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At the law firm of Theodoros & Rooth, we pay close attention to trucking accidents caused by the irresponsibility of others – whether it be a careless driver or when the owner of the truck is guilty of not adhering to safety regulations.

But when an unsafe truck is also found to be carrying victims of human trafficking, we find that to be especially egregious.

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You may have heard this story. Continue reading →

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We have written in this space before about Johnson & Johnson products that have been alleged to cause cancer.  Most notably, this includes a most familiar brand for most everyone who has cared for an infant, Johnson’s Baby Powder.

TR-Johnsons-baby-powder-229x300The claim contends that Johnson & Johnson “trained its employees to reassure anyone concerned about whether the company’s talcum powder contained asbestos that the cancer-causing substance ‘has never been found and it never will’ in its iconic baby powder, according to an undated memo unsealed in a lawsuit against the drug maker.”

Plaintiffs claim that unsealed documents indicate that Johnson & Johnson has known for decades that the opposite is true and that its talc products did and/or does include asbestos fibers that can cause ovarian cancer.

This is yet another chapter to the more than 5,000 suits across the United States blaming that Johnson & Johnson baby powder products have contributed to ovarian cancer in women.

 

Continue reading →

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Having a baby is usually one of the greatest joys in life.  There are times, though, when childbirth can become a life-threatening experience.

In a recent broadcast by National Public Radio (NPR), many mothers who nearly died after giving birth stated that “their doctors and nurses were often slow to recognize the warning signs that their bodies weren’t healing properly.”

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The news was based on a study published in MCN: The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing.  In part, “researchers surveyed 372 postpartum nurses nationwide and found that many of them were ill-informed about the dangers mothers face after giving birth.  Needing more education themselves, they were unable to fulfill their critical role of educating moms about symptoms like painful swelling, headaches, heavy bleeding, and breathing problems that could indicate potentially life-threatening complications.”

 

The study further notes that this lack of knowledge could be a contributing factor to the maternal mortality rate in the U.S., the highest among affluent nations. Continue reading →

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According to the Associated Press, more than 1 in 4 cases of possible sexual and physical abuse against nursing home patients apparently went unreported to police, says a government audit that faults Medicare for failing to enforce a federal law requiring immediate notification.

The Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued an “early alert” on its findings from a large sampling of cases in 33 states. Investigators say Medicare needs to take corrective action right away.

“We hope that we can stop this from happening to anybody else,” said Curtis Roy, an audit manager with the inspector general’s office, which investigates fraud, waste and abuse in the health care system. The audit is part of a larger ongoing probe, and additional findings are expected, he said.

With some 1.4 million people living in U.S. nursing homes, quality is an ongoing concern. Despite greater awareness, egregious incidents still occur.

Auditors from the inspector general’s office identified 134 cases in which hospital emergency room records indicated possible sexual or physical abuse, or neglect, of nursing home residents. The incidents spanned a two-year period from 2015-2016.

Illinois had the largest number of incidents overall, with 17. It was followed by Michigan (13), Texas (9), and California (8).  Indiana was 11th in the 33 state sample with 4 incidents.  However, just one incident is too many.

The news was already bad for Indiana.

LL-WHEELCHAIR-BW-300x231As the Northwest Indiana Times reported earlier this year, “Indiana ranks worst in nation for long-term care” for seniors and people with disabilities.   Those findings were part of the Long-Term Services & Supports Scorecard, conducted in part by AARP earlier this year (2017).

 

 

 

 

The AP report continued.  In 38 of the total cases (28 percent), investigators could find no evidence in hospital records that the incident had been reported to local law enforcement, despite a federal law requiring prompt reporting by nursing homes, as well as similar state and local requirements.

Continue reading →

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Imagine driving down the highway and a car swerves right into your lane.  Perhaps this has happened to you.  Could very well be a distracted driver – on a cell phone texting, falling asleep at the wheel, or driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Certainly, these are all very dangerous situations.

Now imagine built in safety systems to prevent cars from drifting into another lane or warn drivers of vehicles in their blind spots.  As you may know, these safety systems exist and according to reports released this week, are beginning to live up to their potential to significantly reduce crashes.

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Concurrently, research by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety raises the concern that drivers may be less vigilant when relying on automated safety systems or become distracted by dashboard displays that monitor how the systems are performing.

Continue reading →

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The fall school year is underway, along with the start of the exciting action of high school football and other sports.   We at Theodoros & Rooth think it’s important for you to know the answer to the question:  Just how safe is your high school athlete?

The positive news is that every state has some type of health and safety policy requirement for their high schools to follow, according to the Health and Safety Policy Ranking for High School Athletics released last month (August 2017) by the Korey Stringer Institute and sponsored in part by the NFL.

The goal of this project was to determine how states are mandating safety standards for their athletes.  However, not a single state meets all the minimum best practice requirements for the areas focused on in this project, which happen to be the top causes of heat stroke and sudden death in sport, accounting for over 90% of sport-related deaths.

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Regionally Indiana ranked #28 out of the 50 states; Illinois #16.  For more information, click the link below.

Continue reading →

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We all know the dangers of drinking and driving and that there are strict laws that provide serious punishment for people that choose to drink and drive.  Sadly, many people still decide to drink and drive on a regular basis.  Far too often, innocent drivers and passengers of other vehicles are seriously injured or killed as a result of a drunk driver on the road.

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Obviously, the guilty individual here faces a myriad of charges, including possible felonies. Continue reading →

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For a parent, a teen-age son or daughter getting a driver’s license is a landmark time for them.  It’s a solid sign that they are growing up and this is a critical turning point in life.  In a way, it is the first time they are on their own and you are letting them become more free of parental supervision.  Needless to say, it is also a very worrisome time for any parent as we (often reluctantly) turn over the keys to the family car.

teen-drivers-300x199Smart parents will put strict restrictions on the usage of the car for a first-time driver.  Even the safest teen driver, though, can be the victim of another driver who isn’t so careful.  Sadly, there is even more evidence that parents’ worries are not exaggerations.  New AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety research about teens and distracted driving warn that new teen drivers  ages 16-17 years old are three times as likely as adults to be involved in a deadly crash.

 

Continue reading →

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We are at the peak of the summer vacation season.  Families everywhere are packing up the car before journeying across America to see the sites while creating lasting memories before the kids head back to school.

Whether you’re just headed to Grandma’s house in southern Indiana or taking a longer trek to Mount Rushmore, the Grand Canyon, or Niagara Falls, it’s critical you first make sure your car is up for it.  So, we ask, when’s the last time that vehicle of yours had a good check-up?

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In doing our research for this article, we naturally called upon AAA.  It’s no surprise that they had some helpful tips for staying safe on your summer motor adventures: Continue reading →

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Last summer, we wrote an article about the cap placed on the amount of damages that can be awarded to a victim of medical malpractice in Indiana.   We discussed that then Governor Pence signed a bill approving an increase to Indiana’s cap on medical malpractice damages.  The new law raised the cap to $1.65 million in 2017 and $1.8 million in 2019.  This change took effect on July 1 (2017).

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We said a year ago and we repeat:  Despite this increase, this new amount does not begin to fully compensate someone for the harm that was done to them.  Oftentimes, the cap does not even cover the costs of an injured person’s past medical bills, lost wages, and the costs of the medical care they will need in the future.  These injured Hoosiers often are forced into bankruptcy or require State aid to cover their medical costs.  Sen. Brent Steele (R-Bedford), who sponsored the legislation, said “Even with the increase, Indiana’s cap remains low compared with other states.”

In stark contrast, the Illinois Supreme Court declared the state’s previous cap on non-economic damages unconstitutional in 2010.”