herself in the face. If she is found guilty she will spend years in jail for abuse and will have to pay thousands of dollars for pain and suffering.

The gruesome details consist of the victim having her earlobe pinched and then pushing the elderly women’s head down while making her use her own hand to strike herself repeatedly. Not only was she abusing her but making this woman abuse herself!

If you suspect something is wrong- show up during different times of the day and night. Pay attention to what residents are saying as they’re getting changed or what is occurring when it is time for them to eat. Are they receiving proper treatment, being fed if necessary. Are they forced to move into positions while being changed that there body is incapable of. Abuse isn’t always silent but sometimes it is so you’ll have to look and listen for it. Are their unexplainable bruises? These are some things to take notice of. Make sure you know what medication your family member is given and not one prescribed to them without their consent. Not so long ago there were cases against doctors who were prescribing Seroquel to seniors to keep them in bed. This antidepressant drug is not to be used as a tranquilizer so that staff doesn’t have to do their work. It is not for people older than 65 as it can cause death and in some cases paralyze patients upon other awful symptoms.

Anyone would want to take immediate action if they believe a love one is being mistreated but if that is the case you should talk to the higher ups first. If your suspicion is incorrect someone can lose their job and be deemed unqualified to work at another facility.

If you have valid evidence and management isn’t of help to you than the next step would be to notify authorities. While doing so it is also important to get in touch with a lawyer who has been down this terrible road before. They are qualified to know what steps need to be taken. They will be with you during the process and can represent you in court.

Elderly abuse is one of the most horrible things a person can do and should be treated as such. If you have any idea that this could be happening please collect your evidence and speak to a lawyer as soon as possible. No one should have to live under the cruelty of another.

Law Cracks Down On Texting And Driving
Oct 2018
by Yuriy Prakhin

Text messaging has become one of the most prevalent forms of communication. It’s often much easier for someone to respond quickly to a question by texting than to make a phone call but there’s a time and place for everything. Driving is not the place where someone should be writing or responding to text messages.

Texting while driving is extremely dangerous for you and those around you. A person’s life shouldn’t be put at risk so that a text message could be sent. Yet, there are both minor and major injuries that occur because of texting while driving and It’s said that hands-free texting is not a good alternative.

Those who text while driving not only put others at risk but they can be subjected to getting a ticket, having their license suspended, rising insurance costs and sometimes face prison time for injuries or death.  

Researchers have stated that there are three types of distractions that happen all at once when as person is driving and texting. The driver doesn’t have their eyes on the road when texting, their hands are not on the steering wheel and their attention is taken away from operating the vehicle.

“The increase in texting while driving at the age when teens can legally begin unsupervised driving was not surprising,” says the study’s lead author Dr. Motao Zhu, of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide.  “Graduated driver licensing laws could have an impact on texting while driving behavior: the earlier teens start driving, the earlier they start texting while driving.”

Texting while driving in New strict penalties. The first violation is a $200 fine and five points on a driver’s license plus $92 surcharge. If a driver is ticketed for texting more than once in 18 months, the fine can be $450 and more than 10 points on a driving record which results in a suspended license.

In 2015 the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research notes that 160 people were killed and there were over 30,000 injured in crashes due to an inattentive driver. Nationwide, 3,500 people were killed in car accidents for  the same reason in 2016.

One life lost due to a distracted driver is more than enough! It is time that people out down their phones and keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.

The only states that allow texting and driving is: Georgia, Hawaii, Florida and District of Columbia.

Driver’s that are pulled over for texting in other states will be face penalty of the law. As time goes on the list of states that ban texting while driving will get longer. Hopefully, with less attention on cell phones and more on the road there will be a decrease in accidents.

AbbieVie Faces Numerous Cases For Its AndroGel
Oct 2018
by Paula Pinto

A global settlement between pharmaceutical company AbbiVie and plaintiffs following thousands of lawsuits against the company. These lawsuits are because of the their testosterone medication, AndroGel. This lawsuit that has been in the working since 2014 would end the multidistrict litigation if they reach a settlement. The other defendants in the case are Endo Pharmaceuticals and Allergen who came to a settlement for their medications Testin and AndroDerm.

Testosterone therapy is used to treat low testosterone levels in men. Low-T can cause depression, lack of sex drive and fatigue so the therapy is supposed to combat all of this. Yet, there’s been arguments that “Low-T” isn’t something that is a disease but a result of getting older. Numerous lawsuits were filed against AbbieVie because there were cases of stroke, heart attack and blood clots due to AndroGel.

The lawsuits state that the company failed to disclose the major health risks associated with Andro-Gel. This product was not approved by the FDA.

In 2015 the company was warned to provide information of complications that weren’t listed. They also demanded that the product be tested in New studies to see if it was safe.

During the past six years the company has returned back and forth to court. They won four of the cases and their plaintiffs won two. They won large sums of money in their settlement.

As of September 10 Judge Matthew Kennelly ordered a stay while the parties tried to reach a global settlement. They are ordered to disclose any settlements they come to.  Deadlines are currently suspended and they must disclose all settlement talks that are in progress.

