On Monday, the law firm of Hurley McKenna & Mertz won a $14 million jury verdict against Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Dr. Elias Sabbagha for the family of a boy who suffered a brain injury at birth. Over the course of a 3 ½ week trial, Christopher T. Hurley and Mark R. McKenna demonstrated to the jury that the negligence of Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Dr. Sabbagha during the boy’s birth caused his brain damage. Specifically, they proved that Dr. Sabbagha failed to perform a timely C-section when it was apparent that the fetus was in distress.
The verdict comes as a relief for the boy’s parents who have courageously fought for justice on behalf of their son over the past several years. HM&M is proud to have represented these wonderful, caring parents. As trial lawyers, there is nothing more rewarding than attaining justice for families like the one in this case.
This case was reported in the Chicago Sun-Times. To view the article, please click here.
The rise of vehicle recalls has grown over the past few months due to defective air bags in over 14 million vehicles and 11 car manufacturers. In a published online insight by The New York Times, the article reveals that defective air bags manufactured by Takata have been a concern for the past decade with the first reported incident occurring in 2004.
In this instance, the air bag exploded, shooting out metal fragments and causing injury to the driver of the Honda Accord. There was no recall issued at the time and Honda and Takata officials identified it as an isolated incident. Injuries reported have been due to shrapnel or chemicals coming from the faulty airbags. More than 30 of these injuries have been linked to flaws in Honda vehicles.
According to Honda officials, Takata reported that its plant workers had an unreliable, handwritten system for marking which air bags might contain defective parts. Another possible “explanation” of the faulty air bags was that machine operators working in the plant in 2001 could have unintentionally switched off the function that separates out poorly made devices, a problem corrected in 2002 with systems upgrades, according to Takata records.
Product manufacturers are responsible for reporting safety problems and potential risks to the public. As the The New York Times article points out, the delay by Honda and Takata to alert the public about its air bag defect led to other automakers such as Nissan, Toyota, and BMW being unaware of its own possible defects, delaying recalls.
Unfortunately, many times faulty product concerns are often handled on an internal basis only, leaving the public at risk. If you or a family member have been the victim of injuries due to a defective air bag in Illinois, contact a Chicago product liability lawyer who has experience litigating against manufacturing companies and cares about accountability.
According to an article published by the American Academy of Family Physicians, doctors follow a risk management protocol when it comes to dealing with concerns surrounding possible cases of medical malpractice. The article refers to the “4 Cs” of risk management:
The article, written by Richard G. Roberts, MD, stated that the greatest charting mistakes occur when physicians forget or fail to note what is important about a patient’s condition. A patient’s chart is the main source of information and a large part of the communication between medical providers on the case. A medical record oversight could lead to disastrous results.
For the past few years, the Obama administration has supported the idea of doctors and hospitals converting completely to electronic medical records. The goal is that electronic records make medical reporting more efficient and less costly. The government has already given billions of incentive dollars to hospitals for implementation of the conversion.
Not all physicians have welcomed the switch. Some doctors and hospitals share concerns about electronic documents including:
-Learning systems that are too time-consuming;
-Mistakes for medication orders not immediately recognized;
-Vulnerability of electronic records to system crashes; and
-Payment denial from Medicare due to electronically-copied documentation rather than individually written patient notes by a doctor or nurse to show need for medical care.
Earlier this year, it was reported that less than 50 percent of office-based physicians across the country were using electronic health records. Northern states, including North Dakota and Minnesota, have some of the highest numbers in the country for converting. Nearly 60 percent of Illinois has adopted electronic medical record usage.
Regardless of the way medical information is recorded, our law firm has experience in litigating against medical malpractice and uncovering evidence in a digital or electronic record. If you or a family member have been injured due to medical care negligence in Chicago or across the U.S., contact an experienced Illinois medical malpractice attorney from Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C. today.
Section 1983 of the U.S. Civil Code is often referenced in media reports regarding police misconduct. This federal law permits private citizens to sue local and state entities for the deprivation of constitutional rights.
Part of the Code states: “...any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress…”
New technology introduced to police departments nationwide may begin video recording interactions between officers and civilians, generating important evidence. The video cameras allow for the recordings to be uploaded to localized servers. Law enforcement agencies in both New York and Los Angeles are now testing the use of the technology, and Chicago is considering whether to outfit police officers with body cameras.
In a video posted by the Chicago Tribune, Steve Lovell, VieVu president, demonstrates the use of its video camera designed, he says, to improve officer efficiency and documentation. VieVu’s wearable technology is focused for use primarily by government and law enforcement. The compact cameras are battery-powered, recording both audio and video. While most are worn at the chest area, others can be shoulder-mounted or attached to glasses.
