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New Mexico Legal Issues Blog

Essure faces tighter restrictions from FDA

When it was introduced in 2002, Essure seemed revolutionary: An implantable, permanent contraceptive device that would be available throughout the United States. It was an appealing long-term option that could replace hormonal birth control pills that had to be taken every day. But the hype around Essure might have been too good to be true.

Over the 15 years that Essure has been on the market, thousands of women have complained about serious--even dangerous--side effects. Recently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it would tighten its restrictions of the contraceptive device.

Self-driving trucks may soon be on New Mexico roads

Self-driving cars are more prevalent than ever. And with several auto manufacturers developing autonomous vehicles and public interest at an all-time high, self-driving cars may soon be on even more roadways.

But self-driving technology is not limited to cars. Many other types of vehicles can be equipped to be autonomous. This raises major concerns about safety--especially when it comes to installing autonomous technology in large commercial trucks.

Albuquerque judge strikes down cap on malpractice settlements

In 2011, a New Mexico woman was hospitalized for several months as the result of a botched gynecological procedure. She filed a lawsuit against the obstetrician-gynecologist who performed the operation, as well as her health care provider. A court granted her over $2 million in damages.

Then, she ran into another problem: New Mexico had imposed a cap on the amount of damages that medical malpractice plaintiffs can receive. Even though the victim was entitled to $2.6 million, she could be paid only $600,000--less than half the amount that she had been awarded. Frustrated, the woman pursued the matter in an Albuquerque courtroom.

Should gun manufacturers be responsible for injuries?

When a car malfunctions and hurts its driver or a restaurant serves tainted food, injured consumers have the ability to sue the company for the damage it caused. This opportunity is an important part of consumers’ right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It also deters businesses from selling anything that could jeopardize public safety.

However, guns seem to be in a class of their own; the Second Amendment protects the right to bear arms. In fact, guns are the only product that the Bill of Rights treats as an important part of life, which makes them unique from cars and food. As a result, lawmakers created a policy that protects gun makers from the majority of liability lawsuits when someone is hurt or killed.

How not to spread fake news

Recent news has shown that Americans have serious difficulty distinguishing between real news and fake news. First, the Russian company Internet Research Agency was indicted for disseminating false information on social media platforms to sway the election in favor of Donald Trump. Then came the scandal involving Facebook and the British information firm Cambridge Analytica, which was used by the Trump campaign to target unwitting Facebook users.

Millions of seemingly-intelligent people have unknowingly spread political misinformation, half-baked ideas and outright lies through social media. It seem as if no socioeconomic class, education level, religion, gender or ideology is immune from believing--and spreading--fake news. Fortunately, there are a few steps that you can take to help prevent ignorance from spreading.

Johnsonville recalls over 600,000 contaminated sausages

The summer is fast approaching, and many people are looking forward to dusting off their grills and having a barbecue. What could be more tantalizing than a juicy, perfectly-grilled jalapeno sausage filled with... pieces of sharp plastic?

Johnsonville, LLC has issued a recall of over 100,000 pounds of smoked pork-and-jalapeno sausages. The company says that these products may be contaminated with small bits of plastic. The company issued its recall just yesterday in the hopes of warning consumers before they ingest the contaminated sausages.

Drivers blame sunlight for recent pedestrian crashes

Have you ever traversed the streets in the evening and had to shield your eyes because the sunset was so bright? This is an everyday occurrence for many New Mexicans, especially those who have a westbound commute home from work. It is common for many drivers to pop on a pair of sunglasses or adjust their car's sun visor accordingly.

What is not common is blaming the sunset when something goes wrong--say, a car accident. Yet that is just what two drivers who were involved in serious car accidents involving pedestrians are doing. The motorists say that the setting sun was in their eyes, preventing them from seeing pedestrians who were in the middle of the road.

New Mexico civil rights leaders criticize ICE policies

The Trump administration's crackdown on immigration shows no end in sight. In the past several weeks, it seems only to have strengthened. Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) has been given the green light to hold detainees indefinitely; Attorney General Jeff Sessions has sued the state of California for its immigrant-friendly "sanctuary" policies; and the fate of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program remains in limbo.

In the face of this, several New Mexico leaders are speaking out against what they say are important civil rights violations. At Santa Fe City Hall on Monday, a group of local leaders, business owners and workers' rights advocates voiced their concerns about the effect of the current administration's immigration policies on Santa Fe businesses and employees.

When boating causes a wrongful death

Boating can seem like a peaceful activity, especially on New Mexico's beautiful waterways. Though boating may seem like a harmless pastime, it can also be the cause of accidents that result in injury or death. In some cases, a fatality that results from a negligent boater may legally be considered a wrongful death.

Right of way

Brain injuries require timely diagnosis and treatment

Accidents happen every day, everywhere. A business might have a slippery floor and or another driver might be texting a friend instead of watching the road, which leads to a life-changing situation for the victim.

It's hard to miss a broken bone or serious wound. Brain injuries, on the other hand, are extremely common but aren't visible. They can have serious long-term effects and experts continue to learn more and more about just how dangerous they are. One of the biggest challenges with a brain injury is that it often doesn't show right away. Meanwhile, immediate treatment is essential for recovery.