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SCHMIDT KRAMER'S WINTER 2008-2009 NEWSLETTER

Season’s Greetings!

On behalf of the attorneys and staff at Schmidt Kramer, we wish you all a happy holiday season! We hope that peace, happiness, and good health come to you and yours throughout the coming year. We would also like to thank you for choosing our legal services over the years and for referring your family, neighbors, and colleagues to us. 
–Schmidt Kramer PC


Settlement of $1.75 million for wife and children of a 55-year-old deceased driver

Terry Hyman of Schmidt Kramer served as lead counsel representing a driver who was killed in a multivehicle accident in a snowstorm when crushed between two tractor trailers by truck drivers going too fast for conditions. By proving that the truck drivers did not follow the safety rules of their own companies and Federal Department of Transportation requirements, Attorney Hyman was able to show the cause of the accident was the drivers’ poor response to the conditions rather than the weather itself.


$1.5 Million Settlement

Charles E. Schmidt, Jr., a senior partner at Schmidt Kramer PC, recently settled an automobile accident case and received a $1.5 million settlement for his client. The case involved an injured victim who sustained a traumatic brain injury with significant residual effects, including diminished ability to work.


Lee National Denim Day for Breast Cancer Research

On Friday, October 3, 2008, the staff of Schmidt Kramer participated in the Lee National Denim Day, which supports breast cancer research programs. The staff wore their favorite jeans and made a donation to help raise funds for the fight against breast cancer. Proceeds will fund Lee Laboratories to find more effective, less toxic breast cancer treatments, develop a blood test for earlier detection of breast cancer, help NBCC create online and print resources about breast cancer, and train additional advocates to educate patients and their families about new clinical trials.


Schmidt Kramer Supports Bethesda Mission

Schmidt Kramer and their staff collected donations for Bethesda Mission. Attorneys Charles E. Schmidt, Jr., Gerard C. Kramer, Scott B. Cooper, and Melissa Leininger delivered the items that were donated to the Bethesda Mission. The Bethesda Mission of Harrisburg is a nonprofit rescue mission that extends a helping hand to individuals by providing them with food, shelter, clothing, fellowship, and counseling. Schmidt Kramer PC continues to support organizations that help our community.


Counterfeit Medications

There’s a “perfect storm” of conditions for makers of counterfeit medications to do their harmful work. Prescription-drug costs keep rising. Employers are cutting back on medication plans as employee-benefit costs increase. Drug wholesalers are seeking alternative drug suppliers to maintain profit margins. As a result, counterfeit medications are appearing on the market.
For genuine medications, purchase only from trusted pharmacies or online retailers. Patients should also be aware of caution signs of fake prescriptions or over-the-counter medications:

  1. Change in a drug’s normal color, size, texture, or taste.
  2. Alteration in packaging or labeling color, size, or style.
  3. Broken or tampered-with seals or packaging.
  4. Onset of unexpected allergic reactions or unusual symptoms and side effects after taking medications.

A patient should contact the pharmacists immediately upon suspicion they have taken a questionable medication. Seek medical help if conditions become serious. Consult with an attorney.


Nursing Home Injuries

Residential care for elderly nursing home residents is not always delivered as promised, and accidents sometimes occur.
To be sure that staff will safeguard their loved ones’ safety and health, adults who help parents enter assisted-living or nursing homes should investigate carefully. Should a safety or injury problem arise, it may not always be easy to determine causes of safety or health problems. Staffs are reticent to talk, and the elderly may be unwilling or unable to explain problems.

Responsible adults who suspect that nursing home care is insufficient or has resulted in an injury should take three steps:

  1. Get medical care for the loved one
  2. Notify the resident management of concerns.
  3. Seek legal counsel. Attorneys familiar with nursing homes can help elderly loved ones receive a high level of care or determine the bases of injuries and hold the responsible parties accountable

Common concerns:

  • Decubitus ulcers
  • Dehydration
  • Falls, dislocations, and broken bones
  • Inappropriate physical-restraint use
  • Infections
  • Physical, emotion, or psychological abuse
  • Malnutrition
  • Pressure sores

American Juries

American juries are doing an excellent job. Although the right to a jury trial is a cornerstone of our democracy, some critics claim civil juries are irrational, unreliable, and biased against business. American Juries: The Verdict (Prometheus Books 2007), a new work by two leading jury-research experts, Neil Vidmar of Duke University School of Law and Valerie Hans of Cornell University Law School, reveals that American juries are alive and doing very well indeed.

Book highlights:

  • Legislation and computer technology have improved juror selection, which more fairly and closely reflects the broader range of our communities’ populations.
  • Once citizen-jurors get into the facts and data of a trial—no matter what their personal views were prior to empanelment—the jurors’ focal point in decision-making and reaching their verdict is the evidence presented by both sides in a dispute.
  • Jurors generally believe that corporations should be held to a higher standard of care than individuals because businesses have the potential to hurt more people than any one individual can.