Chicago Police Superintendent. Garry McCarthy said in an interview with ABC 7 Chicago that the cameras are beneficial to officers. He reported that Chicago police have begun the beginning stages of a pilot program for the body cameras, but faces questions about who is responsible for turning the camera on and off, who retains the data, and who has access to it. Before implementing full departmental use, rules of engagement will have to be put into place.
If you require legal counsel regarding police misconduct in Illinois, contact an experienced Chicago general negligence attorney today. Call the law office of Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C. at 312-553-4900 for a free consultation regarding your case.
Testosterone therapy drugs are prescribed to men who suffer from “low-T” or low testosterone, a condition that can lead to a decrease in bone and muscle mass, loss of libido, and depression. Since the early 2000s, the use of testosterone therapy has quadrupled for men in their 40s. In the United States, testosterone therapy has risen to a $2 billion industry.
In 2013, The New York Times published an article that reported marketing for testosterone therapy targeted men with common aging symptoms, such as lack of energy, rather than those tested for hypogonadism or “low-T.” Research has questioned whether men who are prescribed testosterone drugs all suffer from the “low-T” condition and if the benefits of testosterone outweighs the risks.
Previous research from the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that testosterone therapy is linked to a 30 percent increase of risk of stroke or other cardiac condition. Several months following this study, PLOS One published a study reporting that testosterone drugs double the risk of heart attack in men over 65 and triple the risk in younger men with heart disease.
The New York Times recently reported that an expert panel for the FDA voted almost unanimously to implement new limitations on the testosterone drug industry. Among the recommendations: stricter labels for medications. Dr. Michael Domanski, a member of the panel and director of heart failure research at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, said, “The whole idea is to try to rein in the inappropriate advertising and use of these drugs.”
If the FDA follows the panel’s recommendations, it could mean a significant decrease in the number of men prescribed testosterone therapy and possibly limit insurance coverage for its use. Evidence presented to the panel revealed that a fifth to a quarter of men prescribed testosterone drugs have not received a baseline test of their testosterone level.
As of last year, 2.3 million Americans were being treated with testosterone drugs. If you have taken testosterone therapy and need legal counseling in Illinois, contact an experienced Chicago medical malpractice attorney today.
Plavix is the brand name for clopidogrel, a drug prescribed to help prevent blood clots from forming in the arteries. It has been prescribed to more than 115 million patients worldwide. Bristol-Myers Squibb-Sanofi Pharmaceuticals is the drug manufacturer that markets the drug’s ability to:
-Increase blood flow to the legs;
-Prevent mini-strokes; and
-Prevent or treat heart attacks.
However, in 2010, the FDA issued an alert to patients and health care professionals of the potential of reduced effectiveness for Plavix for those unable to metabolize the drug and convert it to its active form. Patients who are poor metabolizers would not receive the full effects of the drug. Therefore, continuing the risk for cardiovascular conditions such as stroke, heart attack, and in some cases, death.
Patients may also still suffer from a series of side effects that can include:
-Changes in vision; or
-Unusual bleeding or bruising.
As an example, in an emailed statement earlier this year, Hawaii Attorney General David Louie said that 38 percent to 70 percent of Pacific Islanders and 40 percent to 50 percent of East Asians may not respond as well to Plavix due a genetic predisposition that does not allow for adequate metabolizing of the drug.
Plavix was first approved in 1997, 13 years before the boxed warning was added to the labeling. Drug manufacturers are responsible for issuing clear warnings for their products when there is a chance a product may cause harm. There have been lawsuits filed based on Bristol-Myes Squibb-Sanofi Pharmaceuticals failure to disclose this pertinent information. Claims state that the company knew or should have known about the drug’s lack of effectiveness in some patients.
Plavix patients should speak to their doctors with concerns or if they are experiencing side effects. If you or a family member are in need of legal counseling or advice about defective drugs in Illinois, contact an experienced Chicago medical malpractice attorney today. Call Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C. at (312) 553-4900 for a free consultation.
It has been reported a lawsuit was filed in Cook County Circuit Court this month by Lance Johnson, the boyfriend of the woman who was hit by a falling church stone, an incident which resulted in her death. Johnson was walking with the victim, Sarah Bean, when part of a stone gargoyle fell from the church, hitting her in the head.
Johnson is suing both the Second Presbyterian Church, a Chicago South Loop church, and the Presbytery of Chicago. Claims of the lawsuit state that there was negligence in ownership of the church building by allowing the wall’s exterior to “exist in a dangerous and unrepaired condition.”
