Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers Blog

Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers Blog

The Facts About Ovarian Cancer

May 14, 2018 Talcum Powder Litigation 0 Comments

Ovarian Cancer Claims Thousands of Lives

doctor and patient with ovarian cancerNotwithstanding major advances in reproductive healthcare over the past twenty years, ovarian cancer continues to rank as the fifth highest cause of cancer-related deaths among women. The American Cancer Society predicts that in 2018 more than 22,000 cases of ovarian cancer will be diagnosed, and that more than 14,000 women will die due to complications from ovarian cancer.

Here at the Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers in Louisiana, we are committed to supporting the efforts of the physicians and researchers who are striving to cure ovarian cancer, and of the regulators who are working to reduce or eliminate the man-made factors and suspected carcinogens that increase ovarian cancer risks.

Understanding the symptoms, warning signs, risk factors, effects, and treatments for ovarian cancer is the starting point for eradicating this “silent killer.”

What are the Early Warning Signs of Ovarian Cancer?

Ovarian cancer is more easily treated when diagnosed in its early stages. Many of the early symptoms and warning signs of ovarian cancer, however, are similar to symptoms of less virulent health problems.

Because of this, the early warning signs are easily overlooked or ignored. Women are encouraged to visit their physicians promptly if they have any combination of these symptoms over a short period of time:

  • Abdominal bloating, pain pressure, or an unusual sense of fullness after eating that feels different than indigestion;
  • Frequent urination or an increased urge to urinate;
  • Chronic fatigue;
  • Back or belly pain;
  • Irregular or heavy menstrual cycles;
  • Muscular weakness;
  • Excessive skin rashes

If there is any doubt over whether these symptoms are just normal reactions to daily stresses, women should trust their instincts and seek medical attention.

Are You at Increased Risk for Ovarian Cancer?

Researchers have identified a number of risk factors that increase a woman’s likelihood of developing ovarian cancer.

  • Approximately 25% of all ovarian cancer cases occur in women who are genetically predisposed to developing the disease. Genetic testing may be able to determine whether you have the specific gene mutations that are related to this increased risk.
  • Women who have a relative who developed ovarian or certain other types of cancer are also at an elevated risk, even if they do not have a genetic predisposition for it.
  • As a woman ages, her risk of developing ovarian cancer increases. Ovarian cancer diagnoses are highest among women between the ages of 55 and 64.
  • Regular exposure to certain carcinogenic substances may increase ovarian cancer risks. Scientific studies have demonstrated a causal link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer.
  • Certain pharmaceutical treatments, including hormone replacement therapy for five or more years, will increase ovarian cancer risks.
  • Lifestyle habits, including smoking and obesity, will also increase a woman’s overall cancer risks.

Diagnosis and Treatment for Advanced Ovarian Cancer

In its later stages, ovarian cancer will lead to a number of common symptoms, including severe pelvic, abdominal, or kidney pain, extreme bloating and constipation, rapid weight loss, and abdominal fluid retention. An oncologist might recommend CT scans, abdominal ultrasound, blood tests, or surgical biopsies to verify an ovarian cancer diagnosis.

Treatments for ovarian cancer may include surgical removal of cancerous tissue, chemotherapy and radiation, and other targeted therapies. A limited number of physicians are trying a handful of experimental therapies as well.

Ovarian cancer is a general term for a number of different types of cancer than can affect a woman’s ovaries and reproductive system. A treatment plan will be a function of the specific type and stage of cancer that has been diagnosed.

Consult with an Experienced Louisiana Personal Injury Lawyer

If you have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer but have none of the genetic or other risk factors for the disease, exposure to carcinogenic substances may be a factor. Recent studies and litigation have pointed to a potential link between talc and ovarian cancer, particularly among women who have used the powder for personal hygiene over long periods of time.

Attorney Bart Bernard has extensive experience in dangerous drug litigation and can help eligible women file a talcum powder lawsuit in search of monetary compensation. Reach out to our Lafayette or Baton Rouge offices today to arrange a complimentary consultation.

Additional Ovarian Cancer Resources:

  1. Cancer.org Key Statistics for Ovarian Cancer. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/ovarian-cancer/about/key-statistics.html
  2. Healthline, Ovarian Cancer: Early Symptoms, Detection, and Treatment. https://www.healthline.com/health/cancer/ovarian-cancer-early-signs#symptoms
  3. OCRFA.org, Risk Factors. https://ocrfa.org/patients/about-ovarian-cancer/risk-factors/
  4. Medicine.net, Ovarian Cancer: Cancer of the Ovaries. https://www.medicinenet.com/ovarian_cancer/article.htm#stromal_ovarian_cancers
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Lawsuits Filed on Behalf of Opioid-Addicted Children

May 11, 2018 News 0 Comments

The United States has been facing a serious epidemic of opioid abuse and addiction. According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 115 people in the U.S. die every day from an overdose of opioids.

