Practice Fusion Pays $145 Million Settlement for Opioid Kickback Scheme

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced a $145 million settlement with Practice Fusion, a company that furnished software used for keeping electronic health records (EHRs). The settlement describes a scheme in which Practice Fusion’s software would encourage doctors to prescribe more opioids, which in turn would earn them a kickback from a pharmaceutical company. The pharmaceutical company involved was not named in the settlement.… Read the rest

Study Find Sepsis to Be Leading Cause of Death in Hospitals

According to a new study in the medical journal The Lancet, sepsis is the leading cause of death in hospitals in the United States, and also one of the leading causes of death worldwide. By their estimates, a full fifth of all deaths in 2017 were related to sepsis, with incidence rates being particularly high in sub-Saharan Africa, Oceania, and south, east and southeast Asia. Although the overall rate of sepsis has fallen in the United States, it remains the single largest health risk patients face in hospitals.… Read the rest

Pain and Suffering Claims Reinstated in Nursing Home Malpractice Case

The First Circuit Court of Appeals has reinstated a plaintiff’s pre-mortem pain and suffering claim that was initially dismissed by the district court. The claim is part of a 2014 case involving a woman who had been transferred to a New York City nursing home after hospitalization for severe respiratory distress and pneumonia, where she eventually died of cardiac arrest due to severe septic shock. The claim is dependent on evidence of the decedent’s mental state prior to her death.… Read the rest

Doctor Pleads Guilty to Illegal Distribution of Opioids Resulting in Overdose

A doctor in Manhattan pleaded guilty early in December to illegally distributing fentanyl and oxycodone to patients who did not medically require it. As a result, at least one of his patients is dead from an overdose, having been prescribed hundreds of times the amount of oxycodone generally prescribed for medical purposes. The doctor, who worked for a major Manhattan hospital, will be sentenced in March, and faces a maximum of twenty years in prison.

Opioid addiction has become an increasingly common problem throughout the United States, with many who become addicted dying from an overdose. While this spread of … Read the rest

New Report Shows FDA Failed to Adequately Address Opioid Crisis

A new report by researchers at Johns Hopkins University shows that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) failed to adequately address the opioid epidemic that has caused enormous suffering throughout the United States. The documents show the FDA failed to appropriately conduct oversight of the pharmaceutical industry and did not adequately train doctors to handle opioids and the associated risk of addiction. These failures contributed to the rise of opioid addiction in the United States, which kills around 72,000 people per year.… Read the rest

PG&E Settles Wildfire Lawsuits for $13.5 Billion

PG&E Corp., one of the largest utility providers in the country, has settled numerous lawsuits related to wildfires allegedly caused by its faulty equipment. The lawsuits arose around so-called “jumper cables,” which have been found to have a high likelihood of breaking or malfunctioning, which have resulted in at least 22 wildfires between 2017 and 2018. A federal judge has approved a settlement for these wildfire suits, resulting in a payout of $13.5 billion to victims, in the form of both cash and PG&E stock.… Read the rest

Congress Passes Law Allowing Military to Sue for Malpractice

In the 1950s, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Feres v. U.S. that active duty members of the military couldn’t sue the government for negligent acts committed by other members of the armed forces, including medical malpractice claims. The Feres doctrine has been in place for close to 70 years, and in that time, it has received much criticism, even as it has remained the law of the land. However, due to the activism of one sergeant, that is set to change.… Read the rest

How to Identify Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

When people place their loved ones in the care of a nursing home, they do so with the hope and expectation that their loved ones will be properly cared for. Indeed, the law requires that nursing homes provide their residents with a level of care that will safeguard their health and make them as comfortable as possible. However, not every nursing home meets this standard, and it is essential that you recognize the possible signs that your loved one is suffering from nursing home abuse or neglect.… Read the rest

Nassau County Takes Steps to Protect Pedestrians During “Fall Back”

Research has shown that pedestrian deaths increase in the period immediately after the end of Daylight Savings Time. The combination of fewer daylight hours plus the sudden shift in people’s sleep schedules has the combined effect of drastically increasing the danger to pedestrians in the weeks immediately after the “fall back” to Eastern Standard Time. Nassau County has recently announced a plan that would hopefully reduce the number of pedestrian fatalities that occur as result of the fall back.… Read the rest