Archive for May, 2015

Connecticut Statute of Limitations for Injury Claims

May 14th, 2015 at 4:08 pm

Connecticut statute of limitations, train crash, Westport Catastrophic Injury LawyerOn May 17, 2013, at 6:10 p.m., a commuter train that had departed from Grand Central Station, and was heading for New Haven, derailed in the Bridgeport area. As the train derailed off the tracks, it smashed into another commuter train that was heading in the opposite direction. There were approximately 250 passengers in each of the trains. Over 70 people were injured, several of them critically injured.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) later determined that the cause of the accident was an “undetected broken pair of compromise joint bars” on the track due to the following:

  • There was a lack of regular maintenance program to the tracks. This lack of maintenance program meant no priority of inspections to equipment in order to ensure needed repairs performed right away;
  • There were no federal regulations in place which required heavily traveled commuter rail companies to perform mandatory inspections; and
  • The railroad company made the decision to postpone any regular track maintenance and repairs.

For each victim who was injured in the train crash, the statute of limitations is quickly approaching to file claims against those parties who were determined responsible for the crash. A statue of limitation is the amount of time the law allows victims to pursue legal options against those responsible for those injuries.

In Connecticut, state law says that a victim can only bring forth a claim within two years of the date of the incident which caused the injury. This applies to cases where an incident was caused by “negligence or wanton misconduct.” The statute also applies to injuries which arise through medical malpractice cases.

Another Connecticut law addresses the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims. Just like personal injury lawsuits, claims need to be filed within two years of the victim’s death.

Consult with a Connecticut Personal Injury Attorney Today

The law does make some exceptions to these two year statutes, and a skilled attorney will be well-versed on those exceptions. If you or a loved one has been injured in catastrophic accident, contact an experienced Westport personal injury attorney to discuss your legal options.

Study Shows Premature Infants Exposed to High Toxic Chemical Levels

May 7th, 2015 at 7:00 am

premature infant, high toxic chemical, Westport Personal Injury AttorneyA recent medical study has revealed disturbing results—premature babies are being exposed to a potentially toxic chemical in neonatal units across the county. The chemical—Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP)—is used in plastics, and is contained in high levels in medical devices such as intravenous tubes, blood bags, feeding and respiratory tubes and fluid bags. The chemical helps to make these devices softer and more flexible. However, the chemical seeps into body tissues and fluids upon contact. Ironically, DEHP is used in children’s toys; however, toy manufacturers must follow stringent government regulations, something that is evidently lacking in the use of the chemicals in medical devices.

According to warnings issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), exposure to DEHP can lead to a disruption in the development of the brains, lungs, and eyes of newborns. The chemical can also cause injury to the liver, increased inflammation, and affect normal hormone functions. Particularly at risk are newborn boys because DEHP has been found to have a negative effect on the development of testicles and sperm production.

The study was performed by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The research team found that premature babies are being exposed to 4,000 to 160,000 times higher levels of the chemicals than is safely recommended to avoid toxic side-effects which have been associated with the chemical.

A four pound premature infant, who is completely surrounded and exposed to plastic medical devices, may be exposed to more than 4,000 times DEHP toxic levels which are known to cause damage to male productive organs, and as high as 160,000 times DEHP toxic levels which are known to cause liver damage.

Many premature babies have lungs which are not developed enough to breathe on their own and it is necessary to have them hooked to a ventilator. However, the breathing tubes used to connect them to the ventilator contain high levels of DEHP. Researchers say this is one reason why premature babies who are not hooked to ventilators have much better lung development than babies who are.

Both France and the European Commission have announced that DEHS will be banned from medical devices by the end of this year.

If your child has been injured or developed an illness caused by a medical device, please contact a knowledgeable and compassionate Westport personal injury attorney to discuss your legal options. Call Richard H. Raphael, Attorney at Law, at 203-226-6168 today to schedule your free consultation.

Notable Difference in Rates of Birth Complications among Hospitals

May 5th, 2015 at 7:00 am

rates of birth complications, Westport Medical Malpractice LawyerFor most couples, there is nothing more exciting and wonderful than the birth of a child. After nine months of waiting, planning and anticipating, labor begins and a baby arrives.

The majority of the approximately 4 million births that occur in this county each year go fairly smoothly, with little or no complications. However, according to the results of a recent study, 13 percent of those births involve a major or serious complication. The study also found that rates of birth complications vary significantly in hospitals throughout the country.

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Rochester, in Rochester NY, and published in the journal Health Affairs. The team analyzed 750,000 deliveries which were included in the Healthcare Cost and Utilization’s Nationwide Inpatient Sample from 2010.

When comparing rates of serious delivery complications between better- and lowest-performing hospitals, the study found the highest rate of complications occurred at the lower-performing facilities. This was quite evident, for example, in complications which occurred in cesarean section births. Some of these complications included clots, infections and lacerations, and were seen in 21 percent of the cesarean births performed at lower-performing hospitals. However, at better performing facilities, these complications only occurred at a rate of 4.4 percent.

This significant difference was also found in complications occurring in vaginal deliveries. Women who delivered at lower-performing hospitals had double the risk of suffering complications than women who delivered at better-performing hospitals. The rate difference was 22.6 percent, compared to 10 percent.

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) are working on developing a platform which would measure and report benchmarking information on maternal outcomes. However, for patients who have suffered major complications in childbirth, that platform will be too late.

If you or your child has suffered from illness or injuries caused by childbirth complications, please contact an experienced Westport medical malpractice attorney to find out what legal recourse you may have against the physician and medical facility where the birth took place.

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