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Archive for the ‘ Court Radio ’ Category

$12.7M Verdict to Pa. Woman in in Tonsillectomy Malpractice Case

A 33-year-old woman has been awarded $12.7 million in damages by a Montgomery County, Pa., jury after she suffered brain damage following tonsillectomy surgery when her breathing tube was allegedly removed too soon.

The woman, Sherrell Clayton, who previously worked as a special education teacher, underwent the 14-minute surgery at Main Line Hospital and was “inappropriately oriented and unresponsive” to questions after the procedure, according to a Nov. 3 story by The Legal Intelligencer.

After the tonsillectomy, Clayton’s oxygen levels were allegedly not monitored for 16 minutes by her attending surgeon, anesthesiologist and nurse anesthetist, according to a pretrial memorandum from her attorney, the story reported. The medical staff “didn’t perform the appropriate tests to determine whether the anesthesia had worn off to the point where it was safe to remove Clayton’s breathing tube,” the story states. Clayton also suffered “abnormal, seizure-like movements” following the incident, the article said.

Clayton was taken to a post-op critical care unit following the surgery, where tests “showed her oxygen level was 81 percent, which, according to the pretrial memo, is ‘dangerously low,’” the story reported.

mage credit © iStockphoto.com/stuartbur

Later she was sent for rehab to Magee Rehabilitation for treatment of anoxic brain injury, according to an admission form.

The plaintiff filed a medical malpractice lawsuit following her injury against surgeon B. Davison Smith Jr., anesthesiologist Joseph V. Somers, nurse Lori Chambers, Main Line Hospital and United Anesthesia Services, the story states.

In its Oct. 27 verdict, the 12-person jury found that the surgeon, Smith, was not liable for Clayton’s injuries, the story reported. Somers, the anesthesiologist, was found to be 70 percent liable in the case, while Chambers was found to be 30 percent liable. Both Somers and Chambers are employees of United Anesthesia Services and are ostensible agents of Lankenau Hospital, which owns Main Line Hospital, the story continued.

Clayton was left with “short-term cognitive injuries after the surgery that have since healed” but also suffers from a severe foot drag, right leg weakness, decreased function in her right arm and issues with balance, her attorney told the Intelligencer.

While “aggressive rehab has returned her cognitive function and allowed her to walk on her own, she still has significant difficulty with walking and other everyday activities,” the story reported. “She can’t drive and has to take three buses to get to work, where she now serves as an aide instead of overseeing the classroom like she once did,” her attorney said. She could not get her old job back due to her injuries. She now “relies on her 70-year-old mother and brother to help her with daily activities and caring for her teenage daughter,” the report continued.

About $5.85 million of the $12.7 million verdict is for past and future lost earnings and past and future noneconomic damages, the story reported, while the remainder is for her life care plan through 2057.

The case was heard before Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas Judge Richard Haaz. The date of Clayton’s surgery and injury was not detailed in the original story.

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 malpractice and 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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Keeping the Holidays Safe: Just Say No to Drinking and Driving

The main screen of the SaferRide app, which users can use to find a ride home after they have been drinking. Image Courtesy of PennDOT and the NHTSA.

As Americans across the nation prepare to travel to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with friends and loved ones this week, we here at MyPhillyLawyer offer our annual reminder about not mixing drinking and driving, especially during the winter holidays from now until the end of the year.

Drinking and driving never mix, but that message is even more important during the holidays when we are reminded over and over again to enjoy ourselves, but to drink responsibly. It’s the time of year when we are inundated with public service messages about the dangers of drinking and driving, and when we see an uptick in the number of holiday sobriety checks on area roads.

According to the latest statistics from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, (PennDOT), there were 4,029 vehicle crashes during the 2015 Thanksgiving holiday on roads in the Commonwealth, including 45 fatalities, from the weekend before Thanksgiving through the weekend after the holiday. During the Christmas and New Year’s travel periods in 2015, including the weekend before Christmas, New Year’s and the weekend after, there were 4,985 vehicle crashes in the state, including 46 fatalities.

Of those crashes during the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s holidays in 2015, 1,209 of the statewide crashes involved a driver impaired by drugs or alcohol, with 38 fatalities in those crashes, according to PennDOT. In that same period, there were 1,076 crashes with unbuckled occupants, with 48 fatalities in those crashes.

