chantix recall

Chantix Voluntary Recall

Chantix has been the go-to drug for 15 years for people finally trying to end their cigarette addiction. The Pfizer drug is taken for up to 24 weeks and works by blocking receptors in the brain that make the smoker associate nicotine with pleasure.

Eventually, the smoker feels less of an urge to smoke, and the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal decrease.

Chantix, which has always been controversial, has reached its last stumbling block. On September 16, drugmaker Pfizer announced it would recall Chantix (varenicline), both 0.5 mg and 1 mg tablets.

Patients are urged to seek an alternative medication.


The recall is due to nitrosamine, N-nitroso-varenicline, found in the tablets above the federal acceptable intake limits. Long-term exposure to nitrosamine, N-nitroso-varenicline is linked to a potential cancer risk in humans.

Nitrosamines are ubiquitous – found in grilled meats, food, dairy products, cigarette smoke, drinking water, and vegetables. They have no use in industry but are sometimes found in processed foods, likely resulting from a reaction between nitrates and nitrites. They are thought to be a disinfection byproduct and are considered a potent carcinogen that may produce cancer in the lung, brain, liver, kidney, esophagus, bladder, stomach, and sinus.

The U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is between a rock and a hard place. Smoking is a known environmental carcinogen, and Chantix does seem to help smokers quit. Twenty-two percent of smokers quit smoking after 12 months on Chantix, which was slightly better than other nicotine replacements.

Tobacco use causes more than seven million deaths a year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports more than 16 million Americans live with a disease caused by smoking.

Controversial History

Chantix has been linked to aggressive behavior, psychiatric events, and depression since entering the U.S. market.

When the Institute for Safe Medical Practice (ISMP) found Chantix had more adverse events than any other drug on the market, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released its health advisory that air traffic controllers and pilots were banned from using the drug. Truck drivers were banned from its use, as were members of military missile crews.

The ISMP found that Chantix’s outbursts consistently had three characteristics: senseless and unpredictable violence and the victim was often chosen at random. People with no history of violence perpetrated the violence.

Chantix was blamed for the 2007 death of Carter Albrecht, a Texas musician who began experiencing hallucinations after drinking and taking Chantix during a violent altercation with a neighbor.

The shooting led to the black box warning on the label of Chantix in 2009 about hostility, aggression, depression, and suicidal thoughts. A black box is the most serious warning issued by the FDA.

The black box warning stayed in place until the FDA reviewed the results of an 8,000-person study that downplayed any psychiatric side effects among the users of Chantix, comparing them to those experienced by people using a nicotine patch. The FDA decided the black box warning could be removed.

In 2020, Pfizer sales for Chantix totaled $919 million.

Lawsuits were filed across the country over Chantix and its side effects, including suicidal thoughts, hostility, depression, and hallucinations. The victims allege the drug was not tested for mental health concerns before entering the market, even though Pfizer knew the potential for changes in behavior.

An MDL was formed in the Northern District of Alabama and dismissed in 2014 after a settlement of $300 million to about 2,900 plaintiffs.

The Recall
This summer, Pfizer paused the distribution in July, recalling 12 lots of the drug over the presence of nitrosamines. By August, another four batches were recalled. Safety monitoring had uncovered the carcinogen in the tablets.

By September, Pfizer voluntarily recalled Chantix 0.5 mg and 1 mg tablets that were put on the market from May 2019 to September 2021.

In explaining the move, Pfizer said its recall was precautionary. The company posted on its website:

“Chantix has a safety profile that has been established over 15 years of marketing authorization and through a robust clinical program,” “Pfizer believes the benefit/risk profile of Chantix remains positive…. People who smoke cigarettes are 15 to 30 times more likely to get lung cancer than people who do not smoke.”

There is believed to be no immediate risk to smokers who are still taking Chantix.

The FDA updated the recall in September, urging patients to continue taking their medication until they find a suitable replacement. Fearing a shortage, the FDA held that varenicline could continue to be distributed if the N-nitroso-varenicline levels fell between 37 ng per day but below 185 ng per day.

In Canada, Apotex distributed varenicline (generic Chantix) can now be imported in the U.S. for the interim. The FDA has opted to become flexible, allowing N-nitroso-varenicline up to 185 ng per day to avoid shortages or have patients return to smoking.

It’s unclear if this recall will become a permanent one or if Pfizer will once again start production. There are no reports of patients being harmed by the nitrosamines.

Manufacturers must follow the FDA guidelines on making and testing medications for nitrosamine impurities.

Other Drugs

The recall is not dissimilar from the Zantac recall from April 2020, where unsafe N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) levels were found. That chemical is also associated with cancer.

Studies at the time showed that levels of the carcinogen could increase over time and when exposed to heat.

Blood pressure drugs valsartan and losartan also contain nitrosamines and have been recalled.

Lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturer claiming a manufacturing defect and a failure to warn. Those cases are currently consolidated in MDL #2875 in New Jersey District Court.



