There are thousands of production platforms off the coast of Louisiana as the state and areas surrounding the Gulf of Mexico enter a boom in oil production unseen in recent years. This is unexpected, considering how oil prices continue to plunge as supply exceeds demand. Experts say investment projections in oil and gas production infrastructure is in decades rather than years, and if a project is underway, it is hard to pull back.
However, watchdogs maintain that state and federal laws confer too much self-policing to oil and gas companies, especially over safety regulations on offshore rigs. There was intense pressure on regulators to do their jobs following the devastating 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion, but that was almost five years ago. Oil and gas companies and their affiliates are again largely on their own, as predictably as the tide turns. With only 99 inspectors policing about 4,000 offshore rigs, it is perhaps not surprising.
The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement reports that offshore accidents are on the decline, with 226 injuries reported in 2014. This is half of what it was in 2007. Nevertheless, some if not all of these 226 injuries may have been preventable if oil and gas companies invested more of their profits in safety measures.
According to the website of Lake Charles personal injury lawyer N. Craig Richardson, negligent employers are liable for serious injuries and fatalities that happen in offshore platforms. This is little enough comfort for the injured and survivors of a worker who gets killed, such as the 24-year-old Turnkey Cleaning Services who died while doing maintenance work on a dormant rig just off South Pass. Three other workers were injured.
If you sustained serious injuries in an offshore accident, it is your right to get compensation. Consult with a personal injury lawyer experienced in dealing with oil and gas companies to find out your legal options.Read More
A person who knows about hard work will work hard for others. This appears to be the mantra by which personal injury lawyer and managing partner of law firm Williams Kherkher, John Eddie Williams Jr., abides by. The son and grandson of union longshoremen, John grew up with a strong work ethic. This is something he brought with him when he entered Baylor University on a full athletic scholarship, and he graduated first with a business degree as cum laude, and as lawyer at the top of his class.
His mother approved of John’s decision to go on to law school even though he had a good future in the corporate world. It was a decision that would pay him back in spades, although it took years of hard work before he finally realized his dream: to be an advocate for people who needed help.
Williams was always passionate about the law, but what he learned as he clerked for big corporations in the early years is that the “little guy” often had no voice. He used his passion for the law to make those responsible accountable for their actions and he wasn’t afraid to take on the big ones. He proved this when he took on the tobacco companies in 1995 on behalf of the state of Texas, which was suing them for health care costs. Tobacco companies were notorious for being slippery eels when it came to civil litigation, but Williams and his co-counselors hammered at the convoluted case until it began to unravel for the tobacco industry. The final verdict was a huge victory for Texas with a $17.3 billion settlement, and a landmark case for the legal representatives.
Williams is proud of the number of people he has helped with the support of the law firm’s staff and lawyers. Personal injury cases are tough nuts to crack, but Williams has shown time and again that he isn’t afraid of a challenge. He wins, too. Williams has an impressive track record for his involvement of most of the major pharmaceutical and personal injury cases in the US, including cases of asbestos exposure.Read More
Children are known for their still wide-eyed take of the world for they are still so naïve, vulnerable, and susceptible to external suggestion. That is why it is the responsibility of their parents or legal guardians to guide children into becoming law-abiding, uncompromising assets to society.
A Collin County criminal defense lawyer would probably argue that it is due to negligence or improper parental care that a child could be convicted of juvenile offense. According to some legal experts, there are some families who would be more content to simply pay the fines and allow for the crime to remain on record, thinking that the effects will disappear or become expunged over time. This is not advisable as anyone with a criminal record is almost automatically given less opportunities of both a professional and educational nature. There is also the psychological stigma that surrounds against any person who is with a criminal history, therefore affecting the social life of the accused.
There are many implications that await anyone who is on the other side of the bench in a court proceeding and there are also several defenses that could be used in order for justice to be favored. The rights of every individual must be upheld and protected in a court of law and the right legal team will take care of all of that. It is the responsibility of the attorneys handling the case to do all they can to protect and represent their client to the best of their ability, allowing for the right party of the case to reign righteous and free from conviction.
If you or someone you know has been accused of a juvenile offense in Texas, contact legal aid immediately for they know the ins and outs of this kind of court case like the back of their hand. You will end up thanking yourself for having gotten help that is more than knowledgeable with such a complicated, intricate legal procedure.Read More
A few HMOs and PPOs have such a large customer base that they wield a lot of influence in the industry. A service provider that is habitually not being paid on time for services rendered even with a clean claim may be reluctant to complain for fear of losing the contract as retaliation.
One of the biggest hindrances to the effectiveness of the Texas Prompt Pay Act is this reluctance by service providers to expose this practice, and so it becomes vicious cycle. According to the website of prompt pay law firm Williams Kherker, the medical community is unable to provide adequate health services to the public because they are not being paid according to their contract in a timely manner for their hard work.
The solution is at hand, and retaliation should not be a concern. The Texas Insurance Code (§1301.066 and §843.281) and the Texas Administrative Code (§11.901(a)(2) and (8)) address the legal protection of service providers that file prompt pay violations from retaliation from insurance companies.