AbbieVie is also facing a lawsuit for using anti-generic campaigns to keep consumers from other options. They had to pay $448 million to consumers who paid too much for AndroGel.

AbbieVie has more lawsuits against them than the other companies did but that doesn’t mean that plaintiffs will receive a larger sum of money when the settlement is reached. While there are hundreds of cases already against the company attorneys are accepting lawsuits that haven’t yet been filed. Spouses of loved ones that have died because of the product are also able to sue the company.

In 2017 AndroGel sales took a nosedive of 15% of its sales from 2016. It is expected to even more of a decline in 2018. Perhaps $475 million is loss.

Men, especially those who used the product are angry that AbbieVie’s marketers made-up the condition “Low-T” when realistically men’s bodies were responding to aging and its natural affects. Claim that the manufacturers marketed the therapy for a made-up condition called “Low-T” or low testosterone. Rather than stating the truth they constantly campaigned and provided information that these men were suffering with a medical condition that needed treatment from the “illness” to be corrected when in fact that wasn’t what it was. Therefore their fraudulent misrepresentation led men to believe something was wrong with them. Many have suffered because of this.

When A Child Is Injured In School Can You Sue?
Oct 2018
by Yuriy Prakhin

As a new school year has just begun some parents have felt what is natural- concern about your child’s safety. It’s a natural response to know that your child is in good hands and that they are not in harm’s way. We’ve become all the more aware of bullies in schools and freak accidents that happen from children bumping into each other to falling down on the playground. Without being their to care for them we want to be certain that those in charge are doing so.

Nevertheless, there are avoidable accidents that could’ve been prevented if there wasn’t negligence on the school’s part. So while accidents will happen on the playground there’s a difference between a slip and fall as opposed to an injury because a slide or a swing was damaged and in need of repair. Inside of the school there must be caution signs up in any area that is receiving maintenance or custodial work such as a wet floor after mopping. There’s no excuse to disregard areas where children can be injured by failure to let them know an area can be dangerous.

With city schools having thousands of students, there has to be enough staff to supervise each class, watch children during lunchtime and when out to play. The more people on staff the quicker an argument can be dissolved between students or an accident will not occur.

While you are able to sue if your child is hurt due to negligence within the school or on the school’s property there are still restrictions. If a child is hurt on their way to school or home from school- that is not the school’s responsibility neither is it if they are out playing on a playground after school hours. However, if your child was involved in a school bus accident you may not be able to sue the school but the company that the bus driver works for or even the driver himself.

It is important to note that if your child is a student at a New York City public school than you have to act quickly in the case of an injury. You must submit a claim to a government administrative agency within 90 days. If the agency rejects your claim you can go ahead and file a claim with the civil court.

Private schools operate a bit differently. If your child attends here and is injured you have to proceed to file a lawsuit the same way you would if they were hurt on someone’s personal property.

When a child is hurt at a school it draws a lot of attention. Attorneys that work for the school will try to settle with you without going to court. They don’t want Injuries making headlines.

Do your best to refuse to negotiate with these lawyers instead make sure you file a lawsuit with your own personal injury lawyer and let them do the leg work that is needed for your case. They’re fully aware of what must be done so that you do not have to battle the system yourself. They are aware of what injuries constitute as the school’s responsibility and which don’t so that you do not waste your time. They want to make sure you and your child are compensated for any pain and suffering that occurred as a result of the school and the medical expenses that may have piled go due to the injury as well as if your child will need long term care.

A man got in a car accident at a 4-way stop intersection
Oct 2018
by Yuriy Prakhin

Q: Recently, while driving through a four-way intersection with stop signs, I got into a car accident. A car on my left passed a stop sign and hit my car in the left rear wing. When the police arrived, it’s turned out that the driver of the car that hit mine was a policeman too. After talking to him, they compiled a police report. The report said that I had passed the stop sign while talking on a phone, and a ticket was issued for using cell phone illegally. They did not even talk to me. As for the phone, I was holding it in my hand when the police arrived. Now the insurance company refuses to pay for the car damages, and I feel humiliated. What to do?

A: First of all, do not feel humiliated, you should fight. In your case, it is quite realistic to win. It was the police fault that they had not recorded your testimony, and it’s in your power to correct that. You should describe what happened by filling out the MV104 form and send it to DMV. Secondly, if you got a ticket, it does not mean that the collision was your fault. It’s not illegal to hold the phone in your hand while driving in our state. Driving and talking on the phone by keeping it in close proximity to your ear is prohibited. Even without knowing all the circumstances of your situation, we can say that the police were not there during the accident and couldn’t see that you held your phone. So, your ticket will be dismissed if you go to court. Thirdly, even if we assume that you were talking on your phone while crossing the intersection, it couldn’t prove your guilt in the accident. Your car was hit in the left rear part, which means that your car was furthest to the right and had the right of way (right-hand rule). Besides of that, an impact to the left rear wing confirms that the driver of the second car was moving with an excessive speed that prevented him from braking in time, and he was at fault in the accident, not you. Thus, your chance to have your ticket dismissed and get money to repair your car is big enough (just don’t repair it before the insurance company estimates repair costs.)