Bliven Law Firm, P.C.

Blog

Serving all of Montana for over 25 years

Bliven Law Firm, P.C. is a Montana personal injury law firm located in Northwest Montana serving all of Montana. A group of experienced, dedicated professionals who care about their clients’ needs. Our Montana personal injury attorneys have over 25 years of experience in aggressively pursuing the goals of our clients.

Month: September 2011

CANTALOUPE LISTERIA FOOD POISONING RECALL INVESTIGATION SPREADS TO MONTANA.

There have been two major recalls involving Cantaloupe contaminated by Listeria posing serious risk of illness to Humans.  The first outbreak involved Jensen Farms, of Holly, CO. and was a widespread outbreak.  The FDA issued a food recall alert in early September.  The whole cantaloupes were shipped between July 29th, 2011 and September 10, 2011.  The State of Colorado also issued a food safety recall.  Colorado is where the tainted Cantaloupe contaminated with Listeria was produced.  The product was shipped to several states.

ucm271885The FDA also issued a recall for Carol’s Cut Fresh Cut Cantaloupe and Cut Mixed Fruit as a “possible health risk” due to Listeria.  “The Carol’s Cuts” recall is part of a larger recall involving Listeria contamination and Cantaloupe.  This outbreak affects many more states and is contained in pre-prepared salads and foods that may be in your super-market’s fresh food deli.

The State of Montana has recently launched its own investigation, involving residents in Gallatin and Yellowstone Counties according to the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services.  “Contaminated cantaloupes may still be in grocery stores and in consumers homes” according to Montana DPHHS director Anna Whiting Sorrell.

Listeriosis, is a serious bacterial infection caused by contaminated food.  The condition mostly affects those with immune compromised vulnerability.  This includes, older adults, pregnant women, newborns and small children.  Symptoms include fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion and convulsions.

The median incubation period is 21 days with diarrhea lasting anywhere from 1-3 days.  If you suspect you or a loved one has been infected then contact your physician.  Also, food discount cards such as those issued by Smiths in Kalispell and Columbia Falls or Safeway in Whitefish, actually track all of your purchases.  You can ask the store for a list of items you purchased to determine if cantaloupe was purchased within the incubation period if you use the discount card.  Also, take into consideration your travel to other areas and States.  Other neighboring states have been hit harder by this outbreak.

Bliven Law Firm, P.C. are your Montana Food Safety Attorneys.   If you suspect food poisoning, after receiving proper treatment, you may have a claim for a settlement to pay for medical bills, travel expenses, pain and suffering along with the affects upon close family members.  Settlement also often includes payments for future medical monitoring and the cost of health insurance

Safety Tips:  Persons of high risk, older adults, pregnant women, persons with compromised immune symptoms should not eat cantaloupes from the Rocky Mountain Region.  Wash your hands before and after consumption of cantaloupe.  Cantaloupes coming from the Rocky Ford plant should be disposed of in a closed plastic bag and placed in a sealed trashcan.

In conclusion, it is difficult to trace exactly where Listeria contaminated cantaloupe or food, which had contacted with the cantaloupe.  If you are having flu like symptoms and you consumed the contaminated cantaloupe call your doctor immediately.  If you are having difficulty determining whether you suffered infection tell your doctor who can run tests confirming the diagnosis.  If you have been injured by listeria-contaminated cantaloupe after receiving medical treatment, please call our office so we track the spread across Montana.

PATIENTS’ RIGHT TO ACCESS MEDICAL RECORDS

Many individuals are complaining that their health care providers refuse to provide them with their medical records. The most important thing you can do is know your rights and make all requests in writing certified mail return receipt requested.

Montana Law provides that upon receipt of a written request from a patient to examine or copy all or part of the patient’s recorded health care information, a health care provider, as promptly as required under the circumstances but no later than 10 days after receiving the request shall:

a. Make the information available without charge during business hours.
b. Inform the patient the information does not exist or cannot be found.
c. Inform the patient that the records are maintained by a third party and where they may be obtained.
d. If there is an unusual delay, provide a clear written explanation of the reason for delay, under which circumstances the health care provider would have 21 days.

Unfortunately, most health care providers will charge for records. Montana Law allows a reasonable fee defined as $15 to search for the file and $0.50 per page copied. So you will likely have to pay for the records.

