Westland Kramer & Bennett Blog http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/ Recent Articles from Westland Kramer & Bennett en-us Mon, 01 Sep 2014 23:13:10 -0500 <p><a href="/about/">Westland Kramer &amp; Bennett</a> partner, <a href="/attorneys/jack-kramer/">Jack Kramer</a>, has been named to the 2014 10 Best Client Satisfaction Award by the <a href="http://www.aiopia.org" target="_blank">American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys</a>. &nbsp;Mr. Kramer concentrates his practice helping individuals who have been harmed because of the carelessness of others.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img title="10 Best Personal Injury Attorneys in Indiana" src="http://northwestindianapersonalinjuryblog.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/thirteenthirteen-269x300.jpg" alt="10 Best Logo" width="269" height="300" /></p> http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/13810 Westland Kramer & Bennett partner, Jack Kramer, has been named to the 2014 10 Best Client Satisfaction Award by the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys.  Mr. Kramer concentrates his practice helping individuals who have been harmed because of the carelessness of others.

 

10 Best Logo

]]>
2014-05-21 10:31:37 http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/13810
<p>Westland Kramer &amp; Bennett partner Nicole Bennett was a call in guest on WJOB radio to discuss the Indiana Court of Appeals decision her office won regarding Indiana&rsquo;s criminal conviction or arrest expungement law.&nbsp; Westland Kramer &amp; Bennett were successful in the first appeal addressing Indiana new &ldquo;Second Chance&rdquo; law.&nbsp; The crux of the case involved whether a local trial court can use its discretion to deny an expungement of a conviction when the person meets all the statutory requirements.&nbsp; Attorney Bennett discussed the importance of the court&rsquo;s ruling, as well as the practical import of having a conviction erased &ndash; such as whether a person with an expunged record must answer &ldquo;yes&rdquo; to employment application questions like: &ldquo;Have you ever been convicted of a crime?&rdquo;&nbsp; Click the file below to listen to attorney Bennett&rsquo;s WJOB discussion on this important topic.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <script type="text/javascript">// <![CDATA[ if(location.protocol=="https:"){ document.write('<script src="https://www.oculu.com/im4/im_initiate.php?user_id=1734450497&folder_number=734"><\/script>'); }if(location.protocol=="http:"){ document.write('<script src="http://www.oculu.com/im4/im_initiate.php?user_id=1734450497&folder_number=734"><\/script>'); } // ]]></script> <div id="im_box_ep" style="width: 640px; height: 360px;">&nbsp;</div> <script type="text/javascript">// <![CDATA[ function im_is_loaded_ep(options) { if( typeof im_done != "undefined" ) { im_auto_ep( options ); } else { setTimeout( "im_is_loaded_ep( { video_id: 1470545408 } )", 100 ); } } im_is_loaded_ep({ video_id:1470545408 }); // ]]></script> http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/13285 Westland Kramer & Bennett partner Nicole Bennett was a call in guest on WJOB radio to discuss the Indiana Court of Appeals decision her office won regarding Indiana’s criminal conviction or arrest expungement law.  Westland Kramer & Bennett were successful in the first appeal addressing Indiana new “Second Chance” law.  The crux of the case involved whether a local trial court can use its discretion to deny an expungement of a conviction when the person meets all the statutory requirements.  Attorney Bennett discussed the importance of the court’s ruling, as well as the practical import of having a conviction erased – such as whether a person with an expunged record must answer “yes” to employment application questions like: “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?”  Click the file below to listen to attorney Bennett’s WJOB discussion on this important topic.

 

 
]]>
2014-04-19 14:14:49 http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/13285
<p>The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today that for certain crimes, Indiana&rsquo;s new criminal conviction and arrest expungement law is mandatory.&nbsp; This was the first appellate court opinion in Indiana to address the new &ldquo;Second Chance&rdquo; law.&nbsp; The case was handled by <a href="/about/">Westland Kramer &amp; Bennett</a> attorneys <a href="/attorneys/nicole-bennett/">Nicole Bennett</a> and <a href="/attorneys/steve-moell/">Steven Moell</a>, both former Lake County Deputy Prosecutors.</p> <p>The case involved a man convicted of a Class A misdemeanor.&nbsp; <a href="/about/">Westland Kramer &amp; Bennett</a> petitioned for expungement of the conviction on its client&rsquo;s behalf.&nbsp; Indiana&rsquo;s &ldquo;Second Chance&rdquo; law provided that the conviction &ldquo;shall&rdquo; be expunged.&nbsp; However, the trial court refused to do.&nbsp;&nbsp; The Court of Appeals agreed with the arguments raised by Westland Kramer &amp; Bennett and unanimously reversed the lower court.&nbsp; The Court of Appeals found that the Indiana legislature used the term &ldquo;shall&rdquo; in the Second Chance law and therefore the trial court had no discretion and was required to expunge the conviction.</p> <p>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wkb-law.com/files/Taylor_v_State_Expungement_COA_Opinion.pdf">Click here</a> to read a copy of the Court of Appeals opinion.</p> http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/13245 The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today that for certain crimes, Indiana’s new criminal conviction and arrest expungement law is mandatory.  This was the first appellate court opinion in Indiana to address the new “Second Chance” law.  The case was handled by Westland Kramer & Bennett attorneys Nicole Bennett and Steven Moell, both former Lake County Deputy Prosecutors.

The case involved a man convicted of a Class A misdemeanor.  Westland Kramer & Bennett petitioned for expungement of the conviction on its client’s behalf.  Indiana’s “Second Chance” law provided that the conviction “shall” be expunged.  However, the trial court refused to do.   The Court of Appeals agreed with the arguments raised by Westland Kramer & Bennett and unanimously reversed the lower court.  The Court of Appeals found that the Indiana legislature used the term “shall” in the Second Chance law and therefore the trial court had no discretion and was required to expunge the conviction.

 Click here to read a copy of the Court of Appeals opinion.

]]>
2014-04-17 08:35:10 http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/13245
<p>An amendment to the Indiana Medical Practice Act will make payment to injured victims much faster. &nbsp;Prior to the amendment, payment from the Indiana Patient Compensation Fund were only made twice each year: January 15 and July 15. &nbsp;This resulted in injured victims having to wait sometimes as much as six months for the funds from a settlement or judgment. &nbsp;Effective July 1, 2014, this will change.</p> <p>The amendment to the Medical Malpractice Act now requires quarterly payments to <a href="/practices/medical-malpractice/">medical malpractice</a> injury victims to satisfy judgments or settlements. &nbsp;The new payment dates from the Fund are now: January 15, April 15, July 15 and October 15.</p> http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/13141 An amendment to the Indiana Medical Practice Act will make payment to injured victims much faster.  Prior to the amendment, payment from the Indiana Patient Compensation Fund were only made twice each year: January 15 and July 15.  This resulted in injured victims having to wait sometimes as much as six months for the funds from a settlement or judgment.  Effective July 1, 2014, this will change.

The amendment to the Medical Malpractice Act now requires quarterly payments to medical malpractice injury victims to satisfy judgments or settlements.  The new payment dates from the Fund are now: January 15, April 15, July 15 and October 15.

]]>
2014-04-14 19:33:45 http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/13141
<p>Westland Kramer &amp; Bennett partner,&nbsp;<a href="/attorneys/nicole-bennett/">Nicole Bennett</a>,&nbsp;was recently named to the Top 100 litigaiton lawyers by the American Society of Legal Advocates.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/12682 Westland Kramer & Bennett partner, Nicole Bennett, was recently named to the Top 100 litigaiton lawyers by the American Society of Legal Advocates.

 

 

 

