June 2016

Who is Liable for Zika at the 2016 Olympic Games?

As the 2016 Olympic Games approach, they have created a heightened awareness of the Zika virus and the potential health concerns associated with it. The Zika virus, carried by mosquitoes can also be transmitted through sexual contact and is prevalent in the host country, Brazil. There currently is no vaccine, no known “cure” and it has also caused severe birth defects. Most at risk are women who are already pregnant, as the virus can be passed from mother to fetus. The transmission of the virus in utero could potentially cause birth defects such as microcephaly (a condition in which the brain does not develop properly during pregnancy and/or stops growing after birth). According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, women who are not pregnant nor planning to become pregnant shortly after a visit to an affected area, have little risk, reproductively, as blood tests show the virus usually clears the bloodstream within a week to 10 days.  However, discussed less often, is the risk to men. The Zika virus has been found in the semen of infected men and it is unknown how long it stays there and over what period of time a man can transmit the virus through sex. This may be a bigger concern leading into the world’s largest sporting event in August. World golf #1 and #4, Jason Day and Rory McIlroy, respectively, have already pulled out of the Olympics due to concerns over Zika. But what about the athletes and the tourists/fans who still choose to go? And is there a risk that those who do go will return home and accelerate the spread of the virus?

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Products Liability and the Adequacy of Warning

In this month’s issue (June 2016) of PAJustice News, I discuss the importance of the case Hatcher v. SCM Group North America, Inc. as it relates to the decision in Tincher vs. OmegaFlex, Inc.  Specifically in the Hatcher case, the question of failure to warn would be tested and ultimately used a Mackowick analysis to rule that the threshold question of the adequacy of the warning was not an issue sufficient to submit to the jury.  To read the full analysis, please see the attached article. Products Liability - Hatcher v. SCM Group North America, Inc.

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It’s About Those Folks Called Clients

Ever have one of THOSE days?  When every little (and big!) thing seems to be working against you?  You know, those days when:

  • you get to the office late because your chosen mode of transportation has a temper tantrum…
  • when you finally do make it to your desk, your computer takes forever to boot up, and when it finally does, it freezes…
  • you can’t type to save your life, and you find yourself deleting and correcting the same word over and over again…
  • all the other technology in your office decides to go on strike as well…
  • the phone never stops ringing, but the people you need to get information from to finish a project (or 10) are NEVER the persons calling you…
  • you spill your coffee (on your keyboard)…
  • you remember you left your lunch in the fridge at home…
  • and then you spill your store bought soup on your keyboard…
  • that you finally would have gotten a chance to eat at 4 PM…

I’ve had all of these happen to me, fortunately not all on the same day, but close.  And like all jobs, we have our own, job-specific, lawyer-specific frustrations:

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Justice is Near for South African Gold Miners

For decades both before and after apartheid, blacks from both South Africa and other nearby African countries worked in the gold mines of South Africa in deplorable conditions.  In exchange for their subsistence wages the miners often worked deep underground with no effort made to prevent or remove the vast amounts of dust created by the mining process. As a result, silicosis was common.  Tuberculosis was also rampant among the mine workers.  With large numbers working in close proximity underground it spread quickly.   Often when miners were diagnosed with these diseases, they were not told of the diagnosis, rather they were sent back to their villages with no plan for appropriate medical follow up or care.

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There Is More Than One Way to Skin a Cat



There is more than one way to skin a cat, or, as here, to win an appeal. Some ways of winning an appeal are obvious. Plaintiff wins at trial and that verdict is affirmed on appeal. Plaintiff loses at trial but wins a new trial on appeal. And then there is a third way to win an appeal.


The third way arose in a serious motor vehicle accident case. At 4:30 am, a lady was driving in New Jersey. A sign directed vehicles to merge to the left lane entering into a construction area. Ahead of her was a large garbage truck with mud obscuring its rear lights. The garbage truck was slowing down but did not use its brakes. By the time the lady saw the truck, it was too late and she crashed into the truck.

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If You Have a Choice with Whom or Where You Get Medical Treatment, Be Informed


I represent clients who have sustained injuries in a vast array of circumstances: medical negligent, nursing home neglect, automobile accidents, injuries at job sites, or so many other circumstances. In all, these individuals require evaluation and treatment by medical professionals. We have learned to trust what these medical professionals do “must” be right just because they have the label of a “medical professional.” Of course they will be doing the assessments and procedures on patients. We want to believe that these professionals know best and what they do for an injured person will assist in their well-being. But the reality is that this does not always happen.

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NJ Supreme Court Rules Delegation Clause in Arbitration Agreement Unenforceable

This morning the New Jersey Supreme Court issued its opinion in Morgan v. Sanford Brown Institute and found that the arbitration agreement, which Defendants claimed waived students’ rights to challenge any portion of the agreement in court, was unenforceable.  The Locks Law Firm appeared as amicus curiae on behalf of the New Jersey Association for Justice and I was privileged to argue the case before the Court this past December.


Annemarie Morgan and Tiffany Dever, the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, each entered into an enrollment agreement with Sanford Brown to take medical sonography courses.  The cost for sixteen months of courses was an astronomical $37,500.  Unfortunately for Ms. Morgan and Ms. Dever, they were not told that the course in medical sonography was unaccredited – meaning they could not receive the licenses they needed to work in the sonography field in New Jersey.

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New York partner Janet Walsh to chair the Irish American Bar Association of New York’s John Quinn Memorial Address and Bloomsday Celebration on June 16, 2016


There is an event that falls between Memorial Day and Independence Day that is not known to many in the United States but has left its mark on an important aspect of our laws and our fundamental freedoms.  That day is Bloomsday.


The term “Bloomsday” is derived from Leopold Bloom, the main character of James Joyce’s masterwork, Ulysses, which chronicles his adventures over the course of one day in Dublin, Ireland - June 16, 1904.  Although many are familiar with Ulysses and its groundbreaking impact on modernist literature, Ulysses is lesser known for its impact on First Amendment jurisprudence in the United States.

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Locks Law Director of Sports & Athlete Relations Published in Philadelphia Business Journal

Janet Lewis, Locks Law's Director of Sports & Athlete Relations, has recently published an article on sports concussions with the Philadelphia Business Journal.

Acknowledging the recent rise in public awareness of concussions, Lewis tackles some pervasive concussion myths and asserts the importance of properly protecting athletes from these life-altering injuries. Her full article can be read here.

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It’s All About the Marketing – Or Is It?



If you have been searching for a lawyer, you have likely seen firms and attorneys advertising using logos for awards such as “Super Lawyers,” “Rising Stars” and “Best Lawyers.” In fact, Locks Law Firm has included those on their website and in various pieces over the years – and through today.  We are very proud of our attorneys and our firm for the hard work that is done on a daily basis representing clients who have been injured due to the fault of others.  And beyond the verdicts and settlements we secure for our clients, being recognized for that hard work and commitment is another satisfying piece of the outcome.  In fact, many of these awards are based upon peer reviews and who doesn’t appreciate it when your peer is, in essence, saying you’re doing a great job?

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Locks Law Firm only provides legal advice after having entered into an attorney client relationship, which our website specifically does not create. Conversations that originate from website messaging, chat or other two way web based engagement  do not create an attorney client relationship. It is imperative that any action taken be done on the advice of counsel. Because every case is different, the description of awards and cases previously handled do not guarantee a similar outcome in current or future cases. The firm practices law in Pennsylvania, New Jersey & New York as Locks Law Firm. Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America and other organizations that rate attorneys are not designations that have been approved by the State Supreme Courts or the American Bar Association.