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February 2009 Archives

The Injured & Elderly: Are they forgotten?"

I recently visited an assisted living facility which one of my clients had been transferred to. As I entered the facility, you could feel in the air the lack of concern from the "nursing staff." All of those working seemed more interested in what was on T.V. I had a bad feeling from the very beginning. Shortly after visiting with my client, it was apparent we had to find another facility. As I walked out, I would look into the doors of the patients and all you could see was ill elderly people and paralyzed people. No one was with them, no one was caring for them, no one was visiting them. It was very depressing. On my way home, I wondered why this was. Is it that they didn't have family, is it that their family didn't have the time or resources to be there for them, is it that their family has given up, or none of the above? Although I don't have the answer to my question, I do know that it's crucial for these individuals recovery and well being that they don't feel forgotten. They must know that someone still cares for them and someone is praying that they get better. The only people that can do this are family members close to these people or caring individuals who volunteer their time. At the facility in question, it definitely wasn't going to be the staff. They all seemed numb to the fact that the work they performed was so sensitive. It was merely a paycheck. I know all facilities are not like this and there are many quality nurses and healthcare providers out there. However, if the person you know is not lucky enough to be in a great facility, it's up to you to make sure they have support.

Stanford Financial Group Sued by Firm

Stanford International Bank, Ltd. (SIB) was one of several entities within the Stanford Financial Group (SFG). SIB issued Certificates of Deposit to those seeking a safe investment and a dependable return. However, the opposite occurred. Recently, at the request of the Securities and Exchange Commission, a federal court in Dallas appointed a receiver to take over the assets of the organization. Investors are left without payments and wondering what to do.

Law Firm Eyes New Claim Against Stanford

The recent SEC action against Stanford Financial Group comes as no surprise to our law firm as we have recently successfully concluded a lawsuit against Stanford. Our law firm represented a group of investors who allege fraud and misrepresentation against Stanford Financial Group involving an investment opportunity in which Stanford acted as the investment banker. A significant amount of work was done by the lawyers involved and I took several depositions of upper Stanford management personnel. After these depositions and our due diligence were complete, I felt this case would have been won at a trial on the merits. I am happy to report the case was settled (especially considering the state that Stanford is currently in).

National Highway Transport Safety Administration Considering The Expansion Of Minimum Safety Standard - FMVSS 206

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has proposed an upgrade Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 216 (FMVSS 216) would require that a roof withstand an applied force equal to 2.5 times the vehicle's weight while maintaining sufficient headroom for an average size adult male. The current standard is 1.5 times the vehicle's weight.

Lessons from Lincoln

As one of the most popular and revered presidents in our great nation's history, much is known about Abraham Lincoln the President and what he was able to accomplish. Far less, however, is generally known about Abraham Lincoln the Lawyer. Recently, the Texas Bar Journal published several articles dealing with Lincoln in his role as a lawyer. After reading the articles, I thought& nbsp;some of Lincoln's teachings would make an excellent blog topic.

The Recent Airline Events

The recent airline events remind us all of how fragile life is. The December 20, 2008 Denver, Colorado "ground crash" of Continental flight 1404 was the start of the major airlines' episodes. And while this airplane crash ended without a significant number of major physical injuries and no loss of life, the lives of those on board were forever changed by the event. The Boeing 737-500 was accelerating down the runway when an unusual bumping was felt and rattling was heard. Then the plane traveled out of control, veered off the runway, crashed in a ravine and broke apart. There is no doubt many of those passengers and crew members thought their lives would be over. To survive this type of crash was a blessing, but the trauma suffered by those involved should not be downplayed.

First Things First

& nbsp;

As I sit here procrastinating about writing this blog, I wonder what are those 7 Habits of Highly Effective People? I have not read the book by Stephen R. Covey, although right now I'm wishing that I had. As I struggle over the topic for this blog, my phone is ringing; I have letters to get out, emails to answer and a trial to prepare for. I'm sure that there is something in that book to help me get through what is on my desk and what waits for me at home.

"The Economy and Personal Injury Litigation"

With the economy getting worse everyday, several people have asked me "How does it affect your practice?" The truth is, I don't know. There are several theories, but who's to say which one is true. The first theory is that when the economy is bad, individuals who are injured by another's negligence are more likely to retain a lawyer and file a lawsuit. The reason people believe this is because money is harder to come by and those who normally wouldn't file a lawsuit now may need the compensation more than ever. A counter argument is when the economy is bad, there are less people working so less on the job injuries. As a result, less people need a lawyer and fewer lawsuits are filed. A counter argument to that is when the economy is bad, the first item in a company's budget to be reduced is safety. When the safety budget is reduced, the number of injuries increases and so more people need a lawyer. What does all this mean? Again, I don't know. What I do know is that companies and individuals have a responsibility to their employees and to the general public not to cause injury or death. This is true whether in a bull or bear market. So keep paying attention to the details of your daily life and let's not add insult to injury by getting hurt or killed when times are already tough enough.

Everyone Provides Inspiration

Several weekends ago, a friend of mine baptized her son. Afterwards the god-parents held a celebration at their home. Anyone familiar with Mexican culture knows this is a big event with lots of family and friends, with everyone enjoying each other's company. Many were college graduates who had gone on to be engineers, advertising executives, business owners, etc.

Great American Insurance succumbs to Great American Pressure

As I wrote in a previous blog, Great American Insurance Company filed suit in the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division Federal Court against Boxer Property Management Company and the building owner of 9343 North Loop East. At this building, three innocent victims lost their lives to a fire on March 28, 2007. A state court lawsuit filed by the victims against Boxer and the building owner alleges the two defendants knew of the lack of fire safety devices and choose to ignore repeated suggestions to upgrade their system. The state court lawsuit progressed for a year and a half, when out of the blue, Boxer's excess insurance company (Great American) filed the federal court action trying to avoid paying the claims of the three decedents because they died of smoke inhalation. Great American claimed the smoke inhalation was really "pollution" for which there was an exclusion in the insurance policy and thus Great American owed no coverage.

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