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Morcellator Lawsuits and the Legal Responsibility of Manufacturers towards Victims

Posted by on Oct 15, 2014 in Personal Injury, Product Liability | 0 comments

Hysterectomy is a surgical procedure that removes part of a woman’s uterus/womb (partial or supracervical hysterectomy) or the whole uterus plus the cervix (complete or total hysterectomy, which is also the most common type performed). This procedure is especially recommended to women suffering from constant pelvic pains, uterine infections, uncontrollable vaginal bleeding, cancer of the uterus, cervix or ovary, endometriosis, painful periods due to adenomyosis, pelvic inflammatory diseases, and uterine prolapse, as well as for those with uterine fibroids (myomas).

Records from the National Institutes of Health show about 600,000 hysterectomy procedures performed in the US every year. About 50,000 – 75,000 of these are laparoscopic, or minimally invasive, procedures wherein a device, called a power morcellator, is used.

A morcellator is a device that is capable of mincing the uterus and large masses of tissues that need to be suctioned out of the body; this device is designed to be used in laparoscopic surgeries (such as hysterectomy and myomectomy). Before the introduction of the power morcellator in the 1990s, the usual type of hysterectomy performed was abdominal hysterectomy, an open surgery, which required a cut on the abdomen about 5 – 7 inches long. Another type was the vaginal hysterectomy, which made a direct, but smaller, incision in the vagina itself.

In a laparoscopic hysterectomy, however, very tiny incisions, 0.5 – 1cm long, are all that’s required. These cuts are just big enough for devices, such as the morcellator and the laparoscope (a small, thin camera that will give a view of the body from the inside to guide the morcellation of the uterus and any other organ), to go through. The use of a morcellator has also made laparoscopic hysterectomy a more accurate, faster and safer procedure.

Though a morcellator definitely offers great advantages, the US Food and Drug Administration discouraged its continued use in laparoscopic surgeries due to reports which say that it caused the spread of unsuspected cancerous tissues, known as uterine sarcoma, outside the uterus.

Lawsuits against a number of morcellator manufacturers have already been filed by women who have been diagnosed with a deadly cancer after having been treated with a morcellator. It would be wise for women with the same circumstance to contact a morcellator lawyer immediately to get a clear grasp of the possible legal options available for them.

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Simple Solutions To Help You Find Your Way Around The World Of Personal Injury Law

Posted by on Aug 25, 2014 in Personal Injury | 0 comments

People suffer from personal injuries every single day. Whether it is at home or in the grocery store, you can be a victim any day. However, in order to get compensated for your troubles, you need to involve yourself in the legal process of choosing an attorney and understanding what to expect in court. The following article will help you get prepared! For more information, you can explore the Abel Law Firm’s website at http://www.abellawfirm.com/practice-areas/personal-injury/

If you don’t want to splash out on lawyer’s fees, and you can easily prove the other person was at fault, see if you can work out an out-of-court settlement with them. Their insurance company will be happy to do this as they’re in no hurry to go to court, so you’ll end up on top.

Although personal injury lawyers advertise in the yellow pages, the better way to find a good lawyer is through word of mouth. If you don’t know anyone who has used a personal injury lawyer, check with the local bar association. They may be able to point you in the right direction.

Bring all of the necessary paperwork to your initial consultation as this is very important for your personal injury lawyer to develop a solid case. Make copies of each of these documents too, as you will want to have one just in case. This puts you in the best position to team up with your lawyer and win.

Hire a lawyer located where the court your personal injury trial will be playing out is located. This ensures they can easily get to the court for your dates, plus they know the local laws and understand them to a “T”. They may also be familiar with the judges and their personalities, which can benefit your case.

It is not easy to try and get a fair settlement out of a personal injury case. Companies will try to weasel their way out of having to pay. However, if you apply the simple tips discussed in the article above, you will realize it is not as hard as you may have thought.

