Category Archives: Claims, Compensation, Settlements

Are Hebrew National Hot Dogs Really Kosher

Hebrew National is a brand of hot dogs and sausages that are supposed to be kosher. However, the question that is now being raised is, “Are Hebrew National hot dogs really kosher?”

The Hebrew National Kosher Sausage Factory, Inc. was founded on East Broadway on the lower east side of Manhattan in 1905. In 1968, Hebrew National was sold to Riviana Foods, which was then taken over by Colgate-Palmolive in 1976. Hebrew National was acquired by ConAgra Foods in 1993.

Eleven individual consumers filed a lawsuit against ConAgra Foods in May in Minnesota state court. The lawsuit claims that the hot dogs and other products being sold under the Hebrew National brand are not really kosher. ConAgra moved the case in June to a federal court in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Not up to standards

AER Services Inc is who provides meat processing services to ConAgra Foods. The lawsuit alleges that the meat processing services were not up to the standards that are necessary to label Hebrew National products as being kosher. The lawsuit says that the result of this is that consumers have been misled by ConAgra Foods, who has been charging premium prices for meat that is not kosher.

The lawsuit alleges that ConAgra Foods in Omaha, Nebraska marks its Hebrew National packages with a “Triangle K” symbol. It represents that the contents are kosher. Kosher meaning kosher “as defined by the most stringent Jews who follow Orthodox Jewish law.”

However, the lawsuit says that AER supervisors “did little or nothing” to speak to complaints voiced by employees that the meat being processed for ConAgra Foods was non-kosher. The lawsuit goes on to say that the AER in Skokie, Illinois threatened retaliation or fired those employees who complained about the meat not being kosher.

Statement for Hebrew National

Teresa Paulsen, a spokeswoman for ConAgra Foods, made a statement for the company on Monday, June 18th. She said, “While we can’t comment on pending litigation, we stand behind the quality of Hebrew National and its kosher status.”

While AER has not been named in the lawsuit, AER’s president, Shlomoh Ben-David, said in a telephone interview, “The allegations in the complaint regarding AER are completely and utterly false. There is no basis for them, and they are without any merit.”

Those bringing the lawsuit are wanting an injunction against further mislabeling and unspecified damages. The claim wants class-action status for United States purchasers of Hebrew National products for the past four years. The lawsuit also alleges negligence and violations of state consumer fraud laws.

An invisible fraud

Hart Robinovitch, one of the attorneys for those bringing the lawsuit, said in a telephone interview, “This is an invisible fraud. How does a consumer who thinks he is buying kosher meat really know he is buying kosher meat? It’s a very, very difficult thing for a consumer to detect, unless someone investigates.”

In its promotion of Hebrew National products, ConAgra Foods has the slogan, “We answer to a higher authority.” Apparently, the company will now be answering to a legal authority in addition to that “higher authority”.

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SSI and Personal Injury Awards

What happens to my SSI if I get personal injury awards?

If you have been injured from the negligence of another person you may be entitled to personal injury awards, but what if you are currently receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI)? There are very specific rules about receiving cash gifts and personal injury awards if you are getting SSI benefits, and you will need to understand how this can affect your SSI monthly payments BEFORE you accept any type of award or settlement.

The first consideration is whether the payment amount is likely to raise your “resources” above the allowable limit for SSI benefits. If you are receiving SSI (Title XVI Supplemental Security Income) then your settlement can offset your SSI and the amount of resources which is currently allowedis $2,000 as an individual and ($3,000 if you are married).

Crashed Toyota Matrix

What does the Social Security Administration consider a resource?


The SSA monitors all additional income and resources that SSI claimants receive, including unearned income. According to the SSA the following is considered unearned income:

  1. The value of food or shelter that someone gives you, or the amount of money they give you to help pay for them
  2. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits;
  3. Railroad retirement and railroad unemployment benefits;
  4. Annuities, pensions from any government or private source, workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance benefits, black lung benefits and Social Security benefits;
  5. Prizes, lottery winnings, settlements and awards, including court-ordered awards;
  6. Proceeds of life insurance policies;
  7. Gifts and contributions;
  8. Support and alimony payments;
  9. Inheritances in cash or property;
  10. Rental income; and
  11. Strike pay and other benefits from unions.

