May 2010

US News Offers Nine Thoughts to Consider When Looking for a Nursing Home

May 31, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

With the life expectancy rate getting longer, more elderly persons are having to stay at assisted living facilities. In 2007 alone, 975 people resided in 38,000 US nursing homes in 2007. In 2030, there will likely be71.5 million seniors in the over 65 age group occupying this planet.

Our Charlotte, North Carolina nursing home neglect and abuse law firm knows that deciding if and where you should allow your loved one to live is a very important decision. Not only do you want to make sure that your family receives the proper nursing care, but also, it is imperative that he/she does not become the victim of nursing home abuse, neglect, sexual assault, elder financial abuse, or patient violence. You also want to make sure that your loved one feels as safe and content as he/she can be when living at a nursing home.

According to US News & World Report, that when looking for the right nursing home you need to consider:

• Choose an assisted living facility that is located in a place that allows your loved one to still feel connected to his/her community.

• Make sure that the nursing home can provide the type of medical and nursing care your loved one needs.

• Choose a facility that is licensed and meets the state’s nursing home standards and requirements

• Get recommendations from friends and do your research before choosing a place.

• Visit the nursing home more than once. Check out life at the facility during the day and at night.

• Talk to residents that are living at the nursing home now and ask them about the staff, the food, security, and whether or not they are satisfied with their experience.

US News Offers Nine Thoughts to Consider When Looking for a Nursing Home, US News, May 27, 2010

Related Web Resources:
North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services

May is Older Americans Month, Administration on Aging

Gastonia Police Brutality: Mother’s Wrongful Death Lawsuit Accuses Cop of Killing Her Son Without Just Cause

May 25, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

Cleveland County resident Debra Keeter has filed a federal lawsuit suing the city of Gastonia and former police detective Scott Barnes for her son’s North Carolina wrongful death. Terry Adam Boone died after Barnes shot him in the back of the head on May 1, 2008.

The police shooting happened while Boone was fighting with a group of men who had threatened his life. Police claimed that the 20-year-old was stabbing one of the men when Barnes arrived at the scene. The former police detective says that he shot Boone because he went after him with a knife.

According to Keeter’s North Carolina police brutality complaint, police later found out that Barnes had lied when he said that he saw Boone stabbing someone else. She is also accusing the police of withholding key information from investigators.

Barnes was let go from the Gastonia Police Department in August 2008. Officials say that his firing is not connected to Boone’s shooting.

In November 2009, the district attorney’s office determined that the former Gastonia police detective would not be criminally charged in Boone’s shooting because they found that he acted appropriately when he shot Boone, who allegedly posed a physical threat.

However, Keeter’s North Carolina wrongful death lawsuit contends that Boone was far enough away from Barnes that the former was not a danger to the detective or those around them. She accuses the Gastonia Police Department of failing to provide investigators with information regarding Barnes’s past transgressions as a cop.

Excessive Use of Police Force
Unnecessary use of police force is never justified, and it is usually suspects and innocent bystanders that end up suffering. Unfortunately, many victims and their families fail to realize is that they can file a North Carolina police brutality claim against the liable parties.

Federal lawsuit alleges Gastonia police officer killed man without cause in 2008, Gaston Gazette, May 3, 2010

Did Gastonia Police Officer Commit North Carolina Police Brutality When He Fatally Shot Man Holding Knife?, North Carolina Injury Blog, September 22, 2009

Related Web Resource:
Police Brutality and Misconduct, New York Times

North Carolina Traumatic Brain Injuries Linked To Emotional Processing Issues

May 20, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

We all know that suffering from a North Carolina traumatic brain injury can be devastating for the victim and family members. Depending on the degree of seriousness of the TBI, a person living with a brain injury may experience memory problems, confusion, communication difficulties, attention problems, speech problems, sensory impairment, vision problems, hearing difficulties, a decreased sense of smell, a decreased sense of taste, paralysis, chronic pain, spasticity, bowel problems, aggressiveness, depression, or personality changes. Now, new research has shown that a traumatic brain injury can also cause problems with a person’s ability to process emotions.

This impairment can make recovery more difficult and cause relationship problems for the TBI patient. According to head injury specialist Professor Roger Wood from the University of Swansea, family members reported that following a TBI accident, the patient exhibited a lack of love or warmth that strained their relationships.

Wood and colleague Clair Williams asked TBI patients to fill out a neuropsychological test questionnaire that helps identify who has low empathy. Williams and Wood found that TBI patients generally scored low results for empathy. They also found that TBI patients have a harder time identifying not just what someone they saw in a video or photograph might be feeling, but also they were more likely to have problems describing and identifying their own feelings.

Sustaining a traumatic brain injury is devastating enough without compounding its effects with a decreased ability to feel and empathize. TBI victims and their families lose so much in terms of what their lives and experiences with one another would otherwise have been like if only the brain injury accident never happened.

Our Charlotte, North Carolina traumatic brain injury attorneys represent victims and their families with claims against the parties responsible for causing the TBI. Traumatic brain injuries can occur during car crashes, truck accidents, motorcycle collisions, pedestrian accidents, slip and fall accidents, or as a result of medical malpractice or some other type of negligence.

