Washington DC Metro Train Accident Lawyers

June 23, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog

Potential lawsuits are being reviewed by our personal injury lawyers on behalf of individuals impacted by Monday evening’s Washington DC Metro accident, which killed nine people and injured more than 70 others. Read more

Chesapeake Bay Bridge Accident Lawsuit Filed by Family of Trucker Killed in Fatal Crash Last Summer

June 22, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog

bay-bridge-225x190A Maryland wrongful death lawsuit has been filed by the family of John R. Short, Sr., a truck driver who was killed in an accident that occurred when an on-coming vehicle entered his lane on the Bay Bridge last August, causing his truck to plummet into the Chesapeake Bay.

The complaint was filed against Candy Lynn Baldwin, the 19-year old woman who was driving the 1997 Chevrolet Camaro that caused the accident. However, the Baltimore Sun also reports that the family has placed the Maryland Transportation Authority on notice of their intention to file a claim under the Maryland Tort Claims Act for the failure of the bridge to prevent the truck from falling off of the bridge, as an investigation found that the metal bars holding the concrete barriers had eroded prior to the crash.

The Maryland truck accident lawsuit was filed in Queen Anne’s County Circuit Court. According to the Sun:

The suit states that Short swerved to avoid a head-on collision but was sideswiped by the Camaro and slid across the bridge and through the concrete barrier. The tractor trailer fell about 30 feet into the Chesapeake Bay, and Short drowned in the cab of his vehicle.

Short’s truck was the first vehicle to crash through one of the safety barriers in the 56-year history of the bridge.

Doctors Community Hospital Fined for Failing to Report Medical Mistakes

June 18, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog

The state has fined Doctors Community Hospital in Landham, for failing to notify Maryland health regulators of serious hospital medical mistakes that occurred at the facility. The Washington Post reports that the Maryland hospital in Prince Georges County paid a $30,000 fine last month for a failure to report eight incidents where potential medical malpractice led severe injuries, and in one case, death. The hospital fine was originally $95,000, but the state reduced the amount in return for the hospital using the remaining $65,000 on development of a patient safety program.

A state law requires that all Maryland hospitals make public disclosure of any medical mistakes that result in harm to patients. The fine is the first of its kind in the state since the law was enacted five years ago.

According to the article published June 15, 2009 in the Washington Post:

In some cases, state regulators found, Doctors did minimal investigations to determine what went wrong and did not classify the errors by their level of seriousness, as required by law. A few near misses, in which patients escaped serious harm, were never investigated, documents show. Those included a reported assault on one patient by another’s visitor, an eight-day delay in getting medication to a 49-year-old man with a history of heart failure, and a case in which an antibiotic was given to a 65-year-old woman by a technician who mistook it for plain IV fluid.

Maryland is one of more than 20 states with laws on the books requiring hospitals to report mistakes or infections that could have been prevented. There is also federal law requiring all hospitals to report any disciplinary actions against doctors. However, the situation at Doctors Hospital is not unique, and appears to be occurring nationwide, according to a recent report by the consumer advocacy group, Public Citizen.

In a report released earlier this month, Public Citizen found that half of all hospitals in the U.S. avoid reporting disciplinary actions against physicians, usually by exploiting legal loopholes. The National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) was established 17 years ago, but in that time, only half all hospitals have actually used the mandatory system.

Many hospitals avoid such reporting by levying disciplinary actions that are designed to fly under the radar of federal reporting requirements. This can include disciplinary periods of less than 31 days, requiring a leave of absence instead actual disciplinary action, or simply not disciplining physicians who have been known to make mistakes.

Doctors Hospital had reported only three errors to the state since 2005, and while other area hospitals were investigated, only Doctors was fined. Officials at Doctors Community Hospital say they plan to hire a registered nurse who will head the hospital’s patient safety program, and the state has promised to review the hospital’s progress in several months.

MARYLAND HOSPITAL MALPRACTICE LAWYERS

Our Maryland medical malpractice lawyers investigate potential claims for mistakes and errors that result in serious physical harm at area hospitals. To review a potential claim on behalf of yourself, a friend or family member, request a free consultation and claim evaluation.