Friday, November 21, 2014

Wisconsin's Top Super Lawyers, Milwaukee Magazine, December 2014


Great news regarding two of Wisconsin Top Super Lawyers!  It's absolutely an honor and privilege for Jeff and I to get this sort of recognition for our efforts on behalf of personal injury victims.  We love what we do and clearly, it seems, our peers recognize our hard work.

As I always say, if you are searching for a highly qualified, skilled and reputable Wisconsin injury attorney to handle your car crash, mesothelioma, or other injury lawsuit, start with independent peer-reviewed sources like Best Lawyers in America, Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings (AV® Preeminent™), and Super Lawyers.  And for heaven's sake, steer clear of personal injury mills who advertise excessively and pay athletes or others to make them look good.

By the way, you may know that Bob Dolan does our radio ad, but did you know that he does it for free because he believes in us and has been represented by me?  I guarantee that the personal injury mills in Milwaukee cannot say the same.  In fact, if you read the unreadable fine print in ads, you will realize that those are bought and paid for endorsements.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer

Friday, September 05, 2014

Personal Injury Settlement Mills


Personal injury lawyer advertising in Milwaukee is absolutely over the top.  The other day, I was at the dentist and a T.V. was on.  During just one commercial break, I saw five Milwaukee personal injury lawyers ads.  Whether it is T.V. advertising, personal injury lawyers' letters, or phone calls after a car accident, consumers need to be very careful about the law firm and attorney they choose to represent them after an accident.

To get an idea of what some of the problems can be with certain personal injury lawyers, I suggest reading Atlanta lawyer Ken Shigley's post “One call that’s all?” Personal injury “settlement mills” blasted in Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics.
Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorneys

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Wisconsin's Best Lawyers in America©


I am extremely proud to announce that both Jeff Zirgibel and I were recently selected by our peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2015 in the field of Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs.  Inclusion in Best Lawyers© is highly selective and "based on an exhaustive and rigorous peer-reviewed survey."

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyers

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Getting familiar with IMEcentric & IMEBASE

Have you or your client been sent to Dr. Thomas W. Grossman for a so-called "Independent Medical Examination"? If so, you may not realize that Dr. Grossman was likely hired by the defense insurer or lawyer through Crawford Evaluation Group by way of IMEBASE.  Dr. Grossman is in Crawford's stable of doctors earning huge sums of money reporting and testifying for insurers.  IMEcentric and IMEBASE are software programs that connect physicians who want to earn those huge sums with insurers.  Interestingly, Dr. Grossman has worked for both ExamWorks predecessor, Verity Medical, and Crawford, and probably may other IME companies.

In any event, IMEBASE's website explains:
"Are you running IME management software owned by your largest competitor? Two years ago, ExamWorks acquired IME Software Solutions, the creator of IMEcentric. If you’re using IMEcentric, you’re trusting your largest competitor to secure all of your case information, physician lists, and any other data you enter into their system.
imebase is the independent IME management solution. imebase and its parent company, Innova Partners, are exclusively dedicated to software development. We do NOT perform IMEs, manage the IME process, or anything that competes with your business. Our sole focus is to provide software that makes you more successful."

You may remember ExamWorks from the post ExamWorks - IME's are Big Business.  Today, ExamWorks is almost a $1 billion company and IMEcentric is how its stable of physicians are connected with insurers.  In fact, it's website shows "profitability reports" citing huge insurers like Geico and State Farm.

Lawyers practicing personal injury law should familiarize themselves with this software and discover as much information as possible about the "independent" doctor's earnings and work for insurance companies.

By the way, other Wisconsin IME "brokers" that may utilize these software systems include: EvaluMed, Integrity Medicolegal Enterprises, Medical Consultants Network, Medical Systems, Inc., and Woodlake Medical Management.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Phone Calls From Lawyers After a Car Accident

Today, for the first time, I learned from a client that she not only received personal injury lawyers' letters after her Milwaukee car accident, but received about 20 phone calls from lawyers on her mobile phone.  This is absolutely, positively disgusting and a direct ethical violation of Wisconsin Supreme Court Rule SCR 20:7.3, which prohibits such contact.  Wisconsin lawyers must not directly solicit clients they don't know, aren't related to, or haven't been asked to call.  Even though your cell phone number or home phone number is listed in a car accident report, this doesn't open you up to phone calls from lawyers, Wisconsin chiropractors working for lawyers, or anyone else working for or on behalf of a lawyer.

I highly recommend that you answer these attorneys' phone calls, find out the Wisconsin law office or lawyer they are working for, and then immediately report the lawyer to the Wisconsin Office of Lawyer Regulation.  You can easily submit a grievance over the telephone at (608) 267-7274 or (877) 315-6941 (toll free).

Do not hire a lawyer or go to a "free" visit with anyone as the result of a telephone call.  Hiring a Wisconsin lawyer or law firm is an important decision and shouldn't be done that way.

Accident victims looking for the best Wisconsin lawyer should use independent sources like Best Lawyers in America (Wisconsin Best Lawyers), Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings (AV® Preeminent™), and Super Lawyers (Wisconsin Super Lawyers). For a personal injury attorney, make sure that the lawyers are active members of The American Association for Justice and Wisconsin Association for Justice.
Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney

Monday, April 08, 2013

Gruber Law Offices Reviews on Google+

The other day I was working with our Internet people and had to put time into our Google+ page, Pasternak & Zirgibel S.C. - Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyers.

While there, I perused various Wisconsin personal injury attorneys' Google+ pages and came across a page for Gruber Law Offices, LLC, which, as I referred to in the previous post, currently saturates Milwaukee with personal injury law firm advertising.  Based on the reviews I read on Gruber Law Offices Google+ page, it seems the firm ought to refocus its efforts.  In fact, the two Gruber reviews at Google+ are so horrible and make awful allegations that I will not reprint them.  For the record, I have no personal experience with that law firm other than what I see on T.V.  I'll also say that I've seen Wisconsin injury lawyers go the other way and load up review sites with nothing but glowing reviews (if it sounds too good to be true, it is). 

Like all forms of opinion and advertising, take this Gruber thing with a grain of salt.  Instead, any consumer hunting for a Wisconsin lawyer ought to use independent sources like Best Lawyers in America (Wisconsin Best Lawyers), Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings (AV® Preeminent™), and Super Lawyers (Wisconsin Super Lawyers).  For a personal injury attorney, also make sure that the lawyers are active members of The American Association for Justice and Wisconsin Association for Justice.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney
Addendum:  It looks like after this post Gruber Law Offices went to great lengths to get "rave" reviews.  It's interesting for sure, and pretty consistent with what we all know about the web, you get what you pay for.  That said, my last paragraph definitely still stands.  See also my recent post on personal injury mills. 

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Habush v. Cannon: The Final Chapter?

Wisconsin's Court of Appeals has issued an opinion, Habush v. Cannon - Ct of App decision.  I'm not sure whether this will be the end of the litigation or whether it will go to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, but it seems to me that lawyer advertising in Wisconsin is the wild, wild, west.  Then again, it seemed that way to me when I first arrived and saw Habush, at the time, saturating t.v. with advertising.  Today, in the Milwaukee area at least, it's another firm, Gruber Law Offices, but that firm will be the topic of the next post.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Bad Drivers Shouldn’t Profit Off of Good Drivers’ Health Insurance

Frank Pasternak

By Frank Pasternak

Imagine a law that will only benefit those people who do not have any health insurance and wrongdoers.

Well on February 13, Sen. Paul Farrow (who represents an area of Waukesha County that includes Pewaukee, Delafield, Hartland and Waukesha) and Sen. Glenn Grothman (who represents an area near West Bend and parts of northern Ozaukee County, including Port Washington and Cedarburg) did more than just imagine it; they introduced it. It’s Senate Bill 22, a law that would eliminate a long-standing rule of law in Wisconsin called the “collateral source rule.”

Basically, the rule says that benefits an injured person receives from sources that have nothing to do with the wrongdoer or “bad guy” causing the injury may not be used to reduce the bad guy's liability to the injured person. In other words, bad guys don’t get credit for benefits the injured person received just because the injured person was insured. This has been the law of Wisconsin for about 100 years.

The simple truth behind the rule is clear: wrongdoers should not benefit from the fact that the person they wronged was responsible enough to get insured. Unfortunately, however, as with many things, politics seems to have gotten in the way. Somehow, liability insurance companies like American Family, West Bend and others have convinced law makers, like Farrow and Grothman, that the bad guys should benefit from the fact that the injured person was responsible.

The law Farrow and Grothman have introduced will basically harm senior citizens, people who get insurance through their employer, and those on Medicaid. Ironically, the people who benefit from this law are those who do not have any health insurance and wrongdoers.

