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Westlake Village Personal Injury Blog

Brain Injury Statistics Darken the Start of Football Season


The recent awareness of traumatic brain injury, particularly chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) has cast a penumbra over the start of the football season.

As fans scrutinize offensive lines and passing games and players still work to master playbooks, a new threat lurks on the sidelines. The threat is not a linebacker or a kick return specialist but a statistic. The potential for brain injury to players has many in the game rethinking whether they should to continue in the sport.

A report released over the summer revealed that only a single player out of the 111 National Football Players tested was free of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease connected to repetitive head injuries. The same report showed that 48 out of 53 college players showed apparent CTE as well as three out of 14 players of only high school football.

Although the report was not considered scientific, it pushed the sports risks of brain injury into the forefront.

Suit Claims Exposure to Roundup Caused Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma Death

The family of an Illinois woman claims exposure to Roundup herbicide caused a fatal case of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in a recently filed wrongful death lawsuit.

The personal representative and heir of Stephanie Bare-Wheeler filed the complaint earlier this month, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri against Monsanto Company,

Bare-Wheelers death, in September 2016, was from complications associated with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The lawsuit alleges that the cancer was the result of regular exposure to Roundup beginning in 1996.

Monsanto is accused in the lawsuit of providing false and misleading information for Bare-Wheeler and other consumers of the associated risks of using Roundup and other herbicides that contain glyphosate.

More Pedestrian Accidents Impel California Pedestrian Safety Month


Most residents of California are aware that pedestrian accidents are an important issue regarding the states roads and highways. Statistic shows that there were 6,316 pedestrian fatalities in the period from 2005 though 2014. In the following years the numbers continued to increase. In response to the rise in fatalities and injuries, the California State Senate passed a resolution naming September as California Pedestrian Safety Month.

The Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department and the California Office of Traffic Safety has joined other law enforcement agencies, city and state transportation agencies, pedestrian advocates and walking clubs, in a joint effort to ensure both drivers and pedestrians are aware of each other at all times and share the road responsibly.

There were 892 pedestrian deaths in the state in 2016, which accounted for more than 24 percent of all roadway deaths. That number increased from 17 percent only ten years earlier. California Pedestrian Safety Month was created to draw attention to the mounting problem of pedestrian accidents.

In Los Angeles County alone, Sheriffs deputies investigated 35 fatalities and another 69 serious pedestrian collision injuries. Los Angeles County deputies will be conducting pedestrian safety enforcement operations throughout the state this month.

The Do's and Don'ts of California Motorcycle Lane Splitting


Motorcycle lane splitting is a practice that has been common on roads and highways as long as there have been motorcycles and traffic. California has become the only state in the U.S. that has made lane splitting legal. California Vehicle Code 21658.1 defines lane splitting as "driving a motorcycle between rows of stopped or moving vehicles in the same lane including on both divided and undivided streets, roads and highways." This section became effective Jan.1, 2017.

Lane splitting has been a practice of contention long before it became legal. Since California added it to the vehicle code, the focus on safety issues has only become more intense.

Many motorists perceive motorcycle lane splitting, AKA white lining, lane sharing or filtering, as a dangerous practice which imposes an extra burden of caution. Motorcyclists believe allowing lane splitting increases their safety by reducing the risk of being struck from behind while slowed or stopped in traffic.

Monsanto "Secret" Documents Augment Round Up Safety Concerns

More questions regarding Monsanto's integrity and business ethics were raised by the release of company emails and other court documents. The Monsanto "secret" documents suggest that Monsanto executives debated the safety of its leading herbicide Roundup, while simultaneously attempting to boost its reputation in the media.

In an article published by the New York Times, the emails and other Monsanto "secret" documents are part of a case in Federal Court in San Francisco. Plaintiff's lawyers, who claim Monsanto neglected to file a motion that would have kept the records sealed, released the documents.

"Now the world gets to see these documents, that would have otherwise remained secret," One of the lawyers stated in an interview with the New York Times.

Included in the records are email exchanges between Henry Miller, an academic advocate of genetically modified crops and Monsanto executives. Miller allegedly permitted Monsanto staff to ghostwrite an article under his name that was published in Forbes. The article assailed the determination of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a division of the World Heath Organization (WHO) that had categorized glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, as a probable carcinogen 

Sleep Apnea Rule Withdrawal Denounced by Schumer and Med Groups

Three medical groups have followed the lead of head Democrat Chuck Schumer, denouncing the transportation agencies withdrawal of the sleep apnea rule.

Early in August, Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer asked the U.S. DOT to "immediately reverse course" on it's recent decision to withdraw a rule requiring sleep apnea screening for truckers and railway operators. He said that the DOT's decision to withdraw the rule "commemorates a disaster waiting to happen."

"It's high time to move forward with making sleep apnea testing a federal requirement; no ifs, and or buts about it," Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a statement to the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA). "We don't want big rig drivers to doze off at the wheel."

Three medical professional groups joined Chuck Schumer in expressing their disapproval over the FMCSA's and the Federal Railroad Association's (FRA) Aug.4 decision to withdraw the sleep apnea rule.

The rule, which was formally scrapped, would have positioned criteria for medical examiners to determine which drivers should be referred for sleep apnea testing. If necessary an examiner could require testing and treatment prior to issuing a medical certification.

Football Brain Injury Expert Omalu Calls Youth Football Child Abuse


The man who first identified the football brain injury, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), in former players, has blasted the sport with what is his most captious statement to date.

Forensic pathologist Bennet Omalu, San Joaquin County's chief medical examiner, whose revelations of the degenerative brain disease helped gain a better understanding of sports-related injuries, said letting children play football, is a form of child abuse.

Omalu, whose memoir "Truth Doesn't Have a Side," published on Aug. 6, said that no one under 18 should play football.

"Someday there will be a district attorney who will prosecute for child abuse, and it will succeed," Omalu said. "It is the definition of child abuse."

In an interview with ESPN, Omalu, whose life was encapsulated in the movie 'Concussion' starring Will Smith, pled for parents to restrain their children from playing football and risking the child's health.

Burn Injuries Bring $1.3 Million Settlement in Warehouse Blast

A New Jersey electrical contractor has agreed to a $1.3 million settlement for burn injuries received in a warehouse explosion, as reported in the New Jersey Law Journal.

According to the suit, Michael Young, of Bayville who was 50 at the time, needed to be airlifted to St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, suffering from third-degree burns encompassing 36 percent of his body, including his arms, legs, hands, face, neck and back.

Mr. Young was working as an electrical contractor at Dealer Tire on Valley Brook Road in Lyndhurst NJ. He was replacing a component on a fire suppression system on June 16, 2012, when he was suddenly engulfed in flames. Emergency workers quickly got Young to the Matera Field landing zone where they were met by a helicopter that transported him to the Burn Center at St. Barnabas Medical Center, the states only certified burn treatment center.

Feds Launch Outreach Program to Educate Public About Sharing the Road with Commercial Motor Vehicles

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has launched an outreach program to educate the public about driving safely around large commercial motor vehicles (CMVs).
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