The plaintiff was a deckhand aboard the vessel when asked in the scope of his employment to perform tasks without the proper equipment and with insufficient assistance. Due to the unseaworthiness of the vessel, he slipped resulting in a torn meniscus which requires surgical intervention. The plaintiff was working aboard an aluminum crew-supply vessel at the time of his injury.
Due to the injury, the plaintiff is owed maintenance and cure which he has not received. Texas Crewboats was responsible for the dangerous and defective condition of the vessel. Their negligence resulted in the plaintiff’s injury.
Doyle Raizner stands behind this offshore worker in their fight against a negligent company and the resulting lack of obligation to an injured seaman. If you or someone you love has been injured in an offshore incident, please contact the attorneys at Doyle Raizner.
Doyle Raizner LLP has filed a workers comp bad faith lawsuit against Zurich American Insurance Company and Sedgwick CMS. The plaintiff was an employee of Starwood Hotels & Resorts at the time of his injury.
The plaintiff was a cook for Starwood and was injured while in the kitchen. He suffered a fall against a freezer and injured his shoulder. Upon examination by an orthopedic surgeon, it was found the plaintiff had suffered a torn rotator cuff. The surgeon recommended surgery to repair the tear and ensure long-term recovery.
There was conflicting information on how the plaintiff fell, however, the Industrial Commission of Arizona during proceedings cited Arizona law confirming that the mechanism of injury is irrelevant; and that there was no legitimate dispute that the plaintiff did in fact get injured while in the scope and course of his employment.
Upon submitting a claim to Zurich American Insurance Company, the claim was handed to Sedgwick CMS, a third party claims administrator. Sedgwick assigned an adjuster who denied the claim. The adjuster did not properly investigate the claim and improperly denied the claim despite the fact the plaintiff was promised workers compensation as an employee of Starwood Hotels & Resorts. The plaintiff initiated proceedings with the Industrial Commission of Arizona who ordered the benefits paid.
These benefits do not fully compensate for the failure of Zurich and Sedgwick to timely recognize and acknowledge the nature and extent of the plaintiff’s injury, and to follow the law. The two companies also failed to accept the undisputed evidence regarding the claim. The companies’ representatives worked in an “outcome-driven” approach claim and created reasons to deny and delay his claim.
Doyle Raizner supports this plaintiff in his pursuit of justice against an insurance company and third party administrator who chose to breach their duty of good faith and fair dealing to an injured worker in need of compensation for an injury sustained while
Jovan Belcher was a NCAA football player who then moved on to play in the NFL as a linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs. He experienced the lows and highs of being a pro athlete. Many of his friends are now recounting the days leading up to his last act of murdering his girlfriend then committing suicide in front of the team’s coach and general manager.
A few weeks before the events of December 1, 2012, Belcher had played a game against the Cincinnati Bengals. He had one notable violent tackle that caused him to collect himself for a moment while on the ground. He finished playing the game.
In the days following that tackle, something was off. Friends and former teammates describe forgetfulness, headaches and rushes of emotional anger. A former teammate said Belcher was convinced he’d suffered concussions during his last year of play. College teammates also recounted times he had suffered concussions.
Although none of this can soothe or remedy the tragic events of that day, Belcher’s history provides insight into his possible mindset. Long-term head injuries can cause loss of impulse control, irritability, depression and paranoia along with suicidal thoughts. Football has long been known as a dangerous sport, however, the long-term brain damage effects have not been widely known. It appears the NFL knew about these dangers many years before there was any action to minimize risks for players. In this regard, the NCAA has unfortunately followed the NFL’s lead – or tragic lack of leadership.
If you or someone you love has suffered long-term brain damage from participating on an NCAA team, please contact the attorneys at Doyle Raizner.
Doyle Raizner has filed a workers comp bad faith lawsuit in Arizona against The Hartford, Gallagher Bassett and Twin City Fire Insurance Company on behalf of a worker whose claim was wrongfully denied.
The plaintiff was employed as a semi-truck driver who dealt with delivery and pickup of merchandise. While making a delivery of a large, heavy object, his employer informed him that even though there was not appropriate equipment onsite, he should proceed unloading. The driver unloaded the object and immediately felt pain. The pain continued so he sought treatment and was diagnosed with a hernia in addition to nerve entrapment. Having hernia surgery soon after did not lessen the pain the plaintiff experienced. Treating doctors determined he needed additional medical treatment, however, after submitting a claim to The Hartford and Twin City Fire Insurance Company; he was assigned an adjuster from Gallagher Bassett who denied the claim.
Without a reasonable basis or adequate investigation, The Hartford, Twin City Fire Insurance Company and Gallagher Bassett chose to continue to deny timely payment of the insurance benefits to which the plaintiff was entitled. The actions of the defendants forced the plaintiff to initiate proceedings before the Industrial Commission of Arizona where he secured a binding award in his favor.
