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Jury Returns Verdict of Over $750,000 for Mixup of Stillborn Childs Cremated Remains

Cleveland, OH (PRWEB) April 13, 2006

On April 7, 2006, an Ohio jury returned a verdict of over $ 750,000 in favor of a young couple whose stillborn sons cremated remains were mixed with those of an adult. The couple, Eddie Squire and Tonya Leach, sued the E.F. Boyd & Son Funeral Home when they discovered that the remains of their threemonth premature, stillborn son weighed over onehalf of a pound. Knowing that their son weighed just under a pound when born, they became suspicious of the returned remains. The funeral home had told them that the weight was so much because, among other reasons, their son was a large boy. I keep having these bad nightmares about my son and him telling me, Mom, thats not me in the box, Ms. Leach said.

Dr. Walter Birkby, a forensic anthropologist, analyzed the remains for the plaintiffs and testified that they contained a large amount of adult bone and teeth fragments clearly not belonging to their son. He also said that the remains were 175 times more in weight than they should have been.

Richard Callahan, a licensed funeral director with over 30 years of owning and operating funeral establishments on both the East and West Coasts added that mixing of remains to this degree was egregious, and so far below the standards of the industry as to be a form of desecration. I am pained to see that any funeral service provider could so completely and utterly fail a family who entrusted a deceased to them, he said.

The jury found that the funeral home had engaged in a series of careless and reckless practices and demonstrated a lack of compassion. The plaintiffs pursued negligence, intentional and negligent misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary duty, and breach of contract as causes of action.

The lead trial counsel for the plaintiffs, Clayton Kent of Brayton Purcell, was pleased with the verdict. Since this was a case of first impression in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, the plaintiffs attorneys did not know what to expect. I am gratified that the jury realized how important it is to a grieving family that a funeral home treat their loved one with dignity and respect, and that our society will not tolerate the type of conduct displayed by the defendants in this case, Mr. Kent said. I am happy for Tonya and Eddie. It has been a long road for the family. I hope the entire funeral industry takes notice of this verdict.

Eddie Squire and Tonya Leach now plan to hire a specialist to separate their sons remains from the mixture they were given. They will hold a memorial service even though it will be over four years after his death.

The case is captioned: Tonya Leach and Edward Squire v. E.F. Boyd & Son Funeral Home et al., Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, Ohio, #CV 04 546335. The plaintiffs were represented by Clayton Kent of Brayton Purcell in Novato, California, and by Bill Novak and Colin Sammon of Novak, Robenalt & Pavlik in Cleveland, Ohio. The defendants were represented by George Zucco of Monroe & Zucco in Cleveland, Ohio.

About Brayton Purcell

For over 20 years, Brayton Purcell has helped clients protect their legal rights in the face of devastating losses such as illness, injuries, and harm to family members. The law firm enjoys a national reputation for the high quality of its personal injury and product liability work. For more information, call 415-898-1555 or visit the firm web site at http://www.braytonlaw.com.

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Over the Hills, Through the Web: Here Come Grandma and Grandpa — MyGrandchild.com combines real-time audio, video, interactive books and games to create virtual visits between long-distance grandparents and grandchildren


NEW YORK (PRWEB) January 16, 2008

The Zalkin Law Firm’s Response to the Newsday Article that Advocates Protecting Church Money Over Helping Sexual Abuse Victims

New York, NY (PRWEB) May 2, 2009

Irwin M. Zalkin, an attorney helping survivors of childhood sexual abuse across the country, has taken on the editors of Newsday. “The Newsday Editorial of April 24 2009, entitled “Keep the State out of the Church,” calls for the State Legislature to abandon the principle of accountability to survivors of the historical scourge of childhood sexual abuse,” stated Zalkin. As Zalkin explains: “While conceding that the Catholic Church harbored sexual predators, the Newsday editors argue that due to the passage of time survivors of this wrongful conduct should not be provided their day in court. Under the editors’ reasoning, neither judge nor jury should be allowed to weigh the evidence of such wrongful harboring of predators and the damage it caused. Instead, due to the mere fact that one day has followed another, survivors, their families, their employers, and society at large must pay for the cost of the damage. Damage inflicted by religious corporations when they committed wrongful acts in their dealings with pedophiles, ephebophiles, and children.”

The editors’ objection to allowing civil actions for past abuse is grounded in the claim that: “Experience has taught us that memories fade, witnesses die and evidence can’t be found.” In response, Zalkin challenges that assertion: “If the passage of time has so damaged the claims of the survivors that they should be denied a fair and open hearing, then how is it that the editors can so boldly print as fact that Catholic Church harbored sexual predators? It is because sufficient evidence of these crimes still exists.”

