Posts made in February, 2017

The Many Toxic of Polychlorinated Biphenyls or PCBs

Posted by on Feb 19, 2017 in Toxic Chemical | 0 comments

Polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs are a group of 209 different chemicals which the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the Environmental Protection Agency has classified as probable human cancer-causing compounds. The National Toxicology Program and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health have also determined that PCBs are linked to breast cancer and increase rates of liver cancer, biliary tract cancer, gall bladder cancer, brain cancer, gastrointestinal tract cancer and melanomas.

Other adverse effects linked to PCB exposure include:

  • Decrease in birth weight and head size, lowered performance on behavioral tests, standardized memory, psychomotor and behavioral tests, as well as lowered IQ. These effects were found in a group of children in Michigan whose mothers had been exposed to PCB;
  • Occupationally exposure to PCBs (in upstate New York) resulted to shorter pregnancies and shortened menstrual cycles among a group of women;
  • Reduced sperm counts, premature puberty, altered sex organs, and changed sex ratios of children;
  • Disturbs the amount of some immune system elements, such as T cells and lymphocytes; and,
  • Increased incidences of ear infections and chickenpox (this was shown in a study of Dutch children).

The most common ways of being exposed to PCBs include:

  • Eating contaminated fish, such as those from Lake Ontario;
  • Breathing in of PCB polluted air which abound, especially, near contaminated sites, such as the Hudson Valley;
  • Swimming in highly contaminated water, although only small amounts of PCBs may enter the body from this activity.

Note: Municipalities where the Hudson River is used as a source of drinking water assure residents that no detectable levels of PCBs are found in their water supply.

As PCBs enter a person´s body, these are absorbed into fat tissues and remain there, accumulating over the years. A fish that absorbs PCBs by eating plankton, therefore, stores these in its body fat. Breast-feeding women, who eat contaminated fish, can pass on PCBs to their infants through breast milk.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned PCBs in 1979. Before this, however, General Electric was said to have dumped about 1.3 million pounds of different types of PCBs into the Hudson River from 1946 to 1977.

From 1935 until 1977, Monsanto, the sole manufacturer of PCBs, used the chemical to insulate electronics. Besides this and other uses that included capacitors, transformers, microscope oils, heat transfer fluids, lubricants, electric appliances like television sets and refrigerators, plasticizers, inks, adhesives, flame-retardants, paints, surface coatings, and carbonless duplicating paper, PCBs were also sprayed on dirt roads to keep the dust down.

Despite the many uses of PCBs, its many toxic adverse effects and negligent handling have only resulted to so many lawsuits filed by those already harmed by this poisonous substance. Getting in touch immediately with a PCB lawsuit attorney, as soon as you are able to discover that you have been harmed by this substance may enable you to pursue a legal action for the compensation that you and your family may legally deserve.

Read More

Finding a Way Out of a Statutory Rape Charge

Posted by on Feb 18, 2017 in Statutory Rape Charge | 0 comments

Going online to find women willing to meet and have sex with you is totally inappropriate behavior, says a Michigan judge who convicted a 19-year old male Indiana teen of a sex offense and ordered him to register as a sex offender for the next 25 years.

The male teen’s crime was have consensual sex with a 14-year old girl who he had met on “Hot or Not,” a dating app. The girl, besides registering on the dating app’s adults section, also lied about her age, saying that she was 17 years old. Lying about her age and testifying in court about this lie did not save the male teen from conviction, though, since the state of Michigan does not provide an automatic defense (for statutory rape charges) based on false info on age.

As regards the male teen, the effects of being convicted of a sex offense does not only include mandatory jail sentences, fines, probation, mandated treatment services, and registering as sex offender, but also keeping a 1,000-foot minimum distance from public areas where there may be children, being home before 8 p.m. every night and prohibition to: own a smartphone or use the Internet; and talk to anyone younger than 17, other than members of immediate family – all of these he should observe for the next five years.

