Hunter Sues Gun Maker After Rifle Explodes and Severely Injures Him

By Brian Chase on December 6, 2017 –

Hunter Sues Gun Maker After Rifle Explodes and Severely Injures Him

Ronald Hansen, a man who suffered severe damage to his right hand and ear as well as burn injuries after the barrel of his hunting rifle exploded, is suing the gun manufacturer for damages. According to a news report in the Daily Mail, Hansen has filed a lawsuit against Savage Arms, one of the nation’s largest rifle makers, accusing the company of marketing a selling a muzzleloader that has been known to occasionally explode and severely injure hunters.

Hansen, 50, alleges in the complaint that Savage Arms in 2014 had received other complaints of explosions and injuries over the prior decade. Customers also reported that the barrel of the stainless steel 10 ML-II muzzleloader exploded, burst, split or cracked, according to thousands of court documents reviewed by The Associated Press. Hansen is seeking damages for his serious injuries alleging that the company failed to warn consumers about the defective product.

Failure to Warn Consumers

He testified during an August deposition that he followed the recommended procedures when he loaded the gun, which he bought in 2010, and had shot about 200 times. He was rushed to emergency room after the explosion and testified that he still struggles to hear even with a hearing aid, and cannot perform some of the chores in his farm due to his hand injury. Others have reported a slew of injuries from losing fingers to suffering serious nerve and facial injuries.

Even though Savage Arms discontinued this particular gun, it never issued a recall or warned consumers about it. Instead, the company has blamed operators for the explosions saying they must have loaded the wrong amount of gunpowder or might have created too much pressure inside the barrel.

An Unregulated Industry

This case also highlights the fact that gun manufacturers, unlike makers of other products, have the sole discretion to decide on their own if they want to recall potentially dangerous weapons. In 1976, Congress passed a law stripping such authority from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which regulates everything from toasters and toys to BB guns. The CPSC has no power to control the manufacture or sale of guns – even defective ones.

So, essentially, this is an industry that plays by its own rules and can only be held liable in civil court. It is unconscionable that this major industry in the U.S. is not subject to any regulations when it comes to product quality. As product defect lawyers, we hope this appalling loophole in the law is closed and that gun makers are held accountable for faulty products they put out in the market.


An Ontario Woman Died After Controversial Vaginal Mesh Surgery

By Brian Chase on December 6, 2017 –

An Ontario Woman Died After Controversial Vaginal Mesh Surgery

Christina Lynn Brajcic, a 42-year-old woman who has died after years of recurring infections linked to her transvaginal mesh implant, has died from severe complications. According to news reports, Brajcic was an outspoken critic of the medical device, which has come under fire for causing life-changing side effects from chronic pain and inability to have sexual intercourse with permanent nerve damage.

Serious Complications

Brajcic said she got the vaginal mesh implant at the recommendation of doctors when she suffered from urinary incontinence after childbirth. The procedure involves inserting plastic netting much like a hammock to shore up the muscles and organs of the pelvis. Brajcic said her surgery quickly turned into a nightmare. She said her implant became painful “like barbed wire” in her abdomen. Her body rejected the mesh, she said, causing repeated infections.

Brajcic, who is from Windsor, Canada, ended up devoting the last years of her life to advocating for women injured by these dangerous and defective devices. She petitioned regulators to take mesh off the market until more long-term studies can prove they are safe. She also wrote that she had a near-death experience last month convinced her to never stop fighting.

Vaginal Mesh Lawsuits

Brajcic’s death has brought new focus to the horrific side effects some women endure. Often, they are permanent issues and damage to their bodies that cannot be reversed. Thousands of lawsuits have been filed around the country saying that these mesh implants can cause blinding pain, bleeding, organ erosion and perforation.

And once pelvic tissue has grown around the mesh, these devices can be impossible to remove. Earlier this year, a jury awarded $57 million to a Philadelphia woman after a mesh device manufactured by Johnson & Johnson “mangled” her urethra. Doctors could not get all the bits and pieces of the device out even after repeated surgeries.

