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Legal Blog by Las Vegas based Richard Harris Law Firm

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July 2, 2020

Motorcycle Crashes…devastating results

In almost every news cycle we read or hear reports of accidents involving a motorcycle with the result that the rider was killed in the crash.  In many cases the news reports single vehicle accidents,…

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In almost every news cycle we read or hear reports of accidents involving a motorcycle with the result that the rider was killed in the crash.  In many cases the news reports single vehicle accidents, where the rider was going too fast or was riding irresponsibly.  Other reports involve other vehicles turning in front of motorcycles or otherwise disrespecting the rights of way of the motorcycle rider, or a multitude of variations on that continuum.  Unfortunately, the reports have become all too common.

In the past year, our firm has lost a friend and former employee to a motorcycle accident.  We know the sense of loss that ensues when highly valued people lose their lives due to traffic accidents whether involving motorcycles or otherwise.  In the aftermath of such an accident, our hearts go out to families and friends of those who are seriously injured or lose their lives.  The human loss is sometimes difficult to measure.

From a legal perspective we also deal everyday with losses that real people incur due to traffic accidents.  We attempt to translate that human loss to a financial settlement which never equals the loss of a human life, but hopefully allows closure to the survivors, and a chance to move forward with their lives.

The good news

Without minimizing the grief of losing a loved one in any type of accident, so far in 2020 (through May), perhaps due to the reduced activity due to the Corona Virus, the number of motorcycle accidents in Clark County and throughout Nevada is significantly down.  Clark County shows a 44% decline in motorcycle deaths over last year’s totals at this time.  The entire state has experienced a 48% decrease in fatal motorcycle accidents.  Our hope is this trend will continue.

What we do to assist with motorcycle accidents

While traffic accidents of all types include many common areas of legal consideration, motorcycle accidents do include specific legal concepts which require the experience of the lawyer who handles the case to seek and obtain the most equitable settlement for a motorcycle crash.  The Richard Harris Law Firm has affiliated with Law Tigers, a nationwide network of lawyers who specialize in motorcycle accident law, and trains and informs other member law firms of changes to and the nuances of the law which can affect the settlements of motorcycle accident victims in a positive way.

Law Tigers through their community outreach, also partners with local motorcycle dealerships and other interested clubs and groups to provide training and support of their customers and members.  Additionally, many resources are provided to motorcycle riders at no charge through their website.

The ultimate goal of Law Tigers is to provide the best legal representation to motorcycle riders when they need it.  They also endeavor to improve motorcycle safety and promote responsible riding so that all motorcyclists can have a safe experience.

The Richard Harris Law Firm represents motorcycle riders

Motorcycle enthusiasts need and deserve the best legal representation available when an accident occurs.  The lawyers of The Richard Harris Law Firm know that and stand ready to provide premium legal representation for victims of motorcycle accidents, when needed.  If you’ve been in a motorcycle accident, or a loved one has been injured or tragically lost their life due to a motorcycle accident, call our firm today to discuss your potential case at (702) 444-4444.

Learn More:

https://www.fox5vegas.com/news/nhp-is-investigating-a-fatal-crash-involving-a-motorcycle-and-car/article_f2fa9adc-9be0-11ea-a704-cf439ba51aea.html

https://www.fox5vegas.com/news/motorcycle-rider-dies-following-sunday-night-crash-on-boulder-highway/article_09ec4fd4-b4e5-11ea-9233-870806675fd2.html

https://www.lawtigers.com/resources/

Filed under: Blog

June 25, 2020

COVID-19 Nursing Home Deaths

One of the more dreadful results of the COVID-19 pandemic is the number of people in Nursing Homes who have died due to the illness.  AARP reports that nationwide, 43,000 long term care residents and…

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One of the more dreadful results of the COVID-19 pandemic is the number of people in Nursing Homes who have died due to the illness.  AARP reports that nationwide, 43,000 long term care residents and staff, have died due to COVID-19.  This is roughly one third of the total deaths due to COVID-19 in the U.S.  While this figure is alarming enough it is an understatement of the total Corona Virus deaths in Nursing Homes, since many states are not reporting that data publicly yet.

Nevada is a state that is reporting on a per Nursing Home basis and those reports can be found on the state’s Corona Virus Dashboard.  Even so some in Nevada believe that the reports within Nevada are also underreported.  The most recent results for state regulated facilities is show below:

State Regulated Facilities Sorted by Resident Deaths (results as of June 25, 2020)

Cases Recoveries Resident Deaths
The Heights of Summerlin (Clark County) 147 75 28
Lakeside Health and Wellness (Washoe County) 93 57 27
College Park Rehabilitation Center (Clark County) 61 51 8
Horizon Health and Rehab (Clark County) 75 20 7
Silver Hills (Clark County) 90 88 6
Premier Health and Rehab (Clark County) 66 53 3
Life Care Center of South Las Vegas (Clark County) 55 45 2
Life Care Center of Las Vegas (Clark County) 54 23 1
Willow Springs (Washoe County) 70 3 0

 

Why has this debacle occurred?

Bad decisions on the part of policy makers, lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), slow ramp up for testing, lax enforcement of existing regulations, and untrained and unprepared Nursing Home Management have all contributed to this ghastly outcome.  In New York, for example, Governor Cuomo began to release hospitalized COVID-19 patients back into Nursing Homes which caused a new round of outbreaks among this most vulnerable population.

Nursing Homes house residents in a relatively confined space, with common areas where many residents gather, and many residents have pre-existing conditions which make them more vulnerable to the virus.  Many public policy administrators overestimated the degree of preparation of Nursing Home Mangers and Staff had undertaken before moving COVID exposed patients into nursing facilities and vastly underestimated the rampant spread of the disease in such facilities.

Who is liable?

The lawyers of The Richard Harris Law Firm are accepting cases for COVID-19 related Nursing Home Deaths now.  Our lawyers will investigate your claim and determine who are the liable parties on a case by cases basis.  We believe no one should lose a loved one due to neglect or negligence while receiving full time nursing care in a facility designated for that purpose.

The Richard Harris Law Firm sues Nursing Homes for Neglect and Negligence

Whether your loved one was abused or neglected; or if you have lost a family member to COVID-19 while a patient in a Nursing Home, you deserve answers.  Our lawyers are prepared to assist you as you seek to find out the causes of this terrible outcome.  We are evaluating cases of COVID-19 Nursing Home Deaths now.  Whether your loved one was a resident of one of the nursing homes listed above or another facility in Nevada, if they died due to COVID-19 while a resident of a Nursing Home, call our office today to discuss your potential case at (702) 444-4444.

Learn More:

https://www.aarp.org/caregiving/health/info-2020/coronavirus-nursing-home-cases-deaths.html

https://app.powerbigov.us/view?r=eyJrIjoiNDMwMDI0YmQtNmUyYS00ZmFjLWI0MGItZDM0OTY1Y2Y0YzNhIiwidCI6ImU0YTM0MGU2LWI4OWUtNGU2OC04ZWFhLTE1NDRkMjcwMzk4MCJ9

https://www.nevadaappeal.com/news/opinion/guy-farmer-covid-19-hits-nursing-homes-hard/

Filed under: Blog

June 16, 2020

Nevada Employers May Not Reject Potential Employees for testing positive for Marijuana

Under Assembly Bill 132 (AB132), passed by the Nevada State Legislature and signed by the governor in 2019 and which took effect January 1, 2020, most employers in the state may not refuse to hire…

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Under Assembly Bill 132 (AB132), passed by the Nevada State Legislature and signed by the governor in 2019 and which took effect January 1, 2020, most employers in the state may not refuse to hire prospective employees due to testing positive for marijuana use on a pre-employment drug screening.  The law has several exceptions who may be rejected due to a positive drug test.  They include firefighters, EMT’s, and those required to drive as part of their job.

AB132 also provides new employees who are required by their employer to submit to a drug screening during the first 30 days on the job, to submit a second test from a testing facility of their choosing and at their own expense, and submit the results to rebut the employer mandated test.  Employers are required to accept and give appropriate consideration to employee submitted results.

Federal Law still classifies marijuana as a Class I prohibited substance, and if your prospective employer is the federal government, or a government contractor, or your employment is funded by a federal grant, you may still be rejected as a new employee for marijuana use under Federal guidelines.

Does this really change employment polices?

Other than the above, under existing law, after the first 30 days on the job, employers may continue to require random drug tests and fire employees if they fail for reasons other than marijuana use, if their company policies and procedures provide for such actions.  Company policies which address impairment on the job, due to drug and alcohol usage, may continue to be enforced under the new law.  In no way does this new law condone coming to work impaired by marijuana any more than existing laws tolerate coming to work impaired due to alcohol.

Employers may also continue pre-employment drug screenings and consider other prohibited substances as justification for not hiring a potential employee.  The point of the new law is to prohibit the lawful use of marijuana from being a reason to not hire a potential new employee.

Remedies if an employee is fired or not hired due legal use of marijuana outside the workplace

Nevada law does provide that employees who have been fired, or new employees who were not hired due to legal use of marijuana, may sue civilly for damages against the employer or prospective employer.  A civil suit brought against an employer or prospective employer may seek damages for the following:

  • Wages and benefits lost as a result of the firing or refusal to hire
  • An order of reinstatement without loss of position, seniority or benefits
  • An order to employer to hire a prospective employee who was not hired for marijuana use
  • Damages equal to the amount of the lost wages and benefits.

In addition, the court will award reasonable costs including court costs and attorney’s fees to the prevailing party in such a lawsuit.

The Richard Harris Law Firm represents victims of unlawful labor practices

It is expected that AB132 and the changes that it brings to the employment landscape will spark litigation to resolve disputes under the provisions of the new law.  Employment law is a dynamic and fast changing area of law practice.  Its important that the lawyer who represents you for an employment lawsuit knows the statutes that govern in that arena and has the skills to present your case clearly and with strength.  If you are the victim of discrimination either in hiring decisions or unlawful terminations, call our office today to discuss your potential case at (702) 444-4444.

