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2010 Significant Verdicts and Settlements
Join Our 2010-2011
SETTLEMENT CASE TYPE
S O K O L O V E M E A N S S U C C E S S . Volume 5, Spring 2010
Birth Injury/Medical Malpractice
Nursing Home Neglect & Abuse
The Case for Outside Ownership of U.S. Law Firms by Michael J. Skoler
available in our national 2010 – 2011 Birth
I’m not a lawyer. But if I were, what to the justice system as officers of
Home campaigns that start in June 2010.
yielding great results and qualified cases.
that four-fifths of the civil legal needs
comprehensive online resource for parents of birth injured children. The site includes a
listing of treatment facilities and resources
by state, video blogs by our head legal nurse
Kathy McGinn, in-depth coverage of issues
and news by our bloggers, and information
Participation in these campaigns is on a
aren’t already motivated by profits just
state-by-state basis with our contributing co-counsel firms receiving all leads generated
for their state. Call us at 1-800-305-4009
to find out if your state is available in the
It also ignores the fact that most U.S.
Birth Injury/Medical Malpractice or Nursing
services to a broader range of clients.
• Wage & Hour
• Workers’ Compensation
Sokolove Law is currently investigating potential litigation and case
generation opportunities for injuries/losses arising from the following:
Forced Placed Insurance Policies
Increased risk of muscle damage, including rhabdomyolysis, in
Unfair or deceptive lending practices involving the use of lender
patients taking high doses of the cholesterol-lowering drug Zocor,
placed insurance policies. These unilaterally imposed policies often
The American Trial Lawyer (Winter 2010)To read the article in its entirety, please visit
sold generically as simvastatin. In severe cases, rhabdomyolysis
provide less coverage at exorbitantly high rates, to the financial
can lead to kidney damage, kidney failure, and death.
benefit of the lender. In some instances, predatory lenders may force place homeowners’ insurance even when the borrower does
Reprinted with Permission, 2010,
The American Trial Lawyer
Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants
not need it or has provided proof of insurance.
Serious complications — inflammatory reactions, death of surrounding
tissue and muscle, and the need for early replacement — of metal-
on-metal hip implants. This includes the recently withdrawn DePuy
Claims of patient overexposure to diagnostic radiation caused by
Orthopaedics’ ASR hip implant, which has been linked to a high early
flawed hospital procedures, lack of appropriate operator training
or supervision, defective or improperly designed internal settings
or by identifying new areas of practice.
on CT machines, and/or lack of manufacturer safeguards. Radiation
overdose may increase a patient’s risk for long-term health issues,
Reports of rare but potentially life-threatening risk of liver injury,
to raise existing partner capital, secure
including liver failure in patients taking the antibiotic drug Avelox
Call us to discuss these and other opportunities.
Zocor® is a registered trademark of Merck & Co., Inc. Avelox® is a registered trademark of Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Business of Law Blog. SokoloveSuccess.com
YazTalk.com Leverages Social Media to Build Engagement
Nursing Home Reform: Still Seeking Accountability By Janet Wells
NCCNHR has been advocating for nursing home residents for 35
Opposing tort reform is just one of our key public policy initiatives.
In January, Sokolove Law launched YazTalk.com, a social Web community dedicated
to educating and uniting women who suffer from the serious side effects of the oral
contraceptives YAZ®, Yasmin®, and Ocella®. One of the site’s key objectives is to use
years against an industry that exerts a powerful influence in state
Our current legislative focus is on prohibiting nursing homes from
social media to engage this audience in a way that suits their lifestyle.
legislatures and Washington. And yet we still continue to receive five
enforcing predispute arbitration clauses in nursing home and assisted
or six calls a week from families whose loved ones are being abused
living admissions contracts. Stressed-out families, of course, are in
YazTalk community host Kate Meredith encourages women through her blog posts and videos
no position to negotiate over these clauses.
to become knowledgeable about the health risks of these drugs and to discuss their symptoms.
