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Roundup Hit with $2 Billion Verdict for Causing Cancer

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Author Archives: Matt Montevideo

  1. Roundup Hit with $2 Billion Verdict for Causing Cancer

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    Less than 12 months after a jury in Northern California awarded $289 million to a man who contracted cancer from exposure to Roundup, another Northern California jury awarded $80 million to a man diagnosed with cancer that was linked to the use of Roundup around his home.  A third notable trial was recently submitted to the jury, where it was argued by plaintiff’s counsel that the jury should award $1 billion in punitive damages.  On May 13, 2019, the jury hit Monsanto for a verdict of $2 billion in damages.  Bayer, who purchased Roundup maker Monsanto for $66 billion (USD) in 2018, is in the process of appealing the first jury verdict, showing the indifference the company has for its product that has been linked to causing cancer in its customers.

    Throughout these trials, chilling documents from Monsanto have been uncovered, including emails discussing Monsanto’s plans to build a “scientific outreach” network to recruit scientists, regulators, and people of public opinion to work “directly or indirectly/behind the scenes” on Monsanto’s behalf.  Further proof of the callousness of Monsanto is an email written to its employees stating that if an employee becomes aware of “adverse effects” from working at the plant, i.e. diagnosis of cancer, the employee is to notify Monsanto and not the Environmental Protraction Agency (“EPA”).  Other documents revealed that Monsanto paid for studies to combat independent research that Glyphosate caused cancer.

    If you have been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma after using Roundup, you are not alone, as over 11,000 other victims have filed lawsuits against Monsanto and Bayer across the country.  These cases hinge on whether Glyphosate, a key ingredient in Roundup, is safe to use.  Juries have already recognized that Glyphosate is a substantial factor in causing cancer to those who have used Roundup. Warning signs of lymphoma include the following:

     

    • Swollen lymph nodes in neck, armpit, or groin, which may or may not be painless;
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath
    • Unexplained weight loss
    • Fever
    • Night sweats
    • Fatigue
    • Weight loss
    • Itching

     

    While these symptoms are similar to those of other illnesses, if you have been diagnosed with cancer and have a history of exposure to Roundup, please contact our firm today, as you may be entitled to compensation for your medical treatment and bills, pain and suffering, and more.

  2. Justicia para Víctimas de Abuso Sexual Infantil

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    Justicia para Víctimas de Abuso Sexual Infantil

    por

    Jess J. Araujo

     

    Existen algunas lesiones que son tan severas y extremas que no existe un remedio perfecto para compensar adecuadamente a las víctimas o para quitar los efectos permanentes del daño sufrido. Tal es el caso de niños víctimas de abuso sexual y violación. Estas imperdonables e inexcusables violaciones a las leyes de la naturaleza y la sociedad han sido una realidad horrorosa desde los inicios del tiempo. Enfrentarse con estos retos para proteger a nuestros niños ha sido una responsabilidad primaria de las agencias de la ley y de los profesionales del comportamiento humano en cualquier lugar del mundo.

     

    Aunque no existe un remedio perfecto, en los Estados Unidos, a diferencia de otros países, sí existen numerosas leyes federales y leyes estatales que ofrecen protección para los niños y castigos para los que los abusan sexualmente. Desafortunadamente, a pesar de todas estas leyes bien intencionadas, un número incalculable de abusos contra la niñez ocurren cada día. Y el obstáculo más grande para identificar y castigar a los criminales que abusan sexualmente de los niños, es la negativa de la víctima y su familia a reportar el crimen.

     

    En el caso de niños víctimas de violación y abuso sexual, los motivos para rehusarse o la falta de voluntad para reportar los crímenes han sido bien documentados por psiquiatras de niños, psicólogos de niños y representantes de la ley expertos en este campo.  En el caso de niños Latinos víctimas de violación y abuso sexual, existen poderosos factores culturales y religiosos que son retos adicionales al reportar estos despreciables crímenes especialmente cuando los que los cometen son sacerdotes, pastores, u otros líderes de la iglesia.  Católicos devotos y miembros de otras denominaciones religiosas frecuentemente son renuentes a registrar quejas contra líderes que son pedófilos, basados en la creencia errónea que el hacerlo sería deslealtad a su iglesia. Esto no es verdad. Hoy, la gran mayoría de líderes religiosos, incluyendo al Papa Francisco, han pedido la identificación de los sacerdotes depredadores sexuales y han prometido reportar a tales criminales a las autoridades policiales.