Concerning situations where a heath care provider refuses to provide the records they must justify the refusal with a clear written explanation. These circumstances include, serious harm to the patient if the records are disclosed or the records contain substantial information of confidential information concerning others.

Many people sign standard releases when they see a physician that allows the provider to disclose your records for any reason. Ask your provider if you have the option of refusing the release, except if requested by another health care provided necessary for your own treatment. Don’t sign blanket releases under any circumstances.

In Montana the legislature has recognized the widespread practice of compiling and selling health care information to insurance companies, marking companies, companies that provide background checks and any other entity who may find your personal health care information useful. In the Legislative Findings the Montana Legislature has recognized wrongful “exchange of health care information from automated data banks” across State lines. Privacy of medical records has also been determined a Montana constitutional right under the Montana Constitution’s Right to Privacy provisions.

If your rights are being violated, you should lodge a Complaint with the Montana Attorney General who can investigate, order release of records and impose fines. You may also file a complaint with the District Court where you live. The Court may order disclosure to you, enjoin wrongful health care dissemination, and award damages to you up to $5,000.00.

In conclusion, when you seek medical treatment ask what the health care provider’s policy is on access to medical records and release of your medical information. Be persistent and demand explanations in writing. This will usually result in access to your medical records. The records are owned by you. Assert your rights.

PUBLIX RECALLS SPINACH DIP DUE TO POSSIBLE HEALTH RISK

Publix Super Markets is issuing a voluntary recall for spinach dip because it may be adulterated with Listeria monocytogenes. The problem was discovered as a result of routine microbial testing conducted by Publix. The 16 ounce containers of prepackaged spinach dip were sold at Publix retail deli departments with a UPC of 41415-00062 and use by date of OCT 10 C1.

Consumption of products containing Listeria monocytogenes can cause serious and sometimes fatal infection in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

For more information click here

If you or someone you know has become ill from consuming spinach dip, contact the law offices of Bliven Law Firm, P.C. for a free case evaluation. You may be entitled to legal compensation as a result of food poisoning from spinach dip or other food products tainted with Listeria monocytogenes.

CDC SAYS CANTELOPE DEATH TOLL REACHES 13

The CDC now says 13 deaths have been caused by the cantaloupe-carried infection. The death toll – which includes newly confirmed deaths in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and two deaths in Texas – surpassed the total from the 2009 deadly salmonella outbreak from peanuts that killed nine.

Listeria illness, with symptoms including fever and muscle aches so severe that victims sometimes are incapacitated, has now sickened 72 people across 18 states, according to the CDC.

Officials say the death toll could soon reach 16, as they are investigating additional deaths in New Mexico, Kansas, and Wyoming.

The toll will probably grow in coming weeks because it can take 4 weeks for a Listeria infection to show symptoms, said the CDC’s Dr. Robert Tauxe, deputy director of the division of foodborne, waterborne and environmental diseases.

For more information, click here

If you or someone you know, has suffered serious illness or worse, as a result of poisoned cantalope, please call the law offices of Bliven Law Firm, P.C. For 25 years, our Montana based personal injury firm has helped food poisoning victims recover damages they are legally entitled to.

M & P FOOD PRODUCTIONS, LTD. RECALLS SEVERAL VARIETIES OF VARENIKI/ DUMPLINGS

Semtember 23, 2011 – M & P Food Productions, LTD. of Brooklyn, NY is recalling several varieties ofVareniki/Dumplings because it was discovered that the products contain undeclared Milk and Wheat, therefore posing a potential health hazard. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to these allergens run the risk of illness or serious or potentially fatal allergic reaction if they consume these products.

The ingredients statement of the products did not declare the presence of milk or wheat. As a result, we are recalling all of the products listed below with “BEST BEFORE SEP 19 2011″ through “BEST BEFORE MAR 19 2012” from the market:

  • Bapehuku Dupling brand Vareniki cabbage, NET WT. 14 oz., UPC 7 07163 02619 8;
  • Bapehuku Dupling brand Vareniki potato & onion, NET WT. 14 oz., UPC 7 0 7163 02616 7;
  • Bapehuku Dupling brand Vareniki potato & mushroom, NET WT. 14 oz., UPC 7 07163 02617 4;
  • Bapehuku Dupling brand Vareniki farmer cheese, NET WT. 14 oz., UPC 7 0716 302618 1;
  • Bapehuku Dupling brand Vareniki sour cherry, NET WT. 14 oz., UPC 7 07163 02615 0.

