Make your home safe for trick-or-treaters

As a homeowner, you are responsible for keeping your property safe on Halloween and throughout the year. If a person trips or slips and gets hurt walking through your yard, you can be held responsible for any medical expenses they incur as a result. This is known as premises liability.

Your friends at Elk & Elk offer these Halloween safety tips to make your home safer for trick-or-treaters and help protect yourself from potential premises liability claims.

Halloween SafetyLight it up

A dark, spooky house might look festive, but opt for porch lights instead. Lighting along your driveway, on stairs, or along meandering paths makes it easier for little ones to see where they’re going and prevents trips, falls, and injury. Inexpensive wireless solar lights are available; just make sure they are charged properly before the festivities begin.

Clear the way

Remove all clutter from the yard, driveway, and walkways. Pick up lawn equipment, garden hoses, flowerpots, children’s toys, or any other items that may pose a tripping hazard. You may also want to consider pulling up low trellis fences or other landscape edging.

Clean up your act

The crunching of little feet on newly fallen leaves may bring a smile to your face, but they can be slippery, especially when wet. Leaves may also hide uneven pavement or divots in your lawn. To prevent injury, carefully rake and sweep the day of Halloween.

Who let the dogs out?

Dogs and other pets can become agitated with a bevy of oddly clad trick-or-treaters at your door. To prevent bites or an escaping pet, it’s best to keep your furry friends contained in a bedroom or behind a gate.

Don’t get burned

Battery operated candles in a jack-o’-lantern are a great alternative to traditional flames. They’re inexpensive, reusable and some even operate with a realistic flicker. However, if you’re a stickler for tradition, make sure candle-lit pumpkins are securely resting on a sturdy table, safely away from decorations and passers-by.

Remember, as a homeowner, premises liability is a legal responsibility that should always be taken seriously. A few simple steps may make the difference between a happy Halloween and a nightmarish lawsuit.
Now, who has the peanut butter cups?

Student Hit While Exiting School Bus

Last week was National School Bus Safety week. The idea began in 1964 and has grown to a national event. Schools and other organizations across the country mark the occasion by distributing safety materials and urging motorists to drive carefully.

Unfortunately, not everyone headed the warnings. On Wednesday, a vehicle ignored school bus warning lights and struck a 15-year-old Perry School District student.

News reports indicate that the high school student had exited the bus and started walking across the street when a silver Chrysler LHS drove around the bus and collided with the boy. He was knocked into the windshield and thrown to the side of the road. Emergency crews initially transported the teen to Madison Medical Center, but his injuries required him to be flown to MetroHealth Medical Center.

As of the time of this writing, neither the name of the victim nor the identity of the driver have been released, pending charges.

School Bus Safety

Always stop for a school bus.

Ohio Revised Code 4511.75 requires all motorists to stop at least 10 feet from a school bus anytime it has stopped to load or unload. When stopped, school buses in Ohio display red flashing lights as well as a stop sign on the side of the bus. Motorists may not resume motion until the red lights stop flashing, the extended stop sign is withdrawn, and the bus begins moving. If driving on a 4-lane roadway, the driver need not stop for a school bus approaching from the opposite direction.

Elk & Elk asks that you remind your child to follow these rules while getting off and on the bus:

  • Always remain in direct eyesight of the bus driver
  • Get to the bus stop in plenty of time
  • Take 10 giant steps back from the curb while waiting for the bus and 10 steps when exiting the bus
  • Never try to get anything left on the bus after exiting
  • Never reach underneath the bus
  • Always follow the driver’s directions for how to cross the street
  • Be alert to traffic and look both ways
  • Always cross in front of the bus, but only when the bus driver signals it is safe to do so

Bus drivers in Ohio are required to file reports with law enforcement when motorists pass them illegally. In some communities, cameras are being used to facilitate this reporting.

 

Source:

Vehicle hits 15-year-old Perry student crossing at bus stop” The News-Herald, October 25, 2013

Tips to Avoid Traffic Accidents

by Arthur M. Elk

As a car accident lawyer, I have represented numerous plaintiffs in cases where someone made an error in judgment on the road. Many traffic accidents are the result of distractions, frustrations, impatience, or simply a lack of attention and awareness. Here are a few easy tips on how to avoid accidents in traffic.

Be Comfortable And Ready To Drive

Before you even turn the ignition, you should be seated comfortably in your car. Your seat should be properly adjusted to suit your height and ensure that you’re a comfortable distance from the pedals and the wheel. All of your mirrors should also be adjusted so that you have the best range of vision without needing to overly adjust.

