Larry F., Former Client

"I'm not sure where I would be today if it weren't for Justin and the law firm he is with... You become a part of the family the day you become a client and there is nothing more satisfying... If you want the best, the most terrific, then this is the man you want as your attorney."

Ben C., Former Client

"They're good people, plain and simple. I had the opportunity to work with Justin Demerath on a few issues. One where he had nothing to gain financially and the other, he did. There was no difference in his demeanor, the way he treated me or his intent. He just wanted to help in any way he could."

Herbert F., Former Client

"I want to thank you Justin for a job well done. My case was certainly a difficult one as attested to by the number of rejections I had before your name was given to me... You were up front about my chances for a win, never denying the road blocks that certainly would arise. I was impressed by the professional manner in which you handled my case."

Melanie S., Former Client

"The service I received from Justin Demerath has been unparalleled in every aspect. He is very professional, concise, and empathic towards his clients. My settlement exceeded my expectations on my collarbone injury case, in result of his strong desire for success."

Teresa P., Former Client

"WOW! I haven't seen this kind of customer service in years. Justin visited with me on the phone until all my questions were answered. He was extremely helpful, gracious, pleasant, willing, professional and very nice."

"In the midst of dealing with insurance, body shop, doctors and staff all of whom were 'just doing their job'... Justin was a ray of sunshine on a very gloomy day in my life. He made me feel very comfortable and encouraged me to continue with my questions... Thank you Justin...God bless you."

Jon S., Former Client

"Fantastic Representation. Justin Demerath represented me in a motorcycle accident where I was injured severely. The outcome was a best case scenario based on the realities of the at-fault driver. I received the largest settlement that was available and it turned out well. That was the bottom line, but what I wanted to comment on was Justin's willingness to explain each step of the process and his personal interest in my case. He came to visit me at my house while I was still unable to walk and his competence and ability to put things in simple terms allowed me to feel comfortable to take the details of my case off my plate and put it in his hands."

Nancy C., Former Client

"I am just so impressed in your scientific and legal knowledge. Your commitment and enthusiasm goes beyond compare. Should I ever need your services again or if someone I know needs your expertise, I will not hesitate to give you and call or make a referral."

Jay B., Former Client

"My experience with the insurance companies over the 15 months following the accident was frustrating... I admit I was also reluctant to find a personal injury lawyer, based on the stereotype of personal injury lawyers that I had ... I no longer carry that stereotype with me, I've since learned better."

Cindy R., Former Client

"Great Representation. I was involved in an auto accident two years ago and, after unsatisfactory dealings with the insurance company of the other driver, I hired Justin Demerath to represent me in my claim for medical bills coverage.... Mr. Demerath is a true professional whose compassion for his clients and for the law is first rate."

Motorcycle Accident / Product Liability

Gross Recovery:$2,275,000.00
Client Net:$1,285,861
Attorney Fees:$910,000
Expenses:$79,138.18
Medical Bills:In excess of $170,438.09
A Retired motorcyclist was killed as a result of injuries sustained when a commercial truck hit his vehicle due to a defective design in the vehicle. Our firm represented 3 of 4 surviving children of the deceased, as well as jointly representing the estate of the deceased cyclist. The values stated are for all children as well as the Estate.
Disclaimer:
Past case values are not an accurate predictor of future results, nor the value of any potential client's particular situation. These case results are based upon unique and specific factual and legal circumstances. Each case is different. The same or similar results may not be able to be obtained for other clients in similar matters.

Product Liability

Gross Recovery:$2,025,000.00
Client Net:$810,153.07
Attorney Fees:$810,000.00
Expenses:$58,831.93
Medical Bills:In excess of $640,000.00
Partial blindness, memory loss, and brain damage suffered by a worker as a result of an unexpected vehicle rollover of a defective product.
Disclaimer:
Past case values are not an accurate predictor of future results, nor the value of any potential client's particular situation. These case results are based upon unique and specific factual and legal circumstances. Each case is different. The same or similar results may not be able to be obtained for other clients in similar matters.

