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Filed under: Blog, Defective Products

October 13, 2016

Victoza Linked to Pancreatic Cancer

Similar in operation to Byetta and Januvia, Victoza (liraglutide) is part of a class of drugs known as Incretin Mimetics used for treatment of Type 2 (adult onset) diabetes. This product is manufactured by Novo…

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Similar in operation to Byetta and Januvia, Victoza (liraglutide) is part of a class of drugs known as Incretin Mimetics used for treatment of Type 2 (adult onset) diabetes. This product is manufactured by Novo Nordisk, a Danish pharmaceutical company. Victoza, among other drugs in this class such as Byetta, Januvia and Janumet, has been linked to inflammation of the pancreas, which creates conditions that can lead to deadly pancreatic cancer.

History

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Victoza in 2010. It is the largest revenue generator of any Novo Nordisk product, and has generated nearly $1 billion annually for the company. It is taken daily by injection with the use of a pen-like device.

While eating, the small intestine releases the hormone incretin, or GLP-1, into the bloodstream, which stimulates the release of insulin. Sufferers of Type 2 diabetes do not make enough naturally occurring incretin to trigger the insulin response. Incretin Mimetics seek to increase the incretin levels by mimicking the properties of naturally occurring in the body. However, the artificially increased incretin level created by incretin mimetic injections also increases the likelihood of other side effects, such as pancreatitis.

The FDA issued a Drug Safety Communication in March 2013 informing the public and the medical community that they were investigating unpublished reports of academic researchers that claimed Victoza and other incretin mimetics increased the risk of pancreatitis and cellular changes called pancreatic duct metaplasia.

Lawsuits

Since the number of lawsuits for this and other incretin mimetics were high and increasing, all federal cases regarding these drugs were consolidated into a Multi-District Litigation (MDL). Under the MDL system, initial discovery and motions are handled by a single judge, which allows for consistency in discovery and pre-trial rulings between all federal courts in the U.S.

As of October 2015, 749 cases were pending in MDL 2452, the case designation for incretin mimetics products. We expect more cases to be filed and are currently evaluating potential cases to include in this pre-trial process.

Nevada Victoza Lawyers

If you or a family member were prescribed Victoza, or Byetta, Januvia, or Janumet, and later developed pancreatitis, or pancreatic cancer, The Richard Harris Law Firm would like to discuss your situation. We can evaluate your situation and provide the expertise necessary to help you obtain fair compensation for your claim. Call us today at (702) 444-4444.

Nevada law firm, Law firm Las Vegas

Filed under: Blog

October 6, 2016

Ridesharing: Who pays in case of an accident?

Who hasn’t heard of Uber or Lyft? Sidecar is a third company to join the ridesharing party. The premise of these companies is that they are technology companies that bring riders who want to go…

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uber-lyft

Who hasn’t heard of Uber or Lyft? Sidecar is a third company to join the ridesharing party. The premise of these companies is that they are technology companies that bring riders who want to go somewhere together with drivers willing to take them, for a fee.

The drivers use their personal cars to pick up those that have requested a ride on a smartphone app provided by the company. The rider pays through the app and the driver, who is an independent contractor, is paid daily, or weekly for their share of the take. The ridesharing companies, otherwise known as Transportation Network Companies (TNC), keep a large share for themselves for arranging the meeting and to cover the cost of the software and marketing that makes it all happen.

So what could go wrong? In case of an accident, plenty. The drivers are generally insured by a Personal Car Insurance (PCI) for their vehicle. The rideshare companies do not require drivers to carry special insurance; they only require the driver’s PCI to meet state minimums to qualify to drive.

The TNC’s have, however, strongly marketed to communicate to both drivers and passengers, that they are covered by a $1 million insurance policy provided by the company free of charge. But the devil is always in the details. When does this coverage begin, if at all? And if I’m a driver, will my PCI cover me when involved in a commercial enterprise?

How is liability covered in an accident with a TNC?

Three groups of people are potentially involved:

1.) The driver;

2.) The passenger;

3.) Any third party that may be involved in an accident with the driver during the activities of providing this service.

These activities can be broken down to four general areas:

a.) not working,

b.) working but waiting for a trip request,

c.) accepting a trip request and driving to pick up the passenger, and

d.) driving the passenger to their destination.

Under this structure, let’s discuss each activity and how liability factors into each one.

  • Not working – easy…the driver is covered by their PCI according to the limits of liability of his or her PCI policy.
  • Working but waiting for a trip request – As soon as the driver opens the driver app, or enters driver mode on the app, according to insurance carriers, he or she is now involved in a commercial enterprise. If the driver is stationary, waiting on a ride request, then it’s easy…he’s probably not going to get into an accident. If he is driving at the time, it gets a bit more complicated.
    If he gets into an accident while driving with the driver app running, his insurance company is likely to deny the claim, since his PCI policy doesn’t cover commercial activities. He is also likely to have his PCI policy cancelled since the insurance company will maintain that commercial activities were not disclosed on the policy application. This may subject the driver to potential personal liability, which could cost him his car, house, and any assets.
    The million-dollar policy only applies once a trip request has been accepted by the driver, so that doesn’t come into play at this point, however the companies do provide the driver with contingent liability coverage, which covers that portion of the accident not covered by the driver’s PCI, or if the PCI carrier denies the claim.
    Each company has their own coverage levels, but it’s generally $50,000 injury/$100,000 injury total/$25,000 property damage, although this varies by state. And there are grey areas that could allow PCI providers to disallow the claim, especially if the driver is driving at the time of the accident. (Example given below)
  • Accepting a trip request and driving to pick up the passenger – this is when the million-dollar commercial liability policy provided by the TNC’s comes into play, providing primary coverage up to $1 million third-party liability, $1 million UM/UIM coverage, and contingent collision and comprehensive coverage, with a $1,000 deductible. Collision coverage is still contingent on what the PCI does not cover, or when it exceeds its limits. Uber published an infographic illustrating their coverages.
  • As a TNC customer, you are covered by this $1 million policy from the time you enter the vehicle until dropped off. Keep in mind that the million-dollar coverage is per incident, and will be split between all claimants. In a serious accident, this could be used up fairly quickly, depending on the number of injured and the severity of their injuries.

Case study

With this structure in mind, there are situations that could subject a TNC driver to impossible liability claims. On December 31, 2013, a 57-year-old driver in San Francisco, Syed Muzzafar, was driving for Uber with the Uber app running, hoping for his next fair. Mr. Muzzafar is a father of four who was driving for Uber to support his family. He may have been distracted while clicking the app, but as he turned a corner, he hit a 6-year-old pedestrian, Sofia Liu, in a crosswalk, killing her, and injuring her mother and brother. As expected, the family of Sofia Liu sued Uber for wrongful death of Sofia. But Uber denied liability and responded that Mr. Muzzafar was not “providing services on the Uber system” at the time, which means he had not accepted a ride request at the time of the accident.

What’s the solution? A court will have to determine how liable Uber is in a case of this nature. In the meantime, many states are now providing hybrid policies that fall between a PCI policy and a full-on commercial policy. Most TNC drivers could not make any money if they were required to carry commercial insurance on their personal car. These new policies fall somewhere in between and provide collision, third-party liability and UM/UIM coverage when working for TNC’s, but are driving between trip requests.

Las Vegas Rideshare Accident Attorneys

As a driver sharing the road with TNC drivers, it’s important to know whether they are properly covered if they cause an accident. If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by a TNC driver, the Richard Harris Law Firm wants to discuss your case with you. Call us at (702) 444-4444.

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Filed under: Blog

September 22, 2016

Adding Abilify Can Subtract From Your Bank Account

If the gaming industry could have designed a drug, perhaps there’s no better match than Abilify. Abilify (aripiprazole) is the top selling drug in the United States and is used to treat depression, bi-polar disorder…

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abilify

If the gaming industry could have designed a drug, perhaps there’s no better match than Abilify. Abilify (aripiprazole) is the top selling drug in the United States and is used to treat depression, bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia. The drug generated $6.4 billion in revenue in the U.S. in 2013. Because of the way it affects the brain, it has been found to have an effect on impulse control, and compulsive behaviors, in particular gambling.

