News Update: Filing an Actos Lawsuit Today

Posted by on Apr 30, 2013 in Injury | 4 comments

Recently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning to the public about the link between the drug Actos and bladder cancer, spurring a flood of product liability lawsuits against its manufacturer, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, and US distributor Eli Lilly. To date, 3,000 cases have been filed, and the first hearings on these cases began in March 22, 2012.

What is Actos?

Pioglitazone, marketed in the US as Actos, is a medication for Type 2 diabetes to control blood sugar. It replaced Avandia as the most prescribed diabetes medication when Avandia was linked to congestive heart failure.  Unfortunately, further research demonstrated that Actos has the undesirable effect of increasing the risk for developing bladder cancer. The studies that would definitively prove the connection between the drug and these health risks are yet to be concluded, which is why Actos still has US Food and Drug Administration approval. It is still available as a prescribed drug in the US. However, it has been pulled out of the French and German markets.

Those who have used Actos and have developed bladder cancer, or close relatives of those who have used Actos and died of bladder cancer, comprise the majority of the 3,000 plaintiffs against Takeda and Eli Lilly. In August 2011, Takeda upgraded its labeling to include a warning regarding the increased risk of developing bladder cancer.

Can an Actos lawsuit still be filed today?

The new Actos label discourages the use of the drug for more than one year, perhaps to limit Takeda’s liability. However, bladder cancer develops some time after the use of the drug, so if you took Actos prior to the change in the labeling, and have since developed bladder cancer, you may still be eligible to sue for compensation for related medical bills and the concomitant pain and suffering. A lawyer specializing in this type of litigation would be the best person to advise on whether an Actos lawsuit is warranted for a particular case.

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Understanding Product Liability

Posted by on Apr 15, 2013 in Injury | 2 comments

When a person buys a product, they should be able to expect that it will be safe to use it reasonably, as intended, or as advertised. This is why they gave their hard-earned dollars to its manufacturer. This is because manufacturers are responsible for the safety of their products as well as the accuracy of their advertising campaigns.

Unfortunately, sometimes manufacturers fail to exercise the proper amount of oversight and produce products that are dangerous, have some sort of defect, or malfunction. When this happens, customers can fall victim to serious injuries through no fault of their own.

product liabilityProducts that are defective or do not work as they should are dangerous, and their manufacturers can be held liable for the injuries they cause. Some examples of product liability include:

  • Mispackaged or contaminated food
  • Automobiles with defective brakes or airbags
  • Toys that present a choking hazard
  • Products that cannot be safely used as advertised

Defective products are often recalled quickly, but it is difficult for manufacturers to perform recalls before someone suffers an injury. Consumers should keep an eye on recall lists to make sure the items they purchase are safe to use.

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Media Hosting Platform WordPress Targeted by Hackers

Posted by on Apr 13, 2013 in Public Media | 1 comment

WordPress, an easy-to-use website building platform, has enjoyed widespread popularity all over the world. It is highly customizable and can create robust websites without using a significant amount of the more complicated aspects of HTML or PHP. WordPress is so popular, current estimates indicate as many as one in six sites use the platform in one way or another.

When just about anything becomes popular on the internet, it gains a lot of attention from hackers. WordPress is no exception, and attacks on WordPress sites are becoming increasingly widespread. Hackers typically brute-force passwords to WordPress accounts that use the default username, admin. Brute-forcing a password means simply trying every possible combination of letters and numbers until the right one is chosen. Because many WordPress accounts use the default username, they are vulnerable to brute-forcing since the second layer of security that comes from having a unique username is not present.

password protectionHackers use compromised accounts and computers to create networks of infected computers that perform distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS). A DDoS attack on a site occurs when hacked computers make thousands of requests to a server, overwhelming it and essentially blocking access to the site.

Experts suggest using complex passwords and advise against using “admin” as the username for WordPress accounts.

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The benefits of music lessons at a young age

Posted by on Apr 7, 2013 in Music Lessons | 2 comments

According to a recent study by the New York Times, there are very real benefits to enrolling your children in music lessons at a young age. For every one of us who was forced to sit through piano lessons every other day for years of our childhood, there may be some very tangible benefits and vindication for our oh-so-overbearing parents.

Studies show that individuals who were enrolled in music lessons (for even as little as two years) showed enhanced brain responses to sound than those who did not have any formal music training. This is encouraging news for individuals who wish to make sure that their children have a solid foundation in the arts, as well as discipline and focus that comes with regular music lessons.

While some parents may wish to hire in-home music tutors, many professional recording studios also offer music lessons to young students. The benefits of these studios are often clear…your child can learn to play an instrument by a professional musician, and often can practice the louder instruments (think drums and electric guitars) in a soundproofed studio…a much better option than your home’s living room or dining room!

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The Role of a Court Reporter

Posted by on Apr 5, 2013 in Business, Reporting | Comments Off on The Role of a Court Reporter

A court reporter is someone who transcribes spoken or recorded speech during or after court cases and hearings, depositions, and many other types of legal proceedings. They are also sometimes called court stenographers because of the equipment that they use, the stenograph. They can serve a number of clients, from private law firms to government agencies and courts, and even trade associations and meeting planners.

Court reporting can be a very lucrative job, as there are many opportunities that cater to this type of work. If you want to become a court reporter, there are many schools that offer either technical or vocational training.  There is even an association called The National Court Reporters Association which supports and lists schools credited in training and offering high quality court stenography programs. However, different states have different requirements for court reporters, so it’s wise to know what your state requires in order to get employment fast.

Technological advances give way to many options in court reporting, which is why most court reporting education includes training in both stenography as well as voice writing software. Along with these types of training, classes in English language proficiency are a must, as basic grammar, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation is necessary for the job. Court reporters are also required to learn legal terminology, and some even learn general transcription in order to broaden their scope to medical transcribing.  Some states require their court reporters to be notaries, who can legally certify their transcripts as exact accounts of what was said in court proceedings.

Court reporting is not only important for the justice system, it also a great help in any business that requires closed-captioning. With all of these factors in mind, it is clear that court reporting is a career field with great potential for many individuals. It is important for court reporters to be well-versed in law and different types of litigations. Firms such as Stratos Legal, a Houston court reporting service, have veteran reporters that are experienced in all phases of litigation.

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