The Baez Law Firm | San Antonio Lawyers and Attorneys

The Baez Law Firm | San Antonio Lawyers and Attorneys
San Antonio Lawyers and Attorneys

Sunday, December 30, 2007

What Laws protect nursing home residents?

Nursing homes and long-term care facilities that receive federal funds must comply with certain federal regulations and laws. These regulations and laws set out in detail the type and quality of care that residents in these facilities must receive.

Nursing Home Reform Act (1987)
During the 1980s, reports of nursing home abuse and neglect surfaced in alarming numbers. In an effort to reform nursing home practices and procedures and to set standards for the care rendered to residents Congress passed the Nursing Home Reform Act in 1987. These laws were incorporated into the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 (OBRA 1987). Reports from various state agencies note that some of the reported causes of death of nursing home residents are chronic urinary tract infections, pressure ulcers and respiratory infections. Many of these deaths may be preventable. An extensive report on nursing home care problems in California generated a congressional hearing and an extensive report to the Special Committee on Aging of the United States Senate.

While a number of the federal regulations are listed below, a basic tenet of the Act is that a nursing home or long term care facility must provide services and care to attain or maintain the highest practicable physical, mental and psychosocial well-being of each resident and this care must be given based on written documentation for each resident, known as an individualized plan of care.

If you are a resident or have a loved one in a nursing home, it is important to be familiar with the rights provided by the Nursing Home Reform Act. The law requires nursing homes to promote and protect the rights of each resident and places a strong emphasis on individual dignity and self-determination. In order to participate in Medicare or Medicaid, nursing homes must meet residents' rights requirements.

Nursing Home Residents' Rights
Residents have the right to be fully informed, of services and their charges; the rules and regulations of the nursing home; contact information for the State Ombudsman, State licensure office, and other advocacy groups; and state survey reports of the nursing home along with the home's plans for corrections. Residents have the right to be communicated to daily in their language and provided assistance for sensory impairments.

Residents have the right to participate in their own care, which includes both receiving adequate and appropriate care and also the right to refuse that care. They have the right to be involved in the planning of their care, should be informed of any changes in treatment or condition, and the right to review their medical records.

Residents have the right to make independent choices. This includes making independent decisions on clothing and spending free time, choosing their own activities inside and outside the nursing home, participating in a resident council, and selecting their own physician. The nursing home must make reasonable accommodations of a resident's needs and preferences.

Residents have the right to privacy and confidentiality, including private and unrestricted communication with persons of their choice, private treatment and care of personal needs, and confidentiality regarding medical, personal, and financial affairs.

Residents have the right to dignity, respect, and freedom. Residents have the right to be treated with consideration, respect and dignity, to be free from abuse, both mental and physical, corporal punishment, involuntary seclusion, and physical and chemical restraints. Residents have the right to self-determination.

Residents have the right to security of possessions. This includes managing their own financial affairs and not being charged for services covered by Medicare and Medicaid. Residents have the right to file a complaint if the nursing home is managing their financial affairs in an abusive, neglectful, or inappropriate way.

Residents have rights during transfers and discharges, including the right to a 30-day notice and a safe transfer or discharge with sufficient preparation by the nursing home. Residents also have a right to remain in the nursing facility unless the transfer or discharge is deemed necessary to meet the resident's welfare, required to protect other residents and staff, or a facility charge has not been provided after reasonable notice.

Residents have the right to complain without fear of reprisal and the right to prompt efforts by the nursing home to resolve grievances.

A resident has the right to visits. A resident has the right to visits from their personal physician, representatives from the health department and ombudsman programs, and their relatives. Residents also have the right to reasonable visits by organizations or individuals providing health, social, legal, or other services.

If your love one has been subject of nursing home neglect, please contact us at (210) 979-9777 or visit our website at http://www.thebaezlawfirm.com for more information. We care about your legal needs!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Why SUVs roll over so easily?

One of the main reasons for the instability of those vehicles is the high center of gravity.Most rollovers occur when the driver is forced to an emergency evasive action. The rapid change of steering into the opposite direction, like typical avoiding maneuvers, often throws the vehicle off center and forces it to roll over.

From an engineer’s point of view, the stability of a vehicle is measured by the formula: T divided by 2h. T is the 'track width' (center of the right front tire to the center of the left front tire) and h is the vehicle's center of gravity. When this number is 1.2 or greater, the vehicle is unlikely to roll. However, the further the ratio dips below 1.2, the greater the likelihood of roll over.

While police officers often blame the driver for careless driving, fault should be attributed to the manufacturer for negligent vehicle design.Another leading cause for the fatality of SUV rollovers is the likelihood of roof crushes and ejection. During the rollover, the roof pillars, side roof rails and the front roof header often collapse, invading the occupant safety zone. As a result, neck fractures lead to brain damages and other fatal injuries.

What to do after a SUV rollover

-Vehicle and accident site inspection as soon after the accident as possible
-Preservation of the vehicle in its condition after the accident
-Having an experienced accident investigator to take accurate and complete statements of all occupants, law enforcers, EMS personal and witnesses
-Having an accident reconstruction engineer to determine how the accident occurred
-Having biomedical or biomechanical experts to determine what part of the accident or vehicle caused the plaintiffs injuries
-Interview the plaintiffs' treating medical physicians
-In catastrophic injuries, the resulting in paraplegia quadriplegia, or serious head injuries, hiring a life care plan consultant to evaluate the cost of medical care to the seriously injured plaintiff and estimate ALL medical and life care needs over this persons lifetime


SUV Rollover Crash Facts listed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
10,657 vehicles were involved in fatal rollovers. Crashes in which a vehicle rolled over accounted for more than 50 percent of all single-vehicle crash deaths. Rollover crashes are especially serious due to occurring head injuries.


Serious injuries in rollover crashes are 36 percent higher than non-rollover crashes
Ejections account for 63 percent of all fatalities in rollover crashes and often result in head injuries. More than 90 percent of passenger vehicle rollover crashes are single vehicle crashes
56 percent of those single vehicle crashes resulted in death, compared to only 11 percent in all multi-vehicle crashes.

If you or someone you know has has a roll over, contact The Báez Law Firm, P.C. we can help you recover what you deserve. Visit us at http://www.thebaezlawfirm.com or call us at (210) 979-9777. WE CARE ABOUT YOUR LEGAL NEEDS!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Chiropractic Care

Choosing a chiropractor can be difficult because the majority of chiropractors are involved in unscientific practices. If you do decide to consult one, begin with a telephone interview during which you explore the chiropractor's attitudes and practice patterns.

Positive Signs
Try to find a chiropractor whose practice is limited to conservative treatment of back pain and other musculoskeletal problems. Ask your medical doctor for the names of any who fit this description and appear to be trustworthy.
Membership in the National Association for Chiropractic Medicine or the Canadian Academy of Manipulative Therapists (CAMT) is a very good sign, but the number of chiropractors who belong to these groups is small. CAMT's "orthopractic guidelines" describe a science-based approach to manipulative therapy.
In addition to manual manipulation or stretching of tight muscles or joints, science-based chiropractors commonly use heat or ice packs, ultrasound treatment, and other modalities similar to those of physical therapists. They may also recommend a home exercise program. For most conditions that chiropractic care can help, significant improvement should occur within a few visits.

Negative Signs
Avoid chiropractors who advertise about "danger signals that indicate the need for chiropractic care," make claims about curing diseases, try to get patients to sign contracts for lengthy treatment, promote regular "preventive" adjustments, use scare tactics, or disparage scientific medical treatment or preventive measures such as immunization or fluoridation.
Avoid chiropractors who purport to diagnose or treat "subluxations," who have waiting room literature promoting "nerve interference" as an underlying cause of disease, or who post charts or distribute literature suggesting that chiropractic might help nearly every type of health problem.

Avoid any chiropractor who routinely performs or orders x-ray examinations of all patients. Most patients who consult a chiropractor do not need them. Be especially wary of full-spine x-ray examinations. This practice has doubtful diagnostic value and involves a large amount of radiation.
Avoid chiropractors who "prescribe" dietary supplements, homeopathic products, or herbal products for the treatment of disease or who sell any of these products in their offices. For dietary advice, the best sources are physicians and registered dietitians.

Avoid chiropractors who offer Biological Terrain Assessment, body fat analysis, computerized "nutrient deficiency" testing, contact reflex analysis,, computerized range-of-motion analysis, contour analysis (also called moire contourography), cytotoxic testing, electrodermal testing, Functional Intracellular Analysis (FIA), hair analysis, herbal crystallization analysis, inclinometry, iridology, leg-length testing, live blood cell analysis (also called nutritional blood analysis or Hemaview), testing with a Nervo-Scope or similar spinal heat-detecting device, Nutrabalance, NUTRI-SPEC, pendulum divination, reflexology, saliva testing, spinal ultrasound testing to "measure progress, surface electromyography (SEMG), thermography, a Toftness device, weighing on a twin-scale device called a Spinal Analysis Machine (S.A.M.), or any other dubious diagnostic procedure identified on Quackwatch.

