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Orange County Wrongful Death Law Blog

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.

Nursing home neglect allegedly ignored by owners

Entrusting the care of a loved one to a nursing home or other residential care facility is rarely easy, and family members typically expect that staff will treat their loved one with respect while providing the best care possible. When residents are neglected or abused, people in California usually expect the owner of the facility to be open and honest about these acts of nursing home neglect. Sadly, when it comes to abuse, there often appears to be a culture of cover-ups.

Top officials at an out-of-state nursing home were accused of purposely hiding instances of abuse at its facility. Between the years of 2011 and 2014, the local Department of Health cited the home for a number of alleged deficiencies. Perhaps one of the most shocking included a citation for violating the residents' rights to not be abused. In total, the nursing home racked up 37 deficiencies during those years.

California's medical record index may lead to medical malpractice

Electronic medical records may indeed be the way of the future, but the system is far from perfect. Hackers have already managed to steal medical records from at least one insurance company in a targeted cyberattack. However, cyberattacks are not the only things that put California patients at risk for record-related medical malpractice. One insurance company's voluntary actions may have compromised the safety of millions of patients.

The California Integrated Data Exchange was created by two popular insurance companies and was funded by the premiums of policyholders. At a cost of $80 million, the Cal INDEX is intended to make electronic sharing of records between various medical professionals seamless. Unfortunately, Cal INDEX may not be able to perform as intended.

Victim's son said nursing home neglect contributed to death

A series of oversights and mistakes allegedly led to serious negligence during the final stages of a woman's life. Recently transferred to a nursing home, her son says that the home and its staff were aware of his mother's health issues and related medical care. Sadly, he believes that nursing home neglect contributed to a series of devastating infections and injuries that resulted in her death only days after arriving at the facility. Families in California who have witnessed similar wrongdoing can possibly benefit from observing how the victim's son handled the situation.

An ambulance first brought the 82-year-old woman to the nursing home on June 5, 2013. At the time, records indicate that she had both Alzheimer's and dementia, hypertension, aspiration pneumonia and a handful of other illnesses. Long-term care was necessary to help monitor her formula feedings that she received through a feeding tube.

Police say wrong-way car accident killed driver, 3 others

A devastating wrong-way accident left four people dead is still under investigation as California authorities try to determine what factors might have influenced the wreck. The driver that allegedly caused the car accident was one of the victims. The other three victims were all in the same vehicle at the time of accident.

At approximately 2:30 a.m., the driver of a small motor vehicle was headed eastbound in the west lanes of the highway. Authorities had already spotted the wrong-way vehicle and planned to intervene, but tragedy struck before they could carry out their plan. The smaller vehicle collided with an oncoming pickup truck and sent it veering out of its lane, causing it to be hit a second time by another car. According to police who witnessed the crash, the second collision caused the pickup to catch fire.