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Articles Tagged with injuries

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shiny floorWhen a lawsuit is filed for compensation for injuries in an accident allegedly caused by another party’s negligence, there are several ways that the case can be concluded. The most obvious ways are by an out-of-court settlement or a jury verdict in favor of one party or the other.

There is another, less commonly known, possible resolution for negligence cases known as “summary judgment.” When a court grants summary judgment, it is usually (although not always) in favor of the defendant, and it means that, even if the court looks at all of the evidence in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, there is no way that the plaintiff’s case can be successful at trial.

If the plaintiff disagrees that summary judgment was an appropriate end to the case, he or she can ask the appellate court to review the matter.

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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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Pinnacle hip replacementA two-month trial in Dallas brought back a huge verdict against Johnson & Johnson, the manufacturer the Pinnacle hip replacement, which is a metal-on-metal hip replacement system. The jury verdict came back today after only one day of deliberations. The jury verdict awarded $497.6 million in damages to five plaintiffs whose cases were combined as part of a multidistrict litigation. The figure included $360 million in punitive damages against DePuy.

The case is considered to be a bellwether case, meaning the outcome of the case indicates how the courts and juries may see future hip replacement cases. The result of the case was posted on law news site Law360 today.

The device targeted in this lawsuit is the Pinnacle Acetabular Cup System, which is made by DePuy, a division of Johnson & Johnson. One of the key components of the Pinnacle hip replacement is a cobalt and chromium liner in the cup part – which was also a key part of the problem with the device.

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Crutches in a medical clinis

According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls are one of the leading causes of nursing home injuries and deaths. In addition to the approximately 1,800 nursing home residents who die annually from injuries related to falls, many more sustain injuries that render them permanently disabled or with a reduction in their quality of life.

The CDC also reports that, in a typical 100-bed nursing home, there are at least 100 and as many as 200 falls reported annually. This is a staggering statistic, especially given the fact that many nursing home injuries are never reported. About half to three-quarters of all nursing home patients will fall at least once a year, and some fall multiple times. Those who are unable to walk are particularly vulnerable to falling, with the CDC reporting that 35% of injuries from falls happen to those who are unable to walk without assistance.

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TECHNIKA SH-A366

By Kurt Maier, Attorney
English, Lucas, Priest and Owsley, LLP

The basic components of a negligence case are duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages. In slip and fall injury cases, called premises liability cases in legal terms, an injured person must also show that the owner or operator of the premises either caused the hazardous condition that led to his or her injuries or had constructive notice of.

The constructive notice element of proof can be shown in several ways, including proof that the dangerous or defective condition had been in place for a length of time sufficient for the defendant to have become aware of the condition in the exercise of reasonable care. Constructive notice can also be shown through the defendant’s recurring conduct or a continuing condition.

Of course, each case is unique, and disagreements can certainly arise as to whether a defendant was constructively notified of a particular situation. In some such cases, video surveillance footage can be an important piece of evidence, even if the slip and fall injury in question was not captured on camera.

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Empty office workstations.

By Kyle Roby, Attorney and Partner
English, Lucas, Priest and Owsley, LLP

It often comes as a surprise to those injured in car accidents that dealing with one’s own insurance company can be just as vexing and contentious as dealing with the insurance company of the driver whose negligence or recklessness caused the accident.

Fortunately, the law does provide some protection for insureds who have to fight with their own insurance company to get that to which they are contractually entitled. However, the threshold for success in such cases is high, and not every case results in a judgment in the insured’s favor.

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Military graveyard

A family in New York received a favorable verdict after a jury trial in which they alleged that their loved one had died as a result of neglect while he was a patient at Central Park Rehabilitation and Nursing Center.

While any case involving the mistreatment of a vulnerable or helpless nursing home resident is troubling, this case is especially concerning because the man who died had only been in the facility for two weeks at the time of the injury that led to his death, and he was there for rehab, not long-term care.

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same sex marriage loss of consortiumWhen a husband or wife dies or is severely injured as a result of someone’s negligence, the surviving spouse can typically seek damages for past medical expenses, future medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, impairment of earning capacity and what’s called “loss of consortium.” Essentially, loss of consortium is the loss of the loved one’s love, care, services, assistance, and companionship. Loss of consortium seeks to compensate the surviving spouse for the harm endured to the marital relationship. Damages for loss of consortium can be awarded not only in wrongful death cases but also in cases in which a spouse has been severely injured and is unable to provide the love, care, services, assistance, and companionship that the couple enjoyed when both persons were healthy.

Damages for loss of consortium are only available to married couples. KRS 411.145 states that “either a wife or husband may recover damages against a third person for loss of consortium, resulting from a negligent or wrongful act of such third person.”

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medicationAccording to government projections, the number of older Americans who rely upon nursing homes, alternative residential care, or home care services is steadily increasing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts that this group will increase from approximately 15 million in the year 2000 to around 27 million by 2050. Since these vulnerable, often frail older people rely on others for health care, personal care, and supportive services, nursing home understaffing can drastically affect patient care, and it’s all too common.

The Expected Makeup of a Nursing Home Staff

It takes a variety of personnel to ensure that residents are properly cared for. This can include registered nurses (RNs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs), licensed vocational nurses (LVNs), certified nursing assistants (CNAs), physical therapists (PTs), and others, such as janitors, cooks, and office personnel. Every nursing home in the country is required to report its staffing hours to its state survey agency. While staffing hours is an important number because it shows the total number of hours worked divided by the total number of residents, it does not necessarily reflect the level of care given to any particular resident or even the general level of care on a given day.

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Risperdal

Risperdal

Plaintiffs seeking a judgment against Johnson & Johnson, the makers of the drug Risperdal, saw a big victory this week out of Philadelphia. A jury sided with the family of an autistic boy who grew size 44 DD breasts after taking Risperdal in 2002. The Wall Street Journal, along with many other publications, wrote about the verdict, which was handed down on February 24, 2015.

Growing breasts was one of several risks that Johnson & Johnson knew about but hid from the Food and Drug Administration, lawyers said. The condition is called gynecomastia. Some patients have been forced to undergo surgery to remove the breasts.

Due to the widespread use of this drug, our firm believes there are many patients who have taken Risperdal and may very well have suffered similar problems, or other side effects. ELPO is accepting cases against Johnson & Johnson, the maker of Risperdal, representing children and their families who have been harmed by Risperdal. The drug treats the symptoms of psychiatric disorders. In addition to gynecomastia, there is an increased risk of stroke and diabetes for patients taking Risperdal.

We want to help patients protect their rights, and encourage anyone who has taken Risperdal or who has a family member who has done so to contact us as soon as possible.

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