1 in 4 Massachusetts Nursing Homes Has a Severe Deficiency: How Can You Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones?

Families for Better Care has given Massachusetts a grade of "B" on the first ever state-by-state nursing home report card. Massachusetts was the 19th best state in terms of the quality of nursing homes on a state-by-state comparison, but unfortunately around one in four nursing homes in Massachusetts was cited for severe deficiencies. krankenhaus-1303351-m.jpg

Our Massachusetts nursing home abuse lawyers know that many nursing homes fail to live up to obligations to provide patients with quality care. It is important for those looking for a nursing home for themselves or for family members to do careful research in order to identify an appropriate nursing home environment.

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Payouts to Victims of VA Malpractice Victims at Record Highs

Many veterans receive medical care at VA hospitals because the cost of their care is covered at these facilities. Unfortunately, visiting a VA hospital may be a dangerous choice for patients, as a number of disturbing incidents have led to record highs in medical malpractice payouts. hospital-bed-521961-m.jpg

Our VA malpractice lawyers know that patients have a right to expect a reasonable degree of competence among all physicians and hospital staff. Failures of healthcare providers to exercise reasonable care can cause serious and lasting injury. Incidents at the VA hospital, for example, have led to death in some cases and to expensive medical treatments in others.

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Massachusetts Playgrounds and the Risk of Child Injuries

There's going to be a new playground in town. Recently, Mayor Thomas M. Menino announced a new 200,000 square foot artificial turf field at Roberts Playground on Dunbar Street in Dorchester, according to the Official Website of the City of Boston.
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This field is going to offer residents play on football, soccer, baseball, softball and cricket teams. To emphasize safety in this area, officials will also be installing new sports lighting with LED security lights, new benches, new fencing and new bleachers than can seat 400 people. It will also come with a new scoreboard, new backstops and a new perimeter walkway. This is going to a $3 million improvement project.

Our Boston child injury attorneys understand that there are about 30 million children and teens who participate in some form of organized sports each and every year. With all of this participation, we see close to 4 million related injuries annually. The most common of these injuries are strains and sprains. Among the most serious are brain injuries -- which serve as the leading cause of sports-related death in children. A lot of these injuries happen as a result of falls, being struck by an object, collisions and overexertion during informal of unorganized sports activities. More than half of these injuries happen during practice. When all is said and done, about 20 percent of those participating in these sports are injured each year, and about a fourth of those injuries are considered serious, according to the Boston Children's Hospital.

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Woman Flown to Boston Hospital after Cotuit ATV Accident

In a recent ATV accident, a local woman was flown via MedFlight to Boston hospital after her ATV crashed in a rural area off Main Street in Cotuit. According to the Cape Cod Times, the accident happened as the driver was riding along power lines near Santuit-Newtown Road.
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Our Cotuit personal injury attorneysknow ATVs are common in the New England area. They're fun and they're cost effective. Unfortunately, they can also be very dangerous. Some of these vehicles can travel at speeds up to 60 mph and can weigh up to 1,000 pounds. Because a lot of ATV crashes involve high speeds and rollovers, many of these crashes result in serious damage -- and even death.

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$15.5 Million Grant Targets Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety in Boston

The City of Boston is getting a gift aimed at safe traveling. According to Mayor Thomas M. Menino, the city has is the recipient of a $15.5 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) discretionary grant. The project has been dubbed the "Connect Historic Boston" initiative.
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What this project is going to do is to create attractive, safe, and easily navigated bicycle and pedestrian connections between the city's historic treasures and the public transit system. The grant is creating the opportunity for big change in the way we look at alternative modes of transportation and is going to allow more people to experience the city's rich history on a personal level. This project is expected to greatly help out local businesses and create a whole slew of new tourism-related jobs. It's also a key in the city's Greenovate Boston initiative, which is used to help encourage locals and visitors to cut down on greenhouse emissions by cutting down on motor vehicle traffic.

Our Boston pedestrian accident lawyers understand that with more on-foot and two-wheeled traffic, we can expect to see more of these accidents. Any increase in traffic comes with an increase in accident risks. That's why officials are turning to the motoring public. As such a densely populated area, we're asking all motorists to be on the lookout for bicyclists and pedestrians. It's important to remember that we all have rights out there on our roadways, and it's important that those rights are acknowledged!

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Is Stryker Letting Down Its Customers When It Comes to Safety?