Know Your Car

A car is just a tool we use to get around. So, one of the best ways to avoid an accident is to really understand your car’s limitations. Make a note of your blind spots and how you’ll adjust to them. Understand how your car responds to the gas pedal and how it feels when it’s shifting gears. As a car accident attorney, I recommend getting used to driving on open roads before driving in traffic.

Be Courteous and Practice Defensive Driving

The most effective way to avoid accidents is to be a courteous driver and practice some defensive driving techniques. The most crucial piece of advice that a car accident lawyer can give is to be aware of other people on the road. Leave a reasonable amount of room between you and other cars when stopped or when changing lanes. Follow all traffic signals and speed limits. Try not to get impatient or frustrated, especially when others around you might be making poor decisions.

Remember, everyone is on his or her way to some destination. If you can stay calm and aware, you can handle any level of traffic.

Your Halloween contact lenses may be scarier than you think

Halloween contact lenses can cause serious eye injuries

(Updated 10/15/2015) – Those eerie contact lenses you saw online might seem like the perfect addition to your Halloween costume, but decorative contact lenses may limit your vision and can cause permanent damage to your eyes.

Also known as cosmetic or theatrical lenses, decorative contact lenses are used to change the look of your eyes, not to correct vision. Available in a wide range of styles, they can simply change the color of your eyes or create fantastic effects, such as cat eyes.

Study: Decorative contact lenses contain dangerous chemicals

The American Academy of Ophthalmology issued a warning about over-the-counter decorative contact lenses after a recent study revealed that several varieties tested positive for chlorine and other harmful chemicals.

“One pair seeped chlorine after a routine rinse, prompting concern from researchers about toxicity to the eye,” the ophthalmology academy wrote in a release. “The study also noted that colorants printed or pressed onto some decorative lenses create an uneven texture. Those rough surfaces could scratch the eyes, potentially allowing in bacteria that can cause infection and even blindness.”

Novelty lenses can limit vision

Another study, published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, showed that some colored lenses make it difficult to see, especially in low light. Vision exams indicated people wearing contacts with a limited clear, open space around the pupil had difficulty focusing. Objects at a distance became blurrier and contrast was diminished, making it difficult to spot dark objects at night or pale items against a light background.

Halloween contact lens safety tips

You should never buy any contact lenses from a street vendor, a beauty supply store, flea market, novelty store, Halloween store or online if the site doesn’t require a prescription.

Wearing any contact lenses can cause serious damage to your eyes if the lenses are not used correctly. Decorative contacts can lead to eye pain, bacterial infections and corneal ulcers. One study found that the lenses increased by 16 times the risk of developing keratitis, a potentially blinding infection that causes ulcers in the eye.

Prevent Blindness Ohio offers the following safety tips regarding cosmetic contact lenses:
Always visit a licensed eye care professional to be fitted for cosmetic contact lenses.

  • Never buy contact lenses without a prescription.
  • Always clean and disinfect contact lenses according to instructions.
  • Always use water-soluble cosmetics or those labeled safe for use with contact lenses. Do not apply skin creams or moisturizers too close to the eyes.
  • Never wear opaque lenses if you have any problems with night vision.
  • Never share or trade your contact lenses with anyone.
  • Be watchful about your child’s or teen’s appearance. If they are wearing cosmetic contacts, question them about where they obtained them.

Feds seize illegal contact lenses

In 2013, the federal government warned consumers about the dangers associated with decorative contact lenses and began cracking down on illegal sales.

Contact lenses are actually medical devices and as such, are overseen by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).[1] In an ongoing effort – dubbed “Operation Double Vision” – the FDA and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials are working to seize counterfeit contact lenses and illegally imported decorative lenses.

That same year, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine teamed with Prevent Blindness Ohio and the Ohio Optical Dispensers board to warn consumers about the dangers of decorative contact lenses.

“As we prepare for Halloween, we want to remind Ohio families that over-the-counter sales of decorative contact lenses are illegal,” DeWine said. “Contact lenses are medical devices, and if they are not administered properly, they can cause serious eye infections that can lead to permanent damage, including blindness.”

Buying Decorative Contact Lenses

You can buy contact lenses, including decorative contact lenses, from an eye care doctor, on the Internet or from a mail-order company. It’s very important that you only buy contact lenses from a company that sells FDA-cleared or approved contact lenses and requires you to provide a prescription.

Anyone selling you contact lenses must get your prescription and verify it with your doctor. They should request not only the prescription, but also the name of your doctor and their phone number. If they don’t ask for this information, they are breaking federal law and could be selling you illegal contact lenses.

Protect your eyes by having an eye exam, getting a prescription and buying contact lenses from a legal source.

For more information or to report the illegal sales of cosmetic contact lenses, contact the Ohio Optical Dispensers Board at (614) 466-9709 or www.optical.ohio.gov.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2013 and has been updated with new content.

 

Sources

Ji, Yong Woo, et al. “Comparison of Surface Roughness and Bacterial Adhesion Between Cosmetic Contact Lenses and Conventional Contact Lenses.” Eye & contact lens 41.1 (2015): 25-33.

Jung, Ji Won, et al. “Effect of the pigment-free optical zone diameter of decorative tinted soft contact lenses on visual function.” British Journal of Ophthalmology (2015): bjophthalmol-2015.

 


 

[1] On November 9, 2005, section 520(n) was added to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the Act) by Public Law 109-96 to establish that all contact lenses are devices under section 201(h) of the Act. Because all contact lenses are now regulated as devices, including decorative, non-corrective contact lenses intended only to change the normal appearance of the eye, all contact lenses must be the subject of a cleared premarket notification (510(k)) or an approved premarket approval application (PMA) before they may be legally marketed. Additional device authorities, such as the requirement that lenses be dispensed only upon a prescription order, also apply.

 

Medical Mistake Leads to Infant Death

      

 

The birth of a baby should be a joyous occasion. However, sometimes things do not go as planned.

Each pregnancy has its own challenges, such as health risks and the possibility of complications. Ideally, doctors and nurses should provide competent care, addressing issues as they arise and bringing the baby safely into the world. Unfortunately, health care professionals can make mistakes, placing mothers and their vulnerable infants at risk.

Such was the case for one of our clients. In her ninth month, she was brought to the hospital after going into labor but was told by her doctor that she wasn’t ready yet. He assured her everything would be okay and sent her home with a fetal monitor in place. Yet, when the doctor went home, he inexplicably ordered the fetal monitor to be turned off and the baby died that very night. Had the fetal monitor been turned on, it would have alerted medical staff to the situation.

Birth injury cases

Through the use of expert testimony and diligent preparation, we were able to prove that the doctor failed to provide an acceptable standard of care, not only for the baby, but also for the mother. He put them both at risk and in the end, this family lost their child due to the doctor’s negligence and carelessness. While no amount of money can fully compensate a family for the loss of their child, we were able to help this young couple achieve financial security so they can focus on recovering. Aside from restitution, jury awards and settlements serve another purpose: they put doctors and hospitals on notice, allowing them to learn from their mistakes in order to spare other families the same heartache.

In addition to inadequate fetal monitoring, causes of birth injuries may also include inadequate prenatal or postnatal care, mistakes made during birth, or reactions to drugs taken during pregnancy. Injuries to the mother or baby may be caused by the medical mistakes of physicians, nurses, health care facilities, or other medical care service providers.

To learn more about personal injury law, I encourage you to watch the video above, read our blog, or explore our educational website at www.elkandelk.com. If you have legal questions, please call us at 1-800-ELK-OHIO. I welcome your call.

David J. Elk

Parents of School Shooters

It’s been less than a year since the tragic Newtown massacre. Yet, sadly, another school shooting is in the news. On Tuesday, a student at Sparks Middle School in Nevada, shot and killed a teacher and wounded two others before turning the gun on himself.

This time the “gunman” was reportedly only 12 years old – just a boy. As our nation struggles with more and more of these horrific events, society is left wondering why these shootings occur and who is to blame.

During a recent news conference, Sparks Deputy Police Chief Tom Miller told reporters it appears the shooter’s 9mm handgun came from his home and that it will be up to local prosecutor to determine whether the shooter’s parents my face criminal charges.

That’s because Nevada has Child Access Prevention (CAP) Laws for Guns. Adopted relatively recently, these laws impose criminal liability on adults who negligently leave firearms accessible to children or otherwise allow children access to firearms. Intended to prevent firearm injuries caused by children by limiting their access to guns, CAP Laws are currently on the books in 27 states and the District of Columbia. Neither Ohio nor the federal government has child access prevention laws at the time of this writing.

Aside from possible criminal charges, the young shooters parents may also face civil suits.

Liability of parents and guardians in a school shooting

Under common law in Ohio, parents or legal guardians are generally not responsible for damages caused by their children unless the damages can be directly attributable to some action or inaction of the parent. This can happen in different ways. According to the Ohio Supreme Court:

  • Parents may be liable if they negligently entrust their child with an instrument (such as a gun or car) which, because of the child’s immaturity or lack of experience, may become a source of danger to others
  • A parent may be held responsible for failure to exercise reasonable control over the child when the parent knows, or should know, that injury to another is a probable consequence
  • When parents know of the child’s wrongdoing and consent to it, direct it, or sanction it, they may be held liable

See Huston v. Konieczny, 52 Ohio St. 3d 214, 217 (1990).

To prevail in a negligent supervision complaint, plaintiffs must show that: (1) the parents knew of their child’s particular reckless or negligent tendencies (thus knew they needed to exercise control over him); (2) the parents had the ability to exercise control; and (3) the parents did not exercise that control. Hau v. Gill, 1999 Ohio App. LEXIS 3258 (Ohio Ct. App., Lorain County July 14, 1999) (Citations omitted.) “Plaintiffs must also show that the alleged parental negligence was the proximate and foreseeable cause of the injury suffered.” Cogswell v. Clark Retail Ent., 11th Dist. No. 2003-G-2519, 2004-Ohio-5640.

Ohio also has a parental liability law, which entitles the injured party to a statutory award of up to $10,000 from each natural parent and/or custodial guardian “if the child willfully and maliciously assaults the person by a means or force likely to produce great bodily harm.” (Ohio Revised Code § 3109.10).  The court may find parents not to be negligent, but still enforce the strict parental liability statute.

Storing firearms at home

The presence of unlocked guns in the home increases the risk of both unintentional gun injuries and intentional shootings. We urge all gun owners to store their guns safely and all parents to talk to their children about gun safety. Safe Kids Worldwide offers these safety tips:

Store Guns and Ammunition Safely

  • Store firearms in a locked location, unloaded, out of the reach and sight of children
  • Store ammunition in a separate locked location, out of the reach and sight of children
  • Keep the keys and combinations hidden
  • When a gun is not in its lock box, keep it in your line of sight
  • Make sure all firearms are equipped with effective, child-resistant gun locks
  • If a visitor has a firearm in a backpack, briefcase, handbag or an unlocked car, provide them with a locked place to hold it while they are in your home
  • Leaving firearms on a nightstand, table or other place where a child can gain access may lead to injuries and fatalities

Many groups recommend storing your guns in a safe with a UL RSC rating. Tested by Underwriters Laboratory (UL), an independent testing laboratory, a RSC (Residential Security Container) is able to withstand five minutes of rigorous prying, drilling, chiseling, and tampering attacks using common burglary tools.

Talk to Your Kids and Their Caregivers

  • Explain how a gun your kids might see on television or a video game is different from a gun in real life
  • Teach kids never to touch a gun and to immediately tell an adult if they see one
  • Talk to grandparents and the parents of friends your children visit about safe gun storage practices

Dispose of Guns You Don’t Need

If you decide that you no longer need to have a firearm in your home, dispose of it in a safe way. Consult with law enforcement in your community on how to do so.

 

Sources:

Nevada school shooting: Could parents face criminal charges?” by Amanda Paulson, Christian Science Monitor, October 22, 2013.

“Child Access Prevention Policy Summary” Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, Updated August 2013.

5 to Drive: National Teen Driver Safety Week

October 20-26, 2013 is National Teen Driver Safety Week. To mark the occasion, Elk & Elk is issuing a special challenge this week to the parents of all teen drivers with a special “5 to Drive” campaign encouraging parents to always set the rules before their teens hit the road.

Motor vehicle crashes are the number one killer of teens in America. More than 2000 teen drivers were involved in fatal crashes in 2011 – with almost half of those teen drivers being killed in those crashes.

Even more alarming, there was a 20-percent jump in teen driver fatalities in just the first six months of 2013.

Five ways to a safer teen.That’s why Elk & Elk is joining with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and other highway safety partners across the country to encourage parents to get the facts and to start the conversations—during National Teen Driver Safety Week and every week—to help keep their teens safe behind the wheel.

Parents have spent their entire lives trying to protect their kids, but then they hand their teens the keys to a 2-ton machine, and expect them to know what to do. We want to remind parents that they still have a lot to teach their teen drivers, and they should talk it out and always set the rules before their teens hit the road.

Each day during National Teen Driver Safety Week parents are encouraged to visit www.safercar.gov/parents for more information and key reminders about the “5 to Drive” – five specific rules designed to help save the lives of more teenage drivers and soon-to-be teen drivers.

The “5 to Drive” reminders that parents are encouraged to regularly share with their teens include:

  1. No Cell Phones While DrivingTeens texting or dialing while driving have proven to be recipes for disaster. In 2011, 270 people were killed in crashes involving distracted teen drivers. REMEMBER, One Text or Call Could Wreck It All.
  2. No Extra PassengersResearch shows that the risk of a fatal crash goes up in direct relation to the number of teens in the car. The likelihood of teen drivers engaging in risky behavior when traveling with multiple passengers increased to three times. REMEMBER: No extra passengers in the car.
  3. No SpeedingIn 2011, speeding was a factor for 35 percent of the fatal crashes of teen drivers. REMEMBER, Stop Speeding Before It Stops You.
  4. No Alcohol – Although all States have zero-tolerance laws for drinking and driving under 21, 505 people died in crashes in which 14- to 18-year-old drivers had alcohol in their systems. Nationally in 2011, 27 percent of teen drivers killed had some level of alcohol in their systems. Parents should show zero tolerance for any sign of impaired driving. Teens need to hear it again and again: REMEMBER, No Drinking and Driving.
  5. No Driving or Riding Without a Seat BeltTeenage belt use is not what it should be. In 2011, over half of the teen occupants who died in passenger vehicles were unrestrained. Teens, and all adults for that matter, need to buckle up every trip, every time, day and night, no matter the distance. REMEMBER, Buckle Up. Every Trip. Every Time – Front-Seat and Back.

While some might say such rules are fairly obvious, a recent survey shows that only about 25 percent of parents have serious talks with their kids about the key components of safe driving. The “5 to Drive” are designed to address the major contributing factors in fatal crashes involving teens.

We hope more parents will use National Teen Driver Safety Week as a way to get started in having direct and regular conversations with their teens about safe driving. Too many teen lives are being needlessly and tragically lost, and the numbers are only going up. So it is time for parents to swing into action and use the ‘5 to Drive’ before their teens hit the road.

For more information about national Teen Driver Safety Week and the new “5 to Drive” campaign, please visit www.safercar.gov/parents.

Toyota Recall Due to Spiders?

Toyota is recalling over 800,000 vehicles worldwide because of electrical issues that may cause problems with airbag deployment.

Spider WebIn a press release, Toyota announced a recall of the 2012 and 2013 model years of the Camry, Camry Hybrid, Avalon, Avalon Hybrid, and Venza due to a problem with the air conditioning condenser unit housing. Toyota spokesperson Cindy Knight told CNN that spider webs in the vents could create a blockage, causing excess condensation.

The company says that water from the air conditioning condenser unit housing could leak onto the airbag control module and cause a short circuit. This may cause the air bag light to come on, render air bags inoperable, or even cause the driver’s side air bag to deploy inadvertently. Since air bags deploy so rapidly and caustic chemicals are used to inflate them, injuries such as burns, abrasions, as well as damage to hearing and vision may occur. Deployment may also cause broken nose, fingers, hands, or arms. Head, neck, and internal injuries are also a frequent casualty of airbag deployment.

Toyota reported there could also be a loss of power steering in some cases. This dangerous condition makes the steering wheel difficult to turn and limits a driver’s ability to steer the vehicle. To fix the problem, Toyota says its dealers will apply sealant and install a cover to the air conditioning condenser unit-housing seam located above the airbag control module.

Owners of the involved vehicles will be notified by first class mail to return their vehicles to a Toyota dealer for the repair. For more information, visit www.toyota.com/recall or phone Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331.

 

Source:Toyota recall: Spiders are causing airbag problems” by Schuyler Velasco, Christian Science Monitor, October 18, 2013.

Fall-Down Injuries Can Be Deadly

Falls are the third-leading cause of unintentional death in the United States, following car accidents and accidental poisoning. Falls account for approximately 8.9 million visits to the emergency room each year and resulted in more than 26,000 fatalities in 2010. The risk of falling, and fall-related problems, increases with age and is a serious issue everywhere. We encourage you to take the time to remove slip, trip and fall hazards to keep your family safe.