Let me explain: Say there’s a car accident where the wrongdoer ran a red light and caused four different people to incur $100,000.00 in medical bills each. All four suffered the same injuries and needed the same medical treatment. However, Victim #1 had no insurance, Victim #2 had Anthem BCBS through his employer, Victim #3 is a senior citizen on Medicare, and Victim #4 is a poor person on Medicaid.

Farrow and Grothman’s proposed law will allow into evidence the fact that Victim #2’s Anthem BCBS paid 80% of the bills due to contractual write-offs, the fact that Victim #3’s Medicare paid 60% of the bills, and Victim #4’s Medicaid paid 40% of the bills. As a result of Farrow and Grothman’s proposal, the recovery for medical bills will likely be:
  1. Victim #1 $100,000 (the uninsured guy)
  2. Victim #2 $80,000 (Employee with employer-sponsored health insurance)
  3. Victim #3 $60,000 (Senior citizen with Medicare)
  4. Victim #4 $40,000 (Poor person with Medicaid)
Now remember, the amount of the bills for all four people was the same $100,000. They all suffered the same injury in the same accident, but because of Farrow and Grothman’s proposed law, the bad guy causing the accident gets the benefit of the fact that Victim #2 was an employee with employer-sponsored health insurance, Victim #3 was a senior citizen on Medicare, and Victim #4 was a poor person on Medicaid. The other beneficiary of the proposed law would be Victim #1, the uninsured.

Under the current law, the red-light-running driver must pay the reasonable value of the injuries he caused, $400,000. Under the new proposal, the driver running the red light-will likely only pay, $280,000.

Under Wisconsin law today, the bad guy causing the accident does not get the benefit. The bad guy is simply responsible for the amount of the bills, assuming it is reasonable, and the only person who benefits is the person responsible enough to have insurance, the collateral source. Wisconsin law today says, rightfully, that bad guys do not get to benefit from good guys having insurance. The law today says that if anyone in this situation should benefit, it is the one who did not cause the accident. Surely, the one who caused the accident should not benefit.

Sadly, however, politics makes strange law, but I hope that’s not the case here. I believe in better. You deserve better. Sen. Grothman and Sen. Farrow should not support this law.

Email Sen. Paul Farrow at Sen.Farrow@legis.wisconsin.gov and Sen. Glenn Grothman at Sen.Grothman@legis.wisconsin.gov and tell them why they should not support this law. Tell Sen. Grothman and Sen. Farrow that this attempt to change Wisconsin’s 100-year-old law is unfair to Wisconsin citizens who are responsible enough to get health insurance.

The original version of this article is at Stand Up for Your Rights Wisconsin

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Best Lawyers in America letter

Honored to share this news, which comes to me for the first time. Very few Wisconsin personal injury lawyers ever attain this honor.
 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Concussion Baseline Testing

Concussions are a very serious personal injury, especially for children involved in contact sports.  Wisconsin high schools and colleges are becoming more aware of this problem and many are requiring baseline testing of athletes.  However, parents of younger children involved in sports may not be as aware of the problem and the need for baseline testing.  In the Milwaukee area, Children's Hospital of Wisconsin has a Concussion Clinic that will conduct such testing for only $25.  If you have a young athlete in your family, you should seriously consider such testing.  Here's a video from the Concussion Clinic explaining this:


Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

ExamWorks - IME's are Big Business

Previously, I wrote about Wisconsin IME doctorsmedical defense doctors, and defense ("independent") medical exams and the latter two posts linked to a company formerly known as Verity Medical.  Well, Verity Medical was bought and so you get an idea of how BIG a business it is for insurance companies (and their lawyers) to hire defense medical examination brokers to get them doctors willing to fight legitimate insurance claims - I present ExamWorks

Depending on the day, ExamWorks, publicly traded (NYSE symbol EXAM), has been worth about $225,000,000.00 to $900,000,000.00.  How's that for big business!  And that's only one IME broker.  Here's the list companies purchased by ExamWorks between 7/14/2008 and 2/28/2011:
  • MES Group, Inc., Warren, MI
  • National IME Centres Inc., Thornhill, ON
  • Royal Medical Consultants, Inc., Tampa, FL
  • BMEGateway, Woburn, MA
  • UK Independent Medical Services, Durham, England
  • Health Cost Management, Beaverton, OR
  • Verity Medical, Madison, WI
  • Exigere, Bellevue, WA
  • SOMA Medical Assessments, Toronto, ON
  • Direct IME, Toronto, ON
  • Network Medical Review, Rockford, IL
  • Independent Medical Services, St. Paul, MN
  • 401 Diagnostics, Sacramento, CA
  • Metro Medical Services, East Rockaway, NY
  • American Medical Bill Review, Redding, CA
  • Medical Evaluations, Minneapolis, MN
  • Abeton, Portland, OR
  • Medical Assurance Group, Phoenix, AZ
  • MedNet I.M.S., Atlanta, GA
  • QualMed, Mount Laurel, NJ
  • IME Operations of Physician Practice, Boynton Beach, FL
  • The Evaluation Group, Southfield, MI
  • Benchmark Medical Consultants, Sacramento, CA
  • IME Software Solutions, Farmington Hills, MI
  • Florida Medical Specialists, Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Marquis Medical Administrators, Roseland, NJ
  • Ricwel, Dublin, OH
  • CFO Medical Services, Roseland, NJ
  • Crossland Medical Review Services, Syosset, NY
  • Southwest Medical, Dallas, TX
There are still hundreds, if not thousands, of other "independent medical examination" brokers out there selling doctors to fight diagnosis, causation, allege problems are pre-existing, argue treatment was unnecessary, asserting injuries aren't permanent, etc.

FYI, too, though the companies have become savvy at hiding doctors who work for them, here's a list of the doctors in the area who were working for Verity Medical, and likely now ExamWorks:
  • Mark R. Aschliman, M.D. – Orthopedic Surgeon
  • Stephen E. Barron, M.D. – Orthopedic Surgeon
  • David H. Bartlett, M.D. – Ortho Surgeon – Knees & Shoulders
  • Paul D. Belich, M.D. – Orthopedic Surgeon
  • Paul A. Cederberg, M.D. - Orthopedic Surgeon
  • Steven C. Delheimer, M.D. – Neurosurgeon
  • Steven Donatello, M.D. – Pain Management
  • Anthony A. Ferguson, M.D. – Ortho Surgeon - Foot/Ankle
  • James C. Foster, M.D., MPH – Occupational Medicine
  • Steven P. Friedel, M.D. – Orthopedic Surgeon
  • Dan B. Futch, D.C. – Chiropractor
  • James G. Gmeiner, M.D. – Orthopedic Surgeon/ Spine Specialist
  • J. Jay Goodman, M.D. – General/Vascular Surgeon                            
  • Thomas W. Grossman, Jr., M.D. – Orthopedic Surgeon
  • Steven I. Grindel, M.D. – Ortho. Surgeon/Upper Extremity
  • Gary N. Guten, M.D. – Orthopedic Surgeon – Knee Specialist
  • Timothy S. Hart, M.D. – Orthopedic/Hand Surgeon
  • Scott A. Kale, M.D. – Internal Medicine
  • William B. Kelley, M.D. – General Surgeon
  • William R. Klemme, M.D. – Orthopedic Surgeon
  • Norman Kohn, M.D. – Neurologist
  • Kevin J. Kulwicki, M.D. – Orthopedic Surgeon
  • Paul L. Liebert, M.D. – Orthopedic Surgeon
  • Daniel P. Lochmann, M.D. – Orthopedic Surgeon
  • Thomas A. Lyons, M.D. – Neurosurgeon
  • Hani Matloub, M.D. - Hand Surgery
  • William T. Monacci, M.D. – Neurosurgeon
  • William D. Moore, M.D. – Orthopedic Surgeon
  • J. Christopher Noonan, M.D. – Orthopedic Surgeon
  • Michael R. Nordstrom, M.D. – Otolaryngology
  • Marc J. Novom, M.D. – Neurologist
  • Gregory Nystrom, D.C. – Chiropractor
  • Ellen O’Brien, M.D. – Orthopedic Surgeon
  • Thomas J. O’Brien, M.D. – Ortho. Surgeon/Spine Specialist
  • Timothy S. O’Brien, M.D. – Orthopedic Surgeon
  • Dan M Olson, D.C. – Chiropractor
  • Michael W. Orth, M.D. – Orthopedic Surgeon
  • Michael C. Reineck, M.D. – Orthopedic Surgeon
  • Francisco Sanchez, M.D. – Neurosurgeon
  • Thomas W. Schueppert, M.D. – Ortho. Foot & Ankle Surgeon
  • James E. Self, M.D. – Orthopedic Surgeon
  • David A. Solfelt, M.D. – Orthopedic Surgeon
  • Morris M. Soriano, M.D. – Neurosurgeon
  • Sridhar V. Vasudevan, M.D. – Physical Medicine & Rehab
  • Michael A. Weiner, M.D. – Plastic/Hand Surgeon
  • Gilbert Westreich, M.D. – Neurology
  • John M. Williams, Sr., M.D. – Occupational Medicine
  • Michael G. Wirth, D.C. - Chiropractor
  • Randal Wojciehoski, D.O., DPM – Internal/ER Med./Podiatry
  • John S. Xenos, M.D. – Orthopedic Surgeon
Note, according to New York lawyer Eric Turkewitz, Allstate (Allstate's Obstructing Justice, Allstate exposed, Insurance Companies again,  Allstate's issues continue) is getting its stable of IME doctors from ExamWorks.  Surely, that can be no surprise.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Buy your teen the same amount of car insurance you buy yourself

The day has arrived when you drive your teen to the DMV to get his or her learner’s permit and then driver’s license.  Scary.  But the scariest thing for a parent is being asked to sign for your child’s driver’s license as a “sponsor.”

