Extension of Requirement for Biometric Passport Issuance.Written by John Rians
The requirement for Visa Waiver travelers to have biometrics included in their passports has been extended for one year, to October 26, 2005. All newly issued passports must be biometrically enabled by this time. The extension was necessary to avoid potential disruption of international travel and to allow for adequate time to develop programs for producing a more secure, biometrically enabled passport by those countries enrolled in Visa Waiver programs.
Because of security concerns related to this extension, Department of Homeland Security will begin enrolling Visa Waiver Program travelers through US-VISIT program (U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology) at all airports and seaports on September 30, 2004. Enrollment in US-VISIT allows United States to continue its international efforts to enhance border security, while facilitating legitimate travel. The US-VISIT system requires two digital index finger scans, and a digital photograph of traveler to verify his or her identity.
The second requirement for Visa Waiver Program travelers will come into effect on October 26, 2004. From that date on, all passports used for travel in Visa Waiver Program must be machine-readable. Last year, Secretary of State granted a postponement until October 26, 2004, making this new date by which Visa Waiver Program travelers from 21 countries must present a machine-readable passport to be admitted to United States without a visa.
Should You Hire a Vioxx Lawyer?Written by Michael Monheit, Esquire
If you or a beloved family member has suffered a Vioxx related heart attack, other cardiovascular problems, or a Vioxx induced stroke then you may be eligible to be part of a Vioxx class action suit or individual Vioxx litigation case.
The grounds for filing a Vioxx stroke, heart attack, or sudden death litigation case are based on releasing and marketing Vioxx as a safe alternative for chronic pain. Vioxx and other NSAID (non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs) were not tested long-term to determine its patient safety factor. A few years passed before FDA advised Merck to properly post warnings on label. During that time-frame, thousands of doctors prescribed Vioxx to thousands of patients impervious to imminent health threat that lay ahead.
How much does a Vioxx lawsuit cost? --------- Most Vioxx law firms will accept clients on a contingency fee basis. There is no fee, unless and until there is a recovery. If nothing is recovered during your Vioxx lawsuit then client pays nothing. The contingent fee is based on a pre-agreed percentage of recovery depending on complexity and risks involved in your Vioxx case.
What’s difference between a Vioxx class action suit, individual litigation, and MDL (multi district litigation)? --------- In a Vioxx class action suit, individuals who have similar cases would be "joined together" in a "class" to prosecute their claims in a "more efficient" manner. This process begins when one person (or more) agrees to serve as class representative. This "class rep" is then subject to approval by court. There are a series of requirements that court reviews -- but most significantly, whether claims of "class rep" are typical of claims of other members of proposed class. The class representative is proceeding not only on his or her own behalf, but also on behalf of all others who are similarly situated. In this case, there is only ONE lawsuit, result of which binds all class members. In order to determine if class will receive fair and adequate representation, court will generally consider whether attorney for class has experience in handling class actions and/or claims similar to those of proposed class. In addition, court will determine whether there are any conflicts in interests of class members.
In individual Vioxx litigation, each person's lawyer prosecutes their case, apart from any other cases. If a lawyer has multiple clients, each client would receive individual attention and would have their own Vioxx lawsuit.
Even with individual Vioxx litigation, some cases end up in Federal court, due to a diversity of citizenship between claimant and Merck. In these cases, individual claim gets temporarily consolidated with other cases in Federal court. But this consolidation is ONLY for purposes of discovery, and does not impact right to an individual trial for that person's Vioxx lawsuit. The MDL gives each person benefit through judicial economy and efficiencies of scale. For example, if Merck is also being sued by 10,000 other Vioxx plaintiffs across country, just taking depositions in all various jurisdictions could delay trial date by years. But when all those individual Vioxx lawsuits are consolidated for discovery, it helps to save time and money for Vioxx clients. In addition, it places Vioxx plaintiffs on a more level playing field.