Archive for The Truth

Red Bull Settles False Advertising Suit, Offers Refunds

Energy drink maker Red Bull has settled a class action lawsuit by consumers alleging deceptive advertising. The group of consumers alleged in the lawsuit that the company lied in its advertising by claiming that the drinks contained only caffeine to provide energy, and not guarana, taurine and or other ingredients. The class action lawsuit also alleged that the company falsely advertised by claiming that the drink was a superior source of energy. As part of the settlement, Red Bull is offering a reimbursement for any consumer purchases over the last 10 years.

Apparently, Medicare paid $5,100,000,000.00 to nursing homes that did not meet minimum federal standards.  According to the report, one out of every three times patients wound up in nursing homes that year, they landed in facilities that failed to follow basic care requirements laid out by the federal agency that administers Medicare.

This certainly puts the onus on families with loved ones needing nursing home care to be sure that the facility they choose is up to the task.  Below is a link to a news article with more information.

http://www.startribune.com/nation/193737941.html

Here is an interesting article that concludes “tort reform” is not a priority of American small businesses.  The National Federation of Small Businesses (“NFIB”) routinely surveys its’ small business members to find out what their concerns are.  NFIB spends alot of money and energy pushing for “tort reform.”  Interestingly enough, out of the 75 issues listed on the survey, “tort reform” ranked #65 out of 75.  You can read more about the survey here.  It makes you wonder why this entity is spending so much time and money pushing an issue that is of less concern than 64 other issues.

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Where does the money go if a Plaintiff wins at trial?

Please read the below article from our friend Howard Spiva, Savannah lawyer.

Many people, including jurors have misconceptions on “big verdicts”. Often folks think winning a law suit or settlement is like hitting the lottery.

The truth is no one would want the injuries that our clients have in most of our cases for any amount of money.

When you recover a jury verdict the first thing that happens is that a portion of the money goes to pay medical bills. Now you might say doesn’t everyone have insurance? Well the sad truth of today is that many people do not have insurance. However if there is insurance, most have a right or subrogation or reimbursement.

Insurance whether someone has health insurance or car insurance it is something that is hidden from you actually while you are sitting on a jury. The other thing that happens is if medical bills have been paid by a health benefit plan or a health insurance company, they are looking to be reimbursed. So a portion of the money that the jury awards must go either to pay the doctors or to reimburse the health plan.

The second thing that happens is you have the cost of the trial. The costs of trial can vary from a few thousand to over one hundred thousand in complicated cases. Costs include depositions of witnesses, doctors, experts and other medical providers. We have cases in our office today that the costs already exceed one hundred and fifty thousand dollars.

If doctors come to trial live just that testimony can costs anywhere between $5,000-10,000 to pay them for time missed from surgery, time missed from seeing patients in the office, time preparing for the trial. Many cases have multiple doctors involved.

Costs and medical bills are not anything the lawyer gets or the client. These monies go straight to the doctors. If the doctor testified by video tape deposition anywhere from $3,000-5,000 will have spent to get that doctor there.

Typically lost wages will be reimbursed even though someone may have had sick leave or vacation time they used. That is now time they can’t use because they have already burned it.
So if a jury awards money for lost wages that goes to compensate for time lost from work.

Of course the lawyer is going to get paid. Typically they have been working on case for a couple years without any guarantee of getting paid. They are charging typically between a third and 40% of the recovery.

Finally after all those things are paid, the client/ injured person gets what is left over to compensate for any their harms and losses including their permanent disability, scarring, pain and suffering, and other intangibles.

Read more of Howard Spiva’s posts at his blog.

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True faces of “tort reform”

I was recently sent an article that discussed the victims of a recent catastrophic Amtrak train crash. Twenty-four people were killed and more than 100 were injured, many horrifically, when a Metrolink passenger train ran a red light and slammed head-on into a Union Pacific freight train. The passenger train engineer, who died in the crash, was texting someone and missed the stop signal. Unfortunately, Congress passed the Amtrak Reform and Accountability Act which limited recovery by the victims to $200,000,000. Obviously, $200,000,000 is a tremendous amount of money. But that money is simply not enough to compensate all of these people and or the families they left behind. Please read this article and consider the impact of this type of legislation. It may sound good on paper, but real people can be devastatingly effected.  Read the full article here

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Only in Alabama?

Former governor Bob Riley has registered as a lobbyist in Montgomery.  State law prohibits him from lobbying Governor Bentley’s office until he’s been out of office at least two years, but Riley is free to lobby other executive offices, the Legislature and regulatory boards.  Apparently Riley has been hired by a company called Austral to lobby on its behalf.  Some have furrowed brows at this simply because Austral was apparently awarded a $5,000,000.00 “economic development grant” by the State of Alabama while Riley was in office.  What do you think about this?  Tell us here, on Facebook, or on Twitter.

You can read the entire news article here

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John Stossel Doesn’t Get It!

John Stossel is at it again. Mr. Stossel wants you to believe that plaintiffs are simply people looking for something for nothing. He thinks he knows more than our Founding Fathers, including Thomas Jefferson who once said, “I consider trial by jury as the only anchor yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.”

Our founding fathers believed in the jury system because they knew it was the last line of defense from a tyrannical government. They never dreamed that Corporate America would be such a threat. The jury system allows 12 (in Alabama) members of the community, the conscious of the community, to decide innocence or guilt, right or wrong.

I believe in the jury system. I believe in the 7th Amendment. I believe the Founding Fathers got it right.

 

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