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You and Your Rights

Farah & Farah newsletter: Winter 2011

In This Issue

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Farah & Farah Gives Illiteracy The “Boot” With Local Youth Education Conference Sponsorship

To help Duval County public schools battle illiteracy, Farah & Farah teams up with Betty Burney to spearhead education boot camp.

Having been ranked among the bottom third of cities in the country for literacy, the city of Jacksonville’s Duval County Public Schools currently has a dismal 65 percent graduation rate. To combat these growing statistics, The Law Firm of Farah & Farah has lent its continued support to the Duval County School Board.

With Farah & Farah’s sponsorship, Duval County School Board representative Betty Burney hosted the “I’m a Star Conference” at the Atlantic Coast High School.

The goal of the conference was to empower Jacksonville’s youth and give them the tools needed to succeed in school and life. “We want to get students to understand they can do anything they attempt,” said Burney.

The conference kicked off a six month “Education Boot Camp” in which students are able to study important issues regarding Jacksonville current events. After speaking with both parents and students together, they were split into separate groups. The goal of the Education Boot Camp is to familiarize parents with the communication methods of today’s youth, thereby helping to bridge the age old generation gap. Popular technology such as cell phone was used to engage students in communicating with their parents and their teachers.

Burney said, “American students are lagging behind other developed countries. We are 25th place in math and 21st place in reading.”

Burney’s six month long program, with class on Saturday’s once a month, aims to tackle two main issues; encouraging students to succeed in and outside the classroom. With this type of academic atmosphere, parents would be able to receive information on their child’s learning style. This type of knowledge will give parents the tools to empower their children at home, an important aspect of a successful learning environment according to Burney.

With the help of Farah & Farah’s donation, Burney was able to purchase the materials needed for the “I’m a Star Conference” and “Education Boot Camp”, such as books, paper and school bags. “Can I say they were a Godsend? Because truly that’s what they were,” said Burney. “Thanks to Eddie we were able to do this all!”

This is not the first time The Law Firm of Farah & Farah has teamed up with Burney. They were heavily involved with projects such as “Project Reach” where employees of the law firm were encouraged to mentor struggling youth. Eddie Farah personally worked with young men through the “Soldiers are Leaders” program to motivate them to become leaders in their community. Farah & Farah also purchased books for the “Readers are Leaders” program.

“We have a responsibility, as leaders, to show youth that the best way to lead is through service,” said Eddie Farah about his involvement with these projects.

Burney urges other business and community leaders to become involved with the “Education Boot Camp.” “We need leaders in the community to really bring home the message that to lead you need to serve,” added Burney.

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Vaginal Mesh Implant Recall

Product linked to internal erosion and infections.

Women who have had a Bard Avaulta vaginal mesh implanted to treat pelvic organ prolapse could be at risk for severe internal injuries, urinary problems, and other complications. The defective design of the device may increase the risk of infections, erosion and other painful complications.

The Avaulta Anterior and Posterior Biosynthetic Support System is a vaginal mesh that is surgically implanted to prevent pelvic organ prolapse (POP), which can occur in women after childbirth or surgery. POP causes the womb to fall into the vaginal area, and can also lead to the bladder and bowels slipping out of place and putting pressure on the vagina, causing considerable pain and discomfort, as well as urinary incontinence in some cases.

In October 2008, the FDA issued a warning about problems with vaginal mesh like the Bard Avaulta, indicating that the products have been associated with hundreds of reports of severe infection, pain, urinary problems, and bowel, bladder or blood­vessel perforations. In many cases, Bard Avaulta mesh problems have required multiple surgeries to remove the vaginal sling. Even after surgery, women may be left with permanent and disfiguring injuries.

There are an estimated 35,000 women who suffered through bladder control problems brought on by aging, child birth and a variety of other causes. The lives of those who had adverse reactions to the Bard Avaulta mesh were literally ruined as many experienced crippling pain and permanent scarring damage from the procedures involved in the insertion and necessary removal of the vaginal tape.

Many women experienced excruciating pain as their bodies rejected the vaginal mesh. Eventually these women were forced to undergo multiple surgeries to address the complications of their condition and sustained permanent injury. Ultimately, vaginal tape failed to cure their female urinary stress incontinence and caused additional medical complications.

If you have received trans­vaginal placement of surgical mesh and are suffering from the following symptoms please contact a personal injury attorney immediately.

