Education and Retraining Key for Recovery From Work Or Motor Vehicle Injury – Is The Oil Boom Ending?

When injured on the job, or in a car wreck, sometimes injured folks are not able to return to their past work, because it is too heavy or otherwise too physically demanding. Sometimes folks have permanent impairment from a work injury, occupational disease, or other injury, that makes many kinds of work no longer something they can do or sustain. When the past work or trade was skilled and high paying, and the person cannot go back, it can be devastating the injured person and their family.  Retraining can help many of these folks obtain skills that will help them make as much or more in a new field, to enter a career that pays as well or more than past work, and has better long term prospects with less risk of injury.  This challenge is something many folks are not prepared to face, and need guidance.  Also, advanced education is not as accessible or as affordable as it could be.  With the impending slow down of high paying jobs in the Baaken oil patch in eastern Montana and western North Dakota, the value of job skills and training are likely to be as important as ever.

The production in North Dakota and eastern Montana continues, but the sector is vulnerable. Much of the industry is working hard to keep the production going in the Bakken and the jobs alive:

Many Montana residents have been injured in motor vehicle wrecks, truck wrecks, and industrial accidents and injuries in the Bakken, both in Montana and North Dakota.  Many Montana residents have been injured in North Dakota while working for Montana employers, covered by Montana workers’ compensation coverage.  These injuries often take the worker out of high paying work. If they cannot go back to the oil fields and those high paying jobs, the question becomes, what is next?  Education and training are often the best answer.

However, of the expenses a family incurs that have risen far more than the cost of inflation – higher education and medical expenses have been prominent. Over the past 20 years,  the costs of college education, especially at private universities, and health care, have been increasing so fast that they have frequently been in the news.  When someone suffers a significant injury in a car accident, regardless of the settlement, the insurance company does not provide or recommend a vocational counselor, or give career and rehabilitation planning advice. They don’t have an interest in the rehabilitation of the injured person, or have the links and roots in the community to vocational and educational resources. This is one of the many ways a local personal injury, workers’ compensation, and social security disability law firm can be of assistance to the innocent victim of someone else’s negligence.  At Bliven & Evans, we a Kalispell, Montana injury law firm, that represents injured folks against the insurance companies and their lawyers.  We are Montana personal injury and accident attorneys that represent the injured, every day of the week, not the insurance companies – not ever.

We represent injured workers in workers’ compensation claims, not employers or insurers – not ever.

In Montana workers’s compensation claims, vocational retraining is sometimes offered by the workers’ compensation carrier – and often not offered at all – as one has to prove a significant amount of disability and a “handicap to employment” under the statute, MCA 39-71-1006. Rehabilitation benefits. 

“(1) A worker is eligible for rehabilitation benefits if: 
     (a) (i) the worker meets the definition of a disabled worker as provided in 39-71-1011; or 
     (ii) the worker has, as a result of the work-related injury, a whole person impairment rating of 15% or greater, as established by objective medical findings, and has no actual wage loss; 
     (b) a rehabilitation provider, as designated by the insurer, certifies that the worker has reasonable vocational goals and reasonable reemployment opportunity. If eligible because of an impairment rating of 15% or more, with rehabilitation the worker will have a reasonable increase in the worker’s wage compared to the wage that the worker received at the time of injury. If eligible because of a wage loss, the worker will have a reasonable reduction in the worker’s actual wage loss with rehabilitation. 
     (c) a rehabilitation plan is agreed upon by the worker and the insurer and a written copy of the plan is provided to the worker. The plan must take into consideration the worker’s age, education, training, work history, residual physical capacities, and vocational interests. The plan must specify a beginning date and a completion date. The plan must specify the cost of tuition, fees, books, and other reasonable and necessary retraining expenses required to complete the plan.”

In our experience, when a plan is offered by the insurer and their vocational counselor, it is often a minimal plan, designed as much (or more) to minimize the cost to the insurer as it is to assist the injured worker.  The vocational and rehabilitation counselor the insurer chooses – as the insurer gets generally to choose under Montana law – has the difficult task of developing a plan that will assist the worker get into another job within the worker’s capacities, but also a plan the claims adjuster that hired them will approve.  Therefore, even when retraining is offered by the insurer,  the program or benefits are too often do not fully take advantage of the  the remedies available under Montana law – or as helpful as they could be.  It often requires a committed and knowledgeable injured workers’ attorney to seek and retain a vocational rehabilitation specialist to evaluate the injured worker’s limitations and a develop a suitable retraining program. At Bliven & Evans, Trial Lawyers, P.C., we find it often necessary to consult or retain an independent vocational rehabilitation specialist to evaluate and develop the plan the insurer retained vocational counselor should do. Often, that program involves a proposal for retraining at our local community college, or another program in Montana.