The medical device manufacturer, Stryker, describes itself as "one of the world's leading medical technology companies" that is "dedicated to helping healthcare professionals perform their jobs more efficiently while enhancing patient care." With such a positive description of their dedication to enhancing patient care, it would be reasonable for patients to expect that the company takes safety seriously and that the company doesn't release products on the market that are dangerous. books-and-pages-913588-m.jpg

In fact, our Boston defective hip implant lawyers know that patients have the right to expect that every medical device that is manufactured and sold is tested and is safe. Product liability laws in the United States are designed to ensure that manufacturers take the blame for any failure in their devices specifically because they are in the best position to test them and ensure they won't hurt patients. As such, if a medical device turns out to be defective and causes unexpected harm to patients, the individuals who are hurt don't even have to prove negligence to file a lawsuit and recover compensation.

Despite the laws protecting patients, however, news of yet another recalled Stryker product may raise concern among patients that the company perhaps has some deficiencies in its product testing systems that could be putting customers at risk.

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Warning Signs That Your Transvaginal Mesh Device is Failing

Many women suffering from stress urinary incontinence (SUI) or from pelvic organ prolapse (POP) had a transvaginal mesh device implanted. Transvaginal mesh devices provide an alternative to traditional methods of strengthening the muscles in the pelvic area to address these health problems. The supposed ease of use and other alleged benefits of transvaginal mesh made these products very popular when they were first released onto the marketplace. Although there have been reports of problems with TVM devices, the medical products are still used on many women to this day as a treatment method. danger-sign-1-1199939-m.jpg

Unfortunately, our Boston transvaginal mesh lawyers know that there are serious risks associated with the use of transvaginal mesh in surgical procedures. If you have had a procedure done and your doctor used transvaginal mesh, it is important to understand the signs and symptoms of the most common problems so that you can get medical help promptly if your device starts to cause issues.

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Failure to Warn in Transvaginal Mesh Cases

Recently, our Boston transvaginal mesh lawyers reported that two transvaginal mesh claims had been resolved, one in a settlement and one in which the jury awarded a plaintiff $2 million in compensation. warning-icon-glossy-6-1023556-m.jpg

In awarding the monetary compensation to the plaintiff, the jury indicated that the transvaginal mesh product was defective and that the manufacturer, C.R. Bard Inc. was liable for failure to warn. Failure to warn is a specific legal term that will come up again in other transvaginal mesh claims and that is also important in many other cases brought against companies who release dangerous products, unsafe drugs or defective medical devices.

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DePuy Makes Argument on Laws Governing Punitive Damages

DePuy Orthopaedics is facing more than 11,500 lawsuits in the United States and many more cases abroad. Evidence indicates the company is worried about the potential outcome of all of these cases, as our Boston hip implant lawyers recently reported DePuy's parent company, Johnson & Johnson, is considering a settlement of more than $3 billion to resolve DePuy cases. This would be the highest settlement paid to-date to resolve claims arising out of defective hip implants. u-s--supreme-court-hallway-658238-m.jpg

Amid concerns about the potential liability the company faces, Harris Martin recently reported that DePuy Orthopaedics has asked the court to rule that home-state law should apply on punitive damages for the upcoming ASR multi-district litigation. If the court agrees to this, then the rights of individual plaintiffs to recover punitive damages could potentially be more limited than might otherwise be the case.

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Compounding Pharmacy Regulations Put Patients in Danger

With the recent news that two Massachusetts compounding pharmacies were closed after failing a surprise state inspection, it has become increasingly clear that unsafe compounding pharmacies are, in many cases, a public menace.

Of course, as our Boston injury lawyers know, the biggest disaster to-date was a meningitis outbreak that caused more than 700 illnesses and 50 deaths as a result of products from New England Compounding Center (NECC), which were contaminated with fungus. However, the bad news just keeps coming and the FDA is now engaged in a fight with a compounding pharmacy that is refusing to recall products that could potentially lead to life-threatening infections. getting-the-needle-for-lockjaw-1090112-m.jpg

The fight between the FDA and a compounding pharmacy called NuVision not only underscores the fact that many compounding pharmacies are taking dangerous risks with people's health, but also shows the clear need for tougher regulations and better rules on who, exactly is responsible for regulating compounding pharmacies. Tougher regulations are necessary as NuVision has refused the FDA's request for an immediate recall because the company believes it is in compliance with all current legal requirements.

