Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Did Your Vehicle Come with a Warning Label?

Wednesday, October 25th, 2017

I was surprised to find out that “the government doesn’t have any standards that involve rolling a vehicle over.” (Consumer Reports).  And the Toyota 4Runner is one of the vehicles most likely to roll over. SUVs like the 4Runner are more than three times as likely to roll over than a standard passenger car.  Some tests show a propensity to flip at speeds less than 35 miles an hour!

But this problem is not limited to the Toyota 4Runner. The propensity to roll over is so great that SUVs with a wheelbase of less than 110 inches now must come with a warning label like cigarettes. And we know how good those are for you. Think about that. You need to get a license to operate a vehicle that can literally weigh a ton. Yet certain vehicles have a design flaw that makes them unstable and so prone to flip upside down that they need a warning label. In fact, Ricardo Martinez, an administrator for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) once said, “Sport-utility vehicles have the highest rollover-related occupant fatality rate–double the average for all vehicle types.”

I don’t know about you, but a design that leaves you twice as likely to die sounds like a fatal design flaw to me.

We hope you don’t know anyone who has had firsthand experience with this flaw, but if you do – give us a call.

Invokana Users Get Burned

Friday, September 1st, 2017

A couple months ago we pointed out some of the problems associated with Invokana (See the Unauthorized Acid Trips blog from June 5, 2017). It can create an excess amount of acid in the bloodstream leading to acidosis. Alas, that’s not the only problem with this particular medicine.

In January of 2013 an FDA committee received presentations from Janssen Pharmaceuticals. Invokana (canagliflozin) was discussed and Dr. Sidney Wolfe raised issues regarding the thrombotic effects of the medicine. In laymen’s terms, the thrombotic effect means that it increased blood clots which obstruct the flow of blood. These effects led to a number of “cardiovascular events.” Dr. Hyon Kwon of the FDA testified that the trial of Invokana had an increased hazard ratio of 6.9. Translating that into laymen’s terms again, that means that taking Invokana increased the risk of heart disease by almost seven times.

I know that if I have green peppers on my pizza I’m about seven times more likely to have the pizza give me heartburn.  Okay, maybe the measurement isn’t that precise – but the point is I know what the effect of green peppers might have.  I’ll just bet that that those people taking Invokana didn’t know that taking the drug would make them more susceptible to heart attacks.

Heart attacks are much more serious than heartburn.  But it looks like those taking Invokana got burned anyway.

Left Turn Clyde

Friday, August 25th, 2017

When you’re riding a motorcycle you need to be careful.  

A cycle is not as obvious as a car. And while every driver thinks they are conscientious,  some common accidents are those that a driver doesn’t see the cycle coming.

Specifically, two of the most common motor cycle accidents happen when the cyclist is in the other vehicle’s blind spot. The first one is when a vehicle is turning left and doesn’t see a cyclist approaching from behind. This is the most common occurrence of accidents between cars and motorcycles. Cyclist need to constantly be aware that they are more difficult to see. A slowing car may be turning left. Be ready.

The other blind spot threat comes from lane changes. Often a vehicle will try to change lanes to avoid traffic, or they may try to slip into traffic not realizing they cycle is there. Even if they look to check their blind spot, a cycle is smaller than a car and they may miss seeing you entirely. Be especially vigilant in heavy traffic when lane changes are most common. While not as common as left-turn accidents, these are still among the top five.

It would be nice if all drivers were aware, alert and properly sharing the road. A cyclist needs to be aware of where other vehicles blind spots are. Avoid driving in them if you can.

It doesn’t take much to knock a cyclist every which way but loose.

Uncool Beans

Thursday, August 17th, 2017

As the saying goes, a bird in hand is worth two in the bush. But sometimes the bush isn’t the best place to be. In this case I’m talking about Bush’s Beans.

Beans are high fiber and ordinarily very good for you. Well, usually. That’s assuming they have been cooked, packed and processed properly. When something goes wrong, you need to be careful.

And sometimes things go wrong – even with a product that is ordinarily good for you. For example, something went wrong lately with Bush’s Baked Beans. Specifically with these products:

• 28-ounce Bush’s Best Brown Sugar Hickory with case UPC of 003940001977.
• 28-ounce Bush’s Best Country Style with case UPC of 0003940091974 and 00340001974.
• 28-ounce Bush’s Best Original with case UPC of 003940091614 and 003940001614.

