Posted on March 29th, 2012
You may think, if a doctor prescribes a medical treatment, it’s been thoroughly tested. For one type of treatment, however, you would be dead wrong. A Consumer Reports’ investigation found medical devices — like defibrillators, joint replacements, and even surgical mesh used to treat hundreds of thousands of women — may not be clinically tested at all.
Dr. Stephen Tower is an orthopedic surgeon. When the arthritis in his hip became too hard to bear, he opted for a metal-on-metal hip. The new hip, however, caused him so much pain, exhaustion, and depression that he had it removed.
The tissues around the hip had been destroyed, and metal debris was spreading down his thigh. Tower says normal friction in the artificial joint caused cobalt, a toxic metal, to be released into his body, leading to serious tissue, heart, brain, and thyroid problems.
Consumer Reports says this particular type of hip, called the ASR XL, was made of chrome cobalt metal, but it was never clinically tested before the Food and Drug Administration cleared it to be sold. Because of high failure rates and complications like Tower experienced, it’s now off the market.
Read more: http://www.ky3.com/news/ky3-consumer-reports-most-medical-implants-have-never-been-tested-for-safety–20120329,0,5914319.story
While metal-on-metal hips have been widely criticized, a Consumer Reports’ investigation found there are other dangerous devices that are being implanted.
Hundreds of thousands of women have had mesh slings inserted to support internal organs as they age, such as the uterus and bladder. Again, those products were never clinically tested before being marketed for that use.
The FDA’s own database shows thousands of complaints about the mesh, including debilitating infections. Yet it’s still on the market and not even classified as high-risk.
Consumer Reports believes the FDA should require rigorous testing for implantable devices, just as it does for prescription drugs.
Consumer Reports also urges creating a national registry to keep track of implanted medical devices and to be able to alert patients if there is a problem. Currently there is no such tracking in the U.S., and it’s estimated only a fraction of device problems actually do get reported
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Posted on March 28th, 2012
The AP is reporting that St. Louis rescue crews are searching for a crane operator who fell into the Mississippi River while working on a new bridge at St. Louis. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the crane broke Wednesday morning and fell over in the water. St. Louis Fire Department rescue crews went to the scene. The worker’s life jacket was found, but not the man.The worker was helping to build the new $640 million bridge.
As spring begins and the economy contrinues to strengthen, many construction workers will be returning to work. Large projects and developments can often lead to worker safety hazards or require working with dangerous or defective equipment. In the above incident, not only was the worker forced into a dangerous and unsafe situation, but he also fell victim to a faulty product. It is incidents such as these that often times could have been avoided if proper safety procedures were followed.
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Posted on March 20th, 2012
When you take out an insurance policy for property, health, or life insurance benefits, you have a right to receive benefits promptly when you file a legitimate claim. The insurance industry has expended a great deal of money and lobbying efforts to ensure that there is no single federal agency that oversees their policy and benefits practices. The result has been that Missouri is required to oversee bad faith insurance practices, which gives the insurance industry lobbyists more personal and direct access and influence. The following case out of California illustrates the risk an insurance company faces in denying your claim:
An elderly Hollywood Hills resident whose home was nearly destroyed when a dump truck crashed into it, rupturing a gas line and causing an explosion, was awarded more than $8 million after jurors found that his insurance company of more than 50 years failed to honor its contract.
The Los Angeles County Superior Court jury last week found that Residence Mutual Insurance Co. not only acted with malice and fraud in failing to fulfill its $220,000 policy with Robert Christopher, who was 86 at the time of the 2008 accident, but noted that its conduct was directed at a senior citizen, who is considered under California law more vulnerable than other members of the population.
“The insurance company did everything possible to try and torpedo this World War II veteran’s case,” said attorney Mark Geragos. “You wouldn’t treat your worst enemy the way this insurance company treated this policyholder of more than 50 years. This should be a message to insurance companies that you never put your interests before the interests of the insured.”
Attorneys for Residence Mutual Insurance, headquartered in Irvine, could not be reached for comment.
Christopher, a longtime Hollywood character actor, and his partner, Patricia Freiling, were inside their Alcyona Drive home in January 2008 when a dump truck hauling dirt away from a nearby construction site failed to negotiate a sharp turn. The truck was turning right at a nearly 90-degree angle from steep Primrose Avenue.
The 33-foot-long truck, which held 15 tons of dirt, toppled over on its side and slammed into their residence. The impact severed a gas line, setting off an explosion. Flames and smoke quickly enveloped the house.
