Monthly Archives:' July 2016

Nursing Home Residents Still Vulnerable to Abuse

By: The Editorial Board, Source: The NY Times, Originally Published: 7.25.16

To support a revision of the proposed rule so that families aren’t being taken advantage of by forced arbitration clauses, sign on to Consumer Voice’s letter here.

People entering nursing homes need to know that all reasonable safeguards are in place to ensure quality care. But federal rules to be finalized soon fail to hold nursing homes truly accountable to patients, their families or the law.

At issue are arbitration clauses in nursing home contracts that require consumers to settle any disputes that arise over products or services through private arbitration rather than through lawsuits. Corporations of all sorts love forced arbitration because it overwhelmingly tilts in their favor and shields them from liability. But in the process, it denies justice to consumers, investors, patients and others who find they have no legal recourse when wronged.
Forced arbitration is especially problematic in nursing home disputes, which are generally about care, not money. (Medicare and Medicaid pay many nursing home bills.) Typical claims involve neglect or abuse leading to broken limbs, dehydration and untreated pain.

Navy Reservist Wants a Day in Court, Not Arbitration

By: Margot Roosevelt, Source: Military.com

In November 2012, about 40 employees of BLB Resources, an Irvine real estate firm, gathered in a room festooned with balloons to celebrate a colleague who was deploying to Afghanistan.

Kevin Ziober, a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Reserve, dug into a cake decorated with an American flag and the words, “Best Wishes Kevin” in red, white and blue. “I texted my brother, my mom and my grandma to tell them, ‘What a great sendoff!'” he recalls.

Three hours later, as he was packing up his desk, the 43-year-old was terminated from his $180,000 a year job. He was told, he said, that the project he was working on would likely not outlast his year overseas.

Patient Safety: 54 Years of Progress … or Stasis?

By: Kenneth Rothfield, Source: OR Excellence.

A conversation with OR Excellence speaker Kenneth P. Rothfield, MD, MBA, CPE, CPPS

It’s disheartening, says anesthesiologist and patient safety expert Kenneth P. Rothfield, MD, MBA, CPE, CPPS, how little patient safety has improved during his lifetime. More than 400,000 U.S. citizens die from preventable medical errors each year. Only heart disease and cancer kill more Americans. In Dr. Rothfield’s thought-provoking presentation, “Patient Safety: 54 Years of Progress … or Stasis?” at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point in Bonita Springs, Fla., he’ll plot the progress — or lack thereof — that’s been made on a 54-year timeline and challenge surgical leaders to eliminate the never events that keep happening. We recently talked to Dr. Rothfield.

S.C. chief justice slams Statehouse for underfunding the judiciary

Compiled by: Schuyler Kropf and Brenda Rindge, Source: Post and Courier.

S.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Costa Pleicones let out his frustration in an email where he chided the poor treatment of the state’s judicial branch at the hands of Statehouse budget writers.

In a note to lawyer-legislators and those preparing to take office, Pleicones blasted what he called the General Assembly’s “dismissive treatment” of the court system from the Legislature’s budget committees.

“Let me be clear that I am not referring to the failure of the legislature to approve a significant pay increase for the judiciary,” his said. “The overarching problem is the continued underfunding of our operational budget. As a result, our ability to deliver the service rightly expected by our citizens has been imperiled.”

Personal injury lawyers turn to neuroscience to back claims of chronic pain

By: Kevin Davis, Source: ABA Journal

On a blistering summer afternoon in Tucson, Arizona, nearly 11 years ago, a truck driver named Carl Koch stood near the back of his tanker as it was being filled with molten tar at an asphalt plant. Suddenly a hose connection broke loose, spraying him with hot, gooey liquid.

Blobs of 300-degree tar hit Koch, 36, on the right side of his face and ear, and adhered to his right arm, causing first- and second-degree burns. The pain was so severe that doctors had to give him several doses of morphine.

Koch’s burns eventually healed, but more than a year after the accident, he complained that he continued to feel pain in his right arm, which prevented him from working or helping around the house.

He sued his employer, Western Emulsions, for damages, claiming that the nerves beneath his right arm never fully healed, and that he suffered from chronic neuropathic pain. The company’s attorney alleged that Koch was faking.

Koch’s lawyer, Roger Strassburg, needed to prove that his client really was in pain. But that was going to be tough. There was no such thing as a pain meter to measure or confirm its existence. Pain is subjective, its sensations and intensity known only to the person experiencing it.

Former Upstate official ordered to pay $1.2 million earned through Ponzi scheme

By: Mandy Gaither, Source: WYFF

ANDERSON COUNTY, S.C. —Former Anderson County Administrator Joey Preston has been ordered to repay more than $1.2 million that he earned after investing money in Ron Wilson’s Ponzi scheme, WYFF News 4 Investigates’ Mandy Gaither has learned.

According to federal records obtained by WYFF News 4 Investigates, Preston invested $192,000 with Wilson’s former company Atlantic Bullion & Coin, Inc.  Records show that Preston made $1,213,000 in profits from the investments.

In an exclusive jail interview taped in 2014, Wilson told WYFF News 4 that he orchestrated the Ponzi scheme on his own.  Wilson said no one knew that he was stealing money from victims, who thought they were investing in silver.

It’s No Accident: Advocates Want to Speak of Car ‘Crashes’ Instead

By: Matt Richtel, Source: The NY Times.

Roadway fatalities are soaring at a rate not seen in 50 years, resulting from crashes, collisions and other incidents caused by drivers.

Just don’t call them accidents anymore.

That is the position of a growing number of safety advocates, including grass-roots groups, federal officials and state and local leaders across the country. They are campaigning to change a 100-year-old mentality that they say trivializes the single most common cause of traffic incidents: human error.