Pavlack Law Attorney Honored at Indiana State Bar Association's Awards Luncheon

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Pavlack Law attorney Colin E. Flora was honored at the Indiana State Bar Association's Awards Luncheon held at the Conrad in Indianapolis on August 30, 2017. Colin received two awards, the Harrison Legal Writing Award (First Place) and the Donald R. Lundberg Writing Award, for his articles When, Where, and How of Piercing the Corporate Veil in Indiana and Citing Unpublished Cases in Indiana: Rules & Caselaw, respectively. The Harrison Legal Writing Award, named for the founding president of the state bar and former President of the United States, Benjamin Harrison, is presented to the top article published in Res Gestae (the journal of the ISBA) from December 2015 through May 2017. Colin previously received the Harrison Legal Writing Award (Third Place) in October 2015. The Donald R. Lundberg award commemorates the top article for the YLS Network publication.

In addition to receiving the Harrison Legal Writing Award, Colin has been invited to speak on behalf of the Business Section at the ISBA's annual meeting on the topic of piercing the corporate veil in Indiana.

Colin, who is a prolific legal writer, also has two forthcoming articles accepted for publication, one of which will be presented at the Seventeenth Annual Symposium on Legal Malpractice & Ethics in San Antonio, Texas in January.

Another Marion County Inmate Dead From Apparent Cardiac Arrest

In what is becoming a much too frequent statistic, another Marion County inmate, George Davis, passed away due to an apparent cardiac arrest. Mr. Davis was taken into custody at 2:45 p.m. on Wednesday, August 9th. Around 11:35 p.m. that evening, staff at the Arrestee Processing Center determined that Mr. Davis needed medical attention and summoned EMS. Mr. Davis was dead less than 2 hours later. 

Pavlack Law currently represents the family of a man who died at the Marion County Jail from a cardiac emergency that went untreated, in addition to several other inmates who died after failing to receive proper medical and or psychiatric care. Inmates have a constitutional right to receive the appropriate medical care while they are in custody. When law enforcement officials deny individuals this right, they can be held liable for the consequences of their actions or inactions. We must keep jails and prisons accountable for keeping inmates safe. Contact a jail wrongful death attorney at Pavlack Law now for a free and confidential consultation: 317-251-1100.

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Carmel Roundabouts Have Greatly Reduced Injury Accidents at Intersections

            Carmel, Indiana is well known for consistently showing up on lists of best places to live in small town America, but over the last decade, Carmel has also become internationally known for its expansive network of roundabouts. The main reason Carmel gravitated toward replacing traffic signals and stop signs with roundabouts is for safety purposes.  Unlike traditional traffic signals, roundabouts require drivers to reduce their speed when approaching the intersection therefore reducing the likelihood of a collision. Should a collision occur, the severity of the collision and the risk of personal injury are greatly reduced due to the lack of head-on and right angle collisions. In fact, Carmel reports that the number of injury accidents has been reduced by about 80 percent, and the number of overall accidents has been reduced by approximately 40 percent.

            On Monday, March 6, a proposed ordinance to further enhance the safety of roundabouts was submitted to the Carmel City Council. The ordinance would require drivers to use their turn signal when exiting the roundabout. Drivers not signaling their exit could face a $100 fine if the ordinance is enacted. In addition to promoting public safety, Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard said the use of turn signals would increase the efficiency of the roundabouts. The ordinance was sent to the Finance, Utilities, and Rules Committee for further analysis.

Read more about roundabout procedures and safety here:

http://www.carmel.in.gov/index.aspx?page=123

Indiana State Police and Local Law Enforcement Tip Off March Madness With Increased Patrols and Checkpoints

           In an effort to reduce automobile crashes related to dangerous or impaired driving, local law enforcement and the Indiana State Police have announced they will be increasing patrols and setting up sobriety check points in random locations throughout the month of March. Between St. Patrick’s Day festivities and the NCAA basketball tournaments, many Hoosiers will be out celebrating. According to the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI), in March 2016 there were 495 alcohol-related crashes. Sadly, eleven of those crashes resulted in fatalities.

            Crashes from impaired and dangerous driving are easily preventable. Make sure you have a plan prior to enjoying the festivities:

·      Designate a driver

·      Get an Uber or Lyft (tip: download the app well in advance of when you may need it) or take a taxi

·      If you see an impaired driver or someone driving dangerously, call 911.