Learn More:

https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/NELIS/REL/80th2019/Bill/6191/Text

https://news3lv.com/news/local/most-employers-in-nevada-can-no-longer-utilize-pre-employment-drug-tests-for-marijuana

https://www.8newsnow.com/news/local-news/gray-area-leads-to-confusion-around-new-nevada-marijuana-law/

https://www.ktnv.com/news/nevada-becomes-first-state-to-ban-pre-employment-marijuana-tests

https://www.reviewjournal.com/business/nevada-firms-barred-from-using-marijuana-test-to-reject-job-seekers-1685937/

https://lasvegassun.com/news/2019/jun/12/nevada-pioneers-law-to-protect-pot-using-job-seeke/

Filed under: Blog

June 10, 2020

Johnson & Johnson quietly pulls talc-based Baby Powder from the U.S. market

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) announced in late May 2020 that the company will no longer sell talc-based Baby Powder®, and Shower to Shower® in the U.S. and Canadian markets.  The move comes as the company…

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Johnson & Johnson (J&J) announced in late May 2020 that the company will no longer sell talc-based Baby Powder®, and Shower to Shower® in the U.S. and Canadian markets.  The move comes as the company finds itself under increased pressure from legal action by consumers, the Federal Government, and the majority of U.S. states for failing to warn users of these products of potential dangers of Ovarian Cancer and Mesothelioma by use of the products.

There are currently nearly 20,000 lawsuits in the United States in federal and state courts claiming damages against J&J for failing to warn users of the dangers of product use and concealing their knowledge that the talc products they were selling contained trace amounts of asbestos, a known carcinogen.  At the federal level, over 17,000 lawsuits have been consolidated for pre-trial discovery and motions into a Multi-District Litigation (MDL) in the Federal District Court of New Jersey presided over by the Honorable Freda Wolfson.  The remaining cases, nearly 3,000, are working their way through various state courts across the nation.

As these lawsuits proceed, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has launched a criminal investigation into J&J’s knowledge of potential risks associated with the use of talc in its products; 41 state Attorneys General have joined in an investigation of J&J’s marketing practices for talc containing products; and a Congressional subcommittee concluded a 14-month long investigation finding that J&J knew for decades that talc products they were marketing contained asbestos.

Talc and Asbestos

Talc the primary ingredient of talcum powder, is a mineral mined from the earth, then milled and refined into talcum powder.  Refined talc is used in industrial processes as a lubricant and absorbent of moisture.  Talc by itself presents potential problems when absorbed into the human body, as the body has no good way of breaking down the mineral.  As early as 1971, a study by British researchers found talc particles in the three fourths of the ovarian tumors they studied.  While a significant statistical relationship has been found between talc use and ovarian cancer, no causal link has been established.  However, studies of the accumulation of talc within the human body have warned of potential dangers since the 1970’s.

More troubling is that talc is often found with asbestos mixed in, or adjacent to the asbestos mineral during the mining and refining process.  J&J has assured the public that its talcum powder products have been asbestos free since the 1970’s, however tests of off-the-shelf Baby Powder and Shower to Shower containers during the ensuing decades have shown anywhere from trace amounts to surprisingly high amounts of asbestos contained within the finished product.

Verdicts in Cases favor Plaintiffs

Lawsuits against J&J by victims who later developed cancer have settled, with the earliest settlement in 2013.  The great majority of cases settle in favor of the plaintiffs with juries awarding significant punitive damages to the victims.

2013 – Berg v J&J.  Plaintiff alleged J&J knew about a link between talcum powder and cancer as early as 1982.  Jury found for the plaintiff and found J&J negligent, and guilty of fraud and conspiracy for not warning users of cancer risks of product use.

2016 – Three cases settle in Missouri state courts with three different juries awarding large damage awards to the plaintiffs.

  • Fox v J&J – February 2016 – Jury awards $72 million. Plaintiff died due to ovarian cancer alleged to have been caused by use of J&J talc products.
  • Ristesund v J&J – May 2016 – Jury awards $55 million. Plaintiff developed ovarian cancer and was a frequent user of J&J talc products
  • Giannecchini v J&J – October 2016 – Jury awards $70 million to plaintiff. Plaintiff developed ovarian cancer and was a frequent user of J&J talc products.

2018 – 22 Missouri women sued J&J due to ovarian cancer they maintain was caused by use of J&J talc products.  Jury awards $4.7 billion to plaintiffs.

2019 – Leavitt v J&J.  Jury in Alameda CA found in favor of plaintiff who alleged J&J talc products caused her mesothelioma.  Jury awards $29 million to plaintiff.

The previous cases were all in state courts.  In the federal court system, a series of representative cases are being prepared as bellwether cases in the MDL established for federal level cases against J&J.  While none of the cases have concluded to date, recent court orders from Judge Wolfson have paved the way for those cases to move forward.  Each of these cases will settle on the merits of the individual cases, however the results of bellwether cases can indicate how juries react to the evidence presented and, in many cases, can persuade a losing defendant to negotiate a global settlement for the outstanding cases, rather than face additional trial losses.  To date, J&J has appealed all judgement against them, and vow to continue to defend their products as being safe to use.

Supplier of Talc files Chapter 11 and sets up fund for future claims

In May 2020, talc mining company Imerys SA agreed to sell their North American mining operations at auction and allow the proceeds of the sale to be used as a settlement fund to settle over 14,000 lawsuits which claim the mineral caused cancer.  Imerys is J&J’s sole supplier of talc.  Imerys has been in litigation for over 6 years and this settlement will end their involvement in the claims.  Cases against J&J will continue.

The Richard Harris Law Firm represents victims of Talcum Powder use

When companies sell products that they know or should have known present a risk to its users, they have an obligation to warn the consumer of the potential risks.  Court documents reveal that in the case of Baby Powder® and Shower to Shower ® J&J has shown a pattern of concealing and attempting to suppress studies which show potential harm to users of these products and continue to maintain and market the product as safe to use, while refusing to include warning labels of potential dangers.  If you have been a user of J&J talc containing products and later were diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer or Mesothelioma, you may be entitled to compensation to cover your claim.  Call our office today to discuss your potential case at (702) 444-4444.

Learn More:

https://globalnews.ca/news/6962555/johnson-johnson-baby-powder-pulled-canada-us/

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/johnson-johnson-talc-baby-powder-discontinued-us-canada-asbestos-claims-denied/

https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/johnsonandjohnson-cancer/

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-johnson-johnson-talc-ruling-idUSKCN2292QC

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/31/johnson-johnson-must-pay-300-million-punitive-award-in-talc-case-company-will-appeal.html

https://obgyn.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1471-0528.1971.tb00267.x

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7083145/

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ajim.23106

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2020/05/18/568967.htm

https://www.imerys.com/sites/imerys.com/files/2020/05/15/Imerys_Talc%20AgreementPres_May%202020_EN.pdf

Filed under: Blog

June 2, 2020

Dog Attacks Can Cause Serious Injury

When a dog unexpected attacks a human, not only is it terrifying to the victim, but may also leave physical and emotional scars which may never completely heal.  In some cases, the dog attack can…

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When a dog unexpected attacks a human, not only is it terrifying to the victim, but may also leave physical and emotional scars which may never completely heal.  In some cases, the dog attack can result in serious injury and even death to the victims.  In the United States nearly 5 million people are bitten by dogs each year.  Of those bitten, over 800,000 require emergency room care for the physical wounds.  In the most serious cases, amounting to about 20,000 annually, victims require overnight hospitalization.  In Clark County alone, 7 dog bites on average, are reported daily to animal control agencies.

Recently Reported Dog Related Incidents in Las Vegas

About 7 months ago a woman was exercising in her open garage with her dog on a leash in a westside Las Vegas neighborhood, when an unrestrained dog entered the garage and attacked her dog.  When she attempted to separate the two dogs, the attacking dog turned on her.  A neighbor who also happened to be a U.S. Marshall heard the screaming and ended up shooting the attacking dog twice.

Just over a year ago, a Henderson toddler died from injuries received when a dog owned by a close family member attacked with seemingly no provocation.  Just a few months prior to that incident, a woman was mauled to death in Las Vegas, by a dog she and her husband had just adopted from a local animal shelter.

While these are extreme cases, which is why they are reported by the media, it just shows how common serious dog attacks can be, with these cases happening just within the last 18 months in Las Vegas.

Laws Governing Dog Bites in Nevada

Laws within Nevada governing dogs which attack humans are a patchwork of state statutes and local municipal or county ordinances and can become quite complex when attempting to determine liability.  The state laws classify dogs which have bitten a human as either a dangerous dog; or a vicious dog; depending on the number of times a dog has bitten a human and whether the dog has caused serious injury to a human.

A dog that has twice within 18 months, menaced humans in a way which would cause reasonable person to feel the need to defend themselves is classified as a “Dangerous Dog.”  A “Vicious dog” is either a previously designated “dangerous dog” who has continued to act menacingly, or a dog who has caused substantial bodily harm or injury to a human.  A dog designated as “vicious” must be surrendered by their owner to local animal control authorities.  A dog owner who owns a designated “vicious dog” who attacks a human can be held criminally liable under state law.

If you are bitten or seriously attacked by a dog, first you should first obtain medical treatment, both to ensure that wounds are cleaned, and treated against any form of dog to human infectious transmission and then properly closed, and second, to document the extent of your injuries if you choose to pursue a legal claim against the dog owner.  If you decide to pursue legal action, you should contact the lawyers of The Richard Harris Law Firm.  Our lawyers have had extensive experience in dog bite cases and will be able to advise you of your rights and how the law can protect you in all aspects of your claim.

The Richard Harris Law Firm sues negligent dog owners when their dogs attack humans

If you or a loved one has been bitten or attacked by a dog, the lawyers of The Richard Harris Law Firm have the knowledge and the skills to represent you in making a claim against the dog owner.  We will ensure that your rights are protected and that you obtain needed compensation for your injuries.  Call our office today to discuss your potential case at (702) 444-4444.