  • Infection
  • Erosion of the mesh into the vagina
  • Recurrences of prolapse
  • Urinary problems
  • Bowel, bladder and blood­vessel perforations
  • Injury to nearby organs
  • Pain during sexual intercourse

The lawyers at Farah & Farah are investigating cases for women who have experienced complications following surgical procedures to Implant Mesh to treat pelvic organ prolapsed. Women who received the Bard Avaulta Mesh System may be entitled to compensation as a result of issues with design of the device. For a confidential consultation call 904-263-4610 or go to FarahandFarah.com.

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Scaffolding Accidents Top OSHA’s List Of Safety Violations

Construction workers have one of the most dangerous occupations. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, construction employees incurred the most fatal injuries of any industry in the private sector in 2009. The only industries more dangerous than construction are mining and agriculture. Throughout the U.S. scaffolding falls are the number one cause of construction fatalities with approximately 550 workers dying every year.

With these statistics from the Bureau of Labor it is no wonder that scaffolding accidents have taken the number one spot on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Top 10 list of Violations by Contractors for October 2010. Scaffolding accidents are typically the most severe on a construction site. Workers are often many stories above ground working not only on scaffolds, but also lifts and ladders. Injuries or death can occur as the result of a fall from defective, improperly installed, or unsafe scaffolding, and even from equipment falling on workers from scaffolding.

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured or killed in a Florida scaffolding accident, you must seek proper legal representation. Scaffold related injuries can severely limit your ability to lead a normal life. Injuries may require extensive rehabilitation and medical treatment creating extreme financial hardship for you and your family. You may be unable to return to work and pay your bills. An attorney can look at the specifics of your case, help you determine liability, and explain all of your legal options for recovering the compensation you need and deserve.

Startling national statistics from OSHA concerning scaffolding accidents:

  • 10,000 construction workers are injured every year in scaffolding accidents;
  • In 2007 (the last year of available recorded data), 88 people died in fatal scaffolding accidents; and
  • 72 percent of those scaffolding accidents were caused by planking or other support structures giving way, employees slipping, or employees being struck by falling debris.

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Best of Jax: Best Lawyers for 2010

We are incredibly honored that we were voted the Best of Jax Best Lawyers for 2010 in Folio Weekly. Everyone at Farah & Farah would like to give their heartfelt thanks to all the Folio readers who voted for us. This is the third time that we have been chosen for the Best Lawyers in Jacksonville and we could not be more grateful that we were picked again. We have been serving the Jacksonville community since 1979 and you and your family has always been our number one priority. We pledge to continue working hard and earn your vote again in 2011.

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Spotlight on Bullying

What you need to know about the laws.

The topic of bullying seems to be on everyone’s discussion list these days. This age old problem did not suddenly become a widespread epidemic. It has been around for centuries, but it is has only been recently that lawmakers have decided to pay attention to this problem and make bullying a priority.

Unfortunately there have been some highly publicized suicides caused by teasing and public humiliation. In the 21st century bullying seems to be claiming more lives than ever before. Could it be because of the relentless publicity from the media outlets, or that in today’s world of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, bullying has become larger than life. Public humiliation is no longer restricted to the schoolyard, it is now global and can be accessed with the click of a mouse.

With our own technological advances fueling the fire, bullying is no longer a rite of passage for children and youth, it is a very dangerous problem resulting in fatalities. That is why now more than ever it is important for you and your children to be familiar with the laws that protect you from being bullied.

Recent research indicates that bullying is prevalent among American school children, directly involving approximately 30 percent of school children within a school semester. In the last year alone, there have been quite a few bullying lawsuits filed against schools. The latest study results by the Josephson Institute of Ethics shows that in the last 12 months, 52 percent of surveyed students have hit someone in anger. And 28 percent said it’s okay to hit or threaten a person who angers them.

But unlike their parents, children today don’t only deal with the big schoolyard bully. They have to deal with cyber bullies, social alienation and false rumors being spread about them. Florida is among 44 states that have active anti­bullying laws protecting citizens rights not to be intimidated, publicly humiliated and physically assaulted. In fact our own Eddie Farah was featured on WJXT Channel 4 News explaining how Florida’s anti­bullying laws work. According to Mr. Farah, a Florida statute was put in place years ago to hold schools more accountable for bullying. He hopes the law coupled with awareness will p
ut an end to bullying and bullying­related suicides.

Eddie Farah – CBS 4 News, Florida Anti-Bullying Laws in Florida

Eddie & Charlie Farah - CBS 4 News, Florida - Anti-Bullying Laws in Florida

If you, your child or someone you know is being bullied, contact a personal injury attorney and find out if legal action can be taken to stop the bullying.

