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Takata Airbag Recall Impacts 1 in 8 Vehicles

Takata Airbag Recall Lawyer - Columbia Auto Accident Lawyer July 19, 2016 6:08 pm

Takata Airbag Recall Lawyer - Columbia Auto Accident LawyerAccording to a new report by Kelley Blue Book, recalls of vehicles containing defective Takata airbags impact approximately 1 out of every 8 vehicles on our nation’s roads. However, this report also found that 33% of individuals surveyed were unsure whether their car was part of the recall.

To date, more than 32 million vehicles in the United States have been recalled due to safety issues associated with defective Takata airbags. In the event of an auto accident, the chemical propellant that inflates the airbag may explode with too much force, causing the airbag to rupture and shoot shrapnel towards vehicle occupants.

There have been 10 fatalities and over 100 injuries reported across the United States as a result of these dangerous airbags. If your vehicle is equipped with a defective Takata airbag and you do not participate in the recall, your safety may be at risk during an auto accident.

You can find out additional information about the recall by visiting safercar.gov. If your car is included in the recall, contact your local dealer to schedule a time to repair the issue.

The auto accident attorneys at McWhirter, Bellinger & Associates, P.A. have been fighting for the rights of injured victims in the Columbia, South Carolina area for over 40 years. We have the resources and experience necessary to battle the high powered legal teams employed by negligent vehicle manufacturers. If you’ve been injured by a defective Takata airbag, we will fight aggressively to help you recover the compensation you deserve.

Please contact McWhirter, Bellinger & Associates, P.A. using the form on this page or call (888) 353-5513 today to schedule a free auto accident consultation. We serve clients in Columbia, Camden, Sumter, Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg, Aiken and throughout South Carolina.




Preparing For Your Workers’ Compensation Medical Evaluation

July 14, 2016 3:30 pm

After you have been injured on the job, and submitted a written report to your supervisor, you may be required by your supervisor to get a medical evaluation. The results of this examination can affect the final outcome of your case, so you need to be aware of how to prepare for it.

Male doctor examining a patient's sprained neck in the medical officeKeep in mind the following tips:

Dress to your injury – If your injury requires you to wear a neck brace, sling, or use crutches, be sure to bring these with you to your appointment. This will help your doctor get a better idea of your injuries and may keep you from making your injuries worse.

Know your medical history – One of the things your doctor will be making sure of is that your symptoms are not from a previous injury than the one you got on the job. You can help by knowing your medical history and pointing out how your injuries now differ from previous injuries.

Know your symptoms and treatment – Be sure to go over the tests, medications, and exams you’ve already had. The more you can tell your doctor, the better.

Explain how the accident happened – Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, so you won’t be denied payment because you caused your injury. Your injury does have to be related to your job, and being able to explain the accident in detail can provide more evidence that it was work related.

Arrive at your appointment early and bring along a friend or family member to take notes, ask questions, or just provide support. If you want to challenge your physician’s ruling, it will help to have a witness support your claim.

Click here for more information and tips on workers’ compensation cases.

At McWhirter, Bellinger & Associates, we take your workers’ compensation claim seriously, and we will do everything we can to make sure you get the payment that you deserve. With over 40 years’ experience and a proven record of success in South Carolina, our workers’ compensation lawyers will fight hard for you.

To schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation with McWhirter, Bellinger & Associates, call 888-353-5513. We serve clients throughout the midlands, with offices in Aiken, Camden, Columbia, Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg, and Sumter, South Carolina.




Abilify Linked to Compulsive Behaviors

July 8, 2016 2:52 pm

Millions of people worldwide suffer from mental health disorders, such as depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. Millions more have autism or Tourette syndrome. 5 million of the people suffering with these disorders have been prescribed Abilify, the top grossing antipsychotic in the world. This drug is listed at number 2 on the list of the top 10 best-selling drugs, raking in over 6 billion dollars a year, a number which continues to grow.

HowevePortrait of lonely depressed man sitting on the floor ** Note: Soft Focus at 100%, best at smaller sizesr, Abilify works by targeting the brain’s dopamine and serotonin receptors. With long term use, Abilify has been reported to cause neurological changes.