Wisconsin law requires that children under 18, with some exceptions, have an adult sponsor in order to get a learner’s permit and driver’s license.  The sponsor is typically a parent. The sponsorship application for a child’s driver’s license requires that a parent agree to be jointly and severally liable for damages caused by the negligence or willful misconduct of the child.  This means that if an accident were to occur, the parents would be held liable as if they caused the accident.  Note too, one parent’s signature typically puts both parents on the hook even if they are divorced.  As a result of Wisconsin’s “sponsorship statute” it is important to protect your family and your assets by purchasing your teen drivers as much car insurance as you buy for yourself. 

A recent appellate court decision shows why adequate insurance is so important.  In Progressive Northern Ins. Co. v. Jacobson, 2011 WI App 140, a minor child caused an accident killing his two passengers.  He owned his car and carried his own car insurance, but it appears it was minimal.  However, since Wisconsin requires a sponsor for a minor’s driver’s license, his mother was his sponsor.  Due to the severity of the damages, the deceased passengers’ estates looked to the mother since she was equally liable under the sponsorship statute. 

The mother sought coverage with her insurance company, Progressive Insurance.  However Progressive sought to escape responsibility arguing that it had no duty to cover her son’s accident, even though she was her son’s sponsor.  Progressive’s insurance policy, like most auto policies in Wisconsin, had a “relative” exclusion and the Court agreed with Progressive and found that the mother had no insurance coverage for her son’s accident.  As a result of being liable for her son’s negligence, she could now be forced to use her own assets (money, home or other property) to pay a judgment.

As a result of the sponsorship statute, my typical recommendation for families is that all cars in a family’s household be insured with the same car insurance company and that each car has liability, uninsured (UM), and underinsured (UIM) limits of at least $250,000 per person.  In addition, I strongly advise anyone with any assets, like a home, to purchase an umbrella insurance policy with UM and UIM coverage for $1 or $2 million. 

Sometimes people ask why UM and UIM coverage is important.  The answer is that such coverage protects you and your family from irresponsible drivers with little or no insurance or assets.  Added coverage is not nearly as expensive as you might think, and if you are sponsoring one or more teen drivers, you are at risk and must protect yourself and your assets.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer

Monday, February 27, 2012

Wisconsin Super Lawyers 2011



Pasternak & Zirgibel is again honored in Milwaukee Magazine via Super Lawyers (December 2011).  Both Jeff Zirgibel and I have now appeared in the Top 50 Wisconsin Super Lawyers, which is an incredible award since there are about 14,000 lawyers in Wisconsin.

Super Lawyers tries to identify Wisconsin attorneys in the top 5% of all Wisconsin lawyers and Rising Stars under age 40. Super Lawyers also publishes a Top 50 list discussed below.

For 2011, there are only eight Wisconsin personal injury law firms represented in the Top 50 list:
  • Cannon & Dunphy, Brookfield
  • Domnitz & Skemp, Milwaukee
  • End, Hierseman & Crain, Milwaukee
  • Gingras, Cates & Lubke, Madison
  • Habush Habush & Rottier, Multiple
  • Laufenberg, Stombaugh & Jassak, Multiple
  • Murphy & Prachthauser, Multiple
  • Pasternak & Zirgibel, Brookfield
Wisconsin victims of car accidents, medical malpractice, products liability, premises liability, etc., could do far worse than to start by interviewing these law firms to get help with their personal injury cases.  Mostly in Milwaukee personal injury law firms, they have been recognized by peers as outstanding in their field. 

Hiring lawyers or law firms because they advertise a lot on television or Google, chase ambulances with letters or Wisconsin chiropractors or postings on the web or dabble in personal injury is simply a bad idea. 

If you want a high quality “expert,” look for a personal injury lawyer who shares the traits that these firms do.  This includes injury attorneys who are Peer Review Rated as AV® Preeminent™ 5.0 out of 5 by Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings and active members of The American Association for Justice and Wisconsin Association for Justice.
Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

(888) 232-1274 Milwaukee Family Chiropractic?

(888) 232-1274 is a phone number for what appears to be an outfit attempting to contact personal injury car accident victims.  Callers from 888-232-1274 identify themselves as working on behalf of Milwaukee Family Chiropractic.  These Milwaukee Family Chiropractic reps include: Mr. Presley, Yolanda, Tanya, and Shalanda.  Individuals calling from this phone number contact people after Wisconsin motor vehicle accidents.  In fact, they even call individuals as far away as Madison, Wisconsin.

After googling, I found this site.  Anonymous web users report individuals stating they were called the day after a traffic accident and received multiple calls from same number, 888-232-1274.  Others report receiving ambiguous messages stating they were "calling in regards to your accident."  Most everyone reports that callers leave no company name.  Often, people called were not even injured. Some opine that Milwaukee Family Chiropractic is working on behalf of unethical personal injury lawyers. I say unethical because in Wisconsin it is unethical for personal injury attorneys or reps to cold call accident victims.  I hope that this is not the situation, but based on the information below it appears they may be working with at least one Wisconsin lawyer.

I googled "Milwaukee Family Chiropractic" because one report I received regarding its involvement was from a known source and I found this site.  Interestingly, comments there give sordid details about this outfit and have serious allegations including the involvement of a personal injury attorney.

If you get a call from (888) 232-1274, ignore it and don't respond.  In fact, if you get any cold calls from doctors, lawyers, chiropractors, clinics, or anyone else, other than your own car insurer, do not talk to them or respond.  If you're seriously hurt after a car accident, get a referral from a lawyer you trust for reputable lawyers who focus on personal injury cases.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wisconsin Drug & Medical Device Immunity Proposal is Misplaced

Below is an article I recently wrote for the Wisconsin Association for Justice:

Wisconsin State Senator Rich Zipperer of Pewaukee has recently proposed a bill under the pretense of attempting to create Wisconsin jobs.  The proposed law would bar claims for injury or death by Wisconsin citizens injured by dangerous drugs or medical devices simply because the drug or device had been FDA approved.  Not only is it impossible to imagine how such a law would create a single Wisconsin job, but the simple truth is that such a law is horrible for Wisconsinites.

First of all, under the proposed law, it doesn’t matter whether or not the manufacturer or seller of the dangerous drug or medical device is based in Wisconsin.  This is critical to the claim that the proposed law would help create Wisconsin jobs.  Under the bill, the manufacturer or seller could be based in any state in the nation or country in the world.  Thus, the law won’t encourage any manufacturers or sellers of drugs or medical devices to move from Illinois or China to Wisconsin.  In fact, the only other state in the nation to have a similar law is Michigan, which granted drug manufacturers such immunity in 1996, and it has one of the highest jobless rates in the country.
Secondly, the only consumers affected by the law are Wisconsin citizens.  Wisconsinites injured or killed by a dangerous drug or medical device lose their legal rights under the proposed law.  These are legal rights that citizens of Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and other states retain.  What does this mean?  Well, if such a drug or device kills a Wisconsin family member, the Wisconsinites get no day in court and no justice.  However, if such a dangerous drug or device kills a family member from Minnesota or elsewhere, those citizens get their day in court.  It is hard to imagine how such a law benefits Wisconsin.
Finally, and most importantly, the FDA’s rubber stamp does not mean that dangerous drugs and medical devices will not get to market.  It also does not mean that manufacturers or sellers of such products will act responsibly both before and after obtaining FDA approval.  Where manufacturers and sellers of such products do not act responsibly before or after obtaining FDA approval, they must be held legally responsible to those injured or killed. 
An outstanding article from the American Association for Justice entitled “They Knew and Failed to…: True stories of corpations that knew their products were dangerous, sometimes deadly” recounts true stories behind numerous FDA approved dangerous drugs and medical devices.  Some products mentioned in the article include:

·         Guidant Heart Defibrillators
·         Medtronic Sprint Fidelis
·         Bjork-Shiley Heart Valve
·         A.H. Robbins Dalkon Shield IUD
·         G.D. Searle Copper-7 IUD
·         Playtex Super-absorbent Tampons
·         Renu Contact Lens Solution
·         Johnson & Johnson’s Propulsid
·         Bayer’s Trasylol
·         GlaxoSmithKline’s Avandia
·         Eli Lilly’s Zyprexa
·         AstraZeneca’s Seroquel
·         Johnson & Johnson’s Ortho Evra
·         SSRIs – Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft
·         Chiron’s Flu Vaccine

The article conclusively shows how irresponsibly individuals at drug and medical device companies can act and that such negligence can occur both before and after obtaining an FDA rubber stamp.  Too frequently, product warnings turn out to be wrong, design flaws discovered, and problems and side effects revealed.  Yet, often those responsible for these dangers ignore or attempt to hide such dangers.  In such instances, the manufacturers or sellers must be held accountable.