HMOs are forbidden by Texas Ins Code §1301.066 and §843.281 from cancelling, terminating, or refusing to renew service contracts of medical providers and health service providers for filing formal complaints against or appealing decisions of the HMO.
The Texas Administrative Code, on the other hand, requires that service provider contracts include anti-retaliation and prompt pay provisions. This gives the service provider legal protection and encourages them to report any illegal or unfair practices of the carrier, including delayed payments for clean claims.
Of course, some insurance companies will attempt to exert their influence by retaliating anyway on service providers that complain, confident that they have the legal muscle to do so. The laws say otherwise, and with the help of an experienced and competent prompt pay lawyer, these insurance carriers will find out they made a bad mistake.Read More
Commercial roofing provides protection for the building from the elements, mostly from water and air damage. But another major function of roofing is to keep temperatures inside any building, commercial or residential, at comfortable levels, and that means providing insulation during both hot and cold weather. It is much more difficult to design a roof that keeps cool in the summer and warm in winter, but roofing contractors in Texas have figured out a way to have the best of both worlds.
The system is called cool roofing and makes use of three layers of structure: a reflective surface, above-sheathing ventilation (ASV), and above sheathing radiant barrier. The key to keeping the building cool is in the ASV, which is essentially space between the outer roof and the foil insulation leading to a vent at the top where heat can escape back out rather than radiate into the house like a convection oven. In a commercial building, this will work well with a low-slope roof as the ventilation shaft will more efficiently carry the heat away than a flat roof.
This type of roofing also works well in keeping the cold out during winter because while the design prevents heat from entering from outside, it also keeps in heat that’s already inside, such as that from a heater. This means significant reductions in both cooling and heating costs as temperature regulation is much more efficient.
When designing a new building or planning on replacing an existing roof in Texas, it is important to specify a cool roofing structure to the contractor such as Black Slate Roofing, LLC. It may cost more to have a cool roof installed, but the benefits over the long run can more than make up for any additional outlay on labor and materials at installation.Read More
Employers in the US, whether from the private or government sector, are obliged provide their employees with a safe and healthy work environment to significantly reduce, if not totally eliminate, occurrences of accidents in the workplace. This duty is base on the mandate of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, a federal law that was enacted by the US Congress in 1970. The Act requires the assurance for a safe and healthy working environment for all employees, the conduction of training in the area of occupational health and safety, and the provision of vital information, research and education on the same area.
In 1971the Occupational Safety and Health Act or OSH Act gave birth, in turn, to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which is tasked to fully and strictly implement all the safety standards mandated by the Act, such as a workplace free from mechanical dangers, excessive level of noise, heat or cold stress, exposure to toxic chemicals, poisonous gases, radiation, unsanitary conditions, and other hazards.
The Hazard Communication Standard or HCS, is another mandate that OSHA enforces. This federal mandate, which was passed into law in 1980 and took effect in 1986, gives those exposed to hazardous chemicals in the work area the right to be informed about the type of danger they are exposed to and how they can protect themselves from such danger.
The HCS, also known as the Right-to-Know law or the Worker Right-to-Know Legislation, also requires manufacturers and importers to attach Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) and warning labels on all their hazardous products. And, besides indicating on the label that a product is poisonous or hazardous, there should also be information on the product’s safe storage suggestions, potential health effects, precautions for use, emergency first aid instructions, and contact numbers for further information.
On its website, Scudder & Hedrick, PLLC, explains that each type of work environment presents a unique set of safety risks; thus, employers should take full responsibility in implementing the necessary measures that will prevent accidents from occurring. Anticipation of potential problems through risk assessment, safety training, provision of the necessary protective equipment, installation of safety barriers and so forth, are just few of the precautions that ought to be observed inside work premises. While OSHA maintains that accidents can be avoided, this will only be possible if owners of firms and their managers observe government safety standards, and the employees follow company safety rules.Read More
The gender lines between male and female have become more and more blurry, and in the 21st century it has been socially accepted to have men be more health and beauty conscious and for women to enjoy sports and other outdoor activities. Call it “gender equality” if you must, but there are still some things that can be surprising. Although men (and even some women) find the idea of men’s cosmetics laughable, it has become the fastest-growing sector in the beauty and cosmetic industry.
Although it is significantly smaller than the female beauty industry, there has been a recent increase in sales for men’s cosmetics. Today, more and more men are spending money for more than just grooming products. It may be a wonder how cosmetic companies and marketers made these men buy “makeup,” but the answer is actually really simple. Marketers and advertisers tend to avoid using the word “makeup” and instead prefers to use the terms “urban camouflage” or “facial fuel” to appeal more manly. Even their packaging is meant to look more masculine, shunning away any colors or descriptions that allude to women’s cosmetics.
