Carolina Accident Lawyers

Jury Award in Fayetteville Medical Malpractice Case

Jury Award in Fayetteville Medical Malpractice Case

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Jury Award in Fayetteville Medical Malpractice Case

Charlotte, NC Lawyer

A jury in Fayetteville, North Carolina reached a verdict in a medical malpractice suit filed against the Owen Drive Surgical Clinic of Fayetteville and awarded over $7.5 million in damages. According to a report from the Fayetteville Observer, the plaintiffs were Melode Dickerson, a patient at the clinic, and her husband, Gregory Dickerson. The jury award consisted of $3.24 million in economic or compensatory damages, $4 million for pain and suffering, and $300,000 for loss of consortium. Generally, compensatory or economic damages is money that will cover costs such as past, present, and future medical bills to treat the injury caused by the medical malpractice, as well as lost wages. In North Carolina, there is no limit to the economic damages that may be recovered. Pain and suffering, on the other hand, is considered non-economic in nature and is also not limited.

Surgical Complications

According to the suit, the plaintiff had undergone colon surgery in June 2010 with Owen Drive Surgical in order to remove part of her colon due to a potentially cancerous mass that was later ruled benign. The surgeon apparently connected the remaining portions of the plaintiff’s colon together; however, the lawsuit claims that the surgeon left a leak that later caused dangerous abdominal infections. After the surgery, the plaintiff allegedly became severely ill for many months and had low blood pressure, kidney failure, internal bleeding, and severe infections. She spent many weeks in hospitals, and had two surgeries to try to find the cause of the infection. There was initially no sign of leakage from the original colon surgery, but afterwards, doctors did locate a leak in the place where the colon had been reconnected to itself. Afterwards, a fourth surgery was conducted to repair the leak and treat other internal problems. The suit alleges that the plaintiff still experiences diarrhea and chronic abdominal pain, and that the leak was caused by the June 2010 surgery conducted by Owen Drive Surgical.

Standard of Care

In analyzing a medical malpractice case, a court has to determine whether the medical provider breached or violated the standard of care in providing treatment. Standard of care is the generally accepted practices and procedures used by medical care providers in the same geographic area for treating individuals with a specific ailment or disease. This standard will change depending on the individual’s condition, age, overall health, and other factors.

Additionally, plaintiffs have to be able to prove that the injuries suffered by the plaintiff were caused, at least in part, by the medical care provider. This often requires the use of outside medical experts. In order to recover for injuries, a medical malpractice suit must be filed either up to three years from the date of the treatment that caused injuries or within one year of when the injury was or should have been discovered. Nevertheless, a patient is barred from bringing a claim more than four years after the date of the treatment in question.

Medical malpractice is a serious claim that requires extensive research, investigation, and analysis. If you or a loved one has been injured due to the malpractice of a medical professional, the attorneys at Bice Law, LLC can help you pursue your case to recover damages for your injuries. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.

Contact the Personal Injury Law Firm of Bice Law

The personal injury firm of Bice Law will examine your case to determine the type and amount of damages that your injury warrants, including payments for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and any permanent disability.  We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. If you have suffered injury or harm because of someone else’s actions, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law serving both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, so act quickly.  Call (855) 500-BICE today or submit an online request  to get a free consultation with a  personal injury attorney. We serve families across both North Carolina and South Carolina.

 

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Medical Malpractice Reform Law in North Carolina Slashes Jury’s Award

Medical Malpractice Reform Law in North Carolina Slashes Jury’s Award

Charlotte, NC Personal Injury Lawyer

In a medical malpractice case out of Fayetteville, a North Carolina statute that was designed to discourage medical malpractice lawsuits will reduce a $7.5 million damages award by a jury to a medical malpractice plaintiff to $3.5 million. The jury reached its verdict after a two-week trial in Cumberland County Superior Court, but the state law passed in 2011 will cut the recovery for so-called non-economic damages, according to a local news report.

