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  • $1,100,000 Surgical Error Settlement

Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) (also known as perinatal asphyxia) is a type of brain injury that results when the supply of blood and oxygen to a baby’s brain is temporarily cut off during childbirth.

What is Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)?

Encephalopathy is a medical term used to describe various conditions or diseases that result in damage to the brain. Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is an injury to the brain specifically caused by a combination of (a) an interruption or reduction in oxygen supply (hypoxia), and (b) a reduction of blood flow (ischemia). With perinatal HIE the reduction of blood and oxygen flow to the baby’s brain takes place during or immediately after childbirth. HIE is a very dangerous condition that requires an emergency response by doctors and hospital staff. Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy is one of the leading causes of infant deaths during childbirth. HIE is also a leading source of very severe and disabling brain damages.

Our law firm handles cerebral palsy lawsuits in Baltimore.  There is confusion about CP lawsuits and about cerebral palsy in general.  This post hopes to help some clear up some of the confusion and get a clear picture of the landscape of cerebral palsy in general and the litigation landscape of in CP birth injury suits.

Some lawyers and defense experts in birth injury cases want the jury to think the cerebral palsy is a disease. Cerebral palsy is not a disease.  Rather CP is a group of disorders in which the brain is unable to control muscle movement, coordination, and balance.  The term cerebral references the brain and palsy is a medical term that refers to paralysis or weakness.  CP is caused by a particular type of damage to the brain during developmental stages.

CP and its physical symptoms can vary significantly. Individuals with relatively minor cases of CP might just walk with a slight limp or awkward gait.  I have one friend who has CP who got off to a tough start but does really well and, at this point, no one knows she has CP.   A severe case of CP might leave the person completely unable to walk at all.

Medical malpractice is when a physician, or other professional, renders substandard medical care resulting in harm to the patient.  Professional malpractice is a civil wrong or “tort” for which injured patients can be entitled to legal compensation.  The damages caused by medical malpractice can be very significant.

Poor medical care can easily result in debilitating physical harm and even death.  In fact, a recent study by Johns Hopkins estimated that medical errors are the 3rd leading cause of death in the U.S. each year.  Baltimore has some of the best hospitals and doctors in the entire country.  But medical malpractice occurs even at places like Johns Hopkins.

Everyone always talks about how fortunate we are to have such great hospitals in Baltimore.  I’ve said that myself and felt blessed to have the treatment options I have had.  Yet Maryland ranks 48th in hospital safety in Maryland and Baltimore hospital play a big role in that ranking.

Last week, the Baltimore City Department of Transportation announced that it is pushing its chips to the center of the table when it comes to speed and red light cameras.

Baltimore has a program called the City’s Automated Traffic Violation Enforcement System (ATVES).  Not so much to me because I’ve seen too many people’s lives ruined by speed and running red lights, but ATVES sounds very Orwellian to many Baltimore City drivers. ATVES is in charge of the automated speed trap and red light enforcement cameras in Baltimore City.

ATVES also does something that troubles people less, particularly those who have seen truck accident statistics in this country. It has a Commercial Vehicle Height Monitoring System Camera Program to enforce violations of commercial vehicles traveling on truck restricted roadways in Baltimore City.  We got a million dollar verdict in a case a few years back in no small measure because the jury was annoyed that the truck was in a place that it clearly should not have been.   This system definitely uses some bring brother technology,  using the truck’s height to determine whether the vehicle is over ¾ of a ton).

A disc herniation is a type of disc injury that is frequently caused by car accidents.  The impact of a car accident often exerts significant force and pressure on the spine.  This pressure can cause a tear and rupture or bulge of the spinal discs, which act as pads or cushions for the spine.  This injury is referred to as a herniated disc.

Our firm has handled scores and scores of herniated disc injury cases.  Our first trial at Miller & Zois was a herniated disc verdict in 2003.  Our doors had been open for about a month.  The defendant offered $25,000 to settle a no property damage herniated disc injury case where the most aggressive treatment was steroid injections.

