Due to excessive levels of carbon monoxide several hotel guests at a hotel in Laurel, Maryalnd (on Route 198 Forte Meade Road near BWI Airport) were taken to the hospital and diagnosed with carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon Monoxide (also known as CO) is a colorless odorless toxic gas that can cause severe brain damage an death. The exposure and danger sneaks up on victims because usually they do not even know that they were exposed. Exposure rates of over 100 ppm are dangerous to human health. Exposures at this Maryland hotel were apparently in the range of 175 ppm to 400 ppm. If you or someone you know has been a guest at this Gardin Inn Hotel you may want to get checked out by a doctor to be sure that you are ok. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headaches, vertigo, flu like symptoms and general cold symptoms. Treatment for exposure to carbon monoxide inlcudes hyperbaric oxygen treatment at a hospital. Just last year in Maryland there was a $34 Million Dollar jury verdict in Baltimore City for victims who suffered brain damage (even mild brain damage) due to carbon monoxide poisoning. If you or someone you know has been exposed to carbon monoxide call us for a free phone consultation at 888-213-8140. More importantly though, if you or someone you know was exposed GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM IMMEDIATELY.
February 2011 Archives
Did you know that in 2008 about 6% of Maryland Hospital Patients developed a preventable complication during a hospital stay? These preventable complications CAUSED BY THE HOSPITAL RESULTED IN ABOUT $500 MILLION IN PAYMENTS TO THE HOSPITAL (many of these payments were probably made from Medicare or State Funded Medicaid). What this means is that Maryland hospitals are profiting from their own medical negligence.
According to the Washington Post, The Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission issed a report indicating that 9 Maryland hospitals have a higher complication rate than average and that they were penalized $2.1 million dollars. The types of complications (PPC/Potentially Preventable Complications) include hospital acquited infections, pnemonia, urinary tract infections, septicemia (blood infection), collapsed lung (aka iatrogenic Pneumothrax), bed sores, decubitus ulcers, and infections caused by catheters. According to the Washington Post Article some of the hospitals with higher rates of complications are:
Prince George's Hospital Center
Shady Grove Adventist Hospital
Montgomery General Hospital
Doctors Community Hospital
Washington Adventist Hospital
University of Maryland Medical Center
Civista Medical Center (La Plata MD)
Memorial Hospital in Cumberland (now part of Maryland Health System)
MORE IMPORTANTLY, THOUGH, SOME OF THE MARYLAND HOSPITALS WITH LOWER THAN AVERAGE RATES OF PROBLEMS ARE:
Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, MD
Howard County General Hospital
Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland
Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore MD.
To see the data and reports first hand, click here
I'll tell you what does not sit right with me. The prevantable complications allowed these hospitals to collect fees for services rendered to the patients that they injured. How is that fair? That is like if you go to a car dealer and they purposely mess up your motor so that you will have to bring your car back for more service.
If you are injured due to medical negligence caused by a hospital or doctor in the State of Maryland, call Goldberg Finnegan and Mester for a free phone consultation with a Registered Nurse who is also an attorney. If we take your case, there are no fees or costs unless there is a recovery.
the Washington Post Story on this is here.
I hate red light cameras and hate those speed cameras even more. That said, today there was an interesting article in the Washington Post about the use of red light cameras on Maryland roads. To summarize---The State and counties are making a ton of money on these cameras, there are 37 intersections in Montgomery County Maryland with the cameras (the amount could double in 5 years), Montgomery County removed the camera from Great Seneca and Longdraft becasue they were not making enough money on it, and Washington D.C. made $7.2 Million in 2009 on red light cameras. Oh yeah---one more thing---the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety fond taht traffic related fatalities in Washington D.C. intersections dropped 26 % at intersections with cameras from 2004-2008.