Learn More:

https://news3lv.com/news/local/deputy-us-marshal-shoots-dog-attacking-neighbor

https://www.8newsnow.com/news/local-news/deputy-u-s-marshal-shoots-dog-after-it-allegedly-attacked-neighbor/

https://www.ktnv.com/news/u-s-marshal-deputy-shoots-dog-attacking-female-neighbor

Filed under: Blog

May 28, 2020

Valsartan Lawsuits for Cancer due to Contamination with NDMA

Certain batches of the generic version of the high blood pressure medication Valsartan tablets, Valsartan/Amlodipine, and Valsartan/Amlodipine/HCTZ tablets were recalled from the market in 2018, due to contamination in the manufacturing process with two toxic…

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Certain batches of the generic version of the high blood pressure medication Valsartan tablets, Valsartan/Amlodipine, and Valsartan/Amlodipine/HCTZ tablets were recalled from the market in 2018, due to contamination in the manufacturing process with two toxic chemicals: N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) an ingredient in rocket fuel, and cancer-causing agent; and N-Nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA), both substances classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as probable human carcinogens.

Batches of generic Valsartan which showed NDMA/NDEA contamination were imported from two offshore generic drug manufacturers: Zhejian Huahai Pharmaceuticals (ZHP) of China, who manufacture almost 70% of all Valsartan worldwide, and Hetero Labs Limited of India.  It is suspected that the toxic substances contaminated the medications as a by-product of the manufacturing process.

Side Effects and Symptoms of NDMA/NDEA exposure

Exposure to either of the two contaminates can cause liver damage; and long-term exposure increases the risks of liver, and other forms of cancer within the body.  The Richard Harris Law Firm is currently evaluating cases, where patients took the drug after 2012 and after a year or more were diagnosed with one of the following listed cancers:

  • Liver Cancer
  • Digestive System Cancer including: Stomach, Intestinal, or Esophageal Cancer
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Lung Cancer
  • Myeloma

Symptoms of exposure to either of these two toxins include headaches; fever; nausea; jaundice; vomiting; abdominal cramps; enlarged liver; impaired liver, kidney and lung function; and dizziness.

Regulatory History of Valsartan

Valsartan was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of hypertension in 1996.  It is one of a class of drugs known as angiontensin II receptor blockers (ARB’s).  Its patent expired and has been available both under the original manufacturer’s name of Diovan, which has been deemed safe from contamination; and Valsartan, which depending on the manufacturing source is likely contaminated with NDMA or NDEA.  The contamination was discovered in 2014 and may include batches of the drug made as early as 2012.

The FDA and drug importer Torrent Pharmaceuticals Limited, initiated a voluntary recall of the tainted batches of the drug in August 2018.  FDA publishes a list of tainted product batches on their website.  Imported batches with known contamination have continued until as recently as January 2020.

Legal Action against Valsartan manufacturers

To date, nearly 300 cases have been filed with Valsartan manufacturers and distributors in federal courts.  Due to the number of cases, and the common complaints being filed against the manufacturers, federal cases have been consolidated into a Multi-District Litigation (MDL) in which pretrial discovery and motions are consolidated for all cases, however, the claims remain individual and each case will settle on its own merits.  This federal consolidation under MDL #2875 is located in the Federal District Court of New Jersey.

Due to the fact that nearly 3 million people in the U.S. take Valsartan products annually, the number of lawsuits is expected to grow to several thousand.  At this point, no cases have settled, but pretrial procedures are well under way.

The Richard Harris Law Firm sues drug manufacturers who distribute harmful and dangerous drugs

Lawsuits against Valsartan manufacturers and distributors are a legal way to hold manufacturers of this defective drug accountable.  If you are successful in your case, you can expect to receive compensation to cover past and future medical expenses associated with the damage done by taking the drug, wage loss, other economic losses due to your injuries, and potentially punitive damages for the negligence of the manufacturers in exposing you to these toxic substances.  Call our firm today for a free consultation if you in this situation at (702) 444-4444.

Learn More:

https://www.fda.gov/safety/recalls-market-withdrawals-safety-alerts/updatedadditional-lots-added-torrent-pharmaceuticals-limited-issues-voluntary-nationwide-recall

https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2017-10/documents/ndma_fact_sheet_update_9-15-17_508.pdf

https://cfpub.epa.gov/si/si_public_record_report.cfm?Lab=ORD&TIMSType=&count=10000&dirEntryId=31128&searchAll=&showCriteria=2&simpleSearch=0&startIndex=70001

Filed under: Blog

May 19, 2020

Nursing Home Abuse

Few decisions can be as difficult and agonizing as placing an aging parent or loved one into Assisted Living or a Nursing Home.  We place an enormous amount of trust in others to provide the…

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Few decisions can be as difficult and agonizing as placing an aging parent or loved one into Assisted Living or a Nursing Home.  We place an enormous amount of trust in others to provide the care that either we are not qualified to provide, or which allows the balance we need in our own lives to pursue demanding careers and/or parenting of our own families.  A decision to place our precious elderly loved ones in institutional care does not come without an attempt to find the best care available within the financial constraints of available resources.

Many care facilities present a serene, almost pastoral image in marketing brochures and during tours, which will leave you with the impression that your loved ones will enjoy “country club” living, and a high standard of care.  Unfortunately, the reality of life in many facilities stands in stark contrast to the image presented before you committed your loved ones to their care.

Most nursing homes and assisted living facilities are “for profit” entities, who will attempt to minimize costs, and maximize profits from the fees paid.  This may result in inadequate staffing, or underqualified staffing, or staff members who are not carefully background-checked before hiring, with the result that in all too many cases, the promised care doesn’t match the marketing claims.  In many unfortunate situations it crosses the line into neglect and abuse of the residents.

Recognizing neglect and abuse

When visiting loved ones who reside in nursing homes or assisted care facilities, there are some telltale signs that abuse may be occurring.  Look for the following:

  • Unexplained bruises, cuts or burns
  • Bedsores on back, buttocks or legs
  • Weight loss due to dehydration or malnutrition
  • Over medication or sedation
  • Unusual confinement, such as being closed off in a room, or being tied to furniture
  • Lack of cleanliness, grooming, or dental hygiene
  • Fear of speaking in presence of caretaker
  • Anxiety, confusion, withdrawal, depression
  • Loss of possessions

While one or two of the above may occur on occasion, if you notice trends in any combination you may need to discuss your concerns with a Nursing Home Abuse lawyer to determine if further action may be necessary.  Care facilities may be sued civilly if a pattern of abuse or neglect becomes evident.

Nevada laws regarding elder abuse in nursing homes

In addition to civil liabilities, elder abuse is a crime in Nevada.  Nevada law identifies five areas of possible abuse which relate to care facilities or individuals who are primary caregivers for the elderly.  They are:

  • Abandonment – defined as desertion or “withdrawal of necessary assistance” of an older person in an unsafe manner by a caregiver.
  • Abuse – means willful infliction of pain or injury; deprivation of food, shelter, clothing or necessary services; Infliction of psychological or emotional anguish, pain or distress; Non-consensual sexual contact with an older person
  • Exploitation – an act taken by a person of trust to through guardianship or power of attorney to obtain control or take assets, money or property of an older person.
  • Isolation – preventing contact with others by preventing visitors, blocking phone calls, receiving or sending mail; or by physically restraining the older person.
  • Neglect – failure to provide food, shelter, clothing or services necessary to maintain the physical and emotional health of an older person, once a person or institution has assumed voluntary, legal, or contractual obligation for that person.

If you suspect such criminal actions are being taken by a caregiver or institution a report can be made to the Nevada Office of Aging and Disabilities Services at 888-729-0571, or a local police or sheriff’s department.

The Richard Harris Law Firm sues institutions which neglect, exploit, or abuse the elderly

Caring for an elderly family member is in many cases a challenging and demanding responsibility.  It can be heart wrenching to commit our family members to the care of an institution, such as an Assisted Living facility or a Nursing Home.  We expect when others are under legal or contractual obligation to provide care for our aging loved ones, that it be provided compassionately and humanely.  When, due to intent or neglect, either abuse or exploitation occurs the lawyers of the Richard Harris Law Firm can provide you the legal support to hold those responsible for abuse accountable.  If you are in this situation, call us today at (702) 444-4444.

Learn More:

https://www.medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare/About/howcannhchelp.html

https://www.leg.state.nv.us/NRS/NRS-200.html#NRS200Sec5091

https://nevadaadrc.com/lib/sections/eapt/elder_abuse_training.pdf

Filed under: Blog

May 12, 2020

Hit and Run Accidents

There’s nothing worse than being in an accident where the other driver takes off.  Hit and run accidents happen a lot in Las Vegas for several reasons.  The other driver may have been drunk or…

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There’s nothing worse than being in an accident where the other driver takes off.  Hit and run accidents happen a lot in Las Vegas for several reasons.  The other driver may have been drunk or otherwise impaired, or didn’t have insurance, or may have had warrants or other legal entanglements and didn’t want to deal with police.  Nevada has passed strict laws regarding leaving an accident scene, and if found, the hit/skip driver may have serious new criminal issues with which to deal.

Penalties for leaving an accident scene

Leaving the scene of an accident, whether at fault of not, can subject the fleeing driver to a Category B felony if the other driver was injured or died of injuries due to the crash.  Penalties for this crime, if convicted, are 2-20 years in state prison and $2,000 to $5,000 with no possible suspension or probation.  If the hit and run was for property damage only, the penalties are still significant, as a misdemeanor which can result in up to 6 months in jail, and a fine of up to $1,000, and 6 demerit points on your driving record.

In all cases within Nevada, drivers who are involved in vehicle accidents have certain statutory duties to remain at the accident scene and give aid and assistance to those injured, to exchange personal information with the other parties involved in the accident and to report the accident to police.  Regardless of the penalties, drivers leave the scenes of accidents often.

In highly populated areas, there are an abundance of video surveillance systems in operation, both public and private, which are likely to show the accident or its aftermath, and it is highly likely the fleeing driver will be found.  Accidents of this type are investigated by police detectives who will use all available resources to track down the fugitive driver.  When found the fleeing driver will be arrested and held accountable, as just happened within the last week in Las Vegas.

