FDA Informing Healthcare Providers of Increased Rate of Major Adverse Cardiac Events Seen in Patients Receiving Absorb Stent

Reuters reports that research indicated individuals “who received” Absorb, a “novel dissolving vascular stent, had a significantly higher rate of serious adverse heart events than those treated with […] Xience” two years following implantation. Investigators found that “after two years, 10.9 percent of Absorb patients had experienced target lesion failure, versus 7.9 percent for Xience, a statistically significant difference.” The FDA “said it was informing healthcare providers of the increased rate of major adverse cardiac events observed in patients receiving Absorb in the study.” The findings were presented at the American College of Cardiology meeting.

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

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Physicians Sue Hospitals for Discrimination for Economic Reasons

The Houston Chronicle  reports an increasing number of lawsuits nationwide involve cases of hospitals accused of denying healthcare providers the ability to admit patients due to economic reasons rather than performance. The American Medical Association “said it knows of several court cases around the country in which hospitals were accused of denying physicians admitting privileges based on economic factors rather than professional competence.”

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

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Four Former FDA Commissioners Warn of Dangers of Drug Importation

The Washington Post reports former Food and Drug Administration Commissioners Robert Califf, Margaret Hamburg, Andrew von Eschenbach, and Mark McClellan signed an open letter posted by the Margolis Center for Health Policy at Duke University “warning Congress that legalizing the importation of drugs from other countries – an idea that has drawn support from both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump – is a risky approach that would endanger consumers by exposing them to fake, substandard and contaminated drugs.” They concede the proposal would likely help Americans access less-expensive medicines, according to the Post, but warn it would likely “harm patients and consumers and compromise the carefully constructed system that guards the safety of our nation’s medical products.” The Post notes FDA Commissioner-designate Scott Gottlieb, MD, has said that he “agrees with his predecessors.”

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

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A list of Resources to Keep you Safe From Identity Fraud

This commercial website offers some great resources to protect against the ever-increasing risk of identity theft. Check it out. Here are the opening paragraphs:

Identity fraud can strike at any moment, and that is why it is important to have the right knowledge to fight against it. However, with so many resources online, it may be difficult to know where to start.

Understanding the basics about identity fraud is essential, and that includes knowing about different kinds of identity fraud along with the various risk factors. Computer users should be aware of the services that help prevent sensitive data from being stolen. In the event of identity theft, victims should know how to minimize the damage.

The resources below provide detailed information and tools on all of these points, allowing for a greater understanding of identity fraud and its prevention.

Learning the Basics About Identity Fraud

These resources offer a comprehensive overview of identity fraud, including educational articles on data security, current scams and assistance for victims:

Identity Theft Resource Center – This website was established to support victims of identity theft by providing resources on recent data breaches and current scams that leave individuals vulnerable to identity theft. It also lists assistance resources for victims according to the type of identity theft they were involved in (medical, financial, child, etc.).

InfoSec Institute – The InfoSec Institute provides comprehensive learning tools and guides for a variety of data security topics. Users can research how to keep their data secure from hacking attempts and phishing attacks. They can also access a complete guide describing the information sources that identity thieves usually target and the criminal methods used to access these sources.

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Families Bring Class-Action Suit Against Sanofi Over Epilepsy Drug Linked to Birth Effects

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The AP reports a French association of about 2,900 families affected by Depakine, an epilepsy drug that caused birth defects, “launched a class action against pharmaceutical company Sanofi on Tuesday.” A study by the newspaper Le Canard Enchaine “found that Depakine was prescribed to more than 10,000 pregnant women in France between 2007 and 2014. Another report published in February estimated that around 450 children in France who were exposed to the drug while in the womb were born with congenital defects.” The class action “alleges that Sanofi failed to properly inform users about the drug’s potential risks for developing fetuses.”

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

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Lawyer Life: 4 Ways That Legal Professions Have Changed in the 21st Century

As an attorney, you probably already pay attention to new details and methods as they relate to how court cases play out and are handled in the office. Even with the personal research conducted, there is still an abundance of information that’s available to learn about as the legal profession has significantly changed in the 21st century. If you learn about the ways that the profession has changed, then you’ll be able to better understand all aspects of your career, such as how to assist clients and how to deal with court officials.

Talk to Clients About Advantages

As prisons and jails become overcrowded, judges are looking at other types of punishment. One of the ways that judges punish criminals is to place them on probation for a certain period of time. It’s important to talk to your clients about these other forms of punishment so that they know what to possibly expect. If your client doesn’t abide by the regulations, then there could be a harsher punishment in the future. It’s like getting a second chance to make changes in life.