Types of bullying include:

Physical bullying includes any physical contact that would hurt or injure a person like hitting, kicking, punching, etc. Taking something that belongs to someone else and destroying it would also be considered a type of physical bullying. In elementary and middle schools, 30.5 percent of all bullying is physical.

Verbal bullying is name­calling, making offensive remarks, or joking about a person’s religion, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or the way they look. It can also include a bully making verbal threats of violence or aggression against someone’s personal property. 46.5 percent of all bullying in schools is the verbal type.

Indirect bullying includes spreading rumors or stories about someone, telling others about something that was told to you in private, and excluding others from groups. This would be indirect bullying. Indirect bullying accounts for 18.5 percent of all bullying.

Social alienation is when a bully excludes someone from a group on purpose. It also includes a bully spreading rumors, and also making fun of someone by pointing out their differences.

Intimidation is when a bully threatens someone else and frightens that person enough to make him or her do what the bully wants.

Cyber bullying is done by sending messages, pictures, or information using electronic media, computers (email & instant messages), or cell phones (text messaging & voicemail). According to a survey done in 2003 only 4 percent of bullying is listed as “other types” and this would include cyber bullying. Even though this number seems small, the growth of this type of bullying is going up fast because of the spread of technology around the world.

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Hospitals And Physicians Fail To Report Problem Doctors

A survey published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) documented that 36 percent of a nationwide random sample of 1,891 physicians do not agree with their professional commitment to report “physicians who are significantly impaired or otherwise incompetent to practice.”

Research has found that one out of three doctors who were aware of an incompetent colleague did not report anything to the authorities. The percentage for hospitals was even more alarming. Nearly 50 percent of hospitals in the U.S. fail to report a problem doctor to the National Practitioner Bank.

States and local governments are now being pressured to enforce laws giving disciplinary action to Physicians and Hospitals who fail to report incompetent Doctors. Before you check into a hospital or make an appointment to see a Doctor, do your research and ask for referrals.

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Practical Tips For Diabetics On A Budget

Glucometers, machines that test blood sugar levels, usually cost less than $100 and sometimes you can get one from a diabetes educator. Test strips can cost up to $1 each and can add up to be quite expensive. If you don’t have insurance and cannot afford to test your sugar level every day, try checking at different times; one day before breakfast, another day before lunch or dinner and another day two hours after your largest carbohydrate meal.

Learn to recognize high­glycemic index foods (which makes your blood sugar rise quickly) and to read food labels.

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Supporting Our American Heroes On Veteran’s Day

The entire Farah & Farah family was out on Veteran’s Day paying tribute to true American heroes ­our veterans and active­duty military. We all had a great time putting our float together and joining the parade to support our veterans. Farah & Farah was among over 3,500 participants including grand marshals, senior military officials, active­duty and retired military units, veterans groups, local high school marching bands, military organizations, JROTC units and more!

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Cereal Recall

Chemicals in package liners prompt complaints.

Popular cereals Apple Jacks, Corn Pops, Froot Loops and Honey Smacks were recalled this year after about 20 people complained of a funny smell and an unusual taste, including five who reported nausea and vomiting. Reports surfaced that higher ­than ­normal amounts of certain chemicals in its package liners caused the unusual smell and flavor that prompted a recall of 28 million boxes of the kid­ favorite Kellog brands of cereal.

Consumers reported the cereal smelled or tasted waxy and others said the taste or smell was similar to that of metal or soap. It was later discovered that elevated levels of chemicals called hydrocarbons were the cause of the repugnant smell and taste. Those chemicals include methyl naphthalene.

The Kellogg Company said those chemicals are normally found at lower concentrations in the wax and film used for food packaging. The company said the wax used in its liners is commonly used as a protective coating for foods including cheese, raw fruits and vegetables. Little is known about the risks of moderate exposure to methyl naphthalene. The Food and Drug Administration said it is reviewing Kellogg’s information and conducting its own risk assessment.

Kellogg said the amount of the chemicals wasn’t at a level thought to be harmful and that it is working with its supplier to ensure the situation does not happen again.

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Caterpillar Settles 401(K) Lawsuit For $16.5 Million

Caterpillar, Inc. has received final approval on its settlement of a 4­year­old lawsuit in which the plaintiffs claimed the company should have offered cheaper investment options to its plan participants.