Now, you may be considering hiding the resource or money, hoping the SSA does not notice. First, this is against the law and can be considered fraud. Additionally, if the SSA does find out they are legally allowed to charge you an overpayment and you will be required to repay the money back to the SSA.

What are my options?


The good news for SSI claimants is there may be a way that they can keep the personal injury settlement and their Supplemental Security Income payments, but it will take some work. Claimants may, under certain conditions, be allowed to establish a Special Needs Trust.

The Special Needs Trust can be created as part of the Last Will and Testament or it can be created by itself, allowing the disabled individual to have funds held in a trust for their benefit.

Basically, the goal of the Special Needs Trusts is to provide “supplemental and extra care over and above what the government provides.”  Most disabled SSI recipients who are getting SSI will be able to use some of their Special Needs Trusts to supplement their monthly SSI benefits, although there are restrictions and the trust can only be accessed for very specific purposes which should be discussed with a lawyer.

Talk to a lawyer about how to create the Special Needs Trust so that you can keep your personal injury award. If your special needs trust is set up properly, the funds in the trust may not be considered “countable” by the government, allowing you to have more than the allowable $2,000 in countable resources.

What’s the bottom line?


SSI is for claimants who have VERY limited income and resources and any type of cash award or personal injury settlement (which causes their resource level to rise too high) may eliminate the claimant’s right to receive SSI payments and potentially Medicaid as well. The good news is there may be options for the claimant. Talk to an estate planning lawyer or personal injury attorney for more information.


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Personal Injury Lawsuit and Sidewalk Accidents

Here is an example of a personal injury lawsuit and sidewalk accidents. This example comes from a personal injury lawsuit in Gilroy, California.

A 70-year-old man, Allan Sundquist of San Jose, California, was walking from Monterey Street to OD’s Kitchen when he tripped over the sidewalk at 28 Martin Street. Sundquist lost consciousness when he fell and struck his head on a tree and was taken to Saint Louise Regional Hospital. This accident took place on March 26, 2010.

Sundquist proceeded to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the City of Gilroy, the owner of the building, Santa Clara County and the owner of the business. Sundquist said that he sustained permanent cognitive damage from the incident.

$700,000 settlement

Sundquist accepted what is being referred to as a hush-hush $700,000 settlement in the personal injury lawsuit. The City of Gilroy paid $450,000.

The other $250,000 of the settlement was paid by Robert Tapella, who was at the time of the accident, the owner of Garlic City Billiards. Tapella paid part of the settlement to Sundquist because his insurance company believed it would be cheaper than fighting the personal injury lawsuit.

The real thing responsible for the accident, according to the City of Gilroy, was a Magnolia tree that is 40 years old or more. The roots of the Magnolia tree were lifting and tearing the cement of the sidewalk. The Magnolia tree is still there, even though the crack in the concrete has been smoothed over with some fresh concrete.

City refused to fix sidewalk

Tapella is furious at the City of Gilroy because they had not fixed the sidewalk in front of his store, even though he had been asking the city to remove the Magnolia tree for 17 years. He said the City of Gilroy told him that they did not have the money to fix the sidewalk, and the sidewalk problems were not resulting from the Magnolia tree.

At one point, Tapella offered to cut the tree down, but the city threatened to fine him if he did. The city told him that it was their tree. They said they had planted it, and he could not touch it.

Tapella was then served with personal injury lawsuit papers one day in October, 2010. He did not believe that he had any responsibility for the accident due to the fact that he had been trying to get the city to remove the tree for 17 years.