Multiple reports show a link to Abilify with symptoms such as:

• Compulsive gambling;
• Compulsive spending;
• Compulsive eating;
• Hyper sexuality;
• Shoplifting/stealing

Studies show these compulsive behaviors stop immediately or within days of stopping the drug. If you or a loved one has taken Abilify and experienced compulsive behaviors, such as gambling, eating, or spending, call McWhirter, Bellinger & Associates, P.A., at 803-353-5513 today to setup your free case evaluation. We have lawyers who are experienced in dangerous drug cases, and we have offices in Aiken, Camden, Columbia, Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg, and Sumter, South Carolina.




How Can I Claim My Volkswagen Settlement?

June 29, 2016 11:21 pm

How to Claim Your Volkswagen Settlement | Columbia SCGerman automaker Volkswagen recently settled with the United States government over emissions tampering lawsuits, which began to appear after the company admitted to putting software in its diesel vehicles that was designed to cheat emissions tests. According to the terms of the deal, owners of affected car models can sell their cars back to Volkswagen for their pre-scandal market price, and will receive an extra payout of between $5,100 and $10,000.

Over 475,000 vehicles are covered under the settlement, which includes the following years and models:

  • 2013-2015 Volkswagen Beetle
  • 2010-2015 Volkswagen Golf
  • 2009-2015 Volkswagen Jetta
  • 2012-2015 Volkswagen Passat
  • 2010-2015 Audi A3

If you own one of these models, you may be eligible to receive your share of this settlement from Volkswagen. But how do you receive that payment, who do you receive it from, and do you need to hire a defective product lawyer in order to get it?

The first thing you should know is that you won’t be able to receive your payment for a few months. The settlement is still in the process of being finalized, and payments are not expected to start until October of 2016 at the very earliest. The website vwcourtsettlement.com has been set up for anyone who wants to look up their VIN or research basic questions about the settlement.

You should not need to hire a lawyer in order to receive your settlement. However, if you have any other issues with defective vehicles or other malfunctioning products, the attorneys at McWhirter, Bellinger & Associates will be happy to offer you a free case evaluation. Contact our offices in Lexington, Columbia, Sumter, or the surrounding areas at 888-353-5513.




Damage Caps in Your Medical Malpractice Case

June 22, 2016 6:23 am

Damage Limits in South Carolina Medical Malpractice LawsuitsAs medical expenses rise, the costs of a botched operation or treatment make it all the more expensive to be a victim of medical malpractice. Lawsuits for malpractice are traditionally designed to help you recover these expenses. However, the state of South Carolina puts a cap on the amount of money you can receive from a medical malpractice lawsuit.

You can sue for a variety of damages in a medical malpractice case, including:

  • The cost of extra medical procedures.
  • Wages lost while recovering.
  • Physical and mental anguish suffered.
  • Punitive damages in especially egregious cases.
  • Loss of companionship as a spouse.
  • Future earnings that were reduced by the injury.

Provided you can show that the injury occurred and was the fault of a doctor tasked with caring for you, you may be eligible for some or all of these damages. Unfortunately, South Carolina state law may prevent you from collecting all of them. To understand which damages these laws affect, it’s important to note that damages fall into two categories:

  • Economic damages are payments that can be clearly quantified, and generally refer to medical expenses, lost income, lost earning capacity, and other losses directly attributable to the medical professionals in question.
  • Non-economic damages consist of less specific compensation, like pain and suffering, quality of life, and punitive damages, and are generally harder to quantify because they are partly subjective.

Fortunately, there is no cap on economic damages. But any non-economic damages you are eligible to receive are capped at either $350,000 (if you are suing a single defendant) or $1.05 million (if you are suing multiple defendants. This makes it important that your lawyer be able to secure as much of that maximum amount as possible.

To schedule a free consultation with a South Carolina medical malpractice attorney, contact the law firm of McWhirter, Bellinger & Associates at 888-353-5513. We serve clients in Columbia, Lexington, Camden, Newberry, Orangeburg, Aiken, and the surrounding areas.




Quiz – Do You Know What to do After a Car Accident?

June 14, 2016 7:20 pm

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, you know how terrifying the process can be, but if you’ve never suffered through one, you may not know if you’re prepared. Take this quiz to find out if you know what to do to protect yourself and your family after an accident:

For help after a car accident, please contact McWhirter, Bellinger & Associates, P.A. We’ve been helping members of South Carolina with their injuries and car accidents for decades. Call us today at 888.353.5513.