If you have read this far, here is a gift for you (courtesy of the Washington Post). ----a list of the Montgomery County Maryland intersections where there are red light cameras:
Old Georgetown Road and Edson Lane
Rockville Pike and Grosvenor
Frederick Road and Shady Grove
Rte 29 and Dale Drive
Rte 29 and Fairland Lane
Georgia and Randolph
N. Frederick Road and Montgomery Village Ave.
River Road and Goldsboro,
Georgia and Norbeck
East University and Colesville
Georiga and Connecticut
Wisconsin Ave. (northbound) and Montgomery Lane
Shady Grove and Research
Connecticut (northbound) and Randolph
East Gude and SOuthlawn
New Hampshire and Lockwood
Rockville Pike and Halpine
University and Inwood
Colesville and Fenton
River Road and Wilson Lane
New Hampshire Ave. (SB) and Dilston
Georgia (SB) and Colesville
Midcounty Highway and Goshen
Viers Mill (SB) and Twinbrook Parkway
Viers Mill and Reedie
Viers Mill (NB) and Newport Mill
Randolph (westbound) and Kemp Mill
Md. Rte. 124 and Firstfield
Randolph (westbound) and Selfridge Road
Randolph (Eastbound) and Dewey Road
E. Gude Drive (westbound) and Crabbs Branch
Redland Road (eastbound) and Crabbs Branch
Shady Grove and Briardale orad
Rte. 355 (south) and Middlebrook
Georgia Ave. (SB) and 16th Street
Connecticut (northbound) and Knowles Lane
Rockville Pike (NB) and First Street
Shady Grove (westbound) and Rte 355 (Frederick Road)
Wisconsin Ave. (southbound) and Cheltenham Drive
Drive safely my friends!
The Answer is, unfortunately, NO. On February 22, 2011 the U.S. Supreme Court issued a terrible ruling that "...a vaccine's design is not open to question in a tort action." The name of the case is Bruesewitz v. Wyeth LLC and the opinion can be found here.
Those injured by vaccines are required to seek compensation through the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986. This is a law that was passed by lobbyists for the pharmaceutical injury to protect them from being responsible for theri own negligent behavior. The act requires those injured to seek compensation through the Court of Federal Claims and compensation is quite limited. Although no showing of causation is required under the act, if your particular claimed vaccine injury does not fall within the "chart" in terms of when the side effects started, your claim will be denied (much like Hannah Bruesewitz's claim was denied by this program). Damages for pain and suffering and even death/paralysis is limited to only $250,000.00 under the act.
Hannah Bruesewitz was given the DPT vaccine and about 24 hours later began suffering seizures (over 100 seizures in the next month) and was diagnosed with "residual seizure disorder." She likely has permanent and severe brain damage and a lifetime of medical expenses ahead of her. She filed for compensation under the Vaccination Act but her claim was denied. She appealed and filed a tort claim in Pennsylvania State Court. The case was remoevd to Federal Court and dismissed on Summary Judgment--basically the case was thrown out of court. The reasoning was that her claim was preempted by the Federal Vaccine law. The case made its way to the US Supreme Court and yesterday the ruling was issued. The Supremes, in an opinion by Justice Scalia, ruled 6-2 that Federal Law preempts product liability lawsuits in vaccine cases even when a manufacturer could have avoided the vaccines's consequences.
I think this is a terrible decision (Justice Sotomayor and Justice Ginsburg agree with me). The decision makes it so that drug companies dont ahve to take the latest scientific and technological safety advances into account when it comes to vaccine design and distribution. Most tragic though, is that those injured by vaccines (including many children with autism) are going to be left holding the bag and will be left responsible for a lifetime of medical expenses. As Justice Sotomayor says in her dissenting opinion "Manufacturers, given the lack of robust competition in the vaccine market, will often have little or no incentive to improve the designs of vaccines that are already generating significant profit margins."
On Friday there an accident involving a Bladensburg Fire Truck (Truck 809) and a Jeep in Bladensburg, MD which is in PG COunty, MD. Six people went to the hospital as a result of this crash. The accident occurred nearl Kenilworth Avenue and Decatur Street in Bladensburg, MD. Anyone injured in this crash should know that there is a very strict notice requirement that is actually quite complicated. Proper notice needs to be given to the Bladensburg Fire Department (well, actually to the City of Bladensburg), which is, in all likelihood, defined as a "Local Government" under the Local Government Tort Claims Act of the Maryland Code. To be safe, notice should probably also be given to Prince George's County and the State of Maryland. This is a very complicated area of the law and I would strongly recommend that anyone involved in this blandensburg accident with the fire department vehicle hire an attorney to make sure that the Maryland "notice" requirements are properly addressed (180 days under the local government tort claims act).
