Brad Hendricks has been named as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by The National Trial Lawyers Association. He’s also a member of the Mass Tort Trial Lawyers Association and the Business Tort Trial Lawyers Association. The National Trial Lawyers is a professional organization of America’s top trial lawyers. Membership in the organization is by invitation only and is extended to those individuals who exemplify superior qualifications, trial results, and leadership in their respective state or major geographical area. The National Trial Lawyers has evaluated Mr. Hendricks’ qualifications and extended an exclusive invitation to him based on his performance as an exceptional trial lawyer in the practice area of Civil Plaintiff law.
by: George Wise
In 1999, the Institute of Medicine published a widely cited study called To Err Is Human. In it we learned that 98,000 people were dying every year from preventable errors in hospitals. Unfortunately, that study underestimated the number of deaths. According to a new study just out from the prestigious Journal of Patient Safety, four times as many people die from preventable medical errors than we thought, as many as 440,000 a year.
Read the study here.
Medical errors now claim the spot as the third leading cause of death in the United States, ahead of auto accidents and diabetes. Only cancer and heart disease cause more deaths. It is likely the estimates in this new study will replace the Institute of Medicine estimates from 1999. That means hospitals are killing off the equivalent of the entire population of Pulaski County, Arkansas every year. More than a thousand people a day are dying from preventable errors.
These deaths are not from the illness which hospitalized the patient in the first place. Patients are dying from preventable errors due to a lack of emphasis on safety. These preventable errors are common and well known. A sponge left inside the surgical patient causing a massive infection. A massive medication overdose. Infections from contaminated equipment used at the bedside. Following safety rules prevents these errors.
When will it end? Society picks up the costs of these errors in the form of higher costs for hospital care. Employers lose good employees and thousands of dollars in lost productivity. Families needlessly lose loved ones. We need to insist that hospitals implement safety standards to eliminate these errors. Safety first should be a hospital’s motto.
Arguments supporting restrictions on the right to a jury trial (mischaracterized as tort or lawsuit reform) are based primarily on myths and unsubstantiated anecdotes. One of these myths is that doctors practice defensive medicine more often in states without caps on damages; therefore, caps on damages will reduce defensive medicine. A new study busts this myth.
According to a study by the Center for Studying Health System Change in the August Health Affairs, physicians’ perception of their risk of malpractice liability predicts their practice of defensive medicine. Below is the abstract of the newly released study:
Health Aff (Millwood). 2013 Aug;32(8):1383-91. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2013.0233.
Despite widespread agreement that physicians who practice defensive medicine drive up health care costs, the extent to which defensive medicine increases costs is unclear. The differences in findings to date stem in part from the use of two distinct approaches for assessing physicians’ perceived malpractice risk. In this study we used an alternative strategy: We linked physicians’ responses regarding their levels of malpractice concern as reported in the 2008 Health Tracking Physician Survey to Medicare Parts A and B claims for the patients they treated during the study period, 2007-09. We found that physicians who reported a high level of malpractice concern were most likely to engage in practices that would be considered defensive when diagnosing patients who visited their offices with new complaints of chest pain, headache, or lower back pain. No consistent relationship was seen, however, when state-level indicators of malpractice risk replaced self-rated concern. Reducing defensive medicine may require approaches focused on physicians’ perceptions of legal risk and the underlying factors driving those perceptions.
The findings of this study suggest that malpractice reforms touted for years as reducing defensive medicine, such as caps on damages, do not change how physicians practice. On the other hand, one could certainly argue that there is actually no such thing as defensive medicine. Either a test or procedure is necessary or it is insurance fraud to bill for it.
Under the Arkansas Constitution, the right to a jury trial is protected by language which says, “The right to a jury trial shall remain inviolate…”. Inviolate means untouched and undisturbed. The right to a jury trial should remain untouched and undisturbed and not subject to restrictions based on myths.
