Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Dental Negligence and Veneers

Brought to you by our friends at Axiclaim

Hundreds of thousands of people within the UK have veneers – often referred to as “caps” that sit over the root of the tooth, giving teeth a whiter, brighter and more even appearance. Veneers can be used in numerous circumstances, for example when the teeth are discoloured, stained, worn down, chipped or broken. Veneers can also be used to fix gaps between teeth, and when teeth are the wrong shape or misaligned.

How Are Veneers Fitted?
Veneers can be likened to a “false fingernail” - a very thin layer of resin or porcelain that sits over the front of the tooth or teeth. When veneers are fitted, the enamel from the front of the tooth is filed away so that the veneer has a rough surface to attach to. The tooth is cooled down so that the veneer is sufficiently able to bond to the tooth, and then the veneer is bonded to the tooth. Veneers generally last for about five years.

Advantages of Veneers
Veneers can be very useful in approving the appearance of the teeth and they tend to be used around the front of the mouth – for example, if one of the teeth in the front of the mouth has cracked or chipped, a veneer is usually put in place that matches the rest of the teeth in colour, size and shape to improve the overall appearance of the teeth. Sometimes, veneers will be put on top of all of the teeth within the mouth, and this tends to be when all of the teeth are less than aesthetically pleasing.

Disadvantages of Veneers
Although veneers can improve the look of the teeth, they can have a number of disadvantages. Veneers can increase tooth sensitivity, causing pain when you consume hot or cold foods or drinks, and they can also increase gum sensitivity. The process of having veneers fitted is also not reversible – wearing and filing down the enamel of the tooth is not reversible and so you cannot go back to having “normal” teeth. Veneers are also susceptible to chipping and cracking and they last only for about five years, making this a fairly costly route of treatment. If the veneers are put into the mouth incorrectly – for example, if too much enamel is filed away, or if the tooth is not cooled down enough before the veneer is fitted, this could lead to the patient requiring root canal treatment or further costly and painful procedures.

Could I Make a Claim?
If your dentist fails to make you aware of all of the advantages and disadvantages of having veneers, this means that they have failed to get your full informed consent. In situations where a patient has not given informed consent, the patient may well be able to make a claim for dental negligence. If the dentist fits the veneers incorrectly, resulting in further injury or illness, the patient could make a claim.

For more information about veneers and dental negligence claims visit

Types of Defective Medical Product Liability Claims

Brought to you by our friends at Pryers Solicitors

A “medical product” is a very generalised term for a medical device or product that is used to either serve a medical purpose or a cosmetic purpose, for example, a hip replacement joint or a silicone breast implant. If the medical product is defective in any way, the patient could make a claim for compensation. Some of the different types of medical product liability claims are listed below.

For a medical product to be defective, and for a patient to be able to make a claim, the product has to fall into one of three categories:

  • manufactured defectively
  • designed defectively
  • marketed defectively

Similar claims could arise from products that have been put into the patient incorrectly, but these claims will be against the medical practitioner, rather than the medical product.

Products that are manufactured defectively

Products that are manufactured defectively could have become defective at any point between the medical factory and the place where the patient received the medical product. The product might have been manufactured incorrectly, but it could also have been damaged in transit or en-route to the hospital, or while at the hospital while the patient is waiting for the product to be fitted. In this situation, the patient must be able to prove that the product was manufactured in a defective way or that it became defective before being fitted.

Products that have been designed defectively

In this case, the product has generally been manufactured correctly and to the correct standard, but there may be a fundamental flaw in the design of the product that makes it unreasonably dangerous. For example, a medical product might have been on the market for a long time, but the patient starts to experience problems with the product after a certain length of time. If the patient can prove that the manufacturer knew about the design flaw but failed to notify patients or that they failed to take it off the market despite knowing of the flaw and any potential side effects, such as illness or injury, the patient may be able to claim compensation.

Products that have been marketed defectively

Defective marketing of a product can be anything from defective marketing by the manufacturers of the product, to defective marketing by any potential defendant in the case. That means anyone who recommends the product for use. For example, if a doctor within a hospital recommends a certain medical product to a patient without discussing all of the pros and cons or any alternative products, the patient may be able to make a claim.

If you have any questions about medical product liability, or making a claim, speak to a product liability solicitor like

Law Brief Publishing launch their very first law book! 'Kevan and Ellis on Credit Hire' (4th Ed)

I've now been running Law Brief Publishing for over six years along with Garry Wright who I've been friends with since we were both at school together in Minehead. We started with free legal email newsletters which currently have over 12,000 people that regularly receive them. In 2006 we also launched our subscription-based Personal Injury Brief Update Law Journal (PIBULJ) which produces around 25 new articles a month on personal injury, fraud and credit hire and currently has over 220 subscribers (mostly firms of solicitors). 

