May-June 2013 News to Use Newsletter | Richard Pignatiello
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May/June 2013 Newsletter

May 1, 2013

View the May/June 2013 newsletter print edition here »

This publication is intended to educate the general public and is for information purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. Prior to acting on any information contained here, you should seek and retain competent counsel. The information in this newsletter may be freely copied and distributed as long as the newsletter print edition or text edition is copied in its entirety.



News to Use
May/June 2013 Edition




One, two. One, two. One, two.

My father-in-law loved to play the lottery. He was convinced he won more than he lost. When you hear his story, you will understand just how chance and his "lucky numbers" became so important to him.

Richard Pignatiello's Father-in-law
My father-in-law Raymond J. Lavery,
first row middle

My father-in-law graduated U.S. Army Infantry Training at Ft. Indian Town Gap, PA., in 1951. At the end of the graduation, his company of 120 men were lined up and counted off by 2's - - one. . . two, one, two. . .one, two, etc.

Those who just happened to be One's were sent directly to Korea. Those who were Two's, by chance, my father-in-law included, were sent to Germany.

The U.S. Army at that time did not have a barracks in Stuttgart. The only army installation at Stuttgart was a former Waffen SS base. He was assigned as a guard at the base the US took over. He was there less than a year. He was then assigned to S1 5th Infantry Forward Artillery, which was an intelligence unit. He traveled a lot of Western Europe as the driver for a Colonel.

During the 1980's, he ran into someone he went to basic training with who was selected as a "One". He told my father-in-law about the 60 "Ones" from his original company. They were deployed to Korea to push through the "Pusan Perimeter". Within 48 hours of landing in Pusan, the unit had suffered a 98% casualty rate.

This Memorial Day I will remember my father-in-law who was called home on November 19, 2011 while we were together as a family on vacation. And all the "Ones" who went before him.

Something Fishy going On With Seafood

Different types of fishThe ocean conservation group, Oceana, recently released a report citing the fraudulent sale of mislabeled fish in cities throughout the United States. Oceana used genetic testing to expose the fish swaps with certainty. Common aquatic identity theft includes tilapia and tilefish being passed off as the more expensive red snapper (a frequent target), and an Asian fish called pangasius posing as an imposter for anything ranging from catfish to grouper. These examples just scratch the surface. Percentages of mislabeled fish in the Oceana report range from 18 percent in Seattle to 52 percent in the Southern California locale – high numbers no matter how you scale them.

This less-than-honest approach to selling fish at restaurants costs the public a pretty penny. Consumers pay high prices for cheap imitations. In addition, some people make decisions in their fish choices based on morality issues, which are rendered meaningless with swapped-out substitutes. Some fish are higher in mercury content as well, one example of possible health implications.

In addition to fraud, purposeful laxity in food labeling and marketing, courtesy of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is a co-conspirator in this fish caper. For instance, FDA rules allow fast-food chains to sell langostino as lobster when it’s actually a member of the crab family.

The only real remedy is knowledge—knowing what products are likely to be “fakes” or “imitations” and frequenting establishments you trust. Government reform of marketing and food labeling might help a bit, too.

Bullying Can Cause Major Damage...Sometimes Lethal

Bullying has been featured more prominently in the public eye over the past few years—and for good reason. Nearly a third of students ages 12–18 report having been bullied, sometimes on a daily basis.

Generally speaking, bullying comes in two varieties: physical and emotional. Physical bullying may encompass shoving, hitting, punching, tripping, or spitting. Physical threats may also be utilized to coerce someone into doing something they normally wouldn’t.

Emotional bullying is more pervasive and covers a wide swath of territory. It includes insults, teasing, spreading false rumors, and cyber bullying (bullying through the use of social media).

Bullying is not a “kids will be kids” type of situation. The harm it causes can be long-lasting and may result in low self-esteem, difficulty in trusting others, lack of standing up for oneself, aggression and anger issues, and isolation.

In addition, a strong link has been established between bullying and suicide. Bullying victims are 2–9 times more likely to consider suicide than nonvictims, according to a Yale University study. A study conducted in Great Britain found that bullying was responsible for over half of youth suicides (or for the conditions that led to suicide—e.g., depression). Another alarming statistic is that for every suicide, there are at least 100 suicide attempts.

Parents, keep an open line of communication with your children. Many kids are embarrassed to admit that they’re being bullied. Don’t be afraid to go to school authorities when a bullying situation is apparent. Early intervention can save a world of heartache.

(For more information about bullying, including indicators that it might be happening to your child, visit or www.

