Sep 2017
19th Sep 2017

Equifax Enfrenta Preguntas, Posibles Acciones de Clase Después de la Violación de Datos

Equifax Data BreachEs su peor ciber-pesadilla ... con preocupaciones sobre la seguridad de sus datos, recurrir a la fuente de confianza para la protección de esa información personal, sólo para saber que la fuente de confianza fue víctima de una de las mayores brechas de datos de la historia. Eso es exactamente lo que ha sucedido a millones de personas que confiaron en Equifax para salvaguardar sus datos financieros personales.

Según los peritos de la industria, los hackers tuvieron acceso a los archivos de datos de la compañía durante dos meses, de mayo a julio. Los funcionarios de la empresa reconocieron que los hackers pudieron eludir los sistemas de seguridad, dándoles la posibilidad de obtener una amplia gama de información, desde números de licencia de conducir hasta números de Seguro Social, fechas de nacimiento y direcciones. Se estima que hasta 143 millones de personas fueron expuestas. Equifax informó que más de 200,000 números de tarjetas de crédito de consumidores estaban comprometidos.

Equifax, con sede en Atlanta, es una de las tres principales agencias de informes de crédito en los Estados Unidos. La compañía recopila y administra información financiera sobre más de 800 millones de personas y casi 100 millones de negocios.

A principios de este mes, USA Today informó que Equifax ahora enfrenta por lo menos 23 demandas de acción colectiva relacionadas con la violación de datos. Los expertos prevén que habrá más. Una demanda colectiva es una forma de acción legal que permite que las partes con reclamaciones similares sean representadas colectivamente por un miembro o miembros del grupo. El proceso de acción de clase permite que todas las reclamaciones similares se resuelvan en un solo procedimiento, en lugar de hacerlo a través de un gran número de acciones individuales.

Según funcionarios de la compañía, se enteraron de la violación a finales de julio, pero no la revelaron públicamente hasta principios de este mes, ya que habían contratado a una compañía de seguridad independiente para investigar el incumplimiento y hacer recomendaciones sobre maneras de reforzar la seguridad.

En las secuelas de la divulgación, las acciones de la compañía también ha tenido un gran éxito, perdiendo más del 10% de su valor en una semana.

Los expertos de la industria dicen que los consumidores estarán sobre todo en sus los propios cuando viene a protegerse que se mueve adelante. Un representante de la Comisión Federal de Comercio recomendó que las personas monitoreen sus reportes de crédito de manera regular, pongan alertas de fraude en las tarjetas de crédito, presten más atención a los estados de cuenta bancarios y presenten sus declaraciones de impuestos lo antes posible.

Contáctenos


En la oficina de abogados de Bailey & Galyen, ofrecemos una consulta a cada cliente. Para establecer una cita con un Abogado de acción de clase de Texas, envíenos un correo electrónico o llame a nuestras oficinas en una de las ubicaciones convenientes que se enumeran a continuación. Nuestros teléfonos se contestan las 24 horas día, siete días a la semana.
Nov 2016
9th Nov 2016

¿Acaso la Raza o de género juegan un papel en la discapacidad?

Muchas personas creen que la raza y / o de género juegan un papel en las determinaciones de discapacidad. Esto es absolutamente falso. La edad es un factor, pero la religión o el color de su piel no es considerado por la Administración del Seguro Social (SSA) para determinar la discapacidad.

Los tomadores de decisiones: los controladores de las reclamaciones, los examinadores de la discapacidad, los médicos la revisión y jueces de derecho administrativo son todas las razas, religiones y géneros propios, por lo que consideran que estos factores estuvieron implicados sería un error.

¿Qué se considera?

Sus deficiencias:

Impedimentos físicos y mentales se consideran. También lo son otras cosas como la obesidad, el dolor, la fatiga y el alcohol o cualquier adicción a las drogas. Ambas condiciones graves y no graves, deben ser considerados en la evaluación de su capacidad general para mantener el empleo.

Su edad:

SSA reconoce que las personas mayores de 55 años de edad que tienen más dificultad para ser contratado en un empleo de nivel profesional o hacer ajustes.

