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Most of us see construction sites, and the cranes that tower over them, as an average, everyday thing.  And they are, especially in cities.  Most people see them as a sign of strong economic activity; investments in jobs and growth.  Indeed, most of them are.

We walk by them every day, without thinking much of the dangers that lurk inside those construction sites.  Many think that the risks exist just to the construction workers themselves, inside the site.  That isn’t true, and this reality was made clear again yesterday, with the Feb. 5 construction crane collapse in New York City, which killed one person and seriously injured two others. Continue reading

In my previous post on this subject, I wrote of how The Boston Globe’s Spotlight Team recently ran a Spotlight Investigation into the practice of surgeons conducting “simultaneous surgeries: at the esteemed Massachusetts General Hospital.  This practice involves a surgeon or surgeons ‘shuttling’ back and forth between separate operating rooms, operating on separate patients, for with entirely separate O.R. teams.  Sound crazy?  Well, MGH officials claim that it’s s ‘sound’ and ‘safe practice, which saves time and money, without elevating the risk of harm to their patients.

Don’t tell that to a patient by the name of Tony Meng.  As the Globe’s Spotlight Team recently reported, Mr. Meng was examined at MGH for neck pain, combined with tingling in his arms and fingers. An MRI revealed a condition that was creating compression of his spinal cord. Continue reading

I’ve written in this blog extensively on the subject of medical negligence.  Some people have a hard time believing that medical negligence (medical malpractice) is really all that prevalent.  But it is – far more than the average person knows.    Approximtely 400,00- people die of medical negligence every year in the united States.  That fact comes from recently published study in the Journal of Patient Safety and was conducted to update decades-old data that consistently stated that fewer than 100,000 Americans die each year due to medical errors.  While doctors, hospitals and medical professionals have always quoted that figure, there was just one, huge problem with it:  It was based on data over 30 years old – from 1984.  The present-day reality:  Over 400,000, each year.

While frightening, this fact doesn’t make doctors or nurses “evil” – it makes them human.  But these errors DO occur, and they DO cause the victims of these medical errors terrible consequences.  As a Boston medical negligence lawyer, I’ve seen these realities first-hand, and I know the damage and heartache they can cause.  The the laws of Massachusetts provide redress against these events, and I’m proud to represent the families and individuals that I do, who have suffered the consequences of medical malpractice. Continue reading

With the last day of the year upon us, almost everyone and his brother is going out to celebrate New Year’s Eve tonight, and party the night away. If you’re planning on being in a car tonight, I’d think twice about that.

By the numbers, New Year’s Eve is one of the most dangerous nights of the year for drivers to be on the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, December 31st and January 1st have the highest rate of motor vehicle accidents in the entire year. Massachusetts is no exception. The obvious reason? Alcohol. And this is despite the fact that just about every Police Department in Massachusetts, as well as across the country, routinely warns of police roadblocks and checkpoints across the state. In addition, anti-alcohol and safe driving groups such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving, heavily promote messages against drinking and driving, especially during the holidays. Continue reading

First, I hope that my readers and friends have had a safe and happy Thanksgiving Day. Given the fact that this is one of, if not the most, high motor vehicle traffic days in the year, staying safe on the roads can be a challenge.

Right now, I’m vacationing with my wife Debbi on Maui, Hawaii (Note: If you’re a current or prospective client, don’t worry: All my cases are being covered by my colleagues!) When most people get away on vacation, they usually don’t think of being involved in a motor vehicle accident. You’re on vacation, right? What can go wrong? The answer: Plenty. In fact, more than you think – and the reasons are obvious: Problem #1 – “How Do You Work This Thing?”: When traveling a long way from home (vs. locally,) most people are driving a rental car. Rental car drivers are not familiar with the vehicle they’re renting, so the risk of operator error increases substantially. Problem # 2 – “We’re Not in Kansas Anymore” – The layout of the roads, the terrain, directions, are all strange and unfamiliar – and this increases the risk of a motor vehicle accident even more. Problem #3 – “I need some sleep”: Travelers driving rental cars are probably quite tired from the stress of travel – and this too, increases the risk of a car accident. Problem #4 – “Get Outta My Way:This is probably the worst one: Our impatient and often insensitive, inconsiderate culture. So many people these days just don’t care about consideration and civility toward other drivers. So many people will cut you off in a heartbeat, just to get a couple of car lengths ahead of you; just to ‘beat the light” ahead of you. This behavior is, of course, what earned Massachusetts drivers the nickname “Massholes” – and unfortunately, as a Boston Massachusetts motor vehicle accident lawyer, I can regrettably attest to the truth of this term. Continue reading

