Not all injuries that occur in a hospital are results of medical malpractice. This is an important distinction because the proof burden imposed on plaintiffs in medical malpractice lawsuits is substantially higher than for those asserting general negligence. That’s why when a dispute arises as to whether a particular case is medical malpractice as opposed to general negligence, defendants will almost always argue that it’s medical malpractice because those claims are held to a higher standard, so they are tougher to prove. old person

While this may seem a pretty straightforward matter to clear up, it can actually be quite nuanced, depending on the circumstances. That’s why it’s important to have an experienced injury attorney working for you. A failure to file a medical malpractice claim properly could result in a summary judgment or dismissal in favor of the defense, and depending on the timeline, it could mean your chance to bring any claim at all has passed.

In the recent case of Gause v. New Hanover Regional Medical Center, the question of whether it was medical malpractice or general negligence was before the North Carolina Court of Appeals. The plaintiff in the case is the daughter of a patient who was injured in a fall during an x-ray exam and later died as a result of those injuries. She filed a claim for damages by asserting ordinary negligence. However, the defendant argued this was actually a medical malpractice case.

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Wrongful death actions allow family members to recover losses in the event a person dies as a result of negligence or criminal wrongdoing by a third party. Beginning in about the 1880s, courts in the U.S. began interpreting statutes to exclude the recovery of damages for the death of unborn children. That slowly began to change in the mid-1940s, with some courts reasoning that recovery was allowed if the injury occurred before birth, but the child was born alive and later died.woman

By 2011, there were 36 states that recognized, as a result of either case law or actual statute, a cause of action in a civil lawsuit for the death of an unborn child. Even so, not many courts have specifically broached the issue of whether a cause of action exists if an unborn child dies before his or her viability outside the womb. Courts in North Carolina and South Carolina (see Johnson v. Ruark Obstetrics, a 1990 North Carolina Supreme Court case, and Crosby v. Glasscock Trucking Co., a 2000 case decided by the South Carolina Supreme Court), along with New York, have specifically decided not to allow recovery for the wrongful death of non-viable fetuses. There are other courts, however, that have specifically recognized the right of plaintiffs to file wrongful death lawsuits for nonviable fetuses. Among those are Alabama, Utah, South Dakota, Oklahoma, and Missouri.

Recently, in Alabama, the state supreme court underscored its position on this point in the recent case of Stinnett v. Kennedy, even as it pertained to the alleged medical malpractice of a doctor.

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Every year, more than 400,000 people in America die from sudden cardiac arrest, better known as a heart attack. The key to surviving these attacks, according to medical experts, is a rapid initiation of a “chain of survival,” which includes CPR. Another important tool is an automated external defibrillator, or AED. It can be used by people who aren’t medically trained, and it’s believed to save 20,000 lives a year. It could save up to 50,000 lives if it became more broadly used. But do facilities have a duty to carry these machines?heart attack

The courts have been confronted with this question on more than one occasion, and the results have been varied. Often, it comes down to the type of facility and the duty owed to the person suffering the medical episode. The devices are found in airports, malls, casinos, churches, and schools, as well as in medical settings. There are advocates who say these devices should be required in all public buildings, transportation centers, and even in large apartment and office complexes. Some states have passed laws. South Carolina passed one in 2008, requiring the devices in schools, and North Carolina passed its own measure in 2009, which allows anyone to use the device and provides broad immunity from liability for volunteers who do so.

Still, these matters continue to be tested in the courts. Recently, the Tennessee Supreme Court in Wallis v. Brainerd Baptist Church was asked to consider whether the church could be liable for the wrongful death of a parishioner who died in an exercise class at a fitness center the church owned and operated. Specifically at issue was whether the church was negligent in its failure to use the AED that was on site and to comply with applicable statutes. The church then filed a third-party lawsuit against the company from which it purchased the AED, asserting that if the plaintiff obtained a judgment against the church, the seller should be the only party responsible to pay that judgment. The plaintiff filed a second complaint that named this seller as a defendant.

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A man fatally shoots his wife and two young daughters at a restaurant. Is the restaurant liable for failing to protect the victims? gun

The plaintiff in a premises liability lawsuit in Ohio alleges the restaurant failed to do enough to protect the family, despite having knowledge they might be in danger. The plaintiff called this behavior a conscious disregard for the safety of patrons.

The facts in the 2012 incident are sharply disputed, but this is exactly why a county common pleas judge in Ohio ruled not to grant summary judgment in favor of the defendant restaurant, which argued the violence was not foreseeable, and therefore it had no duty to protect.

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It’s not uncommon for hospital patients to transfer to a nursing home. Their medical needs may no longer be urgent or intensive, but they are still ongoing and require additional care. However, it’s becoming apparent that many patients who are transferred from hospitals to nursing homes often end up going to some of the most poorly rated. A recent report from Kaiser Health News explains why. nurses

As it turns out, many hospitals may be affiliated in some way with nursing homes in the region. Often, staffers are recommending these facilities to patients, without sharing information that is objective or their own personal knowledge about the quality.