The Many Types of Nursing Home Neglect

April 6, 2016 11:31 pm

Identifying the Signs of Nursing Home Neglect | Columbia SCNot all forms of nursing home abuse are the result of active maliciousness toward residents. In many ways, the most insidious form of nursing home abuse is the type that comes from doing nothing at all. When a caretaker for your elderly family member fails to fulfill their obligation as a caretaker, it is known as elder neglect, and it accounts for over half of all reported cases of elder abuse.

Neglect is difficult to define legally, largely because it can take many forms and vary from situation to situation. But if you feel like a family member in a nursing home is not receiving the level of care to which he or she is entitled, you may wish to speak with a South Carolina nursing home abuse lawyer.

The Difference Between Neglect and Abuse

The signs and consequences of neglect and abuse are quite similar, but each type of behavior implies different actions being taken by the caretaker. Nursing home abuse implies an intent by the staff at a nursing home to harm residents, or a similar intent behind policies created by the management. Nursing home neglect, on the other hand, only claims that the nursing home in question did not provide residents with the standard of care they and their loved ones are entitled to, and this breach resulted in harm to the resident.

Nursing home residents may be a victim of nursing home abuse if they:

  • Have bedsores or ulcers
  • Experience sudden weight loss
  • Exhibit injuries from falling
  • Radically change their behavior
  • Are less clean than they should be
  • Exhibit signs of malnutrition or dehydration
  • Look more unkempt than usual
  • Are more withdrawn in social behavior
  • Live with environmental hazards around them
  • Lack necessary medication or medical equipment

The staff at your loved one’s nursing home may try to pass off any evidence of injuries as accidental or self-inflicted, so you can’t always trust their judgment. If the circumstances surrounding your loved one’s injury seem odd or unlikely, it’s probably in your best interest to contact a nursing home abuse lawyer and learn more about the legal options for your specific situation.

Finding Evidence of Nursing Home Neglect | Sumter SCTypes of Nursing Home Neglect

Nursing home neglect can come in many forms. Residents of nursing homes are in an environment populated by many people and visited by many more; this can create much greater risk of disease or injury if they are not cared for properly. When they fail to receive proper care, a variety of causes can be to blame. We’ll cover some of the more common reasons for nursing home neglect below.

Nursing home understaffing: Nursing homes are often for-profit enterprises, meaning that management has an incentive to hire as few caretakers as possible in order to keep costs down. If a nursing home errs in its estimation of how many employees it needs on the premises at any time, the result could be that many residents do not receive the care they require in a timely manner. If you notice that your loved one or family member is regularly looking disheveled, or seems to have frequent “accidents” during which no staff members are ever around, understaffing could be a primary cause. Looking at the staff records of the nursing home and comparing them to the number of residents is a good way to check this.

Inadequate oversight when distributing medication: Many nursing home residents require a large number of medications that have to be taken at specific times of the day. This is an area where many residents could potentially be exposed to abuse: in the past, caretakers have been found stealing medications in order to sell or use them, or changing a residents’ doses for a wide variety of reasons.

Malicious abuse is not the only problem that can arise with medication, as staff may also give a resident the wrong medication from an honest error. A responsible management structure should make sure that there is some oversight when it comes to the handling and distribution of medication, so that employees of the nursing home are sure to give everyone what they need.

Unhygenic practices: One of the most important things nursing homes need to do is prevent their residents from contracting or circulating sicknesses throughout the building. The population density and high number of visitors means that residents are at risk for sickness during a time of life when their bodies cannot effectively fight infection. If residents are not being bathed, not given changes of clothing, and are otherwise kept in an appropriately hygienic condition during their stay,  the nursing home may well be found at fault for unnecessarily exposing them to sickness.

Medication Misuse and Nursing Home Neglect | Orangeburg SCUnsanitary conditions: Likewise, if the room your loved one is living is not cleaned regularly, or has maintenance issues that go unfixed and contribute to an unhealthy living environment, the nursing home could be found at fault. Check their living area for potential hazards and evidence of frequent cleaning.

Dehydration: Depriving nursing home residents of water that they need is not only a cruel practice in and of itself, it also can impact residents’ overall health, making them more susceptible to disease and health complications. Many residents can be uncommunicative about their needs, so unless the staff at the nursing home is making sure they are appropriately hydrated, the situation can get even worse.