]]>
2014-03-20 15:18:05 http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/12682
<p>Do I need a lawyer? &nbsp;This is probably the most asked question in personal injury law. &nbsp;The answer, almost always, is Yes.</p> <p>When I say "yes," I am including in that the concept of simply consulting with an attorney. &nbsp;In a given year, many Indiana residents are injured in <a href="/practices/personal-injury/car-accidents/">car accidents</a>, <a href="/practices/personal-injury/semi-truck-accidents/">semi-truck crashes</a>, falls, <a href="/practices/personal-injury/dangerous-products/">defective products</a> or <a href="/practices/medical-malpractice/">medical malpractice</a>. &nbsp;Sometimes, those injuries are very minor and sometimes they are life altering. &nbsp;Before you sign anything from the insurance company for the person or business that harmed you, it would be wise to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. &nbsp;Indeed, most people would never consider making a major medical decision without consulting with a qualified physician. &nbsp;Why would anyone make a major legal decision, like signing a settlement document giving up <strong>ALL</strong> of your rights to pursue a claim for harm, without consulting an experienced attorney?</p> <p>I speak to many people throughout the year that were involved in <a href="/practices/personal-injury/wrongful-death/">wrongful death claims</a>, <a href="/practices/personal-injury/drug-medical-device-injuries/">medical device or bad drug claims</a>, <a href="/practices/personal-injury/car-accidents/">car accidents</a>, <a href="/practices/personal-injury/semi-truck-accidents/">truck crashes</a>, motorcycle accident, victims of <a href="/practices/medical-malpractice/">medical malpractice</a>, etc... &nbsp;In nearly every consultation, I can provide the person with valuable insight into how their case "should" be resolved.</p> <p>In cases where the harm is very small and short lived, it may not make much financial sense to hire an attorney. &nbsp;The settlement may be small (because the harm was small and short lived) and the attorney fee will cut into what you are going to net. &nbsp;Of course, some people like the idea of having an attorney handle their case (even a small case) becuase of the peace of mind it gives them. &nbsp;In these situations, I make very sure the client is fully informed about the financial impllications before I accept the case.</p> <p>When the harm is more serious or appears to be permanent, the injured person absolutely needs to consult with an experienced personal Lake County Indiana injury attorney right away - and before signing anything from the insurance company for the at fault person. &nbsp;If possible, I prefer my potential clients to consult with me before they even speak to the opposing insurance company.</p> <p>Insurance companies spend a great deal of time, money, advertising and public relation campaigns to keep people from speaking with an attorney; and with good reason. &nbsp;A study from the <a title="Insurance Research Council" href="http://www.insurance-research.org" target="_blank">Insurance Research Council</a> found that car accident injury claimants received a settlement nearly <strong>3<sup>1/2</sup> times larger</strong> than claimants without an attorney. &nbsp;If a claim is worth $100,000 and the insurance companies can resolve it for $28,500, they will make a substantial profit over the course of a year.</p> <p>While hiring an attorney is important, hiring the right attorney for you is just as important. &nbsp;The Internet is a great place to start when looking for an attorney. &nbsp;Most attorneys have websites that provide information about themselves. &nbsp;Don't stop there however.</p> <p>When looking for a lawyer, consider looking at independent rating agencies, like <a title="Jack Kramer Avvo Page" href="http://www.avvo.com/attorneys/46375-in-jack-kramer-1751460.html" target="_blank">Avvo</a>. &nbsp;Avvo rates attorneys on a 1 to 10 scale considering a very wide range of factors, including <a title="Jack Kramer Avvo Client Reviews" href="http://www.avvo.com/attorneys/46375-in-jack-kramer-1751460/reviews.html" target="_blank">past client reviews</a>, <a title="Jack Kramer Avvo Endorsements" href="http://www.avvo.com/attorneys/46375-in-jack-kramer-1751460/endorsements.html" target="_blank">peer attorney endorsements</a>, accomplishments and other factors. &nbsp;Look to see if the attorney regularly posts &nbsp;articles or <a href="/videos/">videos</a> about their practice area - you may find them helpful. &nbsp;When meeting with an attorney, as them to explain their approach handling cases like your case. &nbsp;Ask to meet their staff because you will be dealing with them throughout your case. &nbsp;Interview the lawyer about their past successes with cases like your case. &nbsp;Lastly, trust your instincts about the lawyer.</p> <p>If you have been harmed as a result of another person's negligence, contact Indiana personal injury attorney&nbsp;<a href="/attorneys/jack-kramer/">Jack Kramer</a>&nbsp;at <strong>219-440-7550</strong> or through our <a href="/contact/">Contact Us</a> page. &nbsp;The consultation in our Schererville office is completely free. &nbsp;If I believe I can help you and you agree to retain us, there is no fee until we win. &nbsp;Our fee is contingent and is paid from the settlement funds.</p> http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/12591 Do I need a lawyer?  This is probably the most asked question in personal injury law.  The answer, almost always, is Yes.

When I say "yes," I am including in that the concept of simply consulting with an attorney.  In a given year, many Indiana residents are injured in car accidents, semi-truck crashes, falls, defective products or medical malpractice.  Sometimes, those injuries are very minor and sometimes they are life altering.  Before you sign anything from the insurance company for the person or business that harmed you, it would be wise to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney.  Indeed, most people would never consider making a major medical decision without consulting with a qualified physician.  Why would anyone make a major legal decision, like signing a settlement document giving up ALL of your rights to pursue a claim for harm, without consulting an experienced attorney?

I speak to many people throughout the year that were involved in wrongful death claims, medical device or bad drug claims, car accidents, truck crashes, motorcycle accident, victims of medical malpractice, etc...  In nearly every consultation, I can provide the person with valuable insight into how their case "should" be resolved.

In cases where the harm is very small and short lived, it may not make much financial sense to hire an attorney.  The settlement may be small (because the harm was small and short lived) and the attorney fee will cut into what you are going to net.  Of course, some people like the idea of having an attorney handle their case (even a small case) becuase of the peace of mind it gives them.  In these situations, I make very sure the client is fully informed about the financial impllications before I accept the case.

When the harm is more serious or appears to be permanent, the injured person absolutely needs to consult with an experienced personal Lake County Indiana injury attorney right away - and before signing anything from the insurance company for the at fault person.  If possible, I prefer my potential clients to consult with me before they even speak to the opposing insurance company.

Insurance companies spend a great deal of time, money, advertising and public relation campaigns to keep people from speaking with an attorney; and with good reason.  A study from the Insurance Research Council found that car accident injury claimants received a settlement nearly 31/2 times larger than claimants without an attorney.  If a claim is worth $100,000 and the insurance companies can resolve it for $28,500, they will make a substantial profit over the course of a year.

While hiring an attorney is important, hiring the right attorney for you is just as important.  The Internet is a great place to start when looking for an attorney.  Most attorneys have websites that provide information about themselves.  Don't stop there however.

When looking for a lawyer, consider looking at independent rating agencies, like Avvo.  Avvo rates attorneys on a 1 to 10 scale considering a very wide range of factors, including past client reviews, peer attorney endorsements, accomplishments and other factors.  Look to see if the attorney regularly posts  articles or videos about their practice area - you may find them helpful.  When meeting with an attorney, as them to explain their approach handling cases like your case.  Ask to meet their staff because you will be dealing with them throughout your case.  Interview the lawyer about their past successes with cases like your case.  Lastly, trust your instincts about the lawyer.

If you have been harmed as a result of another person's negligence, contact Indiana personal injury attorney Jack Kramer at 219-440-7550 or through our Contact Us page.  The consultation in our Schererville office is completely free.  If I believe I can help you and you agree to retain us, there is no fee until we win.  Our fee is contingent and is paid from the settlement funds.

]]>
2014-03-16 11:55:24 http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/12591
<p>The Indiana Supreme Court issued an opinion today refusing to elevate form over substance and in favor of a patient&rsquo;s ability to pursue an injury claim for malpractice.</p> <p>The first step in filing a medical malpractice case in Indiana is to file a &ldquo;Proposed Complaint&rdquo; with the Indiana Department of Insurance.&nbsp; In the case of <em>Estate of Moryl v. LaPorte Hospital et al</em>., the injured party sent the proposed complaint to the Department of Insurance by FedEx Priority Overnight on the last day of the statute of limitations.&nbsp; It was received and filed by the Department the next day, which was one day after the statute of limitations expired.</p> <p>Everyone in the case agreed that had the Proposed Complaint been mail via USPS registered or certified mail, it would have been timely because it would have been deemed filed upon depositing it into the mail (on the last day of the statute of limitations).&nbsp; The sole issue was whether it was deemed filed, and therefore timely, when sent via Priority Overnight with a private carrier like FedEx.</p> <p>Indiana statute allowed a party to file a proposed complaint by certified or registered U.S. mail, but did not address using a private carrier like FedEx.&nbsp; The trial court dismissed the lawsuit as one day too late and the court of appeals agreed &ndash; because FedEx, and not U.S. Mail, was used to mail the Proposed Complaint.&nbsp; Thus, the lower courts held that Proposed Complaint was filed the day it was received by the Department of Insurance (one day late) and not filed the day it was sent out via FedEx (the last day of the limitations period).</p> <p>However, the Indiana Supreme Court today held that the lower court&rsquo;s were wrong and reinstated the claim.&nbsp; The Supreme Court stated, &ldquo;Our decision constitutes a refusal to elevate form over substance.&rdquo;&nbsp; The Court went on to state, &ldquo;We see no substantive difference between a proposed medical malpractice complaint mailed via FedEx Priority Overnight, tracking and return receipt requested, and a proposed complaint mailed via USPS registered or certified mail.&rdquo;</p> http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/12506 The Indiana Supreme Court issued an opinion today refusing to elevate form over substance and in favor of a patient’s ability to pursue an injury claim for malpractice.

The first step in filing a medical malpractice case in Indiana is to file a “Proposed Complaint” with the Indiana Department of Insurance.  In the case of Estate of Moryl v. LaPorte Hospital et al., the injured party sent the proposed complaint to the Department of Insurance by FedEx Priority Overnight on the last day of the statute of limitations.  It was received and filed by the Department the next day, which was one day after the statute of limitations expired.

Everyone in the case agreed that had the Proposed Complaint been mail via USPS registered or certified mail, it would have been timely because it would have been deemed filed upon depositing it into the mail (on the last day of the statute of limitations).  The sole issue was whether it was deemed filed, and therefore timely, when sent via Priority Overnight with a private carrier like FedEx.

Indiana statute allowed a party to file a proposed complaint by certified or registered U.S. mail, but did not address using a private carrier like FedEx.  The trial court dismissed the lawsuit as one day too late and the court of appeals agreed – because FedEx, and not U.S. Mail, was used to mail the Proposed Complaint.  Thus, the lower courts held that Proposed Complaint was filed the day it was received by the Department of Insurance (one day late) and not filed the day it was sent out via FedEx (the last day of the limitations period).

