Texas Injury Attorneys Mo Aziz and Curtis Wayne Lucas Ready To Help Seek Justice For Those Seriously Injured In West Fertilizer Plant Explosion

Completely blind and suffering from burns over the upper-half of his body, a Waco Man severely injured in the West, Texas explosion is fighting to recover physically while his attorneys seek full compensation for his losses.


(Houston, TX) Texas attorneys Mo Aziz of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend located in Houston, Texas and Curtis Wayne Lucas of the Law Office of Whitney Fanning located in Waco, Texas are helping one victim of the recent West, Texas tragedy seek justice for permanent injuries caused by the fertilizer plant explosion.


The Waco, Texas man and his girlfriend were visiting a friend in West when the industrial explosion rocked the small Texas town. The couple was at the apartment complex nearest to the fertilizer plant when the blast occurred. The man, who was standing between the wall of the complex and his girlfriend, essentially shielded her from serious harm, absorbing the full impact of the blast.


The massive plant explosion left the Waco man completely blind and severely burned across his face, chest, arms and hands. There is a long road to recovery ahead for this man that includes relearning how to care and provide for himself without his eyesight.


An investigation into the cause of the fertilizer plant explosion is underway but it may be a long time before there are official answers. In the meantime, those who were injured or lost a loved one in the April explosion are encouraged to contact an attorney to discuss their legal rights.


“The law firm of Abraham Watkins has decades of experience in handling mass casualty events, including wrongful death and personal injury claims. The firm has helped individuals and families recover from prior Texas tragedies, including the Philips explosion in 1989 and the 2005 explosion at the BP refinery in Texas City, and we are here now to help those who were injured in the West Fertilizer Plant explosion,” explained Mo Aziz. “We are partnered with Curtis’ firm due to the similarity in our practice and his ties to the affected community.”


If you were injured or lost everything in the blast, the time to speak to an attorney is now. In large tragedies such as the West, Texas blast, insurance companies may attempt to settle claims for less than a full recovery because so many people were seriously or fatally injured or had their homes and possessions destroyed. “Victims need to seek legal representation to be compensated for their losses at an early stage because of the possibility of limited insurance proceeds,” noted Aziz.


A lawyer on your side can help ensure that you receive a full and fair recovery. The personal injury lawyers of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend have been protecting injured people and their families for more than 60 years. To reach attorney Mo Aziz, or any of the injury attorneys at Abraham Watkins, contact the firm online or at 800-580-9121. The firm offers a no cost, no obligation consultation and can help you understand your rights when a sudden tragedy permanently changes your life.

Local Trial Lawyers Raise Over $50,000 for Returning Heroes Home at First Annual Clays Over the Brazos

Allied Advocates Foundation (AAF) recently held its first annual Clays Over The Brazos Sporting Clays Tournament to benefit Wounded Warriors at Fort Sam Houston and Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio.


(Houston, TX) The Allied Advocates Foundation (AAF) recently hosted a sporting clays tournament at the Rio Brazos Hunting Reserve in Simonton, Texas to benefit Returning Heroes Home (RRH). The mission of RRH is to provide support to Wounded Warriors and their families as these heroes recover from injuries sustained while protecting this country. AAF is pleased to announce that over $50,000 was raised at the tournament.


“Fighting For Those Who Fought For Us”


The net proceeds of the first annual Clays on The Brazos will be donated to Returning Heroes Home to provide financial support for the continued expansion and improvement of the Warrior and Family Support Center near Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas.


The Warrior and Family Support Center supports Wounded Warriors returning from Iraq and Afghanistan who are being treated at the Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) at Fort Sam Houston and their family members. It is a safe place for injured military personnel to work through physical, mental, and emotional rehabilitation alongside their families.


Already, the Center has grown from a 1,200 square foot building to a brand new 12,000 square foot complex, equipped with a large area for social gatherings, kitchen and dining facilities, a game room, private counseling rooms, and large front and back porch areas. Phase II of the Center’s expansion plans includes a Theraputic Garden and Freedom Park, which will build on the environment for social and emotional healing.


