Thursday, August 18, 2016

Benzene Exposure Causes AML – A Serious Form Of Leukemia

Benzene is a common product used in a great many different industries and countless people are exposed to it, mostly through inhalation. Many people are unaware of their benzene exposure and worse -- they are not aware of the health dangers. One of those inherent dangers is a life threatening disease known as Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML).

Most exposures to benzene occur on the job. Benzene is present in the atmosphere in small quantities where it poses no health risk, however many workers are in close proximity to benzene, or products containing benzene, and their higher level or longer term exposures can place them at serious risk levels for developing AML or several other serious conditions.

Benzene generally enters the body through inhalation but skin absorption is another less common avenue. Once in the bloodstream benzene has detrimental effects on the bone marrow and the cells which form blood. White and red blood cells as well as platelets become damaged in turn leading to the development of AML and other forms of leukemia or lymphoma. AML is a rapidly growing cancer that can also spread to other places in the body including the liver, brain, spinal cord, spleen and more. 

Benzene exposure can occur in a multitude of jobs in many different industries. Sudden, heavy exposure may be realized as dizziness, nausea, drowsiness or even unconsciousness but many exposures do not produce any symptoms for years.  

Anywhere that benzene is produced, refined or used in products has a great potential for causing illness to workers who are exposed. Some of these industries are:

  •       Petroleum – Petroleum products contain benzene. Refining and extraction, shipping and transporting, auto mechanics, railroad workers all are at a risk of exposure through petroleum.
  •       Printing – Printer solvents are made partly from benzene
  •       Floor Installation – Floor often contain benzene from chemicals used in treatment.
  •       Industrial Manufacturing – Manufacturing of products containing benzene includes rubbers, plastics, detergents, solvents, lubricants, adhesive’s, glues, paints, dyes, detergents, pesticides plus many more.
  •       Oil Based Product Manufacturing – Manufacturing of products containing oil includes paints, glues, stains, solvents, de-greasers, pesticides, dyes and adhesive products as examples.
  •       Steel Industry – Steel workers can be in direct contact with benzene.
  •       Chemical Labs – Chemical lab workers can be exposed through certain products.
  •       Gas Stations and Transportation – Anyone working with gasoline can be exposed to benzene.
  •       Pipefitters
  •       Waterfront and Offshore Workers

The Detrimental Health Effects of Benzene Exposure

Acute Myeloid Leukemia can be caused from exposure to benzene. This is an undisputable fact. Also known as Acute Myelogenous Leukemia, there are eight different diagnoses of AML, all can be the result of benzene exposure. These are listed alpha-numerically:
·      MO – Acute Myeloblastic Leukemia with Minimal Differentiation
·      M1 – Acute Myeloblastic Leukemia without maturation
·      M2 – Acute Myeloblastic Leukemia with Granulocytic Maturation
·      M3 – Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia
·      M4 – Acute Myelomonocytic Leukemia
·      M5 – Acute Monocytic Leukemia
·      M6 -  Acute Erythroid Leukemia
·      M7 – Acute Megakaryoblastic Leukemia

In addition to AML, exposure to benzene can also cause a group of diseases that affect the bone marrow and blood in various ways known as Myelodysplastic Syndromes or MDS. Some of these include:
·      Refractory Anemia with Ringed Siderblasts (RARS)
·      Refractory Anemia with Excess Blasts (RAEB)
·      Chronic Myelomonocytic Leukemia (CMML)
·      Myeloproliferative Disorder

Benzene exposure has also been linked to Acute, Chronic and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

What Should You Do If You Were Exposed to Benzene and Developed a Serious Medical Condition

Some people never connect benzene exposure with their disease because it can take so many years to develop. They either forgot they worked with or around the chemical substance or were not aware at the time. If you have been diagnosed with AML or any other blood disease, you should contact a personal injury lawyer immediately. The statutes of limitations apply in these cases and the window to file may be closing soon. You may be entitled to compensation but waiting too long may cost you that opportunity.

Dolman Law Group is a personal injury law firm with a great deal of experience with benzene exposure cases. If you or a loved one became ill and believe benzene exposure at work is to blame, contact our St. Petersburg wrongful death attorneys immediately for a free evaluation of your case. But do not wait – time is running out. Call (727) 222-6922 today.