Under Montana law, when an worker has a compensable on the job injury or disease, and they suffer a wage loss as, they can qualify for up to 104 weeks of training.

“(2) A disabled worker is entitled to receive biweekly rehabilitation benefits at the worker’s temporary total disability rate. The benefits must be paid for the period specified in the rehabilitation plan, not to exceed 104 weeks. The rehabilitation plan must be completed within 26 weeks of the completion date specified in the plan. Rehabilitation benefits must be paid biweekly while the worker is satisfactorily progressing in the agreed-upon rehabilitation plan. Rehabilitation benefits payable pursuant to a retraining rehabilitation plan under this section are not payable in a lump sum. Rehabilitation benefits may be paid in a lump sum for job placement services.
     (3) In addition to rehabilitation benefits payable under subsection (2), a disabled worker who was injured on or after July 1, 1997, is entitled to receive payment for tuition, fees, books, and other reasonable and necessary retraining expenses, excluding travel and living expenses paid pursuant to the provisions of 39-71-1025, as set forth in department rules and as specified in the rehabilitation plan. Expenses must be paid directly by the insurer. 
     (4) A worker may not receive temporary total benefits and the benefits under subsection (2) during the same period of time. 
     (5) A rehabilitation provider authorized by the insurer shall continue to assist the injured worker until the rehabilitation plan is completed. 
     (6) To be eligible for benefits under this section, a worker is required to begin the rehabilitation plan within 78 weeks of reaching maximum medical healing. 
     (7) A worker may not receive both wages and rehabilitation benefits without the written consent of the insurer. A worker who receives both wages and rehabilitation benefits without written consent of the insurer is guilty of theft and may be prosecuted under 45-6-301.”

Qualifying is difficult, and getting real vocational assistance is a challenge. Unfortunately,  many injured workers are not aware of the potential for vocational rehabilitation, and insurers and the vocational experts they hire do not make such programs available.  Likewise, absent advice, someone recovering from injuries in a car wreck may not see the opportunity to go back to school and use this setback as an opportunity to obtain education and skills that will benefit them for the rest of their work life. Another critical factors is that college education remains affordable and accessible at FVCC and similar institutions.

We are fortunate in the Flathead Valley to have an excellent college in Flathead Valley Community College, providing excellent educational opportunities at costs far below even public universities, and our college has many professional training programs, as well as the occupational trades.

Given the pull of the Bakken oil field in eastern Montana and western North Dakota as a source of high paying entry level work, and the improved economy, the enrollment at the college has gone down recently over what it was at the height of the recession.  However, given the crash in the price of crude oil per barrel in the past few months, that situation may be changing.  As of December 28, 2014, prices had fallen to $54 per barrel, which makes much of the recent oil development  in the United State and Alberta. The high paying entry level jobs driving employment in our region may be slowing – or grinding to a halt in the near future.

The challenges to full enrollment at many of the universities and colleges in the region may be coming to end, as the employment situation may be changing very soon. When looking at long term employment in high paying skilled work, education will always be a good investment, especially for younger workers.  However, even non-traditional students and those who have been in the work force for 20 years often find returning to college and updating their occupational skills, or even learning a whole new trade or professional skill to be a worthwhile investment that pays many fold over the years in increased earning capacity.

One of the most successful and prominent parts of FVCC has been its growth in the health sciences and allied health professions, bolstered by the completion of the new Broussard Center for Nursing and Health Sciences.

The college has many other technical and science fields, as well as trades.  Many local employers partner with the college to hire graduates of these programs.

When resolving an injury case, or workers’ compensation case, we counsel clients to consider taking the “lemons” given to them by the injury – including the disruption to employment and their physical capacities – and considering “making lemonade.”  This can be an opportunity to go back to college, or go to college for the first time, and gain valuable skills and certifications for work in a field with long term and steady employment prospects, including the health sciences and skilled trades.

