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Posted by on Nov 20, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

When Incretin Mimetics Kill: What Bereaved Families Need To Know

People with type 2 diabetes commonly use one of several prescription medicines known as incretin mimetics. These drugs can help control the symptoms of the disease, but they can also cause serious side effects, and some type 2 diabetics have even died as a result of these medications. In some cases, the bereaved families of the victims can file a wrongful death lawsuit. Learn how incretin mimetics can kill, and find out what you need to do to file a lawsuit over your loved one’s death.

How incretin mimetics work

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that affects your body’s ability to process the sugar you need for energy. Type 2 diabetics may not produce enough insulin to regulate sugar in the body, or they may become resistant to the effects of the hormone. Over time, the symptoms of type 2 diabetes can lead to serious health issues, including heart disease, kidney damage and problems with the feet.

Incretin is the hormone that tells your body to release insulin after food, which then lowers the blood sugar. Incretin mimics take the place of these hormones in your body, prompting your pancreas to produce more insulin. The drugs also stop the pancreas producing too much glucagon, which forces the liver to release stored sugar.

When you use the drugs as part of an active, healthy lifestyle, incretin mimetics can effectively help people with type 2 diabetes keep up safe levels of blood sugar.

FDA approval

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved several incretin mimetics as a way to treat patients with type 2 diabetes. Patients can receive these prescription medications under several brand names, but they all act in the same way. The FDA approved sitagliptin phosphate in 2006, and another form of the drug (sitagliptin/metformin hydrochloride) in 2007.

People with type 2 diabetes account for up to 95 percent of all cases of the disease. With 29.1 million diabetics in the United States, this represents a significant part of the population. As such, doctors have prescribed incretin mimetics to millions of Americans, and the problem continues to grow worse.

Side effects

Some patients have developed pancreatic cancer after using incretin mimetics. Experts believe that this disease will become the second most common cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States by 2030. This type of cancer is difficult to diagnose, and spreads aggressively. Doctors also have few available treatments, and the five-year survival rate is only around 5 percent.

Pancreatitis is another serious side effect that can occur in people who use incretin mimetics. The disease occurs when enzymes from the pancreas start to digest pancreatic tissue, instead of food in the small intestine. Chronic pancreatitis gets worse over time and causes permanent damage. Death from pancreatitis is not common, but the symptoms can kill.

FDA response to reports of side effects

In 2013, the FDA issued a drug safety communication about incretin mimetics. The FDA stated that they would investigate some research that suggests a link between these drugs and side effects like pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. The FDA had already issued a warning about reports of acute pancreatitis with some of these drugs, but this was the first time the organization had mentioned the potential risk of cancer.

Incretin mimetics carry warnings on the drug labels about potential side effects, but the FDA has advised patients to continue to take the medication.

Why people are filing lawsuits

A lot of people who have used incretin mimetics allege that the drug makers failed to warn them about the potential side effects from these medications. The lawsuits claim that the drugs are dangerous, and that the manufacturers actively marketed them, even though they knew they were potentially deadly.

The families of incretin mimetic victims have successfully filed wrongful death lawsuits. The families allege that the manufacturers should have known the potential risks of these drugs, and have claimed that their loved ones suffered grievous bodily injury and untimely death.

You can claim compensation as part of a wrongful death lawsuit. Your family may face large, unpaid medical and home health care bills that you can’t afford. You may also face an uncertain future, particularly if the deceased was the family’s main income earner.

If someone in your family has died after using an incretin mimetic, you should contact an experienced wrongful death attorney. An attorney cannot bring back your loved one, but he or she can help you get compensation for the financial losses you face. Look at more info about finding and hiring a good attorney for your situation.

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Posted by on Nov 20, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

What To Do If Your Loved One Dies During Bankruptcy Proceedings

Bankruptcy is designed to help people struggling with financial difficulties obtain a fresh start. Though it doesn’t occur often, sometimes petitioners pass away before the bankruptcy proceedings can be concluded. This can have unfortunate consequences for heirs if they don’t take action as soon as possible. Here is what you need to do if your loved one dies during active bankruptcy proceedings.