The pair were trapped inside for nearly 20 minutes until they were able to dislodge a sliding door, according to court records. Christopher, a Marine Corps veteran, hurt his back trying to flee, and Freiling chipped a tooth and reinjured a previously broken wrist.
Despite the trauma of the incident, co-counsel Brian S. Kabateck said Christopher believed he could rebuild his home by getting the trucking company to compensate him through its insurance while also collecting on his homeowner’s policy, which he had purchased during the Eisenhower administration.
Residence Mutual not only held back payment, Geragos said, but charged Christopher for work done by an engineering firm as well as another company that charged him $20,000 to pack up his belongings for storage.
Geragos and Kabateck also successfully argued that the insurance company interfered in Christopher’s lawsuit against the construction company and the city.
On Friday, after a day of deliberation and a week of trial arguments, the jury awarded Christopher a combined $8,062,850 in economic, noneconomic and punitive damages.
In addition, Christopher recovered another $450,000 from the city, which settled with him in a lawsuit over the condition of the roadway.
Read More: http://www.ky3.com/mobile/movies/la-me-0318-fire-settlement-20120318,0,6598465.story
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Posted on March 19th, 2012
Kansas City police have identified a 19-year-old man who died in a head-on collision earlier today in the Northland as Cameron M. Heath.
The two-vehicle accident occurred about 6:45 a.m. at Northeast 46th Terrace and North Brighton Avenue.
According to police, a southbound silver Pontiac collided head-on with a northbound Tahoe.
Heath, a Kansas City resident, was driving the Pontiac. Three people in the Tahoe were taken to a hospital with what were believed to be non-life-threatening injuries.
Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2012/03/15/3492227/emergency-crews-working-crash.html#storylink=cpy
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Posted on March 14th, 2012
The AP (3/13, Krisher) reports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is “investigating sticky accelerators in as many as 1.9 million Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable sedans.” The probe, which began last week has expanded “to include cars from the 2001 through 2006 model years.” In the 14 complaints of Taurus sedans accelerating on their own, the agency hasn’t heard “of crashes or injuries because of the problem.” The agency suggested that “a faulty cruise control cable” that “can detach and hold the throttle open” could be the problem.
The Detroit News (3/13, Shepardson) reports NHTSA spokeswoman Lynda Tran said the agency “is carefully evaluating all available data and will share any findings upon conclusion of its investigation.” Adding that the “request ‘is inquiring about a broader population in order to obtain a basis for comparison,’” she also said that “it isn’t uncommon to look at similar vehicles as part of a preliminary investigation.”
Car manufacturers such as Ford have a legal responsibility to ensure that their product is safe for use by consumers and end-users. Despite laws and regulations governing the safe manufacture of products, thousands of people continue to suffer serious injuries every year because of inadequate design or faulty manufacturing.
If you or someone you know suspect that you may have been injured as a result of a defective product, please contact the experienced Springfield products liability attorneys of Strong-Garner-Bauer, P.C. at 417-887-4300.
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Posted on March 12th, 2012
Missouri Lawyers Weekly recently published an article recounting the Greene County trial of Lewis v. Busco Inc. The plaintiff, Daniel Lewis was represented by Springfield Lawyer of the Year Steve Garner. The article reads as follows:
A Greene County jury awarded nearly $1 million to a Republic man whose car was hit by a charter tour bus headed to Branson in a 2007 accident.
That Nov. 18, Daniel Lewis, then 37, was driving his 1990 Honda Accord on Route N in southwest Missouri. A charter bus heading the opposite direction on the rural road turned in front of Lewis’ car and struck the driver’s side, according to the plaintiff’s attorneys’ written case description. James P. Mailen of Lawrence, Kan., was driving the bus.
Lewis, a concrete finisher, suffered back and spine injuries that have left him unable to work, said attorney Steve Garner, who took over the case in November, a month before the trial, after Lewis’ first lawyers stepped aside. Neither Mailen nor the bus passengers were injured. The bus driver had made a wrong turn and was trying to get back onto Interstate 44, Garner said.
Lewis sued the bus driver and Busco Inc., which owned the bus, in November 2009. The Norfolk, Neb., company does business as Arrow Stage Lines.
A four-day jury trial began on Dec. 19. In his opening arguments, Garner told the jury of his client’s history of methamphetamine abuse and “petty crimes that go along with people who have substance abuse problems.” Lewis’ rap sheet includes previous convictions for burglary, drug possession and drunken driving, court records show. He was also on probation at the time of the trial.
Lewis’ drug addiction prevented him from being treated with prescription painkillers, Garner said.