Caterpillar will pay $16.5 million to participants in the companies’ 401(k) plans. For over ten years, the company offered plan investors a group of mutual funds that were advised by a wholly ­owned subsidiary, creating a conflict of interest that led to higher fees for participants.

Had Caterpillar hired an independent investment consultant in the first place they would likely not have ended up in their current predicament. This is an excellent example of corporate mismanagement of employee retirement and savings funds. Corporations need to be fiscally responsible with employee pension and health plans or else face the consequences.

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A Warning From Thomas Jefferson

In today’s world giant corporations have become so powerful and influential that many sometimes believe they are more powerful than even the federal government. This presents quite a problem as the government has a duty to regulate and control their activities. Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States of America and the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, warned Americans over a century ago about the dangers of large corporations having unchecked powers.

“I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trail by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.”
­Thomas Jefferson, 18th century

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Risky Side Effects of Heartburn Medication

Well­known brands of heartburn medication including AstraZeneca’s Nexium and Prilosec (Prilosec is available generically as Omeprazole) have been found to afflict patients with varying side effects. While the drugs are a great help for people who suffer from heartburn and acid reflux, they can raise the risk of fractures in post­menopausal women and cause bacterial infections in many patients, according to a special report in the Archives of Internal Medicine. New studies by Dutch researchers also claim that long term use of heartburn drugs could result in an increased risk of pneumonia. An increase of other respiratory infections such as influenza and bronchitis has also been linked to use of heartburn drugs. Heartburn drugs are often easily available thus there is no monitoring of Patients need to be aware of the risks of long­term use of the drugs.

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Farah & Farah Proudly Support The Camden County Wildcats

Located 320 miles southeast of Atlanta, Georgia, encompassing 630 square miles, bordered by ocean, rivers, and salt marshes, Camden County is home to nearly 50,000 people. Camden County High School is the largest secondary institution in the county with just over 3,000 enrolled.

The title “largest high school in the county” is not the only title that Camden County High School holds. Their football team ­the Camden County Wildcats ­is both feared by opponents and revered by Camden County residents. The Wildcats have successfully clinched the regional football championship title for a 10th year in a row.

Subsequently they have been nominated as the team of the decade by the state of Georgia High School Association. As the two­time defending State High School Football champions, the Camden County Wildcats were clear favorites to win the Class AAAAA state championship this year. They had won 11 straight playoff games and were ranked No. 1 in the state. We are immensely proud of the Wildcats and their hard work both on and off the field.

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Football Friday – High School Football Fever In Jacksonville

Telemarketing ‘Robocalls’ Now Illegal

The football season continues in high spirits as Jacksonville area high schools aim to finish the season on a high note. Jacksonville Trinity Christian defeated Delray Beach American Heritage 27­10 in the Class 1A championship game Dec. 10 at the Citrus Bowl. It was the third state championship in the past eight years for Trinity Christian (12­2), which ended their year with an 11­game winning streak. Andrew Buie, a Jacksonville Trinity Christian senior, scored on runs of 2, 20, 54 and 13 yards. All in all, he carried the football 31 times. Trinity Christian also won state titles in 2002 and 2003.

Clinch County High School’s recent performance wasn’t perfect, but the Panthers finished off a perfect season. Clinch (15-0) and Savannah Christian were tied at 7­7 at halftime, but Clinch was able to pull away in the second half by capitalizing on three Raiders turnovers, winning the game 24­14 and the Panthers’ fifth Class A state championship. Savannah Christian finishes with a 13­2 record and a second straight state runner­up finish. For the Panthers, it was their fifth state title, winning previously in 1988, 1991, 2002 and 2004.

A new, very small, against-all-odds youth football program right in the backyard of Downtown Jacksonville is going to Orlando for the American Youth Football National Championship. Of the American Youth Football’s six teams, three won the Jacksonville City Championships on Nov. 6, and two won the Southeast Regional Championships in Ocala on Nov. 13. Therefore, they are sending two teams, the cadet team made up of second and third grade students, as well as the fourth and fifth grade team, to the American Youth Football National Championships in Orlando.

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Spray Cleaners Pose Hazard To Babies & Toddlers

Spray cleaners send thousands of babies and toddlers to the emergency room each year according to the results of a new study. Nearly 12,000 children under age five go to the emergency room each year because of injuries caused by household cleaning products. When small children are injured by cleaning supplies they can develop symptoms that are life­threatening or cause long­term disabilities. Spray bottles that contain harsh cleaning chemicals usually have bright packaging with fruity or flowery scents and bright colors which attract small children. Poison control centers handle calls for about 1 million children under age six each year. Parents should ensure that all potentially dangerous cleaning chemicals are stored away safely in a child proof cabinet or container.