Auto Accident

Gross Recovery:$1,850,000.00
Client Gross:$1,025,107.50
Client Net:$690,651.27
Attorney Fees:$671,000.00
Expenses:$152,430.75
Medical Bills:In excess of $339,982.00
Auto accident with a commercial vehicle which ran a red light causing a young man severe injuries that resulted in back surgery and prevented him from returning to work. The commercial vehicle driver was killed in the accident, and toxicology results showed him to be under the influence of marijuana while on the job.
Disclaimer:
Past case values are not an accurate predictor of future results, nor the value of any potential client's particular situation. These case results are based upon unique and specific factual and legal circumstances. Each case is different. The same or similar results may not be able to be obtained for other clients in similar matters.

Auto Accident

Gross Recovery:$1,250,000.00
Client Net:$671,000
Attorney Fees:$500,000
Expenses:$17,000
Medical Bills:$62,000
After serving two tours in Iraq, our client was hit by a commercial vehicle, suffering multiple broken bones and a spine injury. He was honorably discharged from the military due to his injuries and had a limited ability to earn a living.
Disclaimer:
Past case values are not an accurate predictor of future results, nor the value of any potential client's particular situation. These case results are based upon unique and specific factual and legal circumstances. Each case is different. The same or similar results may not be able to be obtained for other clients in similar matters.

Apartment Fire - Negligent Design of an Apartment Complex

Gross Recovery:$950,000.00
Client Net:$288,300.20
Attorney Fees:$378,300.20
Expenses:$251,730.48
Medical Bills:In excess of $532,393.34
Following a fire that destroyed their home and badly burned their children, a family of four hired our firm to represent them against their apartment building that lacked the proper fire exits.
Disclaimer:
Past case values are not an accurate predictor of future results, nor the value of any potential client's particular situation. These case results are based upon unique and specific factual and legal circumstances. Each case is different. The same or similar results may not be able to be obtained for other clients in similar matters.

Negligence - 18-Wheeler Accident

Gross Recovery:$900,051.64
Client Net:$540,305.24
Attorney Fees:$279,000.00
Expenses:$65,619.78
Open highway 18-wheeler accident, leading to the death of our client. We represented the Estate of the deceased, the widow of the deceased, as well as two adult children of the deceased when a wheel separated from a trailer. The values stated herein are cumulative.
Disclaimer:
Past case values are not an accurate predictor of future results, nor the value of any potential client's particular situation. These case results are based upon unique and specific factual and legal circumstances. Each case is different. The same or similar results may not be able to be obtained for other clients in similar matters.

Product Liability / Defective Machinery

Gross Recovery:$785,000.00
Client Net:$494,488
Attorney Fees:$250,537
Expenses:$39,975.45
Medical Bills:In excess of $67,431.47
Construction worker's legs were crushed by a machine when the braking mechanism failed. Our client was in his 50's and unable to work at his chosen profession due to his injures.
Disclaimer:
Past case values are not an accurate predictor of future results, nor the value of any potential client's particular situation. These case results are based upon unique and specific factual and legal circumstances. Each case is different. The same or similar results may not be able to be obtained for other clients in similar matters.

Auto Accident

Gross Recovery:$600,000.00
Client Net:$330,643.88
Attorney Fees:$240,000.00
Expenses:$4,501.59
Medical Bills:In excess of $101,045.83
Mother and two minor sons were all injured in a multi-car accident in which they were hit from behind by a woman who hit the gas instead of the brakes. Our client's spine was fused in multiple locations, and her ability to earn a wage was limited.
Disclaimer:
Past case values are not an accurate predictor of future results, nor the value of any potential client's particular situation. These case results are based upon unique and specific factual and legal circumstances. Each case is different. The same or similar results may not be able to be obtained for other clients in similar matters.