Patients Not Warned

The problem is that the global medical community still looks to mesh implants as a treatment for incontinence. However, statistics show that there is the potential for serious complications, particularly when the procedure is overused and doctors are not properly trained. What’s worse is patients are not adequately informed about the risks of receiving this device. On the other hand, the procedures are described with enticing words such as “minimally invasive” giving patients the impression that no harm could come out of it. In 2011, the Food and Drug Administration reclassified pelvic mesh as a “high risk” product confirming that complications are not rare.

And yet, patients get practically no information about the risks involved with this surgery. We hope Brajcic’s life, advocacy and death serve as a reminder about the dangers of pelvic mesh products.


Side Underride Crashes Most Often Fatal, but Side Guards Save Lives

Brooks Schuelke, Esq.
Schuelke Law PLLC

Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) December 7, 2017 – Rear underride and side underride crashes are usually catastrophic, often ending in the death of the vehicle driver. Deaths may also include front seat passengers.

If anyone survives such a disastrous accident they often face traumatic brain injuries, open skull fractures and severe spinal cord damage. Installing rear underride guards on most commercial trucks reduced deaths on the highway. Now, side underride crashes are on the rise resulting in an increase in deaths.

In a side underride accident, a vehicle crashes into the side of a truck and is trapped under it. In collisions like this, airbags and seatbelts do not help because the first point of contact is the vehicle’s windshield and the driver and passenger’s heads. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) underride collisions are responsible for the deaths of approximately 200 people every year. Rear underride guards are required on trucks, but they are not mandatory on the side of trucks.

Some in the trucking industry stand in opposition the use of side guards saying that they are not cost-effective and weigh a truck down. On the other hand, numerous trucking companies are installing side guards against the opinion of the trucking industry.

According to the former head of the NHTSA, even though side guards save lives, money from lobbyists plays a significant role in policy making. The transport industry gave over $9 million in campaign contributions to U.S. Senate Transportation members. For further information on campaign contributions to U.S. Senate Transportation members visit

Rear underride and side underride accidents are often catastrophic. “Add to that, the complexity of 18-wheeler accidents usually involve several insurance companies and multiple attorneys, not to mention the question of who owns the truck, who owns the cargo, what jurisdiction applies, what condition was the truck in, and how was the trucker driving,” says Austin wrongful death attorney, Brooks Schuelke. The trucking industry does not want to make changes to their vehicles, and the government seems to not be inclined to make any changes either, despite the fact that side underride guards could save lives.

“If you have been involved in a trucking accident and have sustained serious, catastrophic injuries or have lost a loved one in such a collision, it is best to contact a seasoned personal injury attorney as soon as possible to preserve evidence, obtain the truck’s black box, police report and other items of evidence that may otherwise go missing,” added Schuelke.

Schuelke Law PLLC
3011 N. Lamar Blvd
Ste. 200
Austin, TX 78705
Call (512) 476-4944

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Lowe’s Companies Sued for Disability Discrimination in Texas

Dallas, TX, United States, 12/04/2017 /SubmitPressRelease123/

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) recently filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas against Lowe’s Companies, Inc. for discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). The EEOC asserts that Lowe’s failed to accommodate a department manager’s disability and instead unlawfully demoted him to a lower paid position.

The ADA prohibits employment discrimination and ensures equal employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, § 2 et seq., 42 U.S.C.A. § 12101 et seq., available at Under the ADA, employers are required to provide a “reasonable accommodation” to qualified employees with disabilities, so long as such accommodation would not cause the employer “undue hardship.” Undue hardship is an action which would require significant difficulty or expense when taking into consideration an employer’s resources and overall business. Generally, larger employers will be required to make accommodations which require greater effort or expense.