 Senator Zipperer’s proposed law does nothing to create Wisconsin jobs, only harms Wisconsin consumers, and wrongly assumes that manufacturers and sellers of dangerous drugs and medical devices will act responsibly.

Wisconsin personal injury attorney Frank Pasternak is managing partner of Pasternak & Zirgibel S.C. in Brookfield, Wisconsin.  He is on the Board of Directors for the Wisconsin Association for Justice and a Charter Member of the American Association for Justice President’s Club.  He is AV® rated by Martindale-Hubbell and listed on the “Top 50” Wisconsin “Super Lawyers” list published in Milwaukee Magazine. His practice focuses on personal injury and wrongful death cases particularly cases involving serious accidents and liability for asbestos caused mesothelioma.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Would the Tylenol tampering lawsuits have survived Wisconsin’s new product liability laws?

In 1991, the Chicago law firm I was working at, Corboy & Demetrio, settled a highly publicized product liability case. The law firm represented the families of three individuals who died in 1982 after ingesting cyanide-laced Tylenol. The Tylenol tampering deaths caused a nationwide poisoning scare and eventually led to tamper-resistant packaging on all over-the-counter medicines.

Twenty years later, in 2011, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed product liability law changes that he claimed businesses needed to create jobs here. Despite the fact that the Chamber of Commerce ranked Wisconsin in the top half of states to do business in 2010, Walker felt the new law was necessary. Unfortunately, the simple truth is that the new law harms Wisconsin consumers by giving manufacturers and sellers of dangerous products large legal loopholes for skirting responsibility to those they injure.

Essentially, the new law gives corporations a variety of new defenses and makes defendant-oriented changes to prior Wisconsin product liability law. The changes and defenses make it easier for manufacturers to sell dangerous and defective products and not be held responsible for the injuries or deaths such products cause. I would like to use the Tylenol tampering lawsuits to demonstrate the effect of the new law.

One of the most egregious examples of the new law’s anti-consumer bias is a dismissal of all sellers and distributors of products if the manufacturer defends the case. Thus, any company that sold or distributed the cyanide-laced Tylenol would be off the hook under the new law because the manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson, appeared. This is despite the allegation that the Tylenol was tampered with after it left Johnson & Johnson. So, despite the fact that companies profited from selling or distributing the cyanide-laced Tylenol, they would not be held accountable under the new law.

Additionally, a distributor or seller cannot be held accountable if the distributor or seller receives the product in a sealed container and had no opportunity to inspect it. Thus, any company that sold or distributed the cyanide-laced Tylenol in a sealed container would be off the hook under the new law.

Another new defense for manufacturers of dangerous products is the presumption that their product is not defective if it complied with applicable state and federal regulations or specifications. So if the Food and Drug Administration had approved the non-tamper resistant bottles for Johnson & Johnson, any Wisconsin jury hearing the case would have to presume that the bottles were not defectively designed.

A further new defense can limit what a jury can know about actions take by the company after the cyanide-laced Tylenol was found. A Wisconsin jury may never learn that Johnson & Johnson put tamper-resistant lids on all of its Tylenol bottles. The only way evidence of the tamper-resistant lids is admitted is if the injured person showed the risk of harm posed by the product could have been reduced or avoided by the lids because it was a reasonable alternative design.

An additional defense provided under the new law is a 15-year time limit. This time limit provides manufacturers immunity from claims by those injured by a defective product that was manufactured 15 years or more before the injury. Thus, if one of those defective bottles of cyanide-laced Tylenol were still here in Wisconsin today, and someone ingested one and died, there would be no case. Not even Johnson & Johnson would be responsible. Note, however, there is one exception to this new law, which is claims for damages caused by a disease that doesn’t appear for several years, such as mesothelioma caused by exposure to asbestos.

Governor Scott Walker’s new product liability law is replete with reasons as to why the Tylenol tampering lawsuits would not have survived in Wisconsin. With the stroke of a pen, the Governor changed years of Wisconsin law and tragically harmed Wisconsin’s consumers.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer

Friday, January 14, 2011

Wisconsin Car Insurance Law Proposal

Oshkosh newspaper has a solid editorial: Go slow on rolling back insurance law. It has a great quote:
"Ask anyone who has had significant injuries from a car crash and they'll tell you that a $50,000 limit on personal injury, much less $25,000, doesn't come close to covering the cost of hospital treatment, recovery and rehabilitation. Rolling back the insurance requirement merely furthers the harm done to those already injured in an accident."
A hand full of legislators want to go back to the car insurance levels in Wisconsin that were enacted in 1982. What? The also want to revisit the law which give greater protection to those severely injured or killed by drivers who fail to carry insurance (uninsured) and drivers who carry the lowest legal limits (underinsured). When Wisconsin 4th Cheapest State for Car Insurance, it makes no sense at all to do this. Unfortunately, legislators hope to punish trial lawyers with this law, but the fact is changing these laws hurts Wisconsin families.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney

Monday, January 10, 2011

Wisconsin Product Liability Law Proposal

Despite the fact that the Chamber of Commerce ranks Wisconsin in the top half of states to do business in, Governor Scott Walker has recently proposed several changes to Wisconsin tort law, including product liability law changes, claiming these will create jobs. None of the proposed changes will do that and one of these proposed changes will immunize sellers of dangerous and defective products that cause injury or death. No seller of a dangerous or defective product should ever be given what is essentially a blanket immunity.

For a very sad example of how products can kill people, read Asbestos & Insulation Contractors at my Wisconsin Asbestos & Mesothelioma blog.

Wisconsin Injury Attorney

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wisconsin personal injury Super Lawyers 2010


Wisconsin personal injury attorneys Pasternak & Zirgibel are again honored in Milwaukee Magazine via Law & Politics in its annual Super Lawyers issue (December 2010). I am again honored as one of the Top 50 Wisconsin Super Lawyers and Jeff Zirgibel is again honored as a Wisconsin Super Lawyer. Super Lawyers attempts to identify Wisconsin lawyers in the top 5% of all Wisconsin attorneys and the Rising Stars list tries to identify the top 2.5% of Wisconsin attorneys under age 40. Super Lawyers also publishes a Top 50 list discussed below.

This Wisconsin personal injury lawyer is once again honored to be chosen to be among the Top 50 Super Lawyers in Wisconsin. Only 7 plaintiffs personal injury law firms are represented in that Top 50:

Cannon & Dunphy, Brookfield
Domnitz & Skemp, Milwaukee
End, Hierseman & Crain, Milwaukee
Habush Habush & Rottier, Various
Laufenberg Law Group, Milwaukee
Murphy & Prachthauser, Milwaukee
Pasternak & Zirgibel, Brookfield

Accident victims in Wisconsin (car accidents, medical malpractice, products liability, premises liability, etc.) would be off to a great start in interviewing these law firms to get help with a personal injury case. These Milwaukee personal injury law firms have been recognized by their peers as outstanding in their field. Simply going to a lawyer or law firm that advertises a lot, chases ambulances with letters, or dabbles in personal injury but really practices in other areas of the law is irresponsible. Additionally, though all different, the Wisconsin lawyers at these firms share several common professional traits. Such traits include being Peer Review Rated as AV® Preeminent™ 5.0 out of 5 by Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings, and being active members of The American Association for Justice and Wisconsin Association for Justice.

Congratulations to all who made Super Lawyers! It surely is an honor to be listed given that there are about 14,000 lawyers in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Injury Lawyer

Friday, November 05, 2010

Habush v. Cannon Part XI

Habush v. Cannon & Dunphy continues to be litigated. The future court activity in Milwaukee County shows motion hearings in January and February and then two separate trials. One trial will begin April 4, 2011 and the other June 6, 2011. Given that I just searched Yahoo, Bing and Google and still got a "Cannon and Dunphy" paid for result in Google, I'm sure Habush is anxious to precede. The paid result comes up whether one searches Google for "Habush" "habush habush rottier" "Bob Habush" "Rottier" or "Dan Rottier."

