Injured - The FindLaw Accident, Injury and Tort Law Blog

April 2017 Archives

Infant forceps injuries, sadly, still occur from time to time during the birthing process. The use of forceps has been disfavored except for when medically necessary due to the risks of injury. Unfortunately, forceps are sometimes needed to move an infant when they are in a bad position for birth.

When an infant is injured during the delivery, parents often don’t know what to do. The experience can be such an emotional rollercoaster of highs and lows. Finding out how or why is often secondary to figuring out how to move forward and care for an injured infant or child. However, if an injury was caused due to the use of forceps, speaking with an experienced medical malpractice attorney early on may be a good decision.

Dentists, like any other medical professional, are held to at least minimum standards of care for their patients. And it is comforting to know that performing a dental extraction on a patient while riding a hoverboard, filming the procedure, and then distributing the film with the quip "new standard of care" in fact falls far below that existing standard.

But that's not the only thing that got one Alaskan dentist in trouble, as he and his office assistant face a litany of felony charges.

In a lawsuit filed last week in the District Court of the Cherokee Nation, located within the state of Oklahoma, the tribe’s attorney general is alleging Walmart, CVS, and Walgreens, along with 3 major prescription drug distributors, have caused great harm to the Cherokee Nation.

The lawsuit claims the defendants failed in their duties to properly monitor the distribution of certain prescription drugs that are considered federal controlled substances, and that the failure to monitor the distribution has led to a drug epidemic. Primarily at issue are the powerful opioid drugs like oxycodone, hydrocodone, and fentanyl.

We ask nursing homes to care for our elderly loved ones specifically to keep them safe from injuries. Due to their age and the possibility of other ailments, nursing home injuries can severely impact an elderly person's health, wellbeing, and future care.

And while it would seem obvious for nursing homes to take special precautions to keep residents and patients from falling, a new study from the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests nursing homes aren't doing enough to prevent falls and that those falls can lead to a significant amount of traumatic facial injuries.

Last week, a federal court judge in Pennsylvania awarded a massive $42 million verdict to the parents of a child severely injured during birth in 2012. The multi-million dollar verdict is meant to provide for the child who suffers permanent injuries that will require a lifetime of specialized medical care. Additionally, the award, which is being described as the largest ever medical malpractice verdict out of that judicial district, will be paid out by the federal government as the injury occurred at a federally funded facility.

The bulk of the award, $33 million, is to be set aside for future medical care, which could involve full-time institutionalization as an adult. The rest of the award is meant to compensate for pain and suffering, lost earning capacity, as well as past medical expenses.

We trust nursing homes to take care of our loved ones. Unfortunately, that doesn't always happen. Even worse, we may not know until too late that a nursing home isn't caring for someone we love as they should.

So how can you spot nursing home neglect? And what can you do if you do spot it?

When a juvenile detention center fails to protect the civil rights of the youth offenders allegedly being rehabilitated, they may be subjected to lawsuits brought by, or on behalf of, the offenders, their families, and/or court appointed guardians.

Although minors may not enjoy many of the same rights and privileges under the law, minors in custody still have basic civil rights, including equal protection, the freedom from cruel and unusual punishment, and the right to adequate/necessary medical care while in custody.

As such, when a juvenile detention center is found to be disregarding the rights of youth offenders, civil rights groups like the ACLU are compelled to sue to stop the violations. However, individual minors may also be able to file suit if they have been injured, subjected to violations of their individual civil rights, or abused, at detention centers.

In some ways, quality nursing care can be just as important to your health as the medical treatment you receive from a doctor. By the same token, however, injuries sustained from substandard nursing care can be just as serious as those from physician mistakes.

Here are some of the most common medical errors committed by nurses and their legal liability if it happens to you.

The accidental death of a three-year-old child at a Head Start program in Dearborn Heights, Michigan, has prompted a $10 million lawsuit. The lawsuit alleges that the death could have been prevented with the exercise of reasonable, ordinary care.

The young child was playing in a gymnasium, near a wall where decades-old retractable lunch tables affixed to the wall were folded up. Without warning, the incredibly heavy tables came loose, opened up, and in the process, crushed the three-year-old child. As the lawsuit explains, the tables were not properly secured, had fallen into disrepair, and had not been used in the past several years. It is alleged that the tables crashed open due to failure to properly inspect the tables.

A doctor licensed by the state of New York is being sued by his former girlfriend due to allegedly drugging her with Plan B without her consent, or even her knowledge. Plan B is an over-the-counter birth control drug that allows a woman to take the pill after having unprotected sexual intercourse.

