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Author Archives: Todd Hendrickson

Toyota has issued a massive recall as reported by USA Today and elsewhere. The recall affects:2009-2010 Rav42009-2010 Corolla2009-2010 Matrix2005-2010 Avalon2010 Highlander2007-2010 Tundra2008-2010 SequoiaCertain 2008-2010 Carolla modelsThe recall is due to reports that the gas pedal can stick, causing the driver to be unable to cease acceleration. A previous notice indicated that the problem was occurring due to the gas pedal sticking in floor mats, but this recall indicates that it can occur even when the floor mats have been removed.Toyota has taken the step of notifying its dealers to cease selling the current new models until the problem has been corrected. This recall affects millions of vehicles.If you have been involved in an accident in which you were driving one of these Toyota models, or were struck by one of these Toyota models, you may have a claim against Toyota for product liability, in addition to any other claim you may have. If you’ve been involved in an accident in any Toyota in which you know or suspect that it was caused due to a sticking accelerator, please contact The Law Offices of Todd N. Hendrickson immediately. You have rights and we are here to protect them. Please call at 314-721-8833 for a no cost consultation.

On October 1, 2009. a jury in the Federal District Court of Southern Illinois in Benton, Illinois returned a $600,000 verdict in a difficult survival action. I represented the Estate of Jennifer DeArmon in a case against Primary Care Group and Dr. Vinay K. Mehta, a general surgeon.After 4 days of evidence, the 7 person jury took less than 90 minutes to find that Dr. Mehta was negligent in perforating the superior vena cava (the main vein returning blood to the heart) while placing a central veinous catheter. Jennifer DeArmon, who suffered from a form of muscular dystrophy, had been wheelchair bound since age 6. Her disease, anterior horn cell disease, progressively weakened her muscles, leaving it difficult for her to cough and clear her lungs, resulting in frequent bouts of pneumonia. She had been hospitalized for two weeks in December 2004 before Dr. Mehta attempted to place the catheter. As a result of the perforation, Jennifer was transferred by air ambulance to another hospital. She was hospitalized for more than 2 months following the perforation and her health deteriorated. In July 2005 she passed away from unrelated causes.It was my honor and pleasure to have met Jennifer shortly before her death and to go on and represent her Estate.If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of medical malpractice, please contact me at 314-721-8833 or use the Contact form on this page.

Thousands of people each day fall victim to criminal attacks and suffer severe life changing injuries and loses. The most frustrating part is that many of these attacks are preventable and are the result of poor and inadequate security by property owners.Premises and Security Liability laws state the property owners must be responsible for protecting visitors from harm, and that includes criminal activity. It is their duty to study their surroundings and be aware of any signs of criminal activity. A property owner must provide adequate security such as proper lighting, security patrols, and security hardware on doors and windows.If you were attacked or victimized on someone else’s property, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages. Contact an experienced negligent security attorney who can take action and investigate your case.St. Louis accident and injury attorney Todd Hendrickson, P.C., has successfully represented numerous clients in complex security negligent claims. He understands how difficult it is to experience such tragedies and will aggressively work to have the responsible party held liable for your injuries and damages.A list of possible negligent security claims include:• Landlord liability• Inadequate parking lot surveillance• Inadequate lighting• Negligent hotel security• Forced entry• Employer Security Liability for negligent hiring• Bank Security Liability and ATM kiosk security• Attacks in elevators and stairwells• Shopping mall security negligence• College campus and dorm room security negligence• Negligent hospital security• Negligent sport stadium securityIf you or someone you know is injured or attacked on someone else’s property, and you suspect inadequate security was part of the problem, contact an experienced attorney who can take immediate action and help you pursue compensation.St. Louis negligent security attorney Todd Hendrickson, P.C. has the skills and the experience to get you the results you need.

I’m announcing the launch of a new attorney web resource for Plaintiff’s Attorneys only. It is called MOPAO (Missouri Plaintiff’s Attorneys Only). Membership is strictly moderated and is open to Missouri attorneys who represent only plaintiffs in the personal injury and medical malpractice arena. Absolutely no memberships will be granted to any attorney who is a member of any defense firm. The goal of the list serve is to give a private and secure environment for open discussions and exchanges of information.If you are a 100% plaintiff’s only firm or solo, you may request membership by sending an e-mail to MOPAO. I look forward to your requests.Todd N. Hendrickson, Moderator–MOPAO

