Month: February 2016

Drug Injury Pradaxa

The Pradaxa Antidote Came Too Late To Save Lives

When Pradaxa received FDA approval in 2010, it was the first oral anticoagulant approved by the FDA in more than 50 years. This newcomer to the blood thinner market quickly gained traction, but only a year after its release, the FDA issued a safety announcement about its adverse effects.

What is Pradaxa?

Pradaxa was designed to stop strokes and blood clots in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation, or an abnormal heart rhythm. The drug was promising because it had fewer drug and food interactions than its competitors and did not require routine blood monitoring. By 2012, more than 3.7 million patients in the US were prescribed the blood thinning medication, contributing to worldwide sales of $209 million in the first quarter of that year alone. As Pradaxa’s popularity rose, patients quickly began suffering from its life-threatening complications.

Complications from Pradaxa

While Pradaxa is designed to thin the blood for the prevention of blood clots, it can also cause uncontrollable bleeding. A bump on the head could cause massive intracranial hemorrhaging, and unlike its competitor, Warfarin, Pradaxa had no antidote to reverse its effects. With no reliable way to truly control Pradaxa bleeding, doctors were only able to administer supportive care.

Just a year after it hit the market, the FDA had received 817 reports of adverse events involving Pradaxa. While uncontrollable bleeding is a risk of any blood thinner, patients taking Pradaxa were at a heightened risk because there was no reversal agent available.

Too Late for a Pradaxa Antidote

In 2015, the FDA granted an accelerated approval for Praxbind, the first public attempt at an antidote for Pradaxa. Praxbind can effectively reverse the effects of Pradaxa in as little as four hours, but this does little for the patients who had already experienced uncontrollable bleeding from Pradaxa in the preceding three years. With over 500 deaths and 3,700 life-threatening incidents of excessive bleeding, Pradaxa has caused devastating damage to a largely elderly and frail consumer segment.

Contact Raizner Slania Today for Your Pradaxa Claim

Raizner Slania is experienced in handling pharmaceutical lawsuits from start to finish, and will work with you each step of the way. Our pharmaceutical attorneys have been leaders in important nationwide litigation against large and powerful drug companies, and some of our lawyers have even represented pharmaceutical giants in the past, giving us valuable insight into their tactics. If you or a loved one has suffered excessive bleeding from the use of Pradaxa, contact the attorneys at Raizner Slania to get the compensation you deserve.

Sources:
http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm396470.htm http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm467300.htm

Damage Claim

Dallas County Hailstorm Damages Lawsuit

Our clients, the owners of a Lubbock area apartment complex, filed suit against Aspen Specialty Insurance Company, Chubb Custom Insurance Company, Lloyds of London, and Vericlaim Inc., in Dallas County, Texas. Our client was forced to file this lawsuit after claims filed with its insurance companies for hailstorm damages that were not properly paid according to Texas law.

August 2014 Lubbock, Texas Hailstorm Damages Commercial Property

On August 28, 2014, a hailstorm caused significant property damage in Lubbock, Texas, including damage to the plaintiffs’ roof, exteriors, HVAC, and other structures on the property. Upon discovering the damage, plaintiffs immediately filed insurance claims under their policies with the insurance carriers for damages caused by the hail.

The insurance carriers assigned adjusters, consultants, and agents to the commercial property hailstorm damage claim. Specifically, they assigned Vericlaim Inc., who in turn assigned an adjuster to inspect the damage. Our client alleges that the adjuster performed substandard inspections of the property and failed to prepare any estimates of the damage. Our client’s representatives pointed out obvious damages to the adjuster, but they were ignored. Our client was then forced to demand a re-inspection of the property several times. In response, the adjuster hired a consultant who is not licensed with the Texas Department of Insurance to estimate repairs on the property. This unlicensed consultant grossly underestimated the extent and the value of the hailstorm damage.

The Insurance Carriers Violated Texas Law and Acted in Bad Faith

The insurance carriers wrongfully underpaid and denied large portions of our client’s property claims for repairs under the policy. Because of this, our client hired its own consultant at its own expense to independently evaluate the property damage. Our client’s consultant identified substantial damage far beyond what the insurance carriers acknowledged. Despite this, the insurance carriers still refused to pay for the necessary repairs to the property as required under the terms of the insurance policy and under Texas law.

Our client cites numerous violations of the Texas Insurance Code, mostly involving a failure to timely commence investigation of the claim, acting in bad faith by misinterpreting the insurance policy, making misleading statements about several aspects of the claim, breach of contract, breach of duty of goof faith and fair dealing, as well as violations of the Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act (DTPA).