Abilify, first approved for use in the United States in 2002, is part of a class of drugs called dopamine agonists, and affects the dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain and can balance these levels when an imbalance occurs. But in some cases, it is linked to compulsive behavioral side effects, such as eating, shopping, and sex addiction. But perhaps the most financially devastating side effect is the compulsive need to gamble.

Many users of the drug have reported that even if they hadn’t gambled previously in life, that shortly after taking the drug for the first time or after having the dosage increased, they felt an overpowering urge to gamble, and furthermore, once getting off the drug this urge abruptly disappeared.

Regulatory Activity and Reports of Gambling Compulsion

This association of Abilify and compulsive gambling has been noted worldwide. In fact in 2012, the European Medicines Agency and Health Canada (both regulatory bodies like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration) required warnings labels be added to Abilify, warning of the danger of compulsive gambling to users of the drug. While the manufacturers, Bristol Meyers-Squibb and the Otsuka Pharmaceutical Company, warned of this possibility elsewhere in the world, no warning of this type was added to the product sold in the United States until the FDA required it in January 2016.

While the reports of compulsive gambling by Abilify users started slow, with 54 cases reported to the FDA between 2005 and 2013, it is believed that this association is difficult to make and is probably greatly underreported. In 2014, 29 reports were submitted to the FDA and in 2015, 153 cases were reported. Due to the difficulty in making this association, the number of actual cases is probably much higher.

Case Studies

At this point, there is a growing body of scientific studies making this association clearer. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) have published several articles regarding Abilify and compulsive behaviors including gambling. The most recent article, published in December 2015, found of 17 cases studied 16 were possibly caused by the drug. The study also found compulsive gambling was more severe with Abilify than with dopamine replacement therapy.

One case study, published as early as 2011 in the British Journal of Psychiatry (BJPsych), found that use of Abilify adversely affected the subjects gambling activity and that gambling became a “reason to live” for one. Another case contemplated criminal activity in order to obtain gambling funds. The study also found these urges to subside after discontinued use of Abilify, or changing to another medication.

Lawsuits

Drug manufacturers and sellers have an obligation to inform medical providers and patients of potentially damaging side effects of the products they sell as they become known. Considering Bristol Meyers Squibb and Otsuka were required to add a warning of this potential side effect in Europe and Canada in 2012, but continued to market the drug in the United States, their most lucrative market, without a similar warning or even a mention of gambling in the product literature for four years until required to add the warning in 2016 indicates the manufacturers provided false and misleading information regarding the risk of compulsive behaviors that could occur with use of the drug.

A case filed August 17, 2016 alleges that use of Abilify influenced in excess of $75,000 in gambling losses. This is one of dozens of lawsuits filed in this regard.

Nevada Abilify Lawsuit

There are a growing number of lawsuits being filed by former users of Abilify, alleging that the manufacturers engaged in false and deceptive practices in their marketing of this drug. If you or a loved one was prescribed Abilify and can document significant gambling losses during the use of the drug, the Richard Harris Law Firm would like to discuss your potential case with you. Call to discuss your situation with us at (702) 444-4444.

Nevada law firm, Law firm Las Vegas

Filed under: Auto Accident, Blog

September 15, 2016

Why does the legal process take so long?

It’s a matter of trade-offs. You, the consumer, are caught between two possibilities when you’re involved in an accident. On one hand the insurance company is willing to pay some quick, easy money as full…

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legal-process-outsourcing-1

It’s a matter of trade-offs. You, the consumer, are caught between two possibilities when you’re involved in an accident. On one hand the insurance company is willing to pay some quick, easy money as full payment for the claim. You will have money to get you past the accident, but you may have some aches and pains or more serious injuries to deal with on your own. If you hire a lawyer, the lawyer will attempt to file a claim with the insurance company to make you whole, that is like it never happened but it takes time to get the process done.

By making you whole, it means that you will get the treatment you need so that your injuries are totally mended. It also means that it’s the lawyer’s goal to regain all losses suffered as a result of the accident, whether medical or financial. This can include time off from work to obtain treatment or other business having to do with the accident, among other financial hardships an accident can bring.

Investigation

One of the first steps in any case is to investigate any insurance coverage that may apply to you in this accident. Certainly the other driver’s policy will determine a great deal of the coverage, but your own policy may include uninsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage, as well as medical payments to you for an accident you’re involved in. If you are living with a family member, other coverages may be available through their policies. One of the reasons to hire a lawyer, rather than attempt to navigate this on your own, is the lawyer’s familiarity with the territory. Your lawyer will investigate all the possible areas of coverage for your case.

Treatment

Once coverage has been determined, a medical assessment needs to be done with your doctor, or a doctor with whom the lawyer has established relationships. Treatment plans can then be set up to get the medical treatment and therapy needed to restore your health.

It is only after all the medical treatment is finished that a claim or demand is then filed with the insurance company. This is actually where the negotiations begin. All of the adverse you have suffered as a result of the accident will be documented in the demand, including medical expenses, other financial loses, and pain and suffering. Depending on the medical treatment required, it may take several months, and in some exceptional cases years, to arrive at this point in the process.

Negotiation

Most cases at the Richard Harris Law Firm settle in the negotiation phase. However, due to disagreements over fault, or a divergence of opinion over the proper value to fairly resolve the case, a litigated settlement or lawsuit may be required. Your attorney will apprise you of the options available. If it is determined that the only way to obtain a fair settlement is to file a lawsuit, that will be done at this point. Otherwise, a settlement is agreed upon and proper documents are signed and a financial distribution takes place.

Litigation

Preparing for a court case is a longer process, which involves several distinct phases. The discovery process allows communication to proceed between law firms to produce documents and to allow parties to the case to give sworn testimony regarding various facts of the case. Depositions are obtained from parties close to the case, police officers who responded, medical providers who treated the victim, among others. The resolution may involve arbitration, mediation, or even a trial where attorneys argue the case in a court with a judge and jury present.

Why does the legal process take so long?

It comes from the lawyer’s objective to make you whole again. The Richard Harris Law Firm employs lawyers who are familiar with this territory and know what needs to be done to achieve that objective. The trade-off is time. The legal process takes time and requires a level of accuracy that will withstand the attacks of adversaries who want to stop the process. Building this type of case requires the talents of gifted attorneys, and that’s the commitment you get when you retain our firm. Call us today for a consultation at (702) 444-4444.

See also:

The Case Resolution Process and associated videos.

Nevada law firm, Law firm Las Vegas

Filed under: Blog

September 8, 2016

Along the Waze

THE FUTURE OF NAVIGATION You’ve heard of Apple Maps and Google Maps; now the next big thing in the GPS world is Waze – a navigation application for smartphones. Founded in 2006 under the name…

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The Future of NavigationTHE FUTURE OF NAVIGATION

You’ve heard of Apple Maps and Google Maps; now the next big thing in the GPS world is Waze – a navigation application for smartphones. Founded in 2006 under the name “FreeMap Israel,” Ehud Shabtai created the app to offer a free, convenient map of Israel, updated in real-time. In 2008, the app became “Waze,” and in 2013 Google bought Waze for $1.1 billion.

So, what makes Waze so unique?

It is a community-driven application. Real people report traffic
patterns, accidents, red-light cameras, hazards and police activity in real time. Once a condition is reported, it shows up to other users and they confirm whether it’s still there. If enough people click the “not there” button, instead of the thumbs up, the alert disappears. The ability to input gas prices is also a cool feature, helping Waze users find the cheapest gas around.

If on your way to a destination you run into bad traffic, Waze adjusts your estimated time of arrival while stuck in traffic, or you find another route. One prime feature in Waze is the ability to send friends and family your route and updated ETA. Upon entering your destination, a screen will pop up where you have the option to share your drive with those on your friends list. Once you choose a person, they’re alerted to your time of arrival and have the option to view your drive along the way. If you and a friend are going to the same location, and you both input your destination into the app, a pop up will show you and your friend’s progress. This feature avoids having to wait for a friend running late, or for syncing up arrival times
for multiple people. You can also send a little “beep beep” to friends also driving – Waze’s version of Facebook’s poke.