What should I do if I’m a victim in a hit and run accident?

These steps will assist you in getting the proper medical attention you need after a hit and run accident and in protecting your rights to compensation after the accident:

  1. Call 911. If you are injured this call will dispatch an ambulance to the scene of the accident so that you can receive needed medical attention and transport if needed.  Police will also be dispatched who will perform an accident investigation and will file an accident report.  The police will also interview witnesses to the accident which may lead to apprehension of the hit/skip driver.
  2. Obtain needed medical treatment. As soon as you are able after the accident visit a doctor to document the injuries received in the accident.  Not all injuries are obvious in the immediate aftermath of a crash, and the doctors will look for internal injuries and crate a medical record of your condition after the accident.
  3. Report the accident to your insurance provider. You are under contractual obligation to your insurance provider to report vehicle accidents as soon as possible after the crash.  You may have coverages within your own insurance policy that will provide compensation for you to handle medical bill and car repairs.
  4. Call a lawyer to represent your interests. Paying out of pocket for car repairs and injuries is not something that most people can easily do.  Having a lawyer represent you in a difficult accident claim can increase your chances of receiving just compensation.  The lawyers of the Richard Harris Law Firm have assisted many victims of hit and run accidents to obtain the money they need in such situations.

The Richard Harris Law Firm represents those injured in Hit and Run accidents

Whether it’s a hit and run accident or any other type of auto accident caused by the negligence of another driver, our firm represents the interests of the injured victims to obtain the compensation they deserve to cover medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other expenses caused by the accident.  Call our office today to discuss your potential case at 702-444-4444.

Learn More:

https://www.fox5vegas.com/news/vigil-held-for-las-vegas-teen-hit-killed-by-car-drivers-arrest-report-details-crash/article_901d686e-8910-11ea-a2b3-f7d2b2829118.html

https://www.leg.state.nv.us/NRS/NRS-484E.html#NRS484ESec030

Boating Season Reopens at Lake Mead

Filed under: Blog

May 5, 2020

Boating Season reopens at Lake Mead

Good news for boat owners: Lake Mead has partially reopened for boating.  As with other re-openings following the COVID-19 crisis, Lake Mead is opening slowly and in phases.  Annual Pass holders only, may use the…

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Boating Season Reopens at Lake MeadGood news for boat owners: Lake Mead has partially reopened for boating.  As with other re-openings following the COVID-19 crisis, Lake Mead is opening slowly and in phases.  Annual Pass holders only, may use the lake for boating and recreational venues in the first phase.  Social Distancing rules are being enforced by Park Rangers.

Boating is a popular pastime in Las Vegas due to the number of lakes and rivers within a short distance of the city.  Lake Mead and Lake Mojave are closet to town, with Lake Havasu and Lake Powell, a half day’s drive from the city; and the Colorado River basin runs close to Las Vegas with boat access near Laughlin NV and Bullhead City AZ.

With a return of the warm weather, and phased conclusion to COVID-19, expect to see the lakes and rivers crowded as people return to outdoor recreation.  The following are a few suggestions to make your boating excursion as safe as possible.

10 Precautions for safe Boating

  1. Personal Flotation Devices (PFD) are the most important piece of safety equipment on your boat.  Ensure that you have enough life jackets for all passenger, and that they are still serviceable, with no rips, tears or other defects.  Also make sure the kids’ jackets still fit.
  2. Fire extinguishers can lose their charge over the winter.  Make sure you still have a fire extinguisher in your boat and charge it before you get on the water.
  3. All boat registrations expire on December 31 of each year.  Make sure you get a current decal on your boat before heading out.
  4. No power, no boating.  Charge batteries and make sure they hold the charge.
  5. Electronics can fail over the winter even without use.  You should also make sure your navigation lights still work and examine exposed wiring for cracks and wear.  Make sure the bilge pump still works.
  6. Go ahead and fire up the boat before you leave the driveway.  Don’t forget your “outboard ears”, a device that cools the engine out of the water.  Starting the boat before you leave can save you real agony, time and hassle at the boat ramp.
  7. Walk around the hull to make sure it’s not cracked or damaged.  A lot can happen in a year.  Also make sure you have the plug for your boat, and it is in good condition.
  8. The trailer wheel bearings need to be greased before you leave the driveway.  If you have a winch and other equipment, make sure it works.
  9. Tubes, skis and other equipment must also be maintained.  Rubber seals and inflatable devices can crack and leak.  Make sure they are all ready to go, and don’t forget to bring your orange ski flag if you are going to tow someone.
  10. It’s always a good idea to replace the gas from last year.  Make sure your fuel lines are connected properly and have no cracks or damage.

Accidents do occur while boating

In 2018 a boat capsized on Lake Mead due to unexpected high winds.  Nine occupants of the boat were thrown into the water including a young baby.  All made their way to shore and were rescued by park rangers, along with 6 passengers of another boat which was grounded due to the wind.

In 2017, two people were killed, and several others thrown into the water in a high-speed single boat accident on Lake Havasu.  Authorities suspected alcohol to be a factor in that crash.  The U.S. Coast Guard reports that “…alcohol is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents.”

The Richard Harris Law Firm represents those injured in boating accidents

While boating and driving are different in many ways, those injured in boating accidents have many of the same rights as those injured in auto accidents.  The Richard Harris Law Firm has navigated these legal waters before and has the experience to assist you with a boating accident.  If you are injured in a boat accident due someone else’s negligence, call our office for a no-cost consultation at 702-444-4444.

Learn More:

https://www.ktnv.com/news/coronavirus/lake-mead-reopens-for-annual-pass-holders

https://www.reviewjournal.com/local/local-nevada/survivors-describe-rescue-after-boat-accidents-at-lake-mead/

https://news3lv.com/news/local/womans-body-found-after-lake-havasu-boat-accident

Filed under: Blog

April 22, 2020

Nevada Governor Sisolak outlines COVID-19 Strategy

Governor Steve Sisolak of Nevada in a press conference April 21, 2020, outlined the state’s plans to reopen the state, but at this point declined to set a beginning date for the phased reopening.  Among…

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Governor Steve Sisolak of Nevada in a press conference April 21, 2020, outlined the state’s plans to reopen the state, but at this point declined to set a beginning date for the phased reopening.  Among the specifics detailed in the state’s plan are that Nevada schools will not reopen this school year, and non-essential businesses will remain closed until a sustained decline in new cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations for the illness over a 14-day period becomes apparent.

Characterizing the current circumstance as Phase Zero, Governor Sisolak will rely on health and medical officials within his administration to continue to review state progress to prepare for Phase 1 reopening.  Data being reviewed by the state seem to substantiate a plateau in new cases and hospitalizations for the disease, however there is insufficient data at this point to confirm a decline in new cases.

The governor’s office will announce when those benchmarks are reached and will specify a date for when the state enters Phase 1 of the reopening.  In the meantime, the state will work to make sure that vulnerable people, such as those residing in nursing homes and assisted living facilities will have protections in place for when the reopening begins.

Also, of primary consideration for the governor’s office are that the state does not show a resurgence of cases once the phased reopening begins.  “We could flip the switch and turn the lights back on, but our experts predict, and expert experience elsewhere in the world shows us, if we don’t do this in a controlled and informed manner, we’ll be hit like a tidal wave in two or three weeks,” Governor Sisolak said. “The emergency is not over yet.”

While the emergency continues, all are being advised to continue the social distancing guidelines set forth by the state and federal governments.  The governor’s office is continuing to develop specifics of what the Phase 1 reopening will look like.  It appears that nursing home visits are being discouraged and that bars will remain closed under current Phase 1 plans, but not many more specifics are available.  However, state government seems to be generally following the phased reopening plans provided by the federal government.

The Richard Harris Law Firm, The Defenders, and Ticket Busters are here for you

While the state of emergency remains in place, the companies of the Richard Harris Law Firm remain open to handle your legal needs.  The Richard Harris Law Firm, Law Tigers, Ticket Busters, and The Defenders look forward to the time when we can meet with you personally again.  In the meantime, our companies remain available to you via phone, email, chat, and video conferencing.

Learn More:

https://www.reviewjournal.com/news/politics-and-government/nevada/no-firm-date-to-start-reopening-nevada-governor-says-2011476/

https://lasvegassun.com/news/2020/apr/21/sisolak-no-date-when-nevada-reopen-schools-closed/

https://news3lv.com/news/local/today-gov-sisolak-to-provide-update-on-reopening-of-nevada

https://www.fox5vegas.com/coronavirus/gov-sisolak-announces-phased-reopening-for-nevada-schools-to-stay-closed/article_14cf7288-840b-11ea-9530-2bc65c09944c.html

https://www.8newsnow.com/news/local-news/live-governor-sisolak-to-provide-update-on-covid-19-in-nevada/

https://www.ktnv.com/news/coronavirus/gov-sisolak-to-provide-covid-19-update-tuesday-at-5-pm

3M Earplug Lawsuit

Filed under: Blog

April 14, 2020

3M Combat Arms™ (CAEv2) standard issue earplugs trials upcoming

Almost 7,000 civil cases have been filed in federal courts throughout the United States suing 3M Company for hearing loss and tinnitus due to the usage of standard issue military earplugs. Combat Arms™ earplugs were…

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3M Earplug LawsuitAlmost 7,000 civil cases have been filed in federal courts throughout the United States suing 3M Company for hearing loss and tinnitus due to the usage of standard issue military earplugs. Combat Arms™ earplugs were issued to military personnel from 2003 until 2015. The earplugs have a distinctive appearance by being dark olive green on one end, and yellow on the other end. Many veterans have found after using this product according to instructions during their military duty, that they have been left with headaches, earaches, significant hearing loss and/or persistent tinnitus (ringing in the ears).

In fact, it has been alleged that this product had a defective design and that even when using the product according to instructions, that the ears were not protected from loud sounds due to the fact that the earplugs did not seal properly. A whistleblower case brought by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) against 3M regarding this product settled in July 2018, with 3M paying a settlement to DOJ of $9.1 million. This case concluded with no finding of liability on 3M’s part, and civil cases began within a year after this settlement.