Diabetic care: over 20% of adults between the ages of 65 and 75 suffer from diabetes, while 40% of adults over 80 suffer from the disease. Diabetes requires frequent monitoring of a patient’s blood-sugar levels, along with timely distribution of medication and close attention to the patient’s diet. If the staff at a nursing home can’t be counted on to provide these services for your loved one, he or she could suffer life-threatening consequences.

Recognize the Signs of Nursing Home Neglect

If you have a loved one in a nursing home in South Carolina, and have some reason to believe that they are suffering from neglect, contact the lawyers at McWhirter, Bellinger & Associates today. We can be reached at 888-353-5513 and serve clients in Lexington, Camden, Columbia, Aiken, Sumter, Newberry, Orangeburg, and the surrounding communities.




South Carolina’s Drunk Driving Fatality Rate Leads Nation

March 31, 2016 11:44 pm

40 Percent of South Carolina Auto Crash Deaths DUI-Related | ColumbiaIt’s a well-known fact that drunk driving leads to an increased number of fatalities from auto accidents. But according to data recently released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), this is a much bigger problem in South Carolina than it is elsewhere in the United States. According to the data, 44% of all auto accident deaths involved at least one driver with a blood alcohol level above the legal limit.

Between 2005 and 2014, nearly 4000 fatalities occurred during traffic accidents in which at least one driver had a blood alcohol level at or above the legal limit. Every year, this has accounted for at least 40 percent of all car accident fatalities in the state. In 2010 and 2013, it accounted for 44 percent of all car accident fatalities, the most in the entire country. In the United States as a whole, drunk driving accounted for only 31 percent of all car accident fatalities.

Why is South Carolina’s DUI Death Rate So High?

So what is it about South Carolina that causes drunk driving to be much more fatal? Part of it is simply that the fatality rate in South Carolina is higher as a whole: the NHTSA data shows that the state has 17.45 driving fatalities per 100,000 people, nearly 64% higher than the national average. The roadways and wildlife in South Carolina may contribute to the issue as well: besides the seven different interstate highways that crisscross through the state, there are vast rural areas where the roads may not be as well-maintained.

A lack of public transportation options could be a factor as well: in Columbia and surrounding communities like Lexington, Newberry, Sumter, and Orangeburg, there is a bus line, but few other options, and almost nothing is available when the bars close at night. The lack of options, combined with the spread-out geography of many communities around Columbia, could potentially lead to a larger-than-average number of people deciding to drive home after drinking.

Other surprising statistics about drunk driving in South Carolina:

  • The majority of all drunk driving deaths in South Carolina involve people between the ages of 21 and 34.
  • Drunk driving deaths between age 21 and 34 in South Carolina are twice the national rate.
  • South Carolina men are 4 times more likely than women to be killed in a drunk driving accident, which is similar to the national average.
  • About 2% of the population have reported driving after drinking too much.
  • Auto accidents cost South Carolina $1.05 billion per year in medical costs and lost economic production.

Another possible reason the drunk driving death rate is so high in South Carolina could be issues with road maintenance. Roads in South Carolina are in notoriously poor condition, partly due to falling gas prices shrinking the amount of money the state has to pay for repairs. In the last five years, South Carolina has had to pay $40 million in claims for damage to vehicles, and experts estimate it will cost up to $1 billion to bring all the roads up to code. With lots of roads in poor condition, there’s less room for error, and more of a chance that drunk drivers will cause a crash.

Drunk Driving in South Carolina Leads National Fatality Rate | LexingtonWhat Can You Do About It?

If you live in South Carolina, the next question you might have is, “what can I do to avoid getting hit by a drunk driver?” The odds of being in a catastrophic auto wreck are very small, and there’s a limit to what any one person can do, so it’s not something you should worry about too much. However, there are some steps that you can take to minimize the chances that you are on the road at the same time as a drunk driver.

These steps include:

  • Limiting your late-night driving, especially on weekends.
  • Drive defensively, with an eye on avoiding accidents before they happen.
  • Stay off the road on New Year’s Eve, St. Patrick’s Day, Independence Day, and other “drinking holidays.”
  • Keep your car and tires properly maintained.
  • Follow all the rules of the road yourself.
  • Don’t assume that the drivers around your are going to act predictably.
  • Avoid dirt roads and two-lane highways at night.

