Newsroom

Groundbreaking Settlement for South African Gold Miners

On July 26, 2019 the High Court of the Republic of South Africa issued a final opinion approving the settlement of a class action which was filed on behalf of former gold miners in that country who suffer from or have suffered from either silicosis or tuberculosis as a result of their work in the mines. A copy of the opinions can be found here and here. Locks Law Firm spent considerable time and resources assisting with IT support and data analysis on the case from 2012 to 2017.

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Partner Andrew DuPont and Team Obtain Millions for Families of Workers Exposed to Benzene

Congratulations to Partner Andrew DuPont and the benzene team who obtained a $6.37 Million recovery on behalf of a man who was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) at the age of 68 which was caused by exposure to benzene in solvents, paints and paint removers while working as an autobody repairman and automobile painter.

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What do 20,115 and 510 have in common?

Answer: all four. 20,115 and 510 are both linked to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). 20,115 is the number of deaths associated with opioid painkillers reported to the FDA between November of 2017 and August of 2018 by Endo, a manufacturer of opioids. 510, actually 510(k), is a process by which the FDA can approve a medical device for sale.

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Reduction of Concussions in Most Recent NFL Season

On February 28, ESPN reported the following:

 

“NFL players were diagnosed with three concussions during the 2018 playoffs, a 70 percent drop from the previous year and a continuation of a season-long trend.  In total, there were 217 diagnosed concussions in practices and games during the 2018 season, compared to 291 in 2017, the league revealed Thursday during a meeting of its Head, Neck and Spine committee at the scouting combine.  League officials had previously acknowledged a drop in concussions during the preseason and regular season but had not yet added the playoff numbers. There were 10 concussions during the 2017 playoffs.”

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To Find a Work Life Balance, Trust

We’ve all read about trying to find a “work-life” balance.  Visit any bookstore, on-line or brick and mortar and there are shelves devoted to this topic in the “Self-Help” section.  I don’t know about you, but no matter how many books I read, they never seem to answer the question.  Recently, I had an experience that gave me some insight into a possible solution. Here’s hoping it may be useful for you as well.

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Can We Prevent More Suicides?

The incidence of suicide is on the rise, and some have even termed it a public health crisis.  On March 5 the Food and Drug Administration approved a new nasal spray medication for treatment resistant depression.  The nasal spray, Spravato (esketamine) is a form of the well-known and widely used anesthetic ketamine. Ketamine was found to be an effective antidepressant in the 1990’s when researchers at Yale discovered these effects.  These findings were confirmed by researchers who published their finding in the Journal of American Medical Association in 2006.

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Pennsylvania jurisdiction over out-of-state corporations may be up in the air

Not long ago, it seemed clear that if an out-of-state corporation had registered to do business in Pennsylvania, a Pennsylvania court could exercise personal jurisdiction over it by the doctrine of consent. That may now be up in the air. A Pennsylvania Superior Court opinion that found such jurisdiction, Murray v. American LaFrance, 2018 WL 4571804 (Pa. Super., Sept. 25, 2018), has been withdrawn and is waiting for reargument before a nine judge en banc panel of that Court.

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Lyft agrees to pay their New York City drivers the minimum wage

This is a major win today for Lyft drivers of New York. The company, which was unhappy with these new regulations because they incentivized shorter rides and discouraged trips outside of the city, has given in and decided to pay their workers a liveable wage. The Independent Driver’s Guild had stated prior to this, contract drivers were only earning $11.90 before the law went into effect.

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FAKE NEWS! FAKE NEWS! (Or is it?)

The label “fake news” has gained acceptance since the Trump candidacy and presidency took hold on our country.  It seems that in countless news outlets, both online and traditional, this label is tossed at anything a writer may disagree with---or that his funding source disagrees with! Fake news is a type of journalism that deliberately intends to mislead by the spreading of false stories---sometimes made up by a writer, sometimes made up by a “source” and then published.  These stories are often then picked up by mainstream media outlets, some of which have polished a reputation for being regular purveyors of misinformation.

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Understanding the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program

The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 originally created the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP), a no-fault alternative to the traditional tort system. The VICP is administered by the Division of Injury Compensation Programs, Healthcare Systems Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and is venued in the United States Court of Federal Claims in Washington D.C. The VICP is entirely separate from the traditional tort lawsuit claims that one might expect with personal injury. The VICP was created because we recognize as a country that vaccines are good for the common benefit, however, in rare instances some vaccines can cause certain side effects. In order to stabilize vaccine costs and prevent vaccine shortages related to lawsuits from these rare occurrences, the legislature created the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. This program established a Compensation Trust Fund that is funded by a $.75 tax on each vaccine that is recommended by the CDC. 

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