Cleveland APL Telethon Raises $50,790

Telethon Raises $50,790

On Friday, March 20, Elk & Elk joined Levin Furniture as the corporate sponsors of the 4th Annual Fur-Get-Me-Not Telethon.

Cleveland APL Fur-Get-Me-Not Telethon
Photo courtesy of Cleveland APL

Telethon Raises $50,790 for Animal Protective League

The fundraiser, which was hosted by WKYC Channel 3, raised more than $50,000 in support of the Cleveland Animal Protective League. Cleveland APL receives no government funding and relies solely on the generous contributions of community members and corporate donations.

Elk & Elk Managing Partner Arthur M. Elk Live on Lakesidejoined Michael Cardamone and Hollie Giangreco during their presentation of the event on WKYC’s “Live on Lakeside,” and a number of Elk & Elk employees volunteered to answer calls during the telethon.

“It is through the support of our community and corporate sponsors like Elk & Elk that we are able to keep our animals healthy and allow them to stay with us until we find each one a home,” said Judy Hunter, Cleveland APL Director of Development.

Donations from the telethon and Cleveland APL’s other fundraisers throughout the year support the variety of programs, services and resources offered by the organization. These include animal adoptions and admissions, spay and neuter services, humane investigations and the Animal Welfare Clinic.APL Puppy

Missed the telethon? It’s not too late to make a donation.

Interested in providing a loving “fur-ever” home for an animal? Cleveland APL’s free app showcases all of the animals currently available for adoption. Visit the Google Play Store on your Android device or the App Store on your iOS device to download.

Friends don’t let friends text and drive

By Arthur Elk

Often, when we talk about peer pressure, it is in a negative light. But peer pressure can have a positive spin, too.

In the battle to get teens to stop texting and driving, it appears that peer pressure may be the greatest weapon. According to a new national survey conducted by tire manufacturer Bridgestone America, it is becoming less socially acceptable to take risks while behind the wheel.

The nationwide survey polled more than 2,000 drivers ages 16-21 and found that teens are less likely to text, check email, watch videos or post to social media sites when their friends are in the car. Results of the survey showed that:

  • 95 percent of teens read texts and emails when on the road alone, 32 percent do so with friends, and only 7 percent when they are driving with their parents.
  • More than 90 percent said they post on social media sites when they are driving alone, 29 percent do so with friends and only 5 percent with parents.
  • 75 percent admit to watching a video when alone in the car, 45 percent do so with friends and only 7 percent with their parents.

The survey also found that most young drivers think their friends are more likely to take part in risky behavior than they are. Almost two-thirds of those surveyed believe their friends text and email while driving, but only 37 percent of those surveyed admit to doing that. Only 9 percent admitted to using social media, but they believe that 29 percent of their friends do so.

It is so important that young people understand the dangers of distracted driving. Distracted driving is responsible for more than 11 percent of all U.S. highway fatalities. A report issued in February by the Governors Highway Safety Association showed that deaths among 16- and 17-year-old drivers grew 19 percent during the first half of last year – a far greater increase than for the general population. Experts believe that distracted driving played a large role in that increase.

At Elk & Elk, we are strong supporters of educating young people about the dangers of distracted driving. As parents, we cannot stress enough the importance of safe driving, no matter who is in the car. Your life can change forever, in a moment.


Arthur Elk: ‘Never events’ should never happen

By Arthur Elk

In the new Will Smith movie “After Earth,” we see a picture of what the Earth might look like 1,000 years in the future.

While it’s fun to imagine what the future might be like, at Elk & Elk, we are here right now to help our clients get their lives back on track after serious medical malpractice mistakes occur.

A recent study by John Hopkins estimated that 4,044 surgical “never events” occur each year.  “Never events,” named because they should never happen, include: wrong-site, wrong-patient, or wrong-procedure surgeries, as well as leaving objects inside a patient.

Using the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB), researchers found that 39 times a week a foreign object, like a sponge or towel, is left in a patient; 20 times a week a surgeon operates on the wrong area of a patient’s body; and 20 times a week surgeons perform the wrong surgical procedure on their patients.

