Richard Bagdasarian Attorney – Traffic Deaths Show Startling Spike Second Year in a Row

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Traffic Deaths Show Startling Spike Second Year in a Row

 

The traffic accident statistics for 2016 were just released, and they are dismal: According to the report, 40,200 people died in auto accidents in 2016 alone, making 2016 the first year—since 2007—to see more than 40,000 people die in auto accidents, and making the recent two-year increase (14 percent) the largest in more than half a century.

Causes

According to safety advocates, more people driving on the road cannot possibly account for this level of increase. Most believe that the uptick can only be explained by distracted driving, which has reached a new crisis level beyond the issue of cell phone use.

Others contend that the increase is due to more lenient enforcement when it comes to cracking down on seatbelt requirements, drunk driving, and speeding restrictions. Only 18 states have laws requiring seat belts for all occupants, and in 15 states, failing to wear your seatbelt only constitutes a secondary offense (i.e. a driver cannot be pulled over for it unless they are doing something else wrong). According to the report, about half of all traffic fatalities involve unbelted occupants, and a third involve drivers under the influence.

The Law in Florida

In Florida, the law states that only the front seat passengers must wear seatbelts, as well as any passenger under the age of 18. Radar detectors are legal to use in standard passenger vehicles, and a police officer can only give you a ticket if you violate traffic control signs on public—not private—property; however, that does not mean that, should violating one of these signs on private property lead to an accident, you cannot still be held liable for any injuries and damage associated with being at fault in that accident.

Florida Is No Exception

Automobile accidents are still a leading cause of injury in Florida. Every year, roughly 200,000 people are injured and over 2,000 more are killed in crashes throughout the state. The state of Florida could likely reduce traffic deaths simply by requiring rear-seated occupants to also wear seatbelts, as well as installing more speed cameras and tightening regulations on trucks. The National Safety Council is also calling on all states to ban the use of smartphones by drivers, regardless of whether they are in hands-free mode.

If you’ve been in an auto accident, the Boca Raton car accident attorneys at Lavalle, Brown & Ronan, P.A. can help you and your family. With over 180 years of combined personal injury litigation experience, we work aggressively to ensure that you receive the full amount of compensation applicable to your case, including ensuring that your medical bills are paid and justice is done in terms of obtaining lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages. Contact us today for a free consultation.

For more information and in depth analysis, please contact Attorney Ken Ronan at   kronan@bocalaw.com and Case Manager Richard Bagdasarian at rbagdasarian@bocalaw.com.


Richard Bagdasarian Attorney


Resources:

nytimes.com/2017/02/15/business/highway-traffic-safety.html?hpw&rref=automobiles&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=well-region&region=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well

nsc.org/NewsDocuments/2017/12-month-estimates.pdf

Richard Bagdasarian Attorney – New Report Highlights Consumer Fraud at All-Time High In 2016

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New Report Highlights Consumer Fraud at All-Time High In 2016

 

According to a new report released, approximately 15.4 million consumers were victims of fraud or identity theft in 2016; a 16 percent increase from the previous year, and the highest figure on record since the report producers started tracking these statistics in 2004.

The highest increase (up 40 percent) occurred with transactions made online or over the phone (where the physical credit card does not need to be present), following by account takeover fraud (stealing login information) and new fraudulent accounts being created in consumers’ names. Overall, the report found that thieves stole $16 billion in 2016, an increase of approximately one billion dollars from the previous year.

Online Vs. Offline

However, thanks to fraud protection and early detection, consumers have managed to minimize financial damage to themselves and spend less on out-of-pocket expenses. Specifically, most victims detect fraudulent activity with online purchases within one week of it first occurring. Although shoppers with a heavy online presence via social media were also more likely to be targeted by thieves, online consumers in general– by spotting fraud within a week of it happening (versus 40 days for those who are offline)–prevented more financial damage.

Protect Yourself

If you haven’t already, make sure that you:

  • Establish alerts with your financial institutions;
  • Consider third-party budgeting apps, which also sometimes flag unusual spending;
  • Keep tabs via ordering credit reports;
  • Create complex passwords and change them from time-to-time; and
  • (If you want to prevent anyone from being able to open up new lines of credit in your name), place a credit freeze with Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian (but note that this is also a drastic measure).

