Insurance – Napa Rushes to Fix Quake Damage

August 27, 2014

Wineries and hospitality businesses in and around Napa, California, near the epicenter of the worst earthquake to hit the area in 25 years, rushed to clean up rubble and broken glass ahead of the expected influx of tourists for a drought-accelerated grape harvest.“We are right in the thick of it,” said Steve Matthiasson, a Napa-based grape grower and vintner who produces wine under the Matthiasson label. “It could not be a worse time” for a quake.

via Napa rushes to fix quake damage as drought means early harvest | PropertyCasualty360.

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Motorcycle Personal Injury – Plaintiff Awarded $5.4M Against Government

July 8, 2014

motorcycle-accident

motorcycle-accident

I see this happening all the time. A City or a City owned entity simply refuses to even negotiate a reasonable settlement, preferring to take the matter all the way to trial instead of coming to the table where reason can prevail and chances are that a settlement for a lesser amount can be reached. Unfortunately, this strong arm tactic works in the long run. Because, even if the defendant ends up paying more in litigation cost and/or verdict amount, knowing the defendant hardline position serves as a warning to others who may want to file a lawsuit against this defendant that they will be in for the long haul. That alone, probably causes many trial lawyers to forgo taking on cases where the liability may be hard to prove or damages too small to worth the lengthy battle.

A judge in San Diego awarded $5.4 million in damages against the US government and in favor of a motorcyclist, whose severe injuries in a collision with an on-duty U.S. Border Patrol agent ended his music recording career.After a four-day trial, US District Court Judge Larry H. Burns of the Southern District of California, awarded over $6.3 million on July 20, 2014 to John B. Hendrickson of Chula Vista, CA. The judge apportioned fault 85% to the U.S. Government and 15% to Hendrickson, for a net verdict of nearly $5.4 million.

[…]

“During the five years of litigation leading up to the trial, the government denied responsibility for Hendrickson’s injuries and refused to engage in settlement negotiations,” Francavilla said. “There was a zero offer heading into trial, and we are pleased justice has been served after all these years. The verdict acknowledges the responsibility the government has to do its job safely and protect the public.”

via Government to Pay $5.4M to Recording Artist in Career-Ending Motorcycle Crash | The National Trial Lawyers.

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Motor Vehicle Accident – Distracted driving kills more than drunk driving

April 4, 2014

Distracted driving is killing more British Columbians than impaired driving and Attorney General Suzanne Anton said Wednesday the government is considering higher fines and penalties to put the brakes on the carnage.

Anton said it doesn’t appear British Columbians are getting the message that distracted driving is deadly, and along with increased penalties she’s considering public education campaigns similar to previous initiatives targeting seatbelt use and drinking and driving.

“Distracted driving is a very serious problem in B.C.,” she said. “In 2012, we had 81 deaths, and that’s 81 families who have terrible tragedy in their lives. Compared to drinking and driving there were about 55 drinking and driving deaths in 2012. It’s remarkable distracted driving is causing more tragedies right now than drinking and driving is.”

via Distracted driving kills more than drunk driving, B.C. considers higher fines | GlobalPost.

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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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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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Product Liability – $2.2 Billion in Drug-Marketing Settlement

November 4, 2013

Health-care behemoth Johnson & Johnson will pay $2.2 billion to resolve civil and criminal allegations involving the marketing of off-label, unapproved uses for several prescription drugs, Justice Department officials announced Monday.The cases include allegations of kickbacks to doctors and pharmacies to promote usage of the anti-psychotic drugs Risperdal and Invega, and a heart-failure drug, Natrecor.

Read more: Johnson & Johnson agrees to pay $2.2 billion in drug-marketing settlement – The Washington Post.

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Medical Malpractice – Careless Doctors Allowed to Continue Practice

August 23, 2013

The research shows:

• Doctors disciplined or banned by hospitals often keep clean licenses: From 2001 to 2011, nearly 6,000 doctors had their clinical privileges restricted or taken away by hospitals and other medical institutions for misconduct involving patient care. But 52% — more than 3,000 doctors — never were fined or hit with a license restriction, suspension or revocation by a state medical board.

• Even the most severe misconduct goes unpunished: Nearly 250 of the doctors sanctioned by health care institutions were cited as an “immediate threat to health and safety,” yet their licenses still were not restricted or taken away. About 900 were cited for substandard care, negligence, incompetence or malpractice — and kept practicing with no licensure action.

• Doctors with the worst malpractice records keep treating patients: Among the nearly 100,000 doctors who made payments to resolve malpractice claims from 2001 to 2011, roughly 800 were responsible for 10% of all the dollars paid and their total payouts averaged about $5.2 million per doctor. Yet fewer than one in five faced any sort of licensure action by their state medical boards.

The numbers raise red flags for several experts in physician oversight, including David Swankin, head of the Citizen Advocacy Center, which works to make state medical boards more effective.”Medical boards are not like health departments that go out to see if a restaurant is clean; they’re totally reactive, because they rely on these mandatory reports — and they’re supposed to act on them,” Swankin says.

via Thousands of doctors practicing despite errors, misconduct.

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