Recent Blog Posts

Crane Accidents Caused by Construction Negligence Can Have Catastrophic Consequences

 Posted on May 10, 2016 in Construction Accidents

crane accidents, Chicago construction accident lawyersThe use of power equipment and heavy machinery have enabled faster, easier work for construction companies, which has, in turn, increased their profits and productivity. Unfortunately, foreman, subcontractors, and other responsible individuals still cut corners, fail to follow all safety regulations, and put both workers and the general public at risk. Construction crane accidents can especially dangerous and often have catastrophic consequences, yet they remain one of the most common types of construction accidents in the United States.

Crane Accidents Occur at an Alarming Rate

In the United States, approximately 125,000 cranes are currently being used in the construction industry. Another 80,000-100,000 cranes are thought to be in use in the general and maritime industries. All of them are regulated with rules regarding when and how they should be operated and secured; yet collapses still happen at an alarming rate.

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Understanding the Legal Protections for Injured Construction Workers

 Posted on May 05, 2016 in Construction Accidents

injured construction workers, Chicago personal injury attorneysOf all the jobs in existence, construction workers have one of the most dangerous. On a daily basis, they are exposed to biohazards like dust and asbestos, and prone to injuries from power tools, heights, equipment, electricity, environmental hazards, and heavy falling objects. To reduce the risk of injury from these hazards, there are numerous safety policies and procedures that contractors, property owners, foreman, construction firms, and even the workers themselves must follow. Unfortunately, some take shortcuts (otherwise known as construction negligence) and put countless lives at risk.

Nearly 100 Construction Workers Fatally Injured Each Week

According to statistics from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 4,679 workers were fatally injured on the job in 2014. On average, that amounts to approximately 90 deaths per week, or more than 13 deaths daily. Of those, only 17 percent are construction contractors.

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Hospital TV Show Violates Patient Privacy

 Posted on May 03, 2016 in Uncategorized

By Robert Geimer

The U.S. Government has announced it reached a settlement with a New York Hospital over claims the hospital allowed television crews to violate patient privacy.  According to the announcement, New York Presbyterian Hospital will pay $2.2 million in fines for allowing crews of ABC television series “NY Med” virtually “unfettered access” to private patient information and for filming patients in distress without their consent.  The HHS Office of Civil Rights called the violations “egregious.”  As part of the settlement, the hospital will be monitored for two years to ensure that it fully complies with patient privacy.

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Doctors Who Receive Money From Drug Companies Prescribe Their Drugs More Often

 Posted on April 29, 2016 in Uncategorized

By Robert Geimer

According to an analysis by Pro Publica, doctors who receive money, gifts and meals from drug companies write prescriptions for name brand drugs at a higher rate than doctors who do not receive money or gifts.  The highest prescribing percentages went to doctors who received more than $5,000 in money or gifts.  Though doctors have long disputed a connection between drug company payments and prescribing habits, this analysis provides proof.  If this were to happen in a different context, it might be considered bribery or a payoff.  But because of the outsized influence and campaign contributions of pharmaceutical and physician groups, it is just “incentive.”

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Despite Decrease in Number of Recalled Children’s Products, Effectiveness of Recalls Remains Subpar

 Posted on April 27, 2016 in Product Liability

recalled childrens products, Chicago personal injury lawyerChildren are meant to be protected – parents and caregivers do their best, but are often unaware of the risks/damages which manufacturers are keenly aware of. More should be done to protect children, particularly when it comes to the manufacturing industry. In fact, there was a time when more than 600,000 children visited the emergency room because of injuries caused by dangerous products (the year 2000). Since that time, laws have been passed, tracking and monitoring have taken place, and improvements have been made. But, according to recent data from Kids in Danger (KID), there is still much work to be done.

Injuries and Number of Recalls Decreased

Of the 225 products recalled in 2001, more than half were children’s products (118). On average, that was about two new recalls per week. Linked to 672 child injuries and two deaths that year, toys accounted for 41 percent, 23 percent were nursery items, 14 percent were clothing items, and sports equipment accounted for 23 percent of child product recalls. Totals from 2014 show the industry has made massive improvements, with a 95 percent decrease in injuries since the passing of Danny’s Law in 2008 (36 in 2014). The number of products recalls has also decreased, and only 24 percent of the recalls in 2014 were of products made for children (68 recalls in total) – the lowest since KID began tracking recalls.