When the number of civil cases against 3M reached 200, the cases were consolidated at the federal level into a Multi-District Litigation (MDL). An MDL allows a centralized forum for pre-trial motions and discovery among cases with common claims and avoids conflicting rulings between various courts in different jurisdictions. Cases within an MDL continue to settle on the merits of the individual cases.

Recent 3M legal action

Most recently, on April 1, 2020, 3M filed a motion to dismiss all claims regarding the Combat Arms earplugs, citing protection as a government contractor. Their argument is that when designing the earplugs, they were following military specifications.

A response by the plaintiff’s attorneys to this motion, asked for summary judgement against 3M, dispensing with oral arguments, since the $9.1 million settlement with DOJ, was for allegations that 3M knowingly sold defective earplugs to the military, and that the military never approved specifications for the product. They continue by pointing out that 3M never warned the military or its civilian customers of known defects of the product, and that in fact 3M knew of the products failings from inception and concealed these facts from the military and civilian customers. The whistleblower in the DOJ case disclosed that the Combat Arms defect was known as early as the year 2000.

As part of the MDL process, 25 cases have already been selected as “bellwether” cases which will gauge jury reaction to the evidence presented to the court. If early bellwether trials end in jury rulings for the plaintiffs, 3M may opt for a global settlement rather than defend against each case individually. Initial cases began litigation in March 2020. A decision from the MDL judge regarding 3M’s motion to dismiss is believed to be forthcoming shortly.

The Richard Harris Law Firm will defend the rights of veterans injured by defective earplugs

If you were in the military from 2003 through 2015 and used standard issue 3M Combat Arms™ (CAEv2) military earplugs and have been diagnosed with hearing loss or tinnitus, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries due to this defective product. We are pursuing legal action to protect the rights of our injured veterans due to this defective product. Call our office today to discuss your potential case at (702) 444-4444.

Richard Harris Law Firm Las Vegas

Filed under: Accident Blog, Auto Accident, Blog

February 11, 2020

Auto Accidents – What is No Fault Insurance?

State laws determine under what circumstances you can sue a negligent driver for damages. The traditional system prior to the 1970’s was a tort liability system under which a driver who suffers injuries from a…

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State laws determine under what circumstances you can sue a negligent driver for damages. The traditional system prior to the 1970’s was a tort liability system under which a driver who suffers injuries from a car accident was able to sue the “at fault” driver for damages such as medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, etc.  In the 1970’s a new system, called No Fault Liability, was adopted by roughly half the states, which was promised to simplify claims, reduce insurance costs, and get benefits to insureds sooner.

Richard Harris Law Firm Las Vegas

Under a No-Fault system your right to sue a negligent driver was severely limited and claims for medical costs and other damages was paid by your own insurance company regardless of who caused the accident, hence No Fault.  Unfortunately, rates for No-Fault Insurance plans skyrocketed due to the increased costs of medical care, and fraudulent claims.  In fact, Michigan, which has the most robust No Fault system in the country, also has the highest insurance rates in the country.

While roughly half the states opted for No-Fault plans during the 1970’s, due to increasing health costs, and rampant insurance fraud most of these states have moved back to a tort liability plan or a variation thereof.  Today only 12 states, and Puerto Rico continue to use straight No Fault plans.  Most of the western states are tort liability states, however, Utah and Kansas continue to maintain No Fault plans.

States using No Fault Liability:

  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Kansas (borders Colorado)
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Pennsylvania
  • Utah (borders Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming)

Most No Fault Insurance plans feature three components, Personal Injury Protection (PIP), Property Protection (PPI), and Residual Liability Insurance.  Each component of the plan carries its own coverages and limits.

Colorado allowed it’s No Fault laws to expire in 2003, replaced by a tort liability system.  By 2008, insurance premiums had reduced by 35 percent.  Other states have dropped No Fault and have seen similar reductions in premiums.  A few other No Fault states are considering dropping No Fault at this time.

What happens if I get into an accident in a No Fault state?

If you’re traveling and get into an accident in one of the No Fault states, typically your insurance from the state in which you reside will determine whether you have a right to sue, no matter where you’re driving as long as you were not At Fault.  However, it adds a level of complexity to the auto accident claim.  It is advisable under those circumstances to consult an attorney as soon after the accident as possible, to preserve your rights.

For drivers who cause accidents while driving in Nevada, California, Arizona, and Colorado, but who live in and insure their vehicles in No Fault states, can still be sued if they were the At Fault driver under the state’s tort liability laws in which the accident occurred.  You should consult an attorney in such cases.

The Richard Harris Law Firm represents you for injury claims due to Auto Accidents

No Fault liability was a system that initially promised to speed insurance claims, simplify the claims process, and reduce insurance premiums.  Those benefits were not fully realized, and many states have reverted to the traditional tort liability system such as those that exist in Nevada, Colorado, Arizona, and California.  Utah remains a No Fault state.  Our firm has specialists in all five states, who are knowledgeable and experienced in getting the most money for you when you get in a car accident.  If you’ve been in a car accident, call us today at 702-444-4444 or email us at [email protected]

Learn More:

https://www.carinsurance.com/no-fault-states.aspx

Richard Harris Law Personal Injury Attorneys

Filed under: Blog

February 3, 2020

Basics of Employment Law (Part 2)

Employment Law is a complex area of the law and you should consult with an attorney if you have been wrongfully terminated or discriminated against in the workplace.  In our last blog article, we discussed…

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Employment Law is a complex area of the law and you should consult with an attorney if you have been Richard Harris Law Personal Injury Attorneyswrongfully terminated or discriminated against in the workplace.  In our last blog article, we discussed several areas of employment law that are common workplace violations which could lead to an employment lawsuit.  This article will continue that discussion covering some principles of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Independent Contractor issues, Wage and Hour Violations and Unemployment Compensation.

These are just a few areas of the law which may form the basis of legal action against an employer or former employer.  Employee protections are provided for by a complicated structure of federal and state laws, and you should consult an attorney if you believe you were wrongfully terminated of suffered discrimination in the workplace based on these or other issues.

Family Medical and Leave Act (FMLA)

If you work for an employer which employs 50 or more employees and have worked for the company for at least one year and worked more than 1,250 hours the previous year, the federal Family Medical and Leave Act (FMLA) provides you the right to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave from work within a year, either consecutively or incrementally, for the following qualifying reasons:

  • The birth of a child
  • To provide time for bonding and care for a newborn or newly adopted child
  • To recover from a serious health condition
  • To provide care for an immediate family member (spouse, child or parent)

Furthermore, FMLA provides for leave of up to 26 weeks to address:

  • Qualifying needs due to injury or death of a family member on active military service

FMLA provides that upon return to work, you will be reinstated to your previous position or an equivalent position with equal pay and benefits you have earned or are entitled to, prior to the leave.  An employer may not retaliate against an employee who was granted and took leave under FMLA by giving them less desirable work assignments, reducing pay, demoting, disciplining, harassing or terminating them.  If an employer takes such actions, you may have the basis for a lawsuit against the employer.

State laws may provide similar and other rights to employees.  You should discuss your situation with a lawyer if you feel your employer has violated your rights under FMLA or similar state laws.

Independent Contractor v Employee

Whether you are classified as an employee or an independent contractor has many ramifications.  Employers are required to withhold federal Income, Social Security and Medicare taxes, and pay a portion of an employee’s Social Security taxes.  Employers are also required to cover employees under Worker’s Compensation and Unemployment Compensation.  Independent Contractors are not covered under Worker’s Compensation nor are they eligible for Unemployment Compensation.  Additionally, Independent Contractors do not have the protections of equal employment, discrimination, harassment, minimum wage or overtime laws, nor are they eligible for employee benefit plans.

Misclassification between being an Independent Contractor or an Employee can have many legal ramifications.  Employers may misclassify those who work for them in order to reduce record keeping or to save money to pay taxes or provide benefits.

Whether you are an employee, or a contactor depends on many factors provided by federal and state laws.  These factors have to do with how you file your income taxes; the exclusivity of services to the employer or whether you can provide services to many clients; and how much control the employer has over when, where, and how you work.

If you believe you have been misclassified between being an employee or a contractor, or if you are a contractor and believe your client is violating the terms of your employment contract, you may have a potential case against the employer.  You should discuss the situation with an attorney to determine your options.

Wage and Hour

Whether you are eligible for overtime depends on many factors.  If you are classified as an “exempt” employee you are not eligible for protections provided by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which provides that employees be paid “time and a half” or 1.5 normal pay for working either more than 40 hours in a week or more than 8 hours per day.

Non-exempt employees are usually paid by the number of hours worked rather than by a monthly salary.  Employees who are non-exempt from the FLSA, may have a cause of action against an employer if:

  • The employer fails to pay all hours worked, including time spent preparing to work, or cleaning up after a shift.
  • The employer does not pay for searches, or dressing in protective gear prior to entry to the workplace
  • The employer does not pay to drive to attend required meetings or training
  • The employer fails to pay minimum wage
  • Improperly allocating tips for servers or other eligible employees
  • The employer pays straight time when daily or weekly time limits are exceeded
  • The employer misclassifies employees as “exempt” to avoid paying overtime

This list does not include all possible violations of Wage and Hour violations.  You should discuss your situation with a lawyer to determine if you have a possible case against an employer for Wage and Hour violations.

Unemployment Compensation

If you are involuntarily terminated from a job without “cause” due to a workforce reduction or other unspecified reason, you may be eligible for Unemployment Compensation.  Even if you were terminated for misconduct, some employers will make up causes for termination in order avoid paying Unemployment Compensation benefits.  Once you are terminated and apply for Unemployment Compensation your former employer may challenge your eligibility to receive benefits in an attempt to block paying the employer portion of the benefits.  You have the right to appeal such challenges.  You should talk to a lawyer to assist with employers who attempt to block your benefits, or to assist with an application that has been delayed due to an error in processing or some other bureaucratic delay.