Zalkin offers the report of the Suffolk County Supreme Court, Special Grand Jury Report, released in February of 2003, as proof that the evidence of these crimes still exist. “In the Diocese of Rockville Center, average citizens, members of a grand jury, armed with subpoena power were able to uncover substantial evidence, both in the form of documents and percipient witness testimony, of the historical fact of childhood sexual abuse committed by religious leaders in their community,” explains Zalkin. “The grand jury uncovered evidence that the local diocese had protected at least 58 abusive priests. The diocese engaged in aggressive tactics that purported to help victims and their families but that actually used intimidation, claims of confidentiality, hush payments, and other means to cover-up abusive conduct.”

Zalkin asserts that “The citizens of the grand jury could not have been any clearer in their February 03 report stating: ‘The Grand Jury concludes that officials in the Diocese failed in their responsibility to protect children. They ignored credible complaints about the sexually abusive behaviors of priests. They failed to act on obvious warning signs of sexual abuse including instances where they were aware that priests had children in their private rooms in the rectory overnight, that priests were drinking alcohol with underage children and exposing them to pornography. Even where a priest disclosed sexually abusive behavior with children officials failed to act to remove him from ministry,’ and ‘The grand jury concludes that the history of the Diocese of Rockville Centre demonstrates that as an institution they are incapable of properly handling issues relating to the sexual abuse of children by priests.”’

“Should everyone, other than the responsible parties, be left to pay for the damage caused by the manner in which the Diocese failed to supervise the 58 men identified by the Grand Jury?” asks Zalkin in response to the position advanced by the Newsday editors.

The editors conclude their analysis by warning that the Legislature risks permitting a secular legal system to decide what a religious community owes its aggrieved faithful. Zalkin responds to that conclusion by stating that: “The United States Supreme Court teaches that even religious conduct can be regulated for the protection of society. There is no valid argument that the sexual abuse of children is beyond review of civil courts simply because the offending hands and minds are otherwise ordained for the service of God. In crying against civil review of religious entities the editors miss the point that the offending entities have availed themselves of the privileges and benefits of civil incorporation under the laws of the State. Through those incorporations, the entities have chosen to operate under, and be subject to, the civil justice system. Rather than crushing the principle of accountability, the editors should express a bit more faith in the abilities of the members of their readership, local citizens serving as judges and juries, to do what is right in light of available evidence.”

With offices in New York and San Diego, The Zalkin Law Firm is one of the premier sexual abuse and personal injury law firms in the country. The firm’s lawyers have achieved groundbreaking results in numerous high-profile clergy abuse cases across the United States. Mr. Zalkin has negotiated over $ 200 million in settlements in Catholic clergy sex abuse cases.

Mr. Zalkin is available to speak to the media about clergy sexual abuse and the Child Victim’s Act of New York (A2596). Please call Lisa Maynes (212-889-1300) to arrange interviews. To speak to Mr. Zalkin about legal representation, please call The Zalkin Law Firm (212-889-1300).

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Holidaymakers Could be Paying 500% Over the Odds for Their Travel Insurance, Warns Confused.com


Cardiff, UK (PRWEB) May 16, 2009

Buying insurance from a travel agent, rather than shopping around, could see holidaymakers paying nearly 500% more for their holiday insurance than necessary, says Confused.com.*

According to the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) and Datamonitor, more than one third (40%) of all travel insurance policies were sold by travel agents last year. However, in the same way that customers can shop around to make significant savings on their car and home insurance policies, they can also save money on travel insurance policies.

Steve Williams, head of travel insurance comparison at Confused.com, says: “Even if consumers choose to purchase their holiday through a travel agent, they should not feel obligated to take their travel insurance out with them too.”

“While holiday insurance is a must-have, it makes little sense to pay through the nose for it, especially when shopping around for a better deal is likely to save consumers money. Price comparison sites enable consumers to trawl the market for the most suitable travel insurance policies on offer.”

“Not only is the service quick, easy and comprehensive, but it also enables consumers to directly compare levels of cover. For example, a family of frequent globe-trotters heading off on a three-week safari in South Africa would require a very different policy to a family which goes caravanning in France once a year. Price comparison sites are designed to empower the user and enable them to make educated decisions about the best policies for them, in turn saving them money.”

“Spending just a little bit of extra time finding the best holiday insurance deal will allow you to properly relax and enjoy your trip.”

