November 4, 2011, 11:15 AM ET
by Ashby Jones
The amount of settlement counts:
"In recent days, reports of sexual-harassment lawsuits have dogged the until-now surprisingly successful Herman Cain presidential campaign. And Cain’s people have conceded that they haven’t handled the flare-up with great aplomb.
But let’s pause for a moment to take a look at the law surrounding sex-harassment. As Brent Kendall and I wrote in this WSJ story, people often have many different behaviors in mind when they talk about sexual harassment, and a brief primer on the topic might help clear up a few things.
For starters, in the legal arena, making a successful sex-harassment case often hinges on whether the conduct is pervasive or serious enough to disrupt an employee’s work . . . " Read More
Article Date: 10 Oct 2011 - 0:00 PDT
"A new study from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health has found evidence that a specific gene is linked to suicidal behaviour, adding to our knowledge of the many complex causes of suicide. This research may help doctors one day target the gene in prevention efforts.
In the past, studies have implicated the gene for brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in suicidal behaviour. BDNF is involved in the development of the nervous system.
After pooling results from 11 previous studies and adding their own study data involving people with schizophrenia, CAMH scientists confirmed that among people with a psychiatric diagnosis, those with the methionine ("met") variation of the gene had a higher risk of suicidal behaviour compared to those with the valine variation. . . " Read More
Genetic Link To Suicidal Behavior Confirmed By CAMH Study. A new study from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health has found evidence that a specific gene is linked to suicidal behaviour, adding to our knowledge of the many complex causes of suicide. This research may help doctors one day target the gene in prevention efforts: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/235720.php
Article Date: 10 Oct 2011 - 0:00 PDT
"An iPhone app that measures the user's heart rate is not only a popular feature with consumers, but it sparked an idea for a Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) researcher who is now turning smart phones, and eventually tablet devices, into sophisticated medical monitors able to capture and transmit vital physiological data.
A team led by Ki Chon, professor and head of biomedical engineering at WPI, has developed a smart phone application that can measure not only heart rate, but also heart rhythm, respiration rate and blood oxygen saturation using the phone's built-in video camera. The new app yields vital signs as accurate as standard medical monitors now in clinical use. Details of the new technology are reported in the paper "Physiological Parameter Monitoring from Optical Recordings with a Mobile Phone," published online, in advance of print, by the journal IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering..." Read More
It appears crime rates are falling in our bad economy. Here's the link for Criminal Victimization, 2010 from the Bureau of Justice Statistics:
NEW YORK – "Former International Monetary Fund leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn might take legal action in civil court against the hotel maid who accused him of sexually assaulting her in a now-dismissed criminal case and in her ongoing civil suit, one of his lawyers said Tuesday.
Strauss-Kahn, a former French presidential candidate, could file his own claims to counter housekeeper Nafissatou Diallo's lawsuit, "and that's certainly a consideration," lawyer Benjamin Brafman said in an interview with The Associated Press. "Because she did lie, and he has suffered enormous damages as a result of those lies."
A court Tuesday dismissed the attempted-rape and other charges against Strauss-Kahn, who resigned his IMF post, spent five days in jail and then spent about six weeks on high-priced house arrest before being freed from it July 1. The dismissal came after prosecutors said they couldn't pursue the case because of doubts about Diallo's credibility and a lack of other evidence to prove a forced sexual encounter.
Diallo wasn't truthful with prosecutors about several aspects of her life and changed her account of what she did right after when she claims she was attacked, prosecutors said.
Strauss-Kahn's lawyers have long said the encounter at a luxurious Manhattan hotel, though brief, was consensual. But while Diallo's account of it has been recounted in interviews, in her lawsuit and in the now-defunct prosecution, the married Strauss-Kahn doesn't want to detail his version of what happened, Brafman said.
"What happened in that room, so long as we have now confirmed that it wasn't criminal, is really not something that needs to be discussed publicly," Brafman said in the AP interview. "You can engage in behavior that you're not proud of, and maybe some people might consider it inappropriate — it doesn't mean that you committed a crime. And it's not something that you may want to discuss, at the end of the day."