In the Texas case, a Lowe’s employee suffered from a disability which limited mobility and use of his right arm. Despite his disability, the employee successfully worked in his position as department manager for six years with a reasonable accommodation before Lowe’s informed him that he would no longer be provided with an accommodation. Lowe’s then demoted the employee to an associate position, cutting his pay by over $4 per hour. The EEOC attorney pursuing the case announced that this “sudden revocation of that accommodation and the demotion in responsibility and pay clearly constitutes discrimination in violation of federal law.” Source

Interestingly, this case comes just one year after Lowe’s paid $8.6 million to settle another ADA suit the EEOC filed against it in California. In that case, Lowe’s was accused of failing to accommodate workers who requested disability-related medical leave beyond the time permitted under the company’s strict maximum leave policy.

The question then becomes: how do employers protect themselves from such suits? Employment law attorney Keith Clouse highlights the following legal considerations for employers to keep in mind:

The ADA applies to all employers with 15 or more employees;

Under the ADA it is unlawful to discriminate in ALL employment practices, including but not limited to: hiring, firing, compensation, training, promotion, leave, benefits, and job assignment;

Training is important – managers should be trained on the requirements under the ADA, along with how to recognize when a reasonable accommodation should be provided;  

The ADA prohibits employment discrimination against “qualified individuals with disabilities,” meaning an employee must be able to perform the essential job functions with or without a reasonable accommodation. Therefore, employers should have clear job descriptions listed for each position in the business outlining the “essential” job requirements;

Employers should create and implement a policy for handling accommodation requests;

Lastly, the process for addressing and working to reasonably accommodate employees with disabilities should be a concerted effort between employer and employee, rather than just a one-sided decision.

In sum, employers should evaluate each accommodation request on a case-by-case basis. Many times employers will be able to collaborate with the employee to find a reasonable modification which allows the employee to perform the essential functions required by the job without imposing too much hardship on the employer.

This article is presented by the Dallas employment lawyers at Clouse Dunn LLP. To speak to an employment law attorney about an employment discrimination matter send an email to [email protected] or call (214) 239-2705.

About Keith Clouse / Dallas Employment Attorney Keith Clouse

Keith Clouse is an employment law specialist with over 25 years of experience representing senior executives, business owners, physicians, and corporations in complex employment litigation, arbitration and negotiations. Senior executives, physicians and other professionals consistently rely on Mr. Clouse for employment law expertise and advice on employment contracts, covenants not to compete, severance agreements, equity awards, trade secret disputes, and breach of fiduciary duty claims.  Source


Dallas Employment Lawyer – Attorney Keith Clouse
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What It Means to Be a “Perfectly Clear” Successor in Texas

Dallas, TX, United States, 12/04/2017 /SubmitPressRelease123/

The United States Supreme Court has formerly held that when its is “perfectly clear” that a successor employer intends to retain employees of its predecessor, it is “bound to recognize and bargain with the union” that represented those employees.  NLRB v. Burns Int’l Sec. Servs., Inc., 406 U.S. 272, 284 (1972), available at That same case held that an “ordinary” successor is “free to set initial terms on which it will hire the employees of a predecessor.” The question then becomes – how do employers ensure they are classified as an “ordinary” rather than “perfectly clear” successor?

Previously, a  successor employer could avoid the “perfectly clear” designation by giving “prior notice” to employees of its intention to change the terms and conditions of employment. However, the Fifth Circuit’s recent holding in Creative Vision Resources LLC v. National Labor Relations Board makes it more difficult to satisfy this “prior notice” standard. That case upheld the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision that successor company which provided staffing for garbage collectors in Louisiana violated section 8(a) of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) by imposing its own terms and conditions of employment for workers without first giving the incumbent union an opportunity to bargain. Creative Vision Resources LLC v. National Labor Relations Board, No. 16-60715 (5th Cir. Sept. 25, 2017), available at

Although Creative Vision (the successor employer) made an announcement of its intention to alter the terms and conditions of employment prior to formal hiring, the Fifth Circuit noted that such announcement was untimely and therefore notice was insufficient. Additionally, evidence of discussions with 20 of the 50 employees being retained and subsequent evidence of word-of-mouth communications between the employees regarding changes to terms and conditions of employment was deemed insufficient because it did not put a majority of the employees on notice of the changes. Therefore, Creative Visions was unable to avoid the “perfectly clear” successor designation and its failure to bargain prior to changing terms and conditions of employment was in violation of the NLRA.

