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The Department of Transportation has initiated, effective today, a ban on texting while driving for interstate truck and bus drivers.  If caught, these drivers will face significant fines and penalties.Texting while driving is responsible for numerous accidents. Some studies indicate it is as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. Studies indicate that drivers who text while driving are twenty times more likely to get into an accident than those who are not texting.If you have been in an accident with a truck or an accident in which you know or suspect that the other driver was using his or her cell phone or texting while driving, you should contact an attorney to protect your rights. Call or e-mail the Law Offices of Todd N. Hendrickson to discuss your case. As always, our initial consultation is free and there is no fee unless you recover.

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.

The New York Times has reported that Medtronic, a prominent manufacturer of medical devices and products, such as infusers, defibrillators and other items, has paid $788,000 to U.S. Army doctor, Timothy R. Kuklo, who was found to have faked results of a study published in a British medical journal.Dr. Kuklo is now on staff as an assistant medical professor at Washington University, here in St. Louis. Dr. Kuklo is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in adult and pediatric spine surgery.If these allegations prove true, it is shocking that Washington University would employ such a physician to train future generations of orthopedic surgeons. It would also call into question all Medtronics studies. These studies are submitted to the FDA to obtain approval of medical devices and products, and if physicians are being paid what seems to amount to bribes, then the truthfulness of their study results are certainly called into question.If you have any questions or concerns regarding Medtronic products, or care rendered by Dr. Kuklo, please do not hesitate to call The Law Offices of Todd N. Hendrickson. I have successfully prosecuted cases against medical devices manufacturers, hospitals and physicians throughout Missouri and Illinois and I have particular experience in handling orthopedic cases, including hip and knee replacements.

The Houston Chronicle reported today that three deaths from smoke inhalation as a result of a 2007 Houstan office fire were the result of “pollution,” as in smoke inhalation. The very idea of this is ludicrous in the extreme. The insurance company is trying to get out of paying for the losses suffered by three families due to their family members deaths. Fires cause smoke, smoke contains pollutants, to be sure. But to say that death caused by smoke inhalations is a result of pollution is simply beyond belief. Keep this in mind next time you hear a story about a crazy lawyer suing for a million dollars for a lost pair of pants. For every “missing pants” case, there are literally thousands where insurance companies have adopted these tortured readings of their own policies in an attempt to avoid their responsibilities.

A bill has been approved in the Missouri Senate and House to make Mortgage Fraud a felony, punishable by up to 7 years in prison, reports the Springfield News-Leader. The bill has been presented to Governor Blunt for his approval.The legislation defines mortgage fraud as making false statements or failure to disclose material facts and includes attempts to influence appraisals through extortion or bribery.If you have been a victim of mortgage fraud, contact the offices of Todd N. Hendrickson, P.C. to discuss your case. You have legal rights which may entitle you to damages.

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

In recent weeks, 2 celebrity medical malpractice cases have brought medical negligence to public attention. Unfortunately, usually the only thing that the public hears about medical malpractice is the constant harping on so-called “frivolous lawsuits.” However, these recent cases highlight the fact that most medical malpractice case filed by experienced malpractice attorneys, win or lose, are not “frivolous” cases.

Dennis Quaid

Actor Dennis Quaid’s wife gave birth to twins recently. Shortly after birth, the children nearly died when staff at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Beverly Hills gave the twins adult doses of a blood thinner, Heparin. Rather than give a pediatric formulation, they were given an adult formulation of heparin. As Dennis Quaid has described, “it basically turned their blood to the consistency of water” and it could not clot. What makes the mistake even worse, the hospital did not notify their parents of the mistake. An interview with Dennis Quaid will be featured on 60 Minutes to air on Sunday.For those of us who prosecute medical malpractice cases, the allegations Dennis Quaid makes in a lawsuit filed on his behalf fit a consistent pattern we see over and over. Medication mistakes are common. We routinely see either doctors prescribing the wrong medication or nurses administering the wrong medication or in the wrong dosage. And the “cover up” is seen again and again. We often even see cases where the negligent doctors aren’t even told of the complication, because the patient’s care has been transferred to another doctor.

John Ritter

In another case that has been in the news recently, actor John Ritter’s widow filed suit against physicians who allegedly failed to diagnose an aneurysm. Ritter died when an aortic aneurysm ruptured. An aneurysm is an abnormal enlargement of a vein or artery, in this case the aorta, a large artery in your abdomen. News reports last week emphasized that a jury found in favor of the physicians in Ritter’s widow’s suit, however, lost in the details was the fact that eight other doctors and Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Los Angeles paid $14 million dollars in settlements before trial. In effect, only the most difficult liability aspect of the case remained. And even then, the jury split 9-3.Abdominal aortic aneurysms are absolute medical emergencies. Failure to timely diagnose and treat this condition can be negligence. Only a thorough review of the facts and medical records will determine whether or not medical negligence has occurred.Source: Reuters.com, March 16, 2008, and CNN.com, March 14, 2008.

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