     

    La Doctora Lisa Aronson Fontes, una distinguida psicóloga clínica y experta reconocida en tratar con niños Latinos víctimas de abuso sexual ha documentado las preocupaciones culturales relacionadas con la profunda pena asociada con tal abuso.  “La vergüenza” dice ella, es “usada para controlar a otros y crear una tendencia a cubrir, más que a reconocer un error o un mal hecho…y aún para mentir completamente.  Involucrarse EN CUALQUIER FORMA en el sistema de abuso de niños es en sí mismo una experiencia vergonzosa para muchas familias Latinas.”  Y, los niños víctimas se sienten culpables pensando que ellos participaron en los actos especialmente si hubo múltiples incidentes; si les dieron regalos o si ellos o sus familias fueron amenazadas con reportar a inmigrantes indocumentados.  Se les dice a las víctimas que nadie les creerá contra un sacerdote o pastor.

     

    La justicia para niños víctimas de violación o abuso sexual solo puede ser lograda si las víctimas y sus familias reportan los crímenes a la policía para asegurarse que los criminales sean castigados y quitados de los puestos que les permiten continuar abusando de menores.  Las víctimas también deberían hacer uso de abogados para registrar reclamos por compensación.  Las cortes han ordenado pagar compensaciones muy elevadas que promedian más de $1 millón de dólares por víctima.  Ninguna cantidad de dinero removerá jamás el inimaginable y permanente dolor emocional, psicológico y físico que las víctimas hayan sufrido. Sin embargo, estos elevados pagos hacen que los líderes de Iglesias tomen acciones efectivas para asegurarse que los sacerdotes y pastores pedófilos sean identificados y quitados de sus iglesias.  La compensación también ayuda a obtener la terapia necesaria y tratamiento para ayudar a las víctimas y sus familias a comenzar su recuperación.

     

    Este es un llamado a todas las víctimas, muchos de ellos ahora son adultos, ó a sus familias, a contactarse con nuestra oficina para la ayuda en obtener todos los remedios disponibles para finalmente lograr la bien merecida y largamente esperada JUSTICIA.    

  3. Justice for Child Victims of Sexual Abuse

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    Justice for Child Victims of Sexual Abuse

    By

    Jess J. Araujo

    There are some injuries that are so extreme and severe that no perfect remedy is available to adequately compensate the victim or to remove the permanent effects of the harm suffered.  Such is the case with child victims of sexual abuse and rape.  These unpardonable and inexcusable violations of the laws of nature and society have been a horrendous reality since the beginning of time.  Dealing with this challenge to protect our children has been a primary responsibility for law enforcement agencies and behavioral professionals everywhere.

     

    While there is no perfect remedy, in the United States, unlike in other countries, there are numerous federal laws and laws in every state that provide protection for children and punishment for those that sexually abuse them.  Unfortunately, despite all these well intended laws, an incalculable number of childhood abuse incidents occur every day.  And, the biggest obstacle to identifying and punishing the criminals that sexually abuse children, is the refusal by the victim and his or her family to report the crime.

     

    In the case of child victims of rape and sexual abuse, the reasons for a refusal or unwillingness to report the crimes have been well documented by child psychiatrists, psychologists and law enforcement experts in this field.  In the case of Latino child victims of rape and sexual abuse, there are powerful cultural and religious factors that present additional challenges to reporting these despicable crimes especially when the perpetrators are priests, pastors, or other church leaders. Devout Catholics and members of other religious denominations are often reluctant to file complaints against pedophile leaders based on a mistaken belief that doing so would be disloyal to their church.  This is not true.  Today, the vast majority of religious leaders, including Pope Frances, have called for the identification of predator priests and have vowed to report such criminals to police authorities.