“A Vision To Give Back”

AAF was started by five attorneys who wanted to give back to the community that has given them so much. It was formed as a philanthropic non-profit organization with the goal of raising funds annually for worthy causes throughout Texas.


With so many injured military personnel coming home to facilities without the proper resources to care for them, choosing an organization dedicated to these brave men and women was the clear choice for AAF’s 2013 efforts. After evaluating several charitable organizations, AAF is pleased to be able to donate the net proceeds from the event to Returning Heroes Home in support of its mission to provide needed services for Wounded Warriors at BAMC and Fort Sam Houston.


Houston attorney Daniel Horowitz, of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend, is one of the founding members of the AAF. He was joined at the first annual Clays Over The Brazos tournament by firm attorneys Mo Aziz, Chelsie King Garza, and Brant Stogner.

Justices Refuse Alabama’s Immigration Law Appeal

Reuters; April 29, 2013

The Supreme Court on Monday rebuffed the state of Alabama, and gave a win to the Obama administration, by declining to review a lower court ruling that had blocked a controversial part of the state's tough immigration law.

Alabama had asked the high court to review an appeals court decision to stop enforcement of the 'harboring' provision that made it illegal to harbor or transport anyone in the state who had entered the country illegally.

The appeals court had acted in 2012 at the Obama administration's request. The White House had said that Alabama's law was trumped by federal immigration law.

The Alabama law, enacted in 2011, is considered one of the toughest state immigration statutes in the nation. The law also made it illegal to encourage people to either enter or stay in the country in violation of federal immigration laws.

The Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in two separate decisions, upheld injunctions against the harboring provision and other parts of the law in August 2012.

A brief order issued by the court on Monday said Justice Antonin Scalia disagreed with the decision not to hear the case.

The Obama administration has challenged other provisions of the Alabama law, but they were not at issue in the case before the high court.

In 2012, the justices partially upheld a similar wide-ranging law enacted in Arizona.

Arizona and eight other states have similar laws. Laws in Georgia and South Carolina are also being challenged in court.


Novartis Took Doctors to Hooters, Lawsuit Says

CNBC; April 29, 2013

Have you ever received a prescription that you didn't think you needed for some hardcore Novartis drugs? Bad news: your doctor may have sold you out for a Hooters waitress and some crispy chicken wings.

Novartis plied physicians with dinners, speaker fees, fishing trips and outings at Hooters restaurants to get them to prescribe patients more Novartis drugs, the US government alleges. The US made the claims in a lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court.

"Novartis corrupted the prescription drug dispensing process with multimillion-dollar 'incentive programs' that targeted doctors who, in exchange for illegal kickbacks, steered patients toward its drugs," Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement to reporters.

The charges were first made by a former Novartis employee turned whistle-blower. The whistle-blower filed the lawsuit in 2011, the New York Times reported, but the federal government has only recently joined it.

More from GlobalPost:
Big Pharma freaks over India's plan to cap drug prices

In an email, Novartis told the Wall Street Journal that physician speaker programs are an "accepted and customary practice in the industry," which will probably not improve your faith in the drug industry or your doctor.


What’s the Best Jury Size?

Slate; April 25, 2013

Several years ago, a man from Oregon named Alonso Alvino Herrera borrowed a friend’s car and never returned it. He was arrested and charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle and possession of stolen property. In 2008, a jury acquitted him of the second charge but convicted him of the first charge … by a 10-to-2 vote.

Does something strike you as odd about this story? Isn’t a verdict in a criminal trial supposed to be unanimous? The answer is yes in 48 states and yes if the case is tried in a federal court. But two states, Oregon and Louisiana, allow convictions by a nonunanimous vote. Oregon allows a 10-to-2 vote in noncapital cases; Louisiana’s threshold for conviction is 9 to 3. Arguably, Herrera had to go to jail for the crime of living in Oregon.

