Family files medical malpractice after nurse accidentally cuts off baby's finger

March 29, 2012 by The Farber Law Group

seattle medical malpractice attorney
The family of a 8-month old baby girl has filed a negligence lawsuit against a Florida hospital and nurse after the nurse accidentally amputated half of the baby's left pinky finger.

Veronica Olguin had taken her baby, Selena, who was three months old at the time of the incident, to Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center for treatment of a high fever and bronchitis. After a 3-day hospital stay, the baby was ready to be taken home and a nurse, Emily Anna Stutz, started cutting off a bandage off that had held the baby's IV. Mistakenly, she cut off the baby's finger with a pair of scissors.

Attempts to reattach the severed finger were unsuccessful due to the baby's age.

The family filed suit for emotional and psychological damages as well as developmental challenges Selena might have as she grows older. The young mother of this baby was obviously traumatized by what happened to her baby in the hospital.

Study finds 1 of 3 hospital patients are victims of a medical mistake

The journal Health Affairs published a study of "adverse events " -- medical errors -- last year which revealed that medical mistakes in the hospital setting are more common then one might think. In fact, one in three patients admitted to the hospital has been on the receiving end of a hospital mistake and medical errors are one of the leading causes of premature death and injury.

The most common hospital mistakes are foodborne illness, hospital-acquired infections, falls and bedsores. Less common mistakes include wrong-site surgeries and accidents such as this one.

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Man injured in intersection accident awarded $2M

March 28, 2012 by The Farber Law Group

A man who suffered an L-3 herniated lumbar disk when his pickup truck was t-boned in an intersection has been awarded a negligence settlement of $2M to be paid by Tel Tec Security Systems.

John Bowden, 50, suffered a disabling injury when his pickup truck was hit by Bryan Popplewell who was working for and driving a van owned by Tel Tec Security Systems.

Bowden's injuries were so severe that they left him permanently disabled and, unable to work, he had to go live with his son. His medical expenses totaled $319,000 and his future medical expenses and life-care costs are estimated between $1.2 million and $2 million.

The defendants had a $1 million insurance policy and an excess policy of $1 million.

Doctrine of Respondeat Superior

In his negligence lawsuit, Bowden claimed that Popplewell was negligent when he failed to yield the right-of-way at the intersection. He filed suit against Tel Tec Security Systems under the doctrine of respondeat superior for Poppelwell's negligence. The legal doctrine of respondeat superior finds that, in some circumstances, employers are liable for the negligent acts of their employees working in the course of their employment.

Al hallmark case of respondeat superior was the Domino's pizza campaign. In the 80's and early 90's, Domino's pizza had a campaign "30 minutes or it's free". Domino's ended this policy after delivery drivers. in a rush to get the pizzas delivered in the prescribed time frame. were involved in car accidents. The company was sued under the doctrine respondeat superior and discontinued the policy.

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Nursing home sued after patient assaults

March 22, 2012 by The Farber Law Group

The family of William A. Kahle, 47, a mentally impaired resident of the Hillcrest Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, has filed suit against the facility alleging that the home failed to protect their son and other patients from a resident who was predatory.

In their lawsuit, Kahle's family alleges that William was attacked and burnt by another resident.

When the Department of Public Health investigated the attack on Kahle, they discovered that another 23 residents had been subjected to some form of sexual, mental or physical abuse by another resident at the facility around the same time that Kahle was injured.

The investigation found that one resident, a 26-year-old man with bipolar and ADHD was responsible for the attacks on up to two dozen residents.

In their lawsuit, Kahle's family alleges that the nursing home was both negligent in allowing the abuse to happen and failing to report it.

Owners or employees of adult family homes, nursing homes or boarding homes are considered to be Mandatory Reporters and they are required by law to report to law enforcement knowledge or suspicions that a vulnerable adult is a victim of abuse, neglect, abandonment or financial exploitation. A mandatory reporter who fails to report nursing home abuse or neglect may may be liable under civil law for damages resulting from the abuse or neglect.

According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), only one in 14 actual incidents of elder abuse is reported. Every year between 1 and 2 million Americans over the age of 65 are subjected to some type of elder abuse by a person who they depend on for care.

Symptoms of elder abuse can include falls, fractures, bedsores, medication areas, bruising, and wandering off. While most nursing homes provide a good standard of care, some, due to inadequate staffing, training or background checks may not provide adequate care resulting in jury to the residents.

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All that you may need to know about the travel insurance agreement

March 22, 2012 by The Farber Law Group

Like any other type of insurance policy, most people don’t give enough importance to the travel insurance policy and this is the reason why they incur huge amount of debt while travelling. It has been researched that most people in the US love to travel but they’re not aware of the importance of getting a travel insurance policy. While there are some who don’t want to enter into a travel insurance agreement with the insurer, some are not even aware of the details of a travel insurance policy. Read on the concerns of this article in order to educate yourself on the ins and outs of travel insurance policy.

