Wrongful Death Archives - The Law Office of WT Johnson Blog
- Citrus Fit Gold
- Hot Detox
- Tonic Life BP
Citrus Fit Gold, Hot Detox, and Thingenics contain sibutramine, a drug that was taken off the market in 2010 because it significantly increases the risk of coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, arrhythmias, and stroke. The FDA also said these three supplements had the potential to interact with other medications in a life-threatening way.
The Lawsuits Come Rolling In
The first lawsuit claimed sibutramine caused adverse effects, including death, and was filed in 2002. The product had been in the prescription drug Meridia. It was prescribed to patients who had a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more. The drug was given to remove fat and keep it off of these obese patients. In 2010, it was taken off the market following the Sibutramine Cardiovascular Outcomes Trial (SCOUT). In the trail, it was shown that 16 percent of the patients treated with Maridia had cardiovascular problems that included non-fatal heart attack, non-fatal stroke, stopped heart requiring resuscitation, and death.
On January 6, 2014 a New York woman filed a lawsuit claiming she had taken a diet supplement that contained sibutramine, and she had such an adverse effect, she was admitted to a mental hospital after suffering days of insomnia and erratic behavior.
The fourth supplement, Tonic Life BP, contains phenolphthalein, which is a carcinogen, according to the FDA. In 1999, the FDA determined phenolphthalein was not generally recognized as safe, it had been in laxatives until it was proven to cause cancer.
FDA Does Not Regulate Diet Supplements
A statement taken directly from the FDA’s supplement page:
“Generally, manufacturers do not need to register their products with FDA or get FDA approval before producing or selling dietary supplements.* Manufacturers must make sure that product label information is truthful and not misleading.
Under FDA regulations at 21 CFR part 111, all domestic and foreign companies that manufacture, package, label or hold dietary supplement, including those involved with testing, quality control, and dietary supplement distribution in the U.S., must comply with the Dietary Supplement Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMPs) for quality control.
In addition, the manufacturer, packer, or distributor whose name appears on the label of a dietary supplement marketed in the United States is required to submit to FDA all serious adverse event reports associated with use of the dietary supplement in the United States.
FDA’s responsibilities include product information, such as labeling, claims, package inserts, and accompanying literature. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulates dietary supplement advertising.”
For the more details on the FDA’s oversight on diet supplements, follow the link: http://www.fda.gov/food/dietarysupplements/
Consumers are misled to believe that all the items on store shelves or online are inspected and safe. Dietary products are not inspected by the FDA or other regulatory agencies. The FDA, as stated above, is very concerned that the weight and dosage are clearly labeled, but they have refused to provide oversight on the actual products, unless they contain an ingredient that is known to cause harm.
If you have suffered a personal injury, contact The Law Offices of W.T. Johnson today for a free consultation.
Uber is in the hot seat again! This time, they are facing a lawsuit because one of their drivers hit a family who was on the crosswalk of a San Francisco intersection. A mother and her two children were crossing the street when they were struck by an Uber driver. The mother and her five-year-old boy were injured and unfortunately, her six-year-old girl was killed.
What is Uber?
Uber is advertised as a downloadable app for a cellphone that is used to connect customers to rides, similar to a taxi service. The idea and the app have become a worldwide business, but not without controversy. When the company started, they used Lincoln, Cadillac, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz as the cars their customers could hail. Now, they have expanded their car selection to appeal to a larger cross section of customers.
In almost every city where Uber has appeared, they have been met with regulatory problems. They operate like a taxi service, but claim they are not taxis and therefore are not required to operate as taxis would be expected to operate.
When they moved into Texas, they were not welcomed with open arms either, for many of the same reasons they had faced in other places. They continue to claim they are only a technology company and would, therefore, not be required to pay the taxes, fees and follow the regulations a cab or limousine company would need to adhere to in compliance with the law. Uber has another problem: Their drivers are always online.
Driving, Texting and Responding to Customers
In order for Uber drivers to be responsive to the customers’ requests, the drivers must continually use their cellphones. They also need their cellphones for GPS location of customer pick-ups. The wrongful death lawsuit Uber is facing from the family of the little girl, states this distraction was the cause of the accident.
