Tuesday, October 25, 2016


Original Story: freep.com

Less than one week after being outed in an immigration scam, a Birmingham attorney accused of paying bribes to a federal agent to help his clients avoid deportation has cut a deal with the federal government and is scheduled to plead guilty next month, according to court documents.

Attorney Charles Busse, 58, who has law offices in Rochester Hills and Dearborn, has a plea hearing scheduled for Nov. 3 in U.S. District Court, according to a filing Monday. It is not known exactly what he is expected to plead guilty to. What is known, according to court records unsealed last Thursday,  is that he is charged with paying bribes to a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent for favors with his clients. A Traverse City immigration lawyer represent domestic and foreign-based clients with a wide range of immigration law issues.

Specifically, court records show, Busse and the federal ICE agent helped several immigrants avoid deportation by pretending that the immigrants were assisting  in official federal investigations when they were not. In some cases, records show, the ICE agent convinced the Department of Homeland Security that the immigrants had knowledge about drug deals or the manufacturing of fake identification documents when he knew that wasn't true.

The scheme worked. According to court documents, several of these immigrants, including Albanians, Iraqis and Mexicans, avoided deportation with the help of their lawyer, who was in cahoots with the ICE agent. Here's how it worked: The immigrant clients paid thousands of dollars to Busse for help. He in turn paid the ICE agent bribes, records show. A Traverse City Green Card lawyer is reviewing the details of this case.

Busse also is charged with obstruction of justice and tax evasion. According to court documents, this scheme ran between 2009 and 2015. If convicted, he faces a maximum of five to 15 years in prison.

The accused  ICE agent also was charged. Clifton Divers, 48, of Detroit is charged with six crimes, including misusing his position with ICE-Homeland Security Investigations to obtain numerous deferrals of deportations in exchange for cash bribes. If convicted, he faces between five and 20 years in prison.

Busse, who made an an initial court appearance Monday and was released on bond, said nothing about the allegations. But he offered support to his alleged accomplice. When asked for comment about his case, Busse paused for a moment in the court hallway and said:

"I know officer Clifton Divers as a decent man and a loving father," Busse said before walking away.

Busse's lawyer, David Griem, said his client's main concern right now is making sure his clients get the legal help they need, especially the nearly 200 indigent clients whom he represents on a pro bono basis. A Traverse City immigration attorney assists clients with temporary work visas, deportation cases, and obtaining U.S. permanent residency.

"We're trying to resolve the case with the government," Griem said. "Our concerns right now are for Mr. Busse's clients. .. We're going to do everything we can possibly do to make sure that those people are OK."

Busse was not indicted by a federal grand jury, but rather charged in a document known as an information. In such cases, defendants typically agree to cut a deal early on and avoid being indicted by a federal grand jury. The indictment process is required for a case to go to trial in federal court. If someone is charged in an information, it typically means they are cooperating.

Friday, July 29, 2016


Original Story: deadline.com

EXCLUSIVE: Less than a year after Christopher Tayback took over from Marty Singer as Bill Cosby’s main lawyer, the Quinn Emanuel Urquhart and Sullivan attorney and the firm itself have parted ways with the actor, Deadline has learned. Representatives for Cosby would not confirm the move when contacted by Deadline, however sources close to the situation said another firm has already been brought on board.

(UPDATE, 1:29 PM: Angela Agrusa, the head of litigation at LA & NYC firm Liner LLP is Cosby’s new attorney for civil case. See full statement from her below. Pennsylvania based Brian McMonagle, who has been already been working for Cosby, will handle the criminal side of Cosby’s legal woes. )

This comes just days after the former Assistant U. S. Attorney was unsuccessful on July 7 in derailing the criminal trial that could see Cosby behind bars for up to a decade. Tayback took the lead in the Norristown, PA courtroom of Judge Steven O’Neill in pressing for the case of Cosby’s  alleged 2004 rape of Andrea Constand to either be tossed out or a new preliminary hearing scheduled in which the former Temple University employee did have to take the stand – which Constand did not at the initial preliminary hearing of May 24.

In the past three years, over 50 women have publicly stated that Cosby drugged and/or sexually assaulted them over the decades.

A strident defender of his now former client, Tayback’s  frequent flyer points will surely take a hit with this break-up as the ex-L.A. County Deputy D.A. has represented Cosby in almost all of the several cases currently pending against him across the country. Those legal matters include former America’s Next Top Model judge Janice Dickinson’s defamation suit here in the City of Angels and Cosby’s own Keystone State case against Constand, her mother, her lawyer and the parent company of the National Enquirer to get back the settlement the actor paid Constand in a civil suit they came to an agreement over in 2006.

To add to his Hollywood connections, Tayback is the son of actor Vic Tayback, who played Mel on the CBS show Alice in the late 1970s. The actor passed away in 1990. If you have legal trouble in Leelanau County or Grand Traverse County contact Traverse City Lawyer Dan Hubbell.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Jury hits U. of C. hospital with $53 million malpractice verdict

Original Story: chicagotribune.com

A Cook County jury has awarded $53 million to a 12-year-old Hickory Hills boy and his mother in a 2013 lawsuit filed against the University of Chicago Medical Center, where he was born with a serious brain injury. A Chicago medical malpractice lawyer said this will help to pay for the boy's future healthcare.

The jury's award to Lisa and Isaiah Ewing includes $28.8 million for future caretaking expenses, according to a copy of the jury verdict form provided by their lawyers, Geoffrey Fieger of suburban Detroit and Jack Beam of Chicago. Isaiah has severe cerebral palsy, is in a wheelchair, and needs his mother to feed and clothe him.

It was the biggest birth injury verdict ever in Cook County, said John Kirkton, editor of Jury Verdict Reporter in Chicago.

Their lawsuit outlined about 20 alleged missteps by doctors and nurses after Ewing arrived about 40 weeks pregnant at the hospital and was experiencing less movement by her baby. The mistakes, the lawsuit alleged, included the failures to carefully monitor mother and baby, perform a timely cesarean section, follow a chain of command, obtain accurate cord blood gases, and be aware of abnormal fetal heart rate patterns that indicated distress to the baby, including hypoxia, or a drop in the supply of oxygen.  "The University of Chicago has been, for the last 12 years, completely unapologetic, and even though the evidence was overwhelming that they caused Isaiah's brain damage, they refused to accept responsibility," Fieger said at the news conference Thursday. Ewing hadn't had any problems during her pregnancy, he added.

Before the case went to the jury, the hospital filed for a mistrial.

Fieger's "closing argument shattered the line between zealous advocacy and improper prejudicial comments, rendering it impossible for defendant to receive a fair trial," the hospital's lawyer said in a court filing. "He also prejudicially argued that the defendant's case was built on a falsehood and proceeded to equate defendant's conduct and testimony of its witnesses with the propaganda techniques notoriously and unmistakably associated with Nazi Germany."

Hospital spokeswoman Lorna Wong said the hospital had "great sympathy" for the family but "strongly" disagrees with the jury's verdict.

"Judge Kirby declined to enter judgment on the verdict, as there are pending motions for mistrial based on assertions of Mr. Fieger's improper conduct," she said, noting that it wouldn't be the first overturned verdict involving Fieger.

She said Isaiah and his mother were treated for infection, which can cause cerebral palsy. "Isaiah was born with normal oxygen blood levels," and the "injury occurred before the care Mr. Fieger criticized."