The Supreme Court has allowed this conflict between federal and state law (as well as between state law and conventional wisdom) to persist for more than 40 years, during which time it has come up with a mishmash of seemingly arbitrary rules about what constitutes a legal trial. A jury of six, the Supreme Court has decided, is constitutional (Williams v. Florida, 1970). A jury of five, however, is not constitutional (Ballew v. Georgia, 1978). In a jury of six, conviction must be unanimous (Burch v. Louisiana, 1979). But in a jury of 12, conviction does not have to be unanimous (Johnson v. Louisiana and Apodaca v. Oregon, 1972).

The Supreme Court’s rationale has been as confusing as its decisions. “The line between five- and six-member juries is difficult to justify, but a line has to be drawn somewhere,” wrote Justice Lewis Powell in Ballew v. Georgia. Justice Harry Blackmun, in the majority opinion for that case, cited several studies by social scientists on the error rate of juries of different sizes and wrote in a footnote: “We have considered [these studies] carefully because they provide the only basis, besides judicial hunch, for a decision about whether smaller and smaller juries will be able to fulfill the purpose and functions of the Sixth Amendment.” Powell, though agreeing with the decision, chastised Blackmun’s justification: “I have reservations as to the wisdom—as well as the necessity—of Mr. Justice Blackmun’s heavy reliance on numerology derived from statistical studies.”

To read the complete article, please click here: https://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2013/04/the_mathematics_of_juries_the_jury_size_and_voting_margins_necessary_for.html

Will the New York Times Stop Using the term “Illegal Immigrant?”

By William Gantt Pierce

April 22, 2013

New York City, NY – On Tuesday, April 23rd, Cesar Chavez’s son and immigration activist, Fernando Chavez, along with Jose Antonio Vargas, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and co-founder of Define American, will be joined by activists and members of MoveOn.org, Presente.org, and the Applied Research Center's Drop the I-Word campaign to deliver over 70,000 signatures to the New York Times in Manhattan, urging the newspaper to stop using the word “illegal” when referring to people living in the United States who have overstayed a visa or are undocumented.


Helen Chavez, the widow of Cesar Chavez, started her petition on MoveOn.org’s online petition platform, SignOn.org, urging Jill Abramson, executive editor of the New York Times, to stand on the right side of history and stop using ethnic and racial stereotypes when referring to undocumented immigrants. Additional signatures were collected through a collaborative effort by ARC's Drop the I-Word campaign, Define American, andPresente.org.


Fernando Chavez states, “The use of the term [illegal immigrant] is dehumanizing and very offensive to the undocumented individuals in the United States. It is unfortunate that such a well-respected and read publication refuses to stop publishing the offensive language. We hope that the New York Times will realize the harmful nature of such language and immediately stop using the term in their paper.”


If Chavez and his colleagues are successful in their endeavors with the New York Times, he feels as though it will bring about yet another victory for the immigrant community and will further allow for positive strides to be made in immigration reform. Further Chavez added that, “on the eve of immigration reform, we are very excited about the prospects of this milestone for an estimated 11 million people here in the United States. This year will prove to be a dream come true for so many immigrants and will allow them to live the American dream just like me and you.”


View the petition at: https://signon.org/sign/it-is-never-too-late


More information is expected to be released following the New York Times meeting on April 23, 2013.


About Fernando Chavez


The eldest son of celebrated civil rights leader and labor activist, Cesar E. Chavez, Fernando Chavez is founder of Chavez Law Group and Chavez Immigration Firm. With over 25 years of experience practicing law before state and federal courts, Fernando is one of the country's most successful trial attorneys. He has served as lead counsel in numerous individual and class action cases, resulting in multi-million dollar awards. Additionally, Fernando serves as a consulting attorney to the Mexican Consulate in both San Jose, California and Los Angeles, California.


A second-generation American, Fernando's father, Cesar Chavez (1927-1993), was a labor leader and civil rights activist who became co-founder of what would become the United Farm Workers Union. As a young boy, Fernando would watch his father as he accompanied him to marches, boycotts, and during fasts. Over the years, Fernando saw firsthand how the work of his father and the UFW greatly improved and changed the life of migrant farm workers. Through his legal practice and his constant efforts with the UFW, Fernando has been committed to bringing positive social change for many Latinos across the country.