Bus Accident

Gross Recovery:$410,000.00
Client Net:$240,693.11
Attorney Fees:$164,000.00
Expenses:$5,309.89
Medical Bills:In excess of $97,892.23
Man injured his spine in an auto accident involving a charter bus on Interstate Highway 35.
Disclaimer:
Past case values are not an accurate predictor of future results, nor the value of any potential client's particular situation. These case results are based upon unique and specific factual and legal circumstances. Each case is different. The same or similar results may not be able to be obtained for other clients in similar matters.

Auto Accident

Gross Recovery:$152,500.00
Client Net:$84,609.24
Attorney Fees:$50,325.00
Expenses:$892.93
Medical Bills:In excess of $67,119.28
Teenager involved in a single-car rollover accident in which she was ejected from the passenger seat of the vehicle she was riding in and fractured her skull.
Disclaimer:
Past case values are not an accurate predictor of future results, nor the value of any potential client's particular situation. These case results are based upon unique and specific factual and legal circumstances. Each case is different. The same or similar results may not be able to be obtained for other clients in similar matters.

Product Liability / Defective Design

Gross Recovery:$150,000.00
Client Net:$94,151.42
Attorney Fees:$49,500.00
Expenses:$6,348.58
Medical Bills:In excess of $47,704.60
A wheelchair bound woman suffered broken legs due to the use of a customized shower chair that had faulty engineering rendering it an unreasonably dangerous product.
Disclaimer:
Past case values are not an accurate predictor of future results, nor the value of any potential client's particular situation. These case results are based upon unique and specific factual and legal circumstances. Each case is different. The same or similar results may not be able to be obtained for other clients in similar matters.

Auto Accident - Intoxicated Driver

Gross Recovery:$25,000.00
Client Net:$16,072.18
Attorney Fees:$8,332.50
Expenses:$595.32
Medical Bills:In excess of $17,892.00
Passenger injured in a vehicle T-boned by an intoxicated teenager who ran a stop light. The maximum amount of insurance was collected.
Disclaimer:
Past case values are not an accurate predictor of future results, nor the value of any potential client's particular situation. These case results are based upon unique and specific factual and legal circumstances. Each case is different. The same or similar results may not be able to be obtained for other clients in similar matters.

Auto Accident

Gross Recovery:$20,000.00
Client Net:$12,954.73
Attorney Fees:$6,660.00
Expenses:$385.27
Medical Bills:$31,018.92
Single-car accident. Passenger received soft tissue injuries when driver of her vehicle ran off the road to avoid hitting wildlife and flipped the car landing face down. The maximum amount of insurance was recovered.
Disclaimer:
Past case values are not an accurate predictor of future results, nor the value of any potential client's particular situation. These case results are based upon unique and specific factual and legal circumstances. Each case is different. The same or similar results may not be able to be obtained for other clients in similar matters.

Skillful and Aggressive Legal Representation

When you or a loved one has endured personal injury or wrongful death, you have the right to seek justice and compensation. O'Hanlon, McCollom & Demerath is committed to providing each and every one of our clients with compassionate advocacy and skillful, tireless, aggressive representation. Our number one priority is providing each client with the most desirable legal outcome to every issue they are facing.

We Value and Respect Every Client

We believe that every client deserves and should receive one-on-one access and attention. Legal issues can be daunting without the protection of knowledgeable and experienced lawyers. O'Hanlon, McCollom & Demerath is dedicated to resolving your unique situation with compassion and diligence.

Superior Client Services

At O'Hanlon, McCollom & Demerath we ensure seamlessly integrated work product and representation through our utilization of state of the art technology and resources. We are committed to providing our clients superior legal representation at every turn.

Commitment to Getting you the Compensation you Deserve

In our efforts to obtain compensation for our clients who have suffered injuries and the related indignities arising from the negligent actions of individuals and corporations, we pledge to provide you with a personalized, "no stone unturned" pursuit in achieving the most favorable outcome on your behalf in what are, undoubtedly, the most important and often life-changing situations you may ever experience.

Our clients never owe any fees unless we obtain financial settlement on their behalf. We will go the distance for you.

