On Monday, September 26, thirty one (31) former NFL players filed a petition for certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court to review the NFL Concussion settlement, joining the estate of Cookie Gilchrist, who also filed an appeal earlier in the month. While the attorneys at Locks Law Firm feel that the court is unlikely to hear the case and thus this is just a further delay in getting much needed settlement payments to those who are suffering debilitating neurocognitive diseases, there are no guarantees. In that light, let’s take a quick look at the process by which a case is either granted or denied their petition with the Supreme Court.
Hoboken Train Crash
Today's tragic New Jersey Transit train crash at the Hoboken terminal is a stark reminder of the importance of safety and security on our rail systems. Amtrak and the many commuter rail systems along the Northeast corridor are vital to efficient transportation along the east coast for daily commuters, business travel and tourism. Expansion of these systems is an important concern as we deal with current and future pressing environmental and energy challenges.
However, as we learn more about the cause of the most recent incident, we should not lose sight of the need to assure for the safety and security of the trains and rail systems that millions of commuters in the region depend upon every day.
Tulsa, Oklahoma and the Right to Know Law
What happened this week in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is shocking. An unarmed, lone African-American man, walking slowly with his hands in the air, was shot and killed by one of several police officers who were following him. What is unusual about this incident is that two police videos showed the incident. One video was taken either from a police car or a body camera, and the other was taken from a helicopter circling overhead. Without the videos, the country would not have seen this incident and would not be shocked.
Legionnaire’s Disease Still a Real Danger in Our Cities
We at the Locks Law Firm are actively investigating and prosecuting cases of personal injury for persons who have been infected with the Legionella bacterium. Legionella is a type of bacterium found naturally in freshwater environments, like lakes and streams. It can become a health concern when it grows and spreads in human-made water systems like hot tubs, hospital or other large water systems, cooling towers (used in air conditioning systems in large buildings) and public fountains or water displays. Legionella thrives best in warm water, and is spread usually through the ingestion or inhalation of droplets in which the bacterium is present.
Office Depot Assistant Managers FLSA Collective Action Certified
On September 13, 2016, a New Jersey judge certified a Fair Labor Standards Act collective action and three state class actions against Home Depot Inc. brought by assistant store managers claiming they were shorted on wages and overtime, rejecting the retailer's argument the supervisors were not similarly treated. Represented by Locks Law Firm attorneys Michael A. Galpern and Andrew P. Bell argued Office Depot’s method for paying overtime violated federal and state wage and hour laws and further that there was commonality within the group to allow for certification. For the full article, see the attached.
NFL Concussion Appeal Filed with U.S. Supreme Court Means More Delays
On Tuesday, August 30, 2016 an appeal was filed with the U.S. Supreme Court in the NFL Concussion Litigation. In addition, the Court granted an extension to the deadline to file an appeal to several other groups. The approved groups will now have until September 19, 2016 to file their appeals.
After several years of litigation and negotiation, an uncapped settlement that would allow players to be compensated for a diagnosis of dementia, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, ALS and CTE was approved by U.S. District Judge Anita B. Brody (April 2015). Since that time, several appeals were filed with the Third Circuit. The appeals were denied and the effort to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court is a last ditch effort by a few while delaying much needed benefits to many. The thousands of former players, who are in need of help, will have to wait until the appeals process is exhausted before they can receive baseline testing or compensation for their injuries. It is now likely that the U.S. Supreme Court will not rule on the petition until late 2016 or very early 2017 and thus the effective date will be no earlier than late this year.
Lawsuit Alleges Release of Cancer-Causing Chemicals from Pennsylvania Naval Base
Once upon a time, a much younger version of myself recalls visiting the Willow Grove Naval Base to watch awe-inspiring air shows. These shows were spectacular, as brave and highly skilled pilots performed wondrous acts of flight for the benefit of the community. Unfortunately, the very same community that once enjoyed these spectacular air shows must now cope with the reality that the base is accused of releasing cancer-causing chemicals into local water supplies by the use of toxic fire-suppressing foams. Now, for the first time, a Pennsylvania family has filed suit alleging that their drinking water was tainted by toxic chemicals from the use of certain firefighting foams.
The Pennsylvania Right to Know Law is a Great Tool
Police stop a person. A dispute ensues. The person is injured by the police. As recent tragedies in our country have shown, the police dash cam video can be a more trustworthy account of what happened then subsequently-written police reports. Counsel for the person stopped wants to obtain the video as well as written police records.
A city or a town raises the valuation of a home or business immensely, which results in a significant tax increase. The owner wants to challenge the increase. Counsel for the owner wants to obtain the government’s file justifying the increase in valuation.
New York Legislature Extends Time To File Lawsuits for Toxic Exposures From Superfund Sites
The New York State Legislature has come to the aid of victims exposed to toxic substances at Superfund sites by extending the time a lawsuit can be brought, known as the Statute of Limitations. Senator Kathleen Marchione, Republican from the 43rd Senate District, introduced the bill (known as the “Hoosick Falls” bill) as a result of her constituents’ concerns over the continuing water contamination in their town. For those victims of toxic exposure at Superfund sites, the remedy is not limited to Hoosick Falls, but has statewide impacts.
Did You Know the Most Dangerous Driving Season is Summer?
Most people think winter is the most dangerous because of the snow covered icy roads and limited visibility. Although winter driving is dangerous, according to the Department of Transportation, it is not as dangerous as summer.
Driving down the road during a summer heat wave gives you that easy feeling and seems quite serene compared to the stress of driving through a winter whiteout, but it is the most dangerous time to operate a motor vehicle. The summer season is responsible for the greatest amount of fatal car accidents out of every other time of year.