05/07/15 at 3:49pmZofran prescribed for morning sickness

Many children whose mothers took Zofran during their pregnancy for nausea are suffering from serious birth defects.

  • Heart defects
  • Musculoskeletal anomalies
  • Mouth deformities
  • Jaundice

Unfortunately, even though the use of Zofran poses serious birth defect risks, the FDA has not pulled it from the shelves.  Frequently, Zofran has been prescribed off label for morning sickness.

Lawsuits against GlaxoSmithKline are increasing in number.  For example, a complaint filed on February 16th in a U.S. District Court in Massachusetts alleges GSK was fully aware of lab studies that indicated a link to intrauterine deaths and malformations in animals that were administered Zofran. The plaintiff claims as a consequence of using Zofran during her pregnancy her daughter was born with birth defects.

If you are pregnant, think twice before taking Zofran for nausea.  The risk to the developing fetus appears to be significant.  If you took Zofran during pregnancy and your baby suffers from serious birth defects, your child may be entitled to compensation to make up for the loss and costs. 

05/01/15 at 3:14pmSemi Truck Fires

Wrecks

People who are involved in a collision with a tractor-trailer often survive the initial impact only to face another terrifying hazard: flames engulfing their vehicle. This is because a number of tractor manufacturers place unprotected 150-gallon aluminum gas tanks outside the tractor frame on each side of the truck just below the driver and passenger doors. The fuel tanks are about the same height as the front bumper of a passenger vehicle, creating a high risk of fire when they are struck during a collision. When struck, the gas tank’s thin membrane is easily punctured, causing a fuel leak. Then a spark can ignite the fuel.

These defective vehicles pose an unreasonable danger of fire and explosion. Sadly, incidents of tractor-trailer fuel tanks exploding during accidents occur all too often. For example, on April 1, 2015, a semi driver, from East Peoria, Illinois, was on the highway when he drove the tractor-trailer into a guardrail and bridge post. The tractor burst into flames and was destroyed. Safer designs do exist, and truck manufacturers have a responsibility to manufacture vehicles that are safely designed.

04/23/15 at 2:30pmMedical Malpractice

Informed Patients Can Help Prevent Medical Errors

More people die each year from medical malpractice than from workplace injuries.

“Preventable medical errors persist as the No. 3 killer in the U.S. – third only to heart disease and cancer – claiming the lives of some 400,000 people each year. At a Senate hearing Thursday, patient safety officials put their best ideas forward on how to solve the crisis, with IT often at the center of discussions.” “Deaths by Medical Mistakes Hit Records, July 18, 2014.

* * *

It's not just the 1,000 deaths per day that should be huge cause for alarm, noted Joanne Disch, RN, clinical professor at the University of Minnesota School of Nursing, who also spoke before Congress. There's also the 10,000 serious complications cases resulting from medical errors that occur each day.

http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/deaths-by-medical-mistakes-hit-records

So what can you do to help prevent medical errors?

1. Choose a good doctor and really get to know him/her. Even if you have to choose a doctor from your insurance company’s list, ask your friends and co-employees who they see before choosing a doctor.

2. Use the Internet to research doctors before making an appointment. Check to see if the physician has been disciplined or formally accused of wrongdoing by a medical board; has had his/her practice temporarily restricted of suspended pursuant to a court order; or has been disciplined by a medical board of another state or federal governmental agency. For Wyoming doctors check the following website for disciplinary actions: http://wyomedboard.wyo.gov/consumers/alphabetical-disciplinary-action-list

3. Understand the medications you are taking and why. Many people are over medicated. When picking up a new prescription, ask the pharmacist if it should not be taken with the medications you are currently taking. Double check to see if you have been given the correct drug. Look up all your medications on the Internet to determine what they are supposed to treat and what the side effects are.

4. Make a list of the medications and the dosages you are taking. Take this list with you to all of your doctor appointments.

5. Be curious when talking to your doctor. Ask questions and ask more questions. Have your doctor write down the diagnosis if there is one and when you get home research this medical condition on the internet.

6. Make a list of your questions. Take your list of questions with you when you go to see your doctor.

7. Consider getting a second opinion.

8. Don’t take chances with surgery. Make sure everyone on your medical team,
surgeons, nurses and the anesthesiologist knows what your surgery is for and
where (which knee, which side of your face, neck, etc.) Ask them to mark the
correct area before they wheel you into the operating room.

9. Medications in the hospital. When hospitalized, never allow a nurse to give you medication either orally or in your IV until you find out what medication you were receiving.

10. Think hard before refusing a caesarian section your doctor says you need. Waiting because you want to deliver naturally may result in serious injuries to your child.

11. Take someone with you. A friend will be able to recall what your doctor had to say. If you are hospitalized, it is important to have someone there with you to make sure the hospital staff and your doctor are taking care of you.

12. Get a copy of your medical records. Keep a file containing all of your medical records.

13. Get a copy of your health insurance plan and read it carefully so you know what is covered and what is not.

14. Like your doctor. Think twice before you continue seeing a doctor you do not like or a doctor who does not like you and will not answer your questions.