How to Complain EFFECTIVELY

Many of us who are dissatisfied with a product or a service may not get the best results from our complaints because we don’t complain well enough.

Here are negotiating tips to get better results from your efforts:

  1. Register your complaint as soon as possible.
  2. Be sure you are talking to the right person—the customer service representative who has the authority to resolve your problem.
  3. Get ready to negotiate by preparing several alternative solutions to suggest to the customer service rep.
  4. Know which solution you will accept.
  5. Be polite but assertive.
  6. Use the customer service person’s name to establish rapport.
  7. Avoid becoming angry.
  8. Inquire about the business’s customary procedure for resolving, then use it to your advantage.
  9. Get the customer service representative to commit to a solution with you.
  10. Keep records of your phone calls and letters.
  11. Ask for a supervisor only if you feel you will not succeed with the rep.
  12. If you do not succeed, file a complaint with authorities such as your state’s consumer protection agency or a Better Business Bureau.

For Your Safety

Recalled Product Roundup

Here are some recently recalled products you may have in your home or at work:

  • TWIE, also known as Tradewinds International Enterprises, Inc., has recalled 152,000 “Sky Champion” Wireless Indoor Helicopters. Onboard rechargeable batteries can catch fire and burn consumers.
  • Provo Craft & Novelty, Inc., has asked buyers to return 730,000 Candlesense Warmers, which have internal candle heating elements that can detach, melt their plastic casings, ignite, and burn consumers.
  • Hearth & Home Technologies, Inc., recalled 22,000 IntelliSwitch Fireplace Wall Controls with faulty wall control systems, which can cause the fireplace to turn on by itself and damage property and harm users.
  • Specialty Lamp International, Inc., has recalled 371,000 counterfeit circuit breakers labeled “Square D,” which can fail to trip when they are overloaded, posing a fire hazard to consumers. Counterfeit circuit breakers are black and are labeled Square D QO-series models 115,120, 215, 220, 230, 240, 250, 260, and 2020, and Square D QOB-series models 115, 120, 130, 220, 230, 250, 260, and 1515.

Auto Accident Repairs

Parts and labor:

If you are in an accident and your car is towed to a repair shop, there are two things you should know about parts and labor.

Parts charges:

Parts manufactured by a vehicle’s original equipment manufacturer (OEM) are best because they fit properly and are installed by authorized and trained mechanics. However, insurance companies urge repair shops to use generic or even salvage-yard parts to save money. Check your insurance policy. Although you can demand that a repair shop use OEM materials, you may have to pay more for OEM parts. Your family’s safety is well worth the added cost.

Labor charges:

Insurance companies recommend some repair shops because these shops have signed a contract with the insurer to “cap” their charges for specific kinds of work. That also saves money for insurers, but may result in repairs that meet a bare minimum in quality and safety. Select a repair shop you know or people you trust have recommended.


Staff Corner

Everyone at Schmidt Kramer would like to welcome Jennifer Kalonick and Ashley Burris to the firm. Jennifer’s first day at Schmidt Kramer was August 19, 2008, as a legal assistant for Attorney Thomas S. Cook. She lives in Steelton, Pennsylvania, with her husband and two children. Ashley began working at Schmidt Kramer on October 6, 2008, and is a legal assistant for Attorney Gerard C. Kramer. Ashley lives in Dillsburg, Pennsylvania, with her husband and son.

D. Joseph Chapman is the firm’s most recent attorney addition, having received his juris doctorate from the Widener University School of Law and having been admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar in October 2008. Joe completed his class work in the night program while managing an insurance business and then working full-time at Schmidt Kramer. He earned two academic awards and graduated cum laude. Before becoming an attorney, Joe was an insurance agent/broker for more than a decade in Mifflinburg, Pennsylvania.

The following birthdays have been celebrated at Schmidt Kramer: Joe Chapman on September 12; Janice Harmon on September 21; Carla Salada on September 30; Betsy Siddon on October 28; and Jennifer Kalonick on November 17. HAPPY BIRTHDAY EVERYONE!


Toys for Tots

The staff of Schmidt Kramer again participated in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve “Toys for Tots” program by donating new toys to help children experience the joy of Christmas. The mission of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve “Toys for Tots” program is to collected new, unwrapped toys during October, November, and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community. Each year, over 100,000 toys are collected and distributed to children during the holiday season.


Question of the Month

Q: I was hurt 2 ½ years ago but did not lose time from work. I think some of my medical bills were paid, and I have a workers’ compensation claim number. I have to take time off from work for back surgery for this injury. Workers’ compensation has to pay, right?
A: Be careful! Payment of bills and a claim number mean nothing. Your workers’ compensation claim has not been accepted until you have a “Notice of Compensation Payable” document. You should file a “Claim Petition” within three years of your injury date to make sure your rights are protected.
 


Free Initial Consultation

When you've been seriously injured and you have questions, turn to Schmidt Kramer and speak with a lawyer today. Our lawyers will walk you through the legal process and get you back on your feet. Call (888) 476-6301 or fill out a free online consultation form.