Negligent Medical Care

This case arises out of a mistake that the defendant, a local Fayetteville surgeon, made during colon surgery that left a leaking hole in the patient’s bowels in 2010. The leaking bowel resulted in severe infections. Over the next four months the plaintiff endured lengthy hospital stays, a six-week coma, and three more surgeries because of the infections. The plaintiff also received poor follow-up care from the surgeon and her primary care physician, and she will continue to require constant medical care for the rest of her life.

At trial, the jury awarded the plaintiff with $3.24 million for her financial expenses and losses and an additional $4 million in non-economic damages for disfigurement, permanent injury, pain and suffering, etc. Additionally, the jury awarded damages to the plaintiff’s husband for $300,000 for loss of consortium.

Tort Reform Law

In 2011, the North Carolina General Assembly passed a bill to reform medical malpractice liability. The bill, among other things, would cap non-economic damages for patients in medical malpractice cases at $500,000. Non-economic damages are damages meant to compensate for pain, suffering, emotional distress, loss of consortium, inconvenience, physical impairment, disfigurement, and any other nonpecuniary, compensatory damage. The only time that an award of damages may rise above this cap is if the jury finds that the medical provider acted recklessly, in a grossly negligent manner, fraudulently, or with malice. Proponents of the law argue that the cap will lower the cost of malpractice insurance, especially in high-risk medical specialties like obstetrics and neurology. They believe the law will lead to lower health-care costs and more access to doctors in rural areas. However, opponents contend that it should not apply to measurable injuries like paralysis, brain damage, or death because the cap would apply to lost earning potential. Additionally, some argue that the cap is unconstitutional because citizens have a right under the North Carolina constitution to have a jury make a determination regarding the amount of compensatory damages, including non-economic damages, in civil trials.

In this case, the jury found that the doctors were negligent but did not decide that their actions rose to the level of recklessness, gross negligence, or that that they acted with malice. Therefore, under the new law, the $4 million portion of the jury’s award is blocked, and the judge has to reduce that award to $500,000.

If you believe that you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice and are seeking compensation for your injuries, the attorneys at Bice Law, LLC can help you seek a remedy against negligent medical providers. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.

Contact the Personal Injury Law Firm of Bice Law

The personal injury firm of Bice Law will examine your case to determine the type and amount of damages that your injury warrants, including payments for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and any permanent disability.  We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. If you have suffered injury or harm because of someone else’s actions, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law serving both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, so act quickly.  Call (855) 500-BICE today or submit an online request  to get a free consultation with a  personal injury attorney. We serve families across both North Carolina and South Carolina.

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Defective Medical Device Litigation in South Carolina

Defective Medical Device Litigation in South Carolina

Charlotte, NC Personal Injury Attorney

An article reported that a wrongful death suit was filed in South Carolina federal district court by a plaintiff against Gyncare, a medical manufacturing company that produces morcellators. The lawsuit challenges the use of the Gynecare Morcellex, a device used in minimally-invasive procedures where a surgeon chooses to cut apart reproductive tissue before removing it through a laparoscopic incision, either during a laparoscopic hysterectomy or myomectomy.  The plaintiff alleges that during this process, the morcellator causes the spreading of microscopic bits of biological tissue into other areas of the body. If the surgical patient has undiagnosed uterine cancer, this cancerous debris can be spread by the morcellator during fibroid surgery and decrease the long-term survival of patients.

In this case, the deceased individual went through a surgical procedure to remove three uterine fibroids. The surgeon performed the removal using the Gynecare Morcellex. After a pathological examination, the fibroids removed were later determined to be malignant.

Wrongful Death Caused by Product Defect

At the center of the wrongful death lawsuit is the plaintiff’s allegation that Gynecare, as the manufacturer of the morcellator, had a duty to warn patients and surgeons of the dangers of using the product, which it failed to do. The plaintiff asserts that, but for the surgeon’s use of the product, the decedent’s cancer would have remained encapsulated in her uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes, and would not have spread throughout her body. Allegedly, the deceased individual was found to have cancer cells in areas around her abdomen and uterus and passed away a year after the procedure once the cancer spread to her brain.