You have a profile on Waze where you choose an avatar to represent you on the road. Waze shows the relative locations of other drivers via little characters. This helps the application recognize traffic patterns on its own with no user input. Another cool feature is the ability to change voice navigation settings to various languages, different accents and even promotional voices. When Terminator Genisys came out, you could select Arnold Schwarzenegger to navigate your drive. Different voice additions make the driving experience a lot more entertaining – especially while stuck in traffic.

Once a Waze user, most say they won’t use another GPS application. It is by far the most accurate and helpful app to get from point A to point B, and the ability to send arrival times to friends and family is unparalleled. See you along the Waze.

Nevada law firm, Law firm Las Vegas

Filed under: Auto Accident, Blog

August 25, 2016

Insurance Company Objectives

The release, the whole release, and nothing but the release You’ve just had a car accident. You were rear-ended at a traffic light. You still hear the boom of the impact and the crunch of…

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8.25

The release, the whole release, and nothing but the release

You’ve just had a car accident. You were rear-ended at a traffic light. You still hear the boom of the impact and the crunch of metal, as you mentally replay the accident over and over in your mind. You’re probably in a bit of shock from the impact, but you’ve kept your head enough to exchange information with the other driver. You even took some pictures of the damage to your car, and the damage to the other car, including its license plate. You’re asked if you need to be transported to the hospital for injuries, which you decline, because, at this point, you’re not feeling any pain.

Your car is drivable, and you decide you’re in good enough shape to drive. You go on to your destination, knowing that you’re insured, and certainly the insurance company will take care of you. All their marketing efforts have given you the reassurance that they’ll be there for you, and that they’re “on your side.” You file the claim and, feeling a bit vulnerable, you’re surprised that they offer you a check very quickly to cover the damage to your car, and depending on the severity of the accident, there may be some extra for medical coverage. Your first reaction is that you were right…they are there for you.

At this point, you need to STOP, and whether you’ve started feeling pain or not, see a doctor to properly assess the extent of your injuries, and then contact a lawyer. This is because acceptance and cashing of the check the insurance company offers comes with a steep price. In order to get the check, you must sign a document called a release and waiver.

The release does some very important things. The release is the insurance company’s stop loss. The release says legally, that this claim is concluded, and that your insurance company has no further responsibility for this incident. And you realize, perhaps too late, that the insurance company’s objectives are perhaps different from yours, and that the side they’re on isn’t necessarily yours.

The aftermath

Within days of the accident, you begin to feel a dull pain in your shoulders and neck that won’t go away. While you felt reasonably good physically after the accident, largely due to endorphins that your body pumped out (it’s called the flight or fight reaction to the stress of the accident); you’re now calm again, but oh, that dull thud in your back.

You realize that you should see a doctor about that, and your doctor or chiropractor indicates that you’ve suffered soft tissue damage to the muscles and ligaments of your neck and upper back, that will require therapy for several weeks at least. There may even be pain medications, and in some cases, it may require surgery.

If you accepted their check, or signed the release, none of this is covered, because you signed a document that released your insurance company from any and all future claims.

Objectives

The insurance company’s objective is to settle quickly and unreasonably, for as little money as possible. But the objective of a skilled attorney is to make sure your settlement will be fair and reasonable to the injuries you sustained, with proper and complete medical treatment to restore you to the health you enjoyed before the accident.

Just In Case

The Richard Harris Law Firm has helped thousands of accident victims navigate the murky waters of getting a proper and complete settlement after an auto accident. Typically, a claim handled by an attorney will yield three times the value of a claim managed without an attorney.

We can help. If you’ve had an accident for which you were not at fault, give us a call to discuss the situation at (702) 444-4444.

Nevada law firm, Law firm Las Vegas

Filed under: Blog, Drug Injury

August 17, 2016

NEXIUM, PRILOSEC AND PREVACID LINKED TO SERIOUS SIDE EFFECTS

Some of the most commonly taken medications in the United States are treatments for acid reflux or heartburn and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). These include a class of drugs called Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI). Nexium,…

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Prilosec Nexium and Prevacid LawsuitSome of the most commonly taken medications in the United States are treatments for acid reflux or heartburn and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). These include a class of drugs called Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI). Nexium, Prilosec, and Prevacid are perhaps the best known PPIs and are available as both over-the-counter and prescription treatments.

Experts acknowledge that PPI use should be limited. Harvard Medical School Associate Professor and co-author of a study that linked PPI use to bone fracture, Dr. Andrew Chan M.D., says: “You really want to encourage patients to take the lowest effective dose that manages symptoms effectively, for the shortest possible duration.”

Prolonged use of PPI’s has been linked to several serious negative side effects ranging from bone fracture to dementia to kidney failure. It appears that the dangers are heightened by prolonged use of the drugs, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued warnings about taking PPIs for longer than a year.

HEARTBURN OR ACID REFLUX AND GERD

Stomach acid is an important ingredient which allows the human body to digest food. Heartburn occurs when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus through the muscle valve where the esophagus and the stomach meet. This valve, called the Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES), allows food to pass into the stomach and then closes.

In some cases, the valve doesn’t close completely, allowing stomach acid to move into the esophagus. This causes a burning sensation in your abdomen which can move into your chest or even throat. If this happens more than twice in a week, it is considered to be Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, or GERD.

Acid Reflux can be caused by eating large meals, lying down after a meal, snacking at bedtime, eating spicy or fatty foods, smoking, obesity, drinking alcoholic or carbonated beverages, and pregnancy, among others. It can also be caused by hiatal hernia, a condition where the stomach and LES move above the diaphragm.

HISTORY OF HEARTBURN TREATMENT

Some of the earliest treatments for acid reflux were antacids, such as Rolaids and TUMS, which contained calcium carbonate. These treatments did not affect the amount of acid produced by the stomach, but neutralized the acid in the stomach.

The next wave of treatments were called H2 receptor antagonists, or H2 blockers, such as Tagamet, Pepcid and Zantac. These medications actually reduced the amount of stomach acid produced by the lining of the stomach, which allowed the esophagus to heal from acid burns.

More recently, Proton Pump Inhibitors were introduced. PPIs alleviate symptoms of GERD and acid reflux by blocking the enzyme in the stomach wall responsible for the production of stomach acid. These medications include Nexium, Prilosec, and Prevacid.

SIDE EFFECTS BECOME APPARENT

PPIs have been available in the U.S. since 1996, and their use is so prevalent, side effects have manifested themselves over time. The manufacturers have generated billions of dollars in revenue from sales of medications which contain PPI’s. Nexium alone sold 18 million prescriptions in a one-year period from July 2013 to June 2014, generating $6.3 billion in revenue.

The widespread availability of PPIs, both as prescription strength and over-the-counter forms, has led to overuse. Negative side effects linked to PPIs can manifest when the medications are taken for longer than a year, taken more than once a day or both. Over the past several years the FDA and numerous medical journals have warned that overuse of PPI drugs can cause serious side effects ranging from muscle spasms, irregular heartbeat, bone fracture (particularly in women), and dementia, among several others.

Perhaps the most concerning, however, are the recently reported findings that prolonged use of PPI drugs causes chronic kidney disease and ultimately, kidney failure. In January 2016, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA Internal Medicine) reported research that showed patients who take PPIs once a day had a 15 percent greater risk of chronic kidney disease and taking PPIs twice a day subjected patients to a 46 percent greater risk of chronic kidney disease.

This follows an April 2015 report from the Canadian Medical Journal, CMAJ Open, that warned that users of PPI drugs may be 2.5 times more likely of suffering acute interstitial nephritis, leading to inflammation and ultimately kidney failure.

PPI LAWSUITS

As a result of the recent study results, patients are now filing lawsuits against PPI manufacturers for failure to warn of the serious side effects, especially of the kidney problems which have been linked to overuse of PPI drugs. It is thought that hundreds and maybe thousands of lawsuits may be coming.