For more information, please visit https://www.chavezimmigration.com/




About Chavez Immigration Firm


Chavez Immigration Firm is a California-based national immigration firm. It specializes in assisting those who are seeking United States Citizenship, legal permanent resident status, or petitioning the United States government to enter the United States, as well as advocating for those who are facing deportation. For more information, please visit www.chavezimmigration.com.




To learn more about this release or information contained within this release, please contact:


Angelina West, Media Relations

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Dothan, AL 36301

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Fax: (334) 699-6885


99.5% of Illegal Immigrants Get Approval for Legal Status; High Number Raises Concerns about Fraud

The Washington Times; April 22, 2013

The administration has approved 99.5 percent of applications of those who have applied for legal status under President Obama’s nondeportation policy for young adults, granting legal status to more than 250,000 formerly illegal immigrants.

Officials said they expect the approval rate to drop as more cases make their way through the system, as it takes longer to deny an application than to approve it. Indeed, the approval rate already has dropped from 99.8 percent just a month ago.

But the high rate leaves others wondering whether the administration is doing all it can to weed out fraud or potentially dangerous illegal immigrants in DACA, or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, as it’s formally known.

“You really have to wonder who they’re giving deferred action to, and what kind of risk they represent to us,” said Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies. “The screening process is much less for DACA than it would be for a green card, and so it’s all that much more susceptible to fraud.”

DACA is seen by many as a test-run should Congress pass a broad legalization for most of the 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S.
Read more: https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/apr/22/995-of-illegal-immigrants-get-approval-for-legal-s/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS#ixzz2RIASrwGa
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Possible Changes to Asbestos Litigation

Lawyersandsettlements.com; April 22, 2013

Proposed changes to asbestos claims have some people worried the alterations will slow down the asbestos lawsuit process, delaying lawsuits until plaintiffs have died. But the lawmaker who proposed the changes says they will help clarify whom plaintiffs hold responsible for asbestos cancer claims.

The LaCross Tribune (4/4/13) reports Rep. Andre Jacque has proposed a bill that would delay civil lawsuits alleging liability for asbestos-related diseases until the plaintiff states whether claims against now-bankrupt companies have also been filed. Plaintiffs can file lawsuits against now-bankrupt companies but do not always disclose that they have done so in lawsuits against still-solvent companies. Jacque says disclosing exactly which plaintiffs face asbestos-related claims will help to ensure defendants pay their fair share for the plaintiff's illness.

Critics, however, say the bill is designed to slow down litigation and delay it so the plaintiff will die before the lawsuit is finished. Jacque disputed the criticism, calling it “sickening” and said plaintiffs’ lawyers hide claims against bankrupt companies in the hope of obtaining the maximum award possible.

According to Insurance Journal (4/9/13), states that already have a similar bill in place or are considering one include Ohio, Oklahoma and Illinois.

Under the proposed bill, plaintiffs would have to disclose that they have filed a claim against a bankrupt company’s trust or that they plan to file such a claim. Documents related to all claim actions would have to be provided to all parties in the suit and any money won through the trust could be used to reduce payouts from solvent companies.

To read the complete article, please click here:


Scores of Tulsa Dental Patients Diagnosed with Hepatitis, AIDS

NewsInferno; April 22, 2013

Patients of Tulsa, Oklahoma-based dentist, W. Scott Harrington, have been tested for serious blood borne diseases believed linked to his use of filthy instruments and dirty needles.

Of the more than 7,000 patients notified in late March of the infection risk, 3,122 were tested, At least 60 people tested positive for hepatitis and HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, said ABC News. Specifically, three people tested positive for hepatitis B, one tested positive for AIDS, and 57 tested positive for hepatitis C. Investigators say that the infection source is not yet clear.

Hepatitis C is a viral liver disease that can cause inflammation of the liver and can lead to chronic liver disease, such as cirrhosis, or cancer of the liver. The virus is spread by contact with infected body fluids; no vaccine exists for hepatitis C, which can be fatal. Hepatitis C can take up to six months to be detected. HIV destroys the body’s immune system over time, which makes it difficult for people with HIV to fight infections. When not treated, nearly all of those infected with HIV will develop AIDS.

