Dickerson Oxton - February 2019

816-268-1960 | 913-428-8220 www.dickersonoxton.com

FEB. 2019




Working With Love HOW I MET CHELSEA



With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, I’d be remiss if I didn’t take this opportunity to shout out my partner in all things, Chelsea. In the adventures of my adult life, from founding this firm to raising our two kids, she has been a steadfast companion. It’s hard to believe that our journey together began with choosing a seat on the first day of law school. Sometimes the biggest shifts in life spring from very small moments. There were a lot of things on my mind when I walked into that first-year seminar class for the first time. How tough was the professor going to be? What would the reading load be like? Is this first day just going to be spent going over the syllabus? I almost didn’t notice the student taking her seat next to me, and I certainly didn’t expect her to become my wife. became clear she was intelligent, even by law school standards — and she was incredibly beautiful. As we got to talking in and between lectures, the two of us discovered we had a lot in common. Both of us came from similar backgrounds: Midwestern kids raised in the suburbs who’d at some point been told by our respective parents “you’re good at arguing.” We’d gravitated Of course, I couldn’t go without noticing Chelsea for long. It quickly

toward legal careers because of how intellectually stimulating the law is.

Our years dating in law school did a lot to prepare us for our professional lives. Beyond just learning the law, we learned to work together and rely on one another. We took all the same classes, studied together, did exam prep together, and after we got married, sat the bar exam together. While the work we do today is real, not the hypothetical logic puzzles they give you during the LSAT, our passion for collaborating on complex problems has stuck with us and is a unique strength of our firm. Some people ask me if it’s difficult operating a law firm alongside my wife. They wonder if our work and home lives blend together, and I’ll admit we do have to take conscious steps to prevent that from happening. As much as we love what we do, if we start bringing case files to the dinner table, we begin to feel more like coworker roommates than husband and wife. So we hold ourselves to a strict rule: once we’re in the car, no talk about work. That’s a small price to pay to get to work with my best friend.

As much as our parallel upbringings were a pleasant surprise, what was more refreshing is that we both shared a conviction on how we wanted to practice law. We felt the most important work an attorney can do is, as Chelsea put it in her first article in this newsletter, “give voice to people in need.” Unlike many of our peers, we weren’t interested in joining large "Sometimes the biggest shifts in life spring from verY small moments." corporate firms to help big businesses legally insulate themselves. We wanted to use our talents to stick up for the people who are so often hurt by those large companies. Thinking back on all those impassioned conversations, it’s a wonder we didn’t realize we were destined to found our own firm sooner. Needless to say, I was infatuated pretty early on. But at first Chelsea kept her head down and stayed focused on her studies. Then, about a month into our semester, we both attended a school function, and I asked her out to lunch. The rest, as they say, is history.






Happy Valentine’s Day,


1 –Tom Dickerson



When pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufactures cut corners, the results can be disastrous. Having any product fail can be dangerous, but when this product is in your own body, severe and even life-threatening damages can occur. Those living with a higher risk of blood clots are all too familiar with the risks defective medical products can pose. In recent years, mounting complaints have come in from not one, but two products trusted by consumers to reduce the risk of complications caused by blood clots. The blood thinning drug Xarelto and the medical devices known as Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) filters have both been linked to harmful and sometimes fatal defects. If you rely on either of these products, here’s what you need to know. Xarelto is a brand of blood-thinning medication used to reduce the risk of blood clots, strokes, deep vein thrombosis, and pulmonary embolism. Many consumers have come forward with complaints about uncontrollable bleeding while on Xarelto — potentially due to a drug defect or the manufacturer’s failure to warn of bleeding risks. The alleged issues after taking this drug include hemorrhaging, uncontrollable bleeding, and wrongful death. Serious internal bleeding from Xarelto can be deadly. Patients with severe pulmonary arterial hypertension are at higher risk of Xarelto- related bleeding. WHAT IS XARELTO? WHAT ARE THE ISSUES?

Chi Chi the Rescue Dog A QUADRUPLE AMPUTEE WHO INSPIRES THE WORLD In our darkest moments, it can be hard to believe joy can be found again. But one amazing dog proves that no matter what happens, through love and patience, we can make the world a better place. Chi Chi is a golden retriever who was found in a dumpster by an animal rescue group in South Korea. Badly injured and left in a garbage bag with her legs bound together, the only way to save Chi Chi’s life was to amputate all four of her legs. As she recovered, the call went out to find a family who could care for a dog with serious medical needs. As a quadruple amputee, just getting Chi Chi’s prosthetics on so she could go outside in the morning would be time-consuming. Fortunately, Elizabeth Howell from Arizona saw a video about Chi Chi’s plight online. “She stole my heart,” Howell said, taken by how Chi Chi was still wagging her tail despite her injuries. After seeing Chi Chi’s perseverance and her will to live, Elizabeth and her family took on the challenge. There were struggles as Chi Chi learned to trust people again, but with time, Chi Chi found peace and joy with her new family. “She exemplifies resilience and forgiveness and willingly shares her love and compassion in abundance,” Howell has said. “Her sweet-tempered and gentle spirit opens people’s hearts and her perceptive spirit senses where her love is needed.” Chi Chi’s vet has called her a “miracle dog,” referring both to the fact that she survived losing all her legs and to the joy she brings to the world. Today, Chi Chi is a registered therapy dog, offering strength, love, and support to those who need it most. She visits VA hospitals, assisted living facilities, and children with disabilities. To celebrate her journey of survival, courage, and love, Chi Chi was honored with the American Humane Hero Dog Award in 2018. You can follow the adventures of this brave, loving canine at Facebook.com/ChiChiRescueDog.