This is deeply concerning when you consider what an important matter it is to choose the right nursing home. Nearly 40 percent of all licensed nursing home facilities nationally have been cited by federal health inspectors over the course of three years for conduct or operations that harm a patient or make certain injuries likely. Despite this, case managers at hospitals don’t share this information. They don’t tell patients or their families that there are better options. A recommendation from a doctor or nurse can be a powerful form of persuasion. This is why some nursing home abuse and neglect prevention advocates say even some of the worst facilities are practically overflowing, since hospitals just keep sending them new patients.

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For many women, the use of cosmetics is part of their everyday routine. Most of the time, those products are used without incident. However, there are some times when manufacturers or distributors of these products fail to make sure the items are safe for use as intended. This can result in burns, scarring, allergic reactions, and infections. In terms of cost, it may leave consumers grappling with emotional distress as well as medical expenses, lost wages, and other economic and non-economic costs. makeup

By law, companies have to adhere to product safety standards when designing, manufacturing, and distributing their products. A failure to do that that results in an injury can be grounds for a product liability lawsuit.

A recent study by the Environmental Working Group found that products made for and marketed to black consumers are markedly less safe than those produced for other consumers. An examination of 1,177 personal care and beauty products sold to black women indicated one in 12 was considered “highly hazardous” on the environmental group’s scoring system.

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Businesses that welcome the general public owe the highest duty of care to ensure those guests are safe when they are welcomed onto company property. However, one of the largest retailers in the world has come under fire these last several months for allegedly failing to have adequate security to protect both shoppers and workers alike. security camera

Wal-Mart has reportedly become a regular stop for law enforcement across the country, much to the chagrin of local police agencies and worker advocacy groups. Last July, The State reported that the 24-7 Wal-Mart located in Camden, SC (a small town outside Columbia) is where 14 percent of the local police department’s calls for service are generated. From January to June of last year, 187 of the agency’s 1,372 calls were from Wal-Mart. That’s an average of one a day. This is reportedly typical of stores like this, which offer around-the-clock service for everything from electronics to bread. Many of those calls may involve shoplifters. However, these incidents sometimes involve very violent encounters.

Labor groups are now pushing for the retail giant to improve security, both in the store and around its parking lots, according to Bloomberg. The groups say the problem has gotten so serious that they have taken to meeting with officials in numerous cities to discuss declaring the store a public nuisance in the hope that will pressure the retailer to improve its security efforts.

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A North Carolina man was killed in a recent drunk driving accident in University City, and authorities say the driver has a prior drunk driving conviction on her record. In fact, the 31-year-old woman from Huntsville was still on supervised probation after being found guilty of driving while impaired in 2014. She had served her community service and had regained her driver’s license, but with accident

According to the Charlotte Observer, the suspected drunk driver made a sudden lane change on North Tryon Street from the right to the left lane. Then, the front of her Honda Accord slammed into the rear of a tractor-trailer, which was stopped at a red light at the intersection of J.M. Keynes Boulevard. Her 52-year-old front-seat passenger was pronounced dead after being transported to a local hospital. The driver was charged with aggravated felony death by vehicle, driving while impaired, having an open container of alcohol in her vehicle, and violating her driver’s license restriction to have no more than 0.04 blood-alcohol concentration.

These kinds of collisions are wholly preventable, and yet far too common. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) just released its latest report on alcohol-impaired driving and revealed there were 10,265 people killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in 2015. That averages out to one person dying in a drunk driving accident every 51 minutes in this country.

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Patrons of shopping centers are owed the highest duty of care by the property owner/manager to ensure the sight is free of unreasonable hazards. Where those hazards exist but are not obvious, businesses have a responsibility to quickly remedy them and, if necessary, to warn customers about it. crates

But what happens when a danger is obvious? This falls under the umbrella of a legal theory known as the “open and obvious doctrine.” This is a major exception to the general rule that property owners have a duty to take reasonable care to protect invitees from an unreasonable risk of harm. The doctrine holds that the invitor will be shielded from liability if the hazard in question was both open and obvious.

Now, there can be an exception to the open and obvious rule, too. It is reasonable distraction. This distraction exception can apply in cases where the land possessor should have had a reasonable expectation that the invitee’s attention was going to be distracted, so that he or she wouldn’t have discovered what is obvious and what might otherwise be discovered in time to protect against it. Asserting such a case can prove challenging. Alternatively, plaintiff could dispute the open-and-obvious nature of the hazard, as did the plaintiff in the recent North Carolina Court of Appeals case of Utley v. Smith Hardware and GardenContinue reading

Ethicon, a corporate subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, has faced a number of lawsuits related to the surgical mesh it created and marketed to women who suffered various types of organ prolapse, either due to age or childbirth. The company is still fighting many of those cases, although it settled thousands just this year. woman

Now, the company is accused of making a defective product intended for patients suffering from hernias. This product too is a type of mesh, and the allegation, similar to the transvaginal mesh lawsuits, asserts the product does not perform as expected, adheres to internal tissue in a way that causes incredible pain and dysfunction, and makes it very difficult to remove during necessary revision surgery.

The hernia mesh goes by the brand name Physiomesh. The latest of these Physiomesh lawsuits was filed in a federal court in Florida. According to the Florida Record, there have only been four of these product liability lawsuits filed so far, but it’s anticipated that many more will follow.  Continue reading

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