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Medical Malpractice not Stopping Negligent Doctors

2014 March 27
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by Ryan Bradley

A USA TODAY investigation reveals that there are thousands of physicians nationwide that have committed malpractice, yet continue to commit more malpractice.  This is all despite the fact that the large insurance and medical lobbies have worked hard to convince the public that medical malpractice actions drive up healthcare costs and impact medical care.

Hundreds of hospitals and other medical facilities have barred these physicians after giving up millions of dollars to compensate their malpractice claims. Shocking research shows that from 2001 to 2006, about 6,000 physicians were restricted from these hospitals and medical institutions for patient misconduct. Of these doctors, 52 percent never experienced a license restriction, suspension or revocation by state medical boards.

Medical MalpracticeIn addition, around 250 doctors during this time that were cited as an “immediate threat to health and safety.” Surprisingly, they continued to keep their license without any constraints.

Many of these doctors who are charged with malpractice will settle claims immediately without admitting fault in order to avoid a long and expensive litigation. This also ensures that they keep their practicing license.

It is also concerning that at the start of 2011, 47 percent of national hospitals had never reported restricting or revoking a physician’s license. This percentage appears too great to be true the study shows.

Although the state medical boards reassure the public that they take their job very seriously, there have been concerns regarding their authority since 1986. It is important that the state medical boards start to pay closer attention to these severe cases of medical malpractice and act on them immediately to ensure public safety.

If you or a loved one has been injured by the negligence of a doctor, please contact an experienced local attorney immediately to protect your rights or fill out the form below.

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Occupational Safety and Health Administration set to Increase Worker Protection

2014 March 24
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by Ryan Bradley

bannerThe Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently issued a proposed rule to improve workplace safety and health through improved tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses. The announcement, which was introduced a few months ago, follows the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ release of its annual Occupational Injuries and Illnesses report, which estimates that three million workers were injured on the job in 2012.

“Three million injuries are three million too many,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “With the changes being proposed in this rule, employers, employees, the government and researchers will have better access to data that will encourage earlier abatement of hazards and result in improved programs to reduce workplace hazards and prevent injuries, illnesses and fatalities. The proposal does not add any new requirement to keep records; it only modifies an employer’s obligation to transmit these records to OSHA.”  These are strong goals for the new system of protections.

Public comment for the proposed rule making ended in February of 2014, however the results are not yet released.  On Jan. 9, 2014, OSHA will held a public meeting on the proposed rule in Washington, D.C. A Federal Register entry followed.

Safety Regulations Change, By Ryan BradleyThe proposed rule was developed following a series of meetings in 2010 to help OSHA gather information about electronic submission of establishment-specific injury and illness data. OSHA is proposing to amend its current record keeping regulations to add requirements for the electronic submission of injury and illness information employers are already required to keep under existing standards, Part 1904. It is vital for employers to faithfully account for and report injuries in the workplace so that future injuries can be avoided.  However, in an environment where profits come before people, companies are pressured to internalize many results.

OSHA is also proposing that establishments with 20 or more employees, in certain industries with high injury and illness rates, be required to submit electronically only their summary of work-related injuries and illnesses to OSHA once a year. Currently, many such firms report this information to OSHA under OSHA’s Data Initiative.  While these regulations could put more of a stress on smaller business that currently exist, the overall good of increased reporting and data is tremendous.

OSHA plans to eventually post the data online. Timely, establishment-specific injury and illness data will help OSHA target its compliance assistance and enforcement resources more effectively by identifying workplaces where workers are at greater risk, and enable employers to compare their injury rates with others in the same industry.  Furthermore those employees that are victims of workplace injury can research to see if their employer has had similar issues to see is risks still exist.

Additional information on the proposed rule can be found at http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=FEDERAL_REGISTER&p_id=24002 and http://www.osha.gov/recordkeeping/proposed_data_form.html.  All workers should speak up and be heard to protect their rights and safety.

If you are injured in the workplace or exposed to toxic substances in Illinois or beyond please contact an experienced attorney.

 

Don’t Know Much About Medical Malpractice?

2013 November 21
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downloadEarlier this year Forbes magazine published a very informative article about 10 things that most people don’t know about medical malpractice.  In this blog there’s been an ongoing conversation about the impact of negligence on the part of doctors and how this negligence can be prevented by the civil justice system.  I’ve included a link to the Forbes article, however I would like to discuss more in depth three of the 10 things you don’t know about medical malpractice in Illinois.

First, there is no such thing as a frivolous medical malpractice suit. Lobbyists and special interest groups normally controlled by the American Medical Association and other groups  with only profits in mind, have often spoken about frivolous medical malpractice suits. This is simply not the case.  Especially in Illinois  since in Illinois every single lawsuit claiming medical negligence or medical malpractice must be certified by another doctor. What this means is that every case filed in front of any court and Illinois has already been determined to be based on medical malpractice.