15. Don’t hide your medical past. Your medical team needs to have important information including your family medical history.

04/09/15 at 3:24pmKnee Replacement Recall

Knee replacement device recalled -- Zimmer's Persona Trabecular Metal Tibial Plate/ Persona TM

On March 12, 2015, the knee replacement implant component Zimmer's Persona Trabecular Metal Tibial Plate/ Persona TM was voluntarily recalled due to reports of radiolucent lines and loosening. See the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) website.  The A Class 2 recall designation indicates this knee replacement product "may cause temporary or medically reversible adverse health consequences or where the probability of serious adverse health consequences is remote," according to the notification.   This notification also indicates all lots and sizes are affected and over 11,000 Persona tibia devices are on the market.  You should contact your physician if you have one of these defective devices.

           

For more information see: http://www.benzinga.com/pressreleases/15/04/p5381925/federal-regulators-deem-a-recall-of-the-zimmer-persona-knee-replacement#ixzz3WpUoliIj

04/09/15 at 9:19amAirbag Recall

      On Monday, March 2, 2015, Takata announced the production of its airbag replacement kits has increased from 350,000 per month last December to 450,000 per month.  It hopes to increase manufacture of these repair kits to 900,000 per month by September of this year.
    
     In 2014 BMW, Chrysler, Ford, Honda and Mazda issued national recalls of these defective driver-side airbags in compliance with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration request.  To date, approximately 17 million vehicles with Takata air bags - that can rupture when they deploy, releasing fragments that can kill or seriously injure occupants - have been recalled.  However, the supply of airbag replacement kits has not been sufficient to meet the demand.
    
     At least five people have died in the U.S. from accidents after Takata airbags ruptured and deployed with excessive force.  In January of this year according to Reuters and other news outlets a Houston man was allegedly killed by a driver-side airbag when his 2002 Honda was in a wreck.  While the damage to both cars was not excessive, the driver, a 35 year-old man following the wreck was found to be unconscious.  By the time the ambulance arrived, the driver was dead.
    
     This father of two teenage boys purchased the vehicle in April of 2014.  It has been reported he was unaware of the fact that the vehicle was one that had been included in a 2011 recall for defective driver’s side air bags.  According to the Houston News on January 31, 2015, this man’s family plans on filing a lawsuit against Takata, Honda and the car dealership that sold the vehicle. For Honda recalls see www.recalls.honda.com.
    
     Defective Takata driver-side airbags can explode, releasing metal and plastic shrapnel and injuring drivers. These injuries include loss of vision, hearing loss, excessive bleeding and, in some cases, death.
    
     Unfortunately, there are still millions of vehicles for which automakers like Toyota, Honda, Chrysler, Nissan, Ford, Mazda, Chevrolet and others that have issued recalls millions of cars worldwide, so there are still vehicles on the road today that are dangerous and need to be repaired. “Any vehicle that is unrepaired is a risk,” David Friedman, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA’s) deputy administrator, told the LA Times.
    
     Before buying a used vehicle, be sure to check the Highway Traffic Safety Administration website to see if the vehicle you want to buy has been subject to any recalls. nhtsa.gov/Vehicle+Safety/Recalls+&+Defects  It is also a good idea to search for information regarding the vehicle on websites like CARFAX.  http://www.carfax.com

03/27/15 at 2:57pmBassinet Recall

Two-and-one Dream On Me bassinets that were sold nation wide nationwide from May 2012 to October 2014 by Amazon.com, Walmart.com, Wayfair.com, ToysRUs.com, and Kohls.com are being recalled. These basinets pose both a fall and suffocation hazard.  Babies can be entrapped and suffocated or the infant can fall out of the basinet if the wire supports on the sides of this defective product disconnect.

 

The Dream On Me two-in-one bassinet to cradle products, come in pink, blue, green and white.


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If you own one of these bassinets stop using it immediately and contact Dream On Me. The recalled model numbers are 439-A, 439-B, 439-G, 439-P and 439-W, located on a tag under the mattress pad of the bassinet. This tag is a removable tag you see in the store, but it is removed prior to use.

 

For more information contact Dream on Me toll-free at (877) 201-4317, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or online at www.dreamonme.com and click on the "Recalls" icon on the home page for more information.

03/03/15 at 8:43amCarbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a very real threat. It should be taken seriously. Carbon monoxide is a colorless gas that can cause serious injuries and even death.  A defective gas furnace, gas water heater, car, truck, gasoline engines, gas burning stoves or fireplaces can produce lethal levels of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide form sources like these can build up unnoticed unless one has a certified carbon monoxide detector.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends a home have at least one carbon monoxide alarm with an audible warning signal.

