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Criss & Rousseau Legal Issues Blog

Patients may be misdiagnosed with Alzheimer's

Individuals in Texas and elsewhere who experience mental decline may be generally diagnosed with dementia. In many cases, individuals have Alzheimer's disease, but this is not always true. In fact, research has discovered that thousands of people diagnosed with the condition don't actually have it. Instead, they could have a condition called limbic-predominant age-related TDP-43 encephalopathy (LATE). It is caused by deposits of TDP-43 in the brain as opposed to the buildup of plaques.

Those who have LATE may have misfolded TDP-43 that was caused by a genetic mutation in their DNA. It is estimated that roughly 25% of people over the age of 85 have memory issues because of too much misfolded TDP-43. While it is not the same thing as Alzheimer's, LATE can cause many of the same symptoms. However, it is worth understanding the differences between the two when searching for a cure.

Entitlement to Service Connection Granted for the Cause of the Vietnam Veteran's Death - Compensation Awarded to Surviving Spouse

Veteran served in the Republic of Vietnam and received the Vietnam Service Medal with two Bronze Service Stars, the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, and the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation and he was exposed to Agent Orange. Following his death in 2014, the VA denied service connection for his death and denied Dependency & Indemnity Compensation (DIC) to his surviving spouse. Over the course of three years, Colonel (Retired) Rick Rousseau argued the case before the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA) and submitted several written briefs in support of the case. On May 21, 2019, the BVA finally granted entitlement to service connection for the cause of the Veteran's death and the surviving spouse will now receive DIC retroactive to the date of the death of her husband in 2014. If the VA has denied your VA benefits claim, you are entitled to an attorney to assist you. Attorney Colonel (Retired) Rick Rousseau is accredited by the VA to provide representation services to claimants before the VA. Call 254-699-9999; 409-515-6176; email: [email protected]

Over 100 arrested at latest Jeep "Go Topless" event

Between May 15 and 19, over 100 people were arrested on a variety of charges at the Jeep "Go Topless" event in Crystal Beach, Texas. The charges included everything from resisting arrest to burglary.

According to the Galveston County Sheriff's Office, a total of 113 people were taken into custody at the annual car event, which takes its name from the removable top on Jeep Wranglers. While over a dozen people were arrested for drunk driving, most defendants were charged with misdemeanor offenses like being minor in possession of alcohol or driving without a seat belt.

How do Texas wrongful death lawsuits work?

There is a lot of misinformation out there about the modern legal system. For those who have recently lost a loved one, they may have heard about wrongful death lawsuits but may not know enough to feel confident on the topic.

Don't miss out on connecting with support your family needs because of a lack of information. Familiarizing yourself with wrongful death lawsuits can help determine if your family might be able to file one and how such an action could benefit you.

How a low-carb diet could affect a blood alcohol reading

An attorney in Texas got a man's DUI charge dismissed after he was able to demonstrate that the man was in ketosis from a low-carb diet at the time of the breath test. The man had performed normally during sobriety tests, but his blood alcohol content appeared to be above the legal limit when a breath test was done. However, ketosis can cause a person to blow out isopropyl alcohol, and some types of breath tests may not distinguish between this and ethanol alcohol.

The device most law enforcement agencies have at their stations, which uses infrared spectroscopy, can distinguish between the two types of alcohol. According to the attorney in Texas, the breath test devices that law enforcement generally carry in their cars, which use fuel cell technology, have never been demonstrated in a peer-reviewed study to distinguish between the two types of alcohol. Furthermore, a professor of forensic technology wrote a paper about a man who was on a low-carb diet who was unable to start his company's vehicle, which required a breath test. That device also used fuel cells. However, manufacturers say that their devices are accurate.

Even police cars may not be enough to deter distracted driving

Many drivers in Texas and around the country are so focused on their smartphones that they refuse to put the devices down even when they see a police car according to the results of a study released by an auto insurance company. Root Insurance, which offers its customers a 10 percent discount if they agree not to use their phones while behind the wheel, commissioned a Virginia-based market research company to conduct the distracted driving survey.

An alarming 38 percent of the motorists surveyed said that a law enforcement vehicle did not deter them from using their cellphones despite laws banning the practice. The results of the study suggest that American drivers spend about 13 minutes every day looking at smartphone screens instead of watching the road. More than half of the respondents admitted to using the devices to engage in email or text message conversations with multiple people.

Lack of standards raises concerns about facial ID technology

An increasing number of business owners in Texas and other states are using facial recognition technology to deter shoplifting. Some shop owners are also creating digital records of people entering their places of business based on collected visual data. Other stores are going a step further and using such data to share captured facial images with other businesses within the same network once someone is identified as a security risk.

While some shopkeepers may welcome facial recognition technology, privacy advocates are concerned about possible overreach. The American Civil Liberties Union has also expressed privacy violation concerns. Furthermore, there are no standard regulations in place governing how accurate this technology has to be or how captured data may be used and shared. Since there are no limits, companies may also capture facial images without letting customers know about this practice.

Misdiagnosis behind majority of malpractice claims

Many hospitalized patients in Texas and across the U.S. die from diagnostic errors. In fact, the National Academy of Medicine stated in 2015 that these errors may be the third leading cause of death among such patients. Now, two separate reports have found that diagnosis-related allegations are behind most malpractice claims whether the patients are inpatient or outpatient.

The reports were issued by Coverys and The Doctors Company, two malpractice insurers. Coverys analyzed some 1,800 closed claims against physicians between 2013 and 2017, finding that 46 percent were diagnosis-related. Forty-five percent of the patients involved in these claims died. Sixty-eight percent of all indemnity costs paid out were due to these claims.

Arrests more common for young Americans

A growing number of people in Texas and across the country are being exposed to the criminal justice system at an earlier age, researchers found while examining national data. According to the report by the RAND Corporation, younger Americans are 3.6 times more likely to have been arrested as a youth than older Americans. The researchers noted that this large disparity was found when comparing arrest rates before the age of 26 for people 26 to 35 years of age and those over 66. They also noted that the increase in arrest rates may be linked to lower wages, less access to work and lower likelihood of marriage.

The researchers found that white males saw some of the largest increases in arrest rates. While black young men had long been subject to high arrest rates, statistics are showing greater parity over time across racial lines. However, rather than reaching this outcome through a reduction in the arrest rate of black men, it is being reached because more white young people are being arrested. Still, black men were 10 percent more likely than white men to have been arrested by the age of 26.

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