Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

May 2013 Archives

32-year old man faces trial after DWI accident

The Pennsylvania courts recently determined that a man accused of killing a fire chief while driving under the influence on April 27 will stand trial. The 32-year-old man faces charges for third-degree murder and vehicular homicide in addition to drunk driving. According to law enforcement personnel, the driver's blood-alcohol-content level registered .118 percent, above the maximum legal limit of .08 percent in the state. The courts also admitted evidence that the accused man has been previously convicted of two DUIs.

Medical mistakes and wrong-site surgeries

When medical errors happen in Pennsylvania and across the nation, serious injury could be at stake. For example, after a 71-year-old man recently underwent surgery because of a stroke, he was given the wrong drug during surgery because it had a name that was nearly identical to the medication he was supposed to receive. Instead of a drug to reduce bleeding, Hespan, he was given a drug to thin the blood, heparin. Due to the alleged medical error, the man was moved to a nursing home and prescribed additional rehab, including therapy to relearn how to walk. The hospital wrote a letter of apology and did not bill the man for his hospital procedure.

Explosion in Pennsylvania plant injures three workers

Pennsylvania residents may be aware that industrial jobs carry some risks. Some occupations can be extremely risky, which is why employers seek to properly train their employees and make them aware of these dangers. Even when that occurs, some risks cannot be avoided. When a workplace accident occurs, it not only puts the employers on notice but it causes some concerns for other employees and it is important that a proper investigation is conducted and new training and safety features are instilled.

Asbestos liability ruling could affect Allegheny County cases

The bankruptcy of two subsidiaries of RPM International, Inc. is significant for plaintiffs in asbestos liability cases. Bondex International Inc. and Specialty Products Holding Corp. filed for bankruptcy three years ago. Both companies manufactured products containing asbestos, a substance linked to severe lung diseases including fatal mesothelioma.

Mother of two gets deadly mix of drugs, dies

Tragically, a wrongful death can explode a happy Pennsylvania family via something much more complicated and sinister than a car wreck. In the case of a 37-year-old mother of two, the drug villains were dihydroergotamine, or DHE, Benadryl, and the overlooked presence of an antidepressant and antianxiety drug already in the woman's system.

Doctor jailed for promising false cure

Pittsburgh has its share of cancer patients. A Los Angeles doctor was recently arrested, tried and sentenced to 14 years in prison for her role in taking more than $1 million from cancer patients to whom she promised a "cure" for cancer through the use of an herbal supplement. While most cases of poor treatment are handled in civil court with suits filed by medical malpractice attorneys, this doctor's fraud was so encompassing that prosecutors felt that it merited criminal charges.

Fleeing woman kills officer, maims another

Any auto accident that terminates in a wrongful death is tragic but one Pennsylvania woman?EUR(TM)s desperate attempt to flee from a recent traffic stop bagged her one homicide of a police officer, with an attempted manslaughter of another, as well as a fleeing and eluding charge.

Counterfeit electronics can be dangerous products

People across the country buy products online and in smaller electronic shops every day. They often trust the shops or online businesses because they think that it wouldn't be possible for companies to sell products that might be dangerous. However, more and more companies and online retailers are selling counterfeit products. These products can be cheaper for retailers to buy and they earn a higher markup.

Judge orders Facebook photos revealed in slip-and-fall lawsuit

Social media and other electronic communications are playing an increasingly important role in courts in Pennsylvania and throughout the country. In particular, a court may seek information such as pictures or postings from a defendant's or plaintiff's social media accounts.

Parents sue for malpractice for child's surgery

While Pittsburgh hospitals and those throughout the state may perform sex reassignment surgery, it is a rare procedure for several reasons. Doctors are usually reluctant to rush a patient into this type of life-altering procedure without substantial counseling and other intervention. This ensures that the patient understands the implications of the surgery. However, doctors in South Carolina are being sued for medical malpractice for performing sex reassignment surgery on a 16-month-old child.

Civil trial to begin in Pennsylvania drunk driving homicide

Two people died as a result of an incident in which a man drove drunk into a motorcycle carrying a woman and her fiancé in June 2008, and authorities said at the time that the driver exhibited signs of intoxication at the scene of the accident and that he reportedly fled the accident and then later returned to the scene on foot. His blood alcohol content level was measured to be double the legal limit.

Owner of Pennsylvania club could be liable for patron's shooting

A patron shot in a now-shuttered Pennsylvania nightclub named several defendants in a federal complaint. Owner negligence was among the allegations against Philadelphia's Club Solo, where live radio broadcasts celebrated the birthday of rapper Beanie Sigel, a one-time Rock-A-Fella recording artist.

Drunk driving may see tougher standards

In the past when there has been the loss of a loved one owing to a drunk driver, the standard for presumptive insobriety has stood at .08 blood alcohol content. If a federal safety board has its way, however, the driver buzzed at .05 blood alcohol level may be facing responsibility for a wrongful death.

Alliance with Dominican Republic seeks to promote work safety

Some workplaces can be very dangerous and are especially dangerous for workers when all the potential hazards are not known. Workplace safety is crucial and employers should seek to train and equip employees in order to reduce the chances of workplace accidents. It is not only important that certain occupations follow state-specific and federal regulations, but it is also crucial that investigation and research takes place when health and safety issues occur and employees are at a higher risk of being injured while on the job.

Failure to diagnose can cause death, medical issues

In the medical world, patient advocates reported that wrong or missed diagnosis happened about 10 to 20 percent of the time. The problem is much greater than drug errors or wrong surgeries although those medical mistakes have made headlines more often. The impact of the mistakes can be extremely serious and lead to permanent disability or even death according to a 2009 report. Another study indicated that failure to diagnose could equal more than 40,000 deaths annually or about the same number as those who die from breast cancer. Some of the misdiagnoses include common illnesses.

The devil may be in the details of a products liability case

When the plaintiff was injured as he veered off the roadway and smashed into tree, he felt that his seat belt restraint and airbag system had tragically failed him. Following through, he and his attorneys filed a suit against Ford Motor Company alleging, among other things, negligence, strict liability and lack of fitness for a particular use.

Truck driver injured in truck explosion

Some occupations require the employees to endure long working hours, dangerous environments or high risks. Those employed in jobs that have the potential to be dangerous are usually provided specified training in order to reduce the chances of work accidents. By increasing work safety, the risks of an on-the-job injury are lowered. In addition, the employer will not have a disruption in productivity because they will not have an employee out recovering after a workplace accident.

Risk of surgical errors revealed in study

Simple mistakes are a persistent risk for surgical patients in Pennsylvania. According to the findings of a study commissioned by Johns Hopkins, each week, doctors across the nation perform about 20 wrong-site surgeries. Another 20 instances per week occur with the surgeon mistake of using the wrong procedure altogether. The rate of these surgical errors was estimated greater than 4,000 times per year. Victims of these injuries often suffer a worsened condition, serious injury or worse. Medical malpractice attorneys sometimes assist the victims in collecting evidence and filing lawsuits for needed compensation. The reputation of a hospital is not necessarily a prevention against mistakes. The Mount Sinai Medical Center is a highly regarded teaching hospital. A 76-year-old man entered the hospital for removal of his kidney. The wrong kidney was removed, so surgeons went back and removed the other organ as well. According to the patient, who is in stable condition, the surgeon made a single error and is still worthy of trust. An official statement by the hospital pointed to an ongoing review of the incident and removal of the physician from duties. There was no word on the potential for permanent removal of the physician from his or her position. The name of the surgeon was withheld, and the patient gave no indication of filing a malpractice suit beyond his statement of continued trust in the doctor. Mistakes are a possibility in any line of work, but surgeon mistakes can easily result in the death of a loved one or the pain and suffering of the victim. When physicians fail to employ the necessary caution, patients may seek compensation with the assistance of a medical malpractice attorney.

Report reveals that 150 U.S. deaths per day are work related

Pennsylvania residents might be interested to hear that a report by the AFL-CIO found that approximately 150 people per day died in 2011 because of work-related injuries or illnesses. Of those deaths, approximately 13 were reported to be fatal workplace injuries while the remaining deaths were attributed to work-related illnesses. Studies show that while work-related fatalities have gone down over the years, in recent years, the downward trend has halted, leaving the number of work-related deaths unchanged for the past three years.

$15 million settlement in Allegheny County liability action

Many Allegheny County residents have an incomplete view of property owners' obligations to injured parties. Premises liability lawsuits usually stem from legal claims by plaintiffs injured or killed on a defendant's property. Dram shop liability can involve plaintiffs who never stepped foot on a property but suffered because someone else did.

The rise of virtual medicine brings benefits and complications

Visits to Pittsburgh doctor's offices may become radically different in the next ten years. In fact, there may be no office at all. The practice of virtual medicine has grown significantly over the past decade, and experts say that technological innovations will only fuel virtual medicine's growth over the next several years. However, some health care advocates and medical malpractice attorneys wonder if virtual medicine will lead to increased medical error.

Pennsylvania woman sues Trader Joe's for trip-and-fall

When we think of being injured on someone else's property, we usually think of being injured inside the building. In some of our recent blog posts, we've discussed a restaurant employee slipping and falling in a puddle of water and an individual tripping and falling down the a staircase in a person's home. What some people may not realize, however, is that businesses and individuals are responsible for maintaining the property outside their buildings or homes as well.

Medical malpractice lawsuit filed in Pennsylvania over stent

A Pennsylvania woman has filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against a doctor, a hospital and the University of Pennsylvania Health System for placing an unnecessary stent in her. The Pennsylvania hospital admitted to her that her cardiologist may have placed a small mesh tube used to prop open clogged blood vessels within her when she may not have actually needed it. In fact, Penn notified numerous patients, federal authorities and state regulators that a review they conducted revealed that around 20 patients may not have needed the stents they received.

Pennsylvania worker claims lung cancer caused by asbestos contact

A worker who claims his lung cancer diagnosis is related to his longtime work with asbestos-containing products filed a mass tort complaint in Pennsylvania court on April 26th. The lawsuit names 17 different companies where exposure to asbestos supposedly took place.

Pittsburgh Attorney Daniel Bricmont Receives Workers Compensation Certification

Pittsburgh Attorney Daniel Bricmont has had a long and distinguished law career. In 2011, he was named as one of the Top 50 Lawyers in Pittsburgh, by Super Lawyers magazine. He has also been named as one of Woodward & White's list of Best Lawyers in America, Workers' Compensation practice since 2007, and to the Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list since 2010. And now, he can add one more credential to his list of professional accomplishments.

General Motors and Buick sued in products liability case

General Motors and Buick are being sued in Pennsylvania regarding the fatal injuries sustained by a man following what was described as a low impact intersection accident. The products liability lawsuit filed in a Pennsylvania court accuses the manufacturer of failing to design a vehicle that was capable of a "reasonable degree of restraint" that would reduce the risk for individuals involved in side impact collisions.

Increasing safety in work zones by asking drivers to follow signs

When accidents occur, it is important for certain measures to be taken. In order to prevent and reduce workplace accidents, workplace safety needs to be assessed and improved. When there are times of the year that create more hazards or dangers, employers should take the initiative to improve the safety for workers by implementing additional training and increased safety measures. This will help reduce the chances of workplace accidents and on-the-job injuries.

American Stroke Society president is also a stroke survivor

On behalf of Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C. posted in Social Security Disability Benefits for Injuries on Friday, May 3, 2013. Pittsburgh readers might assume that a stroke is an issue only for the elderly. However, as the president of the American Stroke Association can attest, individuals of all ages might be at risk for brain injury -- and a resulting physical disorder -- caused by blocked or ruptured blood vessels to the brain. The association president has firsthand experience in this regard: She suffered a stroke at the age of 27. In the association president's case, she later discovered that a genetic condition increases her susceptibility to blood clots and causes a deficiency of a certain clot-removing protein in her body. Those two influences may have resulted in her stroke at such a young age. Since the incident, the woman has taken medication to prevent blood clot formation.

Pennsylvania man accidentally shot and killed by deer hunter

We hear about these type of stories every autumn in rural Pennsylvania areas: a person is mistaken for a deer by a hunter and is accidentally shot. Such an incident is alleged to have caused the death of a 52-year old Pennsylvania man, and this is now the subject of a wrongful death lawsuit.

Failure to follow procedure leads to patient's brain injury?

A 19-year old man was brought into the hospital after being accidentally shot in the jaw. Though the patient's airway passage was reportedly still obstructed, the doctors decided to go ahead with surgery in any case. However, since the anesthesiologist apparently did not follow regular procedures, the breathing tube was accidentally dislodged and the patient was left without oxygen for close to 7 or 8 minutes.

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Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.
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Pittsburgh, PA 15222

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