Anderson Cooper 360?will air “Operating under the Influence” tonight, March 31, 2008, at 10pm, eastern. The advertisements for the show indicate “imagine undergoing the knife, while your doctor is undergoing treatment for addiction!” Unfortunately, a number of my clients don’t have to “imagine” that consequence.I have a number of cases in which a physician’s addiction is an issue. In one, within days of operating on my client, the physician tested positive for cocaine use. Only after the patient suffered a horrible complication did he learn that his surgeon had returned from rehab only a few days before operating. And worse yet, the hospital was aware of the stint in rehab and had not provided for drug testing before allowing the surgeon to return to the operating room and had not required that the surgeon be monitored by another surgeon in surgery.This type of negligence, on behalf of both the addicted doctor and the hospital, is clearly inexcusable. All hospitals have, or should have, in place policies and procedures to detect and monitor impaired doctors, nurses and other staff.I’ll watch “Operating under the Influence” tonight with interest. For more, see AndersonCooper360

An Arkansas jury found that Wyeth’s Premarin and Upjohn’s Provera menopause drugs caused a woman’s cancer. Donna Scoggin’s developed breast cancer and underwent a double mastectomy after taking the drugs for ten years. The jury found her damages at $2.75 million. The same jury will hear additional evidence before deciding whether an additional award of punitive damages is appropriate.

Premarin cotains estrogen and Provera contains progestin and have been prescribed for years to relieve menopause symptoms. However, a U.S. National Institutes of Health study, completed in 2002, found that the combination of the two drugs increased the risk of invasive breast cancer by 24 percent.

The two drugs were combined in a single pill 1996 and marketed as Prempro. Despite the Institutes of Health study, there has been no recall of any of the drugs.

If you are a loved one has developed breast cancer after taking Premarin, Provera, Prempro or other menopause drugs for an extended period of time, please contact our office to discuss the matter.

Source of Post: Bloomberg.com

Accidents involving semi-trucks, 18 wheelers and commercial trucks present many unique challenges when they cause injury or death to other drivers.  Because of their size and the speeds involved, such accidents can often cause severe injuries.

Trucking accidents can be the result of speed, inattention, or lack of sufficient rest by the driver.  Over the road drivers must follow strict regulations as to time driven and rest breaks.  A driver who is not following these regulations may create a danger for himself and others.

If you have been involved in an accident involving a truck, it is important that you contact an attorney immediately.  It is vital that evidence be retained and obtained.  Your attorney may need to obtain information from the truck’s “black box,” an accident reconstruction may need to be performed, the scene of the accident must be documented before important evidence such as skid marks, debris and damage is lost.  Trucking accidents may be caused by equipment malfunction or failure on the truck, such as brake or tire failure.  These things must be investigated as soon as possible and the evidence maintained.

If you have been involved in a trucking accident, please call Todd N. Hendrickson, immediately.  Todd N. Hendrickson practices law throughout Missouri and Illinois and can discuss any potential claim you may have.

If you suspect you or a loved one may be the victim of medical negligence (medical malpractice) you should begin to make note of people involved in the care.  In a hospital setting, you should note the names of doctors, nurses and technicians who are caring for the patient.

If any type of surgically implanted device is removed as a result of treatment, you should request that the item be retained and turned over to you.  You should make that request in writing, to the surgeon involved and to the hospital or surgical center.  If you are refused, ask to receive a written reason for the refusal.

If you are suspicious of medical malpractice, you should obtain second opinions or consults regarding the care and, if at all possible, from a physician unaffiliated with the hospital or doctors whom you suspect have been negligent.   There are several reasons for this:  First, “independent” consulting physicians will tend to document their true findings and conclusions, even if they don’t want to be a witness against another doctor or hospital, if for no other reason than to establish that they have not been negligent in their care.  Second, sometimes a second opinion can cause a shift in treatment which can mitigate or eliminate problems arising from the initial negligence.  Although this is not beneficial to a subsequent medical malpractice legal action, if it results in an improved result for the patient, that is the primary consideration.  Third, a consultant will provide independent documentation of findings which cannot be altered or amended by a negligent party.

Also, you should, as soon as you suspect medical malpractice, obtain a copy of the relevant medical records for your files.  The sooner you request this, the less likely that important records will be lost, “updated” or “amended.”

Finally, if you suspect you are the victim of medical malpractice, you should consult with an experienced, qualified attorney as soon as possible.  Experience in handling medical malpractice claims is a must.  The lawyer you choose should spend the majority of his or her time handling medical malpractice claims and should have done so for many years.  You should also consider whether the attorney you choose will handle the case himself or delegate important aspects of your case to less experienced attorneys or associates.  It is vitally important that the attorney who will handle the trial of the case also handle the preparation of the case.