The Richard Harris Law Firm is interested in evaluating whether you may have a claim. If you have taken Nexium, Prilosec, or Prevacid, or other PPI medication, for longer than a year, and have suffered kidney disease, call us today to discuss your potential case with our representatives at (702) 444-4444.

Read More

Prolonged use of a proton pump inhibitor reduces microbial diversity: implications for Clostridium difficile susceptibility

Proton-Pump Inhibitor Therapy Induces Acid-Related Symptoms in Healthy Volunteers After Withdrawal of Therapy

http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/SafetyInformation/SafetyAlertsforHumanMedicalProducts/ucm245275.htm

Use of proton pump inhibitors and risk of hip fracture in relation to dietary and lifestyle factors: a prospective cohort study

Proton Pump Inhibitors and Risk of Incident CKD and Progression to ESRD

Association of Proton Pump Inhibitors With Risk of Dementia

Proton pump inhibitors and the risk of acute kidney injury in older patients: a population-based cohort study

H2 Blockers (Acid Reducers) for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Use of proton pump inhibitors and risk of hip fracture in relation to dietary and lifestyle factors: a prospective cohort study

The Purple Pill Problem: PPIs and Serious Side Effects

Proton pump inhibitors

Prilosec Side Effects

Nexium Side Effects

Prevacid Side Effects

Nevada law firm, Law firm Las Vegas

Filed under: Blog, Community

August 11, 2016

DISCOVER Southern Nevada

Las Vegas tourists know they need to make time to see the Bellagio Fountains and head to Downtown Las Vegas for the Fremont Street Experience. They have to be prepared for deep crowds and long…

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Discover NevadaLas Vegas tourists know they need to make time to see the Bellagio Fountains and head to Downtown Las Vegas for the Fremont Street Experience. They have to be prepared for deep crowds and long lines. I’ve lived in Las Vegas for over 40 years, and I’ve been to every corner of Southern Nevada. I enjoy the popular sights when friends come to town – but what about attractions not appearing in most travel guides? Here are some of my favorite places, including some hidden gems.

  1. Pinball Hall of Fame (1610 E. Tropicana Ave., Las Vegas, NV/pinballmuseum.org)Visitors can browse and play the collection of nearly 200 vintage pinball machines in perfect working order. Open daily and free to enter, visitors can spend hours reliving their childhood memories and introduce new generations to the love of pinball.
  1. National Atomic Testing Museum (755 E. Flamingo Rd., Las Vegas, NV/nationalatomictestingmuseum.org) The National Atomic Testing Museum is a national science, history and educational institution telling the story of America’s nuclear weapons testing program at the Nevada Test Site, the primary testing location of American nuclear devices. The Nevada Test Site hosted over 1,000 nuclear detonations between 1951 and 1992. The museum is open from Monday to Saturday.
  1. The Neon Museum (770 Las Vegas Blvd. North, Las Vegas, NV/neonmuseum.org) The nearly two-acre “Boneyard” houses over 200 discarded, donated and loaned signs telling the unique story of the development of Las Vegas and its rich history. The boneyard collection is only available to the public through one-hour-long guided tours reserved online.
  1. Springs Preserve (333 S. Valley View Blvd., Las Vegas, NV/springspreserve.org) The 180-acre cultural institution commemorates the vibrant history of the Las Vegas Valley and provides a vision for a sustainable future through award winning exhibits, habitats and gardens.
  1. Bonnie Springs Ranch (16395 Bonnie Springs Rd., Las Vegas, NV/bonniesprings.com) Originally built in 1843 as a stopover for wagon trains on the Old Spanish Trail, the ranch is located in the heart of Red Rock Canyon and includes a zoo, restaurant and replica of an 1880’s mining town.
  1. Valley of Fire State Park (29450 Valley of Fire Rd., Moapa Valley, NV/parks.nv.gov/parks/valley-of-fire-state-park) Nevada’s oldest and largest state park contains spectacular rock formations, areas of petrified wood and 3,000 year-old Indian petroglyphs.
  1. Pioneer Saloon (310 W. Spring Street, Goodsprings, NV/pioneersaloon.info) The 1913 saloon mixes the history of Early Southern Nevada and Old Hollywood. Clark Gable drank here after the death of his wife, Carole Lombard, in a plane crash on nearby Double Up Peak.
  1. First Friday (Downtown Las Vegas/ffflv.org) This outdoor street fair in the heart of the Las Vegas Arts District celebrates art, food, music and community.
  1. The Mob Museum (300 Stewart Avenue, Las Vegas, NV/themobmuseum.org) The Mob Museum offers a provocative, interactive and authentic view into the history of the battle between organized crime and law enforcement. Stories are brought to life through hundreds of artifacts and displays.
  1. Clark County Museum (1830 S. Boulder Highway, Henderson, NV/ clarkcountynv.gov/depts/parks/pages/clark-county-museumThis fascinating site features a timeline of Southern Nevada from pre-historic to modern times and a collection of restored historic buildings depicting daily life from different decades.
  1. DISCOVERY Children’s Museum (360 Promenade Place, Las Vegas, NV/ discoverykidslv.org/) The mission of DISCOVERY Children’s Museum is to provide a vibrant and engaging experience through exhibits and programs redefining Las Vegas as a city that values culture and the arts, an urban lifestyle and its children.
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Filed under: Blog, Legal Information

July 27, 2016

How to Wreck Your Personal Injury Case: Use Social Media

Nowadays, everyone is using social media. It’s great for updating your own information and checking out someone else… just about anyone you want to find information about. It’s also true anyone can search for information…

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Don't let social media ruin your caseNowadays, everyone is using social media. It’s great for updating your own information and checking out someone else… just about anyone you want to find information about. It’s also true anyone can search for information about YOU. And that’s just why it’s so important to protect yourself – especially if you have a personal injury case.

Don’t you think the insurance adjuster is going to Google you, check out your Facebook profile, and follow you on Twitter for anything possible to make you look bad, embarrass you or use against you to diminish the value of your case?

If you’re going to have your deposition taken, don’t you think the insurance defense attorney has checked you out in every possible way on the Internet, maybe through an investigator and even with video surveillance? When insurance attorneys are preparing deposition or trial questions for you, they’re likely to know everything about you posted on the Internet or found in public records.

After an injury, the best advice is Do Not Post on the Internet, especially on social media sites, until your case is concluded. While you probably won’t take down your social media sites altogether, if there’s no new information posted after your injury, there’s less to be used against you.

A personal injury insurance adjuster’s job is to pay as little as possible for your injury claim. If you provide comments or describe activities on your social media profile, inconsistent with the severity of your claimed injuries, it can be used to attack your credibility and devalue your claim.

Even if you have the most stringent privacy settings enabled, the defendant’s attorney and insurance company can access your information though the civil discovery process, or by a subpoena.

Who, Me? Consider These Examples…

  • If you injured your back in a car accident and are claiming you can’t perform heavy lifting, you’re constantly in pain and can’t engage in normal recreational activities, it wouldn’t be a good idea to post a video of you catching and holding a 100-pound tuna on a fishing trip in Mexico. The insurance adjuster on your personal injury claim will use this information against you to make you look like you’re lying or at least exaggerating your injuries.
  • Consider, for example, the difference between posting, “Dancing last night was great!” and “I had fun watching you guys dance.” If you went “skiing” with friends, but sat in the lodge and never actually skied, make that clear. If you went bowling, but sat out the last game because your back injury flared up, say so!
  • If your Facebook page mentions your love for street racing, and you’ve been injured in an auto accident, where you and the other driver blame each other for speeding and running a red light, don’t you think your online information will lessen the value of your claim?

Remember, the insurance adjuster and opposing attorney on your case will be searching for details regarding you and your claimed injuries. Ideally, it would be best to close down your social media sites during your case. This will ensure you and your friends don’t post any damaging information that will be used against you.

If you insist on using social media, here are a few simple rules you should follow.

