‘Roadside Zoo’ Facing Lawsuit Over Exotic Animal Care
Dec18

‘Roadside Zoo’ Facing Lawsuit Over Exotic Animal Care

The small zoo opened by Tom and Pamela Sellner over fifteen years ago is described by the owners as a labor of love which stemmed from their love and respect for animals.

Some of the more than 150 animals at the Cricket Hollow Zoo in Manchester are certainly not what most people expect to see in a farming community in the Midwest, including lemurs, tigers and lions.

Allegations of Animal Mistreatment

Despite claims of starting the zoo out of respect and love for these wild animals, the couple are being sued by the California-based Animal Legal Defense Fund along with several Iowa residents, claiming that their so-called roadside zoo has been mistreating the animals in its care for years. The trial, which commenced at the beginning of October in a Cedar Rapids federal court, could result in the first court ruling regarding how roadside zoos must care for animals which are considered endangered.

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Results for Roadside Zoos

If the lawsuit is won by the plaintiffs, it would mean that owners of roadside zoos are on notice. Jessica Blome the senior attorney of the ALDF, told The Associated Press that if roadside zoo owners don’t treat endangered animals well and ensure that they have access to proper veterinary care, and ensure that the natural environment is in as close proximity as possible, they will have the animals taken off of them as they do not deserve to have them.

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In court filings and in a statement posted on the zoo’s website, the Sellners deny all of the allegations of animal abuse against them, saying that they love animals and have been unfairly maligned. On the zoo’s website, Pamela Sellner wrote that the couple have personally been subject to receipt of hate mail and even death threats as a result of the lawsuit.

System Overhaul Needed

There have been an estimated number of hundreds of other lawsuits regarding the treatment of animals at roadside zoos in the U.S., however animal rights groups say that the federal oversight system for these zoos is in need of a complete overhaul.

endangered-species-actThis Iowa lawsuit challenges specifically how the Sellener’s zoo cares for its animals under the Endangered Species Act – three wolves, four tigers and three lemurs. There is a similar case pending in North Carolina, however animal advocates expect the Iowa case to be the one which is resolved first.

Individuals suing the Sellners say that they were appalled by the living conditions of the animals at the zoo, with some having no access to water.

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3M Bair Hugger Caused Catastrophic Complications
Dec18

3M Bair Hugger Caused Catastrophic Complications

The Bair Hugger forced air warming blanket from 3M has hit the news headlines again for all the wrong reasons. A product liability and personal injury lawsuit has been filed by Tracy Crawford from Mississippi. She suffered a severe knee surgery infection after using the product while she was receiving orthopedic joint replacement surgery.

Crawford started legal proceedings against 3M by filing her complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota. She is claiming that the product is dangerous when used as a warming blanket during a knee and hip replacement procedure.

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Crawford went on to say that the Bair Hugger forced air warm blanket was the product used to adjust her body temperature during her knee procedure. However, it caused a serious knee infection because bacteria from the Bair Hugger forced air warm blanket entered her surgical wound.

The implant Crawford received during the knee replacement surgery had to be removed. An antibiotic spacer was inserted instead because of the complications caused by the product. She has received months of treatment since including another knee replacement operation as well as other procedures related to the problem.

Hip and Knee Replacement Infection Lawsuits on the Rise

This is not the only lawsuit of this type taken against 3M. Other Bair Hugger warming blanket cases are also featuring in the headlines. It’s alleged to have caused a wide range of health complications and even led to knee and leg amputations.

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Request to Consolidate Bair Hugger Lawsuits

An application was recently submitted to the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) to consolidate each Bair Hugger forced air warming blanket lawsuit taken against 3M in the United States. This often happens in the medical device and pharmaceutical industries because of the high number of legal actions taken. This process is called Multidistrict Litigation (MDL).

The 3M world headquarters is located in Minneapolis which means this MDL could take place in Minnesota federal court. An MDL is a faster way to get to trial because everyone involved in each lawsuit is in one location, under the supervision of the same judge.

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Why is the 3M Bair Hugger Causing So Many Problems?

The Bair Hugger is a hot air blanket used to stabilize a patient’s body temperature during knee and hip replacement surgery. However, in some instances the forced air system of the blanket allows bacteria and contaminated particles to enter the surgical wound.

Infections Not Addressed by 3M

The Bair Hugger is a popular warming blanket, with more than 50,000 used in U.S. hospitals. However, it’s claimed 3M were aware of the problems with this medical product for many years but did not take the appropriate action.

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Civil liberties laws for everyone to know
Dec16

Civil liberties laws for everyone to know

Immigration

Congress has complete authority over immigration. Presidential power does not extend beyond refugee policy. Except for questions regarding aliens’ constitutional rights, the courts have generally found the immigration issue as nonjusticiable.Learn more about the civil rights for immigrants in U.S. custody and detainee camps here.

1. Detainee Basic Medical Care Act

Immigration is a big issue in the United States, affecting politics, the economy, social and moral standards, and civil rights. In 2008, Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey proposed the Detainee Basic Medical Care Act, which if passed, would “develop procedures to ensure adequate medical care for all detainees held by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE),” according to the American Civil Liberties Union. Currently, there are no standards of providing real medical care to detainees in immigration camps run by the U.S. government.

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2. Deportation

Deportation refers to the official removal of an alien from the United States. The U.S. government can initiate deportation proceedings against aliens admitted under the INA that commit an aggravated felony within the United States after being admitted. An alien’s failure to register a change of address renders the alien deportable, unless the failure resulted from an excusable circumstance or mistake. If the government determines that a particular alien gained entry into the country through the use of a falsified document or otherwise fraudulent means, the government has the grounds to deport.

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Workplace and Labor

These laws focus on equal pay and employers’ rights or limitations when hiring minority employees. More about it read on law firm branding site.

1. Americans with Disabilities Act

Job seekers afraid of discrimination need to know about the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. This law makes it illegal for employers — including private and government employers — to refuse to hire a qualified individual based on a disability that would not interfere with their job. Employers are not allowed to ask about the person’s disability or give them a special medical examination that isn’t already required of all job candidates. Employers are allowed, however, to ask if the individual is able to perform the duties directly associated with the particular job opening.

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2. Equal Pay Act of 1963

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 “requires the employer to pay equal wages within the establishment to men and women doing equal work on jobs requiring equal skill, effort, and responsibility, which are performed under similar working conditions,” according to the Feminism and Women’s Studies website. In addition, women who discover that they have been paid less than their males colleagues for a certain amount of time may file a suit or complaint to request that back wages, including salary raises and back pay, be awarded to them.

3. Ledbetter v. Goodyear

This court case, settled in 2007, involves Lilly Ledbetter, an employee at the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company in Gadsden, AL, who, after nearly twenty years of work, realized that she was being paid less than her male colleagues. Ledbetter sued Goodyear, citing the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Pay Act of 1963. Ultimately, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that because Ledbetter did not make the complaint within 180 days of the discrimination taking place, she did not get any rewards. This ruling affects gender pay discrimination and race pay discrimination.

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