Read more from the Indiana State Police regarding the March 2017 Enforcement Campaign:

http://www.in.gov/activecalendar/EventList.aspx?fromdate=2/24/2017&todate=3/9/2017&display=&type=public&eventidn=259014&view=EventDetails&information_id=259428&print=print


Eric Pavlack named 2017 Super Lawyer

Pavlack Law LLC is proud to announce that Thomson Reuters' Super Lawyers has designated Eric Pavlack as a Super Lawyer for the third consecutive year. Super Lawyers utilizes a patented selection process based on peer recognition and professional achievement to annually recognize the top 5% of attorneys in each state. Congratulations, Eric!

Indiana Supreme Court Grants Transfer In HHGregg Class Action Lawsuit

On January 19, the Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer in the matter of Dwain Underwood, et al. v. Gregg Appliances, et al. Underwood filed the case in March 2013 on behalf of himself and others similarly situated, claiming that the incentive plans received by hhgregg's managers required bonuses to be paid based on hhgregg’s annual EBITDA, which happened to include $40 million in insurance proceeds received from a key man insurance policy. hhgregg failed to pay those bonuses, claiming that the insurance proceeds should not be included when calculating bonuses, which was contrary to the express terms of the incentive plans. 

In July 2015, Marion County Superior court Judge Robert Altice, who has since been appointed to the Indiana Court of Appeals, granted summary judgment in favor of Underwood. HHGregg appealed to the Indiana Court of Appeals, which reversed Justice Altice's decision and granted summary judgment in favor of HHGregg. Pavlack Law requested that the Indiana Supreme Court grant transfer of this matter. The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer, and an oral argument is scheduled to occur on February 23rd.

Pavlack Law has been successful pursuing claims on behalf of employees in various forms of wage disputes: claims of underpayment or nonpayment of wages, failure to pay commissions, and withholding of money owed to an employee. We make the process as smooth and seamless as possible, while aggressively fighting for due compensation. To meet with an attorney who is knowledgable on wage cases, contact our Indianapolis, Indiana law firm today.

Dave Stafford, Justices take appeal from HHGregg managers denied bonus proceeds, IndianaLawyer.com (Jan. 24, 2017)

Federal Judge Grants Preliminary Injunction Against Overtime Pay Law

     On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant upheld a challenge to the new overtime pay rule announced earlier this year by the Department of Labor as part of an update to the Fair Standards Labor Act. Currently, employers do not have to pay overtime to any employees who are considered “salaried” and make more than $23,660 per year. The new law, which was set to take effect on December 1st, would have raised the threshold salary to $47,500. Twenty-one states, including Indiana, joined a lawsuit to challenge the law. The preliminary injunction granted on Tuesday by Judge Mazzant prohibits the law from taking effect nationwide. The Labor Department estimated that the new law would impact the wages of 4.2 million workers in the United States.

     Overtime wages, as well as minimum wage requirements, are regulated by the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA). The FLSA was enacted to ensure that workers in the United States are fairly and adequately compensated for their work. If you feel you have not been properly compensated for your time at work, contact the Indiana employment attorneys at Pavlack Law. Through individual cases and class action lawsuits, Eric Pavlack has successfully represented employees with claims against their employers. Call Pavlack Law today, 317-251-1100. The consultation is always free, and there are no fees or expenses unless we win your claim.

Judge blocks Obama rule extending overtime pay to 4.2 million U.S. workers (Nov. 23, 2016)

The Northwest Indiana Times Reports on Lead Poisoning Tort Claims Filed by Pavlack Law and Alvarez Law

As reported yesterday in the The Northwest Indiana Times, Pavlack Law and Alvarez Law have filed 251 tort claims on behalf of West Calumet residents who have been living in a housing complex built on the site of a former lead smelting plant. 

Lauren Cross, 250 residents plan lawsuits against East Chicago officials, Northwest Indiana Times (Nov. 16, 2016)

For more information on the West Calumet Lead Poisoning Lawsuit, visit WestCalumetLead.com or call Pavlack Law at 317-251-1100.

 

Chicago Tribune Reports on Lead Poisoning Tort Claim Notices Filed by Pavlack Law and Alvarez Law Office

As reported by the Chicago Tribune, Pavlack Law LLC and Alvarez Law Office recently filed tort claim notices on behalf of over 250 residents of the West Calumet Housing Complex who were exposed to the lead contamination from nearby factories.

Pavlack Law and Alvarez Law Office have set up a website, www.westcalumetlead.com, that provides information for those who may have been exposed to lead at the West Calumet Housing Complex. If you have any questions regarding lead exposure and your rights, please contact the experienced team of attorneys at Pavlack Law 317-251-1100 or Alvarez Law Office 219-662-6400 for a free consultation.