Second, medical malpractice is a leading cause of death in Illinois and across the nation. Often known as doctor error, medical malpractice is deadly and must be prevented. One way to prevent medical malpractice and subsequent death, is to have a robust civil justice system prepared to provide recourse for these injuries.  In Illinois such a system exists, however every day lobbyists and special interest groups attempt to erode the power of patients to seek recourse for doctor error.

Finally, residents of Illinois should understand that they do have significant power to prevent themselves from being victims of medical malpractice.  Before any surgery or medical procedure do as much research as possible about the risks and benefits associated with the type of surgery performed. The Internet has a multitude of resources that can be very helpful in this regard such as Mayo Clinic and other resources.  Also be sure to ask your doctor any questions and tell your doctor about any concerns you may have with the procedure.  Often times you can be your biggest advocate in preventing medical malpractice.

If you are the victim of medical malpractice is important to contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney preferably from the same area where you live or where the conduct of negligence occurred. This means that if you live and Central Illinois it is wise to contact the Central Illinois medical malpractice attorney rather than one from an other area such as Chicago.  Local medical malpractice attorneys have far more resources available to assess the potential negligence and have more contacts in the community to help get the compensation you deserve. As always please feel free to contact an Illinois Plaintiffs attorney by following the link or from the contact form below.

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Rocky Road for the DaVinci Robot

2013 November 9
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da Vinci Robot Lawsuits Illinois

Serious Injuries Caused by the da Vinci Robot

Serious adverse event led to litigation surrounding injuries from the da Vinci Robot.

The da Vinci Surgical System is providing surgeons with a newer, faster surgical procedure in many U.S. hospitals.  The system has been in use since  the year 2000 when it gained FDA approval.  The system was approved for urologic surgical procedures, general laparoscopic surgical procedures, gynecologic laparoscopic surgical procedures, general non-cardiovascular thoracoscopic surgical procedures and thoracoscopically assisted cardiotomy procedures.  The da Vinci was billed by its marketers as a revolution in surgery due o the potenteial to use the system in a minimally invasive manner.  Unfortunately, insufficient operator training and unsafe design caused tragedy for some: punctured organs, surgical burns, torn blood vessels and other surgical complications have caused suffering, lengthy recovery periods, and even death.  While Intuitive surgical, the manufacturer of the system, provides some training to the doctors using the da Vinci, this training is often time not sufficient, and is sometime performed online.

Since 2009, the number of surgeries reported to be using the da Vinci system has increased by more than 50%. At the same time, the number of adverse event reports about these surgeries reported to the FDA jumped from 24 in 2009 to at least 115 in 2012, and informal incident reports sent to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) since 2009 include reports of 70 deaths.

This increase has spurred the FDA to apportion some of the fault to Intuitive, the creator of the robot, and the target of lawsuits.  PBS and the Wall Street Journal have reported.

The FDA is investigating the reports of da Vinci surgery complications, and surveying hospitals and surgeons about their use of the device. The investigation also addresses training that the surgeons have received on the da Vinci Surgical System.  As recent as the summer of 2013 in the prominent Journal for healthcare quality, many doctors and the FDA criticize Intuitive.

If you have had surgical complications about da Vinci Robot surgeries,  it s vital to retain experienced medical device liability attorneys.  Many law firms throughout Illinois handle these complicated cases and it is vital to choose the correct one.  Be sure that you ask about the attorney’s experience and fee structure.

You may be entitled to file a da Vinci robot lawsuit to obtain compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

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Res Ipsa Loquitur: When Negligence is REALLY Obvious

2013 September 12
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A surgeon amputates the wrong leg.

A patient develops a bedsore in a hospital that he did not have before.

A patient is burned in an MRI machine because due to the presence of metal.

A brand new bridge collapses injuring many.

A man is set on fire in an emergency room.

res-ipsa

In these situations, Attorneys may prove negligence by simply proving that the event occurred.  This is an important tool for the injured to protect their rights in Illinois and arises many time in the medical malpractice setting.

Res ipsa loquitur is not just a remnant from days gone by as a schoolboy.  It is a legal term that means “the thing (negligent act) speaks for itself.” This phrase stands for an evidentiary rule personal injury attorneys in Illinois and many other states can use in some circumstances to bring a personal injury action in the absence specific evidence of negligence. The injured party may meet its prima facie (latin for first encounter) burden of proof in a negligence action in the absence of specific evidence that the defendant was negligent because the injury would not ordinarily occur in the absence of the defendant’s negligence. For example, if a truck were driving on a newly built bridge and the bridge collapsed, there would be an inference that the contractor who built the road was responsible. Res ipsa in Illinois is not absolute negligence: the bridge contractor’s attorney, in this example, would have the opportunity to rebut the inference of negligence by proving that bridge collapsed for a different reason such as evidence that the truck weighed more than federal or state regulations allowed.