Science Direct


Wall St Journal


P & G Personal Care Products Sued Over Benzene

Procter & Gamble is the latest major company involved in a recall of its products over the chemical benzene. In all, the company is recalling aerosol dry shampoo and conditioners from six of its brands. P&G is just the latest company to find benzene, classified as a human carcinogen, in its products.

The Products

The P&G brands involved in the recall include Aussie, Herbal Essences, Waterless, and Pantene. The Cincinnati-based consumer goods company products appear in a December 17, 2021, notice by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

P & G distributed the products nationwide and online. Consumers can receive reimbursement, and the company suggests you discard the product. Look for the first four numbers of the product code on the bottom of the can. The FDA website gives you the numbers to look for on each product.

These are all aerosol dry conditioner spray products and aerosol dry shampoo spray. Other liquid shampoos and conditioners made by P & G are not part of the recall, nor are hairsprays, styling products, or mousse.

P&G says that previously discontinued aerosol dry shampoos from Old Spice and Hair Food were also found with benzene detected in some products.

What is Benzene?

Consumers use these personal care products daily, increasing the risk of cancers. Because the products are used on the scalp and skin, benzene can absorb into the body, either by direct contact or inhalation. The problem with finding benzene in consumer products is the potential for repeated exposure.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies benzene as a Class A carcinogen produced by the gasoline and crude oil industry. It is found in industry, specifically the manufacture of paints, rubber, plastics, detergents, and lubricants. Car exhaust contains benzene, which is highly flammable.

In the human body, benzene impacts the bone marrow by causing the underproduction of red blood cells. The immune system is damaged, opening up the way for several forms of cancer – Leukemia, AML, Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia, Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia, Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, Multiple Myeloma, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and Myelodysplastic Syndrome.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cites that benzene, present throughout the environment, can cause cancer with repeat exposure. P&G cites the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in saying even daily exposure to benzene, in the levels included in the recalled products, would not be expected to cause illness.

P & G reports it has not received any adverse event reports connected to these recalled products. The company says it is conducting this voluntary recall in an abundance of caution.

How then does benzene get into personal care products?

Benzene is not an ingredient in any recalled products, but P&G says the unexpected levels found came from the propellant that shoots the product out of the can.

In a recent recall of sunscreens, an accredited lab that tests for product quality, Valisure found dozens of sunscreens tested also showed the presence of benzene. The lab said that there is no safe level of benzene that can exist in products.

Valisure indicated that the contamination must have come from the manufacturing process since benzene is not an ingredient in sunscreens.

Voluntary Recall

The products in the recall specifically include:

  • Waterless Dry conditioner
  • Pantene Sultry Bronde All in One Luxury Mist
  • Pantene Smooth Talker Dry Conditioning Oil
  • Pantene Mist Behaving Dry Conditioning Mist
  • Pantene Gold Series
  • Aussie Smooth Vibes Dry conditioner
  • Aussie Petal Soft Dry Conditioner
  • Aussie Sleekend Warrior Dry Conditioner
  • Herbal Essences White Strawberry, Cucumber, Blue Ginger, Dry Shampoo
  • Pantene Dry Shampoo
  • Pantene Never Tell Dry Shampoo
  • Aussie After Hours Dry Shampoo
  • Aussie Tousle Hustle Dry Shampoo
  • Aussie Bounce Back Dry Shampoo
  • Aussie Clean Color Protect Shampoo
  • Aussie Clean Texture Dry shampoo
  • Waterless Dry Shampoo
  • Hair Food Coconut Dry Shampoo
  • Old Spice Fiji Dry Shampoo
  • Old Spice Pure Sport Dry Shampoo

Other Benzene Recalls

Earlier this year, several products were also found to contain benzene. They include five sunscreen products by Coppertone. Johnson & Johnson recalled five of its sunscreens.

Even the product Odor-Eaters, owned by Blistex Inc., was recalled when the foot spray in an aerosol can was contaminated with benzene.

In October, Bayer recalled lots of Lotrimin and Tinactin foot deodorants due to benzene. These products were packaged in aerosol spray cans. Benzene is not an ingredient in any Bayer product.

Hand sanitizers containing benzene were taken off store shelves earlier in the year.

A U.S. PIRG (Public Interest Research Group) spokesperson told CBS News that “Tests for benzene should happen before, not after, products end up on store shelves and in the hands of consumers.”

Isabel Brown continued, “These are products that people use every day, and the health risks increase with prolonged use. Whether it’s an ingredient that the manufacturer adds or not, the fact is that a known carcinogen keeps showing up in aerosol products. This can’t happen again,” Brown added.


In November, a customer filed a proposed class action in federal court against Procter & Gamble Co. in South Florida, alleging Old Space and Secret Aerosol antiperspirants contain benzene.

The case is Bryski v. Procter & Gamble Co., S.D. Fla., No. 0:21-cv-62285, complaint 11/4/21.