On March 29, 2013, residents of 22 homes in a subdivision in Mayflower were evacuated after thousands of gallons of oil spilled from the Exxon Mobil Corp.’s Pegasus pipeline running through the area. What caused the 20-inch pipeline carrying Wabasca Heavy Crude from Western Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast to burst remains a mystery as of April 3, 2013, but the company has apologized for the “inconvenience” to those displaced by the disaster on Good Friday leading into to the Easter weekend. The pipeline was built in the 1940s.
The (estimated) 12,000-barrel spill has been classified by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as a “major spill.” One barrel holds 42 gallons.
Although residents have been advised to expect evacuations of less than two weeks, the reality is that the effects of the Mayflower Oil Spill will reverberate through the community for much longer. Residents have already expressed fears that the spill will have a long-term impact on property values. Time will tell whether Lake Conway, located near the spill, was contaminated, but there have been reports of oil-soaked birds, including ducks, in the area.
Some residents have indicated that they did not even know the pipeline ran through their neighborhood. At a town meeting held following the disaster, residents unsatisfied with the oil company’s response to questions were angry.
ExxonMobil has promised to compensate families who have been damaged by the spill; The Brad Hendricks Law Firm is here to make sure they do, too.
After an oil spill, cleanup and removal of the contamination is an obvious priority; however, there are many issues which need to be dealt with in a Oil Spill case. Those affected by an oil spill may be entitled to:
• Damages for any health effects that may result from this spill. A number of people have reported respiratory problems already.
• Damages if the value of your property has been reduced because of the contamination. This information has to be reported by Sellers and Buyers may be unwilling to purchase your property in the future, and will be unlikely to pay fair value. It is likely that your property has suffered a loss of value.
• Damages for the inconvenience and concern caused by this spill.
• Punitive damages may also be available.
The Brad Hendricks Law Firm invites those affected by the Mayflower pipeline oil spill disaster to contact our firm to discuss these issues. Our attorneys, paralegals, and staff stand prepared to help, but The Brad Hendricks Law Firm also pledges its financial resources to stand against ExxonMobil to right this wrong. If The Brad Hendricks Law Firm does not win, our clients will owe us nothing.
Our firm offers representation to those who do not want to be part of a class action lawsuit, but who want the individualized representation necessary to address their specific damages. If you or a loved one has been harmed by the ExxonMobil Mayflower Pipeline Oil Spill, and you want an attorney who will fight for you, call The Brad Hendricks Law Firm today toll free, at (800) 603-5100.
Recent statistics demonstrate that tort reform measures, such as those that lead to less testing of patients, will cause thousands more to die and many more to be severely injured.
BOSTON, MA, March 29, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ — "The U.S. health system is the most expensive in the world, but comparative analyses consistently show that United States underperforms relative to other countries on most dimensions of performance."
That is the lead sentence of a recent comprehensive report by the non-partisan Commonwealth Fund called "Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall" – How the Performance of the U.S. Health Care System Compares Internationally – June 2010 (see link below). According to the report, the U.S. ranks dead last on patient safety; although our system is far more costly than any other system in the world. The authors point out that we have no national policies that promote quality improvement.
Instead, we see initiatives to reduce "defensive medicine" to allow doctors to do fewer tests to save costs, regardless of how many more lives are lost due to undiagnosed conditions. Recent statistics demonstrate that tort reform measures, such as those that lead to less testing of patients, will cause thousands more to die (beyond the nearly 100,000 that die each year from medical errors), and many more to be severely injured. We are justifiably outraged when auto makers reason that it is better to have a statistically significant number of people die than to correct safety problems. Since Americans don’t accept this reasoning and the disregard for human lives by auto makers, why would we accept it from our hospitals and the medical system, whose errors cause far more deaths than cars? There are at least two answers: (1) everyone drives cars, but not enough of us see ourselves or our children as vulnerable patients relying on safe care, and (2) the medical community keeps changing the topic to tort reform and defensive medicine each time someone mentions medical errors.