When most people think of medical mistakes, medical malpractice or similar, they think of surgical errors (such as operating on the wrong patient or body organ,) or medication mishaps.

Hospitals spend billions of dollars collectively every year in quality control, quality assurance, and patient review systems.  Almost every hospital has what is known as a Committee on Mortality & Morbidity Review, to review and hopefully correct any patient errors that occurred under its roofs.  Entire organizations, such as the National Institute of Medicine, exist to improve patient care in large-scale hospital settings.  Continue reading

I’ve blogged here several times previously about the dangers of texting and driving – actually, of any smart phone use while driving.  But most of my posts have had to do with the everyday drivers out there – known legally as “private passenger vehicle operators.”

As annoying as it is to look at the car next to you and see an inconsiderate driver using his or her cell phone while behind the wheel, imagine seeing the driver of a 12-wheeler doing it.  And that’s the other major threat on the roadways:  Commercial truck drivers.  People who drive trucks for a living – whether as an employee of a company or as an independent trucker – are known legally as “CDL Operators.”  This stands for “Commercial Driver’s License.”  The legal penalties that CDL operators, or truck drivers, face for texting while driving and/or cell phone use while driving are more severe than for non-commercial drivers – and with good reason:  Weighing in at potentially several more tons than a private passenger vehicle, it takes much longer to stop or re-direct a truck, than it does for a sedan.  This is simple physics.  Most of those stiffer legal penalties are federal, not state – and many states need to catch up on making these laws tougher throughout the country. Continue reading

In my previous post on this subject, I wrote of how new products in prenatal testing have caused several false testing reports, causing many expectant couples to elect abortions, out of fear that the fetus would be born with severe birth defects.

The tests, which can be conducted as early as nine weeks of pregnancy, detect placental DNA in the mother’s blood and test it for chromosomal abnormalities, as well as gender. The tests were originally designed for older women and women at high risk of pregnancy difficulties, but many of these tests are now marketed to all pregnant women.  Industry analysts estimate that between 450,000 to 800,000 of these tests have been performed in the United States since 2011.  Several companies are racing to corner what some analysts predict could be a $3.6 billion global industry by the year 2019. Continue reading

A decade ago heralded an exhilarating time for medical scientists: The sequencing of the human genome – the foundation for all human life; the genetic “instruction manual” from which each of us is created. This historic effort ushered in a new, supposedly more accurate platform of prenatal screening tests, which are primarily designed to determine if a fetus has inherited a debilitating or fatal genetic disease.

Hundreds of thousands of newly-pregnant women have taken these tests in the past couple of years – through an everyday blood sample taken in their doctor’s office. Many women have considered this process “no big deal.” But a recent investigation by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting has discovered that companies manufacturing these tests have been overselling and overstating their accuracy, while simultaneously doing little to inform expecting parents, or their doctors, about the serious risks that these tests can produce ‘false alarms.’

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I love what I do for work, but sometimes it just amazes me how – sorry to be so blunt – downright stupid some people can be.

How stupid, you ask?

How about driving a car while you’re dialing, talking, or texting on a smart phone? But don’t a lot of people do it, you also ask? Yes. And a lot of people drive drunk, too – which is, in terms of neurological motor skills, functionally about the same as using a cell phone while driving. Yet so many drivers continue to do this – placing not only themselves, but more importantly, their own passengers and other drivers at risk of horrific injuries and even death.

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