  • Check your privacy settings and make your personal information and posts private.
  • Keep your case private. Don’t post any photos of your accident or give any information regarding recovering from your injuries, or activities which may be construed to be inconsistent with your claimed injuries. Ask your friends not to post about your injuries and activities. If you send a message, know who you’re sending it to.
  • For Facebook users, you can remove yourself from showing up in Google’s search results, too. Go to your privacy settings page and uncheck the box under Public Search Listing.
    This is a must.
  • When uploading photos, be selective. Ask yourself, “Will this help or hurt my case?” Set up filters allowing only friends to see your photo albums. For Facebook users, select “Only Me” for people who can view your tagged photos.
  • Only accept friend requests from people you know personally. An insurance adjuster may send you a friend request hoping to gain access to your personal information.
  • Don’t join groups with names or discussions which could compromise your claim.
  • If possible, block all but certain people from viewing your profile. In Facebook, you can do this under the Settings. Additionally, you may want to remove yourself from the Facebook search results. You can do this by selecting “Only Friends” under search visibility.
Richard Harris' parents

Filed under: Blog

July 14, 2016

Living to 90

This blog post is dedicated to Mom and Dad, Don and Janeen Harris, who lived long and well. Men and women above the age of 90 are the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population. That’s…

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Richard Harris' parents

This blog post is dedicated to Mom and Dad, Don and Janeen Harris, who lived long and well.

Men and women above the age of 90 are the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population. That’s remarkable since the average life expectancy in the U.S. in 1900 was only 49 years.

Research in this age group has been sparse until recently – for obvious reasons. What we know is there are several key factors these long-lifers have in common. By incorporating these into your life, you can raise your odds of not only living to 90 and beyond, but also living well in your older years.

So, what seems to make a difference in living long?

Move

Physical activity keeps your muscles toned, your blood pumping and your brain enriched. It need not be a dedicated workout session, just commit to a block of time. Stand up and stretch. Walk around the block. Take your dog to the park. Lift weights. Tend to your yard, plant seasonal flowers and hand-water your grass, trees and bushes. Exercises that help you maintain your balance can help you avoid falls and injuries. The goal is to keep your body used to doing physical things and maintaining your physical strength. Turning off the TV helps your heart.

Use Your Mind

Keep your mind active and busy. Much like muscles, your mind loses its sharpness when it’s not used and challenged. Crossword or similar puzzles help your brain maintain cognitive abilities. Have deep conversations and debate topics with your friends and family. Write letters, or write a book. Learn new skills, and use a computer to open up new worlds and help stay connected with your family and friends.

Maintain a Sense of Purpose

Attend church or volunteer your time to expand your social circle and keep connected. Focus on hobbies and activities to lower the chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Relax and Sleep

Minimize stress in your life by recognizing what you can and cannot control. Why worry about things you can do nothing about? Doctors suggest yoga, meditation and deep breathing to relax. Also, study after study proves how important it is to get enough sleep. If you’re not getting 7-8 hours of sleep, talk to your doctor. Rule out physical or mental problems (like depression) and find out if your medications are to blame. And there’s more good news: Naps are good! Research suggests those who take a regular snooze are 37% less likely to die from heart disease than those who don’t.

Eat and Drink Right

Talk to your doctor about what you’re doing right and could do better. Keep your cholesterol and glucose numbers in the healthy ranges. When you go grocery shopping, buy more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fish, chicken and lean beef. Cook with healthy fats, like olive oil. Stay hydrated with lots of water each day, and watch out for too much fruit juice, which is naturally high in sugar and calories.

Leave a little food on your plate. A study found the oldest Japanese people stop eating when feeling only about 80% full.

What about alcohol? The medical studies are conflicting. If your doctor says alcohol is okay for you, and you drink in moderation, it will probably not take away years. If you don’t drink, you shouldn’t drink for health benefits.

Do we really need to remind you to stop smoking? It’s never too late.

Share Yourself

Married, divorced and widowed people all tend to live longer than those who have never tied the knot. Research suggests it’s because these social and emotional connections are good for you. Get a pet! A dog or cat can add years to your life because you’ll love and share the purpose that pet ownership provides.

Get Going

Stop thinking, “It’s too late for me.” Your older years can be rich and rewarding. Phase in small changes that will add up. Get your friends and family involved and talk about how you’re not only going to live past 90, you’re going to do it well – mentally, physically and spiritually.

Story inspired by and statistics outlined from 90+, a Lesley Stahl segment on 60 Minutes, May 4, 2014, and multiple resources on the World Wide Web, including
WebMD.com.

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Filed under: Blog, Community

July 6, 2016

Students With A Cause 2016 Winners

The Richard Harris Law Firm is pleased to announce the winners of the seventh annual Students with a Cause competition, which focused on the theme, “Just in Case.” More than 30 talented high school students…

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The Richard Harris Law Firm is pleased to announce the winners of the seventh annual Students with a Cause competition, which focused on the theme, “Just in Case.” More than 30 talented high school students submitted entries. Winners were selected in each of the competition’s entry categories:

  • Video: Jordan Dailey (Palo Verde High school), for the video, “Don’t Text and Drive #JustInCase”;
  • Work of Art: Janisse Badere (Chaparral High School), for artwork reinforcing the need for online safety;
  • Short Story or Poem: Samantha Fabela-Andaya (Advanced Technologies Academy), for a short story about repairing damaged relationships.;
  • Website: Pablo Cortez (Advanced Technologies Academy), for his website discussing the dangers of texting and driving.

The four winners were each awarded $1,000 scholarships. Additionally, $500 was awarded to the school of each winning student.

SWAC 2016 Contest Winners
(left to right) Pablo Cortez, Samantha Fabela-Andaya, Richard Harris, Janisse Badere, and Jordan Dailey

In this year’s newly expanded competition, the four winners were encouraged to submit a 30-second video, a work of art, a short story or poem or a website to illustrate the theme, “Just in Case.” A review panel narrowed down the decisions based on creativity, content and clarity of the message. Each winner was chosen based on their interpretation of the “Just in Case theme.”

Sponsored by the Richard Harris Law Firm, the campaign’s goal is to encourage students to express their vision and experiences through creative interpretation, in a way that will engage, motivate and make a difference in their lives and the community. “For seven years, I have been in awe of the talent and insight that lies within the students of Clark County,” says Richard Harris, Founder of the Richard Harris Law Firm. “This year was a perfect example of what our youth can do if given the chance. To be given an open ended topic like ‘Just in Case,’ and to be able to come up with the work that they have is impressive. My focus is to give students a sense of accomplishment and encourage them to create artistically while thinking critically, and I believe that Jordan, Janisse, Samantha and Pablo have done just that. Congratulations to them, and all of the entrants in this year’s Students with a Cause!”

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Filed under: Blog, Drug Injury

June 27, 2016

Onglyza Linked To Heart Failure And Pancreatic Cancer

Onglyza the oral diabetes treatment designed to control blood sugar in patients with Type 2 diabetes, otherwise known as adult onset diabetes, has been linked by studies and lawsuits to serious side effects, which can…

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Onglyza the oral diabetes treatment designed to control blood sugar in patients with Type 2 diabetes, otherwise known as adult onset diabetes, has been linked by studies and lawsuits to serious side effects, which can result in death. Once heralded as the biggest breakthrough in diabetes treatment since insulin, patients using the drug face higher than normal risks of developing heart failure, and/or pancreatic cancer.

What is Onglyza?

Onglyza, a pill taken by mouth containing the active ingredient, saxagliptin, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2009. This drug along with Kombiglyze XR were developed jointly, by AstraZenica and Bristol Meyers Squibb, to treat Type 2 Diabetes sufferers to control high blood sugar for those who did not also suffer from diabetic ketoacidosis.

These medications belong to a class of drugs called incretin mimetics. These DPP-4 inhibitors cause the pancreas to secrete more insulin, and stop the liver from making excess sugar. The intended effect is to control high levels of blood sugar without weight gain.

Side Effects of Onglyza

DDP-4 inhibitors have been widely prescribed since their approval, and dangerous side effects began to surface shortly after widespread use of the drug. As early as 2011, the consumer advocacy organization, Public Citizen, urged patients to not to use the drug until the side effects could be studied further.