Common locations for falls:

  • Doorways
  • Ramps
  • Cluttered hallways
  • Areas with heavy traffic
  • Uneven surfaces
  • Areas prone to wetness or spills
  • Unguarded heights
  • Unstable work surfaces
  • Ladders
  • Stairs

Fall prevention tips:

  • Secure electrical and phone cords out of traffic areas
  • Remove small throw rugs or use non-skid mats to keep them from slipping
  • Remove tripping hazards (paper, boxes, toys, clothes, shoes) from stairs and walkways
  • Periodically check the condition of walkways and steps, and repair damages immediately
  • Never stand on a chair, table or other surface on wheels
  • Clean up all spills immediately

Business owners have an enhanced duty of care to provide a save environment to their customers, or invitees. The owner of a business has a duty to protect its invitees, not only against dangers the owner knows about, but also against those that could discovered with reasonable care. Customers and other invitees enter the premises assuming the business owner has taken steps to ensure their safety. If a store owner’s actions (or inaction) breach this duty of care, they may be liable for any resulting injuries.

Ohio Bill Gives Doctors More Immunities

Tort reform is alive and well in Ohio. Amid the rancor surrounding the federal government shutdown, a reprehensible bill has been proposed in the Ohio House of Representatives. If passed, House Bill 276 would grant even more immunities to health care providers.

Among other provisions, the bill states that if a physician admits he or she made a medical mistake, which caused death or serious harm to a patient, then that statement would be ruled inadmissible — preventing it from being used against the doctor in a court of law. If you or I were involved in an auto accident and we admitted the crash was our fault, we would be held liable for our actions. This begs the question: Why should doctors be treated differently?

Tort Reform

Proponents of tort reform have argued that litigation is to blame for the rise in medical costs. They maintain that by limiting jury awards and settlements, thereby lowering medical malpractice payments for doctors, patients will see a decrease in medical bills. During the health care reform debate, then-House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) called medical malpractice the “biggest cost driver” in medicine. Republicans in Congress have made it a perennial priority to pass legislation that would restrict patients’ ability to seek redress in court.

However, a recent study by Public Citizen, an independent consumer advocacy group, shows that despite reduced litigation and smaller payouts to victims, the nation’s health care bill has continued to rise.

“Since 2003, medical malpractice payments have fallen 28.8 percent,” the report states. “If medical malpractice litigation were truly the ‘biggest cost driver’ in medicine, then declining payments should have pulled overall health care costs down. But the nation’s health care bill has risen 58.3 percent since 2003.”

New Legislation

Introduced by Rep. Peter Stautberg (R-Anderson Twp.), H.B. 276 would amend section 2317.43 and enact sections 2305.27 and 2323.40 of the Revised Code to provide special immunities to health care providers. The Ohio Association for Justice plans to fight the proposed legislation. They shared a summary of the bill in a recent email.

  • The bill says that admissions to the patient or patient’s family that the doctor committed an error or is at fault would be inadmissible in court. Ohio’s current apology statute makes expressions of sentiment inadmissible, but statements of fact that an error occurred during a procedure are admissible.
  • The bill bans medical negligence claims when the chance of a patient’s survival is less than 50%. In loss of chance cases today, the injured patient’s recovery is reduced proportionally based on loss of chance, but this would bar all recovery.
  • The bill grants immunity to hospitals and other health care facilities when the treating physician is an independent contractor. The hospital would have a duty to notify the patient that the facility is not liable for the actions of doctors who are independent contractors.

Prior tort reform legislation in Ohio placed caps on the amount an injured party could receive, thereby reducing the volume of litigation. However, as we previously shared, medical malpractice litigation can actually improve patient health by drawing attention to problem areas.

Joining Rep. Stuatberg as co-sponsors of the bill are Representatives John Becker (R-Union Township), Terry Blair (R-Washington Twp.), Louis W. Blessing, III (R-Colerain Twp.), Bob D. Hackett (R-London), Jay Hottinger (R-Newark), Terry Johnson (R-McDermott), Gary Scherer (R-Circleville), Barbara R. Sears (R-Monclova Twp.), and Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell).

 

Sources: 

House Bill 276, 130th Ohio Gen. Assembly, proposed September 30, 2013.

No Correlation: Continued Decrease in Medical Malpractice Payments Debunks Theory That Litigation Is to Blame for Soaring Medical Costs” Public Citizen, August 2013.