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Showing posts from 2006

Justice Delayed is Justice Denied

The McAllen monitor has an update on our Mission lawsuit.

"Justice delayed is justice denied."--William E. Gladstone, British Prime Minister, 1809-98.

Change is Good, Ellen Cohen and South Dakota voters

Good news all over the country with the election results...change is inevitable and change is good. A shout out to Ellen Cohen for her victory over a Tom Delay lackey. Pathetic that Martha Wong didn't even call to concede...it shows a lack of moral character.

Great news also for the integrity and independence of the judiciary--South Dakota voters were smart enough to look past fringe special interests and keep the judiciary protected from being sued by unhappy parties. Voters overwhelmingly rejected the South Dakota initiative that would have stripped judges of their legal immunity and made them vulnerable to lawsuits over unpopular decisions.

Corpus Christi Residents Demand Accountability

Well, Corpus Christi, Texas residents are finally fed up with the lack of action by industry and government to their serious pollution problems. A local environmentalist group announced Friday it will post monthly results of an air monitoring program on its new Web site. Citizens for Environmental Justice spokeswoman Suzie Canales said data will report air quality near the refinery zone on the group's Web site at www.cfejcorpuschristi.org. The Corpus Christi Caller has more.

The article fails to mention one of the most serious "side effects" of benzene exposure--Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML). Sadly, we have several clients who worked in the Corpus Christi area in solvent plants, asphalt paving and refineries that were exposed to benzene and now have AML. There are many industrial occupations at risk for benzene exposure and AML. Yet, government doesn't seem interested reducing the safety risks of working with benzene...certainly industry isn't interested...

Grand Old Hypocrites

We voted today--just a reminder to do so if you haven't already--remember, you can't gripe if you didn't vote. It's the American thing to do.

Here's something to think about when you do go vote...hypocrites--people who demand tort reform for us common folk but turn around and file lawsuits, some frivolous, when they or their family members get injured (minor car wrecks, "negligent" doctors and demands for pain and suffering). I guess it's only pain and suffering when it happens to them, not us. We call them our Grand Old Hypocrites...


HYPOCRITES OF “TORT REFORM”
By Emily Gottlieb
Deputy Director, Center for Justice & Democracy


INTRODUCTION
No one likes a hypocrite. Yet one would be hard pressed to find more hypocrites than in the “tort reform” movement. Take a look at the record of a host of lawmakers, lobbyists and even journalists who complain about lawsuits and argue that the rights of injured consumers to go to court should be scaled back because we…

Wong Wrongs

In the spirit of election season, we bring you a local Houston, Texas race for State Representative in District 134. For the record, we endorse the sane candidate: Ellen Cohen. Make sure you get out and vote!

Current State Rep. Martha Wong represents one of the most affluent and educated districts in Houston. Yet, watching her in debate and reading about her political mishaps is unbelievable--we are starting to feel sorry for her, and we're not even voting for her.

Take a look at some of Wong's wrongs:

Endorsement problem(s)

Signage issues

Mailing/lying issues

Bribery of High School Students: In an uncomfortable moment, Wong mentioned that she sits on the board of the University of St. Thomas, adding, “so if any of you want to go there…”

It's no wonder the spinich is poisoned

When the head of the FDA is lying and cheating, is it any wonder that the food and drug suppliers are getting away with murder?
(From the AP)
Former FDA chief Lester Crawford has agreed to plead guilty to charges of failing to disclose a financial interest in PepsiCo Inc. and other firms regulated by his agency, his lawyer said Monday. The Justice Department accused the former head of the Food and Drug Administration in court papers of falsely reporting that he had sold stock in companies when he continued holding shares in the firms governed by FDA rules.
Court papers say Crawford chaired the Food and Drug Administration's Obesity Working Group while he and his wife owned shares worth at least $62,000 in soft drink and snack food manufacturer Pepsico Inc., based in Purchase, N.Y. In addition, the documents say, he held stock worth at least $78,000 in food product manufacturer Sysco Corp., based in Houston.
While he and his wife owned the stock, the panel Crawford chaired met with rep…

Documentary on Medical Errors

TV can be good for you--make sure you tune in tomorrow night (Thursday) for this 4-part documentary--it's sure to be educational (plus, I don't think PBS will be running a fund drive, so they won't be interrupting every 10 minutes for a donation).

Four-part PBS series will explore medical errors
(taken from The Belleville News-Democrat by Roger Schlueter)

One million more are injured, many by drug-dosing errors like the ones that recently killed three premature infants in Indianapolis. In fact, it is estimated that medical errors kill as many people each year as breast cancer, AIDS and car accidents combined.

The four-part series will explore both the quality crisis and the innovative solutions being undertaken to improve the medical care patients depend on. The one-hour programs will be shown locally in Houston at 9 p.m. on Thursdays through Oct. 26 on Houston PBS Channel 8.

Each program will examine critical health-care issues facing the country today, including patient safet…

Failed Drug Administration

Scary but not surprising... The Food and Drug Administration recently requested a report card on how it is doing. The result? The FDA is in serious disrepair with only itself and the pharmaceutical industry to blame. The Washington Post has the scoop on the report.

This is the worst part:

R. Alta Charo, a panel member and bioethicist at the University of Wisconsin at Madison "also cited 'a lack of collaboration among divisions, tensions [and] inappropriate management' at the FDA, saying officials who focus on safety issues are chronically underfunded compared with those who handle new-drug approvals."

"Part of the problem, the report said, is that the money paid by industry to help fund FDA's regulators, under a 1992 law designed to speed up new drug reviews, cannot under the law be diverted to FDA's safety division, which suffers from chronic underfunding."

Not sure what "inappropriate management" means...maybe that's a polite term f…

But What They Didn't Tell You: The Medical Malpractice Myth

The medical malpractice crisis. Tort reform. Frivolous suits. Runaway juries.

These are terms thrown around by politicians and talking heads. But what do they really mean? What is the truth behind the rhetoric?

Tom Baker, a professor at the University of Connecticut School of Law, is the author of an outstanding book The Medical Malpractice Myth. This is a must read for any policy maker, voter, doctor or patient. I would recommend it to insurance executives or defense lawyers, but they already know the truth behind the myth. The excerpt is a lengthy read, but it's very well-written.

EPA back for more cleanup in Mission, Texas

The EPA is once again in Mission, Texas for more cleanup of the former Hayes-Sammons pesticide plant, an infamous Superfund site. In its latest report, the EPA describes the site as causing "unacceptable threats to human health and the environment." So, despite the fact our lawsuit has been stalled by the pesticide corporations and their lawyers, actions are taking place to remove the pollution. Going up against Goliath is always an uphill battle--at least we've got the government and truth on our side. The McAllen Monitor has the latest.

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