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wisconsin 4th Cheapest State for Car Insurance

With last year's changes in the laws benefiting Wisconsin car drivers, there's been talk on talk radio in Milwaukee about griping car insurance. The changes were great for anyone seriously injured in car accident in Wisconsin, but weren't so great for car insurance companies, which continue to try to lobby politicians for ending the law. Specifically helped by the new laws are those hit by uninsured drivers, those hit by drivers with little car insurance, and those who own multiple cars.

So here's some news for consumers, based on data directly from insurance industry, and it contradicts the nonsense: Wisconsin is the 4th cheapest state for car insurance. Only Ohio, Vermont and Maine are cheaper. Here's the link to insure.com which did this study.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Insurance Settlement Scam on Attorneys

Having read various emails directed to me and on lawyers listservs, I thought I'd link to this lawyers settlement scam story. Below are tips from secretservice.gov:

How do I report a case of advance fee fraud (also known as "4-1-9 fraud")?

The perpetrators of advance fee fraud, known internationally as "4-1-9 fraud" (after the section of the Nigerian penal code which addresses these schemes), are often very creative and innovative. A large number of victims are enticed into believing they have been singled out from the masses to share in multi-million dollar windfall profits for no apparent reason.

If you have suffered a significant financial loss related to advance fee fraud, please contact your local Secret Service field office. Telephone numbers are available in the Field Office Directory on this website or may also be found on the inside cover of your local telephone directory. Any investigation regarding this type of fraud will be conducted on a case by case basis at the discretion of the local Secret Service and U.S. Attorney's Office.

If you ever receive an e-mail or fax from someone you do not know requesting your assistance in a financial transaction, such as the transfer of a large sum of money into an account, or claiming you are the next of kin to an wealthy person who has died, or the winner of some obscure lottery, DO NOT respond. These requests are typically sent through public servers via a generic "spammed" e-mail message. Usually, the sender does not yet know your personal e-mail address and is depending on you to respond. Once you reply, whether you intend to string them along or tell them you are not interested, they will often continue to e-mail you in an attempt to harass or intimidate you. If you receive an unsolicited e-mail of this nature, the best course is to simply delete the message.

Due to a number of aggravating circumstances, such as the use of false names, addresses, stolen/cloned/prepaid cell phones and remote email addresses, verifying the location of and subsequent prosecution of these persons or groups is difficult. The act of sending an email soliciting strangers' assistance in a financial transaction is not, in itself, a crime. The installation of a credible spam filter and contacting your Internet Service Provider may help deter these unsolicited emails. However, there is currently no available program to completely block these types of messages.

How can I protect myself against check fraud?

-Don't give your checking account number to people you don't know, even if they claim they are from your bank.
-Reveal checking account information only to businesses you know to be reputable.
-Report lost or stolen checks immediately.
-Properly store or dispose of canceled checks and guard new checks.
-Report any inquiries or suspicious behavior to your bank, who will take measures to protect your account and notify proper authorities.
-Do not leave your automated teller machine receipt at the ATM; it may contain account information.
-Check your bank statements carefully and often.
-Use direct deposit.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer

Monday, March 15, 2010

Habush v. Cannon - Part IX

Loaded onto scribd some court documents. If one has time, it makes interesting reading. A document of note is the Habush, Habush, & Rottier Press Release regarding this Cannon & Dunphy lawsuit since in my first post on this epic battle I hypothesized about the media angle.

Other documents are:
Cannon & Dunphy's Motion to Dismiss the Habush, Habush, & Rottier Lawsuit
Cannon & Dunphy's Appendix to the Motion to Dismiss
Habush, Habush, & Rottier's Response to Cannon & Dunphy's Motion to Dismiss

According to CCAP at the hearing, Bob Habush was in court along with his Foley & Lardner attorneys James R. Clark and Adam Crawford, as was Bill Cannon along with his attorney J. Ric Gass.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney

Habush v. Cannon - Part VIII

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Bruce Vielmetti's story today Legal firms begin clash over Web-search tactic chronicles last week's hearing in the titanic battle between Milwaukee law firms Habush, Habush & Rottier and Cannon & Dunphy.

Bill Cannon and Pat Dunphy's defense attorney Ric Gass - who's firm is known for defending corporations like Cargill, CBS, Crown Equipment, Humana, Lennox, Northwestern Mutual Life, Toshiba, Trek, and a handful of insurance companies - made an argument to the Court relating to http://www.yellowpages.com/ and how it shows a Habush ad when one searches for certain lawyers. Out of curiousity, I went to yellowpages and searched various personal injury lawyers names, and yes, the Habush ad is shown on the right along with a variety of personal injury law firms in the Milwaukee area. However, the site does state above the ads that those are "category-related advertisers." It seems to me, at least, that these yellowpages ads are different from the purchases Habush is suing Cannon & Dunphy over. The Google strategy was one chosen by Cannon, whereas the yellowpages results appear to chosen by yellowpages and aimed more generally at personal injury lawyers in Milwaukee.

Bottom line, Bob Habush and Dan Rottier's case against Bill Cannon and Pat Dunphy continues but as described in the article it goes on without the law firm of Habush, Habush & Rottier as a plaintiff.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer

Monday, March 08, 2010

Habush v. Cannon - Part VII

Followed up on the Bob Habush v. Bill Cannon lawsuit pending in Milwaukee County Circuit Court. The Wisconsin court has a hearing scheduled for Wednesday, March 10, 2010 at 9:15 a.m. on Cannon & Dunphy's motion to dismiss the complaint of Habush, Habush & Rottier.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Elmbrook Education Foundation

Elmbrook Education Foundation honored my firm this week with this press release. We have been and are very proud to be a sponsor for the Foundation's events, which help provide education scholarships and educational grants to District of Elmbrook students and schools. Others interested in helping the Foundation should contact Laura Schmidt.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer

Thursday, December 10, 2009

WTMJ MACC Fund Make-A-Wish Story

I heard from several people about TMJ4's recent news story, MACC: Nollenn's Wish, which narrates a young Milwaukee boy's battle against cancer and the Make-A-Wish Foundation celebration of his remission. His sister was seen by Wisconsin viewers wearing her Brookfield Soccer Pasternak & Zirgibel jersey.

Obviously, my law firm supports the Brookfield Soccer Association, and after seeing this young girl proudly wearing her jersey in this story, it made donations to support both the MACC Fund and Make-A-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin.

The WTMJ story was a precursor to the upcoming MACC Fund Sports Auction to be held on TMJ4 this Saturday, December 12, 2009 at Noon.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney

Friday, December 04, 2009

Habush v. Cannon - part VI

Wonder if the media is following up on the Habush v. Cannon lawsuit. Checked CCAP, Robert L Habush et al vs. William M Cannon et al, Milwaukee County Case Number 2009CV018149, and there's a phone conference right now with Judge Kahn.

For those who have not seen it yet, the Habush, Habush & Rottier vs. Cannon & Dunphy Complaint.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer

Friday, November 20, 2009

Habush v. Cannon - part V

A quick note too, the recent Journal-Sentinel article is wrong in asserting that the "Sponsored link [is] gone."

I again just searched Yahoo! and Google as well as Bing and all three have sponsored links when you search for "Habush" or "Rottier" that lead to the website of Cannon & Dunphy.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney

Habush v. Cannon - part IV

JS Online now as an article about the war of words and a quote from Cannon saying of the lawsuit and Habush, "It's ridiculous. He looks like a buffoon." Personally, I don't think either is true here. Let's take a look at the legal basis for the Habush v. Cannon lawsuit:

Wisconsin's Right to Privacy law, Wis. Stats. §995.50, states:

(1) The right of privacy is recognized in this state.
***
(2) In this section, “invasion of privacy” means any of the following:
***
(b) The use, for advertising purposes or for purposes of trade, of the name, portrait or picture of any living person, without having first obtained the written consent of the person or, if the person is a minor, of his or her parent or guardian.
***
(3) The right of privacy recognized in this section shall be interpreted in accordance with the developing common law of privacy, including defenses of absolute and qualified privilege, with due regard for maintaining freedom of communication, privately and through the public media.


Thus, it seems to me, that the question here is whether Cannon's use of Habush's name through Google is permissible under subsection (3). Certainly, there's a possibility it was permissible. The question though is whether that's a question of fact (for a jury to decide) or a question of law (for a court of law to decide). Lawyers may want to see H & R Block E. Enters. v. Swenson, 2008 WI App 3, 307 Wis.2d 390, 745 N.W.2d 421. The bottom line is that we might eventually see this case in front of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, or perhaps the U.S. Supreme Court.

Consumers curious about the legal issues in Habush v. Cannon may want to review the Citizen Media Law Project's Using the Name or Likeness of Another.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Habush v. Cannon - part III

AP has a story on this now in which the two reputable Wisconsin pesonal injury attorneys are now having what can only be described as an ugly war of words. Per the story, among other things, Attorney Bob Habush said: "If Bill Cannon thinks this is a correct way to do business he needs to have his moral compass taken to the repair shop." Conversely, Attorney Bill Cannon is quoted as saying: "This is equally available to Habush if he weren't so cheap to bid on his own name." Though mildly entertaining, I'd venture to guess that lawyers for both attorneys might advise against this public display.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney

Habush v. Cannon - part II

Given the Chicago Tribune's report that Attorney Bill Cannon "calls the lawsuit "laughable" and without merit," perhaps my speculation that Habush and Rottier believed that Cannon wouldn't stop the practice was dead on and they could have been wasting their time if they had expressed concern before filing the lawsuit. More interesting to lawyers though is probably whether or not the practice is legal.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer

Habush, Habush & Rottier sues Cannon & Dunphy

Habush, Habush & Rottier, an old-guard Wisconsin personal injury law firm, is suing Cannon & Dunphy, another such firm for paying Google to link to the Cannon & Dunphy website when Google user searchs the name Habush or Rottier. It's actually quite interesting given that the Habush law firm was one of the first to advertise quite heavily on T.V. here in Wisconsin, but was one of the last among major Wisconsin personal injury law firms to start advertising on the web. For example, this attorney is aware of the fact that within the last year or so the Habush law firm paid someone to create a network of somewhat generic blogs on the web.

Apparently, some of the underlying facts of the Habush, Habush & Rottier lawsuit are true. I just went to both Google and Yahoo and searched Habush and Rottier and the sponsored results on both searches had the Cannon & Dunphy website listed as "sponsored results." Per the MJS article, Habush has asked a Wisconsin court to stop the Cannon firm from paying for such search results.

In reading the article, what I found interesting was attorney Pat Dunphy's comment the Habush firm didn't call the Cannon & Dunphy firm to express its concern before filing the lawsuit. I too find that interesting given the storied history of these two firms and it makes me think that either Bob Habush and Dan Rottier believed that Cannon & Dunphy wouldn't stop the practice or that the former was possibly looking for some "free press." Certainly, this is an interesting lawsuit among Wisconsin personal injury attorneys.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney

Friday, November 13, 2009

Top 50 Wisconsin Super Lawyers in Milwaukee Magazine

Milwaukee Magazine is out with its December 2009 issue, which again this year has the Super Lawyers list of attorneys in Wisconsin. Super Lawyers tries to identify the top 5% of all Wisconsin attorneys and its Rising Stars list tries to identify the top 2.5% of Wisconsin attorneys under age 40. Super Lawyers also publishes a Top 50 list, which I discuss here. If you wish to browse the whole list by area of practice, you may do so here. I referred to the publication back in July posting on Top Wisconsin Lawyers and with last year’s publication in Wisconsin Personal Injury Super Lawyers.

This Wisconsin personal injury lawyer is again honored to be on the list and more so this year as I was chosen to be among the Top 50 Super Lawyers in Wisconsin. Only eight plaintiffs personal injury law firms are represented in that Top 50:

Cannon & Dunphy, Brookfield
Domnitz & Skemp, Milwaukee
End, Hierseman & Crain, Milwaukee
Habush Habush & Rottier, Various
Laufenberg Law Group, Milwaukee
Murphy & Prachthauser, Milwaukee
Pasternak & Zirgibel, Brookfield
Previant, Goldberg, et al., Milwaukee

A Wisconsin accident victim (car accident, medical malpractice, products liability, premises liability, etc.) could do much worse than interviewing these law firms to help with his or her personal injury case. How? Well, they could go to Wisconsin attorneys who advertise "have wreck, get a check" or chase ambulances with letters or just dabble in personal injury.

The twelve plaintiffs Wisconsin personal injury lawyers in the Top 50 are:

Larry B. Brueggeman
William M. Cannon
Merrick R. Domnitz
Patrick O. Dunphy
J. Michael End
Laurence J. Fehring
Robert L. Habush
Robert L. Jaskulski
Lynn R. Laufenberg
Frank T. Pasternak
Don C. Prachthauser
Daniel A. Rottier

Though all different, some common professional traits we have include being Peer Review Rated: AV® Preeminent™ 5.0 out of 5 (see The Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings),
and active members of The American Association for Justice and Wisconsin Association for Justice.

In alphabetical order, below are all the Top 50 Wisconsin lawyers found in the list, including their law firm and main area of practice:

Steven A. Bach, Cullen Weston Pines & Bach, Family Law
Emile H. Banks, Jr., Emile Banks & Associates, Insurance Defense
Stephen C. Beilke, Murphy Desmond, Family Law
Peter C. Blain, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren, Bankruptcy
Bruce T. Block, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren, Real Estate
Larry B. Brueggeman, Previant, Goldberg, et al., Personal Injury
Brian E. Butler, Stafford Rosenbaum, Dispute Resolution
William M. Cannon, Cannon & Dunphy, Personal Injury
Michael J. Cohen, Meissner Tierney Fisher & Nichols, Business
Gregory B. Conway, Liebmann, Conway, et al., Business
Barrett J. Corneille, Corneille Law Group, Insurance Defense
Claude J. Covelli, Boardman Suhr Curry & Field, Litigation
Randall D. Crocker, von Briesen & Roper, Bankruptcy
Michael P. Crooks, Peterson, Johnson & Murray, Insurance Defense
Merrick R. Domnitz, Domnitz & Skemp, Personal Injury
Patrick O. Dunphy, Cannon & Dunphy, Personal Injury
J. Michael End, End, Hierseman & Crain, Personal Injury
Laurence J. Fehring, Habush Habush & Rottier, Personal Injury
Nathan A. Fishbach, Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek, Criminal Defense
Michael J. Fitzgerald, Glynn, Fitzgerald & Albee, Criminal Defense
Robert H. Friebert, Friebert, Finerty & St. John, Business Litigation
Lori Gendelman, Otjen, Van Ert & Weir, Insurance Defense
Stephen M. Glynn, Glynn, Fitzgerald & Albee, Criminal Defense
Robert L. Habush, Habush Habush & Rottier, Personal Injury
Philip J. Halley, Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek, Estate & Probate
Scott W. Hansen, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren, Business Litigation
Gregg M. Herman, Loeb & Herman, Family Law
Stephen P. Hurley, Hurley, Burish & Stanton, Criminal Defense
Jesse S. Ishikawa, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren, Real Estate
Robert L. Jaskulski, Habush Habush & Rottier, Personal Injury
Terry E. Johnson, Peterson, Johnson & Murray, Insurance Defense
J. David Krekeler, Krekeler Strother, Bankruptcy
Dean P. Laing, O'Neil, Cannon, Hollman, DeJong, General Litigation
Lynn R. Laufenberg, Laufenberg Law Group, Personal Injury
Michael P. Malone, Hinshaw & Culbertson, Insurance Defense
Stephen J. Meyer, Meyer Law Office, Criminal Defense
James T. Murray, Jr., Peterson, Johnson & Murray, Insurance Def.
Timothy F. Nixon, Godfrey & Kahn, Bankruptcy
Frank T. Pasternak, Pasternak & Zirgibel, Personal Injury
Bruce M. Peckerman, Peckerman & Klein, Family Law
Charles I. Phillips, Phillips & Gemignani, Family Law
Don C. Prachthauser, Murphy & Prachthauser, Personal Injury
Daniel A. Rottier, Habush Habush & Rottier, Personal Injury
Thomas W. St. John, Friebert, Finerty & St. John, Family Law
Carlton D. Stansbury, Burbach & Stansbury, Family Law
Marie A. Stanton, Hurley, Burish & Stanton, Dispute Resolution
Dean A. Strang, Hurley, Burish & Stanton, Criminal Defense
Daphne Webb, Stafford Rosenbaum, Family Law
Todd M. Weir, Otjen, Van Ert & Weir, Insurance Defense
Brady C. Williamson, Godfrey & Kahn, Business/Corporate

Congratulations to all who made Super Lawyers! It surely is an honor to be listed given that there are about 14,000 lawyers in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Wisconsin Informed Consent Law

Wisconsin medical malpractice law has a doctrine known as informed consent. This was recently addressed by the Wisconsin Supreme Court in Bubb v. Brusky. Maryland personal injury lawyer Ron Miller has a very good post on the Bubb decision here. The basic take away from the decision is that physicians have a duty to fully inform patients of treatment alternatives that reasonable patients may choose. Thus, the failure of a doctor to give a patient those options may be found to be medical malpractice in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Top Wisconsin Lawyers List

I blogged on Wisconsin personal injury Super Lawyers before. But I just received great news from one of Super Lawyers editors via email. Specifically, I was told that in 2009, I will be rated one of the TOP 50 Wisconsin Super Lawyers.

This honor is pretty cool considering that the answer to the question How many lawyers are in Wisconsin? is about 14,000. After the full top lawyers in Wisconsin list is published in the December 2009 issue of Milwaukee Magazine, I'll try to let you know specifics. Based on last year's list though, I feel honored since among Wisconsin lawyers, I appear to be the youngest by about 17 years with only 10 or less Wisconsin attorneys who limit their practice to plaintiff's personal injury law appearing in the Top 50.

No surprise, none of the "have a wreck, get a check" suspects are on last year's list and no more than two partners at any large personal injury firm made that list (see, How many lawyers do you need?).

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer

Monday, July 13, 2009

Medical Malpractice Double Standard

Estate of Genrich v. OHIC Insurance Company is the latest example of the double standard present in Wisconsin's medical malpractice cases. Supreme Court Justice Crooks really sums up that decision where he states in his dissent: "The approach adopted by the majority in this case----that a three-year statute of limitations on a wrongful death claim somehow runs before three years have elapsed after the date of death----unfortunately may foster a public perception that common sense sometimes is lacking in court decisions."

For some reason, courts at all levels seem to make special rules and exceptions for cases involving Wisconsin medical malpractice.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney

Friday, May 08, 2009

Help Increase Auto Insurance Liability Limits in Wisconsin

With the legal minimum insurance in Wisconsin at $25,000, you could easily be seriously injured in a car accident through no fault of your own and later find out the other driver doesn't have enough car insurance to pay for your medical bills. Governor Doyle has proposed increasing the liability limits for auto insurance. Wisconsin has had the same minimum rates of liability coverage since 1982.

Higher limits are necessary and even automobile insurers admit that higher liability limits will make it easier for health insurers and healthcare providers to be paid. Please take time to send a short email to your State Representative and State Senator just by clicking here to read the message and send it.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney

Monday, April 06, 2009

Wisconsin Car Insurance Reform

Driving Auto Insurance Reform in Wisconsin discusses Governor Doyle's car insurance proposal. It makes excellent points about the fact that car accident victims are greatly effected by (1) health care costs skyrocketing 250%-300% and (2) the cost of cars increasing since 1982, the last time Wisconsin addressed its minimum car insurance limits. I've heard Milwaukee area talk-show pundits complain about the bill, but I'm sure the two most popular - Sykes and Belling - both have limits that exceed those proposed by Gov. Doyle - $100,000 per individual, $300,000 per incident.

Call your state legislator and senator and tell them to support reforming car insurance in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Two Die in Marinette County Car Accident

A single-vehicle car accident in Marinette County claimed two lives Friday evening in Lake, Wisconsin. According to the County Sheriff, the car veered off the road entering a ditch and striking a tree. Law enforcement believes the driver was driving too fast for conditions. If you or a loved one are involved in a serious accident causing injury or death, contact me.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Wisconsin IME Doctors

In Defense "Independent" Medical Examinations and Medical Defense Doctors, I blogged on IME doctors in Wisconsin and an outfit brokering Wisconsin IME docs. Today's New York Times' Exams of Injured Workers Fuel Mutual Mistrust peaked my curiousity and so this time, instead of picking on the same firm as the last two posts, I'm blogging on Medical Systems, Inc. and Medical Impressions, two "IME" brokers here in Brookfield, Wisconsin.

Medical Systems, Inc. website is medicalsystemsusa.com. They hold themselves out as a resource to insurance claims adjusters and corporate defense lawyers. They publish online dates doctors are available for IMEs for the next 3 months, and as can be seen, some Wisconsin doctors have little time to see real patients. Perhaps physicians can make a lot of money doing IMEs for insurance companies and corporate defense lawyers. As of the date of this blog, the current list of Wisconsin physicians being brokered by Medical Systems, Inc. included:

Dr. Steven Anderson
Dr. Hany Afran
Dr. James Agre
Dr. Aftab Ansari
Dr. Mark Aschliman
Dr. Paul Barkhaus
Dr. David Bartlett
Dr. James Barnett
Dr. Stephen Barron
Dr. Gita Baruah
Dr. Barry Bast
Dr. Benjamin Begley
Dr. James Berman
Dr. Henry Bernstein
Dr. David Blake
Dr. Crain Bliwas
Dr. Robert Braco
Dr. Arlene Braker
Dr. Russell Brethauer
Dr. Fredrik Broekhuizen
Leo Bronston (Chiro)
Dr. Dennis Brown
Dr. Steven Brown
Dr. Joseph Burgarino
Dr. Robert Buss
Dr. Paul Caillier
Dr. Paul Cederberg
Dr. Gorden Clark
Dr. Steven Cohen
Dr. Edward Coleman
Dr. Gary Conger
Dr. Thomas Connor
Dr. Curtis Crimmins
Dr. Steven Dankle
Dr. Omar Darr
Dr. Walter Davison
Dr. Jack Deckard
Dr. John DeGiovanni
Dr. Steven Donatello
Dr. David Dorman
Dr. Thomas Drake
Dr. Roy Dunlap
Kevin Dunn (Chiro)
Dr. William Dzwierzynski
Dr. Dennis Elmergreen
Dr. Donald Feinsilver
Dr. Anthony Ferguson
Dr. Marvin Fetter
Dr. Bradley Fideler
Dr. Richard Fleck
Dr. Robert Friedrich
Dr. Kimball Fuiks
Danny Futch (Chiro)
Dr. Eric Gaenslen
Dr. Balaraju Gandhavadi
Dr. James Gmeiner
Dr. Daniel Goeckner
Dr. David Goodman
Dr. Steven Grindel
Dr. Brad Grunert
Dr. Gary Guten
Dr. Ahmad Haffar
Dr. Jerome Hagens
Dr. Thomas Hammeke
Dr. Jerome Hanson
Dr. Gerald Harris
Dr. David Haskell
Dr. Patrick Healy
Dr. Eric Heiligenstein
Dr. Bruce Herman
Dr. Sidney Herszenson
Tony Hielle (Chiro)
Dr. Robert Hirschmann
Dr. Sang Hong
Dr. Jacques Hussussian
Mark Jacquette (Chiro)
Dr. Subbanna Jayprakash
Dr. Richard Karr
Dr. Sean Keane
Dr. William Kelley
Dr. Thomas Kidder
Dennis King (Chiro)
Dr. Steven Klein
Dr. Jennifer Klopfstein
Dr. Steven Koenig
Dr. Harvey Kohn
Dr. John Krebsbach
Dr. James Langenkamp
Dr. Calvin Langmade
Dr. Mark Lanser
Dr. Allan Levin
Dr. Scott Levin
Dr. Stuart Levy
Dr. Jonathan Lewis
Dr. Michael Lischak
Dr. Boyd Lumsden
Dr. Thomas Lyons
Dr. Daniel Maryland
Dr. Hani Matloub
Dr. Robert McCabe
Dr. Peter Medved
Dr. Mark Meier
Jay Meverden (Chiro)
Dr. Jeffrey Minikel
Dr. Aroor Moorthy
Dr. Craig Moe
Dr. James Mullen
Dr. David Nash
Robert Newman (Chiro)
Dr. Christopher Noonan
Dr. Michael Nordstrom
Dr. Marc Novom
Gregory Nystrom (Chiro)
Dr. Ellen O'Brien
Dan Olson (Chiro)
Dr. Reid Olson
Dr. Michael Orth
Dr. David Osmon
Daniel Page (Chiro)
Dr. Douglas Palmer
Dr. Steven Pals
Dr. Thomas Pietrocarlo
Dr. Neal Pollack
Dr. Kenneth Robbins
Dr. Stephen Robbins
Dr. Rajit Saluja
Dr. Marvin Sattler
Dr. Steven Schnoll
Dr. Donald Schuster
Dr. James Sehloff
Dr. James Self
Robert Servias (Chiro)
Dr. Andrew Seter
Frederick Sheppard (Chiro)
Dr. Mysore Shivaram
Dr. John Siegert
Dr. Jane Sliwinski
Dr. Kwang Soo
Dr. Morris Soriano
Dr. Michael Spierer
Dr. Ron Stark
Dr. Richard Steliga
Dr. Robert Stern
Dr. James Stiehl
Dr. Cass Terry
Dr. David Toivonen
Dr. Sridhar Vasudevan
Dr. Patrick Walsh
Dr. Kevin Weidman
Dr. James White
Dr. Mark Wikenheiser
Dr. Terrence Wilkins
Dr. John Williams
Dr. Alison Wilmeth
Dr. William Wirostko
Randall Wojciehoski (D.O.)
Dr. Walter Wong
Dr. Jeffrey Zigun
Dr. Diane Zwicke