Now, it is becoming clear that children born to parents addicted to opioids suffer severe consequences.

Class Action Suit Against Opioid Manufacturers and Distributors

A class action lawsuit was filed in late February on behalf of babies born in the state of Louisiana addicted to opioids. The defendants are manufacturers and distributors of opioids, including Johnson & Johnson, Purdue Pharma, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, and Teva Pharmaceuticals, among others.

The class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of a child born addicted to opioids and diagnosed with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS), which is common in children whose mothers abuse the drugs. The child is known by the initials K.E.R.

NAS can occur in babies who had chronic exposure to substances in the womb. Once the baby is born, they no longer have the exposure, and the abrupt cessation of the substances causes NAS.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 21,700 babies were born nationwide with opioid withdrawal in 2012. Between the years 2000 and 2012, the number of children born with NAS rose fivefold.

Damages for Therapy, Related Effects Sought

K.E.R. is currently 3 years old. The child has needed speech, hearing, and behavioral therapy as a result of the long-term effects of chronic prenatal opioid exposure.

The child’s mother had been prescribed opioids, which are frequently prescribed as pain medication, to treat lower back pain caused by a vehicle accident prior to her pregnancy. She became addicted to opioids and continued to use during her pregnancy.

The class action suit seeks damages to cover long-term therapy and other treatment for K.E.R. and other babies born with NAS. The amount of damages sought are not currently known.

However, it is thought that the number of children with NAS in Louisiana is high. The suit estimates that 1 out of every 5 mothers on Medicaid, a Federal program for low-income people, took opioids during pregnancy.

Our state currently has over 1.4 million people enrolled in Medicaid.

Was Your Child Born Addicted to Opioids? Call Bart Bernard!

Opioid addiction has unfortunately touched an enormous number of lives in Louisiana. If you or a loved one has had a baby born with NAS, Bart Bernard is a seasoned Louisiana personal injury lawyer who can help.

Bart Bernard we will handle your situation with care, concern and the utmost professionalism. He is a veteran attorney with lots of experience helping clients recover damages for the life-altering side effects of dangerous prescription drugs.

Your initial consultation is free and we have offices in Baton Rouge and Lafayette for your convenience. Call today to see how much your case could be worth!

More information on lawsuits filed on behalf of infants born addicted to opioids:

  1. Adamson, Allan. “Lawsuit Seeks Money To Cover Treatment Of Babies Born Addicted To Opioids.” Tech Times. February 28, 2017. http://www.techtimes.com/articles/222035/20180228/lawsuit-seeks-money-to-cover-treatment-of-babies-born-addicted-to-opioids.htm
  2. Clark, Maria. “The family of a Louisiana infant born addicted to opioids is suing drug makers.” New Orleans Times-Picayune. February 27, 2018. http://www.nola.com/health/index.ssf/2018/02/lawsuit_filed_to_help_cover_he.html
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5 Talcum Powder Alternatives for Personal Hygiene

May 8, 2018 Talcum Powder Litigation 0 Comments

baby powder talcumIn light of the growing litigation against Johnson & Johnson, more women are becoming aware of the connection between using talcum powder for personal hygiene and the increased risk of developing ovarian cancer. Manufacturers continue to maintain that their talc-containing products – such as Shower to Shower and J&J’s iconic Baby Powder — are perfectly safe for their intended purpose, but several juries have ruled that consumers were not properly warned about potential health risks, particularly when the powder is applied near the genital area.

With summer just around the corner and temperatures warming up in the South, now is a great time to consider talc-free alternatives to keep the skin soft and dry.

Here are five safe substitutes for talcum powder that help absorb moisture, reduce friction and keep you feeling fresh throughout the most humid of days.

#1: Arrowroot-based powder

Arrowroot is a natural herb that is finely ground, mixed with cornstarch and baking soda to create a gentle, 100 percent vegan body powder that fights odor well. You can make your own or look for products by HoneyBee Gardens, which makes a talc-free and aluminum-free deodorizing powder based on arrowroot.

#2: Cornstarch

Found in any supermarket, cornstarch is another great alternative to talcum powder for feminine hygiene uses. Made from corn kernels, cornstarch is totally natural, highly absorbent and helps keep skin cool and dry. Cornstarch particles are slightly larger than talc and have no known side effects or health risks.