The drivers must constantly be communicating on their cellphones to potential customers who want a ride. In areas where texting or cell phone use while driving is prohibited by law, Uber is guilty of negligence per se. Forty-one states have banned cell phone use and texting while driving. Texas is not that restrictive. Texas law prohibits the use of cell phones while driving if you:
- Have had a learner’s permit for six months or less.
- Are under 18 years old.
- Operate a school bus when children are present.
- Are in a school crossing zone.
Depending on your city or county, there may be further rules on cell phone use while driving. Contact your local law enforcement for more information on laws on cell phone usage while driving and related fines.
Distracted drivers are as dangerous as drunken drivers. Many drivers think they can multi-task until they cause an accident. Then it is too late, the injury or even death cannot be undone. If you have been in an accident while the other driver was using a cell phone, you need an experienced and aggressive attorney who can get you the compensation you deserve for you injuries.
Call The Law Offices of W.T. Johnson today for a free consultation.
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
There is a never-ending debate as to the intent of the Founding Fathers when they wrote the Second Amendment, and if it should still apply to society today. When penning these words, the Founding Fathers had just fought the Revolutionary War, gaining independence for England, and so they understood, firsthand the power the people needed against an intolerable ruling class. They would have been unable to realize the weaponized power the military of today is armed with versus the average citizen.
Nevertheless, Americans, especially those in the western states and rural areas have a true love relationship with their guns and the right to keep their guns. Guns do not have the power to shoot someone; it is always the actions of a person pulling the trigger that fires the deadly rounds, yet guns are always the scapegoat.
Well, that is not necessarily true. There have been wrongful death cases where a gun misfired or had faulty trigger mechanisms that allowed the gun to discharge without the trigger being pulled by a human. These defective guns would certainly place blame on the negligent manufacturer or seller of the weapon. The manufacturer and others who profit from the sale had a duty to ensure that the guns, when handled properly, would not accidently discharge, injuring or killing indiscriminately.
Texas has more lenient gun laws than most other states, but that does not mean that humans who misuse guns are safe from negligence and liability. Wrongful death from a firearm is possible in Texas. There are three parts to claiming negligence: The first is to show that the gun owner had a duty to the injured person, the second is to show that the duty was breached, and the third is to create a link between the breach of duty and the injury.
There are no laws in Texas that require a gun owner to keep the weapons unloaded, locked in a safe or other secure location. If a child, under the age of 18, has access to a gun and uses that gun to commit a crime or harms anyone, including him or herself, the gun owner can be criminally liable and can be sued in a civil personal injury or wrongful death case.
Then, there is the issue of foreseeability. Take, for example, a person who knowingly leaves children in a car with a loaded and chambered gun in the glove compartment. If the unsupervised children open the glove compartment and handle the gun, only to be stunned when it fires injuring or killing one of them, the question of foreseeability should be raised. Was not the owner of the car and the gun able to “foresee” that children are curious and have no inherent knowledge of the dangers of a loaded weapon? The owner of the firearm is held to the highest standard of care and had a duty to keep a loaded gun away from the young children.
Owning a gun carries with it, responsibilities to protect others from the inherent dangers of a firearm. Even though the state has not passed laws requiring firearms be handled or stored in a prescribed manner, does not mean that they should not be respectfully treated and with a consideration for others.
The Difference Between Privileges and Rights
Many gun owners and enthusiasts are opposed to any attempt to pass and enforce laws regarding guns and gun control. The Second Amendment clearly states “the right of the people to keep and bear arms”, without any conditions having to be satisfied. Conversely, driving a car is a privilege; therefore, it is prudent for the state to pass laws that put certain requirements on potential drivers. The driver must have current car insurance to legally operate an automobile. After that, the person must pass a written test that demonstrates knowledge of traffic laws and basic automobile functions, such as, turn signals and brake lights. The student driver must also pass a driving test and eye test before they are declared competent to drive by the state, and given the privilege of a driver’s licenses.
To purchase a gun, either handgun or rifle, there is a Federal background check that searches the FBI database for a criminal conviction, since felons are not allowed to have a firearm in their possession. Once the prospective buyer has cleared the background check, the gun is theirs. There is no waiting period in Texas as is the case in other states. Aside from filling out the 4473 Form, which is a request for a background check, there is very little to the process.
