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Memorial Day Opens the Summer Season: Let’s Be Careful Out There

The Memorial Day holiday weekend is symbolically the official start of the summer season as Americans take time to honor our nation’s heroes of wars past and take time to relax with family and friends.

We here at MyPhillyLawyer wish you a wonderful weekend, but we also want to remind you to be careful as you travel and enjoy your time off.

One of the first things to remember is not to drink and drive as holiday weekends like this usually see a spike in drunk driving accidents, injuries and deaths. In 2013, the most recent year for which statistics are available 10,076 people were killed and approximately 290,000 were injured in crashes caused by drunk drivers, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

A sobriety checkpoint sign marks a special police program aimed at stopping motorists who drink and drive. Image credit: © iStockphoto.com/sdominick

MADD offers five tips for safe driving over the holiday weekend and year-round:

  1. Plan a safe way home. Arrange a sober ride home, or offer to be the sober designated driver.
  2. Wear a seat belt. Seat belt usage is one of the best ways to stay safe on our roadways.
  3. Don’t call or text. Any form of impaired driving poses a serious threat to those on the road.
  4. Slow down. Respect all posted speed limits.
  5. Be aware. Pay attention to other drivers on the road and avoid those driving erratically.

The highest number of drunk driving accidents and injuries actually occurs in the U.S. over the July 4th holiday weekend annually, according to statistics.

Consuming alcoholic beverages and then driving over the holiday is a poor decision. You are literally putting yourself and others in danger if you drive while intoxicated and creating huge liability risks for yourself and your family if you hurt someone else when you are drinking and driving.

But drinking and driving and other highway dangers aren’t the only risks this holiday weekend. There are dangers and personal liability issues surrounding a wide variety of activities this weekend that you at least should keep in mind.

Cookout safety:

Even barbecue grills can cause injuries if they are used improperly or mixed with the consumption of alcoholic beverages.

Improper equipment, poor safety rules, carelessness and other factors can cause injuries to adults and children who come near hot grills and outdoor cooking areas.

To prevent injuries and potential legal liability, be sure:

*If you’re using a propane gas grill, inspect your propane tank and hoses for leaks, dents, cracks or corrosion.

*Always light the match before turning on the propane gas.

*Never use your grill indoors or under any structures that may catch fire, such as patio covers.

*Never smoke cigarettes or use matches or lighters near the grill.

*If you’re using a charcoal grill, use water to make sure that coals are extinguished and be careful never to dispose of briquettes that are still hot.

*Avoid loose clothing while grilling, especially long sleeves.

*Parental supervision is essential—keep all children away from the grill.

And don’t forget about the potential dangers of food poisoning when dining outdoors in the heat of summer. Be extra careful to make sure that foods made with mayonnaise, including coleslaw and potato salad, are kept chilled and out of direct sunlight so they don’t spoil and cause illnesses to guests, and don’t leave uncooked meats out in the summer heat for long periods of time before that are cooked. Many a holiday has been ruined at private parties, restaurants and other facilities due to food that has spoiled and caused serious illnesses for guests, while raising serious legal claims that you certainly want to avoid.

Swimming pool safety:

Here are five key swimming pool safety tips for you to remember this holiday weekend:

*Completely Fence The Perimeter Around Your Pool – by closing off the pool to children who could wander into your yard, you can prevent accidental drownings and protect yourself from liability.

*Be Sure That All Young Children Playing Near Pools Are Wearing Life Vests – if a child should accidentally fall into a pool, they will be better protected by wearing an approved life vest.

*Never, Ever Leave Children Unsupervised Near A Pool – that means NEVER. If children are to be around or in a pool, they MUST be properly and adequately supervised by an adult who can swim and is trained in rescue techniques.

*Keep Rescue Equipment By The Pool At All Times – including a life ring and rope, a first aid kit and flotation devices.

*Parents Must Be Encouraged to Learn CPR – by knowing how to save a life in the event of an emergency, homeowners can protect their guests and themselves before rescue workers ever arrive.

According to statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drownings are the second leading cause of death among young children.

An average of 385 children under 15 years of age died annually in the U.S. due to pool or spa drownings from 2005 through 2007, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and its Pool Safely safety campaign. Of those, 78%, or 299, were under the age of five.

As a homeowner, you must be vigilant, pro-active and firm about setting safety rules and enforcing them so that guests and family members aren’t accidentally injured or worse.

Have Fun and Be Safe:

Remember this holiday weekend to enjoy yourself with friends and family, but also use caution to prevent tragedies and legal liability from accidents and injuries that can occur in a wide variety of ways.

From all of us here at MyPhillyLawyer, we send you our best wishes for a safe and happy holiday.

We here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured in a vehicle crash, medical malpractice incident, birth injury or other legal situation anywhere in the United States. We represent the families of victims who die in such tragedies as well, to ensure that their families receive every penny of damages that they are eligible to receive.