Just in time for the upcoming holiday activities, PennDOT, the Pennsylvania State Police and the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board recently kicked off their annual “Operation Safe Holiday” campaign to encourage safe driving through the holiday season. This year the organizations also announced that they will provide free children’s car seat checks through Nov. 27 as part of the holiday travel safety program.

Also again being offered is the SaferRide app, which lets users call a taxi or other contact for a ride using their mobile phones if they have been drinking and need a way to get home safely.

The free SaferRide app can be downloaded from Google Play or the iTunes Store for Android and Apple iOS devices, and gives users three options – to review and call taxi services available in the area, to call a contact who is entered into the app in advance, and to view a map of the user’s location. The SaferRide app was developed by the U.S. Department of Transportation and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to helps individuals get a safe ride home after drinking.

“Part of PennDOT’s mission is to educate the public on safety concerns and encourage them to do the right thing to protect themselves and their families,” PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards said in a statement. “This holiday season we’ll work with law enforcement to urge travelers to always buckle up and never drive impaired by drugs or alcohol.”

During enforcement operations, law enforcement will conduct seat belt and impaired driving enforcement simultaneously because unbelted and impaired driving crashes are shown to be significant contributors to traffic injuries and deaths, especially during nighttime hours.

During “Operation Safe Holiday,” law enforcement agencies across the state will focus on nighttime seat-belt use and finding and stopping impaired drivers. Police will conduct sobriety checkpoints, roving patrols and regular traffic safety patrols through the New Year’s holiday to crack down on drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol.

Drivers are encouraged to have a “designated driver” who doesn’t consume alcohol and can drive the rest of their party home after a social gathering, or to take a taxi and leave the driving to a sober and professional vehicle operator.

The “Operation Safe Holiday” program and SaferRide app are a good start by our state agencies to increase awareness of the dangers of drinking and driving, but ultimately we all are responsible, starting with each of us individually, to choose not to consume alcoholic beverages and then hop into our vehicles and drive when our driving skills are impaired.

Bartenders, waiters, waitresses and restaurant and club owners are also responsible to ensure that none of their customers drinks so much that they are visibly intoxicated and a danger to others on the roads.

In addition, we are all stewards of this responsibility if we hold parties and serve alcohol, or if we attend parties where alcohol is being served.  You can be sued and held responsible for damages if someone is at your gala, drinks too much, drives away and is involved in a vehicle accident. You have to know to say no to your friends and loved ones if they party too much.  If someone is visibly intoxicated, don’t let them drive away on their own.  Get them in a taxicab or find them a ride with someone who has not been drinking. Let them sleep in your spare room. Do whatever it takes to prevent a tragedy.

Think of it this way — if your teen-aged son or daughter is out driving this holiday season, would you rather not allow drunk drivers to be out there on the streets with them, sharing the roads and plowing into them? That’s one reason why we all have to be vigilant for each other.  It doesn’t always happen to other families.  Such tragedies have perhaps happened to someone in your family, or a friend’s family. No more.

Don’t drink and drive.  Don’t become one of the statistics.  Don’t hurt or kill someone else or someone you love by driving drunk and getting into a serious accident.

Have a great time this holiday season, but let’s be responsible and careful out there.

So have a Happy Thanksgiving, a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, a Happy Kwanzaa and a Happy New Year, from all of the attorneys and staff members at MyPhillyLawyer.

And remember, we here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured in any kind of accident anywhere in the United States. We pledge to make sure that you and your family get the compassionate, dogged and experienced legal representation that you deserve and expect from a professional legal team which works hard to uncover every fact to bolster your case and maximize your damage award.

Call MyPhillyLawyer at 215-227-2727 or toll-free at 1-866-920-0352 anytime and our experienced, 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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$15M Settlement Being Paid by 3 Bars in Drunk Driving Death Lawsuit

Image credit © iStockphoto.com/BrandyTaylor

Three Minnesota taverns will pay a combined $15 million settlement to the families of a 9-year-old boy who died and a 7-year-old boy who was severely injured in a September 2014 car crash that was caused by a drunken driver who had been drinking at the bars.