Avoid chiropractors who utilize acupuncture, Activator Methods, allergy testing, applied kinesiology, Bio Energetic Synchronization Technique (B.E.S.T.), chelation therapy, colonic irrigation, cranial or craniosacral therapy, laser acupuncture, magnetic or biomagnetic therapy, Neuro Emotional Technique (NET), or Neural Organization Technique (NOT), or who exhibit a dogmatic attachment to any other specific chiropractic technique or school of thought.
Understand that some chiropractic treatments involve significant risk. Spinal manipulations involving sudden movements have greater potential for injury than more conservative types of therapy. Be aware that chiropractic neck manipulation can cause serious injuries. Neck manipulation should be done gently with care to avoid excessive rotation that could damage the patient's vertebral artery. It should never be used unless symptoms indicate a specific need for it. A small percentage of chiropractors advocate neck manipulation to "balance" or "realign" the spine no matter where the patient's problem is located. I recommend avoiding such chiropractors.

Additional Safeguards
Never consult a chiropractor unless your problem has been diagnosed by a competent medical practitioner. Don't rely on a chiropractor for diagnosis. Although some chiropractors know enough to avoid diagnostic difficulty, there is no simple way for a consumer to determine who can do so. As an additional safeguard, ask any chiropractor who treats you to discuss your care with your medical doctor.

At the Báez Law Firm, we take special care in selecting chiropractors that adhere to the highest standards for their professions. If you have the need to see a chiropractor, visit us at http:///www.thebaezlawfirm.com or give us a call (210) 979-9777.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Accused killer battles cancer?

For the first time in more than a year, a woman accused of driving drunk and running over five people after a concert appears in court. This is the first pre-trial hearing Mary Dodgen has actually attended since the crash back in the summer of last year. She appeared before Judge Wilford Flowers in a wheelchair Thursday afternoon. This case has seen more than a year and a half of delays because of the defendant's condition. Dodgen is battling cancer.

The attorneys on the case told the judge they cannot set a trial date as they are uncertain whether Dodgen's cancer treatment and recovery will interfere with the court setting.
Dodgen is accused of driving drunk last year and running over five people who were trying to cross Highway 71 after a concert at the Backyard. Jeff Wilson, 32, later died from his injuries. Wilson's family attended Thursday's court hearing wearing buttons with Jeff's picture.

His family asked a representative from Mothers Against Drunk Driving to speak on their behalf about the status of the case. They are frustrated it is taking so long for justice to run its course.
The victim's family will have to wait even longer. No trial date was set. But a new hearing was set for late January.

If your love one has been injured by a drunk driver, please contact us (210) 979-9777 or visit us http://www.thebaezlawfirm.com because we care about your legal needs!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Toyota recalls 15,600 Tundras

(AP)- Toyota Motor Sales USA on Friday announced it would recall thousands of 2007 Tundras — some of them manufactured in San Antonio — because of a possible safety hazard. It is the first recall of the redesigned truck, which is also built in Princeton, Ind.

A joint in the rear propeller shaft of an estimated 15,600 four-wheel-drive Tundras may have been improperly heat-treated, Toyota said. In a worst-case scenario, the shaft could separate at the joint and the truck would coast to a stop, Toyota Motor Sales USA spokesman Bill Kwong said. So far, no one has reported such an incident or accidents or injuries related to rear propeller shaft problems.

The number of trucks being recalled — fewer than 10 percent of those sold — isn't huge, said Kevin Smith, editorial director of the consumer auto site Edmunds.com. Smith also doesn't see the recall as a sign of larger quality problems at Toyota. "Most people would be realistic and understand that a brand-new vehicle has lots of new parts. It's conceivable that one of them might have a faulty heat treatment," he said. "It doesn't feel to me like an indication that Toyota's standards have slipped, but if things keep happening, that will look different."

The parts involved in Friday's recall are supplied by the Toledo, Ohio-based Dana Corp.
Dana, which didn't return a phone call seeking comment, provides all of the propeller shafts used in the two-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive versions of the Tundra, the company said in a February news release. One of the two propeller shafts that Dana supplies to Toyota won Toyota's Award for Technology and Development at the automaker's Global Suppliers Convention in Japan earlier this year.

No recall has been issued for the two-wheel-drive Tundra. A customer who complained of an abnormal noise coming from the drive shaft alerted Toyota to the rear propeller-shaft problems with the four-wheel-drive version, Kwong said. "In that case it didn't separate," he said.
Toyota plans to notify Tundra owners of the recall by mailing letters this month. Owners are being instructed to contact local Toyota dealers for complimentary inspections and repairs if needed.

"It should take less than an hour to repair if there's a need for a repair at all," Kwong said.
The recall is the fifth that Toyota has announced this year, affecting 588,232 vehicles.
The Tundra already has had an atypical launch for a Toyota product, failing to gain a coveted recommendation from Consumer Reports, becoming a topic of consumer complaint forums, and failing to beat domestic competitors in national safety tests.

"A lot of consumers who are used to thinking of Toyota as essentially faultless have certainly been knocked a little off-balance by recent events," Edmunds.com's Smith said.
Consumer Reports in October ranked the four-wheel-drive version of the Tundra as below average when it comes to reliability. The magazine said its readers have reported problems with trucks' drive system, suspension, brakes, power equipment, body hardware, engine and audio system.

On pickuptruck.com, a Web publication dedicated to trucks, Tundra owners have complained about shuddering sensations and cracking tailgates. In crash tests from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, the Tundra did not fare as well as some competitors including the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, the Dodge Dakota and the GMC Sierra 1500.

"When a brand-new vehicle hits the market, it's not at all unheard of to have some kind of issues crop up in the first six, 12 or 18 months," Smith said. But Toyota rarely has those problems because it doesn't often redesign new models from scratch. The 2007 Tundra is unlike any other truck the company has built. Equipped with a new 5.7-liter, V-8 iForce engine capable of generating 381 horsepower and 401 pounds of torque, the truck can tow nearly 11,000 pounds. It is the first truck Toyota has released that is a direct competitor to domestic brands, which historically have dominated the large truck market.

But some problems with Toyota's Tundra started almost immediately after the truck began production. Camshafts broke in about 20 early versions of the new Tundra. Smith believes consumers will quickly forgive and forget Toyota's Tundra problems, including Friday's recall. He doesn't expect the recall to significantly hurt sales of the Tundra.

He does, however, expect some buyers may decide to wait for Toyota to get the kinks out of its new truck before making a purchase. That could make reaching the goal of selling 200,000 Tundras this year even harder for Toyota. As of November's end, the company was about 23,000 trucks short of reaching its goal. It has never sold that many Tundras in a single month.

If you or someone you know has been hurt because of a faulty vehicle, contact us: http://www.thebaezlawfirm.com We care about your legal needs!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Hit & run driver totals van, wheelchair

(AP)- An Austin mother is anxiously awaiting justice more than a month after a hit and run driver totalled her van and her son's $8,000 wheelchair. It happened November 6th on Cameron Road.
"We were right there on Cameron road, there we are stopped with our blinker on and a guy in a big F 150 truck hit us and straight on" says Lori Carbajal. The mother and her 6-year old son Daniel who she calls "Peanut" had just left Dell Children's Hospital where he had surgery.
The driver of a red Ford F-150 pick-up rear-ended them, parked his truck, locked it and took off running.

He has not been seen or heard from since. Austin Police were on the scene and filed a report but Carbajal says she was just assigned a detective to her case on Tuesday. "I called his telephone number and his recording says that he's out of the office from the 8th through the 18th of December... so here we are stuck again" she says.

Carbajal and her son have certainly been through their share of setbacks.
When her son was only 4-months old, his biological father shook and beat him in a fit of rage because the infant wouldn't stop crying. The shaking incident damaged the infant's brain, he can't walk or talk and is blind and has the 6-year old has the mental capacity of a 6-month old.
The wheelchair was custom-fitted which is why his mother says it costs 8-thousand dollars.
Carbajal's insurance company is waiting on A.P.D. to send them the police reports.
Witnesses saw a hispanic man jump out of the truck which caused the accident but no more details are known about him.

If you have been the victim of a hit and run, contact us we can help. http://www.thebaezlawfirm.com We care about your legal needs.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Worker killed by machinery

(AP) Austin police Wednesday said a tragic accident left a worker dead inside a shop on South Congress. A customer to Ace Alterations and Cleaners discovered the gruesome scene Wednesday morning. It made me a little nervous to see yellow tape when I drove up this morning," said Joe Pettyjohn, South Congress area resident.

Neighbors along South Congress were on edge all morning as homicide detectives surrounded Ace Expert Alterations at 1117 S. Congress. "I was a little unnerved about it," said Pettyjohn.
They looked on as detectives investigated what they first called a "suspicious death."

Police said a customer discovered the body of a worker around 10:00 this morning and called 911. Police say the body had suffered severe trauma. Several hours later, police ruled her death an accident "It is believed that the victim suffered significant trauma to her head but it was caused by machinery in the business and it was accidental," said Veneza Aguinaga, Austin Police Department.

Police identified the woman as Mei Wong, 54. Customers say she worked at the business a long time "She's very sweet, very accommodating and has been taking care of people here on South Congress in the downtown area for many years," said Pettyjohn. By 3 p.m., police had cleared the scene, and customers -- who tried to pick-up their clothes -- learned the business was closed. They had no idea what happened. "I'm in shock. I am in shock. I just came to pick up my jacket and learned of this. It's a horrible thing," said James Deeds, customer.

