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					      Shipman & Wright Newsletter
                                                             Fall is Upon us                                                                             Attorneys At LAw
SHIPMAN & WRIGHT QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER October 1, 2010




                                                             here at S&W
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                                                                                                                                                Our Blog: www.shipmanandwright.com

                                                                                                                                                          Gary K. Shipman
                                                                                                                                                              Selected for
                                                                                                                                                                2011 Best
                                                        Case Update: Certification                                                                             Lawyers in
                                                        Awarded to Sonic Class Action                                                                             America
                                                        this is great news for shipman & wright and the                                                      gary is recognized in
                                                        consumers they fight to protect                                                                          the 2011 edition
                                                        Our firm is currently involved in a multi-       form to suggest that it was an officially           We would like to congratulate Gary K.
                                                        state proceeding against Sonic Automotive,      required item.                                     Shipman for his recent honor of being
                                                        Inc. for unfair and deceptive trade practices   Recently, this arbitrator in this case             recognized in the 2011 Edition of The
                                                        in the marketing and sale of a product          conditionally certified a class action for “All     Best Lawyers in America in the
                                                        known as Etch.  Marketed as an theft            customers who, on or after November 15,
                                                        deterrent, Etch is a small number applied by    2000, purchased or leased from a Sonic
                                                                                                                                                           following areas of practice:  Medical
                                                        stencil to car windows.  This case, pending                                                        Malpractice Law, Mass Tort Litigation
                                                                                                        dealership a vehicle with the Etch product
                                                        before the American Arbitration                                                                    and Personal Injury Litigation.  This
                                                                                                        as part of the transaction” in fourteen
                                                        Association, alleges that Sonic encouraged      states. Sonic automobile dealerships are           designation is such an honor as it is
                                                        and/or pressured the finance and insurance       located in Alabama, California, Colorado,          decided upon by over 3.1 million
                                                        departments at its dealerships to engage in     Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Michigan,              confidential evaluations by some of the
                                                        practice of “packing” and “stuffing” the         Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma,
                                                        product in consumer sales or lease                                                                 most prominent lawyers in the country
                                                                                                        South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and
                                                        transactions through non-disclosure and/or                                                         and is noted as one of the most
                                                                                                        Virginia.
                                                        improper disclosure of the product by:(1)                                                          respected achievements in the field. 
                                                        promoting a product, which is worthless         This is great news for these buyers as well
                                                        and no aid to vehicle recovery; (2) not         as our law firm. Shipman and Wright has             Again, congratulations to Gary K.
                                                        disclosing the price of the product; (3)        worked hard to provide justice for the             Shipman of Shipman and Wright, LLP!
                                                        varying the price from $40 to $1000             consumers that have been deceived by               For More Information please visit
                                                        without regard to the actual value of the       Sonic Automotive’s unfair and deceptive            www.bestlawyers.com
                                                        product, and; (4) disguising the application    business practices.
Meet Our Newest Team Members                                                                                Learn More about our Staff at our
                                                                                                            website www.shipmanlaw.com
we would like to welcome cory & josh to the S&W team
                                                  focused on public housing and other under-          Public Relations and a minor in Religious
                                                  served urban communities. Cory left the Star-       Studies. It was in Chapel Hill where Josh met
                                                  News in 2000 to return to the nation's              his wife, Caroline, and they were married the
                                                  capitol as the Washington Correspondent for         summer after he graduated UNC in 2005.
                                                  the New York Times Regional Media Group, a          Josh then moved to Washington, D.C., where
                                                  chain of 14 daily newspapers that includes the      he worked in communications and media
                                                  Star-News. He covered Capitol Hill, federal         sales for a year before returning to North
                                                  agencies and the Supreme Court for the next         Carolina. With an undetermined passion of
                                                  seven years, also contributing to the New           how to further his studies after college, Josh
                                                  York Times News Service and the                     split his time into two possible career areas,
                                                  International Herald-Tribune.                       serving as Director of Youth Ministries at his
                                                                                                      home church, First Presbyterian of
                                                  Drawn to the law since his days covering            Lumberton, and working for a local attorney
                                                  courts in North Carolina, Cory decided to           as a title researcher and paralegal. The next
      Josh McIntyre (left) Cory Reiss (right)     leave journalism and enter the Wake Forest          year Josh made his decision to attend law
                                                  University School of Law in 2007. He was the        school, and he returned to his alma mater in
                                                  Senior Notes and Comments Editor of the             2007 to become a “Double Tar Heel.”
