Mesothelioma Is a Hazard of This Unlikely Occupation

by Keith | November 11th, 2014

Every job has hazards, but sometimes the greatest dangers are found in occupations where they are least expected.

Take, for instance, new evidence that shows winemakers may be at risk of exposure to asbestos, which can lead to the development of a deadly cancer known as Mesothelioma. Reports indicate some filters used in the winemaking process can contain asbestos.

According to an article from Surviving Mesothelioma, the discovery was made after a man who worked at an Italian winery for several decades was found to have developed Mesothelioma. An investigation uncovered the asbestos-containing filter and officials were able to determine the worker was exposed to the deadly material either during filter changes or through particles that made their way into the wine.

While this is the first documented case of the disease being associated with winemakers, eight other similar cases have arisen since 1993.

These reports truly underscore just how common asbestos is in the products we are exposed to on a daily basis. They are also a reminder to be vigilant of our health and surroundings while at work.

At Cofman Townsley Injury Lawyers, we understand the devastating effect Mesothelioma can have on a person and that’s why our St. Louis personal injury lawyers are here to help. If you have been diagnosed with Mesothelioma and have questions regarding your legal rights, feel free to call us for answers and a free consultation of your case by dialing (888) 223-6225.

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Financial Resources Available for Those Who Suffer Amputation and Loss of Limbs

by Keith | September 16th, 2014

Many types of injuries can make it difficult to work in the future and cause workers to need income resources to help make ends meet, but one of the most serious is the amputation and loss of limbs. That’s why our legal team at Cofman Townsley would like to outline several of the options that may be available for an amputee to receive compensation.

If your injury was the result of a workplace accident, you may be able to file for Missouri workers’ compensation benefits to help cover expenses such as medical bills and lost wages. Your case will hinge on your ability to show your employer’s negligence or failure to address a safety issue was the result of your injury.

Proving negligence could also be crucial when filing civil litigation against another person or company if your accident occurred outside the workplace, but was still someone else’s fault.

Regardless of who is liable, if you are left permanently unable to return to the workforce as a result of your amputation, you may be entitled to Social Security Disability benefits. The Social Security Administration outlines several stipulations your condition must meet in order to be approved though.

At Cofman Townsley, we know that speaking with a St. Louis personal injury attorney will be the best way to find out your legal rights and determine your best options for compensation if you’ve lost a limb. We are available to speak to you about your case and answer your questions anytime by calling (888) 223-6225.

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Human and Monetary Costs Associated With Transvaginal Mesh Failure

by Keith | August 12th, 2014

When our organs and other internal body parts will not stay in their proper location, corrective surgery may be needed; however, some of the products that are being used during these procedures may put patients at serious risk of harm.

Take, for instance, the hundreds of thousands of women who have been harmed by a transvaginal mesh failure. Transvaginal mesh is a material that was originally used to repair hernias; however, doctors found the product could also be used in cases of pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence.

These similar uses allowed the product to bypass U.S. Food and Drug Administration testing and approval to go directly to market. A short time later though, problems began to arise.

Women began to report the transvaginal mesh used in their surgical procedures was causing problems such as:

  • Infection
  • Pain
  • Urinary problems
  • Perforation of organs and bowels

A report from the Corporate Action Network states that since transvaginal mesh has come onto the market, approximately 100,000 lawsuits have been filed in connection to patient injuries the products caused. Estimates show these suits will cost Americans as much as $63 billion.

Some experts believe these numbers are conservative and believe the problem won’t go away until more action is taken to regulate the safety of transvaginal mesh.

At Cofman Townsley Injury Lawyers, our St. Louis personal injury attorneys understand the struggles that can come with injuries stemming from botched surgeries. That’s why we encourage anyone who has suffered a transvaginal mesh failure to discuss your potential rights to compensation with a qualified legal representative as soon as possible.

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Reforms Made to Government Whistleblower Claims Laws

by Keith | July 22nd, 2014

When workers discover their health or safety is being put in jeopardy by the actions of their employer, their employment is protected under the law. These laws were not created until 2010 though and required further action earlier this year in order to implement the changes to the laws that regulate government whistleblower claims.

