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There are laws in place that are supposed to protect elderly nursing home residents from abuse and neglect and enforcement procedures established to ensure the law is followed. But laws and procedures are only effective if they are faithfully carried out, which is not the current state of things in the U.S. Clearly, the system that is supposed to protect our vulnerable elderly is badly broken.

Two U.S. senators from Pennsylvania have just released to the public a government-generated list of several hundred nursing homes that were flagged as among the worst in the country, but whose names until now were being withheld by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal entity responsible for oversight of the nursing care industry. They include 18 nursing facilities in Illinois.

CMS annually inspects nursing homes throughout the U.S. and rates them for quality according to a five-star system, publishing its detailed findings on the Nursing Home Compare website. CMS identifies the most troubled facilities for inclusion in its Special Focus Facility (SFF) program, which entails extra scrutiny and oversight of consistently poorly performing homes where inspectors have documented abuse and neglect. The SFF program targets facilities that “substantially fail” to meet the standards of care mandated by federal regulations.

Different Ways to Commute and Get AroundDoes the way you choose to travel to work impact your likelihood of arriving in one piece? Although plenty of people are on-board with the concept of cycling for health or riding public transit for the environment, few consider changing their commuting practices for safety reasons. Here’s why they should probably start.

Commuting Around the US

It’s hard to get a feel for just how many accident victims got into collisions while they were on their way to work. In spite of highly detailed police reports, statistics agencies don’t really keep such fine-grained data. What one can reasonably say, however, is that commuters probably follow similar trends to those seen in the general population, albeit with a few critical distinctions.

Strokes and Failure to DiagnosisMedical malpractice lawsuits come in many forms. Although your situation may seem utterly unique to you, the reality is that your case might be just one of many that occurred under similarly tragic circumstances. This is especially true if you’ve suffered from a stroke.

Like many other malpractice victims, you might find yourself wondering how or if you’ll ever bounce back. Make sure you understand the following if you or a loved one is struggling to cope after suffering a stroke or receiving a misdiagnosis.

Strokes Explained

American Transit and who is drivingIt shouldn’t surprise anyone that some truckers use and abuse drugs. Career stresses, demanding professional requirements and other factors combine to make their jobs amazingly challenging. According to medical experts, such pressures can result in truckers being more prone to risky behaviors, such as drug use.

What does this mean for those who must share the road with semis and other commercial vehicles? Drug abuse only makes tough odds direr. Here’s why drug-taking truck drivers are more of a threat than you might think.

Trucker Drug Use by the Numbers

Litigation Dealing With Round UpMonsanto’s Roundup litigation has begun to present a near-existential issue for its corporate parent Bayer. When the German company purchased the American chemical manufacturer, it inherited all of its past, present and future liabilities. One of these liabilities concerns the pesticide Roundup, which is alleged to cause non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after extended exposure.

Monsanto has lost several high-profile lawsuits recently, and the jury awards have been eye-popping. One married couple was awarded $2 billion by a jury for their cases of cancer. Even after a judge reduced the verdict, the company was still assessed a damages award of nearly $90 million. There have been several other verdicts that, even after appeals, have remained in the tens of millions of dollars. Much of the damage amount consist of punitive damages assessed by the juries.

Monsanto now faces over 18,000 lawsuits relating to this product. The company’s predicament has only been worsening as there have been over 5,000 lawsuits alone that have been filed between July and the first half of August. Roundup lawsuits continue to make headlines and the publicity has encouraged more plaintiffs to lawsuits for compensation.

We all try to be safe drivers, but every now and then we slip up. We’re human; it happens. But did you know that any time you are convicted of a traffic violation in Illinois, or you pay a ticket, points are added to your Illinois driving record? Unlike a shopping loyalty card, points on your driver license aren’t a good thing. The number of points assigned depends on the traffic violation and the severity of the offense, but if you receive convictions for multiple offenses in a 12-month period, Illinois authorities can revoke or suspend your driver’s license. Moreover, moving violations can drive up the cost of your auto insurance.

While you may receive points on your driver’s license due to traffic violations, the fate of your driving privileges is not the only consequence you have to worry about. These accidents often lead to severe injuries as well. In addition to facing fines from the Illinois Department of Motor Vehicles, you can find yourself paying for thousands in medical expenses, losing hours of work due to recovery time, and dealing with the emotional repercussions of the accident. Here’s what you need to know about the Illinois driver’s license point system, and how to navigate the injuries that arise as a result of these motor vehicle violations.

How Does the Illinois Driver License Point System Work?

Valsatran and Cancer Causing CarcinogensPatients who were taking drugs containing the substance Valsartan to treat high blood pressure were surprised to find out that there was a voluntary recall of some medications due to the presence of a carcinogen. As time has gone on, the problem has only gotten worse as more medications have been found to contain the substance. There are a number of lawsuits against the makers of these drugs, both brought on behalf of all purchasers as well as on behalf of patients who have suffered their own injury from taking the drugs. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers can help anyone who has taken Valsartan and suffered a cancer-related injury file a complaint that could help them receive compensation.