Traumatic Brain Injury leads to problems with emotional processing, Psychology Today, January 3, 2010

Inability to empathize following traumatic brain injury, Cambridge Journals

Related Web Resource:
Traumatic Brain Injury, MedlinePlus

Allergan Ordered to Pay $15 Million Dangerous Drug Verdict For Failing to Warn About Possible Botox Side Effects

May 15, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

A jury has ordered Allergan to pay a woman $15 million for the personal injuries she sustained from using Botox. The plaintiff, Dr. Sharla Helton, claims that she suffered botulism poisoning after she received Botox injections in 2006 to get rid of her wrinkles.

Jury members found that Allergan was negligent in its labeling of the Botox injections, which, at the time, did not warn that botulism might be a possible side effect. The 48-year-old gynecologist and obstetrician says that because of her health issues she was forced to resign as Lakeside Women’s Hospital’s medical director. She also had to sell her medical practice.

The verdict comes just three months after another jury ruled in Allergan’s favor in the Botox lawsuit filed by a woman seeking products liability compensation for her daughter’s wrongful death in 2007. Kristen Spears received Botox injections to treat her cerebral palsy, but Allergan’s legal team argued that she died from cerebral palsy complications and not from the drug. The jury in that case found that Allergan had provided adequate warning about the possible risks that could arise from using Botox.

Life-threatening side effects from receiving Botox treatments can include heart attacks, serious allergic reaction, arrhythmia, respiratory depression, and botulism poisoning. That said, Helton’s dangerous drug attorneys claim that there are many people out there who don’t realize that the reason they fell ill was because they were injected with Botox.

Botox is now approved for cosmetic use and for treating certain medical conditions, such as strabismus, cervical dystonia, blepharospasms, and hyperhidrosis.

Oklahoma County jury finds Botox maker negligent, awards $15 million, NewsOk, May 12, 2010

Jury Awards Doctor $15M In Lawsuit Against Botox, CBS2, May 12, 2010

F.D.A. Orders Warning Label for Botox, NY Times, April 30, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Botox Cosmetic


Food and Drug Administration

North Carolina Train Derailment Accident Injures at Least 10

May 13, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

At least 10 people were injured in a North Carolina train accident involving a tractor-trailer that got stuck on the train tracks at a Mebane crossing. The Amtrak train was headed for Charlotte this morning when it collided with the large truck between Raleigh and Greensboro and became derailed.

The train was carrying 1,900 gallons of fuel and hazardous materials. A team from Norfolk Southern had to come out to the train derailment sight to contain about 500 gallons diesel fuel that had leaked out of the locomotive, which, along with a train car, caught on fire. Meantime, the train accident victims were treated transported to local hospitals.

This is not the first train accident to occur at this particular crossing. Six previous North Carolina train accidents going back to 1978 have take place at site of today’s crash.

Also, it was less than two months in that another Amtrak train was involved in a Charlotte, North Carolina train crash with a tractor-trailer that had gotten stuck on the tracks. 118 people were riding the train when it collided with the semi-truck, which was transporting luxury vehicles. No serious injuries were reported.

Some reasons why a vehicle might get stuck on a train track:

• Mechanical problems
• Panic on the driver’s part
• Vehicle is physically stuck on the tracks
• Railroad crossing arm malfunction
• Vehicle is stopped on the tracks while caught in slowed or stopped traffic
• Train malfunction
• Human error

Just last month, a woman was killed in an Illinois train accident involving an Amtrak train because the warning system failed to let her know that the train was arriving.

Amtrak Train Crashes Into Truck, Derails in North Carolina, MyFox8, May 13, 2010

Charlotte-bound Amtrak train hits truck, Charlotte Observer, May 13, 2010

Related Web Resources:

Train Accidents, Justia

Charlotte Catholic Diocese Settles North Carolina Clergy Sex Abuse Lawsuit for $1 Million

May 7, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

The insurance company for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte has agreed to pay $1 million settle North Carolina sexual abuse allegations that former altar boy Robby Price was sexually abused by Rev, Robert Yurgel in 1999 at St. Matthew Catholic Church. The diocese will also pay Price, now 25, another $47,500 for counseling medication for the next five years.

According to one of his North Carolina sex abuse attorneys, it wasn’t until 2007 that Price was able to tell his parents about that the priest had molested him.

Yurgel was arrested in 2008. After pleading guilty to a second-degree sex offense, he was sentenced in February 2009 to almost eight years in prison.

Despite agreeing to settle, the Charlotte diocese is not admitting to or denying liability. Diocese officials say the weren’t aware of any misconduct allegations against Yurgel until his arrest.

Price says that the priest started molesting him when he was 14. At Yurgel’s sentencing last year, Price told the priest that he continues to experience nightmares and flashbacks over what happened.

Sex Abuse Lawsuits
A criminal conviction against one’s abuser can force the perpetrator to pay for his/her crime behind bars. However, that will not make the pain, suffering, and trauma go away for the victim. The injuries inflicted by any type of sexual abuse can take longer than a lifetime to heal. Physical injuries, emotional issues, sexual issues, depression, eating disorders, relationship problems, suicidal tendencies, and other harmful consequences can result from being sexually abused. The injuries can be further compounded if the abuser is someone that the victim knows and/or is someone who had authority over them in some way.

Charlotte Catholic diocese to pay $1 million to molestation victim, HeraldOnline, May 7, 2010

Priest sex abuse suit settled for $1 million, Charlotte Observer, May 7, 2010

Related Web Resources:

Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte

Vatican’s Handling of Clergy Sex Abuse Gets Failing Grade in Survey, Politics Daily, May 4, 2010

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests


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