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Death Row Last Meal Choices
Death sentences are decreasing in America, but the sentence is still applied in 31 states. One of the most traditional customs on death row is to offer a special final meal to sentenced prisoners prior to their death.

Throughout the last few decades, people facing the death penalty have chosen final meals ranging from indulgent to horrifying. Here are some of the strangest last meal requests from some of the most notorious criminals on death row.

Thomas J. Grasso, 1995

Boating Accident with Guilty PleaEarlier this month, Bartlett, Illinois resident David Hatyina entered a plea of guilty to one count of aggravated driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol following a boating accident last summer during which a child was hit by boat. Hatyina, 51, was operating his boat on July 28, 2012 just after 4:30 in the afternoon when he struck 10-year-old Anthony “Tony” Borcina, who had fallen out of his inner tube during an excursion with friends and family members to Petite Lake near Lake Villa.

Reports reveal that Haytina’s blood-alcohol level was between .09 and .128. The legal limit is .08. Earlier in the process, Haytina’s defense attorneys had tried to have his blood-alcohol content levels suppressed as evidence, claiming that not only did the Illinois Conservation Police fail to have probable cause to draw a blood sample, but that Hatyina’s blood-alcohol level was determined by a scientifically unacceptable method known as retrograde extrapolation. 

A Change of Plea

Pedestrian Accidents When Entering the CrosswalkJust as drivers have to obey traffic laws, it is important pedestrians follow the rules when entering the roadway and remain vigilant. While a person may never pull a U-turn in the middle of a crowded intersection while driving their car, that same person might suddenly cross the street on foot without even thinking twice. This might not give the oncoming traffic enough time to stop safely.

The latest statistics from Chicago

Over the last decade, the Chicago Police Department (CPD), Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) and City of Chicago have had a number of ongoing efforts aimed at improving pedestrian safety. This meant design improvements, raising awareness for both pedestrians and drivers, and enforcement initiatives. According to the latest statistics released in 2011 (available here), this has made a significant impact. In fact, between 2001 and 2009, the number of pedestrian crashes in Chicago dropped more than 22 percent.

DePuy settlements have expectations.There are thousands of hip replacement proceedings pending throughout the nation. This means that many people have an interest how these legal cases will be resolved. While hip manufacturers have failed to make a meaningful settlement up until now, having a better understanding of the settlement process may provide you with some peace of mind.

Understanding the procedural framework

The first thing that people need to understand is the procedural framework that will likely govern these settlements. At the time of writing, there are more than 10,000 lawsuits pending. These lawsuits are against various hip manufacturers, some of the most important manufacturers include: Zimmer (look here), Wright (learn more here), Stryker (view Stryker page here), and DePuy. These lawsuits are on behalf of plaintiffs who have suffered damage or injury because of an artificial hip.

Younger Drivers Have Many Rear End AccidentsJust a single glance at an iPod can be enough to swerve off the road and cause a deadly accident, speeding means that there is far less time to react than normal in the event of an emergency, and having text conversations while driving can be extremely dangerous – especially if traffic in front of the driver comes to a sudden halt.

While distractions can happen to a driver of any age, teenagers are growing up in a society where it is normal that they are in constant communication with one another, where putting down their smartphone is an abnormality. Despite all the PSAs and the available information, car accidents still kill more than 5,000 American teenagers every year. Perhaps more worrisome is that these numbers are not budging, despite improved safety features in cars. What are some things that we can do to lower these annual fatalities?

Better education for teenage drivers

Uninsured drivers are a common occurenceDespite the fact that most states require motorists to have insurance on their cars (in fact, this goes for all states except for New Hampshire), there are still many uninsured drivers on the road. In fact, according to a research study from the Insurance Research Council, approximately 1 in 7 drivers are driving without even so much as basic coverage. The research study also suggested that over the last few years, the uninsured motorist rate has increased because of the struggling economy. Many are trying to test the law more to avoid monthly premiums because of tough economic times. However, those who are properly insured may experience serious consequences because of this increase in uninsured and uninsured drivers.

Having to go through court

Getting into an accident with an uninsured driver may be particularly problematic. In fact, if the uninsured driver is at fault and you do not have uninsured motorist coverage, you will have to go through court in order to get compensation for your damages. Even if you go through court, have a lawyer represent you, and win a claim, the uninsured driver may not have the funds to cover your expenses.

Spaying and Neutering Dogs Can Lead to Less AccidentsResearch from the National Canine Research Foundation

The occurrence of dog bites is something every dog owner worries about in the back of his or her mind. If a dog bites a victim, an owner could be liable for paying thousands of dollars in operations or even be forced to put down the animal. Experts warn that there is no way to completely prevent the occurrence of a dog bite, however, there are ways to reduce the risk that a dog will sporadically bite a human.

Spaying and neutering dogs such as pit bulls can reduce the risk that these animals will bite people. In addition, dog owners can also take training courses through the Human Society to learn more about the behavior of their dogs. A training course can help a dog owner learn how to promote healthy behaviors in a dog and how to ensure that the dog remains tamed. Dog owners also learn how to socialize the dog with other dogs and people. The National Canine Research Foundation has found that spaying or neutering dogs has the ability to dramatically reduce the risk that these dogs will bite a human. The research also indicates that a dog that is not neutered is 2.6 times more likely to bite a human than neutered male dogs.

DePuy Hip Problems are showing up all overHip Implant Lawsuits Extend Across Borders

One of the most interesting developments to note in defective hip implant litigation is the international scope it has now taken. Whether a plaintiff is in England, Switzerland, Canada, or the United States, it is clear that plaintiffs are stepping up to file lawsuits against hip implant manufacturers regardless of geographic location. There is incredible momentum behind the hip implant lawsuits that have been initiated in the international community, and hip implant manufacturers are beginning to notice.

North of the United States, there are thousands of Canadian plaintiffs who have suffered from injuries as a result of defective hip implants. These plaintiffs are now pursuing DePuy lawsuits in Canada. Justice Belobaba of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice recently approved a class action against DePuy Orthopaedics that involves 400 to 4,000 individuals who have been injured from the implant. The common allegation amongst all plaintiffs is that there is a defect in the design and manufacturing of DePuy hip implants. Justice Belobaba took a more liberal approach in offering a fast approval of the class action lawsuit.

Construction Workers at Risk Doing RoadworkWorker Dies Trapped in a Recycling Machine

In a recent case, a construction worker’s life was taken after he became caught under a pavement recycling machine. The employee was working in the Englewood neighborhood on the South Side when the tragedy occurred. Martin Marino, 48, was found dead at the scene of the accident.

Mr. Marino became trapped under the machine at 12:45 p.m. on September 12, 2013, and workers were unable to release his body from below the machine until 2:30 p.m. on that same day. Mr. Marino worked as a contractor for Peoples Gas and also worked as an employee for a paving company in the area.

Settlement against RisperedalOnce again the drug giant Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay out for its mishandling of the marketing of its drug Risperdal. In early November 2013, the company has plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of misbranding and has been ordered to pay fines, forfeit profits and settle some pending civil suites to the tune of over $2.2 billion. This is one of the largest payout settlements ever reached between the U.S. government and a pharmaceutical company.

Decades Of Profiting From Risperdal

Risperdal, an atypical antipsychotic, was first approved in 1993 for use in schizophrenia and was manufactured by Jassen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. Over the next two decades, the drug would be also used to treat many other mental health issues, some approved by the FDA, others not. The drug was very profitable for J&J, with peak sales in 2007 of $4.5 billion, making up over 5% of the companies sales even in 2008.

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Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial. Lisa