Customers say it is a tragic loss for the community. "Very nice, very nice lady. Very good people - did good work. It's just a shocking thing. It's bad any time - but around Christmas time it's terrible," said Deeds. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is also investigating this workplace death.

We care about your legal needs. If some one you know has been killed in a work related incident, contact us http://www.thebaezlawfirm.com and we can help!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Collision sends truck off U.S. 281 overpass

San Antonio (AP)- A two-vehicle wreck Wednesday afternoon on southbound U.S. 281 sent a pickup over a guardrail, plummeting 20 feet from an overpass onto St. Mary's Street.

The collision closed the highway between the Mulberry Avenue exit and the St. Mary's Street on-ramp for more than an hour.

The 22-year-old female driver, whose name was not released, was taken to Brooke Army Medical Center in critical condition.

According to witnesses and San Antonio police Sgt. Ernest Celaya, the pickup and another car came into contact on the highway. The pickup ricocheted from the far right lane to the far left lane and then back to the right lane, where it slid along the guardrail.

If you or some one you love has been involved in an accident, we can help. Please call us at (210) 979-9777 or visit our website http://www.thebaezlawfirm.com/ We care about your legal needs!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Austin's police officer shoots and kills civilian

Hundreds of pages of documents and never before seen video reveal more about the night an Austin police sergeant shot and killed a man. On June 3, 2007, Sergeant Michael Olsen was warning drivers in East Austin to turn down their loud music.

“I’m out here because of the loud music, okay,” Olsen told one driver on his dashboard camera.
It had been an evening that had already caused Olsen some stress. He admits to another officer he had lost his temper -- even “chewed out” a driver. Olsen: Gah, I hate that I lost my temper like twice tonight. Another officer: What? Olsen: I feel bad that I lost my temper like twice tonight.

Not long after that, Olsen got a call that there was a man with a gun outside of Chester’s Nightclub. “You said someone outside with a gun? … Do you have a description of the guy with a gun?" asked Olsen. Olsen and his partner are across the street. They walk to the Chester's parking lot to find the man, who turned out to be Kevin Brown. “Let me see your hands, man... Put your hands up.. Hey hey hey... (Hear running.... Inaudible.)” Olsen said.

Olsen’s wireless microphone then cuts out. It is sound that matches the home video released of the scuffle soon after the shooting. One minute after the chase, the cameras capture audio of the dispatcher confirming the shots. Other officers begin responding -- some run to the shooting scene.

From another officer's camera, you can hear Olsen talking to the dispatcher. Dispatcher: 10-4 just to clarify 1090, you were not shot - you shot him. Olsen: 10-4, I shot him.
Shortly after the shooting, an officer questions a man who had left his apartment to see what was happening.

“I heard gunshots and I said 'Oh, baby, them close.' And I heard that dude say, 'I don’t want to die, I don’t want to die, man, I don’t want to die,'” said the man of what he heard Kevin Brown saying. In documents also released Wednesday, we learn what Sergeant Olsen told the chief of police. He says, “I did what I had to do. And I regret it. I regret having to take the life of another person, but I was forced into that situation.”

Just last week APD Chief Art Acevedo fired Michael Olsen, but Olsen is appealing that decision.
Olsen shot Brown twice in the back. The chief says the second shot was unnecessary. Olsen said he feared Brown was reaching for a gun. The Brown family is suing Olsen and the city of Austin.

Have your family member been shoot by a police offices, if so please contact us at (210) 979-9777 or visit our website at http://www.thebaezlawfirm.com because; We care about your legal needs!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Texas lawmakers poised to review transportation ad campaign

AUSTIN (AP)– House Speaker Tom Craddick has asked lawmakers to review the Texas Department of Transportation's multimillion-dollar ad campaign promoting toll roads and the Trans-Texas Corridor.

Mr. Craddick, R-Midland, included a review of the Keep Texas Moving campaign on a list of topics that the House State Affairs Committee will study leading up to the 2009 legislative session.

Some lawmakers and anti-toll activists have condemned spending state highway funds – estimated at $7 million to $9 million – on a public relations campaign.
"While it may be appropriate, at times, for government agencies to educate citizens through public service announcements, I maintain that government should not ever spend the money raised from taxpayers to lobby the public," said Rep. Ken Paxton, R-McKinney, who asked for a review of advertising spending by state agencies.

Transportation officials have defended the Keep Texas Moving campaign as a response to lawmakers' demands for the agency to improve its communication with the public.

We will continue to follow up with the debates about public tolls. We care about your legal needs, and about the community in general. Visit our website http://www.thebaezlawfirm.com

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving day!

The Pilgrims left Plymouth, England, on September 6, 1620. Their destination? The New World. Although filled with uncertainty and peril, it offered both civil and religious liberty.For over two months, the 102 passengers braved the harsh elements of a vast storm-tossed sea. Finally, with firm purpose and a reliance on Divine Providence, the cry of "Land!" was heard.
Arriving in Massachusetts in late November, the Pilgrims sought a suitable landing place. On December 11, just before disembarking at Plymouth Rock, they signed the "Mayflower Compact" - America's first document of civil government and the first to introduce self-government.

After a prayer service, the Pilgrims began building hasty shelters. However, unprepared for the starvation and sickness of a harsh New England winter, nearly half died before spring. Yet, persevering in prayer, and assisted by helpful Indians, they reaped a bountiful harvest the following summer.The grateful Pilgrims then declared a three-day feast, starting on December 13, 1621, to thank God and to celebrate with their Indian friends. While this was not the first Thanksgiving in America (thanksgiving services were held in Virginia as early as 1607), it was America's first Thanksgiving Festival.

Pilgrim Edward Winslow described the Pilgrims' Thanksgiving in these words:
"Our harvest being gotten in, our Governor sent four men on fowling [bird hunting] so that we might, after a special manner, rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. They four in one day killed as much fowl as... served the company almost a week... Many of the Indians [came] amongst us and... their greatest King, Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted; and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought... And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet BY THE GOODNESS OF GOD WE ARE... FAR FROM WANT." In 1789, following a proclamation issued by President George Washington, America celebrated its first Day of Thanksgiving to God under its new constitution. That same year, the Protestant Episcopal Church, of which President Washington was a member, announced that the first Thursday in November would become its regular day for giving thanks, "unless another day be appointed by the civil authorities." Yet, despite these early national proclamations, official Thanksgiving observances usually occurred only at the State level.

Much of the credit for the adoption of a later ANNUAL national Thanksgiving Day may be attributed to Mrs. Sarah Joseph Hale, the editor of Godey's Lady's Book. For thirty years, she promoted the idea of a national Thanksgiving Day, contacting President after President until President Abraham Lincoln responded in 1863 by setting aside the last Thursday of November as a national Day of Thanksgiving. Over the next seventy-five years, Presidents followed Lincoln's precedent, annually declaring a national Thanksgiving Day.

Then, in 1941, Congress permanently established the fourth Thursday of each November as a national holiday.Lincoln's original 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation came - spiritually speaking - at a pivotal point in his life. During the first week of July of that year, the Battle of Gettysburg occurred, resulting in the loss of some 60,000 American lives. Four months later in November, Lincoln delivered his famous "Gettsysburg Address." It was while Lincoln was walking among the thousands of graves there at Gettysburg that he committed his life to Christ.

As he explained to a friend: When I left Springfield [to assume the Presidency] I asked the people to pray for me. I was not a Christian. When I buried my son, the severest trial of my life, I was not a Christian. But when I went to Gettysburg and saw the graves of thousands of our soldiers, I then and there consecrated myself to Christ.

As Americans celebrate Thanksgiving each year, we hope they will retain the original gratefulness to God displayed by the Pilgrims and many other founding fathers , and remember that it is to those early and courageous Pilgrims that they owe not only the traditional Thanksgiving holiday but also the concepts of self-government, the "hard-work" ethic, self-reliant communities, and devout religious faith.

We care about your legal needs! We wish you all happy thanksgiving. http://www.thebaezlawfirm.com

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Train hits man on tracks in Fort Worth, killing him

Associated Press-A man died after he was hit by a train Friday evening in Fort Worth. His name was not released, pending notification of relatives.

The accident happened shortly before 5 p.m. Friday in the 900 block of South Ayers Avenue, police said. The man was sitting on the railroad tracks as the train approached, police said.

The man stood up and walked east on the tracks. The Union Pacific train could not stop in time and struck and killed him.

We care about your legal needs! If your loved one has been hit by a train, call us at (210) 979-9777 or visit our website http://www.thebaezlawfirm.com

Friday, November 16, 2007

Off-duty deputy strikes and kills 2 women with car

CONROE (AP)— Two young women trying to cross Interstate 45 after their car crashed into a median early Tuesday were struck and killed by a Montgomery County sheriff's deputy on his way home.Kelsey Vogel, 20, of Panorama Village, and Danielle Irvin, 20, of Willis, likely were on their way home, too, when they were hit just north of FM 3083, family members said. The women died at the scene.