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Judge Releases New Case Management Order in Stryker Hip Implant Litigation

Throughout the United States, there are hundreds of lawsuits pending against Stryker based on its Stryker Rejuvenate and Stryker ABG II hip implant products. The lawsuits have been brought by individuals who had Stryker hip implants used in procedures prior to the July 2012 recall of these defective medical devices. balance-875413-m.jpg

Our Boston defective hip implant lawyers know that the outcome of pending cases are important because they can shape future litigation. While each of the different lawsuits will be resolved on their own merits if the cases proceed, verdicts or decisions that favor the plaintiff could make the company more likely to offer generous settlements to injured victims who have lawsuits pending.

Because the current litigation can have an impact on all plaintiffs, it is important to keep up-to-date with what is going on with Stryker cases, especially multi-district and multi-county proceedings. Recently, in one such proceeding in New Jersey, the court issued a new case management order.

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Massachusetts Birth Injury & the Risk of Larger Babies

It's been medically well-established that birth injuries are more likely in babies that are significantly larger in size.
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Our Boston birth injury attorneys know that care of an infant begins before birth. Doctors have many tools at their disposal not only to anticipate the size of the newborn, but also to prepare and plan for any complications that might arise as a result of larger-than-average size.

That could mean ordering a C-section, rather than a vaginal birth. That could mean having specialists or others on hand in case additional efforts are necessary.

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Transvaginal Mesh Case Resolved in Plaintiff's Favor

Recently, our Boston transvaginal mesh lawyers reported that a mistrial had been declared in a bellwether transvaginal mesh case. While the need to restart the trial caused a delay in the resolution of this important case, WOWK TV now reports that the claim was resolved in the plaintiff's favor. gavel-952313-m.jpg

The case involved a Georgia woman who filed a lawsuit against C.R. Bard Inc., the manufacturer of the Avaulta Plus Posterior BioSynthetic Support system. The transvaginal mesh system was implanted in the plaintiff in an effort to treat pelvic organ prolapse, a condition that causes the organs in the pelvic area to intrude on the vaginal wall. Unfortunately, C.R. Bard's transvaginal mesh product failed to work as promised and caused serious harm to the injured Georgia woman.

As a result of the complications she experienced, the victim alleged that the company was negligent, that there was a design and manufacturing defect, that the company failed to provide adequate warning of the risks, and that both express and implied warranties were violated.

Transvaginal Mesh Case Resolved for Plaintiff
The Georgia woman taking action against C.R. Bard indicated that she had been seriously harmed as a direct result of problems with the mesh product. She alleged that she had suffered pain and permanent injury as well as developed a substantial physical deformity because of the mesh. Because of her injuries, she reportedly required multiple revisions surgeries.

The case brought by the plaintiff was one of more than 20,000 similar cases pending throughout the United States. Like the other cases, it was consolidated in a multi-district litigation, which means that one judge is able to hear multiple cases that are grouped together because plaintiffs were injured by a similar defective or dangerous product. The case was not a class action because each individual plaintiff maintains his or her own claim and seeks compensation for his or her own specific losses. It was, however, a "bellwether" case because its outcome could have an impact on future settlement or litigation.

The outcome of the case was thus important to the thousands of patients who are waiting to have their own day in court to hold manufacturers of transvaginal mesh responsible. Fortunately for those plaintiffs, the first bellwether trial had a positive outcome for the plaintiff. In fact, the jury awarded the plaintiff $250,000 in compensatory damages and another $1.75 million in punitive damages.

While this case does not guarantee that future plaintiffs making a claim will necessarily get the same outcome or similar results, it does bode well for injured victims.

Companies facing millions of dollars in compensatory and punitive damages may be eager to make a settlement offer with injured victims to try to limit the company's potential exposure to losses in a lawsuit. While injured victims can benefit from this, it is also important for victims to understand what a fair settlement offer is and to ensure that they don't accept less than they deserve.

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Stryker Awarded Contract for Hip & Knee Replacements Even as Lawsuits are Pending for Hip Implant Complications

In late August, Healio reported that the Department of Defense has awarded a contract to Stryker for hip and knee implant packages. The contract is for hip and knee implants, instrumentation sets and auxiliary products and it is valued at $85,469,865. The contract reportedly represents an agreement that sets pricing so the military can access needed products, but there is no guaranteed purchase amount required by the agreement. knee-replacement---side-view-1183622-m.jpg

While the contract will allow the military to access products and services as required, it is important to ensure that the hip and knee replacement products being offered to the military are safe. Our Boston Stryker implant lawyers know that there have been myriad problems with Stryker hip implant products in the past, with the problems so severe that a recall was actually required of the Stryker Rejuvenate in 2012. Hopefully, any future products provided by the company as a part of the contract with the Department of Defense will be safe products that live up to the manufacturer's promises.