For further information please contact:

Press office, Confused.com: 02920 434 398

Joanna Harte/Gug Kyriacou, Polhill Communications: 020 7655 0550

Notes to editors

Research below compiled by Confused.com

Confused.com – quotes accurate as at 02/05/09

Single Trip

1 Adult between 18-54 travelling to Europe for 1 week

Staysure – Medical expenses

Over 300 Groups from All 50 States Urge Passage of Juvenile Justice Bill Call on Congress to Pass Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention Act


Washington, D.C. (Vocus) December 3, 2009

Today, the Campaign for Youth Justice announced that over 300 organizations representing youth serving agencies, child advocacy organizations, legal and civil rights groups, health and mental health services, parent and family groups, and educational organizations sent a letter to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee supporting the reauthorization of the Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA). The bill, S. 678, to reauthorize the JJDPA is scheduled for markup in the Senate Judiciary Committee on December 3, 2010.

Excerpt of letter:

Dear Senators Leahy, Sessions, Kohl, and Durbin,

On behalf of the organizations listed below, we are writing to express our strong support for S. 678, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Reauthorization Act of 2009, which was introduced on March 24, 2009.

S. 678 strengthens and updates critical components of the Juvenile Justice Delinquency and Prevention Act (JJDPA), which has been protecting youth across the nation for over 30 years. S. 678 makes meaningful improvements that expand several of the core protections and other areas contained in the bill.

The bill responds to the following needs, identified by hundreds of state and local constituents and stakeholder organizations nationwide, with whom the Senators and their staff members have engaged and given voice in the process of crafting this legislation:

Core Protections:

IKEA Raises Over $35 Million Dollars From Soft Toy Campaign


Conshohocken, PA (PRWEB) March 3, 2010

No one can dispute. Every child should be given the opportunity to have a good education. Its their future. Our future. Its a childs right. Yet everyday, millions of children around the world dont have access to a quality education. It could be lack of materials, quality trained teachers, disabilities; the reasons are long and complex.

IKEA believes children are the most important people in the world. And every year, during holiday shopping time, IKEA reaches out to its customers to give back through the sale of their soft toy sales campaign titled One euro is a fortune. For every IKEA Soft Toy sold between November 1 – December 24, 1 euro (approximately $ 1.47 US dollar)* goes to IKEA global partners UNICEF and Save the Children to support childrens educational needs in developing areas such as Asia, Africa, China, Viet Nam and many others.

Since the program inception in 2003, IKEA has raised over $ 35 million US dollars globally from in-store IKEA soft toy sales (November 1 December 24th) and contributed to improving education for approximately 8 million children in more than 30 countries. The past 2009 year campaign raised over $ 10 million dollars, a record high in past donations. The Soft Toy campaign is driven by the IKEA Social Initiative; a commitment to developing communities with the mission to improve childrens rights and opportunities.

IKEA has been a key partner of UNICEF for many years, contributing to our programs to save and improve the lives of children worldwide, said President and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF Caryl Stern. With the help of record high donations this past year, we continue to promote the rights of every child to a healthy, secure childhood and access to quality education. UNICEF is proud to have a strong corporate partner with a deep commitment to social responsibility and direct engagement with issues affecting children and we hope this important partnership stays strong for many years to come.

Save the Children will use the 2009 donation for the following programs; in Russia to combat discrimination of disabled children, in Albania to improve learning for children at risk of exploitation and trafficking, in Vietnam to increase access to quality basic education for disadvantaged children, and in Bangladesh to improve educational services for children of indigenous groups.

We are very grateful to IKEA for their generous support, which has enabled us to provide quality education to children living in some of the poorest, most remote communities in the world, said Charlie MacCormack, President and CEO of Save the Children. Through our partnership, we have been able to reach thousands of young people who would otherwise have little opportunity to learn and develop the skills they need for the future.

Through the commitment of IKEA customers, IKEA has been able to increase its support to UNICEF and Save the Children each year, making a substantial impact on improving the education of millions of children. Additionally, IKEA remains the largest global corporate donor to UNICEF with donations exceeding $ 180 million dollars.

*With each purchase, between November 1 December 24, approximately 1 euro is split between UNICEF and Save the Childrens educational programs.

