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Sunscreen-300x240Johnson & Johnson is recalling all lots of five NEUTROGENA and AVEENO sunscreens due to internal testing which found low levels of benzene in some samples of the products. The recalled sunscreen products are packaged in aerosol cans and were sold nationwide. Consumers should stop using the products and follow the instructions below.

The sunscreens affected by the recall are the following aerosol products:

  • NEUTROGENA Beach Defense aerosol sunscreen,

Blog-photo-Pool-300x200Summer is just around the corner, and with the new season comes beautiful weather, swimming, boating, summer sports, recreation, and unfortunately but inevitably, accidents. From swimming pool accidents to sports injuries, summer is full of activities that can cause injuries. It is important to be aware of these hazards if you want to keep yourself and your loved ones safe this summer.

Common Types of Accidents During the Summer Months

 Certain accidents occur more commonly during the summer than at other times of the year. Here are some eye-opening statistics on the most common summer accidents.

rosary-699609_1920-300x200Sadly, the Diocese of Joliet is in the news again, this time for a failure to protect minors from a man who had been a teacher at multiple Catholic schools in the diocese. Jeremy Hylka, a teacher, father, and former youth minister, has been charged by Joliet police with child sex crimes. Specifically, Mr. Hylka is charged with grooming and traveling to meet a child.

The police issued a warrant for Mr. Hylka after they became aware of a Snapchat video, posted by an independent group called Saving Our Siblings, that showed the teacher meeting with a boy he believed to be 15 years old at a McDonald’s allegedly to engage in inappropriate sexual conduct. After realizing he had been caught in a setup, Mr. Hylka attempted to flee the McDonald’s on foot. The “minor” involved also turned over social media and text messages allegedly showing Mr. Hylka engaging in other inappropriate conduct. According to police, Mr. Hylka had solicited the boy for sex on the internet.

As a result, Mr. Hylka has been fired from his positions at Saint Joseph Catholic School in Lockport, Saint Paul the Apostle Catholic Church, and the Cathedral of Saint Raymond Nonnatus in Joliet on April 28, and the diocese has prohibited him from working or volunteering for any diocesan school or parish.

baby-food-1-300x300Baby food has been facing some much-needed scrutiny lately. A recently released Congressional report disclosed that many top baby foods, both organic and non-organic, are contaminated with dangerous levels of heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury. This is especially concerning since both the World Health Organization and the FDA have concluded that these heavy metals pose a danger to human health, and to babies and children in particular.

The findings are the result of a year-long investigation by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform into heavy metals in baby food. Launched after a 2019 study by Healthy Babies Bright Futures found toxic metals in 95% of the baby food they tested, the Congressional investigation asked top baby food companies to voluntarily produce information about their testing policies and test results. Four companies responded to this request: Gerber, Beech-Nut, Hain, and Nurture. The Hain products are labeled as ‘Earth’s Best Organic’ and the Nurture products are labeled as ‘HappyBABY’. Three other companies—Walmart, Sprout Organic, and Campbell–did not cooperate, according to the Congressional report.

The responses to the Congressional inquiry revealed a major problem: all of the companies had used ingredients containing heavy metals in their baby food. Not only that, but the companies had routinely ignored their own standards for toxic metals, continuing to sell tainted baby food to families. And most of the companies had failed to test their finished baby food products for toxic metals, despite an industry admission that testing only the ingredients might underestimate the amount of heavy metals in the finished product. Below are the some of the results included in the Congressional report. (Keep in mind that these numbers are from the companies’ own test results, not results from an independent lab.)

law-books-291676_1920-300x225Depositions are an enormously useful and important resource and typically the most effective way for parties to obtain information necessary for trial. Illinois rules provide for two types of depositions: discovery depositions and evidence depositions. See Ill. So. Ct. R. 202. Illinois is unique in that it is the only state that recognizes two different types of depositions. Understanding the distinction between the two is important in litigating a case and preserving the ability to introduce certain evidence at trial. While both are designed to elicit relevant evidence, the scope of what is relevant, and ultimately what is proper to ask, differs between the two types of depositions.

Discovery depositions are used for the purpose of exploring the facts that are not only relevant to the case, but also will lead to the discovery of additional evidence. In this regard, the scope and manner of questioning in discovery depositions is given great latitude. Conversely, evidence depositions are used for the purpose of preserving evidence for trial. The questioning in an evidence deposition is limited by the rules of evidence. As a result, the scope of inquiry in a discovery deposition is broader than the questioning allowed in an evidence deposition. In practical terms, the initial deposition of a witness normally will be a discovery deposition given the wider scope of inquiry afforded. Discovery depositions are usually less formal than their counterpart. Counsel participating in an evidence deposition should treat it as if he or she were at trial.

A party electing to conduct a deposition must specify in the notice or subpoena served on the witness whether the deposition will be a discovery deposition or evidence deposition. Absent a specification, the deposition will proceed for discovery purposes only. Because the type of deposition dictates the scope of questioning and what will ultimately be admissible at trial, it is important that parties understand the significance in specifying the type of deposition he or she intends to take.

snow-3916172_1920-300x200Winter is a time many people look forward to every year. It can be beautiful outside and cozy inside, with warm nights spent by the fire with good food and better company. However, getting to those warm nights can be a slippery slope. Snow, ice, and sleet can make for a disastrous day when it comes to driving.

Seventy percent of the roads and the population in the United States are in snowy regions and 17% of all crashes occur during winter weather. Research done by AAA’s Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that almost half a million crashes and 2,000 road deaths are caused every year by poor road conditions or bad weather conditions in the United States. With scary statistics like that, it is important to take as many precautions as possible to keep yourself safe during these bad weather months. So, we’ve compiled a list of do’s and don’ts to help you avoid a serious winter car accident.

Do:

It started with a letter to Congress.

Seven past EPA chiefs, appointed by both Democratic and Republican presidents, wrote to Congress in April. They were concerned aboutUS-EPA-1-300x300 the direction of the current EPA and offered to help Congress use its oversight to put a halt to Trump’s misguided deregulatory push and the dismissal of science in favor of politics at the agency.

The seven EPA leaders signing the letter had served under Obama, Reagan, and both Bushes, so the current administration could not blame the letter on partisan politics.

Going to the hospital can save your life. If you arecare-928653_1920-300x200 a patient at a hospital with a poor safety ranking, however, it could cost you your life.

That’s the conclusion of a recent report by the nonprofit group Leapfrog, which also gives 2600 hospitals a Hospital Safety Grade twice a year based on 28 measures of safety.

The report, prepared for the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, found that an estimated 160,000 lives are lost annually from avoidable medical errors, and hospitals with a poor safety grade have twice the mortality rate of hospitals with a good grade.

The Collins Law Firm is pleased to announce that Super Lawyers has once again named five attorneys at the firm to the Super Lawyers list.  Attorneys Shawn Collins, Edward Manzke, and John Sopuch have been named as 2019 Super Lawyers, and attorneys Jeffrey Cisowski and John Risvold have been named as 2019 Rising Stars.

 We would like to congratulate these attorneys for being included in the 2019 Super Lawyers list for Illinois. This honor is only granted to the top five percent of lawyers in the state based on performance and peer recognition. Attorneys are selected from over 70 practice areas after a rigorous selection process conducted through peer nomination, independent investigation, and evaluation.

Shawn Collins is an accomplished trial lawyer and the founding partner of The Collins Law Firm. He represents environmental, personal injury, and business clients in complex litigation. Shawn graduated summa cum laude with majors in business and accounting from the University of Notre Dame and earned a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School. His environmental cases have set precedents around the country and have helped build the reputation of The Collins Law Firm as a nationally recognized environmental litigation firm. Every year since 2008, Shawn has been named as one of the “Top 100 Trial Attorneys” by The American Trial Lawyers Association. He has also been recognized by his peers as a “Leading Lawyer” in Illinois since 2017, an honor only offered to five percent of the lawyers in the state. In addition, Shawn has been included on the Super Lawyers list eleven times, and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from America’s Top 100 Attorneys for Illinois. His cases have been featured in the top news outlets around the country.

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