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Tag Archives: wrongful death

Data shows increased incidence of deaths from accident injuries

The recent release of data on the causes of death in the United States shows some disturbing statistics regarding fatal accidents. The study by the National Safety Council (NSC) showed yet another significant increase in car crashes with life-threatening injuries. Public safety specialists express concern regarding this, in light of the efforts to increase design safety of motor vehicles and roads as well as safe driving campaigns. Modern cars and trucks have advanced technology seat belts and airbags as well as safety sensors throughout the vehicle. Further analysis is needed but some wrongful death experts believe that the noted increase in serious injuries is due to distracted driver accidents. They blame this on the increased technology devices distracting drivers, such as driving while texting, talking on a cell phone while driving and even people who read and post to Twitter and Facebook while operating a motor vehicle. They also note that some drivers don’t take their responsibility seriously while they eat, read or speed instead of concentrating on the road. Several other causes of accidental injuries that commonly lead to death were identified by the council. These include slip and fall, drowning and overdose accidents. If you or someone you know has suffered a preventable accident due to someone’s possible negligence, you have the right to speak to an expert accident attorney to discuss your case. You can also find out more about the NSC study here.

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How common are medical errors and are they being taken seriously?

Repeat studies on medical malpractice show that medical errors are common and serious. Unfortunately, it is difficult to determine the accurate incidence of medical malpractice that causes death due to record keeping and statistics issues. However, according to experts, if medical errors were tracked properly, it may be the third most common cause of death in the United States. Cases of medical mistakes occur in regular hospital rooms, the ICU, the emergency and operating room just as often as in an outpatient doctor’s office, according to specialists. Of note, laboratory errors are also too common with inexperienced technicians and outdated equipment with negligent maintenance sometimes to blame. The high incidence of malpractice death has healthcare safety advocates very concerned. A New York City medical malpractice lawyer notes that this cause of death is all too often swept under the rug. Hospitals, doctors and other health providers sometimes cover up for their mistakes to prevent taking blame for medical injury or death. Other times, they may not have caught their blunder or innacuracy that could have led to a wrongful death or patient harm. Activists in this area point out that intensive scrutiny is often necessary to understand exactly what transpired. This can require medical expert witnesses examining the case and trying to determine if proper medical protocol was followed or if anything was missed. Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis can cause just as much of a problem as dispensing the wrong medication or overdose of a correct medicine. Experts say that other common medical malpractice events take the form of birth injury, negligent medical advice and failure to treat. Surgical error can include surgery on the wrong side of the body or the wrong surgery altogether. However, sometimes less obvious can be a surgeon who slips and perforates an organ. You can read more about the issue of surgical and medical errors here.

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Takata airbag manufacturer pleads guilty to fraud

The world’s largest vehicle airbag recall was sparked after, analysts say, the Takata manufacturer fraudulently claimed that their airbags were safe. However, the company now admits that they knew for many years that there was a defective part that could cause the device to explode. This, in turn, could lead to a more serious and deadly injury from a car accident. The company has produced tens of millions of dangerous airbags that have been installed by motor vehicle manufacturers around the world. Everything from cars to SUVs to trucks have dangerous airbag components made by this company and have been recalled. The guilty plea by Takata comes along with an agreement to pay a hefty $1 Billion in fines and penalties. However, this money is not earmarked to go to the injury victims and families of victims killed in a car crash that may have been affected by the hazardous situation. A top injury law firm in New York explains that this doesn’t shield the manufacturer or others from a personal injury lawsuit. In fact, it has been noted that some of the car companies allegedly knew about the dangerous condition posed by the defective airbag problem but continued to install them anyway. This opens those car makers to injury and wrongful death lawsuit as well, according to experts. Product liability laws describe the actions that should be taken by all involved to ensure that consumers aren’t injured by a product that is known to be potentially dangerous. You can find out more about this product recall and repercussions here.

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$2.25 Million – Medical Malpractice Claim Due to Delayed Treatment in Hospital

New York – In 2012 a woman delivered a baby in a hospital in Queens, NY. She subsequently suffered a pulmonary embolism and died the next day. The woman’s widowed husband claimed that this was a wrongful death due to the hospital’s failure to treat the problem quickly enough. Medical malpractice lawyers with Morrison & Wagner filed a malpractice lawsuit on the woman’s estate’s behalf. The hospital’s operator agreed to pay a settlement of $2,250,000 to the victims.

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Lawsuit: Doctors’ Inaction allowed embolism’s fatal progress (VerdictSearch by Priya Idiculla)

Settlement: $2,250,000

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Court: Queens Supreme, Queens County, New York

Injury Type(s): death; embolism; pulmonary / respiratory; respiratory arrest

Case Type: Medical Malpractice — Delayed Treatment — Wrongful Death — Survival Damages

Date: February 25, 2016

Plaintiff Attorney(s):
Eric H. Morrison; Morrison & Wagner; New York, NY

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Facts & Allegations:
On July 10, 2012, plaintiff’s decedent, a 31-year-old part-time nurse, underwent Caesarean delivery of a daughter. The delivery was performed in a hospital in Queens, New York.