However, the Indiana Supreme Court today held that the lower court’s were wrong and reinstated the claim.  The Supreme Court stated, “Our decision constitutes a refusal to elevate form over substance.”  The Court went on to state, “We see no substantive difference between a proposed medical malpractice complaint mailed via FedEx Priority Overnight, tracking and return receipt requested, and a proposed complaint mailed via USPS registered or certified mail.”

]]>
2014-03-11 16:23:52 http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/12506
<p>Westland Kramer &amp; Bennett partner, <a href="/attorneys/jack-kramer/">Jack Kramer</a>, was recently named to the Top 100 litigaiton lawyers by the American Society of Legal Advocates.</p> <p><a href="http://www.societyoflegaladvocates.org" target="_blank"><img src="http://northwestindianapersonalinjuryblog.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/top100_2014.png" alt="" width="102" height="101" /></a></p> http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/12446 Westland Kramer & Bennett partner, Jack Kramer, was recently named to the Top 100 litigaiton lawyers by the American Society of Legal Advocates.

]]>
2014-03-07 09:51:13 http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/12446
<p>On July 1, 2013, Indiana&rsquo;s new Expungement Law became effective.&nbsp; Sometimes referred to as the &ldquo;Second Chance&rdquo; law, the statutes allow a person with a criminal and/or arrest record to expunge (basically erase) all their criminal history and start over.&nbsp; This has a very dramatic impact on a person&rsquo;s ability to get certain jobs or promotions, and was designed to stop the bias that convicted individuals were experiencing in the workforce.</p> <p><strong>Do I Qualify?</strong></p> <p>In order to have your criminal records expunged, you must meet very specific requirements.&nbsp; Those requirements change depending on the crime and level of conviction.</p> <p>&nbsp;If you were arrested but not convicted of a crime because the prosecutor dismissed the charges for any reason, then after one year from the date of the arrest you can have the arrest records sealed so that only a criminal justice agency can access the records.&nbsp; There is no filing fee for sealing the records, and you may have as many records sealed as you wish.&nbsp; However, you cannot have the records sealed if there are charges pending against you.</p> <p>If you were convicted of a misdemeanor, regardless of what the original charge was, then you can have the cases expunged when:</p> <ul> <li>At least five years have passed since the date of your last conviction;</li> <li>There are no charges currently pending against you;</li> <li>You do not have a driver&rsquo;s license suspension;</li> <li>You successfully completed all the terms of your probation and satisfied all the obligations of your sentence.</li> </ul> <p>There is a filing fee associated with expunging the records, and you can only file one petition in each county where you have convictions.&nbsp; But the good news is there is no limit to the number of cases that can be expunged as long as you qualify.</p> <p>For felony convictions, there are more requirements, a longer waiting period, and some crimes are specifically excluded and can never be expunged.&nbsp; The provisions become too numerous to list out, but the statute is specific and you can clearly tell by the type of crime whether you will be eligible.</p> <p>One key fact to remember is that you can only expunge your records once in your lifetime.&nbsp; You have exactly one year from the date you file your first petition to file any other petitions in other counties.</p> <p>For a specific evaluation of your situation, contact former Lake County Deputy Prosecutor <a href="/attorneys/steve-moell/">Steve Moell</a> for a free phone consultation.</p> http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/12218 On July 1, 2013, Indiana’s new Expungement Law became effective.  Sometimes referred to as the “Second Chance” law, the statutes allow a person with a criminal and/or arrest record to expunge (basically erase) all their criminal history and start over.  This has a very dramatic impact on a person’s ability to get certain jobs or promotions, and was designed to stop the bias that convicted individuals were experiencing in the workforce.

Do I Qualify?

In order to have your criminal records expunged, you must meet very specific requirements.  Those requirements change depending on the crime and level of conviction.

 If you were arrested but not convicted of a crime because the prosecutor dismissed the charges for any reason, then after one year from the date of the arrest you can have the arrest records sealed so that only a criminal justice agency can access the records.  There is no filing fee for sealing the records, and you may have as many records sealed as you wish.  However, you cannot have the records sealed if there are charges pending against you.

If you were convicted of a misdemeanor, regardless of what the original charge was, then you can have the cases expunged when:

  • At least five years have passed since the date of your last conviction;
  • There are no charges currently pending against you;
  • You do not have a driver’s license suspension;
  • You successfully completed all the terms of your probation and satisfied all the obligations of your sentence.

There is a filing fee associated with expunging the records, and you can only file one petition in each county where you have convictions.  But the good news is there is no limit to the number of cases that can be expunged as long as you qualify.

For felony convictions, there are more requirements, a longer waiting period, and some crimes are specifically excluded and can never be expunged.  The provisions become too numerous to list out, but the statute is specific and you can clearly tell by the type of crime whether you will be eligible.

One key fact to remember is that you can only expunge your records once in your lifetime.  You have exactly one year from the date you file your first petition to file any other petitions in other counties.

For a specific evaluation of your situation, contact former Lake County Deputy Prosecutor Steve Moell for a free phone consultation.

]]>
2014-02-11 15:19:03 http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/12218
<p>&nbsp;</p> <p><iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/0kaQ1_i2jyM" width="425" height="350"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Written by Jack Kramer.</p> <p>We have all probably seen on television, the <em>Law and Order</em> shows and the <em>CSI</em> shows where its generally a criminal case and we probably have all heard that beyond the reasonable doubt standard.&nbsp; If you&rsquo;re in a criminal case, the beyond the reasonable doubt standard certainly applies.&nbsp; In a civil case, which covers everything but criminal cases, like car crash cases, contract cases, landlord-tenant cases, slip and falls, defective drug cases, medical malpractice cases, all of those are not governed by what is called the beyond the reasonable doubt.&nbsp;</p> <p>Rather, those are governed by a preponderance of the evidence standard.&nbsp; Preponderance of the evidence simply means more likely right than wrong or more likely true than not true.&nbsp; I think one example that&rsquo;s easy to understand and I&rsquo;ve seen some judges in courtrooms use this example is the scales of justice.&nbsp; In a civil case where there is a preponderance of the evidence what one side has to do, and as the plaintiff (the person bringing the lawsuit) who bares the burden of doing this to prove their case, they have to just tip the scales in their favor ever so slightly, 51% if you want to figure it out in terms of numbers.&nbsp; Tip the scales ever so slightly in their favor to win the case.&nbsp;</p> <p>The reason we have different standards of proof for civil cases versus criminal cases and in civil cases usually what&rsquo;s at issue is money.&nbsp; In a criminal case, what&rsquo;s at issues is a person&rsquo;s freedom and in some serious cases their life.&nbsp; There is a much lower standard in a civil case, car crash cases, medical malpractice cases, and contract cases, anything but a criminal case.&nbsp; It&rsquo;s the tipping of the scale 51% that allows a person to prevail in a civil case.</p> http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/12165  

 

Written by Jack Kramer.

We have all probably seen on television, the Law and Order shows and the CSI shows where its generally a criminal case and we probably have all heard that beyond the reasonable doubt standard.  If you’re in a criminal case, the beyond the reasonable doubt standard certainly applies.  In a civil case, which covers everything but criminal cases, like car crash cases, contract cases, landlord-tenant cases, slip and falls, defective drug cases, medical malpractice cases, all of those are not governed by what is called the beyond the reasonable doubt. 

Rather, those are governed by a preponderance of the evidence standard.  Preponderance of the evidence simply means more likely right than wrong or more likely true than not true.  I think one example that’s easy to understand and I’ve seen some judges in courtrooms use this example is the scales of justice.  In a civil case where there is a preponderance of the evidence what one side has to do, and as the plaintiff (the person bringing the lawsuit) who bares the burden of doing this to prove their case, they have to just tip the scales in their favor ever so slightly, 51% if you want to figure it out in terms of numbers.  Tip the scales ever so slightly in their favor to win the case. 

The reason we have different standards of proof for civil cases versus criminal cases and in civil cases usually what’s at issue is money.  In a criminal case, what’s at issues is a person’s freedom and in some serious cases their life.  There is a much lower standard in a civil case, car crash cases, medical malpractice cases, and contract cases, anything but a criminal case.  It’s the tipping of the scale 51% that allows a person to prevail in a civil case.

]]>
2014-02-05 10:36:49 http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/12165
<p>Westland Kramer &amp; Bennett is pleased to announce that <a href="/attorneys/jack-kramer/">Jack Kramer</a> has been admitted as a member to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. &nbsp;Admittance into the&nbsp;Million Dollar Advocates Forum requires a settlement or verdict of at least $1,000,000, while admittance into the&nbsp;Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum requires a settlement or verdict in excess of at least $2,000,000.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="http://www.wkb-law.com/images/MDAF_160_white_gif.gif" alt="" width="160" height="160" />&nbsp;<img src="http://www.wkb-law.com/images/MMDAF_160_white_gif-2.gif" alt="" width="160" height="160" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/12156 Westland Kramer & Bennett is pleased to announce that Jack Kramer has been admitted as a member to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum.  Admittance into the Million Dollar Advocates Forum requires a settlement or verdict of at least $1,000,000, while admittance into the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum requires a settlement or verdict in excess of at least $2,000,000.