Don't let State Farm fool you with their new partnership with the Maryland State Highway Administration whereby they are apparently paying over a million dollars to the State of Maryland in exchange for putting State Farm's logo (and likely its good neighbor slogan) on the State Highway Emergency Vehicles and billboards throughout the State
As Maryland personal injury lawyers representing individuals who are seriously injured or killed in Maryland car accidents,the Maryland car accident lawyers at Goldberg, Finnegan & Mester have seen too many occasions where State Farm has treated our clients and even their own insureds just terribly. In fact, because of State Farm's unreasonableness in car accident settlement negotiations, our lawyers have obtained several jury verdicts in Maryland in excess of State Farm insureds policy limits. The car accident lawyers at Goldberg, Finnegan & Mester have obtained at least two jury verdicts in the last several months against State Farm insured drivers in which the verdict was well in excess of the insured's policy limits--both in Prince George's County Maryland. Our lawyers have also represented many individuals insured by State Farm with uninsured motorist coverage. When State Farm Insurance Company insureds are seriously injured and need the benefits of their uninsured motorist coverage, State Farm often will make a very lowball settlement offer thus forcing the insured into litigation or binding arbitration with State Farm. This is unfortunate.
The point is really a simple one. When the State of Maryland Emergency Roadside Assistance Vehicle comes up to your car after a crash and you see the State Farm logo and/or good neighbor message on the maryland highways, don't think that they are just philanthropic do gooders. State Farm made a business decision that this advertising campaign will save them money. If you are injured by a driver insured by State Farm Insurance Company, or if you are injured and have uninsured motorist benefits with State Farm, call the lawyers at Goldberg, Finnegan & Mester at 888-213-8140 for a free telephone consultation. For more information about uninsured motorist benefits in Maryland click here.
Yesterday our good friends David Kopstein and Barry Leibowitz obtained a verdict in a shoulder dystocia case in Manassas Virginia (Prince William County, VA). The Virginia jury verdict in this shoulder dystocia case was in the amount of $2.55 million. The case involved a 5 year old hispanic boy with a 5-level injury. We congratulate the family for having the courage to pursue the lawsuit and for the lawyers in obtaining a fantastic verdict. The challenges that a family with a severely disabled child with cerebral palsy or Erb's Palsy from shoulder dystocia face are long-term and, quite frankly, unimaginable to those who have not ever had to face these challenges. The best part about a shoulder dystocia/Erb's Palsy verdict in a case like this is that the child will have the money needed to obtain medical care to maximize his chance to live a more productive life. The lawyers at Goldberg, Finnegan & Mester are available to review birth injury cases including shoulder dystocia cases and cerebral palsy cases. We have two attorneys who are also registered nurses. This allows us to review birth injury cases for merit relatively quickly. There is no charge to have your case reviewed by our medical-legal team. While we hope that your family or friends are never impacted by serious medical negligence, we are always here should you need to talk with us.
Yesterday was Justice Day in Annapolis, Maryland and it was truly awesome. About 30 trial lawyers from the Maryland Association for Justice went to Annapolis and we visited our respective State Delegates and State Senators. I attended as a member of the MAJ Executive Committee and as the Immediate Past President of the Maryland Association for Justice. Not only was it an opportunity for Maryland personal injury lawyers to get to know their legislators, but it was also very informative. I met with my new Montgomery County Maryland State Delegate Aruna Miller (a transportation engineer) and with Delegate Luis Simmons (who, by the way is a great trial lawyer). I tried to meet several other Legislators but they were in committee meetings. The Maryland proposed Legislation that I hope passes this year includes House Bill 574 which would allow a jury to award punitive damages against certain high risk drunk drivers who cause injuries to people in Maryland car crashes. Right now punitive damages are not available against drunk drivers and the reality is that drunks just have their insurance companines pay for the damages they cause. This proposed bill would allow the jury to award punitive damages if the driver has a blood alcohol content of 0.15 or higher or if a BAC of .08 and the driver was driving on a revoked license. Clear and convincing evidence would be required and also insurance companies could exclude coverage for punitive damages awarded. To see a copy of this bill click here.. If you or someone you love is injured or killed as a result of a drunk driver in Maryland call us at 888-213-8140. We will fight hard to protect your rights.