Chapter 7 or Chapter 13

The options available to you for resolving your loved one’s open bankruptcy depends on whether the person filed a chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy.

A chapter 7 bankruptcy is simply a liquidation of assets and a distribution of funds to creditors. The petitioner’s presence is not required for the court to do this. Therefore, the bankruptcy will usually proceed as normal even though the person who filed the petition is deceased.

If the person was married but his or her spouse was not included as a co-debtor, the surviving spouse will be allowed to stand in the person’s stead and speak on his or her behalf. For example, you will be allowed to attend the meeting of creditors and testify about your loved one’s state of finances. Once you obtain a bankruptcy discharge, you can continue administrating the person’s estate like normal.

Things are not as simple, though, in chapter 13 bankruptcy cases because these proceedings require petitioners to make monthly payments to trustees. A deceased petitioner cannot make payments, which can lead to the case being dismissed by the court. Without a bankruptcy discharge, the debts will be considered still owing and creditors will attempt to collect from the estate and heirs.

How to Proceed with the Chapter 13 Case

There are a few things you can do to resolve a chapter 13 bankruptcy case where the debtor has died. The first option is to let the court dismiss the case. As noted previously, creditors can then attempt to collect from the estate. However, if the person is truly indigent with no money or assets, then the outcome is likely to be the same as if the person had filed a chapter 7.

The other option is to request the court convert the case to a chapter 7 bankruptcy. This may be the best option for spouses who were also involved in the bankruptcy proceedings. If the deceased person was the primary breadwinner, the loss of income may be enough to convince the court to make the change.

Even if you’re not a co-petitioner, you may still be able to get a chapter 13 bankruptcy switched to a chapter 7, but this option is not available in every state. You will need to consult with a bankruptcy attorney for information about and assistance with pursuing this option in your area.

A third option is to petition the court to discharge the debts anyway based on hardship created by the debtor’s death. To qualify for a hardship discharge, the case must meet three provisions:

  • The repayment plan cannot be modified
  • The debtor is unable to continue making payments because of circumstances beyond the person’s control
  • Creditors received payments totaling the amount they would have received had the debtor filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy

If the court grants the request, all debts will be discharged, including debts that wouldn’t normally be eligible for discharge such as student loans.

A last option courts will only consider if it’s in the best interests of the estate and the survivors is to allow the case to proceed as normal. This means the person’s estate will need to continue making payments to the trustee as if the individual were still alive. This is another complex alternative that may require the assistance of an attorney to pursue.

Although dealing with the court may be the last thing you want to do after your loved one has passed away, it’s essential you make contact with the trustee to resolve the issue as soon as possible. If you’re having difficulty proceeding or need help settling problems that crop up, contact a bankruptcy attorney for assistance. Click here to find out more.

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Posted by on Nov 18, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Recovering Property Seized During Civil Forfeiture

There are many laws on the books designed to prevent criminals from profiting from their crimes. While these laws were developed with good intentions, some government agencies are exploiting the statutes to steal from innocent civilians. In recent months, law enforcement agencies have come under fire for abusing civil forfeiture laws to wrongfully seize millions of dollars in money and assets. If you’re the victim of civil forfeiture abuse, here is what you can do to reclaim your money and property.

What is Civil Forfeiture Abuse?

Civil forfeiture occurs when the government (or one of its agents) seizes money and property from citizens. This legal maneuver is typically used to cripple drug traffickers by taking money found during searches and busts. However, it has been used to hinder other forms of crime including prostitution and theft as well as to punish convicted criminals.

Unfortunately, some law enforcement agencies have been using the law as a fundraising tool. People who have not been convicted of or charged with a crime have had their assets confiscated for dubiously legal reasons. For example, police seized $1 million from a woman during a traffic stop in 2012. The police took the cash because a K-9 unit indicated there were trace amounts of drugs on the bills, but that is true of the majority of currency in circulation in the United States.

