May 19, 2015

Healthcare Errors Hidden from Service Members

by Levin & Perconti
LinkedIn

Medical malpractice can happen to anyone. Unfortunately, as the VA Hospital scandal showed, members of our military are not immune from this. Whether it is missed or delayed diagnosis, health professional error, or pharmacy error, service members can fall victim to the exact same kinds of malpractice civilians suffer from. Unfortunately malpractice that happens to military members can be even harder to uncover than the malpractice that happens to civilians due to military regulations regarding service member health information.

Active Duty Service Members have Different Rights from Civilian Patients

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May 13, 2015

Prescription Error Nearly Kills Child

by Levin & Perconti
LinkedIn

Pharmacy errors are a serious problem in the United States. While some of these errors are caught before serious damage is done, others result in serious personal injury or wrongful death. The most tragic of these cases are those that involve children, whose small bodies are even less likely to be able to cope with receiving an overdose or improper medication. Unfortunately problems in our pharmacy system lead to these errors happening all too often.

Young Boy Nearly Killed by Pharmacy Error

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May 5, 2015

Federal Proposal Would Limit Injured Patients' Rights

by Levin & Perconti
LinkedIn

Usually medical malpractice laws are state-level laws. When a person files a personal injury or wrongful death case it is usually filed in state court. Despite the state-based nature of malpractice law, occasionally federal laws impact medical malpractice plaintiff's rights. One proposed law that would do just that is currently being considered by federal lawmakers.

House Bill Would Provide Shield for Negligent Doctors Against Malpractice Suits

The New York Times reports that the U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill, with bipartisan support, that would limit the rights of medical malpractice patients. Specifically, the law would limit injured patients ability to use certain government information about the quality of care doctors are expected to provide in such lawsuits. The bill, were it to become law, would require the government to measure the quality of care doctors are providing and rate their performance on a scale of 0 to 100. This would be great.

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April 29, 2015

Nursing Home Malpractice Leads to Serious Injuries

by Levin & Perconti
LinkedIn

As our loved ones age in some cases a nursing home is the best option. While we would all love to be fully independent well through our elder years, some older people suffer from serious health conditions that prevent them from living on their own or being cared for by their loved ones. In these cases we rely on the professionals in nursing homes to provide that care. Unfortunately, in some cases, these care facilities break that trust and engage in nursing home abuse or neglect. This can result in a nursing home resident suffering from bed sores, falls, choking, or a whole host of other serious problems.

Illinois Woman Allegedly Suffers Nursing Home Neglect

The Madison-St. Clair Record reports that the estate of a downstate Illinois woman who died in 2013 is suing the nursing home where she received care before her death. The lawsuit alleges that the nursing home was negligent and careless when it came to caring for the deceased woman. Allegedly as a result of the neglect she endured during her lifetime she allegedly suffered “multiple open wounds, dehydration, malnutrition, weight loss, sepsis with multiple organ dysfunction and failure” and other conditions that contributed to her death.

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April 24, 2015

Court in Yet Another State Strikes Down Tort Reform Damage Caps

by Levin & Perconti
LinkedIn

Medical malpractice lawsuits provide the only effective means of holding American doctors responsible when their negligence hurts their patients. Whether the case is for personal injury or wrongful death, these suits provide a way to make the injured patients or their families as whole as possible and provide real financial incentives for doctors to practice according to the standard of care.

Unfortunately the insurance lobby and medical lobby have convinced many legislatures to severely limit medical malpractice cases and place arbitrary and harmful limits on how much plaintiffs in these cases can recover. There is no limit to the amount of damage a negligent medical professional can cause, so limiting the amount a patient can recover when he or she is injured is nonsense. Fortunately many courts like the supreme courts of Illinois and Florida have struck down medical malpractice damage caps as violating state constitutional provisions. Now a judge in Tennessee has followed suit and held that his state's damage cap is also unconstitutional.

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April 21, 2015

Doctors and Hospitals are Allowed to Keep Mistakes Secret

by Levin & Perconti
LinkedIn

Sometimes it can be hard to know when you have been a victim of medical malpractice. Medicine is an extremely complex field, which is exactly why we rely on health care providers rather than just treating ourselves. It is impossible to know exactly how much malpractice goes undetected by its victims. But there is also a different knowledge gap when it comes to medical malpractice. Even in those case where the direct victim of the malpractice knows about it and is able to obtain a malpractice settlement, it is common for other patients to have know way of learning about the malpractice meaning they too could become victims.