Litigation

Recently, a settlement in the amount of close to $8,000,000 for consumers was reached as the result of a multistate investigation into consumer complaints over Western Union’s wire transfer service. Consumers complained that the company’s wire transfer service was used to send money to third parties involved in schemes to defraud consumers.

The settlement—which includes Florida—requires Western Union to develop an anti-fraud program so as to detect and prevent incidents it must include:

  • Placing anti-fraud warnings on “send forms” that consumers use to wire funds;
  • Training and education concerning fraud-induced wire transfers for Western Union agents;
  • Heightened anti-fraud procedures (when warranted);
  • Due diligence checks on and monitoring of Western Union agents who process the money transfers; and
  • Prompt disciplinary action taken against any Western Union agents who fail to follow anti-fraud measures.

Contact our Boca Raton Consumer Fraud Protection Attorneys

Protection from consumer fraud is one of the most common areas of commercial litigation. There are numerous commercial laws designed to protect you as a consumer—and/or your business—from harmful practices.

Lavalle, Brown & Ronan, P.A. have a combined 130 years of experience working in commercial law in Florida and protecting consumers who are victims of fraud. Contact us today for a free consultation and find out how we can help you.

For more information and in depth analysis, please contact Attorney Ken Ronan at  kronan@bocalaw.com and Case Manager Richard Bagdasarian at rbagdasarian@bocalaw.com.


Richard Bagdasarian Attorney


Resources:

cnbc.com/2017/02/01/consumers-lost-more-than-16b-to-fraud-and-identity-theft-last-year.html

waff.com/story/34393098/ag-western-union-settles-fraud-claims-with-al-consumers

Richard Bagdasarian Attorney – Construction of Pipeline in Florida Has Those Nearby Worried About Accidents

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Construction of Pipeline in Florida Has Those Nearby Worried About Accidents

 

Florida citizens upset about the construction of a $3.2 billion natural gas pipeline that will stretch 268 miles (or 829 kilometers) from Alabama to Florida have started protesting against its construction, concerned that it will threaten the environment, freshwater supply, and the state’s future in solar energy. Some are also concerned that an accident could harm property owners and others who live close to the pipeline.

In fact, those who have lived close to natural gas pipelines know that explosions do occur, and people lose their lives as a result. If leaks or other accidents do occur, sometimes those harmed by it can bring personal injury claims as a result.

Lives Affected

According to protesters, the pipeline will traverse some of the most biologically diverse areas of the country, potentially jeopardizing the Suwannee River and the Everglades. Earlier this month, several women were arrested while protesting and charged with trespassing and resisting without violence.

What many do not realize is that there have already been lives lost over pipelines in Florida: earlier this month, three construction company employees and a Florida utility worker died from a combination of toxic gases inhaled in a Key Largo underground pipeline. A firefighter who went in to save them also collapsed seconds after entering. Tests performed found high concentrations of methane and hydrogen sulfide gases, with very little oxygen available.

And then there are also the “unseen” harms: the well water which can be polluted, as well as the toxic chemicals that can leach into the groundwater. Water contamination can cause illness and serious health risks, including damage to the kidneys, liver, birth defects, cancer, brain, and other issues.

Litigation

Last August, environmental organizations filed a federal lawsuit to stop the pipeline’s construction, and if it is built, nearby landowners can sue for being harmed by the environmental contamination, particularly if the groundwater becomes contaminated and unsafe to drink and/or use for irrigation purposes. In addition to personal injury claims that can be brought under state, such as trespass, nuisance, and negligence, citizens are also empowered to file claims under the federal Clean Water Act if they have been affected by water contamination.

Personal Injury Attorneys Serving Florida

Personal injuries cover any type of injuries related to negligent or even intentional conduct by someone else, including a company. If your health or land has been damaged by the construction of a pipeline or anything else that poses a risk of contamination in Florida, you may want to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your options. This includes any potential wrongful death claims you may wish to bring on behalf of loved ones who’ve lost their lives. Contact Lavalle Brown & Ronan today for a free consultation and we’ll explain what your options are.

For more information and in depth analysis, please contact Attorney Ken Ronan at   kronan@bocalaw.com and Case Manager Richard Bagdasarian at rbagdasarian@bocalaw.com.


