Articles Posted in Law & Information

According to a report from KYW 1060 News Radio, a total of six people sustained minor injuries when a trolley collided with a passenger car in West Philadelphia. The accident occurred near South 36th Street and Market, and involved five adults and one child. The injured adults were taken to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, while the lone child was taken to Children’s Hospital. None of the involved individuals sustained major injuries, and the cause of the crash is still being investigated.

Traffic accidents in Pennsylvania always need to be carefully examined to ensure that the negligent party deemed responsible for the accident is held accountable for his or her actions. Furthermore, it needs to be investigated as to whether or not some other entity played a contributing role in the accident as well. That is, if a faulty auto part leads to an accident, then the manufacturer of that part can be declared negligent in their ability to provide the consumer with a supposedly safe product.
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A recent latimes.com article has left patients and citizens throughout the United States horrified and concerned about the quality of care provided during CT scans and other hospital services. According to the report, over 200 brain scans for potential stroke patients on a CT scan machine at Cedars-Sinai in California were conducted at eight times the normal level of radiation. Apparently many cases of radiation overdoses at the Los Angeles based medical center have been connected to a mistake the hospital made when resetting a CT scanner to accommodate new protocol for a specific kind of scan used to identify and diagnose strokes.

What is even more shocking is that this serious hospital error went unnoticed for 18 months. The problem was brought to the attention of the hospital in August 2009 when a stroke patient told the hospital that he had begun to lose his hair after a CT stroke scan. A hospital spokesman told reports that the CT machine was used for other kinds of scans, but that the re-set error only affected the potential stroke patients. However, each patient who received the CT brain perfusion scan procedure for stroke diagnosis was exposed to the radiation overdose. The hospital has found and gotten in touch with 206 patients who were subjected to the overdoses at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. After doing so, the hospital discovered that approximately forty-percent of the patients had endured sporadic hair loss and many of the individuals also showed signs of reddening of the skin.
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After suffering a stroke and additional related health problems, a 39-year-old Newark woman has filed a suit against Bayer Corp., the makers of the popular birth control product, Yaz. According to an insidebayarea.com article, the woman took Yaz, a prescription-only product, for four weeks in the summer of 2007 to help reduce premenstrual pains, which is one of Yaz’s advertised uses. She then suffered a stroke that resulted in six months of hospitalization.

In attributing her health problems to using Yaz, the woman had part of her skull temporarily removed, due to excessive swelling of her brain, until the affected portion of her skull was later replaced. The woman’s attorney stated that she also suffered a reduced IQ and is now close to being mentally handicapped in addition to experiencing a drastic change in her speech and mood.

Although Yaz is one of the most popular birth controls used in the world, it has been at the forefront of much debate and criticism for presenting additional health risks not associated with other birth-control pills. The woman in the aforementioned case and over 100 others have filed suit against Yaz’s maker, Bayer Corp.
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Recent reports of several homeowners encountering serious problems with their insurer after reporting defective materials in drywall in their homes have been quite unnerving for families throughout the United States. This is far from a simple matter. One report stated that insurers are declining to file homeowner’s claims. But this is not all. Insurers are also cancelling the policy altogether, or giving out notices that policies will not be renewed until the defective drywall problem is resolved at the homeowner’s expense.

Why are so many incidents of defective drywall taking place? According to a news.aol.com report, building materials were in short supply during the apex of the U.S. housing boom. As a result, American construction companies turned to millions of pounds of Chinese-made drywall for its affordability and abundant quantity. It is far from comforting to know that an Associated Press analysis of shipping records determined that over 500 million pounds of Chinese gypsum board was imported between 2004 and 2008 to be used in building homes.

Unfortunately, it is likely that neither the Chinese manufacturers nor the Chinese government will respond to any lawsuits or reimburse homeowners for the defective drywall. In addition, a spokesman for one homeowner’s insurer who denied their claim said that the drywall is considered a builder defect, which is not covered under the policy. The insurance spokesman also said that they consider the drywall a pre-existing condition that could lead to future damage, which is why the company will not renew the policy unless the issue is corrected.
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According to recent news reports, many insurers have been dropping policies or sending notices of non-renewal based on the existence of toxic Chinese drywall in homes. This problem, although relatively small at the moment, is having a monumental impact on the lives of homeowners. Furthermore, this issue will only become widespread, and possibly grow out of control, as insurance companies continue to process the hundreds of claims currently in the works.

While families are being told that their insurance claim for defective drywall is denied, some are also being informed that their complete insurance policy will not be renewed due to the drywall that corrodes pipes and emits sulfuric fumes.

The insurer’s actions do not seem reasonable to many citizens. State and federal agencies have found that the defective materials in the affordable Chinese drywall emit “volatile sulfur compounds” and have remnants of strontium sulfide, which can create a rotten-egg odor, in addition to organic compounds not found in American-made drywall. Not only do the fumes destroy personal possessions such as jewelry and silverware, and damage parts of a home including pipes and air conditioners, but some reports of illness due to the wallboards have been made as well.
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A jury in Carlisle Pennsylvania listened attentively to the testimony of Pennsylvania’s deputy secretary of the state Labor Department, who is accused of driving drunk and crashing his state issued vehicle with a parked car. The report stated that the 50-year-old secretary testified that he was completely sober and had absolutely nothing to drink prior to him running into a parked car at approximately 3 a.m. He did admit to having some drinks shortly afterwards, specifically three or four beers and two whiskey drinks. Cumberland County prosecutor strongly contended the deputy secretary’s testimony pointing out that his blood alcohol level was higher than twice the limit four hours after the crash.