     

    Dr. Lisa Aronson Fontes, a distinguished clinical psychologist and recognized expert in dealing with Latino child victims of sexual abuse has documented the cultural concerns related to the profound shame associated with such abuse.  “Shame” she states is “used to control others and creates a tendency to cover up rather that acknowledge an error or wrongdoing…and even outright lying.  Becoming involved IN ANY WAY in the child abuse system is itself a shaming experience for many Latino families.”  And, child victims feel guilty thinking that they participated in the acts especially if there were multiple incidents, if they were given gifts or if they or their families were threatened with reporting undocumented immigrants.  Victims are told that no one would believe them against a priest or pastor.

     

    Justice for child victims of rape and sexual abuse can only be achieved if the victims and their families report the crimes to the police to make sure that the criminals are punished and removed from positions that enable them to continue to abuse children.  Victims should also use attorneys to file claims for compensation.  The courts have ordered very large compensation awards averaging more than $1 million dollars for victims.  No amount of money will ever remove the unimaginable permanent emotional, psychological and physical pain that victims have suffered. However, these significant awards cause the leaders of churches to take effective action to make sure that pedophile priests and pastors are identified and removed form their churches.  The compensation also helps to obtain necessary therapy and treatment to help victims and their families start to recover.

     

    This is a call to all victims, many of whom are now adults, or their families, to contact our offices for help in obtaining all remedies available to finally achieve well deserved and long delayed JUSTICE.    

    Call us today for a free and confidential consultation to find out what we can do to help. The lawyers at DiMarco | Araujo | Montevideo are committed to assisting and seeking justice for any and all survivors of  abuse for their inexcusable actions and we are ready to stand by your side and fight for you. Click Here for more info.

  4. The Push for Accountability for Priest Abuse

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    Throughout the country, Catholic Dioceses are releasing the identities of priests and clergymen who committed deviant acts of abuse against children. In late 2018, the leader of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, vowed that the Catholic Church will never again cover up clergy abuse.  While the Catholic Church’s position under Pope Francis has been one of admittance of hiding inconceivable abuses by those in the position of power and trust, where does that leave the victims?

     

    Attorneys across the country, including State Attorney Generals, are filing lawsuits against the Catholic Church for its knowledge of the abuses and continued schemes to protect their own from facing criminal and civil charges for their abusive acts. In Pennsylvania, the State’s Attorney General revealed a comprehensive grand jury report exposing 301 Catholic priests who sexually victimized more than 1,000 children.The report further found senior church officials knew about the abuse and covered up their conduct. Investigations by attorneys have uncovered 72 priests accused of sexually abusing children in the Diocese of Orange.  The Archdiocese of Los Angeles in 2018 updated its accused clerics list to 323, adding an additional 54 names in 2018 to a list that has not been updated in decades.

     

    The Diocese of Orange, in particular, has had a notable history regarding abuse.  Since at least the late 1980’s, the Diocese of Orange accepted transferred priests who had multiple allegations of sexual conduct and may have enabled them to victimize children during their tenure.  The grotesque conduct hidden by the leadership of the Diocese of Orange also spilled over into the Catholic schools.  The largest settlement came in 2005, when Bishop Tod Brown announced a settlement of $100 million to 87 alleged survivors of clergy abuse by 30 priests, 2 nuns, 1 religious brother, and 10 lay personnel. According to Brown, incidents of clergy abuse occurred for decades – with 25 cases dating before the creation of the Diocese of Orange. This was the first California settlement as a result of the widespread Catholic abuse scandal.

     

    The current statute of limitations offers several different periods of time in which a person can file a lawsuit. Essentially, California follows an eight-year and three-year period. This means:

     

    • If a survivor of abuse is a minor, they have until they are 26 years old – eight years after they are legal adults – to file a claim.
    • If a survivor of abuse is an adult that is much older than 26, they may still be able to file a lawsuit if they discover they have a psychological illness or injury associated to the abuse. From this date of discovery, they have three years.

     

    However, even if you are past these time periods, you may still have grounds to file an eligible claim. This may only occur if the responsible institution was aware of the abuse occurring and failed to take reasonable actions or safeguards in order to prevent it.