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Study Links Popular Heartburn Medications to an Increased Risk of Dementia

 Posted on April 15, 2016 in Prescription Drugs

heartburn medication dementia, Chicago personal injury lawyerAll medications come with risks, but some have more than others. Unfortunately, the risks are not adequately researched, or worse, properly disclosed to prescribing physicians and patients. The warnings, in many instances, are inadequate. Such instances involving dangerous or defective drugs can wreak havoc on the lives of unsuspecting victims. Case in point: the recent study that revealed popular heartburn medications may carry an elevated risk of dementia.

Proton Pump Inhibitors and Their Uses

Proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs, are a class of drugs used to treat certain gastric conditions, including peptic and stomach ulcers, acid reflux, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Available both by prescription and over the counter, they are used by an estimated 15 million Americans. Some who take them claim they are difficult to stop because the condition returns with an increase in severity. But, in light of recent studies, cessation of use may very well be the best course of action, particularly for those who suffer from milder versions of the treated conditions.

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Yale Physician Accused of Removing Wrong Body Part and Trying to Cover it Up

 Posted on April 08, 2016 in Medical Malpractice

physician removing wrong body part, Chicago medical malpractice lawyerNow considered the third leading cause of death in the United States, preventable medical mistakes are trumped only by cancer and heart disease. Mistakes that cause harm, serious injury, or unnecessary stress are also extremely prevalent. Yet regulations, lawmakers, and even the doctors and hospitals themselves fail to take action or accountability. One woman, who allegedly had the wrong rib removed during a surgery at Yale hospital, had just this sort of an experience when the doctor reportedly tried to cover up his mistake instead of apologizing.

About the Surgery

According to court documents filed in Connecticut Superior Court, the 60-year-old woman had needed surgery to remove her eighth rib because of a precancerous lesion. This rib had reportedly been marked with metal coils and dye to ensure a successful surgery. Unfortunately, the woman’s seventh rib was removed instead and, instead of performing an X-ray immediately after surgery or contacting the patient to apologize when the mistake was discovered, the woman allegedly had to visit the hospital herself when she continued to experience pain.

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Pharmacist Negligence and Liability - Not Always a Cut and Dry Matter

 Posted on March 20, 2016 in Medical Malpractice

pharmacist negligence, Chicago medical malpractice attorneysWhile a pharmacist’s ability to cause harm is not limited to the medications they do or do not dispense, error can have severe consequences for patients. Take, for example, that a pharmacist dispenses the wrong drug; their patient could be at risk for any number of adverse events, including an allergic reaction, a bad drug interaction (when one drug adversely interacts with another drug), health complications, and even death. Common sense says the pharmacists should be held liable in this situation. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

Common Mistakes Made by Pharmacists

Based on an analysis conducted by the Healthcare Providers Service Organization (HPSO), wrong drug dispersion and wrong dose calculation accounted for the majority of the mistakes made by pharmacists over the course of 10 years – 75.3 percent combined (43.8 percent and 31.5 percent, respectively).

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Cancer Misdiagnosis and Delays Among Most Common Medical Mistakes

 Posted on March 15, 2016 in Uncategorized

cancer misdiagnosis, Illinois medical malpractice lawyersOne in 20 adults in the United States (approximately 12 million people) are misdiagnosed by their doctors each and every year. At least half of those people could suffer from serious repercussions. For instance, a Journal of American Medical Association published study found that around 20 percent of all medical errors each year involve delayed cancer diagnosis.

Cancers Commonly Misdiagnosed

According to the previously mentioned study, the most common delayed cancer diagnoses are lung, breast, and colorectal cancers; in fact, they make up about 10 percent of all medical errors. The remaining 10 percent are delayed diagnoses of all other cancers. Examples include ovarian cancers, which a NHS survey found an average diagnostic delay of about 90.3 days; non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (delayed by an average of 102.8 days); and prostate cancer (average delay of 148.5 days).

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Norovirus Deemed as Cause of Michigan State University’s Kellogg Center Outbreak

 Posted on March 11, 2016 in Food Poisoning

By Timothy Tomsik

norovirus outbreak, lawsuit, Chicago personal injury attorneyNorovirus, an extremely contagious virus, is generally caused by poor hygiene and then spread through food or drink sources. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 50 percent of the approximately two million cases each year are contracted through food. This and other possible factors are thought to be responsible for the recent outbreak at Michigan State University’s Kellogg Center.

Norovirus Illness

Anyone who is diagnosed with norovirus (or suspects they may have it) should be extremely careful to practice good hygiene and self-isolate whenever possible, even after the symptoms of nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pains disappear. This is because, even though no symptoms may be present, norovirus continues to remain in the stool for up to two weeks, creating a risk for self-re-exposure and continued spreading of the virus before, during, and after the actual symptoms appear or disappear.

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