Under South Carolina statutes, wrongful death is defined as one that is caused by the “wrongful act, neglect, or default” of another. A plaintiff must first prove that the defendant had a duty of care that it subsequently breached. Here, the plaintiff alleges that Gynecare had a duty to warn regarding the dangers of the use of its product and that because it failed to warn users, Gynecare breached that duty and that contributed to the patient’s death.

Punitive Damages in South Carolina

The plaintiff in this case is seeking punitive damages damages and claims that Gynecare was reckless in its actions. Notably, the FDA issued an advisory last year warning that when morcellators are used on women with undiagnosed uterine cancer, there is a risk that the procedure will spread the cancerous tissue throughout the body, thus significantly worsening the patient’s likelihood of long-term cancer survival. In South Carolina, the law allows plaintiffs to seek punitive damages if they can prove that the wrongful act or neglect was the result of recklessness, willfulness, or malice. These damages are intended to punish and serve as a deterrent.

Litigating defective product claims involves complex questions of fact and law, which become even more complicated when sought in the context of medical devices. A myriad of expert and scientific testimony are necessary to prove one’s case. If you believe you have a claim for wrongful death due to a defective medical product, the attorneys at Bice Law, LLC may be able to help you seek compensation. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.

Contact the Personal Injury Law Firm of Bice Law:

The personal injury firm of Bice Law will examine your case to determine the type and amount of damages that your injury warrants, including payments for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and any permanent disability.  We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. If you have suffered injury or harm because of someone else’s actions, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law serving both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, so act quickly.  Call (855) 500-BICE today or submit an online request  to get a free consultation with a  personal injury attorney. We serve families across both North Carolina and South Carolina.

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Establishing Standing in Personal Injury

Standing Requirements to Initiate Lawsuit in North Carolina

Fort Mill, SC Personal Injury Attorney

Standing is a requirement imposed by the United States Constitution Article Three Section Two, which insures all litigants have proper standing to bring forth a lawsuit in state or federal courts. Standing is the capability of a “real party in interest” to initiate a lawsuit. A party may be considered a “real party in interest” if the lawsuit will either benefit or hurt the litigant and by substantive law the litigant has the legal right to enforce the claim brought.

To successfully assert standing three components must be proven:

  • Injury in fact,
  • Causation; and
  • Redressability

For standing, it is not necessary that the party demonstrate an injury has already occurred, a showing of immediate or threatened harm may also suffice. The purpose of illustrating standing to a court is meant to assist the judicial system in disposing of cases in which the litigant’s injury was not directly connected to conduct of another or in which the court could not grant the litigant a resolution that would benefit them.

Injury in Fact:

To satisfy the requirement of an injury in fact, the litigant must have faced an invasion of a legally protected interest that is neither conjectural nor hypothetical. For example, in Coker v. Daimler Chrysler Corporation, plaintiffs alleged they had suffered from an injury in fact after purchasing a minivan that did not have a brake shift interlock device (BSI). The North Carolina Court of Appeals held that plaintiffs did not possess injury in fact because of their mere speculation that damages would occur at some time in the future. Therefore, because the plaintiff’s damages were hypothetical and no concrete and particularized injury had yet occurred the litigants did not have proper injury in fact, and thus no standing to bring forth the claim.

