1.75 Million Dollar Verdict

One month ago we concluded a trial in Dakota County which resulted in a 1.75 million dollar verdict. We are pleased to report that there is no appeal and the case is settled without post trial motions.

Our client was severely injured when a flat bed tow truck rolled backwards into him while he was under the hood of his own truck. The impact broke both of his legs.  As a result, our client had five surgeries and over 100 physical therapy visits in three years before the trial.

We were required to mediate the case by a court order but we were never able to convince the insurance company to pay a fair settlement and thus we went to trial.  The jury awarded our client $750,000 in past and future pain, suffering and emotional distress and nearly $200,000 to the spouse for her damages.

We were grateful for the seven attentive jurors that took time away from their normal day to serve in the highest form of public service.  Our client would never have received full justice without his right to take his case to the jury.

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Brain Injuries Are Devastating Even if Subtle

From our years of experience as trial lawyers, we know that the brain can be damaged by many accident scenarios which can be difficult to diagnose. Sometimes a person may not even be aware of the injury.  There may be subtle changes noticed by family members and friends such as forgetfulness, lack of concentration and irritability.

As brain injury lawyers and advocates, we can identify the issues involved in your situation and assist with an evaluation and treatment recommendations for the injuries. As importantly, as a trial lawyer representing only the injured we can identify the persons responsible and hold them accountable for the full amount of the damages they have caused.  We are the only trial lawyers for the injured designated for the state of Minnesota by the International Society of Primerus Law Firms.  We review many cases each week free of charge and if we believe we can help you and accept the case, there is never any cost or fee to you unless we obtain a settlement of money damages for you.

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Big Trucks Cause Big Damages

 

With all of the huge semi-trailer trucks on our nation’s highways, it is no small wonder that each day an innocent motorist is either killed or seriously injured due to excessive speed, driver fatigue or tailgating by a massive battering ram barreling down the highway.  The traveling public is unaware of the danger until it is too late and there is another preventable death, paralysis or brain injury.

If you or a loved one is in need of our expert trial lawyer services, please feel free to contact us for a free consultation. We are a member of the International Society of Primerus Law Firms and the only Primerus Consumer Law Institute firm (Trial lawyers for injured people) for the state of Minnesota. We will advocate for you and your family and we are paid a percentage of your recovery only if we recover money damages for you.

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Granuflo Recall and Legal Claims

 

The drug Granuflo was administered to thousands of patients in several thousand dialysis centers across the country. This product was recalled by the FDA along with another product, Naturalyte, because of serious and life threatening heart complications, including sudden cardiac death, when administered the drug. The Class I recall resulted in a label change to reduce the risk of a high bicarbonate level that is believed to be the cause of significant cardiac risks including cardiac arrest and death.

There are numerous lawsuits filed in the United States against the manufacturer of the product, Frensenius Medical Care.  If you or your loved on has suffered a serious cardiac event following dialysis treatments, you should have your legal rights reviewed to see if the adverse event was causally related to the use of the Granuflo product.  Please feel free to contact us for this free evaluation.

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Head On Crash In LeSueur County Severely Injures Three Passengers

A head on crash on December 2, 2011 in Le Sueur County resulted in serious but not fatal injuries to three passengers.  Le Sueur attorney Gary Monahan and I were scheduled for trial on January 13, 2014.  Through the efforts of mediator Roger Kramer, we were able to successfully achieve excellent settlements for our two clients. Each of them sustained numerous rib fractures and internal injuries. The cases were vigorously defended by insurance company appointed lawyers.

Make sure that you hire an attorney that is an experienced trial lawyer if you are injured in a car accident.  The insurance company will find many ways to delay, deny and defeat your claim.  That is why you need someone to fight for you to get the compensation you deserve.

 

 

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Invitation to International Society of Barristers

I was recently invited to be a member of the International Society of Barristers. Its membership is limited and it is a high honor of which I am very humbled.  The following description is contained on its website:

The International Society of Barristers was formed to recognize each era’s best advocates that they might join together to support these common goals:

  • Retaining trial by jury in litigated matters;
  • Improving advocacy under an adversary system;
  • Recognizing advocacy as a distinct specialty, with the creation of proper standards for those holding themselves out as advocates;
  • Abolishing animosity between counsel representing plaintiffs and defendants, replacing it with a recognition that all trial lawyers are advocates fully representing the rights of all clients;
  • Encouraging and demanding ethical conduct by all involved in litigation – parties, witnesses, counsel and judges;
  • Insisting that clients be represented by independent counsel owing their allegiance to the client; and
  • Protecting the rights of citizens, the independence of the judiciary and the integrity of the Bar.

Membership is by invitation only which is proceeded by a rigorous screening process that considers the lawyer’s ability, experience, accomplishments and ethical standards as assessed by trial lawyers and judges.

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Remington Arms Sued in Class Action

A class-action lawsuit was filed Tuesday in federal court in Montana against gun manufacturer Remington Arms Company.  The lawsuit is  claiming that Remington knew for over 70 years that the Model 700 rifle was defective and unsafe in that it allowed the gun to discharge without a trigger pull, but failed to notify the public of the defect.  The lawsuit claims that Remington failed to warn or disclose the defect to purchasers, failed to correct the defect and forces purchasers to pay  for shipping and a replacement trigger.

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YOUNG LAWYER BOOT CAMP IS A SUCCESS

 

 I recently had the privilege of working with renowned trial lawyers Marc Dedman from Spicer Rudstrom, PLLC in Nashville and Ron Waicukauski from Price Waicukauski & Riley, LLC in Indianapolis. Together, we taught young lawyers about opening and closing statements on May 16-18, 2013 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, TN. The Primerus Young Lawyer Boot Camp was the second annual conference for young trial lawyers sponsored by the Primerus Young Lawyer Section.  Last year the conference was in Florida and was focused on taking depositions.