The Richard Harris Law Firm sues employers who violate Employment Laws

State and Federal employment laws are designed to protect employee’s rights in the workplace.  When employers violate the protected rights of employees, civil penalties may be obtained through a lawsuit.  Employment law is a complex area of the law, however an attorney who is experienced in workplace law violations can determine if your situation violates either state or federal employment law.  If you have been the victim of an unfair or adverse workplace action and feel that your rights may have been violated, call our office today to discuss your case at (702) 444-4444.

Learn More:

https://richardharrislaw.com/employment-law/

Filed under: Blog

January 28, 2020

Basics of Employment Law (Part 1)

Have you been wrongfully fired or laid off?  Are you still employed but feel your employer is discriminating against you, or do you feel your employer, boss, or others in the workplace are harassing you? …

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Have you been wrongfully fired or laid off?  Are you still employed but feel your employer is discriminating against you, or do you feel your employer, boss, or others in the workplace are harassing you?  Have you come back from a leave due to pregnancy or other medical condition and find that your job no longer exists?  Are you an hourly employee and your employer requires you to work longer hours but doesn’t pay you for the extra time worked?  Have you been fired, but your employer blocked your unemployment benefits?  These among many other concerns may be the basis for an employment lawsuit.

Nevada, California and Arizona are all considered “at will” states, which means that either employer or employee may terminate employment at any time with or without cause or notice.  However, state and federal laws provide for exceptions to the “at will” doctrine which are considered violations of public policy.  Furthermore, employers may not act contrary to what is stated in their employee handbook or other published policies and procedures.

Due to these and other concerns, employment law is a very complicated area of the law and requires an attorney to determine whether legal action can be taken.  We will investigate a few common topics of employment law in the next two blog articles, however, there are many concerns that you may have as an employee regarding your work conditions and treatment.  If you have a concern regarding an issue related to your employment that we don’t cover in this series, contact our firm to discuss your issue.

Discrimination in the Workplace

Discrimination in employment practices is complex, due to protections provided under state and federal laws.  It is a violation of public policy and is unlawful to hire, or refuse to hire, or to fire, or terminate an employee based on the following:

  • Race
  • Age
  • Religion
  • National Origin
  • Sex
  • Pregnancy
  • Disability or medical condition
  • Sexual Orientation

These issues may manifest themselves by asking improper questions in job interviews, not being hired for a job you are qualified for, being passed over for promotions and pay raises, or through demotions and pay reductions, or through wrongful terminations, harassment, and other factors.

The laws against discrimination are complex and proving each case presents its own set of challenges.  If you feel that you are, or have been discriminated against, due to the above factors, you should contact an attorney to determine your legal standing to pursue a case.

Wrongful Termination

It is unlawful to terminate an employee based on the factors discussed in the previous section.  Proving that discrimination was the cause of termination is more difficult.  However, other factors for wrongful termination may also include:

  • Being fired after filing a discrimination, harassment, or hostile work environment complaint.
  • Being fired in retaliation for making a worker’s compensation claim; taking qualified family and medical leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), or California Family Rights Act (CFRA), or Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA); or making a claim or taking a loan against company benefit plans such as 401k’s.
  • Being fired after reporting an employer for illegal practices. Laws provide for protection for whistleblowers.
  • Being fired after refusing to participate in illegal activities
  • Being fired for serving jury duty
  • Being released from an employment contract before the term expired for no cause or cause not stated in the employment contract.

Damages for a wrongful termination may include lost compensation and punitive damages.  You may even be able to regain your position if you wish.  A lawyer will be able to assess your probability of success after meeting with you and discussing your situation in a consultation.

Retaliation by an employer

It is unlawful for an employer to take retaliatory actions against you for participating in certain protected actions.  These include:

  • Filing complaints for harassment or hostile work environment
  • Filing complaints for workplace discrimination
  • Reporting unlawful actions of an employer
  • Refusing to participate in unlawful actions as directed by your employer
  • Making a claim for worker’s compensation
  • Taking a qualified leave under FMLA, or CFRA
  • Taking part in union activity protected by law

Retaliation may take the form of being disciplined or written up, being demoted or having pay decreased, not being promoted when qualified for a better position, substandard job reviews which don’t reflect real job performance, threats of any kind, or wrongful termination.

You may be entitled to compensation from your employer for such retaliatory activities, but again this is a complex area of the law, and you should contact an attorney to pursue legal action for retaliation.

Harassment and Hostile Work Environment

Harassment based on the factors described in the Discrimination section are unlawful and when it creates a hostile work environment, may qualify for a lawsuit against an employer.  Common human behavior such as teasing and making fun due to things you may have said or done are not necessarily unlawful, but when it crosses into the territory of race, religion, age, disability, ethnicity or sexual orientation, it may be considered discrimination.  When such actions are reported to an employer and no action is taken to rectify the situation, you may have a case against the employer.

Sexual Harassment can occur anytime men and women spend time together.  There are many kinds of sexual harassment and harassers may be of either sex.  Sexual harassment is difficult to prove since harassers seldom admit to allegations made.  Sexual harassment may take the form of explicit jokes, inappropriate text messages, or unwanted touching.  When these activities become ubiquitous it may form the pattern of a hostile work environment.  Of particular concern is when a manager or authority figure implies, or makes promises of preferential treatment, or outright makes continued employment or promotion contingent on receiving sexual favors from employees.  These types of behavior should be reported immediately and may qualify for a lawsuit for sexual discrimination.

The Richard Harris Law Firm represents employees for Employment Law Violations

Discrimination, Wrongful Termination, Retaliation against an employee, and Harassment are violations of the law.  Employment law violations are complicated legal issues and are difficult to prove.  If you have been subject to the violations discussed in this article, you should talk to an attorney to determine if you have a case that can be successful under the complex legal structures resulting from both federal and state laws that govern the workplace.  In our next installment in this series we will cover the Family and Medical Leave Act, Independent Contractor issues, Wage and Hour Violations, and Unemployment Compensation appeals.  If you have been suffered an adverse action by an employer and believe you may have a legal issue, contact our office to discuss your potential case at (702) 444-4444.

Filed under: Blog

January 21, 2020

Allergan® Biocell Textured Breast Implants Recalled due to Cancer Risks

We first wrote about the dangers of textured breast implants in 2017.  Since that article much has occurred.  In July 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recalled the Allergan® Biocell brand of textured…

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We first wrote about the dangers of textured breast implants in 2017.  Since that article much has occurred.  In July 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recalled the Allergan® Biocell brand of textured breast implants and tissue expanders, due to increased risks of a rare form of cancer called Breast Implant Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL).

In fact, the FDA found that nearly all cases of BIA-ALCL were associated with the Biocell brand or textured surface of the Allergan implants.  This condition is deadly, and 33 deaths have been reported out of 573 known cases worldwide.  Due to the FDA’s finding, Allergan, the manufacturer initiated a worldwide recall of the product.

Furthermore, in December 2019, 14 women nationwide anonymously sued Allergan in a class action lawsuit which is pending in U.S. District Court in Central California.  The case alleges that Allergan was negligent and failed to warn patients and medical providers of the increased risk associated with use of this product.  Additionally in December, 36 other cases filed by individuals in various federal courts in the United States have had their cases consolidated into a Multi-District Litigation (MDL)  for pretrial proceedings, due to the cases having common questions of fact.

Facts about ALCL

ALCL is not breast cancer.  It is actually a rare form of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and is a blood cancer.  Rarer still is BIA-ALCL, which is a direct result of textured silicone breast implants.  BIA-ALCL occurs in fluids contained in the scar tissue capsule which forms to surround the implant.  It may manifest as a swollen breast due to the accumulation of fluid around the implant.  It may then metastasize to surrounding tissue and auxiliary lymph nodes.

Breast pain may be present with ALCL, as well as swelling and lumps in the tissue adjacent to the implant, or one or both breasts becoming asymmetrical.  Fever, loss of appetite, tiredness, night sweats, and weight loss are potential accompanying symptoms.  Swelling in the armpit, neck or groin, and enlarged lymph nodes may also be present with the condition.

The December class action lawsuit  alleges that out of 573 known cases of BIA-ALCL worldwide, 481 or 84% were attributed to Allergan products, and of the 33 reported deaths, “12 of the 13 patients for which the manufacturer of the implant is known are confirmed to have an Allergan breast implant.”  The FDA estimates the risk of BIA-ALCL is six times higher with Allergan’s textured implants than textured implants from other manufacturers.

Recall of Allergan Biocell® products

On July 14, 2019 the FDA issued a recall of Biocell® textured breast implants and tissue expanders.  Four Allergan Biocell® product lines were affected by the recall.  They are:

  • Allergan Natrelle Saline-Filled Breast Implants
  • Allergan Natrelle Silicone-Filled Breast implants
  • Allergan Natrelle Inspira Silicone-Filled Breast Implants
  • Allergan Natrelle 410 Highly Cohesive Anatomically Shaped Silicone Filled Breast Implants
  • Allergan tissue expanders

Regarding the recall, FDA Principal Deputy Commissioner Amy Abernathy stated, “Although the overall incidence of BIA-ALCL appears to be relatively low, once the evidence indicated that a specific manufacturer’s product appeared to be directly linked to significant patient harm, including death, the FDA took action to alert the firm to new evidence indicating a recall is warranted to protect women’s health.” 

Lawsuits against Allergan

The current lawsuits maintain that the manufacturer, Allergan, failed to warn patients, medical providers and the general public of adverse side effects of the BIOCELL® line of breast implant products and, furthermore, Allergan concealed knowledge that they had since 2011 of the causal relationship of BIA-ALCL associated with their BIOCELL® products.  Plaintiffs also maintain that Allergan has refused to pay for removal of the recalled products or of medical treatments required due to use of the products.  Lawsuits are currently progressing in the courts and no suits have settled to date.

