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


Dallas Employment Lawyer – Attorney Keith Clouse

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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.
307 S Hyde Park Ave
Tampa, FL 33606
Call: 813.251.2007

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New Illinois traffic laws to take effect in 2018

CHICAGO (December 4, 2017) – Car Accident Attorney Jeffrey J. Kroll of the personal injury law firm Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. wants to remind drivers of new Illinois laws that will impact motorists as of January 1, 2018.

  • Organ donor registry age lowered: In Illinois alone, 300 people die per year waiting for an organ. Because of those statistics, those over the age of 16 who register for a state driver’s license or I.D. will have the opportunity to include their name in the First Person Consent organ and tissue donor registry in 2018. Previously, an individual had to be at least 18 years old to do so. Illinois now joins 48 other states that allow 16 and 17 year olds to register as organ donors.
  • No more driving with “for sale” signage: In the New Year, it will be illegal to drive a vehicle with any “for sale” decals, signage, paperwork, or other materials on the front windshield or on windows that would obstruct the driver’s view, off the premises of where the vehicle is being sold. This law was passed after a young man was struck and killed by a car being test driven. The driver on the test drive did not see the oncoming vehicle because his windshield was obstructed.
  • Written motor vehicle accident reports no longer confidential: If you are involved in a car accident in 2018, the Department of Transportation can provide copies of a written accident report to an agency conducting highway safety research or studies.
  • Less-frequent bus inspections: Medical transport vehicles, buses that carry 15 or less people and school buses will only require inspections once per year, rather than six months, the same as the federal standard.

“With distracted driving becoming an increasing problem on our roads, it is promising to see our lawmakers taking proactive steps to protect drivers from distractions on the road. I hope to see more laws that crack down on distracting driving in years to come. The new law prohibiting driving with ‘for sale’ decals is an excellent start,” said Jeffrey J. Kroll, Partner at Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C.

There are several other traffic and non-traffic related laws that will impact Illinois residents in the New Year. Please check back for a full list of new state laws that will take effect in 2018.

For more information or to schedule an interview with Mr. Kroll, please contact Marcie Mangan, Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. Public Relations Manager, at (312) 372-1227 or

Orange County Company Sued for Wage Theft

By Brian Chase on December 4, 2017 –

Orange County Company Sued for Wage Theft

California’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra has charged an Anaheim janitorial company with wage theft and fraud. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the company that services more than 80 major retail stores across Southern California paid its 150 workers just $400 a month over the past four years, which amounts to far below the minimum wage.

Wage and Hour Violations

Becerra announced the lawsuit against the company, One Source Facility Solution and its CEO, calling it a company without scruples. Major retailers in the area such as Ross Dress-for-Less, JoAnn’s Fabrics, Toys R Us and Burlington Coat Factory use this company’s services. However, the retailers are protected against wage and hour lawsuits because they contract out their janitor services. However, Becerra sent out a warning to retailers saying that they have a responsibility as well when they hire a contracting firm to perform services.

The lawsuit states One Source paid its workers fixed amounts for particular services such as scrubbing or floor waxing, and did not keep accurate records of hours worked or pay the state minimum wage, which had increased from $8 to $10.50 an hour over the four years that are covered by the lawsuit. In addition, One Source also underreported payroll taxes and provided false information to its workers’ comp insurance carrier, the lawsuit alleges. The suit seeks at least $1 million in back wages for workers and other civil penalties.

The Register reports that even though the state’s labor commissioner has filed a number of complaints against contractors who have stiffed workers, it has not been very efficient when it comes to collecting back pay and fines as companies either go out of business or re-incorporate under different names. A 2015 California law tightened enforcement and allowed the labor commissioner to place a lien on the property of employers who refuse to pay a judgment.

Fighting for Workers’ Rights

Our California class action lawyers applaud the attorney general for going after these unscrupulous employers who refuse to pay their workers wages that they earned with hard physical labor. A report released by the Economic Policy Institute this year showed that in the nation’s 10 most populous states, 2.4 million workers lose $8 billion annually to minimum wage violations, which is nearly a quarter of their earned wages. This form of wage theft affects 17 percent of low-wage workers with workers in all demographic categories being cheated out of pay.

If you believe that your employer is not paying you the wages you earned, contact an experienced California employment lawyer who will fight for your rights, hold your employer accountable, and help you secure fair compensation for your losses.


Couple Who Lost Nine Family Members in Texas Church Shooting Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against U.S. Air Force

By Brian Chase on December 4, 2017 –

Couple Who Lost Nine Family Members in Texas Church Shooting Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against U.S. Air Force

Joe and Claryce Holcombe, who lost nine family members in the Sutherland Springs church shooting, have filed wrongful death claims against the U.S. Air Force. According to a KSAT news report, the couple’s son, Bryan Holcombe, and eight other family members including an unborn child, were among the 26 people who were killed in last month’s church shooting when a man walking in to the sanctuary and opened fire on congregants at the First Baptist Church who were attending Sunday services.

Failure to Prevent Mass Shooting

The wrongful death claims state that the deaths were caused “in whole or in part” by the institutional failures of the U.S. Department of Defense including the U.S. Air Force. The Holcombes say they want to “discipline the Air Force” so that something like this doesn’t happen again. The complaint also states that the Air Force did not enter the gunman’s criminal convictions, arrest and military discharge information. All of that would have prevented him from buying or possessing firearms, ammunition and body armor he used in the shooting.

Joe Holcombe told KSAT that the Air Force really dropped the ball in this situation by not making that vital information available. The Air Force has blamed the failures in training and compliance measures. The gunman, Devin Patrick Kelley, had been convicted of assaulting his wife and stepson in 2012. Air Force officials previously acknowledged that they did not submit Kelley’s criminal history to the FBI, as required under Pentagon rules. As a result, Kelley was able to purchase a gun each year from 2014 to 2017.

Wrongful Death Claims

Wrongful death claims are usually brought by surviving family members who have lost loved ones as a result of someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing. In this case, the family lost not one, but nine of its loved ones including a pregnant woman and her unborn child. Had the U.S. Air Force informed the FBI about this individual, he might have been prevented from purchasing the firearms during a routine background check.

As wrongful death attorneys, we often see that these lawsuits are not about money. It is clear that this family wants to prevent such a tragedy from ever occurring again. We hope that this family’s crusade ends up in better communication among federal agencies and plays a role in prevents dangerous firearms from getting into the wrong hands.