Archive for the ‘Community’ Category

Mississippi’s Toughest Kids

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

Giddens Law Firm participated again this year in the Mississippi’s Toughest Kids golf tournament hosted at Whisper Lake. MTK exists to provide exciting experiences and exploration to children who face serious illnesses, disabilities and special needs.

The Giddens Law firm has sponsored a hole and a team at the tournament for the past two years and is more than happy to participate with this wonderful organization.

Two beneficiaries of MTK.

Two beneficiaries of MTK.

 

Other ways to support MTK

Other ways to support MTK

http://www.mtkfound.com/

Arbitration Agreements: Just Say No

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

In the last twenty years arbitration agreements have become increasingly popular in the United States. The agreements are pervasive across any contract between individuals and companies and have been promoted by chambers of commerce and better business bureaus across the country.

The language has become standard boilerplate in contracts even though very few people who sign these contracts know what they are really signing away when they agree to them.

The gist of these agreements is that the signor is agreeing to give up any right he would have to bring a lawsuit in the Courts of the state where he lives, and agrees to binding arbitration with a “neutral” who is often affiliated in some way with the chamber of commerce or better business bureau.

Individuals should have access to the courts of their home state, and arbitration agreements represent an artificial barrier to this access without any good reason. Recently 107 organizations have asked that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau make new rules prohibiting individuals to be forced into arbitration agreements.

In contracts in Mississippi it is possible to make changes on the fly, cross out paragraphs, write in paragraphs and make other changes and then sign your initials next to these changes prior to signing if you are the first to sign. We recommend crossing out the paragraphs pertaining to Arbitration agreements, initialing that cross out, or just refusing to sign a contract that includes an Arbitration agreement.

Zofran Investigated – Possible Link to Cleft Palate, Lip, and Heart Defects

Friday, March 20th, 2015

Zofran (ondansetron HCl Dihydrate) is produced by Glaxo Wellcome Pharmaceuticals and is often prescribed to treat nausea during pregnancy. It is not fully known how the drug works but millions in our country have been prescribed this medication in a very free fashion because the potentially dangerous nature of the drug for expectant mothers was never disclosed by the Pharmaceutical company. Zofran was believed to be safe to treat any number of nausea symptoms during pregnancy. There have been new reports that Zofran has been linked to birth defects in babies, including cleft palate, cleft lip and congenital heart defects.

Our firm is investigating these claims and would be happy to speak with any individual who has questions about their child’s cleft palate, cleft lip or heart defect and any possible links to the medications they have been prescribed. If you or a family member has recently had a child with a cleft palate, cleft lip or other heart defect after taking Zofran you may need to act now to preserve your rights. Our attorneys are available 24 hours a day and we have gathered additional information if you or a loved one would like information on this topic.

pills spilled by bottle

Many medications have unforseen side effects.

When you contact our firm, consider the following questions: Why was Zofran prescribed? Do you have any known allergy to Zofran? The dosage amounts of Zofran and directions on use. (the prescription bottle may contain this information).

Causes we believe in: Mississippi’s Toughest Kids

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

There are many causes that we feel are worthy to be believed in. The cause of Justice, in the court of law, helping individuals put their lives back together after a catastrophic injury. Another cause that we are wholeheartedly behind is Mississippi’s Toughest Kids Foundation.

The sole mission of Mississippi’s Toughest Kids Foundation is to build and maintain a year round, totally accessible camp facility used by children and adults with serious illnesses and/or physical and mental life challenges.

Mississppi's Toughest Kids Foundation Golf Tournament

Mississppi’s Toughest Kids Foundation Golf Tournament

Additional information is available on the attached PDF.

Toughest Kids Pamphlet

Mississippi Food Poisoning Attorneys

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

Viral and bacterial contamination of food products is very concerning to the public safety. Recently we have heard reports of several individuals in Mississippi and Alabama becoming very ill or dying as a result of the presence of bacteria in their food.

Our firm is currently investing a specific food poisoning incident in East Mississippi and West Alabama including the following counties in Mississippi (Neshoba, Kemper, Newton, Lauderdale, Jasper and Clake) and in Alabama (Choctaw, Sumter, Greene, Hale, Marengo, Clarke and Washington Counties). This investigation includes incidences of contamination with salmonella or incidence of salmonellosis in Chicken believed to purchased at A&P grocery stores in these areas.

Food poisoning effects 1 in 6 Americans each year. Of this number roughly 130,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases. In fact, food poisoning is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, and here in Mississippi things apparently aren’t any different.

