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abuse and neglect attorneys

Minors Languish Inside Illinois’ Largest Immigrant Detainee Home

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported that agents detained a total of 5,283 children who weren’t accompanied by a parent in November of 2018. Ad in December of 2018, two immigrant children died on separate occasions in just over two weeks which created strong scrutiny of U.S. authorities held responsible for their care. For more than 20 years, Chicago has been the temporary home to many migrant children who have been detained after entering the U.S. Some of these young immigrants either crossed the border alone or as we have come to know most recently, taken from their immigrant parents and placed into the custody of the CBP and then overseen by the U.S. Health and Human Services department’s Office of Refugee Resettlement.

The largest caretaker or shelter agency for these children in Illinois is a 130-year-old nonprofit organization branded with the name Heartland. Employees from multiple Heartland agencies have been reported saying immigrant children are in fact neglected or abused due to insufficient shelter care staff and oversight of the agency, similar to the everyday problems today’s elderly face while living in understaffed nursing homes.

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talcum powder risk

New Evidence Shows Johnson & Johnson Execs Likely Knew Talc Found in Baby Powder Was Not Safe

For decades, claims of cancer-causing talc found in popular American household brand Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder have stayed alive through more than 11,700 plaintiffs and hundreds of personal injury reviews, successful lawsuits, and dozens of intense investigative reports. Most recently, under the close watch of a Reuters published review, thousands of court released internal and confidential documents uncover the company’s knowingly talc and asbestos risk could have been responsible for causing horrible diseases, such as ovarian cancer. Worse, it’s believed many Johnson & Johnson executives and scientists may have known about the issue since the early 1970s and chose to do nothing about it.

Within the Reuters review of these now unshielded Johnson & Johnson documents, as well as trial testimony and scientific research reviews, several conclusions were made as noted by Reuters in a December 14, 2018 NBC news special report.

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vietnam veteran care

Vietnam Veteran’s Wrongful Death Awarded $7 Million Verdict

A Cook County Circuit Court jury recently awarded $7 million to the family of Patrick Stein, a two-tour Vietnam veteran, suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), after nurses and paramedics failed to keep him safe in an ambulance transfer from St. James-Olympia Fields hospital to the Edward Hines Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital for psychiatric treatment. The 64-year-old Army veteran died in July 2014, after his PTSD confusion resettled and prompted him to exit an ambulance while it was traveling 30 to 35 miles per hours and sustain fatal injuries to his head and body. Prior to his transfer, his concerned family had brought him to the St. James-Olympia Fields emergency room after finding him outside his daughter’s home with a butcher knife clutched to his abdomen. Once Mr. Stein arrived at the hospital though, he did not remember the episode with the knife and continued to present dangerous confusion, prompting his fatal ambulance ride to the VA hospital. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that PTSD afflicts almost 31 percent of Vietnam veterans.

Levin & Perconti attorneys Michael Bonamarte, Margaret Battersby Black and Cari Silverman brought the suit on behalf of Mr. Stein’s family. The attorneys argued that Mr. Stein, given his medical history, should have been carefully monitored by medical staff to protect and prevent him from injuring himself during the transfer. Hospital nurses were also faulted for failing to relay information to the paramedics about his mental state. The clinical impressions of the medical staff at St. James indicated Mr. Stein to exhibit:

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Nearly 75% of all firefighter deaths in 2016 were cancer-related.

So says data from Firefighter Cancer Support Network, an organization whose aim is to bring comfort, support, and resources to families of firefighters who have received a cancer diagnosis. Boston Fire Commissioner Joseph Finn called the number of firefighter cancer deaths in his city an “epidemic”  in a 2017 interview with NBC News’ Tom Costello.

In his NBC interview, Boston Fire Commissioner Finn recalls a 2002 explosion at a power plant. 200 city firefighters responded to a fire that left them covered with chemicals pouring from the ceiling. A quarter of those who responded have since been diagnosed with a cardiac issue or cancer.

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Sterigenics International, Inc., a manufacturing plant in Willowbrook that sterilizes medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, and foods and spices, has been the subject of recent scrutiny by both the public and the U.S. and Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). A report compiled by a division of the Department of Health & Human Services revealed in August that the sterilization process used by Sterigenics was emitting high levels of the cancer-causing gas ethylene oxide (EtO), polluting the surrounding community and causing elevated risks of cancer for residents in neighboring areas.

According to the EPA, the cancers associated with excess EtO exposure include:

  • Breast cancer
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“It is the story of how cracks and flaws not just at Somerville Hospital, but throughout our health care system — communication errors, overburdened staffs, lack of fail-safes — can snowball into someone’s unimaginable death.”

-Pete DeMarco describing his wife, Laura Levis’ death to the Boston Globe

A Romantic Partner and Uber Can Find You, But 911 Can’t

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A federal agency’s results from a May air quality investigation that shows the risk of cancer in Willowbrook and surrounding communities is higher than the EPA initially reported to the facility, Sterigenics, in December. Ethylene oxide (EtO) emissions from Sterigenics International, Inc., a plant that specializes in the sterilization of medical equipment, pharmaceuticals and foods/spices, have been given off from the facility since 1984. The federal agency behind the most recent investigation is the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), a division of the Department of Health and Human Services.

According to the EPA, the cancers associated with excess EtO exposure include:

  • Breast cancer
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halloween accidents

Trick-or-Treat Injuries Trend on the Rise and Drunk Drivers Are to Blame

Halloween related events such as community trick-or-treating have sadly become the growing scene of gruesome drunk-driving fatalities. This is because many families and their costume-clad children innocently share the streets with others who are on their way home from celebrating at local bars and restaurants and driving under the influence of alcohol. The Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) officials say the scary statistics don’t lie.

  • During the Halloween holiday period (6 p.m. October 31 to 5:59 a.m. November 1) during the years 2012-2016, 168 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes.
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halloween safety

Trick-or-Treat: The Scary Truth About Halloween Injuries

Many Halloween traditions involve pumpkins, apple cider, and even a scary hayride, but we are going to bet there will be some neighborhood trick-or-treating involved too. And for the more than 41.1 million trick-or-treaters, the majority children ages 5 to 14, who hit U.S. doorsteps in 2017 requesting a Halloween treat, many injuries followed. This year, the attorneys at Levin & Perconti, especially those with young families of their own including Mike Bonamarte, Margaret Battersby Black, Marvet Sweis Drnovsek, Colleen Mixan Mikaitis, AJ Thut, Jaime Koziol Delaney, and Pam Dimo thought it would be helpful to share a few easy ways our blog readers can protect children from injury while trick-or-treating this Halloween night.

  1. Be Seen
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This month, two unrelated Detroit funeral homes have been raided after tipsters revealed that the bodies and cremated remains of fetuses and infants have been improperly stored there, some as long as 3 years.

The idea of abusing bereaved families’ trust and the immoral treatment of the deceased in order to make money is not new. In 2009, it was discovered that Burr Oak cemetery right here in Alsip had been digging up bodies and headstones and reselling the plots to the loved ones of the newly deceased. What followed were heartbreaking searches for the bodies of loved ones who had been moved from their final resting place and demands for answers why. Levin & Perconti successfully represented several clients in lawsuits against the cemetery. What the investigation by the police and the FBI revealed was greed, pure and simple. The cemetery’s owners thought bereft loved ones wouldn’t realize years later that their family member had been moved, allowing them to reuse plots and reap the profits.

Sadly, what is happening in Detroit feels eerily similar.