February 24, 2009
I get nervous whenever I see the word “reform” attached to legislation. “Tax reform” meant big tax cuts for the rich, and nothing for the rest of us. “Court reform” meant we lost the right to vote for (or against) half of our judges. The latest insult, “tort reform,” is another con job. By limiting the contingent-fee percentage a lawyer can charge, this new law would make it impossible for lawyers to handle many cases, leaving injured people unable to get competent representation.You don’t see a proposal to limit fees charged by defense lawyers, do you? Of course not. The rich and powerful insurance industry hires gunslingers by the hour, and they get a big, fat check every month, while the injured plaintiff’s lawyer gets nothing (except the right to pay his overhead), month after month unless and until he secures a recovery for his client.Don’t be misled the target of this legislation is not us trial lawyers. It’s you. It’s the person injured, or the survivors of someone killed by a defective product or a negligent (but heavily insured) doctor or the negligence of some corporate employee. They don’t want to pay you, and they don’t want you represented by a lawyer who can make them pay you. They’re rich, and powerful, and can wine and dine legislators and take them on free vacations in their corporate jets. Injured people have no organizations; they have no lobbyists; they have only their trial lawyers.Tell your legislator to oppose tort “reform.”
February 24, 2009
A Southern Methodist University law professor says it’s doubtful that West Virginia’s judicial climate is as bad as some groups claim.Elizabeth Thornburg said reports from groups such as the American Tort Reform Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Legal Reform that routinely rank West Virginia as a “judicial hellhole” has more to do with pushing the groups’ agendas than the actual state of West Virginia’s legal system.Thornburg also pointed to the Chamber’s starting publications — such as The West Virginia Record — which she said are meant to push that agenda, which many have characterized as working to slant state courts to favor business in personal injury lawsuits.
February 1, 2009
MINNETONKA, Minnesota — January 30, 2009 – Best Brands Corp. today announced that it is expanding its voluntarily recall of peanut butter frozen cookie dough as a precaution because the dough contains peanut products manufactured by Peanut Corporation of America (PCA). PCA is the focus of an investigation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) concerning a recent Salmonella outbreak. In response to PCA’s recently expanded recall, Best Brands Corp. is expanding its peanut butter frozen cookie dough recall to include all product manufactured since January 1, 2007.
Salmonella is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare cases, infection with salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses, such as arterial infections (i.e. infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis. For more information on Salmonella, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website at http://www.cdc.gov.