The Johns Hopkins study in the online journal Surgery looked at twenty years of data and found 80,000 occurrences of never events, for which 9,744 medical malpractice claims were filed, resulting in $1.3 billion in judgments and settlements. Of those cases, 6.6 percent of the patients died, 32.9 percent suffered permanent injury, and 59.2 percent suffered temporary injury.

Although there are already many safeguards in place intended to keep never events from occurring, the statistics show that more must still be done. There is no excuse for a doctor operating on the wrong limb, on the wrong patient or performing the wrong procedure. These events can cause serious, sometimes fatal, consequences to the innocent victims.

We may not know what the Earth will look like 1,000 years from now, but we definitely know how serious never events are. If you believe you or a loved  one are the victim of medical malpractice, call 1-800-ELK-OHIO today or fill out our online consultation form and find out how we can help you.


Texting is deadly, even when it’s hands-free

By Arthur Elk

In 2012, more than 6 billion texts were sent every day. Many of those were probably sent by people who were behind the wheel of a vehicle. That’s too many distracted drivers. In 2011, 3,331 people were killed and 387,000 injured in distracted-driving crashes.

Most of us probably think that using hands-free texting is a safer way to text while driving. It seems like it should be, but that may not be true.

In a new study by the Texas Transportation Institute, 43 drivers were tested on a closed road course using a 2009 Ford Explorer. They each drove four times for about 10 minutes at 30 mph while: not texting at all, texting manually, texting with the voice-to-text app on the iPhone, and texting with the Android smartphone voice-to-text app.

Each driver was asked to complete five text-messaging tasks: send one, read and reply to three, and simply read one. The texts were provided in a short script.

The study found that driver response times were slower no matter which method of texting was used. Drivers took about twice as long to react as when they weren’t texting and spent less time looking at the road, the study says. Surprisingly, driver performance was roughly the same with both methods of texting, although manual texting actually required slightly less time than using voice-to-text.

No matter what method of texting you use, you are distracted from what you should be focused on: the road and other drivers around you. Don’t become just another statistic. Make smart choices. That text message that seems so important can wait until you are stopped. No text message is worth risking your life or the life of others around you.

Arthur Elk: Drug approval system often leaves unforeseen victims

By Arthur Elk

Do you worry about taking prescription medications? Probably not. Most of us trust that before a drug goes to market it has undergone rigorous testing. However, sometimes, even with testing, a drug can make it to market with deadly results.50321110

Less than a year after being approved, Omontys, a drug used to treat anemia in patients undergoing kidney dialysis, has been recalled. The recall occurred after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration received 19 reports of anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction, and reports that three of the patients had died.

The drug, officially known as peginesatide, was approved for use last spring by a near unanimous vote (one member abstained from voting).

Affymax and Takeda, the two companies selling peginesatide, said that about 0.2 percent of the 25,000 patients who had received the drug had suffered some type of hypersensitivity reaction, with about one-third of those considered serious and 10 percent of them resulting in death.

According to the FDA, the reactions occurred within 30 minutes of patients receiving their first dose by intravenous administration. There have been no problems reported with subsequent doses, which are given once a month. But the FDA and Affymax and Takeda recommended that Omontys use be discontinued, even by patients who had already been given more than one dose.

Some experts say the recall is a signal that the U.S. system for drug approval and safety monitoring works. But try telling that to the families of the patients who died after taking Omontys without being aware of the possibly deadly consequences. I doubt they would say the system worked. At least three people took this drug trying to improve their lives, and instead lost them.

This incident is a good reminder of the truth about our drug testing system. Testing and oversight are necessary to ensure that there will be no unforeseen complications. When complications arise, victimized patients need to seek competent, experienced legal counsel.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a recalled drug, we want to help. View a list of drugs we currently are investigating. Contact Elk & Elk today and find out how we can help you get the results you deserve. Call 1-800-ELK-OHIO or fill out our free, no-obligation online consultation form.



Keep your eyes on the road, not your phone: 3-year-old girl hurt by distracted driver

By Arthur Elk

Did you know that you are 23 times more likely to be in an accident if you are texting and driving? The innocent victims of your reckless behavior could be anyone. Sadly this time, it was a 3-year-old girl.

