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March 2012 Archives

Simple things to do to avoid medical malpractice, part I

This blog has previously covered many different medical malpractice horror stories in an effort to warn Albany patients of just what could go wrong in a hospital setting. Even though most of the people working in New York hospitals and clinics are competent medical professionals, sometimes a simple mistake could be the difference between a patient's life and death. There are, however, some things that patients can do to protect themselves against hospital injuries.

Whistleblower Says Takeda Concealed Bladder Cancer Risks of Actos

In an Actos whistleblower lawsuit unsealed last month, which was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, a former medical reviewer for Takeda Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of Actos, a drug used to treat diabetes. The lawsuit was brought under the federal False Claims Act, which provides a vehicle for whistleblowers to bring claims on behalf of the government and in return receive up to 30 percent of any recovery.

Wal-Mart defends against premises liability lawsuit

With the number of Wal-Mart stores near Albany and across upstate New York, New Yorkers know what to expect when they enter a Wal-Mart. They know that no New York Wal-Mart should have dangerous substances on the floor or hanging from the shelves. They know that the way in which the store is set up should not pose any risks of injury or death. And, they know that if something is a cause for concern and the staff have been informed of it, that it will be quickly fixed.

Clostridium difficile infections most likely found in nursing homes

It may shock New York families to know how many of their loved ones may become infected with and die because of an extremely dangerous and common bacterium. Clostridium difficile was the cause of 336,000 hospitalizations in 2009, a jump from the 139,000 in 2000. What is truly shocking, however, is that 75 percent of these infections occur in nursing homes.

Upstate New York head-on collision caused by passing cars

Albany drivers know that before passing another vehicle on the road, there must be no oncoming traffic that could make passing dangerous. Unfortunately, two sets of drivers in northern New York seem to have failed to follow this simple rule when they passed two eastbound vehicles on Route 3 near Watertown, New York. Sadly, that careless driving caused a serious motor vehicle accident that has left one woman dead and severely injured her husband.

NPR Story Examines the Effects of DePuy Metal-on-Metal Hip

A recent story broadcast on National Public Radio's (NPR) "Morning Edition" tells the story of a 57 year old woman from Massachusetts who was implanted with a DePuy ASR metal-on-metal hip in 2009, only to have to undergo another major hip surgery a few years later in order to remove the same implant. To listen to the story, click here.

New York Assembly to consider new sex abuse laws

Albany has recently seen a discussion surrounding how civil sexual abuse lawsuits should be tried in New York. Under the current laws, if someone is the victim of a sexual assault under the age of 18, he or she must file a sexual abuse lawsuit by the age of 23 or lose any ability to hold an abuser or negligent third party liable for the physical and emotional suffering of a sexual assault. While a new bill is being discussed that would provide more protections for the victims of sexual abuse, there are some who oppose a longer time frame to file lawsuits.

Dodd-Frank Securities Whistleblower Incentives

The 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) added Section 21F to the Exchange Act, providing for whistleblower incentives and protections, similar to the civil False Claims Act. Under the Dodd-Frank Act, whistleblowers may receive awards for reporting original information about securities law violations to the SEC. These violations include insider trading, accounting fraud, broker-dealer violations, and corporate disclosure violations.

Approximately 70 Yaz Lawsuits Reportedly Settled

It has been reported that Bayer, the manufacturer of Yaz and Yasmin, has settled around 70 lawsuits filed by women alleging that the drug caused serious negative side-effects including blood clots, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and other problems.

Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants Twice As Likely to Fail, Study Finds

A study recently published in The Lancet, a British medical journal, confirms that metal-on-metal hips are more likely to fail when compared to ceramic or plastic jointed artificial hips. The comprehensive study involved data review of more than 400,000 hip replacements from the National Joint Registry of England and Whales form 2003 to 2011, of which more than 31,000 were of the metal-on-metal variety.  To see a summary of the study published in Bloomberg, click here.

Costco injury ends in $415,000 award for customer in slip and fall

Go into any New York Costco and you will see a giant warehouse filled with products and people. Even though it may be busy, you expect that the floors will be cleaned of spills and that there won't be anything dangerous on which to slip and fall. Unfortunately, that does not always happen, and when there is a dangerous substance on the floor, it opens the company up to liability if an Albany customer falls and injures him- or herself.

Public demands stronger restrictions on Four Loko

Parents across New York have heard of the alcoholic drink Four Loko and the reported deaths and injuries caused by it. The company that makes Four Loko, Phusion Products, chose to remove the caffeine from the drink in 2010 after the combination of alcohol and caffeine posed an unreasonable harm to consumers, but that has not stopped the company from producing a drink that contains nearly 12 percent alcohol. Now, the Federal Trade Commission is asking for comments on an agreement it recently reached with Phusion.

Senate committee passes medical malpractice bill in Albany

A new medical malpractice bill has recently passed through the New York State Senate Judiciary Committee in Albany that would protect plaintiffs and their medical privacy. If the bill is passed by the Senate as a whole, the new law would prevent defendants from interviewing a plaintiffs' doctors. Under the current New York law, as determined in Arons v. Jutkowitz, a 2007 Court of Appeals decision, defendants have been able to conduct private interviews of a plaintiff's medical professionals.

BP Oil Spill Trial Postponed; Gross Negligence Damages Sought

With less than 24 hours to go before the start of the BP Oil Spill civil trial scheduled for February 27, 2012, a New Orleans federal district court judge postponed the trial until March 5th to give the parties additional time to discuss potential settlement.

New York teenager killed while riding in friend's car

The residents of Sparkill, New York, are remembering a 17-year-old who was tragically killed as she returned home from a visit to Albany. According to New York state police, the teenager had been riding in the back seat of a friend's car when the driver lost control of the vehicle and drove off the road. While the driver and the front-seat passenger were able to walk away with minor injuries, the 17-year-olddied at the scene of the car accident.

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