There are people who would argue that a person should be responsible in confirming the age of his/her sexual partner, since it is possible that his/her sexual partner may be under the age of consent. But how should one confirm his/her sexual partner’s age besides ask him/her? Ask for his/her driver’s license or ID? How can one even spot a fake ID?

It is clear, though, that verifying a prospective partner’s age is necessary, if one does not want to be charged with statutory rape, despite the sexual act being consensual. This is because statutory rape laws make sexual intercourse even between willing partners illegal if one of the participants is below the age of consent since this will make such partner incapable of knowingly consenting to the sexual act, appreciating the impact of the act, and knowing its possible consequence.

Though states vary with regard to the age of consent, or the age at which a person can legally agree to engage in a sex act, its range is from 16 to 18. However, to save many teens from statutory rape prosecution and conviction, some states have a provision, called the “Romeo and Juliet” law. This law allows those under the age of consent to legally consent to sex depending on the age difference between the partners (some states allow only up to two years difference, while other states allow a difference of up to four years) .

While statutory rape statutes only intend to protect minors from sexual predators, it cannot be denied that these statutes have unintended consequences due to many legal gray areas. As a result, many have been (and continue to be) convicted and ordered to register as sex offenders; this very likely means ruined lives.

As explained by the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter, ‘although the U.S. justice system holds that individuals are innocent until proven guilty, many individuals charged with sex crimes find that this is not the way that they are treated, as those around them, and even family members and friends, may jump to conclusions based solely on the accusations made against them. Therefore, knowing how difficult it can be for anyone to face a sex crime charge, having an aggressive legal team for his/her defense might be able to have charges reduced or even dismissed altogether.

Read More

Defendants in a Product Liability Lawsuit

Posted by on Feb 17, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Consumers believe that the products they purchase are safe and without defects. This belief is not just rooted on consumers’ knowledge of the legal responsibility of manufacturers, which is to ensure that their products are never sources of harm, injury or illness, but also on the standard of quality (which is a major basis of a company’s reputation) that they themselves have implemented and observe.

Sadly, however, the laws, the quality assurance, company reputation, and the watchful eyes of government authorities and company managers, seem not enough or not totally effective as flawed or defective products continue to find their way in stores and be made available to billions of consumers. As a result, every year, thousands of product liability claims, also known as tort lawsuits, against manufacturers of harmful products are filed by consumers due to the injury they sustain from the use of these products.

With millions of defective, harmful products available in the market, the list is close to endless. However, to name a of things on this list, there are nursery items, children’s toys, electronic gadgets, tools, furniture, and household appliances, office equipment, jewelry and clothes. These products, by the way, include only those items that fall under the control of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Other products are specifically categorized and assigned by the government as falling under the jurisdiction of specific agencies, like:

  • The Food and Drug Administration, which regulates food, medical devices, drugs and cosmetics;
  • The Federal Aviation Administration, which has charge over aircrafts;
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which manages automobile-related products; and,
  • Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, which regulates alcohol, tobacco & tobacco products

In the website of the Goings Law Firm, LLC, it is said that “the impact that a dangerous or defective product can have on a person’s life can be devastating. However, a product liability claim can help alleviate some of the challenges that victims may face.

Some of the most common types of product liability claims that people pursue include:

  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Defective household appliances
  • Toxic Food Products and Containers
  • Dangerous Childcare Products and Toys
  • Defective Vehicles
  • Manufacturing Defects
  • Design Defects
  • Defective Implants, such as defective hips or knees

As further explained by Williams Kherkher, when a product injures anyone, especially a child, all those involved in the chain of distribution, including the manufacturer, the distributor and the retailer, can be named as defendants in a civil or tort lawsuit. But while proving that an injury exists may be easy, establishing that such injury was caused by a defective product can be challenging. It will probably be advantageous to a victim if he/she would be represented by a highly-skilled personal injury lawyer from the start to the end of his/her legal pursuit.

Read More