New Study Finds Vaping Has Pushed Teen Nicotine-Use Rates To Levels Not Seen Since 1995


The New York Times reports that a study release today in the journal Pediatrics finds that “many teenagers who never would have smoked cigarettes are now ‘vaping’ with flavored e-cigarettes, leading to a new generation using nicotine at rates not seen since the 1990s.” According to University of Southern California researchers, “e-cigarettes do not appear to have made a dent in regular cigarette use,” and “the rate of teenagers using nicotine — either through tobacco cigarettes or e-cigarettes — is on the rise” at 14%, which is the highest it has been since 1995.

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

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Keep Your Golden Years Gold: Protecting Your Retirement After a Car Crash

Keep Your Golden Years Gold Protecting Your Retirement after a Car Crash

You worked hard for most of your life to get to retirement. Then you’re driving in a strange city, look down at your GPS to see where you’re at, and you rear-end the car in front of you that had stopped for a red light. The driver and passenger both claim to be hurt. Or perhaps you were the one stopped at a red light, and you seem to be injured. If your medical bills get out of hand, they’ll eat away your savings. How do you protect your retirement after a car accident?

Call for Police and Paramedics

Call 911 and tell the operator that you were in an accident, people appear to be injured, and you need both police and paramedics at the scene. Don’t admit fault—that’s for the police report to determine. Such statements will only be used against you in the future. You don’t have to admit fault to the investigating officer either. He or she will put two and two together from the statements of the occupants of the car that you hit and the physical evidence.

Notify Your Insurance Agent Immediately

Phone your agent or the claims department of your insurance company immediately and report the accident. Follow up with written notice after that, so there’s a record. You have a contractual duty to cooperate with your insurer, so govern yourself accordingly. If you receive a claim letter from an attorney or get served with a lawsuit, get a copy over to your insurer immediately. You don’t want your insurer to claim late notice, raise a policy defense and deny coverage.

Don’t Give a Statement to the Other Insurer

An insurance company or private detective might contact you in the future and want a written or recorded statement. If you haven’t been sued, you’re under no obligation to give one, so politely refuse to do so. If you give a statement, it’s likely that it will be used against you in the future.

Hire a Lawyer

You’ll want an attorney with you at traffic court. Too many things could happen there that can affect a personal injury case against you. Even a plea of guilty to the traffic charge can be used against you in the future. Your attorney will know what to do. He or she might even get the traffic charge against you dismissed. If you were the injured party, and the driver at fault, or their insurance, is refusing to cooperate, car accident lawyers can be a big help for your case. They can level the playing field between you and the big insurance companies trying to take advantage of you. A lawyer may seem like a large upfront cost, but they can help you keep your retirement in your bank account instead of someone else’s pocket.

This article is from Marlena Stoddard, who writes on health, parenting and everything in between. Originally from Senoia, GA, Marlena lives in Santa Rosa, CA with her husband and two children. When she isn’t spending time with her children or writing, Marlena enjoys hiking and photography, animals and painting. For more on Marlena, you can follow her on Google+.

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Opioid Deaths Among ICU Patients on the Rise


Forbes contributor CJ Arlotta writes that research suggests “the opioid epidemic is not only impacting households across the nation; it’s also placing an additional unnecessary burden on the country’s healthcare system, particularly stretched-too-thin intensive care units (ICUs).” Researchers found that “opioid-related ICU admissions increased by 64% between 2011 and 2015.” Over that “same time period, there was a 78% increase in ICU mortality among patients admitted for overdoses related to prescription painkillers.”

Medical Daily reports that according to the study authors, “The national trends in opioid-related overdoses are seen in the rising ICU admissions and mortality among this population in the past 5 years.” The findings were presented at the American Thoracic Society’s annual meeting.

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

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FDA Suspends Clinical Trial for Leukemia Treatment After Three Patient Deaths


The Wall Street Journal reports that Juno Therapeutics Inc. announced that the Food and Drug Administration placed a clinical hold on the Phase II clinical trial of JCAR015, an experimental leukemia treatment, because two patients died last week.

Bloomberg News reports that three patients have died in the clinical trial so far. According to Bloomberg, two patients died last week “after a chemotherapy drug called fludarabine was added to the treatment regimen for Juno’s therapy.” All three patients died from cerebral edema, but the trial was not halted after the first death because there were “confounding factors and a change in plans was not warranted,” says Juno CEO Hans Bishop.

STAT reports that Juno’s JCAR015 therapy “is created by harvesting a patient’s own immune cells and rewiring them to home in on cancer in the blood.” Juno will submit documents to the FDA this week proposing that the trial continue without the introduction of fludarabine.

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

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Theranos CEO Banned from Owning or Operating Medical Lab for Two Years


The New York Times reports that CMS “banned Elizabeth Holmes, the chief executive of Theranos, from owning or operating a medical laboratory for at least two years, in a major setback for the embattled blood-testing firm and its once widely lauded founder.” In addition, regulators revoked the operating license of Theranos’ Newark, CA laboratory, “and forbade the laboratory from taking Medicare and Medicaid payments for its services.” In a statement, Holmes said, “We accept full responsibility for the issues at our laboratory in Newark, Calif., and have already worked to undertake comprehensive remedial actions,” adding that the company was “disappointed” with CMS’ decision.

The Wall Street Journal also reports that the action against Holmes is a major setback for Theranos. The article says the sanctions, which include a fine of an undisclosed amount, follow about eight months of increased scrutiny after the Journal questioned the accuracy of Theranos’ processes.