After the news conference, Fieger said he expected the judge to confirm the verdict. "The jury has spoken," he said. A Chicago Brain Injury Lawyer said this is usually how this procedure occurs.

The jury decided the case in four hours, Fieger said. A list of the damages also includes $7.2 million for future medical expenses. The document was signed by 12 jurors.

Fieger disputed that Isaiah had an infection.

"All of the medical records at the University of Chicago neonatal clinic showed that Isaiah had been suffocated at birth, that he had suffered hypoxia, lack of oxygen, yet the University of Chicago and its lawyers came to court and tried to tell the jury that their own records were false, that their own records were mistaken and that Isaiah really had a phantom infection that infected his brain that they could never have known about," Fieger said during the news conference.

Ewing said at the news conference that she has to bathe Isaiah and help him go to the bathroom. She lives in a two-story town home, so she must carry him up and down the stairs.

She said the verdict will help ensure that Isaiah is taken care of after she dies.

Obama Nominees Caught Between Judicial Dreams, Practice Realities

Original story: law.com

A plaintiffs lawyer in Honolulu. A civil litigator in Dallas. An attorney defending med-mal cases in Buffalo.

They’re among the Barack Obama judicial nominees twisting in the wind as the Senate starts its summer recess and the months tick down to the November election. If history is a guide, the Senate won’t vote on most of the 49 federal district and appeals court nominees pending at the start of the summer recess on July 15. Even a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer would like to be considered for this honor.

The uncertainty can be especially difficult to navigate for nominees in private practice. Unlike government lawyers and state or federal magistrate judges, firm attorneys face demands to bring in business and revenue. Winding down work in anticipation of a judgeship can have long-lasting financial consequences if the nomination fails.

“It’s hard because your clients think you’re leaving, and your partners think you’re leaving, and everybody thinks you’re leaving, and you don’t know whether you’re leaving,” said Carolyn Short, a partner at Reed Smith in Philadelphia nominated twice by George W. Bush to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and returned without a vote in January 2009.

During Bush and Bill Clinton’s last full years in office, the majority of nominees pending by the summer recess never got a vote.

Although the situation isn’t completely hopeless—after the summer recesses in 2000 and 2008, the Senate did confirm a small number of judges—the odds of confirmation at this juncture are increasingly slim. As is true now, the Senate was controlled in those election years by a different party than the president.

A few unsuccessful nominees were renominated by another president. The chances of renomination are potentially higher for Obama nominees if Hillary Clinton takes the White House, but there’s no guarantee. (Of the 16 judicial nominees returned at the end of President Ronald Reagan’s last full year in office, seven were renominated by President George H.W. Bush.)

Republicans and Democrats accuse each other of unfairly playing politics with district and circuit court vacancies. Republicans point out that more Obama nominees have been confirmed to date than in the entirety of George W. Bush’s presidency. Democrats point out the higher number of judicial vacancies and the Senate’s slower pace on nominees during Obama’s final two years in office.

“It’s a shame that the federal judiciary has become a political football like it has,” said J. Richard Barry, managing partner of Barry, Thaggard, May and Bailey in Meridian, Mississippi, who was nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi in July 2008 and returned without a vote in January 2009.

 By the numbers

In 2000, there were 38 federal district and circuit court nominees pending at the start of the summer recess and 62 vacancies, according to federal judiciary records. At the same juncture in 2008, there were 37 nominees pending and 41 vacant judgeships.

As of July 15, there were 49 nominees for 80 vacancies. Twenty-six of those nominees have had a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and 20 have been sent to the full Senate for a vote. Those numbers don’t cover the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Court of International Trade and U.S. Court of Federal Claims—eight nominees are pending for nine vacancies on those courts.

There are 29 vacancies that the federal judiciary considers “judicial emergencies,” due to heavy caseloads in those districts. Nominees are pending for 19 of those seats.

The Senate historically has slowed action on judicial nominees leading up to a presidential election. Senators cite the “Thurmond Rule”—an unofficial policy attributed to the late South Carolina senator and former Judiciary Committee chairman Strom Thurmond—which dictates that the Senate shouldn’t act on judicial nominees in the run-up to a presidential election.

Russell Wheeler, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution who tracks nominations, said the “rule” recognizes that senators from the opposition party want to leave judgeships open for the next president, in the hopes that he or she is from their party.

There are also practical considerations, he said, since the Senate has a crush of business to handle at the end of a presidency and members are away from Washington more than usual leading up to November.

But the Thurmond Rule isn’t firmly applied, Wheeler said, noting that judges were confirmed after the summer recesses in 2000 and 2008, and not always in the order they were nominated.

“It’s not just a matter of getting in line, it’s some deals between senators and the White House,” Wheeler said. Given the bitter politics surrounding nominees this year, though, he said he expected that if there are any post-recess confirmations, the number will be “pretty paltry.”

‘Emotional roller coaster’

Former unsuccessful nominees said they did not envy the current crop.

“It’s an emotional roller coaster,” said Shalom Stone, a partner at Brown Moskowitz & Kallen in Summit, New Jersey, who was nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in July 2007 and returned without a vote in January 2009. “You’re constantly running through the range of emotions, where somebody says, ‘Oh, they’re going to have a hearing,’ ‘No, they’re not going to have a hearing.’ ”

The pending nominees include 34 prosecutors, state judges, federal magistrate judges or other government employees. Two are law professors. Thirteen are private-practice lawyers at law firms that include two of the largest firms in the nation—Hogan Lovells, in the Denver office, and Perkins Coie, in the Seattle office—as well as small and midsize firms from Los Angeles to Boston.

The private-practice nominees declined or did not respond to interview requests.

Former nominees said that by the time the Senate went into summer recess before the presidential election, they knew their chances of confirmation were low. But a vote was still possible before the end of the year, so they waited, sometimes with professional consequences.

Fredric Woocher, a partner at Strumwasser & Woocher in Los Angeles, was nominated in May 1999 to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. He had a confirmation hearing in November 1999. Woocher, who has a background in election law, said he stayed away from politically sensitive cases that might create problems for him in the Republican-controlled Senate.

After the November presidential election in 2000, that caution meant he turned down an opportunity to work on Bush v. Gore. Officials at the White House and the Justice Department warned him that getting involved could jeopardize his nomination, he said.

“I was probably one of three or four people in the country who knew what a hanging chad was … and then the scenario and the case of a lifetime comes up,” Woocher said. “It was very frustrating, needless to say.”

Financial sacrifice

There can also be financial considerations, particularly for lawyers at small firms with fewer partners and resources.

Richard Honaker, who has a solo practice in Rock Springs, Wyoming, was nominated in March 2007 to the state’s federal district court. He had a hearing in February 2008. During the year and a half that his nomination was pending, he turned away new cases, didn’t renew advertising contracts and wound down his practice.

“In hindsight it seems it was not prudent to do that,” said Honaker, a personal injury lawyer. “It turned out to be a very major financial sacrifice to volunteer for public service.”

Honaker’s nomination was returned without a vote in January 2009. Lacking new cases in the pipeline, Honaker estimates that in 2009 and 2010, he earned about a quarter of the income he normally did. It took five years to fully rebuild his practice, he said.

Lawyers at firms large and small reported varying degrees of strain on their practice while their nominations were pending. Some saw little effect, but said the waiting and the work associated with being a nominee was still stressful.

