Articles Posted in South Carolina

nursing bedMany people try like crazy to avoid putting their loved ones in nursing homes.  Usually, it is guilt or simply the pain of not having someone they love around.

It is also a fear that the nursing home might kill them.  It is a real fear in almost every state in this county.  Which, is exactly what happened in this case.

The case involves a former University of South Carolina football coach and athletic director.   It is easy to figure out who he is, but I just don’t like naming names on this blog. His family sent him to a nursing home in Columbia called Rice Estate for what was intended to be a short stay.   His wife wanted a break from the rigors of watching him because he had Alzheimer’s disease.   Ten days later, he was dead.  

His family wants to sue, putting several defendants on notice pursuant to South Carolina law of the intent to file a claim.  The allegation is that he was essentially euthanized without anyone’s consent.  That is what you call serious allegations of wrongful death.  

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Median jury awards in motor vehicle tort trials dropped to $17,000 in 2005 from $41,000 in 1992. I don’t know about you but this underscores to me that auto accident verdicts are not driving car insurance rates.

The picture is different in medical malpractice and product liability lawsuits. Product liability trials had median awards at least five times higher in 2005 than in 1992. Medical malpractice trials median awards more than doubled to $682,000 in 2005 from $280,000 in 1992.

I realize this data is a bit dated – 2005 – but that is how we typically get personal injury statistics… a little dated.

Interesting car accident case reported in South Carolina Lawyers Weekly. Plaintiff was a passenger in a car driven by his grandmother, and a hit-and-run driver T-boned them at an intersection. It was a small accident case: medical bills totaling $3,230 and lost wages totaling $4,352.

State Farm, standing by its insured as always because, you know, you are in good hands, offered $6,500.   Typical.  At trial, State Farm’s lawyer argued during opening statements that the jury could determine whether what the Plaintiff had already been paid was sufficient. Plaintiff’s accident lawyer objected and the trial judge sustained the objection and later instructed the jury to disregard the setoff argument in its deliberations because any setoff would be handled by the judge.

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The Baltimore Injury Lawyer Blog has a post on a Maryland Daily Record article looking at how President-Elect Barack Obama might change the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals which includes Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

I’ve spend far more time thinking about how President Obama will change the country than his impact on lawyers or even my own clients. But President Obama is going to nominate judges that I am going to stand before and argue. While I do think President Bush has nominated a lot of good judges, this fact makes me a little happier to be a lawyer today. I’m not saying every plaintiffs’ lawyer is going to have a better shot at success in front of judges nominated by Obama. I just think they are likely to be fair and reasonable judges.

Piedmont Medical Center, the hosptial of choice for many South Carolina residents living in York County, Chester County and Lancaster County settled a wrongful death medical malpractice lawsuit that was set to go to trial next month. According to Rock Hill Herald, a woman had ear surgery and went to the emergency room at Piedmont Medical Center two days laster complaining of numbness in her left leg. The lawsuit contends that a doctor failed to order a blood test that would have properly diagnosed her condition (I’m not sure exactly what the condition was). Unfortunately, the woman slipped into a coma and died. Her family broght a wrongful death medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctor, the emergency room group at the hosptial, and Piedmont. The bulk settlement, which was in excess of $1.2 million, was paid by the hosptial.