#3: Baking soda & tapioca starch

Baking soda – sodium bicarbonate – is incredibly versatile and has dozens of uses. When combined with tapioca starch (derived from the Cassava plant) this common pantry item transforms into a gentle, fragrance-free dusting powder that soothes, absorbs perspiration and keeps rashes at bay.

#4: DIY Body Powder

Create your own body powder using a base of cornstarch, rice powder, tapioca starch, or baking soda.  For a light floral scent, consider adding crushed lavender buds or chamomile leaves.

#5: Commercial talc-free baby powders

These are some of the top talc-free alternatives that you can pick up at your local drugstore or retail outlet:

  • Silky Underwear Dusting Powder by LUSH – 100 percent talc-free, this feminine dusting powder is made with cornstarch and ground cocoa butter and scented with vetiver and jasmine.
  • Burt’s Bees Baby Dusting Powder – This highly rated body powder is made with powdered slippery elm, cornstarch and kaolin clay. It is hypo-allergenic, completely natural and keeps skin soft and dry.
  • Ora’s Amazing Herbal Body Powder – Ideal for feminine hygiene use, this powder contains natural odor-fighting, antibacterial and antifungal ingredients and is available in unscented or aromatherapy scents of lavender, clary sage, vanilla and vetiver.

Several studies have suggested that talc-based powders, when put in undergarments and feminine hygiene products, can lead to ovarian cancer.  Several years ago, the International Agency for Research on Cancer stated that talcum powder used around the genital area was “possibly carcinogenic” to humans.

Talcum powder cancer lawyer in Louisiana

With hope, more women will switch to talc-free body powder alternatives and avoid potential health risks. To learn more about talcum powder lawsuits and whether you’re eligible to file a claim in Louisiana, reach out to the law offices of Bart Bernard.

Bart Bernard is a dedicated talc cancer lawyer who believes in hard work and providing superior advocacy to all of his clients. For a free case review in Lafayette, Baton Rouge or the Lake Charles area, please call today.

Additional Resources on Talc Alternatives:

  1. BigGreenPurse.com, 7 All Natural Talc-Free Powder Alternatives http://www.biggreenpurse.com/7-natural-talc-free-powder-alternatives/
  2. Organic Spa, Natural Alternatives to Talcum Powder https://www.organicspamagazine.com/natural-alternatives-to-talcum-powder/
  3. Mother Nature Network, 5 alternatives to talc powder https://www.mnn.com/health/fitness-well-being/stories/5-alternatives-talc-powder
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How Does Bad Weather Affect Slip and Fall Liability?

April 11, 2018 Slip And Fall Injuries 0 Comments

Heavy rain in the city. Rain droplets on the staircase during downpour.

Louisiana individuals and property owners alike may be unfamiliar with their rights and responsibilities when it comes to slips and falls in bad weather. As we continue through a season of uncharacteristically severe weather, it may be helpful to review the effect that rain and other potentially hazardous weather can have on slip and fall liability.

Slip and fall liability of property owners and occupiers

Bad weather or not, businesses and individuals in control of property – whether as an owner, a tenant, or even a maintenance or management company – have the responsibility to take steps to protect those who enter the premises. They must act reasonably and, when they know of dangers, must either remove the hazards or warn visitors that they are there.

In extreme winter weather, this duty remains. But it is not just outdoor hazards to be on the watch for. For example, when rain and slush get tracked inside, it can create slick floor surfaces. Property owners and managers need to address these indoor potential threats as well.

Responsibility of individuals

Individuals also have a duty. It is a general duty to be careful while doing whatever it is they do. This means that whether jogging down the road or shopping in a grocery store, people need to watch where they are going, taking heed of warnings of danger. Louisiana follows a rule of comparative negligence, which means a plaintiff’s personal injury award can be reduced in proportion to his or her own degree of fault.

Not all bad weather hazards have warnings, though. Black ice, for example, is more or less invisible, so it can be difficult to avoid. It is important to be on the lookout for these bad weather dangers, but when they cannot be avoided, it is time to take a closer look at whether someone who controlled the property may be liable.

Talk with slip and fall lawyer Bart Bernard

Like other slip and fall injuries, bad weather injuries may be preventable as long as proper precautions are taken. This duty remains even though bad weather is a more rare occurrence.

If you or a loved one has been injured, speak with Bart Bernard, a slip and fall lawyer Baton Rouge and Lafayette, LA put their trust in to fight all the way down the line for injury victims. Bart works tirelessly to investigate your case and collect the hard evidence needed to prove fault. Protect your rights to full and fair compensation for medical bills, lost wages and more!  Call today to set up a free confidential consultation.