Richard Bagdasarian Attorney


Resources:

nbcmiami.com/news/local/Protesters-Demonstrate-Against-Proposed-Pipeline-Ending-in-Florida-411886565.html

abc7news.com/archive/7661806/

rt.com/usa/373755-florida-gas-pipeline-protest/

wtvr.com/2017/01/19/three-workers-die-in-underground-pipeline-in-florida/

Richard Bagdasarian Attorney – Antitrust Lawsuit Filed Against Cell phone Chip Supplier

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Antitrust Lawsuit Filed Against Cell phone Chip Supplier

 

On January 17th, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed an antitrust lawsuit against Qualcomm (QCOM), the lead supplier of chips used by our mobile phones. The company has been accused of  conducting a monopoly in the market via their patent-licensing terms with phone partners.; specifically, of strong-arming Apple into using its product in iPhones by lowering the associated patent-licensing fees.

The impact of this particular situation goes beyond antitrust concerns and, according to the FTC, also into the stifling of innovative new products entering the market: Allegedly, QCOM prevented Apple from launching a product called the WiMax iPhone because it would have generated much lower royalties for QCOM. As a result, QCOM allegedly made a deal, allowing Apple to pay lower royalties in order for QCOM to secure a long-term hold over the iPhone and lock rivals out of the market.

Antitrust Laws

Antitrust laws are designed to regulate the conduct of U.S. business corporations in an effort to promote fair competition for the sake of consumers. The main laws which enable action to be taken against corporations unfairly limiting competition are the Federal Trade Commission Act, the Sherman Act, and the Clayton Act. One of the main purposes of these laws is to prohibit the creation of a monopoly.

Detrimental Effects on Other Companies

As a result of this deal, QCOM remained Apple’s exclusive supplier, causing other companies such as Broadcom and Texas Instruments to retreat from the market. One company in particular also suffered from the failure of WiMax to enter the market—Sprint, which had invested in the standard and, instead, had to invest in LTE networks, which QCOM helped keep in place.

The Future of the Case

The emergency of iPhone 7 required Apple to split production between both QCOM and Intel due to the type of modems used for the device, thus QCOM (in response to the lawsuit) may argue that some competitive conditions have already been restored to the market in this particular case. In addition, the strength of the lawsuit may hinge on who sits on the FTC in the future, as the agency could be Republican-led in a short amount of time.

Other Repercussions

QCOM already faces significant fines from China, South Korea, Europe, and Taiwan, all of which have fined the company billions (combined) in overseas fines, forcing it to lower its licensing fees and currently investigating the company for anticompetitive practices.

This could also have an impact on the Smartphone market itself, as QCOM’s 3G/4G licensing fees can add up to five percent of the device’s entire wholesale price, potentially placing pressure on the company’s earnings and affecting investors as well.

Commercial Litigators Serving Florida

If you have been the victim in an antitrust legal dispute, or other areas of commercial litigation (such as banking, business, cybercrime, franchise law, etc.), contact Lavalle Brown & Ronan today. Our attorneys are well-versed in this complex area of the law, serving clients in Boca Raton and surrounding areas for more than 130 years combined. Let our experienced attorneys provide you with a free consultation today.

For more information and in depth analysis, please contact Attorney Ken Ronan at   kronan@bocalaw.com and Case Manager Richard Bagdasarian at rbagdasarian@bocalaw.com.


Richard Bagdasarian Attorney


Resources:

finance.yahoo.com/news/qualcomms-paul-jacobs-says-ftc-rushed-suit-before-trump-174753295.html

host.madison.com/business/investment/markets-and-stocks/qualcomm-faces-a-nasty-new-lawsuit-regarding-apple/article_6ef339b3-5ded-542d-8ab6-bcf8b62ca8ea.html

ftc.gov/tips-advice/competition-guidance/guide-antitrust-laws

Richard Bagdasarian Attorney – The Future for Medical Malpractice Claims

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The Future for Medical Malpractice Claims

 

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For many Americans, the right to hold a doctor or other medical professional accountable for any mistakes that cause harm is a fundamental right to justice. When private parties to limit that right, there is typically uproar and reactive forces which seek to restore those rights once again.

However, what might surprise many is that the ability to hold those accountable for medical errors and negligence may be diminished this coming year by elected officials; specifically, in whether (and how) they choose to repeal the Affordable Care Act. This is especially disconcerting given that, to date, medical errors are the third leading cause of death in America.

