Faraci Lange is currently investigating potential claims on behalf of United States Service members who suffered hearing injuries as a result of using defective Combat Arms™ earplugs manufactured by 3M.
Faraci Lange Partner, John A. Falk, recently settled an auto accident case for a Spencerport resident who suffered serious injuries on the right side of her body after her car was hit by an oncoming driver who had drifted into her lane. The driver’s negligence caused severe injuries to our client, who still suffers from tricompartmental arthritis in her right knee.
The client met the serious injury threshold, which is one of the criteria that an injured victim must prove in auto accident cases in the state of New York. Generally, this means that the client needs to have suffered a significant injury that can be objectively verified by a medical test or evaluation.
John Falk was able to negotiate a successful settlement for our client.
Faraci Lange has handled thousands of automobile accident cases and has vast experience in working with treating physicians to document serious injuries for purposes of meeting this threshold.
If you have suffered a serious injury as a result of an auto accident, or have questions or concerns regarding such personal injury claims, contact Faraci Lange today.
View more successful case stories here.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration‘s Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D released a statement on Thursday, in which he discussed new steps to strengthen the safety oversight of Bayer AG’s Essure permanent birth-control device.
Earlier this year in July, Bayer decided to discontinue the sales and distribution of Essure in the U.S. after December 31st, 2018. This followed a series of FDA regulatory actions, including the decision to make Essure a restricted device due to safety concerns.
In the statement, Gottlieb announced the FDA’s plan to revise and strengthen its post-market study of Essure, which was originally ordered in 2016, to ensure that long-term safety information continues to be collected.
The revised study would now monitor women implanted with the Essure device for five years, instead of the previous three year requirement. The longer period of evaluation would provide the FDA with more long-term information on adverse risks of the device.
It would also require additional blood testing of patients enrolled in follow-up visits during the course of the study in order to better monitor potential immune reactions to the device.
Bayer will also be required to continue enrolling patients who opt to receive the Essure device and to submit reports more frequently on teh study’s progress.
Essure, which is the only permanent birth control device on the market that is not surgically implanted in women, has caused some cases of adverse events including persistent pain, allergic or hypersensitivity reactions, perforation of the uterus and/or fallopian tubes, and migration of inserts to the abdominal or pelvic cavity.
“I personally had the opportunity to meet with women who have been adversely affected by Essure to listen and learn about their concerns. Some of the women I spoke with developed significant medical problems that they ascribe to their use of the product. We remain committed to these women and to improving how we monitor the safety of medical devices, including those related to women’s health,” stated Gottlieb.
Click here to read the FDA’s statement.
To contact us about a potential defective medical device claim, please click here to complete an online form or call us at 888.325.5150 for a free consultation.
Faraci Lange is currently investigating consumer protection claims against New York Oncology Hematology, a health care provider based in Albany, which recently notified more than 128,400 of its employees and patients of a data breach that occurred within the organization earlier this year.
Read more here.
Faraci Lange Partner, Brian Zorn, recently settled a slip and fall accident case for a Brockport resident.
Our client was walking out of his Veterinary office when he slipped and fell on a patch of ice in the parking lot, causing him to break his left arm. The negligence made by the Veterinary office by not salting their parking lot has left our client with severe injuries. He has neuropathic pain, numbness, and functional loss in his left hand and fingers that he will not be able to get back.
Brian Zorn negotiated a favorable settlement and recovered the maximum amount possible for our client’s personal injuries.
Faraci Lange has been handling claims on behalf of individuals who have been seriously injured due to the negligence of establishment owners for 50 years. Our attorneys have vast experience in evaluating potential claims in this area and distinguishing those having a reasonable chance of success from those that do not.
To contact us about a Premises Liability, or slip and fall lawsuit, please click here or call us at (888) 325-5150 for a free consultation.
Vaccines serve the essential public health function of preventing serious and deadly diseases. Unfortunately, despite this essential function, a very small number of people can develop serious and sometimes deadly complications after vaccination.