Causation:

A litigant will fulfill the causation requirement of standing when the injury is traceable to the action of the defendant. The injury the plaintiff is suffering from must be causally connected to the complained of action engaged in by the defendant. Causation cannot therefore be caused by some third party or action independent of the defendant. For example, in medical malpractice cases the “connection between the negligence and death must be probable not merely a remote possibility.” In Day v. Brant, defendants argued that the testimony of Dr. Wyatt did not establish causation. However, after noting that Dr. Wyatt’s testimony suggested that had the defendants complied with the standard of care the victim would have had a better chance of survival the North Carolina Court of Appeals held this testimony was sufficient to establish causation. Further, the court stated that even though Dr. Wyatt could not state with absolute certainty that the victim would have survived, absolute certainty is not required and causation was properly established.

Redressability:

Redressability is the last requirement to show that a litigant possesses standing and shows that the litigant’s injury is likely to be remedied by a favorable decision from the court. The policy rationale behind this requirement is that a litigant should be able to benefit from the court’s decision and judicial resources are effectively utilized by those injured.

Standing in Personal Injury:

Standing in personal injury claims is usually obvious in that there is an easily established injury in fact, the injury is directly linked to the negligent conduct of another and the courts are able to remedy the wrongdoing to the litigant, usually by monetary damages.

 

Contact the Personal Injury Law Firm of Bice Law:

The personal injury firm of Bice Law will examine your case to determine the type and amount of damages that your injury warrants, including payments for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and any permanent disability.  We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. If you have suffered injury or harm because of someone else’s actions, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law serving both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, so act quickly.  Call (855) 500-BICE today or submit an online request  to get a free consultation with a  personal injury attorney. We serve families across both North Carolina and South Carolina.

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Medical Malpractice Suit in Rare “Intersex” Case

Medical Malpractice Suit in Rare “Intersex” Case

Charlotte, NC Personal Injury Attorney

 According to a report from the Post and Courier, the adoptive parents of a child born with the rare condition of having both male and female reproductive organs filed a medical malpractice suit against the Medical University of South Carolina, Greenville Health System and the state child welfare agency. The intersex condition the child was born with is incredibly rare – it only affects one in 83,000 infants. According to the plaintiffs, the surgeons surgically removed the infant’s penis when he was 16 months old for no medical reason before they adopted him from state custody. The sex assignment surgery made the child biologically female: however, the child, who is now 10 years old, decided to identify as a boy. The plaintiffs are seeking for compensation to pay for the treatment that the child will need during and after puberty. They have not yet set a date for when treatment will begin, but they have been monitoring the child’s hormone levels.

The plaintiffs had filed federal and state lawsuits two years ago, and the federal lawsuit alleging a violation of civil rights was dismissed earlier this year. The defense successfully argued that doctors weren’t aware when they decided to perform surgery that they may have violated the child’s civil rights.

 Filing Medical Malpractice Actions in South Carolina

 Under South Carolina law, medical malpractice means doing or failing to do something that a reasonably prudent health care provider or institution would or would not do under similar circumstances. Before they file a suit, parties are required to participate in mediation. They may also agree to participate in other forms of alternative dispute resolution such as binding arbitration, nonbinding arbitration, or early neutral evaluation. However, parties should seek the assistance of an attorney prior to entering into an alternative dispute resolution process.

There are additional procedural rules that parties must follow when filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. Plaintiffs have to file a Notice of Intent to File Suit with an affidavit of an expert witness and a short and plain statement of the facts showing that the party filing is entitled to prevail. After the notice is filed, all the named parties may subpoena medical records and other documents potentially related to the medical practice and, if allowed by the court, may also take depositions. After ninety days, the parties are required to participate in a mediation conference; if no resolution is reached, then the civil action may commence in court.

 Types of Medical Malpractice Claims

 Generally, medical malpractice claims may be one of three categories

  • Diagnosis, where a medical professional fails to properly diagnose a condition.
  • Treatment, where a medical professional fails to administer a treatment or administers the wrong treatment.
  • Consent, where a medical professional fails to obtain informed consent before treating a patient.