Hailstorm Property Damage Attorneys

If your commercial insurance carrier has denied, delayed, or disputed a hail damage insurance claim, an experienced insurance litigation attorney at Raizner Slania can help. Our lawyers have earned nationwide recognition for helping policyholders succeed in obtaining their rightful financial payments from insurance companies that operate in bad faith. Please contact us today for a free initial consultation. We handle all bad faith insurance litigation cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning you will not pay us anything unless we help you recover on your claim.

40 Under 40

Amy Hargis: Top 40 Under 40

Texas mass tort and bad faith insurance litigation attorney Amy Hargis has been selected for inclusion in The National Trial Lawyers: Top 40 Under 40. Membership is by invitation only and is extended exclusively to those trial lawyers practicing civil plaintiff and/or criminal defense law.  Ms. Hargis was nominated by her peers and selected for inclusion in the category of civil plaintiff law.

After obtaining her Bachelor of Arts in International Studies at Texas A&M University in 2008. Ms. Hargis attended South Texas College of Law where she graduated magna cum laude  in 2011. While in law school, she was a Dean’s Merit Scholar and served both as the Note and Comment Editor for the South Texas Law Review and the Managing Student Editor for the Construction Law Journal. She was active in the advocacy program and earned five CALI Excellence Awards for her academic performance in the classroom.

Active with various professional associations, she serves on the Editorial Board of The Houston Lawyer, a Houston Bar Association publication, and is a member of the Young Alumni Council at South Texas College of Law. Ms. Hargis is also an active member of the American Association For Justice, the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, and the Houston Trial Lawyers Association Women’s Caucus.

The National Trial Lawyers: Top 40 under 40 includes top trial lawyers from each state who are younger than the age of 40.  Invitees have superior qualifications, trial results, and leadership. Selection is based on a multi-phase process that includes peer nominations and third-party research. The group promotes the pursuit of justice for those injured by the negligence of others and public education about the importance of access to courts and the right of trial by jury.

Ms. Hargis handles a nationwide docket of pharmaceutical and medical device cases against some of the largest drug companies in the world, as well as insurance disputes involving commercial properties such as apartment complexes, hotels, office buildings, and churches

theft and vandalism

What to Know About Theft and Vandalism Claims

When theft or vandalism occurs at your place of business, it can be incredibly devastating. To help minimize the impact of theft or vandalism on your business, you should begin by understanding the true definition of each crime.

Theft

With over six million thefts occurring each year, it is one of the most common crimes. Theft, or larceny as it called in some states, occurs when someone takes your property with the intention of permanently depriving you of it. In commercial property insurance case, this typically means a theft of valuable inventory or fixtures, and often copper and other metals used in plumbing, electrical or HVAC systems. A theft claim, and particularly one ignored by an insurance company, can cause serious financial damage to a business.

Vandalism

Vandalism is a popular crime for young teenagers. It occurs when a person destroys or damages property without permission. This could include intentional damage or destruction to a commercial building, such as graffiti painted on exteriors walls or windows, and purposeful damage to roofs, siding, plumbing and HVAC systems, and other destruction of your property.

Common Ways Insurance Companies Deny Theft and Vandalism Claims

Many insurance companies are reluctant to pay theft and vandalism claims, and offer many excuses to avoid them. Many insurance policies contain provisions that exclude theft and vandalism claims when a property remains vacant for a period of time. Vacancy can be difficult to define, and frequently misinterpreted. A building that is under repairs or construction is generally not considered vacant, even though many insurers will seek to avoid payment on that very basis. In other circumstances, policies may contain provisions require certain monitoring equipment, and unscrupulous insurers may deny claims by contending, sometimes inaccurately, that the proper monitoring equipment was not in place.

How To Protect Yourself

There are steps you can take to help prevent theft and vandalism. It’s important to always securely lock the entrances and exits of your business when you leave. It’s wise to also install a security system with an alarm and video cameras to deter criminals from theft and vandalism. Most importantly, try not to leave valuables like laptops visible in plain sight through the windows. Copper building systems are often a theft magnet, so owners with such components should take extra care and be well covered for a loss.

What To Do If You’ve Been a Victim of Theft or Vandalism

If, despite your best efforts, you have been a victim of theft or vandalism, there are steps you must take to ensure your stolen belongings or damaged property is replaced. If you discover that theft or vandalism has taken place in your business, immediately call the police. Once you have reported the crime to the police, you must document any damages and notify your insurance company. Your insurance company will send an insurance adjuster to assess the damages and process your claim.

Raizner Slania: Commercial Insurance Lawyers

If an insurance carrier acts in bad faith, we will help you take legal action. If your theft and vandalism claims have been delayed, underpaid, or denied, contact Raizner Slania, Houston commercial insurance lawyers, today. We are litigation professionals who know the insurance business and how to protect your rights.