The suit follows a November 3, 2021, Citizens Petition filed with the FDA by Valisure, the testing lab. The Valisure petition also sparked at least 17 other federal lawsuits over Old Spice and Secret Powder Fresh in federal court in Cincinnati.

It says Valisure has tested and detected high levels of benzene in certain lots of body sprays.

Benzene should not be used in any personal product or drug product; however, the FDA says if its presence is unavoidable, it should be restricted to under 2 parts per million (PPM).

Valisure says detectable levels of benzene are avoidable because the chemical is not found in a large number of personal and drug products the independent lab tested.






Mesh Docs Held Liable

Before the first pelvic mesh case went to trial, the plaintiff’s lawyers had a question to answer. Would the implanting physician be held liable for medical malpractice alongside the manufacturer for making a defective product?

You would then have a defective product and medical malpractice case to try simultaneously. But that created a problem.

Then doctors could blame the manufacturers of defective mesh. The mesh maker could blame the doctors for a poor placement or nerve injury that caused persistent pain. The jury might become confused and blame neither.

Choosing to simplify these cases, which were being amassed in multidistrict litigation (MDL) in West Virginia, the executive committee of the pelvic mesh MDL decided that the implanting doctors would be brought into the fold to testify against the manufacturers.

Doctors would claim they had no idea that the medical devices were faulty and could cause permanent and life-altering complications. It would make the failure-to-warn physicians (end users) claim that much easier to win instead of getting lost in the blame game – doctors blaming manufacturers, manufacturers blaming doctors.

And in most cases, it had the added benefit of being true.

The pelvic mesh MDL closed to new cases in June 2018 after amassing and settling nearly all 107,000 claims. Now trials for the newly injured will be conducted in individual states. Something else had changed.

Doctors increasingly cannot claim they have no idea that mesh potentially causes injury. There has been mainstream media coverage over the trials and their outcomes for almost a decade.

More than a decade after polypropylene pelvic mesh made it onto the marketplace, it’s a stretch for any doctor to say he has no idea it has the potential to injure patients with mesh erosion, infections, chronic pain, nerve injury, and perforating organs.

Being sued for performing a medical procedure considered the “Gold Standard” is the worst nightmare for doctors, who publicly discussed being hit with medical malpractice suits as early as the 2016 meeting of the American Urogynecologist Society (AUGS).

Now, in a legal precedent, a team of lawyers plans to add medical malpractice claims to the defective product lawsuits filed around the country. There is no faster way to get the attention of implanting physicians and perhaps curtail this largely experimental practice that was cleared for the market with no clinical trials.

Second Wave of Transvaginal Mesh Litigation

The first such lawsuit was filed in August 2019. Dr. Charmaine K. Oladell, M.D., was hit with a lawsuit from a woman injured by a TVT-O sling in Dallas County (Case No. CC-1904584-D). Ethicon (Johnson & Johnson) was the manufacturer of the TVT-O, which was implanted in 2013 in a Texas hospital.

Ethicon was accused of negligence for selling a faulty medical device and failing to warn the end-user, the doctor. Ethicon also faces fraudulent concealment and breach of express warranty.

Dr. Oladell is accused of failing to diagnose nerve complications associated with the mesh and misrepresenting to her patient that a revision surgery removing part of the mesh was the same as complete mesh removal.

TVT-O (transvaginal tape obturator) is one of a family of pelvic meshes made by Ethicon. TVT-O is called a “sling” and treats stress urinary incontinence (SUI). Still, with the TVT-O, the mesh is passed through the obturator space, flush with nerves and considerable potential for injury.

Another TVT-O lawsuit

In June 2021, two gynecologists were hit with medical malpractice lawsuits by a woman who claimed grievous injuries from the implantation of her TVT-O device. The cases were filed in New York (Index No. EF2021-00001618).

The plaintiff alleges the two gynecologists, Dr. John Barrett and Dr. Jonathan Oliva, caused the injuries and then failed to disclose to the woman that the risks of chronic disabling pain were a possibility, failed to foresee the risks, and then failed to deliver care in a timely manner.

Before the lawsuit can be filed, the issue must go before a medical review panel. Regardless of the decision by the review panel, plaintiff attorneys can sue the doctors.


Some members of the American Urogynecologic Society (AUGS) have called to withdraw the TVT-O from the marketplace because of the potential for injury. That’s because doctors should understand that inserting a medical device into the obturator internus muscle can produce a specific neurological pain syndrome that far exceeds what anyone could imagine.

Instead of acknowledging this, the manufacturer refers to this elective procedure as “minimally invasive.”

“Minimally invasive” should not include nerve injuries from adjacent muscles producing catastrophic neuropathic pain syndromes that can happen either immediately after implant or months to years later.

Lawyers recommend you be very selective in the cases you accept and focus on specific neurological injuries following the sling procedure. Combining medical malpractice and defective product cases can result in millions for the plaintiff when considering the amount of care the permanently injured woman will require in the future.