In this instance the cans are not sealing properly. Please check your cabinets. If you have any of these products – do not eat them.

More details can be found at the Bush Bean website here:

And now back to your regularly scheduled program.

Dangerous Dog Days of Summer

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

You hope it never happens to anyone.

You especially hope that it doesn’t happen to you or someone you know.

But it does happen. A family pet decides that a person is squeaky toy, or small animal invading the dog’s territory. The dog attacks and the person gets mauled – or worse.

Who is to blame? Dogs, like guns, can’t be held responsible for their actions. The dog may have made the decision – but the owner of the dog made the decision to have the dog. Hauling a dog into court won’t do anyone any good.

While most dogs are wonderful pets, there can be problems. Some dogs have a history of being more aggressive than others. And while Chihuahuas are technically more aggressive than Pit Bull Terriers, size matters and you don’t hear much about people being mauled by a Chihuahua. In some areas the Pit Bull’s reputation has caused people to classify them as a “ferocious animal” requiring a special license, and the insurance that follows that.

A bite from a big dog can cause all sorts of damage. Like their wolf ancestors, they can break bones, tear through flesh, cause permanent scarring or kill. And if the dog does hurt people, that comes back to the owner.

We hope it never happens to anyone. But if it does happen to you, a friend or family member, you need legal advice. If it comes to that, give us a call.

All Things Are NOT Being Equal

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

Aspartame, often known by the brand names Equal or Nutrasweet, has been promoted as a way to combat the obesity epidemic that is causing so many health problems for the public. But it is not proven to be an effective method to battle obesity.

Since aspartame was introduced in 1981 it has found its way into numerous products as a “healthy alternative.” And yet, in 1995 a full 75% of complaints to the FDA were related to adverse reactions concerning food which included aspartame. It has been linked to weight gain, memory lapses, seizures, brain tumors and making people hungry. That’s not exactly solving the obesity problem. You’d think that something causing such a stir would lead to more studies to verify that it is actually safe.

The University of Iowa did a study and concluded the largest study (at that time) on aspartame. They followed the results over ten years and fifty thousand women and found that women who drank diet sodas with aspartame were 30% more likely to have an issue with cardiac disease such as heart attacks or strokes, and 50% more likely to die from these issues.

Another, even larger study recently announced their findings. Looking at the epidemiological results of over 125,000 people over twenty-two years (and the equivalent of over 2.2 million person-years’ worth of data), they found that the risk of contracting leukemia was 42% higher for those who consumed diet soda regularly. They also found that men were over 30% more likely to be at risk for non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and over 100% at risk for multiple myeloma. Why just men? They couldn’t answer that one. But these results are very similar to a 2006 study on lab rats that were dismissed as not being applicable to humans.

You can just bet that the makers of Aspartame will want to do further studies to prove that it is safe. And yet there have been numerous studies on aspartame. Dr. Ralph Walton did a peer reviewed study on the medical studies on aspartame and found that- What a surprise – ALL the studies funded by the aspartame industry found that aspartame was safe. And the studies done that were not by the industry? Over eighty studies and 92% found at least one problem stemming from aspartame. And this was back in 1996! You can watch the 60 Minutes segment here.

So, next time you pop open a diet soda remember, all things are NOT equal.

Abusing the Badge

Friday, July 21st, 2017

For the most part, we in the United States have the luxury of living in a nation where the rule of law holds sway. But one of the costs required to preserve this liberty and way of life in constant vigilance. That includes vigilance over those that we trust to keep vigilance over us.

The vast majority of police have the interests of the public at heart when they do their jobs. But they are human, and every one can get carried away sometimes. The mindset of protecting people can get to be overwhelming and I believe anyone being reasonable has to admit can slip into police brutality. And I believe we all believe police brutality is inexcusable.

Lawful arrests are one thing. Beating someone to a pulp and then charging them with resisting arrest is literally adding insult to injury. And for a long time, there has been little to do about these instances.

“Little” does not mean nothing.

If you are subject to physical abuse and police brutality, do you have the right to defend yourself? Yes and no. First off, note that laws differ by state. According to a recent ruling in New Jersey when a citizen becomes the victim of unlawful force by a law enforcement officer he/she has the right to defend themselves by responsive force.  Here the defendant was beaten bloody and required hospitalization after his arrest – on charges that didn’t even result in a guilty verdict. He was convicted of only one thing – resisting arrest.

This ruling threw out that conviction because the jury instructions failed to note that he had a right to defend himself.