Update Your Records

Since more people are using technology for almost every aspect of life, it’s no surprise that more people are gaining access to court records and other information online. As an attorney, you need to have all of your documents correctly transcribed and in order so that they are easy to understand. There are professional transcription companies, like Caliber Litigation Services, that offer support to attorneys by making it easier for clients to order everything from court transcripts to videos.

Adjust the Work Load

One of the changes that you might see as an attorney is a decrease in your workload. Since there are more people entering the field, there are more options for people who need someone to represent them in court. You’ll notice that secretaries aren’t used as much because of enhanced technology. There are also more attorneys who are doing work pro bono since the economy hasn’t fully recovered.

Utilize Social Media

It seems like everyone is on some kind of social media site. Use this to your advantage because it’s a trend that is here to stay. Advertise your services and any special discounts that you might offer at the moment as social media is a way to draw more people to your practice.

Your legal practice is one that will likely continue to change in the future. With technology being enhanced at every turn and people looking for easier ways to communicate, you’ll see that there are new ways to reach people and offer solutions for the needs of the client. Pay attention to the smaller details as these will change over time more than those that are at the forefront.

Author Info: Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake. You can find her on Twitter.

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5 Ways to Keep Probate Costs Down

Probate can require considerable time and expense, depending on the size of the estate. You can reduce or eliminate probate by eliminating assets that could find their way into your estate. Here are some techniques to consider to reduce or avoid probate costs.

Right of Survivorship

If you’re married, have the deed for real property in the name of you and your spouse. In most states, such a deed creates a “tenancy by the entirety.” The interest of each spouse cannot be divided during marriage. At the death of one spouse, the survivor becomes the sole owner of the property. Generally, the grantee space of most of these deeds takes the form “John Doe and wife (or spouse) Jill Doe.” Depending on your state, the grantees need only be married at the time of the transfer.

The joint tenancy with right of survivorship accomplishes the same result. To create such a tenancy, the deed or other instrument normally must state “with right of survivorship.” Otherwise, the decedent’s interest in the property becomes part of the decedent’s estate. Non-married joint owners may employ the right of survivorship for land. Married couples use it when dealing with personal property, such as cars, and bank accounts, or else the spouses’ separate interests can be included in a probate estate.

Life Estate

In a life estate, you make a deed to someone, but retain “lifetime rights” in the property. This means you have the right to possess and enjoy the property while you’re alive. Upon your death, the grantee receives a “remainder” interest and becomes the owner of all the rights to the property. Generally, as a “life tenant,” you must protect the grantee’s remainder interest by paying the property taxes and preventing deterioration to the property.

Gifts

By gifting your property, you immediately part with all of your rights to the property. Avoiding probate this way requires careful planning. Specifically, you face federal taxes if you give more than $14,000 in any year, as of 2017. Also, these gifts are generally irreversible. You might want to check with a probate attorney like Leon J Teinchner & Associates, P.C. if you have questions about this.

Living Trusts

In a living trust, you transfer your property to a “trust” in which you are the beneficiary for life. The trust document designates beneficiaries who receive or possess the property remaining in the trust at your death. Since the property is held by a trust, but not you, it does not become subject to probate.

Depending on your state, if you retain the right to revoke (or end) the trust, your creditors may have a right to be paid from the property of the trust on your death. Also, family members might have statutorily-created rights to allowances in the event of revocable trusts.

Transfer on Death

Many states afford a “Transfer of Deed on Death” to reduce or avoid probate costs. Here, you designate a beneficiary as owner upon your death. Unlike other approaches, you avoid gift taxes since you still own the property while you live. However, depending on the state, your creditors may reach it for claims filed within a certain time after your death.

The cost of probate may serve as an important, but not necessarily the sole factor in your estate plan. The ways to keep property out of your estate may carry tax consequences or affect your future property rights. An attorney can decide which of these approaches will protect you and your interests.

This article was written by Dixie Somers, a freelance writer who loves to write for business, finance, and family issues. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters. You can find Dixie on Facebook.