In determining whether a medical mistake rises to the level of malpractice, courts look to the accepted standard of care and whether the medical professional deviated from that. This standard of care is based on the degree of skill and care that an average medical professional with similar education and qualifications would have provided to a patient with similar circumstances and symptoms.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a medical professional’s failure to provide proper diagnosis or treatment, or subjected to a treatment without obtaining consent, the medical malpractice attorneys at Bice Law, LLC can help you seek compensation for your injuries. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.

Contact the Personal Injury Law Firm of Bice Law:

The personal injury firm of Bice Law will examine your case to determine the type and amount of damages that your injury warrants, including payments for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and any permanent disability.  We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. If you have suffered injury or harm because of someone else’s actions, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law serving both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, so act quickly.  Call (855) 500-BICE today or submit an online request  to get a free consultation with a  personal injury attorney. We serve families across both North Carolina and South Carolina.

 

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Trial Continues in Duke Hospital Medical Malpractice

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Trial Continues in Duke Hospital Medical Malpractice

 An article posted May 7 covered the continuation of a medical malpractice trial in Durham, N.C. where Duke University Medical Center is a defendant.  According to the article, the plaintiff sued the hospital after she had surgery to remove a small portion of her intestine to help treat chronic constipation.  After the surgery, the plaintiff complained of bloody fluid coming from her vagina, and the doctors discovered that her intestine was not reattached to her rectum, but to her vagina.  Although the plaintiff did not suffer any permanent physical damage, she claims that because of the mental and emotional stress of the mistake, she began to suffer blurred vision, weakness on her left side, and impaired speech.

The plaintiff filed suit in 2011, but Duke initially succeeded in getting a judge to dismiss the case.  However, an appeals court disagreed, reviving the case in 2013 and ruling that based on the facts alleged in the complaint, even a layperson would be able to determine whether or not negligence occurred.  The appeals court stated that it is “common knowledge” that “intestines are meant to connect with the anus, not the vagina, even following a surgical procedure to correct a bowel problem.”

 Conversion Disorder

 The article indicated that the plaintiff is claiming that her symptoms were a result of functional neurological symptom disorder, also called conversion disorder.  Conversion disorder is precipitated by mental or emotional stressors, and presents itself physically in a variety of ways, including weakness, paralysis, seizures, involuntary movements, and/or sensory disturbances such as impaired vision.  This condition is named as such because the mental or emotional crisis “converts” to a physical problem.

The appeals court that reinstituted the lawsuit noted that “it requires no expert testimony” to understand that “feces are not meant to be excreted from the vagina” and that this would not ordinarily occur “in the absence of a negligent act or omission during a surgical procedure.”  As the attorney stated in his opening statements, the jury will have to decide whether or not, absent negligence, there is any explanation other than the negligent conduct of the doctors for why the plaintiff is experiencing the above mentioned physical symptoms.  However, the challenge here is proving damages – that the conversion disorder resulted from the mental and emotional stress caused by the hospital’s negligent conduct.

 Assuming the Risk

 In a medical malpractice suit, doctors or hospitals may try, as a defense, to prove the patient consented to the procedure knowing the risks involved.  If successful, this defense may absolve the defendants of any liability.  In this case, the attorneys for the Duke University Medical Center argue that the gastric surgery at issue is complex and that bowel leakage is a “known risk factor.”  However, for this defense to be proven, the attorneys for the defendants must show that the plaintiff understood and accepted the risks involved, and for patients with no medical training, this defense is difficult to substantiate.  Additionally, even if the patient understood the risks, it does not absolve instances of gross medical negligence.

If you believe you have been injured by the negligent actions of a doctor or a hospital, the attorneys at Bice Law, LLC, can help you seek compensation for your injuries. <a href="http://www.bicelaw buy levitra online with prescription.us/contact/”>Contact us today to consult regarding your case.

Contact the Personal Injury Law Firm of Bice Law

The personal injury firm of Bice Law will examine your case to determine the type and amount of damages that your injury warrants, including payments for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and any permanent disability.  We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. If you have suffered injury or harm because of someone else’s actions, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law serving both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, so act quickly.  Call (855) 500-BICE today or submit an online request  to get a free consultation with a  personal injury attorney. We serve families across both North Carolina and South Carolina.