This ruling means that buyers of businesses must now take extra care to avoid being classified as a “perfectly clear” successor employer if they wish to retain their right to unilaterally set terms and conditions of employment for unionized workers. To be safe, employers should ensure that an expression of their intent to change terms and conditions of employment is announced prior to any expression of their intent to retain the predecessor’s employees.
This article is presented by the Dallas employment lawyers at Clouse Dunn LLP. To speak to an employment attorney about employment law matters, send an email to [email protected] or call (214) 239-2705.

About Keith Clouse / Dallas Employment Attorney Keith Clouse

Keith Clouse is an employment law specialist with over 25 years of experience representing senior executives, business owners, physicians, and corporations in complex employment litigation, arbitration, and negotiations. Senior executives, physicians, and other professionals consistently rely on Mr. Clouse for employment law expertise and advice on employment contracts, covenants not to compete, severance agreements, equity awards, trade secret disputes, and breach of fiduciary duty claims. Source


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13 Million Dollars Awarded to Florida Man in Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) December 6, 2017 – A Florida jury awarded $13 million to a man who was blinded after cataract surgery.

On September 10, 2013, Miguel Diaz, 80, stepped into one of the well-trusted Leon Medical Centers clinics to receive cataract surgery on his right eye. He and his wife Esther, 70, recognized the Leon Medical Centers logo as well as a matching ID badge on Dr. Jonathan Leon-Rosen, Diaz’s ophthalmologist. The couple had used the popular South Florida Medicare clinic for their wide variety of medical services.

Diaz experienced excruciating pain in his eye post-surgery and did not think much of it. However, the next day when he was directed to take off his bandage, he realized he had gone completely blind in his right eye.

“Any patient who suffers such an extreme injury as the result of a medical mistake deserves compensation commensurate with their loss,” said Robert Joyce, a Tampa medical malpractice attorney with the law firm of Joyce & Reyes, who is not involved with the case.

This was not the only occurrence. Nineteen claims have been filed for claims from partial blindness to complete loss of vision. They were settled by medical malpractice carriers totaling at $750,000. All of these patients had been under the care of Dr. Leon-Rosen.

Esther and Miguel Diaz confronted Dr. Leon-Rosen. The doctor’s only comment was that he had injected Gentamicin, an antibiotic, into Diaz’s eye. The lawsuit states that the ophthalmologist usually injects Gills solution into the patient’s eye post-cataract surgery. However, he was eventually forbidden from using the medication and switched over to Gentamicin. This particular antibiotic was not supposed to be injected, but rather applied topically to the eye’s surface.

When the lawsuit was brought to court, Leon Medical Centers argued that because Dr. Leon-Rosen was an independent contractor rather than a staff doctor, they were not to blame for the malpractice. On August 31, the jury found that Dr. Leon-Rosen was an apparent agent of Leon Medical Centers, and awarded Diaz $13 million.

Joyce and Reyes Law Firm, P.A.
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Fresh Air Peers Into The Bughouseby Harriet Staff

At Fresh Air, Maureen Corrigan meditates on Ezra Pound‘s controversial status in the literary canon and his relevance within recent debates regarding artistic merit and bad behavior by men. Her reflection on the controversy surrounding Pound is prompted by Daniel Swift’s new book The Bughouse: The Poetry, Politics, and Madness of Ezra Pound. “In the winter of 1949, a group of judges — including poets T.S. Eliot and Robert Lowell — met to decide the winner of the prestigious Bollingen Prize for the best book of poetry published in the United States the previous year” Corrigan explains. “They gave the prize to Ezra Pound for his collection The Pisan Cantos. Then all hell broke loose.” From there: 

Pound wrote The Pisan Cantos while he was in a prison camp in Italy in 1945. He’d been charged with treason for making more than 200 radio broadcasts from Rome during World War II in which he voiced support for Mussolini and Hitler, and railed against a worldwide Jewish conspiracy.