Dolman Law Group
1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712
(727) 222-6922


Thursday, August 11, 2016

Family Of Autistic Child Settles Wrongful Death Suit For $2.7 Million With School Officials Of The City Of New York

The family of Avonte Oquendo, the autistic boy who suddenly ran out of school and turned up dead months later in the East River, has settled a wrongful death lawsuit with the City of New York for $2.7 million. 
Three months after the boy disappeared from his Queens, N.Y. school, the body of the boy was discovered on January 15, 2014.
The lawsuit alleged that school officials and the New York Police Departments school safety division were negligent for not properly supervising Avonte, and failing to monitor the doors of the school. This negligence allowed the boy to suddenly run out of the school without being noticed, despite his history of being non-verbal and a flight risk. Avonte’s mother had sent a note to the school regarding required fight prevention supervision but the information in the note was never passed along to the paraprofessionals that were escorting his class from the lunchroom to recess on the day he disappeared.
In a statement given to the New York Daily News, a spokesperson from the city’s Law Department, Nicholas Paolucci said, “The loss of a child is a tragedy that no family should endure, and hopefully, the resolution of this legal matter will bring some measure of solace to Avonte’s family.”
“The Department of Education has taken a number of steps and is dedicated to taking every measure possible to prevent something like this from occurring again.” Paolucci added.
How Common Are School Related Injuries?
Although the Avonte Oquendo case is far more tragic than most, lawsuits against schools are far more common than most would think. The negligence of teachers, bus drivers, nurses and athletic personnel contributes to a large portion of the injuries to students. Violent acts were the cause of nearly 750,000 non-fatal injuries to students between the ages of 12-18 years old in 2012 as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A national survey, the following year, showed that 8% of all students reported being in a fight and 20% reported being bullied. The most common injuries to students from physical violence included contusions, broken bones, head trauma and, shockingly, gunshot wounds. 5% of all students admitted to carrying some form of weapon to school within a 30-day period.
School violence and bullying can lead to anxiety, depression and disabling phobias according to the CDC. These issues can interfere with learning, or make a child try to escape by truancy or withdrawing emotionally. It is critical for parents to communicate with children daily to aid in identifying any signs of physical or emotional abuse.
Athletic injuries, from gym class or sports, are also common within the school systems. In a 2012 reports Safe Kids Worldwide reported that 1.35 million children suffered sports related injuries in 2012 that required a trip to the emergency room. Injuries from sports are most likely to be caused by improper supervision of defective safety equipment. There has been a surge in public awareness of the risk and danger of concussions recently in school sports. However soft tissue injuries, fractures, spinal injuries and sprains are also suffered due to school sports by many youths.
Another common cause for injuries to students stems from improper supervision on playgrounds, cafeterias, classrooms and common areas such as hallways as was the case of Avonte Oquendo.
Other causes of injuries to students are school bus accidents, medical malpractice by nurses, and unsafe property such as cracked sidewalks and improperly maintained recreation areas.
If Your Child is Hurt at School
An injured child is not only suffering physically, he or she is also suffering emotionally, as are you as a parent. What parent does not suffer with their child?  In addition to seeking proper medical care, the child needs your comfort. Once the trauma has waned and emotions have settled, it is time to look at the circumstance that led to your child being injured. Determining if there was negligence should be left to an experienced attorney with expertise in handling injuries involving schools. Every situation is unique. Certain elements must be present for a school injury, or wrongful death suit, to be successful. These four questions need to be answered:
1.     Was there a duty of care? All school personnel have a duty of care to protect students from physical and psychological harm while on school grounds, traveling on buses, on supervised field trips, engaging in sports and other school sanctioned extra-curricular activities.
2.     Was the duty of care breached? Did the teacher, school bus driver, coach, nurse, custodian or any other staff member act inappropriately or fail to act appropriately during the course of duty?
3.     Did recklessness, or other misconduct, cause or contribute to the harm to the student.
4.     Did the student suffer an injury either physically or psychologically? Can the harm be proven and confirmed by medical professionals?
Proceeding with a lawsuit against a school is different than suing a private entity. Acting quickly is paramount as the deadlines for filing are more stringent. The rules for filing against a public school are also different than those that apply to a private or charter school.
The Qualified School Injury Attorney
If you have a child that was injured at school, while participating in a school activity, or traveling by school bus, you need to contact a St. Petersburg wrongful death attorney that is experienced in school related injury litigation. You may be able to collect significant compensation for your child’s medical bills, pain and suffering, emotional stress and more. If you were unfortunate enough to have lost a child due to the negligence of school personnel, you may be able to file a wrongful death suit. Do not attempt to determine if negligence existed or not. Leave that to your attorney. Even in cases of psychological damage or having to change schools due to bullying by another student may have been preventable with proper supervision.
Dolman Law Group has represented the families of many students who suffered harm as the result of negligence by school personnel. If you child was hurt, call Dolman Law at (727) 222-6922 today for a free, confidential, consultation by a qualified attorney. 
Dolman Law Group
1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712
(727) 222-6922