Mesh Makers

Pelvic mesh manufacturers still producing pelvic mesh include Boston Scientific, Coloplast, and Ethicon (Johnson & Johnson).

Lawyers say that even today, mesh makers have not warned physicians about the risk of nerve damage that can occur, even if the pelvic mesh is correctly placed through the obturator.

Even AUGS admitted in a joint position statement with the International Urogynecological Association (IUGA)  that “extra pelvic pain” is possible and has been chronicled in the medical literature as far back as 2010. Specifically, that neuropathic pain caused by the transobturator sling calling it “latent injuries,” may take months to become symptomatic.

Mesh is supposed to be a permanent implant and managing life-altering pain has become the way of life for some women. Neurological injuries following the implantation of a polypropylene sling, combined with medical malpractice and defective product cases, will soon be seen going forward across the country.

The future care of these patients will run into millions of dollars. ##


EIN News me

What Are the Damages for Breach of a Real Estate Sales Contract?

Whether you were in a residential or business contract for a real estate purchase, there are certain damages that could apply if there is a breach of contract. Then, you can rest assured that you won’t have a total loss on your hands and you’ll be able to recoup at least some of your money.

Here are the damages you may be able to expect if you hire a real estate contract lawyer to help you out.

Loss of Bargain Damages

General loss of bargain damages are for a total breach of contract. The damages are the difference between the agreed contract price and the market value of the property on the date in which the breach occurred.

Here’s an example to make this a bit clearer: Let’s say that the seller sold you a property for $200,000 at the time of the total breach. The property was worth $140,000. You, the buyer, who was not responsible for the breach, would be able to potentially recoup $60,000 in losses. If the value of the property had gone up to $250,000 on the date of the breach, if the seller is in total breach, then you could be entitled to $50,000.

Things to Keep in Mind With Bargain Damages

Loss of bargain damages are not always so straightforward. You’ll also need to take into consideration the following:

  • Future market fluctuations are irrelevant when it comes to loss of bargain damages. The person who was not responsible for the breach of contract would only be entitled to the difference between the contract price and the market value of the property on the date that the breach occurred.
  • A seller’s good faith but lack of conveying good title could affect the recovery of loss of bargain damages. If a seller acted in good faith but could not convey satisfactory title, then the courts may differ in their opinion over how to settle the loss of bargain damages. Nearly half of the cases in these circumstances limit the buyer’s recovery to return of earnest money. Plus, the buyer’s other payments with interest and incidental damages like loan application costs, abstract and title examination could be limited as well.

Special Damages

Along with loss of bargain damages, you may be able to recover special damages if there is a breach of contract with the selling or buying of a property. Each of these special types of damages needs to satisfy a foreseeability test, which illustrates that damages were within the contemplation of the contract when the contract was created.

These special damages include:

  • Loss of profit. You may have been looking to purchase a property with the intent of flipping it, selling it or renting it out to make money. You may be able to obtain loss of bargain damages and expenses and loss of profit in some situations. However, it can be very difficult to also receive loss of profit damages, as there are many obstacles you’ll have to overcome. They include foreseeability and reasonable certainty.

The loss of profit must be foreseeable, which means the parties could have contemplated it. This is hotly debated and must be argued in the right way. Reasonable certainty means that the loss of profit needs to be proven with reasonable, and not total certainty. Recovery may be an option if the proof is there, but the courts typically see claiming a total loss of profit as being unreasonable.

  • Expenses in reliance on the contract. If you started spending money to prepare for the real estate purchase or sale when you assumed the contract was in order, then you may be able to recoup some of your expenses. These expenses include, but are not limited to: Appraisals, the cost to travel to and from the property, surveys, document drafting fees, the seller’s eviction of a tenant, title search, expenses for setting up financing, moving in and out of a property, broker’s commissions and refurbishment of the property according to the contract’s requirements.

How a Breach of Contract May Occur

There are different situations in which a breach of contract could occur. For instance, the buyer may not be able to acquire the financing they need by the time of the closing date, and they need to pull out of the sale.

Additionally, a buyer would be in breach of the contract if they do not pay on time; they might not be able to close escrow on the specified and agreed-upon date. There may be a failure to deliver the deed of property in the correct fashion, too.

If you don’t see your situation listed, it could still qualify as a breach of contract. Make sure you get in touch with a real estate contract lawyer to determine the best course of action for your case.

Should Your Injury Lawyer Have Trial Experience?

You were recently injured in an accident, and now you’re wondering where you can turn for help. Thankfully, a personal injury lawyer can represent you in your time of need and get you the settlement you deserve.

The only thing is that you aren’t sure what to look for in an injury lawyer. For instance, should they have trial experience?

Here are the facts about hiring an injury lawyer with trial experience so you can find the right representation to fit your needs.

Trial Experience Isn’t Always Totally Necessary

The truth is that most personal injury cases never reach the trial level. Parties will typically settle prior to going to trial because a court case is costly and time-consuming. Nobody wants to spend all that time or energy in the courtroom. Plus, a trial can delay your settlement – or rob you out of a settlement altogether.