"At this point, there is nothing to indicate that the accident could have been avoided, " Conroe police Sgt. Bob Berry said. ''It was dark and the women were in the middle of the road."
Montgomery County Sheriff's Deputy Alan Hunter, whose patrol car struck the women shortly after 2 a.m., was taken to Conroe Regional Medical Center, where he was treated for minor injuries and released, sheriff's spokesman Lt. Dan Norris said.

According to investigators, the women were northbound in the 3200 block of I-45 when Vogel's Ford Escape crashed into a concrete median.A witness told police that the women had passed him at a high rate of speed shortly before their car hit the median. The witness, whose name was not released, called Conroe police for help.

Berry said the two women got out of the car and began walking south along the median before attempting to cross the northbound lanes of the highway. They were in the middle of the road when they were struck by Hunter's car.The eight-year veteran deputy was on his way home from work and was not responding to the call, Norris said. Hunter, 40, of Huntsville, had turned off his computer and radio, authorities said.

Have you been injured in an accident, come visit us http://www.thebaezlawfirm.com because we care about your legal needs!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Another police officer accused of sexual misconduct

Associated Press-A San Antonio police officer is under a criminal and an internal investigation after a woman claimed he forced her to perform sexual acts and sexually assaulted her, a police spokesman said.

Sgt. Gabe Trevino said the woman, whose name and age he did not release, alleged she was "contacted" by a uniformed, on-duty police officer on Sunday morning. After the officer allegedly assaulted the woman, she went to a local hospital and called police. The woman later identified the suspected officer, Trevino said.

The officer, whose name was not released because he hasn't been charged, was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of a criminal and internal investigation, Trevino said.

Have you been assaulted by a police offices, if so give us a call (210) 979-9777 or visit our website http://www.thebaezlawfirm.com because we care about your legal needs!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Herbal sex pills pose hidden dangers

Associated Press-Many of the pills marketed as safe herbal alternatives to Viagra and other prescription sex medications pose a hidden danger: For men on common heart and blood-pressure drugs, popping one could lead to a stroke, or even death. "All-natural" products with names like Stamina-RX and Vigor-25 promise an apothecary's delight of rare Asian ingredients, but many work because they contain unregulated versions of the very pharmaceuticals they are supposed to replace.

That dirty secret represents a special danger for the millions of men who take nitrates – drugs prescribed to lower blood pressure and regulate heart disease. When mixed, nitrates and impotency pharmaceuticals can slow blood flow catastrophically, leading to a heart attack or stroke. An Associated Press investigation shows that spiked herbal impotency pills are emerging as a major public health concern that officials haven't figured out how to track, much less tame.
Emergency rooms and poison control hot lines are starting to log more incidents of the long-ignored phenomenon. Sales of "natural sexual enhancers" are booming – rising to nearly $400 million last year. And dangerous knockoffs abound.

At greatest risk are the estimated 5.5 million American men who take nitrates – generally older and more likely to need help with erectile dysfunction. The all-natural message can be appealing to such men, warned by their doctors and ubiquitous TV commercials not to take Viagra, Cialis or Levitra.

We care about your legal needs. Have a case concerning medications, visit us at http://www.thebaezlawfirm.com We can help!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Problem with parachute during jump likely led to employee's death

(AP) Houston-An employee of a popular skydiving facility in Brazoria County was found dead Friday afternoon, apparently killed after his parachute malfunctioned during a jump earlier this week.

Scott Bell jumped alone in the last jump Wednesday but wasn't noticed as missing because he is the person who checks people in before they jump and accounts for them after they jump, said Houston attorney Lee McMillian, the legal adviser for Skydive Spaceland in Rosharon.
When the 35-year-old didn't return to the hangar Wednesday night, people assumed he had simply walked home. Bell lived in a trailer on the facility property.

When Bell didn't return to the facility for a staff meeting Thursday morning, other employees were concerned but thought he had gone to a girlfriend's house and simply missed the meeting, McMillian said.On Friday, a pilot noticed what looked like a parachute in tall grass about 200 yards beyond the facility's drop zone, McMillian said.

A Brazoria County deputy and employees of the facility found Bell's body in an area south of the zone.Preliminary indications are that Bell's main parachute failed and he deployed his reserve parachute too late, McMillian said, adding that the incident is being treated as an accident.
Bell's body was taken to the Galveston County Medical Examiner's Office.
The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the incident, said agency spokesman Roland Herwig.

The agency regulates both the equipment and procedures of skydiving establishments, requiring that the reserve parachute be inspected and repacked every 120 days by an FAA-certified parachute rigger.Herwig was unsure when the parachutes at Skydive Spaceland were last inspected.

McMillian said Bell's equipment was last inspected in August.Bell's death is the first fatality at the facility, which opened in 1999, McMillian said.Bell joined Skydive Spaceland this spring, moving to Texas from Arizona, said employee Heather Robbins.Bell first lived in a tent on the facility grounds, Robbins said, then moved into a trailer when one became available.

McMillian said several mobile homes, as well as travel trailers, are on the facility grounds.
It's not uncommon, he said, for a skydiver to jump and land in front of his home.
Though at the facility for a short time, Bell was considered very popular, McMillian said. He described Bell as an experienced jumper, with 109 jumps under his belt.

"Everybody out here is pretty upset," said McMillian, himself a pilot and skydiver.
Robbins said Bell usually jumped about three to four times a month.
"Don't plan on being a part of this sport unless you're planning to lose someone you love," said Robbins, "and probably see it up front."

We care about your legal needs, have your love one been involved in a parachute accident, visit us at http://www.thebaezlawfirm.com

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Pit bull kills 11-year-old Killeen boy

KILLEEN (AP) — An 11-year-old boy has died after being bitten on the neck by his family's pit bull, police said.

The Killeen Police Department said the dog jumped from the couch at Seth Lovitt when the boy was running through his home with his little brother Tuesday evening. The dog knocked Seth to the ground and bit him.

Seth's grandmother and mother restrained the dog and called 911. Seth was pronounced dead about two hours later at Darnall Army Medical Center, police said.

We will conduct a search to determine the amount of death by dogs in Texas this year.

According to sources, the dog has been quarantined, not put to death.

Have you been bitten by a dog, contact The Báez Law Firm so that we can review your case. We care about your legal needs. http://www.thebaezlawfirm.com

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Panel: Give FDA Power To Order Recalls

WASHINGTON (AP) - An advisory panel will recommend to President Bush today that the Food and Drug Administration be empowered to order mandatory recalls of products deemed a risk to consumers, an administration official said Monday.The panel was created in response to concerns about recalls of dangerous toothpaste, dog food and toys. Currently, the FDA lacks the authority to order a recall of products when problems arise, and must work with producers on voluntary recalls. The new proposal would give the agency far more clout.The panel also will urge increasing the presence of U.S. inspectors from Customs, the Border Patrol, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and other agencies in countries that are major exporters to the United States.

The official said that the commission would have greater recall authority, including the ability to stop products from entering the commerce stream - before unsafe or unreliable products end up on the shelves. He did not elaborate.The official said the proposals would strengthen the commission's authority by making it illegal for firms to knowingly sell a recalled product; by authorizing the panel to issue follow-up recall announcements; and by requiring recalling companies to report supplier and delivery information. Further, the commission would be able to impose asset forfeiture penalties for criminal offenses.A third recommendation calls for establishing a certification program - likened to a seal of approval - for companies with a proven track record of meeting safety standards.

The administration sees that as a powerful tool because it presumably would make certified suppliers more attractive to large retailers.In addition, regulators would be able to concentrate on countries and companies that do not have a reputation for meeting certification standards.Bush will receive the recommendations today from the advisory commission established in July to study import safety. The panel was led by Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt.Details of the commission's recommendations were disclosed by an administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity.The FDA oversees the regulation of more than $1 trillion annually of food, drugs, cosmetics and other products.

Have you been injured by a defective drug, please contact us to evaluate your case. http://www.thebaezlawfirm.com We care about your legal needs!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Finding the cure for spinal cord injuries

Latin pop diva Gloria Estefan and former Citadel linebacker Marc Buoniconti have each suffered paralyzing injuries.Estefan escaped from a near-fatal bus accident in 1990 with a broken back. After months of grueling Physical Therapy and surgery, she returned to the stage and studio, winning Grammy Awards and numerous other accolades.

Buoniconti wasn't so lucky. In 1985, he was hoping to follow in the footsteps of his father, NFL Hall of Fame linebacker Nick Buoniconti, when his life was changed."I made a tackle," Marc Buoniconti said, "and the next thing I know, I fell to the turf like a ton of bricks. ... I knew right away that I was paralyzed."Buoniconti's neck had been broken and his spinal cord severed -- leaving him a quadriplegic. He was given no hope of walking again.For the Buoniconti family, the grim prognosis was a call to battle.

The Buonicontis, Green and two other families experiencing spinal cord injuries started The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis.With the help of Estefan and others, the project has become the world's largest, most comprehensive research center dedicated to finding a cure for spinal cord injuries and a model for other institutions developing centers for spinal cord injury research, according to its Web site.

