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Cleveland Ohio Legal Blog

Maternal personal injury and death after childbirth preventable

Ohioans who are expecting a child will be anxiously awaiting the baby's arrival. For many, this is the high point in their life as they try to start or expand a family. Although childbirth is common and most come through it with the mother and newborn safe and healthy, there is no denying that it carries with it some risk. Mothers can suffer personal injury and death for a variety of reasons including mistakes and negligence on the part of the staff, medication errors and failure to diagnose. In a worst-case scenario, these can result in a fatal medical error. When a mother suffers an illness or dies after childbirth, it is imperative to know how and why it happened so the person's family can consider a lawsuit for compensation.

Recent information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that almost 700 women die annually because of complications from pregnancy in the U.S. It also says that more than half of these deaths could have been prevented. The report says that around three of every five deaths were avoidable. These range from an incident during the pregnancy, when the baby was being delivered, or up to one year after childbirth.

Hands-free devices don't always mean distraction-free driving

By now, it should be obvious to everyone in Ohio and across the nation that digital devices can create dangerous distractions for drivers. In an effort to avoid distractions, many drivers are switching to hands-free systems so that they can talk on the phone or accomplish other tasks without taking their hands off the wheel.

Unfortunately, hands-free driving does not necessarily mean distraction-free driving. A hands-free device can even create a false sense of security, causing drivers to take unnecessary risks with other distractions. A new study is showing that being a distracted driver is likely to spark other forms of distraction behind the wheel, increasing the risk.

Recent Verdicts Show Promise for Victims of Roundup Exposure

A unanimous California jury has found Monsanto/Bayer liable for failing to warn that its weed killer, Roundup, could cause cancer. The federal jury awarded the plaintiff, Ed Hardeman, $80 million in the first bellwether trial of this vastly growing litigation, striking a blow to Monsanto and opening the door for thousands of individuals whose lives have been adversely affected by the development of Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma as a result of Roundup usage. Specifically, the jury awarded Hardeman $200,967 in economic damages, approximately $5 million in future and past noneconomic damages, and $75 million in punitive damages.

This was a bifurcated trial in which the jury heard a causation phase and a secondary damages phase. The causation phase of the trial ended on March 19 when the jury concluded that Roundup was a substantial factor in causing Hardeman's cancer, sending the dispute into a second phase to determine liability and damages. During the damages phase, the jury heard evidence that between 1980 and 2012, Monsanto was aware of five epidemiological studies, seven animal studies, three oxidative stress studies and 14 genotoxicity studies that linked its Roundup products to cancer. Mr. Hardeman's lawyers argued that despite the studies, Monsanto never warned consumers and refused to conduct its own long-term research.

Monsanto executives were also accused of "ghostwriting" multiple academic articles in the 1990s and 2000s, allegedly in an effort to mislead federal regulators and the public about the safety of Roundup. Mr. Hardeman's attorneys asked the jury to award punitive damages against Monsanto for "manipulating the science" and public opinion for years, pointing out that Bayer bought Monsanto for $63 billion in June, and Monsanto made $210 million from Roundup sales in one year alone.

Consumer injury sparks FDA to act with pelvic mesh and stop sales

When an Ohio resident is advised to receive a certain treatment for a medical issue, there is a significant level of trust that will be placed on the judgment of the medical professionals and the ability on the part of manufacturers to make safe and effective products. When medical devices are not formulated properly or there are dangers when using them, regulators will likely act to prevent people from being injured. Unfortunately, this still leaves people who have had these devices used on them at risk. For them, filing a lawsuit is often required to be compensated.

The Food and Drug Administration has put a stop to the sale of surgical mesh that is used for pelvic issues in women. This comes after many people reported complications and suffering injuries due to the implants. There are two companies that continue to make these devices and they were told to halt its sale immediately. They did not show that it was safe to be used for the long term. Other companies had stopped making the mesh prior to the FDA order.

Asbestos risks you'll want to be aware of in Ohio

Is your Ohio workplace, school or home a health hazard? You probably aren't sure how to answer that because some potentially dangerous health issues remain unseen. Thousands of people have suffered serious illnesses after being exposed to asbestos. Many of them had no idea they had been exposed, although in some cases, their employers knew but failed to keep them safe.

Asbestos is microscopic. It can get into the air. If you ingest or inhale it, it can lodge in your lungs and cause mesothelioma, asbestosis or other illness. There are no known cures for mesothelioma or asbestosis. While there's no safe amount of asbestos exposure, there are definitely situations that increase the level of danger. Understanding what makes asbestos so dangerous can perhaps help you avoid injury. If you're dealing with an asbestos problem that involves employer negligence, you may also want to learn about asbestos litigation.