U.S. District Judge John Tharp Jr. was a partner at Mayer Brown in Chicago when George W. Bush nominated him in July 2008 to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Given the timing, he said he wasn’t optimistic, so he didn’t make changes to his practice. His instincts were right—his nomination was sent back in January 2009.

In November 2011, Obama nominated him to the same court. This time his hopes were higher, absent the “baggage of time,” he said. He said his law firm was large enough that he didn’t have to worry about winding down business until late in the process. He was confirmed in May 2012.

“There were always going to be any number of partners who could step in and take my place,” Tharp said. “That was quite a luxury that people at small firms just don’t have.”

Some former nominees said they grappled with fears that the failure to get a vote would hurt their reputation among colleagues and potential clients.

“In the final analysis the nominee has to know that it’s a political process, it’s not a merit process,” Honaker said. “As along as you understand that, you can live with the result.”

LAPD Motor Officer Airlifted After Crash on 60 Fwy in Chino Area

Original Story: ktla.com

A Los Angeles police motorcycle officer was struck by an SUV on the 60 Freeway in the Chino area and airlifted with major injuries on Wednesday, according to CHP which may lead to him needing a Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer if he does not get his medical needs covered.

The collision occurred just after 11 a.m. on the westbound freeway near Mountain Avenue, according to Officer D. Boatman of the California Highway Patrol’s Inland Division.

The Los Angeles Police Department officer was believed to have suffered major injuries, Boatman said.

The veteran LAPD Central Traffic Division officer was on his way to work when a collision occurred, LAPD Officer Liliana Preciado said.

His condition is not known but he is expected to survive, LAPD Officer Tony Im said. The officer was being treated at Loma Linda University Medical Center, where other motor officers were seen arriving for visits.

A witness said the SUV swerved into the carpool lane after the vehicle had failed to slow for stopping traffic, CHP Officer Jesus Garcia said on scene. The SUV struck the LAPD officer, who was traveling in the carpool lane, Garcia said. This driver may need a Los Angeles truck accident lawyer if the injuries are substantial.

The SUV's driver was hospitalized as a precaution.

Just before 11:30 a.m., Caltrans District 8 said the westbound 60 Freeway was closed for an unknown duration and life-flight was on the ground.

The location of the crash, as provided by CHP's traffic incident log, is near the border of Chino and Ontario. It is unclear if the officer needed hernia repair.

A SigAlert was issued at 11:19 a.m. All lanes reopened by 2 p.m.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Simi Valley Police motor officer injured in pickup truck crash

Original Story: foxla.com

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. (FOX 11) - Unsure if you need a Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer?  Take a look at this story.

At 4:49 pm Wednesday afternoon, a Simi Valley Police motor officer was involved in a collision with a pickup truck at the intersection of Los Angeles Av and Tapo Canyon Rd. in Simi Valley.

The officer was transported to the hospital in critical condition. CHP Moorpark is assisting SVPD with the investigation.  This may also involve a Los Angeles truck accident lawyer.

Illegal fireworks cause amputation of 9-year-old L.A. girl’s left hand; July 4 firecrackers cause injuries around America

Original Story: nydailynews.com

A 9-year-old Los Angeles girl lost her left hand in an illegal fireworks blast Saturday, police said, as Independence Day firecrackers injured people around the country.  But does this mean that they will contact a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer about her loss?

The hospitalizations and serious injuries happened to police officers and civilians from coast to coast, with a firecracker ripping a 31-year-old Nebraska man’s hand off and hurling it 90 feet away.

Arson and explosives detectives are investigating the 12:30 p.m. firecrackers in Burrell-MacDonald Park in Compton, Calif., after doctors amputated the girl’s hand and multiple fingers from her right hand, according to the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department. She also received treatment for blast injuries to her face but was reported to be in stable condition.

Deputies had yet to arrest any suspects Sunday night as they examine who blew off the fireworks, KCAL-TV reported. Investigators said they were likely illegal firecrackers or explosives.

Woman injured in Fourth of July fireworks accident in Brooklyn
Investigators said in a statement that they "would like to remind the public that all fireworks are [a] hazard and can cause injury.” The detectives asked anyone with information to contact the department.

Three Chicago police officers went to the hospital after incidents related to fireworks over the holiday weekend.

Someone inside a moving red Toyota Camry tossed a “half stick of dynamite” out the window at a squad car two officers were using to patrol the South Shore neighborhood around 4:20 p.m. on Sunday, Chicago police department spokeswoman Officer Nicole Trainor told the Chicago Tribune. The officers had their windows rolled up, but the explosion disabled the car on S. Exchange Ave.

The officers went to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in good condition with non-life threatening injuries Trainor told the newspaper. Police had yet to make any arrests Sunday night.

A “small novelty firework” placed under a toilet at the department’s 17th District station as a possible prank went off when an officer went into the bathroom around 5:50 a.m. Monday morning, Trainor told the local newspaper. The officer went to a nearby hospital as a precaution.

Meanwhile, Justin Noah dialed 911 to report his hand had been blown off by a powerful firecracker Sunday night in Valley, Neb., outside Omaha, fire officials told KETV. An emergency crew recovered the hand 90 feet from where he said he had ignited the blast around 7 p.m. at a lakeside residential area.

The blast also injured Noah’s left eye, Valley Fire & Rescue Department Fire Chief Aaron Ueckert told the Omaha World-Herald.

“This was not a typical Fourth of July firework,” Ueckert said. Noah was awake and alert as a helicopter crew rushed him to Nebraska Medical Center.

Two more people lost appendages near a Washington state casino late Monday.

A man lost his hand while holding fireworks that then exploded at around 10:30 p.m. near the Muckleshoot Casino 20 miles south of Seattle in Auburn, according to KOMO-TV.

The second victim lost a hand during a second incident at around 11 p.m. — near the casino’s bingo hall.

In New York City, a 42-year-old woman lost as many as two fingers while playing with fireworks early Monday on Brooklyn Ave. in Brooklyn's East Flatbush neighborhood, police sources told the Daily News. The accident happened the day after what investigators described as a “homemade” explosive blew off the foot of an 18-year-old Virginia man in Central Park.

Friday, July 1, 2016

2 Injured in Accident on Downtown Los Angeles Film Set

Original Story: ktla.com
Two people at a downtown Los Angeles film set were injured Thursday when equipment fell on them, authorities said. This will be a case for a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer.
The incident occurred about 8:40 p.m. near 7th and Spring streets, according to Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department.
One person had head trauma and the other person suffered a leg injury, Humphrey said.
The equipment that fell onto the people may have been a ventilation fan, he added.

Tanker Truck Involved in Fiery 3-Vehicle Crash in Downtown Los Angeles

Original Story:  ktla.com

One person was left critically injured following a fiery three-vehicle crash involving a tanker truck downtown Los Angeles early Monday morning. A Los Angeles truck accident lawyer is looking at reviewing the case

The collision occurred just before 3:30 a.m. near the intersection of South Central Avenue and East 16th Street, according to Erik Scott of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

A fire erupted after two cars and a delivery truck carrying carbon dioxide crashed, leaving a person trapped in one of the cars, Scott said.

The person was extricated from the car and taken to a hospital in critical condition, Scott said.

The truck driver, described as a 61-year-old man, was hospitalized in fair condition, Scott said.