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Fluoxetine: Who Can and Who Cannot Take It

Posted by on Feb 16, 2014 in Product Liability | 1 comment

Fluoxetine, the generic name of Prozac, was developed by scientists from Eli Lilly and Company in 1974 and was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in December of 1987. The drug is meant to treat various cases of depression, including pediatric depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), bulimia nervosa, panic disorder, trichotillomania (if cognitive behavior therapy does not work) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder.

Fluoxetine is available in tablet, capsule and liquid form. It is usually prescribed by itself, though it may be combined with olanzapine to treat Treatment-resistant depression and Bipolar I disorder (Fluoxetine and olanzapine combination produces Symbyax).

This drug is included in the list of the highly-recognized SSRIs, a class of anti-depressant oral drugs that has earned the highest number of prescriptions for the past 20 years. SSRIs or Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, which are proven effective, safe and with less side-effects, improve the mood of patients who take them. These drugs work by preventing the brain from absorbing the serotonins or neurotransmitters (the chemical produced and released by the brain and which serves as the means of brain nerves to communicate with each other). Blocking serotonins from being absorbed and then boosting their performance, these are able to stimulate the brain nerves better, resulting to the patient’s improved condition.

Among the SSRI drugs, Fluoxetine, particularly, has been prescribed at least 24.4 million times in the US (up to the year 2010 only); in the UK, Fluoxetine prescriptions reached six million in 2011. In 2012, a research conducted at UCLA found out about the potential capability of fluoxetine, as well as other SSRI drugs, to function as an anti-viral when treating polio and other enteroviruses (there is currently no drug that can be used to treat enteroviruses).

Fluoxetine has known side-effects which are common with other SSRI and anti-depressant medications. These include sexual dysfunction (like lack of interest in sex, erectile dysfunction, anorgasmia (incapability to reach orgasm), difficulty becoming aroused, somnolence, tremor, asthenia, nervousness, anxiety, anorexia, insomnia and nausea.

This medicine may be used by pregnant women (but only until the third trimester of pregnancy); however, it should never be used by those who may be in a manic episode, those with uncontrolled epilepsy, those who have consumed MAOI or monoamine-oxidase inhibitor antidepressant in the last 14 days and those with uncontrolled seizure disorder.

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The Pros and Cons of Choosing Debt Settlement over Bankruptcy

Posted by on Feb 1, 2014 in Finances | 0 comments

It is not uncommon for millions of Americans to possess more than two credit cards, which they can use alternatively to pay their bills. With the US economy still trying to recover and many having lost their jobs, the temptation of still applying for another card may be one temptation hard to resist. With the arrival of the credit card bills, though, is the harsh realization that debts have risen to a level that poses a serious financial problem, a seemingly unmanageable problem to overcome.

The Bradford Law Offices, PLLC, informs millions of Americans through an article posted in its website, particularly those facing overwhelming financial obligations, that there are ways to restore order to their financial situation; one of these is through debt settlement, another is through bankruptcy.

Or course, both options have advantages and disadvantages. While choosing bankruptcy, which may totally erase your credit card loans altogether (depends on the chapter of bankruptcy you choose), you will also have this on your credit report for as long as 10 years. This would create a negative effect on your credit rating, resulting to much difficulty in acquiring credit in the future and possible higher interest rates on credits you will obtain. Besides these, a number of insurance firms base premium rates on the individual’s credit report, while some employers use it as additional basis for hiring and promotion.

In debt settlement, however, you may pay your debts, but at a much reduced (usually more than half) rate. You will also never have to file for bankruptcy. In a debt settlement, your creditors, whether a bank or credit card companies, will be sent a Settlement Demand from which they will either choose Option A (a Draft Bankruptcy Petition where they will receive $0.00 if filed) or B (a Settlement Proposal). Besides the possibility of getting nothing from the debtor, creditors also know the cost of going through a lawsuit and the intensive work it requires; thus, debt settlement would be their cheapest and quickest option to get even a part of what is owed from them.