 

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Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in North Carolina

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Charlotte, NC Personal Injury Lawyer

Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in North Carolina

 Anytime we lose a beloved person in our lives the pain and sorrow are difficult to deal with. The experience is even more agonizing and trying when someone else caused the death of someone we loved.

A wrongful death claim will not bring our cherished family member back, but it may hold a negligent person responsible for the harm and pain they have caused.

What is wrongful death in North Carolina?

Section 28A-18-2 of North Carolina’s Statutes defines wrongful death as a death “caused by a wrongful act, neglect, or default of another.” The statutes goes on to explain that a wrongful death claim is appropriate if, had the injured person lived, he or she would have been entitled to damages for their personal injuries.

Thus, a wrongful death suit is similar to a personal injury suit but the injured person is no longer alive to take the person responsible for their death to court.

Who can sue for wrongful death?

Since the victim of the negligence has passed away, someone else must file the wrongful death claim behalf of the decedent and his or her family. The appropriate person to file the suit is called a personal representative of the decedent’s estate.

The decedent may have appointed a personal representative in their will, but if not, the court handling the decedent’s estate will appoint the personal representative.

Is there a time limitation on filing a wrongful death claim?

In North Carolina there is a statute of limitations on all wrongful death claims. A statute of limitations is the amount of time you have to file a legal claim.

The decedent’s personal representative must file a wrongful death claim within two years of the decedent’s death. If the claim in not timely filed, the family may lose their chance to collect damages forever.

What types of damages are included in a wrongful death suit?

A wrongful death claim in North Carolina carries with it the possibility for the family to recover many types of damages. These damages include:

  • Medical expenses including hospitalization, surgery or hospice care for the decedent resulting from the negligence.
  • Pain and suffered endured by the decedent before his or her death.
  • Reasonable funeral expenses.
  • Loss of the decedent’s income as well as their services, protection, care and assistance.
  • Loss of the decedent’s companionship, comfort, guidance and advice.

If damages are awarded, the damages are applied in the following order: first to pay the estate for the expense of pursuing the wrongful death claim, then to pay reasonable attorneys fees and any outstanding funeral and medical bills, and finally to the decedent’s beneficiaries directly.

The decedent’s personal representative must file any wrongful death claim within two years of the decedent’s death. You and your family will need a seasoned attorney to represent your interest in court. Contact the legal professionals at Bice Law, LLC today in order to ensure any wrongful death claim is filed in a timely manner.

Contact the Personal Injury Law Firm of Bice Law:

The personal injury firm of Bice Law will examine your case to determine the type and amount of damages that your injury warrants, including payments for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and any permanent disability.  We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. If you have suffered injury or harm because of someone else’s actions, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law serving both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, so act quickly.  Call (855) 500-BICE today or submit an online request  to get a free consultation with a  personal injury attorney. We serve families across both North Carolina and South Carolina.

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How Do I Protect Myself from “Superbugs” at the Hospital?

 

 

Charlotte, NC Personal Injury Lawyer

The same “superbug” strain of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (sometimes referred to as CRE) that killed two people in Los Angeles has found its way to a Charlotte-area hospital. A spokesman for the Carolinas HealthCare System reported that so far 15 patients were admitted to the hospital with the CRE bacteria while an additional 3 patients contracted the superbug while in the hospital. Another patient has died, although the precise cause of death is not clear.

What is a “Superbug” and Where Did CRE Originate?

The term “superbug” refers generally to any bacterial strain that has become resistant to current antibiotics and other medical treatments. The present strain of CRE was first discovered after seven patients at the UCLA Medical Center contracted the bacteria following endoscopic procedures. Testing later traced the bacteria back to two medical scopes that had been disinfected according to guidelines but still carried the bacteria.