Friday, August 5, 2016

Explosion And Fire – The Real Danger Of E-Cigarettes

The smoking of e-cigarettes, or vaping as it is referred to, has been growing at a rapid pace in the U.S. and worldwide since being introduced in 2007. The use of e-cigs was originally marketed as a safe alternative to smoking but has since become popular, especially with millennials, as a social activity. Vape parlors or lounges have opened in virtually every U.S. city and the e-cigs are now available in a myriad of different flavors. But how safe are these devices
Recently reports have trickled in regarding toxicity in the vapors. But the most alarming reports are those of the e-cigs catching fire or exploding. One New York man filed a lawsuit against the maker of an e-cigarette after it allegedly exploded in his mouth on May 16. After hitting the power button of his cigarette he experienced what he described “like an M-80 went off in my mouth.”
He was alone at the time and found himself on the floor of his home, on fire, with his arms paralyzed. He is continuing treatments for his injuries which included blown out teeth and a hole blasted through his tongue. 
In other cases, the injuries were also severe as in the case of a New Jersey man who suffered leg burns when the device blew up in his pocket last year. Another Southern California man was injured received serious injuries when an e-cigarette exploded as he was holding it. 
Accidents Increase with the Popularity of Vaping
There are no accurate statistics on how many people have been injured and how much property has been destroyed as the result of exploding or flaming e-cigs. The numbers have been rising steadily as the popularity of vaping continues to grow. It is estimated that there are over 450 brands of e-cigarettes on the market. Sales of e-cigs in the United States have surpassed 1.5 billion annually. 
Why They Catch Fire
E-cigs are available in two forms, one with a replaceable liquid cartridge and the other with a refillable tank. Both types operate with a rechargeable lithium battery. It is this battery that is the culprit in most explosions and fires. Most of the incidents occurred during charging of the battery, while others occurred while the devices were being carried. Others, while fewer, have been reported as happening while the device was in use. Those produced the most serious injuries, but the charging process, often with the wrong charger, caused most of the fire damage to property.
In one injury case in Michigan, it is believed that the change being carried in one individuals pocket caused the lithium battery to explode causing second and third degree burns. According to Fox News, West Michigan, the man was changing his sons diaper when he felt the heat increasing in his pocket. By the time he could get his pants off, it had already flared up. 
In May of this year the U.S. Food and Drug administration passed new regulations regarding e-cigarettes. However, these new FDA regulations pertain to the nicotine content and health concerns but do not address the batteries or electronics used in the devices. 
“The tobacco company will tell you it causes lung cancer but the vape store ain’t gonna tell you, you could lose your hand, lose your face or lose half your leg” the Grand Rapids man told Fox News.  
If You Are Injured or Suffer Property Damage
Any person who has been seriously injured or suffered the loss of property do to and exploding or flaming e-cigarette should contact a product liability attorney as soon as possible. There could be compensation available for medical bills, pain and suffering and lost income. 
If you suffered due to a fire or explosion cause by an electronic cigarette, call Dolman Law at 732-451-6900 and speak with a qualified product liability attorney. There is no cost for an evaluation of your case and certainly, no obligation. We welcome the opportunity to speak with you.
Dolman Law Group

1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712
(727) 222-6922

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Pain Management For Neck And Back Pain