The debate should not focus on privileges and rights, but rather on the inherent danger in driving a car and owning a firearm. They are both dangerous and account for thousands of deaths every year. A prudent gun owner would understand the responsibility that is innate to gun ownership and take it upon themselves to become educated on the care and handling of the firearm they just purchased.
In Texas, as in many other states, there is a provision in the law that allows a person to defend themselves, even to the point of deadly force. To use the “Castle Doctrine” as a defense against criminal prosecution, is based on the premise that the occupant of the home has the right to defend himself or herself against unlawful or forcible entry. The occupant must also believe that the intruder intended to do bodily harm to them. The occupant must not have provoked or instigated an intrusion or threat before using deadly force.
Not only does the Castle Doctrine provide a valid defense against criminal prosecution, it also contains a clause that shields the occupant of the home from civil personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits. Without this clause, the intruder or their family or estate could sue for medical bills, property damage, and punitive damages for pain and suffering. Using a firearm in self-defense is very different from misusing the firearm or allowing it to fall into the hands of a child or other person that has no business touching it.
Don’t hesitate to contact the professionals at W.T. Johnson today for a free consultation.
What is Choking?
No matter how old you are, many of us have felt that moment of panic when we feel something momentarily lodge in our throat while talking or laughing with food in our mouth. Mine was a piece of gum that fell down my trachea after a friend of mine told a particularly funny joke. But, choking emergencies are no laughing matter! Especially in children, choking is a serious emergency that needs to be dealt with immediately. If a victim goes for only three minutes without breathing, they will slip into unconsciousness. Soon after, their blood will be completely desaturated of oxygen and their body will begin to shut down. Once oxygenated blood is no longer being delivered to their vital organs, such as the heart and brain, it is only a matter of minutes before the victim expires. That being said, fast response is absolutely necessary when it comes to dealing with a choking victim. Always remember to call 9-1-1 for emergency medical assistance if someone cannot breath from choking. The sooner EMS is alerted, the better chance the victim will survive!
How to identify a choking victim
The universal sign of a choking victim is the victim’s hands holding onto their neck and throat. If you suspect choking in a person ask them and they will most likely respond with frantic head nodding. When a person chokes, their airway is completely blocked, preventing them from breathing, coughing, speaking and most importantly asking for help. They’ll be nodding their head because they won’t be able to convey their problem vocally. If the choking victim is coughing, encourage them to continue because this may dislodge the obstruction. It’s a different story with babies and toddlers who are just beginning to or don’t know how to speak. You can tell if an infant is choking if they are unable to cry or cough, are turning blue, or show intense signs of silent struggle.
How to help a choking victim
If you’ve encouraged them to cough but the obstruction in their airway isn’t moving, the American Red Cross developed a technique that will hopefully prevent the victim from going unconscious. Before you begin the maneuver, make sure to call 9-1-1 and make sure that emergency medical services are en route just in case the victim goes unconscious. Recently, the American Red Cross changed their traditional Heimlich maneuver to a more modern “5 and 5” technique. It includes five stomach thrusts much like the Heimlich, followed by five firm back blows. If the victim goes unconscious, there is an altered type of CPR for a victim with an airway obstruction. There is also a 5 and 5 technique developed for infants and babies as well. Much like the technique discussed above, you do five back blows and give five compressions. With a baby you actually physically pick them up and hold them while you give the back blows. Supporting their head and neck, stretch your forearm across their front body and put them on your knee to give the back blows. Flip them and do the same with their back, running your arm down their spine. Once flipped, instead of compressing their stomach, you’ll be compressing their chest about half an inch. Alternate these two techniques until the item is dislodged, EMS arrives, or someone of higher skill takes over.
Children Choking Hazards
Choking is the leading cause of accidental death in children under one year of age; in lieu of this I’ll be dedicating the second half of this post to inform you about child choking risk and prevention. We all know kids will put anything and everything into their mouths; they’re also inexperienced in chewing properly, thusly children are at risk of choking for much of their young lives. Food or otherwise, the following information will inform you of common household choking hazards. As a new uncle, researching this information is very important for me as I will be babysitting more than I ever have in the past.