Following on from these products, this week we launched our first law book which is the new edition of Kevan and Ellis on Credit Hire (4th Ed). We've already made the content freely available to all PIBULJ subscribers but now we're offering a PDF version for £50+vat and a hard copy version (see the picture on the left) for £70 (which includes a free PDF version). You can buy both versions at Later in the year we will be publishing the 20th anniversary edition of Alex Williams' Queen's Counsel cartoons which appear at The Times Online and after that we'll also be publishing  ‘A Guide to Fraud in Personal Injury Cases’ by Aidan Ellis and James Henry of Temple Garden Chambers. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Book Recommendation: Crime's Strangest Cases: Extraordinary But True Tales from Over Five Centuries of Legal History (Strangest Series)

Author Peter Seddon gives life to over five centuries of bizarre,macabre and sometimes hilarious criminal cases.You'll be gripped by tales of murder, intrigue, crime, punishment and the pursuit of justice. Author Peter Seddon gives life to over five centuries of bizarre, macabre and sometimes hilarious criminal cases.You'll be gripped by tales of murder, intrigue, crime, punishment and the pursuit of justice. Despite how unbelievable the stories banged up inside these pages may seem, Crime's Strangest Cases promises to tell the truth, the whole truthand nothing but the truth about the most ludicrous criminal cases in legal history. Full of riotous and entertaining stories, this book is perfect for anyone who is doing time on a long stretch. Just don't tryto steal it, or you may end up inside! Inside you'll encounter: * The only dead parrot ever to give evidence in a court of law * One of the most indigestible dilemmas - if you'd been shipwrecked 2,000 miles from home, would you have eaten Parker the cabin boy? * The doctor with the worst bedside manner of all time * The murderess who collected money from her mummified victim for 21 years Word count: 45,000 Available from Amazon

Friday, March 15, 2013

Article on shoppers' rights

I've done an article for a blog I write for a firm of solicitors on shoppers' rights. You can read it here.

Why the changes to the Portal fees are misguided...

I've done an article for a blog I write for a firm of solicitors on why I think the changes to the Portal fees are misguided. You can read it here.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common?

Brought to you by our friends at Stephens Scown Solicitors

In today’s society we are seeing a trend of people entering into property purchases with complex family trees, friends grouping together due to the increasing difficulties in obtaining mortgages, and substantially more couples are co-habiting than ever before. 

So what is there that you need to think about before entering into such a purchase?  You have got your deposit and legal fees, you have found the perfect house, and you have finally received that long awaited mortgage offer.  One aspect of a property purchase which is repeatedly over looked is how people are holding their properties. 

There are two legal types of joint ownership, either joint tenants, or tenants in common.  When looking at which option is most applicable to your situation, it is important to assess all of the facts involved. 

For example, are you a married couple who would wish that should one of you die the deceased’s share in the property would automatically pass to the surviving party?  If this is the case, the most suitable scenario would be entering into the property transaction as joint tenants. 

However,imagine the situation differed slightly, and instead you are a married couple with children from previous relationships.  In this situation if the property was held as joint tenants, upon the death of one owner the property would pass in its entirety to the surviving owner, leaving some possibly disgruntled children with nothing to inherit.  If the property had been held by you as tenants in common this allows for the deceased’s share in the property to pass according to the terms of their will, or if there is no will under the rules of intestacy. Of course this does raise the question of whether or not the surviving owner would be able to remain living in the property, and this is a situation which can be remedied by ensuring there is a provision for a life interest in the property. 

Tenants in common allows for each owner to have a stated share in the property, for example, in your situation has one of the purchaser’s contributed a significantly higher proportion of the deposit? If this is the case, it is important that this interest in the property is protected against any future personal eventualities.

If you decide to enter into a property transaction and hold the property as tenants in common it is important you consider making a Declaration of Trust.  A Declaration of Trust will provide confirmation of each owner’s share in the property, and will also provide clarity in respect of potential difficulties which can be faced in the future.  For example, what if one of the owners wished to sell their share in the property, or who is responsible for what proportion of the outgoings in the property? If no share is stated then the law assumes the shares are equal. 

A further reason for looking to hold a property as tenants in common relates to saving inheritance tax, and protection against being in a situation which may require the sale of your property should you have to move to a care home. It is important that you discuss all of these situations with your legal representative before deciding in which manner you wish to hold your property. 