Last year, the Gloria Estefan Foundation announced a $1 million gift to help establish human clinical trials at The Miami Project.Estefan serves on the board of directors of The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis, the national fundraising arm of The Miami Project, and as chairperson for a capital campaign that raised $40 million to build the Lois Pope LIFE Center at the University of Miami -- Estefan's alma mater. The center, which opened in 2000, is home to The Miami Project.

"Having experienced paralysis firsthand ... I feel especially fortunate to have had a positive outcome despite a very negative prognosis," Estefan said in making the gift, according to the project's Web site. Watch Estefan and Marc Buoniconti discuss the project ."I vowed that I would do whatever was in my power to assist those already on their way to finding a cure. I urge anyone that is in a position to help, to join us in taking on this challenge knowing that we are closer than ever to a cure and to helping those that live in wheelchairs get on their feet."

It is estimated that 2.5 million people worldwide are paralyzed because of spinal cord injury, with thousands of new cases occurring each year, according to the International Campaign for Cures of Spinal Cord Injury Paralysis.For Buoniconti, the first year after his injury was a battle to liberate himself from a respirator and breathe on his own. Then he had to adapt to a breath-controlled wheelchair that would give him mobility.

Buoniconti, 41, never lost hope, and continued to fight for his own Rehabilitation and those of thousands of others through his work as the official ambassador for The Miami Project.
"I interact with patients and doctors and donors ... putting together events ... and making those important phone calls," he said. "There's not a week that goes by that I don't hear from families of ... someone who's been paralyzed ... and they have nowhere to turn except for The Miami Project."His determination to find a cure has made him a hero in Estefan's eyes."His spirit is what really draws me to him because he has a purpose. He gets up every day and works hard," she said, "and he doesn't allow anything negative to bring him down."

According to The Miami Project, Buoniconti's efforts have helped raise more than $250 million.
"I think we are going to see a cure thanks to the efforts ... of Marc and his family," Estefan said. Marc "took the bull by the horns and he really has made a difference."

If you have suffered a spinal cord injury as a result of some ones negligence, contact us http://www.thebaezlawfirm.com because "we care about your legal needs."

Thursday, November 1, 2007

More Doctors in Texas after Malpractice Caps

In Texas, it can be a long wait for a doctor: up to six months. That is not for an appointment. That is the time it can take the Texas Medical Board to process applications to practice.

Four years after Texas voters approved a constitutional amendment limiting awards in medical malpractice lawsuits, doctors are responding as supporters predicted, arriving from all parts of the country to swell the ranks of specialists at Texas hospitals and bring professional health care to some long-under served rural areas.

The influx, raising the state’s abysmally low ranking in physicians per capita, has flooded the medical board’s offices in Austin with applications for licenses, close to 2,500 at last count.
“It was hard to believe at first; we thought it was a spike,” said Dr. Donald W. Patrick, executive director of the medical board and a neurosurgeon and lawyer. But Dr. Patrick said the trend — licenses up 18 percent since 2003, when the damage caps were enacted — has held, with an even sharper jump of 30 percent in the last fiscal year, compared with the year before.

“Doctors are coming to Texas because they sense a friendlier malpractice climate,” he said.
Some experts say the picture may be more complicated and less positive. They question how big a role the cap on malpractice awards has played, arguing that awards in malpractice lawsuits showed little increase in the 12 years before the law changed.

And some critics, including liability lawyers, question whether the changes have left patients more vulnerable. With doctors facing reduced malpractice exposure, they say, many have cut back on their insurance, making it harder for plaintiffs to collect damages. Moreover, the critics say that some rural areas have fewer doctors than before.

The measure changing Texas’ malpractice landscape, Proposition 12, was narrowly approved in a constitutional referendum on Sept. 12, 2003. It barred the courts from interfering in limits set by the Legislature on medical malpractice recoveries. For pain and suffering, so-called non economic damage, patients can sue a doctor and, in unusual cases, up to two health care institutions for no more than $250,000 each, under limits adopted by the Legislature. Plaintiffs can still recover economic losses, like the cost of continuing medical care or lost income, but the amount they can win was capped at $1.6 million in death cases.

All but 15 states have adopted some limits on medical damage awards, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. But the restrictions in Texas go further than in many states, where the limits are often twice as high as they are here.“Other states have passed tort reform, but Texas implemented big changes all at once,” said Lisa Robin, a vice president for government relations at the Federation of State Medical Boards, a national umbrella group based in Dallas.

Some experts say that the lack of a state income tax, combined with what William M. Sage, a law professor at the University of Texas in Austin, called a “relatively rapid transition in its tort reputation as a plaintiff-friendly state,” has contributed to the state’s appeal to doctors.Dr. Timothy George, 47, a pediatric neurosurgeon, credits the measure in part with attracting him and his sought-after specialty last year to Austin from North Carolina. “Texas made it easier to practice and easier to take care of complex patients,” he said.

The increase in doctors — double the rate of the population increase — has raised the state’s ranking in physicians per capita to 42nd in 2005 from 48th in 2001, according to the American Medical Association. It is most likely considerably higher now, according to the medical association, which takes two years to compile the standings. Still, the latest figures show Texas with 194 patient-care physicians per 100,000 population, far below the District of Columbia, which led the nation with 659.

The Texas Medical Board reports licensing 10,878 new physicians since 2003, up from 8,391 in the prior four years. It issued a record 980 medical licenses at its last meeting in August, raising the number of doctors in Texas to 44,752, with a backlog of nearly 2,500 applications.
Of those awaiting processing, the largest number, after Texas, come from New York (145), followed by California (118) and Florida (100).

In some medical specialties, the gains have been especially striking, said Jon Opelt, executive director of the Texas Alliance for Patient Access, a medical advocacy group: 186 obstetricians, 156 orthopedic surgeons and 26 neurosurgeons.Adding to the state’s allure for doctors, Mr. Opelt said, was an average 21.3 percent drop in malpractice insurance premiums, not counting rebates for renewal.

In the mean time, patients are suffering more and more by their doctors and attorneys have their hands tight since the cap on damages. The time has come Texans to go back to the polls and do the right thing...

We care about your legal needs! http://www.thebaezlawfirm.com

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Wal Mart Recalls Animal Toys for Lead

(AP) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is recalling toy animals because of excessive lead levels discovered since it stepped up safety testing in August, the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer said Friday.
Wal-Mart described the recalled items in a news release as toy sets of "realistic animals" that included farm animals, jungle animals and dinosaurs. It did not provide a brand name or say in the statement how many toys were subject to the voluntary recall or where they were made.

A Wal-Mart spokesman was not immediately available for comment.
Wal-Mart said independent testing revealed excessive levels of lead in the base material, not the surface coating. The retailer said it was posting photos and details of the affected toys on its Web site, http://www.walmartfacts.com. It said customers may return the product to any Wal-Mart store, with or without a receipt, for a full refund.

If you have been injured by one of these toys, please contact us at our website http://www.thebaezlawfirm.com so that we could discuss your case, or call our office at (210) 979-9777. Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Texas Hospitals don't have to make cases of deadly infection public

The antibiotic-resistant bacterium called MRSA is infecting more victims across the country, but most states, including Texas, are not tracking it.
The so-called "superbug" kills more people than AIDS, according to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which estimates that 18,700 people nationwide died of invasive MRSA in 2005. AIDS claimed about 17,000 lives in this country that year, the CDC reports.
The report resulted from the first federal study to track methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a form of staph that has haunted health professionals for the past few years but grabbed the public's attention only recently after several students in different parts of the United States died from a strain they caught in the community.
The infection traditionally has spread only in health care settings, and 85 percent of the more serious cases still originate there, according to the CDC. But now that it has made its way into the community, MRSA (pronounced MUR-suh) is becoming a household word.
Most hospitals track infections transmitted within their own grounds; a spokeswoman at one Houston hospital said it would be negligent not to keep that data. But few hospitals are willing to make the information public, either through the media or to their patients.
And they don't have to.
Unlike a long list of illnesses, including chicken pox, syphilis and Lyme disease, MRSA isn't a required reportable condition in Texas. So while hospitals may know their infection rates, the public often can't get that information.
"There's just a concern about public reporting and whether it would be interpreted correctly," said Dr. Rajiv Jain, director of the Veterans Affairs national MRSA initiative, which involves testing every admitted patient for the infection. Jain believes more in-depth tracking is needed.
Hospital administrators are reluctant to release infection-rate data, partly because they're worried that the public will use it to compare them with other hospitals that track the infection differently or that serve patients with different risk factors.
But without data, some patient advocates say, it's difficult to hold hospitals accountable.
New law, but no fundingThe Texas Legislature this year approved a law that requires reporting of health care-associated infections, although it doesn't specifically target MRSA. Like most laws adopted in about 20 other states in recent years, the new rules focus on the nature of an infection, not the type of bacteria that caused it. So while some infections caused by MRSA would be counted, they wouldn't be recorded as MRSA.
The law requires that three types of hospital-acquired infections be reported: surgical-site infections, respiratory syncytial virus — which causes pneumonia — and certain bloodstream infections. But since the law doesn't include funding for the project, state health officials are struggling to figure out how to pay for it.
"It's still not clear what funding is going to be available and if it's going to be sufficient to make things work," said Dr. Tom Betz, manager of infectious disease surveillance and epidemiology for the Texas Department of State Health Services. "If we can't do this right, we probably shouldn't do it at all."
While some health professionals, including Jain, say states should track MRSA specifically, others say that wouldn't do much good, partly because the staph infection can manifest in so many forms. Infections on the skin, which can look like pimples or boils, can be treated fairly easily and become potentially fatal only if the infection spreads to the bloodstream or infects a surgical wound.
Origin hard to determineThen there's the difficulty of determining the mode of transmission: Hospitals can't always differentiate between infections that originate in their facility or in the community.
"To track just MRSA by itself, that doesn't make a lot of sense," said Dr. Sheldon Kaplan, chief of infectious disease services at Texas Children's Hospital and professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine. "There are lots of (other) hospital-acquired types of infections that are just as serious."
That's no consolation for Cary Yates, a Missouri City man whose 29-year-old son Shawn died in March from community-acquired MRSA. It took doctors several days to properly diagnose Shawn Yates, a father of two, and then it was too late, his father said.
"The medical community must take this seriously," said Yates, a banker. "They must hold themselves accountable and responsible and report these numbers so we can have an open dialogue to try and cure this disease or at least recognize it."
Bexar County to be firstBexar County, which includes San Antonio, soon will become the first in the state to track the infection. Under a state law approved in June, all clinical labs in the county will be required to report MRSA infections as soon as January. Lawmakers say the tracking system may later be expanded to the rest of the state if it's successful.
"The whole goal of getting the data is to get a baseline, so you can identify risk factors and then recommend measures to reduce those rates," said Dr. Bryan Alsip, assistant director of clinical and population-based services for the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District.
Bexar County has agreed to fund the pilot program. But for hospitals strapped for money and staff, tracking yet another condition could pull resources away from patient care, said Dr. Ed Septimus, medical director of clinical integration for The Methodist Hospital System in Houston.
"No one's against transparency," said Septimus, who serves on the board of directors for the Infectious Diseases Society of America. "But it has to be done fairly and correctly."