Additional bad weather slip and fall resources:

  1. United States Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Winter Weather Hazards/Precautions, https://www.osha.gov/dts/weather/winter_weather/hazards_precautions.html
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Important Facts about Falls, https://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/falls/adultfalls.html
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4 Ways an Expert Witness Can Help Win Your Case

April 4, 2018 Personal Injury Lawsuits 0 Comments

Whether you were hurt in a slip and fall accident or were struck by a negligent motorist, having an expert witness can play an important role in winning your personal injury lawsuit. A qualified expert witness is a professional who has the education, skill, knowledge, training and experience in a specific discipline. It is their duty to provide the court an impartial opinion based on complex facts that may be difficult for the layman to understand.

In personal injury cases involving motor vehicle crashes, healthcare professionals and accident reconstructionists are some of the most common types of expert witnesses called to testify. A medical expert can provide testimony about the nature and severity of the plaintiff’s injuries, and if they will suffer permanent damage or require ongoing medical care. Whether your attorney calls on a financial analyst, a neurosurgeon or a pain management specialist, their expert testimony can help substantiate your claim, and improve your chances of securing money damages.

Here are four other ways an expert witness can ensure your personal injury claim has the highest chance of success.

Explain complex jargon

Without a highly credentialed expert witness to explain complicated language that is common to their profession, jurors can easily become mired in the jargon, and pass over or misunderstand critical facts. An expert witness will be able to convey complex data in layman’s terms, offering vital insights in a professional, concise manner. Competent experts can lead the jury into technical or medical fields they previously had little knowledge about while advancing the theme of your case.

Their opinion is unbiased

Expert witnesses do provide their professional opinion based on evidence and facts, but they remain 100 percent neutral, or unbiased. This impartiality is essential for building the validity of their testimony, since expert witnesses have no allegiance to the plaintiff or defendant.

Establish the long-term impact of your injuries

Experts can testify to much more than the extent of your injuries and/or disability. They can also attest if the injury will undermine your ability to work and provide a fact-based opinion on the amount of predicted economic losses that will ensue over the course of your life. An expert in mental health may be needed to establish a degree of emotional and psychological harm that was suffered, helping to put a monetary value to less tangible non-economic losses.

Provide leverage to settle early

A knowledgeable expert witness with ample trial experience can speed up the litigation process considerably. In some personal injury claims, the defendants will settle based solely upon the expert’s report. This leverage can help plaintiffs resolve their claims sooner rather than later and avoid lengthy trial proceedings.

Consult with a Louisiana personal injury attorney

As a veteran Louisiana personal injury lawyer, Bart Bernard realizes how instrumental expert witnesses are to prove liability and maximize the value of a claim. We have worked with some of the most respected experts to help our clients win the compensation they need and deserve.

If you’ve been hurt in an accident, call 900-9000 for more information on pursuing a legal claim with a strong advocate who gets result. The consultation is free and all injury claims are taken on a contingency basis. 

Read More on the Role of an Expert Witness:

  1. Cornell Law, Expert Witness https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/expert_witness
  2. Legal Dictionary, Expert Witness https://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Expert+witnesses
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6 Types of Offshore Oil Rig Accidents

April 4, 2018 Maritime 0 Comments

Bart Bernard Maritime AccidentLarge offshore oil rigs can be extremely dangerous places for workers. We have only to think of the Deepwater Horizon accident and spill in 2010, which killed 11 people and is etched on American history as one of the worst industrial accidents ever, to realize how catastrophic these events can be.

What are the most common types of accidents on offshore oil rigs? According to the United States Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), 428 injuries were reported on offshore oil rigs during 2017.

Most Common Types of Oil Rig Accidents

Here are the 6 most common causes of offshore oil rig accidents:

  1. Lifting problems (126 out of the 428 incidents in 2017)
  2. Fires and explosions (73 incidents in 2017)
  3. Evacuations and musters (53 incidents last year)
  4. Release of gas (16 incidents in 2017)
  5. Collisions (11 incidents in 2017)
  6. Loss of well control (2 accidents in 2016)

In early December, the BSEE reported a fatality onboard the Petrobras 10,000 due to a worker being trapped between the loading platform of a skate and a stanchion.

Unfortunately, these accidents can cause injuries ranging from disfigurement to broken bones. Many of them could have been prevented.