     

    In September of 2018, a bill was proposed that would significantly extend the statute of limitations for survivors of clergy abuse. If passed, Bill AB-3120 would give survivors until the age of 40 or 5 years from the date of discovery to file a claim against the alleged perpetrators. Additionally, this bill would also enable survivors to file claims against any liable organizations, such as the church or schools, for any damages.  Unfortunately, AB-3120 was vetoed in October – but there remains strong support for survivors of sexual abuse within the state government. It is very plausible that, with a new governor in the capital, a similar bill extending the statute of limitations may be proposed and passed in the future.  In this case, it is highly recommended to retain the services of a sexual abuse lawyer as soon as possible to help take advantage of these new laws and recover the maximum possible compensation for your pain and suffering.

     

    Call us today for a free and confidential consultation to find out what we can do to help. The lawyers at DiMarco | Araujo | Montevideo are committed to assisting and seeking justice for any and all survivors of clergy abuse for their inexcusable actions. The Diocese of Orange (and any other associated Dioceses) deserve to be held accountable for their actions, and we are ready to stand by your side and fight for you. Click Here for more info.

  5. Verdicts and Lawsuits Against Roundup for Causing Cancer

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    The once popular weed-killer Roundup, commonly used by homeowners, landscapers, and farmers, has been linked to an increased risk of developing cancer, and more specifically, Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.  The molecule “glyphosate” is the active chemical in Roundup that was once thought to be harmless, but it is now at the center of lawsuits nationwide against Bayer AG’s Monsanto unit. Monsanto was an agricultural company known to manufacture controversial products, including pesticides and chemicals.  In 2008, Bayer AG purchased Monsanto for $66 billion (USD).  The International Agency for Research on Cancer determined in 2015 that glyphosate, the active chemical in Roundup, is “probably carcinogenic to humans.”

     

    In late August 2018, an Oakland jury awarded Plaintiff Dewayne Johnson $289 million because his continued exposure to Roundup, while working as a groundskeeper, caused cancer to develop in his body. The total award was comprised of $250 million in punitive damages against the manufacturer of Roundup.  The award was eventually reduced to $78.5 million, but the message to the creators and owners of Roundup was clear- since you failed to warn Roundup might cause cancer, you are responsible for those individuals who used your product and are now suffering through cancer.

     

    Farmers, professional gardeners, landscapers, groundskeepers, agricultural workers, and homeowners alike who used Roundup are at an increased risk for cancer.  Glyphosate has been linked to breast cancer, brain cancer, bladder cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, skin, cancer, testicular cancer, and lymphoma.  Evidence linking exposure of Roundup to cancer is more commonly related to lymphoma.  Lymphoma cancer attacks the immune system cells in the lymph nodes, spleen, thymus, bone marrow, and other parts of the body.  Two of the more common types of lymphoma are Non-Hodgkin and Hodgkin.  Warning signs of lymphoma include the following:

     

    • Swollen lymph nodes in neck, armpit, or groin, which may or may not be painless;
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath
    • Unexplained weight loss
    • Fever
    • Night sweats
    • Fatigue
    • Weight loss
    • Itching

     

    While these symptoms are similar to those of other illnesses, if you have been diagnosed with cancer and have a history of exposure to Roundup, please contact our firm today, as you may be entitled to compensation for your medical treatment and bills, pain and suffering, and more.

  6. Route 91 Shooting Update

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    Over the past few days, MGM Resorts International, the Mandalay Bay Resort Group, and its subsidiaries have sued thousands of victims of the Route 91 Las Vegas concert shooting in Federal Courts in California, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, New York, and Alaska.  MGM’s unprecedented move to sue victims of its negligent conduct is based upon a federal act that MGM’s own attorney admitted in a declaration attached to MGM’s removal papers, seeking to take the victims’ lawsuit out of Nevada State Court and into Federal Court, that “There has apparently never been any litigation under the SAFETY Act.”  The SAFETY Act was enacted by Congress in the aftermath of the 9/11 tragedy to entice companies to develop anti-terrorism technology.  The lawsuit filed by MGM is seeking to have a court declare that the SAFETY Act applies to the conduct of MGM and Mandalay Bay, and thus removing any liability of these companies, despite allowing Stephen Paddock to use employee elevators to bring his weapons and ammo up to his suite, despite allowing Stephen Paddock to check into a room that was not under his name, despite failing to discover the bracketed door to the stairwell, and despite failing to respond to an alarm on the same floor as Stephen Paddock’s room an hour-and-a-half before the shooting.

