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Stryker Metal Hip Update

2015 July 22
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by Ryan Bradley

A Settlement has been Reached, if You have not Joined the Settlement it May be too Late.

Stryker Peoria HIp RecallIn November 2014, Stryker agreed to settle several thousand claims related to both devices for$1.43 billion. But the amount is not capped, and attorneys expect the final payout to exceed this amount. This settlement encompasses cases in the New Jersey MCL and the Minnesota MDL. Depending on the nature of the injuries, plaintiffs could receive as much as $600,000 each.

What does this mean for residents of Illinois?  It means that you need to hurry and consult a qualifies Stryker Hip Attorney as soon as possible to preserve your right to participate in the settlement.  There are strict deadlines associated with these settlements and failure to act could mean that you are left out.  While the deadline to file was March 2, 2015, it is still worth contacting an attorney is you have not yet done so.

Stryker withdrew its Rejuvenate and ABG II devices in July 2012 after warning surgeons they could harm tissue around the hip and cause other health problems. The company said yesterday that it set aside more than $1.4 billion to cover costs of handling cases over the recalled hips so the settlement fell into the “low end of the range of probable loss.”

Unlike other device makers, Stryker settled before facing a trial over claims their hips suffered from design flaws and the company failed to warn patients about the devices’ risks.

If you have any questions about the Settlement please feel free to contact us.

What Happens when the Other Driver has No Insurance

2015 July 7
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by Ryan Bradley
Ryan Bradley Chanmpaign Urbana Accident Attorney

Central Illinois Accident Attorneys

USA Today estimates one in seven drivers in Illinois is uninsured. (Check out the link, it’s a pretty cool map.)  If you are involved in an auto accident in Illinois and the at-fault driver has no insurance, all hope is not lost.   You still have options. Illinois law requires uninsured motorist coverage, or UM coverage. (625 ILCS 5/7-203). Because Illinois requires uninsured motorist coverage, the driver will be held accountable just as if he or she had minimum coverage. Currently, the minimum uninsured motorist coverage in Illinois is $20,000 per injured person (up to $40,000 per accident) and $15,000 for property damage.

Furthermore while many drivers may have insurance, it is not always enough. If your claim is greater than the liability coverage of the at-fault driver, you could potentially recover the difference through an under-insured motorist claim. These policies also apply to auto accident cases involving pedestrians and bike riders.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident, you should contact an experienced attorney.  Phebus & Koester, LLP has handled many personal injury cases and focuses on residents of Champaign County and throughout Central Illinois.

Country Roads, Take Me Home…But Be Careful.

2015 June 18
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by Ryan Bradley

In Illinois, Country Roads hide danger beneath the beauty.

Living in Illinois, particularly central Illinois, offers a great opportunity to spend some time driving down country carol roads. Despite the beauty country roads are one of the most dangerous places to drive–especially during planing and harvesting. It is important to understand that country roads are often used for significant farming activity and accordingly, keep these tips in mind to be 100% safe at any time of year.

Illinois Country Roads

Stay Safe on Illinois’ Country Roads

  • When the corner or an intersection is surrounded by tall corn, it is of difficult for cars or farm implements to see around intersections. For this reason, always slowly approach every country road intersection and keep on the lookout.
  • No matter whether or not there is a stop sign at the intersection, fight the urge to drive through rural intersection without stopping first.
  • High rates of speed stick always slow reaction time and can be incredibly dangerous.  On country roads, speed becomes even more deadly.  Always maintain a reasonable (and legal) speed in the country–as good as it feels to cruise through the corn fields.
  • Finally, make sure that you’re able to communicate your location in the case of an accident.  This means not only having a cell phone, but know where you are in relation to the nearest emergency care provider.

Follow these tips and go for a drive on Illinois’ beautiful rural roads.

If you are injured in an accident in rural Illinois be sure to contact an attorney that has experience in these types of cases.

