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Legal Matters February 2009

Submitted by jrlaw on Feb 3rd, 2009

In This Issue:

Foreclosure Victims: A New Hope?

FDA Recommends Popular Painkiller to Be Removed from Marketplace

What is Erb’s Palsy

The Rasansky Law Firm's Laws of Humor

Foreclosure Victims: A New Hope?

Many Americans today are facing a catastrophic nightmare - the prospect of losing a home to a foreclosure because of a loss of a job or unexpected sub-prime loan whose interest rate double. But, an Ohio Congresswoman says folks should not be so quick to vacate their homes when a sheriff comes knocking on victim’s door.

Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur tells Americans that they should consider staying put - right there in their home - essentially squatting in their houses. This may sound like odd advice coming from an elected official; but, the Congresswoman makes a valid point - the alternative living arrangements for a vast majority of these people may be far worse - homelessness. Of course, Congresswoman Kaptur urges these homeowners to retain an attorney to assist them through these crises. And, believe it or not, there are many attorneys who will assist homeowners prevent banks and predatory lenders from wrongfully foreclosing on your home.

There may be several ways that you can delay a foreclosure. The laws of each state vary and the federal Unfair Debt Collection Practices Act will even prohibit the lender from engaging in numerous acts that are deemed illegal and considered to be misleading. For instance, a homeowner may be able to delay a foreclosure by demanding that the lender prove that the institution claiming repayment of the money owed or the one who claims it will bring a lawsuit against you will actually be the same entity that owns the debt. That entity then will have to verify the debt and obtain original note. This could delay the process by at least thirty (30) days.

As we are all now learning, many mortgages were sold, resold and bundled together in confusing packages (and used as securities on others types of loans), so the paperwork is often times difficult, if not impossible, to locate. Many times the new lenders will not have the proper work and will be unable to prove who actually owns the loan. This fact alone could help you save your home.

Visit The Consumer Warning Network for more information on the "produce the note" strategy to stay in your home.

FDA Recommends Popular Painkiller to Be Removed from Marketplace

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisors are currently recommending that Darvon be removed from the market. USA Today published a report on the popular pain drug while an FDA panel voted to withdraw the medication in a 14-12 vote.

Darvon is known generically as Propoxyphene Hydrochloride and is also prescribed as Darvocet, which contains the same active ingredient as Tylenol. Unbelievably, and most remarkably, studies indicate that this pain relief medication does not serve its intended purpose - it does not provide effective pain relief and therefore, could lead to a risk of overdose. Of course the drug makers disagree and feel that Darvon and Darvocet is safe and quite effective when patients use the medicine as directed.

These specific pain medicines have been available for over 50 years. In the 2007, over 20 million prescriptions of Darvocet were written and over 600 million prescriptions have been written for the drug since it was created.

These drugs have a long history of criticism. Many critics have claimed that the drug is responsible for numerous accidental overdoses and an untold number of suicides. Congressional hearings have listened to testimony for years concerning the drugs efficacy. Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group, has been waging the battle to ban Darvan for many decades and has finally got the attention of the FDA.

Today, Darvon and Darvocet are made and marketed by private, generic drug makers. These drugs have been approved for mild to moderate pain and linked to deaths in many patients.

What is Erb’s Palsy

Erb’s palsy refers to a paralysis of the upper portion of the arm’s main nerves. This type of paralysis injury almost always occurs during the labor and delivery process and the paralysis can either resolve spontaneously over a period of months or may require therapy or surgical intervention. Often times, these types of birth injuries are preventable.

Erb’s palsy may be caused by dystocia. Dystocia means an abnormal or difficult child birth and there are numerous risk factors that should alert health care providers that a potential injury may be imminent. Proper monitoring and detection of risk factors during pregnancy can give health care providers the opportunity to take much-needed preventative measures. If an injury is preventable, other methods of delivery can and should be considered. Failure to consider other options, plan alternative treatments or even change course in the middle of a baby’s delivery to avoid this type of injury may constitute medical negligence and malpractice.

One type of dystocia that frequently occur which cause nerve damage is called "shoulder dystocia." Shoulder dystocia occurs during childbirth when a baby’s shoulder becomes wedged or impacted behind a mother’s pubic bone. As a result of the labor process, together with the ineptness of a negligent healthcare provider, the baby’s brachial plexus nerves stretch with the motions of the contractions. These nerves are a bundle of nerves between the neck and shoulder that control the shoulder, arm, and hand.

There may be many reasons why a baby’s shoulder may get stuck behind a mother’s pubic bone. Some babies may be predisposed to this phenomenon - as such, there are risk factors that all doctors and nurses are aware of and should know about when they treat laboring moms. Such risk factors include: mother’s excessive weight gain during pregnancy, delivery of a previous large baby, baby with a previous shoulder dystocia, post term pregnancy, protracted/prolonged labor, mother’s short stature/small pelvis, baby’s breeched position, mother’s diabetes, advanced age of mother, and/or forceps/vacuum assisted vaginal delivery

With the right pre-natal care, these conditions that indicate a likelihood of developing shoulder dystocia may be detected, and the birth injuries that cause Erb’s palsy may be prevented.

How to Prevent Erb’s Palsy

Many people do not realize that a planned C-section will typically prevent brachial plexus injuries. Sometimes shoulder dystocia is not detected in time to perform a C-section or a C-section might be too dangerous. When this occurs, other delivery methods must be used to deliver the baby safely and without injury. These methods include:

- Suprapubic pressure, using pressure from the outside of the mother to reposition the baby

- Wood’s corkscrew, a method of reaching in and rotating the baby to free the arm

- Rolling the mother from her back onto all fours

Signs of Erb’s Palsy

Erb’s palsy can result in significant injuries including the loss of the arm and/or hand. When the injury is diagnosed early, medical intervention and physical therapy may sometimes reverse the damage. Symptoms and effects of Erb’s palsy may include

- Rotated arm

- Shorter than normal arm

- Atrophy of the deltoid, biceps and brachialis muscles

- Hand that does not function properly

- Paralysis of the shoulder, arm and hand

- Downward sloped shoulder

- Flexed Elbow

If your child displays the symptoms of Erb’s palsy, you should immediately speak with your child’s pediatrician. Your baby might recover spontaneously during the initial phases of life, but you will likely be told to perform range of motion exercises to help your baby recover. Many babies will require surgery to repair nerves, and continued physical therapy to regain the use of the arm and hand.

The Rasansky Law Firm's Laws of Humor

In Austin, you may not carry wire cutters in your pocket.
In Galveston, it is illegal to drive a car down Broadway before noon on Sunday
In Houston, beer may not be purchased after midnight on Sunday. However, it may be purchased on Monday. It is also illegal to sell Limburger cheese on Sunday.
In Corpus Christie, it is illegal to raise alligators in your home.
It is allegedly still a ?hanging offense? to steal cattle!