When a child is moving away from baby food into more solid, chewable food, be sure to monitor them with diligence. Because they are new to chewing, they will be more prone to getting ahead of themselves and biting off more than they can chew, figuratively and literally. When feeding a child, it’s best to avoid round foods as they can easily become lodged in the throat, round foods will block the maximum amount of airflow through the trachea. In addition to round foods it is best to avoid sticky foods that can clump together once in their mouth. More foods to avoid include:
- cut up hot dogs
- peanut butter
- raw carrots
- hard or sticky candy
When buying toys for your child, it is important to keep in mind some standards for how you search. Make sure to read a new toy’s packaging before you buy it. Clearly marked choking hazard warnings will be on any potentially dangerous toy. Also, think of the size of the toy; is it so small that it will fit through a toilet paper roll? If so, it has failed the size test and should not be given to a child to play with. Does the toy have batteries; and if so, are the batteries easily removed? Toys that operate using batteries should have a safe and secure battery storage area. The lid to the battery compartment should be fastened with screws as to prevent the child from prying it open. If their get their hands on batteries, a myriad of risks develop. The batteries themselves present the risk of choking and the fluid inside can cause harmful chemical burns and internal bleeding, if ingested. Lastly, the toy should be durable. It should be able to handle whatever abuse the child can throw at it without breaking. If a toy breaks while a child is playing with it, small pieces or sharp edges may have broken off, presenting a new collection of dangers!
Other than toys, there are many little odds and ends that will catch a child’s eye. For various reasons, the listed items below should be kept away from children at all times!
- latex balloons
- pen caps
Here at the Law Offices of W.T. Johnson, we understand the everyday risks presented to small children and adults; choking hazards may be a result of mislabeled packaging, negligence or defective products. If the unthinkable has happened to you or your child from one of these causes, please contact us immediately for legal help!
For every awesome, responsible dog owner, there are people who are unfit to train and raise dogs. I believe that human interaction and training is the main cause of a dog or pet acting out violently. Unfortunately, when these dog owners instill a status quo of aggression within an animal, it can affect others in negative ways. Often times, unsuspecting people or children are preyed upon by the ill raised dogs. If you get attacked by a dog there are techniques that you can do to prevent, or lessen the damage of a dog attack. Below are some helpful tips to keep in mind for when you’re walking in the park and a dog begins to attack you. Also, once the attack has taken place there are certain measures that should be taken to treat the wound. Below I cover various things that should be done after an attack. Finally, if you feel that you’d like to take legal action because the dog bite has affected you in a serious way, listed below are various legal grounds that can be stood upon by a prosecuting attorney in the case of a dog or animal attack.
What to Do if You’re Attacked
Most importantly, keep calm and don’t panic. If you panic, you’ll make mistakes and be more prone to serious injury. Dogs are better at reading emotions than humans realize. If you are scared, the dog will know and will be more prone to exploiting your fear with aggression.
Stand Your Ground
Keeping the last tip in mind, look confident and stand your ground. This will help you have a more “alpha” appearance. The dog will pick up on this, but be convincing! If this doesn’t work and the dog lunges at you, you need to fight back. Fight back by using your weight as an advantage. Dropping all your weight on your knee or elbow to the dogs vitals will really let them know that you mean business. Do not run, you will lose in a foot race. If you’re taken down at a full sprint, you will not only be bitten, but you’ll also sustain injuries from the fall.
Protect Vital Areas
If the dog gets a hold of you, be sure to protect your face, neck and chest. If bitten or mauled in any of these areas, the potential for severe damage is very high.
Seek Proper First Aid Afterwards
After you’ve hopefully escaped the attack, make sure that you clean and dress the wounds properly. If severe injury was sustained, call an ambulance immediately. Once you are stabilized, be sure to report the attack to the proper authorities. If the dog has an owner, the attack was their fault due to a multitude of possible reasons.
How to Treat a Dog Attack Wound
If you’ve just been attacked by a dog and you have an open wound, you may have quite a few minutes before an ambulance shows up to administer first aid. If you have severe bleeding as a result, make sure to use the cleanest article of clothing you have to apply pressure to the wound. If it bleeds through, don’t remove the bandage, just keep adding more and more wrapping until the bleeding begins to slows down.