Stryker Rejuvenate and AGB II Hips Prolific in Peoria and the Illinois Valley

2015 January 12
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by Ryan Bradley

Stryker Hip Replacement Recall Lawsuit News Update: Peoria, LaSalle, Peru, Illinois have Hundreds of Cases

Stryker Peoria HIp RecallLitigation for the Stryker hip replacement recall settlement is continuing according to Plaintiffs’ Lead Counsel Committee Chairperson, Peter J. Flowers, of Meyers & Flowers, a Chicago-based law firm.   It is not too late for individuals impacted by the Stryker Implants to receive compensation.  Plaintiff’s counsel reviewed millions of Stryker documents looking for evidence against the Stryker Orthopaedics and the fruits of the labor led to the billion-dollar settlement.

The Stryker hip replacement recall lawsuit was one of the largest medical device lawsuits in the United States. 31,000 devices were implanted across the country.

In November 2014, Stryker agreed to settle a several thousand of those claims related to both devices for $1.43 billion. New Jersey State Superior Court Judge Brian Martinotti. The settlement for each claimant is expected to be about $300,000, although some cases will receive less if the claimant is deceased and some will receive more money if they required extraordinary medical help.  For residents of the Illinois Valley and Peoria Area this is important since there are MANY individuals with the faulty and dangerous hip that have not registered for the settlement.  It is imperative to have a local attorney familiar with this type of litigation assist you on your claim to receive the maximum amount of compensation.

This settlement encompasses all claimants who had revision surgery before Nov. 3, 2014. Additional settlement terms may be negotiated for additional claims after this date, and Stryker did not report on how many claims will fall under the November settlement. The first payouts should roll out in the summer of 2015.

Meanwhile, more people who suffered injuries linked to the devices may still be eligible to file legal claims. An experienced attorney can explain the process and help determine if you’re eligible to file a claim.

Linked below are important articles from medical literature regarding damages that victims of this prosthesis can expect in this case. These articles specifically discuss the proper criteria to consider in treating someone with a Recalled Total Hip Arthroplasty replacement and the huge failures seen with devices and the problems that they cause.

  • 1. Adverse Local Tissue Reaction Arising from Corrosion at the Femoral Neck-Body Junction in a Dual-Taper Stem with a Cobalt-Chromium Modular Neck, The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated; Read Article »
  • 2. Modular Taper Junction Corrosion and Failure: How to Approach a Recalled Total Hip Arthroplasty Implant, The Journal of Arthroplasty; Read Article »
  • 3. Early Corrosion-Related Failure of the Rejuvenate Modular Total Hip Replacement, The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated. Read Article »

As you can see the danger and the medical implications of the Stryker ABG II and Rejuvenate hip prostheses are serious.  Please consult a doctor and an experienced attorney for help with your claim in Illinois.  Every individual with one of the Stryker hips is potentially eligible for compensation and contacting an attorney will not implicate your treatment.

Medication Errors in Illinois Nursing Homes On the Rise

2014 April 28
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by Ryan Bradley

Nursing Home Medication Errors

Nowadays, placing a loved one into a nursing home requires much research into the facility’s complaint and citation history. NBC 5 Chicago reports that a multitude of residents in Illinois nursing homes suffer from negligence every day.

Whether or not to properly satisfy a resident’s correct medicine dosage can be the difference between life and death. Since 2011, state health inspectors have reported 384 medication errors in nursing homes. According to the Illinois Department of Health, two residents of nursing homes recently died after medication errors and another resident’s untreated infection led to amputation.

Illinois has a current 9% facility citation rate for medication errors. The state’s goal is to bring this down to 5%. In order to avoid these fatal mistakes, health inspectors continue to monitor nursing home training standards and operating procedures. According to the Health Care Council of Illinois, there are more than 85,000 nursing home residents in the state of Illinois who take around 10 prescription medicines per day.

Nursing home medication errors can result in large fines and penalties. In severe cases, nursing homes can even be shut down or lose certification.

The President of the Health Care Association, John Vrba, says that continued education for nurses and limited interruptions during medication passes should help reduce these medication errors.

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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