At his 1945 treason trial in Washington, D.C., Pound, who’d suffered a nervous breakdown, was spared the death sentence because his doctors ruled him “mentally unfit” to stand trial.

That’s why, four years later, when Pound won the Bollingen Prize, he was residing at St. Elizabeths Hospital, a government facility for the mentally ill located in c. [sic] The disdainful headline about the award in The New York Times read, “Pound, In Mental Clinic, Wins Prize For Poetry Penned In Treason Cell.”

Eliot and the committee defended their decision by insisting that only the “poetic achievement” mattered. Pound himself prepared a cryptic acceptance statement that read, “No comment from the bughouse.”

Read more at Fresh Air.

Gary Snyder Inducted Into California Hall of Fameby Harriet Staff

After more than twenty books of poetry, numerous awards, and obtaining a position central in American letters, Governor Jerry Brown has inducted Gary Snyder into the California Hall of Fame. Ezra David Romero reports for Capital Public Radio:

As a child Gary Snyder’s mother read him poem after poem on their four-cow family farm in the Pacific Northwest. That started his lifelong love for writing about the natural world.

“All around the outside of the fence was woods,” Snyder recalls. “I knew the trails and I had little places I could go. I had little campsites.”

Now at 87, he’s reached critical acclaim with more than 20 books of poetry and prose. Gov. Jerry Brown is honoring his legacy by inducting him into the 11th round of the California Hall of Fame.

Snyder says the two have been friends for around 30 years. He remembers the call from Amanda Meeker from the California Museum asking him to participate.

“She says well, Jerry Brown wants you to say yes,” Snyder says. “I’m sure he wants me to say yes, so I’ll say yes. I like him and he’s the only governor in the U.S. that’s stood up to Trump really.”

Meeker organizes the awards established by former First Lady Maria Shriver to honor people who embody the state’s innovative spirit. Among the honorees are big names like Steven Spielberg, plus lesser known, but just as important Californians, like Native American basket weaver Mabel McKay.

“Gary has been on the list for years,” says Meeker. “To me he was so ahead of his time. I feel like we are just now as a culture catching up to where he was 50 years ago.”

Read more about Snyder’s relationship to Buddhism, his environmental work, and more at Capital Public Radio.

Maggie Nelson Responds to Fred Moten’s Newest, Black and Blurby Harriet Staff

In a special issue of 4Columns, Maggie Nelson writes at length about Fred Moten‘s new book, Black and Blur (Duke University Press, 2017). The book, Nelson notes, is “the first of three to be published as the consent not to be a single being series, a phrase borrowed from Édouard Glissant; two companion volumes, Stolen Life and The Universal Machine, are blessedly, impossibly, soon to follow.” Her attempt is one of response over review, with the added intention that she stay stupid:

…And thank God this isn’t a review, really, because how preposterous and off the cake it would feel, at least for me, to drag Black and Blur into the world of appraisal or evaluation of argument. Others can do that, and do it well. It’s not that I’m not interested in Moten’s contributions and interventions into ongoing, crucial discussions about the relation between, say, as he puts it, “the critical analysis of anti-blackness to the celebratory analysis of blackness.” I am, and deeply so. As Moten intimates in Black and Blur’s preface, that relationship is, in some sense, what it’s all about: “It hurts so much that we have to celebrate. That we have to celebrate is what hurts so much. Exhaustive celebration of and in and through our suffering, which is neither distant nor sutured, is black study.” (As in the opening of 2003’s In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition, Moten locates this foundational interdependence in the work of scholar Saidiya Hartman: “In the Break also began with an attempt to engage Hartman; as you can see, I can’t get started any other way.” Indeed, it’s Hartman’s theorization of “the diffusion of terror” in black expression that summons and undergirds Moten’s inquiry into the nature of that diffusion, its multiple ontological possibilities.) 