The victims, Jeramiya Bishop, 7, and his cousin, William Siems, 9, were sitting in the back seat of a car being driven on Sept. 20, 2014 by Amber Bishop eastbound on U.S. Highway 14 in Rochester, Minn., when their car was struck head-on by a vehicle being driven the wrong way on the highway by defendant Gerald Mohs, according to an Oct. 25 story by Channel 5 Eyewitness News KSTP-TV in Saint Paul, Minn.

William Siems was killed in the crash and Jeramiya Bishop suffered spinal injuries that left him a paraplegic, the story reported.

An investigation by forensic toxicologists found that the defendant, Mohs, had “consumed about 21 one-ounce alcoholic drinks the afternoon and evening before the crash,” starting at Treasure Island Casino in Red Wing, Minn., around 1:30 or 2 p.m., the story reported. Mohs moved around the casino and purchased drinks at various bars inside the casino, the report continued.

After he finished gambling just before 4 p.m., Mohs met his wife at a casino bar and they went to the nearby Tipsy Turtle bar where they drank alcoholic beverages and played games of pool, the story reported.

“The plaintiff’s toxicologist calculated that Mohs likely consumed 10 one-ounce drinks at the Tipsy Turtle while the defendant’s toxicologist calculated that Mohs likely consumed eight one-ounce drinks at the Tipsy Turtle in addition to eight drinks at Treasure Island,” the story stated.

The couple then went to the North Star bar where Mohs had four more drinks, then to the Wicked Moose bar, where he had one drink later that night. “He was denied a second drink by the Wicked Moose and was told to leave, so he got in his car at 8:11 p.m. and drove away,” the story reported. “Less than a minute later, Mohs crashed into Amber Bishop’s vehicle” about two blocks away in the eastbound lanes of U.S. Route 14, the story reported.

Following the head-on crash, Mohs “then left the scene of the crash on foot before police arrived” and later “was seen on surveillance video arriving at the North Star bar a second time at 9:30 p.m.,” the story reported. He was arrested by police about 70 minutes later.

The judge in the case ruled that there was no evidence that Mohs was “obviously intoxicated” when he was at Treasure Island, “but he was obviously intoxicated when he was served alcohol at the Tipsy Turtle, the North Star and the Wicked Moose bars,” the story reported. Mohs was found 50 percent liable in the case, while the Tipsy Turtle was found 25 percent liable, the North Star was found 20 percent liable and the Wicked Moose was found 5 percent liable, the story continued.

The family of William Siems will receive $1.07 million of the settlement, while Jeramiya Bishop will receive $12.5 million, the story reported. Amber Bishop will receive $1.41 million of the settlement.

Under dram shop laws in Minnesota and elsewhere, bar owners and other people who make a profit selling alcohol are responsible for the consequences of continuing to serve alcohol to someone who is over the limit. Dram laws also apply if the person who is served alcohol is underage. By serving additional drinks to someone and then allowing them to leave the establishment in that condition, tavern owners can be held responsible for injuries to others. If a person is visibly intoxicated, the law says that a tavern owner should cease serving alcohol at that point.

Pennsylvania’s Dram shop liability law is named for a “dram shop,” which is a 1700’s term for a tavern that sold alcoholic drinks by the then-popular dram, which is a small unit of measure. The dram laws are there to help victims and their families when they are hugely impacted through the deaths of loved ones at the hands of drunk drivers whose drinking binges are not halted by the keen observations of restaurant and bar staff members in a moment’s notice. Dram shop rules exist to protect society as a whole and to punish bars and restaurants that continue to serve alcohol to customers who are already intoxicated.

Tavern owners must know that continuing to serve patrons once they are intoxicated is not acceptable, and that they will be held accountable. In this case the dram shop laws were upheld.

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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$14.3M Settlement to Man Severely Injured by Deputy Sheriff’s Car

Image credit © iStockphoto.com/tillsonburg

A Washington State man who lost both of his legs when he was struck by a deputy sheriff’s car that ran a stop sign in 2015 in Everett, Wash., has reached a $14.3 million settlement to compensate him for his massive injuries.

The victim, Tom Gillette, 60, was unloading sawhorses from the back of his work pickup truck on April 17, 2015 at 23rd Street and Rockefeller Avenue in Everett when the sheriff’s deputy, John Sadro, ran a stop sign as he was speeding and transporting a witness to court in a Ford Crown Victoria sedan, according to a Nov. 16 story by The (Everett) Daily Herald.