Su educación y experiencia de trabajo:

¿Sabe leer y escribir en Inglés? ¿Puede contar con el cambio o el balance de su talonario de cheques?
¿Qué tipo de trabajo ha realizado en los pasados 15 años? ¿Qué tipo de habilidades se enteró de que podía transferir a menos exigentes de trabajo?

Su situación financiera (a veces):

Seguridad de Ingreso Suplementario (SSI) es basada en la necesidad, por lo que los ingresos y los activos se consideran.
Seguro Social por Incapacidad (SSDI) no está basada en la necesidad, y lo puede conseguir con millones en el banco o nada a su nombre. Los jueces tienden a mirar a la historia del trabajo (buen empleado, empleo a largo plazo) y ganancias (se que una fuente de ingresos altos salarios) como un factor para determinar la discapacidad. El razonamiento es que los altos asalariados y las personas que estaban con una compañía durante mucho tiempo son menos propensos a dejar de trabajar a menos que realmente no pueden continuar. Las personas que saltaron de trabajo de baja remuneración a empleos de baja remuneración sin tener una carrera de verdad no están tomando tan grande la pérdida financiera mediante la aplicación del seguro de discapacidad.

* La información adicional se puede encontrar en línea en www.socialsecurityjustice.com.
Sep 2011
26th Sep 2011

Tort Reform€ in Texas: Implementing the Corporate Immunity Agenda

From Alex Winslow, Texas Watch, Consumer Protection, Corporate accountability, Citizen Advocacy

Over the last decade, Texas Governor Rick Perry has presided over a series of radical legislative proposals that, under the guise of so-called tort reform, reward those who needlessly endanger our communities at the expense of families and small business owners. The Texas Watch Foundation’s latest report, Tort Reform in Texas: Implementing the Corporate Immunity Agenda, details the impact these restrictions have had on the rights of patients, families, workers, homeowners, senior citizens, policyholders, and small business owners.

Beginning with the dramatic, sweeping changes in 2003 that severely restricted the rights of patients and nursing home residents, as well as the crony capitalism behind the creation of the Texas Residential Construction Commission, and ending with the so-called œloser pays proposals of 2011, the last decade has been marked by a series of dangerous restrictions on bedrock legal and constitutional protections.

Today, Texas is place that would be unrecognizable to the framers of our state and federal constitutions who believed the right to a trial by jury was fundamental.

You can read this report at www.texaswatch.org.
13th Sep 2011

THE OUTRAGEOUS AND SAD FACTS ABOUT EMERGENCY ROOM MEDICAL ERRORS


FACT #1: BAILEY & GALYEN receives 30 40 calls each month from potential new clients wanting to sue an emergency room doctor and hospital for their negligence.

FACT #2: Most of those potential new cases do actually involve clear negligence by the emergency room doctor and hospital.

FACT #3: Even with clear negligence by the emergency room doctor and hospital, you cannot pursue or file that case because the emergency room doctor and hospital are protected by Texas law.

The Texas legislature in 2007 amended the laws that deal with medical malpractice cases. Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Sec. 74.151, entitled Liability For Emergency Care, now states that a person who in good faith administers emergency care is not liable in civil damages for an act performed during the emergency unless the act is wilfully or wantonly negligent. The legislature has raised the level of proof required to file a lawsuit to the highest possible degree of negligence: Wilfull or wanton negligence, which means the medical error must have been intentional. That’s right. To hold the emergency room doctor and/or the emergency room staff accountable for any serious injury or death, you must be able to show that the treatment or lack of treatment by emergency room doctor and/or the emergency room staff totally disregarded or was totally indifferent to the known consequences which the patient suffered. It requires proof of actual or deliberate intention to harm the patient, or at a minimum an absolute and complete indifference to or conscious disregard for the patient’™s safety. That standard is insurmountable, and it slams shut the courthouse door on the innocent victims.

Not being able to file a civil suit when a loved one has suffered serious complications, injuries or death from emergency room errors is a hard pill to swallow. How did this happen, you might ask? It is the result of the collision between political agenda of tort reform and patient safety where political agenda won.