Call MyPhillyLawyer at 215-227-2727 or toll-free at 1-866-920-0352 anytime and our experienced, compassionate, aggressive team of attorneys and support staff will be there for you and your family every step of the way as we manage your case through the legal system.

When Winning Matters Most, Call MyPhillyLawyer.

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Paralyzed After Spine Surgery, Woman Awarded $4.88M Jury Verdict

A former school bus driver who underwent spinal surgery in July 2008 has been awarded a $4.88 million verdict in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas after a post-surgical infection left her paralyzed. After a seven-day trial and three hours of deliberations, the jury in the case determined that her medical treatment was substandard.

The victim, April Mendel, had spinal surgery at Philadelphia’s Albert Einstein Medical Center on July 31, 2008, but 12 days later she began to suffer from fever and drainage from her surgical wound, according to a May 12 story by The Legal Intelligencer. She called her doctor’s office to report her condition, but an assistant allegedly failed to tell the doctor about the patient’s call, the story reported.

Image credit: © iStockphoto.com/courtneyk

She was then taken to the Underwood-Memorial Hospital in New Jersey, where emergency room personnel found that her surgical wound had become infected and was draining pus, the report continued. She was then transferred back to Einstein, but upon arrival was told there was no room for her until the next day. That information was apparently not communicated to one of her doctors, Dr. Eric Williams, who eventually went home when she still had not arrived that night, the story reported.

In a medical malpractice lawsuit that was filed on her behalf, Mendel alleged that Williams knew that the patient had an infection in her spinal surgery wound but left the hospital that night without getting adequate information about her medical condition.

Mendel was finally admitted to Einstein later that night and she soon began complaining of worsening pain, for which she was given intravenous painkillers, the report continued. At that point, “there were no records indicating that she was paralyzed when she arrived,” the story reported. Within a few hours after arriving at Einstein, Mendel was taken into surgery where her wound was drained, but at that point paralysis was discovered, the report continued.

Mendel’s lawsuit against Williams, Einstein and another doctor who treated her, Dr. Andrew Beaver, alleged that the defendants “deviated from the standard of care by failing to admit Mendel promptly and to have her seen by a specialist.”

Mendel was left a paraplegic from a post-spinal surgery infection.

“As a result of these failures on the part of Dr. Williams and his orthopedic surgery team,” court papers said, “Ms. Mendel’s known wound infection was permitted to progress and expand until it had caused irreversible spinal cord injury.”

The jury found Williams to be 34 percent negligent, while finding Beaver and Einstein were each 33 percent negligent, the report stated.

These kinds of cases are a somber reminder that patients and their families must be vigilant about the medical care they receive so they know what is being done for a patient’s care every step of the way. But at the same time, patients and families aren’t doctors and they can’t know every question to ask.

That’s where skilled, expert, compassionate and thorough legal representation is needed by patients and their families who have been harmed by medical errors or omissions during their treatment. These kinds of cases happen on a regular basis, but they can be fought by legal teams that are prepared to battle for their clients’ rights all along the way to a fair settlement or to a just verdict.

We here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured in a similar medical malpractice, birth injury or related case anywhere in the United States. We represent the families of victims who die in such tragedies as well, to ensure that their families receive every penny of damages that they are eligible to receive.

Call MyPhillyLawyer at 215-227-2727 or toll-free at 1-866-920-0352 anytime and our experienced, compassionate, aggressive team of attorneys and support staff will be there for you and your family every step of the way as we manage your case through the legal system.

When Winning Matters Most, Call MyPhillyLawyer.

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Delaware County Man Awarded $7.4M Medical Malpractice Verdict

A Delaware County man who suffered from a stroke in May of 2010 after his doctor allegedly failed to treat his high blood pressure has been awarded a $7.4 million verdict by a Delaware County jury.

Finis Cuff, 61, of Darby, had gone to see his physician, Dr. Douglas L. Keagle, on April 16, 2010, when his blood pressure was found to be 184 over 94, according to an April 28 story in The Legal Intelligencer. He was told to continue on his blood pressure medication.

Almost a month later, on May 14, 2010, the patient went back to the doctor and was found to have a blood pressure reading of 200 over 80, while also complaining of headaches and lightheadedness, the story reported. The doctor then increased the patient’s blood pressure medication and advised him to return in four weeks. Two days later, Cuff suffered a large hypertensive stroke, the story reported.

A photo of the legal definition of medical malpractice in a dictionary. Image credit © iStockphoto.com by stuartbur

Cuff later filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against Keagle and Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital, alleging that “as a direct proximate result of the defendants’ negligence, Finis Cuff’s elevated blood pressure was ignored and allowed to progress to hypertensive stroke without appropriate medical intervention.”

