Medical Malpractice – inevitable human error or very preventable negligence?

We all agree that there are too many medical malpractice lawsuits in courtrooms around the country. The reason for this is simple. While most doctors and medical staff are well trained and professional, every day, some medical care workers prescribe the wrong medication, misdiagnose patients, perform the wrong procedure, and even operate on the wrong part of the body. Overworked and underpaid nurses and aides make simple mistakes that harm patients. Surprisingly, the most common cases of medical malpractice involve preventable falls and preventable bed sores.

In 2008, New Jersey hospitals reported 533 incidents of error. These blunders included patient falls, bed sores, and foreign objects left inside patients after surgery. Of these 533 errors reported in New Jersey in 2008, 40% of them were patient falls. The typical falling patients were elderly women between the ages of 81 and 90. Fractures to arms and legs were the most commonly reoccurring injuries resulting from falls, while 9% of the falls resulted in death. Seventy-one percent of the falls happened in the patient’s rooms, usually while the patient was trying to get to the bathroom. Some may argue that these falls are hardly medical malpractice cases, and simply accidents. Those people are wrong. These “accidents” are preventable and someone must be held accountable. Fall prevention must be high priority for health care facilities housing high-risk fall patients, and hospital staffs should be educated about those patients. Perhaps better lit pathways to private bathrooms, or rails that patients could hold onto while walking could reduce fall rates. We send our loved ones to the hospital in hopes that the doctors and nurses will be able to treat their ailments and return them back to health. Those doctors and nurses are paid to care for and watch over our parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. Should it not then be a nurse’s job to know that the 82 year old woman in room 104 is at risk of falling, and therefore check on her more regularly?

In addition to preventable falls, bed sores and pressure ulcers are also among the most frequently reported errors, and a grave cause for concern. The medical evidence overwhelmingly shows that there is no reason that any nursing home or hospital patient that is being properly cared for ever develop a bed sore or pressure ulcer. They are simply a sign of negligence and inadequate care-taking, and both count as medical malpractice. Bed sores and pressure ulcers result in unnecessary and preventable suffering, infection, and other serious complications, that otherwise would not have to be dealt with. Some sick patients can not take a minute infection that a bed sore can cause, and that minute infection than becomes fatal. Preventative measures should be taken to avoid these awful afflictions. Those measures include repositioning the patient every two hours, inspecting the parts of the body most prone to bedsores, cleaning skin that becomes moistened from perspiration, excrement, or wound drainage, changing sheets frequently, and keeping patients hydrated.

Asking medical personnel to prevent over 200 sick patients from falling and sustaining serious and possibly fatal injuries is far from asking doctors to be perfect. Demanding that nurses and nurses’ aides be more attentive to bed ridden patients to prevent painful and dangerous bedsores is not outrageous. Negligence, inadequate care taking, and inattentiveness are all cases of medical malpractice.
If you or a loved one has suffered due to medical malpractice in New Jersey or Philadelphia, Mininno Law Firm is here to help you get the compensation you are owed. Call (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.

Defective Product information is a necessity

Each day a defective product manufacturer quietly pays off another victim in a secret settlement that no one will ever learn about. These Court approved secrecy agreements hide vital information concerning public health and safety. How? Companies manufacturing defective products will only pay for the harms they cause if the victims agree to secrecy. Why do negligent product manufacturers insist on secrecy? Because makers of unsafe products such as medicines, airplanes, baby cribs, or car tires, realize that consumers would not buy these products if the products dangerous aspects were known to consumers. Below are just a few examples of the harm that secret product liability settlements cause.

In 1996, a mother gave her 7 year old son the recommended dosage of an over-the-counter children’s medicine to treat an ear infection. Hours later the boy suffered a hemorrhagic stroke (a stroke that involves bleeding on and outside of the brain) and fell into a permanent coma. Three years of life support and failed rehabilitation attempts followed before the boy died. Later, doctors concluded that the boy’s stroke was caused by an ingredient in the medicine called phenylopropanolamine. The unsafe ingredient has since been banned by the FDA and removed from the number of over-the-counter medicines in which it was found. But before this little boy took the medicine, similar lawsuits had been filed against the negligent drug manufacturer. All of these claims should have been in the public record; however each of these defective product suits was quietly and secretly settled. Had information about the unsafe drug been made public, that boy would be a young man today.