Diallo's lawyer, Kenneth Thompson, didn't immediately respond to an email inquiry about the possibility of Strauss-Kahn filing his own claims in civil court. Thompson has said it's "utter nonsense" to say the encounter was consensual. Earlier Tuesday, he blasted the dismissal of the case, saying prosecutors "would not allow a woman to have her day in court."
Diallo says Strauss-Kahn chased her down in his hotel suite on May 14, grabbed her crotch, propelled her to the ground and forced her to perform oral sex. His semen was found on her uniform, and a gynecological exam found a mark that her lawyer holds up as evidence of an attack but prosecutors say could have resulted from a number of other things.
From the start, Strauss-Kahn's lawyers considered her account implausible, partly because neither she nor Strauss-Kahn had bruises reflecting a forceful attack, Brafman said.
The Associated Press does not usually name people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they come forward publicly, as Diallo, an immigrant from Guinea, has done."
Given that the criminal investigation was dropped, amid questions concerning Ms. Diallo's credibility, Mr. Strauss-Kahn has every right to file suit against her. No one has a right to sexually assault another person. However, no one has a right to file false claims against anyone else either. If either occurs, then that person (s) should be held accountable, either in criminal or civil court.
MIAMI (Reuters) – "State and federal agents cracked down on Tuesday on South Florida pill mills, dismantling what was described as the nation's largest criminal organization involved in illegally distributing painkillers.
Authorities charged 32 doctors, pain clinic owners and workers with illegally prescribing more than 20 million painkillers and reaping more than $40 million in profits from 2008 to early 2010.
The indictment reflects a "multi-pronged attack on those who contribute to illegal diversion of pharmaceutical drugs from the pill mills of Florida to the streets of communities across the United States," said Mark R. Trouville, special agent in charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration.
The clinics wrote prescriptions for large quantities of oxycodone, which authorities said were used by traffickers and addicts.
People "would often travel great distances, as far as one thousand miles or more, with complaints of alleged intractable pain," the indictment states.
Demand for the prescription drugs has grown to epidemic proportions in Florida and other parts of the United States, where dealers can sell a 30-milligram oxycodone pill on the street for $10 to $30 or more, authorities have said.
Florida leads the nation in diverted prescription drugs, according to the Attorney General's Office. Seven people die in the state each day from drug overdoses.
The indictment says that many in the newly charged group were also involved in the illegal Internet distribution of anabolic steroids, and some engaged in wide-ranging violence, including kidnapping, extortion and other crimes against competitors and people they suspected of disloyalty.
The five-count indictment unsealed on Tuesday includes racketeering, money laundering, and wire and mail fraud conspiracy charges. Thirteen of those charged were doctors ranging in age from 36 to 76 who worked at the pain clinics. . . " Read more
Article Date: 08 Jul 2011 - 1:00 PDT
"Creating a baseline for each youth athlete is a critical part of accurate future concussion assessment, according to researchers presenting their study at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's Annual Meeting in San Diego. Differences in how females and males scored on a standardized concussion assessment tool were also investigated.
"Our research analyzed whether the new Sport Concussion Assessment Tool-2 (SCAT2) has any variability in data for youth athletes and whether gender makes a difference on the scores," said presenting researcher, Anikar Chhabra, MD, MS of The Orthopaedic Clinic Association in Phoenix, AZ. "Our results showed that otherwise healthy adolescent athletes do display some variability in results so establishing each player's own baseline before the season starts and then comparing it to test results following a concussion leads to more accurate diagnosis and treatment."
Chhabra and his colleagues from A.T. Still University tested 1,134 athletes who were participating on interscholastic athletic teams at 15 different high schools in the Phoenix area, as part of a funded research project by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE). There were 872 males and 262 females in the study with an average age of 15. The predominant male and female sports were football and volleyball, accordingly. A brief questionnaire regarding concussion history and the SCAT2 test was given to all participants.
