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Orange County Wrongful Death Law Blog

Bill targets referral agencies to prevent nursing home neglect

Long-term care facilities in California provide an invaluable service to the elderly and their families. While many family members may want to care for their loved ones well into their old age, specific medical needs often prevent them from providing needed care. However, referral agencies that are supposed to help families place their loved ones in the most appropriate home possible may not be looking out for the residents best interests, and improper placements can potentially lead to nursing home neglect

The Senate Judiciary Committee is reviewing a bill that would protect one of California's most vulnerable populations. The bill would tweak how current referral agencies operate, requiring them to disclose any interest -- financial or otherwise -- that they may have with certain nursing homes or other care facilities. Many proponents of the bill believe that potential residents have a right to know if a referral agency receives a commission for placing a person with a certain home.

Bayer may have concealed side effects of possible defective drug

A number of women in California use birth control for various reasons, but according to the FDA, one popular form of contraception may not be as safe as previously thought. Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Inc. is under investigation by the FDA, following allegations that the company might not have been honest about certain clinical trial results. The altered results may reveal that Essure is actually a defective drug

Although Bayer continues to defend the safety and efficacy of Essure, there are many who disagree. According to the FDA, Essure can cause potentially catastrophic side effects, including perforated bowels. The device -- which is supposed to remain in place in a woman's fallopian tubes -- has also been found to migrate to other parts of the body. While Bayer did disclose 22 incidents of perforation, there were apparently an additional 168 of which they were aware. Additionally, Bayer allegedly held on to over 16,000 Essure-related complaints without ever revealing this information to outside sources.

Truck accidents responsible for significant number of deaths

In America's current economic and consumer climate, tractor-trailers and other large trucks play a critical role in moving goods across the country. For example, with the aid of large trucks, residents on the East Coast can enjoy fresh fruit and vegetables from California during times of the year when the climate does not allow them to grow their own locally. Sadly, many drivers behind the wheels of these types of vehicles ignore important safety standards that are designed to keep everyone on the road as safe as possible. When those standards are ignored, serious injuries can result from truck accidents

Sadly, in wrecks involving semi trucks and passenger vehicles, it is usually the trucks that typically fare much better. According to data from 2012, in wrecks involving one large truck and one passenger vehicle, the resulting deaths overwhelming occurred in the passenger vehicle, with truck drivers only accounting for 4 percent of the deaths. Annually, truck accidents contribute 10 percent of all deaths resulting from wrecks.

Alleged defective bone cement prompts product liability suit

The safety and efficacy of medical treatment in the United States heavily relies on the careful crafting and engineering of proper medical tools and devices. Sadly, one woman claims that doctors utilized a defective medical device while operating on her knee, causing her to suffer serious injuries. Although the incident did occur in a medical setting, as the injury was caused by an alleged defective product and not a health care professional's negligence, victims of similar incidents in California would find the most appropriate course of action for compensation to be through a product liability suit rather than a medical malpractice claim.

Doctors initially performed total knee replacements on the woman in 2003, and according to her, the operation went off without a hitch. For the next 10 years she continued to thrive without any complications from the surgery or the implants. However, in 2013 it was apparently necessary to replace some of the knee implant components. 

Study says nursing home neglect prevalent among residents

With so many older adults in the care of long-term nursing homes in California, it is not necessarily unreasonable to expect that some type of oversight is employed to ensure the safety of residents. Unfortunately, this is often not the case. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, keeping track of nursing home neglect is not always that easy. 

The statistics are shocking, with about 95 percent of nursing home residents reporting either witnessing neglect or being a victim of neglect themselves. Those numbers stem from a study that was conducted in 2000. The study also found that nearly half of residents -- 44 percent -- actually reported being abused. That figure does not include incidents of abuse that went unreported.

Police investigate serious auto accident that killed 4, injured 4

The events leading up to a recent devastating accident remain unclear even as California authorities continue to investigate. The serious auto accident resulted in four fatalities, and police believe that alcohol could have possibly been a factor. The other individuals involved in the wreck survived, although one victim remains in critical condition. 

According to the family of one of the victims, she never actually knew the driver of the vehicle in which she was a passenger. She had apparently been headed to a convenience store on foot from a home that she shared with a roommate shortly before the wreck occurred. No one is quite sure how or when she ended up in a 22-year-old man's vehicle. At the time of the wreck, seven people were in the car, including her roommate.

Ambien causes serious side effects, may be defective drug

At one point in time, most people have experienced at least one restless night of sleep. A lack of sufficient or proper sleep can wreak havoc on a person the following day, and it is understandable that so many individuals who deal with chronic sleep problems seek medical help for their insomnia. Sadly, some individuals in California who were prescribed prescription medication for sleep problems were exposed to a possibly harmful defective drug. 

Ambien hit the market after the FDA approved its use in 1999. For insomniacs, the introduction of a new medication to aid in the sleep process may have seemed wonderful. However, it apparently did not take long for reports of dangerous or confusing side effects to surface. Some patients who took Ambien experienced bouts of sleepwalking, while others reported suffering from amnesia while using it. Despite these reports, Ambien's manufacturer -- Sanofi-Aventis -- denied that the reported sleepwalking problems were actually side effects of taking Ambien, as such a reaction was predicted to be rare.

Don't wait to act on nursing home neglect

Many families in California want to care for their loved ones as they age, but the time and financial constraints of work and other obligations can prevent them from being able to do so. Instead, families often turn to nursing homes to ensure the continued care of their grandparents or parents. What happens, however, when the staff cause more harm than good? Sadly, nursing home neglect is a reality for some residents.

Nursing home residents who are bedridden are particularly at risk for suffering from negligence or subpar care. If not routinely moved as necessary, bedsores can develop and cause excruciating pain and/or infection. The risk for infection from a bedsore can be especially high if a patient isn't having his or her hygienic needs met.

Spread of bacteria linked to alleged defective medical device

Doctors, surgeons and other medical professionals in California may only be as effective and safe as the equipment or tools that they use. When a defective medical device makes it into the hands of health care providers, patients may be at risk for substantial injury or illness. One such allegedly defective product apparently works well enough but is exceptionally difficult to clean.

Anyone who has watched a medical drama may be familiar with the concept of surgeons and nurses scrubbing themselves with soap before surgery. This need for sanitary conditions during a surgery is no over exaggeration, as this type of behavior helps prevent the spread of diseases and superbugs that are resistant to antibiotics, like the carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae that has been spreading in an out-of-state hospital. Officials now believe that the superbug CRE hitched a ride on an endoscopic tool that wasn't properly sanitized. 

Couple alleges mesh related injury in medical malpractice suit

A medical malpractice case that was initially filed at the state level has since been removed to federal court by the defendants. One of the defendants that participated in the removal is Johnson & Johnson, which cited diversity of citizenship as the reason for the demand. The medical malpractice claim involves the use of a possibly defective medical device and the adverse reaction that it apparently caused for one patient.

The trouble apparently began following multiple procedures in which transvaginal mesh was an integral part of the treatment. Transvaginal mesh, popularly used to treat patients who are suffering from pelvic organ prolapse both in California and across the country, was used to treat both pelvic prolapse and urinary incontinence in the patient. According to the suit, the mesh resulted in painful inflammatory responses in the patient. As a result, she apparently now suffers from ongoing and chronic pain and suffering.