What happened to him, I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

He was everything I always wanted to be. He was tall. He was thin. He had a full head of hair. But as much as I wished to be like him, what happened to him, I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

Watch for motorcycles sign

The first phone call I received came from his brother. The news was bad. It was a glorious day and my client, riding his motorcycle, had approached an intersection.

Approaching from the opposite direction was a teenage girl. She was driving her father’s truck and she dropped her cell phone. As she drove, she bent over and picked up the cell phone off the floor of the passenger seat.

And then she hit him.

My client remembers what happened when the truck hit him. At the intersection, as was his custom, he tried to make eye contact with the driver. He remembers he tried to lay the bike down. He had some very substantial leather saddlebags and he felt they helped save his legs. At the point of impact, the motorcycle gas tank crushed his chest. The doctors said his helmet and his leather motorcycle jacket saved his life.

He was transported to a rural hospital near where the accident happened. They were ill equipped to handle the severity of his injuries. The entire medical staff agreed he should be transported to a trauma one facility. But both the rural hospital staff and the trauma hospital doctors agreed he was far too critically injured to be moved.

The doctors decided to put him in a medically induced coma to try and save his life. And that’s where he remained for 31 days. His family kept vigil. His parents, siblings and children made the journey south from their east side homes to where he stayed in intensive care. Last rites were performed twice. And everyone prayed.

When the family first called me right after the accident, I told them what they should do. You take care of him. I’ll take care of everything else. That’s what we did.

With a close associate, we began to assemble the case against the teenage driver. We each took our areas of expertise. If there was any good news, it was that the vehicle in the accident was owner by the driver’s father.

With a court date scheduled, we met with my client and reviewed his options. We presented both scenarios to him – taking it to a jury trial or settling the case. He, his family, his children and his parents had been through so much. He did not want to put them through the emotional toll a trial would take and he told us to pursue a settlement.

Today an x-ray of his chest would show knarled ribs . He still suffers from a reoccurring pain in his chest. But he looks as good as he always did. He is tall. He is thin. He has a (mostly) full head of hair. His sense of humor remains intact. And he still rides a motorcycle to this day.

The insurance companies have a list of lawyers who are afraid to go to trial. I am not one of them. My client received a check for just a little over $900,000.

May is motorcycle awareness month. Look twice to save a life.

This is a true account of an actual case from my files. Identifying information may have been changed or omitted to protect both the innocent and the guilty.

Monarch Butterflies Becoming Scarce

Each autumn, monarch butterflies migrate from Canada and the United States to their winter haven in the mountain fir forests of central Mexico. But the monarch numbers reaching their winter destination have been in decline six out of the last seven years. It is estimated that only one-fifteenth as many monarchs reach the Mexican forests today as in 1997—a statistically significant long-term trend. Experts are divided as to the precise causes.

Monarch ButterflyIllegal logging in the monarch reserve has long been thought to have a disruptive effect. Increased enforcement and alternative development programs have reduced logging, but it still exists.

Disruption of water resources in Mexico may also play a role in the monarch decline. Mountain streams have been interrupted by drought and human use. Tourism in the reserve area may have an unsettling effect, too.

Factors in the United States and Canada may be contributing as well. The World Wildlife Fund believes changing climate conditions and agricultural practices are the main culprits, especially pesticide use that kills off milkweed, the main source of food for monarchs and their offspring. The loss of milkweed makes it difficult for monarchs to lay eggs and for the offspring that do hatch to find a sufficient supply of food.

Whatever the exact cause of the dwindling monarch population, Canada, the United States, and Mexico will need to work together to reverse the trend. The continued decimation of this beautiful creature would indeed be sad news for all.

This publication is intended to educate the general public and is for information purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. Prior to acting on any information contained here, you should seek and retain competent counsel. The information in this newsletter may be freely copied and distributed as long as the newsletter print edition or text edition is copied in its entirety.

Contact Attorney Richard A. Pignatiello Today

We invite you to contact the Ohio law office of Richard A. Pignatiello at 216-524-1000 to schedule a free, initial consultation with our lawyer regarding your legal needs. We return phone calls within 24 hours. In addition to our regular office hours, evening and weekend appointments are available upon request. We offer payment plans.

The law office of Richard A. Pignatiello is based in Seven Hills, Ohio. We represent clients throughout the cities of Independence, Bedford, Parma, Brecksville, Broadview Heights, North Royalton, Strongsville, Berea, Middleburg Heights, and Valley View, as well as Cuyahoga County and Medina County.

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