The woman had proof that the money was acquired in legal ways, but the police refused to return the cash. Mind you, the woman was not charged with or convicted of a crime, but she had to file a lawsuit against the police department to get her money back. She was also awarded an additional $39,035 to cover her legal costs.

A Nationwide Problem

Civil forfeiture abuses are not just limited to state agencies. The federal government has also stretched the limits of its authority on numerous occasions. The latest example involves a business owner who deposited money into her company’s bank account in small increments. The IRS seized all the money in her bank account because it believed she was trying to skirt reporting laws. Again, this citizen was never charged or convicted of a crime, but she still lost almost $33,000 to the tax organization.

Getting Your Property Back

It is unfortunate but true that the laws as they are currently written allow for this type of abuse. However, you can also use the law to fight back and reclaim your property. The best legal strategy for getting your property returned to you will depend on the circumstances of your case. For example, the Constitution protects against illegal searches and seizures. If you can prove the agency violated your rights, then the courts may rule in your favor and return your assets.

This was the outcome of a case involving the seizure of $28,000 from a California man by federal agents. The judge ruled that because the agents didn’t Mirandize the man or have a search warrant or the man’s permission to enter the home, the search they conducted was unlawful and the money was returned to the individual.

Proving the agency’s allegations false is another way of winning back your assets. In the case of the woman who had $1 million seized, she was able to prove to the court’s satisfaction that she had legally obtained the money and was using it for business reasons. The judge in the case found that the negligible amounts of drugs detected on the money was not reason enough to validate the law enforcement’s agency’s claim to the cash.

Outside of a courtroom, though, it can be difficult to reclaim your property from a government agency. Sometimes going to the media and bringing unwanted attention to the issue will prompt the agency to reverse course and return what it took. This is not always a slam dunk though. If you’re the victim of civil forfeiture abuse, it’s best to contact an attorney, such as a personal injury attorney, to help you get your money or property back.

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Posted by on Nov 17, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Tips For Collecting Witness Statements After A Car Crash

Whether you’re submitting a claim to your insurance company or filing a personal injury lawsuit against another driver, witness statements will be an integral part of your case. Witnesses to the accident can provide added support to your side of the events, which can increase your chances of winning your case. Here are a few tips for obtaining credible witness statements after you’ve been in a car accident.

All Witnesses Are Not the Same

Although you’ll want to speak to anybody and everybody who was present at the scene and saw the accident, not all witnesses will be helpful to you. You want people whose testimony the judge or insurance investigator will find credible. If there is any doubt as to the veracity of your witness’ statement, your case could suffer as a result.

There are a number of things that can affect a witness’ credibility such as:

  • Did the witness view the accident from the beginning?
  • Were they in an area where they could see clearly?
  • Were they paying full attention to the events or were they distracted by other things such as a crying child or talking on their cell phone?
  • Have they been convicted of a crime? This doesn’t automatically disqualify the person as a credible witness but could throw the individual’s honesty into question.
  • Is there a conflict of interest? For example, is the witness related to the driver?
  • Was the witness impaired in some way? For instance, was the individual intoxicated or not wearing his or her prescription glasses?

It’s important that you make note of anything that may negatively affect how the witness’ testimony is viewed so you can either find a way to minimize the impact the issue has on your case or discard the person’s testimony altogether.

At the Accident Site

During the immediate aftermath of the accident is both the best and worst time to collect witness statements. On the one hand, the events are fresh in everyone’s mind so the accuracy of recall will be high. At the same time, accident scenes are typically chaotic and people are more focused on tending to injuries and assessing property damage to give their full attention to discussing the crash.

If there are injuries, it’s best to focus on getting medical attention and worry about collecting statements at a later time. If no one is hurt, though, then start talking to everyone at the scene. Use you cell phone or a digital camera to record statements from:

  • The driver of the vehicle
  • Passengers
  • People who stop to help
  • Nearby Road or utility workers

If you don’t have a recording device, have the witnesses write down what they saw on a piece of paper. Be certain to get their signatures. It may be helpful to keep blank witness statement forms in your glove box just for this eventuality. If a person doesn’t want to give a statement at that time, at least collect the person’s name and phone number so you, your attorney or your insurance company can contact the individual for a statement at a later time.