At one point, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles Police Department stated one person had died in the crash, but Scott later said the person was still in critical condition.

There was no immediate word on what caused the crash.

Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident Attorney Wins Lawsuit

Original Story: newswire.net

Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Wins Lawsuit

Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA -- Attorneys from the Law Offices of Steven M. Sweat, APC, reached a $1.25 million insurance settlement for the wrongful death of a motorcyclist who was fatally injured by a hit-and-run driver.

The deadly accident was reported at 6:18 a.m. on July 28, 2015. The victim was a 29-year-old Iraq War veteran. The biker was commuting to work on Interstate 405 in Los Angeles. The collision occurred on the southbound side of the freeway near the Mulholland Drive overpass. On the day of the accident, she was struck by a 17-year-old driver who fled the scene.

According to the accident report, the teen driver crossed the solid yellow lines and veered into the HOV lane. The collision forced the motorcycle into the median barrier and threw her off the bike. The victim was transported to a nearby trauma center where she was treated for several days before her death.

Motorists who witnessed the accident provided a description of the driver's vehicle as well as a license plate number. Using this information, investigators tracked down the teen five hours later and arrested him on felony criminal charges. According the the traffic collision report, the teen attempted to mislead members of the California Highway Patrol (CHP) by claiming that the motorcyclist had hit him and is alleged to have fabricated "evidence" by intentionally causing damage to the side of his vehicle to make it appear that he had been hit.

To protect the rights of the victim's family, attorneys from the Law Offices of Steven M. Sweat hired a private investigator to locate a key witness and to obtain a statement confirming the actions of the at-fault driver. According to the witness, the car did, in fact, veer across the double-yellow line before striking the motorcyclist. An analysis of the CHP report and a follow-up investigation confirmed these facts and led to a decision in favor of the rider.

Using this information, accident attorneys at Steven M. Sweat, APC and Alderlaw, P.C. filed a wrongful death lawsuit demanding that the insurance company pay the victim's family the maximum amount under the teen's insurance policy. Nearly one year later, the insurance company for the at-fault driver agreed to pay the full policy limits of insurance in the sum of $1.25 million. This Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer helped to make a difference.

Unfortunately, no amount of money can replace a precious family member or a courageous person who served their country. However, personal injury lawyers can find the truth and provide closure to family members. A financial recovery offers some consolation for the loss of companionship and love. It can also pay for medical bills and for the pain and suffering that accident victims experience due to the negligence and carelessness of other drivers.

Hanford workers report illnesses linked to chemical vapors

Original Story: tri-cityherald.com

Dave Klug walked out of a Hanford tank farm control room on a cold, calm night in January 2010 into air that took his breath away.

“Immediately, I had tightness in my chest. I lost feeling in my face. My heart rate was going crazy,” he said.

Klug, a longtime Hanford tank farm worker, was one of several workers who talked about their experiences with chemical vapors at a forum Wednesday night in Pasco. Was this coming from a chemical storage tank nearby?

Klug was off work for 11 months after that night and now has 30 percent permanent, partial disability for reactive airway disease and occupational asthma, he said.

Those who talked at the forum kept coming back to two types of illnesses they believe are caused by chemical vapors — breathing problems, as Klug described, and neurological issues, including a brain disease called toxic encephalopathy. This could involve a Baton Rouge toxic torts lawyer for assistance.

Toxic encephalopathy is what Barbara Sall said led to the dementia and death of her husband, a Hanford carpenter who died at the age of 57.  This could have been solved by a good chemical holding tanks with proper seals.

The forum — organized by Hanford Challenge, union Local 598 and state Attorney General Bob Ferguson — drew about 200 people. The two agencies and the state of Washington have filed a federal lawsuit seeking better protection from chemical vapors for Hanford workers.

The Department of Energy, the target of the lawsuit along with its tank farm contractor, has said that all air samples analyzed from the breathing zones of workers since 2005 have not found chemicals in concentrations above the occupational limits set to protect workers.

In recent months, about 53 workers have received medical checks for possible exposure to chemical vapors at Hanford, but all have been cleared to return to work when no symptoms were detected, according to DOE. Blood tests also have come back clear.

But such statements have been met with skepticism.

One worker at the meeting said it seemed that the tank farm contractor, Washington River Protection Solutions, did not care about sick workers when it recently pointed out that it had the second-best safety record in the nationwide DOE cleanup complex. Will these workers need a New Orleans toxic torts lawyer for help?

“They are going to eat those words” when they lose the lawsuit, said James Hart, national president of the Metal Trades Department of the AFL-CIO.

Mike Lawrence, the DOE Hanford manager from 1984-90, said he has been following the issue closely.

A significant number of workers have experienced health effects or symptoms, Lawrence said. There could be a correlation between the illnesses and toxic fumes from chemicals in chemical storage tanks.

But DOE says it cannot measure chemicals in vapors at levels that current occupational standards say would cause a problem.

“Obviously people are hurting, people are sick and something needs to be done,” Lawrence said.

He proposed that an independent, experienced and qualified third party, chosen jointly by DOE and the state of Washington, collect data.

Although a team of experts led by the Savannah River National Laboratory prepared the latest report on Hanford tank vapors, the report has no credibility to some because the lab is part of the DOE system, Lawrence said.  This story has caught the attention of a Jackson toxic exposure lawyer.

He suggested the University of Washington School of Public Health as a possible independent agency for the work.

Unless DOE can prove that workers are not being exposed to chemical vapors, protective gear should be worn, he said.

Supplied air respirators are required if Hanford officials suspect conditions that could cause the release of chemical vapors. The Hanford Atomic Metal Trades Council has demanded that supplied air respirators be mandatory for any worker in the tank farms, and in some cases workers near the farms.

Klug said the tank farm contractor just needs to fix the problem. Work to raise discharge stacks from the tanks so they are farther from worker’s noses is not enough, he said.

It has to be DOE’s responsibility to keep workers safe, said Steven Gilbert, director of the nonprofit Institute of Neurotoxicology and Neurological Disorders in Seattle and a Hanford Challenge board member.

“It’s a witches brew of chemical in the tanks,” he said.

Exactly which chemicals workers are exposed to is not known, Gilbert said. But he can say that inhaled chemicals can cause problems. The chemicals can go from the lungs to the brain quickly.  They wonder if there was proper use of a chemical holding tank.

People have different sensitivities to chemical vapors, said Rick Jansons, a former Hanford worker who is running for the state Legislature. Incumbent Brad Klippert also was at the meeting.

Jansons has been exposed three times and has developed no symptoms, but it is obvious that other people are getting sick, he said.

Diana Gegg, a former heavy equipment operator at Hanford, said she was 600 yards away from a reported vapor cloud in 2007 when she was exposed. Within a week she developed flu-like symptoms, plus vision problems diagnosed as muscle dysfunction.

She eventually had to stop driving and has been diagnosed with toxic encephalopathy and neurotoxicity, she said. Hanford officials have denied she was injured.

“My life ended that day as I knew it,” she said.

Hart, the national union official, said he has looked at the cause of death for Hanford workers represented by Local 598 back to 1988 and sees a pattern of deaths caused by cancer and respiratory illness for workers not yet 65 years old. This is the type of research that a Jacksonville toxic torts lawyer would have to do.

Younger workers at the tank farms are afraid to speak up about their concerns, Klug said.