Pavlack Law and Alvarez Law Office File East Chicago Lead Poisoning Tort Claim Notices

Despite the growing awareness of the potentially devastating health effects of lead exposure in children, lead poisoning continues to be one of the most common health problems impacting children today. Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) notified over 1,000 residents of a West Calumet Housing Complex in East Chicago, Indiana that the lead levels found in and surrounding their homes were dangerously high.

As reported by the Chicago Tribune, Pavlack Law LLC and Alvarez Law Office recently filed tort claims on behalf of hundreds of residents who were exposed to the lead contamination at the West Calumet Housing Complex.

Pavlack Law and Alvarez Law Office have set up a website, www.westcalumetlead.com, for those who may have been exposed to lead at the West Calumet Housing Complex. If you have any questions regarding lead exposure and your rights, please contact the experienced team of attorneys at Pavlack Law 317-251-1100 or Alvarez Law Office 219-662-6400 for a free consultation.

Rumors of Drugs, Weapons, and Other Contraband Prompt Marion County Jail Shakedown

Following rumors of a massive drug problem and potential weapons inside the Marion County Jail II facility, Sheriff John Layton ordered 40 sheriff’s deputies to conduct a search on the facility this past weekend. The Jail II facility is located at 730 E. Washington Street, and is run by the private jail operator Corrections Corporation of America. Sadly, 27 year-old inmate Nicholas Grant passed away from a fatal overdose on Friday night following the search. A follow-up death investigation is underway, but it is suspected that Grant swallowed a balloon of heroin during the search, which ultimately resulted in his death.

Sheriff Layton will hold a press conference later this week to discuss the findings of the search and to outline possible solutions to protect inmates’ safety while the county awaits further criminal justice reform. The Marion County Jail has been operating in “crisis mode” since earlier this year, with all jail facilities operating at maximum capacity. Currently, other Indiana county jails are handling the Marion County overflow of inmates, and Mayor Hogsett has appointed a task force to analyze the situation. The task force is expected to present their findings in December.

Read more from Fox 59’s Russ McQuaid here:
http://fox59.com/2016/10/16/sheriffs-deputies-lead-shakedown-at-privately-run-jail-in-marion-county/

Another Apparent Suicide At Marion County Jail

Another Marion County Jail inmate, Joshua Bellamy, was found dead in his cell at the Marion County Jail yesterday afternoon. The death is now being investigated as an apparent suicide. According to Sheriff John Layton, inmate jail deaths reached ‘epidemic proportions’ in 2015 with 3 inmate suicides, and 2016 is proving to be an even worse year for inmates with 4 probable suicides thus far. Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett has appointed a task force to study the jail and present its findings in December 2016. However, Hogsett’s 2017 public safety budget proposal did not earmark any funds for a new jail. Instead, the 2017 budget sets aside funds to pay other counties to handle overflow. Sheriff Layton has said a new jail is needed.

http://www.theindychannel.com/news/local-news/inmate-dies-at-marion-co-jail-1

http://www.indystar.com/story/news/crime/2016/08/17/more-police-officers-hogsetts-proposed-public-safety-budget/88836398/

Is ITT Tech the Canary in the Coal Mine? For-Profit Colleges and the Student Loan Crisis

With the recent publicity surrounding the closure of the massive for-profit college ITT Technical Institute, many may be wondering why the business practices of ITT and other high profile for-profit colleges (FPCs) have come under such scrutiny in recent years. Being a consummate advocate for consumers, FPC abuses have long been of serious concern to Eric Pavlack. Just this past summer, Eric presented to the Sagamore American Inn of Court on the dramatic negative effect of student loan abuses by FPCs. So what are FPCs and why should students and taxpayers be concerned about their business practices?

Everyone has seen the endless FPC ads on television—ITT Tech, DeVry, University of Phoenix, and even Trump University, just to name a few— offering potential students an easy degree that will result in a lucrative job placement. Sadly, this promising scenario is a far cry from what many students at FPCs are left with: no degree and a crushing amount of student loan debt.

FPCs predominantly market to and prey on low-income people, minorities, and veterans who are struggling to make ends meet and looking to better their standard of living. Once a potential student is identified, FPCs utilize high-pressure sales tactics leading the student to believe they need to immediately enroll and acquire student loans or they may not qualify for the loans in the future. A U.S. Senate Committee report released in 2012 highlighted some of these unethical techniques recruiters were using to secure commitments and federal student loan money from students. These tactics included trolling for potential students at hair salons and Wal-Mart or “any stores that may have people that need to get an education,” asking probing questions that “slowly peel away pain layers,” and the “quick close” in which recruiters were instructed to create a sense of urgency and make candidates feel they would not be accepted unless they signed up that very moment.