During the hours that followed the delivery, the woman developed severe impairment of her respiration. She ultimately suffered an arrest, though she was quickly revived. Doctors suspected that she was suffering a pulmonary embolism, so she underwent intravenous administration of an anticoagulant: Lovenox.

Her condition worsened during the ensuing morning. A doctor ordered surgical thrombolysis, which would have involved mechanical destruction of the embolism, but the woman died before the procedure could be undertaken. The woman’s widower, Plaintiff, claimed that his wife’s death was a result of a failure to timely address her embolism.

The plaintiff and his sister, acting as co-administrators of the deceased woman’s estate, sued the hospital’s operator, New York City Health and Hospitals Corp., and several doctors who were believed to have been involved in the hospital’s treatment of the woman – an internist, hospitalist, 2 obstetricians, a pulmonologist and a cardiologist. The lawsuit alleged that the doctors failed to timely address the woman’s embolism, that the doctors’ failures constituted malpractice, and that New York City Health and Hospitals was vicariously liable for the doctors’ actions.

The estate’s counsel discontinued the claims against the doctors. The matter proceeded against New York City Health and Hospitals.

The estate’s counsel contended that the woman’s embolism could have been resolved via thrombolysis, but that the surgery was not ordered until the woman had experienced five hours of worsening symptoms. He also claimed that 165 additional minutes passed before the hospital completed the woman’s presurgical preparations. While the woman was being transported to the area in which the surgery would have been performed, she suffered a loss of consciousness. She did not regain consciousness.

The estate’s counsel also contended that the woman was not timely administered Lovenox. He contended that earlier administration may have altered the need for thrombolysis.

Defense counsel contended that the woman’s embolism was of an advanced stage that is rarely resolved via thrombolysis, and she also contended that thrombolysis is an extremely risky procedure. She contended that the hospital’s staff appropriately determined that Lovenox was the more efficacious means of addressing the embolism.

Injuries/Damages
The woman suffered a fatal pulmonary embolism. During the hours that preceded her death, she suffered severe impairment of her respiration. She also suffered an arrest, though she was resuscitated.

The woman died on July 11, 2012. She was survived by her husband and two children.

The woman’s estate sought recovery of wrongful-death damages that included her lost earnings, damages for her pain and suffering, and damages for her children’s loss of parental guidance. The lost-earnings claim was not supported by admissible documentation.

Result
The parties negotiated a pretrial settlement. New York City Health and Hospitals, which was self-insured, agreed to pay $2.25 Million.

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Editor’s Note: This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiff’s counsel. Defense counsel did not respond to the reporter’s phone calls.

New technology hopes to prevent birth injury

A healthcare instrument manufacturer has recently presented a new kind of scalpel to prevent birth injuries caused by a doctor during childbirth. The makers of this new surgical instrument say that it can prevent common accidental lacerations of the cheek, face and ear of the fetus as well as other body parts. Medical safety experts say that obstetrician doctors or residents often injure the infant while cutting through the mother’s tissues while working quickly to deliver the baby. Hospital errors can occur for various reasons. For example, unskilled physicians or fatigued staff sometimes have difficulty performing caesarean section surgeries under such time pressure. This can lead to permanent disability, wounds or even death of the baby. Patient safety can also be put at risk, leading to injury to the mother during such an intricate operation. The new medical device hopes to reduce the risk or such injuries and wrongful death. They also hope that the new safety blade design will prevent injury to the doctors and nurses involved in the surgery. Worker’s comp injuries involving hospital workers being hurt by needles, scalpels and other sharp instruments is a serious concern. Patient safety advocates explain that many medical safety devices are available to staff but some hospitals refuse to buy them due to high cost. However, they note that the high cost to a victim who suffers a medical malpractice injury must be taken into consideration. Many malpractice lawsuits, especially in cases of fetal injury, can be avoided with proper planning to avoid surgical error or a hospital mistake. Find out more about the new medical safety options here.

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Defective part leads to Honda Odyssey car recall

A popular minivan has been recalled due to a faulty part that can lead to serious injury during a car accident. The defective parts involve the seat leavers for the middle row seats that often remain unlocked. This dangerous situation causes the seat to slide during a car crash, which can potentially cause severe injuries or even wrongful death, according to collision specialists. Concerned public safety advocates note that this minivan is often used by parents for children and carpool. They warn that such a hazardous condition puts kids at risk for more serious accident injuries, including dead injury, broken bones and abdominal injuries. Industry analysts explain that the Honda corporation has had to recall several cars from their fleet of vehicles due to dangerous damaged or deficient products. It is unclear if this latest product recall has been the cause of any injury or death. If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident, you can consult with a personal injury lawyer to find out your rights. You can read more about this minivan recall here.

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Two workers hit by a subway in Brooklyn train accident

New York — A Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) subway train accident injured one worker and killed a second victim in Brooklyn. The two transit workers were setting up warning lights to warn subway traffic into the Fort Hamilton station that construction and repair work was underway. The MTA uses these warning lights to signal train operators to slow down or stop. This safety system apparently failed when the workmen we struck by the train as it rounded a bend in the track. One of the MTA employees was injured in the work accident and taken to the hospital for care. However, the other laborer was killed in the train crash after suffering extensive and fatal injuries.