Valsartan is not a drug unto itself, but rather is an ingredient that is found in a class of drugs. This class of drugs is meant to treat high blood pressure and heart failure. Valsartan is an Angiotensin II receptor blocker. The total size of the market is valued at roughly $1.5 billion. There are many different types of drug that contain the ingredient Valsartan, and these medications are manufactured in different places.

In November 2018, the FDA announced a voluntary recall of several medications that contain Valsartan. The specific problem was that impurities were detected in the manufacturing process that resulted in the introduction of possible carcinogens into the medications.

Roundup Weed Killer Causes CancerMonsanto has recently been on the wrong end of several major jury verdicts in lawsuits relating to its product Roundup. Plaintiffs have filed suit against the company, alleging that the weed killer was responsible for cases of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Last year, a terminally ill California man was awarded $ 289 million by a California jury. This was followed by other large verdicts, as juries have reacted viscerally to evidence of Monsanto’s corporate behavior. Now, the company faces many other lawsuits while simultaneously appealing the jury verdicts with which it was already hit.

Roundup has been used as a pesticide for many years, starting with its introduction in 1974. The product was viewed to be a safer alternative to the pesticide DDT. However, there were reports starting in the early part of this century that the product could cause cancer. By 2015, the World Health Organization concluded that glyphosate-based products were “probably carcinogenic to humans.” Nonetheless, the EPA continues to cling to the belief that glyphosate is entirely safe and will not take steps to regulate sales of the product. The regulatory agency will not entertain the mounting evidence to the contrary in reevaluating its opinion.

The first lawsuits began to go in front of juries within the past couple of years. The watershed case was heard in California. The plaintiff was a man named Dewayne Johnson who was terminally ill with cancer. Johnson was a groundskeeper for the school district and had used Roundup for years. Now he had non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Of particular interest to the jury was Monsanto’s record of corporate behavior. Rather than objectively assess whether its product was safe, the company attempted to place a finger on the scale by influencing the scientific debate over the possible danger associated with Roundup.

Talc Powder and Increase in Ovarian CancerJohnson & Johnson has faced widespread legal exposure relating to its flagship talc powder product. In the past several years, juries in state court have found that talc powder was to blame for ovarian cancer and have assessed the company with steep damages. This culminated with a multi-billion dollar verdict in favor of a group of plaintiffs in Missouri. Now, there is federal multi-district litigation that is making its way through the discovery phase. Since the case is largely based on scientific evidence, a recent hearing may prove crucial to plaintiffs’ chances for success when the bellwether cases go to trial.

The allegations that Johnson & Johnson faces stem from the fact that there is at least some scientific evidence that its talc powder contains traces of asbestos. Talc and asbestos occurring near each other naturally in the ground so it is entirely possible, and perhaps probable, that where one is found, the other will be present too. This has been an issue that has been debated scientifically for decades. The company has been a part of the debate, attempting to influence the scientific research to show that its talc powder is safe. Regardless, the company has known about the possibility that its talc powder could pose a danger to users going as far back as the 1950s.

There have been numerous lawsuits brought against the company by women (and even some men) who have been long-term users of the product and have contracted various forms of cancer. Most of these lawsuits have been filed in federal court, but some trials have taken place in state court. Notably, a group of 23 women sued Johnson & Johnson in state court in Missouri. In 2018, the jury returned a verdict, finding the company liable and assessing the company with $4.7 billion in damages. Much of the award was in the form of punitive damages as the jury was put off by the pattern of corporate behavior, insofar as the company has known of the potential danger of the product yet has focused its efforts on influencing the scientific debate.

Gout Drug Increases Risk of Heart Problems In February 2019, the FDA included a box warning for the gout medicine Uloric. This warning addressed the fact that those taking the drug may be at a greater risk for heart-related and other types of deaths. Recently, attorneys have begun to file suits on behalf of those who have been injured by Uloric and their families. Currently, there are more cases that are in the investigatory phase and will likely be filed soon. Anyone who has suffered harm from Uloric or have had a loved one die while taking the medication should contact Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers to discuss their legal options.

Uloric was approved by the FDA for use to treat gout in 2009. Gout is caused by high uric acid levels in the blood, and Uloric is intended to lower those levels. Gout develops in part because the body is taking substances called purines that are found in food and drink and turns them into uric acid. Uloric is supposed to stop that process. Uloric is manufactured by Takeda Pharmaceuticals. The global market for the drug is estimated at just under $1 billion and continues to grow at an 11 percent annual rate.

When the FDA initially approved Uloric, it included a Warning and Precaution addressing the possibility of a cardiovascular event associated with use of the drug. However, at the time that the FDA approves a drug, there sometimes is only limited testing performed with some testing still to be done as the FDA requires. Here, the FDA directed Takeda to perform further studies about the possibility of cardiovascular deaths and events. The test results did indicate that there was a possibility of non-fatal and fatal heart attacks and stroke associated with the drug. Still, the FDA took no further action at the time.