The Richard Harris Law Firm represents those injured by defective products

Allergan Biocell® breast implants have been identified by the FDA and other health agencies worldwide as having a higher risk associated with BIA-ALCL, a deadly cancerous disease.  The FDA has recalled the Biocell line of breast implants, and the manufacturer has recalled the products worldwide.  Women who have suffered due to the use of this product may have a cause of action against the manufacturer, which may result in actual and punitive damages due to the manufacturer’s alleged negligence in marketing a defective product.  If you have had Allergan Biocell® breast implants and were later diagnosed with Breast Implant Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) call our office today to discuss your potential case at (702) 444-4444. Our lawyers are ready to fight for the compensation you deserve after being injured by a defective product.

Learn More:

https://richardharrislaw.com/fda-updates-warning-breast-implant-associated-cancer/

https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-takes-action-protect-patients-risk-certain-textured-breast-implants-requests-allergan

December 2019 Class Action Complaint

Filed under: Auto Accident, Blog, Community

January 14, 2020

Fatalities on Nevada Roads show a rare drop in 2019

Good news doesn’t sell, which is apparently why we never hear much good news.  But for Nevada motorists, the traffic news shows a rare improvement in 2019. For Clark County drivers, the news is even more…

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Good news doesn’t sell, which is apparently why we never hear much good news.  But for Nevada motorists, the traffic news shows a rare improvement in 2019. For Clark County drivers, the news is even more encouraging.  The Nevada Department of Public Safety (NPS), publishes a monthly report that summarizes the number of fatalities on Nevada roads and breaks the totals out by county.  The report published for December 2019, which was released on January 6, 2020, shows a promising trend in traffic safety for 2019 in our state.

This FARS report breaks out total fatal crashes in the state for this year and last year, and breaks out fatalities by total fatalities, occupant fatalities and unrestrained fatalities.  Additionally, the report also classifies the totals by type of accident by Pedestrian, Motorcyclist, Bicyclist, and Other (Scooter, Moped, ATV).  It should be noted that these statistics are a result of traffic reports of police officers responding to accidents throughout the state and could be adjusted as coroner and toxicology reports are filed.  All information in the report should be considered preliminary.

State of Nevada FARS Highlights

The entire state showed a 10% decrease in the number of fatal car accidents for 2019 over 2018.  This translates into a 13% drop in total traffic fatalities for the year.  In fact, the state showed decreases in all categories tracked in the report.

For Clark County, the most populous county in Nevada, results are even more significant. Clark County showed a 20% drop in traffic deaths for the year compared to 2018. All categories in Clark County showed a similar drop, with the exception of motorcycle fatalities, with a drop of 8% fewer deaths from motorcycle accidents and 14% fewer bicycle deaths. Pedestrian deaths in Clark County were reduced by 22%.  However, all categories had fewer fatalities than the previous year.

Something is going right, and although the statistics don’t show the why behind these numbers, it could be a combination of stronger traffic enforcement, better designed roads, better designed vehicles, and perhaps drivers are being more careful. While the statistics tell an encouraging story we still had almost 300 fatalities in the state in the year 2019 due to traffic accidents with 180 of those fatalities in Clark County. The drop is perhaps small consolation to those families who lost loved ones due to traffic accidents.

We hope to see this trend continue into the future.  The population of Las Vegas is growing with more vehicles on the roads than ever before.  Most roadways in the valley were designed for lower vehicle volumes than current usage, however traffic planners are responding to the challenge and upgrading through a series of construction projects, such as the recently completed Project Neon, the Centennial Bowl project, and the Tropicana I-15 interchange project, all with the objective of making the roads safer to travel.

The Richard Harris Law Firm represents those injured in Nevada Car Accidents

There is still a long way to go to reach the goal of Zero Fatalities in the state, but this report shows progress is being made.  This report does not cover injury accidents without fatalities and unfortunately those numbers are still high.  If you’ve been injured in a traffic accident due to the negligence of another driver, we are here to make sure you have the legal representation which will protect your rights and recover fair compensation for your claim.  Call our office today to discuss your potential case at (702) 444-4444.

Learn More:

Nevada 2019 FARS Report

Richard Harris Law Las Vegas

Filed under: Blog, Legal Information

January 6, 2020

Lawsuits allege Round Up causes cancer

Over 43,000 lawsuits have been filed throughout the United States against Round Up manufacturer, Bayer AG (Bayer).  The cases allege that Monsanto, which was purchased by Bayer AG in 2018, knew, or should have known,…

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Over 43,000 lawsuits have been filed throughout the United States against Round Up manufacturer, Bayer AG (Bayer).  The cases allege that Monsanto, which was Richard Harris Law Las Vegaspurchased by Bayer AG in 2018, knew, or should have known, that the product, which has been in widespread use since the 1970’s, was defective and dangerous and that it has engaged in deceptive marketing practices to build and maintain sales of the multi-billion dollar product.  The cases allege that Round Up with its active ingredient Glyphosate causes a form of cancer called Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL).  

Trial results to date

Three jury trials have taken place so far in both state and federal courts and have found in favor of the plaintiffs and awarded huge punitive damage awards.  The first trial concluded in in August 2018 found in favor of the plaintiffs and awarded $289 million. This verdict was later reduced to $78 million. The second trial concluded in March 2019 with the jury awarding $80 million to the plaintiff.  This verdict was reduced by the judge to $28 million. The third trial took place in May 2019, with the jury awarding an astounding $2 billion in punitive damages to the plaintiff. The trial judge reduced this damage award to $78 million. In all three cases, Bayer has appealed the verdicts and is asking that the awards be overturned.  The appeals are in process at this time and have been decided.  

Worldwide concern about Round Up

In addition to lawsuits in the U.S., cities, counties, and countries around the world are taking action to either severely curtail or outright ban used of the product within their borders.  The Netherlands, France and Germany have announced bans of glyphosate products to take effect by 2023. Other European countries including Austria are moving to ban use of the product. Thailand and Sri Lanka have both banned the product within those countries.

On the American continent, Mexico has blocked shipments and use of glyphosate within its borders.  The city of Montreal has announced a ban on use of glyphosate products anywhere within the city.  

Ongoing Legal Action in the U.S.

Cases against Monsanto/Bayer continue in the U.S. in both the federal and state court systems.  At the federal level, over 2,500 cases have been consolidated into a Multi-District Litigation (MDL).  One case has already settled at the federal level with several more bellwether cases scheduled to take place within the coming year.  The next federal level lawsuit is scheduled begin in February 2020. 

The federal judge overseeing the MDL, Hon. Vincent Chhabria, has ordered parties into mediation, which has been moving “slowly but steadily” according the federal mediator, Ken Feinberg.  If it appears that mediation may produce a settlement, the federal cases may be settled through that process, however, cases in state courts will continue to trial. At the state level, where the bulk of the cases have been filed, cases are moving towards trial and it is expected that waves of cases will begin in January, and many will be decided during the remainder of the year.

Regulatory Actions

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) a division of the United Nations’ World Health Organization (WHO) declared glyphosate to be a “probable human carcinogen” in 2015.   This is their second highest classification with “Known Carcinogen” being the highest. The IARC’s finding in 2015 led to much of the regulatory actions being taken around the world.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has not changed their finding from the 1970’s that glyphosate is safe to use.  Monsanto/Bayer continues to maintain that the product is safe and poses no threat to the environment.  

The Richard Harris Law Firm represents those injured by use of Round Up

2020 may be a watershed year for Round Up litigation.  To date, juries have found for the injured parties, and have supported the claims of the lawsuits that NHL was indeed caused by Round Up use, and has awarded huge sums to the aggrieved parties.  If you have used Round Up or any other Glyphosate product in either an agricultural or personal environment and have later been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, you may be entitled to both compensatory and punitive damages for your claim.  Call the Richard Harris Law Firm today to discuss your potential case at (702) 444-4444.

Learn More:

https://richardharrislaw.com/jury-awards-to-round-up-victims-continues-to-gain-momentum/

https://richardharrislaw.com/french-court-bans-roundup/

https://richardharrislaw.com/first-roundup-verdict-results-in-jury-award-of-289-million/

Las Vegas Personal Injury Lawyers

Filed under: Blog, Defective Products

December 16, 2019

Zantac Recalled due to Cancer Risks

The heartburn medication Zantac has been recalled within the United States and in other countries worldwide, because its active ingredient Ranitidine, mixes with common substances within the human body causing formation of high levels of…

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The heartburn medication Zantac has been recalled within the United States and in other countries worldwide, because its active ingredient Ranitidine, mixes with common Las Vegas Personal Injury Lawyerssubstances within the human body causing formation of high levels of the probable human carcinogen NDMA.  The recalls apply both to the over the counter (OTC) and prescription strength versions of the drug.

What is NDMA?

N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) is a biproduct of industrial and natural chemical processes which has been shown to do nothing more than cause cancer.  NDMA was a chemical bi-product of making rocket fuel in the early part of the 20th century.  Its only current use today is to induce tumors in lab animals for research experiments.  Other than for that purpose, NDMA is no longer produced in the United States.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has set a level of 96 nanograms (ng) per day as the highest permissible intake limit for NDMA.  Recent testing has found NDMA levels in the human body after digesting the ranitidine molecule in excess of 3,000,000 ng.  NDMA has been linked by the World Health Organization (WHO) to gastric or colorectal cancer in humans.

In 2018, the high blood pressure medications Valsartan, Losartan, and Irbesartan were recalled by the FDA due to unacceptable levels of NDMA.  NDMA was found to be present in some, not all Valsartan products at levels up to 20,190 ng per tablet.  This levels in those products were caused by an impurity in the manufacturing process, however NDMA is actually a bi-product of the ranitidine molecule during the digestion process.

NDMA is a poison and should not be found except in trace amounts within the human body.  Studies suggest that humans are especially sensitive to the carcinogenic effects of NDMA.

Regulatory Actions

Due to findings of high NDMA levels after taking Zantac in several studies, in September 2018, a citizen group sent a petition to the FDA requesting that Zantac be recalled.  In October 2018 the FDA issued a recall to all manufacturers and distributors of Zantac to recall the product and initiate testing for high NDMA levels.  Since the recall, several retailers have removed Zantac from their shelves, including CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, and Kroger among others.

