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BPA Is Linked to Thyroid Hormone Changes, Study Finds

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical found in numerous household products, including plastic water bottles and canned food linings. Researchers are increasingly concerned about the effect BPA has on human health and have long-suspected that BPA may be affecting hormone levels in children and pregnant women. A new study out of UC Berkeley appears to definitively show a clear link between BPA and thyroid hormone changes in infant boys and pregnant women, say researchers.

“Researchers continue to study how BPA can affect the health of women and children,” cautions John Hale, Waxahachie personal injury attorney. “The long-lasting effects are still not known.” Thyroid hormones affect the growth and brain development of infants and young children.

The study looked at women in California’s Central Valley. Study co-author and Associate Director of UC Berkeley’s Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health, Kim Harley, cautioned that there is still a great deal more to study regarding BPA and its potentially long-lasting effects. According to numerous studies, more than 90 percent of U.S. women in their child-bearing years that have been tested have levels of BPA in their urine.

The researchers analyzed the levels of BPA in samples from 335 women: most of the women and their children had thyroid levels which tested in the normal range, but for each woman who had a doubling of BPA level, researchers found that there was a corresponding decrease in T4, a thyroid hormone. For children, the opposite was true: for each child with a mother who had a high level of BPA, the child had an increase in thyroid activity. While more studies need to be completed, the current theory is that a lack of thyroid hormone in the mother may trigger thyroid overcompensation in the child.

The estrogen-like chemical is found in many plastic products, including drinking bottles, baby bottles, and dental sealants, as well as in the lining of cans for food and beverages, and in some sales receipt paper. Due to growing health concerns, BPA has been banned in the use of manufacturing in California since 2011, and this July, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration prohibited the use of the chemical in child sippy cups and baby bottles.

John Hale is a Waxahachie personal injury attorney and Ellis County personal injury lawyer helping injury victims near Dallas Texas. Learn more at

Hazing At School Triggers Civil Lawsuit

A lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, claiming that school officials allowed hazing. According to the claim, the Huber Heights City School officials knew that there were hazing incidents between athletes and student in the form of attacks, but they did not take action which would protect the students.

The attorney for the plaintiff stated that they were attempting to increase awareness at educational institutions regarding hazing incidents and push school officials to take steps to prevent them. The attorney stated that school officials looked the other way when sports teams did hazing-type actives as a way to bond and build “team unity.” School officials stated that they could not comment on the lawsuit but that they take hazing and bullying seriously. The civil lawsuit seeks punitive damages and compensation from two teenage boys who were convicted of a sexual assault as part of the incident against a classmate.

“Schools need to investigate reports of hazing and take proactive steps to discourage such behavior,” stated John Hale, Waxahachie personal injury attorney.

The victim, a freshman aged 14 years at the time of the incident, stated that he believed the assault was retaliation after he and an upperclassmen became involved in a dispute at the school gym. The boys who attacked him were on the school baseball team.

Though felony rape charges were considered, in the end, one boy pled guilty to second-degree felony assault; the other boy pled guilty to first-degree misdemeanor assault. Both boys were suspended from school for 10 days. The felony offender was given a sentence (suspended) at a youth facility, while the offender charged with a misdemeanor received probation.

One of the boys identified as an offender reportedly told police he, too, had been assaulted similarly as a freshman, and witnesses later came forward to report that they had also been assaulted as freshmen. All three students reported that they believed it was such standard behavior that he felt the assaults were known to school authorities, including coaches. The victim’s attorney contends that the multiple reports of similar activity points to school officials knowing that the hazing regularly took place, and did not do anything to stop it.

The civil suit is seeking damages against the attackers for battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and false imprisonment, in excess of $75,000.

John Hale is a Waxahachie personal injury attorney and Ellis County personal injury lawyer helping injury victims near Dallas Texas. Learn more at

Personal Injury Claims Can be Compromised By Social Media

Facebook currently claims approximately one billion users, while Twitter has at least one million. And for all of those social media posts and tweets, there is an audience. That is something users should keep in mind in light of potential legal proceedings. Even though a Facebook post or a twitter “tweet” may be deleted after the fact, there are ways to retrieve that information.