To address this, in the 1980s, Congress created the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program to provide a no-fault alternative to the traditional tort system.
As part of the Program, the Federal Government publishes a Vaccine Injury Table that lists the vaccines covered under the Program, the injuries that are recognized to be caused by each vaccine, and the time period within which the first symptom of each such condition should appear to give rise to a rebuttable presumption of causation.
Periodically, the Vaccine Injury Table is amended to add vaccines and/or injuries that are covered under the Program.
The latest amendment of the Vaccine Injury Table became effective on March 21, 2017. This amendment was significant in three ways:
- It added Guillain-Barre Syndrome (“GBS”) to the Table where the first symptoms present within 42 days of an influenza vaccination;
- It added Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (“SIRVA”) to the Table where the first symptoms present within 48 hours of a vaccination for each covered vaccine;
- Pursuant to 42 U.S. Code § 300aa-16(b), people who developed GBS after an influenza vaccination or SIRVA after any covered vaccination after March 21, 2009 can bring an action under the Program on or before March 20, 2019.
Normally, a vaccine claim must be brought within three years of the first symptom or manifestation of a vaccine-related injury. For death cases, the claim must be brought within 2 years of the date of death. 42 U.S.C. § 300aa-16(a)(2).
However, the statute has a savings provision, 42 U.S.C. § 300aa-16(b), that permits people who were previously time barred from bringing a claim to file their actions within two years of an amendment to the vaccine injury table where such person was either not eligible prior to the amendment or where the amendment significantly increases the likelihood of compensation under the Program.
Based on the March 21, 2017 Table amendment, anyone who has developed GBS within 42 days of an influenza vaccination or SIRVA after any vaccination after March 21, 2009 are still eligible to file a claim. But they must file that claim before March 20, 2019, or be forever barred from doing so.
If you or someone you know developed GBS or SIRVA caused by a vaccine after March 2009, contact Faraci Lange at (585) 325-5150 immediately. We have the experience and knowledge in handling vaccine cases to help.
At Faraci Lange, we have experience in analyzing, preparing and filing vaccine claims for injured people. Our vaccine injury attorneys, Kathryn Lee Bruns and Matthew F. Belanger have successfully resolved numerous cases for people seriously injured from a vaccine.
On October 17, 2018, the American Bar Association issued its first formal opinion addressing the obligations of a lawyer who has been the victim of a data breach or cyberattack.
The opinion is Formal Opinion 483, titled “Lawyers Obligations After an Electronic Data Breach or Cyberattack”. Before discussing this opinion, it is important to have an understanding of a lawyers’ obligation with regard to her use of technology in providing legal services.
For the last decade, lawyers and the ABA have been grappling with a lawyer’s ethical obligations as they pertain to the constantly evolving use of technology. As noted in Formal Opinion 483, the model rules were amended in 2012 to address the use of technology. These amendments are referred to as the “Technology Amendments” and include the obligation to understand the risks and benefits of relevant technology (Model Rule 1.1) and the obligation to take reasonable measures to prevent inadvertent or unauthorized disclosure of information pertaining to the representation (Model Rule 1.6(c)). They also include the requirement that lawyers ensure their staff is likewise trained to and takes reasonable measures to prevent unauthorized disclosure of or access to this information (Model Rules 5.1 and 5.3).
On May 11, 2017, the ABA issued Formal Opinion 477, titled “Securing Communication of Protected Client Information”. The Committee sought to update the prior rule, Formal Opinion 99-413, which addressed a lawyer’s confidentiality obligations pertaining to emails with clients. While the Committee does not dictate what constitutes reasonable steps a lawyer must or should take to protect sensitive data, it does provide seven considerations to guide lawyers with regard to reasonable steps.
The Committee concludes that “a lawyer may transmit information related to the representation of a client over the Internet without violating the Model Rules of Professional Conduct where the lawyer has undertaken reasonable efforts to prevent inadvertent or unauthorized access.” In practice, there are several ways lawyer can seek to protect client information from inadvertent disclosure. For example, a lawyer can encrypt emails and attachments, password protect attachments or transmit correspondence and attachments using a secure FTP site.
