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Orange County Wrongful Death Law Blog

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.

Wrongful death might have been avoided with accurate diagnosis

For some California patients, seeking out an accurate diagnosis can be a journey that feels like it lasts a lifetime. For one young man's family, finally getting the right diagnosis actually did take that long. After 18 years misdiagnoses in what were possibly acts of medical malpractice, the 18-year-old young man ultimately succumbed to his illness in what might have been a wrongful death

His health problems became apparent almost immediately after birth. When his mother sought care for his troubling symptoms, which included difficult sleeping and near-constant crying, he was diagnosed with two separate hernias and underwent surgery to correct them. However, the problems did not stop there.

Some medical malpractice could come down to communication skills

Despite years of general and specialized medical training, doctors continue to misdiagnose patients at a fairly surprising rate. California patients might be left wondering if all that training is actually enough to avoid instances of medical malpractice, and if not, what is missing? One expert believes he may know what critically important lesson is missing from doctor's educations -- communication skills.

During the course of a career, the average doctor will have approximately 200,000 interactions with his or her patients. However, physicians do not actually receive any training on strategies for communicating with their patients, and it shows. After asking a question, most doctors interrupt their patients' answers about 18 or so seconds in. Allowed to continue without interruption, most patients continue for about a minute and a half.

Cyclist killed after suffering serious injuries in hit-and-run

A California neighborhood well-known for its high number of pedestrians and bicyclists became the scene of a terrifying hit-and-run accident. According to police, a suspected drunk driver hit a man riding a bicycle and then fled the scene, dragging the man for some time. Ultimately, the victim succumbed to the serious injuries that he suffered in the accident.

Witnesses to the wreck told police that two bicyclists were in a designated crosswalk with the right of way when a speeding vehicle struck one of the two cyclists. It has been estimated that the vehicle was going approximately 80 mph, and some witnesses even reported that the driver appeared to accelerate just before the collision. However, the driver never stopped to see if the cyclist was okay or to contact police. Instead, he drove on at roughly the same speed, dragging the victim for several hundred feet along the road.

Could your birth control be a defective medical device?

Birth control is an important aspect of family planning and overall health for many women in California, but for some, one form of birth control could be putting them at significant risk. According the Food and Drug Administration, Bayer's popular form of birth control, Essure, might not be as safe as was previously believed, and could even potentially be a defective medical device. This investigation was spurred by numerous complaints concerning the side effects of Essure.

Essure, which the FDA approved in 2002, is cited by Bayer as being nearly 100 percent effective at preventing pregnancy. Additionally, Bayer also claims that it is the only option for permanent birth control that does not actually require a surgical procedure. Essure consists of a spiral device placed in the fallopian tubes and has been likened by some to tubal ligation.

Injuries and wrongful death still occur from preventable errors

Feel safe when going under the knife? Patients typically place their trust solidly in the hands of an attending surgeon, but recent data reveals that this trust might be misplaced. Serious medical errors and accidents still occur at surprising rates in operating rooms across the country, resulting in serious injuries and even wrongful death of patients in California.

Perhaps the most troubling type of surgical errors are those that are easily preventable. For example, operating on the correct body part might seem like a straightforward process without many opportunities to make mistakes. However, one out of every 100,000 surgeries require a patient to undergo at least one secondary surgery because the wrong body part was mistakenly operated on. Many of these events are blamed on ineffective communication between staff within the operating room, a problem that appears as though it could be easy to overcome.

Suspected drunk driver kills rapper MC Supreme in car accident

Fans of music from the 1990s may be devastated to learn of what appears to be MC Supreme's untimely death. California police say that his vehicle was struck by a potential drunk driver, killing him in the process. Another person involved in the car accident was injured.

MC Supreme's real name is Dewayne Coleman, and he was especially popular in the 1990s rap scene. The 47-year-old rapper was traveling with an unnamed female passenger. At the time of the wreck, his vehicle was reportedly parked on the shoulder of the highway. An oncoming pickup struck his vehicle, forcing it down an embankment before hitting another parked vehicle. The passengers of the second vehicle that was hit were not injured.

Nurse says doctors ignored symptoms, medical malpractice possible

When seeking help as patients, workers in the health care field are not immune to doctors and physicians ignoring their concerns. No matter a California patient's profession, no symptom should go ignored or undiagnosed. An out-of-state nurse was apparently the victim of multiple acts of medical malpractice when doctors continually ignored her worsening symptoms.

Because of her time spent working as an emergency room nurse, the 35-year-old victim understood how troubling the sudden onset of a localized headache, dizziness and nausea. When she initially sought help, a doctor ordered an MRI and blood test, but when both of the results appeared normal her symptoms were ignored. Instead, the doctor informed her that she was probably stressed and should try to relax a little more. Despite experiencing brief periods of right-eye blindness and other worsening symptoms, three different doctors gave her the same misdiagnosis -- stress.

Victim awarded $100 million for defective medical device claim

Boston Scientific Corporation, the manufacturer of a popular transvaginal mesh insert, was ordered by a jury to shell out $100 million for serious defects in a product that injured a consumer. According to the details, the product was defective in its design, but the company chose to manufacture and distribute it in any event. California women who were injured because of this defective medical device may be encouraged by these findings to take action via a product liability claim.

Both the Advantage Fit and Pinnacle transvaginal mesh inserts were designed to help treat incontinence in women, but many victims ultimately suffered injuries much more complicated than their original health issues. An out-of-state woman took the company to court over the myriad of complications and other health issues in connection with her use of the inserts. As part of her claim, she was able to successfully argue that Boston Scientific was aware of the inherent defects in the designs, but that executives at the company hid this information.

Investigation may bring closure for victims of serious injuries

Large trucks are heavy, sometimes difficult to navigate around and are surprisingly common features on most California highways and interstates. A truck driver was recently found to be at fault for causing a tragic accident that caused both fatal and serious injuries. However, there is still ongoing speculation about what actually occurred in the cab of the 18-wheeler.

In 2014, a FedEx 18-wheeler left its lane, veered across a median and entered oncoming traffic. At the same time, a bus that was carrying high school students was on the way to a college. The two vehicles collided head on, causing a fire and killing 10 individuals, including five students.