In my view, the boot camp this year was very successful.  Although we were working with a limited number of participants, each young lawyer was able to get up on their feet and work through organizational, theme, delivery and impact issues.  Each lawyers’ execution on the second day was markedly better than the first as the faculty and students were able to positively critique and make recommendations following each performance.

As Marc Dedman commented, our preparation for the conference and our work with the students was educational for us as well.  By thinking about and studying the literature concerning opening and closing statements, we were able to develop new insights and skills that we can use the next time we have the privilege of standing before a jury and representing our client’s cause.

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Legalization of Marijuana in the USA: The Haze Refuses to Clear

Is smoking pot legal in the United States? Yes and no. The confusion stems from the fact that although 18 states (led by Washington and Colorado) and the District of Colombia have legalized pot (within their jurisdictions), the federal government is yet to deem the production, possession, and consumption of marijuana as legal. So, you may smoke pot if you live in Colorado or Washington, the two states that have legalized marijuana for recreational usage, but may still be arrested under federal laws (the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 classifies marijuana as a highly dangerous substance with no legal medicinal usage).

The crux of the matter is that there are two sides to the marijuana coin. Marijuana has proven medicinal benefits and arguably by some a less dangerous drug than alcohol. Thus, some state governments have legalized its use. On the other hand, the federal government’s fears that legalizing pot might lead to uncontrolled and thus harmful uses is also not entirely whistling in the wind.

The Case for Marijuana

A landmark vote in Washington and Colorado saw citizens (and not just teenagers and those elderly hippies who rue the passing away of the Age of Flower Power) voting in overwhelming numbers for legalizing marijuana for recreational usage. Soon other states were inspired and they made the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes legal. In this context, it is worth noting that that there exists an extensive body of research on the medicinal properties of marijuana. Doctors since ages have been known use marijuana to alleviate the pain and suffering of terminally ill patients. Additionally, marijuana is given to patients suffering from ADHD, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, epilepsy, Crohn’s disease, arthritis, and some other chronic medical ailments. These proven medical benefits of marijuana just go on to strengthen the case for liberalizing marijuana laws.

Proponents argue that legalizing marijuana will drastically decrease law enforcement costs. The costs spared would stem from the law enforcement and court resources not spent on arresting, prosecuting and/or defending those using or possessing marijuana. Decriminalization will eliminate individuals from losing their livelihoods because they have a criminal record.

The Case Against Marijuana

Opponents to legalization argue that it is evident that marijuana is a harmful substance. They claim that legalization will trigger an increase in crime, drug dependency and also a rise in the use of harder drugs with their ensuing ill-effects on individuals, families, and on the society as a whole.

What’s Next?

Time will tell. Were there lessons learned from Prohibition? Will decriminalization further deteriorate the moral fabric of our nation? What have other countries done about this? Will we become a nation of drug addicts? Did the hippies of the 60’s find redemption when they had to find real jobs and quit their nasty habit? Is the biggest drug problem in this country marijuana or pain killers? So many questions, but few clear answers.

 

 

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FBI Raids Scooter Store as Part of $100 Million Medicare Fraud Probe

The Scooter Store in New Braunfels, Texas, was raided by federal and state officials as part of their investigation into a possible $100 million Medicare fraud. About 1,200 workers present at the headquarters were told to leave the building by officers conducting the raid. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice had initiated a probe of the country’s largest supplier of mobility vehicles following allegations that the company had over-billed Medicare between 2009 and 2012. The Scooter Store has also been accused of harassing doctors to prescribe these vehicles to patients who do not need them.

Big Money

An audit conducted by the office of the Inspector General had found fraud involving power mobility devices in about seven states including Texas. This led to The Scooter Store coming under close scrutiny. It was discovered that the company had received over payments to the tune of at least $50 million during a period of two years. This does not help the national debt picture and this does not help the entire system. That money could have been spent on people who actually needed it or not spent at all and given back to the tax payer.

Intense Scrutiny

Following the audit, changes were made in the way Medicare handles scooter claims. Recently, the company had laid off about 150 employees and claimed the move was due to “pending government changes in claims processing and reimbursement”. Before that, the company had let go another 200 odd employees on similar grounds. In December of 2012, two U.S. Senators had also raised the issue of exorbitant over payments made to The Scooter Store.

Multiple Hits

The Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Medicaid Fraud Control Unit are also actively investigating The Scooter Store for fraudulent activities. The company’s CEO has communicated to various media organizations that they are fully cooperating with the investigating officers and employees have been instructed to do so as well. The 22-year-old company is believed to have served as many as 500,000 people. In addition to the fraud investigation, the company has been targeted by the city of New Braunfels. The city has demanded the return of $1.4 million in economic incentives provided in 2009 after the company assured to create 500 jobs for the local economy.

Saving Taxpayer Money

Government healthcare fraud is a major drain on public funds in the United States. A report by the FBI issued last year put this figure somewhere between $75 billion to $250 billion annually. In 2012, government agencies managed to recover $4.2 billion from such fraudulent transactions and more than 1,300 new criminal health care fraud investigations were opened. In an attempt to curb such incidents, the country’s first ever health care fraud division is set to start functioning in Brooklyn district of New York and has been formed under the leadership of the District Attorney there. This unit will work with city and federal agencies to bring to book all those seeking to defraud Medicaid and Medicare.

Remember, if you or a family member is concerned that an employer, company or institution has been cheating the government, please contact the Advocates for Justice at bob@mnadvocatesforjustice.com for a free consultation.

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