 

 

 

 

]]>
2014-02-04 17:37:49 http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/12156
<p><iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/pGfkIyjZMkQ" width="425" height="350"></iframe></p> <p>Written by Jack Kramer.&nbsp;</p> <p>Informed consent is simply this, the physician is obligated and this is set forth in the AMA code of ethics and it&rsquo;s set forth in various other authoritative places that a physician or a healthcare provider is obligated to inform the patient of the risks, of the benefits, and of the alternatives to the treatment plan that the physician or the healthcare provider is proposing.</p> <p>One of the questions I&rsquo;m often asked is, &ldquo;Well, does the physician have to tell me about every single risk or every single benefit or every single alternative?&rdquo; and the answer most likely is no.&nbsp; What the healthcare provider should be doing is providing the patient with information regarding the material risks, the material benefits, and the material alternatives.&nbsp; So, for example, if there is a risk that is incredibly, incredibly small and that risk, if it bears fruit, will have a fairly miraculous result on the patient.&nbsp; It may not be necessary for the healthcare provider to tell you about that.&nbsp; Here is an example.&nbsp; The doctor prescribes a drug for the patient and one of the side effects of the drug, which is a rare side effect, is that the patient will have a runny nose or congestion or stuffed up head for a period of a couple days.&nbsp; It&rsquo;s unlikely that the healthcare provider needs to be talking to the patient about that.&nbsp; First of all, it&rsquo;s rare that it&rsquo;s going to happen, and secondly, if it does happen, it&rsquo;s really not that big of a deal.&nbsp; It&rsquo;s a runny nose, or maybe congestion, nothing that&rsquo;s going to really tamper the patient.&nbsp; However, where there is a low risk of something happening, but perhaps that low risk, if it happens, would be catastrophic to the patient.&nbsp; Organ failure or death or something similar, in those situations the physician may be obligated to talk to the patient about very rare, although very serious side effects, and the reason we do that is so the patient can make an informed choice.</p> <p>The other side of the risk coin is the benefit coin.&nbsp; The physician is obligated to inform the patient of all the benefits that go along with the proposed treatment or the proposed drug, or the proposed surgery.</p> <p>The last thing that the healthcare providers are obligated to inform the patient about is the alternatives, reasonable alternatives.&nbsp; If there are multiple ways to accomplish a goal of curing the patient or making the patient better, the physician may have to provide all of those alternatives to the patient so the patient can decide.</p> <p>At the end of the day it is the patient&rsquo;s decision of what happens to them because as you might imagine it is their body.&nbsp; They get to make the choice as to what happens to them.&nbsp; Whether they take a particular drug, whether they undergo a particular surgery, and the reason we have informed consent is so the patient can make that informed choice.&nbsp; Of course physicians give us their opinions and give us their recommendations and often times we will follow them because they are the experts, but at the end of the day they need to inform the patient of the material risks, the benefits, and the alternatives so the patient can choose, even if the patient decides it&rsquo;s different than what the doctor is suggesting, that the patient gets to make that decision.</p> <p>What happens if there is not informed consent?&nbsp; If there is not informed consent, if the patient was not told of all the material risks, of all the material alternatives, then that patient may have a claim against the physician for not providing that informed consent to them and that caused them harm.</p> <p>What the patient would essentially be claiming is had the doctor told me all the material risks and the material alternatives, I would have chosen a different treatment option and I would not have suffered the harm that I did under the treatment plan that the doctor told me to undergo without giving me the alternatives.&nbsp; So essentially what informed consent cases are, are claims that the healthcare provider took away the patient&rsquo;s right to make their own decision as to what happens to their body because you cannot make a decision about your own body if you don&rsquo;t know the material facts that go into making that decision.</p> http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/12085

Written by Jack Kramer. 

Informed consent is simply this, the physician is obligated and this is set forth in the AMA code of ethics and it’s set forth in various other authoritative places that a physician or a healthcare provider is obligated to inform the patient of the risks, of the benefits, and of the alternatives to the treatment plan that the physician or the healthcare provider is proposing.

One of the questions I’m often asked is, “Well, does the physician have to tell me about every single risk or every single benefit or every single alternative?” and the answer most likely is no.  What the healthcare provider should be doing is providing the patient with information regarding the material risks, the material benefits, and the material alternatives.  So, for example, if there is a risk that is incredibly, incredibly small and that risk, if it bears fruit, will have a fairly miraculous result on the patient.  It may not be necessary for the healthcare provider to tell you about that.  Here is an example.  The doctor prescribes a drug for the patient and one of the side effects of the drug, which is a rare side effect, is that the patient will have a runny nose or congestion or stuffed up head for a period of a couple days.  It’s unlikely that the healthcare provider needs to be talking to the patient about that.  First of all, it’s rare that it’s going to happen, and secondly, if it does happen, it’s really not that big of a deal.  It’s a runny nose, or maybe congestion, nothing that’s going to really tamper the patient.  However, where there is a low risk of something happening, but perhaps that low risk, if it happens, would be catastrophic to the patient.  Organ failure or death or something similar, in those situations the physician may be obligated to talk to the patient about very rare, although very serious side effects, and the reason we do that is so the patient can make an informed choice.

The other side of the risk coin is the benefit coin.  The physician is obligated to inform the patient of all the benefits that go along with the proposed treatment or the proposed drug, or the proposed surgery.

The last thing that the healthcare providers are obligated to inform the patient about is the alternatives, reasonable alternatives.  If there are multiple ways to accomplish a goal of curing the patient or making the patient better, the physician may have to provide all of those alternatives to the patient so the patient can decide.

At the end of the day it is the patient’s decision of what happens to them because as you might imagine it is their body.  They get to make the choice as to what happens to them.  Whether they take a particular drug, whether they undergo a particular surgery, and the reason we have informed consent is so the patient can make that informed choice.  Of course physicians give us their opinions and give us their recommendations and often times we will follow them because they are the experts, but at the end of the day they need to inform the patient of the material risks, the benefits, and the alternatives so the patient can choose, even if the patient decides it’s different than what the doctor is suggesting, that the patient gets to make that decision.

What happens if there is not informed consent?  If there is not informed consent, if the patient was not told of all the material risks, of all the material alternatives, then that patient may have a claim against the physician for not providing that informed consent to them and that caused them harm.

What the patient would essentially be claiming is had the doctor told me all the material risks and the material alternatives, I would have chosen a different treatment option and I would not have suffered the harm that I did under the treatment plan that the doctor told me to undergo without giving me the alternatives.  So essentially what informed consent cases are, are claims that the healthcare provider took away the patient’s right to make their own decision as to what happens to their body because you cannot make a decision about your own body if you don’t know the material facts that go into making that decision.

]]>
2014-01-30 14:48:11 http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/12085
<p><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/w2pf1F7XAfs?list=UUjg6Nk1Ia8qyCW8Sl1f7PDg" width="640" height="360"></iframe></p> <p>Written by Jack Kramer.</p> <p>You have been in a car crash and the party that caused harm to you doesn't have insurance or maybe doesn't enough insurance, what happens then? Well, that's when we start dealing with the issue of uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.</p> <p><br />When we buy auto insurance, we have what is known as underinsurance coverage or uninsurance coverage. When we are injured in an automobile crash by someone that does not have insurance, so therefore they are uninsured, our own insurance company essentially steps in and provides insurance coverage for that situation, that's uninsurance coverage.<br /><br />What happens when you're involved in an automobile crash and you're injured and the person that harmed you does not have enough insurance to compensate you for all of the harm and losses that you've suffered? &nbsp;For example, if you are involved in an automobile crash and you have underinsurance coverage through your own insurance policy of $100,000; but the person who harmed you only has $25,000 of liability coverage to compensate you for the harms and losses they have caused. &nbsp;When that person does not have enough insurance, you may be able to make a full recovery under your under insured policy through your own insurance company.</p> http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/11930

Written by Jack Kramer.

You have been in a car crash and the party that caused harm to you doesn't have insurance or maybe doesn't enough insurance, what happens then? Well, that's when we start dealing with the issue of uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.


When we buy auto insurance, we have what is known as underinsurance coverage or uninsurance coverage. When we are injured in an automobile crash by someone that does not have insurance, so therefore they are uninsured, our own insurance company essentially steps in and provides insurance coverage for that situation, that's uninsurance coverage.

What happens when you're involved in an automobile crash and you're injured and the person that harmed you does not have enough insurance to compensate you for all of the harm and losses that you've suffered?  For example, if you are involved in an automobile crash and you have underinsurance coverage through your own insurance policy of $100,000; but the person who harmed you only has $25,000 of liability coverage to compensate you for the harms and losses they have caused.  When that person does not have enough insurance, you may be able to make a full recovery under your under insured policy through your own insurance company.

