| Read Time: < 1 minute | Defective Consumer Devices

Johnson & Johnson Loses Asbestos-Related Appeal in Missouri

Johnson & Johnson plans to appeal to the United States Supreme Court after the Missouri Supreme Court held a decision against the pharmaceutical manufacturer. Johnson & Johnson faces talcum lawsuit claims regarding its baby powder and other talcum-containing products. Multiple women claim their ovarian cancer is linked to asbestos found in these products. Currently, Johnson & Johnson is required to pay $2.12 billion in damages, lowered from $4.69 billion after a lower court ruled out 22 plaintiff’s cases. Source: Reuters

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| Read Time: < 1 minute | Dangerous Drugs

Johnson & Johnson Sued Over Retina Damaging Drug

Multiple lawsuits are outstanding against Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceuticals and Janssen Pharmaceuticals after patients taking Elmiron developed permanent retinal injuries. Elmiron, which is used to treat interstitial cystitis,  is also known as pentosan polysulfate sodium (PPS). Individuals currently taking Elmiron should obtain an eye examination. The pharmaceutical companies have yet to release a statement on the apparent connection between the drug and maculopathy.  Source: The National Law Review

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| Read Time: < 1 minute | Dangerous Drugs

New Research Points to Relationship Between Elmiron and Vision-Threatening Disease

Nieraj Jain, MD., recently warned opthamologists of the link between a pentosan polysulfate sodium and a vision-threatening maculopathy. The drug, currently sold under the name Elmiron by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, can cause the maculopathy to appear to be age related. Dr. Jain’s research also indicates that the longer the Elmiron is used, the more likely it is to cause a vision-impairing issue. Opthamologists should closely monitor their patients that have been using Elmiron.  Source: Ophthalmology Times

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Car Accident

Is a Passenger in a Car Accident Entitled to Compensation?

If you were injured as a passenger in a car accident, you deserve justice just as much as any other victim. In fact, passengers rarely have any fault in a motor vehicle collision, potentially making an even stronger case for you to recover compensation for your injuries and other damages. The process for pursuing a car accident settlement as a passenger can be confusing. An experienced personal injury lawyer can provide the answers and information you need with regard to car accident settlement payouts for passengers. In Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky, Gerling Law has more than five decades of experience fighting for the wrongfully injured. We have the  knowledge and experience you need on your side now. Typical Car Accident Settlement Amounts for Passengers Because every accident victim faces unique challenges and circumstances, it is impossible to estimate any average car accident compensation amount. To determine your claim’s value, your attorney will identify all your physical, emotional, and financial damages. After documenting all damages you suffered, your attorney will use that information to establish the value of your car crash claim. Although we cannot accurately estimate any average or typical claim value, it is safe to say that more serious injuries usually equate to higher car crash claim values. For example, the average settlement for car accident back and neck injury claims is generally higher than settlements for less serious injuries. It is important to note that even minor car accident settlement amounts can provide the financial resources you need to obtain medical treatment and get back on your feet. Talking to an experienced car accident lawyer is the best way to determine whether you have a valid injury accident claim and, if so, what the potential value of your claim might be. Who Should an Injured Passenger Sue for a Car Accident? Victims typically pursue an injury accident claim or lawsuit through the at-fault party’s insurance company. This may be the driver of the other vehicle or a third party, but it might be the driver of the car in which you were riding. If that person is a friend or family member, this could create a potentially uncomfortable situation. Nevertheless, you are entitled to recover compensation for your damages. Having an attorney to handle your claim can provide a helpful buffer between you and your loved one, should you have to pursue your claim through their insurer. Ideally, your attorney can negotiate a fair settlement so you can put this unfortunate situation behind you. What If a Passenger in Your Vehicle Is Injured? If you have an accident in which someone is injured, you should get them and yourself to a safe place, then call the police to report the crash. Make sure you and they seek medical attention as soon as possible. Do not admit fault or discuss the circumstances of the accident with your passengers or any other party, even if you believe you might have caused or contributed to the accident. Provide your passengers with your insurance information, but don’t discourage them from pursuing a claim. Instead, contact an attorney to learn what your legal rights and obligations might be to your passengers and anyone else who sustained injuries in the collision. How Much Can Someone Sue for a Car Accident Passenger Injury? Typically, injury accident victims are entitled to pursue compensation from the party or parties who were responsible for the crash. Victims may pursue compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. This might include medical treatment and care, lost wages, pain and suffering, etc. The nature and extent of a victim’s injuries can affect their potential claim value, as can their prognosis for recovery. Any long-term injuries or permanent damage could result in a higher claim value. The best way to determine how much you or another party might be able to sue for is to contact an experienced attorney. An attorney can review the details of your case and explain how they can help protect your legal rights. How Can a Car Accident Attorney Help? If you sustained injuries in a car crash that wasn’t your fault, talk to an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Investigating your case and documenting your damages should occur as quickly as possible. This enables your attorney to submit your claim to the insurance company and start negotiating your settlement. If the insurance company won’t make a reasonable settlement offer, your attorney may recommend filing a lawsuit in civil court. The experienced legal team of Gerling Law understands how important it is to get your case resolved as quickly as possible, so you can get the resources you need to recover. We offer a free case review, so you can explore your options and get started with the legal process. Contact us now to learn more about how our skilled and compassionate car accident attorneys can help you pursue your passenger car accident claim. Go with Experience. Go with Gerling. ®

