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March 2016 Archives

Medical Malpractice Suit Filed Over Transplant

Family of man who died during surgery to donate kidney files medical malpractice suit against doctor.

Surgeon Barry Blitz, who removed the kidney of now-deceased Cape Coral man John Donaldson, is being sued by Donaldson's wife Christine, who claims the surgeon failed to take appropriate life-saving measures when her husband suffered heavy bleeding following the April 17 procedure. "As a direct and proximate result of the negligence of (Dr. Blitz), John Donaldson...suffered significant blood loss resulting in his death," states the medical malpractice suit, which was filed in Lee County Circuit Court. Blitz's employer, 21st Century Oncology, was also named as a defendant. The surgery took place at the Lee Memorial Health System-operated Gulf Coast Medical Center, but the health system is not named in the lawsuit. The live donor kidney transplant program at Gulf Coast has been on hold since Donaldson's death. A representative for 21st Century Oncology did not return a request for comment. Christine Donaldson also could not be reached for comment. Her Fort Lauderdale-area attorney did not respond to interview requests. Donaldson, 40, underwent the surgery, known as a laparoscopic donor nephrectomy, on April 16 last year. He was donating the kidney to his 69-year-old father, Frank. Frank Donaldson received the kidney, in a surgery performed by a different doctor, and has fully recovered. Frank Donaldson said Thursday he is not a party in the lawsuit and could not comment about it. After the kidney was removed, John Donaldson's blood pressure dropped and experienced "significant bleeding," the lawsuit states. Doctors then performed an exploratory laparotomy -- a diagnostic examination of the abdomen -- and attempted to stop the bleeding, the lawsuit continues. The Lee County Medical Examiner's Office concluded that a ligature binding a renal artery stump failed after Donaldson's left kidney was removed. The live-donor kidney transplant program at Gulf Coast is expected to be on hold until later this year, as Lee Memorial retools the program. Originally posted by Frank Gluck on Medical Malpractice Suit - Ball & Bonholtzer Trial Attorney - Los Angeles

Criminal Defense Attorney Found Grossly Negligent By Appeals Court

9th Circuit finds California criminal defense lawyer grossly negligent in representing inmate challenging murder conviction.

As part of a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, Judge Alex Kozinski called Bakersfield lawyer Gregory H. Mitts “a hazard to clients” and “a menace to the profession and to the courts.”

Serious Personal Injury Lawsuit Over Fall At NYC Train Station

In wake of complaints about dripping water at Hudson Yards train station, woman slips and falls on escalator, files serious personal injury lawsuit.

A woman who says she fell and injured herself on the escalator at New York's new Hudson Yards-34th St. No. 7 train station due to a slippery surface caused by a water leak has filed a serious personal injury lawsuit  against the city. The civil claim comes on the heels of recent complaints about chronic dripping at the much-hyped station on Manhattan's far West Side, which has Metropolitan Transportation Authority board members fired up and looking for answers. For 29-year-old Meng He, the agency's attention to the leak dilemma comes too late. Meng was on a trip back from sightseeing with her mother in Flushing, Queens, to her apartment at W. 37th St. and Eighth Ave. on Feb. 7. It was a leisurely Sunday afternoon and they decided to take a detour to the end of the line to see the new station, Meng said at her attorney's office Friday. The woman and her 64-year-old mom, who lives in Massachusetts and was visiting for the weekend, got off at the station and rode up what is considered the highest and longest escalator in the subway system. It was not raining outside, but they were getting drenched below ground as they took the escalator from the lower mezzanine level to the upper floor where the turnstiles are -- about 80 feet above. Meng He suffered ligament damage after taking a spill at the station. She was on crutches for weeks and is still wearing a protective boot to walk. "We both felt it. I felt it on my face and my head but the escalator just felt like a roller coaster without any safety harnesses," Meng said. "I didn't care as much but my mom didn't want to get dripped on." Her mother slipped backward, the woman said. "(It was) the most terrifying thing I can imagine. I was so nervous she was going to break her neck," Meng said. But it was Meng who sustained the injuries. In the chaotic moment, Meng said she tried to catch her mom and hold her up. The pair, as a result of the domino effect, took a scary spill down several sets of steps on the escalator. They stumbled off at the top where the younger woman realized she couldn't stand or walk. They called for help. "She fell directly on me ... It was difficult to stop," Meng said. "There was so much momentum." Asked about Meng's injury, MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz said he could not comment on pending litigation. Ortiz said that this is the first incident of an injury reported since the leaks became an issue. Originally posted by Shayna Jacobs on New York Daily News. Serious Personal Injury Lawsuit - Ball & Bonholtzer Trial Attorney - Los Angeles

New Zofran Lawsuit Over Childrens' Heart Defects

In new Zofran lawsuit, couple claims prenatal exposure caused daughters to be born with heart defects.