Product Recalls Prompted by Dangerous Stryker Hip Implant Products
Stryker produced the Rejuvenate hip implant system as an alternative to traditional hip replacement products. Stryker marketed its products by promising that they would last longer and offer a better range of motion by allowing for more customization of the replacement joint.

With most hip replacement devices, there is one stem that fits inside of the femur and one head that goes on top of the femur to replace the patient's damaged hip joints. The Stryker Rejuvenate offered multiple heads and stems to chose from in order to make it possible for doctors to customize the hip replacement device to the individual patient.

Unfortunately, not only did the Rejuvenate fail to live up to the promise of being a better and longer-lasting alternative, it instead began to cause serious complications for patients. The Stryker Rejuvenate has a high failure rate, leaving many patients needing additional revision surgery within just five years of the initial hip replacement surgery. The Stryker system also can cause complications such as bone breakdown; tissue health; and a toxic build-up of metal in the body called metallosis.

Because of the serious problems, Stryker recalled the dangerous hip replacement product in 2012. Unfortunately, this was too late for the many patients who had undergone a hip replacement surgery and who were already experiencing complications or were left in fear that they will soon start to experience problems.

Stryker never should have released a dangerous hip replacement product onto the market and the problems that were uncovered once it was sold to the public should have been discovered during pre-market testing so the issues could be corrected or the patient's warned. The fact that Stryker did sell this product that turned out to be dangerous is an indicator that the manufacturer likely breached its responsibility to keep the public safe.

While lawsuits are still pending and the extent of Stryker's liability for injuries as a result of the Rejuvenate product is still unclear, one thing is certain: dangerous and defective medical products cause serious harm to patients. Hopefully, all the medical devices that Stryker is offering as part of its new contract with the Department of Defense will have been carefully tested and will not later turn out to cause unexpected side effects or complications for those who have hip and knee replacement surgeries.

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Second Transvaginal Mesh Bellwether Case Results in Settlement

Recently, our transvaginal mesh plaintiff attorneys reported that the first bellwether case in a transvaginal mesh lawsuit had been resolved, with the plaintiff being awarded $250,000 in compensatory damages and $1.75 million in punitive damages. Just a few short days later, WOWK TV reported that a second transvaginal mesh case settled. to-sign-a-contract-3-1221952-m.jpg

The terms of the settlement have not been released and are confidential, according to the reports. However, since this settlement closely follows the case resolved in favor of the plaintiff earlier this August, the cases thus far seem to be showing a trend of going in favor of the plaintiffs. Although past cases cannot guarantee future results, this could be a good sign for the injured victims who were harmed by transvaginal mesh devices.

Second Transvaginal Mesh Case Resolved
The second transvaginal mesh case, like the first, was brought against mesh manufacturer C.R. Bard Inc. The injured victim in the case asserted that she had been implanted with a C.R. Bard mesh product called the Avaulta Solo Anterior Synthetic Support system as a method of treating her pelvic organ prolapse (POP). The procedure took place in 2008.

Unfortunately, the mesh quickly began causing serious problems. The plaintiff indicates that the C.R. Bard product caused her to experience mental and physical pain and suffering; physical deformity and permanent injury. The mesh also reportedly caused an infection, interfered with marital relations between the plaintiff and her husband and necessitated that she undergo six corrective revision surgeries.

The victim sought damages to cover the costs of medical bills and to compensate her for pain and suffering and mental anguish. Additional punitive damages were anticipated, especially after the initial trial resulted in such a large punitive damage award by the jury.

The trial for this second bellwether case was supposed to start on the August 21st, but since a settlement agreement was reached, there is no need for the claim to be heard in the courtroom. The confidential settlement means that other injured plaintiffs who were hurt by transvaginal mesh products will not know what amount of money the injured victim received in this case. However, the fact that the case did settle before trial could potentially indicate that the company is going to be more amenable to settling rather than risking another multi- million dollar jury verdict.

It is important to realize though, that while these early cases have been good news for plaintiffs, there are another two bellwether cases upcoming that could have different results. As the WV Gazette indicates, there is a chance that the next trial will result in an outcome that favors the defendant.

The next trial is scheduled to begin on October 8 and has been described as a case that the defendant's picked because of the thought that it was a winnable case for the defense. Even if the defense is successful in the next claim, however, future plaintiffs with proof of the harm the vaginal mesh caused them may be able to successfully settle their claims or receive large damage awards from a jury who finds in their favor.

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