Current Plans for a New Federal Law

Every announced plan to repeal the current federal law involves some kind of repeal of patients’ rights under both state and local laws. For example, if a doctor, hospital, or other medical care professional negligently harms a patient, all currently proposed versions of the new federal bill would preempt any and all state laws that currently provide citizens with the right to sue for this negligence. For example, while one version would allow the federal government to formulate a strict set of guidelines on patient treatment, yet another version would simply leave any incidents involving negligence up to a tribunal or panel made up of medical industry professionals.

Another proposed change would affect how much compensation individuals and families could receive when someone is harmed by a medical professional; these are known as “caps” (or hard limits) on compensation. States like Louisiana already have these caps in place, making it difficult for families to properly address medical errors, especially those that lead to lifelong injuries or disabilities for themselves and their loved ones.

Perhaps most importantly, efforts like these also don’t appear to offer much payoff to anyone: According to various studies and experts, limiting patients’ legal rights only ends up increasing healthcare costs–so why limit them?

The Right to a Civil Jury Trial

These current proposals also carry with them some concerning implications, as the 7thAmendment of the U.S. Constitutional guarantees a citizen’s right to a civil jury trial. Congress really has no jurisdiction to regulate local civil justice rules, which are the purview of the courts.

Florida Medical Malpractice Attorneys

The experienced medical malpractice attorneys at Lavalle Brown & Ronan have been assisting victims of medical negligence and error in Boca Raton and surrounding areas for years. These types of claims can be complicated, especially when it comes to the medical expertise involved. You want to ensure that any medical malpractice lawyer you consult with is experienced, reliable, and trustworthy. We provide all of these qualities in our legal work. We provide free consultations in an effort to provide guidance so that you feel less helpless in the face of your injury. If you have questions about medical malpractice, sit down with us for free today.

For more information and in depth analysis, please contact Attorney Ken Ronan at   kronan@bocalaw.com and Case Manager Richard Bagdasarian at rbagdasarian@bocalaw.com.


Richard Bagdasarian Attorney


Resources:

huffingtonpost.com/entry/medical-malpractice-and-the-mind-blowing-hypocrisy_us_5873f125e4b0eb9e49bfbe48

nola.com/health/index.ssf/2015/02/five_things_to_know_about_medi.html

centerjd.org/content/americans-insurance-reform-issues-two-new-studies-medical-malpractice-insurance

washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2016/12/30/top-republicans-say-theres-a-medical-malpractice-crisis-experts-say-there-isnt/?utm_term=.b0c8f0d255cc

Richard Bagdasarian Attorney – Housing That Is Dangerous and Unfair To Consumers

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Housing That Is Dangerous and Unfair To Consumers

 

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Recently, the New York Times reported on an issue that is hurting residents all over the country, not only in terms of injury and harm, but also in terms of civil rights, contracts, and consumer protection. The article details the many moldy, decrepit, and unfit homes that have been and continue to be turned into “rent-to-own” properties, leading many families to be exposed to dangerous levels of lead and other human habitation issues.

It is especially frightening to note that the hazardous nature of these premises doesn’t just involve speculation from environmental and human health interests at this point, but rather, health officials and doctors, who have warned that the homes are definitively linked to increased lead poisoning in children.

Unfair, Dangerous Scams

These deals are known as installment contracts. They essentially require residents to enter into a long-term, high-interest installment contract, whereby the resident has to make a nonrefundable payment upfront, deal with any and all repairs necessary for habitation of the premises, and then make monthly payments to investors.

Sold as a way for residents to eventually own their own home, they are disproportionately pitched to poor minority communities, and turn into hazardous money pits, which residents then have no choice but to abandon, allowing the investors to start the process all over again with new residents. But how is this legal?

Litigation

In fact, these installment contracts exist in what many would call a “legal gray area” that appears to circumvent consumer protection laws and regulations. Landlords, of course, have to keep properties habitable, and renters are entitled to receive their deposits back when they leave—so where does that leave the owners and investors in these circumstances? And shouldn’t these companies be required to ensure that dangerous lead conditions have been eliminated from these homes before they are placed on the market?

One such company—Vision Property Management—has already been both sued and fined for lead contamination. The company’s response has been that this is all legal because of what they included in its contracts; namely that all repairs and work that needed to be done in order to make the properties habitable had to be done by the residents themselves.

But does this clear them of any wrongdoing? What about contracts that are in violation of public policy and/or may contradict other legal requirements, such as federal rules and regulations that apply to lead-based paint?

In fact, this has become such a problem that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has sent formal requests for information from some of these companies, and is now both investigating and suing some of them for failing to provide information related to deception and predation in contracts for deed, as well as for potential abuse.

Attorneys Protecting Consumers

When it comes to complex legal issues like these, which involve a variety of violations and legal claims including personal injury, civil actions, consumer fraud, contract issues, etc., you want to ensure that, if you feel that you’ve been harmed by such a transaction, you consult an attorney who is experienced in both personal injury and commercial litigation.

At Lavalle Brown & Ronan, we practice in both of these areas, and aggressively fight for our clients’ rights. We serve clients in Boca Raton and surrounding areas of Florida—contact us today for a free consultation.

For more information and in depth analysis, please contact Attorney Ken Ronan at   kronan@bocalaw.com and Case Manager Richard Bagdasarian at rbagdasarian@bocalaw.com.


Richard Bagdasarian Attorney


Resources:

nytimes.com/2017/01/02/opinion/housing-that-ruins-your-finances-and-your-health.html?mabReward=A6&recp=5&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&region=CColumn&module=Recommendation&src=rechp&WT.nav=RecEngine&_r=0

nytimes.com/2016/12/26/business/dealbook/seller-financed-home-sales-poor-people-lead-paint.html?_r=0

Richard Bagdasarian Attorney – Jury Awards $2.85 Million in Broward County Medical Malpractice Case

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Jury Awards $2.85 Million in Broward County Medical Malpractice Case

 

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On February 6th, a jury found a Broward County doctor liable for $2.4 million in damages for failing to properly treat a 72-year-old retired police officer—Jerry Pettigrossi—who was suffering from an autoimmune disorder and ended up dying as the result of the medical care he received.

Allegedly, Pettigrossi was placed on the regular medical floor when he should have instead been in telemetry in order to be properly monitored. As time passed, the weakness he originally had been experiencing in his legs progressed to his extremities, and he began to lose feeling in his arms and hands. Three days later, in spite of being notified that Pettigrossi’s heart rate and blood pressure had spiked, the doctor still failed to examine Pettigrossi, and he died the next day after suffering from a progressing paralysis.

But For a Medical Mistake, the Patient Would Have Lived

As with all medical malpractice cases, Pettigrossi’s family argued that his death was preventable; in other words, he would not have died but for the substandard care he received at the hospital. Specifically, experts testified that Pettigrossi exhibited classic symptoms of Guillain-Barre syndrome, which causes the immune system to attack the nerves. Had he been properly monitored, the proper medication could have prevented progression of paralysis to his lungs and heart.

While in most medical malpractice cases, the doctor and/or hospital being accused of medical negligence usually argues that they did, in fact, provide the proper standard of care, in this particular case, the defense argued that, instead, the mistakes were made by the nurse for allegedly failing to follow the doctor’s order for a stat cardiac consult and call in a neurologist as well in addition to the attending doctor. The defense also argued that the typical standard of care did not require the doctor to recognize the symptoms of Guillain-Barre syndrome; specifically, that he did not “have the time or wherewithal to go back to the books and learn about everything that’s presenting in a patient.”

The jury ultimately sided with Pettigrossi’s family, assigning 85 percent of the liability for his death to the doctor and 15 percent to the nurse. The total damages awarded came to $2.85 million, with $2.42 of it being attributed to the doctor, specifically.

Florida Medical Malpractice Attorneys

If a doctor and/or hospital fail to follow standard protocol in recognizing and treated a patient’s medical needs, the patient and/or their family may be able to hold them liable by filing a medical malpractice claim after a pre-suit investigation is completed.

At the law offices of Lavalle Brown & Ronan, our Boca Raton medical malpractice attorneys have extensive experience assisting individuals and families in Florida who have suffered due to medical negligence. We strive to obtain the full compensation you deserve to make you whole again; contact us today for a free consultation.


Richard Bagdasarian Attorney


Resource:

dailybusinessreview.com/id=1202778509947/Jury-Awards-24M-in-Broward-Medical-Malpractice-Case?mcode=1202615481257&curindex=1&curpage=ALL

Richard Bagdasarian Attorney – Lawsuits Will Be Critical in Protecting People’s Rights over Next Four Years

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Lawsuits Will Be Critical in Protecting People’s Rights over Next Four Years

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As the U.S. prepares to welcome in a new administration, advocacy groups are predicting that litigation will be key in protecting citizens’ civil rights under state and federal commercial laws, including consumer protection and employment laws.

Because it is anticipated that there will be fewer opportunities to collaborate with the administration before certain laws and regulations are put in place, some advocacy organizations have said that the courts will, specifically, serve as “an important bulwark.” This will be especially important in upholding constitutional rights.

Potential Threats

Specifically, constitutional law scholars are concerned about the following being eviscerated:

  • First Amendment Rights: The First Amendment protects the rights of free speech and press, including the rights of journalists to be able to report candidly;
  • Equal Protection of the Laws: S. citizens have the right to be treated equally, regardless of their religious upbringing, affiliation, beliefs, race, gender, etc.;
  • Separation of Powers: It is crucial that the judicial branch remain independent as part of our system of separated checks and balances; and
  • Voting Rights & Civil Rights: It is critical that the voting rights of all Americans are protected.

Recent Civil Rights Case

Commonwealth v. Warren, a recent case taken up by the Massachusetts Supreme Court, examined whether police had reasonable suspicion to stop an African-American man simply because he ran away from officers. It had already been established by the courts that evasive conduct in the absence of any other information tending toward an individualized suspicion that a defendant is involved in a crime is insufficient to support reasonable suspicion. Specifically, the law guards a person’s freedom to speak or not to speak to a police officer. It is also within someone’s right to simply wall away and avoid contact with police. In other words; there is a fine line between consensual and obligatory police encounters.

The court concluded that because African-American men are disproportionately and repeatedly subject to police stops, more is needed to establish reasonable suspicion than the officers had in this particular case, especially given that African-Americans often have reasons to flee and these reasons may be “unrelated to the consciousness of guilt.” A report recently compiled concerning the incidence of African-American men in the city likely being targeted for police-civilian encounters such as stops, frisks, searches, interrogations, etc. played a large part in the decision.

These are the types of cases that we are likely to see come up in court over the next four years.

Civil Litigators Handling both Private and Public Legal Issues

The attorneys at Lavalle, Brown & Ronan, P.A. have a combined 130 years of experience working in civil and commercial law in the Boca Raton area. If you have been involved in a dispute, or suffered from a personal injury, including a violation of your civil rights, contact us today at 561-395-0000 or online to receive a free legal consultation. We are here to serve the citizens of Boca Raton and surrounding communities.

For more information and in depth analysis, please contact Attorney Ken Ronan at   kronan@bocalaw.com and Case Manager Richard Bagdasarian at rbagdasarian@bocalaw.com.


Richard Bagdasarian Attorney


Resource:

theguardian.com/us-news/2016/dec/23/civil-rights-trump-era-courts-lawsuit-ziglar-vs-abbasi-aclu

Richard Bagdasarian Attorney – Florida Supreme Court Questions Whether State Medical Malpractice Law Violates Patient Privacy

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Florida Supreme Court Questions Whether State Medical Malpractice Law Violates Patient Privacy

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On December 8th, the Florida Supreme Court reviewed a case that could have repercussions for victims of medical malpractice who choose to bring malpractice lawsuits here in Florida. The case centers around a 2013 state medical malpractice law that allows what are known as “ex parte communications,” or communications between attorneys and doctors who have treated the patients involved in the lawsuits, but concerning issues that are completely unrelated to the malpractice allegations. Many have argued that the law deters people from bringing medical malpractice lawsuits in general due to privacy and disclosure concerns, as one justice described it, leading to a “chilling effect.”

What’s frightened many—including the Supreme Court justices—about the law is just how private medical information is, and how important maintaining that guarantee of privacy is in order for doctors to be able to properly and effectively treat their patients.

Constitutional Right to Privacy

The Florida Constitution guarantees privacy rights to citizens. Specifically, it declares that every natural person has the right to be let alone and free from intrusion into their private life. In addition, the court, not the state legislature, is the typically the branch authorized to make decisions concerning ex parte communications. In this sense, the Florida state legislature arguably overstepped its boundaries when it passed this law in 2013.

Federal Judge Previously Strikes Part of Law

In 2013—soon after the law was passed—a federal judge threw out that portion of the law that allowed defendant health care providers and their representatives to have these ex parte communications with the plaintiff’s doctors, indicating that it violated the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (Act). Specifically, the judge found that the state law’s requirement that the defendant have ex parte access to the plaintiff’s medical providers did not constitute “voluntary permission,” as required under the Act, and that this statute was an attempt to circumvent federal requirements.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

HIPAA not only protects health insurance coverage for workers and their families in the event of losing or changing jobs, but it also requires that national standards be established when it comes to electronic healthcare transactions. Perhaps most importantly, its privacy rule requires covered entities to take all reasonable steps to ensure the confidentiality of communication. For example, hospitals can’t even reveal information over the phone to relatives of admitted patients.