The invitation to write this column coincided with just such a call
The arbitration industry has been weakened by public exposure of
Her frequent posts provide information about factual warning signs and resources.
from a distraught daughter. Her mother lives in a “Five Star” nursing
its ties to businesses, but it is not going away. It is critical to pass
home where she may have been physically abused and drugged with
the Fairness in Nursing Home Arbitration Act (S. 512, H.R. 1237)
The YazTalk.com community also empowers women by providing a forum for personal stories
antipsychotic drugs. The doctor at the nursing home dismisses the
to invalidate predispute arbitration agreements.
and candid videos, and encouraging conversation via email, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
daughter’s concerns, and the administrator threatens to discharge hermother if the daughter insists on discontinuing the drugs. The state
The House and Senate judiciary committees passed the nursing
Since the launch of YazTalk.com, traffic to this Web site has increased more than 50 percent;
regulatory agency says the nursing home isn’t violating any laws.
home arbitration bill in 2008, and members of Congress need
there has also been a significant increase in Web leads. Due to the increased awareness
urging from their constituents to support the bill. Passage will stop
Unfortunately, the nursing home is in a tort-reform state, where
around the YazTalk brand through its online display ads, the firm generated more leads for
nursing homes from telling American families that they will not be
the civil justice system has been closed off to elderly nursing home
Yaz cases in February from related Web sources than previously recorded in one month.
held accountable for any harm they do.
residents and their families by limits on noneconomic damages.
Site visitors can also ask her questions directly, subscribe to periodic email updates, and
State and local consumer groups in NCCNHR’s advocacy network
stream blog posts as they are added on.
Janet Wells is public policy director of NCCNHR, formerly the National
Although YazTalk.com and its social media strategy are still in their infancy, it’s clear that both hold promise for deepening engagement
We believe few Americans would support tort reform if they
Citizens’ Coalition for Nursing Home Reform. NCCNHR is the only national
understood it meant that many nursing homes would never be held
organization whose exclusive mission is improving the quality of long-term
accountable for egregious, avoidable injuries to those they love.
care and protecting residents’ rights.
“We have an obligation to young women who have taken this drug and are concerned for their health to provide them with the most extensive information outlet to share experiences, to let them know they are not alone in their concerns, and to inform them
of their legal rights when considering a YAZ, Yasmin, or Ocella lawsuit,” says Jim Sokolove, founder of Sokolove Law LLC.
SPOTlight The Branch Law Firm
Meet Isabel Stewart — CUSTOMER CONTACT SUPERVISOR
litigation: one of its high-profile cases
Giving a Voice to Clients
In her role as Customer Contact Supervisor, Isabel Stewart is
says Isabel. “The lead qualifying process has become more like
always seeking to strengthen the relationship between our clients
practitioner. Today, his firm, The Branch
and Sokolove Law. She often brings with her the voice of the
Law Firm, is nationally recognized for its
client to roundtable discussions on improving existing marketing
This close engagement also helps uncover new client insights. For
involvement in a leadership capacity in a to negotiate the settlement of one
example, says Isabel, “We are also tweaking our process to better
meet communication demands from clients.” After noticing a
Isabel started off the year with an interesting venture. With
sizeable number of requests for emailed contracts, Isabel and her
Albuquerque lawyers, co-founded the New Mexico Women's Bar, which
the company’s recent launch of YazTalk.com (a social Web
team implemented a system to enable electronic contracts. “A
currently has more than 300 members.
community), she assembled a team of five women case managers
case manager can now email a contract to the client while they
whose age matches the Yaz target demographic. These case
are on the phone, review the contract together, and provide
managers, whose role is to screen leads before they are sent to
instructions on mailing the contract to our office,” she says. This
co-counsel for further review, are dedicated to the YAZ®,
approach has shortened the lead-to-case time by a whole week.
relationship,” says Branch. “I commend
the staff for their hard work in providing
During Isabel’s five-year tenure at the company, her role has
“We want to create a peer-to-peer experience for clients
evolved from a Client Services Representative to a Customer
Phen®, Rezulin®, Baycol®, Vioxx®, and
for always being available to assist us.
contacting us about their injuries from theYaz drug,” says Isabel.
Contact Supervisor who manages a team of 17 case managers
Having a team of women case managers responding to these
who focus on medical and pharmaceutical injuries. It’s this
inquiries has helped the team establish trust quickly, which adds
depth of experience brought by in-house resources like Isabel
an extra level of comfort for young women seeking legal consult.
that helps Sokolove Law to best meet the needs of our
“Our case managers are on a first-name basis with our clients,”
Omniflox®, Norplant®, Rezulin®, Baycol®, Vioxx® and Avandia® are registered trademarks of Abbott Laboratories, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Parke-Davis/Warner Lambert,
Yaz® and Yasmin® are registered trademarks of Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Ocella® is a registered trademark of Barr Laboratories, Inc.
Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Merck & Co., respectively.
ANY QUESTIONS FOR THE PHARMACIST? Charles F. Caley, Pharm.D., addressed questions from audience members in the Brace Professor Auditorium at the Tully Health Center in Stamford on March 17th. The audience of 35 to 40 included NAMI Stamford/Greenwich affiliate board members, as well as those living with mental illnesses and their families. Dr. Caley is an Associate Clinical Professor of Pharma
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