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Looming Litigation: A How-to Guide for Filing a Legal Claim

There may come a time in your life when the need to take legal action in civil court may arise. If you feel that you have been wronged by an individual or a business entity, you are entitled to filing a civil claim against those who caused you harm, failed to perform according agreed terms, or inconvenienced you to the point of economic loss. If you are not familiar with the civil court process, keep the following steps in mind:

Choosing Legal Representation
We live in rather complex and sophisticated times that require the counsel of legal professionals who can help you obtain the best outcome in court. Choosing adequate representation should be your first step, and this means doing some research. For example, if you are a tenant whose landlord has crossed over the line, you may want to consult a law firm that is focused on the real estate practice. If you have a grievance with another citizen that isn’t business related, then someone like Hart Law Offices, PC or another civil litigation attorney could be your best bet. No matter what their specialty is, in most cases, the initial consultation is free.

Setting Up the Complaint
You will need to establish the legal basis of your claim in accordance to the local rules of civil practice observed in your jurisdiction. It is important to follow all the procedures set forth by the courthouse, particularly with regard to serving a notice upon the respondent. Once you complete the initial filing, you will be known as the plaintiff in the case, which will be assigned to a judge and will be given its unique case number.

Waiting for the Response
The respondent has a proscribed amount of time to answer to the claim once he or she has been properly served with the notice of lawsuit. Your attorney will know how to proceed upon receiving the answer; should the respondent choose not to answer in the time allowed, you will be able to file a motion for default, which is a request for the court to issue a judgement in your favor and order the respondent to comply with the resolution of the case.

Attending Hearings
Depending on the complexity and circumstances of your case, you may have to attend a court hearing. Your lawyer may request a hearing if she deems it to be necessary; however, you may not have to attend. In many overburdened jurisdictions, judges in civil cases try to minimize hearings as much as possible, which means that your case will mostly consist of written pleadings and responses.

Enforcing a Judgement
Even if the judge rules in your favor, the respondent may not comply with the court order. If you are awarded a monetary sum that the respondent fails to pay, your attorney can file a motion for enforcement and start filing liens against property owned by the other party in an effort to make your case whole.

In the end, filing a lawsuit is not as complicated as it may sound if you choose your representation wisely.

Author information: Kare Masterson is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max. You can find Kara on Facebook and Twitter.

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Danger Zone Disasters: 4 Steps to Take After Crashing Your Motorcycle

Motorcycle accidents can run the gamut from frustrating to fatal. The latter is worse than the former, of course, but they should all be treated with equal amounts of care. If you’ve been involved in some kind of incident involving a slippery road and a Harley-Davidson, here are just four steps to take in the aftermath.

1. Assess the Damage

If you have a smartphone, fill it up with pictures of the scene. Get multiple shots from multiple angles, and preview all of your photos to ensure that flashes and sunspots haven’t ruined them. If you don’t have access to a camera, start making a hand-written list of damages that you can ask witnesses to sign. Documentation is the bread and butter of an insurance claim, so you’ll want plenty of it when it’s time to file.

2. Call Your Insurance Company

Speaking of insurance, you’ll want to report your accident as soon as possible. There are time limits involved with filing a claim, and depending on your state, they can range from six months to three years. Be careful with how much information that you share, however. Never admit fault to an insurance company, and if they start pressing you for the details of your injuries, tell them that you won’t know until you’ve talked to a doctor.

3. Get a Medical Evaluation

Even if you feel fine, you could have unseen injuries like bone fractures or internal bleeding. Your doctor might want to put you on bed rest for a while before allowing you to resume everyday activities. Not only is this good for your health, but it can also strengthen your claim in court if you decide to seek compensation for the accident. Remember, documentation is everything, so a doctor’s note that proves your pain and suffering can be a big boon to your case.

4. Speak to a Lawyer

This is especially important if the accident wasn’t your fault. A personal injury lawyer, such as one from Gelman Gelman Wiskow & McCarthy, can help you determine and establish negligence from another party, and a settlement agreement can help you pay for things like medical bills, missed wages and disability accommodations. It’s worth the effort of reaching out to a legal professional who specializes in personal injury cases.

These are just a few tips for handling the aftermath of a motorcycle accident. Whether you were roaring down an open highway or just picking up your groceries in style, let these steps help you get back on your bike where you belong.

Author Info: Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake. You can find her on

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Fitness Devices that Keep Track of Heart Rate May Be Less Accurate than Thought

HealthDay reports that research suggests “Fitbits and other wrist-worn fitness devices” that “promise to keep track of your heart rate” may be “less accurate than thought during certain exercises.” Investigators found that “depending on the type of activity, the wrist devices were up to 34 beats a minute off.” The findings are scheduled to be presented at the American College of Cardiology’s annual meeting.

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

Image courtesy of HowGoing.net.

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