A year and a half later, recognizing that data breaches and cyberattacks have affected and will continue to affect law firms, the Committee issued Formal Opinion 483 to address a lawyer’s ethical obligation if this occurs and information related to representation of a client is compromised. This Opinion picks up where Formal Opinion 477 left off.
For purposes of this opinion, the Committee has defined data breach to mean “a data event where material client confidential information is misappropriated, destroyed or otherwise compromised or where a lawyer’s ability to perform legal services for which the lawyer is hired is significantly impaired by the episode.”
This definition is broad enough to include a number of situations. For example, it could involve a data breach where sensitive client data is exfiltrated from a lawyer’s computer network or a ransomware attack where a lawyer is prohibited from accessing a client’s file. It could also include an attack involving destruction of part or all of a lawyer’s computer network where confidential information is stored, resulting in an inability for the lawyer to access the information necessary to perform legal services.
The Committee concluded based on the Model Rules discussed above, “lawyers must employ reasonable efforts to monitor the technology and office resources connected to the Internet, external data sources and external vendors providing services related to data and use of data.”
The Committee clarifies that a breach or failure to immediately detect a breach does not necessarily give rise to an ethical violation if reasonable steps were taken, but evaded by intruders. Instead, an ethical violation may be found when reasonable efforts are not taken, and because reasonable efforts are not taken, a breach occurs or goes undetected for some period of time.
If a breach is suspected or detected, a lawyer must “act reasonably and promptly to stop the breach and mitigate damage resulting from the breach.” The Committee recommends having a plan in place to deal with a suspected or actual breach and provides guidance regarding the contents of an incident response plan.
Regardless of whether a plan is in place, “a competent lawyer must make all reasonable efforts to restore computer operations to be able again to service the needs of the lawyer’s clients.” The lawyer must also investigate the breach to determine it has been stopped and to figure out what information, if any, has been exposed.
Finally, under Model Rule 1.4, a lawyer must notify current clients when “unauthorized release of confidential information could reasonably be viewed as a significant factor in the representation…”
This includes situations where the client’s position or legal matter may be impacted. Interestingly, under Model Rule 1.9, the Committee declines to extend this requirement to former clients. However, the Committee does note that consistent with best practices a lawyer should reach an agreement with the client at the termination or conclusion of representation to determine how to handle the client’s electronic information. Absent an agreement, the Committee encourages lawyers to have a document retention policy, compliant with applicable laws and regulations, and to follow it.
The content of the notice to the client is dependent on the circumstances of the data breach and must be tailored accordingly. It is crucial that the notice provide sufficient information for the client to make an informed decision about what to do next. At a minimum, the lawyer must tell the client what sensitive information may be at risk and how it was believed to have been accessed unless the lawyer is unable to ascertain this information after taking reasonable steps to do so.
While not required, the Committee recommends the lawyer inform the client of the steps the lawyer is taking to respond to the breach and, where applicable and feasible, recover the data. The lawyer, on the other hand, has an ongoing obligation to keep the client apprised of any material information obtained from the post-breach investigation.
While Formal Opinion 483 does not address legal obligations a lawyer may have under federal or state privacy and notification laws such as HIPAA or the Graham-Leach-Bliley Act and other statutes such as notice statutes that may be implicated, the Committee notes that where personally identifiable information (PII) such as social security numbers are implicated, the lawyer should familiarize herself with the applicable federal and state notification laws. It is crucial that a lawyer who has been the victim of an attack understand and comply with all her legal obligations.
Faraci Lange partner, Hadley L. Matarazzo, has been litigating cases involving data breaches, personal injury, defective drugs and medical devices, toxic torts, and medical malpractice since joining the firm in 2010.
Contact Faraci Lange today if you or someone you know is in need of an experienced and trustworthy attorney.
The law firm of Faraci Lange has once again been selected as a top-tier “Best Law Firm” among Rochester and Buffalo firms in the 2019 edition of U.S. News – Best Lawyers®.