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Texans on Justice

Do you have what it takes to create a video? Can you be a director of a video? If you answered yes to any of the two previous questions, this one if for you. Create a three-minute-or-less video that captures your vision of the importance and value of the justice system in our daily lives.
This contest is open to residents of Texas and attorneys licensed to practice in Texas.
To enter the "Lone Star Stories: Texans on Justice" contest:
1. Complete this online entry form, and agree to these rules.
2. Make a video. Be creative!
3. Submit/post your video to www.youtube.com/group/texansonjustice between Oct. 15, 2007, and Dec. 15, 2007. Videos must be three minutes long or less.
If you are under the age of 18, be sure to submit a signed parental permission form.
Good luck to any and all of you who enter the contest.

We careabout your legal needs! http://www.thebaezlawfirm.com

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Woman wins lawsuit over sponge

United Press International (UPI via COMPTEX) - October 5, 2007

A Florida jury has awarded more than $2.4 million to a woman whose doctor left a foot-long sponge in her pelvis after she gave birth.Karlene Chambers of Pembroke Pines, Fla., sued Dr. Joseph Becerra, the Pembroke Pines OB/GYN Associates, Memorial Hospital West and other medical agencies, the Miami Herald said Thursday.

The newspaper said Chambers gave birth to a healthy baby girl by Cesarean on Sept. 11, 2001, but returned to the hospital after she developed an infection.

On Sept. 19, a radiologist spotted a foreign object and reported it, but nothing was done, Chambers' attorney told the newspaper. On Sept. 22, the gauze-like sponge showed up in a CAT scan and doctors conducted emergency surgery.

The lawsuit said Chambers lost her ability to have more children and suffers from other health problems related to the incident.

URL: www.upi.com
Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Injured by your spouse?

Texas law recognizes two different forms of assault. First, there is the bodily injury contact, which requires injury, and second there is the offensive contact, which does not. The latter could be in a form of a sexually transmitted disease (STD). For instance, if your spouse has an extramarital affair while you are married to them, you in fact may have a cause of action against your spouse, if you become infected with an STD. Many spouses stay on abusive relationships even after this phenomena.

The reason why a spouse may have a legal cause of action against a spouse is simple. How many of you would have sex with your spouse if your spouse would tell you, "honey, I just had sex with another person, I may be infected with something, but let’s have sex." It would be hard to imagine that any one of us would allow such a intimate contact with ourselves, after our spouse breaks that trust. Many, if not all of us, would consider that offensive.

When a spouse commits adultery, most of the time, if not always, they do not inform the other about the affair. And if the same spouse continues to have sex with his/her spouse, after having sex with another person, other than their spouse, and infects the spouse with an STD; unless the spouse uses protection for the other spouse, the spouse that committed the affair has, for all legal purposes, "offensive contact" with the other spouse. WOW, that was a mouth full one!

If you have been injured by your spouse, or if you would like us to review your case:
Come visit us at our website http://www.thebaezlawfirm.com or call us (210) 979-9777. Because, "we care about your legal needs."

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Handcuffed woman schocked twice by cop

Associated Press- Police cruiser and city administrators said that the latest Taser incident shows a male police officer jolting a 38-year-old woman at least twice: both before and after she was handcuffed. The video shows her falling face-first onto the pavement and being knocked unconscious.
The officer's report said the woman had kicked out a rear window in his cruiser and had tried to crawl into the front seat. She was being transferred to another police car when she was shot with a Taser. The woman said she was left with bruises and impaired vision. The police officer was suspended.
42 USC § 1983 comes to mind with incidents like this one. It does not have to be Rodney King style beating for a citizen to qualify for it. The statute is clear, "every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding..."
There is unknown whether the woman will seek compensation from the police department.


Saturday, September 15, 2007

Why insurance companies don't want to pay on your client's personal injuries

San Antonio Personal Injury Trial Lawyers will compare some practices, financial strategies and mottoes of three of the major insurance carriers to see how they do it. No wonder your client is not looked at by insurance companies as a person, but as a potential loss on their huge earnings. For example:

American International Group, AIG, already owns more than 60% of 21st Century Insurance Group, which is one of California?s largest auto insurance companies. They are now looking to take the auto insurance company over altogether. They are purchasing the company for $813 million in a cash deal, and will pay $22 a share for it.They had previously offered the auto insurance company $19.75 per share, so obviously the new price was much more desirable. 21st will now be a wholly owned subsidiary of AIG when the deal is completed. After the deal, Bruce Marlow, who is 21st Century?s President and CEO, will head AIG?s direct private passenger auto insurance operations, which will be both companies combined.The Board of Directors of 21st Century has unanimously approved the merger, and AIG says that this is a win for both companies. They say that it allows them to combine the ?expertise and resources? of both of the companies to come up with a better product together. This ends up being good for their shareholders, good for their employees, and good for their customers. 21st Century has been around since 1958, and is a direct to consumer auto insurance company for personal auto insurance. They have more than $1.4 billion in revenue for last year, and this merger should be completed by the end of the third quarter of this year. Yet, every single time an attorney tries to settle with AIG adjusters, they are rude, condescending, and just impolite. Just remember that they have been hired and trained to keep profits for the company, not to properly compensate injured people. If you have ever dealt with AIG adjusters, you know exactly what we are saying.

State Farm Insurance's chairman and CEO received an 82 percent raise after the company posted a record profit last year, a statement from the Bloomington-Ill.-based insurer said this week. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ed Rust Jr. got a $5.26 million raise. He earned $11.66 million in 2006 with a base salary of $1.77 million and results-based bonus of $9.89 million, the statement said. Rust made $6.4 million in 2005 and $5.5 million in 2004.
The absence of a major catastrophe helped the insurer generate a record $5.32 billion profit last year, compared to $3.24 billion in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina hit the Mississippi Gulf Coast, release said. Now, to settle a claim with this company, an attorney has to be very patient and explain to the client that insurance companies really don't care about their injuries, they only care about their profits, since it takes them so long to really negotiate a claim.

GEICO's strong operating results reflect a considerable underwriting expense advantage, driven by its direct distribution business model and improved loss experience in recent years. Overall returns also benefit from its consistent and stable stream of investment income. When combined with its capital gains, GEICO has generated significant capital over the last five years, which has supported steady growth in net premium written and enabled it to declare substantial dividends. This company's adjusters are far better than any others in that they would be more efficient with the claims; however, still all they care about is to keep their profits.

As you can see, insurance companies are there to make a profit, not to pay an injured person when they are hurt. Most policies for auto insurance are 20/40. That means that $20, 0000 is for personal property, or to pay the car, and $40,0000 is to pay for the injuries, yet, you will never hear the insurance companies to offer an attorney policy limits on any claims, even the ones that deserve it. So, as a personal injury attorneys, you have the obligation to sue the insurance company to obtain the justice that your client deserves. That is why consumers need law firms that are willing to go all the way to trial with this insurance companies.

Come visit us at our website http://www.thebaezlawfirm.com or call us (210) 979-9777. Because, "we care about your legal needs."

