Taylor Martino, PC has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Portersville Bay Oyster Company against 4H Construction and Gunter N. Guy, Commissioner of Alabama Department of Conservation. Portersville Bay Oyster Company holds private and state-owned aquaculture easements for cage-raised and bottom oysters. Portersville claims the heavy machinery used by 4H Construction to complete the Marsh Island Restoration Project is creating more than normal sediment and silt and the project is causing the larvae and mature oysters to become contaminated and smothered by the extra silt and sediment.

Click here to read Lagniappe’s story Lawsuit claims state project is killing oysters in Portersville Bay dated September 29, 2016. The story features our client, Troy Cornelius, owner of Portersville Bay Oyster Company in Coden, Alabama.

In January 2016, Department of Conservation awarded 4H Construction out of Mississippi a contract to complete the Marsh Island Restoration Project. The project was intended to rehabilitate and restore the salt marshes destroyed by past hurricanes and affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The state decided to do this by constructing a semi-permeable segment breakwater barrier to project the shoreline. The Marsh Island Restoration Project requires the construction company use heavy machinery to remove sediment from the salt marshes, which, in turn, creates more than normal sediment and silt, which is then carried by the tides and the currents. The larvae and oysters become contaminated and smothered by the extra silt and sediment, which has decimated the young oyster population by  Portersville Bay Oyster Company and other oyster farmers in the bay. 

The extra sediment and silt began to affect the oyster beds as early as May 2016. Prior to the Marsh Island Restoration Project, the Portersville oyster beds had a mortality of 3-5% and now the affected oyster beds have 40-50% mortality rate, which is continuing to grow as the work continues on the berm.  The oysters being raised on the bottom have all been lost.

Portersville Bay Oyster Company alleges the Alabama Department of Conservation and 4H Construction has not implemented the proper safeguards to prevent the movement of dredged sediments and has failed to limit or has created turbidity that exceed acceptable levels.  “I’ve been making a living on this river for 30 years and for someone to sit behind a desk and tell me how things work down here is unbelievable, pumping all of this silt and sediment is killing my oysters,” said Troy Cornelius, owner of Portersville Bay Oyster Company. 

During the bidding phase, the Alabama Department of Conservation and contractors were aware creation of the breakwater marsh could create the excess silt and pollution to the oyster beds.  “The State of Alabama is using a portion of the settlement money from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to rebuild the salt marshes but, at the same time,  have embarked on a project that will destroy the oysters and the livelihood of local oyster farmers like our client,” said attorney Steve Martino of Taylor Martino, PC, which represents Portersville Bay Oyster Company.

“We are hopeful that this will get the state’s attention and prevent further damage to the state’s burgeoning oyster industry,” said attorney Brad Kittrell of Taylor Martino, PC, which represents Portersville Bay Oyster Company.

Taylor Martino is a law firm that serves victims in Alabama and Mississippi. If you believe you or a loved one have a personal injury claim, please contact us today for a free and confidential consultation and case evaluation by calling 251-433-3131 or by email.

Steven A. Martino, Esq.

TAYLOR MARTINO, P.C.
PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS
51 Saint Joseph Street
Mobile, Alabama 36602
 Toll-Free: 1-800-256-7728
Main Tel:  251-433-3131
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According to the Veterans Administration over 60,000 service members have been injured as a result of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. If you believe you have suffered a physical or psychological injury as a result of your military service contact us immediately for a FREE case evaluation.

VA DISABILITY PROCESS

1) Apply for Veterans Disability Benefits

The first step is to apply for disability benefits at your VA Regional Office. (Click here for a list of all VA Regional Offices in your State

2) VA issues you a Ratings Decision

The VA will send you a Ratings Decision after you apply. 

3) File a Notice of Disagreement within one year

If you are unhappy with the VA’s decision, file a Notice of Disagreement with your local VA Regional Office within one year of the mailing date of your Ratings Decision. When you file your Notice of Disagreement you can request that a local VA Decision Review Officer reconsider the initial denial and you can request a personal hearing.

4) VA will send you a Statement of the Case & VA Form 9

If you are unsuccessful at the personal hearing, the VA will send you a Statement of the Case and VA Form 9. The Statement of the Case is a detailed explanation of why the VA denied your claim. The VA Form 9 is the paperwork you are required to fill out to explain to the VA why they made the wrong decision.