Also in that year, the medical journal, “Gastroenterology,” reported that the risks of pancreatic cancer were as high as 2.7 times greater among users of Onglyza than other diabetes sufferers. That year, the FDA required warning labels placed on the drug, warning of pancreatitis.

In 2013, the Journal of the American Medical Association, JAMA, reported serious increased risks of pancreatic cancer, and a study was released showing users of the drug were more likely to be hospitalized for heart failure.

The New England Journal of Medicine published results of a study of over 16,000 patients, showing that patients using Onglyza were nearly 30% more likely to be hospitalized for heart failure, than diabetes patients not using the drug.

Onglyza Regulatory Warnings and Lawsuits

As a result of these studies, the FDA launched an investigation of the drug. The FDA investigation concluded in 2015 with the requirement that AstraZenica place a warning label of increased risk of heart failure on the drug in addition to the warning of pancreatitis that it had previously required.

In 2015, a lawsuit was filed by the daughter of a deceased patient who began using the drug in 2010, and died of complications from heart failure in 2013. The suit alleges that the company manufactured a dangerous medication that it knew was connected to dangerous side effects, but that it failed to warn the medical community and the public of potential dangers from use of the drug, while spending millions of dollars marketing the drug. Hundreds of additional suits have been filed since, with similar allegations.

Also in 2015, Express Scripts, a national prescription drug insurance provider, dropped Onglyza from its National Preferred Formulary, the most widely used formulary in the U.S. Express Scripts coverage guidelines affect which drugs are insured for over 25 million Americans.

Sales of Onglyza have reached nearly $800 million annually, with projections showing possible increases to over $2 billion by 2018.

Symptoms

Symptoms associated with Pancreatic Disease include:

  • Upper Abdominal Pain
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Weight Loss
  • Jaundice
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea/Vomiting

Symptoms of Heart Failure include:

  • Difficulty breathing especially when lying down
  • Swelling of the hands feet ankles
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Fatigue
  • Persistent Cough

Nevada Onglyza Legal Representation

If you, or a loved one have been prescribed the medication, Onglyza, and have suffered symptoms like those described above, we want to speak with you to determine your eligibility to file a lawsuit against the drug manufacturer, for intentionally marketing a drug it knew to be dangerous, without warning you or your doctor of the risks. Please call us at 702-444-4444 to speak with our representative further.

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Filed under: Blog

June 15, 2016

APOCALYPSE NOW

An ideal day turns disastrous when California’s notorious San Andreas Fault triggers a devastating, magnitude 9 earthquake, the largest in recorded history. The premise of a Hollywood disaster film, or the start of an emergency…

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Apocolypse NowAn ideal day turns disastrous when California’s notorious San Andreas Fault triggers a devastating, magnitude 9 earthquake, the largest in recorded history. The premise of a Hollywood disaster film, or the start of an emergency for you and your family? Just in case, are you prepared?

Disaster movies and TV shows are big business in Hollywood, with razed cities, tsunamis, earthquakes and zombie plagues dominating airwaves and movie theaters. These doomsday scenarios bring huge money to box offices as excited fans show up to cheer for their favorite characters. We enjoy disaster movies because they make us feel grateful we’re not the victims. We also picture ourselves being the hero and leading everyone to safety. But what happens when the apocalypse comes off of the screen and meets you at your front door? Do you and your family have a plan?

Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so a communication plan is key. Make sure your family members have an emergency contact card with information for each person in your family, including phone numbers for workplaces, schools and places of other activities. Besides emergency contact cards, it’s a good idea to label your closest contacts in your cell phone with “ICE,” for In Case of Emergency. That way, if you or your family member is incapacitated, emergency responders can contact people.

Sometimes mobile signals can be limited or lost. Satellite phones are ideal, but expensive, so make sure your family signs up for other communication tools that don’t use cellular signals. Luckily, a design firm called Pensa has developed a piece of hardware called the GoTenna, which pairs with most Android and iOS messaging apps. Messages are sent via Bluetooth from the phone to the GoTenna, which then converts the message to an analog version that’s sent over radio signals to receiving GoTenna users. Messages can be sent to groups, and location information can easily be sent to contacts already in the phone. GoTenna also has a recreational use, like staying in contact while hiking since it allows people to communicate anywhere without a signal. It’s cheaper and less bulky than walkie-talkies, and offers far more mobility than HAM radios.

Besides maintaining contact with family, make sure you’re also able to receive information from the outside world to know exactly what the situation is, the areas affected and estimated resolution time. Power is a precious commodity for emergency communications. Disasters may cut off electricity to your home or shelter. Have flashlights, battery operated radios and extra batteries on hand. Even if your phone has service, how long will the power last? That’s where Goal Zero, a company that makes solar-charging devices, comes in. They’ve got solar panels, solar generators and power packs to keep your devices charged in any emergency. But what if cloudy weather keeps the sun from shining? The small portable BioLite CampStove charges USB devices using any burnable biomass (sticks, pinecones, etc.). Since it’s also a stove, the BioLite CampStove lets you boil water or cook. It’s really a handy device for emergencies and recreation.

Always keep a basic emergency supply kit with items that will keep you and your family comfortable and nourished for three to five days. Your kit should include water (a gallon of water, per person, per day) non-perishable food, manual can opener, changes of clothing for weather conditions, matches, bleach and wet wipes for sanitation, and books and games for entertainment.

Hopefully, disasters remain in the movies, but failing to plan is planning to fail. Planning with your family makes you a hero – even without a disaster.

11 THINGS TO CARRY IN YOUR VEHICLE

  1. A Full Gas Tank – Always Top Off When Half Full
  2. First-Aid Kit
  3. Cell Phone Charger and Backup Battery
  4. Flashlight with Extra Batteries
  5. Water and Snacks
  6. Ice Scraper and Snow Brush
  7. Boots, Gloves, and Warm Clothes
  8. Music and Games
  9. Jumper Cables
  10. Flares
  11. Tire Chains
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Filed under: Blog

November 2, 2015

Richard Harris Law Firm Retained in Death of Cryo-Treatment Employee

On October 27, 2015, the Richard Harris Law Firm was retained to investigate circumstances surrounding the death of Chelsea Patricia Ake-Salvacion, 24, who was found frozen and dead inside a liquid nitrogen chamber at Rejuvenice,…

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chelsea-ake

On October 27, 2015, the Richard Harris Law Firm was retained to investigate circumstances surrounding the death of Chelsea Patricia Ake-Salvacion, 24, who was found frozen and dead inside a liquid nitrogen chamber at Rejuvenice, her place of employment. Speaking to reporters at a press conference on Wednesday, October 28, 2015, Richard Harris indicated that the firm retained the case jointly with the law firm of Bradley, Drendel & Jeanney of Reno, NV, to investigate and coordinate with county and state agencies, who are looking into the matter.

Ms. Ake-Salvacion was found by another employee of Rejuvenice on Thursday, October 20. Upon the employee’s arrival at work, Ms. Ake-Salvacion’s body was found in the cryotherapy chamber where the center’s treatments were performed. It was estimated she had been in the chamber for up to 10 hours.

This treatment has become popular in recent years, glamorized by celebrities and athletes who find that the cold temperatures have a therapeutic effect on the body. The treatment has been touted to smooth skin, ease pain, improve circulation, and is rumored to assist with weight loss. Due to the rapid growth of cryotherapy treatment, state agencies do not regulate this type of business in Nevada. Mr. Harris characterized this business as “popular, but unregulated.”

“No agency is really responsible in an ongoing way for monitoring, regulating, testing these machines,” Harris said. “And now we see the results.”

In addition to the lack of regulation regarding the machines, the owners of the business could not provide proof of Worker’s Compensation coverage when asked. Both locations of Rejuvenice in the Las Vegas area are now closed.

Mr. Harris indicated that there are several areas of interest, which could serve as the foundation for a product liability suit. Ms. Ake-Salvacion, the manager of the Rejuvenice location where she was found, had texted about a possible nitrogen leak in the machine, noting that the nitrogen appeared to be used quickly. One area of investigation will be the monitoring and delivery of liquid nitrogen to the unit. Additionally, an oxygen sensor within the unit, intended to monitor breathable oxygen, may have been faulty. The control panel may not have shut the machine off at the proper time, and the lift mechanism, which keeps users’ heads above the top of the machine to allow for breathing of ambient air, may have malfunctioned.

