Archive for March, 2015

Mississippi BP Oil Spill Attorneys Say Oil Spill May Affect Fertility

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

When the BP oil spill happened in April of 2010, residents of coastal communities like Gulfport, Mississippi were understandably curious about what was going on. After all, it was all over the news, and for at least a few days, the beaches remained open. Some people actually went in the water, but most people, including one mother from Gulfport, just walked along the beach. Eventually, the beaches were closed and people were prohibited from going on the beach or in the water.

The effects of the BP oil spill have been disastrous and far-reaching. Gulfport is an area that was heavily affected by the spill. It makes sense, then, to wonder whether the people who walked on Gulfport’s beaches or swim in the water there in the days after the spill have experienced any illnesses or injuries because of their exposure to oil and oil spill cleanup agents like Corexit.

Unfortunately, it seems as though at least some people in the Gulfport area who were exposed to oil and or oil spill cleanup materials have had health problems that are likely to have been caused by the spill. A mother from Gulfport, who had been in good health with no fertility problems prior to the oil spill, suffered from devastating fertility problems after she was exposed to oil and oily residue on the beach in the days following the spill. She was accustomed to taking walks down by the beach, and in the days following the oil spill, she noticed that there was a lot more oily stuff on the beach than there had ever been before. It was much different from the occasional tar balls that would normally be found along the beach, and she had to use gasoline to remove the oily material from her skin.

The woman, who had had a healthy pregnancy and gave birth to a healthy baby boy a few years before the spill, experienced thirteen miscarriages before she conceived again. She constantly felt ill. Her doctors could not determine what was causing her miscarriages. When she was finally able to conceive, her daughter was born with severe health problems including kidney failure and thyroid trouble, among other things.

When the woman pursued a claim for damages against BP, her claim was denied. Supposedly, she had not sufficiently demonstrated that there was a cause and effect relationship between the oil spill and the health problems that she and her daughter have suffered. She had taken pictures of the rashes that the oily residue had caused on her skin, and of how her skin looked burned after she removed it. Her daughter was born with a multitude of health problems. The woman has even had her blood tested, and there are high levels of VOCs in her body.

Barrett Law PLLC:  BP Oil Spill Attorneys Helping Spill Victims Throughout Mississippi

The BP oil spill caused a great deal of damage, and people have suffered many types of injuries and losses. If you have suffered an injury or loss because of the BP oil spill and you have not yet received compensation, the Mississippi BP Oil Spill Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC can help.  Our knowledgeable attorneys have assisted many oil spill victims, and we are here to help you.  Call the compassionate and dedicated oil spill attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC today at 1 (800) 707-9577, to schedule your free, initial consultation.

Mississippi Whistleblower Attorney Talks about Investigations into DuPont Chemical Exposures

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

An environmental whistleblower has alleged that sulfur trioxide, a poisonous gas, has been leaking continuously from a DuPont chemical plant for the past three years, and that DuPont did not report those leaks as required by law. The whistleblower alleges that DuPont used plastic tubes and duct tape to temporarily fix the leaks instead of shutting the plant down for a long enough time in order to perform proper and lasting repairs. The whistleblower alleges that the leaks should have been reported to the Environmental Protection Agency under the Toxic Substance Control Act, but that they were not reported because the company wanted to avoid being fined for the chemical releases by the federal government.

DuPont has denied the whistleblower’s allegations and claims that the plant is tightly regulated by state and federal agencies. It further states that no proof of harm from the alleged releases can be obtained. This whistleblower trial is the latest legal action which calls DuPont’s safety record into question. DuPont has reported thirty four accidents involving toxic releases and at least eight fatalities at its American plants since the year 2007. Last year, four workers at another DuPont plant died after they were exposed to methyl mercaptan. Federal and state officials are still investigating the deaths of those workers.

