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Houston cities petition for funding to help curb truck accidents

It doesn't matter where you live, whether it's Katy, Missouri City, Sugar Land, The Woodlands, Baytown, Pearland or Pasadena, traffic is heavy in virtually every part of Houston. Truckers pass through the city as they head to or from the port of Galveston hauling goods. While tractor-trailers play an integral role in the city's economy, they present a safety hazard to many of the city's residents and visitors.

If you look at the large potholes or cracks in the pavement, then you realize how many large, heavy trucks drive down Houston's streets each day.

Think again before you take your blood pressure medication

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a recall of additional lots of the blood pressure medication Losartan on March 15. In announcing the voluntary recall, federal regulators and Legacy Pharmaceuticals Packaging, LLC, the drug's manufacturer, said that it may have been contaminated by a cancer-causing chemical.

Losartan potassium tablets are the latest type of hypertension drug to be recalled by the FDA. The lots that have been affected are Legacy Lot numbers 180190 and 180191, both with an expiration date of 10/2020 and 181597, which expires on 02/2021.

Don't Inhale: The Dangers of Benzene

Houston, TX...The Energy Capital of the World houses the headquarters of more than 500 oil and gas exploration and production firms in the country. With this concentration of chemicals comes the risks of contamination or exposure. Unfortunately, a fire at the Intercontinental Terminals Company located in Deer Park, a suburb of Houston, caused elevated levels of Benzene in the area on Thursday morning.

Discoveries in Texas Court Part 5: Depositions

Welcome to our final entry of the series on the discovery process in Texas court. As you know, discovery is where both parties gather information before a trial to facilitate a smooth and simple process. By this point the compilation of information is nearly complete through interrogatories, and request for production, disclosure, and admission. And now, depositions are the final part of discovery.

Depositions are interviews of parties to the case, as well as third parties (such as witnesses) with information about the case. Although depositions do not take place in a court room, similar rules apply. The lawyers are present, the witness is sworn in by a court reporter, and must answer questions honestly. A stenographer records the interview, which is submitted to the court. For convenience, the rules around the rigidity of deposition allow plenty of wiggle room. Depositions can by done over the telephone or videoed in person (without a stenographer). In Texas court, a deposition video can even be used in lieu of a live testimony.

A notice of intent will be served within a reasonable time of the deposition. The deponent will be notified to appear for a deposition through their attorney. If the deponent is a third party, a subpoena is served for the person to show up at a certain time and place to give their deposition. The notice also includes the identity of the witness, the means of conducting the recording, and any additional attendees.

Aprotex birth control pills are recalled for a packaging error

Early this month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a recall of birth control pills manufactured by the Apotex Corporation due to a packaging error.

The four lots included in the nationwide recall include Ethinyl Estradiol and Drospirenone pills. Many of the packages that they typically come in have either missing or incorrectly arranged tablets or defective blisters. These flaws could cause a woman to unintentionally become pregnant.

Discoveries in Texas Court Part 4: Request for Admission

Here is part four of our 5-part series on the discovery process in Texas court. Before parties go to trial, they gather information from each other so the trial can go as smooth as possible. Today we'll learn about "request for admission."

Following the information gathered in interrogatories, request for production, and request for disclosure, the request for admission phase seeks to confirm or deny the facts brought up in these previous discovery processes. This includes a "written request that the other party admit the truth of any matter within the scope of discovery, including statements of opinion or of fact or the genuineness of any documents served with the request or otherwise made available for inspection and copying."

The purpose of this phase is for both parties to agree on certain claims, so those claims can be set aside and not worried about during the trial. For example in a medical negligence case regarding a botched surgery, a plaintiff could send a request for admission to the defendant that the defendant was the doctor performing the surgery in question. This prevents extra time and costs to prove obvious facts so the case can move on quickly and smoothly.

The kinds of mistakes truck drivers make that could harm you

If you live in the greater Houston area, you know that truck accidents happen far too often. Every year, hundreds of people lose their lives, and thousands suffer injuries in these crashes. Perhaps you managed to escape becoming a part of the yearly statistics so far, but your luck could run out.

If it does, it could be due to a mistake on the part of the truck driver. Even though you may not always be able to prevent an accident with an 18-wheeler, you may at least gain some insight into the types of accidents its driver could make.

Discoveries in Texas Court Part 3: Request for Disclosure

Welcome to part three of our 5-part series on the discovery process in Texas Court. We've learned of the discovery process where parties gather information from each other before going to trial in the form of written questions (interrogatories) and hard data (request for production). Once these actions are complete, we move on to "request for disclosure."

Request for disclosure is all about getting the facts of the case correct. A form is sent out to both parties, and they answer specific questions. These are broad questions that are relevant to cases in general, rather than the specific questions pertaining to each individual case (such as the interrogatories). The questions are as follows:

Discoveries in Texas Court Part 2: Request for Production

Welcome back! Here is part two of our 5-part series on the discovery process in Texas Court. Discovery is the stage where parties gather information from each other before going to trial. After the parties submit written questions to each other regarding clarity in the case (interrogatories), the next phase is "request for production."

Requests for production are similar to interrogatories but instead of a person's response to questions, parties seek objective evidence. Documents, videos, photos, electronically-stored information, and any tangible items are included. This request must specify the items, as well as a reasonable time and place for the items to be produced (usually within 30 days of the request). The party may be able to test the items, such as audio or video, to make sure the information sought is available and clear.

It is important to be mindful of what you request because hard data can swing both ways as far as showing different sides of a case. For example in a divorce case where the wife accuses the husband of infidelity, the wife might request text messages from the husband's phone that can corroborate that claim. She must be aware though that all of her text messages are also fair game, and her messages could contain evidence that might be used against her. This is especially vital if the messages have been erased and she cannot verify if her messages contain incriminating evidence or not.

Most medical device recalls are caused by software glitches

A report published earlier this month by Stericycle Expert Solutions, a U.S. company that manages product recalls, highlighted how problems with software resulted in a significant number of recalls of medical devices during the final three months of 2018. This reason mirrors what has been recorded during previous quarters by the company in their "recall index".

The authors of this report compile data regarding the cause and frequency of recalls for a variety of products sold in the United States including automotive, food, consumer and pharmaceutical products in addition to medical devices.

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