For the debtor, this is what debt settlement will ensure:

Advantages:

  • Not having to file for bankruptcy – Though a debt settlement will also definitely affect your credit rating, the effect will be much less than that of bankruptcy; you will also need not worry about any litigation process, which is part of bankruptcy procedures
  • Single Payment – a lump sum payment for your debts will take away the stress associated with making monthly payments – benefiting both you and your creditor/s
  • Freedom from harassment from debt collectors – letters will be sent to creditors asking them to stop any form of communications and harassment tactics employed by debt collectors. Ignoring what these letters say can backfire to the creditors during actual settlement procedures
  • Avoidance of lawsuits, as well as any other legal action – taking away creditors’ option to file lawsuits to get to your properties, wage or your bank account, will save you from worrying over lien, wage garnishment or your bank account being levied.

Disadvantges:

Drop in Credit Score – non-payment of debts for six months will render an account as “bad debt.” This is natural result even before you apply for debt-settlement; and,

Payment of Taxes – the amount removed by the creditor from your loan, if exceeding $600, may be subject to taxes. This is known as the cancellation-of-debt (COD) income.

Whether debtors opt for debt settlement or bankruptcy, the procedure associated with each is complex. The need to hire a highly-qualified lawyer is necessary as he/she will be able to explain the best legal options to enable debtors to address their financial situation wisely, as well guide them through whatever procedure is required.

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Dangers of the da Vinci Robot

Posted by on Nov 1, 2013 in Medical Malpractice, Product Liability | 0 comments

Despite its rising popularity, the da Vinci surgical robot has received backlash from experts and patients for some time now. The da Vinci surgical robot is considered one of the technological advances that enable surgeons to perform operations with minimal incision, faster recovery time, and less pain for the patient. This machine is fully surgeon-controlled, with four handles and a high-definition 3D camera to help assist the surgeon to see the operation site clearly.

People who have suffered from injuries because of a da Vinci robot have sited tissue damage as one of the most common causes of complications experienced after the surgery. Because most surgeons are used to touching the parts in which they are operating, using the surgical robot would prevent them from judging the strength of the grip the robot gives. Because of this lack of control, the manipulation arms of the surgical robot can inadvertently rip or cut through the tissues in the body. It can even cause blood vessels to be severed and could potentially puncture organs that are at close proximity of the operation site. The worse part of this is because of the surgeon’s focused on the operation site, the damage on these areas may not be known; it is only after the surgery that the patient may show symptoms of complications that have occurred during the surgery.

Due to the serious dangers of the da Vinci robot, many experts and patients alike are advocating for more information and awareness of the dangers of using the surgical machine. Not everyone is familiar with the risks that come with using the da Vinci surgical robot, therefore they may put themselves in unnecessary trouble if they choose to push through with their operation.

Lawsuits against the makers of the da Vinci surgical robots state the lack of training the makers give to surgeons who are permitted to use the machine in their facilities, along with valid and reliable data to support their claims of their product as superior to the standard surgeries are the basis for their cases. Since statistics on the dangers of da Vinci robot is not known to the general public, more and more people have been choosing to undergo their procedures using the surgical robot, therefore increasing the number of people who are injured and die because of complications.

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What Was the War of 1812 Fought over?

Posted by on Jun 4, 2013 in Navy | 0 comments

war of 1812 explosionThe War of 1812 was a conflict between the United States and Britain. It was fought primarily in the seas and northern regions of the U.S. There were many reasons the two nations went to war, which began after then president James Madison sent a letter of grievances he had with Britain to congress, which soon after declared war.

Madison had many grievances against the British. The young nation’s merchant fleet had grown considerably in the previous decade and was trading prosperously with both Britain and France, who were engaged in a massive, continent-spanning war with one another in Europe. The British had been attacking American merchant ships and impressing the sailors into the Royal Navy. For them, this was a great move because their trade dominance was threatened by the increased success of American merchant ships and the extra men were useful in the war with France.

The U.S. also felt Britain was undermining its influence in Native American territory. British forces were known to supply the natives with weapons and information, stirring unrest. This bothered the states, since the British interference blocked off the northwest territories, into which the U.S. wanted to expand.