This is usually a question I get at some point from every client.  Some people ask the question in the first meeting, or even during our first phone call.  Some don’t ask the question until we are well into the process.  But at some point, everyone wants to know, just how long is this going to take?  The simple answer, is we usually don’t know.  A lot is dependent upon scheduling matters with the court and all the attorneys involved and in some cases that is easier than in others.  But he process follows the same general course:

INVESTIGATION:  An experienced medical malpractice attorney will engage in extensive investigation of your claim before the case is ever filed.  This will include obtaining all relevant medical records concerning the alleged negligent medical care as well as relevant medical records before the incident to establish the patient’s medical condition before the negligent care.   It is vitally important that you provide your lawyer with a complete list of all medical care providers: doctors, hospitals, therapists, home health care, etc.   These records form the basis on which any successful case is built. Your attorney will first review the medical records, in depth.  If he feels that you may have a viable case, he will then have those records reviewed by appropriate specialists in appropriate fields.  This step is vital.  Both Missouri and Illinois require that the attorney file an affidavit that the case has been reviewed by a qualified physician who has given the opinion that the medical care rendered did not meet the standard of care.  Without an appropriate affidavit, the case will be dismissed.   Therefore, an expert’s opinion is a requirement for the case to proceed.

FILING:  The actual lawsuit is started by your lawyer filing a Petition or Complaint in an appropriate court with jurisdiction.  The Petition or Complaint is usually accompanied by an sworn statement confirming that a qualified physician has reviewed the case and has found that negligence has occurred.

Once the case is filed, Summons, or an order to answer,  will issue to the various defendants.  This is the official notice of the suit that is served on the defendants.  In response, the defendant will usually notify his or her insurer who will retain an attorney who will file an Entry of Appearance and an Answer or other responsive pleading.

DISCOVERY:  Once preliminary motions and filings are complete, the parties engage in “discovery.”  Discovery is the fact-finding process by which attorneys for plaintiffs and defendants formally investigate the claims and defenses of the case.   This will include written discovery, such as interrogatories (written questions), requests to produce documents and/or things, and requests to admit certain facts.  The various parties must answer all these forms of written discovery under oath. Discovery also includes depositions.  Depositions are formal proceedings in which parties and/or witnesses are sworn under oath and the attorneys involved in the case are given an opportunity to question the witness.  These proceedings are always recorded by a court reporter that will prepare a written transcript of the questions and answers.  This transcript can be used at trial in different ways depending upon the particular state rules.  In every court, the transcript can be used to “impeach” a witness if he or she gives a different answer at trial than in their deposition.  In some jurisdictions, like Missouri, the transcript can be read into evidence.  If the deposition has been video recorded, the deposition can be played for the jury as evidence.

MEDIATION:  Either by court order, or by agreement, the parties may agree to mediate the case at some point before trial.  Mediation is an informal process where both sides meet with a mediator, a neutral person, usually an attorney.  The mediator works with the parties to try to reach an out-of-court settlement.   If successful, the case ends at this stage.   Of course, the parties can agree to a settlement without the need for mediation, although in medical malpractice cases, mediation is a common means of resolving meritorious cases.

TRIAL:  If the parties cannot agree to a settlement, the case will be tried, usually to a jury.  The number of jurors, 6, 9 or 12, depends upon the jurisdiction.  In some jurisdictions when 12 jurors are used, the decision does not have to be unanimous; instead, 9 jurors must agree on the verdict.  The jury’s job is to decide issues of fact.  The judge’s role is to make legal rulings.  The trial will proceed through the steps of jury selection, opening statement, plaintiff’s case, defendant’s case, rebuttal, closing arguments, jury instruction and jury deliberations.  Once the jury reaches a verdict, the judge will, in most cases, enter that verdict as a judgment.  Either party may file post-trial motions challenging the verdict.  Once the judge has ruled on these motions, the judgment is final.  Once the judgment is final, either party may appeal the decision for any one of numerous reasons.  However, most successful appeals are based upon assertions that the judge has made an error in a legal ruling, not simply that the jury’s decision was wrong.
The entire process, from beginning to end, can take several years and cost thousands of dollars.   Because of this, an experienced lawyer will carefully screen cases, proceeding only on cases that he believes are supported by the facts and the law.