Flathead Valley Community College has degree programs – that can be completed in two years (104 weeks) or less – in many areas that prepare graduates for careers in fields where they can earn a living wage, and many of these careers are in the health sciences, such as nursing, surgical technician, physical therapy assistant.  Other fields, such as the occupational trades, Department of Transportation (DOT) commercial drivers license and hazardous materials handling (HAZMAT). While the times change, so do the programs, as regional community colleges are usually more responsive to changes in economic conditions and employer needs for skilled workers than many four year colleges.At Bliven & Evans, Trial Lawyers, P.C., we do more than just get the case resolved.  We believe getting the medical bills and lost wages addressed, and obtaining fair settlements for our clients is not all we are about. In the course of our representation, we seek to provide clients with advice to assist them get not just appropriate treatment, but also vocational and other resources so that they can better their lives and recover as much as possible from the injury. We respect our clients to make their own decisions about how to recover and proceed, but we do offer guidance and advice to assist them in these and related areas, as we not just attorneys at law, but also counselors at law.  We often refer clients to vocational and educational resources so as well to assist them in the transition and recovery process.  We are willing to advance costs for such evaluations, when appropriate, for vocational and other evaluations so that we can fully advocate for our clients and their needs. This is part of the dedication to our clients.

When choosing a law firm to assist you after a work injury or car wreck, or other injury (or a disability claim), one of the many considerations is whether or not the firm represents insurance companies and employers most of the time, but then takes cases from the injured person when it happens to not be from one the the insurance companies or employers where they get most of their work.  In short, they play for either or any team as opportunity presents itself,  like some of the law firms in our area that advertise on the internet, or the phone book for injury cases. Can such a law firm really dedicate themselves fully and wholeheartedly to working for you, when they work of the insurance companies and the “bad guys” most of the time? Is their heart really in it when they take a case for an injured person, when in fact they are really defense trial lawyers who spend most of their time defending wrong doers, insurance companies and trying to defeat fair compensation to the injured, sick and disabled? At Bliven and Evans, Trial Lawyers, P.C., we are Montana Trial Lawyers (MTLA), members of the American Association of Justice (AAJ), and the National Organization of Social Security Claimant’s Representatives (NOSSCR), who have dedicated our adult work lives to representing and helping the injured, sick, and disabled.  Whether you retain our firm or not, we recommend that you seek help from a law firm dedicated to fighting every day for the injured – not the insurance companies, large self-insured employers,  and their friends.

We believe that a team of lawyers and staff committed to representing the injured, sick and disabled, with experience in these complimentary areas of law – and working with medical and rehabilitation professionals to assist us and our clients, provides our clients with the best possible representation and assistance. This has been our commitment, and will continue to be at Bliven & Evans, Trial Lawyers, P.C.

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Winter Driving Dangers – Considerations and Remedies

We have recently had the usual dangerous winter driving conditions in Kalispell,  Whitefish, Columbia Falls and other areas of Flathead County, Flathead valley, and surrounding areas, such as Lincoln County (Libby, Eureka), Lake County (Polson, Ronan, Mission Valley), Sanders County (Plains, Thompson Falls), Mineral County (St. Regis, Superior), and Glacier County (Browning, Cut Bank). The November ice rain, snow and ice gave way to December ice rain,  snow, ice, fog and and other dangerous conditions -particularly in northwest Montana  - as Flathead County sits on the west slope of the Swan Range of the Rocky Mountains. While one of the most beautiful places in the world, our weather can make driving more treacherous than it appears, even to local residents. The variable conditions can catch drivers off guard. Reference to local media shows us the dangers out on our roads, and sadly fatal car crashes are simply too common:

In all of Montana we have many injuries in car wrecks. Factors that contribute to the high rate of injury crashes include a unique combination:   high travel speeds, bad weather, challenging road conditions, and drunk driving – drunk driving that is unfortunately among the highest rates in the country.  According to the latest statistics available in a recent article linked below, Montana ranks second worst, with only North Dakota, our neighbor to the east, with higher (worse) rates:

2. Montana
Drunk driving deaths per 100,000: 9.0
 Total DUI arrests: 4,418 (9th lowest)
 Beer consumption per capita: 41.0 gallons (3rd highest)
Pct. of minors consuming alcohol: 29.7% (7th highest)
pct. of binge drinkers: 19.2% (17th highest)

“Montana was among the states with the highest youth consumption of alcohol and the highest rates of binge drinking among underage residents. Sadly, for every 100,000 people in the state, 3.8 underage residents were killed in drunk driving accidents, second highest in the country. Montana residents, on average, drank 41 gallons of beer per capita, more than all but two other states — North Dakota and New Hampshire. Nearly 20% of minors said they engaged in binge drinking over the prior 30 days, sixth highest in the country. In total, 19.2% of state residents said they engaged in binge drinking over the previous month, among the highest percentages in the country.”