The States also wanted to expand into Canada, which was still a British territory at the time. While this is not a primary motivation for the war, it gave the United States a clear target to fight that was much closer to home than faraway England.

Some see the War of 1812 as a second war of independence. Britain had continually bullied the states, but they finally fought back and the resulting war ended in a stalemate. The peace was signed at Ghent, Belgium in 1814, and constituted an end of hostilities between the U.S., Canada, and England.

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What is the “Best Interests” in Child Custody Cases in Texas?

Posted by on May 28, 2013 in Custody | 0 comments

A child or children of divorced parents are often in a state of limbo until child custody is decided on. It is therefore ideal that such decisions are made as soon as possible. Courts are the venues where child custody decisions are made, and in the US, all states have their own interpretation of what are in the “best interests” of a child. In Texas, the factors determining “best interests” are embodied in the Texas Family Code Section 263 subsection 307.

Texas Child Custody Factors

Under the statute, the primary goal of the state is that the child or children in question are placed in a safe environment. The court looks into anything and everything that may impact on the child in the past, present and future. Factors that are considered include the:

  • Child’s age, mental and physical vulnerabilities
  • Circumstances of harm
  • Out-of-home placements
  • Presence of fear
  • Results of evaluations of all concerned parties
  • History of abuse or assault
  • History of substance abuse
  • Willingness and ability of the family to accept counseling and supervision
  • Willingness and ability of the family to make positive changes
  • Parenting skills
  • Extended family and support system

In determining what is in the best interests of the child, the court is often faced with a difficult decision because a child has mental, physical and emotional needs that have to be met as far as possible. A parent awarded physical or legal custody, or both, is called a conservator. When a parent is the sole conservator, this means that the child is entrusted entirely into the care of one parent, and the rights of the other parent in making any kind of decision for the child is suspended for one reason or the other. As much as possible, Texas courts aim for joint conservators, where the parents are both made responsible for the care and well-being of the child. In which case, the child is provided with the active participation of both parents in promoting stability for the child.

Unfortunately, this is not always possible, especially when one parent is physically or otherwise unable to provide such stability. If the child is more than 12 years old, the court has the option of consulting the child regarding preferences in residence. As much as possible, the court will favor a situation in which the child remains in familiar surroundings to alleviate the difficulties of adjusting to an altered family life.

Before the court convenes for a custody, or conservatorship, hearing, parents are encouraged to come to an agreement regarding custody and visitation plans. Provided that the proposal is not counterintuitive to a child’s welfare i.e. requiring extensive travel that may disrupt school attendance, the court is predisposed to adopting it. Once an order is finalized, modifications are not usually allowed unless circumstances force it or both parents agree to modify it.

Child custody is typically complex, requiring much discussion and negotiations, especially when the parents are not in harmony. To ensure that the best interests of the child are put forward, it would be wise to consult a child custody lawyer familiar with the laws of Texas.

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Successes and Failures of Recent Naval Weapons Technology

Posted by on May 27, 2013 in Navy | 0 comments

NAVY SEALWith the astronomical costs of research and development for new weapons, it’s important that all ideas for new technology be solid and feasibly implementable.

Recently, the Navy has spent more than $37 billion on a new kind of ship that is meant to be easily deployable and adaptable to multiple combat roles. The Littoral Combat Ship, as it is called, has interchangeable modules that allow it to reshape its capabilities depending on what the combat situation calls for. There are currently three modules known to the public. One of them allows the ship to deploy helicopters, one allows for unmanned underwater drones, and the other lets the ship serve as a sonar array center.

However, its implementation has been met with serious problems. Since the modules won’t be readily available at sea, switching modules requires the ship to port someplace where compatible modules are available before heading out on its mission. Additionally, the ship is incredibly fragile and can be easily destroyed in combat. The Littoral Combat Ship has the potential to be something incredibly useful, but is already running well over its budget. With the recent cuts to defense spending, it could be a while before the issues with the Littoral Combat Ship are addressed.