The machine, called a CryoChamber, is manufactured by a company called Juka, headquartered in Poland. Ms. Ake-Salvacion was well versed in machine operations, having been trained and certified in its use. While much has been made of her operation of the machine after hours with no other employee present, Mr. Harris indicates that this was a common practice for employees to use the machine after hours and alone.

At this point, the Clark County Coroner has not announced a cause of death, due to pending toxicology reports.


An account for donations to help with funeral and family travel expenses to Hawaii has been set up in the name of Chelsea Ake at Bank of Nevada – account number 8011204842.


 

news-conference-rick

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Filed under: Blog

October 26, 2015

Beware of Injury Loan Companies – If it seems too good to be true, it probably is..

The Richard Harris Law Firm and their client, Kimberly Gorman, are suing InjuryLoans.com and its manager, attorney Adam Stokes. The Richard Harris Law Firm finds fault with InjuryLoans.com for two reasons. First, InjuryLoans.com charges an…

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caution shrunk

The Richard Harris Law Firm and their client, Kimberly Gorman, are suing InjuryLoans.com and its manager, attorney Adam Stokes. The Richard Harris Law Firm finds fault with InjuryLoans.com for two reasons. First, InjuryLoans.com charges an unlawful interest rate of more than 400%, and is unlicensed to do so in Nevada. Second, InjuryLoans.com interferes with the normal attorney-client relationship, by pushing borrowers away from attorneys that do not assist Injuryloans.com in its business endeavors.

“InjuryLoans.com is an unlicensed, predatory lender which takes advantage of personal injury victims when they are desperate to make ends meet,” said attorney Richard Harris. “Licensed lenders are limited to charging 40% interest – ten times less than what InjuryLoans.com wants. When we advised our clients not to borrow from InjuryLoans.com, the clients were diverted to another lawyer. It’s all spelled out in their business plan. If the handling lawyer doesn’t play ball with InjuryLoans.com, their case gets flipped to another lawyer who will.”

Nevada expressly regulates lenders that charge more than 40 percent annual interest, and requires them to obtain a special license. Neither InjuryLoans.com nor Mr. Stokes has obtained such a license from the state.

Perhaps more troubling is that a loan company would interfere with a pre-established attorney-client relationship, in order to promote its own interests, and not that of their clients. InjuryLoans.com has done that with at least two Richard Harris Law Firm clients. InjuryLoans.com informed Ms. Gorman that, “it could not lend her all she wanted if she remained a client of Richard Harris Law Firm, but could if she changed to the InjuryLoans.com suggested firm.”

Ms. Gorman and the Richard Harris Law Firm seek declaratory judgment that Stokes and InjuryLoans.com operate a high interest rate loan service without a license, that Gorman’s loan is void, punitive damages for deceptive trade practices, conspiracy, intentional interference with contract and other business law violations.

Hundreds of Southern Nevada residents have been targeted by InjuryLoans.com. The law firm of Wolf, Rifkin, Shapiro, Schulman & Rabkin, LLP, intends to file a class action. If you or a family member have been victimized by the predatory lending practices of InjuryLoans.com, please contact Justin Jones @ [email protected]

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:
http://www.courthousenews.com/2015/08/24/law-office-takes-on-injury-loan-company.htm

http://www.reviewjournal.com/business/money/las-vegas-company-sues-state-financial-office

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Filed under: Blog

October 14, 2015

New Nevada Towing Law May Save You Hundreds of Dollars

Changes Ahead for the Nevada Towing Industry A new law has just taken effect in Nevada, which is designed to protect consumers and their insurance companies from the Las Vegas towing cabal. Until October 1,…

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tow-truck-law-nevada

Changes Ahead for the Nevada Towing Industry

A new law has just taken effect in Nevada, which is designed to protect consumers and their insurance companies from the Las Vegas towing cabal. Until October 1, 2015, the effective date of the new law, if you were in an accident which required your vehicle to be towed from the scene, good luck! That may be the last time you see your car, due to a rather creative list of charges and fees imposed by the tow companies. Bob Compan of the Nevada Insurance Council states: “They will charge $150 a day storage, plus administrative fee, plus tow charges.”

Las Vegas Metro Police Department (LVMPD) chose two tow companies as their designated tow companies: Ewing Brothers and Quality Towing. These companies have been used by Metro to clear accident scenes for over 30 years. The two companies alternated months and usually took vehicles to their own yards for storage. New Clark County Sheriff, Joe Lombardo, was reportedly disgusted by some of the stories of tow company abuse, and opened a bid process to select a new company to handle all Metro towing needs rather than continue the practice that placed the two towing companies in a favored position.

Prior to the effective date of the new law, called Assembly Bill 385 in the 2015 legislative session, you may have been required to pay tow and storage fees, and you may have been charged additional fees, such as clean up fees, winch fees, forklift fees, window taping fees, a fee to visit your vehicle, lien and auction fees, among others. A typical charge to get your car back amounted to $750 per vehicle, but if the tow company got creative, it may be as much as several thousand dollars. Many tow truck drivers were paid on commission, which created an additional incentive to be imaginative.

Former Henderson mayor Jim Gibson, a proponent of the new law, said, “All the charges were off the charts. You had to have money to get your car back out, so a poor guy who is paycheck-to-paycheck, doesn’t have a real expensive car and something happened, and that car gets towed; he might lose that car. He loses the car, he probably loses his job.”

The new law, which changes Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) chapter 706, requires tow trucks to deliver vehicles they pick up to one of three designated low cost storage yards, unless the vehicle owner signs a form allowing towing to a more expensive lot, bypassing storage fees for the two designated tow companies. Since nearly 33,000 cars are involuntarily towed per year in Clark County, this amounts to a large amount of revenue now going to alternative low cost storage lots. There are three designated low cost lots in the Las Vegas area now, and it is hoped this law will spur the development of additional low cost storage lots, creating competition and lowering costs. The low cost storage lots charge $20 per day storage, rather than $150 you could expect previously. If you are  in need of an attorney contact the Richard Harris Law Firm today.

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Filed under: Blog

July 28, 2015

Journey to Justice

The day dragged on and evening fell as lawyers haggled over money. Money was all that was left to talk about since the accident took both my client’s legs more than a decade ago. Outside,…

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Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 7.50.47 AM

The day dragged on and evening fell as lawyers haggled over money. Money was all that was left to talk about since the accident took both my client’s legs more than a decade ago. Outside, streetlights flickered and I thought of the streetlight, struck by the car my teenage client was riding in that October day in 2002.

Now a 28-year-old woman, my client and I exchanged smiles as my mind wandered back to her deposition years ago. She described the events leading up to the crash and when she was finished the callous defense lawyer said, “That’s it?” My client shot back, “No. That’s just the beginning!” She detailed learning to cope as a double amputee, with multiple surgeries and ongoing complications. I thought of the teenage boy who died in the crash and how his family’s lawyer from another firm took the small quick settlement and moved on. I contrasted our 13-year legal battle, disappointing dismissals and four appeals, which finally brought the reluctant defendant to the settlement conference this day – to pay a fair amount. This passion has driven me through 35-years of helping injured people.

When the confidential settlement was struck, there were a lot of tears and hugs, even the worn out defense lawyers were relieved. As my client and I walked out, I knew “that was it” for me on this case. But for my client, it was “just the beginning –” the beginning of a life with resources and independence, the things money can buy.

To all my clients, thank you for your trust and confidence in allowing us to represent you. And to all the people in the communities we serve, thank you for caring enough about your family and friends in their Journey to Justice, to refer them to us. We are Nevada’s largest personal injury law firm for the people – and according to our clients, the hardest working.