5) Fill out the VA Form 9 Paperwork within 60 days

At this time you can submit additional evidence to the VA regarding your disability. You have the right to request a hearing at this time with the Board of Veterans Appeals. A lawyer skilled in VA disability claims can assist you in filling out the VA Form 9 paperwork to give you an advantage in the claims process – this paperwork must be submitted within 60 days of the Statement of the Case.  Call,(800) 256-7728, or email the lawyers of Taylor Martino so that we can assist you, info@taylormartino.com.

6) VA will send you a Supplemental Statement of the Case.

The VA will send you a Supplemental Statement of the Case. 

7) File an Appeal with the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA)

If you are still unhappy with the VA’s decision, you can file an appeal with the Board of Veterans Appeals. This appeal is filed at your VA Regional Office. You only have 60 days from the date of your Statement of the Case or one year from your Rating Decision to file an appeal. You

8) Request a Hearing before a Member of the Board of Veterans Appeals

You have the right to a hearing with a Member of the Board of Veterans Appeals to argue your case. You can elect to have the hearing at your local VA Office, in Washington, D.C. or via videoconference (typically videoconference hearings are faster than in-person hearings). You are allowed to have an attorney represent you at the hearing to present your case. A lawyer should assist you in preparing for this court appearance.  After your hearing, the Board of Veterans Appeals will issue a decision in your case. The Board of Veterans Appeals can grant you the following relief:

(1) the BVA can grant you disability benefits,

(2) they can issue a Final Denial of your claim, or

(3) the BVA can remand your case or send your case back to the Regional Office asking them for additional information before rendering a decision.

If the BVA denies your claim you have options:

  • Ask the local VA Office to reopen your claim.
  • File a motion (which is a legal document) asking the BVA to review the case because you believe the BVA Board member who held the hearing made a clear and unmistakable error when he denied your claim.
  • File a lawsuit with the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

Contact Taylor Martino law firm immediately so that we can provide you a FREE case evaluation. If  we represent you, it costs you nothing up front. If we are successful with your claim the U.S. government is required to pay your legal fees. If we are unsuccessful, you do not owe us anything.

You just had a trucking accident and now you need an attorney. Whether you have been in an accident before or not, this can be a hard choice to make. At Taylor Martino, we like to make things as easy as possible for our clients, even before they choose to become clients. Here are a few things to look for in a personal injury attorney.

What kind of expertise does the lawyer have?

If you have been in a trucking accident, make sure the lawyers you are looking to hire are experienced in working truck accident cases. There are laws and regulations you need your lawyer to know about before representing you.

What kind of experience does the lawyer have?

If you are looking for a lawyer to represent you, having experience in litigation is much needed. Not all trucking accident cases go to court, so you will need an experienced negotiator to make sure your injury claims are settled correctly. If you do go to court, you want an experienced lawyer representing you to help get the most compensation needed.

Does the lawyer you are hiring have a good reputation?

When your lawyer represents you, they will be talking to a number of people on your behalf. Having a good reputation among insurance companies and other businesses in town is beneficial to helping your case be settled in a timely and fair manner.

Is the lawyer going to charge you for the initial consultation?

Most personal injury attorneys offer a free consultation before you decide whether or not you want to work with them. If you make an appointment, be sure to ask how much the first meeting will cost. Also, do not sign a retainer unless you plan to work specifically with the lawyer you are signing with. No one should ask you to sign a retainer simply for coming in to meet with them.

At Taylor Martino, we understand making the decision of which lawyer to choose to represent you after a trucking accident can seem like a tough task, but it doesn’t have to be. Use these helpful hints or call us for more information. Our lawyers would be glad to help.

Richard H. Taylor, Esq.

TAYLOR MARTINO, P.C.
PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS
51 Saint Joseph Street
Mobile, Alabama 36602
Toll-Free: 1-800-256-7728
Main Tel:  251-433-3131
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More than one in four children in ‪Alabama come from families that experience food hardships and nearly 60% of Alabama’s public school children are eligible for free and reduced lunch.Taylor Martino, P. C. is participating in the Alabama Legal Food Frenzy, which is a food & fund drive among all Alabama lawyers. The competition joins together the Alabama State BarAlabama Attorney General Luther Strange and the Alabama Food Bank Association to help end child hunger with the launch of the Alabama Legal Food Frenzy set for April 25 – May 6, 2016. Visit allegalfoodfrenzy.org for more information.

