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Congress Passes Bill that Could Reduce Trucking Accidents; Special Interest Group Seek to Amend It.

The trucking industry is required to abide by a host of regulations to improve the safety of trucks and the road who share the road with them. These rules include such measures as a cap on the amount of hours a driver can travel before taking a mandated rest, weight limits, and maintenance schedules. These rules attempt to greatly reduce the numbers of truck accidents.

Congress recently passed an independent measurement tool that can determine if drivers are taking the breaks that they claim they are taking. Electronic On Board Recorders, or EOBRs, are that independent tool. The American Trucking Association said that EOBRs would help improve safety on the nation’s highways. However the Owner Operator Driver’s Association opposes the legislation, saying further regulation would hurt an already struggling industry.

Congress recently addressed the issue, passing a comprehensive transportation bill that would require trucks to have EOBRs to ensure compliance with truckers’ hours on the road. Some House members are placing special interests ahead of the safety of people on the nation’s highways. They are now adding an Amendment to the legislation that would preclude mandatory EOBRs by eliminating federal funding used to enforce and carry out the new requirement. It is unknown how the Amendment will fair in the Senate.

J&J Sold Vaginal Mesh ImplantAfter Sales Halt Ordered

According to a recent article in Business Week and Bloomberg, citing court records, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), continued to sell a vaginal mesh implant for nine months after U.S. regulators told the company to stop marketing the device. Thousands of vaginal mesh cases are pending across the United States.

Apparently, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration told J&J in a letter on Aug. 24, 2007, to halt Gynecare Prolift sales while they determined whether the device was “substantially equivalent” to other products on the market. The FDA cited the “potential high risk for organ perforation” when surgeons insert the mesh vaginally.

“If you market the device without conforming to these requirements, you will be in violation of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.” According to sources, this type of indignant response to FDA requirements without consequence is like having a “Sheriff use a water pistol” to enforce its determinations.

A Recent Study Confirms That Proposed Tort reform In Pennsylvania Will Not Reduce Health Care Costs

As a trial attorney licensed in both Texas and Pennsylvania who handles medical malpractice cases, the evidence that blanket tort reform does not work is clear. In Texas, mental anguish damages are arbitrarily capped at $250,000.00. Tell the woman who goes in for a mastectomy and comes out with the wrong breast removed that this is fair. I personally have seen cases where the injustice is obvious, such as the psychiatric patient who is allowed to walk out of a psychiatric facility is killed and isn’t even missed for two days. Even in cases where doctors fraudulently alter medical records, they can be held to this patently unfair limit.

Texas is the acid test for such legislation and ten years later it is obvious that health care costs are not reduced while patients’ rights are severely diminished. According to the Austin American Statesman, a new study found no evidence that health care costs in Texas dipped after a 2003 constitutional amendment limited payouts in medical malpractice lawsuits.

The researchers, who include University of Texas law professor Charles Silver, examined Medicare spending inTexas counties and saw no reduction in doctors' fees for seniors and disabled patients between 2002 and 2009. A 2003 voter campaign in Texas, and some congressional backers of Texas-style tort reform in every state, however, argued that capping damage awards would not only curb malpractice lawsuits and insurance costs for doctors, it would lower costs for patients while boosting their access to physicians. The only winners under such a system are the special interest groups.

Landmark Verdict in Vaginal Mesh Case

With thousands of vaginal mesh cases filed and pending across the United States, many are paying very close attention to the recent verdict that happened in Bakersfield, California.

A jury has awarded a woman and her husband $5.5 million against the maker of a vaginal mesh medical implant, claiming they knew their product was unsafe.

Christine Scott got the news Monday morning at Kern County Superior Courthouse. She had a vaginal mesh surgically implanted and has had complications ever since. She and her husband sued the maker and won, making it the first victory of its kind in the nation.

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