In a whistleblowing case filed in 2007, it was found that admissions recruiters for Education Management Corporation were actually paid bonuses for enrolling students, an illegal and unethical strategy. The lawsuit alleged that because of these illegal incentives, recruiters were signing up students they knew would not succeed or finish the program despite incurring massive amounts of federal loan debt.

Unlike Private Non-Profit colleges, who receive most of their funding from student tuition and endowments and operate under the supervision of a board of trustees, FPCs may receive up to 90% of their revenue from federal student aid and are run by larger companies who answer to shareholders and investors. Simply put, FPCs exist largely in part to make profits for the shareholders and investors, and therefore driving revenues through obtaining federal student loans is more important than individual outcomes.

A 2015 report published by the Brookings Institute demonstrates how students attending FPCs disproportionately burden the student loan system and are overwhelmingly contributing to a “student loan crisis” that many believe is akin to the housing bubble that created the Great Recession of 2008. The amount of debt owed by those attending FPCs has grown from $39 billion in 2000 to $229 billion in 2014. Although FPC students represent only about 13% of all college enrollment, they make up over 30% of borrowing and approximately 50% of the defaults on student loans.

Additionally concerning are the tuition rates at FPCs. It is typical for an associate degree at a FPC to cost up to four times as much as the same degree from a comparable public college, while a bachelor’s degree may cost twice as much. So, while FPCs are charging top-dollar, the students are receiving an abysmal education and are unable to find jobs upon matriculation. Even worse, only 49% of those enrolling will actually complete their programs. The remaining 51% are much worse off than when they started: still no degree and substantial student loan debt. It is not difficult to see why the likelihood of a student at a FPC defaulting on their loans is four times greater than a student at a community college and three times greater than at a four-year public or non-profit college.

The Education Department tried to increase regulation of these colleges in 2009 by beefing up standards for an existing requirement know as the “gainful employment rule.” This rule would require colleges that receive federally subsidized loans to be able to demonstrate statistically that students receiving degrees were able to achieve gainful employment in their chosen field following matriculation. Unfortunately, like other big businesses desperate to protect their profits, a conglomeration of FPCs employed aggressive lobbying tactics in attempt to defeat the new requirements, and they were successful in watering down the regulations to the point of being meaningless.

For nearly 20 years, Indianapolis attorney Eric Pavlack has been a fierce advocate for consumers whose rights have been violated. Pavlack Law has extensive experience in representing consumers in class action cases who have been damaged by fraudulent sales tactics and statutory violations. If you feel you have been a victim of fraudulent sales tactics, contact an attorney at Pavlack Law now. The consultation is free, and there is never a fee until we are successful for you!

https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/ConferenceDraft_LooneyYannelis_StudentLoanDefaults.pdf

Lawsuit: Marion County Deputies Ignored Dying Inmate

As reported by the Indianapolis Star, Pavlack Law has brought suit in federal court on behalf of the estate of the late Marshall Carman. Carman died while confined at the Marion County Jail. As detailed in the Complaint, Carman was naked, facedown on the floor of his cell for over an hour with guards passing by on patrol. The guards took no action for at least an hour. Eventually, the guards entered Carman’s cell and picked him up and laid him naked atop the sheets of his bed. The guards then closed the cell. Carman never moved from his bed. More than an hour later, different guards noticed him unresponsive. A short while later, Carman was pronounced dead.

Pavlack Law: Utilizing Paperless Technology To Maximize Efficiency

As the owner of a fast-paced litigation law firm, Indianapolis attorney Eric Pavlack knows efficiency, flexibility, and preparedness are a must. Dave Stafford of the Indiana Lawyer recently stopped by Pavlack Law to find out how Pavlack uses paperless technology to maximize the firm’s efficiency and productivity.

Read Stafford’s full article here at TheIndianaLawyer.com

Another Marion County Jail Suicide and Attempted Suicide Despite New Zero Tolerance Initiative

Amidst a growing overcrowding crisis, Marion County Jail suicides and deaths continue to rise. Sadly, another Marion County inmate committed suicide last night, and another inmate attempted suicide but was rescued by deputies. This despite a new zero tolerance initiative announced in June by Sheriff John Layton in response to suicides reaching “epidemic proportions” at the Marion County Jail.

