It was a bittersweet moment for a family in Arkansas. After a long legal battle, the family was relieved to hear that they had won $46.5 million in a medical malpractice verdict. However, there is no amount of money that will ever fully bring restitution for their child’s serious, extensive brain damage. Kara Small is only two-years-old, but her family already knows that she will need around the clock care for the rest of her life. Her profound brain damage was directly caused by jaundice, a condition where bilirubin builds up in the blood stream. If it goes unnoticed, it can cause permanent, irreversible brain damage.
The verdict came at the end of a two-week trail in Arkansas. Kara’s parents had hired lawyers from South Florida to come in and represent their daughter in case. The attorneys argued that Dr. Johnathan Lewis and the Ouachita County Medical Center had failed to follow national safety guidelines for screening against jaundice in newborns. The court found Dr. Lewis 85 percent liable for damages and the rest of the fault was placed on the hospital.
According the family’s attorneys, the baby had routine bloodwork at the hospital that showed high bilirubin levels. However, doctors and hospital staff failed to treat the jaundice or do any further testing to monitor the levels in the days afterwards. The resulting brain damage is expected to cause severe developmental delays in young Kara. Doctors now predict that she will have to use a wheelchair and will need 24-hour-a-day care for the rest of her life.
During the trial, Stanfard University professor Dr. Vinod Bhutani, presented testimony about jaundice and the results of Kara’s specific blood work. Dr. Bhutani is credited with inventing the very system that allowed doctors to test bilirubin levels in newborn babies. During his testimony, Dr. Bhutani showed that Kara’s levels two hours after birth were comparable to what would be expected in a two-day-old. It was not a borderline reading and doctors should have caught it quickly and been aggressive to treat the jaundice.
Attorneys also argued that the hospital should have been extra cautious due to family history of jaundice. Kara’s older sister had jaundice requiring phototherapy. The hospital staff apparently dismissed jaundice concerns based on the visual appearance of Kara. Attorneys argued that this is gross negligence. “You’re not allowed to use visual estimation – you have to do the test.” Kara’s natural dark skin as an African American baby would make it much more difficult to detect jaundice by appearance alone. That’s why blood work was so critical to protect the infant from serious brain damage.
Personal injury attorney Christopher Ligori from Tampa said this case should be a wakeup call to doctors across the country. “It’s easy to cut corners when you’ve been doing a certain job for a long time. But this is a reminder that there is never room for any shortcuts in medicine. You have to be thorough at all costs because these are real, human lives at stake.”
Christmas Eve brought unexpected tragedy at Artegon Marketplace’s Sky Trail attraction. Robert Belvoir was attempting the ropes course when his harness disconnected from the safety track and he fell to his death on the concrete floor below. His daughter, Penelope, had just finished the course when she turned to see her father fall 30 feet to his death. Now she is fighting back with a wrongful death lawsuit against the owner and management company of Artegon Marketplace along with the manufacturer and operator of the ropes course.
Mark Nation, the attorney representing Penelope Belvoir, said, “She saw him and watched him fall to his death. It was awful. That shouldn’t happen… These rides are supposed to give the illusion of danger while being perfectly safe.”
Belvoir died during a zip line ride that is part of the Sky Rail course. Orlando Police are working with the Florida Consumer Services Bureau of Fair Rides Inspection to investigate the death. Jim Ligget is the owner of Ropes Courses Inc. that manufactured the attraction. He told reporters that the company currently has 600 courses around the world and 10 of those courses feature the Sky Rails attraction. He said all of those were closed after this accident. “We’re going to inspect every single one of them and make sure everyone is safe and this can’t happen again.”
When asked about the cause for the accident, Liggett acknowledged that they believe they know what happened, but he would not share details. “We were able to isolate this… It’s just a weird bunch of circumstances all happened and we have got to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
An estimated 10 million people participate in the company’s ropes course attractions every year. “We’ve been building ropes courses for 26 years and this is the first accident we’ve ever had like this,” Ligget said. “It affected our company from the ground up. Everybody thought it was their fault and we’re all just a mess.”
People who witnessed the incident were also very shaken up. At a nearby Subway in the mall, employee James Walton said he can remember sudden panic. “We had a couple of people in line, and all of a the sudden we just heard everyone screaming in the mall,” he said. Witnesses said paramedics attempted to administer CPR before rushing Belvoir away on a stretcher, leaving a pool of his blood behind.
“This kind of senseless tragedy is upsetting to the whole community,” said Tampa wrongful death attorney Christopher Ligori. “When a man climbs onto an attraction like this with his daughter, he shouldn’t worry that this will be his last few moments alive. The family is well within their rights to file a lawsuit and push for answers.”
The Artegon Sky Trail issued a public statement on the day after the accident. “We express our deepest condolences to the family of Robert Belvoir. We are cooperating with all investigations of the incident that place yesterday evening.”
Friends and family are devastated at the loss of 9-year-old Logan Scherer, a Tampa child who was killed in a six-car interstate crash. Logan was riding in the left rear seat of the family car when it was rear-ended by Gregory Andriotis, age 33. According to police reports, Andriotis was driving a Hyndai Genesis when he failed to break and slammed into Logan’s father’s Mazda. This created a chain reaction, impacting six vehicles in a major pile-up.
Logan’s father, 37-year-old Jordan Scherer was driving at the time of the accident. His mother and sister were also in the car and all three sustained injuries. The surviving family is currently being treated for injuries at St. Joseph’s Hospital. No other drivers or passengers were injured in the pile-up. Florida Highway Patrol is still investigating the cause of the crash, but officials currently do not believe alcohol was a contributing factor.
This is not the first time Andriotis has been faced with consequences for poor driving. According to public records, he was charged with driving under the influence in 2009. He also has a prior conviction for reckless driving and two speeding tickets on record, including an incident in 2001 when police stated that he was driving 71-mph in a 45-mph zone.
The community is grieving the loss of young Logan, remembering his quick wit, his love for comic books and adventure stories, and his dreams of being a professor and learning to play piano. “He was a little prince, the sweetest thing in the world,” said family friend Santiago Echeverry. “The family is absolutely beautiful. They have all the love in the world, and it shows.”
Logan attended Symmes Elementary School where he was in fourth-grade. Grief counselors came to the school to provide care for teachers and students when they learned of the fatal accident. Students decorated cards with roses and hearts for Logan and sent them to his family in the hospital. The cards featured sweet sentiments like, “I will miss you. Your jokes that you made, they were funny. You always help me when I need it.” Another student remembered Logan as being everyone’s friend. “He was always kind to everyone and he never left anybody alone.”
Logan’s mother, Brooke Schere, is an associate professor at the University of Tampa. Dean of the College of Arts and Letters, Haig Mardirosian, said news of the accident was “a harsh blow to the University of Tampa family”. Brooke is well known for her close connection with her more than fifty students. “Brooke has brought to her teaching a sense of true authenticity and that’s a rare quality,” said Mardirosian. “I have tremendous respect for what she does for us.”
Brooke frequently brought Logan with her to class and he was well loved by students. He would sometimes read in the back of the room during classes, but oftentimes he would get caught up in the class and want to participate, showing off his passion as a budding professor.
“This is a horrible tragedy for the Tampa community,” said attorney Bill Winters from Winters and Yonker. “As a Tampa personal injury attorney, I hear about horrific car accidents on a daily basis, but this one has definitely hit close to home.”
This law is referred to all public health, health care in all its forms and specific medical care. The main priority of the state is to maintain public health. The state regulates and manages the laws regarding a health care. Many states od U.S assigned authority to state agencies like “board of health” and these boards are created by the law – giving acts.