Ideally, you shouldn’t drink at all if you need to drive later. If you do, it’s very important to be aware of exactly how much alcohol you are consuming. Many people think “I can have one beer and I’m always good to drive!” but don’t seem to realize that different drinks can have different levels of alcohol depending on what’s in them and who made them.

Drunk Driving in South Carolina Will Be Punished | SumterSouth Carolina has come up with a number of measures to curb drunk driving, including:

  • Sobriety checkpoints, where police stop vehicles to make sure the driver is not impaired.
  • Ignition locks, which require the driver to use a breathalyzer before starting the car.
  • DUI laws which harshly punish offenders.
  • People hit by a drunk driver can sue for punitive damages, increasing the amount of money the driver has to pay in a lawsuit.

In fact, a single serving of a typical domestic beer is on the low end of the alcohol spectrum. Craft beers and mixed drinks are often equivalent to something more like 1.5 beers. On the whole, your best bet is to find some alternative to driving if you plan to drink: arrange for a designated driver beforehand, or use services like Lyft or Uber to get home. Whatever you do, the important thing is to plan ahead.

Columbia SC’s DUI Accident Lawyers

If you do get into a crash with a drunk driver, the lawyers at McWhirter, Bellinger & Associates will be there to help you get fair compensation for your injuries, your pain, and any economic hardships you might encounter. We can also pursue punitive damages against drunk drivers, forcing them to pay you more as a punishment for their actions. If you want an experienced and skilled legal team dedicated to representing your interest, we’re the law firm you want on your side!

To schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation with the DUI auto accident lawyers at McWhirter, Bellinger & Associates, contact us by filling out a form on this page, or by calling 888-353-5513. We serve clients in Columbia, Lexington, Camden, Orangeburg, Aiken, Newberry, Sumter, and the surrounding communities.




Filing an Insurance Claim for Your Car Accident in South Carolina

March 10, 2016 11:50 pm

The sudden violence and physical shock of a car accident, even one that happens at a low speed, can be quite startling. You may start acting on the influence of adrenaline and instinct, without much awareness of what you are doing or saying. It’s difficult to maintain complete control over yourself after such a stressful, upsetting event.

Car Insurance Claims After an Accident | LexingtonThe process of filing an insurance claim for your car accident can be similarly stressful, but for nearly opposite reasons. Rather than responding to an immediate shock, you may have to persevere through piles of paperwork and phone calls that take hours to complete. At McWhirter, Bellinger & Associates, our car accidents lawyers want to help you through the process of filing your insurance claim and making sure you get appropriately compensated. Read this guide to learn more about the process, or contact us for a free legal consultation if you have any questions about your case.

Immediately After Your Accident

Once you have attended to the immediate safety of everyone involved in the crash–moving the cars out of the road, checking for injuries, calling an ambulance if someone is seriously hurt–the first important legal step you should take after your car accident is calling the police to file an accident report. This will allow a police officer to come down and assess the situation from the perspective of an impartial third party.

Police reports are helpful because they allow you to:

  • Get help from the police in gathering evidence
  • Record statements from nearby witnesses
  • Facilitate any insurance claims made by you or the other driver
  • Get an insurance payout more quickly
  • Have an official record of how the crash occurred
  • Start a paper trail in the event of any legal proceedings

Police may not be dispatched to your car accident if there are no injuries and the cars are not blocking traffic. In this case, you can still file a report over the phone, and should also note the damage done to your car, the circumstances behind the accident, and the contact information of any witnesses.

The moments after your accident are also important in terms of what you do NOT do. It’s natural to want to apologize for an accident, or to defuse the situation by saying “it was my fault” or “I should have seen you.” However, you should not say anything that could be interpreted as an admission of guilt. You don’t know the full circumstances that surround the accident, and such statements could come back to haunt you in a courtroom.

South Carolina Car Insurance Laws

South Carolina is a “fault” state, meaning that the person legally at fault for causing the car accident is responsible for covering any damages to people and vehicles. Usually, this will be done through the at-fault driver’s insurance. Lawmakers frequently create “fault” insurance laws because they create extra incentives for drivers to prevent auto accidents.