Unlike most other blood-thinning medications, Xarelto does not have an antidote. This means that instead of being able to administer vitamin K to reverse bleeding symptoms, doctors can only try to control the bleeding while the patient flushes Xarelto from his or her body. Therefore, bleeding events connected to Xarelto may have a higher risk of becoming deadly when compared to other blood thinners. As of Sept. 2018, more than 22,000 people have filed Xarelto injury lawsuits in federal courts.


Despite the myriad of harms Xarelto can inflict on patients, the drug’s manufacturers marketed Xarelto as a safe, effective, one-size-



fits-all blood thinner. This is not the case. While on the drug, patients require consistent monitoring for potential coagulation and severe bleeding. Lawsuits involving Xarelto have alleged that the drug is “unreasonably dangerous” and defective.


Plaintiffs have also claimed that the manufacturers, Janssen (part of Johnson & Johnson) and Bayer, failed to conduct the proper tests, did not warn consumers of the risks of uncontrollable bleeding, were negligent in the marketing and manufacturing of the drug, concealed evidence of the risks of Xarelto from the government and from consumers, misrepresented the safety of the drug in marketing materials, and wrongly promoted the drug as not requiring patient monitoring.



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IVC filters are small devices implanted in the vena cava to intercept blood clots on the way to the heart or lungs. While intended to be a non-pharmaceutical solution for those at risk of blood clots, many of these filters have proven defective. These spindly, metal devices have been shown to detach, migrate, break apart, and puncture veins. To make matters worse, in some situations, the filter may become impossible to recover.

directions • 6 egg yolks • 3 tablespoons sugar • 1 pound mascarpone cheese • 1 1/2 cups strong espresso, cooled • 2 teaspoons dark rum • 24 packaged ladyfingers • 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate shavings, for garnish 1. In a large mixing bowl, use a whisk to beat together egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale, about 5 minutes. 2. Add mascarpone cheese and beat until smooth. 3. Fold in 1 tablespoon of espresso. 4. In a small, shallow dish, combine remaining espresso with rum. Dip each lady finger into mixture for 5 seconds. Place soaked ladyfingers at the bottom of a walled baking dish. 5. Spread half of the mascarpone mixture on top of the first layer of ladyfingers. Top with another layer of ladyfingers and another layer of mascarpone. 6. Cover and refrigerate 2–8 hours. 7. Remove from fridge, sprinkle with chocolate shavings, and serve.


These adverse events can lead to major health complications; some have even proved fatal. Thus, injured parties across the country have brought lawsuits against the manufactures of these defective filters. The devices involved in lawsuits so far include Bard Recovery, Bard

G2, G2 Express, Bard Eclipse, Bard Meridian, Bard Denali, the Cook Gunther Tulip filter, and Cook Celect filter. Those are all manufactured by C.R. Bard and Cook Medical.


In the case of both Xarelto and IVC filters, people at risk of blood clots were subjected to undue risk thanks to faulty products. Lawsuits

provide an avenue for these victims to hold manufactures accountable and to receive just

compensation for the damage they’ve caused. If you or someone you know has been injured by either of these products, contact our attorneys. We can review your case, obtain your medical records, and determine if you have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. First consultations are free. Contact us online or call (816) 368- 5637 to request your meeting in Kansas City today.


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816-268-1960 | 913-428-8220 www.dickersonoxton.com



How Tom Met Chelsea 3 Cheers for Chi Chi! The Risk of Xarelto and IVC Filters Take a Break Tiramisu Why Do We Need A Leap Year?



Every four years, February gains an extra day at the end of the month. But what does this contribute to the year as a whole? You might be surprised by what this one day does for us! The 365 days in each year represent the time it takes for the Earth to circle the sun. However, the orbit

However, the Julian Calendar wasn’t perfect, because 0.2421 of a day can’t be rounded to a multiple of five, so it caused the calendar to have an extra 11 minutes every four years. Pope Gregory XIII fixed the problem in 1582 by creating the Gregorian Calendar. Now, a leap year occurs every four years except for the years that are evenly divisible by 100 and not 400. For instance,1800 and 1900 were not leap years because they were divisible by 100. A LEAP DAY BIRTHDAY The odds of being born on Feb. 29 are about 1 in 1,500, which leaves approximately 187,000 people in the U.S. and 4 million people around the world celebrating their birthdays on Feb. 28 or March 1. People born on a Leap Day are faced with dilemmas such as which date they should receive their driver’s license. Although it varies from state to state, most consider March 1 the appropriate day for leap-year 16-year-olds — who are celebrating their fourth “official” birthday — to receive their license. With all the changes the calendar has undergone, it still isn’t quite perfect. Experts say that in about 10,000 years, it will need to be changed yet again.

actually takes nearly a quarter of a day longer than that. The additional 0.2421 of a day might not seem like it would make a significant impact, but after a few decades, it adds up. To ensure the calendar and seasons stay on the right timeline, the leap day was created. THE START OF THE LEAP YEAR The Egyptians were the first to officially calculate how many days it takes to orbit the sun, revealing the need for a leap year. Europeans at the time used a calendar that followed a lunar model, which needed an entire month added to retain consistency. The leap year wasn’t introduced into Europe until the reign of Julius Caesar. With the help of astronomer Sosigenes, Caesar created the Julian Calendar, which included 12 months and 365 days, with a single day added every fourth year.

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