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| Read Time: 4 minutes | Personal Injury

What’s the Average Settlement for Traumatic Brain Injury?

Our brain is one of the most important organs that we have in our bodies. Our self-awareness and ability to solve complex problems as humans stem entirely from our unique brains. Unfortunately, despite the fact that our skulls surround and protect our brains, they are highly susceptible to damage. If you or a loved one suffers in an accident and you plan on filing a brain injury lawsuit, you likely want a bit more information on post-concussion syndrome settlement values. In this piece, we will discuss the average settlement for traumatic brain injury, mild traumatic brain injury settlements, and how you can estimate concussion settlement values.  Traumatic Brain Injury Happens Every Day in America Most brain damage results from what we call “traumatic brain injuries” or “TBI” for short. A TBI is an injury that affects how the brain works. A number of different things can cause TBI. Most often, bumps, jolts, or blows to one’s head cause TBI. Less often, but equally serious, a gunshot wound, or any other object penetrating one’s head can cause TBI. Effects of TBI Generally, there are three levels of TBI: mild, moderate, and severe. Each level has many potential aftereffects that vary greatly. The aftereffects of a TBI can quickly dissipate, but they can also last one’s entire life. TBI’s aftereffects include things like: Dizziness, Fatigue, Vision impairment, Cognitive function impairment, Disruption of development, and Migraines. According to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), TBI is a major cause of death and disability in the US. In 2019 alone there were nearly 61,000 TBI related deaths in the US. There Is No Average Settlement Because every case of TBI is different and unique, it is difficult to pinpoint a precise average settlement for a concussion. On one hand, some concussion settlement values are $10 million or more. On the other hand, a different concussion’s settlement value may be a few thousand dollars. The value of brain injury compensation depends entirely on the facts and circumstances surrounding the TBI.   Figuring Out Your Settlement Value The best way to accurately estimate the value of your TBI settlement is by consulting with an experienced TBI attorney. TBI attorneys know the relative value of the various factors that go into a TBI settlement and can tell you the amount that they would seek if they were to represent you. Before consulting with a lawyer, however, you might want to make your own estimate. To make a relative estimate of the value of your TBI claim, go through our prepared list of factors that affect TBI settlement values. If you have more factors in the “increasing value” list, then you can expect a settlement that is relatively higher than average. If you have more factors in the “decreasing value” list, your settlement may be lower than average. Increasing Value Many of the factors that increase a settlement’s value have to do with the damages that you suffer. The more types of damages you suffer, the more your settlement is worth. In addition, the severity of the damages you suffer affects the settlement. The more severe those damages are, the greater your settlement value is. Other factors can increase your settlement’s value too, such as: Emergency medical transport; Surgery (or surgeries); Physical rehabilitation; Extended hospital stays; Medical costs of non-TBI injuries; Temporarily impaired cognitive function; Permanently impaired cognitive function; Migraines; Pain, emotional anguish, or loss of enjoyment of life; Lost wages; Vocational rehabilitation; In-home assistance (permanent or temporary); Death of a loved one; Loss of employment benefits; Property damage; Visual impairment; Loss of ability to drive; A clear liable party; Multiple liable parties; A liable party with significant financial resources; and Malice or intent on the part of the liable party (punitive damages). You may experience losses that our list does not cover. These factors may also increase your settlement value. The general rule is, the more damages, the greater the settlement value. If some of the damages you experience are particularly severe, then they will likely impact your settlement more. Consider permanent cognitive impairment vs temporary cognitive impairment, for example. You can seek damages for temporary cognitive impairment, but a claim that involves permanent cognitive impairment or even long-term cognitive impairment expected to last a year or more will result in greater compensation. Decreasing Value Just as some factors increase the value of your settlement relatively speaking, other factors have the opposite effect. The following factors will all, relatively speaking, decrease the value of your TBI, concussion, or post concussion syndrome’s settlement value: Negligence or shared fault of the injured party; Tenuous causal connection between liable party and injury; Liability unclear between multiple potentially liable parties; The liable party is lacking in financial resources (known as a “judgment proof defendant”); No permanent cognitive impairment; No temporary cognitive impairment; and Injury’s effects are mitigated by swift medical treatment. Generally speaking, the fewer aftereffects you suffer as a result of your TBI, the less your TBI settlement is worth. Factors that do not appear in this list may also decrease your settlement’s value, so make sure you consider those factors as well. Better yet, discuss your case with an experienced TBI attorney so you have a well-informed estimate from someone who deals with TBI litigation on a day-to-day basis. Seasoned Legal Representation for Tri-State Area TBI Using our lists to make a relative estimate is useful in predicting your TBI settlement’s value. Adding up the sum of your monetary damages to make a more precise estimate is similarly useful. To get the most accurate estimate, however, there is no substitute for an experienced TBI attorney. The TBI attorneys here at Gerling Law have considerable experience helping those affected by TBI in the tri-state area recover the entirety of the damages they deserve. Our attorneys know how to evaluate your claim to get the most out of it. You deserve nothing less. Tell us your story. Call us today for a free consultation! Go with experience. Go with Gerling. ®