If your personal injury lawyer doesn’t have a lot of trial experience, it doesn’t mean they aren’t qualified to represent you. In fact, it could just mean that they are an expert negotiator, and they settle for clients before ever going to trial. One of the most important factors when deciding to hire a lawyer is whether or not they were able to negotiate fair settlements for their clients in the past. If they were, then you could see their case results and decide if this lawyer is right for you.

When Trial Experience Comes in Handy

While your injury lawyer doesn’t need ample experience in the courtroom, some experience could be helpful for your case. In situations where the responsible party is not willing to settle for a reasonable amount to cover your damages, then you’re going to need a representative who is willing to take your case to trial.

They should have pre-trial experience at the very least, because during the pre-trial process, the responsible party may then decide to settle as it gets closer and closer to the court date.

In an extreme case, where the responsible party doesn’t come around, then you’ll need a lawyer who has worked on injury cases that have gone to trial. You should ask your potential lawyer about their case results when they went to trial to see how it turned out for previous clients.

What to Look for in an Injury Lawyer

Along with asking an injury lawyer about cases they’ve worked on inside and outside of the courtroom and the results of those cases, there are some other questions you should ask them during your initial consultation.

For instance, you should inquire about their fees. The way personal injury lawyers work is they won’t charge you any fees unless they recover damages for you. Then, they will take a percentage of those wins to pay themselves. Learn about the fees upfront so you aren’t surprised when they’re taken out of your settlement.

You can also ask how long a case like yours will typically take. An experienced injury lawyer has likely dealt with cases similar to yours in the past and will be able to give you a rough timeline of how it’ll go. However, keep in mind that you’ll need to be flexible. If some other medical issues come up during your treatment, for example, then your case may take longer. You should never rush trying to get a settlement, because you might not get as much as you deserve.

Along with the time frame, ask about the normal settlement amount for a case like yours. Ask about the damages you could potentially receive, such as compensation for your medical bills, repair to your personal belongings, a loss of wages, loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, and more. Your lawyer should be realistic with you, and not provide you with some high number just to get you to sign on with them.

You’ll want to ask about what your relationship is going to look like as well. Ask your injury lawyer what they need from you and whether or not you have to collect evidence that proves fault in your accident.

Figure out how often they will be available to you; typically, a good injury lawyer will get back to you within 24 hours. Also, inquire whether or not you’ll be working with the lawyer directly, or with an associate or paralegal, or both. You’ll want to know whom you should reach out to in case you need anything.

Finding the Ideal Injury Lawyer for Your Case

While trial experience is a huge plus, it’s not necessarily a deal breaker if your injury lawyer hasn’t gone to trial with most of their cases. As long as they have a list of satisfied clients and the results to back it up, then you know you’re in good hands with your personal injury case.

Evidence Needed to Prove Your Right to Compensation After a Car Accident

After you get into a car accident, you’re understandably disoriented, especially if you got injured. However, unless your injuries are so serious that you need medical attention right away, you should stick around the scene of the accident to collect evidence that it was not your fault. Then, you’ll have a much better chance of retrieving compensation for your damages.

Here is the evidence you should seek out following an accident.

The Other Driver’s Information

First, ask the other driver for their name, phone number, address, and other contact information. Then, gather their insurance information, including the name of their provider and their policy number, and their license plate number as well.

Photographs of the Scene

It’s important to snap photographs of the accident, along with your car and the other driver’s car and license plate. Also, take pictures of any damage to your belongings and visible injuries. If you see surveillance or traffic cameras around, take photos of them so you know their locations and can possibly collect that footage later on to prove your case.

Witness Statements

If there were people who saw what happened, then ask them if they will give you a witness statement. Take down their contact information as well just in case you need to get in touch later on.

Police Record

After your accident, you should call the police right away. You can file a police report, which will serve as strong proof of what happened.

Medical Record

As soon as you’ve wrapped up collecting evidence at the scene, it’s crucial to go to the hospital right away and ask for a full check-up, including X-rays. Let the doctor know about any pain you’re experiencing, even if it’s minor. This is because even a minor injury like whiplash or back pain could end up becoming much worse over time.

It’s important to follow your doctor’s treatment plan, taking medicine they prescribe and going to additional appointments as needed. That’ll show that you are injured and you’re taking your injuries seriously.

What to Do if the Insurance Company Calls

The other driver’s insurance company is likely going to call you very soon after the accident occurs. They’re going to ask you what happened and want you to make a recorded statement. You should decline to do this and not speak about the accident. You also shouldn’t tell them about any injuries.

This is because the insurance company is trying to get information out of you that will make it easier for them to offer you a low settlement. Even if it seems like the settlement that they are providing you is enough, you never know how your injuries will play out.

They could get much worse. And once you are given a settlement, you can’t go back and ask for more. You could get stuck with thousands of dollars in medical expenses with nowhere to turn.