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Effect of aspirin consumption and alcohol in traumatic brain injury patients

Associated Press- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is the ultimate cause of death in 40 percent of all fatal trauma cases. TBI may result from a direct blow to the brain or from the secondary effects of head trauma such as bleeding, swelling, decreased oxygen, or increased pressure on the brain. Intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) or bleeding inside the head is the cause of death in 70-80 percent of patients presenting with TBI.

ICH increases the risk of brain damage, which can lead to serious residual neurological disabilities in surviving patients. Every year, 80,000 to 90,000 people experience the onset of long-term or lifelong disabilities associated with TBI. In the United States today, there are currently as many as 5.3 million TBI survivors living with these disabilities.

There have been many studies dedicated to predicting overall clinical outcome in TBI patients. The factors which have been identified thus far are age, level of consciousness on first admission to the hospital, and degree of injury on computed tomography (CT) scanning. It is known that up to 50 percent all cases of ICH can increase with time, resulting in worsening neurological status and appearance on CT scan.

More than half of the patients brought to the hospital with TBI are intoxicated and many have cardiovascular disease requiring them to be on blood-thinners such as aspirin. Yet no prior studies have examined the potential effects of alcohol and aspirin consumption on worsening ICH in patients with TBI. Aspirin thins the blood, and reduces the risk of clots forming in key blood vessels, yet can cause bleeding problems in people with certain conditions Theoretically, TBI patients who are aspirin users could be prime candidates at risk for increased hemorrhaging associated with aspirin consumption.

When used in excess, alcohol damages brain structure and function. Besides the acute effects of alcohol consumption on the neurological function of the brain, there are physical changes that may result from moderate to heavy drinking of long duration. One concern is brain atrophy, which leaves more room inside the cranium for blood to collect during a brain injury. Alcohol weakens the walls of blood vessels and makes them more susceptible to rupture and bleeding. It is theorized that the combination of these factors can lead to an increase of ICH.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Texas New Pledge

AP (Dallas)- A day after thousands of schoolchildren began reciting the revised Texas pledge honoring "one state under God," an atheist couple asked a federal judge in Dallas that the language be immediately removed.

The Texas pledge revised by legislators this year now reads: "Honor the Texas flag; I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one state under God, one and indivisible."
Legislators inserted the language into the pledge earlier this year to mirror the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance.

U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade denied the request late Tuesday by David Wallace Croft and his wife, Shannon, for a preliminary injunction to stop the use of the pledge before any trial. No trial date has been set. An unidentified John and Jane Doe are also parties to the case.

"The U.S. Supreme Court has made it abundantly clear for decades that patriotic tributes to God are allowed under the Constitution," state solicitor general Ted Cruz argued in court.
The Crofts' attorney, Dean Cook, said, "Two wrongs don't make a right." He argued that the Croft children, who attend Carrollton-Farmers Branch schools, are harmed by recitation of the Texas pledge, even if they are allowed to leave the room. He called it a "temporary jail."

In 2002, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in San Francisco, ruled in favor of California atheist Michael Newdow's lawsuit challenging the U.S. pledge's inclusion of the words "under God" and held it to be unconstitutional. Two years later, the Supreme Court reversed the decision.

Mr. Cook cited the 9th Circuit's opinion Tuesday. "This 9th Circuit opinion is one of the most criticized opinions," Judge Kinkeade said in court. "It's roundly criticized."
Mr. Croft said he has received numerous e-mails and postings on his blog, david-wallace-croft.blogspot.com, about his court challenges. While he has received some support from other atheists, many are angry and opposed to his actions.

"All the bad things that are going to happen to me are supposedly going to happen in the afterlife," Mr. Croft said in referring to the responses. "It's hard to take that seriously."

How does this post relates to Personal Injury? It happens to be one of the most controversial topics amongs attorneys and their faith, including those in the personal injury field. If you don't believe me, go to the newest formed Texas Bar Circle and you will find the subject debated within. May God bring some light into this dark days of our lives.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Colossus, PI Attorneys Nightmare

If you practice in the are of personal injury, you must be aware of what insurance companies and adjuster are using to their advantage. It is called "Colossus." According to an article on the internet, Colossus is the insurance industry’s leading expert system for assisting adjusters in the evaluation of bodily injury claims. Colossus helps adjusters reduce variance in payouts on similar bodily injury claims.Colossus provides adjusters access to claims data within a defined Business Process Management framework for evaluating injuries, treatment, resolution, impairment and general damage settlements.

With Colossus, adjusters quickly interpret medical reports and look up definitions of injuries, treatments, complications and permanent impairments using AMA 5th edition data. Through a series of interactive questions, Colossus guides the adjuster through an objective evaluation of medical treatment options, degree of pain and suffering, degree of permanent impairment to the claimant’s body, and the impact of the injury on the claimant’s lifestyle.

It comes to mind then, if the insurance industry has Colossus, and they know about claims and damage settlements, would they also know about attorneys track records? In other words, do they know wether a particular attorneys settles the cases for less than normal or the attorney fights all the way to trial for what is right for the client. As a colleague of mine puts it: "we are been watched my friend."

This article is to alert other fellow litigators and the public in general about the tactics used by insurance companies in order to increase their bottom line. Perhaps its time for attorneys and consumers alike to ask our politicians what could be done about it. As for this firm, we will most likely take our cases to trial, in order to get the justice that our clients deserve.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Driver found dead made frantic 911 call

Associated Press- A desperate driver in Grand Prairie made a frantic 911 call saying his vehicle was being rammed just before he was killed in a wreck early Thursday morning.
The call was received by 911 operators around 1 a.m. But by the time police located the vehicle, it had already slammed into a utility pole and rolled over at Skyline Road and Southeast 14th Street.
Police continued to search for the vehicle that had rammed the dead man's car.
A passenger in the vehicle that wrecked was hospitalized with injuries.
Police said they were investigating the driver's death as a homicide.
The accident knocked out power at the Vought Aircraft Industries plant in the 1600 block of Marshall Drive in Grand Prairie. TXU electric said service should be restored by late Thursday afternoon.
About 500 workers at the plant produce components for Boeing commercial aircraft, according to Vought's Web site.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Third giant recall jolts toy stores

Associated Press-For the third time this summer, toy stores across the United States were forced Tuesday to pull millions of Chinese-made toys from their shelves because they could harm children.
The recall adds to the concern among consumers and frustration among business owners over a growing list of Chinese products recalled this summer.
The latest recall by toy-making giant Mattel Inc. involved about 7.3 million dolls and action figures, including Polly Pocket, Barbie and Batman play sets, and 253,000 die-cast Sarge cars.
The dolls and action figures contain small magnets children can swallow and the cars could contain lead paint, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said.
Nancy A. Nord, acting CPSC chairwoman, told a news conference Tuesday that no injuries had been reported with any of the products involved in the recall.
"The scope of these recalls is intentionally large to prevent any injuries from occurring," she said.
Recalled
• 7.3 million Polly Pocket dolls and accessories (small magnets)
• 1 million Doggie Day Care play sets (magnets)
• 253,000 "Sarge" cars from the movie "Cars" (high lead levels)
• 345,000 Batman and "One Piece" action figures (magnets)
• 683,000 Barbie and Tanner play sets (magnets)
Consumers should call Mattel at 888-597-6597 for information about the recalled toys with magnets, or 800-916-4997 for information about the recalled cars.
* * *
What it means
• Lost sales opportunities
• Increased management costs
• Possible lower customer loyalty
* * *RELATED LINK
Press release: One product recalled for impermissible levels of lead
August 10 Opinion: Danger: Toys ahead
August 3 Lead scare prompts toy stores to clear shelves
Even so, the recalls are having an effect on parents and retailers. With about 80 percent of toys sold worldwide made in China, toy sellers are worried shoppers will shy away from their products.
"I think concern [among consumers] is growing," said Ken Maietta, an owner of Tons of Toys stores in Wyckoff and Chatham. "I think they [Chinese officials] should have fixed it after the Thomas recall."
Maietta was referring to June's recall by RC2 Corp. of 1.5 million wooden railroad toys and set parts from its Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway product line. The toys, which contained lead paint, were also made in China.
Lead paint also forced Mattel two weeks ago to pull nearly 1 million plastic preschool toys sold under its Fisher-Price brand. Included were "Sesame Street" and Nickelodeon characters, such as Elmo, Big Bird and Dora the Explorer.
The recent rash of recalls is having "a tremendous impact" on retailers, said Joanna Kennedy, the marketing communications manager at Tomax Corp., a Salt Lake City company that has developed software to help retailers run their businesses.
"It's been a hard year for retailers with these recalls, one after another, peanut butter, spinach, pet food, toys," Kennedy said. "It's just been an insane year for retailers."
Recalls translate into lost sales opportunities, increased costs to manage the recall and a possible "degradation of customer loyalties," if the retailer doesn't respond quickly, she said.
Big chains, such as Wayne-based Toys "R" Us got a jump start on Tuesday's recall through a call Monday from the manufacturer. As a result, all the toys involved had been pulled before Tuesday's official announcement.
Maietta said he usually gets e-mails from suppliers, but first heard of the latest recall on the radio while driving to work Tuesday and got the details from Mattel's Web site.
He immediately pulled all the merchandise on the recall list from his shelves and stored it in his basement until it goes back to Mattel for credit.
It's too early to gauge the long-term effect of the numerous recalls, Kennedy said.
There's a growing perception among consumers that goods made off-shore are less reliable than those made in the U.S., and that could change buying habits, she said.
Toys "R" Us also works to reassure customers that even with the recalls, "we have a lot of great toys on the shelf that are safe and have been tested," spokeswoman Kathleen Waugh said.
Mattel is also trying to reassure customers. In a full-page ad Tuesday in some U.S. newspapers, the company said it is "one of the most trusted names with parents" and was "working extremely hard to address your concerns and continue creating safe, entertaining toys for you and your children."
The ad was presented as a letter to "fellow parents" from Mattel chief executive Bob Eckert.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission, which negotiated details of Mattel's recalls, said several injuries had been reported in an earlier Polly Pocket recall last November involving three children injured by swallowing more than one magnet. Each suffered intestinal perforations that required surgery.
When more than one magnet is swallowed, they can attach to each other and cause intestinal perforation, infection or blockage, which can be fatal.
In all, at least one U.S. child has died and 19 others have needed surgery since 2003 after swallowing magnets used in various toys, the government said.
In March 2006, another toy company, Mega Brands Inc., recalled 3.8 million Magnetix magnetic building sets after one child died and four others were seriously injured after swallowing tiny magnets in them.
Mattel launched a full-scale investigation into all of its factories in China and discovered the latest problem during that investigation, Nord said.
In a conference call with reporters Tuesday, Eckert said that the correct paint for the Sarge cars was sent to a subcontractor, who apparently "chose not to use the paint."
Lead is toxic if ingested by young children, and under current regulations, children's products found to have more than 0.06 percent lead accessible to users are subject to a recall.
"There is no excuse for lead to be found in toys entering this country," Nord said. "It's totally unacceptable and it needs to stop."
Days after the Fisher-Price recall, Chinese officials temporarily banned the toys' manufacturer, and its co-owner committed suicide. The company was under pressure in the global controversy over the safety of Chinese-made products, and it is common for disgraced officials to commit suicide in China.
Before this month, Fisher-Price and Mattel had never recalled toys because of lead paint.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

