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A South Dakota judge ruled this week that health care providers are subject to negligent credentialing lawsuits when they fail to properly malletjusticecredential doctors.

Judge Bruce Anderson made another important ruling: that even people on the credentialing committee may be subject to suit.   This has not real practical implications because a hospitals is going to stand behind the committee.  But it is never fun to be sued personally even if you have no real exposure.

The judge also found that hospitals cannot claim peer review privileges, as an absolute defense against discovery requests.  This is very pro patient safety and could be a ruling that could start to erode the absolute defense from discovery; that has long been the case in Maryland and in most states. The judge’s logic: hospitals may have an obligation, in some cases, to the public that outweighs peer review confidentiality.  Makes a lot of sense to me.

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Legal writingThis is a sample demand letter in a relatively small case with approximately $8,000 in medical bills.  But this case settled for a lot more than any kind of simple multiplier of medical bills.   This times special damages math is dangerous when it causes plaintiffs’ personal injury lawyers (and victims) to substantially undervalue a claim.

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Bad news for Plaintiffs’ in the first liver damage lawsuit involving Tylenol.  A ten juror panel in New Jersey found for Johnson & Johnson (J&J) on all counts on Friday.  This is the first Tylenol liver damage lawsuit to go to trial.  It will not be the last.

RisperdalclaimsThe lawsuit alleged that a 55 year old woman suffered liver damage as the result of the use of Extra Strength Tylenol.  But the jury seemed to find that the injuries occurred before she took Tylenol.

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Big update in the pelvic mesh lawsuits and it is not a good one.  A Texas jury yesterday found for Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) Ethicon division in a Gravel and Moneypelvic mesh claim.  Twelve Dallas jurors found that the Prosima pelvic mesh, given to women who suffer from pelvic organ prolapse, was not defective in its design, and that J&J did not fail to properly inform doctors of the risks and problems associated with this product.   It was no slam dunk.  Unlike a lot of states, Texas does not require an unanimous verdict in civil cases.  So a 10-2 vote was good enough for J&J to eke out a win.

It is just one case, but I’m not going to lie, this was one the Plaintiffs’ wanted to win.  I’ll be honest about something else.  I’m surprised J&J let this case go to trial.  They have been picking off cases to avoid a bellwether effect on settlement value that is going to wildly increase the expectations of Plaintiffs and make these cases that much harder to settle.  On this one, they gambled and won.

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A recent study of jury verdicts found that the average personal injury jury verdict in Pennsylvania is $903,705.00.Pennsylvania Sign

Now let’s turn the kaleidoscope and look at the median.  If you remember from the 9th grade, the median is found by ranking the data from biggest to smallest, and then identifying the middle of the data so that there is an equal number that are larger and smaller on each side.  If you had 1001 data points, the 500th biggest number would be in the middle.

For many groups of data, the gap between the average and the median is the same or very close to it.  With personal injury verdicts, they are usually light years apart.  This is reflected in this new study that just came out in Pennsylvania.  The median compensatory award in Pennsylvania in the study was was $45,000.00

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Jury Verdict Research conducted a study and found that the median award in a personal injury case is approximately $100,000.  This is twice the national average.  The bad news for New Jersey PlaintiffsNew Jersey sign is that they only win in 36 percent of personal injury cases that go to trial.

New Jersey has a good sample size to work with to compute this data.  Over 130,000 civil lawsuits are filed every year.  I don’t have data on how many of them are personal injury cases.  But I can estimate: a lot.

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The United States uses a federalist system of government. This allows each of the fifty states to be fairly autonomous and limits the amount of power that the federal government possesses. One of courthousethe consequences of having this type of system is that there are state entities and federal entities. Courts are a prime example. There are both federal and  state courts, so it is important to have a grasp of their respective purposes and powers.

Purpose of State Courts

Courts have to have jurisdiction in order to make rulings and decisions. The reason we have so many different state courts is because each court has a fairly limited jurisdiction. A county court in Maryland cannot have jurisdiction over something that took place in California. That is why courts are closely tied to geographical territory and why most of their power extends to people or occurrences that take place within that territory.

This being the case, state courts have the power to enforce the laws of the state where they sit. Given how my firm is centrally located in Maryland, let us use that as an example. The trial courts of Maryland have the ability to adjudicate cases involving the laws of Maryland. For example, these courts have the ability to adjudicate cases involving violations of Maryland’s criminal law. Speeding tickets, assaults, robberies, and thefts are all examples of things that Maryland lawmakers have made illegal. Thus, it is up to the state courts to apply that law considering it is within their power.

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Here are 5 interesting jury verdicts in 2015 that you might finding interesting:

$13,000 Settlement – A 31 year-old man is driving his car on the highway at a rate of around 60 mph. He approaches an intersection where a woman driving a pickup truck is attempting to vaflagmake a turn in the middle of the intersection. She starts to travel out into the intersection but stops upon seeing another driver’s car trying to make a left turn in front of her. Contact was unavoidable at that point, and the woman clips the man’s tires. He immediately complains of neck pain and is transported to the hospital via EMS, where doctors diagnose him with soft tissue injuries. He sues both of the involved drivers, claiming that they were negligent in the operation of their vehicles. The defendants contend that plaintiffs injuries were actually from a motorcycle accident that he sustained years ago. Prior to trial, the parties settle for $13,000.

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A category of medications known as SGLT2 Inhibitors has recently garnered some negative attention, including some heat from the FDA. These Type 2 diabetes drugs are successful and fairly well known; however the FDA and users are starting to become wary of potential side effects.bloodstream

SGLT2 Inhibitor Side Effects

Users of SGLT2 inhibitors such as Invokana/Farxiga have started reporting that the drug produces an adverse side-effect called ketoacidosis. This condition occurs when acid builds up in the blood, leading to a myriad of issues and complications. Ketoacidosis is typically experienced by those with Type 1 diabetes because their bodies do not produce insulin. Their bodies cannot rely on glucose (sugar) to operate, so they feed on fat cells. If you ever hear people raving about a low carb or Atkins diet, this is the same reason why. The decreased carb intake, forces the body into a similar but different state called ketosis, which transfers the body’s fuel over from carbs and glucose to fat. This is why people can shed weight so quickly on those diets.

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Every aspect of litigation is based on time. Litigants only have a certain number of days to respond to motions, answer discovery, or serve a summons. Perhaps the biggest time related concern in hourglasslitigation is the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is the due date for a lawsuit. If a claim is brought outside the statute of limitations, it is generally almost always barred and must be dismissed.  Americans are now appreciating more how harsh limitations can be; seeing Bill Cosby not being asked to account of the allegations against him.

How Statutes of Limitation Work

A statute of limitations should be thought of a more of a time frame and less of a deadline. The right to bring legal action accrues whenever the subject matter of the claim occurred. For example, in a car accident case, the right to bring a claim begins right when the accident occurred. In a medical malpractice case, the period begins when the malpractice occurs or when the victim discovers it. Once that period has officially started, the clock on the potential claim has began ticking. The relevant statute of limitations will then lay out a period during which that claim must be brought. For example, in Maryland, the statute of limitations on most personal injury actions is three years. This means that a lawsuit for a car accident must be brought within the three year period that begins when the accident occurs. If the case is not brought within that time, it can never be brought.

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