Is There Any Way to Protect Myself from “Superbugs?”

Superbugs are, by definition, resistant to antibiotics and most conventional forms of medical treatment. This means that other forms of prevention and treatment are usually necessary in order for an individual protect him- or herself from infection. In particular, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises people in general and especially hospital patients to:

  • Inform their doctor of all hospital stays, including what facility the person was treated at;
  • Take antibiotics only as prescribed;
  • Be sure to continue taking any prescribed antibiotics until discontinued by a doctor’s order – even if the person feels he or she no longer needs antibiotics;
  • Insist that any healthcare providers wash their hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based cleanser before and after touching the person’s body or tubs going into the person’s body; and
  • Wash their hands thoroughly before preparing or eating food, before and after changing bandages, after using the bathroom, and after blowing one’s nose, coughing, or sneezing.

What Should I Do if a Loved One Contracts CRE?

If a loved one contracts CRE, it is important that he or she follow his or her doctor’s advice and direction. It can be frightening to be diagnosed with a superbug, but treatments are still available. Unfortunately, the person may be ill for a lengthy period of time, resulting in not only pain and suffering but medical expenses and time missed from work.

Furthermore, a superbug infection obtained from a hospital or medical center does not always mean the infected person can obtain compensation through a medical malpractice case. The heart of such a case requires the infected person to show he or she suffered an infection as a result of actions by the facility that deviated significantly from what a reasonable healthcare facility should have done. If the facility did not wash and disinfect scopes according to accepted guidelines, an infected patient may have a case; however, a facility which followed all applicable state and national disinfection guidelines cannot usually be held liable for a patient’s infection and resulting injuries.

At Bice Law, LLC, we are committed to helping those injured by medical mistakes and carelessness recover compensation for their injuries. If you or a loved one have been injured or become sick following a hospital stay, contact us at (855) 500-BICE right away to discuss your case.

Contact the Personal Injury Law Firm of Bice Law

The personal injury firm of Bice Law will examine your case to determine the type and amount of damages that your injury warrants, including payments for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and any permanent disability.  We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. If you have suffered injury or harm because of someone else’s actions, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law serving both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, so act quickly.  Call (855) 500-BICE today or submit an online request  to get a free consultation with a  personal injury attorney. We serve families across both North Carolina and South Carolina.

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South Carolina Hospitals Penalized by Feds

Charlotte, NC Personal Injury Attorney

Thirteen South Carolina hospitals have been penalized by the federal government for injuring patients in preventable accidents. The thirteen hospitals affected include:

  • Aiken Regional Medical Center;
  • Beaufort County Memorial Hospital;
  • Conway Medical Center;
  • Kershaw Health;
  • Mcleod Medical Center – Dillon;
  • MUSC Medical Center;
  • Novant Health Gaffney Medical Center;
  • Oconee Medical Center;
  • Palmetto Health Baptist;
  • Palmetto Health Baptist Easley;
  • Palmetto Health Richland;
  • Spartanburg Regional Medical Center; and
  • TRMC of Orangeburg and Calhoun.

These thirteen hospitals are a fraction of the more than 700 hospitals nationwide that have been penalized by the federal government. The penalties are assessed against hospitals based on the hospital’s rate of infections caused by fluid tubes pumping medicine or fluids into large veins, urinary tract infections caused by catheters, and complications patients suffer from bed sores, falls, and blood clots.

How Federal Investigations Help Medical Malpractice Plaintiffs

Any patient who is injured by the mistake of a hospital or healthcare provider can bring a medical malpractice case against that hospital or healthcare provider and recover compensation for his or her injuries. These sorts of cases can be difficult to win, as the injured patient must show that the hospital or health care provider’s mistake was such that a reasonable hospital or healthcare provider with similar experience and in similar circumstances would not have made the mistake. This usually requires expert witnesses and other doctors in order to establish not only what the “reasonable standard” in the community is, but also to opine as to whether the hospital or healthcare professional violated this standard.

