Pennsylvania Court to Reconsider Denial of Attorney-Client Privilege for Email to Consultant

Posted in Medical Malpractice

The Pennsylvania Superior Court will reconsider its ruling that attorney-client privilege does not apply to an email from a hospital’s attorney to its public relations firm.

The discovery dispute in the case involved a document generated by outside counsel pertaining to a public announcement planned by the hospital. The announcement would name two doctors who were identified from the results of a cardiology services audit as having performed unnecessary cardiac stent procedures. The hospital claimed that the audit indicated that the blockages in the patients at issue were so minimal that stents were not medically appropriate.

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What Damages Are Available Under the PA Human Trafficking Statute?

Posted in Human Trafficking

This is the fifth 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, who can be sued, and the powerful list of “nondefenses” provided within the statute. This post addresses the various types of civil damages that are recoverable under the statute.

The language of the PA Human Trafficking Statute provides that a victim may recover the following types of damages:

  • Actual/compensatory damages;
  • Punitive damages;
  • Injunctive relief;
  • Attorney fees and costs; and,
  • Treble damages.

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Do We Need More Uniformity in Newborn Screening in the US?

Posted in Medical Malpractice

According to the March of Dimes, each year more than 12,000 newborns are identified as having a condition detected through newborn screening. Newborn screening is the practice of testing every newborn for certain genetic, metabolic, hormonal, and functional conditions. If diagnosed early, many of these conditions can be successfully managed, improving lives and reducing costs. If not diagnosed, or not diagnosed and treated in a timely manner, these conditions can cause severe disability or death.

Newborn Screening in the US

Through newborn screening, nearly every baby in the United States is tested for genetic disorders shortly after birth. Health care providers collect blood samples from newborns and send them to labs for testing. But a recent report issued by the U.S. Government Accountability Office found most states have not met federal benchmarks to screen 95 percent of blood samples within seven days of birth by 2017. Continue Reading

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.