Read more: States With the Most Drunk Driving – 24/7 Wall St. 

Kalispell, Columbia Falls, Whitefish and the other areas around Whitefish Mountain Resort (formerly known as Big Mountain, as it is still known to most local residents) and Glacier Park are beautiful and provide winter recreation second to none. However, local residents and visitors must always be mindful of the conditions and dangers on our roads.  Many of the visitors to the area find our  road system that has struggled to keep up with population growth continue to be a challenge. While we look forward to the completion of the US Highway 93 bypass, and we have had significant upgrades to our local infrastructure in the past few years, we sill are behind in terms of the infrastructure to handle the amount of traffic as our population grows and the number of visitors to Glacier National Park continues to set records.  This creates conditions that are dangerous for local residents and our visitors from other states – as well as Alberta, British Columbia, the rest of Canada. While many of our visitors are from states like Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin, the Pacific Northwest and other regions that see much snow and ice, we also have a large number of visitors each year from places like Texas, Arizona and California that do not. Car wrecks that occur even at low speeds can result in serious injuries – despite what insurance claims adjusters – and the “biomechanics experts” and insurance defense attorneys  they hire to defend their denials of fair compensation for these injuries say.

At this time of year, snow tires (whether with studs or similar), and careful driving are highly recommended. The use of seat belts at all times is also essential. The failure to utilize a seat belt and ejection from the vehicle are factors in many fatal car wrecks. Wearing a seat belt is a critical and well established way to reduce fatal injuries, regardless of the cause of motor vehicle crashes.  Another factor to consider is the time of day or night – at this time of year in particular given holiday parties – staying off the roads after midnight and recognizing that between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. that a rather significant percentage of drivers on the road that have been drinking – makes staying at home (or at the hotel etc.) a good decision.

One winter driving danger that folks do not consider – in addition to driving without adequate or appropriate tires, awareness of conditions, not using seat belts – is driving (or being a passenger) without adequate insurance coverage.

We have a high rate of uninsured and underinsured drivers in Montana. “Defensive driving” as far as we concerned, also includes carrying substantial uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage to protect your family and passengers from irresponsible drivers on the roads.  Underinsured motors coverage is some of the least expensive, and most critical coverage one can purchase. I have seen underinsured motorist coverage of $100,000 for $21 per year. The most challenging part of underinsured motorist coverage  is asking for it from your agent or the insurance company, and making sure everyone is covered under the policy you believe is covered under the policy.  “Full coverage” means that you have enough insurance and kind of insurance to meet your needs.  This includes having substantial med pay coverage, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. A good agent will strongly recommend adequate uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, even insist on it or require you to sign an acknowledgment and waiver if you decline it, or simply decline to write an inadequate policy. An agent should write the policy coverages and sell you a policy with adequate coverage that considers your potential expenses and potential lost earning capacity, among other factors. However, if buying a policy online or over the phone in a few minutes, it requires that the consumer be aware and seek the coverage, or even seek it from a different company if not offered.  This is a lot to ask of the consumer, and buyer beware.  Of the ways to save money on an auto policy, skipping underinsured motorist coverage is not the way. A better approach would be to increase the deductible for collision or comprehensive coverage.  Please also make sure that everyone who lives in your home is listed on the insurance policy, family member or not, so that the insurance company does not have that as a basis to try to deny coverage.

At Bliven & Evans, Trial Lawyers, P.C., the attorneys are happy to answer questions about your auto insurance converge, including reviewing your policy, and we counsel clients about getting coverage that will address their situation and needs to help protect their family in the event of a motor vehicle crash that results in injuries.

At Bliven & Evans, Trial Lawyers, P.C., we emphasize representing the insured, sick and disabled. Whether a car wreck, other injury, workers’ compensation injury, or disability claim, we have the skill, experience and dedication to assist you and your family. We are located in Kalispell, Flathead County, Montana, in the heart of the Flathead Valley. We are a law  firm the represents the innocent victims injured by the negligence and wrongful conduct of others. We do not represent the insurance companies – or the wrong doers. We are firmly rooted in the community, and we are here to serve you.