]]>
2014-01-25 21:06:15 http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/11930
<script type="text/javascript">// <![CDATA[ if(location.protocol=="https:"){ document.write('<script src="https://www.oculu.com/im4/im_initiate.php?user_id=1734450497"><\/script>'); }if(location.protocol=="http:"){ document.write('<script src="http://www.oculu.com/im4/im_initiate.php?user_id=1734450497"><\/script>'); } // ]]></script> <div id="im_box_ep" style="width: 640px; height: 360px;">&nbsp;</div> <script type="text/javascript">// <![CDATA[ function im_is_loaded_ep(options) { if( typeof im_done != "undefined" ) { im_auto_ep( options ); } else { setTimeout( "im_is_loaded_ep( { video_id: 1597817847 } )", 100 ); } } im_is_loaded_ep({ video_id:1597817847 }); // ]]></script> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Written by Jack Kramer.&nbsp;</p> <p>One of the primary things that I hear from a lot of people is we don&rsquo;t like the idea of suing another person.&nbsp; Nearly all the time, there is insurance on the other side that will pay the judgment that will pay the settlement, if one is agreed to, and is not the actual individual, not the business itself that is actually going to pay the bill.&nbsp; It is also nearly universally true that when you file a lawsuit the insurance company for the person that you sued, they will hire a lawyer and they will pay for that lawyer for the entity or for the person that you sued.&nbsp; So that insurance policy that most of us have on our cars, or some of us have on our businesses, and most of us have on our homes, provide protection for us that if we get sued they going to hire a lawyer for us and pay for that lawyer; and if the case goes to trial and there is a verdict rendered against you or against me, then the insurance company is going to pay that bill, not the individual not the business itself.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/11856 // <\/script>'); }if(location.protocol=="http:"){ document.write('
 

 

Written by Jack Kramer. 

One of the primary things that I hear from a lot of people is we don’t like the idea of suing another person.  Nearly all the time, there is insurance on the other side that will pay the judgment that will pay the settlement, if one is agreed to, and is not the actual individual, not the business itself that is actually going to pay the bill.  It is also nearly universally true that when you file a lawsuit the insurance company for the person that you sued, they will hire a lawyer and they will pay for that lawyer for the entity or for the person that you sued.  So that insurance policy that most of us have on our cars, or some of us have on our businesses, and most of us have on our homes, provide protection for us that if we get sued they going to hire a lawyer for us and pay for that lawyer; and if the case goes to trial and there is a verdict rendered against you or against me, then the insurance company is going to pay that bill, not the individual not the business itself.

 

]]>
2014-01-20 16:09:41 http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/11856
<p>Indiana's new expungement law allows many people convicted of a crime to have that conviction removed from their record. &nbsp;Many people cannot attend school functions with the children or cannot find employment because of a mistake many years ago. &nbsp;This new law may allow the removal of that conviction. &nbsp;For more information, contact former Deputy Lake County Prosecutor Nicole Bennett at 219-440-7550.</p> <p><iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/kq2gSh8rXEo" width="425" height="350"></iframe></p> http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/11461 Indiana's new expungement law allows many people convicted of a crime to have that conviction removed from their record.  Many people cannot attend school functions with the children or cannot find employment because of a mistake many years ago.  This new law may allow the removal of that conviction.  For more information, contact former Deputy Lake County Prosecutor Nicole Bennett at 219-440-7550.

]]>
2013-12-05 08:33:30 http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/11461
<p>Avelox is the brand name for the antibiotic moxifloxacin.&nbsp; Medical evidence suggests that Avelox use may be linked to severe eye injuries including uveitis, glaucoma and permanent vision loss. &nbsp;<a href="/practices/personal-injury/drug-medical-device-injuries/indiana-avelox-eye-injuries/">Click here to learn more</a>.</p> <p>Written by Jack Kramer.</p> http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/11337 Avelox is the brand name for the antibiotic moxifloxacin.  Medical evidence suggests that Avelox use may be linked to severe eye injuries including uveitis, glaucoma and permanent vision loss.  Click here to learn more.

Written by Jack Kramer.

]]>
2013-11-20 16:56:15 http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/11337
<p>Written by Jack Kramer.</p> <p>When a car crash causes injuries, medical bills are soon to follow.&nbsp; Most people have what is called medical payments coverage (called &ldquo;Med Pay&rdquo;) as part of their auto insurance policy.&nbsp; This coverage can range from $1,000 to $100,000 or more in coverage.&nbsp; While policies vary, Med Pay is designed to pay for medical bills for medical care caused in the car crash.&nbsp; Think of it as sort of a mini health insurance policy, kind of. . . .&nbsp; Unlike most health insurance policies, insurance carriers who provide Med Pay often do not pre-approve treatment.&nbsp; Rather, med pay coverage generally pays for medical expenses already incurred.</p> <p>When deciding whether the submit a claim for medical bills for payment under Med Pay or a traditional health insurance policy, many things should be considered.&nbsp; One of those things is subrogation.</p> <p>When the med pay carrier or the health insurance carrier pay for medical bills caused in a crash, they are likely entitled to be reimbursed for the payments they made out of any personal injury settlement with the person who caused the crash.&nbsp; This is known as a subrogation claim.&nbsp; So, why does subrogation matter?</p> <p>Most health insurance plans are governed by a federal law called ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act).&nbsp; Under ERISA, the health insurer is likely entitled to 100% reimbursement.&nbsp; So, if the health insurance carrier pays $6,000 in medical bills, they are entitled to $6,000 reimbursement out of the personal injury settlement.</p> <p>Med pay coverage through automobile insurance policies are <strong>not</strong> governed by ERISA, but are controlled by state law.&nbsp; Under current Indiana state law, the auto insurance carrier is not entitled to 100% reimbursement for payment it made under Med Pay.&nbsp; Typically, the auto carrier must take at least a 1/3 reduction.&nbsp; So, if $6,000 was paid by Med Pay, the auto carrier may only be entitled to $4,000 reimbursement out of the personal injury settlement.&nbsp; The result is more money in the injured person&rsquo;s pocket from the injury settlement.</p> http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/11273 Written by Jack Kramer.

When a car crash causes injuries, medical bills are soon to follow.  Most people have what is called medical payments coverage (called “Med Pay”) as part of their auto insurance policy.  This coverage can range from $1,000 to $100,000 or more in coverage.  While policies vary, Med Pay is designed to pay for medical bills for medical care caused in the car crash.  Think of it as sort of a mini health insurance policy, kind of. . . .  Unlike most health insurance policies, insurance carriers who provide Med Pay often do not pre-approve treatment.  Rather, med pay coverage generally pays for medical expenses already incurred.

When deciding whether the submit a claim for medical bills for payment under Med Pay or a traditional health insurance policy, many things should be considered.  One of those things is subrogation.

When the med pay carrier or the health insurance carrier pay for medical bills caused in a crash, they are likely entitled to be reimbursed for the payments they made out of any personal injury settlement with the person who caused the crash.  This is known as a subrogation claim.  So, why does subrogation matter?

Most health insurance plans are governed by a federal law called ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act).  Under ERISA, the health insurer is likely entitled to 100% reimbursement.  So, if the health insurance carrier pays $6,000 in medical bills, they are entitled to $6,000 reimbursement out of the personal injury settlement.

Med pay coverage through automobile insurance policies are not governed by ERISA, but are controlled by state law.  Under current Indiana state law, the auto insurance carrier is not entitled to 100% reimbursement for payment it made under Med Pay.  Typically, the auto carrier must take at least a 1/3 reduction.  So, if $6,000 was paid by Med Pay, the auto carrier may only be entitled to $4,000 reimbursement out of the personal injury settlement.  The result is more money in the injured person’s pocket from the injury settlement.

]]>
2013-11-13 16:35:43 http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/11273
<p>A new Indiana law (House Enrolled Act No. 1482) that will take effect on July 1, 2013, allows arrest records and conviction to be expunged.&nbsp; In many cases, an arrest that does not result in a conviction or plea agreement still appears on a person&rsquo;s background checks.&nbsp; Arrest incidents on background checks, along with actual criminal convictions, hamper a person&rsquo;s ability to obtain employment, coach their child&rsquo;s sport&rsquo;s team and the like.&nbsp; This new law allows the removal of many convictions and of arrest incidents.</p> <p>The new law also protects the rights of individuals whose arrests and convictions have been expunged by court order.&nbsp; This new law will affect employers in Indiana because it prohibits employers from discriminating against anyone because of an arrest or conviction that has been expunged.&nbsp; An employer who does discriminate or asks about arrests or convictions that have been expunged would be guilty of a Class C infraction and may be held in contempt of court.&nbsp;</p> <p>Former prosecutors <a href="/attorneys/nicole-bennett/">Nicole Bennett</a> or <a href="/attorneys/steve-moell/">Steve Moell</a> are available to meet with individuals interested in expunging old arrest or criminal convictions.</p> http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/9163 A new Indiana law (House Enrolled Act No. 1482) that will take effect on July 1, 2013, allows arrest records and conviction to be expunged.  In many cases, an arrest that does not result in a conviction or plea agreement still appears on a person’s background checks.  Arrest incidents on background checks, along with actual criminal convictions, hamper a person’s ability to obtain employment, coach their child’s sport’s team and the like.  This new law allows the removal of many convictions and of arrest incidents.

The new law also protects the rights of individuals whose arrests and convictions have been expunged by court order.  This new law will affect employers in Indiana because it prohibits employers from discriminating against anyone because of an arrest or conviction that has been expunged.  An employer who does discriminate or asks about arrests or convictions that have been expunged would be guilty of a Class C infraction and may be held in contempt of court. 

Former prosecutors Nicole Bennett or Steve Moell are available to meet with individuals interested in expunging old arrest or criminal convictions.