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Defective Consumer Devices

Firefighters Demand Unbiased Testing And Action Be Taken Against Cancer-Linked AFFF

May 28, 2021 — America’s largest firefighter’s union, the International Association of Fire Fighters, faced an unprecedented movement in January 2021 as members demanded that the cancer-linked chemicals in their gear, PFAs, be tested independently and that their union cease sponsorships from those involved in the making of both PFAs and AFFF.  Delegates representing the over 300,000 members of the union were expected to vote on the issues at hand in the coming days.  Such a vote had never been held by the union before. DuPont expressed that it was “disappointed” with those seeking to stop sponsorships and that its commitment to firefighting was “unwavering.” 3M had a similar stance, stating that it had “acted responsibility” on PFAS. Though PFAs may appear to be a meager foe compared to the brutal situations firefighters must be prepared to face every day, statistics reveal just how dangerous a firefighter’s gear can be to them.  Cancer has become the leading cause of death for firefighters in America within the last 30 years.  In 2019, it caused 75 percent of active-duty firefighter deaths.  Such tragic numbers can be explained by the studies undertaken by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health:  the institute found that firefighters have a 9 percent higher risk of getting cancer and a 14 percent higher risk of dying from cancer than the United States population.  Rates have not declined despite firefighters in the United States now using air packs comparable to scuba gear. Firefighters’ new demands emerged with the heightened challenges they faced resulting from climate change and higher temperatures.  Two dozen firefighters in California, home to some of the most devastating fires the United States has witnessed in the past year, filed suit against 3M, Chemours, E.I. du Pont de Nemours, and other manufacturers this past October 2020.  The firefighters claimed that the companies knowingly manufactured and sold gear loaded with toxic chemicals without warning for decades. References: Tabuchi, Hiroko. “Firefighters Battle an Unseen Hazard: Their Gear Could Be Toxic.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 26 Jan. 2021, www.nytimes.com/2021/01/26/climate/pfas-firefighter-safety.html.“Firefighter Resources, Cancer and Other Illnesses.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 8 Aug. 2018, www.cdc.gov/niosh/firefighters/health.html.