     

    The filing of these multiple lawsuits in Federal Courts throughout the country is a ploy for MGM to find a judge who will rule that the SAFETY Act does apply, and thus rule that MGM and Mandalay Bay escape liability.  Nevada attorney Robert Eglet, who our Nevada licensed attorney Anthony Modarelli is working with in our firm’s representation of victims of this shooting, agrees that MGM is “trying to find a judge they like.”   Moreover, MGM and Mandalay Bay are using MGM’s retention of Contemporary Services Corporation (“CSC”), the event management and security company at the concert grounds, to support their lawsuit against the victims that the SAFETY Act applies to them.  Yet, MGM and Mandalay Bay were negligent in the security of their own hotel, the Mandalay Bay Resort, where the gunman was permitted to amass his weapons in his hotel suite.

     

    Besides the SAFETY Act, in court documents filed by MGM and the Mandalay Bay Resort Group, these companies are claiming they have no liability because an event such as the October 1, 2017 shooting or one similar to it was not foreseeable.  To the contrary, on November 29, 2014, a nearly identical situation occurred at Mandalay Bay where a hotel guest was able to bring multiple semi-automatic assault rifles, with on of the rifles equipped with a scope was position out of the hotel room window at the Mandalay Bay.  With discovery and disclosure of this prior incident, the filing of MGM’s numerous lawsuits against the victims is about “immunizing themselves from liability,” says Craig Eiland, a lawyer in Austin, Texas, also working with Mr. Modarelli. (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/17/us/mgm-resorts-sues-victims.html).

     

    Standing along side Mr. Eglet and Mr. Eiland, our firm and Mr. Modarelli are committed to seeking justice for the victims of this heinous act that has multiple parties with dirty hands seeking to run from liability.  Contact our firm today if you were at the Las Vegas shooting, as we are representing victims from California and Nevada who were at the Route 91 Concert.

  7. Defective Hip Implants Lead to More Surgery

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    The FDA has issued warnings on Metal-on-Metal hip implants

    Many patients who received these hip implants (Wright Conserve, Stryker Rejuvenate, DePuy ASR, and DePuy Pinnacle) are experiencing an allergic reaction to metal debris from the implants, soft tissue damage, pain, loosening of the implant, limited range of motion, noise from the hip joint, and failure of the implant.  Some patients have needed a second surgery to replace the defective hip implant.  If you have had your hip replaced and are experiencing pain or have needed a second surgery, you may be eligible for compensation for the complications and medical costs caused by these hip implants.

    Contact us for a free consultation to review your hip implant questions.    

  8. Summer Time Means More Bikes on the Road

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    Summer Time Means More Bikes on the Road

    With cities vying to be more bike friendly and the increase in interest with cycling, people now more than ever are riding bikes for fun and for their main mode of transportation.  Now, with school out, many children are also enjoying the fun of a summer’s bike ride.  More bicycle injuries occur from May through September than during any other times of the year.  While California and Nevada have increased the protections for bicyclists, some motorists unfortunately still believe bicycles do not belong on the roads, which has resulted in many law abiding bicyclists, including children, getting injured.

