THE SHUTTLESWORTH SENTINEL
201 Vulcan Road, Suite 210 Birmingham, AL 35209 (205) 322-1411 ShuttlesworthLasseter.com
Personal Injury Product Liability Wrongful Death
Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect Assisted Living Abuse/Neglect
GUIDING ME THE EXTRA MILE HOW GREAT TEACHERS CAN CHANGE LIVES
In light of everything going on in the world right now, I’m sure a lot of us feel like we could use a little guidance. In truth, even in the course of our normal daily lives as we try our best to discern what the next steps toward our future should be, we sometimes feel like we need mentorship. May 5 is National Teacher Day, which is a day to celebrate all of the amazing teachers, professors, and mentors who have impacted us for the better. For me, the mentor who most impacted me was a professor I had during my undergraduate studies, Gene Marsh. Gene was a law professor, but he taught some classes in the business school at the University of Alabama. I was studying investment management and corporate finance, so I got to know him through taking some of his classes. He was also inducted into the Senior Men’s Honor Society as a faculty member at the time I was president of that group. Through our multiple connections, we became friends. While I was a good student, I wasn’t always the best about actually showing up for Gene’s class. He was weirdly okay with it, though, because I was still keeping my grades up. He liked to jokingly refer to me as the “traveling Latin scholar” (I was taking Latin during that time as well) whenever I did decide to come to class. Beyond our interactions in the classroom, however, Gene was aware of my precarious family situation. Because of my rough upbringing, I was basically on my own in college. Knowing that, both Gene and his wife went above and beyond in making sure I held my life together. “WE DROVE NINE HOURS TOGETHER UP TO LEXINGTON, AND VISITED THE CAMPUS TOGETHER. HE FOOTED THE BILL FOR THE WHOLE TRIP, INCLUDING THE FEE TO RESERVE MY PLACE FOR MY CLASSES. OVERALL, HE WENT WELL BEYOND WHAT WAS REQUIRED OF HIM JUST TO HELP ME SUCCEED.”
For most of my time as an undergrad, I didn’t know what I was going to do with my life. I didn’t know whether I wanted to
go for an MBA or a law degree. Perhaps not surprisingly, Gene encouraged me to go to law school. He told me that if I got accepted to the University of Alabama’s law school, he would hire me as his research assistant. At the same time, he encouraged me to check out Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. Both Gene and his wife had gone there, and they had loved the school, the town, their professors, and the natural beauty that surrounded it all. When I applied, he wrote me a letter of recommendation, and I later received my acceptance letter. Not long after that, Gene showed up at my front door to congratulate me on my acceptance. Then, he asked me when we were going to visit the campus. I wasn’t planning on visiting the campus with him, so this caught me off guard. Gene explained that he wanted to show me around personally, as well as introduce me to some of the faculty he knew at Washington and Lee. So, we drove nine hours together up to Lexington, and visited the campus together. He footed the bill for the whole trip, including the fee to reserve my place for my classes. Overall, he went well beyond what was required of him just to help me succeed. When a lot of people think about teachers, they just think about the people who stood at the front of the classroom and taught them how to use the Pythagorean theorem or read Shakespeare. But teachers have the opportunity to take an interest in the lives of their students beyond the walls of their classroom. I don’t know where I would be today without Gene’s guidance and instruction. Just the fact that he believed in me and encouraged me to follow my dreams did so much. It changed my life, and that’s what the best teachers in the world do every day.
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3 HIGH PROFILE MEDICAL PRODUCT LIABILITY LAWSUITS
A LOOK BACK AT THE GREATEST NBA PLAYOFF RUNS IN MODERN HISTORY
No one would dispute that many major corporations have funded, marketed, and distributed incredible technological advancements in the medical field. However, it seems that all too often one of their products does more harm than it does good, and it’s the manufacturer’s fault. Trying to get your just compensation in court, against a team of corporate lawyers, might seem impossible. However, these three settlements prove the opposite. JOHNSON & JOHNSON TALCUM POWDER LAWSUITS These suits are ongoing and shaping up to form one of the largest product liability settlements in US history. Nearly 9,000 parties allege that the company’s signature baby powder contained trace amounts of asbestos and caused THAT PROVE YOU CAN FIGHT THE CORPORATIONS AND WIN
The NBA playoffs typically rule the sporting world from April to June every year, so there’s no better time to take a look back at some of the greatest championship runs in the league’s modern history. THE 1991 CHICAGO BULLS Many Chicago fans remember where they were when the Bulls won their first title in 1991 — in fact, most basketball fans know about this historic title run. The road to the championship took the Michael Jordan-led Bulls through Detroit. Back then, the Detroit Pistons were known as the “Bad Boys” in the NBA, and they won back-to-back championships in 1989 and 1990. But the Bulls — backed by head coach Jim Boylen’s philosophy that every player on the team had value — shut down the Pistons on their route to the championship. The Bulls would go on to beat the Los Angeles Lakers, win their first championship, and cement Michael Jordan’s legacy. THE 2003 LOS ANGELES LAKERS The early 2000s were a prime period for basketball, in large part thanks to Los Angeles Lakers legends Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant. In 2003, the Lakers were looking for a repeat victory to make them back-to-back NBA champions. Having gone 15-1 in the playoffs, the Lakers only lost once in the finals. This is even more impressive when you consider that the teams they faced housed six future Hall of Fame players and none had any major injuries. The Lakers would go on to win their second championship in a row and win once again the following year to join the Boston Celtics and the Chicago Bulls as three-peat titleholders. THE 2017 GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS Much like their LA counterparts did in 2003, the Golden State Warriors were undefeated heading into the NBA Finals. Thanks to the addition of superstar Kevin Durant, the team’s regular-season record of 67-15 propelled them into a hot streak in the championships. What’s even more impressive about this season was the Warriors’ plus-13.5 point differential against championship-caliber teams, and they even managed to handily defeat future Hall of Fame player LeBron James when he played for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
them to develop ovarian cancer. In 2018, a U.S. state judge in Missouri awarded one group of 22 women a total of $4.7 billion in damages.
MERCK & CO. VIOXX LAWSUITS Roughly 11 years before the Johnson & Johnson Lawsuits, Merck, a prominent
pharmaceutical company, was forced to pay out settlements to thousands of users of the painkiller Vioxx after studies showed that it doubled a person’s risk of heart attack and stroke if they took it for more than 18 months. In total, Merck paid out $4.85 billion to affected parties. WYETH ‘FEN-PHEN’ LAWSUITS While nearly $5 billion is an unimaginable amount of money — neither of the previous cases come close to the settlements collected in this one. Wyeth, a pharmaceutical company that has since merged with pharma giant Pfizer, produced the diet drugs fenfluramine and phentermine in the mid-1990s. Then in 1997, reports of valvular heart disease and hypertension in people who regularly took “fen-phen” caused thousands of users to sue the company, for a whopping $22 billion. It may feel like it’s impossible to fight giant corporations when they do you wrong, but these cases prove it is possible to fight them and win! And if you have the experienced legal team at Shuttlesworth Law behind you, we’ll do everything in our power to make sure justice is served. Call us at (205) 322-1411.
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WHAT IS WHIPLASH AND WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE IT?