There are many factors to be taken into consideration when deciding how you wish to own your property, many of which will be personal to your situation.  It is therefore important you discuss with your legal representative any issues which you may feel will impact how you hold the property. 
Stephens Scown are a legal firm with200 staff and 31 partners across three offices in Exeter, Truro and St Austell.They are a law firm with a regional focus but with the benefits of a big city rival. For more information click here

Monday, March 11, 2013

Book Recommendation: Keeping Counsel

New Mexico attorney Tara Linley’s belief in the power and fairness of the law is shaken when she takes on her best friend’s lover as a client. After reluctantly agreeing to represent him, Tara discovers the shocking crime he has committed. Bound by the attorney-client privilege, caught in a web of escalating circumstances that threaten not only her professional reputation but her life, Tara soon finds herself at the mercy of her unstable client…a man who is growing more dangerous every day. Available from Amazon

Friday, March 8, 2013

Government defeated on strict liability amendment

I see that the government has been defeated in its attempt to get rid of strict liability against employers in personal injury claims. You can read more on PIBULJ.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Judicial review of portal cuts fails

The arguments raised by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and the Motor Accident Solicitors Society (MASS) in relation to the cuts in RTA Portal fees have failed in the high court.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

MOJ confirms £500 fee for RTA Portal

So the MoJ has now confirmed that the RTA Portal will have fixed fees of £500 for smaller cases. What with the referral fee ban and the myriad of other changes being introduced at the moment I hardly think it's encouraging small legal businesses to thrive and expand.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Painting holidays in the Algarve

Heads up for which is run by a friend of mine from his stunningly beautiful Walnut Tree Farm and Valley in the Algarve Region of Portugal. You can see more details here.

Book Recommendation: Vodka

A taut and shocking story of vengeance, bloodshed and love, set over 100 days of bitter Russian winter… from the bestselling author of Messiah. Moscow, December 1991. Chaos reigns after the fall of communism. Muscovites are used to queues and empty shelves, but now they have to cope with a dangerous power vacuum – and a war between brutal mafiya gangs for control of the city. So when a child's body is found beneath the ice of the Moscow river it attracts little attention to begin with. Then a second body is found. And a third. At the heart of the gathering storm is Red October, Russia's most famous vodka distillery. Alice Liddell, an American banker, has come to Moscow to oversee its privatization – an unpopular move. Alice wants to get going, but faced with the charismatic, ruthless Lev – distiller director and head of one of the warring mafia gangs – a very difficult job is starting to look impossible. Lev's arch-enemy has vowed revenge on him and it seems that the bizarre child killings might be part of this. The last thing he needs is a determined young woman in the heart of his criminal empire. But will Lev and Alice be enemies or allies? And when the storm has passed, who will be left standing? Available from Amazon

Friday, March 1, 2013

Aerotoxic Syndrome: A Landmark for Aviation Law?

Brought to you by our friends at ASB Law

Flying is the safest form of travel. It’s a truism we all trot out when someone we know expresses fears about stepping on a plane. Of course most fears about flying centre on that rare occurrence in the modern aviation field: a plane crash. But with the recent headlines about the legal battle between the lawyers of two deceased pilots and British Airways (BA), it seems that the aviation sector could be facing a more pernicious killer in the form of aerotoxic syndrome.

Aviation law is notoriously fast-paced and difficult for all but specialist aviation lawyers to navigate, but lawyers representing Richard Westgate, one of the pilots who recently passed away, believe that BA could be held liable for his death under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health regulations (COSHH). The grounds for this are based on the claim that BA does not directly monitor the air quality on its flights. At the present time BA have stated they are unaware of any issues related to air quality on its flights, and that they meet all current regulations for safety.

Aerotoxic syndrome is believed to occur when the cabin air in a plane becomes contaminated with fumes from engine oil and other chemicals. In most aircraft the cabin air is provided via bleed air from the plane’s engines, and if this becomes contaminated then the toxins could have both short and long-term effects on passengers and crew.

To date definite links have been difficult to prove. While many believe aerotoxic syndrome to be a genuine condition, and of far higher prevalence than currently reported, others claim that incidence of cabin air contamination is extremely rare. The UK Committee on Toxicity reports that such “fume events” occur in about 1 in every 100 flights.  It is believed that pilots and cabin crew are therefore at greater potential risk due to their massively increased flying time compared to the general public.

Recent official documentation from the Civil Aviation Authority does show that crew have to use oxygen masks as often as five times a week to avoid effects on their health and ability to perform their roles on board. Such information, and recent cases in both Australia and America where flight attendants won settlements from airlines due to ill health from fume inhalation, mean that those in aviation law will be watching the proceedings carefully.

If Mr Westgate’s lawyers manage to win their case it would represent a landmark in aviation law, setting a legal precedent that could result in a surge in claims against airlines. Specialist aviation lawyers are always best placed to handle such disputes. Their expertise in the field gives them greater insight into cases, which results in greater success rates for clients.

Visit asb law for specialist expertise on Aviation law – sale and purchase, leases, contracts, dispute resolution, regulation and employment.