Medical Impressions website is medicalimpressions.com. They don't publish online dates doctors are available for IMEs. However, they do have the current list of Wisconsin doctors being brokered by Medical Impressions:

Allergy
Steven Cohen, M.D. Milwaukee
Gary Steven, M.D. Milwaukee

Anesthesiology
Steven Donatello, M.D. Milwaukee


Cardiology
Syhas Shelgikar, M.D. Milwaukee
Melish A. Thompson, M.D. Milwaukee
Diane Zwicke, M.D. Milwaukee


Chiropractic
Kelly Andrews, D.C. Madison
Greg Bernard, D.C. Hudson
Kevin Dunn, D.C. Milwaukee, Madison, Fond du Lac
Gary Fischer, D.C. Onalaska
Daniel Futch, D.C. Madison
Dane Laughlin, D.C. Superior
Craig Martin, D.C. Appleton
Jay Meverden, D.C. Wausau
Robert Newman, D.C. Milwaukee, Madison
Gregory Nystrom, D.C. Appleton, Green Bay, Wausau
Daniel Olson, D.C. Madison
Robert Servais, D.C. Green Bay
Michael Utschig, D.C. Madison
Gregory Whitcomb, D.C. Milwaukee


Dentistry
Jeff Jones, D.D.S. Rice Lake
Michael Kowalski, D.D.S. Waukesha
Steven Schnoll, D.D.S. Milwaukee


Dermatology
James Barnett, M.D. Milwaukee
Sidney Herszenson, M.D. Milwaukee
Donald Schuster, M.D. Madison


Ear, Nose & Throat
Steven Dankle, M.D. Milwaukee
Roy Dunlap, M.D. Stevens Point, Wisconsin Rapids
David Friedland, M.D. Milwaukee
Peter Medved, M.D. Milwaukee
Michael Nordstrom, M.D. Milwaukee
Frederic Schmidt, M.D. Green Bay


General Surgery
Steward Gifford, M.D. Green Bay
William Kelley, M.D. Milwaukee
Michael Rainiero, M.D. Janesville
Richard Steliga, M.D. Milwaukee
Brent Wogahn, M.D. Rice Lake


Hand Surgery
Jon Cherney, M.D. Appleton
Curtis Crimmins, M.D. Milwaukee
Andreas Doermann, M.D. Milwaukee
William Dzwierzynski, M.D. Milwaukee
Steven Grindel, M.D. Milwaukee
Boyd Lumsden, M.D. Appleton
Hani Matloub, M.D. Milwaukee
John Schneider, M.D. Milwaukee
John Siegert, M.D. Milwaukee
David Toivonen, M.D. Appleton
James White, M.D. Milwaukee
Terrence Wilkins, M.D. Milwaukee


Hematology
David Blake, M.D. Milwaukee


Infectious Disease
David Wagner, M.D. Milwaukee


Internal Medicine
David Blake, M.D. Milwaukee
James Levin, M.D. Madison
Reid Olson, M.D. Madison
Randal Wojciehoski, D.O. Stevens Point, Milwaukee, Eau Claire, Duluth, Wausau, Green Bay, Appleton, Madison


Neurology
Paul Barkhaus, M.D. Milwaukee
Conrad Nievera, M.D. Milwaukee
Mark Novom, M.D. Milwaukee
L. Cass Terry, M.D. Milwaukee


NeuroPsychology
Paul Caillier, Ph.D. Eau Claire


NeuroSurgery
Jack Deckard, M.D. Milwaukee
Steven Delheimer, M.D. Waukesha
Yash Pannu, M.D. Milwaukee
Marc Soriano, M.D. Madison


Occupational Medicine
Donald Bodeau, M.D. Eau Claire
Michael Borkowski, M.D. Milwaukee, Green Bay
Gina Buono, M.D. Milwaukee
Robert Braco, M.D. Beloit
Scott Dresden, M.D. Burlington
David Drury, M.D. Milwaukee, Appleton
Andrew Floren, M.D. Eau Claire
Brian Harrison, M.D. Appleton
Stephen Lindahl, M.D. Janesville
John Williams, M.D. Wausau


Occupational Therapy
Eric Blankenheim, O.T. Appleton
Julie Peeters, O.T. Appleton


Opthalmology
Walter Gager, M.D. Milwaukee
James Wise, M.D. Madison


Orthopedic Surgery
Aftab Ansari, M.D. Green Bay, Milwaukee
Mark Aschliman, M.D. Milwaukee
Stephen Barron, M.D. Eau Claire, Wausau, Oshkosh, Milwaukee, Madison, LaCrosse
David Bartlett, M.D. Madison
Paul Cederberg, M.D. Eau Claire, Wausau, Oshkosh, Milwaukee, Madison, LaCrosse
Gorden Clark, M.D. Milwaukee, Madison, Wausau, Appleton, Green Bay, Eau Claire, Tomah
Roger Daley, M.D. Milwaukee
Omar Darr, M.D. Milwaukee
Eric Gaenslen, M.D. Milwaukee
James Gmeiner, M.D. Appleton
Gary Guten, M.D. Milwaukee
Jerome Hagens, M.D. Appleton
Jacques Hussussian, M.D. Milwaukee, Fond du Lac
Roger Johnson, M.D. Milwaukee
Richard Karr, M.D. Milwaukee
Sean Keane, M.D. Milwaukee
Navjot Kohli, M.D. Milwaukee, Madison, Fond du Lac, Green Bay, Wausau, Eau Claire
James Langenkamp, M.D. Milwaukee
Robert McCabe, M.D. Milwaukee
Donald Middleton, M.D. Milwaukee
Jeffrey Minikel, M.D. Milwaukee
Craig Moe, M.D. Milwaukee
Christopher Noonan, M.D. Milwaukee
Michael Orth, M.D. Madison, Green Bay, Wausau, Eau Claire, Milwaukee
Douglas Palmer, M.D. Madison
Raj Rao, M.D. Milwaukee
Stephen Robbins, M.D. Milwaukee
James Rydlewicz, M.D. Milwaukee
Rajit Saluja, M.D. Milwaukee
James Self, M.D. Madison
James Stiehl, M.D. Milwaukee
Mark Wikenheiser, M.D. St. Croix Falls


Physiatry
Dennis Brown, M.D. Milwaukee
Steven Kirkhorn, M.D. Marshfield, Wausau
Jerome Lerner, M.D. Milwaukee
John Revord, M.D. Appleton
Sridhar Vasudevan, M.D. Milwaukee, Madison, Wausau, Eau Claire, Green Bay


Physical Medicine
John Revord, M.D. Appleton
Randall Schultz, M.D. Appleton
Richard Staehler, M.D. Appleton
Robert Zoeller, M.D. Oconomowoc


Podiatry
Keith Beck, D.P.M. Milwaukee
Magali Fournier, D.P.M Wausau
Ian Furnes, D.P.M. Fond du Lac, Chilton
Randal Wojciehoski, D.O. Milwaukee, Stevens Point, Eau Claire, Duluth, Wausau, Green Bay, Appleton


Psychiatry
David Black, M.D. Milwaukee
Donald Feinsilver, M.D. Milwaukee
Brad Grunert, Ph.D. Milwaukee, Eau Claire, Wausau
Kenneth Robbins, M.D. Madison
Michael Spierer, M.D. Madison


Psychiatry (Neuro)
Paul Caillier, M.D. Eau Claire


Psychology
Calvin Langmade, M.D. Milwaukee


Pulmonology
Steven Brown, M.D. Milwaukee
Stuart Levy, M.D. Milwaukee
Reid Olson, M.D. Madison
James Sehloff, M.D. Madison
Linus Santo Tomas, M.D. Milwaukee


Radiology
Albert Alter, M.D. Madison


Rheumatology
David Blake, M.D. Milwaukee


Urology
Elliott Silbar, M.D. Milwaukee


Aside from noting how often some Wisconsin doctors appear on Medical Systems, Inc.'s calendar, it's interesting to see how much travelling some physicians are willing to do - as indicated by Medical Impressions "city" designation - just to get IME business from insurance claims adjusters and corporate defense lawyers.

Check out Randall Wojciehoski, he appears quite often on the Medical Systems calendars and on Medical Impressions page he'll travel 400 miles going from Duluth, MN to Milwaukee, WI. Randall Wojciehoski also appeared on my Defense "Independent" Medical Examinations and Medical Defense Doctors blogs. Curiously, he also has more areas of expertise than most of the listed Wisconsin IME doctors.

Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer