4-Year-Old Boy Dies in Failure to Diagnose Case

Personal Injury Attorney Arthur Elk recounts the tragic story of a young boy who died due to a doctor’s failure to properly diagnose a serious medical condition.

As a parent, one of the worst things that can happen is for one of your children to suffer through a serious injury or harm. It’s devastating and heartbreaking.

Dealing with a sick child can be exhausting, especially when doctors and nurses are trying to sort out what’s wrong. But what happens when the doctor fails to diagnose your child correctly and sends them home?

Such was the case for one of our clients who brought in his very sick child. The boy was lethargic and covered in a rash. The doctor assumed it was the flu and sent the child home. Unfortunately, what he missed was a very serious case of bacterial meningitis that continued to plague the boy once he went home.

Later, the father returned to the emergency room in a frantic state with his young son who had fallen unconscious. He pleaded with the staff to provide his son with medical care. Doctors eventually determined the boy had bacterial meningitis, but by that time it was too late and the child passed away. While bacterial meningitis is a very serious condition that can sometimes result in death, it is treatable if detected. The signs and symptoms were there for the doctor to see and he failed to do so. As a result, this young boy died.

Failure to diagnose cases are not as rare as one may think. We often come across cases in which a doctor or health professional failed to diagnose a condition correctly or at all whether it was a severe infection like bacterial meningitis or a case of cancer. The harm caused by many diseases can be mitigated and sometimes prevented if detected early. A patient’s outlook and prognosis are much worse when a mistake is made by their treating health professional. Unfortunately, in some cases, a doctor’s failure to diagnose can result in a needless death. As experienced attorneys, we can review all of the medical records to reveal the truth about how you or a loved one was injured due to a failure to diagnose case.

To learn more about personal injury law, I encourage you to watch the video above and to 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.

Arthur M. Elk

Keys to Seeking Compensation for a Wrongful Death

Dealing with the death of a family member is tragic. Knowing that the death could have been avoided makes the process of grieving and recovery even more difficult. Wrongful death claims cannot compensate for the pain of losing a loved one, but they can provide much needed financial assistance to the family and provide closure. The premise behind a wrongful death claim is that the individual’s death has caused the family undue emotional and financial burdens for which they are entitled to compensation. A qualified accident lawyer can assist the family in navigating the wrongful death claim and receiving maximum compensation for their loss.

A wrongful death is when an individual dies because of neglect, recklessness or a deliberate act on the part of another individual or entity. A wrongful death claim is a civil suit, however, in some cases an individual accused of a criminal act, such as homicide or manslaughter, can also face a wrongful death case. An accident lawyer, particularly one with expertise on wrongful death suits, can litigate both civil and criminal cases.

After the family proves that the death was wrongful, they must establish that they suffered quantifiable damages as a result of the death. They can then sue for medical bills, burial expenses, lost wages, and compensatory damages for pain and suffering endured by the family due to the loss. The framework for these suits vary from state to state. In some states, families can pursue punitive damages to punish the individual responsible for the death and discourage similar behavior. Families should hire an accident lawyer well versed in the laws of the state where they are looking to pursue compensation.

Related:

Elk & Elk Announces $39 Million Verdict in Wrongful Death Case

Elk & Elk Co., Ltd. attorney Phillip A. Kuri recently obtained a jury verdict in Cuyahoga County on behalf of the widow of a construction worker killed in a 2010 accident. The judgment includes $19 million in compensatory damages and $20 million in punitive damages against the paving company that caused the accident on Interstate 271 in Summit County.

Basic Facts Everyone Should Know About Elder Abuse

nursing_homeAs people age, they may become less able to physically defend themselves or stand up to an abusive caregiver. There are more than half a million reports of this each year, and professionals estimate that at least a few more million cases occur annually but are simply not reported. Abuse may come in many forms, including emotional, abusive, and financial, among others. Learn what signs to look for in elderly family members, friends, neighbors, and acquaintances. An elder abuse attorney specializes in helping victims who are in situations of mistreatment. If a loved one dies at the hands of an abusive caregiver, the family should seek the guidance of a wrongful death attorney to discuss this difficult situation and learn about the legal rights they may have.

Physical abuse includes all types of assault, such as pushing or shoving but also the inappropriate use of confinement, drugs, or restraints. Emotional abuse occurs when a caregiver causes undue emotional pain or distress to the elderly person through yelling, insulting, or blaming him or her. Isolating the person from friends and family is also considered emotional abuse. These are all signs that may indicate abuse of some type:

  • Unexplained signs of injury, such as bruises or cuts
  • Broken eyeglasses
  • Broken bones, sprains, or dislocations
  • Torn or dirty undergarments
  • Caregiver denies contact or visitation with others, especially without him or her being present
  • Caregiver threatens or belittles the elderly person
  • Elderly person rocks or mumbles to himself, much like someone with dementia

If someone you love has been injured due to nursing home neglect or elder abuse, contact an experienced personal injury attorney.

The Dangers of Untrained Semi-Truck Drivers

by Arthur Elk

truck5How are you behind the wheel of a moving truck? If you’re like most people, you probably have to take extra precautions because you’re a little unsteady at the wheel. Now imagine that you’re driving an 18-wheeler and are trying to navigate 80,000 pounds of metal and cargo. That’s about 16 times the size of an average car.

As a car accident attorney, I know that there’s a reason that truck drivers need special training to be licensed to drive an 18-wheeler. The bulk of these tractor-trailers makes them more difficult to maneuver and to drive safely. When drivers don’t get the right training, they present a serious danger on the road. About 170,000 people are injured each year in accidents involving tractor-trailers, and about 5,000 18-wheelers are involved in fatal accidents. In fact, one out of eight deaths in traffic accidents involve a tractor-trailer or other large, commercial truck.

If you are in an accident with a tractor-trailer, the truck driver is likely backed by a big corporation and its insurance company, both of which are going to do everything in their power to deny you compensation for your injuries and damages to your vehicle. I’ve seen it happen time and time again in my practice. Working with a qualified car accident attorney means that you have a tough, legal advocate working to protect your rights. I have made it my career to fight for the rights of people like you who have been injured in accidents involving tractor-trailers — many times because the driver lacked the proper training. Don’t let someone else’s carelessness ruin your life. Work with an accident lawyer who can fight on your behalf.

Grill Safely this Summer

july_article2Whether you like burgers and dogs, barbecue chicken or even grilled veggies, please remember to grill safely!

Safety Tips

  • Always read the owner’s manual before using the grill. Don’t assume a new grill works the way your old one did!
  • Propane and charcoal grills should only be used outdoors
  • Place the grill well away from your home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches
  • Never attempt to move a hot grill
  • Have a fire extinguisher handy and know how to use it
  • Keep children and pets away from the grill area
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill
  • Never leave your grill unattended once it is lit

Propane Grills

While all grills can be dangerous, propane grills account for the majority of home fires. Be sure to check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. A propane leak will release bubbles.

If you notice your grill has a gas leak, by smell or the soapy bubble test, and there is no flame, turn off the gas tank and grill. If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again. If the leak does not stop, call the fire department.

If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill.

Charcoal Grills

  • There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel.
  • If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.
  • Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
  • If you use an electric charcoal starter, be sure to use an extension cord designed for outdoor use.
  • When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.

Grilling can be fun, but use common sense and always remember to follow local ordinances and rules set forth by your home owner’s association or property manager. For example, most local fire codes prohibit grilling on a balcony. A Pennsylvania man found out firsthand what happens when you don’t follow the rules. An insurance company filed a lawsuit seeking more than $1.2 million in damages after he started a massive fire while grilling at his apartment complex.

Hidden Ingredients in Food and Weight Loss Supplements

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is advising consumers not to purchase or use several weight loss products sold on various websites and in some retail stores. These fraudulent products can cause serious injury or even death.

“These products are masquerading as dietary supplements—they may look like dietary supplements but they are not legal dietary supplements,” says Michael Levy, director of FDA’s Division of New Drugs and Labeling Compliance. “Some of these products contain hidden prescription ingredients at levels much higher than those found in an approved drug product and are dangerous.”

Sibutramine

According to the FDA, some foods and dietary supplements marketed for weight loss contain sibutramine, a controlled substance that was removed from the market in October 2010 for safety reasons. The products pose a threat to consumers because sibutramine is known to substantially increase blood pressure, pulse rate and may present a serious risk for consumers with a history of coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, arrhythmias, or stroke. These products may also cause deadly interactions with medications you may be taking.

Dangerous products

Sliming Diet By Pretty White
Sliming Diet By Pretty White

Sliming (sic) Diet By Pretty White is marketed as a weight loss supplement. The manufacturer claims the capsules can “decompose extra fat and reduce weight” and that “it also nourishes the skin, beautify and whiten skin and make the skin more elastic.”

Lipo 8 Burn SlimLipo 8 Burn Slim is touted as a “slimming pill from Switzerland.” Its manufacturer claims the pills can help consumers lose up to 8 kg (17 lbs.) a month and that it “acts as an active cholesterol & fat burning agent.”

24 Ince, an instant coffee, claims to aid in weight loss by “reducing glucose, fats and cholesterol level” in the bloodstream.24 ince

 

Trim-Fast Slimming Softgel is marketed as a miracle pill, which promises to suppress one’s appetite, reduce fat accumulation, “release fat reserves” and even prevent wrinkles by “accelerating the metabolism of the skin, delaying the aging thereof.”

