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Currently Browsing: Lawsuits

Nursing Home Abuse Reports

A report released by the Special Investigations Division of the House Government Reform Committee revealed that abuse occurs regularly in one in three nursing facilities. In addition to verbal and physical abuse, some incidents of sexual abuse occurred. A woman on the board of a nursing home mentioned that grand-scale studies can drum up inflated, and thus, problematic statistics. She mentioned that stringent protocol requires facilities to report extremely trivial incidents, like two residents shoving one another, as abuse.

However problematic the method of cataloging is, the Special Investigations Division reviewed numerous abuse cases much more consequential than patient disagreements. The report showed that of the 9,000 incidents reported within a two-year period, nearly 2,000 of the cases involved serious, possibly fatal, negligence in nursing homes.

Staffing is a major concern in reforming nursing facilities. Many nursing homes hire under-qualified candidates that work double to triple shifts. Additionally, the training that new candidates receive often fails to teach workers practical skills in interacting with high-needs patients. These poor working conditions lead to poor quality of care for elderly residents.

The report also found that the quality of care in not-for-profit facilities exceeded that of for-profit nursing facilities. Many not-for-profit nursing facilities are community-based or religious-based initiatives. The Special Investigations Division posits that since the people working for these organizations tend to be working for more personal reasons, the residents are in a more attentive and compassionate setting.

This leaves the climate surrounding the for-profit facility grim. Of the 17,000 nursing homes in the United States nearly 11,000 are for-profit businesses. In an interview, a certified nurse mentioned that qualified nurses often don’t want to work in nursing facilities because of the low pay and poor working conditions. Qualified nurses can just as easily find employment for better pay and benefits in hospitals or other out-patient care centers.

Actos and Bladder Cancer: A Case of Cause and Effect

Type 2 diabetes, which is also called adult-onset diabetes and non-insulin-dependent diabetes, is a serious illness suffered by many individuals around the globe. This persistent disease influences the body’s behavior in processing sugar/glucose, which is the body’s main source of energy. There are ways to prevent this type of diabetes; however, if unchecked and allowed to develop, it would result to lifetime suffering.

Though anyone can be susceptible to Type 2 diabetes, those who are 45 years old or above and most often inactive, have low HDL cholesterol or a high triglycerides level, hypertensive, overweight and have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes or gestational diabetes, are more prone to developing it.

A person will start suffering from the dreaded diabetes when he/she begins to have high blood sugar. This happens when his/her pancreas (the gland near our stomach which secretes the hormone insulin and controls the amount of sugar in the bloodstream) stops to produce, or begins to produce, very little insulin or when it no longer responds to insulin. This sugar or glucose comes from all the food and beverages a person consumes; it is also the cell’s source of energy – the energy the body needs to be able to perform daily activities normally.

In 1999 the oral diabetes medicine Actos (also called Pioglitazone), from Takeda Pharmaceuticals, was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for market release. The drug was intended to help Type 2 diabetics control their blood sugar level by increasing their sensitivity to insulin. Actos also helped decrease the amount of glucose that the liver releases and it was claimed safe even if taken without food.

It should be noted, though, that Actos is not a cure to Type 2 diabetes, to which there is no known cure; it only helps the body to manage glucose level and absorption of insulin. In 2008 Actos became the 10th most prescribed drug in the US. Its efficacy was, likewise, recognized in a number of European countries, like France and Germany.

Studies that showed Actos’ effect in increasing the risk of bladder cancer surfaced in 2010, though, and despite the fact that an earlier study, conducted in 2005, already arrived at this same conclusion, this finding was never brought to the attention of the FDA. Cases of adverse effects and deaths due to Actos piled one on top of another. Despite this, Takeda kept denying that Actos increased the risk in the development of bladder cancer. Besides bladder cancer, the drug was also found to cause severe, permanent damage to vital internal organs.

As early as 2011 at least 10,000 lawsuits were filed against Actos’ manufacturer Takeda. The company’s continuous denial of the adverse effects of Actos, despite knowledge of it and the obvious evidences render it much more liable as it openly violated patients’ trust.

The National Injury Law Center, a firm that continues to successfully defend patients who have suffered due to Actos, gives vital information in its website on the symptoms of bladder cancer. These symptoms include: presence of blood in urine, constant urgency and straining to empty bladder, frequent urination and feeling of pain when urinating.

New Hampshire School District Sued by Fallen Girl’s Family

The School District in Salem, New Hampshire is facing a lawsuit as a result of a fall sustained by a student at a track and field event three years ago.

The then 12-year-old girl was taking a seat in the bleachers when she fell through a gap that was as wide as 15 inches and sustained serious injuries that included broken bones and forced her to be confined to a wheelchair for eight weeks.

The suit is being filed now rather than years ago in anticipation of any potential long-term effects that would not have been apparent at the time.

The school district has since made measures to prevent such falls from occurring again, but the lawsuit contends that they do not go far enough. The lawsuit also names the city of Salem as a defendant, but the city believes it has no liability and should not be included in the proceedings.

Metropolitan Museum of Art Sued

New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, one of the most prestigious museums in the world, is facing a class action lawsuit that alleges it misled patrons into believing they had to pay for admission into the building.

The contention surrounds the signage and advertising used by the museum, which recommends visitors pay $25 for entry. The suit says that the Met doesn’t make it clear enough to patrons that they need not pay to enter. It asserts that the museum behaves in a confusing manner by advertising “free admission” as a perk for purchasing a membership even though admission is free to non-members.

The Met operates on city property and is meant to be free and open to the public. It doesn’t have to pay rent or maintain a lease with the city.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of two tourists from the Czech Republic and a resident of the city.