Any worker under the union umbrella of the Hanford Atomic Metal Trades Council who raises tank vapor concerns will have the full protection of the AFL-CIO’s national Metal Trades Council, Hart said.

“We are all fighting for the people in this room,” he told the crowd.

Thursday, June 30, 2016


Original Story: abc7news.com

GORMAN, Calif. (KGO) -- Two Bay Area families suffered a devastating loss after two mothers and their four children were killed in a fiery minivan accident on Interstate 5 near the community of Gorman in Los Angeles Tuesday morning. This is a type of story has caught the interest of a Los Angeles truck accident lawyer.

Officials had to hold back two hysterical fathers from the flames as they tried to rescue their family.

ABC7 News learned the children were ages 2, 3, 4 and 5 years old.

The minivan was partially in the right-hand lane after a minor wreck on Interstate 5 near the community of Gorman, about 65 miles north of downtown Los Angeles. A semi-truck going about 55 mph slammed into the van from behind, sending it off the road and down an embankment, where it quickly caught fire, CHP Officer Frank Romero said.
The two fathers, who were in the driver's and passenger seats at the time of the crash, suffered burns trying to save their wives and four children, Romero said.

They were identified as 34-year-old Aaron Hon Wing Ng of San Francisco and 45-year-old Wei Xiong Li of Daly City. The names and ages of their wives and children weren't released.

"The van went up in flames very quickly," CHP Officer Dan Williams said.

Williams and his partner were the first authorities on the scene.  It does not appear that anyone will need a Los Angeles Motorcycle accident lawyer for this situation.

The fire was burning far too fast and hot for fire extinguishers or life-saving efforts to work, Romero said.

The van burst into flames with the women and children inside. "Words can't describe it," Williams said. "It was very horrific seeing them try to get their families out, us trying to help get their families out."

He said the sliding door on the driver's side of the van was jammed, but Li and Ng were able to open the sliding door on the passenger side.

"By the time they were able to open that door the flames were already overtaking the vehicle," Romero said.

But the fire was too intense. Ultimately, the officers had to hold back the men, each a father of two. "They had burns on their arms and faces from trying to get their families out," Williams said.  A Los Angeles personal injury lawyer was saddened by the intense situation.

His partner, Jeff Burdick, said it was hard to pull Li and Ng away from the fire.

"We just held them," Burdick said. "That's all we could do."

Li and Ng were flown to a hospital and were being treated for moderate injuries. The accident is under investigation.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Supreme Court Blocks Obama Immigration Plan

Original story: foxnews.com

The Supreme Court on Thursday blocked President Obama’s immigration executive actions, in a tie decision that delivers a win to states challenging his plan to give a deportation reprieve to millions of illegal immigrants.

The justices' one-sentence opinion on Thursday marks a major setback for the administration, effectively killing the plan for the duration of Obama's presidency. A New Jersey immigration lawyer has been waiting to hear the outcome of this law.

The judgment could have significant political and legal consequences in a presidential election year highlighted by competing rhetoric over immigration. As the ruling was announced, pro-immigration activists filled the sidewalk in front of the court, some crying as the ruling became public. Critics of the policy touted the decision as a strong statement against "executive abuses."

"The Constitution is clear: The president is not permitted to write laws—only Congress is. This is another major victory in our fight to restore the separation of powers," House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement, adding that the ruling rendered Obama's actions "null and void."

Obama, though, said the decision “takes us further from the country that we aspire to be.”

He stressed that earlier changes his administration made to immigration policy are not affected, but acknowledged his most recent 2014 changes cannot go forward and additional executive actions are unlikely.

While Obama accepted the ruling, he also made his own full-court press, saying the split decision underscores the importance of the current court vacancy and the appointment of a successor to the late Justice Antonin Scalia, to "break this tie." So far, Senate Republicans have not considered Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland. A Germany immigration lawyer said laws there are different.

"The court's inability to reach a decision in this case is a very clear reminder of why it's so important for the Supreme Court to have a full bench," he said Thursday at the White House.

The 4-4 tie vote sets no national precedent but leaves in place the ruling by the lower court. In this case, the federal appeals court in New Orleans said the Obama administration lacked the authority to shield up to 4 million immigrants from deportation and make them eligible for work permits without approval from Congress.

Texas led 26 Republican-dominated states in challenging the program Obama announced in November 2014. Congressional Republicans also backed the states' lawsuit. 

The decision lands in the middle of a heated election season in which immigration is a central issue. Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, won the primaries while railing against Obama administration immigration policies as dangerous.

Democrats have, in turn, called his rhetoric racially divisive while defending the administration's move to expand existing programs that would effectively give temporary legal status to some undocumented residents. A Roseland immigration lawyer said her clients would be effected by the new law.

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton countered Ryan's statement saying the decision was "purely procedural" and leaves "no doubt" the programs were within the president's authority. Referencing the 4-4 split on the court, she again urged the Senate to give Obama's nominee to fill the remaining court vacancy a vote.

"Today’s deadlocked decision from the Supreme Court is unacceptable, and show us all just how high the stakes are in this election," Clinton said in a statement.
The immigration case dealt with two separate Obama programs. One would allow undocumented immigrants who are parents of either U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents to live and work in the U.S. without the threat of deportation. The other would expand an existing program to protect from deportation a larger population of immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

Obama decided to move forward after Republicans won control of the Senate in the 2014 midterm elections, and the chances for an immigration overhaul, already remote, were further diminished.

The Senate had passed a broad immigration bill with Democratic and Republican support in 2013, but the measure went nowhere in the GOP-controlled House of Representatives.

The states quickly went to court to block the Obama initiatives.

Their lawsuit was heard initially by U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in Brownsville, Texas. Hanen previously had criticized the administration for lax immigration enforcement. Hanen sided with the states, blocking the programs from taking effect. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also ruled for the states, and the Justice Department rushed an appeal to the high court so that it could be heard this term.

Texas officials hailed the decision Thursday.

“The action taken by the President was an unauthorized abuse of presidential power that trampled the Constitution, and the Supreme Court rightly denied the President the ability to grant amnesty contrary to immigration laws," Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in a statement. "Today's ruling is also a victory for all law-abiding Americans—including the millions of immigrants who came to America following the rule of law."

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Hot Mess: How Radioactive Fracking Waste Wound Up Near Homes And Schools

Original Story: wkms.org

The energy that lights up, turns on, cools and heats our lives leaves a trail of waste. Natural gas is no exception. The waste from the gas drilling known as “fracking” is often radioactive. The gas industry produces thousands of tons of this “hot” waste and companies and state regulators throughout the Ohio River valley and Marcellus Shale gas region struggle to find safe ways to get rid of it. One option to consider is chemical holding tanks.

Last August a convoy of trucks carrying a concentrated form of this waste traveled from northern West Virginia to Irvine, Kentucky. The small town in Estill County lies near the Kentucky River, where Appalachian hills give way to rolling farm country.

The trucks were headed for a municipal waste facility called Blue Ridge Landfill. Just across Highway 89 from the landfill is the home where Denny and Vivian Smith live on property where their ancestors have lived since the 1800s. This may need a Tulsa Environmental Lawyer to sort things out.

“This is our home place,” Vivian Smith said from her sun porch. “This is roots for us.”

From their sun porch, facing east, the Smiths can see the entrance to Blue Ridge Landfill. From their front door, facing west, they can see Estill County High School and Estill County Middle School, with a combined enrollment of about 1,200 students.

