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electronic medical records, Chicago malpractice attorneyAccording to an article published by the American Academy of Family Physicians, doctors follow a risk management protocol when it comes to dealing with concerns surrounding possible cases of medical malpractice. The article refers to the “4 Cs” of risk management:

  • Compassion
  • Communication
  • Competence
  • Charting

The article, written by Richard G. Roberts, MD, stated that the greatest charting mistakes occur when physicians forget or fail to note what is important about a patient’s condition. A patient’s chart is the main source of information and a large part of the communication between medical providers on the case. A medical record oversight could lead to disastrous results.

For the past few years, the Obama administration has supported the idea of doctors and hospitals converting completely to electronic medical records. The goal is that electronic records make medical reporting more efficient and less costly. The government has already given billions of incentive dollars to hospitals for implementation of the conversion.

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chicago-police-body-cameras

Section 1983 of the U.S. Civil Code is often referenced in media reports regarding police misconduct.  This federal law permits private citizens to sue local and state entities for the deprivation of constitutional rights.

Part of the Code states: “...any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress…”

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low-t-drug-claims

Testosterone therapy drugs are prescribed to men who suffer from “low-T” or low testosterone, a condition that can lead to a decrease in bone and muscle mass, loss of libido, and depression. Since the early 2000s, the use of testosterone therapy has quadrupled for men in their 40s. In the United States, testosterone therapy has risen to a $2 billion industry.

In 2013, The New York Times published an article that reportedmarketing for testosterone therapy targeted men with common aging symptoms, such as lack of energy, rather than those tested for hypogonadism or “low-T.” Research has questioned whether men who are prescribed testosterone drugs all suffer from the “low-T” condition and if the benefits of testosterone outweighs the risks.

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plavix stroke riskPlavix is the brand name for clopidogrel, a drug prescribed to help prevent blood clots from forming in the arteries. It has been prescribed to more than 115 million patients worldwide. Bristol-Myers Squibb-Sanofi Pharmaceuticals is the drug manufacturer that markets the drug’s ability to:

-Increase blood flow to the legs;

-Prevent mini-strokes; and

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falling debris church lawsuitIt has been reported a lawsuit was filed in Cook County Circuit Court this month by Lance Johnson, the boyfriend of the woman who was hit by a falling church stone, an incident which resulted in her death. Johnson was walking with the victim, Sarah Bean, when part of a stone gargoyle fell from the church, hitting her in the head.

Johnson is suing both the Second Presbyterian Church, a Chicago South Loop church, and the Presbytery of Chicago. Claims of the lawsuit state that there was negligence in ownership of the church building by allowing the wall’s exterior to “exist in a dangerous and unrepaired condition.”

Negligence is defined as a failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have implemented under the same conditions. Chicago city records show a history of violations reported about the church’s structure from 2007 to 2011 including failure to maintain an interior stairway system and failure to remove obstruction from building exits.

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stryker hip replacement recallThe American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons has reported more than 285,000 hip replacements are performed each year in the U.S. Stryker, a medical device manufacturer, marketed metal-on-metal artificial hips as having the capability to last longer in patients and provide a broader range of motion. The design of metal-on-metal hips involves both the ball and socket components being made from metals such as chromium or cobalt.

In 2011, these artificial hips accounted for approximately one-third of hip replacement procedures. However, due to product failure, Stryker voluntarily issued a hip recall for its ABG II and Rejuvenate hip devices and shut down global distribution of these products in 2012.

According to The New York Times, as patients continued to encounter problems with their artificial hips, the FDA ordered studies of all artificial hip producers to address concerns and determine whether the hip implants were shedding an exorbitant amount of metal debris.

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Families with concerns about placing their relatives in long-term care may soon be given an extra sense of security. A new Illinois bill proposed earlier this month has the potential to give families, whose loved ones are in nursing homes, extra peace of mind through video monitoring.

If approved, the law would allow the installation of video cameras or audio recording devices by families in their relative’s nursing home room. Consent would be required of residents who are monitored.

States including Maryland, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Washington all have passed similar laws. When a family member cannot make an in-person nursing home visit, video access will allow them to check-in on their relatives throughout the day.

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JOLIET PATCH

A year after the Diocese of Joliet released a list of priests who were credibly accused of sexually abusing children, more documents detailing abuse allegations are coming to light.

