Beck & Beck August 2019

August 2019

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E-Cigarette Explosions What You Need to Be Aware Of

Concern over exploding electronic cigarettes and vape pens has started to rise as more and more people are reporting injuries caused by the devices exploding either in the user’s pocket or face. There have been hundreds of people who have received burns and, in the worst cases, died due to these e-cigarette explosions. The causes vary from case to case but are most often linked to the rechargeable battery the device uses. The lithium-ion batteries in e-cigarettes and vape pens have a tendency to overheat when charged or stored incorrectly. Most injuries occur when a user charges their device with the wrong charger, uses a faulty battery, or the battery short-circuits when the e-cigarette comes into contact with loose change or keys. In an interview with NBC, Dr. Elisha Brownson from Harborview Medical Center states that when this occurs, “It becomes a high-powered rocket that can cause significant injury to the patient.” What Is Causing the E-Cigarette Explosions?

second-degree burns. In 2013, a man living in Oklahoma reported that part of his bed, a lamp, shades, and a laptop were burned when the e-cigarette he was charging with the laptop exploded. It was only two months ago when NBC reported that a 17-year-old was taken to the hospital when his e-cigarette exploded while he was using it, resulting in a broken jaw. Two of the most severe cases occurred in 2018 and January 2019, when two men were killed in Florida and Texas.

pens are the easiest and best ways to prevent the devices from exploding. People who use e-cigarettes and vape pens should also be conscious about which batteries they use. They should only use batteries recommended for the device and never mix different brands, use old batteries, or use batteries that have different charging levels. If you or a loved one has experienced any type of injury from an e-cigarette explosion, they may have a case worth hundreds of thousands of dollars or more. Give us a call today, and we’ll provide a free and confidential case evaluation.

Incidents Across the Nation

The severity of exploding vape pens and e-cigarettes depends on when and where the explosion occurs. In January 2016, an e-cigarette exploded unexpectedly in a man’s pocket while he was visiting a local convenience store in Kentucky, and he suffered

How to Avoid Explosions

Only using the recommended chargers and other accessories for e-cigarettes and vape

-Paul Beck

REFERRALS WELCOME Thank you for referring clients to us over the years. You will never be embarrassed by a referral to our office. We’re always available to lend a helping hand to anyone with any legal need. Just give us a call at (314) 961-5678 or visit us at: www.becklawmo.com .

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HELPING HUMANS SLOW DOWN AND LOOK UP The Art of Stargazing

Modern humans are stuck in a routine of expected and constant industriousness. But with all this rushing, people often drag themselves home at night with no energy left to enjoy the most splendid show nature has to offer: the wondrous night sky. Most people go through life looking straight ahead, but if they would stop and peer skyward, they’d bear witness to a massive, unexplored frontier made up of the moon in all its phases, burning stars sailing through the sky, constellations with epic origin stories, and meteor showers bright enough to warrant sunglasses. If you’re looking for a hobby to help you slow down and appreciate the world around you, stargazing is a great option. Here are some tips to get you started. 1. The Higher, the Better If you’re a city dweller, meander a little way out of town or try to find a tall building to keep the light pollution to a minimum. 2. Extra Set of Eyes While novice stargazers often want to immediately throw their money at a new telescope, astronomy experts recommend starting with binoculars instead. You’ll need

to identify several anchor planets or constellations to help you navigate the sky before using a telescope.

3. Utilize Assets Put your phone to good use by downloading apps like Stellarium, Starwalk, and Google Sky Map. Each of these apps offers a unique benefit for aspiring stargazers. For example, Starwalk lets you point your phone at the sky to see stars, constellations, and planets in real time based on your location. 4. Mark Your Calendar In 1972, beloved singer-songwriter John Denver wrote about a meteor shower he witnessed during a camping trip in Colorado. He describes the scene by singing, “I’ve seen it raining fire in the sky.”The “fire” he recounted was actually the Perseids meteor shower, the most recognized shower on Earth. This astrological wonder takes place every year from July 17 to Aug. 24. During this time, viewers should be able to see shooting stars associated with the Perseids, but the shower reaches its maximum rate of activity on Aug. 12–13 this year. Grab some friends and family, and head outdoors to put your newfound stargazing knowledge to work. experienced a traumatic event during a routine trip to the lady’s room. In 2007, a schlocky horror plot came to life in a building along Philadelphia’s famous Market Street. The culprit was a faulty plumbing system. The woman was inside a restroom stall on the eighth floor, and, as she sat on one of the old toilets customary in the building, pressure building from inside the tank caused a massive explosion that sent her body hurling out of the stall. You don’t need to know the details of her injuries to understand the extent of her grievances. Some forms of suffering are better left to the imagination, especially if the aggressor was a literal stink bomb. She sued the building’s landlords for anxiety, pain, and medical expenses, but it’s hard to determine which party was truly at fault without more information. IT’S RAINING CATS AND DOLLARS You can’t predict the weather, no matter what your weather app says, but some people tend to forget that. A few years ago, an Israeli weatherman was faced with a lawsuit by a woman who claimed his inaccurate forecast caused her a great deal of suffering. She claimed he misrepresented a particularly harsh day in the forecast, and it encouraged her to wear insufficient layers that left her health to the whim of the elements. As a result, the woman caught the flu from the downpour and missed work for four days. Citing lost income, large medication costs, and tremendous anxiety, she sought reparations from the fraudulent weatherman and was amazingly awarded a four- figure settlement!