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| Read Time: < 1 minute | Defective Consumer Devices

D.A. in Delaware County Sues Chemical Companies

The Delaware County District Attorney filed a lawsuit against more than 10 chemical manufacturers after harmful “forever chemicals” were found contaminating soil and water in the county. Specifically, the lawsuit concerns toxins that were found in fire facilities and associated with AFFFs.  The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages to remove and mitigate the contamination. Source: The Philadelphia Inquirer

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| Read Time: < 1 minute | Defective Consumer Devices

Ohio Bill Makes Progress Toward Outlawing Toxic Firefighting Foam

An Ohio bill that seeks to outlaw the use of firefighting foam that contains harmful “forever chemicals” passed committee and is awaiting a vote in the Ohio House of Representatives. House Bill 158, sponsored by Representative Brian Baldridge, makes use of firefighting foam that contains PFAS illegal. If it passes the House, firefighters will need to find an alternative to the foam. Furthermore, firefighters will also only be able to use the foam for training in areas where the chemicals from the foam will not harm the surrounding environment. Although it is unclear as to when HB158 will reach the House floor, the addition of Representative Phil Plummer as a co-sponsor is expected to be announced soon.  Baldridge wants to see the bill passed, as PFAS, referred to as “forever chemicals,” remain in the atmosphere long after use. They have been linked to increased cholesterol levels and cancer, as well as increased risk during pregnancy.  The use of foams that contain these toxins is also linked to contaminated water sources in cities in Ohio.  Source: Dayton Daily News, Firefighter Nation

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| Read Time: < 1 minute | Defective Consumer Devices

Man Died of Asbestos Exposure from Childhood; Family Awarded $8 M

An appeals court in Oklahoma held that manufacturing companies in the state were negligent and liable for a 38-year-old man’s mesothelioma. The man, Brennen James Atkeson, died of the cancer. The court ruled his estate can collect the $8 million settlement. When Atkeson was a child, his stepfather – Ronnie Pratt – worked in an oil field and was exposed to products manufactured by Union Carbide Corporation and National Oilwell Varco. When Pratt came home from work, he exposed Atkeson to raw asbestos particles on his clothing from the field. In a 2019 trial, the jury found the manufacturing companies liable for this exposure, as they said the companies did not warn workers of the products’ risks.  The appeals court upheld the decision. Source: PR News Wire

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| Read Time: < 1 minute | Defective Consumer Devices

Two Atlanta Firefighters Survived Cancer, Attribute Tumors to Firefighting Foam

A growing number of firefighters are airing concerns about Aqueous Film Forming Foams (AFFFs) and their potential link to numerous health issues. AFFFs, which are used to fight oil- and fuel-based fires, have long been used in the firefighting industries to combat fires at airports and production plants. Additionally, most fire departments require yearly, up to week-long trainings on using AFFFs. So, while the exposure to AFFFs is not frequent, the cadence is enough to cause concern amongst newfound research.Recently, the CDC said AFFFs, and the PFAS contained in them, could be linked to cancer, organ damage, weakened immune system, and reproductive defects.  Two Atlanta-based retired firemen shared their experiences with FAAAs and the health problems that followed. Mark Johnson, who joined an Atlanta fire department in 1980, is recovering from prostate cancer. Craig Chait recently had surgery to remove a stage 4 thyroid cancer tumor. Both retired public servants handled FAAAs often during their careers, and both believe that interaction is to blame for their declining health.  Multiple lawsuits have been filed against the companies that produce and sell AFFFs. No change has yet to come from the suits.  Source: 11Alive

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