As part of a legal settlement, the Catholic Diocese of Joliet last year began releasing internal documents related to the accused priest — including files that show that for decades, bishops had been aware of the sexual abuse accusations. More than 7,000 documents were to be released.

Attorney Mark McKenna, whose firm Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C. represents 15 alleged victims who have cases pending against the diocese, said a list created by the diocese's review board shows that the diocese has been keeping track of allegations against priests at least since the 1960s.

On Wednesday, files for the following priests were made public:

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Today the Diocese of Joliet released more of its internal documents relating to sexual abuse by its priests. This is part of the ongoing disclosure required as part of a legal settlement last year.

This most recent batch of documents sheds more light on 16 of the 34 priests included on the diocese's list of credibly accused clergy, and includes a 438-page file on Rev. James Burnett. Burnett was accused of molesting an 8 year-old boy while serving at St. Mary Catholic Church in Mokena. He later served as rector at the Cathedral of St. Raymond in Joliet.

It is tragic to read how much the church knew about clergy sex abuse, and even more tragic to realize how little it did to protect the most vulnerable members of its flock. Yet the unprecedented disclosures are empowering more victims to acknowledge the harm they suffered and to demand their rights.

CBS TV CHICAGO

It didn’t take long for the Chicago Archdiocese’s release of confidential files on pedophile priests to lead to a new lawsuit, this one accusing a former priest and a former boy scout leader of molesting boys at the same church in the 1970s.

WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports, two days after thousands of pages of church documents were released, revealing decades of efforts to hide priest sex abuse cases, attorney Chris Hurley filed a lawsuit on behalf of three men, against former priest Norbert Maday.

Maday was convicted in 1994 of molesting two altar boys while on a church outing in Wisconsin. He has since been released from prison, but is a registered sex offender, living in Wisconsin, according to the National Sex Offender registry. 

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OAK LAWN PATCH

Lawsuit claims Archdiocese was negligent in protecting children at St. Louis de Montfort from two convicted pedophiles, Fr. Maday and scout leader Tom Hacker in early 1970s. [ . . . . ]

Included in the complaint are shocking allegations of Maday and Hacker’s association and shared proclivity as sexual predators of young boys in what has been detailed as a "tag team of abuse" at St. Louis de Montfort in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

While being sexually assaulted by Maday at St. Louis de Montfort, John Doe #2 purports that Maday began inviting Hacker on youth retreats, where he was sexually assaulted by Hacker as well, the complaint alleges.

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WGN TV/Chicago Tribune

A new lawsuit is filed Thursday against the Chicago Archdiocese, on behalf of three people who say they were sexually abused as children by a now-defrocked priest.  The lawsuit comes in the wake of this week’s release of documents involving 30 accused priests.

One of the alleged victims say this week’s events made him angry and compelled him to talk after suffering for 40 years, abusing drugs, alcohol and depression.  He hasn’t been back in a Catholic church since he was 11-years-old.

The lawsuit is being filed by three plaintiffs who say they were sexually abused as children by now-defrocked priest Norbert Maday; two of the three were also abused by Thomas Hacker.

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ENHANCED NEWS ONLINE

Three plaintiffs filed suit today against the Archdiocese of Chicago and one of its former priests, Norbert Maday, for incidents of sexual abuse which took place when Maday was assigned to St. Leo Catholic Church in Chicago, and later, to St. Louis de Montfort Catholic Church in Oak Lawn.

The suit also names convicted pedophile Thomas Hacker, who while working at St. Louis de Montfort Parish in Oak Lawn at the same time as Maday, also sexually assaulted two of the plaintiffs. The incidents took place in the timeframe of 1967 to ’73, when the boys’ ages ranged from nine to fourteen. The case was filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County by the Chicago-based law firm of Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C., P.C.

The sixteen-count complaint accuses Maday and Hacker of numerous instances of sexual abuse and battery, and the Archdiocese of Chicago of breaching its duty to protect the children in its care. The Archdiocese is also accused of fraudulent misrepresentation and concealment for failing to disclose what it knew or should have known about pedophile priests and school employees in the Archdiocese, and about Fr. Maday and Thomas Hacker in particular.

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USA TODAY

A paper trail of sexual misconduct involving 30 priests and the Archdiocese of Chicago's slow and clumsy handling of the cases is revealed in thousands of pages of documents released online Tuesday.