Instead of talking to the insurance company, call up a personal injury lawyer instead.

Why Work with a Personal Injury Lawyer?

A personal injury lawyer will work for you for free, and then if they can get you a settlement, they’ll take a commission from that. The lawyer should tell you ahead of time what their commission is going to be.

An experienced lawyer will know how to deal with insurance companies, who are often aggressive and hard to negotiate with. Your lawyer will know what kind of reasonable settlement to go after, so you have the best chance possible of getting compensation.

Additionally, they will do the legwork in a time when you need to be focused on your healing. They’ll not only negotiate with the insurance company; they will also figure out the damages you are owed and help you collect evidence of the accident. For instance, they’ll call up the hospital to get your medical records and gather footage of the accident if it’s available and they believe it’s crucial to your case.

Some damages you may be eligible for include your medical expenses, loss of wages if you had to take time off work because of your injuries, pain and suffering, damage to your belongings, loss of enjoyment of life, and future medical care, if your injuries were severe.

Will I Have to Go to Court?

Typically, most personal injury cases do not end up in the courtroom. Instead, insurance companies will settle with lawyers, who will then pass on the compensation to their clients. The compensation you receive is going to depend on the extent of your injuries and the damages you can claim.


After an accident, make sure you stick around to gather evidence and seek medical treatment immediately. And at your earliest possible convenience, contact an experienced car accident attorney in your area to discuss your case and become informed of your legal rights and options.


The Ins and Outs of Legally Adopting an Older Child

When a family is looking to adopt a child, they may start with looking for mothers who are about to give birth. Then, they can raise a child from the time it’s born.

However, others would rather adopt an older child. Perhaps they believe there is more of a need to adopt an older child or having an older child in the home would be more conducive to their lifestyle. No matter what the reason, there are challenges parents are going to deal with – as well as a multitude of rewards they will experience as well.

Here are some things to know about legally adopting an older child so you can decide if it’s the right decision for you and your family.

The Challenges and Rewards of Adopting an Older Child

An older child might have been in and out of foster homes where an adoption just didn’t work out. Perhaps they are scarred by their experiences because they’ve been let down so many times before. They might also be abuse survivors and/or contending with the fact that their parents gave them up for adoption in the first place.

It could be more difficult to communicate to an older child that you’re going to love them and care for them, no matter what. If the older child is a teenager, they are coming of age, and dealing with all the normal issues teens face, too.

Additionally, it could be hard for you and the older child to adjust to them coming into your home. Perhaps you have other children or a routine, and they are not having the easiest time fitting into it.

You might have to adjust your expectations as the child gets used to how things work in your home. Remember to be flexible, and don’t hesitate to reach out to professionals like mental health counselors and social workers to help make the transition easier.

All children have love to give and deserve to be loved as well. It doesn’t matter what age your adopted child is; what they want is to feel safe and secure and that they can freely express themselves. They seek out validation from you and want to know you love and respect them.

An older child may have gone through more trauma than an infant, but that doesn’t mean they are incapable of opening up their heart to you and your family. In fact, it may end up being much more rewarding adopting an older child because you know you are truly making a difference in their lives. You are taking them out of a system they felt rejected them and showing them what a warm, loving home looks like. That alone could be worth all the challenges.

Legally Adopting an Older Child

The process for adopting an older child is the same as it would be for adopting a younger child. You will need to go to training, undergo a home study, find a match with the older child and navigate the legal process. Keep in mind that the child’s wishes are going to factor into the decision on whether or not you can adopt them, since they are older.

Each state has different requirements for adopting a child. You’ll need to meet with social workers and fill out various court forms in order to complete the adoption. You could also hire an adoption lawyer to guarantee that you are fulfilling all the legal requirements. Adoption is expensive and time-consuming, and you want to make sure that you aren’t wasting your energy or money. With a lawyer on your side, you can do it the right way the first time around.


While adopting an older child comes with its fair share of challenges, there are so many rewarding upsides as well. This isn’t a decision you take lightly, but when you do decide to do it, make sure you go about it the correct way by following all the legal steps for your state and hiring a lawyer who can help. Then, you can make sure that everything will go as smoothly as possible with your adoption, and you can welcome an older child into your loving home.

If you are considering adoption, the process can be complicated and confusing. Contact an experienced family law attorney in your area to discuss your situation and to get started.

Chevy Bolt Fires

General Motors has recalled the Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles for a second time after two more battery fires erupted in the owner’s cars.

These were vehicles that had allegedly received a fix last November.

Bolt owners are now being warned to park their vehicles outside, limit charging to 90 percent of the battery, and avoid charging them unattended.

The Second Recall

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), along with General Motors, has issued the latest consumer warning.

The Chevy Bolt model years 2017, 2018, and part of 2019 is the exact vehicle recalled initially in November 2020 after a fire erupted in the high-voltage battery pack under a backseat cushion. Almost 51,000 vehicles were affected, and owners were warned any fire could spread throughout the car and possibly cause a structure fire.