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Navitas Naturals© Expands Voluntary Recall for Organic Sprouted Chia Powder Products

Navitas Naturals©, the Superfood Company™, today announced an expansion of its voluntary and precautionary recall to include additional expiration dates of products containing Organic Sprouted Chia Powder, due to the possible presence of Salmonella.

“Based on investigations by FDA and California Department of Public Health, one of our suppliers Health Matters America Inc. has expanded their recall of Chia products. As a result, we are expanding our voluntary recall to include a broader date range of products. Our business depends on providing safe and healthy food and we will not take chances with our consumer’s wellbeing. Because of this priority, in an abundance of caution, we have deliberately and voluntarily expanded this recall” stated Zach Adelman, Chief Executive Officer of Navitas Naturals. Based on information from CDC we are not aware of any reported illnesses associated with the products included in this expanded date range.

The affected products were distributed nationally and include:

  • Navitas Naturals Organic Sprouted Chia Powder, 8oz, UPC 858847000369 all best by dates up to and including 11/22/2015
  • Navitas Naturals Omega Blend Sprouted Smoothie Mix, 8oz, UPC 858847000314 all best by dates up to and including 11/05/2015

Williams-Sonoma Omega 3 Smoothie Mixer, 8 oz, SKU 506436 all best by dates up to and including OC 2015

No other Navitas Naturals products are affected by this recall.

“We are continuing to work hand-in-hand with the FDA and California Department of Public Health. We take our responsibility to consumers very seriously and we are taking immediate actions within our supply chain and with our own quality assurance protocols to ensure this does not happen again” stated Adelman.

Consumers who have purchased either of these products are urged to not eat the products, and to dispose of them or return them to the store where they were originally purchased.

Salmonella is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses.

Customers with questions or who would like product replacements or refunds may contact 888-886-3879.

Kalispell attorneys, Bliven & Evans, represent injured  victims of Salmonella poisoning. If you or someone you know has been sick because of Salmonella or other bacteria from recalled food products,  or food borne illness contact the attorneys at Bliven & Evans for a free case evaluation. You may be entitled to payment of wage loss, medical expenses and other damages for food borne illness damages.

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Butte Car Accident Leaves one Dead

Authorities are reporting a teenage girl died in a single car accident in Butte on Thursday.

The Butte car accident occurred outside of highway 2 near the top of Pipestone Pass.

“The vehicle was traveling at what I believe to be a fairly high rate of speed for that road,” Klapan said. The driver was not wearing a seatbelt.

The Butte teen was driving westbound on the road when the vehicle crossed the eastbound lane and went off the left side of the road, causing the vehicle to become airborne. The vehicle rotated three-quarter times, landed no its front and overturned, coming to a stop on its roof. The vehicle burst into flames upon impact, according to MHP.

Speed was a factor.  It is unknown if alcohol was involved. More information is available here.

If you or someone you know has been seriously injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to recover damages. The attorneys at Bliven & Evans represent victims of car accidents in Montana.

Bliven & Evans is a full service Montana law firm with lawyers dedicated to car accidents, wrongful death, head injuries and other serious injuries. Our attorneys fight for car accident victims throughout the state of Montana, including, Whitefish, Lakeside, Butte, Kalispell, Columbia Falls, Missoula, Butte, Bozeman, Sydney and Billings.

For a free consultation, please visit our website or call (406) 755-6828

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Massive amounts of Ground Beef recalled due to possible presence of E.Coli, the 0157:H7 Contamination

The USDA recalled 10 lb. pageages of “National Beef” 80/20 Coarse Ground chuck.  The exact details can be found under the News Release portion of USDA. According to the Centers for Disease Control and


Prevention on a total of 33 persons have been infected with the deadly Shinga Toxin producing Escherichia coli commonly referenced as (STECO157:H7).  The major concern with this toxin is that for young children, the elderly or otherwise immune compromised individuals, may develop HUS.  HUS is a type of kidney failure that can result in kidney failure and death. Symptoms develop over a period of 4-7 days after consumption and include, vomiting, ,

Diarrhea along with high fever and fatigue.  If you have eaten this product and you are experiencing the above symptoms within the incubation period seek medical help immediately.