Attorney Cory Reiss:                              Wake Forest Law Review, which published his
                                                  article in 2009 suggesting how Congress             During law school, Josh served his classmates
Cory grew up in the Washington, D.C., area
                                                  could protect journalists from being forced to      as a second and third-year class
and spent his summers at Wilmington-area
                                                  identify confidential sources in federal criminal    representative on the Student Bar
beaches. He graduated from the University of
                                                  and civil cases while addressing national           Association, the Vice-President of the
Virginia in 1994 with a double-major in
                                                  security concerns about leaks of classified          Christian Legal Society and as an officer and
English and Rhetoric and Communication
                                                  information. Cory also earned a place on the        published CLE symposium editor with the
Studies, focused on writing and mass
                                                  Moot Court board, led his trial team as co-         Environmental Law Project. He was also
communication. He embarked on a nearly 15-
                                                  captain, and was a teaching assistant for legal     awarded the Best Advocate – 2nd Round
year journalism career immediately after
                                                  writing. Cory graduated in 2010 and was             certificate during the Kirkpatrick Stockton
graduation, when he joined the small staff of a
                                                  inducted into the Order of Barristers, a            Mock Trial Competition in his first-year, and
30,000-circulation weekly newspaper in
                                                  national honor society for trial and appellate      he was recognized at his 2010
Virginia, the Charlottesville & Albemarle
                                                  advocacy. Cory is married and has two young         commencement for completing over 100
Observer, as a news and sports reporter. He
                                                  sons.                                               hours of pro bono work as a law student.
         PHOTO OF as Managing Editor
was quickly promoted andJOSH                                                                          Josh considers his greatest achievement,
turned the Observer into a hard news
                   HERE
competitor while reversing the paper's            Attorney Josh McIntyre:                             however, as cheering on the Tar Heels to their
                                                                                                      second national basketball title (2005 and
declining revenue stream. Cory left the           Josh spent the first eighteen years of his life in   2009) while he was in school. Josh continues
Observer in 1997 after winning several press      Lumberton, which is his hometown and has            to stay involved with youth fellowship as a
association awards to join the Wilmington         been his family’s for two centuries. In 2001,       volunteer and middle school Bible Study
Star-News as a reporter covering state and        he attended the University of North Carolina        leader at Saint Andrews-Covenant
federal courts in southeastern North              at Chapel Hill as a Pogue Scholar, where he         Presbyterian Church, where his wife is the
Carolina. He was often tasked with                majored in Journalism, with a concentration in      Director of Children’s Ministries.
investigative projects and later created a beat


Pharmaceutical/Medical Device Update
we want to keep you informed of the latest updates in the industry
Written by Attorney Jean S. Martin
The pharmaceutical drug and medical device        either had to be removed from the market or         medical device, you
industry has become a multi-billion dollar        receive a black box warning. According to the       have the right to
business thanks to fast tracking approval         FDA, 426 drugs and medications were                 expect that the
processes for new prescription drugs and          recalled from the market in 2008. That              manufacturer has sold
medical products and decreased restrictions       number skyrocketed to over 1,700 in 2009.           you a safe product. You deserve to be
on direct-to-consumer adver tising.               The first half of 2010 has seen over 300 drug        properly warned of any risks. The attorneys
Unfortunately, the number of consumers            recalls so far. While the FDA is apparently         at Shipman and Wright, LLP are experienced
injured by these new products is also on the      ramping up its efforts to remove dangerous          in representing individuals who have been
rise. Each year more than 100,000 people die      drugs and medical products from the market,         harmed by a pharmaceutical drug or medical
from adverse drug reactions and another 2         the recalls often happen too late to prevent        device. We strongly believe in holding
million are seriously injured.                    serious harm from being done.                       manufacturers responsible for the products
                                                                                                      they make. Here is a list of some of the drugs
Over the last several years, a record number      Sometimes people call us wanting to blame           and devices currently in the news because of
of unsafe drugs and devices have been             their physician for a new or worsening              the injuries being caused to consumers:
recalled from the market, raising serious         medical condition and, upon review, we
questions about the safety and quality of         determine that a medication or a medical            Accutane:
these products. Since the FDA sped up the         device - not the doctor – is at fault. When         For many, Accutane was the first and only
approval process, one in five new drugs has        your health depends on a medication or              medication that completely cleared their acne.
Since Accutane was first approved by the            mothers did not talk about are now                advanced, it is still not without its
FDA in 1982, it is estimated that over 13          portrayed as the hot topic of conversation        complications as evidenced by the latest
million Americans have taken the drug.             among girlfriends sipping their cosmos in a       news in the field. Two hip replacement
Accutane was intended to be prescribed for         trendy nightclub. And don’t forget those          components are the subject of a recent
only the most severe forms of cystic acne,         women clad in yellow swimsuits diving into        international product recall due to a higher




                                                                                                                                                    SHIPMAN & WRIGHT QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER October 1, 2010
but through the years it became widely             the pool singing, “Monday, Tuesday,               than normal failure rate. Just weeks ago,
prescribed for milder forms of acne as well.       Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday,            DePuy Orthopaedics, a medical device
                                                   Sunday, Everyday….” Does the snappy jingle        division of Johnson & Johnson, issued a
Unfortunately, while hailed initially as a         replay over and over in your head every           voluntary recall of its ASR XL Acetabular
miracle drug, Accutane’s dangerous side            time you hear it?                                 System, a total hip replacement system, and
effects have caused tragic consequences in                                                           ASR Hip Resurfacing System, a partial hip
some users. In the late 1980’s, Accutane was       While these commercials flaunt choices and         replacement system.  First used in U.S. in
linked to serious birth defects in children        convenience that women have never had,            2004, these metal components are used for
born to female patients. The birth defect          these latest generation contraceptives have       replacing worn and weakened parts of the
rate was 100% in women who took                    triggered a startling increase in serious         hip. These devices have been preferred by
Accutane during pregnancy or became                health side effects. Given that these drugs       surgeons for young patients who were
pregnant during treatment. Strong warnings         are marketed mainly to young women, it is         thought to gain benefit from the perceived
went on the label while the medication             not surprising that these young ladies are        stability of the device.
stayed on the market.                              the group hardest hit by these dangers,
                                                   which are most commonly heart-related.            Patients with these hip devices implanted
Manufacturer Hoffmann LaRoche finally                                                                 have reported pain and swelling in the hip,
pulled Accutane off of the market in 2009          NuvaRing is a contraceptive medication in         even months following their surgery. 
amidst growing and alarming reports of             the form of a non-biodegradable and latex-        Diagnostic imaging scans have shown that
Accutane users developing serious                  free vaginal ring that supplies a steady          the components have slipped out of the
gastrointestinal illnesses. The gastrointestinal   stream of estrogen and progestin. Yaz, which      bone socket and, in some cases, have
disorders that are linked to the use of            was approved by the FDA in 2006, is a             chipped or broken.  DePuy is also
Accutane include Crohn’s disease, Irritable        popular contraceptive pill manufactured by        concerned that these hip replacement
Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or Irritable Bowel            Bayer AG. Both of these contraceptives            products wear out in five years or less.
Disease (IBD), and ulcerative colitis. In fact,    have been associated with heart-related side      Because of the associated problems, many
gastrointestinal disorders are the most            effects, including heart attack, blood clots,     patients have had to endure a second hip
common side effect associated with                 pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis          replacement surgery, commonly referred to
Accutane. In most cases, the disorder does         and stroke. The labels for these birth control    as a revision surgery.
not develop until many months, even up to          medications fail to adequately warn of these
a year, after use of the drug.                     serious potential risks.                          More than 90,000 of the ASR devices have
                                                                                                     been implanted in patients worldwide. The
Birth Control-Nuva Ring &                          ASR™ Hip Replacement:                             high failure rate of the DePuy ASR system
                                                                                                     was first documented in 2008 and has been
Yaz:                                               Hip replacement surgery is one of the most
                                                                                                     determined to be greater than 12% for both
Adding to men’s discomfort regarding               common or thopedic procedures
                                                   performed.   While the procedure has              products. The device was recalled overseas
feminine products, every commercial break
                                                   become safer and more successful, and the         in December of 2009, but DePuy waited
these days seems to advertise some new
                                                   products used more innovative and                 more than eight months to issue a recall in
form of birth control. Things that our                                                               the United States.