Last month, in a parking lot near a Kohl’s store in Strongsville, a distracted driver didn’t realize that she had hit a 3-year-old girl until two strangers jumped in front of her car and stopped her.

The girl’s mother said the driver was looking right and turning left while on a cell phone. The mother and daughter were walking hand-in-hand when the little girl was struck. A man ran to block the moving car and tried to the lift the bumper while a woman threw herself in front of the car’s tires.

The girl’s hip is fractured in four places, so she can’t walk and can hardly sit up. Her mother said the hardest part is they have no idea what damage this will cause in the long term.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety. These types of distractions include:

  • Texting
  • Using a cell phone or smartphone
  • Eating and drinking
  • Talking to passengers
  • Grooming
  • Reading, including maps
  • Using a navigation system
  • Watching a video
  • Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player

But, because text messaging requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver, it is by far the most alarming distraction.

As a personal injury attorney, I have seen too many times the results of people making bad choices and driving while texting or taking part in some other distracting activity. Thousands die needlessly each year because people continue to use their cell phones while driving. Luckily, this 3-year-old girl survived, but her life may be changed forever because of one driver’s bad decision.

If you or a loved one have been injured by a distracted driver, you need an experienced Ohio personal injury attorney to fight for your rights. At Elk & Elk, we believe strongly in helping victims get their lives back on track. Call 1-800-ELK-OHIO today or fill out our free, no-obligation online consultation form.

Arthur Elk: You don’t always get what you pay for

By Arthur Elk

originalIf you paid $1,500 for a baby stroller, would you worry about it breaking? You shouldn’t have to. But one baby product manufacturer has recalled its stroller that retails for between $900 and $1,600.

The Bugaboo Cameleon3 stroller has been recalled because its carrying handle can break and detach, causing a fall hazard. The manufacturer, Bugaboo Americas of El Segundo, CA, has received 16 reports of carry handles breaking, but no injuries have been reported.

Consumers who own the stroller should immediately remove the carry handle from the stroller’s bassinet or seat and contact Bugaboo for a free replacement handle. While you wait for the replacement handle to arrive, you can continue to use the seat or bassinet as long as it is attached to the stroller’s chassis. Do not use the seat or bassinet separate from the chassis.

The stroller was sold at Buy Buy Baby, Toys R Us and other baby product stores nationwide, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, online at and other online retailers from September 2012 to March 2013.

When you pay $1,500 for a baby stroller, you should be able to depend on it working properly for years without worrying about your baby being in danger. Unfortunately, expensive products may not necessarily be any safer than an inexpensive similar product.

If you have been injured by a recalled product, let the experienced product injury attorneys of Elk & Elk help you. Call 1-800-ELK-OHIO or visit our website for a free consultation.



5-year-old Akron boy survives hit-and-run accident

By Arthur Elk

I was horrified to read about a terrible accident that took place last week involving a 5-year-old Akron boy.

Joshua Shaw, 5, and his older sister Jadynn, 9, were walking home from Judith A. Resnik Elementary School when the unthinkable happened. Jadynn crossed the street first and made it safely, but when Joshua followed, he was struck by a car. The driver got out of his car and started running toward Joshua, saying he was sorry. After the brief apology, the unidentified driver got back in the car and drove away.

Joshua underwent a two-hour surgery the next day to repair his left leg which was broken in two places. One of his bones was completely shattered, so doctors had to use nails to repair it. Joshua will be in a cast and use a wheelchair for the next two months while his leg heals. Police are still looking for the hit-and-run driver.

