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Orange County Wrongful Death Law Blog

Elderly driver causes fatal car accident inside of gym

Tragedy struck a California-area gym when, according to police, an elderly driver could no longer remember which pedal was used to accelerate and which pedal was for braking. This confusion resulted in a terrible car accident that caused multiple injuries and one fatality. Although the driver has not yet been charged with any criminal offense, the possibility has not been ruled out pending the further investigation.

Authorities say that the driver of the vehicle that caused the wreck was 80 years old and resident of the area. While attempting to park her vehicle, she apparently became confused about each pedal's purpose, and she used the accelerator rather than the brake. The driver consequently crashed through the front of the gym and proceeded to drive through part of its interior before finally coming to a rest.

Defective medical device blamed for permanent injury

There is little doubt that medical devices have made the world of health care a much safer and more successful place. While these advances have been incredibly worthwhile, when defects are allowed to sneak past regulatory agencies and affect consumers and patients in California, the outcome can be troublesome. Certain injuries caused by a defective medical device can even lead to lifelong complications.

While incarcerated in another state in 2008, a patient developed a painful groin hernia that required medical attention. Surgeons used a keyhole mesh to help repair the damage, but according to a suit filed by the patient, the device was defective. However, he continued to live with the defective keyhole mesh for approximately five years.

Company might have known about defective medical device

There is little denying the serious danger that blood clots pose, and people who suffer from conditions that make them especially prone to developing clots typically require specialized care. When a blood-clot filter was approved by the Food and Drug Administration, there appeared to be some hope on the horizon for chronic blood clot sufferers. Unfortunately, the filter was not without flaws, and as a possible defective medical device, it put the lives of thousands of people in California and across the country at risk.

The Recovery filter is shaped like a spider and then surgically inserted into a person's body in order to filter out clots and stop them from reaching important organs, like the lungs or heart. One woman had her Recovery filter inserted after she was involved in a car wreck and suffered injuries that drastically increased her chances of developing clots. However, four months later, part of the filter broke away and then traveled through her veins to her heart. She was rushed to the hospital where she underwent open-heart surgery to save her life.

California death blamed on nursing home neglect

When a loved one's condition necessitates his or her taking up residence in a nursing home or assisted care facility, a California resident, as those in all other states, has the right to reasonably assume that his or her family member will be cared for according to the highest levels of safety standards and professionalism. When nursing home neglect leads to a resident's injury, illness or death, immediate family members have recourse through the law by filing legal claims in court. In a recent case, a man's death is being blamed on substandard care in the nursing home where he resided.

The man who died was a burn victim who had suffered serious burns over 90 percent of his body years ago. The Attorney General has said that the nursing and wellness center where he was a resident was grossly negligent in caring for him. Charges of involuntary manslaughter have been filed against the nursing home.

Pregnant woman's death subject of medical malpractice suit

A timely diagnosis is key to treating a wide variety of diseases and illnesses. For especially vulnerable patients in California -- such as children, the elderly and pregnant women -- a failure to diagnose a serious health concern can prove to be fatal. The family of an out-of-state woman who died from preeclampsia complications filed a medical malpractice suit for the attending doctor's apparent failure to diagnose the serious condition.

While pregnant with her and her husband's first child, the woman began to experience some troubling symptoms. Although nausea can be quite common in pregnancy, she reported such severe nausea that she would vomit uncontrollably, and she also experienced significant pain and elevated blood pressure. According to the suit, these are all clear indications that something much more serious than typical pregnancy sickness -- preeclampsia -- was at play.

Former employee facing criminal charges for nursing home neglect

A woman tasked with the care and treatment of elderly residents now faces criminal charges for allegedly doing the exact opposite. While troubling, these types of nursing home neglect allegations are not unique or uncommon in California. For those who have no choice but to seek outside care for an elderly loved one, this news can be especially upsetting.

While employed as a nurse at a residential nursing care facility, the woman apparently administered the wrong medication to one of the patients. Although the patient was supposed to receive cough medicine, the nurse somehow accidentally gave her a narcotic pain reliever. Because of the size of the dose, the patient suffered from an overdose, but the nurse supposedly failed to reach out for help.

Car accident kills 1 woman, shuts down highway

A California highway was shut down for several hours following the death of a local driver. What initially began as a single-vehicle wreck resulted in tragedy when a possible drunk driver caused a secondary accident that contributed to the extensive back-up on the highway. Police ultimately arrested the driver who caused the second car accident on drunk driving charges.

The first accident only involved one car. Although authorities do not believe that the driver was under the influence of alcohol or any other substance at the time, it is not entirely clear why she lost control of her vehicle and collided with the highway divider. Afterward, her car spun around and stopped in one of the lanes of traffic.

FDA warns of security flaw in defective medical device

As more and more health care technology begins to integrate with various online interfaces, some experts warn that California patients could be more at risk than ever. Hackings and cyberattacks can turn otherwise viable tools into a defective medical device, compromising the safety and security of patients who rely on them. Even the FDA has released a statement concerning a specific device that might be exceptionally prone to hacking attempts.

Medication infusion pumps are common staples at the vast majority of hospitals, and now most of them are online. While the pumps might not be updating their Facebook page or connecting on Twitter, they do wirelessly connect to the hospital's computer network. Admittedly, this makes monitoring all of the patients who are receiving IV medications considerably easier, but it also creates a dangerous opportunity for hackers to gain control of those pumps.

Even highly rated doctors commit medical malpractice

Online ratings and reviews can be invaluable tools for consumers searching for anything from a good place for dinner to hiring a personal contractor for home renovations. However, just how accurately do some of those ratings reflect real life? Some California doctors might receive glowing reviews on the Internet, but upon closer inspection at real life outcomes, instances of medical malpractice can be startlingly high.

A surgeon who once performed procedures at an out-of-state hospital had his privileges to practice there revoked following a myriad of medical malpractice lawsuits from injured patients. However, records indicate that his privileges remain in good standing, even though he verbally told one of his patients that he could no longer perform surgeries at the hospital in question. Despite the false state records and positive reviews, he once held spot number five on the list of physicians with the highest complication rate for a particular surgery in his state.

Nursing facility blamed for resident's apparent wrongful death

Nursing homes and other long-term care facilities in California typically cater to the needs of the elderly, but disabled and special needs individuals are sometimes best accommodated by the close and attentive care that is provided at these locations. Although it is not entirely clear what events led to a man becoming a resident at an out-of-state nursing home, his mother claims that the negligence by attending staff members ultimately led to the wrongful death of her son. In her suit against the home, she specifically cites at least one instance of the facility failing to adequately prevent acts of abuse.

In 2014, the man was a resident in a skilled nursing care facility. At the facility, he shared his room with another man who, according to his mother, was apparently not an appropriate fit. In May 2014, his roommate allegedly assaulted him, although it is unclear what -- if anything -- led up to the brutal attack.