WHAT DAMAGE CAN WHIPLASH CAUSE IF UNTREATED? In the short run, you’ll probably experience symptoms such as stiffness in the neck and shoulders, headaches, dizziness, ringing in the ears, and even depression. These symptoms are results of various injuries in your neck, which could include dislocated cervical vertebrae, herniated discs, pinched nerves, and strained or sprained muscular tissues. HOW FAST DOES A CAR NEED TO BE GOING TO GIVE ME WHIPLASH? While the extent of injuries may make it sound like the car that rear-ends you must have been moving incredibly fast, most auto accident- related cases of whiplash occur at speeds of just 6–12 mph. Some occur at an even slower speed than that. No matter how fast the car behind you was going, if you feel any pain in your neck
Some of you are probably familiar with the feeling of getting rear-ended. One moment, you’re sitting calmly in traffic, and then, without warning, you hear a sickening thud and feel your car — and your body — lurch forward. Your stomach drops, and you realize immediately that your vehicle will most certainly need repairs. However, one thing that might not be evident until later is whether or not you have whiplash, especially if you’ve never had it before. If you don’t know much about whiplash, let’s go through some of the basics. WHAT IS WHIPLASH AND WHAT CAUSES IT? Whiplash is an injury to the neck and surrounding tissues caused by a sudden movement where the body comes to a sudden stop while the head continues to move forward. The motion causes hyperextension in the neck as it moves backward and then hyperflexion as it moves suddenly and immediately forward.
after the accident, make sure to see a medical professional right away.
AM I ON THE HOOK FOR PAYING FOR MEDICAL TREATMENT? Absolutely not. At Shuttlesworth Law Firm, our legal team will make sure you’re not financially responsible for an injury caused by the negligence of another driver. If you believe you have whiplash from an auto accident, call us now at (205) 322-1411.
FACTOID STRANGE WHO NOSE WHY THIS HAPPENS?
TAKE A BREAK
Did you know that you can’t hum with your nose plugged? And now that you’re done trying it for yourself (don’t lie; you definitely tried it), you might be asking why that’s true. Humming occurs when you make sounds with your vocal chords with your lips *completely* closed (so, if you think you hummed with your nose plugged because
you opened your mouth a little, that’s cheating). Since sound is driven from your vocal chords by air, that sound and air need to escape from somewhere that’s not your mouth — i.e., your nose. Don’t let this strange factoid stop with you. Have some fun sharing it with your friends and letting them try to prove you wrong!
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201 Vulcan Road, Suite 210 Birmingham, AL 35209 (205) 322-1411 ShuttlesworthLasseter.com
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THIS ISSUE INSIDE
1 2 2 3 3 4
How Great Teachers Can Change Lives
Celebrate the NBA Playoffs With Some Championship History
3 High Profile Medical Product Liability Lawsuits
FAQs About Whiplash and Whiplash Cases
This Month’s Strange Factoid
Have You Heard of the Interrobang?
PUNCTUATION’S PROBLEM CHILD WHY THE INTERROBANG FIZZLED OUT
It’s a punctuation mark that’s over 50 years old, but you may not have heard of it before. It’s an odd- looking squiggle that denotes a common inflection, but many experts argue it has no place on paper. In an age when
There are a few explanations for why the interrobang never took off, but the most prominent one says that as writing styles changed, there was less use of rhetorical questions in writing, especially formal writing. Because the interrobang was originally intended to denote rhetorical questions, it faded from use. Today, using the two punctuation marks that make up the interrobang is still popular, especially in nonformal writing like social media copy. Any variation of “!?” denotes a sense of excitement, urgency, or disbelief in the form of a question, rhetorical or not. But the reason people don’t use the interrobang to serve the same purpose is simple: It’s not a key on keyboards. There are still certain fonts that are equipped to display the nonstandard mark, but if you want to use it, you have to go digging for it. It’s just much quicker to write two punctuation marks than search for a single one.
thoughts are limited to 280 characters, wouldn’t a single punctuation mark that does the job of two be valuable? Some say yes, others say no thank you. So what is this mystery punctuation mark? It’s the interrobang! In 1962, advertising agent Martin K. Speckter believed ads would look better if rhetorical questions were conveyed using a single mark. He merged the question mark, also called an interrogative point, with the exclamation point, known in the jargon of printers as a “bang,” and the interrobang was born. In the first few years of its existence, the interrobang made some mild headway, appearing in some dictionaries and even on some typewriters in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. And while it was used in magazine and newspaper articles for several years, it wasn’t meant to last.
But who knows what the future will bring? Language is in an ever-changing state, and the interrobang may rise again. Or will it?
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