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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Handgun Regulation in Community Associations

Posted in Community Associations

An entire textbook and law school class could be devoted to the topic of handgun regulation. This article will focus on two recent United States Supreme Court (“Court”) decisions, briefly discuss some of the ways in which the Court’s decisions could apply to community associations, and identify practical issues that a community association should consider before embarking on any attempt to restrict handguns in its community. Any association interested in regulating firearms should consult experienced association counsel before embarking on such a task.

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Insufficient Insurance Coverage, Running With Play-Doh, and Other Risky Activities

Posted in Community Associations

As someone who manages risk for a living and can find potential liability in even the most mundane and (seemingly) harmless activities, I don’t get invited to many parties. Statements such as “Are you crazy!?! Those kids shouldn’t be running with an open container of Play-Doh” and “You do realize that mistletoe is poisonous” tend not to ingratiate me with the host and guests.

You can imagine my horror when a unit owner informs me that he doesn’t have his own property insurance. My horror increases when the unit owner informs me that the reason he doesn’t have insurance is his belief that he is covered by the condominium association’s insurance. For the record, your association’s property insurance does not adequately protect you. Add “Call Insurance Agent/Broker to Review Coverage” to your New Year’s Resolutions.

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