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