This law sometimes can be confusing, and most people have difficulties to understand it. But here are the basics that will cover your lack of knowledge.
Based on services and on a cost that covers that services people choose a plan that they will pay to their health insurance company. And this amount is same every month. If your health plan doesn’t cover some services, you will have to pay them additionally.
The reform of health care system has brought us some changes:
All people are obligated by the law to have health insurance.
Health plans include health care for those who purchase on their own or they get is a benefit from the employer. Every employer who has up to 50 workers must provide ten health care benefits.
People who are single and those with working families may expect from the state to help them cover health care costs. This also includes people who aren’t in this program now.
Many states of U.S have Medical Assistance programs, who are also called Medicaid, and they offer their health plans to more and more people who doesn’t have insurance.
You can also purchase health insurance at the Health Insurance Market.
Prices for individual and group plan, who has 50 or less worker, will be determined by the fact who will be under the health plan, they will consider their age, place of life, are they smokers and the plan they select.
And since the beginning of January in 2014, the law demands that you have health insurance. This insurance must cover following categories: preventive services, pediatric, dental and vision services, emergency care, drugs prescription, ambulatory and laboratory services, hospitalization, mental treatment, maternity services and rehabilitation services.
Medicare and Medicaid
Every patient who fails to have medical insurance knows how much medical expenses can be expensive, and many citizens of America are unable to pay such costs. This is where Medicare and Medicaid begin to act. On one hand, Medicare is available to all elderly citizens across the states, while Medicaid is available to all low-income citizens in America and it doesn’t matter which age they are.
For example, citizens who have 65 years are candidates for Medicare program, and the are two parts, part A covers basic medical expenses, while part B in an additional program and it depends on the financial state of the patient.
Medicaid, on the other hand, covers basic medical expenses and services of the patients who have low income and are the below the certain financial criteria. Every patient has the right to the treatment, and if you suspect that someone has endangered that right, you should seek legal help.
This area of the law is connected to schools, teachers and especially is referred to rights of all Americans who wish to experience the public education, as well as, to those who choose to attend the private school and universities.
U.S. laws demand that every child has the opportunity to education. Each state has its regulations regarding the schooling system, but they are all monitored by the federal government and Department of Education.
Parents must send their children to accredited private, public or religious school. This all depends on their preferences, financial condition, and location. On the other hand, some parents may decide to school their children by themselves.
While the students are in schools, parents expect for their children to be in a safe place, since they spent a large amount of time in the school during the day. Education institutions take this type of action very seriously and apply codes of conduct, where students are prohibited to use drugs and alcohol and carry a weapon while they are in school. Different types of behavior, such as hate and sexual speeches, discrimination and violence are severely limited. With the use of modern technology, schools now have the ability to prevent such an action.
Even though the students have less right than adult individuals, they still have some right to privacy and speech and schools need to respect that. The student cannot be immediately expelled from the school before prior notice and hearing.
Based on the federal law, each student has the right to free public education. In this case, students who have some disabilities must be reasonably accommodated within the premises of the school. Students, teachers, parents, and doctors are the part of this program, and they must work together and to find the best way to educate children and students, especially students who have special needs.
This law also refers to the teachers and protects their rights as employees and individuals and allows them to have academic freedom. Teacher’s union is an important segment in this puzzle; it sets limits and standard on how long the teacher can work and what duties they must perform.
Another important issue that arises from time to time is how legal and valid are online degrees. Since most students choose them because of their flexibility and accessibility. But most of them offer suspicious degrees that are completely false or not valid, and usually these types of organizations don’t have high standards in education. In most cases, students are the victims because when they obtain such a degree, they usually fail to maintain the job due to a lack of proper education, and they can even be prosecuted for the fraud and misrepresentation.
There are ways how to recognize accredited online universities, websites are important, because if they contain a lot of information about their programs they are legit, also every educational institution needs to have accreditation designed number of hour intended for each educational program during the day and must publicly display fees for its services.