Contact Our Personal Injury Attorneys Today

O'Hanlon, McCollom & Demerath offers you a free one-on-one evaluation of your personal injury case. Our clients never pay for our legal services unless we obtain a successful recovery of compensation for you. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation with our experienced personal injury lawyers.

How do I choose the right attorney for my case?

When you or a loved one has suffered an injury, hiring an attorney is one of the most important steps you will take toward seeking compensation from those who are responsible for your injuries. This can be a daunting and complicated process if you have never before hired an attorney and do not know how it all works.

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What are my rights as a client?

If you ever have any questions about these rights, or about the way your case is being handled by your attorney, do not hesitate to express your concerns to your attorney. He or she should be readily available to represent your best interests and keep you informed about your case.

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What should I do immediately after an accident?

Just after an accident or other event which seriously injures your or a loved one you may not know what to do or where to turn for help, especially when you have been injured by the negligence or wrongdoing of another person, or in many instances, the manufacturer of defective equipment or other products.

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What is the Personal Injury Lawsuit Process?

After an accident in which you or a loved one are injured, and you have sought medical attention and have hired an attorney to handle your insurance claim, you may be on your way to becoming a plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit if the insurance company has refused to make a reasonable offer of settlement on your injury claim.

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Could ERISA reduce my claim recovery?

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, known as "ERISA", is a federal law that may allow your insurance company, or your employer's health plan, to recover its costs on your claim, from a settlement or trial verdict award you may receive as a result of a personal injury lawsuit. This is known as "subrogation", and is considered to be a complex area of law. Potential subrogation interests should be discussed with your personal injury attorney after his/her review of any subrogation clauses in your insurance policy or your employer's health plan provisions.

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What information will my attorney need from me?

When you or a loved one have been injured in any type of accident it is important to keep extensive documentation of the incident and your injuries. Your personal injury attorney will interact with insurance companies and defense attorneys on your behalf, and in order to make a proper claim for all the benefits you are entitled to, this documentation is necessary.

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Some of our Victories

Product Liability Victory

Our firm represented a golf course grounds keeper who, due to a mechanical design defect in the industrial mower he was operating, was crushed under the machine when it fell into 15 foot ravine. The client suffered partial blindness, memory loss, and permanent brain damage.

Widow Prevails in Wrongful Death Action

Justin Demerath, in joint representation with his father, Attorney Larry Demerath, represented the widow of a truck driver who was killed when his vehicle struck a large tire that had detached from another truck. Larry and Justin are pictured above with the client.

Successful Settlement

Our firm represented a family in a wrongful death action against a large trucking company when their father was struck and killed by an 18-Wheeler due to a defective brake pedal. The case settled prior to trial. The brothers are pictured above.

Trucking Accident Info

The Roads Are Dangerous
Large Trucks Present Substantial Safety Issues
How are truck accidents different than car accidents?
Factors Contributing to Truck Accidents
How is truck driver fatigue established?
What Regulations Govern Trucks and Their Drivers?
What if the truck accident occurred because the truck wasn't properly loaded?
What if the truck driver was not qualified to drive the truck involved in the accident?
Do truck drivers have to carry liability insurance?
When and why should I seek the services of an experienced attorney?

The Roads Are Dangerous

You see them on the road all the time – those huge trucks barreling down the highway. These trucks – call them 18-wheelers, semis, big rigs, or tractor-trailers. When driven properly, they are the life-blood of our economy, shipping goods from the suppliers to the consumers who need them. When things go poorly, negligence and inaction can cause these trucks to crash into passenger vehicles, and when they do, the passenger cars are no match for these metal mammoths.

Hundreds of thousands of accidents involving these trucks happen every year in the United States, and many are severely injured in these wrecks. Moreover, tens of thousands of people die as a result of these accidents.

If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident with a commercial truck (a bus, mail or delivery truck, or big rig), contact the attorneys at O’Hanlon and Associates with extensive experience in truck (18-wheeler, semi, big rig, and tractor trailer) accidents to discuss your specific case. Contact us here.