The FDA approved Zantac for distribution in 1983 in the U.S.  Two years previously, a study by Dr. Silvio de Flora of the University of Genoa, Italy, had been performed which preliminary concluded that ranitidine when exposed to human gastric fluid showed “toxic and mutagenic effects.”  In 1983, Dr. de Flora published the full findings of this study and confirmed his preliminary conclusion as to the formation of toxic bi-products of ranitidine in the body

Glaxo-Smith Kline (GSK), the inventors and manufacturers of Zantac in 1983, chose to minimize the study results and moved forward with introduction of the product, which shortly became a billion-dollar seller.  Zantac has been owned by several other pharmaceutical manufacturers since then, the most recent being Boehringer Ingelheim, and at no time during its distribution was a warning added to the product labels indicating potential cancer danger from taking the drug, in spite of repeated studies finding linkage between ranitidine ingestion and formation of NDMA within the human body.

Legal Action

December 2, 2019, a San Diego California man, named Gary Hart, filed suit against all current and previous owners of the Zantac brand since its inception, for causing his colon cancer.  The suit alleges that his cancer was caused from taking Zantac over an 8-year period.  He is suing the manufacturers of Zantac on the basis of the drug being defective, negligence, failure to warn of potential side effects of the drug, and breach of express and implied warranties.

At least 45 other lawsuits have been filed to date at the federal level, and it is expected that several thousand cases may be filed due to the long availability and widespread use of Zantac.  Plaintiffs have moved to consolidate all federal level cases into a Multi-District Litigation which will unify pre-trial discovery and motions under the direction of a single judge.

The Richard Harris Law Firm represents those injured by Zantac

Companies who manufacture and distribute drugs have a legal obligation to make sure the product is safe, and to warn medical providers and patients of potential side effects.  Companies who bring a defective product to market, and fail to warn of potentially dangerous side effects, especially when numerous independent studies confirm the dangers over the lifetime of the drug, are liable for both real and punitive damages.  If you have used Zantac, and have been diagnosed with colon, rectal, or gastric cancer, call our office today to discuss your potential case at (702) 444-4444.

Learn More:

https://www.fda.gov/safety/recalls-market-withdrawals-safety-alerts/sanofi-provides-update-precautionary-voluntary-recall-zantac-otc-us#recall-announcement

https://www.fda.gov/about-fda/medical-product-safety-information/zantac-ranitidine-safety-information-ndma-found-samples-some-ranitidine-medicines

https://www.aarp.org/health/drugs-supplements/info-2019/zantac-recall.html

https://blog.uvahealth.com/2019/10/08/zantac-recall/

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2019/10/02/walmart-halting-zantac-sales-over-possible-cancer-link/3839963002/

Filed under: Blog

December 9, 2019

Workers Compensation Claims in Las Vegas

The Las Vegas construction boom continues.  While Project Neon, the largest public works project in Nevada history is complete, the I-15/Tropicana interchange project is just beginning, the Resorts World project continues, The Las Vegas Convention…

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The Las Vegas construction boom continues.  While Project Neon, the largest public works project in Nevada history is complete, the I-15/Tropicana interchange project is just beginning, the Resorts World project continues, The Las Vegas Convention Center is undergoing expansion, Allegiant Stadium continues towards its July 2020 predicted completion date, and the housing boom continues unabated as Las Vegas continues to grow its population.  There’s still a lot of work continuing, not to mention expansion of existing companies and new companies moving into the valley at a record pace.

This unprecedented growth in Las Vegas increases the chances of Worker’s Compensation claims.   Do you know what Worker’s Compensation is, and how to file a claim if injured on the job, and when you may need to talk to an attorney if your claims are denied.  This article will attempt to answer those questions.  The Richard Harris Law Firm represents those who have not received their promised benefits under Nevada’s Worker’s Compensation laws.

What is Workers Compensation?

The most basic principle of Worker Compensation (WC) is that injuries are a given part of employment, and if you are injured on the job, your employer will pay for your medical expenses for your injuries, your time off from work during recovery at a rate of 2/3’s normal pay usually, your rehabilitation from the injury and your permanent or partial disability if you are permanently injured and death benefits if life is lost due to a work related injury.  Vocational Rehabilitation is also covered if your injury keeps you from returning to your job after the injury.  While it was originally intended to cover industrial accidents, it has evolved to cover work related illnesses and conditions as well.

All employers in Nevada are required to provide WC coverage for their employees.  The employer must carry WC insurance or be self-insured.  As Workers Compensation has developed in the U.S. a compromise has developed: if you are injured on the job, Workers Compensation will be provided and in exchange, workers will be precluded from suing their employers.

WC is administered at the State government level and each state sets their laws regarding WC slightly differently, with many common concepts.  In Nevada WC is administered by the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR).  Employers are required to provide posters regarding WC coverages in prominent common areas of the workplace.

How do I file a Workers Compensation claim?

If you are injured on the job, in almost all cases, the injury must be reported within 7 days of the occurrence of the injury.  This is done by filing a C-1 Incident Report with your employer.  Your employer will then refer you to a medical provider where are C-4 form Report of Initial Treatment will be completed.  Copies of these forms are available from your employer but can also be found online at the Nevada Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) site.

The medical provider will assess the injury, provide treatment and instructions for further treatment and when you can return to work.  These medical benefits will be paid by the company’s worker’s compensation insurance provider.

Most worker’s compensation claims can be handled between you and your employer in this fashion.  A description of worker’s rights and benefits is also available on the Nevada DIR site, which gives a comprehensive outline of benefits available to you.

In cases where the injuries are serious and may require long term recovery and care, and a long period where you can’t work, or if your employer does not provide the benefits as described, you may wish to consult with a Worker’s Compensation attorney to assist with your claim.

The Richard Harris Law Firm represents those who do not receive Worker’s Compensation benefits as promised

If you have been injured at work, and you will be disabled for an extended period we can help with your claim.  Our Workers Compensation lawyers are trained in all aspects of Workers Compensation policies and will see to it that your rights are preserved and that you receive all the benefits to which you are entitled under the law.  Call us today to discuss your potential case at (702) 444-4444.

Learn More:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1888620/

http://dir.nv.gov/WCS/home/

http://dir.nv.gov/uploadedFiles/dirnvgov/content/WCS/InsurersDocs/TimeFrame.pdf

Richard Harris Law Firm Las Vegas NV

Filed under: Auto Accident, Blog

December 2, 2019

Injured Passengers in Nevada

Auto Accident Series (Supplemental 1) If you were injured while a passenger in a vehicle when an accident occurred, you probably have a valid claim to recover damages to cover your injuries.  You should contact…

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Auto Accident Series (Supplemental 1)

If you were injured while a passenger in a vehicle when an accident occurred, you probably have a valid claim to recover damages to cover your injuries.  You should contact the lawyersRichard Harris Law Firm Las Vegas NV of the Richard Harris Law Firm to review details of your claim to determine your settlement options.

Passengers in vehicles involved in auto accidents, unless they were a direct cause of the accident, are considered “fault free” and in most cases are eligible to claim for damages to cover medical bills, prescriptions, lost wages due to time off from work to recover from their injuries, out of pocket expenses, and pain and suffering.  Other losses may also be covered.  It is important to consult an attorney if you were injured due to an accident while you were a passenger.

The Single Vehicle Crash

The driver of a vehicle is responsible for the safety and wellbeing of any passengers in the vehicle at the time of an accident.  If the driver is liable for a single vehicle crash, you may have grounds to file a claim against the driver.  If you are a member of the driver’s family and live in the same household, you are most likely already covered by the driver’s insurance policy and it is possible you may not be able to sue in that case, however your lawyer will be able to advise you of any other claim options which might cover your injuries.

If you are not an immediate family member living in the same household, and therefore not covered under a family policy, and the driver acted in a negligent manner which led to the crash, you may sue the driver for injuries you suffered due to the crash.

The Multi-Vehicle Vehicle Crash 

In a collision that involved two or more vehicles, an injured passenger may be able to make claims against all drivers found liable in the accident.  Insurance coverages in this case may be determined by the percentage of fault attributable to each driver in the accident.  The insurance companies in such a claim may not be able to come to agreement as to the percentage of liability of each driver, which may delay your claim.  Your lawyer will file appropriate lawsuits to protect your rights and obtain the appropriate benefits for you.

Types of coverages available for passengers

Liability Coverage – Liability coverage is the primary source of most auto insurance claim benefits.  In Nevada, drivers are required to carry 25/50/20 at a minimum.  This means that a maximum of $25,000 is covered per person per accident up to a maximum of $50,000 per accident.

Medical Payments Coverage (Med Pay) – Medical Payments coverage is not required in Nevada, but is offered as an option; however, many drivers have this coverage, and you may have it on your own policy.  Med Pay is sold in $1,000 increments and is quite inexpensive.  It is also no-fault, meaning that regardless of the fault of the driver(s) involved in a vehicle crash, Medical Payments coverage may be used to pay to co-pays and other expenses that a medical insurance policy will not cover.  For more information on Med Pay coverages see our previous article.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM) – If the liable driver is uninsured, then your driver’s UM/UIM coverage, may be a source of funds to cover your medical expenses.  UM/UIM coverage is relatively inexpensive and covers the same amount as your driver’s Liability Coverage.  This coverage is obtained by a YES/NO question on your application for insurance and carries the same limit of liability as your liability coverage.  From our example above, at state minimum liability coverage UM/UIM will provide $25,000 of coverage, if the liable driver did not have insurance, or did not carry insurance.  For more information regarding UM/UIM see our previous article.

These are basic coverages, however, if there may be other sources of insurance benefits your lawyer will know how to pursue.  They will see to it that claims are filed to obtain benefits from all available sources due to an injury accident while you are a passenger.

The Richard Harris Law Firm represents Passengers injured in Auto Accidents

Insurance coverages can be complex.  When you’re a passenger who was injured in an auto accident, you should consult with an attorney regarding your case in order to obtain the highest amounts of insurance coverages available to cover your losses due to the injuries.  The lawyers of the Richard Harris Law Firm are skilled and determined to obtain all the benefits to which you are entitled as a passenger.  Call our office today to discuss your case and set up a free initial consultation at (702) 444-4444.