The Baez Law Firm | San Antonio Lawyers and Attorneys

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

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.

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