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Large Trucks Present Substantial Safety Issues

Dealing with truck accidents is different than dealing with ordinary collisions. These giant trucks require more care an diligence to operate because their size and shape create several obstacles

Long Stops. Increased mass equals increased space needed to stop. When you slam on the brakes in you car, you stop relatively quickly. This is not the case for big rig drivers. The substantial weight of the truck makes these vehicles much harder to stop. These 18-wheelers require a much longer stretch of road to come to a halt. Accordingly, rear-end collisions are a particular problem with semis.

Blind Spots. Because of the large size of these trucks, there are many blind spots. The driver if the tractor trailer may not see the care before he changes lanes, resulting in a collision in which the passenger car is severely outclassed in terms of weight.

Wide Turns. You’ve seen the signs – “this vehicle makes wide turns.” Pay heed to this warning, as a driver of the large truck may not see a car caught between the wall and the truck when the rig is turning.

Size and Weight. Passenger vehicles are not designed to collide with a truck weighing several tens of thousands of pounds. These large rigs have a weight advantage that is catastrophic for passenger vehicles in collisions. Also, these tall tractor trailers often collide with the passenger vehicles above the passenger vehicles’ safety cage with horrific results.

Cargo. These 18-wheelers carry cargo that can be thrown from the truck or shift and cause accidents. Additionally, some trucks can carry dangerous materials or chemicals, further contributing to the dangerousness of big rig accidents.

If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident with a commercial truck (a bus, mail or delivery truck, or big rig), contact the attorneys at O’Hanlon and Associates with extensive experience in truck (18-wheeler, semi, big rig, and tractor trailer) accidents to discuss your specific case. Contact us here.

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How are truck accidents different than car accidents?

Car accidents and truck accidents share many similarities. Either may be caused by speeding, reckless driving or failing to keep a proper look-out for other vehicles on the roadway. There are however certain conditions inherent in the driving of a truck which distinguish truck accidents from other vehicle collisions.

For example, the braking system on a semi tractor trailer is different than that of a car. Heavy trucks use compressed air to make the brakes work. Although air brakes are a safe way to stop large vehicles, it takes one-half second or more for the air to flow through the lines to the brakes which impacts the stopping distance for the vehicle. The air brake lag distance at 55 mph on dry pavement adds about 32 feet to the stopping distance. A truck driver traveling 55 mph under good traction and brake conditions must contend with a total stopping distance of over 300 feet, a distance longer than a football field. The additional time required to slow or stop a large truck impacts the speed at which the truck may be safely driven and the awareness the truck driver must have for the condition of traffic on the roadway.

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Factors Contributing to Truck Accidents

According to a National Transportation Safety Board has determined that driver fatigue is the predominant cause of big rig accidents. The following is a non-exhaustive list of the factors that lead to big truck accidents, in no order:

  • Driver fatigue
  • Excessive speed (driver is rushing)
  • tailgating
  • driver inattentiveness
  • mobile phone use
  • driver distraction
  • poor maintenance (tire pressure, tread depth, brake and headlights clean windshield)
  • faulty or poorly maintained brakes
  • inadequate mirrors (blind spots)
  • road rage or aggressive driving
  • rapid lane changes
  • breaking traffic laws (yield, etc.)
  • Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • too much cargo
  • cargo not secured properly

If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident with a commercial truck (a bus, mail or delivery truck, or big rig), contact the our personal injury attorneys with extensive experience in truck (18-wheeler, semi, big rig, and tractor trailer) accidents to discuss your specific case.

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How is truck driver fatigue established?

The driver may admit to police or witnesses that he is fatigued. Such statements may be reflected in the Accident Report completed by police at the scene. A driver may also make a similar statement to the dispatcher. A driver may appear fatigued when observed by police or other witnesses. Review of the truck driver's log may also be useful in establishing the amount of time on the roadway and to assess the likelihood of fatigue. Motor Carrier Safety Regulations regulate the permitted hours of service and require the driver to keep a log of their "duty status".