The products were distributed to retail stores in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, New Jersey, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

For more information click here

If you or someone you know has become ill or sick as a result of consuming Vareniki Dumplings or other food products, contact the attorneys of Bliven Law Firm, P.C. for a free case evaluation.

RICH PRODUCTS CORPORATION RECALLS SEAPAK BREADED BUTTERFLY SHRIMP

Rich Products Corporation is voluntarily recalling SeaPak Breaded Butterfly Shrimp – Ready to Fry, Net Wt. 22 oz., Product Code 10302, because the product contains an undeclared milk ingredient (whey) in the coating of the shrimp (less than 0.1%). People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to milk run the risk of an allergic reaction if they consume this product.

For more information click here

If you have become ill as a result of consuming SeaPak Breadeud Butterfly Shrimp, please contact the law offices of Bliven Law Firm, P.C. for a free case evaluation as you may be entitled to legal compensation.

STEVENSVILLE MAN ARRESTED FOR FELONY DUI AFTER CRASHING HIS CAR

A Stevensville man was charged with felony drunken driving and a host of misdemeanor charges Friday after crashing his truck three miles south of town at the Logan Lane curve.

According to court records, 29-year-old John Randolph Mecredy has three previous DUI convictions: two in New York from 2005 and 2008 and one in Montana from May 12, 2010.

According to an affidavit filed by deputy county attorney Angela Wetzsteon, Mecredy called for a tow truck at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday after crashing his truck. When Bill  of Wimp’s Auto Body arrived on the scene, he called law enforcement based on the extent of the damage.

When Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Scott Bennett responded to the crash scene, Mecredy was asleep in the front seat of the vehicle with the keys in the ignition and the engine off. Bennett wrote in his report that it was apparent that Mecredy’s truck had gone off the pavement, and that the northbound truck had also crossed over the oncoming lane of traffic and struck a fence.

Read more: http://www.ravallirepublic.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/41972bfe-e8b4-11e0-a468-001cc4c002e0.html#ixzz1ZALrU2jY

Bliven Law Firm, P.C. is a Montana personal injury firm, located in Kalispell, that helps people who have been injured by drunk drivers. If you or someone you know has been hurt in a drunk driving accident in Montana, please contact Bliven Law Firm, P.C. for a free case evaluation.

WASHINGTON STATE OYSTERS CAUSE OUTBREAK OF ILLNESS FROM VIBRIO PARAHAEMOLYTICUS BACTERIA.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to eat raw oysters harvested from an area of Hood Canal in Washington State following an outbreak of illness in that state caused by Vibrio parahaemolyticus bacteria. Raw oysters harvested from “growing area 4” in Hood Canal from August 30 to September 19 have been linked to three confirmed and two possible cases of Vibrio parahaemolyticus illness.

Illness is typically characterized by nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The symptoms begin from a few hours up to five days after consumption of raw or undercooked seafood, particularly shellfish, or after ingestion of surface waters.

For more information on the outbreak click here. The FDA encourages consumers with questions about seafood safety to call 1-888-SAFEFOOD or to write toconsumer@fda.gov.

If you or someone you know, has suffered sickness or illness as a result of food poisoning, contact the Montana legal offices of Bliven Law Firm, P.C. You may be entitled to legal compensation if you have become ill as a result of Vibrio parahaemolyticus illness.

PEDESTRIAN KILLED IN HIT AND RUN ON U.S. HWY 2

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The FBI says a man walking along U.S. Highway 2 on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation was killed after being struck by a vehicle.

The driver of the vehicle that struck the man fled the scene and the FBI is asking the public’s help in finding that person.

For more information

Bliven Law Firm, P.C. is a personal injury firm, located in Kalispell, Montana, dedicated to helping those who have been harmed or injured by the acts of another. If you or someone you know has been hurt in a car accident, please contact our offices for a free evaluation.

HELENA COMMISSIONERS WILL VOTE TO OUTLAW DRIVING WITH HAND-HELD DEVICES

The Helena City Commission will vote on Monday night on whether or not to move forward with the proposed distracted driving ordinance.

The draft ordinance says a person may not operate a vehicle while using a hand-held phone. The ordinance says any person convicted of violating the ban would be fined up to $100 dollars, and the citation would not be reported on a person’s driving record.

For more information on the meeting and vote click here.

The full proposed ordinance is available here