A Texas child was hit by foul ball

Dallas (AP)-In the bottom of the first inning, the second baseman-- the first player up to bat -- ripped a line-drive foul ball down the third base line and into the stands. Helplessly as the ball flew at his daughter, hitting her forehead, the father watched.
"We probably weren't 100 feet or so from home plate," the father said. "She was sitting on her grandfather's lap. Neither one saw it coming. They had just looked away for just a second and it happened."
The impact left a small cut on the child's forehead that bled for a short time and a knot almost as big as a baseball. She cried for a minute but remained alert and "eerily calm," her father said.
"She was very calm and did very, very well, but she isn't a calm child. She's very charismatic," he said. "That's what had us so concerned."
The child was moved to the clubhouse until an ambulance arrived and took her to Cook Children's Medical Center. While at the hospital, the girl had trouble responding and began to vomit. A CT scan determined that she had a fractured skull, a blood clot and bleeding outside her brain, her father said.
By 10 p.m., less than three hours after being struck, the soon-to-be Bryson Elementary School kindergartner was in surgery, receiving an emergency craniotomy.
"At this point, the doctor said the prognosis is very good," the father said. "She will make a full recovery, and she will start school on time with everybody else."
The child was in good condition Wednesday and could be home by week's end.
"Thank God! This could have been a major catastrophe," said her grandmother in a phone interview from her home in New York.
Relatives marveled at the care that the child has received at the hospital.
"We would be nowhere without our blessings from God right now," the father said.
Added the grandmother: "We'd be just as bad off without this hospital."
The child's grandmother said the surgeon was even able to avoid shaving the blue-eyed girl's long brown hair.
"They didn't shave her head, which is wonderful because she has hair down the middle of her back," the grandmother said.
"She is breathtakingly beautiful. I'm not just saying that because she's my granddaughter."
The child was in and out of sleep Wednesday and has no memory of the ball hitting her.
"She remembers everything else. She remembers it was Finding Nemo playing in the room when we first got to the hospital," the father said.
"Everybody is concerned -- every person in our organization from the owner right on down to the player who hit the ball."
How many more fatalities shall we witness before something is done about this phenomena?

Thursday, August 2, 2007

FEMA Disaster Recovery Center Opens

(AP)-Many East Texans are still recovering and rebuilding from the floods earlier this month.
Now the President has approved Smith and Cherokee counties' disaster declaration, FEMA is here ready to deliver federal aid.

Leroy Pace faces severe erosion on his cattle ranch near Lindale, and hopes for help to shore up and prevent another disaster."After [the water] came through here, it kind of scattered out some. Some of it went over in this direction, and more over in this direction," he says, pointing to ruts on his dirt road where several feet of water cascaded through.

He believes the flooding was made worse by runoff from recent nearby residential development.
"Coming with the force it was coming, it was really scary, because it was coming so fast down that road and across here," he says.The cattle graze, but it's the land where they stand that was carved away in the rains.

To build up and level this land -- to make it all productive again will cost thousands.
"It takes a tremendous load of dirt to fill up what looks like a small hole. At the Disaster Recovery Center, FEMA workers and those from the Small Business Administration guide folks through the process to get grants or loans.

Flood victims need to bring identification and any insurance information. Photos of the damage are most helpful. Also, the agency wants to help with the future.
"Our mitigation person can help make their home less susceptible to damage," says Center manager John Veach."We give them ideas of what to do. For instance, [homeowners can build] a drain or build a retaining wall," he says.

That's exactly what Pace wants to keep water off his property."We could build some kind of terrace or something to keep that water out -- so it'll turn that water so it won't come right down on top of us," he says.Pace is considering a loan to help get his ranch on firm footing, and hopes for some drier days ahead.

The mobile Disaster Recovery Center is located at 412 Fair Park Drive in Tyler. It will be there through Wednesday from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. You can also register by calling 1-800-621-FEMA or online at www.fema.gov.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Texas' horrific statistics

Dallas (AP)-The latest victim was 6 months old when her father left her in the back seat of his truck in a church parking lot on an infernal late June day two years ago. Nearly every day since, he has asked himself the same question: How could he have forgotten his precious little girl?

"It's just something that people absolutely think cannot happen to them," Her mother said recently as she sat with her husband in the living room of their Dallas-area home. "And we were one of them."

But it does happen, and with alarming frequency. Since 1998, at least 41 youngsters have perished in Texas after being left or becoming trapped in a hot vehicle. That's more than any other state and about 12 percent of the nationwide total.

Last week, two registered nurses in San Antonio, reported a mother who left her young daughter inside a car without the air conditioner on. "we just turned off our car and tried to experienced what that little girl must have felt," said one of the nurses. The police soon came and questioned the irresponsible mother of the child.

As Texans, we need to be aware of the possible dangers and possible injuries that can be caused to our children, when left unattended in the sun. Let us be more responsible citizens and concern parents. If you witness such behavior, please contact your local police.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Adviser: Avandia should stay on the market!

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Government health advisers overwhelmingly recommended Monday that the widely used diabetes drug Avandia should remain on the market, saying evidence of an increased risk of heart attack doesn't merit removal. Although nonbinding, it is a recommendation by a panel to the Food and Drug Administration .

One of the panel's patient representative stated "We're being asked today to take a very draconian action based on studies that have very significant weaknesses and are inadequate for us to make that kind of decision." This is a diferent view by an earlier 20-3 vote by the panelists which said that available data showed the drug does increase heart risks.

The company's senior vice president and chief medical officer stated "The number of myocardial infarctions is small, the data are inconsistent and there is no overall evidence rosiglitazone is different from any other oral antidiabetes agents." Previously, the FDA had said information from dozens of studies pointed to an increased risk of heart attack.

About 1 million Americans with Type 2 diabetes use Avandia to control blood sugar by increasing the body's sensitivity to insulin. That sort of treatment has long been presumed to lessen the heart risks already associated with the disease, which is linked to obesity. News that Avandia might actually increase those risks would represent a "serious limitation" of the drug's benefit, according to the FDA.

The FDA moved up the date of Monday's meeting after the May publication of a study in The New England Journal of Medicine that generated new concerns about Avandia's safety. The analysis of 42 studies revealed a 43 percent higher risk of heart attack for those taking Avandia compared with people taking other diabetes drugs or no diabetes medication.Separately, the FDA is working to add so-called "black box" warnings to the labels of both Avandia and a second oral diabetes drug, Actos, to caution patients about the increased risk of heart failure associated with the drugs. That risk is separate from those discussed Monday.

The diabetes epidemic affects more than 18 million Americans. Most have Type 2, where the body makes too little insulin or cannot use what it does produce.Each day, there are 4,100 new cases of diabetes in the United States, and 810 deaths, said Dr. Robert Ratner, vice president of medical affairs at the MedStar Research Institute. Of those deaths, 60 percent are due to heart disease, Ratner told the panel.Congress has pointed to Avandia as evidence of FDA's fumbling of safety problems that emerge long after drugs win agency approval. The House and Senate are at work on legislation to overhaul the FDA.

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