What is Pain?
Pain is part of the human condition; it is something that we all experience at one time or another, from infancy to old age. According to the International Association for the Study of Pain, pain is defined as: an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage [1]. Other than clinical definitions, or those provided by dictionaries, pain is a hard thing to define. No person can feel another’s pain—despite the popular saying—and therefore cannot objectively evaluate or analyze one’s pain.
What is Pain Management?
Pain management is a multidisciplinary approach to making pain tolerable by learning physical, emotional, intellectual, and social skills. This may include exercise, physical therapy, medication, holistic therapies, and counseling [2]
There are four types of pain associated with the neck and back: acute, chronic, neuropathic, and nociceptive. 
>      Acute Pain is severe short-term pain. It is considered self-limiting because the pain acts to stop or limit an activity so that further tissue damage does not occur. Breaking your arm while climbing a tree or post-surgery pain are examples of acute pain. The longer the duration and the more severe the pain, the more likely it is to turn chronic. This is because, during pain, nerves that block pain die off and nerves that transmit pain create new paths and become more sensitive.
>      Chronic Pain is pain that lasts long term—defined as longer than six months—after an injury. It can last years, decades, or even for the rest of your life. About 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. Chronic pain can be mild or excruciating, episodic or continuous, just inconvenient or completely debilitating [3]. Chronic pain can take an emotional toll on a person, causing sadness, anxiety, stress, depression, anger, and fatigue. The most common sources of chronic pain stem from headaches, joint pain, injury, and neck/back injuries [4]
>      Neuropathic Pain has been described by patients as a burning, electric, tingling, and/or shooting sensation. Neuropathic pain usually cannot be controlled by traditional pain medications. It is considered chronic pain that is usually accompanied by tissue injury. With neuropathic pain, the nerve fibers themselves may be damaged, dysfunctional, or injured, sending incorrect signals to other pain centers. Nerve fiber injuries change the nerve function, both at the site of the injury and the areas around it. Phantom limb syndrome is an example of neuropathic pain [5].
>      Nociceptive Pain is caused by tissue damage and is localized to one area. It is described as sharp, aching, or throbbing. Nociceptive pain usually responds to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and narcotic pain medications.  
Pain Managements Role in Back Pain
Pain management is usually differentiated from surgical treatment options. It can be used for a variety of different things, besides to relieve pain. Pain management can be used to:

>      Help identify the source of a patient's back pain
>      As an alternative to surgery
>      To help determine the areas to be addressed surgically
>      To help rehabilitate the patient after surgery
>      For patients after surgery to cope with residual pain             [6]
What can be done about the pain?
>      Self-care refers to taking care of yourself so as to manage the pain naturally. This is often the first step in pain management. Stress makes pain worse, so managing it will be very helpful in pain reduction. Taking care of yourself in other ways will be helpful also, like getting enough sleep, maintain your weight, eating healthy, and restraining from bad habits like smoking and alcohol. 
>      Exercise is empirical to reducing pain since flexible, toned muscles feel less pain than taught, weak ones. No matter the level of pain you are in, there is always some level of exercise that is doable and tolerable. 
>       Alternative Medicines like natural products, vitamins, diet, herbal medicines, and dietary supplements may help.
>       Alternative Techniques like meditation, deep-breathing exercises, guided imagery, progressive relaxation, biofeedback, hypnotherapy, tai chi, qi gong, yoga, prayer, music/dance/humor therapy, and Pilates may be helpful for some.
>       Alternative Medicine Systems like acupuncture, Ayurveda, homeopathy, Native American healing practices, traditional Chinese medicine, and naturopathic medicine have been reported by some patients to be helpful.
>       Spinal Manipulation like chiropractic, osteopathic, and massage therapy will help in the same way that exercise will, only it will be more controlled and administered by a professional.
>       Spinal Surgery includes a multitude of options, each with their own success rate. [7]


Medications are a common option for those suffering from chronic and acute neck or back pain. Although it has its limitations and drawbacks, it is very effective. For this reason, it is almost always part of a multidisciplinary treatment plan. 

>       Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), and naproxen (Aleve) are used to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. Long-term use of analgesics and NSAIDs can cause other health problems, like stomach ulcers, and kidney and liver problems.
>       Analgesics like acetaminophen (Tylenol) and tramadol (Ultram) can provide some pain relief, but don't have the anti-inflammatory properties of NSAIDs.
>       Muscle relaxants are used to treat pain associated with muscle spasms and spasticity.
>       Antidepressants/Anticonvulsants, while not traditional pain medications, can be used to relieve pain specific to the nerves.
>       Steroids can be used to reduce the swelling and inflammation of the nerves. They have the advantage of providing pain relief within a 24-hour period, but are temporary. Steroids can be administered orally or by injection.  
>       Narcotics/Opioids are very powerful pain relievers that actually deaden a person’s perception of pain. For this reason, they can be very effective. They are used for a short period, usually 2 to 4 weeks, after an acute injury or surgery. Narcotic medications cause impaired mental function, drowsiness, nausea, constipation, and can be addicting. They should be used with caution.
>       Injections, also known as Blocks, deliver steroids or anesthetic directly into joints, ligaments, muscles, or around nerves. Although they are temporary, they can provide significant relief and help your doctor pinpoint the location of the injury or pain.    [8]

Dolman Law Group is an experienced firm in the area of back pain. If you or a loved one has suffered a serious back injury, call us at (727) 222-6922 today for a free consultation.

Dolman Law Group
1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712
(727) 222-6922

4.     Ibid.
8.     Ibid.