Monsanto Found Liable For Sonoma County Man’s Lymphoma

In San Francisco, a federal judge ruled that exposure to Monsanto Co’s Roundup herbicide was a leading cause of a local resident’s development of non-Hodkin’s lymphoma, Edwin Harderman, 70 years old. The trial moves to phase 2 which will determine the financial liability of Monsanto.

The verdict was determined by a 6 person jury and declared on their fifth day of deliberation. Hardeman’s lawsuit is one of many that will be upcoming for Monsanto. There are more than 760 lawsuits filed against Monsanto around the country regarding their product RoundUp. However, this decision does not set precedent for other cases because each has its own unique circumstances.

However, this is the second time though that Monsanto has been found guilty in San Francisco of their Roundup causing non-Hodkin’s lymphoma. Last year, a different jury awarded DeWayne Johnson, a Bay Area gardener, $289 million when he also developed non-Hodkin’s lymphoma from Roundup. A judge then decreased the amount awarded to $78 million. Monsanto has appealed. Monsanto firmly believes that science will show that the chemical found in its herbicides glyphosate does not cause cancer. The World Health Organization’s International Agency For Research of Cancer published a report showing a link that the chemical does. However, the link shows that it comes from heavy use of the chemical (like on farms) and not from limited exposure (like on home gardens).

Monsanto is notorious for having a myriad of legal trouble, warranting its own Wikipedia page dedicated to the subject. Lawsuits against Monsanto stem all the way back to the Vietnam war with the chemical Agent Orange. It has also been in legal hot water regarding chemicals such as Dioxin, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and alachlor. Monsanto has also had legal trouble with the Securities and Exchange Commission when it inaccurately reported its earnings over a three year period. They were fined $80 million.

My Boss Touched My Butt. What Should I Do?

By now, most of us are becoming accustomed to the growing publicity of the female perspective on mostly male-perpetrated sexual harassment both in and out of the workplace. The #MeToo movement has ripped the veil off this societally accepted conundrum, which had reached epidemic proportions long, long ago. Sexual harassment is something of a burden for both employees and employers in the workplace because it’s a stressful, time-consuming affair, and shouldn’t happen. But what do you do if your boss is the perpetrator? Here are your first steps when you boss touches your butt (or anything else).

First and foremost, tell him (or her) immediately that the advances are unwanted. Express your belief that workplace relationships should remain friendly but professional, and sexual attractions should only be explored between consenting adults in other environments. Consider making a quick call to human resources in order to have the event documented. You can probably ask HR to take no further action, if that’s your wish. Sometimes they will be forced to, based on company policy.

Should the harassment continue, be sure to make another call, and be sure to urge HR to investigate the matter fully and take corrective action, even if that means your boss is transferred or terminated. We don’t always want to take actions that might affect other people’s lives, but remember: you were the victim of harassment, and the perpetrator made that choice before you were forced to react.

After you do that, consider requesting a meeting with a lawyer who specializes in workplace harassment in order to explore your next options. Should HR fail to deliver a resolution to your problem (as is so often the case), then you’re free to open a Pandora’s Box of legal alternatives. No one should have to deal with this kind of behavior, and employment lawyers are dedicated to making sure you receive compensation for any potential emotional side effects or even damage done to your career.

Your lawyer will likely request that you file an administrative charge with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (or EEOC) in order to ensure that there is a timely investigation into the claim. If HR didn’t do its job, then the EEOC will give it another try. When they fail to deliver, they’ll offer you a “right to sue” letter. What better way to kick off litigation than with government permission to do so?

When Does It Make Sense To Declare Bankruptcy?

Believe it or not, bankruptcy isn’t just for rich people. Bankruptcy is one of the most stressful situations in which a person can be placed, and it isn’t always beneficial. Your circumstances are unique, and if you file, then you should make sure that the decision is the best one you can make under those circumstances. So when does it make sense to file for bankruptcy? Here are a few things to keep in mind as you consider the process.

First and foremost, if you think any of the items on this list apply to your situation, then get a bankruptcy lawyer. The first sit-down is almost always free, and it’s a good way to discuss your options before you make any decisions you can’t reverse later on.

Bankruptcy is a second chance, but most people view it as a punishment for those who let themselves fall into extreme debt. Even as you’re enjoying your second chance, it’s not without consequences, both financial and social. Be sure you’re ready to acknowledge and deal with both.

Other life choices may force you down the path to bankruptcy. Divorce is one such reason. If the financial situation after you split from a spouse looks dire, you might need a better option. Other reasons include potential lawsuits from a creditor, foreclosure, or finding yourself with no other choice but to pay bills by withdrawing from a 401(k) or using another credit card. If you can’t afford to eat without spending cold hard cash, then bankruptcy might be your last safe bet.

Before you file for bankruptcy, you should explore other avenues to debt-relief. You might start getting phone calls from organizations promising debt relief, but most are bogus. Anyone looking to profit from your situation isn’t offering a real solution. That said, there are nonprofits out there who may be able to offer you credit counseling services to better manage your debt or cut expenditures more efficiently than you’re doing on your own. If you find that you can’t budget, then it’s time to talk to people who can help.

Once you figure out that you absolutely cannot defeat your debt problems through any other means, try to talk to your creditor or consider programs that will help you negotiate down to a smaller sum. If all else fails, then and only then is it time to consider bankruptcy as a viable option. Be careful of upcoming bills: you won’t want to pay any big ones until you make your big decision.

When Is A Pro Bono Attorney Right For Your Case?

Attorneys provide pro bono services for a number of reasons. Some just want to help out those in need. Sometimes there are other incentives, like tax deductions. Lawyers are also told that they should offer a small number of pro bono hours each year, and some take this obligation more seriously than others. These attorneys work free of charge, and they usually provide their services most often to those who can’t afford to pay.

There are other options if you fall into that category. You could visit a law school to ask for advice from a law student who is certified to practice under a faculty member. You could find a legal aid society willing to help. Or you could find a pro bono lawyer. When is a pro bono attorney right for your case?

Well, there is no situation in which pro bono services would be inappropriate if you can’t afford the services of a lawyer on your own. There are situations in which pro bono services are more likely. One of these situations is a call for asylum.

If you’re living in a country where you’re persecuted or your life is threatened, then you might ask for asylum in the United States. Many of those seeking asylum are poor or in poverty. Many human rights attorneys and volunteers provide their services free of charge to these individuals. Organizations where these attorneys work will mentor, train, and guide lawyers through the process to ensure that asylum-seekers and their lawyers are fully supported.

Another situation is David versus Goliath. If you’ve been taken advantage of by a big company or corporation, but can’t hope to compete with a huge, expensive team of lawyers attacking you on every front, then you’re more likely to find a law firm whose lawyers will provide you with help on a pro bono basis.

Remember: if a lawyer or firm offer you their services pro bono, they’re doing you a favor. They have to run a business, but they’re giving up significant time and money on your behalf. Make sure you provide them with the information they need to properly help you.