California state law

However, according to California State law, property owners do have the responsibility of maintaining the sidewalk that is in front of their building or home. In August, 2007, in an attempt to shift legal liability from the city to the homeowner in the event that a person tripped in front of a residence, the city council passed a sidewalk ordinance. However, six months later the ordinance was overturned due to the fact that three new council members were not in favor of the ordinance.

One of the city councilmen, Perry Woodward said, “If a homeowner went out to his sidewalk with a jackhammer, then we’d expect him to be liable. Woodward went on to add that the city had created the problem by planting trees in residential park strips in the 1970s, when the city decided to become a recognized “Tree City USA”.

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The Tire on my Car Blew Out

Can I sue the company that sold me the car tire because of my injuries from the accident?

You were driving your car when you had a tire blowout. Because of the tire blowout, you had an accident and suffered injuries. The question you have is, “Can I sue the company that sold me the car tire because of my injuries from the car accident?”

The answer is, “Yes,” you can sue the company that sold you the tire. However, in order to win your lawsuit, you are going to have to prove that the tire was defective and that was what caused the blowout, which resulted in your car accident.

There are many reasons why a tire may blowout. The only way that you are going to win a lawsuit is to prove that a defect in the tire was why you had the tire blowout in your car.

Did the company know the tire was defective

If you are going to bring a lawsuit against the company that sold you the tire, you will have to prove that the company knew they were selling you a tire that was defective. If a tire is not defective, there is no way the company that sold you the tire could know where or when it was going to blowout.

It may be that other people have bought tires from the same company and have been injured in accidents that were caused by a tire blowout. If this is true, it would strengthen your claim that the company knew they were selling tires that were defective.

Another possibility is bringing a lawsuit against the company that manufactured the tire. Again, in order to win a lawsuit against the tire manufacturer, you will have to prove that the tire is defective. Likewise, if there are other people who have bought the same brand and model tire and have been injured in accidents that were caused by a tire blowout, this indicates the tire manufacturer is putting tires on the road that are defective.

Proving that a tire is defective

In order to win a lawsuit against either the company that sold you the tire or the company that manufactured the tire (may be the same, for example, you bought a Firestone tire from a Firestone tire store), the main issue is proving that the tire was defective. How do you prove that a car tire was defective.

Some police reports of an accident do note that there was a tire failure. However, do not expect a police officer to be specific and say that it was a side tire blowout or a de-tread. A police report may mention tire failure, but they will not go any further.

Another thing that you can do to help prove that the tire was defective is to get all of the tire that is left after the blowout. Also, get all of the pieces of rubber that will be scattered on the road. Experts may then be able to tell whether the tire was defective.

In order to win a lawsuit where you recover damages for injuries that you suffered in an accident caused by a tire blowout on you car, you are going to need the help and advice of a personal injury attorney. Different states have different deadlines for filing a case. Do not delay. Get in touch with a personal injury attorney, now.

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I Have Bar Fight Injuries

Can I sue the guy who beat me up?

The first thing that has to be considered is, “Did you start the fight in the bar? Were you drinking too much? Did you get out of control?”

Was the guy that beat you up simply defending himself from your attack? Even if this is true, you may still be able to sue the guy if he went beyond defending himself. It may be that the guy went far beyond merely defending himself and intentionally began to beat you up. A person has a right to defend themselves, but they do not have the right to hurt you beyond the point of what is necessary to defend themselves.

The difficult thing is proving that the guy went beyond defending himself, that he used excessive force. Taking pictures of your wounds, getting a copy of the police report of the incident, medical bills for your injuries and the testimony of a witness or witnesses that the guy went far beyond defending himself would help to give you a case.

Sit down with personal injury lawyer

In this instance, the best thing to do is to sit down with a personal injury lawyer and discuss the incident. A personal injury lawyer will evaluate the incident and tell you whether it would be in your best interests to bring a lawsuit against the guy who beat you up.

On the other hand, you may have decided to go out on the town and have a good time. You went to a bar and were minding your own business. Someone in the bar drank too much, got agitated and got out of control. It just so happens that they took it out on you. You did not start the fight.