 

mix fruit slimming
Mix Fruit Slimming

Mix Fruit Slimming promises to be a “100% Natural Herbal New Slimming Pill Without Any Side Effects. Rapidly, fat eliminating, abdomen smoothing, and thigh slimming.”

 

 

Lingzhi Cleansed Slim Tea is widely available on the internet. Advertisements indicate the tea will help with weight loss by speeding up metabolism, “repress sugar absorption,” “treat constipation,” remove toxins, and even treat bad breath.

Sadly, these are just a handful of products among hundreds of supplements and conventional foods found to contain undeclared ingredients. The FDA has begun compiling a list of tainted supplements, but it is far from complete.

Key Facts About Back Injuries in the Workplace

Human backBack injuries are common in many types of work environments and can happen to anyone, at any time. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that more than one million workers suffer from back injuries each and every year. Preventing back injuries is considered to be one of the greatest workplace challenges employers and employees face. An employment attorney is trained to help workers who have hurt themselves on the job, including back injuries. Here are some facts about this common work-related health problem:

  • Back injuries account for approximately one out of every five workplace illness or injury claims.
  • Back injuries are especially common in those who handle materials as part of their occupation. Lifting, carrying, and lowering these materials are all to blame. Those in the healthcare field are also prone to back problems, as a result of consistently being on their feet throughout the day.
  • An estimated 4 out of 5 reported injuries are to the lower back.
  • Three out of four reported injuries are directly related to lifting.
  • Ergonomic chairs and tools are designed to help workers maintain a good posture and prevent workplace injuries. Some experts claim that one-third of compensable back injuries could be prevented through the regular use of these items.
  • Workers who experience a back injury and are unable to return to the workplace, either for a short- or long-term period, may be eligible for disability compensation. By hiring an employment attorney, he or she can be sure to receive all compensation that is due.

If you experience an injury at work, it is important to report it right away — even if you don’t think the injury was serious. Failure to report a work related injury now can result in serious future consequences. To learn more about workplace injuries, contact an experienced employment attorney.

Use Caution When Buying Fireworks

fireworks1If you’re thinking about buying fireworks to add some excitement to your 4th of July celebration in Ohio, think again. First and foremost, aside from sparklers and other small novelty items, fireworks are illegal for personal use in Ohio. While you can buy other types of fireworks in Ohio, all fireworks must be transported outside the state within 48 hours of purchase. Despite these laws, many Ohioans choose to set off a wide variety of fireworks, with some “backyard” displays rivalling city events.

Liability

So, what happens if your illegal fireworks display injures someone? If you break a law and your actions result in the injury of another, you may be found liable for damages under a legal doctrine known as “negligence per se.” This means if a jury finds that you violated a law and the violation was a substantial factor in causing the injury to the plaintiff, the judge will instruct the jury that they must presume you were negligent – giving a huge advantage to the injured plaintiff.

Check out our YouTube video for more information about negligence per se.

How frequently do accidents happen? The Consumer Products Safety Commission estimates that there were eight deaths and 11,400 people went to emergency rooms for treatment of fireworks-related injuries in 2013 alone. Most of the accidents occurred within 30 days of Independence Day.

Beware of Illegal Explosives

All consumer fireworks are regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and may carry a charge of no more than 50 milligrams of powder. Homemade fireworks and other illegal explosives carry special risks due to their unknown composition and unpredictability. These devices do not meet safety standards, may carry more than 20 times the permissible powder load, and often have a coating of dangerous explosive dust. Friction, heat, or even being bumped can cause these devices to detonate.

Homemade explosives can pose a particular risk for injury because the people making them often lack knowledge and experience in manufacturing fireworks. Most law enforcement agencies consider devices such as M-80s, M-100s, quarter sticks, cherry bombs, silver salutes, etc., to be illegal because they exceed CPSC limits for consumer fireworks, in addition to being banned by many States.

Remember, all fireworks must carry a warning label describing necessary safety precautions and instructions for safe use. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) warns consumers not to use illegal fireworks. Some indicators that a device may be an illegal explosive are:

  • It is sold on the street or out of the back of someone’s vehicle.
  • It resembles a roll of coins with a fuse.
  • It consists of a cardboard tube or oddly shaped item wrapped in brown paper and filled with an explosive material.
  • It is red, silver, or brown in color
  • It may be 1 to 6 inches long and up to an inch or more in diameter.

The ATF asks that the public report the manufacture or sale of illegal fireworks or explosive devices to local law enforcement or by calling the toll-free ATF hotline at 1-888-ATF-BOMB (1-888-283-2662).

All of us at Elk & Elk wish you and your family a very happy and safe 4th of July weekend.