Two recent fires sparked this second recall in vehicles that had already received the November fix.

In early July, one of the Chevy Bolt electric vehicles that caught fire belonged to state Rep. Timothy Briglin from Vermont. The vehicle’s interior and some of the exterior were burned in the chemical fire as the battery cells can smoke and ignite internally. In this case, the electrical fire started within the area of the back seat. It is a similar fire to other Bolt EV fires reported to federal regulators.

Briglin had serviced the vehicle during the first recall, an indication the fix didn’t work. The fear is the combustion can cause a structure fire if the car is parked inside.  The other fire occurred in a Chevy Bolt in New Jersey.

In total, there have been nine battery-related fires in GM Bolts in the U.S., according to General Motors.

The first recall for Bolt involved diagnostic software monitoring for the defect and alerting the owners.

With this second recall, GM says it will replace the defective lithium-ion battery modules made by LG Chem. Both companies discovered a “rare manufacturing defect” in some battery modules that had the potential to cause a short and spark a battery fire.

The fix will be free to owners. It affects all BOLT 2017-2019 vehicles, whether or not they received the current software update. Consumers are encouraged to bring their vehicles to the nearest Chevrolet electric vehicle (EV) dealer to obtain the software update, the subject of the first recall.

An estimated 69,000 vehicles are affected globally. GM says it will notify customers when the replacement parts are ready.

GM Recommends

In the meantime, the automakers issued recommendations to Bolt owners.

  • Owners should park their electric vehicles away from their homes due to the fire risk. NHTSA also warned against leaving a vehicle charging overnight.
  • Chevrolet urges Bolt owners to use Hilltop Reserve mode or Target Charge Level to keep the charge under 90 percent. It is recommended you recharge the vehicle after a trip, although owners should not charge their vehicles overnight. Instead, after a charge, unplug the car and park it outside overnight. Leave at least 70 miles in the battery.
  • Bolt owners should visit Enter your 17-digit vehicle identification number to determine if your vehicle is recalled. Call the closest dealership to schedule a free repair. Consumers can also visit or call the helpline at 1-833-EVCHEVY.

If there are additional fires, GM could buy back some of the vehicles to avoid litigation and triggering of state lemon laws.

The Future of EV

Expect a wave of electric vehicles to hit the market soon. Environmentally, an EV lessens our dependence on oil, thereby benefitting the environment. However, the problems linked to lithium-ion batteries and chemical fires remain unresolved.

The infrastructure bill, once it passes, will mark the most significant investment in transit in the history of the country as well as an investment in climate change.

Part of the infrastructure bill will include federal electric vehicles and 500,000 charging stations placed in communities and rural areas. The changes include electric transit busses and school busses resulting in cleaner air.

Tesla has reported the greatest number of fires related to the lithium-ion battery. In one case, a Tesla Model S Plaid reportedly caught fire in Pennsylvania with the driver behind the wheel. The locks malfunctioned, and the driver couldn’t escape the burning vehicle.

That particular Tesla had not been involved in a previous crash, as can happen after an accident when the lithium-ion battery is punctured.

It’s still uncertain whether there are more reports of fires with EVs simply because there are more on the road or if there is a greater risk of fire with EVs than with cars with internal combustion engines.

Also on the drawing board are lithium metal batteries which are beginning to show promise for commercial application.  Its anode is made of pure lithium, which increases energy density and charges much faster. The cathode is positively charged with the electrolyte in the middle. The challenge is to find a stable electrolyte for the new battery. Flammability tests of a novel fluoride electrolyte indicate its less likely to catch fire.

Competitors are joining the estimated $70 billion battery arena, searching for a longer-lasting and safer battery for the upcoming fleet of electric vehicles poised to overtake combustion engines in the U.S.





Washington Post



What Is the Difference Between a Will and a Trust?

Estate planning is an important part of life. If you have a plan in place, you can ensure that your assets will go where you want them to, there will be less of a chance of dispute amongst your loved ones, and you’ll receive the care you need if you get sick.

There are different documents involved, and you may not know the difference between each one. Let’s take a look at the definitions of a will and trust, and what makes them unique.

What Is a Will?

A will is a document you can use to stipulate who will receive your assets when you pass away. It also includes information on who you want to look after your minor children should you die as well as what you want for your funeral. Usually, it is called a testamentary will. With a will, you could ensure that your estate saves money on taxes. It’s best to get an estate planning attorney to help you write your will so that it’s completely legal. If you do it on your own, you could get some information wrong and your heirs will be left scrambling to figure out what course of action to take.

What Is a Trust?

A trust is a document that allows you to transfer your estate to a party authority to oversee your assets for a third party, your beneficiaries. You could create a living trust, which is revocable, because you can change it while you’re alive. As long as you’re alive, you will have ownership over the property in the trust. When you die, your property can immediately go to your beneficiaries.

