Blog

Hudson River PCB/GE Cleanup Review May Test Pruitt Power to De-Fang the EPA Superfund Cleanup Enforcement

The Trump Administrations’ EPA Administer Scott Pruitt has promised (threatened?) to “streamline and speed” Superfund cleanups by centralizing decision making in his office for projects that cost over $50 million dollars.  EPA insiders have interpreted this as a way to essentially defund the Superfund program by finding that certain mining and sediment cleanup programs currently conducted are completed---perhaps even before the science shows substantial remediation and cleanup has been accomplished.

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Marc Weingarten named Pennsylvania Super Lawyer

Congratulations to Senior Partner Marc Weingarten named Pennsylvania Super Lawyer for plaintiff product liability for the 13th straight time in 2017.  (Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations. – superlawyers.com).

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Locks Partner David Langfitt Responds to Question About Safety on Baseball Fields

David Langfitt, a Partner at Locks Law, has written an article about the safety measures recreational facilities should take regarding possible injuries from foul balls. Published by Sporting Kids, the official publication of the National Alliance for Youth Sports, the article highlights important steps to take to best ensure the safety of players and fans attending baseball games.

The full piece can be read here.

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Locks Partner Steve Knowlton Publishes Article on Bicycle Safety Leading up to National Bike to Work Week

Steve Knowlton, a Partner at Locks Law, a cyclist and expert on bicycling safety, has written an article about the safety measures drivers and cyclists should take while sharing the road. Published by Our Town, a weekly newspaper covering Rockland and northern Bergen Counties, the article highlights important steps to take “should the worst happen” and you are involved in a bicycling accident.

The full piece can be read here below:

LocksLaw_Our_Town_4.19.17 

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Locks Law Firm Successful in Recent Benzene Cases

Congratulations to Andrew DuPont and Jennifer Emmons who, last week, secured a $4.785 Million recovery for the family of a United States Marine Corps serviceman who developed and died from Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) due to his occupational exposure to products containing benzene. Earlier this year Andrew DuPont and Michael Leh were successful in obtaining a recovery of $3.5 Million on behalf of the family of another worker who was exposed to benzene working as a laborer and boilermaker in refineries who also contracted and died from AML.

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Asbestos Deaths Continue

A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has come to some rather alarming conclusions.  The report was based on a study of deaths in the United States from mesothelioma (a type of a fatal cancer uniquely caused by exposure to asbestos) for the years 1999 to 2015.  They cut the study off at 2015 because there is no data presently available after that year.

 

The CDC conclusions include:

 

  1. During the 1999 to 2015 time period there were a total of 45,221mesothelioma deaths reported in the United States.

 

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The Law: Business or Profession?*

A recent discussion with a lawyer friend of mine reignited the title question in my mind, yet again. I am an attorney who deals almost exclusively with individual clients---real people with real problems, as opposed to corporations or businesses.  And because my cases, my clients, are unique individuals, the inherent tension between law as a business and law as a profession inevitably impacts my practice and is always on my mind.

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Negligent Security Settlement

On April 12, 2017, after a full day of mediation with the Hon. Joel Rosen, the Locks Law Firm  settled a negligent security case for $2.8 million.  The case, led by myself and Michael Galpern, involved an inner city apartment complex where there had been several prior incidents.   Our client was visiting  the apartment complex when an unknown gunman began shooting in to the car in which she was sitting.  The shooting  left our client with lifelong injuries.   The shooter was never identified despite substantial media coverage of the incident and police investigation.   We are pleased to be able to secure a settlement that will enable our client to be cared for moving forward.

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NFL Concussion Settlement – Eligible Seasons

An important aspect of the NFL Concussion Settlement is how long one played in the league.  For those who are diagnosed with a compensable condition (dementia, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s or ALS) and played for 5 or more “Eligible Seasons,” they will receive full compensation for you age and diagnosis.  If you have fewer Eligible Seasons, there will be a reduction in your award.

 

It’s also important to understand the Eligible Season requirement because you must have a minimum of a Half of an Eligible Season to qualify for baseline testing, or the BAP.  If you don’t have at least a half of a season, you will not be eligible to go through the testing protocol but you may still qualify for settlement benefits (at a greatly reduced rate).

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NFL Common Benefit Fees vs Individual Case Fees

As the NFL case progresses, we regularly receive questions from retired players and their families about how lawyers in the case are being paid.  There has been a lot of confusion.

 

Sometimes the confusion stems directly from the Concussion Settlement website, which states that lawyers shall be paid by the NFL fund for COMMON BENEFIT FEES, none of which have been awarded.  Strangely, the website never mentions Contracts (that is, the retention agreements).  Other times, the confusion is created by lawyers new to the case or other people without experience in Multi-District Litigation (“MDL”), and they have come to a conclusion that is not well-informed.

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