Females scored significantly higher on the SCAT2 total score compared to the males. Athletes with a prior history of concussion also scored significantly lower on the SCAT2.
"This data provides the first insight into how the SCAT2 scores can be used and interpreted as a sideline concussion tool and as an initial baseline analysis. With concussions accounting for approximately nine percent of all high school athletic injuries, accurately utilizing assessments like these to quickly determine an athlete's return-to-play probability is critical to long term athletic and educational performance," said Chhabra. "
American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
Article Date: 19 Aug 2011 - 1:00 PDT
"Recurring headaches are common during the year following a traumatic brain injury (TBI), regardless of the severity of the TBI, and they tend to occur more often among females and those with a pre-TBI history of headache, according to an article in Journal of Neurotrauma, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. The article is available free online at the link below.
More than 70% of patients who had suffered a TBI reported having headaches during the first year after their injury. This finding is a result of a multi-center study described by Jeanne Hoffman, PhD, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, and a group of colleagues from University of Washington, Craig Hospital (Denver, CO), Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN), University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School (Dallas), Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond), and Moss Rehab (Philadelphia, PA).
Females and persons with a pre-injury history of headache were significantly more likely to report headache, but there was no statistical link between incidence of post-injury headache and the severity of the TBI."
Sources: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., Publishers, AlphaGalileo Foundation.
BY TRESA BALDAS
DETROIT FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER
"A dozen pharmacists. Four doctors. A psychologist and an accountant.
All are targeted in what the government dubbed Tuesday as one of the largest prescription drug scams in Michigan history, triggering criminal charges against 26 people accused of engaging in health care fraud at more than 20 pharmacies statewide.
According to an indictment unsealed in U.S. District Court, the defendants were part of a scheme that billed insurers for millions of dollars worth of bogus prescriptions for OxyContin, Vicodin, Xanax and cough syrup with codeine.
Doctors got kickbacks for writing the prescriptions, and so did patients, who agreed to let their insurers be billed for the drugs, the indictment said.
"These individuals abused their positions of trust and endangered the lives of countless people by illegally distributing more than 6 million doses of opiate painkillers and depressants throughout southeast Michigan and beyond," said Robert Corso, special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration's Detroit Field Division.
The 34-count indictment alleges that Babubhai (Bob) Patel, 49, a Canton pharmacist, owned and controlled about 26 pharmacies statewide, but hid his ownership and control through the use of straw owners.
According to the indictment, Patel gave kickbacks, bribes and other inducements to doctors in exchange for them writing prescriptions and directing the patients to fill the prescriptions at one of Patel's pharmacies, the indictment said. Patel and his pharmacists would then bill insurers for dispensing the medications, the indictment said. . . " Read More
One of the keystones of forensic science is DNA testing. DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is the genetic material present in every cell. Each individual has a Unique DNA Profile. There are even a few differences between the DNA of identical twins.
A British scientist, Sir Alec Jeffreys, developed DNA profiling in the 1980s. DNA for profiling can be extracted from samples of human cells found at a Crime Scene, including blood, semen, skin, saliva, mucus, perspiration and the roots of hair, and Profiling can even be carried out on old and dried out samples.
The case of Colin Pitchfork was the first murder conviction based on DNA profiling evidence (there was a previous rape conviction based on this type of evidence).
In 1986, another 15-year-old schoolgirl, Dawn Ashworth, was similarly sexually assaulted and strangled in the nearby village of Enderby, and semen samples showed the same blood type.
Richard Buckland, a local 17-year-old with learning disabilities who worked at Carlton Hayes psychiatric hospital, had been spotted near Dawn Ashworth’s murder scene and knew unreleased details about the body. In 1986, he confessed to Dawn Ashworth’s murder but not Lynda Mann’s.
Using Sir Alec Jeffreys’ new technique, scientists compared the semen samples with a blood sample from Richard Buckland. This proved that both girls were murdered by the same man, and also proved that this man was not Richard Buckland – the first person to be exonerated using DNA. . . Read More
Certified Forensics Nurse Examiner and Independent Consultant