South Carolina requires that all drivers carry at least:Filing an Insurance Claim in Columbia SC

  • $25,000 of insurance for personal injury protection
  • $25,000 of insurance for vehicle or property damage
  • $50,000 total insurance for a single accident

It’s standard practice to exchange contact information and insurance information after an accident. If the other driver was at fault, you can contact his or her insurance company to seek compensation for any damage done to your vehicle or any injuries you have suffered. You may find it difficult to decide whether to call your own insurance company or the other driver’s insurance company to make a claim.

The following rules generally apply when deciding whose insurance company to contact:

  • If you were at fault for the accident, you will need to make a claim with your own insurance company
  • If the other driver was at fault, you can make a third-party claim with their insurance company
  • If the other driver’s insurance does not cover all the damages, you may need to contact your insurance company to cover the rest
  • If you call your own company and explain that the other driver was at fault, they will cover your costs and get reimbursed by the other driver’s insurance

Car Crash Insurance Lawyers | Sumter SCYou may want to call a lawyer before you call the insurance company. Insurance companies always try to make everything go quickly and smoothly following an accident, because it’s in their best interest to settle a case as quickly as possible. However, it’s also in their best interest to pay you as little as possible. A common tactic is for the insurance adjustor to call you, tell you how much you are getting as though it is non-negotiable, and then inform you that this is a final offer, and you can take it or leave it.

However, any car accident lawyer can tell you that the “final offer” is rarely as final as the adjustor tries to make it sound.

When to Get a Car Accident Lawyer

The process of filing a car accident claim is straightforward but complex. While you know what steps to take after an accident (file a report, call your insurance, report the accident, receive compensation), you probably don’t know all the rules that determine how much you receive, and you may not be comfortable negotiating with your insurance company. If you run into issues with your claim, taking your case to a lawyer is probably your best bet. Attorneys at McWhirter, Bellinger & Associates will look at your case for free before you decide whether to hire them, so you have nothing to lose by coming to us.

You will almost certainly require a lawyer in the following situations:

  • You were seriously injured in a car accident
  • A family member was seriously injured or killed in a car accident
  • The other driver is claiming not to be at fault for the accident
  • An insurance company has denied all or part of your insurance claim
  • The insurance company is offering you less than you believe you are owed

Other situations may require a lawyer, and if you don’t know whether you need one, you can always ask our Columbia accident lawyers for a free consultation. You can contact a lawyer at any point in the insurance claims process, but it’s best to do so as soon after your accident as possible.

Do You Need to File a Car Accident Lawsuit?

If an insurance company disputes or denies your claim, and refuses to settle, you may need to take the issue to court. South Carolina’s statute of limitations usually gives you three years from the date of the accident to file lawsuits for personal injury and property damage. It is highly advisable that you have a lawyer to guide you through the court proceedings.

The South Carolina car accident lawyers at McWhirter, Bellinger & Associates are an excellent choice to represent you after a car accident. Our attorneys have dealt with many car accident cases, and often have a good idea of how much compensation you can expect to receive. For a completely free, no-obligation legal consultation, call us at (888) 353-5513. We serve clients in Columbia, Lexington, Aiken, Sumter, Newberry, Camden, and Orangeburg.




Recent High-Profile Defective Product Cases

February 19, 2016 4:22 pm

Invokana Diabetes Defective Drug Lawsuit - Sumter SCThe last few months have seen a number of high-profile cases in which major companies were bringing defective products to market. These products often had the potential to cause millions of dollars in environmental and personal damages, but they were nevertheless brought to market through either the incompetence or irresponsibility of decision-makers at the companies.

The number of claims that arose in the last few months make it helpful to review some major recalls and product liability cases. If you believe you may have fallen victim to any of the defective products covered below, or you suffer an injury or illness due to a flaw in some other product, you should contact the product liability lawyers at McWhirter, Bellinger & Associates as soon as possible.

Invokana Type-2 Diabetes Drug

A popular diabetes drug, Invokana was supposed to protect the function of your kidneys by preventing them from absorbing too much sugar from your bloodstream. Instead, the FDA found out that it increased the acidity of your blood, a condition known as ketoacidosis. This could potentially lead to kidney and liver failure.

After the FDA issued warnings, several diabetes patients filed lawsuits over Invokana against Johnson & Johnson, the pharmaceutical conglomerate that manufactures Invokana. If you have been taking Invokana and have experienced kidney problems, you could have grounds for a claim.