The current whistleblower lawsuit uses the provisions of the False Claims Act in a novel way, to address a situation in which there is alleged to have been a lack of environmental reporting by a company in order to avoid fines. In cases like this, a whistleblower can recover their court costs and also win a share of the government’s recovery, if the government is awarded damages because of the evidence that the whistleblower supplied. In this case, the whistleblower is someone who previously served DuPont for fourteen years as the chair of the plant’s Safety, Health and Environment Committee. He believes that a company manual required him to report chemical releases, such as the aforementioned leaks, as required by the Toxic Substance Control Act. He claims that he made multiple reports to his supervisors about the leaks, but the plant manager advised him to keep the information inside the company. His claim is supported by photos and videos, testimony from other senior plant employees, and even an audio tape of the plant manager warning employees not to discuss emissions with outside agencies.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Standing up for Mississippi Whistleblowers  

If you exposed the wrongdoing of your employer to your detriment, the Mississippi Whistleblower Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC are here to help you pursue a whistleblower claim.  Our attorneys know how to guide you through the whistleblower claims process and towards full financial recovery for the various types of losses and damages that you have experienced as a result of your brave actions.  Please call the knowledgeable whistleblower attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC today at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule your free, initial consultation.

Mississippi Trucking Accident Attorneys Discuss Delivery Truck Accidents

Sunday, March 29th, 2015

A tragic accident claimed the life of a FedEx delivery truck driver earlier this month. The early morning accident occurred after a car traveling on I-20 hit the back of a tractor trailer and became disabled. The car stalled in the right lane of I-20, and the FedEx truck hit it. The impact of the crash sent the FedEx truck through the railing of a bridge, and it fell about forty feet before landing upside down next to a set of railroad tracks and catching fire.

Delivery trucks are on the road at all hours of the day and night. Just like every other vehicle, there is always the risk that a delivery truck will be involved in an accident. When a delivery trucks is involved in an accident, there is a high probability that serious injury, large amounts of property damage, and even death could result. Delivery trucks are smaller than eighteen wheelers, but they can be surprisingly heavy. For example, the FedEx truck that was involved in the aforementioned fatal accident was carrying just under nine thousand pounds of paint, in addition to the weight of the truck itself.

The size and weight of delivery trucks often means that they will cause more damage than passenger vehicles do when they are involved in an accident. The design features of delivery trucks which make it easy for their drivers to get in and out of their vehicles quickly pose a unique risk to delivery truck drivers, increasing the risk that they will be ejected from the vehicle in the event of a collision. Also, some the people who drive delivery trucks are under qualified for that type of work, or they have not had the proper training.

The companies that own large fleets of delivery trucks are aware that accidents are a part of doing business. They have developed comprehensive plans for dealing with accidents involving their trucks. Trucking companies’ plans for dealing with delivery truck accidents often involve sending an accident response team to collect information from the accident scene right away. The insurance companies that represent package delivery companies also try to get as much information as they can about delivery truck crashes as soon as possible, so that they can use that information to support their positions in regards to any claims that may arise out of the accidents.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Representing Trucking Accident Victims Across the State of Mississippi

Delivery truck accidents can cause a great deal of injury and loss.  If you have been injured or if you have lost a loved one in a delivery truck accident in the state of Mississippi, the Mississippi Trucking Accident Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC can help.  We help accident victims obtain full compensation for their injuries, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.  Call the skilled, compassionate, and dedicated Mississippi Trucking Accident Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC today at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule your free consultation.

Mississippi Whistleblower Attorney Says KiOR May Have Misled Mississippi into Lending Millions

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

The billionaire who funded a now- bankrupt biofuel firm is being sued by the state of Mississippi because the state believes that he, along with others, intentionally misrepresented the biofuel firm’s chances for success to the state and convinced the state to loan the company seventy five million dollars.

The lawsuit alleges that billionaire Vinod Khosla and others knew that KiOR’s technology, which produces crude oil from wood, did not perform nearly as well as they had represented that it did. The lawsuit alleges that KiOR fraudulently stated that sixty seven gallons of bio crude had been produced from each ton of dry wood that was burned in the company’s Texas demonstration plant. The actual bio crude yield at the Texas facility was closer to between thirty and forty gallons of bio crude per ton of dry wood. The Mississippi lawsuit also alleges that Khosla and others knew that the company was not a commercially viable operation, and that it would never be a commercially viable operation, even though they confidently represented it as such. The Mississippi lawsuit against Khosla also alleges that KiOR’s management team engaged in behavior that was aimed at silencing the voices of internal critics who questioned the numbers that the company was providing to the state and to its investors.

Shareholders are also suing the bankrupt company, and a former board member has filed a whistleblower lawsuit. The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating these claims. In 2013, a class-action lawsuit was filed against KiOR by investors, claiming that the biofuel firm’s potential for economic success had been intentionally misrepresented, which seems nearly identical to the fraudulent misrepresentation that is alleged to have happened in Mississippi.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Fighting for the Freedoms of Whistleblowers across the State of Mississippi

When a company is engaging in activities that are against the law, they expect their employees to just go along with it. Employees should not be expected to stand back and let illegal activities take place or participate in illegal activities themselves in order to keep their jobs. Whistleblowers stand up for what is right when they take action to expose what is going on that is wrong. Unfortunately, although the activities of whistleblowers benefit everyone, whistleblowers may be harmed by those who their actions threaten to expose.  Fortunately, the state provides protection to individuals who face these types of situations at work and decide to take action to expose the illegal activity. If you are a whistleblower who has suffered from any sort of retaliatory action, the Mississippi Whistleblower Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC would like to assist you.  Our attorneys know that whistleblower lawsuits can be complicated, and we will lead you through the complexities and towards a full recovery for any losses that you experienced because of your lawful actions.  Call the dedicated whistleblower attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC today at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule your free, initial consultation.

Mississippi Worker’s Compensation Attorneys Talk About Farming Accidents

Monday, March 16th, 2015

Many farmers enjoy what they do, even though they know that farming is very dangerous work. There are many risks in the farm work environment, and accidents that cause severe injury or death are not uncommon. From accidents involving large, heavy animals to accidents involving machinery, danger is everywhere on the farm. Drainage ditches, water storage ponds, and manure lagoons create drowning risks. Fall hazards are everywhere, and some of them, including silos and grain bins, even create a risk of entrapment and suffocation in addition to the injuries that a worker could sustain in a fall.

Some farm-related injuries, like tractor roll-overs, are preventable. Unfortunately, not all farms use equipment that has the latest safety features, like devices which can prevent injuries and death from tractor roll-over accidents. Farm equipment causes many injuries, and older pieces of machinery may not have proper safety guards. Some farm workers operate dangerous machinery without proper training. Also, regular maintenance and safety checks that could prevent equipment failure and equipment-related injuries are sometimes overlooked when there is a lot of work to do.

Farm workers are also at risk for chronic injuries. Exposure to noxious gases and dust can cause lung diseases. Pesticides and other chemicals found in farm environments can cause cancer and other health problems. Heavy lifting and repetitive motion can cause chronic pain and musculoskeletal disorders.

The physical conditions of farm work environments are not the only dangers that are present there. There are other challenges which may make it difficult for farmers to work safely. For example, time constraints imposed by nature create pressure for farm workers to complete tasks like planting and harvesting within limited windows of opportunity. Sometimes, weather conditions reduce the available time even more, giving farmers even fewer days to complete time-sensitive tasks. These time-related job pressures can lead to long work hours and fatigue, which can increase the risk of accidents and injuries.

Some farm workers are more likely to be involved in workplace accidents than others. Interestingly enough, these workers, who are often under fifteen years of age or over sixty five, are not often found in other types of work environments. The laws that regulate farming permit these individuals to work on farms, even though they might not qualify for other non-farm work opportunities.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Assisting Mississippi Farm Workers With Workers’ Compensation Claims

The experienced Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC provide top-quality legal assistance to injured farm employees across the state.  At Barrett Law PLLC, we understand how hard it is for many farm workers face to obtain full coverage for their work related injuries.  We are committed to helping you get the results you need from the complex workers’ compensation process by pursuing satisfactory resolution of your workers’ compensation claim while you work on making a full physical recovery.  Call the dedicated workers’ compensation attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC today at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule your free, initial consultation.

Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorney Discusses Steps to Avoid an Accident

Monday, March 9th, 2015

Whenever you get in your car and drive anywhere, you share the road with other drivers. Sometimes, you may not even notice the other vehicles on the road because there are so few of them. If you are driving in traffic, though, you are sure to see vehicles all around you. This can feel uncomfortable because there is not much room for vehicles to maneuver. It is not surprising that vehicles traveling in heavy traffic occasionally collide with each other. Sometimes, one or more additional vehicles will hit the vehicles that were involved in the original collision. When this happens, it is called a chain reaction accident or a pile-up accident.

Traffic is not the only thing that can cause a chain reaction accident. They can also happen in bad weather, when road conditions are slippery and visibility is poor. Pile-up accidents caused by distracted driving can even happen on sunny, dry days on roads with few cars.

One important step you can take to avoid becoming caught up in an already-existing accident is to maintain an awareness of your surroundings and move over whenever you see a vehicle stopped in the road or on the shoulder. Also, always adjust your driving to the weather and the road conditions. Rain, fog, snow, and sleet affect both traction and visibility. Failing to adjust your speed and driving style under those conditions not only increases your risk of having an accident, it increases the risk that you will not see a disabled vehicle or accident that is is already in the roadway and that you will collide with it. Adjusting your driving gives you a better chance of avoiding a pile-up crash because you have more time to respond to things like accidents, animals, or traffic that has slowed down or stopped.

Following at a safe distance is another way to reduce the risk that you will get caught up in a pile-up accident. A gap of one car length for every ten miles per hour of your travel speed can enable you to see what is going on in front of your vehicle in enough time to respond to it and avoid a collision.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Serving the Victims of Mississippi Car Accidents and Their Families  

Sometimes, even drivers who follow all of the safe driving tips listed above have accidents, including chain reaction accidents. If you have been injured or someone that you love has been killed in a pile-up accident, it is important that you speak with a knowledgeable and compassionate automobile accident attorney as soon as you can. Your automobile accident attorney can accurately calculate the amount of damages that you have suffered as a result of the accident, and they can help you to pursue the financial recovery that you deserve. The experienced and dedicated Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorney at Barrett Law PLLC are here to help you. Please call us today, at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule your free, initial consultation.

Mississippi Whistleblower Attorney Says Government May Have Been Defrauded After Katrina

Sunday, March 8th, 2015

State Farm has been ordered to pay legal fees and damages of three million dollars to two whistleblowers who called attention to the insurer’s fraudulent actions after Hurricane Katrina. The two whistleblowers, who are sisters, worked for a company that was hired as an independent contractor for State Farm. As part of their work, they visited homes to prepare damage assessments.

The sisters alleged that State Farm committed fraud against the National Flood Insurance Program by blaming damage to homes on the storm surge, which is covered by the National Flood Insurance Program, instead of on wind, which would be covered by the insurance policies that they had issued. The sisters’ case was limited to one property that they had worked on and therefore had acquired personal knowledge of. In that case, the National Flood Insurance Program paid the homeowners two hundred and fifty thousand dollars that was categorized by State Farm as flood damage. State Farm also paid the homeowners a much lower amount, saying that their payment was for the portion of the damages caused by wind. After the fraud was exposed, the insurance giant was ordered to repay the government for the two hundred and fifty thousand dollars that the NFIP had paid to the homeowners, in addition to the damages and attorneys’ fees due the whistleblowers.

