Florida Supreme Court Rules In Favor of Consumers In Med Mal Battle

A man sitting in the hospital with a broken legShould a person who’s suffered a grievous injury due to the mistake of a medical professional or hospital have the right to sue for the disfigurement, pain, and suffering (called non-economic damages) of that mistake?

That’s a question that has roiled the nation for years and led some states to consider capping damage awards.

Where does the concept of capping originate?

Doctors and hospitals have long advanced the idea. They claim such awards add immense costs to healthcare.

The State of Florida enacted such a cap in 2003, one intended to limit damage awards for just these kinds of losses.

Was that law appropriate, fair or constitutional?

The Florida Supreme Court has just issued a decision in this matter in a case involving a woman who had her esophagus mistakenly perforated during a surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome.

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Teenagers laughing and driving a car

The 100 Deadliest Days of the Year for Teen Drivers

Teenagers laughing and driving a carThe teenage years… exhilarating and dangerous.

They’re particularly dangerous for teen drivers.

According to new data from AAA, for every mile traveled, 16-17-year-old drivers are four times more likely than drivers 18 and older to be involved in a crash and three times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash.

In just the last five years, over 5,000 people have been killed in car crashes involving a teen driver.

Another sobering fact… according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of fatal car crashes involving teen drivers has risen 10% in just the last year alone.

The data also reveals that the roughly 100 days from Memorial Day to Labor Day are the most treacherous for these young drivers.

Why are these 100 days so dangerous?

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The Seven Signs of Nursing Home Neglect

Elderly woman looking out window of nursing home

Do you have an elderly family member currently living in a nursing home?

Finding a facility that will care for them as you would is always a challenge. Facility sales staff often paint the rosiest of pictures. But does their version of life in a facility match reality?

Often it does not.

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Dangerous Times to be a Pedestrian in Connecticut

As we previously reported – traffic deaths are now rising for the first time in over 50 years.

Equally alarming – pedestrian deaths have risen by 25% in just the last five years.

You read that correctly… 25%. And 2016 saw the largest jump in pedestrian deaths year-over-year ever – 33% in Connecticut alone.

And up to 50% of all child pedestrian deaths involve teens.

So, what’s going on?

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How Well Do You Know the Traffic Safety Rules in Connecticut?

If you are like most people, you probably know some but hardly all the laws related to traffic safety in Connecticut.

Why’s that matter?

For several reasons… knowing the rules can help avoid a car accident while keeping you and your family safe in the event of an accident. It’s also important to remember that ignorance of the law is not considered an excuse should you ever find yourself in violation.

To that end, we thought a refresher on the most important traffic safety laws/rules might be helpful.

Pedestrian safety in CT Continue reading “How Well Do You Know the Traffic Safety Rules in Connecticut?” »

This Maneuver Is One of the Most Dangerous When Driving…

Left hand turn signalDid you know that making a left-hand turn is considered one of the most dangerous maneuvers when driving a car or truck?

Yup.

These turns are dangerous for the driver, pedestrians and oncoming traffic.

In fact, according to the latest highway safety data, 31% of all serious accidents involve left hand turns.

The percentage of right-hand turns that cause a problem?

1.2%

Did you also know that all of the delivery routing programs for companies like UPS and Pepsi preclude left hand turns across traffic because early studies by MIT determined they were not only time-consuming but dangerous (and companies wanted to avoid the expense associated with their drivers being badly hurt and their trucks incurring substantial damage in the event of being struck by an oncoming vehicle).

Now fast forward to driverless cars. The engineers designing these modern marvels claim that “teaching” a driverless car to safely manage a left-hand turn is in fact one of their most difficult challenges facing product developers.

“How can that be,” you ask?

Continue reading “This Maneuver Is One of the Most Dangerous When Driving…” »

Another Story of Profit Trumping Public Safety

Almost weekly there’s news of another company choosing to deceive consumers about the safety of their products – always in the name of profit.

The latest company to come under scrutiny is Purdue Pharma – makers of the popular opioid painkilling drug OxyContin.

The State of Illinois is now suing the company for consumer fraud and for profiting from that deception. The state joins a growing number of jurisdictions (CA, WV, WA) charging that Purdue Pharma intentionally misled the public about the safety of OxyContin or allowed the sale of the drug in excessively large quantities to businesses suspected of trafficking in the drug.

What is the nature of the claims against Purdue Pharma?

According to prosecutors and the LA Times, Purdue Pharma is guilty of providing the FDA with incomplete information about the drug when it was first introduced. They are also allegedly guilty of making exaggerated and knowingly false claims about the duration of dose effects and for actively permitting the sale of OxyContin to practitioners and pharmacies suspected of being drug traffickers.

Why do so many companies make choices like the ones Purdue Pharma did in this case?

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Defibrillator Maker Fails to Adequately Warn Patients and Doctors of Defect

Defibrillator Maker Fails to Adequately Warn Patients and Doctors of DefectWe write often about corporations selling products they privately know are dangerous.

In almost every instance, the choice to sell in spite of the dangers is made for the sake of corporate profits.

To the long list of companies that have made this choice, we now add St. Jude Medical – a company, recently purchased by Abbott Laboratories.

The product they have sold that is dangerous? Defibrillators with batteries packs known to fail.

Think about that for a moment. Defibrillators protect patients with heart problems by delivering an electric shock to return a diseased heart to a normal rhythm when it is not beating properly.

These brief electrical discharges are life savers. And these devices are implanted in the chests of the patients who need them.

So what happens when the batteries suddenly fail? Continue reading “Defibrillator Maker Fails to Adequately Warn Patients and Doctors of Defect” »

Four Critical Things to Remember if You Are Hurt in an Accident of Any Kind

Four Critical Things to Remember if You Are Hurt in an Accident of Any KindAnyone who’s ever been injured in an accident knows the challenges that follow. First, there’s the need for proper medical care and questions about if and how soon you can return to work or normal activity. And then there are financial and legal matters to consider, such as who pays the medical bills and whether a lawyer is needed to help protect your rights?

If you’re ever injured in an accident through no fault of your own, here are four critical things to remember: Continue reading “Four Critical Things to Remember if You Are Hurt in an Accident of Any Kind” »

Drug Abuse and Driving

As we and others have previously reported – Connecticut is in the midst of a drug abuse crisis. It’s a crisis that the Centers for Disease Control characterize as an epidemic.

Did you know approximately 52,000 Americans are dying every year from drug overdoses? That total almost equals the total number of U.S. servicemen and women killed during the entire Vietnam War.

People are not only dying at high rates, millions more are hopelessly trapped by addiction to a wide range of illicit drugs.

Think about it. Millions of Americans and tens of thousands of Connecticut’s citizens addicted to drugs.

Among other things – that means that millions are driving under the influence across the U.S.

Some experts put the number of drivers driving impaired by drugs at 10 million, though that estimate is believed to grossly understate the problem.

Why do we suspect the data?

The National Highway Safety Administration recently reported that the percentage of drivers testing positive for drugs in a 2014 survey was a whopping 20 percent.

Translation?

As many as one out of every five drivers you pass on the road may be impaired. One in five…

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