The FDA Expresses Concern over Surgical Mesh

Recently, the FDA ordered manufacturers of surgical mesh to conduct new studies, especially when used to treat pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence.  This is the first step toward tighter regulation.  Surgical mesh was originally developed in the 1950s to repair hernias; however, doctors later adapted it for other uses.  The FDA has received hundreds of reports of serious complications involving the product.  Some of the manufacturers are now facing lawsuits.  Complications reported include pain, infection and bleeding.  The manufacturers of surgical mesh include: C.R. Bard Inc, Boston Scientific Corp and Johnson & Johnson.

In July, the FDA suggested other procedures than the vaginal mesh for pelvic organ prolapse as it “poses risks.”  This product was never tried on humans before going to market.  One of the problems is that the FDA device-clearance process does not require preclinical tests in patients.  The FDA has proposed requiring tests in patients before a device is approved but has yet to make a final decision.  The consumer group Public Citizen has called for existing pelvic-organ-prolapse mesh products to be recalled.

School Bus Driver Sued

In 2009, a Skokie school bus driver lost consciousness while driving and is now being sued by the parents of the children.  The bus driver was sentenced to probation and community service after being found guilty of child endangerment.  The driver claims he blacked out because of low blood sugar, due to his diabetes.

The lawsuit also names First Student Bus Co as a defendant, claiming they should have checked the driver’s driving and medical history better before hiring him.  The lawsuit claims that one child suffered permanent injuries in the crash; however, in 2009, the police stated that minor injuries were only sustained by one child.

Wal-Mart Named Yet Again in Slip and Fall

When you are Wal-Mart with thousands of stores around the world, it seems just a matter of time before another lawsuit comes your way.  The most recent one is filed by Cheryl Raines, the wife of a recently deceased man.  She claims that the trip and fall her husband sustained while in Wal-Mart led to his kidney failure and, fourteen days later, death.  The crate that he tripped over was allegedly difficult to see.  As a result, the suit claims that Wal-Mart and its manager were negligent in warning customers of the tripping hazard.

Cheryl is seeking an unspecified amount, more than the minimum limits and damages of more than $100,000.  She is suing for lost companionship, and funeral and burial costs.

Florida Gets New Personal Injury Legislation

HB 119 requires that all Florida drivers carry $10,000 in coverage for accident injuries and a lower ceiling of $2,500 in coverage for non-emergency treatment.  This latter portion is to cut down on abuses from the many staged accidents in Florida.  While the bill has yet to reach the Governor’s desk, some are already starting to take action.

The new legislation would give authorities more tools to head off scams.  The original 1972 law makes sure that the driver’s insurance company pays up to $10,000 for medical bills and lost wages, regardless who is at fault.  This bill requires the victim to obtain treatment in 14 days or the limit goes down to $2,500.  The hope is that this will decrease the number of fraudulent claims and lower insurance prices.

Groups File Lawsuit over Toxic Coal Ash

Environmental and public health groups are filing a lawsuit against the EPA to force them to finish a rulemaking process and finalize safeguards against toxic coal ash. Coal ash is the byproduct of coal-fired power plants and includes many dangerous pollutants.  In thirty years, the EPA has not updated its waste disposal and control standards for coal ash.  And, recent EPA data showed that 29 power plants have contaminated the groundwater near coal ash dump sites.

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act requires the EPA to regularly update safeguards, but the EPA has never done this regarding coal ash.  The lawsuit would force the EPA to set deadlines for review and revision of coal ash waste safeguards.  Furthermore, it claims that the EPA has a responsibility to protect us from these threats to our health, and they are not performing their duties.

Car Accidents are Especially Dangerous for Teens

Car wrecks are the leading cause of death for teenagers between the ages of 15- and 19-years-old, and the numbers are on the rise.  Generally, teenagers do not have the experience, knowledge or attitude to act responsibly on the road, especially when other passengers are in the vehicle.

Recently, a teen died in a car crash in Manchester country.  The 16-year-old male driver died after he slammed into a tree.  Fortunately, his 17-year-old passenger survived.  While no drugs seem to have been involved, he was speeding and, thus, opens the potential for the survivor to file a personal injury lawsuit.

Police Car Crash to Settle

In 2007, a police captain rear-ended Robert Myers and Karen Myers.  The Myers’ car then hit the one in front of them, injuring them in the process.  The Myers are now filing suit, claiming that Karen suffers from trigeminal neuralgia, “suicide disease,” as a result of the accident.  This condition causes “episodes of intense, stabbing, electric shock-like pain” around her face.  This condition can last a lifetime.

The suit proposes a settlement of $280,000.  It looks as though the Metro Council will most likely accept the settlement, but is still reviewing their options.

Railway Company Found Guilty in Fatal Crash

The families of four young people won a verdict against BNSF Railway Company on March 28.  The Supreme Court upheld that the district court’s instructions to the jury to apply common-law or “reasonable person” standard of care as fair.  It was only after the verdict that the attorneys requested a new trial on several grounds, including that the plaintiffs had to prove the railroad company failed to comply with a different standard of care.  However, the Supreme Court denied the new trial motion.

The four young people were killed when their car collided with one of the company’s trains.  The families claim BNSF negligently maintained the warning signals at the crossing and had failed to comply with several maintenance and signal regulations.

Infant’s Wrongful Death Results in Eight Million for Parents

Fritzie and Cameron Burke filed a lawsuit against Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois after their month-old baby, Genesis, died there in 2010.  Gensis’ death was caused by an incorrect concentration of sodium placed in his IV tube by a pharmacy technician.

The hospital tried to hide the cause of death by covering up the label on the IV bag. Additionally, doctors said the original blood test indicating the high levels of sodium was wrong and “ordered” another round of tests that was never performed.  The dose administered was 60 times higher than perscribed.  The parties settled for $8 million.

Wrongful Death Suit Filed by Mother of Two

A mother who lost two children in a Norfolk fire two years ago is suing Myron Kooi.  Her children died in the Kooi home after tree debris underneath the home’s deck was ignited by the disposal of a cigarette.

The suit claims that Kooi was negligent.  He failed to supply, install, maintain and test smoke detectors at the residence.  She is seeking damages for funeral expenses and damages to the children (pain and suffering, and bodily injury).  Additionally, she is seeking compensation for loss of companionship, care, comfort, etc.  A pre-trial conference was set for July 12.