The problem is that tort reform advocates never believe that they will be the innocent victim of emergency room medical malpractice. Further, they all believe that if they are, their claim will be meritorious and different from all those frivolous medical malpractice claims they heard so much about from tort reform advocates. The fact is that emergency room medical malpractice happens very frequently, and those who thought they would never find themselves in the innocent victim’™s shoes and who supported the popular political agenda of tort reform do not like not being unable to hold accountable those responsible for these serious injuries and deaths. Put another way, Texas law gives emergency room physicians and hospitals absolute and complete immunity.
Aug 2011
30th Aug 2011

WARNING! Be Careful What You Post

Do you have a Facebook, MySpace or other social networking account? Could anything on your site be considered inconsistent with the claims in your lawsuit? Have you posted anything that you would be embarrassed to talk about in open court if your case goes to trial? Do you believe that your postings are private” only available to those you allow access so the insurance defense lawyer can’t get them? If you answered yes to any of these questions, please continue reading.

Kathleen Romano’s personal injury case made headlines when the judge ordered her to deliver a signed consent allowing the defense access to her current and historical Facebook and MySpace pages, including postings and other information she thought was private. Ms. Romano alleged in her lawsuit that she suffered serious permanent injuries when she sat on a defective chair manufactured by Steelcase Inc. that caused her to fall. Her claimed injuries included herniated discs, restricted motion in her neck and back, progressive deterioration, pain and loss of enjoyment of life. Ms. Romano also claimed that she had been largely confined to her house and bed since she fell. However, the defense lawyers in her case found her Facebook profile photo showed her standing outside of her house smiling happily and other content that indicated she had recently taken a trip to Florida.

The judge ruled that because the public portions of [Ms. Romano’s] social networking sites contain material that is contrary to her claims and deposition testimony, there is a reasonable likelihood that the private portions of her sites may contain further evidence, such as information with regard to her activities and enjoyment of life, all of which are material and relevant to the defense. The judge ordered Ms. Romano to give the defense access to her private postings to look for other information to attack her claims. The judge ruled that Ms. Romano had no reasonable expectation of privacy online.

You should expect that the insurance defense lawyers in your case are checking social networking sites for information they can use against you. You should assume that if the insurance defense lawyers ask, the judge in your case will give them access to your private postings. Don’t be surprised if the defense lawyers in your case ask for and receive access to postings that you deleted from your site. Here’s a good rule to follow before posting: Assume anything you post can and will be used against you in a court of law.
30th Aug 2011

What Does It Take to WIN Your Slip and Fall Lawsuit?


The Texas Supreme Court has not been a friend of the slip and fall victim. Over the last decade the Texas higher courts have handed down multiple decisions making it increasingly difficult for slip and fall victims to obtain any recovery for their injuries and losses. Many victims have even lost their right to a jury trial due to No Evidence Summary Judgment rulings that kill the lawsuit prior to trial, denying slip and fall victims even an opportunity for justice. This is why you cannot fight this battle alone! You must find an attorney who understands what it takes to overcome these obstacles and WIN this battle! You cannot afford to trust your lawsuit to just any attorney. Choosing the wrong representative could be very costly!

To prevail in a premises liability (slip and fall) claim, you must prove:

  1. the owner or operator of the premises knew or should have known of the condition/substance that caused the injury

  2. the condition posed an unreasonable risk of harm

  3. the owner did not exercise reasonable care to reduce or eliminate the risk; and

  4. the owner’s failure to use such care caused or contributed to your injuries


Often, the most difficult element of your slip and fall claim to prove is that the owner of the premises knew or should have known of the dangerous condition or substance that caused the injury. This proof can be established in one of three ways:

  1. the owner or an employee created the harmful condition (i.e., an employee left water on the floor)

  2. the owner or an employee saw or was told about the harmful condition (i.e., a customer told an employee there was a spill); or

  3. a showing that the substance or condition was present for so long that it should have been discovered through reasonable inspection


If you become injured in a slip and fall incident, taking the following steps may prove invaluable in winning your lawsuit:

  1. Gather witness information from both employees and customers who may have knowledge pertaining to the incident

  2. Determine whether there is a video camera that may have recorded the area where the incident occurred and request that recording

  3. Observe the area, looking for the probable source/cause of the condition that caused the injury

  4. Listen to what the employees and witnesses are saying. Did anyone mention that the condition was there before for example, I was about to clean that or I told you to fix that? Any employee statement that indicates someone knew the condition was there before you fell is EXTREMELY helpful.