The Difference Between a Will and a Trust

If you only have a will, your loved ones could have to go through probate, which is a lengthy, time-consuming, and costly court process to make sure that your will is carried out. The probate process is public, which means that anyone can access your will.

You could potentially avoid probate with just a will if you have a small estate; the cutoff to qualify for avoiding probate depends on your state’s laws. On the other hand, a revocable living trust does not need to go through the court system, so it will be private.

A will can be challenged in a court of law, but usually, a trust cannot be. A trust becomes active when you sign it, while a will does not.

Keep in mind that since these are two separate documents, one will not usually override the other. However, if a problem does arise, the living trust will typically override a will.

What Happens if You Don’t Have a Will or a Trust?

If you die without a will or a trust, then the state can come in and determine what will happen to your assets like your bank accounts, properties, assets, and securities. If you have minor children, the state will handle their guardianship as well. Your family could be in court for several months and spend thousands of dollars on legal fees to sort out the situation.

This is why it’s critical to create a will and/or a trust as soon as possible, even if you aren’t a senior citizen. It’s especially important to do this if you have children. Otherwise, your loved one’s lives could become very difficult once you pass away, and your wishes may not be fulfilled.

You should update your will and trust any time there has been a major change in your life. For instance, if you get remarried, you’ll likely want to make sure that your assets go to your children from your first marriage as opposed to your stepchildren. You may also want to remove your ex-spouse from your documents so that they aren’t a beneficiary anymore.

Reviewing your documents periodically, even if you haven’t experienced major life changes, is always a good idea just to make sure everything is correct.

How to Choose Your Heirs and Beneficiaries

Many people will name their spouse and/or children as their heirs and beneficiaries. If your children are under 18 years of age, then they may not be able to gain control of the assets until they turn 18. You could create a trust for them so that they can receive their distributions.

Additionally, you can leave money to a beloved pet so that they will be cared for after you’re gone. You can even stipulate that your money should be donated to a charity or given to a business when you die. It’s up to you.

If you have not set up a will or a trust yet, consult with an estate planning attorney in your local area. An experienced attorney can guide you on what the best move is for you and your loved ones as you plan for the future.

bankruptcy foreclosure

Saving Your Home from Foreclosure During Bankruptcy

The decision to file bankruptcy is a difficult one that often comes after long periods of discussion, tears, and debate. For many people, the toughest part of filing bankruptcy is knowing that they risk losing their family home. This may put you in a position where you need to buy a new home or try to get an apartment, neither of which is easy when you have a fresh new bankruptcy on your record.

If you’re interested in saving your home while still going through the bankruptcy process, it’s time to talk to an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Use our listings to find a good fit in your area.

Using the Automatic Stay to Get Some Breathing Room

When you file bankruptcy, the automatic stay goes into effect. This prevents lenders from continuing to try to collect debt payments from you. This is often a huge relief for debtors who have been hit with dozens of calls every week for past-due debts. Rather than trying to figure out which debts to pay this week and which ones to ignore for another couple weeks, you can focus on getting your bankruptcy paperwork together and moving forward to a fresh start.

This also prevents lenders from attempting to collect on your mortgage debt. If you are already in foreclosure proceedings, this should give you a break from the constant letters and phone calls trying to get you up to date on your mortgage.

However, the automatic stay is only a temporary solution. It will not save your home unless you take further steps. It’s important to consult with a bankruptcy attorney to find out if Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a better option for you.

Keeping Your Home in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

To start, you’ll have to figure out how much home equity you have. The more equity you have, the less likely it is that it will be protected under a bankruptcy exemption. This may allow you to save your home if you are a recent buyer or you still owe a considerable amount on it. However, exemptions vary between states, so it’s important to consult with an attorney in your area.

If the exemption covers your entire equity in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may be able to keep your home. However, if it does not, the home will be sold, and the proceeds will be used to pay off unsecured debt.

To keep your home in this situation, you must be current on house payments and be able to continue making your payments in the future. If you are already in foreclosure proceedings, this may not be an option for you.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy as an Option to Keep Your Home

Chapter 13 bankruptcy has a few more options for homeowners who are behind on house payments or who have too much equity. If you have too much equity in your home, you aren’t automatically forced to sell it and use the proceeds to pay other debts. The trustee will take the nonexempt portion of your equity and require you to pay it back in your repayment plan.

In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must create a repayment plan that is practical for your income level and ability to pay. You can pay back the amount past due on your home over three to five years, which makes this a more viable option for those who are already in foreclosure. Keep in mind, though, that arrears payments are separate from your mortgage. Your payment plan must allow you to make mortgage payments going forward and your past due payments.

Keep in mind that this gives you a fairly narrow path to keeping your home. Should you fall behind on arrears payments or mortgage payments, the mortgage holder may move to restart foreclosure proceedings. Make sure that your payment plan is manageable for your financial situation.

Bankruptcy is a big decision, and it’s not one to tackle on your own. With the assistance of a bankruptcy attorney in your area, you can learn more about state laws regarding exemptions and explore options for keeping your home.