Category Archives: Uncategorized

Patient Access To Physicians Notes: An Experiment of Psychological Importance

Today’s post was shared by Gelman on Workplace Injuries and comes from

Photo Today’s post is shared from the  What would happen if all workers’ compensation patients had access to all their treating physician’s records including pschiatric care? Would such access assist in limiting and increasing litigation for continued medical care and the need for medical treatment?

David Baldwin wasn’t sure how he had come across the other day in group therapy at the hospital, near the co-op apartment where he lives with his rescue cat, Zoey. He struggles with bipolar disorder, severe anxiety and depression. Like so many patients, he secretly wondered what his therapist thought of him.

But unlike those patients, Mr. Baldwin, 64, was able to find out, swiftly and privately. Pulling his black leather swivel chair to his desk, he logged onto a hospital website and eagerly perused his therapist’s session notes.

The clinical social worker, Stephen O’Neill, wrote that Mr. Baldwin’s self-consciousness about his disorder kept him isolated. Because he longed to connect with others, this was particularly self-defeating, Mr. O’Neill observed. But during the session, he had also discussed how he had helped out neighbors in his co-op.

“This seems greatly appreciated, and he noted his clear enjoyment in helping others,” Mr. O’Neill wrote. “This greatly assists his self-esteem.”

A smile animated Mr. Baldwin’s broad, amiable features. “I have a tough time recognizing that…

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Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Electronics Plant in Poisoned Water Case

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WASHINGTON — Landowners who say a North Carolina electronics plant poisoned their drinking water missed a filing deadline, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday.

The decision, in a 7-to-2 vote, is likely to affect similar suits from the families of thousands of former Marines over what they say was toxic pollution at Camp Lejeune, also in North Carolina.

The case decided on Monday concerned a 1980 federal law that made it easier to sue over environmental contamination, which can be hard to discover and may cause symptoms only decades later. The law said state statutes of limitations do not begin to run until plaintiffs learn of, or should have discovered, the harm in question.

The plaintiffs in Monday’s case said their drinking water had been contaminated between 1959 and 1985 by a plant in Asheville, N.C., run by CTS Corporation. They sued in 2011, after a 2009 report from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Both sides agreed that the suit was not barred by North Carolina’s statute of limitations. The question for the justices was whether a separate state law — a 10-year so-called statute of repose — was displaced by the 1980 federal law.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, writing for the majority, said no. The second state law, which started to run when CTS took its “last culpable act,” barred the suit, he wrote. CTS sold the Asheville property in 1987; the plaintiffs did not sue until 24 years later.

Justice Kennedy relied on a congressional…

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Montana Indian voting lawsuit settled

Today’s post was shared by The Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group and comes from

-Linda McCulloch 2.jpg_20130107.jpg


HELENA – Indian plaintiffs who sued in federal court to force the Montana secretary of state and three rural counties to open satellite voting offices on remote reservations have settled the lawsuit out of court.

Under the agreement, the three counties agree to open satellite voting locations on three reservations and pay plaintiffs’ attorney fees in the amount of $75,000. In a separate agreement, the state agrees to pay an additional $25,000 in attorney fees, according to Secretary of State Linda McCulloch.

"I pledged to help assist the tribes and the counties to make this all work," McCulloch said.

Both sides hailed the agreement as a win.

Northern Cheyenne tribal member Mark Wandering Medicine, along with 11 other Indian plaintiffs, in February 2013 sued McCulloch and county elections officials in Blaine, Rosebud and Big Horn counties, alleging the defendants violated portions of the federal Voting Rights Act, which "prohibit voting practices or procedures that discriminate on the basis of race, color or membership in one of the language minority groups."

The plaintiffs argued their rights to equal access to voting were violated when McCulloch and county elections officials refused to set up satellite voting offices on remote Indian reservations in advance of the November 2012 presidential election.

The U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, the ACLU of Montana and the national ACLU Voting…

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Amazon Being Investigated for Worker’s Death at U.S. Warehouse

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is currently looking into the recent death of a worker in an incident at an Amazon warehouse, it revealed in a press release yesterday. The incident occurred on June 1 at an Amazon fulfillment center in Carlisle, Pa., the agency said.

The Associated Press reported that the deceased is Jody Rhoads, a 52-year-old woman who was killed when machinery she was operating to move pallets crashed into shelving and pinned her.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jody’s family and loved ones,” an Amazon spokeswoman said. “We are actively working with OSHA to investigate this tragedy.”

Separately, OSHA yesterday issued its findings on the investigation into the work conditions surrounding the death of 57-year-old Ronald Smith, who died in December after being crushed my machinery at a New Jersey sorting facility owned by Amazon but operated by a separate company.

Five companies were cited for violations related to Smith’s death, but Amazon wasn’t one of them. One was Genco, the logistics company hired by Amazon to manage the facility as well as four staffing agencies, including one called Abacus that employed Smith. The four staffing agencies each face penalties of $6,000 — yes, only $6,000 — for “failure to perform a hazard assessment of the facility before assigning employees to determine if hazards existed.”

Genco is also facing a $6,000 penalty for failing to confirm that…

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Wrongfully convicted man files suit against police, prosecutors

Deon Patrick, right, and his son Deon Patrick Jr., after he was released from prison.