In the “Best Law Firms” Rankings, which were released today, Faraci Lange was listed as a Metropolitan Tier 1 Best Law Firm in the plaintiffs categories of:
- Personal Injury Litigation, Medical Malpractice Law and Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions in Rochester, New York
- Medical Malpractice Law and Professional Malpractice Law in Buffalo, New York
Faraci Lange is a firm of trial lawyers with nearly fifty years of experience representing personal injury victims in Western New York. The law firm’s attorneys are recognized routinely by their peers as among the nation’s best, with annual recognition in Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers.
About Best Lawyers
Best Lawyers is the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession. For a quarter century, the company has helped lawyers and clients find legal counsel in distant jurisdictions or unfamiliar specialties.
Firms included in the 2019 “Best Law Firms” list are recognized for professional excellence with persistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. Achieving a tiered ranking signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise.
The 2019 rankings are based on the highest number of participating firms and highest number of client ballots on record. To be eligible for a ranking, a firm must have a lawyer listed in The Best Lawyers in America, which recognizes the top four percent of practicing attorneys in the United States.
If you are looking for an experienced and reputable law firm to handle your personal injury case, contact us today.
Faraci Lange Partner, Matthew F. Belanger, recently settled a bicycle accident case for a Rochester resident who suffered a serious shoulder injury after being hit by a driver while riding his bike. The driver made a right on red without ever looking to his right. The driver struck the client in the cross walk, which caused bleeding from the client’s head and immediate pain in his entire left side.
The driver’s negligence caused severe injuries to our client, who still has difficulties with his left shoulder, hip and low back, requiring him to use a cane to walk. Matthew negotiated a successful settlement for our client to compensate for his personal injuries.
At Faraci Lange, not only do we represent bicyclists injured in crashes caused by motorists but we also understand cycling because we too are bicycle riders. Whether for exercise and recreation or in amateur competition, we understand what it’s like to be on the roadway with motorists. When looking for a bicycle accident lawyer, it is important to work with someone who understands a bicyclist’s point of view.
If you have suffered a serious injury as a result of a bicycle accident, or have questions or concerns regarding such personal injury claims, contact Faraci Lange today.
View more successful case stories here.
I love the Fall. I’ve been waiting for weeks for a break from one of the hottest summers I can remember in the Northeast. It’s finally here. My flip flops and summer dresses are packed away, and my boots and warm sweaters have taken over my closet. Now that it’s October, there are three “must-dos” on my list related to my four-year old daughter – school pictures, Halloween costume, and flu shot.
Each Fall, every member of our family gets the flu shot. We view vaccines as a necessary health precaution, and this year is no different. In fact, given our daughter’s age and last year’s record-breaking influenza season, we wouldn’t have it any other way. We are strong believers that flu shots save lives and herd immunity is critical.
Last week, the CDC released statistics showing that the 2017-2018 flu season was the worst in over three decades. Sadly, more than 83,000 people died as a result of the flu, and of those more than 170 were children under the age of 5. Eighty percent of those child deaths occurred in children who did not get vaccinated. The number of people who suffered with the flu last year was staggering and the season was longer than most seasons, lasting nearly 19 weeks. There were twice as many hospitalizations from influenza last year (more than 900,000) that most typical flu seasons. To put last year’s 83,000 flu-related deaths into perspective: in 2011-2012 flu season, there were approximately 12,000 total deaths associated with the flu virus. Before last year, the 2012-2013 flu season saw the highest death total (approximately 56,000), but last year’s total was up more than 50 percent from the ‘12-‘13 season. The number of deaths was tragic.
Despite the increased attention in traditional and social media last year on the number and severity of influenza infections, less than half of the U.S. population is expected to receive the flu shot this year. Even more astonishing is a continued drop in flu vaccinations given to children, who like my daughter, are between 6 months and 5 years old. Unfortunately, this young population is among the highest at risk for serious complications. One-half of flu-related deaths in children from 2010 to 2016 occurred in otherwise healthy children. Other populations at increased risk for influenza-related illness, hospitalization, and death are pregnant women, anyone over the age of 50, and those with certain chronic medical conditions.