The guy beat you up. Now the question that you have is, “Can I sue the guy that beat me up in the bar?”

You have a right to sue

The answer is, “Yes.” You do have the right to sue the guy who beat you up in a bar. No matter what explanation the guy may offer, assault is a crime. When you are injured by a person, it is your right to sue that person in order to be compensated for your injuries.

Were the police called to the incident? You need to find out if the police filed assault charges against the guy who beat you up in the bar. If the police did file charges, you can refer to this when you sue the guy who beat you up.

Once again, pictures of your wounds and the bar, the police report of the incident, medical bills and witness testimony will all help to strengthen your case against the guy who beat you up in the bar.

Suing the bar owner

There is also the possibility that you may be able to sue the bar owner for your injuries. The guy may have beat you up because the owner of the bar was negligent due to a lack of security at the bar.

Again, the one who can help determine how strong a case that you have is a personal injury lawyer. It is always a smart move to have a personal injury lawyer in your corner.

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I Was Personally Injured by a Police Officer

Do I have a Police Brutality Case?

It may happen in several different types of circumstances. You are personally injured by a police officer. This may occur:

If you are brought in for questioning
In a routine traffic stop, detention or arrest
In jail or prison
Following the end of a pursuit.

Regardless of the circumstances, you believe that you have been a victim of police brutality. The question that you have is, “Do I have a police brutality case?”

In order to know whether or not you have a case for police brutality, you first need to understand how police brutality is defined. Police brutality is when a police officer uses excessive force in regards to a civilian or more force than what is necessary. This usually takes the form of excessive physical force, but it can also refer to verbal attacks by a police officer against a civilian.

An important point to remember is that there is no precise definition of what constitutes excessive force. However, generally, excessive force usually refers to force that is beyond the force that a prudent and reasonable police officer would use under the circumstances.

Violation of your civil rights

Police brutality is a violation of your civil rights. It is a direct violation of the laws inside of the police force. Police brutality is a direct violation of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution.

With this in mind, do you believe that you have been a victim of police brutality? If you do, you have a right to bring a brutality claim against the police officer or police officers who used excessive force against you.

It can be intimidating and frightening to bring a lawsuit against a police officer. Police officers may try to intimidate you and get you to drop your complaint. It may be difficult to get the evidence that you need if other police officers refuse to testify. Also, there is always the possibility that fellow police officers may try to cover up the incident.

Personal injury lawsuit

Having said this, it is still your right to bring a lawsuit against a police officer or police officers for brutality. The type of lawsuit that you would bring is called a personal injury lawsuit. A personal injury lawsuit is simply a claim that is brought in court by a person who has been injured either physically or emotionally by another person.

You should also understand that a personal injury lawsuit for police brutality may involve a long and complex process and is extremely difficult to win. This is due to the fact that there are several laws that give immunity to police officers. One of these is a short statute of limitations or deadline that you have for filing a police brutality lawsuit. In many instances, witnesses are also hesitant to come and testify. The burden of proof for police brutality is on you and can be very hard to establish.

If you are going to win a personal injury lawsuit for police brutality, you are going to need the skill and expertise of a personal injury lawyer. A personal injury lawyer will be familiar with the specific complexities of a personal injury lawsuit for police brutality.

Injury From Broken Stairway and Premise Liability Claim

Have you suffered an injury from a broken stairway? Do you realize that you may be entitled to file a claim?

Stairways are necessary inside and outside of buildings that have more than one floor. Even though elevators are wonderful, there are times when they cannot be used for one reason or another. At other times, you may simply want or have to take the stairs.

Serious injury

You may use a stairway so often that you are not prepared for loose handrails, irregular steps, broken stairs or other difficulties that may result in a fall. Falling on a broken stairway can bring about a serious and/or severe injury. This may include:

Head injury
Broken bones
Other kinds of trauma.

One of the problems with a broken stairway is that it is often not obvious or otherwise easily visible. Things like ice or snow may prevent you from seeing a broken stairway on the outside of a building. Poor or inadequate lighting or carpet or other covering may keep you from noticing a broken stairway on the inside of a building.