The victim lost the use of both legs and of his right arm due to the stroke, and had to be cared for by his wife, who later suffered a fatal asthma attack in front of him, according to the report. Due to his own physical issues from the stroke, he was not able to get help for his wife, the story continued.

The verdict was reached April 15 in the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas following a seven-day trial and four-and-a-half hours of deliberations, the story reported. The doctor was found to be 61 percent negligent in the case by the jury, while the plaintiff was found to be 39 percent negligent. Cuff was awarded $350,000 for future loss of earnings, $3.5 million for pain and suffering and $2.6 million for future medical expenses. His wife’s estate was awarded $950,000.

These kinds of cases are a somber reminder that patients and their families must be vigilant about the medical care they receive so they know what is being done for a patient’s care every step of the way. But at the same time, patients and families aren’t doctors and they can’t know every question to ask.

That’s where skilled, expert, compassionate and thorough legal representation is needed by patients and their families who have been harmed by medical errors or omissions during their treatment. These kinds of cases happen on a regular basis, but they can be fought by legal teams that are prepared to battle for their clients’ rights all along the way to a fair settlement or to a just verdict.

We here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured in a similar medical malpractice, birth injury or related case anywhere in the United States. We represent the families of victims who die in such tragedies as well, to ensure that their families receive every penny of damages that they are eligible to receive.

Call MyPhillyLawyer at 215-227-2727 or toll-free at 1-866-920-0352 anytime and our experienced, compassionate, aggressive team of attorneys and support staff will be there for you and your family every step of the way as we manage your case through the legal system.

When Winning Matters Most, Call MyPhillyLawyer.

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$300,000 Settlement to Family of Woman Killed in 2010 Car-Truck Crash

The family of a 24-year-old Omaha, Neb., woman who was killed in a 2010 crash when her vehicle slammed into a city maintenance truck while its crew was working on a street has agreed to a $300,000 settlement with the city and the state of Nebraska to resolve their claims.

The settlement between the family of the late Alicia Rea and the city and state was announced in an April 13 report by WOWT.com, the website of NBC Channel 6 in Omaha. Rea died after her Volkswagen automobile violently struck a City of Omaha work truck near North 129th Street and West Maple Road on Oct. 20, 2010, the story reported. The truck was allegedly parked in the roadway and did not have traffic cones or other traffic controls marking its presence, the report continued.

Image credit: © iStockphoto.com/courtneyk

Rea’s family sued the city and state in 2012, alleging that the wrongful death of their daughter was due to the lack of proper traffic controls, orange barrels and signs in the work area she was driving through, the story reported. The family’s lawsuit alleged that the maintenance crew with the truck gave no warning of its presence and of its danger to motorists in the unlabeled work zone.

The lawsuit originally sought reimbursement for Rea’s medical and burial expenses and for an additional $10 million in damages. The victim’s car was wedged under the city maintenance truck by the impact.

The settlement included a $20,000 payment from the state of Nebraska and $280,000 from the City of Omaha, the story reported.

Rea was declared brain dead the day after the crash and was kept alive until her organs could be donated.

These kinds of tragic legal cases occur every day when innocent victims are severely hurt or killed in vehicle crashes through no fault of their own due to the actions, inattentiveness or indifference of others. That’s why it is critical to have a legal team on your side that uncovers every fact to bolster your case and maximize your damage award.

We here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured in a vehicle incident or accident anywhere in the United States. We represent the families of victims who die in such tragedies as well, to ensure that their families receive every penny of damages that they are eligible to receive.

Call MyPhillyLawyer at 215-227-2727 or toll-free at 1-866-920-0352 anytime and our experienced, compassionate, aggressive team of attorneys and support staff will be there for you and your family every step of the way as we manage your case through the legal system.

When Winning Matters Most, Call MyPhillyLawyer.

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$900,000 Settlement to Luzerne County Man in 2009 Truck Crash

A Luzerne County man who suffered serious neck and back injuries when his pickup was hit by a commercial truck in November 2009 will receive a $900,000 settlement from the company that owned the truck.

Michael Spadine was driving on Cherry Street in Montrose, Luzerne County, on Nov. 3, 2009 when his pickup truck was struck by a Linde Enterprises Inc. commercial truck being driven by employee Richard Kemmerer, according to a March 28 story in The (Scranton) Times Tribune newspaper. Kemmerer was driving under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash and had a blood alcohol level of 0.225, which is more than three times the legal limit, according to the story. Kemmerer left the scene after the crash but was apprehended later by Montrose police, the report continued. Linde Enterprises is a contracting company based in Pittson, Pa.

Image credit: © iStockphoto.com/Svenler

Spadine was seriously injured in the crash, suffering disc protrusions to his neck and back. The case was heard in the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas.

