LETTERS: Fire Department’s rebuttal in ambulance feud doesn’t hold water

To the editor:

An article on the ambulance feud tells us that the city of Las Vegas has issued a nine-page rebuttal of a report issued by Applied Analysis (“LV defends ambulance service,” Tuesday Review-Journal). What is in this rebuttal that the city wants us to believe? That its figures, probably furnished by Fire Chief Willie McDonald, are more believable than American Medical Response’s figures in the Applied Analysis study?

The goal of Chief McDonald is to increase the size of his department, and to hell with the cost to the taxpayer. Does anyone believe he won’t be coming to the city for more money to buy ambulances and to hire more of those highly paid emergency medical technicians? Why is the city determined to put the screws to a taxpaying business while adding to its deficit?

Hopefully, cooler heads on the City Council will prevail, but let’s not bet on it.



Personal injury lawyers

To the editor:

Regarding Steve Sebelius’ May 16 column (“It’s time we realized that lawyers are people, too”), it was interesting to see two lieutenant governor candidates toss around the term “personal injury attorney” as a pejorative, especially since one — state Sen. Mark Hutchison — is a lawyer whose website claims to do just that type of work. It’s a shame to see a colleague abandon his professional practice for personal political gain.

Let’s take a look at the type of work our candidates feel isn’t good enough for Nevada’s citizens. Earlier this year, General Motors was forced to recall 2.6 million cars and trucks due to faulty ignition switches. Thirteen people were killed while GM ignored the reports of systemic problems, which would have cost just $1 to fix. Further, just this week, GM released five more recalls covering 2.7 million additional vehicles. This was done due to safety concerns.

So how did the dangers come to light? Through trial lawyers doing personal injury work. Lawyers have been helping people year in and year out, for a great many decades.

How about the notorious example of the Ford Pinto? The Pinto, first introduced in 1971 by Ford Motor Company, gained nationwide attention after causing injuries and deaths associated with its faulty fuel tank. A cost-benefit analysis, titled “The Ford Pinto Memo,” became public shortly after, and it revealed not only Ford’s knowledge of the vehicle’s design flaws, but also that it would have cost only an additional $11 per vehicle per year to change. Regardless, Ford figured it was a better decision to pay settlements for “burn deaths” and “serious burn injuries,” rather than correct the massive mistake.

Right here at home, approximately 40,000 Nevadans were put at risk of hepatitis C infection due to the ridiculous practices of re-using medicine supplies at Dipak Desai’s clinics. Drug makers were held liable as well, due to their knowledge of the dangerous ways in which their products were sold and marketed. It is due to trial lawyers doing personal injury work that these types of dangerous practices ended, and that harmful drugs and products are removed from public use.

We work each day to defend our citizens against the insurance industry and big businesses when they become wrongdoers creating harm by putting profits over people. Every day, people walk into my office (those who can) after being harmed by others. You cannot help but be moved by their stories of pain and loss. It is an honor to help them navigate our system and help put their lives back together, while also proactively protecting others from the same fate.

Trial lawyers are proud of the work we do for those most in need after being victimized by the wrongful actions or inaction of others. We carry that badge with pride. Unfortunately, some political candidates don’t share that same value.



Minimum wage

To the editor:

It certainly appears that the Obama administration is focused on its leftist goal of making private business suffer or fail altogether by mimicking policies tried in many European nations. No issue better supports the belief that the White House is waging a war on business than its stand on raising the minimum wage to unrealistic levels.

True, as the media depicts and as demonstrations profess, it is virtually impossible to raise a family on a minimum-wage job, although with the entitlement programs available (food stamps, rent subsidies, insurance premium subsidies, etc.) and additional wage earners in the family, people manage, even during these difficult times.

Traditionally, minimum-wage jobs have not been considered career opportunities to support a family. Those filling these jobs are often young people seeking entry-level work with ambitions to improve their incomes, students seeking part-time income, retirees wishing to supplement their Social Security, and second-wage earners. These are the groups who would be harmed by an inflated minimum wage, as these jobs would dry up. The administration seems focused on appealing to those with low job skills by promising them top dollar for jobs requiring minimal skills.

If American business was not handicapped with probably the highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world, along with burdensome regulatory demands and Obamacare, it could more than compete internationally. A lower corporate tax and less regulation would lead to a tremendous supply of good-paying jobs. But business owners have to be here to sign paychecks, rather than relocating to other countries due to America’s burdensome business climate.




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