The Right Place at the Wrong Time A LOOK AT SOME INTERESTING PERSONAL INJURY CASES

There is no shortage of crazy cases that come through a court of law, but those revolving around personal injury can be especially surprising. Whether it’s a slip-and-fall accident or something a little more eccentric, there are a million ways to hurt yourself while simply going about your day. The problems arise when it’s determined to be another party’s fault. Let’s take a look at some notably strange cases where bizarre miscalculations led to injuries and ailments. AS BELOW, SO ABOVE Time spent in the restroom is inherently private. We don’t normally talk about it, but that’s not the case for a Pennsylvania woman who

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TAKE A BREAK

WHAT’S NEXT FOR MARVEL MOVIES? 3 Marvel Movies to Watch out For

For the past 10 years, Marvel movies have delighted families and comic book nerds alike with their memorable characters, incredible action scenes, and sprawling, interconnected storylines. The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is the story of the Avengers so far, told through 23 movies. Even though this year marked the end of a massive arc that Marvel Studios dubbed “The Infinity Saga,” there are still more movies coming out that will feature everyone’s favorite heroes. Here are a few films coming up next in the MCU. International assassin Black Widow, played by Scarlett Johansson, was the first female member of the Avengers and made her debut appearance in “Iron Man 2.” She never got her own movie, but Marvel announced recently that a Black Widow movie is officially in the works for the next phase of Marvel movies. Besides the fact that they’ve started filming, there’s not much information about it yet. But for many excited fans, this movie has been a long time coming. A BLACKWIDOW SOLO MOVIE

ROASTED CORN SALSA

‘GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3’

Ingredients

Inspired by Bon Appétit

Star-Lord, Rocket, Groot, and the gang are all back in the third installment of this smash-hit franchise. Without getting into too much detail, “Avengers: Endgame” and the post-credits scene of the second “Guardians”movie provided some clues about the plot and possible main villain. Though details are slim, “Vol. 3” is sure to be another rollicking ride through the cosmos.

2 medium ears of corn, shucked

1 large tomato, cored, seeded, and finely chopped

1 jalapeño or Fresno chile, seeded and thinly sliced

1/4 bunch cilantro leaves, sliced

1/2 red onion, diced

Juice of 1 lime

Kosher salt, to taste

‘BLACK PANTHER 2’

Directions

“Black Panther”was immensely popular (it earned nearly $700 billion domestically), and its success removed all doubt that there would be a sequel. Audiences will journey back to Wakanda and see the newest adventures of King T’Challa and crew, although not much is known about the plot or the release date as of now. But you can rest assured that the creative minds behind the sequel are taking their time to make it as good as the first. The future storyline of the MCU is up in the air, but, if the previous movies are any indicator, families, fans, and audiences everywhere have a lot to look forward to.

1. Heat a cast-iron skillet to high. Char corn, turning occasionally, for 10–14 minutes until kernels begin to blacken in spots. 2. Using a sharp knife, remove corn kernels from cobs and transfer to a large mixing bowl. 3. With a wooden spoon or potato masher, gently crush corn to release starch and juices. 4. Add jalapeño, onion, tomato, and cilantro. Mix to combine.

5. Top with lime juice and season with salt. 6. Serve alongside your favorite tortilla chips.

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INSIDE THIS ISSUE

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E-Cigarette Explosions

Roasted Corn Salsa The Next Phase of Marvel Movies The Art of Stargazing Bizarre Personal Injury Cases

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How to Best Protect Yourself From Scam Calls

RING, RING — IT’S A ROBOT What You Can Do to Protect Yourself From Phone Scams and Robocalls

PUT UP SOME DETERRENTS. You can even go a step further and block the calls. Many phone service providers offer call-blocking options, including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon. You can sign up for this service in-store or on your service provider’s website. Each service costs about $4 per month. There are also a number of call-blocking apps available on Android and Apple devices, but if you subscribe to a blocking service through your phone provider, these apps are unnecessary.

Two of the most common scams are phone scams and robocalls. These calls are incredibly annoying and can trick you out of valuable information if you’re not careful. While it might seem like these scams are inescapable, there are some precautions you can take to avoid their traps. GIVE THEM THE SILENT TREATMENT. One thing you can do to avoid these fraudulent, time-wasting calls is to simply hang up. If possible, it is best to not answer at all. It’s always good

to have a list of numbers you can reference, so you never have to guess who is calling. Think of it as going one step beyond caller ID. In some cases, answering and then hanging up can actually do more harm than good. Answering the phone gives the scammers confirmation that the number works and that they should try again. Once your number is confirmed as active, it often gets put on an “active number” list that can then be sold to other scammers who market in these types of phone numbers. If you can’t verify who is calling without picking up, don’t answer. Let it go to voicemail. If it’s important, the person will leave a legitimate message and you can respond afterward.

Finally, you can sign up for the Federal Trade Commission’s “Do Not Call” program (DoNotCall. gov). While the Do Not Call program can help cut back on calls, this list is largely ignored by scammers. If you’re getting a ridiculous number of robocalls every day, signing up can offer you some brief respite. Thankfully, Congress is already attempting to fix this problem by making it harder for scammers to call you. But until they are able to pass tough, effective legislation, it is up to us as consumers to remain vigilant and do what we can to keep our personal and financial data safe and secure.

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