In one case, a 38-year-old female patient underwent wisdom teeth removal by Harrington in 2009, according to a lawsuit she filed. She suffered from pain and a fever that required more than one round of antibiotics after developing a rash, fever, and symptoms of liver problems, said ABC News. She was not diagnosed with hepatitis or HIV, but was seriously sickened according to her attorney who blames Harrington’s improper sterilization practices.

We previously wrote that investigators discovered conditions that CNN described as “unsanitary” and “unprofessional,” and which one official said was a “perfect storm” for infections. Susan Rogers, executive director of the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry told CNN, “I will tell you that when … we left, we were just physically kind of sick… That’s how bad it was, and I’ve seen a lot of bad stuff over the years.” Harrington, 64, surrendered his dental license in late March after health investigators discovered a host of issues with sterilization and staffing processes.

When one of Harrington’s patients was diagnosed with hepatitis C, the dentistry board initiated a probe that revealed a number of serious sterilization and “cross-contamination” concerns that included “unauthorized, unlicensed” employees using IVs to sedate patients and improperly handled needles. And, said Rogers, “just basic universal precautions for blood-borne pathogens” were not being followed, wrote CNN. The drug cabinet was, among other things, “unlocked and unattended” and contained a drug that expired one decade ago, the official complaint indicated. The complaint was filed before the state dental board, said CNN. Other records revealed that morphine had been used in patients as recently as throughout last year; however, Harrington’s last morphine delivery was years prior, in 2009, said CNN. To compound issues, Harrington admitted to investigators that he had a higher-than-typical demographic of HIV and hepatitis patients, Rogers told CNN.

The probe also revealed old needles and rusty instruments being used and that bleach would be poured on patient wounds until those wounds “turned white,” said the complaint filed by the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry, according to ABC News. “The basic things that everyone knows—follow CDC guidelines, use clean syringes, don’t reuse multi-dose vials in multiple patients, don’t use rusted equipment—those are things even non-physicians know,” Rogers told ABC News at the time. “Those are basic things. That part makes it egregious.” The investigation also revealed that instruments used to treat patients known to have infectious disease were given an extra dip in bleach in addition to normal cleaning methods; however, the tools were tainted with red-brown rust spots, an indicator that the instruments were “porous and cannot be properly sterilized,” according to ABC News.

To read the complete article, please click here:



News Corp. Pays Itself $139M for Phone-Hacking Scandal – Minus Legal Fees

Forbes; April 22, 2013

News Corp NWSA +0.8%. has agreed to settle lawsuits over the phone-hacking scandal that forced it to close the News of the World by emptying out its insurance policies for directors and officers to the tune of $139 million — minus the fees it will pay a collection of plaintiff lawyers for negotiating the deal.

It’s the largest cash settlement ever of a derivative lawsuit, said Grant & Eisenhofer, co-lead counsel along with Bernstein Litowitz. But it leaves a big question: What about the executives and directors who caused all this carnage?

All of the money will flow back into News Corp. from the insurers that cover its directors and officers against claims of this sort, minus legal fees that have yet to be negotiated. While the plaintiff lawyers say they also negotiated “extensive corporate governance reform” at News Corp., which is about to split into separate newspaper and entertainment companies, there is no indication in the memorandum of understanding accompanying the deal that anyone from Rupert Murdoch on down will actually pay for the acts that supposedly caused shareholders so much pain. In fact, as a condition of the settlement, News Corp. will not be required to acknowledge the truth of any of the claims against it.

To read the complete article, please click here:


Patients Scarred After Robotic Surgery

CNBC; April 19, 2013

Shawn Todd, who lives just outside of Mobile, Ala., thought she was having a routine partial hysterectomy.

For Sonya Melton of Birmingham, it was routine same-day gynecological surgery to treat uterine fibroids.

And for Kimberly McCalla, just 24, it was supposed to be a routine hysterectomy.

But none of the procedures turned out to be routine.

Todd and Melton wound up at what they believe was death's door, hospitalized for weeks from complications from their surgery involving the high-tech da Vinci robot.