In 2003, three Texas businessmen died when their Cessna Caravan airplane, being flown by a professional pilot, crashed due to a defective deicing mechanism. This mechanism, when working properly, removes built up ice from the wings and exterior of the plane. Ice on the wings and the airframe disrupt airflow, and can seriously affect flight, as it did in this case. During this product liability lawsuit, the plaintiff’s lawyers found concealed evidence that proved that Cessna knew its deicing system was both defective and unsafe before the plane was ever certified by the Federal Aviation Administration. When this damning evidence was found, Cessna agreed to compensate the families of the three men but only after insisting that the families agree to secrecy in order to be fairly compensated. As part of the settlement agreement, Cessna demanded its documents back and these documents were never made public. To this day, Cessna has not addressed the deicing defect in a number of its aircraft, most of which still take flight. The National Transportation Safety Board has reported 6 fatal crashes and 1 serious injury crash since the crash in 2003 that, the attorneys have claimed, involve the same defective deicing mechanism. The most recent Cessna Caravan crash that resulted from the alleged same deicing defect was October 7, 2007 in Washington State. It killed the pilot and 9 passengers.

In May of 1998, Linda Ginzel and Boaz Keysar lost their son Danny when he strangled to death after his Playskool crib collapsed. Linda and Boaz later found out that 3 secret settlements were made in product liability cases involving the same defect in the same crib. Manufacturers Kolcraft and Hasbro fought to make it 4 secret settlements, but fortunately Linda and Boaz were able to successfully deny the request, allowing news of the defective, collapsing crib to be made public.

The most well known case of of a secret settlement causing harm involved tire manufacturer Firestone 6.5 million defective tires that Fireston manufactured. Evidence linked these defective tires to car crashes occurring over a 7 year time frame. By October 2001, after the defective tires had finally been recalled, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration determined that the defective tires had been the cause of at least 271 deaths. Most of those product liability cases were settled secretly.

Manufacturers must not only be held liable for their defective products, but must also be required to make news of these product defects public! These products have caused the death of far too many lives, and who knows how many lives could have been saved had news of product defects been made public sooner. Product liability cases should never be settled secretly, especially when the health and safety of men, women, and children is at stake. If you or a loved one have suffered injury or loss due to a defective product, you need help. The Civil Trial Attorneys at Mininno Law Office are here to help you. Call (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.

Defective products are dangerous products, potentially causing injury or death

Have you heard about a defective product? Something dangerous that injures and harms an innocent consumer or child? Chances are that the defective product was not made in the USA, but by a manufacturer outside of our borders and our legal rules. Research performed by the American Association for Justice last year has shown that 83% of defective product recalls announced in 2009 by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, or the CPSC, were from foreign manufacturers. These foreign made products are ones that are unsafe, dangerous, or pose a safety hazard to the users or others. Let’s look at the data and numbers to see if we can make some conclusions about where unsafe products come from.

First, the CPSC reports that there were 377 recalls of defective and dangerous products last year. Of those recalls, 312 of these defective products were for products that were made outside of the United States and then exported to the United States from foreign countries that do not have the same product safety regulations or access to the civil tort system. Even more interesting is the facts that of these 312 recalled products, a whopping 206 of these defective products were Chinese manufactured.

So ask yourself, why are most defective products that cause injuries to workers, children and families made in third world countries and not here in the USA? It’s simple. Our legal system protects consumers against dangerous products by holding United States based manufacturers accountable for the production of unsafe products by plaintiff’s lawyers in our courts.

In addition, dangerous product manufactures also can avoid our employee and product safety rules and regulations and hire low wage workers who are not afforded the same labor, wage, and legal protection that American workers are given by our labor protection laws.