In Illinois, there are three elements an attorney must prove in a personal injury case in order to the create an inference of negligence on the part of a defendant: (1) a casualty of a kind that does not ordinarily occur absent negligence, (2) that was caused by an instrumentality exclusively in the defendant’s control, and (3) that was not caused by an act or omission of the plaintiff.  The Illinois Pattern Jury Instructions provide good guidance.

Proving res ipsa is no easy task in Illinois, and it is important that if you or a loved one is the victim of clearly negligent acts, you consult an experienced attorney.

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Actos Litigation Update

2013 June 2
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On April 16, 2013, Los Angeles jurors heard closing arguments in the first trial alleging Actos causes bladder cancer.  Accordingly, in a Bloomberg article Plaintiff Jack Cooper alleged that Actos, prescribed to treat his diabetes caused bladder cancer.  Further, the lawsuit alleged that Takeda Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of Actos knew of the link to bladder cancer as early as 2004, but did not alert the FDA.  Actos has been under strict scrutiny since 2011, and in 2012, the drug was criticized by both the British Medical Journal and the Canadian Medical Association Journal which linked Actos to nearly a 25% increase of risk in developing bladder cancer.  At this time, 1200 Actos lawsuits are pending in the Multi District litigation located in Louisiana.

As recent as February 5, 1013, lawsuits were being filed in Cook County where nearly 1000 other claims have been presented before Judge Dooling.  Similar state case consolidations are present in Pennsylvania as well.  Thus, increasing the pressure on the manufacturer of the anti-diabetic drug to settle potential claims.

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Breaking News:

Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. convinced a judge to throw out a just verdict as mentioned above.  The risks caused by the blockbuster diabetes drug are still present however and consumer protection attorneys across the country and in Central Illinois such as Phebus & Koester, LLP are still actively pursuing the cases.  The case is far from over as the attorneys for the Plaintiff plan to appeal.  If you or a loved one have bladder cancer and have taken Actos to treat Type 2 diabetes for a long period of time, please contact an experienced lawyer, in Central Illinois Ryan Bradley and the Law Firm of Phebus & Koester strive to bring justice to all people–including victims of Actos.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Stryker Hip Lawsuits Rage on, Central Illinois, Peoria, LaSalle Peru a Hotbed

2013 April 11
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Stryker Metal on Metal hips in Illinois

Depuy Hip ReplacementAnother Metal-on-Metal Recall

July 6, 2102: Stryker Orthopaedics a a major player in the medical device business, and a prominent designer and manufacturer of prostheses and medical devices recalled two of its hip implant models. This recall was premised on the fact that the hip prostheses in question are prone to “fretting and corrosion”that could trigger pain, swelling, and other complications in patients.

As has been the case with other metal on metal hip failures by manufacturers such as DePuy, Wright Medical, and Zimmer, countries that register medical devices have been the first to warn of failures. In the case of the Stryker Rejuvenate, the Canadian regulatory body, Health Canada, recalled theStryker Rejuvenate back in April of 2012 . This was not the only problem that Stryker has had with its devices either. Also in April the Australian and New Zealand Departments of health recalled the Stryker MITCH TRH Modular Head due to premature failure.

Stryker’s Rejuvenate Modular and ABG II modular-neck stem devices, are both what is known as metal-on-metal devices . This entire group of prostheses, from a variety of different manufacturers has been called into question recently by the legal and medical community. In fact the FDA has formed a special panel to address the problems.

In regards to the Rejuvenate Modular and ABG II modular-neck stem devices Stryker is informing patients who have been implanted with one of the recalled devices to contact their physician immediately. Meanwhile, the company has stopped global production of the devices.

If you or a loved one have a Stryker Hip, you may have a Claim for Monetary Relief.

If you or a loved one has had a Rejuvenate Modular and ABG II modular-neck stem device implanted, it is also prudent to call an experienced attorney so that you can be sure to protect your legal right to compensation.

According to Stryker , “While modular-neck stems provide surgeons with an option to correct certain aspects of a patient’s anatomy and hip biomechanics, given the potential risks associated with fretting and corrosion at the modular neck junction, Stryker Orthopaedics decided to take this voluntary action.”

The company had experienced high levels of reports of early failure rates in the Rejuvenate Modular and ABG II modular-neck stem devices since their introduction in 2009. While the life span of a hip prosthesis can be 20 years , there have been reports of Rejuvenate Modular and ABG II modular-neck stem devices failing in six months.

When hip prostheses fail, most of the failures will require another surgery known as a revision surgery. Hip failure and r evision surgery is painful . This second surgery takes a heavy toll on the patient and can increase the chances for further injury. This phenomenon is known as increased morbidities and represents the major element of compensation in defective device cases.