It is important to note that the sisters claim that the case which they were directly involved in was not an isolated incident, and that State Farm had a widespread practice of doing the same thing for other claims on properties along the Mississippi Coast after hurricane Katrina. State Farm has filed a counterclaim against the whistleblowers, alleging that they violated the law by taking company files, and that counterclaim is pending.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Protecting the Rights of Mississippi Whistleblowers

Insurance fraud can cost homeowners money, in the form of higher premiums for everyone. When the government is defrauded, public funds are used to pay for damages that should have been paid for by a private company. The whistleblowers who exposed State Farm’s fraudulent handling of one hurricane damage claim have opened the door to investigation into whether other claims were handled properly. Hurricane Katrina cost the government a lot of money, and it is important that funds are repaid if it is determined that private insurers did not bear their fair share of the burden. It is important that people who have information about other situations in which similar instances of insurance fraud may have occurred bring that information to the attention of those who can investigate the situation further.

If you have already become a whistleblower, you may be the target of retaliatory action. The Mississippi Whistleblower Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC are here to help you.  Our attorneys have experience with navigating the complexities of whistleblower lawsuits. They can help you pursue recovery for the losses that you have experienced as a result of your lawful actions.  Call the compassionate and dedicated whistleblower attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC today at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule your free, initial consultation.

Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorneys Explain Why You Need an Automobile Accident Attorney

Friday, March 6th, 2015

After you have been involved in a Mississippi automobile accident, you have a couple of options. You could pursue a claim for damages through your insurance company. You could also contact a Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorney and let them pursue a claim for damages on your behalf. It is possible that you could successfully pursue a claim for damages and obtain compensation for the injuries and damage that you have sustained on your own. Unfortunately, many people who start out pursuing automobile accident claims on their own are not able to obtain the results that they deserve. Whether you have just had an accident and you are wondering what to do or you are working on pursuing a claim for damages and wondering whether things might go more smoothly if you were to retain an attorney, this article is for you. It is always a good idea to enlist the aid of a Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorney in pursuing a claim for damages after an automobile accident for a number of reasons.

One reason why it is important to contact an attorney right away is that people who are represented by attorneys in automobile accident cases often obtain more favorable recoveries than those who resolve their claims on their own, even after accounting for attorneys’ fees. Your attorney can prevent you from accepting a settlement offer that is too low by helping you to understand what your claim is truly worth. Many accident victims accept settlement offers that are inadequate because they do not know that they are free to reject them if they believe that they are too low to compensate them for the full extent of their damages. Your attorney has handled many automobile accident cases, so they understand how to calculate damages accurately. When you know what your case is worth, you have a point of reference from which to judge the adequacy of any settlement offers that are extended to you.

Obtaining a successful resolution of an automobile accident claim may require quite a bit of time and effort. Between negotiating with the insurance company about the amount of damages to communicating with the insurance company and evaluating proposed settlement offers, the time required can really add up. Your life is probably already very busy, and you probably do not have time to wait on hold to speak to someone from the insurance company or to write a follow up letter or email after your first one went unanswered for weeks. If an attorney is making calls and writing letters on your behalf, the insurance company is likely to respond faster because they know that you are poised to litigate your claim if need be.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Incredibly Effective Legal Representation for Mississippi Car Accident Victims  

If you have been injured, or if you have lost a loved one in a Mississippi automobile accident, the Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC want to help you. We will work hard to get you the recovery that you deserve, as you focus your energy on healing from your injuries or helping your family as they mourn their loss. Call the experienced automobile accident attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC today at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule your free consultation.

Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorneys Talk About Car Crash Injuries

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

Automobile accident victims experience many different types of injuries. Some types of injuries are even known as being associated with car accidents, because car accident victims are so frequently affected by them. Unfortunately, not all of these injuries are easy to recognize. For this reason, all automobile accident victims should get examined by a doctor as soon as possible after the crash, even if they do not feel hurt.

Neck injuries are a noticeable and ubiquitous car accident injury. Neck injuries are often caused by car accidents because the force of their vehicle colliding with another vehicle or an object stops the vehicles suddenly, causing the heads of people inside the vehicle to violently snap forwards and then back. That type of movement causes whiplash or neck strain, and people who are injured in this manner can experience long recovery times and long-lasting pain.