 A Louisiana couple is suing Zofran manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline, claiming their two daughters were born with cardiac malformations due to prenatal exposure to the anti-nausea drug. The new Zofran lawsuit was initially filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana on March 3, 2016. Since being transferred to the US District Court of Massachusetts, it now bears the case number 1:16-cv-10544-FDS. You can view a PDF copy of the family's complaint here. Several recent studies, conducted in Denmark and Sweden, have found evidence that fetuses exposed to Zofran during the first trimester are at an increased risk of developing heart defects. In one study, which analyzed Danish birth records from 903,207 pregnancies, researchers discovered that babies exposed to Zofran prenatally were between two and four-times more likely to be delivered with cardiac septal, or "hole in the heart," defects. Zofran has become an increasingly, albeit "off-label," choice for physicians hoping to ease their pregnant patients' battle with nausea and vomiting. The drug is FDA approved to treat severe nausea and vomiting experienced by some cancer patients, as well as patients undergoing surgical anesthesia. It has never been approved as a morning sickness treatment. Plaintiffs claim that GlaxoSmithKline, despite this lack of approval, unlawfully promoted Zofran for use during pregnancy, even paying "kickbacks" to obstetricians and gynecologists who prescribed large quantities of the potent drug. Identical allegations were first raised by the US Department of Justice, in what ultimately became the largest case of alleged health care fraud in US history, according to the Justice Department, a case GlaxoSmithKline settled for $3 billion. Plaintiffs go further, claiming the company has hid evidence of Zofran's alleged link to major birth defects for more than two decades. Originally posted by Michael Monheit in The Legal Examiner. New Zofran Lawsuit - Ball & Bonholtzer Trial Attorney - Los Angeles

Chemotherapy Drug Lawsuit Over Permanent Hair Loss Side Effect

Chemotherapy drug lawsuit claims patients using Taxotere were not warned of permanent hair loss side effect.

Sanofi-Aventis, manufacturer of the intravenous chemotherapy drug Taxotere, is being sued for failing to warn doctors and patients that use of the drug carries the potential side effect of permanent hair loss. Recently, Hattie Carson filed her claim of permanent baldness from Taxotere side effects in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. Carson alleges that Sanofi-Aventis failed to adequately warn female breast cancer patients and doctors about the risk of permanent baldness from Taxotere. According to Carson, she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004 and underwent chemotherapy with Taxotere. Carson was diagnosed with permanent hair loss after her hair did not grow back after 6 months. Taxotere Permanent Baldness Reports Alopecia is a common and emotionally devastating side-effect of systemic chemotherapy. Scalp, pubic, and axillary hair may be lost, as well as eyebrows and eyelashes, but in most cases the hair loss is temporary and usually reversible, with complete hair regrowth within the 3-6 months following the chemotherapy cycles. Recently, in the past few years, many case reports of permanent irreversible post-chemotherapy alopecia, no hair growth after 6 months have been described from Taxotere. What is Taxotere? Taxotere (docetaxel) is a cancer medication that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body. Taxotere is used to treat breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, stomach cancer, and head/neck cancer. Taxotere is a semi-synthetic cancer drug given in a cocktail of chemotherapy drugs, for the treatment of breast cancer. Taxotere was approved by the FDA in May 1996 for the treatment of patients with advanced or metastatic breast cancer after prior chemotherapy attempts had failed. Carson claims in her chemotherapy drug lawsuit, "Although alopecia is a common side effect related to chemotherapy drugs, permanent alopecia is not. Defendants, through its publications and marketing material, misled Plaintiff, the public, and the medical community to believe that, as with other chemotherapy drugs that cause alopecia, patients' hair would grow back." Sanofi-Aventis Warned About Permanent Hair Loss in Europe and Canada Carson alleges that Sanofi-Aventis warned doctors and patients in Europe in 2005 and in Canada 2012 about the risks of permanent hair loss from Taxotere side effects, but failed to provide such warnings to the U.S. patients and doctors until January 2016. Read the FDA Warning label change in January 2016. Taxotere Permanent Hair Loss "Disfiguring" According to Carson, permanent hair loss from Taxotere is disfiguring for women, and that it caused her to suffer great mental anguish, economic damages and that the psychological damage was extensive enough that it caused a loss of work or inability to work. Taxotere "I look like an 80-year-old, ugly old man" Taxotere affected women are now warning other permanent hair loss victims in soial media venues. According to a 2010 article in the Globe and Mail, "I had a normal head of hair and I am now completely bald," said Cynthia MacGregor, 50, of Montreal, who has been diagnosed with alopecia universalis, a loss of all body hair. According to Shirley Ledlie, 51, of Brittany, France, said: "It's like having 'I am a cancer sufferer' tattooed on your forehead. ... I look like an 80-year-old, ugly old man." Originally posted by Shezad Malik in the Legal Examiner. Chemotherapy Drug Lawsuit - Ball & Bonholtzer Trial Attorney - Los Angeles    

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