Federal Government Must Pay $41.6M for Negligent Forceps Delivery

Posted in Medical Malpractice

A Pennsylvania judge recently entered a $41.6 million verdict against the federal government after an obstetrician employed by a federally-funded health clinic negligently used forceps to deliver a baby. The baby suffered severe permanent brain damage as a result.

The lawsuit claimed that the obstetrician applied excessive force and traction and misapplied the forceps on the baby’s skull while performing a mid-forceps delivery, causing catastrophic neurological injury to the baby. One expert testified at trial that mid-level forceps deliveries are indicated only in severe, life-threatening emergencies. Another noted that the use of forceps caused multiple skull fractures, bleeding in the brain and destruction to the cerebellum and brain stem.

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Victim’s Consent Not a Defense Under PA Human Trafficking Statute

Posted in Human Trafficking

This is the fourth in a series of posts summarizing the civil causes of action available under the PA Human Trafficking Statute. Thus far, I have addressed who can sue under the statute and who can be sued. This post will address the powerful list of “nondefenses” provided within the statute.

The PA Human Trafficking Statute provides a very specific and comprehensive list of 14 factual scenarios that cannot be relied upon as a defense to a civil action brought pursuant to the statute. This list of “nondefenses” is as follows:

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Deadline to Comply with New Fire Inspection Requirements is Fast Approaching

Posted in Community Associations

The deadline to comply with the new inspection requirements mandated by the recent amendment to the Philadelphia fire code is fast approaching.

In the wake of a fire escape collapse in Center City that caused one death and two very serious injuries, the City of Philadelphia reviewed whether to mandate the inspection of fire escapes. Ultimately, the City of Philadelphia enacted a bill that amended Section F-1011.1 of the Philadelphia Fire Code. This amendment requires building owners to conduct very specific inspections of their building’s fire escapes and fire escape balconies. A report of the inspection must be filed with the Department of Licenses and Inspections (“L&I”).

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Who Can Be Sued Under PA Human Trafficking Statute?

Posted in Human Trafficking

This is the third post in a series of posts breaking down the civil causes of action available under the Pennsylvania Human Trafficking Statute. In my last post, I discussed who could bring a case under the statute; this post addresses who can be sued.

The text of the statute allows victims of the sex trade to bring a civil lawsuit against three separate categories of persons: Continue Reading

PA Courts Discuss Documents Shielded by Peer Review Protection Act

Posted in Medical Malpractice

In a Common Pleas Court decision, the Honorable Terrence R. Nealon set forth a detailed discussion concerning what materials are discoverable in a medical malpractice action under the Peer Review Protection Act (“PRPA”). 63 P.S. §§425.1 – 425.4.

In Vaccaro v. Scranton Quincy Hospital Company, LLC, plaintiffs allege obstetrical and hospital negligence leading to a minor plaintiff suffering an acute hypoxic ischemic brain injury, resulting in catastrophic injury and disability. The case involves an alleged failure to promptly diagnose and treat a placental abruption, and asserts that objective signs indicating a need for emergency cesarean section were ignored, leading to the alleged brain injury.

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Building Trades and IBEW Local 98 Volunteer to Repair Cemetery

Posted in Community

The IBEW reports that members of Philadelphia Building Trades and IBEW Local 98 are volunteering their time and resources to repair a vandalized cemetery in the City of Brotherly Love. In February, vandals toppled hundreds of headstones in the Mount Carmel Jewish Cemetery.

In response to the incident, the Philadelphia Building and Construction Trades Council, headed by Local 98 Business Manager John Dougherty, offered to replace and repair the damaged headstones, and install lighting and security cameras to prevent future vandalism.

City Councilman Bobby Henon, who is also a Local 98 member, tweeted about the Building Trade and IBEW response to the incident, calling it “good news” that Building Trades will restore headstones & IBEW will pay for and install security cameras at the cemetery.

IBEW President Lonnie R. Stephenson applauded the efforts of Local 98 and other members of the Philadelphia building trades.

First-Year Doctors to Begin Working 24-Hour Shifts

Posted in Medical Malpractice

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) announced on March 10 that first-year doctors will be allowed to work 24-hour shifts in hospitals starting July 1. The cap currently limiting physicians to 16 consecutive hours of patient care will now be lifted. The new standards will allow four hours to transition patients from one doctor to the next, so first-year residents could work as long as 28 straight hours, the same as more senior medical residents.

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Lawsuit Filed Under Pennsylvania’s Human Trafficking Law

Posted in Human Trafficking

In the first civil lawsuit under the Pennsylvania human trafficking statute, a hotel in Northeast Philadelphia has been accused of providing rooms to human traffickers. The statute establishes that businesses that directly or indirectly benefit from human trafficking can be forced to pay compensation to victims. A person commits an offense if the person knowingly traffics or knowingly attempts to traffic another person, knowing that the other person will be subjected to forced labor or services.

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Manufacturer Guarantees Surgical Sponge-Scanning System

Posted in Medical Malpractice

According to an article in Outpatient Surgery, every day, operating room (OR) teams nationwide leave almost a dozen surgical sponges inside their patients. To improve patient safety, Stryker implemented its “SurgiCount Safety-Sponge System” to keep track of surgical sponges. Reducing or eliminating the number of surgical sponges left behind reduces the risk of infection and permanent injury, the need for additional surgery, and even patient fatalities. Healthcare providers are hopeful to realize cost savings arising from legal expenses, malpractice settlements and awards, and non-reimbursable patient care.

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