About IKEA: IKEA places great value on life at home. Since its 1943 founding in Sweden, IKEA has offered home furnishings and accessories of good design and functional living solutions at prices so low that the majority of the people can afford them. Currently there are more than 300 IKEA stores in 37 countries, including 48 in North America (11 in Canada; 37 in the US). IKEA has six distribution centers in North America, with a manufacturing facility in Danville, VA. IKEA has been named to BusinessWeeks List of The Best Global Brands (August 7, 2006) and for four consecutive years, Working Mother magazines annual list of the 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers. IKEA was listed in March 2007, on Fast Companys Fast 50, for its environmentally responsible products, as well as five consecutive years, Training magazines annual list of top companies that excel at human capital development. IKEA incorporates environmentally friendly efforts into day-to-day business and continuously supports initiatives that benefit causes such as children and the environment including UNICEF, Save the Children and American Forests. To visit the IKEA Web site, please go to http://www.IKEA-usa.com. To learn more about IKEA environmental and social responsibility action and programs, visit http://www.ikea.com/ms/en_US/about_ikea/index.html

About UNICEF: UNICEF has saved more childrens lives than any other humanitarian organization in the world. Working in over 150 countries, UNICEF provides children with health care, clean water, nutrition, education, emergency relief, and more. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF supports UNICEFs work through fundraising, advocacy, and education in the United States. UNICEF is at the forefront of efforts to reduce child mortality worldwide. There has been substantial progressthe annual number of under-five deaths dropped from 13 million in 1990 to 8.8 million in 2008. But still, 24,000 children die each day from preventable causes. Our mission is to do whatever it takes to make that number zero by giving children the essentials for a safe and healthy childhood. For more information, visit http://www.unicefusa.org.

Save The Children: Save the Children is the leading independent organization creating lasting change for children in need in the United States and around the world. For more than 75 years, Save the Children has been helping children survive and thrive by improving their health, education and economic opportunities and, in times of acute crisis, mobilizing rapid life-saving assistance to help children recover from the effects of war, conflict and natural disasters. For more information, please visit http://www.savethechildren.org. Save the Children USA is a member of the International Save the Children Alliance, a global network of 29 independent Save the Children organizations working to ensure the well-being and protection of children in more than 120 countries.

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New York Bankruptcy Lawyer Triumphs Over Shoddy Mortgage Lender Practices


New York, NY (PRWEB) March 4, 2010

New York homeowners filing for bankruptcy are breathing a sigh of relief, knowing that the courts are on their side. In a scathing opinion issued recently by US. Bankruptcy Court Judge Martin Glenn, JPMorgan Chase Bank was effectively denied payment of their entire alleged mortgage claim because they refused to prove their ownership of the loan. The case is In re Minbatiwalla, Chapter 13 Case No. 09-15693 (MG) (Bankr.S.D.N.Y. 2009).

Kerman J. Minbatiwalla, a Manhattan homeowner, filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy to repay his debts over time and save his East Side condominium. Though he was current on his mortgage at the time his case was filed, Minbatiwalla is the poster child for a system gone horrible wrong at the hands of shoddy recordkeeping at his mortgage company.

Minbatiwalla had two mortgages with various JPMorgan Chase entities. On filing of his bankruptcy, Chase Home Finance, LLC filed papers with the court on behalf of U.S. Bank as well as an unknown mortgage trust asking for payment of pre-bankruptcy arrears; a second claim was filed by JP Morgan Chase Bank N.A. also demanding payment of arrears.

Minbatiwallas attorney, Manhattan bankruptcy lawyer David B. Shaev, looked on both documents with suspicion. My client wants to pay his mortgage, but now he doesn’t know who is the rightful recipient of the money. There was nothing but a summary attached, with nothing to indicate which party was which, or to whom the monies should be paid, Shaev said. A string of mortgage trusts and servicers only confused the situation, and we needed to be sure that the property parties would be paid.

Though Shaev demanding more information on the transfer of the loans and the relationships of the parties, he was met with no response. Undeterred, he demanded that the claims for payment be denied in full.

Bankruptcy Court Judge Martin Glenn, in a 26-page written opinion, found that Chases failure to attach documentation and respond to the Shaevs information requests is fatal to their claims for payment. Here it is not clear whether the claim was assigned to Chase, or whether Chase was the original party on the mortgage and the note, Glenn wrote. [T]he Debtor requested additional information from the claimant in October and has received no documents.

A copy of the full opinion is available from the Court’s website here.

This is not the first time Shaev has seen mortgage servicer abuses in the bankruptcy courts. He has recently fought and won in cases against a variety of lenders who have refused to treat bankruptcy debtors with the fairness the law demands.

The homeowner won the battle today, Shaev said on hearing of the decision. But with so much mortgage servicer abuse in bankruptcy, the war wages on.