Helpful Information from our Attorneys here at S&W
we want to keep our readers informed and we think these articles will help
Why You Need A Will:                               he or she have a substantial estate of their
Written by Attorney Hugh Currin                    own? Do you have minor children? Do you
                                                   have a disabled beneficiary? Do you have a
I wish I had a nickel for every time I heard       beneficiary who will run through the
someone say that they didn’t need a will           inheritance if no limits are set? Do you and
because they didn’t have anything. Better
yet, I wish I had a quarter for every estate I
                                                   your spouse have children by a prior                            PHOTO OF
                                                   marriage? Do you have heirlooms that you
have handled when the deceased did not             want to preserve? Do you have debt that                           HUGH
have a will and everyone involved agreeing         needs to be addressed? These are just a few
that the end result was not what the               of many questions that need to be
                                                                                                                     HERE
deceased would have wished for their               addressed in planning for your passage. 
property…I would be a rich man. If you
think that your children do not get along          It isn’t pleasant to consider and plan for our
now, imagine leaving your estate in their          demise, but what makes us different than the
hands with no instructions. If you have a          animals is that we know life is limited and the
spouse, a house, a bank account or even            day will come, so to speak.  Our advice is to
grandmother’s gravy bowl, you should have a        confront those issues now and get
will. If you have recently married, divorced,      everything in place as you wish it to be so
re-married, had a child or inherited               there are no worries when that day comes. 
property, you need to update your will.            We usually address four important things            A will is the main document that will direct
A will can be very straight forward or             with each of our clients at our first meeting:        how you want your assets handled at the
extremely complex depending on your                1) Your Will: this is the main document that
personal situation and what your wishes are        will direct how you want your assets handled                     time of your passing. 
after you pass.  Do you have a spouse? Does        at the time of your passing.  
                                                        2) Your Living Will: this document directs       relationship with the doctor or an inherent       disease.  If the death of your family member
                                                        your wish for a natural death with certain       regard for those that can endure all those        seems to fall within any of these categories,
                                                        contingencies that you choose.  I call this      years of school? Whatever the reason, this        you should inquire of the health care
                                                        document your gift to your family.   I call it   belief that doctors can do no wrong               provider(s) whether the death has been
                                                        this because if the time were to come that       perhaps contributes to the number of              reported to the county medical examiner,
SHIPMAN & WRIGHT QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER October 1, 2010



                                                        they must make a difficult decision, you have     medical-related deaths and injuries because       and if not, request that the notification be
                                                        relieved them of that burden.                    patients are reluctant to question the doctor     provided.  If, for whatever reason, the health
                                                        3) Your Durable Power of Attorney: this          about a diagnosis or prescription because         care provider refuses to make that
                                                        piece of the puzzle is important because it      they don’t want to offend him/her and don’t       notification, you should contact the medical
                                                        allows you to designate a certain person to      want to take up his/her time.                     examiner yourself to inform him/her of the
                                                        handle your affairs if you are unable to do                                                        death of your family member.
                                                                                                          This belief that doctors do not make
                                                        so.  I remind my clients that this could be       mistakes probably also leads to a severe         The medical examiner is then required to
                                                        one of the most important documents to            underreporting of medical errors. When           make a rapid evaluation of the
                                                        consider.  I say this because as soon as you      someone is involved in a car accident, they      circumstances, and may direct that the body
                                                        need one, it is generally too late to prepare     believe, rightly, that the person who is at      be moved to a location where a more
                                                        in that you are unable to sign it.  The result    fault will pay for any damage to their car and   detailed examination or autopsy may be
                                                        could be a costly guardianship proceeding         their person.  The same sentiment does not       performed.  The medical examiner then has
                                                        before the Court, amongst numerous other          hold true for mistakes made by doctors           “jurisdiction” over the body until all
                                                        issues.                                           which cause injury. The JAMA report              investigations, including the autopsy, are
                                                        4) Your Health Care Power of Attorney: It mentioned above surmised that only 5-20%                 performed.  The medical examiner has the
                                                        is here wherein you designate someone to of medical er ror s are actually                          authority to order an autopsy, and the rules
                                                        look after your health care decisions and reported. There is no good explanation for               and regulations from the Office of the Chief
                                                        business if you are unable to do so yourself.  why people are so reluctant to hold their           Medical Examiner in North Carolina
                                                        Many of our health care providers and doctor responsible for any mistakes that                     provides that the medical examiner should
                                                        insurance providers now want a document harm them or a loved one, even to the                      order an autopsy in  sudden, unexpected
                                                        designated specifically as a health care power point of not reporting the errors.                   deaths where the decedent does not have a
                                                        of attorney rather than the general power of If you think you’ve been the victim of a              well documented illness that would explain
                                                        attorney.                                                                                          death.  If an autopsy is performed, a local
                                                                                                          medical error there are several things you
                                                                                                                                                           medical doctor/pathologist will be ordered
                                                        Another important aspect of your estate can do: i) do some research on your own                    to perform the procedure.  After the
                                                        planning may involve the establishment of a (it’s amazing the information you can find              autopsy is concluded, the medical examiner,
                                                        trust to accomplish specific things such as out on the internet); ii) speak to another              relying upon the autopsy findings, will file a
                                                        protecting the assets received by a doctor; iii) talk to a friend.  If you believe                 report, setting forth the autopsy findings,
                                                        beneficiary, preserving your assets for that a doctor has made a medical error in                   and the causes of death.