Both the Federal and state governments have compensation plans to reimburse workers for medical bills and time off from work due to an accident. But sometimes the compensation offered to injured oil rig workers isn’t enough to cover medical bills and other expenses stemming from the accident. If you’re struggling to recover financially after a drilling rig injury, or if you suspect negligence was a contributing factory to your injury, contact Louisiana offshore oil rig accident attorney Bart Bernard.

Bart will fight with you every step of the way for fair compensation for damages such as economic loss, retraining if you can no longer work at your old occupation, as well as pain and suffering, especially if negligence played a role in your accident.

Speak Today with a Louisiana Offshore Oil Rig Accident Lawyer

Accidents and fatalities on an offshore oil rig can be followed by months of navigating a complicated set of benefits, determining what actually happened and who was a fault, and even job loss. Louisiana offshore oil rig accident lawyer Bart Bernard can help ensure that your claim is fully investigated, that any negligence on the part of other parties is brought to light, and that you receive just compensation under the law. Call today for a free, no-obligation case review!

Additional Resources:

  1. 12 Types of Maritime Accidents. Marine Insight. https://www.marineinsight.com/marine-safety/12-types-of-maritime-accidents/
  2. United States Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE). Stats & Facts. Offshore Incident Statistics. https://www.bsee.gov/stats-facts/offshore-incident-statistics
  3. United States Department of Labor. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Safety Hazards Associated with Oil and Gas Extraction Activities. https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/oilgaswelldrilling/safetyhazards.html#explosions.
  4. United States Department of Environmental Protection (EPA). Deepwater Horizon – BP Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill. https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/deepwater-horizon-bp-gulf-mexico-oil-spill
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Why 18-Wheelers Are So Dangerous

March 29, 2018 Truck Accidents 0 Comments

Driving down the freeway near an 18-wheeler can make anyone feel a little nervous and the uneasy feeling is not unfounded. There are more than a quarter of a million crashes involving semi trucks and passenger vehicles annually and it is the occupants of the smaller vehicles that typically bear the brunt of the collision — sometimes suffering catastrophic injuries.

Passenger cars outnumber semi trucks on the road but more than one out of every ten traffic fatalities involves a commercial truck. Given the size difference between commercial trucks like semi tractor-trailers and passenger cars and trucks, it is no surprise that the smaller vehicles are at a disadvantage in a crash.

Here are some of the factors that make 18-wheelers a danger on the roads.

Factors that make 18-wheelers dangerous

It is hard to overlook the size disparity between semi trucks and passenger vehicles. It is this size differential that plays a major role in the typical semi accident.

The maximum-weight 18 wheeler weighs more than four times the average passenger car and can easily be three times as long with a single trailer or much longer with a double trailer. This affects:

  • Stopping distance: A semi truck requires more time and distance to accelerate or stop. It can take an 18-wheeler up to 600 feet to stop completely.
  • Length: The longer length of 18 wheelers compared to small cars presents issues when cars attempt to pass because no matter how many mirrors the truck has, its driver will have blind spots. Blind spots lead to many of the accidents involving large trucks.
  • Center of gravity: The high center of gravity on the tractor-trailers makes them less stable and more difficult to maneuver.

These characteristics are related to some of the more prevalent causes of semi truck accidents. They can lead to:

  • Jackknife accidents: The swivel point connecting the tractor to the trailer can lead to a jackknife due to the braking pattern, load distribution, or some other factor where the driver loses control.
  • Rollovers: Rollovers can have several causes, including when the front wheels turn more quickly than the rear containing the cargo. They are more common when the load is full and the truck is speeding.

Many 18-wheeler crashes can be prevented through careful actions. By avoiding improper loading of cargo, staying up-to-date on truck maintenance, diligently taking care of mechanical issues, and preventing driver fatigue, the effects of the truck size can minimized.

Legal advocacy in Baton Rouge and Lafayette

Lawsuits involving commercial truck accidents can be very specialized, calling into question scientific theories over how the accident occurred; liability of individuals and businesses who owned, leased, or loaded the truck; and even the scope and extend of injuries suffered. It is crucial to have a lawyer like Bart Bernard, who has already helped many victims of serious accidents secure the compensation they deserve.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a crash with a semi truck, be sure to speak with an 18 wheeler accident lawyer in Louisiana. Bart Bernard has offices in Baton Rouge and Lafayette, Louisiana; call today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

Additional 18-wheeler accident resources:

  1. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Large Truck and Bus Crush Facts, https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/data-and-statistics/large-truck-and-bus-crash-facts
  2. Nationwide, How to Share the Road with Semi Trucks, https://blog.nationwide.com/driving-near-trucks-highway/

 

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