We are not advocating breaking the law. We’re not advocating resisting a valid arrest. And it is our prayer that the situations of unlawful force are minimized by the citizens who do break the law understanding the need to submit to an arrest so that Court’s can do their job. Yet tension is often high in the mind of the officer when situations occur on the streets, so we believe unlawful force exists and will continue to exist.

So be informed. You have civil rights to file suit if you’ve been abused by a police officer. And depending on where you live, you may have the right at that time to physically defend yourself or others. It’s arguable such exists in Alabama, but the interpretation of “reasonable force” and the classification of person being protected and/or doing the abuse comes into play.

The price of vigilance requires that everyone follow the law. And that includes the officers seeking to make an arrest.

Again, we hope there will never be another incident like this again. But knowing the world we live in it’s likely unlawful force will happen and damages will be suffered. If it happens, we are here to help you! Give us a call 1-877-717-5342 for a no-charge consultation.

-Trenton Garmon, JD, MA

A Major Stresser – & Roundup is the Usual Suspect

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

California will be including glyphosate in its list of chemicals known to cause cancer. That might not give you much concern – who deals with a chemical that I’ve never heard of?

More people that you might think.

Glyphosate is the principal ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup, a herbicide and weed killer that is commonly used on yards by J. Q. Public. But it’s used in vast quantities on crops.

Did you have any fruit, vegetable or grain products today? Chances are at least one of them was treated with Roundup while being farmed.

And this ruling by California isn’t just California being liberal. The World Health Organization research on glyphosate gave it a ruling of “probably carcinogenic” in 2015.

While the amount that people wind up eating might have a low risk (they are still testing that), the real concern is for people who use apply the product. Farmers, groundskeepers, vintners, grovers, lawns keepers, gardeners and even people who spend a lot of time in their own garden may have had dangerous levels of exposure. In 2013 almost 300 million pounds of glyphosate was used in the U.S. That’s 18 times the amount used in 1992. And now the chemical is being found in soil and rainwater samples in Iowa and Mississippi.

And now some researchers are claiming that the other ingredients in Roundup, the so-called ‘inert’ ingredients – are anything but. We see how this plays out As Time Goes By.. But unlike Casablanca, this drama is just beginning.

A Cycle of Blame?

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

It’s easy to get hurt when riding a motorcycle. Since you are not surrounded by a car, the cyclist is often subjected to significantly more damage that the occupants of a car. There are no doors, bumpers or airbags to protect you (But airbags – that may be a topic for another day).

If a motorcyclist has gotten hurt as a result of someone else’s actions – they may need legal help to get back on their feet. Or back on their cycle – if there was damage to that as well. But motorcycles can be replaced – people? Not so easily.

If you are hurt in an accident, there are a couple key things that need to be done. First, document as much as you can. Get pictures of the location and any damage to people or property. Get copies of any records of the accident, like the police report or insurance information.

Next, get checked out by a medical professional. If circumstances are dire enough, this might need to be step one. If the Doctor says you are fine – congratulations! Many motorcycle riders involved in accidents won’t be that lucky. Road rash, head & spinal injuries, broken bones, and lost limbs are fairly common results of motorcycle accidents.

And step three, if you are injured – contact an attorney. We prefer it would be one at Garmon of course. Your attorney can then help guide you through the complexity of the legal system and help you get compensated for your claim.

The Battle of the Bulge – Revisited

Friday, June 23rd, 2017

A hernia is a bulge of tissues through an opening of weakness within your abdominal wall muscles.  There are several different types, with several different types of treatment.

One of these treatment options was the Physiomesh – an Ethicon / Johnson & Johnson product introduced in 2010. The Physiomesh is a flexible mesh of polypropylene designed to reinforce the abdominal wall. It can be surgically implanted over an opening, a bulge, or a weak spot in the abdominal wall.

But that isn’t an option anymore.  Ethicon / J&J withdrew the Physiomesh due to higher than average revision rates.

But what exactly does that mean? It boils down to a simple fact – the Physiomesh didn’t do an adequate job. The Physiomesh has been associated with recurring hernias, bowel obstructions, chronic pain, infections, and tissue/organ perforation. Many cases require a surgical removal of the implanted device.

On top of that, the mesh can fall apart and release shards of the material into the body, further complicating matters.

It isn’t too much to ask that a medical implant do the job it was designed for. If you have suffered complications from the Physiomesh, give us a call.