]]>
2013-05-25 16:01:50 http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/9163
<p>By Jack Kramer.</p> <p>The New York Times recently reported that experts agree that the best way to reduce medical error is to gather and analyze information about past errors with an eye toward improving future care. But many believe that a major barrier to doing so is the medical malpractice tort system: the threat of being sued is believed to prevent the kind of transparency necessary to identify and learn from errors when they occur.</p> <p>New evidence, however, contradicts the conventional wisdom that malpractice litigation compromises the patient safety movement&rsquo;s call for transparency. In fact, the opposite appears to be occurring: the openness and transparency promoted by patient safety advocates appear to be influencing hospitals&rsquo; responses to litigation risk.</p> <p>Interviewees at over 400 facilities confirmed that while hospitals historically took an adversarial and secretive approach to lawsuits and error, that has begun to change. In recent years, hospitals have become increasingly open with patients: over 80 percent of hospitals in my study have a policy of apologizing to patients when errors occur. And hospitals are more willing to discuss and learn from errors with hospital staff.</p> <p>What accounts for these changes? Several factors appear to have overcome historical resistance to transparency, including widespread laws requiring disclosure to patients and confidentiality protections for internal discussions of error. Hospitals have also found that disclosing errors to patients and offering early settlements reduces the costs and frequency of litigation.</p> <p>The study also showed that malpractice suits are playing an unexpected role in patient safety efforts, as a source of valuable information about medical error. Over 95 percent of the hospitals in my study integrate information from lawsuits into patient safety efforts. And risk managers and patient-safety personnel overwhelmingly report that lawsuit data have proved useful in efforts to identify and address error.</p> http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/9100 By Jack Kramer.

The New York Times recently reported that experts agree that the best way to reduce medical error is to gather and analyze information about past errors with an eye toward improving future care. But many believe that a major barrier to doing so is the medical malpractice tort system: the threat of being sued is believed to prevent the kind of transparency necessary to identify and learn from errors when they occur.

New evidence, however, contradicts the conventional wisdom that malpractice litigation compromises the patient safety movement’s call for transparency. In fact, the opposite appears to be occurring: the openness and transparency promoted by patient safety advocates appear to be influencing hospitals’ responses to litigation risk.

Interviewees at over 400 facilities confirmed that while hospitals historically took an adversarial and secretive approach to lawsuits and error, that has begun to change. In recent years, hospitals have become increasingly open with patients: over 80 percent of hospitals in my study have a policy of apologizing to patients when errors occur. And hospitals are more willing to discuss and learn from errors with hospital staff.

What accounts for these changes? Several factors appear to have overcome historical resistance to transparency, including widespread laws requiring disclosure to patients and confidentiality protections for internal discussions of error. Hospitals have also found that disclosing errors to patients and offering early settlements reduces the costs and frequency of litigation.

The study also showed that malpractice suits are playing an unexpected role in patient safety efforts, as a source of valuable information about medical error. Over 95 percent of the hospitals in my study integrate information from lawsuits into patient safety efforts. And risk managers and patient-safety personnel overwhelmingly report that lawsuit data have proved useful in efforts to identify and address error.

]]>
2013-05-23 12:12:02 http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/9100
<p>By Jack Kramer.</p> <p>The Indiana legislature has amended the Hospital Lien Statute in several ways that will favor personal injury claimants. &nbsp;Among the changes are:</p> <ul> <li>Liens may not be filed against a person who is receiving Medicare or Medicaid benefits.</li> <li>The lien must be reduced by the amounts the amount of benefits the patient is entitled to under a health insurance plan (e.g. contractual reductions, write-offs, etc...). &nbsp;This provision is especially important as many hospitals have recently choosen to forego payment via health insurance on patients injured in car crashes and other incidents caused by the negligence of others. &nbsp;This was an attempt by the hospitals to avoid the contractual reductions and write-off they agreed to with the injured person's health insurance. &nbsp;This new provision requires the lien to be reduced per those benefits - even if the hospital did not pursue payment through the health insurance.</li> <li>The lien does not apply to injury claims against a disability policy or insurance policies with medical payments coverage.</li> <li>The hospital may not pursue collection of the amounts owed under the lien until the injury claim has been fully resolved.</li> <li>If the hospital agrees to accept less than its full lien amount, it may not collect the compromised amount from the patient or his representative.</li> <li>The time period to file a lien has been reduced from 180 days to 90 days after a patient is discharged.</li> <li>When a hospital lien has been paid and it fails to release its lien within 15 days, the daily fine was increased from $10 to $25.</li> </ul> <p>The changes to the Hospital Lien Statute to into effect on July 1, 2013.</p> http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/8650 By Jack Kramer.

The Indiana legislature has amended the Hospital Lien Statute in several ways that will favor personal injury claimants.  Among the changes are:

  • Liens may not be filed against a person who is receiving Medicare or Medicaid benefits.
  • The lien must be reduced by the amounts the amount of benefits the patient is entitled to under a health insurance plan (e.g. contractual reductions, write-offs, etc...).  This provision is especially important as many hospitals have recently choosen to forego payment via health insurance on patients injured in car crashes and other incidents caused by the negligence of others.  This was an attempt by the hospitals to avoid the contractual reductions and write-off they agreed to with the injured person's health insurance.  This new provision requires the lien to be reduced per those benefits - even if the hospital did not pursue payment through the health insurance.
  • The lien does not apply to injury claims against a disability policy or insurance policies with medical payments coverage.
  • The hospital may not pursue collection of the amounts owed under the lien until the injury claim has been fully resolved.
  • If the hospital agrees to accept less than its full lien amount, it may not collect the compromised amount from the patient or his representative.
  • The time period to file a lien has been reduced from 180 days to 90 days after a patient is discharged.
  • When a hospital lien has been paid and it fails to release its lien within 15 days, the daily fine was increased from $10 to $25.

The changes to the Hospital Lien Statute to into effect on July 1, 2013.

]]>
2013-05-07 11:34:41 http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/8650
<p>The Lowell Town Council has appointed Westland Kramer &amp; Bennett as the attorneys for the Town. &nbsp;The firm was introduced at a study session on January 10, 2013. &nbsp;Click <a href="http://www.wkb-law.com/files/LowellCounselNewsArticle.pdf" target="_blank">here</a> to read the article in the Lowell Tribune.</p> http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/7459 The Lowell Town Council has appointed Westland Kramer & Bennett as the attorneys for the Town.  The firm was introduced at a study session on January 10, 2013.  Click here to read the article in the Lowell Tribune.

]]>
2013-03-01 08:44:13 http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/7459
<p>Please insert posts info here.</p> http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/7283 Please insert posts info here.

]]>
2013-02-21 10:20:37 http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/7283
<p>If you have been in a car crash, more likely than not you have what is called medical payment coverage on your automobile.&nbsp; This insurance coverage is similar to a health insurance policy that will pay for or contribute to your medical bills caused by the crash.&nbsp; Often times, people are unsure whether to use their medical pay coverage on their automobile or simply use their health insurance coverage.</p> <p>Where possible, it is likely best to use your medical payment coverage through your automobile policy to pay for your medical bills.&nbsp; When the medical payment coverage limit on the auto policy has been reached, your health insurance can take over.&nbsp; The reason it is usually better to use your medical payment coverage is because of reimbursement obligations you will have after you settle your personal injury case with the person that caused your crash.&nbsp; When an insurance company pays for your medical bills that were caused by someone else&rsquo;s carelessness, that insurance company is usually entitled to be reimbursed IF you make a recovery from the at-fault party.&nbsp; The actual amount of the reimbursement however can depend on whether it is a traditional health insurance policy or an automobile medical payments policy.</p> <p>Health insurance policies are generally provided through one&rsquo;s employer.&nbsp; In such a case, the policy is governed by a federal law known as the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).&nbsp; A health insurance plan that is governed by ERISA is usually entitled to 100% reimbursement for all amounts it paid on your behalf for medical bills.&nbsp; However, medical payment coverages under an automobile policy are governed by state law, not ERISA.&nbsp; In Indiana, the reimbursement amount owed to an automobile insurance company that paid medical bills through a medical payments policy can usually be reduced by as much as 35 to 40 percent of the amount paid.</p> <p>Generally, it is better to have an automobile medical payments insurance policy pay the medical bills and then have health insurance take over after that policy has been exhausted.&nbsp; If a personal injury claim is made from the crash, the amount the injured party will have to reimburse for medical bills paid on their behalf will generally be less if the medical bills were paid by the automobile insurance carrier through a medical pay provision.&nbsp; At the end of the day, this means more money in the injured person&rsquo;s pocket.</p> http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/7244 If you have been in a car crash, more likely than not you have what is called medical payment coverage on your automobile.  This insurance coverage is similar to a health insurance policy that will pay for or contribute to your medical bills caused by the crash.  Often times, people are unsure whether to use their medical pay coverage on their automobile or simply use their health insurance coverage.

Where possible, it is likely best to use your medical payment coverage through your automobile policy to pay for your medical bills.  When the medical payment coverage limit on the auto policy has been reached, your health insurance can take over.  The reason it is usually better to use your medical payment coverage is because of reimbursement obligations you will have after you settle your personal injury case with the person that caused your crash.  When an insurance company pays for your medical bills that were caused by someone else’s carelessness, that insurance company is usually entitled to be reimbursed IF you make a recovery from the at-fault party.  The actual amount of the reimbursement however can depend on whether it is a traditional health insurance policy or an automobile medical payments policy.