Laura Zois and I tried the case and we got a $300,000 verdict.  Our firm has handled these cases ever since.  We have earned millions in settlements and verdicts in herniated disc injury cases.

The conversation surrounding the #MeToo movement on social media has made many reconsider inappropriate behavior inside and outside of professional environments. The much-publicized trial of disgraced former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar – and his conviction on seven counts of sexual abuse– shed light on the kind of incidents experienced by many female patients. Here’s what you need to know about sexual assault by a treating medical professional.

Sexual assaults by doctors are not necessarily medical malpractice claims.  They are assaults.  But when we have these cases, we are likely going to file them as malpractice cases.  The defenses are often grounded in malpractice and we are often bringing negligence claims against the medical practice or hospital for not properly supervising the doctor in light of what is often prior complaints against the doctor.  We have a sexual battery case in suit now where the doctor required a chaperone due to prior allegations but one was not provided with our client.  The doctor eventually lost his medical license.

What Do We Consider Sexual Assault?

The saying is “accidents happen.” They do. But sometimes people are seriously hurt because of a fall that is someone else’s responsibility.  When this happens, the result if often a personal injury claim.

Despite safety innovations and a growing awareness of liability among property owners, “slip and fall” injuries are unlikely to disappear anytime soon. There are many misconceptions about these kinds of injuries and their value in Maryland courts.  While they can result in lucrative verdicts or settlements, it’s important to know the facts.

Say you’re walking through a parking lot and an uneven sewer grate sends you flying face first to the asphalt. Or you’re shopping for groceries and a puddle of water from a leaking freezer makes you lose balance and shatter your hip.  What do you do?  Do you have any options to bring a claim against the wrongdoer who caused you to fall?   The post is intended to better help you understand the answers to these questions.

A Cesarean section, commonly called a “C-section”, is often performed when the baby or the mother is in distress. A C-section enables a doctor to remove the infant immediately in order to prevent an injury and then allows the doctor to provide treatment as soon as possible. Sometimes, however, there may be a delay in performing a needed c-section.

The standard of care when delivering a baby requires the obstetrician or midwife to correctly assess the fetal monitor tracings and to recognize any non-reassuring patterns. If the baby is in trouble, doctors need to take action quickly. A timely performed C-section is often the best path to protecting the child from a loss of oxygen that can lead to a brain injury or death.

There is some debate among obstetricians as to when a C-section is appropriate.  There is no dispute that the standard of care calls for cesarean sections in many cases, including, repeat C-sections,  multiple births, a labor and delivery which is expected to be challenging, when the child’s expected size is disproportionate to the mother’s pelvis, uterine tumor obstructions, or breech or transverse presentation of the neonate. Obstetricians also agree that there are cases of fetal distress or maternal disorders that mandate a C-section.

Meconium is the baby’s first bowel movement. It is probably not what you expect. These first feces consists of debris and cells from the intestinal tract and mucus and slimy fluids. Meconium is green and has no smell.

What is Meconium Aspiration Syndrome?

Meconium Aspiration Syndrome (MAS) causes respiratory distress as a result of meconium entering the respiratory tract below the vocal cords and presenting in the tracheal bronchial tree. When the baby makes an attempt to breathe in utero, before the baby is delivered, the baby can inhale meconium material into the lungs. The fear is the meconium blocking the airways.  Oxygen is critical to life for all of us.  But, during the birthing process, it is critical to have a smooth flow of oxygen to the brain and other vital organs.

Insurance companies do not think the way you and I think. But, by understanding how insurance adjusters think and what is important to them, you can maximize how much money you receive in a personal injury case.

What Is the Adjuster’s Goal?

Insurance adjusters are trained to try to rip you off. Although, adjusters do not call it that. They also do not think of it in those terms. But, they are not charged with the task of making a reasonable settlement offer to you. An insurance adjuster’s mission is to pay you as little money as possible to settle your claim, which allows the insurance company to keep as much of its money as it can.

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