Fortunately no one was injured in this car crash, but it does raise eyebrows in regards to the justice system. In this country, everyone has a right to a trial, but we hope that no one is given any special favors. In this case, it appears that the deputy secretary was completely intoxicated when he crashed and is now trying to save himself going as far as to lie under oath in the courtroom. The owner of the vehicle should be able to receive full compensation from the deputy secretary.
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A lawsuit alleges that the famous former Wrestler Hulk Hogan, his wife, and their son are culpable in the tragic car accident that left a friend of the Hogan son and Iraq veteran with a serious brain injury, the celebrity news website eonline.com reported. The 23-year-old friend was a passenger in Hogan’s son Toyota Supra that had been altered for racing. They were racing another friend who was driving a Dodge Viper that is also owned by Hulk Hogan. The race ended with the Supra crashing into a palm tree.

The lawsuit also alleges that the Hogan parents are responsible for their son driving “reckless and negligent” and that “they not only encouraged it, but they did not take appropriate action to stop it and to protect the safety of the public.”

Hogan’s son has had a history of speed driving since he acquired his license in 2005, including twice being pulled over for driving in excess of 100 miles per hour in 2006, and three separate speeding tickets in 2007. The lawsuit claims that Hogan’s son was a drift racer akin to the Movie The Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift.

Most implicating is the accusation that Mrs. Hogan was heard saying, “Oh, I love it. I love it. The rush, the speed on the road, stereo-blasting, heat-pounding, racing in between all the cars, dodging the cops. It’s awesome.”

In addition, the lawsuit claims that Mr. Hogan, the co-owner of the car, purchased the alcohol that was consumed on the day of the accident and furthermore Mr. Hogan was aware or should have been aware that his son had customized his car, in effect making it “exceedingly dangerous instrumentality for his son.”
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The New Jersey Supreme Court has overturned a $75-million medical malpractice award given to the parents of a boy who suffered brain damage as an infant when he was deprived of oxygen following surgery in 1998. According to a news report in the Insurance Journal, the justices reversed the damages citing “numerous trial errors and other problems.” According to court documents, the child now suffers from significant intellectual, verbal and neuron motor deficiencies and requires constant care. The justices also said in their ruling that the trial jury in Essex County was unnecessarily exposed to bias against medical professionals during the jury selection process.

This case illustrates the complexity of medical malpractice cases as well as the devastating impact it could have on the injured victims and their families. In this case, it involves a child who has suffered brain damage as a result of medical negligence and will probably never be able to function normally for the rest of his life.

Pennsylvania hospital negligence and medical malpractice claims help such victims obtain compensation for the damages they have suffered. Where it involves young children who have suffered brain damage because of surgical errors or birth injuries, the money obtained helps create a secure future for them, given their permanent disabilities.
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Some cities in the state of Georgia have failed to implement a new law which requires them to increase the yellow light by one second at stop lights equipped with red light cameras. Cities that have implemented the change have noticed an 80% decrease in violations according to an account.

Cities such as Duluth, Lilburn, Norcross, Snellville, and Suwanee have declared that they will be halting the red light cameras as they are no longer making money. On the other hand, the city of Atlanta insists that they do not want to do away with their 8 red light cameras and said that they actually saw an increase of violations. Not only have the number of violations increased for the city but so have the fines, in some cases more than double the amount than just a year ago.

Jack Murphy, State Senator (R-Cumming), sponsored the amendment that added the one second to the yellow light. He said, “If they’re not doing it, I’m going to find out why. Longer yellow was the intention of the bill. They set the yellow too low – especially for left turns.”

Why would cities fail to follow state law, putting drivers and essentially anyone on the road including people on motorcycles and pedestrians at increased risk? These stop light cameras can bring in significant cash revenue for cities that are finding it ever more difficult to balance their budgets. Cities also have a responsibility to make sure that our public rights are secured. If cities fail to comply with state law, they must be held responsible.
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A story on the newsblaze.com website reported that on May 4, 2009 Pennsylvania Congressman Joe Sestak introduced legislation to keep workers with violent histories out of long-term care facilities. The bill H.R. 2223, the Patient Safety and Abuse Prevention Act, will stop individuals with criminal histories from working in long-term care locations by creating an all inclusive country wide system of background checks. The legislation would broaden an extremely successful three-year pilot program that stopped 7,000 applicants with a background of continued abuse or a violent criminal record from working with and victimizing our elders and individuals. These efforts should help lower incidents of nursing home abuse in Philadelphia.

Congressman Sestak said, “The measure of a society is how well it looks after its most vulnerable citizens. Every day, too many of our Nation’s seniors and disabled become victim to physical, emotional, or other abuse. This legislation will help prevent those abuses by ensuring the patients in long-term care will not be at the mercy of those with a violent or criminal past…our most vulnerable citizens deserve better, demand better, and this bill is an important step in implementing the safeguards they need.”

Chairman of the Special Committee on Aging, Senator Kohl, said, “We have hard evidence that this policy will work and will protect lives. It is vital that this legislation moves quickly, and I look forward to working with the Finance Committee, the elder justice community, and Congressman Sestak in the House to make that happen.”

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