Sources of Compensation for Dog/Animal Bites
The dog’s owner or the person who was handling the dog may be liable for the medical expenses that you’ve accrued from injuries from the dog attack. These expenses include:
- emergency room care
- follow-up doctor visits pertaining to the bite injury
Also, due to the emotional damage one could hypothetically sustain due to an animal attack, the animal’s owner could also be liable for psychiatrist, therapist or mental counselor bills.
If your body is altered severely from the attack, then due compensation may be an option. Disfigurement includes extreme scarring and loss of limb or use of a body part. Based on the extent of the damage, the owner of the dog could be responsible for disfigurement compensation.
If the injury sustained from the attack has caused you to lose motor function or dexterity, causing you to have a lot of difficulty performing routine tasks, you may be owed compensation. Similarly to disfigurement, physical impairment compensation from the attack will be based on the severity of your limited movements and independence.
If you work or own your business and the injuries you’ve sustained are preventing you from returning to work, you may be entitled to compensation for your lost wages or profits. Only if the victim is completely certain that they have to miss work, they are entitled to compensation. Jobs that require free movement and athleticism are most likely to be covered, such as construction work or law enforcement.
Mental or Emotional Stress
Like stated above in the “medical treatment” section, a victim of a dog or animal attack is likely to sustain emotional or mental injuries as well. It isn’t uncommon for a victim to stress out over the continuing anxieties that manifest after a traumatic event. If you are experiencing mental suffering from an attack, you’re entitled to compensation.
Loss of Consortium, Society and/or Loss of Household Services
If you are closely related or married to a victim of a dog or animal attack, you may be entitled to compensation due to loss of consortium or loss of society. Loss of consortium is the damages sustained when a relationship between a husband and wife are damaged; Loss of society is the damages sustained when a relationship between a parent and child are damaged. Lastly, loss of household services is the help around the house that has been lost or limited due to a member of the houses dog attack injuries. Depending on weather or not the attack resulted in death or disablement, these losses may or may not be recovered.
This one speaks for itself really. Wrongful death entitles monetary recoveries to the family of the victim due to irreplaceable loss of human life.
Dogs make great, lovable pets with the right upbringing and training, but due to bad dog owners, aggressive dogs are inadvertently produced. If you or someone you know has sustained injuries from a dog or animal attack, please do not hesitate to contact the professionals at W.T. Johnson to fight for your future. They’ll work their hardest to see to it that justice is served!
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned cardiologists and physicians last Wednesday of the dangers of Lexiscan and Adenoscan. Both are injectable compounds marketed by Astellas Pharma US Inc. that aid in testing for cardiac disorders. They work by stressing the heart, allowing doctors to take photos of problematic areas due to low blood flow or damaged heart muscle. These types of tests would normally be done on people by monitoring them while they exercise, but these drugs were developed for people who are physically unable exercise. The chemicals dilate the heart’s arteries, causing increased blood flow to an obstructed artery.
The numbers aren’t shockingly high and the drugs’ use can lead to saving more lives, but there is an inherent risk of use. The FDA analyzed a safety database containing figures about the drugs since 2008 for Lexiscan, and since 1995 for Adenoscan. The research concluded that 26 heart attacks and 29 deaths can be linked to Lexiscan; and 6 heart attacks and 27 deaths can be attributed to Adenoscan. In this case the FDA isn’t going to pull the products, just warn doctors about the risks so they can inform their patients because there is no other way to find the data without the drugs. In the end, more people will be warned about the risks, and the packaging will most likely undergo an overhaul to include new data found regarding their use and risks.
With new research and regulation, some formerly “safe” drugs are proving to cause health risks. If you or someone you know are negatively affected by a recalled medication, please contact W.T. Johnson for legal counsel.
70-year-old Stanislaw Burzynski of Houston, TX has been treating a range of patients since 1970. Ranging from cancer to Lupus. He is now claiming to be able to cure a type of brain stem cancer in children that has historically had a 5% mortality rate. Burzynski claims to be able to cure “half” of the annual average of 200 children who are diagnosed with brain stem tumors. Of all the cancers that are found in children, 83% of them can be cured by doctors. The rare brain stem cancer is not one of these. Insurance plans refuse to cover Burzynski’s treatment and he charges up to $100,000 out of pocket. Burzynski has treated over 8,000 patients since 1970 using the same treatment. He uses a drug of his own invention called ‘antineoplastons.’ These sodium-rich drugs are synthesized from blood and urine with a distinctly offensive odor. Originally the substance was made using collected urine from bars, parks, and prisons, but now the drug is synthesized in laboratories. Along with cancer, Burzynski has been using ‘antineoplastons’ to treat AIDS and Lupus.