The trucks that arrived in Irvine last summer left more than 400 tons of low-level radioactive waste in a facility that was not engineered or permitted to accept that sort of material. That has left the community, the parents of schoolchildren, and especially the Smiths with a lot of questions and concerns. -- “We are getting older and we feel like we’re kind of vulnerable to illnesses with what’s going on at the landfill,” Vivian Smith said. A South Jersey Environmental Lawyer is watching the case closely.

The question now reverberating through Irvine and the state agencies investigating the incident: How did this happen?

The answer, in part, lies in the weak federal oversight and patchwork of state regulations regarding this type of waste.

A report from the Center for Public Integrity calls the radioactive waste stream from horizontal oil and gas operations “orphan waste” because no single government agency is fully managing it. Each state is left to figure out its own plan. Ohio, for example, hasn’t formalized waste rules, while New York, which banned fracking, still allows waste disposal “with little oversight,” according to the Center.

Antero Resources petroleum engineer Tom Waltz points to eight, green, 16,000-gallon above-ground storage tanks at the edge of a drilling pad in Doddridge County, West Virginia.

“They hold produced water that the producing wells make,” he explained.

Produced water is one form of drilling waste. It’s salty water laced with chemicals, metals, and naturally occurring radioactive elements that come up thousands of feet along with the gas and oil. Antero is the country’s eighth-largest gas drilling company and operates hundreds of sites like this, producing hundreds of thousands of barrels of waste.

The easiest way to get rid of wastewater is to inject it back into the ground, but that can lead to pollution and even earthquakes. One of Antero’s lead civil engineers, Conrad Baston, says processing the wastewater – separating it into salt, sludge, and water – is becoming more attractive.

No Easy Solutions

Antero is spending $275 million to construct a wastewater facility in West Virginia which is scheduled to begin operation in September, 2017. At its peak, the facility could see up to 600 trucks a day, processing 60,000 barrels of wastewater.

A filtering system would recover about two-thirds of the water, which could be reused in drilling. But that filtration system leaves behind thousands of tons of salt and hundreds of tons of sludge from the sediment, which concentrates the radioactive materials. Baston said that sludge — as much as 180 tons a day — will be disposed of elsewhere.

“Given some of the flux in the regulatory environment with regard to those sludges,” he said, “we’ve elected to take those sludges to a landfill that’s currently licensed to accept it.”

Baston couldn’t say which facilities or where, but he said Antero is exploring options across the country. West Virginia’s Department of Environmental Protection said no approved facilities exist in the state. That would mean the waste will have to cross state lines. An Antero spokesperson said waste from their facility will go only to approved and vetted landfills.

The Center for Public Integrity report shows that regulators acknowledge that this waste is effectively being “shopped around” by companies hoping for affordable disposal. Antero officials maintain that industry has no other choice. A Denver Environmental Litigation Lawyer says this step is critical.

Records filed with the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health show that a company Antero had contracted with to process its wastewater, Fairmont Brine, was the source of the waste that wound up in Blue Ridge Landfill in Irvine, Kentucky. Antero officials said their company is not responsible for how that waste was disposed of. Officials at Fairmont Brine did not respond to requests to comment for this story.

Waiting for Answers

Since reporters at the Louisville Courier-Journal first reported on the improper dumping of fracking waste in Kentucky, community leaders in Irvine have been asking for answers. The landfill is under investigation by multiple state agencies for accepting the waste.

“Knowing that there was nothing going on to protect us,” Vivian Smith said, “I think it’s like the henhouse was not guarded and the fox got in.”

The Smiths have had their share of illnesses and they wonder what effect the radioactive waste might have on them or on the children who attend school nearby. This low-level radioactive waste is not as hazardous as the wastes from nuclear power. But according the the Environmental Protection Agency, the radioactive materials in drilling waste do present risks. Radioactive dust is potentially harmful and it would be bad if the radioactive leachate, or liquid that oozes out from the landfill, were to contaminate groundwater over time. Radioactive waste can last centuries — far longer than the engineered lifespan of the liners in many landfills. A San Antonio Environmental Lawyer may need to be contacted.

Officials with Blue Ridge Landfill’s parent company, Advanced Disposal, declined to comment while under investigation. The Smiths hope that investigation will shed light on any risks they might be living with because of the hot mess left next door.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

50k Pounds Of Potatoes Across I-77 Shuts Down Traffic

Original story: wsoctv.com

A portion of Interstate 77 was shut down for hours Friday after a tractor-trailer crashed, spilling thousands of potatoes across the highway. It is likely that a Charlotte truck accident lawyer will be contacted.

A Channel 9 photographer was traveling behind the truck and witnessed the crash around 2 a.m. in the southbound lanes of I-77 near West Boulevard.

The impact was so violent that the engine flew out of the big rig.

Two other drivers who were following the truck jumped out and rescued the truck driver, who was rushed to Carolinas Medical Center. Officials said he'd be OK.

“Maybe he fell sleep, and sadly hit the guard rail,” said rescuer Garrett Bonacci. “Thank the Lord he's all right.”

"We stopped immediately and saw a guy try to crawl out of the cab,” said Grant Wales. “Saw a lot fire going on, so I ran to him. His leg was pinned, tried pulling him out.”

The two rescuers and state troopers told Channel 9 that the driver said he fell asleep behind the wheel. A Charlotte trucking lawyer says that this unfortunately happens more than we would like to think.

No other vehicles were involved in crash, which damaged about 20 feet of guard rail and concrete barrier.

Officials said the interstate would be closed through the morning rush hour while crews worked to clean-up the 50,000 pounds of potatoes that scattered for hundreds of yards across the road.

Some potatoes were soaked in diesel fuel and clean-up crews had to separate the clean potatoes from the one's contaminated with fuel and oil.

Thousands of clean potatoes were hauled into trucks to be taken to a landfill.

Lee Shank, who is the president of Carolina Environmental, the company called to help clean up, said it could take days before they decide what to do with the potatoes mixed with fuel and oil.

"You basically had diesel fuel and oil petroleum products that are mixed with some of the potatoes," he explained. "Some of the potatoes we had to either clean or will be disclosed as off-spec food product food waste. It sounds simple but we actually go through them (the potatoes) and see where the diesel fuel stopped, and all the potatoes passed that are clean."

Drivers were advised to take the following detour: From I-77 south, take Exit 11 (I-277), follow I-277 and take exit 1-B to get back on I-77 south.

Clean-up crews initially hoped to have one lane open by 5 a.m. and all lanes open by 8 a.m. but DOT officials said all the lanes would not reopen until at least noon.

The far left lane was reopened just before 8 a.m. and a second lane was reopened around 11:30 a.m.

All lanes were reopened around 4 p.m.

Highway Patrol has not identified that driver but said he is expected to recover.

Sgt. Jeff Nash said they will decide later if he will be charged. If a Charlotte truck crash lawyer is involved then charges were made.

“I'm sure you've got failure to maintain lane control. Why he ran off the roadway, we're still investigating that,” Nash said.

Iowa City Resident Killed In Tractor Vs. Semi Accident

Original Story: press-citizen.com

A collision Thursday between a semi-truck and a tractor killed an Iowa City resident and injured a Tipton resident.