The three companies imposed an unnecessary and unreasonable imposition of economic distress. They created pretextual reasons to deny and/or delay payment of the plaintiff’s claim and engagement in an “outcome-driven” approach to his claim. Further, they ignored and refused to consider information favorable to his claim for workers’ compensation benefits.
Doyle Raizner supports this client in his pursuit of justice against insurance companies and third party administrators who view a workers comp claim as a numbers game rather than an injured worker. If you or someone you love has been injured in the scope of employment duties, please contact the attorneys at Doyle Raizner.
Part of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 provided a fund for the Securities and Exchange Commission to reward whistleblowers. The SEC is able to anonymously reward whistleblowers for information that leads to a penalty greater than $1 million. The results for the second year of the program announced that its biggest success happened this past October when it awarded $14 million.
The total anonymity of the program makes it impossible to uncover who the whistleblower is or the violations they reported.
In total, the program paid $14.8 million to whistleblowers this year and received 3,238 tips. The fund has $439 million in reserve for future whistleblowers. The three biggest states for domestic tips were California, New York and Florida. The biggest category of whistleblower tips is financial disclosures and reporting.
In another type of whistleblower action, Doyle Raizner LLP is currently in discovery on a qui tam case, United States of America ex rel. Eric Uhlig v. Fluor Corp; Fluor Gover. The case involves allegations that a military contractor improperly billed the federal government for electrical work in Afghanistan. Fluor’s contract required it to employ experienced, professional electricians. Evidence suggested that the company employed non-experienced, non-qualified workers to carry out electrical repairs and construction, billing the government for “qualified” workers. Not only did this lead to payments by the taxpayers for unqualified work, it also potentially endangered American and Coalition troops and civilian workers in the base facilities.
If you or someone you know is aware of fraudulent activity being conducted, please contact the attorneys at Doyle Raizner.
Thousands of lawsuits over defective hip implants will be resolved in the largest settlement of U.S. legal claims for a medical device. Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay $4 billion to resolve the 7,500 claims, however, the settlement is uncapped in its total value as it does not bar patients whose artificial hips fail in the future from seeking compensation.
This will be the second multi-billion settlement for Johnson & Johnson this month. On November 4, Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay $2.2 billion to resolve criminal and civil probes into the marketing of Risperdal and other drugs. Click here to read more.
DePuy is part of Johnson & Johnson and develops and markets healthcare solutions in orthopedics, spinal care, sports medicine and neurosciences.
According to sources, the terms of the settlement require 94 percent of eligible claimants to agree to terms, or Johnson & Johnson can withdraw from the deal.
Johnson & Johnson launched the metal-on-metal implants in 2005 and claimed to have a new design that would last 20 years and offer greater range of motion. Within a short time the failure of the implant became apparent as patients filed lawsuits complaining that the the metal-on-metal implant caused dislocations, pain and follow-up surgeries known as revisions. The lawsuits also stated the metal used in the device caused tissue death around implant sites and an increase of metal ions in the bloodstream.
In August of 2010, the company recalled more than 93,000 implants worldwide due to a 12 percent failure rate within five years. Internal Johnson & Johnson documents show the actual failure rate was 37 percent within 4.6 years.
In addition to this settlement and the Risperdal resolution, Johnson & Johnson has recently come under fire for Tylenol and its narrow margin of safety at therapeutic levels. Click here to read more about the untold dangers of Tylenol.
These three situations are examples of a company’s greed
Doyle Raizner LLP has filed a workers comp bad faith lawsuit in the United States Federal Court in the District of Arizona on behalf of a worker whose claims were wrongfully denied by her workers compensation insurance company. Accident Fund General Insurance Company and CompWest Insurance Company are the defendants.
The plaintiff was employed as a security guard for Arizona Cardinals home games. After a September game, she left the stadium mid-afternoon. She began suffering dizziness and a severe headache. At the hospital, she could not recognize family members and began acting erratically. Testing revealed she was suffering from toxic metabolic encephalopathy, hyponatremia and hypokalemia; severe dehydration resulting from her job duties as parking lot security. She was in a coma for two days and awoke with noticeable cognitive changes. She suffers from disorientation, memory loss, and difficulty doing physical activity.
The plaintiff submitted a claim through the proper channels and was assigned an adjuster. The adjuster denied her claim after an inadequate investigation and without any reasonable basis for the denial. The plaintiff initiated preliminary proceedings before the Industrial Commission of Arizona. After the initial proceeding, Accident Fund General Insurance Company and CompWest Insurance Company belatedly accepted the claim nine months after it was initially submitted.