Sadro’s Ford was broadsided by another car in the intersection, and then hit Gillette and his pickup truck, injuring him severely, the story reported. Gillette, of Darrington, Wash., was pinned between the pickup and another parked car by the impact and nearly died from blood loss, the story reported.  He spent two months in Harborview Medical Center in Seattle and has undergone more than two dozen surgeries due to his injuries.

Sadro, 56, will go on trial in December in Snohomish County Superior Court on a felony charge of vehicular assault in connection with the incident, the report states. Sadro was allegedly driving at 49 mph in a 25 mph zone at the time of the crash. The deputy sheriff remains on desk duty pending the outcome of his criminal case, the story added.

The settlement, except for a $2 million deductible, will be paid by Snohomish County’s insurance company, while the rest will be paid by the county, the story reported.

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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$1M Settlement to Couple Hurt in Red Light Crash in New York State

Image credit © iStockphoto.com/courtneyk

A driver who suffered serious neck and back injuries when another car ran a red light and struck his vehicle in July 2013 in Charleston, N.Y., is receiving a $1 million settlement after pursuing a personal injury lawsuit.

The driver, Bobby Negron, 40, was driving his wife’s 2009 Mazda automobile on Drumgoole Road in Charleston when the vehicle was struck by a car that ran a red light at the intersection of Bloomington Road about 9 a.m. on July 6, 2013, according to a Nov. 2 story by The Staten Island Advance.

Negron’s vehicle was struck by a vehicle driven by Carol D. Weinberg, the story reported. Negron’s wife, Bonnie, 36, was a passenger in the Mazda at the time of the collision.

Both Bobby Negron and Bonnie Negron were hurt in the crash, the story reported, with Bobby Negron receiving serious neck and back injuries that required neck surgery and kept him out of work.

The Negron’s lawsuit was filed in New York State Supreme Court in St. George against Weinberg, who was driving the vehicle that ran the red light, and Kaback Enterprises Inc., which owned Weinberg’s vehicle, the story stated. The suit was filed in state Supreme Court, St. George.

Bobby Negron received about $970,000 for his injuries, while Bonnie Negron will receive $20,000 for her injuries and about $10,000 for property damage, the story reported. Kaback’s insurance had a $1 million policy limit.

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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$8.78M Med Mal Verdict to Man Who Lost Lower Legs After Colon Surgery

Image credit © iStockphoto.com/stuartbur

A Butler County jury awarded an $8.78 million medical malpractice verdict to a Butler, Pa., man who went into septic shock and lost both of his lower legs following surgery to repair a colon problem.

The patient, Todd Wogan, initially underwent colon surgery at Butler Memorial Hospital in January 2012 to repair a a colovesical fistula—which is an abnormal connection between the colon and bladder—according to an Oct. 10 story by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. A second procedure was done later that month in which surgeons removed 6 inches of Wogan’s colon and surgically stapled it back together, the story reported.

The patient then “never fully recovered and was in and out of the hospital and doctor’s office” until being re-admitted to the hospital on March 22 for severe abdominal pain, according to the story. During that stay, the hospital staff did not tell his doctor about his worsening condition until more than 12 hours later, the report continued. The surgeon later “performed exploratory surgery and determined Wogan’s colon was perforated and leaking fluids into his abdomen,” which was causing his intense pain.

The patient was then flown to Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh where seven surgeries were performed to “drain his abdominal cavity of fecal matter and clean up accompanying infections,” the story reported.

The complications since the original surgery, however, caused prolonged septic shock that cut off blood flow to his legs and led to gangrene in both feet, the story reported. As a result, both of Wogan’s legs had to be amputated at mid-calf due to the complications. “Wogan subsequently lost his left thumb and had a portion of his left index finger removed due to ongoing circulation issues stemming from the sepsis,” the story continued.

After a three-week trial in the Butler County Court of Common Pleas, the jury found Butler Health Systems to be 100 percent liable for negligence in the case. Wogan, 52, formerly worked as a press foreman at Trib Total Media before his illness and surgeries, the story reported. The jury did not find the initial surgeon in the case to be liable and instead ruled that the hospital and its staff were liable for Wogan’s medical complications.

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 malpractice and 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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