The sad truth is that foreign manufacturers are not held to the same legal and safety standards as American manufacturers once their products arrive here, and they can easily avoid being held accountable in a court of law in front of a jury of our peers. As a result, they can gamble with product safety and never have to face consequences for negligent conduct. Since these defective product manufacturers can not be held accountable for the injuries their products cause, there is virtually no incentive to ensure that product safety is the number one goal when making these products

Fortunately, new legislation being proposed would force foreign manufactures to have representation here in the US so that they can not avoid being held accountable in Court. If a foreign made product proves itself unsafe, its manufacturers will be subject to the same laws that US manufacturers are subject to. The proposed legislation would require that foreign manufactures wanting to do business here in the US be required to consent to the same state and federal jurisdiction that local manufacturers do. The unsafe products would be required to meet or exceed the US safety regulations set for by the by the CPSC , the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), and the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).

This legislation comes too late for many who have already suffered injury or loss due to defective products. For example, Taishan Gypsum, a Chinese manufacturer of drywall, exported 500 million pounds of sulfuric-acid emitting drywall to the U.S. These emissions have caused significant amounts of property damage to homes built with the Chinese made material. Reported damage includes that of HVAC systems, smoke detectors, electrical wiring, and metal plumbing components. The emissions have been linked to metal corrosion. They cause a sulfurous odor that permeates the house, and may be the cause of eye, respiratory, and sinus problems. If Taishan Gypsum knew it would be held accountable for any harm it caused by a defective product, it is likely that Taishan Gypsum would have ensured the safety of its drywall. Because it was essentially immune from our Courts and Tort System, Taishan Gypsum was free to export these unsafe products to the US and reap billions of dollars in profit.

Taishan Gypsum is not the only foreign company exporting sub-par and defective products, causing danger, illness, injury, or loss. If you or a loved one have suffered due to a defective product, the team at Minnino Law Offices wants to help. Our Civil Trial Attorneys in New Jersey and Pennsylvania have experience in cases involving defective products and are here for you. Please give us a call at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey or (215) 567-2380 in Pennsylvania.

New Jersey wrongful death attorneys have seen the impact of a tragic loss

New Jersey wrongful death attorneys have seen it all. We’ve heard the horror stories. We’ve seen the sorrow in families’ eyes of those who have lost a loved one.

 

Recently, our New Jersey wrongful death attorneys heard some very sad news on both the local and national level. Two teens lost their lives last week after being struck by a high-speed Amtrak train in Norwood, Pa. Also last week, Marie Osmond’s 18-year-old son Michael Blosil took his own life. Add on the news about the earthquake in Chile this past weekend, and it’s been a rough seven days for everyone.

 

According to Suicide.org, there were 32,637 suicides in the United States in 2005. Exactly 536 came from New Jersey and 1,430 occurred in the state of Pennsylvania. Even though New Jersey and Pennsylvania rates are low compared to other states, those are tough numbers to swallow. Multiply those numbers by the amount of people affected, and the results are astronomical.

 

Suicide is never the answer

As a New Jersey wrongful death attorney, we know how much pain people experience when they lose someone they love. If you’re having any suicidal thoughts, please tell someone. Tell anyone. Whether it’s your best friend or just an acquaintance, people will listen. Whatever your problem is, suicide won’t solve it. But most of all, think of the ones you love. Think of your family. Think of your friends. Think about how they would feel if they lost you. Here’s another way to look at it. Think about the person you love the most, and think about how you would feel if you lost him or her.

 

New Jersey wrongful death attorneys can help you

 

If you’ve recently lost a loved one, we can’t begin to imagine what you’re going through. However, we can tell you that you’re not alone, and there are people and resources out there that can help you. If you’ve recently lost someone you love, please visit our resources on mourning from the death of a loved one.

Do you have questions or answers for a New Jersey wrongful death attorney?

Add a comment to our blog and tell us what’s on your mind. At the Mininno Law Office, you can talk to a New Jersey wrongful death attorney who can answer your questions about your loved one. We have experienced NJ lawyers who handle these cases all too often. We’d be happy to answer any questions you have or offer any help you need. Call (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey or (215) 567-2380 in Pennsylvania.