Volkswagen Diesel Car Emissions

One of the biggest business stories of the past year, the Volkswagen emissions scandal has continued to generate headlines well into this February. The state of New Jersey recently filed a suit against the company for environmental damage caused by its emissions, and memos released this week suggest that the company was conspiring to tamper with emissions software since 2014.

Volkswagen Software Emissions Lawsuit - Columbia SCInvestigators have since found that 11 million vehicles worldwide were affected by the software, including the following models:

  • 2014 VW Touareg 2.0 L TDI
  • 2015 Porsche Cayenne TDI
  • 2016 Audi Quattro TDI
  • 2102-2015 VW Passat 2.0 L TDI
  • 2009-2015 Audi A3 2.0 L TDI
  • 2009-2015 VW Golf 2.0 L TDI
  • 2009-2015 VW Jetta 2.0 L TDI
  • 2009-2014 VW Jetta Sportwagen 2.0 L TDI
  • 2009-2015 VW Beetle 2.0 L TDI
  • 2009-2015 VW Beetle Convertible 2.0 L TDI
  • 2015 VW Golf Sportwagen 2.0 L TDI

In addition to violating a number of environmental and emissions standards set by the Federal Government, Volkswagen also defrauded consumers by knowingly selling them a vehicle that does not comply with those standards. The vehicles’ value has dropped steeply as a result of the revelations.

Bair Hugger Orthopedic Infection Legal Claim - Lexington SCEssure Birth Control Device

For many women, Essure birth control devices are a safe and effective way to permanently prevent pregnancy without the need for surgery or anesthesia. Unfortunately, not everyone has this experience. Many women who get the devices report chronic pain, internal bleeding and punctured organs, and even psychological symptoms of depression and anxiety.

There are different possible causes for these symptoms. Mechanical defects in the design or construction of the birth control device could account for the physical pain, while its interaction with the fallopian tubes may have some as-yet unexplained effect on hormone levels. Whatever the reason, watch for symptoms if you have an Essure device inside you.

Salmonella-Tainted Cucumbers

In September of last year, food companies Custom Produce Sales and Andrews & William Fresh Produce had salmonella outbreaks traced to cucumbers that they had bought and distributed. The cucumbers were sent out to multiple popular grocery stores and restaurants. At least three people died from salmonella, and over 100 were hospitalized.

At this point, it is unlikely any more tainted cucumbers will be found. However, if you were diagnosed with salmonella poisoning in September 2015 and have medical records to show it, you may still have a claim. Bringing your case to McWhirter, Bellinger & Associates for an initial consultation will cost you nothing.

Chipotle Norovirus Lawsuits

The new year began with allegations being brought against fast-casual restaurant chain Chipotle. Outbreaks of norovirus, a gastrointestinal disease that affected hundreds who ate at the restaurant. Worse still, recent court filings have suggested that Chipotle knew about the outbreak and attempted to hide evidence linking it to their restaurants.

An outbreak of E. coli was also traced to Chipotle, and lawsuits for both conditions continue to pile up. If you have gotten violently ill shortly after eating at a Chipotle, you may be able to make a claim against the company.

Contact Your Product Liability Lawyer - Columbia SC, Lexington SCDefective Hoverboards

Finally, while it’s not limited to one company, the end of the holiday season brought us several horror stories about hoverboards that were either designed or manufactured with major defects. Cheap knockoff versions of major producers were often built with lithium-ion batteries that could explode into flames if pushed too hard. One well-publicized incident involved a hoverboard that exploded inside a South Carolina home.

Other defects caused the hoverboards to act erratically, dumping operators on the ground or crashing them into property. Pedestrians have also been run down by hoverboard operators. No laws in South Carolina exist regulating the use of hoverboards, so this is a new and interesting legal area to explore.

Report Defective Products to Your Lexington SC Lawyer

Companies try to save money at every turn, and if they believe they can create, design, and market defective products with impunity, they will likely try to do so. It’s up to you, the consumer, to keep companies honest by punishing them when their products hurt you or a loved one.

The defective products attorneys at McWhirter, Bellinger & Associates can help. We’ve pursued product liability claims against companies many times in the past, and have the resources and skills to help you with your case. For a free initial case review, contact us by filling out a form above, or by dialing (888) 353-5513.






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