The CDC recommends October as the best month to receive a flu vaccine. Why is that? Well, although there are variables to balance, including the unpredictability of the timing of the start of flu season and concerns that the effectiveness of the vaccine-induced immunity will lessen throughout the season, the CDC recommends getting vaccinated before the flu season begins to give the vaccine enough time to build up immunity to the virus. For this reason, the CDC recommends that it should be offered by the end of October. Children aged 6 months through 8 years who require 2 doses of the vaccine should receive their first dose as soon as possible after vaccine becomes available, to allow the second dose (administered more than 4 weeks later) to be received as close to this time period as possible.
Still many people believe for one reason or another that they will not benefit from the flu shot. According to an October 1 National Public Radio story, there are five good reasons to change your mind, including that the vaccine can reduce the severity of the flu and its complications if you still get it after having had the shot. It is true that the flu shot does not insure immunity from the flu. People still get the flu after vaccination. But you can reduce your risk of severe complications and the length of the illness if you are vaccinated. Even if you put vaccination off until later this Fall or over the winter, it is still worth it. The flu shot is offered so many places now that it is hard to miss the opportunity.
The most commonly reported side effect from the flu shot (or any vaccine) is a sore arm and mild swelling. Occasionally, someone can develop a fever as part of the body’s reaction to the vaccine. As with any vaccine, there are some very rare but serious consequences of vaccination. When these complications happen, seek medical advice right away.
Specific to the influenza vaccine is a serious complication known as Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS). The Mayo Clinic defines GBS as: “a rare disorder in which your body’s immune system attacks your nerves. Weakness and tingling in your extremities are usually the first symptoms. These sensations can quickly spread, eventually paralyzing your whole body.” It is known to be caused by an antecedent infection, and some people who actually get the flu can later develop GBS following the illness. It is now widely accepted too that the flu vaccine itself can cause GBS too, although the complication is very rare.
Other complications from the flu shot, or any vaccine, include Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA). SIRVA is a mechanical injury to the shoulder into which an intramuscular vaccine injection is administered. It is believed to be a local immune mediated inflammatory response that attacks the ligaments, tendons and bursa of the shoulder. SIRVA is believed to be caused by injections placed too high on the shoulder, resulting in the inadvertent direct injection of the vaccine into the deltoid bursa or joint space, where it damages the soft tissues in those areas. Thus, SIRVA can be prevented by proper vaccination technique and positioning. SIRVA results in damage to the shoulder capsule that is often diagnosed as subacromial bursitis, bicipital tendonitis, rotator cuff syndrome or adhesive capsulitis. Up to 30% of people who develop SIRVA end up having surgery and more than 60% report persistent residual symptoms.
The good news is that there are legal protections in place that allow those who experience a rare side effect following vaccination to receive compensation – including past and future medical payments, past and future lost wages, and limited pain and suffering damages caused by those complications.
In fact, if someone experiences one of the known, reported complications published on the Vaccine Injury Table, there is a presumption of entitlement to compensation through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (“VICP”). The VICP is a no-fault alternative to the traditional tort system that allows injured people to make administrative claims instead of filing a lawsuit. The claims are decided by Administrative Law Judges and Special Masters employed by the United States Court of Federal Claims. It is a no-fault system in that the injured party does not have to prove negligence. However, it is also an adversarial system where the Department of Justice attorneys represents the interests of the VICP and the injured party can be represented by an attorney of his or her own choosing.
At Faraci Lange, we have extensive experience in analyzing, preparing and filing vaccine claims for injured people, including those with GBS and SIRVA. Vaccine injury claims require specialized knowledge of the claims process, and the collection and preparation of voluminous documentation, including an injured party’s medical records, employment information and tax records. Faraci Lange has successfully navigated this process for countless clients. You can trust Faraci Lange to review your vaccine injury claim and provide you good advice regarding your options.