In 2011, Spadine and his wife, Jennifer, sued Linde and Kemmerer for damages related to the crash, alleging that Kemmerer was driving a company-owned vehicle within the scope of his employment while he was drunk, causing the collision, the paper reported.

Kemmerer, of Sweet Valley, had pleaded guilty to driving under the influence in Susquehanna County Court in December 2009, the story reported, and was sentenced to six months of probation and fined $350.

Spadine’s injuries included cervical and lumbar radiculopathies, mainly to the left side of his body, according to an April 14 story in The Legal Intelligencer. An MRI revealed disc bulging and protrusions of the lumbar spine and disc protrusions of the cervical spine, leaving him disabled and unable to return to work as a tree surgeon, the story reported.

A jury deliberated for five hours after hearing the case and returned a verdict for the plaintiffs but a settlement was reached while the jury was deliberating, according to reports.

These kinds of tragic legal cases occur every day when innocent victims are severely hurt or killed in vehicle crashes through no fault of their own due to the actions, inattentiveness or indifference of others. That’s why it is critical to have a legal team on your side that uncovers every fact to bolster your case and maximize your damage award.

We here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured in a vehicle incident or accident anywhere in the United States. We represent the families of victims who die in such tragedies as well, to ensure that their families receive every penny of damages that they are eligible to receive.

Call MyPhillyLawyer at 215-227-2727 or toll-free at 1-866-920-0352 anytime and our experienced, compassionate, aggressive team of attorneys and support staff will be there for you and your family every step of the way as we manage your case through the legal system.

When Winning Matters Most, Call MyPhillyLawyer.

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$6.3M Medical Malpractice Verdict for Elderly Woman in Stroke Case

A 76-year-old Montgomery County woman whose doctor allegedly failed to react quickly enough to discover an apparent stroke suffered by the patient in 2004 has been awarded a $6.3 million verdict by a jury in the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas.

Myrna Rawdin had gone to see her physician, Dr. Mark B. Real and PMA Medical Specialists, on Nov. 1, 2004, complaining of lightheadedness, dizziness, garbled speech and headaches, according to an April 7 report by The Legal Intelligencer.  Her doctor diagnosed Rawdin with impacted earwax and rinsed out her ears, according to the plaintiffs. She had been diagnosed with high cholesterol back in 2003, but was not treated for the symptom, the story continued.

But on Nov. 29, 2004, Rawdin was diagnosed with a stroke at Pottstown Memorial Medical Center, and was then transferred to the University of Pennsylvania Hospital, the story reported.

A photo of the legal definition of medical malpractice in a dictionary. Image credit © iStockphoto.com by stuartbur

She had earlier had an MRI on July 2, 2003, which “revealed that Rawdin had small vessel ischemic disease, or restricted blood flow in the arteries of the brain,” after experiencing symptoms of vertigo, but her doctor ” ignored the findings and told his staff to inform Rawdin that her MRI reading was within the normal limits, the story reported. The doctor allegedly also did not initially treat her high cholesterol readers to “prevent the further buildup of plaque and resulting carotid stenosis,” the story continued. A year later, the doctor prescribed Lipitor, which did lower her cholesterol.

Rawdin and her husband, Martin Rawdin, filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against Real and his medical practice following her stroke, arguing that he had failed to recognize and treat her symptoms back in 2003 and on Nov. 2, 2004 so that he could have worked to prevent her stroke in late November of 2004, the report stated.

Myrna Rawdin has since suffered due to that missed diagnosis and will continue to suffer residual limitations, the plaintiffs argued.

The Rawdins won their case after a 12-member jury heard three days of testimony and deliberated for two-and-a-half hours, the story reported. She was awarded $1.3 million in past and future medical expenses, $2 million for past noneconomic loss, $2 million for future noneconomic loss, and $1 million for loss of consortium to her husband, the story reported.

The plaintiffs will also seek to recover $2.2 million in delay damages from the defendants in the case, the story reported.

These kinds of cases are a somber reminder that patients and their families must be vigilant about the medical care they receive so they know what is being done for a patient’s care every step of the way. But at the same time, patients and families aren’t doctors and they can’t know every question to ask.

That’s where skilled, expert, compassionate and thorough legal representation is needed by patients and their families who have been harmed by medical errors or omissions during their treatment. These kinds of cases happen on a regular basis, but they can be fought by legal teams that are prepared to battle for their clients’ rights all along the way to a fair settlement or to a just verdict.

We here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured in a similar medical malpractice, birth injury or related case anywhere in the United States. We represent the families of victims who die in such tragedies as well, to ensure that their families receive every penny of damages that they are eligible to receive.

Call MyPhillyLawyer at 215-227-2727 or toll-free at 1-866-920-0352 anytime and our experienced, compassionate, aggressive team of attorneys and support staff will be there for you and your family every step of the way as we manage your case through the legal system.

When Winning Matters Most, Call MyPhillyLawyer.

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