McCalla suffered bleeding into her pelvis from a laceration to a main artery during a robotic-assisted hysterectomy, her father claims. She died 13 days after the initial surgery. Her father, who is suing Intuitive Surgical, claims she died "as the result of, among other things, injuries sustained by the use of the da Vinci surgical robot."

"Blood was flowing from her leg, from between her legs," her father, Gilmore McCalla, told CNBC. "And two nurses were there around her, catching the blood with a bottle."

Intuitive Surgical, which makes the da Vinci, declined to discuss their cases because of pending litigation.

Most robotic procedures take place without a hitch, but there are a growing number of complaints and lawsuits that allege complications and even deaths from the da Vinci surgery.

"The robot has a place in surgery," said Dr. Francois Blaudeau, a lawyer and practicing Alabama gynecologist who is serving as the lead plaintiffs' attorney on a slew of cases focused on da Vinci-related injuries.

To read the complete article, please click here:


Florida Sues BP, Halliburton over 2010 Oil Spill

CNN; April 21, 2013

The state of Florida on Saturday filed a lawsuit against BP and Halliburton over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

The suit argues that Florida is entitled to the revenues it lost because of the spill. These include a long list of lost taxes -- sales, corporate, cigarette, liquor -- and other forms of revenue for the state, such as rental car surcharges.

See more on CNN's Powering the Planet

Florida is also seeking punitive damages for the "misconduct that led to this environmental and economic disaster," according to a statement from the state attorney general's office.

State Attorney General Pam Bondi filed the lawsuit on the third anniversary of the oil spill.


Federal Court Halts Fracking in California

NewsInferno; April 18, 2013

A milestone ruling in California has found that federal authorities broke the law when leasing land to frackers. Fracking is a process in which silica sand and hundreds of gallons of chemicals and water, are blasted deep into the earth’s underground wells to release natural gas.

The federal judge, in an April 8, 2013, ruling said that federal authorities at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) violated the law by leasing government-controlled land to hydraulic frackers—natural gas and oil drilling companies—said PlanetSave. The leases, which were made without proper environmental oversight and fracking risk assessment, involve about 2,700 acres of land in California’s Monterey and Fresno counties.

In his April 8, 2013 decision, federal judge Paul Grewal wrote: “BLM argues that the effects of fracking on the parcels at issue are largely unknown. The court agrees, [and] this is precisely why proper investigation is so crucial,” according to PlanetSave.

“This important decision recognizes that fracking poses new, unique risks to California’s air, water, and wildlife that government agencies can’t ignore. This is a watershed moment—the first court opinion to find a federal lease sale invalid for failing to address the monumental dangers of fracking,” said Brendan Cummings, senior counsel at the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD). The lawsuit was led by CBD and The Sierra Club, said PlanetSave.

Fracking critics have long argued that fracking devastates the environment and contaminates groundwater and underground water aquifers; this contaminates nearby and widespread fresh water supplies. Citizens, Monetery County officials, and local landowners strongly opposed the lease/sale as far back as 2011, saying that fracking would endanger the municipal water supply and expressing concerns that the fracking boom would affect their region, said PlanetSave. Agriculture is California’s biggest industry. In fact, Monterey County’s surrounding area is known as “America’s Salad Bowl” for its large lettuce, tomato, and other salad-like crops.

The BLM-leased lands would have shared the Salinas river watershed with the area’s farmers and wine growers; potential fracking fluid contamination of that water could risk the food provided to millions of Americans, PlanetSave noted. Fracking fluid contamination has been linked to water and air pollution in areas such as Wyoming and New York.

A recent study from the Colorado School of Public Health found evidence that fracking-related pollution contributes to neurological and respiratory illnesses and increased cancer risks in residents near fracking well sites, PlanetSave wrote.

We previously wrote that environmental researchers said they discovered greenhouse gases at excessive levels near Australia’s largest coal seam gas field, which is associated fracking. The discovery prompted calls to stop expansion of fracking there until researchers can understand if the practice is contributing to climate change. The report revealed methane, carbon dioxide, and other compounds at an excess of three times normal background levels.