Any time someone becomes ill or dies as a result of food poisoning at a gathering, at home or the restaurant there are questions raised that deserve an answer. Part of our job as attorneys who take personal injury cases and products liability cases is attempting to give family members peace of mind when a loved one is injured or dies as a result of food poisoning or some other negligent preparation or handling of food. Please feel free to contact us on our 24-hour

20% of Child Deaths in Mississippi Preventable

Monday, July 29th, 2013

The death of any person is something we take very seriously, but the death of a child or infant sends chills up the spine. Even more so when it is discovered that the death was preventable, a recent report in Mississippi sent chills up our spine.

The Child Death Review Panel in Mississippi considered 229 of 610 cases where children died statewide for the year of 2011 and found that 134 of those 229 were preventable. seventy-five of the deaths were the result of motor vehicle accidents. With these numbers we would like to remind parents to make sure your children are properly buckled into a child safety seat, that the seat is in a rear seat and that the seat does not have a recall in effect.

Ninety-five of the deaths which were reported were of children who were less than a year old. 60% of the babies who died were found in an unsafe sleep environment. Studies and research suggest that babies should sleep alone, on their backs, in a crib, with no pillows stuffed animals or lots of blankets.

Any death leaves questions to be answered. One function of our office is to help families find answers to these questions and to put their minds at rest. If you have a question about a recent death and would like to speak to an attorney, please call, our office has a 24-hour answering service.

Taking Justice Back

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

We see and hear of cases every day where someone is seriously injured by the negligence of another person but there is no way under our current laws to right the wrong which has been done. Many changes have been made to what claims can be brought, laws making it procedurally more difficult to bring a suit and caps on what can be given to the injured party by a jury.

We have been concerned with our changing legal landscape for awhile because these changes deny justice for individuals that we talk to every day. That is why we have partnered with “Taking Justice Back” and promote their website. The rights of the individual matter, and everyone should have their day in court if they need it.

The logo for Take Justice Back (takejusticeback.com)

We launched Take Justice Back because nothing concerns us more than the erosion of our civil justice system. We are not anti-corporate; business built this great country into what it is today. But when corporations act irresponsibly they must be held accountable just like anybody else.

The Constitution gave you the right to pursue justice in court when you believe you’ve been harmed. But well-financed corporations circling in Congress are working every day to undermine your rights. They spend hundreds of millions of dollars scheming up ways to avoid accountability when they hurt someone. Chances are, this is the first you’ve heard of it.

As trial lawyers we represent clients. But look around this website and you will see no advertising. No solicitations. This is not about money. It is not about us. It’s about you, your rights and the gift of democracy that some powerful corporations are working hard to undermine.

Take Justice Back

PET Scans Shown to Detect Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

New studies have been released on the brain recently which shed light on how brain scans can be used to detect the types of repeated concussion brain injuries that have been documented in the NFL. New studies from Dr. Gary Small have demonstrated that PET scans can show developing Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy in the brain. These PET scans have been around since the 1961 and produce a 3d image or picture of functional processes in the body. The system detects pairs of gamma rays emitted indirectly by a positron-emitting radionuclide (tracer), which is introduced into the body on a biologically active molecule.

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is caused by the buildup of tau proteins. These tau proteins have been shown to build up after repeated blows to the head. Scientists have recently developed a nucleotide which will bind with tau and allow the byproducts to be shown on PET scans.

Early detection of these degenerative changes will hopefully raise awareness and increase player safety.

This is your Brain

Illustration of the Normal Human Brain

For More:
http://gizmodo.com/5978097/study-confirms-it-can-track-nfl-brain-injuries-with-pet-scans?tag=brain-injuries

Signs and Symptoms of a Brain Injury or Traumatic Brain Injury

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

The adult brain is comprised of roughly 100 billion neurons which are interconnected and interdependent. This incredibly complex organ has the consistency of Jello and is comprised of spongy gray matter and more dense white matter. Since the internal structures of the brain are different densities and any sudden change in acceleration, be it a car wreck or helmet to helmet contact, can cause shearing of the nerve fibers where gray and white matter meet.

In any case involving a brain injury it is vitally important to spot the symptoms of a brain injury as early as possible (from the intake phone call) and to take steps in order to preserve proof of the injury or to procure additional testing to establish this new injury at trial. A personal injury attorney should equip themselves to be familiar with the signs and symptoms of brain injury, and make it more likely that they will be able to spot and prove this hidden injury.

The most frequently injured area of the brain is the frontal lobe, the area of the brain responsible for coordinating the functions of the different areas of the brain and focus. The function of the frontal lobe is not reproducible anywhere else in the brain. This means that even the smallest disruption of this area will likely affect the injured individual’s ability to focus and complete day-to-day tasks in the short term. Injuries which involve nerve damage or death of nerve cells can change the functioning of the brain permanently.