It’s more that so many debates between, say, something we might call “celebration” and something we might call “terror,” or something we might call “optimism” and something we might call “pessimism,” or something we might call “Afro-diasporic cosmopolitanism” and something we might call “the African American cultural field,” or something we might call “aesthetics” and something we might call “politics,” often become legible only via an unwarranted polarization that Moten’s work not only sidesteps but labors to offer inventive (yet also already-there) alternatives to. It feels more vital to me to use this moment to note how Black and Blur produces felt experiences of these alternatives, carves new pathways through art and thought, which, in turn, re-makes and multiplies the possible relations between them. Such a focus admittedly foregoes, at least for the moment, any granular attention to Black and Blur’s specific content (the essays include kaleidoscopically rich ruminations on Patrice Lumumba, Glenn Gould, Miles Davis, Lord Invader, Charles Mingus, Pras/Ol’ Dirty Bastard/Mýa, Theodor Adorno, Benjamin Patterson, Thornton Dial, Masao Miyoshi, Mike Kelley, Jimmie Durham, Theaster Gates, Charles Gaines, Wu Tsang, Bobby Lee, and many, many others—ruminations made ocean-deep via Moten’s particular style of layering a wide variety of figures and discourses in each essay). But it may shed some light on how and why Moten’s writing has become so crucial to so many in recent years, which links to how and why the publication of Black and Blur feels like nothing less than an ecstatic occasion—both in and of itself, and as a promissory note of more to come. 

Simply put, Moten is offering up some of the most affecting, most useful, theoretical thinking that exists on the planet today—a true leg out of the rut so much criticism has fallen into of pointing out how a certain phenomenon has both subversive and hegemonic effects (“kinda hegemonic, kinda subversive,” as Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick once put it) that has proven so durable since (at least) Foucault. It’s hard to write such sentences without being (happily) haunted by the fact that Black and Blur, like all Moten’s writing, disallows the kind of heroic “radical singularity” that might otherwise attach itself to the proper names of Moten’s subjects, including “Fred Moten.” 

For sure, please read it all, right here.

Shin Yu Pai’s Animated Work Outside the Book Formby Harriet Staff

Shin Yu Pai was featured at The Stranger last week, before presenting an animated poem—her largest project to date as Redmond, Orgeon’s poet laureate—for the Redmond Lights festival, which took place on Saturday, December 2. “There’s lots to see at this thing, but Pai’s collaboration with Seattle designer Michael Barakat isn’t to be missed,” wrote Rich Smith. More:

Barkat animated a poem that Pai wrote about Redmond’s efforts to revitalize the city’s tree canopy, and they’re going to project it onto the backside of City Hall, which will be visible from the tree-lighting ceremony. In the animation, words jump out from the poem and morph into trees, fall when the trees fall, and reflect the action of the poem in other ways. The video will play on a loop throughout the evening, so everyone will get a chance to see it.

The poem itself, which is called “heyday,” condenses Redmond’s history with logging and milling into a few lines before focusing on how Redmond’s revitalization effort starts a chain reaction that benefits the city in social and ecological ways: “memory a series of concentric rings; / one thousand acres to be brought / into active trust — the city of tree / stewards recover a watershed, / cultivate urban vegetation, / extend the forest canopy / to change the temperature.”

Pai’s talk of changing the temperature in that last line resonates with the extra-heated political environment in the U.S. right now, so I called her up to ask if she was thinking of politics as she was writing the poem. “I was talking quite literally about environmental impact,” she said. “But it does suggest larger social change, temperament as well as temperature, I’d say.”

I was also extremely excited by the phrase “brought into active trust,” a bit of bureaucratic language that Pai’s poem charges with multivalent meaning, so I asked her to talk about what the phrase meant for her. “Sometimes we think of a trust as dormant resources, and this usage plays with that notion,” she said. “This active trust is an agreement between a people and its land. You have to cultivate and maintain it. Paired with this idea of social change—it’s aspirational, certainly, but it’s active. That idea actually informed the decision to animate the poem, because the animation literally activates the language.”

Read more about Pai’s work outside the book form at The Stranger.