  5. Contact an attorney who is an expert in representing victims of slip and falls immediately.

17th Aug 2011

FOSAMAX: CURE OR CAUSE?


Merck’s Fosamax is an oral bisphosphonate, and is prescribed to prevent or treat osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. The prior problem prompting the FDA requiring Merck to make stronger warnings related to Fosamax’s causing death and decay of the jaw bones. The current problem requiring FDA intervention for stronger warnings relates the drug’s causing atypical subtrochanteric femur fractures fractures in the bone just below the hip joint.

These atypical femur fractures can occur anywhere in the femur, from just below the hip to above the knee. The fractures can be completely through the femur bone or just hairline fractures, and may occur in both legs at the same time. Many patients report pain in the affected area, usually presenting as dull, aching thigh pain, weeks to months before a complete fracture occurs. While atypical fractures are very uncommon, the incidence is increased with long term exposure to Merck’s bisphosphonate Fosamax.

The truly disturbing thing about this very dangerous drug is that it was FDA approved, advertised and marketed to prevent bone weakening and breakage by slowing or inhibiting the loss of bone mass. Known as Osteoporosis, this bone weakening disease causes very weak bones that break easily. Women are five times more likely to get osteoporosis than men. Physicians know that osteoporosis is a natural part of the aging process and that there is no way to stop or cure osteoporosis. Physicians know that their patients can slow down this process by taking enough calcium, vitamin D, exercising, not smoking and limiting alcohol intake to no more than one glass per day.

Merck, however, convinced the FDA that it had made a drug that prevented this natural part of the aging process. Slow the natural aging process of loss of bone mass? Amazing discovery if true! It was too good to be true. Merck’™s Fosamax actually made the femur brittle and more susceptible to hairline fractures and breaks than the natural aging process itself.

The question regarding serious injuries from dangerous drugs like Fosamax is always the same: What did Merck know about the risk of these serious femur fracture injuries from Fosamax and how long has Merck known it? This answer to this question comes only through litigation.
Jul 2011
27th Jul 2011

And Now, Speaking on Behalf of Big Insurance: The Texas Supreme Court

Earlier this month, the Texas Supreme Court once again cast its arms around Big Business and shoved Texans out the door.

Not so long ago, if you were the victim of an accident wherein medical bills were incurred you could present the total amount of his bills to a jury even if your insurance had paid the majority of those bills. This was fair. After all, one of the elements of damages that you are entitled to is pain and suffering. One way to convey how much pain you suffered is to show the amount of bills you had to pay to not have that pain anymore.

But that has changed. The Texas Supreme Court has ruled that the only bills you can present to a jury are the ones you still owe.

Let me give you an example: Let’™s say that you are the victim of an accident wherein your medical bills are $100,000.00. Let’s further say that you were responsible enough to have medical insurance (which, by the way, you paid dearly for because medical insurance is not cheap). In our example, your insurance paid $90,000.00 of your bill and has a lien to get reimbursed of $10,000.00.

The Texas Supreme Court has ruled that the only amount you can present to the jury is $20,000.00 (the $10,000.00 left over from the original bill plus the $10,000.00 insurance lien). Will $20,000.00 give the jury an accurate picture of how injured you really were? No. So, whatever pain and suffering you would have received is now likely reduced by a large amount.

But let’s take this a step further. Under this new law, the person who hit you and caused the accident, caused you to incur medical bills, caused you to lose time from work, and caused you the pain and suffering now benefits from YOUR insurance.

Yep, the person who slammed into you AND his insurance company get the benefit of all those premiums that YOU paid. The bills HE caused are reduced by the insurance YOU paid for.

It is as if you are being punished for being responsible enough to carry insurance.

And here is a head scratcher: On one hand, we have Federal Government trying to force everyone to buy insurance while the Texas Supreme Court says, yes, but you better never use it in car accidents!.

