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Orange County Wrongful Death Law Blog

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.

Daughter seeks to stop nursing home neglect after mother's death

When faced with her mother's deteriorating health, one California woman had to make what was most likely an understandably difficult decision -- she placed her mother in the care of a nursing home. Although she initially believed this to be the best move, she now suspects that her mother's death was related to nursing home neglect. Now, she's on a mission to protect other elderly nursing home residents. 

After placing her mother in the nursing home, the woman witnessed several concerning issues such as unsanitary bathroom conditions and clothing that hadn't been laundered. She also believed that her mother's room wasn't the only one not being cared for, and she also suspected that staff members weren't attending to her mother's needs. She reported her suspicions of elder abuse and neglect, prompting an investigation by Department of Social Services in California. DSS reportedly found several causes for alarm, such as unsecured medication, serious time lapses during needed care and even used gloves left on her nightstand. They also discovered that she was not being moved every two hours as she was supposed to, and even up to 12 hours at a time passed before she received any attention.

Car accident victims may have claims against multiple drivers

One person is dead and three others are injured following a tragic accident on Interstate 580. Three vehicles were involved in the car accident, although it initially started out as a single-vehicle wreck. Although California police are still investigating the wreck, they believe that drugs may have played a role in the first wreck.

For reasons that are still unclear, the driver of a vehicle with two occupants lost control and struck a center median at roughly 4:20 a.m. After the initial collision, the car flipped, apparently rolling several times before finally coming to a stop. During this ordeal the vehicle's driver and its passenger -- a 25-year-old woman -- were tossed from the car. The passenger died at the scene. 

Possible defective medical device snapped in patient's leg

Medical implants must be durable and sturdy enough to stand up to a virtual lifetime of use by patients in California and all across the country. A patient from another state claims that her implant was faulty and ultimately caused her more harm than good. She is now seeking compensation against both Zimmer Inc., the manufacturer of the alleged defective medical device, as well as the hospital that implanted it. 

In June 2013, the victim broke her femur so badly that she required extensive surgery to repair the damage. Various cables and screws were implanted during the surgery, including a titanium plate. Months later in Nov. 2013, the victim reported that she felt something snap in her leg, followed by a series of crunching sounds. After being taken to the hospital, it was discovered that the titanium plate had actually broken.

Airman facing military justice for serious auto accident

A single vehicle accident left one airman dead and another two injured. While the driver of the vehicle is being prosecuted for actions that allegedly led to the wreck, the proceedings are being handled by the military justice system and not California officials. However, this does not preclude a victim or his or her family from seeking justice for damages related to a serious auto accident.

Authorities believe that the driver was traveling at an exceptionally high speed at the time of the incident. Although it is unclear exactly why the vehicle began to drift off the side of the road, it is believed that the car's excessive speed may have played a role in the accident. After leaving the road, the car then barreled down the side of an embankment and flipped, injuring all three airmen in the vehicle.