Court Allows Trial on Ford Windstar Explosion Destroying Client's Home
Recovering Damages for a Serious Burn Injury
Anyone who has experienced a burn, even a minor one like a burn to the tongue from hot coffee, knows how painful it can be. Fortunately, most minor burns, despite the discomfort, heel quickly. However, a more serious burn can be a devastating injury, resulting in hospitalization, surgery, painful procedures, and leaving unsightly and sometimes permanent scarring. The pain associated with some burns can be unbearable requiring the use of painkillers for extended periods, which of course can result in its own side effects, including the risk of addiction to opioids.
Republican Controlled Congress Kills Rule on Class Action Suits Against Financial Institutions
Late last night (October 24, 2017) the Republican controlled Senate narrowly voted to abolish the banking rule that permitted consumers to join class action lawsuits against banks and other financial institutions to resolve disputes. By a narrow 51-50 vote with Vice President Pence casting the tie breaking vote, the Senate joined the Republican held House in voiding the July 2017 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Rule that barred financial institutions from using mandatory arbitration clauses to deny groups of aggrieved consumers their day in court. It is expected that President Trump will quickly sign the measure.
Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Affirms that Consent to Jurisdiction Through Registration as a Foreign Corporation is Still Good Law
On October 12, 2017, Judge Marlene F. Lachman of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas ruled that consent to jurisdiction remains good law in Philadelphia County following the Supreme Court’s decisions in Daimler, BNSF, and Bristol-Myers Squibb.
Employees Should Be Paid During Rest Breaks
A major federal appellate court ruled last week that employees deserve to be paid during rest breaks that are up to twenty minutes or fewer.
Riding Mower Lawn Tractor Rollover Hazards (Part I)
Riding mower lawn tractor rollovers have been a problem ever since riding mowers have been in existence. As early as 1970, studies began to be published indicating that they were the most frequent kind of accidents associated with these machines. By 1980, the Consumer Product Safety Commission began keeping statistics of persons taken to emergency rooms because of rollovers of these machines. By 2003, their statistics showed that in excess of 54,000 people had been taken to emergency rooms because of riding mower rollover injuries. It is undisputed that when these machines roll over the operator can be pinned and killed.
How the Drug Industry Crippled the Investigation Into the Opioid Crisis
The crisis facing our communities and neighborhoods from the over prescription and improper use of prescription opioid pain killers is well known. Every day in newspapers across the country the stories of those who have died of overdoses of these medications are told. If you read a newspaper, watch television or get your news from the internet you are bombarded with the daily tragedies of those who have died.
Asbestos negligence claims after Third Circuit Decision to reject “Bare-Metal Defense”
Last week, in a precedential opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit rejected a bright-line application of what has come to be known as the “bare-metal defense” in asbestos litigation. The holding is limited to claims of negligence under maritime law. Issues regarding strict liability claims and the government contractor defense were not before the Court.
What does this mean?
Data Breaches: A primer on data breaches and what it means for consumers.
What is a “Data Breach”?
Data breach refers to the release of data from a system without the knowledge or consent of its owner. Common examples of data breaches include hackers accessing a business’ systems to steal information; an employee or ex-employee stealing customer information; or the theft of computer devices (like laptops or USB drives) with consumer information on them. Generally, hackers or thieves are looking for personally identifiable information (PII), financial information, and/or customer data.
1. Personally Identifiable Information: Any data that could potentially identify a specific individual, or that could be used for de-anonymizing data.
Examples: Name, Address, Social Security Number, biometric information, medical information, passport numbers, driver’s license numbers.
2. Financial Information
Examples: Credit card numbers, bank account numbers, paypal credentials.
3. Customer data:
Examples: Login information (username/passwords); tracking data; usage data.
Examples of businesses which have failed to secure consumer data and therefore been held responsible for data breach incidents include: insurance companies; medical providers; retail stores; credit bureaus, social networking sites, and employers.
Notification of a Breach
Forty-Eight states*, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have a law which requires some form of notification to consumers when a business has a data breach which affects consumers. Only
A business which fails to notify customers as required by law may be subject to liability to those customers.
The Risks for Consumers
Both Private Health Information and Personal Identify information is highly coveted and a frequent target of hackers. This information is targeted not only for identity theft purposes, but also for committing health care fraud, obtaining medical services under another’s insurance. As
the FTC recognizes once identity thieves have personal information, “they can drain your bank account, run up your credit cards, open new utility accounts, or get medical treatment on your health insurance.” Further, as of 2013 a Javelin Strategy Study found “In 2013, data breaches became more damaging, with one in three people who received a data breach notification letter becoming an identity fraud victim.”
In order to avoid or limit such problems it is necessary for consumers to regularly monitor their accounts for suspicious activity and credit reports for fraudulently opened accounts as well as regularly review any explanations of benefits (EOBs) received from insurers. Further, customers may need to cancel credit cards, close bank accounts, and pay out of pocket for fraudulently charged items or medical services. Some consumers may also enroll in identity theft protection services at a monthly fee.
If Your Data has been Compromised in a Data Breach
If your personal information has been compromised in a data breach, and you’d like to discuss your rights a lawyer who specializes in data breaches and privacy issues may
be able to help. Our attorneys have represented individuals in data breaches against some of the largest corporations in the country.
AMERICAN INNS OF COURT
One of the several professional organizations that I am a member of is the J. Willard O’Brien American Inn of Court (AIC). This organization is a chartered member of the American Inns of Court which is the oldest and largest legal mentoring organization in the country. AlC’s mission is to promote professionalism, civility, ethics, and legal skills among members of the bench and bar. It has adopted the English Inns of Court tradition of legal apprenticeship by encouraging less experienced attorneys to learn from more seasoned attorneys and judges in a collegial atmosphere.