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The Open Carry Law

Though open carrying of firearms in public is not restricted by the Federal law, there are specific rules when this is done on properties owned or operated by the federal government.

There are only five states where the open carrying of handguns in public places is prohibited. These are California, Florida, Illinois New York, and South Carolina; this is to prevent gun violence.

The past years, gun-toting individuals openly carrying firearms in public places, such as political rallies, public parks, restaurants and coffee shops have become a common sight in many U.S. states. Many of those who openly carry firearms, who argue that they are only “exercising their rights,” identify themselves as part of the growing “open carry movement.”

The open carrying of firearms, however, does not only intimidate the public, but also makes very likely accidental or intentional use which can result to injury or death.

Besides using the argument of “exercising their rights,” many say that open carrying is needed for self-defense. No research, however, supports this argument. On the contrary, even if used in self-defense, having a gun does not reduce a person’s chance of getting injured during a crime, but it increases the possibility of him/her injuring an innocent bystander.

One study even suggests that carrying a firearm may actually increase a person’s risk of firearm injury. Thus, instead of improving safety, open carrying unnecessarily increases the possibility of everyday interpersonal conflicts turning into deadly shootouts. This is because anyone will have ready access to firearms. Open carry laws also correlate with higher rates of suicide. States with open carry laws, in fact, have 36% more suicides and 71% more firearm suicides per capita. Additionally, when stopping an individual who is openly carrying a firearm in these states, law enforcement officers may be prohibited from demanding identification.

In the state of Texas, particularly, the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter says, “As of January 1, 2016, licensed gun owners in the state of Texas may openly carry a handgun in public and in many Texas open carry gun laws private settings. This open carry laws stipulates that handguns must be carried in a belt or shoulder holster at all times, unless there is a legally justifiable reason to use the weapon. The moment you remove your firearm from your holster you should expect to be under police scrutiny. In the event that you are charged with a gun-related criminal offense like aggravated assault with a deadly weapon or deadly conduct, you need to reach out to an attorney immediately. Even if you believe that you have not broken the law, it will be in your best interest to work with a lawyer throughout the coming legal process.”

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Morcellator Lawsuits Still being Filed Against Johnson & Johnson

Morcellator Lawsuits Still being Filed Against Johnson & Johnson

On April 30, 2014, Ethicon, the unit of Johnson & Johnson that is responsible for the manufacture, sale and promotion of power morcellators, ceased distribution and sales of said devices, and ordered their withdrawal from the market.

Ethicon’s move came barely three weeks after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a safety alert on April 17, 2014, which advised doctors and hospitals against the continuous use of power morcellators in laparoscopic surgical procedures, specifically in the removal of uterine fibroids or myomas, through myomectomy, and in the removal of the womb or uterus, through hysterectomy.

FDA’s decision is based on medical reports regarding the possible spread of unsuspected cancer tissues, called uterine sarcomas, during morcellation treatment of women with uterine fibroids. Due to the lack of a device that can accurately detect the presence of uterine sarcomas, risk of spreading it beyond the uterus can happen as uterine fibroids are divided or morcellated into pieces.

Power morcellators are medical devices designed to cut an overgrown uterus or fibroids into pieces that are tiny enough to allow them to be extracted through 0.5-1cm incisions. These devices have been approved by the FDA to be used in laparoscopic (minimally invasive) surgeries. Due to the many advantages of power morcellators, including performance of surgeries that require very tiny incisions that healed faster, shorter hospital stay for patients, lesser blood loss, reduced pain and minimal chances of infection or complications, many doctors began using them in the early 1990s to perform laparoscopic surgeries instead of the traditional open surgeries (such as abdominal hysterectomy, which required incisions between five to seven inches long).

Johnson & Johnson introduced three of the best engineered power morcellators in the market in 1998 which, many believe, actually set the standard on the way the device should be designed. These devices included the Gynecare Morcellex, the Morcellex Sigma and the Gynecare X-Tract. Despite the accuracy and efficiency of J&J’s power morcellators, however, the FDA found the risk of cancer a valid reason for doctors and hospitals to cease use of the device.

As mentioned in the website of the law firm Williams Kherkher, up to 50,000 morcellation treatments are performed in the U.S. every year, with most of these for the purpose of removing uterine fibroids. In a number of U.S. states, morcellator lawsuits are on the rise, adding to the growth in the number of women seeking compensation.

Many more patients are expected to come to the open and file civil lawsuits they are legally entitled to pursue. These lawsuits may be their chance of seeking compensation for whatever damages the devices have caused in them.

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