According to SafeKidsUSA, since 2000, an average of 400 children (under the age of 14) were killed each year in pedestrian accidents. In 2010 (the most recent year numbers are available for), there were about 256 child pedestrian fatalities recorded in the U.S. In addition, there were close to 15,000 child pedestrians injured in these same scenarios. That is way too many young people hurt and killed by drivers.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers the following tips:

  • Supervise your children constantly – especially when they’re near parked or moving vehicles, or playing near streets or driveways.
  • Hold your child’s hand when crossing streets, walking along streets and in parking lots
  • Show your child how to walk facing traffic when there’s no sidewalk.
  •  Demonstrate how to cross the street by stopping at the curb or street’s edge and looking left-right-left for traffic before crossing.
  • Children age 10 and under do not have the skill sets to manage traffic situations by themselves. They must be supervised closely by an adult or young adult.
  • Set a good, safe example when walking on streets or sidewalks and when crossing roads.

The Ohio personal injury lawyers of Elk & Elk want all young people to be aware of the dangers they face when they are walking near roadways. Please take the time to educate them and supervise them. Their safety depends on it.


FDA warns Zithromax can cause deadly irregular heart rhythm

By Arthur Elk

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning Tuesday that a common antibiotic can cause a potentially fatal irregular heart rhythm in some patients.

Concerns about azithromycin, sold as Zithromax or Zmax, were first raised last May when a study in the New England Journal of Medicine compared the risk of cardiovascular death from different antibacterial drugs and found that the drug had a higher rate of death. In 2011, approximately 40 million Americans received a prescription for azithromycin.

The FDA said the drug can cause abnormal changes in the electrical activity of the heart, which may lead to a potentially fatal heart rhythm known as prolonged QT interval. In its warning, the agency urged physicians to use caution when giving the antibiotic to patients known to have this condition or who have certain risk factors, including people with low levels of potassium or magnesium, a slower than normal heart rate, or people who take certain drugs used to treat abnormal heart rhythms.

In addition, the FDA said the drug can cause problems in people with torsades de pointes, a rare heart rhythm abnormality.

The labels for azithromycin have been updated to include the new warnings from the FDA.

Too often in my years as a personal injury attorney, I have seen pharmaceutical companies cut corners and ignore dangers in an attempt to improve their financial bottom line. These companies must be held accountable for the safety of consumers.

If you or a loved one has experienced complications as a result of taking a prescription medication, contact the drug injury lawyers at Elk & Elk. We’ll put our resources and experience to work for you to get you the results you need. Call 1-800-ELK-OHIO or fill out our online consultation form.


Deadly superbugs a major problem in hospitals

By Arthur Elk

There is a new family of superbugs spreading through U.S. hospitals and health officials are sounding the alarm now, before it’s too late.

This class of superbug, known as carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE, tends to affect immune-compromised people who are hospitalized for a long time or are living in a nursing home. But officials are worried about what effect this type of bacteria may have in the long run.

According to Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “They’re resistant to nearly all antibiotics. They have high mortality rates, killing half of people with serious infections. And they can spread their resistance to other bacteria.”

There are 70 kinds of bugs in the CRE family and at least five kinds have already developed resistance to a class of antibiotic called carbapenems, considered one of the last lines of defense against hard-to-treat bugs.

Earlier this week, CDC officials said that in the first half of 2012, nearly 200 U.S. hospitals (around 4 percent) saw at least one case of CRE. In addition, 18 percent of long-term, acute-care hospitals had at least one patient with CRE in that same timeframe, according to the CDC. Officials say the “nightmare bacteria” have been found in 42 states.

But in reality, the numbers are likely much higher. So far, only six states require hospitals and other facilities to report CRE infections, making it difficult to reliably track how many cases there have been.

Hospitals have been fighting these infections for years. An outbreak of one of the bugs killed seven patients between 2011 and 2012 at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md.

The CDC has urged hospital workers to watch for the infections and take appropriate steps to prevent passing the germs to other patients.

The biggest danger posed by CRE is its ability to somehow share its resistance with other bacteria. So even though CRE is relatively rare, if it shares its resistance with more common bacteria, common conditions which are now treated with antibiotics could become untreatable.

If you have a loved one in a hospital or nursing home, the most important thing you can do is to wash your hands as soon as you leave the hospital room.

Hospitals and health officials must continue to be watchful of superbugs such as CRE and work hard to find ways to combat their spread. We can’t afford to wait until a large-scale outbreak of a superbug occurs to find a way to fight these deadly bacteria.