“Forces of opposition, bow down;” reads ad by Remmington gun manufacturers – Aug 1, 2019

This ad slogan was the basis for Connecticut Supreme Court’s holding in March 2019 that Remmington violated the laws against unfair trade practices for knowingly marketing the AR-15 to civilians for use in military-style combat. While we wait for Congress to take action to protect our children and families, skilled medical malpractice lawyers like Mr. Koskoff in Connecticut are using creative strategies to hold accountable the manufacturers of assault weapons used in the Newtown mass shooting. We can only hope for more creativity to benefit the victims of the hate-crime perpetrator in El Passo. Read the article…

Louisville Metro Police Department changes policy on high-speed police car chases – A terrible idea

No longer will the police have to justify high-speed police chases with the reasonable belief that the driver is suspected to have committed a “violent crime.”  Today, the mere fact that a car is reported as stolen will justify a high-speed chase down Louisville city streets, putting countless other motorists and pedestrians at great risk of death.  I find it outrageous that the City of Louisville learned nothing from the tragic loss of lives of four children in 2008, killed in a violent high-speed car crash caused entirely by a high-speed police chase, initiated because the vehicle in which the children were passengers was reported stolen.   The fair market value of the stolen vehicle was approximately $500.00.  The pursuing police officers were chasing the car down a rain-slick 3rd street with no reason to suspect that the operator of the stolen vehicle had committed a “violent crime.”  Many pedestrians’ lives were put at risk and four children died, all because the police put the importance of apprehending a stolen vehicle above the lives of passengers and the pedestrian public.  In fact, it was a public outcry over tragedies like this which prompted a change in the policy to require a reasonable belief that the driver had committed a violent crime and was fleeing apprehension. Nothing about the nature of criminal activity in our community has changed to justify rolling back the clock to a terribly dangerous policy. While today’s news report suggests that this is a “temporary” change in the policy, I do hope our community speaks out and persuades the LMPD to stop this wrong-headed policy. Read the news…

Vaccination

“No vaccination, no service:  Some SC pediatricians turning away kids for parents” decisions” https://www.greenvilleonline.com/story/news/2019/05/07/some-sc-pediatricians-refuse-service-if-children-dont-get-vaccine-anti-vaxxer-parents/1128830001/ This article recently published in the Greenville online news caught my attention, given the implications such decisions could have to both doctor and the child’s parents. In this article a two-month old baby was taken by his parents to the pediatrician for a well-baby check-up, only to be turned away because the doctor has grown intolerant to parents who claim they know best for their child.  The parent in question in this story did not want the pediatrician to give multiple immunizations, at the same office visit.  Not an unreasonable request by this particular parent, given some parent groups who strongly cling to the belief that immunizations cause autism spectrum disorder and other similar maladies, resulting in the refusal to have their children vaccinated for any diseases.  It is important to note that some parents refuse to have their children immunized because of their religious beliefs.  Each of these protective measures raises distinctly different legal issues. In the first category of parental protection, a refusal stating: “I don’t want my child to get multiple vaccines on one office visit,” appears a manageable problem for any pediatrician.  A blatant refusal to treat a sick child at age 2 months could give rise a claim of medical malpractice for abandoning a sick child, although the refusal to see such as child would have to result in some injury to the child, which is not likely given the other treatment options available in today medical society. Turning to the second category of parental protection, a refusal sating: “I refuse to allow my child to have any vaccinations because I am convinced they will permanently damage my child’s brain;” there are serious ramifications, including the prospect of the doctor notifying child protective services.  After all, most States require all adults (not just doctors) to report known or suspected child endangerment to Child Protective Services agencies.  The battle lines will be drawn along the boundary between the science/studies which are claimed to prove that immunizations don’t cause harm and the reasonableness of parents who believe otherwise.  In the recently published book, Hacking Darwin: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Humanity, the author Jamie Metzl captured this precise conflict: When 147 mostly unvaccinated children were infected with measles in 2015, after exposure at Disneyland, the children’s parents were roundly condemned for putting hundreds of other kids in danger.  While anti-vaccination advocates argue they are doing something natural by not vaccinating their children for communicable diseases, it is hard to argue they are actually doing something good.  Vaccinations have saved millions of lives since the first smallpox vaccine was introduced in 19th century England.  Repeated studies around the world have clearly proven the safety and overwhelming individual and communal benefits of vaccination.  Nevertheless, irrational and uninformed fears of vaccines have persisted.  In recent years celebrities like Jenny McCarthy, Jim Carey and Donald Trump have raised scientifically unsupported claims about the dangers of vaccines that have fueled a quadrupling of the number of unvaccinated U.S. children since 2001. Science will prevail and unless parents can properly support their decision making with reliable and trustworthy science, parents may well be held accountable for the refusal to vaccinate their children. In the third category of parental protection, a refusal stating: “I don’t want my child to get any vaccines because it is against our religious beliefs;” has been argued by parents as “religious freedom” and courts have found that the child has a right to life and health, regardless of the parents concern, especially in very clear circumstances where emergency surgery is needed to save the life of the child.  It is much easier for courts to require parents to protect their children from immediate threat of harm or death, where for example, emergency surgery is required for a ruptured appendix.  In 2018 an Oregon couple were sentenced to six years in prison on criminal charges related to the death of their newborn daughter, when they refused to obtain medical care based upon their religious beliefs.  This couple are the fifth set of parents from a faith-healing church to face criminal charges over the past nine years for failing to seek medical care for their children. Having raised four children long before the latest studies on immunizations were completed demonstrating that there is no health risk to children who receive vaccinations, I know the dilemma concerned and loving parents grapple with every day.  Stay informed.  Knowledge is power and it takes evidence based knowledge to protect our…

“Non-survivors fail to recognize, uplift, and center survivors of sexual abuse”; Child sexual abuse Survivors; Survivors Space

I am very proud of my daughter, Sophia McMurry, who recently published a very accurate statement on the disenfranchisement of Survivors and how this injustice may be remedied. Having represented hundreds of abuse and assault victims, I know that her observations are accurate and deserve our compasionate attention. View this article by clicking on this link:…