Read more on TheIndyChannel.com

Marion County Jail Inmate Dies After Not Receiving Medical Attention

Tragically, our clients’ son, Marshal Carman, died from a heart attack while incarcerated at the Marion County jail in September 2014. As reported by Russ McQuaid of CBS 4 Indy, in the five days he was detained, Marshal was denied the medication he took for panic attacks and anxiety, causing him profound stress, and he subsequently suffered a heart attack.

On the day of his death, Marion County deputies walked past his cell repeatedly while Marshal was clearly suffering from an acute medical emergency, yet they failed to do anything about it. Due to their deliberate indifference to his obvious medical emergency, Marshal received no medical care.

Pavlack Law has filed a wrongful death suit on behalf of Marshal Carman’s family. When a person dies due to the negligence or misconduct of another, surviving members of the decedent’s family may file a wrongful death lawsuit. Wrongful death claims can arise from various situations, such as automobile accidents, medical malpractice, death during supervised activity, occupational exposure to hazards, and defective products. If you feel a loved one may have died due to the negligent actions of another, please contact the Indiana wrongful death attorneys at Pavlack Law at 317-251-1100 for a free consultation, or submit a form on our website www.pavlacklawfirm.com.

Rob Cooper Receives 'New Member of the Year Award' From the Indiana Paralegal Association

On July 20, the Indiana Paralegal Association (IPA) recognized Pavlack Law paralegal Rob Cooper as its ‘New Member of the Year’ for his outstanding dedication to the organization.

In addition, Rob was installed as the Newsletter Director for the IPA. As the Indiana Paralegal Association’s Newsletter Director, Rob is responsible for designing, managing and editing The Precedent, IPA’s official publication. As a former military photojournalist, Rob ensures that Indiana’s paralegals have access to relevant, timely and essential news and information within the legal industry. As an IPA Board of Directors member, Rob’s top focus is to ensure that the needs of IPA’s membership are met in a professional, forward-thinking manner.

Currently, Rob is studying to test for the Core Registered Paralegal credentials through the National Federation of Paralegal Associates. Rob is a highly-valued and integral member of the Pavlack Law legal team, and we are proud to congratulate him on his achievements!

http://www.theindianalawyer.com/indiana-paralegal-association-honors-5-members/PARAMS/article/41074

Diabetic Sues Henry County Jail For Negligent Care

As reported by the Indy Channel, Pavlack Law’s client, a 19 year-old inmate at the Henry County Jail, nearly died when jail staff initially denied and then provided incorrect types and dosages of his insulin, despite his rapidly failing health and repeated pleas for medical care.

The United States Supreme Court has ruled that inmates have the right to adequate medical care, and failure to provide such care violates an inmate’s Constitutional rights. When medical negligence results in death, the inmate’s family may have a wrongful death claim.

Eric Pavlack and the injury attorneys at Pavlack Law have successfully represented many inmates and families of inmates who have sustained injuries and even death due to negligent care. If you or a loved one have been harmed due to the negligence of others while incarcerated, you may have the right to sue for compensation. Call Pavlack Law today. 317-251-1100. The consultation is always free, and we do not take any fee until we succeed for you!

Safety First! Pavlack Law Second.

Medical Errors Now Estimated As Third Leading Cause Of Death In U.S

A shocking statistic that has been suspected for years has recently been confirmed in a study by patient-safety researchers at Johns Hopkins University. The study, which was published in The BMJ, a weekly peer-reviewed medical journal, revealed that “medical errors” may now be the third-leading cause of death in the United States. The study estimates that medical errors account for approximately 250,000 deaths per year. Only heart disease and cancer claim more lives on an annual basis.

The authors of the study, Martin Makary and Michael Daniel, believe that better data and tracking of medical errors leading to death are vital to reducing this statistic. Currently, the system used by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to track mortality statistics only indicates the “underlying cause of death”, which simply means the condition that caused that patient to seek treatment in the first place. As such, even if the death certificate of an individual indicates a potential human error in the cause of death, that data would not be included in the CDC’s statistics. In an open letter to the CDC, the study’s authors urge the CDC to expand the coding available to clinicians to include preventable complications. The authors argue that the accurate measurement and tracking of medical errors is the first step in reducing preventable deaths.

If you or a loved one have suffered injury or death as a result of the negligence of a medical provider, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the medical malpractice and wrongful death attorneys at Pavlack Law. 317-251-1100. The consultation is always free, and we do not take any fee until we succeed for you!