Luckily, not all of the Navy’s projects turn out poorly. At an April 8th conference, Navy Admiral  Jonathan Greenert, the Chief of Naval Operations, unveiled the Laser Weapon System (LaWS). LaWS has the capability to destroy small drones and other incoming vessels using a laser. This is an impressive weapon because it is energy-based rather than something physical that needs to be fired at a target, meaning firing the laser costs about $1 compared to traditional multi-million dollar missiles that would normally be used to destroy incoming aircraft. The Navy’s goal is to adapt LaWS into a reliable missile defense unit.

For ambitious and creative weapons to be successful, they require a great deal of testing and tweaking until they perform exactly as desired. This can take years, but is worth the wait just for the safety ramifications alone.

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Navy Veteran’s Family Wins Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

Posted by on May 21, 2013 in Medical Malpractice, Navy | 0 comments

A Navy veteran’s family has won a federal medical malpractice lawsuit after doctors at a military hospital completely bungled the birth of his daughter.

Doctors at the Tripler Army Medical Center behaved negligently and failed to adhere to standard medical protocol in a series of events that left the veteran’s newborn daughter with very little brain function. Before delivery, the unborn girl was found to be in critical condition necessitating immediate delivery, yet was left in her mother’s womb for more than an hour due to a simple miscommunication at the training hospital. Upon delivery, it was discovered that the girl’s umbilical cord had wrapped around her neck, depriving her of oxygen.

birth injuries medical malpracticeA first-year intern was assigned to insert a endotracheal tube to supply the girl with oxygen while she recovered from the birth process. However, he inserted the tube with excessive force, pushing it all the way down into the child’s stomach, leading to further oxygen deprivation. A more experienced member of the hospital’s medical staff noticed and corrected the mistake 40 minutes later.

In that time, the newborn girl suffered severe brain damage. She will never walk or talk and will have to be fed through a tube her entire life.

The family was awarded an $11 million settlement, so large it had to be approved by attorney general Eric Holder himself. The settlement will cover the costs of equipment and medication for the girl, now four years old. While it is no replacement for a child’s lost livelihood, it can make a difference in the burden imposed on her and her family by these clearly negligent medical professionals.

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What is Aphasia?

Posted by on Apr 28, 2013 in Brain Injury | 0 comments

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are sometime insidious; the symptoms sometimes surface some time after an accident. Aphasia, however, manifests almost immediately, although the condition is not always permanent. Aphasia is the disorder characterized by loss of language control due to damage to the language processing center of the brain, typically the left hemisphere. There are different types of aphasia, depending on what particular area in the language center is affected. Loss of language control may include naming, speech, repetition, hearing comprehension, writing and reading. The type of aphasia can be identified by the nature of the disorder.

  • Expressive –difficulty in saying or writing what is meant
  • Receptive – difficulty in making sense of what is being said or read
  • Anomic – difficulty if selecting the right word for events, objects or places
  • Global – loss of speech, difficulty in comprehension, inability to read or write

Based on the descriptions above, the global type of aphasia is obviously the worst kind of damage. In some cases when the damage is mild, TBI victims recover their language abilities without treatment. However, when aphasia is permanent, the effect on the sufferer’s quality of life can be devastating. Communication is an essential part of personal and professional life, and even the mildest form of aphasia can lead to problems in day-to-day functioning.

There is no established way of reversing the effects of aphasia through medication. Some drugs are showing some potential for enhancing the brain’s recovery from TBI, but they are still in the experimental stage. Speech and language therapy is the best hope of sufferers to regain some of what they have lost. Few ever get back their language skills completely. The process of recovery is slow and often frustrating, and the direct and indirect costs are high.

If someone you know has aphasia as a direct result of TBI acquired because of someone else’s carelessness or negligence, you should urge a consultation with a brain injury lawyer in order to recover some of the costs associated with the treatment and effect of aphasia. Losing the ability to communicate is a devastating thing, and the fact that the brain injury was preventable just makes it more horrendous.

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