Negligence is defined as a failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have implemented under the same conditions. Chicago city records show a history of violations reported about the church’s structure from 2007 to 2011 including failure to maintain an interior stairway system and failure to remove obstruction from building exits.
The church was built in 1974 and declared a historic national landmark in 2013. It passed inspections in 2012 and 2013.
When it comes to negligence, there are five elements required to establish a case:
-The existence of legal duty to exercise reasonable care;
-Failure to exercise reasonable care;
-Cause in fact of physical harm by negligent conduct;
-Physical harm in the form of actual damages; and
Rev. Robert Reynolds, executive presbyter with the Presbytery of Chicago, said he was unaware of any immediate structural issues at the time of the incident. He says that it is the responsibility of individual congregations to maintain their buildings.
If you are seeking legal counsel because you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury due to negligence in Illinois, contact a skilled Chicago general negligence attorney at Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C. Call 312-553-4900 for an immediate free consultation.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons has reported more than 285,000 hip replacements are performed each year in the U.S. Stryker, a medical device manufacturer, marketed metal-on-metal artificial hips as having the capability to last longer in patients and provide a broader range of motion. The design of metal-on-metal hips involves both the ball and socket components being made from metals such as chromium or cobalt.
In 2011, these artificial hips accounted for approximately one-third of hip replacement procedures. However, due to product failure, Stryker voluntarily issued a hip recall for its ABG II and Rejuvenate hip devices and shut down global distribution of these products in 2012.
According to The New York Times, as patients continued to encounter problems with their artificial hips, the FDA ordered studies of all artificial hip producers to address concerns and determine whether the hip implants were shedding an exorbitant amount of metal debris.
The FDA listed several health risks and adverse effects that could result from metal-on-metal hip implants including:
-Swelling and Numbness
Metal ions entering the bloodstream from the artificial hips raised additional concern because this could lead to the following:
-Auditory or Visual Impairments
Metal ions entering the bloodstream from the artificial hips raised additional concern because this could lead to the following:
-Auditory or Visual Impairments
Patients have been encouraged to speak with their physicians, if they have been the recipient of a metal-on-metal hip implant, even if they have yet to experience any symptoms. Failure of these defective products can lead to the need for hip revision surgeries or alternative care.
Manufacturers are responsible for thorough testing of all products before they are marketed. When companies fail to provide proper testing, products can result in patient harm. Our attorneys have experience in litigating against large medical manufacturing companies such as Stryker. If you or a family member received a metal-on-metal hip implant in Illinois, contact a Chicago defective medical device lawyer at Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C. Call 312-553-4900 for a free consultation today.
Families with concerns about placing their relatives in long-term care may soon be given an extra sense of security. A new Illinois bill proposed earlier this month has the potential to give families, whose loved ones are in nursing homes, extra peace of mind through video monitoring.
If approved, the law would allow the installation of video cameras or audio recording devices by families in their relative’s nursing home room. Consent would be required of residents who are monitored.
States including Maryland, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Washington all have passed similar laws. When a family member cannot make an in-person nursing home visit, video access will allow them to check-in on their relatives throughout the day.
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said the push for this law stems from complaints of elder abuse in nursing homes. Video and audio recording provides documentation to support allegations that may arise due to nursing home abuse or neglect.
Research conducted by the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) has shown that over 50 percent of nursing home staff admitted to mistreating elder patients. Types of abuse involved in the recorded data includes:
-Financial exploitation; and
-Abuse among residents.
One of the studies also involved interviews of 2,000 nursing home residents; 95 percent of which said they had been neglected or seen another resident neglected. Families want to see that their relatives are being well taken care of and know if and when their care is compromised in any way. Passing of this new bill will help them achieve that.
When it comes to family matters, we want to make sure yours is protected. If you are concerned about your loved ones regarding possible nursing home neglect in Illinois, contact an experienced Chicago nursing home abuse attorney. Call the law office of Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C. at 312-553-4900 for a free consultation today.
Today the Diocese of Joliet released more of its internal documents relating to sexual abuse by its priests. This is part of the ongoing disclosure required as part of a legal settlement last year.
This most recent batch of documents sheds more light on 16 of the 34 priests included on the diocese's list of credibly accused clergy, and includes a 438-page file on Rev. James Burnett. Burnett was accused of molesting an 8 year-old boy while serving at St. Mary Catholic Church in Mokena. He later served as rector at the Cathedral of St. Raymond in Joliet.
It is tragic to read how much the church knew about clergy sex abuse, and even more tragic to realize how little it did to protect the most vulnerable members of its flock. Yet the unprecedented disclosures are empowering more victims to acknowledge the harm they suffered and to demand their rights.