Meanwhile, of all the health and environmental threats posed by fracking, one of the more dangerous may be that from silica sand, which is used in the millions of pounds at fracking sites in the United States, In fact, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) believes silica sand becoming airborne is putting thousands of well workers and those living downwind of an active well at serious risk of health problems. At least 4 million pounds of silica sand are used at a typical, active fracking well.

Ingesting too much silica sand can lead to silicosis, a dangerous and irreversible health complication that is marked by breathing trouble. The disease gets progressively worse and only preventative measures can be taken to avoid it altogether.


Ladders Job Site a “Scam,” Say Subscribers

Lawyersandsettlements.com; April 21, 2013

New York, NY: Documents in the class-action suit filed against TheLadders.com couldn’t be clearer. “From its inception until September 2011,” the complaint reads, “The Ladders job website scammed its customers into paying for its job board service by misrepresenting itself to be a ‘premium job site.’”

For a fee, TheLadders.com promises to provide subscribers with lists of employers looking to fill six-figure jobs. The site guarantees that the jobs are “hand-screened” and that the companies listed are looking for applicants in their part of the country.

Over the last several years, Ladders has pursued an aggressive print, TV and Internet advertising campaign, signing up thousands and thousands of job hunters.

Most Internet job sites do not charge a subscriber fee. TheLadders.com offered a different tack. During the 2009 Super Bowl, with an audience of close to 100 million viewers, Ladders hit the airwaves with a blockbuster ad claiming it was massively superior to other Internet job boards.

“Ordinary job sites,” the advertisements said, “let everyone play, so nobody wins.” Subscribers could view the job postings at no cost. But to actually apply for the jobs, they had to pay $25 for a premium membership. A premium-plus membership came with extra advantages and cost up to $149 for a year. Subscribers would also get a “free resume critique.”

It is estimated that thousands of people like the lead plaintiff in the class-action suit, Barbara Ward, from Arkansas, represented by Yitzak Kopel from Bursor and Fisher in New York, found that the job site led to stale job postings or jobs that paid well below the 100K a year she was expecting. The jobs that were on TheLadders.com website were not in fact “hand-screened” according to the allegations in the suit. They were, in fact, scrapped from free Internet job sites.

The resume critique offer, which promised TheLadders.com writers would help job seekers handcraft a winning executive resume, was a form letter that offered to sell Barbara Ward a resume writing service.

According to Businessinsider.com, quoted in the class-action complaint, Ladders signed up 5 million jobseekers and generated as much as $80 million in revenues. The numbers are easy to believe given the number of complaints about Ladders currently circulating on Internet forums.

Message boards on the Internet are crammed with postings by disgruntled Ladders’ clients complaining they had been led down the garden path. Posters complain they were steered to employers that were either not looking for prospective employees or employers who had filled the job, sometimes years before.

To read the complete article, please click the link below:



Boston Marathon Case Prosecutor Known for Aggressive Record

Thomson Reuters; April 22, 2013

As the top federal law enforcer in Massachusetts, U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz has taken heat for being tough to a fault and coming down too hard on some defendants.

But as she builds a possible death penalty case against suspected Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, the unflinching approach that earned her opponents in the past could become a legal asset for the biggest case of her career, said attorneys who have faced off against her.

"The criticism lately has been that they've over-charged some people and been overly harsh," said Peter Elikann, a Boston defense attorney. "I don't think that's relevant for Tsarnaev because no one is going to accuse any prosecutor of making too big a deal out of this case."

Tsarnaev and his brother, Tamerlan, 26, are suspected of setting off bombs at the crowded finish line of the marathon on Monday, killing three people and injuring more than 170.

Tsarnaev was arrested late on Friday after a manhunt that shut down parts of Boston. He is hospitalized and under guard. His older brother died after a shootout with police.

Ortiz's office, which is leading the investigation, has not given a firm timetable for charges. Ortiz, 57, did not respond to questions sent via a spokeswoman.

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley told CNN on Sunday it was likely "most if not all the charges will be federal." Tsarnaev could face murder and other state charges.

To read the complete article, please click here: