| Read Time: 2 minutes | Cory Watson Attorneys

Cory Watson Names New Principal and Three Associates

Cory Watson Attorneys, a leading Birmingham personal injury law firm, announced today that attorney Elizabeth E. Chambers has been named a Principal of the firm. Ms. Chambers is a member of the firm’s Mass Tort litigation team and has practiced law with Cory Watson since 2003.  Ms. Chambers’ practice focuses on products liability involving pharmaceutical drugs and defective medical devices; she has been recognized by SuperLawyers for her work in that area. Ms. Chambers has represented clients nationwide in high-profile multidistrict litigation including Chantix, Vioxx, Trasylol, GranuFlo, Lipitor, and orthopedic devices including hip implants and knee implants. Attorneys Nina Towle, W. Ryan Myers, and Mitchell T. Theodore have also joined the firm as Associates. Ms. Towle’s practice is concentrated in the areas of pharmaceutical litigation, products liability, and environmental law. She is a cum laude graduate of Cumberland School of Law where she served as Associate Editor of the American Journal of Trial Advocacy. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia. W. Ryan Myers’ practice is focused on class actions, consumer protection, and products liability. He received his law degree from Cumberland School of Law where he served as Associate Editor of the Law Review and was named a Judge Abraham Caruthers Fellow. He graduated magna cum laude from at Auburn University. Mitchell T. Theodore’s practice includes pharmaceutical drug litigation, products liability and class actions.  He earned his JD and undergraduate degrees at the University of Alabama where he graduated magna cum laude and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He served as Junior Editor of the Journal of the Legal Profession. Cory Watson Attorneys is a leading Birmingham personal injury law firm recognized nationally for its practice areas of complex litigation including class actions and mass tort litigation involving pharmaceutical drugs and defective medical devices. The firm has an extensive practice in environmental law and individual personal injury cases including those involving automobile accidents, products liability, catastrophic injury and wrongful death.

Continue Reading

| Read Time: 3 minutes | Industry News

Arbitration Clauses Are Taking Away Consumers’ Rights

A report released by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on March 11, 2015, found that forced arbitration clauses are now extremely common, and are restricting consumers’ ability to seek legal relief by preventing consumers from filing their claims in court and preventing consumer participation in class actions.

Continue Reading

| Read Time: 2 minutes | Industry News

Financial Protection Bureau Finds Forced Arbitration is Bad for Consumers

  If you have a disagreement with a credit card company, loan company, title loan company, or other financial service provider, filing a lawsuit should be well within your rights. Unfortunately, you may have signed away the right to take your case to court without your knowledge.  Many of these companies put forced arbitration clauses in the fine print of your agreement.  This means that if you have a disagreement, you may not be able to protect yourself through the court system. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a leading governmental agency on consumers’ financial rights, released the findings of its latest study today. The study found that forced arbitration is unfair and harmful to consumers, and it prevents consumers from recovering losses in class action lawsuits. Signing an arbitration clause gives either party the right to block lawsuits from proceeding in court, and this includes class action litigation.

Continue Reading

| Read Time: 2 minutes | Defective Products

DePuy, J&J Extend ASR Hip Implant Deadline, Will Pay $420 Million to Plaintiffs

Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics have agreed to extend the deadline to file a claim regarding its faulty ASR hip implant devices, and will pay approximately $420 million to eligible plaintiffs. According to a Bloomberg report published Feb. 23, the manufacturer estimates there are an additional 1,400 patients who received an ASR hip implant device after Aug. 31, 2013, which was the original deadline to file a claim for compensation.

Continue Reading

| Read Time: < 1 minute | Defective Products

Keurig Heats Up More Than Your Coffee

Coffee is a great way to get a jump on your morning routine, but that jump should come from the jolt of caffeine – not your coffee maker catching fire or exploding with hot liquid. Unfortunately, many of Keurig’s single-cup coffeemakers have been doing just that. Our firm recently filed a product liability lawsuit involving a house fire started by a Keurig single-cup brewing machine. In this case, we represent the family whose home was severely damaged by the fire and smoke. Thankfully, the only physical injuries suffered by our clients were from smoke inhalation. The fire was investigated by the Vestavia Hills Fire Department, who determined the source of the fire to be the Keurig brewing machine. A quick internet search reveals that this is not an isolated event. There are multiple reports of Keurig brewing systems being the source of house and apartment fires. Many customer reviews for the product posted on Amazon.com detail complaints of the unit starting fires, melting plastic, and producing smoke, even when the unit is turned off. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission has received over 200 reports of hot water escaping the brewer, including 90 reports of burn-related injuries. Keurig has also recently recalled more than 7 million machines after receiving dozens of reports of users getting burned by scalding water. If you were injured or property damaged by a defective product, fill out the form on this page or call (877) 562-0000 now. Our experienced product liability attorneys can help answer your questions with a free initial case consultation. Click here to learn more about defective products and your rights.

Continue Reading

| Read Time: 2 minutes | Car Accidents

Distracted Driving – A Serious Public Safety Issue in Alabama

Distracted driving on U.S. roads and highways has become an issue of significant concern. Deadly motor vehicle crashes have increased because the driver is using a cell phone. In an effort to address this growing problem, new laws have been passed across the country to regulate the use of cell phones during the operation of a motor vehicle. Following this trend, Alabama has enacted new laws aimed to reduce distracted driving. Alabama’s first effort to curb cell phone use behind the wheel came in 2010, when Code of Ala. § 32-6-7.2(c)(3)went into effect. This law states that a handheld communication device may not be used during the operation of a motor vehicle by new drivers. Specifically, this law applies to the following groups of drivers: Alabama drivers who are 16 years of age Alabama drivers who are 17 years of age and have been licensed for less than six months Two years later, in 2012, Alabama implemented a new law, Code of Ala. § 32-5A-350, which solely addresses the issue of texting while driving. This law states: “A person may not operate a motor vehicle on a public road, street, or highway in Alabama while using a wireless telecommunication device to write, send, or read a text-based communication.” Under this law, a text-based communication includes a text message, instant message, or electronic mail. First-time offenders may face a fine of $25. While all Alabama drivers are prohibited from texting and driving, and restrictions have been placed on the use of cell phones while driving for novice drivers, many believe that these laws do not prevent distracted driving. According to a government study, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving at any given daylight moment. At Cory Watson Attorneys, we believe that texting while driving is as dangerous as drunk driving, and we urge all drivers to stop this reckless activity. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of an automobile collision that involved a distracted driver, it is important that you act immediately to protect your rights. Call (877) 562-0000 now or complete the free online consultation form on this page. The attorneys at Cory Watson are experienced in representing victims of negligence and are ready to assist you today.

Continue Reading

| Read Time: 2 minutes | Asbestos

What You Need to Know About Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a serious, life-threatening illness that affects thousands of individuals each year. The experienced attorneys at Cory Watson have represented mesothelioma victims and their families for more than 30 years, providing valuable information, resources, and help to those affected nationwide. What is Mesothelioma? Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos. Symptoms of mesothelioma can include shortness of breath, cough, chest pain, fever, fatigue, and weight loss. Mesothelioma is most common in men over the age of 60 who were regularly exposed to asbestos on the job site. Asbestos exposure is commonly associated with the following occupations: Auto Mechanics Boilermakers Blacksmiths Carpenters Construction Workers Crane Operators Electricians Firefighters Freight and Material Handlers Furnace/Smelter Operators Heavy Equipment Operators Industrial Engineers Insulators Iron Workers Machinists Merchant Marines Metal Lathers Molders Navy Personnel Oil Refinery Workers Painters Pipefitters Plasterers Plumbers Power Plant Workers Railroad Workers Roofers Sheet Metal Workers Welders Over the years, individuals working on these types of jobs were often unaware of their potential exposure to asbestos or the serious risk of illness associated with asbestos exposure. Have You Been Diagnosed with Mesothelioma? If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is important that you seek immediate medical attention. It is also important that you seek legal representation. Settlement trusts have been established to compensate individuals who have developed mesothelioma, and you may be eligible for compensation. Because of our knowledge and experience, the asbestos lawyers at Cory Watson Attorneys are able to efficiently and effectively establish the rights of our clients to the money that has been put into these asbestos trusts for victims of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. We fight for every dollar owed our clients by these asbestos trusts. The experienced attorneys at Cory Watson have pursued claims and obtained substantial compensation for mesothelioma victims just like you.  If you need representation, or simply have questions, we are here to help. Contact us today!

Continue Reading

| Read Time: 2 minutes | Dangerous Drugs

Vaccine Injuries and Paralysis Lawsuits

Each year, millions of Americans receive routine vaccinations from their local doctor, hospital, or pharmacy. Vaccines are commonly used to prevent illnesses such as influenza, human papillomavirus (HPV), hepatitis, tetanus, measles, mumps, and rubella. While these and other vaccines are an important part of maintaining good health, there is a serious risk associated with them. Severe injuries and side effects may result, including the following: Anaphylaxis and anaphylactic shock Chronic arthritis Encephalopathy or encephalitis Seizures Brachial neuritis Thrombocytopenic purpura Auto-immune disorders Wrongful death Most Americans are unaware that compensation is available for individuals who have suffered serious injuries as a direct result of a vaccine. The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) is a federal program that was established by Congress in 1988 to compensate individuals harmed by vaccines. The program is administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and is funded by a 75 cent fee that is charged with each and every vaccine that is given in the United States. Compensation awards have been made to approximately 4,000 claimants since the VICP was established in 1988, and more than $2.8 billion in compensation has been paid out. Filing and pursuing a claim with the VICP can be a complex and difficult process. All claims must be filed with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington, D.C., by a specific deadline set by the program. This court reviews all claims and determines which claimants will be compensated. If a claim is not filed according to the VICP’s strict guidelines, the claim may be lost forever. The vaccine injury lawyers at Cory Watson Attorneys are skilled in handling such claims and are available to review your potential claim today. Get Help With Your Immunization Injury Lawsuit If you or a loved one suffered paralysis or another serious injury and you suspect a vaccine is to blame, Cory Watson wants to hear from you. We are investigating claims for compensation linked to immunizations like the flu vaccine, which may cause paralysis, Guillain-Barré Syndrome, and more. For a free review of your case, call Cory Watson Attorneys at (877) 562-0000 or fill out our online evaluation form for help today.

Continue Reading

| Read Time: 2 minutes | Car Accidents

How Old Are the Safest Drivers on the Road? You Might be Surprised.

While older drivers often get a bad rap for their driving skills, a new study finds drivers 65 years and older are the safest drivers on the road. While younger drivers often come from a “rules are meant to be broken” mindset, older drivers support more restrictions. They are less likely to speed, drink and drive and more likely to wear their seatbelts than any other age group, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. More than 70 percent surveyed also support mandatory medical screenings for drivers over 75 years of age to renew their driver licenses. However, not all of the findings are positive for elderly drivers. Risk factors like medical conditions, medication usage and reduced physical function do increase the risk of car accidents and injuries among older drivers. As people age their driving abilities change, but incorporating safe driving practices can be critical to helping older drivers maintain the freedom to come and go as they please. Car Modifications Make Driving Easier Challenged by the very act of getting into and out of the car, or getting around when you reach your destination? Simple car modifications can make life easier. Are you barely able to see over the steering wheel? Cushions can help improve the overall view of the road and rear-view reflections. Having trouble reaching the pedals? Pedal extenders provide several adjustable options. Self-Regulation is Key Safety should be your top priority. For this reason, it is important that you are honest with yourself and your family about your driving skills and adjust accordingly. Does your reaction time feel slower? Do people or cars “come out from nowhere” more often? Do other drivers honk at you or make other indications that you’ve affected their driving? You may also want to consider taking a driving class. Another bonus: you may get an insurance break for taking the classes, which are all about promoting safety and defensive driving.

Continue Reading

| Read Time: 2 minutes | Sexual Assault

Cullman County Drug Court Officer Faces Criminal Sex Charges and Civil Lawsuit

How do we prevent people in positions of authority from taking advantage of their power? Vigilance and deterrence help. An official of the Cullman County Courts faces criminal charges of first-degree sodomy, first-degree sexual assault, and three other sexual assault charges, according to court documents. A Cullman County grand jury indicted Winfred Eugene Vance Jr. on charges that he used his position as a drug court officer to make unwanted sexual advances on participants in a court-ordered drug program. In addition, nine plaintiffs have filed a civil lawsuit alleging that Vance and other defendants “used their positions of power and authority to extort money from indigent clients by threats of incarceration and false reporting and intimidation if fees were not paid and sexual crimes were not allowed,” the lawsuit said. The plaintiffs are seeking over $25 million in punitive damages. Unfortunately, the situation described in Cullman County is similar to scenarios played out in workplaces, schools, camps, religious organizations, athletic groups, and many other institutions that are part of daily life for many, if not most Americans. One reason why a victim in such a situation would not come forward is the belief that those with authority over the perpetrator will not believe them and/or will do nothing about it. Public scrutiny and institutional safeguards help the system keep vigilant, but those in positions of authority must be open to the possibility that their friend or co-worker may be abusing those in their charge. Everyone in the system must be vigilant. Deterrence also helps, whether in the criminal justice system or in the civil justice system. The criminal justice system can impose punishment on the perpetrator but only the civil justice system can impose punishment on the perpetrator and those who had the supervisory authority over the perpetrator. We see that, as a result of civil lawsuits, the reports and incidents of serious workplace sexual harassment have decreased. Why? Because the supervisors and company executives are now at risk themselves for being held liable for the illicit acts of their employees if they ignore the situation. A continuous pattern of illicit behavior by the drug officer should have been discovered and stopped by those who supervise him, so they share some responsibility if the allegations are true. Their liability will be addressed in the civil lawsuit. Only civil lawsuits create the deterrence for supervisors and business owners not to ignore situations like this and to put institutional safeguards in place. It is important to remember the grave emotional and psychological implications for sexual assault victims. We must remain vigilant in our efforts to deter the illicit behavior of sexual predators.

Continue Reading