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The last week has been a bad one on Mississippi roadways, especially when it comes to accidents involving tractor-trailers. Last Wednesday saw two especially bad interstate crashes, one of them deadly, that occurred within less than 10 miles of each other. Between the two accident scenes, authorities say five 18-wheelers were involved along with a group of five passenger vehicles. Multiple people were injured and one person (and his dog) died.

The first accident occurred at mile-marker 75 on I-10. Police say that three 18-wheelers were involved and the crash began when one lost its load of lumber. Just as the police and other emergency responders were cleaning up the mess from the first accident, less than an hour later a second, deadly crash, occurred nearby. The second crash took place on Interstate 10 on an overpass above Mississippi 613 in Moss Point at mile-marker 68. Police say the accident involved seven vehicles, 2 tractor-trailers and five passenger vehicles.

The collision is thought to have started as traffic was backing up due to the first accident scene. Vehicles started hitting their brakes and the chain-reaction began when one of the tractor-trailers collided with the back of a passenger vehicle. The force of the accident created a domino effect, with the heavy 18-wheelers pushing multiple, much lighter, passenger vehicles into one another. Tragically, they also pushed a Ford F-150 pickup off an embankment.

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Recent studies by the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that the number of American workers injured or killed on the job has increased. In fact, the latest report shows that numbers of fatally injured workers is at an eight-year high. A variety of factors are responsible for the rise in workplace injury, including the improved economy and increased activity in the manufacturing sector, but another factor behind the increase is the failure by employers to do all that they can to ensure that workers are safe and secure on the job.

A recent lawsuit brought y the U.S. Department of Labor touches on this last factor. The DoL filed a claim against Lone Star Western Beef, a company that makes beef jerky, after one of the workers was fired for trying to help an injured co-worker. In that case, an employee attempted to call 911 after a co-worker cut off part of his thumb in a workplace accident with a meat-slicing machine.

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A couple in New Hampshire has learned a lesson that many others have come to understand: drones, though cool, aren’t always fun and games. As the popularity of drones have increased dramatically in recent years, so much so that the FAA now requires those with large versions of the machines to register them with the government, so have accidents and injuries associated with their use. What starts as an attempt to buy a fancy new toy or a way of capturing cool videos can end with a trip to the emergency room if the person operating the drone isn’t careful.

The incident in New Hampshire started innocently enough. A couple was getting married at a castle and decided to employ a drone to capture some special footage of their special day. Something went wrong while the drone was being operated and the device came crashing down on the heads of several guests. In fact, news reports indicate that the drone slammed into the faces of two women on its way down to the ground.

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vw-jetta-1996-1451220.jpgAs the headlines continue to blare new details of the Volkswagen emissions recall, it can be confusing if you’re a VW owner to know what to make of all the details. VW owners likely have a million questions running through their heads: What exactly happened? How are you impacted? What does the recall mean for you? What do you do next? To get some answers and learn more about the VW emissions recall, keep reading.

First, what models are included in the potential recall?

Globally, experts believe as many as 11 million vehicles have been sold with the deceptive emissions control system. In the U.S., that number totals just under 500,000. The cars were sold since 2008 and come with a 2.0-liter diesel engine. The impacted models are:

Post #1 image. 2012-05-02.jpgAccording to a recent report by CNN, Mississippi has successfully passed a law that could make it more difficult for women to receive abortions in the state. Governor Phil Bryant signed a bill into law that requires that doctors who perform abortions be licensed and board-certified obstetrician-gynecologists and that those doctors have admitting privileges at a local hospital.

While these new requirements may seem at first glance to be minimal, it could potentially put the state’s only abortion facility out of business. The facility is the Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The owner of the facility, Diane Derzis, says that all of her physicians are board-certified obstetrician-gynecologists, but only one of the abortion providers in her office has admitting privileges. She said that she did not want to let her patients down and that she would do everything in her power to make sure that the clinic remained open.

Felicia Brown-Williams, policy director at Planned Parenthood in Hattiesburg, Mississippi does not believe that there is any medically necessary reason why an abortion provider has to have admitting privileges or be a board-certified OB/GYN. She believes that the bill is an attempt to ban abortions without directly challenging the 1973 United States Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade. She said that the bill “puts in place requirements that intentionally try to make it impossible for physicians to provide abortion services.” If the only provider in the state is required to close because it cannot find doctors who meet the bill new qualifications, then the state of Mississippi would have, even if only temporarily, banned abortion in the state.

It is possible to challenge the new bill on constitutional grounds, according to Jordan Goldberg, counsel for The Center for Reproductive Rights. If the Mississippi law puts more restrictions on abortion providers than on other physicians similarly situated, it could raise a 14th Amendment Equal Protection claim.
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The law firm of Kobs & Philley is happy to announce another successful resolution for the Plaintiffs in a case filed in Simpson County Circuit Court. In this case, Plaintiff was operating his 18 wheeler on highway 49 when a delivery truck abruptly and without warning merged into Plaintiff’s lane of traffic. Because Plaintiff did not have sufficient time to react, Plaintiff’s 18 wheeler struck the back of the delivery truck driven by Defendants. The day after the automobile accident, Plaintiff visited his treating physician where he was diagnosed with an aggravation to a pre-existing disc bulge at the L4-5 level. Plaintiff received conservative treatment for several months, which did not provide much relief. Eventually, Plaintiff became a candidate for surgery.

As a result of Plaintiff’s injuries suffered in the automobile accident in Simpson County, Plaintiff was forced to file a lawsuit. Defendant aggressively defended the action by arguing that Defendant driver had the right of way once he merged lanes. Defendant relied on the accident report that had placed fault on Plaintiff. In response, Kobs & Philley hired an accident reconstructionist who determined that Plaintiff did not have sufficient time to react in order to avoid the collision. In depositions, Defendant driver conceded Plaintiff’s expert’s conclusion that Defendant failed to provide Plaintiff with sufficient time to react to Defendant’s lane change. Defendant testified that almost immediately after merging lanes, he attempted to make a left hand turn. Because it was raining at the time of the accident and because Plaintiff’s 18 wheeler was loaded to capacity, Plaintiff did not have sufficient time to react to avoid the collision. Further, the Mississippi Highway Patrolman who investigated the accident admitted that the conclusions on the accident report were made in error. As a result of Defendant’s concession and after a hard fought litigation, Kobs & Philley, PLLC, were able to negotiate a settlement on the Plaintiff’s behalf for over $160,000.00. The settlement included Plaintiff’s claims against his employer for worker’s compensation benefits.
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It has to be one of the biggest historical tornado outbreaks in the Deep South, MS and AL! On April, 27, 2011, a huge EF5 tornado touched down in Smithville, MS and in AL, and the death toll has been confirmed thus far at 315. Preliminary reports are that Tuscaloosa, AL was the hardest hit by the storm causing millions-if not billions- of dollars in property damage to people’s homes, cars and land.
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