02/27/15 at 3:26pmTire Recall

Tireco Inc. is recalling 3,793 Milestar medium tires for possible cracks in the lower sidewalls.  Tires with cracks have an increased risk of sudden failure, increasing the risk of a crash. The tires are Milestar BS623 Premium All Position tires, size 225/70R19.5, and Milestar BD733 Regional Open Shoulder Drive tires, size 225/70R19.5, manufactured between June 9 and Sept. 26, 2014, by Shandong Wanda Boto Tyre Co. Ltd. at its plant in Dongying City, Shandong, China.
Toyo Tire USA Corp. has also just announced a safety recall some of its light truck tires. They include Toyo’s Open Country M/T tires in size 40X15.5R22 127Q, manufactured during the week of Oct. 26, 2014, with TIN CXPCEV74314.

Toyo reported some of these tires have a manufacturing defect that may result in off-center belts. This defect may cause tread/belt separation and/or loss of inflation pressure, increasing the risk of tire failure and causing wrecks. Owners of these affected tires should return to their tire dealer as soon as possible for free replacement tires or call Toyo at 800-442-8696 from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST.

It is critically important for tires on all vehicles be free of defects. Defective tires put both drivers and passengers’ lives at stake.  A defect in the tire can result in tread separation, belt adhesion failure, blowouts and tire/rim explosions. A defective tire can make the vehicle’s weight shift, resulting in the vehicle being thrown around and rolling over.  The roof of the vehicle may then collapse and crush the driver and passengers. 

A defective tire can also blow out and the driver to lose control of the vehicle. It is very important to return all tires to the dealer if a tire has been recalled.

Over the years, our firm has successfully handled defective tire cases in Wyoming and other states.  Some were catastrophic injury cases and others were wrongful death lawsuits.  To successfully prosecute these cases, the defective tire and damaged vehicle must be preserved so an expert engineer can examine the tire and vehicle.  Junkyards and wrecker companies will dispose of this evidence after a short time. Photographs alone are generally not enough evidence.  So if you suspect a defective tire may have caused a crash, it is imperative to contact an attorney as soon as possible if you want to preserve your rights. 

02/19/15 at 1:37pmJeep Fires

More than 70 people have been killed in fires involving older Jeeps because these vehicles have plastic fuel tanks mounted behind the rear axle.  Last November on Veterans Day, a woman who was eight months pregnant slowed her 2003 Jeep Liberty that was behind two other cars to exit a freeway. After her Jeep was re-ended by another vehicle, her jeep collided with a car in front of her. The Jeep rolled onto its side and then exploded in flames.

 

The heat from the fire forced back other drivers who tried to free the woman.  The firefighters who arrived at the scene just three minutes later were also unable to rescue her.  She died as the result of smoke inhalation and burns.  Her unborn baby also died. 

In June of 2013, Fiat Chrysler recalled 1.56 million Jeeps.  Unfortunately, it appears that only about 12 percent of the SUVs have been repaired since the recall.

To prevent a tragedy like this one, it is important to periodically check to see if any recalls have been issued for your vehicle.  You can search a database for uncompleted recalls at http://www.safercar.gov/.

04/22/13 at 8:47amWhat's Your Lawyer Worth?

Does Your Lawyer Have Financial Stamina?

What’s your lawyer’s net worth?  What does that have to do with anything?  Well, take the issue of costs, for example. It takes a lot of money to make a case most of the time.  The general public has a lot of misconceptions about lawyers.  One mistake is thinking one lawyer is as able to handle your case as well as the next.  Far from it.

If a giant corporation damaged you, it will spend a lot of money on lawyers and expert witnesses to get out of  paying you, if possible.  Defendants usually have insurance and the insurance company has a lot of money to fight against you, billions and billions.  Just one company, State Farm, ended 2012 with a net worth of Sixty Five Billion Four Hundred Million dollars.  That’s $65,400,000,000,00.  It didn’t get rich paying fair amounts in claims.  

Your lawyer has to take it away from them.  Your lawyer must have the financial staying power to work up the case, not cave in to the crushing expenses the insurance company will make him or her lay out.

You probably don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars laying around to take your case to court.  Does your lawyer?  Somebody has to front the money, almost always running well into six figures in a significant case.  It costs a lot to hire experts to evaluate your case and, if justified, to testify about their findings.  Somebody has to pay the court reporting fees, travel expenses, investigators, research costs, and so on and so on.   You need to ask about this before you sign a fee agreement with a lawyer.  Ask hard questions.

It used to be a little easier to figure this out.  Until 1972, the premier legal directory, Martindale-Hubbell, published ratings of lawyers’ net worth.   Here’s how it rated their estimated net worth: 

1  over $100,000

2  over 50,000 under $100,000

3  over 30,000 under 50,000

4  over $20,000 under $30,000

5  over 10,000 under 20,000

6  over 5,000 under 10,000

7  less than $5,000.

With inflation, a lawyer rated “1” in 1972 would have a 2012 net worth of $549,450.55.  It’s too bad you can’t go to the library and look up lawyers’ net worth anymore.  But it is still important for you to gauge your lawyer’s financial ability – and commitment –to spend what it takes to fight for you.  Ask about that before you sign a fee agreement.

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