Did your fall down a broken stairway cause serious injury? Are you wondering whether you can be compensated for your injury? Would you like to know if you have a claim against the owner because of your injury?

Things to consider

There are several things to consider before filing a claim against the owner of the building where you suffered a broken stairway injury. Some of these are:

How serious is your injury? If you only received some minor bumps and bruises, you probably do not have a claim against the building owner. However, if your injury involves things such as, a broken bone, concussion or other head or brain injury, you may certainly want to consider pursuing a lawsuit against the owner of the building.

The age of the stairs.

The design of the stairs

Has age caused the surface of the stairs to become slick

Lighting was poor or inadequate.

If you decide to pursue a claim against the building owner, it falls in a category of law that is referred to as premise liability. Premise liability is law where a person who is the owner of a building or land may be held responsible for some types of injuries that a person suffers who is there in the building or on the land.

A premise liability lawsuit is a type of lawsuit in which you seek to prove that a property owner was negligent, and their negligence was what caused your injury. In this instance, you would be seeking to prove that the building owner was negligent in his care and upkeep of the stairway. Due to his negligence, there was a broken stairway which resulted in you falling and being injured.

The best thing to do is to get in touch with a personal injury lawyer who will discuss and evaluate your case with you. A personal injury lawyer will help determine whether you have a strong premise liability case. A person injury lawyer will advise you as to whether a premise liability lawsuit against the owner of the building is the best option to pursue.

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No insurance, how do I get compensation for my car accident injuries?

You have been injured in a car accident. Your car accident injuries require medical attention. You may have had to be taken to the emergency room at a hospital. You may have even had to be admitted to the hospital and stay in the hospital for days or weeks due to your car accident injuries. The car accident may not have been  your fault, but the medical bills for your car accident injuries have been sent to you.

You may ask, “Why were the medical bills sent to me. I was not at fault. The other driver was responsible for the accident. Why didn’t the medical bills go to the other driver or their insurance company?”

When you are injured in a car accident, the hospital and doctors that treat your car accident injuries will send all of your medical bills to you. This is true regardless of the fact that you were not at fault for the car accident.

To make matters worse, you do not have any health insurance. The question that you may now have is, “Can a personal injury lawyer help me with my car accident injuries if I do not have health insurance?” Yes, a personal injury lawyer can help you in this situation. However, there are challenges that have to be dealt with.

If a person has a car accident and they have health insurance, they will pay less for their medical bills. The reason for this is because health insurance companies pay less for the same medical service or treatment than someone has to pay that does not have health insurance.

Here is a simple way to put it. If you have a car accident without health insurance, you pay the full retail price for car accident medical treatment and services. If you have a car accident and have health insurance, you pay wholesale prices for car accident medical treatment and services.

This is not the only challenge that you face when you have a car accident and do not have health insurance. The amount that the other driver’s insurance company offers may be affected by the fact that you do not have health insurance. When figuring out what they think is a fair settlement to you, the insurance company may use wholesale or retail figures for your medical bills.

Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer after a Car Accident

How can a personal injury lawyer help you after a car accident even though you do not have health insurance? The lawyers at will work hard to get you the maximum monetary settlement that is due you for loss of earnings from missing work due to the car accident  injuries you suffered in the car accident, past, present and future medical bills and the human suffering and pain that you have gone through. The lawyers at will do this even though you do not have health insurance. Keep in mind, certain states have implemented no-fault insurance which may make it more difficult to file personal injury claims following a car accident.

Time is important because there are statutes of limitation for filing a car accident claim. Contact the lawyers at at your earliest convenience.

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Should I File a personal injury claim?

How do you know if you should file a personal injury lawsuit?

The first thing to consider prior to filing a personal injury lawsuit is whether you have suffered personal injury to your property or person. Obviously, you would not have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit if you or your property have not been injured or damaged and you have not suffered some type of loss, either financially or emotionally.