Litigants are requesting to examine electronic media with growing regularity, including emails, social media information and search engine history. Very little regarding social media is private, something may users forget on a regular basis. Bottom line? If you want something to be private, don’t share it.

According to the Fourth Amendment, a litigant has a right to privacy, but whether that includes tweets and Facebook postings, which, by their very nature are to be shared socially, may depend on who is deciding at the time. In Katz v. United States. Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347, 361, 88 S.Ct. 507, 516-17 (1967), the test of The Fourth Amendment is the “reasonable expectation of privacy:” whether an individual has shown that he or she seeks to preserve something as private, and whether an individual’s expectation of privacy is one that society is prepared to recognize as “reasonable.”

According to Facebook’s terms and conditions, as a user, you own the content you type into your profile and on others’ walls, but Facebook claims ownership of the content governed by Intellectual Property Rights. Photographs or videos posted by Facebook members are not generally covered by a reasonable expectation of privacy, as Facebook owns or co-owns them while they are on Facebook and for some short time thereafter.

Is your expectation of privacy when using Facebook reasonable, or can what you post be used as evidence against you? That may depend on how the judge considers the internet and privacy. If you are facing civil litigation, know that the plaintiff and defendant are typically entitled to anything that is considered reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence, which is a broad definition, to say the least. The evidence does not need to be known to be relevant ahead of time, just “reasonably calculated,” which keeps the door wide open.

While something may be “reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence,” it may not later be admissible in court, but there is no way to know for certain ahead of time.

John Hale is a Waxahachie personal injury attorney and Ellis County personal injury lawyer helping injury victims near Dallas Texas. Learn more at

Meningitis Outbreak Leads To Examination of Compounding Pharmacies

There are currently at least 184 cases of meningitis in the U.S., including 14 fatalities, confirmed by the Center for Disease Control. The fungal meningitis outbreak started when steroid medication was contaminated with a fungus and the fungus was injected into the bloodstream when the shots were administered to patients. Infection has been recorded in numerous states, including Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia and numbers are expected to increase: the incubation period can take as long as three months.

According to Dr. Ilisa Bernstein, the acting director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research Office of Compliance, the FDA is examining the way compounding pharmacies are monitored for safety. A compounding pharmacist customizes medication as needed to fit each individual’s need; if a dosage is too large or needs to be delivered without dyes, for example, the pharmacist can combine medications, or “compound” them. Compounding, or combining different items to make a specialty medication, was the standard way all medications were manufactured until the 1950s, when mass production became the norm.

Pharmacies like The New England Compounding Center may compound medications for specific prescriptions, and are usually supervised by that state’s pharmacy boards. The New England Compounding Center has been in the spotlight previously: the FDA looked at their compounding practices in 2006 and stated that the firm’s actions were inconsistent in its compounding practices and acted more like a drug manufacturer.

While compounding production is legally restricted to individual prescriptions, the pharmacy may have mass produced the compounding production, which is why such a large batch was contaminated. The New England Compounding Center where the medication was compounded has recalled more than 17,000 vials of the injectable steroid treatment used for back and joint pain. The fungi which has tainted the steroid includes Aspergillus fumigatus and Exserohilum, and are often found in grass, leaf mold, grass, and old wood.

At this time, it is believed that as many as 14,000 people received the contaminated steroid injections. Some 90 percent of those individuals have been contacted. Multiple investigations are ongoing and Connecticut’s Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut has called for a criminal investigation into the company.

Symptoms of meningitis include fever, headache, and nausea. An infection of the membranes which cover the brain and spinal cord, fungal meningitis must be treated in a timely fashion. It is not contagious.

John Hale is a Waxahachie personal injury attorney and Ellis County personal injury lawyer helping injury victims near Dallas Texas. Learn more at