The Legal Food Frenzy provides a much-needed supply of food and funds to Alabama’s regional food banks to help the families of those kids during summer months when schools are closed. The Alabama Legal Food Frenzy is timed to help meet that demand. Ed Rowan, partner at Taylor Martino, is leading the food drive challenge for firm. “I had no idea that the shortage of food in Alabama was in this state of crisis. The Alabama Legal Food Frenzy is one of the most important things that we can do for our local community. It will have an immediate impact and benefit for our children.”

We will be collecting food and funds at our office located at 51 St. Joseph Street, Mobile, AL 36602 from April 25 – May 6, 2016. Monetary donations can also be made online at TaylorMartinoALLegalFoodFrenzy2016. Be sure to designate your donation for Taylor Martino, PC!

What is the Legal Food Frenzy?

The Office of the Attorney General, the Alabama State Bar, and the Alabama Food Bank Association have joined forces to create a friendly food and fund drive competition among Alabama law firms, law schools and legal organization to support the Feeding America food banks in Alabama.

All food and funds collected by Taylor Martino, PC will go directly to Feeding the Gulf Coast, formerly Bay Area Food Bank. To learn more about our local food bank, visit Feeding the Gulf Coast or contact Missy Busby, 251-653- 1617 ext. 127, mbusby@feedingthegulfcoast.org

TAYLOR MARTINO, P.C.
PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS
51 Saint Joseph Street
Mobile, Alabama 36602
 Toll-Free: 1-800-256-7728
Main Tel:  251-433-3131
Follow us on Facebook
Photo credit: Austin Kirk, Flickr

Talcum powder in Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower is causing ovarian cancer. Recently, a jury awarded $72 million in damages to the family of a woman who regularly used talcum products and died of ovarian cancer. Research has linked women’s regular use of talc-containing products like talcum powder, baby powder and body powder in their genital area to the development of ovarian cancer.

By the Numbers

  • 10% of all Ovarian Cancers are believed to be talc-related
  • 2,500 talc-related Ovarian Cancer diagnoses per year
  • 1,500 talc-related deaths per year

Who is at risk for developing baby powder ovarian cancer?

Over four decades of medical literature document the link between talcum powder use and ovarian cancer. Women who have used talc-based baby powder on a weekly basis face a 33% increased risk of developing ovarian cancer, and women who have used talcum powder on a daily basis face a 41% increased risk for ovarian cancer.

How is Talcum powder dangerous?

When talc products such as baby powder are applied to the genital region, talc particles can travel through the female reproductive system to the ovaries. Talc particles may remain in the ovaries for many years, causing inflammation and creating an environment conducive to the growth of cancer cells. One expert estimates that roughly 10,000 women each year develop ovarian cancer as a result of using baby powder or body powder.

Researchers have known for more than thirty years that the perineal use of talcum powder is associated with an increased risk of ovarian cancer. However, the substance is not regulated in the United States and no product warning labels are attached to talcum powder products. Ovarian cancer is a harmful disease that can result in suffering and death.

Taylor Martino is a law firm that serves victims in Alabama and Mississippi. If you believe that you, or a loved one, has been affected, please contact us today for a free and confidential consultation and case evaluation by calling 251-433-3131 or by email.

TAYLOR MARTINO, P.C.
PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS
51 Saint Joseph Street
Mobile, Alabama 36602
 Toll-Free: 1-800-256-7728
Main Tel:  251-433-3131
Follow us on Facebook

Traveling on the highways, with or without family, can be stressful at times. Especially if you worry about the truck drivers on the roads with you. New regulations required by the Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) state all USDOT physicals must be performed by one of the qualified health professionals listed in the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.

According to the FMSCA website, “Safety is our highest priority and it is vital that every commercial truck and bus driver be qualified, alert, and focused when they are behind the wheel,” said Secretary Anthony Foxx.  “Medical examiners equipped with a thorough understanding of DOT fitness standards will be able to ensure that commercial drivers meet the health requirements necessary to operate on our highways and roads, thereby strengthening safety for every traveler.”

So what does this mean to you, the driver? It means CDL drivers must have their examinations done by medical professionals trained specifically on what to look for in drivers. A USDOT medical exam assesses a number of conditions that could affect a driver’s ability to safely operate the vehicle they are driving. Cardiovascular disease, respiratory and muscular functions, vision and hearing capabilities are some of the things screened during the process. This new program is required by federal law for medical professionals and drivers.

As of May 2014, more than 22,000 medical professionals had completed the coursework and testing. These professionals are listed on the National Registry with more beginning the certification process. Interstate commercial truck and bus driver’s who currently hold a medical certificate will not be required to visit a certified medical examiner until their current license is expired. However, they must pass a USDOT medical examination every two years to maintain their CDL, obtain a medical certification and legally operate a commercial motor vehicle. 