Another thing to consider is whether someone else is responsible for the personal  injury to you or your property. To win a personal injury lawsuit you must prove your personal injuries were caused by the negligence of another person, and it was their actions that were the proximate cause of your loss. This means that if it had not been for their negligent actions, you would not have been injured.

Do all personal injuries have to cause physical harm? No, many examples of personal injury lawsuits are filed and won but the plaintiff did not suffer physical injuries. Loss can also be emotional pain and suffering.

In tort law, to win a personal injury lawsuit for emotional distress you will need to prove that the defendant’s actions were reckless and intentional, their conduct was outrageous and severe, and that due to their actions, you suffered emotional distress. It will be hard to win your personal injury lawsuit unless you can prove that their behavior was “utterly intolerable in a civilized community.”

Another important thing to consider when asking the question, “Should I file a personal injury lawsuit,” is the time that you have for filing a personal injury case. The statutes and laws dealing with personal injury lawsuits vary from state to state. However, each state has what is known as statutes of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit.

Basically, “statutes of limitations” set the time limits for filing a person injury lawsuit. If you believe that you have a personal injury case and you do not file the lawsuit until after the deadline in your state has passed, your right to recover damages for personal injuries  may be lost. In some states, the time limit may be only a year for filing a personal injury lawsuit.

Another thing that will help answer the question, “Should I file a personal injury lawsuit,” is whether you have any evidence or proof of your personal injury: bills from hospitals and doctors, copies of medical reports, police reports, the testimony of eyewitnesses and photographs of your pinjury. If there has been damage to your property you should get an estimate of the cost to repair the damage.

If you suffered personal injury which was caused by the negligence of another person or entity, it may be time to contact a personal injury lawyer. The attorneys at will give you the right advice and guidance concerning your personal injury lawsuit.

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Damages That May Be Recovered in a Wrongful Death Claim

A wrongful death occurs when someone is killed as a result of someone else’s irresponsible, negligent or willful behavior.

If the wrongful death was caused by a defective product, you may be able to win compensation for the death if you can prove there was defect in the design, manufacturing or marketing of the product. Unlike other personal injury claims, product liability cases are considered “strict liability offenses” and you will only have to prove that the product was defective, regardless of the care that was exercised by the manufacturer or whether their negligence caused the death.

Obviously, there is nothing in this world that could compensate or ease the pain and sorrow of losing your family member due to the negligence of another person. When a life has been taken in a way that should not have happened, no amount of damages or monetary payment will make up for the loss.

Wrongful death claims, however, will provide monetary compensation and may allow you to hold the guilty party responsible for your family member’s death. At the very least you may be able to get justice for the deceased and maybe, if the defendant is punished and modifies their future actions, prevent the death of another person in the future.

When a wrongful death occurs, the immediate family of the decedent is allowed to file a wrongful death claim. Each state has its own wrongful death statutes and laws. In most states, however, an immediate family member, such as a spouse, child or parent is allowed to file a wrongful death claim.

One of the primary purposes of a wrongful death claim or lawsuit is the recovery of damages. Damages from a wrongful death may be extensive and costly. If the deceased is the primary wage earner for the family the economic loss may also be very high.

Compensation offered if you win a wrongful death claim

What types of compensation can you expect if you win a wrongful death claim? Again, although it varies from state to state, here are some of the types of damages that you may be able to recover in a wrongful death claim. They include:

Loss of companionship, love and society of the deceased
The value of services and goods the decedent would have provided
Loss of the advice, training, care, nurturing, guidance and protection of the deceased
Medical and funeral expenses in connection with the death
Damages for the survivors’ pain, mental anguish and suffering
Loss of an inheritance due to the untimely death
Loss of benefits like medical coverage or pension plans
Loss of the decedent’s expected earnings.

If you have questions about your rights to file a wrongful death claim or whether or not you are entitled to compensation from the untimely death of a loved one, contact the attorneys at The attorneys at are ready to answer your questions.

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