Investigations and reports such as those that led to the federal government assessing penalties can also be immensely useful to medical malpractice plaintiffs. Being penalized in such a manner can be evidence that a hospital violated a standard or at least did not comply with the practices of other hospitals. A hospital who has a history of a certain type of injuries and who injuries another patient in a similar way may have a more difficult time arguing that the injury was unavoidable. While such investigations and statistics are rarely sufficient in and of themselves to win a medical malpractice case, they can provide important evidence for a judge or jury to consider.

Contact the Personal Injury Law Firm of Bice Law

When you or a loved one has been injured by a healthcare professional or a hospital, knowledgeable legal representation is key. Attorneys with experience in handling medical malpractice cases are familiar with the sort of evidence and testimony needed to succeed. Not only this, but such attorneys generally stay informed of key studies and investigations (like the one that led to the federal penalties previously mentioned) that can help their clients win.  At Bice Law, LLC, we are committed to helping medical malpractice victims obtain the compensation they deserve. .

The personal injury firm of Bice Law will examine your case to determine the type and amount of damages that your injury warrants, including payments for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and any permanent disability.  We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. If you have suffered injury or harm because of someone else’s actions, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law serving both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, so act quickly.  Call (855) 5-BICE-LAW today or submit an online request  to get a free consultation with a  personal injury attorney. We serve families across both North Carolina and South Carolina.

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Do I Have a Case Against an Unvaccinated Child Who Infects My Child?

Charlotte, NC Personal Injury Lawyer

Officials in Mooresville, NC were worried by a new case of the red measles (also known as rubeola) and the danger it presents to the general public. An unvaccinated individual had recently returned from a trip to India and presented with symptoms of the disease. Symptoms of rubeola include a high fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes, and a sore throat along with a rash that spreads across the person’s body. Public officials are concerned about the spread of the disease amongst unvaccinated individuals. Prior to the successful introduction of a vaccine, various measles strains killed hundreds of individuals each year.

The Competing Interests of Unvaccinated Individuals

This most recent public health concern highlights competing issues when it comes to public health: on the one hand, there is a concern for how unvaccinated individuals can present a danger to other members of the public; on the other hand is the right of individuals and parents to make decisions affecting themselves and their children, including what vaccines – if any – they receive. While those who are vaccinated against a certain disease rarely contract that disease from an infected person, unvaccinated individuals may remain unvaccinated for a variety of reasons. In such circumstances, conflicts can arise between individuals who choose to be unvaccinated, those who are unable to be vaccinated for health or other reasons, and the state authorities who are interested in preventing any sort of epidemic.

Can I Recover Compensation if I Become Infected by an Unvaccinated individual?

Suppose, for instance, that you become ill after coming into contact with a person who chose not to obtain a vaccination for religious or personal reasons. Suppose further that you were unable to receive the vaccination yourself because of a medical issue or complication. As a result of your illness, you suffer medical expenses and time missed from work. Are you able to recover any compensation for these losses?

While there are not any notorious examples of such a lawsuit, it does not appear far-fetched that a court may entertain such a suit for compensation. In the typical negligence case, the injured party must show that the defendant owed him or her a duty to act in a certain manner, the defendant failed to so act, and that this failure to act in a certain way caused injury or loss to the individual. A victim who becomes ill due to an unvaccinated individual could argue that the unvaccinated defendant owed the victim a duty not to infect him or her, that the defendant breached this duty by failing to take reasonable measures to protect the defendant from infection and from spreading any infection, and that as a result the victim suffered injury.

Contact Bice Law, LLC

A lawsuit against an unvaccinated individual for spreading a disease to another is a rather untested area of law. However, when you have been injured by another (regardless of the circumstances), contact us at (855) 5-BICE-LAW for a free consultation. We will review the facts of your case with you and advise you on the compensation to which you may be entitled.

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