Having the same purpose as those of women’s cosmetics – cover up wrinkles and blemishes, moisturize, prevent aging, and many others – men’s make-up generally aim to hide imperfections. Men have become more and more comfortable being metrosexual, understanding the importance of appearance and youthfulness in today’s society. Gender lines are blurring. The stereotypical appeal of the classical man – the strong and silent type, with rugged features – is being threatened by the rising number of men embracing the metrosexual lifestyle. Being metrosexual and using men’s cosmetics does not necessarily mean a man has to become feminine, they can still hang on to a number of traditional paradigms of manhood. Although it does help to take care of one’s self and be self-conscious, a man who takes his imperfections with grace and carries on with his life is still viewed as the norm.Read More
There is nothing more difficult to fight than an unseen enemy. For women and minorities in employment, this is referred to as the “glass ceiling.”
It is actually a political term that was first used in an article by former Working Woman magazine editor Gay Bryant in March 1984 to refer to the inability of women in middle management to break through to upper management despite their experience and qualifications. The term has also been used to refer to the same plight of minority men.
It may be tempting to state that in 2014 there is no longer any glass ceiling, that discrimination based on sex or gender no longer exists. But in fact, 73% of female executives today believe that it still does.
The statistics seem to bear this out. While women comprise 51% of those in middle and senior management, there are only 8% who make it to the top position. The statement of Gay Bryant in her 1984 article that women in the corporate world are being blocked from advancing past a certain point continues to hold true.
It is not always easy to prove that there is discrimination in the workplace as there are many factors that come into play when it comes to climbing the corporate ladder. But those who are in position can tell when they’ve hit that invisible barrier. While some shrug it off as part of the status quo, this is actually illegal because it is a violation of a person’s civil rights. Ironically, women lawyers are not exempt. In 2011, 45.4% of all lawyers were women, but only 19.5% made partner in law firms.
If you believe that you have hit the glass ceiling, you may be able to prove workplace discrimination. Consult with an employment discrimination lawyer to find out more about your options.Read More
Personal injury lawsuits have been on the rise in the US ever since the concept of liability was raised to protect the rights of the innocent bystander from the consequences of a third party’s actions. While tort (wrongdoing) law has a long history, it has really only entered into the general public’s consciousness since the 1970s, but when it did it gained rapid ground. Yet there are some common misconceptions about personal injury litigation.
Two of the major concepts in a personal injury lawsuit are negligence and proximate cause. Negligence is defined as the act or the failure to act of a reasonable person resulting in foreseeable harm to another person. It is not enough that a person is negligent, however. The rule is that the plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit must prove that there was negligence by a third party and that this negligence was a proximate cause of serious injury. It does not have to be the sole or even ultimate cause of the injury as long as the negligence can be connected to the injury in some way.
For example, in dram shop laws in any of the 38 states that enforce it in the US, the business establishment that fails to cut off a customer who is obviously inebriated or nearly so can be held liable for injuries resulting from a drunk driving accident. The bar owner is said to owe a duty to the public to refuse service to an individual who may have had “one too many.”
Is it possible that even if the bar owner had refused service to the customer that the accident may have still happened? Yes, but that does not relieve the bar owner of liability for not cutting off the customer. In such cases, the “but-for” cause of action is not applicable, because the action of the bar owner increased the risk of a foreseeable event such as a car accident.
Proving negligence and proximate can be complicated, and according to the website of Pohl & Berk, LLP in Tennessee, can add to the struggle that a victim will have to contend with on top of all the other problems associated with serious injury. It is advisable to have an experienced and knowledgeable legal team on board to help in proving the case and bring the case to a just and satisfactory conclusion.Read More
People typically associate exposure to toxic substances with things that carry disease such as the flu, a flesh-eating virus, or one that will turn you into a zombie. But a substance does not have to be infectious to be harmful to the health.
One of the best examples of a seemingly benign substance having harmful health effects are fiber-related diseases. These types of diseases include byssinosis, (brown lung disease related to industries dealing with cotton) and coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (black lung disease). These are occupational lung diseases that result from chronic inhalation of very small particles of otherwise harmless substances, which then collect in the lung and eventually lead to respiratory failure and death.
Exposure to asbestos can cause people to suffer from serious illness in the same way, but the difference is that asbestos exposure is not confined to workers in industries that handle the substance. Chronic asbestos exposure can occur in the home, the workplace, and in public areas. Because it had so many useful applications in the past before it was discovered to be toxic, you could be exposed to it without knowing it, such as from old electrical wiring or insulation.
Asbestos is a silicate material that occurs in nature and the fibers are very fine. Mining and manufacturing of asbestos is no longer carried out, but it is nevertheless in the air and water in the area where deposits are located. The health effects of naturally occurring asbestos are not proven but studies indicate that there could be a correlation between NOA exposure and mesothelioma. As pointed out on the website of law firm Williams Kherkher, mesothelioma is known to be caused by exposure to asbestos.
Liability for exposure to asbestos will become an issue when it is preventable i.e. failure to follow regulations for the proper disposal of asbestos-containing material. If you are injured from exposure to asbestos due to the carelessness or negligence of a third party, you should contact a personal injury lawyer to find out your legal options.Read More