FMCSA developed the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners program as part of the agency’s commitment to enhancing the medical oversight of interstate drivers and preventing commercial vehicle-related crashes, injuries, and fatalities. The medical examiners on the National Registry are required as well to maintain federal standards through training and recertification. To learn more, visit http://nationalregistry.fmcsa.dot.gov

The attorneys of Taylor Martino have handled a number of trucking accident cases. In each case, Taylor Martino determines  if a medical card was provided to an unsafe, unqualified driver. A trucking company must require the use of one of these certified examiners, but often they do not. Unsafe CMV drivers remain on our roads.

We anticipate several CMV drivers acquire a medical card from their “favorite” medical provider. Since they won’t have to re-certify for a year, don’t expect safer roads until at least May 21, 2016! When you hire a trucking accident lawyer, be sure the lawyer is up to date on the ever-changing trucking laws. Ask questions.

If you have suffered a personal injury, you need to call Taylor Martino at 251.433.3131 or Toll-Free at 00.256.7728 for a free consultation. You owe it to yourself.

TAYLOR MARTINO, P.C.
PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS
51 Saint Joseph Street
Mobile, Alabama 36602
Toll-Free: 1-800-256-7728
Main Tel:  251-433-3131
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Robert Califf MD

Photo credit: LES TODD/DUKE PHOTOGRAPHY

In February, the Senate approved the nomination of Robert Califf, MD, to head the FDA, thwarting an effort by a group of senators to block his nomination over Califf’s ties to the pharmaceutical industry. MedPageToday article

I am very concerned about the leadership of the FDA and the FDA’s safety standards for new drugs and devices.  Congress and the FDA have been too focused on getting medical products to market as quickly as possible, and not enough to testing them to make sure they are safe.  In a New York Times article published on November 16, 2015, an editorial notes that “In 2014, Dr. Califf gave a speech to researchers, lawyers and industry experts in which he described regulation as a “barrier” to biomedical innovation.” I would like to know how the head of a regulatory agency could criticize regulations as being the problem rather than the solution. Besides the NYT, others have also questioned the appropriateness of appointing Dr. Califf to lead the FDA.  His repeated funding over the years from many of the major pharmaceutical companies should result in questions from the Senators.   In addition, a report from the Project on Government Oversight, last week noted that “He [Dr. Califf] helped lead a clinical trial that was sharply criticized by FDA reviewers.”

Dr. Robert Califf has countless ties to the pharmaceutical and medical device industries, representing significant conflicts of interest. The FDA needs to operate independently from industry in order to assure that drugs and devices are adequately tested for safety and efficacy before being released to the market. As it is, the approval pathways are already weak and broken. Under the proposals of the 21st Century Cures Act, the FDA has sought ways to align more closely with industry needs; setting aside safety and effectiveness in favor of innovation and speed. Adding Dr. Califf’s close associations with industry to the mix is a certain disaster for patient safety!

Boston Globe reports Dr. Califf removed his name from papers he had helped write, and the reasons are unclear. His actions beg the question as to whether or not he can he be trusted to pursue integrity rather than expediency?

It is the responsibility of the FDA to protect the health of Americans. The HELP committee is responsible for how the Food and Drug Administration operates, including the process for approving drugs and medical devices. Not surprisingly, committee members are some of the top recipients of health sector contributions.

The question everyone needs to ask is whether Dr. Califf’s ties to the industry are appropriate for the head of the FDA.

TAYLOR MARTINO, P.C.
PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS
51 Saint Joseph Street
Mobile, Alabama 36602
Toll-Free: 1-800-256-7728
Main Tel:  251-433-3131
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The lawyers of Taylor Martino, PC understand an accident can occur from time to time. They are unavoidable. Since we can’t plan when they will happen, here are some helpful tips to know what to do when you are involved in a motorcycle accident.

First things first.

Make sure everyone is okay. Remove yourself and passenger from high traffic areas to the nearest curb or median. After accessing the situation, it might be best to call for medical assistance. Even if you think you do not need assistance at the time, your adrenaline rushing could hide the fact something is injured. 

After checking on the welfare of you and your possible passenger, the next phone call you need to make is to the police. Filing a police report will come in usual for your insurance and possibly litigation.

Notify your insurance company.