Earlier this year in February, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) drafted and implemented several changes to the Food Safety Modernization Act that protects employees of the food manufacturing and distribution industry from retaliation in the event they come forward with reports of safety violations. The changes include:

  • Food industry companies cannot take retaliatory action against an employee for reporting food safety violations.
  • Whistleblowers must file their complaints with OSHA no more than 180 days after the incident occurred.
  • Either side of a whistleblower case can call for an appeal of any decision that’s made by an administrative judge.
  • Decisions from the Department of Labor review board can be appealed to the United States Court of Appeals.

Government officials say they hope the changes will encourage more employees to come forward with safety and health violations they notice, thus better protecting the public from harm.

The St. Louis personal injury attorneys with Cofman Townsley Injury Lawyers understand the importance of government whistleblower claims and laws, which is why we are here to help if you’ve noticed unsafe conditions at your place of employment.

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VA Allowing Veterans to Utilize Private Medical Services

by Keith | May 27th, 2014

When soldiers and veterans are injured or ill as a direct result of their service to our country, they are entitled to medical care and treatment from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The problem with the system though, is that there can be extremely long waits to get these benefits.

These extended wait times were highlighted by a recent VA scandal that uncovered documents which allegedly show the agency had been “cooking the books” in order to make it seem as though the amount of time soldiers and veterans were waiting for care was much shorter than it actually was. FOX News reports this discovery has resulted in a change of policy that is aimed at getting veterans faster care and easier access to other benefits.

Typically, veterans who need health care must go to VA facilities to receive treatment, but now they will be allowed to visit certain other facilities outside of the VA’s system in order to cut back the backlog of service.

Experts say the new policy may help to relieve the heavily strained VA system.

In situations where a veteran is struggling to get the medical care or other benefits they need in a timely manner, it may also help to have legal representation by your side.

At Cofman Townsley Injury Lawyers, our team of St. Louis veterans benefits lawyers are dedicated to getting soldiers and veterans the care and compensation they deserve. If you are struggling to collect the benefits you are entitled to from the VA, call us today at 1-888-223-6225.

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National Safety Council Announces 2 Leading Causes of Accidental Injury in U.S.

by Keith | April 1st, 2014

April 1, 2014

Each day, thousands of American citizens become the victims of accidents that result in serious injuries. While the list of causes to these accidents could be endless, the National Safety Council just released its 2014 list of injury facts that shed some light on the most common causes of accidental injury in the United States today.

The report states that accidental Drug Injury, including unintentional overdoses of opioid prescription painkillers, is the leading cause of accidental death in the nation. The findings show there was an increase in such accidents this past year compared to previous annual numbers that were collected.

The report also indicates car accidents caused by distracted drivers are at the top of the list of causes of accidental injury and death. Researchers found the number of collisions involving cellphone use rose to 26 percent from the previous year’s total. Five percent of those accidents involved drivers who were sending or receiving text messages, while another 21 percent were attributed to motorists who were talking on electronic handheld or hands-free devices.

The St. Louis Personal Injury Lawyers with Cofman Townsley Injury Lawyers recognize the dangers these accident causes can pose and ask the public to do their part to stay safe by putting their phones down while driving and by properly taking medications that are prescribed to you.

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Worker Sustains Serious Burn Injuries In St. Louis Chemical Fire

by Keith | January 21st, 2014

January 21, 2014

One of the many dangers some workers in numerous industries face is the risk of burn injuries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an estimated 132 workers were killed as the result of injuries sustained in fires and explosions during 2012.

The St. Louis Workers Compensation Lawyers with Cofman Townsley Injury Lawyers explains an employee at a warehouse in downtown St. Louis, Missouri, suffered serious burn injuries as a result of a chemical fire that broke out last week.

A story from KMOV 4 News states the incident occurred at approximately 8:00 p.m. last Monday evening at a U.S. Paint manufacturing plant located at the corner of 21st Street and Papin. Reports indicate leaking Acetone caught fire and spread to the worker’s body. Rescue crews were called to the scene and transported the victim to a local trauma center.