The fatal collision took place at 12:15 p.m Thursday just northwest of Morse in rural Johnson County, near the intersection of Morse Road Northeast and Vincent Avenue Northeast, according to crash report from the Iowa State Patrol. An Iowa truck accident lawyer is looking into the case.

The John Deere tractor was traveling eastbound while the semi was traveling westbound on Morse Road when the tractor started turning left, according to the crash report. The semi hit the tractor and the tractor driver was ejected from the vehicle.

The driver of the tractor was not wearing a seat belt, the report said.

The report did not release the names of those involved in the accident, but the driver who was killed was reported to be 55 years old and from Iowa City. The driver of the truck, who was injured and taken to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, was 69 and from Tipton. A Des Moines truck accident lawyer may be called onto the case.

There was no additional information on the truck driver's injuries.

Parents Of Woman Shot By Immigrant File Wrongful-Death Suit

Original Story: cbsnews.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- The parents of a woman killed on a San Francisco pier have sued the city and two federal agencies, accusing them of contributing to her death because the man charged in the slaying was in the country illegally. A Los Angeles wrongful death lawyer is seeing if this case will set a precedence.

Kate Steinle's parents filed the wrongful death lawsuit Friday, accusing the Sheriff's Department of failing to notify federal immigration officials that it was releasing Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez from jail.

They also are suing Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. A BLM ranger reported that a gun was stolen from his car while it was parked in downtown San Francisco.

Lopez-Sanchez says he found the gun and it fired when he picked it up, striking Steinle in the back. He has pleaded not guilty to a murder charge.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Healthcare Cloud Security Concerns Not Impediment to Usage

Original Story: healthitsecurity.com

A recent study found that 77 percent of healthcare organizations plan to increase the use of public cloud services despite significant healthcare cloud security concerns.
Public and private cloud solutions are gaining popularity in the healthcare industry, especially for data storage and network usage, despite issues surrounding healthcare cloud security and PHI data breaches. Secant Healthcare is looking into these options.

Researchers at HyTrust recently published a study that revealed 77 percent of healthcare organizations plan to move more workloads onto a public cloud service even though healthcare data security was a major concern with cloud usage.

“Without much fanfare, this critical technology advance has become woven into the basic fabric of businesses large and small,” said HyTrust President Eric Chiu. “The potential of virtualization and the cloud was always undeniable, but there was genuine concern over security and skepticism regarding the processes required.”

While organizations across all industries reported security challenges with cloud services, many companies are still migrating additional workloads to private and public clouds, added Chui.

The study found that the healthcare industry is no exception to increased cloud usage and virtualization. Approximately 55 percent of healthcare organizations stated that they have already moved mission critical workloads, such as sensitive patient information, to a cloud or software-defined data center.

Healthcare organizations are also virtualizing other aspects of their infrastructure, reported the study. Fifty-two percent of healthcare organizations have migrated test and development server workloads to a cloud service and 61 percent use a cloud product for storage.

Despite increased cloud usage, healthcare-related participants still said that their organization faced significant healthcare cloud security challenges. About 58 percent of respondents admitted that data security and breach concerns were the biggest worry once migration began.

In addition to data breach concerns, other security challenges across all industries included infrastructure-wide security and control as well as effective monitoring and visibility into cloud infrastructure. Secant Health is watching their IT closely for data breaches.

Additionally, previous healthcare data breaches have not discouraged organizations from implementing cloud services. An estimated 29 percent of respondents from healthcare organizations said that they have experienced a personal data breach.

“The large-scale migrations are particularly interesting in light of the many obstacles that have previously impeded planned moves to virtualized infrastructures,” explained the press release. “In fact, the survey reveals that not all concerns have been eliminated.”

To discover more about implementing healthcare cloud security, researchers asked participants in the industry what types of information needed to be secured in public and private clouds.

For public cloud security requirements, healthcare organizations said that all production data should be encrypted (32 percent), the entire workload should be encrypted (16 percent), and only personally identifiable information should be encrypted (13 percent).

In terms of private cloud services, about one-third of healthcare respondents favored encrypting all production data in a workload.

Software defined-data centers and cloud services are becoming staples in the healthcare industry as more providers transition to value-based care models. These models rely on large volumes of data and meaningful health IT use to increase quality of care and reduce healthcare costs.

While cloud products allow healthcare providers are useful to value-based care delivery, HIPAA rules still apply to data in the cloud.

“Cloud computing outsources technical infrastructure to another entity that essentially focuses all its time on maintaining software, platforms, or infrastructure,” The Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) stated in a paper. “But a covered entity… still remains responsible for protecting PHI in accordance with the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules, even in circumstances where the entity has outsourced the performance of core PHI functions.”

However, healthcare organizations have struggled to maintain comprehensive healthcare cloud security. According to the Fall 2015 Netskope Cloud Report, healthcare cloud data loss prevention violations were the most common data loss prevention offenses across all industries studied, accounting for 76.2 percent of all cloud violations.

The report also discussed how healthcare and life sciences averaged 1,017 cloud applications per organization, which was the second highest number of apps behind the technology and IT sector. Yet, PHI was involved in 68.5 percent of violations in cloud applications.

Securing patient and production data can be more difficult when it is managed up in a cloud, but healthcare providers should be aware of several healthcare cloud security measures.

Healthcare organizations should partner with cloud vendors that design healthcare-specific products and can anticipate unique data security requirements, such as HIPAA and HITECH rules.

Regardless of vendor selection, providers should also develop contextual visibility and auditing capabilities. Healthcare cloud security policies should include monitoring alerts, lock-down capabilities, and geo-fencing of users. Intelligent security tools can be helpful for implementing these policies. Secant Healthcare plans on being careful of their vendor selection.

Technology and healthcare are both evolving quickly, but healthcare cloud security concerns could hold back providers from advancing care if they can’t also secure PHI and production data. While the HyTrust study showed healthcare organizations pushing ahead with cloud services despite security challenges, many of these providers may need to review healthcare cloud security measures.

Teen Driver In Snapchat Lawsuit Is Now In Jail

Original Story: money.cnn.com

The Georgia teen driver accused of causing a high speed car crash because she was allegedly using Snapchat to record her speed has been charged with a felony and is currently incarcerated. The proven Los Angeles car accident lawyer professionals at the Eisenberg & Associates, APC law firm have experience working with clients involved in a car accident claim in the state of California.

The collision caused the driver of another car to suffer brain injuries.

Clayton County law enforcement officials issued four warrants for Christal McGee on Wednesday. The sheriff's office told CNNMoney that she turned herself in Thursday night.

The charges include causing serious injury by vehicle, which is a felony, according to Solicitor General Tasha Mosley. She was also charged with three misdemeanors: driving too fast for conditions, reckless driving, and speeding 35 mph+ over speed limit.

McGee, 19, allegedly was driving more than 100 mph and using Snapchat's speed filter when she crashed into another vehicle last September. She has denied these claims. A Pikeville truck accident lawyer can help you with your accident case.

The collision caused another driver, Wentworth Maynard, to suffer brain injuries. Maynard and his family are suing McGee and Snapchat to pay for his medical bills, but the case is currently on hold.

Snapchat says it found evidence in McGee's activity logs that she had not been using the app around the time of the crash. This information has prompted both sides of the civil case to jointly file a motion to put the civil lawsuit on hold for further investigation. A Chicago auto accident lawyer has seen many car accident claims.