                                                        another generation, preserving and allowing his/her treatment of you, speak to a lawyer
                                                        investment of assets for the benefit of minor or contact the state medical board.  Get              Invariably, deaths that are followed by
                                                        children, using your assets to help look after informed.  Who knows, your research, your           autopsy provide more accurate information
                                                        a love one and then passing on what is not actions may save the life of the next person            regarding the cause of death than those
                                                        used to your beneficiaries, gifts to charity, etc. being treated by that doctor.                    without autopsy.  Yes, an autopsy is an
                                                                                                                                                           invasive process, but it is also scientific and
                                                        We know the task of creating your will can       Autopsy or no Autopsy?                            dignified.  Information is developed from
                                                        be uncomfortable and intimidating process        Written by Attorney Gary K. Shipman               which further analysis can be performed by
                                                        but the benefits of preparing far outweigh                                                          other experts, if necessary.  However, other
                                                        the costs of waiting.  Please contact our        A family member has undergone what was            experts will not have had the opportunity to
                                                        office if you need help planning for your         supposed to be a routine medical                  examine the body after death unless an
                                                        future, we are ready to help you prepare.        procedure, but something happened and             autopsy is performed, and accordingly, any
                                                                                                         now, that family member is dead.  A loved         such experts’ opinions will be subject to
                                                                                                         one was recovering beautifully from a
                                                        We All Make Mistakes-Even                        medical test or procedure, but now, without
                                                                                                                                                           challenge unless an autopsy is performed.
                                                        Doctors:                                         warning, they have developed complications        Yes, the death of a family member or loved
                                                        Written by Attorney Matthew Buckmiller           and died. You’re no medical expert, and the       one presents a very emotional time - a time
                                                        We all make mistakes. To err is human, right?  explanation that is given to you is just so         during which many decisions must be made
                                                        But we seem to believe this about anyone blurry, especially in the face of the trauma              under the most difficult of circumstances. If
                                                        but doctors.                                     that your family member’s death.  Can you         there are questions about the circumstances
                                                                                                         ask for an autopsy?  Should you ask for an        surrounding your family member’s death,
                                                        Did you know that more deaths are caused autopsy?                                                  you should request that an autopsy be
                                                        by medical errors than car accidents                                                               performed. The autopsy may just give you
                                                        annually? Research published by the Journal First, an autopsy is an incredibly detailed            some needed answers and peace.
                                                        of the American Medical Association examination of the body, the purpose of
                                                        estimated that 250,000 deaths per year are which is to detect, analyze and document
                                                        caused by medical error, third only to heart the medical aspects of a death.  In North                Please contact us at our office:
                                                        disease and cancer. Isn’t it interesting that a Carolina, certain types of deaths are                 P: 910-762-1990
                                                        mistake by a doctor is not called a mistake, required by law to be reported to the
                                                                                                                                                              F: 910-762-6752
                                                        but a breach of the standard of care? We county medical examiner, including those
                                                        can’t even put the label on the error when it with cause of death listed as “unknown,                 575 Military Cutoff Rd.
                                                        does occur.                                      unnatural or suspicious circumstances,”              Suite 106
                                                                                                         deaths during surgical or anesthetic                 Wilmington, NC 28405
                                                        So, why is there still a belief that doctors can procedures, and sudden, unexpected deaths            www.shipmanlaw.com
                                                        do no wrong?  Does it stem from a personal not reasonably related to known previous

				
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