What actually is a travel insurance policy?

travel.jpgThere are typically various types of insurance policy and among them the most common are the auto insurance policy, the health insurance policy, the life insurance policy and the travel insurance policy. There are particularly two specific areas of travel insurance policy among which one is medical coverage and the other coverage that specifically covers your investment in travel. When you incur medical costs or accident costs while travelling, the travel insurance company will be liable to meet the costs and help you breathe free.

What are the types of travel insurance coverage that you may take out?

There are certain types of travel insurance coverage that you should take out in order to safeguard your vacation and avoid incurring debt. Have a look at some coverage options on your travel insurance policy.

Trip cancellation coverage: When any unforeseen circumstances cause a cancellation of your trip, the trip cancellation coverage will help you get back your dollars for all those non-refundable deposits.

Trip delay coverage: If you have this coverage on your travel insurance policy, you can certainly get reimbursements when your trip is delayed.

Medical transportation: If you need any kind of emergency medical costs for transportation during the vacation, you have to make sure that you get this kind of coverage on the policy.

Accident coverage: When you meet with any sudden accident while you’re traveling, you may require funds for meeting the medical expenses. During such a time when you have the accident coverage, you can let the insurers pay for you and help you save your dollars.

Baggage loss coverage:
If you lose your baggage or it gets stolen on the trip, you can get back money if you have this particular coverage.

Therefore, when you’re worrying about the pros and cons of getting a travel insurance policy, you should simply consider the benefits of getting one. Choose to save your dollars and make your trip memorable.

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NPR Feature Story on Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants

March 19, 2012 by The Farber Law Group

National Public Radio's Program Morning Edition aired a story today ""Prone to Failure, Some All-Metal Hip Implants Need to be Removed Early" which explained issues patients are having with the recalled DePuy ASR hip implants.

The feature story highlighted the plight of one patient, Susy Mansfield, a woman who was implanted with an artificial hip at the relatively young age of 57. At the time, her surgeon recommended a metal-on-metal hip because he said they would last longer since the metal-on-plastic hips which have a life span of 10-15 years.

Mansfield's hip was problematic from day one. She suffered constant pain after the surgery, a pain she described as "terrible" and a "hot pain". Her hip implant also was loose. When Mansfield found that her hip implant had been recalled, she sought the help of a surgeon who was experienced in replacing faulty hip implants, Young-min Kwon of Massachusetts General Hospital. Amazingly enough, her original surgeon's office told her that her implant had not been recalled.

The problem with the DePuy ASR hip implants was that they had not been thoroughly tested on humans. The DePuy implants were approved by the FDA with a fast track system known as a FDA 501(k). Dr. Kwon said:

"I think there are lessons for all of us -- that you need to have scientific data to support any introduction of any new technology. One might argue that [this one] didn't have enough.]"

When performing Mansfield's second hip replacement surgery (known as a revision surgery), Dr. Kwon discovered that the cobalt and chromium metal that was shed by Mansfield's DePuy hip implant had damaged her muscles and surrounding tissue. In addition, her bone had not grow around her implant as it should have and Dr. Kwon had to perform bone grafting using a cadaver bone.

A British study found that the DePuy hip implants have a five-year failure rate of 1 in 16 patients but it could be higher. The United States has no national joint registry as they do in the U.K. so there are no real estimates of how many American patients are affected.

The good news for Mansfield. Only four days after her 2nd hip replacement surgery, she was able to go up and down stairs with the help of crutches.

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Kirkland couple seriously injured in Lynnwood-area single car accident

March 17, 2012 by The Farber Law Group

Two people were taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after they were injured in a single car accident near Lynnwood around 2am reports the Everett Herald.

According to the report, a 28-year-old woman was driving a Toyota eastbound on 204th Street SW when she ran a stop sign, went through the intersection and crashed into a power pole at Cypress Way.

Both the driver of the car and her passenger, a 32-year-old man, had to be extricated from the vehicle. Their injuries are thought to be serious but not life threatening.

Does insurance cover the driver in a single car accident?

Liability car insurance goes into effect when you are driving and you cause injury to another person and or damages to their vehicle. Liability insurance does not cover the driver when one is at fault for causing ones own injuries.

Liability insurance may be in play, however, if the driver had a medical condition that caused the accident or other factors were involved such as mechanical failure of the car or bad signage on the road.

A passenger in a car that is involved in a single car accident may have a claim against the driver's insurance company.

In the case of any car accident where there are serious injuries, one is advised to seek the counsel of an experienced Washington car accident attorney to insure ones rights are protected.