Investigators are looking into the cause of the collision to determine if any negligence may have caused the wrongful death. Union and work safety advocates note that more rigorous safety precautions are needed to protect workers as well as the public. They say that safety protocols must be reviewed and additional safety equipment should be issued to prevent future accidents or injury. Some have also pointed out that proper preventative maintenance is necessary to prevent an accident. Negligent maintenance has become an issue in many fast-paced workplace injuries according to specialists. To find out more about this workers comp injury please see this article.

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Horrific pedestrian accident with two child victims in Queens

New York – The driver of green Chevrolet car hit two child pedestrians as they crossed the street just two days ago. The accident victims were walking to school that morning when the car collided with them and caused severe injuries. The girls, only 13 years old, were thrown to the ground, with one of them suffering a serious head injury with traumatic brain injury (TBI). Sadly, that girl died of the crash injuries while doctors feverously tried working on her in the emergency room. The other victim of the crash is being treated for a leg injury with possible broken bone or nerve damage. Local activists from the Ozone Park community have expressed their outrage about this accident with injuries and wrongful death. They say that better street signs, traffic signals and crossing guards are needed to prevent more collisions, injuries and deaths. They demand that the city council take immediate action to ensure the safety of pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers alike. Some have asked why it has to come to this, with a serious accident and someone getting killed before the authorities take appropriate safety actions. Check out this article for up-to-date information about this fatal pedestrian accident.

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Official New York City vehicles increasingly involved in accidents

New York – A comparison in car and truck accident data from 2015 to 2016 involving city vehicles and employees shows some frightening results. The report shows that there was an over 10% increase in the number of collisions involving city municipal vehicles, including ambulances, fire trucks, garbage trucks, buses, city inspector cars and others, but excluding police cars. The most significant intensification in truck and motor vehicle crashes involved ambulances that are owned and managed by the FDNY. Ambulance accidents went up by more than 30% compared to last year. Unfortunately, further data regarding the numbers and types of accident injuries from these collisions has not been made available as of yet. New Yorkers have expressed concern regarding these new statistics, saying that this puts citizen’s lives and health at risk. They note that many of the city vehicles involved in these crashes are emergency vehicles that are speeding or reckless driving, leading to both more accidents as well as more serious injuries and deaths. An ambulance carries extra weight with all of the emergency equipment and the force of these accidents can cause irreparable damage. This holds true even more so for garbage and fire truck and bus accidents. Citizens are quick to point out that they appreciate the many emergency workers and city employees who do their work diligently and watch out for public safety. However, they demand that the city government and agencies work even harder to eliminate the dangers and problems that obviously still exist.

The city has reportedly worked to deal with the dangerous driver issue within their employees but even additional driver safety training has yet to solve the near-epidemic. Some experts wonder if the problem lies with the initial hiring and vetting process within the city’s agencies. Are they doing their due diligence to weed out reckless drivers and other hazards? Has the city done its part in preventing city officials from hiding behind their credentials and agencies when doing something illegal or dangerous? Citizen activists complain that many city workers speed, make dangerous U-turns and park in dangerous locations with impunity. Many questions are yet unanswered but one thing is clear – much more needs to be done to prevent further collisions, injuries and wrongful death. Check out this article for more on the increased city vehicle collisions.

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Are Suffolk County’s red-light cameras causing more accidents with injuries?

New York – Public safety activists are in an uproar about an ongoing investigation that shows an increased accident with injuries risk at intersections equipped with red-light cameras. Lawmakers and citizens alike have expressed concerns regarding the dangerous condition created by these traffic light cameras. They note that some of the traffic signals have faster-than-normal yellow lights and confusing signals, creating a risk for injury due to car accidents that inevitably follow. In the meantime, Suffolk County officials claim that the camera program is fine and plan to continue with it, despite the public safety concerns involved. Opponents question why the program isn’t suspended until they, at least, investigate the increased car crash concerns. They explain that this would allow the time to safely look into the issues and prevent injury or wrongful death accidents. One theory as to why there is an increased accident risk at these intersections revolves around concerned motorists who become afraid of getting a ticket, instead of remaining focused on driving safely. Experts say that drivers may needlessly brake too soon or too quickly, leading to a rear-end collision. Others may become a distracted driver when looking at the camera instead of the road.

Some community activists in New York have claimed that the local county government is simply being greedy and unwilling to give up the revenue that they receive from traffic tickets. The fines associated with these tickets goes to the government’s coffers and is shared with the company that installed and maintains the cameras. This creates a possible incentive for some politicians to keep the cameras functioning even in light of the risk of injury or death. However, this may actually lead to increased personal injury lawsuits, which would be much more costly if lawmakers neglect to deal with the hazardous condition that they’ve created. Motor vehicle accident victims are encouraged to seek legal advice from a top injury lawyer to determine their rights. You can see a video and read more about the controversial traffic light program and investigation here.

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