The civil lawsuit is seeking $5 million in damages as a result of the shockingly horrific conduct alleged. The complaint explains that the girlfriend found the box for the drug and asked her then-boyfriend about it, expecting to find out about an affair. However, as alleged in the complaint, he came clean and explained that he slipped the drug in her drink because he knew she would never agree to take it.

Vaping, or using e-cigarettes, seems to be continually increasing in popularity as the technology continues to improve. However, the number of e-cigarette explosion injury claims are also on the rise. In 2015, national headlines were made when a jury returned a $1.9 million verdict for a woman injured by an exploding e-cigarette.

Generally, the cases involve an individual who is injured as a result of an e-cigarette’s battery exploding during charging or use. When the batteries explode, not only do sparks fly, but toxic battery acid can be projected out causing even worse burns. Frequently, individuals holding an e-cigarette, or having it in their pocket, will suffer second or third degree burns as a result of the exploding batteries. Recently, a lawsuit was filed over an exploding e-cigarette device where the explosion was caught on a store’s surveillance camera.

While silicone breast implants have been around since the 1960s, for a rather long stretch in the US, they were prohibited. However, after decades of debate and research, the government declared silicone implants to be safe for medical research use in 1992, and finally in 2003, for individual use.

Despite silicone implants being considered safe to use, there are still associated risks involved for individuals who choose to get them. Apart from the risks involved with the surgical implantation itself, complications can arise many years later. In fact, the FDA and medical experts recommend that individuals with silicone implants have them checked via mammogram or MRI every other year to detect leaks, ruptures, or other potential issues. Additionally, individuals with silicone implants should expect having to replace them every ten years.

Personal injury law covers a wide range of situations, from simple slip-and-falls to complex product liability claims. With that many kinds of injuries and the millions of plaintiffs and defendants, personal injury law is bound to evolve over time.

As the law changes, it can affect the liability of parties, the number of lawsuits, and the average amount plaintiffs can recover for certain injuries. Here's a look at five recent trends in personal injury law, and how they might affect your claim.

Dr. David Dao was one of four passengers on a United Airlines flight that was recently forced to give up his seat for UA employees. The airline claims that the flight was overbooked and it needed four passengers to give up seats for employees that needed to be at the plane's destination for work.

After Dr. Dao boarded, while in his seat, he was asked to exit the plane. When he refused, stating that he had patients to see the next day, police were called, and he was forcibly removed from his seat, and literally dragged down the plane's aisle and off the plane. The incident was captured by cell phone video by a few passengers, who posted the videos to social media.

Stem-cell therapy uses undifferentiated biological cells to treat or prevent injuries and disease. The most common type of stem-cell therapy is bone marrow transplants. Like any medical treatment, stem-cell therapy doesn't always work. But that didn't stop one controversial California clinic from touting a 100 percent customer satisfaction rating, a rating some of its less than satisfied customers claim they relied upon when shelling out up to $15,000 for ineffective treatments.

But that's not the only legal problem Stemgenex is facing. As it turns out, none of its stem-cell therapies are FDA approved.

National Dog Bite Prevention Week runs from April 9 to 15 this year. The focus of the awareness program is to educate dog owners and the public about dog bite prevention.

To draw attention to the week, the Insurance Information Institute, in collaboration with State Farm, released a shocking report detailing the increase in dog bite claims over the past decade. Last year alone, there were over 18,000 claims filed against homeowners due to dog bites, which is nearly 3,500 more claims than in 2006.

As his story goes, former soldier and reserve deputy Dwayne Thurman was cleaning his wife Brenda's designer model Glock .380 pistol when the gun went off, firing a round into Brenda's chest. Dwayne called 911, and Brenda was declared dead shortly after she arrived at the hospital.

But it's what happened in between the shooting and when emergency responders first arrived at the house that's the subject of two lawsuits filed by Brenda's children against the adoptive father. The lawsuits claim he did little, if anything, to save their mother's life.

The AARP Foundation has reported that the family of Bobby Glen Tweed has reached a settlement with the nursing home over the wrongful death action filed in Tennessee state court. Although the full terms of the settlement are confidential, the report explains that the family did secure a damages award.

The death of Bobby Glen Tweed was alleged to a result of strong psychotropic drugs that were misused on him, as they are on countless other Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. The psychotropics were allegedly used not for any medical benefit, but rather to make the 78 year old Mr. Tweed more docile or compliant.