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No Seafood On The Menu?

Global fishing industry in peril, hundreds of millions of jobs could be lost.

Can you imagine a restaurant menu without fish? It is very possible and probable that within the next 40 years the world’s ocean fish population will be devastated to the point of extinction. Overfishing, pollution and other environmental factors are wiping out important species around the globe, hampering the ocean’s ability to produce seafood, filter nutrients and resist the spread of disease. Without major action, scientists estimate no seafood by 2048.

Based on a four-year study of catch data and the effects of fisheries collapses, and international group of ecologists and economists conclude that the world will run out of seafood by 2048 if steep declines in marine species continue at current rates. Figures from the United Nations (UN) show that over 70 percent of the world’s fisheries are “fully exploited,” “over exploited” or “significantly depleted.” The overall global fish catch has been on the decline for the past two decades. This imminent global disaster won’t only affect your restaurant menu choices. According to the UN about 170 million jobs depend directly or indirectly on this sector, with an estimated total of 520 million jobs connected to the global fishing industry.

Even though here in the United States we have other available protein alternatives, one billion people, mostly from developing countries, rely on fish as their main animal protein source. Fish is main source of protein for 1/6 of the world’s population. With global fish stocks being fished to 90 percent below historic levels, the future of fish on restaurant menus looks pretty grim. Unless fishing catches are reduced and policies are changed, fish dishes along with hundreds of millions of jobs, are in serious danger.

What can you do now? Right now you can check Greenpeace International’s ‘seafood red list’ and see which types of fish commonly sold in supermarkets have a very high risk of being sourced from unsustainable fisheries. The Northern, Southern and Pacific Bluefin, the Bigeye, the Yellowfin and the Albacore Tuna are all on the list.

We all need to be cognizant of the choices we make on a daily basis and how they affect our planet on a whole.

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No Health Insurance?

Don’t worry, you can still get the cure you need.

If you are sick or injured and do not own health insurance, log on to www.needymeds.org for assistance with the cost of presciptions, co­pays and premiums, and disease related expenses.

Find help with the cost of medicine through:

  • Patient Assistance Programs which provide medicine at no cost or at a discount to people who qualify.
  • Free/Low Cost Clinics database of clinics that offer healthcare at no cost, for a small fee, or on a sliding scale.
  • Disease­Based Assistance which can help with the costs of specific diseases and conditions, including some insurance co­pays and premiums.
  • State Programs offering various types of assistance with heathcare costs for residents of specific states.
  • The Free NeedyMeds Drug Discount Card helps save up to 80 percent on prescription medicines, over­the­counter drugs and pet prescription drugs, with no fees and no financial, age, or residency restrictions. Over $4,110,000 has been saved with the NeedyMed Drug Discount Card.

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Our Personal Promise

Accident victims have specific rights, but by law you have a limited time to take action. When you use our team at Farah & Farah, there are NO up-front charges. Our fee is a percentage of the money awarded payable only when your case is successfully concluded. No matter how many times you call and how long we talk, there is NO CHARGE or cost until your case settles. Do not sign any releases, agreements or give any statements until you have spoken with us about your legal rights. When it comes to getting you more, we won’t settle for less!

We personally promise that you will be treated with the respect and dignity you deserve. We promise to keep you up to date and informed as to developments in your case. Your case is important to us, regardless of size.

10 WEST ADAMS STREET
JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA 32202
904-263-4610 | 855-797-9899 farahandfarah.com

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If you have been injured in Jacksonville, please contact a Florida personal injury lawyer at Farah & Farah today to discuss your case.

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Farah & Farah Main Office
10 West Adams St.,
Jacksonville Florida 32202
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Email: contact@farahandfarah.com

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The attorneys of Farah & Farah in Jacksonville, Florida have experience with personal injury, medical malpractice, product liability, workers’ compensation, social security, injury and negligence lawsuits, family law and criminal defense. Eddie Farah and our team of Jacksonville attorneys are proud to represent working people and families throughout the country.

*Disclaimer: Not all results are provided and not all clients have provided testimonials, the results are not necessarily representative of results obtained by the lawyer, and a prospective client’s individual facts and circumstances may differ from the matter in which the results and the testimonials are provided.

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