Health insurance policies are generally provided through one’s employer.  In such a case, the policy is governed by a federal law known as the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).  A health insurance plan that is governed by ERISA is usually entitled to 100% reimbursement for all amounts it paid on your behalf for medical bills.  However, medical payment coverages under an automobile policy are governed by state law, not ERISA.  In Indiana, the reimbursement amount owed to an automobile insurance company that paid medical bills through a medical payments policy can usually be reduced by as much as 35 to 40 percent of the amount paid.

Generally, it is better to have an automobile medical payments insurance policy pay the medical bills and then have health insurance take over after that policy has been exhausted.  If a personal injury claim is made from the crash, the amount the injured party will have to reimburse for medical bills paid on their behalf will generally be less if the medical bills were paid by the automobile insurance carrier through a medical pay provision.  At the end of the day, this means more money in the injured person’s pocket.

]]>
2013-02-15 08:42:03 http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/7244
<p>Westland Kramer &amp; Bennett is proud to add&nbsp;<a href="/attorneys/steve-moell/">Steve Moell</a>&nbsp;as an associate attorney. &nbsp;Steve joins WKB from the Lake County, Indiana Prosecutors Office. &nbsp;Steve will add considerable value to WKB's criminal and litigation practice</p> http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/7229 Westland Kramer & Bennett is proud to add Steve Moell as an associate attorney.  Steve joins WKB from the Lake County, Indiana Prosecutors Office.  Steve will add considerable value to WKB's criminal and litigation practice

]]>
2013-02-13 21:13:05 http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/7229
The sudden death of a 2-year-old boy from Wisconsin has prompted national alerts about accidental exposure to adhesive patches containing a powerful painkiller that can stick to children's skin or be swallowed if not disposed of properly. &nbsp;Both the US Food and Drug Administration and the Pennsylvania-based Institute for Safe Medication Practices issued alerts about the danger in April. These alerts, which cited 26 known cases of accidental exposure to fentanyl patches among children in the past 15 years, said young children are particularly at risk. The agency said, "Their mobility and curiosity provide opportunities for them to find lost patches, take improperly discarded patches from the trash, or find improperly stored patches, all of which may result in patches being placed in their mouths or sticking to their skin. http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/2805 2012-06-18 15:43:33 http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/2805 <p>The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recalls potentially harmful drugs about once every month, but they could be doing a better job of letting doctors and patients know about them, says a new study.</p> <p>Over an eight-year span, researchers found that the FDA failed to send notifications for one in five of the most serious recalls through its two electronic systems used to alert doctors and the public.</p> <p>The so-called Class I recalls, according to the FDA, are issued for drugs that, if taken, have the potential to cause "serious adverse health consequences or death."</p> <p>The 2008 contamination of the blood thinner heparin, one of the most notable and recent examples of a Class I recall, resulted in serious reactions and some deaths in dialysis patients. That recall, according to one of the study's authors, was reported.</p> <p>"I think a good system would indicate all of the Class I recalls, and it wouldn't necessarily communicate recalls the FDA deems less important, such as Class II and Class III," said Joshua Gagne, from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.</p> <p>Between 2004 and 2011, Gagne and his fellow researchers counted more than 1,700 drug recalls listed in the FDA's enforcement reports. Of those, 91 were serious Class I recalls.</p> <p>During that time, the FDA issued about 2,900 announcements through the Recall Alert System, which sends notifications to subscribers about recalled drugs and products. The system, however, only sent alerts for 55 of the 91 Class I recalls.</p> <p>MedWatch, another system used by the FDA to report drug recall information, sent alerts for 18 of the remaining recalls. Another 18 -- or one-fifth -- of the Class I recalls were never reported through either system.</p> <p>"Despite recent efforts by the FDA to address the drug recall burden, health care providers may be inadequately informed about clinically important recalls that threaten patient safety," wrote the authors in a letter to the Archives of Internal Medicine on Monday.</p> <p>An FDA spokesperson told Reuters Health there are a number of ways the agency communicates with doctors, but she was not able to say why notifications weren't sent in these 18 cases.</p> <p>Dr. Lisa Schwartz, co-director of the Center for Medicine and Media at the Dartmouth Institute in Lebanon, New Hampshire, told Reuters Health that the FDA should try hard to let everyone know about Class I drug recalls until there is a system that allows the agency to track the recalled drugs.</p> <p>"It's unclear why it shouldn't be 100 percent of the time they're notifying people on both systems," said Schwartz, who was not involved in the new study.</p> <p>Gagne and his fellow researchers echoed Schwartz's call for an active tracking system.</p> <p>"The tracking could all be computerized so pharmacies can know which bottles the recalled products came from," said Gagne.</p> <p>Until then, he told Reuters Health that there are other ways doctors can find out about recalls. One way is for the drug companies to send letters directly to doctors. His team, however, was not able to look into those methods of notification.</p> <p>But ultimately, Gagne said, the FDA needs "a more specific system that only communicates all of the Class I information."</p> <p>The current alert systems, according to the researchers, not only reports Class I recall information, but information on -- among other things -- device, food and veterinary drug recalls.</p> http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/2725 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recalls potentially harmful drugs about once every month, but they could be doing a better job of letting doctors and patients know about them, says a new study.

Over an eight-year span, researchers found that the FDA failed to send notifications for one in five of the most serious recalls through its two electronic systems used to alert doctors and the public.

The so-called Class I recalls, according to the FDA, are issued for drugs that, if taken, have the potential to cause "serious adverse health consequences or death."

The 2008 contamination of the blood thinner heparin, one of the most notable and recent examples of a Class I recall, resulted in serious reactions and some deaths in dialysis patients. That recall, according to one of the study's authors, was reported.

"I think a good system would indicate all of the Class I recalls, and it wouldn't necessarily communicate recalls the FDA deems less important, such as Class II and Class III," said Joshua Gagne, from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

Between 2004 and 2011, Gagne and his fellow researchers counted more than 1,700 drug recalls listed in the FDA's enforcement reports. Of those, 91 were serious Class I recalls.

During that time, the FDA issued about 2,900 announcements through the Recall Alert System, which sends notifications to subscribers about recalled drugs and products. The system, however, only sent alerts for 55 of the 91 Class I recalls.

MedWatch, another system used by the FDA to report drug recall information, sent alerts for 18 of the remaining recalls. Another 18 -- or one-fifth -- of the Class I recalls were never reported through either system.

"Despite recent efforts by the FDA to address the drug recall burden, health care providers may be inadequately informed about clinically important recalls that threaten patient safety," wrote the authors in a letter to the Archives of Internal Medicine on Monday.

An FDA spokesperson told Reuters Health there are a number of ways the agency communicates with doctors, but she was not able to say why notifications weren't sent in these 18 cases.

Dr. Lisa Schwartz, co-director of the Center for Medicine and Media at the Dartmouth Institute in Lebanon, New Hampshire, told Reuters Health that the FDA should try hard to let everyone know about Class I drug recalls until there is a system that allows the agency to track the recalled drugs.

"It's unclear why it shouldn't be 100 percent of the time they're notifying people on both systems," said Schwartz, who was not involved in the new study.

Gagne and his fellow researchers echoed Schwartz's call for an active tracking system.

"The tracking could all be computerized so pharmacies can know which bottles the recalled products came from," said Gagne.

Until then, he told Reuters Health that there are other ways doctors can find out about recalls. One way is for the drug companies to send letters directly to doctors. His team, however, was not able to look into those methods of notification.

But ultimately, Gagne said, the FDA needs "a more specific system that only communicates all of the Class I information."

The current alert systems, according to the researchers, not only reports Class I recall information, but information on -- among other things -- device, food and veterinary drug recalls.

]]>
2012-06-06 10:47:16 http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/2725
<p>Smith &amp; Nephew PLC recently announced that it is pulling from the market a metal liner used in hip replacements.&nbsp;&nbsp;Smith &amp; Nephew said the device is the optional metal liner for its R3 Acetabular System hip devices.&nbsp;&nbsp;Reports have stated that the company had found that some patients had experienced problems such as infections and dislocations related to the device.&nbsp;&nbsp;Smith &amp; Nephew reported that 7,700 of the liners had been implanted since it was introduced in 2009.</p> http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/2724 Smith & Nephew PLC recently announced that it is pulling from the market a metal liner used in hip replacements.  Smith & Nephew said the device is the optional metal liner for its R3 Acetabular System hip devices.  Reports have stated that the company had found that some patients had experienced problems such as infections and dislocations related to the device.  Smith & Nephew reported that 7,700 of the liners had been implanted since it was introduced in 2009.

]]>
2012-06-06 10:45:19 http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/2724
<p>Indiana has effectively eliminated the Indiana inheritance tax, sometimes called the &ldquo;death tax,&rdquo; by 2021.&nbsp; The law immediately increases the current exemption of $100,000 for Class A beneficiaries (children, grandchildren, and stepchildren of the deceased) to $250,000.&nbsp; The increased exemption amount is available for the estates of individuals who pass after December 31, 2011 and those Class A beneficiaries will be able to enjoy the first $250,000 of property interests transferred free of inheritance tax.</p> <p>For the phase out portion of the new law, all beneficiaries of individuals who die in 2013 will be eligible for a ten percent credit allowed against the inheritance tax imposed.&nbsp; The credit increases by ten percent each subsequent year, with a ninety percent credit available for beneficiaries for individuals who die in 2021.&nbsp; The new law provides there will be no Indiana inheritance tax on the estate of individuals who die after December 31, 2021.</p> http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/2461 Indiana has effectively eliminated the Indiana inheritance tax, sometimes called the “death tax,” by 2021.  The law immediately increases the current exemption of $100,000 for Class A beneficiaries (children, grandchildren, and stepchildren of the deceased) to $250,000.  The increased exemption amount is available for the estates of individuals who pass after December 31, 2011 and those Class A beneficiaries will be able to enjoy the first $250,000 of property interests transferred free of inheritance tax.