David B. Shaev is a New York bankruptcy lawyer and partner at Shaev & Fleischman, LLP where he concentrates his practice in the field of protecting consumers in bankruptcy. To find out more, please visit Shaev & Fleischman, LLP. Members of the press may also see past coverage of David here.

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Over 100,000 Starving Orphans in Haiti Have Been Passed Over for Food Relief


Sanford, FL (Vocus) April 1, 2010

MREUSA, a division of MRE Logistics announced today the release of a music video, Youll Be In My Heart”, a song for Haitis orphans on: helpfortheorphans channel on YOU TUBE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLJJqA4iYnA , to bring attention to its program to give MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) to orphans in Haiti.

The week after the earthquake MREUSA provided The Church of Scientology 32,000 meals to be shipped to Haiti, of which John Travolta personally delivered the first 3,600 along with medical supplies and equipment in his private jet.

The companys Director of Operations, Ken Lester Sr., stated, We are very committed to helping Haiti, and in particular the over 100,000 new orphans there, many of who are eating only twice per week”. We have a network on the ground there to get the MREs directly from the dock to the orphanages. The MREs are perfect for the children, as they provide excellent nutrition, can be stored without refrigeration, and do not require a heating source, as they are already fully cooked in their protective pouches. People cannot forget that it will take time and effort to help these children.

MRE USA is donating over 20,000 meals to be delivered the first part of April. These meals will be distributed to many orphanages throughout the country.

On Ken Sr.’s last visit to Haiti; it was revealed that much of the International food relief has not gotten to the orphanages. His hope is to deliver at least 200,000 meals per month, until the orphanages can get a better hold on the overwhelming situation.

Those interested can go to http://www.mreusa.com and sponsor a single meal, or as many as they wish, to be delivered to a child. The organization enlisted the volunteer services of singer/songwriter Randall Richards, who recorded for A&M Records in the 70’s, and wrote songs for Anne Murray, Frankie Vallie, The Hollies, Eddie Kendricks, Marilyn McCoo, and others. His singing career was cut short due to health reasons. In recent years, he has been working with AIDS orphans in Africa.

Randall has come back from over 30 years out of the entertainment industry to help the orphans in Haiti by producing and singing the music video. As part of the MRE USA team He has traveled to visit the orphans in Haiti since the quake, and will continue to go back at least once per month to personally help in the delivering of the MREs.

The Film School at Valencia Community College under the direction of program chair, Ralph Clemente, also donated services and crew to make the music video and a documentary on the orphan situation in Haiti.

For interviews contact: Randall Richards 386-785-9229 or Ken Lester 407-403-3899

Email: r_richards_2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

Over 2,300 Individuals Graduate Drug Court In May

Washington (Vocus) June 4, 2010

Throughout the month of May, Drug Courts around the country celebrated National Drug Court Month with graduation ceremonies for individuals who had entered the criminal justice system with serious drug addictions and are now productive citizens living clean and sober.

Organized by the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, this years National Drug Court Month highlighted the tremendous impact Drug Courts are having in reducing substance abuse and crime and saving money for taxpayers. Drug Courts save, on average, between $ 4.00 and $ 12.00 per client.

“Drug Courts provide a critical service to our Nation’s families and communities by offering viable treatment options for individuals struggling with substance abuse, while reducing the burden on the Nation’s courts, jails, and prisons. Drug Courts are a key element of a holistic approach for reducing the drug abuse and its consequences in the Nation, said White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Director Gil Kerlikowske who spoke at a Drug Court graduation in San Diego on May 18.

There are now over 2,400 Drug Courts across the nation. Drug Courts feature prominently in the nations newly released National Drug Control Strategy which emphasizes evidenced based programs that reduce substance abuse and recidivism.

“National Drug Court Month brings to light the profound impact Drug Courts have on reducing substance abuse and crime and transforming our criminal justice system,” said West Huddleston, NADCP’s Chief Executive Officer. “Every one of the over 2, 400 individuals who graduated Drug Court in May represents a life saves, tax dollars saved and a criminal justice system that has found a solution for drugs and crime. With Drug Courts restoring lives, reuniting families, and making communities across this Nation safer, the time has come to put drug courts within reach of those in the criminal justice system most in need of this life-saving program.

On June 3, Attorney General Eric Holder will recognize the success of Drug Courts by delivering the keynote address at the National Association of Drug Court Professionals 16th Annual Training Conference in Boston, Massachusetts. The conference is the nations largest on drugs and crime.

National Drug Court Month Highlights: