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Pennsylvania Gets Poor Grades on Home and Community Safety

October 17th, 2017 by Rieders Travis in Medical Malpractice

PA Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Bad things happen to good people. When injuries, death and harm are preventable, the situation is even more tragic. According to a report by the National Safety Council entitled The State of Safety – A State-by-State Report, covering a period of time through 2015, preventable deaths in the United States are at an all-time high. Pennsylvania gets an overall rank of “D” in terms of prevention. The report concludes that 40.6 million serious, preventable injuries and over 146,000 fatalities occur each year, and nearly three-quarters of them occur in homes and communities. The financial cost to society is more than $850 billion each year, and on top of these are the costs of pain and suffering, not to mention the disruption to people’s lives. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or there has been a death due to someone’s negligence, you may be entitled to financial compensation to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, property loss, pain and suffering, disfigurement, loss of life’s pleasures, and emotional distress. The seasoned Pennsylvania accident personal injury attorney Clifford A. Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann has helped…

MEDICAL MALPRACTICE-EXPERTS-CONSORTIUM CLAIM

October 17th, 2017 by Rieders Travis in Medical Malpractice

James v. Albert Einstein Med. Ctr., 2017 Pa. Super. 293 (September 12, 2017) Platt, J. Appellant, Florence James, individually and as the executrix of the estate of her deceased brother, Lafayette James, appeals from the jury verdict of no negligence in this medical malpractice claim. We affirm. Appellant alleges that the defendants/Appellees, five physicians and the institutional medical providers for which they practiced, failed, for a period of over six years, from December of 2004 until March of 2011, to diagnose the cause of her brother's various recurring abdominal problems. In 2011, after a CT scan, liver biopsy, colonoscopy, and other tests, Lafayette was determined to have a neuroendocrine carcinoid tumor.  He died three years later, in February of 2014. Appellees defended on the ground that the physicians met the appropriate standard of care in all respects. The available record confirms that for the most part, decedent Lafayette only presented every year or two, when his abdominal symptoms were acute. Appellant also tried to introduce evidence supporting a loss of consortium by testimony from the decedent's mother. On independent review, we conclude that none of Appellant’s issues merit relief. In…

MEDICAL MALPRACTICE-NURSING HOMES

October 6th, 2017 by Rieders Travis in Medical Malpractice

Breslin v. Mountain View Nursing Home, 2017 Pa. Super. LEXIS 752 (Sept. 28, 2017) Musmanno, J.  Roberta Breslin (“Breslin”), executrix of the Estate of Vincent Breslin (“Vincent”), deceased, appeals from the Order sustaining the Preliminary Objections filed by Mountain View Nursing Home, Inc. (“MVNH”), and dismissing Breslin's claims, with prejudice. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand for further proceedings. From October 9, 2013, to October 16, 2014, Vincent was a patient at MVNH.  During the year in which he was a patient at the facility, Vincent developed multiple Grade III and/or Grade IV pressure ulcers in his ischial areas, sacral area, right foot and left foot. We conclude that application of the Althaus factors to the facts averred in the Amended Complaint weighs in favor of imposing on MVNH the non-delegable duties identified by the Thompson Court. Here, under the first Althaus factor, we conclude that there was a special relationship between MVNH and Vincent, which began when Vincent began residing as a patient at MVNH. See Althaus, 756 A.2d at 1169 (holding that duty is predicated upon the relationship existing between the parties at the relevant…

PRODUCTS LIABILITY-NUCLEAR RADIATION

October 6th, 2017 by Rieders Travis in Products Liability

Estate of Ware v. Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, No. 16-3801 (3rd Cir. Sept. 18, 2017) Ambro, C.J. Barbara Boyer, the widow of a cancer researcher who developed a fatal tumor allegedly as a result of inadequate safety precautions taken to protect him from radiation in his lab, sued the University of Pennsylvania together with affiliated persons and entities.1 Before us is the reach of the Price–Anderson Act, see 42 U.S.C. § 2011, et seq., and its remedy-limiting provisions. The Act gives federal courts jurisdiction to resolve a broad set of claims involving liability for physical harm arising from nuclear radiation. Boyer asserts, however, that the Act's unexpressed intent would exempt her husband's injuries from its jurisdictional grant. Her claims fall within the text of the Act, so if we are to limit it to a zone of interests narrower than its text provides, Boyer must offer a compelling limiting principle that would put her allegations beyond the Act's reach. Although she suggests several implicit limitations, each is either unconvincing or, even if adopted, would leave this case still within the Act's reach. Thus we must affirm.

PRODUCTS LIABILITY-ASBESTOS

October 6th, 2017 by Rieders Travis in Products Liability

In re Asbestos Products Liability Litigation (No. VI), Nos. 16-2602 & 16-2699 (3rd Cir. October 3, 2017) Vanaskie, C.J.   These asbestos cases involve the availability of the “bare-metal defense” under maritime law. The defense's basic idea is that a manufacturer who delivers a product “bare metal”—that is without the insulation or other material that must be added for the product's proper operation—is not generally liable for injuries caused by asbestos in later-added materials. A classic scenario would be if an engine manufacturer ships an engine without a gasket, the buyer adds a gasket containing asbestos, and the asbestos causes injury to a worker. May the manufacturer be held liable? Some courts say no—never. Others rely on a more fact-specific standard and ask whether the facts of the case made it foreseeable that hazardous asbestos materials would be used. Neither this Court nor the Supreme Court has confronted the issue. In that void, we survey bedrock principles of maritime law and conclude that they permit a manufacturer of even a bare-metal product to be held liable for asbestos-related injuries when circumstances indicate the injury was a reasonably foreseeable result of…

CRIMINAL IMPERSONATION

October 6th, 2017 by Rieders Travis in Criminal

Golb v. The Attorney General of the State of New York No. 16-0452-pr, 16-0647-pr (2nd Cir. August 31, 2017) Jacobs, C.J.  In this case, Golb impersonated Schiffman and “admitted” plaguerism and misrepresentation.  The emails were clearly sent with intent to damage Schiffman’s reputation.  The district court denied habeas as to the convictions of criminal impersonation.  However, the court did grant habeas relief based upon an overbroad New York statute that was narrowed.  An email that is so mild and puerile that it might have been intended to embarrass somebody named Ehrman without actual injury, obviously is not going to be punishable.  The court rejects the overbreadth challenge to the narrowed statute.  The First Amendment does not protect impersonation.  Impersonation is not parody.  The overbreadth would be insufficient to invalidate the statute.  The statute criminalizes impersonation with the intent to harm another’s reputation.  The criminal impersonation statute is not unconstitutionally vague or overbroad.  Five of the forgery convictions were based on emails falsely attributed to Schiffman.  Those convictions survived because the evidence so clearly supports Golb’s intention to deceive and cause injury.  As to the other five forgery convictions, it is…

More Hurdles to Bringing Legitimate Medical Negligence Claims

October 2nd, 2017 by Rieders Travis in Medical Malpractice

Your right to collect legitimate compensation for serious harm as a result of medical negligence may face another hurdle as a result of a recent bill passed by the United States House of Representatives. If enacted, the law would place a limitation of $250,000 on what is often the most important damages awarded to legitimate victims. These damages, sometimes called “noneconomic damages,” would include compensation for serious pain and suffering, loss of life’s pleasures, and the kinds of damages that constitute the biggest lawsuits. The damages erroneously referred to as “noneconomic” damages have existed since biblical times. They compensate seriously injured people for pain and suffering, loss of life’s pleasures, disfigurement and disabilities that are often the most serious portion of any case. In fact, Pennsylvania courts have noted that these kinds of injuries are below the waterline and may be the biggest damages even if somebody has loss of income and medical/hospital bills. The limitation on damages would affect most medical malpractice areas such as surgical errors, unsafe drugs, abuse and neglect in nursing homes, negligence in anesthesia administration, and perhaps even sexual assault committed by medical professionals. Damages…

CIVIL RIGHTS-1983-LIBERTY INTEREST-STIGMA CASE-ACQUITTAL OF CRIMINAL CHARGES

August 28th, 2017 by Rieders Travis in Miscellaneous

Otto v. Williams, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 13594 (July 27, 2017) Greenberg, C.J.  This appeal presents a central question: whether damages are available for stigma in a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 “stigma plus interest” claim when the plaintiffs, police officers with the Philadelphia Police Department, were acquitted of corruption charges at a criminal trial and successfully sought reinstatement to their positions with back pay. Because the officers’ criminal trial was a sufficient name-clearing hearing that provided them with a complete remedy for their reputational harm, we will affirm the District Court’s dismissal of those claims by an order dated June 6, 2016. We recite the facts as alleged in the Second Amended Complaint, the operative complaint, that are relevant to this appeal. This case arises out of certain police officers’ terminations following their indictment by a federal grand jury on corruption charges on which they were subsequently acquitted at a jury trial. Appellants’ br. at 4. At this stage in the proceedings, the defendants left in this case are the City of Philadelphia, former City of Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, and former City of Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey (the…

MEDICAL MALPRACTICE-NURSING HOME

August 24th, 2017 by Rieders Travis in Uncategorized

Crew v. Penn Presbyterian Med. Ctr., 2017 Phila. Ct. Com. Pl. LEXIS 188 (June 30, 2017) Lachman, J. On March 16, 2012, the Plaintiffs Decedent Essie Crew was admitted to Park Pleasant Health Care Facility for nursing care, rehabilitation, physical, occupational, and speech therapy. At the time of her admission, a Park Pleasant nurse noted that Ms. Crew's skin was intact. Around April 23, 2012, Ms. Crew began to experience a loss of skin integrity. On or before May 10, 2012, Ms. Crew developed sacral wounds, bilateral contractures of her upper and lower extremities, and urinary tract infections. Trial began on October 14, 2016, and the jury delivered its verdict on October 27, 2016. The jury found that Penn Hospice was not negligent and did not answer the causation or damages questions on the verdict slip. Plaintiff filed a timely post-trial motion (PTM) challenging Judge Ceisler's grant of summary judgment and various alleged trial errors committed by the trial judge. The trial judge limited her review of the PTM to the alleged trial errors. The trial judge denied the PTM and entered judgment on the jury's verdict on February 15, 2017.…

CIVIL RIGHTS-JOB DISCRIMINATION-RACE

August 24th, 2017 by Rieders Travis in Uncategorized

Castleberry v. Sti Group, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 12611 (3rd Cir. July 14, 2017) Ambro, C.J.  Castleberry and Brown brought suit asserting that their termination was racially motivated, citing to various examples of discrimination such as remarks made at the workplace and unfair work treatment.  The District Court dismissed their complaint.  Because Plaintiffs state plausible claims of employment discrimination, we reverse and remand. Castleberry and Brown were hired by STI Group in March 2010 as general laborers and supervised by managers from both STI Group and Chesapeake. Shortly after being assigned to a particular worksite, the only other African-American male on the crew was fired. Plaintiffs allege that, when they arrived at work on several occasions, someone had anonymously written “don't be black on the right of way” on the sign-in sheets. They also assert that although they have significant experience working on pipelines (and more so than their non-African-American coworkers), they were only permitted to clean around the pipelines rather than work on them. They claim that, when working on a fence-removal project, a supervisor told Castleberry and his coworkers that if they had “nigger-rigged” the fence, they would…