On its website, CNN Money reports that regulatory scrutiny on Theranos increased “following revelations that its signature laboratory technology – which requires just a few drops of blood – was being used to perform only a handful of tests.”

Bloomberg News reports that recently, “as Theranos has faced questions over whether its technology worked, it has said that it stopped using its own devices and is submitting individual tests for FDA approval.” The piece points out that Theranos is currently facing three class-action suits alleging “consumer fraud and false advertising.”

Fortune reports the closure of Theranos’ California facility will not take effect for 60 days, but the company “says it will not conduct any patients tests until ‘further notice.’” Theranos stated that it will “continue to work with CMS to resolve and remediate outstanding issues in the Newark lab, and will continue to provide services to its customers through its Arizona lab.”

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

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5 Industries with the Highest Risk for Civil Lawsuits

5 Industries with the Highest Risk for Civil Lawsuits

A civil lawsuit is defined as a legal process that enables an individual, business, or entity to hold another individual, business, or entity liable for negligence. For example, if an individual shopping in a grocery store slips and falls on a wet floor, obtains physical damage, and there wasn’t a warning sign for that wet floor, then that individual can sue that grocery store to receive compensation for their injury. Each industry can have different civil lawsuits that occur more typically than others or are exclusively for that industry. Here are five industries that are at the highest risks for drawing civil lawsuits as well as some respective types.

1. Construction Industry

More common civil lawsuits in the construction industry are more “contract-based” than negligent. This includes deficient design and time disputes. If a construction project isn’t completed correctly or on time, then a lawsuit can be put in place. One good way to help prevent these litigations is close contact and communication between the construction project manager and the client.

2. Healthcare Industry

Medical malpractice is a very well-known form of civil lawsuit that comes in many different forms. Some examples include a doctor misdiagnosing a patient, applying the wrong amount or type of medicine, providing the incorrect treatment, plastic surgery errors, and so much more. The results of these malpractices can lead to more injury or, worse, death. If the patient is incapacitated in any way from these medical oversights, then the patient’s direct family has the right to file a civil lawsuit.

3. Casino Industry

Casinos can be prosecuted for simple negligence that can cause financial and even physical damage to an individual. A casino can be held accountable for any broken gambling machines that cause the users to lose money. Wet floors and construction areas that are not marked properly can result in injuries for innocent passersby while walking through the casino. Casinos can even be held liable for faulty security.

4. Retail Industry

The common civil lawsuits in this industry are more social, as they can involve discrimination against gender, race, religion, and other different types of groups. For example, a civil lawsuit can be filed against a company that refuses to hire someone who wears specific clothing because of their religion, gets paid less because of their gender, or is berated and refused service because of their race. An employee of a company can also register a civil lawsuit for discrimination against disability, such as being fired for getting in a medical accident that was beyond the employee’s control.

5. Manufacturing Industry

The manufacturing industry nowadays gains civil lawsuits from product defects. A product can look complete, but there can be some material components that are not functioning well, broken, or not there at all. Although the results can leave the user either with a slight inconvenience or a fatal catastrophe, at the end of the day, the company who manufactured this product may have been careless in producing and handling it before it was purchased by the user.

Regardless of industry, no company is completely immune to receiving a civil lawsuit. With this said, it is highly recommended that companies obtain a business lawyer on call. Not only would companies be able to help protect themselves from any civil lawsuits in the future, but business lawyers would also be able to constantly update and inform companies on local laws.

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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World Alzheimer’s Month


September is World Alzheimer’s Month. You can learn more at this site.

Please educate yourself about this terrible disease.

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Humana Sued for Denying Payment for Colorectal Cancer Tests


The Louisville (KY) Courier-Journal reported that “the maker of a new test for colorectal cancer is suing Louisville-based Humana Inc., alleging its denial of payment for screenings performed on more than 4,600 patients violates state and federal law.” Exact Sciences Corp. and Exact Sciences Laboratories LLC filed a suit in US District Court in the Western District of Kentucky alleging that “Humana improperly and illegally refused to pay claims totaling in excess of $800,000 under its commercial insurance and Medicare Advantage plans since October 2014.” Humana contends that, among other things, “the company’s trademarked Cologuard is ‘experimental or investigational.’” The company “contends Humana is required by law to cover Cologuard, which it said has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.” Louisville (KY) Business First also reported on the lawsuit.

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

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Lawsuit Filed Against Anthem and Express Scripts for Overcharging Patients for Prescription Drugs


Kaiser Health News reported that a recently-filed lawsuit accuses Anthem and pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts of overcharging tens of thousands of patients with employer-based insurance for prescription drugs. The lawsuit is being brought on behalf of “people with ERISA-governed insurance plans for whom Anthem provided drug benefits through an agreement with Express Scripts after Dec. 1, 2009, to the present” and is seeking class action status. Both Anthem and Express Scripts deny the allegation.

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

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Duodenoscopes, Linear Echoendoscopes Remained Contaminated with Bacteria After Cleaning


The Seattle Times reported that duodenoscopes and linear echoendoscopes “used at 21 Providence Health & Services hospitals in Washington and four other states remained contaminated with bacteria even after cleaning.” Hospital officials pointed out, however, that “no infections were detected and no patients were harmed,” but “the systemwide survey confirmed their worst suspicions, according to Dr. Jack Brandabur, a gastroenterologist at Swedish Medical Center, part of the Providence system.” The survey results were published in Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

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