A wide range of sources must be analyzed to determine whether driver fatigue is a factor in causing an accident. It is important that you involve a lawyer in this process to speak with the witnesses to the collision, review the driver's log, obtain records associated with the maintenance of the vehicle, review the materials associated with the hiring of the driver and evaluate the potential avenues of recovery that are available.

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What Regulations Govern Trucks and Their Drivers?

The law mandates that a truck driver may not drive over a certain number of hours to reduce fatigue. Drivers are supposed to keep a detailed log to ensure compliance. Big rig drivers also must not drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Additionally, big rigs are not to carry more than a specific, allotted weight of cargo, and the trucks must undergo routine inspections and maintenance. Sometimes the drivers skirt or break these regulations designed to keep everyone on the road safe. Even if the rules were followed, you may be entitled to recovery.

Truck collisions are difficult to deal with. If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident with a commercial truck (a bus, mail or delivery truck, or big rig), contact the personal injury attorneys at our firm.

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What if the truck accident occurred because the truck wasn't properly loaded?

Federal safety regulations impose a duty on a carrier to secure the load safely. Different types of loads have their own requirements for being properly secured. A trucking company is not liable for defects which are not apparent upon a reasonable inspection of the load. The company is also not liable for sealed loads. However, a shipper may be liable where it improperly loaded its own truck, its employees negligently instructed the truck driver on the manner in which the cargo should be secured or if the truck driver was given false assurances as to the safety of the load. It is important to determine the identity of the party involved in loading the trailer if it is suspected that the cargo was not appropriately loaded. The circumstances surrounding the loading of the vehicle and the identity of those involved in the loading should be determined as quickly as possible after the accident occurs.

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What if the truck driver was not qualified to drive the truck involved in the accident?

The incompetence of a truck driver may give rise to liability for the party who hired him or retained his services to transport a load. The question is whether the employer exercised "reasonable care" in hiring or retaining the driver. Did the employer make a reasonable investigation of the driver? What did the employer know or what should have been known prior to hiring the truck driver? Once an employer knew or should have known that a driver was unfit, was it reasonable for the employer not to investigate or take corrective action such as discharge or reassignment? Federal regulations require a reasonable investigation of a driver's qualifications at the time the driver is hired. The regulations require that the driver must be able to do the following:

  • safely operate the type of motor vehicle he drives;
  • determine whether the cargo he transports has been properly located;
  • determine whether the cargo he transports has been appropriately secured;
  • is familiar with the methods and procedures for securing cargo;
  • is physically qualified to drive a motor vehicle;
  • has a valid commercial motor vehicle operator's license;
  • has prepared and furnished the motor carrier that employs him with a list of violations of the motor vehicle traffic laws and ordinances which the driver has been convicted of within the preceding 12 months;
  • has successfully completed a driver's road test; and
  • has completed and furnished the motor carrier that employs him with an application for employment.

The failure to comply with federal regulations may be evidence that a "reasonable investigation" was not performed and may give rise to an independent basis of liability against the employer. Whether the truck driver who caused your loss was qualified must be evaluated based upon the facts surrounding your collision.

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Do truck drivers have to carry liability insurance?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates the amount of insurance a carrier must maintain. For vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds and hauling only non-hazardous materials, minimum liability coverage in the amount of $750,000.00 is required. If hauling hazardous materials, the required minimum liability coverage increases to between $1,000,000.00 and $5,000,000.00 depending upon the type of material transported.

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When and why should I seek the services of an experienced attorney?

Contact a lawyer as soon as possible! The law limits the amount of time you have to bring suit. This time limit is known as the statute of limitations. If you wait too long to seek recovery, you may be legally barred from exercising your rights forever. The truck companies have lawyers working on their side as soon as the accident happens. You need immediate medical help and legal representation.

It is important to have an experienced attorney on your side as soon as possible. This person can act as the advocate of your rights while you heal. Contact the our personal injury attorneys with extensive experience in truck (18-wheeler, semi, big rig, and tractor trailer) accidents to discuss your legal rights.

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