93.1. Kiss FM – Ask A Lawyer – Part 1 – January 2022

Ask A Lawyer - Michael Gopin

Mike: You think you have the shivers now, wait until tomorrow, tomorrow morning. It will be like in the mid to upper 20s tomorrow. You’ll have the shivers then.

Tricia: Yeah.

Mike: Mike and Tricia Mornings on 93.1. Kiss FM, and it’s time to “Ask A Lawyer,” specifically Michael Gopin. You have questions. He has answers. And now I have his microphone on.

Michael: Well good, thank you.

Mike: There you go. See, I told you he was really here. I told you we weren’t making it up.

Tricia: Okay, first question up. We’ve got Michael. He said, we saw your toxic baby food commercials, and we’re wondering, which baby foods are included, and should we stop feeding our kids these certain types of foods?

Michael: Well, there is quite a few different baby food manufacturers who have been…had problems with this Beech-Nut, Gerber, Hain Celestial Group, Nurture, Plum, Sprout Foods, Walmart, Parents’ Choice. So there’s quite a few different entities that have been pointed out to be having these levels of toxic metals, higher than the FDA approval. Some of them have taken those products off the market. Some of them have not. So I would definitely be careful. I would research it. Make sure you’re giving the kids, you know, proper food that’s healthy. Now there are plenty of sites now that talk about baby foods testing, great, and don’t have the toxic elements in them. So that information is available. So I would use it and follow it, and make sure you protect your baby.

Mike: What if they all use, like, the same recipe or something? Because that’s kind of…isn’t that kind of rare with so many different companies.

Michael: Well, these heavy metals are naturally in food, so it just has to be at a certain level to be safe. So I mean, lead, arsenic, mercury, all these different toxic elements are in our food and our water. But if they rise to a level that’s too high, that’s when it becomes dangerous and can cause problems, which it has in these infants. And these young kids. So that’s the issue and the problem.

Tricia: Well, and since their systems aren’t really designed to handle those yet. I mean, they’re, you know, it’s a lot more toxic to them in smaller amounts. Joanne says, also about the types of toxic baby foods, what types of neurological disorders are involved? And would autism be one of the symptoms developed from a toxic baby food?

Mike: Yes. In fact, autism is the big one. Autism and attention deficit disorder, those are the two problems that we see mostly in these cases. So if your child has those two issues, and you fed them these types of foods, that’s where you may have a potential case and connecting the dots here.

Tricia: Okay. Okay.

Mike: All right, we’re doing “Ask A Lawyer” with Michael Gopin.

Tricia: Okay. Gilbert says, my son was involved in a car accident but wasn’t the driver. He was the passenger in a friend’s vehicle. And they were struck at an intersection by another driver. Unfortunately, the son wasn’t wearing his seatbelt. Sustained some serious injuries. Had to be taken by ambulance to the hospital. So now Gilbert wants to know, who’s responsible and where should he file a claim?

Michael: We can certainly help you with that, Gilbert. In terms of filing a claim, we’d have to look at the facts of the accident and determine which of the two drivers were at fault, the car that you were in, or the other vehicle. From your description, I don’t think even you know which of the drivers were at fault. We know for sure your passenger’s son was not negligent in any way, so he’s going to be safe. So he may have a case where he has to make a claim against both of these drivers, his friend, and the other vehicle, or it may be clear that one of these cars was at fault.

The fact that you weren’t wearing a seatbelt, they could use that against you in damages. In other words, if you wore your seatbelt, perhaps you wouldn’t have been injured as badly. So they could try to attack your son that way. But typically, that won’t happen, but certainly, if the case goes to a trial, and they find out he wasn’t wearing a seatbelt, that could certainly be an issue.

Tricia: Okay. Okay. And Maria says, with COVID cases rising and a lot of people getting infected, she’s kind of struggling to leave her home to go to work. She says, her employer will not allow her to work from home and is threatening to fire her if she doesn’t go in. She says, is there anything I can do about this? I don’t feel like my employer is practicing the right methods to protect employees from the virus in the office.

Michael: Well, your employer has the absolute right to tell you to come to work. So you’re in a difficult situation. I understand, you know, to protect your health, and psychologically you may feel that you need to stay at home. So at some point, you may have to decide, which is more important to you, keeping this job, finding another job, or staying healthy. You can certainly wear a mask at work and isolate from people 6 feet away and more to make it safer for you. However, if the employer wants you to be at work because they believe it’s more efficient and more effective for their business, they certainly have the right to do that.

Mike: As far as protecting his or her employees, there’s not really any mandate or anything like that, right? I mean, there…

Michael: No. There is no mandate. I mean, common sense prevails. I mean, so you don’t want to put your people in a situation where they’re more likely to, you know, get COVID.

Mike: Sure. But if the employer doesn’t want to do anything, there’s nothing to prevent him from not doing anything, correct?

Michael: True.

Tricia: Now, I’ve heard a lot of cases where people are told, don’t wear a mask. You know, like, the employers are saying, look, you know, whatever. I mean, just I don’t want you to wear a mask here. Can they do that? Can they say, you know what? No, I’m not going to have you walking around here with a mask on?

Michael: I haven’t personally heard of companies doing that type of thing. I think that if you brought that up to, you know, HR or something, you know, they would, you know, allow you to wear a mask. I don’t see how that would be harming the business in any way, or making your job less effective any way that I can think of, unless, you know, you were needing your voice, and maybe your voice was muffled or something of that nature. But in terms of wearing a mask, I don’t think it will detract from your work performance in any way.

Mike: But would that be up to the employer?

Micheal: Technically, it would be, but I would be very surprised if an employer was that unreasonable to…

Mike: No. Yeah. They’re…

Michael: You never know, right?

Mike: Yeah. No, I’ve…

Tricia: They’re out there. Yeah.

Mike: Yes. Absolutely, man. Absolutely.

Tricia: I’ve actually heard callers tell me…listeners tell me, yeah, my boss says no, you cannot wear your mask while you’re at work. And I’m like, what?

Mike: Yeah. You’ll make me look bad.

Tricia: Or they just don’t believe in it.

Mike: All my QAnon friends will laugh at me.

Tricia: Right. Exactly.

Michael: Politics.

Mike: Okay, we’re playing. We’re doing “Ask A Lawyer”…We are playing, but we’re doing “Ask A Lawyer” with Michael Gopin. We’ll be right back and answer a few more of your questions.

Michael J. Gopin

Michael J. Gopin has practiced law in El Paso since 1987. Even after more than 30 years, he still remembers his first jury case. It was two weeks after receiving his license, when he represented a person whose life had been forever changed after being blinded in a work-related incident...


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