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rodeo riderThe obvious defendant in a motor vehicle accident case is the person whose negligent driving caused the wreck. However, for a variety of reasons, it is possible that other defendants may be named in some lawsuits. In a fatal drunk driving accident, the plaintiff may want to sue those besides the driver who the plaintiff believes is partially responsible for the state of intoxication the driver was in.

It is usually to the plaintiff’s advantage to name as many potential defendants as possible in order to increase the chances of a settlement or judgment, especially if some defendants may be be uninsured, underinsured, or immune from suit.

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By Jessica Surber, attorney
English, Lucas, Priest and Owsley, LLP

medic-hospital-laboratory-medical-40559Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear announced today that he is suing Johnson & Johnson for false marketing of transvaginal mesh, a medical product that the company sold to doctors and surgeons. The mesh is an implant used to treat pelvic organ prolapse and relieve stress urinary incontinence.

Beshear said in a press conference that the mesh has been implanted in 15,000 Kentucky women without Johnson & Johnson or Ethicon, the medical device subsidiary, providing proper information to women about the product.

The lawsuit doesn’t seek compensation for women harmed by the transvaginal mesh. Instead, it seeks civil penalties against Johnson and Johnson.

This type of lawsuit by an attorney general is unusual, and while it seeks to punish the manufacturer of transvaginal mesh, it doesn’t help women who are suffering because of this product. Anyone who has been injured is strongly urged to seek help from a qualified attorney, who can help them advocate for their rights.

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delirium, brain scan, elderly, nursing homeWhen a person suffers from delirium, he or she may have confused thinking, a reduction in awareness of his or her environment, a general lack of focus, and other symptoms of cognitive impairment. Behavioral changes such as hallucinations, restlessness, and lethargy are also common, as are emotional disturbance issues such as anxiety and depression.

According to media reports, a recent study from Brown University indicated that nursing home residents who are admitted to care with delirium are at increased risk as compared to residents without such a condition. The study, which analyzed over 5.5 million residents’ medical records, indicated that there were almost a quarter of a million seniors admitted to nursing homes with delirium from 2011 to 2014.

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feet on sidewalkProperty owners and business operators owe certain duties to those who come onto their premises for a business or social purpose. A breach of this duty can potentially result in a finding of liability against the landowner and an award of damages in favor of an injured party. This is most commonly referred to as a “slip and fall” case, in which someone is injured because of property that isn’t maintained, such as a cracked sidewalk or other similar issue.

For this reason, it is increasingly common for would-be defendants to ask for a waiver of liability from those with whom they do business. It is up to the courts to determine whether such waivers are valid under the facts of an individual case.

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sidewalk in town

Lawsuits arising from negligent operation of a motor vehicle typically involve two drivers, each driving his or her own vehicle. Passengers in one or both vehicles may also be parties to the suit if they were injured in the collision. Sometimes, the case involves a pedestrian accident.

Regardless of whether the person seeking to recover compensation following an automobile accident is a motorist, a passenger, or a pedestrian, the plaintiff has the burden of proving that the defendant was negligent. This means that he or she failed to act in a prudent manner, causing harm to the plaintiff.

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elderly woman's handsPhysical abuse happens to nursing home residents much more often than most of us can imagine, and often the perpetrator gets away with it. But not always.

Recently, a woman who worked at a nursing home in Pike County, Kentucky, was indicted by a grand jury for the alleged abuse of a nursing home patient in her care. The worker, who was a 32-year-old certified nursing assistant (CNA) at Parkview Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Pikeville, Kentucky, admitted to the court that she went into work while under the influence and then injured a resident’s arm.

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By Lauren Marley, attorney

English, Lucas, Priest and Owsley, LLP

Risperdal drug injuryEarlier this month, a jury in Pennsylvania delivered the largest verdict yet against the maker of Risperdal, an antipsychotic medication. A jury awarded a family $70 million as compensation for devastating drug side effects suffered by their son. According to media reports, this is the fifth such lawsuit in Philadelphia, but by far the largest verdict, against Janssen, the manufacturer of Risperdal.

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handshake deal

Do you know how much uninsured motorist coverage you have, or whether you have such coverage at all? One man thought that he had such coverage, but, as it turns out, uninsured motorist coverage was not part of his insurance plan with Allstate.

In a case that went all the way to the state’s highest court, the parties vehemently disagreed about the issue of coverage. Ultimately, the man lost his case in an appellate court opinion issued some 10 years after the automobile accident that led to the dispute.

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timing device

Let’s suppose that there is a very important event coming up in your life – your parents’ golden wedding anniversary party or your child’s last middle school basketball game. The event takes place as scheduled, but you don’t get there until the lights are turned off and the door is locked. Maybe you got the date wrong or were confused about the location. It really doesn’t matter. You missed the big event, and there is no way to wind back the clock.

The statute of limitations in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit is similar to this situation. If your claim is not filed by the deadline, you have no opportunity to pursue damages, metaphorically speaking.

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Mother and her son looking outDepending upon the law of the state in which a person dies, it may be possible for his or her survivors to file a wrongful death lawsuit, a survival action, or both. Typically, state law also dictates who has the right to file suit, the appropriate lawsuit(s), the types of damages that may be sought, and how the proceeds will be divided among the various interested parties.

Difficulties sometimes arise in identifying the proper party to bring the suit. When this happens, it is up to the trial court judge to apply the law to the particular facts of the case. If any litigant is dissatisfied with the judge’s ruling, he or she may seek relief in the court of appeals, or thereafter the state supreme court.

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