Confidential Settlements Keep Patients in the Dark

News Channel WSOC in Charlotte, North Carolina recently reported on the issue of confidentiality agreements in medical malpractice cases. A reporter interviewed a woman who accepted a settlement that included a confidentiality agreement after having a surgical sponge left in her body during an abdominal surgery. Because the woman had signed the confidentiality agreement she could not tell anyone about what had happened to her. She is now an advocate for changing the law to prevent these confidentiality agreements so that the public is not kept in the dark about incidents like hers.

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April 19, 2015

Dirty Scissors Used on VA Hospital Patient

by Levin & Perconti
LinkedIn

Two things are true of hospitals: they are full of sick people and they are full of people who are vulnerable to infections. This is one of the reasons why using properly sterilized equipment is of paramount importance in hospital settings. When hospitals fail to properly sterilize equipment, the result can be personal injury or even wrongful death. While it is a shame when this sort of lapse happens at any sort of hospital, it is most horrifying when it happens at a VA hospital tasked with treating the men and women who have already put their lives on the line for our country. Unfortunately, this does happen.

VA Hospital Uses Dirty Scissors on a Patient

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April 15, 2015

Apparently Not Quite Everything a Doctor Does Wrong in Texas is Subject to Strict Medical Malpractice Limits

by Levin & Perconti
LinkedIn

Tort reform has been leading to ridiculous results all over the country. Medical malpractice patients have found themselves unable to recover the damages to which they should be entitled. In states like Texas, personal injury plaintiffs have found claims that have no business being classified as medical malpractice classified as such so as to deny them their rights to recovery as well. Finally one Texas attorney decided to push the envelope and as a result the Texas courts have put at least some sort of limit on the later of these practices.

Texas Has Been Classifying All Negligence that Happens to Be the Fault of Doctors as Medical Malpractice

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April 11, 2015

Two Dental Malpractice Cases Proceeding in Illinois

by Levin & Perconti
LinkedIn

Many people fear the dentist. Between the Novocaine shots, the sound of the drill, and bad memories of childhood braces, a day at the dentist is not exactly a day at the beach. But most people go and most of the time it works out perfectly fine. Unfortunately, some people are not so lucky. Some people find themselves victims of dental malpractice. Dental malpractice may not be the most commonly thought of type of medical malpractice, but it can have serious consequences for the patients who experience it.

Aurora Dentist Accused of Malpractice

Wheaton Patch reports that an Aurora dentist is facing allegations of malpractice in DuPage County. The patient in this case claims that his long-term dentist did not inform him that he had gum disease and it was getting worse. The patient went to this dentist from 1980 up through part of 2013. Throughout the over three decades of treatment the dentist provided the patient with general dental care, diagnostic and restorative care, and treatment planning. In 1999 the dentist told the patient that he noticed periodontal disease, but allegedly did not tell the patient about any particular problem area. Allegedly the dentist did not bring up the condition of the patients gums again until 2012. The patient then went to a different dentist, who diagnosed him with periodontal disease. The patient returned to the original dentist, who at that point, in 2013, finally referred the patient to a periodontal specialist. The patient claims as a result of the delay in his treatment he now suffers from a moderate to advanced form of the disease which has required surgery including bone grafting.

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April 7, 2015

Drug Maker Fighting FDA Efforts to Approve Generic Abilify

by Levin & Perconti
LinkedIn

Prescription drug safety is already a complex issue. There are legitimate questions about the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) reliance on manufacturer funded studies in making approval. There is a serious real world problem of prescription and pharmacy error, particularly as large scale pharmacies pressure pharmacists to work faster and faster. In this complex framework the FDA sometimes takes steps that actually help consumers, like approving substantially cheaper generic counterparts to extremely expensive prescription drugs. However, name-brand drug manufacturers are now fighting back, and they are going to court to do it over a generic version of Abilify.

What is Abilify?

Abilify is an antipsychotic medication that changes the actions of chemicals in the brain. It is used to treat mental health conditions like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. It is also used in children who are often too young to be accurately diagnosed with specific mental health conditions for symptoms like aggression and self-injury associated with autism spectrum disorder.

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