The incident has left many workers wondering what they should do in the event they are seriously injured in a fire or explosion. Cofman Townsley and their team of St. Louis Personal Injury Lawyers believe getting an accident victim the medical care they need should be the top priority in the moments following an accident. Once their injuries have been cared for, evidence should be gathered and discussed with an attorney prior to filing claims for any potential compensation. Doing so will help ensure your rights are protected at all times.

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Missouri Workers Compensation Insurance Costs Expected To Rise Next Year

by Keith | October 22nd, 2013

October 22, 2013

Most businesses in Missouri are required by law to ensure the safety and health of employees by carrying a workers’ compensation insurance policy. The St. Louis Workers Compensation Lawyers with Cofman Townsley Injury Lawyers explain the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) have called for premium rates on such policies to rise significantly in the coming year.

According to an article published by The Missouri Times, the number of worker injury claims exceeding more than $500,000 have significantly increased in recent years. The rise in payouts on such costly claims combined with changes in law to the state’s Second Injury Fund have led to insurance company costs skyrocketing.

In response, officials have called for companies in the state to pay a roughly 15 percent increase in premiums for their policies next year.

Officials with the NCCI state that an increase in premiums is only a temporary fix to a larger problem though. Ray McCarty, President and CEO of Associated Industries of Missouri, adds the state must determine what is causing medical costs to increase so rapidly and then find ways to reduce those specific costs.

Cofman Townsley’s St. Louis Personal Injury Lawyers are aware of how complex the laws surrounding workers compensation claims can be. That is why the firm encourages anyone considering applying for such benefits to discuss their legal options with a reputable attorney.

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Grant to Be Used to Help Missouri’s Homeless Veterans

by Keith | August 6th, 2013

August 6, 2013

In 2011, more than 140,000 U.S. military veterans sought emergency shelters or transitional housing due to homelessness. Many ended up in such a position due to a lack of Missouri Veterans’ Disability Benefits for treatment of service-connected illness or disability.

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs is hoping to help alleviate the situation by offering a grant of roughly $500,000 to veterans assistance organizations to help homeless veterans get a roof over their heads and pay off home debt. According to an article from the Springfield News Leader, the grant will go into effect on October 1 and is expected to help roughly 150 homeless veterans.

The grant comes as part of the $300 million Supportive Services for Veterans Families Program. Half of the money will be used to contract case managers who will help homeless veterans find housing and work. The other half will go directly to veterans and their families to pay mortgages, rent, and other housing expenses.

The St. Louis Personal Injury Lawyers with Cofman Townsley Injury Lawyers applaud the efforts to help homeless veterans find shelter. However, the grants will not address why so many of these individuals are in such a predicament, which is the fact they suffer from disabling conditions that need medical treatment.

The firm urges any veteran suffering from a debilitating condition to discuss their legal options for compensation with an attorney.

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Missouri Lawmakers Reform State’s Workers’ Compensation Program

by Keith | June 11th, 2013

June 10, 2013

Several major changes were recently approved to the way Missouri Workers’ Compensation Benefits are distributed to those who have been harmed while on-the-job. Senate Bill 1 will allow a wider array of injured workers to receive more money than the previous law allowed.

According to CBS News, one of the major reforms was to have businesses pay double the previous amount in surcharges to help replenish funding for disabled workers who suffer on-the-job injuries upon returning to work. More than 1,000 people who were supposed to receive funds from the trust have had their payments delayed for extended periods of time due to the cash flow shortage.

Those who have been afflicted with job-related illnesses may now also qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. Furthermore, more funding will be provided to those who have developed diseases after being exposed to asbestos as part of their jobs.

Officials say they are hopeful the changes will create a more streamlined process for those who are disabled to receive the assistance they need.

The Missouri Personal Injury Lawyers with CofmanTownsley are aware of just how complex the laws and policies regarding the distribution of disability funds can be. That’s why the firm suggests discussing your legal rights with an attorney if you are considering applying for workers’ compensation benefits or have a claim that was denied in the past.

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