Be certain to get the contact information of the police officer at the scene so you can get copies of the police report and any witness statements the cop collects.

Locating Other Witnesses

There may have been other witnesses to the accident besides the people who were on the scene. This is particularly true if the crash occurred inside the city as opposed to on the highway.

As soon as possible, visit any houses or businesses in the area to locate people who may have seen the crash. Another option is to put up notices requesting witnesses contact you or your attorney. You should also look for video cameras that may have recorded the event. Be aware, though, you may need to have your attorney send a legal request to obtain any footage that may have been caught on tape.

As noted previously, having credible witnesses statements can help you win your case. Contact a car accident attorney if you need help getting people to testify on your behalf or litigating your case. Visit to learn more. 

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Posted by on Nov 17, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Suing A Restaurant For A Food Allergy Situation

Living with a food allergy makes eating out somewhat more difficult, but if you’ve lived with this allergy for a while, you probably have a routine set up that helps you eat safely no matter where you go. Unfortunately, no matter how much effort you put forth, you may still end up eating something that you are allergic to. The results of this can be devastating in some cases, but you may be able to recover damages by suing the restaurant.

Responsibilities of Restaurants

More restaurants are taking steps towards learning about this subject, and many restaurants already have certain procedures in place to help prevent this problem from happening. Some of these things include:

  • Offering a special menu or certain entrees for people with food allergies
  • Educating cooks about prevention of cross-contamination and cross-contact
  • Teaching servers about food allergies

While many restaurants have policies for this purpose, there are still some that do not, and there are still times when situations occur when guests are served food that contains an ingredient they cannot eat.

A restaurant is responsible for informing guests of ingredients in all items. They are also responsible for ensuring that they offer true and accurate information about ingredients. A restaurant should also take every necessary step to make sure that the guest is served the right plate of food.

One thing a restaurant can do to protect itself is to post warnings. For example, if a restaurant uses peanut oil to deep-fry foods, it may want to post this on the walls and in the menu. Anyone with a peanut allergy would see this, and this would alarm the person of the risks of eating any food at this restaurant.

What Happens When The System Fails

If you take every necessary precaution to find out what ingredients are in a particular dish and end up being rushed to the hospital because the dish had something you were allergic to, you might have the right to sue the restaurant for this.

There are many ingredients people are allergic to, but most food allergies fall into one of eight different foods. Some of these are fish, peanuts, and wheat. Health Central reports that approximately 150 people die each year from food allergies, but thousands of people are affected by food allergies every year.

Challenges of Lawsuits

While you have the right to file a personal injury case against the restaurant, the hardest part will be proving it. Proving that the restaurant caused your allergic reaction and that the restaurant is liable for this is the main challenge you will have. To prove this, you will need to hire a personal injury lawyer, like those at Meltzer and Meksraitis, that has experience with this subject.

Your attorney will probably want to know what precautions you took to make sure that you did your part to avoid eating the wrong ingredient. Next, the attorney will look into the procedures the restaurant uses for ensuring that cross-contact of food is prevented.

The best way to win a case like this is to prove negligence. Negligence is one of the main elements of personal injury law. In a food allergy case, negligence can occur in many ways, including:

  • Customers being misinformed from employees
  • Cooks preparing the wrong food and serving it to a guest with food allergies
  • Cooks accidentally adding an ingredient they were supposed to omit
  • Restaurant providing inaccurate ingredient lists for entrees

These are just some of the ways negligence can be proved. If you are able to prove that the restaurant was negligent in any way, you might have a good chance of winning the case. If this happens to you, contact a lawyer for help. You can find out from your lawyer if you have enough evidence to win the case, and this will help you decide whether to sue or not.

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