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Archive for June, 2014

scales of justice

When David Beat Goliath: 5 Times The Little Guy Beat the Big Corporation

Written by Jon Remmel on . Posted in Blog

In a world of billion dollar corporate bailouts, it sometimes seems like there’s not much justice for the little guy. Big corporations have big budgets, meaning they can afford to hire multiple lawyers and drag out proceedings for years. But every once in a while, a corporation simply goes too far. As a personal injury attorney, I fight for the little guy against greedy corporations on a daily basis. Read about these five landmark lawsuits when David beat Goliath, and justice was served.

sometimes david defeats goliath

Photo by Greg Foster

Vibram Running Shoes

Earlier this year, Vibram agreed to pay $3.75 million for embellishing the health benefits of the shoes that they produced. Known for their “FiveFingers” running shoes that look like gloves for your feet, Vibram told consumers that their “toe shoes” could help strengthen foot muscles and reduce running injuries. But as more evidence proved that running in these shoes caused puncture wounds and increased stress, the company was forced to redact their advertising statements and pony up to consumers. The $3.75 million settlement offered purchasers roughly $20-$50 per pair of shoes bought, which can pay for less than half of a nice pair of running shoes customers will need after throwing these ones in the trash.

Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E)

pacific gas and electric company

Photo by Dave

The name of the company might not be familiar, but you probably know something about the case. Erin Brokovich, who would be played by Julia Roberts in the film adaptation, served as lead plaintiff in a class action lawsuit against PG&E. The major allegation in the case was that the company knowingly allowed hazardous waste products to contaminate the groundwater–jeopardizing the water supply of Hinkley, California. This waste was found to cause cancer, fertility problems and a list of other health issues.

This case resulted in the largest settlement ever paid out for a direct action lawsuit in the history of the United States. PG&E was forced to pay nearly $300 million to just 1,100 people.

Eveleth Mines

Erin Brokovich isn’t the only class action lawsuit hero to become a major motion picture star. The 2005 movie North Country stars Charlize Theron as Lois Jenson, one of the first female employees of the Eveleth iron mine in northern Minnesota. Jenson and her female coworkers endured such intense sexual harassment from the men they worked with, that some of them were diagnosed with PTSD. The problem was, Jenson had a hard time finding anyone to represent her. After being turned down by more than 50 lawyers from 1984 to 1991, Jenson finally got the case accepted as the first class action lawsuit related to sexual harassment. The problems didn’t end there, though. The court proceedings were almost as abusive as the harassment to begin with. The judge allowed Eveleth to obtain medical records and put the women through eighty days of depositions, probing their personal and sexual histories. One plaintiff said afterwards that “I felt I was raped on the stand.”

In the end, the women had to wait until 1998 before Eveleth settled with them on the eve of the jury trial. The women of Eveleth mines were awarded $3.5 million for their troubles.

Facebook

facebook got in trouble with privacy concerns

Photo by MoneyBlogNewz

In the 2007, Facebook stepped over the line into privacy invasion. The social media giant launched a new advertising program called Beacon, which distributed purchasing information between partner retailers and Facebook. This meant purchases you make could end up being published on your social network profile. The program went mainly unnoticed until a man purchased an engagement ring from Overstock.com. His plan was to surprise his girlfriend with a proposal, but the purchase was immediately published on his newsfeed–and quickly seen by friends, family and his girlfriend.

Once Beacon was uncovered, Facebook users soon retaliated with a class action lawsuit. Facebook settled the case in 2009, agreeing to discontinue Beacon and use $9.5 million to establish a foundation dedicated to privacy.

Cryovac

Another lawsuit turned feature film, A Class Action, depicts the legal battle between the citizens of Woburn, Massachusetts and W.R. Grace & Co, owners of the Cryovac food packaging plant. The central complaint of Woburn’s lawsuit was that the company contaminated the city’s water supply with dangerous carcinogens, resulting in at least six deaths from leukemia. The case, which began in 1982, went on for four years until W.R. Grace & Co. settled out of court for $8 million.

These big cases stand out on the silver screen, but average Americans are winning smaller settlements such as these every day. If you’ve suffered personal injury or loss due to a corporation’s negligence or unsafe practices, you can win your lawsuit. Let me represent you and get you the compensation you deserve. For more information, give me a call at (702) 522-7707 today.

Featured image by JessicaGale

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Common Diabetes Drug Actos Increases Risk of Cancer

Written by Jon Remmel on . Posted in Blog

If you’ve taken the drug Actos and have developed bladder cancer or similar symptoms, contact our office today. Actos, which is prescribed in conjunction with diet and exercise, is meant to help individuals with Type 2 diabetes maintain low blood sugar. While it has proven to be an effective treatment, recent findings suggest that taking the drug for more than two years can double your chance of developing bladder cancer. Read ahead to learn if you’re at risk, and find out what Actos manufacturer Takeda has to say about the risks associated with taking this medication.

Increased Bladder Cancer Associated with Actos

doctor examining for bladder cancer

Photo by Christiana Care

After analyzing data on more than 115,000 people treated with diabetes drugs from 1988 to 2009, researchers identified 470 individuals who had been diagnosed with bladder cancer. Comparing these individuals to healthy people, they found that people who had taken Actos specifically were at an 83% percent increased risk.  While bladder cancer remains relatively rare among the general population, over 70,000 new cases are diagnosed every year in the United States alone.

Doctors have started warning patients of the potential health risks that can stem from using Actos. Simply put, if you have a history of bladder cancer or have dealt with other bladder conditions in the past, you should not take the drug Actos.

Actos Manufacturer Responds

medicine containers

Photo by sharyn morrow

A spokesperson for Takeda Pharmaceuticals, the makers of Actos, told WebMD that “Takeda is confident in the therapeutic benefits of Actos . . . and is committed to ongoing clinical research to understand and investigate potential safety concerns.” The label on Actos does include a warning about the risks of bladder cancer, but it should be noted that the drug is banned in France and Germany.

If you’ve taken Actos for more than two years, you should consult your doctor or urologist about bladder cancer screenings. If you’re considering taking Actos to help maintain low blood sugar due to diabetes, you should discuss the risks with your doctor and possibly consider seeking other medications. Give us a call at (702) 522-7707 today if you or a loved one has been impacted by the drug Actos and would like proper compensation for your pain and suffering.

Featured image by ardelfin

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