Call your insurance company and report the motorcycle accident as soon as you can. They need to know what has happened to begin working on behalf of you. Your insurance provider will be able to tell you what is required, especially if you are still on sight of the accident.

Photograph as much of the situation as possible.

Now that most everyone has the ability to use their cell phones and snap a few photos, this shouldn’t be a problem. Without putting yourself in harms way of other traffic, get as many angles of the motorcycle crash as you can.

Moving the Motorcycle.

Once the police officer gives you the okay and you have discussed everything with your insurance company, move your motorcycle out of the road or street. If the vehicle is unable to be moved, call a tow truck to come pick up the damaged vehicle. Be sure to keep copies of all receipts for the tow company or any other expenses related to the collision.

Insurance exchange.

Police officers in the State of Alabama usually require each driver involved to fill out a form containing a name, insurance information and other contact information needed.

If the police officer does not give you the information, ask the other driver involved to supply you with their name, driver’s license number, insurance company and policy number.

Sketch out the accident.

Often times, if there is litigation it doesn’t take place until several weeks or months later. Drawing out the situation is a good idea because it could help you remember the accident and how the collision happened.

DO NOT Supply guilt.

Whether your insurance company or the other drivers. Do not admit guilt in the accident. If the opposite driver’s insurance company contacts you for a statement, refer them to your lawyer. Insurance companies usually record any questioning they propose and it could be used against you even if you aren’t saying anything wrong in your mind.

In the event you, or someone you know, is involved in a motorcycle accident, we hope you remember these steps. Remember, stay calm and collected so you can take the necessary actions needed in such situations.

Richard H. Taylor, Esq.

TAYLOR MARTINO, P.C.
PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS
51 Saint Joseph Street
Mobile, Alabama 36602
Toll-Free: 1-800-256-7728
Main Tel:  251-433-3131
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Endo International announces it will stop manufacturing all vaginal mesh products due to the billions in lawsuits it is facing related to its vaginal mesh implants. Endo announced that it will close its Astora Women’s Health device unit.

Endo paid $150 million in legal settlements related to its vaginal mesh in Q4. And more payments are on the way. The company recorded a $834 million pretax charge to increase the estimated product liability accrual. It had already set aside $1.4 billion to cover the legal costs at the end of the previous quarter according to the Philadelphia Business Journal.

Taylor Martino is a law firm that serves victims suffering from medical device defects in Alabama and Mississippi. If you believe that you, or a loved one, have been injured by a negligent medical device, please contact us today for a free and confidential consultation and case evaluation.

TAYLOR MARTINO, P.C.
PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS
51 Saint Joseph Street
Mobile, Alabama 36602
Toll-Free: 1-800-256-7728
Main Tel:  251-433-3131
Follow us on Facebook

 

Even though the state of Alabama requires all driver’s to be covered by insurance, this is not always the case. If you are in a car accident and the other driver does not have insurance, you might need these helpful tips to make sure you get coverage for your injuries and damages.

Call the Police.

In any instance of a collision, you will want to call the police and file a police report. The police will document the specifics of the accident which you will need later when you file your claim.

Exchange Information with the Other Driver.

Usually in the State of Alabama, the police officer will require each driver to complete a form asking for all pertinent information, such as the driver’s name, contact, license number, plate number, etc. If the police officer does not, you should gather as much information from the other driver as possible.

Notify Your Insurance Company.

According to Alabama’s Uninsured Motorist Law, every insurance policy includes uninsured motorist coverage. You need to file a claim with your insurance company under your uninsured motorist coverage. Be sure to file soon after the collision happens to ensure your insurance company will cover the event. Some insurance companies have a time limit set between the time of the accident and how long you have to file. If you miss the time limit, you might not get coverage.

If you are afraid of making a claim on your insurance because you are afraid of premiums going up on your coverage, usually this does not happen. If the accident is not your fault and you do not have a previous history of having a number of collisions, your premium should not be affected.

How It Works.

Usually in an accident, the guilty party’s insurance is required to cover your expenses. In the case the guilty driver does not have coverage, your uninsured motorist coverage fills in the gap to cover your medical bills and other damages. If you are unsure of the complete uninsured motorist coverage you have, check with your insurance provider. Usually, the coverage is for family members involved in the collision as well.

If you believe you are not being fully covered correctly, an experienced injury attorney can review your policy and help find other forms of coverage needed.

TAYLOR MARTINO, P.C.
PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS
51 Saint Joseph Street
Mobile, Alabama 36602
Toll-Free: 1-800-256-7728
Main Tel:  251-433-3131
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