Today’s post was shared by The Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group and comes from

A Chicago man who spent more than two decades behind bars for a double murder before prosecutors dismissed his conviction filed a federal lawsuit Monday that alleges police and prosecutors coerced him into confessing to a crime he did not commit.

Deon Patrick, 42, was serving a sentence of life without parole before he was released from prison in January.

"I can never get back what they’ve taken from me," Patrick said in an interview following a news conference with his attorneys. "I just want to be able to take care of my family, make sure my kids are OK, make sure their kids are OK. That’s what I’m trying to do with this lawsuit."

Patrick was a co-defendant of Daniel Taylor, who was convicted in the same November 1992 double murder even though records showed he was in a North Side police lockup when the murders occurred. Taylor, Patrick and six co-defendants all confessed, implicating each other – seemingly giving strength to the confessions that were the centerpiece of the prosecution.

But the records that showed Taylor was in the lockup ultimately undermined the cases. Taylor was freed last summer after Cook County prosecutors moved to drop his conviction. Patrick’s release followed, and both have since obtained certificates of innocence in Cook County Circuit Court. Taylor also has sued police and prosecutors over allegations they conspired to cover up evidence of his innocence.

Authorities alleged that Taylor, Patrick and two others shot Sharon…

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Adult Portable Bed Handles Recalled by Bed Handles Inc. Due to Entrapment and Strangulation Hazards; Three Deaths Reported

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The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1973 and charged with protecting the American public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from more than 15,000 types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, call the CPSC hotline at 1-800-638-2772, or visit http// Further recall information is available at (PRNewsFoto/U.S. CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION)

, /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Bed Handles Inc., of , are announcing the voluntary recall of about 113,000 adult portable bed handles.  When attached to an adult’s bed without the use of safety retention straps, the handle can shift out of place creating a dangerous gap between the bed handle and the side of the mattress. This poses a serious risk of entrapment, strangulation and death.

Three women died after becoming entrapped between the mattress and the bed handles. They include an elderly woman, age unknown, who died in an assisted living facility; a 41-year-old disabled woman who died in a adult family home; and an 81-year-old woman who died in a managed care facility.

The recall involves adult portable bed handles sold by Bed Handles Inc. from 1994 through 2007 that do not have safety retention straps to secure the bed handle to the bed frame to keep the bed handle from shifting out of place and creating a dangerous gap. Recalled models include the Original Bedside Assistant® (BA10W), the Travel Handles™ (BA11W) which is sold as a set of two bed handles, and the Adjustable Bedside Assistant® (AJ1).   

The L-shaped bed handles are made out of ¾ inch tubular steel, measure 20 inches wide, 16 to 20 inches tall and have 3 ft. poles that extend under the mattress. The Original Bedside Assistant® (BA10W) and the Travel Handles™ (BA11W) have a white handle with white poles…

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Lawsuit says Huntsville nursing facility’s care failures led to woman’s death

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DIV7 Scales of justice & gavel_full.jpeg(Stock image) 

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama — A Madison County woman’s estate is suing a Huntsville skilled nursing care facility alleging her death resulted from failure to properly monitor and care for her while she was being treated for a blood clot.

The lawsuit filed today against Diversicare Windsor House LLC in Madison County Circuit Court alleges the death of Ella Kerdus, 78, in December 2012, occurred because employees of Windsor House "violated the standard of skill, care, and diligence required of a nursing home and its staff in the national medical community."

A call to Windsor House seeking comment was directed to Diversicare’s corporate headquarters in Brentwood, Tenn. The company did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

The lawsuit was filed by Huntsville attorneys Tommy Siniard and William Messervy.

Donna Holland, who is the named plaintiff in the case, noticed her mother’s knee was "very swollen" during a visit at Windsor House around Nov. 19, 2012, the lawsuit says. A week or so later, an ultrasound was done, the lawsuit says, and "the impression of the reading physician was deep vein thrombosis in her leg, also known as a blood clot."

The next day, an attending physician prescribed two blood-thinning, anti-coagulant drugs and aspirin and the doctor ordered Kerdus’ blood-thinness levels to be checked every three days, the lawsuit claims.

On Dec. 1, the levels were checked, the lawsuit said. The suit contends that appears…

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Textual Despondency

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This condition reportedly has been a "world wide health concern" since around 2011 when conditions associated with excessive cell phone usage for texting and other mobile communications activities other than a phone call were starting to be identified.

A couple of weeks ago I was in San Francisco for the California Workers’ Compensation Institute’s annual meeting.

San Francisco must be the leading city where this "condition" could be studied. I was astounded at how many people walk around that town with their necks bent towards the ground, small devices in hand, paying zero attention to where they are, where they’re going, or anyone or anything around them.

The number of people with zero spatial orientation or situational awareness as a result of profound hand-held device distraction was amazing to me.

Even in the elevator of the hotel where normally cellular signals aren’t strong, if existent at all, a couple of gentlemen occupied the car as I got on heading to upper floors; they both were completely immersed in their devices. They did not look up, acknowledge my presence in any way or even acknowledge each other.

We got to the seventh floor and, without even a short little glance above the screen in his hand held one fellow starts toward the open doors and says, I presume to the other guy in the elevator, "see you at dinner."

The other guy, likewise, did not take his stare off the screen of his hand held device, thumb busy scrambling…

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