Lawyer Chris Hurley, whose firm represents more than a dozen people pressing abuse suits against the archdiocese, said accusations against the priests were well known before the documents' release.

"What the archdiocese had not let us know about is how much they knew all along," Hurley said.

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Posted on in Sexual Abuse Litigation

It just keeps coming.

The institutions that downplayed the crisis--that denied knowing about sexual predators in their midst, that protected the abusers and covered up for them so they could hurt more and more children--just keep admitting to more.

Today it was the Archdiocese of Chicago. After years of denial, the Archdiocese has released thousands of pages of internal church documents showing how it concealed sexual abuse for decades, moving priests to new parishes where they molested again.

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Posted on in Medical Malpractice

I just came across this amazing story. A man in Britain whose wife died during routine surgery is trying to help the medical field learn from the tragedy. And it all stems from a failed airway situation very much like we saw in our last verdict for the Tagalos family.

As a pilot, Martin Bromiley has been taught safety procedures and communication methods to help address the “human factors” that cause 75% of airplane accidents. But he doesn’t see the medical profession recognizing these same factors, or taking measures to address them. Surely many medical tragedies—like his own wife’s death-- could be prevented if it did.

Like Mr. Bromily I believe that the vast majority of our doctors and medical professionals are well prepared and well intentioned. But doctors, like pilots, are real humans with human failings who hold our lives in their hands. Let’s join with Mr. Bromily in supporting common-sense safety and communications procedures to make medicine safer.

Medical devices, machines, and other products injure and kill thousands each year. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration maintains a list of recalled medical devices. In addition to those products on this list, though, there are many different products that are dangerous or worn-out that kill and injure people in health care settings.

The experienced attorneys at Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C. have represented numerous clients who were injured or killed by medical devices. Oftentimes, these cases arise out of situations where medical malpractice has been committed. We have also represented clients who have been injured by medical products at work.

If you or someone you know has been injured by dangerous medical devices or medical products, please contact the experienced attorneys at Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C. for a free consultation.

The Penn State sexual abuse scandal reminds us as trial lawyers that large institutions that deal with children do a terrible job of policing themselves when it comes to child sexual abuse. Institutions like the Catholic Church, and its Archdioceses in Chicago, Milwaukee and Boston, for example, have failed to respond to the problem of sexual abuse of children by priests, brothers and nuns honestly and firmly. Instead, the Catholic Church, like Joe Paterno and the Penn State administration, has responded to the abuse with excessive leniency, insensitivity, secrecy, and neglect.

New York Times columnist Frank Bruni recently addressed the parallels between the scandal at Penn State and the scandals involving large institutions such as the Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts of America:

That has been true of the Boy Scouts, which has paid out tens of million of dollars in response to lawsuits by former scouts molested by adults who continued to work in the organization despite complaints or questions about their behavior.

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CHICAGO DAILY LAW BULLETIN, DECEMBER 4, 2013

A Chicago jury has awarded $4.7 million to the family of a 49 year old woman who died at St. James Hospital in suburban Chicago after she suffered a severe asthma attack.  The case alleged emergency room errors and wrongful death in a 2 week-long medical malpractice trial.

The patient arrived in the emergency room in respiratory distress which is an emergency condition requiring immediate treatment.  It took emergency room doctors more that 26 minutes to secure the patient's airway.  By then she went into cardaic arrest and suffered brain death.

HM&M St. JamesHurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C. has won a $4.7 million verdict against St. James Hospital of Olympia Fields and one of its emergency department physicians on behalf of a 49 year-old woman, Georgia Tagalos, who suffered brain death in the hospital’s emergency department in 2006.

At trial, Christopher T. Hurley and Mark R. McKenna established that it took at least seven minutes for Mrs. Tagalos to be seen by an emergency department physician at St. James after she arrived grasping her throat and unable to speak due to a severe asthma attack.  Once Mrs. Tagalos was finally seen, the defendant attending physician allowed the resident physician to make multiple intubation attempts without following the hospital’s written policy, which required physicians to administer fast-acting sedatives and paralyzing medications to the patient before intubation to prevent vomiting.  As a result, Mrs. Tagalos began vomiting profusely when the resident physician attempted intubation, making any further intubation attempts more difficult.

Because Mrs. Tagalos was not receiving any oxygen for an extended period of time, she suffered brain death.  She was removed from life support three days later.  Mrs. Tagalos was survived by her son and her husband.

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