For the phase out portion of the new law, all beneficiaries of individuals who die in 2013 will be eligible for a ten percent credit allowed against the inheritance tax imposed.  The credit increases by ten percent each subsequent year, with a ninety percent credit available for beneficiaries for individuals who die in 2021.  The new law provides there will be no Indiana inheritance tax on the estate of individuals who die after December 31, 2021.

]]>
2012-04-26 21:24:55 http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/2461
<p>A recent report found that "Teen drivers and passengers are more likely to use seat belts if they're in states with primary-enforcement seat belt laws, often promoted as 'click it or ticket' laws," according to a study published in the April 19 online edition of the American Journal of Public Health. The study notes that "primary seat belt laws have been proven to reduce death rates in traffic collisions" and "revealed that teens in states with secondary laws were 12 percent less likely to wear a seat belt when driving and 15 percent less likely to do so as a passenger than teens in states with primary laws." &nbsp;Be safe and buckle-up - seats do save lives.</p> http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/2429 A recent report found that "Teen drivers and passengers are more likely to use seat belts if they're in states with primary-enforcement seat belt laws, often promoted as 'click it or ticket' laws," according to a study published in the April 19 online edition of the American Journal of Public Health. The study notes that "primary seat belt laws have been proven to reduce death rates in traffic collisions" and "revealed that teens in states with secondary laws were 12 percent less likely to wear a seat belt when driving and 15 percent less likely to do so as a passenger than teens in states with primary laws."  Be safe and buckle-up - seats do save lives.

]]>
2012-04-24 07:55:57 http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/2429
The US Food and Drug Administration issued a <a href="http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm300803.htm" target="_blank">consumer advisory</a> Thursday, reminding parents, caregivers, and medical personnel of the deadly consequences posed to children from accidental contact with, or ingestion of fentanyl patches, which are marketed under the brand name Duragesic. The agency warning says "there have been 26 incidents of accidental fentanyl exposure since 1997, resulting in ten deaths and 12 cases requiring hospitalization. Most of the cases involved children." In a written statement, Douglas Throckmorton, M.D., deputy director of FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said, "This reinforces the need to talk to patients and their families...to make sure that these patches are stored, used and disposed of carefully." http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/2407 consumer advisory Thursday, reminding parents, caregivers, and medical personnel of the deadly consequences posed to children from accidental contact with, or ingestion of fentanyl patches, which are marketed under the brand name Duragesic. The agency warning says "there have been 26 incidents of accidental fentanyl exposure since 1997, resulting in ten deaths and 12 cases requiring hospitalization. Most of the cases involved children." In a written statement, Douglas Throckmorton, M.D., deputy director of FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said, "This reinforces the need to talk to patients and their families...to make sure that these patches are stored, used and disposed of carefully."]]> 2012-04-20 07:52:44 http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/2407 According to a study published on April 9th in the Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, aristolochic acid, a component of herbal remedies containing Aristolochia, may "cause kidney failure and upper urinary tract cancer." &nbsp;After studying 151 Taiwanese patients with cancer of the upper urinary tract, "researchers found that 83 percent of the patients had evidence in their kidneys of DNA changes that are related to the plant toxin and associated with the development of cancer." A previous study "linked the ingestion of Aristolochia clematitis (commonly known as birthwort) to widespread kidney disease in the Balkans." http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/2331 2012-04-13 08:43:26 http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/2331 <p>Westland Kramer &amp; Bennett is investigating reports of reports of complications associated with Actos. Prescribed for the treatment in persons with Type-2 diabetes, the drug Actos has been under investigation from a variety of sources as a possible cause of bladder cancer. In recent news the governments of both Germany and France have pulled the medication from the shelves and have stopped all sales of the drug.</p> <p>Actos is prescribed for adults with Type-2 diabetes and works to maintain proper levels of sugar. It prevents the liver from producing more sugar than is necessary and allows more efficient use of the insulin that is made in the body. Actos is usually prescribed in combination with changes in dietary habits. It is not intended for those with juvenile diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis.Actos comes with a series of health warnings that mainly address the possibility of heart failure and lactic acidosis. There is no specific mention of bladder cancer or diabetic macular edema.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Studies Point To Link Between Actos And Bladder Cancer</strong></p> <p>The banning of Actos in France and Germany are the latest news in a series of reports made by various scientific boards in the past decade. Complaints of heart problems, fragile bones and serious eyesight conditions had been made for years by patients taking the drug, and in 2007 a major study was concluded that compared the possible health risks in persons taking either Actos or the popular drug Avandia. This study was done using patients on Medicare and concluded that the side effects often linked to Avandia, primarily heart failure, cardiovascular disease and stroke, did not seem to be present in those taking Actos. In May 2011, however, new evidence emerged that supported the link between Actos and the development of bladder cancer.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Independent European Studies</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;In June 2011, an official report from a scientific study group in Europe found that of the 155,000 patients monitored approximately one fifth of those developing bladder cancer had been taking the drug Actos. This resulted in a nationwide recall and banning of the medication in both France and Germany, and the news of this halting of sales prompted individuals elsewhere to take legal action.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>FDA Action</strong></p> <p>The FDA had already concluded a new study that showed a disproportionate risk for those patients using Actos for Type-2 diabetes versus Avandia or other medications to show signs of developing bladder cancer.</p> <p>In June of 2011, partly in response to the European studies, the FDA issued a new report for physicians indicating a possible link between Actos and bladder cancer. Doctors are advised not to prescribe this medication for those already afflicted with this disease. The FDA Safety Announcement on June 15, 2011, states, &ldquo;use of the diabetes medication Actos (pioglitazone) for more than one year may be associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer.&rdquo;</p> http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/2297 Westland Kramer & Bennett is investigating reports of reports of complications associated with Actos. Prescribed for the treatment in persons with Type-2 diabetes, the drug Actos has been under investigation from a variety of sources as a possible cause of bladder cancer. In recent news the governments of both Germany and France have pulled the medication from the shelves and have stopped all sales of the drug.

Actos is prescribed for adults with Type-2 diabetes and works to maintain proper levels of sugar. It prevents the liver from producing more sugar than is necessary and allows more efficient use of the insulin that is made in the body. Actos is usually prescribed in combination with changes in dietary habits. It is not intended for those with juvenile diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis.Actos comes with a series of health warnings that mainly address the possibility of heart failure and lactic acidosis. There is no specific mention of bladder cancer or diabetic macular edema.

 

Studies Point To Link Between Actos And Bladder Cancer

The banning of Actos in France and Germany are the latest news in a series of reports made by various scientific boards in the past decade. Complaints of heart problems, fragile bones and serious eyesight conditions had been made for years by patients taking the drug, and in 2007 a major study was concluded that compared the possible health risks in persons taking either Actos or the popular drug Avandia. This study was done using patients on Medicare and concluded that the side effects often linked to Avandia, primarily heart failure, cardiovascular disease and stroke, did not seem to be present in those taking Actos. In May 2011, however, new evidence emerged that supported the link between Actos and the development of bladder cancer.

 

Independent European Studies

 In June 2011, an official report from a scientific study group in Europe found that of the 155,000 patients monitored approximately one fifth of those developing bladder cancer had been taking the drug Actos. This resulted in a nationwide recall and banning of the medication in both France and Germany, and the news of this halting of sales prompted individuals elsewhere to take legal action.

 

FDA Action

The FDA had already concluded a new study that showed a disproportionate risk for those patients using Actos for Type-2 diabetes versus Avandia or other medications to show signs of developing bladder cancer.

In June of 2011, partly in response to the European studies, the FDA issued a new report for physicians indicating a possible link between Actos and bladder cancer. Doctors are advised not to prescribe this medication for those already afflicted with this disease. The FDA Safety Announcement on June 15, 2011, states, “use of the diabetes medication Actos (pioglitazone) for more than one year may be associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer.”

]]>
2012-04-08 06:45:13 http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/2297
<p>PaperStreet Web Design launches <a href="/">WKB-Law.com</a>, the official website of Westland Kramer &amp; Bennett, P.C., a full service firm located in Indiana.</p> <p>At the website, you'll find detailed information about the firm's attorneys, practice areas and this blog to stay up to date on the latest cases.</p> <p>Stay as long as you want and check back soon for more.</p> http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/2224 PaperStreet Web Design launches WKB-Law.com, the official website of Westland Kramer & Bennett, P.C., a full service firm located in Indiana.

At the website, you'll find detailed information about the firm's attorneys, practice areas and this blog to stay up to date on the latest cases.

Stay as long as you want and check back soon for more.

]]>
2012-03-23 11:44:58 http://www.wkb-law.com/blog/2224