    Avoiding Bicycle Accidents This Summer

    To avoid danger this summer:

    • When biking after 7 p.m., always wear bright, reflective clothing
    • Ride in a straight line and in a single file when biking with a group
    • Make sure your bicycle’s lights are in working order and bright enough to be seen by motorists
    • Pull over if you notice any signs of fatigue
    • Always wear a properly fitted helmet while cycling
    • Never cross a road unless you are at a crosswalk and have a green light

    Both California and Nevada require bicyclists to ride with traffic, as far right when practicable, while riding on a road way, except in limited circumstances.  Both states also require the use of lights and reflectors during darkness. (Cal. Vehicle Code §21201 and Nevada Revised Statutes §484B.783 and §484D.100)

    Fun Places to Ride

    Whether you’re embarking on a century ride (100-mile ride or race) or heading to work, be sure to stay safe and follow the rules of the road.  Looking for a safe place to ride? Check out these bike paths and trails:

    California and Nevada offer some of the best destinations and places to live in our country!  Since they are neighboring states, many of us have family and friends in the other state that we often visit.  Knowing that our clients enjoy visiting and spending time with family and friends in California and Nevada, our California and Nevada licensed attorneys are here to help you, your family, and your friends if they are injured while riding a bike in these states.

  9. Route 91 Country Music Festival Shooting

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    Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting site, Las Vegas Village and Festival Grounds, Las Vegas Strip, Nevada

    In the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in the history of the United States, the investigation into the October 1, 2017 Route 91 Harvest music festival tragedy has yet to bring closure to the tens of thousands of victims who are still grieving the effects of that night.  The victims of this shooting were from all over the country, with many of the concertgoers coming from California and Nevada.  Over 22,000 people were subjected to more than 1,000 rounds of bullets and ensuing chaos that surrounded this event.  Simply because the investigation is ongoing does not mean justice cannot be found for the victims and their families.

     

    Many of the victims put their lives and safety into the hands of multiple companies while attending the Route 91 Harvest concert, including MGM Resorts International, Mandalay Bay Corp., MGM Resort Group, Inc., MGM Resorts Festival Grounds, LLC, Live Nation Entertainment, Inc., and Live Nation Group.  In the months since the shooting, the following facts have been released that show the fault of these companies:

     

    • The hotel permitted the shooter to check into a hotel room that was under another person’s name without the named person appearing at the hotel;
    • The hotel failed to recognize that the door to the stairwell at the 32nd floor was locked with a bracket by the shooter;
    • Security at the hotel delayed their investigation into a door alarm on the 32nd floor that went off more than an hour before the shooting, which would have uncovered the bracketed door to the stairwell;
    • A security failure at the hotel permitted the shooter to bring in high-powered assault rifles and thousands of rounds of ammunition into his room, at times with the help of the hotel staff, when other hotels in Las Vegas have invested in security features before October 1, 2017 to detect such items;
    • The hotel failed to discover the barrage of weapons in the hotel room or report the suspicious behavior of the shooter when he asked to remain in the room while the staff cleaned and instructed them not to vacuum the floor on multiple days before the shooting;
    • The shooter installed surveillance equipment outside of his hotel rooms without detection by requesting a room service cart remain in his room, which was later used outside his door to mount a camera;
    • Due to his “VIP” status, the shooter was permitted to use the service elevator to bring his deadly arsenal to his room instead of normal lobby elevators;
    • The lack of the timely response and misinformation by the hotel lead to a delay in reaching the shooter’s room;
    • Inadequately trained or competent staff both in the hotel and at the concert venue to respond to the shooting and provide safety instructions to the victims; and
    • Insufficient signage demarcating exits and entrances at the concert grounds.

     

    For years and in the wake of other mass casualty events, government entities and the casino industry have warned large hotels and casinos, including MGM Resorts International and Mandalay Bay, that they must be prepared for life-threatening events, including an active shooter.  The way for victims to claim compensation for their injuries is to prove that the events were foreseeable to these companies, and unfortunately in today, acts such as this shooting are not uncommon, especially near large crowds.  With this evidence, we believe that these companies may be responsible for the injuries to the Route 91 Harvest victims.

     

    Not just direct shooting victims may be entitled to recover for medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and other compensation for injuries suffered at the Route 91 Harvest concert.  Other victims include those who suffered injuries while escaping the festival grounds, such as trampling injuries, ankle sprains, or broken bones.  In addition, those suffering from post-traumatic stress or emotional distress may also be entitled to bring a claim against these companies.  Nevada law allows victims with injuries of emotional distress without physical injury to bring lawsuits under certain circumstances.