What makes this case that much more appalling is the fact that the psychotropic drugs used here are, and were, actually linked to death in patients with dementia. Additionally, Mr. Tweed’s daughter, who held the power of attorney, was never consulted about the administration of these drugs for her father.

Workers' compensation law is a complex area of law that blends principles of employment law and personal injury law. Workers' comp claims cover on-the-job injuries, of all sorts, for employees in nearly every industry. However, not all employees will be covered.

For an employee's injury to be covered by workers' comp, the two main requirements include:

  • that the employee actually be an employee, rather than an independent contractor; and
  • that the injury occurred within the scope of employment.

Additionally, because workers' comp law is a product of state law, requirements may vary from state to state. Below you'll find five of the most common questions about which injuries may qualify for workers' comp.

If you are injured by someone else’s negligence while shopping at a Walmart, or any big box store, you may be wondering what you need to do in order to recover. Depending on how the injury happened, you may be able to negotiate a settlement with a claims representative. If your claim is against Walmart itself, you’ll likely need to file a lawsuit against the store (as Walmart has a bad reputation for not settling injury claims).

What might come as a shock to many is that Walmart tops the charts when it comes to the number of lawsuits they face annually. While recent statistics are difficult to track down, at one point, the goliath faced approximately 5,000 new cases per year, or nearly 13 lawsuits every single day.

Americans love the gym. Whether we miss the activity and exercise from recess and gym class in school or we're wistful for the waistline from our younger days, millions of us are spending millions of hours in the gym and millions of dollars on gym memberships. And we expect that gyms will show the same dedication to their equipment -- buying the best and maintaining equipment in the best condition.

But what happens when that doesn't happen? Are gyms liable for injuries caused by faulty equipment?

When a person is injured in an auto accident, they may be entitled to recover monetary damages for their injuries. In some circumstances, an injury victim can be entitled to recover after suffering an emotional, or mental health, injury, such as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as a result of a car accident. Unless the mental health injury rendered a person incapacitated, they will need to file a lawsuit within the normal time period allowed by their state to file.

While uncommon, in severe auto accidents, particularly when there is a loss of life, severe injuries, or maybe just a whole lot of property damage, it is easily foreseeable that an individual could suffer from PTSD. However, to establish a personal injury case based upon a PTSD diagnosis can be rather challenging. Unlike broken bones, cuts, bumps, and bruises, a mental health injury may not visible on the surface.

The Clakamas County annual Easter Eggstravaganza egg hunt is scheduled to proceed this year with 20,000 eggs, and the Easter bunny being flown in by Helicopter, just like tradition dictates. However, a recent lawsuit for $112,000 filed against the Eggstravaganza venue and organizer as a result of an injury that occurred last year is attracting attention in the lead up to this year’s event.

Although the event is geared towards participants under 12, last year, an adult who was accompanying their child was injured when the crowd rushed in, knocking her over, causing her a severe knee injury. The injury required surgery and a protracted recovery. The lawsuit alleges that the venue and organizer were negligent in not providing sufficient staff, security, and/or crowd control to ensure the safety of attendees.

Unfortunately for one Kentucky teen, playing sword baseball with a water-bottle resulted in a severe accidental injury that is now the subject of a product liability lawsuit. While the teen was playing with friends by using a sword as a bat, and hitting plastic water bottles with it, the sword came apart, and the blade struck the teen in the head.

The teen was in a coma for over a month, and had to undergo numerous medical procedures. Despite all this already, it is expected that his recovery will require lifelong medical care. His parents have filed a lawsuit against the sword’s manufacturer as a result of a product defect.

Before he was President Donald Trump, he was host of the reality TV series "The Apprentice" Donald Trump. But his actions then may come back to legally haunt him now.

Summer Zervos, a former "Apprentice" contestant, is suing the president, claiming his denials of her sexual harassment claims amounted to defamation. But Trump's attorneys are planning to argue that the president is immune from this and other civil lawsuits while he remains in office. Is that argument going to work?

Insurance companies might be seeing fewer medical malpractice claims, but they seem to be awarding more money to the injured patients that do make them. A new study found that paid medical malpractice claims declined almost 56 percent between 1992 and 2014, but the average payout for a successful malpractice claim jumped over 23 percent, reaching $353,000 for the 2009-2014 time period.

So what accounts for the decline in claims and rise in payouts? And what does it mean for future medical malpractice plaintiffs?