Sources:
http://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-charges/vandalism.html
https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/property-crime/larcenytheftmain

Roof Damage

The Role of Roofing Contractors in Damage Repair

Any number of natural disasters can cause roof damage. Damage is usually very easy to spot with missing or damaged shingles or leaks in your roof or ceiling. Whether it was just a storm or a devastating tornado, there are necessary steps to take to get your roof repaired. Once you report the damage to your insurance carrier, they will send an insurance adjuster to investigate the extent of the damage and provide an estimate for repairs. Once you know how much your insurance company will pay to repair your roof, you can begin looking for a roofing contractor.

How To Pick A Contractor

Not doing your research on your contractor could leave you hung out to dry. A contractor should be licensed and insured to work in your area. When looking for a contractor, it’s essential to verify the contractor’s name, address, phone number, and any references provided. Additionally, make sure that your roofer has experience working under any applicable building codes required in your area, like the Texas Windstorm Building Code (TWBC). Your contractor should have familiarity with insurance claims and can help you work with your insurance company. You should be wary of any contractor who is not insured, only accepts cash, or who only has out of state references.

Obtain Several Repair Estimates

In order to get a fair price for your damage, it’s wise to get several estimates from different contractors. This ensures that you get the best price to repair your roof. The estimates you obtain should be put in writing, and you should retain copies of any warranty terms and/or signed agreements. Once you have selected a contractor, the work can begin to repair your roof. Final payment to the contractor should not be made until the work is completely finished.

Raizner Slania Has Handled Hundreds of Roof Damage Claim Denials

If you feel like your insurance claim was underpaid, delayed, or it was in fact denied, the attorneys at Raizner Slania can help. We have years of experience examining insurance policies to determine the intricacies of various forms of coverage to find out what our clients may be owed. If you are facing an insurance company that is not giving you the full compensation you are owed under your policy, contact Raizner Slania today.

Sources:

http://www.tdi.texas.gov/wind/documents/RepairingRoofAfterStorm.pdf

https://stormdamagecenter.org/identify-storm-damage.php

Typhoon

Hurricane Classifications

While it might be several months away from the official start of the 2016 hurricane season, it’s never too early to get prepared. The first step in preparing for a hurricane is to understand the potential classifications.

Hurricanes are classified by their maximum sustained winds measured in miles per hour (mph). Every hurricane starts out as a tropical depression moving at less than 38 mph. If the tropical depression continues to grow, it is then categorized as a tropical storm with a maximum of 73 mph winds. Both tropical storms and tropical depressions can cause heavy rains and flooding, and should be watched carefully in case they upgrade to a hurricane.

Hurricane Classifications and Their Damages

Category 1 hurricanes have maximum sustained winds between 74 and 95 mph. While this category usually produces no structural damage to a building, it can easily blow roof shingles off, break large branches of trees, and cause minor flooding. Category 1 hurricanes often cause power outages that can last from several days to a week.

Category 2 hurricanes have sustained winds between 96 and 110 mph that can cause major roof and siding damage. These storms can also uproot shallow trees that block roads, making recovery after the storm difficult. The power outages associated with a Category 2 hurricane can last anywhere from several days to several weeks.

Categories 3 and above are considered major hurricanes. A Category 3 hurricane has winds between 111 and 129 mph and will cause significant damage to the area it hits. Homes and businesses can experience severe damage and complete removal of roof decking. Flooding near the landfall site may destroy small homes and continue to flood far inland. Power outages can last for several weeks.

Category 4 hurricanes have sustained winds between 130 and 156 mph. Homes and businesses can suffer severe damage, including complete removal of the roof structure or exterior walls. Extensive flooding can carry large debris for miles and pose a threat to the structures that are still standing. Power lines will be downed and trees will be uprooted, causing isolation that will make it extremely challenging to begin recovery. The area hit by the hurricane may be uninhabitable for weeks or months following the storm’s landfall.

Category 5 is the most devastating type of hurricane, with maximum sustained winds greater than 157 mph. These hurricanes cause catastrophic damage to homes and businesses, often completely destroying them. Widespread flooding can bury entire cities and make rescue efforts challenging. Downed power lines will take months to restore and the area hit by the hurricane will be uninhabitable for months following the natural disaster.

Raizner Slania Has Extensive Experience Handling Hurricane Insurance Claims Denials

The catastrophic devastation caused by a hurricane can leave you feeling utterly alone. The attorneys at Raizner Slania have helped homeowners and business owners across the country when their property has been destroyed or severely damaged by hurricanes. We are litigation professionals who know the insurance business and how to protect your rights. Contact us today to for a free consultation.

Sources:

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/aboutsshws.php