     

    The actions of these companies placed profits above safety, leaving many lives in the wake of this shooting to be searching for answers, comfort, and justice.  If you or a family member were injured at the Route 91 Harvest festival and have questions about what we are doing to help victims or whether you may have a legal claim, please contact DiMarco, Araujo & Montevideo to speak to our team to get answers to your questions.

  10. LOS JUECES DEBEN EXPLICAR POR QUE NEGARON ORDENES DE RESTRICCION SOLICITADAS EN CASOS DE VIOLENCIA DOMESTICA

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    Artículo 17-29

    ¡No Se Deje! ®

    Los casos de violencia doméstica son, y deben ser tratados como, emergencias peligrosas.  El público ha quedado impactado y triste al enterarse de los muchos casos de violencia doméstica que resultan en lesiones serias y/o muerte.  Aún cuando la violencia doméstica no resulte fatal, los niños en la casa generalmente quedan afectados emocionalmente de por vida.   La mayoría de las víctimas de violencia doméstica son mujeres, pero  también los hombres  pueden ser víctimas.

     

    Las Ordenes de Restricción Temporales están entre los más importantes remedios legales disponibles para las víctimas de violencia doméstica.  Estas son ordenes de la corte contra un abusador denunciado que le prohíbe el contacto o la conducta abusiva o violenta contra la víctima.  Las cortes intencionalmente han hecho el proceso de aplicación simple y para ser utilizado sin necesidad de un abogado.   Las víctimas deben explicar por qué necesitan órdenes de restricción temporales de emergencia.  Esto se hace dando ejemplos del comportamiento violento o abusivo.  Las víctimas se han quejado que los jueces impropiamente les han negado las solicitudes de órdenes de restricción temporales con lo cual las exponen y en algunos casos a niños, a peligrosas lesiones físicas y emocionales.

     

    LA LEY obliga a los jueces a dar las razones por las cuales niegan solicitudes de órdenes de restricción temporal en los casos de violencia doméstica. Quienes respaldan esta  ley indicaron que sin una explicación por escrito de la negativa, no podemos saber las razones del juez para rehusarse a emitir la orden.  Cuando los jueces expresan sus razones, las víctimas y sus abogados pueden determinar si fue negada impropiamente y pueden considerar una apelación.   La ley también da a las víctimas el derecho a tener una audiencia dentro de los 20 días después  de negarse la orden de restricción temporal y pedir una orden prohibiendo que el abusador contacte a la víctima.

     

    Algunos críticos de esta ley dicen que las personas involucradas en disputas familiares acaloradas y  en disputas domésticas legales frecuentemente usan  las órdenes de restricción temporales cuando no son necesarias simplemente para castigar a la otra parte.   Dicen que las partes frecuentemente mienten para convencer al juez que conceda las órdenes de restricción que después pueden utilizar en procesos de divorcio o custodia de menores.   Los críticos también indican que las Ordenes de Restricción Temporal de Emergencia son emitidas y tienen efecto de inmediato sin darle a la otra parte la oportunidad de responder por 20 días.   Durante ese tiempo, su libertad de actuar en ciertas actividades incluyendo regresar al hogar familiar o tener contacto con un cónyuge y/o niños queda limitada o prohibida.

     

    Los críticos temen que si se les pide a los ocupados jueces que escriban las razones para negar Ordenes de Restricción Temporal, muchos jueces en vez de eso simplemente concederán la mayoría de tales solicitudes.  Dicen además que conceder Ordenes de Restricción Temporales innecesarias o injustificadas injustamente requiere que la persona restringida sea incluida en los Registros Estatales y Federales de Violencia Familiar.  Es casi imposible ser borrado de esos registros aún si más tarde se determina que la información que apoyaba la Orden de Restricción Temporal no era correcta o cierta.

     

    Como pueden ver, la decisión de conceder o negar una Orden de Restricción Temporal puede ser muy difícil de tomar.  Los Jueces tienen la poderosa autoridad y la enorme responsabilidad de tomar estas decisiones.   Ahora, bajo la ley, tendrán que dejarnos saber las razones para negar  una Orden solicitada  ¡NO SE DEJE! ®

     

    JESS J. ARAUJO, ABOGADO