July 2009

The Medical Malpractice Insurance Myth Debunked

Many of you have no doubt heard the repeated hue and cry of some who complain that doctors are being put out of business because of medical malpractice claims and the increasing malpractice insurance premiums they must pay. The press accounts of patients going without doctors in parts of the country where insurance premiums for doctors are alleged to be the highest are repeated almost daily. Likewise, the tales of the paucity of obstetricians and other high risk specialties, again allegedly due to high malpractice insurance premiums are spread like a virus through the internet and blogosphere.

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Car Repossession - What are my Rights when the Repo Man Comes?

CNBC reports that the tough economic times have taken their toll on the Repo Man as well. The creditors who hire the repo men have been trying to cut costs, which has led to a decrease in revenue and jobs in the automobile repossession business. Even though delinquent auto loans are at a record high, creditors are desperate to keep present loans serviceable primarily because the values for repossessed cars (and used cars generally) have fallen, just like real estate prices have during this Great Recession.

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Partner Janet Walsh - Most Influential Irish Woman

Partner, Janet Walsh was recently honored by being included in the Irish Voices list of the "75 Most Influential Irish American Women." This honor was bestowed for her contributions to Irish American society and particularly because of her involvement with the Irish American Bar Association of New York and its role in the Irish American community. Janet is a past president of the Association and currently serves on the Board of Directors. Congratulations on this achievement, Janet!

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Mesothelioma Death Rates Still Increasing

The July 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) contains an article analyzing the 1999 to 2005 death rate from mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lung caused by exposure to asbestos. The article is based on a report from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). 18,068 deaths attributed to mesothelioma were reported during that time period, with an increase from 2,482 deaths in 1999, to 2,704 in 2005. The JAMA article recommends that physicians should document the occupational history of all patients who are suspected to have and are confirmed to have mesothelioma.

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FDA's Role in Regulating Drugs and Protecting Health

The U S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is an agency that is part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. It is responsible for the regulation and oversight of many products consumers use on a daily basis, such as foodstuffs, drugs (both prescription and over the counter, or OTC drugs), medical devices (for example pacemakers and artificial joints), vaccines, radiation emitting devices (x-rays), veterinary products and even cosmetics! In 2004 the FDA employed 14,000 persons in its various departments. In 2009, the FDAs budget was nearly 2.5 billion dollars, with nearly 628 million of that coming from user (pharmaceutical company) fees.

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Strict Liability Victory in PA Supreme Court

Jonathan Miller and team have won a victory in the PA Supreme Court upholding strict liability in the case Bugosh v. I.U. North America, Inc..

What is Strict Liability?
In essence, strict liability holds a manufacturer or seller liable for harm done by his product, whether or not he knew or should have known that the product could cause that harm. Strict liability can attach for harm from a poorly designed product, a poorly manufactured product, or the failure to warn adequately of the hazard from the product.

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