Danger of asbestos-related illness sparks near total ban

Asbestos-related illness is nearly impossible to treat, causes significant pain and inevitably leads to an early death. Ohio residents who have been exposed to asbestos - even years ago - whether it was through work, school or where they resided should consider a legal filing to be compensated. At one time, asbestos was viewed as a substance with versatility and utility. It was used for an expansive range of reasons and seemed to provide immense value. Industries such as construction, manufacturing, the building of ships and more utilized asbestos.

However, as time passed and people began to exhibit symptoms and become ill, a connection between asbestos and various illnesses became apparent. Because of its risk, people who are suffering from issues related to asbestos or suspect they might be should be aware of how regulatory agencies are addressing the problem. Toward that end, the Environmental Protection Agency has announced that it will ban almost all uses of asbestos in the U.S.

Roundtable focuses on distracted driving truck accidents

Encountering large trucks can be an intimidating experience for drivers of passenger vehicles in Ohio. These delivery trucks are traveling long distances at high speeds. To compound their danger, the drivers are frequently tasked with getting their delivery to its destination by a certain time. Their living is based on efficiency and speed and, despite laws regulating their behaviors, some will flout the law in various ways. That includes going beyond service hours, using pills to stay awake and driving while distracted.

Entities like the National Transportation Safety Board often meet to formulate ways to improve safety. A recent event was held to discuss concerns regarding safety. This was the third annual event in which the NTSB held a roundtable. It discussed distracted driving and that almost 10 percent of fatal crashes are linked to distracted drivers. It is a major problem in Texas where around 19 percent of accidents were linked to driver distraction. Four hundred and forty-four people died and nearly 3,000 were injured in those crashes. While the numbers are high in Texas, this is a problem across the nation.

Study: Misdiagnosis prevalent with multiple sclerosis

Ohioans who receive a diagnosis for a condition, illness or disease will be concerned about the future and how to treat it. Those who are suffering from the issue and there is a misdiagnosis saying they do not have it will face problems due to the failure to properly inform the patient as to what the problem is and how to handle it. Both categories can be impacted by a misdiagnosis. Since there can be a worsened medical condition, the wrong treatment or a lack of treatment because of these mistakes, it is imperative for those who have been affected by it to discuss their case with a legal professional to move forward in pursuing compensation.

In a new study, it was found that almost 18 percent of people who received a diagnosis of having multiple sclerosis were misdiagnosed. They got the misdiagnosis before receiving a referral to two medical centers in Los Angeles. Upon deeper assessment, they had been diagnosed as having an autoimmune disease. In the study, 241 patients who had been diagnosed and referred to those facilities were assessed in the span of a year. The goal was to find out the number of misdiagnoses that took place and what characteristics they shared to see if there was a common denominator in the errors.

Nursing home injury and other problems leads to sanctions

Nursing homes in Ohio are obligated to care for their residents in an aboveboard and professional way. This is to provide them with the care they need and ensure there are no injuries, illnesses or conditions because of lapses, negligence or abusive behavior on the part of staff members. There are other factors that are important in nursing home care. Included is the government funding that helps many of these facilities stay afloat. If there is nursing home injury because of violations or other issues at a facility, the government could stop its funding. For people who are concerned about how their loved ones are treated and think there might be abuse taking place, keeping an eye on facilities that are facing sanctions from the government is a signal to check on the condition of their loved ones.

An Ohio nursing home is facing the possibility that the government might stop letting patients pay for their care through Medicaid and Medicare. This step comes after several citations were issued because of problems with caring for patients. The facility was given notice that the agreement between the government insurers and the facility will end in the second week in April. For its part, the facility representatives say they are giving the best possible care to their residents.

Patient risk stems from misdiagnosis and testing errors

Ohioans who have a medical issue of any kind are wise to get treatment as soon as possible. This is a sound strategy to address a condition, illness or injury and get back to full health. However, it is an unfortunate fact that medical mistakes happen quite frequently. These can involve a misdiagnosis, dispensing the wrong medication and other mishaps. When there is an error and people are injured or lose their lives because of it, having legal advice is a critical aspect of pursuing a filing.

Research is often done to assess the worst mistakes. A new study from ECRI says that there are certain problems that are the greatest danger to patients. ECRI found that mistakes in diagnosis and failure to adequately manage test results with electronic health records are significant threats to patient safety. The release of this information coincided with National Patient Safety Awareness Week. ECRI's president and CEO says that the third most common reason for death is a medical error. Using this research is meant to improve safety.

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