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Filed under: Blog

June 8, 2015

11 Things to Always Carry in Your Vehicle

Road safety should be everybody's top priority. However, life often gets in the way, and remembering to carry certain things with you in case of winter weather, road closures, or other unexpected emergencies can often…

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Nevada law firm, Law firm Las Vegas

Road safety should be everybody’s top priority. However, life often gets in the way, and remembering to carry certain things with you in case of winter weather, road closures, or other unexpected emergencies can often take a back seat to getting the kids to school, grabbing groceries, and running errands. Taking the time to ensure that the following 11 things are in your car at all times can help you be prepared for any situation on the road, and they take very little time to compile. Once you have these items in your car, you’ll be prepared.

A Full Gas Tank

A full gas tank should be your number one priority. You never know when you’ll be stranded somewhere, have to take a detour, or be stuck off-course. Having an empty tank will only make this situation worse. Don’t ever wait until the last minute to fill up your gas tank. Always make sure that your tank is as full as possible, and never let it get below a half tank.

First-Aid Kit

A first-aid kit should be in your car at all times. In the kit make sure you have any medications you or your family members take on a regular basis, band-aids, rubbing alcohol, peroxide, bug bite cream, and other similar items. If injuries occur when you’re on the road, you’ll be able to prevent infection and minimize risk until you can get the injury looked at by a medical professional.

Cellphone and Charger

Never be without your cell phone or a charger. Always make sure you have one that is compatible with your car’s charging mechanism. Try to always have a backup battery with you, as well. This will help ensure you’re never stranded without a way to call for help or look up crucial information.

Flashlight

Whether you’re stranded in the dark or you need to find something under the seat, you’ll be much better prepared for road emergencies if you have a flashlight with you at all times. Try to make sure it’s an LED, high-power flashlight so you can also flag down emergency vehicles with it if need be.

Water and Snacks

If you’re stranded, food and water will quickly become your number one priority. Having a supply of bottled water and snacks that are high on carbs and won’t go bad quickly (canned fruit and veggies, trail mix, dried fruit, and crackers are good starts) is imperative. Also, keep sugary foods and drinks on hand, as well, just in case someone runs low blood sugar.

Ice Scraper and Snow Brush

An ice scraper and snow brush are things are worth having even if you don’t think you’ll run into winter weather. Freak storms, detours, and getting lost are just three situations in which you might run into harsh winter weather that you wouldn’t have otherwise anticipated. These can help you keep your windshield clear and your driving visibility at its highest.

Boots, Gloves, and Warm Clothes

If you’re stuck in cold weather you’re going to want to have warm clothing, boots, and gloves. This is true even if you’re not stuck in the snow or ice. A cold night stranded in a remote area can be enough to cause serious injury and even death if you’re not prepared to stay warm. Never be without a change of warm clothes for everyone in the family — and don’t forget pets!

Music and Games

If you’re stranded, the last thing you want is to be cold, hungry, and bored. Having music and games to keep kids occupied and keep yourself from losing your sanity while you await emergency vehicles or help can be a life saver of a whole different kind. Always have some music and fun things to do with you.

Jumper Cables

Experiencing engine failure or a breakdown is bad enough, but if you have jumper cables with you, all you need is a friendly stranger with a running car to get back on track. Even if getting a jump won’t allow you to travel all the way home, it can often be the difference between having access to repair shops and emergency aid stations, and being stranded. Always carry jumper cables, and be sure you know how to use them.

Flares

In an emergency, your top priority will be flagging down help. However, alerting other cars that you’re broken down can also be helpful. This helps to prevent them from accidentally hit your car as you’re awaiting aid. Flares are helpful for both of these situations, especially in the dark.

Tire Chains

Freak snow storm? It’ll be a lot easier to get through if you have tire chains. This is another “When will I ever use those?” items that people often fail to have in their cars. However, snow can happen in the most unlikely places, and trying to drive through it without tire chains is not only going to be troublesome, it can be deadly and dangerous.

By carrying these 11 things with you in the car at all times, you can drive with peace of mind knowing that no matter what happens you’ll be able to survive and stay safe until help arrives. Make sure every member of your family is aware of where these items are in the car, and that they know how to use them. Keeping a laundry basket with these items in the trunk is a great way to keep everything together in an easily accessible place so they can be retrieved quickly and easily in the event of an emergency.

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May 28, 2015

Does Size Matter When Choosing a Law Firm?

When you compare law firms, you'll see many claims that either a small law firm or a large law firm is best for handling your case. Which argument you hear will depend entirely on the…

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When you compare law firms, you’ll see many claims that either a small law firm or a large law firm is best for handling your case. Which argument you hear will depend entirely on the size of the firm making the claim. To figure out which firm is right for you, consider the following factors.

Personalized Attention

Many small law firms heavily promote that their size allows them to give personalized attention to each case. This will often be true but isn’t necessarily so. In a small firm, each lawyer may have additional roles to play such as business manager, marketing director, or accountant that take time away from their ability to handle their cases.

In a large firm, cases often typically assigned primarily to a single attorney and support team so that the client always talks to the same people that have the best understanding of the case.

To find out if you’ll receive personalized attention, you can’t rely solely on law firm size. Instead, you’ll need to carefully interview each lawyer you speak to about their day to day activities and how much time they have to spend on each case.

Edge: Large Firm

More Resources

Large firms frequently claim to have an advantage because they have more resources to handle each case. In a big corporate case with millions of documents, having multiple lawyers, paralegals, and other support staff working on a case might make sense.

personal injury case usually will need additional help from in the expert witnesses and private investigators. These people rarely work directly for a law firm, and it would in fact be bad if they worked directly for a law firm because all of their work would be seen as being biased for the firm. Instead, they are independent contractors hired by a firm to give their expertise in cases that closely match their experience. Both large and small firms have equal access to these experts.

Edge: Neutral

Reputation

When hiring a lawyer, you are essentially hiring someone to negotiate on your behalf. The reputation of the firm can play a large role in this negotiation process. Of course, this reputation is not widely known publicly as it is between the insurance company and the law firm.

During the negotiation process, the threat of going to trial is a typical strategy employed by accident victim’s lawyer. In most cases, the insurance company will want to settle the lawsuit without going to trial. However, there are those times that the negotiations will break down and result in a trial. The firm’s reputation can alter the negotiations in behalf of the client greatly.

It is unknown what the reputation is for each firm, but the larger firms generally have stronger financial position to pressure the defense into a larger settlement by going to trial and ultimately resulting in higher compensation for the client.

Edge: Large Firm

Experience

You’ll often times hear a law firm state the combined years of experience of the attorneys at their firm. Like discussed above, your case will typically be assigned to one attorney and their staff. Large or small, you could be assigned with either an attorney with decades of experience or only years of experience. Typically, the more complicated the case, the more experienced the lawyer assigned to the case.

At a small firm, you will not have many options for lawyers. At a large firm, if you are assigned with a junior attorney, you are not limited to just their experience. Most large firms have an experienced lawyer overseeing the cases of newer lawyers to discuss cases and share knowledge and strategy.

Edge: Large Firm

The Bottom Line

If you are in the position of hiring an attorney, you are most likely going through a very stressful time in your life. When choosing between law firms, be sure to interview a few and go with the one you would feel most comfortable working with over the next few months or years.

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Filed under: Blog

July 4, 2014

Tips from the National Council on Fireworks Safety

[caption id="attachment_2831" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] ​Personal Injury Law Firm​ Las Vegas, NV[/caption] July 4th Fireworks Safety Starts with Common Sense Tips Using consumer fireworks on our nation’s birthday is as American as apple pie, backyard barbecues…

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​Personal Injury Law Firm​ Las Vegas, NV

July 4th Fireworks Safety Starts with Common Sense Tips

Using consumer fireworks on our nation’s birthday is as American as apple pie, backyard barbecues and parades on Main Street.  And it is equally safe if a few common sense rules are followed, says Nancy Blogin, President of the National Council on Fireworks Safety.  Nancy notes that thanks to testing of consumer fireworks in China, through the American Fireworks Standards Laboratory and other testing programs, and rigorous enforcement of federal fireworks regulations by the CPSC, consumer fireworks today are safer than ever before.  But Nancy notes that fireworks related accidents do occur each year, however, most could be eliminated if some basic safety steps had been taken.