“He has chronic pain and can’t take painkillers other than over-the-counter medicine,” he said. “The jury was good to their promises not to consider [his drug abuse]. I think lawyers give it a lot more credence than jurors do.”
Lewis agreed to dismiss Mailen, the bus driver, from the case two weeks before trial.
“I didn’t see any need to drag that guy to court,” Garner said. “Ultimately, insurance is responsible. I didn’t want the jury to feel sorry for this driver.”
On cross-examination, defense attorney Dana Mark Harris elicited testimony from Lewis’ doctor that the accident victim’s injuries could have been “psychologically perpetuated.” The physician also said Lewis was “doctor shopping” in an attempt to obtain prescription narcotics.
“It appeared to me that the complaints went beyond the normal healing course,” Harris said. “His treating doctor agreed with me.”
During jury deliberations, Garner and Harris reached a high-low agreement, calling for a minimum payment to Lewis of $175,000 and a maximum of $1 million. On the trial’s fourth day, the jury returned a plaintiff’s verdict of $941,000.
Harris said he was disappointed in the verdict but didn’t plan to appeal.
Read more: http://molawyersmedia.com/blog/2012/03/12/drug-addicted-plaintiff-wins-southwest-mo-trial/
If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, please contact the experienced Springfield car accident attorneys of Strong-Garner-Bauer, P.C. at 417-887-4300.
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Posted on March 8th, 2012
The family of a man who died after he was paralyzed when a skydiving plane crashed settled a wrongful death case a few days before trial was to begin for more than $3 million.
Steven Parrella was a cameraman aboard the plane to record other skydivers, explained his family’s attorney, Morry Cole, of Gray, Ritter & Graham in St. Louis.
The plane crashed near Sullivan, about 70 miles southwest of St. Louis, after it experienced engine failure. Six of the eight people aboard died in the crash.
This is one example where someone’s negligence has left a family in ruin. Tragic as it may be, family members are often left with no choice but to file a wrongful death suit when someone they love is tragically taken from them.
If a family member has been tragically taken from you, please contact the experienced Springfield wrongful death attorney’s of Strong-Garner-Bauer, P.C. at 417-887-4300.
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Posted on March 7th, 2012
A two-vehicle crash in Springfield sent a 1 year old to the hospital after her car seat was ejected.
Cindy Wells, 45, of Springfield, said she was driving south on Kansas Expressway and making a left-hand turn onto Hovey Street. Wells, who was driving a 1986 Bronco, said she was hit by another car.
The baby was in a forward facing car seat but was thrown out of the back of the vehicle during the wreck.
“The only thing we could figure is that the pressure on the seatbelt caused the lock to disengage,” Wells said.
Fortunately, no one in the accident was seriously injured including the baby, who was transported to the hospital with minor injuries.
There are several lessons to be learned from this accident. First of all, it is imperative that car seats are properly installed. Failing to properly install a car seat can result in serious injuries to your children. One should consult an expert if they have any questions regarding proper installation. Secondly, one should make sure the product they are using to keep their child free from harm is a safe product. There are many dangerous and defective products on the market. In order to avoid purchasing a dangerous or defective productive, make sure and conduct your own research before purchase.
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Posted on March 3rd, 2012
A 25-year-old Texas man was pronounced dead at the scene of an early-morning crash today at Commercial Street and National Avenue, according to a report from the Springfield Police Department.
Brandon S. Smith, of Copperas Cove, Texas, was a passenger in a westbound 1997 Acura driven by Harold L. Evans, 33, of Galena. Evans reportedly lost control of the car and struck a traffic signal pole at the northeast corner of the intersection, the report said.
The accident occured about 12:15 a.m.
The Acura then struck a 76 Ford LTD that was southbound on National and stopped for a red light at Commercial.
A second passenger in the Acura was not injured, Evans suffered minor injuries, and was taken into custody due to alcohol impairment, according to the police report.
Speed is also thought to have been a contributing factor in the crash. The investigation is ongoing, police said.
Read more: http://www.news-leader.com/article/20120303/NEWS01/303040011/fatal-crash-harold-evans-brandon-smith?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE
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Posted on March 1st, 2012
A 2-day-old baby survived a crash that killed his mother, father and 3-year-old brother.
Missouri Highway Patrol Sgt. Paul Reinsh said the family of four from Eldon was traveling west on Missouri 52 in Miller County, 100 miles north of Springfield, when an eastbound Toyota moved into their lane.
“The one vehicle just crossed the center line and they hit pretty much head-on,” Reinsh said, noting it was sunny and clear when the crash happened at 1:40 p.m. Tuesday. “As far as I know, the weather was not a factor.”
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