Pradaxa Part Two: The flawed Clinical Trial

2013 March 28
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fdapradaxanoFlawed Pradaxa® Clinical Trial?

RE-LY, an acronym for Randomized Evaluation of Long-term anticoagulant therapy, is the manufacturer’s clinical study comparing Pradaxa® with warfarin.   THis study is not widely known to the general public, and its results are disturbing.  For a while now, those in the consumer protection community have leveled allegations of flaws and in the study citing that the study did not go far enough and that the methods used were not adequate.

Now experts are also critical.  The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, said that “total serious adverse events were not reported, so the net effect of dabigatran (Pradaxa) cannot be assessed with certainty.”  It is already well-known that Pradaxa has no reversal agent, and can lead to uncontrolled bleeding, and the British Colombian Study adds more fuel to the fire.

In analysis of the clinical study, the drug-safety watchdog group Therapeutics Initiative criticized the rush to market for Pradaxa finding that the release was “premature, pharmacologically irrational and unsafe for many patients.”

Accordingly, it is fair to say that Pradaxa has many critics–including those at the upper level of the medical community.  In late 2012, the FDA finally weighed in regarding the uncontrolled bleeding crisis caused by Pradaxa.  The FDA is now continually monitoring the drug and the reports of bleeding events reported to it.

The drug has been under attack by physicians groups and patient advocates since 3,781 adverse effects and 542 deaths associated with Pradaxa were reported last year to the Food and Drug Administration. Its adverse reports and deaths surpassed all other monitored drugs. With sales higher than $1 Billion last year, millions of people are possible victims of the drug.

If you or somebody that you know has taken Pradaxa, and experienced uncontrolled bleeding, please seek medical care immediate, report the case to the FDA, and seek legal assistance.

Biomet M-2a Magnum: The Next Metal-on-Metal to Fall

2013 March 14
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hipM2aBiomet M2-a Magnum hip replacements are of the metal-on-metal variety that are subject to many lawsuits. The Biomet M2-a Magnum is similar to the recalled DePuy ASR hip and other metal hip implants such as the Stryker Rejuvenate and the DePuy Pinnacle. As I have written about many time before, these devices have come under scrutiny for their high failure rates and risks of serious side effects. In fact, the Stryker Rejuvenate, and DePuy ASR have actually been recalled by the manufacturer.

The Biomet M2 prosthesis system has a metal femoral head and pelvic cup located in the Acetablum. Like other defective metal-on-metal hip systems, the Biomet uses Chromium and Cobalt. Also like other defective metal-on-metal hips, the friction from the metal components release metal ions into the bloodstream which attack the connective tissues in the hip causing pain, tissue death, dislocation, and eventually necessitate a revision surgery.

If you have a Biomet M2-a Magnum, or any metal-on-metal hip for that matter, you should immediately consult with an experienced physician. After ascertaining you blood levels for Chromium and Cobalt, it may be wise to also visit with an experienced medial device attorney since you could be entitled to significant compensation for your pain and suffering, medical bills, and lost wages.

Warning signs of a defective metal-on-metal hip include:

  • hip pain;
  • inflammation and soft tissue damage;
  • difficulty standing or walking;
  • dislocation of the hip implant; and
  • hip revision surgery.
  • medical expenses;
  • lost wages;
  • permanent disability costs; and
  • pain and suffering.

Please feel free to contact the Illinois Plaintiff’s Lawyer with any questions.

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Mega Loads Equal Mega Danger

2012 November 12
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If you have ever seen a really large semi-tractor, whether it be a mobile home or a wind turbine,  on the highway, that’s the way the trucking industry wants it. The more that common drivers notice mega loads as they are called in the industry, the safer other drivers and operators of mega loads will be.  Awareness equals safety.

Mega loads, not surprisingly, are the topic of a great deal of controversy on the trucking and transportation community.  Most drivers find them to be an incredibly large nuisance, however to the industries that they serve they are indispensable.  Some believe that mega loads are a simple and efficient use of the highway system, while others believe that mega loads are a hassle that are dangerous.

The major problems with these loads are the damage they do to roads and the possibility of serious accidents with incredible clean-up costs. In Illinois, especially Central Illinois, these types of mega loads are typically associated with transporting wind turbine equipment.  Such loads are common place on Interstate 74 and Interstate 72.

A typical automobile driver should be on high alert when approaching a mega load.  Furthermore, remember that, even though the operator of the mega load is responsible for its own actions, and likely has significant insurance coverage for such loads, it is smart to proceed around mega loads with caution.  Most times when collisions happen with mega loads and regular cars, the driver of the regular car is injured.

Is it dangerous?

Yes.  However, simply because a practice is dangerous, it does not logically follow that such a practice will be outlawed.

This means that it is up to you to drive defensively and be careful.

If you have been injured as part of a collision that was the fault of a mega load truck, please call Ryan R. Bradley for a free consultation.