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West Virginia Truck Accidents Caused By Snow and Ice

Truck drivers who cross state lines encounter different rules and regulations and must be aware of state-specific laws. One big issue that arises for truckers during the winter is laws on clearing the accumulation of snow and ice that can form on a truck. When snow and ice forms on a truck, this creates a risk of truck accidents because it can fly off as a trucker drives. Other vehicles or pedestrians could be hurt or even killed if the snow and ice affects their visibility or causes them to lose control of their own vehicles.

Trucking Laws on Clearing Snow and Ice

Penske cautions truckers on the importance of knowing the rules for snow and ice accumulation removal across different states.  There are several states which already require removal and impose fines for failure, while other states – including some that neighbor West Virginia – are currently in the process of considering laws. For example, Trucking Info reported  on pending legislation in Pennsylvania imposing an affirmative responsibility for removal of snow accumulation on any trucks above 48,000 pounds. Under this proposed law, if a trucker fails to remove snow and ice, police could pull the driver over and impose a fine between $25 and $75 even if no snow or ice actually falls off the truck. If snow or ice does fall off and causes serious bodily injury or death, the trucker could be fined between $200 and $1,000.

Many truckers are concerned about states increasingly cracking down on the removal of snow and ice. There are several problems for truckers. One issue is the time it can take to remove snow and ice, which can be difficult if there are pressing deliveries to be made and a schedule to be kept. Another problem is the difficulty of actually removing the snow and ice. The tops of tractor trailers are fiberglass and walking on them is not possible. The tops can also become scratched easily during the snow removal process, making damage a real possibility.  Dedicated snow removers exist, but Penske indicates these are prohibitively expensive for many truck drivers.  Some truckers go to truck washes to try to remove snow and ice, but this is not always effective at getting off all accumulations.

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Recht Law Offices 3405 Main St Weirton, WV 26062-4505 Phone: 1-304-748-5850
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Signs of Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes in Birmingham

Many people have become aware nursing home abuse is a common problem and know they need to look for signs of abuse when visiting friends or relatives in a nursing care facility. The problem, however, is people focus primarily on physical abuse or neglect. While physical abuse like hitting, burning, or pushing is very common, and while neglect is also a prime risk in nursing homes, there are other types of abusive behavior as well. One often-overlooked type of abuse is sexual abuse.

Everyone needs to be aware of the very real threat nursing home residents face of this type of abuse and must be watchful for signs sexual abuse is occurring.

Watching for Signs of Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes

Long-Term Living reported on one recent case in which an operator of a nursing home lost his license after an investigation into sexual abuse.

The abuse began in mid-January of 2015, when a housekeeper observed a male resident of the nursing home standing over a female resident. The male resident of the nursing facility had his pants down and was forcing the female resident to touch his genitals. The incident was reported by the housekeeper to the Director of Nursing Services, but the report was dismissed as consensual sexual activity between two different residents with dementia. The Director said unless and until the man crossed the line, nothing could be done.

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Shuttlesworth Lasseter, LLC 19 Richard Arrington, Jr. Blvd., North Birmingham, AL 35203
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Who Can Be Held Responsible for Laredo Truck Accidents?

Almost 4,000 people lost their lives in truck accidents in the United States in 2012. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also indicated another 104,000 motorists were hurt because of involvement in a crash with a truck. Many victims of truck accidents experience costly medical bills and some have their careers derailed due to their injuries. Family members face both emotional and financial devastation following fatal truck accidents.

Victims of truck collisions and surviving family members need to know who can be held accountable for their losses.

Who Can Be Held Responsible for Truck Accidents?

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 70 percent of people killed in truck accidents are in other passenger cars, rather than in the truck.  These victims will need to determine if any of the truck driver’s actions were the cause of the truck crash. If a trucker was unreasonably careless, violated state laws, or violated any Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs), this could result in a truck driver being held liable for collision losses.  Victims can pursue a case against the truck driver and recover compensation through a negotiated settlement or a jury’s verdict in a personal injury or wrongful death civil suit.

Filing a claim against the trucker may not be the only choice for victims, and it’s rarely the best choice.  Trucking companies have much more money and much broader insurance coverage than individual truck drivers. As a result, victims may wish to hold the trucking company liable for accident damages.

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2620 San Bernardo Ave Laredo, TX 78040 Phone: 866-465-9093 Local: 956-718-2300
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Whistleblower to Collect $59 Million for Exposing Medicaid Fraud

A Louisiana doctor filed a whistleblower lawsuit against Pfizer claiming the pharmaceutical company was overcharging Medicaid for a heartburn medication called Protonix. According to FiercePharma, Pfizer agreed to settle the Medicaid fraud claim and will pay $784 million.

This significant sum, which was improperly paid to Pfizer, will be returned to taxpayers thanks to the doctor who stepped forward and filed a qui tam lawsuit.

Qui tam lawsuits encourage whistleblowers to file litigation if they suspect fraud against the government. Under the False Claims Act, which makes qui tam lawsuits possible, whistleblowers are rewarded for speaking out. They get to keep part of the money the government is able to recover through settlements or court verdicts. The doctor who filed the lawsuit in this case will collect $59 million.

Whistleblower Reaps Rewards for Bringing Fraud to Light

Pfizer in 2009 acquired a company called Wyeth, which was the actual maker of the Protonix heartburn medication. The acquisition effectively made Pfizer responsible for paying the settlement. Wyeth reportedly gave rebates and discounts to private payers but allegedly failed to provide the same price discounts to Medicaid programs as required by law. Wyeth allegedly overcharged the government for its heartburn medication between 2001 and 2006.

Medicaid, a government program that provides health insurance coverage for low income individuals, is perpetually under financial strain. The program cannot afford to be overcharged for medications, or to pay higher prices for drugs than private insurers. Wyeth wasted taxpayer money by allegedly failing to offer the required discounts, forcing the government to overpay. Fortunately, the actions of the Louisiana doctor have allowed for recovery of some of the misspent money. This means more Medicaid funds are put back into the coffers to provide help to those who need it.

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Brewer & Pritchard, P.C. Three Riverway, 18th Floor Houston, TX 77056 Toll Free: (800) 445-8710 Local: (713) 209-2950
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