There have been no reports accounted for in Montana.  There have been 2 cases of HUS which have resulted as of this date. Hemolytic-uremic syndrome (or haemolytic-uraemic syndrome), abbreviated HUS, is a disease characterized by hemolytic anemia (anemia caused by destruction of red blood cells), acute kidney failure (uremia), and a low platelet count (thrombocytopenia). This condition is often caused by the STEC) 157:H7 toxin.   In other outbreaks it has led to death.  In many situations physicians will treat symptoms with anti-biotics.  This makes the situation worse in most cases.  If HUS is detected in my opinion only a top level trauma center would be recommended.  Since there are no such trauma centers here in Montana or Flathead County, patients in my experience have been successfully treated at Sacred Heart in Spokane, Harbor View, and Oregon Health Sciences University Hospital.

The Department of Agriculture has detected the toxin from the National Beef Packing Co. in Liberal Kansas.  Approximately 23,000 pounds have been recalled.

Although no cases have been reported yet in Montana, the CDC is concerned that the beef may still be in freezers.  Moreover much of the plants products are sold to fast food distributors which could enlarge the outbreak to other states including Montana.  Moreover, the condition travels with you.  If you consume the product at a fast food restaurant in another state then you may suffer from the E. Coli although there are no reported cases here in Montana yet.  Often it takes a year to understand the full extent of an outbreak.

If you are unsure, contact your local health department they will take down your symptoms and compare them with those of the particular outbreak identified by the CDC. If you feel you have suffered food poisoning obtain medical attention without delay and contact our office to protect your legal rights.  We fight for those who suffer from unsafe food production.

Written by Scott L. Anderson, food poisoning attorney, licensed in Montana, Oregon Alaska 


WASHINGTON, June 18, 2013 – National Beef Packing Co., a Liberal, Kan., establishment, is recalling approximately 22,737 pounds of raw ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The following products are subject to recall:

• 10 lb. packages of “National Beef” 80/20 Coarse Ground Chuck, package code “0481.”
• 10 lb. packages of “National Beef” 81/19 Coarse Ground Beef, package code “0421.”
• 10 lb. packages of “National Beef” 80/20 Fine Ground Chuck, package code “0484.”

All these products have a “USE BY/SELL BY DATE” of June 14, 2013, and bear the establishment number “EST. 208A” inside the USDA mark of inspection.  The products were produced on May 25, 2013, and shipped to various institutions and retail establishments in Texas, Tennessee, Kansas, Mississippi, Illinois, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, and Arizona.  FSIS and the establishment are concerned that some product may be frozen and in shoppers’ freezers.

The problem was discovered through routine FSIS monitoring which confirmed a positive result for E.coli O157:H7. An investigation determined the firm was the sole supplier of the source materials used to produce the positive product.  FSIS and the company have received no reports of illnesses associated with consumption of these products.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers.  When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website at:

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Hamburger recalls endangers health of consumers in many states and may affect Montana and Oregon

WASHINGTON, June 18, 2013 – National Beef Packing Co., a Liberal, Kan., establishment, is recalling approximately 22,737 pounds of raw ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.
The following products are subject to recall:

• 10 lb. packages of “National Beef” 80/20 Coarse Ground Chuck, package code “0481.”
• 10 lb. packages of “National Beef” 81/19 Coarse Ground Beef, package code “0421.”
• 10 lb. packages of “National Beef” 80/20 Fine Ground Chuck, package code “0484.”
All these products have a “USE BY/SELL BY DATE” of June 14, 2013, and bear the establishment number “EST. 208A” inside the USDA mark of inspection. The products were produced on May 25, 2013, and shipped to various institutions and retail establishments in Texas, Tennessee, Kansas, Mississippi, Illinois, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, and Arizona. FSIS and the establishment are concerned that some product may be frozen and in shoppers’ freezers.

The problem was discovered through routine FSIS monitoring which confirmed a positive result for E.coli O157:H7. An investigation determined the firm was the sole supplier of the source materials used to produce the positive product. FSIS and the company have received no reports of illnesses associated with consumption of these products.
FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website at:

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Montana Highway Patrol Reports Increased Accidents in Flathead Valley

The Montana Highway Patrol reported an increase in traffic accidents in the Flathead Valley.

In the past two weeks, two fatal accidents occurred on Highway 2 in Kalispell. Although there has been an increase in recent Flathead Valley car accidents, the Montana Highway Patrol reported impaired accidents are down 35 percent.

