Maritime Admiralty Law: A Short HistoryWritten by Anna Henningsgaard
Maritime law is a legal body that regulates ships and shipping. As sea-borne transportation is one of most ancient channels of commerce, rules for maritime and trade disputes developed very early in recorded history. Modern admiralty law, often called simply admiralty or maritime law, has its origins in classical Rhodian law. No primary written specimen of Rhodian law has survived, but it is alluded to in Roman and Byzantine legal codes as well as customs of Hanseatic League, dominant trading power of Middle Ages and Early Modern eras.
While traveling eastern Mediterranean on Crusades with her first husband, King Louis VII of France, Eleanor of Aquitaine discovered a complicated and advanced system of admiralty law. She brought back this admiralty law and administered it upon her people on island of Oleron. Later, while acting as regent for her son King Richard Lionheart in England she founded British system of admiralty law. In England, special admiralty courts handle all admiralty cases. The courts do not use common law of England.
In this same way, admiralty or maritime law is distinct from standard land-based laws even today. Even within another country’s claimed waters, admiralty law states that a ship’s flag dictates law. This means that a Canadian ship in American waters would be subject to Canadian law and crimes committed on board that ship would stand trial in Canada. In United States Supreme Court is highest court of appeals for admiralty cases, though they rarely progress beyond state level. United States, admiralty law is of limited jurisdiction, so it is up to judges to assign verdicts based on a combination of admiralty and specific state law.
Lariam Side Effects AttorneyWritten by Anna Henningsgaard
Mefloquine is an anti-malarial drug marketed under name Lariam. Doctors are still unsure exactly how Mefloquine protects a patient from malaria, but it is generally theorized that it prevents malaria parasite from breaking down a substance in blood called haemin by making haemin toxic to parasite. However it works, it is most effective anti-malarial drug on market, especially in areas where malaria parasite has grown resistant to more conventional malaria drugs. At first it was believed that mefloquine (Lariam) had a low incidence of side effects, but it turns out that only a fraction of problems with mefloquine had been made public. As more travelers come out to tell horror stories of Lariam experiences, controversy rises about pros and cons of taking mefloquine.
Malaria is a serious, sometimes deadly, parasitic infection that is transmitted through mosquito bites in many tropical regions of world. Mefloquine, or Lariam, is most often prescribed preventative for disease. It is very effective at preventing disease and is usually safe to take, but adverse reactions that do occur are debilitating and possibly fatal. Forty-six people in Britain have already filed suits against drug’s manufacturer, Hoffmann-La Roche. Another 150 are in process of doing so and more than 500 more have contacted lawyers leading to action. In America, first Lariam lawsuit was filed by a 25 year-old Californian man who claims to have suffered crippling Lariam side effects for nearly 3 years.
The Yellow Card scheme, a system through which doctors abroad file concerns with Committee on Safety of Medicines, reported 1505 adverse reactions to mefloquine between 1990 and 1998. Five of these cases resulted in death. This seems like a very small number until one considers results of a 1996 survey finding that only 10.15% of suspected adverse mefloquine reactions are reported. The true incidence of negative side effects could be much higher.
So what are these side effects? Serious side effects to mefloquine include dizziness, depression, psychosis, epileptic seizures, fits, suicide, and Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS). SJS is a rare but often fatal skin disease. A 7 year-old girl died of Stevens Johnson Syndrome just this year after taking Lariam for a family vacation. According to its own internal documents, Roche pharmaceuticals has received over 3,000 reports of psychiatric problems associated with Lariam, from nightmares, depression, hallucinations, to paranoia, psychosis, and aggression. Lariam was also a suspected part of Fort Bragg murders in 1992, when four army officers on leave from Afghanistan (where they were prescribed Lariam) killed their wives on an army base in South Carolina. Two of officers then killed themselves.