Excuse me, Texas Supreme Court, but your bias is showing. Again.
14th Jul 2011

THE US SUPREME COURT IS “MENSING” WITH YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS


The US Supreme Court correctly held in its 2010 decision in Wyeth v Levine that state tort laws do not conflict with federal law and can be used to hold the pharmaceutical manufacturers accountable for the serious injuries and damages caused by their dangerous drugs. The legalese for the legal issue made the basis of that decision is preemption: Are claims brought on state tort laws inconsistent with and therefore preempted by federal law. The Court recognized that the FDA could not possibly shoulder all of the responsibility for determining the safety of a prescription drug during the new drug approval process. It further recognized that tort laws were not inconsistent with the federal laws and regulations that the FDA operates under, and those laws play a very important role in determining the safety and effectiveness of dangerous drugs that the FDA approves. After all, the only information the FDA has to make that decision comes from the drug’s manufacturer. No comfort level, there.

In June, 2011, the same US Supreme Court in Pliva Inc. v. Mensing held just the opposite for the manufacturers of the generic forms of these dangerous drugs. The Court found that state tort claims are inconsistent with and are preempted by federal law and are not permitted. This ruling is significant for a number of reasons. First, the company that develops and obtains FDA approval to market a drug (called the innovator) maintains that exclusive right for a ten year period. That ten year period can be extended under certain circumstances. After that ten year period and/or any extended periods run, the exclusivity is lost. Other drug companies can manufacturer and market the innovator’s exact same drug under its own name. These identical drugs are called generics. Second, the generic manufacturers do not have the same duties that the innovator has in the new drug approval process to test generics for safety and effectiveness and for full, complete and accurate disclosure of all know risks of serious side effects associated with that drug; this is the sole responsibility of the innovator. Third, if the innovator’s label for the drug is inadequate and incomplete, the generics’ label will be inadequate and incomplete. Fourth, if your physician prescribes a generic form of a drug, or worse yet if your insurance company will only approve and pay for a prescription filled with the generic form, and you suffer a serious injuries and damages from that drug, you will not be able to file suit to seek compensation against the generic manufacturer.

Since the innovator obtained FDA approval and is responsible for the drug label’s full, complete and accurate disclosure of all know risks of serious side effects, it appears that the patient may be able to bring suit against the innovator even though the patient ingested the generic and not the original form of the dangerous drug. The pharmacy, pharmacist, insurance company, and physicians are also left exposed by this ruling for their part in the patient’s injuries and damages. Prior to the Mensing decision, Bailey & Galyen did not included pharmacies, pharmacists, insurance companies, and physicians in cases filed against the drug companies for serious injuries and damages. The Supreme Court’™s decision now forces us to include them in the lawsuit.

While the ruling is consistent with Levine, its disservice is that it leaves the generic manufacturers untouched and unaccountable for serious injuries caused by their dangerous drugs. It puts the consumer between the proverbial rock and a hard place, with the fox guarding the hen house.
12th Jul 2011

The Trial




Although most accident cases settle before trial, there are a few that actually get to a jury. Knowing this, every case in pre-litigation is handled with litigation in mind so as to have a file prepared to go to litigation if the need arises.

So, we need in pre-litigation to have the same proof mindset that we have in litigation.

In a trial, we need to prove two things, and then we need to prove a connector.

First, we need to prove that the accident or incident was the defendant’s fault. We must prove that the defendant is the only person who is responsible for the accident. This is called liability. We must prove the defendant is liable.

Second, we must prove damages. We must prove there were authentic medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering or any other damages that apply.

Then we must prove the connector. We must prove that it was the accident that caused the damages. The defense may claim that the injuries you suffered came from an earlier accident or incident. We have to prove that the accident, and only the accident, caused the damages we are claiming.

Knowing these elements, we in pre-litigation prepare our cases to prove the exact same elements to the insurance companies with whom we are negotiating. The insurance companies must know that if they refuse to settle with us, we already have the proof we need to be successful in trial.

And that is what makes us always prepared to represent each and every client we have at Bailey & Galyen.