Sergeant Jim Sanderson of the Montana Highway Patrol says they’re doing the best they can to make sure the roads are safe for drivers.

“The patrol has taken a very proactive stance on impaired driving,” said Sanderson.  “We’ve introduced A-RIDE schools to all patrol officers and most other agencies, which is Advanced Roadside Impaired Driver Enforcement, and we follow that up with a drug recognition expert program.”

To avoid an accident in the Flathead Valley, drivers should:

  • Never operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or prescription drugs; 
  • Avoid texting and driving;
  • Safely use headlights;
  • Remember to use flashers and turn signals;
  • Pull over and rest if you are tired;
  • Obey all safety laws; and
  • Lookout for pedestrians, bicyclists and other motorists.
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Bozeman Crash Injures Two

The driver of a Subaru caused a two-car accident in Bozeman after the driver of the Subaru turned left into oncoming traffic.

The Bozeman car accident occurred on Secondary Highway 205 and Valley Center spur.

A woman in a Subaru wagon sustained an injury to her face but was talking and coherent, Montana Highway Patrol Sergeant Patrick McLaughlin said. She was taken to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital. The second occupant of that vehicle was also taken to the hospital.

For updated information on the Bozeman crash, visit KAJ18

ANDERSON, BLIVEN & EVANS, a Kalispell law firm with three attorneys who represent personal injury clients, aggressively represents the victims of car accidents in Bozeman and other towns in Montana including Kalispell, Whitefish, Columbia Falls, Kila, Lakeside, Polson, Missoula and throughout the state of Montana.

For Montana residents injured in a car accident, we provide a free consultation to discuss your case. For most car accident cases, in Bozeman, Kalispell, Missoula or elsewhere, we represent car accident clients on a contingency basis. We aggressively represent our clients rights to reach a fair and just outcome, inside or outside of the courtroom.


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Drummond Car Accident Injures Three

A single car accident near Drummond injured three Sunday afternoon. The vehicle was traveling east on Interstate 90 when the vehicle lost control and rolled on the highway.

Montana Highway Patrol Trooper James Handy said the vehicle  was carrying three women when it rolled near mile marker 136. The driver and the passengers were all transported to St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula; one was taken there by Life Flight.

The crash is still under investigation.

“We’re not sure yet, there may have been another (vehicle involved) but they might not have even known it,” Handy said.

For more information on the Drummond Car Accident, please visit the Missoulian.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a rollover car accident in Montana, contact the personal injury attorney of ANDERSON, BLIVEN & EVANS, P.C. for a free consultation. Our Montana attorneys will discuss your car accident without charge.

If you or a family member has been seriously injured in an Interstate rollover crash, you may be entitled to advance payment of medical expenses, lost wages and other damages. Our Kalispell attorneys have handled thousands of car accident cases. We aggressively represent victims of car accidents throughout Montana, including Kalispell, Columbia Falls, Whitefish, Kila, Libby, Missoula, Sanders County, Great Falls, Billings, Bozeman and Butte.


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Kalispell Car Accident Leaves 1 Dead and at Least 2 Seriously Injured

Three people were injured and one died Friday morning when a gray Nissan crossed the center line and struck a mini-can traveling in the opposite direction. It was the second fatal Kalispell car accident on Highway 2 this week.


According to Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Patrick Herman, the male occupant of a gray Nissan Sentra died, and the female occupant is in critical condition after the collision with a white minivan in the Highway 2 crash. The two passengers in the minivan, both men, were taken to receive medical treatment for non-life-threatening injuries, Herman said.

The driver of the car was killed on impact, with Lieb adding that a female passenger was critically injured in the Kalispell fatal car accident and was taken by Alert Helicopter to Kalispell Regional Medical Center. The driver of the mini-van in the Kalispell car accident is hospitalized with serious injuries.

More information on the fatal Kalispell car accident can be found at the following news sources:

ANDERSON & BLIVEN, a Montana law firm with three Kalispell Lawyers, has helped thousands of clients and their families who were seriously injured in accidents like the Kalispell car accident described above.

Injured victims, and their spouses (in some circumstances) may be legally entitled to advance payment of medical expenses, lost wages and medical care.

If you or someone you know has been seriously injured or hurt in  a Kalispell car accident, our lawyers will provide a free consultation to discuss your case. In cases of serious injuries we can even visit you. Call now for a free consultation at (406) 755-6828


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