Although some claim that he has saved their lives, there are no records that he has ever cured anyone, or even helped anyone live longer. None of his findings have been published in a peer-reviewed journal, and his credibility continues to be questioned by his lack of any oncological background. Many cancer professionals refer to him as a ‘snake oil salesman,’ who is selling false hopes with his magic potion. You may be wondering how he’s managed to stay in business for so long. This can be attributed to the fact that many who would seek compensation were terminally ill, and didn’t survive to take him to court. He has all of his patients sign waivers, and the laws in Texas allow him to operate without revocation. The FDA has even hounded him for prescribing non-approved drugs, but Burzynski’s diehard followers who did survive have aggressively supported his continuing treatment with outspoken support.
Patients who are terminally ill will look anywhere for help, and unfortunately there are some who take advantage of other’s vulnerability. If you or someone you know is a victim of medical malpractice or has been taken advantage of by a medical professional, please contact W.T. Johnson to get the compensation you deserve!
Choking is the leading cause of accidental death in children under one year of age. We all know kids will put anything and everything into their mouths; they’re also inexperienced in chewing properly, thusly children are at risk of choking for much of their young lives. Food or otherwise, the following post will help instill a foundation of knowledge in any new parent who is unaware of common household choking hazards.
When your child is moving away from baby food into more solid, chewable food, be sure to monitor them more diligently. Because they are new to chewing, they will have more of a chance of getting ahead of themselves and biting off more than they can chew, figuratively and literally. When feeding your child, it’s best to avoid round foods as they can easily become lodged in their throat, blocking a maximum amount of airflow in the trachea. In addition to round foods it is best to avoid sticky foods that can clump together once in their mouth. Foods to avoid include:
- cut up hot dogs
- peanut butter
- raw carrots
- hard or sticky candy
On many toys that might catch your little one’s eye, there is a printed choking warning if there are small parts included in the packaging. If you have multiple children and the older one(s) have toys that include smaller parts, be sure that those toys don’t fall into your toddler’s hands. Some other common household objects to avoid letting them play with include:
- latex balloons
- pen caps
Here at the Law Offices of W.T. Johnson, we understand the everyday risks presented to small children; choking hazards may be a result of mislabeled packaging, negligence or defective products. If the unthinkable has happened to your child due to one of these causes, please contact us immediately for legal help!
Due to a complete lack of responsibility, an inmate in the state of Washington is now dead due to negligence. 22-year-old Michael Saffioti has had extreme dairy allergies his entire life according to his mother Rose. He had been incarcerated in the Snohomish County Jail once before, and the guards knew him and his dietary needs prior to his recent stay. During breakfast, footage shows that he asked the guard about the contents of his oatmeal, and guards told him it contained no dairy. A few minutes later he is shown to be asking a guard for a rescue inhaler, but the guard declined, refusing his request for medical help. Saffioti was then sent to his cell instead. In his cell, he used the call button to ask for help, but was once again ignored by the guards. Soon after, he was found lying unconscious in his cell. Surveillance footage shows emergency medical staff frantically performing CPR on Saffioti, he was then rushed to an area hospital. He was pronounced dead upon arrival. Saffioti was incarcerated after turning himself in for a marijuana misdemeanor charge.
His mother Rose is now suing the county for $10 million, claiming blatant negligence to her son’s needs. Her attorney, Cheryl Snow, says that he made his needs apparent and the guards ignored his request, leading to a wrongful, unnecessary death.
If you know someone who has suffered due to the negligence or improper care of another, compensation may be deserved. Wrongful death affects family and loved ones along with the victims themselves. If you are affected by the wrongful death of a loved one, please contact the professionals at W.T. Johnson for legal help.
If you would like to discuss your claim with a member of our team, don’t hesitate to call us at (214) 231-0544. We’re ready to help you, and won’t rest until you receive the settlement you deserve.