If you're an adult child of an aging parent, you may have already dealt with various urgent situations regarding your mother's or father's physical or mental health. Like most adult children in Ohio, you likely do whatever you can to provide the care your parent needs for as high quality of life as possible in his or her Golden Years. You may have even spent hours extensively researching nursing homes throughout the state before choosing one that best aligned with your parent's immediate and long-term needs.
During pregnancy, you were probably like most Ohio parents in that you expected to take home a happy and healthy baby. Somewhere along the way, however, you began to notice that something just was not right, and your pediatrician diagnosed your child with cerebral palsy.
One of the toughest things we have to deal with as trial lawyers is the misconception that all lawsuits are frivolous. The hallmark example jurors often point to is the McDonald's coffee lawsuit. We spend a great deal of time at the beginning of every trial educating jurors about the case and how what they have heard about the case is likely not accurate. Our firm recently came across an interesting, funny, and informative video that does a great job of presenting the truth about that lawsuit, which can be seen here. If you feel inclined to gain a deeper understanding of the lawsuit, HBO produced an informative in-depth documentary about the case.
As if Hurricane Katrina was not already devastating enough, the insurance industry tried to make it worse. Earlier this week, the US Supreme Court unanimoulsy upheld a jury verdict finding that State Farm defrauded the federal government after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in 2005. Prior to the hurricane, State Farm sold federally-backed flood insurance policies to individuals and businesses throughout the area. However, after the hurricane, State Farm ordered its claims adjusters to classify what was actually wind damage as flood damage. In other words, State Farm's goal was to shift the cost to the federal government rather than pay out of its own reserves.
Earlier this week, Gerry Leeseberg testified in front of the Ohio House of Representatives Judiciary Committee against House Bill 559. H.B. 559 is proposed legislation designed to provide even more protections to negligent doctors and hospitals. Specifically, Gerry addressed two provisions of the bill - expanding the apology statute and reducing "shotgun" lawsuits.
You work hard and do your best to make ends meet. Like many others in Chicago and throughout the United States, the recent economic crisis and changes in the health care system may have hit you hard. The last you thing you need on top of all that is to suffer injury or illness because a surgeon botched your operation.
If you are wondering what can be done to seek justice in the aftermath of a medical error, you are not alone. Each year, thousands of surgical mistakes are made in hospitals across the nation.
Do you know that many studies suggest medical error is one of the top three causes of death in the United States? When you need surgery, it's understandable you might feel a bit worried and concerned about many things. Perhaps you will need to take an extended leave of absence from work and are unsure whether you're prepared to meet the possible financial debt that could result.
Of all the various issues that likely cross your mind, you should not have to think about suffering preventable injuries (or worse, death) because a surgeon or other staff member fails to perform according to the highest level of accepted medical safety standards.
The Columbus Dispatch recently published an article regarding a $1.2 million settlement Leeseberg & Valentine obtained against the City of Columbus. Since then, the Dispatch has published an additional four articles, which can be read about here, here, here, and here. For an overview of Bray v. City of Columbus, please see our initial blog post published on June 27, 2016.
While we are grateful for the significant amount of press coverage, all of these articles have failed to focus on a key issue. The City of Columbus is a political subdivision (i.e. a local government created by the State of Ohio), and as such the City is entitled to broad immunity from liability. In other words, the City is free to make mistakes without fear of any repercussions. The rationale behind this grant of immunity is that the burden of paying for these mistakes actually falls on the taxpayers. Of course that rationale has merit, but it ignores the fundamental flaw: if you don't hold people responsible for their mistakes, nothing will get fixed.
In Ohio, every plaintiff is entitled to a trial by jury should they decide to exercise that right. Civil juries are generally composed of 8 individuals who reside in the community where the case is filed. In order for a plaintiff to win a case, at least 6 of those 8 jurors (or three-fourths majority) must vote in the plaintiff's favor. Because of this, the process of selecting a jury, or voir dire, is very important.
Did you know that a division of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does nothing but review reports regarding adverse events involving prescription, over-the-counter, and generic drugs? The Division of Medication Error Prevention and Analysis (DMEPA) works with other agencies and organizations in an attempt to ensure the safety of patients here in Ohio and elsewhere when it comes to medications. Health care professionals with DMEPA and the other organizations review reports of adverse events to determine what happened and compile the data so that recommendations can be made regarding how to avoid the same mistakes in the future. Despite their efforts, people continue to be seriously or fatally harmed.