Personal Injury – CTA Train Crash Investigation Only Starting – Train Accident

March 28, 2014

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Timothy DePaere, Railroad Accident Investigator, says that they are in the preliminary stages of their investigation. They are currently waiting for the front end outward looking video on the train to be analyzed by their specialist in Washington, DC. Meanwhile, the operator of the train is in the hospital and will be interviewed soon…

Video: Blue Line investigation: ‘We’re at the preliminary stages’ — chicagotribune.com.

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Tort Reform – Florida Supreme Court Strikes Down Caps in Florida

March 14, 2014

Florida Supreme Court

Florida Supreme Court

In yesterday’s 5-2 decision striking down Florida’s cap on non-economic damages in wrongful death cases, the Supreme Court of Florida criticized in withering detail the arguments used by medical malpractice insurance lobbyists and organized medicine to push for caps and other “tort reforms.”

For all the physicians out there, please know that according to the Court, you have been lied to most of all.

Since the industry uses these same arguments to push for laws that limit compensation to sick and injured patients in every state – as well as in Congress – we thought we would take some time to list some highlights from this brutally honest Florida Supreme Court decision.

via ThePopTort: Florida Supreme Court to Med Mal Insurance Industry: Stop Lying.

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Freedom of Speech – “Boobies” Bracelet Is Protected Speech

March 13, 2014

The US Supreme Court rejected on Monday an appeal from a school that suspended two students because they refused to remove bracelets promoting breast cancer awareness.

The decision ends an almost four-year-long case which was started when two girls, Kayla Martinez and Brianna Hawk, were suspended from their Easton Area School District middle school.

The school had banned bracelets with the slogan “I (heart) Boobies!” which were used to promote breast cancer awareness. The two girls, then aged 12 and 13, refused to take off the bracelets when asked by their principal.

Kayla Martinez and Brianna Hawk challenged the ban, saying they were trying to promote awareness of the disease at their middle school. They wore the bracelets on their school’s Breast Cancer Awareness Day and refused to take them off. The girls filed suit after being suspended from class.

The justices left in place a US appeals court ruling that found the bracelets were not “plainly lewd,” nor had they caused a disruption.

via US high court won’t hear dispute over ‘boobies’ bracelets – Americas – World – The Independent.

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Medical Malpractice – Doctor Walks Out On Patient During Surgery

March 12, 2014

It’s unbelievable. A heart surgeon, who is practicing today, has a history of walking out on patients in the middle of open heart surgeries, according to a hospital administrator who filed a whistleblower lawsuit. The lawsuit follows a state report which found that a 72 year old patient is in a persistent vegetative state after the surgeon failed to close his chest cavity and told an unqualified physician assistant to finish the surgery. The doctor reportedly went out to lunch.

Allegations in the patient and whistleblower lawsuits point to alcohol abuse and repeated misconduct by the physician covered up by the hospital.

If ever there was a poster child for the need for patient safety reform, we think it is Dr. Pervaiz Chaudhry and Community Regional Medical Center.

via Terrifying | Consumer Watchdog.

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New Law – Can’t Convert Rail Road Trails to Bike Trails

March 11, 2014

The Supreme Court Monday ruled 8-1 in favor of a private landowner in Wyoming who was fighting to keep bike paths from being built near his house. The decision, according to USA Today, threatens thousands of miles of public bicycle trails.The case wasn’t about bike paths per se — it was about whether or not the federal government retains its control over land that had been granted to railroad companies once it’s been abandoned. But the decision undermines a federal “rails to trails” program, threatening the more than 1,400 bike and nature trails it’s created since its inception in 1983.

Here’s more on the case from NPR:

The plaintiffs in the Wyoming case, Marvin Brandt Revocable Trust v. United States, are descendants of the owner of a sawmill that produced railroad ties. The family was granted dozens of acres of land in Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest; they are resisting attempts to use part of that land for a trail.

“We traded for the land with a right of way on it for railroad uses,” Brandt said in December. “They want to bring a train through here, that’s fine. We never expected and we never agreed to a bicycle trail.”

…The family was granted the land in 1976, in exchange for turning a larger acreage over to the government. The court’s discussion of the case touched on decades of law, from the 1875 Railroad Right of Way Act to the 1942 Great Northern Railway case, which centered on oil and mineral rights.

When the Forest Service moved to convert a swath of former railroad track on the Brandts’ land that is 200 feet wide and a half-mile long into bike trails, the family sued. After losing in two lower courts, they emerged from the Supreme Court with a victory today.

With 21 miles of gravel pathway passing through the forest, the Medicine Bow Rail Trail “has become one of the most popular rail-trails in America,” according to the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.

via Supreme Court ruling delivers a major blow to bike paths – Salon.com.

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