Medical Malpractice & Civil Litigation Attorneys Serving Florida

When you have the victim of medical malpractice—or your civil rights have been violated—the law offices of Lavalle Brown & Ronan can help. Our Boca Raton attorneys have years of experience representing clients in and around Boca Raton with personal injury claims and civil litigation. Contact us today for a free consultation.

For more information and in depth analysis, please contact Attorney Ken Ronan at   kronan@bocalaw.com and Case Manager Richard Bagdasarian at rbagdasarian@bocalaw.com.


Richard Bagdasarian Attorney


Resources:

news4jax.com/news/florida/supreme-court-questions-medical-malpractice-law

flsenate.gov/Laws/Constitution#A1S23

floridabar.org/divcom/jn/jnnews01.nsf/8c9f13012b96736985256aa900624829/47c561f31b9d44dc85257bfd0046ab7c!OpenDocument

leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0700-0799/0766/Sections/0766.106.html

Richard Bagdasarian Attorney – New Study Highlights Toxins in Baby Pacifiers

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New Study Highlights Toxins in Baby Pacifiers

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A new study just released by the American Chemical Society found that the most popular teething rings contain hormone-disrupting chemicals and toxins linked to an increased risk of developing cancer, obesity, and heart disease. Although the teethers were found to contain these harmful substances—including Bisphenol A (BPA), Bisphenol S, Bisphenol F, parabens, and antimicrobials (such as triclosan and triclocarban)—many of the products were advertised as “BPA-free” or “non-toxic.” The teethers were also found to leach chemicals into water, which is similar to the composition of baby saliva.

In addition to being linked to cancer and heart disease, these chemicals can also affect IQ levels and cause neurological and behavioral disorders, such as ADHD and autism. While some of the chemicals are regulated individually, little is known about the accumulation of multiple endocrine-disrupting chemicals, and many are still completely unregulated, even though they can harm people when used in products.

The Dangers

Parabens are reportedly used in teethers that contain water or gel in order to prevent the growth of microorganisms; along with antimicrobials triclosan and triclocarban, they were banned for use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because of their ability to cause bacterial resistance and hormonal effects. Based on the FDA’s studies, parabens were found to be the most commonly leached of the chemicals.

According to experts, about 90 percent of Americans have BPA in their bodies, indicating that the chemical is still prevalent even though the FDA banned the use of BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups in 2012. While the plastics industry has responded that the levels of BPA used in other baby products are too low to present a health risk, recent studies have indicated that even at the microgram or nanogram level, they can cause harm. FDA researchers are especially concerned about those who are most vulnerable, including young children; not only are they vulnerable, but they are a particularly difficult demographic to study. Scientists typically have to rely on insight gained from animal-based studies in order to make predictions about how a chemical will affect a young child.

What also concerns researchers is the combination of all these individually-studied chemicals; specifically, that putting together this “cocktail of chemicals, even in low amounts, during the critical stages of development, can have an effect in many stages of life.” Even though, in our everyday lives, we are exposed to chemicals mixed with other chemicals, there is a research void in that these substances are typically tested individually.

Labeling Concerns

In addition to concerns over the combination of chemicals and the effects they can have on toddlers throughout their lives, the researchers were also understandably concerned about the fact that these products were labeled “non-toxic.” The products themselves can be toxic under some circumstances, especially when used in unanticipated ways, such as if someone applies a certain amount of heat in using the product.

Personal Injury & Product Liability Attorneys Protecting Consumers

If you or a loved one has been injured by a product that contains harmful substances, contact one of our experienced personal injury attorneys at Lavalle, Brown & Ronan right away to find out what your options are. We serve clients in Boca Raton and the surrounding areas.

For more information and in depth analysis, please contact Attorney Ken Ronan at   kronan@bocalaw.com and Case Manager Richard Bagdasarian at rbagdasarian@bocalaw.com.


Richard Bagdasarian Attorney


Resources:

foxnews.com/health/2016/12/07/baby-teethers-may-contain-low-levels-bpa-study-finds.html

pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.est.6b04128