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North Carolina Personal Injury Blog

Report reveals many harmful and common hospital errors

  • 08
  • May
    2014

Hospital negligence and medical malpractice in hospitals hurt patients and their families across the country. A recent report reveals that nationwide more than 325,000 patients die every year as a result of hospital and medical professional errors, many of which could have been prevented.

The Partnership for Patients revealed that nine common problems plague America’s health care system when it comes to medical malpractice; among them are bedsores, falls, adverse medication events, and several forms of infections.

Nearly 800,000 baby monitors recalled as defective products

  • 30
  • April
    2014

A product designed to help parents hear and respond to children is being recalled after reports of burn hazards. The defective product is a handheld baby video monitor with rechargeable batteries. The device has the potential to overheat and cause burns to children and adults.

The recall, which impacts hundreds of thousands of baby monitors that were sold at major retailers, links more than 10 models with the burn risk. The products were sold for between $150 and $350 from 2010 to 2012. The Consumer Product Safety Commission is still collecting reports from parents, and individuals who have the product are encouraged to contact Summer Infant for replacement batteries.

North Carolina police officer killed in tragic car accident

  • 23
  • April
    2014

A North Carolina police officer is dead after a recent tragic accident between the car he was driving and an excavator owned and operated by the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

The 46-year-old officer was off duty and driving his personal van when the car accident occurred. The accident investigation is still ongoing, but police say that the excavator truck had just left the NCDOT maintenance yard and was traveling west on a two-lane road when it crossed the center line and struck the officer's vehicle.

$3M medical malpractice award follows patient suicide

  • 16
  • April
    2014

Chronic pain is a frustrating and debilitating medical condition. While diagnosis of the source of the pain followed by the appropriate treatment may ease or even end the pain, these cases may be difficult to diagnose for a number of reasons. However, there are standards doctors must meet when treating patients who suffer from chronic pain in order to ensure they do not suffer avoidable complications. When a careless doctor’s pain treatment leads to an even more desperate situation, the consequences can be tragic.

A man who began to seek treatment in 2008 for his chronic lower back pain received shots from a doctor in May and December of that year. He returned in January 2009 and received another shot, which still didn’t completely stop the pain. After that injection, a painful lump began to form at the injection site. He mentioned it to a nurse at the clinic during his next visit and was told that it was not a problem.

A number of wrongful death cases found in veteran hospitals

  • 09
  • April
    2014

The Center for Investigative Reporting has compiled data from the VA that revealed a pattern of medical negligence.  In the 10 years after 9/11, the agency paid out $200 million to settle almost 1,000 wrongful death claims. Some of these are  hospital malpractice claims that cover a broad range of errors.

The allegations against the VA include instances of careless doctors, misdiagnosis, failure to diagnose psychological disorders and other conditions, and fatal medication errors.

GM product liability case spurs push for motor vehicle safety

  • 02
  • April
    2014

After navigating more negative publicity than any company in a long time, the only good thing that seems to be a result of the GM defective product recall is the expedited attention to other safety measures that may save lives in North Carolina and across the country.

The Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently joined in announcing the requirement of rear visibility backup cameras in all vehicles manufactured beginning in May 2018. Even though safety advocates applaud the new regulation, they criticized the agencies for the delay in issuing the rule. A law was passed in 2008 requiring the DOT to act on the issue by 2011. By the agency’s own statistics, 15,000 people are injured each year in back-over accidents and 200 are killed. 

Toyota settlement includes 'probation' for company executives

  • 27
  • March
    2014

In the midst of recent reports about deaths caused by faulty ignitions in GM vehicles, the U.S. Justice Department has announced a settlement with Toyota for $1.2 billion, which lawmakers say could serve as a blueprint for the way the GM case is handled. The settlement is based on the company’s insufficient warning to the public in North Carolina and across the country of dangerous defects that could cause sudden acceleration of the vehicles.

In a case that began with a product liability-related issue, the government finally found a way to satisfy safety advocates who have argued for years for criminal charges when manufacturers ignore reports of a dangerous automobile design defect or defective auto part. The Justice Department ultimately charged the company with wire fraud, which has previously been used to prosecute other crimes including securities fraud and corruption in politics.

North Carolina dental board seeks input on sedation dentistry

  • 20
  • March
    2014

The North Carolina dental board has recently requested public input regarding the creation of new rules on training, sedation, and emergency response following the deaths of two patients under sedation in 2012 and 2013. Investigations determined that both deaths were caused by fatal medical errors made by the dentists involved. The dental board concluded that the first death was caused by the dentist failing to pay attention to the patient’s medical history and ignoring warnings from staff that the patient was turning blue. The second death was caused when the dentist administered anesthesia to a patient who was not a good candidate for the type of anesthesia that was used.  

Medical malpractice occurs when any medical provider, dentists included, causes injury or death to a patient through treatment that falls below the accepted standard of practice within the medical community. Apparently, the dental board agreed that both of these anesthesia errors fell below the standards of practice because both dentists involved have been suspended. 

Doctors found to share responsibility for prescription drug abuse

  • 13
  • March
    2014

A study recently released by the American Medical Association includes statistics that may be surprising to some North Carolina residents. One such finding is that prescription drug overdoses are now responsible for more deaths in the United States than traffic accidents. The second such surprise is that these are not drugs purchased in back alleys from drug dealers. They are prescription drugs prescribed by doctors for their patients. Some of these prescriptions may rise to the level of medical malpractice.

In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention labeled the addiction and overdose crisis an epidemic.  Most of the prescription drugs that account for the epidemic are narcotic painkillers.  Drugs such as OxyContin and Vicodin are at least partially responsible for more than 16,000 fatal overdoses each year.

North Carolina man investigated for fraudulent health clinic

  • 06
  • March
    2014

Medical malpractice can come in various forms. Sometimes the accused is not even a qualified medical professional. This can be an especially frightening case, when you are taking prescription drugs and shots from a person posing to be a medical professional. Recently, a North Carolina man was accused of practicing medicine without license and authorities have now shut down his fraudulent clinic.

The investigation in this case is not completed and investigators have obtained warrants. The man has been charged with, among other serious allegations, identity theft as a physician. The prospect of being administered flu shots and other prescription drugs from a man who is accused of stealing a federal registration number is difficult to grasp. Medical errors are made by those who are qualified to be practitioners, so one can imagine the mistakes that could potentially be made by someone who is unqualified. 

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