Charles D. Hankey Interviewed on Fox 59 Regarding Slander and Internet Anonymity

Charles D. Hankey was recently interviewed for his thoughts on a recent Indiana court case regarding free speech and internet anonymity. The case involved an anonymous poster, going by the username DownwiththeColts, who commented on an Indianapolis Star article about a Junior Achievement construction project’s funding struggles, saying, “This is not JA’s responsibility. They need to look at the FORMER president of JA and others on the board. The ‘missing’ money can be found in their bank accounts.” The former CEO, Jeff Miller, accused the commenter of slander and requested that his or her identity be revealed by the Star, which refused.

An Indiana court of appeals ruled in Miller’s favor, requiring that the commenter come forward in order to be identified. As Mr. Hankey noted, this decision was an important decision in terms of both protecting free speech while acknowledging the responsibility that individuals must take for their speech. Noting that the court determined DownwiththeColts’ comments to be “defemation per se,” Mr. Hankey outlines his reasons for believing the decision was correctly reached, noting that the person was “not really a whistleblower,” but simply someone who made baseless claims after the story had gone up.

You can view the video of the interview below.

Sandy prevents NE residents from receiving Social Security checks

While the northeast is still struggling to recover from Hurricane Sandy and now a new, snowy weather system moving through the area, hundreds of thousands who depend on Social Security paper checks each month are left empty handed.

Mail service for many areas of New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut is still disrupted a week and a half later, Reuters reports. Although 94 percent of Social Security recipients collect their benefits electronically, 229,000 disabled and/or retired residents in New York still receive paper checks, as do 43,000 Connecticut residents and 92,000 New Jersey residents.

The Social Security Administration is switching all Social Security payments electronically on March 1st, 2013. At that time, recipients can receive their money through direct deposit, DirectExpress debit cards, and ETA banks or credit unions.

If you or someone you know need help applying for Social Security Disability Insurance, contact the experienced SSDI lawyers of the Hankey Law Office, P.C. by calling 17-634-8565.


National Disability Employment Awareness Month is this month

Employees with disabilities have contributed greatly to the American workforce and economy. To honor their hard work, the Department of Labor declared October to be National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM).

The month also helps those who employ disabled people reaffirm their decision to offer equal employment opportunities.

This year’s NDEAM theme is “A Strong Workforce is an Inclusive Workforce: What Can YOU Do?” The Department of Labor offers suggestions on what you can do to raise awareness and be more inclusive.

Unfortunately, some disabilities are so severe they preclude a person from being able to work. If you are living with a disability that prevents you from working, contact the Indiana long-term disability attorneys of the Hankey Law Office, P.C., at 317-634-8565 to learn about how a lawyer can help you find and apply for the disability benefits you need to make ends meet.

Man kidnapped for Social Security checks was locked in basement

Police in Philadelphia rescued a 63 year-old man who they believe was held against his will in a basement so his captor could steal his Social Security checks. The victim, who is deaf and mute, was held in the basement for four months.

According to the Washington Post, the man told police his captor beat, punched, and threatened him during his imprisonment. He was given very little food while he was there. Authorities say they found the man through a tip.

His captor, a 56 year-old man, is believed to have kidnapped him after giving him a ride after work. The suspect is believed to be an acquaintance of the disabled man’s family. He has been charged with kidnapping, aggravated assault, and forgery, among others.

Demographic trends correlate to rise in SSDI recipients

In 2011, there were 8.3 million individuals receiving disability benefits in the United States. This number has been rising for the past few years, and a recent study has connected this rise to different demographic trends in the country.

These trends include the poor economy, more women in the workforce, and Baby Boomers reaching their 50’s. The struggling economy has left numerous Americans without proper jobs to support themselves and their families. These individuals turn towards disability benefits in order to maintain their finances.

Women have increased their presence in the workforce since the 1970’s, and this has resulted in more working individuals suffering from workplace accidents and injuries. Baby Boomers reaching their 50’s has played the largest role in the disability benefits increase, due to the fact that the percentage of individuals receiving disability benefits who are older than 45 grew by more than 1o percent in recent years.

If you have questions regarding the Social Security Disability application process, please contact an experienced SSDI lawyer at Hankey Law Office, P.C. by calling (800) 520-3633 today.

Volvo fined millions for recall delay

Volvo has been fined $1.5 million by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration after the automaker failed to notify the administration of safety defects in a timely manner. A federal law states that the car manufacturer must report an impending recall to the NHTSA within five business days.

Due to Volvo’s delay, fines were issued. The Swedish car company has agreed to pay the fine to avoid litigation. In a public statement, Volvo apologized for the delays and asserted its focus on consumer safety.

More than 32,000 cars were recalled between 2010-2012 for defects such as stalling engines, defective airbag deployments, and incorrect tire-pressure labeling.

If you or a loved one has been injured by an automobile defect, contact the auto defect attorneys of the Hankey Law Office, P.C. by calling (800) 520-3633.

Cornell fraternity found guilty for teenager’s hazing death

Cornell University’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter was found guilty last week of first-degree hazing, a class D felony, and providing alcohol to a minor after a 19 year-old pledge died during a hazing ritual.

Members of the fraternity kidnapped the teenager at his home, bound his hands and feet with duct tape and zip ties, and then forced him to drink alcohol until he passed out. He would never regain consciousness and was later found to have a blood alcohol level more than four times over the legal limit.

According to Reuters, members will not be sentenced since the court considers the fraternity a corporation. The deceased’s parents have since filed a $25 million wrongful death suit.

SSDI benefits to be cut by 21% in four years

Trustees at the Social Security Administration and Medicare say that Social Security Disability Insurance recipients can expect a 21 percent cut in their monthly checks within the next four years. As the economy struggles, Americans are more likely to file for assistance once their unemployment benefits expire.

According to the OECD, when unemployment increases by one percent, disability applications increase by ten percent. There are several other reasons why the program is wearing thin, such as the expansion of disability criteria and the fact that almost all recipients never return to work.

Currently, one in eight working-aged adults receive disability benefits. More than a third of all benefits are for mental and mood disorders, such as depression and anxiety.

If your claim has been denied and you would like to learn how a Social Security Disability lawyer can help you, contact the Hankey Law Office today at (317) 634-8565.

Motorcyclist seriously injured in Pendleton accident

An Anderson motorcyclist suffered serious injuries when he lost control of his Harley Davidson in Pendleton, located 30 miles northeast of Indianapolis, drove off the roadway, and struck a utility pole.

The 40 year-old man was traveling south on Indiana 9 last Thursday night when the accident occurred. He was life-flighted to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis with blunt force trauma to his chest and head injuries.

According to the Herald Bulletin, a report of a motorcycle theft was received by the Madison County Sheriff’s Department just prior to the accident. The woman who called in theft said a man paid for a white Harley Davidson with counterfeit bills. Police are investigating if the two events are related.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact the motorcycle accident attorneys of the Hankey Law Office at (317) 634-8565.

14 year-old driver arrested for car accident

A 14 year-old girl is in police custody after Indianapolis Metropolitan police say she was driving a car that crashed into a tree on South Mickley Avenue, seriously injuring three passengers.

The teen faces three counts of criminal recklessness causing bodily injury and driving without having received a license. Authorities say she was speeding when she lost control of the vehicle, veered off the roadway, and hit a tree. The car burst into flames on impact.

Two of the passengers, both 13 years-old, are in the hospital in stable condition. One other passenger remains in critical condition, the Indy Star reports.

If you have sustained injures in a car accident due to someone else’s carelessness, contact the experienced legal professionals at the Hankey Law Office by calling (317) 634-8565 today.