Automobile accident victims frequently experience back injuries. Back injuries can range from minor injuries with a short recovery time, to severe injuries that require surgery and can affect a victim’s mobility and quality of life for a very long time.

Concussions are another common automobile accident injury, and they can be hard to spot. Open head wounds or skull fractures are both noticeable and painful. However, people who have concussions and may not notice any signs or symptoms of their injuries until a week or more after an accident. Concussions are serious injuries, and the longer they are left untreated, the more damage they are likely to cause.

Facial injuries happen often in car accidents. During a crash, an accident victim’s face may come into contact with the dashboard, the window, the steering wheel, or any number of other hard or sharp objects. When this happens, victims may experience facial bruises, fractures, and cuts which can be minor, moderate, or severe.

The emotional distress that many accident victims experience is also an injury, albeit one that some accident victims find it difficult to discuss with their doctors. Accidents can force people to make sudden changes to their daily lives, and these sudden changes can be difficult to deal with. From learning to live with a debilitating injury to being suddenly unemployed and facing a lengthy recovery before you can return to work, it is not surprising that accident victims suffer emotionally. Emotional injuries like anxiety and depression can cause a great deal of suffering, and they can last for quite some time. Victims who are involved in accidents where they survived and other people died are the most likely to suffer severe emotional damage, but any anyone who has been in an accident is at risk.

Barrett Law PLLC: Dedicated to the Needs of Mississippi Car Accident Victims  

Automobile accidents can cause many different kinds of injuries, and even death. If you have been injured, or if you have lost a loved one in an accident, the Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC are here to help you. We will aggressively pursue financial recovery that meets your needs, so that you can focus on the important work of healing from your injuries. Call the experienced automobile accident attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC today at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule your free, initial consultation.

Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorneys Talk about Accidents Involving Animals

Sunday, March 1st, 2015

When a car, truck, or SUV hits an animal, the results can be devastating and deadly. Approximately one and a half million motor vehicle accidents involving animals happen on American roads each year. Many of these accidents happen after dark, when it is harder for drivers to see animals. Some animals are more active at night, which also increases the risk of accidents. Dusk and dawn are other peak times for vehicle-animal collisions because of the activity patterns of other animals. There are also seasonal variations in the number of animal accidents due to migration, hunting seasons, mating, and other events which affect the movements of animals throughout their habitats. The weight and size of some animals can cause an enormous impact when they collide with a vehicle. During a collision, if the animal is tossed through the air, it can crash through the windshield or even flatten the roof of the car. When this happens, serious injuries and fatalities are likely to result.

Animals can be present anywhere along the road. Deer are commonly seen where there are open fields. In areas where there are trees or other tall plants along the road, animals can be hard to see until they are actually in the road. Also, some animals, like deer, are often found in groups. If you are driving and you see a deer, carefully scan the area for others that may be nearby.

If you cannot avoid hitting an animal that is in the road, do your best to hit it from an angle. This increases the chance that it will be deflected away from your car instead of into the air. If you hit an animal with your car, there is likely to be extensive damage to your car. Depending upon the terms of your car insurance policy, some or all of the damage and injuries which were caused by the animal-related accident may be covered by insurance. Sometimes, claims for damages in accidents that were caused by animals will not be paid by insurers unless there is a police report available. It is a good idea to call the police after an accident involving an animal anyways, because the animal must be removed from the roadway. Do not try to move dead or injured animals out of the road yourself, as it is very dangerous to do so.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Top Quality Legal Representation for the Victims of Mississippi Car Accidents    

Car accidents involving animals often result in both the driver and any passengers being severely injured or killed.  If you have been injured, or if you have lost a loved one in an accident involving a wild or domestic animal, the Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC want to help you. We will work hard to obtain recovery that meets your needs, while you focus on the important work of healing from your injuries or helping your family as they mourn their loss. Call the experienced automobile accident attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC today at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule your free consultation.