The delay in accepting the plaintiff’s claim created financial strain and emotional stress in addition to the permanent damage she has sustained due to the incident. Her claim was denied based on the creation of pretextual reasons to deny and/or delay payment in an “outcome-driven” approach to claims. Both companies failed to ensure that the industry’s best practices were applied consistently with regard to the plaintiff’s claim. Further, they denied the existence and/or extent of injury without the input of competent medical professionals.
Doyle Raizner stands behind this client in her fight against two insurance companies who held profits and their bottom line in higher regard than the health of a patient injured
Although at the onset, the liability of the NCAA concerning head injuries seems to be similar to that of the NFL, one detail is significant: unlike their professional counterparts, student-athletes do not have the ability to negotiate labor practices. NCAA is supposed to be party protecting the student-athletes, while NFL players have employers and a union to look out for their interests. This increased responsibility to student athletes means the NCAA is legally responsible in the courts when they fail to protect athlete safety, as they unfortunately have done for so many years.
The crux of the argument for many former student-athletes is the painstaking detail the NCAA goes into for all aspects of sports- from regulating the type of cream cheese athletes are allowed to how recruits can be contacted; the NCAA has a regulation on everything but concussion management. One former player pointed out the lack of NCAA attention when discussing his medical bills. Had a booster paid the medical bills, sanctions would have resulted.
Emails included as evidence in one lawsuit against the NCAA exhibit their lack of concern for head injuries. When asked if concussion recommendations at the youth level exceeded what was required at the college level, the director of health and safety replied, “”Well since we don’t currently require anything all steps are higher than ours.”
From 2004-2009, the NCAA injury reports estimate more than 16,000 football players suffered concussions. In addition to that large number of potentially life-changing injuries, the NCAA provided partial funding for head injury research and knew the results as early as 2003.
The NCAA has a duty to protect student-athletes. The association gains financially each year from these players yet provides nothing after they graduate and resume normal life. The attempt to shift the development of concussion protocols to individual schools is nothing more than an attempt to avoid responsibility.
If you or someone you love has been affected
Baker Hughes Inc., the Houston- based oilfield services company, reported the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. rose by 12 this week to 1,754.
Of the more than 1,700 rigs, 1,383 were exploring for oil and 365 for gas. A year ago, there were 1,806 rigs. The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981 and bottomed at 488 in 1999.
This report was issued the same week the company suspended operations in Iraq following a weekend protest.
The number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas increasing also brings an increase in injuries and fatalities. Every year hundreds of workers are injured; some are able to navigate the system and receive proper compensation and medical care while many are not.
Admiralty law is designed with provisions to take care of an injured seaman. Maintenance and cure is the doctrine of paying an injured seaman’s medical care while also ensuring long-term health while providing financial payment while he is unable to work. Vessel owners are required to provide maintenance and cure; injured seamen have legal recourse if this does not happen. When a maritime employer’s negligence results in an injury, a seaman may also maintain a lawsuit under the Jones Act. The Jones Act protects maritime families by providing an avenue for recovery of future medical expenses, lost wage earning capacity, and all of the emotional and family harms that result from an offshore injury.
For more information about the rights injured offshore workers have regarding unpaid medical costs, please click here.
The scope of whistleblower protection and the question of whether legal protections extend to employees of auditors, law firms and other advisers to publicly traded companies were reviewed this week by the Supreme Court. The court is attempting to sort out the 2002 law in relation to two mutual-fund industry workers who lost their jobs after reporting fraud.
The 2002 law, named Sarbanes-Oxley Act or SOX after the sponsoring members of Congress, was enacted to prevent another Enron-type catastrophe. The dispute centers on a provision that bars publicly traded companies, their contractors and subcontractors from discriminating against an “employee” who reports fraud or a violation of securities regulations. The central question lies in the application of the law to employees of publicly traded companies only, or whether the law also extends to contractors of these publicly traded entities. In this case, the publicly traded mutual funds were managed by a privately held management firm which employed the plaintiffs.
The justices are expected to deliver their decision on the broad or narrow scope of the law by July 2014.
A similar type of whistleblower law applies qui tam cases. Qui tam refers to laws that allow a private individual with knowledge of fraud against the federal government to blow the whistle and assist the government in the prosecution of the corporation committing the fraud. A qui tam plaintiff acts as a “private attorney general” in investigating and pursuing litigation against a corporation that commits fraud on the government. A successful whistleblower may receive a portion of damages recovered on behalf of the federal government.
Doyle Raizner LLP is currently taking depositions in a qui tam case, United States of America ex rel. Eric Uhlig v. Fluor Corp; Fluor Gover. The case involves allegations that a military contractor improperly billed the federal government for electrical work in Afghanistan. Fluor’s contract required it to employ experienced, professional electricians. Evidence suggested that the company