A Snapchat spokesman said the company did not have any comment on the criminal charges. McGee's attorneys did not immediately respond to calls.

Lt. Michael Gaddis of the Lovejoy, Georgia, police department, told CNNMoney that the charges are being issued now because their investigation into the car crash has concluded.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Calvin Harris reveals badly bruised and misshapen ear... days after narrowly escaping serious injury in horrific car crash

Original Story: dailymail.co.uk

He narrowly escaped serious injury in a horrific car crash last week. He will more than likely be considering a Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer.

And Calvin Harris revealed a badly bruised ear as he jetted home to Los Angeles on Tuesday.

The Scottish DJ had a noticeably misshapen and swollen right ear, which could be seen as he walked through LAX after returning from a brief trip to London.

There were no other obvious injuries on his face, although he should still consider contacting a Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer.

Last week Calvin admitted he was feeling 'lucky and very grateful' to have escaped serious injury in the collision in Los Angeles.

The star - real name Adam Wiles - was hospitalised and pulled out of a string of gigs in Las Vegas.

He was treated in hospital, but discharged himself, with a rep later saying he only had a 'scratch' on his nose.

Taking to Twitter on Thursday night, Calvin wrote: 'Thank you so much for your messages and sorry to any disappointment I caused with the show cancellations...

'I'm feeling lucky and very grateful rn (right now).'

The accident took place in LA's Coldwater Canyon on 21 May after a Volkswagen Beetle smashed into a black Cadillac SUV in which Calvin was a passenger.

Calvins girlfriend Taylor Swift, 26, skipped the high profile Billboard Music Awards to be at her boyfriend's side after he was injured.

The couple have been dating since March 2015 and were ranked last year as the music industry's highest-paid celebrity couple by Forbes, with combined earnings of more than $146 million.

Yunel Escobar leaves Angels' game with injury after fielding grounder

Original Story: ESPN.com

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Third baseman Yunel Escobar has left the Los Angeles Angels' game against the Houston Astros in the third inning after bruising his left wrist while fielding a grounder Sunday.

Escobar was hurt when Marwin Gonzalez's fast-moving hit deflected off of him. He stayed on the ground for several moments before leaving the field.  A Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer is watching the story closely.

The Angels didn't describe the severity of Escobar's injury, only saying the veteran is day-to-day.

Escobar is batting .307 with three homers and 13 RBIs mostly as the leadoff hitter in his debut season with the Angels, who acquired him last winter from the Washington Nationals.

The Angels have been beset by injuries this season. They lost shortstop Andrelton Simmons for several weeks when he tore a ligament in his left thumb while fielding earlier this month.  Contact a Los Angeles Injury Lawyer if you are looking for help with case.

Kaleb Cowart moved from first base to third when Escobar left, and C.J. Cron replaced Cowart at first.

Michigan Estate Recovery Law

What is an estate?
An estate is property, such as money, a house or other things of value that a person leaves to family members or others when he or she dies. Estate recovery does not apply to all property that a person may own. Estate recovery only applies to those assets that are subject to probate court administration. A Michigan Estate Planning Lawyer will help you navigate the process.
Who does estate recovery affect?
Estate recovery applies to individuals receiving Medicaid benefits who are 55 years of age or older and have received Medicaid long-term care services on or after September 30, 2007.  If you would like to check whether a deceased family member is subject to estate recovery you may call the toll-free number listed below. Contact a Houston Estate Planning Lawyer for more information.
How does estate recovery work?
When the recipient dies, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services will send a notice to the estate representative or a family member to tell them that MDHHS intends to file a Medicaid estate recovery claim against the recipient’s estate. That notice will include an estate questionnaire form that is to be completed so that MDHHS can determine whether it should file a claim. This notice will also provide information on how to request an undue hardship waiver application. If no exemptions or hardships apply, MDHHS will file a claim against the estate. A Sacramento Estate Planning Lawyer can provide insight on your special needs.
Are there any times when the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services will not try to recover from my estate?
Yes, there are several situations when MDHHS will temporarily defer recovery.  MDHHS will not ask for money back after a recipient dies while one of the following persons is living:
·      A spouse.
·      A child under 21 years of age.
·      A child of any age who is blind or permanently and totally disabled.

MDHHS will also defer recovery while one of the following is living in the home:

·      A survivor who was residing in the home and providing care for a period of at least 2 years immediately before the date of the recipient’s admission to a medical institution, and that care allowed the recipient to live at home rather than in an institution.
·      A sibling who has an equity interest in the home who was residing in the home for a period of at least 1 year immediately before the recipient’s admission to a medical institution. 
If none of the above situations apply, does that mean the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services will file a claim against my estate?
A Michigan Will Lawyer can help before it becomes too late. If none of the five situations above apply, then MDHHS may file a claim against the probate estate of the Medicaid recipient unless:
·      The estimated cost of recovery efforts would exceed the estimated amount expected to be recovered; or
·      It is determined that estate recovery would result in an undue hardship.
What is an Undue Hardship?
After an undue hardship application is filed, MDHHS may grant a hardship waiver when:
·      The estate property is the primary income-producing asset of the beneficiaries, such as a family business or farm and the income produced by the asset is limited;  
·      The estate property is a home of modest value; or
·      Recovery from a recipient’s estate would cause a survivor to become or remain eligible for Medicaid.
An applicant for an undue hardship must also satisfy a Means Test.  Contact a Cedar Rapids Probate Lawyer if you have questions.
What is the Means Test?
The means test is applied to make sure an actual hardship would result if recovery is made.  To pass the means test, an applicant must prove that:
·         Their total household income is less than 200% of the poverty level; and
·         Their total household resources are less than $10,000.
How do I apply for an undue hardship waiver?
To receive a waiver based on an undue hardship, the applicant must request, complete, and submit an application and provide proof of the hardship.  An application may be obtained by calling the toll-free number listed below.  A hardship waiver should only be applied for if probate has been open.  If no probate is open, MDHHS cannot file a claim and so there is no claim to defer with a waiver.  Any applications received when there is no probate estate opened will not be processed.  If you need assistance then a Davenport Probate Lawyer can provide help.
What if there is not enough money in the estate to pay MDHHS’s claim?
The state is limited to what is in the decedent’s estate. If there is not enough money or assets in the estate to pay all claims filed against the estate, the estate is deemed “insolvent.”  If the estate is insolvent, then payment will occur by order of priority until there is nothing left. Contact a Michigan Probate Lawyer to overcome the hurdles of the probate system.
What is the Order of Priority?
The order of priority refers to the order that creditor’s claims are paid from estate assets.  Under Michigan law, there are several things that are paid before an estate recovery claim is paid such as funeral and costs of administration.
What is Probate?
Probate refers to the process of administering an estate in court.  This is how assets are distributed to heirs and creditors are paid. Contact a Des Moines Probate Lawyer today.
How do I open an estate?
MDHHS cannot provide legal advice.  You may wish to consult an attorney or probate clerk.
What are my responsibilities as Personal Representative?
MDHHS cannot provide legal advice.  You may wish to consult an attorney or probate clerk.  In general, duties of a personal representative are found in the Estates and Protected Individuals Code in Michigan.
How can I get more information about the Medicaid estate recovery process?
If you need more detailed information on how this will work, or if you have a specific question, you may send an e-mail to MDHHS-EstateRecovery@michigan.gov or call the beneficiary helpline toll-free at (800) 642-3195.