Recognizing a brain injury:

Some symptoms of a brain injury will be noted by the individual or recorded in their early medical records. These could include:

Headache, dizziness, nausea, unsteadiness, confusion, disorientation, feeling “dinged” or stunned or “dazed”, seeing stars or flashing lights, poor short term memory, sensitivity to light, reduced sense of smell or taste, ringing in the ears, double vision, fatigue or sleep disturbance.

Friend or Family Member Diagnosis:

Other times the injured individual cannot see their own deficits and relying on a family member or close friend can reveal a change in normal behavior which could include the injured individual being:
Confused, unaware of time, date, place, any lost memory, any lost consciousness, lessened coordination, changed mood, slowed response to questions, lessened concentration, facial droop or loss of use of any faculties.

Depending on Averages:

Without a baseline of what is normal from the injured individual or someone who knows them it may become necessary to rely on national averages for evidence of a brain injury. The following are indicators of injury:

Glasgow Coma Scale (even deceased patients score a 3)
Onset of headache with exercise below peak heartrate.
Elevated resting heart rate and dilation of the pupils

These numbers which may have been measured both before and after the injury, but still may be probative if they are found to be different from the average. Resting heart rate between 70-76 is a normal baseline but varies based on sex, age, and fitness level. Pupil size is normally between 4-8 mm but varies depending on light levels.

One of the clearest indications that an individual has a brain injury is that these symptoms worsen throughout the day. If one or more of these symptoms is present advise the injured party to seek assistance immediately.

Verifying Brain Injuries:

Once a symptom has emerged it could indicate a brain injury assessment by a neurologist and potentially get one of the following scans (from most helpful to least):
Diffusion-Tensor MRI,
Functional MRI,
Single-Photon Emission Computed Tomography,
Photon Emission Tomography,
Magnetic Resonance Imaging, or
Computed Tomography scan.

Of these scans the Diffusion-Tensor MRI is the gold standard for spotting injuries due to its ability to show incredible detail and show specific neurons’ ability to send or receive messages. A functional MRI maps the use of oxygen in the brain and allows patterns of brain activity to be observed. MRI and CT scans alone do not show the detail necessary to diagnose damage on the cellular level, SPECT and PET scans can show brain activity but use radioactive tracers and may also lack helpful detail.

It will be important to have the injured individual assessed under a neuropsychological test battery which assesses attention and memory function. These tests have proven effective in showing the extent of an injury on a percentile basis against the national average. Additional tests such as a Vocational Capacity Evaluation or a Functional Capacity Evaluation may also be useful in establishing deficits and supporting damages.

Our firm is currently involved in the NFL Concussion Litigation and has found a niche in Traumatic Brain Injuries (“TBI”) among other serious personal injuries. We see a lot of head injuries and feel it bears repeating that if any of the symptoms listed above are present after a blow to the head the injured individual should seek immediate medical attention and be monitored closely as these symptoms could point to nerve damage or a possible brain bleed.

New England Compounding Fungal Meningitis Attorneys

Monday, October 8th, 2012

Investigations continue to determine what products produced by New England Compounding Pharmacy could be responsible for the meningitis outbreak that has to date killed seven people and sickened ninety-one. The outbreak has been linked to contaminated steroids which normally are used to treat for back pain and are sold by New England Compounding Center.

The steroid is called methylprednisolone acetate and was shipped to facilities in 23 states between July and September and have been the prime suspect for cases of meningitis which have been cropping up around the country. Meningitis is an inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord which is potentially deadly. The infection is caused by certain types of bacteria or viruses, and this particular infection is fungal in nature.

As of October 5, a total of 47 cases* in 7 states and 5 deaths have been identified with a clinical picture consistent with fungal infection: Florida (2 cases), Indiana (3 cases), Maryland (2 cases, including 1 death), Michigan (4 cases), North Carolina (1 case), Tennessee (29 cases, including 3 deaths), and Virginia (6 cases, including 1 death). Fungus has been identified in specimens obtained from 9 patients, including Aspergillus and Exserohilum.

On September 26, 2012, the New England Compounding Center voluntarily recalled the following lots of methylprednisolone acetate (PF) 80mg/ml:

Methylprednisolone Acetate (PF) 80 mg/ml Injection, Lot #05212012@68, BUD 11/17/2012
Methylprednisolone Acetate (PF) 80 mg/ml Injection, Lot #06292012@26, BUD 12/26/2012
Methylprednisolone Acetate (PF) 80 mg/ml Injection, Lot #08102012@51, BUD 2/6/2013

Patients who have had an epidural steroid injection since May 21, 2012, and have any of the following symptoms, should talk to their doctor as soon as possible.

Worsening headache
Fever
Sensitivity to light
Stiff neck
New weakness or numbness in any part of your body
Slurred speech

If you or a loved one have developed meningitis or suffered a stroke after recieving medication from New England Compounding Pharmacy or methylprednisolone acetate please contact our firm for additional information.