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Orpthopaedic Surgeon Explains Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants

March 15, 2012 by The Farber Law Group

University of California San Diego orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Scott Ball, has recorded a video available for viewing on YouTube on Metal-on-Metal Hip Replacements. The video is a good one to watch if you or a loved one has had hip replacement surgery with a metal-on-metal device as it provides a lot of information about the implants, how they can affect one's health and tests to identify if there is a problem.

Hip Implants in the News

Seattle DePuy Hip Replacement LawyerMetal-on-metal hip implants have been in the news ever since DePuy Orthopaedics, a division of the pharmaceutical giant Johnson and Johnson, recalled the ASR XL Acetabular and Hip Resurfacing Systems because of their higher than normal revision rate. It appears as if the design of the DePuy ASR implant systems was faulty causing more wear debris than similar devices made by other manufacturers.

Studies showed that the DePuy ASR metal-on-metal hip implants systems are especially problematic and some studies estimate that the failure rate within in five years is 1 in 8 patients. A British society of orthopedic surgeons estimates up to 60% of the patients implanted with the DePuy ASR device will require a revision or second hip replacement surgery.

Hundreds of patients have filed claims against DePuy Orthopaedics claiming that DePuy was aware of the high failure rate of the device but nevertheless continued to market it in the United States even though it was banned in England and Australia among other countries.

Metal-on-Metal Hip Implant Side Effects

In the video, Dr. Ball states that studies show that metal-on-metal implants for the most part perform "very well." However, he explains, some patients have adverse reactions to the metal wear debris caused when the implant ball rubs against the cub and small particles of chromium and cobalt are shed. Some patients' immune systems are sensitive to even a small amount of metal debris and they can experience adverse reactions. An inflammatory reaction can cause problems with the soft tissue surrounding the implant. Symptoms can include:

  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Clicking or ratcheting sensation
  • Slipping Sensation

Patients with the recalled DePuy hip implants have been advised by DePuy to contact their orthopaedic surgeon for evaluation. The orthopaedic surgeon may choose to perform the following tests:

  • x-rays - to determine if there is bone resorption
  • Blood tests to check for elevated cobalt and chromium levels in their blood serum which indicates whether there is too much metal debris being shed
  • MRI or Ultrasound to check for fluid or a mass around the hip implant

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3 students seriously injured in Quincy school bus accident, several suffer minor injuries

March 12, 2012 by The Farber Law Group

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Three students were seriously injured in a Quincy school bus accident when their bus driver apparently lost control of the school bus they were riding in and the bus went off the highway, rolled and landed on its side. The Wenatchee World reports that up to 34 other students on the school bus suffered minor injuries including scrapes and bruises.

None of the seriously injured were thought to have life threatening injuries. One student was taken by air to Samaritan Hospital in Moses Lake and two students were taken to a hospital in Ephrata. The other students were taken to Quincy Valley Medical Center where many were reunited with their parents.

The bus driver was not injured in the accident.

The Washington school bus accident occurred this morning around 8:30am on Highway 281 near the intersection of White Trail Road near Quincy. Quincy is an agricultural region approximately 160 miles south east of Seattle and Bellevue.

Though road conditions were good it appears as if the bus drifted to the right and the bus driver over corrected, rolling the bus.

This bus accident will be likely investigated by local authorities. While the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ensures school bus safety, they usually only investigate catastrophic school bus accidents.

School bus drivers have a huge responsibility for the lives of all of the students on board. Most school bus drivers are highly skilled and care very much for the young people that they drive. Often they have to drive distracted yet maintain diligence at the wheel. With a ratio of 1 adult to 36 or more students, the job is not an easy one.

The Washington school bus accident lawyers understand that while there are 9 billion school bus trips every year carrying millions of students and less than 25 students are killed. American school buses are designed to safeguard students and are the safest way for children to ride to school even without seat belts.

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Two passengers killed in suspected DUI car accident in Olympia

March 5, 2012 by The Farber Law Group

Two people were tragically killed and a third person was injured in an Olympia single car accident. The Washington State Patrol says the a 25-year-old Shelton man is being investigated for vehicular homicide in the accident as they suspect drugs or alcohol were factors.

Vehicular Homicide

In Washington state, if a person is killed in a motor vehicle accident and the driver's blood alcohol content was 0.08% or greater or if the driver was driving recklessly or without regard to the safety of others, the driver can be charged with vehicular homicide under state statute RCW 46.61.520. Penalties for drivers who are convicted of vehicular homicide due to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol fall in the range of 78-102 months in prison under a new bill just signed by the Washington legislature.

Seat Belts

Tacoma's News Tribune reports that the two individuals killed in this car accident were not wearing seat belts. Safety belts are proven to save lives and prevent injury and prevent occupants. Seatbelts prevent an occupant from being thrown from a vehicle and they also spread the crash forces over the hips and shoulders which are some of the strongest parts of the human body.

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